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No to ‘crypto,’ yes to blockchain technology

Breaking common misconceptions and providing various industries and the youth with a deeper understanding and clarity of blockchain technology are the primary targets of the second Philippine Blockchain Week (PBW) on September 19-21, 2023.

Ida Tiongson tells CoinGeek Backstage

Enumerating the recent happenings in the “crypto” space, including the crackdown on top exchanges Binance and Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), Tiongson said while this paints a clear picture of the risks associated with speculative digital assets, there is still good that can be found in investing in digital currencies.

“In the crypto space, it is believed that 95% of the cryptocurrencies are, in fact, anomalous. But of course, there’s five percent that are good,” she said, noting that organizers of this year’s PBW will spotlight the controversial nature of these tokens.

While Tiongson was not entirely against investing in digital currencies, she pointed out that investments in such assets should be made cautiously and with a proper understanding of the matter.

“It’s not wise to invest in something you are not aware of,” Tiongson said, quoting Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon. “So, people are not dividing the blockchain technology to the cryptocurrency, and this is where we want to take this up as one of the major topics during the Philippine Blockchain Week.”

The London Blockchain Conference earlier this year also helped define what blockchain can do and why industries should fully embrace the technology, which the second PBW aims to expound in the local scene, added Tiongson, who followed the three-day event held at the QEII Centre in the United Kingdom.

She also mentioned the persistent push by global central banks, including that of the Philippines, to use blockchain technology in developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which the PBW will highlight under its “no to crypto, yes to blockchain” discussions that would include talks on the effectiveness of blockchain in reducing fraud, improving traceability, and promoting accountability, among others.

Tiongson also gave updates on the state of the latest digital asset regulations in the Philippines, which include the pilot of a CBDC in a sandbox environment and the planned rollout of the digital asset offering by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which she hopes would help the Philippines get more direct foreign investments.

She also mentioned a couple of government-led initiatives that align with the country’s digital transformation and the mass adoption of blockchain technology, such as developing digital certificates and working on the possibility of converting titles into digital assets.

“The thing about our finance sector—the SEC, the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), even the insurance commission, the regulators—are embracing technology, and, in fact, there’s a high appreciation as far as blockchain technology is concerned,” she said.

Tiongson said the PBW strives to become a platform allowing industries and the general public to “segregate the good, the bad, and the ugly” in the crypto space.

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