Maicoin: We Wish the Taiwanese Government Would Step Forward for Bitcoin
When it comes to Taiwanese startups, a real player in the cryptocurrency scene is Maicoin which recently introduced Bitcoin transactions to convenience stores in the country. Coin News Asia had the chance to speak with Nick Chang on this remarkable company.
Coin News Asia: Hi, Nick. How did you guys mount Maicoin?
Nick Chang: It took us 6 months to prepare for backend operation before the platform is launched. The lack of knowledge and proper regulations made it difficult to acquire banking support in Taiwan. The fact that the media tends to blow negative Bitcoin incidents around the world out of proportion also presents a huge setback for us.
Thanks to Blockchain’s decentralized and distributed ledger, the cost of conducting electronic payments across border is now much lower than that of the traditional methods. Our mission is to provide people with better financial tools that meet their specific needs. We believe people need banking, not banks.
CNA: What can you say is the best thing about your venture in comparison with other crypto-related ventures?
NC: We offer instant conversion between Bitcoin and New Taiwan Dollar along with a free wallet with no transfer fee. We also have multiple merchant payment solutions that convert Bitcoin payments to New Taiwan Dollar automatically. Our partnership with Coins.ph enables Filipino workers make frequent remittances home in small amount.
CNA: What do you think Bitcoin needs to become a more prominent form of payment?
NC: The time to receive six confirmations from the system is a big hurdle to payment. Blockchain is still vulnerable to spams. Positive media exposure and support from the government will help greatly.
CNA: In your opinion, how do you think Bitcoin will affect the Asian market in particular?
NC: For the developing countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia where much of the population is unbanked or underbanked, Bitcoin provides their citizens an easy access to electronic payment, which is essential to the growth of ecommerce in those regions. Bitcoin’s cross-border nature also brings these countries closer through international trades. The migrant workers from these regions will have a more efficient way to remit money home.
CNA: What have been the greatest accomplishments you have had while operating Maicoin since its inception?
NC: We hit $4M USD in transaction volume from our exchange business in our first year. We established a partnership with an ecommerce company in Taiwan, which indirectly signed up over 100 merchants to accept Bitcoin as a payment. As a result, we were able to highlight Taiwan on the map along with other Western countries that have triple digits of Bitcoin merchants.
CNA: What can you say about cryptocurrency legality?
NC: We wish the Taiwanese government would step forward and lay down some light ground rules for Bitcoin industries as a way to show public that this industry can be legitimate.
CNA: Do you think a more superior altcoin will surpass Bitcoin in the near future?
NC: Many altcoins remain to be a risk of Ponzi scheme. While Bitcoin and Blockchain do have some scability issues that can be overcome with the implementation of numerous sidechain technology, we believe Bitcoin, being the blueprint of cryptocurrency, will always have a place in this world.
CNA: Do you have a Bitcoin price prediction?
NC: There is not an exact figure, but if Euro continues to depreciate amid the Greek default, digital commodity like Bitcoin is believed to appreciate in value. It may have the chance to reach $500 by the end of 2015.
CNA: What can we expect from your venture in the near future?
NC: We will establish new partnerships with Bitcoin companies in other countries to create new remittance channels. We will release a mobile app allowing consumers to spend Bitcoin without the volatility risk. We will explore other non-finance-related applications such as Blockchain-based supply chain management.
CNA: Finally, for those who don’t get Bitcoin, do you have any suggestions?
NC: We suggest people to ask themselves philosophical questions such as what is money and why does gold have value. A very good way to understand Bitcoin is by comparing it with gold. Both are scarce. Because the majority of gold in the world is used for jewelry, it is safe to say that we extract the intrinsic value of gold by wearing gold jewelry as a symbol of social status. On the other hand, we extract the intrinsic value of digital currency like Bitcoin by transferring purchasing power.
CNA: Thank you very much, Nick.