In our fifth edition of 21 Questions By Decentralize Today, we featureColin Goltra, an advisor, investor, and researcher in the cryptocurrency space, and former Head of Cryptocurrency at one of Southeast Asia's most successful Bitcoin and fintech startups, Philippines-basedCoins.ph，由东南亚按需多级服务平台和数字支付技术组，Go-Jek获得。
Colin Goltra:Deliberate. Independent. Patient.
I'm sure there are people close to me that will mock me for self-describing as patient (perhaps "macro-patient" is a slightly better descriptor), but generally I am trying to convey a sense of long-term focus. I have strong thoughts about the life I want to live 10+ years from now and try my best to be viscerally aware of how my day-to-day decisions impact that future - at the very least, it's a helpful framework for HODL-ing!
CG：I hopped on the Bitcoin bandwagon in mid-2013 while I was an Investment Banker. Our firm's compliance team was (rightfully) fairly strict about preventing us from personally trading equities and other corporate securities, so people at the firm were dabbling in Bitcoin on the sid instead, since it was so niche (especially at the time) and squarely exempted from oversight by the firm's policy. My initial investment thesis had to do with the fact that Bitcoin was supporting an entire online economy (Silk Road) without any institutional infrastructure - I figured it would have even further implications once the serious technical and business talent jumped in properly. I started regularly attending the early San Francisco Bitcoin meetups soon after and have remained an active part of the Crypto ecosystem ever since. |
CG：Generally speaking, my career has been at the intersection of Tech and Finance. I started as an Investment Banker covering the tech sector, have been in emerging tech strategy for Samsung, and have been involved with a few different crypto/blockchain startups - most notably Coins.ph.
DT.:How would you describe your current work to a 5 year old kid?
CG.: I would tell the 5 year old kid that, just like in a video game, there are forms of money that only exist on the internet - and that I work with companies that want to let people use this internet money more easily.
DT.: What was your first ever job (even as a kid)?
CG：我有很多随机的小努力作为一个孩子，我真的只是想制作并花钱。我制作了粘液（胶水/水/硼砂）并在我的游泳比赛中卖掉它。我冻结了我的万圣节糖果，然后几个月后在学校卖掉它。我去了散装商店，并在学校买了随机小吃。真是太棒了，我总是有最新的游戏男孩，能够购买很多游戏和口袋妖怪卡 - 生活很好！
In terms of a job I could put on an actual resume, I worked as a Clerk at a Law Firm for one summer when I was a teenager. Was a great summer job, but makes for a less interesting origin story.
DT.:Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to work/business?
CG：This is going to read like a VERY basic tech bro answer, but alas:
In terms of pure inspiration, basically everything Elon Musk does absolutely blows my mind (including and especially the great memes) - but I have some self-awareness that from a pure skill and talent perspective I'm just not wired in that hyper-engineering way (I mean, nobody else is either, but I'm not even on that spectrum really), so he's not a realistic role model.
Outside of Elon, three practitioner-intellectuals come to mind that have shaped how I think about the arc of my career (and life in general): Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Peter Thiel, and Naval Ravikant. Taleb's "Incerto" series is absolutely required reading and has taught me a lot of interesting frameworks to approaching life, work, and uncertainty. Thiel's work really taught me that the important work in life revolves around finding open secrets that the crowd refuses to see. Naval's work really incorporates staying present and focused on the work that matters, and to architect one's life in a way that removes the unimportant distractions.
DT.: What's the best life and work advice you've ever been given?
CG：Anytime I'd freak out about my various pitfalls as a teenager, my mom would always tell me "it's not always linear" - referring to the arc and progress of one's life. It was often hard for me to incorporate that advice growing up, but as I grow older it's become an excellent mantra in basically all aspects of my life, including work/career.
In terms of actual comic genre characters, I think Doctor Manhattan from the 'Watchmen' universe is an incredible character. I like the way that he is perceived to be all powerful, literally godlike, yet at the same time absolutely powerless and trapped in this deterministic-timeline paradox that he has no ability to shape the course of. It was really a strangely thought-provoking concept the first time I read the graphic novel.
I also really like Oscar Isaac's character ("Nathan") in the film 'Ex Machina' - he's sort of like a modern version of Dr. Frankenstein, but the entire aesthetic of his character was super cool.
Oh, last one, I also absolutely aspire to the level of levity that Roger Sterling from 'Mad Men' has - such a brilliant character.
DT.: What were you like as a student?
CG：I think I was always fairly intellectually curious and multi-disciplined. Growing up it was probably hard to say what my favorite or best subject was, I was a decent student across the board, but not a master in any one discipline. I studied Economics, Applied Statistics, and French in undergrad and later did a professional course in Software Engineering.
I hink my career also kind of maps to this meandering, as I have had very different types of roles across tech and finance, all thematically consistent but functionally different each time. I very much like it this way though.
DT.: What would be your dream project if money was no object?
*Sure Colin, that's what they all say...
DT.: You were part of a successful bitcoin startup in the Philippines. What's your most valuable insight out of that experience?
宏观学习:加密是一个超级周期性的企业s and the ecosystem in general has a really long way to go.
DT.: Who are your real life heroes?
CG：我真的没有 - 或者我可以想到特定的个人，这是一个公开分享的答案。一般来说，我尽量不要崇拜特定的人。我非常欣赏一般令人钦佩的人的特定想法，属性或美德，但随后尽力从实际的人那里解脱出来的质量。
DT.: What does your family think of Bitcoin / crypto?
CG：At first my Father would try to convince me to take gains off the table every time there was a pump, but now he has a sense that I have a much longer time horizon than the short and intermediate term moves. I've been involved in crypto for a while now (and literally moved away from home to work at a crypto company), so the family is pretty accustomed to it now. Many of my relatives even hold a little bit of crypto now.
DT.: What was the last book you read that you would recommend to others?
DT.: What grinds your gears or is your pet peeve?
CG：很多东西让我疯狂，但我尽力不要出汗小东西。我想到了很多的东西是“令人沮丧的克鲁格效应”，基本上指出，新的或不知情的人民大大超额利息他们的能力或对给定的学科的理解，因为他们不知道纪律的最高水平看起来像是这样的。当我看到迪尼 - 克鲁格的超级早期阶段的人们，他们对世界的遗憾但却不明白他们正在愚弄自己，我真的很生气。
DT.: Do you have an "I lost my private keys" story? Or a crazy crypto related story? Do share!
DT.: Where do you see Bitcoin/crypto in ten years?
DT.: What's your go-to form of entertainment or pastime? What do you do for fun?
CG：I'm on Twitter pretty often, probably more often than I should be, haha.
Week to week I try to be good about dedicating time to working out, getting sun, swimming, doing yoga, etc. I also just took up SCUBA diving and want to become a lot better at that. I was a swimmer as a kid, so I was always in the water growing up - I am kind of trying to rekindle that.
DT.: You have the power to solve one world problem forever. Which one would you choose?
CG：Crypto is cool and all, but I think almost all of society's problems are downstream of our energy production problem. If we had orders of magnitude cheaper, cleaner, more abundant energy production and storage, society would be greatly improved. If you gave me a magic wand to fix one problem, it would definitely be that.
CG：如果没有时间旅行悖论,我会电话l myself not to go to college, save as much money as possible, then buy as much of this thing called Bitcoin as possible when it comes out in a couple years.
If I'm trying to be wise and the answer above doesn't count, I would remind myself that "it's not always linear."
Colin Goltra is currently an advisor, investor, and researcher in the cryptocurrency space and is primarily focused on the growth of Crypto, FinTech, and Venture ecosystems throughout Southeast Asia.
Most recently he served on the Management Team at Coins.ph, where he held leadership roles across the Cryptocurrency, People Ops, and Product Development teams. He joined Coins.ph in its early days and left after its acquisition by Go-Jek in 2019, a period in which the Coins.ph team expanded its cryptocurrency service to several million Filipinos and made significant strides in providing blockchain-based financial inclusion in the Philippines.
Prior to joining Coins.ph, he spent his career in Silicon Valley as both a technologist and financier. He has been very actively involved in the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain ecosystem since 2013 and is excited by the impact that the technology is having throughout Southeast Asia.