Interview: Jeremias Kangas of localbitcoins.com
Patrik Forsberg, BTCX | News
Hi Jeremias! As a founder of localbitcoins.com BTCX|News is curious about your opinion on the future of bitcoin. Jeremias Kangas, localbitcoins.com
Hi, well, generally I believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and will change the world but the timespan could be something like 10-20 years. Myself I’m of course quite heavily invested
because localbitcoins.com depends heavily on bitcoins and I employ people as well.
PF: How big is local bitcoin? How many countries are you operating in how many customers have you? Where is the biggest market for you guys?
JK: LocalBitcoins has registered users practically in all countries (+200), and I would guess that in about 150 we have had paying customers. Just yesterday we had paying customers from 56 countries. Currently we have about 1000 new users registering each day, but only small amount of those users convert to an actual Bitcoin user on our site – many are just looking around. Our biggest market is still english-speaking countries, but that seems to be changing lately, as for example Philippines and Thailand have grown.
PF: Do you think people will start trade even more person to person between different currencies, using services such as yours, or will exchanges take over?
JK: I don’t honestly know how the future will unfold, whether LocalBitcoins will gain market from centralized exchanges or vice versa. Perhaps there is space for both. We just try to improve our service as much as we can.
PF: What is needed for bitcoin to get really big or mainstream?
JK: For mainstream adoption, we still need much more easy-to-use software. Also new startups which use bitcoins in some new way, which brings value in some way which fiat can’t (for example, decentralized marketplaces).
PF: How would you explain the advantage of bitcoin over credit card, cash etc for an average non-bitcoin user? What are the benefits?
JK: Bitcoin isn’t direct competitor for credit card. Bitcoin has some advantages over them however for payments, such as the possibility to use any smartphone as payment processing device. Also the ability to transfer value peer-to-peer really easily from any device to another. Also in general a big benefit is that there can’t be lock-ins to certain providers, like in traditional payment world. I guess bitcoin in short-term won’t change our lives that drastically. Maybe it makes lifes of those easier and cheaper, who need to do international money transfers. They will save a lot of money on fees and hassle associated with traditional money transfer companies.
PF: How do you think bitcoin will change the world, and our daily lifes?
JK: In the long run however Bitcoin could cause headaches to government officials, bankers and regulators. There hasn’t been much disruptions in the financial sector for a while, so Bitcoin offers something new.
PF: Alt coins or Fiat?
JK: Fiat, not currently too much use cases for altcoins. However hopefully that will change!
PF: Internet or darknet
JK: Darknet is built on top of internet, so I choose internet.
PF: Mining or dining?
JK: Dining. I have never mined any cryptocurrencies, even though I have been involved with from quite early on. The quite common misconception is that mining is somehow the “thing” about Bitcoin.
PF: And how did you discover bitcoin?
JK: Hacker news (news.ycombinator.com) in December 2010.
PF: Thanks alot!