Bitcoin Q&A: Why historical transitions aren’t “smooth” – Fiat to Cryptocurrency


[AUDIENCE] I would like to know if you forecast a
moment when there will be a [transition] between… fiat currency and cryptocurrency in the world. Will it be so fast that there will be a bloody revolution,
or will it be a smooth transition between the systems? [ANDREAS] That is a great question.
History doesn’t do smooth [transitions]. History does punctuated equilibrium; spurts of
innovation, disruption, and chaos followed by… centuries of plateau, then by spurts of innovation again. Nicholas Negroponte from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab said… “‘The future is already here —
it’s just not evenly distributed.” The [transition] from fiat to digital currencies
or cryptocurrencies won’t happen everywhere. It will happen in the places where the price of
remaining with your [national] currency means… losing the generational wealth of your children; where the penalty for pushing back
against your government is violence. This gives you a mechanism to opt-out… when your government has taken you and the rest of the
population hostage in an economically disruptive spiral. I don’t know what will happen, but I think that
in ten or fifteen years, we will see governments… try to take their populations hostage, but
large numbers of that population will say, “[No, you won’t].” Argentina, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and
many other countries have faced currency challenges… and economic depression. There is enormous interest in Bitcoin in Argentina.
In Venezuela, they just arrested two miners, to make an example of them, flooding the media with
stories about how bitcoin is for terrorists, criminals, pedophiles, and drug dealers. Their problem is, that message doesn’t change
the fact that Bitcoin doesn’t have 550% inflation. When you are faced with that balance, sometimes
you say, “I will get out [of the national currency].” Today, only a tiny portion of the population has the
means, the education, the technical infrastructure, the skills, and capital to escape that trap. But one day, it will be a big chunk of the population.
Then things will happen very rapidly. Yes, we will see that. I hope, within my lifetime.

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