“Every day we receive dozens of requests from people who are literally screaming for help, the millions of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, stuck in a spiral of high interest debt. Just thinking about the fact that we can help these people and improve their lives, show them the value in how new technologies help to solve this very human problem, is the beginning of a goodness engine which inspires everyone in the company.”
I had the pleasure to interviw Maria Eagleton, co-founder of ChargaCard, ChargaCard an alternative credit card network directly connecting product and service providers with their customers and clients based on same-day ACH. They also provide cold storage cryptocurrency wallets with automated baskets.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
In 2011 while I was at university studying international finance, I was reading an article about the future of the financial sector and there was a mention of blockchain. That was the serendipitous moment when I realized that with blockchain, finance can be a force for good. When I first learned about blockchain, about it’s power and possibilities, I immediately realized how it could help people trust each other without costly intermediaries, and how blockchain technologies have an enormous transformative power to bring profound changes in the way things are done today and to create a more fair economic system.
After graduation I began building ChargaCard with my co-founder to help the 49% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck to get out of the spiral of high interest debt by building a platform where they can pay their bills in installments with 0% interest. ChargaCard was just the beginning of our philosophy that front range blockchain technologies could transform the lives of those around us.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
Besides our core projects like our cold storage cryptocurrency wallets with automated baskets, I am most excited about what we are prototyping/building on the front range utilizing the latest blockchain technologies like lightning networks and the codius hosting node which we launched in early June. Our goal is to creatively re-imagine traditional technologies by tapping into the collective wisdom of our team, advisors and network to accelerate the speed of innovation and execution.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
First and foremost my co-founder, John Eagleton, who taught me the value of perseverance. Second, the team at the Boomtown Accelerator in Boulder, Colorado who had a significant influence on the development of our company. And, of course, we are very thankful to Varshney Capital, who believed in us and supported us as we grew from a startup to a public company and who continue to help us with their wisdom, advice, network, and resources on our path to success.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
-Crypto — This technology opens up the possibility for underserved and unbanked to transact with the rest of the world. It is the missing piece for online payments.
-Crypto — Can prevent government manipulation and centralized holds on currency circulation and manipulation by a select few.
-Blockchain — Represents a leap forward in online transactional technologies that has never been available. By being trustless, transactional data is both automated, virtually incorruptible, and transparent.
-Blockchain — Programmable smart contracts on the blockchain allow for DAOs and, in combination with technologies like AI, can potentially produce fantastical self-regulating, autonomous products.
-Blockchain — With blockchain, there is a possibility of a new type of internet for information exchange, and it’s widely believed that the truly exciting innovations can’t even be imagined yet. Nobody could have imagined the internet that we have today 25 years ago. It is the same for where blockchain technology can go in 25 years.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
-Early adopters hold a majority of of crypto, and this imbalance can affect adoption and use.
-There are a lot of competing technologies and, while good, widespread and distributed adoption of improved blockchains can be difficult.
-We are in a very big hype cycle for crypto and blockchain, and any major pullbacks and disappointments can cause push people further away from the technology.
-Regulation for crypto and blockchain is all over the place. Everyone wants a piece of the regulation and companies want to comply, but there is no solid framework for current companies and organizations to operate from. There is amazing possibility, and regulators shouldn’t hinder it.
-There are lasting implications for the money raised with ICO. With the enormous amount of investment in blockchain and crypto, we need to see successful projects that bring the technology to maturity, i.e. Lightning network, atomic swaps, decreased transaction time, increased simultaneous transaction capacity, etc…What survived from the dot-com boom has proven to be crucial core infrastructure services for the internet. Hopefully, it will be at least the same for blockchain companies
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
Every day we receive dozens of requests from people who are literally screaming for help, the millions of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, stuck in a spiral of high interest debt. Just thinking about the fact that we can help these people and improve their lives, show them the value in how new technologies help to solve this very human problem, is the beginning of a goodness engine which inspires everyone in the company.
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
The advice will be very simple and generic:
– Never give up. It’s only not painful when you’re dead. - Look at every obstacle as an opportunity. That is the way to look, not outside the box, but beyond the box.
– Don’t be scared of trying something that no one else has done and don’t be scared to be called crazy and strange for that. But do It admirably. - Dedicate some time every day just to talk to people on your team. They will be the ones who will be by your side through difficulties, they will be inspiring you for exploits, they will come up with solution you would never thought of.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
Elon Musk. Just to make sure we see the truth the same way he sees it 🙂