By Shaun Djie, COO & Co-Founder of Digix,
Singapore is witnessing a proliferation of digital innovation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 75 percent of Singaporean firms are accelerating digitalisation to maintain everyday operations and business continuity as the world transitions into the new normal.
As a result, the nation has seen a surge of digital innovations ranging from virtual events, remote working arrangements and a greater takeup of digital payments. Digitisation has even made its way into traditional cash-based businesses like hawker centres—with more than half of Singapore’s hawker stalls now offering e-payments, with transactions last month growing four times since June 2020.
As digitisation an accustomed part of everyday lives, it is a natural progression that other popular assets in Singapore such as gold receive the digital touch. Singapore has long recognised the benefits of gold—having the second highest gold consumption per capita in Asia, while the government introduced a tax free status on precious metals in 2012 to facilitate greater purchases of gold from local and foreign investors.
The combination of Singapore’s rapid digitisation and affinity with gold places the little red dot as an ideal location to drive digital innovation within the commodities sector—one example being digital gold. Digital gold enables consumers to easily purchase gold on their mobile devices, without having to worry about high premiums, insurance, or custodianship of their asset. Placing gold on the digital realm also allows consumers to benefit from gold’s safe-haven characteristics, as well as the convenience and speed of a digital transaction.
However, hacks, data breaches and cyberattacks remain a key concern as more transactions move into the digital domain. This has pushed businesses and governments to explore emerging technologies like blockchain to ensure data security, integrity and transparency. Singapore understands the potential of blockchain technology and has spurred innovation through various initiatives such as the establishment of its government-backed blockchain incubator, Tribe Accelerator—as well as a recent SGD $12 million investment to advance blockchain research.
The government’s progressive stance on blockchain has created a conducive environment for digital gold to develop and shine. By leveraging blockchain technology, digital gold ensures that investors and businesses can purchase this precious metal in a way that is secure, transparent and convenient.