Article by Christian Viñas | Graphics by Gian Ferrer | Photos by Marco Sumargo
There’s no denying that a lot of people are into technology. In fact, it’s changing the way we live. From smartphones to smartwatches, we are slowly adapting to the digital life. A testament to this change is the emergence of digital currency, or cryptocurrency, a decentralized online payment system.
At the Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference Philippines held at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel last month, leaders and experts of cryptocurrency, as well as business and government representatives, came to Manila to talk about its advantages and its future applications in the industry.
Crypto experts from all over the world took part in the event: representatives of financial institutions, bankers, entrepreneurs, investors, lawyers, developers of blockchain solutions, startups and professional traders with keynote speakers that included managers of world-renowned companies and representatives of authorities from the cryptocurrency, such as Zach Piester, Co-Founder of Intrepid Ventures; Jeremy Goodwin, CEO of blockchain.syncfab.com; Vlad Sapozhnikov, Co-Founder, and CEO of Deex.exchange; Fulvio Dominici, CEO at Ubiatar inc; Jimmy Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer, nChain Group; Nithinan Jessie Boonyawattanapisut, CEO and Founder at Hotnow (Thailand) Co.,Ltd; Kambiz Djafari, CEO and Co-founder at Edgecoin.io; Roger Haenni, Co-Founder and CEO at Datum.org; and Herns Hermida of Microsoft Philippines.
5 Things I Learned about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency
5. Bitcoin aims to be the standard financial transaction.
To start off, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and is still the biggest, but it also created a multitude of cryptocurrencies that gained steam through the years: Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcash, all of which fulfill the same purpose, but with slight tweaks to its details (for example, Ethereum promises faster transaction rates than Bitcoin).
An exhibit on display outside the main hall
All of this can be found in a “blockchain”, a shared public record of transactions or a ‘digital ledger’, to create and track a new type of digital token. Every payment can be seen on the ledger, making it viable for everyone involved in the transaction.
With the emergence of Bitcoin and Blockchain, this is definitely the largest innovation in monetary science in recent years, and might as well be the future of payment. Building a new digital currency with alterations to some of the payment and banking systems we currently have offers cryptocurrency users a different view on saving and managing their money.
4. Blockchain’s decentralization of money has its ups and downs.
Japan was the first country to regulate cryptocurrency; many tech stores there have been embracing Bitcoin as an alternative payment for products even before it was regulated. While most of the tech giants (think Apple, Google, and Microsoft) tend to shy away from cryptocurrency, in general; most of the applications in their stores try to use cryptocurrency as a means of payment instead of Google Pay, Apple Pay, Paypal or Visa.
Ubiatar, an app that uses Bitcoin as its main payment system
In one of the talks, it was announced that an application called Ubiatar is set to be released this March 2018, which you can use to pay for services with Bitcoin. Sure, there are other apps with the same gimmick, such as Dentacoin, Matchpool , and Cryptokitties; but Ubiatar aims to usher in mainstream acknowledgment of Bitcoin rather than alienate clueless consumers.
Fulvio Dominici, CEO at Ubiatar inc, explaining Ubiatar to the audience
This seems like a good sign for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general. However, when it comes to cybersecurity, the decentralization of money can become a means of exchange for drug traffickers, cybersex operators, and other cybercriminals. Just look at Silk Road and how Bitcoin became an integral part of its operations.
With Blockchain’s decentralized approach, it is possible to mask its ‘innocent’ transactions between users. While this may not be technically promoting crime, it still defeats the purpose of cryptocurrencies’ overall goals.
Read on for more!