Why Filipinos Embrace High-Risk Crypto Investments

Despite the risks inherent in low-cap coins, Filipinos emerge as top three in the world when it comes to investing in degen coins. We seek some answers as to why.

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By Shiela Bertillo and Michael Mislos. Editing by Michael Mislos

Marso Ya, a web3 influencer, freelancer, and artist believes Filipino crypto enthusiasts are gaining an edge in the world of low-cap tokens due to a blend of natural risk-taking and an increase in educational resources.

This insight aligns with a recent CoinGecko study that places the Philippines third globally in enthusiasm for these investments, behind only the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Exploring Local Interest in Low-Cap Cryptocurrencies

In previous articles, BitPinas highlighted stories of Filipinos making big money (in crypto) by being early in some tokens or in participating in airdrops.

In one story, a person gained ₱3 million in just one airdrop.

More Resources to Learn — Marso Ya

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Marso Ya, Web3 Influencer and Entrepreneur

As the Filipino fascination with small market cap cryptocurrencies grows, key opinion leaders (KOLs) like Marso and ZFT CEO George Asibal said this is more than the fact that these exotic tokens offer tremendous upside. For Marso, in particular, that Pinoys are natural risk takers is just the tip of the iceberg.

“More Filipinos are more knowledgeable now when it comes to crypto investing since Axie Infinity days,’ she said, referring to the hey days of the play-to-earn game’s popularity and wild price upside in 2021.

How did Pinoys become more knowledgeable? Marso thinks the resources to learn have increased compared to in the past.

“I think it’s because of the rising educational communities that our crypto KOLs provide, giving easy access to information and opportunities not only to the existing crypto natives but also to newbies who want to try their luck in the space. Being able to track down good low cap coins is not a beginner move.”

Marso Ya, Web3 Influencer and Entrepreneur

Lack of Risk Management — George Asibal

Contrastingly, George Asibal, the CEO of ZFT, a trading organization that offers educational courses to those who wish to learn trading financial instruments including crypto, points out the lack of risk management among many Filipinos, attributing this to hype and the cultural acceptance of gambling.

“Look around you and you will see people lining up for lotto tickets, buying into jueteng, casinos, gambling apps, sabong, and even when someone in the family dies – you see people gamble and share a part of their bets for “charity to the bereaved family.”

George Asibal, CEO, ZFT

When it comes to hype, George observes:

“A lot of Filipinos get their courage to join in the markets because of an urging from friends, influencers, or a story in social media about how people made millions from trading low-caps or memecoins because they were “early.””

George Asibal, CEO, ZFT

This is echoed by a 2020 interview BitPinas did with then-Bloom Solutions exec Luis Buenaventura, when asked of the sudden increase of Filipinos trying out Axie Infinity to get SLP, which at that point in time (November 2020), could still be classified as more of a degen coin because of its usecase.

“Generally speaking, the fastest way to onboard anyone into crypto is to show them a clear path to profitability. No amount of paid marketing is ever going to be more powerful than the sight of your friends making money off of their investments, and this is more true for crypto than for many other assets due to the speed at which it happens.”

Luis Buenaventura, in a 2020 interview with BitPinas

And this may not be a good thing, as per George, it’s “messed up but that’s the reality” a lot Filipinos are in:

“Add these low-caps and social media into the equation and you get the perfect storm of a few people sharing their big wins for the internet to see, ultimately resulting to awakening a lot of gambler’s blood in most Filipinos.”

George Asibal, CEO, ZFT

Strategies When Investing in Low Cap Coins

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Marso Ya (Third from Right). Photo Credits

While the upside is almost always visible in social media, with influencers and regular people posting of their crypto wins, both Marso and George emphasized careful and correct research when selecting low-cap coins for investment or even in participation for airdrops. This is important, Marso, stressed, or else, those “crypto wins” might turn to “crypto losses.”

“Risk taking must come with risk management or you’ll lose it all.”

Marso Ya, Web3 Influencer and Entrepreneur

Is crypto an insider’s game?

One particularly interesting insight from George is that perhaps one of the surefire ways to win in crypto is to get to know and get connected with the right people and organization.

“If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in Crypto is that it’s an insider’s game. If you want the best edge, then you need to find the right connections that can vouch if these low cap coins will do great or not.”

George Asibal, CEO, ZFT

Without insider advice, George suggests assessing the team’s track record and engagement, the product’s market fit and revenue generation, and the impact of community hype. 

But what about tokenomics, funds raised and roadmap? For George, these are all minor things.

“No matter how much funds you raise, how well your roadmap or tokenomics are structured, if your team is incompetent or if your product is useless, then it’s just a ticking time bomb of a project.”

George Asibal, CEO, ZFT

Advice for Filipino Crypto Degens

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ZFT Crypto Community Meetup held last Jan. 20 also at the Coins.ph office

For Marso and George, it’s always important to diversify as well as learn from experience.

“Don’t put your eggs in one basket, diversify your portfolio not just in crypto but also in real-world assets. Take pay and cut your losses. A win is a win.”

Marso Ya, Web3 Influencer and Entrepreneur

As for George, the essential aspect in navigating the crypto space lies in acquiring knowledge and wisdom. This entails understanding concepts such as risk management, market dynamics, and fostering a supportive network within the crypto community. 

“It’s good to learn from experience. But it’s way better to learn from others – free or paid.”

George Asibal, CEO, ZFT

He concluded that while shortcuts like social media or free alpha signals may seem appealing, building a solid foundation through education and learning from others, whether through personal experiences or paid resources, is crucial for avoiding negative outcomes and achieving consistent results.

This article is published on BitPinas: Philippines Ranks Third Globally in Interest for Low-Cap Tokens, Study Finds


  • Before investing in any cryptocurrency, it is essential that you carry out your own due diligence and seek appropriate professional advice about your specific position before making any financial decisions.
  • BitPinas provides content for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Your actions are solely your own responsibility. This website is not responsible for any losses you may incur, nor will it claim attribution for your gains.

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