The first edition of the Philippine Block Awards, held on December 2 in the Sheraton Manila Hotel, honored 12 leaders who have outstanding accomplishments within the field of blockchain innovations in the country.
The Philippine Block Awards served as the closing ceremony of the highly successful inaugural Philippine Blockchain Week, which featured thought leaders in blockchain, crypto, web3, NFTs and the gaming arena.
Award winners were announced during a glittering ceremony attended by government officials and industry experts from around the world.
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Leader of the Year and Leader of the Future
UnionBank of the Philippines Chairman Dr. Justo A. Ortiz received the Leader of the Year Award. Dr. Ortiz is the chair of the Fintech Association of the Philippines, Blockchain Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Payments Management, Inc. He is also a board member of the Global Fintech Alliance founded in Denmark.
In September, UnionBank inaugurated its UnionBank Innovation Campus, a hub for research and development that will enhance the bank’s digital capabilities. Later on, the crypto-licensed bank entered the metaverse as it joined The Sandbox, one of the world’s leading metaverse platforms, and launched its Bitcoin trading and custody services to select retail clients via its mobile application.
The Blockchain Leader of the Future award was given to Rien Lewis Pecson, the eighth grader who created the world’s first blockchain-based voting platform, iVote.ph. Pecson was only 12 years old when he developed the platform last year along with its NFT art creator Neil Fernandez, Jr.
“Dr. Ortiz has helped pave the way for the financial industry to adopt Web3 technology. He heads many of the country’s blockchain groups. Rien, meanwhile, has shown us that young people can make a change in the world through blockchain. We hope that Filipinos will be inspired by their work and start learning more about the technology,” Donald Lim, one of the lead convenors of PH Blockchain Week, said.
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Ten leaders and innovators in the financial, technology, and business industries have also been hailed as Blockchain Champions for supporting and promoting the adoption of blockchain in the country:
Atty. Mark S. Gorriceta, Managing Partner and Head of the Technology Media and Telecommunications Group of Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra
Ann J. Cuisia, CEO of Traxion Tech
Atty. Kelvin Lester K. Lee, Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Imelda C. Tiongson, President and Execom Member of Opal Portfolio Investments, Inc., Independent Director of PruLife UK, and a Trustee of both the Fintech Alliance Ph and Fintech Association of the Philippines
Henry Rhoel R. Aguda, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology & Ops Officer of UnionBank of the Philippines
Luis Buenaventura II, Country Manager of Yield Guild Games
Gail Concepcion Cruz-Macapagal, Country Director of DynaQuest Technology Services, Inc.
Nichel O. Gaba, CEO of Philippine Digital Asset Exchange
Gabby Dizon, Co-founder of Yield Guild Games
Miguel Cuneta, Founder of Bitmark.ph and Co-founder and chief community officer of Satoshi Citadel Industries
“These are the men and women who have advanced the use of blockchain and Web3 technologies in the Philippines. They are also the ones leading the way for its adoption and pushing for the Philippines to be the blockchain hub in Asia,” Lim stated.
Lim highlighted that the success of the inaugural Philippine Blockchain Week indicates that Filipinos welcome blockchain adoption and that the world recognizes its potential.
“With the government’s help, we know that we can make the Philippines the blockchain hub in the region,” he said.
The Philippines has recently made significant moves towards the regulation, safety and transparency of blockchain and digital assets. Key industry players welcome this forward-thinking approach to attract numerous global players to establish their presence in the country, creating a strong ecosystem that contributes towards its reputation as the blockchain capital of Asia.
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