Friday, March 27, 2015

Bitcoin in Thailand - from Kebab to Flowers

 You may have heard or read about it somewhere: Bitcoin, the new cryptocurrency.


What is this thing?
Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.
It is a very new understanding of money. Even if most of our money is already kind of virtual in Bank accounts we manage online, we could still withdraw it into cash (but not all of us, actually).
Bitcoin is a currency that is traded on exchanges or just by peers. You can send me bitcoin from your phone to my phone. 


Bitcoin.org has more about it: https://bitcoin.org/en/


How about Thailand?
In many countries Bitcoin exchanges were established and early adopters started to accept Bitcoins in there businesses. The same goes for  Thailand. The major exchanges are https://bx.in.th/ and https://bitcoin.co.th/en/. https://coins.co.th/ is a Thai website.
All of them offer you to deposit baht and change this into Bitcoins. The value of a bitcoin is depending on the market. Usually most traders look at the dollar value. But even Bitcoin/Dollar is volatile and moves between 230 and 260 USD in the recent days. 
Yes, you can make money in trading and by selling high and buying low. BUT: Those exchanges are not protected like banks. They are simple businesses and can just close any day. It did happen that exchanges in other countries went offline and the owners were nowhere seen. So be careful.

Where can I use Bitcoin in Bangok?
Steve Sykes made a really nice map showing all the places he is aware of who are accepting bitcoins.
At Soi Keb you can buy a kebab with Bitcoin.
There is a Limousine Service, a massage shop, a fashion shop   , a flower shop and there are restaurants like Soi Keb

Where can I get more information?
There is a monthly gathering of Bitcoin enthusiasts, but newcomers are always welcome (I joined two weeks ago). Next meeting of the Satoshi Square Group is Monday, 30th at the 
The Smokin' Pug Barbecue and Blues Bar (yes, you can pay with Bitcoin there as well).