February 3, 2021 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year.
The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one of $42,000.
What is the 2020 Year in Review?
BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020 in general and what they look forward to in 2021.
Peter Ing is the founder of BlockchainSpace, which spearheaded a crypto and blockchain awareness drive in the Philippines beginning in 2018.
What does your organization do and what is your role in it?
Peter: I founded BlockchainSpace in the Philippines in May 2018, offering our coworking space in Makati, Manila as a venue for in-person blockchain and crypto Meetups, Workshops and Hackathons.
With the recent turn of events we turned our focus to extending opportunities in the #Play2Earn and NFT space to the Philippines community.
Our most notable launch for BlockchainSpace in 2020 was the establishment of Axie Academy in November. We wrote an article about the significance of #Play2Earn as a paradigm shift that has bridged the crypto and gaming world and how Axie Scholarships play a part in this.
Play2Earn has been an incredibly powerful on-boarding tool for new users to get into crypto without the high barriers of:
- Upfront Investment
- Complex Technical Understanding
We believe in the narrative that games will be the biggest driver of mass adoption for blockchain and crypto. Play2Earn is not only limited to games but encompasses the NFT space too, including digital collectibles, virtual worlds, art and multitude of other opportunities.
What do you think is the most important blockchain/crypto development in the Philippines and globally in 2020?
It’s hard not to reiterate the explosive impact Play2Earn has had in the Philippines. Most of the Philippine crypto community have already heard the story of the single Axie Infinity player in Nueva Ecija that supported the livelihood of his family playing the game round the clock. Through word of mouth alone, a whole township was inspired to play Axie and join the Play2Earn revolution. Considering the Philippines is home to 43 million gamers, it’s hard not to get excited when this starts to go mainstream.
How did the pandemic change how your organization operates? Or how you’ve changed your approach?
Given that BlockchainSpace’s past focus was helping crypto projects get exposure in the Philippines through in-person events, 2020 was a tough pill to swallow. Initially we tried extending the same services via online platforms but found quickly that we couldn’t add the same value anymore.
After the explosion of new Axie players in the Philippines towards the end of Summer, we shifted our focus to educating and onboarding new users into crypto through Play2Earn initiatives. Our first initiative being the setup of our Axie Scholarship Program – Axie Academy.
What is your fearless 2021 crypto prediction or forecast?
For the Philippines specifically, after the setup of 2 new Philippines-centric community channels under the umbrella of #CryptoPH, we saw a number of new faces emerge in the Philippines crypto scene that had not been seen prior to lockdown.
Around the end of Summer 2020, the Filipino crypto community made a resurgence on 2 new #CryptoPH channels:
These new faces include token project community managers, crypto fund managers, traders and more surprisingly new additions from the art sector.
In sync with the uprising of Play2Earn in 2020, we saw an emergence of Filipino artists minting and selling digital art pieces on new blockchain-based digital art marketplaces like Rarible.
We also saw blockchain-based virtual worlds like The Sandbox offer $$ rewards to anyone that helps create in-game voxel assets, like the in-game items you see in Roblox or Minecraft.
We have transitioned to a time where more people can participate with crypto projects. Crypto is no longer limited to the technical developer, the investor or enterprise software consultant. Crypto projects like Rarible and The Sandbox rely on user participation and user generated content, and these users could be anyone.
What do you personally look forward to in this space?
In addition to my excitement for Play2Earn I particularly look forward to 2 things in 2021:
1. The Aha! Moment where the Mainstream just get blockchain
The one project I’m excited to see come out of BETA is NBA TopShots. Not because I’m the hugest NBA fan, but because the creators, Dapper Labs, have cleverly taken a familiar concept such as “NBA Trading Cards”, given it a digital spin, integrated blockchain and you don’t need complex jargon to explain its value.
In the traditional NBA Trading Cards business, the industry suffers from:
- Untrustworthy buyers/sellers
- Long waiting periods for Card Grading
- Lost Cards during transit
- Lack of Valuation Data
NBA TopShots offer 10-second highlight moments of a game that you can own forever that are:
- Provably authentic
- Transacted on a trusted marketplace that handles escrow
- Provably scarce with an edition no and rarity category
- Immediately transferable
- Sold in a peer-to-peer marketplace with transparent pricing
When you ask someone if they think owning a 1 of 59 limited edition Lebron James tribute dunks to Kobe Bryant after he passed away will be valuable, not a single person is likely to say no. Understanding the value of the digital moment is not hard but the Aha! moment will not sink in for most till they understand the benefits that blockchain offers listed above.
2. Connecting more non-technical and non-financial people to blockchain-based opportunities
Whether it’s playing games to earn a living, building or drawing digital assets to sell, investing in NFT collectibles or advocating projects as an ambassador. I am extremely excited that dApps and blockchain based applications are mature enough for non-technical and non-financial experts to finally participate.
Follow Peter Ing on Twitter. Follow BlockchainSpace and Axie Academy
This article is published on BitPinas: Peter Ing | BlockchainSpace | 2020 Year in Review