Andreas Antonopoulos 2019 – “Bitcoin = Financial Inclusion, Independence, Freedom 4 all”


Dear crypto community and blockchain
buddies across the globe welcome back to Cryptonites, the no BS blockchain channel built with the community and for the community and today we’re live from the crypto
compare digital asset summit and we have an amazing guest a mind-blowing guest
Andreas Antonopoulos hello what a pleasure to have you thank thanks so
much your talk just now was mind-blowing I’m
gonna be very honest with you I I was tearing up a little bit just yeah I
would do oh yeah on stage what what brought those
emotions out of you I mean I think it was really cool it’s hearing the the
stories of people who are affected the most from many of the negative things
that happen in in today’s system of finance that not only have given me the
power to talk about things but also they touch me on a personal level and I can’t
help express that emotion when I’m on stage you know I honestly talk about
things that I believe in and so it comes out it leaks at the last conference I
attended after I gave a speech to crying the lack of security and Financial
Inclusion a young man came to me and said this really spoke to my personal
story young man in his 20s has been living in Western and developed
countries for the past 15 years has not been able to open a bank account in 15
years every time I write my name and place of birth in the application the
process is already ended I was born in Iran
I didn’t choose that I didn’t do anything I pay my taxes I have a job all
I want is to deposit my paycheck in a bank account so I can buy groceries for
15 years I’ve been unable to do that that is the face of the unbanked yeah I
was it was really really emotional I was actually looking at people in the crowd
and I could see that they were getting emotional as well do you mind telling us
a little about a little bit about this specific story about the underbanked
yeah it was a Persian person yes so you know people think the underbanked is is
basically something that happens in Africa or something that happens in
parts of Southeast Asia it’s it’s a kind of impersonal thing and one of the
things I wanted to emphasize to this conference is that as you walk around
the City of London here you’re surrounded by people in your community
who serve you or maybe who work with you who are unbanked or underbanked and I
met this gentleman in Berlin just last week and I was doing a talk about the
unbanked and he came to me and said you know your story is speaks to me
personally I’ve been living in in Western and developed countries for
fifteen or sixteen years now and I can’t get a bank account and it’s because as
soon as I write my name and and place of birth on an application form it’s it’s
over it’s already over I’ve done nothing wrong
I didn’t choose to be born in Iran I have no connection with the government
there I I live in in in these countries I’m a taxpayer I’m an upstanding citizen
I work hard all I want is an accounts where I can deposit my paycheck so I can
go buy groceries and I can’t get it because of something that happened to me
when I was born that I didn’t control I didn’t ask for this I didn’t do anything
wrong and as he was telling me the story the do it just like tears coming from
his eyes and I was weeping too and it would just it hit me so hard and I’ve
heard stories like that again and again and again you know people don’t realize
18% of the population in the United States is under banked that’s 60 million
people we need to not only understand that this affects our neighbors and
people all around us but also banking and access to financial services is not
a privilege we’ve turned it into a but it’s not a privilege it’s a
fundamental requirement for a decent and honorable life where you can take care
of your family and the idea that we deny it of billions of people out there based
on this crazy idea that if we do enough totalitarians surveillance will
eradicate crime that is a crime it’s a crime that condemns people to poverty
all around so we’re doing it to others so you know that’s an important message
I think it’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about cryptocurrency
because cryptocurrency doesn’t care who you are there is no vetting the vetting
has already been done if you are human you have a right to participate in the
human economy and and and that is something that most of us take for
granted and when you meet people who can’t do that it’s it’s a really
powerful moment what does it mean to be unbanked the World Bank defines unbanked
as the two and a half billion people who have absolutely no access to financial
services and live in cash based societies conveniently they only count
heads of household meaning the spouses and children are unimportant in this
calculation it’s your passion is absolutely contagious to be very honest
even through the videos I feel it’s sometime and you’ve been passionate for
since 2012 is that correct where you yeah I mean from the moment I got into
this but what really really changed the trajectory of my work I got into it 2012
I was excited about the elegance of the technology I didn’t yet quite understand
the global impact that this would have and part of the reason I didn’t
understand it is because I came from financial privilege right I had access
I’ve never lived in a situation where I didn’t have access to to the all the
banking services I could consume right lay-oh when I was a student in London
they give you a toaster if you opened a bank account was NatWest you know they
were competing to get students to open accounts just so they could then cram
you with overdraft fees of course and all of that but the bottom line is that
I had access to all of these things when I went to Argentina in 2013 a nice
to Argentinians who live in a situation with financial crisis have happened you
know two or three times in a generation destroying half the wealth of the
country being set back where half your savings disappear overnight that is that
is a cruel thing and they have no control over it right so when I talked
about crypto there they got it and they reflected that back to me and they gave
me a whole new perspective and then I came back to the United States and I had
a conference in Las Vegas I remember was a whole bunch of VCS and investors and
bankers we’re talking about legitimizing crypto through regulation and I went off
I just had probably the most passionate talk I’d had up to that moment like who
are you to claim legitimacy you know banking license means the license the
money launderer with impunity you just foreclosed on eight million
people in the United States you want to talk about legitimacy half of you should
be in jail crypto doesn’t need your permission didn’t ask for your
permission and we’ll keep doing our thing so you know to me refocusing and
understanding this is about the other six billion this is about delivering
universal basic access to financial services and at first it’s basic but
then it’s not just basic it becomes very powerful we need to do that we have a
moral obligation to do that when we have a moral obligation to resist the cynical
attempts to break that in order to satisfy some false sense of security
that sounds absolutely amazing because many people when they talk about
blockchain it’s always the same pitch disintermediation removing the middleman
which is exciting if I’m working as a head of corporate finance or trying to
cut costs for a company but today your your talks seem to be really crafted
around financial inclusion yes is that what you’re doing to resonate with the
younger people or because I feel like this typical pitch doesn’t really
resonate with the youth or on the social impact and why this decentralization
really matters – well this typical pitch if you look behind the words and you
think carefully about what they’re saying fundamentally it’s about replace
the current layer of leaders with themselves they don’t want to change the
system they just wanted to put themselves at the top of the pyramid
right so it’s a it’s a very Greed’s driven and personal ambition an ego
driven message I think especially among young people who have now realized that
a lot of the financial system is rigged against their interests right we have a
generation now that has basically been ripped off by their elders and delivered
a planet in chaos like good luck with that you know my parents generation the
statistics you feel like it takes like 350 hours of minimum-wage work in the
1960s in order to afford a four-year college education and today it takes
four thousand eight hundred hours of minimum wage work to afford that right
and we saddle people with this that and we’re like well why aren’t you working
hard or why aren’t you buying homes and consuming so they can drive the economy
why because our future was stolen right Millennials understand that the system
as it is today with this massive inequality with its massive reliance on
debt it’s fundamentally broken now what that does is it puts them slightly in
the position to understand that what they’re experiencing now for the first
time in this generation is actually the reality for billions of people forever
it’s not new and that little glimpse really if you can emphasize that and and
understand and empathize with those people then it becomes very powerful I
think it does seem like a very powerful thing have you ever thought about I mean
you have so many reasons to back up blockchain and Bitcoin and you’ve done
it through thousands and thousands of talks in terms of Bitcoin itself like
among all the facts data and knowledge that you have on Bitcoin if you had to
list the top three most important things about Bitcoin to resonate with the same
crowd with those Millennials and to get them to want to be a part of this
decentralized movement are there any specific examples that you you like to
give them absolutely so the first one is you have to understand that the powerful
aspect of this technology is not blockchain blockchain is just the data
set data structure open public block chains that are decentralized matter and
the reason they matter is because decentralization delivers personal
independence empowerment and freedom decentralization can be encompassed very
very simply in in an in a simple slogan which is not your keys not your coins
you have to take control of the keys in order to be able to to to express your
independence right if somebody else is holding your cryptocurrency for you is
that’s just banking with a different shell the main thing about this is that
individuals can independently take control of their finances and they can
decide what software to run which consensus rules to follow and then they
become a participant in the security of the system and that’s empowering so
that’s the most important thing to realize about this technology now those
are really amazing points and like you said there it seems like there you have
we have to have principles and values that are aligned with other people out
there when it comes to identifying myself as someone who wants to be a part
of this movement and there’s something that you do so well it’s you explain it
through the five pillars yes I love the five pillars that’s something that I
came across about a year and a half ago and since then it really every I felt
like it aligned with me as a person okay do you mind sharing with everyone what
are the five pillars and what what they are and why they’re important to you as
a person yeah so the five pillars are basically a set of tools to understand
whether what you’re talking about is really one of the interesting systems
that I call I prefer to call open public block chains to differentiate from the
generic term that has become so insidious and meaningless which is
blockchain everybody does blockchain today and it doesn’t mean anything
so I talked about open blockchain and to it elaborate on that to me a blockchain
is powerful if it’s open public neutral borderless and censorship resistant
right and what do those things mean open means that anyone can access it without
permission without vetting without identity they can participate in it just
by downloading software nobody can put up barriers to access nobody gets to vet
or authorize or give you an account you don’t need any of that it’s public all
of the information is available for everyone to validate and verify for
themselves without appealing to another Authority you can build api’s on it you
can develop a new software that connects to it you don’t need permission to do
any of that you have full access to all of the capability of the system
borderless there are no borders there were never borders that’s a fiction the
world is one place we are on one boat that carries humanity through space
right and borders of fictional things that just divide us on the internet
there are no borders on cryptocurrency there are no borders it doesn’t care
where you’re from where you were born where you are currently residing or
passing through borderless is really important no other system of money today
other than perhaps physical gold is truly as borderless as digital
cryptocurrency censorship resistant right since you’re persistent means that
no matter what other people think you can make a transaction you can make a
transaction and no one can stop you from making a transaction if there are
gatekeepers if there are controls if some people are allowed to make
transactions if some transactions are permitted and some are knots depending
on what you’re trying to buy or who you are or where you were born then it’s not
censorship resistant now that doesn’t mean completely censorship proof
censorship can occur but it can occur for limited times and in limited places
you can’t censor all of it all the time just like the internet some of it will
go down now and then for a limited time but
you can’t turn off all of the Internet’s all of the time yeah and finally neutral
neutral just like internet neutrality the internet routes packets no matter
where they come from no matter where they’re going no matter what the content
is inside it doesn’t care source destination and content are not
relevant to the routing of the system that applies to open public crypto
currencies and block chains like Bitcoin and like many others that copy the same
model and have been inspired by Bitcoin neutral means it doesn’t matter what
source is sending a payment or participating in a smart contract or
doing a transaction of any kind it doesn’t matter what the destination is
it doesn’t matter what the value or content of that transaction is or what
its purpose is or what it’s buying completely neutral your payments will be
routed those are the fundamental principles that make this a
revolutionary disruptive empowering technology that can change our world
anything less than that it may be useful to some it might even have an impact on
some financial services an improvement of their incredibly centralized systems
to me it’s boring it’s irrelevant it is like your corporate intranet compared to
the intranet the global network that we all participate in right your corporate
internet it’s there it’s boring nobody cares right and people are trying to
build these permission block chains the strip away all of the interesting
capabilities so you can pretend as if they’re doing something novel but it’s
really business as usual disguise with this new terminology and you know you
you can play with that if you want to for me it’s boring but people need to
have the tools to understand the difference between the two mmm I’m so
beautifully put these five pillars I feel like this it should be a reference
if there was a Dow Bible I think those five pillars should be in that Bible and
and speaking of which would you think that if a company can take those five
pillars are they classified as a dowel or do you need a little bit more to
you really become a dull it’s a very complicated topic and yeah let’s agree I
think it’s important to realize that these principles are not the only
principles that matter right they’re just some of the most important ones but
there are others like immutability and immutability derives from any of the
other principles but it’s also a very powerful principle in itself and we’re
also discovering other principles so for example programmability you you can’t do
programmability without neutrality sense your persistence open borderless
operation of course but it’s also an important principle the other thing to
realize is that apart from all of the dimensions that we’re still exploring
and discovering these are dimensions they’re not binary it’s not you are
decentralized you’re not decentralized you are sensitive resistant you’re not
sensitive you’re resistant it’s how much you will have on each think of it as a
scale right and and we’re actually probing how far we can push this scale
can we make things even more decentralized than today there’s no
absolute yes/no and decentralization there’s only relative are you more
decentralized than something else are you more sensitive resistant are you
more neutral or less neutral so if you think of every project has perhaps
scoring a certain grade on all of these dimensions they’re also not static in
time these are evolving systems you can start off very decentralized and then
become less decentralized maybe then you bounce back and become more
decentralized again this is a moving target right what we need to do is
understand what’s important at a very basic level explore what else we can
build it’s also important and then try to maximize the principles we care about
by adopting the projects that we feel best express those right so and that’s
not easy I I’m not going to be able to give you a score and say well this
blockchain is five point for decentralized you know on on the
Nakamoto scale there there’s no such thing right these metrics are very
subjective you have to do your own research and you have to decide does
this serve the purposes that I need to use this for does it empower me as an
individual does it protect sovereignty my independence my freedom
and use these criteria in order to evaluate the project that you’re
interested in those are really really good points like you said it’s really
hard to measure right what is the centralization and there seems to be
many clashes and disputes and arguments but I’ve sold acres because you’re not
decentralized you’re not decentralized and they’re looking at different aspects
right right they’re looking at different aspects and different trade-offs and
it’s highly subjective highly subjective um so you know you you you have to think
about this from the perspective of what’s important to you right this is
this a technology that empowers individuals the only perspective that
matters is yours so what is the best blockchain for you how does it best give
you the capabilities you need to do the things that you care about you have to
be careful not only to make these decisions yourself but also to not
listen to others and to not give others the authority or elevate them to a
position where they can tell you what is right and what is wrong when it comes to
understanding those principles appeal to authority as one of the things we’re
trying to disrupt and change with these technologies right these technologies
are against appeal to Authority they’re about you through the choice of your
software authoritative lis verifying the blockchain yourself you are the
authority in these systems each of us is the authority there is no central
authority and that also applies to the ideas and how you evaluate them
beautifully / beautifully but uh speaking of which jumping back to
something you said in the previous question you talked about the world is
borderless yes and it kind of reminds me of the book sapiens who’ve probably
heard of yeah and he talks about how whatever is not biological does not
exist it’s pure belief yes a company does not
exist – security does not exist countries don’t exist how do you feel
about that it’s it’s a very innovative mindset or approach of viewing the
worlds like would you agree with this type of view of I mean absolutely but
it’s not just innovative it’s it’s essentially ancient sin its origins
right the problem is that our cultures have mostly forgotten the the
things that have been known for millennia there’s nothing new about this
and in a way you know some of the Greek philosophers are partly to blame for
this so you know Plato Socrates Aristotle they actually created this
idea that there’s a duality that that the mind and spirits are separate from
the body that there is a perfect idealized world that exists separate
from the material world and they created this dichotomy the heavens perfect the
world below corrupt and fallible and mortal Turns out none of that really
exists you know the material world is the world we live in it and we are all
part of its indivisibly you know that that pure idea that everything is
biology everything else is fiction right a useful fiction it’s an evolutionary
imperative to develop the social structures belief systems and ideas that
help us succeed as a species but not to mistake those ideas for reality, right?
and when those concepts no longer work for us we can discard them there’s
nothing sacred about any idea ever every idea should be questioned every idea
should be challenged and if necessary discarded it’s funny how people grow up
and then they’re used to certain things around them right and this is very true
of money right when you grow up as a kid you see the money of your country you
read the history of your country and you believe that that’s how it’s always been
now that’s the right way to do things that it can only be done one way and
then when you’re presented with an idea that’s different from that it causes
cognitive dissonance like well how about we do money without governments was like well how could you how could you possibly do that I mean if the
government isn’t the creator money how do you know if it has value it confuses
people who’s right but because the mistaken idea is that
somehow money derives its value from the permission authority of government
that’s entirely false and it’s not backed by any science
any economic disciplines the bottom line is that money derives its value from us
using it from the social compact of economic use and there’s no reason why
it has to come from government versus another social compact established in
software so you have to break these ideas first before you can introduce new
ideas and people are threatened by that so it’s often scary
to see that something you believed in isn’t actually true yeah that’s a really
good point I’ve had many people like saying that digital assets or digital
currency doesn’t work and I would ask them a simple question I’ll really have
you ever used a credit card yeah yeah simple things like that just to make him
realize that we’re already using digital payments and we’re using systems online
centralized one since the central exactly exactly you

21 thoughts on “Andreas Antonopoulos 2019 – “Bitcoin = Financial Inclusion, Independence, Freedom 4 all””

  1. Predict the price of bitcoin better than 99.3% of people thanks to FREE machine learning algos and other data sets: https://bit.ly/2XRNVnx
    Agenda:
    00:24 A really emotional moment…
    2:15 Your community TOO is UNbanked and UNDERbanked are around you too
    4:05 18% of the population (60 MILLION people) in the U.S is underbanked!
    5:42 Financial privilege and free toasters!
    6:36 Argentina: Half of your savings DISAPPEARING overnight
    7:09 Andreas LOSES his cool!!!
    7:45 Universal Acess to Basic Finance for All
    8:16 Financial inclusion
    10:39 The 3 most powerful arguments for a decentralized society
    12:22 The five pillars: Open, public, borderless, censorship-resistant and neutral
    17:27 but immutability, programmability, privacy are also important
    18:36 Blockchain needs to appeal to YOU… YOU are the new authority!
    20:11 Too many Highly-biased arguments among projects on who is REALLY decentralized
    21:34 Do NOT accept borders, Countries, companies, money as reality…

  2. Such a pleasure to listen Andreas, he's so knowledgeable about crypto impact on society and it's benefits that, although I've seen plenty of he's appearances, I learn new things everytime. Thanks Alex and Cryptonites team for the interview, looking forward for part 2.

  3. Andreas you rock – Alex great and thanks for this interview… (you got one of the 2 book with Andreas signature ?)

  4. Great video as always alex… Let's wait for the second part.. I agree with the decentralised democratic ,its not only a way forward in terms of finance but also in way how we elect or we live. Who could predict this 20 years ago? Huge changes, always led to changes that people couldnt predict. "steam engine
    , the wheel, steel production and so on"… this is so exciting to be part of the future.. lets see how it develops..

  5. Dude, shave that crap off. Jeezus don't you have friends to tell you how bad that looks? Luv A.A. smart man.

  6. That crying incident was a terrible weenie moment for Antonopoulos, if it was even genuine. He's told that story before and didn't choke up then. Funny how fast he reminded the interviewer about his onstage sensitivity moment. It's like he staged the heart tug to win points.

  7. Bitcoin = Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash SYSTEM
    Not store of value only (there is no such thing)
    Bitcoin is BSV.
    BTC is a fake, a SegWit Altcoin (and useless one at that)

  8. Antonopolous is fake and is not for bitcoin he is for btc core coin centralised lightning network. Andreas is delusional, fake and angry

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