In the past month you might have noticed an announcement made by a Twitter account called “Bitcoin Beach Vietnam” - rallying the orange troops to make the journey to Vietnam.
So what’s the deal there? Who is behind it? What is the plan? And why should you care?
As a spoiler:
This event is not organized by the Bitcoin Saigon community, but individual members of our community are looking to play a more or less active supporting role in the background.
There haven’t been very many Bitcoin Events in Vietnam to date (the last one of significance was Eric Voskuils’ CryptoEcon 2020 in Hanoi), so it’s certainly worthy to find out more.
Bitcoin Saigon: Hi Malcolm! Please give us a short intro about yourself and Neutronpay.
Malcolm: I’ve been in the fintech/payments space for 10+ years. I previously worked for a payouts company called Hyperwallet, which is based in Vancouver, Canada and would later be acquired by PayPal. That is where I met Albert Buu, Neutronpay Founder & CEO for the first time. We would talk about Bitcoin, the overall industry and what the future looked like once it got adoption. In January 2017 I would leave Hyperwallet and go on to work full time in the crypto economy, first by helping Albert raise capital for his mining operation which was in Canada. Later that year in December I was a co-founder of a crypto brokerage in Vancouver which would serve the local area and also other regions across Canada.
Neutronpay was born in 2018 when Albert saw that the newly launched lightning network was the required solution to make Bitcoin become what it needed to be in order to scale globally for mainstream adoption. He would move to Saigon as he believed that developing nations is where adoption would happen first and an added bonus was being able to explore his ancestral country of Vietnam.
Upon selling my portion of the brokerage business I made the decision to invest in and join Neutronpay in October 2021 as COO. With Albert and I working together we made tremendous progress in the last year having raised a USD$2.25M seed round of investment from US venture capital firms, growing our team to 12 with half in Canada and the other half in Vietnam. It also looks like our Series A is just around the corner.
It’s been exciting educating businesses about the lightning network and the advantages it can bring to them by leveraging our enterprise API for payins, payouts and general infrastructure. We’re also super excited about our consumer facing mobile app which allows users to gain direct access to the lightning network. It is currently in beta with users in Vietnam and we look forward to it going more mainstream in the coming months.
Bitcoin Saigon: What was the inspiration behind “Bitcoin Beach Da Nang and Lightningcon”?
Malcolm: In the last year I had seen the launch of the original Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador, and the attention it brought to Bitcoin and the lightning network as a payment protocol. Additional complimentary communities were born in Latin America and Africa including Bitcoin Lake, Bitcoin Mountain and other Bitcoin Beaches.
Everytime I spoke to someone about what we were doing in Vietnam they were surprised to hear it so I felt like something needed to be done to bring more attention to not only Vietnam but also Southeast Asia and its Bitcoin adoption, which is where the idea of Lightningcon came from.
Lightningcon will focus attention on the lightning network more specifically as by now most people know about Bitcoin, mining, buying & selling, but they haven’t heard much of anything about lightning and its time they should because a lot has happened in the last year in regards to its adoption and I believe by end of March even more will have taken place.
Bitcoin Saigon: Why Da Nang?
Malcolm: First off, Vietnam has such a beautiful coast line with amazing beaches that have been gaining the world’s attention in the last ten years. Da Nang is one of the main focal points along the coast and we felt it was the perfect place to bring people together from around the world to not just enjoy a meeting of the minds to talk Bitcoin and lightning but somewhere they can escape for a winter holiday and enjoy what most likely is their first ever visit to Vietnam. Vietnam has so much to offer and we thought Da Nang would be a great jumping off point as I’m sure attendees will extend their stay in Vietnam whether that is before or after the conference.
Bitcoin Saigon: What can attendees expect?
Malcolm: Attendees can expect to enjoy two full days of sessions which will cover current developments of the lightning network, adoption of lightning in different regions of the world and regulatory tailwinds or headwinds that are currently being experienced. But not only will people enjoy the sessions but this is also a time to mingle with your peers and get to know each other even better, potentially work on collaborations to progress the ecosystem and also to enjoy some fun at the beach along with a few cocktails.
Bitcoin Saigon: What’s your general impression of Vietnam as a whole and where it’s headed in the years to come? And why is the country worth a visit for people stemming from far-flung countries like in Europe and North America?
Malcolm: Vietnam is a great country. I first came in early 2017 and immediately saw its economic growth, natural beauty and you can’t leave out its coffee culture and motorbike traffic insanity which just adds to the experience. The people are warm and inviting and not to mention phenomenal work ethic which we’ve been incredibly grateful for.
In the years to come, Vietnam will continue to lead the region in economic activity and hopefully mainstream lighting adoption as well.
If you’re from Europe or North America then Southeast Asia is a must-do trip at some point in your life. The region has so much culture, history, beauty, amazing people and you can’t forget about the food. Vietnam in particular has come a long way from its war torn past, to its manufacturing boom and now its real estate growth. It is definitely a shining point in the region that is starting to poke its head above its fellow peer countries.
If you want to learn more about Lightningcon Vietnam, Bitcoin Beach Vietnam, Neutronpay or myself and Albert please see the links that will be provided.
Lightningcon Vietnam: lightningcon.org
Bitcoin Beach Vietnam: @BitcoinBeachVN
Neutronpay: neutronpay.com @neutronpay
Albert Buu: linkedin.com/in/albert-buu @subnetmask
Malcolm Weed: linkedin.com/in/malcolm-weed @malcolm_weed
If you would like to support the work of the Bitcoin Saigon Community - you can donate some of your Sats to us via our Donation page!!