How Fintech is Bridging Development Gaps in the Philippines
Plugging Development Gaps through FinTech and Blockchain
Blockchain has an incredibly disruptive potential in emerging markets. The Philippines market, in particular, is gaining traction as regulators look to embracing blockchain technology in both private and public sectors.
A common trend we have witnessed in the Philippines market is that a growing number of startups are harnessing blockchain technology to leapfrog the challenges of financial inclusion. In this article, we identify 3 local startups that are recognized as leading blockchain enablers: Bloom Solutions, MergeCommit and Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI)
1. Bloom Solutions: A Blockchain Remittance Platform
Bloom is a Manila-based FinTech startup providing blockchain solutions to the remittance business in the Philippines and Vietnam. Since 2015, it has been committed to closing market gaps and improving financial access.
Bloom has developed blockchain-based solutions on Stellar to overcome barriers in providing financial access to unbanked communities in the Philippines. Currently in pilot testing phase, BloomNet enables users to deposit money and receive Bloom tokens in return. The Bloom tokens are transferred across its domestic settlement network— cryptocurrency transactions are therefore settled in real-time.
Bloom is poised to be a fast-scaling company in the region, evidenced by its recent selection for the Google Launchpad, a global acceleration program that invests in growth-stage startups with personalized mentorship from Silicon Valley experts.
“We intend to connect the different remittance centers with a settlement network to give the unbanked Filipinos a better way to send and receive their money.”
— Source: Stellar
2. Satoshi Citadel Industries: Building a FinTech Ecosystem
Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) is backed by Kakao Investments, a venture capital subsidiary focused on growth-stage startups. SCI is dedicated to building the blockchain ecosystem in the Philippines and has developed a range of blockchain-based products in Remittance, Payment Processing, Investments, and Mobile Money.
An example of SCI’s innovative products is Keza, an iOS mobile app that allows users to invest in international stock markets using bitcoin. More notably, it is one of the 2 local companies to be issued a Virtual Currency Exchange license by the BSP.
3. MergeCommit: A Distributed SaaS Platform
MergeCommit develops customized enterprise-grade blockchain-based solutions for companies around the world. Presently, it is in the final phase of completing its flagship product, Andromeda — a distributed cryptocurrency exchange SaaS platform which will allow businesses to set up their own cryptocurrency exchange from anywhere in the world.
MergeCommit was founded in 2017 by one of the founders of BuyBitcoin.ph, which was later acquired by Satoshi Citadel (SCI). Through the Cerberus Program, MergeCommit also launches crypto exchanges, provides Hyperledger Fabric development services, writes Ethereum smart contracts, and prototypes products with front-end integration. It is positioned as a full suite development partner for a broad range of cross-domain blockchain applications.
Looking into the Future: Blockchain to Plug Development Gaps
In the Philippines, in addition to the 3 aforementioned startups, there are 5 other FinTech startups riding on the blockchain wave in their respective industries, namely: Tagcash, Qwikwire, Coins.ph, Appsolutely, and Salarium.
Blockchain technology is still in an early stage in the Philippines and its application is actively promoted by first movers, adopters and techno-entrepreneurs. Together, they could address most, if not all, the limitations and challenges of this promising technology. The best approach for companies in developing markets such as the Philippines is to deploy blockchain technology to complement ongoing initiatives. When applied strategically, blockchain adoption could lower barriers to entry in the local marketplace while catering to unique local needs and plugging development gaps.
This article is contributed by Kris Irish H. De Guzman, MBA, SSGB, Corporate Strategist and Consultant. Krish is trained in Six Sigma Greenbelt and certified in Six Sigma Yellow Belt.
Blockchain Startups Growing in Philippines. (2018, February 12). Retrieved April 30, 2018, from Fintech Singapore: http://fintechnews.sg/16374/blockchain/blockchain-startups-philippines/
Bloom Solutions: Providing unbanked Filipinos a better way to send and receive money. (2017, May 15). Retrieved from Stellar.org: https://www.stellar.org/blog/financial-inclusion-philippines-bloom-solutions/
Reyes, R. R. (2018, January 10). Blockchain 101: Is the Philippines ready for another disruptive technology? Retrieved April 30, 2018, from Business Mirror: https://businessmirror.com.ph/blockchain-101-is-the-philippines-ready-for-another-disruptive-technology/
Talavera, C. (2018, April 28). Retrieved April 30, 2018, from The Philippine Star: https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/the-philippine-star/20180428/281986083168665
Zambrano, R. (2017, August). Blockchain: Unpacking the disruptive potential.