Meet the people who educate the US government on bitcoin
[00:00:00] Mathew: It goes back to the Protestant reformation, challenging as a horizontal distributed, um, social sort of movement, uh, kind of a network of, agents challenging a vertically integrated hierarchical power structure, right?
[00:00:18] Mathew: The church at the time. I think you can now make arguments that Bitcoin is or decentralized technology in general. Is playing out in a similar way where you have, um, that, uh, that new dynamic between kind of horror horizontally self-organized somewhat, potentially ideologically motivated groups, but not necessarily unified ideological groups, um, that have new powers to communicate and exchange just like how they had like the printing press to exchange the, Lutheran Bible to challenge with the legacy it's Institute.
[00:00:46] Mathew: , uh, sort of hierarchies of power and the sort of, um, the, the ideologies that then associated with that, that structure of power. And so that is a dynamic, I think that you're going to see play out, um, but in a radically new form. Um, so that's like the abstract theoretical historical answer, practically speaking, the government is a group of people, right?
[00:01:04] Mathew: It's not the sort of blog sort of blob of abstract power, right. It's individuals. And those individuals can change their minds about things, right. They they want to keep their jobs, right.
[00:01:15] Didier: Attention to crypto by politicians and regulators is on the rise. Different countries have a different approach. And this episode, we will speak to Matthew Pines who works for the Bitcoin policy Institute in the USA. The Bitcoin policy Institute is an interdisciplinary cohort of economists, coders, lawyers, climate scientists, philosophers, and policy analysts, providing research fact checking and commentary on Bitcoin.
[00:01:48] Didier: We will discuss what they do, who their message messages for why there has been recent changes to the U S government's approach to crypto, whether crypto can help avoid sanctions, and whether the U S make the distinction between Bitcoin and other crypto currencies
[00:02:04] Didier: But before we get started a word from the sponsors who make this show possible, first up the script,
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[00:03:07] Didier: Blockfi
[00:03:08] Didier: Blockfi do you want to get interest on your crypto? Whether in Bitcoin stable coins, ether, or many other things. But you hear all the hacks on the defy platform and lack trust. In many of the protocols, you have doubts that the defy protocols have been sufficiently battle-tested or audited, that bridges are safe.
[00:03:25] Didier: That some nefarious actor will get the administrator keys, CFI, centralized finances, and alternative with block fi a majority of the assets are held in cold storage with Gemini.
[00:03:37] Didier: They lend your assets to market makers and brokers and use by and large, the same risk management techniques as banks do to monitor credit risk of their counterparties. These methods are tried and true. Furthermore rates are guaranteed for 30 days. So they don't fluctuate every day. Like in defy.
[00:03:55] Didier: The main difference here is that a Blockfi. You do not get a guarantee by a regulator like the FDA in the USA or the Finma in, Switzerland. So if you do have a situation like a run on the banks, Blockfi will not have an explicit guarantee by the government, but with a proportion of your crypto assets, it could be.
[00:04:11] Didier: And of course, let me remind you. There are no explicit guarantees by some outside source and Defi either.
[00:04:18] Didier: And defy is fraught with all sorts of other risks that most people don't appreciate.
[00:04:23] Didier: ah, also, if you want to use your crypto as collateral to get a loan in Fiat or crypto, you can do that on block five. If you're interested, use the link in the show notes to open an account and help support this podcast.
[00:04:36] Didier: Bitbox
[00:04:36] Didier: Pit box. Are you looking for a hardware wallet to store your Bitcoin or other crypto assets considered a bit box? They are in Switzerland and have been extensively audited.
[00:04:46] Didier: , the CEO Douglas Bakhoum within this podcast. And you can find that episode at the same place you found this. Jonas Schnelli the other co-founder and he was a Bitcoin core developer who submitted his first line of code to Bitcoin Corp in 2013.
[00:05:02] Didier: If you like cool design, this product has the coolest design of all hardware wallets in my mind use the link in the show notes to get started and help support this podcast.
[00:05:12] Didier: braintrust
[00:05:13] Didier: Braintrust
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[00:05:55] Didier: Welcome today. I am joined by Matthew Pines and Mika, as you know, Miguel is an editor and producer who has helped me tremendously produce this podcast. Good afternoon. Mika had.
[00:06:07] Mikhael: Good afternoon Didier
[00:06:08] Didier: and good afternoon, Matthew.
[00:06:10] Mathew: Thanks for having me.
[00:06:12] Didier: First not you. Can you describe the role and the purpose of the Bitcoin policy and.
[00:06:17] Mathew: Certainly. So I'm a fellow of the Bitcoin policy Institute. Uh, I have, uh, I have a full-time day job. Uh, and so this is kind of a, uh, intellectual sort of side interest in contributing to. The Institute just got started just to really a few months ago, as like a proof of concept to, um, try to see if there is a role for more sort of neutral fact-based research and analysis, um, geared towards informing the broader policy conversation in the United States.
[00:06:46] Mathew: Um, Bitcoin specifically. We got started, uh, kind of more in an informal group of, of folks who have different expertise and perspective about Bitcoin, uh, but take a sort of more serious sort of academic or sort of professional interest in it. Uh, and so my background is from more from the, the national security.
[00:07:04] Mathew: So that's the lens that I, I sort of looked through. I sort of produced a white paper. That was where our first white paper, um, released through the U S national security. We also have, you know, a group of folks that sort of specialize in examining the larger sort of social, political, even philosophical aspects of, of Bitcoin.
[00:07:23] Mathew: We have folks that are really experts in energy and. climate, And we're doing serious research analysis on that topic. Uh, and we have economists who are looking at. Uh, kind of economic implications of Bitcoin, the nature of Bitcoin, kind of through sort of traditional kind of economic theory. So, um, it is a think tank.
[00:07:40] Mathew: It's not necessarily, uh, uh, specifically like a lobbying group. Uh, there are groups out there that are explicitly, um, you know, focused on lobbying congressional representatives and trying to get, you know, favorable legislation passed. We have an interest in policymaking and regulation, and we want to inform those debates, but we're not specifically focused on lobbying per se.
[00:08:00] Mathew: So our objective is to produce fact sheets. Fact-checking uh, for journalists and news articles, but also more long form research and analysis reports that can be cited by the government that can be cited by, by, by other officials. And it can be used as, um, uh, you know, uh, objective and rigorous sort of reference material.
[00:08:21] Mathew: Uh, that's a. That's that's useful, uh, to sort of make, make policy decisions. And we felt that wasn't really being done at scale or, or sort of bridging from the sort of the, the Bitcoin world where we sort of know these things, but like the back of our hand, and we have really great content and really smart, analytical thinkers.
[00:08:39] Mathew: It's almost a matter of presentation and translation to get that, that thinking, that analysis, that writing in a form. And in a, sort of a language that makes it useful for policy makers, um, and sort of starts to contribute in a, in a, in a, in a way that really hasn't been done before. So we've had really some, some great success just in the first few months of its existence.
[00:09:00] Mathew: And so I think we did have a successful launch at the conference a few weeks ago. And as we're sort of off and running now, um, David Zelle is executive director. Uh, so he, he came from Bitcoin magazine sort of like their policy guru and he is really a driving force behind it in terms of, um, really shaping it and, and sort of gaining support.
[00:09:20] Didier: And who would you say your like target audiences or who you think are addressing your message to the policymakers and the government? Is it.
[00:09:30] Mathew: Yes. Uh, that's probably our primary audience is the folks in Washington, DC, uh, at sort of a, at one level, um, both in Congress, on the hill staffers, but also folks inside the federal government agencies. That are now charged for the executive order with doing some more systematic reports and analysis on these things.
[00:09:50] Mathew: And so, you know, we're going to be submitting some comments, uh, responses to save requests for information that the government puts out on say topics like energy, and we're going to send it like a response to that, to those federal agencies, you know, um, to try to. Kind of a fact-based informed analysis of Bitcoin and energy, for example.
[00:10:07] Mathew: So that is one lane, the other lane of our journalists. So we have, you know, developed sort of relationships with, with, with journalists who are reporting on crypto reporting on Bitcoin and policy. And we want to be a resource for those journalists, if they have questions or they need kind of. They can give us a call and we can kind of give them, or walk them through, uh, you know, those issues, you know, there's a fast moving, uh, there's a fast moving world, right.
[00:10:28] Mathew: But, and, you know, for example, after the Ukraine invasion, by Russia, it was also the comments and questions about sanctions and also Ukraine raising money and how that was going to work. And, you know, so, you know, journalists, um, wanted to go to someplace to, uh, to ask questions of people who could sort of walk them through those details.
[00:10:46] Mathew: Um, and so that's, that's. Aspect of it.
[00:10:48] Mathew: but the other part is also just pushing back on false claims. So there's lots of false claims that are made sometimes in media sometimes, you know, formal submissions to congressional testimony that we've seen. And we want to put out, you know, equivalent valid and robust materials that can rebut those false claims.
[00:11:03] Didier: How are you financed?
[00:11:06] Mathew: So we got started just with basically shoestring budget to sort of demonstrate this proof of concept. Um, now that we can out of blip the coin 20, 22 distinct, we have enough momentum to sort of, you know, bootstrap this thing, is this something, uh, uh, real at scale. And so we have an open donation page.
[00:11:22] Mathew: Anyone can contribute. Uh, I haven't checked the latest numbers. I'm just a fellow, so I'm not too involved in the, uh, the financing or the fundraising. Um, but I think we're, I think we're being successful in that regard. At least I haven't done been told we're going to turn off the lights tomorrow, but, uh, but it's basically a pretty, pretty light footprint right now, but I think we hope to scale as we get more support.
[00:11:44] Mikhael: Is that a very important them to be independent in the financing of it? Um, with a message and you've got to be careful who you get financed to in order to be able to then, um, I have a leg to stand on as it were,
[00:11:55] Mathew: yeah. I mean, so like for me, like I don't, I don't really even really care. I want to know where the money's coming from. Right. I want it to come from as many possible sources as possible. And my perspective is just, you know, my perspective. Uh, so as a fellow, I'm sort of writing the things that I want to write about and sort of answering the perspective.
[00:12:12] Mathew: And I think we have. Uh, as a group, , you know, recognition that we all have different views. So we're all sort of individual writers and thinkers. So the Bitcoin policy Institute doesn't have like a, a formal program of like policy objectives that we've put out. Like here's the legislative to-do list that BPI is forming.
[00:12:30] Mathew: Gonna push for. We are essentially, an umbrella with lots of individual contributors, they each have a particular area of expertise that this is a forum for them to sort of, um, produce content, uh, based off of their expertise. And so, yes, we want to preserve their academic, intellectual independence, uh, and.
[00:12:48] Mathew: That's my that's my personal objective. Right. I want to write the things that I want to say. I want to have it be, um, representative , of what I believe is true. And just, this is a forum for me to kind of get that out there.
[00:13:00] Mikhael: But you don't want it to be contradicted. You don't want to do your work to be doing. Somebody who has slightly different view that can open a sort of Louisville. Um, there's an opening. There's a question. There's a door open for some but different interpretation. Uh, you're you're quite precise. Then I've listened to you and you are, and I've read your stuff.
[00:13:18] Mathew: Yeah. I mean, and that's, that's what makes Bitcoin special, right? Not everyone has to agree on every specific detail. Uh, and I suspect there probably will be, you know, um, nuances assist you with how people view certain policy recommendations. Right. And what people view as like the priority for say a political engagement or like a political, um, uh, strategy and that's gonna happen.
[00:13:38] Mathew: , I view my role as like providing analysis in a sense, like, what do I think could happen? What are the scenarios? Will it be the preconditions?
[00:13:45] Mathew: What would be the risks and benefits? But I, I don't view my role is to, , about saying this is the trajectory we all have to go down. And then there are going to be disagreements. There's going to be different priorities. I think that's a good thing. When it comes to the facts, when it comes to, you know, what we think is true, like, we want that to be accurate.
[00:14:00] Mathew: Right. And there's, you know, for example, take the bitcoin mining right? Like that is, uh, you know, like, Sort of probably one of the more important topics of, of analysis and interest in discussion, both inside the Bitcoin community, but also broad in the, you know, the larger policy community. And there's lots of claims, right?
[00:14:18] Mathew: Some motivated on sort of theoretical grounds, right? Thinking abstractly about like what Bitcoin mining is and how it could evolve over like decades. And then it was like this sort of individual case studies. You can go to like particular companies, you know, a site in a particular location and sort of get an understanding of how.
[00:14:34] Mathew: Yeah, that type of particular mining works, but then there's sort of, okay, well, what are you going to draw in terms of larger conclusions and to do that systematically, you need to collect data, you'd have the data be representative of what you think is the current state of the industry. You need to make assumptions.
[00:14:50] Mathew: You need to provide the appropriate caveats. You need to sort of hedge your conclusions, but applies sort of rigorous data collection. Yeah, scientific based methods to analyze that and then report your conclusions with the appropriate uncertainty in mind. And so I think that's our, that's our approach.
[00:15:05] Mathew: That's the objective. Um, and so I don't think we're going to come out and say, you know, because It's going to save the world and we could, cause I don't think we can support that like from an academic perspective. But I think there is a, there is a, a story there that just needs to have details, uh, and like rigorous facts sort of hung on it and understand where that trajectory is going and examine the, alternatives there.
[00:15:29] Mathew: So, yeah, that's our kind of approach is to be more academically, intellectually focused. Uh, but they're inevitably going to be political disagreements. People have different priorities, you know, pick one policy Institute, I don't think is going to be in a position to. You know, uh, adjudicate or sort of say, this is what the Bitcoin community wants.
[00:15:46] Mathew: That's not our role.
[00:15:47] Mikhael: It's nobody lives in a vacuum either. So you all, you always work in a context. Storytelling is, is a complex thing. Often people interpret things and, and to stay academic or to stay scientific. Uh, Rica, um, that alive, I mean, at least a sort of an island where you can exist, everyone else will, will be interpreting it anyway, even as rigorous as you are in a very different way.
[00:16:11] Mikhael: And so, um, so that, that is not an easy path to follow is, is my point.
[00:16:17] Mathew: Yeah. And then DC, you know, there are think tanks that we're, that, you know, exist in that same world that are sort of useful models to try to emulate to a certain extent, right? There are things, things that have a very strong ideological. Right. And this, this, this thing, things to try to carve out more like a neutral territory, but, you know, in the normal policymaking world, there's always this suspicion.
[00:16:37] Mathew: Well, what is the sort of inherent ideological view that maybe is being obscured by sort of the pretense of neutral objective fact analysis and, you know, there's that give and take there's? No, I don't think, um, you know, it's almost a philosophical question and it's up for everyone to sort of decide for themselves.
[00:16:53] Mathew: Um, You know, at least as a strategic matter as like an ethical matter, like that's our objective is to sort of try to try to be as neutral as possible.
[00:17:02] Didier: You said on other shows that the government is trying to get smart on a lot of crypto sub topics related to crypto. So like what subjects do you think they're trying to learn about? Is it just mining and energy consumption
[00:17:14] Mathew: yes. So, uh, I think the best source of information on that question is the executive order itself, which was released by president Biden. Um, just about a month ago now, um, at the exact date, and in it, they laid out a pretty comprehensive set of reporting requirements that are now placed across the federal government is about 20 agencies.
[00:17:35] Mathew: I think like 23 different reports. I think they cover about six different domains. I might not remember them off the top of my head. Um, one is something that relates to essentially, um, consumer protection. So things like do people, and this is the broader crypto world, right? So they call it digital assets.
[00:17:50] Mathew: It's sort of the umbrella topic. And so financial protection are consumers being manipulated or they're frauds or scans. What are the role of exchanges or sort of other, entities and actors in that market that could be, um, you know, engaging in, in manipulation. And so there's a consumer protection angle there.
[00:18:07] Mathew: Uh, the other.
[00:18:08] Mathew: angle is obviously what we talked about a lot, which is energy and climate they're doing reports that look at the different consensus mechanisms and the role of energy consumption and future trends, benefits as well as risks, uh, to the energy sector and our, climate objectives. There's like a national security, like hard, um, , kind of reporting analysis on like illicit finance, uh, countering, uh, threat finance, um, money laundering, the larger implications for things like cybercriminals, ransomware, uh, sanctions, uh, You're also looking at, like the broader economic impact.
[00:18:40] Mathew: So like from the department of commerce, like what's our framework for thinking about how this could, um, drive innovation and, uh, sort of, um, their economic growth and it's sort of effect on, on, on us competitiveness. And I think the last is sort of international engagements. These are not, um, you know, us specific technologies, these are global technologies.
[00:19:00] Mathew: Uh, and so they don't necessarily, um, you know, like Bitcoin doesn't know there's a border, right? It's a global, it's a global system. And so, the, the White House sort of called out, um, I need to sort of engage on, you know, three international forums and sort of, um, try to align policies to a certain extent, uh, with what their close kind of allies and, and, uh, and kind of coordinated nations.
[00:19:20] Mathew: So I think those were the big topics, um, for the next three to six. Those reports will be coming out. I don't know if all of them will be made public per se. I think a lot of them will be. Uh, but the nature of those reports, what you see written in those will, I think be really indicative of what the government thinks about these issues, where they sort of sitting the framework for potential future policy.
[00:19:39] Mathew: So the reports aren't going to itself like change the status quo policy. They're not going to like make new rules. Um, but they could set, it could sort of tip the scales. They could sort of indicate where, where those future policies or new. Could be, um, weighted or sort of, you know, steered what sort of is the implicit, um, view of those regulators on this question?
[00:19:59] Mathew: So that would be really interesting. Uh, and that's why you were trying to get, get some information out into the public domain to help inform what those reports are going to be based on. Um, and then, Yeah.
[00:20:10] Mathew: we'll see what those reports come out and say in the next few months, and then it'll be kind of the, the launching point for.
[00:20:17] Mathew: For, federal, views. The other key point though, because the federal government in the U S you know, the executive branch has only one branch of government, right. Congress has a equal say, and they, they, they definitely guard that prerogative. And so Congress is, there's lots of, you know, Um,
[00:20:31] Mathew: uh, folks in Congress, both in the house and in the Senate that have, become, you know, pretty deeply involved in, uh, crypto and Bitcoin.
[00:20:39] Mathew: Uh, but personally, as well as from a regulatory perspective, And it just a few weeks ago, uh, Senator Gillibrand from New York is a Democrat and Senator Lummis who's a Republican from Wyoming, uh, announced a that they were working on like a comprehensive. Bill, uh, that is intended to sort of provide a kind of unifying framework for digital assets and sort of try to settle some of these foundational questions at least to, to a first order, uh, and kind of be that kind of marquee bill that would, um, try to, you know, provide certainty and clarity to the, to the industry.
[00:21:17] Mathew: And so they're working on that bill on their own there's other representatives that are, have introduced bills and sort of very specific sort of niche topics like CBDC's or anti CBDC's and other sorts of digital cash instruments. So there's a lot of action taking place, both at the executive level. On policy from like, you know, across the federal apartments agencies, um, but also a lot happening in Congress.
[00:21:38] Mathew: And so I think 20, 22, you're going to see quite a lot of movement and action and debate and negotiation, uh, about how these policies and potential laws get, get, get, get shaped.
[00:21:50] Didier: The executive order, the president Biden came out with and these various initiatives that you're talking about, surprise people, they become more crypto positive. So w why do you think there've been this recent change? In crypto policy, because for example, I won't hide from you
[00:22:07] Didier: the fact that I always considered in the past, Janet Yellen as being the puppet of the, of, uh, the banking lobbies and all of a sudden she changed. And so I wondered what happened all the time. Did the crypto lobbies get to her and flipper or, uh, why has there been a change in attitude over the last six months?
[00:22:22] Didier: Would you say.
[00:22:24] Mathew: Well, it's a complex question and you never quite know in the hall of mirrors, what precisely is going on. And so you have to kind of read the tea leaves a bit. Um, and I think fundamentally, right?
[00:22:36] Didier: You. Call your government the hall of mirrors, but yeah, go ahead. Yeah.
[00:22:39] Mathew: mean, I mean, funny, I mean, that's sort of, you know, you either there's lobbying there's stuff going on there's there's there's dynamics that are not always, always apparent.
[00:22:46] Mathew: Um, but I do think the obvious dynamic is just the growth of the industry and the number of people have adopted it has made it too big to politically ignore, right? Like, you know, three or four years ago, it was so tiny and so small at one, uh, it wouldn't have gotten really to the level of like a national policy, like, um, or, or, or, or an executive order, like this.
[00:23:06] Mathew: they call that out themselves in the executive order where they mentioned. You know, serve surveys, show upwards of 40 million Americans have traded or owned cryptocurrencies like 16% of the country. Well, that's a large number and that's probably all happened in the past, like two years and the trends seem to be continuing in that direction.
[00:23:22] Mathew: So they had to sort of wake up to reality, like, you know, this is, this is happening. It's not going away. It's here to stay. So they need to create like, they need to actually come up with, come up with policy. So they're kind of belatedly recognizing what is sort of the organic adoption of these technologies.
[00:23:37] Mathew: Right? They're associated sort of market value, increasing dramatically, which politicians and. You know, like they have to recognize right. They come and put their head in the sand for so long. Now the key thing is how much do they accommodate? How much do they sort of fight, you know, and try to like, respond like aggressively against this.
[00:23:56] Mathew: And there's some people in Congress, right? They have very strong anti crypto feelings, anti-bitcoin point feelings. Right. And they're very vocal about that. And they have political influence in the white house and there's other folks and, and, and in Congress that have the exact opposite view and are, and those are actually probably increasing.
[00:24:12] Mathew: And they're there on both sides of the aisle. And so the white house, when it comes to creating like an executive order, like this, there's a lot of consultations that take place with the hill with outside entities. And, you know, you've got forces pulling in different directions and while the sort of the anti crypto force was probably strong and like the legacy, , um, progressive side is actually quite a strong pro Bitcoin move that has emerged, that kind of is acting as a counter. And so
[00:24:37] Mathew: politicians don't like, especially like Janet Yellen is a politician to a certain extent, right. Even though she's a technocrat, she's the face of the political administration and you know, those high-level policies have to be calibrated. Um, and they, look where the winds are going and they don't want to, be too extreme.
[00:24:51] Mathew: So they end up, uh, sort of trying to hedge in the middle. And as this sort of Overton window gets shifted, you know, that middle gets moved incrementally. That doesn't just say that they're going to come out and be all pro Bitcoin. And it's like, um, you know, uh, You know, they're just going to fold off all these things, right.
[00:25:08] Mathew: There are, there are probably red lines. There are, there are things that they could do more in like the technocratic under the. Um, that, you know, they're gonna try to contain, try to control or steer this phenomenon in a way that try to mitigate its risks, to like legacy institutions, legacy, power structures, legacy instruments of national power, as much as they can.
[00:25:29] Mathew: Um, and that's really where it's made much more of a nuanced sort of case by case kind of technical technocratic fight by fight. Unlike very specific interpretations of say securities law or, or, or the anti-money laundering, big bank secrecy act. The blanket like the government is going to ban or crush.
[00:25:48] Mathew: Bitcoin is like off the table. Now it's about the sort of more nuanced interpretations of rules and, you know, kind of trying to him in, you know, the industry to a certain extent or, or place more restrictive rules. And that's where you're gonna see the, the, the, the, the give and take. And that's, we're going to see where the balance of paralyzed between like the, the industry, uh, which has, now a lot of lobbying might right?
[00:26:11] Mathew: There's a lot of. Money. Right. And in DC, right. Money money makes the world go round, right? Like money and lobbyists is how these things happen, sadly. Um, and there's, you know, and that's also partly why I got involved in Bitcoin Policy Institute. There's no Bitcoin company, there's no Bitcoin like, you know, army of lobbyists.
[00:26:30] Mathew: Right. Uh, whereas these exchanges, they sort of crypto companies, um, they do have like a very, um, they can sort of centralize and direct, very specific lobbying efforts to protect their corporate interests, to protect their shareholder interests, um, which is what all companies do. And so given that that's happening.
[00:26:48] Mathew: And that will happen, that will grow, you know, Bitcoin's just going to do it, sit, do it itself. And I don't think Bitcoin needs any special favors. We don't need to like write a protection to ourselves necessarily, but we don't want there to be like, you know, there's like the guy from ripple in the room who is like saying Bitcoin is a Chinese, um, you know, Conspiracy. and it's going to destroy the world and is like just outright spreading lies. Like that needs to be corrected, , and rebutted. Um, and he's got millions of dollars that he's throwing behind that message. And so I think there's clear need to push back on those sorts of things. Um, but I don't think the coin needs like, um, you know, as, because I think it's a pretty clear and simple technology, whereas these other technologies sometimes can be, more ambiguous and sort of needs.
[00:27:35] Mathew: Fight for a particular interpretation of a rule or a law. And it kind of get themselves, um, protected in, in a certain, so,
[00:27:43] Mikhael: But the fact, the fact that the subject is in the public discourse that it is taught. You mentioned the Overton window is a miracle and we should be super happy about this. Of course, there are crusaders on either side and it feels like it's like herding cats now, but at least we're herding um, which is an exciting prospect.
[00:28:04] Mikhael: Um, all the political games now are coming into, into the fray. To to watch a Ted Cruz, uh, joining the Bitcoin. I can't help to admit that I had a slight pincement a my smile dropped a little bit, but Hey, one cannot be. Uh, these guys are chasing votes. Um, and that, that means that if Ted Cruz is on it, Bitcoin is a proper subject that, could actually sway votes.
[00:28:29] Mikhael: That's really good news fundamentally. And so you can't be picky in terms of your politicians at the same time. You you've got to choose. You're talking about lobbyists. There are lobbyist in, in Washington, uh, starting to do the language is very important.
[00:28:43] Mikhael: I think you helping a great deal with the language. Who's coming to you. I know, I know you're not coming to them. So they're coming to you. Who's coming to you.
[00:28:54] Mathew: Yeah. So, I mean, we've just sort of testing the waters a bit, but we've seen pretty positive reaction on both sides though. I think a lot of there's, there's a handful of people inside, um, inside Congress that, that understand Bitcoin and digital assets, but the vast majority is just don't even know the basics.
[00:29:11] Mathew: And so a lot of what we're trying to do is just. Like answer the dumb questions that this sort of afraid to ask, you know, in public, they were like, like, we want to know this thing, like, like we know what's happening, but like we need to kind of get smart. And then Kira is, it's like the staffers, right? So it's like, there's, and there's been a lot of other groups, you know, kind of self-started self-organized groups.
[00:29:31] Mathew: Um, uh, beyond just the frequent policy student, they've been doing a lot of that congressional engagement, uh, like , the Bitcoin today, coalition. Uh, has been doing a lot of just like going to Congress, door by door and they have like a book that got materials they're sending out, , all the different Bitcoin, um, uh, background materials and reading and offering to sort of do just like one-on-one briefings with staffers, like answering questions, et cetera.
[00:29:56] Mathew: And so they're doing a lot of just basically education. Right? A lot of it is, is really education. Um, now in the, in the executive branch that's of like a different animal, right. Cause in the bureaucracies, like for example, like these reports. You really don't know who's writing them, right? Like they get tasked to some agency.
[00:30:15] Mathew: That's got thousands of people in it and it's going to be delegated down to some office and some, you know, so sort of royalty, low level bureaucrat is going to be charged with writing the first draft of those reports. And they're just going to Google, they're going to Google like the point energy, right?
[00:30:32] Mathew: Unless they happen to have some specific interests or expertise in it, which is very unlikely there's going to just, you know, like I I've in my past life as a, as a, as a consultant for the government that has helped provide like support those types of reports. I know what happens. Like they just have to write them really quickly and it's often not sending it in their area of expertise since then.
[00:30:50] Mathew: I just try to find someone to help them quickly. And there's like Google. And so when it's like Google, when it's like pick one in. And they just Google Bitcoin energy. What they're going to find are, you know, misleading, uh, you know, like, like, you know, like ditch economists reports. Right? And so the first thing is just to give them like an alternative, right?
[00:31:07] Mathew: Like another report that, that is going to counterbalance, you know, that type of misinformation and give it like in a, in a format that they can use. Um,
[00:31:16] Mikhael: But for that, they need to know you exist.
[00:31:18] Mathew: Yeah. And that's what we're trying to do is that out there and, um, you know, uh, there's no magic, there's no magic bullet for that.
[00:31:27] Didier: You've said your, your role is to foresee like potential dangers and vulnerability that the U S government. So can you talk, I mean, I would think that the us government has a natural tendency to centralization. So do you think the us government sees decentralization is a good one?
[00:31:44] Mathew: Well, I think that's a, that's a loaded question. There's a lot in there. I think in general, right. Governments are central power structures. They want to keep their power structures central sort of almost by definition. So anything that would decentralize those structures would undermine their power and sort of legacy interests are going to be challenged.
[00:32:01] Mathew: Um, I think that's the story of history, right? Um, sort of. The the, the now Ferguson book, right? The Square and the Tower, it goes back to the Protestant reformation, challenging as a horizontal distributed, um, social sort of movement, uh, kind of a network of, agents challenging a vertically integrated hierarchical power structure, right?
[00:32:21] Mathew: The church at the time. I think you can now make arguments that Bitcoin is or decentralized technology in general, is playing out in a similar way where you have, um, that, uh, that new dynamic between kind of horror horizontally self-organized somewhat, potentially ideologically motivated groups, but not necessarily unified ideological groups, um, that have new powers to communicate and exchange just like how they had like the printing press to exchange the, Lutheran Bible to challenge with the legacy it's Institute.
[00:32:48] Mathew: , uh, sort of hierarchies of power and the sort of, um, the, the ideologies that then associated with that, that structure of power. And so that is a dynamic, I think that you're going to see play out, um, but in a radically new form. Um, so that's like the abstract theoretical historical answer, practically speaking, the government is a group of people, right?
[00:33:06] Mathew: It's not the sort of blog sort of blob of abstract power, right. It's individuals. And those individuals can change their minds about things, right. And especially in a representative. Those people can change themselves. Uh, and if you, you know, engage, uh, politically or just have Bitcoin specifically become a, a widely viewed positive thing by most of the people that representative democracy, well, the people who then take those sort of take hold of the instruments of state power, you know, if they have a positive Bitcoin view or they're just worried about, you know, angry, you know, there's concerns.
[00:33:43] Mathew: They they want to keep their jobs, right. So, so that's how unrepresentative systems, you know, you can have, um, dynamic, uh, shifts in how state power structures view something like Bitcoin, uh, and not have it be in inevitable confrontation. Or, you know, a battle for, for sort of, um, you know, what, what the state of the politics is, but just an organic, um, overall, you know, reframing of what is in the U S national interests.
[00:34:11] Mathew: And I think that's, I think partly what my objective is to do is to do that reframing, not make it be a competition or a battle between the state and, and Bitcoin, but the, you know, an accomadation, right. And a political recognition, uh, but also the sort of the ancillary benefits to, to the U S as a sort of collective Politico.
[00:34:29] Mikhael: And so the first thing you've done is to make sure that, um, nobody focused on the word decentralization or centralization and forget about it. Just think about something else. Um,
[00:34:40] Mathew: Well,
[00:34:41] Mikhael: very clever.
[00:34:42] Mathew: well, it's an important point. Right? So decentralization means something like I try to catch that turnout and very specific sort of practical ways, right? Because you can have decentralization of like the Bitcoin network itself. Right. Which has a very tangible physical meaning, right. There are nodes operating in different parts of the, of, of the world.
[00:35:01] Mathew: There's no central point that can dictate changes to the protocol. We can sort of take control. Which is what is the sort of precondition for being, you know, the money system that it is and allows that sort of technical anchor, that sort of a network anchor to then accrue kind of that social political, um, mass, uh, uh, to protect it and then to expand it.
[00:35:21] Mathew: Um, but in a sense that doesn't solve all forms of political coordination, right? Like. Political coordination and political problems negotiations over like whether abortion or voting rights, like these things, aren't gonna be solved by Bitcoin. Um, you know, maybe the changes, the economic dynamics in a certain way, but fundamentally like these are human moral disputes that are going to be resolved in the existing political structures.
[00:35:43] Mathew: Inherently become centralized because, you know, we have, uh, that sort of legacy Westphalian system. So until the state collapses and you have to rebuild a new system, some people think that's going to happen. I'm I'm skeptical. I think there's a lot of institutional inertia and just, you know, it's hard to break these systems completely.
[00:35:59] Mathew: Like they can decay, they can, you know, fracture, they could, they could become weakened, but they don't just, you know, we don't just collapse and go back to a state of nature. I mean, if we. I think what would be the least of our problems. Right. I think we would be, you know, we'd be regressing to a, a new dark age.
[00:36:14] Mathew: I think when we talk about decentralization versus centralization, you need to think about what, what, what do you mean? Like, we want to have a decentralized, um, political network. We want to have a decentralized money system, but we also want to coordinate effectively. Right. And so the whole point of coordination is to pull together.
[00:36:30] Mathew: Um, interests to achieve a common objective. Um, if everyone is just sort of running around doing their own thing, you know, you can't achieve, you know, much. Right. And so like companies like people like the Bitcoiners start companies for a reason, right? Why do they start companies? Right? Like those are centralized entities to accomplish a certain objective because it's motivated to help the Bitcoin network, but it's a centralized structure, right.
[00:36:50] Mathew: They have a CEO, they have board of directors, they raise capital, they hire employees. They have, you know, employee handbooks, they have healthcare benefits, like, like those are centralized structure. That are designed to, you know, achieve a certain, very, specific objective, develop a product or service and deliver it to the customers.
[00:37:05] Mathew: So I think there's a, it's a, gray zone, right? And the government itself is a, is a sliding scale. You have your homeowners association, you have your local city council, you had your state representatives, you have your federal government, you have like the UN, right. And I think people have different intuitions and subjective judgements about what's too far removed from the concerns of local politics.
[00:37:25] Mathew: Where do we need to have, you know, maybe. A rebalancing of relative power between, you know, really large scale hierarchical structures relative to say more local self-determination that's I think, uh, you know, going to be the major fight in the near future. Um, and I think that coin is an interesting technology that can help, um, re enable a new form of localism, but still enables sort of global coordination.
[00:37:46] Mathew: So again, that's a very complicated political question.
[00:37:49] Mikhael: The, the difficult things always to end up with too, you know, black and white things. Well, it isn't like that. And what you guys do is so important to actually broaden saying, try, try to understand, trying to understand how it works. And then you'll see, we don't live in a black and white world. Um, we live in a gray world and we've got to, um, to meander within it.
[00:38:10] Didier: For example, there's the Bitcoin Institute think that blacklisting addresses is useful and realistically possible.
[00:38:16] Mathew: Yeah, well, I mean, first I'll say the Bitcoin policies who doesn't have views, I have views. Um, so I'll speak for myself. Um, And so I would say there's the practical technical question. And then there's like the like normative question. Right? So, except for like, can exchanges be compelled by their political authorities in that jurisdiction to.
[00:38:39] Mathew: Like blacklist addresses. And I think the answer is obviously yes, right? Like that, that happens now. Right? You have the OFAC designation list. They, you know, uh, that's like the whole mechanism behind the bank is, uh, you know, the bank secrecy act, uh, under your customer, AML, CFT rules are entirely designed about a mechanism for. regulated institutions in that political jurisdiction to blacklist, uh, certain, certain addresses. Now that there's a game of cat and mouse there. Right. So I speak first from like an analytical perspective, like what is possible, what could be possible. Right. And I think that's going to change just from a pure technical basis, right?
[00:39:15] Mathew: Like right now it's relatively easy to blacklist those, those addresses, especially on, you know, Bitcoin block. Which is, you know, by its very nature, open there's other, you know, what the government calls and an enemy anonymity enhanced currencies, specifically Monero, which is probably their most, um, sort of primary concern with respect to like, uh, criminal groups, uh, sort of, uh, like ransomware operates.
[00:39:39] Mathew: In fact, I saw a report last night that showed, um, that, uh, criminal groups, uh, vastly are now preferring Monero relative to Bitcoin. Bitcoin is what only insurance companies will, will allow like say victims of ransomware to pay out. Um, uh, and so this is sort of like a more. Uh, now we're like the, the, uh, the, the criminal groups will basically require like a premium we'll like, we'll basically say you have to pay us 15 to 20% more in Bitcoin.
[00:40:07] Mathew: Uh, if you pay us in a narrow, basically you get a discounts. Uh, so essentially there's like a market price now for the transparency of the Bitcoin blockchain. Like it's making it because it's more easy to track. The criminals are essentially charging a surcharge to sort of balance the risk. Um, so it's interesting, you know, sort of, uh, uh, manifestation of this, right.
[00:40:25] Mathew: So that's the cat and mouse game between things like coin joins and mixing services, and exactly how like companies like chain analysis can try to break those heuristics. And that is the game that's going to happen. It's going to become, Um, I have no idea how it's, you know, like the state has a lot of.
[00:40:41] Mathew: The NSA is very good, but you know, cryptography is also very powerful and, and, you know, it's ultimately a game of where those things go, the balance of sort of technical, cat and mouse game. So that's like just pure analytical, right? If you're trying to think about in the future, to what extent right now, things are relatively easy to track
[00:41:00] Mathew: with you know, with say like taproot and Schnor signatures and maybe future Bitcoin improvement protocol, Um,
[00:41:06] Mathew: you know, updates that could, you know, add additional layers, you know, lightening network, you know, all sorts of, you could see lots of different technological changes to the basic structure of the, of the blockchain ecosystem that is going to be game of cat and mouse.
[00:41:18] Mathew: I don't know where it's going to evolve. Um, you know, normatively, right? This is where it's like, you know, Bitcoin is supposed to be freedom, money, right? Bitcoin, the whole idea of it is it's meant to be state independent. Um, and fundamentally I think, you know, I don't judge the money for the bad actors. I judged the bad actors, right.
[00:41:34] Mathew: So I don't get mad at the dollar when the Mexican drug cartels use it to launder billions of sort of, you know, uh, criminal proceeds, um, Their criminal activities. Um, and you know, I think there are clearly bad people in the world. Right? Right. I'm not a peer more relativist. There are, there are murders, there are gangs.
[00:41:52] Mathew: There are people who, are really violent and, you know, a civilized society should to try to make sure those people don't get too much resources. Um, so I think there are there, you know, every society at all levels has. Um, stopping a crime, but I think that often gets over-weighted very dramatically relative to what Bitcoin really promises to the world.
[00:42:11] Mathew: Um, I think the report in 2021 by chain analysis basically showed 0.15% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume was related to illicit finance, and it has like an all time low relative to the, um, the, uh, you know, the broader sort of, uh, critical, you know, non elicit uses. And I do worry though that the government can sort of use that as a cuzzle to give themselves more surveillance powers.
[00:42:35] Mathew: And that has been sort of the one-way ratchet since really 911, Patriot act. Thanks to your basis of the act, um, the push for CBDC's um, and I do worry, right. We're heading towards the world of geopolitical confrontation between a rise of sort of authoritarian systems, you know, in, in Eurasia, principally led by China that are empowered by, you know, novel technologies, right?
[00:42:57] Mathew: Like, but turned to support like digital totalitarian surveillance states that the west, you know, was going to be confronted with a choice. Like, do they try to. Out-compete or fight on that same terrain, right? Like have a, have a surveillance system that's just slightly more democratic than the surveillance system that China is trying to impose on the world in order to sort of win that sort of, um, techno confrontation for, for, for global, uh, power and influence, uh, uh, or what's our alternative, w w w where can we leverage these types of decentralized technologies giving up some centralized power?
[00:43:33] Mathew: Uh, but in exchange for challenging this rise of authoritarianism around the world, and that's going to be the key, um, uh, dynamic where you have, what, what, what can be now made possible by technology in terms of surveillance and social control. That there's be a temptation by governments, especially in a time of conflict and crisis where your, your principle adversary is going all in on surveillance and authoritarian.
[00:43:56] Mathew: To say, we need just, we need a little bit, we need a little bit of that, but don't worry. We're going to do it in a nice democratic and transparent way. And, and I worry that that's a slippery slope. Right. Um, and once you build those technologies in, once you build that capability, you're sort of assuming that the people in charge in the future are going to also have that kind of you know
[00:44:20] Mathew: pro-democratic view, but if you build, you know, I think that turnkey totalitarianism is a real danger and I think that's something that we need to be very cautious about and participating in and say, no, no, you know, the surface level justification is for, for that new control or that new type of censorship, um, should be, should be viewed from, you know, the standard.
[00:44:39] Mathew: Is my guy going to be in power forever or not like as my preferred political leader, going to have the control over that system. And you should make decisions assuming, you know, kind of the worst case scenario for who could have control over that system. And I think the logic is, you know, don't give too much power, don't have too much technical control there, but that means then you have to fight on different terrain if the final train of values and open technologies.
[00:45:00] Mathew: Like we got to fight on a different, uh, different terrain. Um, but that's, that's, that's that's that's the, that's the balancing act. We're
[00:45:07] Didier: You think, do you think most the people in government are educated enough to make a distinction between Bitcoin stablecoins and CBDC's or do they think crypto is all the same thing.
[00:45:16] Mathew: It's slowly happening. I think there's, you know, there's, there's some folks, right? So like Gary Gensler, for example, he's taught at MIT on Bitcoin. He knows the difference. Very, very, very distinctly. And you know, his very technocratic regulators in the sec and maybe some parts of the treasury department, you know?
[00:45:34] Mathew: know those distinctions. Just the rest of the government, does importantly does Congress and their staffers know all these distinctions? I think they're getting a crash course now. So stable coins and CBDC's is I think probably the top of the list in terms of where policy and regulation is, is sort of being worked out now
[00:45:52] Mathew: and then like Bitcoin, to be honest, It's like, it's kind of boring relative to everything else that's happening.
[00:45:59] Mathew: Right? Uh, it's like pretty much well established regulatory framework is just commodity property. The rate is probably going to be fight over can there be like a diminimous tax exemption? Purchases what that threshold is that something like that might be in, in, in the Lummis deal, uh, Gillibrand uh, legislation.
[00:46:16] Mathew: So the starting to unpack this distinction is a big part of that, that that framework legislation from, from those two senators is like establishing that. Right. Like, what is a stable coin? What is a digital asset? That's like a commodity like asset. They're not going to make. I think that could change too much of the status quo, but they're trying to kind of codify and clarify like those distinctions and then give the regulators and the executive branch.
[00:46:41] Mathew: Clear guidance. Like this is how you should approach this industry and this market. Um, but Yeah. CBDC and stablecoins are probably at the top of the list because those are more directly tied to the prerogatives of the dollar. Whereas, I don't think Bitcoin is a challenge. The dollar, at least not in any near term timeframe, like maybe in decades.
[00:47:00] Mathew: Um, but in the near term, it's just a digital reserve asset. That's got a high volatility, uh, you know, kind of a synthetic, um, commodity that, uh, can preserve purchasing power and as a form of outside money, that doesn't the liability of some government or, or sort of corporate, um, uh, bank. Uh, and so that has value in a system.
[00:47:17] Mathew: That legacy inside money system can be censored or maybe unstable, maybe vulnerable to cyber attacks, et cetera. And people want to have an outside hedge, but both at a sovereign and an individual level and, you know, legacy system, legacies states go to gold and outside money. Um, uh, and you know, I think Bitcoin is a sort of a, 21st century version of that.
[00:47:34] Mathew: So there's gonna be that dynamic that takes place with Bitcoin as like a economic, um, form of reserve asset. That's a fascinating topic, uh, in the next few years, but like from a state perspective, like CBDC. Like, what is the money? What is the dollar? How can they maintain control of the dollar system? And stable coins are really kind of the biggest near-term threat to that in the sense that their form of synthetic dollar, like a crypto Euro dollar that can be issued by a non-bank entity, offshore uses a medium of exchange.
[00:48:07] Mathew: Um, and then, you know, it could create a. You know, I think a really big benefits for people who can't easily get access to dollars. Right? Normally if you're in an emerging market, you very difficult to get dollars and that's often it's like a dollar shortage. You have a lot of dollar debts that can create a financial crisis.
[00:48:23] Mathew: Synthetic dollars that can be held on someone's mobile phone and these mobile first emerging markets. That's what they want. They want like a stable dollar, even those high inflation on the dollar compared to like, you know, the Nigerian currency, uh, or, or this Zimbawian currency, right. It's like much, Yeah. much more stable.
[00:48:41] Mathew: And so that is, you're seeing this demand. There's a private market, emerging market demand for stablecoins. Um, but they become so big, 150, $200 billion. And just between like the top two or three, uh, and then those could become a trillion trillion dollar, market in very short order. That's big like that.
[00:48:59] Mathew: And so the federal government, especially the fed, the federal, um, the, the federal stability oversight committee, the F SOC, which is sponsor for like financial stability. It's like treasury, federal reserve and a bunch of other agencies. Like, they're going to want to try to impose regulations on stable coins.
[00:49:14] Mathew: And then the big fight is to what extent, like where on that spectrum. And you could have one spectrum is just complete wild west. Everyone could issue a stable coin, probably not going to happen. Right. There's going to be some rules established domestically, and they're going to try to establish those rules with, you know, most of the G seven and maybe even G 20 countries, uh, stable coin issuers and how they can be regulated as either non-bank financial institutions.
[00:49:35] Mathew: What do they have to hold as reserves? And I honestly, I think I think about this in my white paper. One of maybe the subtle, maybe not so overt dynamics there is if these grow dramatically, you know, trillion dollar assets, uh, synthetic digital dollars, and they're required to hold, uh, what's called high quality liquid assets in the reserves.
[00:49:56] Mathew: That's that is a new source of demand for sovereign. Uh, and, and we look across the Western world, the United States in particular, we have a, we're going to issue a lot of debt. Um, and our normal buyers, external demand for our debt may not always be there. Uh, you know, China was used to be the top buyer of our debt stopped buying that really in 2013, Japan is we've been like the sole foreign, country.
[00:50:16] Mathew: That's like been like gobbling up our debt. But I think you're paying attention. They're running into some problems now because they, they they've been running into deflation for decades and they might actually have some inflation. And that whole yield curve control policy, that's basically been sustaining this bid external demand for treasuries could break and, you know, in general you have got the makings of potential debt crisis.
[00:50:35] Mathew: Now I think stablecoins are going to solve that for them. But if their, if their game is to try to find private sector balance sheets, that they can stuff more treasuries into and like, uh, you know, like captured capital, they can sort of make buy US debt. That's like the game plan of financial oppression.
[00:50:50] Mathew: So like the Basel regulations are all about making the banks, private banks, commercial banks, own more of this. Like instead of the Fed, you know, monetizing it over quantitative using the more indirect ways to just make the commercial bank buy it. So stable coins could be another way to kind of okay.
[00:51:06] Mathew: Which is interesting. The, because as Bitcoin monetizes, more, the larger ecosystem, including stablecoins are going to grow both for trading and for sort of the larger on-ramps and off-ramps to Bitcoin. But so as Bitcoin monetises, stablecoins grow, but a stable coin, uh, issuers are required to hold treasury securities on their balance sheets.
[00:51:26] Mathew: That's like more demand for treasury securities. Um, so it's like, so sorry to say, there is a positive interest there and, you know, hitching the sovereign debt market to Bitcoin's monetization, uh, and make, you know, sort of in an indirect way, try to stabilize the US treasury with Bitcoin and in the same way, which I, I say, I don't know if this is their plan, but like, this would be like, To some extent.
[00:51:47] Mathew: It's like if the, if our adversaries like principally China, Russia, and kind of Eurasian power block with OPEC being pulled more into alignment with them, they're trying to move away on the margin from the dollar treasury system, we create their own maybe gold or commodity backside system that's and they try to re monetize gold.
[00:52:05] Mathew: That's not great for us. I mean, we have a lot of gold, but like that would be a rebalancing of global power that would not be in our favor. So on the other hand, if we were allowed Bitcoin to monetize instead of gold or alongside gold, well, that would accrue disproportionate benefit to, to the U us. Um, and while we couldn't control Bitcoin, we could gain from its monetization relative to gold, uh, and our adversaries.
[00:52:28] Mathew: So like, definitely like the game plan of like the next decade, you know, at Bitcoin would have. Yeah. Bitcoin's gone up by a factor of 10 just since like, you know, the lows of 2020. That's fine. I can do that, but in a, in another two years, um, but by the end of the decade, is it inconceivable that it does that by, by 2030?
[00:52:46] Mathew: It's not, I mean, I don't know what probability was ascribe, but even if you just have a low probability to it, that's something that like the federal government that, you know, should be thinking seriously about. Right. Like when I was in. Uh, you know, a few years ago doing this different types of scenario, risk analysis, like you would do all sorts of scenario analysis for things that had a very low likelihood, but had very high consequence, um, because that's what your job is to make sure we don't get surprised and bad thing.
[00:53:09] Mathew: Or that thing that we didn't think was likely to happen happens. Like what's the what if. And here's the, what if is like if Bitcoin becomes a de monetizes or becomes parody with gold as a reserve asset for the world, that's going to have fundamental geopolitical and macroeconomic implications. Um, and you'd want to prepare and try to.
[00:53:27] Mathew: Uh, not be surprised by that and be able to, uh, use that to your advantage, you know, in this, uh, in this era of rising state competition where your, where your adversaries are, you know, have kicked the coin out. Right. Uh, and so that's that I think is where Bitcoin is that going to play off in a whole different level?
[00:53:44] Mathew: Over the few different years, I talk about sanctions is, is where it is now. But like, you know, I think just yesterday there was talk about, um, uh, you know, the U S is sanctioning a Russian bitcoin mining company.
[00:53:54] Mathew: All the people that were sanctioned are old Russian names. Um, But, uh, they're sanctioned in Russian Bitcoin mining company, which is interesting, but also like not going to work right, because that can stop them from earning Bitcoin. So, well, the way you would stop the Russian miners from earning Bitcoin is to grow the rest of the world's mining share relative to theirs and especially develop, you know, let Bitcoin mining grow in the U S every new patch that takes place in the U S is less block reward for the Russian minors.
[00:54:24] Mathew: Um, and so, no, I don't think the U S. And I would definitely be against, you know, a national Bitcoin mining, but I think it's going to happen at the state level. It's going to happen, you know, across kind of the energy market. Um, but you know, letting the market drive that is actually going to accrue, I think national security benefits.
[00:54:41] Mathew: Um, so Yeah.
[00:54:42] Mathew: that's, that's where Bitcoin people talk about Bitcoin in lots of ways, but like in a few years, right. If it keeps growing this large, it's going to have these geopolitical macroeconomic dynamics and Yeah.
[00:54:52] Mathew: I mean, just the state's not going away. So. Start shaping intelligent, you know, views. And, uh, so they don't do something dumb.
[00:55:02] Mikhael: great.
[00:55:03] Didier: Yeah, that was great. Matthew. Thank you. Thank you very much. So where can people either get in touch with you and follow you or follow the Bitcoin policy Institute?
[00:55:11] Mathew: So myself, I'm on Twitter at Mathew underscore Pines. Uh,
[00:55:15] Mathew: so feel free to connect and send me a note. Um, Ben, the Bitcoin policy students at, um, BTC policy.org and we have some of our materials posted on there is also a donation link. Uh, you can, uh, put your email in and get newsletter if you want. Uh, so yeah, we're, I'm really excited to contribute and if you have good ideas, please reach out, looking forward to.
[00:55:35] Mathew: Yeah,
[00:55:36] Didier: Okay. Great. Great, Matthew, thanks. Very much.
[00:55:40] Didier: and a word again from the sponsors who help make this show possible. If you are interested in any of these products, clicking the links in the show notes, and you will be also indirectly contributing to this podcast.
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[00:56:48] Didier: Blockfi
[00:56:48] Didier: Blockfi Do you want to get interest on your crypto? Whether in Bitcoin stable coins, ether, or many other things. But you hear all the hacks on the defy platform and lack trust. In many of the protocols, you have doubts that the defy protocols have been sufficiently battle-tested or audited, that bridges are safe.
[00:57:06] Didier: That some nefarious actor will get the administrator keys, CFI, centralized finances, and alternative with block fi a majority of the assets are held in cold storage with Gemini.
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[00:58:16] Didier: Bitbox
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[00:58:52] Didier: braintrust
[00:58:53] Didier: Braintrust
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