Interview: Emerson Fonseca – NEM Philippines

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Emerson Fonseca NEM Philippines blockchain LATTICE80
Head of NEM Philippines, President

Emerson is Head of NEM Philippines and President and CEO of Coin Sessions PH. He advocates for a wide adoption of blockchain in the Philippines by educating people on the technology and works with clients and fellow advocates on building blockchain-based solutions for enterprises and businesses. In this interview with LATTICE80, Emerson shares his thoughts on the many opportunities in the Philippine’s horizon for blockchain thru NEM.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emerson-fonseca-7114048a
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cryptofonzy
Company website: https://nem.io/
NEM Philippines Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nemph/

What is NEM in a nutshell?

NEM is an out-of-the-box enterprise-grade blockchain platform launched in March 2015. NEM has industry-leading blockchain features which include multisignature account contracts, customizable assets, a naming system, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. Companies with legacy systems can “plug ‘n play” with NEM.

How have your education and experiences prepared you for your role at NEM Philippines?

I am a graduate of Industrial Engineering and worked for different industries and big multinational companies for 10 years prior jumping into Blockchain and joining NEM on September 2017. I have been involved from smaller scale to larger scale projects during that time. With that level of responsibility and understanding on how to make and deal business opportunities, and most importantly providing solutions to customers, the needful of using Blockchain as a solution to some of the current problems that we are encountering as an individual, on an enterprise level or government sector can be easily delivered with the help of the NEM Philippines team and with the ease of use of the NEM Blockchain Technology.

What do you think are the opportunities for fintech industries and blockchain technology in the Philippines

In terms of blockchain adoption, there are a notable bright spots.

  • Increasing blockchain startups
    Some notable startups in the Philippines are Tagcash, Qwikwire, Coins.ph, LoyalCoin, and Salarium
  • Establishment of Blockchain Association of the Philippines
    Established last May 21, the association seeks to spread understanding and adoption of blockchain technology among Filipino entrepreneurs and fintech professionals. Justo Ortiz was appointed as chairman of the association. He is the chairman of Unionbank.
  • Unionbank as an early adopter
    Unionbank’s move could push for other banks and other players from different industries to adopt blockchain technology.

These developments and bright spots in the blockchain landscape in the Philippines, fintech industries, and blockchain technology in the country have more chances to blossom and thrive.

What opportunities are there for NEM in the Philippines?

There are a lot of opportunities for NEM in the Philippines. Currently, it is focused on establishing more partnerships and disseminating important information about the power of the NEM blockchain.

Businesses and industry players are strategic opportunity targets that could drive NEM’s growth in the country. These players are aware of the changes in the global business landscape and see windows of opportunity in this new thing called blockchain technology. With the growing demands of digitalization, connectivity, and smart systems, NEM can leverage itself as the blockchain solutions provider for their technological needs.

Case in point, Unionbank has engaged in adopting blockchain technology in their B2B payments system. Even though they are using Ethereum as their platform, it shows that an industry player as big as Unionbank is trying to explore the power of blockchain. NEM sees this as an opportunity and aims to target other players to offer and demonstrate why they should the use blockchain and choose NEM as their platform.

Another opportunity that NEM wishes to seize is the government (e.g. BSP, DOF, DBM, SEC etc.). While there are still tremendous barriers to entry and heavy skepticism among these public institutions, especially with the nature of cryptos that can affect money supply and liquidity, blockchain technology in itself could help in the provision of certain public goods and more efficient and cost-effective government services. It may take a while for the government to find value in this technology, but nonetheless, the government is an important market that NEM taps. The bright side is that NEM has already reached out to the government to try to develop use cases that they can implement/integrate in their systems. CEZA is one of them.

How can NEM help Filipinos and the Philippines?

Through NEM’s partnership with CEZA and other educational institutions such as the Ateneo and La Salle, NEM aims to create an innovation system where blockchain is at the nexus. Promoting the NEM blockchain technology and equipping more people with technical skills would increase human capital, productivity, and competitiveness of Filipinos.

Through the trainings, forums, hackathons, and workshops that NEM is conducting, more and more Filipinos are becoming aware of the endless possibilities and innovative, profitable, and sustainable solutions that can be done with the NEM blockchain.

In another level, should NEM be able to convince more businesses and government institutions to adopt the NEM blockchain, more efficient and more competitive goods and services will be offered to the Filipinos.

In these respects, NEM will be able to impact the Filipinos and the country.

In all these, NEM simply aims to be the blockchain technology platform that drives and powers innovative and sustainable blockchain solutions to real-world problem by fostering a vibrant ecosystem of users and developers in governments, academia, industry, and the public at large.