The following story was published in Inquirer RED’s June-July 2022 issue and has been edited for length and clarity.
A cultural and technological revolution is happening under our feet if a concentrated, growing community of entrepreneurs, artists, and thought leaders are to be believed. Entertainment as we know it is currently being recreated in a different dimension. Imagine the world of banking and finance—basically, the way we handle our money—turned upside down. The way we live our lives, the world as we know it, might be at a precipice of change.
We speak to two experts in the field of Web 3 and the metaverse about where the technological revolution is leading us, but before that, it’s important to familiarize ourselves with the terms:
Blockchain: A ledger of transactions held simultaneously by several people on a computer network. Cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology.
Cryptocurrency: A digital form of currency verified and recorded using cryptography, rather than a centralized authority such as a bank.
Metaverse: An iteration of the internet as a network of 3D worlds.
NFT: A digital certificate that helps prove your ownership online. It can come in a variety of formats.
Daniel Rodriguez is the CEO and founder of Scattered Metal, a company that focuses on Web 3 solutions. He has more than 25 years of experience in computer science, machine learning, and robotics.
Could you break down the value of Web 3 and blockchain technology?
I guess the overarching theme is it means driving the internet close to home– having it like that for you. That’s number one. The other overarching theme is lowering the costs, from the internet provider all the way to the consumer.
What are your thoughts on the current NFT landscape and is that something that excites you personally?
The reality is that an NFT is much more than a piece of artwork or some little doodle on our screen. It’s a concept that expands and goes across many different ideas […] I think that the NFTs are honestly just getting started. They’re gonna get hype, regardless of the funny ones or bad ones, but it’s gonna keep going.
How practical are all these technologies at the moment and what phase are we in the roadmap to Web 3 becoming the norm? How far in are we?
There’s already the transition going into Web 3, even at the big corporate level.The technology is there, it just took a lot that law and legal systems to figure out what’s really just stuck. It’s really not too difficult that now that there are many of these things coming out; it’s the legal systems that have to figure out how to do it quickly, and it’s just the matter of “okay what’s the agreement?”
Gelo Wong is the 22-year-old CEO of Likha, a Philippine-based blockchain technology startup that aims to accelerate digital asset utility and adaptation.
Tell me more about how Likha is structured, and what the roadmap is for the coming years.
What we’re selling is education. For artists to understand how NFTs can help them, we really have to onboard them, we really have to educate them about the tech, about what’s happening to other people or artists around the world. So most of our time shouldn’t be focused on getting as much as NFTs out there, our focus should be on teaching these artists that NFTs are a brand new technology. We’re also in the stage of building partnerships not only with artists but also with galleries.
Do you have any insight on how far along with the Philippines and others would you call, underdeveloped countries are in terms of like adopting blockchain technology?
According to statistics, [the Philippines] is actually number 1 in terms of NFT usage. I always compare it to this statistic where [the Philippines] is actually the social media capital of the world. I feel we’re going in the same direction with NFTs […] We can verify everything on the blockchain, and I think that’s very interesting.
How would you describe the benefit of NFTs in the most straightforward way possible?
If I were to describe it in one word, it’s empowerment. Decentralization is also beautiful in that aspect [because] when something is decentralized you have true ownership of what you own.