January 12, 2021 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year.
The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one of $42,000.
What is the 2020 Year in Review?
BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020 in general and what they look forward to in 2019.
Nathan Smale is the Principal Consultant at Emfarsis, which specializes in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, including education and onboarding, adoption and retention, as well as assistance in navigating local and global regulatory landscapes.
What does your organisation do and what is your role in it?
Nathan: Emfarsis Consulting works with organisations to drive the adoption of new technology throughout Southeast Asia. Recently we have done a lot of work in the space of promoting blockchain regulation with a focus on financial inclusion. I typically work directly with clients to define their objectives in this space and to define the strategies required to deliver those outcomes.
My personal highlight for 2020 was probably being part of the Joint Working Group for interVASP Messaging Standards and the development of a UNECE blockchain whitepaper on interoperability. It is a little nerdy but the development of standards and interoperable systems are some of the foundational aspects for future adoption. From an organisational perspective the highlight has been onboarding new clients during the lockdown as this allowed us to provide new opportunities and team members.
What do you think is the most important blockchain/crypto development in the Philippines and globally in 2020?
I think ‘Play to Earn’ was the most important development for the Philippines blockchain community in 2020. It fed people during lockdown when they had no other income. It made learning about crypto approachable to a new community who may not have previously bothered. It seems to have put the Philippines into the heart of a global conversation about crypto adoption – which is exactly where the Philippines should be.
How did the pandemic change how your organization operates? Or how you’ve changed your approach?
We were very fortunate at Emfarsis as we were already set up for remote work with our team locally and our clients internationally. The biggest change in approach was probably on the new business side now that we travel less and don’t attend conferences IRL anymore.
What is your fearless 2021 crypto prediction or forecast?
We will see a new wave of crypto adoption driven by play to earn games. Whilst much of this activity will take place on DEXs, there will be strong gains for the on/off ramps and exchanges that can help new users facilitate this type of activity. This may even prompt more of the global exchanges to make the Philippines a focus for their expansion following in Binance’s footsteps.
What do you personally look forward to in this space?
With international travel not likely to be on the cards for a while, I am personally looking forward to exploring more of the Philippines and getting to know more of the crypto crew from across the country. I’m currently working from Coron but I have a list of destinations for the year ahead.
From a business perspective we are looking to grow the company, bring on more analysts, consultants and writers – if you are into crypto, regulation or financial inclusion feel free to get in touch.
This article is published on BitPinas: Nathan Smale | Emfarsis | 2020 Year in Review