Jared Dillinger and Kylie Verzosa on CoinGeek Backstage

Jared Dillinger, Kylie Versoza take on emerging tech to help boost the Philippine market

Influencers are the new age of celebrities, and Filipino-American basketball player for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Jared Dillinger and actress-model Kylie Verzosa are utilizing their platforms to help Filipinos level with foreign nationals in the adoption of emerging technologies.

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Dillinger, who appeared at the inaugural Philippine Blockchain Week last year, talked to CoinGeek Backstage on the sidelines of the AIBC Asia Summit at the SMX Convention Center about the steps his taking to introduce his Filipino followers to emerging technologies.

The 39-year-old athlete admitted that while he has a stable career in basketball since being drafted in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 2008, the time will come when he has to retire. With this in mind, Dillinger said he began to get back into the finance industry, where he stumbled upon the world of Bitcoin.

But dabbling in digital currencies isn’t all about money for Dillinger, who began to educate Filipinos on the basics of emerging technologies, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“As I was navigating through my whole crypto journey, I started to understand…at least in our country, that there’s a steep learning curve into onboarding into crypto, into NFTs,” he said.

The adoption of emerging technologies, particularly blockchain, is strong in the gaming sector and is gradually being embraced in the business and finance industries. However, the Philippines is yet to reach blockchain mass adoption as Filipinos are only beginning to familiarize themselves with the technology and its use cases.

While Dillinger’s presence on the court and in social media is enough to help engage with a massive audience, the pro athlete also sought the partnership of e-wallet Coins.ph to reach a broader market.

“I teamed up with Coins.ph [and] made a whole content series show called ‘Courtside Crypto,’ just giving generalized basic information on what they [emerging technologies] are, how do they work, how can you utilize it for yourself,” he said.

Dillinger said the collaboration opened more opportunities for him to help Filipinos get onboard, sharing with CoinGeek Backstage reporter Claire Celdran his plans to set up more NFT projects in the future and an upcoming show on CNN that will tackle emerging technologies.

Currently, Dillinger is working on an NFT project that he said would be more “sport-centric” and would help engage fans with their favorite basketball players.

When asked what would be the next big thing in the tech space, Dillinger was quick to mention artificial intelligence (AI), which he claimed would help bring more trust to the booming NFT space.

Actress-model Kylie Verzosa: First woman in Asia launch AI model

With the rise of AI, 2016 Miss International Kylie Verzosa is not one to be left behind.

Speaking to CoinGeek Backstage, Verzosa shared she will be the first woman in Asia to launch an AI model of herself.

“It’s going to be available through whatever chat medium we have here—Viber, Telegram—and we’re still trying to find the right channel,” Verzosa said of the AI project she’s been working on for the past two months.

Verzosa, who often gets direct messages (DMs) through her social media, said her upcoming AI project is intended to help get close to her fans.

“It’s not just a hi-hello conversation but, you know, a real interaction just like we’re sitting in a cafe,” said Verzosa, adding that profits made by the platform will go to the Mental Health Matters By Kylie Verzosa, an organization she set up to help those struggling with their mental well-being.

Revitalizing online transactions

While influencers are utilizing their voices to educate Filipinos on emerging technologies, Surgecoin, on the other hand, is working to improve online services via e-wallet and aid with the adoption of digital currencies.

Surgecoin Founder Francis Jimenez said the launch of e-wallet Surgepay would help realize this goal, with the project looking to gain the support of Web2 and Web3 companies.

“It’s really a platform for sharing, and we believe that using it would enhance…remittances for our countrymen and, of course, we want to expand this on a global scale starting with the Philippines first,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez said Surgepay, which has been in the works for three years, is in talks with banks and other potential partners to integrate the e-wallet into their services ahead of the planned full-scale launch this September.

“It took us time [to build the platform] because we took the right route; in my opinion, we didn’t take any shortcuts. Now, we’re close to launching it and getting it out there,” he noted. “I believe we have something that would be a stable business and something that a lot of Filipinos and people all over the world could benefit from for a very long time.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article is titled, “Filipino influencers Jared Dillinger, Kylie Verzosa dabble with emerging technologies.” We have updated the title to reflect Jared Dillinger’s ongoing initiatives in the space that help educate the Filipino market in emerging technologies and its use cases.

Watch: Philippines needs to create more blockchain use cases

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