Emfarsis unlocks Web3 potential in the Philippines

WEB3, marking the internet’s third evolutionary stage, stands to gain significantly from rapid advancements in connectivity, moving toward greater decentralization and a more user-centric focus. This means exciting new applications that cater to real-world needs and create fresh opportunities are emerging. Companies like Emfarsis are at the forefront of this user-centric revolution.

talked to Leah Callon-Butler, director at Emfarsis, about their company’s support for early-stage founders in finding their audience and voice as they launch in the Metaverse. Callon-Butler has been influential in promoting Web3 startups in the Philippines since she moved here in 2018. She saw the potential for Web3 to thrive in the Philippines due to its English fluency, positive crypto outlook, and young, digitally-minded population. The country’s high social media use and large unbanked sector made it ripe for Web3 projects like Axie Infinity. The game offered an income stream for many Filipinos during the pandemic.

Callon-Butler noted, “However, the virtual economy eventually couldn’t sustain the influx, leading to its collapse. This was a learning curve in managing game economies effectively, ensuring they are sustainable and engaging beyond mere financial incentives.”

Emfarsis has supported a range of Filipino-led Web3 initiatives, including Yield Guild Games (YGG), a gaming guild that combines community and economic benefits, and BreederDao, which focuses on creating valuable game assets. These projects promote community engagement and contribute to the broader Web3 ecosystem in the Philippines, fostering a strong local and international user base.

YGG Pilipinas, an expanding community of gamers, creators and traders fostering Web3 adoption in the Philippines, embarked on its annual road trip from April to July 2024. This tour aims to introduce Web3 to Filipino communities across six locations over four months, starting in Batangas and moving on to Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Manila. During these events, attendees can explore Web3, engage with new and exciting Web3 games, and connect with fellow community members.

“Web3 gaming has opened many possibilities for people living with low income in the Philippines. Many of our kapwa Filipinos were able to bounce back after the pandemic because of web3 games, and it was a small barangay in Nueva Ecija that started this now global movement. We want to ensure that every community in the Philippines has an opportunity to participate in this economy. The YGG Pilipinas Roadtrip is one of the ways we can teach new, future-oriented skills to the young, tech-savvy people in our provinces. Anyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, can access web3. Our kababayan from the provinces could be the next leaders, founders, and creators in this emerging industry,” said Mench Dizon, YGG Pilipinas country head.

Observing how Web3 gaming experiences translate into real-world agricultural ventures is fascinating. According to Callon-Butler, some gamers in the Philippines engage in “farming games” where they cultivate digital crops and breed virtual livestock for sale in an open market. This virtual farming has paved the way for tangible agricultural projects. For example, a gamer who initially farmed digitally in Pixels has successfully established a jackfruit farm in Pampanga. Similarly, an Axie Infinity enthusiast has leveraged his breeding skills from the game to start a goat farm. These transitions from digital to physical farming illustrate the practical applications of gaming skills in real-world entrepreneurship.

Callon-Butler sees Web3 technologies as potentially transforming traditional banking systems, especially in emerging economies, due to many Filipinos’ familiarity with digital transactions in foreign currencies. Some impactful Web3 initiatives supported by Emfarsis include MetaverseGo and XLD Finance, which provide business-oriented Web3 solutions like crypto payroll systems, and Acadarena, which has shifted its focus from Web3 to traditional gaming markets.

“Our strategy centers on supporting early-stage companies in articulating their vision and securing funding and user engagement. Our investment decisions are informed by rigorous due diligence to ensure we support viable, impactful projects. We’re not just chasing financial returns but are deeply invested in fostering a sustainable Web3 ecosystem that drives social impact and innovation,” Callon-Butler added.

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