You can feel the buzz of excitement in the air as the attendees gathered at the first-ever Global Blockchain Summit in the Philippines. And with high expectations for digitalization in the country, the province of Bataan is positioning itself to be at the core of it all.
Members of the provincial and national governments opened the summit, highlighting Bataan as the perfect location for exploration and development when it comes to blockchain adoption. In an interview with CoinGeek, Gov. Jose Enrique Garcia III said that his government is keen on looking at blockchain solutions for various services.
“We want technology to be at the forefront of the government and our people providing and receiving efficient government services,” he said. In his speech, Garcia discussed the concept of Bataan creating its own virtual world called the “Bataanverse,” where services and transactions exist within a digital economy. The challenge they now face is choosing the right partners and technologies to make this happen.
Helping Garcia realize this dream for the Bataan province is the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). And leading the charge for the DICT is the Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, who believes the “Bataanverse” will come to fruition sooner than most people think.
“That is not really a far future,” Batapa-Sigue told CoinGeek. “That will happen. It’s happening with all these metaverse technologies that companies [are] promoting.”
She goes on to explain that the word “Bataanverse,” to her, signifies the enthusiasm, dynamism, sense of innovation, and collaboration among the stakeholders in the province.
In his speech during the two-day summit, DICT Secretary Ivan John E. Uy said that blockchain and Web3 will play an important role in generating jobs and business, especially for the more rural areas of the Philippines.
“The DICT commits to continuously work with other government agencies and private organizations in Web3 and Blockchain Industry, for us to improve our existing initiatives and calibrate our priorities,” Uy said.
Web 3.0 Alliance responds to government’s call
Usec. Batapa-Sigue emphasized collaboration as one of the most crucial factors that will lead to success for the blockchain industry. This goes not just for Bataan but for the whole of the Philippines.
Batapa-Sigue then called on industry leaders to come together in the country’s interest.
“Formalizing the Web3 Alliance will bind everyone here with a greater sense of shared responsibility, as partners and stakeholders from the blockchain industry commit to become a part of something larger than themselves and truly make a difference,” she said.
And thus, in a feat that demonstrates the speed that the technology promises, the Web3 Alliance Philippines was quickly assembled. Shortly before the Global Blockchain Summit closed, representatives from various Filipino companies went on the stage to present the solidarity statement of the newly formed alliance.
“This is the Philippine Blockchain stakeholders telling the world we are ready to collaborate and serve our country,” Batapa-Sigue said in reaction to the show of solidarity.
The alliance then pledged its commitment to uplifting blockchain and Web3 in the country.
BSV leaders: Anything they want to do, we’re here to enable them
Presenting the importance of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), nChain Product Manager Gareth Roberts said that they want to create “a more inclusive, efficient, resilient, and diverse payments system focusing on the privacy of individuals.” He added that blockchain is the right foundation for this technology, as it solves the problem of having an extremely complicated financial state that potentially millions of actors need to agree upon.
Meanwhile, TAAL and nChain Group Executive Chairman Stefan Matthews said the Global Blockchain Summit came as a pleasant surprise.
“This event has been very unique and outstanding for a number of reasons,” Matthews told CoinGeek. “I had no idea until I got here this week that this area had been designated as such an important area for blockchain development.”
nChain Philippines met with The Governor of Bataan this afternoon, to discuss how we can help him with his 1 Bataan Vision and becoming the Blockchain Hub of Asia! pic.twitter.com/rOp61TDHQQ
— Nicholas King (@BSVBlockchainer) November 21, 2022
nChain Country Director and BSV Ambassador for the Philippines Nicholas King believes it is fabulous that the local government is embracing the technology. He adds that while the provincial government of Bataan is swinging big, its goals are certainly achievable.
“They want this place to be the blockchain capital of the world, which is a really high goal they’ve set themselves,” King said. “Let’s hope they can achieve it, and with BSV’s help, I’m sure they can.”
For Elas Founder and CEO Brendan Lee, the establishment of the Philippine Web3 Alliance is great news. He explained that the solidarity statement is a great document because it helps hold Filipino companies accountable for their actions and ensures that they are going to work in the best interests of the Filipino people.
Like King, Lee believes that there is a great opportunity for Bataan to become a blockchain leader in the Philippines. And more than that, he believes there is a great opportunity for the Philippines to become a global blockchain leader. But of course, for that to happen, everyone has to start somewhere first.
“Baby steps,” Lee said. “We can start really small. We can start by fixing potholes, and we can change the future of the nation.”
Watch: nChain’s Nicholas King on CoinGeek Backstage: Blockchain tech will drive Philippines digital economy
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