Rise of Crypto in the Philippines
In the Philippines, a country of more than 110 million people and 60 million mobile phone users, the rise of digital financial innovations such as GCash has played a significant role in making transactions easier and faster. It has also opened doors for Filipinos, enabling them to do business without having to leave their homes.
Photo by: David McBee
A decade ago, innovations like GCash, PayMaya, Coins.ph were virtually unheard of. Bank transfers and remittances don’t mean long queues at banks and malls anymore. It often spelled more than a few days “clearing time,” where you would think your money was passed around in limbo. Today, developments and advancements like these have become part of everyday life, even more so essential during lockdowns and community quarantines because of the pandemic. A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is not government-backed, unlike the US dollar or the Philippine peso. Not unlike the Philippine peso, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which is just one out of many cryptocurrencies, can be used just like any other currency. It can be used to pay contactless for goods and services, remittance to friends and family, and has a value that is equivalent to other currencies like fiat. Unlike the Philippine peso, cryptocurrencies are digital currencies. They do not take the form of cash or physical coins and their value and supply are not dependent on a national bank, unlike fiat or government-backed currencies.
Presently, the use of cryptocurrency and earning in cryptocurrency has been limited to a minority of Filipinos who have access to the knowledge and technical expertise regarding its use. Others have even fallen victim to the pyramid, get-rich-quick schemes, and scams that have solicited investments through the misrepresentation of Bitcoin and other coins in the market that are derived from Bitcoin. While the need to use cryptocurrency and the technology that powers cannot yet be considered mainstream, the Philippines ranks one of the most crypto-friendly and crypto-ready nations among a global community.