Today’s motion is “Toxic maximalism is great for bitcoin.”
I hear many no-coiners say that “the worst thing about bitcoin is the bitcoiners.” They are referring to their negative encounters with staunch bitcoin believers on social media. The criticism is that these bitcoiners are irrational, vicious and annoying, and they attack no-coiners in unison like a coordinated army.
The essence of this behavior is captured by the term: toxic bitcoin maximalism. The idea is that bitcoin is superior to all other currencies, which include fiat, obviously, and all other cryptos; and impolite behavior online is justified in promoting bitcoin or defending its legitimacy.
Well, obviously not all bitcoiners are like that. Today, we will have two bitcoiners facing off, on whether such behavior continues to serve bitcoin well.
If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.
If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.
Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.
Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):
Giacomo first heard of Bitcoin in 2012 and shortly started to mine the cryptocurrency. He quit to focus on Bitcoin full-time in 2013 and has since cofounded and supported Bitcoins startups. He is cofounder of BCademy, a website dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology education and consultation.
Paul is a self-branded independent Bitcoiner. He is perhaps best known as the proposer of Drivechain, a project that seeks to leverage sidechain technology in order to introduce additional functionality to Bitcoin. One use case of this is a zcash-like fully encrypted sidechain using Drivechain.
Toxic Bitcoin Maximalism Debate
[00:00:00] Richard: Welcome to another episode of The Blockchain Debate Podcast, where consensus is optional, but proof of thought is required. I'm your host, Richard Yan. Today's motion is: Toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin.
[00:00:20] I hear many no-coiners say that, "the worst thing about Bitcoin is the Bitcoiners." They're referring to their negative encounters with staunch Bitcoin believers on social media.
[00:00:30] The criticism here is that these Bitcoiners are irrational, vicious, and annoying on social media, and they attack no-coiners in unison like a coordinated army. The essence of this behavior is captured by the term "toxic Bitcoin maximalism." The idea here is that Bitcoin maximalists believe that Bitcoin is superior to all other currencies, which includes fiat, obviously, and all other cryptos. And Bitcoin maxis' impolite behavior online is justified in promoting Bitcoin or defending its legitimacy.
[00:01:01] Well, obviously not all Bitcoiners are like that. Today, we'll have two Bitcoiners facing off on whether such behavior continues to serve Bitcoin well.
[00:01:10] If you're into crypto and would like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We feature some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space. If you would like to debate, or want to nominate someone, please DM me @blockdebate on Twitter. Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice. I hope you enjoy listening to this debate. Let's dive right in.
[00:01:29] Richard: Welcome to the debate, consensus optional, proof of thought required. I'm your host, Richard Yan. Today's motion: toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin. To my metaphorical left is Giacomo Zucco, arguing for the motion. He agrees that toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin. To my metaphorical right is Paul Sztorc arguing against the motion. He disagrees that toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin.
[00:01:54] Let's quickly go through the bios of our guests. So Giacomo first heard of Bitcoin in 2012 and quit his fiat job to focus on Bitcoin full-time in 2013. He has since co-founded and supported Bitcoin startups in several sectors including mining, wallets, consultancy, research, and so on. He is currently shareholder in a few companies including Relay, BCademy, BHB Network, and he is a freelance educator consultant. He supported some FLOSS projects during the years including Open Timestamps, Proof of Marshall, Bolt, RGB, BDK, and so on. Paul is a self branded independent Bitcoiner. He is perhaps best known as the proposer of Drivechain, a project that seeks to leverage sidechain technology in order to introduce additional functionality to Bitcoin. One use case of this is a Zcash-like fully encrypted sidechain using Drivechain. Welcome to the show, Giacomo and Paul.
[00:02:49] Paul: Thank you.
[00:02:51] Giacomo: Thanks.
[00:02:52] Richard: Great. So we normally have three rounds: opening statements, host questions and audience questions. Currently, our Twitter poll shows that more people believe that it is not beneficial for the Bitcoin community to be toxic maximalists...
[00:03:06] Paul: I'm actually surprised to learn that. I thought for sure I would be on the ropes.
[00:03:10] Richard: Okay. I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but...
[00:03:13] Paul: No, I am not. A hundred percent. I am surprised. Because the toxicity is very dominant, like culturally. At least in the world that Giacomo and I came from - the past. That's how I see it.
[00:03:24] Giacomo: But it's good to be the underdog, so it's easier to have a positive change. If I started in an advantage for the way you will measure the success, it's actually better to be the underdog in this case.
[00:03:35] Richard: Yeah. I think the toxic Bitcoiners are intentionally voting the other way and then changing their position for the post-debate poll.
[00:03:40] Paul: They may. That may be the case. They'll do anything to win.
[00:03:44] Giacomo: (laughs) I didn't think about that until now, but that would be really toxic.
[00:03:49] Richard: Yeah, exactly. After the release of this recording, we will also have a post-debate poll. Between the two polls, the debater with a bigger change of percentage of votes in their favor, wins the debate. Okay. Let's go ahead and get started. So Giacomo, you're in the pro position. So explain to us why you think toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin?
[00:04:08] Giacomo: First of all, we have to understand what we mean, we have to start with the definition. I would define Bitcoin maximalism that it's mostly reappropriation. What happened with the term queer in queer studies, and also more historical terms like political terms like wig or even some artistic terms. So something was used as a slur against some category of people and then these people ironically embraced and self ironically embraced this slur. So I don't think to be particularly toxic, especially in person. But I also think I have a average toxicity online, especially for the typical mediums that I use, so it's nothing over the top, nothing more than the average. But the reappropiation of both terms was mostly done in order to find some kind of positive spin on something that was invented as a slur.
[00:05:04] So let's divide the toxic maximalist meme. The first part is maximalism. So maximalism is mostly about being Bitcoin only. Thinking that the novelty of Bitcoin is not replicable and to try to replicate it is actually bad either for Bitcoin, or especially for the people trying to do that, or for the people affected by that into this very asymmetric environment in which we have this kind of eternal September, so many people are getting hit all the time. So they need some kind of very clear distinction between all the bullshit and what is not bullshit.
[00:05:43] So maximalism will be Bitcoin only, for many reasons. Some of reasons for maximalism are descriptive and not prescriptive. They will be something like money tends to be a winner-takes-it-all game. So money tends to converge instead of becoming more fractionate, and Bitcoin has some kind of network effects that may remind of the protocol wars of the internet in the nineties, where we had many contenders, but then we had the real de facto open source standard that basically took over everything and swallowed everything else. So this is a descriptive level of maximalism.
[00:06:22] We think that Bitcoin will eventually dominate for network effects, not just technological, but especially monetary network effects. Then there is a prescriptive and nondescriptive form of maximalism which says that it's not just a reality that we think will happen, but it's actually also good that we think that Bitcoin will dominate in a absolutely asymmetrical way over any kind of attempt to replicate it because of monetary reasons, because of digital scarcity. You can have scarcity when you have 21 million Bitcoin, you cannot have scarcity in the so-called cryptocurrency equivalence class.
[00:07:05] So there are 21 million Bitcoins - less than that, there are infinite, potentially, altcoins. There is no scarcity in the cryptocurrency space. There are no scarcity within many altcoins, but even if you consider altcoins with some kind of schedule like the Bitcoin inflation schedule, The overall class of cryptocurrencies cannot replicate scarcity.
[00:07:28] So, we argue that it's not just probably going to happen, but it's also very good that there is this kind of strong convergence. And then the third level of maximalism is that of bad incentives. Even if there was some possibility of some strange monetary configuration with more than one digital gold, even then, the incentives that bring people print money basically, and shill their shitcoins as a better Bitcoin, are so bad and so overwhelming that it's a good heuristic to just ignore shitcoins and just filter shitcoins with some kind of spam filter. This is an argument similar to there may be some honest Nigerian prince offering you a very good offer that will make you rich and also enlarge your pennies, but as a general heuristic given the situation and the bad incentives is better to assume prima fascie heuristics that the Nigerian prince will actually not really help you. So this is maximalism.
[00:08:35] Then there is toxic. Toxic is mostly a reaction to the way the style. I don't think that when we reappropriated the label toxic, what we meant was really about being rude. Again, I consider myself pretty nice in person and basically average online.
[00:08:54] But especially, it was something about the style of trying to cut to the chase filtering bullshit. So what the people tend to call toxic on Bitcoiners is this kind of no bullshit disposition, which reminds us of what was called toxic in Linus Torvalds, for example. There are some scandals about Linus Torvalds being a toxic person, because if you say something that he considered bullshit, it was just calling bullshit without any kind of niceness around that.
[00:09:26] And there is also consideration that in an environment where the signal to noise ratio is very, very, very low and where bullshit is everywhere and where noise is overwhelming, and when scams are overwhelming, every tweet that I give out people have to know that I have to basically block at least 50-100 answers which are a promotion of some kind of DeFi scam. I literally had to go to block them individually or using lists because they are always everywhere. In this environment, usually to be excessively nice. Just means the social equivalent to opening spam folders in email. You need heuristics especially in these eternal September new people will need heuristic. And I personally need heuristics. Of course we have people being really mean. But my contention would be that mean people in Bitcoin are not any more than mean people over the internet in general. I think that the level of real and non-self ironical toxicity, you will find a Bitcoin is comparable to the level you will find about a debate of VIM versus EMAX and probably inferior to what you will find on Soccer Twitter, and especially considering that Bitcoin is a very politically loaded project with a very adversarial mindset. So all that considering I will say that Bitcoiners are on average, nicer than other online community. And when we talk about real life really I don't even remember meeting somebody who will, who was not nice.
[00:11:05] Richard: Okay, great. By the way, before we move on to Paul's opening statement, just one quick question for Giacomo. What is the eternal September you're referring to?
[00:11:14] Giacomo: Oh, yeah, sorry. I gave it for granted. There was this moment where the internet was really opening up for new users coming in. And it was basically a September and there was this new amount of people flowing in chat rooms, and asking basic questions, and being defrauded by fraudsters and incurring all the misconceptions about about everything about the internet. And so people already inside the internet culture was calling this moment where in September, usually you have people coming back from vacation and entering stuff. And this was an eternal September because new people was coming in eternally, always, with a very huge information asymmetry.
[00:11:55] And so they were very, very easy to scam, very, very easy to confound, to confuse, and to manipulate. So eternal September is an eternal inflow of newbs, basically.
[00:12:08] Richard: Okay. Got it. All right, Paul. Go ahead with your opening statement. Explain to us why toxic maximalism is not great for Bitcoin.
[00:12:16] Paul: Okay. Yes. I've got my work cut out for me because that was quite an opening statement from Giacomo. But I'm going to try to just give you a little bit of where I'm coming from and then maybe react to a little bit of what he said. I definitely used to be- I still consider myself to be a Bitcoin maximalist. And I have always been a Bitcoin maximalist. And in fact my sidechain project, I think is pretty, it's almost the Zenith of maximalism because it says there is no place for any other project and anything else, even a bad idea that will be copied into Bitcoin. So I consider myself to be totally a hundred percent a maximalist.
[00:12:53] I think that it's the toxic maximalism part has become very recently. I've been brought around to the opinion that it causes more problems than it solves. There was a time long ago, like Litecoin, I think is an outrageous, copy-paste a Bitcoin, you compare the effort. It took to go from nothing to, to creating Bitcoin like Satoshi Nakamoto had to do. And then you compare that to what it took to create Litecoin. Which is just copy and paste and change like four or five lines of code. And then to frame that like a new thing is outrageous and a crime against truth and extremely detrimental to Bitcoin's message and its ability to achieve its goal.
[00:13:34] So I definitely thought that it was horrible to do that type of thing in the past, but now I think actually some of the new alternative projects, have some merit and are at least worth thinking about, and the toxicity has become a kind of prison of the mind and it is closing people's minds I think. This is just my opinion. So I think that the toxicity- it's going to be something like Star Wars where it used to be really, really cool, but then people learned all the little tropes and the little lines or like the Member Berries from South Park is something else that comes to mind and people are like, well, you just use the word shitcoin and then you can dunk on someone and it's funny.
[00:14:16] So basically my concerns with it, I made a little list here, things that I think I wish we could change a little bit about maximalism to make it, I think a little better: One, the whole staticity there's a kind of xenophobic, paranoid hatred of all change, which I think is a little unfair. Maybe I was in a bad mood when I wrote that.
[00:14:36] My second bullet point is it's too easy to learn the tropes. So like people show up and then they just, they can learn the tropes and you never really know if they actually understand the real maximalism of the world or if they just learned the talking points. And this is all number one this emphasis on staticity that Bitcoin is already perfect and it can't possibly be replicated and everything about it is everything that you need. That's obviously attacking a strawman a little bit, but I think that meme has made it into the toxic world is related to my second point, which is that there is an intense peer pressure in the toxic maximalism community.
[00:15:10] You feel this need to care about what other people think, but I would be more comfortable if it was just something that people just believed because it was true, like something in physics or thermodynamics or something where if people didn't believe it, you just said, well, you can just say have fun staying poor I think is fair game, actually. Some people think it's outrageously insulting but you're just saying it's not my responsibility to teach you anything, which I think is better than hunting down people who argue against maximalism, and then trying to say that that person's a scammer or... and the stakes are pretty high because many people get hired for sinecure jobs, like easy jobs that maybe we could say some of the exchanges or whatever, just based on their tweets, you just tweet and you can get an easy job doing very little here.
[00:15:54] Point number three, it has this creeping kind of totalitarian cult thing. I hate to use the word cult, but it's like you go into Bitcoin and then all of a sudden you're like a registered Republican in the United States and then you're a carnivore and then you have to lift weights.
[00:16:10] You can't like you can't do cardio. And then all of a sudden everything modern is the worst. All music made after 1971 is bad. What are we really signing up for here and has this kind of creeping way of just striking diagonally into [inaudible]. So these are things that I just wish could change. The 4. and 5., one you mentioned Giacomo on your statement. I have hypocrisy written down for four, which is that people are nicer in person, but only online. They have a fake, they feel a need to project, like a bravado or something that I think this is hypocrisy which is that some people even say you meet them in person, they say, well, you know, toxicity, it actually isn't that great for Bitcoin, but then they go right back to being toxic online. And I don't know how to frame that as either being clever or not taking yourself too seriously, which would be a good thing. Or if you can just regard it as hypocrisy, a lot of the most toxic people.
[00:17:04] I mean, we have some other things that we might talk about, like people like a Fluffypony or David Vorick, they have launched altcoins. And then what I'm really thinking of is like magical crypto group, which is like Bitcoin maximalist group, but it had a Charlie Lee from Litecoin and Riccardo Spagni from Monero was like half, non-Bitcoin. Then we can talk about other people maximalists who have done ICO's on Ethereum, and it becomes unclear as to whether how seriously the people who advanced this on Twitter are actually subscribed to it in their heart and soul.
[00:17:41] I also think there's a little bit of a grift. This is point number five, my last point, which is that you have an idea of like friends could meet for dinner. Like we met in Miami, a bunch of people Bitcoiners and someone went to pick up the tab for everyone. But someone else had already picked up the tab for everyone. Cause it was just a friendly meeting of old Bitcoiners. So that was very nice. But I compare that to like, when people sell like the steak dinners, for a very high price, if you're friends with someone you can just join them for dinner. You don't have to sell tickets and make it like a big event.
[00:18:10] That was something you can already do without. So I wonder about if there is a grift, there's definitely a libertarian grift. If you've been around the libertarian community for a while. Some people are big libertarians, they throw these big conferences, but you know, they got to sell tickets there's weird people there, so that's just something I think to be aware of does it have to be like Okay the Fuck Elon tour. I like Max Keiser a lot. I think it's great, but he's selling tickets, which I think is totally a hundred percent fair. I just say is it a performance or is it real these are just things that I think if they change, I would feel a lot better about it.
[00:18:43] So Giacomo said a lot of things. I'm going to try to run through a couple of them. Number one about reappropriating a slur, and that the internet is toxic. I definitely think that's the case. I mean, I spoke to- we're just going to namedrop Adam Back because it's so famous. He told me he was like, this is actually nothing compared to what happened in the past.
[00:19:02] And he says, you just need really thick skin. That's a classic metaphor idiom or whatever. Sometimes I feel really bad for Giacomo because he's not a native English speaker. But you know, he said you really need thick skin in the industry and Adam Back said it was much worse in the flame wars of the nineties or whatever.
[00:19:20] So I think that's true. I think, definitely think new people come in, and some paternalism is warranted. I wonder if though, if the toxicity is not rational enough, if it doesn't give cover to people because the scammers. Cause the scammers can sometimes just say, well, those people are just toxic maximalists.
[00:19:40] They think everything's a scam. They're closed-minded. So I think it has to be rooted in some kind of rational calculation. I agree on the point about the network effects, I completely a hundred percent agree with that. Sometimes I lament the network effects, I wonder if they're like a prison because it's difficult to beat them. And that means there's less room for creativity and fun. I've definitely noticed a decrease in fun, which I attribute to the toxic maximalism. In the past, we had the meme "Bitcoin User, Not Affected" and people would just laugh all the time. This was before the Block Size Debate got really big, the Block Size Debate, forced everyone to pick sides and to religiously adhere to their side. So, I think that this has contributed to a kind of problem.
[00:20:24] Maybe I can tie this back to what I said at the very beginning, which is that I was a fan of maximalism and even toxic maximalism at first. But now I wonder if it has become, especially via the route of the peer pressure, if it has become just like a self-referential, if it's become like a circle, a big circle where people are just enforcing the beliefs of the cult for no other reason, other than that is how to get popular. And it has now broken away from reality. So I wonder about that. I mean, we have now some pretty interesting projects. I think that people should keep an open mind towards. It's just when the new project seem interesting and just when it really seems as though Bitcoin Core might be just a little too conservative and slow moving. Now this is the time when maybe people should react a little bit against maximalism, toxic maximalism, and instead it is going full throttle, I think. Although apparently not because you did that poll and it seems that most people are skeptical that it is good for Bitcoin.
[00:21:32] Richard: Oh, that's just a small sample and I've had many non-Bitcoin projects on my show. And I come from a non-Bitcoin background, so maybe there's a lot of non Bitcoiners in the audience.
[00:21:42] Paul: Yeah. Sampling bias.
[00:21:43] Richard: Okay, great.
[00:21:45] Paul: So that's some of my thoughts there.
[00:21:47] Richard: Okay, Giacomo, go ahead,
[00:21:49] Giacomo: Okay. Now actually I would like to acknowledge some of the points that Paul made. I think this conversation is unfortunately for your format getting too nice. Not nearly toxic enough.
[00:22:03] Paul: Maybe debates are played out though maybe. And I don't think the public really likes them as much as they think they do.,
[00:22:08] Giacomo: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, people like fights, but then they say they don't, it's complicated the relationship between content and personal behavior is not easy. But anyway I will start analyzing some of the points. I think that most of the people that will repeat, the mantra shitcoins are bad and whoever shitcoins is a scammer, they will probably not even understand why. I think I have I have a justification. I think I just gave a very brief justification, but it can go on and on and on giving more justification. I really reflected on that. When I was first a shitcoiner in 2013, and then when I became a toxic maximalist, I really gave it a thought.
[00:22:54] So I think I can justify it. I think that's also the case for other famous toxic maximalists, but they also think that the majority of people that will replicate those slogans will replicate just parroting without any kind of understanding. So I absolutely agree. With Paul here. The difference probably is that I just disagree on the fact that this is anyhow avoidable, if you are going to create any kind of simple message at all. I also know that my father doesn't really knows why he has a spam folder and he will probably delete the Nigerian princes. He just knows that it's a scam. It doesn't really know what is the kind of monarchy in Nigeria, if there are princes, what is the probability of this kind of a stack of money in the bank scheme? He doesn't know details.
[00:23:45] It just acquired a very simple slogan, which I think it may be false in the same sense that everything may be false. We live in a simulation and whatever, but it's pragmatically a very good, very, very good heuristic, a very, very good approximation of those. So I agree that most of the people will repeat shitcoin bad because they are just parroting. But I also think this is both unavoidable and also overall good compared to the other way around which is people mindlessly parroting shitcoins are good, which is I think is the only realistic alternative.
[00:24:22] Also the second part is about peer pressure. I agree that there is one and is strong. It is unpleasant. I felt it myself. One of the projects that you mentioned it at the beginning that I am sponsoring, RGB project, that is basically about shitcoins. Some kinds of shitcoins are inside of Bitcoin architecture, not unlike the idea of Sidechain which is actually cooler because that is bringing the functionalities without bringing the actual shitcoin. So sidechain would be cooler than RGB.
[00:24:55] RGB is actually it's not a scammy project because I'm not printing money and not selling tokens, but it's something that is explicitly designed to allow people to scam other people. So I felt peer pressure. I know that I'm walking on thin ice when I presented that. When I was in Lisbon presenting RGB, I made probably 60% of the presentation was about justifying myself in order not to be considered a scammer by other people there, and then I managed to enter very late in the details.
[00:25:27] So I feel that, and I know it's unpleasant, but I also think that this kind of peer pressure can compensate other very, very bad incentives that I also felt on myself. And I'm sure that most people in Bitcoin, since a while felt on themselves, that if they only were a little bit more dishonest, they could make so much more money just joining and any kind of scammy ICO in 2017 or scammy DeFi scheme now. If only once it will be more malleable about ethics we could be so much richer and this is a strong pressure. And I think this pressure also won over some friends and that I respected. And I mean, I still understand, but I think that the peer pressure is unpleasant, but it is a strong social force. Partially compensating, another very bad social force, which is incentive to take advantage of the huge noise and the huge information asymmetry in this environment. So yes it's ugly, but I think is needed.
[00:26:32] So the other two things that I want to acknowledge it's true that toxic maximalism is not just about shitcoins. It also expanded to somehow include other two things. One is a conservation of Bitcoin as is, so not changing Bitcoin. I think there are also good reasons to argue for this, but this is not as clear cut as shitcoins. I think that shitcoins, if you really think about that, you will understand that it's mostly driven by bad incentives, that is mostly going nowhere. While if you think about changing Bitcoin, I understand the need to be very conservative, very adversarial, very skeptical, very critical, move slow, but in a way exactly for the reason that I don't think shitcoins can succeed, then I have to also think that Bitcoin must evolve. Because if you think about that, if shitcoins could succeed, there will be no reason to change Bitcoin at all, because you can just do that on a shitcoin and it will work. So if shitcoin were possible, then we will not need any kind of change in Bitcoin. Since I think that shitcoins are not viable long term.
[00:27:40] That's the reason why I have to be careful not to be too much close minded about changes in Bitcoin. So, I mean the old debate with Paul about Sidechain may be one example, but even Taproot itself was another example. And now there is a good debate between John Carvalho and Adam Back on Twitter. A toxic one because both have thick skin and both are very direct, well Adam is very nice, but John is very direct- is a little bit toxic and is basically saying you developers will just go on adding bullshit all the time, you will never stop. But we need stability. TCP IPv4 is not changing since the 80's and all the world is built on top. In order to build on top, we have to move change at the margins and leave the base layer alone. And Adam is answering, "you are right, but not quite yet because we can do these change, which makes a lot of sense across simple signature aggregation and then any [inaudible] out, and then maybe Simplicity which will allow any other [inaudible] chain. And I was watching for two days and they both make sense. If we ossify too soon, then Bitcoin misses out a lot of good things that they can do for people. If we also fight too late, then Bitcoin is too easy to change and it will be changed forever, and there will be no stability and no layerization.
[00:28:57] You cannot build on top of a foundation that keeps moving, and so I recognize both. When maximalism is about shitcoins, I can try to give nuances, but really I can not find much nuances when it's about changing Bitcoin, I can see more space for discussion and nuances. And the other thing that Paul mentioned, it is the expansion of the maximalist culture or cult to other topics which are per se, they seem completely unrelated with Bitcoin, like diet or modern art or whatever.
[00:29:30] I think that this is also unavoidable in a way because, Bitcoin basically created one kind of social situation in which a group would think that all day our authorities in the sector of money and finance are completely wrong and/or dishonest. Now is starting to question if the same principle of authority and hyper-specialization is not just failing in money, but is maybe also failing in nutrition or maybe it is failing on climatology or whatever. So the fact that Bitcoin can generate skepticism and critical thinking and anti-mainstream views of everything else, I think it's quite natural.
[00:30:19] I see it happening to myself. I studied physics, so I see a video about I don't know, the standard model is fake by my perpetual motion machine and I would be just, "this is bullshit." this is just like a maximalist. But now I think if everybody was wrong on money and finance completely, like if the most highest authorities on this economic stuff are actual morons and Bitcoin proved that in their face, what are the possibilities from some other field I don't personally understand. So it's an extension of don't trust, verify. So, of course the output, the outcome is not fixed. I don't think that everybody in Bitcoin will eventually start just eating red meat, but I think that everybody consistently considering the don't trust, verify meme after Bitcoin proved the meme viable will probably question a lot of other stuff. And I think this is the origin of the weird and then you have the typical social dynamic of a group of friends, they will influence each other, even in random stuff. And of course, some of this stuff would be completely idiosyncratic. Bitcoiners, they just like this kind of music or this kind of... it would just be random, but it's also inevitable, but I understand that why I will not give any breaks to shitcoin promoters.
[00:31:44] I can give a break to vegans because I know it's not a mathematical step from Bitcoin to meet. It's just it's just a mindset probably of critical thinking. Then the other thing is about grift. So since people would just start parroting everything, including shitcoins are bad or shitcoins are good. Can you leverage these in order to make money without effort? Just riding the easy slogan. Yes, you can. I think that I may feed it on myself as well. I mean, if I just shout shitcoiners are bad, I will receive some kind of likes, some kind of retweet. I will have some kind of visibility.
[00:32:26] So this is a fair point, I think is not strong yet again, in the context, if you compare the advantage I get from being a toxic maximalist, and soliciting this kind of knee-jerk reaction of "ah, shitcoiners are scammers" and I can feel it, but it's no where as seductive for now, it's not strong as the alternative, which is if you turn into a shitcoiner, you will have way more audience, way more. I mean, it's so difficult to stay Bitcoin only. It's really difficult, especially in a business. I was confronted by so much pressure to include shitcoin stuff and to be a little less strict about that, which compared to that the negative pressure of peer judgment or the positive pressure of grift I can capitalize of being a maximalist. I think they just pale in comparison then there is the point about hypocrisy of being nice in person and being mean online. I mean, I agree with this as well. I agree with Paul here.
[00:33:31] It's not a completely integrated, we behave differently online or offline. I also think it's inevitable. It's not Bitcoin related. I do the same with Political Twitter. On Twitter if you just tell to me I'm pro government, I would probably just block because first of all, for me, it's one too many because I have a few followers, so I cannot really follow and it's just more natural. There's not the face in front is I understand that dynamic that makes me more of an asshole on Twitter than in person. It's true, but it's not really Bitcoin related. I can see it in every other topic. This is really what Adam said. This is just about the interim. So we'll go back to my point. And the last one is I agree completely with Paul that I'm not happy that maximalism is true. Network effects are a prison, and if it was possible to have a multi-coin world, everything will be easier. We will not be forced to have Bitcoin as our shot and everything will be better.
[00:34:30] I will have more money, probably some Lambos, and we will have greater chances at succeeding to change things. Unfortunately, I think maximalism is absolutely true. Otherwise I would be more than happy to be wrong. If shitcoin theory is right, I will gladly just start using shitcoins for everything they can achieve. If people think that, people have to push their bag. Like I have many Bitcoins, of course I don't, I've lost everything in a boat accident, but if I had lots of shitcoins, a lot of Bitcoins, then I have to pump my bags.
[00:35:04] That may be true for very low liquidity altcoins. But when you're talking about Bitcoin, what's the point? My tweets will not change the price. I mean, hell, a nation-state adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender didn't. And China banning mining completely didn't move the price. It's not my tweet changing the price. Bitcoin is too liquid for me to pump my bag. If I believed in ONE coin or Dentacoin or Ether, I would just buy them. There's no reason for me to pump my bag. I would just change my bag if I was convinced I was wrong. Unfortunately, I am convinced right.
[00:35:39] Richard: If I may, I actually want to come in with just one quick comment, right? So you guys are both talking a mile a minute. It's hard to keep up, but I think if we were to take the 10,000 foot view, the success case of Bitcoin in my mind, Is that it has achieved sufficient social consensus. And that means a certain number of people and institutions, and maybe you don't care about institutions, Giacomo, but institutions are made of people. So let's say a certain number of people believe that Bitcoin is the best form of money or a great form of money.
[00:36:12] Right? I think that to me is the definition of Bitcoin's success. If you agree with that, and follow that logic, then I think it makes sense to say, we need more people to believe it, right? As opposed to have even fewer people believe it. So I think some people say that the toxic maximalism attitude is actually turning people away from this community.
[00:36:35] So if you think about people that are just finding out about crypto, what will they think when they start asking some questions and then instantly getting blocked or how will they regard this community when they think that it consists of individuals that don't hold the same type of openness and let's say welcoming attitude as them. So my question generally is if Bitcoin requires the building of a bigger community, how does toxic maximalism help that? Or how does that not help that?
[00:37:08] Giacomo: So I will question this goal because it's not a pyramid scheme where we need people to enter. Of course, it's nice to have a higher price, but the point is that you have to enter, you have to use it when you need it. And when you know that you need it. And when you understand it. I disagree that we have to lure people in when they are not ready. I don't think that's the point even because either they will end up not just with Bitcoin, but with the shitcoin scams as well, or they will be burned by some bullshit and they will become Bitcoiners as a reaction to the degree of bullshit they've seen.
[00:37:42] If you get people in fast people will also pull out fast. I think we need a sustainable, slow, organic growth, not a forced growth. But let's say even empirically, I think it's false that toxic maximalists are driving people out or slowing down new people.
[00:37:59] One of my friends who is considered one of the most toxic maximalists ever, Saifedean Ammous. Saifedean's book has been translated in like what, 25 languages? Right? Read by millions, and he convinced the billionaires of of public companies, and Miss Universe contestants, and Superbowl winners and it's working. Or even, less toxic, but considerably less toxic, but also maximalist Jack Mallers. Jack Mallers is considered maximalist because he said no to shitcoins inside his platform. He basically red pilled a nation-state. People want a clear vision. People want to hear conviction. People appreciate eventually signal over noise. So niceness is a very effective short-term strategy to get people in, but it's not the long-term successful strategy to make people understand stuff.
[00:38:51] Paul: Yeah. I think a lot of that is good. I also agree with Giacomo that you've placed an emphasis on belief that I don't think is right. I think the Bitcoin's success is just when it changes the way that all the banks of the world, including all the central banks, do business and possibly by just putting them all out of business or even changing the way they do business, like a gunpoint, not literally at gunpoint, but, like where someone asked them, aren't you going to do X, Y, and Z.
[00:39:19] And then they say something like, well, we can't, because if we do, people will just use Bitcoin or something, so our hands are tied or whatever. So it doesn't really matter. And I also agree with him that being nice is sometimes a sign of maybe you could call it lack of confidence, or maybe submission, or something like a lack of leadership.
[00:39:39] It's not to say that being mean is leadership because I think that's actually false. There's no real reason to be not good. When you go into the bank, you want to make sure that they have all of your money and they only give it to you, and not some other person, you don't really care that much. How nice they are, you would prefer that they are nice. But the important thing is that they do their job because you suffer quite a bit. They can screw up. It's not like they're going up your meal at a restaurant or something. This is like cumulative, your savings over a while.
[00:40:09] Toxic maximalism, I do think it might drive people out. Giacomo and I both know Chris DeRose. He was mentioned as kind of someone who keeps people from leaving, but it makes the whole enterprise a little bit less welcoming, which may be detrimental. And I thought he was onto something with that. I remember very clearly, and I'm willing to say this because it happened in public and anyone can search it and read all about it. But there was a time when, Joseph Poon was doing something as creator of the Lightning Network. Tadge Dryja and Joseph Poon were the creator. Although if you talk to Tadge, he says that really Joseph Poon did more work or something. So the creator of the biggest sacred cow of the mall, the Lightning Network, he was doing something, and he thought that, people had misunderstood him and some toxic people were calling him out on the mailing list. And he tried to... it's all on the mailing list that anyone can read. He tried to get them on the phone and they refused. And he literally, at one point said that his feelings were hurt and that it's all misunderstood and then he departed the Bitcoin community. So that's an anecdote.
[00:41:14] But we all have we all have a lot of instincts in our minds, right? For lots of different things and whenever we do anything, we have many different motivations. If you want to go out for a drink, it could be because you're bored, it could be because you're thirsty, it could be because you're lonely, it could be for a lot of different reasons. We have some motivations to just be really mean people and to just see what we can get away with, and I wonder if the toxic maximalism is just an excuse for people to be sociopathic like that, many people I think have gone. There was a famous essay, " Geeks, MOPs, and Sociopaths" that I think people should read and it's really interesting. And I do think that it's weird because it's in between our two positions because the geeks need protection. And even at the end of the article, the person who advocates that there'll be some kind of like sociopath tyrants that protects the geeks. The geeks need protection and yet it's not clear, which of the people are the real protectors and which are just people who can't do anything except manipulate other people: the sociopaths.
[00:42:21] And I don't want to throw out names, but John Carvalho was mentioned, and I don't think he is a hundred percent like this, but this is the type of thing I wonder about. I like John Carvallo. I think he does have a lot of skills, but he's like a specialist in being the toxic maximalist. It's not like he's a Matt Corallo or something where he's doing all this networking code but for Bitcoin also on the side. And then he also happens to be of the opinion that presumably that Bitcoin is categorically superior to altcoins. Some people like, are they just turning into a career? This is the grift point. So that's that.
[00:42:57] So we agreed with, again, a lot of stuff. In particular, I'm happy that we agree that a lot of the people repeating the mantra, are doing it mindlessly, which is a concern. And as again, exactly. as Giacomo said, you never know, easy come easy go, right? You never know what mantra those people are going to be repeating when they find a charismatic, Saifdean 2.0, who may have views that Giacomo and I don't agree with, and then, that's a problem.
[00:43:26] I'm also happy that he agrees about the network effect prison. It's a weird state of affairs. Although Sidechains could help us escape the prison, but that's a whole other conversation. And so I want to hit on some other things that we're interested in like the idea that we have to have some kind of antibody to protect people from error, which I also agree with. That there are these big errors and the altcoins are like these factories of error and they produce lies about the world. And we have to do something, if we don't do something about it, they will take over and destroy the community. And I agree with that. I'm not sure that toxic maximalism is like the optimal antibody. But we should talk about it like what to do. I think that would be better.
[00:44:11] Richard: What do you think are examples of these lies and what do you think is a better way to deal with them?
[00:44:16] Paul: Litecoin is a perfect example. You know, it was produced and then like silver to Bitcoin's gold, the idea that it was four times faster or whatever, because the interblock time was shorter. Those were basically untruths. People would say them because the incentives of the situation, and then like, just all this stuff. I always remember Tim Swanson and they would come up with all these corny little phrases. I remember Vitaly came up with multicolored pluralism or something. Like all of that was so obvious, It was absolutely obvious at the time, but very obvious in hindsight that that was just Tim trying to say that. I'm trying to open the door for Ethereum and then all of that the pluralism was mostly junk, but not completely junk.
[00:44:56] I have to say one more thing though and then I'll stop., which is that I think you may have contradicted yourself, Giacomo. You were saying in physics, so Bitcoin has stimulated everyone to be skeptical, which is good. I love when people are skeptical, I'm a skeptic myself. But then you also said that this is what happens when people are friends, they all just start to conform basically.
[00:45:19] And I was like, oh, that doesn't sound consistent at all. So I thought I'd bring that up, which is that isn't this a problem that everyone is just feeling the peer pressure to conform. And I agree a hundred percent. I agree that that is what people do, but I think that we have to constantly fight against it by always saying that the door is open for people to disagree.
[00:45:38] And the Joseph Poon story is a little bit. Maybe we'll get into a lot of details about that, which maybe not important, but people should be able to dissent from Bitcoin Core without it being like the complete end of their professional career. I think, and, without being mobbed on Twitter or whatever, which I currently question if that's even possible. So those are some of my thoughts.
[00:46:00] Giacomo: Well, about the contradiction. I think that Bitcoin stimulates some kind of skeptical mindset about our authority's mainstream, the typical, our authority oriented thinking, which is very, very present in today's hyper specialized world. So the best economists in the world could be complete morons. It doesn't stimulate particularly, skepticism about your peers and your friends. So I think that the dynamic about group think the dynamic about confirmation on the thinking of your group. They are not really over average. They are just normal for a new community- new, strong community.
[00:46:42] I think they have drawbacks. They have trade-offs of course. Such a trade-off could be tragic in some circumstances, but really not different from anything I've seen any other active group activity I've been. I think it's wrong to designate Bitcoiners as a strange or anomalous example of this, especially because people, we mentioned it before Adam and John, they fight all the time in Bitcoin and Matt and others, all the people we mentioned fights and fight and fought a lot. And so it's not especially true, but it could be true. In particular the Joseph situation, which is an example of the Bitcoin community turning against some idea I had about the Bitcoin community. And so me using the shitcoin situation as leverage if you are mean to me, I will just go away.
[00:47:32] So I think that the preferential way to react to strong criticism and even peer gang pressure will be to have thick skin just like Adam suggested, but understand that there is a quick this is another problem of shitcoin. They offer an easy shortcut to avoid, to have a thick skin and to respond and to resist. And to make your point, they just allow you a shortcut to say, okay, I just leave for an altcoin. And usually that just lives in nothing, just like it happened with Jeff [inaudible] and in his ICO, you can mention several people even to some degree, Roger Ver and his shitcoin.
[00:48:13] Was basically a little bit [inaudible] rage quitting because nobody cared about on-chain, turing complete, contract staff enforced by minors which was a very bad idea. And now it's obvious it was very bad idea. And they're switching away from that bad idea, but it was like Bender in Futurama: I will make my own shitcoin with Blackjack.
[00:48:35] It's a natural thing. But just about the grift thing, I agree that some people may become maximalist as a career choice. That's true. But the point is that now what I see it's even people being post-maximalist or anti-maximalist, as a career in order to just rise a quick knee-jerk reaction. This stuff is layered. Like you have shitcoiners. Then you have the immune response against shitcoiners, which is important. And we agree, then we may have some excesses on the reaction, but then you have the people who capitalizes on the idea that you may have excesses. So you can, in this metaphor, you can have the auto-immune disease where the white cells will attack your own body. And this is actually possible. But now there will be a lot of people pretending there is such a case when actually the reason in order make themselves relevant because as...
[00:49:28] Paul: Auto autoimmune disease.
[00:49:29] Giacomo: Yeah, auto autoimmune. My proposal would be if there is a scammer, you may be nasty or you may be nice, but don't be nasty with people being too nasty.
[00:49:39] Otherwise we're adding this kind of meta toxicity. I mean, you talked about all totalitarian tendencies in these, in this culture. But actually I think that many example of anti maximalism they're literally thought police. There is people that when I say shitcoin, there will try to police my speech about shitcoin.
[00:49:59] So, this is going all around the meta layers and we'll just end up fighting with meta meta, meta immune responses. So if you think w e are too mean just be nicer instead of trying to be mean with mean people. And I think that there are some people, we are we're grifting, they post maximalist or anti maximalist meme, especially when they have to cover up for some kind of... there was a friend of mine since we're mentioning many names.
[00:50:26] I think I don't even remember his name, but basically it was a maximalist and it was caught doing an EOS scam, mining I don't know, investment scheme and it was a private, but it was called out. And so he wrote a long article about being post-maximalist, which was very convenient after that, or the same goes with the recent episode with the good guy Robert Breedlove.
[00:50:50] I mean the thing itself about Bitclout was not even so tragic, but response leveraging or trades against maximalist because you have been called out. I mean, that's just grift on a second layer.
[00:51:04] Paul: Yeah. No, I think that's actually a really good point, but that there is a counter grift and that's definitely true. And I think that's really important to keep in mind. And there was something I wanted to mention before, which is that, I was making fun of Max Kaiser. I want to be totally clear that because you brought up EOS, the stuff that that the non-Bitcoin team does is really just way more outrageous than, whatever little things that people in the Bitcoin community might do.
[00:51:30] And it's important to keep that in mind that, thought like EOS putting the Times Square ad, that just the name , and there's no information. And they raised $4 billion, right? Probably like mostly wash trading or whatever they call chandelier, like when have ringers pay themselves. And then it looks like the whole thing is, giant mess.
[00:51:55] Giacomo: I mean, we live in a world where Iced Tea companies are putting blockchain in the name on the stock market in order to get money.
[00:52:03] Paul: Yeah. Those people just got the iced tea company. I think the SEC just sued them for insider trading or something funny like that. I think that just happened like yesterday or something funny like that. So that's definitely true. And yeah, we have to live in the real world. We have to at the end of the day, you have to do something. And so I agree that there was this kind of process unfolding. This conversation is now colored by the fact that I think that sidechains are possible and easy. So obviously my brain is just thinking, well, if if we had sidechains, then we could inoculate everyone against shitcoins by just deploying sidechains.
[00:52:39] And then whenever anyone asks like a little question, like why does Bitcoin support smart contracts? Have you ever heard that question? And then you can just say yes, and just point to the sidechain and stop talking. But then there'd be no need to like involve any kind of emotional anything at all. And it would work like 99% of the time. It's hard for me to imagine what I would believe if I did not think that sidechains were possible and you had to just be this giant war and the thing is the network effects are prison, but you can't say that they're a hundred percent determinative because if they determined the outcome a hundred percent, then the U S dollar would just crush everything.
[00:53:22] Giacomo: Yeah. Yeah, there must be some merit difference.
[00:53:25] Paul: There is a little loose coupling based on the merit of the protocol. And then if you accept that, now we have to wonder what would happen? What if the country next to El Salvador says that they're going to adopt Bitcoin Cash or something, and now you're like [inaudible], now it just becomes a giant question mark. Not that I think that that's likely to happen.
[00:53:45] Giacomo: Very quick about sidechains. I, for one, I am, as I'm a fan of the concept I'm skeptical not really contrarian with a bit skeptical about some parts of the Drivechain proposal. And especially I'm skeptical that the community will adopt it because of the controversy, but except for these meta discussion my skepticism about your idea of such chain as an easy way out, which are developed more recently is that I never thought that a drive for shitcoin was a technical experimentation. Of course the drive was great, was people trying to print their own money. So that was the drive. Of course it was disguised as experimentation, but I don't think anymore that removing the other alibi. So removing these fake pretext will actually make a big, big difference because people just want to print money and to sell their money to people. And that's the incentive. And if there will be sidechain, sidechains will basically be honest projects without millionaire ICO's and scammers will have a marketing department and a marketing budget in order to shill shitcoins and that change will not be by choice, but by a good choice.
[00:55:04] And so eventually I'm not sure that even functioning uncontroversial sidechains will really kill shitcoin because shitcoins are not happening because we need innovation they're happening because we want the Lambos basically.
[00:55:19] Paul: Well, I think I do agree with that. Obviously there's a big disagreement in the community, which I think is totally fair about to what extent if you killed the disguise or the pretext. Like how detrimental is that really going to be? And I think it would be pretty detrimental, but that's a view I hold very weakly. It could easily not be detrimental at all because of the way people's brains work with cognitive dissonance and everything. It might even make the situation worse. Somehow I have no idea because there's nothing stops the shitcoin from saying that it also has sidechains and plus it has this other thing and whatever.
[00:55:53] So it will ultimately destroy Bitcoin and whatever, blah, blah, blah. So who knows what will happen actually in that hypothetical world? I hope people know by now my primary interest in sidechains, isn't my own sidechain technology that I myself developed, which is about prediction markets and doesn't really have anything to do with killing shitcoins.
[00:56:11] I guess that it would, I only brought it up because I was wondering about what is the best way to make the antibody. Because the playing field is tilted. It's like getting glasses where there's an inherent bias in the world towards altcoins, because they will have the marketing budget.
[00:56:26] Obviously when you say that you're being both literal, but more really abstract because, and I agree that it's like this tilt towards that. And it's if we want to see clearly to tilt it back the other way, I'm not sure, I don't know if it's better for Bitcoin to be... oh, again, you drew the distinction at the very beginning between just being maximalist and being toxic. I can seeing giving cover to the people who altcoin, it makes it easier for them to write. Like Like that person you mentioned, it makes, it just gives them more stuff to write about in their little article that says that they're post-maximalist or whatever.
[00:57:01] Richard: Okay. So let's talk a little bit more about this multi-coin universe. Right? So, Paul, at the beginning of our conversation, you had mentioned that you were looking at some other projects that have been happening and in 2018, you did write an article actually about Bitcoin...
[00:57:18] Paul: Post-maximalism, I think. is that what you are talking about?
[00:57:21] Richard: Post-Maximalism of Bitcoin. Yeah. April, 2018.
[00:57:24] Paul: They may have stolen that meme from me as far as I know who knows, but yeah, that's something I'm worried about. So in that article, I worried about to what extent will the network effects just carry Bitcoin to victory no matter, or how slow it is. So one thing is the, the soft forks used to happen multiple times a year, and now it's like once per five years. Is that a good thing or a bad thing. With sidechains? It wouldn't matter at all, because sidechains could then do whatever innovation they like, anyway, am I interrupting you?
[00:57:55] Richard: Well, no, not at all. Yeah. So, well, my question is, do you see Bitcoin being successful in a sustainable manner in a state of the world where many other altcoins also flourish and let's define sustainably successful for Bitcoin as say, being reserve currency for one of G7 central banks for a decade or something.
[00:58:11] Paul: Well, yeah, that's that is a weird thing. I mean, I think sustainable, it's very clear to me what it means. It means that there's no reasonable reason to think that it would go away anytime soon. That's just what sustainable means to me.
[00:58:24] Richard: But that seems like a low bar though. What does going away mean?
[00:58:28] Paul: Hmm, well, Maybe it is a low bar, but just what it means. So how about you? Do you want it to be number one on Coinmarketcap or something? Is that, what else do you want?
[00:58:39] Richard: I think abstractly speaking Bitcoins being successful basically means...
[00:58:44] Paul: successful is different from sustainable, of course.
[00:58:46] Richard: Okay. Well, I said sustainably successful.
[00:58:49] Paul: Oh, okay. Well, sustainably successful. Well, again, I don't even think that's important. I mean, the meat of your question is if there's a lot of altcoins that are, that have some real users, so they're not just, the ponzi finance. They need to have real users. David Vorick's project Sia. it has, you can argue about, is it badly designed? Is it good design? Is this fake or whatever. You can either run a software, just go to his website and, there are users who actually use the service. So and certainly for Monero, I need to keep tabs on this in case it changes, but there were, I think now two Dark Net markets that only accept Monero.
[00:59:31] Giacomo: I think one wide market, but yeah maybe I'm not up to date.
[00:59:34] Paul: The point is that, the Dark Net markets, those people are real users. They would like to actually use the client to, to do something. You're using it for the privacy feature.
[00:59:47] To me it's very clear when someone is using a crypto project for its task, versus when they, they just buy it on the exchange and hope to sell later. That's not to say that I agree with the people who say that saving money is using money. That's one of the many ways of using money. And I agree with that, but the point I'm trying to make is there are actually altcoins that have a feature that someone actually wants. And then they use it for the feature. So if in a world where that is happening, you have an altcoin world that's open-ended, as it would be in the sidechain world.
[01:00:24] Yeah. But anyone could create anything, including bad ideas of which most new ideas are overwhelmingly likely to be bad. Because they're created more or less at random or trial and error. But you have a lot of creativity and new ideas are created and you know how it is with evolution.
[01:00:44] You have a lot of variation and enough selection and enough time. Good ideas happen, accidentally. I kinda think Ethereum, has had maybe one, two or three ideas in this very Darwinian sense that they've just lucked into being good, the ERC-20 token kind of being one where they accidentally reinvented it, even though we had it in Bitcoin with colored coins, counterparty, et cetera, they just hit on something.
[01:01:08] And especially with the global community, they hit on something that if it hadn't something that people liked, that was a bad example because it happens to be related intimately to just Ponzi scamming people. But the ERC-20 part of it was something that I think someone liked. So to just try and wrap up, you asked me about what does Bitcoin look like in a world where it's Bitcoin is frozen and there's this creativity happening elsewhere? I personally, I would be a little nervous about that because you never know what it is that evolution or human creativity is going to assemble.
[01:01:41] No one ever expected Bitcoin to be assembled from nothing. There was from like the remnants of Digicash and Liberty reserve, et cetera. So I think, there's no limit to how good of an idea someone might have that it's possible. That would almost certainly be, reinstated as like a hard fork of Bitcoin or something if it were super, super good.
[01:01:59] But I don't know. I don't know about that either, because then there'll be people out there right now thinking who are like 13, 14, 15 years old maybe. And they're thinking like, maybe they're also early Bitcoin adopters and they made they like a hundred thousand X return on their $5 investment. And now they're thinking, you know what I'm going to do. I'm going to come up with the next thing and I'm going to set it up so that it's just Bitcoin and everyone hates it at first. And I'm going to use the toxic maximalism as a big shield, and then I'm going to make it, so it's the best investment in the world.
[01:02:26] And I'm going to trick everyone into thinking it's terrible at first. And only after it's too late, will they realize that how great it is. And then it will flip into Bitcoin and destroy it or something. So that's obviously a kind of a silly story but yeah, I worry about that about where I think the creativity is ultimately going to win to put it put it in one senternce.
[01:02:43] Richard: Okay, great. So I have another question for Giacomo. How much do you think that toxic attitude with maximalism is correlated with low cost basis? In general, it feels like the sort of attitude that we're seeing corresponds to the timing for when someone starts using or buying Bitcoin. So do you think there's an element of how early Bitcoiners are? Are they still wealthy in fiat terms that they might think that normal rules of civil discourse no longer apply to them?
[01:03:15] Giacomo: I think that's optical illusion. I think that's like a selection bias. It's the other way around. People who have been around for a long time, they tend to become typically Bitcoin maximalists. One example of this would be me when, when I first discovered Bitcoin in 2012 and the beginning, I was skeptical, like this cannot work, but when Bitcoin, during that year proved me wrong. You basically broke my skepticism, my it broke my spam filters. So for one year after convincing myself, Bitcoin was possible, I just thought that everything was possible. So any kind of bullshit you can imagine. I started to study [inaudible] to study repo because Satoshi Nakamoto himself inadvertently scam me because he mentioned the report positively, but it was talking about another report, a CoinList project before Bitcoin.
[01:04:09] But anyway, I was really, a shitcoiner, for one year. And then I met a toxic guy. [inaudible], the guy was, I was working for him in [inaudible] address wallet in 2013 at the end of 2013. Quite toxic to me, I mean, in a nice way, but it was like, you are full of bullshit. Everything you're saying is wrong is monetarily impossible. I was not a developer, I was just a guy with some vaguely technical background. And he was like, look at this fucking code. People don't know what they're doing. This is absolute garbage. And in a very toxic way, it made me understand the situation.
[01:04:48] Then this kind of awakening deepened it. When I added some monetary consideration about digital scarcity. Again, the very simple sentence. There is a scarce amount of Bitcoin. There is an infinite amount of cryptocurrency. So I convinced myself there was absolutely no way to have a stable long-term significant multi-coin market. At least except with some kind of external I don't know if, if one government will impose one shitcoin as legal tender, then maybe you may have a fractioning like you have today with fiat.
[01:05:26] The reason we are talking in English right now, but we are using different kinds of money is because government are basically artificially fractioning the standards while people will eventually naturally try to convert. So, this is my example. I started out as shitcoiner. And I became a toxic maximalist meeting other toxic maximalists and other typical example would be like, I don't know, famous podcaster, Peter McCormack. We disagree about many things sometimes is considered to normy to be... I mean, in external topics, like meat and global warming and that kind of stuff, I am the maximalist and he's the normie.
[01:06:04] But about shitcoins, especially about the original significance of the original meaning of maximalism. He became a maximalist. He just said, okay, I was following tons of shitcoins any kind of bullshit narrative. Then I got hurt. And now I am being selective and I'm rising anti-spam filters, and I will just stay Bitcoin only.
[01:06:27] And he still tends to be nice, eh, even too much for somebody, but so maybe it's not really toxic, even if I would argue that it is strictly depends on what you're talking about, but is another story. Of course, there are a counter example, but in the counter example are less frequent, less significant, and especially typically driven by the dynamics. Brian Armstrong was saying I was saying very maximalist things in 2014 it was, there's still the tweet of Brian Armstrong, which is why, which is something like altcoins are a distraction. We must focus on Bitcoin and now he's like the king of shitcoin. And and of course you have you have, you have, other people like Jeff Garzik and stuff like that. You have many maximalists. You have some maximalists turning shitcoiners, mostly I think it's better to always think about very down to earth motives. But I think it's about money because Paul knows that if he was going to launch a truthcoin altcoin, instead of inventing Drivechain, he would be way richer, maybe less proud of himself, maybe less, more cognitively, more dissonant, but it would be "fuck you" richer.
[01:07:46] And so he knows that, and I don't know that so there is direction in the other way. In a way, I will play a very low jab to Paul right now. There is also a famous tweet by Paul himself. It was super toxic maximalist. It was something like, I don't remember the wording, but it was, anybody who is working on altcoins are stabbing Satoshi in the back, is it right?
[01:08:07] So that was very maximalist. So in a way there are counter examples of people growing skeptical of maximalists, but the typical evolution is you start, you believe in anything, so you are a shitcoiner, and then you gradually learn, and only in a few occasions you become either too bored or too greedy, and you have to go back to shitcoins.
[01:08:30] Paul: No, first of all, I don't think that's a low blow and I think that's completely- all my numerous tweets are fair game. Although, the number of times I tweet while intoxicated is extremely high and people should keep that in mind. I do still believe that actually, that you are stabbing Satoshi in the back. It's unclear whether or not, it's good for society or good for Bitcoin. The motion of the debate was is it good for Bitcoin. So here's the thing, if you think, like it's often said that Bitcoin Core is a meritocracy. There's sort of an implication that it the process for, core development is like infallible and that it will always attract the best ideas and it will always sort out the bad ideas. And obviously I have a conflict of interest because I'm floating an idea at the Bitcoin Core that is controversial. What I mean to say is that it's, it can't possibly be infallible. Even the people who have been in it for a while, think that it's imperfect to say the least.
[01:09:31] When you have that angle, you have to wonder what is the best way to help Bitcoin? Is it to challenge Bitcoin by creating a different project? I do think competition is good. You know, it's a shame because I used to make fun of Eric Vorhees for saying that, which I still would. When Litecoin came out, it was a fake pretext that was adding choice to the marketplace. It really wasn't. But yeah, I do think altcoins are a distraction. I do think that people are selling out, which is a shame. But I wonder about what is the best way to address that? I don't know. I guess maybe it's just hard to describe, but there's a lot of nuance.
[01:10:06] In my brain, I'm trying not to make this like the BIP 300 referendum or whatever, which is very difficult because what all of these projects are, they're either saying that there's something wrong with Bitcoin Core and/ or there's something wrong with Bitcoin Core development process, because they'll never add my great idea which is the turn complete scripts or whatever. That's like an essential part of their existence as I see it and sidechains would just kill all of that. So that is where my brain is at and I'm trying to get my brain away from that, but it is difficult.
[01:10:41] Richard: Let me just summarize very quickly. I feel that Bitcoin Maxis basically have three wars going on, right? One against no-coiners, we briefly touched upon that. Giacomo was talking about people in finance or governmental high places have been wrong for many years and Bitcoiners saw the light and now they're questioning many things in addition to monetary policies. And then the second war is against shitcoiners. So people that are trying to steal market share, people that are trying to essentially only make money, not to say Bitcoiners are not trying to make money, right? Let's be real here. Bitcoin itself is a sort of money and early adoption signifies that you want to have more of the better money than the worst money, which in Bitcoin's early days was just Fiat money. But now there's this alternative form of worse money in Bitcoiners minds, which is shitcoins. So that's the second war. And then the third war is I think civil war really, right? Within the Bitcoiner community you have people that are very conservative, that do not want change and then you have people that are more aggressive and more creative, right? So let's talk about that last point a little bit more. I know you touched upon that a little bit, Paul. What in your mind are, say top two or three proposals, including Drivechain, that you think are critical for Bitcoin's thriving or even survival, and what are the consequences for the canonical chain to not accept them?
[01:12:05] Paul: Sure. Well, that's a very loaded question, but let me say something else instead, because I don't want to just say that BIP 300 is the only thing you need to change. I mean, I'm saying it now, but it's the only thing [inaudible] it's the last change that you would need. But I think when you brought up the civil war, I mean, maybe you think of the Block Size debate.
[01:12:20] I think, everyone in their mind, regardless of what happens with Bitcoin, you have to always be pursuing truth, and obviously that's a very, that's not a very controversial thing to say. Everyone always thinks that they are doing that. I'm sure. But a lot of seeds were sort of planted. I think most people would agree that, we should just team up and in order to defeat the others, the large block of our small blocker side, and in order to have a more cohesive team, we need to get our message out, and it has to be a simple message that the team can understand so that the team can coordinate.
[01:12:53] And I do think there was a kind of sacrifice of the idea that the truth is really important in that event, and I think that was a kind of a tragic collateral damage of the Block Size War, and I don't know if anyone will ever agree on how big or small that that idea was, but I think it is this sort of there, and it has planted other seeds that are related to your question.
[01:13:16] It's like buying a house these days where the housing market is crazy, but people want to buy a house that has good resale value. So they want to make sure, in the United States anyway, so no one wants to buy like a weird house. They want to buy a house that other people will buy. And what am I talking about here? It's kind of like, people are afraid to back any idea that just doesn't seem to be getting attention, even if it's totally circular. So the idea I'm going to bring up is not even my own, I'm going to bring up, Jeremy Rubin's idea, which is a perfectly good idea. He has a whole website with lots of great use cases and how basically simple it is and how it would let people fix a lot of different things related to complexity, smart contracts, and fees, and things. But it's fallen in, as I understand it, into this kind of weird loop where just people weren't paying it quite enough attention, and then now it has just attracted this stigma. And I think for absolutely no reason whatsoever, because he's never really done anything. I'm very mavericky and crazy. And I'll just do things to be unpopular on purpose, cause I studied at the Chris DeRose school of being crazy. But Jeremy Rubin was like chair of scaling, multiple scaling Bitcoin conferences. And he was like very much like full maximalist, but his like idea what used to be Secure the Bag is now Check, [inaudible], and verify, I think. People change their names a lot though.
[01:14:40] Giacomo: Yeah.
[01:14:41] Paul: [inaudible]
[01:14:43] Giacomo: Yeah. [inaudible]
[01:14:46] Paul: [inaudible] no inputs. And so that's a weird thing. Part of it is that, everything's going so fast, so much progress is happening at a rapid pace in direct contradiction to what I was saying at the beginning about toxic maximalism being static, I think toxic maximalism is static, but unfortunately the reality is progressive, which is so much stuff is happening in Bitcoin so quickly in every direction, all the different Lightning implementations, all the different, like cultural stuff, like the different conferences and meetups now, the El Salvador stuff, like all that stuff, like so much progress, technical progress, translating stuff into different languages. And stuff that's happening in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, whatever. There's so much progress that it's hard to keep track of what everyone's doing, which is a good thing. But I wonder if this is a flaw that his idea is which I think is BIP 118, but I cannot guarantee that. And so I regret even saying it now, because I don't remember which BIP number it is cause there's a lot of numbers, but his idea is neglected for no reason...
[01:15:49] Giacomo: Yeah, you ended up with a very nice one for Drivechain, Paul, because you can use like a Spartan, you can also use Spartan memes with a lion into skiing.
[01:15:58] Paul: Exactly. Yeah. With the big red paint, it was very funny. Some people in our Drivechain group of may have[inaudible] one or two, but I was wondering like, Yeah. I have the only ones that started with the 300 series. I was like, is this like some kind of am I being like slighted or something? And then there were now those many with 300. So I was like, oh, I was like, okay. And I was getting a little paranoid there. I was like, why? Cause there was, Luke seems to just, he seems to sign them in like utterly random order.
[01:16:24] I mean, I can't make any sense of it at all. So that's funny. So I wonder if this idea is just being neglected for no reason. And then if so, if it indicates that, the process is biased towards, people are afraid because of what happened with the Block Size War. There were some people who were naturally emerged as leaders. People know the names, I don't know if I want to say them, know, there some people naturally emerged as leaders of the small block movement, which won, and now it's kinda just like, they have a lot of influence over what it is that people find interesting. So that's really the real answer to your question. Is that a problem? Should people do anything about it?
[01:17:04] Should people be more aware of it or am I wrong when I say that? And I'm just biased because no one likes BIP 300? I don't know, but that's really what I, think is the more important part of what you are asking about. Because all his thing does is basically like why it shouldn't, this would be a travesty if I try to explain, you should get the explanation from him. I don't even want to explain it because I know that it won't be exactly what he would say, but his thing is very simple. It just lets you pay to like a a kind of a thing, a little hash, little box that contain all kinds of stuff that you put into [inaudible].
[01:17:36] So his thing doesn't have these grand implications, like what I'm trying to do with BIP 300, it's just a simple thing. I don't really see how it harms anyone. People are just determined not to look at it though.
[01:17:48] Richard: And by the way, the aversion to all these changes, they are generally hard forks, right. If it's a soft fork, then...
[01:17:54] Paul: No, no, no, no, no, no, not at all. No. I think no, both mine and his are soft forks so that I don't think that's the case. Cause you know, even just the soft fork, you have people who work with the code everyday that I want some random person coming in and just saying, well, this is a soft fork, so I'm allowed to change all these files. It's very hard to remember where everything is. I can understand that people want the code changes to be very infrequent. I can understand that.
[01:18:18] Richard: Okay. My takeaway is one of the most rational responses here is just that people are scared from history. The Block Size War tore apart the community. And I did hear from a certain maxi in the previous debate where he at the time actually also thought that the civil war was going to kill Bitcoin. So maybe people don't want to basically have things escalate back to that kind of level. And decided to take a more conservative approach.
[01:18:48] Paul: Jeremy Rubin's thing is 119. ANYPREVOUT is 118. I think.
[01:18:53] Richard: Okay.
[01:18:54] Paul: God, I hate to have gotten that wrong, but it's very funny because if you just search for it online, I just find, like he's saying so he's, well, I don't want to get too far into this, but his thing is numerous. Yeah, he has a very simple idea. That is very powerful and I don't see why it's controversial at all, but it gets low mind share.
[01:19:12] Richard: Slippery slope thing, you approve one thing, more people come with proposals. It just gets too messy and you've risked basically devolving into the Block Size War situation again. I'm just speculating. But anyway, so we are about at time and I would like to give both of you a opportunity for a last word. I will... let's see... Start with Paul. This is an opportunity to summarize your position. Talk about some takeaways from this conversation, how have you might have shifted your position or picked up from your opponent somehow. So go ahead, Paul.
[01:19:48] Paul: Okay. Sure. Well, I think, we did agree a lot, which, I think is fair. My position started as, which I still believe that we may need to sort of start outgrowing maximalism, or at least that it's changed over time. So in the era of Litecoin, it made a hundred percent sense. But now when you have a situation where they have the one Dark Net market that is only accepting Monero, you have to wonder like, are we out of touch? and so I, I find it concerning that the objective justifications for maximalism, I think are winding down a little bit and yet it, it doesn't seem to have reacted to that rationally.
[01:20:30] It's still going full strength. Again, those were five things that I listed that I think, would make me feel a lot better about being a toxic maximalist. I consider myself to be a maximalist, but not a toxic one. And so if there was more of an emphasis, I'm just going to repeat them back, if there was more of an emphasis on progress over time and change, and clever ways to change while keeping that thing, that Bitcoin Core static, or keeping the core of rules standard, or however you like to do that. I think if there was less peer pressure, I think the peer pressure is a red flag. I think totalitarian, carnivore, modernity. I think that's a red flag. Like why, if that, if the thing that the idea I can cross species that effectively, then how do you know it's not attacking you from some other domain where it originally evolved and has no place being in your mind maybe.
[01:21:23] The hypocrisy point, I do think it is weird if people are toxic online and nice in person. if it's not going to be, if this is just the way a feature of the internet, then it's not really related to Bitcoin. And then we wonder, it's just making people miserable for no reason. Is it suppressing creativity for no reason that, I don't know. I don't see the point of that. Certainly it's a red flag when people appear not to actually believe the things that they say on Twitter, those things may be false.
[01:21:51] The grift thing. I actually think I actually think Giacomo's right about that. There is also a counter grift and you shouldn't have a wrong person to make the point because I have this thing that I want out of Bitcoin. So I'm the wrong person to, although I've never sold anything as a result of it. So maybe it's not so bad, but yeah. It is true that, the maximalist grifts are not so bad.
[01:22:16] Some of them, I think maybe are like, again, Saifedean's book. That was stuff that you could have read for free online, but instead you bought it in a book form, I dunno, is that a grifter? Is that just harmless fun? I honestly couldn't tell you, but I think Giacomo was right. The fact that there is a counter grift and there's just so much altcoin grift that probably I should just discard that point completely. So yeah, I thought it was pretty good conversation overall.
[01:22:42] Richard: Okay, great. Thank you, Paul. Giacomo, your turn.
[01:22:45] Giacomo: Yeah, great. The conversation was very good. I will have to check back your other debates to to find if it, if this is typical, I was expecting to fight more, but yeah, we were agreeing on many, many parts. The main disagreement is exactly. Probably not a matter of global consideration by the specific context. For example, I disagree that maximalism is less needed now than when Litecoin came to the scene. I think it's actually more needed. I don't think that now, that that outside the specific bubble that we create for ourselves, there is a very strong distinction in people's mind between shitcoin and Bitcoin.
[01:23:27] And there is a clear understanding of the reasons why scarcity cannot be easily cloned and remain scarce. So I think that, for example, with Litecoin everybody was mad at this copycat of Bitcoin, which was dishonest because it was presented as a GPO resistant and it wasn't, it was presented as faster confirmation and it wasn't, so it was dishonest, but at least they had to mine it.
[01:23:54] And then when people introduce a bitshare with the ICO, and then later on Ethereum with his ICO and then all the SEOs on top of Ethereum, people started to be outraged like, what are you doing now are not even mining? You are just pre mining and selling everything. Ethereum was pre mining, 60% of the entire money supply, I mean, this is a scam, but then normalization came in and now I talk with many people outside my toxic maximalist bubble that find natural that just some guy will create 70% or 60% of the money supply and sell it, and that's considered a fair attempt to distribute the new kind of free open source money. So, I think that tolerance actually shifted over more tolerance for scams. And at the beginning, I think that we had a very[inaudible] strict resistance to bullshit. When Litecoin came out, Luke Dashjr, he just wrote a complete, straight to the point direct rebuttal, Litecoin is a scam. Now it's very difficult to do the same with Etherium without having people trying to, to police my words like you cannot call Ethereum a scam, I mean, I technically can there is a sentence which is unstoppable application, which was forced because these guys stopped and application in order to bail out insiders that lost money.
[01:25:20] So I think I can, and I think that the tolerance is increasing not decreasing. And the reason for this is the [inaudible] September dynamic. I was mentioning, I think they will come a point. Where maximalists will be redundant and useless and just a relic of the past, especially in it's toxic version. I think we are no way close and in a way we are actually even closer to the to the situation of the .com bubble.
[01:25:49] Where some things exploding. And I think Goldstein called it the, Scambrian explosion. And I think we are still in the in this Scambrian explosion and people is even becoming more tolerant for scams. Something that will be that would be really scandalous In 2013, when it started something that was told to me was really, really, old treasures from an open source point of view is now normalized among many people.
[01:26:21] So I think that is still needed. I think that about the toxic part I have nothing against people who are nice, for example John Carvalho is very direct, not very nice, not always. And I'm not very nice, especially online and I'm nicer in person. This may be hypocritical, I don't know, but probably, it's just a different medium with different trade-offs. If I was nicer online I probably would waste a lot of my time. In person, you have one to few communications. Online, I have a one to many communication. I have to manage my spam filters in a restrictive way. Even when I disagree, I want to block because I'm saving my time from eternal disagreement over the internet in person that doesn't make any sense. So I'm okay with being nice. I said John can be toxic, Saifedean can be considered toxic, then again I think they are the very examples of somebody that that was successful to attract people to Bitcoin and not the other way around. So I think it's very important to consider empirically that toxic maximalism is in this self ironic way, of course not, not just being assholes with people for no reason, is actually working to attract people and not the other way around because it's giving a very strong distinction between noise and signal.
[01:27:42] So I think it's empirically working, but people like, no, I can name probably Eric Lombroso, Adam Back, there are some guys that are very, very nice with people in life. They keep being nice and I see nothing wrong with There is a strategy choice, whether you want to be nice or blunt, it depends on how much time do you have? What is your mood? How much do you want to appeal to slogans for newbs or to nuance for experience with people? So it depends. It's a strategical choice. I have nothing against people who are nice. The thing that really triggers me, as I said before, are people where being blunt, but only, or specifically, or especially against other people being blunt.
[01:28:27] When we get to that kind of meta toxicity I get mad even with friends. I dunno when, when if I disagree with Andreas Antonopoulos and he will say, oh this is toxic. I mean, I'm just disagreeing. You have to be nice to me if you want to defend the idea that everybodymust be nice. So if you are a "nice-ist", you have to be nice with us toxic maximalists. We are the toxic ones, so I hate meta toxicity, but except for this stuff, I think that it's always good to be skeptical of everybody, including yourself. Sometimes toxicity can help you out, really if you take it seriously and if you take it, honestly. I will give you another example. One I gave you from my personal experience was I was a shitcoiner. Then I met Laurence, then I wasn't a shitcoiner anymore, but the other one was when you know, I use my nonprofit association to funnel sponsorship, to open source projects.
[01:29:24] And the other people was doing the same Adam Back and [inaudible] and other people. And so we basically decided to go all together on a stage to present the super centralized donation system a little bit like Blink is doing now. But that was before and the community reacted against that ferociously, like this is centralization, this is bad. This is dangerous. And I was tempted to just say you know these mean Bitcoiners. They are just, they are, they're mocking me with memes and they are creating t-shirts and hats against my foundation. This is very, I was just trying to help and they're being mean. And instead I, I made the effort, which was a difficult effort.
[01:30:08] It was a big effort to understand that the stakes are so high. And the the skepticism is so ,the adversarial thinking is so needed in these noisy environment that I, and I understand that I condone people thinking I'm a scanner. I am a scammer. I will just try to make my point clearer and to, I mean, sometimes social pressure is bad. But sometimes it's needed there. There's always a trade off by a thing that in the context we are in right now, we are still 99% noise about the so-called crypto, or, I mean, just read a mainstream publication about cryptocurrency or blockchain. And the things that me and Paul agree about will be completely out of the rudder. And it will be just 99.9% complete bullshit and lies and ridiculous things. So I think we're really far away from the moment where we will not need anymore toxic maximalist, but maximalism. And we can keep that going for a while until it will just become redundant.
[01:31:19] Richard: Great. Thank you, Giacomo and Paul, you have both been much more civil than I originally envisioned, which is a blessing and a curse a curse maybe. Thank you both for joining the debate today. How can our listeners find both of you starting with Paul?
[01:31:33] Paul: Sure. Thanks for having me first of all. And I'm @truthcoin on Twitter, because my last name is very difficult to spell. So that's not a claim to make any kind of monopoly on truth or anything. It's just related to a paper that I wrote long ago, about peer to peer Oracles, T R U T H C O I N. And then I have a site at truthcoin.Info, which links to my other sites. So that's where you can find me.
[01:31:57] Richard: Great. Giacomo?
[01:31:58] Giacomo: On Twitter until I'm not banned. I am @GiacomoZucco. And I also have a Telegram channel, which is the same that's my username. While Giacomozucco.channel, I think is the channel. I don't even remember, but anyway, I have a website which is www.giacomozucco.com. I should fix the content. The videos are not working and I'm a little bit lazy, but I will eventually fix the website so you can check stuff there.
[01:32:30] Richard: Okay. And will you get on Bitclout once you're kicked out of Twitter?
[01:32:33] Giacomo: Yeah. Let's hope that I can stay on Telegram at least.
[01:32:38] Richard: Okay, great. Thank you both. So listeners, we'd love to hear from you and have you join the debate via Twitter. Definitely vote in the post debate poll. Feel free to join the conversation with your comments on Twitter.
[01:32:51] Thanks again to Giacomo and Paul for coming on the show. For me, one takeaway from the debate is that people are nicer in-person than online, which is always comforting. In a way, social media is a place for people to express their outrage without physically harming anyone. It's analogous to how sports are a suitable replacement to wars.
[01:33:11] I think whether or not toxic maximalism will do good for Bitcoin, it is now part of the brand. It's a hallmark of the hardcore believers, and it will continue to draw attention from bystanders, no-coiners or pre-coiners. Balaji Srinivasan has a quote on how certain types of content goes viral on Twitter: "If it leads, it bleeds. If it enrages, it engages." I think that observation certainly applies here to toxic Bitcoin maximalism as well.
[01:33:39] Well, what was your takeaway from the debate? Don't forget to vote in our post-debate Twitter poll. This will be live for a few days after the release of this episode and feel free to say hi or post feedback for our show on Twitter.
[01:33:49] If you like the show, don't hesitate to give us five stars on iTunes or wherever you listen to this. This will help me grow the show and reach more audience members. And make sure to subscribe.
[01:33:58] And be sure to check out our other episodes with a variety of debate topics, Bitcoin's store of value status, the legitimacy of smart contracts, DeFi, POW vs. POS, the case for government bailouts, central bank digital currency, and so on.
[01:34:12] Thanks for joining us on the debate today. I'm your host, Richard Yan, and my Twitter is @gentso09. Our show's Twitter is @blockdebate. See you at our next debate!