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Coffee and Meet up: Tara sa Baguio, with a Friend

Photo for the Article - Coffee and Meet up: Tara sa Baguio, with a Friend

Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday

An event that aimed to educate interns of Bitshares Labs Inc. and college graduates in Baguio and nearby towns on the fundamentals of Web3: from securing their crypto wallets, creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs), fundamentals of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and about play-to-earn (P2E) games. 

The event was held last September 6, 2022, at Manduto Cafe And Restaurant in Baguio City, with guest speakers including Luis Buenaventura II, Yield Guild Games (YGG) Country Manager; Sophia Marie Arellano, Project Development Officer of Sunshare; John Emmet Yngson, Founder, President and CEO of Bitshares Labs Inc.; and the writer of BitPinas. The event was hosted by the Executive Managing Director of Bitshares Labs Inc. Henry James Banayat. The event was also broadcasted by BitPinas through Facebook Live.

Registration started around 6:00 p.m. and the target audience was from Baguio City. These were composed of interns from Bitshares Lab Inc., college fresh graduates, and local artists. The program started with an opening prayer at around 7:30 p.m., which was followed by the first session with Buenaventura, Arellano, Yngson and Banayat as the panelists. The event was held as a casual talk show format where the audience can ask any question during the session.

Photo for the Article - Coffee and Meet up: Tara sa Baguio, with a Friend
(L-R) Jean Yngson, Director of Bitshares Labs Inc., John Emmet Yngson, Founder, CEO and President of Bitshares Labs Inc., and Henry James Banayat, Executive Managing Director of Bitshares Labs Inc.

First Session

Banayat initiated the talk with his experience of losing his crypto wallet because of a thunderstorm and the computer had to be reformatted. Unfortunately, he did not write and kept his seed phase and had no access to it. 

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This is where Buenaventura emphasized the importance of writing down the 12-chronological words given by the wallet and storing it in a safe place, like a vault. The Ethereum Merge was also shared by Buenaventura during this segment as the updates were shown on the projector screen. 

Meanwhile, Arellano shared her first time using with a few tokens she topped up on the mobile wallet. According to her story, she was amazed that the value of the token she initially invested went up for a short period of time. 

Explaining Arellano’s experience, Buenaventura shared why the market is very volatile. That there is a seasonal cycle that happens in the market. There is around a twelve to fifteen months range for one cycle and in between, there is a sideward movement in the market.

On the other hand, the importance of having a level two layer of blockchain network was brought up by Buenaventura because this technology can be used to make transactions easier and faster and Sunshare could use this integrated with their project. 

The value of gas fees was also shared by the panelists as they talked about transactions in the blockchain. Where the gas fee for Ethereum-based transactions was around a Dollar or two recently.

In addition, the first phase of the Ethereum Merge was also shared by Buenaventura. The Merge was also monitored live during the event. He shared the reason for Ethereum shifting from proof-of-work to proof-to-stake technology. This will eventually lower down the energy consumption of the blockchain network to 99.95%. Ether (ETH) will have a supply shock like with Bitcoin Halving; there would be a possible effect on the supply and value of ETH in the future.

Conversely, Banayat shared that Baguio City has a cheaper cost for electric consumption because of the hydroelectric resources the city has. Buenaventura stated that if the consumption of electricity is less than ₱5.00 per Kilowatts, it could be ideal to have Bitcoin mining in the city. If higher than the price given, competitors in other countries may still be at an advantage.

On the other hand, a question from an artist was on how to start his own NFTs and set the value of his work. Buenaventura shared his thoughts about NFT art. His advice was to market his NFT art internationally. Filipinos are not yet well versed with the technology and targeting the Filipino community may not be advantageous to the artist. According to the YGG Country Manager, it is a good thing that most of the NFT collectors are in English-speaking countries where a Filipino artist can easily present his work to. 

Buenaventura shared two anecdotes to share his points on how to start an NFT art project. One with his collaboration with Heart Evangelista and with the artist Kajo Baldisimo of Trese. His point boils down to the narrative of the art that can be the main selling point of the artist and can make the art stand up from the rest of art available in the market. Buenaventura also shared his experience as the first Filipino artist to use the NFT technology.

Buenaventura also clarified that having collaborations is not just for NFTs but it is also for real-life marketing, which Adidas was given as an example.

After the first segment, the event held dinner and an intermission number presented by the staff of Bitshares Lab Inc. The second session was held at around 9:00 p.m.

Second Session

For this session, the set of panelists are Buenaventura, Arellano, Banayat, and the author of the article. In this segment, NFT and P2E gaming were discussed by the panelists on how to promote an emerging startup.

Arellano shared and introduced the team behind Sunshare. The startup promotes the usage of renewable energy in residential and commercial establishments and as they use these means, the consumer will be rewarded with cryptocurrencies through an app. The reward can be used to purchase more sources of renewable energy. Sunshare is supported by the University of Cordillera as this was an academic research of Arellano, together with her teammates Rodney Doyaoen (Project Development Officer), Earl Siachongco (Computer Programmer), and Dr. Thelma Palaoag (Project Leader). It is funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and Banayat as one of their Angel Investors.

Photo for the Article - Coffee and Meet up: Tara sa Baguio, with a Friend

Meanwhile, the author shared about BitPinas to the audience and a brief history of how he came to know about Web3 technology. Buenaventura also shared his weekly blog CryptoDay which is also translated by BitPinas in Filipino.

The author was then asked a question by the host of what is the current sentiments of the Filipinos about Web3. For the writer, there are a lot of negative sentiments from the community because of what is going on with the P2E but there are still “remnants” or small groups of Filipinos who are still rooting for Web3 technology. The best way to balance this is to do their own research to filter the information available on the internet.

Further, the Director of Bitshares Lab Inc. Jean Yngson asked the panel about what is the best advice that the panelists can give to people who are new to Web3.

Buenaventura advised them not to quit their job. He also shared his thoughts about the value of Peso and whether it is not a good move to invest in the currency. But he said he is not sure if crypto, oil, and stocks alone can help protect their wealth. They could just find a combination of ways how to protect their wealth.

Bayanat also, shared how he invested in crypto by doing the Dollar-Cost Averaging Method, emphasizing his thoughts about the importance of doing research before investing in cryptocurrencies and there are a lot of decentralized financing (DeFi) facilities that they can use to generate more crypto.

Arrellano encouraged her fellow fresh graduates to take the risks and if they ever it fails do not beat themselves hard.

Meanwhile, as a  member of the audience asked if blockchain and cryptocurrencies are the same, Buenaventura shared that they are not the same, saying that the“Blockchain can be pictured as an umbrella… Cryptocurrencies, NFTs and other stuff are under the umbrella”.

Also, the Co-founder of Triva Eunice Añada inquired about how to promote their project focused on creating a safe environment for education and they are just an emerging startup composed of college students. The question was initially addressed to Arrelano, who advised that Añada could tap educational institutions to promote their product.

Buenaventura advised optimizing using Facebook groups to promote their product but also asking permission from the admin to post about the project. His advice to emerging startups is to live with their parents as much as possible because of the volatility of having a startup and to help save money. He also advises them to make use of technology to make money for them.

The author also affirms using Facebook as their initial platform to promote their project. He also shared about Minecraft is used as a medium for education and Web3 is promoting augmented reality and virtual reality.

Buenaventura also gave advice to NFT artists to use Facebook groups like NFT Philippines and use the hashtag #cryptoartph. 

The event ended at around 10:00 p.m. with the last word from Buenaventura and a photo-op with all attendees. Ivan Banayat was kind enough to fetch and bring the author back to his transient.

Bitshares Labs, Inc. is a startup web development company that delivers blockchain-centric solutions and services for Philippine Businesses. The startup builds apps on top of the Bitshares Blockchain. BitShares is an open-source financial services platform implemented as a public blockchain. Launched in 2014 with the protocol defined smart contracts for the digital asset and stable coin issuance, BitShares is the first on-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) secured by the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus protocol.

YGG Philippines is aneducational gaming guild that provides opportunities through crypto and games.

This article is published on BitPinas: Coffee and Meet up: Tara sa Baguio, with a Friend

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.