Blockchain to empower the poor

Blockchain technology, the underlying technology behind digital currencies, is seen to help the Philippine banking system transition into inclusive digitized transactions as it empowers the unbanked and the “unrecorded” poorest sectors gain access to financial services.

In an interview at the sidelines of the ePera launch on Wednesday at the World Plaza Tower, Bonifacio Global City, Australian-based fund manager John Ellison of DCA Capital, said blockchain technology could create an opportunity for the underserved sector to be involved.

“Getting everybody involved is basically the essence of a decentralized community,” Ellison said. “Blockchain could and should empower the people, give them the power back from centralized control. This is what ePera is all about, providing opportunity for everybody.”

However, the technology should first establish a “community of trust” to create an ecosystem where everybody have confidence to use the new technology.

During the open forum, one of the participants explained their initiative in remote communities in Mindanao where indigenous people are not even recognized.

“Government’s got to listen to people…listen to the communities to form a view and to form legislation. You need to have input from the community. It needs to be a combination of the government getting involved, adopting standards.”

Blockchain initiatives are geared towards financial inclusivity by empowering the unbanked, or the group of people with no record of bank transactions.

“The key aspect of it is to take time and to formulate policy with a considered approach, with a lot of dialogue,” Ellison said.

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