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What the Singapore Fintech Festival taught us

By Frank Troise, guest writer

Singapore Fintech Festival

After last year's Singapore FinTech Festival ("SFF"), it was reported that The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) intended to double the audience they achieved in 2016 to 25,000. I thought this was aggressive and probably unachievable. Well, I was wrong! There were nearly 30,000 attendees in what was the largest Fin tech event in the world so far!

The speaker list was as varied as the delegates and included central bankers, royalty such as Queen Maxima, executives from Bill & Melinda Gates' Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT .

The focus this year was artificial intelligence, block chain, and financial Inclusion and the agendas reflected it.

The MAS and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced their intentions to create the Global Trade Connectivity network (GTCN) infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology that crosses borders.

Also announced was a $27 million grant to promote and encourage development in artificial intelligence and data analytics and new Fin tech sandbox as part of the ASEAN financial innovation network.

Year over year, the panels appeared more senior and global. I was impressed by the number of CEOs in attendance and participating in the debates, championing both Fin tech and the value of partnerships.

Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, announced a number of key initiatives that highlighted Singapore's global role as the market leader for Fin Tech. What distinguishes Singapore from other regulators is their direct involvement in both policy and implementation.

However, probably the thing that inspired us most was the developments that came from the Global Fin Tech Hackcelerator on the final day. The sheer strength and depth of innovation and insightful thinking on show was intoxicating.

Well done to Moxtra, (a secure messaging and collaboration Service), Sqreem, (a platform that helps organizations identify and understand the Unknown Unknowns through on-demand artificial intelligence and cognitive learning) , and Trunomi, (a start-up that unlocks the power of customer data using consent and data rights management).

Finally, as the event wrapped up it was clear that 2018 should be the year that Fin Tech comes of age and starts to deliver on all that promise!