Meltem Demirors Takes the 'Proust Questionnaire'

CoinShares' Demirors on her legacy: "My memoir will be short and sweet - 'Meltem. She had a good time.'"

AccessTimeIconMay 14, 2020 at 8:49 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:41 a.m. UTC
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CoinDesk Confessionals is a new series aiming to illuminate the lives of our cryptic crypto leaders.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, popular during the Victorian Age, we sent a survey asking about the quotidian and the extra-ordinary. The hope was their honest answers would reveal insights about our industry, showing where consensus lays, even in distributed times.

Meltem Demirors, CoinShares' chief investment officer, spent no more than 10 minutes in responding over email.

Your favorite blockchain protocol?  
Bitcoin forever and always.

Your #1 favorite crypto hero? 

Your favorite quality in an entrepreneur?
Curiosity – people ask “why?”

Your biggest fear? 
Loss of freedom and agency.

What would you value bitcoin at today? 

One word on how you got into crypto?
The internet.

Who is your crypto hero? 
Satoshi (same as 2).

What should crypto disrupt next? 
First disrupt money, next comes the state.

Public or private? 
Public, but with privacy.

Permissioned or permissionless? 

Your best example of sovereignty? 
Running bitcoin.

Your net worth?
Hah, absolutely not.

What defines Satoshi? 
Spiritual leader of a social movement that will change the course of human history.

Your favorite economist? 
Anna Schwartz, who co-authored the influential book “A Monetary History of the United States” with Milton Friedman, which analyzed the [Federal Reserve’s] role in perpetuating the Great Depression, for which he received the Nobel prize but she did not. She was a brilliant analyst of monetary policy, and very outspoken in her criticism of the Fed. Legend!

Meltem Demirors (Credit: Trevor Jones)
Meltem Demirors (Credit: Trevor Jones)

Which living person do you most despise? 
No one. I don’t have enough energy to despise other people. Indifference is more powerful than hate.

When and where were you when you first heard about BTC? 
Don’t recall, but I was working on an M&A project in China when I first started down the rabbit hole, so I was in a random hotel room somewhere in China realizing I actually did not really like my job or my life very much.

Do you mine? Would you mine mine? 
No and maybe, I do run a full node but mining is a specialized activity that requires scale.

Your favorite revisionist moment from crypto history? 
Everything surrounding the DAO “hack” and what happened afterwards. Even calling it a “hack” is wildly misleading.

Your favorite non-crypto book? 
Tie between "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse and "Dune" by Frank Herbert.

Your most visited webpage? 
Twitter, of course.

What inspires you? 
Observing how little we know about the world and ourselves and how much is left to learn and understand.

What is your main fault? 
Obsessive to a fault but only on the most esoteric and niche topics that are rather impractical.

Your main hero characteristic? 

See other CoinDesk Confessionals:Kathleen Breitman’s ‘Blaze of Glory’

What is your current state of mind? 
Same as every day, excited and scared all at once.

What or who do you love the most? 
My tribe – my family and friends.

When and where were you happiest? 
Skiing. I go into a flow state and have an out-of-body experience. Best ski season was winter 2014-15 when I moved to Breckenridge, CO, for six weeks and skied every day.

What gets you out of bed? 
I honestly can’t believe that I get to do things I find interesting and challenging as my job, so I don’t really have a strict boundary between “work” and “life” or “office” and “home” so I’m generally just eager to work on whatever I’m working on right now.

What is your motto? 
Blowing sh** up.

What would you like to be? 

Where would you like to live? 
Wherever I like.

Your favorite television show or movie? 
"The Life Aquatic" is the best film ever.

Your most vivid memory? 
All I can say is it involved dancing.

Your greatest achievement? 
Whatever I do today. The past is the past, and the future hasn’t arrived, so today is it!

What do you rely on? 
Caffeine and curiosity fuel me.

What would you change about yourself? 
Saying no to more things including books, ideas, thoughts, and people. I’m working on it!

Where will you be in 10 years? 
Wherever I’m supposed to be, I don’t have a “plan,” just a direction of travel.

Your favorite fiction character? 
Easy - Molly Millions from [William] Gibson’s "Sprawl" trilogy. She is a trained assassin cyborg who wears leather and has mirror eyes and razorblade fingernails.

How do you spend your free time? 
Reading and being outside.

What do you want your legacy to be? 
My memoir will be short and sweet - “Meltem. She had a good time.”

How would you like to die? 
In a way that gives my loved ones peace and closure.


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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

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