I'm excited to announce that I've officially joined Yield Guild Games (YGG) as the country manager for the Philippines. If you've been following a lot of my recent projects, you probably know that I've been deeply interested in Axie Infinity and the social impact of play-to-earn games on low-income communities. My AxieArchipelago.org project now lists 800 guilds across the country — literally from Batanes to Tawi-tawi — and my new Cryptopop Art Guild (CPAG) funds over 40 underprivileged artists with the help of my amazing co-investors and managers.
The Philippines is the largest country in the metaverse, and I'm super happy that supporting the Filipino ecosystem is now my 24/7/365 job. YGG founders Gabby Dizon and Beryl Chavez Li have an awesome vision for where we can take this organization, and over the next few months, we'll be launching projects focusing on education, healthcare, financial services, and many other community support tools. We will be going well beyond the realm of just gaming, and I’m very hopeful that I can leverage my crypto background to scale these ideas to millions of Filipinos. I’ll be working closely with an OG group of Pinoy guild managers — Kookoo, Shanks, Spraky, Delphi, Elle, Berna — to keep the community safe and informed. I’ll also be working to provide much-needed capital support to guilds that are still external to YGG.
Because there are only 24 hours in a day, I’ve decided to reduce my operational involvement with BloomX as part of this transition. I'm still a cofounder and will be part of the board of directors though. My cofounders Israel Keys, Ramon Tayag, and Justin David have totally got this, and I'll continue to support the growth of cryptocurrency trading in the Philippines from my new role.
On the other side of the world, El Salvador's Bitcoinization appears to be even rockier than I thought. According to reportage from my friend Jamie Redman over at Bitcoin.com, Lightning wallet transactions are randomly disappearing, leaving merchants wondering if they've actually been paid. (On normal layer 1 transactions, this would never happen because those are “atomic,” but it is totally possible on layer 2.) Even worse, purchases that are less than $5.00 in value are being rejected by the official Chivo wallet. Imagine being forced to use a new payment technology and then being told that your smallest purchase must be greater than 250 pesos in value. That’s probably fine if you’re Starbucks, but it’s not great for the micro-entrepreneurs that form the backbone of less industrialized societies.
Yesterday, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin made it into Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021, in the category of Innovators. His writeup was authored by Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit. A brief price rally followed, although it seems to have cooled down already as I write this, with $ETH now hovering at $3500. Overall the markets were busy while the Philippines slept, with $AVAX breaking its ATH (now $68) and $SHIB gaining over 50% following its debut on Coinbase yesterday.
CPAG has been growing quickly since we launched it on Sept 8th. With 42 artists and 2 managers, our Telegram group is busy enough now that I often have to mute it during the day, otherwise I’m tempted to just chat with them all day long. From dawn to midnight, the guild members talk about their artwork-in-progress or their axie grind, cheering each other on and sharing ideas. It’s pretty amazing to watch it all happen. Now that CPAG has figured out all its management processes, we are aiming to bring on a total of 100 artists for CPAG’s Batch of 2021, so I’ll be reopening the fund for interested investors. We’ve raised 13 ETH so far, and need 20 more to get to our goal, so watch out for our official investment brief next week!
My most important role with the guild is to make sure our artists get more visibility and exposure, so I’ll be featuring a couple of them in each of my newsletters from now on. Our first featured CPAG artist for today is Johnriel Duana, a 19-year-old prodigy from Cavite. I commissioned Johnriel to work on this piece specifically for my YGG announcement today, and I think he totally knocked it out of the park. Reach out to him directly on Twitter for commissions.
See you all on Monday with some more awesome art and news, cryptofam! Have a great weekend!