Meet the Innovator Using Technology for Good
Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar’s has dedicated his life work toward using technology to transform society. Since 1995, he’s been pioneering web development in Argentina with the goal of translating new technologies into usable tools.
We recently caught up with Diego to hear more about his personal journey Down the Rabbit Hole.
At nine years old, Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar’s life was transformed while walking the slums of Buenos Aires with his social activist mother. Here, he saw societal inequalities, such as poverty, hunger, violence, and the corruption of power – all of which shaped his world view.
It was shortly thereafter that he began learning computer programming and discovered a passion for building with technology.
His two passions for social activism and computer programming collided in 1995 when he created the first website for Argentina’s primary newspaper, Clarín Digital. For the people of Argentina, this was an incredible innovation because finally, instead of having to wait days to find out what was happening in the country, the news could be experienced in real-time. And for Gutiérrez Zaldívar, it was a defining moment in realizing “I could use technology to transform society, ” he said.
But this moment of progress also revealed how much work was left to be done. Because while the internet allowed free access to information and easier communication, there was still one thing missing: the ability to freely and easily exchange money.
This problem weighed on him for nearly two decades. Until 2012, when a close friend introduced him to Bitcoin. “I realized that this is how a truly open and inclusive financial system could work,” he says. From this point forward, Gutiérrez Zaldívar dedicated his life toward using technology for social good. “It was [bitcoin’s] notions of openness, neutrality, and access for all people that led me to commit myself toward advancing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in Latin America.”
By 2013, Gutiérrez Zaldívar had started the first Bitcoin meetups in Buenos Aires, making him one of the first to foster and develop the Bitcoin and blockchain technology movement across Latin America.
Today, he is the CEO and Founder of RSK, the most secure smart contract network in the world and enables decentralized applications secured by the Bitcoin Network to empower people and improve the quality of life of millions. In addition to RSK Labs, he also has co-founded Koibanx, another blockchain company that is aiming to transform the potential of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies into real use cases, which serve as a driver for social and economic change.
Diego is also co-founder of the Argentine Bitcoin NGO, with over 5000 members registered at the meetups and 30,000 members in its online community, and the first Bitcoin Center in Latam. He is also president and co-founder of the Bitcoin Latam NGO, where he helped create a network of Bitcoin communities with a presence in nine countries and the longest running Bitcoin Conference in the world.
Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar lives his life by one simple mantra: before society can change, change has to start from within yourself. “When you know yourself you can change anything,” he said.