This week the Singularity University Summit is taking place in the heart of Bangkok with an array of brilliant minds, speakers, and ideas all involving the tech industry.
Mandy Simpson, Faculty at the Singularity University gave an informative discussion on Blockchain, security developments, and cryptocurrency.
As the media and certain governments are trying to project and predict that the Cryptocurrency boom will die out there is more and more evidence that the interconnected and necessary need for this new form of currency coinciding with the sleek technology of Blockchain is steadily making its mark in the economic markets.
The use of Bitcoin and its network can create secure transactions, accumulate wealth and increase financial inclusion which does not rely on an established institution and is a freeing and secure form of banking.
Bitcoin is not the only form of digital assets and cryptocurrencies. There around 30 different forms of cryptocurrencies with a market share of over a billion USD and is growing exponentially year on year.
The use of Blockchain is diversifying in a lot of industries and is all about creating trust. As we live more and more in a digital world with digital assets and commodities the question of how do we create an environment of security, ownership and a trustworthy process coupled with strong ethics occur?
In the past, we have relied on the established institutions such as the banks and governments to create this environment, however, this different system allows for a more digitalized and personalized revolutionary form of banking.
This is not one simple form of blockchain but a number of blockchains joined together that connect and keep the system secure. There are several forms of cryptocurrencies that can use the blockchain and anyone in the world can gain permission to use the blockchain and use their cryptocurrencies. However, you can create a secure form whereby you must invite people into your secure blockchain system which has an impact on the whole system.
Blockchain is also focusing and encouraging crowdfunding and other financial services. As this is used in the stock exchange around the world, it is heavily regulated which has caused delays in the gains that could be seen with this digital financial movement. In Thailand, however, there have been significant advancements with The Stock Exchange of Thailand launched a blockchain system for startups to generate financial funding. Thailand is also using blockchain for international payments with the use of SCB and Ripple.
The Bank of Santander has announced (A Spanish bank) is using Blockchain for its customers directly and this is the first time it been marketed to the public as it has usually been kept as a backend, in-house system and it is now coming to the forefront that customers really want and need. The public is starting to fully understand the importance of crypto assets that can make a difference in people lives.
The idea and use of ICOs (initial coin based offerings) in which blockchain companies raise money is slightly tricky and has caused a lot of controversial headlines. In the future tho we have to decide how we will regulate this space.
Thailand is a world leader and forward thinking country with their own version of ICO regulations. This is requiring companies to define 3 key areas:
1. What type of token are you issuing?
2.A cap on the amount that can be raised from the retail public
3. Screened from the SEC for scams.
Thailand has also progressed in terms of using the next big coin phase: Utility coins and asset-backed tokens and equity tokens.
How do we allow trading with these coins?
There are platforms such as overstocked.com which have been with this movement since the beginning and have now launched a regulated exchange platform.
There is the movement of digital identity that blockchain helps to define where you have a self-sovereign identity and only allow people who need it to see the information that you hold.
Lastly, the key and upcoming area that blockchain is defining is the area of Smart Contracts that will be integrated into the areas of property and banking. Smart Contracts are going to be used with Ethereum and it becomes more than just data which can be spread across an integrated global computer program.
This experiment was first used in China and was an immediate digital contract that was successfully signed in a matter of minutes of receiving the said contract. This proves that its capacity, speed, and efficiency of Smart contracts will most definitely be taking Blockchain into the global arena.
Bio of Mandy Simpson
Mandy has a law degree from Cambridge University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and is a faculty member of the Singularity Univeristy.