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Blockchain: 5 things we know so far

1.Blockchain is the new big thing

Blockchain has been described as the most disruptive invention since the Internet. The significance of Blockchain is in its ability to create a trusted record system which is distributed between multiple parties.  Put simply, it uses computer systems to create trust in digital-economy transactions.  It is a ledger of data that cannot be manipulated.

The technology reduces transaction costs, increases security and efficiency by eliminating middlemen. With no middlemen intervention, Blockchain has the potential to solve the problem of distrust and uncertainty in exchanging value.

2. Blockchain is steadily pervading into our lives, even if you don’t believe in Bitcoin

Due to its immense advantages in terms of cost saving, enhanced efficiency and improved security, Blockchain-based applications are becoming increasingly adopted into mainstream business, and it is widely said that Blockchain will spur new business models and disrupt established ones in the next few years.

Intended to be a framework for cryptocurrency Bitcoin when it was first created in 2008, Blockchain technology today is fast penetrating into applications beyond the financial sector.  Worldwide, it has been experimented in asset management, intellectual property management, logistics, medical records, supply chain, the sharing economy, and more. With its transformative power, Blockchain is widely seen as a game changer that has the potential to lead digitalisation in almost every sector that involves value transactions.

3. Blockchain is The Technology for digital government

Blockchain brings three key features that make it ideal for government use: decentralisation, transparency, and immutability. These features make Blockchain a promising technology to fight the problems that cause the collapse of many governments – corruption, bureaucracy, and lack of accountability.

Many governments around the world are looking into adopting Blockchain in their service delivery. Sweden has been testing the use of blockchain for its land registry. The UK is using it to monitor distribution of welfare and benefits. In the US, the National Science Foundation is funding research to establish whether blockchain technology can improve the resilience of digital infrastructure.

4.Governments are experimenting Blockchain

Gulf countries are hastening to adopt blockchain. One leading project is UAE’s Dubai Blockchain Strategy.  The city aims to use Blockchain-powered applications in government agencies in the next 30 months.  Bahrain is planning a pilot blockchain project, with assistance from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

In April this year, Malta approved the first draft of a national strategy to promote blockchain, called the Malta Blockchain Strategy. The strategy aims at making Malta one of the first countries in the world to embrace Blockchain.

The Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) has said that Malaysia would be adopting Blockchain by 2025, and Malaysian banks are already taking proactive steps to encourage its development in the country.  CIMB and Maybank are two of Malaysian banking groups that are working with FinTech companies.  National R&D centre in ICT, MIMOS, has been working on FinTech-related areas such as information security, intelligent informatics, cryptography, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics.

5. Standards are crucial

With today’s exponential data growth, the strategic relevance of Blockchain is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the next five years.  With these rapid developments, designing common industry standards becomes crucial.  Current governance of blockchain technology is unstandardised, with no single blockchain standards.  In Malaysia, a national committee comprising representatives from the Government, industry, NGOs and academia has been formed since early 2017 to participate in the development of ISO standards in Blockchain. This committee represents the country at the ISO Technical Committee on Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (ISO/TC 307).

A half-day forum on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies will be held on Monday 16 Oct 2017 at MIMOS, Technology Park Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.  Limited seats available.  Last day to register is Friday 13 Oct 2017. Click to download brochure.