Top 10 blockchain startups in Southeast Asia

Are you looking for blockchain startups? Here we have a list with 10 of the most innovative ones across the ASEAN region

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By decentralising the storage location of personal data, the security of any information held by a company would be enhanced. Furthermore, by using blockchain, it removes any centralised control that might be held by a single party, meaning each individual can control who has access to their private information.

Xenxhain launched their Initial Coin Offering, XENC, in August 2018 after staging campaigns in a number of different Southeast Asian countries. To date, they have sold 200,000,000 XENC.

LaLa World

LaLa World was established with a very ambitious vision in mind: “banking the unbanked”.

The startup’s product is a one-stop wallet based on Ethereum and hyperledger blockchains which allow investors to capitalise on the rise of blockchain as well as introduce the underbanked into the financial system.

With a LaLa ID, the “global wallet for everyone” lets users transfer money domestically and across borders, buy products and pay bills in 180 countries.

By bridging the gap between cash and the digital world, LaLa World’s ecosystem wants to support the inclusion of the unbanked, undocumented, micro-entrepreneurs, students and all those who are usually excluded from the finance world.

According to the World Bank’s Global Findex Database 2017, 1.7 billion adults around the world are unbanked, i.e. they do not hold a bank account.

Not only that, more than 20 percent of unbanked adults receive wages or government transfers in cash, and many people in developing countries pay bills and school fees in cash.

LaLa World is determined to put an end to this situation and allow everyone with a smartphone or access to the internet to easily receive and send money or pay their bills.

It’s meant to have a bigger impact on migrant communities and underdeveloped countries where producing identification papers and opening bank accounts is not always an easy option.

“It’s about bringing them into the society, not only including them financially but also creating a whole ecosystem for them,” says Sankalp Shangari, LaLa World’s founder and CEO.

“We have already built a proof of concept on ethereum and hyperledger blockchains, which we will be properly putting into place, starting with Malaysia, Bangladesh, UEA and India and rolling out into different countries,” he added.

On top of the obstacles faced at the time of presenting valid documentation to open bank accounts, underbanked individuals usually pay the highest charges and sometimes don’t have the facilities to settle their utility bills, having to take time off work to do simple admin which in the developed could be done instantly through an online banking app.

Prakash Somosundram, “the man behind all the strategy and corporate development of LaLa World” says that the blockchain platform aims to “bring fintech to the unbanked population” as currently they “are not getting enough access to financial products which are readily available for us in developed nations”.

Founded in 2016, LaLaWorld now has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Dubai and UK. Their goal is to reach a global audience of 100 million by 2020 and presence in at least 50 countries.


How do you know if a luxury product is real if even authenticity certificates can be forged?

The team behind LuxTag, a Malaysia-based startup, has the answer to it - and their answer includes blockchain.

Using the digital ledger technology, LuxTag creates tamper-proof certificates of authenticity, adding another layer of security on top of certificates and serial numbers to luxury items such as watches or handbags.

LuxTag’s system can also tag items as stolen or lost: If the item is missing, users can also embed tracking details such as contact mobile numbers in case the object is found.

This not only helps reunite ­owners with their lost items but also helps clamping down on fraudulent insurance claims as in the case the insurance on the product is claimed, the ownership ID and item will go to the insurer instead.

With blockchain the information about the product is stored and distributed in the shared ledger and each time a change is made it has to be verified by the other servers before it’s accepted into the ledger, making tampering virtually impossible: again, basic blockchain mechanism.

Having a tamper-proof ­certificate of authenticity means that the luxury goods can have a better second-hand value, as ­interested buyers can verify the product’s history.

In addition to this, only the genuine owner will be able to hand over the ownership ID.  

“This is very important for pawnshops and secondhand shops,” said Rene Bernard, LuxTag’s CEO, as “they can check the ­database and see if there’s a ­mismatch (which indicates the bag is fake or stolen)”.  


Serey is a Cambodian social media platform which supports community building and rewards social interaction between readers and writers through the use of blockchain technology.

It follows the Steem model but it has been adjusted to suit the needs of the Cambodian public.

Its mission? “Encouraging and rewarding self-expression and creativity through technology”.

The founders are Chhay Lin Lim and Chhay Lem Lim, two Dutch Cambodian brothers heavily influenced by the philosophy of libertarian and free market thinkers like Murray Newton Rothbard and John Perry Barlow.

According to the team behind Serey, what it makes it different from other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter is the decentralisation of the created content value.

Instead of channeling value to a small group of shareholders, the users of Serey are rewarded for their writing and proofreading skills with a cryptocurrency, also called Serey.

Serey, the native cryptocurrency of the platform, is a utility token and is distributed according to a set of rules determined by the Serey blockchain.

As soon as someone joins the platform they are given a small amount of the digital currency “which gives your voice weight in determining what content should be rewarded.”

The platform’s philosophy is not a light one.

In their 16-page white paper Serey states that “every Cambodian individual knows just a fraction of what is collectively known. Believing that the nature of our collective knowledge is therefore inherently decentralised, we [at Serey]  would like to encourage sharing of the unique information that individuals possess through the Serey platform."

It continues by saying that "understanding that we ourselves don’t know everything is an epistemologically modest position that we hold in every decision we take in building Serey”. Take that, Mark Zuckerberg!

The main feature of Serey is that all of the platform’s written content is stored on the Serey blockchain. Since it cannot be modified the owners and administrators of the platform can’t censor or remove the content.

Definitely not your usual social media platform!

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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