It seems like every day in the news, all eyes are on Southeast Asia. With GDP and GNI exploding, economies like Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar are driving global consumption and increasingly catching the attention of Western companies and industries.

What they are lacking is not capital, drive, or even infrastructure, but rather the technology that can allow their economies and workforce to integrate into the ecosystems of broader, existing industries. They need new technology to take the next step and truly integrate into the higher echelons of the global economy. And that tech? It might be blockchain. Here are three blockchain ideas that are changing the game.

1. An Airline Industry That Runs on Blockchain

Singapore has just announced that it has decided to use blockchain to improve its airline industry. Already, private companies in the country have embraced the tech. Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer announced a blockchain based flyer rewards program, while Singapore may have its eyes on blockchain based ticketing in the next three years.

Using blockchain will be the next step for the efficiency, security, and betterment of the country’s airlines. Whatever new ideas follow the innovative approach, success is sure to follow. However, there is still a ways to go.

According to the ASEAN Post, “Realising blockchain’s potential for Southeast Asia’s airlines is only possible once such building blocks are in place. There is already sufficient public awareness of blockchain in this region, but there would also need to be wider acceptability of this technology for use in the airline industry in order for it to really take off here.”

Also read: Is a blockchain-based loyalty programme really necessary and beneficial, like in Singapore Airlines’ case?

2. Safer and Agency-less Modeling

With growing consumer economies, Asia and Southeast Asia especially is an increasingly large market for and source of talent for the modeling industry, CRYSTALS, a startup trying to revolutionise the way models and potential clients find, pay, and recommend each other, is attempting to bring the miracle of blockchain technology to a sector in which inefficiency, insecurity, and centralisation cost billions every year. If done successfully, their global network could create billions of dollars in revenue for growing economies, including those of Southeast Asia.

CRYSTALS works on a multiple level platform. Based on an Ethereum Network-based system, CRYSTALS’ first function is as a sort the system for marketing and sharing model profiles and work histories on easy to make and easily searchable profiles. CRYSTALS users book using its cryptocurrency, CRS Token. When a model is booked, a first verification takes the deposit out of the client’s’ account. When the model shows up for the gig, a smartphone app provides a second confirmation that sends the money to the model upon completion of the gig. The CRS is then sent.

CRYSTALS seeks to utilise disruptive tech of blockchain to make the modeling industry more decentralised and more accountable. By allowing models to upload their own profiles in a massive, searchable catalog to its blockchain based network, it gives each model a chance to be their own agency. However, this is not even the most revolutionary part of the CRYSTALS project. CRYSTALS utilises an innovative cryptocurrency based payment system that ensures fair and safe payment that is often lacking in the modeling world.

Also read: Can blockchain be the foundation of sustainable social impact?

3. Safe and Secure Money Transfers

This one is not really an out-of-the-box idea, but still worth exploring as money transfers might be the killer app of blockchain in this region.

For many workers in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and the Philippines, relatives working abroad provide a stable, sometimes even the main, source of income. Expat laborers are a huge part of the economy of many Southeast Asian countries, and as a result, safer and more efficient money transfer is an incredibly vital project to many in the region. Is there any better suited tech for the task than blockchain.

Startups like Instarem use blockchain to provide incredibly secure and quick money transfers with zero margin FX rates. For the families that rely on wired money from overseas relatives to pay daily expenses, a cheap and secure service like Instarem will transform their lives and save them huge amounts of money over the course of their lives.

The takeaway

It seems like everywhere, blockchain is forcing entrepreneurs to think harder and get smarter about the needs of their customers. For Southeast Asian consumers and startups, the technology presents a chance to enter into the next stage of technology on pace with the rest of the world. Are they up for the challenge? What do you think?


Echelon Asia Summit 2018 is e27’s flagship platform that brings together startups, investors, corporates, governments, tech ecosystem players and customers.

Register for your conference passes today.

e27 publishes relevant guest contributions from the community. Share your honest opinions and expert knowledge by submitting your content here.

Featured Image Copyright: mariematata / 123RF Stock Photo