Mid-year Review: Local Crypto Firms Bullish on NFTs, CBDC, DeFi

Philippine crypto firms remain optimistic about NFTs, CBDCs, DeFi, and emerging technologies despite the bear market.

Mid Year Review (1)
  • Local crypto firms remain bullish on technologies like NFTs, CBDCs, DeFi, blockchain interoperability, and crypto.
  • Firms like Stanible, Mintoo, The BLOKC, and Coins.ph are optimistic about NFTs and their potential real-world applications.
  • Moneybees, Tetrix, and Blockceler8 express confidence in CBDCs and DeFi, while Pouch.ph and Coins.ph see potential in Lightning Network for scalability.

Despite the current bear market, local cryptocurrency firms have shared that they are still bullish on technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFT), central bank digital currencies (CBDC), decentralized finance (DeFi), blockchain interoperability, and crypto itself. The companies also noted emerging technologies and other companies in fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), Lightning Network, and web3 game questing.

The crypto firms noted these in their mid-year reviews submitted to BitPinas.

Bullish on NFTs

Although the NFT industry has been really affected by the bear market—its trading volume decreased by 35% in Q2 2023, according to CoinGecko’s Crypto Industry Report—NFT platforms Stanible and Mintoo, blockchain firm The BLOKC, and crypto exchange Coins.ph all remain bullish on these digital collectibles.

Mid Year Recap - Harry Santos - Stanible
Mid Year Recap – Harry Santos – Stanible

According to Stanible Co-Founder Harry Santos, as a web3 and digital collectibles app, it is set to focus on NFT-gated experiences and real-world utilities, as the firm believes that this will “help drive value to our users and to the entire crypto/web3 space as a whole.”

The same scenario was declared by blockchain firm The BLOKC, which emphasized its plans to focus on the tokenization of real-world assets, such as real estate and artwork. 

For Co-Founder Emerson Fonseca, as the firm recognizes the immense potential of NFT’s transformative approach, it aims to create digital tokens that offer increased accessibility and liquidity to these assets. By doing so, The BLOKC envisions unlocking new investment possibilities for a broader range of investors.

Mid Year Recap - Patrick Lao Mintoo

Meanwhile, Mintoo Director Patrick Lao expressed his enthusiasm for the new developments in the NFT space, adding that they are constantly reviewing these new technologies to further provide Mintoo users with a “smooth and enjoyable NFT-collection experience.”:

“The Mintoo team sits on this very exciting technology called NFTs,”

It was echoed by Scarletbox, explaining that as a blue-chip NFT launchpad, it is also looking forward to the resurgence and further adoption in the art industry.

On the other hand, Coins.ph specifically stated that they are eyeing Bitcoin’s version of NFTs, Ordinals.

“This gives satoshis individual identities and allows them to be tracked, transferred and imbued with meaning. Ideally, this will help more transactions for BTC as it expands the function of BTCs outside financial transactions,” Jen Bilango, Coins.ph country manager, wrote.

Looking forward to CBDCs

Basically, a CBDC is a digital version of a country’s currency, issued and regulated by the central bank. Unlike cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are regulated and controlled by a country’s monetary policies, trade surpluses, and other factors, in terms of supply and value. 

Mid Year Recap - Jay Villarante
Mid Year Recap – Jay Villarante

Currently, the Philippines’ pilot implementation of Project CBDCPh will run until 2024, following its launch in 2022.

The idea of the country having its own CBDC may seem to be supported by some local crypto-focused firms.

In fact, Jay Villarante, the CEO of Moneybees—a licensed exchange operating over-the-counter crypto transactions—expressed his excitement about the potential benefits of CBDCs, such as faster transactions, increased financial inclusion, and improved transparency in monetary policy.

“So far, eleven countries have already launched their own CBDCs, with 130 countries, representing 98% of global GDP—including the Philippines—exploring the potential of launching their own. I’m keen to see how we can take our financial system to the next level,” Villarante noted.

Blockceler8 Founder and CEO Dean Bernales, on a side note, highlighted that his firm is also bullish for CBDCs as well as other government-backed blockchain projects as these “provide valuable opportunities to shape the narrative and foster a conducive environment for blockchain innovation.”

Optimism on DeFi 

By definition, decentralized finance (DeFi) is a decentralized financial system that uses blockchain technology to provide financial services without the need for intermediaries. Local firms Tetrix, Blockceler8, and Moneybees expressed confidence in this system.

Mid Year Recap - Emman Navalan - Tetrix
Mid Year Recap – Emman Navalan – Tetrix

For Tetrix, the technologies it is eyeing ‌focus on DeFi transactions, with an emphasis on the co-existence between centralized and decentralized finance. To incorporate this into their future strategies, the company is actively forging partnerships to create a centralized-decentralized finance (CeDeFi) ecosystem. 

Moreover, Tetrix noted that it is also experiencing steady growth in peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, which expands the platform’s options for secure transactions using various payment methods.

“Having been working with fintech and blockchain startups, we are excited to see the technology’s potential to boost financial inclusion. We closely follow trends in decentralized finance (DeFi) and how they are reshaping traditional finance,” Blockceler8 echoed.

Villarante also noted that he is keeping an eye on the DeFi space, as he values financial freedom, and believes that DeFi has the potential to revolutionize finance by providing greater accessibility, transparency, and efficiency.

“We understand that DeFi is an emerging solution that continues to evolve and mature rapidly,” said SparkPoint. It has expressed its excitement about the DeFi space, recognizing its transformative potential for the financial industry. 

Leveraging the Lightning Network

Pouch.ph, being a Lightning wallet firm, was firm in its belief in the system and in Bitcoin. 

The company’s CEO, Ethan Rose, emphasized that the company is already building a product on the most effective available network, Bitcoin, with the most effective available scaling solution, Lightning, which has already reached a minimum threshold of global adoption.

Mid Year Recap - Emman Navalan - Tetrix
Mid Year Recap – Emman Navalan – Tetrix

“We are focused on providing utility, not pushing get-rich-quick schemes. Only bitcoin will be the leading monetary network for the coming centuries and even millenia, so that is the network we will use,” Rose explained. 

Coins.ph also expressed confidence in the Lightning Network. According to Bilango, the technology will “definitely” drive crypto adoption noting that it can facilitate micropayments, improve transaction throughput, and reduce transaction costs.

While highlighting their optimism towards Layer 2 Scaling Solutions, which addresses scalability issues by building an additional layer, Villarante also expressed that his company looks forward to the success of solutions like Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and Ethereum’s Optimistic Roll-Ups.

Other Emerging Industries

Other firms highlighted new emerging technologies in their mid-year reviews. Web3 gaming studio XOVOX Labs and game MetaSaga Warriors stated that they are most excited about AI technology.

“While these technologies may not be directly involved in the crypto industry, we firmly believe that they will play a significant role in shaping the future of the Metaverse. The impact of these technologies on the creation of Metaverse games and experiences has already been immense,” XOVOX Labs Founder El Bonuan wrote. 

Bonuan also noted their thoughts about Immersive Technologies, especially Augmented Reality (AR), which blends physical and digital realms for a more engaging user experience. XOVOX Labs plans to use AR to introduce the Metaverse to a broader audience, creating interactive and captivating experiences for users.

The art collective CryptoArt PH has expressed its enthusiasm for the mainstream adoption of Extended Reality (XR). They believe in the merging of our online and in-real-life realities, with the added benefit of digital ownership.

On web3 gaming, Coins.ph highlighted the Questing System, where players can earn tokens by completing quests in different games. Recently, YGG introduced SUPERQUEST, a campaign enabling members to learn web3 games and earn in-game rewards. 

Game developers Masayato Games, creator of Anito Legends, and web3 company Ownly both expressed bullishness on web3 gaming. Masayato Games shared its excitement over the integration of GameFi into the Play Store and the App Store. Ownly, on the other hand, looks forward to mixing blockchain and gaming, especially through their upcoming  on-chain blockchain gaming platform, Ownchain. 

Paul Soliman of Bayanichain
Paul Soliman of Bayanichain

Both The BLOKC and web3 venture firm BayaniChain, are placing their bets on blockchain and its interoperability features.

BayaniChain Co-Founder Paul Soliman stated that the firm is concentrating on modular blockchain because they are keen on building a unified blockchain infrastructure for the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

The BLOKC, on the other hand, expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of connecting different blockchains to work together more seamlessly, which would make it easier to share information and create innovative applications.

For crypto exchange CoinEx and web3 education platform Bitskwela, the two expressed that they are both bullish on emerging companies and projects within the space:

According to Bitskwela Founder Jiro Reyes, they are hopeful about web3 companies using educational campaigns to attract more users and community members. Additionally, they are excited about web2 enterprises adopting Web3 technology for their user base and partnering with them to help users understand Web3 applications and processes.

“We also plan to increase our support for emerging crypto projects and offer a diverse range of trading options to meet the diverse needs of investors. CoinEx will introduce quality crypto assets, provide more trading pairs, and enrich investment opportunities,” Haipo Yang, Coinex founder, affirmed.

This article is published on BitPinas: Mid-year Review: Local Crypto Firms Bullish on NFTs, CBDC, DeFi

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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