Go to main navigation Navigation menu Skip navigation Home page Search

Carl Gärdsell

Seeing strong signs of digital currencies becoming increasingly mainstream in the next 5-10 years, cryptocurrency- interested Masters in International Business alum Carl Gärdsell founded Divly, a service that guides you through the process of declaring taxes on profits made through cryptocurrency. He notes that we are seeing the younger generations adopt it as a currency online, trading digital art and gaming assets, and that eventually we’ll see it in our pension funds.

Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.

As Founder/CEO of the crypto tax company Divly, there is a lot of variation in my day-to-day work. This can involve mapping out the tax calculations in the product, classifying how transaction data should be imported from crypto exchanges, writing content for our blog and FAQ, supporting customers in our online chat, raising capital, drafting legal documents, hiring new recruits, building partnerships, organizing team priorities and direction, etc. I also expect my day-to-day tasks to change quite a bit as the company expands.


What interested in you about cryptocurrency?

My interest in cryptocurrency developed while at SSE after having been introduced to it in a lecture late 2016. I quickly fell down the rabbit hole and ended up scouring the internet for all the knowledge I could find. The implications of having a digital asset that was unstoppable and not controlled by a central party was mindboggling. I consumed the full collection of emails and forums posts from Satoshi Nakamoto as well as the Bitcoin white paper (followed by a couple dozen more whitepapers). I spent my CEMS exchange semester in St. Gallen early 2017 where I would stay up to 3am most nights with a friend researching the topic, interacting with diverse crypto communities, and investing.


What motivated you to start Divly?

When I graduated in Spring 2017 all I wanted to do was to work in the crypto industry. Since there were very few web3 companies at that time, I ended up founding Superblocks alongside two other engineers in Stockholm. We created blockchain developer tools and collaborated with the Ethereum Foundation. Eventually the company failed after two years which was a very painful experience. Yet the hard lessons molded me into a more disciplined entrepreneur. Corona hit two weeks later, and the job market dried up overnight. Half-depressed and defeated with no foreseeable job prospects, I started developing some basic coding skills and tested creating some new projects with other people. Most of the ideas were quickly killed after realizing the problems solved were not problematic enough. After some iterations, I eventually stumbled upon crypto taxes when faced with the issue of doing it for myself.

Crypto taxes had been a personal pain point for several years. I remember sharing the idea with my cofounder and we both instantly knew we had to drop everything to solve this problem. We managed to build the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in 2-3 months and release it in time for the tax season mid-March 2021. The product was an instant hit and we got hundreds of users and a few dozen paying customers in the first few weeks. Since then, Divly has grown by thousands of users, expanded to five countries, and partnered with Safello (the leading crypto broker in Sweden).


What excites you about your work? Where do you think digital currencies are going in the next 5-10 years?

I really enjoy working with numbers and an industry that is quickly evolving. Part of the charm is not knowing where the industry will be in 5-10 years. Sweden is excessively conservative towards crypto, especially the Swedish banks, which is a shame and has hurt the local ecosystem. Yet, if we look abroad, we are seeing strong signs of crypto becoming increasingly mainstream in the next 5-10 years. Some countries already have close to 30% crypto adoption and large banks have begun acting as custodians or brokers. We are seeing the younger generations adopt it as a currency online trading digital art and gaming assets. Eventually we’ll see it in our pension funds. Whatever happens, tax agencies are going to love the proceeds.


What was appealing about the MSc in International Business program at SSE when you were considering where to study?

At the time of applying, I had been working for three years in Australia as a Portfolio Analytics Consultant. I was looking to move back to Europe and undertake a Master’s degree as I wanted a new challenge. Since The Stockholm School of Economics had a great reputation (especially in the Nordics), it was my first choice. The International Business program felt suitable since I had lived in multiple countries and grown up going to International Schools. I also appreciated it being a broad topic and combined with CEMS.


How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?

SSE helped me discover crypto! It also provided access to a great network in Stockholm that has eased my journey as an entrepreneur. Another great feature was the SSE Business Lab that provided me with free coaching and a supportive environment for my first startup. There is no question that I owe a lot to SSE for supporting my journey.  


Following your time studying, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?

As an SSE student, you have multiple years carved out where you can spend a lot of time reading and exploring different topics. Take that opportunity to learn for the purpose of learning. If something in a lecture interest you, dig deeper into it even if it won’t improve your grades. Your grades are at most a means to an end and should not dictate your focus.


What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?

Exploration, adventure, drive.