Forum wants to spread blockchain gospel to techies, non-techies

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Vincent Choy, founder and director of Singapore-based Blockchain Asia Forum, has announced the holding of the Blockchain Applications and Economics Forum 2018 from May 28-30 at the SMX Convention Center Aura in Taguig City.

Unionbank of the Philippines and Blockchain Association of the Philippines chairman Justo A. Ortiz

Speaking at a press briefing at the Manila House inside Net Park Building in Taguig on May 21, Choy said that the forum will discuss ways by which blockchain technology may be used in various industries such as business, real estate, healthcare, and gaming, among others.

It will also tackle the various issues surrounding the technology, namely, Ethereum and Smart Contract Development, Global Developments and Perspectives in Blockchain, Managing Legitimacy in Blockchain – Regulations, Risks, and Communications, Blockchain and its Impact on Financial Transactions and Services, and the Future of Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and Digital Currency Exchanges.

To serve as resource speakers, panelists, trainers, and moderators will be blockchain and fintech experts from around the world who will help increase the understanding of the technology and its benefits among Asian thought leaders and enterprises, as well as individuals wanting to learn more about blockchain.

“We expect non-blockchain people to come to the conference,” said Choy. “About 60% of the audience should be people who want to know about blockchain, don’t know about blockchain.”

Another highlight of Blockchain Applications and Economics Forum 2018 will be the formal launching of the Blockchain Association of the Philippines (BAP) which aims to provide entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and fintech professionals in the country the necessary guidelines for successfully adopting blockchain technology in their respective organizations.

“Blockchain is where Internet was in the early ‘90s,” said BAP chairman Justo A. Ortiz who also sits as chairman of Unionbank of the Philippines, one of the country’s first blockchain adoptors.

The bank’s blockchain platform which will go live in June, dubbed Project i2i, enables rural banks to be part of the Philippine payment system. It is a secure, cost-effective, and real-time retail payment system for financial inclusion.

Explained Unionbank fintech business group head Ramon Vicente de Vera, “They’re very challenged in terms of IT systems, their processes are very manual. The blockchain project is looking to connect them to a platform. Rural Bank A can now send to Rural Bank B in real time.”

For Ortiz, blockchain as a real game-changer begins when the government itself starts adopting the technology.

“I think it’s important to really push the government to start adopting blockchain in whatever – licensing of driver’s license, land registry, etc. Other governments are already doing it so we are not reinventing the wheel,” he said.

Ortiz added, “At the end of the day, the government is the biggest middleman. If they can convert some of the services they do, then I think the adoption rate will explode.”

Aside from government utilization of the technology, regulation, said de Vera, will also bring about greater adoption of blockchain in the country.

Comment on this post