This year’s Philippine Blockchain Week is all about breaking free from convention, shedding the infancy of blockchain technology in the Philippines, and surmounting the barriers that obstruct mass adoption. Now in its second year, this groundbreaking event held at the Marriott Hotel from September 19 to 21 unraveled the latest insights, innovations, and pivotal moments reshaping the future of blockchain in the Philippines.
Senator Robin Padilla graced the event with a powerful keynote speech, proudly announcing, “I’m here to support blockchain. I’m here to do whatever you like me to do, to sponsor a bill for you; I’ll do it because I believe that the world is going digital.”
In a CoinGeek Backstage interview, Senator Padilla elaborated on his belief in the power of blockchain technology.
“Our government is too conventional. It’s like we’re still in the 1950s. Everything’s still manual. So exposure to blockchain technology will really help us a lot,” the lawmaker said.
Senator Padilla emphasized the advantages of blockchain technology, saying, “if the government adopts this and we go digital, our businesses will benefit, too.”
Navigating regulatory waters
“I think regulation has been a challenge for everyone in the space. But I think less so for us, given that we were one of the first licensed VASPs (virtual asset service providers) here in the Philippines,” explained Zhou.
He commended the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as a stable and practical regulator for blockchain and digital assets on a global scale.
Beyond digital coins: Unleashing blockchain’s potential
Filipinos are rapidly realizing that blockchain holds untapped potential beyond digital currencies. Use cases are expanding from charity initiatives to the creative industry.
Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee spearheaded an initiative known as “NFT for Autism.” Her project, the “Spectrum Sanctuary Collection,” involves a 5,000-piece non-fungible token (NFT) collection. The project’s first 1,000 premiere collections will be donated to individuals on the autism spectrum. It’s important to note that these NFTs are not computer-generated; they are the result of painstakingly hand-painted art pieces by Marius Black, converted into NFTs one by one.
Michelle’s passion for Web3 adoption and autism awareness was evident when she stated, “It’s my lifelong mission because of my two autistic siblings.”
“I just wanted to merge both of my passions because I do believe that blockchain is the future,” she added.
The creative industry has witnessed a blockchain revolution, with celebrities, artists, and influencers all keen to harness the benefits of this innovative technology.
Iza Calzado, a multi-awarded actress, host, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) ambassador, expressed her enthusiasm for learning about Web3.
“I don’t know anything about it. So, I’m here to learn,” she confessed.
TV host and celebrity Raymond Gutierrez shared a similar sentiment, stating, “We hear a lot about NFTs, about Web3, about the metaverse. But you know, for someone like me who’s not really in the space, I want to learn more about it, how we can use it to kind of further our business as creatives, as individuals. I’m here to kind of absorb all the information.”
The spectacular Metaverse Gala
The PBW 2023 kicked off with a groundbreaking event, the Metaverse Gala, a first of its kind in the Philippines.
The gala featured the works of Michael Cinco, a renowned Filipino fashion designer based in Dubai. His designs were complemented by NFTs, which served as a unique form of authentication for his creations.
Dr. Sayed Ali, co-founder and Cinco’s business partner, shared the rationale behind their involvement in a blockchain project.
“The world has now changed to digital. And we love to always be updated with the new collection, with the new fashion, with the new technology,” he explained, adding that choosing the Philippines as the launchpad for their first fashion digital project was a nod to Cinco’s Filipino roots.
Educating the masses on blockchain
Conferences like the PBW are not just for industry insiders; they also aim to educate the general public on what blockchain is and how it can be leveraged for success.
Kristoffer Briones, managing director of Block Dojo Philippines, a U.K.-based startup incubator for blockchain-based businesses, expressed his mission of incubating idea-stage startups. He is actively seeking people with innovative ideas on how to make blockchain so user-friendly that you don’t even realize you’re using it.
Stephanie Tower, business development lead for nChain in the Philippines, views blockchain as a catalyst for changing lives and driving the most significant social impact movement of all time. She emphasized the value of supporting Philippine initiatives in the blockchain space and providing guidance to industry leaders and pioneers.
Blockchain and gaming: A perfect match
One of the standout areas for blockchain adoption is gaming. The organizers of the PBW dedicated an entire floor to bring together streamers, cosplayers, and gamers.
Chezka Gonzales, co-convenor of the event, wanted to spark curiosity about blockchain among attendees, leading to mass adoption.
“At least even the curiosity that this brings will actually bring mass adoption soon for people,” she stated.
CoinGeek’s Bitcade exemplifies how gaming can drive mass adoption by demonstrating how blockchain can revolutionize various aspects of life. Players get hands-on experience with concepts like digital wallets and nanopayments.
The future of blockchain in the Philippines
Donald Lim, lead convenor of the PBW, highlighted the event’s most significant achievement: “It’s about getting all the stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem involved.”
He emphasized that, in comparison to other blockchain events around the world, PBW stands out for its extensive government involvement, setting a benchmark for awakening the entire ecosystem.
The PBW 2023 “Breakout” was a week full of innovation, inspiration, and opportunities. As they say in the blockchain world, when in doubt, break out. So keep breaking through those digital frontiers, and who knows, you might just be the next breakout star in the blockchain universe.
Watch Block Dojo Philippines: Pushing startup boundaries to create solutions
New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.