Web3 might appear like it’s slightly on fire at the moment, with emerging regulatory decisions on the horizon and shitty founders showing their true colours despite arguing they’re not guilty. But there’s a wide world of web3 mobile adoption taking place outside of the US bubble, and in 2023, we’re seeing huge moves in Web3 development from computer desktops to the computers in our pockets.
More than half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices — and more than 90% of the world have mobile phones, with estimations that 83% of these are smart phones. Last year, we saw developments in applications that enable blockchain transactions, interaction with smart contracts and the querying of on-chain data.
For example, applications like Web3.swift can now send transactions and read values from smart contracts without the need to write protocols, and is compatible with iOS, macOS and Linux. Flutter Web3 can now sign transactions and query data, as well as enable QR codes to integrate with blockchain interactions.
Ledger Connect is compatible with Ledger Nano X and is soon to integrate with Safari on iOS, while Moralis allows users to log in to applications via their wallets, providing Web3 authentication applicable to Web2 databases.
Solana, which is understandably going through a low-key dive at the moment after major NFT projects moved from the blockchain, is still pressing on with its development of one of the first Web3 phones, the Saga. The phone is a modified version of Google’s operating system with a mobile suite and play store.
Despite Solana having some outages, the company stated that the operating system would not exist ‘on-chain’, meaning the entire blockchain network would not run on your mobile phone. The Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) includes a software development kit making it easy to create Solana dApps.
We also saw HTC release a phone designed for a VR metaverse called Vive, looking to Ethereum and Polygon for future integrations. And Samsung’s Galaxy S20 also enabled the storing of cryptocurrencies.
In the ETH corner, we saw ethOS — built for natives with dApps, ENS integration, crypto payments and widgets, with a beta version downloadable on Pixel 3, Pixel 3XL and Pixel 5A. Users can also operate light notes from their phone and contribute to the decentralisation of the Ethereum network. We will likely see Android as the biggest mobile mover, as Apple is notoriously unfriendly to crypto adoption.
The Chainsaw recently spoke with CEO Ash Mandhyan of MetaverseGo and VP Head of Media and Marketing Communications Crisela Magpayo-Cervantes of Globe Telecom about a newly-penned partnership to move Web3 to mobile and how emerging markets will be the ones to lead the Web3 adoption charge.
Globe is the PSE-listed and lead telecom mobile service provider. MetaverseGo is the country’s go-to gateway into the metaverse, aiming to allow mobile phone users to focus on quality content, building communities and engaging in commerce. They seek to make applications friendly for both crypto native and first-time crypto users.
The Philippines government has been incredibly bullish on Web3 adoption in the Philippines, after the country became the epicentre for innovation in blockchain gaming bringing millions of dollars of development into the country and providing hundreds of new jobs for Filipinos.
Since Play-to-Earn (P2E) took off in 2020 during the pandemic, the Philippines has been leading the global narrative of blockchain adoption. With a third of the online population in the Philippines adopting P2E during the pandemic, the two companies saw a major opportunity in innovation helping uplift the lives of Filipinos.
They believe that moving the metaverse to mobile will bring new opportunities for Filipinos to take part in a vibrant digital economy so they can have greater control over their lives, to live, play and earn without boundaries.
Ash Mandhyan shared with The Chainsaw that Web3 can help businesses reach and engage customers in innovative ways, but amidst that historically, “it hasn’t been easy to create executions that appeal to more than just crypto early adopters.” Their new partnership allows users to connect phygital experiences, create avatars, chat with one another and participate in interactive activities in an online portal.
Since September, Mandhyan said that asset values may have dropped but it hasn’t been the same for Web3 curiosity.
“We have more than 50,000 new visitors on the platform, but gameplay is yet to improve in development. We’ll see a lot more of this come out of the region in the next six months to a year,” he said.
Crisela shared that she sees her role as making technology accessible to as many Filipinos as possible, and the region is ready to adapt and adopt.
“Filipinos love to embrace new things. We’re open and curious people, which may be in part due to the fact that the population is young. So for us, it’s about making it accessible for them, and educating them about the uses of this technology.”
Mandhyan formerly came from Facebook, helping onboarding millions of Filipinos to the platform, before moving to Byte Dance, who own TikTok. He said he moved to Web3 because of the community-led financial generation opportunities, and wants to help drive learning and education.
“The users of Web3 can become much more reliant and dependent on themselves. At Facebook, they really battled with the pivot to the metaverse. You have to get buy-in from the staff, then you need investors, then the entire market needs to agree that it’s the right move,” he said. “I saw an opportunity within NFTs and ownable assets, and decided to make the move.”
Crisela herself came from the social movement too, but sees Web3 as a new innovation in value generation, and believes Filipinos are recognising the value of participating in a new, vibrant economy in a new age of digital ownership where creators can own their own assets and monetise them.
“I think the space gets pigeon-holed a lot. The metaverse is more than just gameplay like Ready Player One. It’s an added foundation of value generation and creation, with infrastructure that will change how platforms will work, authenticate, and allow users to own their own content. There’s more to the space than immersive 3D spaces,” Mandhyan shared.
Australian-based Stanley Roche, Assistant Director for Global Australia who was previously on secondment to the Australian Prime Minister to investigate the potential for Australian adoption in Web3 games, recently stated that blockchain games will be the trojan horse for Web3 adoption.
While many in the industry remain hesitant about whether the Web3 space can truly see any form of break-out this year, adoption in emerging markets like the Philippines is already suggesting otherwise.