In recent years, blockchain has been a buzzword not only as an Internet subject, but also as a matter of discussion among various industries. While it started as a technological concept, it is now penetrating the consciousness of businessmen and company executives around the globe, including the Philippines. Thus, many questions have started to stimulate the minds of today's business leaders. How can blockchain help improve the way we do business? Will the blockchain technology benefit the local commerce landscape? Is the Philippines ready for it?
Embarking on the theme Transforming Businesses and Industries with Blockchain Technology, the three-day event titled Blockchain Applications and Economics Forum 2018 gathered together leaders and thinkers from various circles of specializations, led by blockchain and fintech experts from different countries, to answer the many questions surrounding blockchain technology. The forum was held from May 28 to 30 at the SMX Convention Center of SM Aura Premier in Taguig City.
Comprehending the many possibilities that can be realized through blockchain, the forum also helped the attendees find the right solution for their organizations. Apart from fintech, blockchain solutions can be implemented on commerce, digital identity, energy, entertainment, gaming, government, healthcare, logistics, supply chains, and much more.
The first day of the forum focused on pre-conference bootcamps, including a workshop on Ethereum and Smart Contract Development, facilitated by Blocklime Technologies co-founders CEO Harpeet Singh Maan and CTO Adly Abdullah. The workshop primarily catered to blockchain enthusiasts, software developers, ad tech experts who wish to do coding on Ethereum. Blocklime is one of the foremost consultancy and development service companies in the world.
The second bootcamp titled Media Blockchain Workshop was devoted to members of the press, aiming to help them understand and appreciate blockchain, along with the challenges, opportunities, and risks associated with it. The workshop was facilitated by Amor Maclang, an award-winning brand architect; risk, crisis, and reputation strategist; marketing and communications innovator; and co-founder of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc.
On May 29, the conference was formally opened, starting off with the launch of the Blockchain Association of the Philippines (BAP), the very first official blockchain-related association in the country, spearheaded by BAP and Unionbank chairman Justo A. Ortiz.
Several topics were discussed throughout the day, including: Global Developments and Perspectives in Blockchain, led by panelists from Ireland, Malaysia, Russia, and Singapore; Managing Legitimacy in Blockchain -- Regulations, Risks, and Communications, moderated by Amor Maclang; Can Blockchain Replace IPOS?, facilitated by Daphne Ng, Secretary General of Access Singapore and committee member of Singapore Fintech Association; Blockchain and its Impact on Financial Transactions and Services, moderated by Arvie de Vera, first vice president and head of the Fintech Business Group at Unionbank; and The Future of Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and Digital Currency Exchanges, led by Shawn Tham, founder and CEO of Blockrypto.
On May 30, the forum focused on exploring the role of blockchain in disrupting, enhancing, and creating new business opportunities, in which technology giants IBM, Microsoft, and SAP were involved. A special discussion for the social good was also led by Daniel de Grujiter of Incitement and Paolo Magnata of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Finally, the forum concluded with a panel discussion on What is Next? Taking the Leap into Blockchain, looking at what corporations need to do with what they learned about blockchain.