Bounties Network Community Profile: Brandon Walsh

Redefining stories: crypto, hope and human potential

Simona Pop
Bounties Network

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Brandon’s self portrait submitted to our Faces of Ethereum bounty

“Crypto is supposed to be a tool for the betterment of society as a whole”

Let’s get to know you — tell us a little bit about yourself, Brandon.

My name is Brandon and I’m from the United States. I am in my mid 20’s and currently located in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I guess you could say I grew up under somewhat difficult circumstances.

My mother was an addict and was my only family. I do not know of or have ever met anyone else I am related to. We never had a stable place to live and we moved quite often, which made school difficult. When I was in sixth grade, we were hopping states nearly every month, and at some point she simply no longer enrolled me in school. Most likely because I was already self sufficient at that age so she did not need someone to “watch me” during the day.

In terms of my education, I am a junior high dropout. My higher education was self administered by way of public libraries. When I was in my early teens I pretty much already lived on the streets. I generally did not get along with the guys my mom would be staying with so I only went there to shower and sometimes sleep. When I was 15, I came back to the apartment she was staying at and found the apartment locked with a notice of eviction for police contact and narcotic use. I found out from the maintenance man my mom had overdosed and died. I never saw her.

Since that day I have been completely on my own. I have not held any prestigious jobs, and I do not have any impressive credentials, but I have survived as best I could with what I was handed.

What interests you about blockchain and why?

I first became interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain after reading an article that talked about how crypto could help bank the unbanked. Due to my background and educational limitations, both money — and a traditional bank account — have always been relatively difficult for me to acquire.

The concept of cryptocurrency was very unusual to me at first, partially because I have had little exposure to technology in my life, and also due to the fact that I had never learned much about the global financial systems — being so far removed from them in my own life.

I began to read more about these systems and the nature of money, and felt that the way the current global financial system is setup may be behind most of the problems in this world. And as I read more about cryptocurrency and blockchain, I came to see them as brilliant tools for change. So…I was hooked.

How would you define blockchain in simple terms so anyone could understand it?

I would define blockchain as a record keeping network, where all participants (or recordkeepers) have the same job, and the same level of power/importance/influence, and therefore they “keep each other honest”.

Corruption always originates from an imbalance or excess of power and influence — blockchain takes that away.

How are you using bounties? How are they making a difference in your life?

I don’t remember exactly how I arrived at the Bounties Network site but it was most likely from one of the cryptocurrency forums I had joined.

Of all the cryptocurrency related projects or sites it has definitely had the most influence on my life. Although I had become extremely interested in crypto, it is still difficult for me to obtain crypto, given my situation. Bounties Network has given me an onramp and a way to acquire it without having the money or bank account to buy it. I use crypto ATMs to exchange what I earn into dollars and they have a pretty high surcharge but it still makes a big difference.

Brandon’s work on our Tree Planting bounty

I think that bounties and crypto have an extraordinary ability to help people in this world once they become more widespread and better understood. I believe that once the world becomes “crypto capable” and people from all across the globe are able to transfer funds between one another without limitations, it will open up economic and development possibilities for a lot of individuals who are completely devoid of them.

Brandon does regular cleanups for our Bounties for the Oceans

In theory, cryptocurrency should allow people to have greater security and trust when it comes to “giving” or donating money, because they do not need to provide personal information, they can donate truly anonymously, and there is greater transparency in where the funds go.

What would you like to work on or get involved with most?

What I would really like to create or help develop would be a cryptocurrency that functioned like a worldwide basic income. Where every single human being would receive the same amount, paid at the same intervals, without any restrictions or qualifications as to eligibility.

Every human would be able to receive it, and do with it as they please. For people living in extreme poverty or homelessness, even a small amount of money can be life changing or make a dramatic impact on their quality of life.

The wealth imbalance in this world is immoral, unfair, and unethical, and it is up to us, the people who have no hand or power or influence in the current financial system, to therefore abandon it and create our own.

“Money does not have intrinsic value. Value is assigned and accepted by people so it’s the people that hold the real value, power, and worth.”

Since a worldwide basic income is a somewhat far reaching goal, a second more plausible project I would like to develop would be to create a cryptocurrency with the sole purpose of creating its value based on the value of the people holding it.

Most cryptocurrencies are disproportionately held, and it is commonplace that the teams behind them use artificial volume, fake social media users or interest, and wash trading, to create an inflated value in order to influence other real people to “accept” its value. If something has “accepted” value by enough people, whether or not there is intrinsic value or an actual use case becomes irrelevant. If people can send it and receive it, and enough people agree something has value, then it does.

Given all this, and given the fact that I have spent my entire life deprived of money, I would like to find other people who would simply like to come together and make a cryptocurrency established on the basis that if enough real people say something has value, then it does.

It sounds ridiculous, but at the root of it, all cryptocurrencies are essentially the same. You can send them and receive them and they use the same basic mechanisms for transfer, accounting and security. The only differences are the groups of people who use them and the values those people collectively establish.

One last thing I’d like to add is a thank you to you, the Bounties Network, for your efforts in making crypto what it is supposed to be, a tool for the betterment of society as a whole.

My heartfelt thanks to Brandon and the Bounties team for being the change I want to see in the world.

For all projects in the space, this is how you get involved with real people: create opportunities for them to contribute to what you are building. Use your crypto to create and fund initiatives that benefit individuals and communities at large, not just our existing ecosystem.

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Simona Pop
Bounties Network

Head of Community @ethstatus | Co-founder @ethbounties, creative & speaker. Omelette eater.