In 2008, with the world in recession, cryptocurrency entered our world with its first and most famous currency, Bitcoin, taking advantage of the rising mistrust in traditional banking and financing. In the following years, Bitcoin grew tremendously, offering a decentralised money alternative with enhanced security. But its underlying blockchain technology has spread its roots to many other applications including sectors outside of finance. Blockchain startups in Southeast Asia are incorporating the unique characteristics of decentralisation, immutability, security, and transparency in many different projects from cybersecurity to ride-hailing and agriculture.
In April 2020, Cargill and Agrocorp partnered with Rabobank and various logistics partners to speed up intercontinental agricultural trade. The trade of $12 million USD’s worth of wheat from America to Indonesia took only five days to complete instead of a month, thanks to blockchain technology. The ease and speed at which they could complete the transaction highlighted the potential of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) on which blockchain relies.
Blockchain isn’t all cryptocurrency and we want to make sure there’s a distinction there. Find out which startups are taking the lead.
Tech startups in Southeast Asia have been working on the implementation of this technology to real-life use cases, and because the worldwide lockdown has forced many businesses to move online, the demand for the technology has accelerated. The following key players have used blockchain technology to solve current challenges and enhance lives in Southeast Asia.
More and more people decide to add cryptocurrencies to their wallet, seeing it as an investment and using it sporadically for online purchases. Pundi X wants to expand the payment application of cryptos by making offline purchases with cryptocurrencies more accessible. Pundi X, founded in Indonesia but now headquartered in Singapore, is offering the world’s first blockchain-powered point-of-sale device: XPOS.
Every merchant that uses this device can accept cryptocurrencies as a valid payment method. This will not only allow customers to use their cryptocurrency to purchase goods and services but will also provide a safer and smoother method of payment. The startup also offers XWallet, a mobile app that allows users to store and use their crypto assets on their phones. XPASS, Pundi X’s physical card, enables near-field communication transactions with the XPOS.
When they entered the market with their new technology, Pundi X experienced an incredibly successful initial token sale that raised over $35 million USD in under 90 minutes. Worldwide 30 countries are using the service.
Making a transfer with blockchain technology is not limited to cryptocurrency. The Philippine-based tech startup LoyalCoin is offering a company rewards programs through the use of blockchain. Users can earn rewards in the form of Loyalcoins (LYL) from different merchants. Customers can then redeem their tokens in various ways, and merchants can broaden their market reach and increase brand loyalty.
To know your LYL balance, customers can consult LoyalCoin’s mobile app, the LoyalWallet. Restaurants are using the system as are various other outlets from airlines to resorts. In 2019 it launched its Pensionado Card, allowing even more access to discounts, vouchers and free prize draws.
This Malaysian startup is another company using blockchain technology outside of the financial sector. DACSEE, which stands for “Decentralized Alternative Cabs Serving & Empowering Everyone,” uses DLT to deliver its ride-hailing service. The blockchain cuts out the middleman, creating more income for the drivers and competitive prices for the consumer.
As the blockchain ledgers log all bookings and trips made on DACSEE’s platform, the service is very secure and transparent. So far, DACSEE has partnered with over 30,000 drivers, and at the start of 2019, the startup had a valuation at $100 million USD.
Empowering customers by letting them find the best electricity deals between the country’s power providers is the mission of this Singapore-based startup. And now blockchain is aiding in the deregulation of Singapore’s energy market. The decentralisation of the ledgers makes it possible for Electrify to allow its users to transact with lower fees and ensure they are getting a competitive deal for their power supply.
Blockchain is a high-growth industry to look out for in 2020 despite everything
With their initial coin offering (ICO) of its ELEC token, Electrify raised $30 million USD in 2018. Last year they launched Synergy, a decentralised marketplace focusing on Singapore’s renewable energy sources and serving as a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform between individual producers of energy, providing more energy options to consumers, at fairer prices
Tech startups in Southeast Asia are aware that blockchain technology might be the next world-altering invention since the rise of the internet. Blockchain can redefine how information is stored and how transactions take place.
Decentralisation is one of the main features that provide security and transparency. In a time of internet fraud and a worldwide crisis, blockchain startups in Southeast Asia can use the technology’s unique features to gain customers’ trust and provide value for all stakeholders involved.