This week: Gigi, author of 21 Lessons, Udi Wertheimer, independent software developer and host of Reckless VR meetups, Swan founder Cory Klippsten and Swan head of education, Brady Swenson, hosts.
This week: Gigi, author of 21 Lessons, Udi Wertheimer, independent software developer and host of Reckless VR meetups, Swan founder Cory Klippsten and Swan head of education, Brady Swenson, hosts.
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Welcome to the Swans Signal podcast, a production of Swan Bitcoin. The best way to accumulate Bitcoin using automatic recurring buys at Swan Bitcoin.com. I'm Brady head of education at Swan. Swan Signal pairs up great Bitcoiners for compelling discussions that I think are very unique on the Bitcoin content scene. Every week we broadcast Swan signal live on twitter at Swan Bitcoin and on YouTube @YouTube.com slash Swan Signal, then we publish the audio here. This week, I'm joined by Gigi, author of 21 Lessons, Udi Wertheimer, independent software developer and host of the Reckless VR meetups as well as Swan founder Cory Klippsten. I'm glad you found your way here. Hope you enjoy.
Hello and welcome back to Swan Signal live, we're at Episode 16 here. Swan Signal is a production at Swan Bitcoin at Swan Bitcoin.com. It's the easiest way to accumulate Bitcoin with automatic recurring buys, you just connect your bank account auto fund that USD, we automatically stack your SATs and you can set up automatic withdrawals, we want you to hold your keys, as is Bitcoin best practice. We do all of this at the lowest fees in the industry in the United States up to 80% lower than Coinbase, up to 57% lower than Cash App for automatic recurring purchases.
You can follow us on Twitter if you're not watching on Twitter, we're at Swan Bitcoin on Twitter, we are at YouTube.com slash Swan Signal if you want to flip over there to watch if you prefer the YouTube, and I just want to give a quick show also for Swan Force our referral program. So that's Swanforce.com slash enlist. You can refer Bitcoiners, you can earn money earn sets actually even better for recruiting new Bitcoiners. So check that program out. You'll get the details there, 0.25% on every recurring purchase, every Swan plan purchase that your referrals make for three years. It's a massive deal. Check it out. All right. Let's get to the show. I want to welcome back to Swan Signal Gigi, the author of 21 Lessons: What I've Learned From Falling Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole. Welcome back, Gigi.
Hey, thanks for having me again.
Absolutely man, and Udi Wertheimer, an independent software developer and host of Reckless VR meetups. Welcome Udi, how's it going?
Udi Wertheimer (00:02:33):
It's great. Thanks for having me. Hey.
Glad to have you man, and Cory Klippsten founder of Swan Bitcoin. Cory, how are you today?
Cory Klippsten (00:02:42):
I'm doing well. It's good to be here with you guys. Good to see your avatar again, Gigi. And Udi really excited to have a chat here.
Good to see your sunglasses again Udi.
Udi Wertheimer (00:02:54):
Yeah, thank you. Thank you. I hope everyone recognized me this way hopefully.
All right, so let's kick it off talking about one of Bitcoiners favorite approaches to understanding Bitcoin. In fact, I think it's just in general humans like to approach understanding complicated complex topics and new technology by applying analogies to them. We have no shortage of analogies in Bitcoin. So I'd like to know let's start with Gigi, what is your current favorite Bitcoin analogy as you try to understand, continue to understand what's going on here?
Yeah, that's a great and a big question already. I think my personal favorite is still contrasting it to biology itself. And I really like Brandon Grinam's thinking on that, who says it's analogous to mycelium to a mushroom network. And it's obviously a networked thing. So comparing it to a networked organism, I think it makes sense in a lot of ways. And I still love what Ralph Merkle had to say about Bitcoin very early on that it's the first example of a new form of life, a thing that lives in cyberspace pretty much. But as he said there are so many ways to think about Bitcoin and so many analogies and ways to describe it.
Yeah, I actually still think about it a lot. And I'm currently trying to collect my thoughts on that because I think it's obvious that Bitcoin is different things for different people. And I also liked the description that plan B gave that we can definitely describe different phases that Bitcoin went through, and we are about to head into a new phase, at least if this model holds up and if Bitcoin continues to rise and rise, so to speak. And what his phase five will be kind of interesting, and I think our understanding of Bitcoin will evolve alongside with it, but I think it will always be helpful to think of it as its own entity in a way like its own living thing and it's kind of exploits us to keep it alive and it pays people to keep it alive and it will ... Whatever you throw at it, it will try to overcome it as life does, life finds a way as they say.
Udi, how do you approach Bitcoin in terms of analogizing it? What do you like to compare it to?
Udi Wertheimer (00:05:28):
Well, I love Gigi's example. It's awesome. I think that actually probably the first person or one of the first persons that introduced me to Bitcoin. I'm not going to say who it is, but they used to say that Bitcoin is digital real estate. And I actually really like that analogy because I think it's much easier for people to grasp as in digital gold just because a lot of people are not really interested in investing in gold. Probably majority of people aren't interested in gold at all, except for maybe for jewelry. But real estate is something that everyone understands.
Udi Wertheimer (00:06:11):
And it's pretty similar, it's scarce, everyone wants it. So it's a pretty good example. Yeah, it's very limited. There's never going to be more, you're not even going to find more in the moon, that's it, that's what we have. And there also have been like similar fights over getting the early bitcoins and land grabs on the early Bitcoin ecosystem that I think are very similar. So I like that analogy. Also, it's a better Ethereum. No, not really.
So Gigi, I've heard you talk about comparisons to open source software. And I thought you might want to riff on that for a little bit.
Yeah, sure. I gave a talk on that actually, it had the name competing with free at the last value of the coin conference. I think what most people still don't really get about software in general and Bitcoin in particular, is that Bitcoin is not a company. And it is important to really deeply understand that because no matter how large a company, a company will go bankrupt, a company doesn't have this feedback mechanism that Bitcoin has. Bitcoin can outlive pretty much anything I think, and a company simply can't. If your funding dries up, or if some catastrophe happens, then your company will simply go bankrupt, and that's it.
And it doesn't matter if you're Google or Facebook or Coca Cola or whatever, in 200 years, those companies probably won't exist anymore. And open protocols and open software like open source software free and open source software, it wins for a reason. I think that Linux and the free software stack that basically the internet is built upon it won out for a reason. And it's because it's still there and people can always take it up and improve it and work with it. And the same is true for Bitcoin, will always be there and people can use it as they see fit.
And once you truly grasp the profundity of this, I think it's obvious that you are dealing with something else, t's not a new PayPal or anything like that. It's way, way, way bigger than that. And yes, it might take time to develop as Linux also took its time to develop, but now it absolutely dominates the software market and I think the same will be true for Bitcoin in the financial world.
All right, so let's get into VR. Both of you guys are known for being VR aficionados. We actually acquired at Swan several headsets, Oculus quest headsets to participate in some of this Bitcoin VR activity. I've been to one of Udi's meetups. So after decades of speculation, VR has been speculated about for a long time. It's finally available in a decent form, a very usable form to mainstream consumers. What would you like to see in the future in terms of Bitcoin? I'm sorry, it's a big one in terms of VR technology, enhancements and development Udi.
Udi Wertheimer (00:09:25):
The interesting thing about Bitcoin and VR, both share this huge skepticism from the mainstream. So if you search for VR articles, you probably find VR is dead as the first result. And similarly, you'll find that Bitcoin is dead if you search for Bitcoin. So it's a nice mix of interest there. And VR has been around for so long. I mean, it's been around for decades, really, but at least in the current generation, it's been around since 2012 I think and in 2016, the first consumer hardware came out. And these days, it's actually really simple. So something like the Oculus quest by Facebook is really easy to set up to power up to us for the first time.
Udi Wertheimer (00:10:20):
We run the reckless VR meetups, which are every Saturday. And we try to do Bitcoin content, technical stuff and other Bitcoin stuff. And we bring speakers over every week. And a lot of times, those speakers have never used VR before, we ship VR headsets to them and we walk them through setting it up and trying it out for the first time, and it actually works great. I mean, it's got to a stage where you can do that, which is amazing. If you look 10 years back, it was impossible. You'd need a professional just to help you set it up. So it's really great.
Udi Wertheimer (00:10:57):
But also the platforms that We end up using and that the platforms are available for social experience are so early, and they're very buggy, they're very limited. They are not very well supported by hardware, so you can use them with some VR headsets, but not with others. And you definitely cannot use them on your mobile phone. You can't use them on most on your laptop probably, which is very limiting because most people don't have this equipment. So it's a great experience. It's for those who are there, it's amazing. It's really very similar to being with someone in the physical space, which is obviously something that we're all missing right now. So it's really great in that regard.
Udi Wertheimer (00:11:42):
But it's difficult to get people to the point where they're there because the hardware just isn't very well adopted. So obviously, I'd love to see the costs of those headsets go down. I'd love to see it although it's not too bad right now. It's $400 for the Oculus Quest, which is similar to what you would pay for an Xbox or PlayStation or whatever, so it's not a bad price point. But still would love to see it go down, would love to see it smaller and more compact and less heavy and so on more comfortable.
Udi Wertheimer (00:12:16):
And there's a lot of work on the software side. I mean, the hardware is almost there kind of, but there's a ton of work on the software side, which is really difficult because the ecosystem is so small and the audience is so small, I mean, maybe a million or 2 million headsets are available worldwide. So because the audience is so small, it's really hard for companies to invest significant sums of money in building amazing software, if there's no one to buy it, or not a lot of people to buy it. So it's going to be a slow process. And that's why a lot of people aren't happy on Facebook being super involved in this obviously because of privacy concerns and things like that.
Udi Wertheimer (00:12:59):
But there is an upside, a company like Facebook can afford to invest in this for a long period of time until it catches on, which is something that most companies just can't do. So it's good that we have a company like Facebook that does it, I hope that we will see a few other large companies join that race, like maybe Apple, maybe Microsoft is kind of looking at it. So it will be good to not have just Facebook controlling this whole thing because that probably won't end well.
Yeah, absolutely. Gigi as a fan of VR, what would you like to see in terms of tech improvements, software improvements in the future?
Yeah, well, I think I want to see it more normalized in a way, the way that video calls are normalized, because I think there is still just this kind of weird icky feeling that people have like what do you want to meet in VR? And it's clunky and it's weird and it's different definitely. But what I think that people really underestimate is as Udi mentioned how real it feels because you're really sharing albeit the virtual space, but you're sharing a space and the dynamics are very different than in a group phone call for example because you're actually in the room and the mechanics are that the closer you are to aa person the louder you will hear them and people will just fade out if you're too far away, you won't [inaudible 00:14:25] anyway.
So after a talk is over for example, in this Bitcoin VR meetups and especially at the after parties, and small groups will form naturally and they will discuss different topics and that's just impossible in like a 20, 30 person Zoom call. So it's really natural. So I think that's what people really underestimate. It's really like going to a conference and you will be standing in one corner with the 3D printing gun nuts and discussing how 3D printing guns will liberate everyone and in another corner, there might be some traders that got wrecked recently and discussing their strategies. And so that's just always very interesting to observe how this forms naturally. And I think that's very underappreciated how great this actually works.
Yeah, so I think some people have some skepticism about the utility or reason to use VR meetups as opposed to Zoom, for instance, what are the experiential differences for users? And why would I buy a headset to participate in all space for something for example? Udi do you want to take that one first?
Udi Wertheimer (00:15:36):
Yes, so as Gigi said, one of the amazing things is that because conversations are positional in the virtual space, you can organize in very dynamically and very organically, you can organize the different groups inside the space and chat just like you would in real life, which is absolutely impossible in Zoom calls. So in the Zoom calls, you would usually have two, maybe three people speaking and then there would be like 10 thousands of people watching. And it's just a very, very different experience. So it's very similar to the real world in that way.
Udi Wertheimer (00:16:13):
And also for example, for people like us, for Bitcoiners there's a very special benefit there because you can be present people can see you move your hands can see what you're looking at. And they can look at your face they can see your lips move, but they don't see who you are, they don't see your face. They only hear your voice, which some people even change their voice so that they're not recognized through their voice. And so you get to keep your privacy while also being present. So you definitely can't really do that with Zoom, but you also can't do that in real life. So that's the only place you can do that, it's kind of amazing.
Udi Wertheimer (00:17:01):
I think those two things you get to meet people that you just otherwise wouldn't meet. It's very, very different from Zoom calls in that regard. And when you're thinking of the meetups are the Reckless VR meetups, the major part of them is the presentation or panel. And you could think well this seems similar to watching like a presentation on YouTube. And it is, it is similar but there's the networking before and after the event is what really makes a difference. So a lot of people, most people go to conferences to meet other people, not really for the presentations and you completely miss out on that when you're just watching presentations on YouTube.
Udi Wertheimer (00:17:48):
They can be awesome, they can be great, but you completely miss out on everything around that. And it also allows us to very easily bring people into the conversation. So sometimes we do on those presentations or panels, we do this open into some sort of a discussion where you can not only have people speak from the audience, you can even bring them on stage and have them be physically part of the presentation. Which just makes it so much more like real life. It just feels a lot more like real life, but you have to be there, that's the thing. The thing about those meetups, it's so hard to explain and even if you watch the video, it doesn't really convey the feeling that you get when you're actually there.
Udi Wertheimer (00:18:31):
So it's really hard to explain it. I mean, one interesting thing I used to tell this a lot, it's one of those times my mother is my biggest fan. So she watched one of the streams of the VR meetups, and she couldn't tell which one of the people on stage is me because we all look the same in the 3D space. So she told me that at some point, I was scratching my head and she could see that I'm scratching my head and she said, "Oh, I know it's you because it's the way that you scratch your head I recognized." So it really conveys a lot of those things that you usually could see in video, but it conveys them very well in avatar form. It's kind of hard to explain it, but it's there. So it's really cool in that way.
Yeah. May I add one or two things there because I think the privacy aspect that Udi mentioned that's really underrated, because I think there are some people, especially in the Bitcoin space, that just can't go to conferences because of privacy reasons, or it's just a big hassle. And I think the fact that you can stay anonymous or pseudo anonymous and still attend conferences and meetups is just great. And another thing that I noticed is that in real life meet space conferences, a lot of people they have certain inhibitions, like you won't necessarily walk up to Adam Back and introduce yourself and so on.
And in VR, this is completely gone it seems like people like Wex Wing is big into VR, Adam Gibson. And people walk up to him all the time and just ask him random things, and it's so great to see. And it's also not as annoying, I would say because you can selectively mute people, you can also kick people and nobody can hurt you in VR, you can just hop away. And it's not as intimidating as in the physical space. And in terms of the presentations, I think there are a bunch of benefits there as well if you use them correctly.
I mean, of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and all those things can be abused as well. But you can just mute everyone and Udi at the beginning of the presentations, just always presses the scot button, everyone is on mute and the whole room is quiet instantly, and you cannot have that in meet space. And little things like that that's really funny. And I think, as these systems develop and as the software gets better, I think we will see more and more things that you can only do in cyberspace, and I think that's really interesting.
Yeah, I can just imagine teachers being really excited to get their hands on that mute button in their classrooms. So I did a presentation on a show called CryptoMondays. It's a VR presentation, Lou Kerner hosted and it was a crazy experience. It was my second VR experience after I did a reckless VR session and the experience the first time was amazing. I was really blown away and I walked around the room for 20 minutes before the presentation started talking to people. And during the presentation, I was just exploring the space basically I wasn't really watching the presentation, I could still listen but I was walking around everywhere exploring things.
And then on the crypto VR presentation, I was up on the stage there were probably about 30 or 40 virtual avatars out there. And I remember similar to you're scratching the head thing Udi I was rocking back and forth in my office chair like this. And like Lou Kerner's like, "Are you sitting in a chair rocking back and forth?" Apparently my avatar was going back and forth like this. It's just one of those things that as a VR newb you don't think about or are not used to yet. It's fascinating. So how do you think the limitations of ... Let's talk about the limitations of VR, right? Because it's not obviously a panacea. VR has limitations, obviously meet space does as well, we talked about some of the benefits or advantages of using VR over meet space. But what are some of the disadvantages or limitations of VR do you think Udi?
Udi Wertheimer (00:22:21):
Yeah, so I said that setup is much easier than it used to be. But it's still if you compare it to something like Zoom that you literally click a button and you're in the call, it's much more complex than that. It's actually ridiculous the steps that someone has to go through to join one of the meetups is ridiculous. I have a super long document and videos to explain how to do it for the first time. And it's just too much. And there's plenty of reasons for that. I think mostly it's just bad design, but there's definitely a lot of improvement to do there.
Udi Wertheimer (00:23:02):
What you really want is just to grab your phone and click the whatever event you want, then put the VR headset on and you're there, you don't have to do anything else. So that's what you would want to have. And we're still not there. But it's perfectly doable. I just think that the platforms and the apps that exist in VR today are just not at that level of readiness yet. And one of the things that I'm really missing that I think could do a huge difference is to have those things available on mobile devices too.
Udi Wertheimer (00:23:41):
So if you don't have a VR headset, which is most people, you can at least use your iPhone and or Android device and go into the meetup and walk around with little controls on the screen. And obviously, it's not the perfect experience, but at least you'll be able to get an idea of what it looks like and feels like. So then maybe you go out and buy a VR headset. I think that would be a huge benefit. And I know that a lot of them are working on it, but it's just not there yet.
Yeah. It seems like the resolution and all of those issues like the sensory experience is obviously very different in meet space than is VR, but I think where we are now is sort of like the Atari compared to the PS5 that's coming out, those kind of gaming experiences or a badass gaming machine running the latest badass game. And the difference between the two is absolutely incredible in terms of the experience, the immersiveness, how real it looks. I mean, I assume that well I presume that you think we'll probably get there at some point, basically recreate all the senses in virtual reality.
Udi Wertheimer (00:24:48):
Yeah, probably, although it will probably take a very long time. I forget the guy's name. I think he's the chief scientist at Oculus and he's a very known figure in the computer science and gaming world who's making those every year he's making this presentation where he talks about what VR is going to look like maybe decades from now. And he talks about things like Okay, what about smell in VR? What about feeling with your hands? What about, I don't know, whatever, and maybe you can feel cold, maybe you can feel heat. And he has a lot of ideas and they're doing a ton of research on that. But it's obviously very far away. We're talking decades ahead.
Udi Wertheimer (00:25:44):
But actually things like if you look at the Oculus Quest, it has relatively low resolution and it's powered by a mobile chip, like pretty much the same that you have on a phone. Even not a new phone. So technologically, it's not very advanced. But the experience can be so good that you kind of don't notice this stuff. Once you're really in it, it kind of goes away. The major advantage of the Oculus Quest over other more technically capable headsets is that it doesn't require a cable that connects to your PC. So you're really free to move around, you can move your hands without getting stuck in your cable, whatever. So it's in that sense, it's just a better experience.
Udi Wertheimer (00:26:29):
So even though the visuals are not as good, the experience is so much better. And we can walk around the problems. It's very hard to read text in VR, especially in the Oculus Quest, because the resolution isn't great. So you make text a lot bigger in presentations, you try to fit less words into each slide. You try to design the content and experience to walk around to make the best of the hardware that you have. And then it can be a really great experience, even now.
I'm super excited about VR as well, I hope everybody listening checks it out or just reads up on it and finds a way to check it out. You can check out on your phone, at the very least put it into like a cardboard device and just have that first experience if you haven't yet. It is definitely going to be a part of our future. It's here and not going away. All right, let's get back into bitcoin. Let's move to talking about full nodes. This is a topic that Udi requested for us to discuss today. And I wonder if we can just start at the beginning. Gigi, if somebody asks you, they're relatively new Bitcoin or they come to you they're like, "Okay, I've been hearing about this thing called full nodes. Why do I need to run one?" What's your answer?
Well, yeah, probably it's going to be an explanation on how you want to actually validate the rules that Bitcoin is running on yourself. And if you want to really dig deep into this, then you also want to use your full node and validate your transactions with it yourself and so on. I think it's a very good learning device. If you really want to learn about Bitcoin, setting up a full node and trying to use it and trying to understand what it does, I think it's an excellent teaching device.
I think we're getting there in terms of very easy to set up and install and quote unquote plug and play full nodes. Where you just set something up and at the end, you scan the QR code with your phone and your phone is paired with your phone and everything just kind of works. I think in a couple of years we are there. I'm actually quite impressed how fast everything is moving, especially on the open source side. But I think we're not there yet.
So I think it's still mainly for hobbyists and enthusiasts and people that want to tinker with stuff like lightning and people that are really hardcore and want to just validate everything themselves and want to be like first class citizens, no compromises.
Udi what's your brief answer? You don't want to put this person to sleep or make them afraid to try to run a full node. What's your answer in a couple of minutes or less?
Udi Wertheimer (00:29:08):
Yeah, it's really hard. I mean, I like Gigi's example about it being a good learning device. That's really true. But probably a lot of people don't want to learn too much. They just want to maybe invest in Bitcoin, forget about it. So it's difficult to answer. I mean, why would you want it? I think that a lot of times we say things like, "Oh, it's to keep the network safe. And I don't know it's to support the network." I don't think people care about that, at best they care about their own Bitcoins.
Udi Wertheimer (00:29:39):
So what we should probably talk about is how you can be more sure about the validity of your own coins and the legitimacy of your own coins that you receive using your node if you use it. Although that's probably something that most people aren't concerned about or don't understand that they should be concerned about it. So maybe the biggest, easiest to explain advantage to get by using a full node is it's more private. You don't need to send the addresses that you're interested in the addresses of your wallet, you don't have to send them to some third party to tell you what your balance is. You can just use your own node for that.
Udi Wertheimer (00:30:21):
So you keep elite class data and I think that's maybe something that people will have an easier time to understand. So you can say, okay, you want to start using Bitcoin, maybe use a Bitcoin node because then you leak the least data that you would leak in any other way. And maybe in 10 years, you'll regret that you leaked some data so maybe it's worth the time. It's worth investing an hour in setting it up and figuring it out what it does and how it works. That's probably the best incentive for most people to use one.
Awesome. So right now there are about 48,000 nodes according to Luke Dashers estimates, at the peak was in January 2018, about 200,000. Obviously, there's a clear connection between price and running a full node. Right now we're at about 10,000 publicly accessible nodes. So besides price, how can we increase the number of full nodes? How can we make them more accessible, easier to use and actually get tried and true Bitcoiners, let's leave the new corners aside, but Bitcoiners who've been around for a while, and aren't using full nodes yet to get on board? Gigi do you want to start with this one?
Yeah, sure. I think as with all those kinds of I want to say tactical Bitcoin things, I feel like Bitcoin has a way of sorting this out naturally and organically. I think that for example, if we wouldn't have had Mount Gox then we probably wouldn't have not your keys, not your coins. And I can't answer you what the event will be that people set up their own full node and will be forced to run their own full node. But there might be an event or multiple events where people realize it's really smart to run your own full node.
And the beauty about Bitcoin is that there is no barrier to entry and everyone just can start running it. And so if we see any sort of concentrations, censorship, funny business with fees, whatever have you there are some scenarios you can imagine where suddenly it gets really beneficial to run full nodes. And I think then people will start to care, as we've seen with private keys as well. People only start to care when shit really hits the fan. And there are some paranoid people like us that are ahead of the curve, and they're early to these kind of things. But the masses will come in when they have to, and I feel like Bitcoin has a way of forcing the hand of the masses at some point in time.
I absolutely agree with that. That's a great answer. Udi do you have anything to weigh in on this year?
Udi Wertheimer (00:32:56):
That's the perfect answer. I feel like Gigi is reading my mind. It's exactly this, we wouldn't have auto wallets if people didn't lose that much money in Mount Gox. And maybe sometime someone does a better job of trying something like [segment 2X 00:33:13], for example, and they actually managed to do more successful attack than the segment 2X was which completely failed. So maybe then people realize, okay, we should run full nodes to protect ourselves from those kind of things.
I have a great question here from ... Thanks for the conversation about full nodes guys, I really appreciate that your answers were on points and I think really useful to Bitcoiners and newcoiners alike. So appreciate the thoughts there. We have a great question from the YouTube chats. Do either of the guests believe that due to Bitcoin, the next superpower global superpower will not be a country and will instead be the internet as it is the first time that we have a native currency on the internet itself? Do you think that Bitcoin will be the driver for that?
I think it's obvious that the next superpower will be American Huddle or some other way or the first trillionaire of the planet. Yeah, I don't know. It's a really interesting question. I recently re-read the Sovereign Individual, and it lays out a very nice path towards what might happen and how the nation states dissolve. It's really hard to see for me how this might play out. And I think most people agree that it will get really ugly, and I tend to agree as well. I think Bitcoin is still so small. It's basically a rounding error on the balance sheets of the big nations. So Bitcoin really doesn't matter yet.
And I think once it really starts to matter, it can get relatively ugly relatively quickly. And I don't know what will happen in wartime so to speak. So if something arises that might be seen as powerful as a nation state, I can't tell you what happens because nation states are still extremely powerful. The beautiful thing about Bitcoin is like Julian Assange likes to say no amount of violence will ever solve a math problem. So you're kind of immune in cyberspace in a way from all the tanks and all the fighter jets of the world.
And only to an extent, though, because I'd like to remind everyone that the internet is just a series of tubes. And once the infrastructure is actually attached then shit can also get really ugly really quickly. But the good thing is that the infrastructure is set up in a way that it can route around that and it's like all these decentralized, unkillable networks are really built to withstand this. So I tend to be optimistic. But to answer the question more briefly than I already did. I think I agree with the thesis laid out in the Sovereign Individual.
I just don't really know how it will shape up like how it will really take shape. And it's really hard to tell because I feel like every every two or three months the real world environment gets more and more chaotic. Just the political landscape gets more and more chaotic. And it's really hard to make sense of things. So it's extremely hard to predict such things. I think it can happen, but I have no idea how.
Yeah, I mean, I think probably the defining factor of a nation state kind of becoming sovereign is being able to issue its own money. That's how the route of control comes from. So now that the internet has basically issued its own money the decentralized form of it, Udi do you think that the internet becomes the new form of a nation state? Or just mix them all together anyway.
Udi Wertheimer (00:37:03):
Yeah, I wouldn't write off nation states just yet. I think it's probably too early. I think that yeah, they're definitely still very powerful, Bitcoin is definitely still very weak. And just to add to what Gigi said, I would say if you talk to some protocol developers working on Bitcoin, I think they would be much less optimistic than most of us on the unstoppable nature of the Bitcoin network. Because there are many ways in which nation states can probably disturb the network.
Udi Wertheimer (00:37:38):
I wouldn't say kill Bitcoin because I just wouldn't say that, but I think killing Bitcoin is a very big task, but you can definitely make things very difficult. You can definitely make it much smaller and much less threatening, and something that only the most extreme devoted people use, and most people just won't choose to use it. And that's how nation states fix problems usually. They just make it much less accessible for most of the people.
Udi Wertheimer (00:38:11):
So I think that's still definitely something that can be done, you can see that developers making huge progress all the time, even these days to make the network more resilient, even in things like B to B connection between nodes and things that we usually don't talk about, people love to talk about 51% attacks, but there are tons of other things you can do to temporarily affect the Bitcoin network. So yeah, I don't think we're a good opponent yet to nation states.
If I may add something there. I have two things. Two thoughts popped into my head while Udi was answering. I think I very much agree that most core developers are very, very conscious about bitcoins guarantees and they know best what can break. But I see this over and over in tech and just also in science in general, I think people that are really close to the matter they tend to be very pessimistic. And if you look, for example, at chip designers and like people tell you that Moore's law is that since 20 years, every single chip designer that designed chips for the last 20 years was like, we hit the limit, and we can't go smaller anymore, and now we have quantum tunneling. And Moore's law is that and we can't improve anymore.
But if you analyze it from a bird's eye view, a different picture emerges. And we saw this also with genome sequencing. And we see this all over the place like the people that are really close to it, they know what goes wrong all the time, and they also know what can go wrong. And they sometimes are, in my opinion, too pessimistic. That's why even though I'm kind of close to technology as well, I tend to counteract this phenomenon by just being extremely optimistic and super bullish all the time, countering my own bias.
The second thing I'd like to point out is I also agree with Udi that we shouldn't underestimate nation states and governments. And I think governments are really good at undermining and subverting things. They're very good at playing the long game. And if you just look at the internet, and what happened to the internet, basically, in many jurisdictions net neutrality is dead. We have the Great Firewall of China, we have upload filters. We have stupid cookie banners that you have to click or install extensions to block. And we have all kinds of weird things that kind of break the internet in subtle ways, and this happened over the last, I don't know, 20 years or so.
And, yeah, it was a very long game, but it kind of worked. And of course, we also have the NSA doing deep packet inspection and other things like messing with stuff everywhere on every level. And I think we should be very, very cautious because if we are not eternally vigilant in the Bitcoin space these kind of things will happen as well I think.
Absolutely. Well, if Bitcoin investment zen is DCA and dollar cost averaging recurring buys, then I think Bitcoin speculation then is somehow trying to manage a balance between the utter bullishness and humility that Matt Odell is always talking about. It's a hard balance to reach. Cory is going to weigh in on this one, Cory, we're chatting here about the ability of or the potential for Bitcoin as a native currency of the internet, a distributed non sovereign currency to compete against nation states, of course, who draw their power in large parts from being able to issue their own sovereign currency.
Cory Klippsten (00:41:55):
Yeah, it is a super interesting issue and certainly one that I'm vocal about and think about a lot. And I think the range of outcomes are wide and dispersed. And so when you're looking to try to affect that, as I personally am, and as we're trying to do with Swan here in the US and kind of our stated goal and mission for the company is to get as many Bitcoiners as possible wrapped up and owning a meaningful chunk and also being educated enough to be willing to write a letter to a congressman or show up at a town hall meeting or fight for Bitcoin in some way.
Cory Klippsten (00:42:34):
And so that's the whole thesis behind 10 million Bitcoiners in the US, which is that three to 4% intransigent minority that can sort of flip a complex system like a country, or at least prevent the country from going the other direction. And we see this is basically the logic behind lobbying in general, and regulatory capture, so let's do it for Bitcoin. And make sure that the really noisy vocal people that really care about Bitcoin can stop anything really bad from happening.
Cory Klippsten (00:43:09):
So I think it's a race to get enough Bitcoiners with enough power and who care enough, versus people in government, deep state whatever recognizing the threat that Bitcoin poses and coalescing enough support at all sorts of different levels. I don't actually think that the government or the powers that be actually have a good shot, but I just think anything that you can do to reduce that chance is fantastic, because it just means that Bitcoin will have a clearer path, more of a chance of reaching its destination, or its destiny sooner and wider without that interference.
Cory Klippsten (00:43:55):
And then just selfishly for myself and my family and my friends and people that won't necessarily want to uproot and have to go somewhere else to spend our Bitcoin or just to run a Bitcoin company or whatever. I'd rather do that here in sunny Southern California without government interference. So I'm just trying to make sure that we get there fast.
If I may add something to that, I think I agree with you as well Cory that Bitcoin also has a way to protect itself against too much meddling, because if you are the government employee tasked with interfering with Bitcoin and exploring it, you might just end up stacking yourself because Bitcoin it doesn't really care and it's money for enemies. And I think we saw that a lot with the discussions in Congress, was it last year or maybe even two years ago, I lost track of time the last couple of years.
It's blatantly obvious that there are some Bitcoiners in Congress and some people that really get it, and some people that obviously have Bitcoin. And they're way too knowledgeable to not have Bitcoin. And I think we might see this work out well in the long run that just people if they have a choice to get themselves on boarded, so to speak, they might, yeah, end up working for Bitcoin and not for the government anymore. That's what I'm trying to say.
Cory Klippsten (00:45:28):
So we already have a lot of great examples of this, for instance, Kathryn Hahn, who was the federal prosecutor that was supposed to go and prosecute Bitcoin. And she learned a lot about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and now runs the crypto fund for Andreessen Horowitz.
There you go.
Cory Klippsten (00:45:49):
And you've got the the FBI agents that were hunting down Ross and of course, they ended up being crooked and trying to stack as much Bitcoin as possible. So I think you'll see it kind of over and over again. And we've got Warren Davidson out there tweeting again this week about how awesome Bitcoin is. That's a US representative, and it's just super cool to see that. And these people that are anti Bitcoin can't keep their posts forever. We also got the news this morning that the New York Department of Financial Services NYDFS, this is the one that Lossky used to be at, and he saddled the New York State with the BitLicense.
Cory Klippsten (00:46:33):
So they've since moved the BitLicense under a new department an innovation department inside DFS and given it a new head, and that person is much more open and they're bringing back that conditional BitLicense, which makes it much easier for companies like Swan, much cheaper and much faster to be able to operate in New York. So we're going to be chasing that really fast now that that news is out this morning.
Cory Klippsten (00:46:57):
So I think the logic of Bitcoin is just unassailable. And if you are both smart and honest, you'll always end up being a fan of Bitcoin. If you're smart and dishonest then you'll be like Roy Seabag and Peter Schiff and just kind of use Bitcoin to try to market your gold company. And if you're dumb and honest then you often end up doing defy projects or something. Ouch.
Yeah, we're on a call here with Udi Wertheimer and Cory gets the first shitcoin dig in. You're off your game Udi. No, I appreciate all that.
Cory Klippsten (00:47:37):
I do want to note by the way that somebody tweeted this morning that because everybody's going nuts for these defy popcorn alts that are going up like 5X and stuff. If you weren't in way long ago, you're just about to get cracked. One of the largest toddlers it looks like it was either Coinbase Ventures or another venture fund were sitting there on coin base ready to dump like literally the second that it went live, and a few minutes later it was down like 47%. And there's been more COMP Compound is the most recent one, there's been more COMP tokens moved to coin base to be sold than all COMP tokens that have ever been farmed in the history of the project. Whatever the hell that means, I don't know yield farming anyway, it's just it's basically Bitconnect.
Hey, hey, hey.
Cory Klippsten (00:48:30):
It is basically Bitconnect, yeah. If you have inside information, and the SEC doesn't know that you have inside information, then by all means play the game and stack more stats by pumping and dumping. Just make sure you're on the pump side and that you dump just in time, but if you don't know what you're doing, just stay the hell away from it. If you're not insider trading these tokens, don't bother, you'll get wrecked.
If you don't know you're going to dump on then there's no reason to buy it basically.
Cory Klippsten (00:49:02):
Then you're about to get dumped on.
You can't spot the sucker at the table, you are the sucker.
Cory Klippsten (00:49:08):
All right. Well, yeah, I mean, it's a little depressing that those of us who went through the 2017 early '18 bubble and saw witnessed all of that utter scammery it's a little depressing to kind of see the writing on the wall for this next round that it's yeah, it's not going to be over, obviously. All right. As we mentioned at the top of the show that we Bitcoiners really like our analogies I think we probably like our memes even more. I think we probably have Bitcoin down to just two memes now.
One money printer go bur, and then two Bitcoin fixes this. So I think that tells the whole story right there. Two questions, first one is how will fixing the money change or how could it change our culture and society? We already talked about the nation state stuff, the government stuff but culture society individuals. Gigi you want to start with this one?
Yeah, sure. That's also that's such a great question and I love this stuff. We had a long conversation about it with John Relis at the Value of Bitcoin conference, and it was about basically, how the individual changes once Bitcoin is adopted. And I think you can see this over and over again if you just look at different kinds of Bitcoiners how their life changes, or how their life change once they discover Bitcoin. And you have people that stopped smoking and started eating healthy and use the money they saved by not smoking anymore to stack sets. And it is just obvious that it changes you in some way. And it's kind of weird, and I don't really understand it, even though it happened to me as well.
And I think the best explanation I've heard so far, but I think it goes in deeper, but I think the best explanation so far is from Sayfudine as well that it just lowers your time preference massively. Once you realize that you can actually lay out a plan for yourself and your family, and then the next generations for the next decades, not the next weeks or months, but the next decades. And you also realize I don't actually need this new car now, or this new bike or this new gadget, or whatever, and I can save some money here and there and stack some sets. And maybe I can build a better future just with that, it will change your whole life and lifestyle drastically.
And we saw this over and over again. Obviously, it doesn't happen to everyone and not at the same rate. But I think there is a trend that we can see and a lot of people there's this meme also just stop going to a hairdresser, just shave your own hair and cut your own hair, [inaudible 00:51:48] instead. And I think that encapsulates it very nicely. Just try to think long term, save a little bit of money on the side. Stack starts with those and just yeah, try to also be a better person and work towards a better future for yourself and also for your family and thus for your community and for society. And I think that's how it spreads from the individual.
Udi Wertheimer (00:52:09):
I think it's a very fun meme. As Gigi says, there's also a lot to learn from it. But also, I hope that we're kind of realizing the effect that it has on the side who's hearing it and that we use it intelligently. So usually, when you're going to tell someone that Bitcoin fixes this, their response is going to be to hang up the call, because it's not very helpful. Sometimes that's what you want. Maybe you're in conversation with a no coiner who just doesn't get it, he's debating for the sake of the debate and you want to shut them down. So you tell them Bitcoin fixes this and you go make dinner, so that's perfectly fine.
Udi Wertheimer (00:52:59):
But if you're trying to convince the person to change their mind, I think it's usually very unlikely that saying Bitcoin fixes this will change anyone's mind. So I just hope that people are aware of this. It's important with this memes to think of to use them, I don't want to say responsibly, but to use them correctly. Use them to your own advantage, don't use them without thinking of what it looks like to the other side. It's definitely what you want sometimes, but not always.
Udi would you say that you're using memes responsibly on Twitter?
Udi Wertheimer (00:53:37):
Oh, I mean, so the question is what I want to do with it. So I think I use it responsibly for my own goals. I'm not sure if that's good for anyone else, though.
Fair enough. Yeah, I think those memes are the way I see it is the memes really help to distill the conversation and distill narratives in a way. And I think it's a way to rally around the means, it's a way for Bitcoiners especially to rally around the memes. I really hope that people don't use it as a one sentence answer if someone comes to them and it's like, "What is Bitcoin?" And they will just answer with those two memes and run away. I really hope they don't do that. If they do then well we will have a hard time onboarding people. But I think Matt has the right idea in those regards.
You kind of have to stay humble and also show lightly, and I think people will come to you once they're ready. And I truly believe I think this was one of the biggest insights I had in the last couple of years is that people will get Bitcoin once they are truly ready, and they will also get their first bitcoins once they are truly ready. I think there is no other way. I think there is no way to force people into bitcoin. It's an opt in voluntary system, and if you force people into bitcoin I think you will do more harm than good most of the time.
They will sell once they have the first doubts or panic and they will sell it at exactly the wrong time or they will lose their keys, or they will get into shitcoins because they just don't understand anything. And I think it's really true that Bitcoin will find you once you're ready for it and that's also usually the time or around the time where you purchase and hold your first Bitcoin.
All right, so the corollary to this question is, of course, Bitcoin can't fix everything. So what are some of the things that Bitcoin doesn't fix or change if it becomes widely adopted? Udi?
Udi goes first, please.
Yeah, Udi goes first this time.
Udi Wertheimer (00:55:46):
What doesn't Bitcoin fix? Wow. That could be a long talk.
Yeah, it is.
Udi Wertheimer (00:55:59):
I think that the process of someone starting to get into bitcoin is very slow. Which I think is probably what we really like about it. It's a continuous process you keep learning for years and maybe decades, and that's really great. But it's also very slow to affect people. So when you see someone who has a very real problem, I can't get my money out of my country, maybe my government is not allowing me to leave the country, maybe I'm being I don't know pressed in some ways, you have someone that really has a very real problem and you got to tell them, "Okay, so you should be stacking sets."
Udi Wertheimer (00:56:41):
I think that's not the best thing to say to a person. Of course, sometimes Bitcoin might actually solve your problem. Maybe you're trying to move money abroad and Bitcoin will help you there, but more often than not, when people are having real pressing issues, Bitcoin might not be their solution, the immediate solution. Maybe they can go get on the Bitcoin track and change their lives in some way because they learn new things about themselves and about how the world works through Bitcoin. That happens to a lot of people. But that's a long process.
Udi Wertheimer (00:57:18):
So if I have a problem today, probably the solution is not okay, you should learn about yourself and learn about the world and fix your problem. That's probably not what you're going to look for. And you see that a lot. You see a lot of people sometimes saying, "Yeah, Bitcoin. You should have just bought Bitcoin or you should just buy Bitcoin right now and that will fix your problem." It's obviously a joke at best, so yeah.
Well, what doesn't Bitcoin fix?
Udi Wertheimer (00:57:49):
I'm tempted to channel my inner Pierre Rashard and just say Bitcoin fixes literally absolutely everything. But I think the one thing that Bitcoin really doesn't fix is stupidity in a way. But interestingly, I think what it fixes is greed. And I think Alex Thatsene talked about it very eloquently a while ago that it is a machine that turns greed into freedom. And I think there is something profoundly true about that, that it utilizes a really bad thing about humanity that humans are generally selfish and greedy. And it uses it for its own advantage. And I think that's quite beautiful.
But I think, yeah, a lot of stupidity will still continue to be had in the Bitcoin space. And I think we haven't even seen the worst of it yet. I'm afraid with the next cycle, and especially if we have something like a super cycle that some people talk about where we hit escape velocity, and just everything goes insanely crazy and all the field currencies hyper inflate and stuff like that. I think we will see government level shit coins and Ponzi schemes and government level exit scams that like 2017 will be like child's play.
And so I think it can't fix stupid, but it really can fix a lot of other things. And I think also the beautiful thing about Bitcoin is it has a way to keep people honest in a way. And yeah, I really like that. And I think it's because Bitcoin is also like this bastion of truth and this like grand truth anchor that everyone agrees upon. And again to loop back to what I said in the very beginning that biology analogy. I like it so much because I think the only way to thrive in the Bitcoin space is to find a way to live in symbiosis with it, like to find a way to not fight against it.
Once you fight against Bitcoin, you've already lost. You might not realize it yet, but you will end up with all the other lunatics that try to change the block size for example, and or pick your favorite lunatic camp.
All right, I have an interesting one. This came up in a Telegram chat room. I think it was Phil Gibbs that brought it up. And this is something that I've heard personally in real life as well, some pushback against my Bitcoin shilling and belief that it will help fix a lot of things. It is this idea that we Bitcoiners, early Bitcoiners are sort of benefiting in a Cantillon Effect type way from being close to the early distribution schedule so that when everyone else comes flooding in, we'll essentially become the cantillionaires of Bitcoin because we were closer to the beginning of the distribution schedule. It seems to have some intuitive reasoning to it. I hear it resonating with my friends and people are pushing back against Bitcoin. I would love to hear how you guys would refute that if a nocoiner brought that up to you?
Well, I would say everyone who says that obviously hasn't held any Bitcoin ever, because it's really hard. It drives you insane. Once you rode the waves for a couple of months or a couple of years, you realize that this is not free money that you just get by being early and I think you'll see this over and over and over again, pick your favorite time interval, it was so in like 2013 it was so even earlier. People saw it drop from, I don't know almost $20 back to $1 and stuff like that. And it got even easier now over time in percentage terms.
So holding Bitcoin and getting into Bitcoin is not for the faint of heart and it's nothing you know that comes easy I think. And it's really hard to live off ramen noodles because you don't have any Fiat in your bank account left for an extended period of time, even though you might have some sets, but you really don't want to sell. And I think if you've never experienced that, it's really easy to say, "Oh, yeah, you've just got early and you got lucky." And I just can't wait for the first person to really tell these to my face that I just got really, really lucky.
Cory Klippsten (01:02:30):
I'll chime in there because it's such a false comparison. It's apples and oranges because what you're talking about is the flow, not the stock, what you're talking about is who is benefiting from the new issuance. And where does that new issuance go, and how does that new issuance come about? And whatever you want to say the issuance was known it was available was on the internet from day one. I did not have the foresight or intelligence or interest at the time to get in as early as I wish that I had.
Cory Klippsten (01:03:04):
But I cannot begrudge the people that did have that kind of foresight, that kind of understanding. Spent a lot of time on Slashdot in 2011, or whatever it was the fortunate set of circumstances that some mix of some luck and some preparation that results in you having a fat stack and then having the fortitude as Gigi was saying to actually hoddle it for that long. I don't begrudge anybody that has giant stacks from long before I got involved in Bitcoin, and I don't really know people that do.
Cory Klippsten (01:03:34):
If they do feel that way, they just don't really understand Bitcoin. And then if you're looking at it in present day, there are bankers right now spending tons and tons of money on lobbyists and tons of money on entertaining government officials so that they can get zero or negative interest rate loans and then turn around and lend it back out to retail to normal people in small businesses and take that arbitrage and lever it up 30, 40 X. So that becomes like a big return. So the whole game is completely fixed.
Cory Klippsten (01:04:06):
That's what a cantillionaire is. You are in perfect competition as a Bitcoin miner, or somebody trying to buy bitcoin at a market price on an exchange or from an OTC desk or from a service like Swan today, you don't have any advantage over any other human because of your closeness to people in DC or New York. And so it's just a patently false comparison.
Yeah, absolutely. And I have nothing to add on the cantillion and cantillionaire side of things. But I also want to add that just look at some Bitcoiners for example, Andreas Antonopoulos was completely broke because he lived on Bitcoin. And so what I'm trying to say as well is that people don't realize that it's really hard to hold onto your Bitcoin as well. And I like the saying I think it was actually John Carvalho has said it wants that Bitcoins want to be free. It's really easy to spend your bitcoins, it doesn't matter if it's on socks or on pizza or on whatever. That's why we have also pizza day.
And I think we will see this all over again, now people are experimenting with lightning and just sending like million Satoshi Tips left and right, and just buying stickers online all the time. And I'm pretty sure and I'm guilty as well, but if we look back in like 10 years or 20 years, it's like I bought a couple of stickers for I don't know 50 million Satoshis and my grandkids would probably kill me. But that's just all part of the game. And people that are not into Bitcoin, they have no idea what it entails. You actually want to play around with it. You want to spend it, you want to see what it can do, you want to do some transactions and it's it's it's not a lottery ticket. It's way harder than that.
Udi Wertheimer (01:05:50):
Yeah, I agree with both Cory and Gigi. Cory said that he doesn't know anyone who begrudge like early adopters I certainly know a few. I mean, people tend to say that I would say there are two categories of people who would say something like that. One is someone who just doesn't get it, not doesn't get Bitcoin just doesn't get anything. And the other kind is someone who's just basically lying because they have other interests, and they're trying to probably promote their own shitcoin with their own very fair scheme. But those are the two types of people who would say it.
Udi Wertheimer (01:06:29):
I mean, look at anything in life. I mean, if you think that the Apple stock is going to go up are you going to not buy Apple stock because some people got in earlier than you and some people were able to acquire Apple stock at the very earliest of days? That's silly. I mean, why would you do that to yourself? If you think that Bitcoin has something in it, then you should probably look into it and consider to invest regardless of how many bitcoins other people have.
Udi Wertheimer (01:06:57):
And that's true for everything in life. It's just a very bad mentality to have I think. I think you tend to hear it from people who just never invested actively in anything. So they for the first time think through those very basic concepts that are true for every type of asset. So yeah, Bitcoin grew and people who were there first they made some money off of it, there's nothing you can do about it. That's life.
Udi Wertheimer (01:07:28):
And also, I think that considering how the inflation schedule works, it's probably pretty much as fair as it could be. I don't see how it could be better. And I don't see how anything that comes later can possibly be more fair than what Bitcoin is. If you try to replicate it again, I think it's necessarily going to be much less fair. So for some arbitrary definition of fair, I don't know what fair even means, but it's probably going to be not as good as or as the bitcoins distribution is, so it's the best we've got. And if people want to complain about it, they can, but there's really not much to do about it.
Yeah, I obviously agree with that. And I think Dan Held wrote a nice piece about that bitcoins distribution was fair. And it also speaks to the fact that it was the first and nobody knew about anything like Bitcoin and now, there are so many eyes on the space if something else would advertise itself as having a fair launch of all the people who would front run it and try to get their hands on it as early as possible. And I also like to point out that looking at Bitcoin as an investment i think is the wrong way to look at it in a way. And I think, a lot of Bitcoiners that hear that immediately understand what I'm trying to get at. And a lot of no corners really don't get that at all.
And it takes a long time to get that because I don't have an exit plan when it comes to Bitcoin. I don't want to convert back into Euro or USD or something. So fear does that to me already, and I think there are many phases in the life of a Bitcoiner or many phases in understanding Bitcoin. And I think one of the most important steps is just realizing that this is the endgame and you don't want to go back, and once you are at this point you start understanding Bitcoin as a savings technology. And before that point, you understand it only as an investment.
And I think people that view it as an investment view it as something where you can just magically throw money at, wait 10 years and then you're a millionaire in dollar terms and then you do whatever with your million dollars. But I think most Bitcoiners are not about that and I think that's why it's also so hard to communicate to nocoiners what this is really about.
I of course agree with all you guys and that was a fantastic smack down of that Fudd. But if I were a betting man, I would never bet Bitcoin but if I were to I would put some money down on this being used in the future against Bitcoiners because it's one of those kind of surface Fudd kind of like the energy thing that seems probable or seems realistic or reasonable on the surface, you don't have to dig too much to understand it, and it obviously makes us look like money grubbing Ponzi schemers or something. So I definitely think that we're going to see this one in the future as Bitcoin becomes more and more successful.
Okay, let's close up with this one. This is a question from our creative director at Swan, Brekkie von Bitcoin. He asks, so let's assume that Satoshi is watching right now. And popped into the conversation, we invited him in and he popped in the conversation. What would you say to them, or what would you ask them? One or the other because I think both might be difficult. It's kind of an on the spot question. So what might you say or ask to Satoshi? Who wants it?
My question would be whatever happened to the poker client in the very early Bitcoin code base, I would be really interested in that.
Wait, there was a poker client in the early-
Yeah, there was a poker client in it. It never really launched, I think it was part of the code that was shared or shared around internal mails pretty much to some select people. But yeah, that would be a fun conversation I think, what the thinking was in showing the first use case or something.
That's a great one.
More seriously, I would be really interested in the universe, there are some natural constants, some laws of nature that nobody really knows where the numbers come from. And we have this in Bitcoin as well. And I would really like Satoshi's answers to how he came up with the constants that are in Bitcoin, like the 21 million hard cap and the 10 minute block time and stuff like that. There are some constants in Bitcoin where you could have chosen any number pretty much, numbers that are close to it. I mean, obviously we have lock propagation and block time there. There's some thought behind it, but it's just such a nice round like yeah, roughly 10 minutes should work, enter. That's all I think he came up with it, but I would love to pick his brain how he came up with all these numbers.
Udi Wertheimer (01:12:23):
So the question was, what would I ask if Adam Bank popped into the conversation right now?
Yes, that's the question.
Udi Wertheimer (01:12:36):
No, he's not Satoshi. Every time I make the joke, I feel like I have to make it clear that he's not Satoshi. So I don't know. I was trying to think about it, and all I could think of is this joke. I don't know. I mean, I might have asked him just look at Bitcoin today. Is that anything like what you imagined just for sentimental value? I don't think that the answer would have any meaning. But it's just interesting from the circle standpoint, like what were you thinking? Things like the poker client, it makes you feel like maybe what he was going for is maybe some systems you can use for gambling, which was very difficult at the time online for legal reasons.
Udi Wertheimer (01:13:24):
So maybe that was something he thought about, but maybe not, I think it would just ... Look at something like lightning, is that something that you were thinking of? And I mean, for some of those things, we know the answers because we know from the early writings on Bitcoin talk, we know that Satoshi thought of ideas similar to payment channels and so on. But is that what you had in mind or did we completely go ahead and do something else, which is very likely the case. But yeah, just the curiosity really.
All right. Thanks, guys. Cory, do you have any other questions or topics to bring up to close this out? Or otherwise, we'll just kind of go to closing words and wrap this thing up.
Cory Klippsten (01:14:13):
Yeah, let's wrap. This was awesome.
All right, cool. Gigi, Udi what do you guys got going on? What's coming up on Reckless Review? Anything projects that you can talk about Udi?
Udi Wertheimer (01:14:25):
Yeah, so I would go to Reckless VR on Twitter or Recklessvr.com to check out our next meetups. We have a meetup every Saturday. Honestly, they're all great. It's not because of me is because we manage to get really good speakers to speak at those meetups. It's great content, whether you watch them on YouTube or if you actually take the steps to join face to face, which is a great way to get Bitcoiners that some of them you've never met and wish you have met, and some of them you've met before but maybe not going to meet for the next few months at least. So I really recommend it. If you didn't check it out yet definitely check out Reckless VR.
Gigi, you have anything that you want to talk about? Any upcoming projects that you'd like to tease?
Yeah, well, I still I have one or two articles to write I feel and I'm playing around with some ideas. I really like how what we talked in the beginning how to best describe Bitcoin and all the analogies evolved over time. And I'm trying to collect my thoughts as coherently as I can currently. So expect something on that front as well. But no, other than that, just feel free to check out my stuff on Twitter. And you can also read my book for free online 21 Lessons. You can also buy them on Amazon if you want to get rid of your dirty Fiat, I will gladly take it and convert it to sets so there's that. Yeah, I'll be on sticking around, so don't worry about that.
Cory any closing thoughts?
Cory Klippsten (01:16:08):
I'll just preview a couple of things coming down the pipe real quick for Swan fans here in the US. So we should have one time purchases for Swan clan members sometime in the next month or so. So a lot of people have been asking for the ability to top up or just go heavy outside of their recurring purchase plans. And so we're planning to enable that. We'll also be enabling wires at the same time so that you can fund and either later that day or the next day be able to put your dirty Fiat to work buying bitcoins so that'll be fun.
Cory Klippsten (01:16:43):
And then we should also be launching the arsenal soon, which is essentially a collection of weapons to use in the money meme wars of the 2020s. So that's something that Brekkie Von Bitcoin is spearheading with a bunch of Bitcoin artists and meme warriors all over the world. And we'll have finished memes and quotes and building blocks for memes that people could just grab under Creative Commons and use however they want to promote Bitcoin and combat Fudd and red pill no coiners and all those great things. So really excited to see that roll out.
Cory Klippsten (01:17:20):
And also Swan merch is coming, and that is not a profit center for us. All of the merch will just be available on Zazzle or CafePress with awesome Swan designs and Bitcoin designs. And we do not take any splits or profits there. So just whatever it costs to print a shirt or a mug or a sweatshirt or whatever, you'll be able to do that. So that's kind of the next few weeks of fun things coming from swan. And this was awesome. You guys really just a great conversation. Thanks so much for joining us.
Yeah, this was great. Oh, sorry. Go ahead Udi.
Udi Wertheimer (01:17:59):
It was great, thanks for having me. Always fun to speak with Gigi and it was great meeting you both of you so thanks for having me.
Yeah, thanks for having me as well always fun to talk Bitcoin and the implications and everything that surrounds this weird beautiful thing.
Likewise, guys, I had a lot of fun. And I wanted to just let you guys know if you're watching you can also subscribe to the podcast SwanSignalpodcast.com and we'll publish the audio there. The archive is there, we've got 15 fantastic episodes. This is another one that will be on the feed very soon. Gigi reminded me of another service actually. Of course, Swan is a great place to auto stack your Bitcoin but Gigi remind me another service there. I also recommend we buy dirtyFiat.com, you can check that one out as well. It's an alternative to Swan and you should check out our referral program, get the details at Swan Bitcoin.com/enlist. That's it for this week. It's a wrap on this edition of Swan Signal live.
Thanks to Gigi and Udi for joining us, you can follow Twitter. Thanks to Gigi and Udi for joining us. You can follow Gigi on twitter @DerGiGi at D-E-R G-I-G-I. And you can follow Udi at Udi Wertheimer, that's at U-D-I W-E-R-T-H-E-I-N-E-R. Cory is at Cory Klippsten, C-O-R-Y K-L-I-P-B-S-T-E-N and I am at Citizen Bitcoin. On behalf of the swan team, thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the episode of the Swan Signal podcast. Join us live next time, we'd love to have you. You can jump into our Swan signal telegram chat room. We have a lively crew in there that chat during our conversations and all throughout the weeks between.
You can find that chat @T.me/Swansignal. Swan Signal is a production of Swan Bitcoin at Swanbitcoin.com, the best way to buy bitcoin. One, you connect your bank accounts, we auto withdraw USD from it, then we automatically purchase Bitcoin for you. And finally, you can set up automatic withdrawals to your Bitcoin wallet, otherwise it will be held very securely by our licensed and regulated custodian. We do this all at the lowest fees for recurring purchases in the United States up to 80% lower than Coinbase. Absolutely crushing Coinbase's fees and up to 57% lower than CashApp's fees for automatic recurring purchases. That's it for this week. Thanks for joining us.