People Fundamentals #7: Teodora Atanasova – On-Chain Activism & Choosing Nexo Over Vienna

5 min read

Some people dip their toes into crypto and slowly ease into the space. That was anything but founding team member and VIP Relations Manager Teodora Atanasova’s experience. Today People Fundamentals brings your the story of Teodora’s nosedive into crypto which led her to leave a promising law career in Vienna almost overnight and how the blockchain space has led her on a path of activism and a mission to making the world a better place.

Teodora Atanasova – On-Chain Activism & Choosing Nexo Over Vienna

1)Who are you? Describe yourself in a few words.

I’ve been working proactively my entire life to develop a personality which would be too multifaceted to fit into “a few words” so if I had to describe it with a single sentence, or even a single word — that’s who I am – multifaceted. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing,I generally like to march to the beat of my own drum and have a severe intolerance to the need to fit into echo chambers. Two qualities that have served me well in my life’s purpose of innovating.

2)How would you describe your digital personality #Meta-Identity? (Ex. Internet Aficionado, Social Recluse, Digital Doggo Freak)?

I don’t think I have an objective view of my digital footprint other than that I tend to be pretty involved online. To get around this little hurdle, I asked the other Nexonians. Half of them didn’t really hesitate much before saying: “A star – she’s @TheiaSupernova on Twitter after all.”

Thanks guys 🌟!

The other half thought about it a little more and said I’m an “On-Chain Activist” – something like a human and women’s rights activist for and through the metaverse. I guess those were the people who saw my recent OpEds and talks about women in tech and crypto. I think the metaverse and crypto can do wonders for global gender equality, I want to realize their full potential.

"A star."
AI art generated with Midjourney by Milko Marinov, Instagram: @eye.vs.eye.

3) You have all the resources you need. What would you create?

I’ve been asked this question before and didn’t really have the right answer at the time. But I do now. I would aim to create a space where negative emotions are eliminated and people wouldn’t feel sadness, grief, hunger…somewhere people wouldn’t get sick and would be allowed to live their lives at their happiest and fullest capacity. Basically, I think the right answer would be that I’d create a utopian social and space like the metaverse.

4) How did you get into crypto? What’s your Nexo story?

I was studying business law in Vienna when I became interested in blockchain in 2017 and unfortunately for me, there wasn’t a single place in Vienna where you could study blockchain technology back then. A few months later I met with Nexo’s Executive Chairman who was a friend of mine at the time and he asked me what I’m excited about nowadays. I immediately answered: “Blockchain!” He just smiled and said nothing. A couple of weeks later he pitched me the idea of building a first of its kind crypto-backed lender (we only started calling it Nexo a couple of months later). The funny part is that I needed zero convincing to drop everything I was doing at the time and take the leap of faith – I packed my bags the next day and left Vienna to start working (by myself) in the very first Nexo office at the time on a project that would soon become Nexo.

I got incredibly lucky in finding Nexo so early on. After that, I got into the incredibly fast-paced crypto industry with all its disruptions, volatility, democratization, innovations and hardcore work.

5) What is your biggest challenge?

Procrastinating and organizing.

In a way crypto has helped me with that first one – it’s such a rush of an industry that I don’t really have time to procrastinate either way. So far so good, but it’s that same lightspeed we’re going at that really has me struggling to organize contacts, information, tasks and the rest of my life.

6) What is your biggest failure?

Oh come on, it’s 2022, we don’t call them failures nowadays, they are just opportunities to grow.

I have a great example of how my crypto career pushed me to grow and become better. It's a funny story actually.

I could write a book with my funny Nexo stories but among the best ones happened on my very first trip as a speaker for Nexo in Las Vegas. I was scared to death of flying at the time and there was terrible turbulence throughout the entire flight so I swore I’ll never fly to represent the company ever again. Little did I know that I would soon become one of the only people traveling for our sales and biz dev purposes for some time and it would become my main responsibility. Those first few years I had 100+ flights per year. So moral of the story – it's always better to overcome your fears, to follow your dreams – and my dreams have taken me to some amazing places.

"A space where negative emotions are eliminated."
AI art generated with Midjourney by Milko Marinov, Instagram: @eye.vs.eye.

7) How many hours do you sleep?

Not allowed to say without my lawyer present 😬, but I try to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep gets in the way of my creativity.

8) What’s in your crypto survival kit?

Nexo, Nexo and more Nexo!

I’m currently also excited about Ethereum post-merge. We just saw the biggest event for Ethereum since its inception so I’m incredibly excited to witness what comes next.

9) What coin are you most curious about?

Same as the above question. At least I’m consistent.

10) Who’s on your must-follow list on Twitter?

  • Naval
  • Barry Ritholtz
  • Meltem Demirors
  • Frank Chaparro
  • Andreas Larsen
  • Tascha
  • Lyn Alden

11) Who are you outside of work?

I am…everything I already mentioned above, plus the fact that I’m generally exceptionally happy and extremely easily excitable. I am just stoked about life and the future.

To me crypto and blockchain are…the tools that allow me to have an incredible, almost magical, career and life. It’s exciting beyond my wildest dreams.

Next Week on People Fundamentals…

…we’re interviewing someone whose line of work didn’t exist until a year ago. NFT Associate Renato Martinez tunes in from Peru to tell us about what it’s like to blaze the way for an entirely new career path.

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