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
    • 5.0 • 4 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.

    Why are Bitcoin Forks Contentious with Adam Back

    Why are Bitcoin Forks Contentious with Adam Back

    “It’s a competition of ideas… and it’s a collaborative competition of ideas. So if you propose an organised set of ideas as a proposal, some parts of them might end up being good and used, and some parts might not. And you just have to be open to that.”— Adam Back
    Adam Back, an original cypherpunk, inventor of Hashcash and co-founder and CEO of Blockstream. We discuss the controversy around BIP 119: the soft fork proposal aiming to add “covenants” to Bitcoin. We also talk about the collapse of Luna.
    - - - -
    Flexible smart contracts are a USP of Ethereum and other blockchains. Currently, Bitcoin only enables basic smart contract functionality, such as a timelock that specifies when a transaction can be spent. BIP 119 proposes to add more flexibility for applying restrictions to transactions via a new programme operation code (opcode) called CheckTemplateVerify (CTV).
    CTV would enable conditions on spending UTXOs that would limit, not when they are spent, but how. These are referred to as “covenants”. It is envisaged CTV could significantly enhance Bitcoin by enabling a raft of new and powerful applications to be developed; these could bring new security, privacy and scalability benefits.
    The concern is that CTV is a significant change and could open up potential unknown security risks, or that if this functionality is desirable, it could be possible be better achieved with a different technical approach
    BIP119 has been authored and enthusiastically promoted by Bitcoin developer, Jeremy Rubin. It has been around now for 2 years, and whilst Rubin has generated support for BIP119, he has also faced criticism from prominent Bitcoiners for his approach and so far there doesn’t seem to be consensus among the protocol development community on implementing the proposal.
    The consideration, approval and activation of changes to Bitcoin are methodical and slow. Further, such changes normally involve the development of competing ideas, and a collaborative approach to combine the best elements from these efforts. Notable critics feel that BIP119 is being too forcefully promoted and that more time is needed to test and consider alternatives.
    The pressure to innovate will always be there. The issue at hand is Bitcoin’s USP: it has never been hacked. This has been hard-won. So it seems BIP119 isn’t going to get a formal consensus at the moment. Rubin, however, could bypass the Core developers and implement a UASF. Could we again be about to test the limits of Bitcoin’s rough consensus process?
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyBlockFi - The future of Bitcoin financial servicesSportsbet.io - Online sportsbook & casino that accepts BitcoinCasa - The leading provider of Bitcoin multisig key security.Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletCompass Mining - Bitcoin mining & hostingLVL - Bank on BitcoinBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD503 - 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 16 min
    Texas is Bitcoin Country with Will Cole

    Texas is Bitcoin Country with Will Cole

    “What’s the end game? It is honestly to do less harm. Bitcoin doesn’t actually need politicians to make it succeed, it will succeed on its own merits; what would be helpful is to not have people actively attacking it and elongating the inevitable collapse of their own currencies, but also rise of Bitcoin as a global reserve currency.”— Will Cole
    Will Cole is Chief Product Officer at Unchained Capital. In this interview, we discuss Texas and Austin as ideological centres for Bitcoin, the undervalued importance of state sovereignty in the US, CBDCs being the greatest disaster for liberty and personal freedom, and toxicity on Twitter.
    - - - -
    Something is happening in Texas. It has always had an independent streak, rooted in its rich history. The state was born of revolution, and it was initially a republic in the mid 19th century before the Mexican-American War. That thirst for freedom is hard-wired into the Texan psyche. Now it is a beacon to Americans from other states seeking increasingly elusive sovereignty.
    It is therefore not surprising then that Bitcoin has been adopted and fostered in Texas.
    From very early in it’s history, a strong community of maximalists united and sought to safeguard Bitcoin in this part of the US. That effort is now starting to pay off. The strong affinity for Bitcoin by Texans has evolved such that the state is fast becoming the centre of groundbreaking efforts to integrate Bitcoin and energy grids.
    The state is arguably spearheading a new adoption wave within the US that includes serious politicians. Could Texas take the next step and create the conditions to orange pill a nation?
    Those Bitcoiners in the state aren’t waiting to find out. They’re moving at pace to help Texas and other states continue the outreach, policy drafting and technical buildout to realise the benefits of what is a keenly American innovation. They’re also keenly focused on the attack vectors on the horizon, be it CBDCs or divisions within the community.
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyBlockFi - The future of Bitcoin financial servicesSportsbet.io - Online sportsbook & casino that accepts BitcoinCasa - The leading provider of Bitcoin multisig key security.Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletCompass Mining - Bitcoin mining & hostingLVL - Bank on BitcoinBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD502 - 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 38 min
    The Risks of Hyperbitcoinisation with Rob Hamilton

    The Risks of Hyperbitcoinisation with Rob Hamilton

    “The idea is that fix the money fix the world, the thing that’s often said, and that most of our problems in the world come from bad money. And I think my point is that malevolence in man is something that is so core to the human condition that fixing the money isn’t going to actually magically fix all these problems.”— Rob Hamilton
    Rob Hamilton is a programmer and data scientist. In this interview, we discuss the risks associated with a transition to hyperbitcoinisation, the limits to what Bitcoin fixes, the issues of a libertarian world run on a Bitcoin standard, the benefits to the energy grid, and Bitcoin’s eternal September.
    - - - -
    Hyperbitcoinization, the adoption of Bitcoin as global money, was once a theoretical pipe dream that all but the most hardened Bitcoiners thought would be an impossibility. But we have witnessed a number of unprecedented events in recent years that mean impossible scenarios have now shifted into the realm of the possible.
    Does this create a new foundation for conversations regarding hyperbitcoinization? The abstract idea of hyperbitcoinization has been enthusiastically supported: it is a fresh new idea that provides hope for a better world. But where such discussions could afford to be utopian a few years ago, do discussions now need to mature as a Bitcoin standard becomes more real?
    Are there limits to what Bitcoin can fix? Further, does hyperbitcoinization create new issues? Would we be replacing one elite for another? And, if this new world is shaped by a libertarian ideology, who will determine how to organise consensus, solve problems and resolve conflict? The reality of what may be possible certainly requires more sober consideration.
    The flip side is that the tremendous benefits that Bitcoin has to offer could actually be realised. A better world may be within our reach. The excitement for proponents is that Bitcoin’s potential is more than just as a new currency; it has second-order effects such as its use as a payments rail and arguably more importantly, as a catalyst for a stronger and more sustainable energy grid.
    And all the time, there are new users of Bitcoin who are seeing in it both novel opportunities, and also new risks to be mitigated. Wider adoption, therefore, means that what hyperbitcoinization will become is always evolving. The discussions on what this means have only just begun.
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyBlockFi - The future of Bitcoin financial servicesSportsbet.io - Online sportsbook & casino that accepts BitcoinCasa - The leading provider of Bitcoin multisig key security.Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletCompass Mining - Bitcoin mining & hostingLVL - Bank on BitcoinBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD501 - 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 28 min
    Bitcoin is Truth with Jeff Booth & Austin Hill

    Bitcoin is Truth with Jeff Booth & Austin Hill

    “Human rights don’t come easily, they actually have to be fought for; fought for with encryption, fought for with principled individuals, fought for with giving people other alternatives, and the best alternative is economic sovereignty.”— Austin Hill
    Jeff Booth is an Entrepreneur and Author of ‘The Price of Tomorrow’ and Austin Hill is a cypherpunk & former Blockstream CEO. In this interview, we discuss the unique sense of hope in El Salvador, the loss of freedom, Bitcoin as objective truth and hope, Elon Musk and Twitter.
    - - - -
    Show 500!!!
    What a ride it's been since I recorded my first show in November 2017. I'm so grateful to all the listeners, particularly those who send their support. Thanks to all the fascinating people I've had the privilege to interview: so many great stories, opinions, and advice. Thanks to my amazing sponsors - you enable my team to make what we think is the best show in the market.
    And finally, big up to the team, roll on the next 500!
    This show is as good as it gets in terms of guests and subject matter. Two major figures within the industry who I'm now lucky enough to call friends. And I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I did. They're as excited about Bitcoin's opportunities as they've ever been.
    We speak about their recent visit to El Salvador and the unique and inspiring mood of hope within the country. The media are still dubious about Bukele's Bitcoin reforms, and the government is dealing with tough domestic and international challenges. However, it is infectious to hear how inspired two seasoned entrepreneurs are by what they witnessed in the country.
    Jeff and Austin also talk about the societal issues that Bitcoin is perhaps uniquely placed to mitigate: threats to freedom, not just from authoritarian governments but also from traditionally liberal establishments; pervasive misinformation directed at citizens; and rapid technological changes that will upend society.
    This is why Jeff and Austin are bullish that UX improvements have the potential to onboard hundreds of millions more to Bitcoin.
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyBlockFi - The future of Bitcoin financial servicesSportsbet.io - Online sportsbook & casino that accepts BitcoinCasa - The leading provider of Bitcoin multisig key security.Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletCompass Mining - Bitcoin mining & hostingLVL - Bank on BitcoinBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD500 - 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 46 min
    Bitcoin & Absolute Freedom with Junseth

    Bitcoin & Absolute Freedom with Junseth

    “I don’t understand the moral position of absolute freedom, and the reason is because, when I hear people talk about it, it’s very obvious to me that absolutely everybody knows that there are limits to freedom, so absolute freedom is not something that anybody believes in.”— Junseth
    Junseth is a OG bitcoiner and the former co-host of Bitcoin Uncensored. In this interview, we discuss government being the logical extent of libertarianism, the evolution of news media, falling for conspiracies, admitting when you’re wrong, opinion versus fact, and the return of Trump.
    - - - -
    Our lives are full of examples of infective institutions, inefficient governance, waste, want, and an eagerness to wage war. It is hard to argue in defence of the state. Yet, any popular movements against the actions of the state are ignored. In these times, libertarian arguments are powerful and persuasive: the state, shielded by coercion, is ineffective so we need to tear it down.
    However, we don’t need to be fans of the state to be worried about the alternatives. In a world of 8 billion people, with increasing complexity, specialisation, and disagreement, is it rational to think that we can organise ourselves into voluntary and agreeable groups? History lacks examples of such structures working to support advanced functioning societies.
    So, why are we so ready to accept at face value vague promises that a better world can be achieved through radical means? Is it that uncertainty and nuance aren’t rewarded by today’s click-bait driven media? Like moths to a light, are we all drawn towards more exciting, adventurous, and confident narratives built on conspiracy and anarchy?
    In a small way, podcasting is an attempt to provide airtime for the truth. Whilst it’s true that those who take extreme positions can build strong audiences, the biggest audiences are drawn to the more honest explorations of subjects. Despite attacks from MSM, the popularity of Joe Rogan shows there is a huge demand for authentic and reasoned debate. People want the truth.
    The question is, as MSM becomes increasingly unwilling to provide such a service, are we going to have to rely on a community of independent content creators to meet this demand?
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyBlockFi - The future of Bitcoin financial servicesSportsbet.io - Online sportsbook & casino that accepts BitcoinCasa - The leading provider of Bitcoin multisig key security.Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletCompass Mining - Bitcoin mining & hostingLVL - Bank on BitcoinBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD499 - 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 59 min
    I Was in a Cult with Tuur Demeester

    I Was in a Cult with Tuur Demeester

    “The short of it is that I was involved in an online cult, I think it’s fair to call it that way…. and it’s not like I lived in a commune, but it was really involved. And a lot of my friends were involved with that too. And it was very, toxic and confusing. And it took me a long time to figure out what was going on and leave.”— Tuur Demeester
    Tuur Demeester is a Bitcoin investor and economist. In this interview, we discuss how he was drawn into a toxic online cult, his awakening and leaving, Twitter enabling cultist behaviours within Bitcoin and why it’s key to give air to all voices within Bitcoin.
    - - - -
    Wisdom is developed through experience: an individual's interaction with other people and events, and their personal reflections on the outcomes, enhance understanding of both the self and the world. Knowledge isn’t endowed genetically, and education provides limited direction. Perspective on exposure to our environment is what drives tangible learning and growth.
    People can easily find themselves developing beliefs, and engaging in actions, with the benefit of hindsight they later deem antithetical to an evolved worldview. Submission to a cult, that is adherence to common belief systems and behaviours advocated by a charismatic leader, is an extreme example of this.
    People will largely dismiss the idea that they could be susceptible to becoming a cultist. And yet, even the most infamous cults are full of highly educated, principled, and engaging people. People who have then made life decisions that are hard to objectively comprehend. The truth is that we’re all susceptible.
    Commonly cults are cast as people in white robes; collectives holed up in fortified buildings; empty-eyed automatons following a messianic figure. But cults are less obvious and more pervasive than we’d imagine. Today, with easy access to powerful and toxic social media tools, building and energising and channelling an audience is available to anyone with a voice.
    It’s never been easier to develop a cult.
    So, where are the dividing lines? What’s the difference between impassioned rhetoric and dangerous invective? Should we try and conduct reasoned debate using tools that are structurally deficient for such tasks? How open can we be to divergent opinions in a world full of noise and pressure? Could we sleepwalk into a cult, or worse, become a corrupted cult leader?
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyBlockFi - The future of Bitcoin financial servicesSportsbet.io - Online sportsbook & casino that accepts BitcoinCasa - The leading provider of Bitcoin multisig key security.Ledger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletCompass Mining - Bitcoin mining & hostingLVL - Bank on BitcoinBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD498 - 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 30 min

Customer Reviews

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4 Ratings

4 Ratings

JoshJagodic ,

Started slow...became a pretty good podcast

Great job turning an average podcast into something worth listening to. Keep it up.

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