“Do you have a Plan B?  Do you have a separate form of money?  Can you move?… Are you building networks of security & trust?”


This week on the Free Cities Podcast we begin our series of interviews recorded in Prague and my first guest is Alena Vranova.

Alena’s extremely accomplished track record includes several successful startups in finance and technology but she is best known as the founder and former CEO of SatoshiLabs who produce one of the world’s best known cryptocurrency hardware brands TREZOR. SatoshiLabs also founded Slush Pool which was the world’s first Bitcoin Mining Pool established way back in 2010.

In this conversation we talk about Alena’s experiences growing up in the Czech Republic under the communist regime and her thoughts and predictions for a future in which she sees technology emboldening many authoritarian regimes around the globe.

In our discussion she highlights Paraguay as a relatively unknown destination for people considering a Plan B residency option, something that she has taken advantage of herself.  She also speaks about an innovative project in the country that is using the profits from bitcoin mining to fund an education programme teaching 21st-century skills to Paraguayans.

Other subjects covered include open source technology, central bank digital currencies, homesteading, self-sufficiency, transhumanism, and Alena offers up some suggestions on how to prepare for the future that she sees coming.

As a renowned technologist, I find Alena’s unique perspective on the world absolutely fascinating and I sincerely hope I get to continue our conversation further at some point in the future.