The Stories We Tell About Money

All of this started on [October 31st, 2008 with the]
publication of a paper, [and on January 3rd, 2009] with the publication of a piece of software by an
anonymous contributor who used the name… ‘Satoshi Nakamoto.’ They proposed a system of electronic cash, but with
unique properties that had never been seen before. A system that is decentralized,
meaning no one [entity] is in control. A system [with] certain mathematical properties
which enable a phenomenon called digital scarcity, meaning you can have something that
is simultaneously digital and yet rare. It cannot be copied, which seems like an antithesis. The quintessential characteristic of digital
information is that it can be freely copied; you can create infinite copies of it at almost zero cost. But you can’t create infinite
copies of bitcoin at zero cost. This idea of having a digital thing that is rare and cannot
be copied, was a unique and revolutionary invention, [which has] not happened before [in computer science]. A decentralized peer-to-peer network that [relies on]
participants in the currency to validate [transactions]. If I make a transaction, everyone who is
running a Bitcoin [node] will validate it, checking every aspect of my transaction. [It is] an open system for securing and
sequencing transactions that ensures… no one can spend the same [outputs] twice, solving a
fundamental problem in distributed systems known… as the Byzantine Generals’ Problem. The basic idea is: how do you know
if I spent digital money [only once]? If I give it to one merchant, what stops me from taking
the same digital [money], walking across the street, and giving it to another merchant? Until the invention of Bitcoin, there was only one suitable
answer: a central authority records all the transactions. When that central authority sees the first transaction,
it will not allow a second transaction [spending it again]. That works, it is very efficient. Visa does it. If you buy something for $10 in one shop
with a Visa [card], then go across the street… and buy something else for $10, they will make sure
you have at least $20 in your account to pay for it. They won’t let you spend the same money twice,
they won’t let you spend more than you have, or more than your credit allows. That’s great. Those systems work. They are efficient and can do
hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. But there is one problem: you are trusting that
organization or company [with your money]. You are not just putting trust in that company
to do it right, because they do a pretty good job. With that trust comes enormous power:
the power to refuse to take your transaction; the power to refuse to give you an account;
the power to refuse your participation in… this economic activity; the power to demand that you
identify yourself, show papers, prove credit-worthiness. That is something which is different from
all systems of money we’ve had before. I can use cash without showing papers,
without proving credit-worthiness. I don’t have an intermediary, pay [them] a
transaction fee, or need special equipment. I can just transact directly, person-to-person. When you introduce this third-party company, you have a
problem. Let’s say I have a Visa card in my back pocket. I want to give one of you $10. Who in this crowd
can process my Visa card [transaction] today? Can anyone take a Visa card from me?
Not in your business, but in your personal capacity. Who accepts Visa here? No one, not a single person. Because [that system is not] about people
paying people, it’s people paying companies… to pay companies to maybe pay people. Bitcoin is peer-to-peer. Our financial systems have become peer-to-
corporation-to-corporation-to-corporation-to-peer. Everybody takes a little cut, everybody
[asserts] their own power in the system. They take great advantage of that. What is the end result? Billions of people
who have no access to the banking system; billions of people who will
never have a bank account. Many of them don’t have [identity documentation],
and even if they did, still lack the necessary education, literacy and numeracy, to walk into a bank. Or they “look wrong,” because they are
from the “wrong” race, caste, or religion. The untouchables can’t walk into a bank; they will be
kicked out by security before they reach the teller. This happens all across the world, a direct result
of the fact that we have centralized our money. Bitcoin is different. It allows us
to use digital money like cash. By the end of today, everyone in this room will be able
to accept bitcoin, directly under their own control, with software running on their smartphone. At that point, I can pay you or you can pay me.
We can [engage in] commerce on a local level, as a community, without involving any third-party
intermediary or corporation that has power over us. Without the requirement to present [identity documents],
without the requirement that you are credit-worthy. You fulfill human-worthiness.
In fact, Bitcoin doesn’t even require that. You don’t need to be human; autonomous software can
use bitcoin on its own, without humans involved. The invention [of Bitcoin] in 2009
launched a completely new era. It is not just a weird form of PayPal.
This isn’t just a new system of payment. Bitcoin takes an obscure branch of mathematics called
cryptography, the art of secret writing using math, [which] is then applied to the domain of establishing
trust between participants in a [distributed] system, without giving any one [entity] control over the system. This unique property is what makes Bitcoin special. You can send money to someone else without knowing
them, without [needing] to trust them or anybody. You can trust that the mathematical rules in the
system guarantee that money you receive is real, unforgeable, and spendable (as soon as it clears
in about ten minutes) by you in another payment. You don’t need to know the person who gave it
to you. In modern finance, that seems weird. And yet we do it every day with cash. If I tip my taxi driver with a 2,000 rupee note,
do they need my [identity document]? Do they need to ‘process a transaction’?
Do they need to ‘pay a transaction fee’? No. Cash is a representation of value. [To] verify that it is [not a fake], the person who receives
it [may] hold it up to the light, look for a watermark. They can [usually] do that on their own, they don’t [need] to call someone and
[ask if] serial number 1323532 is a real one. You don’t need to check with
a third-party or central authority. You can verify with your own eyes that it is real money.
Bitcoin translates that [ability] into the digital domain. If you receive a bitcoin transaction, the [node] software
you run can independently verify that it is real, without asking anyone else. [If that is the case], the identity of the
person who sent it to you is irrelevant. The value is there. You don’t need to trust them. That is revolutionary in a way we’ve seen once before at
least in my generation: the introduction of the internet. Many people who [grew] up with the internet still
fundamentally misunderstand why it is special. They look at the internet and see it as a [platform
for] publishing, a system of [digital] content. But we had publishing [platforms] before the internet,
we [even] had digital publishing before the internet. We had ways to disseminate
“content” [long] before the internet. What was different about the internet? For the first time ever, it enabled a global free flow
of information, almost everywhere on Earth, to anyone who had the technical capability to connect. As long as you have the technical capability,
the internet doesn’t care who you are, how old you are, whether you are a human or a software agent. [It doesn’t care] what race, religion, or gender you are. [You have] the power of the free flow
of information without restriction. That is the magic of the internet, the transformative
power of that technology: the free flow of information. To many people, this idea is terrifying, that anyone can
say anything, read anything, speak about anything. Without control, without a license, qualification, diploma,
certificate, or even an identity. Without censorship. [To many, this is] terrifying. For my generation and generations that follow,
it is not only liberating, it [will be] normal. It is the way things have always been
and it is the way things should be. Bitcoin creates the exact same circumstances,
for the first time, in the category of money. It enables the free flow of money, the free
flow of trust, across the world to anyone, simply through their choice to participate
[in the system] by downloading an application. The free flow of money, the free flow of value,
the free association of trust; that is what it’s about. It is not an investment scheme. It is not just a
payment network or a weird version of PayPal. It adds the free flow of money to the other
freedoms the internet already gives us. I guarantee you this is a terrifying idea to many
[people], that anyone can send money to anyone… without asking for permission [from an intermediary],
without control, censorship, or identity, is terrifying. My generation finds it liberating.
The generation after mine sees it as normal. They will never know a world in which you
cannot send money anywhere to anyone; a world in which money only works
from Monday to Friday, nine to five; a world in which the privilege of having
a bank account costs you a monthly fee, for other people to store your money; a world in which some destinations are prohibited; a world in which, in order to open a bank account,
you [must] be [at least] sixteen years old. [These will] seem like bizarre ideas. Get ready for
a world in which six-year-olds have bitcoin wallets. I’ve met them. They love the fact that
they can now buy things on the internet. Parents will find that terrifying,
but they will see it as normal. Ten years [later], they will walk into a bank because
Grandma wants to give them a savings account. They will have a conversation with a banker, which will
seem as bizarre as talking to an 18th century privateer. In order to open an account, they need to present
all kinds of documentation and paperwork, a process that will take an hour. Afterwards, they have limited access for a high fee, only
during working hours (Monday to Friday, nine to five). [This] account can only use one currency and only send
to certain destinations, most of which are corporations. An account they can’t use to send money to their
friends or to buy things [easily] over the internet. They will look at that and say, “My grandparents
are crazy. Why would they use this? It is broken!” “It is almost as bizarre as when they asked me to send
a fax. I don’t understand it.” This is the world we created. This [is happening]. The people who are afraid of
this idea don’t really realize that [it is happening]. We live in a new world. There are two ways we can adjust: pretend it is not
happening, or accept it and adapt to the new world. We now live in a world where you can send value
anywhere, to anyone, at any time, without restriction. We can embrace that or pretend it’s not happening. In my previous talk, I used an analogy
that I think worked quite well. If you turn on the [weather channel] and the weatherman
[says] there will be a rainstorm this afternoon, but that doesn’t suit your plans because [there is an
outdoor] birthday party, you can turn off the [television]. If you’re powerful, maybe you can complain to the news
station and [convince them to fire] the weatherperson. [But no matter what you do],
it will still rain [this afternoon]. Governments are looking at Bitcoin and the
first questions which come to their minds are: “How do we control it? How do
we change it? How do we stop it?” “How do we enforce our authority, our legal purview?”
They look at it, but don’t understand the basic concepts. They ask questions like, “Who is in charge?
Who controls this?” The answer is not satisfactory. [Laughter] No one controls this. No one is in charge. Or you can go for the more sophisticated approach: “Well, it’s based on an open-access model, with
market-based competition through risk and reward, based on game theoretical outcomes that ensure
collaborative participation by multiple participants without anybody having the ability to cheat,
due to a system of emergent consensus… based on mathematical rules and strong cryptography.” [Applause] To which they respond, “Yes, yes…
but who is in charge? Who is in control?” [Laughter] I’ve had people come up to me after meetings
and say, “Okay, I won’t tell anyone. This is just us.” [Laughter] “Who is in charge?” They think I’m
joking or trying to massage the information. It [does seem] bizarre to say, “Here is a system
of trust without authority, without a center.” “A system without hierarchy, without control.” Why? Because we’ve never had any of those things [before]. Every system of trust we’ve ever had in our
society is based on the exact same model: a 19th-century hierarchical organisation
that is the outcome of the industrial era, a bureaucracy based on internal
processes, rules, and oversight in layers. [There is always] ultimate authority vested in someone
elected through democracy — or perhaps who is not. Maybe it’s hereditary, maybe it’s dictatorial, but you
can always point [to someone on the pyramid]. You just let your eyes follow to the top,
usually there is [one person] at the top. In some cases, that person is [merely] an actor, with
a whole shadowy group playing the puppet strings, but nevertheless authority is vested in that person. Then you look at Bitcoin, and it is a flat system.
There are a few people who seem to have special roles. You [wonder], “Maybe those people are in control.
Is it the miners or the developers? One of the nodes?” Then you noticed that these people alone can’t
actually do anything [to change consensus]. The funny thing is, when people look at Bitcoin,
they see its greatest strengths as flaws. which is [a common reaction to] new technology. They look at Bitcoin and say, “The miners and developers
can’t even agree on how to scale the system!” Why doesn’t one of the groups just say, “This is
how we will do it”? Because that is not Bitcoin. [No one has] that ability. It is a system of
adversarial competition with market forces. We are in deadlock because consensus overrides
personal ambition, popularity, and everything else. They look at Bitcoin and say, “You keep squabbling,
you can’t [seem to] make a decision.” Yes, by design. That is a feature, not a bug. They look at Bitcoin and say, “But you can’t reverse
a transaction! That is a problem! That is a bug!” “How can you do that? What if something goes wrong?
Who do I call to reverse it?” Feature, not bug. Bitcoin guarantees the execution
of [whichever] scripts you put into it. If you put the script that says, “Here is one bitcoin.
Now I hope you send me that television I ordered.” That is the script [which will] be irreversible
and guaranteed by the network. It is not a very good script [in this case],
because they may not send the television. There is no one who can make that bitcoin come back
to you, other than the [merchant], once you’ve sent it. That is one form of irreversible promise. Of course,
that is not the only promise the network can guarantee. I can say, “Here is one bitcoin. It is currently locked
in a multi-signature address for the next thirty days.” “After thirty days, if there is no dispute, it will
automatically transfer to you upon verification… by a trustworthy third-party who I have chosen.” I can introduce third parties if I want to,
[but] I don’t need to [have third parties]. I can introduce reversibility if I want to, but
[the conditions of] that script are still irreversible. I can choose who my escrow agent is;
I can choose who does dispute resolution. I can [still utilize] the feature of irreversibility, but I can soften that promise to apply consumer
protection through programmable money. It is a feature, not a bug. Bitcoin is this strange being, it really is.
It violates everything we think we know about money. It forces us to consider whether we actually
understood money in the first place. Do you remember when you were in school and
did that class about basic economics and money? No? You neither? We didn’t do it either. You would think that one of the
world’s most ancient technologies, one of the resounding artefacts of human civilization —
currency, the basis of trade that dominates our lives — would be an important topic at school. Not one day. Maybe, in some places, you did
a brief course in home economics or history, that gave you this vague idea about money
that you really didn’t understand. Most of us cannot hold a fifteen-minute
conversation with a six-year-old about money. The six-year-old has good questions and we [usually]
have no answers. “How does money work, Mommy?” Well, the correct answer is:
“I don’t have a freaking clue, kid.” I think it has something to do with the
allocation of special drawing rights… through the International Monetary Fund
and World Bank, in a free-floating system… [where currencies] compete through trade
balances across an international spectrum… of inflation-adjusted exchange rates. These can be used to create local debt issued
by the Treasury, in return for currency… printed by the central bank, then distributed
to banks that use a system of… partial reserve leverage at approximately
10-to-1, and dispersed into the economy. This creates either inflationary or deflationary effects,
allowing us to experience the velocity of money… through the exchange of an abstract token
that represents the promise of future value, but is depreciated by the rate of inflation
and adjusted for the return on investment. [Applause] “So why can’t we have more of it, Mommy?
Why can’t we just give everybody more of it?” That conversation doesn’t go that way. Usually,
it ends with: “Eat your breakfast” or “Go to bed!” “Clean your room.” “One day, you’ll understand.” And that is the first lie, because
you still don’t understand. If you ask the average person on the street,
“what gives value to money,” they have no idea! They have a theory, a fairytale, a story which is about
as naïve as believing that children come from storks, delivered in bundles dropped through the chimney. [The story] is about as solid as Santa Claus. What gives money value? It says right there, on
the piece of paper, [something along the lines of]: “By the full faith and credit of the Royal Bank of India.”
“By the full faith and credit of the Federal Reserve.” It says, “one note applies to all debt, public and
private.” This is what gives it value: a promise. But most people have no idea how that works. I guarantee that if you ask the average person the
street, they will tell you the reason money has value… is because there is a cave, vault, or box
somewhere [with] the government’s gold, in direct proportion to the money that circulates. This has not been true since
the 1930s, anywhere in the world. Yet that is the Santa Claus
fantasy many people believe. Or they believe the government guarantees
the value of money somehow, which then… [raises] other interesting questions: why does inflation
happen? Why is the currency collapsing in Zimbabwe? Did the government not try hard enough to guarantee it? That is the inconvenient truth at the core of
the world’s most ancient technology, money. We don’t understand it. We simply don’t.
The truth is: you give money value. Why? You are participating in a shared hallucination
[of sorts], with 1.5 billion other people, in which you firmly believe that this
money will still have value tomorrow; that if you go to the store and present
one of these colored pieces of paper, someone will give eggs, chicken, spices,
water, sugar, salt, housing, healthcare, etc. Something for this colored piece of paper. It takes an incredible hallucination for us to believe
this, because the paper itself is [almost] worthless. It [can be] pretty, but it is not pretty at that level. Nobody gives you products or services
because of how pretty it is. That shared hallucination took hundreds of years
to be established, starting in the late 15th century… with the introduction of paper money, gold certificates,
IOUs, certificates of exchange, bearer notes, etc. [These were just] pieces of paper that could be
exchanged for something else, [as a promise]. In the most amazing magical trick, they switched
the cups around, you lift the cup, and ball isn’t there. What? This was supposed to be redeemable for
an ounce of gold, a pound of silver, something! Nope, not anymore. It is just a piece of paper. What gives it value is your belief that, if you go
to the store tomorrow, you can buy something. The moment that belief suffers a crack,
it shatters, and you have very big problems. Imagine some crazy scenario where the promise of
“the full faith and credit” turns into an announcement. As of four hours from now, these two
pieces of colored paper have zero value. I mean, that couldn’t possibly happen… [Laughter] Here is the interesting [part]: if the value was
based on the promise, that promise is broken, and the people who gave that promise now
tell you this [paper] has zero value in four hours, what is the value of that piece of paper? Zero, right? But that is not what happened at all. For months after that announcement, the paper was
valued less (10%, 15%, 20% less), but it still had value. Even though [they] told you it was [worth nothing],
you could still exchange it at 80% face- value… in one of the many locations where “corruption no longer
exists, you can’t exchange money here.” [Laughter] You know that story, unless of course you are connected
and wealthy enough to afford the 20% depreciation. It still only depreciated by 20%. I bet you
could still find some in circulation today. I bet they still don’t have a value of zero. In fact, we rarely find [the value of any]
currency in history that goes to zero. I can go to Rome in Italy and [buy] silver coins
[with] the face of Julius Caesar on them; [they] have not been in circulation for almost one
thousand years, and yet their value is not zero. In fact, their value exceeds their worth in silver.
They are still a tradeable abstraction of value. Your money did not go to zero because its value
was not the promise; its value was that illusion. That illusion was shaken, but not destroyed. You panicked at first, thinking, “This has zero value!” Then someone says to you, “Don’t worry, I know this guy
who knows a guy, who [will exchange] it at 80% [value]. Now it has just depreciated [in value]. You give it value through your use;
you give it value by believing in that promise. In order for that promise to hold,
it [needs] some other characteristics. It [must] be unforgeable; if it can be forged,
then you [will see] an emerging phenomenon… known in economics as Gresham’s Law,
where bad money chases out good money. If you get your hands on the “good” money, you
do not spend it. You stuff it under the mattress. Sound familiar? It happened here. If you have an old note and a new note,
there is no way you will spend the new note… until you are rid of all the old notes. The new notes disappear from circulation, their
velocity goes [down] as people trade old notes. If they trade the old note, then it is [still] in circulation. The longer it remains in circulation, the longer
people hold on to it and hoard the new ones. Gresham’s Law in action. I did not believe
that I would see that in my lifetime. Thank you, India, for validating my economics professor
by demonstrating the Law with 1.5 billion people. [The experiment] sucked [and was very] painful,
but nevertheless had very interesting economics. Money [must] be unforgeable and portable.
Why did you not pay with gold at the door? I’m sure [the conference organisers
would] accept gold; I certainly would. The reason you don’t pay with gold
is because gold sucks as money. It sucks as money is because, for the value that
it contains, its weight is unrealistically heavy. You can’t make it lighter, its density is fixed.
Gold sucks as currency because it is not portable. At the moment, other currencies have a similar situation.
Zimbabwe’s currency sucks because it is not portable. To buy a cup of coffee, you need a wheelbarrow of cash.
I watched a BBC interview where they asked a farmer, “Aren’t you worried someone will steal your money?” They said, “No, I’m worried someone will steal my
wheelbarrow. It is worth more than the money in it.” Bad money chases good money out. [Good money must] be unforgeable,
portable, and universally recognizable. You [should] be able to validate, independently
verify for yourself, that this is real money. It [must be usable] as a unit of account; you need
to be able to count [the value of] things in it. One of the reasons barter is not working,
is not a suitable form of economic [exchange]… at any scale more than the extremely local,
is because of the burden that pricing [involves]. Yes, I can give you a chicken for a goat.
I can give the hairdresser a chicken for a haircut. I can give the water-carrier a chicken for litres of water.
Barter, on a theoretical level, is effective. But now I [would need] to track the exchange rates
for goats, haircuts, and water in units of chicken. Meanwhile, the hairdresser has to track the price of
a haircut in chicken, goats, rice, sugar, salt, water, [and probably] accounting services, etc. We [would need[ to track every price exchange rate for
every unit of value we are exchanging as commodities. The whole point of money is that you only
[need] to track everything [against] one thing, [which] has no value [in itself because] you
can’t eat it, drink it, or use it to cut your hair. It is not the value, it is the token of value,
the representation of value. It [must] be unforgeable, portable,
and useful as a unit of account. Then come the difficult [characteristics]. It [must] be
rare. If you live on a beach, you can’t use seashells. Yet [groups of] people [who lived] in the
mountains used seashells as currency. From archaeological dig sites, we find that
ancient people used seashells as currency; never [if they were] on a beach, always in
the mountains, because [seashells] were rare there. On the beach, they used crystals, quartz, and minerals,
because [those] come from the mountain. As long as [a lot of it] doesn’t exist
where you are, it is a great form of money. [And there lies] one of the big problems
we have with our money systems today. I have bad news for you: the rupee is not rare.
It has no limit. It can be created in infinite quantity, just like the dollar, the euro, the yen,
and all other [fiat currencies]. Worse, the power to decide how much to create is
vested in people who have direct conflict of interest. If you are a debtor, then you want the money
to be worth less, so you [need to] repay less. If you are a saver, you want the money to be worth
more, so that you can [buy or earn] more [with it]. If you give the government — the biggest debtor of all
— the [power to decide] how much money [to print], they will print money [to infinity] in order to
make sure that [their debt] is worth nothing. In this process, they transfer
wealth from savers to debtors. In a culture of savers, that [would be] a terrifying thought
You [would need to] explain it in a calm way, and [use a few] little nifty tricks. We tell people, “The a rate of inflation will not
exceed 2.2% per year.” It sounds innocuous. What is 2%? I don’t even know [how much that] is.
I didn’t pay attention in school. It [involves] division. I was never good at division. [What would] 2.2% do? If you tell people
the rate of inflation is 2.2%, they [will think], “Eh, two percent, five percent, ten percent…
I don’t really understand [the effect of] that.” Let’s rephrase it: in ten years, [about 25% of the value of]
your money will be gone. “Holy shit! I understand that!” [Laughter] “I save [money] like crazy, I work two jobs,
and I barely get paid. Now [a quarter] of it will be gone?” “Where does it go? Who took it from me?
Catch those people, they are thieves!” “Oh my god, [a quarter of] my money in ten years?!” Inflation took your money. More accurately, the government, corporations, and banks
in debt took your money through inflation. For them, the money they owe is also worth
[25% less] in ten years. What a brilliant construct. That is where we see a fundamental difference
between bitcoin and traditional money. Bitcoin is money. Bitcoin is a store of value, a medium
of exchange, and can be a unit of account (eventually). It gradually acquires these characteristics as it grows
more stable, well-established, and well adopted. As more people participate in the exchange of
value through Bitcoin, they create an economy; that economy creates value, that value
[leads to] liquidity, stability, reduced volatility, and the reduced volatility makes it more suitable
as a medium of exchange for smaller purchases. It makes it better as a store of value.
[As those increase], its velocity increases, [meaning each] unit gets transferred
many times by people doing [various] trades. Eventually, the value stabilises to a point
where it can become a unit of account. Where you can say, “A talk is worth half a bitcoin.
I don’t price in rupees anymore, [I price in bitcoin].” I can’t do that today because it is still too volatile,
but one day I will be able to do that. One day, I will price my bitcoin in [satoshis].
People ask me, “How much is a bitcoin worth?” The correct answer is: one thousand millibits. There will come a day when the question
is not “how many rupees is a bitcoin worth,” but “how much bitcoin is a rupee worth,”
and I will say, “[A rupee] is worth a microbit.” That is when you [will] know things have changed.
It will happen very slowly, and then all at once. There is something special about a global currency. Here is the magic: twenty-one million [coins]
is the limit. It is mathematically imposed. There are not any currencies which can do that. There is only one thing in the world which shares the
characteristic of a fixed, geometrically diminishing… supply that [becomes harder
to extract] the more you try: gold. Except you can’t email gold. You can email bitcoin. Suddenly, you notice [Bitcoin] may have a bigger
impact than any of us could even imagine. People will point at it and say,
“It is fake money, it is not real!” But the market will give it a [price],
and in the end that value is the truth. You can use currency controls, propaganda, lies,
restrictions, and laws, [like they do in Venezuela]. They point at Bitcoin and say,
“That is fake money, it is not real!” But anybody who is involved in Bitcoin points right
back at [the Venezuelan government] and says, “Oh no, yours is the fake money. This shit is real,
because I can buy food with it from Amazon.” “Delivered to Colombia and smuggled across
the border, but I can still buy food with it.” Fake money can be resolved by the market. We are [still] at the very beginning [of Bitcoin]. This is not
an investment opportunity or a get-rich-quick scheme. This is a technology which has radical,
disruptive implications for the world at large. For the first time in human history, it creates
the possibility of a free flow of money… anywhere, at any time, without restriction,
controls, or [identity], for all of humanity. That technology [will] be difficult to use.
It [seems] weird. [There will be] attacks, hacks, failures. The internet used to go down
all the time in various parts. Some of the companies [currently] in this
space will not exist ten years from now; that also happened with the internet. In 2000, [about] 90% of the companies were
wiped out in a single stock market wash-out. But the internet didn’t go anywhere, it just found
new companies to build the next generation. That will happen in [cryptocurrencies] too. We may change the name, we may change
the companies that are participating. We will certainly change the technology [in various
ways], but in the end, [Bitcoin] will happen. It will be a fundamental part of the future of humanity.
Absolutely nothing can stop that from happening, because it already did. Thank you. [Applause]

100 thoughts on “The Stories We Tell About Money”

  1. A 2% inflation rate will mean your currency will have half its purchasing power in 35 Years NOT 10 Years !! Rule of 70

  2. Bitcoin is like Donald Trump. Disrupting the entrenched powers who steal your money with 2 percent inflation.

  3. Unbelievable. Banks need to adapt or they will die. They have to. Glad you're fixing your audio solution for future uploads. We appreciate all you do Andreas!

  4. He is right! People are using gold as money for thousand of years. Gold is control by King, by the time more people are adopt paper money (there are many war to change the society) to make people using paper money, by the time the paper money is using, king power is loss. I personal believe, when more and more people adopt bitcoin, one day there no longer have a government.

    We all think it was not possible a country without a government. Let's think about it, If 2000 years ago, If I tell you in the future (means now) there are no longer have a king to control the country. You will say I am silly.

  5. what a great bunch of 'funny talkin' …and yours fascination mixed with extasy, guys -priceless.
    Antonopoulos – a man suited right in the place… doing his job perfectly, yeah- unearthly how crowd fascinates in their way… lets say- a m i c a b l y

  6. "Its based on an open access participatory model of market base economic competition through risk & reward strategies based on game theoretical outcomes that ensure collaborative participation by multiple participants without anybody having the ability to cheat due to a system of emergent consensus based on mathematics rules and strong cryptography" Andreas Antonopoulous

    Go ahead and find a better technical definition, I'll wait

  7. is your ability to turn complex subjects into simple terms one that you practiced or were naturally born with or both? I am in between technical and non technical in my work and it's a constant skill or concept I am trying to improve….. I am in the middle generation (30 y.o) and technically inclined, and I tend to be either overly technical or overly communicating … if that makes sense. It's both a gift and a curse, unique because you have the ability to see two different ways but complex in being a translator for the two. I truly think there is an art in being translator, and you've managed to master that art. Any tips?

  8. Child : Mummy, how does money work?

    Mum : To be honest, kid, I don't have a freaking clue!

    I think it's something to do with the allocation of special drawing rights
    through the IMF and World Bank, in a free-floating system of market exchange currencies, that compete through trade balances across an international spectrum of inflation-adjusted exchange rates that then can be used to create local debt that is issued by the treasury in return for currency that is printed by the Central Bank, distributed to the banks that leverage it through a system of partial reserve leverage (of approximately 10 to 1) and distribute it into the economy creating either inflationary or deflationary effects, allowing us all to experience the velocity of trade to the exchange of an abstract token that represents the promise of future value depreciated by the rate of inflation and adjusted for the return on investment.

    Child : So why can't we have more of it? Why can't we just give everybody more of it?

    Mum : One day you'll understand…

    No you won't. Because it makes no sense.

  9. — How does money work, mommy ?
    — I have not a freaking clue, kid. I think it's something to do with
    the allocation of special drawing rights
    through the international monetary funds and world bank
    in a free floating system of market exchange currencies
    that compete through trade balances
    across an international spectrum of inflation-adjusted exchange rates
    that then could be used to create local debt
    that is issued by the treasury
    in return for currency that is printed by the central bank
    distributed to the banks that leverage it
    through a system of partial reserve leverage of approximately 10 to 1
    and distributed into the economy
    creating either inflationary of deflationary effects
    allowing us all to experience the velocity of trade to the exchange of an abstract token
    that represents the promise of future value
    depreciated by the rate of inflation
    and adjusted for the return on investment.
    — So why can't we have more of it mummy ?

  10. I'm not sure how nervous or not the banks are. Banks make money through loan interest gained from homebuyers, businesses, car buyers, etc. Right now Bitcoin isn't being used for this very basic but huge aspect of our economy. It would be scary if it were since if you borrowed 200,000 bitcoins to buy a house that was worth $200,000 in 2011 when a bitcoin was worth a dollar, even if the loan were interest free, you'd owe 720 million dollars on your house today.

    I'm not hearing how bitcoin changes the fact that people and businesses borrow money, that's what "finance" is. Until there's a model for that, banks are merely worried that people will deposit less money that they can leverage to loan out funds but guess what, if you can't pay in money banks accept or show assets, you can't borrow money from banks so they trap you in the system if you want to live in the home owning default world.

    The speaker also fails to mention the risks in the system, which aren't in blockchain security but the volatility of the market value of bitcoin and how that might be manipulated by government sanctions and laws that threaten exchanges and individual holders, laws that are now coming on the books regularly, not to mention hackers, who have managed to infiltrate the non-secure ends of crypto transactions to the tune of tens of millions of dollars

  11. Really good video, except inflation calculation is wrong .. 10 years of 2% inflation only depreciates your money by about 18%. Takes 35 years for 50%. Would have expected you to do a better job at simple maths.
    Other than that: great and funny video!

  12. Great video, but one point to note is at 06:42. There are one or two corporate third parties and that is those providing (or denying) access to the internet. Bitcoin doesn’t need the internet to work, but it does need the internet to update and validate transactions.

    However, they won’t cut people off for the most part because business would lose income, governments would lose tax, and governments would lose some surveillance powers.

  13. A true messager of the monetary bitcoin future. Providing invalueable knowledge and foresite. You deserve a medal for your publci service. Thank you

  14. Will Andreas end up like JFK, most likely yes for serious whistle blowers like Andreas, otherwise the C Banking Godfathers will have to start paying for their fabricated Wars out of their fat bloody wallets and that sounds like the worst nightmare for the Banksters Mafia, OIL Mafia and the fat War-porkorations.

  15. Thanks a lot Andreas. I´m from Venezuela and I´am living through the bitcoin since a year ago.. like you said, this shit is real

  16. just finished to translate all this talk into hebrew, the country which i live in (israel) is so behind with about all this Internet of money idea ! I hope Youtube will publish my translation soon enough. I hope it will make this idea to be spread over another "ordinary" millions of "hebrew talkers" around the world and espacially in Israel. really great work Andreas ! when it comes to describe what is all about with the "internet of money" concept you are the best !

  17. I come back to watch this video every few weeks. It is so good and any time I feel like I'm losing myself to market hysteria or getting discouraged by decisions our lawmakers are making this cheers me up. Thank you Andreas!

  18. This is a great line.

    "Well you see… it's based on an open access participatory model of market based economic competition through risk and reward strategies based on game theoretical outcomes that insure collaborative participation by multiple participants without anybody having the ability to cheat due to a system of emergent consensus based on mathematical rules and strong cryptography"

  19. 16:50 We see now governments looking at this new bitcoin thing, and the first question that comes to mind is "How do we control it? How do we change it? How do we stop it? How do we force our authority, our legal purview, over it?". And they look at the source. They don't understand the basic concept. They ask questions like "Who is in charge? Who controls this?". And the answer is not satisfactory: No one controls this, no one is in charge. Or you can go for the more sophisticated approach "Well, you see, it is based on an open access participatory model of market based economic competition through risk and reward strategies, based on game theoretical outcomes, that insure collaborative participation by multiple participants – without anyone having the ability to cheat – due to a system of emergent consensus, based on mathematical rules and strong cryptography." To which they respond "Yes, yes. But who is in charge?"

  20. love him…just discover him today…lol he looks like the guy from Minions, the cartoon movie:))) They are both loveable hihi

  21. It's a nice protocol and everything… but the fact that it's not inflationary is the reason this won't become a normal currency. Everyone invests in Bitcoin… they don't actually spend any.

  22. god I love your talks. I'm so glad you chose to spread knowledge about bitcoin and blockchain technology.
    The entire community owes you.

  23. BIG BANG CRYPTO HERO :>) A true (un)polished multifaceted passionate Crypto diamond!
    Modern Robin Hood of Economy. Well educated, interested, experienced Metaphorical connecting our financial past and future from with passion!
    From Technical, Biological, Medical, Economical, Anthropological and IT perspective. Very enriching for navigating (financial) life! Greeting from Amsterdam

  24. what is the difference whether bitcoin transfer or online banking transaction. They are instant nowadays, anyway. Now bitcoin – not everyone has a wallet. Cash is the KING! Complete confidencially.

  25. What happens with the Ethereum Jan 2018 Hard Fork to ETZ if I have a "Pending" Ether order that will not be cleared until a day after the hard fork? Did I just loose half my investment? Love you videos by the way! So informative!

  26. Quote from Video:-
    We now see governments now looking at this new Bitcoin thing and the first question that come to their mind are: “ How do we control it. How do we change it. How do we stop it. How do we force our authority, our legal purview over it? ”Who's in charge who controls this?. The answer is not satisfactory No one controls this, No one is in charge. Or you can go for the more sophisticated approach: “Well you see its based on an open-access participatory model of market-based economic competition, through risk-and-reward strategies based on game theoretical outcomes that ensure collaborative participation by multiple participants without anyone having the ability to cheat, due to a system of emergent consensus based on mathematical rules and strong cryptography. To which they respond, “yes, yes… but who's in charge?

  27. everytime i watch one of his videos i end up buying 0.01 BTC LOOLLL. i should have bought full BTCs when it was at 200 $/BTC a piece ahah(or earlier) , i bought another very cheap crypto back then that anyway gained 1000,s %% in value. The blockchain is the future. well done Andreas, very simply and well explained

  28. Andreas – der Steve Jobs des Bitcoin – der Blockchain. Die Möglichkeiten der Blockchain werden das mooresche Gesetz (Moore´s law) wie Zeitlupe aussehen lassen!

  29. When ever I watch Andreas's videos I look at how many views there are and how little likes have been given. Then I realized that after every video I was so sucked in I forget to "smash the like button". That stops today. Thank you for all the great knowledge sir

  30. The thing that gives money value is the requirement that we use it to pay taxes, and that it must be accepted as legal tender

  31. 40:30 Can someone explain how 2% yearly inflation adds up to cutting savings by half in 10 years? Because I see only a ~19% loss in 10 years: $10000*0.98=9800. 9800*0.98=9604…repeat 8 times and i got $8170. Not $5000 as Andreas says. It would actually take 34 years to lose half purchasing power at 2% yearly inflation.

  32. I believe and would bet my life on this technology. The problem is buying Bitcoin at $3263 is like trading diamonds for coal dust. Why would I trade my dollars at a huge loss! Why would someone in a hyper inflated country trade their fiat at an even worse loss! Bitcoin is only worth it if it cost $1 USD or less.

  33. that explanation of money , love it ! and yes i agree we should be taught everything there is about money at school early on , maybe one day ..

  34. I imagine this is what the first disciples of Christ felt like when they first heard him speak! I don't believe in Bitcoin, I believe in Andreas.

  35. This is the third time I've watched this video. Each time it inspires me. Brilliant!
    Thank you Godfather of Bitcoin: Andreas.

  36. My mom was scammed, and they refused to reverse the illegitimate transaction at her bank! that's crazy.. it's like taking already bad system (banks with central authority model), and making it two times worse by refusing to provide the only useful 'features' such model gives… I don't even mention the other scenarios, when a legitimate transaction gets frozen for additional verification, everything in a banking system is upside-down, you don't save money in a bank, you lose them slowly or rapidly depending how lucky you are.

  37. EPIC

    "The next generation will never know
    – A world in which you cannot send money anywhere o anyone.
    – A world in which money only works Monday to Friday 9 to 5.
    – A world in which the privilege of having a bank account costs you a monthly fee for other people to store your money.
    – A world in which some destinations are prohibited.
    – A world in which in order to open a bank account you have to be 16"

    Get ready for world in which 6 years have Bitcoin accounts.


  38. Now we need to update or re-engineer the infrastructure of the internet because congestion and routing, scaling issue remains

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