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From URL to IRL, Bicol’s Blockchain MeetUp is back

Ownly Blockchain MeetUp 0x3 in partnership with SparkPoint, SparkLearn EdTech and other affiliates

Startups in Bicol are back in the game of IRL meet-ups!

We’ve been living around the online space for many years now, and we cannot deny the fact that the pandemic has challenged the way we connect with people, but the drastic changes somehow proved to us that no one can beat the face-to-face meet-ups although these URL (online) events have a lot of advantages too.

Fast forward to 2022, we’ve been seeing a gradual comeback of the so-called IRL events. And we are glad that SparkPoint was part of the the Blockchain MeetUp 0x3 with Ownly last May 20, 2022, together with SparkLearn EdTech , Bicol IT & Sili-Deli team.

The brief history of Blockchain MeetUp

According to Ms. Kina, Chief Marketing Officer of Ownly, the first Blockchain MeetUp 0x1 was three years ago, with the topic, SparkPoint: The First Cryptocurrency from Bicol. It happened on June 29, 2019, hosted by Bicol IT. Bicol IT is a home to active tech advocates, IT professionals, educators, and students. The community has almost 5,000 members and they are all from and in the Bicol Region. While SparkPoint, Cryptosolitaire, and Onlicoin, are the event’s core partners.

Mr. Rico Zuñiga, the Chief Technology Officer of SparkPoint, was one of the resource speakers back then. SparkPoint was still in its early stage at that time, composed of very few team members.

After a month, August 3, 2019, the second Blockchain MeetUp took place. Discussions focused on two main topics, the first was “How We Made the SparkX Cryptocurrency Wallet App in 2 Months” by Harvey Javier, who is now the Chief Technology Officer of SparkLearn EdTech and a former Lead Mobile Developer of SparkPoint. While the second topic was “ Non-Fungible Tokens” by Aldrick Bonaobra, who used to be part of Cryptosolitaire and is now a Lead Blockchain Developer of SparkPoint.

Now let’s get straight to some highlights from the Blockchain MeetUp 0x3 event last May 20, 2022.

Blockchain MeetUp 0x3

After three years, Blockchain MeetUp is back! With the initiatives of team Ownly, a metaverse-focused platform where creators and collectors can optimize ownership through the innovative applications of non-fungible tokens (NFT).

The first resource speaker was our very own, Drei Bongalos. The Chief Marketing Officer of SparkPoint. He introduced to the participants the Blockchain Technology, how it works and its different use cases.

The next speaker was a self-taught digital artist, Karl Vasquez. He is the man who founded and created the Old Chap Club. Karl shared his journey as a digital artist, told the story behind his NFT Collection, and generally talked about Digital Art in the Age of Blockchain.

Old Chap is a collection of digital hand-drawn NFTs on Tezos Blockchain.

As an artist, Karl’s advice to all enthusiasts, and aspiring creators is,

“You need to take it slowly and take time in creating your NFT Collection. Always DYOR.”

The last one to speak was Ownly’s CEO, Ismael Jerusalem. He shortly but concisely discussed the emerging Blockchain Games. Ismael explained how non-fungible tokens are integrated on blockchain games and introduced Ownly’s Mustachio Quest Game, which will officially launch soon.

Photo from Ownly Team

ICYMI, Cath up and watch the recorded livestream of the event here.

Let’s do some diggin’!

Why Blockchain MeetUps are important?

Blockchain meetup events are gatherings where members and organizers meet to discuss, connect and create activities related to a shared interests.

We’ve asked Ismael Jerusalem, the Chief Executive Officer of Ownly, about the importance of these meet-ups.

“Transitioning from URL events (online events) back to IRL events (in real life) is essential to meet like-minded individuals who share the same interests with you. Hosting blockchain meetups enables us to collaborate, and meet our future co-founders and team members in building our next project. It allows us to celebrate the evolution of advancement of technology, and help us connect with the latest and upcoming news in the industry.”

And we couldn’t agree more with that! Imagine having a higher chance of talking to your next co-founders in person? Having the community connect in real-life can help maintain the relationship and trust, and result in a more respectful debates and interactive discussions.

Meanwhile, Drei Bongalos of SparkPoint and Melissa Mesias of SparkLearn, have expressed how they wanted to support and promote these kind of activities:

“SparkPoint Technologies, Ownly and the rest of the affiliates have had this thriving relationship since the old days. We were once small teams aiming to onboard individuals in the world of Blockchain Technology through various approaches. As time went by, we were able to develop and launch various products and services that use the technology and with that comes the question of who it will be for and who’s going to benefit from all our efforts. Our end users will surely be those individuals who have already onboarded since the tech began. But we want it to be more inclusive for everyone, that’s more reachable and available, even for those who really don’t have in-depth knowledge about the technology, to also reap the benefits and rewards of applying it in their everyday lives.

As local companies and projects, we have this common aspiration for the masses: it’s for blockchain technology to be learned, understood and to be used for wide benefits, and for these benefits to reach the larger population. And we would like to accelerate this by pushing more awareness caravans, mobile education hubs, online education platforms and this kind of events about blockchain. Our education arm, SparkLearn EdTech, is one perfect example of how we are bringing blockchain technology education online to various parts of the world.”- Drei Bongalos, CMO of SparkPoint Technologies Inc.

“First and foremost, SparkLearn EdTech congratulates Ownly for bringing back its blockchain meet-up in Bicol after 3 years. Nothing beats real-life or face-to-face events when it comes to learning opportunities.SparkLearn EdTech is always in full support of events like this by providing resources that are needed in educating the people. Our team is steadfast in our role as blockchain educators together with our partner, Ownly.We believe that our local community should be the firsthand receivers of blockchain education since we have a lot of untapped talents here in Bicol, from developers, writers, and entrepreneurs who can flourish in blockchain with proper mentorship and networking.” — Melissa Mesias, CEO of SparkLearn EdTech Inc.

Now, what’s next?

Drei Bongalos have also mentioned the involvement of SparkPoint in this Blockchain MeetUp and what is the gameplan as the years will pass:

Years forward, post COVID-19 pandemic, we are given again the opportunity to partner and create physical events where we could interact with various communities in real life. This upcoming Blockchain Meetup is one of many IRL events coming that promotes various aspects and use-cases of blockchain technology, and what’s the latest trends and news about it.

“SparkPoint will continue pushing the boundaries of blockchain technology through our ecosystem of products and services, and at the same time make it more available to the masses through these kinds of efforts. This partnership with Ownly and other blockchain tech companies won’t see an end anytime soon, as we are always in continuous collaboration to be catalysts of mass adoption of this emerging technology. Expect more of this to come to more communities and region.”

Before, only a few would have an interest in Blockchain Technology. But when COVID-19 came in the year 2020, everything went digital, and the booming industry of Blockchain Technology won’t recede anytime soon. Amidst the trying times, the topics of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, GameFi, and Blockchain Technology persist. We have learned to live with it — live streams, zoom calls, discord servers, Tiktok, and the likes. They helped us stay connected and allowed us to interact with people all over the globe.

SparkPoint, SparkLearn EdTech and Ownly are ready to build the traction even stronger by bringing back real-life events to engage and involve the community. But whatever happens in the future, these collaborations won’t stop. These oragons will always stay true to their mission. IRL or URL, they will make it. 🚀

Let’s wrap up this article with these few lines shared by Drei Bongalos during the Blockchain MeetUp 0x3:

“Blockchain is the biggest opportunity set we can think of over the next decade or so.” — Bob Greifield, Nasdaq CEO

See you at the next Blockchain MeetUp! To more real-life events soon. 🙌

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Duchesne Sarza

Duchesne Sarza

Senior Marketing Specialist at SparkPoint