Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco Streng, the wunderkind bitcoin visionary behind Genesis Mining. Genesis, as many of you reading this might know, is the world’s largest cloud bitcoin mining company, with over 2 million customers worldwide. It calls Iceland home, whose cool climate and affordable green energy are ideal for mining newly minted virgin cryptocurrencies. Last year, Genesis helped connect the blockchain sector and traditional capital markets by partnering with HIVE Blockchain Technologies, the first publicly traded digital currency mining firm.
This week, Marco will be one of the panelists at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology summit in New York, which I will also be attending. Below are highlights from our conversation.
Tell us how you got started in this industry.
I’ve always had a passion for mathematics, science, physics. I wanted to understand how nature works. I used to spend days and nights in the library, and I was actually on my way to becoming a math professor.
But then blockchain and bitcoin came along, and that changed everything. At the time, the community was very small, but the ideas and visions were very big. No one fully realized then how fast it would all grow or just how revolutionary it could end up being. I watched as new marketplaces began to emerge, businesses began to bet on bitcoin and people started adopting it. More and more exchanges popped up. All of this happened within a year of me first reading about blockchain and bitcoin—it progressed that quickly.
It was clear that something big was happening. The world was changing, and I needed to be part of it.
How would you describe bitcoin to someone who knew nothing about it?
With bitcoin, you can send money anywhere in the world to anywhere else without worrying about boundaries or having the transaction controlled or stopped by a third party. It’s a completely independent, decentralized, peer-to-peer system. This is what makes it so revolutionary.