Can an army be marshaled towards philanthropic aims? At least one entrepreneur thinks so. John Karony is the CEO of SafeMoon, provider of the SafeMoon cryptocurrency token and protocol. SafeMoon was founded in March of 2021 and quickly grew to a become a leader in the cryptocurrency industry with a market capitalization of nearly $1 billion. Through a community and user-focused development cycle, SafeMoon can create new fin-tech products and ecosystem advances faster and more efficiently than most other companies managed and funded through traditional forms of investment. Based on record-setting growth in 2021, SafeMoon is excited for continued progress and innovation in 2022, with the launch of the SafeMoon 2.0 protocol and additional growth of its user community of multiple million individuals, known on social media as the #SAFEMOONARMY. SafeMoon promotes transparency and freedom through the development and implementation of innovative technology.
In addition to his expertise in cryptocurrency and software development, Karony is a video game enthusiast, a U.S. veteran, and is passionate about civil rights and social action, disaster and humanitarian relief, economic empowerment, human rights, politics, poverty alleviation, and science and technology.
1. His first thought in the morning isn’t what you would think. Upon rising, his immediate focus is “How can I be better than I was yesterday?” And, “How do we compete with ourselves 10 years from now?”
2. His breakfast of choice isn’t health food. “Whipped cream with a side of waffles.”
3. He’s driven by the vision of a better world. Beyond the idea of making an impact, he wants the impacts to be available to everyone – the idea that someone in a third-world country can use crypto technology to participate in collaboration, exchange of value and innovation as readily as anyone in the most developed parts of the world
4. Venture Philanthropy is his mantra. More than the idea that you can “make money by doing good” he is propelled by the vision that “philanthropy with an ROI” is the way to make impact soar farther and faster than anything we’ve accomplished or seen in the past.
5. He’s a decent person. Interestingly, and maybe especially in the world of crypto, people tend to assume that anyone heading up a company is 1) rich, and 2) corrupt. In actual fact, and perhaps especially at the helm of one of the fastest launches in history, he’s a guy with an altruistic vision who’s chosen the harder path.
6. He’s a nerd. “People don’t realize how much of a nerd I can be. If I had it my way, my house would be completely star wars themed.”
7. He is motivated by impact. “I kept running into leaders, in both business and other areas of my life, who were focused on the wrong things. Whether it be self-promotion, self-destruction or the ‘bottom line’ – I knew there had to be so much more. I know you need resources to do good in the world, and the entrepreneurial lifestyle appealed to me as the way to achieve them. So I set off to learn, and I’ve learned best by doing.”
8. He has a soft spot for Africa. “I spent my formative younger years living in Kenya and Ethiopia. I then spent some time studying it for some of my previous positions. There is so much potential there.” A fun fact that inspired him: Mansa Musa, the ninth ruling Mansa of Mali, (c1280 – c1387) which at that time consisted of the former Ghana Empire is credited by historical sources to have been the richest person to have ever lived. In Cairo, his gift-giving was so impactful it single-handedly created a noticeable depression in the price of gold that lasted for more than a decade and captured the attention of the wider Muslim world (and without the benefit of social media). He helped to establish Timbuktu as the center of Islamic learning. A model for impact, writ large.
9. He worked for the U.S. Government – why? “I was an analyst. I originally went to Utah for college, and decided it wasn’t for me at the time,” says Karony. He added: “I’m not political. But I joined the military as a chance to do some good and to educate myself through real-world experiences in the mid east, the orient, and all over the world.”
10. You can hear John Karony and SafeMoon onstage at Grit Daily House during SxSW. March 12 is “SafeMoon Saturday” followed by a VIP Dinner. We invite you to join us live or online.