|Hala Taha||You’re listening to YAP – Young and Profiting podcast where anything goes if it makes you grow. I’m Hala and we’re about to explore one of the most innovative and era defining discoveries of the past century cryptocurrency. This new way of storing value has entered mainstream adoption and so we’ve got to understand it to make the right decisions for our future. Episode two, we’re yapping about the Internet of value|
|Phillip Nunn||For the first time ever in the history of the world, we’re creating this Internet of Value whereby without any bank, government or institution in the middle I can exchange value with you.|
|Ed Lehner||So Bitcoin itself, it doesn’t start until January third, 2009. By
2010-11 there is some level of traction. By 2012 people are really excited about this technology.
|Ohad Flinker||Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a technical white paper that really set the foundation of how the Bitcoin blockchain works. And at some point, he disappeared off the face of the Internet of the Earth. And nobody knows who that person is.|
|Ed Lehner||And then fast forward to 2015-16, the white paper for Etherium is written and I’ll end with December 2017 Bitcoin which was once trading well under a penny hits it’s all time high of nearly $20,000.|
|Phillip Nunn||Bitcoin is the sixth largest currency in the world out of nearly 300 countries.|
|Ohad Flinker||And so it’s this weird new asset. But for all intents and purposes it is working. And as a result, when people saw that it was working over the past few years, more and more other cryptocurrencies, other blockchains and other tokens such as etherium have been created. So if you take away Bitcoin tomorrow morning, obviously it would hurt the blockchain, but it would not make this financial Genie this thing that everybody’s calling the internet of money or the Internet of value it would not make that go away because the idea of this digital currency that is not issued by a central authority, a government, a bank is so powerful that the people have voted with their wallets, with their time, their resources, that this is the thing that people want.|
Full disclosure, I’m fairly new to cryptocurrency. In fact, I’ll be new to most topics we tackle on this show. That’s the point we grow and learn together. So to get a better grip on cryptocurrency. I did a ton of research and studying myself and I also interviewed several influencers, including CEO of wealth chain and cryptocurrency evangelist, Philip Nunn.
([2:58]) I’m arguably Europe’s biggest cryptocurrency influencer. I have a large online network of a 300,000 followers on different social platforms.
So I come from a financial markets background and I’m absolutely blockchain and crypto obsessed.
I also spoke with Ohad Flinker,
I’m a marketing strategist and I am currently focused on cryptocurrency and tokenization strategies.
|Ed Lehner||I’m a full time faculty member within the City University of New York, a university system. And I’ve been researching cryptocurrencies for over four years.|
And Paul Savchuck and Tim Melaynk, the 26-year-old Ukrainian founders of Cryptocurrency Capital LLC.
|Paul Savchuk & Tim Melynk||
Hi everyone. My name is Paul. I’m a CEO of Cryptocurrency Capital and with me, Tim.
Yes hello guys, my name is Timothy, I’m CFO and co-founder of Cryptocurrency Capital management company for a crypto hedge fund.
With cryptocurrency I think it’s important to get a good history lesson before diving into the technology, the market, and all the specifics. We’ve got to understand the context the environment what led us here and why people accepted this new technology in their lives in the first place.
|Phil Nunn||If you actually think about globalization and how the world has become smaller, there’s only really been two things that have impacted that in the last and they both happened in the last sort of 30 years. The first was the advent of the Internet for me. Um, you know, when you, if you remember the first sort of internets and on the Internet, people were sort of laughing at it and saying it would never have any impact will take on. What the Internet has done is given us this freedom and ability to exchange information freely with each other and instantly. And the second one was on the smart phones, smartphones have more of a profound effect in terms of mobile and we can sort of track where we are and what we’re doing is a huge thing.|
|Phil Nunn||The third one, which is this new wave has come along is blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. And what this really means is for the first time ever in the history of the world, we’re creating this Internet of value whereby without any bank, government or institution in the middle I can exchange value with you. So we would be able to exchange value with no middleman, no intermediary and within seconds from the UK to New York. And it’s really quite exciting.|
|Ohad Flinker||Because money started out as a store of value that was coupled to a commodity like gold or silver. And in 1971, Richard Nixon decoupled the US dollar from the value of gold, creating a fiat currency or value by decree just because the king or the government said so and that worked OK pretty much until people felt like they lost trust in 2008.|
|Ohad Flinker||And we trust a very small group of companies and government agencies to manage our value in the world. And that usually works until it doesn’t, like in the financial crisis of 2008. And what happened very soon afterwards in 2009 is that a very small group of techies ran these social experiments–let’s create our own ledger.
And instead of a bank or a government agency, being an organization of trust to manage that value will have the crowd manage that value more and more people over the past decade have poured their time and resources into the Bitcoin blockchain and it was the first real use case or proof that the blockchain can actually work.
|Phil Nunn||And in my mind, you know, people who’ve been in that space for a long time, I’ve been sitting on this technology and waiting for the opportune moment because while the economic times were good and we were thriving and everything was good, if Bitcoin would have come along, you know, just been laughed, laughed away as quick as it came along. But actually when people have had enough of the banking system collapse in government bailouts, quantitative easing, you know, if you look at countries like Cyprus, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Argentina, Zimbabwe, I’ll keep naming that we’ve massive economic crisis and the people are looking for another way and another solution. So this is why I have the maximum impact and its here to stay, you know, it’s not going to go anywhere.|
|Ohad Flinker||And why does it work? Because enough people agree that it’s a store of value and part of the reason it’s such a polarizing issue is because the idea behind Bitcoin is a little bit subversive because the definition of money is currency issued by a government and there is no government that issues Bitcoin.|
|Hala Taha||([7:43])Okay. This is a really important point. Bitcoin is not backed by the government. In fact, we don’t know who’s behind the world’s most valued cryptocurrency. It was founded by an unknown person or group named Satoshi Nakamoto and everyone has their own version of who or exactly what that is.|
|Hala Taha||Let’s spend a few minutes on the history of cryptocurrency. can you talk about Satoshi Nakamoto and his contribution to Bitcoin?|
Sure. So Satoshi Nakamoto was part of this well-known cryptography, a email list, and they had these forms, in roughly, I think it was Halloween, 2008. He released this white paper. I’ve come up with this concept for digital peer to peer cash.
|Hala Taha||Satoshi Nakamoto. Now, legendary technical and marketing research paper or white paper is called Bitcoin, a peer to peer electronic cash system.|
|Ohad Flinker||Yeah. So, but I think part of the appeal of the story of Bitcoin is the mystery because the blockchain and specifically the Bitcoin blockchain came onto the scene about a year after the financial crisis of 2008 and somebody or something, or some ones plural by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, wrote a technical white paper that really set the foundation of how the Bitcoin blockchain works. And that was essentially an idea released into the community. And Satoshi Nakamoto was active promoting this white paper and these ideas together with a large community of other enthusiasts. And at some point he disappeared off the face of the Internet of the earth. And nobody knows who that person is and different people surmise that it’s probably not one person, it’s probably a group of people and there is no one person you can attribute the idea of Bitcoin to. And part of the mystery here is that that first genesis block, that Satoshi Nakamoto mind is worth over a billion dollars.|
|Hala Taha||([10:06]) According to internet gossip, Nakamoto was the sole Bitcoin miner for the first 10 days of Bitcoins existence and owns around 1 million original Bitcoins or Satoshi coins.
Which is currently worth over 7.5 Billion Dollars at the time of this recording.
|Really sort of the history of obviously the Satoshi Nakamoto and the Bitcoin white paper. I think personally in 2009 that when that was released, whoever released that and whoever they were people speculate. Obviously there is a very large, Bitcoin wallet that’s not been touched since that point that going up in value. And I think if Bitcoin is going to go up to 100,000 the person who owns that wallet will be the first trillionaire on the planet, quite a large amount of Bitcoin.|
|Ohad Flinker||And what people are curious about, worried about, anxious about is what happens when that genesis block suddenly comes to life. And somebody says, Hey, I’m Satoshi and I will now command that value of billions of dollars in Bitcoin. And that excites some people. It scares other people. And its it’s part of what keeps the mystery, the enthusiasm around Bitcoin alive.|
|Paul Savchuk & Tim Melynk||There is no open answer. We know those few people claim that there are really Satoshi Nakomoto with some intention, maybe good, maybe bad, but thing is that satoshi is kind of a mysterious person you can see that guy from different dimension who gave us this kind of technology everyone is talking about at this moment of time.
some people think Satoshi is Elon Musk you know Elon Musk created btc, you know, to save us all blah blah blah.
|Phil Nunn||Well I know who they are, no I dont I’m joking, well maybe I do know. Look distributed ledger technology is not a new thing. It’s always something that’s been in concepts and around since 1991 and all the blockchain really is. It’s an amalgamation of probably seven or eight different pieces of technology that are all mashed together to create sort of the secret sauce if you like.|
|Ed Lehner||So Bitcoin itself, it doesn’t start until January third, 2009, that’s when they actually start hashing blocks. And the very first book is called the Genesis Block.now what happens after Bitcoin has release his computers all over the world start to hash it. It’s a very slow and small project, by 2010 11 there is some level of traction by by 2012. People are really excited about this technology.and more and more people are involved in a cryptocurrency space, but one needs to know that at the same time a number of altcoins are being developed.
So in all calling in alternative coin is something that uses Satoshi Nakamoto’s technology. I’m noting that Nakamoto released this paper in open source so anyone in the world can copy Bitcoin if they wanted to. And so that’s exactly what people did in the development of these alt coins
and then fast forward to 2015 and 16, the white paper for etherium is written and um, I guess I’ll end with December 2017 Bitcoin which was once a trading well under a penny. hits it’s all time high of nearly $20,000.
|Ohad Flinker||And so it’s this weird new asset. But for all intents and purposes it is working. And as a result, when people saw that it was working over the past few years, more and more other cryptocurrencies, other blockchains and other tokens or units of value that are coupled to a specific block chain such as ethereum have been created. So if you take away Bitcoin tomorrow morning, obviously it would hurt the blockchain, but it would not make this financial genie, this thing that everybody’s calling the internet of money or the Internet of value, it would not make that go away because the idea of this digital currency that is not issued by a central authority, a government, a bank is so powerful that the people have voted with their wallets, with their time, their resources, that this is the thing that people want.|
|Hala Taha||All right, so fast forward to 2018 Bitcoin or btc was announced almost 10 years ago. Trading on the exchanges by 2010 with its highest price that year at just thirty nine cents. To put that in perspective, Bitcoin is currently priced a little under $7,500 with 17 million Bitcoin currently in circulation, making it roughly a $127 billion dollar market cap.
Since BTC launched, more and more cryptocurrencies have emerged on the scene, and today there’s about 1600 alt coins currently in circulation get familiar with names like ethereum ripple, Ios Dash, Monero, Cardona, Iota and Bitcoin cash, which is a fork of Bitcoin. What’s a fork? You say? Well, it’s technical lucky for you.
You’re about to get into some technicalities.
So let’s get started with an understanding of what exactly cryptocurrency is.
|Ed Lehner||Yeah. So I think the, the most straight forward example is that cryptocurrency is a ledger, a, just like if you were doing your monthly billing or anyone who does ledgers like an accountant and it’s simply a store of money.|
|Paul Savchuk||So the general meaning of the cryptocurrency is something which is built on, on blockchain technology requires special proof of transaction. It might be Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, proof of something else and it’s in some way open source|
Okay, so I’m about to really break this down. The main notion behind blockchain is reaching a consensus in a decentralized way. This is done via a distributed ledger that contains a record of all previous transactions. It’s called a distributed ledger because the transactions are not stored in one central location. This is what makes blockchain revolutionary. The ledger or the blockchain is stored on every computer or every node that partakes in the network.
([16:35]) So it’s a database that exists out there and is replicated across hundreds of thousands of nodes or computers. And therefore, if you want it to hack the blockchain, the Bitcoin blockchain, you’d have to hack hundreds of thousands of computers simultaneously. And that is effectively impossible. So that’s part of the power of the blockchain.
|This is a key point of blockchains.
They are designed to be immutable and they record events and engrave them into this digital on rotable rock and once a piece of information goes in, you can depend on it never changing. This concept or quality of immutability is what makes blockchain different from regular files or databases where information can be edited or deleted at will and in order for Blockchain or distributed ledger to work, the participants in the network need to collectively agree on the contents of this ledger. This is the job of something called a consensus mechanism or consensus algorithm.
The first blockchain Bitcoin, we just consensus with Proof of Work, also known as mining. Proof of Work is a requirement to solve a complicated mathematical puzzle in order to process a block of transactions and add it to the blockchain. Nodes, more commonly known as minors compete to be the first to solve the problem that concerns a candidate block. And this can only be done through many attempts of trial and error. Essentially guessing a large number at random. So miners take this mystery number along with data from the block and apply it to a cryptographic hash function. This hash function takes the data fed into it, and in Bitcoin’s case, turns it into a unique 64 characters string of numbers and letters which serves as a potential answer to the problem. The miner who first solves the puzzle, gets to place the next block on the blockchain and claim the rewards which is given in the form of coins or transaction fees.
So blockchain is that one block is built on top of another block. So all these computers around the world are keeping records of the same blockchain and keeping records of the same public ledger. So how blockchain works is that there are hundreds of computers hashing this and keeping this public record, and in the early days, let’s say 2009, 2011, a regular computer could do this and actually win the blockchain they could, when they call the mining reward.
And so all of these transactions, particularly for Bitcoin, but this is
You know, I make a deposit it’s no good or uh, the bank for whatever reason, freezes my accounts, And so that is what they call the computer language, kind of a master slave relationship where only one person can do the writing. Whereas in a peer to peer blockchain, the peers do the writing.
It should be noted that Proof of Work is very expensive to participate in and it takes enormous amounts of electricity to solve these problems.
Here’s an alarming fact. A recent study from the science journal Jewel claims that the Bitcoin network consumes 2.55 gigawatts of electricity per year, nearly the same amount consumed by Ireland, and if that’s not shocking enough to study also says that Bitcoin could someday consume five percent of the world’s electricity. And because Proof of Work puzzles are designed to get more complicated as the network grows, it will require even more computational power. As time goes on. At the present time, a Bitcoin miner is awarded 12.5 new coins for validating a transaction almost $100,000, which is why mining farms are willing to pay for very expensive mining equipment and electricity costs to perform the calculations continuously, and even the users that don’t win are expending computing power round the clock. In addition, mining pools have emerged where people team up to increase their chances of mining a new block and collect the reward, and these pools now control large portions of the Bitcoin blockchain.
With Bitcoin, and this is really the paradox of Bitcoin, its that it’s a decentralized currency mined by maybe 5 mining camps, well that’s not altogether decentralized right it’s almost dare I say laughable, if you have a decentralized currency that’s only being mined by very few groups it doesn’t cohere to what I think the genesis block highlights and more importantly Satoshi Nakomoto Vision.
|To solve issues like these, a new consensus algorithm emerged called Proof of Stake and it’s used by large crypto networks like dash and the second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is transitioning from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake model. Proof of stake is an alternative way of verifying and validating the transaction or block. It is still an algorithm and the basic idea is that letting everyone compete against each other with mining is just wasteful.
([21:47]) Instead, Proof of Stake uses an election process where one node is randomly chosen to validate the next block. Many claim that Proof of Stake is a better alternative because it achieves the same distributed consensus at a lower cost and uses considerably less energy. In addition, setting up a node for Proof of Stake is less expensive compared to Proof of Work. You don’t need expensive mining equipment and this encourages more people to set up a node, making the network more decentralized and also more secure.
Oh yeah. Some small differences in the terminology here.
Proof of Stake has no miners but instead has validators and it doesn’t let people mine blocks, but instead they forge new blocks.
Validators aren’t chosen completely randomly. To become a validator, a node has to deposit a certain amount of coins into the network. As a stake the size of the stake determines the chances of the validator being chosen to forge the next block.
I see other algorithms they use a lot less electricity, are more efficient and tend to be fair.
So it’s called the Proof of Stake algorithm often seen as capital “p,” lowercase “o” capital “s” within the Proof of Stake algorithm. They reward people for staking their coins, which is very different than Bitcoin, which is the Proof of Work algorithm often seen is capital “p”, lowercase “o,” uppercase “w” and that is only the miners get the rewards.
So to summarize, each blockchain has a set of rules or consensus mechanism by which transactions are validated on the network, like Proof of Work or Proof of Stake, and these rules are agreed upon by the miners themselves. So finally, to get back to what a hard fork is, sometimes minors for coin decided to change the rules for validating a block and that’s when a coin splits and the modified version becomes a fork of the original coin. Some minors decided to mine on the new rule set and some continue on the old rule set.
Bitcoin cash is an example of a fork. There’s more nuances to chain splits, but I’m not going to try to go there is your head spinning. I honestly think that’s normal. Blockchain technology can be really hard to understand and core concepts tend to get lost amongst the complexity of nonessential detail.
|Ohad Flinker||And one of the first mistakes I think people make with trying to figure out this thing called the blockchain and Bitcoin is trying to figure out the technology. And I think the more interesting question is why people are so excited about the blockchain and about Bitcoin.|
|Paul Savchuk||As of today the cryptocurrency is a new asset class. Same as you know, think about ages ago when for example the shares were invented, you know, you have to think in your way what is it? Same goes with crypto. This is just the new way of thinking about things.|
|Paul Savchuk||You don’t have to actually understand it how it works, you need to understand how you can use it and it doesn’t mean that you need to make research like in-depth research on who created why has value and what kind of protocol was used. People use Amazon on their phone. They use the Google on their phone. They have no understanding how it works, but they still take benefit of it.|
|Phillip Nunn||What I always say is, you know, blockchain technology, all you have to think of it is all the blockchain is a database, a legit but in as opposed to working centrally on one centralized server. It’s decentralized on many different nodes and machines. It works in a totally different way, but it’s much like a buddy of mine on Linkedin stated awhile ago that if I got into telling you how microwave works and the fundamentals of that, you’ve probably never used one again. And most people actually, when you talk about the Internet, how many people in the world know how the Internet works?
If I asked you to explain exactly how instagram works on the fundamentals of it you wouldn’t be able to explain it. Not many others would. So really what it’s all about is this thing going to sort of slowly come underneath us like the Internet did and to understand the, the fundamentals of it that you moving from a centralized way of working to a decentralized way of working. That’s really all you need to know and the fact that is going to give you a secure way of trading value,
|Hala Taha||([26:08]) Okay, so you’ve got a baseline of the technology and that’s all you really need. Unless you’re interested in benefiting from cryptocurrency through mining or forging or even launching a new altcoin yourself. For the majority of us, we need to just focus on the outcome of blockchain and cryptocurrency and how they will change the world.
So can you talk about why cryptocurrency and blockchain is important for young professionals and millennials to begin to study and get familiar with, like why is that important for them to start interacting with this new technology?
|Sure. I think particularly for millennials, your generation, it will be inheriting the folly of previous generations. The amount of debt that your generation is inheriting is significant
And so this opportunity, and I think, you know, every generation has this opportunity where there significant wealth creation. so I saw this during my career, early career in the Internet where people became millionaires and billionaires and that was and that was in internet one point out by the time Internet two point. Oh, comes around. because of things like network effect, Facebook has the type of network effect that Yahoo only dreamt about in 1998 or Google had a type of network effect where the basically were able to catalog the entire world, right?
Whether it be Google maps or information on the web. Those types of opportunities have kind of come and gone. I think, why millennials should be interested in cryptocurrencies. One, the crushing debt that sadly this generation will inherit. Two, probably, more importantly, it’s this wealth generation opportunity of your generation, right? If one were alive in the late 1870’s, I would say railroads, you know, get into railroads right, or get into banking, right? Try to figure out what John Pierpont Morgan is doing or if one were 70’s I would talk about it, the personal computer. But now as we’re, you know, approaching 2020, this wealth generation opportunity is so salient.
|Hala Taha||So how do you think cryptocurrency will change the world?|
|Phillip Nunn||I mean, goodness me, I have to be careful when of these podcasts because I don’t want to get shot somehow by like a secret agent, I’m sure I won’t… we’ve had a way of working for many, many years or probably hundreds of years, which is a centralized way of working more or very controlled by the system. And that’s the biggest strangle hold this breaks, you know, guys who’ve had all the power have had it too good for too long and I see cryptocurrency as an uprising and this leads onto the question about helping society. I mean, you look at the world we live in and how much wealth there is in the world, and it’s just unfair. It doesn’t work. The system does not work and we still have poverty we still have people starving.|
|Paul Savchuk||I feel like the reason why Wall Street bankers are so afraid of blockchain is because everything is going to be so transparent that you might be able to create new derivatives over or like credit default swaps in which caused the mortgage crisis or the other which caused the.com crisis so each time we have a kind of depression or like stagnation or like the financial crisis it was called because of the influence of those major players and, the reason why it happened because nobody, nobody could control it.everything happened behind the closed doors. And even if you have the account in this bank, even if you know how the financial markets work and what type of assets you can trade or invest, you still under the risk that bankers going to use your money five time for, with offshore accounts or like they not gonna audit their company properly and you will not be confident that they have funds or not.
If you’re talking about blockchain, to control all these processes like behind the closed doors in the open way. So everybody got to know what’s happening no matter what.
|Ed Lehner||I mean, I live in America, we live in America. We have banking systems. Access to credit. People don’t have this, and what really got me into, I’ve always, you know, for the last few years have been so diligent about my cryptocurrency, but really what made it so compelling for me was last December, December of 2016 when India took out.
Most of the currency they took out,in America would be the equivalent of all ones, all their fives, all their tens, and all their twenties. And they basically just went the high note bills fifties and hundreds. that’s this idea in economics, which we call Gresham’s law in Gresham’s law, is that the good money goes out of the economy. That’s exactly what happened in India. The Indian government gave seven hours notice basically,it would be the equivalent of, of our president saying, “OK, we’re no longer going to accept cash except for 50’s and 100’s.” All the money will go out of the economy almost directly. And all those small bills are now worthless and millions of people suffered. I’m sure thousands or hundreds of thousands suffered greatly and many died and that made me think about how important it is.
What we’re doing in cryptocurrency is that we’re providing a counter narrative to a traditional banking system.
|Phillip Nunn||([31:50]) We still have, people dropping bombs on Syria which is due to, you know, political sentiment and all this sort of thing. And I’m a great believer that blockchain and the movement of blockchain and Cryptocurrency is one that can wipe out lots of this corruption and lots of this sort of lack of integrity and unfairness that exists in the world. whether or not this actually happens, I don’t know, but I think in terms of a better society, you know, as you’re altruistic now as your sort of best case scenario for me, but actually if you look at it from a I was living in a Western world and go into work every day and living an honest life and do what we do. I think what’s going to happen going forward is that instead of people like Facebook and Amazon and Google and Microsoft on the big silicon valley companies monetizing our existence and monetizing our data and controlling that side of how we exist.
I think that’s going to change. So in the future I see a future where there will be a version of Facebook. I think Facebook will be gone in 10 years. Completely multiple sort of say, remember Facebook, like myspace, and there’ll be a version of Facebook. There will be very much a decentralized version where we’re all on that. We can exchange value with each other. So I can be in a restaurant and I will tag myself in the restaurant and I will get some tokens for doing that. So we’ll be able to monetize our existence in a better way.
We’ll be able to use our spare hours where were a lawyer and we want to give two or three hours a week extra work and we’ll be able to tokenize that. So we’ll move to this sort of decentralized, tokenized way of working, but I think it’s power to the people in that will be able to create value within our own existence. And that’s really powerful.
|Hala Taha||Thank you for listening to Young and Profiting podcast where anything goes if it makes you grow.
This concludes part one of the Internet of Value. Catch Part Two next week where we’ll take a closer look at the other players in the market aside from Bitcoin and the considerations to keep in mind when looking to participate in the market.
Young and Profiting podcast is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered financial advice. Conduct your own due diligence or consult a licensed financial advisor before making your investment decisions.
YAP is supported by a wonderful team. Big thanks to our audio engineer, John Sparks, music by Harry Fraud and assistant producer, Timothy Tan. Follow YAP on Instagram @youngandprofiting and Twitter at YAP_podcast and check out our website at YoungandProfiting.com for show notes and additional references. Be sure to subscribe or follow us wherever you enjoy listening to your podcast. See you next week for part two. You have the Internet of Value. This is Hala signing off.