Today we are interviewing Miguel Cuneta from SCI Ventures Inc in the Philippines. SCI are the leading company in that country working with bitcoin based remittances and payments. Here are some valuable insights from Miguel:

To start with, please introduce yourself to our readers.

I'm Miguel Cuneta, co-founder and Chief Community Officer of SCI Ventures Inc., the biggest blockchain service company in the Philippines today. I  co-founded SCI back in 2014 with some like-minded friends, all of whom  were entrepreneurs like me.

Please tell us how you first became involved in Bitcoin? What attracted you to it?

I  found out about Bitcoin in 2013 when the price was $30 USD per BTC. I  ignored it at first, and only after several months more did I take  notice again when it was already $150 per BTC. I decided to look deeper  into it and, as the saying goes, I fell in the rabbit hole and never  looked back. The thing that attracted me to Bitcoin was the amazing  technology behind it — a way for people to take back the power of money  creation as well as trade and commerce away from the kings and oligarchs and governments of the world. In the Philippines back in 1986, we had  what was called the People Power Revolution, where Filipinos took to the  streets in peaceful protest and were able to kick out a dictator of 30  years. We believe that Bitcoin is the "People Power" of money and  finance.

What made you decide to set up a Bitcoin based remittance company in the Philippines?

We started our business with a payment processor, Bitmarket.ph.  Soon we learned that most people want to save and hold Bitcoin and not  spend it for coffee or shopping! So we decided to go after the biggest  market in the Philippines which is the remittance market. Over $27  BILLION was sent to the PH last year alone, and people are paying an  average of 8–10% in fees just to send this money home to their loved  ones. We thought Bitcoin was the perfect technology to address this problem, so we built Rebit.ph, and from there it just picked up rapidly and our team grew fast along with our transaction volumes and revenues.

How big is your team at SCI?

We are almost 50 now, including the management team.

What is the annual value of incoming remittances to the Philippines?

Over 10 million Filipinos work abroad, sending home $27 Billion annually so far. This is increasing every year.

What are the remittance services which you are offering?

With Rebit.ph, you can use Bitcoin or any Crypto (via shapeshift)  to send money to anyone and have it either picked up in cash in as many  as 10,000 different locations, as well as deposited in any bank account  in Philippine pesos. You can also use it to pay your bills or buy  mobile phone credits.

What other services does your company offer?

You can check out our full suite of services at www.sci.ph.  We have a buy and sell site for Bitcoin, a merchant payment processor, a remittance platform, a mobile money and Bitcoin wallet, an investment  app using bitcoin, prepaid bitcoin cards, and even a social platform  called lifebit. We are also working on an identity management platform  and a cryptocurrency exchange for Filipinos.

Were there many regulatory hurdles to overcome?

Yes, but we are lucky that our Central Bank is very progressive and allowed  us to operate and even participate in the development of the regulatory  framework for cryptocurrencies in the Philippines. We are one of the first countries with a Central Bank that published specific regulations  for cryptocurrnecy exchanges.

How is the rate of adoption of Bitcoin in the Philippines?

It is still very early, but I would say it is growing faster by the day.

Do you see traditional services such Western Union being displaced by the quicker and cheaper services offered by your company?

Yes.  And not only that, we also believe that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies will completely make those old models obsolete, just like  how the internet made many analog and off-line business models obsolete.

What expansion plans do you have for the future?

We  are growing by the day, and our plans are to develop and streamline our already wide range of products and services so that everyone can access  them and use them easily and effortlessly.

Have you invested in any other crypto projects or become involved in other crypto startups?

As a company, SCI has acquired Buybitcoin.ph, lifebit.com, and silicon valley startup Getkeza.com. These are startups that we saw would fit in well with our platform. Personally, I like the Particl Project because of its solid team and great tech behind it. I also invested in Ethereum and some other projects.

How do you see Bitcoin and crypto at large in the next 3–5 years in Asia?

Bitcoin  and Crypto have not even begun to touch mainstream acceptance. I see an expotential explosion in the development of the tech and the industry  as a whole, with a market cap easily exceeding one trillion dollars or  more. We will also see some big banks and governments even, adopting  bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and crypto has yet to find  that "Killer app", but it will come. Money will flow around the world as  fast as information, and this will bring in a new era of prosperity for  a lot of people.

Lastly, is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

Bitcoin  and cryptocurrencies represent a fundamental shift in the way we see trade, ownership, and trust. We will see one of the biggest transfers of  wealth in the history of humanity because of cryptocurrencies.  Blockchain technology will replace market networks in the near future,  making decentralized meritocratic and democratic networks overtake our  current centralized structures for finance, governance, and many other  aspects of our daily lives. Cryptocurrency and blockchain tech will be  seen as the biggest technological advancement in human history after the  internet itself.

Cheers!