Blockchain could boost Bacolod’s lead in BPO sector, exec says

Blockchain technology could further improve Bacolod City’s position as a center for excellence in information technology and business process management in the coming years despite the threats of new disruptive technologies.

This is according to Randy Knutson, head of Manila-based firm DynaQuest Technology Services, who said that “blockchain technology will help the Philippine BPO industry migrate to next digital wave and create new jobs and preserve existing jobs that will be replaced by artificial intelligence-based call centers.”

Industry practitioners and local stakeholders in Bacolod recently held an intensive whole-day workshop on blockchain, dubbed “Bacolod Blockchain Initiative” at the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College – Talisay Campus.

The Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT), organized the project with the support of Ethereum World, an incubator based in Singapore, DynaQuest Technology Services, and HYBrain Development Corporation, a Bacolod-based software development firm).

The main aim of the initiative was to introduce blockchain which has been soaring in popularity recently as the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

At the event, Knuston said blockchain offers a great way to fully give transparency and control to the users. “The future for blockchain lays in the combination of blockchain with artificial intelligence. This could mean a whole new way of the current blockchain verification processes, which is done now by miners.”

Blockchain in the Philippines, he added, could help the country digitize all sorts of industries, thus creating new job opportunities.

BNEFIT president John Dave Dueňas, also the founder of HYBrain, said blockchain is more than just cryptocurrencies as it is now being touted as a major pillar of the software sector.

Dueňas noted that only a few countries like the United States and the United Arab Emirates have actually included blockchain in their academic curricula. Thus, when Ethereum World, a blockchain integrator company based in Singapore, showed interest of introducing the technology in Bacolod, he said BNEFIT had to grab the possibility of the city being the first location in the Philippines which has academic institutions that incorporate blockchain in their elective courses.

The workshop will be facilitated by Knutson together with Daniel Adams, chief executive officer of Ethereum World, and Chris Thompson, business development director of Ethereum.

BNEFIT executive director Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said the project is a big boost to the iTEACH program of BNEFIT which is composed of a series of industry-led digital workshops for the academe.

“We only have a few more years before new technologies create major disruptions to the workplace and Bacolod needs to constantly step up not only to maintain its lead among BPO locations in the Philippines but to take advantage of the millions of new digital jobs available around the world,” Sigue said.

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