Buddha Cafe and the 'Crypto Island' Story - A Chat with Edwin

13 May 2021
LearnThaiOnline

The story of Buddha Cafe begins with Edwin. Three years ago he found an opportunity to come live and work on Koh Phangan as a managing partner of a business here on the island. After one year he stepped out and found Buddha Cafe. After polishing up its image, they reopened the cafe in Haad Salad in July last year with Edwin’s business Partner Veronica. Let’s firstly talk to Edwin about Crypto and then we’ll hear more about Buddha Cafe and how the two combine.

Buddha Cafe Koh Phangan

We saw your video with David Bond on Youtube, you said you began with Crypto after hearing a talk from a friend and invested some of your savings. What made you make this decision?
Correct, My friend Dragos was hosting the first crypto talk here as part of our Living Library events where people come and promote their business or share stories and knowledge of many different topics. I did some homework before his presentation and having an IT background it clicked almost instantly. It made total sense to me. At the same time, it happened that I decided to take a few months for self-development and took a nosedive into crypto so my business partner could run the cafe with less staff due to Covid so we could also keep people employed through this situation. I started with online training and self studies and before I knew it I became a crypto junkie within weeks.  

Did it feel risky the first time or did you have enough knowledge?
No, I did not even think about risks. I wanted to figure out how to become part of this revolution and started opening accounts left and right. I opened so many that I nearly lost track of all the different things I was getting involved in. I moved over 50% of my savings into the new crypto world within months.

Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots
Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

You would like Koh Phangan to become a 'crypto island', can you explain why you think this will benefit the island and its inhabitants?
It's not important what I want here. I talked to many people who are into crypto here on the Island and around the world and got many friends interested in the new wealth within a matter of months. When you strike up a conversation with someone in Samui or Bangkok you will hear "Ohh, you are on Koh Phangan? It's Crypto Island, right? So I thought, what does that mean? Yes everyone is talking about it and we have lots of great people and projects right here on the Island, but there was no outreach to businesses and the general community. So I started Thursday Crypto Coffee Talks at Buddha Cafe to share the fundamentals of BitCoin and Blockchain and it has been an amazing journey to share some knowledge and have guest speakers come here and even to help organize networking events like my friend Tony hosted at Highlife Bungalows a few months ago. 
I see study groups and people coming up with blockchain project ideas and I am puzzled about how much knowledge we have on our little beautiful island. It is very inspiring. S0... then I decided to launch Cryptocation (Learn Crypto on Vacation) which is basically targeting tourists who will return in 2022. We are starting with a one-day crypto education program to educate anyone who wants to learn more about crypto and how it is taking the world by storm. Besides that, we are now launching our education and support program for business owners, first in English and soon in Thai as well. We want to help educate business owners on how to accept crypto and show the bridge between their current bank account and their new crypto wallet and teach them how to use it. It will benefit them because they have more new ways to accept payments from the customers that will come and want to pay in crypto coins and they can grow their business account (crypto money) at the same time, by endless interest-paying programs in the new crypto world. Exciting times! 
So in short we aim to teach people how crypto works and how to pay in crypto and we want to teach business owners how to accept crypto and grow their savings account in crypto. In the bigger picture, I think that Koh Phangan is really special and we have so many interesting people here with great ideas. Becoming crypto Island together can really set us apart in the world and it will boost our overall image and help transform the island. I believe that it will help to polish our image and attract new people. It will help us support the local community and I believe we can do beautiful things together with and for the community of islanders. Programs and initiatives like Forward Phangan and seeing coworking spaces pop up all over the island are signs that we are moving forward to something new and hopefully more sustainable at the same time.

 

Who is crypto for?
EVERYONE!  Crypto is for everyone. Sooner or later it will just be the new money. Even Thai locals got digital money for food and if you notice the blue/red heart signs on the local markets even the little businesses accept digital forms of payment. Ok, it's not exactly crypto/blockchain, but everyone will get used to exchanging digital money. It's the next step in the evolution of money. And crypto is global money so it does not matter where you are. You can use it, earn it, program it, spend it and save it everywhere. Amazing! My goal is to get the beautiful Nutella pancake lady on the corner at 7-11 in Srithanu asking tourists to please pay in crypto. 

Tell us about Buddha Cafe, what's the concept?
It turns out that Buddha Cafe is turning into a multi-usage social meeting place where we hold Human Library talks and invite people to take the soapbox and share, whatever it may be as long as it's respectful and not offensive to anyone. People come here to use the crypto corner to work online or for a meeting. We have an upcoming event for improv comedy again, we had live music, we hosted Latin dance classes, had a fundraising event "Spanish Night" for PACS. We have breathwork workshops, yoga classes and Chinese calligraphy. We serve great coffee from a local roastery and have fresh juices and a quality breakfast menu for people who just want to come and enjoy some time at Buddha Cafe. We are open to business and ideas!

 

What do you serve and offer?
We designed a menu of great breakfast items from Organic Eggs Benedict to Buddha Toast as the most popular item with fresh Avocado, quality coffees and healthy fresh juices. Soon we will be offering new locally made products from broth-organic.com. We welcome people who produce food land services locally to come to talk to see how we can help grow their business and collaborate.

You hold crypto talks, tell us about these and how people can join?
We welcome EVERYONE! Every Thursday at 10:30 AM (After Covid restrictions are lifted) we hold Crypto Coffee. First hour for newbies and people who want to share and come back for questions and answers and the second hour I always invite people to take the stage to present special Crypto Projects or topics related to it. 

How has crypto changed your life?
It's unbelievable. I studied IT and was in University when the Internet was in a similar stage as crypto is now and even though I was in IT I missed the entire Internet evolution to a big extent and look at the internet now! We can't imagine a life without it. It will even be a faster evolution now with Crypto and you want to get your piece of it! Don't miss out. 
Personally, I really enjoy sharing and discussing and teaching people the first steps in crypto and it's wonderful to see how people get sucked into it and a good way. I do tell people about the risks and always - always tell them to not use grocery money for crypto and not to look at this as an ATM and make a quick buck. Get into it for the long haul and open your mind to new amazing businesses that are literally building the future online.  

 

And any last words of wisdom...
Yes! Come open your mind and learn, even if you think it's not for you. And Thursday sessions are FREE. I tell you that you will face crypto sooner or later and why not learn now and see how you personally can be part of a journey that can bring you more financial opportunities, freedom and show you how this tech world is contributing to moving power to the people. It's worth your time and cup of coffee to sit and listen...and challenge the concepts as well... 

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