In the first of our speaker interview series, we caught up recently with CEO of Bitcoin.co.id, Oscar Darmawan, to ask him some questions about the future of bitcoin and blockchain in the Indonesian marketplace.
1) Can you tell us a little about bitcoin.co.id?
Bitcoin.co.id is a startup that focuses on building the bitcoin and blockchain ecosystem in Indonesia. Bitcoin.co.id was founded on 2013 and has been exponentially growing every year. Currently we have more than 180,000 members registered in our site.
2) What is your vision for the future of bitcoin uptake in Indonesia?
I always believe that bitcoin will become an outstanding transport protocol to send or receive money, kind of like a decentralized version of Swift, if you may say so, instead of being the global currency itself. I have faith that Bitcoin will eventually exist as a backbone for settlement and to support remittance businesses. Therefore, even though we are not yet regulated, we try our best to do KYC and AML compliance to prepare for that vision. So when this technology finally matured, we are ready to support B2B legally without hassle.
3) What are the key applications where you see bitcoin or underlying blockchain technology adding value?
Bitcoin will be adding value as a transport layer for remittance businesses. But Blockchain, known as the highly praised technology behind bitcoin, will have a bigger picture for securing data protocol. I can foresee the future where people will use this technology to develop smart contracts, signing agreements and even more secure voting system. We have seen so many companies, not just the ones competing the IT sector, but also financial institutions and e-commerce, jumping on the Blockchain train, which only give us some more proof on how remarkable this technology really is. Blockchain technology can help us build the Internet of Things situation that we have been dreaming of, without having to depend on one server. It can even help us fight against counterfeit medical goods or blood diamonds.
4) What is your long term plan for the future of bitcoin.co.id?
We have a vast blueprint that we plan for the future of Bitcoin.co.id. We have been building the foundation for the Blockchain ecosystem in Indonesia for these past few years. Our long term plan (within these 5 years) is to comply with all of the Indonesia’s regulation which might emerge soon in the future in order to regulate this business sector. I believe for this business to grow, we need to do it carefully and follow the regulation as best as we can.
5) Beyond blockchain & bitcoin, what areas of fintech are most interesting to you?
I have always loved crowdfunding. I believe in the social economy age we’re living in today, people are really able to help each other in order to build something together and make their dreams come true. There is no successful story about crowdfunding startup in Indonesia yet, but I believe sooner or later that concept will be adopted by Indonesian people.
6) Why are you looking forward to speaking at Symbol: The Asian Fintech Summit?
I always love to share what we know, especially things that we experience directly in building this blockchain ecosystem. Well, we have firsthand experiences regarding this matter, and from there, I can honestly say that building a technology that is not really understood by the society, and often causes a lot of misunderstandings even though it has been proven that the so called technology has tremendous potential, is a very difficult job. We want to light up the audience and give them some ideas of how this Blockchain technology can really help a lot of people, not just companies, in many different sectors to run more efficiently and securely in doing their business.
Oscar is just one of the 100+ speakers we’ll be bringing together to explore the future of fintech across Asia. To find out more about the show download our event brochure here.