Russian bitcoiner Konikko Trader rose to prominence within the community after publishing an article called “Guide to Soviet Past” in the fourth edition of Citadel21. His work is rather pessimistic and takes shots at Russia’s perpetual failures to both modernize and attain financial prosperity in the aftermath of the USSR. During the article, he blames democracy for enabling the rise of authoritarianism and promotes the idea of free market economies as a force which counters the arbitrary decisions of those who keep themselves in high offices through corrupted means.
During this 155-minute discussion, we talk about everything from Bitcoin in Russia to the origins of capitalism, the Industrial Revolution, and the works of Max Weber. Though I disagree with his conclusions about democracy and give the popular vote the benefit of the doubt for allowing the populace to vote officials out of office and impeach through checks and balances, we end up having an interesting debate which echoes the angst of two young men living in formerly communist countries.
At one point, we even agree that Bitcoin is our generation’s Radio Free Europe or Voice of America, just a glimpse of the freedom that lies outside the power of our governments that helps us carry on with our regular affairs. We also discuss about the nature of revolutions and whether or not blood needs to be spilled each time a greater cause such as freedom gets served. And when we get tired of all the American examples that we’re using, we get more specific about our experiences in formerly communist countries. Konikko and I disagree about Saifedean’s work, argue about the nature of black swan events, but end up agreeing about the state of art in relation to our society.
The theme of season 6 is that I’m trying to promote new people who haven’t ever been on a Bitcoin podcast, but deserve everybody’s attention. Consequently, Konikko felt a little bit pressured and intimidated by the idea of being on a podcast, so his statements may not always be phrased in the exact way which he meant. So go easy on him and make the most out of this unique interview.
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