When you close your eyes and picture the single-handed savior of free speech what do you see? Is it a broad-chested guttural-roaring giant a la Alex Jones? Maybe a waxy suit-and-and tie sporting robotic businessman injection-molded from Elon Musk’s shell? You’d be dead wrong on both counts.
Erik Finman is the world’s youngest Bitcoin millionaire and the bright-eyed zeal of youth and unshakeable Conservative core values have launched him into the world of defeating the Big Tech oligarchs. How does he plan on doing this? By using his wealth for good and making the world’s first smart phone that is built on the foundation of free speech.
According to Business Insider’s 2019 biography:
Erik Finman says he’s the youngest person to become a bitcoin millionaire.
In the past eight years, he’s grown his bitcoin holdings from about 100 (worth $1,000 in 2011) to nearly 450 (worth about $4.5 million in 2019). And he had an early start — he made his first investment at age 12, and became a millionaire at age 18.
Finman grew up in Post Falls, a small town outside of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. His parents met as Ph.D. students at Stanford University. Erik is the youngest of their three sons.
Erik first learned about bitcoin from a “hippie” at a protest, and he thought it sounded promising. He told Cheddar his older brother brought him to a protest following the financial crisis of 2008. He recalls running from the police and seeing a man wearing a bitcoin shirt, and then asking him what bitcoin was.
“He’s like a hippie, he’s like, ‘Man, I think it’s gonna end Wall Street, all the corruption, and all the bad things.’” That prompted Finman to research the cryptocurrency himself and he decided, along with his brother, that it was the next big thing.
Finman upped the ante in a bet with his parents: If he became a millionaire by the age of 18, he wouldn’t have to go to college. Erik got an internship at a startup selling Sprayable Energy — so he moved to Silicon Valley.
In June 2017 at the age of 18, he became a millionaire when bitcoin’s value crossed $2,700 — meaning he won his bet with his parents.
His success may have shot him into the limelight, but he’s not interested in sitting on his laurels and simply living off his cash for the rest of his life. No, Erik’s mission is to go out there and “actually fix things” as his website says.
One of the things that he sees as in need of fixing is the lack of privacy and free speech in the world of technology. That’s why his latest project is launching the Freedom Phone. The phone boasts that it’s, “Not just making America great but also making a great phone.”
According to the website: “The Freedom Phone is a free speech and privacy first focused phone. With features like tracking blockers and an un-censorable app store. Read what you like. Watch what you like. Think what you like. Nothing is censored. Some of the most popular banned & unbanned conservative sites & apps. Pre-loaded directly on your phone.”
That’s huge news for people worried about another Parler shutdown or the possibility of not being able to get their news from sources like OAN, Newsmax, or Trending Politics all of which come preloaded on the phone.
However, it’s not just a phone with a secure app store and cool apps, it’s also got a brand-new dedicated “A Free-Speech First Operating System”. The phone has truly been built from the ground up with the 1st Amendment in mind. They continue, “We’ve developed the first mass-marketable mobile phone operating system based on free speech. With powerful tools such as Trust, you are in control of what your apps can do whenever you want. Trust will help you understand the security of your device and warn you about possible threats.”
They make their goals as crystal clear as it can get towards the bottom of the homepage. “We want to create a future where free communication is not banned by Big Tech. We want to bring back free speech. Forever.” Not only is this a high-minded ambition, but one that could spell disaster for the competitors when the imminent success of the phone takes off.
After all, who would want a phone that we all know tracks, listens, and constantly violates your privacy without so much as asking first? Especially when the Freedom Phone can be had for a mere $499.99, a third of the price of an iPhone, and unlike most leasing plans that phone providers have, this one is all yours for that price.
Erik may have been successful with money when he was a mere 12 years old, but now his success is focused on changing the world, one free-speech phone at a time. For my money I know that I’ll be switching to a Freedom Phone as soon as humanly possible.