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Why Singapore Startups Are Riding High On Blockchain Technology Despite numerous trust issues, there are no stopping companies from using this technology

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Blockchain continues to be a hot topic in the global startup ecosystem. And, more entrepreneurs are placing huge bets on this technology. However, this is not the same case in a few countries. According to a study released by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), trust is one of the biggest blockers to the blockchain's adoption. Concern about trust among respondents in the survey was highest in Singapore (37%).

Despite numerous trust issues, there are no stopping companies from using this technology. We asked the founders of blockchain startups in Singapore how they are harnessing the power of this technology for good.

Analyze the Applicability of Technology

Singapore-based LALA World chief executive officer and founder, Sankalp Shangari, feels blockchain technology is not just bringing in a difference at the consumer level instead it is posing a threat to the established system of governance, which is obtrusive of financial freedom.

"A lot of myths are floating around the technology. It was dubbed as a dubious technology, which may look promising, but was porous and could be compromised. The reality is far from it; the technology is secure and reliable than any of the other techniques available. But at the same time, it is complex and in a nascent stage just like the web was in the early '90s and that is what helps the naysayers in spreading heresy about it. The need is to understand its applicability to a particular problem and the impact it has in solving it," said Shangari.

LALA ID, a product of LALA World, is a comprehensive solution that protects the personal information of the users through the immutable blockchain technology. Additionally, the startup offers features like crypto payments through its application.

"The world is going gung-ho about the possibilities of the said technology, which is gradually growing as an infrastructural pillar of economic functionalities, receiving the attention it deserves," added Shangari.

Mapping Unequal Data Sources

Founded by Mike Davie, Quadrant Protocol leverages blockchain and smart contracts to track the data's journey along the data chain--from the originating device to the data scientists that add value to the data--and provide automatic compensation every time the data is purchased. This helps create a more sustainable data economy. The startup serves as the blueprint that provides an organized system for the utilization of decentralized data.

"Data quality is vital to the success of Artificial Intelligence. Algorithms will believe whatever the data tells them to believe, so using poor quality data can result in unintended consequences. Data consumers, therefore, need to know where the data is coming from and be able to trust the source. At the same time, the original providers of the data are rarely compensated fairly. Data consumers like data scientists or AI practitioners can be assured of the quality and provenance of the data being purchased, while providers are compensated fairly. All compensation is paid in Quadrant Protocol tokens, which are recorded on the blockchain," said Davie.

Easing Insurance Agreements

Insurtech company Hearti is serving insurers with their proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain platform.

Keith Lim, chief executive officer, Hearti believes blockchain's immutable nature can foster trust in the insurance agreements between consumers, insurers, and partners.

"Smart contracts are executed based on events that trigger conditions within the agreement (for eg. to pay out claims in the event of a flight delay). When claims data is shared securely on the blockchain, duplicate claims and fraud can be tracked and detected. Such uses of blockchain create huge value for our company's proposition and put it at the forefront of the industry," he said.

Founded in June 2015, Hearti Lab was born out of the realization that there was a void in the corporate and personal insurance sector: the lack of a low-cost, full-featured A.I. platform for insurance management. To achieve its vision of developing an integrated insurance platform, the startup has developed two complementary platforms: BENEFIT.X & SURETY.AI.

Building Trust In Technology

For Joseph Lee, chief technology officer, BridgeX Network, blockchain is the "New Technology of Trust". He believes that blockchain related technologies will spur new ways for the global economy to work.

"Perhaps due to the newness of the tech, there may still be a trust deficit with the general public. We are using blockchain technologies to create a platform to allow lenders and borrowers to transact directly, in a secure, trusted, and protected environment. The terms are specified in the blockchain and will be executed automatically without bias. There is no longer a need for centralized entities to stand in between the borrowers and lenders. The costs saved from eliminating intermediaries are passed to the participants on the platform," said Lee

BridgeX Network is a financial ecosystem framework, built on a proprietary technology core, that bridges the worlds of cryptocurrencies and fiat. The startup provides decentralised credit, conversion and payment solutions between crypto and fiat currencies, allowing unprecedented interoperability. These create a unifying platform for both fintech-blockchain and traditional financial companies to participate in this new economy.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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