Faces of Crypto: Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof
The cryptocurrency world has sparked large online and offline communities of early adopters fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology. Many investors come from non-traditional backgrounds and have reinvented themselves, found friends, and even become household names within certain circles. Crypto enthusiasts come from all corners of the globe, from all walks of life.
Over the next few weeks, Stayawhile will give members of the community the opportunity to share their stories in their own words.
Today we spoke with Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, founder of BITNATION, an ambitious project that aims to use peer-to-peer networks to create a borderless and voluntary post nation state governance alternative.
Where are you from?
I was born in Sweden to French and Polish parents, and I’ve lived all around the world for 17 years now.
Where do you live now?
I split my time between Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro.
About how old are you?
I’m 33 years old.
How long have you been in crypto?
I’ve known about Bitcoin since end of 2011, and been actively involved since beginning of 2013.
What turned you onto it in the first place?
The realisation that it was actually possible to build something entirely new to replace the existing system, rather than trying to change things from the inside, which I had been trying to do for most of my professional career up to then as a government contractor in war zones. And not only that it was possible, but that it was significantly more efficient. The simple elegance of it astounded me.
How did you find out about it?
I was spending Christmas in a bar in Washington DC with a cypherpunk friend from DARPA I knew from my work in Afghanistan, who showed me an actual physical Bitcoin in gold, and explained what it was. I think those physical ones from that manufacturer where later banned.
When did you buy your first bitcoin?
A friend sent me some in 2012, and I ran the Bitcoin-qt wallet for a bit although it kept crashing my computer, but I didn’t actually end up buying any until 2013
Who do you respect most in the crypto world?
Satoshi Nakamoto, of course ;)
It’s hard to pin down just one or a few persons, there are so many brilliant individuals in this space. But to name just a few, Nick Szabo, Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, Daniel Larimer, Amir Taaki, Ross Ulbricbht, Vinay Gupta and Rick Falkvinge comes to mind.
Do you think cryptocurrencies are overhyped?
No, I still don’t think most people understand the degree to which it will change society in the next few decades.
Have you made friends through crypto?
Yes, many close friends for life. Most of my friends are in crypto now.
What are you excited about in crypto?
I’m incredibly exited about what we at Bitnation are building — the Pangea Jurisdiction. Under the hood it’s a quantum resistant mesh network, but the fronted is a simple mobile phone chat application that people can use to seamlessly create and execute smart contracts on any blockchain (Ethereum to start with), use a free market of mediators and arbitrators to resolve disputes, and create their own nations and organizations. I believe our software will make both nation states as well as organisations like the EU and UN redundant. Additionally, we’re releasing the Pangea Arbitration Token (PAT) soon, during a token sale event, read more about it at tse.bitnation.co
What are you worried about in crypto?
I’m worried about governments and others using blockchain technology to create a more dystopian world. The worst example is permanently storing biometric IDs, which a government or other groups can (and probably sooner, rather than later) will use to conduct a genocide. That’s why we’re exploring options such as Johan Nygren’s Proof-of-Individuality (POI) protocol as an anonymous alternative to biometrics beneath the pseudonymous reputation layer in Pangea.
What did you do before you worked in crypto?
I was a government contractor conducting social science research and governance research in war zones for 7 years, starting and selling my own contracting companies. Before that I worked with advertising.
What’s your story?
I believe the nation state system represent the greatest apartheid in the world, and I’m hellbent on ending that apartheid through building our blockchain Jurisdiction Pangea.
What do you for fun?
Spending time with family, writing and debating, playing backgammon, outcompeting nation states.
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