Interview with Freya Stevens from the Bitcoin Uk Podcast

By
Samuel Barnes @gravysam
July 23, 2014
Freya Stevens is creator and host of the BitcoinUkPodcast.

BitcoinUkMedia is a cryptocurrency podcast for the United Kingdom. Started by Freya Stevens earlier this year the podcast now has 10 episodes focusing mainly on interviews with those involved in the cryptocurrency community. Freya was kind enough to answer a few questions about the podcast.

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Who are you and what is you history with cryptocurrency?

“Hi, my name is Freya Stevens and I run the Bitcoin UK podcast.

I got into Cryptocurrency after I spotted it in the mainstream press in the UK in Nov 2013. The reporters were sensationalising the sudden rise of Bitcoin prices. At that time, I had just bought my first shares in the UK Postal system, a brilliant public institution that the government were flogging on the cheap to their friends. I decided to jump on Bitcoin as well but it was the start of something much bigger for me. As I researched Bitcoin I realised very quickly that it represented a set of values I intuitively held but had until then, no way to voice. Bitcoin was a way to do this, buying the currency was like registering a vote for the people. I spent time talking about it, meeting others who believed in it as a force for social change and found it really resonated with me and the way I view the world.”

What is BitcoinUkMedia?

“Bitcoin UK Media is a name I picked to future-proof myself incase I decide to go into Youtube and other areas of the media but at the moment it’s just the Podcast I run.”

Why did you start the podcast?

“I started the podcast to get some variety into the Bitcoin podcast scene. Podcasts were the driving force behind my Bitcoin Evangelism but they were largely American. I felt it would be nice to get some other voices into the discussion and I was meeting some really interesting people in the UK.”

Why should people listen?

“People should listen to the podcast because it can help people stay that little bit more connected to the Bitcoin scene. It is very difficult if you aren’t near a major city to get a feel for whats happening. The podcast is UK-centric because that is where I am based. There has been criticism that since Bitcoin is a global phenomena people should not distinguish themselves. That’s idealism. I am based in London so the things I can easily report on those taking place here. I always encourage people to listen to a variety of media to be able to form a balanced opinion.”

What is your favorite episode so far and why?

“I don’t have a favourite as I am always interested in what my guests have to say and every one adds to the bigger picture. I love it when people can talk freely, when they aren’t bound by the rules of corporate speech. There is more and more corporate speak in Bitcoin as more money is invested into it and bigger players come into the ecosystem. I find this tiring. I like interviewees that are still in touch with the belief system that drove Bitcoin adoption initially.”

Where do you see the podcast in the future?

“I would love to podcast full time. I love speaking to people and learning about their story, motivations, ideas and beliefs. I really want the time to grow the Podcast’s blog and I would love to get a youtube news channel going. I don’t think there’s anything out there yet that is doing this well yet.”

What interested you in cryptocurrency?

“As part of my learning curve into Bitcoin I set up a scrypt mining rig. I had never built a computer before or used Linux, but I managed it, it took me a whole week. I realised just what a new technology it was- there was no ‘how to’ guide for beginners – all assumed some sort of starting knowledge. I started mining the different altcoins and that was when I really go into that scene. It fascinated me to be on the cusp of breaking technology.”

Where do you see cryptocurrency going in the future?

“My thoughts for the future are that it’s not about the technology – it’s about the people. Now Bitcoin has been invented, there will always be decentralised asset ledgers and there will be huge amounts of things we can do with them of which the Blockchain is just one instance.

I watch everyone who understands the technology trying to force adoption because they understand it’s potential and that’s great – but they’re still the huge minority. It won’t be until a new generation of people come through, that are bought up on the idea of decentralised sharing, that it will really take off. I know because I am a case in point. I really want to understand the technology. I built my own computer trying to understand but I still don’t understand Github – I get frustrated with Bitcointalk. These are techie tools and hangouts around which Cryptocurrencies are largely centred.”

What needs to change in your opinion?

“The industry needs to understand that the majority of people don’t get it and won’t be taught. They need to find ways to help people into the currency. If they don’t do that then they cannot expect widespread Bitcoin adoption and it will remain a niche pastime.”

You can listen to all episodes of the podcast for free at bitcoinukmedia.com and follow Freya for future updates @BitcoinUKmedia

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