MadeinFuture Series: Born in Communism, Now Creating the Blockchain Future


Growing up in communism meant that I cut my bananas in half. Bananas were considered a luxurious commodity. So was a white roll of toilet paper. Barbie dolls came from Germany and replacing wallpaper in my room occurred only around holidays. We settled in a boring, cinder block home in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. The only tech I remembered was the TV, and toys had batteries in them — cars, motorcycles, etc. We had board games and plants in the living room along with carpets, a small sofa that fit my parents and me. My brother sat on my parents’ lap. We shared a room which was our apartment until I turned 6 years old and emigrated to the United States.

My apartment in NYC had a TV and a landline. I got my first cell phone when I was 15 along with a desktop IBM computer I was allowed to use on the weekend. I soon typed my homework assignments and “surfing” the web was something I did for a reward. If I cleaned my room correctly, I could go on and look up pictures of animals from Africa or the waterfalls from Latin America.

Life was simple. The future I thought about was the next big party on the weekend and which boy I would like to kiss. Not much changed until I graduated from high school and went to college to study liberal arts. I finally got a laptop and surfed the web for whatever I wanted to learn more about — animal rights issues in China, the new dam in Brazil, political news from Egypt, etc.

Most kids don’t grow up thinking about how emerging technology like blockchain will change lives. Most adults don’t think about it either. A few of us traded board games for computer or video games. Some coded new games and built computers — activities teachers and parents considered, most likely the ones who had an engineering or computer science background.

Ten years ago, in 2008, some coders created their vision for blockchain technology based on a thesis written by Satoshi Nakamoto. The social undertones were a reflection on the crisis in the financial industry that allowed big banks like AIG to be bailed out. There are other explanations and theories for the rise of bitcoin and the Blockchain Revolution. We’ll save that for later or refer to Alex Cahana’s blog.

From Left: Crypto VC Founder, Professor, and Philosopher Alex Cahana, Alice Hlidkova, Serial Entrepreneur and Blockchain Investor Lucas Cervigni and Blockchain Start-Up Founder Charly Pham. (Alex Cahana runs community the crypto VC and was interview by Alice and Lucas for their media startup New Economies along with Charly Pham from Dataeum)

While we try to make sense of the blockchain industry, we like to bring companies together that can work on some of the current challenges of the industry: paper logs, multiple databases, provinces, fake products, private information, mismanagement, corruption, etc. Blockchain to some extent eliminates inefficiencies in our current business processes, reducing time and cost. This is great for any business owner, and for humans in general.

Living the life of a blockchain consultant and advocating for mass adoption is a challenge we accept. Lucas and I started a media company, exclusive to blockchain news. We also help startups get funding; like Digipharm (healthcare) and PlantonCoin (finance). Be it healthcare of finance, manufacturing or banking, health and beauty, blockchain has the potential to affect every industry.

At the end of the day, the blockchain industry draws a community of agile consultants, brilliant coders, serial entrepreneurs, restless regulators, disgruntled attorneys, bold traders, concerned parents, and many more, changing the framework of how the world works.

Challenging the status quo with tech is a dangerous game but it is rewarding. Creating tech in a communist state is unheard of, but many serial tech entrepreneurs and visionaries from communist countries like China and the former Soviet Bloc, are paving the way for a new future. Many more from countries that experience inflation (Argentina or Venezuela) are doing the same. In Argentina, the cost of natural gas can increase from $1 to $20 overnight, and the entire country defaults. Imagine paying that type of utility bill.

What matters is that we hold governments and the private sector accountable. As citizens, it is our right to have our basic needs met; water, food, and shelter.

We, change makers, are the soldiers in the digital world that is increasingly replacing the physical world. We can use the digital space to create change. It is borderless, religion-agnostic, and sometimes even free from government oppression. But we must also stay connected to the physical world, in order to preserve our senses and continue to evolve as humans.

I was fortunate to grow up in a communist country as I learned to appreciate the little things in life, become resilient and not take no for an answer. The blockchain has allowed me to challenge the socio-economic order and apply my creativity to make it better.

Thank you for your support.

Read my blog →

Facebook →

Instagram →