A Conversation with Max Keiser

In one of the notable crypto events of the year, American broadcaster, financial pundit and champion of unorthodox economic theories Max Keiser was in conversation with cofounder at Unocoin, Sunny Ray. Read an extract of their fascinating conversation.

The two speakers revisited the journey of Bitcoin since its invention in 2009. It is no coincidence that Bitcoin’s year of birth is the same as that of the show Keiser Report — Keiser was an early Bitcoin convert and used the opportunity to inform his viewership of its benefits and the perils of depending on central banks, thereby contributing to Bitcoin’s popularity. Let’s explore two key questions with Sunny Ray.

The Story of Keiser Report and Bitcoin:

Back in 2011, we were already doing Keiser Report for a couple of years — mostly doing gold; we had featured a lot of heterodox thinkers and gold people and alternative economic schools and were focusing on banks, which were massively uncredible and causing a lot of problems. We were introduced to Bitcoin in 2011 and I saw it as gold 2.0 or digital gold and that it solved the problem of digital scarcity. Now, creating digital scarcity is hard to do and so we started getting involved. Keiser goes out to 100 countries, and in every corner of the world they were hearing about it. They got curious, started going down the rabbit hole and suddenly you have probably several 100 thousand Bitcoin millionaires that we’ve created and it’s not hard to do that if you start buying at a dollar. This carried us all the way through to the present. We’ve witnessed every single major development in Bitcoin since then, particularly in 2017 when the block wars was probably the final major chapter before Bitcoin started to run away with the entire market.

Bitcoin, in my view, around block 300,000 became self-aware. The genesis block was sent to us by a ‘divine entity’ and it’s pulling humanity away from fiat money, which, if left unchecked will send us into extinction. It’s not clear at the moment that we will not become extinct even now, but with Bitcoin, there is a possibility that we won’t become extinct and that certainly is a healthier outcome. It does this by replacing fiat currency with scarcity — and it’s the only thing in the universe which has this quality of absolute scarcity. Which means, that by doing so, you’re defunding war, you’re defunding fraud, central banks, wall street, you’re defunding all the failed economic schools such as Keynesianism, greed, the ego and lots of stuff and you’re funding love, peace, community, sustainability, and that’s the transition. We’re going from being a nearly extinct species to getting a reprieve!

— Max Keiser

Bitcoin and Digital Scarcity:

Digital scarcity goes back to the 90s. You had the internet come along, and then came games, and games attempted to create digital scarcity with game pieces and other aspects like magic swords, or magic potions, and those ended up being traded on a secondary market like eBay. Someone would sell their magic potion on eBay and someone would buy that and use it in a game for a jump ahead in winning the game. ‘Second Life’ had their own virtual exchange, called the Linden Dollar, which was traded independently in the game for a value. You already had distributable digitally scarce files or objects. But they weren’t transferable, for example you couldn’t go to a Deli and buy a sandwich with a magical digital sword, even though on eBay it might be worth 10 or 20 bucks. The guy in the Deli won’t accept it — you can’t reasonably have an expectation that the operators of the game won’t increase the number of digital swords, even if they say they wouldn’t. They’re centralised, they could get hacked, the owners could flake out — there’s no real guarantee that they will be absolutely scarce. It’s not going to crossover to the general economy. It’ll be a novelty on eBay. But you’re still in that gaming environment. But the thing about Second Life in Linden Dollars is that people would migrate to Second Life and they would live in Second Life and use the Linden Dollar as their currency. But the question was, could you use virtual currency in life outside of the game? That’s what Bitcoin does: it takes the gaming currency and makes it useful outside of it, because it has distributable absolute scarcity which is unique and it’s an invention in 2009. It’s the only absolutely scarce money that we have.

— Max Keiser

That’s about the genesis of Bitcoin, but what about the present day? Unfazed by short-term volatility, Keiser believes that the largest cryptocurrency was “equally as attractive” in the present day as it was at the time of its original prediction. To listen to the rest of the conversation, head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSD4nTrzOiU and immerse yourself in the chat!

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