THE growth of the crypto and blockchain industries is reflected in the innovative applications designed for crypto-native and Web3 businesses. Southeast Asia leads the pack, with Vietnam and the Philippines securing the top two spots in the 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index.
According to the 2022 Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index, nearly 11 million Filipinos own cryptocurrencies. The craze for digital assets is undeniable. I explored the opportunities for Filipinos in this burgeoning industry by interviewing Mahin Gupta, the founder of Liminal, a digital asset custody platform that has secured $450 million in assets under protection in just two years since his creation.
The founder's experiences inspired the creation of Liminal with projects like Zebpay, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in India. His IT background and exposure to the digital asset ecosystem has led him to recognize the importance of secure custody and wallet infrastructure as a fundamental pillar for digital asset growth.
Liminal has met these challenges by offering a secure and regulated platform for businesses in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East and North Africa regions, ensuring compliance with regulations.
Gupta believes blockchain technology can have a significant positive impact on developing countries, where it could be adapted to solve unique problems. Liminal aims to improve lives by enabling more adoption and use cases of digital assets through a robust and reliable infrastructure.
A Coin Journal study was addressed by Gupta as it showed that the Philippines ranks eighth in crypto ownership, but is not among the top 40 countries in the Meltwater Digital 2023 report for annual spending per user.
He then told me that I had "actually nailed the problem statement. People only see it on the market cap numbers. It's not about the market cap." He explained that the focus should be on the number of transactions and stakeholder participation, which ultimately impacts people's lives.
The Philippines is one of the largest remittance-receiving countries in the world, with the United States and Singapore sending significant sums. Traditional wire transfer systems could incur costs ranging from 3-10%. Using the right technology, cross-border transaction costs could be reduced to less than 1% in three to five years, with a significant portion being regulatory and compliance costs.
In the digital asset custody space, Gupta emphasizes the importance of custody and wallet infrastructure as the foundation for businesses to operate securely and in compliance with regulations.
Liminal has earned the prestigious CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) Qualified Security Provider (QSP) Level 3 certification, making it one of only two qualified digital asset service providers to achieve this level at the time of writing.
This certification assures traditional stakeholders and regulators that Liminal's technology is proven and secure. Providing detailed audit reports is essential for banks and other institutions looking to integrate digital assets into their systems.
Gupta expects 2023-2024 to be pivotal years for the digital asset industry, despite recent market turmoil. An increase in institutional investment, participation and remarkable regulatory clarity can be expected. Regulatory standards are key to creating use cases that benefit billions of people and bridging the gap between traditional institutions and digital asset companies.
More mainstream players would engage in the digital asset ecosystem, enhancing remittance, gaming, NFT and digitization services. Expansion plans in the Philippines aim to add tangible value to people's lives by addressing three key areas: reducing remittance costs, digitization and improving data access and security through to the blockchain.
By leveraging the right architecture, tools, and storage, Gupta believes blockchain could democratize access to data, provide security and privacy, and authenticate records, thereby increasing the happiness index of those involved.
As the digital asset industry grows, the opportunities for Filipinos to benefit from secure, compliant, and user-friendly applications will increase. The founder of Liminal suggests that sometimes regulators can seem inactive or overly reactive, but over a 10-year period, everything balances out.
The importance of product-market fit is emphasized, arguing that if a technology adds tangible value to people's lives, it will survive and thrive regardless of regulatory measures. He is convinced that blockchain and digital assets add such value and should be viewed from a long-term perspective to understand the evolving relationship between regulation and innovation.
The importance of product-market fit is emphasized as Gupta states that if the technology is beneficial for a specific region, it will persist.