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Oftentimes, those who have the greatest impact go unseen. Here at Bitcoin Magazine, we have an excellent copy editing network, which includes the highly talented Keith Mukai. Mukai contributes to Bitcoin in so many ways, and we are very lucky to have him here at the magazine. In this episode, we discussed his background that brought him into Bitcoin, including the skill sets which have allowed him to contribute to the space. We also talked about how Bitcoin has changed his life, his favorite piece he’s edited here at the magazine and what he’s personally looking forward to in the industry. After listening to the podcast, be sure to check out the written interview below!
What’s your Bitcoin rabbit hole story?
Unfortunately, I didn’t have that nerd friend who could have told me about Bitcoin way back in the early days. It just took the usual 3+ touches over the course of a few years for me to finally take a closer look and make the plunge in June 2017.
But I did learn a valuable lesson. Before 2017, every time I encountered Bitcoin I’d think, “Man, that sounds cool! I need to check it out!” But I also had no clue what I would do with it if I had some. Seemed hard to justify the time and effort for something that, at the time, was just a nerdy curiosity. And then I’d just forget about it. Good lord, what regrets I have!
So now when I encounter a new tech or even just a new skill, I dive in. I don’t think about how it’ll be useful or whether it’ll advance my career or have some future ROI. If it interests me, I’m in. Period. Every bit of expertise and knowledge and skill that I can acquire will someday pay off in some way that I couldn’t possibly anticipate today. Circuits, woodworking, astrophotography, endless side rabbit holes in Bitcoin itself … I’m here for all of it. All these unique combinations of expertise give me a unique perspective. That’s my ROI. I’ll see solutions that others can’t.
How has Bitcoin changed your life?
I feel like I’m finally making a difference in the world!
In late 2019 I was following a very new, raw project called Specter Desktop. I loved what Stepan Snigirev was doing with it, but his focus was on supporting airgapped hardware wallets that never get plugged into a computer. I wanted to use Specter but I only had USB wallets. I asked him if he’d be open to me adding support for USB wallets. He gave his blessing so I got to work. Fast-forward to today: Bitcoin Beach has helped propel Bitcoin to the world stage. And their custom community wallet uses Specter to manage their cold storage. If they’re using USB hardware wallets, they’re using my code!
And then, after Jack Mallers’ incredible announcement about El Salvador at the Bitcoin 2021 conference, I was so inspired that I really wanted to add Spanish language support to Specter. And the way code works, if you add support for one language, you can basically add every other language. So I recruited volunteer translators and we ended up fully translating Specter into 11 languages, with lots more to come!
And most recently, my previous tinkering with a Raspberry Pi has paid off now that I’ve discovered SeedSigner, which is this amazing open source, super cheap hardware wallet. I’m having such a great time adding cool new features to this project, all with the hopes of it eventually finding its way into places like El Salvador where people can’t afford a $100-300 hardware wallet. Because of SeedSigner’s unique stateless approach, a whole family — or even a whole town — could share a single $50 SeedSigner reasonably safely.
So my code has the potential to help spread Bitcoin self-sovereignty to more and more people around the world. Incredible.
As one of the copy editors here at the magazine, you’ve worked on many of our articles – what have been your favorite pieces to edit and why? (could be specific pieces, could be certain types of pieces, what have you)
Definitely Arman the Parman’s “DIY Bitcoin Private Key Project“! It’s a fun step-by-step guide to generate your own private key totally offline without using a computer at all. He lays out the steps so clearly and it really helps you understand how the process comes together. What would otherwise be mysterious Bitcoin magic just becomes something simple and mechanical that’s not even that hard to understand.
Just an incredible piece of high-quality, accessible education.
What are you most looking forward to in the Bitcoin space?
I’m reorganizing my professional life to fully commit to working in the Bitcoin ecosystem. There’s a ton of work to be done as Bitcoin sees greater and greater adoption around the world. I’m not savvy enough to be able to predict where we’re going or what the world will look like, but I’m just dying to build like crazy to provide the tools and services that become necessary along the way.
Price prediction for the end of 2021, and the end of 2030?
Oof. It’s early September and we just stumbled off $50k through El Salvador’s Bitcoin launch. In three and a half months? $85k.
The end of 2030 includes two more halvings. A Lot more global adoption. Uncountably more fiat money printing. I’d say, $675k after falling off a 2029 mania peak just shy of $900k.