For mass adoption of web3 to become a reality in the Philippines, it is not enough to just target the big cities. Instead, we need to bring blockchain to different regions across the country.
"I'm stoked to be part of a regional event. Innovation can happen from anywhere and especially at the edges. It's important to have grassroots events like this," Playdex Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships Bernadette Misa told Digital Life Asia.
Blockchain on the beach
Misa was the moderator at Bull or Bear: Philippine Web3 Debate La Union held at San Juan, Baybayin Hub, La Union.
The Bull or Bear: La Union debaters included Chezka Gonzales of Women of Substance NFT, Patty Tiu of Filipinas NFT and Surge Pay, Renz Chong of BreederDAO, Jen Bilango of Blockchain Space, Mark Nunez of Gcash, and Luis Buenaventura of Yield Guild Games.
Co-presented by Gcash, Baybayin Hub, YGG Pilipinas, Dbuzz, and Bitget, and powered by Stanible and Internet Computer Protocol - ICP Manila, Bull or Bear: La Union is part of the Philippine Web3 Debate event series. An initiative of Philippine edutech startup Bitskwela, Bull or Bear gathers key opinion leaders who hold conversations and raise arguments on cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the Philippines.
"Bitskwela learned that the key to web3 mass adoption is web3 education not just of interested web2 natives, but also direct education and partnership with decision makers of enterprises and government units — which is why we're doing Bull or Bear: Regionals," said Bitskwela CMO JC Macalintal.
The event was organized in partnership with the local government unit of La Union, the Department of Tourism, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology Region l, to bring Web3 education and opportunities to the locals of La Union.
Chong, who is the CEO and co-founder of BreederDAO, also emphasized the need to reach out to the grassroots.
"We all know that education is the obvious and immediate next step to any innovation especially if we're talking about adoption. In order for any form of learning to be effective, the situation and background of the audience should be factored in. Now even though English literacy is very high in the Philippines, a topic that's very technical and advanced such as blockchain would be easier and more palatable to the masses if it's translated and contextualized into something more familiar to them and that ultimately is why I believe regional events like this one will be very crucial to onboarding people on web3," he said.
"As someone already from Metro Manila but who lives far from Makati or BGC (Bonifacio Global City) where most meetups usually happen, I understand why it's important for us to have regional events like what Bull Or Bear is doing. Nothing beats networking and learning from each other IRL vs a webinar or a Zoom call, and what more if the venue is by the beach like the one we just had in La Union," added Stanible Co-Founder and CMO Harry Santos.
Crypto for communities
The great thing about grassroots events like Bull or Bear: La Union is that instead of focusing too much on theory, they make people understand in layman's terms the real-world use cases of web3.
"Regional events like Bull or Bear: La Union provide an opportunity for local communities to learn about the potential benefits of web3 technologies and how they can be used to solve real-world problems. By showcasing the practical applications of web3, these events can help to increase awareness and adoption of these technologies, particularly among people who may not have been exposed to them otherwise.
"Overall, regional events like Bull or Bear: La Union play a vital role in promoting the adoption and growth of web3 technologies. They provide a platform for education, collaboration, and innovation, which are all essential components for the development of a thriving web3 ecosystem," said ICP Manila Business Leader Nelson Lumbres.
Meanwhile, content creator Modern Mulan was enthusiastic about helping educate people and building communities.
"Web 3 and initiatives such as Bull or Bear: La Union share the same core vision, which is to provide accessibility. Through these regional events, we strengthen that vision and foster a broader and informed community. This is a movement that I'm truly ecstatic to be a part of as web 3 mass adoption is a matter of 'when', not 'if'. Once we get there, we want to make sure that everyone's properly educated. What better way to educate than to have active and healthy conversations among community members regardless of geographical location, right," she said.
Apart from the debate, YGG Pilipinas, Dbuzz, Stanible, and ICP Manila also gave keynotes to kick off the event.
"DBuzz discovered just how massive web3 and blockchain adoption is in the Philippines, and the seriousness of corporations like Gcash and Bitskwela to position the Philippines as a global leader in terms of blockchain technology, users, and use cases. Our team supports this vision, and with the help of Blockchain Network Philippines, I am interested in making DBuzz a flagship blockchain product of the Philippines," said DBuzz Founder Chris Rice.
What's next for Bull or Bear?
"This Bull or Bear was definitely one for the books, but we’re just getting started. It's time to expand to the Visayas region, and gear up for a grand Bull or Bear back in Manila," said Bitskwela CEO Jiro Reyes.
We certainly can't wait for the next event!
Digital Life Asia is an official media partner of Bull or Bear: La Union.