Philippine Telcos Globe and Smart in the NFT Space: Are They Late?

Philippine telecommunications giants Smart and Globe are venturing into NFTs. Are they latecomers or potential game-changers?

Philippine Telcos and NFTs - Globe and Smart in the NFT Space - Are They Late
  • Despite the waning hype around NFTs due to the ongoing bear market, local telecommunications giants Smart and Globe have entered the NFT space.
  • Smart partnered with BlockchainSpace’s YEY platform to provide exclusive NFTs for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, while Globe engaged in NFT initiatives through events, partnerships, and its fintech arm Gcash.
  • Although the NFT market saw a decrease in trading volume, local entities and homegrown NFT firms like ScarletBox, PAL, Likha, Mintoo, and CryptoArt PH continue to engage in NFT activities, suggesting ongoing interest and effort within the NFT industry in the Philippines.

The hype for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the country has waned due to the ongoing bear market since late 2021. 

However, local telecommunications giants Smart and Globe, as well as its partner e-wallet GCash, have recently been dabbling in digital assets. Their NFT initiatives are mostly aimed at providing value to their subscribers.

Philippine Telcos and NFTs

Smart’s Foray into the NFT World

Smart Telecommunications has recently entered the NFT space.

In partnership with BlockchainSpace’s YEY platform, the company will provide exclusive Shiny NFTs to Smart subscriber-attendees in the country for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.  Shiny NFTs will also serve as raffle tickets; one of the major prizes is a Finals pass to the tournament.

Smart Communications YEY BlockhainSpace
Philippine Telcos and NFTs: Smart Forays to Web3 in Partnership with BlockchainSpace.

Prior to this, the telco also entered into a partnership with BlockchainSpace to connect communities and explore web3 solutions by launching the Creator Circle initiative, which aims to help content creators adopt web3 technology, build audience relationships, and integrate blockchain solutions.

Globe’s Involvement in the NFT Ecosystem

Globe first ventured into the world of NFTs last year, when it inked a partnership with web3-focused mobile platform MetaverseGo to give away Gudi NFTs for its #ExtraGDay celebration in Circuit Circuit Events Ground, Makati on September 17, 2022.

More than a month later, in November, the telco announced its own virtual platform, Virtual Hangouts, and its collaboration with other local and global metaverse-focused entities. Alongside MetaverseGo, Globe’s partners were open metaverse platform BUD App, and crypto wallet

Globe even called itself as the “first telco and digital solutions platform to bring Filipinos to the metaverse.” 

In the same month, Globe confirmed its alliance with Superordinary Friends, an NFT collection each holding iconic food items. The partnership let the telco raffle off the collectibles to its customers through their rewards points. 

Philippine Telcos and NFTs - Globe, MetaverseGo partner to Drive Web3, Innovation Education
Globe, MetaverseGo Partner to Drive Web3, Innovation Education

Meanwhile, last month, the company, in collaboration with MetaverseGo, announced plans to promote web3 and innovation education in the Philippines through community partnerships and innovative learning programs.

GCash in the NFT Market

Meanwhile, one of this year’s most anticipated NFT projects came from GCash. GCash is operated by G-Xchange Inc. (GXI), a subsidiary of Globe Telecom Inc.

In April of this year, GCash, in partnership with the local NFT marketplace Likha and the art gallery Vinyl in Vinyl, launched Reen Barrera’s NFT collection, House of Ohlala, as well as a Filipino NFT platform for artists and buyers called GCrypto NFT Hub. GCash also has an in-app crypto-trading platform, GCrypto

Philippine Telcos and NFTS – Are They Late? A Comparative Analysis

Although the bull run for digital collectibles has cooled off due to the crypto winter, significant local entities continue to enter the space, and homegrown NFT firms are still actively participating in the industry.

Recently, Asia’s blue-chip NFT art launchpad, ScarletBox and The Peninsula Manila’s Art in Resonance program released digital collectibles for the 47th anniversary of the five-star hotel.

Scarletbox Art in Resonance

The art by Mano Gonzales and Alaga will be exhibited at The Lobby until September 30th, and will also be available for auction as NFTs.

In addition, Philippine Airlines (PAL) partnered with Philippine Blockchain Week to release a set of limited digital collectibles that offer exclusive benefits such as VVIP tickets to Philippine Blockchain Week for three years and tickets to the Michael Cinco Metaverse Fashion Gala 2023.

Philippine Airlines Launches Exclusive NFT Collection

Local NFT platforms Likha and Mintoo are also making progress; Likha recently acquired the majority stake in the art-centric collection Superordinary Friends while Mintoo spearheaded the NFT giveaway during the Pickup Coffee App Launch Party.

Further, during the recent Modern Contemporary Art Fair (MoCAF) last July 27 to 29, 2023, web3 art collective Crypto Art Philippines (CryptoArt PH) showcased a series of NFT-integrated murals.

Philippine Telcos and NFTs - Superordinary Friends, which was partnered with Globe, is acquired by Likha.
Philippine Telcos and NFTs – Superordinary Friends, which was partnered with Globe, is acquired by Likha.

Recent NFT Market Performance

According to CoinGecko’s Q2 Crypto Industry Report, NFT trading volume decreased by 35% in the second quarter of the year compared to Q1.

(Read: Despite BTC Ordinals Popularity, NFT Trading Volume Drops 35%)

The report noted that Ethereum maintained its position as the leading NFT platform in Q2, with an 83% market share. However, its dominance fell to 73% in May, when Bitcoin Ordinals accounted for 20% of the market. Solana’s trading volume fell by 78% across the first two quarters of the year, much of which was attributed to the migration of its two top collections, “DeGods II” and “y00ts.”

CoinGecko also revealed that the other blockchain ecosystems, ImmutableX, Polygon, Flow, Arbitrum, and BNB Chain, also experienced a significant decrease in trading volume on their platforms.

NFT trading volume Coingecko
NFT trading volume Coingecko

Last year, a study showed that the Philippines’ NFT industry is set to grow by 46.0% annually, reaching around US$2598.3 million (₱143.2 billion) in 2022. The study suggests this growth will continue, with an expected yearly increase of 32.6% from 2022 to 2028. By 2028, the Philippines’ NFT spending could reach US$12,796.4 million (₱705 trillion).

In 2021, NFT sales hit an estimated $3.5 billion in the 3rd quarter of the year, according to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, which also noted that total online art sales for the first half reached $6.8 billion.

What’s New?

There is currently an emerging concept in the web3 space called Social-Fi. It combines social media and decentralized finance (DeFi) within the blockchain ecosystem, allowing users to monetize their activities. 

In contrast to conventional platforms, Social-Fi utilizes blockchain, smart contracts, and decentralized identity systems to give users control over their data and the ability to monetize it through tokenization. 

This approach enhances privacy, enables selective information sharing, and facilitates direct support from fans to creators through microtransactions.

(Read: Crypto-Integrated Social Application: A Guide to Social-Fi)

This article is published on BitPinas: Local Telcos Venture to NFTs, But Are They Late to the Game

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.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.