Hayden Otto Discusses the Rise of North Queensland’s Bitcoin Cash Movement
Bitcoin cash merchant acceptance has grown significantly over the last year according to the BCH merchant directory Marco Coino. One specific region, North Queensland, Australia has an extremely dense population of bitcoin cash accepting retailers. This week, News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Coinspice Chief Media Correspondent Hayden Otto about the influx of adoption in North Queensland and how it’s become a hub for bitcoin cash supporters.
North Queensland Loves BCH
Digital currency acceptance is a big deal to bitcoin cash proponents and many supporters work tirelessly every day to get online merchants and brick-and-mortar retailers to accept BCH for goods and services. Right now, according to Marco Coino data, there are three specific regions which have a great number of BCH accepting merchants compared to the rest of the world — Slovenia, Japan, and North Queensland, Australia.
Hayden Otto, Chief Media Correspondent for the publication Coinspice, chatted with News.Bitcoin.com this week about the vast amount of BCH support in the northern part of the massive Australian state. Otto can be seen in a number of videos giving people lessons on how to use BCH, promoting bitcoin cash to retailers, teaching people how to use Local.Bitcoin.com, and regularly discussing important BCH topics on social media. The young entrepreneur explained to our newsdesk why North Queensland (NQ) residents prefer the “cash version” of Bitcoin and how other cities and towns worldwide can emulate NQ’s virality for bolstering crypto payments that work.
News.Bitcoin.com (BC): So when did North Queensland (NQ) really start taking off as far as BCH adoption is concerned?
Hayden Otto: There was BTC adoption from 2011 or so that naturally switched to BCH at the fork. Pretty much all BTC held in the region was dumped for BCH in the weeks immediately following the fork. NQ has always been pro the cash version of Bitcoin with good local networks that were immune to Blockstream/Core narratives. I think that long history has meant that BCH adoption hasn’t been an overnight thing, however, something did change in late 2018 where I suspect a critical mass was gained.
BC: Why do you think BCH is so prevalent in North Queensland?
Hayden Otto: Early on, the merchants decided to adopt BCH exclusively. Supporting a single cryptocurrency allows a merchant to adapt quickly with minimal training but the big plus turned out to be that such installations allowed the extraordinary properties of Bitcoin BCH to shine.
Particularly BCH’s speed advantage which has a huge influence on the user payment experience. Merchants supporting Bitcoin BCH were viewed as trendy and modern by customers and the merchants really responded to that energy and engaged the community.
BC: There’s a video of you using Bitcoin.com’s BCH Register app at the Grand Central Cafe (GCC). Can you tell us how the Grand Central Cafe got introduced to the app?
— Hayden Otto (@haydenotto_) April 29, 2019
BC: With so many merchants in the area, what other payment services do people use in the region to pay with BCH in North Queensland?
Hayden Otto: Most merchants simply use the Bitcoin.com Wallet or BCH Register. There were a small number of Travelbybit PoS being used but these merchants have elected to adopt Bitcoin BCH exclusively.
BC: Can you tell our readers about the North Queensland BCH meetup?
Hayden Otto: They always get a good turnout for their meetups and typically it is a combination of merchants, users, and business leaders. There are many smaller meetups that typically occur on a weekly basis and on a less frequent basis they hold a large meetup and organise a speaker to video call in. At their last major meetup, Gabriel Cardona and Corbin Fraser were speakers while Amaury Séchet and Andy Murphy were organized for the one before. With these large meetups, attendees are always sporting custom T-shirts, BCH gadgets, badges or just wearing lots of green.
— Hayden Otto (@haydenotto_) May 19, 2019
BC: You’ve filmed a lot of videos onboarding BCH merchants. Can you tell us what drives you to do this?
Hayden Otto: I think emergent_reasons said it best: “We have the morally pleasant benefit of not needing to lie to do great marketing.” I’ll onboard until Bitcoin BCH becomes the first global currency.
BC: Who owns the BCH mobile with the green Bitcoin Cash symbol that’s posted in a lot of NQ pictures shared on Twitter and Reddit regularly?
Hayden Otto: The BCH car(s) belongs to a local Bitcoin BCH enthusiast who created them from donations and input from local suppliers and made them available to the local BCH community for events or visiting VIPs.
BC: There’s a BCH-only automated teller machine (ATM) in North Queensland correct? Can you tell us about the machine?
Hayden Otto: There are actually many Bitcoin BCH-only ATMs in North Queensland. With recent changes to AML/CTF laws, they have been temporarily withdrawn from service while they are modified for compliance. I have tested the prototypes, they’re great. Watch this space.
BC: What’s your opinion on the current state of BCH adoption right now?
Hayden Otto: Bullish. There are many Bitcoin BCH startups in North Queensland, several with million dollar plus seed capital.
These companies are still mostly in stealth mode but products are beginning to reach test stage. There is a lot of Bitcoin BCH momentum in North Queensland that has yet to be reported on.
BC: How can other towns and cities emulate what’s happening in North Queensland with BCH adoption?
Hayden Otto: There are some simple rules:
- Merchants need nothing more than a Bitcoin.com Wallet to get started.
- If anybody in your user group wants to purchase some BCH, consider underwriting a merchant instead. Purchasing coins from a merchant is cheaper than getting them from an exchange and the coins stay in the community.
- Spend and replace – this costs you nothing but it provides great examples to others. Merchants will start encouraging users with specials and so on.
What do you think about all the merchant adoption in North Queensland, Australia? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Hayden Otto, Reddit, Marco Coino, and Pixabay.
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