Neil Woodfine who has been working for a variety of firms and startups in the space across a broad range of sectors (exchange – OKCoin, payments – Remitsy and Wyre, and currently infrastructure – Blockstream) for the past couple of years had early involvement with the Bitcoin Community in Beijing and was one of the featured speakers at the groundbreaking BlockFin Asia conference in Vietnam in 2016.

Q1: Dear Neil – 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?

I got interested in bitcoin for the first time in 2013 after a friend sent me a news article with a chart showing the price creeping upward. I bought some on a whim, and a couple of weeks later I was in the midst of the 2013 pump. The excitement led me to learn more, and by the time the price started crashing back down, I was already hooked.

Q2: Looking back over the past 5 years – what surprised you most positively, what most negatively in the past half decade of Bitcoin history?

The biggest pleasant surprise for me was the ideological changes bitcoin adoption has led to amongst its adopters. It forces people to think about the world in new ways, and has revealed lots of commonly accepted fallacies when it comes to economics, governance, communication, the relationship between the individual and the group, even diet.

The biggest disappointment has been the resilience of the “blockchain,” “crypto,” and “altcoin” memes, which have saturated the industry with unproductive nonsense and requires a proactive effort to avoid.

Bitcoin Saigon 5 Years - Interview with Neil Woodfine of Blockstream
Bitcoin Saigon 5 Years – Interview with Neil Woodfine of Blockstream.

Q3: What can listeners expect to learn from your talk at the 5 Year anniversary event?

My talk at the anniversary event will help the audience better understand what happens to bitcoin when the internet gets turned off.

Q4: Where do you see Bitcoin, the communities and its general impact on society going within the next 5 years?

Over the next five years we’ll see continue to see bitcoin adoption grow, and with it a growing understanding of the failings of the contemporary monetary systems. This task will be made easier by accelerating inflation, negative interest rate policies, and tightening monetary controls in most jurisdictions.

We’ll see at least one more major bull market, which, along with a wave of adoption, will push bitcoin’s market cap to levels that seal its place as a permanent geopolitical issue for most world governments.

Within the industry we’ll see a further delineation between “bitcoin” and “crypto” companies, as serious bitcoin companies seek to protect their brands from the perpetual and repeated failures of crypto charlatans.

And finally we’ll see the emergence of the “Bitcoin-only economy”—a new cohort of startups that don’t touch fiat or altcoins. Pure software services with bitcoin in and bitcoin out. Successful companies in this category will not seek “legitimisation” through regulation or government approval, and will instead recognise the importance staying mobile to take advantage of the most bitcoin-friendly jurisdictions, while continuing to deliver services globally via the internet.

Neil will be speaking at the Bitcoin Saigon anniversary event on the 29th of November about the future of Bitcoin offline transactions – you can grab your tickets here!

5 Years Bitcoin Saigon