Asia is a hotbed of different socioeconomic landscapes and is often at the forefront of major technological advancements.
Its foray into Blockchain technology is no different.
In fact, according to recent research, Asia is solidly set to become the center of Blockchain innovation.
This could be an absolute game changer.
Let’s take it back to late 2017 for a moment. During the latter part of last year, cryptocurrency and Blockchain — its accompanying ledger — saw meteoric rises and falls. It was a whirlwind for the tech industry and set the foundations for the future of Blockchain.
But with such a sensitive year behind it, what’s next for the Blockchain revolution?
We only have to look at how Asia is quietly embracing this new technology to see the path it might take in Europe and the US in the coming months and years.
Because it has such a high focus on mobile technology — particularly when it comes to payment solutions — Asia has essentially dived head first into the Blockchain world and is increasingly making this new form of technology a reality in many of its popular industries.
Think about it:
It’s really no secret that Asia tends to take first place in technological races, and it undoubtedly has a keen interest in innovation: the continent was one of the first to adopt computing, VR, robotics, IoT, mobile payments, and, now, it’s fully embracing the benefits of Blockchain.
In fact, Blockchain is sweeping across Asia like nowhere else in the world:
- China openly predicts Blockchain will be a major part of their five-year plan
- One in three South Koreans has used cryptocurrency in one way or another
- South Korea has put $4.4 billion into new technologies, including Blockchain
- Thailand’s optimistic view of cryptocurrencies has seen it attract a number of up-and-coming Blockchain projects
To cut a long story short: Blockchain is thriving in Asia more so than in the US, in Europe, and in any other part of the world.
So where can we see it making the most impact?
Asia’s Gaming Industry is Pro-Blockchain
The gaming sector was one of the first industries to snap up Blockchain technologies, with the eSports sector ahead of the curve in many ways.
For Asia, the gaming world makes up an enormous part of its culture — in fact, it has one of the biggest communities on the entire planet(but that’s no surprise, really, is it?).
Today, games come in all shapes and sizes, from eSports tournaments in stadiums to mobile games bursting with colorful blocks and fruit — and a lot of them are made by Asian brands.
If you’ve ever played a game, you’ve probably come across items that are stocked behind a paywall or levels that can’t be reached without handing over some cash. This is how gaming companies make their money and, in Asia specifically, companies are allowing players to deal in virtual currencies in-game.
But cryptocurrencies aren’t the only way Blockchain is shaking up the gaming industry. There’s also a significant shift towards decentralization in gaming, which means in the not-too-distant future players will be able to earn tokens or digital monetary rewards for their game time.
Getting paid to play is a dream for many avid gamers, but it could also be a complete nightmare for parents who are forever telling their teens to get offline.
The Banking World is Embracing Blockchain
Here are some fun stats:
Only 27% of the Southeast Asian population have a bank account, but the continent claims more than half the world’s mobile payments.
Blockchain has made this a possibility.
This new asset class means that anyone who owns a mobile device can manage their funds like they would with a bank account without actually having a bank account.
And, with such an emphasis on mobile payment solutions, it’s no wonder that Blockchain has found itself an integral part of the banking industry in Asia.
But Wait! There’s More…
Gaming and the banking industry might be the largest Asian industries that have willingly adopted new Blockchain technologies, but they are far from the only ones.
Fintech is going through an absolute boom in Asia at the moment and the eCommerce world is increasingly allowing customers to pay using digital currencies and via Blockchain technologies.
In the coming years, we can expect to see almost every industry in Asia doing something with Blockchain, from the healthcare industry to the sharing economy and the entertainment world.
The Future: Introducing Smart Cities
Like with any new technology, people love to make wild and far-fetched predictions about what it means for the future.
And, while the prospect of future smart cities might sound like a wild and whimsical theory, it’s actually becoming a reality in Asia which potentially means huge things for the Blockchain world.
Smart cities use interconnected (or decentralized) technologies to automate daily tasks and infrastructure; we’re talking things like traffic control and public services here.
China is currently leading this mind-boggling revolution, with literally hundreds of smart city projects set to sweep through the country in the coming years.
For now, Yinchuan is the only city where it’s become a reality.
It basically uses big data technology to gather information about every single citizen to optimize their daily lives and make tasks more streamlined.
For example, if you’re a Yinchuan resident, your face acts as your bank card and your retinas pay for your bus fares, which keeps payments simple and queues short.
In the future, all of this information will be stored on the Blockchain, keeping it free of any monopolization and allowing users to access, store, manage, and control their own data.
Asia is the Dark Horse of Blockchain Technologies
While most of the noise about Blockchain comes from the US, it’s clear to see that Asia’s quiet yet consistent approach to implementing it across various industries is making huge waves in the tech world.
Though it’s definitely not the only continent to eagerly support cryptocurrency and the Blockchain technologies that come with it, it’s clearly a frontrunner in the digital revolution, bringing smart cities, decentralized data, and futuristic payment methods to the masses.
It’s still early days for Blockchain technologies, but it already looks like Asia will play a huge role in its innovation and revolution.
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Written by: Lizzie Davey