Neuquén, Argentina

Raul Yazdani

I believe in Bitcoin for social change.

Seeing first-hand how powerful it can be, Raúl has witnessed Bitcoin’s true potential as a vehicle for social change. Through the NGO he advises, Agua x Vida, children across North-Western Africa now have access to drinkable water—all thanks to the power of Bitcoin.

Advertisement turned vocation

Before he started working with Agua x Vida on facilitating donations to construct water wells, Raúl was just a teenager scrolling through Facebook in 2012 when he first heard about Bitcoin. He saw an ad for an online casino and although he didn’t think much of it at the time, it would be just the first of many Bitcoin experiences he’d have. 

In 2013, Raúl moved to the United States to study at Bob Jones University, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in music. In those years, he’d hear about Bitcoin in passing and from his friends that majored in business. Listening to those conversations among friends, he’d then remember the ad he saw on Facebook a few years back. From there on, his curiosity was officially ignited and he didn’t want to miss out on Bitcoin anymore.  

After graduation, Raúl moved back to Puerto Rico and worked as a barista in Old San Juan. Being a recent college graduate, he had very little money but promised himself: “If I ever get the chance, I will get into the world of Bitcoin.”

Building the knowledge

In 2019, Raúl decided to enroll in an online MBA program to sharpen his business skills and dreamed about opening up his own coffee shop. In February of 2020, Raúl signed a rental space contract to open up his shop, but when the pandemic hit shortly after, Raúl had to temporarily put his plans on hold. However, Bitcoin was gaining traction during this time and he saw this as an opportunity to get his start. Raúl bought 10 USD worth of BTC and watched it grow as the days and months rolled on. 

He also saw how beneficial Bitcoin and USDT could be for his passion project: Agua x Vida. Before Bitcoin, the NGO was facilitating its donations through traditional money transfer services. Through these traditional services, they faced one huge problem: every time they’d send funds, they’d lose 15-20% of the donations to fees. 

Fueled by his new knowledge, Raúl suggested facilitating these donations through Paxful using Bitcoin and USDT so that instead of losing money on transfers, they could actually make a profit in the process: “This non-profit organization went from losing 15% of all donations to gaining 2%.”

This realization opened Raúl’s eyes and since then he’s committed himself to this pioneering technology: “Though I don’t consider myself an expert in blockchain technology, I work diligently to deepen my knowledge. I firmly believe in its potential in solving some of the world’s biggest problems.”

Onto bigger dreams

Once the doors were finally open to the public, Raúl made it his goal to accept 50% of all payments at the shop in Bitcoin. To do that, he runs meetups at the shop called The Crypto Club to help educate the people in the area. He’s also the director of a local political think tank associated with Propuesta Republicana, where he helps develop public policies like the promotion and legislation of Bitcoin. 

Raúl believes that Bitcoin is truly a game-changer for younger generations, especially for those who have limited to no access to traditional financial services. He’s seen them improve their standard of living, accumulate wealth, and so much more: “I’ve seen first-hand how Bitcoin can really impact lives. We’re living in a time where finance is becoming much more open. That’s why I believe Bitcoin is important for social change.”

Raúl believes that countries like Argentina, Venezuela, El Salvador, Zimbabwe, and Brazil “will be the pioneers of [Bitcoin] adoption.” He’s also doing his part by trying to implement a more Bitcoin-friendly economy in Neuquen, the city he’s currently living in. Through the work he’s doing at his coffee shop and political think tank, he hopes to achieve this by the end of the year.

De músico a filántropo de Bitcoin | La historia de Raúl Yazdani

From musician to Bitcoin philanthropist | Raúl Yazdani's story