The Self-Sustainable Guru: An Interview With Catherine Bleish
A peek at Catherine Bleish and John Bush’s resume and you might wonder when the sustainable living activists ever find time to sleep. The couple raises their two young children and 100 chickens on a farm in Southeast Austin and are diligent advocates of agorism and crypto currency.
Between the two of them, the couple have launched the Sovereign Bitcoin consulting firm (complete with podcast), write for multiple blogs, run TheBitMom.com, operate the daily radio news service The Liberty Beat, star in an education docu-reality show, give speeches around the country, and so on. They sell chickens and eggs from their farmstead for Bitcoin and also barter and accept silver for their services.
We recently caught up with Catherine, in which she gave some sound advice to both new and seasoned Bitcoin users.
Cointelegraph: You guys are heavily involved in a lot of projects. Can you give us an overview of the ones that are directly linked to Bitcoin?
Catherine Bleish: Sovereign Living the Show - produced in part with over 10k in Bitcoin donations, covers Bitcoin and alt currencies in episode four.
Thebitmom.com - my blog and podcast about Bitcoin and Unschooling. We have a crypto token being created specifically for unschoolers right now, hold right for an announcement and more info on this.
Bitcoin Magazine - I write cultural pieces featuring unique Bitcoin people, businesses and events.
Thelibertybeat.com - a five minute top of the hour daily news update. Plays on FM stations in Austin, New Hampshire and soon all across the country. A Bitcoin operation (writers, etc.. paid in BTC), covers the price of Bitcoin daily, and features Bitcoin news. This is my husband’s company.
SovereignBTC.com - my husband’s consulting firm and podcast (featured on the Lets Talk Bitcoin Network) – a very resource full website.
CT: In one of your Sovereign Living talks, you talked about how it was not easy to change your diet and take control of your health. How hard was it to change over to digital currencies? Do many of your friends also use digital currencies?
CB: It was not easy, even after I had the Bitcoin bug! I tried to mine litecoin last year, but could not figure out the next step after downloading the software. I had a friend meet me at our local radical bookstore (Brave New Books) to set up my first BTC wallet through electrum. I don't have a smart phone so sending and receiving BTC on the go has been hard as I use my husband’s phone. Now that we have it down we LOVE it and buy many of our groceries with Gyft.com cards to Whole Foods. We also use BTC to shop on Amazon and to shop at Target! It was easier to use silver than crypto-currencies, to be honest, but now I LOVE going digital! It adds a lot of benefit to our lives.
More and more of our friends are now using BTC. We have basically set them each up to make this happen. We try to support their small businesses by paying in BTC and encouraging them to take it from others.
CT: How do you feel about the IRS’s recent announcement that they will treat digital currency? What kind of impact do you think this will have on the Bitcoin community?
CB: I think the IRS is a criminal institution trying to rob wealth from anyone and everyone they can. It's gross and I wish they'd back off and let the free market thrive. I think many people live in fear of the IRS and will change their behavior based on the announcement. I think it's a sign that all people should be taking privacy very seriously, especially those who want to move away from voluntarily handing over their wealth to corrupt institutions like the IRS.
CT: Do you see advantages in using Bitcoin over other digital currencies like Litecoin?
CB: Right now the Bitcoin network is the most widespread and can have the most practical applications in your life. I'm all about decentralized market based competition, so one day this could change. Get involved in all of them if you can! There will be a movement of token based coins through orgs like CounterParty and Mastercoin that will allow you to support specific projects and to participate in specific markets. I am excited to see this in the works and have BIG ideas for the unschool community.
CT: Any last words for our readers?
CB: Never be afraid to ask questions if you are feeling overwhelmed by the crypto-coin world. Twitter is a great place to link up with Bitcoin enthusiasts who are really willing to help. I had to go to twitter to understand the /r/Bitcoin subsection on Reddit. This is new technology for everyone and it's easy to get bogged down by the lingo and jargon. Find someone further along the journey than you and ask them to walk you through the first steps. You will feel so empowered once you take the leap and realize that you are part of a decentralized peer to peer ETHICAL monetary network! Happy Bitcoining!