Introductionlockchains the potential to create social, societal, and economic

Introductionlockchains came to prominence in the popular media recently. Articles rangedfrom cynicism that blockchains are nothing more than shared databases hyped upby venture capitalists, to amazement and wonder about a new technology thathas the potential to create social, societal, and economic change.So far, the focus of the discussion around this technology has centred on blockchainsused as a tool for financial services to improve transparency and efficiency, and reducecost within the industry. In response, blockchain technology providers are being createdall over the world, incubated independently or by innovation labs sponsored by banksand other entities. The start-ups are enthusiastically experimenting on applications of thistechnology to problems within the financial services domain.While a lot of the discussion comes from Western Europe and the US, tinted with regionspecificissues and perspective, we believe that the potential of blockchains can havethe most impact to the Southeast Asian economic community. The major determinantof success in unlocking the potential of this technology will be the ability for entities tocollaborate closely, whether the entities are commercial companies, financial institutions,or governments.With financial technology investment in Asia Pacific rising to US$3.5 billion in the firstnine months of 2015 from US$880 million in 2014 according to Accenture1, we believethat this Asian-focused blockchain primer, the first of our series on blockchains, is timely.This report aims to give readers a deeper understanding of the technology in hopes thatit will aid in investment decisions in start-ups that are exploring and supplying blockchainsolutions, or on whether to deploy capital into blockchain experiments for their ownbusinesses.BDBS Asian InsightsSECTOR BRIEFING 1904We believe that the potential of blockchains canhave the most impact where it achieves jointimplementation of a number of benefitted parties.This is a collaborative challenge rather than a technical one and is not unique to blockchains