A technology entrepreneur spots multiple economic opportunities that the blockchain technology can make possible for the Philippines.
Emman Navalan, a web3 enthusiast and co-founder and chief executive of Tetrix Network, says blockchain can be used in industries and sectors that require trust like accounting and other financial services, logistics, arts, business transactions, transfer of ownership or data safekeeping of relevant documents for efficiency to eliminate redundancies and middlemen and improve quality of life.
Navalan, who is also the founder and CEO of Viridian Technologies Inc., describes blockchain as an infrastructure technology that created digital trust. It is known for being secure, immutable or tamperproof, traceable and always forward-moving,” he says.
“It allows digital ownership and peer-to-peer transactions,” says Navalan, who promotes inclusion and innovation for a sustainable and “trustless” future. Tetrix Network, the company he leads, is an interconnected ecosystem that aims to bridge the gap among all blockchain projects.
Navalan was a former president and project manager of Aldaemuz Konstruct Inc., which handles innovative Industrial projects and horizontal and residential construction.
Origin of Tetrix
He started Tetrix Network in 2020 as an effort to change the way blockchains are designed and developed for the digital space where communities, enterprises, governments and individuals interact and coexist in the same ecosystem without having to worry about different blockchains.
Navalan says Tetrix is a collection of projects that build the products, tools, and infrastructure for resilient, sustainable, and inclusive communities.
Navalan says a lot of opportunities await Filipinos through the blockchain technology. “Personally, I started trading [cryptocurrencies] which allowed me to read and learn about how blockchain works. The collective knowledge, collaboration, and validation with my co-founders and partners allowed us to create our version of the blockchain,” he says.
“There are a lot of opportunities not just for the youth, but anyone to engage in this web3 as it touches all industries,” he says.
A GWI study ranks the Philippines 2nd globally in terms of ownership of cryptocurrency. It says 22.7 percent of Filipino respondents own and use crypto. A different survey from Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index ranks the Philippines 5th worldwide, with 28 percent of adults saying they own cryptocurrency.
Another data discovered that 74 percent of Filipinos are aware of crypto ownership and its uses in the country. Cointelegraph shows that the country’s peer-to-peer trade in the crypto market exceeded $1 million for the first time in 2020 at the height of community quarantines amid the pandemic.
Navalan says it is important to first understand how blockchain technology works and what can it contribute to the growth of businesses. He says the explosion of the crypto ecosystem over several years resulted in a greater demand to build high-throughput applications like gaming, NFT (non-fungible token) marketplaces, and media apps on cost-effective blockchains.
“This is where Tetrix comes in. Using the omni-chain interoperability protocol, businesses and developers can implement inter-chain applications without having to rely on a middleware approach. The applications built on top of Tetrix make crypto more accessible to end users, accelerating the exponential adoption of digital assets, banking on its goal to be the gateway to the web3 or the decentralized internet,” he says.
Navalan says Tetrix’s team is composed of a diverse group of individuals who not only made significant contributions in their respective fields but also built their reputations for being fair, efficient, experienced, and true to their word. “We now have more than 20 people in the company and 12 advisors who build, educate, promote and contribute to the next generation of the web,” he says.
“Tetrix Network aims to accelerate web3 adoption with our platform and solutions that would complement existing applications to bridge users and businesses around the world. To sustain growth, we plan to educate people about web3 and educate more developers and aspiring developers through our programs and partnerships,” he says.
Several issues, however, prevent the full development of the blockchain industry in the Philippines, which include general awareness and education, lack of developers, regulatory clarity, high licensing fees, and nascent solutions. “This is all due to the fact that the technology is still new to many,” Navalan says.
He says the Department of Finance’s plan to tax cryptocurrencies is critical to the development of the industry.
Navalan says Filipinos should welcome the taxation plan. “We must understand, first and foremost, that we need this to move forward. This is something that bigger companies such as Binance, Coinbase, and others are actually open to and they’re welcoming it because they know that this is going to pave the way for even more adoption in the mainstream,” he says.
He says the proposed bill in Congress should be drafted in a way that is crypto-friendly. He warns that imposing a 30-percent tax like in India is going to kill the industry.
“They have to really make sure that it’s something that’s forward-thinking, because at the end of the day, it’s all about collection. You don’t increase the percentage just because you’re targeting the collection. You can do it in multiple ways; you can invite more people to participate by being friendly to crypto and at the same time, get the taxes,” he says.