WBD Guest Policy
As the awareness of the What Bitcoin Did podcast has grown, it has come under increased scrutiny, most evidently from long-term hodlers and technical Bitcoiners. With this comes:
Disagreements over my choice of guests
Disagreements over my choice of questions
Disagreements in how I manage my interviews
Some of the disagreements have turned into harassment and abuse, including attacking my source of income (challenging my sponsors as to why they sponsor my show), accusations against my integrity and so on.
I started What Bitcoin Did to get answers to the questions I was struggling with, to make a show for me, which hopefully would help others. Many people want to get involved with Bitcoin but are not technically proficient and may not understand economics to the level of some of the experts in the space.
There are many great Bitcoin podcasts out there, but most I found are either too technical and/or are not covering the topics that I find interesting. I am a huge fan of the work by Stephan Livera, the Noded guys, Trace Mayer and Marty Bent, and I recommend all these shows to everyone interested in Bitcoin.
Different people react to different content depending on their level of experience or how accessible that content is. I had no plans or expectations on downloads or revenue, but as the show has grown, it has become evident that for some people it has become a valuable resource and I accept this now comes with responsibility.
I currently hold a materially small amount of Bitcoin (90%) and Monero (10%). I have no plans to buy and invest in any other coins and only expect only to grow my Bitcoin holding.
I sympathise massively with the views of Bitcoiners/Bitcoin Maximalists (whichever term you identify with). The longer you have been part of the Bitcoin ecosystem, the more time you have watched and defended Bitcoin from attacks and the more times you have seen scammy and questionable projects come and go.
Do I believe that Bitcoin is the only possible use of a blockchain? No.
Do I believe that every other project using a blockchain is a scam? No.
Do I believe that Bitcoin might be the only long-term, economically viable use of a blockchain? Maybe.
I am not so hardened in my belief that I won’t maintain a curiosity with the rest of the market and I can’t just align myself with maximalists because they sound right, or they are so hardened in their views that I feel pressured.
Even if the maximalists are right, I still want to explore why people are interested in altcoins, only by understanding can I try and present content that helps them objectively make decisions and smart investments.
Educating Through Content
The reality is most people are incentivised by money, many may feel they have missed the Bitcoin boat and have a new opportunity with altcoins, whether this is right or wrong is immaterial, it is a reason. Similarly, some developers may want to work on Ethereum as it enables them to do things which Bitcoin can’t, again, whether Ethereum is a success or failure is immaterial, right now people are working on it.
There are many ways to educate people, some will learn through the hardline and intolerant approach of some Bitcoiners, others through the sympathetic and open minded approach of my show and some with both. I personally do not believe that the aggressive and sometimes condescending approach is going to work for everyone.
My show is a Bitcoin show, I am a Bitcoin holder, and I fully support it. Not every Bitcoin holder is a maximalist and I recognise this. I, therefore, do not pick guests based on keeping the maximalists happy but rather what I want to hear. Therefore:
The majority of my guests are Bitcoin people covering Bitcoin subjects
I may look at other crypto assets, either because I like the founder, I like the subject they are working on, or I believe that my audience needs to know more about it
If I have a critical show, for example, my Ethereum show with Tuur Demeester, I may also offer supporters of Ethereum to provide a counter perspective
I may even interview people considered scammers if I think it is an important story
Lastly, I may go off topic if I feel a guest offers a particularly interesting story - for example, my interview with Marc Weinstein from the Fyre Festival
I’m sorry if you disagree with this, but I have regular and loyal listeners who like my range of guests and other not so regular listeners who feel they need to dictate my work.
I will not accept overt pressure as to who I should interview or abuse should I disagree.
I work hard to recruit sponsors which I think are suitable for my audience but also are supportive of my work. No sponsor has any control over any guest, even if I choose to talk to their competitors, but I do get their feedback as to whether they are happy with my work. Thankfully, despite some people feeling the need to question them working with me, every sponsor has been in touch to say keep doing what you do Peter.
I do not accept sponsorships for ICO projects but will work with companies that do, for example:
I will work with an exchange which lists altcoins if it also has Bitcoin
I will work with a service provider which accepts crypto if Bitcoin is one of them
Finding Bitcoin only sponsors has proven close to impossible.
It is not possible to make everyone happy with my show; this is evident as when I explore certain off-topic subjects for Bitcoin that I get a range of responses. I can’t spend all my time on Twitter defending my choice of guests, selection of questions and the points they make on the show. These conversations go round and round in circles and often don’t achieve anything with each person digging their heals in.
With each show, I will explore the topics of which the guests are working on and present that information how I see it to my audience. As mentioned, I am not technically or economically proficient, but that does mean I get to ask questions others have.
I will not accept any more of the following:
Directly attack my source of income
False accusations about my incentives
False misrepresentations about my opinions
Use of offensive or aggressive language
Quite frankly it is exhausting defending a position, correcting misrepresentations, and it is mentally tiring to be the centre of attention with people debating me. I would much rather people stopped talking about me and discuss the issues that my guests present.
I run my business as transparent as possible, my income reports are available every month, and anyone is welcome to email me, please be respectful. As I mentioned previously, I accept that my show comes with more responsibility as it grows and I welcome constructive criticism.
If Bitcoin can survive Silk Road, Mt. Gox, China ban, SegWit2X and every other attack it has defended in the last ten years, then it can handle my podcast.
Any questions, then please let me know.