On Bitcoin: John Bailon of Satoshi Citadel

I was rereading blog entries from my now-defunct Multiply account, and I realized that I’ve been writing about tech since 2006! I started out writing about switching from Windows to dual-booting between Ubuntu and Windows XP on my laptop. I was blogging about my experience using open-source software, and compatibility with my various gadgets.

That stopped when I had to switch back to Windows full-time, because of work. But thanks to GMA News Online, I wrote about science and technology again, starting in 2011. My writing for Homegrown.ph was often about entrepreneurship and technology.

Recently, I had a chance to write for Adobo Magazine. I was asked to write about Bitcoin. I got to interview some pretty cool people via email. Naturally I wasn’t able to put everything in my article. So I asked their permission, and they agreed to let me post the interviews here.

Camill Vazquez of Satoshi Citadel Industries, November 2014

One of the people I interviewed was John Bailon of Satoshi Citadel. I first encountered the company when I covered the 2014 DevCon Summit for Rappler. I interviewed one of their then-staff, Camill Vazquez. When I got this assignment for Adobo, I wanted to talk to her about Bitcoin. Instead, it was Bailon who responded to my email.

This is what he had to say about Bitcoin. (Responses edited for brevity and clarity.)

Seven things you absolutely need to know about Bitcoin

  1. John Bailon (from sci.ph)

    It’s very easy to use! You just download an app, and load it up with bitcoins. Sending it is as easy as sending an email. You can buy bitcoins at services like BuyBitcoin.ph or at a Bitcoin ATM in Makati.

  2. No person or company owns Bitcoin. It’s like the Internet, and that’s a great thing!
  3. Bitcoin’s technology was invented by a mysterious person named Satoshi Nakamoto and he published the code of this revolutionary technology for free. He is nowhere to be found now.
  4. Saying that Bitcoin can only be used for money is like saying the Internet is only for posting cat photos. Bitcoin as a currency is just one of the ways we will use Bitcoin. In the future, expect to have your land titles, personal identification and even marriage certificates all using some form of Bitcoin technology.
  5. You can own as little as P1.00 worth of bitcoins, which is around 0.000093 BTC right now if you Google “1 PHP to BTC”. In fact, you can own some bitcoin that isn’t even worth 1 centavo because the lowest bitcoin denomination is 0.00000001 BTC or 1 Satoshi.
  6. There will only be around 21M bitcoins ever and that last few coins will be digitally minted in the year 2140.
  7. You can use bitcoins now with thousands of merchants, including Microsoft, Dell and Overstock.com.

 A brief history of Bitcoin in the Philippines

Bitcoin was invented in 2008 and released in 2009. It’s really hard to say when it was “introduced” in the Philippines. But in terms of business use, the first ever Philippine Bitcoin company started out in December 2013, and it was called BuyBitcoin.ph. This company offered buy-and-sell services and has since merged with our company, Satoshi Citadel Industries.

I didn’t know there was a finite amount of Bitcoin that could ever be mined. I wonder if I should start mining.

Stay tuned for two more interviews!

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