Bitcoin: Philosophical & Financial Foundations

Published on
November 19th, 2020
Duration
54 minutes

The Real Vision Crypto Story: Understand the Future of Everything


Bitcoin: Philosophical & Financial Foundations

The Interview - Crypto ·
Featuring Stephan Livera

Published on: November 19th, 2020 • Duration: 54 minutes

Stephan Livera, host of Stephan Livera Podcast, joins Raoul Pal, CEO and co-founder of Real Vision, to discuss Bitcoin as it relates to Austrian economics, savings, and bearer assets. Livera shares his perspective on Bitcoin as not just as a technology, but a monetary technology, and the implications this has for policy and individual investment choices. He explains the value of Bitcoin as a savings technology and a check against the government, arguing that it is stepping up where gold has failed. Livera touches on how he expects the next 5-15 years to look for Bitcoin, anticipating much greater adoption by major corporations, which makes it much more commonplace in treasuries than we see today. Filmed on November 12, 2020. Key Learnings: Understanding the various ways Bitcoin can be utilized helps investors to make more educated decisions about the asset. This video covers both the philosophical as well as the financial foundations of the promise of Bitcoin as an asset class, for both individual and institutional investors.

Comments

Transcript

  • TH
    Tim H.
    25 November 2020 @ 05:11
    There are many good frameworks through which to view the emerging digital asset world. To build on Vitalik's comment (that the 'Ethereum ecosystem is like a national economy') from the other video, one might see how in this digital world other 'national economies' will optimize around the key Ricardian idea of "comparative advantage", just as in the real world. Optimizing for 'transaction speed and throughput' is different from optimizing for 'highly secure store of value' is different from optimizing for 'highly complex contracts', etc. The law of comparative advantage would indicate that the global digital economy would be far more productive if each nation specializes according to its comparative advantage and works together, not separately. Tribalism, like nationalism, leads to a suboptimal game theoretic outcome.
  • DF
    Daniel F.
    19 November 2020 @ 14:32
    In a digital world, there is no reason to own just one asset. When all the world's assets can be traded through an app, and we have algorithmically rebalancing portfolios, it would be ironic if after hundreds of years of technological and financial innovation we end up with just Bitcoin. That being said, Bitcoin has great potential and upside, but the maximalist/hyperbitcoinization view seems flawed. People will always want to invest in the latest hot tech company, which is why Tesla is up more than Bitcoin this year. People bought Bitcoin in 2017 because it kept going up, and they stopped buying after it stopped going up, They will likely buy it again when it goes parabolic, but not because they believe in Austrian economics.
    • CH
      Crag H.
      19 November 2020 @ 17:44
      The reason why it's better to strive for a future where only a very small number of chains exist is because of security. However, security can be defined in many ways. In a future with thousands of chains we will face: 1. Many, but less secure chains in terms of hashpower. 51% attacks, DoS attacks etc will be easier to do on the individual chains. 2. Many, but less reliable chains in terms of code due to less scrutiny/testers. 3. Many, but less future-proof chains due to difficulty of maintaining the code base over time. 4. Many, but more volatile chains in terms of price. The more chains, the more headaches as a whole.
    • DF
      Daniel F.
      19 November 2020 @ 17:56
      I agree that fewer chains, the better. I can even see bitcoin being the only chain. But from an asset allocation point of view, it's only the maxis/gold bug equivalent who go all in on BTC. The vast majority of other people and the investment community as a whole may allocate 1%-10% as they do with gold. It seems unlikely that Bitcoin dethrones every other asset.
    • CH
      Crag H.
      19 November 2020 @ 18:22
      For sure. Though, I think just an extremely small number of people are 100% into Bitcoin. My allocation to crypto is 100% BTC, but far from it as a whole. Think that goes for 99.9% of the people in this space.
    • RF
      Richard F.
      24 November 2020 @ 19:24
      There is a reason why gold won the store of value award over a 5,000 year battle with glass beads, cowrie shells, feathers, shaped rocks, dried tea and finally silver.
  • RY
    Roy Y.
    24 November 2020 @ 17:49
    Thank you ...
  • SL
    Shawn L.
    23 November 2020 @ 06:53
    Technological Problems Bitcoin Must Face Soon https://cointelegraph.com/news/how-has-the-covid-19-pandemic-affected-the-crypto-space-experts-answer
    • SL
      Shawn L.
      23 November 2020 @ 06:54
      Try Again (since no edit or delete), Here is the Link https://cointelegraph.com/news/will-googles-quantum-supremacy-break-bitcoin-in-2020
  • MS
    Mark S.
    23 November 2020 @ 00:18
    Stephan is a pleasant person, but as one of the 1000s of bitcoin podcasters didn't bring anything new to my plate. Only show with Raoul that I stopped watching before the end. IMO, Stephan isn't on the same level as a Simon Dixon, Max Keiser, Santiago Velez...
  • VS
    Vikram S.
    21 November 2020 @ 22:55
    Stephan is great. Thank you RV.
  • AR
    Alexander R.
    19 November 2020 @ 14:34
    Raoul doesn´t know what the difference between POS and POW is. I don´t know if that has changed by now but just keep that in mind when judging his crypto content. I LOVE Raoul but in that particular aspect I don´t listen to him.
    • AR
      Alexander R.
      19 November 2020 @ 17:33
      I already feel bad for that dick post of mine. Raoul, I know your day only has so many hours and your output is astonishing but I hope you find a way to step up your game in that area. It is pretty crucial to fully understand the crypto market.
    • TN
      Tim N.
      21 November 2020 @ 01:20
      Piece of S*** vs Pristine Object of Wealth
  • DS
    David S.
    20 November 2020 @ 18:57
    Good discussion. I would like Mr. Livera to state what he means and an example of an Austrian School synthetic a priori truth. Could they be instead be assumptions to play the money game? DLS
  • FR
    Faisal R.
    20 November 2020 @ 17:03
    Question: In the age of big data, how relevant are these debates between schools of thoughts? Market free of govt.intervention was magical as long as govt. knew much less about our wants/dreams than we did. But now the newly married couple (surveillance capitalism and surveillance govt.) knows more about us than we do, + it is seeing the macro picture better than many of us, + inequality can't be addressed by free market. May be we need to dig for some viable middle ground.
  • MD
    Matt D.
    20 November 2020 @ 00:12
    Thanks Raoul and Stephan. For me personally, having these philosophical discussions give context and therefore meaning to the crypto space. The thing that I think about - not too indepth at the moment but someone might have an answer - is that when it first came out BTC wasn't backed by anything. It just was - a means of exchange. We remember the pizza or people getting paid in BTC to write articles. Now... what's backing it (rhetorical question)? Or what is it backing...? There may have been a subtle shift and these discussions are good to clarify or identify the correct narrative. Thanks.
    • HV
      Hector V.
      20 November 2020 @ 14:09
      Backed by energy and the network effects. Anything only has value because someone else thinks it has value. It is also backed by the belief in the scarcity element relative to the world around us and the direction we are heading. I hope this helps.
  • PL
    Patrick L.
    20 November 2020 @ 03:12
    I recently learned of the scandal involving Tether manipulation of bitcoin during the 2017 bull run. I would appreciate real vision experts and members input into this matter and what it means for cryptocurrencies.
    • MP
      Michele P.
      20 November 2020 @ 10:34
      Great insight! IT could be a very interesting topic to explore better ;)
  • MR
    Marco R.
    19 November 2020 @ 12:38
    Bitcoin Maxis are sounding as weird, stubborn and radical as Gold Bucks. The only difference is, that the Gold Bucks are stucking in a narrative of 5000 years and the BTC Maxi’s in 2017. Raoul is much more knowledgable than the guest. BTC Maxis have to be educated and helped to see the digitalisation of finance. BTC as digital gold is one asset and one aspect of the new monetary world.
    • AR
      Alexander R.
      19 November 2020 @ 14:38
      I can see that BTC Maxis look backwards and stubborn to you but most of them actually started where you started and came out the other side as Maxis. Chances are that you will come to the same conclusion one day.
    • AK
      Ado K.
      19 November 2020 @ 17:01
      I really really hope you have not spent more then 6 months in this space. You literally believe that you know something that Preston Pysh, Robert Breedlove, Stephan Livera and Nick Szabo have missed. My god the hubris is just off the charts.
    • MR
      Marco R.
      19 November 2020 @ 17:35
      For me sure I am not as smart as those experts like Preston Pysh. Great guy. I can totally follow his comments and arguments when it comes to BTC. But as soon as it comes to ETH and other digital projects outside of BTC, the arguments of those experts are becoming very thin. Like BTC is the only invention in town. This is never the case. New inventions are always coming. We have to be open for it, also the BTC Maxis.
    • MR
      Marco R.
      19 November 2020 @ 20:07
      To make it clear: I believe in BTC. The majority of my life savings are in BTC. But as a newcomer in the space the Maxis are sometimes hard to take. They are so smart and revolutionary on one side and on the other side they are not even considering, that something new can come, which will also have a place in the space.
    • CH
      Crag H.
      19 November 2020 @ 21:12
      @Marco: I agree that Bitcoiners can be f*cking idiots at times. Totally get that. But what newcomers *always* does is to focus on the "next big thing" rather than trying to figure out "what really matters". If 50% of your research is spent on questions like: - How does a blockchain really work? - When (if at all) would you use a blockchain? - What's meant by "security" in the context of cryptocurrencies? - What's meant by "decentralization" and why does it matter? ...chances are you will become a 100% BTC maximalist.
    • MR
      Marco R.
      19 November 2020 @ 21:30
      Crag H. I want to take your comment serious and learn as a newcomer: For me the BTC product is fairly done and perfect. It is by far the most secure network. And because it is decentralized, scares and hard to change, it is awesome to be digital gold. But I cannot see the BTC blockchain in the same time the flexible network where all the future digitalized finance products are processed and developed on. There has to be at least another network in parallel and eco system, which allows additional layers, apps on top. Or do you really think, all the projects, like ETH, are going to die and BTC is the only digital asset in digitalized finance?
    • BB
      Brian B.
      20 November 2020 @ 02:56
      Fundamentally, a block chain is good for one thing and one thing only: to move value around. There is simply no need for multiple systems that do the exact same thing. Bitcoin has smart contracts, but newbies come into "crypto" and think that's something Vitalik invented. It's all marketing. Bitcoin has the layers and the apps being built out, just not with the hype of Eth. That will fade as more and more people realize Bitcoin actually does do all the useful things too...but even better because it's also more valuable, secure, decentralized, etc.
    • MR
      Marco R.
      20 November 2020 @ 06:39
      @Brian: ok, as soon I hear and see those apps or projects on the BTC blockchain I am going to change my mind. But today it feels like exactly what you say: The majority is talking about the great new ecosystem of Tokens, DeFi etc. The longer this happens not on BTC, the more people will accustom to have those products on e.g. ETH. Still in that world, BTC would have a fundamental use case as collateral / digital gold.
  • Sp
    Scott p.
    19 November 2020 @ 21:02
    Rick, There are different categories of crypto currencies that achieve different purposes. Bitcoin is in a category of its own, it's proven out its use case as digital gold, magic gold, gold 2.0. It has the ability to develop further use cases with upgrades and software stack development. There's stablecoins which are a token that acts like a digital fiat currency (USD) or gold in a vault. The rest are called Altcoins or shitcoins. The best Altcoins are experimental in nature and highly speculative, high risk investments that have computer science challenges yet to be conquered at scale. The majority however (99.99%) are a smorgasbord of things from scams, Ponzi's and casino trading games. They are often backed by VC's or whales who provide money for large marketing budgets and even some software to mislead investors into buying what effectively money they printed out of thin air. Governance token's are new, they are probably all shitcoins. Some open source software projects mostly built to be used with ethereum have seen considerable use this year, surprising many (the DeFi by bubble) including myself. In order to cash in on their efforts developing the software they created governance tokens. Basically it's a crypto token that acts like a share in a company, only it just gives you voting rights. The idea is that people can buy these and vote themselves a dividend or something thereby giving them value. The reality is much different however, they are mostly just used to trading games of Ponzi chicken amongst whales and act as another vessel for printing money allowing VC's to exit and whales to take money for newbies. Stephan is a bitcoiner extremely well versed in the it's monetary and technical properties, and is well placed to shoot down the attempts of shitcoins projects to mislead investors.
    • RD
      Rick D.
      20 November 2020 @ 01:07
      Thanks for the context!
  • VP
    Veselin P.
    19 November 2020 @ 16:20
    I dont buy the point that bitcoin is better than gold because of decentralization and cold storage. The US goverment took people's gold, if they really want they will do the same with Bitcoin. Right now it seems they have no such ambitions. Otherwise a solid interview.
    • FF
      Firas F.
      19 November 2020 @ 19:33
      If properly held, you cannot confiscate bitcoin. Period. DYOR
    • RD
      Rick D.
      19 November 2020 @ 20:00
      @Firas I think that's a very narrow take on the broader point. Sure, the government can't take possession of your bitcoin if you store it properly. Same as with Gold. Buy some land, bury it, good luck finding it Feds. People still turned in Gold. Why? Because there was a fine of up to $10,000 in 1933 (~$130,000 today), and/or up to 5 years in prison. So, yeah, the government "cannot confiscate bitcoin." They can, however, fine you and put you in prison. And this is made all the easier by bitcoin being bought predominately through exchanges with enforced KYC, and the IRS making you say whether or not you purchased crypto on your taxes. It's your choice if you want to run that risk by holding BTC if the time comes (I know I wouldn't if I had it). But it's a choice. Not some mathematical impossibility.
    • tc
      thomas c.
      20 November 2020 @ 00:58
      great comments. yeah the govt can find you and your bitcoin if they want. But what they can do which you can't do with your gold buried away somewhere is they can disrupt the network which could destroy it's value and make it very hard to transact.
    • RD
      Rick D.
      20 November 2020 @ 01:03
      I thought about this some more and can't see any other way around it. The government could do *literally* the same thing it did in 1933 (turn in all your bitcoin or face a $130,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison), and people would give up their bitcoin. The supreme court ruled this was constitutional. In the 1930s, the Fed wasn't busting down doors and raiding houses for gold. People voluntarily turned it in for fiat at their local bank in a very orderly manner. I can't find anything about physical seizures of gold, it was coercion if anything. And the same thing could work for bitcoin. It'd be even easier, in fact, due to KYC requirements, IRS tax reporting requirements, and BTC's traceability. Whether or not they do any of this is another story (I doubt it'd be politically popular), but it's still possible. I don't understand how people can say otherwise. It seems like a very pedantic argument. Otherwise, it's willful ignorance. Or maybe I'm the one who's ignorant, and if so an explanation about why would be awesome. If it wanted to, the US Government could take people's bitcoin. Nobody's claiming the government can hack in to peoples' wallets, but nobody broke in to homes to get gold in the 30s either. Uncle Sam still ended up with 35 tonnes of gold.
    • RD
      Rick D.
      20 November 2020 @ 01:04
      Thomas brings up a good point too, I never thought of a government messing with mining or that kind of thing. Just read that, good timing. :)
  • PB
    Paul B.
    19 November 2020 @ 11:28
    Why is this video not available to watch? I have the Essential tier but thought Real Vision Crypto was free?
    • AM
      Alexander M.
      19 November 2020 @ 15:35
      It is loud and clear for me.
    • AC
      Allen C.
      19 November 2020 @ 19:25
      For some reason, it's restricted on the RV app, but available on the web. Bug?
    • RM
      Ritwik M.
      19 November 2020 @ 21:19
      @Allen: Yes there was a bug which is fixed now and the latest version of the app is with Apple for review. should be live soon. Sorry for inconvenience.
  • AK
    Ado K.
    19 November 2020 @ 17:14
    Dangerous to let Stephan Livera on here. He might stop people from seeing the glory behind maker, aave, yam, sushi, and all those DeFi "gems". Governance tokens make penny stocks look like Swiss treasury notes.
    • RD
      Rick D.
      19 November 2020 @ 19:49
      I don't understand or follow the crypto space much at all. Could you expand on this?
    • Sp
      Scott p.
      19 November 2020 @ 21:03
      Rick, There are different categories of crypto currencies that achieve different purposes. Bitcoin is in a category of its own, it's proven out its use case as digital gold, magic gold, gold 2.0. It has the ability to develop further use cases with upgrades and software stack development. There's stablecoins which are a token that acts like a digital fiat currency (USD) or gold in a vault. The rest are called Altcoins or shitcoins. The best Altcoins are experimental in nature and highly speculative, high risk investments that have computer science challenges yet to be conquered at scale. The majority however (99.99%) are a smorgasbord of things from scams, Ponzi's and casino trading games. They are often backed by VC's or whales who provide money for large marketing budgets and even some software to mislead investors into buying what effectively money they printed out of thin air. Governance token's are new, they are probably all shitcoins. Some open source software projects mostly built to be used with ethereum have seen considerable use this year, surprising many (the DeFi by bubble) including myself. In order to cash in on their efforts developing the software they created governance tokens. Basically it's a crypto token that acts like a share in a company, only it just gives you voting rights. The idea is that people can buy these and vote themselves a dividend or something thereby giving them value. The reality is much different however, they are mostly just used to trading games of Ponzi chicken amongst whales and act as another vessel for printing money allowing VC's to exit and whales to take money for newbies. Stephan is a bitcoiner extremely well versed in the it's monetary and technical properties, and is well placed to shoot down the attempts of shitcoins projects to mislead investors.
  • CE
    Christoph E.
    19 November 2020 @ 17:04
    eye bags are caused by liverproblems. intresting his name is livera. most on topic cheers
    • MS
      Milkey S.
      19 November 2020 @ 20:08
      WTF??
  • DS
    Don S.
    19 November 2020 @ 15:53
    Is there a way to listen on 2x speed here like there is on YouTube?
    • FF
      Firas F.
      19 November 2020 @ 19:34
      Yes, where it says 1x, click it until you see 2x