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Meet the Bitcoin Woman On a Quest to Educate Indonesia
Bitcoin Ethos

Meet the Bitcoin Woman On a Quest to Educate Indonesia 

We had the chance to ask Dea Rezkitha about bitcoin, her work in Indonesia and her own journey. Here’s the interview.

What inspired you to focus on Indonesian bitcoin education?

Indonesian people are truly remarkable, despite the numerous challenges that their country has faced in the past. We had two major hyperinflation that happened in 1966 and 1998. The Asian Crisis in particular affected not only my own family, but many others as well. I realized how fast things can go wrong when your currency is hyperinflating. And I believe similar crises may occur in the future. 

I am confident that Bitcoin can provide a solution to help the people of Indonesia during this crisis time. But since this technology is so new, people need to slowly to understand it. Indonesian people are very pragmatic, so the bitcoin education approach also need to be pragmatic as well. 

How do you believe bitcoin can benefit the Indonesian people?

  • Indonesia has limited freedom of speech, although it has improved in recent times, it still lags behind Western countries. Bitcoin give the Indonesian people the currency they can rely on without fear that one day it can be taken away from different political view. 
  • Indonesia is considered one of the weak currencies in the world. This happened because of years of history of currency debasement. Most people save in dollar or gold, but knowing that dollar like any other fiat will face the same fate, bitcoin is the safeguard against currency debasement. 
  • Indonesia also one of the biggest contributors for migrant workers. Many of them are still using the old methodology of sending money homes, even through a third party. With bitcoin Indonesian migrant worker can send money easily to home

What challenges have you faced in educating Indonesians about bitcoin?

  • Indonesian people are highly susceptible to scams and can easily be lured by promises of high and constant returns. They are also not very technologically savvy, therefore they always fall into the scams from third party that steal their money and blame it to bitcoin’s volatility.  
  • Indonesians tend to follow authority and are hesitant to oppose or express different views. Thus, when the government banned Bitcoin as a method of payment, people became easily frightened. 
  • The majority of Indonesians are Muslims and the Muslim Council deems Bitcoin as forbidden for Muslims, despite evidence to the contrary and Islamic teachings supporting its use.

What strategies have you used to increase awareness about bitcoin in Indonesia?

We host annual conferences called the Indonesia Bitcoin Conference, and we also have a for the Bitcoin community in Indonesia that is in Bahasa Indonesia. I believe that learning from each other is the best approach, and teaching people about bitcoin in the local language makes it easier for them to comprehend.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about bitcoin in Indonesia?

 The biggest misconception about Bitcoin in Indonesia is that people perceive it as a stock. They still view Bitcoin as a means to get rich quickly, and they tend to sell their Bitcoin once they have realized a profit. Another common misconception is that individuals need to purchase a full Bitcoin, which leads many to opt for cheaper ‘s*** coins’ instead because it is cheaper. 

What do you see as the most promising applications of bitcoin in Indonesia?

This is an idea that has great potential but has not yet been implemented, which is to integrate Bitcoin as a payment rail, similar to Strike. However, regulations regarding this matter are still unclear as there are similar apps using ‘s*** coins’ that are permitted to operate in Indonesia, even though the government banned any type of cryptocurrency payment,. Additionally, gaming is also a major industry in Indonesia, with the country ranking as the third-largest user of mobile gaming. Hence, Bitcoin gaming could have significant potential in this market.

How have you seen the Indonesian bitcoin community grow since you started your efforts? Tell us about Sunset and Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin community in Indonesia is quite dispersed, with most people residing in Java or Sumatra. In Bali, the community consists of a mix of expats and locals, although the majority are expats. While the community needs to have physical meetups, it has been difficult since people have started returning to work after the pandemic. Therefore, we intend to host the Indonesia Bitcoin Conference to bring everyone together from different islands and countries. Currently, our community comprises around 1,500 individuals, and we would like to expand further. 

What advice would you give to someone interested in learning more about bitcoin in Indonesia?

Start with something simple, such as downloading a wallet, sending and receiving Bitcoin, and then move on to buying Bitcoin and self-custodying it. Another essential thing is to ask ourselves why the Indonesian rupiah is so weak. Why is it that back in the day, two rupiah were equal to 1 gram of gold, and now it is equivalent to 900,000 Rupiah? Once people going to the Indonesian money history rabbit hole, people will realize how fragile is the fiat system.

What do you believe is the most important thing for Indonesian people to understand about bitcoin?

The most crucial thing for Indonesian people to understand about Bitcoin is that it can be used for transaction without needing any permission. You can send and receive money from anyone around the world, and your money will always be with you, and no one can steal it from you (as long as you can securely self-custody that Bitcoin).

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently in the midst of preparing for the Indonesia Bitcoin Conference, which will take place on October 26-27 in Bali. Additionally, I will be speaking at various conferences around Southeast Asia. I am also slowly working on writing a book about bitcoin in Bahasa Indonesia, but this will take some time. We are also planning to host a Lightning hackathon for Indonesian developers, and I hope that more and more Indonesians can build on Bitcoin through various applications, which will accelerate its adoption in Indonesia.

Listen to her interview on What is Money podcast.

Follow her own podcast, My Bitcoin Story.

Follow Dea Rezkitha on twitter for more about her impressive activities.

Zap her here.

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