The Next Chapter: Farewell to Bitrefill
Last week was my final week at Bitrefill. Throughout the past year, I did my very best to help grow their brand, product, partners, team, and revenue.
Bitrefill, and I as well, had our best year so far:
- We added literally thousands of new brands of gift cards and refills for people to live on crypto.
- We demonstrated the first version of what an “LSP” could look like with the Thor suite of Lightning Network connectivity services.
- We added platform support for many new countries with native languages and local brand catalogs.
- So many new features in the website/app…
- We partnered with several great companies to integrate Bitrefill shopping features while integrating new B2B Lightning settlement solutions.
I could go on and on, but suffice to say the team remains a force to be reckoned with.
I want to publicly thank Sergej Kotliar, CEO at Bitrefill, and everyone on the Bitrefill team, for the great opportunity they gave me when bringing me in. I had been searching for my place in Bitcoin for a very long time, and Sergej gave me a home. I got to bitcoin so hard last year on so many levels… as a job! Thank you, man, truly.
Sounds great! So, why leave?
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time being a hardline Bitcoiner, doing my best to help from the sidelines with Bitcoin content and commentary. I’ve helped a number of projects in private and even experimented with some of my own.
Working at Bitrefill allowed me to sharpen my skills in business development and product design within the Bitcoin and Lightning world. As I attended conferences, podcast interviews, and parsed the content and experiences of others, I began to form my own vision for how to help Bitcoin grow into an entirely alternative economy.
Some of you may recall me boring you with all my latest interests and designs at conference after-parties and Google Hangout meetings. Thank you for humoring me!
I did my best to channel and filter my ideas through Bitrefill’s vision, which actually aligns pretty damn well, but I could see that this was growing into something different and I wanted the ability to really hit the ground running without trying to shoe-horn my personal vision into a pre-existing company on its own path.
As it turns out, there are others that also believe in this vision, and they have decided to support me with initial funding to start a new company.
Working with Bitrefill was an awesome experience and I am leaving on good terms. I still intend to partner with Bitrefill on projects in the future, but I must pursue this new opportunity.
Tell me about this vision of yours!
Well, the new company is in “stealth mode” for now, but generally, I am forming a new team, backed some familiar names and investors, to create software products for Lightning and Bitcoin.
It’s a pretty big deal… to me, at least! Working at Bitrefill gave me great new insight on Bitcoin users, Bitcoin businesses, and Lightning’s role in Bitcoin’s future. Now, I want to create that future.
Broadly, I’m interested in creating a new user experience for Bitcoin and thoughtfully architecting a fully circular economy by leveraging cutting-edge Lightning tech. I intend to design and deliver new products while forming new synergistic relationships between Bitcoin’s economic participants, whether they are consumers, merchants, or enterprises.
Candidly, I want to assure you that this effort will specifically have a goal of total rebellion and obsolescence for traditional fiat banking and commerce. I know what Bitcoin is here for, and I intend to help carry that torch as far as I can for as long as anyone will let me. I intend to take this opportunity to brand this business and its efforts in line with Bitcoin’s true nature. Our freedom, privacy, and a better future are at stake, and I am not fucking around.
I apologize for the lack of details like the name of the business or its first products, or who will be on the team, or who is investing. For now, think of this as something like Blockstream, but focused more on high-level UX and Lightning instead of low-level tech and sidechains. Don’t take this as a dig on Blockstream, they are legends! I’m simply playing to my strengths and leaving the crypto-engineering to those qualified.
In the coming weeks, I will start forming the team and provide better communications about what we’re working on. I’ll see some of you at the MIT Bitcoin Expo this weekend in Boston, and in San Francisco at Bitcoin2020.
I will need all the support I can get, but I intend to bitcoin harder than ever. We need to demonstrate to the Silicon-Valley-multicoin-VC world that it is possible to create a Bitcoin-only business, economy, and UX that outshines the empty promises of centralized shitcoin features and custodial fiat-world cryptobanks.
If you’re interested in more of my views on the Lightning industry, this post from last year is a good example.
Below is an inspirational collection of some of the many people that like to ask me what I ever did for Bitcoin. I hope to make such a question seem absolutely absurd someday.