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“You look at credit card companies, their biggest expenses are branding, and on fraud, well you don’t have the branding issues around Bitcoin, and you have a pretty robust anti-fraud detection system with the decentralised nature of the verification process.”
— Brian Quintenz

Interview Location: Washington
Interview Date: Friday 21st Jun, 2019
Organisation: CFTC
Role: Commissioner

While Bitcoin is a way out of big government, a fight against ill-disciplined fiscal policies, it is to be expected that departments such as the CFTC and SEC will regulate the space. While China has taken the draconian decision to largely ban cryptocurrencies, the US has taken a more pro-innovation approach, aware that over-regulation will push the technology into other markets.

In this interview, I chat with Brian Quintenz, a commissioner at the CFTC. We discuss the difficulties in regulating the Bitcoin Futures markets, whether the current US government’s regulations are outdated and the history of the CFTC and Futures markets.

We discussed:

  • The history of the CFTC

  • How Futures work

  • Self regulation v formal oversight

  • Bitcoin's unique characteristics

  • Facebook Libra

  • Privacy coins

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Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina, BitHyve and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: Skype
Interview date: Friday 24th May, 2019
Company: Independent
Role: Developer and Consultant, Bitcoin Activist, Blockchain Skeptic

Bitcoin is hard!

For new people discovering Bitcoin the rabbit hole is deep, from tech to security to economics, there are many topics to understand. Further, the long and volatile history of Bitcoin is also relevant, from how the tech has evolved to the personalities to critical events such as the scaling war. Bitcoin is hard!

Bitcoin can also be unwelcoming; the social channels for discussing Bitcoin can be hostile. Whether on Reddit or Twitter, a misstep can be met with anger and humiliation.

Some argue that toxic levels of hostility are good for Bitcoin as it defends against hostile attacks, others (myself included), while understanding the hard-line nature of some Bitcoiners feel that there needs to be a more considered effort to onboard and educate people about Bitcoin and the risks of altcoins.

In this interview, I chat with Udi Wertheimer. We discuss Bitcoin maximalism, twitter beef and toxicity, the future of Bitcoin and the benefits of competition, Ethereum developers, and whether businesses should use blockchain.

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Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: Skype
Interview date: Monday 17th Jun, 2019
Company: Wyoming Blockchain Coalition
Role: Co-Founder

Facebooks venture into cryptocurrencies raises many questions. Will Libra coin lead to mass financial surveillance? Will Facebook share our data with governments? Will Libra be a net benefit for Bitcoin.

While many Bitcoiners are understandably cautious:

  • Facebook has a long history of abusing privacy

  • Libra is a centralised coin and likely not censorship resistant

  • The goal is to educate people about Bitcoin, not a proxy dollar coin

Still, the introduction of Libra does present an opportunity to further the growth in adoption of Bitcoin:

  • Over 2 billion people will be introduced to the term cryptocurrency

  • The Libra/Bitcoin chart will likely highlight the value of Bitcoin rising against Libra

Libra comes with much regulatory uncertainty, but it is also could be a tool for good in developing countries with poor fiscal discipline. Also, it is an opportunity to increase the reach and education of Bitcoin.

In this interview, I chat with Caitlin Long, co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, about Facebook’s venture into cryptocurrencies. We discuss interest payments, regulations, and why Libra will be good for Bitcoin.

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Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: London
Interview date: Tuesday 11th Jun, 2019
Company: Casa
Role: Founder

One of the hardest things to define is what Bitcoin is. Is it digital gold, a medium of exchange or an entirely new financial system? As people continue to fight on Reddit about whether Satoshi built Bitcoin as a store of value or a medium of exchange, would he have envisaged Microsoft would create decentralised IDs using the protocol?

As Bitcoin continues to evolve, it is becoming more apparent that the protocol has the potential to be much more than just money, even more than a new financial system. Bitcoin could change our entire relationship with the Internet, each other and our governments.

I met with Jeremy to discuss the Tweetstorm he published addressing threats to the ad tech industry. I wrote about something similar, the decentralised threat to advertising, the common thread being the growth of data farming by silicon valley behemoths eroding our privacy.

Jeremy identified that Bitcoin has changed the game, creating an imperative for Bitcoiners to protect their privacy. Other large companies are recognising this too, not just Microsoft with their decentralised IDs, but now Apple is stepping up their game with their new privacy-focused login functions. What is clear is that privacy is now in demand and becoming a tool for competition.

In this interview, we quickly moved beyond ad tech and discussed how Bitcoin changes everything, a civilisation change and we may be just scratching the surface. The impact on the Internet and society at large could be profound, killing the freemium web model and giving users much more control over their data and online relationships.

TIMESTAMPS

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New podcasts, blog posts and a daily newsletter
covering all the latest Bitcoin news.

Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: Munich
Interview date: Saturday 1st Jun, 2019
Company: Crypto Advance
Role: CTO & co-founder

Cryptography is the art of writing or solving codes, and there are several technologies which enable Bitcoin to function. When choosing to send Bitcoin to someone, a transaction is broadcast using the new owners public key and signed with the senders private key, and it is the senders private key which confirms to the network that the transaction is authentic. Further, a hashcash function is used to preserve the integrity of the blockchain.

“With this framework, we are able to achieve the essential functions of the Bitcoin system. We have verifiable ownership of bitcoins, and a distributed database of all transactions, which prevents double spending.”

The cryptographic protocols are hard to crack, which maintains the security of Bitcoin, but quantum computers pose a threat to this as they would be able to solve these problems easily.

In this interview, I chat with Stepan Snigirev about the quantum threat to Bitcoin. Having left his role as a quantum physicist to work on Bitcoin, Stepan is ideally placed to discuss the topic. Stepan explains the weird world of quantum mechanics, the status of quantum computing and the threat it poses to Bitcoin.

TIMESTAMPS

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New podcasts, blog posts and a daily newsletter
covering all the latest Bitcoin news.

Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: Oslo
Interview date: Monday 27th May, 2019
Panel:

  • Peter McCormack - Moderator

  • Timi Ajiboye - Nigeria

  • Aparna Krishnan - India

  • Leo Weese - Hong Kong/China

  • Luis Buenaventura - The Philippines

  • Mahsa Alimardani - Iran

Hosted by The Human Rights Foundation at The Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway, this special live episode of What Bitcoin Did discusses the issues and use cases for Bitcoin Around the World.

The panel includes people from Nigeria, India, Hong Kong. China, The Philippines and Iran discussing issues such as:

  • Use cases for Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin myths

  • Regulations

  • Nation state crypto

  • Challenges to adoption

A big thanks to Alex Gladstein from the Human Rights Foundation for making this happen and inviting me to moderate the panel.

TIMESTAMPS

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Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: Munich
Interview date: Monday 3rd Jun, 2019
Company: BHB Network
Role: Director

Brexit has genuinely divided the UK, and the hard negotiations for exit have only furthered the divide. Many feel disconnected from Europe, disconnected from the political process or feel left behind by globalisation. Others think that we are stronger as part of the EU and celebrate the benefits of the free market and the free movement of people.

There is no middle ground, and the stakes are high. The UK is either in the EU or out, and increasingly it looks like we are heading for either a hard Brexit or a second vote.

The process has raised many questions, and I have wrestled with whether we know what we are voting for and why? It appears logical to want to be part of Europe, but as I spend more time with Bitcoiners, understanding alternative economics and political structures, my views are changing, and I have become pro-Brexit.

I wanted to understand more about why Brexit could be good for the UK, and after a discussion with Giacomo in Munich, we agreed to record an interview and discuss the topic. We cover why decentralised political power is better for democracy, free markets and both the benefits and pains of Brexit.

TIMESTAMPS

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Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: Oslo
Interview date: Wednesday 29th May, 2019
Company: Jimmy Song Consulting
Role: Bitcoin Expert Witness

The Blockchain Revolution: decentralising the world and taking power away from the elite. Five years on, there is not a single, notable example of a successful breakthrough application of a blockchain outside of money. Arguably, there is not a single breakthrough application of a blockchain outside of Bitcoin.

While some may point to Ethereum as a success, but now the ICO bubble has burst, even the fundraising use case has done nothing but create more failed blockchain projects. Ethereum’s struggles highlighted with growing discontent amongst developers and Consensys shopping for a $200m fundraise while cutting staff and failed projects.

Why has blockchain become a thing? Why do “experts” continue to push the technology, looking for a problem for the blockchain solution? Are people disingenuous, are they filled with hopium for their bags held, or are they straight up scammers?

In this episode, I talk with Bitcoin OG, Jimmy Song about the myth of the blockchain revolution. Jimmy Song explains what a blockchain is, why the only real use case is for money, the problem with Ethereum, and why Gigameg blocks won’t work.

TIMESTAMPS

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New podcasts, blog posts and a daily newsletter
covering all the latest Bitcoin news.

Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell, Bitcoin Tina and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: New York
Interview date: Saturday 11th May, 2019
Company: Bitfinex & Tether
Role: Chief Strategy Officer at Bitfinex | Co-Founder at Tether

Creating a Bitcoin business is hard, especially one processing hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in value. For exchanges, these challenges are especially difficult, from defending against relentless hack attempts to securing banking services.

Starting a Bitcoin business today is undoubtedly easier; companies have become more open to working with Bitcoin businesses and specialist providers now exist. Still, the regulatory challenges exist as companies serve international customers with a broad set of unclear, jurisdiction-specific laws.

Bitfinex has a long history in Bitcoin, surviving many of its own challenges. It too suffered a major hack which nearly destroyed the business and faced the challenges of navigating the regulatory framework while struggling for banking services. Further, many of the team at Bitfinex were responsible for the creation of Tether, itself facing many difficulties.

In this interview, I talk with Phil Potter, who was Chief Strategy Office at Bitfinex and co-founder of Tether. We discuss the Bitfinex hack, challenges of getting banking services, the history of Tether and the difficulty of auditing reserves.

TIMESTAMPS

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New podcasts, blog posts and a daily newsletter
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Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell and Wiel Menger.

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Interview location: New York
Interview date: Thursday 16th May, 2019
Company: Ikigai Asset Management
Role: Chief Investment Officer

For many buyers, Bitcoin might be their first investment of any kind. If these investors are not long-term holders, they may be susceptible to reacting to sudden price movements, whether panic selling or FOMO buying.

The price movements of Bitcoin can be isolated towards specific events, such as the inherent Bitcoin market cycle or a subsidy halving, but the price is also increasingly tied to traditional markets.

The traditional financial markets are complex, and the mortgage crisis highlighted how specific events could trigger changes across the world. What is the role of Bitcoin in this?

In this interview I talk with Travis Kling, Chief Investment Officer at Ikigai, we discuss how the traditional financial markets work, including quantitative easing, fiscal policies, Bitcoin’s relationship with these markets and concerns with tokens and smart contract platforms.

TIMESTAMPS

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  SUBSCRIBE TO THE EMAIL LIST

New podcasts, blog posts and a daily newsletter
covering all the latest Bitcoin news.

Email Address Sign Up Thank you! SUPPORT THE SHOW

If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show my doing the following:

If you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

SPONSORS

Patron Sponsors

And a big thank you to Rise Wallet

SHOW NOTESTHANKS

A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster, Tony, Gordon Gould, David Burlington, Jesse Powell and Wiel Menger.

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