Digital Money

I was listening to this podcast on the treadmill this morning. It is a conversation between Peter McCormack and Andreas Antonopoulos about Bitcoin, Privacy, Freedom, and a lot more.

At one point Andreas says that we have digital money already, but it is largely debits and credits on ledgers in banks and other financial services companies. He also says that cash is currently only about 8% of global money and that number has been going down steadily over the last fifty years as digital money has taken over.

His point, and it is a good one, is that cash is decentralized money. But money that is registered on a ledger maintained by a corporation that is highly regulated by the government is an entirely different thing.

After listening to the podcast, I bought some more Bitcoin this morning.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kidmercury

    most people have their bitcoin in centralized wallets like coinbase, which already censor accounts and are highly regulated.i own some bitcoin which i plan to continue owning but i’ve become more concerned about its viability, especially the “gold 2.0” proposition which i think is attractive to many and intuitive on first glance. but really the mining analogy is a complete misnomer. bitcoin miners are being paid to continue propagating the bitcoin network, and the cost of maintaining the network relative to the market cap of bitcoin is very high. gold refiners are not dependent on gold miners subsequent to the initial transaction in which the refiners purchase from the miners. this is all a long-winded way of saying bitcoin is extremely costly in a way.roy sebag’s interview with real vision really helped me understand this. i think bulls should at least be wary of this argument.

    1. Mike Cautillo

      Some would argue (and it’s valid) that the carrying costs of gold are even higher than bitcoin when considering assay, transportation and security costs which all typically exist outside of gold mining, unlike in Bitcoin. Also what Bitcoin represents as far as an “unconfiscatable” censorship resistant means of transacting value which is highly divisible is truly in a league of its own.

      1. kidmercury

        if you want to calcuate the carrying costs of gold, you then need to include the cost of mining rigs, computers to build them, wallet software, etc. ultimately though — and this is sebag’s whole argument — for bitcoin you need to take stuff from the earth (minerals to make computers and generate electricity) and then repurpose that for creating the bitcoin network, which then gives you utility. with gold, you just take it from the earth and you go. so from this perpsective, the maintenance cost of gold is going to be lower.

        1. Michael Brill

          And the cost to raise and support human beings to power the 30% to 40% of gold that is mined by hand. And don’t forget about the hundreds of billions of dollars associated with marketing gold-based consumer and industrial products. You can’t just look at the cost side without also looking at utility.

          1. kidmercury

            To be clear, it is not that gold mining costs more or less than the misleadingly named Bitcoin mining. Rather, it is the cost of maintaining Bitcoin as a transactional item versus the cost of maintaining gold as a transactional item.I’m a believer in crypto for its potential utility, such as a vehicle for transactions or decentralized apps. Maybe Bitcoin can meet those needs, but the current dominant thinking is that all of those scenarios are dependent upon a high market cap for security, and the path to a high market cap is through the gold 2.0 route. I think Bitcoin does not offer much utility in that regard.

          2. Michael Brill

            Again, bitcoin’s operating costs are indirectly related to market cap. It costs very little to secure a network with a low market cap.

          3. kidmercury

            It is not about the cost in absolute dollar terms, but the cost relative to the market cap. I.e. pct of mkt cap to keep it alive, compare that across asset classes

        2. Mike Cautillo

          And what I’m saying is the BTC network architecture is very different, BTC mining provides utility that gold mining does not so the comparison is not valid. That is why you’ll most likely never see gold act as a cash settlement layer on the “street”, assay as is divisibility is difficult……hence why I believe Bitcoin is an evolution first, not a revolution.

    2. Michael Brill

      Having a hard time following. Is the argument that all gold mining could stop and gold would still have value, but if all bitcoin mining stopped, then bitcoin would be worthless? If so, then what would cause bitcoin mining to stop? Keep in mind that the cost of bitcoin mining is indirectly a function of bitcoin price. When price drops, miners drop out (e.g., high cost producers first) and that lowers the mining costs for the remaining miners.

      1. kidmercury

        yes, that’s the core of the argument. an implication of this argument is that many natural resources are directed towards the sustenance of bitcoin than are needed for the sustenance of other systems — namely those rooted in that physical world. that latter point is what sebag is truly emphasizing, and what he says most coming from the “digital first” orientation are missing. i agree with him in that regard.yes, there is a math exercise somewhere that goes into all the details, but even with the price of bitcoin being a determinant in the cost of sustaining the network, the cost of sustaining the network relative to the overall market cap of bitcoin is much higher than the cost of sustaining other networks relative to their market cap. sebag argues that the reason for this is that physical stuff like gold or paper money you just take it from the earth and it works, while with digital systems like bitcoin you need to take stuff from teh earth, repurpose it for the networking objective you want, and then you get your value — and this ends up being much more costly than just taking stuff from teh earth and using that. this cost needs to come with some other benefits, and maybe those benefits are in the form of decentralized apps and such, but at this point bitcoin’s primary benefit is being touted as its utility as a monetary substitute or monetary insurance — but the cost of this is very high, as we’ve discussed here.

        1. Michael Brill

          Without actual numbers, I can’t understand the argument. Yes, digital systems are different from physical systems. Their cost structures are different and their capabilities are different. There are obviously many things you can do with bitcoin that you can’t with gold. But if you just isolate the discussion to SoV (Gold 2.0), then why does it matter if gold is more efficient to mine than bitcoin? It seems that the closer the cost of production is to market value, the more stable the asset will be and therefore a better SoV. If gold is much more efficient to produce, then it should bring in more producers to produce more gold, creating downward pressure on pricing and thus reducing the SoV effect. In both cases, it seems like market forces will figure it out. I’m much, much more worried about black swan threats to bitcoin that mining costs.

          1. kidmercury

            The other implicit argument, if cost is not persuasive, is that Bitcoin mining involves perpetual dependence on miners for the security of Bitcoin and even more simply, its usage.

          2. Michael Brill

            Gold depends on a vast network of entities that process, secure, commercialize, securitize, trade, market, etc. gold. Who knows how much that costs to maintain – hundreds of billions of annual spend.I *think* you can operate the entire bitcoin network on a $35 Raspberry Pi with a $50 flash drive. Tell you what, if nobody else wants to run bitcoin nodes, I’ll foot the bill for this one. 😉

          3. kidmercury

            gold doesn’t depend on that network. i have gold coins, i can walk to a neighbor’s house and offer it in exchange for something. i cannot do that with bitcoin without the participation of “miners”. if mining costs go down substantially to the point where you are the sole miner on a raspberry pi setup, the 51% risk goes up substantially.

          4. Michael Brill

            I just did a quick calculation and starting next year the annual btc mining costs should be roughly 1.5% of market cap. By 2024, that will be 0.7%. Similar calc for gold (2500 annual tons @ $1K cost vs. 190K total tons @ $1.5K market value) is closer to 1%.I still have no idea why this matters at all, or why it’s interesting to contemplate a world where there is no more gold mining yet gold retains its value. But if the value prop is that gold will save some diminishing fraction of a percent in mining costs then I think the numerous advantages of a secure digital asset will carry the day.imho, the bigger challenges lie in black swan events and the incompatibility between immutability and laws that require mutation. I just don’t see how bitcoin survives that.

          5. kidmercury

            first, the difference between 1% and 1.5% is substantial — it is a 50% difference. second, and far more critically, is the gold that is mined is a one time mining cost. with bitcoin, the total cost is the one time “mining” experience PLUS the ongoing propagation of the entire network, for bitcoin cannot survive without the ongoing participation of “miners”, and the ensuing cost they bear. it is this second item that illustrates the dramatic cost difference.the relevance here is the same as is the relevance in the cost of any business operation. unless it is offset by a proportional increase in value, higher costs limit scalability and opportunity for others. hence, the largest businesses in the world have an almost maniacal focus on cost-cutting, and the extent to which a market is free is the extent to which a market will orient itself towards cost-cutting.

          6. Michael Brill

            In roughly a decade, at current prices, gold will be 1% and bitcoin will be 0.2%. Gold mining will at a 5X cost disadvantage. In 20 years, btc mining costs will be 0.005%, making gold mining 20X as expensive. We’ve seen this curve before. Even if gold mining stopped completely, I *think* you’d agree that an annual network fee that is 0.005% of the market cap it supports is essentially free.But, as btc mining fees disappear, transaction fees will go up. If there are essentially no transactions, then there are no fees. But there are also transaction fees for managing and trading physical gold and it’s almost certain that these will be massively higher than a digital transaction fee.

          7. kidmercury

            nobody knows what the cost is going to be in 10 years, 20 years, etc, there are too many variables to make such a forecast with a high degree of confidence. what we can do is understand the underlying drivers, and we know for certain that bitcoin’s cost is its “mining” today PLUS network propagation into infinity, where as gold has no such network maintenance costs to ensure its existence. sure, shipping gold across the country or globe has costs, but the ongoing existence of gold in my home has no cost solely attributed to its own existence. for bitcoin, entire rigs and “mining” are needed not just for transactions, but for the very survival of coins in wallets.this is the conceptual distinction. surely many will say it is not significant. perhaps they are right, though i don’t share that view.

          8. Mike Cautillo

            BTC mining is a feature not a bug. And Bitcoin is evolving, Lightning Network does not require the “mining” of every transaction on chain, not to mention other Layer 2 scaling solutions.

          9. kidmercury

            sure, although most of what i have read suggests the security of L2 is dependent upon the hash rate of L1, which in turn is a function of the “mining” costs of L1. that, to me, it seems is the big draw of how L2 could be viable on btc. but if L1 doesn’t get off the ground due to its high maintenance cost/market cap ratio, then that advantage is lost, and other chains may be better suited for dapps/L2-ish stuff.

    3. jason wright

      “most people have their bitcoin in centralized wallets like coinbase”.’The Crowd is Untruth’, Soren Kierkegaard.’Crowdbase’.

  2. LIAD

    he educates and informs. doesn’t hard sell, doesn’t even seek to persuade.hard not to want to own more of the pie after listening to him.tweet nearly 6 years old!

  3. William Mougayar

    Whoever owns the database controls everything. Governments like to be in control. A blockchain’s ledger is not owned by anyone in particular. It is a service for all.That’s why governments can only go as far as digital money but they don’t like cryptocurrency that lives outside of their controls.

    1. awaldstein

      Governments are built on control not simply like it.That is the conundrum.How do you see that resolving and of course the answer can’t be that governments, yours and mine, need to change?

      1. William Mougayar

        It will be a parallel system (it is, already). Big question is how big will it get overall.

        1. awaldstein

          I agree.Nice to get an opinion out of you. I try to and often fail.

    2. jason wright

      “Governments like to be in control.”Control is the definition of ‘government’. One not in control is not government.

    3. JLM

      .Not only do governments not “. . . like cryptocurrency that lives outside of their controls . . . ,” they will forbid it for that reason alone. Governments exist to exert control on nations, states, commerce, crime, taxation, and people. It’s in the US Constitution. The enumerated powers, the implied powers, the power of government to exert control — all in the Constitution.Governments have legitimate police powers to identify and punish crime, to ensure the order of markets (that is the intellectual basis for the US SEC), to regulate obscure things like building processes, to regulate utilities, and to levy taxes on appropriate financial transactions/functions such as income taxes, sales taxes, and transaction taxes.The levying of taxes is the critical life’s blood of the government itself.None of this is even remotely new, novel, or extraordinary.The idea that cryptocurrency is not going to pay homage to these functions of government is an absurdity. The idea that government is going to be neutral or cooperative in assisting any enterprise that is going to lessen their control is to seek the repeal of the law of gravity.I am not opining on the wisdom of crypto, but on the reality of government.We created this government to do these things. Once created, government has become an out of control Jabba the Hutt greedy self-growing blob that is running amok. I am in favor of the smallest government that is possible, and of starving it (balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution) to ensure it is efficient.The likelihood of that happening is ZERO.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Girish Mehta

        Re: “The idea that cryptocurrency is not going to pay homage to these functions of government is an absurdity. The idea that government is going to be neutral or cooperative in assisting any enterprise that is going to lessen their control is to seek the repeal of the law of gravity”.Yup. Have been saying this here for a while. On the fringes, it can exist for a long time. As a mainstream alternative to sovereign money – Nope.

        1. Alex Rinaldi

          How do you define “mainstream alternative to sovereign money”?The way it will get adoption is actually fairly simple……Cc @JLM:disqusThe basic event path for Bitcoin works like this: when asset allocators decide it has a shot at being a safe asset, they buy a little. This has three effects: it raises the price, obviously; it lowers volatility, because asset allocators rebalance their holdings, which means they trade against the market; and it makes it more likely that Bitcoin will be a safe asset.It’s Schelling Points all over again. If every major asset allocator decides that 0.1% is the ideal weighting for Bitcoin, the ideal weighting is necessarily higher than 0.1%, so they ratchet up, and continue to until they reach equilibrium. As Bitcoin’s odds of acceptance as a reserve asset grow, its volatility declines….Of course, as Bitcoin’s value rises, regulatory risk increases. Most governments like the amount of monetary sovereignty they have. If they want it to change, it’s because they want more. So the higher Bitcoin goes, the more worried governments may get.When governments ban it, it’s because they’ve realized it’s a problem, but it’s a deregulated network that moves at the speed of software, not government, so they’re always too slow. If they ban it because it’s used for drugs and child porn (still!) that can kill it, but its predominate use right now is speculation, so the only reason for governments to incrementally favor a ban is for Bitcoin to appear likely to succeed.But a ban is untenable if investors genuinely believe that Bitcoin is a good asset, and any government that bans it is implicitly claiming that their own currency is a worse asset in a world in which Bitcoin is commonly used. Even the US government, the most powerful in history, was only able to ban gold for a little over a generation — and gold is relatively easy to confiscate.

        2. William Mougayar

          It is already an alternative for many users, not as many as the full potential. Again, it’s not going to kill banks or governments, but it will certainly make a dent anywhere it can.

      2. William Mougayar

        Crypto is not going to replace governments, but it is an opportunity for something new that’s efficient and has innovative usages.What governments can do is just enough to regulate it properly, not excessively.

        1. JLM

          .Of course, a cryptocurrency is not ever going to replace a government. I think you might have meant to say “government or fiat currency?”The issue of “regulate it properly” is very much in the eye of the beholder.The US government has a department dedicated to regulation of securities, another department dedicated to taxation — these entities (to the extent crypto is within their appropriate purview) are going to deal with crypto as it exists under existing regulation.They may make specific rules that are colored by crypto, but they are never going to allow any security or digital currency to make up their own rules. I recognize that is not what you are suggesting.Like everything in the regulatory arena, the magnitude of the issues/problems will determine the level of regulation.When there is a real “killer app” use case, then the regulatory scheme will be forced to deal with it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Matt A. Myers

      Control, just enough but not too much, is important to have the ability to manage against bad actors. Distributing risk by having different keepers of said database is a possibility, however having a free for all where no control over transactions is possible has unavoidable pitfalls. As I’ve said before I could see democracies around the world agreeing to running a blockchain currency that they all use, however without the Ponzi-Pyramid scheme that Bitcoin et al have inherently in their structure.The reason the US is at the forefront of innovation and democracy are the policies related to checks and balances. It doesn’t matter what digital or other systems you have in place if your democracy is failing, if you can’t trust those systems or people, bad actors, who may take positions of power/control.

  4. pointsnfigures… Kelly Loeffler going to the Senate in Georgia might be a good thing for crypto.

    1. JLM

      .Really bad move by Gov Kemp. The better play in Ga is Doug Collins who is going to run in the “jungle runoff” that is the Georgia system. Under the jungle system, if nobody gets a 50% + 1 majority, they run off the two top candidates.Brian Kemp is an ungrateful boob. He was struggling against his black, female opponent, Stacey Abrams, until Pres Trump rode to his salvation.Abrams could beat him the next time. Handily. It was a 70K margin that disappears without Pres Trump’s support.Both of Georgia’s Senate seats are up for election in November (the other seat is Sen David Perdue, who is pretty damn solid).The Dems are going to go after the former Johnny Isakson seat hard. There is talk that Matt Lieberman, former Senator and VP candidate Joe Lieberman’s son, will run. He will be a very, very strong candidate.Kelly Loeffler is a political neophyte with some weak views on Planned Parenthood and other issues. She will not prevail over Doug Collins come November. She won’t even have 90 days in office before she has to get out on the campaign hustings.Brian Kemp pissed Pres Trump off over an appointment of a large donor v a solid candidate like Collins who is coming whether he approves or not. This is where one term Republican governors come from. Doing dumb things like this.Georgia is going to be a tough state in 2020 for the down ballot and whoever Pres Trump supports will win. It will not be Loeffler.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  5. kenberger

    wish Soundcloud had a transcription + search function so I could find the part re “cash is decentralized money”, as that concept could be easily agreeable OR disagreeable, depending on the details.

    1. trog

      Agree! It’s “decentralised” in the sense that you can use it in a “peer to peer” context – the actual day-to-day use of it does not, generally, require a third party intermediary.But it’s massively centralised in other ways. I am reminded of the example of India where they were able to wipe out something like 85% of cash in less than a month. Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation was also an example of things going quickly, catastrophically, ludicrously wrong with cash.So I would argue that the decentralisation features of cash only really exist because ultimately it has this massive centralised dependency on the issuing government 🙂

  6. Kelly LeValley Hunt

    Investing in the infrastructure that supports the future of currency is where the biggest return will be in my opinion. Gilded, Portis, Gitcoin, Opollis etc

    1. JLM

      .Invest in axes, picks, shovels, Levis during the Gold Rush.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I’ll invest my time toward assuring a stable, healthy, democracy.

  7. Tom Labus

    The search for a Northwest Passage went on for a couple hundreds years. Other things, like America, were discovered along the way. Maybe bitcoin has other destinations too.

    1. JLM

      .Brilliant comment.Clearly the software known as blockchain falls into that category.What you said is indicative of any exploration. You find what is to be found, not necessarily what you are looking for.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Girish Mehta

      The search for El Dorado might be an apposite analogy. Along the way, it led to mapping of parts of the Amazon river, and (northern) South America.It strikes me that the legend of El Dorado changed over time – from man to a city to a kingdom. Kind of like Bitcoin, no ? Medium of exchange – Currency – Store of Value – Alternative to Fiat – Not an alternative to fiat – Price reflects Bitcoin’s adoption (when the price is going up) – Price does not reflect Bitcoin’s value (when the price is dropping).I do like the idea of a journey where rewards emerge that were not the starting objective. C.P. Cavafy’s Ithaka comes to mind -“….Keep Ithaka always in your mind.Arriving there is what you’re destined for.But don’t hurry the journey at all.Better if it lasts for years,so you’re old by the time you reach the island,wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.Without her you wouldn’t have set out.She has nothing left to give you now.And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean”. – Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy.

    3. JLM

      .The entire space exploration effort by NASA fits into that notion.We are headed back to space with a start back at the moon.This is one of the best things about the Trump admin. Don’t you agree?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Tom Labus

        I’m very happy we are moon bound and beyond. NASA plus private will take us there.

        1. JLM

          .I love the idea of exploring space. I think we are going to find out we are not alone.I suppose the intergalactic aliens will be able to vote in US elections shortly thereafter.JLM

          1. Tom Labus

            As Dems!!!!

          2. JLM

            .Of course.Well, while you and I both know that the Dem party is a huge supporter of illegal aliens as voters, the likelihood is that intergalactic aliens will vote while alive as Republicans.Everybody knows that once dead, they automatically become loyal Dem voters.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. jason wright

            We (actual people, not just machines) should go to Mars to find fossils in dried up river beds. We are not alone.

          4. JLM

            .Mars is reachable. It is a 7-month journey.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JLM

          .I just got this book: The Rocket Billionaires. Somebody sent it to me.…I am so backed up on my reading. I am crushing it, but I have a ten foot stack of books to read.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Matt A. Myers

      Replace Bitcoin with blockchain and I agree fully with this analogy.

  8. JLM

    .We all see what we want to see and what we are looking for. Even then, we have to step back and look to the “bigger picture.”Today, when someone holds funds or securities in a securities account they have $250,000 to $1,000,000 SPIC insurance per account underpinning their risk.Your checking account has $250,000 in FDIC insurance per account.So, while you say that cash is “decentralized money” . . . . . “but money that is registered on a ledger maintained by a corporation that is highly regulated by the government is an entirely different thing” — the ledgered money is, in fact, something BETTER. It is insured.This is one of the reasons why the notion of a trustless, no intermediary system of crypto leaves me a little cool. I like my intermediaries for a number of reasons, but one of them is that they insure the presence of my funds.The magnitude of fraud and theft in crypto is enormous.Coincheck — $500MM scamBitconnect — $250MMBitGrail — $195MMAriseBank — $600MMThere was a News story back in early 2018 that pegged the periodic losses at $1.36B — billion — in the first two months of 2018.A more recent article showed daily losses in the $10MM per day. These are just garden variety losses like getting a flat tire in the trucking business. A cost of doing business.The daily theft is not complex or complicated. It is phishing access to real accounts, Ponzi schemes, MLM schemes (Ponzi’s cousin), fake cloud mining schemes, elaborate fake ICOs, faux exchange prices to draw traffic, and garden variety hardware/software wallet theft.I point this out because these are the intellectual equivalent of a pickpocket working Grand Central Station waiting for the rubes to come to town.If we are headed toward digital banking, then it is important to embrace the “good” things about banking — one of which is the third party assurance as to the safety of funds and protections from scams/thefts.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Alex Rinaldi

      That is not enormous!! (relatively speaking)Your numbers, in millions of dollars, are cute. Let’s some other examples w/ a B. :)- The fastest growing fraud in the world is online — $32B in the US last year. Shut down the Internet!!!- There was $50B in US wire fraud last year. Mostly from businesses paying fake invoices. Shut it down!!!- The most common currency used in organized crime, including terrorism, is the USD. Shut it down!!!- Theranos was charged w/ $700mm in fraud by the SEC. Shut down the startups!!!- Danske Bank lost $234B in fraud over 8 years and across 32 countries. Shut down the banks!!! (How about the 1MDB scandal???)- Madoff (2008) stole $65B from investors. Shut down the investment firms!!!- AIG (2005) accounting fraud of $3.9B. Shut down the insurance companies!!!Tyco, Enron, WorldCom, Waste Management… the list is endless and dwarfs your numbers!The “bigger picture” is that fraud is ubiquitous and you don’t throw out the baby w/ the bathwater.We can and should regulate this space. That doesn’t mean fraud, or evil human behavior, will be eliminated.Bitcoin is mostly a fun speculative play thing for those lucky enough to be in the USA (and similar developed countries).For many others around the world, it’s the best form of money they have access to today.That’s bitcoin’s “killer app” — it has the potential to be the best money we’ve ever seen.Alex

      1. JLM

        .Not sure where the “shut it down” meme is coming from. That was not my point. My point was that the presence of intermediaries who are insuring my funds is not a bad thing. I like it.The relative size of the markets and the magnitude of the fraud you note — huge markets with seemingly large absolute amounts of fraud, but very small percentages — is important.Crypto is a mini-market, but it has comparatively enormous amounts of fraud.Crypto is a $1T marketplace on its best day, less than 90% of that number today.Wire transfers are a $1Q — quadrillon market — with $5T transferred per day.The point is that $50B in wire fraud in a $1Q market is nothing. Far lower than the current levels of crypto fraud.That is a classic “error of composition” trap. You looked at absolute numbers when the story is the comparative amount of fraud.Nonetheless, I am not suggesting that crypto should be shut down. That was, apparently, a reading comp problem at your end.Crypto will either fail or prosper when it finds its “killer app.” Potential is not an app.Right now, that killer app has eluded it. It is getting a little long in the tooth to still be in short pants, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. William Mougayar

      True, the exchanges need to be better regulated, but don’t blame them. Blame the given jurisdictions they report to. Those local governments have been slow in understanding this new sector and regulating it accordingly. The US is doing fine in that regard, as some of the most credible exchanges are US-based.

  9. jason wright

    Cash could very easily be on a blockchain. Each note (bill) has a unique serial number. The nation state Bank of Blockchain would issue each note with a unique public key number (a reinvention of the serial number) and overhaul retail systems to enable scanning of the public key when a note is presented as payment. It would challenge counterfeiting and money laundering, preserve privacy, and allow the legitimate benefits of a cash economy to continue. It is cash, but quasi digital. A pleasing hybrid.

  10. Matt A. Myers

    I’m going to take out some cash this morning.

  11. Phuoc Do

    Bitcoin is decentralized money. But it is a fairly bad one. Its biggest strength is limited supply. But that is also its weakness. Deflationary property makes Bitcoin easy for people with money and power to manipulate its price. A comment from the Chinese President can swing the market. Average people will be outwit by propaganda and manipulation.

  12. Andrew Cashion

    check writing got taken over by debit transactions in 2004

  13. awaldstein

    Damn good listen Fred–thanks!Been buying little bits over a very long time and did so again.

  14. Artem K

    2019 illustrates how sound is bitcoin social agreement, gaining annual growth rate equal to 5x of *TOTAL* eth cap. That’s why it is strange when any proprietary protocols are not moving towards bitcoin integration, trying to “print” own measurement of value. To build new internet we need new email, tcpip and all those general protocols, not proprietary ones.The general ecosystem steadily becomes solid, i was impressed with this picture today: https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  15. jason wright

    The US Department of Justice does not come out of this interview looking good. Rule of law, or raw (unaccountable?) power?Deutsche Bank. A scandal.

  16. jason wright

    I didn’t quite listen to all of the podcast but i don’t think Antonop mentioned bitcoin halving or OTC buying. One cuts supply and one hides demand.I don’t know how Fred buys his BTC (although i can guess where) but i think he’s doing the right thing.