Bitcoin Q&A: Reflections on the last five years

Bitcoin Q&A: Reflections on the last five years


Jason asked, “What is the most significant
thing you have changed your mind on… with respect to cryptocurrencies in the last five years?”
That is a very interesting question, Jason. I was digging in my memory and trying to remember
various things I might have changed my mind on. First of all, I try not to take firm positions with
certainty on issues regarding cryptocurrency, or make predictions about the
future with absolute certainty. I think absolute certainty is the behaviour of a fool,
especially in a technology like this which is… moving so fast and where changes are
happening in highly unanticipated ways. I think it takes a lot of- How do I put this? You [must] be quite selfish or quite arrogant believe that
you can give firm predictions or opinions with certainty.. in areas that are so vast and complex. I try to be flexible; I try to realize that there is more
I don’t know about this space than I do know. I’m always willing to change my mind.
I’ve often been wrong about things. I thought that fees [on-chain]
would be low or near free forever. I didn’t anticipate that we would see as much
centralization in the chip manufacturing side of mining. I was a bit surprised by that. I also thought that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
could be attacked more readily, which was certainly a fear
back when Mt. Gox collapsed. It was the first time I felt, ‘This could be it, the end
of Bitcoin. We must reboot it and start over again.’ ‘This could really kill Bitcoin.’ Keep in mind, at the time, only one exchange
represented 80% of the [trading] volume. It went down in such a spectacular way. I was scared
that time, but I’m not so easily scared anymore. I think I had underestimated how resilient and strong
this technology is, how hard it is to take down. But I also underestimated how fragmented the
community could get; how much trolling, bitterness, personal vendettas, and egos could [grow] in this space. The debates really surprised me with
their bitterness, vitriol, and passion. Now I think I’m a bit wiser. Any time you have large
amounts of money, the inevitable trajectory of any… any cryptocurrency community is to arrive at a point
of controversy big enough, with stakes high enough, that emotions will get very heated and
some people will not act in good faith. People will act in self-interest. I also believe that is one of the ways outsides have tried
to attack this system, by attacking the community. Creating drama on purpose is a classic technique
used against grassroots movements. “If you were to make one change to
Bitcoin, what would it be and why?” Well, if I were to make one change to Bitcoin,
I would get down-voted by consensus. No one gets to [unilaterally] make changes to Bitcoin. I would like to see is more implementations of privacy
features, but these changes are already happening. I don’t really think there is anything else that I would
change in Bitcoin, from the original design. It would be hubris to think I can do it better.
Every month, every week, somebody comes along… “Hey, I’m new to Bitcoin. I just found out about it.
I already have ideas on how to make it better.” “… So I created Xcoin. Xcoin is the next Bitcoin.” You know what? There has been a “next Bitcoin”
every year since the beginning of Bitcoin. Bitcoin still the next Bitcoin.
There is a reason for that. Bitcoin’s particular set of building blocks and careful
design choices were just right for the level of adoption, development, and security that we have. Trying to improve on [Bitcoin without
appreciating that] is a fool’s game. There are many experts who are suggesting
some interesting and relevant improvements, primarily in the area of privacy,
which can definitely be improved. But when people tell you that “Bitcoin is broken,” has a
“fatal problem” or design issue, or will be superseded… by this next technology soon… I would be
very skeptical when [you] hear those [claims]. Yes, other coins may exceed bitcoin
[in some features] or by market cap, but having more money to throw at
something doesn’t make it better. The banks can [easily] make a coin that
has more market cap than bitcoin — of course they can, because money
is the one thing they have [a lot of]. But can they make something that is more secure,
more decentralized, more autonomous? [than Bitcoin]? Can [they] make something that is more censorship-
resistant, better in things that Bitcoin is good at? I don’t think we can. If we can [make things better,
our best chance] is mostly with Bitcoin, because it already has a very
good basis for doing those things.

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90 Comments

  1. If you had a chance to go back in time and help Satoshi develop Bitcoin from scratch. Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?

  2. Sir i m a big fan of you..I started investing in crypto after listening to u in Canadian parliament and now I m financially independent. Thank you 👏

  3. Admirable guy. By this video I respect you even more. Egos, arrogance and bias are the formulas of the fools.

  4. What happened to the Bitcoin if someone does take 60% of the mining market with a new ASIC technology that uses much less electricsity and xx faster Hash power? Bytheway love your videos, learning a lot about Blockchain and Bitcoin.

  5. Let's be realistic. Even if we dont know nothing or no one can predict the price/technology of Bitcoin in the future you (Andreas) and we all know this is the next big financial revolution of our time and it's happening right now. The adoption will be slow but I'm sure Bitcoin and blockchain will have a major impact in our society in the near future. Thank you Andreas for everything you're doing is this space.

  6. Sir: you've done an awesome work ! You inspired me and showed me the way to blockchain and bitcoin. Keep up the good work ! You are my hero !

  7. "Bitcoin is still the next Bitcoin" "having more money doesn't make it better" This is the kind of confidence that will bring this space the stability it needs. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and expertise.

  8. Dude, start training brazilian jiu jitsu. It's a fun way to take care of your meat vehicle, and you can start at any age. It's a sport with live-long perspective. Ask Rogan next time you do the podcast together.

  9. I've been wondering, if sometime in the future technology were to change/improve dramatically, and btc being worth so much, and so many have a lot at stake, could the btc blockchain be stopped completely to be updated (maybe even rebuilt/reinvented) with that latest tech? Or how would something that work? would it have to die off?

  10. Could you please explain how the consencious mechanism on bitcoin actually works.
    From my understanding, there are 1) known and unknown contributes on the btc github repository
    2) Public and closed discussion groups
    3) Prominent and anonymous $multimillion stakeholders.
    4) Corps and individuals who mine or run a full node

    Hope you could shed some light on it, in a future Q;A

    BTW.. Being open-minded is a good position IMO

  11. BITCOIN is number 1 people ……. invest into it now people it will be the best thing you have ever done down the road…

  12. Dear Aantonop, one of the brightest idea, i've taken from you, is that the REGULATION itself would be the greatest disruption. Did you hear of direct attempts in this field? Something like Universalaw, blockonstitution etc? Regretfully, i can't c better path for such a disruption, than new religion. The foundation is already here: Satoshi did the prophets' job, apostles have been sent to teach and spread the message of the Gospel to all nations…

  13. ego is absolutely the most destructive force among all activist communities, bitcoin included. if we wanna do cryptoactivism right, something that will fundamentally change things for the better, we'll have to learn how to leave ego, selfishness and sectarian/unprofessional considerations aside.

  14. Thank you for being the conscience of the sector. Andreas is our Jiminy Cricket from whom the wooden-headed puppet Pinocchio learns right from wrong and how to fulfill his dreams. “If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.”

  15. There should be more and more distributed exchanges rather than the centralized ones as this adding no value to bitcoin's core principle.

  16. Always excited to see when you have new videos out and get to hear your inner thoughts. I hope you keep making this content.

  17. Divide and rule (or divide and conquer, from Latin dīvide et imperā) in politics and sociology is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.

  18. Best Authority in Bitcoin, knowing full well the complete Decentralization of it all!
    You set the standard and i believe in this and especially in YOU !

  19. Please forgive me if this is a stupid question. Why doesn't someone form or organize a Crypto Lobbying organization? An organization the NRA or the pro Israel ones for example. You and some wealthy individuals could do this. And many of us would be willing to join and pay annual dues if they actually did something. There are many people who could do this, like those two nerds from Harvard.

  20. Did anyone else experience a glitch on the live coin market website, it says Eth market cap 568,000,000,000 and the price of Ethereum is like $5,000 plus dollars wth

  21. your right on point with what you said, sir. I have been very surprised at what has developed over the last year and change.

  22. Andreas, your input, diligent clarity of truth and the way you have openly and transparently taken your free time to convey your inner thoughts and feelings is inspiring. I think that many don't appreciate how emotionally draining it can be, thank you for all you have done and given.

    Thank you for showing everyone that there is hope, there is an alternative to tyranny and control and that it's not necessarily a binary option going forward.

    I salute you…

  23. look at bitcoin from someone that hardly knows anything about it what they see is an opportunity they would say hmmm a currency I can invest in and it grows in price strength and technology I can also use it as currency I can trade it as I learn how to trade for other coins the list goes on and on mainstream adoption is coming and its coming in waves lol sorry for the last one

  24. If I had a million bitcoins, I would donate 10% of it to you @aantonop. "Thanks a million bitcoins" for your work!

  25. Hi Andreas I want to have your theoretical opinion on hashgraph technology to solve the scaling problem. In practical a technology can't resolve a scale problem untill it resolve it real world but i want to know your opinion the chance of this technology to resolve this problem in theory. Thanks

  26. The only thing I wish BTC had, was a feature to protect against lost BTC. Let's say an address has not been touched for 100 years. If you could somehow tell the protocol, if I die, transfer the total of this address to another address (Red Cross or whatever you choose), or if there is no address, somehow let the amount go back into the pool of not mined BTC. I have no idea if this is technically possible. Also, before i get raped, I do realize that the entire world economy could run on one BTC, so this is not that important – but a lost BTC, is still lost purchasing power. Why not give it to someone in need. You would just add an address to you wallet, and it would automatically add it to all your transactions. Just something I've been wondering about. Maybe it's stupid.

  27. Blockchain will change the world as we know it! Transactions on the interplanetary scale! The future is never being so close !

  28. Another great video Andreas. Thanks. A little housekeeping tip: Reduce the white space above your head and raise your seat a bit so you look into the camera either horizontally or even slightly downward. You'll create a composition that tends to project more effectively.

  29. Thank you for all you are doing Andreas! You are the reason I became a believer in Bitcoin. Your deep insight from all of the major disciplines affected by Bitcoin (philosophical, economic, political, and computer science) is astounding and refreshing – you are a true philosopher, and an incredible teacher. The Plato of our times! Thank you!

  30. I feel that the issue of privacy in transactions should be investigated more and discussed more. It's my understanding that Bitcoin is not completely private whereas other cryptocurrencies claim to be. What does the future look like in terms of privacy? Will we used Bitcoin to buy books from Amazon and Monero in Las Vegas? Should we compromise with governments over privacy, or completely shut that conversation down and demand full privacy? What's at stake for citizens and for governments?

  31. The problem is the use to which the rarity of Bitcoin will lead us. Remember, the problem with the Gold Standard was that its scarcity did not cover economic growth. And especially, as they were not consumers, to support economic growth, as the main holders of wealth, the "central banks", the money already had to be put into circulation by the "Loan". ( well also to keep the money value legit )

    These are the first two challenges. For a proper economy it is known, wealth holders ( Bitcoin minors for example ) must be able to consume…Banks do not consume, they must lend.

    I kept things very simple here. I did not even talk about the financing of public and social services. We, like the rich, pay taxes for that.

    Bitcoin will not do better than Gold, it will do worse ! A Revolution !? Someone…explain me… how can i be wrong on that ?

  32. Gracias por subtitular el video en español 👍 me gustaría poder leer todos tus videos en español, un saludo desde Andalucia España

  33. You have been a supporter of Ethereum. What is your take on the argument that it is an unlicensed, unregistered security due to its ICO launch?

  34. About Bitcoin and Ripple.

    It must be understood that States borrow money from Central Banks and the States collapse without money. The Exchanges can stand up until the States (linked to Central Banks) will want to. My personal opinion…

  35. Wow. Just found your channel. Great content. I’d love to have a channel like yours one day! Can you give me any suggestions?

  36. There is an inherent contradiction at the heart of the cryptocurrency world: people participate in this world predominantly to speculate on the price of cryptocurrencies. Yet the usefulness of a currency depends on it being a stable store of value with low transaction costs. These two ideas are fundamentally in conflict.

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