ACCESS (MY) is a platform-agnostic, grass-roots initiative serving the Malaysian blockchain and cryptocurrency community. To that end, we are run as a non-profit, funded and developed through community contributions. Types of contributions vary; whether in time, professional advice, technical input, translations, creative works, administration, public engagements and of course, monetary donations.
While technical developments of blockchains and cryptocurrencies happen through open-source repositories over the internet, adoption and application in localized contexts still require spreading of localized awareness. It is in this legwork which we at ACCESS (MY) are focusing on.
They are inevitable and require resources.
For ACCESS (MY) to remain agnostic and neutral, it is important that our association remains financially sustainable through sufficiently distributed community contributions, as opposed to large-ticket donations. If we find ourselves in a situation where the objectives of the community runs tangential the objectives of a donor, then the community will always take precedence.
Spreading awareness is a long-term endeavour of accumulating small victories. To that end, we prioritize sustainability over short-term impact. We do our best to keep overheads low and we scale our activities with whatever resources we have on hand.
The more resources we have available, the more local awareness work we can partake. These include speaking circuits, short-term courses, advertisements, crowdsourced merchandise, proprietary events and social media. We would also love to increase full time hiring of talented and passionate people into our team, as that is the best way to build up the required human capital to run at scale.
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all our generous members and donors that allow ACCESS (MY) to be what it is today, and we hope for your continued support in the future.
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We prefer donations in Bitcoin.
There is a term in industry called dogfooding; where organizations internally use their own products or services as testament to whatever they proffer to the market.
Here in ACCESS (MY), we see ourselves as able-and-willing guinea pigs for cryptocurrency adoption in Malaysia. We want to see cryptocurrencies going mainstream, so we take it upon ourselves to understand and overcome all the challenges to get there.
If you are worried about the lack of legal tender status of cryptocurrencies, don’t be alarmed. Unlike certain jurisdictions (e.g. Iran and Vietnam), there is no official restriction on using cryptocurrencies in domestic Malaysian transactions. There are local companies & freelancers earning cryptocurrency already, particularly those selling digital goods and services over the internet.
That being said, there are implications we need to be aware of. For example: If you are running a restaurant, your patrons are usually allowed to eat first and pay upon leaving. In the time between eating and paying, your patrons would have owed you some debt. If you shock them afterwards by saying you only accept e.g. Bitcoins, then your patrons (by law) may insist on settling the debt in Malaysian Ringgit instead. This is what the legal tender status of the Malaysian Ringgit in Malaysia entails, and it will always be exclusive to our sovereign currency.
By and large, Malaysians are free to explore any new form of commerce they wish. Indeed, vibrant commercial activities settled in cryptocurrencies is the most salient yardstick of a maturing ecosystem. We strongly encourage Malaysians to join us in this experiment.
Nevertheless to prevent confusion, we consciously limit ourselves to simple revenue models, and a single cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) for now. Thankfully, the revenue model for ACCESS is as simple as they come; membership fees and donations – both of which are paid upfront. Since it is unlikely we will face any legal tender disputes, we actively seek to maximize cryptocurrency-based commerce for internal purposes.
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Learn about our experience in accepting Bitcoin
As the oldest and most established cryptocurrency; Bitcoin is a great starting point for exploring cryptocurrency commerce. While ACCESS (MY) is not dogmatic about Bitcoin, currently it has the widest set of tools and deepest liquidity, making it the most ready for commercial adoption.
We accepted Bitcoin for membership fees in ACCESS (MY) early on, but we had to stop temporarily after facing issues due to our rudimentary capabilities. Hopefully by understanding the issues we faced, lessons we learnt, and our solutions to them will help if you wish to replicate our experiment.
People typically apply to be an ACCESS (MY) member through a sign-up form on our website, after which we follow-up through email correspondence. Our membership fees are quoted in MYR (e.g. RM 200 a year for individuals). Should the applicant opt to pay in Bitcoin, then we manually calculated the BTC equivalent quote and wait for transfer. Inevitably there is a several-day gap between the quote and transfer, during which the rate can change, resulting in paper loss for either ACCESS (MY) or the applicant.
Lesson #1: Manual quotes are a no-no.
Adopting cutting-edge technology is not without its kinks. Ironically at the height of the Bitcoin bubble (December 2017), the transaction cost of using Bitcoins was also ridiculous. At ~RM 30 per transfer (back then), settling in Bitcoin made no economic sense. Should the applicant append less-than-market fees, we have had to wait up to a week for transactions to confirm. Good news is network fees have come down a lot since then, but we want to nip future problems in the bud through scaling solutions (the Lightning Network) Bitcoin now allows.
Lesson #2 Use the Lightning Network.
Since ACCESS (MY) is an NGO, we needed some form of financial governance to ensure accountability of association resources. We used to employ a multi-signature setup for our corporate wallet that mirrors our bank signatories. Unfortunately, that resulted in an arrangement that is as tedious to operate as our bank account was – signatories are not full-time ACCESS staff and are often not available to sign outgoing transactions. We now practice a “petty-wallet” & “storage-wallet” arrangement to give our staff increased autonomy.
Lesson #3: Segregate & delegate
Bitcoin addresses are pseudonymous. That means if you can attach a persona to an address, then that persona can subpoenaed or browbeaten to reveal all its counterparties throughout history. This is why it is recommended to use unique addresses for every transaction. However if you interact with your clients through email (as we did) this good security practice quickly becomes tedious. The email sender may not always have access to our corporate wallet.
A hyperlink to an externally hosted payment page, that is sharable throughout the organization solves this problem; which is a value-add provided by payments processors.
Lesson #4: Use (or host yourself) a payments processor
Click on the next tab to donate to ACCESS (MY).
Donate to ACCESS (MY) in Bitcoin
We are using OpenNode as our payment processor, but you can use a self-hosted BTCPay server for your own business if you are a purist. Both have MYR support and passionate developers wanting cryptocurrency adopted across the world as we do. To support our mission and donate to ACCESS (any amount, even a single satoshi!) please click the following button.
Donate to ACCESS (MY) in MYR
While we prefer donations in Bitcoin, we understand if some donors may not find the option feasible. If you would like to donate to us in Malaysian ringgit, please click the following button.
Thank you for your support!