We travelled to Singapore for you to the Blockshow Asia conference to learn more about the Blockchain adaptation in Asia and to see what the large-scale Blockchain conference is really about.
We were invited by Cointelegraph to report on the Blockshow Asia as a media partner on 29 and 30 November, which will not stop us from addressing criticisms in the following. The venue, the Resort World Convention Center, provided impressive premises, which Cointelegraph did not stage any less impressively – a dimension one is not used to from Europe.
ICOs put everything in the shade
It quickly became apparent that the event was dominated by one theme: ICOs. So after a short time we entered the exhibitor hall, where there were countless stands of blockchain start-ups that had exactly one goal: to win investors for their upcoming ICO.
We were disappointed in the hope of stimulating discussions about exciting blockchain solutions, as the participants present had more of a marketing background than an IT background. One exception was Victor Bonhomme, Full Stack Engineer at iExec, a French blockchain start-up that built a platform to monetise free computing capacity. The decisive difference to most other exhibitors, however, was that iExec has already carried out an ICO and can offer added value with an already functioning blockchain solution.
The presentations were also strongly dominated by CEOs, who were represented at the fair with an advertising portfolio. One reason why we only attended a few presentations and instead tried to meet interesting personalities. We had such a stimulating conversation with Allen Day from Google, for example, who is researching the topic of artificial intelligence and now wanted to find out about intersections on the topic of blockchain. Together with Dr. Michael Raumann, Founder/CSO of CryptoTec AG, we talked about blockchain applications in the real economy and how artificial intelligence can be integrated here in the future.
The block show was a voluntary compulsory event for ICOs and people with international networking ambitions. Those, on the other hand, who were looking for a technically demanding confrontation with blockchain technology could have saved their money.
Blockchain hotspot Singapore
Outside the conference, we met the scientist Simon Trimborn, who is researching blockchain technology at the National University of Singapore and is developing indices for crypto currencies, among other things. During the discussion, it quickly became clear that Singapore does not have to hide from Stanford or MIT from the USA when it comes to blockchain research.
One of the reasons for this is that the smallest state in Southeast Asia in terms of surface area offers much that fuels a blockchain ecosystem. As Asia’s second most important financial centre after Hong Kong, there is sufficient capital to ensure that investments can be made quickly thanks to deregulated and investment- or tax-friendly regulation. This environment, in turn, attracts the Chinese elite, which is forcing its way to Singapore with knowledge and capital and is establishing its place in universities and financial companies. Supported by the ICO ban in China, Singapore is also a refuge for blockchain innovations from China.
Furthermore, Singapore is probably the most western country in Asia. It is not for nothing that the cost of living in Singapore is considered to be one of the highest in the world. A high standard of living and English as an official language make it easy for any expat from the USA or Europe to gain a foothold here.
These are the reasons that attract well-known blockchain companies such as TenX to Singapore. It is advisable to keep a close eye on Singapore, because Singapore is the blockchain hotspot of Asia and this will certainly not change in the near future.