Singapore’s ambitious Smart Nation strategy seeks to transform this former fishing village into a living laboratory of innovation, and that type of proactive thinking is one reason it’s this year’s world leader in blockchain. Though other cities may be better known for their blockchain scenes, Singapore boasts the leading score in our smart city category, and strong numbers in both the number of ICOs and blockchain-related startups. Its government is considered more transparent and business-friendly than others, and it boasts blockchain-friendly regulations to boot. It’s home to several new blockchain co-working and incubation spaces, including NPower and Longhash. Its GovTech office is exploring a handful of blockchain use cases, while the Monetary Authority of Singapore has pioneered a decentralized inter-bank payment and settlements solution.
Low taxes—there are no capital gains—mean the country was flush to begin with, and that money seems increasingly to be flowing to blockchain projects. Singapore benefits from its proximity to China, whose entrepreneurs flock there for its friendlier regulations. And it probably doesn’t hurt that English is a national language, making it an easy choice for Western entrepreneurs and investors. Finally, thanks to its famously rigid approach to law and order and burgeoning middle class, it feels like a safe place to get rich on crypto. “It’s easy to be a billionaire here,” Kenneth Bok, the organizer of De/Centralize, recently quipped to BREAKER.