The Singapore government has just announced its FinTech Fast Track Initiative, which seeks to accelerate patent granting processes for many fintech areas, including blockchain-based payments.
Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, announced the programme during the 2018 World Intellectual Property Day on the 26th April.
Singapore’s Intellectual property Office hopes to shorten the fintech application process from its current 2 years to about 6 months, stating that a technology that utilizes blockchain to facilitate banking payments will be eligible under the new fast-track scheme. The IP office stated that “The incorporation of blockchain technology to improve the security and efficiency of clearing and settlement across borders for transaction and payment is deemed as a Fintech invention.”
The new initiative is seen by many as a further indication of Singapore’s desire to be amongst Asian frontrunners such as Japan in the promotion of the technology in the region, and also to promote and develop its overall use in Singapore’s fintech sector.
The move comes just weeks after the Singapore government launched a blockchain competition with government funding in a bid to reward and select successful blockchain startups.
Singapore has recently seen new areas open up for blockchain and cryptocurrency, such as the ride-hailing market. First Uber, and more recently “Grab,” after the Uber/Grab merger, has cornered the market, but now five new players have emerged, including Singapore based MVL.
MVL says it wants a revolution, not profit, enabling the transparent sharing of the all data related to driving, accidents, repairs and other mobility related transactions. It claims its blockchain platform will gather and track data on vehicle activity, and customers providing data themselves will be awarded MVL points, which can then be converted into MVL coins. Riders will receive rewards for rating their drivers and drivers will be rewarded for safe driving and data collection.
Talking to Singapore’s Straits Times, Hugh Mason, chief of corporate innovation firm JFD claims that the dynamism in Singapore’s ride-hailing market is “fantastic” and “just within a few years the disrupters are being disrupted themselves”