A common meme in the cryptocurrency space is that it has the potential to help people in countries where only the rich and powerful access to global financial markets. But ten years after the Bitcoin white paper was released, just how many 'œunbanked' people has cryptocurrency helped? Some see crypto as a tool to empower vulnerable populations in places where hyperinflation and strict capital controls make day-to-day survival a nearly impossible challenge.
We're joined by Jill Carlson. Previously at Chain and Tezos, Jill has been writing about the cryptocurrency industry for several years. In 2016 she published a paper titled 'œCryptocurrency and Capital Controls' which observes the use of Bitcoin in Argentina. Recently, she co-founded the Open Money Initiative, a research organization which looks into how people use money in closed economies. Their initial focus is on Venezuela where years of economic downturn and strict currency controls have created a humanitarian crisis which has political repercussions well beyond the country's borders.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Jill's beginning working at Goldman Sachs in the Latin America market
Her journey from trading bonds to entering crypto space working at Chain
A brief history of Venezuela leading up to the current situation
What it's like to experience hyperinflation
The Open Money Initiative and the organization's goals
How cryptocurrency and specifically Bitcoin is used in Venezuela
The political motivations behind the Open Money Initiative
The story behind Venezuela's Petro currency
Jill's podcast with Meltem Demirors, What Grinds my Gears
Imagine you are a store owner who just sold $100 worth of items from your store, only to find out that the currency you received had devalued 25% overnight? This scenario rightfully scares people and leaves them reluctant to exchange cryptocurrency for goods or services. To address this topic, Josh and I sat down with Bob Murphy, an austrian economist and senior fellow at the Mises Institute with a Phd in economics from NYU. We discuss the historical significance of gold, if it can be tokenized, and how that would compare to other stable coins. What are the risks? What are the benefits? Listen and learn!
About the Guests:
Robert Murphy is a research assistant professor at the Free Market Institute.
Dr. Murphy earned his B.A. in economics from Hillsdale College and his Ph.D. in economics from New York University. Prior to joining Texas Tech University, he was a visiting assistant professor at Hillsdale College, a visiting scholar at New York University, a research analyst at Laffer Associates, and a senior fellow with the Pacific Research Institute.
He is currently Senior Economist at the Institute for Energy Research, where he writes a frequent column on the economics of climate change. Dr. Murphy also serves as a senior fellow with the Fraser Institute, a senior fellow with the Mises Institute, and a research fellow at the Independent Institute.
Venezuela is often promoted as an ideal use case for Bitcoin, a deflationary currency in a country suffering hyperinflation. Despite the examples of people mining Bitcoin or using Bitcoin to hold value, real adoption is complicated.
In Venezuela, people are using a range of currencies including the Dollar, the Peso and Bitcoin, but there are times when the Bolivar must be used, even though getting hold of the currency can be difficult.
The Open Money Initiative is a non-profit organisation whose motivation is believing that access to a free and open financial system is a human right. Their design-led approach is to understand the human experiences of survival in Venezuela and to support and inspire their partners to develop products and services that help people.
In this interview, I talk with the team from OMI about their work, their design-led approach to research, the reality of money within Venezuela, and how Bitcoin can help.
Look, I believe in freedom. That's the core root of everything that I believe in, whether that be social freedom, or monetary freedom. And I think Bitcoin is our best shot at enabling both. - Dan Held
Dave and Grahm are back with the latest on news and narratives in the Bitcoin community. News includes Bitcoin's recent price spike, Blockstream's Liquid Securities launch, Microsoft's plan to build on the Bitcoin blockchain, CFTC's crypto whistleblowing rewards and how mainstream retailers are now accepting Bitcoin.
After the news, they talk with Dan Held about the writing process, the quantum narratives surrounding Bitcoin and how it permits social freedom.
With the rise of decentralized companies and organizations, the need for tools to manage people around the world also emerges.‚ Aragon co-founder Luis Cuende and I continue our exploration of crypto governance this week. We discuss:
Why do we need decentralized tools for management?
Disclaimer: Jason Choi is an investor at Spartan Capital, the hedge fund arm of The Spartan Group. All opinions expressed by Jason and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of The Spartan Group and any of its subsidiaries and personnel. This podcast is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. The Spartan Group and its clients may hold positions in assets described in the episode. Detailed‚disclaimers available at jasonchoi.me and‚spartangroup.io/disclaimer
Listen to this fun episode where we read questions from the audience! We discuss about what "going dutch" is, and when/if a girl should pay for herself or let a guy pay for her along with other cultural expectations of gender roles. Next, can political views affect a relationship? Should you stay with someone because of a sense of obligation even if you want to leave? Can you still be with someone even if they don't want kids? We even touch a bit on health, alzheimers and getting over past trauma.
Do you have a burning question, or a show idea for us? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you to our sponsor Blocktap.io
Remember, this is a new show, so if you like it, please be sure to tell 3 friends! Leave a good review on Itunes, and be sure to follow us on our socials!
As Bitcoin continues to grow, it is no longer an underground movement for cypherpunks and geeks. Bitcoin has broken into the mainstream while maintaining its core decentralised feature, out of the reach of state control.
Where financial institutions have woken up to a world which includes Bitcoin with the arrival of futures, high-grade custody and banking infrastructure; major companies are now recognising that Bitcoin is now part of the economy that can't be ignored.
During blockchain week in New York, Microsoft announced the launch of their decentralised identity programme which will use the Bitcoin blockchain to create user identifiers. In this episode, I talk with Daniel Buchner, who is leading this initiative at Microsoft, we discuss the culture at Microsoft, how decentralised IDs work and the ethics of using the Bitcoin blockchain for non-financial transactions.
It's clear there is a fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, as crypto traders and investors who were waiting to buy Bitcoin back lower than $3,150 are coming to the difficult realization that they missed their chance and are stuck buying Bitcoin back at increasingly higher prices.
The Ethereum Foundation has played a crucial role in the evolution of the blockchain ecosystem. They pioneered the Swiss foundation structure and ran one of the first token sales. They played a key role in developing the second-most valuable blockchain network and still play a key role in funding research and steering the future of Ethereum.
At the same time, it has been frequently criticized for a lack of transparency, being too slow in funding development and poor financial risk management. Executive Director Aya Miyaguchi joined us to discuss her journey into the space, the role of the Ethereum Foundation and their plans for the future.
Topics discussed in this episode:
How Aya went from high school teacher to enter the crypto space
Joining Kraken and building their presence in Japan
The role of the Ethereum Foundation in the Ethereum ecosystem
Decision making processes and governance in the Ethereum Foundation
Ethereum's grant program and funding priorities
The Ethereum Foundation's plans to attempt to become more transparent
The Ethereum Foundation's approach to conflicts of interest
Why the EF decided to support MolochDAO
Whether Ethereum should be concerned about competition from other blockchain networks