1. What/who/how brought you to the $CRYPTO sphere aside the profitability?
“I’ve been around. I first heard of bitcoin in 2012, in tech newsletters and with friends (those very, very geek), read the very elegant bitcoin paper, read every article I could find about bitcoin and became immediately fascinated by the potential revolution that I was facing. First what stroke me was the obvious, the ability to do payments anytime to anywhere with minimal fees but gradually I became aware that bitcoin and all the other crypto projects and developments had the potential to really affect the power the state has above the individual and its capacity to wage war. So I started to try to buy bitcoin at $11 and failed but managed to buy on Mt. Gox at 80$ to get screwed later but didn’t quit, kept going, did a lot of experiments, did p2p loans (to also get screwed), started buying alts in 2013 on btc-e (that didn’t move), tried a lot of things and it was one hell of a ride to arrive to this incredible year. It’s been profitable but I think being inside this crypto world is much more than that: it’s fun, it’s a way to gather knowledge and I believe it’s a way to try to change the world for the better. We’ll look for what we have today as the dark ages of the Internet.”
2. How broadly is $CRYPTO known and used in Portugal?
“Portugal is mainly a socialist country, the state controls most of the economy (directly or indirectly), and Portuguese are mostly completely risk adverse so it’s not a place where crypto could thrive easily. Crypto is mostly unknown in the country and there are not a lot of use cases. With this 2017 bitcoin and alts boom I’m seeing a lot of new people coming to this space focused on the gains, trying to understand it better in order to get those sweet returns. There are also some fintech startups trying to ride the wave.”
3. Do you foresee a tipping point of $CRYPTO adoption in Portugal, government has a $CRYPTO initiative?
“I’d never seen the Portuguese government very interested in crypto besides the usual warnings from the central bank. I believe anything that could come up here would be at a European level (Portugal belongs to the European Union and the Eurozone). There are other Eurozone countries much move advanced on crypto and e-government, like Estonia, so I believe there it will be a harmonization and some regulation on the European Union level.”
4. Are there any $CRYPTO projects in the works in Portugal that you know of?
“The former Portuguese Economy State Secretary is launching a fintech called Abypay and is trying to do an ICO (who isn’t?) but complaining about lack of regulatory framing and no cooperation from the regulatory authorities. He had to go with this enterprise to Switzerland (where citizens can even pay taxes with crypto) to try to achieve it. This says everything about Portugal.”
5-#1 recommendation to Brazilian/Portuguese $CRYPTO noobs?
“I’ll quote one of Nassim Taleb’s favorite expressions that is also one of my favorite expressions a long time ago: skin in the game. I know a lot of people who would like to enter this world but are very risk adverse and very analytic and try to understand everything before investing and so they never enter, they lose all the opportunities. If you can understand completely something then that is already part of the past, not the future, the best way to learn is to put skin in the game, to make it count, to invest something and see how it goes. You’ll make mistakes but consider that a payment for a lesson. The only way to do it is to start doing it right now.”
It is always valuable to understand how things work in some parts of the world that typically are silent about new tech developments, or take a while to adapt to them. Thanks @CryptoFenomeno for your viewpoint from Portugal of Crypto.