This year, there will be 60 finalists competing at the festival, selected from 500-plus applicant firms across 40 countries.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) actively encourages fintech innovation, and has highlighted that more than half of the FinTech Festival finalists come from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, thanks to the new ASEAN PitchFest, a key element of the festival.
The regulator is also increasing its co-operation with other regulators around the globe, for example the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who will be playing an active role in this year’s festival.
The two regulators have agreed to increase cooperation in the CFTC’s first fintech arrangement with an authority in Asia. According to Ravi Menon, Managing Director at MAS, there is increasing interest from US fintechs in expanding in Asia, and the two regulators hope to create more opportunities for firms in both jurisdictions, especially in developing new business models for the derivatives market.
The Singapore regulator has also agreed a similar arrangement with the Dubai Financial Services Authority to allow referrals between the two jurisdictions.
In another example of Singapore’s forward thinking, MAS is collaborating with Singapore Exchange to develop Delivery versus Payment, to allow investors to settle tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms, thus improving operational efficiency and reducing settlement risks for buyers and sellers.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, has said blockchain technology is radically transforming how financial transactions are performed, and the ability to transact seamlessly across blockchains will open up new business opportunities.
I have heard MAS talk about the progress they have made since 2015 when the regulator and government announced $200m of funding to help develop Singapore’s fintech space through two key initiatives.
The ‘mid-careers’ scheme means the government will pay 70% of the salary for Singaporean graduates who are being trained in fintech. The second program allows fintechs employing locals to tap government funding to bring in training that is not readily or easily available in Singapore today, provided they can demonstrate that the knowledge is being shared locally.
The scheme also works for sending local employees to another country for training.
It is interesting to see Singapore’s focus and foresight in positioning the country for the future, which is why it is important for BSO to be here on the ground. Singapore is probably one of the most rapidly developing fintech marketplaces in the world right now.
BSO’s local presence enhances our capabilities to directly connect trading firms into markets as soon as new liquidity opportunities emerge across either traditional or digital assets.
If you haven’t already invested in Singapore, or if you’re not already trading in the country, you should be investigating the market to ensure you don’t miss out.
Get in touch today to see how BSO can help.