Coinbase Voices: How Crypto Changed My Life – News Couple
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Coinbase Voices: How Crypto Changed My Life


Trey Edwards shares his personal path to cryptocurrency and Coinbase, and how he creates opportunities for others to follow in his footsteps

I was on my way to the last semester of NC State University when I got off the campus bus and suddenly I was hit by another student’s car. Fortunately, I came out without long-term injuries, but it changed my outlook on life forever.

Before the accident, I was driving, but I lacked a sense of urgency. I knew I wanted to make something myself, but I always felt as if I could wait to get started. After the accident, everything changed. I was determined to make something myself, and get started right away.

After graduating, I worked in various industries, including wine sales and technical recruitment, but apparently I couldn’t find what worked for me. That soon changed once I started working at a financial technology (FinTech) consulting firm.

Being new to FinTech, I plunged into books and local meetups to learn all I can do. One day in mid-2017, I read a chapter on blockchain, detailing the technology’s lofty aspirations to become more influential than the Internet itself.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this chapter was going to change my life. I found myself hooked and increasingly focused on one question:

If I truly believe that blockchain and digital currencies are going to change the world, what should I do with this knowledge? Do I keep buying bitcoin and hope to get rich, or do I dive into it and help build the future?

I chose the latter and sought to learn as much as I could, and eventually enrolled in the first (free) course of the Master’s Program in Cryptocurrency at the University of Nicosia, taught by the world famous expert Andreas Antonopoulos.

After that first training session, I knew I had found my passion. Ironically, the main challenge I had in enrolling in a master’s program dedicated to the future of money was that I needed money to get started – which I didn’t do at the time. Traditional graduate school loans were not an option, given that the university was located outside the United States. As a result, I had to resort to a high-interest personal loan to finance my studies.

Although the cost was high, I knew with each course that I was part of a program that would shape the future. The program focused on a variety of topics, including unpacking the concept of money, the technical complexities of blockchain technology, and principles of innovation.

After a year balancing full-time work and school, I graduated from Summa Cum Laude and became one of the youngest people in the world to earn the degree.

After graduation, it was important to me to find a company that I believed would help change the world, so I applied for a project manager position on Coinbase’s advocacy team. Within three weeks, I ran a half marathon, got the job at Coinbase, and got married. (Honestly one of my most famous ever!)

I know that blockchain and digital currency can be difficult concepts to get around, and my job at Coinbase is to help ensure that using our products is as easy an experience as possible. I do this by partnering with our product, engineering and design teams to advocate for our customers and help them understand feature requests, bugs, and insights customers tell us. I also work closely with our support team to ensure that when people encounter issues, our team is fully prepared to take care of them.

As mentioned, it was really important to find a company that I believed had the potential to change the world. Blockchain and digital currency are already reinventing finance and, at the same time, creating massive wealth for the participants. As we work to build an open financial system, we have the opportunity to address racial inequality by making sure that blacks and other underrepresented groups are not only aware of the technology but have a seat at the table to build it.

To help with this, I proposed an idea to Coinbase last summer to create a full scholarship for professionals from black and other underrepresented minorities to pursue a master’s degree in blockchain and digital currency. I believe that by doing so, we will foster the next generation of leaders in the cryptocurrency industry.

This idea has met with a lot of support internally, and for most of the past year we have worked out the details. I am pleased to say that we have now formalized the program and will be offering this scholarship to up to five talented individuals in the 2021-2022 school year.

The first recipient of this scholarship to enter the Spring 2021 Master’s program is Ibrahim Adionmi, a talented entrepreneur based in Oakland, California. We are thrilled to have Ibrahim as the first researcher at Coinbase because he shares our passion for leveraging blockchain and cryptocurrencies to advance economic freedom.

If you are interested in applying for the scholarship programme, you will find more details on the University of Nicosia website. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining me in building this open financial platform, feel free to reach out or apply online at coinbase.com/careers.


Coinbase Voices: How Cryptocurrency Changed My Life was originally posted on the Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people continue the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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