While many people think Necker Island is the only tropical island destination where they can engage with colleagues and network in a vibrant cryptocurrency community, many more have been making this a reality — on a completely different island.
Bali Is a Real Bitcoin Island Paradise
Bali is a lush tropical island in Indonesia, that giant country just south of Thailand and north of Australia, that spans the equator from west of Singapore all the way to the Philippines.
Now that you know where we’re talking about, Bali has one of the most vibrant cryptocurrency communities in all of Asia, and has more bitcoin-accepting businesses on the island than most other countries in Asia have for their entire country.
Since 2013, coinciding with the opening of Bali’s first co-working space, Hubud in the hill town of Ubud, there’s been an active group of active and knowledgable residents meeting formally every week.
Bitcoins in Bali now has a diaspora of members around the world who tune into their weekly broadcasts on YouTube, on their 1,500 member Facebook group and continue the discussion on Telegram in the meantime.
Many Famous Companies Have Come to Bali
But it doesn’t stop there — many crypto startups and companies have set up temporary offices in Bali to buckle down and achieve goals, get inspired to come up with new ideas and make plans, or to reward their employees.
Starting with the team from Changetip, now acquired by Airbnb, then by Satoshipay, and then a huge gathering from Consensys, Bali is quietly becoming the Necker Island of Southeast Asia. It’s a place to come to get things done, and a conference set for the end of October aims to put Bali on the map.
A few other notables from the community sneak in, but usually get found out by one or more members of the group. Joel Dietz, founder and CEO of Swarm Fund spent some time in Ubud and came to visit Bitcoins in Bali, and to his surprise was spotted soon after arrival. Toni Lane Casserly also came to Ubud on a holiday, and through the Facebook grapevine the group was informed in advance of her arrival so that we could make it a little more special for her.
The Perfect Island Environment
Speaking to Bitsonline, Dietz said:
“Our original team at Swarm Fund considered first going to Bali and setting up an office there instead of California. I had a background teaching yoga and between the founders we had several friends who had spent significant time there. I was able to go on some amazing tours of ancient Balinese temples and caves. I have a strong fascinating for yogic and hermetic traditions and find that much of modern life, in comparison, feels extremely empty and meaningless. I think some of this is what attracted me to Bali. It was a very welcome moment to come to Bali and find some pre-existing events and activities going around Bitcoin and Ethereum. I personally very much hope I can make it back soon.”
Ubud also boasts a storefront Bitcoin shop run by the Bitcoin Indonesia exchange which handles big demand from the many tourists who come to Bali on holiday packing bitcoin, and over 35 businesses in Ubud accept bitcoin for payments.
These include restaurants, hotels, spas — and even an Indonesian language school, Cinta Bahasa, which was among the first three businesses in Bali to accept bitcoin.
Bali’s First Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Conference
Bali’s time as a secret crypto hideaway may soon be a secret no more, as Bali’s first Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Conference “BlockBali” is scheduled for Friday, 27th October 2017 in Kuta, featuring both local and international speakers, followed by an after-party in Bali’s main nightlife areas.
The conference will be a great place to meet all the entrepreneurs and teams who are quietly working away on their projects before unleashing them on markets in Europe, North America and other parts of Asia.
Is Bitcoin and blockchain work better on a tropical island? Tell us what you think in the comments.
Images via Joel Dietz, BitcoinsinBali, Pixabay