The Asia Blockchain Hub was officially launched last July 21, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was attended by media partners and guests from all over the world. The event was supported by the European Blockchain Hub that was recently established in Slovenia on May 9, 2018. It was a whole day affair where VIPs from both Asia and Europe shared their expertise and knowledge on blockchain.
Unbox was privileged to be invited and to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by members of the Asia Blockchain Hub which will surely impact the technology’s future in the region. These are our top 5 learnings from the conference.
Blockchain is not just cryptocurrency.
Many Filipinos equate blockchain with cryptocurrency; Bitcoin to be exact. The dramatic increase in its value helped raise awareness and people became familiar with terms such as “blockchain”, “cryptocurrency” and “Bitcoin”. As expected, it had a polarizing effect. Some were ready to jump into this new form of investment while others were wary, thinking that it’s a get rich quick scheme that is bound to fail.
In the conference, it was reiterated that blockchain is not just cryptocurrency. Mr Blaž Golob, the President of the European Blockchain Hub, mentioned that it is a technology that can be used to help solve social issues such as climate change and energy conservation. Right now, a lot of energy is used to create cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, the technology is capable of using devices such as batteries, water heaters and even electric vehicles to help increase the amount of renewable energy and this is something that we can look forward to in the near future.
Blockchain Enables the Democratization of Money
The traditional way of sending and receiving money always involves a third party. Naturally, this would incur a cost. With blockchain, there is no third party involvement. True sharing occurs making the transaction faster with no additional fees. Mr. Rex Yeap, founder of the Asia Blockchain Hub, called it a revolution. True enough, it has the capacity to truly revolutionize the way we handle and exchange money.
Moving Towards an International Standard for Blockchain
Mr. Yeap and Mr. Golob were very transparent and said that having an international standard for blockchain is difficult. They did acknowledge the need for regulation in order to create a safer blockchain environment that would change the perception of people and earn their trust. Establishing the European and Asian hubs was the first step. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding is second. For now, they are keen on sharing best practices and working together to further develop blockchain technology.
Blockchain Education is Needed
The speakers mentioned that one of their greatest challenges is the fact that only a handful of people truly understand what blockchain is and how it works. Some have only seen the tip of the iceberg but have not truly explored the technology. That is why they are encouraging people to read and learn about blockchain and be crypto affluent. They look forward to the day when we have blockchain professionals who are true experts in the field.
CEZA to Host the Fintech Industry
Zeroing in on the Philippines, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) is the very first to host financial technology companies, including those that handle blockchain. According to Atty. Joy Almeda, the CEZA representative who attended the conference, they are working towards the accreditation of blockchains from Korea, Japan, and other countries. This entails a thorough background check which will help put people at ease because it is a means to prevent fraud and money laundering.
Blockchain is a fairly new technology but it has so much to offer. We are only just beginning to explore and realize the benefits that we can reap from it. The speakers believe that it is the next big thing in tech. If so, it is best to start learning and understanding it.