THE Singson name has been synonymous with politics for at least five decades. Led by its patriarch, former Ilocos Sur governor Luis Crisologo Singson, the clan has become a mover and shaker in Philippine politics.
Furthermore, the clan has made a significant move to be active in the digital economy. It has recently launched the Gold Chavit Coin (GCC) cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency 2.0 app is primarily based on the sharing first concept, allowing its users access to the multimillionaire’s private jet, luxury cruiser and high-class hotel. GCC can also be used as convenient payment for casino high rollers.
Luis Christian Singson, the 23-year old son of Singson, is the founder and the chief executive officer of GCC. Singson told reporters in a recent interview that the establishment of the GCC “was inspired by his father’s achievements,” Christian, also the team owner of the Mandaluyong Tigers, said.
“To give tribute to my father and respond to the fast-paced lifestyle of the current generation of Filipinos, my business partner Kasuyoshi Irizuki and I established GCC,” Singson added.
The elder Singson is the honorary chairman of the GCC.
Singson said his father would also play a prominent role in the operations of GCC as “his reputation and track record in the business will be our major leverage in our dealings and transactions.”
He explained the GCC seeks to provide convenience to shoppers starting from the Singson-owned Metrowalk mall in Pasig City, and will eventually expand its payment area to cover other malls in the near future.
Singson and his partner Irizuki will also tap the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) market to enable them to avail themselves of more affordable rates in their remittances of foreign currencies for their dependents in the families.
“Many Filipinos still have no access to a bank account, which prevents them from saving for their future and participating in basic financial transactions, such as simple payments,” Christian said. “GCC aims to change all that by offering a ubiquitous currency that they can use for nearly all types of transactions, both in the country and abroad.”
Christian said GCC will be based on ERC-20, a standard for smart contracts used exclusively in the Etherium blockchain network. Virtual currencies following ERC-20 standards can be shared or exchanged with other tokens and crypto-assets that use the same standard.
GCC has formed a partnership with Hallohallo Inc., an e-commerce company involved in online shopping, property services, and classifieds. It has more than 2.9 million users, and may start using GCC on their purchases as early as the first quarter of 2019.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to be part of the Gold Chavit Coin project,” Hallohallo Inc. CEO Yasunari Okada said. “As our company and market continues to expand and change, there is a need to provide a service that will offer our customers an innovative way to settle bills. Through this project, our clients will now have another payment method option that will make all their transactions hassle-free, easy and fast.”
Blockchain transactions are secure because they are not stored in a single server, but distributed across a network of computers. Each blockchain transaction requires the consensus of the network, making it difficult for a single entity to tamper with the data.
In mid-2019, LCS will list GCC in local cryptocurrency exchanges, where it can be traded for fiat money or other digital currencies.
Singson said a phone application for GCC payments will be introduced that enables bill payments and online and in-store purchases with affiliate retailers and banks, beginning with transactions among companies owned by LCS. The app is being developed with Billing System Corp., a Japanese financial technology company that previously developed the PayB payment app.
“We plan to leverage the entire LCS network, in addition to partnerships with other vendors and firms, to drive mass adoption, which in turn will increase GCC’s market value,” Christian explained. LCS is involved in several industries, including banking, mining, transportation, renewable energy, and, most recently, telecommunications.
“Blockchain in the Philippines remains in its infancy, but it has tremendous disruptive potential that can help not only individuals, but also the economy as a whole by further expanding e-commerce access in the country,” Christian said. “GCC is our contribution to that effort.”