July 2023 saw the next large gathering for Bitcoiners in South East Asia – this time it was upon the Thai Bitcoin community to pick up the torch and spread the orange gospel in the former kingdom of Siam.
Bangkok, which in recent years overtook London and Paris as the global tourist destination of choice with over 22m overnight stays by 2019, was the chosen location – allowing for a smooth arrival of Bitcoiners from near and far thanks to an infrastructure and workforce streamlined to cater to the needs of international visitors.
Be warned however:
With the increase in wealth and prosperity the traffic situation in Bangkok has devolved to a true carmageddon during rush hour.
For 10 kilometers of ride, you can easily spend 1 hour and more in the cab… – if speed goes over comfort, you might rather opt for a Grab bike or similar options to weasel your way through the breathtaking Bangkok traffic.
Now onto the happenings itself:
Warm-up at Bobspace – Bitcoiners & Steak aplenty!
The weekend kicked off with a meaty BBQ operation put together by the good folks at Bobspace Bangkok, who succeeded at creating a Hub for Bitcoin and Bitcoiners in the heart of the Thai capital.
A physical embodiment of their defining mission statement – Building on Bitcoin.
A calm hideout spot amidst the high rises, a large grill on the veranda and a spacious inside which provided for a great space for discussions with the movers and shakers, builders and educators from Thailand and across Asia.
Rumors have it that people ended up talking far past midnight about the in’s and outs of their Bitcoin journey… while still being relentlessly served with piping hot steaks by the unceasing Bobspace crew.
If the goal was to bring the most committed Bitcoiners across the region closer together – the opening night was a full success in this regard.
Saturday, 15th of July, the big day arrived:
More than 600 people gathered for the inaugural Thai Bitcoin conference – a demand which even took the organizers by surprise.
We won’t go too much into the details about the talks held at the event, you can view all recordings at the Rightshift Youtube channel:
The event was put together by collaborative efforts around the leading Thai Bitcoin education company Rightshift who worked together with Bobspace and other stakeholders in the Thai Bitcoin community to pull this inaugural event off.
If you have ever been involved in conference logistics, you know how much responsibility is put on the shoulders of the organizer to make sure everything runs smoothly and that hundreds of attendees have a good time at your event.
And we got to say: Rightshift and all the other helping hands around them delivered – and for that we should all be grateful and thankful.
Far too long this region has suffered under a lack of serious Bitcoiner get-togethers.
Such events shall not be taken for granted because somebody has to put in the work to make them happen and take the risks associated with taking action of this kind.
Ironically enough it’s the very nature of Bitcoin which makes it so desirable which acts as a counterforce to see more events from Bitcoiners for Bitcoiners – despite all the cool and committed people you can potentially hang out with!
- Bitcoin’s decentralized nature (= no “foundation” which can expense shitcoin festivities as marketing expense to find more bagholders)
- Bitcoin’s “hard moneyness” (every Sat spent now is a Sat less you might regret not having in the future!)
It takes real sacrifice and a love for the community to put these events together – behind the (hopefully) rather smooth experience on the event day itself is a lot of hard work in the months leading up to it.
So support your local Bitcoin events – it is on all of us to make these happen and keep those happening.
If you are currently not in the situation to commit larger amounts of resources – be it as an event sponsor or taking active part in the event organization – even the very many little actions matter.
Help to spread the word, give some recognition – do not underestimate how much that means to the people who have poured months of their life into playing their part of creating a new reality in the physical world we all can enjoy.
What’s next for Bitcoiners in South East Asia?
From here on out, all eyes of the South East Asian Bitcoin Community will be on Bali, where the Indonesian Bitcoin Conference is set to take place on the 26th & 27th October.
Some of the headliners from outside the region include former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who has been refocusing his efforts on his Nasdaq-listed Bitcoin firm Block, Samson Mow who has been dedicating the last few years towards driving forward nation state adoption of Bitcoin and the ever world-traveling Stephan Livera who will completing his mission of attending all Bitcoin conferences in the region for this year.
…and if you can’t make it to Bali in October, don’t you worry:
The 22nd of March 2024 will see a repeat of the successful Bitcoin-at-the-beach event in Da Nang – LightningCon is going to be back for another round of Bitcoin’ing at Vietnam’s shores.
Bangkok 2023 – attendee voices
Albert Buu (Neutronpay): Attending the first Bitcoin Thailand conference was an eye-opener. The sheer size and enthusiasm of the community left me both astounded and inspired. It’s evident that Bitcoin and the Lightning Network have deep-rooted support here in Thailand. I recognize the potential this holds. We are keen to expand our footprint into Thailand, not only to tap into this fervor but to bolster adoption and create synergies that will bring Southeast Asia closer in the digital financial age.
Dominik Weil (BitcoinVN): “After a drought for several years, Bitcoiners in South East Asia have swung now into full action as borders across the region reopened. Da Nang, Boracay, Bangkok and soon Bali – each event so far had its very own setting, vibes and flavour.
Thailand definitely has set an impressive mark in terms of their development of the local Bitcoin scene – giving inspiration to us in Vietnam and others in the region of what’s possible.”
- Attendance: higher than expected.
- Attention of audience: high retention and attention throughout the 2 days up to the very end; this was the most positive surprise.
- Things to adjust: for next year, probably more local language sessions perhaps over 2 main days.
And workshops will be tighter and may run concurrently.
Quite a few attendees thought the conference was too short; which was another pleasant surprise.
Louis Liu (Mimesis Capital): The Thailand Bitcoin Conference demonstrates that interest in Bitcoin is rapidly growing in the region. I’m pleased to participate and support the Bitcoin movement in Thailand.
Most notably, active engagement of the locals was very encouraging and I now see a huge potential in fusion between locals and skilled expat bitcoiners in Thailand.