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We are Bitcoin - Aljaž Čeru

Guest: Aljaž Čeru

The first guest in the series of interviews We Are Bitcoin is Aljaž Čeru. A man with a wealth of knowledge, clear goals, a focused approach and, for most, a very different, courageous view of the world. Entrepreneur, founder and initiator of Bitcoin meetup Ljubljana, very active in the Bitcoin community and a great conversationalist.

You're a bitcoiner. What does this term mean to you?

Aljaž: The problem with this term is that it has as many meanings as there are bitcoiners. For me, bitcoin means freedom. And because freedom is the thing I value most in the world, it means that I fight for that freedom. And I do it in a way that helps bitcoin succeed. Just as most bitcoiners do in their own way.

When did you really realize that Bitcoin is the best money?

Aljaž: It's hard to say when exactly that moment was. I certainly didn't understand it at the beginning, but it came with time. I ignored it for a long time because I imagined it as something like e-gold (one of the precursors of Bitcoin) and other solutions that all suffered a similar fate - failure and loss of funds. Later, I was attracted by the possibility of paying anonymously for services on the Internet, but even that did not compel me to get to know it. It was only after I had been trading for a while that I started to spend more time with it and to delve into technology, and later into philosophy and economics. I realized that it affects practically everything around us and from then on I started to spend more and more time on bitcoin.

Bolt observer is probably your most important project at the moment. Can you tell us more about it. What does it solve, who is it for, why is it better than the competition (if there is any)? Can we test it?

Aljaž: was created as my attempt to bring Bitcoin/Lightning infrastructure management to business and individuals. My interest in the Lightning network started in late 2018/early 2019. Since then, I've set up quite a few nodes and made my share of mistakes. So by the time I have set up the company, I have gained a lot of experience and figured out what tools are missing to make the experience of managing the nodes easier and better at the same time. The basic idea was pretty simple - fix all the problems companies have with this :) is for anyone who manages a Lightning node. However the long-term plan primarily targets companies that use or will use the Lightning network. The tools are available to everyone at

What phase of development are you currently in?

Aljaž: We are in the exploration phase. Development is slowing down because it's just me working on the project since this summer. The demand reflects the market situation, but at the same time, a lot of projects and companies have started solving the same problems in the last year.

Are you self-funding or open to VCs? What is the situation in the VC market?

Aljaž: In early 2022, we raised some funding from two bitcoin-focused funds - Timechain and Hivemind. But unfortunately, the volatility of the bitcoin price is also quite evident in the industry itself. During a bear trend, there is much less funding available for early-stage companies. There are also far fewer start-ups in need of these solutions. The problem with this is that every bull trend solves the problems of the previous bull market, at least from the point of view of investment capital. At the same time, many companies fail or stop their development because they are left without funds in the middle of the cycle. The nature of projects in the bitcoin ecosystem is that they require high-end solutions involving a lot of effort, which certainly makes sense - after all, it is about money, but this is not necessarily reflected in the availability of capital and investor behavior.

You are very active in a number of areas. Can you tell us more about the rest of your projects?

Aljaž: One of the projects we have created is Lightning landscape, which aims to compile in one place all the projects and companies that exist in this ecosystem, in order to raise awareness among a wider audience. At the same time, it helps companies to find solutions, investors to evaluate opportunities and developers to discover products/services/solutions that already exist.I'm also fairly active in the LSP Spec community, where we work with companies in the Lightning ecosystem to create specifications for interoperability between apps and wallets. Here we are more focused on liquidity while I am working with Breez on the Fiatlink specification. This will simplify the buying and selling of bitcoin directly from the self-custodial wallets.

Additionally, I maintain a few websites in the wider Bitcoin environment and other environments that allow individual freedom, such as:

In August 2021, the Bitcoin Ljubljana meetup was launched, the first event of its kind in Slovenia, which I actively managed until this year (2023), when my colleague Toni took over the project.

Next year (2024), I will also be part of the first team that will spend two months in Madeira developing tools and systems for a more sovereign life and a better future - .

You have decided to leave Slovenia. Why?

Aljaž: There are so many reasons for this that I could write a book. Every year Slovenia tries to be more hostile to businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals. Either through bureaucracy, tyrannical covid measures, absurd taxes, a crumbling public sector and a political "elite" that is not even fit for the gulag. Add to this the Slovenian servant mentality and the question quickly becomes "why should anyone stay here?".

Do you think the trend of economic migration will escalate in the future?

Aljaž: I think economic migration is going to get harder (or at least more expensive), especially in the European Union, because instead of changing things for the benefit of citizens, countries are just digging their claws deeper into individual wealth and freedom. But the trend of migration is increasing, and working from home has enabled many individuals to move. The Covid measures have been good for opening many people's eyes to how far their freedom actually extends.

Do you think people are aware that the wheel in the cage is turning faster and faster? What do you advise them to change?

Aljaž: The desire for change has to come from the individual. Until that happens, no advice helps. More and more people are realising that they can get out of the cage, but at the same time the average person is still in too comfortable position to find the motivation to make radical changes in their behavior and world views. Fortunately, countries around the world are doing everything they can to open people's eyes, and sooner or later this will lead to change. But it will probably have to hurt a little before that happens.

Why bitcoin? (In one sentence)

Aljaž: Free people need free money.

You have one orange pill. Who in Slovenia would you give it to?

Aljaž: To no one. Every person finds bitcoin when they are ready for it.

Where can people find you?

If you meet Aljaž, the man with the most beautiful beard, on your travels around the world, just ask him about Bitcoin. Maybe you'll extend your trip. Otherwise, as Aljaž says, Bitcoin is something that is only found by the individual when the moment is right for him. Aljaž has already prepared a high quality collection of knowledge, projects, tools, waiting for you to discover them. Do not hesitate, set yourself free.



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