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Alexis Ohanian: After Family Lost Everything in Armenian Genocide, He Craves Hard-to-Seize Assets


Alexis Ohanian: After Family Lost Everything in Armenian Genocide

Armenian-American Alexis Ohanian has been featured on the daily cover of Forbes where he shares in an interview about how his father's family fled Turkey (Western Armenia) from the Armenian Genocide. (Forbes.com)


Ohanian's ancestors died during the Armenian Genocide and their property was confiscated. This generational trauma is the main reason he's betting big on NFT and future social media, despite the cold winter storm of crypto.


One of Ohanian’s earliest memories is of his great-aunt, Vera, who on his sixth birthday told him in detail about how his great-aunt and uncle were killed while marching through the Syrian desert during the Armenian Genocide. And how as a child his great-aunt, Avetis, saw Turkish soldiers behead his parents, and was stopped by another soldier when he wanted to take on himself; how this little boy was sent to an orphanage in Istanbul before he could find his way.


“Any group of people who have in their consciousness or in their collective history, some idea of persecution, especially by a state, makes the idea of a store of value that is not controlled by any single state very attractive…And so, in some ways it was hardwired in me then, and made me in a way receptive to the idea of decentralized currency,” Ohanian said in the Forbes interview.


He also took the opportunity to share on his social media about the time in his life when he needed to find meaning after leaving Reddit in 2010 — he volunteered at kiva.org in Armenia. He says it was one of the best career decisions he made.


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