ShuttleOne, an operating system solution that helps businesses implement decentralized finance (DeFi) for their operations, recently carved out a win at this year's Singapore Fintech Festival, securing first prize for "ASEAN FinTech" from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
According to ShuttleOne's Minh Tam Nguyen, the win demonstrates the strength of blockchain-based DeFi businesses in a regulatory environment that's more accepting than ever of crypto and blockchain-based fintech solutions.
"Even a few years ago, central banks like the Central Bank of Singapore didn't really like to talk about cryptocurrency as a whole", said Nguyen.
"But now, during the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF), they (MAS) are talking about how Singapore can build and become a cryptocurrency hub. That's changed the regulations and how the market has been viewing cryptocurrencies."
ASEAN's DeFi ecosystem
Nguyen said Asia's DeFi space is seeing an increased adoption rate from various industries and also markets, with countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore revitalizing the regulatory environment with progressive, blockchain-friendly rules designed to spur innovation. At the same time, in markets like Vietnam, on-chain transactions are increasing in line with a clearing of the air on regulation and increased use-case-driven adoption.
Nguyen said that the shift is, in part, driven by the demographic make-up of Southeast Asia's nations. "Gen Z is dominant in terms of population, and they are more willing to accept and try new products, especially in DeFi and gaming."
"All these countries - with the exception of Singapore - are developing countries, so the cultural mindset of hustling and trying to make money, and there's a big difference between the wealth class (sic). Up until now, there's not been a lot of options for the middle or lower class to break out of that."
"Crypto presents projects and opportunities for people to make much more than the average living wage."
Defining success in DeFi
Asked what will determine the difference between DeFi projects that succeed and those that don't, Nguyen said that success comes down to falling in line with and embracing regulatory changes and building solutions that offer scalable, real value to end-users.
In ShuttleOne's case, the business has already engaged, if somewhat indirectly, hundreds of SMEs across the region and helped facilitate low barrier to entry solutions that propel businesses forward.
"We don't service the end-user directly", said Nguyen, "we help platforms within the ecosystem with existing use cases and provide decentralized finance for them."
"For instance, one of our partners is a Singapore government-linked company called Global eTrade (Services). They are a trade system that supports the global trade community in 60 countries. What we've been working with them on is basically providing trade financing and cross-border payment through their product, Callisto Finance."
Nguyen said that what the ShuttleOne team has learned as part of engagement with companies like Global eTrade is that end-users don't necessarily need to know that a solution is DeFi in order to use it.
"If you think about Mastercard, Visa, and the banking [transactions] world now, people only care about how good, how fast, and how cheap it is. They don't really understand how it works in the back end."
"So when working with enterprise, we don't try to convince them on DeFi, we [speak about] the very user-friendly interface, and show them how fast and secure it is."
Meta-chain the 'Swiss Army Knife' for DeFi solutions?
One of the key lessons to date, said Nguyen, has been that any startup or platform - be it B2B or B2C - using the blockchain varies widely in terms of what blockchain they use to provide services to their customers. In building a solution for platforms of all sizes, ShuttleOne realized that the key was multi-chain - or meta-chain - aggregation.
"What we're doing is building meta-chain aggregators where all these ecosystems and platforms can build on top and 'boom!' they can connect to all of these blockchain networks."
Practically, it means any platform adopting a meta-chain solution can benefit from the entirety of multiple blockchain networks, sidestepping issues around interoperability between different blockchain solutions.
"Any business that's running or operating a system for finance that's where we are. Right now, we're servicing ten countries across thirteen industries, mostly in ASEAN but also the Middle East."
- ShuttleOne is a leading DeFi operating system solution.
- The business has been lauded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) because of its partnering with enterprise-level platforms to solve trade financing and cross-border payment solutions.
- ShuttleOne recognized that a 'meta-chain' aggregator solution was needed to service clients using multiple blockchain technologies.
- Meta-chain aggregation sidesteps issues around interoperability between different blockchains.
- ShuttleOne now operates in ten countries and across thirteen industries.
Image by Aron Visuals via Unsplash