Some of the most recognizable leaders in the blockchain industry have agreed to participate in a newly launched advisory panel organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Included on the regulatory authority’s 15-person International Technology Advisory Panel (ITAP) is CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, Blythe Masters; CEO of SolidX, Daniel Gallancy; and managing director of R3CEV, Tim Grant.

ITAP met for the first time this week at an event attended by Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the monetary authority, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, to discuss a wide range of applications of blockchains and other decentralized systems, among other FinTech trends, according to a statement.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon described the meeting as “fruitful” and framed it as the latest development in the city-state’s emerging position as a global leader of financial technology innovation.

In a statement, Menon said:

“This in-depth discussion with global leaders in innovation marks another step in the ongoing journey by the MAS and the financial industry in Singapore to create a smart financial centre – one that harnesses technology to increase efficiency, manage risk, create new opportunities, and improve the welfare of Singaporeans.”

In addition to the panelists from the blockchain and distributed ledger industry, were chief innovation and science officers from global financial institutions, FinTech business leaders and venture capitalists.

Singapore push

As part of Singapore’s efforts to develop into a global financial center, the nation’s Monetary Authority (which is also its central bank), has set aside $225m as part of a five-year investment plan in financial technology.

Initially, part of those resources were used to fund a blockchain recordkeeping project, but since then a wide range of efforts have unfolded.

Notably, in June, IBM opened an incubator at Singapore’s Marina Bay that is expected to eventually employ 5,000 computer scientists specializing in blockchain and a wide range of other fields.

Though the Watson Centre, opened with plans to rapidly build blockchain prototypes using IBM’s artificial intelligence tools, it was only a short time later than the company launched another blockchain project within the Singapore facility.

By mid-July, IBM had announced a collaboration with MAS and the Singapore Economic Development Board as part of a project within the centre that will focus on using blockchain tech to increase the efficiency of multi-party trade finance.

Members of ITAP engaged with industry professionals, academics, and students in four-panel discussions at the meeting on Tuesday that explored the potential impact of blockchains and other financial services technology on the nation’s commerce.

The next ITAP meeting is scheduled for 2017.

Singapore image via Shutterstock

AsiaBlythe MastersDigital Asset HoldingsR3Singapore



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