Interview: Jimmy Song – Bitcoin Core Developer – Legends of Crypto


Hi guys! Today from New York! Today I will talk for you with Jimmy Song! Jimmy Song is one of the most popular crypto-influencers. He is a Bitcoin Core Developer. He is a Bitcoin maximalist and early Bitcoin investor. Stay with me till the end of this video. There will be a contest and something to win! And meanwhile meet with me Jimmy Song! [Music] Jimmy! We are presenting great people. The movers of shakers of the Industry on my channel. So, tell me about your story. When did you find out about Bitcoin, about the Industry? Hod did you come to the Industry? Yeah! So, I got into it in 2011 when I saw a story on SlashDot. SlashDot is sort of like a technical website and it said that story. I know most of that stories but one of them was “Bitcoin has broken $1.” I’m like “What a hell is Bitcoin and why don’t I know about this?!” I consider myself a pretty technically knowledgeable guy. So, I was like “How do I not know about this?!” So, I researched it for the rest of that day and I was just absolutely transfused. I was like “21 million! I can’t believe that!” So, I was like “Okay! I need to get some before everybody else.” And at that time you couldn’t really buy Bitcoin very easily. You had to transfer money into Dwolla and than you had to transfer money from Dwolla to MtGox and then buy from MtGox and trust them. So, it took like 2 weeks to actually set up the pipeline together. You couldn’t buy with a credit card or anything. So, I ended up just sort of forgetting about it. Biggest regret of my life is not to buy Bitcoin at $1 ! So, eventually I did buy some that summer when it went up to $30. I was like “A crap! I gotta go and buy some” So, I finally did it at around that point. So, It was 2011. And in 2013 I just held it at MtGox all that time. And in 2013 one of my friends told me “You really need to get your money out of MtGox. They’re doing some shady stuff.” So, I was like “Okay.” And I looked into wallets and stuff. And I was like “How do I do this?” So, you didn’t even have a wallet!? No, I didn’t have a wallet! I just kept my money on MtGox! So, I’m very sympathetic to all those people that just sort of keep it on that exchange. Of course, I owe that friend a huge debt of gratitude because he told me to get it out. So, I downloaded the Armory Wallet and I was like “Man, this is crappy!” Just ironic because I ended up working as a SVP of engineering. So, I’ve downloaded it and I moved out all my MtGox coins to Armory and of course, later that year they had some serious problems. and their went bankrupt. That’s how I got into Bitcoin development. I realized “Okay, it’s more infrastructure”. You didn’t have to learn that lesson the hard way, right? No! Thankfully my friend spared me. Andrew Hires if you’re out there. You know I owe you. Because I was talking, like several months ago, to Roger Ver and he didn’t lose money in that hack but he did in the one before. Yeah, I mean anyone that’s been in this space for a while has been through so many hacks. That you learn how to manage your money and the list of scams in Crypto is so huge. Even right now there is a ton of them. So that was like the big lesson and that’s how I got into Bitcoin development. So, your background is more of developer, scientist or cryptographer at that time? Well, I was a programmer for 15 years before I got into Bitcoin development. This was in 2013. I was a full-stack developer. 2013 I started using the software and then I got into Colored Coins. I started developing and helping move that project forward. I got paid in Bitcoin to work on open source. It was from a guy in the Ukraine. Only with Bitcoin can you do that! Like some guy in the Ukraine is paying me Bitcoins to work on something and I’m like in Austin. It was amazing. I was like “This is amazing!” Alex Mizrahi if you’re out there you’re the first one that gave me a Bitcoin job. He knows who he is. Yeah, that was just really cool. And I was working on that 40 hours a week along with my job 40 hours a week. So I was like “You don’t have kids and stuff.” So, it was really tough. I was like “I should just quit and do the Bitcoin stuff”. So, that’s what I did. I worked at Monetas after that and then, after that I worked at Armory. Then I worked at Paxos and now I’m teaching Bitcoin programmers. Exactly. I will come to that topic, to your teaching. Because I advise my viewers, my audience to get fit in Bitcoin and also in programming. And this is actually the safest, the easiest way to become a millionaire in Bitcoin with no advance money is actually to program, right? Yeah! To get involved as a programmer in this space, right? Because a beginner blockchain programmer earns on average $162,000 a year. Yeah. I think that’s on the low side actually! Think about all the ICO’s and how much money they have. Yeah! They have so much money and there is one programmer for…
Every 9 positions! For 11!
Ohh! 11 positions! Yeah, it’s getting crazy! There are more money in this space than there are people in this space; or programmers in this space So, they throw money at you! So, this is the easiest … Yeah! There is a supply problem! And the interesting thing about the supply is that all of these people now have way too much money. So, you can’t convince them to work for you unless you give them like a tremendous amount of money. So, I mean a lot of Bitcoin devs obviously have a few money. They don’t need to work for anybody. And crappy ICO’s especially can’t get developers. So, there is a huge developer shortage all over the map. Especially for a lot of these crappy ICO’s. I don’t think you should work for them but they are part of the statistic and they drive it. So, you’re a core Bitcoin developer yourself and you teach also about Bitcoin programming. Yeah! It’s a 2 days course… So, it’s over 2 days and you create your own Bitcoin library in Python from scratch. You start with a very basic math perimeters, finite fields, elliptic curves. And you have to understand that in order to understand elliptic curve in cryptography, at that point you understand signing and verification of what that actually means And then you can create transactions, and then you can create block or understand how to parse blocks and understand what proof of work is. And eventually you can… you have enough sort of mental hooks to be able to continue on that stuff and be able to develop. Okay, how can people find you in that area. I mean where do you have a website for that? Yeah! It’s a ProgrammingBlockchain.com And there is a link to scholarships. So, we’ve been giving away more scholarships. It’s easier than ever. My course isn’t cheap. It’s like $3000 if you book a month ahead of time up to $4000 if you’re booking like a 3 days before. My course in New York by the way is full. So, don’t apply that. Toronto, Sao Paulo, Denver – those are more open. Okay. So, they are actually present courses. You don’t give webinars on that. Yeah. It’s 2 days of direct instruction and you have to code in library. There is a point in the second day where I send you testnet coins and you have to create a transaction that spends those coins from using your library. And that tends to be a big highlight for my students. That’s like a big highlight. So, you’re gonna learn all that stuff. Not necessarily thoroughly because it’s a lot of info. It’s like a semester’s worth of information in 2 days. So, I don’t expect everyone to get all of it. In fact, I expect nobody to get all of it. You’re supposed to review afterwards but it gives you enough to get started and become a developer You’re obviously gonna have to put in some hard work but it’s not gonna be like just sort of thrashing blindly. You have a program that you can really learn and get into this stuff. We need more developers and like I said, people are constantly graduating out with a few money. So, there is always gonna be a deal. I think I will always have a roof for this class. Okay. Let’s talk about the industry, about Bitcoin and so on. You’re a Bitcoin maximalist from what I know. Did you invest in any altcoins? I have altcoins that I respect. So, Monero, Zcash and Decred I definetely respect. Cause their developers actually know what the hell they are doing. A lot of other coins are just sort of cloned Bitcoin and change maybe 1 or 2 parameters. Or do things in a way that are completely insecure and call it secure. With those 3 projects I think they actually have something. zkSNARKs is interesting technology, confidential transactions is interesting technology. Decred’s governance, all that stuff. All those guys know how to code. And I’ve read their code. BTCD is one of the best code bases I’ve ever read and Decred guys made that. But Decred is also a Bitcoin clone. You have to admit it’s a Bitcoin fork and got forked at the early stadium, right? They took BTCD which they wrote and then they sort of modified that for Decred. So, Monero, if you look at it, the whole thing is completely different. The entire code base is different, the base58 is different. They do everything differently. So, I have a lot of respect for those projects because they’ve managed to do that and still making secure. They have really good cryptography and stuff. A lot of these other projects I don’t respect. Will any of them work? I don’t know. I at least respect their developers. Of course, there are many projects in the blockchain space which are not like a currency base but for another use case. What do you see as the most interesting use cases from the standpoint of investor? Which industries would be affected next and most profoundly? Okay. So, I wrote an article on this yesterday “Why blockchain is hard”. I spoke at the panel yesterday and talked about Is blockchain an amorphous, nebulous world that apparently you can sprinkle on anything and make everything awesome and fly or something… I don’t think that’s the case. There are aspects of blockchain technology which the only real use case that I’ve seen is Bitcoin. There are aspects of it that I think would be useful in other industries. Public Key Cryptography would be amazing for any sort of receipt. You can’t take receipts like some sort of signature. Right. That’s what most of these projects are looking at and saying that they want it. They want proof that somebody did something and they signed the attest to it that they did something. So, like supply chains. Yeah, they keep saying blockchain… Really, all they’re talking about is… Or they could do 99% of what they’re talking about with Public Key Cryptography. It doesn’t make sense to… Blockchain is an amalgamation of all sorts of things. There is obviously Public Key Cryptography, there is also Proof of Work, there is Gossip Network, validation and consensus rules and stuff like that. It’s a very heavy machinery and you only really need that for Bitcoin. For a lot of out there industries taking that whole machine doesn’t really make sense. You wanna maybe take components and that would be very useful like the idea of receipts that are signed so you have non-repudiate proof that somebody did something for you. That’s actually very useful in certain contexts but it’s a technology from 1991. Right! It’s just like people are finally realizing “Oh, we can actually use it for us” and they’re calling it blockchain for some reason which doesn’t make any sense. Okay. What about mainstream adoption or the broad adoptoin of Bitcoin or let’s say, of cryptocurrencies. How far are we there or how soon will it happen. What are the major roadblocks you see on the way there? What challenges should be solved before that? Well, if I were a social scientist, an economist or a political person, I would be able to answer that but I’m really just a technical guy, right? So, do you think there are no technical challenges? I mean there are but I think it mostly works, right? Bitcoin already works. Those are more sort of social adoptions, sort of like people that are maybe more into marketing and have studied how things spread. Those would be the people to ask that question. I’m the technical guy. So, you don’t think that fungibility would be an issue that needs to be addressed? I mean it might be but again that’s a social question. Okay, yeah! So, it’s not necessarily a technical one. I know what’s possible. I know how it can get adopted. But is it really demanded by the market? I don’t know. Is it really something that people need in order to be adopted? I don’t know. Those aren’t questions that I’m really qualified to answer. Above my pay grade! Okay! Maybe let’s talk about what were the most surprising things (because you’re in the crypto space for 5 years) that happened in the crypto space that most surprise you? Okay. The biggest one I think was Bitcoin Cash. I think that was to me the biggest event, the most uncertain event and the one that proved that Bitcoin is antifragile more so than anything else. I wrote an article back last April why they divorce, why Bitcoin divorce will be really really painful. I made this argument that we would lose all sorts of things as a result of splitting. And none of that turned out to be true. So, I’m glad that I was wrong. I was really scared about it. What Bitcoin Cash proved to me was that Bitcoin is actually antifragile. Things that attack it make it actually stronger. That was extremely surprising to me. There is an article I wrote for Coindesk at the end of last year where I was like “2017 was a year that Bitcoin became antifragile”. And if you’re not familiar with that concept, please read that book by Nassim Taleb. Exellent book! That to me was extremely important in the history of Bitcoin because it proved not just to me but to the entire economy. Hey, you know what? This thing is gonna last and there aren’t many things that are able to destroy this thing. And we are not sure if anything can! So, it was a wonderful surprise in a very good way. Okay! How do you see these, let’s say, attacks from the side of governments on Bitcoin. How do you see that play out with long term… Again, it’s more social question and I don’t know. I’ve been trying not to pay attention to politics. Okay! Talk about books. What are the other books on, let’s say, money that help people understand blockchain better? What are the things you would recommend people to read? Alright. So, I’m gonna totally show for safety in here. This is the book that you should read. “Bitcoin Standard” This is the book you should read. This explains everything economically. Economically! It’s not technical! There is a slightly technical stuff but it’s very approachable. Okay. He is an Austrian economist by trade. Oh, so you’re also into austrian school of economics! Yeah!
He goes through limestones, gold and all of the reasons why you need money to have certain properties and how Bitcoin throws all of them. So, this is the book to get! This is the book to get, guys! Okay! Almost the last question. Once a year i make some predictions what may happen in the industry. What would be your prediction for the next months or maybe a next year? Let’s say, something that isn’t very clear to everybody, maybe not intuitive that you think may happen in the next months, in the coming year? I think it’s very intuitive but I think a lot of these blockchain projects are complete crap and they will fall in their faces. Okay. Okay! Last question. Any message to the audience? Something you would like to share? Maybe some lesson, some advice or just some message? Yeah! So, the one piece of advice that I give everybody when they’re getting into Bitcoin is “really know your investment”. A lot of people just get into it because they want to get rich or whatever. But if you really want the 100x games, you need to know what the hell you’re investing in. Because that’s what will give you the conviction to hold through a 100x game. It’s very tempting to sell when you’ve doubled your money. It’s very tempting to sell when you tripled your money and then it’s gone down 50% What keeps you in it is actually knowing what the hell everything is. So go and learn! And if you can, go and learn how to code because software really is eating the world. And if you don’t know software, if you don’t know how to code, you’re gonna be one of those people. So, that’s my message to you guys! Wonderful! Jimmy, thank you for your time. Have fun here at the conference! I wish you success with your projects Thank you! See you guys from New York! This song is done! I can see you like this video. If yes, give me a thumb up! Subscribe below and don’t forget to hit the bell button in order not to miss my other videos. I encourage you to leave comments. What do you think about the topics we were talking about. What is your experience? What is your perspective? I invite you also to share this video with your loved ones, with your friends. One day they will thank you for that! And I promised a competition at the beginning of this video. Let’s do the following: Take a quote from this video and share it on your social media, on your Twitter, on your Facebook. Or share it with your comment to this video and when sharing don’t forget to add your Byteball address. And also the tag #TheBillionDollarSecret. We will monitor social media and among the best shares, the most creative shares, the most effective shares I will give away some Byteball bytes. So, if you like this video, you will probably like my other videos. Here you will find some of my best films. That’s it from New York today. I wish you a fantastic day. Let’s do something extraordinary today!

3 thoughts on “Interview: Jimmy Song – Bitcoin Core Developer – Legends of Crypto”

  1. What do you think about Kylie Jenner becoming a billionaire!? Forbes says that her net worth is $900 million !! At 21, crazy…

  2. I have transferred Byteball Bytes for the winners of the contest in this video.

    The winner in the contest in this video is:
    – Fedozip (Twitter) – 150,000,000 Byteball bytes – G3GIPF3TBYCXVBOE4MX5SZARKGCJLCJF

    Congratulations! I invite everybody to participate in contests in the recent videos.
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