Ola Haukland: From Teacher To Successful Cryptopreneur

Hello! I have few questions for you, but first, please introduce yourself and what are you working on?

Ola Haukland pictureHi! I am Ola, I come from Norway. I am setting up business in Poland which is called Bitspace. Bitspace is a Norwegian company. I am a shareholder, previous employee for some time. I moved to Poland because my girlfriend lives there. I wanted to move to Poland but I also didn’t want to quit my Norwegian company so we decided to set it up here.

Bitspace is essentially technology company that specializes in blockchain and exponential technologies. We are incubator, we build different projects, we do contracting work, consultancy for banks. Our flagship project is called BitGate. It is going to be a mobile application, a wallet for cryptocurrencies, which people get the access through electronic IT systems, so they can access their cryptocurrencies and crypto assets. In exactly the same way they access other traditional, financial assets.

How did you join the company?

I was actually working as an Enlish teacher in high school in Oslo. I was attending Oslo Bitcoin Meetup and I met there a lot of people that I found very interesting. Two of those were two brothers called Manuel and Christian. They were co-funders of a Bitspace. I started to getting know them as time went on. They hosted workshops, they were starting a company.

I also had some money for investments and I figured out “hey, I wanna invest into this guys”. I completely didn’t know where they were going, but I knew them and they were very good people. So I chose to invest in Bitspace because I saw it is a good investment opportunity for myself but also because I thought blockchain and crypto needs to be supported.

So first I invested and then I had only this temporary position at the school which I could have try to prolong but I have chosen not to because I figured that would be a little courageous. I wanted to take a chance, so I started showing up at Bitspace office after my temporary position expired.

It was almost 2 years ago. I just decided to show up and for some time. I will give myself 6 months and I will try. Hopefully by then I got position. I basically started working as a content creator because that is what I do the best. I do writing pretty well, I also have language skills. I worked with everything that has to do with producing text, blog posts, investor relations and so on.

How does the future look like? What are you working on right now?

At the moment, we are just finishing up the last details, that comes to sing up the company. What I am doing mostly is hosting events. My big event is Krakow Bitcoin Meetup which is monthly event which seeks to essentially get all the crypto minds of the city together so they can have a platform where they can make network connection and exchange ideas. I think Bitcoin has to be sort of vibrant on the groceries level. That is what I am doing through Bitspace. Now we have Forklog, we have couple other companies as well which are community partners when it comes to hosting this events. It is a nice group of people that comes every time.

Do you invest in cryptocurrencies? If yes, in which ones.

Yes, of course, like everyone else. I started investing almost one week after I heard about Bitcoin for the first time and I started buying regularly. I’m investing most in Bitcoin, I get also fascinated about Bitshares and Litecoin. It’s like we could think to have an ecosystem.

Of course there is most of bullshit in the market but that is not to say that the people behind all of these projects are this bad people. I’m sure they have good intentions but it’s just way to much money flowing in, in too short time.

I think there will be some good products that will come out which are not Bitcoin. I think Bitcoin needs to be the cornerstone of the crypto space. I also think if bitcoin would fall away, the whole ecosystem could collapse. I believe Bitcoin won’t fall anyway. Long term store value which is an non confiscatable and censorship resistance is its main feature and that’s what I care about. I also find other things interesting, but not as much as Bitcoin.

In Bitcoin we trust, right?

I would say in bitcoin we verify. It’s justice.

What are your favorite tools for managing your crypto assets?

I would say just Cold Storage and offline wallets like Trezor. Talking about crypto assets, it’s too much for me to hold coins in few types of wallets so I don’t want too many wallets for too many coins because it is just too much for my brain. What I do is Cold Storage, crypto wallets.

Since I don’t do any trading then I also don’t wanna just have it liquid. I wanna just have it put away. I use websites like Local Bitcoins for crypto. In fact that was my first one when I started buying. Now I use mostly Poloniex, Bittrex, and also Bitshares which is not so common.

How do you decide how to sell or buy?

I haven’t done so much of it over last year because I started realizing that it will be a lot of work when it comes to do taxes the next year. There is so many transactions you have to keep track of. When it comes to deciding it’s just my intuition. Going back to the beginning, that was a really good choice to get into the market in early 2016. Going into Bitcoin itself was the decision based on principal that are from Austrian economics and learning about current economic situation. I looked at it in the context of the world situation. It’s been good till now.

Do you have any advice for other cryptopreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Be wary of regulation. It is extremely important for people who are starting out that they make sure whatever they are doing is compliant with the law. In most countries, the regulations around crypto are still not very well developed, which could be a big risk factor for cryptopreneurs.

I do not have any specific cryptopreneur advice that I can think of actually. I would suggest to learn about whatever you are buying first, make up your mind. Education is what you have to put in mostly. People should really learn what cryptocurrency is and get the proper financial education of course. It is about educating.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts or other resources?

I would say perhaps the most influential video series was Money vs Currency by Mike Maloney. He has an amazing series of about 10 episodes where he basically goes through the history of money, explaining how the global financial system works. I also have to mention Austrian perspective. This is very important because that perspective is not the same as Keynesian, more mainstream economic perspective of a global finance.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We might be. We are not officially hiring anyone but I’m here alone, looking for somebody to help me out of course. If I can find people who would be eager to enter a crypto space as a developer or network business, it will be nice to work together. We might be starting to look for developers quite soon.

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