Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Watershed Moment For Bitcoin - Singapore Leads The Way

Transcript : "... there are other technologies like Blockchains which is used for bitcoins, but can also be use for many other applications like, Real Gross Time Settlement and Trade Finance Verification. So our banks and our regulators MAS must keep up to date and up to scratch with these developments..."

Real Time Gross Settlement : "Gross settlement" means the transaction is settled on one to one basis without bundling or netting with any other transaction. RTGS systems are typically used for high-value transactions that require immediate clearing, usually by a country's central bank.


Trade Finance Verification : Same-day affirmation (SDA) also known as T0 refers to completing the entire trade verification process on the same day that the actual trade took place.

He refers to Blockchains (plural), He points out that there are many type of blockchains and only one of which is bitcoin. This actually sidesteps the previously negative image attributed to bitcoin.

It shows a clear understanding of what blockchain technology is all about. Furthermore he directs that their banks and regulators keep up to date with developments. Singapore have always maintained a level headed approach towards bitcoin. It was the first country to clearly define the legal position of bitcoin. Here regulators treat bitcoin for tax purposes it the way it is used, either as a commodity or currency. This has allowed many innovative bitcoin companies to setup and thrive in Singapore.

In his speech he praised the banking industry for it's success but also points out that there are other banks that are better in other areas of the finance and banking, such as mobile payments. This is reinforcing Singapore's model of always wanting to be the best in areas of industry that they target. Being a financial hub have been part of the plan since the founding of Singapore as an independent state.

I would argue that this is a watershed moment for bitcoin and blockchain technologies in general. The community have always hoped for a country to "adopt" bitcoin. This endorsement from the leader of a major developed nation and a global financial hub comes close.  It is a good bet that a good many leaders have been taken by surprise and are "scrambling for the exits" so to speak.

Update 24/11/2015 : Banks Urged To Take Digital Currencies Seriously

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