Christophe De Beukelaer is the first European politician to convert his entire salary to Bitcoin (BTC). He kicked off 2022 with the bold move, hoping to raise awareness about Bitcoin and alternative monetary models, financial education and get people talking.
De Beukelaer first got into Bitcoin and blockchain in 2017, and foresees a future in which Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies play a role as a “counterpart to the traditional financial world.” He gave an interview to Cointelegraph to delve deeper into his vision for Bitcoin and his motivations behind being paid in Bitcoin.
When asked about how long it took to get to grips with Bitcoin and “go down the rabbit hole,” De Beukelaer said that not taking the time to learn about the protocol is “One of the biggest risks we have in Europe for the moment.” He explained:
“The political people don’t take time for this journey. They are very busy with the day-to-day administrations of the cities and the countries, but they don’t stop and say, OK, what’s happening now? What are the big evolutions coming in the next 10, 20, 50 years? And that’s the job.”
The 34-year-old Brussels Minister conceded that the lack of awareness surrounding the cryptocurrency and Bitcoin space is a “big problem,” and that if Europe doesn’t get its hands dirty with the cryptocurrency space, then “Asia [or] the U.S. will decide everything.”
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In his view, being paid in Bitcoin is an excellent way of raising awareness about the space and as a professional European official, the act brings another layer of credibility to the space.
When pushed on a Bitcoin price prediction for 2022, he masterfully dodged the question, joking that 2022 would provide “an incredible performance.”