I caught up with singer-songwriter and Bitcoin enthusiast, Tatiana Moroz, to talk about her experience at SXSW this year.
—TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW—-
Question: Tatiana, please tell us about yourself and your music.
Tatiana: Hi my name is Tatiana Moroz and I’m a singer/songwriter from NJ. I have been singing as long as I can remember, I always knew what I wanted to do when I got older. I grew up listening to a lot of different kinds of singer/songwriters from the 60s and the 70s like Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Carly Simons, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, and I was really influenced by their ability to utilize music to bring about change in the world. The problem was that my generation didn’t really have anything we stood for. I later went to Berklee College of music and I started writing my own music. Around 2011 I got involved with the Ron Paul movement and I found exactly what I was looking for in terms of thought and philosophy that I wanted to bring people, and a political outlook and potentially a solution for a lot of the problems we were facing. I hadn’t seen any solutions in a long time and I felt that what Ron Paul was saying really resonated with me and a lot of other people. I thought that it was culturally inspiring, so I started writing music about that. I went to a lot of different events, I played for Ron Paul himself, events across the country and later around the world.
Question: What is your involvement in the Bitcoin ecosystem?
Tatiana: My involvement in the Bitcoin ecosystem started out in 2012 – Tony Gallippi from BitPay sponsored me at the Ron Paul festival down in Tampa for the RNC. At the time he was basically trying to evangelize Bitcoin to me which I had no idea what it was, at all. I did buy some coins from him and of course my interest increased as the value went up. It wasn’t until the crypto currency convention that Jeffrey Tucker threw in Atlanta in October of 2013 that I really started to understand the cultural impact that Bitcoin would have, and the ability it had to withdraw support for the state. That was something that wasn’t initially clear to me.
What I did recognize at those conventions was the same enthusiasm that I felt when I first found Ron Paul, when people were still really helpful. That was really infectious and led to me to start educating myself more on Bitcoin. I decided Bitcoin should have some sort of song, you know I have written songs for other topics before. So I started out just writing a jingle. I played it for a friend of mine who is a huge Bitcoin enthusiast. He was like “this is OK, but I think you could do better, you’re missing the spirit of Bitcoin”. It pushed me to turn the jingle into a full fledged song. While the recording online is just a demo version, there is a full song version which I performed and debuted for the first time at the Buenos Aires Conference, which was the first Latin American Bitcoin Convention, in December. I had also previously played at the Crypto Convention at the BitPay Party in Atlanta back in October. After that I played at the Texas Bitcoin Conference and the Berlin Inside Bitcoins Conference. So yes, I’ve been to a lot of conferences and have been blessed to play at them.
Question: How many Bitcoin related events did you attend during SXSW?
Tatiana: On Wednesday night I did the Crypto Women’s Party which was at Lani on 6th and Congress. That was fun, I did a little set there. At the Conference itself Jordan Page and I performed at the Sean’s Outpost Charity Dinner that benefited the other charities as well. I was the moderator at the Social Media Panel and I participated in the music panel and the women’s panel. Later on that weekend I was on the women’s panel at the 512Bitcoin Mini Conference at Brave New Books. So yeah, I spoke at all of those and it was interesting because I’m not used to speaking so much. But I think that sometimes when it comes to Bitcoin it’s good to have people who aren’t that experienced with it because they offer a unique perspective and you can make people feel more comfortable, having someone coming from a normal person perspective can be more welcoming and reach out to a new demographic.
Question: Were these events well attended?
Tatiana: The events were well attended, for the most part. The Bitcoin Convention had a lot of attendance, especially the women’s ones.
Question: Please describe your favorite Bitcoin related event while you were in town. Where was it, what was it about? Why did you love it so much?
Tatiana: My favorite Bitcoin related event was actually the charity panel at the Bitcoin conference itself. It was at 9am the second day of the conference and I don’t think anyone was there that early, but I was because all my friends were speaking at the panel. I just thought the stories of what motivated people to start their charities and what motivated people to incorporate Bitcoin into them was really inspiring. I remember jotting down different notes about how I could write a song to express the awesomeness that I was hearing. I think when people hear of Bitcoin they don’t necessarily understand how it can be beneficial to charities. For example, you can give money directly to people and the charity doesn’t have to pay such large fees. If a charity chooses to hold on to their Bitcoin, there are hopes it will go up. Many charities sat on their Bitcoin and now it’s worth more than it was when it was donated and I think there is a lot of appeal to that. I think the Bitcoin charities are more about empowerment than handouts, so I really liked that. Of course, the anti-war message seems prevalent in at least half of them and its something I identify with and think should be kept in people’s minds.
Question: Did you see any Bitcoin ATMs while in Austin?
Tatiana: I saw two Bitcoin ATMS while in Austin. One was at Brave New Books, which is my favorite bookstore in Austin. I went on their crypto show (radio show on 90.1 put on by the Brave New Books crew). I also saw the one at the Handle Bar.
Question: Do you think the general public is ready for Bitcoin after SXSW?
Tatiana: After SXSW I think there are going to be a lot of new adopters to Bitcoin. There was a huge tech presence of course at the conference, and it seems that at the SXSW exhibit hall there was a lot of buzz about bitcoin, everyone wanted to know more. I think it will allow more people to join the Bitcoin ecosystem and to feel like they have a place they can start fitting in Bitcoin to help them run their business and expand their markets.
Question: Did you send or receive any bitcoin while in Austin for SXSW?
Tatiana: I paid for a couple meals with bitcoin while at SXSW, tacos with bitcoin, and pedi cabs. I also got some donations for my own project to do an album, hopefully completely paid for in bitcoin. That will be interesting to see if we can make it happen.
Question: Why is Bitcoin so important, anyway?
Tatiana: Bitcoin is important because it allows you to peacefully withdraw from the war machine. I think it’s going to revolutionize the way the world exchanges money, and it puts the money back in the pockets of the people. No one likes to be robbed, and that is genuinely what is going on when the Federal Reserve decides to print more dollars. We are funding the war and we are losing the value of what we already do have.