Blockchain Association Singapore (BAS) announced Wednesday that global financial institution BNY Mellon has come on board as a strategic collaborator to drive adoption and innovation in blockchain and decentralized finance.

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), BAS and BNY Mellon will cooperate to advance the blockchain ecosystem, driving global cooperation regarding institutional digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi), BAS said in a statement.

According to the statement, BAS and BNY Mellon will seek collaboration opportunities and share expertise with the wider ecosystem to facilitate mutual understanding of the constantly growing digital asset and DeFi landscapes.

“We are honoured to be given this opportunity to collaborate with BNY Mellon for the advancement and advocacy of blockchain and DeFi. Blockchain technology and its acceptance and usage has been in the ascendancy in recent years, with the blockchain market size slated to grow from $4.9 billion in 2021 to $67.4 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 68.4 percent. Blockchain still is a relatively nascent technology within this region, and we are confident that with this collaboration we will be able to drive acceptance and adoption of blockchain technology and DeFi across the region,” said Chia Hock Lai, Co-Chairman of BAS.

BAS was established to facilitate collaboration between market participants and stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem. The association is an effective platform for members to engage with multiple stakeholders to find solutions to issues and to promote best practices in a collaborative, open, and transparent manner.

“We are excited to be joining the BAS to play an important part in nurturing the development of Singapore’s digital and financial ecosystem. As the first global custodian bank to be recognized as BAS’ strategic Institutional Digital Asset Collaborator, we are looking forward to contributing to the transformation of the financial landscape with our open and collaborative digital approach,” said Johnny Wijaya, Head of Asia Pacific Innovation Center at BNY Mellon.

BNY Mellon, which established a Singapore presence in 1974, has continued to grow its influence in the region, including the opening of its Singapore Innovation Center in 2016. It is one of the consortium members of 25 banks and technology firms in the Veritas initiative led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

This initiative, which recently concluded its second phase, was launched in 2019 to enable financial institutions to assess their Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA)-driven solutions against the principles of Fairness, Ethics, Accountability and Transparency (FEAT).

BNY Mellon also serves on the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) Strategic Advisory Council that drives financial inclusion through initiatives such as APIX, a global fintech marketplace and sandbox for collaboration between financial institutions and fintechs.

It is also one of the ten financial institutions working with APIX on ChekFIN, a global fintech registry developed by AFIN in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group Fintech Control Tower (BCG FCT) and Temasek-founded Affinidi. This registry, which went live on Dec. 1, 2021, aims to assist financial institutions in identifying and evaluating fintech companies for collaboration and development opportunities.

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