Interview – Joshua Scigala of Vaultoro
Note: This is a migrated article. The original date of publication of this article is on May 9, 2015.
For some, Bitcoin is more than just a currency. Some prefer to identify it as a protocol. Some prefer it to be a technological innovation. But for most entrepreneurs, it is considered an investment. Hence, welcome Vaultoro – a Bitcoin Gold exchange.With its service, you can save Bitcoin steadily for the long term, and buy gold, regardless of how small an investment you can accomodate. I had the chance to speak with its co-founder, Joshua Scigala, about this innovative venture for Bitcoin investors and enthusiasts alike.
Jay-R Gatdula: Hi, mate. Every Bitcoin enthusiast has gone through a journey – can you give us a bit of a backgrounder on yours?
Joshua Scigala: Oh wow, where to begin. After 9/11 shocked us all, I wanted to really understand the world and started studying empires of the world, how they came to be and how they came to fall. This naturally led me to the kingpin of all nations, banking and money. How money is created, and used to enslave, not only individuals, but also whole communities and countries.
I was always interested in gold as money but came to realise why private money that is spent into existence is so important. If money is lent into existence with interest then you will always have people in debt and under control. If on the other hand you spend money into existence then the money just starts circulating without intrinsic debt. Gold is found and then spent into circulation but has not been used as money by the masses for a long time for many reasons. Bitcoin came along and also works the same, miners find these precious numbers and the protocol effectively spends new bitcoins into existence. I was always a fan of this Buckminster Fuller quote:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
I used to go out and demonstrate a lot and beg governments to change things. As I got older, I realised that demos and petitions rarely change anything and only waste time. Bitcoin was a solution that didn’t require begging anyone for permission; it could also never be stopped because it was decentralised. For me, to fall in love with bitcoin took all of 30 seconds as the words in Satoshi’s white paper flooded my mind with possibilities and disruption. The love affair has only gotten stronger, even after 5 years.
JG: Sounds like a powerful attraction. What can you say is the best thing about Vaultoro?
JS: Vaultoro was the first real-time bitcoin gold trading platform in the world. Enabling people around the globe to protect themselves from the bitcoin volatility without insta-selling to back to fiat. This is an important step for crypto currency, if we truly want to escape the grip of debt based centrally controlled currencies then we need to stop insta-selling back to debt based fiat.
The other very important thing that Vaultoro has shown the world is that the KYC laws are way more relaxed with gold because it is ‘good’ and not officially recognised as money anymore. This is important for privacy as well as inclusion. Try getting KYC compliant documents from an unbanked street merchant in Sub Saharan Africa; it’s not going to happen, and they are the types of people that could use bitcoin the most. Bitcoin has always been about inclusion, and it feels good running a service like Vaultoro that empowers people like that to use bitcoin without the volatility.
JG: Interesting. What have been the greatest accomplishments you have had whilst operating your business since its foundation?
JS: What really blew my mind was when we went live with Vaultoro and started getting a lot of people from Greece exiting the euro banking system by securing their wealth in gold using bitcoin. We also had people in places like Botswana Africa purchased gold. For the first time in history a normal person in a relatively poor country could hold their wealth no matter how small in top-tier investment grade audited and insured Swiss bullion vaults! This was always something that only high net worth elite of the world had access to! Not only that, for the first time in history the normal person can spend their gold instantly anywhere around the world where bitcoin is accepted!
JG: What do you think Bitcoin needs to become a more steadfast form of payment? What’s preventing it from becoming conventional?
JS: Bitcoin needs safety, ease of use, and a killer app. These things are all being built, and it is only a matter of time before it happens. There are many really cool advancements; for instance, we at Vaultoro, are developing a new type of multisig hot wallet that will make it impossible to hack and drain the whole wallet even for insiders like employees or executives. I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but as soon as we release it, we hope it will become standard across all exchanges.
We are finally heading away from Geekville, just look at co-pay wallet or trezor. It makes it so easy to use complex technologies like multisig or cold wallet signing. Every day, more services come out that make bitcoin easier to use, lowering the barrier to entry, and lifting the floodgate to mass adoption. One day, we will wake up, and someone will have released a killer app that everyone wants and will help spread bitcoin. Just like Space invaders was the killer app for home gaming or VisiCalc (spreadsheets) where the killer app for the sale of the first personal computers. Silk road was the first killer app for bitcoin, but I think remittance, games with in game currencies, and decentralised markets will be the next.
I think people should be critical of everything, altcoins, banks, exchanges, everything. It is an unregulated market, so you are the regulator. I personally focus my energy on the bitcoin network and feel that it won’t get superseded very easily. There are some absolutely amazing ideas coming out of the altcoin space, and they will naturally compete with bitcoin. Competition is important, necessary, and beautiful.
JG: Do you have a Bitcoin price prediction?
JS: LOL. All I know is that as soon as I think I know something about the price, I wake up the next day and realise I know nothing. I think decentralised prediction markets are very interesting and will have better answers than any individual ever could.
JG: Finally, for Bitcoin newbies out there, what advice can you give them?
JS: Yes, I have tried to explain bitcoin to many people, and the best success I get is when they actually use it. Get them to download a wallet and send them some bitcoin, then get them to send half back so they get a feel of it. I find that something just clicks when this is done.
Bitcoin is an opportunity to create change for the better at a scale that only the Internet or the printing press has achieved. This invention couldn’t have come at a better time; people of the world are sick of the banks and are finally waking up to the fiat currency scam. Private money like bitcoin and gold will help bring millions into the global market place, alleviating poverty and minimising war. Bring it on!
JG: Well, that’s about it. Thank you very much, Josh!
Get the latest in Asian Bitcoin news here at Coin News Asia.