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Carla Kirk-Cohen (Lightning Labs), Chris Maurice (YellowCard), Dominic Weil (Bitcoin Vietnam), Ray Youssef (Paxful), Anita Posch (Bitcoin & Co)
[00:00:00] Anita Posch: Hello and welcome to this panel discussion. Only 81 blocks away before the Bitcoin halving. Our topic today is Bitcoin. As the money for people across the globe, our participants are working and living in all parts of the world so they can bring us firsthand experiences from the ground.
I want to introduce to you panel participants. I start with Carla. We see Carla Kirk-Cohen is a developer at lightning labs and she's located in South Africa. Hello Carla. I then, then we have Chris Maurice. He's the founder and CEO of yellow card, a, Nigeria, based Bitcoin exchange. Then we have Dominic Weil.
He's the cofounder of Bitcoin VN Bitcoin Vietnam. The first Bitcoin exchange in Vietnam. And last but not least. We have Ray Youssef, excuse me. [00:01:00] Ray is the CEO and cofounder of Paxful a peer to peer money marketplace for money transfers. That's active worldwide with an emphasis on Africa, India, China, and Russian countries.
Hello everyone. Our topic is a Bitcoin as money for people across the globe. The special thing about Bitcoin is it's open and permissionless so everybody can use it. And to me, this is the most interesting part of what Bitcoin can do to be a tool for monetary freedom and a tool for financial inclusion for billions of people.
What would you say are the drivers of Bitcoin adoption in the countries you are most active in? Carla, can you stop please?
Carla Kirk-Cohen: Sure. Well, I'd say in South Africa, aside for the speculation case, of course, which doesn't need much explaining, I think that the offer of financial sovereignty and particularly that of the mobility of Bitcoin is a [00:02:00] motivating, factor for people living here.
We've had quite a lot of political turbulence since democracy arrived in South Africa in 1994. And people do worry about the future of their money in South Africa, because it feels quite uncertain at times. And we do have pretty strong capital controls in place. One thing which I think is a huge factor is of proximity to Zimbabwe and our collective memory of the hyperinflation crisis in 2007.
We know a lot more than most what it looks like when a country is completely destroyed by hyperinflation because we've watched, it happens on neighbors at home. We saw unprecedented numbers of refugees fleeing Zimbabwe because their wealth had been completely destroyed by their own government. And it was quite a startling thing to see here. We had people with PhDs begging for money on the streets. We had schoolteachers working as gardeners. And really watching that happen firsthand shattered the illusion for a lot of South Africans that all you need to do is work hard to secure your financial future. And that really scary knowledge [00:03:00] that your money is not at all your own motivates people to hold Bitcoin and hedge against their own governments.
And I think something that Andreas Antonopoulos says, with bitcoin in Latin America holds very true in South Africa, that you don't really need to tell people why Bitcoin. Yeah. You just need to tell them how.
Anita Posch: So it's just a need for it at the fear of being, yeah. that money is stolen basically from the government.
Carla Kirk-Cohen: Yeah, exactly. That fundamental distrust in your government and their ability to protect your wealth.
Anita Posch: Chris, what would you say is the drive of Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria?
Chris Maurice: Yeah. I mean, well, I would, I would agree with, with Carla and, you know, that that's a lot of what we see, across Africa as well.
So, I mean, right now we're in Nigeria, South Africa and Botswana and. that, that protection and that, that security for the future is, is definitely a big driver for it. and I mean, I think the whole COVID situation has really, really [00:04:00] exaggerated the problem that was already there. And so, I mean, if you look at Nigeria or South Africa, both currencies have devalued about 30% against the dollar.
In the course of what a month, month and a half with the, with the COVID situation. And so I would give it that, that threat and that fear was always there. And, you know, it took a situation like this to just really make it, you know, really make it known to, to everyone. but I mean, certainly protection against inflation that, that hedge, that hedge against the risk of the, the local currency is a big part of it.
but I, you know, it's. It's just Bitcoin solves so many problems for people on the ground. And, you know, really, I mean, you can kind of just, you know, pick out of a hat, you know, which, which problem is it solving for any particular individual, right? Whether it's, whether it's that protection against inflation, whether it's the need to move money around, whether it's the need to, you know, secure money outside of cash.
any, anything like that? I mean, there's, there's just so many reasons why [00:05:00] Bitcoin works. For Africa and for other emerging parts of the world. And, yeah, I mean that's any, any, and all of those reasons, you'll see, you'll see people getting into it for
Anita Posch: Ray, what's your experience?
Ray Youssef: Our experience is that there are seven, true use cases for Bitcoin.
And we learned everything we know, particularly from the peoples of Western Africa, they made the case very clear to us. So there's started with gray markets, right. Then went to speculation. That's currently where the vast majority of our volume resides as Carla said. And then you have the five, true use cases which are payments, e-commerce, wealth preservation, remittance, and my favorite social justice.
Magical number seven. So we've talked a lot about the remittance use case, not on this panel. I'm sorry. We're talking about wealth preservation. Well panel. So wealth preservation is a use case. That's only going to continue to grow as the currency Wars ramp up. We don't have to. Talk about Venezuela, a [00:06:00] million percent inflation, Argentina, turkey, Zimbabwe, Nigeria.
I just followed suit in the past eight weeks. And the currency for that was going to flare up all over the world, but there are other use cases. However, wealth preservation is very strong in that it really gets people to type Bitcoin into a search engine for the first time. And explore. And why are they doing that?
Because we want to protect themselves. No one wants to use their entire life savings in a week. Imagine that something your whole family's been saving up for an entire lifetime, several lifetimes gone in a single week. This is a very real situation for people, but there are other use cases as well. You have to talk to the people, you know, whenever someone gets on PAXFUL, they might end up talking to me.
I do customer support every day, everything we've learned with our, from the streets, but I don't have too much to say about that right now. I'll wait til everyone else speaks and I'll start giving some more examples of the use case. I think everyone could really benefit from that.
Anita Posch: That's great. Thanks, Dominik.
How is it in Vietnam?
Dominik Weil: I think [00:07:00] he had a value proposition of Bitcoin. First and foremost was recognized. I mean, as a tool for speculation in Vietnam, East Asia, you have generally a lot of people who are quiet, the gambler types, that's quite different from like, Central Europe, Frankfurt, Germany, where I'm, coming from where people are happy to just keep their savings in the bank, even at like negative interest rate.
But at least it's safe and predictable that you are losing your money there, in Vietnam, otherwise that can use it to transfer money across borders. That's something also, basically everybody recognized just because like, every family here more or less has to deal with cross border transaction, which is also quite different from like Europe where like the average family probably never really has to send money abroad.
yeah, the wealthier families. I mean, they moved their own money abroad or their support, their kids abroad. If you are in a poor family, you have maybe family members working abroad, [00:08:00] sending money back home. So that that's a use case, which. Before, what before Bitcoin even was around people recognize that moving money across borders is useful.
And if you can save some money, there that's even more useful. I was just paying today with traditional transfer because I had no other means to do so. And the one that didn't accept cryptocurrency. A payment to Russia, which was like, I think $420. I ended up paying with the bank 432 euros, which is over 10% in fees.
Yeah. And that's definitely much cheaper if you can do these things with Bitcoin, one trend we are seeing. So with like the cross-border transactions is that these days stable coins, [unintelligible] gaining a lot of traction there. Given that yeah, the volatility of Bitcoin is still around and it's easier to facilitate these transfers these [00:09:00] days and stable coins so that when you do these trends for us, you don't only lose 5% of something.
from market movement. So that's one of the trends which we have been seeing, especially over the last six months here. I mean, tether was already used before a fair bit, but especially with the last six months, it has taken over in volume at our OTC desk, which we're also running here. Yeah, the volumes, which are for transactional purposes.
Anita Posch: Okay. Thank you. So now you touched a point that's also true for impoverished people, the volatility. So the volatility of Bitcoin is one of the obstacles, because if you're poor, you can't afford to lose the money again very soon. So what do you say? What do you think are the obstacles to Bitcoin usage for impoverished people?
Carla Kirk-Cohen: well, I think an easy answer here would just to be, to blame [00:10:00] education or user experience, but I actually think it's a lot more low level than that. for the poorest people out there, it really does seem to be a matter of resource constraints because when you have a decentralized system like Bitcoin, you are inherently shifting resource consumption away from the central server and onto the end user.
So if I look at South Africa, for example, most people live in informal housing. They have unreliable access to electricity. They reliant on mobile data and with the cost of mobile data in South Africa, it would cost you almost a thousand us dollars to sync up a full Bitcoin, node, let alone run it, and two people in low income groups that is over 50% of their monthly salary.
So it's just completely infeasible to do that in those, in those economic groups. and even though we do have solutions coming out like the bloodstream satellite, the setup cost, there is nontrivial. The educational requirement is still significant. So right now to operate Bitcoin non-custodial in a very low-income setting, I think is [00:11:00] actually just completely unfeasible.
Anita Posch: Yeah, I made that experience too. I was in February in Zimbabwe and saw that too. Yeah. Chris, what do you think about the obstacles?
Chris Maurice: Yeah, I mean, so one of, one of the main obstacles, especially for, you know, lower income individuals is, is just simply access. Right. being able to be able to get their hands on it in the first place, being able to make that initial exchange, for, for a lot of people, especially people living in lower income brackets in emerging parts of the world, they're living completely on cash, right?
It's, it's a, it's a cash based informal economy. And so they can't, you know, log into a crypto exchange and make a bank transfer and then, you know, figure out how to use an order book. And I, you know, get that money shifted over to Bitcoin. Right? So it's, it's, it's not, it's not necessarily, like Carla said, it's not necessarily an education.
It's not necessarily a, you know, any, anything like that. It's just, it's simply being able to get your money into crypto in [00:12:00] the first place. I mean, you know, I, I think that's, that's why, that's why, I mean, you know, wallets, even, even custodial wallets and everything are important, for, you know, for some of these people, because it brings down the cost and it makes it, it makes it more accessible at least, you know, for, for them to get started.
Right. And for them to, you know, start on that journey with Bitcoin
Anita Posch: Ray what is your experience?
Ray Youssef: Chris and Carla brought up a lot of good points. So when you look at a market, let's say Nigeria, for example, when we first went there four years ago, the price of Bitcoin was 30%, 20 to 30% over market. Right. So we had to, before we wanted to. achieve our dream of introducing bitcoin to Africa.
We had to actually bring the Bitcoin to Africa, but there's a problem is that it's hard to get money out of African countries. Even South Africa has a 6% premium on Bitcoin. So how are we going to solve this problem? How are we going to get all this Bitcoin into Africa and [00:13:00] introduce people to the crypto revolution, how are we going to do that?
That was very challenging. It was like Chris was saying, it's a matter of base accessibility people. There are you living off cash. You don't have bank accounts. Even the ones that do have bank accounts, it's nearly impossible for them to transfer money from a Nigerian bank account out of the country to Europe or in America.
There are many examples of this extreme difficultly, it’s very hard to turn naira into USD. So we set upon and create a trade route, a corridor between China and Nigeria using a digital asset of gift cards. And through that, we created a payment corridor about $50 million a week, which flooded the country with Bitcoin.
Now, Bitcoin is at pretty much market rate in Nigeria. So the biggest economy in Africa, so. That was a base foundational problem that had to be solved before you can get people started. You need to get them to Bitcoin at reasonable price. Now we get to a really interesting point in that, you know, here in the West, we always think Western union, 20% fees.
That's crazy. Who's going to pay that. [00:14:00] Well, the truth is people in emerging economies are happy to pay 20%. That's actually a bargain for them because the world that they live in the question is, can I actually do this thing with my money at all? At all? It's like any way it's possible at all. Like in Nigeria, just some examples, you know, if you have a bank account with money in it.
They'll give you a visa or MasterCard debit card with a hundred-dollar limit. A month online, imagine all the plastic in your wallet being limited to 100 bucks a month, you can't even buy a PlayStation, right? So what are people to do? And that's where the only thing that can really help there is a people powered marketplace, where any form of money can become any other form of money using Bitcoin and just to clearing layer.
And this is the killer app of bitcoin. This is what the African people taught us over these past five years. I will share more examples later.
Anita Posch: That's nice that you say the
African people taught you because actually they have a lot of knowledge and they know how it works. Yeah. Yeah. Great. So Dominic, how is it in Vietnam?
[00:15:00] What are the obstacles there?
Dominik Weil: Okay. I mean, if you're talking about like the lower income segments, I mean like the rice farmers and so on which you have here on the countryside, I mean, they are not going to speculate on Bitcoin or necessarily put their remaining savings then Bitcoin, But what's more run there.
And we also just discussed, this is like the cross-border transactions. so to make it easy and save money when there's money coming from, I don't know, there's maybe some family members working in factories in South Korea, for example. And the end is that the recipient doesn't necessarily need to know or how to use a wallet or something.
but the sender would need to know and what we have done their is basically, they've built an application, which makes it easy to cash out the Bitcoins in VND Vietnamese dong the local Fiat currency here. So that's the poor people. They [00:16:00] just would receive the VND, that's what they know, that's how they can trade then on their local markets, in their villages up there.
And the person on the other side was making the money abroad can then send the money home this way, this way you don't have to educate necessarily the end user, the recipient here about how to use a Bitcoin wallet and how to cash it out on some exchange or whatever, but they still can benefit basically from the exchange, from the benefits that Bitcoin is bringing along there.
Anita Posch: Yeah, thank you, Dominik. I think one way to bring money into these countries would be to let them earn Bitcoin or lightning in a way. And I also think that lightning might be crucial for the adoption there because as you know, it allows for a smaller transaction fees and micropayments. Carla, you are working at lightning labs and I guess.
With lightning or for lightning. how far are you from [00:17:00] wallets and the lightning network that can cater to the masses .
Carla Kirk-Cohen: Well, I mean, I'm pretty optimistic about the lightening space because I spend every day watching it grow amazingly. So I'd say on the wallet side, we're fairly close. We have wallets like breez, wallet, and Phoenix that have really done incredible jobs at easing user experiences, such as onboarding and acquiring liquidity.
We also on the more technical side have innovations like neutrino, which actually allow you to run a Bitcoin node on your phone. Like on a smartphone, you can run a Bitcoin and lightning node and have a wallet that is completely contained on that phone. And that's incredible. But of course the same resource obstacles that apply to Bitcoin do apply to lightning even more so, because lightning does have an always on requirement.
so reaching the poorest of the poor, I don't think it's very feasible right now, but for more general use case, I think, lightning is certain getting there, the ability to amortize the cost of many payments over to on chain. Transactions is really an [00:18:00] incredible thing. And when we start to talk about some of these use cases that you've been discussing in this panel, I think something really powerful about lightning is that it really does allow for instant, settlements, and that can really help reduce the volatility risks that you have when you are moving Bitcoin across borders, because there is still 30 minutes of confirmation time between countries and that it can be a very significant chunk of time in Bitcoin.
So I think. That's a fantastic thing that lightning will enable. And I believe that largest services will start to set up larger lightning channels as the network matures and act as a settlement layer, as Ray was saying, and then just touching on the earning and lightning case. I think that's also wonderful as well, because to earn a Bitcoin, you might need to be quite a significant amount of work.
But on the lightning side of life, we've got apps like stack work, which allow you to do very small tasks and receive very small amounts of Bitcoin. And it's really a nice experience to go into stack work, do something very small, and that Bitcoin just immediately arrives. You don't have to wait.
You don't have to understand much. You just get paid [00:19:00] out instantly.
Anita Posch: Y
I showed that to some people in Zimbabwe and they were like, wow, you don't need an understanding of Bitcoin because you can cash it out with bitrefill or something instantly. And I guess, yeah, yeah,
Carla Kirk-Cohen: yeah. It's a, it's a lower level of it.
You don't have to wait 30 minutes for your Bitcoin to arrive. Some of those things are addressed much more seamlessly,
Anita Posch: Chris. what do you think about lightning adoption and also on UI exchange?
Chris Maurice: Yeah. I mean, you know, lightning, lightning is definitely the future of Bitcoin, right. And, you know, being able to, hopefully significantly drive down the transaction costs and everything.
is going to, you know, really help propel Bitcoin. what I would say though is, I would, I would contend the fact that, or I would contend the notion that the high transaction fees have really prevented adoption. just because, I mean, people, people are smart, right? People, people around the world, especially people that really need this technology [00:20:00] have always found a way to make it work.
And so, I mean, you know, even, I mean, I know, you know, with Paxful with, you know, Transfers amongst just Paxful wallets, right? That's a big way that people make it work without having to send the money on chain. and I mean, you know, that's, that's one big thing that people do in any country is they will, you know, just have the recipient download the same wallet as them, you know, eliminate that cost of, of moving the money on chain, which again is why I think, you know, custodial wallets and everything are important, especially for.
Lower income earners in some of these countries to enable them to be able to make those, those transactions on the same wallet, to be able to keep that cost low. Because I mean, it is, unfortunately it is a, you know, it can be very expensive to send Bitcoin on chain right now. And so I think things like lightning will certainly improve that.
And they'll make the network a lot faster, a lot safer, a lot better overall in the long run. but I don't think that it's necessarily been an, a major obstacle to adoption because people, [00:21:00] people will always find a way around people are innovative, man.
Anita Posch: Okay. Thank you, Ray. what is, Paxful's strategy on lightning?
Ray Youssef: The truth is we really don't have one. Anita, I wish I was qualified technically to talk about lightening, but I'm not sure Carla could run circles around me up and down there. So we keep our mouth shut on the technical front. the truth is, we’re much more concerned at Paxful with why people should come to Bitcoin and that whole process where they, you know, do that first search for Bitcoin.
What are they looking for? How do we get them to actually use bitcoin? Like Carla mentioned before and so did Maurice, most people come to bitcoin out of speculation sake. They see as a tool of investment, right. That's how it was pitched to people, especially the peoples of Africa. I'll give you guys a little anecdote when we did our Paxful campus tour last year at four universities in Kenya.
I'm sorry, eight universities in Kenya. And. Eight total Kenya and South Africa. Whenever I spoke to the people there and I [00:22:00] asked them how many people here? I mean, people have been ripped off in a MLM, mining scam, half the room would raise their hands. How many people here have lost money, mining Bitcoin and half the room. And I got another half.
And then how many people have lost money day trading again? But, you know, most of the room would raise their hands. So everyone has known has been or known as someone who's been, who has been scammed with crypto because they only see it as a tool of investment. And that's the problem. So we're coming in with this new dialogue.
Hey guys, it's not a tool of investment. It's a means of exchange. It's something you can use. Literally do anything you want with your money. For us, that is 99.9% of our attention has to be there because we have so much work to do to dispel all the negative. Press and lies that have come from the scammer’s narrative.
First media funded by bankers and all this and all that. And then just the basic use case of using Bitcoin itself. What started this company was this whole Backpage effect thing. And I remember I was on the phone. For six months with people, literally for two hours at a time, teaching them every step of the way, [00:23:00] every click, how to use Bitcoin.
You haven't really, you don't really have any vision here unless you've actually been on the phone with a middle-aged person with barely a smartphone, try and teach them how to copy and paste a Bitcoin address. On a browser on a mobile phone, that's where you need to be. We need to get there. Then you'll understand, yeah
lightning is awesome. I'm sure it has amazing potential, but our challenges right now are so much more fundamental and foundational. We need to kind of take a step back and bring the emphasis back on product and making seamless interfaces for human beings. Maybe I sound like a broken record about this, but every time someone asks me about some, you know, fancy technical stuff that I.
I'm not qualified to speak about it. I like to bring it back here. I hope I don't sound like a politician.
Anita Posch: No, no straight. Dominic, what's your, what are your thoughts about lightning and would Bitcoin VN integrate it soon?
Dominik Weil: there is some proceedings. I'm not sure if we can say soon. I hope that we see actually the first integrations happening the second half of the year for [00:24:00] part of our services.
So what has been happening here is in Saigon, the local Bitcoin community has actually. Set up their own node and experimenting around a bit with it so that we don't have just like all these theoretical talks about lightning. we had like, I think the first talk about lightning from one of our guest speakers coming in here early 2019.
So that was like really quite early when kind of the network was just coming up. We have followed a bit like the developments there over the time. And then like last fall community has then set up the first node too. Get some practical experiences, have to say at this point in time, you can't really expect like your average user to dabble around necessarily with lightning.
it's still quiet, technically challenging to set it up. So at the moment it would be more like service providers for, enthusiastic hobby users too, set up the nodes and work around with it. So it feels a [00:25:00] bit like Bitcoin and it's very early days where the very early interfaces also were not. Made for your average person.
That's a bit where we stand right now with the lightening network. So to set it all up can be a bit painful, but once you get it working and do them a payment, I mean the payment experience itself is just beautiful. I mean, you'd send it and boom, it's done for like one Satoshi or whatever you can really, it's micropayments around it.
Confirmed basically instantly. that's definitely a beauty. That's an amazing moment. When you do your first payment there this way, just at the moment, it's a. Technically that's a bit clunky to get it all set up and running, but yeah, we are looking at it and we hope that also then the second half of the year, our own services will also start offering to a limited degree and then slowly integrated more and more to all the services [00:26:00] which we are offering.
Anita Posch: Okay, thanks. let's talk a little bit about the developments around Bitcoin. So, Libra presented its white paper, 2.0 and also a central bank. Digital currencies are coming. Do you think that Libra for instance, will be a game changer and will it be a competitor to Bitcoin? Carla?
Carla Kirk-Cohen: this isn't something I'm particularly well researched on because it's not something I chose to spend my time on when the paper was originally publish, but I don't really see it as something that's comparable to bitcoin because it's not sovereign money.
It's money controlled by a Federation of companies who, if I am correct, have already reneged on their intention to decentralize further. so my belief is that we'll probably be regulated out of existence before it ever launches. And if it does launch, it will compete more with PayPal than Bitcoin, I think.
But it's not something I'm [00:27:00] particularly educated about. I must say.
Anita Posch: Okay, Chris?
Chris Maurice: Yeah, well, I, I agree a hundred percent. I think, I think Libra, as it stands right now is more of a threat to PayPal, than anything. But, I mean, you know, even, even if Libra were to, you know, were to launch and were to somehow get past all of the central banks and everything in its originally intended form.
It's still it still doesn't number one, solve the problems that Bitcoin solves. And number two, it's still, it still doesn't solve that problem of access in the first place. Right? So Facebook will have to do with Libra, what everybody else is trying to do with Bitcoin and get it out to people, right? I mean, you know, Facebook, the entire continent of Africa is not going to change too.
The dollar because Facebook releases a digital form of it, you know. So, it's, you know, even, even Libra in its original form would still have that problem of access, but definitely with how much it has [00:28:00] been, you know, washed down at this point. I think that it's going to be, I think it will be a great replacement for PayPal.
Anita Posch: Yeah. But the on ramp, I mean, there are 2 billion people using it already, and I think everybody in Zimbabwe is using it in a way. So it would be very easy for them to use it. Wouldn't it?
Chris Maurice: Yeah, I guess if Facebook wants to take all the money in Zimbabwe and I mean, the thing is, is in order to get onto Libra from Zimbabwe, somebody would have to take your Zimbabwean dollars, right.
Or your USD in cash in Zimbabwe or eco cash or. Something there. And I mean, the bottom line is nobody really wants that. Right. I mean, Facebook that I guarantee your Facebook's not going to take eco cash.
Anita Posch: The government of Zimbabwe also doesn't want that
Chris Maurice: yeah, exactly.
Yeah. The government doesn't even want it.
So it's, it's still, it's still that issue of on ramping and off ramping. Right. So, so I agree. Libra would be great. If there were some way to [00:29:00] shift the entire country of say Zimbabwe onto it. Right. But it's, there's still that problem of how do you get people onto it in the first place? And so then the question becomes if Bitcoin and Libra are going to be equally difficult to access, why would you want to use the more centralized, more controlled one?
Anita Posch: Because people don't care, I guess, because they are impoverished. They take everything they can use. yeah. Thank you. Ray, what's your opinion on that?
Ray Youssef: Well, it's similar, good points from, from both sides. I, I think bitcoin and libra can definitely exist in the world. And I will say that if Libra manages to, bring on ramp and off ramp, a lot of people and.
Then we'll use them. We will add them as a payment method to Paxful and we'll make them clearable with Bitcoin, meaning someone could take their Libra balance and turn it into Ali pay or PayPal or anything else. Right. So I think they'd fit in nicely. There all depends on how much traction they're going to get.
How [00:30:00] much onboarding are they gonna do? What offerings are they going to have? They're welcome to use some Paxful products that would help them on ramp and quickly into their system. But at the end of the day, you know, you brought up a good point. People really don't care. No Bitcoin is awesome. It has all these immense advantages that centralized systems like Libra or PayPal do not have, but at the end of the day, people just want to go about their business.
They're not going to look at things ideologically. They don't see it that way. So bitcoin is the future. A Libra, I believe can also have a future. I'm not too concerned about it right now. As far as Paxful goes, we will integrate it into our ecosystem if it can solve real problems for real people. The real world.
I think bitcoin should be more concerned about tether right now, but you know, it's not a game of street, fighter two with crypto. We should stop looking at it that way. It's a growing, expensive ecosystem. Like in a mycelium network, you don't have to attack each other. We can work in unison. We can work in harmony.
The goal remember is to make everyone rich. At the end of this, all we have [00:31:00] to do is just let people use their money the way they want to. if Libra can help, let's welcome into the family.
Anita Posch: That's sounds great. Yeah. Dominic, what are the plans, of Libra in Vietnam?
Dominik Weil: I haven't heard about any specific plans for Vietnam and Facebook is kind of the social network.
Number one in Vietnam, you can't get around it as a business. You need to be present there. I mean, even, yeah, even a lot of business communications, which like. And Germany, for example, would happen thing or generally globally on LinkedIn, they just happen to spoke here. so they have set up ready, strong stand here in the market.
But otherwise, I mean, I never was really that much excited about all this, this Libra hype, because I mean, Libra is not challenging, like the value proposition, which Bitcoin has Facebook can't. Put up a competitor to Bitcoin or something like how it was framed. it's just another kind of e-money. Like you have already all these other wallets out here, be it land like [00:32:00] we chat, which is of course in the region quite popular with all the Chinese tourists.
Not so much right now, but we have also a couple of like local e-wallets here and I mean,
, one thing, which I am, I want to add this, like, I mean, it depends with Libra also, and that's something Ray was talking about before. integrating with other services. I mean, it depends how easy it is to do chargebacks. For example, like integrating paper, it's very tricky because paper likes to charge the money back wherever for a lot of the local e-wallets here, it's easier because they are usually, they don't allow that the money gets charged back.
And then we would just have to wait and see basically how Facebook is setting up their policies there. If it's works to do this as a Bitcoin service provider.
Chris Maurice: Yeah, no. Yeah. I think, I mean, I think Libra will be very interesting. So I mean, you know, I think like Ray said, it's, at the, at the end of the day, you know, if it, if it works, it'll just be another way for people to get into Bitcoin. [00:33:00] So, and hopefully, ideally, it'll be an easier way for people to get into Bitcoin.
So we'll, we'll see.
Anita Posch: What can the Bitcoin community do to support these regions of the world?
Ray Youssef: Okay. That's a great question. Yeah. I think we have to look at models like what the dash people have done in Venezuela. You know, very aggressive, cohesive, value generating campaigns, focused on local peoples and local, very, very local problems and even setting up specific corridors. This is how we have to approach the game right now.
We've done a great job. You know, this amazing human layer on top of the blockchain, I call it a miracle of the Bitcoin community. that's Developed over the past 11 years, it really is miraculous. We've done a great job of educating people evangelizing, but when it comes to on the ground business development, it's very focused.
Very, very few companies are doing that. Like I mentioned the example dash. [00:34:00] Right. That was one example. I'm sure there's a few other examples out there. What Paxful has been doing in Africa, going to universities, building schools, building Wells, doing massive grassroots outreach, a peer program. That's another example.
I'm not aware of many other examples. a lot more of that needs to happen. just to get kind of corny here with you guys for a second. At Paxful will we have three values and the first values that we have to stay connected to the street? Meaning we have to actually talk with real people to connect with them and understand how to actually help them.
The second value is we have to build for people, meaning products, right? Not abstract things built for machines or fancy elliptical curves. I keep restating this point over and over again. Whenever I can be, I'm really making a. I'm kind of desperate. I'm making a desperate call I’m shooting a flare for all the great product people in crypto to come and join me, please.
Paxful needs you. I'm sorry. I had to do that. Shameless cry for help there, but we truly do need product people in this space above all the like building things for [00:35:00] people. I can't repeat that enough.
Anita Posch: So, thank you very much, Ray. I think that was a great last statement. Thanks all to you all. You brought great insights about Bitcoin usage around the globe, all the best to you and all the best to Bitcoin.