New ASEAN blockchain consortium targets cross-border cooperation

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Blockchain associations from Australia and five Southeast Asian nations are joining forces to promote blockchain development and education.

Blockchain organizations from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to promote blockchain collaboration in the Asia Pacific, Business Times reports.

Initiated by Blockchain Association Singapore, or BAS, the MoU aims to engage with regulators to ensure legal compliance alongside raising industry awareness and education through a new blockchain consortium called the ASEAN Blockchain Consortium, or ABC.

The ABC includes BAS, Blockchain Australia, Distributed Ledger Technology Association of the Philippines, Malaysia’s Labuan International Business and Financial Center, Thailand Digital Asset Operators Trade Association, and Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia.

The MoU event was attended by several state representatives including Edi Prio Pambudi, senior advisor to the coordinating minister for economic affairs of Indonesia, and Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The initiative marks the first collaboration between blockchain organizations across Southeast Asia and Australia, BAS said.

“The growth in the digital assets and blockchain industry is tremendous and BAS is proud to collaborate with our Asean and Australia counterparts to further support the growth of the industry in a healthy and sustainable pace,” BAS chairman Chia Hock Lai said.

“There’s no better time to do it than now,” the executive added, noting increasing institutional interest in the industry, including recent crypto moves by Singapore’s DBS Bank, which set up a crypto trading platform in December 2020.

The consortium’s launch comes amid growing cryptocurrency adoption in Southeast Asia and Australia. According to data by Statista, Southeast Asia was among the top regions in terms of crypto adoption last year, with 20% of Filipino survey respondents indicating that they used crypto in 2020. The industry has also been gaining momentum in Australia, with nearly 20% of Australian adult respondents claiming that they owned crypto last year as well.

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