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Blockchain week kicks off in PH

by Jericho Zafra

THE first week-long blockchain event in the country officially kicked off Tuesday, with Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual leading the welcoming ceremony in Pasay City.

The event will run from November 28 to December 4, 2022.

According to Harvard Business Review in October 2008, blockchain was first presented as part of a proposal for bitcoin, a virtual currency system that avoided the use of a central authority for the issuance of currency, the transfer of ownership, and the confirmation of transactions. 

New York-based information technology firm International Business Machines Corporation defines blockchain as “a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network.” A blockchain network makes it possible to monitor and transact virtually anything of value, which lowers the associated risks and costs for all parties involved.

Close to a thousand visitors and 120 speakers from different countries came to the launching of Philippine Blockchain Week (PBW), its organizer Charmaine Pahate told republicasia.

Speakers from the Philippines, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Singapore, Korea, Australia, the United States, Finland, Morocco, and Malaysia were among those who joined the conference’s side events.

Telecommunications expert Donald Lim said the Philippines has the potential to become the blockchain capital of Asia with the rising number of web users in the country under the median age of 25.

The country has already reached 73 million web users in 2022, according to the e-commerce group International Trade Administration.

PBW conveyor Chezka Gonzales said that although there has been an increase in the number of Filipinos venturing into the blockchain industry, “distrust” remains the primary reason as to why some Filipinos are hesitant to invest in the sector.

There is distrust because not many people know about or understand blockchain, Gonzales noted.

“Even if you are not into tech, I think it’s the [blockchain] education that we should start learning,” she said.

When asked if the country is ready to shift to the blockchain industry, Gonzales said the Philippines is not yet prepared to do so. But she said the country would be ready “very soon” since the government is “very open” in negotiations.

Information Technology Secretary John Ivan Uy inducted the Blockchain Council of the Philippines. The council will promote blockchain education and help Filipinos shift from Web2 to Web3. Web 2 is the current version of the internet, while Web 3 is the future generation of the web.

Lim said the council would pursue private sector and government partnerships to make the Philippines the blockchain capital of Asia.

Photo Credit: Philippine Blockchain Week Organizers

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