December 17, 2019 – 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 key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2019 in general and what they look forward to in 2020.
Luis Buenaventura is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Bloom Solutions/BloomX. Luis is also a cartoonist and has written Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin while co-writing The Little Bitcoin Book.
BitPinas: Can you please share the latest developments from your company/project/group this year?
Luis Buenaventura: BloomX spent 2019 reintroducing itself and its products to the industry. We partnered with Paylance, launched our Czarina FX and DA5 locations, and really increased the volume and efficiency on our OTC trading desk. Our license allows us to provide the best institutional rates in the country, and we fully expect those margins to come down even further in 2020.
Please share a personal highlight for you this year in the crypto and blockchain community.
I co-wrote “The Little Bitcoin Book” with other Bitcoin influencers like Jimmy Song, Alena Vranova, et al. We’re currently available in 2 languages and 5 formats, and have 5 other languages slated for 2020 release. I spoke in Canada, Norway, and Taipei about Bitcoin and its roles in personal financial freedom and in the emerging world. On the Cryptopop art side, I created artwork for Coindesk during their “Bitcoin@10” event in NYC, CoinMarketCap’s “The Capital” conference in SG, and LABitconf 2019 in Uruguay.
What do you think is the most important blockchain and/or crypto development in the Philippines/Globally in 2019?
2018 and 2019 were consolidation years, as challenging market conditions combined with increased regulatory requirements for crypto companies around the world. This resulted in weaker companies being acquired by stronger ones (see the near-constant acquisitions by Kraken and Binance) or being forced to partner/merge with competitors in order to survive. The weak market has also made many crypto companies focus on fundamental business models like crypto trading and brokerage, which will never go out of fashion.
What is your company/project/group looking forward to this 2020 in this space?
Our goal is to become the primary liquidity provider in the country in 2020, as we leverage both our license, our engineering capabilities, and our trading experience to invisibly power as many sales channels as possible: OTC, P2P, online retail, cash-to-crypto outlets, you name it.
What do you personally look forward to in this space?
My personal goals for 2020 are all related with building awareness and increasing reach. On the business side, we’re working with a number of massive international exchanges to bring their liquidity to the Philippines.
— Luis Buenaventura (@helloluis) October 18, 2019
On the educational side, we’re launching more formats and more languages of our book, and maybe even writing an entirely new book as well. We’re also going to continue holding free Bitcoin workshops every month all around the metro.
— Luis Buenaventura (@helloluis) November 12, 2019
On the art side, I’m aiming to do something really ambitious that combines the visual arts with smart contracts and augmented reality.
What do you see for the Philippines in 2020 in this space?
I think that the Philippines’ VCE license will no longer be a unique selling point for foreign companies to set up shop here. By mid-2020, half of the ASEAN region will have operational crypto licensing frameworks, so many companies who still haven’t received their licenses from the BSP will simply move over to Singapore, Thailand, or Indonesia. The result is that it will become much less valuable to have a license in the Philippines, and those that do have a license will need to rely on their actual business activities to establish their value. There’s a good chance that this will result in even more consolidation in the space.
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This article is published on BitPinas: Luis Buenaventura, BloomX [PH 2019 Crypto & Blockchain Year in Review]