Singapore to Commit Up to S$150M for Developing Emerging Tech like Web3
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced plans to provide up to S$150 million over the next three years to develop cutting-edge technologies in the financial sector. This commitment is part of the renewed Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 3.0), which aims to accelerate and strengthen technological advancements in the industry.
FSTI 3.0 to Support Different Areas of Financial Innovation
Under the FSTI 3.0, the MAS will introduce several new tracks to support different areas of innovation. One of these tracks is the Enhanced Centre of Excellence track, including corporate venture capital entities.
These entities will receive funding support of up to 50% of qualifying expenses, with a cap of S$2 million per project. This funding will empower corporate venture capital firms to mentor and assist start-ups, enabling them to scale and develop sustainable business models.
Another track is the Innovation Acceleration track, which recognizes the significance of emerging technologies such as Web3. MAS will collaborate with industry partners to identify innovative FinTech solutions and conduct open calls for their use in industry use cases. Grant funding will support actual trials and commercialization of these solutions.
The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) FinTech track is the third track to the FSTI 3.0. This track aims to foster the adoption of ESG fintech solutions by supporting the development and deployment of projects that address the financial sector’s ESG data, reporting, and analytics needs. Funding up to 50% of qualifying expenses, capped at S$500,000 per project, will support initiatives in this area.
The FSTI 3.0 will also continue to support advancing and adopting technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) and Regulation Technology (RegTech). In particular, MAS will focus on promoting AIDA adoption among smaller financial firms and catering to the needs of digitally less mature firms seeking RegTech solutions.
“Since 2015, the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) has awarded $340 million as part of the FSTI program to drive the adoption of technology and innovation in the financial sector,” Ravi Menon, the managing director of MAS, said in a statement, adding:
“Transformative technology projects that MAS has piloted with the industry include SGFinDex, Purpose Bound Money, Responsible AI, green and sustainable finance through Project Greenprint, as well as large payment initiatives such as the cross-border payment linkage with Thailand.”
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Singapore Continues to Innovate in Financial Sector
Singapore has been seeking to create a vibrant and innovative technology ecosystem within its financial sector. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and supporting the development of innovative solutions, the country aims to drive digital transformation and enhance its competitiveness as a global financial hub.
As reported, the country’s financial watchdog has released a whitepaper on purpose-bound money (PBM), a protocol to determine digital money’s conditions. The PBM would allow senders to set transfer conditions, including how long the money is valid and on which platforms it can be used.
Likewise, back in November last year, the MAS announced that they successfully conducted a cross-currency transaction involving tokenized Japanese Yen (JPY) and Singapore Dollar (SGD). The pilot, the first of its kind, was completed under MAS’ Project Guardian initiative, exploring potential DeFi applications in wholesale funding markets.
Under the pilot, three global banks, including DBS Bank, JP Morgan, and SBI Digital Asset Holdings, conducted foreign exchange and government bond transactions against liquidity pools comprising tokenized Singapore Government Securities Bonds, Japanese Government Bonds, JPY, and SGD.
Notably, the country’s friendly stance toward emerging technologies has become a popular destination for crypto firms seeking to expand their operations in Asia. Recently, US-based crypto exchange Gemini said it plans to bring in more than 100 new employees to expand its current team in Singapore. Moreover, Ripple has secured an in-principle approval to offer services in the country.
Do you think Singapore is becoming a global crypto hub amid regulatory uncertainty in other countries? Let us know in the comments below.