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Seven Major Local Companies Embracing Web3 Technology

Explore the story of how local companies embraced web3 and integrated blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs into their platforms.

Seven Major Local Companies Embracing Web3 Technology

Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday

  • Here are seven local companies that are adopting crypto, blockchain, and web3 technology as early as 2018.
  • The companies include UnionBank, GCash (Mynt), Maya (Voyager Innovations), Smart, Tier One, AcadArena, and Kumu.
  • BitPinas has also compiled a list of global companies venturing into the metaverse and actively investing in web3 technologies and experiences.

As the web3 industry continues to thrive and impart change into the technology and business landscape, several major local companies in the Philippines are currently working to ride the wave as they adapt and integrate the new tech into their platforms.

Local Companies Adopting Web3


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Claiming to be the country’s “most crypto-friendly bank,” Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has been actively integrating blockchain and cryptocurrencies into its initiatives as early as 2018. 

In early 2018, UnionBank and Visa unveiled “Visa B2B Connect,” a blockchain-based platform designed to enable cross-border payments that streamline transactions by reducing processing time to real-time completion, or at most within 24 hours.

By 2019, the bank had launched its own crypto ATM, integrated with the local crypto exchange and e-wallet Coins.ph. Then, in July of that year, UnionBank released its stablecoin PHX to facilitate a blockchain-based cross-border remittance transaction. UnionBank also conducted a pilot test for a blockchain-driven remittance service from Singapore to the Philippines. It also launched its Blockchain Xcellerator Program in October, which aimed to cultivate talent that could drive blockchain opportunities within the country. 

At the end of 2019, the blockchain-powered platform catering to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of UBX, the fintech subsidiary of UnionBank of the Philippines, in collaboration with OneConnect Financial Technology, a subsidiary of China’s Ping An Group, started its operations. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, Unionbank of the Philippines, and TX also collaborated to build and promote Tracey, an application that uses blockchain technology for documentation and verification of fish harvests and traceability data.

Two years later, UnionBank became the fourth bank with a digital banking license in the country, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) granted it the license to establish its own digital bank, UnionDigital. As of November 2022, it had 1.73 million customers, reached $70 million in loan book size, and had collected $50 million in deposits.

In addition, UnionBank also collaborated with Hex Trust, a digital asset custodian based in Hong Kong, to offer digital asset custody services. In the same year, UBX launched its public stake pool on Cardano

Moreover, in partnership with Bookshelf.ph, the bank released “Opening the Archipelago: The Story of Blockchain in the Philippines,” a book that aimed to localize the blockchain uprising and give Filipinos a glimpse into how blockchain can transform local industries, from finance and banking, to education and even governance. Authored by UnionBank executives Henry R. Aguda, Cathy Bautista-Casas, and Atty. Nathan Marasigan, it was the closing initiative of the bank for 2021.

In 2022, UnionBank entered the metaverse by getting into The Sandbox, one of the world’s leading metaverse platforms. Consequently, it received a limited virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from the BSP while its application is still pending.

Accordingly, the bank partnered with the nonprofit organization Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (Canvas.ph) to help artists and collectors navigate the growing non-fungible token (NFT) space. UnionBank also collaborated with auction house Leon Art Gallery.

The bank also inaugurated the UnionBank Innovation Campus on September 9, 2022. It is envisioned to be the leading research and technology hub in the country.

Lastly, in November, UnionBank launched its crypto trading and custody services to select retail clients via its mobile application, as the company announced in a joint statement with METACO, a market provider for financial institutions to offer digital assets.

GCash (Mynt)

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Like UnionBank, Mynt, the firm behind the fintech giant GCash, started making crypto-related efforts in 2018 when they allowed their users to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using the e-wallet, as Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) users were able to cash in via GCash.

The firm then actively pursued more initiatives by 2021. In May, GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon revealed that they were considering the possibility of enabling the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies within their wallet. After two months, GCash disclosed that they were in discussions with potential partners.

In June 2022, Neil Trinidad, then GCash’s head of new business, shared that they are developing its cryptocurrency products. After a month, a crypto icon or crypto tab in the GCash application was added and teased that the feature is “coming soon.” In October, Trinidad and PDAX CEO Nichel Gaba confirmed that GCrypto will be in collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange PDAX.

In February 2023, GCrypto was first introduced to selected users, when it allowed a few users to purchase Bitcoin with about a 5% fee. Then, during the GCash FutureCast Summit, the crypto trading feature, along with the firm’s other new products and services such as GStocks, Gcash Overseas, and GChat, were formally introduced. 

Finally, after two years, GCrypto is now available to all users nationwide as of April 23, 2023.

On the other hand, GCash also ventured into the NFT space as it revealed its project, “House of Ohlala.” The collection was made in partnership with homegrown NFT marketplace Likha and art gallery Vinyl on Vinyl. The artist behind the collection is Reen Barrera. In line with this, the firm launched “GCrypto NFT Hub,” a platform for Filipino artists to showcase their digital art and for users to explore and purchase NFT art from local artists.

Maya (Voyager Innovations)

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In May 2022, PayMaya rebranded itself as Maya, transforming it from an e-wallet into an “all-in-one money app.” The new Maya app combined the features of the popular PayMaya e-wallet with additional functionalities such as crypto and an innovative digital banking experience provided by Maya Bank. 

By the end of 2022, Maya had introduced a new app feature that enabled users to convert specific cryptocurrencies into Bitcoin directly within the app. Previously, Maya only supported the conversion of cryptocurrencies back to fiat currency, specifically the Philippine Peso.


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Telecommunications company Smart Communications is one of the recent companies to venture into web3. Their web3 debut was marked by their partnership with community-enablement platform BlockchainSpace (BSPC). The two will work together for the Creator Circle which will enable communities to connect while exploring web3-powered solutions. 

It is a subsidiary of PLDT, one of the country’s leading telecommunications and digital service providers. Smart Communications operates as a wireless service provider, offering a wide range of mobile services to individual and corporate customers.

Tier One

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Southeast Asia’s esports and gaming touchstone, Tier One Entertainment’s plans to enter the web3 industry were first revealed on their community survey, asking its followers about their thoughts on web3 and its ecosystem. 

The findings revealed that a significant number of respondents were unfamiliar with NFTs and had limited knowledge about web3 itself. However, those who were familiar with NFTs expressed interest in exploring and investing in this emerging technology. The survey also indicated the need for further education and awareness about NFTs and web3 to foster adoption and understanding among the general population.

In August 2022, the entertainment agency expressed its desire to launch a web3 platform as it is positioned to take advantage of its massive traffic, reach, and marketing machinery as it prepares for its foray into web3.

By October, it launched “Alliance,” Tier One’s incubator program for web3 content creators. Through this, the company intends to curate a selection of web3 content creators and provide them with training to become influential figures in the blockchain and crypto industry. Additionally, they have expressed their future aspirations to expand this program on a global scale.

During the Philippine Web3 Festival last year, Tier One representatives Tryke Gutierrez and Tricia Potato were present for the panel discussion, “The Driving Force of Content Creators,” on the third day of the fest. 


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AcadArena is an organization that focuses on the development and promotion of esports and gaming in an academic setting. It aims to bridge the gap between gaming and education by creating platforms and opportunities for students to compete, learn, and excel in the field of esports. AcadArena organizes collegiate esports tournaments, provides educational resources and workshops, and facilitates partnerships between universities and the gaming industry. 

One of its biggest web3 ventures is its gaming and pop culture, CONQuest 2023, where it will be featuring web3 firms for the second consecutive year. This year’s web3 exhibitors/blockchain exhibitors include Binance, Coin98, Community Gaming, MagicCraft, and Battle of Guardians. While the Creator Circle of BlockchainSpace, a community-focused blockchain platform, is its  platinum partner.

In the previous year, the event showcased exhibits from homegrown crypto exchanges Coins.ph and PDAX, alongside other notable web3 companies such as BlockchainSpace, Metacrafters, MetaSports, and Axie Infinity.


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Unlike the other companies, Kumu is slowly but surely entering the space.

In June 2022, they released Kumu NFT, concluding its season by showcasing a diverse array of NFT artists encompassing visual art, spoken poetry, and music. There was also a live panel discussion curated by local NFT marketplace Likha and KUMU NFT host Kristian Kabuay. 

Last year, Kumu was one of the organizers of the event “METAWOMAN: Meet the Woman of the Future,” which featured various women who have ventured into web3 through cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Kumu is a homegrown social media and live streaming platform designed to connect people through live interactive broadcasts, enabling users to engage with content creators and fellow users in real time. 

International Companies Adopting Web3 Technology

Last year, BitPinas collated some of the global companies venturing into the metaverse based on how they are actively investing in and building platforms, technologies, and experiences in web3 to tap into its potential as a new frontier for business and innovation. The article highlights the opportunities and challenges presented by the metaverse and provides insights into the strategies employed by these global companies to establish their presence in this evolving digital landscape.

Read: Global Companies Building in the Metaverse

This article is published on BitPinas: Seven Local Companies Embracing Web3 Technology

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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