For my life, it means a lot: Never say never and never give up. If one way is not working, try another. Try as long as you find your right way.
As part of my series about Blockchain technology introduction, I had a great pleasure interviewing Joerg Molt, Bitcoin Co-Founder & Founder of Satoshi School, Freedom Fighter, and one of the most controversial persons in our times. Joerg is also a musician and knows how to enjoy life.
Marco: Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Well, in the mid-90s, people start to understand computers could not only be used for games, writing, and calculating. The area of personal computers began to enter the business world. Microsoft was leading the technology mostly based on IBM with his DOS and Windows system.
On the other hand, there have been home computer freaks. A friend of mine called me saying he is working with a group who believes the computer will be the power of the people. Also, it could be a system change for those not okay with the government and systems we actually have.
He asked if I read George Orwell’s 1984 so far. Until this time, I never thought about political consequences or computer technologies as a central control system. My parents finally presented this book to me. I acknowledged reading it.
This changed my mindset forever. In 1998 I saw the movie “Enemy of the State No.1” with Will Smith, and it was clear to me, something has to be done. I called my friend, and we had a long conversation about philosophy, philanthropy, the meaning of freedom, rules of liberty, and the role of computers. We talked about automotive systems and that that’s what we know today as Smart Contracts.
Since I have been focused on hacking games from the computer scene and removing copy protection, he asked me if I would join a group of unknown people and their ideas by checking their concepts – if it is possible to hack them. A few persons of them seem to be involved in a project called “Digi Cash.”
Those people finally figured the first cryptographic-based banking system out and brought it to a prototype (including a secure banking card). It was presented to the “Deutsche Bank” in 2001. I joined them for a few conceptual workarounds.
After this project failed and disappointed -people would not have sold this system to banks – pioneers left the room. Many of them started their own projects. When it came to the later called Bitcoin thing, I got involved because of my hacking skills.
It’s not that coding; hacking needs workarounds and concepts. So, I started to support some people, including co-founders, like me, of Bitcoin. Around the time Satoshi Nakamoto appeared, and finally brought the breakthrough in security and made the system unhackable by mathematical logic.
Marco: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
When I started to tell people, Bitcoin is money. Everyone asked me how it could be money if there is no acceptance from merchants or governments. Even countries like India and China haven’t got any exchanges, and who will buy bitcoins “on the street”? At this point, I haven’t got real proof of work for my theses. Life always gives you the answer itself.
I was in New Delhi, India, when I found out how Bitcoin can help when you struggle in life, somewhere far from home. My credit card did not work because sometimes the machines could not accept Debit Cards from Europe. However, I just had 2 hours before leaving with the plane, and I couldn’t afford to pay for this 5-star hotel.
I reached out to my bank. The call agent center guy couldn’t help me because it was nighttime in Germany, and I had to wait until his manager could decide the next day. Then he ends the call with the words: “Sorry, but sometimes shit happens!”
I called a friend if he knew someone who maybe is willing to buy Bitcoins against cash. Suddenly I got 80 calls from people nearby. Last but not least, my friend collected money from someone I sent the Bitcoins and got the money. I tried this in every country. I learned Bitcoin works globally already, without governments and banks. You have to ask.
Marco: Are you working on any meaningful nonprofit or social impact projects? How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
During my time working on Bitcoin, I was involved in a company selling telephone and internet contracts. I raised a call center and hired sales representatives. Through some fail interpretations, I killed this company and crashed it.
As a result, I lost everything and lived on the street for one year, offering my computer skills as an exchange for money. It worked for me. I learned how to survive on the road. I saved the money I earned and was able to start my new life.
After all, and Bitcoin got the value, I started 150 projects of nonprofit organizations, using Bitcoins as collateral. Raising more money without begging – through an increase of the bitcoin value. I do not get any income from those projects. I showed it out, and the people started working.
One of the best projects is currently in Bali. I donated money via the Rotary Club, helping the puspadibali.org organization. The guy managing the bitcoins started to trade them and make out of a $20.000 donation more than $30.000 in Bitcoin and still hold some Bitcoins for further actions.
Another meaningful project is single-person support. Sometimes you don’t have to search for possible projects. They find you.
Here is a short story. This guy attended one of my Satoshi School Courses and impressed me very much when he told me about his future plans. I knew instantly that this would be an idea that needs to be supported with Bitcoins.
His father inherited a motorhome from him. He decided to go to Sri Lanka and help elephants survive to move them out of the plastic garbage they used to be eating.
Meanwhile, he has created a bio-organic farm. Together with the kids from the community, he collects the rubbish.
As a reward program, the kids get a small amount of bitcoin. This is documented in a ledger. If the accounting is full, he is going to the markets and buy fresh food for them and the families. Actually, he can produce a lot of food by himself for the community.
Marco: Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?
Yes, I met this guy a couple of years ago during one of my school seasons on Crete, an island that belongs to Greece. This time Bitcoin was around $235, and he asked me if I was walking in his shoes, whether I will sell the house and the flat he got as inherit, in Bitcoins.
If I had this situation, I would do it because I’m crazy enough to do it, but it’s a hard decision. Cause you can’t make exact forecasts of what happens with Bitcoin price.
On the other hand, doubts will kill the idea, and the universe will deliver chaos. What should I say? Matthias “Matze,” how we called him, just did it! The other day!
The price of Bitcoin increased first from $3k to $4k and later to $17,000. Can you imagine how much money Matze made just by exchanging Fiat for Bitcoin?
Marco: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Imagine, you are coming to America from Germany, and you didn’t speak English for quite a long time, you are not really able to talk the foreign language fluently.
So I was on stage, ready for my speech. ‘I started reading the text I wrote down before but felt very uncomfortable with it right away. I understood that the text would meet the topic but not the mind of the audience.
I have seen it in their eyes. I threw away my script and started a free speech. Funny, as it is, everyone was looking at me now.
The whole room has suddenly been in silent, and I thought “Wow, I am the king of the night, I rocked that show.
Look, everyone is shocked and will rethink my words for the next week!”
Instead of that, my time runs out, the moderator comes to the stage and says: “First we understand, and it was great, second, he threw away his paper, and third it sounds like English, but did anyone understand anything?” They laughed…
So, what I did, because most people will stop talking in public forever, I learned to fight my way through all my speeches from the beginning without written text.
And as hard it was, I made my move, and today people love me for my lectures because they change mindsets.
So, whenever people laugh at you, and you stumble, humble, and struggle in your life: You have to fall to learn to fly as birds do. No lesson in life is so hard you can’t stand. But never ask why or take yourself down.
You are unique. It doesn’t matter what people think of you. If you have a message to tell, try and try again, even if it hurts, but be sure one day the stage of life is yours, and then you can give people hope like I do today.
Marco: What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Freedom and self-responsibility with less governance and without controlled finance is the key to fight poverty. We created all these Know Your Customer Rules and Anti-Money-Laundry Rules. But instead of accepting that Money Laundry only exists because we forced them to do, we change how we stop them from participating in our system.
We keep those who work for our lifestyle in poverty. I am working on a system where financing in small businesses leads to get Bitcoins without KYC, and even people without bank and KYC can access Bitcoin to survive. Keep the humanity in and the greediness out. This project will reduce poverty starting next year in the upcoming years fast.
Another project I started at the beginning of 2018. Because many people lost money in multi-level marketing, who promise you the new world in Bitcoins, I started the Bitcoin Pension plan. The accounts are limited to seven thousand people. They pay an average of five hundred Dollars, in Bitcoins and after a runtime of five years, they get out two Bitcoins.
Bitcoins will reach mass adoption in the next years (think about everyone who has heard about it actually, it’s like the internet in the beginning). Still, also the whole space can heavenly be regulated.
We secure 40% of the funds for the case that something might happen and make it impossible to pay out the two Bitcoin. The rest of the money is used to be finding partners to fulfill the promises. We have a lot of poor people in the system, and actually, it seems that everything runs in the right direction. Bitcoin will be likely $100k in the next five years. We support the dreams of many poor people who never could afford to have a standard life. This is one of the most significant social projects and society study I ever started in my life next to the co-founding of Bitcoin.
Marco: Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I had the luck to work and train many high-value persons from banks and governments in the early stages of Bitcoin until now. Only a few of them impressed me. Two of them I met during my travelings were General Wesley Clark and John McAfee.
They are so far away from each other. Still, they impressed me through their passion, and both always take responsibility for their own lives and promises. General Clark is very focused and has a great mindset, and he is a mind open to new things, willed to learn, and learn from him. His straightness, his understanding of honor, and humanity are something you barely find elsewhere.
John McAfee seems like a crazy old playboy far away from good and evil. But he addresses the people living on the street. The forgotten ones. He reaches out to those people who need someone who has nothing to lose and says things as they are and not “how they should be said.”
And even if it doesn’t look like – I know him for a very long time, he has a genius mastermind. He breaks down complicated things in a language that everyone can follow – even those who failed in this system and school. He became the voice and hoped to a generation that hasn’t got that luck for an instant I had in my life.
He is unique and one of the last who take care of what happens. And yes, also he is crazy, really crazy, but as we say, genius and madness are very close together.
Marco: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Today we all talk about how fast everything changes. For sure, this only because of marketing. We shout out things like Blockchain.
The reality is, we develop Blockchain in 2013 at the beginning of Ethereum. Still, 6 years later, there is no “real-world use case” out of the box. 6 years in computer technology is a long time.
Instead, the focus is on development they started conferences talking about systems and what they could do. But this is far away from technology today.
So, the marketing creates more use cases, and it seems Blockchain is something like a “killer app,” and we must hurry up to catch the train. Technology is behind the promises, and even the Internet of Things is in the first steps. We must not hurry.
And if we focus on the things we can realize now, without this marketing. You will likely see: There is no reason to work day and night because of fear of missing out on something. There is no reason to miss his own life-work balance.
There is enough time to recover. And do you know what? In any industry, it’s the same. It’s not changing that fast, you think.
They only make you believe everything changes with the speed of light to raise more investment capital. It’s growing slowly. Otherwise, your income must be triple overtime, but it doesn’t do.
Slow down. Take it easy. Don’t carry problems which are not yours. We have so much work that you never can finish.
If you work faster than assignments come in, maybe you will outsource yourself for nothing. Keep the balance. It’s the best protection not to get a “Burn Out.”
Do your best, but do not forget who is paying you when you are burned out. It’s on you. Listen to your body. Use your spirit.
Listen to your inner voice. Empower your inner power and courage. Always take care of the people surrounding you.
Mind that the laws of spirit and resonance will repeat each thought you made through the universe thousand-fold. Every negative emotion and energy you transport to others will come back to you with much more power than you give away.
So, keep your mind clear. Be hopeful, helpful, and take care of yourself. How would you help others if you can’t help yourself?
The balance in you is the power and success of yours and your company in the future. Take care. If your own business stays calm, do not overact. Treat your employees like your family.
You can complain, but at the end of the day, make sure this was a lesson they learned, and they did not go in anger.
Be there. Leading is the spirit to be consequent, responsible, and having a broader view. Lead them in the right direction with duration, straightness, but good energy. And you will see how your employees will return the success to you and all of them.
Marco: You are a person of significant influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most good to the most people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I just saw the movie “Joker,” and I can identify myself best with Batman in the trilogy. The Joker shows a mirror of our society.
If I start a movement, it should lead us into Bitcoins. Everyone on the planet. Get the control of money in your own hands.
In the movie “Joker,” he became a symbol for the people left out in the rain. And he has been treated like a dog.
Our society creates its own monsters. Because of greediness, money, carelessness, and taking away our own identity through our parents and childhood. Powered by a government not able to socialize people who need help. The gaps between rich and poor kill small businesses.
Our bank system failed again and again all over the world. My movement stands for: Changing the world – get rid of banks and crypto exchanges – and define our new rules and standards.
For us and the next generation. Creating a world where we live in consensus, where every voice has a vote will be heard and value.
If the people as a whole world nation decide, what is best for them and governments only present concepts and ideas, this world has a chance to make a change. Bitcoin is the beginning of this movement.
Marco: What are your “3 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Not judging people because they do not have that high level of understanding you are coming from. With my higher understanding and knowledge about our life, society, and Bitcoin, I often let people look like stupid kids. Of course, people like it if you tell the truth, but how will you change the world if you cannot bring everyone’s opinion to the table? I learned it is not about helping someone out of his mess.
2) Keep your money for your vision because if you help others first and can’t help yourself afterward, the problem is still there, but just changing the person. It is about creating infrastructures that people are given the possibility to help themselves.
3)You can’t satisfy everyone. You have to be controversial to be heard and recognized and need to be the person you are. It doesn’t matter if people like it, believe it or not, no one can walk in your shoes.
When I started out coming as, Bitcoin Co-Founder, it was because of a vision. I believe in the spirit and the universal rules that everything is connected but not in god or anything else than myself. When I started, I made diversification.
Someone has led all great inventions and changes in life and society. But these people just have gone their ways without looking left and right. Straight to their targets. So, I learned to stand for my perspective and use my knowledge and intelligence to address people and invite them to follow.
Marco: Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Everyone said, its, it’s impossible, but someday someone came, not knowing that it is impossible and just did it!” – For my life, it means a lot: Never say never and never give up. If one way is not working, try another. Try as long as you find your right way.
And do not think about yesterday. Yesterday is gone. Your decisions you make create the future now and how you will reach your destiny.
Every time you worry about the past and ask yourself, “why did this happen to me?” you lose a day in your own paradise and a day to get the fortune to be a creator of your own success story helping other people. And it affects me to remember you are always as good as people make you by honoring your lifework.
Marco: None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Well, I discovered my passion for the computer at the tender age of 9. Fortunately, my parents supported my exceptional talent. They enabled me to expand my knowledge of coding skills by sending me to like-minded people all over the world.
These are the people from the very beginning. From the beginning of my Satoshi School (where you can study about this new technology and get the necessary knowledge), my follower motivates me in hard times to go on and not to stuck.
And yes, I met a guy who said to me: Why do you still make music after all you have created? I answered him that I do not know how I should move on with my vision and how to reach people.
He said to me: “People see different things in you, what you should do. Listen, what people mind you. Write a book and enter the stage, because your message has to be heard!”.
I was very thoughtful on my way home. 3 days later, I started to write my book. I got my first speaking engagement. And it works.
I felt comfortable, I began to love what I did and still doing because I am fulfilling my vision, helping the people get on the right way to make a change. This changed everything in my life.
He gave me the kick I needed at the right time. He caught my ego.
I also have to be thankful for my previous relationship. When I was touring around as DJ and with my band, she said to me: “After all, you have created, and all the good things you told me about your dreams of changing the world: Having a partner wasting his talents and former work, jobbing as a DJ and being on tour with a band is not enough for me. Sorry. I am very disappointed with you!”
That hurts my ego the second time. I said to myself, “Now it’s time to show the world who I am, what I have done, and will create out of this!” Of them, I have to be thankful today. They brought me back on the right track. They empowered me, as no one has done before.
Marco: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world or the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Bill Gates. He is a visionary who turned into a philanthropist of a kind that only Steve Jobs did. And he changed the world through technology. The reason to meet him belongs to his experience and to have a conversation about our world today on a higher level of understanding.
Marco; Thank you, Joerg, for inspiring us with your stories, experiences, and ideas! It’s our honor to have you here with us, and we’re sure your words of wisdom will guide future entrepreneurs in their plans and ventures!