Going Down the Rabbit Hole with Meltem Demirors
Meltem Demirors is what we call Fierce as F*ck. She’s a cryptocurrency investor, advisor, and influencer who is admired for her business-savvy and confidence (her confidence is simply contagious).
Currently, she’s Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a cryptoasset manager. Previously, she was VP of Digital Currency Group (DCG), one of the world’s top crypto-investment companies (she helped to launch DCG in 2015). And with credentials like these, it should come as no surprise that CryptoWeekly recently named Meltem Demirors as one of 2019’s Most 100 Influential People in Crypto.
Recently, we caught up with Meltem where we discussed how she’s working to open the crypto world to institutional investors.
A Lifelong Learner
Given her passion for learning, it’s not surprising that Meltem Demirors describes herself as a voracious reader. “I’ve finished Peter Watt’s sci-fi novel, Starfish,” she told us (her tweets are also indicative of her love of science fiction). “But,” Demirors continued, “I’m also reading “The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done.”
Demirors says that her penchant for reading dates back to her childhood. “In grade school, I would get in trouble because I would stay up all night in bed with a flashlight in my hand – reading,” she says. “When I moved to the United States at 10 years old, I spent my entire summer vacation reading at the public library – so In a lot of ways, I taught myself English just by reading.”
“I believe in continuous learning, changing your perspective, adopting different worldviews and transporting yourself to different universes,” she says, “All of this is so important, not just for expanding your knowledge, but for feeding and nurturing your creativity.”
“I believe in continuous learning, changing your perspective, adopting different worldviews and transporting yourself to different universes. All of this is so important, not just for expanding your knowledge, but for feeding and nurturing your creativity.”
Demirors is equally passionate about finding unique ways to teach other people about cryptocurrency and blockchain-based business models. For instance, last October Demirors created, organized, and ran Crypto Springs, a two-day conference aimed at providing a more engaging experience for people to explore the economics, culture, technology, and future of cryptocurrency in greater depth. Created and built alongside co-founder Elizabeth Starks, CEO of Lightning Labs, Crypto Springs “provides the opportunity to help [people] build what they want to build in the space,” she says, “To me, the magical thing about crypto that your only limit is your own willingness to work, engage, and participate.”
Beyond the valuable, in-person professional development opportunity that Crypto Springs provides, Demirors continues to find new avenues for learning, teaching, sharing knowledge, and swapping ideas with other leaders in the space. For example, she started The Leaders Series on Medium, a blog that highlights females working in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. And in January of this year, Demirors launched What Grinds My Gears, a weekly podcast that examines “the bizarre and buzz-worthy happenings in the world of cryptocurrency through a broader financial, political, and cultural lens to learn from the past, understand the present, and explore the future.”
“The magical thing about crypto is that your only limiting factor is your own willingness to work, engage, and participate.”
The cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem is still in its early stages. In other words, this is an industry that, while growing, is still being defined, parameters are still being explored, and entrenched interests have yet to emerge. But to Demirors, “undefined space” means the ability to create greater opportunity for people entering the space. “To me, one of the amazing things about crypto is that no one is an ‘expert’ and no one has 20+ years of experience; we’re all new at this, and we’re all new at figuring it out,” she said.
Beyond regularly advocating for crypto and blockchain technology, Demirors advocates for living the life you love, a life filled with energy, joy, and meaning, and where passion is the driver of creativity. “Life is about experiences, growth, and surrounding yourself by the people and things that give you joy and energy, and there are too many people who are joyless in the way that they go about things,” she says. “That’s why when I invest in companies, I naturally focus on the entrepreneur, the team and what they’re most passionate about. Because if you really want to build something great, there has to be an innate sense of joy and passion for it. And, we’re all passionate about something.”
“If you really want to build something great, there has to be an innate sense of joy and passion for it. And, we’re all passionate about something.”
To learn more about Meltem Demirors, watch ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ Episode 4: The Venture Capitalist.