Show cover of What Bitcoin Did with Peter McCormack

What Bitcoin Did with Peter McCormack

With What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack talks to experts in the world of Bitcoin, economics and politics. From developers to investors, journalists to authors, you will learn about everything in the world of Bitcoin.

Tracks

Bitcoin Mining in Distress with Nick Hansen - WBD585
Nick Hansen is the CEO of Bitcoin mining software firm Luxor Technologies. In this interview, we discuss the distress within the Bitcoin mining industry caused by a perfect storm of leverage, stagnant value, huge growth in capacity, energy price shocks and wider headwinds affecting investment. This could become a national security issue. - - - -  Exactly one year ago, US Bitcoin mining companies were posting record quarterly profits. A huge amount of investment followed China’s mining ban making North America the centre of global Bitcoin mining. It spurred the development of mega miners: companies developing industrial-scale operations. These companies started building out new sources of energy and developing unique relationships with grid operators. And Bitcoin’s price was at an ATH. Roll on one year, and the industry is facing a potential crisis. Bitcoin price is at 2-year lows, the hash rate is at an all-time high, investment is drying up due to a range of issues, rig prices have tanked, whilst a swath of companies are struggling to manage debt obligations. Add to this the wider fallout as a result of the FTX collapse. It really is a perfect storm.  At the same time, companies are being buffeted by widespread disinformation, and polarised attacks predicated on energy usage concerns. Regulators seeking to acquiesce to those promoting FUD, have considered, recommended, and brought forward poorly designed rules. See the NY moratorium on PoW mining using fossil fuels just passed into law.  This is more than a parochial issue for the Bitcoin community. Bitcoin mining provides an unprecedented opportunity for wider society. It’s the basis for an alternative to a broken economic system and the means with which to incentivise and support the energy transition at scale. It is the industry to help the US navigate a host of strategic problems. Bitcoin mining is, fundamentally, a national security issue. Its protection should be our primary focus.
87:11 25/11/22
Finding Bitcoin Signal with Jeff Booth - WBD584
Jeff Booth is the Author of The Price of Tomorrow and CEO/Chairman of Ego Death Capital. In this interview, we discuss how Bitcoin fundamentals (such as its approach to the blockchain trilemma, centring on truth, and its deflationary effects) run counter to current economic theories, making Bitcoin’s signal harder for some to find. - - - -  A common refrain whilst we live through unprecedented global economic turmoil and massive failures within DeFi is “why aren’t people flocking to Bitcoin”. Obviously, Bitcoin’s signal is being lost: the fundamentals that are designed to better protect people against incompetent, corrupt and fraudulent behaviour aren’t readily apparent to many. Why is this? As Jeff Booth asserted in a recent article: “protocols create value in the form of a new foundation that emerges slowly & methodically”. However, capitalist societies have been conditioned to accept and expect rapid change: ‘work fast and break things’ has been taken as a given. Systems that run counter to this are viewed as being ripe for disruption.  Bitcoin has widely been seen as slow. It’s development was famously the subject of a crisis centred on scaling arguments. The outcome was an affirmation of some core principles: Bitcoin would be predicated on decentralization and security. This spurned a tsunami of altcoins that proliferated on the pitch that they improved on Bitcoin by being able to scale. This meant many dismissed it. Bitcoin was old tech. But, as we have seen over the past few months, speed and scale come at a cost. A real-world cost counted in billions of dollars. The blockchain trilemma means that scale means making material tradeoffs in terms of decentralization and security. The result: hacks and fraud. If there is any silver lining to the FTX collapse is that the conflation of crypto and Bitcoin now has more than a theoretical critique.  The importance of making the case for Bitcoin, of amplifying the signal, is that it offers a transition to a new system where we can benefit from deflation. A system that protects people. A system based on a layer of truth.
89:12 23/11/22
The FTX Contagion with Jesse Powell - WBD583
Jesse Powell is the co-founder and Chairman of Kraken. In this interview, we discuss the rising anger over the FTX collapse, parallels with Mt. Gox, FTX’s exploitation of regulatory arbitrage, odd mainstream media reactions, proof of reserves and the future of custodial services. - - - - FTX has caused untold damage. There could be over 1 million creditors, from large institutions to small retail investors. There are going to be numerous heartbreaking stories of people getting rekt. But, the most significant damage caused by this criminality could be ahead of us. There is a significant risk that a misreading of the causes of this crisis will lead to regulatory damage removing access to Satoshi’s innovation for future generations. There are many within the industry who were deeply sceptical of FTX and Sam-Bankman-Fried well before the event of the past few weeks played out. The pace of growth, the scale of revenue, and the huge expenditure. To those in the know, none of it made sense unless FTX was involved in nefarious activities. And yet, SBF was rubbing shoulders with DC politicians whilst shaping the laws to be applied to the industry. In short order, the whole facade has come crumbling down. Stories of drug taking, polyamory, and excess within the criminal empire have emerged, confessions have been made that the effective altruism promotion was a sham, and then SBF engaged in a bizarre media campaign via Twitter. FTX’s new CEO brought in to organise its bankruptcy process stated in his 40 years of restructuring companies (including Enron) he’s never seen anything as bad as this. So, in the face of this obvious narcissistic and incompetent criminality, why have there been a number of puff pieces in the media? Why did DC take the warnings that were made seriously? And how is it justified for politicians to threaten a sweeping global legal framework for Bitcoin and crypto? Strange things are happening, and forces are being aligned against all of us. And yet, we know the community is resilient. This could take years to play out.
75:59 21/11/22
QE Infinity with James Lavish & Greg Foss - WBD582
James Lavish is a Bitcoin advocate and writer, & Greg Foss is a Bitcoin strategist, and they’re both co-founders of Looking Glass education. In this interview, we discuss FTXs lack of checks and balances, how fiat is struggling to find yield, zombie countries and the the debt spiral, and how Bitcoin is the best asymmetric bet of our lifetime. - - - - We live in strange times. Central bankers tell us up is down. Politicians peddle myths. And the seeming robustness of capital, institutions and the state is turning out to be a facade. And yet, the economic machine needs to keep running. Finance needs to generate a return. In this environment, where the economy has turned from being an engine of sound principles into a casino, it’s no wonder charlatans like SBF can turn into powerful entities in the blink of an eye. Checks and balances are empty words spoken by people in suits in meetings. A lack of resources, a revolving door, well-financed lobbying, and sheer complexity have all but neutered any meaningful oversight of crypto. On the ground, the reality is bluff and bluster are as effective as following the law. Perhaps such tactics are more effective: after all, FTX nearly achieved regulatory capture. What is the fundamental issue? Arguably it is that the whole framework of state-organised economic control is falling apart. The impacts are manifold. Price and value have no real meaning. Reasonable returns on investment are evaporating. Financial opportunities are being drowned by risk. The real concern is that confidence is rapidly ebbing away. The fiat economy is fundamentally a confidence engine. Trust has replaced hard assets. When trust goes nothing is left. We now live in a world where disillusioned experts are telling us the game is up. State debt is unmanageable, and governments have no obvious solutions. This is why many such people are turning their attention to Bitcoin. When we’re facing QE infinity by zombie countries it is wise to go back to first principals: sound money.
97:29 18/11/22
Bitcoin is the Answer with Preston Pysh - WBD581
Preston Pysh is a co-founder of The Investor Podcast Network. In this interview, we discuss the ongoing trauma following FTX’s unprecedented fall from grace, the implications for Bitcoin, and the ever-worsening macro situation where central banks are losing the battle to protect society from excessive government spending. - - - - The FTX drama is still being played out, and it will continue to do so for the weeks, months and years ahead. It feels as though we’re still in the shock stage, trying to wrap our heads around not only what happened, but how such a seemingly fragile situation was allowed to get so out of control. Fingers are being pointed, defences prepared, and, even whilst we’re still very early in this process, histories are already being rewritten. And yet, the broader economic picture remains the same: a conveyer belt of crises continue to buffet the global economy. Stagnation, growing inflation, mountainous debt, extreme stress in the bond markets, globalisation, and currencies under strain; there is a wall of mounting issues that are building into what seems to be an existential situation for the fiat system. The fundamental issue at hand is that nobody can tell what is up or down in relation to our economy. Price and value have been artificially inflated that they lack any purposeful meaning. Cheap money has enabled massive consolidation making the business environment top-heavy. And inflation has directed citizens to engage in rampant consumption, which results in a myriad of adverse downstream consequences. Both situations, i.e. the imploding of cryptocurrency and the mess of the global economy, have the same mitigation. Reaffirmation of the Bitcoin ideology will enable those with true convictions to begin repairing the damage caused by FTX. Bitcoin will also help the economies to align with reality, thereby facilitating better decisions. Whilst Bitcoin doesn’t necessarily fix everything, it is the path to creating a better world.
74:44 16/11/22
Unpacking the FTX Fraud with Lyn Alden - WBD580
Lyn Alden is a macroeconomist and investment strategist. In this interview we discuss rampant fraud that led to the FTX bankruptcy, the implications for other businesses and legal precedent, and Lyn’s current outlook on markets. - - - - FTX’s empire at the beginning of this year was valued at $32 billion. The whole facade has become a bankrupt mess in a little over a week. Every hour of the past 7 days has seen a new claim of malfeasance that exceeds the depravity of the last. This crescendo has seemingly peaked today as SBF posted cryptic tweets suggesting he’s struggling to comprehend what has happened. Sam Bankman-Fried was lauded as a financial genius and social revolutionary leading the ‘effective altruism’ movement. He was on the front cover of Forbes in October 2021. A glowing Bloomberg profile in April this year recounted his interactions with prominent politicians, investors and celebrities. He openly discussed having his attention drawn to dealing with existential issues affecting humanity. SBF had former Presidents and Prime Ministers in his palm. However, Bankman-Fried was a Svengali and a fraud. Some Bitcoin maxi’s tried to sound the alarm, but too many people ignored the warning signs and believed the hype. In just 3 short years the 30-year-old managed to beguile not just the industry but also traditional finance. He got a $100 investment from a Canadian pension fund, which one would assume would lead the world in discharging fiduciary duties. In the aftermath, it all seems so obvious. FTX was essentially run by dysfunctional kids. So, how did this happen? It’s still very early, and revelations keep dropping as we speak. The truth behind what occurred will take years to piece together. Nevertheless, there are some important lessons that the Bitcoin community rapidly needs to discern and absorb. A political response is inevitable, and many will try to ensnare Bitcoin in this mess.
72:22 14/11/22
The Lightning Energy Market with Austin Mitchell - WBD579
Austin Mitchell is the Co-Founder and CEO of Synota. In this interview, we discuss his plan to use the Lightning Network to settle transactions in the energy industry, and how this should bring greater equality to the energy market whilst also enabling the whole energy economy to move to the Lightning Network. - - - - Bitcoin is prospectively the best version of money, worldwide instant payments rail, market-based accelerant for energy production, and energy grid stabiliser. It’s infuriating that more people aren’t waking up to its potential. Perhaps it’s the FUD, the passive damage caused by dysfunction in the crypto industry, or the ignorance of there being bitcoin the money and Bitcoin the network. But Bitcoin’s story is still being written; as many keep saying - it’s still early. We all know that there are nascent layer 2 innovations that are taking Bitcoin in new directions. But even hardened advocates continue to be amazed at the use cases being developed using Bitcoin’s various characteristics. Take the Lightning Network: the game-changing payment protocol. It is the layer that enables Bitcoin to scale. But what does that actually mean? Well, quite a lot. Bitcoin is fast becoming an integral part of the energy industry. In addition to the known functions comes a new one: the Lightning Network’s instant settlement facility and distributed payment network is set to transform energy finance. The current system is predicated on old analogue payment processes, full of inefficiencies that unnecessarily bloat costs for producers and consumers. The prize is a real-time payment system that simplifies energy finance whilst enabling greater functionality. It could make the market more flexible, dynamic and equitable. The result could be that it draws the whole energy economy onto the Lightning Network. It’s a lightbulb moment given how big that industry is: $4.5 trillion is spent on energy a year. There are additional services that could be included. The lightbulb fuses when you think about what other industries could find similar utility. The lightbulb explodes when you remember Lightning is just one of many layer 2 innovations. We’re still so very very early.
55:51 12/11/22
Why Won’t the SEC Approve a Bitcoin ETF? With Perianne Boring - WBD578
Perianne Boring is the Founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. In this interview, we discuss the history of Bitcoin spot ETF proposals, the numerous rejections and changing conditions for approval, and why the SEC won’t approve a Bitcoin spot ETF. - - - - The first application for a Bitcoin spot ETF in the US was made by the Winklevoss brothers back in 2013. The SEC rejected this proposal in 2017. Since then the SEC has rejected applications from at least 16 different companies, some of whom have made multiple applications. The last rejection was in early October. It’s not that the SEC dislikes ETFs. There are over 2,500 ETFs in the US market with over $7.2 trillion AUM. Further, there is also strong demand in the market: over 99% of the 11,400 letters sent to the SEC in relation to Grayscale’s ETC application were in support. In the meantime, Bitcoin spot ETFs are being approved across the world, most notably across the border in Canada. The Chamber of Digital Commerce, the blockchain trade association, has assessed the history of Bitcoin spot ETF applications accounted for in a report. This outlines major inconsistencies in the way the SEC treats applications: denials have conditions applied for subsequent applications; these conditions are met, the new applications are denied; rinse and repeat. In addition, in 2021 the SEC approved the first US Bitcoin futures ETF. Whilst the performance of the Bitcoin futures ETF has tracked the Bitcoin price reasonably closely, futures markets are by their very nature volatile as futures contracts can be unpredictable. So, it is potentially a less safe vehicle for investment. The obvious question is, therefore: why won’t the SEC approve a Bitcoin spot ETF? Perianne Boring, the CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, is of the opinion the decision is political in nature. There is a wave of money waiting to invest in such an ETF, which would accelerate the adoption of Bitcoin. This is something many decision-makers are resistant to. What’s clear is that with Grayscale suing the SEC the issue is coming to a head.
103:31 09/11/22
The Fundamentals of Bitcoin’s Value with Phil Geiger - WBD577
Phil Geiger is the Managing Director of Concierge Services at Unchained Capital. In this interview, we discuss how a robust protocol and monetary policy, a vital utility for energy producers and a committed community of hodlers, makes Bitcoin an extremely low-risk investment. - - - - No other scalable commodity, currency or asset has as robust a fixed supply issuance as Bitcoin. 21 million coins. That’s it. The rough consensus governance process, miners’ financial incentives, and a highly decentralized node verification process combine to make this digital scarcity rigid. No altcoin can compete. “Digital scarcity is a one-time phenomenon” - Phil Geiger, April 2020. There are those that have been pushing the edges of this assumed commitment. They are motivated by different concerns, chiefly that a declining supply will impact security: how can a 51% attack be avoided when the volume of Bitcoin issued becomes significantly low and eventually finishes? Can transaction fees alone secure the network? But it is the fixed supply schedule that supports Bitcoin’s value, from which all other considerations follow. According to Phil Geiger, these 21 million coins already exist. Both in terms of the supply schedule and the fixed limit. This is what underpins the huge investment by miners: a transparent monetary policy, and scarcity that supports the price. Changes to this could seriously damage minings assimilation into energy production. This is what makes, in Phil’s view, Bitcoin an extremely low-risk investment compared to other assets (both digital and physical). The proof is in the hodling behaviour. Using Bitcoin is vital for the transition of Bitcoin from a defensive store of value to a productive medium of exchange, the fact that those hodling Bitcoin for more than a year is at an ATH shows investors still remain extremely confident in its long-term success. So, what about long-term security? Decreasing block rewards will incentivise miners to maximise the use of block space. Combined with more users this should drive up Bitcoin transaction prices, thereby supporting the transition to a post-block reward world. The issue is whether there are enough incentives to ensure miners don’t game the system. This needs to be debated. But, making Bitcoin inflationary isn’t the answer, because this is the essence of Bitcoin.
87:55 07/11/22
Bitcoin Can’t Lose with Parker Lewis - WBD576
Parker Lewis is Head of Business Development at Unchained Capital. In this interview, we discuss the failure of currencies, the collapse of the economic engine and Bitcoin being the largest tidal wave that's ever existed. - - - - In the nearly 14 years since Bitcoin was launched the global order has continued to shudder in the wake of a rolling set of crises. Front and centre is the unwinding of the global economic order. Fiat currencies are straining, inflation is rising, and central banks are using ever more extreme and counter-productive measures to keep the economy afloat. We’re in the final throes of the long-term debt cycle. Everyone can see it. And yet governments and central banks are refusing to accept the inevitable. Money printing continues, in part to deal with the second-order effects of the previous round of money printing. Bitcoin rose sharply at the beginning of this period, but it has stalled in the shadow of Covid as the world struggles to repair economies whilst dealing with growing geopolitical tensions. Throughout this turmoil, as Parker Lewis states in our interview, Bitcoin’s value proposition has remained the same. Why is it then that Bitcoin has been in a bear market? The protocol has proven itself to be a solid basis for a new form of money. Yet, its volatility in the wake of rising inflation has resulted in a wave of commentators dismissing its value. This has an effect. We all know people who still think Bitcoin is a crazy fad. This issue, as Parker Lewis contends, is that you need to do the work to understand Bitcoin’s vital importance. Bitcoin adoption is a function of knowledge distribution. Those of us who are in the know must therefore keep spreading the word, educating, advocating, orange pilling. If we do that then Bitcoin can’t lose.
98:26 04/11/22
Censorship & State Capture with Nic Carter & Lane Rettig - WBD575
Nic Carter is a Partner at Castle Island Ventures & Lane Rettig is a core developer for Spacemesh. In this interview, we discuss the Ethereum merge specifically addressing the issue around increasing censorship of Ethereum transactions, the chilling state attacks on privacy and what Bitcoiners could learn. - - - - In November 2013 Vitalik Buterin produced the Ethereum White Paper, which set out that Ethereum was to utilise the Proof of Work mechanism to facilitate participation in the transaction validation process. Eight months later, hidden away in the announcement about the Ether ICO, Vitalik stated that “We may choose later on to adopt alternative consensus strategies, such as hybrid proof of stake…”. Ethereum’s merge in the first 2 weeks of September has been the biggest event in crypto this year. Part of the reason is that it has been a very long time coming. Further, it has been a huge engineering challenge: transitioning from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake in a live blockchain for the second-largest digital currency. Many predicted that it would result in technical issues. They were wrong. The merge was a success. And yet, in the months that have followed, events have shown that just as Ethereum has sought to resolve some issues, it has caused others. Yes, Ethereum now uses significantly less energy, albeit a smaller drop in energy consumption than they would have many believe. But, evidence of a concerning concentration of staked ETH indicates that not only is the consensus becoming centralised, but it is becoming dominated by entities who are censoring transactions. The result is a very clear distinction between Bitcoin and Ethereum. The issue at hand for Bitcoiners is that the battle to win the argument with political decision-makers over the importance of Bitcoin’s energy usage is still yet to be won. But, more importantly, there are downstream centralisation and capture risks for Bitcoin. Forewarned is forearmed.
114:35 02/11/22
How Capital Misallocation Warps Money with Steven Lubka - WBD574
Steven Lubka is Managing Director of Private Client Services at Swan Bitcoin. In this interview, we discuss how the misallocation of money by central banks distorts money, destroys capital, and creates zombie companies. Steven calls for money to be left to find its natural state within a free market. - - - - Society has become accustomed to the intervention of central banks in the economy. The underlying narrative is that central banks have the power to direct the economy through the manipulation of money. A principle level is through the control of interest rates: artificial adjustments to the cost of borrowing money aimed at promoting or tempering growth. You don’t have to be an economics expert though to know that central banks' interventions seem to have become excessive. We have had a decade of near-zero interest rates. In addition to this, central banks have heavily lent on money printing to maintain economic stability: one-fifth of all US dollars were printed in 2020 alone. These significant adjustments to the money supply set in train damaging second-order impacts. Given rising debt levels and recessionary forces, governments are seeking ways to stimulate growth. However, the economy has not been allowed to function normally for an extended period. We may therefore be in a position where significant businesses aren’t able to operate with a more natural cost of money. Many businesses have developed in a period where the cost of money has been artificially low. This has created zombie companies, which need support to survive. This leads to a cascading series of issues: such companies divert resources from more efficient enterprises, but they are destined to fail, which destroys capital. It effectively hollows out parts of the economy. The misallocation of capital is therefore counterproductive: short-term stability is a mirage that hides long-term systemic vulnerability. Steven Lubka’s thesis is that Bitcoin is the answer. It is a real tangible asset with a fixed monetary policy that enables price to be reflective of reality. The result is a market that can make rational decisions, build robust companies, and allow order to emerge In short, Bitcoin fixes the money.
79:54 31/10/22
The Philosophy of Money with Andrew Bailey - WBD573
Andrew Bailey is a philosopher, professor, fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute, and co-founder of Resistance Money. In this interview, we discuss the philosophy of money in respect of what it is, what makes good money, the traps we can fall into with money, and why Bitcoin is a bulldozer that makes us rethink money anew. - - - - Economists, historians, philosophers, bankers and politicians have all contended with the concept of money. What it is, what it can be, what it’s not, what it’s useful for, how it should be used, how it can be misused: there are a myriad of questions that have spurned a myriad of theories. Consensus has formed around different ideas lasting for generations, only to be followed by sudden shifts as perceived universal truths are dissolved. Debates and evolving thinking around money have always been a feature of its existence, certainly within modern capitalist structures of the past few hundred years. And yet, we do seem to be in a rare period. Firstly, we are entering a new paradigm of money, when established norms are suddenly being uprooted. Secondly, laypeople are joining the ranks of the so-called specialists in the debate around money. This change has been spurned by the failures of fiat money. Suddenly, people realise that the assumed solid ground is shifting beneath them. Within a short space of time, we have experienced a flurry of unprecedented events: bank runs, money printing on a vast scale, massive stimulus packages, huge volatility in the markets, systemic inflation, and currency collapses. The debate has also been spurned by the revolutionary innovation of Bitcoin. A totally new form of money has enabled a reevaluation of the principles and qualities of what we use to store value and what we use to exchange value. This process is being undertaken at all levels: if Bitcoin can continue to flourish, it will serve as a check on those in power. It could for the first time enable money to become pluralistic. All this means we are living in a time when the debate around money is live and fluid in which we all get a say. Buying Bitcoin, developing Bitcoin and orange pilling are all positive actions that force us to consider these fundamental questions. And, in this process, we’ll find we are asking the most fundamental questions of all - what is the essence of a good life and how does money help to achieve that end?
154:55 28/10/22
How Cheap Credit Distorts Money with Joe Consorti - WBD572
Joe Consorti is a Market Analyst at The Bitcoin Layer. In this interview, we discuss Austrian economics, Credit Suisse & the risk of large scale defaults, price distortions and how Bitcoin fixes this. - - - - When faced with economic turmoil, central banks have a few tools they can turn to, one of which is interest rates. Since interest rates are the price to borrow money, and prices are emergent, manipulating rates is an intentional distortion analogous to fixing prices. Rates instead should be a factor of the supply and demand of credit, risk of default, and a reflection of opportunity cost. However, during the financial crisis in 2007/2008, the US federal reserve had little option but to step in and repeatedly cut rates. They did this in an attempt to prevent complete collapse and to restart the credit-seized economy. Rates went to basically zero (and even negative in some countries), and since 2008, we have been in an era of cheap credit. Now, we are potentially in the midst of another financial crisis. Countries across the globe are battling with inflation issues for a raft of reasons, including supply-side constraints, excessive money printing during covid, and war in Europe causing energy shortages. To battle this, central banks are raising rates in an attempt to regain control. So does cheap access to credit really boost the economy and stimulate growth, or has it prolonged an artificial bull market in equities, over-financialised assets, incentivised mal-investment, added to the growing wealth divide and played a key role in near double-digit inflation?
89:18 26/10/22
The White House is Wrong about Bitcoin Mining with Nic Carter - WBD571
Nic Carter is a Partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder and Chairman of Coin Metrics. In this interview, we discuss the White House bitcoin mining research paper, regulation and the role of renewables in the energy mix. - - - - In September, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a study which looked into the climate impacts of bitcoin mining. The report successfully acknowledged the differences between PoS and PoW, the contribution of bitcoin mining to grid flexibility & demand response and the potential to unlock stranded renewables, but the rest of the report offers little, if any merit. Overall, the findings in this report were quite damning. The report relies on non-peer-reviewed and often totally flawed data from the likes of De Vries and Digiconomist and even cites the absurd 2018 Mora et al paper. As Nic says in his article, "The Mora reference is shocking. It's a bit like reading a scientific government report on the history of the moon landing and finding a reference to a conspiracy website claiming that the entire thing was faked." With papers like this from the White House, the New York Mining Moratorium Bill and general growing disdain for Bitcoin mining, the US risks giving up its headstart. It is the country with the most to lose, and as we saw when China banned mining, Bitcoin is totally agnostic, and by banning, or overregulating, America won't hurt bitcoin, only itself. "If you ban it, you empower your enemies, like Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea. If you embrace it, you directly hurt them, and give their citizens tools to free themselves from those oppressive regimes."
85:10 24/10/22
Cathie Wood on Bitcoin - WBD570
  Cathie Wood is the founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest. In this interview, we discuss investing in disruptive technologies, the importance of research for investment, deflationary signals, uncertainty in the Fed’s decision-making, and Ark’s continued bullish outlook for Bitcoin.     - - - -  Back in 2015, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest became the first public fund manager to invest in Bitcoin. This was a very early trade for an institutional basis, prior to some of the major news events that have led others to have followed Ark in recent years. But this is Ark’s business, identifying nascent technologies that could serve to be the basis for real societal change.  Cathie Wood’s business strategy is to get into the detail of the markets they're interested in. This means research by informed analysts who can unpick the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each specific industry. Any bullish statement they make is based on hard business data, not just an extrapolation of financial performance.  The elephant in the room for Ark is that their Innovation ETF is down 75% from its highs in the early part of 2021. This has placed Ark and Cathie in the firing line of commentators. And for every negative article or tv piece, there will be a line of nervous investors seeking reassurance. This is when research pays off - it matters when you have a strong narrative to fall back on if you want to maintain investor confidence. So, when Ark makes statements about Bitcoin we should all take note, as they’re not in the market for unwarranted hyperbole. Well, they remain one of the biggest cheerleaders for Bitcoin within the institutional space. Ark followed up a bullish prediction for Bitcoin’s valuation at the beginning of this year by doubling down on their forecast a few weeks ago: they are expecting a $1 million per coin valuation in the coming years. In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, Ark stated Bitcoin is in “an arms race” against traditional finance and asset classes. Ark is confident of Bitcoin’s ability to be at the heart of a revolution in money given its multiple use cases. Seeing as their fund has tracked the performance of the S&P500 over the past few years, despite it being an extended and brutal bear market for tech stocks, you wouldn’t bet against them getting this call right.
68:57 21/10/22
Science, Health and Bitcoin with Sam Abbassi - WBD569
Sam Abbassi is the founder and CEO of Hoseki. In this interview, we discuss the growing demand for proof of reserves. Whilst the use case for businesses is clear, there is also an increasing retail need: it enables individuals to use Bitcoin as collateral, but also validates financial credentials. It is another means for assimilating Bitcoin into the fiat-dominated world.  - - - -  The hodl mantra has been a vital behaviour within the Bitcoin community. It was emblematic of the transition from the current credit-based paradigm into a low-time preference mindset that reasserts storing of value. It has also been technically important in supporting the price. However, up until recently, hodling was akin to storing gold in a box or cash under a mattress. It was inward-looking. As Bitcoin matures and its volatility declines, the value that can be ascribed to an individual by their Bitcoin holding becomes more important and useful. For a growing cohort, Bitcoin’s utility requires an outward engagement with the fiat world.  As society increasingly seeks to store value in Bitcoin, it is increasingly going to become some people’s main source of wealth. Therefore, reintegrating Bitcoin’s store of value into the arena of working capital is becoming more acceptable; there are growing opportunities to use that Bitcoin to access working capital for things such as mortgages and other loans requiring collateral.  Bitcoin can also be used to support residency applications and other activities requiring validation of financial security. It is likely that the purposes for which we need to provide proof of our Bitcoin holdings is going to increase. However, without proof of property Bitcoin has no utility beyond its resale value. How does one prove to a third party proof of property in a still nascent digital asset?  This is where Hoseki comes in. They are seeking to provide a much-needed service in the market to produce independent and trustworthy proof of Bitcoin reserves, opening up Bitcoin’s value. Being developed by Bitcoiners means that the basic principles of privacy and security are top of mind in terms of their product development. It also means they are in lockstep with the Bitcoin philosophy.
71:51 19/10/22
How the US Dollar Shortage is Driving Global Instability with Jeff Snider - WBD568
Jeff Snider is co-host of the Eurodollar University podcast and Head of Global Research at Atlas Financial Advisors. In this interview, we discuss the crazy possibility that nobody knows what money is, and as a result, nobody knows how to run or fix the economy. Central banks and governments are essentially engaged in a high-risk game of pretend.   - - - -  Every year around 800 million containers (categorised as Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, TEUs) are handled by ports every year. This represents around 80% of official global trade. Harvard has produced an . They have populated the globe with the origin of exports of every type of product. Each tiny dot represents $100 million of exports. The globe is covered in a mass of tiny dots.  This complex, interconnected and shadowy web of global trade, where final products, intermediate inputs and raw materials are exchanged on a massive scale, represents about 50-60% of global GDP. The rest is made up of all kinds of activities, business investment, personal consumption and government expenditure.  The IMF predicts that the combined GDP of the world economies will exceed $100 trillion by the end of 2022. However, this is dwarfed by global wealth, which is estimated to be over $1,500 trillion.  To put these numbers into context, US debt is currently estimated to be over $31 trillion, whilst global debt is reckoned to be over $300 trillion. Global finance, which helps manage and fuel global trade and debt, is expected to be valued at $25 trillion this year. These are obvious gigantic numbers. Yet, these figures aren’t the thing that should give you pause for thought. What should stop you in your tracks is that nobody really understands the workings of this complex system, let alone is in control of the resultant global economy.  Most of the global trade is conducted in Eurodollars, which is money generated outside of any control of the US or the nexus of other countries' Central Banking/Government institutional structures. Eurodollars are not understood by the major actors involved in oversight or management roles affecting global economics. That is why nobody knows how to fix the issues with the global economy. It’s because nobody knows what money actually is.
90:34 17/10/22
Bitcoin, The Critical Money Layer with Nik Bhatia - WBD567
Nik Bhatia is Author of Layered Money and founder of TheBitcoinLayer.com. In this interview, we discuss Jeff Snider’s Eurodollar ideas: how all money is credit money; why Bitcoin will be a check, but will not replace, fractional reserve banking; and how Bitcoin will complement the dollar as a generational store of value. - - - - Three months ago we interviewed Jeff Snider who discussed the Eurodollar system, how Central Banks aren’t in control of the levers of money, and why we could be entering a deflationary depression. The show generated a huge amount of interest, particularly because despite the Eurodollar system being opaque and poorly understood, it is arguably a central cog in the global economy. Nik Bhatia, amongst other esteemed commentators, was compelled to respond to Jeff’s show. This is because Jeff’s ideas and the way he presents them are enlightening and engaging. There is broad agreement regarding the unacknowledged criticality of this part of the global economic system, and the resultant challenge it presents for being able to define money. There is also consensus that inflation won’t be the runaway phenomenon some are warning of, because the impact of QE was offset by tightening in the Eurodollar market. As such, deflationary pressures could soon become apparent meaning banks should be taking more risk to stimulate growth. It is fair to state Nic is an admirer of Jeff: Nic attributes Jeff’s seminal work to helping him develop Layered Money. However, Nic does also have some important divergent opinions from Jeff. Nik believes that the banking system isn’t out of control. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily have the power it seeks to portray it does, neither is it an impotent bystander. The recent moves to quell inflation have only just begun in earnest. Could the Fed show that it has teeth in this regard? What is most illuminating however is their convergent ideas around Bitcoin. Whilst presented in different ways, they both see Bitcoin’s role as an important store of value. They also agree that fiat’s elasticity will continue to be a desired utility. What Nik leads on in this regard is that Bitcoin can act as a vital check on fiat and Central Banks: it makes money pluralist.
118:09 14/10/22
The Path of Freedom and Sovereignty with Natalie Smolenski - WBD566
Natalie Smolenski is an Executive Director of the Texas Bitcoin Foundation and a Fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute. In this interview, we discuss the elimination of cash, the importance of Bitcoin to a free society, and the clear and present danger posed by CBDCs. - - - - Like the fable of a frog being not perceiving danger when slowly boiled, citizens in mature democracies have been surrendering to the steady erosion of their privacy and rights. The issue is that society now stands unknowingly at the edge of a precipice. Governments and compliant businesses are working on a technology that they will sell as providing utility but could herald the end of democracy: CBDCs. Whilst Bitcoiners are aware of the dangers, it seems as though the rest of society, including decision-makers, are ignorant. Faster, less costly, more convenient payment systems - what’s the problem many will ask. The risks of providing unfettered access to arguably the most critical component of our private data do not resonate with those who have already traded their privacy with social media companies. But, there is obviously a massive difference between surveillance capitalism and unprecendented government oversight of individuals’ financial data. And further, as Natalie Smolenski alludes to in the whitepaper she has written with Dan Held, “Why the U.S. Should Reject Central Bank Digital Currencies”, adopting CBDCs could be a one-way valve: reversing political will and technology is formidably hard. Once cash has gone, it won’t be coming back. The battle is not only for democracy, it is for prosperity. The American experiment has shown that bottom up innovation can thrive in a free society. It is hard to imagine the industrial revolution occurring if feudalism was still the dominant form of societal organisation. It was the enlightenment, the development of ideas of freedom, tolerance, fraternity and rights that enabled humans to flourish. This is perhaps Bitcoiners' most important fight. Education, advocacy and conviction are our weapons. Maintaining our personal sovereignty is the prize.
117:46 12/10/22
Europe in Crisis with Lyn Alden - WBD565
Lyn Alden is a macroeconomist and investment strategist. In this interview, we discuss the recent market turmoil that followed the UK government's proposed tax cuts. Why did the market reaction nearly result in the collapse of UK pension funds? What are the underlying issues? Where are we heading? - - - - Liz Truss became the UK’s new Prime Minister on the 6th of September. She immediately worked to develop a financial package that would protect people from unprecedented hikes in energy prices. At the same time, Truss was keen to implement a long-held economic ideology predicated on stimulating growth through low taxes and reduced regulatory burdens. A political judgement was made to prioritise promulgating tax cuts ahead of any assessment of what spending cuts would be required to balance the budget; a huge emergency fiscal package was being combined with reductions in revenue. In the absence of any other information, the market took fright: the government wasn’t deemed to be in control of a burgeoning debt pile. Immediately following the government announcement, the bond interest rates rose sharply whilst the British pound dropped precipitously. Despite government protests that the market response was due to external factors, the messaging was clear: the UK economy is becoming dangerously unbalanced. Within days the Bank of England had to react and start a £65 billion purchase programme to save a number of pension funds from collapse. So, what actually happened? Experts, commentators and politicians have argued about the causes and outlook, whilst mortgage rates have rocketed such that emergency payments for energy costs will be dwarfed by additional mortgage payments. Is the UK economy at risk? If so, why, and what is the outlook? Does history teach us anything? And, fundamentally, can debt be brought back under control?
64:16 10/10/22
Why Fiat Drives the Wealth Divide with Avik Roy - WBD564
Avik Roy is president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity think tank and a policy Editor at Forbes. In this interview, we discuss how society can improve social mobility through free markets, individual liberty, innovation, social integration, energy freedom, housing growth and harnessing good deflation. - - - - America was built on the notion of social mobility. The ‘land of opportunity’ opened its arms to the world. And they came from all corners. Most arrived with little to their name. But countless stories of aspirational success followed. Hard work, tenacity, and innovation were rewarded. It wasn’t perfect, but the American Dream was a theme that built a new hegemonic power not on privilege, but on the closest any major power has come to meritocratic society. That was America up to the 1970s. Since then social mobility has all but seized up, and has even started to decline. We are now entering a period when future generations are likely to be worse off than their predecessors. Is this because governments have failed? Are the libertarians right? Do we need to unshackle humans from collective interference? Or, is there a way for society to flourish with the help of institutional collaboration? The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP) have a mission to expand “economic opportunity to those who least have it”. They provide policy advice on all the major areas of governmental concern: criminal justice, health, education, energy, finance, housing, trade etc. etc. The tools it advocates politicians use are individual liberty, free enterprise, technological innovation, and pluralism. The aim is to make society more equal. Reducing inequality makes society more prosperous. American history is the best evidence for that. Misjudged policies and a reactive and intrusive approach from governments have allowed inequality to increase over the past decades. To change means that the status quo must be challenged. Such change means looking forward not backwards. Whilst history can inspire, it doesn’t necessarily show the way. New ways of thinking must be embraced. The deflationary forces of innovation must be harnessed. And destructive polarisation must be defeated. American exceptionalism requires a renewed collaborative spirit. Bitcoiners can help drive that movement.
94:56 08/10/22
Bitcoin, Unleashing an Ocean of Energy with Nathaniel Harmon - WBD563
Nathaniel Harmon is an oceanographer, Bitcoiner and cofounder of OceanBit. In this interview, we discuss how an old technology deriving energy from ocean temperature differences can provide unlimited renewable baseload energy, and Bitcoin’s vital and symbiotic role. - - - - In the 1880s, a French engineer devised an engine that generated renewable energy from the oceans: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). It works by harnessing the large temperature differences between warm ocean surfaces and cold deep waters. This can occur within relatively short vertical distances (i.e. 100m). Such differences can be used to evaporate ammonia, driving a turbine, after which the ammonia can be re-liquified in a closed cycle system. The issue since the 1880s has been the technology has not been able to achieve economies of scale in competition with cheaper energy sources i.e. coal, oil and gas. The first OTEC plant was built in the 1930s, following which a further 14 test plants have been built at various times and geographies. But, no project has been able to overcome the hurdle of progressing from prototype to operational plant. And yet, given the size of the ocean, OTEC is the largest untapped renewable energy source in the world. Further, given the temperature differences don’t subside at night, it is a baseload supply. The potential is obviously huge. Anything that could be used to offset the capital costs of the R&D phase could lead to a new energy revolution. Enter Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining’s utility in directly monetising energy provides significant flexibility for developing a capital-efficient OTEC prototype. Such a facility would not need to be tethered to transmission lines: it would be able to exploit the best locations for OTEC around the equator. The genius in the proposal though is that OTEC and Bitcoin mining are symbiotic: access to limitless cold water means mining efficiency can be maximised. And there’s more. The production of energy in the ocean opens up all kinds of opportunities that could literally change the world. All from a technology that had all but been forgotten, but now stands to be reinvigorated by Bitcoin.
159:19 06/10/22
How Bitcoin Helps Mitigate Climate Change with Harald Rauter - WBD562
Harald Rauter is an environmentalist and Bitcoiner. In this interview, we discuss how UN climate change action is predicated on socio-economic scenarios that no longer apply (i.e. a cooperative world with improving equality), and how Bitcoin’s trustless market-based support for the energy transition could be the solution. - - - - The Paris Climate Accords in 2016 set the goal to limit global warming to below 2°C, but preferably 1.5°C, from pre-industrial levels. Following this, the UN’S Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018 produced a report setting out the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, and the pathways to keep warming below 1.5°C. The pathways were developed from forecasts of greenhouse gas emissions and radiative forces affecting climate change, and five different plausible scenarios of how the world may evolve in the future in socio-economic terms. These extend from an optimistic scenario where society starts shifting to a sustainable future, to a pessimistic scenario of a multi-polar world focused on national interests. Not all of the scenarios had mitigation pathways developed. The issue is that the world has changed drastically in the short time since the IPCC produced the report: it now resembles the pessimistic scenarios for which we have no mitigation pathways. This is obviously a problem, but not one that is being widely discussed, let alone having potential solutions considered. However, there are some working with environmental investors and policymakers who are seeing Bitcoin’s utility in a new light. The world is waking up to Bitcoin being able to support energy grids, subsidise the harnessing of stranded renewable energy and utilise waste methane. What isn’t commonly discussed is that it can do all of this without the need for cooperation: it is a trustless protocol with a market-based utility. Bitcoin mining could potentially be an important factor in mitigating climate change and limiting warming to 1.5°C, in an uncooperative world. What is needed is for it to be accounted for in the open source modelling work the IPCC has made available. Once we can quantify its importance, we can educate the decision-makers, and the market should take care of the rest.
102:20 04/10/22
Bitcoin & the Energy Transition with Nima Tabatabai - WBD561
Nima Tabatabai is co-founder of Optimize Infrastructure. In this interview, we discuss how battery technology for energy grids, solar’s overwhelming economic case, energy sovereignty, and how combining batteries, Bitcoin and solar results in the most flexible energy assets possible. - - - - In 2010 solar power generated 34 terawatt hours (TWh) per year across the globe. By the end of 2021, this has increased to 1,033 TWh per year. There are a number of reasons for this dramatic increase, but a prime driver is a reduction in costs. Between 2009 and 2019 the price of electricity from solar declined by 89%. The International Energy Agency in 2020 declared solar power offered the “cheapest…electricity in history”. As Nima Tabatabai states in this podcast, this drop in price is perhaps the greatest example of Jeff Booth’s assertion that technology is deflationary. Research and development of solar technologies have been affected positively and negatively by crises and political dogmas. Nevertheless, since the 1970s there has been a strong ‘learning effect’ across the whole production process resulting in an exponential reduction in costs. Nevertheless, the discussion of solar energy as a reliable part of the energy mix still stirs strong negative responses. Intermittency is a major concern: solar can’t work at night, and it’s deemed to be materially ineffective in cloudy weather and at high latitudes. Essentially, detractors state solar power supply can’t efficiently fit demand. There are also issues around land requirements, input materials and waste. But, are these concerns valid? Can solar be a reliable and sizeable source of energy? If so, what are the constraints and limitations? Could battery technology resolve concerns over intermittency? What would be needed to complement solar energy? Are our energy grids ready to assimilate decentralized power sources? And, what needs to be done to maximise the potential of Bitcoin in subsidising solar?
79:27 30/09/22
Bitcoin Privacy Through Statechains with Nicholas Gregory - WBD560
Nicholas Gregory is the CEO of Commerce Block, the company behind Mercury Wallet. In this interview, we discuss how they have used statechains to develop a virtual version of Opendime, the balance of trust and privacy on layer 2 protocols, and onboarding Lightning users. - - - - One of the most novel innovations to come out of the Bitcoin ecosystem in recent years has been Opendime. The aim was to turn Bitcoin into a version of physical cash. An Opendime, is essentially a USB stick, that can be traded between individuals without the need to confirm such transactions on the bitcoin base chain. The USB can be verified but is only redeemed by the last user, by breaking the device and accessing its private key. Opendime enables people to use Bitcoin as anonymous, untraceable cash. The limitation is that it requires a physical transfer. That was until Mercury Wallet was launched. Mercury Wallet is essentially a layer 2 protocol based on statechains. Statechains enable the offchain transfer of UTXOs (turned into a bearer asset referred to as a "statecoin") between parties. The limitation of statechains is the requirement for a trusted third party, in this case, Mercury Wallet. The third party is non-custodial; they collaborate as a blind partner in the cryptographic transfer of keys. Whilst there are theoretical security issues, they have been mitigated by Mercury Wallet. The issue to overcome is what tradeoffs people are willing to make between ease of use, value transfer and security requirements. But, this is just the first of a number of growing use cases for Mecury Wallet. It enables unlimited free swaps of Bitcoin UTXOs providing privacy benefits. Through the conversion of underlying assets into statecoins, the transfer of assets using Discreet Log Contracts can be facilitated. Further, by layering the Lightning network on top of statechains, it could even enable the transfer of Lightning channels.
60:31 28/09/22
Running a Business on Bitcoin with Tibor Ballai - WBD559
Tibor Ballai is the co-founder and CTO of Fortris. In this interview, we discuss the challenges of running a business on Bitcoin, how Fortis enables businesses to use Bitcoin as an operational currency, and why this will be the next step in the adoption cycle. - - - - It is one thing for an individual to move towards converting to a Bitcoin standard, it’s quite another for a company. Running a business is hard enough without having to navigate around emerging regulations and evolving technical innovations that come with using Bitcoin as an operational currency. Without professional support, many businesses will choose the path of least resistance, which will be sticking with fiat. This is how companies like Fortris can provide material help in the next wave of the adoption cycle. If Bitcoin is to become a widely used form of money, obviously businesses will need to adopt it. Having both the expertise and enterprise applications to smooth the transition to Bitcoin adoption is what is required, and what Fortis can offer. The thing is, there is a myriad of different internal policy and external regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome. Who can sign off transactions? How is the Bitcoin to be held? What are the tax implications, and methods to limit tax liabilities? How should payments, domestic and international, be managed? What are the means for using Bitcoin for payroll? How should Bitcoin treasuries be assimilated into management reporting functions? These are the hurdles and questions that I am personally having to tackle as I use Bitcoin within both my media business and the football club that I run. So, I am as interested as anyone in what services companies like Fortris offer, and how they can help people like me maximise the benefits of Bitcoin without being tripped up by bureaucratic or technical issues.
66:20 26/09/22
Can Bitcoin Fix the Political System? With Logan Bolinger - WBD558
Logan Bolinger is a lawyer and writer of the Think Bitcoin newsletter. In this interview, we discuss how he became orange pilled after concluding trust in politics is an impossible dream. We talk about how Bitcoin can help fix the broken political system and the problems caused by fiat money. - - - - There are many paths to Bitcoin. Cypherpunks, anarcho-capitalists and libertarians have all been attracted to Bitcoin given its rooted in protecting individual freedom, and its growing value as a powerful check on government control of money. And yet, there is now a meaningful movement of progressives within Bitcoin who have also been drawn to Bitcoin. Beyond the mainstream media narratives that would have you believe Bitcoin is for those on the right wing, Bitcoin is for anyone, and people are finding in Bitcoin solutions to a range of perceived systemic problems. For progressives, it offers a range of mitigations and solutions to deep-rooted issues. Most notably in how to restore trust to the broken political system and help those affected by inequality. Bitcoin is a revolution in that it empowers those who have increasingly been treated with contempt by the state, but had until recently felt powerless. It provides a chance to rebalance the social contract and strengthen democracy. And for those who want to retain the framework of the state, there is power to be drawn from the libertarian cause: rulers act differently when the ruled have a chance to opt-out and rely on a trustless system. Opening up to Bitcoin also offers a chance to look at wider society anew. Going down the rabbit hole means awakening to the fundamentals of money, economics and banking. It brings a realisation that a lot of what activists have been focused on has been the symptoms of issues rather than the causes. Maybe there is an alignment between those on the right and left around Bitcoin as they realise they are both being literally short-changed by the ruling elites. And, whilst being uncommon bedfellows, there is strength in numbers. And maybe the greatest strength of Bitcoin is in its ability to bring those on different sides of the aisle together to resolve some of our biggest issues.
86:26 23/09/22
Mining Bitcoin with Nuclear Energy with Ryan MacLeod - WBD577
Ryan MacLeod is a Bitcoiner working in the reactor research and safety programs at Canadian Nuclear Labs. In this interview, we discuss the importance and safety of nuclear energy, and how Ryan is trying to orange pill the nuclear industry by showing how Bitcoin aids the economic case. - - - - The growing consensus is that nuclear energy needs to play a critical part in providing society's energy needs. It is both a low-carbon energy source, energy-dense, and (dependent upon operation) reliable. And yet, nuclear only provides 10% of the world’s energy needs, down from 18% in 1996. Whilst the IAEA forecasts only a 12% contribution by 2050 in its high-case projection. The issue to date has been the safety concerns regarding nuclear energy. High-profile accidents have clouded the public’s perception of the nuclear industry and influenced anti-nuclear policies in numerous countries. The build-out of new nuclear capacity dropped significantly after Chernobyl, an accident that some feared had come close to making half of Europe uninhabitable. The reality is that Chernobyl was an accident unlike any other, which indicated the malaise of a waning superpower, rather than an industry that was inherently dangerous. Since then, reactor technology and the treatment of waste have continued to improve. We are now on the cusp of countries being able to roll out Small Modular Reactors that are cheaper, safer and more scalable than existing designs. It has the potential to revolutionize nuclear power just when we need it. And yet, the economics of nuclear energy are still challenging. High capital costs mean that nuclear facilities need to have a high capacity to make the investment worthwhile. Cheaper energy from solar and wind are adding to the complexity of the issue. There are other uses for nuclear energy that can be monetised, but these have their own specific infrastructure and operational requirements. This is where Bitcoin mining could provide a bridge. It eliminates the concept of surplus baseload generation, bolstering the economic bottom line of both old and new reactors. And it can do this from day one. So, could Bitcoin mining be the catalyst for a renaissance of the nuclear industry? If so, it will be young professionals such as Ryan MacLeod who are helping to lead the change.
80:12 21/09/22
The Quantum Threat to Bitcoin Revisited with Richard Murray - WBD556
Richard Murray is the co-founder and CEO of ORCA Computing. In this interview, we discuss the spooky and baffling effects of quantum mechanics, how ORCA is harnessing these effects to build quantum computers, and why success will be our generation's moonshot. - - - - The post-war period has seen an explosion in computing power. The principle underpinning modern digital computers was developed by Alan Turing in 1936 with his paper “On Computable Numbers”. The concept was that programs with instructions would be stored in memory, which would enable the computer to be programmable. Since then, digital computers have continued to evolve at a pace. Gordon Moore (who was co-founder and CEO of Intel) predicted in 1975 (revising an earlier 1965 prediction) that the number of components in each integrated circuit would double every two years. This became known as Moore’s Law and has largely held true. Innovative chip engineering has resulted in increases in computational power since the war that can be measured in the trillions. This is why our society has changed beyond recognition. And yet, there are limits to what we can do with computers, and limits to continued progress. A single Dutch company, ASML, provides the ultraviolet lithography machines needed to keep pace with Moore's Law. We are reaching the physical limits of increasing transistors to further computational power. A potential solution to this barrier could be by using the spooky effects of quantum mechanics. Computers work using a binary system, where computation has 2 possible discrete answers: 0 or 1. The effect of quantum mechanics means a computation can dispense with the discrete answer: the solution can be 0 or 1, or any combination of 0 and 1 at the same time. Harnessing this will turn the rapid evolution of computer science into a rapid revolution. When we can access unimaginable computational power what will be possible? In our specific sphere, what does this mean for Bitcoin mining and encryption more broadly? What does this mean for wider society? What are the ethical ramifications? All of these are questions that we should be grappling with, even though nobody can still explain what causes the spooky phenomena in quantum mechanics!
92:45 19/09/22