Singapore Fintech Festival Kicks Off: IBM and KYCK! Announce New Blockchain Platform For KYC; Fintech Awards Finalists Unveiled

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Image: Singapore Fintech Festival 2016, by @royfintech via Twitter

The inaugural Singapore Fintech Festival, a week-long event organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) dedicated to the fintech sector, kicked off today with close to 11,000 participants from more than 50 countries.

singapore-fintech-festival-2016The event was the opportunity for IBM and KYCK! to announce a partnership for a new blockchain-powered platform for banking client on-boarding.

Singaporean startup KYCK! will be working with IBM Bluemix Garage in Singapore to build the new platform on the open-source Hyperledger Project Fabric. The solution will leverage blockchain technology to enhance the customer on-boarding process and allow banks to streamline operations through a one-time process with secure data protection and enhanced identity verification.

The startup intends to provide brokerages with a platform with video conferencing and encrypted document submission capabilities for the secure on-boarding of new customers.

The platform will also provide enhanced identification validation through a trusted blockchain-based business network (permissioned distributed ledger) that could potentially include banking and government entities. Once identity verification is confirmed, KYCK! will enter the customer’s information into current bank-based checks or third-party KYCK! systems before account on-boarding.

“We were fortunate to have found a partner in IBM with the right capabilities to enable us to apply our financial industry know-how and bring our ideas to life,” said Darryl Tan, Co-Founder of KYCK!.

“Working with the IBM Bluemix Garage, we have seen how blockchain can improve operational efficiency, increase transparency and reduce transaction risks. We hope that financial institutions will see an improvement in their current customer on-boarding processes and the overall customer experience.”

The IBM Bluemix Garages act as hubs for developers, product managers and designers to come together to design and develop applications on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform. There are currently eight Bluemix Garages around the world in locations that include London, New York, Nice, Melbourne, San Francisco, Tokyo and Toronto.

Fintech Awards finalists unveiled

During the first day of the Singapore Fintech Festival, MAS and ABS have unveiled the finalists of the Fintech Awards, among which blockchain startups Digix Global and Keychain.

Keychain, a venture headquartered in Singapore with its operation center located in Tokyo, provides a Decentralized Authentication Platform that allows clients to solve real business problems related to authentication and access control.

The platform provides with a robust, tamper-resistant infrastructure on which clients can have secure transactional messaging over varied network (e.g. FIX, Zengrin or SWIFT), get historical digital signature attribution on messages and documents, and have fast multi-party consensus.

Keychain was also one of the finalists of the 8th edition of the BBVA Open Talent Challenge 2016.

Digix Global is a Singaporean company that provides users with an asset-tokenization platform for gold and other physical assets built on Ethereum. The company has developed a system of proving asset existence and ownership on the blockchain.

Digix has created a range of technologies including The Proof of Asset Protocol (POA), Digix Gold Tokens (DGX), a gold-backed token for Ethereum, and DGD, Digix DAO Tokens.

The Fintech Awards will reward the top 10 fintech companies with a prize pool of SG$1.15 million (US$810,000). The winners will be announced on November 17, 2016 at Universal Studios Singapore.