Singapore pledges $112M to foster fintech and web3 innovation

Singapore pledges $112M to foster fintech and web3 innovation

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it would commit 150 million Singapore Dollars, around $112 million, during the course of three years under the renewed Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI 3.0) Scheme to support FinTech solutions, including Web3 projects.

According to an Aug. 7 statement, the MAS stated that the fund seeks to accelerate innovation by supporting cutting-edge technology projects under different tracks, which include the Enhanced Centre of Excellence track, the Environmental, Social, and Governance fintech track, and the Innovation Acceleration track. The innovation acceleration track covers Web3 projects.

Per the statement, individual web3 projects would get grant funding to support actual trial and commercialization. It added:

“MAS recognises the importance of partnering with the industry to support innovative FinTech solutions arising from emerging technologies such as Web 3.0.”

Others, like corporate venture capital (CVC) entities, would enjoy funding up to 2 million Singapore Dollars, while environmental, social and governance (ESG) FinTech solutions would get up to 500,000 Singapore Dollars.

The regulator further stated that it would continue supporting the adoption of artificial intelligence and data analytics (AIDA), and regulation technology (RegTech). It added:

“MAS will focus on promoting AIDA adoption in smaller financial firms and supporting the needs of less digitally mature firms looking to acquire RegTech solutions.”

Speaking on the development, Ravi Menon, MAS’s managing director, said the Financial Sector Development Fund has awarded $340 million to various initiatives since the FSTI program’s inception in 2015, spawning a significant boost in the fintech sector.

Menon continued that the FSTI program has led to the growth of notable projects, including a large payment initiative that allowed cross-border payment with Thailand.

This move by MAS is noteworthy as it seems to be a divergent approach from other significant Singaporean financial entities like the sovereign fund, Temasek. In July, Temasek’s chief investment officer, Rohit Sipahimalani, expressed a cautionary stance towards investing in crypto companies due to the current volatile regulatory environment, as exemplified by the losses from its investment in crypto exchange FTX.

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