One hundred and thirty of the richest and most influential people in Asia gathered in Singapore recently to deepen their reflections on the subtleties of the blockchain technology. What brought investors together was a small group of some of the most influential leaders in Asia and around the world, who spoke frankly on stage at an invitation-only event that focused on educating these wealthy about the future and immense potential of the blockchain technology. In the context of the collapse of cryptocurrency industry values, which saw the market capitalization drop by 47% in the last three months, the atmosphere in the packed house was a long way from fanatical. Instead, the audience which was reportedly composed of wealthy old Asians, and their innovative young grandchildren, was marked by calm, persistent note-taking, and a more measured analysis.
Blockchain in the palm oil industry
Anderson Tanoto, director of the $ 18 billion Royal Golden Eagle
manufacturing conglomerate, showed his interest in the blockchain during an
onstage discussion. Tanoto is the son of Sukanto Tanoto, the founder of RGE. In
the course of the exploration of the blockchain by the young Tanoto,
popularized for the first time as distributed ledger technology that feeds
bitcoin, he helped launch the Sustainability Assurance & Innovation
Alliance in order to transform the vast supply chain of RGE palm oil into a
chain. The goal of the palm oil processor and consumer goods producer
consortium was to transfer half of the global palm oil supply chain to a large
shared book and make it reasonably distributed in the world over the next two
years said Tanoto. Not only does it hope that the investment will increase the
transparency of the supply chain, but it will also eliminate unnecessary middlemen.
Singapore Leading Blockchain Innovation
Janil Puthucheary, Singapore’s Minister of State at the Ministry ofCommunication and Information and the Ministry of Transport, presented otherblockchain applications other than cryptocurrency.
Puthucheary helps oversee the Singapore government’s technology research and isa driving force behind the country’s Smart Nation initiative to integrateblockchain technology and other technologies into its infrastructure.Specifically, Puthucheary listed several government projects exploring the useof the blockchain to track goods in a supply chain and automate the payment ofhealth insurance coverage if, for example, a patient had diabetes. He alsohighlighted the work of the Singapore Monetary Authority which exploreddifferent ways for the blockchain to interact with the existing financialinfrastructure of the central bank. But the minister also warned the familiesand others of the many limitations of the blockchain technology. He said thecountry’s cybersecurity team sought to find a balance between the potentialbenefits of using encrypted ledgers to track resources and human errors thatcould lead to vulnerabilities.
Focus on blockchain applications ratherthan cryptocurrency
Although the event’s agenda focused mainly on non-crypto-encrypted blockchainapplications, a significant portion was still dedicated to cryptocurrency,despite the massive market downturn.
In a tantalizing conversation about cryptocurrency, CEO of the popularcryptocurrency exchange, Zhao Changpeng, better known as CZ, spoke about futureplans of his company and what he hopes to do with cryptocurrency. Morespecifically, CZ spoke of his company’s plan to create its own chain of blocks,called the Binance Chain, which would allow the creation of new currencies andfacilitate information operations similar to those of Ethereum. Despite the newplans, CZ hopes that the old vision of cryptocurrency will eventually lead toglobal adoption. He added that he would basically like to see the adoption ofpayments increase and said that although that was the original intent, for somereason it did not take off. In an address on the current state of theblockchain, Bloq co-founder Matthew Roszak presented the global investmentopportunity he says he foresees in this space. The hype eventually and moreoften than not turns into pragmatism he said when asked about declining prices.