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Tikiroa Tamoko is the owner of Tiki Tattoo and came to Koh Phangan in December 2001 for the 3 day new years party at paradise waterfall with his best friend.
“It was supposed to be a 3 week holiday before returning back to Europe however I didn't make it back there”.
After meeting his now-wife Tikiroa extended his stay and after 2 months they opened a clothes shop in Haad Rin. It was in October 2002 and the shop was located opposite then the only Seven-Eleven in Haad Rin.
In 2007 Tikiroa opened Tiki Tattoo after his cousin, who is a tattoo artist, mentioned that there was a good business opportunity.
“We opened the shop and had 5 thai artists. After a 3 month holiday back in New Zealand I decided to start tattooing myself”.
One of the things that have made Tiki Tattoo stand out is that from day one they have specialized in Polynesian style as that’s where Tikiroa’s roots are.
“I tattoo by hand and not with a machine”.
Luckily Tikiroa has been able to win over 50 awards at tattoo conventions and after this, he’s also judged at conventions and that helped the studio build a name.
Why did you start to accept crypto?
In 2013 a friend wanted to pay me in bitcoins, at the time the tattoo was around 100 BTC and so obviously unknowingly I said ‘no thanks’ and it was not till 2017 that I got into it after when BTC hit 1000$ I realized I had made a mistake not getting into it before.
I think the first actual payment was in January 2018. I took payment in TRX and after ETH and BTC.
Why do you think crypto is good for Koh Phangan?
I think crypto is good everywhere as far as the fundamentals and technology go. We can not deny that it's a part of life. I believe that in the near future as it becomes more user friendly it will be everywhere.
An example would be when you buy a luxury bag the number inside will be now an NFT to confirm its originality. No copy will be able to hold the same NFT; you can not fake an NFT on the blockchain.
Personally, I think BTC is not good for purchasing everyday items. If it's a big investment then yes but I would not pay for my lunch with it. There are better coins with lower fees etc but I accept most crypto. Ideally, we would have our own pgn token on the island that makes us more independent.
How do you feel covid has affected your business?
Covid has killed my business as we are officially not allowed to tattoo. It has given me time with the family and time to learn new things so I'm not complaining but would love to get back to tattooing.
Where do you see yourself and the business 5 years from now?
5 years from now I have no idea, I have no plans to leave the island so I'll be here and tattooing is my passion so I’ll still be doing that.
What do you enjoy about Koh Phangan?
I enjoy the simplicity of the island. Island life is more or less the same around the world. Its calm and relaxed people are generally happier and that's what I like. Not the rush of a city and the mix of people; it's like every country and ethnicity is somewhere represented on the island and that's what makes it so nice.