This month we spoke to Celsius employee Waseem Shabout. Waseem shared, “I’m just a guy, trying to do well while doing good, who believes that everyone can do just that. It just takes a little extra effort and appetite for risk.” We asked Waseem to spill the beans about himself, Celsius, crypto, and blockchain. Here’s what he had to say…
1. What is your role at Celsius Network?
I am a solutions architect. It is a fancy term, but all it really means is I listen to different problems our users are facing, or the business is encountering, and try to establish a path forward that solves the defined problems. I love what I do because it constantly has me touching all facets of the business and working to promote collaboration between different teams in the space.
2. What does your workday look like
Every day usually looks pretty different, but generally, my mornings are spent checking in with my team and different partners. Mid-day is always reactive to the needs established from those check-ins and then later in the day is spent on longer-term focused work. So headphones go in and when I really need to zone out — beanbag room it is 🙂
3. Where are you from?
This question is a tough one for me to answer. I was born and raised in Dallas Texas, but I’m a Canadian Arab, Indian, Ugandan, who lived in Boston for 4 years and now lives in Brooklyn. For a while, it felt like I wasn’t “from” anywhere, but then as I got older I started to realize it was the contrary — I belong everywhere.
4. Where have you traveled and what’s your favorite place to travel?
I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world. I’ve spent time in the Middle East, South America, Russia, China, India. I played soccer across Europe and travel quite a bit across the northeast side of the United States. I don’t have a favorite place that I’ve traveled to. But I have gone to DC a couple of times just to wander around the monuments late at night when they’re lit up and there are no people around. It just feels so majestic.
5. Tell us how you like your coffee and how you usually take it…
I am an absolute coffee snob… My favorite bean is called Mamuto AA and it is only sold at one store in Boston called George Howell. It comes from Kirinyaga Kenya, and while this might be sacrilegious to some of the George Howell baristas, I like to fine grind the beans and have it as a double-espresso with some fizzy water on the side. Guilty pleasure.
6. What is your spirit animal
7. What are your hobbies?
I like to read and write non-fiction, I love to travel and get into heated debates with strangers about any and all of the taboo subjects; money, politics, and religion. Fight me.
8. Can you tell us what you would change in current financial systems?
Most systems that store and facilitate the exchange of value today are centralized entities with two things I hope to see change:
1) Barriers that keep the value within the network even if the network is not performing as promised.
2) Value funnels that promote the movement from many to few.
I hope to see the barriers that keep value locked within the system come down and for networked systems to shift, from only optimizing value for shareholders to optimizing for stakeholders. I believe Crypto currencies and the blockchain are what will lead us there, but to achieve this vision we need to make sure the systems we are building today are well thought out and keep in mind the lessons from the last wave of digital innovation.
9. What’s the best part about working with Alex Mashinsky?
Wisdom is derived from experience, and this man has had the most diverse and unique experiences. The best part of working with Alex is facing a challenge that seems extremely complex and then being slapped with some wisdom that puts me back on course and knocks out the complexity.
10. How would you describe him (Alex) in one word?
11. Where do you see Celsius in 2020?
I see 2020 as the year that Crypto as a whole starts to inch its way into the realm of mass adoption. I see Celsius as leading that front, bringing new people into crypto simply by delivering unparalleled financial services. I see Celsius starting to attract mainstream media attention for causing people to question their current financial service providers. I see the community continuing to grow with financial literacy, and self-empowerment remaining core to the identity of Celsius.
12. What do you think the future of crypto/blockchain is?
I would split the two of these up. In my mind, crypto is just a derivative of the blockchain, but an important one. It is a new type of asset that reflects the value of the network it is associated with. The blockchain, on the other hand, is just a database. A very unique database, but a database none the less. What’s unique about the blockchain, however, is its ability to validate the movement and origin of each data point. Now with this in mind, I see the future of Crypto as the future of money and the future of the blockchain as the future of the internet. Money will be cryptographically validated and not solely issued by central banks. We will see many types of money come into existence, each with their own unique monetary policy and adoption by certain communities, utility tokens included. In an era where we don’t know what is true and we don’t know how to validate the information we are receiving, the blockchain will serve as a source of trust and the backbone for the next generation of information technology. But on the path to that point, we will see Crypto and The blockchain work hand in hand to disrupt the monetary system as we know it today. It’s a long road ahead.
About Celsius Network
Celsius Network is a democratized blockchain-based cryptocurrency platform accessible via a mobile app. Built on the belief that financial services should only do what is in the best interests of the community, Celsius is a modern platform where membership provides access to curated financial services that are not available through traditional financial institutions. Crypto holders can earn interest by transferring their coins to their Celsius Wallet and borrow USD against their crypto collateral at interest rates as low as 4.95% APR.
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