In this John Carvalho candidly opens up about his involvement in the Bitcoin space and recalls some of the moments when he played key roles within the community.
Watch out for interesting stories about The Bitcoin Foundation and how every attempt to represent the entire group of bitcoiners inevitably suffers from a quick demise.
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2:10 – The politics of Bitcoin
5:25 – Getting into BTC for the first time
8:12 – Bitcoin back in the day
10:18 – Bitcoin Foundation
12:25 – Consulting Bitcoin Foundation
14:00 – Opinions on The B (Foundation)
15:00 – Bitcoin Foundation vs The B
20:10 – Bitcoin’s multiple narratives
24:30 – Should everything be on a blockchain?
25:10 – Moments of despair in Bitcoin
29:15 – Bitcoin wants to be set free
30:30 – Andreas Antonopoulos and Roger Ver
32:00 – BTC millionaires by accident
33:30 – Bitcoin then and now
36:30 – The Bitcoin world is smaller than it seems
38:00 – Political considerations on Bitcoin
41:20 – Store of value vs mean of exchange for altcoins and for Bitcoin
43:15 – Swiss bank in your pocket
45:00 – Trump helped Bitcoin and the bull run?
48:30 – Bitcoin vs stocks
50:10 – John’s education and involvement in finance
52:50 – How John learned how to debate
53:50 – Preparing to debate Roger Ver
58:25 – How to ruin an honest debate
1:01:25 – On being skeptical
1:02:00 – Blockstream
1:08:50 – Politics vs merit and reputation
1:10:00 – Roger Ver causing friction on markets and burning his resources
1:15:00 – On Roger Ver and Jihan Wu potentially returning to Bitcoin
1:18:30 – Proud of Bitcoin involvement
1:19:10 – Bitrefill and gift cards
1:22:50 – Steam vs Steemit
1:23:40 – On the Brave browser and BAT
1:28:30 – Hyperbitcoinization
1:32:00 – On governments buying BTC
1:36:40 – Retail businesses in BTC
1:38:00 – Bitcoin in 10 years
1:40:00 – Bitcoin and fiat as Ponzis
1:41:00 – The Cantillon effect
1:42:30 – Deflationary economy
Every episode is both informative and artistic. That is why this season’s intro is a musical composition of my own, and this video depicts images that were captured with my Sony X1000v sports camera (Sony’s GoPro knockoff).
The images that you’re seeing in this episode are taken in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania – which also happens to be the place where John and I have met once. You may consider this a cultural journey which also enriches your brain with very relevant Bitcoin-related information.
Also, I apologize for mispronouncing John’s last name. His ancestry is Portuguese (not Spanish), and his name is pronounced like “Car-vah-low”. John was just too nice to interrupt me in the middle of the interview and correct me. Here’s to hoping that nobody else messes up.
Some key places that you’re seeing are:
0:53 – Calea Victoriei: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calea_Victoriei
4:19 – Ion Câmpineanu street, where you find one of the oldest cinemas in the city (Cinema Union) and lots of cool guitar shops.
11:37 – The Central University Library of Romania, which is just across the road from The Royal Palace (which nowadays serves as the National Art Museum): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Art_of_Romania
13:36 – The Romanian Atheneum, one of the most important cultural buildings in the city. It was famously erected thanks to a national fundraiser which lasted 28 years and is a great proof of voluntaryism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Athenaeum
18:00 – Izvor Park and The Palace of Parliament (the second largest administrative building in the world after The Pentagon, which was built in the 1980s out of our dictator’s vanity and starved the entire nation due to external debts): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_the_Parliament
20:01 – Cișmigiu Park: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cișmigiu_Gardens
29:10 – Victory Square (Piața Victoriei) during one of the many anti-governmental protests of 2017. It’s best known for the Victoria Palace, where the members of government (the executive branch) go to work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Square,_Bucharest
40:10 – The Northern Railway station, the biggest station in Romania. From that point on, you will see images of the Romanian countryside. Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucharest_North_railway_station
If you would like to tweet about this episode of the show, please use the #BitcoinTakeover hashtag.
Vlad Costea (00:00:46):
Hello, this is Vlad and welcome to the Bitcoin takeover podcast. Today’s episode features none other than John Carvalho, who is also known as the Bitcoin airlock. And I really appreciate him for the simple reason that he’s always critical. And he has this type of input, which is unique and non partisan to call it. So he’s like the lone wolf, much like people like Dan Dark Pill and other commentators. He doesn’t buy to fit into a mold. He tries to be himself and he doesn’t make much of an effort to do it. And whenever he criticizes something, it’s the kind of opinion which should be taken into consideration. And that’s why I thought that we should definitely have John in this podcast and thank you for doing this, John.
Vlad Costea (00:01:40):
Hey, thank you very big words to live up to, but thank you.
Vlad Costea (00:01:47):
Well, you’re best known, I guess, for that notorious interview with Roger Ver.
Vlad Costea (00:01:53):
But other than that, you’re involved in Bitcoin from the early days and you attended conferences in New York and you know, a lot of people who got in very early and I guess you have plenty of good stories to tell about the politics of Bitcoin, because when we first spoke and I told you that this podcast is about politics, you said, you’re not really interested in politics as in politicians, but if you look at Bitcoin and the way the narrative has changed throughout the years and how different actors have attained, the kind of status, which gives them authority and notoriety in the space, you can see that they are our politicians, and there are many politics, regardless of what we talk about, the next soft fork or protocol improvements, or how we switched from the narrative of mean of exchange to a store of value. That’s also part of politics. And I know also that you paid a lot of fees to the membership fees. I’m not sure what they were, so the Bitcoin foundation, and those are also interesting stories in themselves. I have no idea what to begin with. How, how did you first get into Bitcoin?
John Carvalho (00:03:10):
Well first, okay. We covered a lot there. First I’ll say yes, I am generally disinterested in talking about politics as, as a greater concept. But I obviously and do participate in Bitcoin politics and I am particularly interested in politics for the crypto world. As far as the Bitcoin foundation goes, I think it’s maybe depending on what people’s exposure is to things like this foundations nonprofit organizations are evolving around Bitcoin. They’re not as important in my opinion, as people think they are, or maybe the influence they may have had. I don’t know if I spent a lot of these on being a part of these organizations, but I guess looking in hindsight at what the value of Bitcoin is now compared to then yeah, I guess, but back then, it wasn’t that much. But I think that, you know they were mostly ineffective and they mostly in the past at least have served as more like a platform for eat the egos of the early businessmen of Bitcoin.
John Carvalho (00:04:19):
I don’t know that they ever had much impact on Bitcoin adoption or Bitcoin education or, you know helps Bitcoin in any significant way. I also don’t think they hurt them in the significant way, but some people maybe would, would disagree. You know, we had people like, you know, Roger Ver and Gavin Andresen and Mt. Gox Mark Karpelles and Peter Vessenees, I don’t know how to say his name, but he was involved with some of the more shady mining efforts in the early days and things like this. There are a lot of these people that just mostly had a business interests that got a little bit more attention and a little bit more confidence out of being able to say they’re on the Bitcoin foundation board even now Brock Pierce loves to use this as a, as a qualifier of who he is when he is getting quotes and social media news like that. He’s a board member of the Bitcoin foundation. It’s really a totally unimportant tag it doesn’t,
Vlad Costea (00:05:23):
But how did you get exposed or introduced to Bitcoin for the first time? What was it that got you in? Was it the idea that you liked the technology, or was it some kind of ideological ideas that you might have had
John Carvalho (00:05:39):
Before? I mean, I’ve been a person of the internet for a long time. And when I heard, when I started seeing articles about how people were ordering drugs online using this online currency called Bitcoin, I, you know, definitely peaked my attention. I started reading it. You know, once I started actually looking into what the hell is this thing actually, was it just got more and more interesting to me, the more I learned, and I just started diving deeper and deeper into the online communities that we’re talking about and doing projects about Bitcoin.
Vlad Costea (00:06:14):
Okay. That that’s a general answer, but was it by yourself?
John Carvalho (00:06:20):
My time? Was it by myself? Sorry.
Vlad Costea (00:06:24):
Is it by yourself that you got in, or did you have a friend who told you something about this new invention?
John Carvalho (00:06:30):
No, it was strictly by myself. It was just, you know, reading online news and things like this and, and seeing her hearing about silk road. And this is really the story of a lot of people that were getting involved late 2006, 2007. And just diving into like Bitcoin talk.org the forums, you know, read it. A lot of people were hanging out in IRC back then more than a telegram, like now this still pick winners and IRC, but I don’t really go there anymore. And just kind of learning more and more and more. It was not as it still, isn’t an easy thing to fully grasp all the concepts of how the thing works and the dynamics of how it affects things in finance game theory. And, you know, you, anything, if you’re interested in any of these fields, does this just an endless amount of stuff you can learn, especially if you start trying to apply it.
Vlad Costea (00:07:28):
Okay. I’m not sure if it was 2006 or 2007, as you mentioned, maybe 2009 or something.
John Carvalho (00:07:36):
Oh, sorry. Sorry. I am, I’m totally, I’m thinking about, I’ve been in Bitcoin for six years in, in 2006. No, it was 2000. What’s that 12 and 13, right.
Vlad Costea (00:07:46):
Okay. I’m glad we got that straight. I can only imagine how people will rage or probably
John Carvalho (00:07:56):
No, I’m not Satoshi. Sometimes I’ve claimed to be
Vlad Costea (00:08:01):
Aren’t we all Satoshi?
John Carvalho (00:08:03):
Yeah, I guess so everybody but Craig Wright, right?
Vlad Costea (00:08:07):
That’s the meme. So you got interested in Bitcoin, but what was it like at the time, I reckon that you didn’t have as many wallet choices. It was a lot harder if you didn’t have any technical knowledge to get in.
John Carvalho (00:08:25):
Yeah. Back then, you know it was just about when Mt. Gox was, was getting into proliferation and people using that as a main way. I did use it a little bit. Back then, you had to, like, you had to make an account with this thing called Dwolla and Dwolla was a way to get your money into Dwolla, and then Dwolla, then you can move your money from Dwolla and Mt. Gox or, you know, and people were using things like BitInstant by Charlie Shrem and going to like a local pharmacies or wherever it was and wiring money and buying the coin that way. Wallets, I think mostly we were just using the coin coin. I can’t really remember if there were mobile wallets, anybody who was actually used back then, I think maybe at some point BitPay came around with copay. But mostly we were just using the real Bitcoin wallet.
John Carvalho (00:09:27):
There was also another exchange that, that was around in the us from Atlanta called the Camp BX. And they were doing some normal unit. You could just wire money to them buy Bitcoin there and had a small exchange, but I don’t think they exist anymore, but most people were using Mt. Gox. And that was how we were getting Bitcoin, especially like the next year or two after.
Vlad Costea (00:09:50):
Yeah. There was Mt. Gox and BitInstant. And interestingly, both Mark Karpeles and Charlie Shrem were founding members and board members of the Bitcoin foundation. And that was maybe the first political entity, which was established in this space.
John Carvalho (00:10:11):
…And Ended up mostly being a mistake because they wanted to be the people that the news would call when they needed a quote about Bitcoin, because Bitcoin can’t represent itself really. So the, you know, they wanted it to be the authority on speaking for Bitcoin, but nobody in the Bitcoin from the foundation, mostly, we’re actually very good at, at representing Bitcoin.
John Carvalho (00:10:36):
You know, they mostly were just representing thing, their businesses and they’re on their own ego interests. So it wasn’t, they wouldn’t even give proper answers to some of the questions that the media was asking. So they would, they would often piss off, you know, the, the Bitcoin community online by saying the wrong thing. And I remember people giving, like Bruce Fenton was a chair and an important person, the Bitcoin foundation. So people would give him a lot of shit. Whenever he would say something that you thought was stupid. And then the Bitcoin foundation kind of died for a while. People were pretty disappointed because they gave the Bitcoin foundation, a lot of Bitcoin and Bitcoin price appreciated over the next few years. And so people just kind of felt a little bit burned because they wished they had just held onto their Bitcoin on one hand. But also because the foundation never really amounted to much that, that they thought was useful for them or Bitcoin. Then the, the foundation went away for a while and didn’t really say much. And really the board, I had a couple of good people on it, like I know Francis Pouliot was, is, or was, and a, and a couple other guys, but I hadn’t really started having
John Carvalho (00:11:54):
Like Vinny Lingham be part of it and Brock Pierce. And yeah, Brock Pierce has accomplished a lot as far as raising a lot of money with EOS and some other projects, but is generally, these guys are not seen as Bitcoiners are seen as businessmen that have successfully exploited crypto, you know?
Vlad Costea (00:12:13):
No, go on, go ahead.
John Carvalho (00:12:17):
At some point there was a new director that came around with Bitcoin foundation. I got it in my head that I would try to help make this, this, you know, Phoenix rising effort, not suck like last time. So I offered to do some consulting for them and, you know, overlook this, this rebranding effort they were doing, they were building a new website. I started to like working with Bruce Fenton and the new director and giving them feedback, rewriting some of the texts like this and making some recommendations about what their focuses should be. So, so as not to make a mistake, mistakes was the past. Mostly they just, they took my advice when it came to like grammatical things or technical things, but didn’t really take too much advice as far as conceptual things. I think they wanted to try to do too much. And in the end, I think they’re right, even at this moment, pretty ineffective and not really doing anything at all.
Vlad Costea (00:13:15):
Yeah. I also noticed that a lot of people who got into Bitcoin in 2013, 14 are now board members of the foundation, which isn’t bad in itself, but it’s just a Testament of the fact that the early Bitcoiners are not interested in the foundation anymore.
John Carvalho (00:13:35):
No, I mean, it’s not easy to organize efforts in an altruistic way or a benevolent way for Bitcoin. It’s very difficult. I mean, the only successful example we have is Bitcoin core. And even that they’re not, they have a very focused goal is to create code. They’re not trying to do outreach or improve education, or I guess in some ways they are for their own community, but in general to try to represent Bitcoin in an organized way is nearly impossible to do while remaining unbiased and benevolent in the eyes of all stakeholders. You saw this when Giacomo Zucco and Alena from Casa, they tried to do this there, they are trying to do this newer foundation called the B foundation. As soon as they unveiled this, all of Bitcoin Twitter was yelling at them and criticizing them for being evil before they had even done anything. And I thought that was a bit jumping the gun. So I tried to defend them a little bit, but it’s true that it is pretty impossible to organize a benevolent nonprofit effort that is seen as doing good job by all the,
Vlad Costea (00:14:59):
Yeah, but I guess in the whole process, we have learned a few important lessons about organizing and representing. On one hand you had a Bitcoin foundation, which was trying to be all encompassing and do every thing that was required for the project to grow from PR to development and everything in between. Whereas the B is all about trying to finance new developers and I spoke to Giacomo’s Zucco about it. And he told me that the idea came to him after he noticed that the best part of Ethereum on this market is the fact that they financed so many startup companies and developers who are on different sides of the pterygium roadmap. So they have lots of projects which are dispersed around the planet. They have many teams of developers and he taught that he should do something similar for Bitcoin Core. And in this regard, he organized a few people that he was closed to and try to raise funds and have this kind of initiative, which is all about development and trying to finance legitimate projects, which are benevolent in this regard and wants to see the project grow, but it it’s never, and it’s not aimed to be something which represents Bitcoin.
Vlad Costea (00:16:25):
And as you said to be the people that you call when you have some kind of news piece about Bitcoin.
John Carvalho (00:16:35):
Yeah, well, even this is, this is common with nonprofit efforts and, you know, every, every Bitcoin miner that really loves Bitcoin at some point gets it in their head, that they want to do some kind of project to help Bitcoin aside from a business, you know, whether it be a website that has a collection of good links to learn trying to form some kind of community, run a Bitcoin meetup, everybody that really loves Bitcoin and always gets this in their head and make some kind of efforts dissipate and some kind of way to help. But when it comes in my experience, the more organized it is, and the more people are involved, the less effective it actually gets at becoming a benevolent curator of information or, or a resource. And you see this with the Bitcoin foundation, when it was reborn, they did try to focus on doing like programmer workshops.
John Carvalho (00:17:29):
This is a common thing because it’s, it’s, it’s something that most of must be current corners we’ll agree on. We need more developers. We need to help develop this, feel comfortable with participating in contributing to core or developments for technologies such, but the Bitcoin foundation, as far as I know, failed at this they, even their second effort they, they tried to do some workshops. I don’t, I don’t think it really went anywhere. Even Bitcoin core itself for awhile, try to do a, they wanted to see if they could improve their communications efforts. And I tried to help. I remember I was trying to work with Meltem Demirors and a couple of other people Brian Bishop and I had went to, I had met with them at Consensus, I think in 2016. And we were trying to do some efforts to get Bitcoin represented at this conference and, and see if we can hit something up, have better communications with Core.
John Carvalho (00:18:30):
But I learned pretty quickly that it’s kind of impossible to distill a message from core and what they agree on and what they want to see, how they would like to see themselves represented because they actually are pretty varied and they disagree on things and they are, they’re pretty uncomfortable with having themselves represented in a way that they don’t agree with as individuals. So the effort kind of didn’t last very long. I mean, we managed to help get some core representatives representing Bitcoin better at that conference. But after a week or two later, the efforts just became a waste of time because nobody, there was no head, there’s no leader in core. There was nobody to like help guide us to tell us, you know, what kind of messages, what kind of education or what kind of things we should be doing to help communications.
John Carvalho (00:19:21):
It was kind of impossible. So I, I hope that the B can figure out doing a better job at least with programming but both of the core effort to improve communications. And it sounds like from what you say, the be, it comes from the one thing that we all could see about that theory and did well was, was intrigued developers. And it got a lot of programs interested in putting in programming time to working on creating software that was built on Ethereum. Bitcoin has not been very good at that. I mean, it’s been good in the quality sense, but in the quantity sense, no. There are a lot of developers and a lot of money and a lot of investors putting money into theory and projects. And there’s a little bit of envy on the coin side as to, and what if we could have captured that? What if we could have had all those people that wanted to make things on it there, you know, make the coin.
Vlad Costea (00:20:20):
But I guess the whole beauty of Bitcoin is that you don’t have an official narrative. You don’t have a talk leader to come to you and say, this is our vision. This is what we pursue. You have different opinions on what it is, depending on the background of these people. You’ll have anthropologists who will explain to you why it’s the evolution of money. Then you’ll economists
Vlad Costea (00:20:48):
Like Saifedean, how do you pronounce his name?
John Carvalho (00:20:52):
I think it’s Safe-a-Dean, but I actually don’t know.
Vlad Costea (00:20:56):
Saifedean. He wrote the Bitcoin standard and he associated Bitcoin with his libertarian views on economy. And in the sense he created a good convergence to build a new narrative or what Bitcoin is. And it’s not like it was the first one to do it, but it was the latest and the most efficient and influential person to accomplish this task. And also you have people who will see free speech and censorship resistance in Bitcoin and all these stories and all these experiences all mixed together and build something greater than the vision of material, for example, which is going to say that they want to decentralize that publications or whatever, or build a world computer. And that comes from the top. It comes from a few top, a few top leaders who established this line of thought and they create the narrative. But in Bitcoin, if you point out a few features, you’re going to this, please. Some other people who see something different in it, that’s the whole term of the protocol was still there.
John Carvalho (00:22:20):
Oh, sorry. I have my mic off. Yeah, I think that means that it’s working you know, in Bitcoin, the only thing you’re supposed to be able to represent you as yourself, you’re supposed to be able to verify for yourself, you’re supposed to be able to choose your software, that you’re running yourself. And this, this echoes into all of things Bitcoins. So I think when the, when the organized or more centralized efforts kind of can only get so big and only be so effective, it’s kind of evidence that Bitcoin is working the way it’s supposed to because you’re, it’s hard to have influence over other people. And kind of I guess what consensus means is that only thing that everybody agrees on the lowest common denominator in the end is the only thing that’s going to pass through. So when you have individualized incentives, individualized motivations, these things become more difficult to proliferate and organize because if most Bitcoiners don’t want to, it’s just not going to happen. Whereas with the curious side with Ethereum, you can have more central power and influence and things like this, and it will influence other people to follow along. You know, when, when Vitalik and a few programmers decided that they want to have Constantinople and they just say, this is what’s going to happen. And then everybody kind of just goes along with it. Whereas in Bitcoin, you know, we have something like SegWit2X or
John Carvalho (00:23:46):
A controversial change, and it falls flat dies because it’s just too controversial. And there isn’t enough consensus. And even a theory is starting to see this because despite that their, their node structure and other aspects are fairly centralized development, et cetera. And they have achieved a little bit more decentralization over time. And now you’re starting to see things like how there are some people that, that upgraded to the Constantinople fork. That was backtracked, but they stayed on. And so now there’s a fork of that network already unintentional. So yeah it, decentralization is a, is very difficult to overcome.
Vlad Costea (00:24:32):
Sure. And in the same line of thought, there shouldn’t be everything that we can imagine in the digital realm put on the blockchain. We shouldn’t just think of these kind of ridiculous implementations, which are slow and inefficient and do not justify their presence there, I guess,
John Carvalho (00:24:54):
Banks will not be on a blockchain. It’s just, yeah, I totally agree. I mean, in the end, blockchain is just a highly redundant, highly inefficient database. And you shouldn’t just be blockchaining things because it’s cool. We should be blockchaining them because you’re trying to achieve censorship resistance. There’s not really any special efficiency or reason to be storing things in such a redundant, inefficient database. If you’re gonna be running a centralized project, you’re much better off using a more efficient database set up.
Vlad Costea (00:25:28):
So you have been in Bitcoin for six to seven years. And was there a main, what was that?
Vlad Costea (00:25:37):
Is that about six? Yes. About six.
Vlad Costea (00:25:40):
And was there a moment when you felt like it’s soul crashing down and crumbling?
John Carvalho (00:25:46):
I mean, if you want to talk about the Bitcoin value. Yeah, sure. Man. It hurts when you, when you go from 20K to 3K it hurts when you go from, you know, $1,200 or whatever it was to under $200. I’ve seen, you know, a few of these, these market cycles now, and every time it hurts because you never sell everything at the top and buy everything at the bottom. Only the very few are good at choosing tops and bottoms, and most people are going to feel some regret. And also being around this long, you know, eventually Bitcoin always has a price. You know, I learned this at 20 K I made it sweet when we were at 20 K or so. And I said, as of today, everybody who ever sold it, Bitcoin was wrong. And all I meant by that was, you know, if everybody that sold, yeah.
John Carvalho (00:26:39):
Maybe they had to, or maybe they were speculating or trying to pick a top or a bottom, but they they were all wrong. If the F F if all I had done was hold the Bitcoin that I held when I had the most Bitcoin, I mean, fuck, man, I’d be, I’d be rich as hell, but I didn’t do that. And most people don’t do that. Most people can’t. So I think, you know, for the people that, that feel regret or, or pain for these, these fluctuations, they should take a little bit of solace in the fact that this is what happens. Most people they’re not, they’re not unique. It’s extremely difficult to have enough monetary value or personal net worth to just be able to hold everything in Bitcoin, wait long enough. So you can be as rich as possible. Most people just can’t do that. Even core developers, you know, we saw Luke jr. Putting his hand out for donations. Even despite the massive bull run we had, we have lives, we have expenses, we have to do things. And even though, you know, some of us were around in the early days and had tons of Bitcoin and we don’t have them anymore. And most people don’t have them anymore. It’s a completely wrong assumption to assume that the amount of years that people have been in Bitcoin, that that’s a somehow directly correlated to how rich they are.
Vlad Costea (00:27:58):
Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. And I remember the first time I bought any Bitcoin, I sold it on an exchange for a $10 profit or something. And I was so proud of myself.
John Carvalho (00:28:11):
Yup. Everybody does it, everybody.
Vlad Costea (00:28:16):
I had very little trust and I guess most people get into it just because they see news about the price action and figure out this might be their chance to maximize their fiat. But the few people who stay and get into the communities and learn more, actually become valuable members and help spread the adoption and ways that we can’t even comprehend. And this is useful. It’s not like Bitcoin will become a global phenomenon because people realize overnight that they need sound money. That will never happen. We always need,
John Carvalho (00:28:56):
Hopefully not never,
Vlad Costea (00:28:58):
No. We need the help of people who are knowledgeable and can actually create useful stuff. Even if it’s a few articles or translations for wallets to be used in many languages around the world. There’s a lot to,
John Carvalho (00:29:16):
Yeah. I kind of have like a, I have a kind of abstract theory about Bitcoin and that I believe that Bitcoin is wanting to be free. Bitcoin is like information wants to be set free. It wants to propagate, it wants to travel around as much as it can. And that’s what makes holding Bitcoin so hard. I can’t put this in a practical or logical explanation only to say that I’ve just witnessed it over and over and over. And, and everybody I’ve ever known and to coin that Bitcoin’s really wants to be set free and to hold them is like fighting to hold. Like, you know, like what are the rings like trying to hold the one ring? It’s it just, it, it, it has a toxic effect and eventually you have to let them go. And I think that, I think a lot of people, if you really ask them, we’ll probably have similar stories about how they had to let their Bitcoin go for one reason or another, whether it be because of their own ignorance and trying to think they can trade, but because of expenses or life happening Bitcoins want to be free and everybody wants to take them from you.
John Carvalho (00:30:18):
So holding is not easy holding. It’s a hard lesson to learn the lesson. A lot of people spend a lot of time trying to teach people, but in practice it’s much more difficult than, than people realize. Even when you do learn the lesson, it’s even hard just to get yourself to a Bay lesson.
Vlad Costea (00:30:35):
I remember there was this story about AndreasAntonopoulos, who at some point did and telling any more Bitcoin because he sold it to help his ill mother or something.
John Carvalho (00:30:49):
I don’t remember the details. I remember like the day after I did the Roger Ver interview with him, flipping me off that there was, there was some kind of, you know, there was a lot of hate going around for Roger at that time. And I remember Roger attacking on Andreas about something saying he should’ve held more Bitcoin and you wouldn’t have these problems. Like, and I don’t remember what it was. Interest was obviously must have posted about needing money or trying to make money. And Roger was like judging him. And Roger had just finished, you know, trying to judge me and talking about how much money do you have? How much has your business make and saying all these things. So there was a lot of hay going around for Roger. And I remember it. I felt like the community when Roger was attacking Andreas, they kind of parlayed or, or channeled all this hate that he had just generated for himself. And they end to them donating a lot of money. It’s one dress, I think maybe he received a million dollars or so in Bitcoin when you shared the story and how Roger was tacking stuff, and Andreas is explaining how, Hey, man, I have a life to live and I have to sell my Bitcoin to be able to live at. And the community all kind of channeled this into helping Andreas out.
Vlad Costea (00:32:06):
So this totally dispels the narrative or a theory that people who got into Bitcoin early on are millionaires by now. And we see on the news all the time, all these teenagers who somehow buy some Bitcoin in 2010 or something to get drugs on silk road. And maybe there are, they were two stones remembered that they were supposed to buy drugs and they ended up holding them for seven years until 2017. And then they were rich.
John Carvalho (00:32:38):
I mean, I don’t want to say it totally dispels it because I’m just, this is just one anecdotal account from me. This is my impression and my impression, maybe also from other people I know, but I mean, surely there are going to be counter examples where maybe some of the older core developers are still holding hundreds or thousands of Bitcoin and set for the rest of their life, way more than even whatever needs to be. But I don’t know, you know, I feel like I don’t consider my while. I may have unique opinions on things. I think that as a, as a human, I like to think of my actions as being common actions and whatever I did with my Bitcoin or whatever I did investment wise or selling wise that probably like you let a lot of people behave the same way. So I, I think that may be my story and my perspective is common, but I’m sure there are, there are also people that held, whether it be by mistake on purpose for quite a long time after millions of dollars.
Vlad Costea (00:33:39):
So how would you compare the Bitcoin landscape right now where everything that was going on around the time when you got in, I know the phenomenon has gotten bigger and there are many more people involved, but at the same time, I guess it’s pretty much the same in terms of development. You have this very few, you have these few developers who actually work on the protocol and that wasn’t, I feel like nothing much has happened except for Gavin stepping out and the moderate people joining the core development team
John Carvalho (00:34:21):
A lot has happened has that happened and to the degree that others would say so, or think so, no. I mean, Bitcoin was so small back then, and it’s so much smaller even now than people, a lot of people even realized. But there is kind of like this, this outer Bitcoin, this outer crypto that is still somewhat of a mystery to all, but, you know, companies like Coinbase and such, I mean, when basis is claiming that they have 20, 30 million or 30 million users and in crypto Twitter, like you’re pretty much the epitome of famous if you have, I don’t know, a hundred thousand followers. So if the best you can get is, you know, 50, a hundred thousand followers, or so as a crypto entity. But there are 30 million people in it that just using Coinbase alone, at least at its peak, like who are those people?
John Carvalho (00:35:18):
Where are those people? Cause I know that in crypto Twitter, you know, things are still pretty small. Bitcoin talk forum is probably used, you know, the same amount or a little bit more, a little bit less as it was back then read it. I feel like even though I think it hit like a million users or something recently, it feels kind of dead and it kind of feels a little bit irrelevant to me these days. Maybe it’s just me. But in Twitter seems to be where everything’s happening. Telegram also there’s some good communities, more private rooms and things like this, but it still feels really, really, really small you know, from trying to do Bitcoin business projects as well, you get a better perspective on how many users they really are for certain use cases. And you just realize that, like the only way you’re going to reach some kind of massive success like, you know, is if you are somebody like Coinbase or major exchange, if you’re not a major exchange and capitalizing and exploiting the speculative aspects of the plan, then your, your crypto business is significantly smaller comparison.
Vlad Costea (00:36:30):
I think I’ve also noticed in time that we have these big conglomerates of websites, which are related to Bitcoin and crypto, you have block one, which has lots of ventures, which are affiliated or financed by them. And then I never knew until I checked out their website, but the coin Telegraph also owns coin market cap and coin gecko, and what’s mine.com and Bitcoin Magazine and lots of other smaller websites that are related. And the more you discover, the more you realize that this world is not as big as it seems. And you might have many people who work in the field, but those who own did a large amounts of Bitcoin are pretty few.
John Carvalho (00:37:22):
Yeah. I mean, I think it’s obviously there’s some kind of newer layers developing on the community. We just gotta figure out how to integrate it better because you know, if the, I don’t think necessarily that Coinbase is lying about having 20 or 30 million users. I think it’s just that maybe it’s because these are just like really, really superficial or lightly involved. Like that might just be a lot of people that just wanted to buy 50 bucks of Bitcoin as an investment, you know, as a gamble and just forget about it. But we have to figure out getting the, all those people to actually understand what Bitcoin is holding their own Bitcoin, you know, being involved in actually understanding why it’s an interesting technology and it’s trusting money.
Vlad Costea (00:38:09):
I recall I saw this website, which was made by Jackson Palmer. It was our, we decentralized.com and sometimes I would visit it just to remind myself that there are so few such few nodes running each protocol, even though the coins themselves had a huge market cap worth of billions or hundreds of millions of dollars. And you also had a large amounts of the coins being held in top 1% wallets. And I guess in order to go ahead in order to declare ourselves decentralized and make these bold statements about cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular, we should try to achieve a greater amount of adoption and also realize that when we sell not necessarily sell, but when we buy stuff online and they use BitPay, for example, the money only makes people like Roger veer richer. Yeah. I mean
John Carvalho (00:39:19):
The, the hardcore Bitcoiners are definitely going to be a little bit more political about how they choose and where they choose to spend their money and throw it services. I mean, if, if I’m trying to buy something with Bitcoin, I see a bit pen or sign or else I will not, I will not support. But sometimes, you know, it’s people aren’t really looking for this kind of thing. They aren’t caring. They just want to pay, they want to pay with Bitcoin and they’re willing to install a big Bay compatible wallet in order to comply with their protocol and things like this. I don’t know. It’s, it’s hard, it’s hard to get everybody on the same page, hard to get everybody educated. I don’t know how important it is necessarily, but centralization is something that is, there’s no way to measure it perfectly.
John Carvalho (00:40:08):
And you only really need, honestly, you only need things to be decentralized enough for the moment. I said this in another interview about how applications for altcoins. Well, they’re just fine for sending a value over a blockchain in a moment. You know, you only have to trust them while you’re using them. And this is why Bitcoin ends up being the best store of value because, you know, you can trust it for a longer amount of time. You don’t really want a store value in the latest new shitcoin because it might not be around tomorrow, but if you want to transfer value and you want to transfer value, that is low enough liquidity where you won’t have a lot of slippage on the other end. Well, it works just fine, doesn’t it? You know, if I want to send you $50 of dogecoin and I want to send it to you today and you want to sell it today, it will work, you know? But if I want a store, you know, $50,000 in dogecoin well for how long, how much stress do I really want to put in that protocol? How long is it, how strong does this mean coin really is, you know?
Vlad Costea (00:41:16):
Yeah. And I guess this dispels all that narrative that Bitcoin should first and foremost, be a mean of exchange as this can be accomplished through all these altcoins, like Litecoin and Dodgecoin, and whatnot. You have all forks, which are much more efficient at transferring money where the low fee across the world.
John Carvalho (00:41:43):
Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, you might be right in calling them much more efficient. It just wouldn’t be my preferred way of putting it. There there’s certainly effective proportionally or, or relatively, like I said, if you want it to send, even if you wanted to send $50,000 in dogecoin, you might have more trouble. You might have some slippage when you go to sell that, buy it and sell it on the other end. You know, you might have more risk. Maybe that day you send us 2000 is the day those coin dies. You know, the bigger value in the bigger trust you put on a shitcoin the bigger target you put on that shitcoin to be attacked. So, you know, Bitcoin, first and foremost, in my opinion, it’s not about it being a store of value or necessarily a, a way of exchanging value.
John Carvalho (00:42:33):
First and foremost, it used to be censorship resistance. It’s the whole point. You know, that the only thing that Bitcoin is supposed to do is mitigate the middle man. It’s supposed to take something that usually required trust and remove the requirement for that trust. And so, as long as Bitcoin is doing that and staying cryptographically sound, you’re always, it’s always going to be the best place to store value and save my long term. And then hopefully you know, developers will continue to provide scaling improvements and optimizations that will allow it to also be the best way to send money, send money quickly, the cheapest way to send money. Hopefully we have all that too through things like lightning.
Vlad Costea (00:43:17):
So you’re sticking to the narrative where you’re former president, Barack Obama mentioned where the Swiss bank in our pocket.
John Carvalho (00:43:27):
Why, how is that the narratives for spanking your pocket? I mean, I think Swiss banking, it was a good meme. It was a good little cute little phrasing, but I don’t actually even know what it needs to be honest.
Vlad Costea (00:43:39):
Oh, I’m not sure anyone knows what it means. And people using it have actually had a Swiss bank account to figure out what that implies. But I know for a fact that Barack Obama has mentioned that in one of his speeches, in which he was calling for greater regulation for Bitcoin, and I don’t think,
John Carvalho (00:44:00):
Yeah, but it’s not true. It’s not a Swiss bank account in your pocket. That, that, that concept doesn’t even make sense. You know, the reason why I suppose banks were useful or notable as, as an idea at all, at nothing to do with holding money yourself, it had to do with putting it in a centralized party’s hands that was able to provide a certain amount of geographic regulatory arbitrage. So as to make you feel that you had to at least a temporary illusion of a safe Haven for your money, but even that went away, didn’t it?
Vlad Costea (00:44:37):
Oh, yes. And you can see it in the Wolf of Wall street. If you’re into movies,
John Carvalho (00:44:42):
It’s the joke. Maybe Obama was actually just trying to be more, more sarcastic than people realize. Maybe he was trying to say, Oh, Bitcoin is a Swiss bank account in your pocket because it’s something everybody thinks is safe, but really isn’t
Vlad Costea (00:44:55):
Maybe. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the bull run started after Trump won the elections as he had by, he had both chambers of Congress on his side, both of them more Republican. And usually you, Republicans are much less inclined to start regulating everything. They are bigger fans of free markets.
John Carvalho (00:45:22):
I mean, I don’t know. I mean, I won’t agree with you, but I don’t have any evidence to disagree with you either. I just don’t, it’s just not what I would pick for boron. I think the boat one was just a feedback loops and the feedback loop becomes kind of exacerbated when you have traders shorting against movement. And then the more that, you know, the more the price goes up, the more those traders keep trying to call the top and keep having to get their stops, run and losing money and having to rebuy Bitcoin at a higher price, because all these people, most of these people shorting Bitcoin and betting against it. A lot of them actually were Bitcoiners at heart, and we’re just trying to make more Bitcoin. So this, so from a trading standpoint, the feedback loop just kind of keeps getting harder and harder. And then the more the price goes up, the more the media pays attention, the more the media pays attention. The more people think that they have FOMO and they don’t want to miss out on this kind of phenomenon and bubble. And then eventually it gets to the point where you reach the top and everybody buys the most Bitcoin at the worst price on, at the kind of pinnacle moment and then things deflate. And we can’t, we come back to earth and recover and get ready for the next feedback loop.
Vlad Costea (00:46:41):
Yeah, I guess what I mentioned was just the correlation, which isn’t always a causation, but it’s just an observation and I guess causation
John Carvalho (00:46:52):
It’d be right. Yeah, that’d be right.
Vlad Costea (00:46:58):
But maybe it just made investors feel much more confident that they would not see the kind of regulations which interfere with their plans.
John Carvalho (00:47:13):
There may be also, there’s a better underlying correlation to what caused that. For example, maybe what really happened was the wave of quantitative easing on stock buying or inflation of money printing was something that was still, you know, echoing throughout the economy. And there was just too many dollars out there too much, you know, too much money that, that was able to be spent, you know, with, without discretion and just able to be invested instead of having to be spent on, you know, day to day needs. And so people had to put their money somewhere and they certainly didn’t want to hold it in cash because it was rapidly inflating. So maybe it just, people just started speculating harder than ever. And that bled out into stocks and Bitcoin and everything. That’s why the bull run happened. I don’t know.
Vlad Costea (00:48:02):
Yeah. But I guess 2018 was the best year for the stock market. As we saw Apple hit the trillion dollar Mark and Amazon almost reach it and plea, we pretty much witnessed all time highs all across the board in the stock exchange.
John Carvalho (00:48:23):
Well, I think that people are using stocks. I think it’s very dangerous. And this is something I hope that coin cures. I think Bitcoin will cause a lot of pain when it does cure this, but I think people are looking for stores of value. And I think that because of the performance of the stock market and maybe some commodities as well, that people are not they’re, they’re becoming much more comfortable with putting their money into things that you would normally wouldn’t put them into. Normally you would buy stock in the business because you think that the success of that business will have a very tightly correlated performance. So it’s price it’s value as a company, but you know, people are evaluating these stocks at you know, revenues going 200, 300 years into the future. I mean, maybe Amazon and Apple and these companies will be around 200 years, but come on, that’s really how you want to invest.
Speaker 5 (00:49:24):
You want to, you want to evaluate this company based off of, you know, you being dead three up three times over, it seems a little bit much. So I think that Bitcoin will eventually prove that it is a better store of value and it will start sucking some of the cream out of these these assets that people are choosing to store their value instead of in dollars. You know, I think that I like to see Bitcoin basically kill most of the speculative, a store of value value on a gold and, and some of the other metals I’d like to see it bring stock market valuations to be more reasonable and maybe, you know, people are thinking at least no further than one lifespan into the future and how they evaluate a company. But
Vlad Costea (00:50:13):
We’ll see, you’re very educated in this field, John. Well, what’s your background? Did you do finance?
John Carvalho (00:50:22):
No, not really. I mean, I I’ve been involved with some people in the finance. I’ve done some trading in the, on stock market and within crypto, but I’ve had some, I’ve been lucky to have some very, very smart friends with some very, very good experience, both on the programming side, on the crypto side. Also in finance economics, but no, I have no special education other than education I’ve seeking out on my own.
Vlad Costea (00:50:49):
That’s impressive. Do you have a college degree and something?
John Carvalho (00:50:54):
John Carvalho (00:50:55):
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a comic book artist. That was what I saw for my future. And then once I actually got out of high school at some point in high school, I was in a punk rock band and I decided that I would start a record label and I went to college and went to University of Massachusetts. And about one semester in, I decided I didn’t want to go anymore. I felt like I was paying to go to high school. Honestly, I was going at the time I was going for illustration and advertising design and I just decided to withdraw start my record label. I got a job working at a newspaper doing graphic design, and I basically got paid to learn how to do my career instead of paying for it. So I spent a lot of time in the graphic design field, eventually marketing and more communications, project management, specialized, large format printing and all kinds of related things, Google ad words, et cetera. But I’m, I’m happy with what I did because I felt like if I had stayed in college those four years and, and come out with some kind of media or design degree, I don’t think I actually would’ve been any better off than getting paid to just have a job and learn it on the job. Instead.
Vlad Costea (00:52:19):
That’s an interesting point of view and it’s fascinating how in Bitcoin, you have people from different fields coming together and learning more about economics and technology and perfecting their argumentation skills because you’re very articulate when you speak. But at the same time you didn’t attend this type of oratory classes or anything which deals with actual PR. No, I mean, well, this is partially because
John Carvalho (00:52:53):
Been on the internet for a long time since early days. And also partially from my own family culture, which is we were, when you’re from Massachusetts and people call us mass holes. We have a little bit higher tolerance for arguing about emotion and being more about who can make the better argument. So there’s a little bit of debate skill learned just by being from where I’m from. And then within my family itself, it was kind of, the dynamic was, you know, if could argue your way out of something with my parents, they would give up and they would say, well, I don’t, you know, there was no do this because I told you, so it’s, you know, what do you mean? You told me, so explain it to me. Why should I do this? If I can do that. And eventually you could wear them down and get your way, you know? So we had to become a little bit skilled at, at debating because there was a sentence. So
Vlad Costea (00:53:52):
Oldest training to be able to would stand and face Roger Ver in a debate.
John Carvalho (00:53:59):
Yeah. Well, I did, I did prepare. I’m not going to lie. I prepared a lot. I watched all of his recent videos. I learned his, you know, his there was a great sweet Adam Back. I retweeted yesterday about how he described what Roger’s debate style was, but basically learned his, his party line and was prepared. I knew how he would answer certain things. I knew how he would try to evade and sidestep, you know, I’ve got a good feel for him. And I did prepare it. It was like, it was kind of, it felt like going into some kind of boxing match. I remember beforehand, like, you know, like taking deep breaths and, you know, meditating a little bit because I wanted to focus and make sure, like, I gave everybody the interview they wanted, I think it did. Okay. And I think we’re happy with it. But it was, it’s not easy dealing with that guy. You know, somebody who is willing to make a bold face, lie and be a hypocrite and still be unaffected by it. Emotionally you have to, it’s not, it’s not easy to deal with somebody that won’t play by rules,
Vlad Costea (00:55:02):
But that moment, when you started saying bcash and he got enraged, was it part of the plan or did he just annoy you so much that he wanted to hurt him?
John Carvalho (00:55:15):
I’ve got that. I’ve people have asked me questions like this a lot. I’ve actually had more than one person asked me if the whole thing was scripted. If he and I didn’t plan a whole thing the way it went, no, there was no planning that I did not know I was going to do that or that he was going to flip me off. The closest thing I can tell you to there being any kind of planning was that I did feel like he was telegraphing me a bit when he went, when he said to me, if you say this again, I’m going to quit. What I heard in the back of my head was John. I’m really uncomfortable with how I’m not able to win this interview. And I’m a coach. And I feel like you’re going to make me want to quit soon. So if you, if you do, if you say, be cash again, you know, it will give me a reason to end this interview.
John Carvalho (00:56:01):
And I would like that, that was kind of what I heard in the back of my head. And so I was actually trying not to say it, you know, if you go back and you watch that interview, I said, Bitcoin cash properly, at least a dozen times. But the third time I said it by mistake, I was honest. I said, you know, I’m just saying it out of habit. I’m just saying it because it’s easy. I was not trying to show him in any way. Once he flipped me off, though, it was like, okay. It was like, the gloves were off. I was just like, okay, this guy is not going to respect any type of human interaction with me right now. He’s not going to take me seriously or answer my questions. And he’s certainly not respecting me in any way. So fuck him. And I thought of, okay, what, what can I do to this, trigger him on my way out and get a little laugh out of this. So I just did a little bcash dance, but he was the one that ended it. He was the one that took it to the disrespectful level of it being an absurd interview. I was trying to have a normal interview with him trying to refute his arguments. And he was just busy being preoccupied with stupid nicknames. You know,
Vlad Costea (00:57:09):
It’s interesting that I don’t think he’s the only one who does this in this space, but he is the most effective. He has his way around it. And he tried it. I seen him talk to Tone Vays during that boat’s trip, whatever. And also with Charlie Lee and his tactic is to make you feel uncomfortable, to get some kind of personal attack out there. So you feel like you should step back and allow him to go on with his narrative. And he constantly makes you agree with stuff. He asks you stuff like, do you agree that back in 2015, Bitcoin had a dominance of over 90% and you are going to say yes, and then he’s going to make a consequential argument about how the failure to increase the block size is what caused the dominance to decrease as if Bitcoin is in a void. And it has nothing to do with the fact that Ethereum merged, and lots of projects were launched from it. And lots of speculators, then big money got into token projects.
John Carvalho (00:58:20):
Yeah. They’re I don’t know. I’m going to think of us out loud. So I don’t know if it will come out. Right. But I think that there are probably two ways to completely ruin any honest debate in a grand sense. This is either to zoom out, zoom out so far, that nothing means anything. So no matter what you say, they just keep zooming out and they just, until everything you could possibly ever say is just irrelevant and including even being alive and the meaning of life, they’ll zoom out. There’s some people that zoom out as far as they have to just not agree with you. And then, then you can also zoom in so close that you reduce the paradigm of your argument to being so small that you can’t win because there’s only a, a, an a or B or a black and white choice.
John Carvalho (00:59:07):
And because he’s reduced paradigm to only this little segment of reality, he’s trying to make himself look right within this very small segment. So anytime you’re arguing with somebody like this, you have to try to bring them back to, you know, what is actually a reasonable paradigm. You know, what is a paradigm close enough to reality that we can actually work with as actually useful for the people that are listening. But still a paradigm that because if you remove all the rules entirely, then it’s pointless, but if you reduce them too much, it’s also
Vlad Costea (00:59:40):
Know I I’ve actually read a treaty on how to argue and how to debate, which was written by Aristotle. But I don’t think any paragraph of that whole book actually made it so clear as to how you can actually make the debate irrelevant and how you can actually give the sense that you’re winning.
John Carvalho (01:00:04):
I get this from experience. I’ll tell you, you know, working with Roger Ver, trying to debate with him and, and how you describe him with other people that he seems like somebody that’s reducing things to a paradigm that is absurd, but has so few rules that he can try to make himself look sensible. But I’ve also argued with people like say, Chris DeRose from Bitcoin Uncensored, where he will make things you will try to make you sound absurd because so just keeps zooming further and further out. So we’re basically, there’s just this narcissistic paradigm of where nothing means anything anymore. And you’re just like, well, how am I supposed to argue with you if we’re not going to establish at least some kind of paradigm?
Vlad Costea (01:00:47):
Yeah. I guess this kind of education should be mandatory for Bitcoiners. So they learn how to stay away from scams and how to not be persuaded into something, but getting scammed and becoming a scammer has been around for thousands of years. So this is not going to go away. And then,
John Carvalho (01:01:07):
Yeah, I can give another very easy rule of thumb, just be skeptical of everything and everyone in this space. And you’ll know the difference of when you’re being too skeptical, because sometimes you’ll be so skeptical that you become kind of knee jerk contrarian, and you’ll start feeling stupid because typically people will have answers that you’re like, Oh shit, I’m being too skeptical. I feel stupid right now. And then you’ll learn where that kind of where that side of the line is. And then other times, most of the time people are saying dumb shit. And so being skeptical is actually a pretty high efficiency, high win rate behavior, because most of the time people are saying things that either people have already said before are bad ideas, or they’re just trying to scam your scan themselves. So skeptical skepticism has a pretty good efficiency to it
Vlad Costea (01:02:02):
About skepticism. I was about to ask you about Blockstream and how it has become maybe the ambassador for Bitcoin. And at least throughout the last year, they had so many successful or more or less successful launches and to have developed some
Vlad Costea (01:02:20):
Great tools, which are open sourced
Vlad Costea (01:02:21):
And they have some of the best developers
John Carvalho (01:02:24):
And I agree with some of that, but definitely not all of it.
Vlad Costea (01:02:30):
Okay. Go on.
John Carvalho (01:02:32):
I think they do have some of the best developers in the game. I think they have released some successes and some cool things, but depending on how you look at them, I think there’s a lot that you could either criticize or, or say could improve. They aren’t making money as far as I can tell. So as a business switch, they are a business to nonprofit organization. This is something they chose. So if they are a business and they’re trying to make money, I don’t think they’re doing very well at it. As a bitcoiner, you don’t care, right? Because all you really care about is if they’re hoping Bitcoin. Yeah, sure. They’re hoping to coin. They give us satellites to give us a block where they gave us a side chain technology and they’re helping with lightning network technology and things like this they’re contributing. But
John Carvalho (01:03:26):
I don’t know. I don’t agree
John Carvalho (01:03:28):
With all of the technologies that they’ve chose to put their time into. I have a lot of skepticism about side chains. I have a lot of skepticism about liquid. I’ve actually interacted with Blockstream representatives directly about my skepticisms about liquid going years back. And they’ve kind of pivoted on what liquid was going to be from what initially was. And even now after official release is still isn’t really that prevalent, used and implemented. And I also question how much money it’s actually making them even as implemented. So I don’t know if they’re doing consulting stuff on the side and making money that way or what they’re doing to stay alive, but they’re going to have to eventually have, you know, significant revenue to be able to continue doing projects as ambitious as they’re entertaining and as detached from revenue, as most of them are, they’re going to have to figure something out or they won’t survive.
John Carvalho (01:04:27):
Maybe they held so much Bitcoin from the start that they’re going to be fine for quite a long time and maybe I’m wrong, but just because they were, they were smart enough to do that because it formed pretty early and they did make commitments to paying people in Bitcoin value and holding Bitcoin. I don’t remember the details that there was a time that they shared some details, but they may have a lot of Bitcoin it’d be okay, just because of that. But as a business, I don’t see where the, where the revenue is coming from or what their plan is for revenue
John Carvalho (01:05:01):
Projects that are more
John Carvalho (01:05:03):
Commercially aligned, don’t seem to me to be good market fits, maybe I’m wrong. But the stuff they’re doing, that’s just purely good for Bitcoin is great. You know, helping with lightning, helping make new access Bitcoin
John Carvalho (01:05:18):
With satellites and providing tools. And that’s all great, you know, but those are non non-profitable. Those are kind of infrastructure. So maybe their business thesis, which is actually, when I kind of agree with is that the thesis is to hold as much Bitcoin as possible and improve the infrastructure as much as possible. And just hope that infrastructure improvements will facilitate enough appreciation and Bitcoin spending power that they’ll exist for a long, long time. It’s not, it’s not a horrible thesis, not a horrible approach, but I don’t, I don’t know if that’s intentional or their actual plan or not.
Vlad Costea (01:05:59):
To me, it’s interesting that if you read any fan gone r/BTC on Reddit. There’s a lot of hatred, which is directed towards Blockstream and some commentators point out that it might just be the centralizing factor, which will bring Bitcoin to its demise. And it’s hard to,
John Carvalho (01:06:25):
Blockstream is not that influential, I mean what is Blockstream? They have some of the, some of the major core developers, but they’re not that big as far as how many people work there. They do have some bigger names there, but they’re not that big if Blockstream, doesn’t have a lot of control over the protocol. It doesn’t have a lot of influence over Bitcoiners at large. Yeah, they have influence and yet people know who they are, but what is how are they, what, what power are they actually wielding as dangerous, honestly. And do you really think that if Blockstream proposed something that any respected scientists or programmers or community members outside of blockchain agreed with, do you really think that it would still get into the protocol that it would still fly? I don’t think they have that power. I think they’re just somebody that had th they carry a lot of reputation and respect, but I don’t think they carry a lot of power because of it.
Vlad Costea (01:07:24):
That’s an interesting view. And I guess the Bitcoin cash people usually mentioned that they are funded by the New York stock exchange. I think they have found,
John Carvalho (01:07:35):
They say AXA and all these, they want to have this be like the Bilderberg conspiracy theory. I think that just does this because they need some kind of narrative. Look, I said this in my last interview with Peter everything that is not Bitcoin has to paint itself in a light, in the context of Bitcoin. So this is just more a proof that Bitcoin is the dominant thing, and it is the thing. Everybody wishes to unseat and, and wishes be. So r/BTC, Bcash, Roger Ver, once they have chosen to not support the real Bitcoin, they have to create narratives that, that tear, but going down. So they’re going to create as many monsters as they can. They can dream of, and if, and the easiest monsters to choose are the ones with the people have the best reputation. So you want to, they want to destroy reputation. They don’t want people to feel safe with Bitcoin. So they want to make Roger. I mean, they want to make Greg Maxwell look, Adam Back look bad, Blockstream look bad, Core look bad. They they’re gonna pick every single thing that is respected and valued within our community. And they’re going to try to sell it.
Vlad Costea (01:08:52):
Yeah, that makes sense. And that’s very political in this regard, when you have political regimes, they will always try to find the enemy. Even in democracies, you have political parties and they turn their opposition into monsters and they try to find lots of reasons not to like them as human beings, even though they might be professionally competent, they find external reasons to make them look like monsters and right.
John Carvalho (01:09:27):
No, it’s fine, but it doesn’t work because in this space and this space, people are much more much more tightly integrated with concepts around merit and reputation. And so when you try to say, Oh, this person is bad because he deleted my thread on Reddit. Well, there are plenty of people. The Bitcoin is using Reddit and the Bitcoin is using, participating in social media and Bitcoin. They’re just not that stupid. You know, like they know Reddit is just a fucking forum and it really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things to Bitcoin and the protocol and adoption. And, you know, and if Roger wants to have a freaking, you know, chip on his shoulder, because the one time he tried to she’ll be cash on our Bitcoin, it got deleted. Well, it just makes him look worse.
Vlad Costea (01:10:19):
Yup. But in the grand scheme of things, I guess he only got richer. He might have lost with Bitcoin cash or bcash or whatever. And that might just crumble and become irrelevant in a couple of years, but he still owns investments in Dash. He invested in BitPay. He invested in lots of startups and ventures like blockchain.info, which turned into blockchain.com. It’s not like he will ever run out of money and he founded lots of legitimate projects.
John Carvalho (01:10:57):
This is something I want to disagree with you with. I don’t know for sure if I’m right, but I feel like conceptually, it’s easy for me to discuss with you on this because of this reason, I fundamentally believe that trying to manipulate markets is a very high friction and expensive thing to do. And when you’re trying to do something that goes against what a market is naturally trying to do. And then the market is naturally trying to be effective and efficient. When you were trying to introduce friction and inefficiency into a market, you do it at your expense. And the only way you can do this outside of your own expense is by exploiting the resources of others. And so, yes, Roger probably did make money on this or that of his choices may be on dash. Maybe if you’re going to bcash, maybe on bitcoin.com.
John Carvalho (01:11:48):
But every time he has that, that free float money he is, is just spending it. It’s just burning it, trying to stop the train that is Bitcoin, but he’s still just, you know, a leaf on the track. He’s not actually Superman, standing in front of a train is just causing friction and that friction will just burn away and amounts of nothing over time. And so he only live as long as his own resources and the resources that he can exploit from other people. And the problem is that the only people that will allow him to exploit them are people of have lower resources. People either have lower intelligence, have lower moral integrity. You know, they’re all people that are unsustainable as resources. I hope this is my theory. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that it’s, it’s a losing game. And the, the harder he fights this game, the bigger he, he goes in this fight, the actual higher risk and lower time is going to be able to do it.
John Carvalho (01:12:55):
And I really believe leave that he went, he went, he went really hard with bitcoin.com. He went really hard with coin cash. And I think things like the Fort would be SV were actually manufactured to generate liquidity, create more fuel for his, his fine. But I think that in the process he may have killed Bitcoin cash on his own. I think one or two, yeah, yours is probably accurate, I think as well, just lifespan, but what happens when he’s holding bag holding what he thought was $50 million or something in, in resources. And then it turns to zero overnight. What happens when people just get tired of him and his reputation, even from having a money or bitcoin.com just becomes worthless. Like this can happen very, very, very quickly. When he did the interview with me, he lost a lot. You know, I feel like I cost him a lot of money and a lot of his efforts, even just through being on a livestream with him for an hour or two I wouldn’t be surprised if that costs tens of thousands or more and, and costs of putting out fires with PR people and, you know, making videos apologizing and whatever else he
John Carvalho (01:14:12):
Felt like he needed to do to counteract that event. And I’m happy that he had to waste money counteracting that event. So I think w we, we can’t, we can’t just let ourselves think, Oh, Roger’s going to be around for a long time. And Roger’s rich and Roger invested or all these things. So we just have to accept that. No, we have to constantly make him spend as much money as possible. We have to make him double down over and over and over. So he just blows all of his fuel as big and as fast as possible because he will run out and he will fail because he’s fighting the market. He’s not trying to participate in it.
Vlad Costea (01:14:47):
That’s an interesting point of view. And to some extent, I agree, but at the same time, it’s not a factual statement in the sense that we have no idea how much he holds and what he holds. And what do you think about the fact that you find lots of people who ask him to come back to Bitcoin and that happens the same with Jihan?
John Carvalho (01:15:12):
I don’t know. I mean, come back to Bitcoin. It’s not anybody’s choice, it’s his choice. And if he wants to start promoting Bitcoin getting people, making bitcoin.com something that actually represents the real Bitcoin. I mean, honestly, dude, he’s, he’s gonna do the same thing he does already is going to say lies and is going to try to get people to buy the coin. I think he’s just choosing to have people buy something other than Bitcoin, because yeah. At some point you decided to pivot and speculate on that he could make more money by pumping smaller clients. I don’t think he’ll come back to Bitcoin because Bitcoin is too expensive now. And he won’t, he won’t, he can’t get the same percentage of the entire pie of Bitcoin that he, that he, that he once had. And that’s the mistake is that every single time he bets against Bitcoin and fights Bitcoin, it becomes harder for him to have as many Bitcoins as he used to. And if he really wanted to, if he was ever going to promote Bitcoin again, come back to Bitcoin. It will only be because he has a higher percentage of it than he wants.
Vlad Costea (01:16:19):
Somehow. I feel very sorry that we spent so much time talking about him.
John Carvalho (01:16:23):
Yeah, me too.
Vlad Costea (01:16:24):
But at the same time, it has to deal with the idea of politics. And here’s one of the biggest figures than his still tricking new comers into believing that he’s selling the real Bitcoin. And when you try to buy Bitcoin,
John Carvalho (01:16:39):
Maybe he’s just tricking us into believing that, you know, like, because that’s a bigger win, isn’t it. If he can, if he can fool his enemy and to thinking that he is a formidable opponent, then maybe that allows him to be able to actually trick the new piece and think that he has power. Maybe we’re giving him the power
Vlad Costea (01:17:00):
Just by mentioning him we are legitimizing his position. So let’s move on and talk about something else.
John Carvalho (01:17:10):
Yeah. I am a little bit of a hypocrite in this sense, because I do pay him some attention, but more and more of a time, I try to make it more about more conceptual and more about lessons. Like even with this, this fight thing. The only reason I’m talking about Roger Ver lately is because I think maybe there’s just some astronomical, probably chance, but chance that I can take this fucking domain. That’s the only reason it’s not, because I actually think we need to still keep talking about him. It’s because he still has an asset that the community gets back.
Vlad Costea (01:17:44):
And if you think about it, even in real politics with politicians, this is how it works. I don’t think Donald Trump would have stood a chance against his opponents who are pretty much career politicians. If it wasn’t for his consultant theme and the people who taught him how to get constant attention from the media, he was everywhere. He was making these controversial statements in. He knew how to maneuver mainstream media so that he was always the candidate that they will talk about. And maybe that in the case of Roger Ver, he’s tricking us to talk about him all the time, so that he gets legitimized as an important figure, even though it may be that he doesn’t deserve it.
John Carvalho (01:18:31):
Yeah. And this is like Pepe politics,
Vlad Costea (01:18:35):
Peppa politics. I like the sound of that. Hm. So do you like the evolution of Bitcoin over the years? Are you proud of what to feel like you’ve accomplished
John Carvalho (01:18:49):
More so over the, you know, over time, I feel like my, my pride and my appreciation for my own participation has been increasing more in the, in the later years. The, the pace seems to be kind of steady. I don’t think it’s accelerated a lot, a lot. But it has grown, you know, I mean, we have so many developed, I think probably most of the developers that say are working on lightning. I’m gonna, I might be wrong. I’m sorry if I am, but I think a lot of them weren’t even around. And first couple of years that I was here, so that’s pretty cool. Right? I mean, we have a whole layer, extra layer of technology being worked on by a bunch of people that weren’t even around back then. So something has improved.
Vlad Costea (01:19:37):
Actually. I had an interview for this podcast, with Matt B on Twitter, I think his Mattoshi or something, and he’s a journalist for Bitcoin magazine. And he told me that he’s very happy with Bitrefill and that’s the service, what she uses when he wants to spend his Bitcoin. And I told him, you know, I’m actually scheduled to talk to John next week and I’m going to let him know about it. Now. I’m glad I remembered to do it.
John Carvalho (01:20:10):
Hi, I’m happy to hear people using it. I mean, I’ve used gift cards and Bitcoin since years now, too. And then I’m remember, I’m, I’m a big Dota 2 fan on and off. I haven’t really been playing lately, but, and Dota 2, you know buying skins and stuff like this and different cosmetic thing aspects or music and icons or whatever for the game, just to have it be more fun. You know, I was using, I was buying Steam credit with Bitcoin for years and then Steam stopped accepting Bitcoin. My, my theory is because BitPay fucked it up, not Bitcoin, but and then I was like, Oh shit, where am I going to buy steam with Bitcoin now? And that’s how I’ve heard of refill. And they had only just started offering gift cards. And like, I think it was June last year.
John Carvalho (01:21:07):
And so I was able to get Steam through them. And that, that gave me my first exposure to them. Because before that, they were only doing like mobile, mobile top-ups mobile recharge, refill things. And I already knew that, you know, that there was a good use case there. I think that, you know, people like money with utility and gift cards provide very specific utility. So you see the most popular ones being the ones that have more utility like Amazon or play because by more buried things with those gift cards, but in the end, what they do provide is stability. You’re know that you’re going to get $20 worth of services from, or products from Amazon. When you have a $20 card, when you use a utility token or something like this, you don’t know that, you know, you don’t know what the, what the trade value will be of civic tokens or other utility token.
John Carvalho (01:22:06):
So gift cards just make more sense from if you’re trying to live on crypto you’re, you’re gonna, you know, and you want to be able to have stores some value and things, you know, you need to buy, well, you know, fuck it. I’ll buy some Google play credit. I’ll charge my Google play account and I’ll let my recurring fees for Google random Google services, just get deducted from that. So I, I do think it helps people helps create what I eventually hope will be a circular bit clan economy where people aren’t even having to get out of Bitcoin at all.
Vlad Costea (01:22:39):
Just for the record, when you said steam it’s S T E A M, which is the service by valve and not S T E E M, which is the currency of steem, a social network
John Carvalho (01:22:54):
Come on. And nobody uses that.
Vlad Costea (01:22:56):
I used to use it. I used to like, it it’s like Reddit with a blogging function. It’s like ragged
John Carvalho (01:23:03):
Reddit with a spamming function. Yeah. Because Peyton bots and stuff, I mean, I got the concept of steam. It’s just what I didn’t like is that everybody by bought some kind of illusion that this is somehow blockchain and somehow decentralized, and that was all bullshit. I don’t mind, including monetization, incentive, incentivization schemes within platforms. It’s great gamify the shit out of that,
John Carvalho (01:23:29):
But don’t, don’t exploit the concept of
John Carvalho (01:23:32):
Bitcoin to do it and scam a bunch of people and think that they can actually invest in this stuff. And then, then lock them into like these, these holding periods and all this crazy shit and make them think that money can be printed out of thin air. It’s. What do you think about brave and older token system?
John Carvalho (01:23:53):
I have some history with Brave.
Speaker 5 (01:23:55):
I was very, very critical of Brendan Eich and they’re, they’re, they’ve changed their, their plan since they first started a little bit. But not that much. And so I kind of got into some arguments with them a few times on Twitter over time. And I actually did an interview with him that I never published where we had a phone call for a couple hours, actually talking about my criticisms of their design or their system and his, his kind of specifications for them on a hard drive, somewhere in storage. I don’t have it with me anymore, but I think that there’s that as a browser, fine. If he wants to make a browser that is privacy focused and efficient and whatever, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the other side of the business model. And, and this is how this is how shitcoin is, and, and ICO things, trick people like for some reason, people either because they don’t want to, or because it’s maybe more difficult than I realize it is.
John Carvalho (01:24:53):
They don’t want us to think two or three levels deep or zoom out, you know, two or three steps. They just want to see what they want to see and that’s enough for them, but brave being a privacy centric or ad blocking cool browse. There has nothing to do with the Braves token. It’s like totally unrelated and people somehow, for some reason, attribute two sides of the model and they, they’re not. But the concept of rewarding people for their attention is total nonsense. We already have websites for this. Like if you want to like get paid to look at ads, there are some really shitty websites that you can find online that people have been doing this for years and you’ll get paid pennies for your time. And that will be the market rate, that same market rate that brave try it. I mean, come on. Do you want to start a tech business? Where what you’re trying to do is compete for this like shitty ass spam market of ads, where people are being paid to look at ads? No, because advertisers don’t want to pay for ads like that, unless they’re extremely cheap and, and actually provide some of conversions
John Carvalho (01:26:04):
And people don’t want to spend their time getting paid pennies. They want to make real money and do things. Now, most people have more to contribute to life than just fucking clicking on ads all day and staring at stupid pictures. I’m sure there’s some people that would do it, but this is not a business model. This is not something that they’ll actually be able to make succeed. What play really wants to do in my opinion is they want to, they want to exploit the content of the internet. They want to take the fact that most websites they’re putting their content out there for relatively free and, and without any friction to access. And so what they want to do is they want to replace ads and they want to say, well, because we’re going to explore your content and put our own monetize content on there. We’re going to give you a cut, but this is not a voluntary process. And it requires you to kind of opt in to their system and KYC. And it’s just a bunch of nonsense. I think that that’s the case for pretty much all ICO tokens. I don’t really know of any ICO tokens that are truly providing more utility than if they were just a centralized database.
Vlad Costea (01:27:22):
I feel like we sidetracked too much from Bitcoin and this has been going for over an hour. So I should ask you a last question. So there there’s this Alfred Hitchcock quote, and when she said that movies and they’re linked to be proportional with the human bladder. So we shouldn’t go on for too long if we want to. So yeah.
John Carvalho (01:27:48):
Yeah. And I’ve spoken on some of these things before, if people are actually following me for any amount of time, they’ve heard me say some of the things we’ve talked about before. So yeah. I mean, go ahead. If you have a question
Vlad Costea (01:28:03):
Now, now you’re putting a lot of pressure on, as I have no idea what you spoke about before. I have a lot of interviews,
John Carvalho (01:28:10):
The people anyway, I don’t like repeating myself because I feel like I don’t want the same person to hear the same thing from me, but I also don’t have enough appreciation for the fact that there’s always we’re coming in and they’re not thinking into my catalog of passengers. So, you know,
Vlad Costea (01:28:26):
Okay. So what is your view on hyperBitcoinization and where do you think it starts from? I usually have this kind of debate where some people mentioned that it comes from the developed States, which are the ones which can afford larger amounts of Bitcoin. But I like to think that it’s actually the States which needed for censorship resistance against their governments, which are actually going to get an then by
John Carvalho (01:28:55):
I don’t let hyperbitcoinization is a bit of a extreme concept. I don’t that we will witness it in a moment. I don’t know that we’ll see just one day there’ll be a hyperbitcoinization. And I also think that as a concept, look, there’s a certain amount of value in the world that people will store in money in a certain amount of buying power. And that, that is a, a relatively stable amount. It doesn’t just get to be where one day Bitcoin will buy you. You know, one Bitcoin will buy you an entire Island or some shit. What happens is that the value, the value in dollars to Bitcoin may reach a hyper amount of money, but the value of dollars in purchasing power may be worth hyper amount less. You know, so maybe when we, when we get hyperbitcoinization, how much is the hamburger going to cost $10,000?
John Carvalho (01:29:54):
You know? So I don’t really know what it looks like and I don’t, and I hope it doesn’t happen in a moment because I think the world needs to acclimate to the disruption that Bitcoin is going to cause. So I would rather see it happen in pockets. I’d rather see a little things like Venezuela, you know, getting really into Bitcoin and, and countries that have really bad money or really bad access to banking or, or really insufficient means of sending money overseas or too much censorship of getting money across borders. I’d rather see the small use cases happen slowly and in a way that nobody could really stop because that’s how we kind of sneak in there. You know, I want it to be where one day politicians aren’t trying to kill Bitcoin because they hold some, I want it to be that, you know, people are not trying to kill Bitcoin or wish it was dead or fight against it because you know, their mom is alive because of Bitcoin because of the, that’s, how she escaped her oppression.
John Carvalho (01:30:55):
You know, like I want there to be small stories and small wins. I don’t mind if it takes past my lifetime to get there. Yeah, I’d love to see, I’d love to witness all of the advancements of Bitcoin and be here when it happens. But I don’t know when these things happen. I don’t know how long it takes and concept of hyper big colonization, I think requires people. It’s a little bit of a, a dangerous concept for people to hope for it because it really appeals to a greed side. It’s like saying, Oh, one day I might wake up and I will be a millionaire hyperbitcoinization. And I don’t think it’s that nothing is ever that simple, right? Like, yeah, maybe you, one day you will wake up and you’ll be a millionaire and it will cost, you know, $10,000 for a hamburger. Will you be happy? I don’t know.
Vlad Costea (01:31:42):
It’s a good point of view. And I think I’ve had a similar talk at one point,
John Carvalho (01:31:47):
But you mentioned some other more interesting aspects too. Like whether it would be government spying a lot, we’ve heard some rumors lately, like about Russia buying into Bitcoin and ICO tokens and shit like, but yeah, I think that there are going to be some governments that are going to be smart and they’re going to start buying Bitcoin or even mining Bitcoin probably secretly. And it probably has already started where there are some reserves and governments of Bitcoin, maybe other altcoins. But I don’t know if it’ll be like a financial cold war who are just, or what, how will it be because you don’t, we’re only, you don’t want to be the only country doing it because then you’re the only one exposed. You kind of want everybody to be doing it secretly and all that one. And then one day you want to just find out, Oh shit, like there’s 20% of the Bitcoin supply is owned by 20 different countries. That’s pretty cool. You want every, you want it to sneak in and you want everybody to be kind of stuck with Bitcoin and, and you want the game, the game theory to hold you, you want it to be where everybody’s scared to not have.
Vlad Costea (01:32:59):
That’s an interesting concept. And I thought about it before as this little invention of cryptography and computer science can actually shift the dynamics of international power structures. You can see how I think in 2017, they made the case about North Korea, which was mining Bitcoin and engaging in trades to bypass their embargo. And more recently we’ve seen cases in Palestine and then Venezuela. And up to this point, it’s always about trying to find ways around the international financial system, which tries to maneuver and have leveraged on how money circulates around the globe. And I guess the more nation States declared their independence and say, we no longer want to be bound to the IMF. And we don’t want to have our policies shaped by somebody sitting in Washington or something.
John Carvalho (01:34:08):
Yeah. I mean, this isn’t something I have a lot of expertise in, but if I’m going to riff on it, I would say, okay. Yes. I think that, that there will be a kind of shift in world powers because of Bitcoin. Like, I don’t know, like if you crane, I think at some point last year that they had a certain amount of Bitcoin and if they’re the only ones that do right now, maybe they’ll end up having like a disproportionate amount of value to other countries in their own power and be able to kind of shift a little more power their way because of the Bitcoin they hold. But there’s like other things at work. Like if Venezuela becomes, you know, the richest country in the world, just because of the Bitcoin, they hold well, if they don’t use that Bitcoin properly to have like a proportionally, powerful army political influenced and trade agreements and whatever else it might take to be a powerful country, if they don’t do that, then that Bitcoin will just get taken from them eventually. You know? So it’s kind of thing where there’s a lot of facets and layers to this. So I don’t think you just get to become one of the greatest countries or richest countries just because you made a good bet on Bitcoin. I think you have to still be actually a good country and actually ineffective country in other ways, or otherwise, you’re just gonna, you know, the U S will come in and bomb you and take your oil, you know, and then all of a sudden they’re taking your Bitcoin instead of
Vlad Costea (01:35:34):
You can make the same case or network effect with gold, which becomes useless unless somebody finds value in it and trades some kind of different assets or goods and largers or exchanges. So even with Bitcoin, I guess it’s important to make sure that it has real life value and that’s not just speculation. And I appreciate people who do this, this kind of grassroots movements. I know a guy from New Jersey and he walks from store to store and tries to convince people to accept Bitcoin and Litecoin payments. And that’s really good for a small adoption or raising awareness for making people understand how it works. I guess this all also only works in environments where you have a proper legislation regarding taxes because shop owners will just ask. Okay. So how do I actually declare this to the IRS? How am I going to avoid fines from the tax man when he comes around? Yeah, I have,
John Carvalho (01:36:45):
I think views as far as having a retail businesses except the coin, I mean, payment methods are something businesses like to be able to support when they can, if there are customers at once and too, but I don’t know how much, like, you know, I just, I think I would just share with you recently how the restaurant, where I have at the Quinn meetup here recently started accepting Bitcoin. Well, we talked, he asked me for months about how to do it. And I, I told him how he could do it, but what he had, what he ended up doing was just choosing a payment processor because he didn’t, he’s not a big enough to have to like to have an accounting firm that knows how to properly account for the Bitcoin in the ways that the Romanian government would be satisfied with the invoicing standards and all this shit.
John Carvalho (01:37:34):
He just wanted to be able to give his customers the convenience. He didn’t want to have to actually learn about Bitcoin and care about it and, and have overhead to be able to support it. So he just, once there was a payment processor that would handle it for him and he could end up just invoicing customers in and have his accounting stay in Romanian, Ron, then he did, you know I don’t know how much it helps adoption other than just that you’ve educated a business about it and given the random Bitcoin, or that comes to town a way to spend his Bitcoin instead of cash. You know, we had this kind of theme in the early years that I came around, where everybody was trying to get every business to adopt it. This is how BitPay kind of got off the ground. It was trying to get businesses to adopt Bitcoin. And it was a big deal back then. We thought it was the coolest shit. Whenever somebody would post on Reddit that they’re like local pizza places accepting, but quite now, but these days, it doesn’t, I don’t think it really matters. I don’t think it has a negative or a positive effect outside of just educating one more person about Bitcoin.
Vlad Costea (01:38:36):
So let’s send what a prediction. How do you see Bitcoin as a network growing in the next 10 years?
John Carvalho (01:38:46):
10 years. Wow, man, it’s only been 10 years. That’s asking a lot. I think Bitcoin years are kind of like dog years or something. It’s like every year it feels like four or seven years have passed for some reason. So that’s, you’re asking me kind of ask me to predict like 50 years or, you know, a lot of years. I think that in the next 10 years, we’ll definitely start to see some of the disruptive effects of Bitcoin on the economy. I think probably, maybe even within the next five years things like, you know, seriously devaluing the storage of value aspect of gold or stocks, or, you know, I think we’ll start to see some major disruption, much more government involvement in Bitcoin, whether that be regulatory or, or antagonistic, or maybe even owning and mining, who knows. I think that in the next 10 years, we’ll definitely start to see the disruptive effects of Bitcoin. That would be my prediction.
Vlad Costea (01:39:48):
That’s very general, but also interesting to think about it.
John Carvalho (01:39:54):
Well, we haven’t seen it yet. Have we? I mean, as far as I know,
Vlad Costea (01:39:59):
Yeah, right then lightning is still a young technology and people are still agnostic and you have, you still have world renowned economists who won the Nobel prize, but say that Bitcoin is a Ponzi,
John Carvalho (01:40:15):
But our money is a Ponzi, I think Bitcoin is a Ponzi too, but it’s not the Ponzi in the traditional sense. It’s a, it’s a, but network, network effect is the same. That’s what a Ponzi is. The more money come in. And the more that that can be for, to paid out on a limited scale. But in the end, if you, if everybody tries to pull out, well, everybody’s gonna wreck themselves. So you need holders. And that’s what Bitcoin, you know, there is, there, there are Ponzi qualities to it, but the thing that makes different Bitcoin different than a Ponzi is that there isn’t one person at the top ripping everybody off. It’s everybody else, it’s a ponds,
John Carvalho (01:40:54):
You know, all money is.
Vlad Costea (01:40:59):
Yeah. And unlike fiat money where you actually have a person at the top or a group of new elites who also enable, what’s the name of that effect way. I read about it in an article on Mises. About how money when it’s printed first gets to banks. And by the time it gets to the actual people through salaries, it loses value.
John Carvalho (01:41:30):
Well, I mean, governments print money and what their job is, is to print this money and to create the most productivity with that money in the fastest amount of time possible before it starts having negative effects on autonomy. And that’s basically how inflationary money works. I think, you know, they’re just saying, okay, we need to, we need to spark the economy and we need to keep the economy kicking and they need to, they need the economy to stay ahead of the money printing. And as long as they can keep this game up, things are okay. But every once in a while, the house has to come in and kind of regulate everything and make every achieve another equilibrium. And a lot of people get wrecked and this pain and a few people pay the price for many, but in the end inflation, it’s not all bad.
John Carvalho (01:42:17):
It’s just, it’s just a concept of that. This theory of money means that they try to stimulate economies by, by choosing how the value, where the value is put in the beginning and hope the economy grows into that value. Whereas deflationary mean, we don’t really know how a deflationary economy will function. Maybe it won’t be as good as anyone. I don’t know. It is a little bit scary to think of, you know, the cost of everything going up and over time and the value of your money going up over time and people being scared to spend their Bitcoin instead of. So it’s a little bit inverse to what we have now. Maybe what happens is we ended up having both, we ended up having a hybrid where there’s, there’s an inflationary, dominant money like USD and Bitcoin, and they coexist forever. Who knows?
Vlad Costea (01:43:06):
And just for the record, that’s called the Cantillon effect, the C A N T I L L O N.
John Carvalho (01:43:15):
This is for deflationary money or none of them for that.
Vlad Costea (01:43:19):
The idea that when money gets printed at first gets to the elites and it’s them who actually benefit from more money. And by the time it gets to the employees or people who are at the bottom of the pyramid, the inflation has kicked in and the money itself has lost value. And when the bank comes or whatever, get the fresh freshly printed money, they buy assets, which are deflationary and actually gain go in price over
Vlad Costea (01:43:52):
Time. I wanted to say gain value, but value is different from price.
John Carvalho (01:43:57):
Yeah, well, it makes sense. And this is what we see. We see the rich getting richer and the powerful, getting more power. And as long as they keep taking things that are limited in quantity, like real estate and commodities, and then they will continue with that as long as people let them. But I think in the end, everything has to pay the Piper in the end, even, even people at the top of an inflationary system, it might just be that you need, you need a Bitcoin to come around every thousand years to fix it.
Vlad Costea (01:44:29):
And that’s a very positive thought as a, I guess, to end this. I had no idea after I called the ending and I ask what was supposed to be the last question when we got in and spoke more about economics, which I’m glad we did. I had no idea how to end it, but it’s a good time to have that every thousand years you have something like Bitcoin, which comes in and saves all the mass that has been created. So thank you, John.
John Carvalho (01:44:59):
Yeah. I’m not an economist and I’m just kind of halfway talking out my ass here, but I do like to think about it as I did, like talking all this stuff, even if I’m just, just going to disclaim, I’m not an expert. And I’m just somebody that thinks about a lot of stuff. Hopefully it’s,
Vlad Costea (01:45:16):
It’s always interesting to talk to you because you have all these insights and I’m not sure how much of what you said in this podcast was new and how much was actually repeated from other interviews that you do on a regular basis. But I’m happy that we have done this.
Speaker 5 (01:45:34):
I’m happy to man. Thank you for having me.
Vlad Costea (01:45:37):
Thank you for being here. And I hope this is going to be a hit. I mean, you know, it’s pointless unless people listen to this, that’s just wasted time, which maybe helps us learn something more from each other, but the information is made to be distributed and used in educational purposes,
John Carvalho (01:46:02):
The best information travels the most. So we’ll see.
Speaker 4 (01:46:07):
Oh, we’ll see. They’ll thank you again. No problem, man.