A renegade mind — how Samir Tabar transformed an industry

  (photo credit: Samir Tabar)
(photo credit: Samir Tabar)

Insiders and long-timers are in the best position to judge the flaws of an old, established order, such as, for instance, the traditional monetary and financial system that is based on fiat money and central banks’ sway. The advent and growing acceptance of decentralized blockchain-based systems in the last few years inspired many former financiers to break away from the old established finance routine and swear allegiance to cryptocurrencies. Indeed, the lure of their transformational potential is hard to resist.

The cryptocurrencies’ key distinctive feature is that the peer-to-peer network on which they are based makes them immune to the whimsical behavior of central banks and other government institutions. Cryptocurrencies are the epitome of absolute scarcity, the main attribute of an effective monetary instrument. There will never be more Bitcoin other than the amount set up by its mysterious inventor; such is bitcoin’s nature and the underlying strength of the new gold, though gold is not even nearly that scarce. What unites both monetary instruments—crypto and gold—is that both have to be mined and that people resort to them in times of financial and economic turmoil. Those days are here.  

This story is about Samir Tabar, a lawyer, financier, and banker with years of experience in each field under his belt and a considerable portion of healthy disillusionment in his mind with the system of which he was a part.  His legal background comes from four years with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, a prestigious Wall Street law firm he joined after graduating from Oxford University and Columbia Law School. After that, Samir landed a job in finance and moved to Japan where he was involved in building one of the largest finance firms in the country. The valuable experience catapulted him to the position of the Head of Capital Strategy for Bank of America Merril Lynch. The 2008 global financial crisis and its devastating consequences both for national economies and people’s lives has had a profound impact on Samir’s attitude to the world of finance. Though never involved in the wrongdoings associated with the main institutional culprits, he decided to call it quits.

Having fallen for the emerging and expanding crypto world and well-aware of the traditional crypto mining operations’ carbon footprint, Samir co-founded Fluidity, a leading blockchain company that built AirSwap, a decentralized exchange. Fluidity was the first blockchain company studied by the Harvard Business Review as the first entity to tokenize institutional real estate. Samir has since sold Fluidity to Consensys, the world’s largest Ethereum software company.

Samir now is the Chief Strategy Officer for Bit Digital, a leading crypto-mining company. One of the most daunting tasks he had to accomplish upon joining Bit Digital was to ensure the company's drastic transition to greener energy sources. Crypto mining is an energy-intensive industry as it annually consumes—on a global scale—as much electric power as small countries. Incidentally, crypto mining takes almost half the electric power consumed by household tumble dryers

As Bit Digital owns and operates one of the industry's leading bitcoin mining fleets, its reliance on more sustainable energy sources would not have passed unnoticed. The ‘Great Mining Migration’, as the WSJ dubbed it, of tens of thousands Bit Digital’s computers from China to the mainland US, organized and coordinated by Samir and his colleagues. As a result, Bit Digital draws on solar and hydro as clean sources of power. The move ensured Bit Digital to the position of an industry leader in carbon-free bitcoin mining.

Some argue that crypto companies are less sustainable than the traditional finance sector. Samir flatly rejects that viewpoint as, according to him, the aggregate effect of ubiquitous ATMs, credit card processors, all resources that go into paper money and credit card production, millions of finance sector’s workers daily commuting to their offices, and other side effects are far more harmful to the environment than crypto mining operations.

With the support of such professionals and strong believers in the power of the disrupting blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as Samir, the new monetary paradigm has all the makings of becoming a sustainable mainstream economic reality in the foreseeable future. For more crypto news and Samir’s latest accomplishments on the way to cutting crypto mining carbon footprint, check out his Twitter.

This article was written in cooperation with Samir Tabar