Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cryptocurrency Culture Pushes Ahead In Cambodia, Despite Distrust From National Bank

A cryptocurrency mining facility in Incheon, South Korea. (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

Cryptocurrency Culture Pushes Ahead In Cambodia, Despite Distrust From National Bank

Forbes | 21 January 2018
When bitcoin hit $1,000, In Mean realized he made a mistake.
The developer mined “a lot of bitcoin” not long after the cryptocurrency was released in 2009, but he lost all the money he might have gained in a simple mistake: failing to backup the coins.
Now that a growing number of Cambodians are buying into cryptocurrency, the Cambodian developer is building and marketing a local coin aimed at helping new users understand the field and bridge some of the technology knowledge gap that allows newcomers to fall into digital scams.
KHCoin, his newest cryptocurrency, trades for a measly .000000999 btc on, but it’s not meant to be a high-value currency yet, Mean said. At the moment, he’s giving KHCoin to any Cambodian who asks about it.

“Every day, 10 or 20 people message me saying, 'I want to buy your coin, how much are you selling?'” Mean told me at a Phnom Penh franchise of U.S. cafe chain The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. “And I say ‘I’m not selling, go and get it for free!’”
Mean started researching, compiling, and forking code for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in 2014, back when the value for bitcoin was $1,000, as he said. The developer -- who’s a brother and original business partner to executives of Cambodia’s well-known startups, online shopping platform Little Fashion and media site Khmerload -- served as the backend developer for Popular Coin and released his own cryptocurrency, Prosper Coin, which was originally promoted as a cryptocurrency that could be used in online casinos.
In the past year, Mean turned his attention to learning more about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He hosts Q&A videos in Khmer on his public Facebook page, and behind the scenes, he’s working with a handful of local developers who he hopes can lead the pack in blockchain technology. And after gaining a pool of donations, in lieu of an initial coin offering, he released KHCoin and a digital wallet, available in the Google Play store.
Picking up speed
Throughout the country, hundreds of new users are trying to tap into the expanding global cryptocurrency market. Dozens of Facebook and Telegram groups have popped up among locals and expatriates, offering crypto news in Khmer and English, plus questions and trade offers from local enthusiasts.
Steve Miller has been mining for bitcoin and learning about cryptocurrency throughout the eight years he’s lived in Phnom Penh, but it’s only last year where the practice started picking up speed among other expatriates and locals.
“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 in Cambodia, Cryptoasia, as well as 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, from a Phnom Penh poker clubhouse to a sub sandwich shop in sleepy riverside town Kampot. But few say they're getting any digital transactions. 

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