Meet the Frontliners of Bitcoin in the Philippines

Do you remember the struggles of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates back when no one believed in the concept of a personal computer? The sentiment feels the same when people hear about this "digital currency" we call Bitcoin. And yet every local meet-up of the local community, I feel more and more hopeful about this revolutionary technology. I meet people who are not just passionate about it but are also making things happen in spite of being against the flow.

A gathering of local Bitcoin enthusiasts I attended last weekend

The crowds that come in to events nowadays are so eager to learn more about Bitcoin and are very optimistic about the eventual adoption of this currency. It's staggering and definitely a far cry from the handful of people that atttended the very first meet-up around a year ago. 

First Bitcoin PH meet-up over a year ago

There were pioneers there such as Mang Sweeney who was one of the first to leverage on using Bitcoin for remittances. At the time, the main agenda some of us agreed upon was to create a Facebook group where we can all share news and ideas about Bitcoin. 

Now, the online group has over 3,300 members, several Bitcoin-related start-ups have emerged, actual brands and merchants are accepting Bitcoin, and there's a discussion on creating a neutral association of different stakeholders who will lobby and address policymakers or agenicies of the government. It's really an exciting time to be a spectator and see all these entreprenuers and coders collaborate and create disruptive products and technologies. 



(from left to right) Joseph Michael Galero or Mikong talked to me about developing a tool/website that will allow learners and educators to connect with each other. Jardine Gerodias, co-founder of Satoshi Citadel Industries, talked to me about creating 1btc = 1php type of currency that could potentially make government spending and taxation transparent. JM Malapira (to my left), someone I worked with during my internship, now works for Tagcoin, a locally-started and rewards-based cryptocurrency. 


(from left to right) James Florentino, co-founder of BuyBitcoin.ph, Miguel Antonio Cuneta, co-founder of SCI, Luis Buenaventurra III, Head of Product of SCI  (he writes really compelling stuff about Bitcoin; follow him on Twitter or check out his blog on Medium), and Sam Kaddoura, CEO of BuyBitcoin.ph (thanks for the shirt!).



And yes, as you can see above, Bench/ lifestyle + clothing started accepting Bitcoin, a strong win for Coins.ph. Persuading these big names in the market to adopt Bitcoin, will, in my opinion, help push the needle forward.

Of course, it is truly hard to explain the concept of a decentralized currency that can be "mined" using computing power — the semantics alone is a quick source of misunderstanding. "Is it an actual coin?" a TV5 reporter once asked me in an interview.

But you see, the innovation doesn't even stop in money. Oftentimes, those who critisize Bitcoin don't have a single clue about the technology behind it or how the blockchain works. It is always an "end" for Bitcoin for every bad news they see online. It is always just another ponzi scheme for those who haven't read a single paragraph about how it works.

I always have two routes when trying to explain what Bitcoin is to people. The first, an empirical route where I ask them to do things like Google the keywords "1 btc" and make them see how Google has already prepared to treat this like money. You know, show people how other markets are already using it and other worldly evidence of its value. The other, a more philosophical route: I encourage that, instead of the continuous wonder about what this elusive Bitcoin is, they ask a more important question:

What is money?

5 comments:

  1. hw many exchangers do we have in PH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. coins.ph is the only exchanger i know..i often use this in almost all of my online transactions

      Delete
  2. 1FEHEBbVzuUsEKbCmKzSomy45RTkhBYGhA
    donate please, thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1FEHEBbVzuUsEKbCmKzSomy45RTkhBYGhA
    donate please, thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. can we create our own altcoin? i will definitely support and spread this to my network if ever we had.

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.