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Increased blockchain adoption in Asia could help overcome global market decline

Asian countries have increasingly switched to blockchain to enable digitalization, thus leading to  a potential annual growth rate of over 91% in the global blockchain market in the next three years

As the coronavirus global pandemic continues to push organisations to transact business online, many Asian countries have taken upon the blockchain technology to ensure data security, a new report by the Nikkei Asian Review revealed. 

The change in the workplace paradigm to a work from home set up has seen bolder attacks by hackers and data thieves forcing individuals and organizations to take unprecedented steps to secure data via the internet. This has enabled blockchain to finally enter into the untapped markets of Asia, the report stated.

This increase in blockchain adoption will mean that the global blockchain market is expected to hit $15.88 billion in 2023, despite retreating 7.27% to $2.27 billion in 2020.

Tomohiro Maruyama, senior manager of PwC Consulting explained that the widespread digital transformation triggered by COVID-19 will enable more companies to adopt blockchain after the pandemic in order to guard themselves against scams.

Maruyama said that internet piracy has been one of the most prominent challenges companies have faced in the process of digitalisation as it is easier to counterfeit digital documents as compared to the paper versions. “Blockchain emerged as a solution for fighting digital counterfeits, pushing businesses to adopt the technology,” the manager added.

Kenta Akutsu, CEO of LasTrust, revealed that the number of enquiries for blockchain solutions has increased since the outbreak. LasTrust’s blockchain-based digital certification service, launched last September has also witnessed significant success.

“Even before the outbreak, universities were looking to digitise, but the pandemic forced them to move quickly,” Akutsu said. Blockchain offers tamper-proof records against easy-to-fake PDFs and JPG documents, the CEO explained, adding that the company plans to expand to Malaysia and Thailand.

Finding safe and effective ways for investors to vote in online shareholder meetings is another area where blockchain is seeing immense success in Japan. bitFlyer Holdings has developed a blockchain-based app that prevents spoofing by linking the voting process with Japan’s My Number national identification system.

Japan’s increased adoption of blockchain technology in various sectors has been mirrored in other Asian countries as well. Singapore-based Agrocorp International is collaborating with blockchain startup Dltledgers to enable the monitoring of disrupted agricultural supply chains amid the lockdowns.

China’s insurance industry is also using blockchain to settle claims. Online health care platform Xiang Hu Bao reported that it is ensuring transparency to consumers and conducting one billion transactions almost every day during the pandemic, thanks to Alipay’s blockchain technology.

Written by: Harshini Nag

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