Bitcoin Vietnam Part 3: Bitcoin Represents Freedom and Hope

BitcoinVietnamThis is the final part of Coin News Asia’s exclusive three-part interview with Dominik Weil, co-founder of Bitcoin Vietnam. You may read the first part here and the second part here.

The Best Times

Well, the greatest accomplishments are of course when you get your first client, then your first dozen of clients, your first hundred clients… – when you build something, which people actually use and provides them with value.

I think doing, what we are doing is in itself already “revolutionary” – if you want to use that word. We were – as expressed earlier – facing quite some blowback and hostile reactions by certain parts of the media and authorities. If you do things the way, everybody expects you to act – you will upset nobody, but it also means, that the project you are currently working on, most likely will not really matter as well.

Building a Start-up is about challenging the status quo – if nobody feels challenged from what you are doing, you are doing something wrong.

On Regulation

We will observe any differences in the stance of the responsible government agencies and adjust our strategy accordingly.

Regarding Bitcoin regulation: It is currently – as is most other Asian countries – non-existent. So far the State Bank of Vietnam and other agencies are observing the development, but have for now decided not to act.

Given the nascent current state of this technology and also the obvious blowback which overreaching regulation is causing on local entrepreneurship, innovation and allocation of new business & capital – this seems to be the far smarter approach, than the one chosen e.g. in Germany, which just resulted in a huge brain-drain to neighbouring countries as Netherlands, UK, Switzerland… – and therefore missing out a chance to be at the forefront of this “new frontier”. Bad luck for them – and in ten, twenty years the German public will wonder, why all the big companies in this space are allocated abroad (same story happened before when the Internet came up).

Vietnam has a chance to develop its own Startup-environment / Bitcoin-ecosystem on its own now; you have an incredible human potential here, especially in Saigon. If the process is managed the right way (and this means as much laissez-faire as possible in order to enhance innovation & creativity), Vietnam can play a significant role in the future global Bitcoin ecosystem.

On Alternative Cryptocurrencies

I am not sure, if there is really a significant overlap between these groups of “bank-hating” Bitcoiners with those who are “altcoin-hating” Bitcoiners. These people for sure exist and yes, some of them are for sure hypocritical in their argumentations – but it always depends, what kind of “critical views” we are talking about here. I am personally also both “critical” regarding banks as well as Altcoins – but I also think both serve, each in their own specific domain a reasonable purpose in the marketplace of choices.

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Banks have and will have their reason to exist for the foreseeable future, even if some parts of their business model may need readjustment (if they are able to do that – overreaching regulation and in general the problem of flexibility in large organizations may cause problems in this regard) or will even disappear due to innovative technologies like Bitcoin. It’s the normal capitalistic process, that old processes, which are no longer competitive with new processes, get disbanded by the choice of the participants in the marketplace.

Regarding Altcoins: First of all, I think it does not make much sense to “wish altcoins would not exist.” They exist and people will continue to develop Altcoins and invest in it. So what do you want to do about it? “Outlaw” it? That’s not a reasonable alternative and completely opposing to the original spirit of the Bitcoin community. Nevertheless, I am personally not investing any of my money in any Altcoins and never felt appealed to do so. If you have a reasonable good understanding of the concept of money and what constitutes money, you just feel not really attracted to do so (a good read on this is e.g. : “Why you should be a Bitcoin Maximalist” by David Jerry).

Altcoins serve still two main purposes at this stage: On the one side they are without doubt interesting for a lot of traders – the volatility is in most Altcoin markets far greater, than e.g. in Bitcoin (but with a much lower liquidity, so it does not really scale). On the other hand it is an interesting playground to try out new and different things technology-wise; something which is not possible anymore with Bitcoin itself, since it is just too big by now – and too much money already invested in the eco-system, that you could afford potentially fatal experiments at this point.

A part of the hatred for Altcoins is originated by the endless pump & dump schemes, scams and otherwise destructive behaviour of some of the market participants in this space – which makes people fear, that these kind of events will tarnish the Cryptocurrency space as a whole and/or will burn people, who invested with big hopes into some of “the next Bitcoin” projects – And lost most or all of their investment in the weeks/months afterwards… – and react on their loss with irrational hate against the whole Cryptocurrency space including legit projects like Bitcoin.

Onecoin Ponzi

I don’t really have this fear, since it’s an absolute niche even in regard to just the amount of persons using Bitcoin, who is throwing their money away on these schemes. Nevertheless we should distance ourselves from obvious Ponzi schemes as “Onecoin” (which is marketing itself as “Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin” – but is in fact nothing else than some random numbers in a database controlled by the masterminds behind this operation) and alike and warn people in time.

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Unfortunately, you will always find enough gullible people throwing their money away – driven by their own irrational greed – so you will always find people, who are going to exploit this by setting up new Ponzi schemes. It is a part of human nature, so we need to learn to live with it.

On Price Fluctuations

None of us has a crystal ball, how things will unfold.

Generally: Bitcoin is still a high-risk investment; that is something everyone putting money into it as an investment should be aware about. But: The potential upside is of course absolutely huge. Given that, that you only can lose 100% of your investment, but the outcome could be 10.000% or more… – it may be worth it to consider to invest at least a small percentage of your net worth – depending on your individual situation in life – into Bitcoin; just in case it catches on. But definitely don’t bet your house on it. :)

You also should consider this: In a world, which is leading more and more down the road of economic totalitarianism and the “war on cash” is accelerating rapidly – in a world where even governments of so-called “advanced Western economies” are on the verge of financial collapse and trying to squeeze out the last penny of their subjects… – you want to have some alternative. And this alternative is not going to be Gold – even if it may definitely have its merits as a store of value… – but how do you transport it across borders? How can you do regular daily transactions with it?

So Bitcoin and its descendants represent freedom and hope – and maybe the only one left – in this unfolding dystopia.

Final Thoughts

Read F.A. Hayeks “Denationalisation of money” – then take a look at Bitcoin again. One can download the PDF for free at the page of the Mises Institute. It was written in the mid-1970s, but its topic is more relevant than ever nowadays.

We wish CNA a lot of success in the future! I have to say, that I really enjoyed the interview, since the questions asked show, that you guys put quite a lot of effort in asking the right & I interesting questions. We are looking forward for more cooperation in the future! :)

 

Coin News Asia: We hope you enjoyed our 3-part special. More in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency world to come.

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