NewsBTC: Bitcoin and the Blockchain Can Lead a Fintech Revolution
There are many Bitcoin news portals, and one of the players in these resources is NewsBTC. I had the chance to speak with its CEO, Jonathan Millet, to discuss his aims and highlights in mounting this Bitcoin site.
Jay-R Gatdula: Hi, Jonathan. Every Bitcoin enthusiast has gone through a journey– what led you to be interested in Bitcoin and come to believe that it is something that you would devote much of your time to?
Jonathan Millet: Hello, Jay-R. When the concept of bitcoin was introduced in Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper, it was too good to be true. I could relate it to an attempt to create a digital Utopia. But I was a bit skeptical about its implementation and reception. I have been following the developments in the bitcoin sector since it first appeared in the news and media. This way, I have seen how bitcoin grew from something that was worth less than a penny to what it is now. The growth of bitcoin made me believe in it and influenced me to spread the word through my ventures.
JG: How long did it take you to launch your business? What are some specific challenges you’ve encountered in mounting it?
JM: It took me a bit more than a year to get my business to where it is now. Initially the major challenge was to get the right people on board who can consistently create quality content. Now that the process is set up, it is easier to replicate and reiterate as and when such requirements arise.
JG: What can you say is the best thing about your venture in comparison with other crypto-related ventures?
JM: The Bitcoin industry is continuously evolving and the only way to keep up with it is by either following the changes happening in the industry or by changing along with it. Changing along with the industry is a challenge faced by many product companies and many of them fail to innovate on time. Whereas following the changes and new developments in the industry is something that we do and there is always a need for good, reliable information sources , and we are in that space.
JG: What have been the greatest accomplishments or the best times you have had while operating NewsBTC so far?
JM: Well, working as a coherent team is the greatest accomplishment and now is a great time as we are currently the top 3 global Bitcoin news websites and rising. We consider the ability to come out with new business plans efficiently and leapfrog competitors within a short time period very revolutionary.
JG: What do you think Bitcoin needs to become a more prominent and reliable form of payment?
JM: We are seeing new developments in banking and the financial sector. They are working on integrating bitcoin technology into their day to day operations. This itself is proof that bitcoin is a reliable form of payment. But for people to use bitcoin in their daily life, it is necessary for them to understand it first. Once we are able to educate people about bitcoin, how it works and its benefits, we will be able to see bitcoin gain prominence. Currently, the main concerns are the absence of chargebacks (like in credit card payments) which makes people more cautious about using bitcoin to buy things with it. Once these concerns are addressed, many people will start using it.
JG: What do you think is preventing it from going mainstream?
JM: The lack of education about bitcoin and its technology is definitely one. Apart from that, the lack of clarity regarding bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulations in different countries is another issue that is keeping bitcoin from going mainstream.
JG: In addition, what can you say about online gambling laws and cryptocurrency legality and regulation?
JM: Online gambling law is a double-edged sword. It is designed to protect users and at the same time it makes the gambling business tougher. But it does go against the concept of free will, as these gambling laws make it difficult even for users to access the service and spend money as and when they wish.
The legality of cryptocurrency is a grey area, except for a few places where it is banned outright. After all, governments want to keep tabs on the economy and their people, bitcoin allows neither.
Regulations are a good thing, as it makes the do’s and don’ts clear. But regulations should be in moderation as bitcoin has a lot more to offer than what people think. It is essential for governments to provide some leeway for such technology and products in the initial days of research and development.
JG: The Asian market is a complex one. How do you think Bitcoin will affect it in particular?
JM: The Asian market is predominantly a remittance-based market. Be it expats sending funds to their families back home or remuneration to individuals and companies in Asia for services rendered to foreign clients, there is a lot of funds inflow and bitcoin offers a simple, fast and inexpensive alternative to conventional money transfer. Bitcoin-based money transfer and exchange services will provide value to customers. It will also make funds readily accessible to the vast unbanked population in many developing Asian countries. Asia can strengthen the bitcoin community with easy to understand and easy to use bitcoin based money transfer and exchange platforms.
JG: Interesting. Do you think it is hypocritical when Bitcoin supporters who are critical of banks are also critical of altcoins? Do you think a superior altcoin will supersede Bitcoin in the near future?
JM: It is a personal choice. I would say some bitcoin supporters and enthusiasts consider altcoins to be copycats and Bitcoin wannabes. Personally, I would go with anything that has enough backing to emerge as the strongest digital currency for all practical purposes. But one cannot forget that bitcoin was the one that showed the way for all the other cryptocurrencies out there. Blockchain technology solved the problem or double spending and Byzantine general’s problem which plagued developers for decades.
There is a fair chance that another altcoin may emerge on top of bitcoin. Thanks to the lack of consensus among developers, mining pools and bitcoin services. If bitcoin doesn’t evolve, it will relinquish its position to another crypto. Also if the decentralized nature of bitcoin is compromised, people may opt for an alternative by themselves. There are very few huge mining pools controlling huge chunks of Bitcoin network. It doesn’t take long for one mining pool or a set of mining pools get together and take control over mining and make changes to Bitcoin network.
JG: And my favorite question: do you have a Bitcoin price prediction?
JM: In my opinion, I think that bitcoin will stay well within $350 / bitcoin till the end of this year.
JG: What can we expect from your venture in the near future?
JM: We aim to be the go-to place for any cryptocurrency-related news in almost all major languages in the coming months. We are working hard to get there.
JG: For those who don’t get Bitcoin, do you have any suggestions?
JM: Think of fiat currency, bank accounts and digital wallets, now replace fiat currency with bitcoin, bank account/digital wallet with Bitcoin wallet. The only difference is that bitcoin doesn’t belong to any one nation, everything else remains the same. To transfer funds here you use bitcoin wallet address which is a long string of alphanumeric characters instead of easy to read string of numbers, email address or username. Imagine a forex transaction where you are exchanging USD with GBP (usually done physically). The same thing happens in bitcoin exchange as well. You sell bitcoin for the fiat currency of your choice. Bitcoin is a digital currency that doesn’t need a bank for transactions. Now you have got the basic idea which is enough to use bitcoin.
JG: Final thoughts?
JM: The odds of bitcoin and blockchain technology to lead a global financial and tech revolution are high, so make sure to stay ahead of the game!
JG: Well said. Thank you very much, Jonathan.
As a former CEO of Forex Minute, Jonathan Millet, has been the CEO of NewsBTC for almost a year. We believe in the cryptocurrency revolution. Learn more about the cryptocurrency movement here at Coin News Asia.