Blockchain News

Australia Grants A$170K To Crypto SA To Launch Country’s First Blockchain Incubator

Image: Australia, Pixabay

The Australian government has awarded A$170,000 to blockchain advisory firm Crypto SA to open the country’s first blockchain incubator, reports the Lead South Australia.

Crypto SA was granted the funding as part of the Incubator Support program, which provides business incubators with grants of up to A$500,000 to assist Australian startups in gaining the capabilities required to succeed in international markets.

Scheduled to open in September, Crypto SA Lab will select ten startups to provide them with mentorship, free co-working space, training and business advice. Select startups will also have access to white-label providers, developers, startup entrepreneurs and a network of experts, said Crypto SA co-founder Yawn Rong. Several startups have already applied to the incubation program and Crypto SA is currently in the vetting process.

Designed to help nurture a thriving blockchain community in Adelaide, the Crypto SA Lab program will be the first of its kind in Australia and will help make the South Australian capital a blockchain city, Rong said.

“There are co-working spaces for blockchain in Melbourne and Sydney but there are no acceleration programs there,” he said, quoted by the Lead South Australia.

“There are think tanks with blockchain departments, as well as university courses, but there are no specialized incubator programs in Australia that support the development of the proof of concept after their preliminary blockchain studies.

“Crypto SA Lab is about building a community and an industry in South Australia by providing these technical skills.”

Because of the lack of developers in Adelaide, the city has struggled against Melbourne or Sydney as a blockchain hub, Rond said, adding that the company saw there an opportunity to attract talent and develop the local blockchain community.

“We saw this incubator opportunity and said if we can utilize all these government resources, and get all these big businesses to set up in an original office in Adelaide,” Rong said.

The program will culminate with a trip to Singapore or China where the startups will present their work at a “Shark Tank-style industry showcase” in the hope of getting funding.

“The incubator will polish up their deck, or their minimal viable product, or proof of concept for this event,” Rong said. “We hope to attract venture capitalists.”

Crypto SA is a blockchain advisory and investment organization operating across the Asian Pacific (APAC) region. It specializes in early stage participation in upcoming blockchain projects and provides services such as legal and financial compliance, smart contract support, exchange listing, market making and ecosystem development.

In March, Adelaide hosted the ADC Global Blockchain Summit, the first international blockchain summit in Australia. At the event, crypto exchange startup Binance announced its entry in the Australian market with CFO Wei Zhou stating that “Australia has been at the forefront of blockchain innovation.”

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S Korea SBI Savings Bank Deploys Blockchain-Based Authentication Service

SBI Simple Authentication

SBI Savings Bank, by South Korea’s SBI Group, has deployed a new blockchain-based personal authentication service. Called SBI Simple Authentication, the service is now open to the public and was developed in cooperation with domestic blockchain startup Iconloop.

Integrated into SBI Savings Bank’s mobile smart banking application, the service allows users to easily and more securely log in and initiate transfers by using a PIN or fingerprint without a public certificate, security card or one-time password (OTP).

SBI Simple Authentication stores PIN and fingerprint authentication information with consensus among the nodes of the SBI blockchain server (instead of getting proof from certification authorities) and verifies the data integrity through SCORE, a smart contract environment developed by Iconloop, at the time of issuing a certificate.

The solution applies private and public key structure and is compatible with the existing certificate standards by adopting their specifications. It also follows the FIDO standards to support biometric authentication.

According to SBI Savings Bank and Iconloop, blockchain enables enhanced security and makes it impossible to falsify information and misuse certificates, all the while improving user experience.

“The new service based on Iconloop’s blockchain technology is a great opportunity to bolster our competitiveness in financial services,” said Eunhwa Lee, director of SBI Savings Bank’s fintech task force.

“By providing safer and more convenient services, SBI Savings Bank expects to offer new benefits to customers and create new market opportunities. We will introduce various technologies to lead the financial industry and maximize customer satisfaction.”

Iconloop has been working with SBI Savings Bank to apply blockchain technology to personal authentication, electronic document certification and time stamping since November 2018.

Jonghyup Kim, CEO of Iconloop, said the startup will continue to work with the bank on varied applications of blockchain with the goal of providing “differentiating solutions.”

Alongside the newly launched authentication service, SBI Savings Bank is also working a blockchain-based document certification system. Employees are presently uploading file attachments from SBI Groupware boxes, such as draft documents and official notices, to the new system, which confirms that the files are not damaged or tampered with when browsed or downloaded.

Founded in 2016, Iconloop is a blockchain startup based in Seoul and the company behind the ICON blockchain platform. It develops blockchain solutions for financial institutions and has conducted projects together with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the National Election Commission, and Kyobo Life Insurance, among others.

Iconloop was incubated by Dayli Financial Group and is led by computer scientists from Postech, a private research university focusing on science and technology in South Korea.