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Gigi and Knut Svanholm: Swan Signal Live E11

Posted 7/14/20 by Brady Swenson

This week we are joined by Knut Svanholm, author of Sover­eignty through Mathe­matics and the new Indepen­dence Reimag­ined, and Gigi, author of 21 Lessons and creator of the projects bitcoin-resources.com and bitcoin-quotes.com. They, along with Brekkie Von Bitcoin and host Brady Swenson, discuss frame­works for under­standing Bitcoin as well as what they believe Bitcoin’s future will hold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExzzQzh7BLU

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Transcript

Brady Swenson:

Welcome to the Swan Signal Podcast, a produc­tion of Swan Bitcoin, the best way to accumu­late Bitcoin using automatic recur­ring buys at SwanBitcoin.com. I’m Brady, Head of Educa­tion at Swan. Every week we invite two Bitcoiners to join us for a discus­sion hosted by myself and variously joined by Swan founder, Cory Klipp­sten, co-founder, Yan Pritzker, and creative director, Jason Don, aka Brekkie von Bitcoin. It’s a unique format in the Bitcoin content space to pair up Bitcoiners who are never or are rarely seen or heard from together. It makes for some great discus­sions. We broad­cast these live and then we publish the audio here on this feed.

Brady Swenson:

This week we are joined by Knut Svanholm, author of Sover­eignty Through Mathe­matics and the new Indepen­dence Reimag­ined, and Gigi, author of 21 Lessons: What I’ve Learned from Falling Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole and creator of projects like Bitcoin-Resources.com and Bitcoin-Quotes.com. Be sure to follow @SwanBitcoin on Twitter so you can tune in live whenever you can. We also broad­cast on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. But, if you can’t do it live, you’ll always be able to catch the Swan Signal Live conver­sa­tions recorded here on this podcast. I’m glad you found your way here. Hope you enjoy.

Brady Swenson:

Welcome back to another episode of Swan Signal Live. I am your host, Brady Swenson. I’m going to take just a second to show Swan here at the top because I often neglect to do that and I’ll give our guests a second to tweet out the livestream. You guys will find it at the top of the Swan Bitcoin Twitter account, @SwanBitcoin. Swan Signal is a produc­tion of Swan Bitcoin. It’s the best way to buy Bitcoin. We automat­i­cally withdraw dirty fiat from your bank account. We then automat­i­cally turn that fiat into Bitcoin and you can set up automatic withdrawals as well, straight to your Bitcoin wallet. It’s the whole process, set it and forget it. It’s a pretty magical experi­ence actually. We also have the lowest fees for auto stacking in the United States. You can get as low as 0.99 percent, 66 to 75 percent lower than Coinbase and 36 to 57 percent lower than CashUp, depending on how much you’re stacking. And, of course, we are forever Bitcoin only, no distrac­tions, small coins, payments, coupons. Laser focused on being the best auto stacking service out there. You can get started today at SwanBitcoin.com/having to celebrate the recent having down to 6.25 Bitcoin per block reward and get 10 dollars worth of Sats dropped into your account.

Brady Swenson:

All right. We are here today with two of my personal favorite Bitcoiners, authors of three fantastic Bitcoin books. We’ve got 21 Lessons right here by Dergigi, sits on my night­stand, perma­nent place. I’ve got Knut’s books on Kindle, don’t have them in hard copy yet but definitely need to do that. I would like to welcome-

Knut Svanholm:

There they are.

Brady Swenson:

There they are. Welcome to you, Knut. Welcome to you, Gigi. Thanks for joining us today guys.

Gigi:

Hey.

Knut Svanholm:

Thanks for having us.

Brady Swenson:

Absolutely. We’re also joined today by Creative Director at Swan, Brekkie von Bitcoin. What’s up Brekkie?

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Hey every­body. Good morning.

Brady Swenson:

All right. I love that mask, man. That is some pretty stellar stuff there.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

I mean I’ve got to protect my Opsec.

Knut Svanholm:

By the way, I think we need something else than the morning and the evening and every­thing else because in Bitcoin time, it’s kind of meaning­less because it’s evening for me.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

We do, like good block to you, sir.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, good block to you, sir. That would be amazing.

Brady Swenson:

Let’s make that happen. Top of the block to you, sir.

Knut Svanholm:

Top of the block.

Brady Swenson:

Awesome. We have a lot to talk about. Knut dropped a new book. It’s called Reimag­ining Indepen­dence. Is that right?

Knut Svanholm:

Indepen­dence Reimag­ined. Other way around.

Brady Swenson:

Yeah. There we go. Indepen­dence Reimag­ined. And this is kind of a follow-up to Sover­eignty Through Mathe­matics which really got into more of the kind of how Bitcoin works and this is more of a study on the polit­ical and economic outcomes of Bitcoin and comparing a Bitcoin world, an imagined Bitcoin world to the situa­tion that our current status quo way that our societies are organized. So, Knut, let’s start off with you, man, and kind of just have this conver­sa­tion sort of based around your book as an outline. There’s so many ideas we can all dive into and weigh in on. Do you want to give us a quick summary of the ideas in the book and then maybe let’s start with, toward the front of the book, where we talk about the differ­ence between invol­un­tary and volun­tary cooper­a­tion?

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, sure. A few words about the book first. It’s sort of a joint effort. I got some help from the Spacecat actually. He wrote to forward, Hodlo­naut, and the cover is a picture of the Bitcoin Full Node Statue by Fractal Encrypt, if you’ve seen that. This was sold at an art show in Miami for one whole Bitcoin a couple of months back. And on the backside here, I have a little meme made by a guy called Sweet Toshi. I think you’ve all had your faces…

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

We know Sweet Toshi.

Knut Svanholm:

You know that guy, right?

Brady Swenson:

A shout out to Sweet Toshi.

Knut Svanholm:

And Daniel Prince helped me with this a bit too, and, of course, Guy Swann, who just sent me a sound clip yesterday of him reading the very last sentence from the book. I guess that means that the audio­book is not too far away now. So, an audio­book is coming really soon hopefully, if every­thing works out with Audible and Bitcoin Audible, which is Guy Swann’s new name for his awesome pod where he reads Bitcoin content.

Gigi:

I think Guy just doesn’t sleep. He’s such a beast. He reads like 20 books a day.

Knut Svanholm:

He reads in his sleep.

Gigi:

Half of them are… Yeah, that’s probably how he does it. Just a micro­phone on the night­stand and just falls asleep slowly.

Brady Swenson:

Yeah. He’s got the mike stand and pulls it right up and puts in front of his face and wakes up in the morning, all right what’d I get tonight.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

He has to edit out a snore and there but it works.

Knut Svanholm:

Probably, because this is like the twentieth time or something, I’ve been having to pick up my jaw from the floor from such awesome help and from how awesome the commu­nity has been and I can’t believe it. I’ve seen him do so many other things these last couple of weeks and I thought I’d better cut him some slack and not pressure him too much about the book and then he sends me the sound clip of the last sentence. He’s done with it. And I’m like…

Gigi:

Such toxic bastards, right?

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. We’re so mean to each other all the time.

Brady Swenson:

Before we get back into the book, I got a little sidetracked. Sorry, I didn’t mean to inter­rupt Gigi. Go ahead. I’ll take my little side cave here in a minute.

Gigi:

I was just going to say I was really surprised by the forward. I started reading it and I thought Knut wrote it and in the end I saw that Hodlo­naut wrote it and I thought it was really well-written and spot on. I really loved the idea of trying to incor­po­rate an idea that is as big as Bitcoin is, you kind of have to change your frame­work of the world and change yourself and it resonated strongly with me and I just wanted to give a huge shout out to Hodlo­naut. It’s very well-said and it’s something that is very, very dear to my heart as I also wrote in 21 Lessons, like Bitcoin changes you more than you will ever change it, and I think that’s a very impor­tant thing.

Knut Svanholm:

The first sentence didn’t give him away then? Being a Spacecat.

Gigi:

Yeah. I know. I just thought we are all Hodlo­nauts. It made a lot of sense in hindsight.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, I’m so happy that I had this in me because I hadn’t written about Bitcoin for a while and on vacation in Spain, it just flooded out of me. I’m happy I wrote it and happy about every­thing surrounding it. Anyway, where were we? Do you want me to get into the details of the book?

Brady Swenson:

Yeah. Let’s go for it.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Let’s pretend like I haven’t read it. Not yet.

Knut Svanholm:

As Brady said, it’s a follow-up to Sover­eignty Through Mathe­matics, which is my first attempt at writing a proper Bitcoin book, so I wrote another one which is more of the same, I guess. I could say it’s deeper down the rabbit hole but maybe not the usual rabbit hole because this is more of a philo­soph­ical angle on the entire thing, I think. I start by… The first chapter is called Fiction and Reality, where I differ­en­tiate between physical reality, like physical stuff, subjec­tive reality, which is what we all experi­ence in our daily lives, and inter-subjec­tive reality, which are all ideas that we collec­tively believe in and that spans a lot of things. It used to be religions and now it’s nation states and ultimately, also, money which we need to believe in collec­tively in order for it to work. I focus on how Bitcoin differs from every other type of money that preceded it or every other type of inter-subjec­tive collec­tive imagi­na­tive thing that orders us or organizes us in a society.

Gigi:

If I may, I’d like to chime in on that because I think it’s a really useful frame­work to think about things and I don’t… I try to not talk about Bitcoin all the time in real life with my real life friends and family, but I sometimes do and when it comes up, I hear the phrase very often, “I do believe in Bitcoin,” or “I don’t believe in Bitcoin.” We are still at the stage where people are trying to decide for themselves if this is something real or not and when was the last time you heard, “Well, I don’t really believe in gold so that’s why I’m not buying it” or “I believe in gold and that’s why I invest in it,” or something like that. I think it’s really inter­esting that some things are just so taken for granted that you’re beyond the belief stage. I guess Bitcoin is, we’re just ahead of the curve. For us, Bitcoin is a real thing and it won’t go away and we believe very strongly in it like gold.

Knut Svanholm:

Exactly.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’s like we say…

Gigi:

Society believes very strongly in gold.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’s like we like to say that everyone is a Bitcoiner, they just don’t know it yet.

Knut Svanholm:

I see the two books that you have behind you there, Gigi. Both of those books were a huge influ­ence on me writing this one, especially Human Action, but also The Sover­eign Individual, which is another book that I’m halfway through. But I really liked that as well. Human Action only took 38 hours to listen to or something. It’s really dense but it’s a well-worth reader, I believe. Everyone should read Human Action.

Gigi:

That’s why I try to show them subcon­sciously all the time. I think they are really impor­tant to… On your journey as a Bitcoiner, I think they are very impor­tant and I believe that we’re currently living through the societal shift that is outlined in The Sover­eign Individual and I think to really under­stand every­thing that’s going on right now, you kind of need the praxe­o­log­ical frame­work laid out in Human Action by Mises and, if you don’t under­stand or you’re just confused and you’re having a very hard time and you just think the world has gone completely crazy, which is kind of true, I think the frame­works laid out in those two books really help you in the transi­tion that we are currently living through.

Gigi:

I think especially The Sover­eign Individual is something that everyone who is strug­gling with current reality should read because I also believe the change we are living through right now, I think it will still accel­erate. I think the change that is laid out in The Sover­eign Individual can happen rather quickly, even more quickly than most Bitcoiners realize. I’m a huge believer in exponen­tial change and I think every­thing is so primed right now, also with the macro­eco­nomic landscape and polit­ical landscape, that it doesn’t need much for all the dominoes to fall at once, so to speak.

Knut Svanholm:

Just a little push.

Gigi:

Inter­esting times, that’s for sure.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. Agree totally. I believe hyper­bit­coiniza­tion is a scenario that will be even faster than hyper­in­fla­tion is. It’s like hyper­in­fla­tion in reverse. I think it will play out even faster because of an even more limited… Bitcoin is so scarce, there are seven billion people and the amount of money in the world is just vast, so it can happen really fast.

Gigi:

Yeah. I think the two processes, they’re kind of in an eternal feedback loop until hyper­bit­coiniza­tion is complete as other curren­cies inflate and other assets inflate and hyper­bit­coiniza­tion or bitcoiniza­tion first takes place, it will accel­erate. The two processes will accel­erate each other. I think it’s like two sides of the same coin pretty much.

Knut Svanholm:

What I wanted to point out at the very begin­ning, where Brady says Swan will always be a Bitcoin only company, I was thinking about, once hyper­bit­coiniza­tion is complete, Swan will be obsolete so you’ll have to pivot at some point. You’ll have to pivot to some circular Bitcoin economy model at some point in time. But there’s a bit of time left.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

There won’t be Bitcoin compa­nies and non-Bitcoin compa­nies. They’ll just be compa­nies.

Brady Swenson:

And, mission accom­plished. I hope we obsolete ourselves in that regard and come up with other ways to serve Bitcoiners or people, I guess we should put it.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Yeah, there won’t be Bitcoiners and non-Bitcoiners. There will just be three people.

Brady Swenson:

Money users.

Knut Svanholm:

It’s fasci­nating-

Gigi:

Speaking of hyper­bit­coiniza­tion… Sorry Knut.

Knut Svanholm:

No, go on.

Gigi:

Speaking of hyper­bit­coiniza­tion, I’m just amazed… I was hyper­bullish before. I’ve been telling people for the last two years, at least, that every­thing will happen faster than most people can imagine. But even I’m surprised all the time. It seems like we have so many Bitcoin accel­er­a­tionists, disguised as politi­cians, just passing out stimulus checks left and right, intro­ducing debit cards and just sending money out to everyone. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re in currently, the money printers go wild.

Knut Svanholm:

They go BRRRR.

Gigi:

Exactly. And people are… I feel like even the complete normists that never thought about money or the economy or Bitcoin or any related topics, they are starting to take notice as well and I think once trust in the current system is broken, it won’t take much for every­thing to accel­erate massively. The only worry I have is that we will have another insane misal­lo­ca­tion of resources and time because I think there will be another Shitcoin phase. I think other people will fall for the same traps as they did in 2017 and it will be a bumpy road, that’s for sure, but I think it can happen rather quickly.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

I’m a little hopeful though. I mean I think there’s… I mean… How do we talk about this? Basically, every­one’s talking about the stock to flow model on one side, and this sounds like a tangent but just go with me for a second. So there’s the stock to flow Bitcoin but no one’s talking about the stock to flow of good Bitcoin knowl­edge and I think we’re seeing a ramp up in how much good Bitcoin knowl­edge there is and how easy it is to learn about Bitcoin compared to the early days and I think that might help accel­erate things also in a different way. Yes, I think there’s going to be tons of Shitcoin scams as the price goes up because that’s just what happens. But, there’s an optimist hiding inside me somewhere.

Knut Svanholm:

I just wrote an article for… I’m sorry. Did I inter­rupt you, Brekkie?

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

No.

Knut Svanholm:

I just wrote an article for Citadel21, which is Hodlo­naut’s magazine, that maybe I’m spoiling the thing here but that’s not my inten­tion. I had a thought. What if this next bull run is hyper­bit­coiniza­tion? What if this is where every­thing transi­tions into Bitcoin? I think we’re all prepared for another wave of Shitcoinery and another it will do what it has done three or four times now. There will be a bull run and then we will drop 80% and people will say it was bull crap and the bubble and whatever. But, what if the next run that starts whenever we cross 10K or whatever it is, whatever triggers it? It’s like oozing right now, isn’t it? It’s in the air. It’s just about to happen. The mother of all bubbles is about to pop and when it does, if this is hyper­bit­coiniza­tion, and, as Gigi says, if it plays out a lot faster than we’re prepared for, who’s prepared for that? I mean, are we? What if Bitcoin is… One single Bitcoin is worth $10 million in two months time from now. It is a possible scenario. It could happen.

Gigi:

I’ll have to get a second 3D printer and start printing guns. Seriously, that’s what I would have to do.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. Probably.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Swan Signal Live will be over. We’ll all go dark. No, we’ll still be here.

Gigi:

I don’t think it will happen magically quickly but just think back to some other things in terms of, you know just the computing revolu­tion and the internet and mobile phones, and also other phenom­enon and just look at Zoom, for example. Two years ago, Zoom wasn’t a thing except you were in some corpo­ra­tion that might use it, and now Zoom is pretty much the default every­where. Or think of TikTok or some other phenom­enon, things spread really, really quickly and happen really quickly.

Gigi:

But, we’re talking about money here and the reallo­ca­tion of wealth into another very misun­der­stood and very new asset. I think the rails are just being built and I think it’s also obvious that the base layer won’t be used by normal people once hyper­bit­coiniza­tion really starts or once bitcoiniza­tion really starts. I think that this is just obvious. I think every­thing has to go through Light­ning and other scaling solutions because as every­thing lays out beauti­fully as well, it’s basically mostly a settle­ment system or greater payment system. So it will be used to settle between what we think now of banks or central banks or large settle­ment systems. And I think all of this will kind of take time.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Well, we’ll never be ready though. That’s not the way Bitcoin and technology works. The wave of people will come. Then tech will be overwhelmed slightly. Then Bitcoin will catch up and then more people and we’ll catch up and that’s just how it goes. And we have to accept it.

Gigi:

Yeah. I think the best metaphor for the internet was electricity, as Jeff Bezos pointed out. And I think the best metaphor for Bitcoin is the internet. It was the same with the internet, like the internet is always running at capacity. Even though if you can access the capacity of the internet by using fiber or something, then you’d have 4K streaming video for everyone, and it’s at capacity again. It will be the same with Bitcoin I think.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Anti-fragile systems grow through stress and diffi­culty.

Knut Svanholm:

We have another rabbit hole to dive into there with, like you say that insti­tu­tions like banks and nations will own Bitcoin. I know I’m on to this a lot. How does it work? Not at the moment. There will probably be solutions for shared owner­ship. We have Multisig but that’s about it.

Gigi:

Yeah. Multisig works really well, I would say, for a scenario like that. You don’t neces­sarily need a 2 out of 3, you can have 10 out of 15.

Knut Svanholm:

Or 30 million out of 50 million.

Gigi:

We discussed this briefly before, I think at the Value of Bitcoin confer­ence. There are similar systems in politics and in the military that rely on also not a single point of failure. And, I think you have it in your book as well.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah.

Gigi:

With atomic launch codes and stuff like that. You can’t imagine something like that where you have… Just keep in mind that we already do have something like that for internet certifi­cates, for example. There are signing ceremonies. There are key gener­a­tion ceremonies. And there are a lot of people involved and those are very well documented and very official processes and you can imagine that either a large bank or polit­ical body carries out such ceremonies and you end up with 10 hardware wallets, each of them has a key and you have one or multiple Multisig wallets and stuff like that.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. But, still, I think it’s sort of naturally… These groups that actually control the assets are forced to be smaller than insti­tu­tions are right now. Insti­tu­tions right now can have a lot of people on top and this is not possible in the same way with Bitcoin since the infor­ma­tion about the under­lying asset is the under­lying asset. And this turns every­thing on its head because infor­ma­tion, itself, is liter­ally valuable. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around what impact this will have on how we struc­ture society because it sort of turns owner­ship on its head. I’ve been thinking about trying to find a good metaphor for this and the thing that keeps popping into my head is that Monty Python sketch about the funniest joke in the world. Have you seen this?

Knut Svanholm:

This is an old sketch that Monty Python did in The Flying Circus, where some guy writes the funniest joke in the world and if you see the joke, you will die of laughter. So they try to milita­rize the joke by trans­lating it into German in the war. And they can’t see the entire joke. The trans­la­tors can’t be allowed to see the entire joke because then they will die from laughter themself. So they have to see one word each and on one occasion, a guy sees two words and he has to be in inten­sive care for two months and whatever. And they trans­late it into German and in German, it’s something like… Maybe you shut your ears now Gigi because you’ll under­stand it. But the German trans­la­tion is, “Wenn ist das nun Stuck gitt und Schlot­ter­meyer? Ja: Bayer-Hund. Das, oder die Flipper-Wald Gesputt!” And, they go on saying this phrase to German soldiers in the war and they all die of laughter up and down. I think this is a good metaphor for how I view the seed phrases of Multisig Bitcoin wallets used by nation states. Is this getting too bizarre?

Gigi:

For the record, I didn’t under­stand a word.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’s not even real.

Knut Svanholm:

No, it’s just gibberish. Anyway, there were actually some… The Germans tried to write a counter joke and the funniest thing they could come up with is, “There were two peanuts walking down the plaza and then one was assaulted peanut.” So it doesn’t work very well for them.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

I can’t tell if I’m laughing at the joke or at the attempt at a joke.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, exactly. But, anyway, this is sort of how I think about these things because when infor­ma­tion is liter­ally valuable, you can very easily just leave the country with that infor­ma­tion in your head and extort someone or do something with it in order to monetize…

Gigi:

I under­stand your concern in principle and I also under­stand what you mean but I think you’re just lack a little bit of imagi­na­tion of how creative govern­ments can get by doing weird things and I think they would just come up with hardware wallets that will never display the seed phrase and the only place where the private key lives is on the chip. And you can do it also in kind of a secure way so you would revert to the old world of physical things where you have two keys for the nuclear codes.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. I guess they can be very imagi­na­tive but so can the guy knowing the seed phrase. That’s my point.

Gigi:

But that’s also my point. There doesn’t neces­sarily have to be a guy who knows the seed phrase because the current hardware wallets, they have the courtesy of showing you the seed phrase so you can make your back up, but what if the seed function­ality doesn’t exist. There are ways around it and if Bitcoin becomes valuable enough for govern­ments to care, they will figure this out. Govern­ments are very good at some things. Making money and forcing people to pay the money, they are quite good at this.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. But I still think Bitcoin makes it a lot harder for them because they’ll have to rethink every­thing and they are so good at misal­lo­cating resources so I’m not sure that they’ll be able to catch up. It’s like the cops trying to shut down the pirate bay for 25 years and not. succeeding. I think the hackers will be 20 steps ahead at all times. Govern­ments aren’t having these conver­sa­tions now, we are.

Gigi:

Yeah, I agree with you in principle. I just think that these things will be figured out once they become relevant enough. Another scenario… I’m still optimistic and hopeful and I also like the idea that govern­ments still don’t really care which gives the Plebs kind of a headstart which is really good. So, you don’t often have this kind of situa­tion. But I think they will catch up in time and I recom­mend… I actually have a book recom­men­da­tion for you, Knut. I’d be very inter­ested what you think about the book. It’s called, Code 2.0.

Gigi:

I don’t remember the author. I will send you a link. It’s about how society changed because of the internet and computer code and also how the code changed because of polit­ical pressure and because of pressure from society.

Knut Svanholm:

It sounds like a good book.

Gigi:

It’s a good book, yeah. Just think how the internet changed over time. You know the internet was this utopian idea, everyone has a home server and every­thing is completely decen­tral­ized and freedom over every­thing. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what gender you have. Everyone has a screen name, that’s all. Now we have Facebook and Google and it very much matters where you’re from and it very much matters what your identity is and people get deplat­formed all the time and the internet isn’t what it used to be.

Knut Svanholm:

No.

Gigi:

We don’t really have net neutrality anymore. We have to create firewall of China. In Europe, we have so many laws that destroy the internet that it’s not even funny anymore. There are laws against memes, for God’s sake.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Then Gigi, how do you get away with it? How do you get away with the memes? I’ve always been curious.

Gigi:

Yeah, you know, like seven proxies, at least seven proxies. No, it’s just, I think we should take the powers that are currently in charge seriously as well. Don’t under­es­ti­mate your enemy. Again, I say this all the time, we’re still living in peace­time. Nobody gives a fuck about Bitcoin. It’s still at this stage. Nation states and central banks, they don’t give a fuck about Bitcoin. They’re the first concerned voices in some corners of Congress and some people kind of want to stop it and want to… They know what might be coming but I think they still don’t take it really seriously and I also think they don’t take the exponen­tial aspect of it seriously. But we’re still living in peace­time and once wartime starts, it will get really ugly I think.

Brady Swenson:

All right, let’s go down this rabbit hole. And just a quick note before we do, the book, Code 2.0, is written by Lawrence Lessig and is a great one. I’ve read it as well. It’s one that Bitcoiners should, I think, read and discuss. I’d love to have that conver­sa­tion with you, Knut, and Gigi on Citizen Bitcoin maybe. So, let’s dive down. What does this look like? What does the hyper­bit­coiniza­tion process look like? Let’s do the kind of the dark version, this wartime that Gigi’s talking about. What could we expect if it’s a dark side? Let’s not go to the absolute extreme but let’s be realistic about what challenges Bitcoiners could face. And let’s go to the other side too. What path can we see or imagine where the process of hyper­bit­coiniza­tion would be relatively peaceful?

Gigi:

I think, as with all things, it won’t be pure utopia or pure dystopia. It will be something in between. I can talk about the dark things quite a bit I think. But I think it will just… I think we’re already living through it. I think also what’s inter­esting is every­thing is happening at the same time. I think people under­es­ti­mate that. Also in terms of Bitcoin becoming money. Bitcoin, for many people, is a medium of exchange, a unit of account and historic value and it’s all at the same time. If you’re a HODLer, it’s obviously a historic value. But there are many shops that only take Bitcoin, for example, and then you have to use it as a medium of exchange. There are some people that only take Bitcoin and there’s the pay me Bitcoin movement. And there are also Shitcoin traders and for them Bitcoin is a unit of account. And every­thing is happening at the same time and it’s also, in terms of protocol devel­op­ment, every­thing is happening at the same time.

Gigi:

With Bitcoin which is still being devel­oped, with Light­ning which is still being devel­oped, with third layer solutions that are being devel­oped. I don’t see it as a nice and orderly process. I see it as every­thing is kind of happening at the same time and I think it will continue to happen in this parallel way. I think hyper­bit­coiniza­tion will continue to happen organ­i­cally. There will be people that value Bitcoin more than fiat currency. And there will be more and more merchants that only accept Bitcoin or accept Bitcoin prefer­ably, like if you get a 20% discount or 50% discount if you pay with Bitcoin, more and more people will pay with Bitcoin. There will be more compa­nies. There will be more investors coming into the space and at one point, you know that there… I see it as a series of step-functions that are exponen­tial in nature, like a series of S curves. If you zoom out far enough, it will be one big S curve because at one point, fiat curren­cies cease to exist and there will be only Bitcoin left, gener­ally speaking. I think there will be pockets on the internet and in the world where other curren­cies are in use. We see this now as well.

Gigi:

There are some commu­ni­ties that make up their own currency and they only use that. There will still be some countries or islands that force you for a very long time to use govern­ment mandated currency. I think it will happen organ­i­cally and naturally starting from individ­uals and small compa­nies to bigger compa­nies and then maybe small nations and small nation states once you’re able to pay your taxes in Bitcoin and once they tax you for things in Bitcoin or you’re paying your fees in Bitcoin or whatever.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Of if you’re a company and you want to pay your employees in Bitcoin, then you can call us and then we can set that up.

Brady Swenson:

Nice shill.

Gigi:

And I think it will be just a natural process. On the dark side of things, I think once govern­ments start caring a lot about it, they might try to outlaw it or they might start to prose­cute Bitcoiners, compa­nies that use Bitcoin. It’s already kind of happening. If you’re a Bitcoin company, you have to take care of so many things that a regular company doesn’t have to take care of. I know it’s different in every country but in the U.S., for example, there are multiple agencies that think they have juris­dic­tion over your Bitcoin company. You guys probably know more about that than I do but on the one hand it’s an asset. On the other hand, you have to pay all kinds of taxes and capital gains taxes on it and so on and so forth.

Gigi:

So, the dark side I see very much like it is with, like it is on the internet as well. There will be efforts to under­mine it. There will be efforts to just under­mine the free nature and struc­ture of Bitcoin. Like, if every trans­ac­tion has to go through a central­ized exchange, for example, by law, this would be a huge blow to Bitcoin. If people start to more or less go after Bitcoiners, go after individ­uals and compa­nies that use Bitcoin and advocate for Bitcoin, then you’re in hell as well because we see that with certain polit­ical opinions right now. If you have a certain polit­ical opinion on the internet and a mob or the estab­lish­ment comes after you, you are done for. You won’t get a job anymore. You will be fired. You will be ostra­cized from society pretty much.

Gigi:

This can happen with Bitcoiners easily, like I think that’s why it’s impor­tant that we have both anony­mous Bitcoiners and also high profile, real name Bitcoiners because we kind of need both. You can’t ostra­cize everyone at the same time and especially not if you’re Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk that’s on support. So, I don’t know, I just think Bitcoin is still small enough that govern­ments don’t really care and I think it can get kind of ugly if they start caring. I don’t know, what do you guys think?

Knut Svanholm:

There’s so many things there. First of all, even if we remove the whole notion of that nation states will have a problem holding Bitcoin, I think the concept of the nation state will be harder to uphold in a Bitcoin dominated world because, like you say, if taxes paid in Bitcoin, how are you to tax people if in the future we transi­tion to something more anony­mous, the Light­ning network or other scaling solutions, for instance, and we manage to make them much more private so you can actually do things on a so-called black market. There would be no way for govern­ments to keep up and to tax people as they do now. And the only response they have is more of the same. And the same goes for… You say you see a giant S curve, smaller S curves becoming a giant S curve. The thing is I don’t really see the phase where the S sort of levels out because if hyper­bit­coiniza­tion is to happen, the only defense the govern­ment has is to print more money and hope that people will still fall for it. So, I just see-

Gigi:

It depends on the Y axis because if you choose a dollar value, then I agree with you. But if you just choose purchasing power and value in general.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, but even that, of course we can’t have exponen­tial growth forever, but a sound money, free market system makes every­thing work so much better and everyone becomes so much more produc­tive and resources are allocated in much better ways. So, the value of a single minute of work… A single minute of work for a produc­tive person is getting more and more valuable by the day, in such a world. So, I don’t really see an end where the S curve levels out or it might take a long time. It might take hundreds or even thousands of years before it levels out.

Knut Svanholm:

So, a hyper­bit­coiniza­tion scenario is, like you say, it’s hard to imagine how fast it can be. But it’s also hard to imagine the magni­tude of what it will do to us all and to society at large because it sort of turns every­thing on its head when everyone who holds a fraction of Bitcoin is a billion­aire in the span of a couple months. What happens then, when you can buy not only friends but armies, and when you can buy not only another house, but you can buy a Citadel or a couple of Citadels, you can buy small cities? There’s no limit to. It is hard to imagine.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Keep talking about this. Our viewer­ship is rising as we go.

Knut Svanholm:

Is everyone turning bullish now?

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

I do think the speed with which it happens obviously matters, right? Because if it happens really quickly, then there’s a skate velocity that govern­ments can’t keep up with because the popular demand for the money will exceed any ability for a lumbering govern­ment to try and stop. I agree we have to all be concerned about poten­tial attacks against Bitcoiners, individual Bitcoiners, and that’s likely going to happen. We’ve seen it with Ross and when that comes around again. But, I know it will be a terrible tragedy but at the same time, the stronger the commu­nity is, the more robust it is, those kinds of actions will just make Bitcoin stronger, make more demand for it, rally the crew to the cause.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

The light side… I think the speed of it, if it happens really quickly, is hopeful. The other thing that gives me hope is seeing adoption by politi­cians in relatively free Western countries, for instance, that have some semblance of democ­racy and repre­sen­ta­tive govern­ments. We’ve already seen this happen in the United States and if more and more of these repre­sen­ta­tives are holding Bitcoin and advocating for Bitcoin within our rule of law, I think that’s very positive as well.

Knut Svanholm:

But, let me just jump in there for a second. If gover­nors and senators start owning Bitcoin privately first and then try to imple­ment the policies for the govern­ment to accumu­late Bitcoin, then they will be ahead of that curve too. So, as the price rises and they got in earlier, they will be richer than the country they repre­sent or the state they repre­sent or the city they repre­sent, so you have an enormous shift in the power struc­tures that be because the individ­uals become more impor­tant than the insti­tu­tions at a very fast pace. Like Gigi says, I’m also concerned because I think a transi­tion might be violent and dangerous and not very pleasant to live through.

Gigi:

To look back to something you said, Knut, in terms of taxation and how govern­ments would do that, I think, again, with a little bit of imagi­na­tion I can tell you how they might do that. I even have some examples. For example, In Austria, where I’m from, the church is an organi­za­tion that, by default, you pay taxes for, so by default, you have a certain percentage of your income go to the church and if you’re not willing to tell them how much you earn, they have ways of finding out and if they are unable to find it out, they will just guess and you will have to pay them. So, based on your tweets, I can guess how much Bitcoin you might have if I’m an evil govern­ment and you will be required by law to pay that.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, of course. My opsec is terrible. I’m at risk and I’m aware of it. And it’s not only the mafia that runs the govern­ment here, it’s the Russian mafia. We’re all exposed to it. Obviously not you, Gigi, you’re taking so much precau­tions, but everyone else.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

What people don’t realize is Gigi is actually a high ranking politi­cian also. He’s been an anon and a public face. He’s Angela Merkel actually.

Knut Svanholm:

He’s Batman.

Gigi:

The second thing I wanted to look back, is while I agree it can happen rather quickly and quicker than most… I’m just saying that because many Bitcoiners will tell you time frames of like 50 years, just remember that the iPhone is like 12 years old or something. It’s pretty much like 10 years, let’s say smart­phone is like 10 years old. So, it’s insane how quickly things happen in this world.

Knut Svanholm:

There’s a chapter about this in the book as well.

Gigi:

And I really like the recent work of PlanB with his stock to flow across asset model where he talks about the phases that we currently went through and he talks about these phase transi­tions. And I very much agree with this kind of model, that at first was like a proved concept, no value at all. I think the most impor­tant transi­tion for Bitcoin was from no value at all to some value because now we’re in this insane feedback loop that is still going on and will just continue to go on forever I think. And who knows what the next phases will be but I think it will come in phases and I think it will continue to coincide with the HODLings and it seems that Bitcoin is cyclical in that sense. Who knows what the dollar value will be of these phases because, first of all the dollar is devaluing like crazy and will continue to do so because the only real govern­ment response that is currently invoked is just printing more money no matter what kind of problem govern­ments run into and so it’s really hard to talk about the dollar value.

Gigi:

It’s also really hard to imagine where the price might go because Bitcoin is… The only thing that can move in Bitcoin is the price. 2017 was just individual people fomoing into Bitcoin. It was your neighbor fomoing into Bitcoin. It was just regular ordinary people. It wasn’t investors. It wasn’t even large pools of money and it definitely wasn’t govern­ments. One of those phases, maybe it is this phase already or maybe it will be the one after that or maybe the one after that. At one point in time, nation states might see the value of that and see also the technical impor­tance and poten­tial of an asset like Bitcoin and they will start fomoing into Bitcoin just like individ­uals started fomoing into Bitcoin in 2017. Of course, they might be smarter about it and so on. But, I think it’s really hard to tell where the upper limits of those kind of processes is but I don’t think it will happen overnight. I think it will happen in those step-wise phases.

Knut Svanholm:

I thought — .

Brady Swenson:

Hold on one second Knut. I wanted to welcome Cory, founder of Swan, to the call. It looks like Cory has something to say and then Knut can take it.

Cory:

I just wanted to pull in something we talked about with Bitcoin TINA last week which I thought summed it up nicely which is basically we got to 20K with poor millen­nials chipping in and this cycle, it’s going to be rich Gen X people and Paul Tudor Jones and fund managers and things like that. And that’s kind of what we’re seeing.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

And also if anyone.…Oh…sorry.

Cory:

Go ahead Brekkie.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

I was just going to say if any nation states are watching and you’d like to set up an account with Swan, we’re more than happy to help you on board. Your monetary base, we can help you with that.

Gigi:

Read up first.

Cory:

It’s amazing how many of these govern­ments that are likely candi­dates have been heavily consulted already on Bitcoin. They know what it is. I’m thinking, in partic­ular, obviously China knows more about Bitcoin than any of us do collec­tively. Turkey, they’ve had people in there with Erdogan and Acapay for five, six, seven years now. They under­stand exactly what it is and they’re thinking about it strate­gi­cally and I think Putin clearly, we’ve seen that guy’s under­stood Bitcoin for quite some time. So I don’t know. I don’t think it’s ignorance. I know for sure that there’s at least one person, I don’t know how many others, but there’s at least one person that’s been to the Trump White House three times to talk to Trump and team about Bitcoin in the last three years. I don’t think there’s ignorance at these levels. I think it just maybe isn’t a strategic priority because it’s still such a small asset class.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’ll be inter­esting to think about how, like there’s this massive wealth redis­tri­b­u­tion that will happen but it will happen with nations too, like you’re talking about, like even in 50 years, 100 years, which will be the more devel­oped nations? The ones that decided to go all in on Bitcoin. The landscape will just be completely different I think.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, but let me just try to turn this on its head because you say, when nation states start fomoing out and stuff like that. What is a nation? What is its smallest part? What is it made up of? It’s made up of people and the people that are advising Trump or whatever, or Trump himself, or Erdogan or Erdogan’s crew, Putin’s posse, all these people, they will start fomoing individ­u­ally before the nation state starts fomoing.

Cory:

I hope so.

Knut Svanholm:

My point is this is a revolu­tion on the individual level first before insti­tu­tions can even… Like, the people that get to know about it and buy into the whole idea, they secure their own backyard first before they even start thinking about talking to these other guys.

Cory:

Let’s hope so. I would hope that we, as Bitcoiners, are promoting Bitcoin and getting the word out and people are learning and realizing they have this power to do something for themselves now before the nation states start fomoing in because, at that point, it will be much more diffi­cult for individ­uals.

Gigi:

One thing also, Knut, is that you must not forget that nation states and everyone who has a money printer has an unfair advan­tage. You will have to work hard for your Bitcoin.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. That’s my biggest concern here.

Gigi:

There’s some entities that can play the system a little bit, or play unfair games and get an advan­tage on that side because, if you have access to a large pool of money, like taxpayer money or if you just outright are printing money, you can just start the printers, not tell anyone, and just buy Bitcoin. That’s kind of unfair but that’s the reality we will see. The more corrupt the govern­ment, the more likely we’re going to see that.

Knut Svanholm:

The counter argument to that is, why would you if you’re the guy who sits on the printer? Because it’s obsolete, the printers.

Gigi:

But you might want to play a longer game.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, yeah, of course. There’s a point to that.

Gigi:

I’m not an expert in those kind of areas but I’m just thinking out loud and specu­lating of what might happen. If I would have money printer, I would print like crazy and just buy Bitcoin until my GG currency is worth­less. That’s what I would do the next 10 years.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

The money is only valuable as a tool of BRRRR while the populace believes that the funny money is real. If the populace suddenly is like, this is bullshit, then at that point, the money printer is going to go BRRRR as fast as they can to get as much Bitcoin as they can before it’s too late.

Knut Svanholm:

It can take a long time though. People still get paid in bolivars in Venezuela. It’s liter­ally worth less than toilet paper but they still use it.

Gigi:

People use whatever works best for them. Nobody really thinks about money or knows what it is and people just use whatever brings food on the table, and if you’re in really dire circum­stances, a lot of different things might be used as money even if it’s depre­ci­ating.

Knut Svanholm:

This ties into why I think we might be thinking of this organism, Bitcoin, in the wrong terms. Maybe it’s not money. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe we’re wrong to be calling it money in the first place. I mean, anything can be used as a medium of exchange. It’s the most saleable good that will be used as a money in a certain juris­dic­tion. Maybe Bitcoin isn’t this thing. Maybe it’s another thing altogether. Maybe we’re confusing it with money because it was marketed as a money in the first place.

Gigi:

I think you’re on to something. I think that assess­ment is right. I think it’s easiest right now to think of Bitcoin as money and it’s the best money we ever had. But, just as email isn’t just a better way to send a letter and the internet isn’t just better library, Bitcoin isn’t just a better money. I think we see that already with other services being built on top of it. Think about tweet stamping, for example, and also Bitcoin as a universal time. I really loved the last Halloween we had because it really felt like a global New Year’s Eve. Every­thing was happening at the same time. No matter where you are, you just went yay, now the block is here and Happy Halloween everyone. So it definitely is a little bit more than money and it is a little bit different. So, I really, really liked that. But it’s also what you said about saleability and liquidity and the money­ness of different things, I think is also accurate. I think Andy Edstrom wrote about it very beauti­fully in his book.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. His 14 points.

Gigi:

Yeah. That every­thing has a kind of money­ness, just some things have a lot of money­ness and are really good money and are just naturally used by people as money. And I think just to look back to Venezuela, you’re kind of forced to use whatever the shop around the corner is accepting and that’s currently worth­less bolivars and also U.S. dollars and not yet Bitcoin for obvious reasons. I think Bitcoin is still kind of hard to use and it’s still very alien and hard to set up, hard to use. It’s very easy to shoot yourself into the foot. But I’m very optimistic this will be different in a couple years.

Gigi:

It’s the same story always with technology, you know like the first cars, they basically just killed yourself and they went very slow to boot. They killed you. That’s what it was. Same with electricity and also, try sending an email in the 80’s. It was just hell. And I think we’re at that stage right now and it every­thing is happening so fast, it gets easier by the month pretty much. And once we have more abstrac­tion layers and every­thing embedded in various easy to use apps that are avail­able on cheap smart­phones, then we will see the corner store in Venezuela use Bitcoin and Light­ning as well. I’m convinced of it.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. While we’re on to Venezuela, I have to tell you about an article I wrote like three years back, called We’re all Venezue­lans, and I got a message from a Venezuelan refugee that had actually fled the country with a Bitcoin wallet and managed to store his wealth and get out of the country and save his family that way and that story was just… I got goose­bumps from it of course. And he had read my article and agreed with it. The point of the article was that we’re all on the same path. Hyper­in­fla­tion will happen every­where, just at different speeds. So we’re the dollar is no different from the bolivar, it’s just the speed of the BRRRR that makes them different and Bitcoin is an entirely different beast. Hearing these stories and connecting with these people makes it all worth­while to me, while being a creative entity in this space. I really enjoy reading stuff like that, of course, and connecting with people in that way.

Gigi:

Yeah, absolutely.

Brady Swenson:

I have a question that I think would be a nice way to sort of finish up this conver­sa­tion. We have another 15 or 20 minutes left. Phil Gibbs in the Swan Signal chatroom on Telegram… You can join us there t.me/swansignal. He asks what are the top most impor­tant lessons you have learned from Bitcoin. So, let’s go with top two or three most impor­tant lessons you’ve learned from Bitcoin. Gigi, I know it’s going to be hard for you because you’ve got 21 of them to pick from. Let’s start with you though.

Gigi:

The most impor­tant one. I think still lesson one is the most impor­tant one for me and I’ll expand on that a little bit. The first lesson in my book is you can’t change Bitcoin but Bitcoin will change you. I think it’s impor­tant for multiple reasons. Bitcoin is still extremely diffi­cult to under­stand and most people have an insane amount of trouble wrapping their head around it. Everyone has a different moment where they kind of get it. Some people are primed more in different direc­tions. You might have studied Austrian economics before you got into Bitcoin. You might have studied distrib­u­tive systems before you got into Bitcoin. If you did so, then you’re obviously primed. If not, you kind of have to get to a certain level of under­standing that you kind of can trust this system. You don’t take anyone’s word for it. It’s just when people say that Bitcoin can’t go down, like as Ralph Merkle said, if nuclear war destroyed half of the planet, Bitcoin will march on and it can’t be manip­u­lated and can’t be argued with. If you hear that first, there’s no way you can’t believe it. You have to get to a certain level until it really clicks in and you under­stand it.

Gigi:

I think a lot of people, they fall into trap of just not believing it and are just repelled by Bitcoin. I think another reason why this lesson is so impor­tant to me is that if you don’t incor­po­rate Bitcoin into your world view, it can be very diffi­cult for you psycho­log­i­cally as well. And I think that’s even true if you have been in the Bitcoin space for a quite a long time and I think we saw that during the Civil War, I think a lot of people suffered derange­ment syndrome and I think it’s a very real thing. Once you try to fight this organism, you almost won’t come out alive. The commu­nity will eat you up. Your own thoughts will eat you up. I think that’s the most impor­tant lesson, that it will change you more than you will change it and to follow-up on that, you kind of have to live in symbiosis with this weird organism. Fighting it is not the best strategy. And that’s, for me, by far the most impor­tant lesson.

Knut Svanholm:

All right. You want me to follow from there?

Brady Swenson:

Yes, please.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, three impor­tant lessons. First of all, it taught me that I’m not alone in having this world view that I have, this way of looking at things. There are many people like me out there and Bitcoin sort of… We come from very different backgrounds, all of us Bitcoiners, but we have a mindset in common that I didn’t think I’d find a commu­nity like this before Bitcoin. Secondly, a sad insight that it has given me is the amount of insin­cerity out there in the world and this is from… I’ve mostly learned this from all the fake Bitcoiners and the Shitcoiners and the fork guys and the… You know who I’m talking about and there’s so many of them and so many people that fall for buzzwords and just join whatever thing is trending at the moment. The sheer amount of insin­cerity in the world is really depressing. The third lesson, I had something in mind but I can’t think.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

You depressed yourself there.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah, sort of.

Gigi:

Don’t worry. We have Bitcoin. It’s all right.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. It taught me to be less afraid. Yes, this is the point. There are other ways to change society in non-polit­ical ways and the inven­tions are more impor­tant than polit­ical decisions and they can change a lot more than you think. There are ways of… Don’t waste your time trying to change the world by politics. Just change your own behavior. Change your own narra­tive. That will have a larger impact on your life.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’s like the Hayek quote. I love that Hayek quote. You know the one about… Hold on, where is it? “I don’t believe we shall ever have a good money again before we take the thing out of the hands of the govern­ment, that is, we can’t take them violently out of the hands of govern­ment, all we can do is by some sly round­about way intro­duce something that they can’t stop.”

Knut Svanholm:

Exactly.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

When you were talking about this, I was basically thinking about how greedy the world is and the problem isn’t that the world is greedy, it’s that people try to fight that. They try to impose these morals on people and insti­tu­tions or whatever. That’s fine but… Greed is okay as long as we have systems like Bitcoin that leverage it in the right way.

Gigi:

That’s a Gekko quote.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Greed is good?

Gigi:

Greed is good, yeah.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

But also, and maybe we’re going off on another crazy tangent here, but I went through a phase where I was really depressed because I thought the world was super materi­al­istic and everyone was greedy and I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I think it was a Dalai Lama quote or something, but I was basically reading that how what we think of as greed is not actually greed. It’s this materi­alism. How do I explain it? Basically if you are being truly greedy and trying to do something for yourself, we often think that we’re doing something for ourselves but really it’s a delete­rious action. It’s something that’s actually harming ourselves. So, doing something for society, for others, you’re actually doing for yourself. I don’t know. I just went off on a crazy tangent.

Knut Svanholm:

If one thing, Bitcoin has made me less greedy I think. I try to think of it like this. And less greedy, I mean taking more care of your finan­cial life is greedy in a sense but, in another sense, I want to give my family and my kids a better life and my grand­kids as well, and if that is greed, I agree greed is good. But I don’t think really think it could be described as greed. It’s something else.

Brady Swenson:

If we define greed as short time prefer­ence, then that makes absolute sense. Then long time prefer­ence is more like seven gener­a­tional thinking. We’re not just thinking about ourselves, we’re thinking about the future and about humans that don’t even exist yet that will come down the line, which I think is a great way to look at it. And, for me, that’s the lesson that Bitcoin has taught me that’s most impor­tant is just that what money really is. That money is such a perva­sive, yet subtle force in our lives and in our society and it affects us not only individ­u­ally obviously, but collec­tively as a society. And you build individ­uals and you build societies that are short time prefer­ence and you get this materi­al­istic sort of culture that you’re talking about, Brekkie. Then, if you have a long time prefer­ence individ­u­ally and as a society, then you build this kind of more sustain­able world that’s seven gener­a­tional thinking, like Native American tribes would espouse. I just think that that’s… To me, instinc­tively, it seems like a better way to live.

Gigi:

Absolutely. And if I may add something to that because both Knut depressed himself and Brekkie said that he was kind of depressed about the state of the world as well, for me, it’s not really a lesson, but Bitcoin made me really optimistic and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that. I was very nihilistic and depressed with the state of the world as well. It’s not only that but, even before I got into Bitcoin, I have a quote on my desk for the longest time by Aaron Swartz, may he rest in peace. The quote says, it’s something he asked himself every day, and he said, “You liter­ally ought to be asking yourself all the time, ‘What is the most impor­tant thing in the world I could be working on right now? And if you’re not working on that, why aren’t you?’ ” And for me, that is definitely Bitcoin. I had no good answer to that question before I found Bitcoin. And once it really for me, it was obvious that I kind of have to give my life to that cause and I really see it as a cause, as a separa­tion of money and state and I think good things will come of it and, of course, there are awesome people working on it and it’s just an immense well of intel­lec­tual curiosity. I can’t think of a better project to work on.

Knut Svanholm:

I agree totally and for the first time in our lives, the light at the end of the tunnel might not be an oncoming train. This is…

Gigi:

The light at the end of the tunnel is orange. That’s what I am telling myself.

Knut Svanholm:

Exactly. And it’s light­ning fast and all of these things. That’s another great quote, “If you’re a Liber­tarian and not into Bitcoin, what are you doing?” This is it. This is what you should be focusing on if you dislike govern­ment and big govern­ments and inter­ven­tionism, this is it. Stop doing whatever you’re doing. Do this.

Gigi:

Yes. Yes.

Brady Swenson:

Cory, you have any thoughts to weigh in on this?

Cory:

Yeah. This was just making me think a little bit about the Peter Thiel matrix that he put in Zero to One and just thinking about how few of us probably lived our lives in the definite optimist quadrant where you have a real view on where things are going and you feel positively about that. He breaks it down and a lot of people have kind of looked at different cultures and different people and person­ality types. The Chinese, gener­ally as a culture have been definitely pessimistic, and the Ameri­cans, up until probably 1971, let’s say, were definitely optimistic but have shifted very much toward being naively optimistic, indef­i­nitely optimistic. Now people around the world who are coming at life in the future through a nice orange lens on things are becoming definitely optimistic. I’m certainly living my life that way and it sounds like you guys are too. The other thing that this discus­sion made me think of was Matt Ridley and The Rational Optimist, which is a great book if you haven’t read that one.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Yeah.

Cory:

And then also the newest book that I picked up and I don’t know why I didn’t ever think to look at the guy’s catalog and see what else he wrote, but John Carvallho recently recom­mended in a group, The Red Queen, which was another Ridley book. So, I just downloaded that and started listening to that and I think that’s really relevant to what you guys were talking about around greed and materi­alism.

Cory:

Basically, the thought that came to mind for me was whether through nature or nurture or culture or whatever it is, whatever you see as most attrac­tive in your mate, how you choose to live your life and what your prior­i­ties are, are going to be very deter­mined by what is attrac­tive to your desired mate’s. And so, if you’re in Portland or Brooklyn and being polit­i­cally active and a social justice warrior… You know, we’re fairly impres­sion­able as humans and you’re probably going to go down that route and seek social status though doing what is perceived as good in your social circles so that you can find a mate basically. And if you’re in a more materi­al­istic culture, most people, again, are fairly impres­sion­able and you’re probably going to find yourself seeking material wealth and trying to get super rich and essen­tially being able to buy way into a lifestyle that will attract the mate that you desire.

Brady Swenson:

Nice.

Cory:

Anyway, I haven’t read the book yet. I hope that’s what it says.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Random thought. Have you all ever heard of Pascal’s wager?

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. I have a section about this in the book.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Oh really. Now I have to read your book.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. I debunk it. Because I think Pascal’s wager is one of the stupidest things in history because it only… The wager is you might as well live your life as if there was a God, other­wise you might miss out on something.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’s like no skin off your back if you believe but, if you don’t, then you’re missing out on a loss. I don’t know. I was just thinking how it could be applied to Bitcoin but it didn’t really work.

Knut Svanholm:

I call it… This is another thought. It’s not my original thought but you know what Roko’s Basilisk? Well, let’s start with Pascal’s wager then. Pascal’s wager says that you should follow the word of the Bible because there might be a God and you might as well. But it doesn’t take into account the other 5,000 gods that people believe in at this moment in time. So, it’s sort of point­less. You might as well live your life as a vegan, because that is… Whatever. You can put whatever metric you want into the wager. It just takes one single theory into… So, I think it’s completely bullshit. I think it’s false logic and very easily debunked. Anyway, Roko’s Basilisk is another idea that I find more fasci­nating which is that… It’s been called the most dangerous thought ever thunk. It’s basically an AI in the future that will go back in time and punish everyone that didn’t bring it to life. So, if you don’t help this thing come alive, it will punish you after it does come to life.

Gigi:

Kind of like Bitcoin, you know?

Knut Svanholm:

Yes. Yes. This is the point of the book. I call it Roko’s Honey Badger instead because it’s the reverse of Roko’s Basilisk because it will enrich everyone who helped it come to life and it will… What’s the word I want?

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

It’s the corol­lary to the basilisk. The honey badger is the corol­lary.

Knut Svanholm:

Exactly. It’s the possible basilisk. A basilisk that doesn’t turn you into stone by staring you into the eyes but turns you into gold. It turns you orange anyways. So, a lot of thoughts like that in the book as well.

Brady Swenson:

Awesome. Well, I kind of feel like this is a good spot to wrap up the conver­sa­tion. Gigi, can you please take a moment to show us your links where people can find more about you and your books, et cetera?

Gigi:

Well, I’m Dergigi on twitter and every­where else and you can find my writing on dergigi.com. My book, 21 Lessons, you can find on Amazon and on 21lessons.com, you can read for free there as well. And it’s also on Audible thanks to Guy Swann. I would like to shout out Mungo, the full-time philoso­pher. I have a romance with him going on on Twitter all the time and I just had to shout him out because I know he’s listening so Mungo, I hope this romance goes on.

Gigi:

Don’t tell Hass McCook

Brady:

Hass is asleep thank­fully.

Knut Svanholm:

I have a collec­tion of photos now with 21 Lessons and one or two of my books in the same photo because people seem to be buying our… I don’t know why Gigi but they seem to be buying our books together, to bundle them together. I have at least five of those photos. And I really like that. I think they compli­ment each other quite well. I thought I would mention this. Has anyone tried this? I just go this the other day. It’s a Cobo Vault hardware wallet, which is air-gapped so you scan QR codes and it’s never connected to the internet. Did you hear about this thing.

Cory:

It’s like a beautiful Bit Boy.

Gigi:

I think the good thing about it is every­thing, including the firmware, is open source as far as I know.

Knut Svanholm:

Yeah. Exactly. And they have a Bitcoin only firmware. They have a Shitcoin firmware pre-installed but you can easily switch to Bitcoin only firmware if you’re a real person. I haven’t really tried it out yet. So, I don’t really know that much about it. I just meddled a bit with it and it looks nice and the display looks nice and it seems to be working. You can find me… I’m Knut Svanholm every­where, sometimes I’m Knut.Svanholm.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Did you say Swanholm? You did didn’t you?

Knut Svanholm:

Svanholm, yeah, Svanholm. Yeah, yeah. We’re shilling each other’s name here. You’re not the only Swan Bitcoiner out there.

Cory:

I like this. We’ve got to get Guy in here next time.

Knut Svanholm:

You really do. My first book is avail­able for free as an audio­book on Guy’s podcast but it’s also on Audible and he reads it a bit better on Audible, and both books are on Amazon and they look like this. I do most of my Bitcoin bullshit­tery on Twitter so that’s where you should follow me if anywhere.

Brady Swenson:

Excel­lent. Cory, you want to wrap up with anything? Some updates on Swan perhaps?

Cory:

Sure yeah. I think, two quick things to announce. One is we have started doing a get paid in Bitcoin initia­tive so we have some compa­nies signed up to add, basically picking up the trans­ac­tion fees for their employees on Swan, and we have a few compa­nies already signed up in the beta and we’ll roll that out to every­body in June. If you are a depart­ment boss or CEO or someone who thinks Bitcoin would be a really cool benefit and that some of your employees might enjoy that, or if you’re an employee and you want to go and show Bitcoin to your boss or to your company owner­ship and tell them this is a cool benefit, we think that is something that would be really appre­ci­ated. And we’re told by people who work in the benefits world that basically compa­nies will offer a benefit if the perceived value of it is a lot higher than what it costs them. And there’s nothing better than stacking Sats and thinking about the ten x or hundred x that it might be and I can help people think that way. So, that’s the first thing.

Cory:

The second is we have rolled out Swan Force which is basically our referral program so you can go to swanbitcoin.com/enlist, e‑n-l-i-s‑t, and the cool thing about this is obviously we are U.S. only for users but the referral program is open to everyone globally and we pay out in Sats and Yan is in my ear saying he wants to pay people out in light­nings so we can start contributing to that ecosystem. So, we’re really excited about the referral program so go there, get your custom URL and landing page so when people actually come to your URL at swanbitcoin.com/knut or gigi or whatever, there’ll be a nice little picture of you and a message or a tweet, or a quote from your book or whatever.

Brady Swenson:

Why don’t we show them the Yan example real quick?

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Or show them Keiser actually.

Cory:

So, Max Keiser set this up last weekend.

Gigi:

I signed up already.

Cory:

There you go.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

We need to get you your little landing page welcome book. Maybe slash 21 lessons, and there’s a free download of 21 Lessons on the same page.

Gigi:

Sounds good. You’ve got to give this man a raise.

Cory:

Brek, are you popping that up?

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Oh, sorry. What is it? Just slash Keiser?

Cory:

Slash Keiser, k‑e-i-s-e‑r.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

Swanbitcoin.com/keiser, the keiser. All right, give me a second, share screen.

Cory:

But, in the meantime guys, thank you so much for joining us. This was a really, really cool chat. I listened with rapt atten­tion. There you go. So that can be your face or your book and whatever quote you want to say and when anybody visits through your link, you will be there shilling Bitcoin and helping, at least those in the United States, to sign up for Swan and start stacking Sats, signif­i­cantly less expen­sive auto stacking than anyone else in the U.S. We’re 60 to 75 percent cheaper than CoinBase, cheaper than Square by a long shot. I think we’re 30 to 50 percent cheaper than Square at every level, that’s cash out. So, yeah, sign up for Swan and help other people sign up for Swan and stack some Sats.

Brady Swenson:

Nice. I want to give a quick shout out to Bobo Dread, Phil Gids, Allison Cross, Soft Simon, Nate Sharp, Daniel Prince, Max Keiser. Thanks for joining us in the Swan Signal chat room today and hanging out. That’s t.me/swansignal. We’re there all the time, not just during broad­casts so come hang out with us, talk Bitcoin, or whatever else. It’s a really fun group. That’s it for today. Next week I’ll tease, for those of you who stuck around for the entire episode, you deserve a little preview. Next week we’re excited that we’re going to be-

Cory:

Prime time. Prime time.

Brady Swenson:

–in prime time. So it’s going to be in the evening. What time is it Cory? 6:00 PM…

Cory:

6:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Eastern.

Brady Swenson:

It’ll be Preston Pysh and Adam Back, so Toshi himself, joining us next week.

Brekkie von Bitcoin:

You can’t say that.

Brady Swenson:

I think it’s going to be an awesome combo.

Cory:

Why’d you move your coins Bro?

Brady Swenson:

Exactly. So, that’ll be fun. Make sure you tune in for next week. Subscribe to the podcast so you can listen later, at swansignalpodcast.com. That’s it everyone. Thanks again to Knut and Gigi. Go buy the books. Take care.

Brady Swenson:

Thanks to Knut and Gigi for joining us. Follow Knut at knutsvan­holm, that’s at k‑n-u-t-s-v-a-n-h-o-l‑m, and follow Gigi at Dergigi, d‑e-r-g-i-g‑i, on Twitter. On behalf of the entire Swan team, thank you so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed and found this episode useful. You can join us live next time. Find us on Twitter at swanbit­coin or also find us on Facebook swanbit­coin, Twitch swanbit­coin, and on YouTube, it’s the Swan Signal channel. You could also jump into our Swan Signal Telegram chat room. We have a lively crew in there. We’re talking all hours of the day about Bitcoin and all kinds of other topics. Of course, we also talk during our actual broad­casts and you can ask question of our guests. Find that chat at t.me/swansignal, that’ll take you to the Telegram chat room.

Brady Swenson:

Swan Signal is a produc­tion of Swan Bitcoin at swanbitcoin.com, the best way to buy a Bitcoin in the United States. We automat­i­cally withdraw dollars from your bank account. We automat­i­cally turn those dollars into Bitcoin and then we automat­i­cally send them to your Bitcoin wallet if you set up an auto-withdrawal. It’s awesome, a magical experi­ence. We do this all at the lowest fee for recur­ring purchases in the industry. So find us on Twitter at swanbit­coin. Subscribe to this podcast at swansignalpodcast.com if you are not already. That’s it for this week. Thanks for joining us.

Other Episodes

Episode 8 –Andy Edstrom and Ansel Linder

Episode 9 –Rockstar Devel­oper and Jeremy Rubin

Episode 10 – Bitcoin TINA and CK Snarks

Episode 12 –Adam Back and Preston Pysh

Episode 13 –Alex Gladstein and Matt Odell

Episode 14 –Robert Breedlove and Tuur Demeester

Episode 15 –Isaiah Jackson and Max Keiser

Episode 16 –Gigi and Udi Wertheimer

Episode 17 –Aleks Svetski and Jimmy Song

Episode 18 –Stephan Livera and Marty Bent

Episode 19 –Mark Moss and Ben Prentice

Episode 20 –Samson Mow and Parker Lewis

Episode 21 –Lyn Alden and Jeff Booth

Links

Swan Bitcoin

Knut Svanholm

Knut on Twitter

Knut on Linkedin

Knut on Medium

Sover­eignty Through Mathe­matics –Knut’s first book

Indepen­dence Re-imagined–Knut’s second book

Gigi

Personal Website

Gigi on Twitter

bitcoin-quotes.com

bitcoin-resources.com

21 Lessons

This blog offers thoughts and opinions on Bitcoin from the Swan Bitcoin team and friends. Swan Bitcoin is the easiest way to buy Bitcoin using your bank account automatically every week, month, or paycheck, starting with as little as $10. Sign up or learn more here.

Brady Swenson

Brady is the Head of Education at Swan Bitcoin, the best place to buy Bitcoin with easy recurring purchases straight from your bank account. Brady also hosts Citizen Bitcoin, a podcast focused on documenting his journey learning Bitcoin, featuring some of the biggest names in the Bitcoin world.

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Swan Bitcoin does not provide any investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice. We recommend that you consult with financial and tax advisors to understand the risks and consequences of buying, selling and holding Bitcoin.