MetaMask Has 2 Million Users in the Philippines, as Top DeFi App Surpasses 10M Monthly Users

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In an exclusive interview with BitPinas, Jacob Cantele, the lead of operations at MetaMask, noted how Filipinos have been historical users of the application even before play-to-earn has exploded in popularity.

MetaMask, the leading non-custodial wallet has surpassed 10 million global monthly active users, Ethereum software company Consensys announced today. Approximately 20% or 2 million of these users are from the Philippines, a proof of the growing number of Filipinos accessing the decentralized space, as well as the increasing popularity of NFT games like Axie Infinity in the country.

Exponential Growth

The increase in MetaMask’s user base is a 19x growth compared to July 2020 when the app has 545,080 monthly active users. According to ConsenSys, the growth closely tracked that of the Ethereum ecosystem. Just in 2019, the total value locked in decentralized finance — defined as composable finance without any human intermediary — was $2 billion. Today, this value has increased to over $84 billion, as per the data on DeFi Pulse. 

Philippines is MetaMask’s Top Market

How are Filipinos using MetaMask?

ConsenSys notes that the world’s most active MetaMask users are in the Philippines, and this is attributed to the growing popularity of play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity as of late. Yet according to Jacob Cantele, the lead of operations at MetaMask, the app has a lot of users even from the beginning. “Historically, we’ve had a lot of Filipino users even pre-dating the gaming boom,” he said.

“We’ve seen people using MetaMask for decentralized finance services in the Philippines. We’ve seen a lot of art collecting, NFTs, all of those different usecases have brought more people into the decentralized web,” he added. (Read More: How to Use MetaMask: A Guide for Filipinos)

From MetaMask to the Philippines

Image credits: MetaMask, ConsenSys, Ambidextr

While this has brought people into DeFi, it certainly also brought remittances from the decentralized web to the Philippines. Last July, it was estimated that users of Axie Infinity players have remitted Php2 billion back to the Philippines. To put it into perspective, that amount is more than the total remittances the country receives from OFWs in Hong Kong. Virtually all these remittances from the “metaverse” might have been coursed through MetaMask. ConsenSys said this is an example of how DeFi is solving the inefficiencies of Traditional Finance (TradFi), like substantial geographical barriers around the movement of capital, extensive paperwork, tons of intermediaries and high fees. Some TradFi policies are also challenging to  low-income earners, ConsenSys added. 

Many leaders in the industry, such as Beryl Chavez-Li of Yield Guild Games, a play-to-earn guild, has noted how DeFi has democratized access to finance. “Maybe a user just wants to be able to make money, wants to be able to earn more and store it in safer places,” she said, adding that if users want to move between programs, they should be able to do so without being penalized. “If they’re going to pull in and out of programs, they should have the upper hand to be able to choose what they want at any time and be given several options.” (Read More: Beryl Chavez Li – Why ‘Play-to-Earn’ is More Powerful than ‘Banking the Unbanked’)

The top 15 countries using MetaMask are the following:

  1. Philippines
  2. United States
  3. Vietnam
  4. United Kingdom
  5. China
  6. India
  7. Russia
  8. Brazil
  9. Indonesia
  10. Thailand
  11. Turkey
  12. Germany
  13. France
  14. Canada
  15. Spain

In the interview with BitPinas, Jacob said there are a lot of features still coming to MetaMask. “The way that MetaMask earns a sustainable revenue is by being a free product that allows people to access the decentralized web. It’s ungated, we’re not interested in controlling what people do or even knowing what people do, while simultaneously having value-added services that we provide to the users, where we take things that people do often and allows them to use those features optionally within MetaMask,” he said, referring to the application’s swap feature.

Gateway to Decentralized Finance

MetaMask is both a browser extension and a mobile app that functions first and foremost as a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet. It also allows users to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and compatible networks like Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism. Interacting with Ethereum makes MetaMask the gateway to the decentralized web where activities such as play-to-earn games, non-fungible token (NFT) art, digital assets, and yield farming are possible. MetaMask is the gateway to popular applications like the virtual world Decentraland, digital asset marketplaces OpenSea and Rarible, and play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity

ConsenSys noted the release of the mobile version in September 2020 as one of the primary catalysts for wider MetaMask adoption. In March 2021, the token swap feature became available, where users can exchange one token to another token within MetaMask itself. This is done by aggregating data from other decentralized exchanges like Uniswap so the user gets the lowest network fees.

According to Dan Finlay, co-founder of MetaMask, the app defined a new kind of cryptowallet where user don’t just interact with cryptocurrencies but also with decentralized apps.  “We’re letting users explore new ways of establishing trust on the internet,” he added. 

To celebrate this user milestone, MetaMask is hosting a party in Decentraland, a decentralized virtual reality platform, on September 2. Check out the details here.

This article is published on BItPinas: MetaMask Has 2 Million Users in the Philippines, as Top DeFi App Surpasses 10M Users

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