Thailand is rapidly becoming one of the most crypto friendly nations in Southeast Asia. The Stock Exchange of Thailand has plans to apply for a digital license which will enable it to operate a cryptocurrency exchange.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on Blockchain-friendly countries. While everyone loves to taut Malta, I’d like to introduce New Zealand.
Although generally overlooked due to its size, New Zealand has one of the world’s most vibrant Blockchain ecosystem.
For a country of only 4 million people, they really punch above their weight.
[To start with, the government has awarded grants to Blockchain companies like Vimba.](https://www.ccn.com/new-zealand-government-issues-330000-grant-to-local-bitcoin-startup/)
The general quality of projects in NZ is pretty high. I want to focus on two: Sylo & Centrality.
Both hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, they’re working together to integrate decentralized solutions into our daily life.
You’re probably already familiar with Centrality, they raised about $90m in early 2018. They’re a venture studio for Blockchain projects, and they’re doing some cool stuff, like [working within New Zealand’s already vibrant startup scene to empower other tech startups.](http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1810/S00145/centrality-launches-tech-accelerator-with-creative-hq.htm) They integrate blockchain projects into their family. My favorite of which, being Sylo.
Sylo, in its current form is a securel communication app. Kind of like Telegram or Signal, you can download it, and use it today. They’re already established, with a large user base.
In addition to this, they’re also building a DApp. One way to think about this, is like WeChat for the rest of the world. In China, WeChat is used for everything. Ridesharing, payments, and communication.
The problem with this, is that WeChat is essentially a datahoarder for the Chinese government. Even if you’re not in China, your communications on Facebook and your search queries on Google, among others, are being monitored, tracked and sold. It’s quite likely that these “big data” players know more about you than you do yourself.
Luckily for us, the team at Sylo are busy crafting up their fully decentralized App (DApp). Public beta should be live in the first half of this year. With it, you’ll be able to communicate securely. Text, voice and video. You’ll be able to store any ERC-20 token in the App, and with their CentraPay integration, you can spend the tokens at POS terminals, when purchasing goods online. You’ll also be able to send any of these tokens seamlessly to the people you communicate with.
In addition, you can use Sylo connected applications to hail rides, book restaurant tables, and rent e-bicycles, among other things. This is all done seamlessly.
The point of Sylo isn’t to just be another DApp. It’s goal is to just work, without any of the tracking, monitoring, or commerce associated with your data in our current system.
The brilliant thing is that – end users don’t need to know about the decentralized part. To my 60 year old dad, Sylo is an app that combines everything he already does on his phone into one app, and it doesn’t sell him out. His activity is only his, and his messages are only read by him and his recipients. Even if he doesn’t know about the decentralization, he’s still benefiting from it.
Sylo is one of the few projects that’s incorporating blockchain, but not restricting themselves within that sphere only. I believe that it has one of the highest likelihoods of success when it comes to mass adoption.
Example, look at WeChat. It’s so successful in China that PayPal, Venmo, Uber and co aren’t used – WeChat integrations are. It’s an almost ideal app, unfortunately with huge privacy concerns. Sylo is tackling this head-on, with a privacy first approach, and I think they’re going to kill it, with a combination of programming talent, strategy & marketing, usefulness, partnerships and a favorable regulatory environment..
I feel that we are still lacking some basic services that one would expect Bitcoin to have by now.
Especially towards the “general consumer”, your average Joe. They want to send, receive, buy and sell Bitcoin for FIAT as simple as possible.
– **Bitcoin Apps**. The bread and butter that people can download to buy their first bitcoin, store it and send it to other people. If you look at the app store, we got:
– Bitcoin.com Wallet, which does more harm than good promoting BCH instead.
– [Blockchain.com](https://Blockchain.com) App, which also introduced the ability to Sell/Buy to your bank account.
Your average Joe is pretty much forced to go with CoinBase or don’t enter crypto. Average Joe is not interested in making a deposit on one website and then send the money to another site to store, and then send to another site to spend. Let alone registering to an exchange and figuring out what an order book is.
There are some big consumer friendly apps that dabbled in crypto recently like Robin hood, Revolut, Cash app, Circle, … but so far, sadly, they all are too restrictive about what they allow.
– **Payment processors**, back in 2013-2015 BitPay did us a huge service allowing anyone to accept bitcoin and actively seeking big companies to accept Bitcoin. We all know the company basically imploded due to mismanagement, but nobody ever replaced them. We have some contenders but none of them have reached the bar that BitPay once did.
– **Paying wages**: It’s very difficult for anyone to get paid in BTC who also wants part or all of it converted to FIAT, especially when you want to follow all regulations.
Please list any other services that are maybe overlooked and Bitcoin could use (more of).