A Prodigys Turn TO BIT COIN

Some three years ago, Marco Streng had every intention of parlaying his lifelong fascination with math and physics into the completion of university work in his native Germany before going on to an academic or scientific career. But then Bitcoin came into his life via a link to some networking research he was conducting online. And a fateful link it was, compelling Streng to bid adieu to all his previous plans.

Like many people in the Bitcoin world, Streng, co-founder and CEO of the international cryptocurrency company Genesis Mining, has an outsized intellect that helped him both gravitate to and quickly grasp the complexity, symmetry and opportunity that Bitcoins blockchain technology offers the world. He dove directly into mining on his home computers, first for Bitcoin and then I itecoin. The venture proved to be both lucrative and a dazzling intellectual challenge. He was 21 years old.

“I had always done very well in school, earning a scholarship to university when 1 was 15 and attending classes there with

much older students,” Streng says. “I was on track for a promising math and physics career, but Bitcoin was just too attractive to resist. 1 was going deeper and deeper into emerging networks from the mathematical side, then got very engaged in economics and monetary systems. Its a very fast-moving field, very exciting. 1 finally decided to go fully into Bitcoin.”

He dove directly into mining on his home computers, first for Bitcoin and then Litecoin.

The venture proved to be both lucrative and o dazzling intellectual challenge.

Streng launched Genesis late in 2013 with partners Dr. Marco Krohn and Jakov Dolic. The trio has built the Munich-based company into a colossus in the mining world, establishing mining facilities in Eastern Europe, China and Iceland. ( The latters renowned cold weather is particularly conducive to providing cheap cooling for hot-running mining computers.)

Asked about the family tree that may have been responsible for producing a math and physics prodigy, Streng comes up blank. Sometimes the apple, as the saying goes, does fall rather far from the tree.

Perhaps the familys most common ground is how hard each member works— his father in the wine industry as a vintner in the renowned German winemaking region of Eranconia, his mother in the restaurant industry, and his younger brother in auto mechanics. No aunts or uncles showed any scientific bent either, he reports.

All he knows is that math, science and the theoretical frameworks behind them always came easily to him, and he has been moving along a trail seemingly paved by those fields his entire life.

Streng was born in the Franconia capital of Wurzburg. Like most Germans, he speaks flawless Knglish and is at complete ease with international business dealings, a skill set tailor-made for the Bitcoin worlds borderless ethos and structure. He marvels at his luck in finding a way of life so in sync with his passions and interests.

“Its quite funny that when were dealing with businesses not involved at all with Bitcoin, all our contacts turn off their mobile phones at 6 p.m. and never do business on weekends,” he observes. “In the Bitcoin world, we work almost all the time, every day, because every day counts! Its not a problem at all, though. I love what I do, and when you love what you do, you cant get enough of it.”

Still, he concedes, there is such a thing as life outside Bitcoin, though it is spare. What there is of it he spends with his

girlfriend, who happily is as flexible as he is regarding the demands of his work. “Ive told her well go on holiday soon, but its very difficult to get much time to go away. Things move so fast that planning much ahead is just not possible. Meanwhile, we get a few hours in the evening or a day off sometimes. But almost never two in a row.”