The blockchain’s success is on a roll and more and more industries adopt this new technology. In the Philippines, we listed around two dozen blockchain startups in the country. This includes Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) or SCI Ventures. The two founders of the company, Mr. John Bailon and Mr. Miguel Cuneta share their thoughts about bitcoin, the blockchain, and banks in an interview with the Business World.
Bitcoin Experts about Filipinos and Bitcoin
Let us be honest here. Whenever we hear about bitcoin, the majority of us will think about growing money, investment, or uptrend in price. This is somewhat true, as bitcoin is money, only that it is digital. Because the majority doesn’t have a way to invest in the stock market, bitcoin is a nice alternative, so goes the general thinking of most of us.
But it shouldn’t be the case. Mr. John Bailon and Mr. Miguel Cuneta of SCI Ventures admit that cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin, has its downsides, brought by its volatility. A volatile investment is a risky investment.
“When people come into our office and they would say, ‘I’m saving some money. I want to buy P50,000 worth of Bitcoin,’ what we usually do is we try to scare them off not because we don’t want their business, but because we want to make sure that they understand that what we’re doing is a risk. And that this is an investment that you should understand the downsides,” – Mr. John Bailon, CEO and Co-Founder, Satoshi Citadel Industries
Filipinos and Investments
However, because of the small barrier to entry to bitcoin, it becomes the key for people to become aware of other passive income streams, such as equities, stocks, bonds. Every financial instrument has a risk, but those mentioned above are guaranteed less risky than bitcoin.
“Bitcoin has shown light onto this whole concept of investing. It’s like, ‘Oh, I can make money just by holding onto Bitcoin, but wait, there’s also stocks that are less risky, and there’s bonds, and there’s funds that I can get my money into.’ So it’s opening up people into this new avenue of passive income,” – Mr. John Bailon, CEO and Co-Founder, Satoshi Citadel Industries
Financial Services for Everybody
Still, bitcoin as an investment has that effect of convenience. If you open an account on Bitbit.cash, there are standard verifications. But more people can meet the requirements compared to the requirements of banks.
“Add to that is the financial inclusion, somehow people are able to access financial services that they weren’t able to do before because they didn’t meet the standards.” – Mr. Miguel Cuneta, CCO and Co-Founder, Satoshi Citadel Industries
It is important to note that the Bangko Sentral is pushing to ease up requirements for investing and opening bank accounts in the country right now.
- Read more: KYC for Bitcoin in the Philippines
The Blockchain Success
Even though bitcoin gets the usual buzz, Mr. Bailon says that it is actually the blockchain that has the “most important breakthrough”.
“Blockchain is the best way to record digital transactions of anything not just money. It can be information, it can be land titles… anything that you need to track in a secure manner. Blockchain is the best technology for these,” – Mr. John Bailon, CEO and Co-Founder, Satoshi Citadel Industries
The blockchain cuts any third party services and directs connects consumers and users to providers.
“Blockchain removes the need for these trusted third parties,” – Mr. Miguel Cuneta, CCO and Co-Founder, Satoshi Citadel Industries
- Read more: What is Blockchain?
Blockchain and Banks
In 2017, major BDO and BPI suffered major issues to their services. BDO suffered an ATM scandal due to skimming devices. BPI had a data processing error that resulted to account holders having incorrect balances. Can the blockchain effectively eliminate such errors to happen?
“All these human errors affecting settlement, the truth here is that those can be easily fixed by blockchain technology. With blockchain technology, you make transactions in real-time. Once you move money within its core system, it’s already recorded unlike before where it ends up in a sort of like a limbo and gets applied at the end of the day,” – Mr. John Bailon, CEO and Co-Founder, Satoshi Citadel Industries
Mr. John Bailon is the CEO and co-founder of Satoshi Citadel Industries and Mr. Miguel Cuneta is the CCO and also the co-founder of the company. Both of them have been building a blockchain ecosystem in the Philippines since 2014.