Alex Timbol, Elastos Foundation, [PH 2019 Crypto & Blockchain Year in Review]

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January 3, 2020 – Depending on who you ask, 2019 is another turbulent year for the crypto and blockchain industries. Globally, we’ve seen companies refocus their efforts or merge with others to survive. In the Philippines, we’ve read about more pending regulations, developments in the space, and more education drive. BitPinas sought the opinion of people who work in the blockchain and crypto industry in the Philippines, including leaders and influencers here and abroad on what they think about 2019 in general and what they look forward to in 2020.

Alex Timbol is the Partnership Manager for Elastos Foundation in the Philippines and a key member of the Elastos Philippines Community. Elastos has increased its footprint in the country this past year through establishing active communities in schools as well as community engagement that lead to increased awareness among developers and software partners. Alex has had a long career in the brokerage industry spanning decades before he explored the industry in the growing online trading and crypto spaces.

Can you please share the latest developments from your company/project/group this year?

We’ve striven to introduce Blockchain and Elastos technologies to new communities, specifically tech students and young developers aged 18-25. the hunger for knowledge is there, finding access is not so easy, yet we’ve delivered talks and presentations to over a thousand students in over a dozen campuses across three regions, Regions 3, 4, and 4A-NCR.

We’ve attended a dozen government finance and technology forums, from the Bangko Sentral to Departments of Science, ICT, and Trade, reviewing policy directions and learning how we could fit in.

We’ve participated in dozens of mainstream technology events, discussing potential cross adoptions with their engineers, and cross-marketing opportunities with Elastos Communities.

Alex: Elastos Community is half the audience at the event

We’ve also introduced ourselves to the startup community via various incubators and community activities, Elastos has a development fund for tech startups adopting our technology and we look forward to deploying to local Techpreneurs. Unlike traditional VCs, Cyber Republic may provide grants as low as a thousand dollars, yet scale up to as much as $100,0000 for equity and/or debt financing.

Please share a personal highlight for you this year in the crypto and blockchain community.

The first time we were invited to speak about blockchain at school events, then the first time we were asked to help organize major school events.

Previously, a blockchain event organizer would approach a school about holding an event, nowadays, it’s the student organizations or the schools that are approaching us to help with their blockchain event. From push, it’s become pull. In many cases, it’s students taking the initiative to learn about blockchain.

In the second half of 2019, we shared our access by inviting other tech personalities to speak at or sponsor these events.

A third milestone would be when other event organizers in the tech and blockchain space asked us to send delegations from our community to populate their events. A Win-win deal for all.

Community Organizer Krisha Amada has been doing excellent work creating valuable communities for Elastos in particular, and blockchain in general. By building competent teams within existing school organizations we’ve been able to leverage limited resources to grow exponentially

Our next step is to make qualified communities into autonomous organizations that function independently.

What do you think is the most important blockchain and/or crypto development in the Philippines/Globally in 2019?

Greater clarity as consolidation and focus gets underway, it’s a natural process that happens after extreme exuberance, such as what happened in December 2017. It’s becoming clearer which parts blockchain space will grow in importance, which exchanges will provide liquidity, and which will be the dominant smart contract platform.

Also, Institutional coverage of Fintech and blockchain is increasing. Asian Development Bank’s 3rd Asian Finance forum on Fintech featured blockchain, DAOs, smart contracts, and other key aspects.

What is your company/project/group looking forward to this 2020 in this space?

Elastos’ Ethereum sidechain went live in November 2019, we expect to see hundreds of Ethereum projects transitioned to DPoS Ethereum on Elastos featuring exclusive sidechains and TPS as high as 1,500.

Towards the end of 2020, governance transitions from Elastos Foundation to Cyber Republic, a decentralized autonomous organization defined by a Constitution and implemented in software.

What do you personally look forward to in this space?

I look forward to more Filipinos joining the Cyber Republic and one or two local conglomerates acquiring seats in the 12-man Cyber Republic Council.

Cyber Republic is all-encompassing, whether you’re a blockchain developer on Ethereum, EOS, or NEO; a dApps developer, a Network Security Specialist, a Content Creator. or just curious the scope of the Republic is broad as it seeks to define a modern way of technology-powered interaction and value exchange.

Then, we’d like to see more Filipinos obtaining Elastos decentralized IDs via the Elephant Wallet App and using these as login credentials to a growing collection of websites and app.

What do you see for the Philippines in 2020 in this space?

Photo Credit: Elastos on Facebook. This meetup was in 2018.

I see blockchain projects worldwide looking to the Philippines for dev talent. There’s already a dev grab among mainstream tech companies. Amazon has over ten thousand devs here, Azure and Google over five thousand each. Huawei and Alibaba clouds have just announced they’re hiring.

We’re not quite there yet in terms of numbers and recognition for blockchain talent. With Elastos outreach, community building, and training, we’re helping create a ready pool of talent and the means to access it.

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