300 episodes

With What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack talks to experts in the world of Bitcoin, economics and politics. From developers to investors, journalists to authors, you will learn about everything in the world of Bitcoin.

What Bitcoin Did with Peter McCormack Peter McCormack

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 250 Ratings

With What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack talks to experts in the world of Bitcoin, economics and politics. From developers to investors, journalists to authors, you will learn about everything in the world of Bitcoin.

    Bitcoin Mining in Distress with Nick Hansen

    Bitcoin Mining in Distress with Nick Hansen

    “This time last year, most profitable time to mine ever in Bitcoin; people shovelling money in as quickly as they can. Less than 12 months later, it’s the least profitable time to mine ever. It’s very difficult to make massive strategic pivots in that amount of time.”— Nick Hansen
    Nick Hansen is the CEO of Bitcoin mining software firm Luxor Technologies. In this interview, we discuss the distress within the Bitcoin mining industry caused by a perfect storm of leverage, stagnant value, huge growth in capacity, energy price shocks and wider headwinds affecting investment. This could become a national security issue.
    - - - - 
    Exactly one year ago, US Bitcoin mining companies were posting record quarterly profits. A huge amount of investment followed China’s mining ban making North America the centre of global Bitcoin mining. It spurred the development of mega miners: companies developing industrial-scale operations. These companies started building out new sources of energy and developing unique relationships with grid operators. And Bitcoin’s price was at an ATH.
    Roll on one year, and the industry is facing a potential crisis. Bitcoin price is at 2-year lows, the hash rate is at an all-time high, investment is drying up due to a range of issues, rig prices have tanked, whilst a swath of companies are struggling to manage debt obligations. Add to this the wider fallout as a result of the FTX collapse. It really is a perfect storm. 
    At the same time, companies are being buffeted by widespread disinformation, and polarised attacks predicated on energy usage concerns. Regulators seeking to acquiesce to those promoting FUD, have considered, recommended, and brought forward poorly designed rules. See the NY moratorium on PoW mining using fossil fuels just passed into law. 
    This is more than a parochial issue for the Bitcoin community. Bitcoin mining provides an unprecedented opportunity for wider society. It’s the basis for an alternative to a broken economic system and the means with which to incentivise and support the energy transition at scale. It is the industry to help the US navigate a host of strategic problems. Bitcoin mining is, fundamentally, a national security issue. Its protection should be our primary focus.
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    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD585 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Finding Bitcoin Signal with Jeff Booth

    Finding Bitcoin Signal with Jeff Booth

    “Theft in money will divide us all, and that theft in money will take us likely to war and maybe the end of human species… or it will concentrate all control in very few super overlords. And the rest of us, it’ll look like modern day slavery, it’ll look like China’s social credit system on steroids.”— Jeff Booth
    Jeff Booth is the Author of The Price of Tomorrow and CEO/Chairman of Ego Death Capital. In this interview, we discuss how Bitcoin fundamentals (such as its approach to the blockchain trilemma, centring on truth, and its deflationary effects) run counter to current economic theories, making Bitcoin’s signal harder for some to find.
    - - - - 
    A common refrain whilst we live through unprecedented global economic turmoil and massive failures within DeFi is “why aren’t people flocking to Bitcoin”. Obviously, Bitcoin’s signal is being lost: the fundamentals that are designed to better protect people against incompetent, corrupt and fraudulent behaviour aren’t readily apparent to many. Why is this?
    As Jeff Booth asserted in a recent article: “protocols create value in the form of a new foundation that emerges slowly & methodically”. However, capitalist societies have been conditioned to accept and expect rapid change: ‘work fast and break things’ has been taken as a given. Systems that run counter to this are viewed as being ripe for disruption. 
    Bitcoin has widely been seen as slow. It’s development was famously the subject of a crisis centred on scaling arguments. The outcome was an affirmation of some core principles: Bitcoin would be predicated on decentralization and security. This spurned a tsunami of altcoins that proliferated on the pitch that they improved on Bitcoin by being able to scale. This meant many dismissed it. Bitcoin was old tech.
    But, as we have seen over the past few months, speed and scale come at a cost. A real-world cost counted in billions of dollars. The blockchain trilemma means that scale means making material tradeoffs in terms of decentralization and security. The result: hacks and fraud. If there is any silver lining to the FTX collapse is that the conflation of crypto and Bitcoin now has more than a theoretical critique. 
    The importance of making the case for Bitcoin, of amplifying the signal, is that it offers a transition to a new system where we can benefit from deflation. A system that protects people. A system based on a layer of truth.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD584 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    The FTX Contagion with Jesse Powell

    The FTX Contagion with Jesse Powell

    “I think we can’t lose sight of what we’re really fighting for here, which is all of those people to be included in the financial system, financial privacy, the separation of money and state; these things are way bigger than any centralised exchange.”— Jesse Powell
    Jesse Powell is the co-founder and Chairman of Kraken. In this interview, we discuss the rising anger over the FTX collapse, parallels with Mt. Gox, FTX’s exploitation of regulatory arbitrage, odd mainstream media reactions, proof of reserves and the future of custodial services.
    - - - -
    FTX has caused untold damage. There could be over 1 million creditors, from large institutions to small retail investors. There are going to be numerous heartbreaking stories of people getting rekt. But, the most significant damage caused by this criminality could be ahead of us. There is a significant risk that a misreading of the causes of this crisis will lead to regulatory damage removing access to Satoshi’s innovation for future generations.
    There are many within the industry who were deeply sceptical of FTX and Sam-Bankman-Fried well before the event of the past few weeks played out. The pace of growth, the scale of revenue, and the huge expenditure. To those in the know, none of it made sense unless FTX was involved in nefarious activities. And yet, SBF was rubbing shoulders with DC politicians whilst shaping the laws to be applied to the industry.
    In short order, the whole facade has come crumbling down. Stories of drug taking, polyamory, and excess within the criminal empire have emerged, confessions have been made that the effective altruism promotion was a sham, and then SBF engaged in a bizarre media campaign via Twitter. FTX’s new CEO brought in to organise its bankruptcy process stated in his 40 years of restructuring companies (including Enron) he’s never seen anything as bad as this.
    So, in the face of this obvious narcissistic and incompetent criminality, why have there been a number of puff pieces in the media? Why did DC take the warnings that were made seriously? And how is it justified for politicians to threaten a sweeping global legal framework for Bitcoin and crypto? Strange things are happening, and forces are being aligned against all of us. And yet, we know the community is resilient. This could take years to play out.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD583 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    QE Infinity with James Lavish & Greg Foss

    QE Infinity with James Lavish & Greg Foss

    “There are five institutions that control $30 trillion of assets in this world. You’ve got Fidelity Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street, and UBS, that control $30 trillion. So when they get in, and they actually put it in their portfolios, it becomes a no-brainer for other asset managers to do it as well.”— James Lavish
    James Lavish is a Bitcoin advocate and writer, & Greg Foss is a Bitcoin strategist, and they’re both co-founders of Looking Glass education. In this interview, we discuss FTXs lack of checks and balances, how fiat is struggling to find yield, zombie countries and the the debt spiral, and how Bitcoin is the best asymmetric bet of our lifetime.
    - - - -
    We live in strange times. Central bankers tell us up is down. Politicians peddle myths. And the seeming robustness of capital, institutions and the state is turning out to be a facade. And yet, the economic machine needs to keep running. Finance needs to generate a return. In this environment, where the economy has turned from being an engine of sound principles into a casino, it’s no wonder charlatans like SBF can turn into powerful entities in the blink of an eye.
    Checks and balances are empty words spoken by people in suits in meetings. A lack of resources, a revolving door, well-financed lobbying, and sheer complexity have all but neutered any meaningful oversight of crypto. On the ground, the reality is bluff and bluster are as effective as following the law. Perhaps such tactics are more effective: after all, FTX nearly achieved regulatory capture.
    What is the fundamental issue? Arguably it is that the whole framework of state-organised economic control is falling apart. The impacts are manifold. Price and value have no real meaning. Reasonable returns on investment are evaporating. Financial opportunities are being drowned by risk. The real concern is that confidence is rapidly ebbing away.
    The fiat economy is fundamentally a confidence engine. Trust has replaced hard assets. When trust goes nothing is left. We now live in a world where disillusioned experts are telling us the game is up. State debt is unmanageable, and governments have no obvious solutions. This is why many such people are turning their attention to Bitcoin. When we’re facing QE infinity by zombie countries it is wise to go back to first principals: sound money.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD582 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Bitcoin is the Answer with Preston Pysh

    Bitcoin is the Answer with Preston Pysh

    “When you look at prices as they’re trying to destroy demand, the thing that people aren’t talking about is are they destroying supply faster; and if they are, prices aren’t coming down, they might actually keep going up.”— Preston Pysh
    Preston Pysh is a co-founder of The Investor Podcast Network. In this interview, we discuss the ongoing trauma following FTX’s unprecedented fall from grace, the implications for Bitcoin, and the ever-worsening macro situation where central banks are losing the battle to protect society from excessive government spending.
    - - - -
    The FTX drama is still being played out, and it will continue to do so for the weeks, months and years ahead. It feels as though we’re still in the shock stage, trying to wrap our heads around not only what happened, but how such a seemingly fragile situation was allowed to get so out of control. Fingers are being pointed, defences prepared, and, even whilst we’re still very early in this process, histories are already being rewritten.
    And yet, the broader economic picture remains the same: a conveyer belt of crises continue to buffet the global economy. Stagnation, growing inflation, mountainous debt, extreme stress in the bond markets, globalisation, and currencies under strain; there is a wall of mounting issues that are building into what seems to be an existential situation for the fiat system.
    The fundamental issue at hand is that nobody can tell what is up or down in relation to our economy. Price and value have been artificially inflated that they lack any purposeful meaning. Cheap money has enabled massive consolidation making the business environment top-heavy. And inflation has directed citizens to engage in rampant consumption, which results in a myriad of adverse downstream consequences.
    Both situations, i.e. the imploding of cryptocurrency and the mess of the global economy, have the same mitigation. Reaffirmation of the Bitcoin ideology will enable those with true convictions to begin repairing the damage caused by FTX. Bitcoin will also help the economies to align with reality, thereby facilitating better decisions. Whilst Bitcoin doesn’t necessarily fix everything, it is the path to creating a better world.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD581 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Unpacking the FTX Fraud with Lyn Alden

    Unpacking the FTX Fraud with Lyn Alden

    “We appear to have actual fraud, various types of fraud, essentially a Ponzi scheme, and that’s different from even just a normal casino… you can have a crypto casino, and it just makes money from fees, and most traders get rekt; but this is like a casino built on top of a Ponzi.”— Lyn Alden
    Lyn Alden is a macroeconomist and investment strategist. In this interview we discuss rampant fraud that led to the FTX bankruptcy, the implications for other businesses and legal precedent, and Lyn’s current outlook on markets.
    - - - -
    FTX’s empire at the beginning of this year was valued at $32 billion. The whole facade has become a bankrupt mess in a little over a week. Every hour of the past 7 days has seen a new claim of malfeasance that exceeds the depravity of the last. This crescendo has seemingly peaked today as SBF posted cryptic tweets suggesting he’s struggling to comprehend what has happened.
    Sam Bankman-Fried was lauded as a financial genius and social revolutionary leading the ‘effective altruism’ movement. He was on the front cover of Forbes in October 2021. A glowing Bloomberg profile in April this year recounted his interactions with prominent politicians, investors and celebrities. He openly discussed having his attention drawn to dealing with existential issues affecting humanity. SBF had former Presidents and Prime Ministers in his palm.
    However, Bankman-Fried was a Svengali and a fraud. Some Bitcoin maxi’s tried to sound the alarm, but too many people ignored the warning signs and believed the hype. In just 3 short years the 30-year-old managed to beguile not just the industry but also traditional finance. He got a $100 investment from a Canadian pension fund, which one would assume would lead the world in discharging fiduciary duties.
    In the aftermath, it all seems so obvious. FTX was essentially run by dysfunctional kids. So, how did this happen? It’s still very early, and revelations keep dropping as we speak. The truth behind what occurred will take years to piece together. Nevertheless, there are some important lessons that the Bitcoin community rapidly needs to discern and absorb. A political response is inevitable, and many will try to ensnare Bitcoin in this mess.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD580 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
250 Ratings

250 Ratings

Judk16 ,

Fantastic conversation!

Massive fan of the show and what an amazing back and forth this was. Who cares about price when you have a conversation with Robert Breedlove. Nice work Pete Mac!

brbaosmcmv ,

Unsure about host

Host gets very involved and seeing as he supported the idea that unvaccinated people were a problem, I seriously question his intellect.

Not for me.

Steve83772785994 ,

Brilliant Podcast.

Always brilliant. Really appreciate the content, quality, and cork-pops from whiskey bottles! Has very quickly become my favourite BTC (+finance and sometimes crypto) podcast.
But hey, go easy on us proper Degens! A lot of us are leveraging/farming most of our BTC on-chain, in an array of ecosystems. BTC is obviously the hard money of the new world, but the other chains just let us do cool stuff with it! Big LOVE. And thank you. 😍😁

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