Web3 in the Philippines


October 13, 2022

The internet was once solely governed by platforms that manage and control user data through centralized networks, providing these platforms with the ability to fully control participation, dictate governance, and monetize its users. The last few years has shown the perils of this model and has brought forward the emergence of web3 which has given its users the opportunity to partake in digital-ownership, product/service governance, and stakeholder participation revolutionizing the way products and services are to be built for the next decade. 


The rise of web3 and cryptocurrencies opened up a multitude of opportunities for users to rediscover how to engage applications through the internet while managing and controlling their own data and digital assets. Moreover, web3 and cryptocurrencies have allowed Filipinos to participate in cost-efficient cross-border remittances, alternative economic opportunities, and the ability to participate as retail investors in the growing technology sector.


The previous market cycle showed us glimpses of the future and what’s to come for web3, following the onboarding of a huge cohort of users from the Philippines. The Philippines ranked 10 in global rankings when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption and is higher than the global average when it comes to Bitcoin and Ethereum ownership. Back in 2021 the surge of users on the Metamask wallet rapidly grew as the Philippines represented 20% of its monthly active users translating to 2,000,000 Filipinos who participated in the rise of Decentralized Finance and Non-fungible tokens.


At Archipelago Labs, we imagine that this is just the beginning of a new wave of technology applications that leverage web3 components to create meaningful and impactful products and services both for the end-users and the builders within the space. We aim to support and nurture the emerging technology sector that has impacted the lives of millions of Filipinos by supporting founders who have the vision to create the products and services for the next generation.


Archipelago Labs (A-Labs) is an accelerator that invests in and accelerates the most promising early-staged web3 startups that are focused on the Philippine market. As an accelerator, we pride ourselves in being active collaborators when working together with startup ventures. Apart from providing value through advisory, our network, and expertise, we aim to foster a community of founders who share the same vision. By providing different ventures with the right support system, the Philippines is bound to play a vital role in the development of web3 and cryptocurrencies.  


Innovation for the People


Web3 has presented an opportunity to democratize data ownership for end users. Inherent to the purpose of web3 of giving back the power to the people, we are looking to back startups who aim to use the technology in providing  solutions that improve real-life experiences. A sharp increase in mobile e-wallet users was seen in the past year rising to over 30% with forecasts as high as 75% by 2025. These digitally-native users will inevitably cross the border towards Web3 with the rise of familiar applications that possess a web3 component. 32% of our population already own NFTs, a number that is continuously growing. We seek ingenious ways of serving our people and aim to empower entrepreneurs who are capable to do so. Whether through an innovative DeFi protocol that would provide financial services for the unbanked or tools to bridge the gap between web2 and web3.. [1] 


Exceptional Founding Team


Most successful startups are bound not just by logic but also magic. We value exceptional founders and teams who have the grit and perseverance to redefine the meta along with a deep understanding of their market and the emerging technology. Moreover, we are excited to work with founders who share the same core vision of developing a thriving ecosystem that solves real-world and digital problems through web3.


Active Collaborators


As an accelerator, we are committed to the startup ventures by offering our resources and expertise for the benefit of the startups we work with. We also value maintaining open communications between A-Labs and the founding teams to keep the spirit of collaboration alive. We understand that the industry can be daunting therefore it is best to be navigated with the right support system. We have a long term horizon in the industry, looking to engage with ventures and partners in a 5-10 year time horizon.


A-Labs is the brainchild of reputable partners from the Philippine crypto industry such as the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), Oak Drive Ventures, and Magellan Digital Investment Group, who have come together to sustain the momentum of the country when it comes to web3 adoption and to assist partners in navigating the local market. We believe that the building blocks of web3 are found in the Archipelago and that the Philippines will be at the forefront of the web3 ecosystem.