From Philippines to Lunacia–The Journey of #CryptoPH
In his keynote at the Philippine Web3 Festival, YGG Global COO Colin Goltra shares the history behind the CryptoPH movement from the early days of Coins.ph and Axie Infinity, to the rise of YGG.
The Philippine Web3 Festival was a week-long event co-hosted by YGG and BlockchainSpace, November 14-18, 2022, in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Metro Manila. The event showcased the future of web3 by bringing together a variety of games, guilds, NFT projects and crypto VCs to the epicenter of web3 adoption, the Philippines. It also featured an esports tournament, a hackathon, and a flagship conference with renowned thought leaders joining from all corners of the world to discuss web3 adoption trends, particularly in emerging markets.
On the first day of the festival, YGG's Global Chief Operations Officer (COO) Colin Goltra presented a keynote presentation on the history and evolution of crypto in the Philippines, from the earliest days of crypto exchange Coins.ph, and the rise of Axie Infinity, through to the development of the local crypto art scene. In his talk, Goltra explained the key moments that came to define the industry and highlighted the influential figures that led the way to build the rich web3 ecosystem that the Philippines is known for today. Laying the foundations for a week of discussions at PHWeb3Fest, Goltra’s speech offered insights into the origin and impact of CryptoPH.
The following is an excerpt from the first day of the Philippine Web3 Festival. Watch the full recording here.
Colin (18:30): So in 2018 and 2019, there were two blockchain gaming meetups, which back then was an alpha leak if you were there in these early days. This is Jihoz in town in 2019, meeting with Gabby Dizon. Jihoz would eventually lead Axie Infinity, and Gabby would go on to form Yield Guild Games. Peter Ing is also present here and he would go on to pivot BlockchainSpace into a guild platform. These were the very early and formative days of the global blockchain gaming industry.
Just as a quick shout out, I've been very Manila focused, but #CryptoPH stands for the whole country. In 2019, Bicol was doing meetups as well. Cebu has their own crypto scene. We are now in the web3 era. These are the events as to why we are here now. So we've gone from a Bitcoin ecosystem to a blockchain ecosystem to web3. It's the future and the next wave of the internet that has a primitive crypto-economic structure. After these key developments, the meetups ended because COVID happened. We were all locked inside and the community went online. We turned to Twitter and Discord, Telegram and Clubhouse to organize instead.
Because of that, we went web native for web3. The other thing that happened was a lot of people lost their sources of income, they had to turn to alternatives that were available online. They had to find ways to earn online to replace their driving route or their store shift. There were key players that emerged in this time. One of the major trends that happened was the proliferation of NFTs and crypto art. One of the first projects I collaborated with Gabby on is Narra Gallery. Luis Buenaventura, my colleague now at YGG, came to prominence in the crypto art scene, he brought key cultural figures like the Heart Evangelista into the NFT space.
And then the bigger trend, is the rise of Axie Infinity as a dominant cultural force in the Philippines. And so, in 2020 there was the discovery that people were earning money at home and replacing their income. This was a period where Gabby and I were collaborating a lot. And ultimately, this led to Leah, who's in the crowd now, connecting with Jihoz, and creating what was kind of the seminal work of #CryptoPH, an article on Coindesk, about the rise of play-to-earn gaming in the Philippines.
You can watch the rest of Colin’s talk on the Yield Guild Games YouTube channel.
Follow Colin for updates on YGG and web3 gaming in general.