Bitcoins for Business Startups

Last year while I was deep in the Singularity University graduate program in AI, Education & Collective Intelligence Entrepreneurship in Mountain View, I took a weekend away from the unconferences and IGNITE talks to officiate the wedding of two friends in the Bay Area. My husband and I drove up to a winery, spent a beautiful day with the new family and I whipped out my iPad to make their vows visible for the world. At the end of the day we drove home and I went back to my team starting EDDEFY, our learning technology startup.

A few weeks later, the groom sent me bitcoins. At the time they were trading somewhere in the $11-$13 range and his gift of 8 bitcoins stayed with me for a few months. When it came time to bootstrap the incorporation of EDDEFY, I emailed the bitcoins over to my cofounder for her to cash in and use for the formation of the company.

Now two months later, the bitcoins have tripled in value (trading near $45) and our company is cash-positive! My original investment of time with friends has now bloomed into a new business and we still have a few bitcoins left over thanks to the generosity of the new family.

When we went to incorporate, we asked our new colleagues if they would accept bitcoins directly. While the company that assisted with our filing does not yet accept bitcoins, there are many larger companies like WordPress that do accept bitcoins as a new global currency that can remove barriers to commerce. The walls are coming down. We no longer need one government to insure our money – corruption in the traditional economy is apparent and we have seen their unwillingness to prosecute those companies who have stolen billions if not trillions from our workforce through fraud and questionable practices.

As a global company, we are thrilled to be using bitcoins as part of our path to helping others achieve their purpose, profit and passion. As a learning technology company, we see the potential for bitcoins to be used for mentors and tutors, webinars and classes along with a wide variety of learning opportunities that can now be offered directly from the provider to the world audience. We also see bitcoins as one way to bring social impact investing back into the hands of the people.

There is a mix of trepidation, interest and curiosity about alternative currencies in America and we have seen a tremendous shift for the last decade, from creatives making Lindens in Second Life to the growth of time banks, local currencies and sharing economy sites like Yertle. The opportunities start to outweigh the risks. We recognize that our trusted currencies are no longer as bulletproof as we once thought and the stalwart markets of metals and commodities are not the answer for the internet age.Image

If we want to open doors to new opportunities, we must be open to trying new things. Bitcoins allowed our company to incorporate quickly, make money and show that we are ready to join the global networked economy.

How are you employing new methods to success, and how are you opening doors for others to achieve?

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