The blockchain is turning out to be a critical foundation for all kinds of solutions and services. The technology offers robust security to systems, immutability to digital records, and transparency to processes. It also affords users a high level of privacy.
Every industry you look at there is a startup using blockchain’s native applications such as smart contracts and digital tokens to build solutions for pressing problems.
The Philippines is one of the countries with a lot of action regarding the development and release of services on the blockchain. Blockchain startups in the country are majorly found in financial technology (FinTech), real estate, and business support sectors.
Like with the rest of the globe, the financial sector was the first to benefit from the technology. The startups in the space include Coins.ph and Tagcash, digital wallets services, and payment processors for digital currencies.
Another is Bloom Solutions, which has built its business around the remittance flow into the country from the large workforce of Filipinos in places like Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, Bloom Solutions has processed transactions amounting to more than US$130 million.
A sector that has seen the rise of blockchain startups is the real-estate industry. The gaps being covered in this area include property listing and sales management. AQwire is a blockchain startup that has built a platform where commercial and working spaces are listed. It uses a smart contract application to facilitate the transactions between landlords and tenants.
Meanwhile, CEstates is a blockchain startup that helps users to tokenize real estate, which makes it easy and convenient to buy and sell them seamlessly.
Other blockchain startups in the Philippines are into facilitating other blockchain startups as well as other businesses. For example, MergeCommit develops enterprise blockchain solutions for businesses.
The number of blockchain startups in the Philippines are in the dozens, and the list keeps growing as the technology finds acceptance and more application in the mainstream society. Some of these blockchain startups might grow to conquer the world.
Few places offer the best environment and conditions for trying new blockchain applications than the Philippines. First, the country has a very dynamic and growing economy. It is the 34th largest in the world. Meanwhile, it has numerous challenges that need to be fixed.
For example, the country has millions of its citizens working abroad, sending home close to US$30 billion annually. Most of the Filipinos working abroad struggled to find a secure, convenient, and fast way to send money back home. This is mainly because many of their family members remain unbanked or underbanked. Some reports have indicated that as high as 70% of Filipinos are underbanked.
The blockchain has made it easier to develop payment solutions that are best suited for remittance. Recently Western Union teamed up with Coins.ph to make it easy for residents of the Philippines to receive money from outside the country.
The Philippines is also a gateway to the broader South East Asia. The country is a trendsetter in the region, and what happens there quickly finds its way to the surrounding states. While the country has a population of about 105 million, getting a foothold there opens doors to a population of close to 700 million.
Already most of the successful blockchain startups such as Abra have seen similar successes in neighboring Thailand.
With a growing pool of both homegrown and expatriate developers and entrepreneurs who find the Philippines ideal for trying new ideas, the next Google, Facebook or Amazon could have its roots in the country.
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