Understanding Bitcoin: From Novice to Pro

Published on
November 24th, 2020
70 minutes

Understanding Bitcoin: From Novice to Pro

The Interview - Crypto ·
Featuring Peter McCormack

Published on: November 24th, 2020 • Duration: 70 minutes

Peter McCormack, host of "What Bitcoin Did", joins Real Vision senior editor Ash Bennington to discuss some of the fundamentals of Bitcoin and what makes it a hard money. McCormack explains how he discovered Bitcoin and how this encouraged him to learn more about the existing monetary policy tools and the problems they can cause. He describes his trip to Venezuela, a place commonly cited as a great example of why we need Bitcoin, and explains why this is slightly misleading. McCormack discusses his expectations for this bull market and how the space has matured significantly since the 2017 boom. Filmed on November 16, 2020. Key Learnings: From the perspective of someone with a non-financial background, McCormack provides insight into the importance of Bitcoin. He shares his learning progression — from discovering the potential concerns of inflation to recognizing the importance of a hard money that cannot be diluted at will. This offers beginners to Bitcoin a clear path to understanding the importance of the asset from a variety of angles.



  • HB
    Hariod B.
    19 January 2021 @ 19:31
    A thoroughly enjoyable, wide-ranging listen. Cheers RV.
  • MH
    29 November 2020 @ 06:42
    What a fascinating interview between two very intelligent individuals; perhaps th best I have seen. (68 yr old Bitcoin & Gold holding Brit who worries deeply about the future).
    • HB
      Hariod B.
      19 January 2021 @ 19:30
      Hear, hear.
  • DM
    David M.
    29 November 2020 @ 20:58
    This guy doesn't strike me as a valuable voice in the space. I've heard two episodes of his podcast now where he states in the introduction that he hasnt read his guests book, even though they're on his show to plug and discuss said book. His lack of knowledge on many things is very obvious, seems like hes in the right place at the right time and that's about it.
    • JD
      Jonathan D.
      3 December 2020 @ 22:24
      You are crazy.. You are lacking knowledge. This guys has one of the podcast in the Bitcoin space!
    • JD
      Jafo D.
      5 December 2020 @ 00:45
      You sound like the type of customer who prefers to listen to Vitalik's mumbo jumbo. :)
    • IG
      Iason G.
      9 January 2021 @ 23:30
      he doesn't know much and he admits it. But he has good guests every now and then.
  • SG
    Sashi G.
    25 December 2020 @ 07:26
    This is more one person’s discovery of bitcoin and his story. Which is fine, but the title and description is misleading.
    • IG
      Iason G.
      9 January 2021 @ 23:29
  • KB
    Kenneth B.
    24 November 2020 @ 12:46
    I am 30 mins in and it is clear nothing is going to be explained to this novice. They are now talking British politics. I was hoping to learn why a Bitcoin has value (I am at the stage where you solve a mathematical problem and win a token called Bitcoin which somehow has value). What are the safest ways to buy it. Seems to be some shady sellers and better not forget your password. He says Bitcoin is hard money because its supply is limited. What about forking? or Bitcoin cash? As I said, I understand none of this, but was hoping for some answers here. Disappointed.
    • sc
      steve c.
      24 November 2020 @ 13:16
      Sounds like you need to do a lot of self-study... I recommend the book, 'The Bitcoin Standard', as a starting point
    • PF
      Pablo F.
      24 November 2020 @ 13:52
      With regards to forks: think about a fork as taking a photo of something; no matter how pictures you take of the Mona Lisa, it's not going to affect the fact the Mona Lisa is worth millions and the picture a few cents. As far as buying bitcoin, there are dozens or hundreds of reputable companies that can help with that. For US: Swan Bitcoin, river.com or CashApp. With regards to value: I would recommend reading Lyn Alden's fantastic recent article on common misconceptions: https://www.lynalden.com/misconceptions-about-bitcoin/
    • AK
      Ado K.
      24 November 2020 @ 17:56
      Austrian economics = does not matter how much money there is in society as long as it can not be debased against your will. You own 1 Bitcoin, I make 100 forks, you own 1 bitcoin on all forks. So you have 1/21 million of the supply. Forks are merely noise and no signal. Just bs used to confuse noobs by people who think stocks and bonds are the best thing since sliced bread.
    • JG
      Joshua G.
      24 November 2020 @ 18:16
      Forks are a good thing, it clears out people who do not believe in the original protocol and makes bitcoin stronger.
    • PD
      Peter D.
      25 November 2020 @ 17:27
      McCormack is a great entertainer and a good entry drug into crypto. He is B-Level intellect, who forces his A-Level guests to talk down to his level. However his Bitcoin Maximalism will at some point start doing more harm than good.
    • TV
      Tyrell V.
      25 November 2020 @ 21:29
      Agreed, I am always left wondering what I could of spent my hour reading or listening to after watching him. This is totally the last time I give time to this guy... I don't get it. The best way to get down the Rabbit hole is by reading two books and several articles. Book One - Bitcoin Clarity: The Complete Beginners Guide to Understanding by Kiara Bickers Book Two - The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous Articles by Robert Breedlove on medium on money and bitcoin. https://breedlove22.medium.com/
    • KB
      Kenneth B.
      26 November 2020 @ 13:29
      My point was I was hoping for some answers here. The title is "Understanding Bitcoin". The word Novice is used. Instead I am told to go read a book. Nothing wrong with that advice. But that is why I was disappointed.
    • DA
      David A.
      26 November 2020 @ 18:07
      I agree with Kenneth B. Realvision is becoming an echo chamber on Bitcoin. I have bought a small amount but the more I feel patronised for not "getting it", the more my bullshit antennae tweak.
    • ML
      Marguerita L.
      28 December 2020 @ 08:01
      It is refreshing to hear a non-American perspective, and the UK market is important for BTC, which is essentially global. Why so much politics?... you cannot divorce politics from currency. In fact, rotten politics is one of the drivers for BTC. I’d love to see interviews from wider perspectives.
  • MM
    Mark M.
    24 November 2020 @ 14:14
    Could not finish it. Painful. My favorite quote "I'm not financially literate." Good luck with the podcast and great that you stumbled upon BTC!
    • AN
      Andrew N.
      25 November 2020 @ 22:22
      There is some chance he was being a bit humble with that statement. I thought this was a great video and helpful for other Novices in the space.
    • JD
      Jafo D.
      5 December 2020 @ 00:47
      Mark here's one for you - no open mind, no winning.
    • ML
      Marguerita L.
      28 December 2020 @ 07:54
      Pete speaks the way a typical Brit does, understated and modest. An American with the same platform and experience would be less so.
  • JD
    Jafo D.
    5 December 2020 @ 00:44
    Great chat. Bitcoin (BTC) is the only way out of all this mess. Peter understood it early and avoided all the scams, kudos for that.
  • TD
    Taeke D.
    4 December 2020 @ 20:10
    Good interview, very poor cameras
  • SM
    S M.
    1 December 2020 @ 22:22
    With a title like this, one would expect an interview with someone who actually went from a novice to a pro.
  • JS
    John S.
    29 November 2020 @ 04:11
    Ash saved the interview from going: "One toke over the Line" at one point during the cannabis discussion. It was a refreshing view from across the pond and Ash's questioning kept it more focused on topic 1: Bitcoin.
  • FT
    Flash T.
    28 November 2020 @ 07:12
    It doesn't take a professional economist to understand the silliness of a magic, debt-based system. From 1865 to 1900, the US was operating much closer to what people would consider a Free Market without major government intervention, and during that deflationary period, wages went up, working hours went down, and the "cost of currency" increased. MMT proponents would scoff at the idea, but it's historical fact; as Ash said here, the negative effects of inflation are now a widely debated topic, which is absurd. Well, I expected this video to be more about Bitcoin as a technology, but I enjoyed hearing Peter's take on macroeconomics. It just shines a light on how ridiculous and overly-complicated the system is. Economists in academia are seriously confusing the entire space, when if they just took a look at history, it's easy to see that every time Free Markets and sound money are polluted by government inflation and currency debasement, it never ever leads anywhere good...*sigh* if only Milton Friedman were still around to comment on Bitcoin, that'd be quite the interview!
  • SL
    Shawn L.
    25 November 2020 @ 06:49
    The US political system is broken on all sides simply because our leaders are unable to be leaders. What I mean by this, is these leaders start with one hand tied behind their backs due to party allegiances. But mostly these so call leaders are simply unable to understand and keep up with the rates of societal / technological change. This leaves out the distracting point that some are simply devoted to their careers more than service to others.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      27 November 2020 @ 21:58
      Of the two parties, 95% are totally beholden to priorities that are already against the people's interest. The 5% of the Democrats that aren't have the world's dumbest, pro death (communist) policies. That leaves 5% of the entire lot ... and Novo wants them to do ayahuasca ... jeez
  • RT
    Ryan T.
    27 November 2020 @ 05:06
    I like the specific examples given by Peter of how Bitcoin is used in Belarus and Nigeria to surmount monetary limitations (or potentially even conventional institutional controls). The case about how the social divide affects Bitcoin adoption in Venezuela is an interesting but very practical view. Peter is indeed a good story-teller. I find him pretty engaging and easy to follow. And as with all other discussion sessions involving Ash, his calm demeanour and pertinent questions make him a really good interviewer.
  • CM
    Cory M.
    25 November 2020 @ 21:09
    Thanks for guiding this conversation Ash! You're starting to sound like an investigative journalist yourself given how the depth of your understanding on a plethora of topics has continued to grow and allow you to engage guests accordingly. It's been an amazing journey to watch these skills grow and develop over time with RV and I'm endlessly grateful to be on the receiving end of such amazing intellectual conversation... Suffice to say, thanks!
  • JL
    Jack L.
    25 November 2020 @ 13:16
    excellent...refreshing to hear the road a non-finance guy has taken plus Ash let it flow.
  • LM
    Lawrence M.
    25 November 2020 @ 01:44
    One of the best I’ve listened to. Covered a wide range and Ash was excellent. He let the discussion flow.
  • MW
    Marc W.
    24 November 2020 @ 19:08
    Great channel but this is rather too much about politics and less about bitcoin. To the people that did not like the interview please listen to this guys podcast (what bitcoin did) as he does have many great conversations with many experts in bitcoin and much can be learned from his shows which number over 200 currently.
    • AM
      Alexander M.
      25 November 2020 @ 00:29
      Bitcoin is all about politics, because both are in a fight for power. Bitcoin is a means of fighting free of diktat from government control of you and your money and is a symbol of freedom from tyranny for people the world over.
  • MS
    Mark S.
    24 November 2020 @ 21:40
    A great interview by Ash. I keep thinking of the “framework “ that Raoul discusses about investing. I see this in the questions and follow ups throughout this interview. Well done. Peter was honest and thoughtful in highlighting his journey down this rabbit hole. I could see parallels to my own journey as a Perot voter to BTC maximalist. I actually thought about the PBS Frontline show that showcased Brooksley Born as they discussed Glass-Steagel. I feel both Stephan and Peter’s interviews should have been trimmed as they both seemed to lose focus for me. I turned both off around 35 minutes in. Perhaps spread out the podcasters
  • AK
    Ado K.
    24 November 2020 @ 18:01
    Love Pete. For the people complaining that he is a novice. The mere fact that he is humble enough to call himself one does not mean that he actually is. Spending time with Raoul, Preston Pysh, Rober Breedlove and Matt and Marty will eventually rub off. His knowledge in Macro and Crypto is vast, and his viewpoint carries a lot of weight. If you want something else you can find a lot of "experts" in suits talking about treasuries, they are ready to take you on a one way express ride to Rekkt City any time you want. Increasing you ability to be humble is something a lot of people in the comment section could take an learn from Pete.
  • KF
    Kim F.
    24 November 2020 @ 13:47
    So nice to see an "average guy" and how finance is changing his life. Ash is a great interviewer!
    • ZD
      Zeeshawn D.
      24 November 2020 @ 14:27
      Likewise , loved it too.
  • sc
    steve c.
    24 November 2020 @ 13:15
    Loved this interview; one of the most interesting for a long time...
  • LC
    Leon C.
    24 November 2020 @ 12:05
    Ash, you are a fantastic interviewer - credit where it’s due. Really enjoyed this.
  • CW
    Christopher W.
    24 November 2020 @ 11:38
    well done guys, great interview
  • PL
    Pete L.
    24 November 2020 @ 08:54
    Ash, Peter. Thank you very much for one of the most engaging and refreshing interviews ever on RVtv. This is an absolute gem of a conversation. I’m going to ensure that my kids listen to this. Note to RV: Peter is clearly a busy guy but his approach would be a huge addition to the channel if you could persuade him back to interview some people. Thanks again.