Banking/FinanceNews

Cryptocurrency Culture still strong In Cambodia, Despite Distrust From National Bank

When bitcoin hit $1,000, In Mean realized he made a mistake not backing up his coin.

The Cambodian developer mined but lost a lot of bitcoin not long after it was released in 2009.

Today In Mean is working on a his own coin. He aims to educate the timing population of Cambodians trooping to the cryptocurrency not to fall for digital scams.

His newest cryptocurrency KHCoin trades for a measly 0.000000999BTC on coinsmarkets. At the moment, he’s giving KHCoin to any Cambodian who asks about it.

According to Mean;

“Every day, 10 or 20 people message me saying, ‘I want to buy your coin, how much are you selling?’ ‘I’m not selling, go and get it for free!’”

Also Read: IMF wants regulators to coordinate globally on cryptocurrencies

Picking up speed

All over Cambodia, more users are tapping into the expanding global cryptocurrency market. More Facebook and Telegram groups among locals and expatriates are now offering crypto news in Khmer and English.

Steve Miller has been mining bitcoin and learning about cryptocurrency throughout the eight years he’s lived in Phnom Penh. Last year, the practice started picking up speed among other expatriates and locals.

Miller:

“I’ve been trying to build a community here forever, but it’s been almost impossible because of the diversity of people that comes through here”.

Miller started his own company Cryptoasia in Cambodia.  He also runs a bitcoin-taking restaurant called Coin Cafe out of his apartment in a Phnom Penh alley, in an effort to create a face-to-face community of digital currency traders and enthusiasts.

A handful of restaurants and guesthouses in the country are starting to accept bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

Pushback from the national bank

The reason why Millar got interested in the technology is because of its underlying philosophy: limiting the number of federal and corporate intermediaries.

Though the National Bank of Cambodia is exploring blockchain technology which allows secure digital currency transactions, the body is not willing to trust cryptocurrencies. Director General Chea Serey called the fintech “a new form of fraud” in a conference in November. He later banned initial coin offerings from Cambodia-based currencies.

Late last month, the NBC said it “never allowed the purchase, sale and circulation of any form of cryptocurrencies”.

Miller said he understands the NBC’s concerns and hopes people who conduct fraud receive some kind of karmic punishment. He believes the government’s interest in regulating cryptocurrency defeats the philosophical purpose of the technology.

he said,

“A lot of people are losing their money to cryptocurrencies now, but that’s the best way to learn you need to do your due diligence. The alternative is a lot of people go running to the government and that’s not what we want, we want people to be accountable for their actions”.

Read Next: U.S. rating agency Weiss set to issue grades on Cryptocurrencies

THE FUTURE

In Mean, developer of the cryptocurrency KHCoin, explains that his development is meant to function as an educational tool in a Phnom Penh coffee shop.

Mean said he had not yet met with NBC officials about his own cryptocurrency. He doesn’t think they will mind because he gives it away for free, he said with a smile.

But until the NBC either allows the practices — or enforces a strict ban — Mean will be developing KHCoin. He is already working with businesses, including his family’s online shopping chain Little Fashion, to set up an e-payment gateway. If the NBC changes heart, Mean could open up cryptocurrency payment gateways for several Cambodian websites “overnight.”

Mean said,

“There is a trend right now, and when you talk about cryptocurrency you talk about the dream that happened when the internet started. You cannot stop this. It’s a dream that people want, that money is truly money and not something that the government makes us believe anymore”.

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Franklin Odoemenam

I'm a cryptocurrency enthusiast, researcher, and blogger. Find all his articles, written on cryptocurrencies during the period

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