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Blockchain Laboratory Opens in Manila’s ‘Top’ University

By: Komfle Manalo

One of the oldest universities in the Philippines has partnered with a healthcare service provider to create the first research laboratory to be powered by blockchain.

The 159-year-old Ateneo de Ateneo de Manila University and MediXServe signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) last week to build Ateneo MediXserve Blockchain Education and Research (AMBER) Laboratory to allow more people understand blockchain technology better.

“I think it is heartening to know that there is this collaboration that is not just for profit; it helps the vision of defeating poverty,” Dr. Maria Luz Vilches, vice president for the Loyola Schools, said at the launch of AMBER. She said the laboratory is aligned with the school’s goal to fight poverty. “It is a very ambitious goal. As our university president Fr. Jett Villarin SJ said, ‘We might not be able to reach the goal, but that is the goal. We have to keep on getting at it.’ So I am very happy about this.”

According to Ateneo and MediXserve, the laboratory is envisioned to provide support for introducing blockchain in developing countries. At the same time, AMBER is also seen as a think tank, an incubation center and a research hub for blockchain-enabled startups.

Jorge Azurin, CEO of MediXServe, Vilches vision, He said, “Blockchain technology is for the poor. It was created with the hope of helping the powerless, the underserved.” He added the new technology would require a “village to build this research.”

Dr. Regina Estuar is designated to head the village. She will be the director of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center.

“Blockchain technology is for the underserved. It is very transparent; it makes everything secure; lessens the transaction[processes] and red tape. It eases up a lot of things, and the underserved will be served better with that,” she said.

The creation of AMBER came as the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) – a government economic zone in the northern part of the country – has partnered with private property developer Northern Star Gaming & Resorts to build the $100 million Crypto Valley of Asia (CVA) inside the ecozone.

The planned CVA is expected to open more than 10,000 new jobs in the business processing outsourcing sector.

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