From Michael Mislos, Editor of BitPinas
Yesterday, while on my way to Xavier University for the Art Fest, I read an article on Manila Bulletin, and a press release on Rappler, stating that GCash is now allowing crypto purchases via its app.
“Our users enjoy seamless transactions with GCash. They can buy and pay crypto directly from their GCash e-wallets. This is very ideal especially for those who are just starting to venture in cryptocurrency,” said Neil Trinidad, GCash VP and Head of Cryptocurrency.
I hurriedly checked the app but I did not find any mention of crypto inside. I messaged people I know who have connections to GCash and finally got ahold of Jong Layug, the Head of Investments at GCash via a connection from 917 Ventures, the investing arm of Globe, which owns Mynt, which operates, GCash. (For simplicity's sake, let's just call them Globe, because they all are.)
While waiting for a reply, I reread the press release, and that's where I really get it:
“GCash, the country’s leading mobile wallet, now enables users to conveniently buy cryptocurrency or crypto, a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, at very affordable rates across popular crypto exchanges such as Binance, Philippine Digital Assets Exchange (PDAX), and Paxful, with many more to be added soon.”
The above was the press release's first paragraph.
Which means the media blast was just stating the obvious - something that everyone in crypto already knows for a long time - that GCash can be used as a cash in and out option to and from crypto exchanges.
There is no crypto inside GCash (For now, I suspect.)
Why was there a confusion?
I've asked some 10 people about the news when I first read it, and everyone thought it was stating that GCash now has crypto live in the app. When we found none, we all assumed maybe there would be an update within the day.
One of my key thoughts, I remembered, was that this should have been bigger news, yet Rappler did not assign a reporter to write the press release and just publish as is. (I don't pretend I know how they work, but at BitPinas, if we like the press release so much, a writer will be assigned to write a news out of it so we don't publish the press release as is.)
Now that I have slept on it, I realize the problem was the title of the press release, which you can still see here and on Rappler: “GCash now offers fast and secure ways to buy crypto”
If you are in crypto for a long time and somehow read a title like that as news, and knowing that there was no way to buy crypto at GCash to begin with, you'll probably also assume just as I did, that users can now buy crypto on the app directly.
Onwards to the news: