South China Morning Post: The Bitcoin Party is Over, Blockchain Here to Stay

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Kicking off the new week, the South China Morning Post has all but declared Bitcoin dead while praising the technology that empowers the cryptocurrency.

From Westy Woro Yuniar of the South China Morning Post  writes:

Bitcoin’s price plunged this week to less than US$11,000, from almost US$20,000 in mid-December, after South Korea announced that all anonymous accounts, foreigners without local banking services and minors would be banned from trading on exchanges from January 30.

But, particularly in Southeast Asia, much confidence remains that the blockchain technology underlying bitcoin can be adapted to drive development in everything from bank remittances to electoral rolls and health care records.

A handful of Asian nations are in the midst of extensive research into blockchain.

Singapore’s monetary authority has launched its research efforts and Indonesia's Central Bank is following suit.

“There is nothing wrong with the [blockchain] technology and it can be utilised in various sectors,” said Eni Panggabean, head of payment system policy and the oversight department of Indonesia’s Central Bank.

South Korea's technology minister Yoo Young-min has stated that blockchain should be considered separately from the volatile cryptocurrency trading market.

More from the South China Morning Post:

Rob Hanson, senior research consultant at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), said blockchain’s potential was “fundamentally as an anti-fraud tool”.

“Blockchain is a term charged with excitement and confusion,” Hanson said. “It is a technology that lets anyone record transactions in a way everyone can see and trust … For governments, the obvious areas to focus blockchain research on are those where it would produce [the greatest] public good.”

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