Although a great majority of Bitcoin trading quantities is to be found in China, Bitcoin acceptance and usage are still slow to catch up in the rest of Asia. Cryptocurrency remains to be mystical to the more underdeveloped parts of the region largely because no other transformative technology has gained traction in people’s everyday lives—until now.
Bitcoin is new. The price is so volatile. The jargon is intimidating. Our resources are few. These are just some of the common contentions most Asian individuals have regarding Bitcoin.
However, developing countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia stand to gain a lot of benefits from Bitcoin transactions. This is primarily because these countries rely heavily on international remittances from overseas workers. Moreover, Indonesian regions have recently clamored for more Islam-approved, zero-interest financial services for their people.
So how do we grow Bitcoin in the world’s largest continent?
Spreading education and regulation
Bitcoin adoption has been slow in Asia because it lacks regulation. Although some countries are attracted to Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, more traditionally oriented countries in Asia have different principles. They seek a certain level of authority from a regulatory body in order to gain confidence with new practices.
Nevertheless, world-renowned Bitcoin exchange company, Coinbase, still decided to set up shop in Singapore due to the allure of its great financial district. With the right information and promulgation from certain authorities, Bitcoin acceptance has rapidly increased in Singapore.
Reversing the false image
One of the major complaints with Bitcoin is the uncontrollable fluctuation of its price. Up in one hour, down the next. Admittedly, who would feel comfortable with that set-up?
However, more information has to be spread about Bitcoin’s price volatility. People should be encouraged to probe further and realize that fluctuations are normal and essential to a growing digital currency. No technological frontier is conquered without drawing first blood.
Bitcoin has also gained a dark reputation for being used in underground markets and money-laundering schemes. However, savory headlines alluding to these malpractices only highlight a small percentage of what the Bitcoin world truly is. Instead of sensationalizing the black trade, more media should focus on promoting the genius of the blockchain technology, and all the benefits from this should be clearly enumerated in a language suitable for the layman.
Enough hype and falsely appropriated news. It’s time to discover more positive facts with this breakthrough.
Reduced costs, reduced risks
More advocates should focus on the wide range of potential benefits Asian markets can garner from Bitcoin. Not only will transaction costs be reduced dramatically, risks that come with forex and fraud will also be greatly diminished.
Bitcoin is dirt-cheap and security-rich. Nowhere else can both merchants and consumers find a more cost-effective way to transact, as protected by military-grade encryption.
As with all things, it will take time. The shift to current payment options such as PayPal, Skrill and many credit/debit cards didn’t happen overnight. Bitcoin might be taking baby steps in Asia, but give it a few years of proper information dissemination, with added fuel to a benefits-driven advocacy, then the world will see those baby steps turn into gigantic leaps and bounds.