~ With government support, regional partners, and industry alliances
Words by: Aye Ubaldo
What could be considered an oxymoron will be the buzzword much like digital and internet once were. The word is Blockchain. And, evangelizing this phenomenon is Blockchain Council of the Philippines (BCP), the nerve center of Philippine Blockchain Week (PBW).
When it launched in 2022, PBW staged a 5-day niche event. Not this year. From 19 to 21 September 2023, PBW 2023 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, the 2nd Philippine Blockchain Week—dubbed BRKOUT—will break out with all the bells and whistles that mark a more confident and growing community. Not mainstream yet, but this little league is destined to be a major player in the whole landscape of communications, technology, creative arts, corporate, startup and entrepreneur, education, and everything else.
As Founding president of the BCP, Dr. Donald Lim can probably claim to be co-founder of almost all industries that started small and special that became mainstream. Joining Lim as PBW Convenors are Chezka Gonzales, Women of Substance Founder; Janelle Barretto, Hepmil Media Director; and co- Jay Ha, IP3 Co-founder.
Leading this year’s coffer of partners are government entities DTI, represented by Director Jo-Dann Darong, and DICT, represented by Director Emmy Lou Delfin. Also present are regional partners like Hisayuki Nagatome, CEO and Chairman of Junca Holdings (Japan) and Young Hyun Cho, CEO of Comet Global (South Korea), and a strong show of support from a host of allied associations including Ida Tiongson, Trustee of Fintech Alliance Philippines; Michelle Alarcon, President of Analytics and AI Association of the Philippines (AAAP), among others.
Numbers don’t lie. PBW 2022 stats shows 5000 attendees, 500+ foreign participants, 140 global thought leaders, 46 exhibitors, from 23 countries, earning media values USD2.8M+. Bull or Bear? Bull, of course. Currently, 6.13% of the total population, or nearly 7 million Filipinos, own cryptocurrency and 32% of Filipino internet users saying that they own non-fungible tokens (NFTs). PBW expects nothing less than exponential growth for 2023.
Top 10 you can’t miss at Philippine Blockchain Week 2023
1. Department of Trade and Industry to co-brand events to celebrate the Philippine creative industry through innovation
2. Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launches 4 events: The Blockchain 101 for 1000 students; The Blockchain 101 Focus Group Discussion with government officials; The Blockchain Awards in partnership with BCP; and the Blockchain Hackathon for Students to create ideas to solve problems of the country and of society.
3. Fashion in the Metaverse features Dubai-based Filipino celebrity designer Michael Cinco
4. The New-est Players will meet and mingle with attendees. Shake their hands, be inspired and create opportunities with the young, the innovative, and successful names of the arena.
5. The coolest app designed by BayaniChain, Likha and R*WARDs. Three-tiers, and the first 300 to apply gain access to a slew of goodies like entry to future PBW Events, VIP lounges, 1-on-1 sessions with speakers, and a whole lot of discounts
6. The NFTY Awards 2023 winners of the Academy of Digital Art, Sciences and Culture
7. Share insights with regional counterparts led by reps from Japan, Korea, and Malaysia
8. Let loose at the Tier One Entertainment Gaming Expo
9. Share the excitement of competitions and debates on The Final Pitch and PBW x Bull or Bear
10. Discover more Artificial Intelligence at the AAAP AI Conference
The visionary behind Philippine Blockchain Week, Chezka Gonzales, says, “The success of last’s year conference is a testament to the support and love from the community of organizations and companies. We were happy to hear amazing stories of success, collaborations and government partnerships formed during that event. Testimonials of signed contracts, jobs and opportunities are music to our ears.”
From Young Hyun Cho of Comet Global, “I am here because I love Philippines. Purpose of establishing Philippines base is to connect and invite Korea to Philippine blockchain enterprise. In Korea, we don’t have a blockchain council yet. Coming here is a great opportunity (for us). It’s the Philippines that is the blockchain capital of Asia.”
Speaking on the partnership with Japan and Korea, Lim says, “A lot of their vision is to help the Philippines. Blockchain is mature technology there, and the Philippines represents green fields to them. This is why they’re bringing in the expertise, and the working models. Japan Korea are both believers in the Philippines that can help drive us forward.”
It will not be long before blockchain becomes mainstream. Says Ida Tiongson of Fintech Alliance, “What’s behind the Central Bank Digital Currency is blockchain technology. The Fintech festivals in Japan, Israel and Singapore the CBDC was one of the highlights. The central banks of the world are already seriously embracing blockchain technology. We are working on having these countries discuss CBDC at the PBW. I think that’s very exciting.”
From Vandy Pesarillo, Chief Creative Officer of BayaniChain, and designer of PBW app, “Philippine Blockchain Week brings together important government departments, web 3 companies, and well-known figures from the blockchain world. The main aim of this event is to teach regular Filipinos about the practical applications of blockchain technology and how it can simplify their lives. During the event, you will have the opportunity to learn about real-world use cases of blockchain and understand how it can benefit you. Whether it’s securing your personal information, making financial transactions more transparent and efficient, or simplifying bureaucratic processes, blockchain technology has the power to make a positive impact.”
Founding member of BCP, and Founder of Women in Blockchain Philippines, Gail Macapagal adds, “I am excited about PBW 2023, because I see more women in the space now, as the Founder of Women in Blockchain Philippines, this is a validation of the diversity and inclusiveness of the blockchain space. As the Chairman of Women, CSR and Advocacy of the Blockchain Council of the Philippines, we will aim to open doors for Girls in Stem and Girls in ICT in partnership with DIWA (Digital Innovation for Women Advancement) headed by DICT Usec Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.”
Scouring the global blockchain village for inspiration to stage PBW 2023, Janelle Barretto shares, “The trend that I saw is how blockchain is already touching on spaces that we all care about. It’s not anymore for technologists or geeks. You don’t even have to be tech savvy anymore. You just need to be open and curious and know that blockchain is going to affect things that you care about, and will impact your life. I urge everybody to start your journey. Download the wallet, buy an NFT, listen to podcasts and webcasts. Learn, learn, learn and of course, most importantly, attend the Philippine Blockchain Week.” ***
For more information, registration, and Early Bird discounts, visit https://www.pbw.ph/
Photos taken by: Jaimar Fagela