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The Philippines and Web 3.0: A Digital Philippines through Blockchain

The Philippines and Web 3.0: A Digital Philippines through Blockchain

 

Before understanding how the Philippines can enter Web 3.0 through the blockchain, let us have a quick rundown on the history of the web as we know it:

When Tim Bernes-Lee first thought of the internet, he envisioned a collaborative network where people could meet and work together. Companies like AOL, Compuserve, Yahoo, etc soon dominated the internet, creating a gateway to what was known as Web 1.0.

 

Web 1.0: The Read-Only web

 

Here, businesses, governments, and individuals began to consume and post contents occasionally. People merely consume the data being published on the web and have little to no access to content creation.

Web 3.0 sees society onboarding to the live network, synchronously being in the web and collaborating on projects at real-time. Credits: Gary Hayes, 2006.

 

 

Web 2.0: The Read-Write Web

 

Then came Web 2.0 during the early 2000s.

Unlike its predecessor, Web 2.0 brought along with it the applications on the Web allowing participation even from the consumers. The internet became a “platform” in which people can communicate and create their content on the Web itself. In contrast to the prior setup where they can only produce output on desktop applications. This platform driven by user-generated data disrupted the flow of business in media, advertising, and retail as Web 2.0’s business model heavily relies on creating fresh content collected from user data.

Such a model created an Internet dominated by companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. User data became centralized and exploited as companies monetize from it through targeted advertising without the user’s consent. This issue became the driving force in creating an internet focused on decentralization and data privacy, a new Web 3.0.

 

Web 3.0: The Decentralized Web

 

During Web 2.0, fixed locations or servers store the information and accesses it thru unique web addresses (HTTP). But with Web 3.0, multiple nodes save information simultaneously, making it “decentralized”. These nodes then provide access to the information based on its content. In addition to this, this new web promotes a “trustless” and “permissionless” network. It allows the consumer to interact directly without an intermediary and participate without getting authorization from a governing body.

The 3.0 network relies on the features brought upon by blockchain technology. Simply put, blockchain networks allow peer-to-peer transactions and encode transactions on a shared and constantly-updated ledger This is a trustless system as these networks validate block integrity without human input. In Web 3.0, companies cannot arbitrarily decide what is “right” and “wrong”; blockchain code decides the continuous integrity of what users upload. Each block contains verified transactions and is linked to previously completed blocks, creating a “chain of blocks”. 

 

Web 3.0 has four key features, according to Tim Bernes-Lee.

  1. Ubiquity – Web 3.0 is accessible to everyone at the same time. At this stage, the web exists and integrates with our home systems, our business transactions, and many other facets of our daily lives.
  2. Semantic Web – Web 3.0 provides software that allows machines to read abstract things like images, videos, emotions, and many more in metadata in the same way that humans easily understand these themes.
  3. Artificial Intelligence – AI and Machine Learning will understand information presented to them the same way humans do. This comes in three phases: Artificial Narrow Intelligence, Artificial General Intelligence, and Artificial Super Intelligence
  4. 3D Graphics and Integration – Graphic integration becomes increasingly realistic to the point that Web 3.0 provides a complete life-like spatial experience.

 

 

A Digital Philippines

 

With the rapid advancement of this new breed of internet and technology, the world seemed to pick up steam and started adapting to these changes. Web 3.0, alongside blockchain technology, shifted the world to digital space and gained the people’s lost democracy in the network. Here in the Philippines, users, as well as media and business, started to welcome the revolution. With the financial losses brought by the pandemic, cryptocurrencies gained traction as Filipinos looked for other sources of income.

According to reports, the Philippines is seen as one of the world’s fastest adopters of crypto assets. The country’s interest in the cryptoverse and cryptocurrency transactions is projected to further rise in the following years. Based on a report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the value of transactions on virtual currency assets quintupled to P76 billion as of end-September last year as compared to the P14 billion during 2019. Not to mention the volume of the transactions rose by 36 percent resulting in 7.2 million transactions in 2020 from the 5.3 million in the preceding year.

 

At the recently concluded World Fintech Festival (WFF) last November 11-12, tech experts, government leaders, and business heads see the digital adoption in various industries as the country’s means for economic recovery from the losses brought by the pandemic. The WFF panel believes legislators and banking institutions can work together to come up with the right infrastructure that will support Open Finance, resulting in users having more control of their financial footprint. Moreover, the technology brought by this digital shift can help in protecting the country from cyber threats and securing consumers in this new financial space. 

 

A zoom meeting screen capture of the World Fintech Festival: Philippines as Asia's Next Big Tech Hub
The recently concluded World Fintech Festival. Photo credits goes to Len Amadora from the Manila Bulletin.

 

Although the Web 3.0 promises openness, the technologies surrounding it tend to limit themselves to the people and market who have adequate knowledge of cryptography, smart contracts, digital wallets, and the network. Blockchain and fintech companies in the country continue to advocate for a more inclusive system that is accessible and useful not only to those knowledgeable but to every Filipino interested in it. New projects push the boundaries of how everyone can utilize the technology with ease and devise applications beyond what people currently experience.

 

As the Philippines continues to adapt to the trend, the transition would not be easy without the government’s support. Legislators and government heads must quickly analyze the situation and formulate the right step towards the embrace of the technology. The country’s central bank has already moved in the right direction by establishing a framework to regulate virtual exchanges as early as 2016. It continues to widen the scope of the existing regulations in response to the evolving nature of this financial technology.

 

Philippine Stock Exchange Eyes Cryptocurrency Trading — Says It's an Asset Class That We Cannot Ignore Anymore' – Bitcoin News

 

Furthermore, the Philippine Stock Exchange signifies interest in catering crypto trading under its jurisdiction. It is a positive indication of the country’s desire to integrate these financial innovations into local society. Traditional financial institutions can no longer hold the border and should address emerging financial issues. The rising popularity of Axie Infinity reflects the Filipinos onboarding to the digital shift. It will only be a matter of time before blockchain technology and digital assets are fully established in their lives.

 

How Axie Infinity is turning gaming on its head - The Verge

 

To learn more about how BayaniChain helps onboard the country into the crypto world, check our roadmap. Interested in advancing your business through the blockchain? Contact us through talk@bayanichain.io 

 

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