Ida Tiongson

Ida Tiongson: Don’t be surprised if the Philippines is the next blockchain hub

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The Philippines is quickly gaining a global reputation as a digital asset hub, ranking ahead of titans like the United States and South Korea in adoption. Ida Tiongson, a committee member at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), believes it’s only a matter of time before the Philippines becomes the global hub for blockchain.

Tiongson was at the Philippines Fintech Festival, an event that brought together thought leaders and innovators in the digital asset industry and beyond. She spoke to CoinGeek Backstage host Claire Celdran on the sidelines of the event about the state of adoption in the country and the BSP’s role in the blockchain and Bitcoin industry.

Tiongson, who considers herself a fintech and governance advocate, sits on the BSP’s Open Finance Oversight Committee as well as on the boards of several regional powerhouses, including Alipay, the Chinese giant with 1.3 billion users.

Tiongson believes blockchain will play a big role, especially in decentralized finance.

“When you’re doing transactions digitally, the better option is the use of blockchain,” she stated.

Lending, in particular, will significantly benefit from blockchain-powered digitization. Tiongson believes that blockchain will enable borrowers to tokenize their collateral. Blockchain is almost impossible to hack, and it guarantees authenticity, two factors that are critical with sensitive documents such as title deeds.

Blockchain could also have a big impact on fundraising, allowing Filipino companies to raise funds from investors worldwide. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) started out with this noble goal but derailed along the way as scammers aped in and raised hundreds of billions of dollars by selling pump-and-dump tokens.

BSP has been conducting feasibility tests for a digital peso, announcing a pilot project for a wholesale CBDC in May this year.

“That pilot is slowly being taken up and [the BSP] is looking at the risks and advantages. Hopefully, BSP may implement that, and that would be a big stepping stone towards decentralized finance…Do not be surprised if [Philippines] is the next blockchain hub,” Tiongson noted.

Watch: Philippine Fintech Festival Highlights: Designing a digital economy that’s anti-fragile

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