Thanks largely to its status as the technology that underpins the controversial concept of cryptocurrency and tokens such as Bitcoin, Blockchain has enjoyed something of a chequered history.
With this in mind, some national authorities have certainly been loath to implement blockchain and leverage its incredible potential, with countries in Asia particularly reluctant to embrace this technology.
This is quickly changing, however, with Asia now emerging as a hotspot for blockchain implementation and innovation. But what markets is it impacting, and how will it continue to evolve in the future?
The Rise and Rise of Blockchain in Asia
According to a comprehensive report commissioned by Global Market Insights, there has been exponential growth in the blockchain market emerging from the Asia Pacific region.
This is due largely to the rapid growth in the number of related investments and blockchain-based companies in the region, and by the end of 2024, it’s estimated that the market will have a cumulative worth in excess of $16 billion.
This trend began in earnest in 2017, when the market saw a huge spike of 50% in terms of the value of investments made.
More specifically, the 135 blockchain investments in 2016 were worth an estimated $545, but the following year saw a hefty 185 deals concluded at a total value of more than $1 billion overall.
This has resulted in a number of prominent developments, including the adoption of advanced blockchain technology and applications at state level in Asia. Take the Shanghai courts, for example, which are now turning to blockchain technology in a bid to modernise record creation and management relating to a host of different cases and sectors.
In one particular example, the Minhang District People’s Court in Shanghai leveraged blockchain to record an equity transfer contract dispute, with all metadata table information (such as file name, size and generation time) generated instantly and with 100% accuracy.
Even more importantly, these records were also completely immutable, guaranteeing the integrity of the court and the information presented as part of the case.
Blockchain and Trading – The Next Frontier?
The notion of being immutable and decentralised is certainly central to the appeal of blockchain, as is the anonymity and discretion afforded by the technology.
These facets also have immense appeal to investors, and there’s little doubt that Asian economies are increasingly inclined to embrace the concept of cryptocurrency trading in the digital age.
To this end, Venture Smart Asia recently launched Hong Kong’s first approved cryptocurrency fund, which is expected to blaze a trail for others to follow and has set a first-year target size of around $100 million.
These funds also hope to leverage the profitability and innate volatility of crypto tokens, many of which boast deceptively large market capitalisations. Take Bitcoin, for example, which currently has an estimated market cap of $117.8 billion and leads the way in terms of high value tokens.
It’s also possible to trade individual tokens through various online brokerages in the modern age, which affords investors an opportunity to gain practical experience and hone their strategies through a demo account.
This is an important step in the process if investors are to leverage tokens to their full potential, as the price of these assets can fluctuate wildly within very short periods of time.