Philippines: Is Crypto Close to Mainstream Here?
If you talk about crypto to a random stranger here, there’s a good chance they’ll associate the topic with a recent Ponzi or say Bitcoin then express disinterest.
While payment app solutions available to the public have scaled up their cryptocurrency related features and transactions, the general sentiment is that crypto is just that side topic associated with shady business or magic internet money.
Note: None of this is intended to be financial advice and take whatever is said with a grain of salt.
According to TripleA, there are 4% Filipinos that own crypto which is far from what BusinessWorld report claiming 16%. Both claims are still higher than the estimated number of 1.27%Filipinos that are investing in the local stock market.
This speaks volumes on how the country has low levels of financial literacy when majority would opt for riskier investment vehicles. I’m no longer in the phase where I question whether crypto is worth investing, I think it is but I definitely wouldn’t recommend someone to start investing without raising up their financial smarts. The fact that crypto is volatile and decentralized makes it a perfect place to lose money for the gullible.
I think it’s a priority to have a good foundation when it comes to personal finance before they start exploring the benefits of crypto. Rugpulls and volatility don’t help us closer to mainstream adaptation. The Philippine’s Central Bank made a statement taken from this article.
“The BSP will continue to enhance and expand our financial consumer awareness campaigns specifically designed to educate relevant stakeholders on virtual assets, both as to advantages and the risks involved.”
And so far, they have been tolerant and true to their campaign as we now have more than two platforms/apps that can host cryptowallets. Some subtle updates on those apps include more links about the basics of how blockchains work and what are the other cryptocurrencies available. This is surface level information available from platforms like PayMaya, and Coins.ph.
Ever since GCash, one of the leading payment transfer solutions in the country introduced a feature where one could invest in mutual funds without going through several paperworks one does with brokers and banks, the rise of Filipinos investing in the stock market made it clear how convenience of investing can get people interested. Now these platforms hosting hot wallets for crypto are providing the same service.
As a country ranked 10th in cryptoadoption, I don’t find it hard to imagine that crypto will be pushed back and it’s likely here to stay. Ever since it became popular, there have been many threats of shutting cryptodown and even during bear markets, momentum may have slowed down but more people just hope on the trend. Here’s a link to the pdf file about Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ FAQ on Virtual Currencies for reference.
The trend has been a steady rise of people entering into the cryptospace even under bear market conditions. I think we just have a crowd that has sitting capital waiting for clear regulations on crypto before jumping right in. And another crowd where it only takes a little more time to learn about crypto and have a platform that makes it convenient for them to get started.
Filipinos that are crypto literate right now are in a better position to ride on the positive benefits of cryptoadoption in the future which may happen within the decade.
The Philippine economy is also influenced by exporting labor and remittances given by Overseas Filipino Workers. Crypto remittances can open more competitive rates in transaction fees through borderless payments and at an instant. There’s also the option of just stacking up tokens pegged to USD or whatever stable coin is suitable to hedge against the depreciating value from inflation.
Hive offers a space where people can take a soft dip in crypto without much risks due to the nature of the reward system programmed in the blockchain. On top of that, we got tribe tokens like LEO and CTP as examples to cater to specific niches for a variety of users. While most of my exposure comes from traditional investment vehicles, I do see merit in exploring more cryptoprojects that are still young and could potentially bring value to everyone.
This bear market and the looming threats of prolonged recession while concerning, does make me excited for the learnings from an investing standpoint. If you think bear markets are times of opportunities where one could make their riches, then the current state of crypto right now is just a prerequisite of setting ourselves financially free. Markets going down will eventually consolidate and go up eventually.
Note: Insert here a really compelling inspiration quote about finance~
If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.
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