The blockchain is disrupting industries like the way the Internet did. For this bitcoin pioneer in the Philippines, the country can become a crypto and blockchain hub thanks to the growing interest in the blockchain.
Southeast Asia and the Blockchain
Hosted by Japan Cashless Association and Noah Foundation in Tokyo, Japan, the Philippines-Japan Investment and Cryptocurrency Forum invited the biggest names in the industry to join.
Mr. Miguel Cuneta, co-founder of SCI, started by saying “Bitcoin is not an investment scheme. It is a new kind of technology.” He is referring to one of the most common misconceptions about cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin.
In December 2017, Bitcoin nearly hit $20,000 mark. This prompted users to think that this is a good investment scheme. Currently, the token titan bouncing around $10,000 to $11,000. It is no doubt that some may have gained a lot of money during the trade but there are also some who lost a fortune when bitcoin crashed.
The technology behind Bitcoin – the blockchain – is really the star of the forum.
“Blockchain is poised to change the landscape of finance, governance and banking, the same way the Internet has disrupted telecommunications, media and publishing sectors.” – Mr. Miguel Cuneta, CCO and Co-Founder, SCI
He also noted that because Southeast Asia houses a lot of unbanked population, with the introduction of the blockchain, the region might become a cryptocurrency and blockchain hub.
“Technology wants to solve a problem. In Southeast Asia, you have a lot of problems. We’re hungry. We’re thirsty for options.” – Mr. Miguel Cuneta, CCO and Co-Founder, SCI
Banking the Unbanked
Banking the unbanked, this is where the country’s first bank to embrace the blockchain comes in – UnionBank. Partnering with Visa to create Visa B2B Connect, its aim is to cut transaction time from 3-5 days to within 24 hours. Along with the Visa B2B Connect, UnionBank also reaches out to Rural Banks and MSMEs.
“For rural banks, blockchain isn’t just about being included in the financial services industry. It may well be the answer to their survival because they are going down,” – Mr. Ramon Vicente V. De Vera, Head of FinTech, UnionBank