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 • 575 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.

    Can Bitcoin Fix the Political System? With Logan Bolinger

    Can Bitcoin Fix the Political System? With Logan Bolinger

    “Is the world that we want to live in, one where we need to hyperfinancialize every aspect of an individual’s life because financial conditions on a macro level are such that you have to finacialize your whole being in order to keep up or get ahead? Is that truly a victory for democracy?”— Logan Bolinger
    Logan Bolinger is a lawyer and writer of the Think Bitcoin newsletter. In this interview, we discuss how he became orange pilled after concluding trust in politics is an impossible dream. We talk about how Bitcoin can help fix the broken political system and the problems caused by fiat money.
    - - - -
    There are many paths to Bitcoin. Cypherpunks, anarcho-capitalists and libertarians have all been attracted to Bitcoin given its rooted in protecting individual freedom, and its growing value as a powerful check on government control of money. And yet, there is now a meaningful movement of progressives within Bitcoin who have also been drawn to Bitcoin.
    Beyond the mainstream media narratives that would have you believe Bitcoin is for those on the right wing, Bitcoin is for anyone, and people are finding in Bitcoin solutions to a range of perceived systemic problems. For progressives, it offers a range of mitigations and solutions to deep-rooted issues. Most notably in how to restore trust to the broken political system and help those affected by inequality.
    Bitcoin is a revolution in that it empowers those who have increasingly been treated with contempt by the state, but had until recently felt powerless. It provides a chance to rebalance the social contract and strengthen democracy. And for those who want to retain the framework of the state, there is power to be drawn from the libertarian cause: rulers act differently when the ruled have a chance to opt-out and rely on a trustless system.
    Opening up to Bitcoin also offers a chance to look at wider society anew. Going down the rabbit hole means awakening to the fundamentals of money, economics and banking. It brings a realisation that a lot of what activists have been focused on has been the symptoms of issues rather than the causes.
    Maybe there is an alignment between those on the right and left around Bitcoin as they realise they are both being literally short-changed by the ruling elites. And, whilst being uncommon bedfellows, there is strength in numbers. And maybe the greatest strength of Bitcoin is in its ability to bring those on different sides of the aisle together to resolve some of our biggest issues.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is herePacific Bitcoin - Bitcoin‑only event, Nov 10 & 11, 2022Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD558 - 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 26 min
    Mining Bitcoin with Nuclear Energy with Ryan MacLeod

    Mining Bitcoin with Nuclear Energy with Ryan MacLeod

    “Bitcoin mining can be plugged into the existing nuclear fleet as it and shore up the economics right now, because a lot of the reactors that are being shut down are because they’re not economically competitive on a grid that has a large share of wind and solar.”— Ryan MacLeod
    Ryan MacLeod is a Bitcoiner working in the reactor research and safety programs at Canadian Nuclear Labs. In this interview, we discuss the importance and safety of nuclear energy, and how Ryan is trying to orange pill the nuclear industry by showing how Bitcoin aids the economic case.
    - - - -
    The growing consensus is that nuclear energy needs to play a critical part in providing society's energy needs. It is both a low-carbon energy source, energy-dense, and (dependent upon operation) reliable. And yet, nuclear only provides 10% of the world’s energy needs, down from 18% in 1996. Whilst the IAEA forecasts only a 12% contribution by 2050 in its high-case projection.
    The issue to date has been the safety concerns regarding nuclear energy. High-profile accidents have clouded the public’s perception of the nuclear industry and influenced anti-nuclear policies in numerous countries. The build-out of new nuclear capacity dropped significantly after Chernobyl, an accident that some feared had come close to making half of Europe uninhabitable.
    The reality is that Chernobyl was an accident unlike any other, which indicated the malaise of a waning superpower, rather than an industry that was inherently dangerous. Since then, reactor technology and the treatment of waste have continued to improve. We are now on the cusp of countries being able to roll out Small Modular Reactors that are cheaper, safer and more scalable than existing designs. It has the potential to revolutionize nuclear power just when we need it.
    And yet, the economics of nuclear energy are still challenging. High capital costs mean that nuclear facilities need to have a high capacity to make the investment worthwhile. Cheaper energy from solar and wind are adding to the complexity of the issue. There are other uses for nuclear energy that can be monetised, but these have their own specific infrastructure and operational requirements.
    This is where Bitcoin mining could provide a bridge. It eliminates the concept of surplus baseload generation, bolstering the economic bottom line of both old and new reactors. And it can do this from day one. So, could Bitcoin mining be the catalyst for a renaissance of the nuclear industry? If so, it will be young professionals such as Ryan MacLeod who are helping to lead the change.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is herePacific Bitcoin - Bitcoin‑only event, Nov 10 & 11, 2022Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD557 - 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 20 min
    The Quantum Threat to Bitcoin Revisited with Richard Murray

    The Quantum Threat to Bitcoin Revisited with Richard Murray

    “On the encryption side a lot of people are worried about ‘how long do you want your secrets to remain secret for?’. And if you’re really worried about things staying secret for a long time, there are some things that people won’t want to get out for the next 100 years, then that’s the reason for people moving on to other types of secure platforms today.”— Richard Murray
    Richard Murray is the co-founder and CEO of ORCA Computing. In this interview, we discuss the spooky and baffling effects of quantum mechanics, how ORCA is harnessing these effects to build quantum computers, and why success will be our generation's moonshot.
    - - - -
    The post-war period has seen an explosion in computing power. The principle underpinning modern digital computers was developed by Alan Turing in 1936 with his paper “On Computable Numbers”. The concept was that programs with instructions would be stored in memory, which would enable the computer to be programmable.
    Since then, digital computers have continued to evolve at a pace. Gordon Moore (who was co-founder and CEO of Intel) predicted in 1975 (revising an earlier 1965 prediction) that the number of components in each integrated circuit would double every two years. This became known as Moore’s Law and has largely held true.
    Innovative chip engineering has resulted in increases in computational power since the war that can be measured in the trillions. This is why our society has changed beyond recognition. And yet, there are limits to what we can do with computers, and limits to continued progress. A single Dutch company, ASML, provides the ultraviolet lithography machines needed to keep pace with Moore's Law. We are reaching the physical limits of increasing transistors to further computational power.
    A potential solution to this barrier could be by using the spooky effects of quantum mechanics. Computers work using a binary system, where computation has 2 possible discrete answers: 0 or 1. The effect of quantum mechanics means a computation can dispense with the discrete answer: the solution can be 0 or 1, or any combination of 0 and 1 at the same time. Harnessing this will turn the rapid evolution of computer science into a rapid revolution.
    When we can access unimaginable computational power what will be possible? In our specific sphere, what does this mean for Bitcoin mining and encryption more broadly? What does this mean for wider society? What are the ethical ramifications? All of these are questions that we should be grappling with, even though nobody can still explain what causes the spooky phenomena in quantum mechanics!
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is herePacific Bitcoin - Bitcoin‑only event, Nov 10 & 11, 2022Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD556 - 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 32 min
    Bitcoin Security & Freedom with Pascal Gauthier

    Bitcoin Security & Freedom with Pascal Gauthier

    “I think freedom is what humanity is striving for; I think we should have freedom in our societies, and freedom is not something that we should bargain for.”— Pascal Gauthier
    Pascal Gauthier is the CEO of Ledger. In this interview, we discuss how to build and grow a business in a bear market, making the business part of the mission, how nation-states are trying to steal Bitcoins, the vulnerability of software wallets to hacks at scale, and why freedom is not something that we should bargain for.
    - - - -
    Ledger is a French hardware wallet manufacturer. Founded in 2014, it is now a market leader, providing 2 of the leading hardware wallets on the market, with sales in over 165 countries. It’s valuation is at least $1.5 billion. In July it was seeking to raise $100 million to fund further expansion at the exact time as other digital currency companies were struggling to stay afloat. How has this company continued to grow throughout the recent bear market?
    The company is clear-eyed about the criticality of the Bitcoin mission: the opportunity to regain personal financial freedoms that have been eroded over time. And freedom has always required security: they are interdependent. It’s just that the weapons have changed over time. Today, a state can hold a person captive by denying them access to uncensorable private money. So, today, freedom is nothing without digital security for money.
    Ledger has made their mission to provide the market with personal security for its digital assets. What differentiates Ledger from other companies is that they see business as the means to achieve the mission: a ruthless pragmatism that acknowledges that without money we will never achieve or retain freedom. This is because security is an arms race.
    Hacking is now a state-level enterprise: Russia, North Korea, and China are just some of the nations that have invested heavily in developing cyber warfare skills. This has contributed to: 300,000 new pieces of malware being created every day; a hacker attack occurring every 39 seconds; yet, the chance a cybercrime is detected and prosecuted in the US is 0.05%.
    This means security in the nascent yet highly valuable digital assets industry is an asymmetric balance of power, so those seeking to provide security solutions need to invest and focus. Ledger does both. It invests heavily in R&D. And, it only provides air-gapped hardware that performs a singular security function. That is why they are successful. And that is good for Bitcoin.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is herePacific Bitcoin - Bitcoin‑only event, Nov 10 & 11, 2022Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD555 - 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 17 min
    Building on Lightning with Ben Arc

    Building on Lightning with Ben Arc

    “If you decentralise custodianship, if you make being a custodian very, very easy, it makes a mockery of laws restricting people from being custodians; if you’ve just got a few big operators, they’re points of failure which can be attacked by government or whatever. I think you see that with technology if you make things easier to run, more people are going to collectively challenge those regulations and those rules.”— Ben Arc
    Ben Arc is a free open-source software advocate and founder of LNbits. In this interview, we discuss how LNbits helps to decentralize custodianship and how Bitcoin’s widescale utility outweighs the environmental FUD.
    - - - -
    In April of this year, Arcane Research published the 2nd volume of its “The State of Lightning” report. It showed adoption of the payments system is growing rapidly. Transaction and usage data indicate exceptional growth (e.g. since January 2021 capacity on the Lightning network has increased by 450%). However, they don’t provide the full picture: equally important is the flourishing ecosystem.
    There are well over a hundred companies working directly with Lightning: developing operating systems, node and liquidity services, wallets, payment infrastructure, financial services, rewards programs, gaming, podcast/streaming and social media payment options etc. etc. The investment such companies are attracting is growing: the prize is access to the world's best payment rail.
    LNbits are providing the services of a Point of Sale payment and accounting technology. Its founder, Ben Arc, started hacking hardware to integrate Lightning functionality after attending the very first Lightning hack day in 2018. Since then he has taken a passion to contribute free open-source software for the community, into a VC-funded business seeking to bring scalable products to market.
    LNbits already has a free open-source Lightning wallet/accounts system with an array of extensions enabling users to create paywalls, faucets, offline shops, and even a jukebox! But Ben continues to hack hardware: he has created a Lightning ATM that he provided a live demo of during the show. Those who attend Real Bedford should soon be able to see one of these!
    Ben is looking to help grow the adoption of a technology that can provide freedom through decentralization. This will occur once we make these technically sophisticated innovations easy to use, and equally, easy to develop as open-source projects. Lightning is the innovation that enables Bitcoin to scale, and LNbits is part of the growing ecosystem we need to help Lightning to scale.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is herePacific Bitcoin - Bitcoin‑only event, Nov 10 & 11, 2022Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD554 - 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 31 min
    Free Private Cities with Peter Young

    Free Private Cities with Peter Young

    “A world where there’s a plethora of different kinds of society where people consent to the rules, and people have the ability to choose what kind of system they live under, is a better society for everyone.”— Peter Young
    Peter Young is the managing director of the Free Cities Foundation. In this interview, we discuss the development of autonomous administrative areas around the world called ‘free cities’, where new types of governance can be offered to citizens outside the control of existing states.
    - - - -
    Paul Romer, former chief economist at the World Bank and a Nobel prize winner, proposed in 2009 the concept of Charter Cities. Romer was trying to tackle the problem of stagnant investment in the Global South arising from bad governance. The solution was to evolve the idea behind special economic zones and create autonomous city-states within existing countries.
    The autonomy would extend to alternate legal and political systems from the host nation, and to the provision of services by private organisations. An advanced guarantor country would protect the legal rights of residents. The idea was that such cities would become trusted centres predicated on good rules, attracting investment, firms and people, the benefits of which then filter beyond the cities' boundaries into the host country.
    The Free City Foundation have taken Romer’s idea and sought to implement it in different parts of the world. The aim is to provide citizens with alternatives to the status quo: establishing new legal, financial and municipal relationships with residents. The ideology is to reduce the size of the modern state, which is considered to act in its own self-interest at the expense of society.
    There are a number of different scales of initiatives for the Free City Foundation: from intentional communities to prosperity zones, all the way to Free Private Cities. Prospera in Honduras is a working example of a Free City: a new settlement on the island of Roatán is being developed within its own civil law, regulatory agencies and taxation; although it must still adhere to the Honduran constitution, international treaties and criminal law.
    But this is only the start: many more examples are being developed across the world. Perhaps the most innovative idea is Seasteading, where independent communities are developed in international waters, outside of the jurisdiction of existing governments. Are these initiatives viable and preferable alternatives to the nation-state? That may be too early to tell, but there is a growing number of investors who think they are the future of civilisation.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is herePacific Bitcoin - Bitcoin‑only event, Nov 10 & 11, 2022Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultTexas Blockchain Summit - Nov 17-18, 2022 | Austin, TexasBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD553 - 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 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
575 Ratings

575 Ratings

Hencheyp ,

Just listen

Always interesting, definitely worth adding to your podcast subscription. Guests are always intelligent and knowledgeable, never dull.
Just listened to the quantum computing episode.
Brilliant.

Bobby21000000 ,

Comprehensive and insightful

What Bitcoin Did is the most comprehensive and balanced Bitcoin focused podcast to date. Featuring a diverse slew of guests ranging from Macro economists, O.G. cypher punks, academics, politicians, and industry professionals. This podcast not only builds and expands upon the narrative of sound money in an unsound world but even asks tough questions of the ideas, culture, and people within this ever growing space.

The production on this podcast is excellent. On location and they film every episode as well. The research that goes into every episode is well suited to each guest.

This is the perfect starting point for learning about bitcoin. I would even recommend this podcast before the white paper (very heavy on the technical aspects) and even the bitcoin standard (Very informative, incredibly well researched but politically biased).

SmeagolGetsTheRing ,

Marmite but I've already liked the taste of Marmite.

Great podcast and Peter is really the standard on consistently asking great and sometimes controversial questions to his guests. All true pod to bitcoin.

You Might Also Like

Anthony Pompliano
Dr. Saifedean Ammous
Stephan Livera
Robert Breedlove
Natalie Brunell
Marty Bent