This is an opinion editorial by the entire Bitskwela teamAn educational company based in the Philippines focused on accelerating Bitcoin adoption in the region of the country.
Corruption, poverty and financial exclusion. These are just some of the many problems that Bitcoin was created to solve. But many countries to this day still have most of their citizens fighting for their lives, or rather fighting these problems for the rest of their lives.
One such country to note is the Philippines, a developing country in Southeast Asia.
Demand for Bitcoin in the Philippines
It is often said that Bitcoin provides a solution to various financial problems, and there are many problems that plague the Philippines. It has a criminally high statistic that more than one-fifth of the population (23.7%) live below poverty line. Furthermore, the country has 10 million citizens still don’t have a bank and it also ranks at 117th out of 180 most countries are corruptwhich poses problems when relying on centralized authorities to make decisions.
It is not surprising that it has not escaped the associated and growing economic crises around the world today. Like in the US, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the Philippines impose heavy lockdowns that last much longer than most other countries. The result is, The country’s GDP fell by 9.6% and the economy has yet to recover. Domestic inflation also became a problem, with quantitative easing and supply chain issues post-pandemic. Filipinos can’t save keep up with commodity prices And this is getting worse with many fiat currencies depreciating against the dollar due to an interest rate hike by the federal reserve system. With the majority of Filipino citizens facing a minimum wage is 570 pesos, or $9.65 a day, it is essential to find a better means of achieving financial security. Enter Bitcoins.
How Bitcoin Solves Problems in the Philippines
With Bitcoin being the most open source, secure, immutable and decentralized form of money, most of the economic problems facing Filipinos can be solved through its adoption. First, it will help 10 million unbanked Filipino citizens become their own banks. No more tedious applications or collecting different IDs and documents. Anyone can store and send money simply by phone and internet connection. Inclusion is finally coming with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin transactions also help reduce both corruption, which is common in the Philippines, and criminal activity in general. Since all transactions are publicly visible on the blockchain, in some ways it becomes easier to track suspicious activity and track bad actors in the system. The fact that Bitcoin is decentralized also ensures that no government or bank controls it, nor can any third party censor or prevent transactions from being made.
Even the inflation and weakening purchasing power of the Philippine peso can be remedied with Bitcoin. Since there is a fixed supply of 21 million, it is certain that no bitcoin will ever outlive that number, thus making it deflationary. Bitcoin will not depreciate over time simply because some government prints more or a gold mine by accident. It is the perfect store of value and inflation hedge to protect one’s purchasing power over time.
Solving problems like this shows how Bitcoin can help those in need not only in the Philippines but globally.
Demand for better Bitcoin education
While Bitcoin can solve a lot of problems in the Philippines, it still needs to combine its adoption with the right education. This is to ensure that those using it can maximize Bitcoin to its full potential and avoid financial loss.
For example, the Philippines has some scams in the past that made bitcoin promises to attract victims. A lot of people are likely to fall for these scams and may now have a deep distrust of Bitcoin and crypto in general.
In my experience, Filipinos also lack a “research” mentality. They usually just buy whatever their friends and family say without understanding. This can also come with the expectation of getting fast all the time and a lack of HODLing. If they don’t really know what they’ve invested in, they can panic sell something like bitcoin at a huge loss when the price turns against them. On the other end of the spectrum, I fear that the majority of Filipinos won’t even invest in the first place, whether in bitcoin or anything else, due to the lack of an “investment mindset” in the country. A lot of people will miss the effort towards financial security and freedom, as the concepts of fiat devaluation and inflation are foreign to them.
Finally, there’s also the language barrier simply as most Bitcoin education is offered in English rather than in Filipino’s native language. This also comes with the fact that there is a lot of technical jargon in understanding blockchain technology. Although several educational platforms have addressed this issue in the country, it is still a relevant issue that needs highlighting.
This concept that needs to be fully educated is not limited to the Philippines but extends to all other countries that Bitcoin will eventually enter. Each country will have unique problems when it comes to Bitcoin, so it is important to identify each problem in each country and then address them accordingly.
Interest in Bitcoin and the opportunities it offers
However, there are plenty of opportunities for Bitcoin development and adoption. While countries like the Philippines will certainly face some obstacles in Bitcoin education, most citizens become quite accepting and eager to learn after being educated. In particular, the Philippines shows a lot of promise.
Regarding opportunities, Filipinos are avid Internet users, with The country is known as the “social media capital” of the world. Inevitably, this has also led to a relatively high adoption of Bitcoin and crypto by the nation. GWI global survey shows the Philippines ranked as second country in terms of cryptocurrency ownership and another survey shows that bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the country, with 37.8% of the 12 million crypto owners there keeping bitcoins in their wallets. Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank, have shown that there are no plans there to ban the use of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin education is also a growing trend there.
Many other countries, especially developing ones, will also show similar promise. Fulfilling this promise simply requires a full understanding of the economic issues and how to exploit mass education. The case of the Philippines shows how, despite many restrictions in the government or economy, Bitcoin can still ease some of the trouble for ordinary citizens. Bitcoin shows that, although there will be obstacles in the educational process, breakthrough for the people will bring huge opportunity.
This is a guest post Team Bitskwela. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.