A ROADMAP for e-commerce and the emergence of cryptocurrency are the focus of The Manila Times' online business forum today, July 5, 2022.
Department of Trade Assistant Secretary for Digital Philippines Mary Jean Pacheco will discuss the department's plans on e-commerce, while cryptocurrency expert Ron Benito, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Frenetic Inc., will expound on how the “new currency” works.
E-commerce had its roots in teleshopping, a system invented in 1979 by Briton Michael Aldrich for advertising goods and services on television, allowing viewers to call in and place orders.
As the Covid pandemic led to prolonged lockdowns, businesses and consumers had no choice but to go online to provide and purchase goods and services.
It did not take long for e-commerce to catch on. Its share of global retail trade has since been rising, from 14 percent in 2019 to about 17 percent in 2020.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, e-commerce contributed 3.4 percent, or $12 billion (P599 billion), to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020.
The Philippines' goal is to increase e-commerce revenue to $17 billion (P850 billion), or 4.3 percent of GDP, by 2021, and to $24 billion (P1.2 trillion), or 5.5 percent of GDP, by 2022.
The number of e-commerce businesses has been rising, from 500,000 in 2020 to 750,000 in 2021 and 1 million by 2022.
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency trading that uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds.
It does not rely on banks to verify transactions. It's a peer-to-peer system that can enable anyone anywhere to send and receive payments. Cryptocurrency payments exist purely as digital entries to an online database describing specific transactions.
Cryptocurrency uses advanced coding in storing and transmitting data between wallets and to public ledgers.
The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which was founded in 2009, and remains the best known today.
Pacheco will “give us a sense of direction as to where we are headed in business, trade and industry,” said The Manila Times President Blanca Mercado.
“New up-and-coming company Frenetic Inc. has been accredited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as a service provider on cryptocurrency. While there are many questions as to how the value of cryptocurrency is determined among its digital users, founder and CEO Ron Benito will walk us through this new landscape,” Mercado said.
The forum will be simultaneously livestreamed on The Times Facebook page, YouTube channel and Dailymotion account from 10 a.m. to noon. Times editors Dafort Villaseran and Conrad Cariño will be the forum moderators.


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