From the Central Bank and the Github to the market
Takeaways from Day 1 at the Milan Fintech Festival
The success of MAS is well known. The Singapore Fintech Festival hosts 60,000 people, which brings it to the same level as the Web3 Summit in Lisbon.
What I hadn’t realized is that MAS has been and continues to seed activities and then spins them off, to become commercially successful businesses. MAS is building Digital Assets of immense value.
The Singapore Fintech Festival itself was spun off last year to become a business.
Project Ubin was commercialized via Patrior. Project Ubin started in 2016 as a collaboration pilot of MAS with the industry to explore the potential of Blockchain and DLT in clearing and settling payments and securities. It included five phases and an emphasis on Tokenization with the Singapore Dollar.
Patrior, which means to distribute and share in Latin, was formed in 2021 by DBS Bank, JP Morgan and Temasek. Their first focus was to build on the open-source code of Project Ubin on the Github, to move USD and Singapore dollars between Singapore Banks.
MAS has seeded knowledge and content center by sharing all the content from the Singapore Fintech Festival. Commercialization to come in the future.
MAS has created an educational certification program that combines different modules of their innovation activities in a unique way. Their aim is to foster a global network of people that they educate for just $1. They offer a Token as Proof of attendance, upskilling, and certification. MAS has collaborated with the Central Bank of Ghana, which will accept these Tokens as collateral for loans to plant Sesame or Soya seeds!
This to me is brilliant. We all think of tokenization as enabling us to exchange value (payments or financial securities) in just one step, instead of the typical 2 steps (clearing and settlement). The way MAS has structured the flow of the activities through this Certification Token, is a frictionless circular flow — from upskilling via education, enabling instant monetization for the educated, while securing the supply of Sesame and Soya for the traders in Singapore and executing on Singapore`s Food Supply strategy.
The loans are for $2,000-$3,000 and the certification via Tokenization creates a global talent pool connected with Singapore. There is strong evidence that we all have an emotional connection with the places where we studied and Singapore Tokens in one`s wallet, has significant non-financial value and establishes long-term connectivity with the country.
The entity offering the education is SMEfe.org — SME financial empowerment — and has a variety of certifications. From a basic 4h course on financing a business to 5 courses on the digital economy, platforms, global expansion, etc.
Proxtera is yet another commercial entity out of MAS that leverages their API exchange too. Initially, this was an initiative launched in 2018 as Business sans Borders (BSB) with MAS and in collaboration with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Now Proxtera, a global marketplace to discover and connect with SMEs, has 430,000 SMEs in its network from Asia and Africa and continues to establish partnerships to empower its member SMEs. This year Proxtera has partnered with African supply chain financing provider INFT and Plendify, a pan-African enabler for digital growth of SME businesses.
I see all these activities as strong proof of how a small country by geographic size and population, is growing exponentially its Digital Assets on so many dimensions.
Digital Assets are not scarce but their value increases sustainably if they are part of an ecosystem that aims to empower all stakeholders (providers and consumers). MAS is executing on this wonderfully; building an interconnected, global, Digital asset ecosystem.
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