In this edition of Weekly Focus APAC: Singapore Builds Blockchain Multi-Currency Payments Platform; Alipay & WePay Now Open to Foreign Visitors; Chinese Shoppers Make 1M Orders via Smart Speakers; JD.com Opens Chongqing Store Offering ‘Immersive’ Experience; and Accor Hotels Look to Improve Traveller Experience with Alibaba Partnership.
Singapore Builds Blockchain Multi-Currency Payments Platform
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has developed a blockchain-based platform capable of processing different currencies on the same network.
Built in collaboration with J.P. Morgan and Temasek Holdings, the prototype network had the potential to improve cost efficiencies for businesses, the partners said in a joint statement. Tests currently were being run in the industry to ascertain its commercial viability and ability to integrate with commercial blockchain applications.
The latest development was part of MAS’s Project Ubin initiative, now in its fifth phase, which aimed to provide a payments network that could connect and integrate seamlessly with other blockchain networks. The platform also would offer other features to facilitate use cases such as delivery-versus-payment settlement with private exchanges, conditional payments and escrow for trade, and payment commitments for trade finance.
To date, MAS and its partners had roped in more than 40 financial and non-financial firms to explore the potential benefits of the payments network.
Temasek’s president and COO Chia Song Hwee said: “Blockchain technology has great potential in transforming businesses and opening up new business opportunities… The inclusion of non-financial services companies has demonstrated applicability of blockchain technology beyond capital markets and trade finance.”
Alipay & WeChat Pay Now Open to Foreign Visitors
Both Alibaba and Tencent now have made their respective e-wallets, Alipay and Wechat Pay, available to foreign visitors to…