From Banks to Bitcoin: An Interview with Gregory Simon

Since getting involved in Bitcoin in 2012, Gregory Simon has been undeniably prolific in the community.

His purchase of a 0.3 acre plot of land in Nicaragua brought him into the spotlight earlier this year, and he has since become a founding member of the Nicaraguan Bitcoin Foundation which hopes to foster financial and social prosperity for the country’s population.

Gregory’s business history is impressive, having spent 14 years in equity sales for companies including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase. Since leaving the banking industry to travel the world in 2013, however, he has become highly active in Bitcoin, to which he now devotes the majority of his time.

A founding member of the Bitcoin association, Gregory has co-founded two Bitcoin enterprises this year, block chain innovator CryptoWerks and online marketplace!

He is also a principal organizer of the Dubai Bitcoin Conference, which is due to take place in December.

With so much going on, the future is indeed bright, and CoinTelegraph caught up with Gregory to get more information on his new projects as well as his take on Bitcoin’s progress.

CT: You mentioned that independent block chains will expand exponentially in the coming years, especially for non-monetary applications. What kind of applications do you think we'll be seeing, and how will CryptoWerks set about creating their infrastructure?

GS: At CryptoWerks we see the Crypto economy as a community of borrowers and lenders of Crypto Ledger Trust. Currently the biggest borrower of that Trust is Bitcoin. But Bitcoin is only one currency and currency is only one potential application as a borrower of Crypto Ledger Trust. We use Bitcoin rather than sovereign fiat because we trust it more. That trust comes from the Crypto Ledger. Just as Trust from the Crypto Ledger improved the quality of our currency, it can improve the quality of any other set of non-monetary data used in the economy.

We see elections, asset title registry, accounting, and asset exchanges as the four main non-monetary drivers of demand going forward. To facilitate meeting the customized demand for Trust CryptoWerks builds custom use independent blockchains. Our Trust Market, the first of its kind, also brings lenders of Trust together with our borrowers of Trust.

CT: There is some contention over how best to educate the public about Bitcoin, or whether they even need to have much in-depth knowledge at all. What is your view on this in your role at the Bitcoin Association?

GS: I think education is the most important hurdle to overcome. I come from a non-technical background. The first time I tried to understand the technology behind Bitcoin and Crypto currencies it made my head spin. Having patience is key. It takes time for busy people to open their minds to change, especially change this revolutionary.

Everyone does not have to understand what SHA-256 or a Merkle Tree are, but basic knowledge of the benefits gained by using the Crypto Distributed Ledger is important. This is one driving factor behind the founding members creating the Bitcoin Association.

Not only is there a lot of misinformation out there, but there is an insufficient number of communication channels between the legacy economy’s public and private sectors and the Crypto economy. Through a Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO) structure, the Bitcoin Association will assist in building these channels of communication. It will also organize the loosely fractured number of local Crypto currency associations and foundations around the world under one distributed structure.

This global union of resources and efforts can improve the overall efficiency of our collective efforts to educate and enable positive change. Because the Bitcoin Association will be a DAO, control and decision making will always be decentralized, residing equally in the hands of all of the people in the Crypto community.

CT: Can you tell us more about the Dubai Bitcoin Conference this December?

GS: […] I am […] very excited to be an organizer of the event. This will be the first ever Dubai Bitcoin conference. Dubai, along with the Middle East and Africa, holds great promise for the future adoption of Crypto currencies. At the conference we intend to focus on topics that are expected to be of local interest, including remittances, economics, regulation, and finance.

CT: What made you choose Nicaragua as both a home and a space to develop the Bitcoin community? How does it compare to the progress of other Latin American countries?

GS: My primary motivation to leave my 12 year career in banking and dive full time into Crypto currencies is the potential this technology has to create an equal playing field worldwide. In the process, empowering individual people no matter what their nationality, financial wealth, sex, race or religion may be. This is often referred to as the neutrality of Bitcoin.

After traveling full time through 2013 with my fiancé we fell in love with Nicaragua for its natural beauty and kind people. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Central America. 85% of the population has no bank accounts or credit cards. 10% of the GDP is remittances from overseas. Bitcoin and Crypto currency technology can be introduced to bank those millions of unbanked people, giving them for the first time a chance to save and build wealth for a better future. Remittances can be sent home from overseas at a lower cost than legacy options. This means more hard earned money going to the families back home which can be used to feed and educate their children or invest in clean water and healthcare.

The non-profit Nicaragua Bitcoin Foundation was formed to help achieve these and other goals. Although Nicaragua currently may be behind other Latin American countries in terms of Bitcoin user adoption, we expect because there is a relative lack of incumbent industries to compete against, Nicaragua can quickly “leapfrog” legacy industries and become one of the leading adopting countries of Bitcoin technology.

CT: Bitcoin investment has become something of a hot topic in recent months. Can you tell us more about what makes Cryptor Trust unique in the space?

GS: Cryptor Trust is a unique and exciting investment trust as it only operates globally and only in Bitcoin. Shares in the company are sold in Bitcoin and investments will all be made in Bitcoin. Buying shares in Cryptor Trust is an easy and convenient way for anyone to get involved investing in Crypto economy startups without having to do alone or be a qualified angel investor or VC. As a member of the Latin America advisory board and the investment committee, I see Cryptor Trust as a major contributor towards funding future Crypto economy startups and growth.

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