The Philippines was recently ranked second globally for digital asset adoption, but Bitcoin has primarily been a speculative asset for most Filipinos. At the inaugural Blockchain Social Manila, Brendan Lee took to the stage to talk about Bitcoin utility beyond the hype, and as he told CoinGeek Backstage, the Southeast Asian country could greatly benefit from adopting blockchain technology.
The founder of Elas was one of the speakers at the meetup, bringing together Bitcoin enthusiasts, regulators, developers, and innovators. Speaking to CoinGeek Backstage host Claire Celdran, he made it clear that the BSV ecosystem wasn’t about hyping tokens and speculation—it’s all about utility.
“Typically, when people come to these blockchain events, there’s [always] someone there to sell them a token, and tell them what to buy and how to trade. One of the first things I’ve been telling everyone is ‘that’s exactly what we’re not here to do,’” Lee said.
“We’re not here for speculation—we’re here for utility, we’re here for the future,” he noted.
The Philippines has recently seen a surge in blockchain adoption, with Chainalysis ranking it second for overall adoption and fourth for centralized value received. Filipinos have also become global leaders in play-to-earn gaming, NFTs, and the metaverse.
However, the rapid adoption has left Filipinos vulnerable to scams and other major market changes. When Axie Infinity was hacked and its tokens tanked, Filipinos were most impacted, with many players falling into big debts.
Lee believes the country should look beyond tokens and explore blockchain technology in other sectors. One area that could greatly benefit is digitalization through blockchain.
“What blockchain offers us is a way to streamline any process that uses paper and without breaking the continuity of that process, replicate it digitally and make it instantly available wherever you need it,” he said.
Lee further pointed out that blockchain should be the plumbing that underpins processes and that the end user doesn’t ever have to know that they rely on blockchain, a message Dr. Craig Wright has hammered home for years.
“We can fit blockchain into any process in a way that’s almost similar so that it will feel very much like the old process but just a lot faster and a lot simpler and a lot cheaper,” Lee explained.
The Blockchain Social Manila attracted a diverse audience, many of whom have never built on or used applications built on Bitcoin. Lee pointed out that it was critical for the BSV ecosystem to continue interacting with and educating these non-Bitcoiners and win them over.
“I had lots of interesting conversations with people in the government. Most of them are still trying to find their way. They know that blockchain is going to be a thing but they are not really sure which blockchain, or how,” he stated.
The Philippines stands to gain from the adoption of Bitcoin SV more than most countries. The country is home to over 110 million people, 40% of whom are unbanked, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Further, the country received $38 billion in remittances this year, the fourth highest recipient in the world after India, Mexico, and China, respectively.
This makes the Philippines uniquely positioned to benefit from BSV. With its transaction fees consistently the lowest in the market at a fraction of a penny, BSV offers Filipinos the easiest, cheapest, fastest, and most efficient remittance method.
Already, the country is taking to BSV, and with the opening of a new BSV Hub in Manila last month, this adoption is only set to surge.
Watch: Blockchain Social Manila: Digitalization through blockchain will turbocharge Philippines growth
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