Christina Biona-Gallano, blockJuan [PH 2019 Crypto & Blockchain Year in Review]

January 8, 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.

Christina Biona-Gallano is the founder of blockJuan, a community for spreading blockchain awareness in the Philippines. She was a devcon 5 scholar and currently Technical Project Manager at ConsenSys.

Please Introduce us to BlockJuan

We are blockJuan, the global blockchain community of Filipinos. Our members are mostly from the low income-generating and underprivileged Filipinos such as farmers, stay home moms, out of school youths, etc. These are the people we all want to benefit from the promise of blockchain but have trust issues with the technology. With blockJuan, we try to address the trust issue and show them through meet-ups that blockchain is not a scam, not only meant for technical people, not only for people coming from the rich countries but for everyone.

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

Tina together with ElastOS doing blockJuan meet-up with the Computer Engineering students of Mapua University

Juan step at a time, we are introducing blockJuan to the international community through various social media. We are already starting to get traction from the local community because of the meet-ups we do almost on a weekly basis. As we wanted to bring the technology closer to the Filipinos, our meet-ups usually happen to church communities, homeowner’s communities, farmers, scholars to name a few. In order to gain everyJuan’s trust, our meet-ups usually start with some inspiring videos from Vitalik himself, Joe Lubin and other members of the ConsenSys team. The video is simple, yet it has a huge impact to all the attendees as it made them feel included.

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

  • I received a couple of scholarships from the international blockchain community. Because of one these, I was able to attend Tel Aviv blockchain week and there, I met Vitalik Buterin (https://youtu.be/dEEoyyeHNlo), Joe Lubin (https://youtu.be/MX-uoUGW5fE) and some ConsenSys team (https://youtu.be/grRzZ9lCAoU) inviting all Filipinos to learn about blockchain.
  • I also attended Devcon in Osaka as a Devcon Scholar of the Ethereum Foundation. There are a total of 600+ applicants from all around the world, only 50 got accepted and I am the only recipient from the Philippines, dubbed as the PinayInDevcon. I and the other scholars were presented by Aya Miyaguchi (https://youtu.be/pBtwphO77wY) to the community during her speech at Devcon. I was also accepted as a Lead Volunteer on Ethereum Foundation’s Partnership and Scholarship Committee in preparation for the upcoming 2020 Devcon. blockJuan is now a recognized community as there is already an ongoing discussion on how Ethereum Foundation will be able to provide support to blockJuan through their Grant Program.
  • I am also one of the BUIDL ambassadors and has been very active in doing blockchain meet-ups for the community. In order for the community to get a feel of what a hackathon is, blockJuan joined Gitcoin’s Global Community hackathon last 12/02/2019 to 12/17/2019. Members of the blockJuan community started to get themselves familiar with Discord, Zoom, Meet-ups, Slack and other applications being used by the blockchain community.
  • I will be attending Truffle University’s online technical training on the Q1 of 2020 as I was accepted as a scholar for this program.
  • MakerDao has also extended support to blockJuan as they will be sponsoring blockJuan’s meet-up event on January of 2020.
  • blockJuan will also be doing a hackathon come 2020 in partnership with Pepo, details are being discussed and will be shared as soon as everything is ironed out.
  • Cryptochicks also invited me to attend their Hatchery program come 2020 as they also want to help blockJuan.
  • I am also a recipient of Celo’s Prosper Retreat scholarship last first week of November 2019. The retreat’s is to build an open monetary system that creates prosperity for all.

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

Vitalik Buterin and Tina Gallano inviting Filipinos to start learning blockchain (Tara Pilipinas! Aral tau blockchain!)

With everything that is happening, regulators are starting to pay attention. Although there are various reactions from the government and regulating bodies, seeing them get interested and talk about it is also a huge development.

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

Aya Miyaguchi of EF is introducing Devcon scholars to the Devcon community

I am confident that through all these efforts, more and more Filipinos will start trusting blockchain and see what it can do to bring a better quality of life for everyone. That Filipinos will soon be a major player in this field and will be able to help and inspire others so that Juan at a time, we can start with our blockchain journey.

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

Filipinos will start trusting blockchain and will soon be able to come up with their own usecase and product to help everyone benefit on the promise of blockchain. I believe that the international blockchain community will start recognizing the Filipinos and what we can do to make this all a success. Filipinos will start using more and more blockchain products and will soon realize that blockchain will bring freedom and full control of their data. Blockchain will no longer be just for the corporate world or from the universities but will also involve low income-generating and under-privileged Filipinos.

Follow Tina Gallano

This article is published on BitPinas: Christina Biona-Gallano, blockJuan [PH 2019 Crypto & Blockchain Year in Review]

More Articles from BitPinas’ 2019 PH Crypto and Blockchain Year in Review:


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Michael Mislos

A business ad graduate from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Mike is the website manager of Bitpinas.com. He is responsible for almost every content you see on the site, from topic/news selection to editing of articles. Mike believes correct information about blockchain and cryptocurrency can empower people to make accurate decisions about the industry, which, in turn, should deter bad actors from taking advantage of crypto & blockchain. [Telegram @mikemislos]

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