There has always been an increased interest from Asia when it comes to new financial technology. Fintech and Bitcoin are both seeing tremendous success in the region, and venture capital funding reached an all-time high in 2015.
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It has to be said, however, that Asia is well behind the curve regarding Fintech adoption. Most other regions around the world, including the US and Europe, have been keeping a close eye on these developments.
But at the same time, Asia is well-positioned to catch up fast to its counterparts.
A Fortunate Mix of Events in Asia
Growth in a disruptive sector does not occur out of the blue. Several factors have influenced the Fintech boom in Asia.
On the one hand, there are the Chinese Millennials with their changing consumer patterns. This group of young spenders is embracing consumerism to the fullest, all the while adapting the latest technologies.
Mobile payments continue to gain in popularity in China, with nearly 400 million people conducting m-commerce. Additionally, close to 200 million Chinese residents use their smartphone as a wallet for payments.
It comes as no surprise to find out over half of Asia’s fintech VC funding of 2015 has found its way to China.
Disruption in the financial space also means bringing services to the underbanked. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, there are nearly two billion adults with no access to a bank account. Mobile plays a key role here as well, as fintech startups are bringing financial services to smartphone owners.
But perhaps the biggest differentiator in this Asian fintech push is Singapore’s DBS. The financial institution wholly owns a pre-accelerator program called DBS HotSpot. Fintech startups are invited to participate and grow their business under the guidance of DBS.
Supporting local fintech efforts bring positive attention to the Asian region, as they keep an open mind towards innovation.
Bitcoin and Blockchain in Asia
The blockchain is, at its core, a system of mathematics. It is also fair and neutral ecosystem where corruptible third-parties have no place. Plus, the technology can be adapted to suit a wide variety of business models.
Whether that is finance, revamping the supply chain, prediction markets, or issuing student credentials, it is all possible.
DBS is confident Asia can gain a lot by embracing blockchain technology in the coming years. Finance will be the target area at first, as business loans are in dire need of a revamp. Making loans against existing company assets, for example, is just one of the options being explored right now.
What are your thoughts on the future of Fintech and blockchain in Asia? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Tech in Asia
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