[Event Recap] BitPinas x YGG: Mid-Winter Fireside Chat

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The market may still be down and currently in its “winter” weather, but the people in the space are already warming up to heat up and conquer the crypto winter. In line with these, Filipino crypto enthusiasts and even foreigners in the country gathered and met up face-to-face last August 16 to discuss the current state of cryptocurrency during the Mid-Winter Fireside Chat at the Draper Startup House Manila in Makati City. The meet-up was organized by BitPinas and gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG). It is sponsored by YGG and RFOX Games.

The venue started welcoming attendees around 6 pm, and one by one people started to appear and gather; the speakers were also arriving one after another.

Around 6:30 pm the place was already packed with attendees enjoying the pizza with beer/coffee/soda sponsored by the event.

The talk officially started by 7 pm.

As a warm-up, a representative of Draper started with a welcoming remark. Then, a welcome speech with the event organizers; Michael Mislos, editor-in-chief of BitPinas, and Luis Buenaventura, Country Manager of YGG. 

RFOX Games’ Head of Business Development Phil Cahiwat also gave a short message to the attendees. Then, it was followed by a video presentation of Buenaventura’s talk with RFOX CEO Ben Fairbank about the latest collaboration of Buenaventura’s art guild CryptoPop and RFOX’s NFT game KOGS.

After that, one of the highlights—the panel discussion— of the meetup started. The first panel had the participation of guest speakers Luis Buenaventura, game ambassadress and non-fungible token (NFT) enthusiast Myrtle Sarrosa, and Coins.ph Managing Director Eprom Galang. The talk panel was hosted and moderated by BitPinas EIC, Michael Mislos and they talked about the current state of cryptocurrency, NFTs, blockchain gaming, and the metaverse in the Philippines, especially during this bear market.

Luis Buenaventura, Myrtle Sarrosa, Eprom Galang, and Michael Mislos
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The three guest speakers shared their crypto onboarding stories; Buenaventura recalled that he first became financially aware as early as 11 years old and his financial journey rooted from acquiring his first bank account; Sarrosa shared that it was the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity that opened up the door of crypto for her; and for Galang it was the creation of the Coins.ph application. The talk then went deeper into the crypto winter in the Philippines.

“Crypto winter,” it’s not permanent, it’s not a long wait… we’re going to come out of this.” –Luis Buenaventura

(BitPinas will have a recap of the first panel in a separate article.)

After the fruitful discussion of the first panel, the attendees are given a short break to have another round of pizza and mingling with other event goers. During this, my co-writer Hans and I also had a chance to conduct a short interview with Myrtle. It was such a delight to document these moments.

Then, the second panel went up the stage to talk about building and creating after the hype cycle, web3 gaming and its communities in the Philippines. The speakers for this talk are the web3 builders; Jen Bilango, BlockchainSpace Corporate Strategy and Growth Lead; Ash Mandhyan, MetaverseGo CEO; Phil Cahiwat, RFOX Head of Business Development; and James Chua, Anito Legends CEO.

Phil Cahiwat, Ash Mandhyan, James Chua, and Jen Bilango

The focus of the second panel is about building in post-2021, after the hype cycle and now that we are in the bear market, builders have different experiences today than last year. Whereas last it was probably easier to raise money, this time it’s a bit different. MetaverseGo did raise $4.2 million in a bear market.

This panel discussed and shared their experiences when it comes to creating web3 products during the bull market, the start of the decline of the crypto value, and during this current crypto winter. Mandhyan noted and reminded metaverse builders that if they believe in the product they are building, then they can thrive and keep building in this bear market.

“We often get asked why we are doing this now, how risky it will be. We are focused on the customer experience and believe that this is the future. We hope to make your leap into the Metaverse the easiest step ever,” Mandhyan said.

(BitPinas will have a recap of the second panel in a separate article.)

Aside from the panel discussions, the two firesides also entertained questions from the attendees which made the event even more in-depth and insightful. 

From my view above (there is a small elevated space on the left side of the venue), I was able to witness everything—from the panel up the stage, the attendees intently listening, the in-between conversations and mingling, the small talks, the staff preparing drinks and pizza, the after event interactions— everything. And it was, for me, a happy scenario to remember and I’m sure for the other people at the event as well.

Last April, Bitpinas organized its first physical event called Mint & Greet, an in-real-life event that celebrated Filipino crypto artists along with a free NFT minting session. The event was in partnership with CryptoArt PH, Ownly, Tezos Philippines, TeamManila, and First Mint Fund (FMF). MomentoFrames and Isaiah Cacnio provided digital frames to display NFTs. 

This article is published on BitPinas: [Event Recap] BitPinas x YGG: Mid-Winter Fireside Chat

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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