Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday
Being one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines and one of the World’s Greatest Places of 2022, Boracay Island is set to get another title as a “Bitcoin Island” through the efforts of cryptocurrency wallet service provider Pouch, which has been actively promoting the use of Bitcoin on the island for the past four months.
According to Pouch Vice President Bill Mill, through their campaign, more than 120 businesses, both big and small, agreed and teamed up with the wallet provider in order to enable Bitcoin payments on the island.
He also added that their plan is to establish a micro-economy running entirely on bitcoin while promoting crypto tourism.
“Right now, we are focused on getting businesses to accept payment so there is somewhere to spend… The ability [for people] to top up their pre-paid phone credits with no fees on any carrier is a surprisingly killer app. The stores love it because it is a no-fuss way of being able to support all carriers at once,” Mill stated.
Currently, some of their staff and service providers on the island are already being paid in bitcoin using Pouch, he revealed.
“Something as simple as payroll services is an unsolved problem here. We are fighting for every centimeter of adoption forging a circular economy right now,” he explained.
Consequently, Mill stated that they are currently gearing up for the upcoming early vacation season.
“We are really trying to gear up for the start of (the) tourist season in October. Already, random bitcoiners are here, seeing the businesses and spending satoshi. The more that happens, the more the imperative to accept bitcoin,” the crypto wallet executive explained.
Although the immediate focus is on Boracay, he expressed his confidence that Pouch’s unique selling point, which includes low transaction fees, will give its product national relevance throughout the whole country.
Also, he noted that aside from being able to provide banking to the unbanked, bitcoin adoption will help Filipinos save millions of dollars every year on commissions for remittances, emphasizing that he is expecting to see a boost in the Philippine economy through bitcoin use.
“If all the remittance markets were to switch to bitcoin as rails, it would increase the GDP of the entire country by 1%,” he stated.
Accordingly, the main goal of Pouch is to use quicker and less expensive Bitcoin transactions to enter the third-largest in the world, the multi-billion dollar Filipino remittance market.
Pouch, also known as Pouch.ph, is a crypto wallet provider that leverages the Bitcoin payment layer Lightning Network, which allows users “to seamlessly send and receive [money] across borders.” Its website says the wallet is still in beta testing.
This article is published on BitPinas: Local Crypto Wallet Eyes to Turn Boracay into ‘Bitcoin Island’
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