Alex Mashinsky: Blockchain Is A Weapon Against Seven Hundred Years Of Centralization
A venture investor, cryptoguru and CEO at Celcius Network Alex Mashinsky tells about the main mistake of blockchain community and describes the shortest path to the global financial freedom.
How did you know about blockchain technology?
In 2009, one of my friends sent me Satoshi’s white paper. Since I was a technical guy, he wanted to know what I thought about that. I read it and told him that that was very slow, hard to scale and inefficient, that it was the waste of electricity. So, I was not interested. More than that, I had a really negative attitude towards blockchain. I have always been an efficiency freak who thinks that technologies have to be fast and cheap. The wireless communication is one of the examples. And then I saw the technology which was thousand times slower than modern solutions. It was very hard for my brain to remain open and to accept the idea. Blockchain gets slower and slower when you add new nodes. But soon I changed my mind. Unless you understand how the consensus works, what the open ledger is and how human thinking is organized, you will never fully accept this type of technology.
How can we solve problems with blockchain?
The key thing is that you need a slower consensus if the network is very big. It is a feature rather than a problem. Blockchain is not about speed. It was not designed to solve all problems in the world. It is perfect when it is used in very specific systems. Though, blockchain have already turned into something different than just a technology. People started using it to make money, which was not the main purpose of Satoshi’s white paper.
What was its main purpose then?
I guess Satoshi was dissatisfied with the financial system. We cannot just take an innovative technology and put it into the existing system to fix it. We have to create a brand new system. And the main idea of this new system is to do the best for the community. I’m sure that our community does not need a faster consensus. Just look at the world around you. Here nobody is sure what is true or wrong. Basically, you cannot trust anyone. So the slow consensus, in my opinion, is actually a brilliant idea.
But some people want to use cryptocurrencies to buy, for example, a cup of coffee. Doesn’t it mean that transactions have to be fast?
I do not think that Satoshi Nakamoto created all of this so that we could buy coffee. Just imagine, we had seven hundred years of centralization, and blockchain is a weapon against the seven hundred years. The main point is that nobody can go back. I spent almost 30 years on building the strong centralized business. I had a company with 14 thousand employees before I started Celsius. And I just left all of that to accept the future. We have to stay in line with the original idea of Satoshi, which was to make the financial system by people and for people. Satoshi has shown us the way to solve numerous problems with the help of this technology.
So, you think that Satoshi Nakamoto is a woman?
Actually, I do not know who this person is. I have read the white paper and found that the way it was written fits more a woman rather than a man. I think that men are hunters, while women are gatherers, they are able to see hidden details in order to create the whole structure. Satoshi’s white paper is exactly what I call a “gathering” solution. It is like Mother Nature talking to us. If the Earth could write a white paper to save the whole humanity from itself, it would be like Satoshi’s one. Satoshi did not just invented blockchain − she pulled everything together.
Can central banks exist along with cryptocurrency?
The only power they have is the one we give them. We have given them our money and allowed creating some rules. The banks would collapse if everyone just stopped giving them data and money. Decentralization is about giving the power over money back to people.
What do you think about ICOs? Are you going to run one?
We have run an ICO and raised 50 millions.
What role does your company play for the society?
In Celcius, we are trying to create a cloud-based system by using the AI. We are building trusted relationships in our community. Celsius is aimed at doing everything possible for its clients − they just have to be in the right place with us. The problem is that such powerful companies as Google and Facebook use your personal data to become even more powerful. We offer the system that can make people independent. There is no conflict of interest. There is definitely enough money for everyone.