My guest today is Cindy Zimmerman, Computer Scientist and Crypto-currency ATM owner/operator.
In today’s show, we discuss:
- How attending a meetup provided her with an opportunity to move and work in Panama
- How she turned a hobby of owning a Bitcoin ATM into a serious passive income stream
- Why Cindy is the first in the world to integrate the up-n-coming digital currency “Dash”
- How Bitcoin helps the very poor families of Venezuela protect their savings and afford to live
While working for a Bitcoin company in Panama, Cindy encountered a problem. She, and all of her friends, were receiving their salaries in the crypto-currency Bitcoin, but the rest of the Panamanian economy ran on US Dollars. A currency is only good if you can spend it, and Cindy was constantly short on USD bills.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, she decided to purchase what’s known as a Bitcoin ATM. It’s very similar to the cash-based ATMs that you are accustomed to, but instead of swiping your debit card, you send it bitcoins from your phone. Remember, bitcoin does not require the banking system and as President Obama said “with bitcoin everyone essentially has a Swiss bank account in their pocket”. I should mention that Bitcoin ATMs work both ways, you can buy bitcoins with cash or you can buy cash with bitcoins.
What was first a hobby project, so that Cindy and her colleagues could have access to USD liquidity, quickly turned into an opportunity to help expats send money home. In Panama many expats are from Venezuela, who relocate to work and earn a USD salary (instead of their worthless, inflated domestic currency i.e. Pesos, Bolivars, etc)…but there’s another problem…
Many banks won’t open accounts for Venezuelans because they are considered too high-risk. Even if they do get an account, the “official” exchange rate from Bolivars to USD is not even close to the actual, Free-market value. They pretty much get screwed either way.
Since Bitcoin doesn’t require 3rd party approval from a bank, these Venezuelan expats can convert their USD cash (which was earned while working in Panama) into Bitcoin and send the Bitcoin back home to their family using the blockchain. It’s true that Bitcoin is still not widely used, but it sure beats converting directly into Bolivars and losing 90% of the purchasing power. $100 quickly turns into $10 worth of value when wired home. That’s not freedom!
Enter Dash (an alternative crypto-currency)
Later in the interview, Cindy explains why her ATMs now support another crypto-currency “Dash” in addition to Bitcoin. Dash, in her (and my) opinion has some MAJOR advancements over Bitcoin which may find more demand as digital currencies become more of an essential part of the global economy. Cindy’s ATMs are the first in the world to support the Dash digital currency and you’ll definitely want to catch why she made the switch.
The Freedom of Money is an essential element towards total, personal freedom and Bitcoin helps achieve this like no currency has done before. I really hope you enjoy this episode and let me know by liking, commenting and sharing. Entrepreneurs cannot work alone and when you SHARE an episode it really helps.
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