BOOST is a series of Bitcoin parties taking place across Asia. The first event was held in Hong Kong earlier this month. It was so well received that the BOOST crew decided to take the idea regional: Bitcoin parties – Asia wide.
The idea is to provide a fun and informal atmosphere to promote and educate. The focus is on the benefits of Bitcoin and related technologies for consumers and merchants.
Newcomers are helped to set-up wallets, get some bitcoin and spend them immediately (at max. within 10 minutes) at the party. After all, doing is better than explaining.
The event is sponsored by Anson Zeall’s CoinPip: Asia’s regional payment processor. Local enthusiasts, Jehan Chu and Leonhard A Weese also contributed greatly to the Hong Kong event.
Anson Zeall is a leading Bitcoin entrepreneur in the region. He is quick to point out that he is also a lean startup practitioner. Which means that he is very hands-on. He goes and talks to his customers face-to-face, to find out what their problems are.
This approach has led him to the conclusion that there is a chicken and egg problem. As he notes: “Customers don't want to adopt bitcoin because they don't see enough merchants. Merchants don't want to adopt because they don't see enough customers.”
The other main problem he has identified is that newcomers, who aren't in tech., find it very hard to buy bitcoins.
For him and his startup CoinPip “it was a very natural step to host a party, for merchants to see how eager the customers are to spend bitcoins, and for the customers to have fun!”
Anson was expecting a mix of both positive and negative feedback. But he notes that the response from their first event was “way more positive…than negative.”
Anson goes on to say that “Bitcoiners really want to find ways to spend their bitcoins. BOOST offers an environment, for newcomers and people that already have bitcoins, to have fun all in one place.”
CoinPip, based in Singapore, is part of a very vibrant startup scene. But there is more Bitcoin specific activity in Hong Kong. Anson is from Hong Kong and based in Singapore. So his startup is active in both markets simultaneously.
Kuala Lumpur’s population is 1/4 of Hong Kong and BOOST has already received as many RSVPs as the Hong Kong event. So from a population perspective, Kuala Lumpur's Bitcoin scene is very vibrant.
BOOST’s mission is to introduce potential new users to the technology. Experienced bitcoiners are obviously needed at the party, to guide the newcomers. "Learn by doing" is BOOST’s motto.
Anson notes that “for CoinPip to do well, we need more people spending bitcoins, and more merchants to come onboard anyway. So BOOST and CoinPip go hand in hand.”
BOOST is already in preparing for its next Hong Kong party. Singapore, Jakarta (Indonesia), and a few more are also on the way. BOOST is an integral component of CoinPip. And for Anson, “the most important component of a startup is to have fun.”