Makati, August 8, 2018 – Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm, Women in Blockchain Business Case Competition was officially launched at the Blockchain Space, Paseo de Roxas Makati. It signaled the start of a three-part event which caters to women who are interested in blockchain business application. The event was attended by the following panelists:

Yang Yang Zhang – Co-founder/ Chief Strategy Officer, PDAX
Erica Valerio – Head of Business Relations, SCI
Mench Dizon – Founder, Women of Blockchain Ph
KD Frias – MD, Bay Law Group / Compliance, PADCDI
Alenna Dawn – Moderator

Women in the blockchain space
The event mainly tackled the pressing issue of women underrepresentation in this field of technology. Mench Diaz of Women in Blockchain PH, one of the panelists, mentioned that women did not openly interact about the blockchain technology. She associated this primarily to the lack of safe space in the Philippines where women can share their knowledge and learn together.

Yang Yang Zhang, co-founder/ chief strategy officer of PDAX, said that the goal is to ultimately make more women comfortable in seeking knowledge about this specific technology. She also made the observation that here in the Philippines women have more power in the home and this sometimes translates to the workplace. More women are becoming in charge of projects or start-up companies

Erica Valerio, head of business relations of SCI, discussed that a lot of factors must be taken into consideration when looking at the issue, such as cultural and educational aspects. For instance, there is really no conscious action of hiring men in her workspace. However, the disparity between the numbers of men versus women employees is large. This is primarily due to the fact that the availability of women graduates from technology-related courses is limited. There is also a usual perception that blockchain technology is only for tech-savvy individuals. This is where women can play a special role. She asserted that women are generally great at teaching concepts and that they can make complex, hard-to-grasp technological information palatable to students especially to beginners.

Panellist KD Frias of Bay Law Group said it starts with the way women were raised. If women long for equality, they cannot expect to be taken care of. They must remember that there is more to life than what people think they are capable of.

Education and adoption of the technology
Frias advised the people who are already involved in blockchain to never limit its scope. People from the smallest island must be able to understand it. The first step is to remove the arrogance and exclusivity.

The goal behind arming the people with education is to help them adapt to the blockchain space. This means that common people across all strata can finally say their lives are made better by using this decentralized technology. If the adoption is successful, this is the only time when theoretical use cases will matter.

Criteria for a good business case
Amanda Dominguez, strategic initiatives & stakeholder relations lead in Asia-Pacific for ConsenSys, said that blockchain must address the pain points experienced by a large number of people. It must also be supported by the government. Equally, it must have sufficient infrastructure and committed people who will work on the project.

Rich Hahn, one of the event hosts, said,

“The goal for staging the event is to encourage more women and men to learn about blockchain. The aim is to really educate them in general and introduce the concept, rather than talk about it in purely a technical sense.”

As he mentioned, this event is a three-part event. The first one which was held last night is mainly to launch the project and to introduce the issues around the specific technology. The second part will be the competition proper.

While the mechanics of the contest is still being finalized, the primary idea is to divide the participants into smaller groups and challenge them to apply blockchain technology in solving business problems unique to the local setting. The last part of the event will have an education session and finally, the announcement of winners.

The event was sponsored by PDAX, Ateneo, Tagcash and Geiser Maclang.

Bitchikka with Women in Blockchain

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