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Blockcast.cc: Great to see all of you on a Monday. This is Melody Chan, Managing Editor of Blockcast.cc. This morning Dr Phir Paungmalit who is based in Thailand is with us.
Can you tell us more about your background Dr Phir Paungmalit?
Phir: I am a lecturer at a university in Bangkok. I also practice in a law firm here, specializing in international transactions. In the past, I spent time in the US and Singapore in the past mostly as a legal academic. Anyway, I am by no means an expert on crypto or blockchain. I am just sharing my humble thoughts as a lawyer who believes in them.
Blockcast.cc: How did you first know about cryptocurrency? What is your crypto basket right now?
Phir: I heard about Bitcoin many years back along with the blockchain. After familiarizing with its concept, I just knew something big is cooking.
My crypto basket looks very simple now; BTC and ETH almost in equal value. I don’t trade these two. I only buy more when I feel like and hold. And there is around 5% of fund crypto left for having fun with daily speculation.
And I can tell you that the crypto represents 40% of my investment money. People may say they are just codes, but to me, they are the future. And I hold a large portion of BTC and ETH because I believe in their quality as an asset, which provides me with the most peace of mind.
Blockcast.cc: How involved are you in the cryptocurrency scene?
Phir: Not very much so far. But I am doing research on crypto regulation and smart contract. Apart from that, I have my brother Anndy Lian in Singapore who provides consultation and discussion with me on a regular basis.
Blockcast.cc: Crypto law is catching up to speed. Do you think crypto law is something you will be heavily involved in the near future?
Phir: We all know this is a field that needs proper regulatory oversight, as innovation always outpaces the regulatory framework. Per the previous question, I am writing an article and conducting a piece of research on it. We will need more inputs from practitioner and academics for the regulator here in Thailand. Regulatory clarity on crypto will make it fly.
Blockcast.cc: What do you think about the blockchain technology, the backbone of Bitcoin? Do you think it will be the backbone for future tech? And why?
Phir: Definitely, it will be the backbone of many things we do daily in the future. Blockchain has everything that this and the next generation wants and more. Decentralized, democratized, transparent, fast, efficient, and digital by nature. We can say more or less that the common political and social sentiment all over the world for the young generation is that of anti-establishment, anti-elitism, empowerment of individuals or the likes. I think blockchain technology represents that idea and therefore represents a future.
One clear application that would benefit my line of work greatly is international payment. Blockchain technology can be used to decrease the transaction cost of these transfers and increase efficiency immensely. I can’t wait to see it fully in action soon.
Blockcast.cc: If you were to start your own crypto company, what area will interest you most? What do you intend to do? How about crypto betting company?
Phir: We all know its potential in that respect. Well, but that’s illegal in Thailand!!! So maybe I will do something based on blockchain that will affect my line of work i.e. a consultancy firm on smart contract. Smart contract is something that can disrupt a lawyer’s work in the near future. But it won’t replace lawyer works entirely since the firm will still need someone who can design the structure of the contract to be executed. So that is my imaginary business.
Blockcast.cc: Recently, many top USA entrepreneurs shared their views on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Who can you relate with the most?
Phir: Mark Cuban. First, I am an avid basketball fan so I know how he operates his franchise. He is very progressive and be able to make his Mavs team ever relevant in the NBA, winning or not the Mavs is on the map; he knows how to stay relevant. I think it’s the same as his take on crypto and blockchain. They are one of the most relevant creations and innovation out there and he knows it. His latest article on “Store of Value” generation is pretty spot on.
Blockcast.cc: Do you think the corporate buying into Bitcoin is really helping the industry? What is your view?
Phir: Sure. I feel it indicates trust in the Bitcoin as an asset class that can hedges risks from other assets that have a low correlation to the cryptocurrency markets. It indicates Bitcoin is being trusted by more traditional and conservative players. Or at least they don’t want to miss out on the next big thing.
For myself, Cryptocurrency is the next big thing. I don’t claim to predict the future 100%, but the trends for the cryptocurrency is quite obvious. You have to be mentally prepared of the new changes in time to come.
Blockcast.cc: How is the crypto and blockchain scene in Thailand? Please tell us more.
Phir: The retail market of crypto just really boomed to the mass earlier this year after Bitcoin passed $30,000. That is 1 million in Thai baht, so it is like a milestone that makes the mass jumping in. The largest crypto trading platform got like 700% growth in users in a day and system crashed for two whole days afterwards. Investors got furious. It was kind of a predictable mess. Before that, it was for niche group in my opinion.
For blockchain, like many countries worldwide, understanding and application are still at a very early stage in Thailand. Only a few visionaries talk about it on a regular basis. But it is catching up a bit more from Bitcoin boom now.
Overall I think we need a clear champion or two, in any form, to drives these things forward for the public. Most of the information I saw daily so far are very basic, primitive or misleading. Apart from regulation, the public still needs to be educated about them properly and progressively. The private sector needs to take the lead on this front.
Blockcast.cc: Looks like you are a strong believer in Bitcoin, what is your price prediction by the end of 2021?
Phir: $80,000. It is just a game of demand, supply and what Bitcoin represents. I think we are just seeing the crossing of the chasm from early adopter to the early majority. The sky is the limit for now.
Blockcast.cc: At the end of this interview, please share an inspiring quote for all our readers.
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
—Winnie the Pooh
Blockcast.cc: Love you quote from the great Winnie the Pooh. I will return you with a quote from Piglet- “I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?”. In the crypto space, there are exciting things every minute.
Thanks for your time Dr Phir.
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