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Asian blockchain adoption surges as companies digitize their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic

The global blockchain industry is projected to grow to $15.88 billion by 2023.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Tue, 18 Aug 2020, 05:05 am UTC

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many firms to increasingly do their business online. The scenario has accelerated blockchain adoption across Asia as companies rely on the technology to secure their data as well as combat potential hackers and digital thieves.

Blockchain is the technology behind famous digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). However, the applications of the technology go beyond cryptocurrency as it can also be used to help fight corruption in the government, online voting, supply chain management, and provide the platform for an AI-powered surplus electricity trading system.

Businesses can also use blockchain technology to put up a tamper-proof record keeping. The Business Research Company estimates that the global blockchain market could reach $15.88 billion by 2023, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

The increasing rate of adoption of blockchain technology among companies might have been triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. As businesses were forced to digitize their operations due to social distancing restrictions in place, companies turned to blockchain technology to guard against hacks and attacks on their platforms.

“Internet piracy has posed a major challenge for companies as they look to digitize operations,” PwC Consulting senior manager Tomohiro Maruyama said. “Blockchain emerged as a solution for fighting digital counterfeits, pushing businesses to adopt the technology.”

Kenta Akutsu, the CEO of Japanese startup LasTrust, noted that his firm received a number of inquiries about their blockchain service when the pandemic started. “Even before the outbreak, universities were looking to digitize, but the pandemic forced them to move quickly,” Akutsu said. “While PDF and JPG documents are easy to fake, blockchain promises tamper-proof records.”

With social restrictions in place, boardroom meetings are now done online. One company, bitFlyer Holdings, developed a blockchain-based app that is linked to Japan’s national identification system to prevent spoofing. With the app, investors can still cast their votes on important company decisions without physically attending the meetings.

The company plans to roll out the app this autumn with plans of expanding to other Asian markets. “We hope to expand the app to other Asian countries,” a bitFlyer Holdings spokesperson told Nikkei.

Aside from Japan, blockchain adoption has accelerated in other Asian countries as well. For instance, Singapore-based Agrocorp International partnered with Cargill, blockchain startup Dltledgers and logistics firms to put up a system for tracking the agricultural supply chain. Meanwhile, China’s insurance industry employed blockchain to speed up claims settlement without physical contact between customers and company representatives.

The Philippines just launched a blockchain-based app to make it easier for the country’s citizens to invest in government-issued bonds and help rebuild the nation’s economy. The advantages of the app are its ease of use, 24/7 availability, and security.

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