Ruby Tuesday

Yan Pritzker explains his journey from the Soviet Union to Bitcoin evangelist

Yan Pritzker has been a developer and startup entrepreneur for the last 20 years and most recently was the co-founding CTO at where he ran technology and infrastructure from 2012 to 2018. Today, he’s focused on Bitcoin education and consulting for early stage startups. He writes about Bitcoin at and he’s the author of Inventing Bitcoin. We recently chatted with him about his views on Bitcoin and the best ways to onboard folks who are new to Bitcoin.

How does GiveBitcoin work for recipients?

I just received a Bitcoin gift from GiveBitcoin. What’s going on here?

First off, congrats! You’re now part of an exciting revolution in the world of finance and technology. We know Bitcoin can be intimidating to newbies so we’re here to guide you through the process.

First off, a little background on us: GiveBitcoin allows people to gift Bitcoins to friends and family quickly and easily, timelocking their gifts so recipients become hodlers right out of the gate. Plus, GiveBitcoin delivers carefully crafted education and training so recipients become real Bitcoiners by the time their gift unlocks.

Bitcoin Bag Man Meets Bitcoin Sign Guy

Some background: Bitcoin Sign Guy (who prefers to remain anonymous) became one of the crypto world’s most famous memeswhen, in July of 2017, he photobombed US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen by holding up a legal pad that read “Buy Bitcoin” from his seat behind her as she testified to Congress. CoinDesk anointed him “Most Influential in Blockchain 2017”and a hero for bitcoiners: “He hijacked the spotlight from the world’s most powerful central banker to promote a stateless cryptocurrency.”

Two years later, Bitcoin Bag Man experienced a similar fate. His name is Alex Riley and he works for Fielding & Nicholson, a London-based suit shop. The photo of him that became iconic showed him walking next to a Deutsche Bank sign while carrying a tote bag that said “Bitcoins.” Many believed Riley was one of the thousands laid off in the bank’s recent staff cuts. The story was more complicated than that (Riley was there to take measurements of employees at the bank but is a Bitcoin advocate). Nonetheless, the picture went viral(it was seen in Financial TimesDaily MailFortune, etc.), with many viewing it as a telling symbol of the clash between traditional and modern finance.