Voices

Innovation & Empowerment: Laurence Aderemi

Laurence Banner

Introduce yourself. How long have you been working at Cash App? What team are you currently part of?

My name is Laurence Aderemi. I’m the Bitcoin Operations Lead for Cash App, and I joined the team in May of 2020.

The Bitcoin Operations team is part of the wider Operations team, which is the glue between Product and Engineering, and is mostly focused on business operations, business development, and partner relationships.

How did you end up doing what you do?

For the last few years, I’ve been working in payments, and anybody who is interested in payments and money has to be fascinated with bitcoin, crypto, and digital assets. I was no different.

Growing up in Africa, I’ve formed a perspective on economic empowerment, and it starts with money. People don’t have control over their money. Years of uncontrolled inflation and currency devaluation mean that people are caught in a trap. Despite all their hard work and suffering, they can’t save, and if you can’t save, you are constantly running backwards.

The more people learn about bitcoin and its properties – an open financial ledger maintained by a network of independent computers which anyone with internet access and a mobile device can join anytime, anywhere – the stronger and more stable it will become. A decade from now, Bitcoin has a real chance of becoming an alternative global reserve currency. The opportunity to help bring bitcoin to a wider audience really caught my eye, and my mission is to help realise this potential.

Tell us a bit about why you decided to join Cash App.

I co-founded a fintech startup which was one of the first P2P apps in Europe, so international remittance, global payments, and mobile money are all in my DNA. Cash App has been in my line of sight for many years; the opportunity to learn more and make an impact here was too good to pass up.

Cash App was also one of the first non-crypto native apps that was really pushing bitcoin. I love what Square Crypto is doing and the fact that Jack Dorsey is a believer. I think every customer-facing fintech will eventually look like Cash App. And I was drawn to the people at Cash App I had met, who were very smart and very execution-driven.

What does your life at Cash App look like?

Bitcoin is evolving every day. It’s new, and we have to learn new things fast. The team is also small, and we run lean, though now we’re focused on hiring. My typical day, like with most Ops teams, is to ensure that the business is operating at the optimum velocity. That means ensuring that nothing is broken (if anything is, fix it quickly) and supporting my partners on the engineering and product teams.

You work from London, while the majority of your team is in San Francisco. Tell us how being part of a distributed team plays an important role in your life.

I’ve always believed that the future of work is remote, and I think that being distributed is something that all organizations will embrace moving forward. You can make it work, as long as you can get comfortable with asynchronous communication. It’s not easy but like all muscles, it develops as you exercise it. Often, I will go to bed having left messages on Slack, and I wake up to the responses. Once you learn how to work in that fashion, it unlocks a lot of growth and turbocharges execution.

I treasure that flexibility. My mornings are dedicated to family - my wife and 6 month old baby – and afternoons and evenings are for working. This works really well for me.

How do you see Cash App redefining the world’s relationship with money in what you do?

Most people don’t understand what money is and does, and how it works. As a student of economics, I thought I understood money, until I discovered bitcoin, and realized that my knowledge of money was superficial.

Bitcoin is the solution to the store of value problem faced by every individual on earth. There is no other asset that has the same properties: scarce, immutable, non-sovereign, portable, divisible, a decentralised network. Given time, I believe that it will become the global reserve currency of tomorrow.

Our mission at Cash App is to redefine the world’s relationship with money, making it more relatable, instantly available, and universally accessible. Bitcoin is an instrument of economic empowerment which aligns perfectly with our ethos and principles.