The Philippines is leading the world in adopting NFTs or non-fungible tokens, a recent survey by a financial technology company showed, underscoring the cryptographic asset's increasing local appeal.
In their survey of more than 28,000 adults across 20 countries, Finder.com said 32% of Filipinos who participated said they own NFTs, which is roughly thrice the global average of 11.7%. The Philippines topped the list, Finder said, noting Filipino men are more likely to own NFTs than women.
Adoption is set to climb, as 9.5% of those surveyed disclosed that they plan to own NFTs in the future. The adoption rate is forecast to climb to 41.5%, Finder.com’s cryptocurrency editor Keegan Francis said, noting that it's a "conservative forecast" as it's still the "very early days" of NFT's boom in the Philippines.
The Philippines will remain at number 1 even as NFTs take off in other countries, according to the study.
Other Asian countries such as Thailand (26.65%), Malaysia (23.9%), United Arab Emirates (23.4%), Vietnam (17.4%) are behind the Philippines in the list, respectively. People in Asia-Pacific countries appear to be the most curious about NFTs, Google Trends data released in early November showed.
Japan has the smallest percentage of people with NFTs (2%), followed by the UK and the U.K. at 3% each.
Francis, the crypto editor, said NFT adoption was much higher in countries that have a lower average wage of working citizens.
"In some of these countries people are quitting their jobs because they can make money trading NFTs or earning them in games. NFTs can be a great gateway to cryptocurrency ownership, especially because many NFT games don’t require ID," he said.
But what again are NFTs?
NFTs are "best understood as computer files combined with proof of ownership and authenticity, like a deed," Time magazine explained.
Like other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, NFTs exist on a blockchain, which is an immutable form of digital public ledger. But unlike cryptocurrencies that are as "fungible” as the paper money in your wallet (meaning, one bitcoin is always worth the same as any other bitcoin), NFTs, as they are named, are the complete opposite.
It being non-fungible allows one to buy and sell unique digital items for up to thousands of dollars in virtual auctions and ownership can be tracked using a blockchain. Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain, a rival to bitcoin, and can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games.
Still confused? The Verge tried phrasing it in terms of physical art collecting: "anyone can buy a Monet print. But only one person can own the original."
NFTs have been making their way to mainstream consciousness these past months, with Filipinos celebrities riding on the wave, including actress and performing artist Nadine Lustre.
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