Monero Monitor

Episode 8: Monero Uncensored with guest Chris DeRose

03 Jul 20170 Comments

Today, I talk with Chris DeRose of the Bitcoin Uncensored YouTube show and podcast about changes he's undergoing with his show, his thoughts on the Monero community and the potential future Monero needs to plan for, and the movements of the cryptocurrency space in general. If you're unfamiliar with Chris, check out his YouTube channel.

Get a deeper glimpse into what makes Chris tick, find out why he recently wrote a letter to the SEC about the ongoing ICO crazy in Ethereum, and why he's been so friendly towards Monero as of late. Today's show is a bit edgy, so maybe don't listen around the little ones!

Interested in trying out cloud computing? Visit for info on how to get $10 towards your first compute node at DigitalOcean (where we host this site!).

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Podcast Transcript:

Chris: What’s up, party people? This is Chris DeRose, and today…

Mike: Woah, woah, woah, Chris, Chris, Chris, this is my show, man.

Chris: Oh… I’m used to getting the thing started, I assumed this was just business as usual.

Mike: Yeah, no, this is something a little different. For once, you’re gonna be the one under fire.

~~ { Introductory Clip and Music } ~~

Mike: What’s up, party people? I’m here today with Chris DeRose of the controversial, but very popular Bitcoin Unlimited project.

Chris: Wait a minute!

Is that what it’s like to be a bottom, you get to define the narrative?

Mike: Yeah, I kind of do. No, actually, Chris is the host of Bitcoin Uncensored, the podcast, not the controversial potential fork of Bitcoin. But yeah, I’m here with Chris DeRose. He has graciously agreed to come on the show. Chris, I have to say, your show is probably my favorite in the space. There’s this other show that’s about Monero that I tend to like a little bit too, but I just enjoy the way that you aren’t afraid to bring on somebody who themselves might be controversial and then aren’t afraid to kind of say the controversial thing in order to make a larger point and get something out of people. So, thank you for coming on.

Chris: Thanks for having me, Mike, what a nice intro. Man, I’m flustered over here.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. So, if I’m correct, I believe not that long ago, you were just at dance class and you had to hurry back?

Chris: Yeah, I didn’t really plan to talk about it, but what the hell; my secrets don’t last very long. In this case, literally, like 15 minutes. I want to be able to do a dance segment for one of my videos that probably won’t work, quite frankly, not only because it’s gonna be weird, but also because I’m a terrible dancer. But I just started taking hip-hop dance lessons down the street from me, and you know what? It’s actually kind of fun. If nothing else, I get to hang out with some hot chicks and I can probably bring them back on camera even if I myself don’t succeed at the dance studio part.

Mike: There you go. And we’ll talk about it in a little bit what you’re doing with your studio that you’re building up. Maybe that can get incorporated into what you’re doing there. So, before we talk about that though, one more kind of just personal question, you’re always talking about how you’re in this for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. I was talking with somebody on a Slack channel, I mentioned that I was gonna be talking to you, and they said, “Chris always says this, but I think there’s something more.” So, is that really all that there is to why you’re doing this show or is there maybe something more that we can explore tonight?

Chris: You know, I think, everybody wants it there to be one Chris DeRose, but there’s like so many Chris DeRoses. The sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is definitely a lot of fun and in fact, the video that’s going out tomorrow is a cam couple associated with the Gridcoin project and they talk about a lot of the sex stuff that I thought was a lot of fun. And that was really entertaining for me.

Drugs are great. You know, I just came back from Thailand, they played drugs over there, I critiqued them, and that’s what got me into Bitcoin, it was Silk Road. And as far as rock ‘n’ roll is concerned, I just came back from hip-hop classes, so I don’t know, maybe hip-hop instead of rock ‘n’ roll, but certainly something along those veins.

Mike: Okay, fair enough. I guess, if it wasn’t obvious to anybody who’s listening, today’s show might be a little edgier than some of my shows in the past. So, just keep that in mind depending on who you’re listening with. I would imagine that if you made it this far already, then there’s not gonna be anything else that is gonna bother you. But if you get upset easily, just be forewarned.

Chris: Mike, just a real quick on that. You’re a Monero guy, and I like Monero. And one of the reasons I like most of the people in the Monero community is that I don’t think they are naive what crypto is for and how it works and on and on, and it doesn’t mean that sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll are the only applications of crypto, but it certainly is a humungous component. So, my guess, I don’t know your audience, is that they are not too timid, they’re Monero people, they’re tough guys.

Mike: Yeah, you’re probably right. I will go ahead and jump in there. I like Monero, but I would not call myself a Monero guy. A big reason I’m doing this show is because I want to explore some of the questions that maybe other journalists aren’t talking about. Monero is quite a bit smaller than a lot of these other coins, so it doesn’t get all this attention. But I’ve been in the community a while and so I have made some connections with some of the developers and then some of the other people around it. So, I decided that I wanted to try and ask some of these questions and try and get some more knowledge about it so that maybe one day I can say I am a hardcore Monero guy.

But for now, I’m just somebody who likes Monero, although, it doesn’t define my life or anything like that. So, yeah, just one quick correction there. But no worries and you’re probably right about the audience I’d say.

QS 05:06 Mike: Okay, so I’ve got a question for you. How often do you find yourself using Bitcoin?

Chris: These days, not very often, and much to my chagrin. I will use it on Purse on occasion and actually, it has been a while, quite frankly. But, I will say that the transaction fees are a little high, that kind of really is a bit of a bummer and I’m a small blocker, but I feel like we do really need lightening network out in order to make a coin more useful for average stuff, and it pains me to say that, but it’s true.

Also, my need for Bitcoin is generally either speculative or… you know, I don’t buy as many drugs online as I may have once done. And you know, I used to find ways to use it more often, like Fiverr for example. They would accept Bitcoin, they stopped taking Bitcoin. Who else, there are a few other places like that, but the truth is, I don’t use it very often and I think that’s probably true for most people, generally.

Mike: Yeah. If you kind of look at it, I feel like there’s still a long way to go before it becomes something that you could maybe use every single day.

Chris: I don’t think it will ever become something you can use every day. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on that, but the very simple reason is gonna be that the cost of conversion is non-trivial, there will always be a percent or two, that means you’re taking on both sides, and then you have the foreign exchange risk in-between, so that’s another percent or two, if not more, frankly. And before you know it, you’re greater than the two or three percent on credit cards.

And, if in fact you were more efficient than credit cards, there would then be pressure from the credit card representative on regulators to reduce the AML/KYC insurance cost that are representing that two or three percent. So as much as I love, love, love Bitcoin, I’m in a weird spot with some of this stuff lately, this is definitely very different than when I first showed up, in my everyday usage of Bitcoin. And I think that most Bitcoiners being honest would probably tell you the same thing.

Mike: Yeah. I think that’s fair, I will say though, I did use the blockchain today to buy coffee.

Chris: Did you really? Where did you buy coffee at?

Mike: Yeah, so, it wasn’t Bitcoin, I should state that, it was just the blockchain, but really that’s what kind of this whole movement is about, so you know; we’ll just go from there. But I bought it at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Chris: When you say the blockchain, like, how do you do that?

Mike: I think it’s like this super-node or some type of thing, they’ve got this lightweight mobile wallet, and I can instantly reload it so I don’t have to keep hundreds of dollars on my phone or anything like that. I just kind of keep like 20 bucks or something like that. But the cool thing is that my funds are secured by a trusted third party, so I don’t have to worry about being trustless or anything like that, and then on top of that, it’s got this cross-chain atomic swapping with SWIFT and Cirrus and Pulse.

Chris: Ah, that blockchain. Okay, yes, now I understand. I’ve been using that blockchain for years and years now.

Mike: Yeah, I know, it’s great. My transactions cleared in like a second, they were able to just hand me my coffee, they scan this QR code on my Dunkin’ Donuts perks and reward app.

Chris: Yeah, it’s wonderful, wonderful tool.

Mike: So, that actually, it always bothers me when people start talking about blockchain. Because so many times, it’s clear that they’re not talking about what you or I might consider blockchain. There are kind of two types of people. People who just heard what we just talked about and didn’t notice anything terribly wrong with it, and then people like you who just started laughing halfway through.

QS 08:51 Mike: But, with that in mind, in your opinion, what is a blockchain?

Chris: You know, it’s funny. For me, blockchain was very open and shut thing. It was defined by Satoshi, it was defined in the Main.h file. And it is defined as a series of blocks cemented by a Proof of Work. There’s a lot of other stuff you can get into. Some people say the Merkle trees and stuff, the fact of the matter is, that Proof of Work is extremely controversial, it’s always been controversial and there’s a contingency of people who, they’re professionally wrapped into and ideologically wrapped into one definition or another.

And for me, I’m certainly wrapped into the Proof of Work definition. I don’t think that there is anything interesting about a non-proof-of-work based blockchain. Peter Todd has gone so far as to say that it’s just a chain of blocks and that’s fine, but the problem with that definition is that we’ve had that since the 70s, 60s, before even. You can look into linked lists as a classic computer science structure and no reasonable person believes we’re here for linked lists.

So, the Proof of Work component has been problematic because it’s so hard. And I think that a lot of people came to Bitcoin because there were here either to get rich quick or they were here to get professional recognition, or some combination of the two. And when they realized that Bitcoin itself wasn’t going to propel them to whatever stratosphere they wanted, either financially or professionally, they then pivoted to the technology behind Bitcoin. Lo and behold, that technology is really fucking complicated if you include work and if you don’t include work, then lo and behold, it’s the easiest thing in the world and we’ve been doing it since the 50s.

And I think a lot of people have successfully changed the debate, redefined the terms and placed themselves in a position where they didn’t have to lose face professionally and are able to advocate “what they were really trying to say the whole time”, that this technology can be used for whatever ails you. And that’s where we’re at right now, that there’s that class of people who have been very successful in that goal, shockingly to me, in redefining it.

Mike: Yeah, I think I’m on the same page as you. I hear a lot of people talk about distributed ledgers, and I kind of like that term a little bit better for all of the other things that aren’t what you or I would consider blockchain. I kind of think of it as, blockchain or the Bitcoin blockchain is a type of distributed ledger that’s backed by Proof of Work, but if you don’t have Proof of Work, you can still have a distributed ledger. What people fail to remember, and you probably didn’t have time to listen to my three-hour diatribe about this on my last podcast. But on my last show, I actually talked about how, let’s go through the whole white paper and pick out the thing that Satoshi actually did. What was the new thing he came up with and when you get down to it, he came up with Proof of Work as a way to have a trustless system for coming to agreement on the state of the distributed ledger.

He didn’t come up with the distributed ledger itself, and if people want to take all that technology out of Bitcoin, the distributed ledger part of it because they maybe weren’t using that in the past, that’s great, but don’t tell us that you’re using a blockchain, because you’re not in the sense of what Satoshi did.

Chris: I agree with that and the only thing I’d add to that is that what’s hilarious to me about distributed ledger is it’s like two degrees removed from Bitcoin. Nobody arrived at distributed ledger because they wanted to be there, they arrived there because they went to Bitcoin first, that didn’t pan out, they went to went to blockchain second, that didn’t pan out, and then they went distributed ledger and probably there will be another degree of interaction after that. But this notion of a distributed ledger, is, we’ve been dealing with distributed ledgers since forever as well.

And these obvious pivots are obvious and they’re hilarious because these people are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for something, anything that can be useful to them and the answer is basically funding, which is very, very useful to these people. But the problem is of course, they get the funding at some level, and have to bring these results, and lo and behold, they can’t. So, it’s been very funny to watch, I’ve never seen anything quite like that in my life.

Mike: Yeah, yeah, that’s very true.

QS 13:00 Mike: Okay, so I didn’t bring you on the show just to talk about all of these nuances in Bitcoin. If we have some time towards the end, maybe we can get into some more of it. But I wanted to talk about your show actually and then talk about some of your recent activity. So, you have sort of been trying to mix it up with your show, you’ve been doing a bit of a transformation. I’m guessing most of the people who listen to my show are probably plenty familiar with your show, so therefore they know they know the whole backstory behind you, and Junseth and what all happened.

But can you talk about, since all that has happened, kind of the things you’re trying to do with your show from both like the technology standpoint, and then also the content and maybe shifting what you’re trying to do or trying to add in different types of content?

Chris: Yeah, sure. So, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation lately, and that shows on the channel. I love the Bitcoin space and I intend to stay here, the show is Bitcoin Uncensored. But, what’s very obvious to me is a couple of things. First and foremost, we had a gigantic change in demographics, starting right around the time of Consensus. I heard all kinds of rumors, I’ll repeat some of them here, but keep in mind they’re rumors, it’s hard for me to really validate that.

Mike: You’re talking Consensus this year?

Chris: Correct.

Mike: Okay.

Chris: So, from some people I heard that there were a number of prominent Arabians that were recruited to come to Consensus, they were effectively pitched a bunch of these proto-securities and that represented a lot of liquidity in the space. I’ve seen a lot of Wall Street bros go into the space that don’t give a fuck about the marketing feature points so much as they are in fact fairly aggressive Wall Street bro types, that know that there are greater fools, believe that these are Ponzi’s, but that they can make money on it in various ways, that are actually solid ways to make money out of it, I know some of these guys.

And then on top of that, you have these SJW, fucking Silicon Valley do-gooding asshats that I do not like at all, that are here, and they, there’s a myriad of reasons why they are here. They’re all here to get rich quick certainly, but I think the end of the rope is most of those guys, in terms of who’s holding the bag, I think a number of them are believers. I think that they are not necessarily programmer types, but I think they’re people either with low technical competency, or sales experience in Silicon Valley culture.

And then the final group of people that have really entered are in fact the indigent and the immigrants that are like, I don’t know, being taken advantage of because they don’t speak English well, those guys, they typically fall in for like OneCoin, and then there’s a GladiaCoin and stuff, but they’re increasingly going for some of the other ICOs.

So, I look at this space in 2017 and there was like a lot of battle-hardened Bitcoiners here up until then, going into 2016. And now the space has doubled or quadrupled and I’ve meanwhile watched, as a lot of people, old-time Bitcoiners have been like, “Yoink, I’m out.” And maybe they stick around, but they’ve exited a lot of their position and they sold into this pump, very happy to have existed their bag. And so, as I’m watching this space develop, I’m like, where do I fit now in all of this? of course I have the Junseth stuff as well, which makes things complicated, I would like to grow the show in varied ways.

So, that right there is kind of the pretense for a lot of the changes that I’ve been making. Going forward, I do want to create a little more generalized stuff. I think that there’s a lot of great market here, that frankly, I want to send a very good message to that is compatible with our previous messages, but cannot be delivered in the way, I think previous messages were because these people are just… They are starting from 2011, or earlier, and they can’t get advanced Bitcoin stuff. In addition, I want to make it more fun.

Sometimes, the thing too, unfortunately, I will go and do any battle in this space that I’m possibly invited to, which isn’t very many these days, because I’m pretty good at what I do and I think a lot of people know it. And you know, you got to throw in some general interest stuff in there that I think is gonna be fun for people so they kind of like see what the irreverence is like and they can decide if they’re gonna stick around for the irreverence or not and then they can explore the channel and they can go through the back waters, and explore the content. And I see that a lot.

There’s a lot of people who are realizing what risk they bought into and what the history of is of it, which is very gratifying for me. But these people need to be reached out to, and I think there’s a lot of potential for me to grow the audience as well, with this crowd, change it up a little bit and I’ve been doing that. One thing I will say too, I’ve been trying so hard for the entirety of Bitcoin Uncensored to not get into politics. And then, starting with the election, it kind of just became a part of the show a little bit and I didn’t vote, I don’t believe in voting. But I can’t help but to be attracted towards the right a little bit.

And the biggest reason why, frankly and you will see this, Mike, if and as you grow, as you start to take up sides in the space, you will find that they do end up revolving around these notions of what should and shouldn’t be censored. And Bitcoin Uncensored was Bitcoin Uncensored prior to even like this election cycle. And then you start dealing with some of these SJWs and censorship comes up and their brand of censorship is very different than the prior generation of Bitcoiners.

And then before you know it, you’ve got people DM’ing you on the left and on the right and these politicians get involved. So, I’m trying really hard not to get into political space, but I’ve been writing for Breitbart in small pieces, that will probably escalate and we’ll see where that ends up. But the truth is, I think Paul Sztorc probably nailed it, I am a bit of a conservative. I don’t know what to say about that other than it is what it is and I’m trying not to push it on people. In fact, I’d like to even escape it, but you know what, I’m also not afraid to explore it. So, I think as the show grows, I’m going to bring people in to some of my own personal conflicts more. I think that’s compelling content, could be wrong. So those are the themes

QS 19:04 Mike: Yeah, I think I can appreciate where you’re coming from there. I do have two follow-ups though. One was planned and one is just totally off the wall now. You said you don’t vote and you don’t believe in that. Can you give us the quick version of why that is?

Chris: Sure, yeah. First and foremost, not all votes count. So you got to check your district. You could be in the red district or blue district and you’re just…

Mike: But you’re in Florida, which you would think would mean that it does count at least on the nation-wide…

Chris: It kind of does to a degree. Only in the state, exactly, but my county has been, actually, you know, I should look that up because I think they did go Republican. I should look that up. At any case, the point is, you got to look into your county to see how close it is, and then, second, your vote doesn’t really count. You could spend an hour or an hour and a half of your time and you could vote and order like the frickin’ absentee ballot or you could drive over to your local polling, whatever-the-hell, and make an afternoon out of it. But I think if you really care about a candidate, the best thing you could do is probably donate to the party and then, that money can be used to buy a vote elsewhere.

The other thing too with the electoral system is even if your vote does kind of count, it may not just matter in the scheme of things because where the votes are needed are over here, it’s very complicated stuff and I don’t know. The other thing too is, that I don’t actually know that I have any good idea who’s good for president, like why would I know who would make a good president? Like, how much arrogance would I have to think that I can understand international relations and leadership qualities and the truth is that nobody can.

What we typically do is we vote against the person we don’t like and then we rely on various sources to tell us what it is that we don’t like and the whole thing is very incestuous and circular and so for me, it’s like, who am I kidding that my vote matters or that I should care about that?

Mike: Okay, so I can respect that. The one thing that I will kind of push back on though, and maybe this is the difference between Colorado and Florida, but on the Colorado ballot, there are all kinds of additional things that we’re voting on. For instance, famously a few years ago we voted on whether to legalize marijuana in the state. But, even at the local level, there’s all kinds of things that we vote on too, so for instance, this past election, one of the things on the Boulder ballot, Boulder is less than a 100,000 people in the whole city, was whether to instill a tax on all sugary beverages? Which would basically amount to something like 40 or 50 cents taxed for every 20-ounce Coke that you might buy.

And the funny thing was, this was always the most hilarious part to me about that particular issue, was this is, Boulder, Colorado which tends to be very outdoorsy, more liberal-leaning, tends to not find any taxes that they don’t like, but what people latched on was, oh my gosh, Kombucha is gonna be taxed. And it needed up passing, but it was very close and I would say that maybe on the national level, or if you’re talking about your US Congressman, or something, those might not be something that you can have much say in, but in these local issues, maybe it’s a more Colorado thing than it is a Florida thing, and that to me is worth voting on.

And then the other thing with Colorado is, they now just mail all registered voters an absentee ballot and you can sit down one Sunday afternoon while you’re listening to Bitcoin Uncensored and just fill out the absentee ballot and you know, drop it off at the post office or something.

Chris: Yeah, local voting absolutely maters or at least, it absolutely stands a chance of mattering, how about that? And I will go for that, but what is funny to me is how little everybody knows about their local politics anyways, even when it is something that theoretically would be in their interest to know the most about. They don’t know who their senator is, congressman, what issues are being discussed, etc, etc. Often times the people who are like, in your face about voting or like total Dunning-Kruger cases and they can’t even name their local senator. It’s very frightening.

Mike: Yeah. Just one last point on that then, do you know who Jared Polis is? He’s the co-founder of the Blockchain Caucus. He happens to be my congressman.

Chris: Oh, no way! That’s hilarious.

Mike: And so, I’m gonna try and use that to get him on to my show.

Chris: Awesome.

Mike: But the funny thing is, is that the day I was filling out an email to send to him and I was also gonna call his office, he also announces that day that he’s gonna run for Governor of Colorado. So, on the one hand, he’s gonna be wanting to reach out to as many voters as possible. On the other hand, I’m gonna be like this little fish in the big pond of media types trying to get in touch with him. So, we’ll see if it can happen, but that’s definitely something I’m trying to do. And actually, right now I’m out in DC for a little bit, I’m gonna see if I can use that to my advantage to get in touch with his office.

QS 24:12 Mike: Okay, so let’s get past that. The other thing that you mentioned just a few minutes ago, was that you’ve been writing for Breitbart and this I was gonna ask you about. I think you have two articles that are published right now, maybe three. But what motivated you to get going with that and what’s it been like so far and you know, what do you want to get out of it?

Chris: You know, this is so crazy to me, as I’ve been writing, my opinions have been controversial pretty much throughout my writing and there’s a lot of people that have been trying to censors me the entire time and they would write to my editor and they will hem and haw and talk to people at the desk, to get me out of there because they want to control the message.

Mike: And you’re talking about when you’ve written for CoinDesk and other things too?

Chris: CoinDesk, American Banker, every single institution I’ve written for has gotten complaints right at the start. And you can guess who they are. Everybody from Ripple to Tim Swanson and they want to silence me, which is understandable and the reason they want to silence me is because my information is detrimental to what they’re pitching. So, as I’ve been going forward, I’ve just seen in Breitbart, thus far a journal that has been… you know, people are gonna roll their eyes, but it has been significantly supportive of a lot of free-speech stuff.

Like, you know what, you can say what you want about the nature of their message, show me the examples of stuff that you don’t like, because yeah, they’ve got some weird shit on there that are generally pet projects of the writers, by the way. Things like global warming being a hoax or something like that, but…

Mike: You and I have talked about that in the side channel, I think.

Chris: Yeah, but Breitbart is, they’ve been pretty good with dealing with that level of criticism. So for me, I’ve been attracted to it for that reason. That being said, after the election cycle, things are slow over there. I’m trying to get a regular column that I can just do, write every other day or every couple of days or something and they’re making a lot of changes over there for varying reasons. It’s kind of like at a deadlock, so we’ll see.

I think they’re also gonna rebrand a little bit. I think this is public information. They’re gonna rebrand a little bit to be a little bit political for the next couple of years until who knows what happens because the nature of the news cycle of course is that advertisers come in around election time and their prior focus is more relevant during election time. So, Breitbart, what I see there, it may not come to fruition, is an editor or a team that will support me in exploring the issues that I find interesting and that I want to talk about without having to deal with censorship pressure from the editors. And thus far, it’s been pretty good. It’s been hard for me to get stuff published, which again is a different issue, I think, but that’s what I liked about it.

And here’s the thing too, I’ll say, Mike, I don’t get the whole thing about identity politics, but god damn, these identitarians are fucking nuts-o. And if you haven’t looked into that, you really should because the environment today in media is crazy. I hate to be like one of these people, but I’ve been getting sucked in more and more as it becomes very obvious to me that you’ve got a real fight on speech going on at a lot of these leftist interests. And there’s not a conspiracy there, a lot of it is just advertiser-friendly initiatives. A lot of it is what general people want to believe.

But I can call you a misogynist right now, or a racist, or any of these things, and for a lot of people, that’s it, you’re done. And there doesn’t have to be any proof or discussion, it’s like shaming and brandishing about these wild accusations and then when you’ve been in the space for a while and you grow an audience, it becomes pushed onto you and so after hitting like a threshold of a few of these different events over the years, it’s just like, you know what, fuck it. These people are able to handle my message in a way that allows me to continue pushing forward with controversial ideas. So, that’s what ended up pushing me there.

QS 27:55 Mike: Fair enough. So, you’re trying to be more than just “the Bitcoin guy” over there, then too? You’re trying to get into just any topic that interests you?

Chris: I love finance. So, like, an ideal Bitcoin Uncensored, I’ve got so many stories over the years. Ideal Bitcoin Uncensored would let me go into things, like a rough area or like an underserved area and find out where value is routing, who’s making money and how. That is the most dangerous and interesting information in the world and everybody wants to know all kinds of stuff. How are people routing value through Venezuela? How people are routing value in the drug markets? How are the routing value in gambling houses?

I get a lot of answers because of the nature of what I do, and I’d love to be able to be a person who not only talks about the crypto space and that side of things, but also in the less-specialized realms. Miami, one of the scams we’ve been running for a while is running cellphones from Doral into South America and selling them in South America for paper money that funds the drug dealers. That would be awesome.

So, the other thing too, Mike, is you start in this space, you’ve already made this decision, you don’t realize it yet, but you cultivate a demographic. So, my demographic is men, 25 to 40. And like, you will also be in that category unless you rebrand and that’s okay, that’s a great demographic, that’s like, awesome for me. Those are my peers. And I like to pursue the stories that are interesting to them and interesting to me, and these are the stories that are interesting to me. And it’s very hard stories, frankly, I don’t know if I bit off more than I can chew in this attempt, but we’ll find out.

Mike: Yeah, that sounds like the type of thing that you want to be doing as where you’re working on something that interests you and it’s kind of cool that you have this ability both with your show and now with Breitbart and other things that you’re working on.

QS 29:48 Mike: So, talking more about your show, switching gears I guess a little bit. You’re building out a studio. You’ve been posting in the Dojo. For anybody who’s listening, Chris sent me an invite to the Coin Dojo a month ago or so, so I’ve been hanging out in there a little bit. And you’ve been posting pictures of what you’ve been working on in your studio and a green screen that you’re putting in and everything else. I think the studio might be overlooking the beach or something from what I remember you saying. What are you planning with that?

Chris: Yeah. So, as part of what I’m doing, I’m trying to live a different lifestyle. I’d like to be able to write every other day, every couple of days and then do video between that. So, I need a studio. You’re looking what I have right now in the corner of my home. And this was, I had an office before I went to Thailand for three months and then I put all of this here in my home and now I’m building a new office. It is right on the beach. I’ve got a view, outside my front door of the water. It’s not the nicest place, but it’s not bad. Anything by the beach is not bad.

One of the things that I think is hurting the channel is that I have this Shepard Fairey piece behind me that is iconic for the channel, but I need to be able to vary things up a little bit more. So, I’ve got a green screen that I’ve been putting together, that’s like, not one of those cheap green screens, I tried those and they come out shitty. But like an actual professional green screen, so I’ve got like the truss lighting that’s coming to light it evenly and then I have the desk here. It will give me a lot more opportunity in terms of where I shoot my scenes, at my desk, to keep things varied.

Mike: Right, and so, just on that, just ‘cause I’m curious, I used to do a little bit of home remodeling when I was in college. You actually did all the drywall and everything too for that, it’s not like you paid somebody to come in and install this. What was the process like for that? Just real quick, did you find it online, like instructions or..?

Chris: I’m a little bit of a micromanager sometimes, much to my detriment. But also, I don’t know, when I was a kid I did construction stuff; I had like a sentimental… When it’s my project that I really like, I’ll do it myself. This is one of those things. I probably should’ve paid somebody to do it in hindsight, but I actually enjoy the work. And when you do a green screen, your drywall is probably normal drywall work, but it’s really sensitive to shadows, that means you got to get everything super-smooth, so I put a lot of attention to it. I didn’t want to hastily do it, and then only to have it not come out right. Or maybe I just didn’t want to blame anyone else but myself if it didn’t come out right.

In any case, it’s just drywall, I had like a regular wall, but I put some drywall up in front of it and trying not to sound-proof it if I could help it, but this was kind of a step towards that maybe. And you get green screen paint; you put it on there and… You sand it down, then you put the primer on, then you put two coats of green paint. It has to be a certain key, there’s a reason it’s green. Nobody has green on their body. You have like green eyes maybe, but that’s more of a hazel generally. But other than that, it’s like a rare color. And I don’t know what else can be said about it.

It is a fairly standard thing these days. But what’s nice is that I can use my desk as basically an anchor desk. So, I’m trying to manage my time a little bit better, but ideally what I can do is I can write an article, I can publish that article, I can then do a video version of that article if I want, like a monologue which I want to do some more of that stuff. And then I’ll do my interview format as well in-between that kind of thing and having like a desk where it’s all setup, I just hit a button and everything is on, it makes it super-easy for me.

Mike: Cool.

Chris: Yeah. Home is down the street, which is really nice, I can walk to it in no time. So I have a nice lifestyle there. Hopefully, it will let me focus. And the other thing too about the area that I like, is I kind of like there’s a bunch of transience there. I’m kind of trying to make with some of them, I would mind getting some of them on the show and just to see what happens.

Mike: It could be interesting.

Chris: There’s this one homeless girl, Colleen over there and she’s like a seven, maybe even an eight, for a girl and she’s homeless, and it’s like, what the fuck happened here? So, I’ve been talking to her, she’s like a little grubby ‘cause she’s been living under the bridge. She’s clearly had some weird-ass shit going on. She’s beginning for money over there, so I would mind getting her on the show and like, what the hell happened to you? Let’s see what this deal is, I find that interesting. The other thing too is, when you’ve got the studio all setup, and it’s your full-time gig, you can do prototyping a little bit more. And I can see what the audience likes and what they don’t like.

And you know; now it’s that against my own interest. It’s hard as a content produced because you now right now, on this show or otherwise can go out and do like minecraft videos or unboxing videos and Google will happily pay decent money to great money for doing it, but that won’t be stimulating for you. So, you got to pick where on the line you want to commercialize and where you want to stay true to your interests. And it’s a tough balance that I’m still exploring every day.

Mike: Yeah. Cool, I wish you luck with all of the experiments. I know we don’t need to talk about this, but you’ve been just kind of filling people in on all the data you’re looking at with every episode that you do and I just find that super-cool too.

Chris: It is. It’s like playing and Xbox game or something, you get like achievements, and like high-scores and something like leaderboards and stuff. It is really cool.

QS 34:52 Mike: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so in the past, I recently have been going back through a couple of your old shows just because of whatever guest you had on. You used to always put a Counterparty watermark there and this is probably now two years ago at this point, and I know you were once very heavily involved with Counterparty, some people who are listening might not have any idea that you ever had any kind of tie to it. Are you still affiliated with them at all?

Chris: I’m not, but I talk to some of them on occasion. And you know, I started out like you did. Like, you have a lot of Monero affiliation and you may retain that in perpetuity or you get to be… A couple of things happened in the case of Counterparty. There was some behavior by other peers and the founders there that I was not happy with as time went on. But you get as big as you can in that community very quickly. You will be as big as you can get in Monero in less than six months and then you need to decide are you going to grow or you’re going to keep that niche?

I decided to grow. And there’s no right or wrong decision to that. And I took on Bitcoin. Then I got as big as I think I can get in Bitcoin. Certainly given the nature of my message, I could have probably changed a little bit, but I was happy to seed a lot of the technical stuff to varying people, I think Tone Vays is doing a great job. He captured a lot of the audience that was certainly mine. And I’m foregoing some of that content to do a more generalized stuff. My suspicion is that Tone will have problems probably if he pursues a Bitcoin-only audience going forward, if and as this new round of bad hodlers doesn’t get into Bitcoin, which is very possible.

And there’s nothing wrong with staying true to the cause. I like to think that I stayed true to the cause; I’m not calling my show Blockchain Uncensored or anything stupid like that. I think for me, I see Bitcoin like this, I don’t know, like Haight-Ashbury kind of phenomenon. Like if you’re a Bitcoiner, you’re a hippie or something like that. You have this cultural identity. God, I hate identitarians, I hope I don’t turn into one. And that’s the sprite of the show. And I will retain both the spirit and the interest in Bitcoin too; it’s just that the technical stuff is like a very narrow field.

As you do content, you start of very specialized, you own that market and you sort of start generalizing from there. And like, who knows to what degree I’ll continue generalizing. But, I like the angles that I’ve been doing lately. And the numbers have been showing it, views have been up, like a lot. So, I think that’s been a positive thing.

Mike: Yeah. Do you ever feel like with what you’ve been doing, you almost have like, worn out your welcome among some circles where some people won’t even talk to you because you have this reputation for, quite frankly, being hard-hitting and a lot of people don’t like that?

Chris: Oh, absolutely. Look, I’m a fucking aggressive motherfucker. You come on my show, I’m not showing you any mercy if in my estimation you are cheating people and in blockchain, that’s like everybody, damn near. For anybody who hasn’t seen the Riccardo shows, he did phenomenally on Bitcoin Uncensored and in much to his credit, he’s a cool guy, he’s a real leader and you saw that there where we really tried to pick at him, and he was just really honest with us. That’s the thing I always liked about Riccardo, and frankly I think that that honesty has really trickled down into the community and it’s one of the reasons why I like Monero.

But you guys are in a tough fucking boat because these news guys, first off, they’re bag hodlers and nobody wants… The crowd of Bitcoiners that particularly, I think, were involved around Bitcoin Uncensored, they weren’t as into the hype, they weren’t as stupid as some of the noobs and some of the people who were really… just had “sucker” written on their forehead. But like, this new round all has “sucker” written on their forehead. Every fucking one of them. They are just idiots in many cases and so then, you’ve got these guys that are actively trying to keep me from getting my message out.

What I thought was a great piece with Vlad, I was very proud of that, I thought that was a very good interview, I would be happy to do that every interview. This is one of the reasons why my show is changing too. It’s because no one in the right mind is going to be in my show if they’re a pumper because they know they’ll be dethroned and de-oraclized and I’m not apologizing for that.

It’s on me to continue doing content, frankly, what I hope happens, my real goal in a lot of this stuff, if I had to be candid, is that a lot of the audience, that I can stir them up into putting pressure on these people. I want Joe Lubin on the show so badly. There’s a zero percent chance that’s gonna happen, unless he’s really thrown in there by people. I think to some degree, it would be nice to have enough of an audience to where I could really start putting pressure on some of these people to get on the show, to discuss hard issues.

And there’s this phenomenon that I realized, this is my style, it doesn’t mean it’s for everybody. But if you’re gonna do this kind of aggressive journalism, you know, for the lack of a better word, if you’re gonna do aggressive journalism, you have to have enough of an audience to where not being on the show is in fact an admission of guilt. And that has been the case for a lot of the old Bitcoin Uncensored people. So, for a lot of these guys not coming to the show, maybe not for this new round, but give it time. If they like the show and if they like the angle, and it’s very probable that if I entertain them they will, that will in fact be an association and then we can go back to getting some of these real scammy people on the show to answer hard questions that we probably already know that they can’t answer. Joe Lubin, get on the show.

Mike: Yeah. So, just replying to the little bit about Vlad, I actually, I thought that was possibly your best show ever. Certainly your best show in a long time. And I thought he did very well as well. But then, maybe I’m reading far too much into this, but I found it very striking that, when you tweeted it out, the link to the show, you even like said some what I thought were nice words about him, there was no response from Vlad. And that’s the only way that that content is gonna reach anybody who cares about him, is if the people who come on the show are willing to not just come on, but also, share the show with their followers. And maybe he had other stuff going on, maybe he just missed it. That certainly happens on Twitter.

Chris: No, no, that’s not what happened. He got a lot of flack for that show. He really pissed a lot of people off on his end, but I respect him greatly. As a result of that show, I have a lot of respect for him. He’s being as honest as he could possibly get given a guy in his shoes, and frankly, I think he’s just being honest, really. He did really well. So, what that’s worth to him, I don’t know, but no, he did not forget to or any such thing.

It may be that he was trying to wash his hands of some culpability, if and when the shit hits the fan, ‘cause everyone is on pins and needles over there about the SEC actions that are inevitably gonna be forthcoming and that’s okay. I respect that, that’s perfectly reasonable to me. But yeah, I thought that was a very good interview and I was very happy with the way that turned out. But don’t kid yourself, people are finding that. You know, the nice thing about YouTube is, you like those stats, and I recognize the show that you do, but what you’re gonna have to do as your show grows; you’re going to have to go to YouTube for a bunch of reasons.

YouTube will market your content for your and that has happened to me and it happened to me often and you’ll see all of a sudden like an influx of 10,000 views on a video for reasons that you don’t understand at first, then you put together there’s a news story or something… And YouTube does a much better job of marketing your content to people. So, with Vlad, I can tell you, go through the comments if you’re interested, so many people are finding that in various forms just because of searches and things and don’t forget, YouTube is the number two search engine on the internet. And people start looking for things like “Ethereum Skeptic” because the fall comes in their head, and that’s really smart, they’ll put you in there if that’s what you are.

And that’s been working. So yeah, I try to setup for that. And one of the reasons why the show format has to change, there’s a lot of people who don’t like the editing and such, but you’re judged by your watch time. You got to do every trick in the book to keep that watch time up so that you your message can get heard and that’s what I’ve been doing.

Mike: Yeah. I like what you’re doing with it, I think that you obviously still need to do some more experimenting.

Chris: Agree.

Mike: But yeah, I mean, it’s an interesting world. And you might be right when it comes to my show too, that maybe someday I do need to switch to YouTube. I think I’ve told you this in the past, with Monero, people who are into Monero value their privacy. And while I might be willing to come on camera, you know, I’m guessing a decent number of people that I want to talk to might not be willing to. As a matter of fact, I know a few people that, you know, immediately balked at the idea of coming on the show until I told them it’s audio only and then they said, “Oh, well, let me think about it.”

And so, I don’t know, maybe you’ve done some shows where you just kind of show a picture or something and then have you live, maybe I can do something like that if I end up going that route.

Chris: Yeah, that works as well as other stuff that I’ve done. But I’ve actually liked that content in many cases more when I’ve done that. And you can do that, what you’ve got to do is basically to show the person’s face and then inter-splice that with scrolling imagery of what they’re talking about. And you can keep it fresh, if you look at a lot of stuff on YouTube, it’s generally one person and they continually vary the scenery up so that it exposes people to things being discussed. There is a way to do it, it does take time.

Mike: Yeah. That’s the biggest hang-up actually for me, is, I’m doing this thing on the side, just to kind of grow my own knowledge and in the process share it with other people. This isn’t something I can devote a ton of time to. So, maybe someday I’ll be able to do that, another year or two if everything is going well and I’m liking what I’m doing, maybe I can put a little more time into it, but as I am, I’m kind of stretched as thin as I can get.

{ Intermission }

QS 46:48 Mike: You talked about how you brought on Riccardo, and I really enjoyed that interview because I had been in Monero for a while, but the only exposure I really had to Riccardo talking or talking about the project was through his Twitter which can sometimes be pretty irreverent, which I like about it, or his postings on reddit or something or maybe occasionally an appearance at a conference. And so, when you brought him on, you obviously were able to try and be hard-hitting with him and it really showed how he is pretty humble about what he is doing. But since then, I think you’ve talked to him a number of times since then, and then, you occasionally would just kind of throw into your show a compliment about Monero or you’ll tweet something.

Like the other day you tweeted, I’ll quote this here, “One thing I really like about the Monero community is that they at least understand, and you put star quotes on understand, the fundamental value proposition of blockchain.” And then somebody asked you, “what would you say is the fundamental value proposition of blockchain?” And you said “censorship resistance and regulatory arbitrage”. Which, I thought that was a really cool quote. I think I agree with you for the most part on that.

From my, you know, more than two years now, I’ve been around Monero since the beginning, but I kind of took like an eight month hiatus for a little while in the early days. But from my experience, anybody that you’ve seen from like more than a year ago in the community, that’s absolutely their mentality and even a lot of the new people that get attracted to it, I don’t know if it’s because Monero doesn’t have this marketing movement behind it like a lot of other coins do or what, but it seems like the people who come into the community even today are attracted to it partly because of the technology itself, but partly because the community is… I think you even described it, as being a little bit of a throwback to the old days of Bitcoin.

Chris: Absolutely.

Mike: But despite all that, you said you don’t buy Monero, you say you don’t use it or anything like that, but you also talk about, you buy stuff on online drug markets sometimes or whatever else. Is there something that you see wrong with Monero then? I’ve never even logged into AlphaBay, so I’m a terrible person to be asking this question. But AlphaBay was the reason that Monero pumped, I don’t know, almost a year ago at this point, the first time it pumped because they started accepting Monero and they accepted it because it’s a private currency and you can’t trace anything that’s going on it.

QS 49:46 Mike: Do you see still a fundamental technological reason why people still shouldn’t be using it or is this more like a, you’re a Bitcoiner and so you wouldn’t use a different coin?

Chris: So, this, I would encourage everyone to listen and think very carefully because this gets into one of the biggest issues in the space that’s not being discussed and mostly because I haven’t been publishing enough. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. The fundamental value of blockchain, that component of value transfer, censorship-resistant value transfer, it may not be a function of anything greater than the liquidity of the asset. Meaning, and this is kind of looking to be the case at the moment, we’re at this big crossroad, what’s more important, is it the fungiblity in the technical design, or is it the liquidity of the market and is fungiblity actually not that important given the corridors of value transfer that we see online?

With something like Ethereum, when liquidity goes up as high as it’s been going, it’s relatively close to Bitcoin at this point, and in some days, the volume is higher. Sure, the market cap is lower, the bid-ask spread is higher, but we’re getting really close, that might make Ethereum a better tool for value transfer than Monero even though the protocol is absolutely inferior in every possible sense. That will make Ethereum better because for the actors involved, there’s any number of ways they can get value through that system for short periods that may in fact be less encumbered by all of the censorship constraints that they actually face as opposed to the one that they theoretically face online.

And I say that, because like you said, it’s kind of hard to get these guys on camera. But I spent a non-trivial amount of time certainly in the last six months or so talking to people at AlphaBay, talking to people in the gambling space. And I’ve touched on this at times, I don’t know how much I even want to say, but I have been in contact with various people at AlphaBay, I have been in contact with various people in the gambling industry, so what’s obvious to me now, is that the vast majority of them are only using Bitcoin to route value for a 24 to 72-hour window, maybe even like a couple of weeks or something like that.

But those guys in the pro-side of the space - organized crime and casino houses that aren’t organized crime but they are relatively professional - they want dollars, they want paper dollars or they want hard assets IRL, they do not want cryptocurrency, so then why are they using it? They’re using it because it’s the easiest way to route value and they do not care if you use Ethereum or Monero or Litecoin. In fact, some of the gambling places were using, they were doing, certainly, they do not care, they’re realizing they can kind of double dip on their earnings by pumping these things.

So you see AlphaBay issuing press-releases for Monero. You see a couple of gambling houses have been offering weird incentives that I don’t fully understand as a gambler, but you can create greater deposits and greater odds I think. You can bet more money on games if you use Litecoin as opposed to Bitcoin. And I’m not as sure on the second case if that was the Litecoin pump or not, but I suspect it was because those terms were announced the same time Litecoin pumped at one point and their realizing that.

And I think that as much as I love Monero as a community that gets the technology, it’s a community that is not stupid; it’s a community that is the least pumpy, the most compatible with the original Bitcoin spirit. My concern is that all that is for naught if all that matters here is liquidity because the very simple truth is, if liquidity is what matters… We all know that Ethereum is going to shit because it’s very obvious, it’s not sustainable. It will be increasingly centralized until they actually explore or people lose interest or who the hell knows what happens, but there will be an Ethereum Squared, or Bitcoin 2, or whatever it will be and it may just be the nature of the economic side of things that people will put more liquidity in a get-rich-quick opportunity than they will in any forward-thinking value routing network.

And that’s kind of what we see in markets. That’s certainly the lesson of the South Seas bubble. Is that people are putting money into these outrageous plans and that was significantly more interesting to them than any more sensible baseline architecture for a business that would return a sensible amount of money. For me, that’s one of the big reasons that I don’t invest. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons that I would encourage anybody else not to invest at this time. You can still invest, but that would be the number one problem.

Mike: Invest in Bitcoin?

Chris: Any cryptocurrency.

Mike: Okay.

Chris: Monero, Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. It’s that these may just be greater fool machines and they run for a little while, they suck up money, and there are smart people that need them, just put their money in and out for short periods of time and they are just as interested as seeing these things pump and die as anybody else. That doesn’t mean Ethereum is superior or that it will last, it just means that it may be the nature of blockchain to be transient, that these things don’t last forever and that they last for as long as you can perpetuate.

Here’s the other thing too, is Bitcoin really digital gold? No, it’s not a bar of fucking gold. You can’t sit there and I don’t know, make teeth out of it. Or do any other things you do with Bitcoin. Digital gold is a fucking meme. And it’s a great meme, and it has a lot of selling power and it identified a lot with the investors at the time. We were coming off the heels of the recession. There were the demonstrations in New York, Occupy Wall Street, and there were the Snowden Revelations. And this was the atmosphere of the time and this archetype of David versus Goliath shows up in the form of Satoshi and he throws the stone at the giant and the stone is what we all bet on, is digital gold. And it was a great meme.

And now what I see in 2017 is a new generation and their meme is world computer. And so I wonder, are like blockchains really anything more than meme Ponzis? And we don’t have an answer to that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love Bitcoin or I don’t still believe in Bitcoin or that I don’t think Monero is a great solution, but I think that this discussion is not being had responsibly and I think that this jury is out at the moment because one of my major tenants this entire time has been that this was digital gold. That means that we would see a superior lead market cap, etc, on the first mover advantage, and a lot of what we’ve seen in the Ethereum space has eroded that premise.

So, as I sit here now in 2017, it’s like, what do we really know about this? Because the economics are still weighing in and that’s the state of things. Okay, so that’s the reason number one. The reason number two takes two seconds. The reason number two is that I really value, I don’t fucking care about money as much as I once did.

I don’t need to make more money. I’m not like super-wealthy, but I’m comfortable enough to where I can take a life of simple pleasures and enjoy that more than hustling and the simple pleasures I get seem to be from journalism at the moment. So, exposing myself to risk in these markets affects the quality of my output, and I care about that more. That’s reason number two.

Mike: Okay, so this is actually interesting. I did not know that you felt all of these different parts here. I knew a little bit about this. So, this brings me back to a discussion I have had with my dad in the past. My dad is a kind of old-school finance type, CPA, very successful in what he did. And we’ve talked a lot about Bitcoin because he’s interested in the idea of it although he thinks the whole thing is very scammy, which I can’t blame him for. But one thing I’ve always gotten out of my discussions with him is that to me… and I actually, I’ll tell people that I’m a USD maximalist just to mess with people who like to talk, “I’m a Bitcoin maximalist” or whatever.

But the reason why actually harkens back to what you were just talking about and it’s because I see Bitcoin and I would also argue Monero as part of this, as being a technology that can enable better financial transactions without having to be the kind of underlying currency that everybody wants it to be. So, I see Bitcoin as something that can be highly successful for a long time by strictly needing enough liquidity and enough value simply to support money transactions across the world and whatever that value is, in order, based on however many coins are available and whatever else, whatever the price of that coin needs to be in order to facilitate day-to-day transactions, week-to-week transactions, whatever, large transfers of money, then that’s what that value would need to be.

I don’t personally see it as something that people should go and put their entire life savings into because I think I’m with you a little bit on this, is that like… Even if it was truly a digital gold… in the United States, I don’t see a way that it’s ever going to replace the US dollar as the medium of exchange. But I do see a way that the technology that’s enabled, basically, what Bitcoin enables is this value transfer and people like what you’re talking about with AlphaBay here. But then also, just really any financial institution doesn’t need to hold Bitcoin long-term in order to benefit from it.

And then that ties in with Monero and this is the reason I’m interested in the technology, and actually, my last episode, I told somebody, I was talking with a friend who was asking some questions about this, and I told him “Don’t buy Monero unless you have a need to use Monero and the reason you need to use Monero is if you need to make a transaction that can’t be traced.” And you want financial privacy there.

So, I kind of view Monero as being just as capable of doing exactly what I just talked about as what I see as Bitcoin as being, where being something that somebody can switch into Monero and obviously right now, that’s a cumbersome process, it’s cumbersome with Bitcoin too. This would all need to be done under the hood where people don’t even understand that you’re doing this, but switch into Monero to make their transaction and then the person who they’re sending money to halfway across the world switches out and that would also be done under the hood and whatever else. And maybe it’s not Monero, but maybe it’s some type of privacy-seeking technology, maybe it’s a Bitcoin sidechain or something.

But you know, Bitcoin or Monero or whatever this coin is, the value that it would need to have is just enough value to be able to facilitate whatever this transaction volume is and maybe it’s 5% of the entire world’s transactions, maybe it’s 50%, I think it’s gonna be very close to 0% of my local community transactions, but I think it could be a large chunk of the global type stuff. And I don’t think that it needs to be these like private blockchains that we see people talking about. I think the value in Bitcoin being this public trustless ledger allows people to do these cross-border transactions without having to worry about all the random banking issues that they might have to deal with otherwise when they’re dealing with people in other countries and everything else.

So, it’s interesting for me to hear you say that because I’ve never heard anybody else really talk about that. And I thought maybe I was just kind of somebody who shouldn’t be in this space at all because I have this what would seem to be radical view in the space, but to me it seems actually like a much more middle-of-the-road type of view when you think about the world in general. I don’t know if you have any comment on that?

Chris: One thing I will say too, Monero community has been very realistic about, I think, their attitudes here. And like you said, you’re a USD maximalist, that’s very responsible. And I think that anybody who tells you otherwise at this point is kind of a foolish liar of one kind or another. When I first came into the space, I think my attitude was, Bitcoin, this is the big one. The economy is gonna reboot like I totally bought it. Bitcoin is gonna show up and gold is gonna be relegated to the trash bin and this will be the reserve currency and we’re all gonna do all these crazy things. And most of us were for the time.

And the truth is that we knew the USD to Bitcoin price off the top of our hide any given hour of the day, so if you felt that way, you have an exit plan. In your mind at least, are anchoring your investment with the US dollar and you can’t get away from that in a lot of these things. So, how that relates to Monero is interesting in a couple of ways. In a sort of tangential way, what degree can the Federal Government crackdown on blockchain and I used to think that they can’t and I still think that they can’t. But my attitude has matured a little bit. I realized a couple of things.

The drug war for example. We won’t win the drug war. But it’s not a dichotomy. The question really is, did we cut down the liquidity in the drug markets, to which the answer is yes, of course we did. Maybe not as much as it’s concerned with the amount invested, and that’s a whole discussion. But the amount of drugs being purchased is significantly lower in all likelihood. And we don’t know this for sure, but in all likelihood less than if you just advertised them like you did alcohol.

So, now you come into the crypto space, can they kill it off? No, but they can kill liquidity enough to where it’s gonna be really hard to get rid some of this stuff. So, when you get a non-trivial amount of cryptocurrency, you start to think about stuff. You start to think about, “Well, if I wanted to exit my position, and let’s say…” I’ve only ever admitted to having one Bitcoin, I would still say the same. But let’s say you want to get rid of a $100,000 or a million dollars, or 10 million dollars, right now it’s not that bad. You can go to Coinbase, you can evacuate your position over the course of some time…

Mike: You can dump 30 million dollars on Ether on the exchange and then they’ll just go and pay back everybody who loses a lot of money from you crashing the market. You can do that.

Chris: Yeah, certainly. But it’s not that hard to enter and exit the market and I think for a lot of people in finance, one of the reasons that they dismissed this in the early days is that the liquidity was shit, and they were right, they didn’t quite see that things would mature the way they did. And they ended up being some of the biggest idiots in the long term for a bunch of reasons. But like, in that particular respect, they were right, is that, had Bitcoin not gotten major exchanges, it never would’ve gone this far. So, Roger Ver could have a billion dollars, he doesn’t, but something like that, and what is that gonna do for you?

Because now a couple of things happen, you’re gonna have to take out, what, bags of money, cash money, and that’s not… Anybody who’s had a non-trivial amount of cash money knows you can’t just go to a bank and deposit that. Cash money is as foreign to a bank deposit as the Thai Baht is. You can’t just show up and say, “I’m depositing this money.” Over $10,000 and you’ll have all kinds of problems.

So, you’ve got a crazy amount of money in this, but now you’re either gonna have to deal with people in the golden teeth market where they’re thug life and now you’ve got a target on your head. And you’re gonna be withdrawing 10,000 here, a $100,000 there, but now you’ve got the Feds on your back because you’re a money launderer and you’ve got the local criminals checking you out because they’re gonna rob you here pretty soon, and no one wants in on that.

And that doesn’t scale. So, as a Monero person, one of the things you should ask yourself, is okay, “What happens if the SEC gets involved and says that these ICOs are securities and we are going to issues a cease and desist to Poloniex…” Now, I know a lot of people will tell me like, oh well, it’ll just move overseas. And okay, fine, but liquidity will suffer. And that will keep on going. Overseas, where are they gonna go? Most of the volume is in China, America and Russia, off the top of my head, and Japan. And these countries all have similar banking laws.

So, when one country starts, the next one is gonna be pretty close, then the next one and the next one. And these aren’t things that are at the door tomorrow, but these are easy ways that you’ve got to really think really hard about investing in this space because that risk hasn’t been undertaken yet, and it will be probably sooner than later as a result of all the ICO craze going on. And we’ll see what ends up happening there. Same thing with Coinbase.

Coinbase could be shut down. Coinbase is not too big. Just because it’s too big to fail in Bitcoin, it doesn’t mean it’s too big to fail in the economy. Don’t forget, Draft Kings and these competitive gaming sites were shut down in very little time by the State of New York, not even the Federal Government, if I recall correctly, I may be wrong about that. Now we can see that the Coinbase can be shut down, and everyone is sitting around with this value in their pocket and now what are you gonna do? Because the market is gonna tank, Local Bitcoins are gonna be full of people trying to sell.

And I don’t want to be Mr. Doom and Gloom, because I love this space, but these are real risks in this space right now that not many people are talking about. They are real risk. And don’t even get me started on Proof of Work because I love Proof of Work and I do not believe in Proof of Stake at all. But there have been problems there that we haven’t figured out.

Mike: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s refreshing to hear somebody just kind of be more realistic. And maybe that’s why I always liked your show is that you always bring a healthy amount of skepticism to stuff. But year, I’m sure I’ll get some comments actually about this show, about how “you’re a USD maximalist and I’m not gonna listen to your show anymore”, and whatever else. But I feel like it’s unrealistic the idea that a lot of people like to say, “Oh, all of this stuff is just gonna replace everything and there is nothing the government can do to stop it” and whatever else.

I do like to kind of think… I feel weird quoting the Bible here, talking about Bitcoin, but there’s a story in the Bible about Sodom and Gomorrah, and I don’t know if you’re familiar with that, but basically, these were two towns that had just all kinds of sin going on. And God told, I don’t know the story as well as I should, but God said, God said that if you can find 40 people in the town that are good people, then I’ll spare the town and they couldn’t find 40 people, and he said, okay, if you can find 30 and then 20 and then 10, and eventually couldn’t find 10. And so then God flooded the town and rained fire down on it and whatever else.

And I would like to think that maybe Bitcoin and Monero and some of these other projects will sort of have the same thing happen where there are legitimate people using it and there are legitimate projects in this space, and the SEC will come and say, you know, “If you can find people that are actually using these projects for good things and to benefit society and whatever else, then we won’t rain down fire and flood your industry.” But, increasingly, more and more, I get the feeling that there aren’t 10 people in the town to save.

Chris: Yeah. Well, I mean, I like these notarization projects because as kind of silly as most of them are, that’s… You can’t go to a regulator, I don’t know how this works, but I don’t think that you can go to a regulator and be like, “No, no, Monero is not a scam because look, plenty of people are using it on AlphaBay.” I’m pretty sure that’s not the way that conversation happens. So, you can do something like notarization and theoretically that helps, but I don’t know. Here’s another thing too I will say about this space, for me, as an investor, every time I hit it out of the park it’s been because I invested in something when nobody else was there.

And that’s been true in real estate and that was true with Bitcoin. And now I look at this space, and literally, okay, I’m renovating a home here by the sea, and this guy is great, I love him. I was over there today - you know I’ve been doing the drywall and it takes all day to do the drywall - and this guy can like knock out the entire fucking in-door of this house, like a day, but anyways. So, I’m dealing with this guy, and he’s dying to have dinner with me so he can learn about Bitcoin and he wants to put money in. He’s got savings and I’m like, dude, don’t do it.

I have a tenant at one of my places who’s like this total steroid using gym bro, nice as hell guy, I love that guy, but he’s just not an educated consumer. And hopefully, he’s not listening, I do love that guy, he’s wonderful, but he should not put his money into this. And then I have my painter, a painter that I use for a lot of my stuff and he’s another one. He is great because I like the guy, but he takes these little notes on paper like what his positions are and what’s going where and does all the technical analysis thing, and he tells me what I don’t know about blockchain and I like to listen to him, because I don’t really care, you’re not gonna change him. But I look around and you know, we Bitcoiners, we came from a time where no one would take us seriously, everyone laughed at us and that’s when I put my money in.

And now that it’s the other way around, I’m really apprehensive that there’s that much room to grow because here’s the other thing. One way of telling the Bitcoin story, I don’t think this is quite the way it is, but we had this gigantic rise in 2013. And that rise happened part because of the technology and part because we had pumpers. And then what ended up happening is you know, it just kind of started petering out a little bit, up until 2017.

In 2017, Joe Lubin pumped up Ethereum and alongside it, pumped up Bitcoin, and found a whole new generation of bad hodlers. And they found them not with digital gold, but with world computer.

Mike: And that’s not even 2017, that dates back to 2016. I remember in December 2015, I think it was CoinDesk, came out with an article where basically the Ethereum foundation and the people going on Ethereum were pretty much going broke. They had a month left of funds and the reason why is that Ethereum cost like 60 cents at the time or something like that, or a dollar, I don’t know what it was. And then after that article came out, within the next month, no real news came out in Ethereum space, but all of a sudden Ethereum went to $2, and then $4 and then $8 and I think it got up as high as like $15 and towards the end of it, some of it was due to the DAO, which I don’t want to talk about.

The stupidity involved in the DAO was just hilarious to watch, but it was just like, the whole thing started long before that where they were going broke and then all of a sudden, all of their money was worth a lot more. And, then the DAO happened and basically showed that the whole idea probably needs five more years of work before anybody actually should be putting money into it and even then, it’s probably still not a terribly good idea.

And within six months, the whole thing recovered and was booming through the roof and it’s just like, yeah, I don’t understand… The people, I got into Bitcoin in January, February 2014, so I’m much later to the show than you. But all of the people that I remember ever interacting with would’ve immediately… Ethereum would’ve been just written off, it would’ve been done. And somehow that hasn’t happened and instead it’s fueling this whole craze that I just don’t understand.

I’ve been always very quiet about telling people that I’m into Bitcoin, early on I mentioned this to some friends, but they weren’t terribly interested, so I decided, okay I don’t need to talk about it. So, occasionally my dad would send me an article from Wall Street Journal or something like that and he read the Age of Cryptocurrency book by one guy who used to work for the Wall Street Journal. And we talked about that at one point and everything, but otherwise, people just didn’t really know that I was into it. And even before I started this podcast, or really the podcast started taking off, as all of this stuff has been rising, people that I know that I haven’t really told about Bitcoin, have figured out that I’m into Bitcoin and they message me and then it’s just like, “I don’t understand why you’re all of a sudden interested in this…”

They’re talking about like, I don’t want to throw my one friend under the bus, but one person that I know said, “Oh yeah, I bought some Ethereum so that then I can go and buy some small thing, you know, one of these ICOs and triple my money.” Or you know, “10X my money.” And I was like, “Okay, how much did you buy?” And he’s like, “I bought one.” And it was just like; oaky I can understand that from one perspective. It’s smart not to put a lot of money into this. So, very good job doing that. On the other hand, the only reason he appeared to be in it and the only reason I think a lot of people are in this is that they’re trying to just make a quick buck, but it’s like, why would you waste your time making a quick thousand bucks?

I don’t know, maybe a thousand bucks goes a lot further for some people than I think it does for me, but it’s just like, the amount of time I’ve put into Bitcoin and into Monero… I still wouldn’t feel comfortable investing in a lot of these things because it’s, I guess, maybe I’ve put in enough time to know that it’s not an investment, I don’t know. And I don’t even know where I’m going with this rant at this point. But it’s just kind of one of these things where it’s like, the only way you can actually make a lot of money off of this is if you put in like a lot of money into it and quite frankly, I don’t see… I’m not convinced that it’s a good idea to do that because with so much uncertainty with the SEC and so much uncertainty with just the legitimacy of these projects in general…

It’s really no different than back in 2014 or 2013 or 15, or whenever, when people would be like, “Oh yeah, you can buy into my project and you’ll have no reassurance of getting any money back, but two years from now, maybe you will.” And the only difference is that now you’re getting like a shiny token on the blockchain, on the Ethereum blockchain, but it’s no different than all these… It’s the same old song and dance that just keeps repeating itself. I don’t know, yeah, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but…

Chris: I’ll add to that, a lot of these people, you’re right, they make like 10x on like a 100 bucks, okay, you’ve got a $1,000 now and a lot of them are, “Well, I’m gonna put in $10,000.” Or they’ll double down and double down. I think the point I’m trying to make is, I don’t know where the next round of greater fools are gonna come from and there’s a lot of risk.

So, for me, I just discourage people from getting in right now because I think you need for this space to cool down and then we can make some better determinations about what risk is and where the greater fools are gonna come in from next, if they’re gonna come in, because there’s is no guarantee that they will. Like, in a world where Ethereum hadn’t pumped, I don’t know that Bitcoin would have necessarily pumped.

Mike: No, I’m with you on that. I think, Bitcoin is up 3x or something since the New Year, so year to date. It was 900-something back at December 31st and I think it very much has to do with Ethereum and I think it’s a large reason why a lot of these other coins are up too, it’s the same thing. Monero is up for the same reason and whatever else.

Chris: So, let me ask you a difficult question, who is going to be Monero’s Joe Lubin if that’s an investment?

Mike: I don’t know. There are people who want me to be it, I can tell you that. I’ve gotten some messages from people as I stray into other topics, and it’s like, “Make sure you remember what your show is about.” It’s like, I remember what my show is about, it’s about asking questions that I’m interested in, that’s what my show is about. Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe Monero will forever be like the awkward stepchild that doesn’t have a Joe Lubin, doesn’t have a Bitcoin Jesus or whatever else.

Chris: I like to think Bitcoin as well doesn’t need a Joe Lubin and we shall see. But really, what I see is, what you have is very regrettably true that Ethereum has in fact found a fundamental value in the promotion of penny stocks. And frankly I didn’t think people were gonna be this stupid and that has been a perennial problem in my life, that I’ve over-estimated some people. And I’m a stupid guy, so you would think that I would know some of this stuff. So, Ethereum has found that efficiency.

And so, in a world where that efficiency exists, we have some serious risk in the Monero investment proposition and in the Bitcoin investment proposition because the size of the penny stock market is probably bigger than the size of the underserved value transferred or at least underserved in terms of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

I think for anybody who’s not invested in Ethereum, it’s in their incentive to squash the subsidy that is being offered to Ethereum. Now, I wrote a letter to the SEC for a lot of reasons, but that might very well be the plain and simple truth of it, is that I wanted to see that, and I recognize that’s a narrative that’s very hard for me to defend against, was that the reason?

I don’t think so. I can come up with some other narratives, but it’s a fine enough narrative that everyone should consider because it’s probably your fiduciary duty as a token-holder of Monero or Bitcoin to fight the incentives being offered to your competing investments. But yeah, I don’t know. That needs to be considered I think in all of this because the darknet will route through Ponzi’s because if that’s got more liquidity, that’s a better solution for them.

QS 1:18:48 Mike: Yeah, I mean, that’s very true. So, you mentioned your letter to the SEC, I wasn’t really gonna talk about it, but I applaud you for what you did, I thought it was a bold move. Did you actually send that to the SEC or was it more like an open letter posted on the internet?

Chris: Thank you. So, I actually sent it to the SEC and I have gotten wind that it is collected.

Mike: Yeah, I think that’s all that they’ll say, right?

Chris: Yeah, it is all that they’ll say. I think, I don’t know if I can say the name or not, but I’m pretty sure I can say that another prominent attorney in the space has had a similar revelation with a different project-specific concern.

Mike: Yeah, I know who you’re talking about.

Chris: Exactly. And so, it’s funny ‘cause I’ve got certain angles in certain places and I have certain confirmation that the SEC has in fact received that to a certain degree of consideration, not a significant one.

Mike: Have you tried to reach out to the SEC, you know, find somebody there what’s willing to come on and talk about the actual issue with you?

Chris: This is such an existential problem for me because you never stop scamming yourself in Bitcoin. I don’t like being a snitch and it’s everything I stand against, but I have found myself as I have been increasingly acclimated and maturing to the realities in the world, finding myself in a position where I wrote this letter, being basically the primary and the only example. I feel dirty doing it, I think it’s like the right thing to do all around.

The biggest reason, honestly, the biggest reason is because I know a number of guys in the space that are trying to run honest businesses. And you know, you’ve got people like Wayne Vaughn, of Tierion, people like Shawn of… sorry, Bendeho of Joystream, you’ve got people like even at this point, honestly, I never thought I’d say this, but like Preston Byrne of now Monax.

That was a guy that I butted heads over stuff that ended up being so trivial and so petty in the scheme of things, I don’t think that that was a good business at any stretch, but it wasn’t an abject scam the way that I’ve seen it. So, the biggest reason I wrote that letter is because VCs are now telling everybody who’s even trying to do something good in this space that they can’t do it unless they ICO. And so, that was really my primary function in writing it.

And you know, when you realize that governments create markets and maybe you don’t believe that, but when you realize the only reason the market exists is because the government willed it into existence, you then necessarily have to come around to the view that interacting with the government and the establishment of those rules is just a part of your job as a market participant. Libertarians don’t like that, but that’s what I believe.

Mike: Yeah. I think I’m in the same camp as you. I don’t think it’s a very popular opinion in this space, but yeah.

Chris: I’m doing the live stream adjacent to you and I’m getting so many people calling me an SJW, libcuck…

Mike: Yeah, you hit moral puberty? Is that comment directed at you?

Chris: Oh, you’re watching it too? Okay, this is so… Yes, Perianne Boring mentioned that. One comment I love in here was Bitcoin is university for the underserved… that is like spot-on, it really was.

Mike: Yeah, I still see a future with it.

Chris: It’s necessarily going to exist, I don’t think it’s going away; the question is how big it gets, really. And how. And that’s true for Monero too. You know, there’s a passionate community there and it’s got its little niche and it’s fine and I like these things a lot. The other thing too, it’s not just the SEC letter a little bit, this is fucking fascinating shit, I don’t know how anybody at any point here got exposure to this and said like, “Nah, not interested, nah, not interesting.”

Because I could just, I have, I’ve written tons of articles and I’ve talked about it and it’s just the most fascinating shit going on in the world right now.

Mike: It’s because, I know people who have looked into Bitcoin, but then when the CEO got arrested in 2014, they thought that it died. There is so much misinformation in this space. It’s a very technical space even to this day. There’s all these fancy wallets and whatever else that are supposed to make things easier, but they don’t make things any easier to understand. They’re just like fancy JavaScript. And so, I can understand why a large chunk of the population hasn’t really followed it too closely because it’s still very nerdy and still very kind of edge.

Chris: I think the people that listen to this show, maybe they don’t see this, but I really come to this conclusion and all the evidence suggests that this has to be true, this is the most complicated science that an average person can undertake. This is rocket science; it is unbelievably complicated, mental exercises that are needed in order to even begin to understand how this stuff works. Now, for you and a lot of the people who listen to the show, it probably comes to them a little bit easier than most, but you know, in the early days, I would go to people on the street and ask them basic questions about money and you get into religious discussions.

You know, it’s funny because I talk to people, like the contractor here, wants to learn how to make money. And the way I feel now about money is like, it’s a philosophy and I hate philosophy. But I’m one of these guys I feel like, who knows the world religions in a significant degree, I’m not a scholar on these things, I can tell you a little bit about this currency and that currency and that, and that, and to the degree that I have a belief in money, that is undefined and non-existent.

And you see that with people who study religion a lot of times or philosophy. Like, “I can tell you all about Christianity versus Islam, versus…” And then, what do you believe? - “Uuhh.” And that’s how I feel about money at this point. I can probably refute the majority of existential statements about money at this point. Maybe not all, but a lot of them. I can be like, “Well, it’s not true for that reason.” And it’s like, “What do you believe” - “I don’t really know anymore.” And that’s why I think a lot of people can’t get exposed to it because it’s challenging to their values in a religious context. It’s a vocabulary and a mental space that they can’t pursue.

Mike: Yeah, I think another tying off of that, and this is maybe not something that really relates to what I had said before is that the whole idea of trustless currency and trustless transactions and really just a trustless system in general - that’s entirely foreign to American culture and certainly the world culture too where we trust everything. And I’ve heard Riccardo talk about it in the past where one of the big reasons why a lot of these other projects are able to be successful is that nobody knows how to think adversarial and if they can’t think adversarial, then they can’t see all these attack paths in all of the various things that could potentially happen when you introduce a Proof of Stake system or when you introduce a masternode or whatever it is.

You know, you introduce some service that relies on an API to feed in data in order to provide information. Nobody knows how to think adversarial, they all think, “Oh, yeah, we can trust this because people are good people.”

Chris: There’s no incentive to think it either, because here’s the thing, why would you care about PotCoin unless you owned PotCoin? And now your incentive is to find bag hodlers, not to stress test it. And so, in a lot of cases, the people that would be able to put attention into it are just aren’t incentivized to do anything along those lines which you see a lot of in Ethereum and in a lot of these projects. We’ve always joked that they’re held together by empathy, but it’s actually true. Because, and the other thing too with a lot of these attacks, ironically, sometimes they exist for people to have enough money to lose and here’s another big elephant in the room…

Maybe you can attack Proof of Stake for as little as a $100,000, but who is that person who’s going to do that and your answer might be nobody, until you have deep short markets and option markets where people can reliably and without exchange risk, as we’ve seen in Coinbase, exchange risk is non-trivial reversing Ethereum transactions and such…But without exchange risk, attacking thee coins and then recouping their short positions. So, that doesn’t exist right now. The real problem there is that we don’t actually know if Proof of Work is going to sustain those types of threats because right now, we’ve got, maybe 2 million dollars a day in Bitcoin being mined.

So, if an option market developed where I could short Bitcoin to the tune of 10 million dollars, so that’s gonna be a day where Bitcoin is 51% attacked. Or 20 million dollars or something like that, depending on how big that market got. There’s these very big problems with all these systems and the economics have kind of worked thus far, but they don’t have to. The universe doesn’t owe it to us.

Mike: Yeah. That’s a huge problem with Monero actually right now. One thing that I’ve spent some time thinking about and don’t know how to solve it, other than just hope that right now nobody attacks it is that Monero, you can mine it with a CPU, you can mine it with a GPU and what that primarily means is that there are a lot of botnets mining Monero. And it’s in the interest of somebody running a botnet, in their best interest to just run it honestly, which is hilarious to say because it’s botnet, but you know, not attack the network because they’re gonna be making money passively off of that.

But that the same time, somebody else could create a botnet where they take over the network and can attack it passively because they don’t have to worry about paying for the hardware even because you can CPU mine it. And then even if you could switch it to be GPU-mineable, you still got the problem of, with Ethereum and Zcash being so expensive right now. Which, especially in the case of Zcash makes no sense to me because, I mean, Zcash in the next three years is gonna quadruple in total coins emitted and more than that, I think 6x in total coins emitted, but you’ve got these huge networks of miners where any one of those coins, they shift a small portion of it, or maybe shift a small portion from all of them, they can easily go and take over the Monero network too.

Because Monero’s hashing power is smaller than all those ones. So, yeah, I mean, Proof of Work is the only thing that works right now from a consensus mechanism that’s trustless, but even it has some issues. All right, I know we’re getting long…

Chris: Real quick on that, one way to frame that, that entire discussion is that CPU mining is effectively subsidized by Microsoft, such that variable cost can go to zero. And that very much breaks blockchain design. With Bitcoin at least, with ASICs, variable cost has stayed as a principal component for miners in their transactions, but in these types of things, CPU mining is not… It may work, it may be great, these really big, unknown questions, but it also may be that variable cost of CPU mining is zero.

Mike: What’s interesting to me with ASICs is, the technology has just been growing in leaps and bounds, which has meant that it’s become very centralized. If it ever gets to the point of most other computer hardware right now, where it’s very incremental in how it grows in its efficiency, that’s when it can start to become more decentralized which can really benefit Bitcoin and you wouldn’t have to have these huge server farms because it would be less uneconomical. I’m still not gonna say it’s economical, but less uneconomical for somebody to slap an ASIC shaped like a GPU into their desktop and mine or something like that. We don’t have to get into that. We’re getting long on time, I apologize for that.

Chris: This is good discussion, I’m enjoying this, I love this stuff.

QS 1:31:10 Mike: Good, I’m glad you are. Can I ask you, you mentioned Tone Vays, can I ask you if there is anything else? Do you spend a lot of time listening to the podcast in the space? Have you listened to any of these episodes or…?

Chris: It depends on what’s going on in my life. I’ll go through periods of my life where I listen to podcasts all day and those are great and there are other times where I just don’t have the ability. So lately, I’ve been going through VidCon right now and it’s so hard to balance your life, it’s so hard. That’s the thing I always ask the big YouTubers, like when I talk to some of these guys that have half a million subscribers, 2 million subscribers, etc, like, how do you balance your life?

Because, there is an infinite amount of time you could spend on Twitter, there’s an infinite amount of time you could spend listening to domain-specific subject matter on your specialization. There’s an infinite amount of time you could spend on working on your videos and editing and talking to listeners and going through speaker-requests and on, and on, and on and on, and nobody has any good answers.

That’s actually probably the biggest challenge to a content producer I would say, that I’ve found is how to manage your time in a way that is effective. So, I go through periods when I’ve afforded the luxury of being able to listen to podcasts to a significant degree. And I have not listened to your last podcast or even many of your podcasts and not because I haven’t wanted to, but because sometimes I have to listen to podcasts that I fucking hate. Right now, I’ve got to listen to the fucking Kik guy, pitch over there in Silicon Valley and I know your podcast is way more engaging than that, but it’s that there’s information there that I have to mine.

And so I will trudge through that content so that I can be a more educated person for the audience that comes to me. I have to do the hard listening sometimes and that’s the good example of that. I don’t listen to Tone because… Tone is great and he gives me stuff to listen to and I do when he gives it to me and I like his stuff most of the time. But he’s not giving me information that I need to bring to the market right now. I got to go back spelunking in the dark recesses of stupid. And Tone doesn’t offer that to me, which is why people like him and why they should listen to him and not listen to the Kik guy pitching over there in Silicon Valley meetup.

QS 1:33:17 Mike: Yeah. Okay, two follow-up questions then. Are there any podcasts that in the past you have listened to, either Bitcoin related or maybe just financial related in general that you have enjoyed or? You don’t have to necessarily call somebody out here. And the second question, I’m blanking on, so let’s just go with the first question.

Chris: The first one, yeah, it’s a good enough one. Certainly, in earlier years I had the luxury to listen to the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe which is a phenomenal show. I would highly recommend that to anybody, and in fact, my show is certainly an extension of the skepticism that I learned in that show. And for people that don’t know, skepticism is a really cool movement and it’s a bunch of computer programmers and magicians and all kinds of weirdoes that are just skeptical, critical thinkers that are pro-science people.

“Let’s Talk Bitcoin” is something I listened to for a very long time until I felt like it stopped growing and I didn’t and some people would see that otherwise, but that was kind of my thing. I hear he’s doing a little bit more stuff these days as in the return to Bitcoin-specific content, which is good, but with Adam… I always find I’m gravitating towards people who are more conflict-generating, content-oriented, so “Epicenter” is just trash to me. I’ll listen to it sometimes if I need to know what people are saying or it’s good to mine for really stupid quotes and stuff like that. I like, what else do I listen to?

Mike: Have you ever listened to The Bitcoin Show… or, The Bitcoin Podcast?

Chris: Yeah, Rob Mitchell I think…

Mike: No, no, not the Bitcoin Game, Rob Mitchell is, I know what you’re talking about there.

Chris: I love Rob a lot, he has some fun stuff. The Bitcoin Show I listened to a couple of times and they seem to be growing and have a big audience even which is great. I haven’t listened to them much, I probably should. I think I’ve even been on that show, I’d have to check.

Mike: I bring them up because I’m in a chat channel with some of those guys and I did not use to like their show. But I kind of came back around to it because they had some guest I wanted to hear and this was just in the last two months or so.

Chris: They’ve gotten better if I recall.

Mike: They’ve gotten a lot better. And the funny thing was, they reached out to me just wanting to talk about my show which was really cool of them. And we got talking and I realized that one of their hosts lives in the town I grew up in.

And so, I happen to be out there right now and we met up for drinks like a week ago and he’s a really nice guy. He, I think would actually probably be contributing in this conversation you and I are having right now, where like, a decent amount of skepticism with some of the things going on and being very realistic in his viewpoint. And so, my only critique then with their show is, I wish they would bring that to the show a little more.

They’ve been bringing it more than in the past which is really good. And maybe, I have a feeling somebody from that show listened to this show, so maybe they’ll hear me and it will challenge them. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Chris: Yeah, I like arguments, a lot. So, if they want to make a case against something they heard here that they don’t like, I love to change. People don’t believe that, but I do it all the time. I wrote a letter to the fucking SEC. I do like to change. I encourage people to discuss; the truth is most people don’t like changing. And therein lies the problem.

Mike: I don’t know, those guys in particular have impressed me with what they’ve been doing lately, so kudos to them. My favorite podcast though, I said earlier yours was my favorite, I lied, my favorite is actually Bitcoin Car Talk, with mikeinspace.

Chris: Oh, yeah, absolutely. He’s hilarious. I’ve gotten a more of a personal relationship with him and he’s just a funny-ass guy, he’s funny.

Mike: Yeah, I don’t know how he spends so much time on stuff ‘cause I’m pretty sure he has a full-time job and a family and none of that has anything to do with Bitcoin, but he seems to always pop in and has something funny to say.

Chris: That’s probably why his videos are only one minute instead of, you know, the 60 minutes that I generally rarely find time for.

QS 1:37:30 Mike: Yeah, probably, probably. Okay, well, I don’t necessarily have any other questions, I had some other notes, but they’re nothing really particularly pertaining to you. So we don’t have to talk about this. I think it probably goes without saying where people can find you, but do you want to go ahead and give them your contact info anyway?

Chris: Yeah, guys, check out my channel if you haven’t in a while, the newest video I’m gonna publish tomorrow, I had this done for a while, but I had rendering problems, I’m still learning Premiere. Yeah, it’s one of my better works I think in a while, there[s a lot of fun stuff in it. I interview one of the Gridcoin hodler guys, Rhino, who is also a cam guy and his girlfriend who is a cam girl and we don’t even talk that much about investments in this space, but it was a great show, it was fun, it was funny. And it was kind of the stuff that I like to do frankly, so check that out.

You can find me on YouTube, just search for Chris DeRose and you can find me on almost everything at this point under Chris DeRose. So, let me know what you guys think and especially give me some hard questions if you have them. If you’re listening to this and you’re like arghhh!

Mike: Yeah, I think by the time I release this podcast, that should be online I’m guessing then by what you’re saying, so you should be able to just log onto YouTube and find that episode right away. I do have… the channel in your live stream asked one more question and I think this goes back to something you either tweeted about or put in the Dojo or something, but what’s going on with the Bitcoins N Gravy guy, John Barrett? QS 1:38:54

Chris: Oh, yeah. Okay, I don’t know what to do about that. But the guy comes on all my videos and leaves comments and they’re always like dumbass fucking comments and I don’t really care. I don’t even dislike the guy, he did a great song back in the day, he’s a phenomenal musician and he’s done wonderful music. I’m even a big fan of him in that sense; I’ve used him in my shows I think. In any case, he’s kind of a fucking crazy, though because there’s been a couple of things I heard over the years and I’m just like, oh my god, dude, stick to the music.

And he’s picking vendettas with people. There’s been a couple of people that he wants to fist fight and I think it’s hilarious frankly. So, he’s now focused that aggression on me and he’s putting comments in my YouTube, comments in my SoundCloud that he wants to fight.

Mike: Have you confirmed that it’s actually him?

Chris: No, that’s the other thing. I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure it’s him because it’s come from multiple cases.

Mike: It sounded like him, I read it.

Chris: It’s also not uncharacteristic of him because he’s done this with other people. So, I would be very interested in fist fighting anybody who’s not like a fucking monster, if it’s in the space and if it’s in the right scenario, I think it could be a fun content-making opportunity. That being said, I think he’s like a 50-year-old man and then like I have the same problem I’d have with beating up my dad is, yeah, I could beat up my dad.

Mike: But you can’t win there, yeah.

Chris: Exactly, right, so I don’t know. It’s gonna be weird because I don’t like backing down from fights, this is not something I’m proud of. I’ve found myself in bar fights over the years and stuff that just happened as a result of me not knowing how to back down from a fight. So, my impulse is like, yeah, sure, I’ll fight with you John, but then I’m like, I don’t know if that’s a good idea. So, let’s see what happens.

I think he’s a bit unhinged as a personality, so I don’t know if I should be doing it or not. So, you guys weigh in, but a lot of people want to see that. So, I don’t know if I should be petitioning the community because sometimes you guys make terrible decisions that are completely incentivized and hilarious and then I end up baring the externality cost, so this may be one of those.

Mike: Oh yeah, the community input is gonna be that you should absolutely do it, but they’re not gonna be thinking about you when they say that.

Chris: Right. So, we’ll see, I don’t know what will happen there. He will probably get back on his meds and realize I work out a lot, I’m pretty in shape. I do my hip-hop class now.

Mike: Yeah, maybe you can have a rap battle instead. He could bring his guitar, he’s a very good country singer, I think.

Chris: It’s weird, last I checked, he wouldn’t even come on the show, so who is he kidding if he wants to do a fist fight, come on the show and talk about shit, like really, that seems more reasonable. But, I’ll do it either way. As long as we can make a video out of it I’ll do it either way.

Mike: There you go. Always got to get content, right?

Chris: Yeah, exactly.

Mike: Okay. Well, yeah, thank you for coming on. I’ll keep my little thing short. Anybody who’s listening, you can find more of our episodes on I want to give a quick shout out to xmronadaily who’s a reddit user that has been writing great transcripts of all these podcasts which is cool. It wasn’t something I originally intended to do, and this transcript is gonna be really long, so good luck to you, buddy!

But yeah, anybody who’s listening, shout at me on Twitter, my handle is just @MoneroMonitor. Shout at Chris, he’s a good guy. He gets a lot of crap, but ultimately, he’s really, I feel like, doing a community a service by doing what he’s doing. So, yeah, and with that, unless you’ve got anything, then let’s call it a night.

Chris: Peace out, party people, Saint Catherine, pray for us.

~~ { Closing Music } ~~