Some crypto nomads have decided to settle down following the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the decentralized lifestyle being somewhat conducive to the industry.
To investigate the recent phenomenon, Bloomberg Markets spoke with Oliver Gale, one of the Caribbean’s most enterprising crypto entrepreneurs, who had previously partnered with the Caribbean government in issuing the world’s first central bank digital currency.
Living on the road since 2014, Gale said he established his most recent company Panther Protocol entirely remotely during the pandemic.
Now that the threat has largely passed, Gale said he was looking forward to settling down, but also related important lessons he had learned from living on the road for most of the past decade.
Decentralized lifestyle the goal
Gale, who raised the capital, hired the teams, and built the tech for his latest venture entirely remotely, believes that business can effectively be done remotely.
He says this is especially true for crypto executives, who often have business operations across the world in different time zones. In his case, no matter where he is, Gale said there is always some business he can attend to.
This method of working asynchronously, Gale said, is the norm for many decentralized businesses. According to him, the only things truly necessary have been the right communication and project management tools, in addition to “a team of people that do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’ll do it.”
For him, dependability and communication are essential for a remote team to operate cohesively.
In terms of deciding where to travel next, Gale said that favorable weather conditions played a significant role in that decision, in addition to prospective business opportunities and cryptocurrency conferences.
While many had a festival atmosphere during the bull market, Gale said like migrating birds, all the transient people vanish during the crypto winter.
London calling crypto nomads
While the current crypto winter may have forced crypto nomads working on a smaller scale to return to physical locations, Gale said he was looking forward to settling down in London because the pandemic had let up. “I’m really looking forward to actually grounding myself and building some more permanent community as well,” he said.
After getting to know his colleagues digitally for the past few years, the opportunity to physically meet with them carried more weight, he added. “Virtual meetings are great, but you know what’s better? Looking someone in the eye and shaking their hand,” Gale said.
Gale also commended London as being a very appropriate location for him to settle with his businesses, describing it as a fintech hub, with good tax incentives for research and development, as well as building software and attracting European investors.
Yet, Gale admitted that London’s weather in the winter was less than ideal, and said he intends to travel from October every year, unless business keeps him there.
In fact, Gale says he still remains fixed at one location for an average of six days, perhaps up to two weeks. Ultimately, he said tech firms don’t necessarily require central location, and that a cultural precedent was set during the pandemic.
“That being said, nothing will substitute for the human experience. People need to come together,” Gale said. “Working spaces are important, workshops and team bonding sessions are important, but also very difficult to coordinate.”
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