S9 E7: Knut Svanholm on Sovereignty & Bitcoin in El Salvador

Knut Svanholm is the kind of bitcoiner who looks for the bullish perspective into every situation. As the author of “Bitcoin: Sovereignty Through Mathematics” and “Bitcoin: Independence Reimagined”, he is positive that the network will thrive and the series of events taking place at the social layer will only strengthen the project and increase the valuation of bitcoin as a currency. Furthermore, Knut Svanholm is well known for his theory about dividing all of the goods and services in the world to the finite supply cap of BTC: ∞/21 million.

However, as I expressed in a seemingly-controversial article, I am not a big fan of El Salvador’s legal tender situation and adoption from above in general. Philosophically, I believe that it’s the users who should expand the network in a voluntary way and transact to each other in spite of governmental and banking institutions. Not because an established authority tells them to do so, but because they need to escape the cronyism of central banking and fiat currencies.

And since Knut Svanholm and I have opposing views, it was only natural for us to have a healthy and lengthy debate. While he played the role of the ever-bullish optimist, I was able to express every ounce of concern and cover every angle from which one can criticize bitcoin’s legal tender status in El Salvador.

Furthermore, since Knut is the kind of author who approaches the topic of Bitcoin from a philosophical angle, I felt like his input would be extremely valuable for the general theme of this season. So we also discussed about altruism in relation to the financial incentives of the Bitcoin network, Karen culture, the brilliance of George Orwell’s writings, the importance of self-custody, the involvement of big corporations and prominent investors such as Elon Musk and Michael Saylor, and action films such as Starship Troopers and Robocop.

Some of my favorite moments include the introduction of Roko’s Basilisk in relation to Bitcoin (a theme that you can also find in Knut’s writings), and the debate on whether Bitcoin is a libertarian invention. After the 2-hour mark, I’ve also argued that this space needs more podcasts that are focused on niche subjects which often times get overlooked in Joe Rogan-style shows that only talk about the most popular events.

And since we find ourselves in the middle of a bull market and lots of people (including Knut) quit their day jobs to focus more on personal projects that may be related to Bitcoin, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to approach this topic.

Though this interview appears to be intimidatingly long (with a runtime which exceeds the three-hour mark), it’s actually structured in a way which helps you find easily-digestible bits (no pun intended) of knowledge. So even if you listen for 10 minutes at a time, you will still find out something new. And if you’re into browsing through sections, below you will also find the complete time stamps.

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But if you’re not a fan of big tech and would rather enjoy some privacy, I’ve got exactly what you need: use my private player and enjoy the content without registering and with the greatest amount of anonymity. You can even use the Tor browser to conceal your IP address and download the audio files for offline listening. This can be especially useful in countries around the world where governments are hostile to Bitcoin – and I strongly believe that knowledge should not get stopped by borders to the ability to register to a service that’s owned by Apple or Spotify.

Furthermore, the Bitcoin Takeover Podcast is also available on the podcasting 2.0 services. So if you’re using Breez wallet or the Sphinx Lightning network application, then you can also find my work there. Follow this guide for more information.

A YouTube video is also coming soon!

This episode is sponsored by Vaultoro & Wasabi Wallet

Joshua from Vaultoro is a big fan of the show and I’m happy that he sees potential in my work and supports it without caring about numbers and growth statistics. So I must thank him for his generosity and invite you to check out Vaultoro – the exchange where you can trade with honest money (bitcoin, gold, and silver). 

None of this is financial advice from me, but I’m pretty sure that the shiny rock is a better store of value than any fiat currency or “stablecoin”, so maybe it would be wise to use this commodity to preserve your purchasing power during bear markets and get back into bitcoin as soon as you’re convinced that the downwards movement are over. You can also have the gold bars delivered to your house… because you know, if it’s not in your safe then it’s stored somewhere in Switzerland where you can’t touch it whenever you please. For more information, check out Vaultoro’s website.

Also, Joshua from Vaultoro is sponsoring a Lightning Network faucet – he hopes that Bitcoin’s second layer will one day become potent and popular enough to replace the smart contract and tokenization features of Ethereum. And he also supported Giacomo Zucco’s layer 3 RGB Spectrum experimentation from 2019. So if you’d like to get 10 bits/100 sats on the Lightning Network, you’re gonna have to listen to the latest Bitcoin Takeover Radio broadcast and be the first to figure out the secret.

And if you would like to increase your network-level and transaction privacy, you should download Wasabi Wallet on your computer. It routes your connection through the Tor network to hide your IP, it downloads block filters so you validate your own transactions locally without appealing to a trusted third party, and it also connects to your own full node to boost your financial sovereignty. Extra features include advanced hardware wallet integrations, easy UTXO management, address reuse prevention, and even a lurker wife mode.

Wasabi is best known for its link-breaking CoinJoins, which are giving a hard time even to the EuroPol. Use the wallet to increase your financial sovereignty, but don’t do any illegal stuff – use your financial sovereignty with responsibility (also read the Wasabi terms of service).

Time Stamps

4:20 – Why did Knut Svanholm stick around the Bitcoin space?

7:20 – Bitcoin conferences are the new rockstar tours

9:55 – Opinions on “The Sovereign Individual” by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg

15:47 – The free will paradox

17:30 – Bitcoin as financial atheism

19:00 – Faith in verification

20:15 – Linux and open source

23:30 – Bitcoin privacy

26:08 – Financial incentives vs ideology

28:33 – Karen culture and Chainalysis

35:00 – Stockholm syndrome and the brilliance of George Orwell

38:13 – The El Salvador situation

58:50 – Elon Musk, Michael Saylor, and corporations getting involved in Bitcoin

01:01:50 – Mining from home and altruism 

01:12:23 – Miners, Taproot, and SegWit activation

01:19:55 – Bitcoin’s J-shaped price action and S-shaped user adoption

01:23:54 – Why we’re still in the early days of Bitcoin

01:28:00 – The issue of fake bitcoins that can create inflation on Revolut, PayPal & eToro

01:31:45 – Day trading is like the poker boom

01:32:20 – People quitting their jobs because of the bitcoin bull run

01:34:30 – HODLing vs trading

01:36:00 – Bitcoin and the environment 

01:43:00 – Bitcoin memes and reality

01:47:20 – Inflation is coming

01:48:45 – Yearly lows are more interesting than all-time highs

01:49:30 – Lightning is readier than ever

01:55:50 – Bits vs sats

01:57:00 – The mempool is empty again in 2021

01:59:54 – Peter Schiff is always the bottom indicator 

02:03:57 – If you’re a Karen and want to speak to the manager of Bitcoin, where do you go?

02:06:30 – Knut’s next book

02:08:58 – Is Bitcoin libertarian?

02:13:00 – Starship Troopers, Robocop and other films that Hodlonaut also loves

02:14:50 – Roko’s basilisk and the Honey Badger Basilisk

02:17:09 – Why we need more Bitcoin podcasts

02:21:05 – Bitcoin, Christianity and atheism

02:23:00 – Why podcasts are better than television and radio

02:25:00 – How and why limits can be helpful and productive

02:27:05 – Interviewing Chris DeRose and keeping up with him

02:32:00 – Debating Roger Ver?

02:34:20 – Shitcoinery at the Bitcoin 2021 conference

02:36:00 – Shitcoins today are basically Bitcoin sidechains

02:37:50 – Stablecoins are oxymorons, altcoins are no real alternatives

02:39:00 – There’s a lot of method acting in Ethereum

02:41:00 – Zooko is most likely still a hardcore bitcoiner

02:43:00 – Vitalik, the Magic Flute and opera

02:47:50 – Fame

02:49:53 – People want to be loved, just like Charles Foster Kane

02:52:00 – Why kids and inheritance matter

02:56:00 – The flaws of education in Sweden

03:08:05 – Social democracy in Sweden

Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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