The B Foundation and Nouriel Roubini's Testimony to Congress with Giacomo Zucco
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Interview location: Skype
Interview date: Tuesday 16th October 2018
Company: BHB Network
Giacomo Zucco is a proud Bitcoin Maximalist, and his presentation on the subject at the Honey Badger conference in Riga led to mixed reactions. Some called out the stupidity of Bitcoin Maximalism specifically concerning his slide: The Four Universal Truths of Bitcoin Maximalism:
Everything which is not Bitcoin is a scam!
Every attempt at changing Bitcoin is a scam!
Every attempt at pushing people to spend Bitcoin is a scam!
We shouldn’t be nice to scammers!
While the slide was part tongue in cheek, and I suspect point 3 was trolling Bitcoin Cash supporters, many took this as a strict doctrine of Bitcoin Maximalism and attacked Giacomo for it. Bitcoin Cash is indeed under threat, the Bitmain IPO has identified how much Bitmain accepting and buying BCH is supporting the price, and outside of Bitcoin, very few projects have managed to demonstrate use case or adoption.
Even with Bitcoin, there are no coiners who attack the entire crypto space, chief amongst the naysayers is Nouriel Roubini, who last week declared war on crypto with his testimony to Congress. The disappointing thing about Nouriel’s presentation was that he made many good points, but became lost amongst exaggerations and falsities.
In this interview, I discuss Nouriel’s testimony with Giacomo Zucco, the disservice he did himself with how he presented his arguments and what Giacomo and I agreed and disagreed with. We also discuss:
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Connect with Giacomo:
Connect with BHB Network:
Nouriel Roubini and Peter Van Valkenburg and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology:
Other topics discused:
Other relevant WBD podcasts:
A big thanks to my WBD Maximalist Patrons for helping support the show: JP Petit, Logan Shultz, Seb Walhain, Steve Foster and Tony.
Peter McCormack: Morning Giacomo. How are you?
Giacomo Zucco: Good morning. I’m fine thank you. You?
Peter McCormack: I’m very good. Thank you. Thank you for coming on. It’s nice to do one in the morning. I’m usually interviewing people in America, so doing one in Europe it means I can actually do interview in the morning which is good. I wanted to ask you a slightly off topic question first. What do Italians make of Brexit?
Giacomo Zucco: Sure, Brexit I think it’s, so in general I look very favourably, any kind of division, any kind of succession in the national stem framework because from a libertarian point of view, the state is the problem and if your problem is smaller, it is better. So it is better to have small, little problems than just one big problem.
Giacomo Zucco: I look favourable any kind of separation from political aggregation. I don’t like European Union. I think it’s a super-state which is even worse than a state. So I was very, very happy to see the Brexit situation. Also, it was very funny from a, let’s say, communication point of view to watch all these people predicting main victory and then being, completely falsified by reality. The politically correct media crushing into reality was a very, very good feeling for me.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, favourably in general. The way it is developing right now it’s a little bit messy, the way that May tried to implement it it’s very, very messy. I do like especially the part in which, I mean let’s consider boarders of nation states like wars. You can have two function for wars. You can have like the Game of Throne world, which is keeping out the enemy, or you can have the Berlin Wall which is keeping inside the prisoners. I like the first, I don’t like the second.
Giacomo Zucco: So when you divide us the nation state and you create a wall against the taxmen of the other nation states, so if you, if you can move across Europe, escaping from the taxman with some kind of different tax regimes, different legislation, with internal fiscal competition like inside Switzerland, that’s good. But when you have a boarders limiting the commerce of free people of entrepreneurs and merchants when the wall prevents the subject from exchanging, that’s bad. When the wall prevents the state from following the citizen, that’s good.
Giacomo Zucco: So mixed feelings. I don’t like the fact that next time I would be Ireland maybe I would have to cross the border. I do like the fact that maybe UK will compete with Ireland about tax levels.
Peter McCormack: And is there any talk or any desire within Italy for your own form of Brexit?
Giacomo Zucco: In Italy the idea that Italy leaves the European Union while in the long-term still I think a good thing, it’s good thing if we have Italy outside the European Union in the long-term. But a lot of mixed feelings there because in the short-term, it will be like a disaster because the UK wanted to leave Europe in order to have lower taxes, less regulation, while Italy will, will leave the European in order to have more taxes and more debt, more deficit, more regulation.
Giacomo Zucco: Let me answer this way. 10 years ago I was conflicted. Leaving European Union would be bad because of inflation and everything, but good because of long-term incentives and competition. But right now, that Bitcoin exists and the dive into Bitcoin, the idea of hyperinflation in Italy on the new Lira, on the new Italian money, doesn’t really bother me anymore that much because I, I’m outside that. I’m, I’m as little and as my business and I don’t use Euro anyway, I don’t accumulate my wealth in Euro. So bring it on.
Giacomo Zucco: There is a second aspect of succession in Italy which is the succession inside Italy, like regions of Italy, maybe the most productive ones that want to succeed from the nation state. I am super favourable to this kind of instances. I was actually an activist together with Veneto people, the northern east part around Venice. They wanted to be independent, some people in Catania wanted to be independent. So I was an activist with the, the local independentist.
Giacomo Zucco: I’m a little bit sceptical about that because I don’t see a realistic part toward independence in these regions. If we have some kinds of domino effect maybe starting in Catalonia, I mean if Catalonia people succeeded into making Catalonia independent, then maybe you could see something in Belgium as well and then maybe you can see a renaissance of independentist movements in Italy.
Giacomo Zucco: Right now, the party which is at the government right now, Lega Nord, so Northern League, it was in the 90s an independentist party, then it became like a federalist party and now it is a super nationalist party. The Italian flag everywhere, nation state, Uber Alles. So now they’re super nationalist. So they basically diffused the independentist, effort because they, the party cannibalized any kind of independentist instance and they transformed into a nationalist party. So it was destroyed completely as a culture.
Peter McCormack: So listen, the first time I became aware of you was when you were on Noded Podcast and there was a reference to your epic tweet storm and I’m not going to go through it again because you’ve discussed it before. The only question I have before we get on to the juicier things, I’m going to quote you here. “I don’t think stupidity is genetic. I think it’s mostly a choice. Some kind of intellectual dishonesty, laziness. People can stop being stupid.”
Giacomo Zucco: (Laughs). Yeah, um, I, I stand by it. I don’t think that, I mean of course there can be some biological base to cognitive functions, but I think that when we say to somebody what you’re saying is stupid, we don’t really mean you have impaired, cognitive function. We mean you’re choosing to be dishonest or lazy or, not to face reality honestly.
Peter McCormack: Well, that’s going to lead me onto what I wanted to focus and talk about because it’s been quite a week with Nouriel Roubini’s testimony to congress. He set Twitter on fire, lots of different opinions of who should debate him, who should discuss things with him and also conversely, I have spent some time researching the B Foundation objectives and one of those is debunking Bitcoin myth in mass social media and then I’m going to bring out another quote of yours, sorry to do this again.
Peter McCormack: This was in reference to Bitcoin. “Those who don’t fully understand it they don’t necessarily qualify stupid, but without understanding it, those who voice a very strong or controversial opinion about it take in-extreme stances under the effects of own cognitive dissonance does quality.” And I think that statement is very relevant to what happened with Nouriel and actually I think it’s important that we do have contrarian views and dissenters and naysayers because it forces people within Bitcoin to work harder and to actually look at things that might be of a concern and an issue.
Peter McCormack: And I also think within his angry rants and mixed in with his lies and disingenuous statements, he actually made some really good points and they were lost. So he actually did himself a disservice with that. So I think what I want to do is I’ve gone through both his written testimony and his spoken testimony and I’ve grouped things into things I agree with, things I’m not sure and then things I disagree with. We don’t need him for the debate because he does not want to debate, and we can just discuss this ourselves and, and go through it. How do you feel about that?
Giacomo Zucco: Absolutely okay. It will be very fun. I also agree, I also have mixed feelings about what he said. Many of his points were good but ma- many of his points were bad. I think the debate represented actually a very good, picture of the division of the extremes right now. Though there was a rhetorical point I made on Twitter but it’s rhetorical but it’s also true in my opinion, in which you have two extremes, you have the status quo extreme where everything that exists is US dollar, banks, state, nation states, central banks, so the no coiner point of view where Bitcoin cannot exist, and altcoins cannot exist.
Giacomo Zucco: And sometimes this field is very good at pointing out the ingenuities or the delusional and the de-flaws in the crypto-thinking. And on the other side you have the multi-coiner extreme in which basically, yeah, Bitcoin exist and will disrupt everything and so everything else also exist without any kind of criticism or, or scepticism. You suspend this belief completely and since Bitcoin exist, any other crazy project that this ICO is proposing is also possible and realistic. And so I think that Roubini is in the first class and, as such he makes some good points so more than happy to run through them with you.
Peter McCormack: And actually before I start, I also think I wanted to make the point that I thought the star of the show was Senator Toomey. I’m not sure if you recognized but his questions were articulated in such a way that firstly, either he’d research well himself, he has a good team behind him, he understands the issues at hand, but he almost debunked Nouriel by asking the questions and the way he asked them. I don’t know if you noticed that?
Giacomo Zucco: I did notice. I did notice that, already before looking at the actual video, I just looked at the tweets, the live tweet and I notice that some of the questions were actually the most agreeable part of the debate. Then on the video the impression was even more clear. That’s very strange. I have a strong bias against any kind of politician and government people in general, so I assume they’re always the worst part of the debate. But this bias sometimes it’s factually wrong because in this case, this states of my enemy was actually more prepared than some of the people discussing with it.
Peter McCormack: I think we start with what I agree with him on and then you can either agree with me or not. So the first thing he said, the asset class is imploding and I kind of agree as a class of assets it is imploding. That doesn’t necessarily mean Bitcoin is imploding but as an asset class it is imploding and as the traders are waiting for the next bull run which might happen across all these assets, I think it might not happen because what’s been happening now people are challenging the technology, challenging the economics behind it and challenging a number of these projects. And as they’re running out of money or unable to create value, then it feels like it is imploding as an asset class.
Giacomo Zucco: So I would like to agree with this. I think that eventually we will have decoupling between serious projects like Bitcoin and all the rest of the crazy stuff around it, all the delusional part of crypto. I think that that’s inevitable in the long-run and necessary to clean up the market like the dot-com bubble. You had any kind of dot-com scams but then you had the crush of the dot-com bubble and then you can see the serious business, progressing finally without all the noise.
Giacomo Zucco: So the real promises of e-commerce you can see them after burst of the bubble. So, I wait for that moment and it’s necessary and it’s good but I may be more sceptical about the fact that we are already there. I’m not very good at understanding the market and this market in general. I tend to over rationalize the market. So like this is stupid, so nobody is going to buy it and I’m always wrong about that because people is, is irrational. So the market can stay irrational for very long.
Giacomo Zucco: And I learn that when you see the altcoin market, the ICO market crushing during a Bitcoin bearish moment that’s not really significative yet because, when Bitcoin goes back rounding up, usually what you see is a return of suspension of disbelief. So yeah, right now prices are going down, so everybody is questioning the economics, both in Bitcoin and outside Bitcoin and the technical part.
Giacomo Zucco: But when Bitcoin if Bitcoin is going to work as intended, so money is going to flow into Bitcoin again in the next bubble which may be an order of money to the more of money flowing in. Basically, altcoins are a little bit like Bitcoin derivatives. They’re like Bitcoin with more, better volatility. It’s like using Bitcoin will leverage and people is greedy, so when they see Bitcoin going up, they tend to want to find the next Bitcoin because they want to over-perform the market, they want to be smarter than the market.
Giacomo Zucco: So I would like to agree with Roubini that these asset class market as a whole is collapsing. In a way it has collapsed because the, the amount of losses has been huge but I’m afraid we may see other one, or two or even three cycles before the complete cleaning. Just to give you a reference, if you take the number of the total market cap of the dot-com empty companies in the 1999s or 2000, if you take that market cap and you compare with the total market cap of all the altcoins and Bitcoins, so the crypto fear in December 2017, we were like two orders of money to the lower and dot-com stuff was stuff only opened to basically US citizens over 21 or something, while crypto is a global phenomenal with underaged people buying it.
Giacomo Zucco: So I’m expecting maybe even more total market cap than before. So maybe it’s a wrong eristic but as an eristic I don’t think this asset class as a whole will really collapse until we reach some new level of craziness.
Peter McCormack: And then he also said Bitcoin is not a unit of account and I agree with him at the moment.
Giacomo Zucco: I also agree with him at the moment. I think the unit of account is the last part that would be reached by Bitcoin, especially because a unit of account is something that we don’t really need in order to dis-intermediate the feared system. What I mean is that if you want to store value in dollars, the government can actually stop us from opening a bank account, can close our bank account, can inflate the dollar, so basically making impossible for us to store money in dollars. If we want to spend dollars as a medium of exchange, for example to donate to Wikileaks, the US government can stop us from donating to Wikileaks.
Giacomo Zucco: But if we want to use the US dollar as long as it makes sense as a unit of account, nobody can stop us from doing that. It’s already, unit of account is the latest phase of money and it’s also in a way permission less by definition. So, there is no strict need to switch to Bitcoin faster as a unit of account. As long as the dollar is relatively stable in the short-term and as a purchase power, we can use US dollars. It’s already global unit of account, let’s use it as long as we need it and we will switch to Bitcoin when Bitcoin will have a market cap and market depth big enough to be, kind of more predictable or less crazily volatile as a purchase power and it will also replace a unit of account that doesn’t work anymore.
Giacomo Zucco: So, I agree with you and with Nouriel, it’s not a unit of account except in very specifically market which is the market of altcoins. I think that since altcoins are mostly correlated with Bitcoin as their base price, for many traders, I’m not a trader myself so maybe what I’m saying is, is stupid, but I do think that for a trader because of the correlation, will make sense to price altcoin trading into Bitcoin and not into US dollars because you price out the base correlation. If that is true, that means that in the market of altcoins, Bitcoins serves as unit of account.
Peter McCormack: I obviously know, I’ve traded before, but I’ve never thought about it like that because trading any altcoin is an opportunity cost of holding Bitcoin, right. So yes, I guess it is.
Peter McCormack: Then he talked about massive manipulation pumping dumps and spoofing and also the ICOs which are associated with security tokens are non-compliant securities. So outside of what anyone thinks of security’s accreditation he’s completely right. The market is subject to pumping dumps, it is manipulated but then so are other markets.
Giacomo Zucco: So are other markets and of course there is a huge difference between Bitcoin which was relatively fairly distributed coin with zero value at the beginning where people started to mine it. And so yes, we could have this Satoshi Nakamoto problem with this 1.3 million that probably they’re not 1.3 but there is a lot of research going on about the whole history of Bitcoin.
Giacomo Zucco: But you have Bitcoin with some kind of failed distribution, created in a moment where people were not expecting to get rich. Then you have other two classes of assets. Basically you have the top 10 in which you have huge market cap and market depth but with the huge amount of pre-mined supply kept outside the market. So you have the Ethereum pre-mine so the Ethereum Foundation owns a lot of it and you have the most of your example is Ripple.
Giacomo Zucco: The major part of the supply is owned by a single entity or entities associated with it. So that’s clearly very easy to manipulate, up or down. And then you have the other class which is, are the proper shitcoins so the coin with super small market depth and market, cap and those are super easy to pump and dump.
Giacomo Zucco: So again Nouriel is right here. If Bitcoin the market is shallow and out there, you can do some kind of manipulation. In altcoins it’s all basically pump and dump scheme and as you said that’s not limited to Bitcoin. That’s true also for some exotic derivatives, that’s true for some kind of future contracts, there is insider trading in government bonds as well. So it’s not limited to this market. Markets can be manipulated especially when they’re not efficient enough because they’re not liquid enough.
Peter McCormack: Well, that highlights two other problems with his testimony. The first one being that every criticism of crypto and Bitcoin was ignoring any criticisms of VAT and government-controlled money and secondly, it’s probably disingenuous to debate all of crypto together because Bitcoin is so different from say Ethereum and Ethereum is obviously very different from other old coins. But grouping them together for single arguments I think is disingenuous and for example when he criticized proof of work, I disagree with him but then he criticized proof of stake claiming that it’ll lead to more cartelisation of mining I did agree with him.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, yeah, I agree that it is disingenuous. The problem of the two extremes I was talking about, so the problem of multi-coiners and no coiners is that they both conflict Bitcoin with very different kind of things. And if you do that you lose any kind of any information about what Bitcoin is. Probably if you really have to consider all the crypto as the same thing, I will tend to agree with no coiners. If my only option is to say that every kind of ICO token makes sense or nothing makes sense in the space, I will rather go with nothing.
Giacomo Zucco: But if I can single out Bitcoin and if I can present Bitcoin as somehow distinct from the rest of this craziness, then is when I find that interesting difference that can be incredibly disruptive. So, if you think about it both parties, both extremes, they have interest into mixing Bitcoin with the rest because the no coiners want to bash Bitcoin using the flaws of altcoins and multi-coiners they want to promote their coin using the features of Bitcoin like, mutability, de symbolization and so on which are mostly not true in the case of altcoins. So yeah I agree, that’s very improper to do.
Peter McCormack: And that’s similar to what Nic Carter said in my interview with him last week. He said he feels closer to a no coiner than a multi-coiner, which I think it’s what you’ve just said and also then adding on to that, I think in his written testimony, Nouriel said no legitimate business that is trying to maximize profits would require its customers to jump through such hoops of fast buying, a utility token before being able to transact with goods or services.
Peter McCormack: And I think he’s totally right and that was one of my main criticisms of OGA. Some of what OGA was doing was quite interesting but to have to then buy the REP token or even ETH to then transact in OGA doesn’t make sense. It’s an extra barrier and I also find that similar with the Brave browser. I think the Brave browser is excellent and I saw that interesting debate between Brendan Eich and Francis Pouliot and he was saying that it would work much better with Bitcoin. I completely agree I think Nouriel made a point that I agree with me, most Bitcoiners would agree with.
Giacomo Zucco: I absolutely agree as well. That’s the main point against utility tokens as a concept. As you said it’s very important. So when we criticize, when I criticize ICOs many people point out that this project is actually interesting but the criticism of the ICO is not at any projects behind an ICO is itself nonsense. Many cases it makes sense like Brave browser is a very good product. The problem is in the utility token concept.
Giacomo Zucco: So, if what you want is money, what you want to do to maximize adoption is to use legacy feared payment systems because if you create a new product tomorrow, you don’t want to use Bitcoin, you want to use the US dollars in a way to maximize adoption. If you don’t want to maximize adoption but you want to maximize censorship resistant because for example you don’t want to have any kind of legal or regulatory overhead, so you don’t want to open a bank account a company, so if you want to do permissionless innovation, then you need Bitcoin which is the second best than US dollars when you want permissionless innovation.
Giacomo Zucco: If you create a new token, you don’t add the same adoption of dollars and or of Bitcoin as the second best. So you have very low adoption, so you’re forcing your users to buy these new things with a lot of friction in order to buy your service. What you’re selling is just a service in exchange for money. So there is no point. I think that utility coins could be interesting from a functional point of view but not from a financial point of view as, as an investment.
Giacomo Zucco: Utility coin could be interesting when they represent not a form of money to buy something but a form of representation of something. So if you create a telephone company and you have tokens representing one minute of airtime, maybe this could make more sense because you’re not creating another form of money. You’re representing the service, the unit of the service or you’re creating a storage service and you represent one megabyte for one day or something like that as a token.
Giacomo Zucco: Maybe this could create some kind of efficiency in trading in a secondary market the units of the service. This could make some sense but in this particular situation, why don’t ICO adopt this approach because in this approach the unit will go up or down in price very much. It’s not speculative because one minute of our time, of your telephone company will not cost, 10X when your telephone company is successful. If anything, it will cost less because, your telephone company is successful so now you have economies of scale and so your unit of service cost less not more.
Giacomo Zucco: So if you want to promote it as an investment scheme, then you have to tell people that is going to go up in price. Utility tokens if they are proper utility tokens cannot go up in price. I tried to play the devil’s advocate utility tokens some- sometimes and I can reach some extreme examples in which you have an inherent scarcity of the service. For example, you create a tropical resort on an island, you can have only 10 rooms because you cannot build more rooms so you cannot give more supply. It’s scarce by definition and so you send away a token representing a room and people in the secondary market can actually exchange this right to access the room at higher and higher prices because the fundamental service is kept. That could work for named domains but that’s a very long off topic discussion. But baseline, I do agree with you and with Nouriel.
Peter McCormack: My last one in here, which I completely agree with him is when he said consider Dentacoin a ridiculous cryptocurrency. And I think on the scale of cryptocurrencies that is the most ridiculous one.
Giacomo Zucco: It is because it’s so obvious. I also appreciate Dentacoin because it makes what doesn’t work so obvious, I would think that no intelligent people can really fall for it. Well, in the case of other altcoins, I think that they make more subtle games with wars and with assumption, with claims, so I understand why some smart people, maybe not very well-informed smart people can fall for.
Giacomo Zucco: I was discussing yesterday with some guys on Twitter. I do consider Ethereum that for many other is by definition legitimate because it’s so famous, so well spread, so accepted by an institution that it cannot be a scam. I consider it very, very much scummy. If you go on ethereum.org right now, you see there’s a sentence about unstoppable application, so application that cannot be manipulated or censored by third parties, which is really literally false.
Giacomo Zucco: It’s a false claim as you can see from the DAO bailout and from the discussion about the quality wall of bailout. That sentence is false claim in order to sell a financial product under false advertising basically. So how is Dentacoin so much worse than Ethereum. In a way it’s like more evident, like it’s so funny the extreme on the scale would be Dogecoin.
Giacomo Zucco: So Dogecoin in my opinion is not even so scummy because it’s so evident that it’s not pretending to have any kind of value. I mean the creator of Dogecoin was not expecting people to take him seriously. He was shocked by the success of this coin. Because it was like self-evident that it made no sense, yet the irrational market looking for any kind of opportunity to get rich speculated on Dogecoin as well. So Dentacoin or all the other altcoins they still don’t make any sense to me.
Peter McCormack: What about Monero?
Giacomo Zucco: Monero is different in my opinion because Monero is a case in which first of all, most of Monero proponents are not making any kind of false claim, so most of them including the most relevant of them, starting from Riccardo to others, first they usually do not make overselling claims about Monero. They recognize the different trade off choices in respect to Bitcoin, for example, yeah, we try to have more privacy at the expense of most credibility.
Giacomo Zucco: So with confidential transactions and real signatures, you have signatures that are larger and slower, so you lose the scalability but then you get some privacy. Arguably because maybe you don’t get privacy because the smaller liquidity of Monero, means that even if you have more fungibility from a blockchain level, maybe you have a smaller anonymity set and so you would be better off with Bitcoin as a mixer than with Monero.
Giacomo Zucco: So most of Monero proponents first they don’t always often do false claims about the technology. They recognize the weak spots, the trade-offs, many of them recognize also the possible argument that in the long-run it will not make sense to have Bitcoin and Monero, but you will be able to have Bitcoin with some kind of Monero characteristic.
Giacomo Zucco: I’ve personally spoken with many Mo- people working on Monero admitting that yeah, right now we want to work on this feature, so we work on Monero but if Bitcoin will ever be able to adopt this as a side chain or something, probably I will switch to work on that. So they recognize the monetary argument from symbolism even if they don’t stop working on Monero.
Giacomo Zucco: Third, often people working on Monero are also working on Bitcoin. There are many, many cases of contributors, code contributors, or committee contributors of Monero contributing to Bitcoin as well and that’s typically something that you don’t find when you are promoting your next Bitcoin scam. And, this is not just true for Monero, this is true for what I’ve seen so far, especially for three projects, that are Monero, Siacoin and Namecoin. Maybe I’m missing some other example of Virtus experimentation.
Giacomo Zucco: So to be clear here, I don’t think that the Monero coin and the Siacoin coin and the Namecoin coin have any future at all. I think that we’ll just disappear or remain just as collectibles. I don’t think they can become money together with Bitcoin and for sure they cannot become money after Bitcoin, so passing Bitcoin. But I think that the style of the people working on these projects, I think that these projects will be better of as side chain or as proof of gone coins or as fork even. If you do a fork UTXO based eye drop that is better than creating a new coin from scratch from an economical consideration.
Giacomo Zucco: But even if they chose not to do that, I think that the behaviour of the people promoting these projects is usually less scummy, less concentrated on selling the coin with, with false marketing. We could have maybe something similar, I don’t know yet, with the new projects as Grin, for MimbleWimble implementation and, and Chia by Brian Cohen. These are experimenting to really try something new, while for example Dentacoin was not an experiment to try something new and in a way Ethereum itself is not an experiment to something new in my opinion because they tried to implement any kind of bad idea that was already discussed with Bitcoin 2013.
Giacomo Zucco: So, it was people discussed about Bitcoin, about block rate, uncoil, reward, Turing completeness so all the things that they implemented in Ethereum were very bad idea, already discussed for Bitcoin before. While in Monero you are experiment of something potentially interesting. I will rather do that on a side chain or as I said but if I look at crypto, I would first differentiate Bitcoin and altcoins and within altcoins I will differentiate some not explicit scummy projects, that are doomed to fail in my opinion.
Giacomo Zucco: So if you promote Monero as an investment, I think you are scamming people, that you know that or not. But if you’re just trying to study Monero as scientific experiment about privacy and scalability trade-off, that’s very interesting.
Peter McCormack: It’s quite interesting. I had Riccardo on the podcast a few weeks ago and I said, there are two types of maximalist, there are Bitcoin maximalist and Bitcoin maximalist but Monero is okay.
Giacomo Zucco: (Laughs).
Peter McCormack: And it seems to be, it’s kind of okay, and I actually think one thing you maybe didn’t mention is if you promote Monero now as a tool to confidentially transfer value around the world, I think it does have a used case. There are people who do have the need to send confidential value across the world and Bitcoin doesn’t offer it at the same level yet. Now if Bitcoin does introduce the same level in the future then of course I, I fully understand your point. But until that happens and there is no set deadline, it rather than promoted as an investment, promote it as a used case, as a tool people use. I think it has a benefit right now.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, so I think this is a rational point. I think it’s debatable for the reason I said before that, actually Monero as a smaller user base, and a smaller user base means basically a smaller anonymity set. So the very, very limited kind of analytics you can perform on Monero, which is like very difficult to do because you cannot see amounts, any other possible liability on vendors.
Giacomo Zucco: So, the very limited amount of forensics you can do there since you have such a smaller group of participants, maybe I’m not claiming that it’s worse that using Bitcoin with proper mixing instrument like CoinJoin or, or there is somewhere Wallet features. So, I’m not claiming that Bitcoin is better in privacy because of that, but I think that’s debatable. But it’s a reasonable point. So, I like the point about fees, there is this meme, for example I love, I love Charlie Lee and I think that Litecoin guys they’re mostly not anti-Bitcoin’s approach, so I’m very tolerant and respectful with Litecoin things.
Giacomo Zucco: Also, many people points out that Litecoin can be used a test bed for Bitcoin. Bitcoin already has a test net, but okay, le- let’s assume that’s true for SegWit option and, and stuff like that. So let’s assume that Litecoin is test bed. But there is this argument that I think is completely wrong that you can use Litecoin as a mean together with Bitcoin in order to pay less transaction fees. So basically, you use Litecoin for a small transaction, so you pay small fees, and you use Bitcoin as a store of value.
Giacomo Zucco: This doesn’t make any sense because assuming that you cannot use Litecoin directly as a store of value, that means that the payer has a store of value in Bitcoin and the payees want to have a store of value in Bitcoin. So now you need to move Bitcoin to an exchange paying the on-chain fee to change it with Litecoin with, exchange fee to move Litecoin to the payee, then the payee will have to change it on the market and to move it back to his storage. Maybe you can batch, so you can have some efficiency but basically you’re not saving anything, you’re adding cost.
Giacomo Zucco: For Monero it’s different. If you can really argue that Monero can grant you more privacy than Bitcoin, which I think is possibly true, but debatable, then you can use Bitcoin as store value, send Bitcoin to an exchange. Buy Monero, send Monero to the counterparty in order to get more privacy, the counter party will sell Monero on the market and buy Bitcoin back in cool storage maybe at different at times.
Giacomo Zucco: So, if you assume that you have better privacy with Monero than with Bitcoin, that’s use case for Monero is absolutely correct, and it’s a real used case for Monero. But that’s also true in a way with, Siacoin. If you can use Siacoin to pay for de-centralized storage solution, which is still difficult to do with not incentivized system like IPFS or BitTorrent, you cannot pay people to store your torrent file.
Giacomo Zucco: So, if you can do something with Siacoin that you couldn’t do with BitTorrent maybe in the future we would be able to do that directly with Bitcoin, that would be the reasonable, long-term scenario. But if you can do that right now that way go for it. I have nothing against it. Just that beware to sell it as an investment because Bitcoin can be used to store value even if it’s still an experiment. I will never suggest people to store value into Monero or Siacoin.
Peter McCormack: Okay, we’ve gone on a tangent here. I’m going to get back to Nouriel. Couple of things I’m kind of on the fence with, with him. So, he said Bitcoin can only do five transactions per second. I think that’s wrong, it’s seven, right. He is right but that right now to me isn’t a negative. Yes, it would be great with Lightning Network to have lots and lots of fast transactions at low cost but while his point is true, I don’t see it as a problem.
Giacomo Zucco: So, in a way five transaction per second is not correct because it was seven before SegWit, now it’s probably I mean depending on the composition of the block you can get up to 3.7 megabytes of equivalent, block size so you can get probably more than 15 transaction per second with proper submitted option. So okay, it’s more than five but still doesn’t change the fundamental problem.
Giacomo Zucco: This order of money to them is probably too little both for retain of payment system of course because you cannot pay up with, with 15 transaction per second but it’s probably a little bit too small even for a total value settlement. A global network of settlement that can only do 15 transaction per second is still, it can succeed but I will not say it’s not a problem. It’s a problem, so I will argue there are not easy solutions to this problem but it is a problem.
Giacomo Zucco: It would be way more effective to have a global store of value settlement network and do many 100X that level of transaction. So yeah, Lightning Network is a solution probably for small payments, for retail payments but there are other technologies discussed in order to make that better. There is plenty of them from federative side chain to take out of the blockchain or the arbitrage part between exchange little bit like liquid or trusted hardware solutions which will pass, you’ll become with Opendime instead of with an on-chain transaction.
Giacomo Zucco: So the- there will be other kind of Off-chain points. I will, I will argue that, this criticism by Nouriel is fair but it’s not a criticism against Bitcoin because Bitcoin is a system but it’s also an asset. This criticism is fair against blockchain. Is very funny that when now people in the banking sector are going around shouting blockchain not Bitcoin. Actually, what we’re trying to achieve is Bitcoin without blockchain. The blockchain was important to launch Bitcoin and it will be important to keep Bitcoin alive, but every time we can make without a blockchain we should make without blockchain because the blockchain is very limiting for scalability but also for privacy.
Giacomo Zucco: Everything which is on chain is less private and less scalable than everything that anything which is Off-chain. I think that, this criticism of Nouriel is, is wrong if you focus it on the Bitcoin asset in order to be even more triggering. I remember Adam Back triggering a bunch of people one year ago when he talked about trusted, tapes. So, the blockchain doesn’t scale so we could have just people moving Bitcoins IOUs, representative IOUs instead of Bitcoin as tabs and, and if we have like network that’s even better because it’s trustless, we can also have trusted representation of Bitcoin. And that’s also the idea of Hal Finney. Hal Finney in 2009 when he wasn’t directly with Satoshi, he said Satoshi this thing is great but the blockchain concept is very smart, very ingenuous but it doesn’t scale. It cannot scale.
Giacomo Zucco: So, we’ll probably have the blockchain as a certain [inaudible 00:37:18] and we will have Bitcoin banks, permissionless and free market Bitcoin banks moving around Bitcoin based promises. So, this is all to say that Bitcoin as an asset does scale socially, very, very well. It’s a blockchain of Bitcoin and any other blockchain that doesn’t scale technically enough. So, we would probably have blockchain as a base layer and we will have a lot of different ways, some more trustless, some more trusted like, liquid some even more trusted like I don’t want to say Coinbase because I hope that Coinbase will disappear but like Coinbase and that would be okay. Bitcoin as a system will have different layers of security and different layers of trustlessness.
Peter McCormack: That’s going to nicely move me on to some of the things I disagree with. I’ve got a lot but I don’t think we have enough time to go through them all. So, I’m going to go through the main ones. And the first point I don’t agree with him on is when he said blockchain is no better than a glorified database because that’s just comparing a form of recordkeeping and for me that’s like saying a database is a glorified spreadsheet and a spreadsheet is a glorified cashbook.
Peter McCormack: This to me is not the point of the blockchain and in research of my interview with Nic Carter he does a very interesting article about blockchain where he says this data structure, with its inclusion of hashes of previous blocks ensures that the past is preserved and the database is consistent, replicating the database to every node in their network ensures that it can’t be shut down or altered unilaterally. And therefore by calling it a glorified database, I think it’s disingenuous negates what it was designed to do, not be a database but to be something that can’t be shut down or altered.
Giacomo Zucco: So I think that these criticism of Nouriel criticism is fair if you have a proper definition of blockchain. So, if you define the blockchain as that thing that Bitcoin uses with proof of work, so with opportunity cost for minor, with an incentive mechanism for minor, with a block award and the fees. So, the blockchain structure in Bitcoin is not just a glorified database. First of all, the blockchain is not the database of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s database is ceased, so Bitcoin nodes use the database which is called the UTXO Set.
Giacomo Zucco: So every node has the database, the blockchain is not the database but is a way to update the database collectively. It’s more like an import function of database than the database itself. So, it’s this sentence is very, very wrong if you’re commenting that Bitcoins blockchain or at a lesser degree other cryptocurrencies blockchain provided that probably they don’t have the same immutability because they’re more centralized they’re X and blah, blah, blah. But, the, the best thing is that if you comment the Bitcoins blockchain then this criticism is unfair but, I think that here Nouriel is, reporting general criticism to the concept of, permission blockchain or consortium blockchain, all this stuff about Hyperledger, [inaudible 00:40:12] Coda or whatever.
Giacomo Zucco: So right now, I work in the banking sector as a, as a Bitcoin consultant and I have to compete with these snake oil salesmen which are selling blockchain totally random ways. Right now there is like a supermarket chain in Italy that is starting to promote the chicken on the blockchain. So basically you, you have a cu- yes seriously, you have a cure code put the cure code in your cell phone, it opens a website but the, the promotion, the advertising is this chicken is secure because it’s on the blockchain.
Giacomo Zucco: Doesn’t make any sense to do. So, I think that, two different uses of the word blockchain; one is the proper one in that sense Bitcoin, let’s say in blockchain makes sense because it’s the only way we can have immutability in Bitcoin and double spending prevention in Bitcoin. But if you use the term in a totally desensitized way that people is using that in the private of permission at blockchain context, then the criticism is very sport on.
Giacomo Zucco: In those cases, usually what blockchain projects are achieving is either using database da or, using a distributed or replicated database which is something you can already do with MongoDB replicate flag and you have a replicated database. So it’s nothing new. When they see blockchain sometimes they mean digital signature. Yeah, you’re using digital signature, great, they exist since 20 years. Or maybe any kind of incentive scheme. Any time you’re using some type of reward system, then you’re using a blockchain. In this sense so the criticism is fair in my opinion.
Peter McCormack: So there are a whole bunch of other things he talked about which almost came from the Ripple coin, playbook which is used by criminals and terrorists and environmental disaster. I don’t think we need to touch on that because it’s open covered. I was also quite disappointed in how factually incorrect he was. So in his written testimony he said whereas the internet quickly gave rise to email, the worldwide web and millions of viable commercial ventures used by billions of people in less than a decade, this is wrong because firstly email was invented in 1972.
Peter McCormack: Okay, and by 1995 the internet only had 16 million users. So, 23 years after the invention of email, the internet only has 16 million users and Tim Berners-Lee wrote the proposal for the internet in 1989, in the first tours in the year 2000. Nouriel within a decade there were 700 and some- I think 781 million users. Again it’s disingenuous. There are 361 million users.
Peter McCormack: Also he made points about the cost of transactions and what I felt was disappointing was the consistent use of lies. Like another example is when he said new FinTech technology is used by billions of people in Africa. The population of Africa is only 1.2 billion people. So it can’t be billions.
Peter McCormack: And then he also said there are 100s of stories of greedy crypto criminals raising billions of dollars with scummy white papers. Now there might be a couple of examples but that actually what he’s done is by going through these points and creating and a consistent set of lies and not basing them on facts, he’s almost destroyed the argument and actually I think therefore he’s discredited himself as a person worth debating on the subject whereas I think it would be useful to have a naysayer to discuss with but a naysayer who comes based on fact. Do you understand my point?
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, yeah, I understand the point and I do agree. He’s constantly over exaggerating, numbers all the example that you just gave are example of quantitative lies basically. I think that he makes a, he makes a disservice to his whole point in exaggerating things where there is no need to exaggerate. Actually, I was looking for, let me see if I can find it. There is a very good no coiner, the author of the book Attack of The 90 Foot Blockchain or something like that, he’s called David Gerard I think. let me see if I … Yeah.
Peter McCormack: I think he is British.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah he’s British. I think it’s really easy to find him even I don’t find his name right now on Twitter. I follow him on Twitter, he’s a ferociously anti-Bitcoin mainly because of ideological reasons, just a little bit like Nouriel, like he identifies Bitcoin as a political un-correct thing that wants to, because Bitcoin has strong political roots in Libertarian, Austrian Theory and cypherpunk political goals.
Giacomo Zucco: So, if you are against Austrian theory and you- if you’re against crypto anarchism then you’re against Bitcoin. So, it, it makes sense for Nouriel and for David to be against Bitcoin. But then David uses mostly real numbers and real criticism while Nouriel basically started to use a lot of made up numbers and conflated and that’s a very bad service to his, its own argument, I agree with you.
Peter McCormack: Okay, we’ve done nearly an hour on Nouriel. The other subject I really want to talk to you about was the B Foundation. Let’s start with, can you tell me why it came about and why you think it was needed?
Giacomo Zucco: One of the many disagreements and misunderstanding points in the debates of the last weeks is that in my opinion the B Foundation was not needed by Bitcoin. The B Foundation was needed by me. What’s happening is that in my work in the last more than three years, I basically used this model, this business model. On one side I had Bitcoiners. They are, they’re good, they’re doing great stuff, but they don’t have typical, legacy revenue models because so let’s imagine you’re creating a Bitcoin wallet. You cannot sell intellectual property, you cannot go close source because it will not have any sense.
Giacomo Zucco: Since you’re opensource and easy to clone and to copy you cannot ask for fees or for advertising because somebody will just copy your code, removing the fees or the advertising or hijacking the fees on the advertising. You cannot sell people’s data, like Google or Facebook because you have to not have any people data if you have a good Bitcoin world. So how do you pay for a Bitcoin world? You can’t.
Giacomo Zucco: So, I was in the situation in which I started to try to invest into Bitcoin start-ups, but I realized that the cool start-ups doing the cool things, the right things needed by Bitcoin, they didn’t have very, very easy to understand monetization models. While on the other hand, the, the, the starters with the monetization model like basically exchanges and hardware were not that interesting to me. So I didn’t want to invest in exchanges, I did want to invest in cool technological stuff. And cool technology stuff didn’t have revenue model.
Giacomo Zucco: So I started to do like this. I started to do consultancy as a business, as a full profit business, so I have money and I sustained my family and my company with consulting, and I used most of the profits from the consulting to donate it in kind so as spaces and food and travels and conferences or as money made directly sometimes, to people working on cool Bitcoin projects. So, you have this Bitcoin developer, he’s doing something, I will pay for his travel to meet with another guy, I will pay for the office, or I will pay him for some hours on this project. So I will donate.
Giacomo Zucco: So, the thing is that in the last years, I realized that there are a lot of clients of my full profit consulting company that would be able to donate huge amounts of money to research and development, and development of solution. They want to pay me to develop stuff, but I am not a software house and I don’t want to become a software house and I don’t think that you can develop Bitcoin stuff with a software house approach.
Giacomo Zucco: So let’s say that there is a client of mine, he wants to donate two million through his friends to better develop the RGB project and he wants to give this money to me like I was able to deliver project but then not. I wanted to create a flow in which they could not buy product but they could donate for the development of an opensource effort. I tried to do this by myself for the last two years with the BHB network initiative. The BHB network is a non-profit initiative while Blockchain Lab, the name is very scummy I know, is my full profit company.
Giacomo Zucco: So, my solitary effort to redirect donations it was very time consuming, I am very bad at bureaucracy, regulatory stuff. So, I met with other people in Riga one year ago, Adam Back, Elizabeth Stark and Alex. We all have similar problems like how to move donations from businesses to Bitcoin development and then Alena Vranova, had the same kind of idea and problems so we just, we just said let’s do this together. We all have our own full profit business, we go on doing our own full profit activity, but when we find a business client keen and interest into supporting the ecosystem for selfish reason of course because they will then use the opensource things for their profits.
Giacomo Zucco: So, we should have an efficient way to do this and we came up with the idea of this, donation workflow with the Lichtenstein Foundation and, Alena also was very, very interesting into have an education and marketing effort in order to prevent people from getting scammed, in order to prevent people from believing into lies and misconceptions and misrepresentations. And so we throw together this other goal together with the donation effort in order to make some things that can work.
Giacomo Zucco: So I will not stop working full profit. I’m not just giving up my full profit work to do donation. We’re just trying to centralise, and this is, I mean this is something we’re really doing, trigger alert, we’re centralizing many different donation flow management efforts into one because when you centralize you lose of course censorship resistant in a way, you become more fragile, but you become more efficient. And in order to manage donation, I personally needed more efficiency.
Giacomo Zucco: So, the reason I’m teaming up with those people is because I want to be more efficient into hijacking money from business to Bitcoin development. Bitcoin doesn’t need our effort. I need it to, in order to not leave this money on the table. Because I will feel bad in leaving some money that can go to Bitcoin development on the table. Some people asked me let’s say just create a website that exposes the Bitcoin address of a project and people can donate there directly. But that’s not how it works because my clients, they will not be ab to donate Bitcoin to a random project without a legal entity. My clients are, they’re legacy.
Peter McCormack: They need an invoice.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, they’re legacy companies, they need to deduct the taxes from the donation, they need to donate to a legal entity, not to just a random. So the legal entity will then donate these to the projects and we’ll not take fees or something but we need a legal entity to intermediate.
Peter McCormack: So a couple of questions on that. So it sounds like it’s what, do people apply for grants, it sounds like a system of grants?
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, it is. Basically it’s a system of grants and bounties. I’m not the, the right guy to consult about legal definition because that’s more like Alena territory. But they would be mostly bounties, modern grants because that’s legally the, the different. So you have projects, you want to do a project, you can apply for the projects and we can accept or not accept the application to publish the request for donation on the website.
Giacomo Zucco: We will maintain a control so this will not be a decentralized permission less project. It will be permission in the way that everything will be opensource, so if you don’t like the way that our project works in order to direct donation, you can copy our Git repository with the same website, it’s opensource. You can even copy the legal documents of the legal entity, so you can create your own. And you go to Liechtenstein you create your own legal entity you copy our website completely you compete with us if you want.
Giacomo Zucco: So, it will be permission less in a sense that you can clone it, you can fork it in a way but, we will maintain a governance mostly to avoid entropy. So instead of having 2000 million of different projects, all redundant or in a discarded way, I will personally add some effort and to try to, to the donation flow. So basically unifying, unifying redundancies and stuff like that.
Peter McCormack: So, you could use Tezos for governance.
Giacomo Zucco: (Laughs). Yeah, exactly. No, that’s actually I don’t believe in the centralized governance. I believe in decentralized governance in a sense that everybody is governing his own stuff but you cannot govern a, a decentralized system in a global way. So you cannot add a single strategy to control and to govern a global system.
Giacomo Zucco: So, I’m not interested in token base government system, we want decentralized effort which is completely opt in and opt out. So you don’t like it, you go create another, you don’t donate or you criticize and you troll us on Twitter. I appreciate that, like the level of trolling about the B Foundation was great, like only in Bitcoin you can find this very high quality of trolling.
Giacomo Zucco: So I appreciate that and it’s also useful. This criticism will push us to try now to demonstrate that we can deliver something, so we’re trying to stop a little bit to make declaration and announcement and we’re trying to deliver something good so to show, see, this is the donation that we provided, so this is what we’re doing. So it’s good to have criticism and also it can be good in the apocalyptic scenarios that, that some of the critics of the effort are imagining. Like Kevin Luke or other people, they’re saying you’re too many famous Bitcoin people altogether, so somebody will try to use you eventually as an attack point against Bitcoin.
Giacomo Zucco: That happened with the previous Bitcoin foundation and that’s true it happens. So even if you have good intentions, the fact that you’re a big target right now with many famous people together, will basically call for somebody coming to try to hijack your effort or to corrupt you or to, blackmail you or whatever. So, in a way this severe criticism, from the community helps us giving us a good plausible deniability.
Giacomo Zucco: Like if some NSA guy comes tomorrow and say please donate to this anti-privacy, effort because, we, we can be very convincing, I can honestly tell them look at the community. They will never accept us, I mean they’re, they’re tearing us apart, they’re too much adversarial, we cannot push this. The criticism are a check and balance mechanism and it’s good that we have them. I, I was not expecting so much criticism in Riga actually. I was surprised but now that yeah, it happened I’m more than happy that it happened.
Peter McCormack: I think possibly some of the criticism came from the fact that it came out of the blue.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah.
Peter McCormack: And here it is, here is the team, here is the logo rather than a process that maybe was discussed openly first. I think that’s possibly one of the criticism. You’re always going to get criticized though. I personally felt the name was unfortunate and I know other people did because you’re promoting Bitcoin and it does have Bitcoin in it but then you have the problem of a legacy Bitcoin foundation and I’m sure you went through the problems of trying to discuss that and-
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah, about that, about that, especially so that’s entirely my fault as I explained. So we really wanted to announce this effort in Riga. It was in Riga the year before that we first discussed it among guys about the unifying our efforts. So we really wanted, we pushed to announce it. This is very ICO style scamming. We wanted to announce before being actually ready. So the name was not very much discussed and many people were scared about the foundation part because this is legally a foundation because we are using a foundation.
Giacomo Zucco: So it is a foundation and somebody was thinking, what is people think about the old, bad foundation. And so I decided basically in autonomy before the, the announcement I said fuck it. we will play it as a joke. We’re in Riga, we’re all like Bitcoin maximalist, we all know it’s obvious that the Bitcoin foundation was a bad thing but it’s so obvious then I will play a joke about it, like it will be the B Foundation, the B Foundation is not the Bitcoin Foundation just like BCash is not Bitcoin cash.
Giacomo Zucco: That was the, the joke in my mind. It was a bad decision. We internally looking at it from the inside, we were very aware of the process that bring us to, to that moment. But externally nobody had a clue about that so came out of the blue and some people was really surprised about that. So I agree that the name charge was unfortunate. Right now, though we face a very, very difficult phase that, everybody has another name in mind. We voted for the name and for strange, again theoretical reasons, the old name B Foundation won the, the voting. (Laughs)
Giacomo Zucco: Because basically nobody likes it but everybody has another option that nobody, other likes. So with typical voting problems and I’m not going to, to spend time on this issue anymore. I think that anything that what’s to say, has been said. Now I think it would be important to deliver so to present the documents of the foundation, the legal part and the technical part with the website with the workflow and to show the first project that we bring money to.
Giacomo Zucco: When we do that I think that I will take any kind of trolling about the name peacefully. Let’s go for it, I don’t care but the important thing is that now we can work. But I agree that many communication charges on my side we’re absolutely wrong.
Peter McCormack: Yeah, so you’ve got your scummy foundation launch, you’ve got your blockchain business.
Giacomo Zucco: Yeah.
Peter McCormack: You’re like a Trojan Horse scammer in Bitcoin.
Giacomo Zucco: Sure, also I’m funding the RGB project, funding and promoting in a way the RGB project which is about tokens. So I’ve gone full scamming in the least year, yeah.
Peter McCormack: And you’re buying Ripples now, I’m only kidding. What’s the timeline for this now and like also what kind of projects do you want to hear from so obviously development projects but are there any kind of projects like I wouldn’t but for example could I apply for my podcast and say I wanted to be a Bitcoin maximalist podcast and I want to get rid of all my advertisers and just focus on Bitcoin. Would you listen to any type of project?
Giacomo Zucco: Yes, the development is mostly my take, but we have been very clear with Alena that this effort of this B Foundation will not just focus on software development but generically on Bitcoin development. So conferences, meet ups, videos, podcast, will also be part of the project that we will sponsor. We will try to divide. So first of all the way the money will flow to the project will not entirely be decided by us. We will give the people the possibility to donate only.
Giacomo Zucco: So let’s say you dare about podcast and conferences and not about software, you can donate only for meet ups or only for podcast or only for this specific podcast so there would be a hierarchical tree which you can choose where to send your money. If there is some money that is root so that is in the region, we will take responsibility to divide it to different efforts. So, we’re thinking about, marketing and that’s another triggering word, because for many geeks, for many engineers marketing is scam by definition. Like any time you try to sell something, that’s scummy.
Giacomo Zucco: So, they want a more neutral word like education, but we really want to do marketing in a way that we want to reach people that is not applying for, for deep Bitcoin knowledge. These are people that are easily scammed by shitcoins and we want them to be rich, very easy, direct, professional marketing messages in order to control the damage, of this scamming marketing.
Giacomo Zucco: And so there would be the marketing part, there would be the education part, so scholarships for conference, so there is a good conference in the US, there are applications and we can sponsor some kind of scholarship to have people get into this conference sponsored by our donors. And then there would be the actual software projects. So, the software project will be mostly focused on privacy, security and usability. So how to make normal people use Bitcoin correctly. Think about the project that [inaudible 01:00:40] is doing with for example, B2C pay or all that stuff.
Giacomo Zucco: So very simple, one-click solutions on top of Bitcoin. Or research and development like the, the things that Samourai Wallet is trying with the Off-chain transaction with Privacy Solution like [inaudible 01:00:59] all the things that I’m already sponsoring like RGB, Proof Martial of Peter Todd, the Client Side validation, OpenTimestamps and so on and so on.
Giacomo Zucco: We will not focus on Bitcoin core development because that’s where things become political and that’s where we become a target for possibly interfering with Bitcoin development. The most will, will do about Bitcoin core will be eventually and possibly sponsoring testing, like unit test and mark fixing and reviews of the code, verification of the code, but not evolution at the consensus level. So when there is anything changed the consensus we’re not going to touch.
Peter McCormack: Okay, all right. We’ve done well here. I’m going to finish on a final question. Last thing for you is so chatting and trying to explain Bitcoin and the importance of sound money to some of my friends who maybe have got no idea what I’m talking about. It’s very hard. What ways did you talk to die hard Keynesians money and separation of money and state without them not wanting to be your friend anymore.
Giacomo Zucco: (Laughs). Usually when I do have, a Keynesians friends still here in my presence so many, many of them probably, just escaped away from me years ago. But the ones who, who are still resisting to them usually I use the what I think is a very honest argument which I the argument of experiment and choice. So unless you think that the only way to implement Keynesian monetary policy is to forcing everybody, so unless you’re really convinced that you have to force everybody in order for your experiment to succeed, in that case I cannot help you.
Giacomo Zucco: So if what you think is that you have to force everybody into experiment that I cannot help you. I’m sorry, agree to disagree and I will try to stop you. But if you think that useful to have monetary aggressive, expansionary monetary policies, but you’re open to people opting in or opting out, then you should favour Bitcoin as an experiment in competition with your idea. So, you should try to see what happens when you have people under a Keynesian expansionary monetary policy system with central banks and people using these, hard money deflationary ideas.
Giacomo Zucco: If you’re right, Bitcoiners will be trapped into this deflationary trap very soon and economies where people is, are accepting Bitcoin more they will go south because of deflation or because of inelasticity of money or because of from the cipher PAN point of view, because of criminals and terrorist and stuff like that. So, let’s, lets allow us to experiment. If you’re right eventually, the experiment will show you’re right. You can still criticize our idea but let’s agree that you’re not going to stop it or to support any action to violently stop this, this competition.
Giacomo Zucco: If we agree about that we can still be friends and let’s, let’s see how it works. Usually another very small trick is that nobody is Keynesian or statist in his own private life. If you bring down the macro concepts to the micro level of that person, like do you want your money to devaluate tomorrow, your specific money? So it’s okay, if I simulate some inflation for you and I access to your bank account and I take out some money to simulate a good monetary expansion in your bank account, are you okay if I take you and the other friend and the other friend can make any kind of bet and if he loses, I will bail him out with your money.
Giacomo Zucco: Usually your Keynesian friend is not okay with bailing out your friend. Le- le- le- let’s go, you go to the horse races or something and you bet, and if somebody loses, the, the, the winner has to bail out the loser. Usually you’re never Keynesian enough to apply that in your own private life.
Peter McCormack: Brilliant. What a great way to end. Giacomo this was absolutely great. How do people stay in touch with you?
Giacomo Zucco: Oh yeah, so mostly I’m trolling on Twitter so these days I’m more active on Twitter, the handle is Giacomo Zucco, one word. Same handle you can also use on Telegram or whatever like Signal or no Signal doesn’t have handles, but anyway, you can find me with that username basically everywhere. I’m very slow at answering because right now I am a little bit overloaded. I will answer, and you can follow right now BHB network, things that will probably be move to the B Foundation things in the matter of a couple of weeks, few weeks.
Peter McCormack: Brilliant. Thank you so much for your time.
Giacomo Zucco: Thank you. It was a pleasure.