Leonhard is specializing in Bitcoin, Information Security and Online Privacy. He served as president of the Bitcoin Association in Hong Kong from 2014 to 2019 and is a contributor to Forbes. He holds a degree in statistics from the University of Hong Kong and economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
Q1: Dear Leo – you are one of the speakers at the upcoming 5 Years anniversary event of the local Bitcoin Saigon Community. When did you first time hear about Bitcoin and why did you get interested into it in the first place?
I first heard about Bitcoin on an online forum in 2011. I discussed it with some friends, but couldn’t figure out how it works. I also didn’t feel comfortable signing up with MtGox. I then moved to Hong Kong, where I found some people who had already made experiences with it. I got more and more into it, and started hosting Bitcoin Meetups in 2012.
Q2: Looking back over the past 5 years – what surprised you most positively, what most negatively in the past half decade of Bitcoin history?
I was surprised at first with how fast everything went. Within one year of my first meetup, the press was talking about it, Bitcoin appeared in government press releases, and we all thought ‘this is it’. The journey since then has been more sobering, but it’s incredible how much we learned about Bitcoin, finance and the world since then, and I’m not more convinced about Bitcoin’s success than ever.
Q3: What can listeners expect to learn from your talk at the 5 Year anniversary event?
I hope I can clarify some of the confusion around Bitcoin’s privacy. On one hand every transaction is recorded forever, on the other it’s considered to be impossible to trace. Privacy and fungibility are important concepts, and I will give an outlook into the future of Bitcoin’s privacy.
Q4: Where do you see Bitcoin, the communities and its general impact on society going within the next 5 years?
As the Bitcoin community will keep growing, it will also become more splintered. Bitcoin is too large of a topic to be covered in one conference or one coherent group of people. There will be many Bitcoin communities, and they will not always agree.
Leonhard will be speaking at the Bitcoin Saigon anniversary event on the 29th of November about the status quo and future developments for Privacy in Bitcoin – you can grab your tickets here!