I’m a Syrian Refugee. This Is How Bitcoin Changed My Life

Bitcoin is good for whatever you need. I’ve used it to get pizza as well as to construct a fulfilling profession, in spite of all types of hardships.

Tey Elrjula is a technology entrepreneur, a refugee and the writer of “The Unnoticeable Boy,” now offered for pre-sale.

I’ve been using bitcoin for years because my family requires it, not because I take pleasure in speculative trading. In 2013 I was presented to cryptocurrencies while working with software program designers in the Netherlands. My idea was that if we created money from code, then cash would certainly end up being a way of communication and its worth would stand for the neighborhood.

I made use of to send money from the Netherlands to my family members in Lebanon two times a month, and also the costs were killing me. Also even worse, the long waiting lines at cash transfer stores were torture. There are still a lot of overwhelming restrictions on money purchases, especially those that leave out big populaces around the world.

As an example, a substantial segment of individuals in Saudi Arabia doesn’t have home authorizations and also are unable to transfer money to their families in nations such as India or Pakistan. Bitcoin does not have those limitations or involve exorbitant transactional charges.

Later on in 2013, I began a Facebook group on bitcoin. I regulated the web page as well as had conversations with much of the 10,000 people that came there, the majority of whom were from Egypt. I met a lot of interesting individuals because group, such as Abdullah Almoaiqel. Abdullah is now the founder and partner of Rainfall, which is the first controlled digital money exchange in the center East. The business is based in Bahrain and runs from Bahrain and also Egypt.

After that, in 2014, everything started going wrong. My European residency card ended at the end of that year as well as there was a battle taking place back home. People claimed Hezbollah, the local militia, was combating to keep ISIS out of Lebanon.

Innovation is helping us stay in a world where we need to rely on much less as well as confirm more.

Half of Syria was swamping into the Netherlands back then, and also smugglers were active beyond of Europe. I bought a small publication to instruct me exactly how to pray in Islam, after that began to exercise my prayers as well as pay attention to the Koran. I additionally began paying attention to Sayed Hassan Nasrallah’s speeches, his recitals and phones call to deal with along with Hezbollah in Syria. I was giving up to my fate of being deported to Syria or Lebanon.

Sleepless nights passed, with the Facebook pages constantly broadcasting images of the cruelty of war in Syria. I did not wish to belong to this.

On Sept. 11, 2014, 500 migrants shed their lives in the Mediterranean Sea trying to go across to risk-free land. It was at that minute I recognized exactly how honored I was to be in Europe, as well as I surrendered to the idea of coming to be an evacuee.

The refugee camp where Tey Elrjula invested his 30th birthday celebration.


On the other hand, I kept servicing the Facebook page I ran with a leading Egyptian software designer and very early adopter of bitcoin. The Egyptian bitcoin individuals kept me busy. I chatted with a great deal of people and also answered their questions on the mining procedure, rate speculation, purchasing bitcoin and marketing it. They recognized I was regulating from Holland, yet really did not know I was now partly undocumented.

I transformed 30 in the camp as well as existed to my parents, telling them I remained in my nice European home awaiting the migration authorities to restore my residency. No one knew I was living along with the other Arab refugees in a camp other than me.

Refugees do not have IDs, so they can not have savings account. They do not recognize any person in the Netherlands, not yet at the very least. Bitcoin became an even larger part of my professional work. The constant direct exposure to crypto landed me translation tasks for press reporters that were covering bitcoin stories.

On bright days, I made a couple of hundred euros as an escrow representative connecting buyers and vendors of bitcoin. In July 2015, I gained a technological knowledge certification from the University of Nicosia and also signed up on the bitcoin blockchain. Lastly, I was credentialed, an expert and also no longer a hobbyist.

Slowly my Bitcoin identity relapsed my evacuee identity.

The public checks out the Bitcoin network as a game of chance in which you can lose all your money. Many meetups were starting to show up in the Netherlands. I began working as a speaker. One such event in the Netherlands was called Bitcoin Wednesday, hung on the first Wednesday of monthly. Slowly, my Bitcoin identity relapsed my evacuee identification.

For many years to come as well as whenever I appear onto a phase, I would certainly ask individuals to put their hands in their pockets and also take the coins out. In return I would certainly give them bitcoin for the exact same amount. Why? Since the most effective way to recognize bitcoin, especially after they hear the pizza story, is to use it.

Money and also identity have been hand-in-hand for centuries, yet I used bitcoin without an identity. Besides my email, I did not need anything to utilize money as well as transact digitally. Nonetheless, I do require an identity to existing myself to the globe and also connect with services like education and diplomas, health care as well as vaccines, travel as well as airline tickets. Modern technology is assisting us live in a world where we require to trust much less and confirm more.

I have taken a trip to more than 20 different European cities and also a few in the Middle East delivering keynotes, public presentations and leading workshops showing organizations the electronic future of education and learning, money as well as business where it is built on concepts of do not trust, verify.

Bitcoin may not work for whatever, but it sure as hell altered my whole life.

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