When I personally discovered Bitcoin, it was about $10-$15, and was just a joke to most people. I did not pay much attention to it until October 2013 when it started its run fro $100 to $1000. Even then, the term “ponzi scheme” and “tulips” were almost always attached to “Bitcoin”. Bitcoin was a joke to most “economists” and “experts” like Professor Bitcorn and Joe Weisenthal.
When a Subway store started to unofficially accept Bitcoin as payment, it was a big deal to the community. Still, very few paid attention, and whenever Bitcoin was mentioned in media, it was almost always negative.
Fast forward to today — In the upcoming 2016 Philippine International Banking Convention, our Bitcoin/Fintech startup has been invited to talk about Bitcoin and Blockchain. It feels a bit surreal, given that banks didn't even want, or were scared, to work with us just 18 months ago. Yet in just the last 18-24 months, this has actually been becoming the norm.
Locally, I myself have been on national TV talking about Bitcoin at least four times, the last of which was on Bloomberg TV. Radio, print, and every other media format have also featured us and other industry players to further educate the public about this technology. I can't even count how many schools and organizations have had us come over and talk about Bitcoin. We have even talked and presented in Money Transfer Conventions outside the Philippines.
More importantly, financial institutions have come to us to consult about Blockchain tech and Bitcoin and how it can help them prepare for the future. Almost all the big banks here in the Philippines are talking about it, trying to understand it, and want to know how it can be useful to them. My most recent favorite moment was when I finished explaining Bitcoin to the head of compliance of a top bank in the Philippines and he had this “eureka” moment — he said something like “Wow, you guys are going to be huge one day… I better buy some Bitcoins for myself.”
Some of the topics in this upcoming convention are “The potentials of blockchain technology for cash management and trade finance” and “Bitcoin applications, Blockchain, and distributed ledgers”. That's pretty awesome if you ask me! Note that there is not even a whisper of “tulips” anywhere, and that the finance industry has turned on its head and are now seeing what most of us here has known all along — Bitcoin is here to stay, and it is here to change things.