Bitcoin payments exec shares adoption challenges in the Philippines


As many developments within the space show how far the Bitcoin (BTC) community has come, an executive from a BTC payments provider shared how in other parts of the world, adoption may still be in its early stages. 

At the BTC Prague event, Cointelegraph reporter Joseph Hall interviewed Ethan Rose, founder of Pouch — a wallet service that supports the Bitcoin Lightning Network in the Philippines. The duo spoke about the state of adoption in the country and how the Pouch team is trying to introduce Bitcoin to merchants on the island of Boracay, a popular tourist hotspot in the country. 

According to Rose, their team has already managed to onboard around 250 businesses within the island and 400 businesses in the country. Their team is working to promote Bitcoin adoption in the country by offering merchants another way to attract customers.

“They’re not really hard sold on Bitcoin. They’re not like they haven’t decided to spend the rest of their life stacking SATs. Right? So, our pitch is more like a way to just attract new customers to your business over the long term,” Rose said.

Cointelegraph reporter Joseph Hall with Pouch founder Ethan Rose at BTC Prague. Source: Cointelegraph

Apart from this, the executive also shared that there are still some difficulties in introducing Bitcoin to people. He explained: 

“It’s hard to orange-pill. If you can just like walk up to somebody and convince them to like that Bitcoin is the best money and they just decide on the fly to switch their mental model of what money is, like right there. I would say that’s a pretty gullible person.”

In addition to the challenge of introducing Bitcoin to people, the executive also shared that, as more businesses start to accept Bitcoin, there are also risks of them not getting any sales from it.

Local eatery in the Philippines accepting Bitcoin. Source: Pouch

“We need more spenders,” he explained. The executive said there’s a risk that businesses would not have a good experience because spenders could get diluted if many stores accept Bitcoin in a single area. 

Related: The Philippines delays publishing crypto framework

In addition, Rose reiterated that it’s crucial for businesses to have a good experience when they accept Bitcoin. The executive explained that merchants could potentially end up just abandoning the endeavor if it doesn’t bear any fruits. “If nobody shows up after a couple of months, they just like, uninstall their wallet,” he added.

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