John Saeyong Ra is running a co-working space and community center called Bitcoin Center Korea in Seoul, Korea and has been dedicating his time over the past couple of years to foster education, knowledge and community building around Bitcoin and related technologies in one of Asia’s hottest markets in terms of interest in Bitcoin & Co.
Q1: Dear John – you are one of the speakers at the upcoming 5 Years anniversary event of the local Bitcoin Saigon Community. When did you first time hear about Bitcoin and why did you get interested into it in the first place?
First time I heard about Bitcoin was roughly 5 years ago when I started Bitcoin Center Korea. I came from traditional finance and tech industry. I wanted to transition myself into something drastically disruptive and innovative. Clearly, there was nothing more disruptive and innovative than Bitcoin.
Q2: Looking back over the past 5 years – what surprised you most positively, what most negatively in the past half decade of Bitcoin history?
Everything we believed in theory about Bitcoin over the past 5 years has become a reality for the most part, all driven by the community based open source development. We all expected or at least believed that Bitcoin would succeed, but seeing it happen in reality was a highly positive surprise. On the other hand, most economies still insist on maintaining the existing monetary policy driven by the arrogance despite all the efforts by the Bitcoin community to bring awareness of the problems we face with policies such as the quantitative easing, polarized centralization, etc. We all expected or at least hoped not to see this happen, but seeing it happen in reality was a highly negative surprise.
Q3: What can listeners expect to learn from your panel on the experiences of being a Bitcoin community organizer with the activities of the Bitcoin Center Korea?
They can expect to learn very little, and that is what makes a Bitcoin community organizer such as the Bitcoin Center Korea important. Most of our activities are not fancy headlining events, but rather catalyst events that can spark innovative ideas in the grassroots movement. Keeping your heads down and quietly supporting the community is often overlooked, but plays a key role in bringing true value of community driven developments such as the Bitcoin. Simply put, less distraction and more focus on the fundamentals.
Q4: Where do you see Bitcoin, the communities and its general impact on society going within the next 5 years?
Bitcoin so far has gone through the initial incubation and beta testing phases. It has gone through many experiments and survived many challenges. For the next 5 years, I see Bitcoin going from an experiment to a real world application. Real adoption of Bitcoin as the first and perhaps the only truly working cryptocurrency will continue within the next 5 years. Bitcoin and its communities will also continue to be the catalyst for philosophical changes in society which will impact not only what and how we shape things, but also why we do things. Bitcoin will bring opportunities for everyone to rethink and reinvent our society in general.
John will be speaking at the Bitcoin Saigon anniversary event on the 29th of November about the origin and future of the Bitcoin communities – you can grab your tickets here!