Today we are talking with Maria Carola who is the CMO at Guarda Wallet.
- Guarda is both a non-custodial Web and Desktop wallet which is lightweight and secure, and supports the most popular coins and their tokens including BTC, BCH, BSV, ETH, Ethereum-based tokens, ETC, Zcash, Ripple, NEO, EOS, DASH and more.
We’d like to kick things off by asking you a couple of questions regarding your formative years.
1) Firstly, can you tell us the things which interested you the most throughout your childhood and teenage years, and what brought you the most happiness?
There were so many things.
I'm kind of an arty person myself, so when I was growing up the things that really interested me was literature, history, arts, and I was also a musician for a very long time as well. I've been playing in an orchestra for almost seven years now (I'm a jazz drummer), so I really was immersed in an artistic, analytical and very thoughtful surrounding thanks to my parents. They allowed me to have this truly educational, creative and free-flowing surrounding, and it brought me so much happiness and comfort. It really was amazing, that this still brings me a lot of happiness.
2) Who were your biggest influences growing up, and why did they have such a profound effect on you?
Oh, wow, this is a tough one.
Of course there are some personal ones. Some members of my family were very big influences on me in terms of the way I think and react to things. My teachers (for example, my literature teachers) were also great as they actually taught me how to think.
From the point of personas (famous people that I was influenced by), this is a question that I’ve actually never really considered, but when I was like seven or eight I really enjoyed Lord of the Rings as funny as it sounds. I really loved the book, and Tolkien was actually one of the key people I wanted to study as I really wanted to understand and think in the same way that he would have. Believe it or not, I actually became a linguist because of this influence, so Tolkien was definitely a person who influenced me a lot at a very young age. There are also other people from linguistic backgrounds who influenced me, and some famous musicians (the drummer Buddy Rich for example), and I wanted to grow personally and professionally the way that these people did. Some people might argue that this is copying, however I don’t see it this way as you can be influenced by these people by tailoring their best attributes to yourself and modifying them along the way. If you do this, it is my strong belief that something good can happen from these influences.
3) Teenage years are often a turbulent time for many, so on this note, can you name a time which was tough for you, and how you managed to overcome it?
The toughest decision (which I still think about whenever I'm feeling down or in doubt) is when I quit music, because at the time I was considering becoming a professional musician, and was very much set on becoming a part of this world. But one day I had the realisation that I was simply not good enough, and this was very tough for me as no matter how much I tried and practiced (I was part of these absolutely insane rehearsals which sometimes went on for 10 hours a day), I didn’t feel like I was getting better. So this was a very turbulent time for me as it's really hard to be self-aware and critical of oneself because your brain just doesn't work this way. So at the time it was essential for me to stop for a moment and think like, ok, something is very wrong here and I'm probably not doing something right, and this resulted in me making the decision to take a different path.
And so I went to study linguistics and translation and moved to another town. Looking back, this was a great life experience for me, and actually brought me here to Guarda now. So this was definitely a massive change that was very hard to make, but it was necessary and I’m thankful for it.
4) If there was some advice you could give young aspiring individuals, advice which you would really have liked to have heard yourself as a young person, what would it be?
You need to really think about your decisions, and I say this to all the young people reading who are having a hard time. My advice is to just stop for a moment and think critically because this is something that not many of us can do, even as adults. The earlier you start doing this, the better it will be for you. Stopping for a moment and thinking about your decisions (and making sure to analyse all your steps) is really going to help you a lot, and you should never doubt your decisions afterwards.
We are now going to ask you some questions which will hopefully give our readers something to go on regarding you as a person.
5) Firstly, what are the particular strengths that you feel have made you successful in your field (don’t hold back)?
First of all, I don't have any stops. I can work nonstop, talk nonstop and learn nonstop. This helps a lot, especially if you're going to a totally different space. So for me, watching and learning from others really helped me, so I guess the best quality that I have is the ability to put myself fully into something and integrate. This has worked out well for me on my current path.
6) What would you say is your most controversial opinion as regards to blockchain or the crypto space?
I don't have many controversial opinions because I try to evaluate all views and positions around me to see how they match up against one another, and don’t really confront them because I'm more of a community person.
If I had to say one thing however (and it's not super controversial), it would be that when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain, I think privacy could be taken even further, and that it will have a very, very large impact on the space; especially considering the importance of it in everyday life. So issues of privacy and implementations will continue to be a super important focal point in this space, but once again, this isn’t a super controversial viewpoint.
7) In the course of your day you can become under the most ridiculous pressures and stresses, what is your particular way of dealing with this?
I'm not very good at managing stress yet, unfortunately. So being an empathetic person who is very active and involved within the crypto community, I get stressed a lot, but this is not to say that there aren't ways of dealing with this.
What I normally do to combat stress is to unfocus for a moment. So I’ll normally put some music on, go for a brief walk and get a cup of coffee, and this allows me to breathe for a moment. I also used to do a lot of sports to help manage stress, and it really really helped. Like this is a tip for you guys - if you want to distress after a very hard and stressful day, do some sort of sporting activity. I sadly had to quit because I got some physical traumas which are not compatible with sporting activity, and I really do miss it. So for now, I'm just doing my best and trying to get myself better with some fresh air and coffee to get my vibe back.
Talking also helps a lot.
I really love people, and we sometimes go out altogether at Guarda and chat about everything, so this has also helped me to manage stress.
8) Outside of crypto/blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
I'm basically not doing anything at the moment except for crypto and blockchain, and I know this sounds really depressing, but it's really not. I love the space! It's very vivid and interesting to watch, and I constantly learn many new things. But in general, I love listening and researching into music, and meeting new people; interacting with people is something that probably brings me the most joy. I just love the feeling you get when you meet somebody exciting and when you meet your friends. But right now, I don't have the luxury of doing that very often, and I guess this makes me enjoy it even more when I do have the time.
We are now going to ask you some creative and humorous questions, and we are sure people will love to see you what you can come up with.
9) What is the most humorous thing you have seen or experienced during your time in the crypto/blockchain space?
Well I have seen lots of great and funny things at conferences, and this normally happens when people are hanging out together when they're relaxed and chilled. I’ve witnessed lots of funny things which made me laugh so much, but I honestly cannot think of a situation that I could share in a funny way. I'm actually awful at telling jokes, so I'm probably not the best person to describe these situations. I can only joke about my own misery haha. But if you want to see some absolutely hilarious things, Crypto Twitter has it all.
10) If you somehow managed to meet Satoshi Nakamoto (that is he is a male person in this scenario) on his deathbed, but only had time to ask him one question, what would it be? Bear in mind that you don’t have much time at all, so make it a good one.
Firstly, I wouldn't like to meet him on his deathbed, but if I had to ask him something I’d ask him what was on his mind when he made this all up - what was behind this? The reason being is because this must have required a lot of thought process, so I’d really want to know what was behind all of this. But because he is on his deathbed, I probably wouldn’t be able to get the full answer.
11) Can you give three policies you'd enact if you became the president of a country tomorrow?
Can I just start with the fact that I don't want to be a president of the country? This is definitely not somewhere I'm going as I don't have the will to deal with anything government related. I'm much more of a philosophical and a creative person, and although policies is something that most people have to work with, and something which is of course important, this simply isn't for me.
Communities are often an important backbone for many crypto/blockchain projects, so we’d now like to get some personal thoughts on the community side of things.
12) What do you feel makes the Guarda community unique compared to others?
I think the first thing is that the Guarda community is very tight and interactive, and this includes the team. So despite the fact that I'm the Chief Marketing Officer and probably could have some of my marketing guys to do this, I highly enjoy interacting with the community because you actually learn a lot from them. That’s the first thing.
The second thing is that our community is so welcoming and friendly, and even kind of like a family. So you don't have any problem in asking them for something, or getting them to share news etc. So Guarda is a friendly wallet and a wallet that helps you, and our community is a big part of this.
13) Personal project aside, what are some ‘communities’ in the space that you admire and why (this is not an endorsement)?
I don’t really have any favourites because I love them all equally in different ways. Let's put it this way - some I love because they're as welcoming as ours, some I love because they're active, and some I love because they're more development oriented. Each of these communities have their own thing going on, and even though some of these things might not be my thing, I can still admire their differences and versatility. I think this is a great thing, so I cannot endorse any as all have different things to offer this space.
14) What social-media platform do you like most and why, and are there any improvements which you feel can be made to these platforms for an even better community user-experience?
I used to have lots of different social networks, but after some period of my life, I just understood that I really don't need them. So I’ve kind of reduced it to the ones that I work with the most - Twitter, Telegram and Signal. I actually don’t consider Telegram a social network for myself, but Twitter definitely is and it's partly connected to my job (actually not partly, more like 80 percent), and I really enjoy using is and enjoy following people so I can keep up to date with what they're getting out there. I do have one concern though.
Twitter have this new update where they've got this little column on the right side, so when you click on some thread, it shows you something that's called relevant people. It freaks me out and I would really like this thing gone haha! This is seriously so concerning because it means that only a few people are seen as relevant in a thread of like a thousand tweets, and it means that all the other people are irrelevant and its kind of concerning.
15) With the endgame being mainstream adoption, do you think crypto/blockchain communities will still have an important role to play in a post-adoption environment?
I think so because what the point of community is not solely to gain this dream of full adoption. The point of community in my opinion is just being a community where people are connected with something. So I don't think it's going away as there will still be very important ideas and differing views that require debate and sharing, and you cannot share anything if you don't have anybody to share it with, right?
In our penultimate section we are going to ask you a question regarding Guarda.
16) What do you feel sets Guarda apart from your competitors (that is if you have any)?
I am very peaceful person so I don't like the word competitors, but from the point of functionality, support and teamwork, I do think Guarda excels.
From the point of functionality, we try to onboard as many features and handy things as we can. So when you download Guarda to your phone, you have an app that allows you to do all the basic cryptocurrency management activities. So if you don't have any crypto you can easily buy some, if you want another coin you can exchange, if you want to stake you can stake, and you can obviously transact too. So when something new appears we try to get it into Guarda as fast as we can because if there is a demand, it is valuable to us.
Now from the point of support, we excel in rapid expansion and versatility. We support 47 blockchains right now and around 10,000 tokens (which is really a lot), and this is also very important to us as lots of people from many different communities can go to one wallet and manage their favorite cryptocurrencies, along with all the other ones offered so they don't have to switch.
The last thing mentioned is teamwork. This is something that we love doing ourselves, so it's mostly internal, but we also work with foundations and other different projects which really creates a lovely connected space. So it's exciting doing things not just for ourselves, but also for foundations and projects, and helping them with things like development, community work, marketing, you name it.
These are the main highlights.
There are of course other things which occur to everybody, things like security, but for us, security is already a default. Our non-custodial storage principle is the very first thing that we talk about, so security in my opinion is not something that's worth even highlighting as its a default for us at Guarda.
Well that just about does it, but before we end this interview we’d like to ask you for something which we believe will say a lot about your belief in the industry, and which may inspire those who are reading.
17) Can you come up with a short argument for our readers on why you feel cryptocurrency and blockchain (or just one) has a bright future?
I don't know whether bright future is going to be a future reality or whether it already is one now, because this is a super philosophical question. Like what is bright future? A bright future to me is one where blockchain technology and its use cases are developing constantly and rapidly. Now when it comes to cryptocurrency, this is more of a complicated and abstract topic because there are so many things involved like governments, banks, institutions, people, and technologies; all of which are just so connected.
But if you want to talk about a bright future (which is very vague), then A) I think it kind of is already here, and B) all those super hardworking individuals and projects are continuously working towards an even brighter one and doing it super fast.
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