If I learned anything from studying ‘Bitcoin vs Fiat Currency’ it’s that money is just a consensus hallucination. It’s not real. If you and I agree that this (gold, silver, shell, paper, chicken etc) is money, then it’s money. If we disagree, then it’s not money. So focus on what matters : family, friends and the experiences you create for yourself and others. Have a blast and do work that’s meaningful to you.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Csilla, she is the Founder of the Colorado Springs Blockchain Community and Mile High Decentralized, a blockchain not-for-profit Crypto Hub.
Besides Bitcoin, she is a huge supporter of Monero and Grin Project.
When she isn’t on a mission to build communities, she likes to build and fly drones, travel with her awesome toddler, and volunteer her time to support the Colorado Blockchain Council.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?
In 2016 I was working on drone show choreography. We were using some German software that only sometimes worked. With frustrations building, it was recommended to us that we consider using a blockchain smart contract for automation. Blockwhat?! I thought, after which I started researching the technology and became obsessed, just like most of you in this space. I started the Colorado Springs Blockchain community after a long romantic drive on I-25 to a Denver based meetup. It was at this meetup where it became obvious that we needed a community locally in Colorado Springs. In Jan 2018 we opened the Crypto Cafe and got our first Bitcoin ATM (the only Cash Out one here!). I’ve been “chained to the blockchain” ever since and am loving every minute of it!
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
I don’t believe in the “HODL and see” approach when it comes to mass adoption. I believe people are very interested in a decentralized currency, a currency that can’t be controlled or debased by central banks. Some people know about Bitcoin. Most don’t. But that can be changed. We’re nerds, so we learned about it first. If I was an artist or a busy nurse, I would still be interested in a decentralized currency, but I would certainly need someone to explain: Why I should use it ? and How to use it?
Mile High Decentralized has two main events every month that excites me. One is a four hour practical course, for every day folks who are interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies. We cover everything from fundamentals, setting up Wallets, exchange accounts, storage ( Trezor, Ledger, KeepKey ) and cyber security best practices. It’s free for everyone.
The second one is for local companies about ‘Why should my Business accept Bitcoin?’. Every credit card system you are using was designed BEFORE the internet, and it was never designed FOR the internet. In comparison, Bitcoin payments are much like sending an email, and you can get your payment settled in USD thanks to the Bitcoin payment processors.. We believe that most local businesses are not only unaware of this opportunity and its benefits, but unaware of Bitcoin altogether.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am super grateful to have Matt Millen, Dan Shields, Will Carter, Dan Francis, James Breeding, Brandon, Christopher Poe, Forrist Lytehaause, Russell Castagnaro, & Paul Quigley in my life. They helped me a lot and I can always count on their support.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Transparency, limited supply, decentralization, neutrality and censorship resistance.
Because that’s what our legacy financial system is lacking at the moment.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Stablecoins, and centralized projects like Ripple ( XRP ) — because I think those are fiat 2.0 and programmable money is incredibly powerful. Decentralized blockchains offer more freedom, whereas centralized blockchains are like handcuffs. We would be monitored 24/7 and our digital assets could be frozen or worse controlled remotely.
Mining centralization — I think mining pools are the new monopoly. We need a decentralized mining pool model, otherwise we might end up with new “Masters”.
Security tokens — There is a tendency to securitize many things, that shouldn’t be securitized in my humble opinion. I think it’s going to become the next bubble, just like the ICO craze last year. Bloomberg published a video — Blockchain Takes Manhattan. It’s like crowdfunding for rich people. You lend them money, by buying these tokens, but as a buyer what is your collateral if the deal goes south?
The bank would own the property if a loan defaults.
Permissioned blockchains — controlled by a few powerful people and falsely advertised to the hoi polloi as “decentralized” blockchain.
Exchanges becoming the new banks. Exchanges are trusted third parties. Let’s just call them what they are : the new financial institutions regulated by the government. We need decentralized exchanges. Truly decentralized exchanges. Atomic swaps. Peer to peer transactions without needing a Money Transmitter License. Otherwise we are re-creating the existing legacy system with a twist.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
Fear is the mother of morality and goodness is a relative term, but I will try my best to answer. My work facilitates mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. I believe cryptocurrencies have the potential to reintroduce accountability and transparency. Cryptocurrencies can increase our personal freedom and privacy coins can decrease mass financial surveillance. Inflation would become predictable, which is a good thing in my opinion. Nouriel Roubini would disagree. It doesn’t bother me that he thinks “Bitcoin is the mother and father of all scams and bubbles”. It bothers me that he thinks fiat isn’t.
As you know there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?
My advice : Stay curious. Youtube is Hero. Just do it.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?
Introducing more STEM programs in schools so that girls become more interested in technology. I went to Dallas in May this year to attend a drone competition organized by Bell Helicopters. We had a lot of girls who learned how to build drones in less than 6 weeks, without any prior knowledge. It was refreshing to see that. I would start with girls, then we won’t have to worry about women.
What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
Live like you are in a simulation. Because there is a high probability that we are in fact in a simulation, like Elon Musk says. If I learned anything from studying ‘Bitcoin vs Fiat Currency’ it’s that money is just a consensus hallucination. It’s not real. If you and I agree that this (gold, silver, shell, paper, chicken etc) is money, then it’s money. If we disagree, then it’s not money. So focus on what matters : family, friends and the experiences you create for yourself and others. Have a blast and do work that’s meaningful to you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Practice situational jokes every day. I love jokes and I try to find something funny in every situation, even when life sucks. ESPECIALLY when life sucks. A joke a day keeps the doctor away…oh wait that’s not right.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!