Temasek eyes digital world's new opportunities

20140628_ LimBoonHeng_ST.jpg

Temasek eyes digital world's new opportunities
Temasek Holdings chairman Lim Boon Heng speaking at the opening of the company's office in New York on Thursday. He said the company is mindful of the "promise and opportunities of the digital world of tomorrow". Some 400 staff learnt how to use bitcoin wallets to make donations last month.

Temasek Holdings is expanding its horizons digitally, mindful of the "promise and opportunities of the digital world of tomorrow", chairman Lim Boon Heng said on Thursday at the opening of the company's office in New York.

The investment company held a "bitcoin experiment" last month in which about 400 staff - ranging from drivers to board members - learnt how to use bitcoin wallets to donate to charity.

"It was a fun exercise to open our minds; a small step in engaging the emerging digital future," Mr Lim said. "We are not bound by notions of geographic limits, and try not to be trapped in our comfort zones," he added.

Under the guidance of its IT and finance teams, Temasek staff learnt how to create personal e-wallets for bitcoins and use them to donate to charities in Singapore and South Korea, Temasek spokesman Jeffrey Fang told The Straits Times.

Temasek also matched the donations, which went to the Singapore Leprosy Association; the Industrial and Services Co-operative Society (Iscos), which supports the families of prison inmates in Singapore; Beautiful People, which helps Singapore teenage girls on probation; Save the Children Korea; and Holt Children's Services Korea, which supports orphans in South Korea.

The exercise took two weeks to put together and was company-wide because "the future affects everyone", Mr Fang said.

It combined Temasek's openness to new ideas and its long- standing culture of doing good for the community, he added.

This is not Temasek's first foray into the digital world.

The company, which tries to bring in new ideas each year, has invited teenagers to share their thoughts on digital technologies, and last year dabbled in 3D printing.


This article was first published on June 28, 2014.
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