In our mission to grow the play-to-earn ecosystem and empower individuals from emerging markets to onboard to the Metaverse, we are proud to bring on Luis Buenaventura as the first YGG Country Manager for the Philippines.
Luis joined the YGG Pilipinas (Pilipinas is the Tagalog word for Philippines) team last September 2021. Just four months into the role, Luis has already instigated many activities for YGG such as the YGG Managers Cup launch, a series of Axie Infinity exhibition games, where competition earnings were donated to the child and youth welfare agency, Gentle Hands.
He also spearheaded the YGG Guide, a knowledge base for YGG scholars and managers available in English, and Filipino languages such as Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon. “The Philippines is at an inflection point for crypto adoption, and it’s never been more critical to build educational and informational resources for all the newcomers in the space,” said Luis. “YGG Pilipinas is hard at work on multiple initiatives — everything from provincial events to online knowledge portals to physical spaces — to reach our community wherever they are and no matter what language or dialect they speak.”
Luis plays an integral role as the YGG Country Manager for the Philippines. He will be working directly with YGG co-founders Gabby Dizon and Beryl Li as they launch projects that will help provide education, healthcare, financial services and many other community support tools.
According to Luis, “play-to-earn” is the first crypto native idea to reach sustainable adoption in the Philippines. In his new role, Luis says he is striving to accelerate that growth through YGG.
Luis’ vision is to involve people outside gaming by leveraging his background in crypto to scale new ideas and provide opportunities to millions of Filipinos. With the support of some of the earliest builders in the space, Luis hopes to keep the community informed while coordinating with various partners that can help achieve YGG’s mission.
Having worked in crypto since 2014, Luis has achieved many accolades, pioneering various projects in the NFT and cryptocurrency industry. Luis was a co-founder of BloomX, a licensed cryptocurrency exchange based in the Philippines, and has authored two books on cryptocurrencies: The “Little Bitcoin Book” (2019) and “Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin” (2017). He is also one of the world’s first NFT artists (see CurioCards, 2017) and the first Filipino NFT artist to have art auctioned at Christie’s.
In September 2021, he founded the Cryptopop Art Guild, a decentralized organization championing underprivileged Filipino artists and helping them to create sustainable revenue streams. Luis also started a project called AxieArchipelago.org, a community-driven interactive map of Axie Infinity guilds and scholarship programs in the Philippines. To further expand on his goal of educating the masses about crypto, he also writes a weekly newsletter called Cryptoday, which has over 35,000 subscribers and covers all the interesting and important developments in cryptocurrencies globally and within the Philippines.
“Over the past seven and a half years working in crypto, I’ve seen hundreds of financial-inclusion projects attempt to gain sustainable adoption here in the Philippines,” said Luis. “Bitcoin remittances, crypto trading, ICOs, blockchain lending, yield farming — none of them have managed to reach the lower rungs of our society. The play-to-earn idea is the first one that has made a meaningful dent, and it was imperative that I did everything I could to help accelerate its growth. I see myself less as a ‘leader’ in this role and more as a place where the community can go to get accurate information and fair advice.”
YGG Pilipinas hosted meetups in several cities in the Philippines to thank the supporters of YGG and players of Axie Infinity. Last December 11, the YGG team went back to Cabanatuan City, which was featured in our short documentary and is now nicknamed “the play-to-earn capital of the Philippines.”
YGG Pilipinas also created a donation drive for the relief operations for those affected by Typhoon Odette (internationally named “Rai”) in the Philippines. Since launching the donation drive last December 17, the YGG Pilipinas team has raised 31M pesos (US$620,000), demonstrating the strength of our Web3 community and partners.
“The Odette disaster response is proof that the play-to-earn community is made of individuals who genuinely want to help others. We’ve received over 400 small donations on our Ronin wallet, and to me, that is just as meaningful as the larger contributions from other companies and DAOs.” Luis said.
With YGG’s Pilipinas’ initiatives led by Luis, funds have been donated to World Vision Philippines, World Food Programme, ACCORD, a medical mission to Siargao, and other grassroots relief operations in the affected regions. The YGG Pilipinas team has also been working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Army, and Navy to send relief goods in affected areas such as Leyte, Cebu, Siargao, Surigao, and Dinagat Island.
Full transparency of the donations is also in Luis’ agenda for the relief efforts, wherein the YGG Pilipinas team updates this document in real-time to indicate where the funds are allocated.
Under Luis’ leadership, the YGG Pilipinas team continues to grow and is collaborating within YGG, and with its partners to build the community, and make play-to-earn more accessible to Filipinos across the country.
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