Chairman Justo A. Ortiz: Cryptocurrency use key to blockchain mass adoption

Chairman Justo A. Ortiz

Similar to the growth of internet usage in the 1990s because of email, there is a potential for the rise in cryptocurrency trading to usher in more mass use cases for blockchain, which can in turn lead to the emerging technology becoming part of everyday life.

This was according to Blockchain Association of the Philippines Chairman Justo Ortiz, who was one of the panelists during a blockchain discussion at the Management Association of the Philippines General Membership Meeting held last July.

"Email was actually the mass adoption use case for the internet, and now we have all sorts of things on the internet," said Ortiz, who is also the chairman of the UnionBank of the Philippines. "All this trading is what's going to get people onboard, and then there will be new products and services based on blockchain that will be as commonplace as the Amazons and Netflixes of today," he said.

Ortiz likened blockchain to the idea of the commons, wherein a group of self-interested, independent individuals make rules and regulations and enforce them in a shared or pooled resource, and cited 2009 Nobel Economics Prize recipient Elinor Ostrom for her efforts in creating a set of rules that modernized the commons.

He then highlighted one critical flaw of the commons—that is, as the number of entities in the system grows and more unfamiliar faces are introduced, enforcing rules and regulations becomes increasingly difficult—and how blockchain can address it.

"Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize because she came up with eight rules on how to make the commons viable in the modern world. But there is still one problem with the idea of the commons, and that is scalability."

"Blockchain solves that problem. You can almost look at blockchain as a governance network on a global scale," he said. "It's a governance network that makes sure that self-interested and untrusting actors are following the rules, no matter where they are in the world and no matter how many are involved."

Ortiz called on stakeholders to familiarize themselves with blockchain and its wide-ranging capabilities as soon as they can, so they can identify more use cases for the technology and find opportunities to maximize its benefits.

"All of us need to really get on-board, get committed, and start looking for specific use cases and the opportunities they can provide, because these opportunities can come and go very quickly."