When your portfolio is around the price of a Big Mac

A trader tells us her story and how she made it in crypto

Our community is enjoying a rapid increase of members - being one of DeFis strongest assets, we put effort in communicating and getting users involved.

To tie in with the past interviews, featuring prominent members, we spoke to someone from the broader community, that has followed a rocky journey and has a deep belief in decentralized finance and governance…

Meet Vanya

Wasted Youth

Back in 2015, I was coming out of a 5-year abusive relationship with a partner who had been providing everything financially. 

We had been living together since I was 18, I wasn’t expected to work and because of that I had no real work experience. I didn’t really need to go anywhere so I didn’t own a car, not that I had any of my own money to spend on one anyways. My life was a mess and I was basically a poster child for early-life failure.

The point isn’t to be a sob story because I wasn’t some innocent victim. I was someone who willingly gave up their own self-agency to instead depend on someone else. The thing I learned was; you shouldn’t always expect the people and the systems that you rely upon to always be there. The home I had been living in for five years was gone as soon as I finally gathered the courage to get out of that relationship. At that point you just kind of have to find someplace to stay for the night and try to find some way to eventually get your life back on track, not that my life had ever really been on track, to begin with. 

Road to recovery

It’s tough trying to build yourself up from nothing and I didn’t really have much progress until I found the Robinhood app on my phone. When your portfolio is around the price of a Big Mac then zero-commission fees are a pretty pretty big deal when it comes to trying to save up a few dollars here and there to find a way to pay for your first month of rent and find yourself a minimum wage job.

After finding a job at a bowling alley, I ended up enrolling in college for Industrial-Organizational psychology, which is basically just the study of how groups of individuals can best come together to form effective and efficient organizations. My biggest area of research was trying to find ways that distrusting individuals, such as myself, who don’t feel comfortable relying upon others can be incentivized to work together. 

Eventually, I stumbled upon cryptocurrency through Decentralized Autonomous Organizations projects like MakerDAO and I’ve been completely obsessed ever since. I wrote a few papers on potential ways to utilize blockchain to increase transparency in government and expose corruption before deciding to drop out of college and quit my job to pursue cryptocurrency full-time. 

Blockchain is more than cryptocurrency

At the most basic level, cryptocurrency has provided me a way to deal with my distrusting nature and ease my worries of entities like the government, my local bank, or even individual people from having control over my finances and thus control over me through extension.

However, what really inspires me to put so much time into blockchain technology is the way that trustless smart contracts can allow even the most distrusting of people to not only feel safe from others but actually cooperate and be symbiotic – and in the past, so many optimistic projects that could have had an amazing impact on society have failed spectacularly due to a lack of trust between everyone involved.

Plans for the future

I hardly recognize the spineless doormat that I used to be and I hope in the next five years I’ll barely recognize the person I am today. I’ve started my own family with someone who truly cares about me and wants to help find ways to improve our society as much as I do. I’m finally at a point in my life where I can stop chasing money and instead chase my dreams. More than anything my dream is to find a way to help ease the suffering in the world by bringing people closer together and I think blockchain will be an integral part to that process by adding a level of transparency and trustlessness to legacy systems that have historically not represented the needs of the people.

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