Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole with Matt Odell & Marty Bent


Peter McCormack: We’re on!

Marty Bent: Cheers! It’s been a pleasure of a day.

Matt Odell: I’m glad we made this happen.

Peter McCormack: How’s it going?

Marty Bent: Like I said, it’s a hell of a day. We just finished an episode before that. I had to launch and I had to write. It’s been a whirlwind.

Peter McCormack: In one day? Recording and out in a day?

Marty Bent: Yeah, that’s Rabbit Hole, you just rip it.

Matt Odell: Yeah, we just ripped Rabbit Hole! Then we posted it and then we came here.

Peter McCormack: Actually I posted one today. I posted Jeremy Welch and Zac Prince. Can never miss those deadlines, right?

Marty Bent: Oh no, Rabbit Hole recap especially. That’s what I learned early on. People like just showing up consistency.

Matt Odell: When was the last time we missed? We only missed one Rabbit Hole recap ever, one week ever. It was early on and we just felt like completely horrible about it!

Marty Bent: I think it was around New Years. That’s what I learnt with the Ƀent too, consistency. Just showing up every day has been the best recipe.

Peter McCormack: 18 months and I think I’ve missed one and I think it went out on a Saturday rather than a Friday. I think I was over here and whatever reason just you know, shit didn’t happen.

Marty Bent: You get pissed at yourself don’t you?

Peter McCormack: Yeah you do. I also actually get pissed at the time of the day because I think it affects it. I like to get mine out lunchtime UK, which is morning New York, kind of like 10am New York. It’s a five hour difference, but I want it to come out, as best in the morning as I can for East Coast and West Coast. So if I hit 7/8am West Coast and then it’s like 10/11am for the East Coast and then UK, it’s just after lunch, like early afternoon.

Matt Odell: Well I feel best for Twitter engagement is usually like 2pm New York time, which is like 7pm UK time.

Peter McCormack: See that’s too late for the UK. I’m trying to get everyone while they’re either in work or in the morning, because once you put the tweet out, you want everyone to be aware at the same time. You know what, it probably doesn’t make any fucking difference!

Matt Odell: Yeah, I mean the real listeners are subscribed on the podcast.

Marty Bent: That’s what I’ve been trying to ascertain to, because again, just doing it on the whim like we do sometimes… We posted it today at 3.30/4pm on a Friday.

Matt Odell: And like a beautiful Friday, where everyone is on their way to the beach or something, or at least getting drunk.

Peter McCormack: We’re getting drunk.

Matt Odell: There you go.

Marty Bent: We are. Are you drinking WhistlePig?

Peter McCormack: Yeah, but it’s a special one that’s been finished in two different wine casks. I was like, I can’t turn up with a shit whiskey for these two guys!

Matt Odell: Yeah, I’m always pleased when someone brings something that I haven’t tried too, it’s quite good.

Marty Bent: It’s very good!

Peter McCormack: I’m also learning about the combination of guests and show titles make a big difference, but it becomes a conflict because there’s certain things you want to touch, certain topics, certain people want to talk to. I’m kind of starting to understand that whole world of clickbait now.

Marty Bent: SEO, it’s a big thing. I’ve been doing that intentionally with the Ƀent, like when I wrote about the data center earlier this week, the metadata title for that is “Bitcoin is bad for the environment” and it was an article about how Bitcoin is good for the environment, but you had to play that game!

Peter McCormack: Yeah, well look I know if I do Tuur Demeester and the show’s something like “Bitcoin’s going to the moon”, that show’s going to fucking fly! But you can’t do it every week. I really wanted to do this Nick Percoco one, the Chief Security Officer at Kraken. He’s great, he’s really good. If you could meet him and do him, he’s brilliant, but I know he’s unknown. So whatever happens, it’s going to be one of my lower performing shows. I’m trying to say to people, “listen to this, because it’s is a great show!”

Matt Odell: Well he’s going to be unknown until you make him known. That’s part of the beauty of it. I mean that’s like the Pomp style with his Murad episode. Do you remember that one? Which is a fantastic episode, but the way he promoted it was “we’re all going to get rich and listen to this episode about how.”

Peter McCormack: He knew he’d hit a great show with that one. I’m seeing him tomorrow actually, I’m having a beer with him tomorrow, but he knew was onto something. You have got to cover the other stuff though. You have to cover the other people.

Marty Bent: That’s like when I was first starting out, that was my aim, which was to find people that were sort of under the radar and bring them on to talk with them. That’s some of my favorite episodes, like Eric Spano, who was the dude who originally owned and now he’s like just doing big four random consulting. That was one of my favorite, but he’s got like 300 followers on Twitter and nobody knows much about him.

Matt Odell: Yeah, I think the pods where I don’t know who the person is, are usually better. I mean, you need a balance. You need to be authentic, but you also need to be a little bit clickbaity and you need to troll a little bit. Pierre today was getting shit for his beautiful troll tweet that was, “Bitcoin literally solves every problem in the world”. Like guys, you don’t know exactly what he’s doing? It’s clear what he’s doing, let him have a little bit of fun. I fucking laughed out loud when I saw it.

Peter McCormack: I was trolling Giacomo today and I was using a random nonsense generator to reply to every one of his well articulated confusing points about global warming, because I actually don’t understand the majority of his tweets. They just go over my head, I’m too thick. So I just went on a random nonsense generator replying. But I’ve been trolling the carnivore, modern art is terrible, global warming denial side of Bitcoin.

Matt Odell: I mean you’re just trying to get us in trouble. I’m not going to comment on…

Marty Bent: I’ll comment. I think it was Nick Szabo who came out of the woodwork yesterday. So I think there’s different communities within Bitcoin, like there’s people who fall into like Bitcoin…

Matt Odell: There is absolutely a Bitcoin community and I fucking love them. I love being part of it. There won’t be a Bitcoin community when we become the global reserve asset and every single person is a Bitcoiner. But right now, there’s clearly a Bitcoin community.

Marty Bent: Yeah, but there are also little subgroups and subcultures if you will.

Peter McCormack: But that was Szabo’s point, right? He was like, “there’s no community because no one should be excluded from Bitcoin.”

Matt Odell: Right! I liked it and retweeted the Tweet.

Marty Bent: Yeah, we’re bringing Pierre back into this, Bitcoin is for enemies. It’s his proclamation.

Matt Odell: Well suppose that he like retweeted the guy who we’re supposed to follow, who was the first person to say it today, which is what I love about Pierre.

Marty Bent: I haven’t done that yet.

Peter McCormack: I loved your episode with John Carvalho. Recently, that’s probably my favorite show.

Matt Odell: That was a fun one, it was so good.

Marty Bent: He was somebody who like, honestly I like clung to. He was like a linger on Bitcoin Twitter back in like 2013, 2014, @BitcoinErrorLog. He didn’t have his avatar. It was like an exclamation point or something like that back in the day. It was just an anon account to me back in the day, but he was somebody provided a lot of quality, so being able to sit down and talk to him was awesome.

Matt Odell: I mean I was super excited because you invited me in, but that was like my third interview with you or a second interview with you.

Peter McCormack: I didn’t want that one to end! That was just one of those quality discussions that just went on and on and I was just fully engrossed. I think I’ve told you, but I only listen to yours when I’m driving. It’s not a gym podcast because I don’t know, I just feel like I have to engross myself. So actually this is a true fact. Twice when I’ve traveled from LA to San Francisco, I’ve hired a car rather than fly because there’s only about an hour difference and I’ve done three of your shows. It’s just the time to listen to it, in the car. But the John was really fucking good.

Marty Bent: I’m flattered and in disbelief that anybody listens too!

Matt Odell: Well the reason we stopped the John on was because he literally had to go straight to the airport afterwards and we were all hungover from the dragon energy night from the Blockstream party!

Peter McCormack: I’ll tell you where I got my background to really respecting him, was when I was looking at maybe covering some of the S2X stuff, I went back through the email threads. Have you been through them all?

Matt Odell: Yeah!

Peter McCormack: There’s a lot of people, and I’m not going to name names or throw anyone under the bus, but who essentially are accepting of what’s coming and talking about the technical side, what needs to happen, the considerations. But John’s just in there going, “you can’t fucking do this. You shouldn’t be fucking doing this!”

I mean, I don’t know if those were the exact words, but he was in there, standing up saying “you shouldn’t be doing this. You can’t be doing this.” I didn’t know all this! Obviously I’m newer into Bitcoin than you guys and I had a huge amount of respect for him. So we ended up making a show called “Defending Bitcoin”, but I love that one that you did.

Marty Bent: Yeah again, that was going back to like 2016, 2017, leading up to the fork wars, like “you shouldn’t be doing this.” Again he was somebody who’s like a voice of reason, it was crazy as we didn’t know what was going to happen, but I was legitimately scared before Bitcoin Cash forked.

Matt Odell: I wasn’t at all, I was super excited for it. I took it completely different than most people I think. I think it proved my Bitcoin maximalism, like it brought it to the forefront because I think that it proved that a contentious fork of Bitcoin isn’t the end of the world and if it’s a shitty fork, it will trend to zero and just be a shitty fork and you can get a free dividend out of it, by selling it for Bitcoin.

But if you don’t have conviction, you can do nothing and you’ll be fine. If for some reason we have something that definitely needs to be upgraded in Bitcoin and it hits some kind of critical mass and you have, you know the respected devs coming around it and supporting it and doing actual proper due diligence and exploring the tradeoffs and everything that happens.

If we hit that critical mass, then that fork could then become the dominant chain. I think that once you realize that, then you really see how inevitable Bitcoin is. So that proved it out for me. I had that theory and then I intentionally tweeted it so I could say told yourself, and then Bitcoin Cash happened and I’m like now “I told you so!”

Marty Bent: No I agree. Afterwards, the aftermath proved that it was a great thing for Bitcoin overall. But before with the posturing of the miners and stuff like that, like the “90% of hash power that was going to follow it”, stuff like that.

Matt Odell: Well SegWit2x was more dangerous than Bitcoin Cash in a lot of ways, because they didn’t have replay protection stuff in place. So it was going to be particularly messy when it actually went down.

Marty Bent: It turned out to be particularly messy when they tried to make it go down.

Matt Odell: Yeah, well they backed out at the last second. It would still run and then it was off by one bug, so everything would have froze. But like I said, I don’t think that was ever going to happen. I mean, a bunch of us were calling that SegWit2x was dead in the water. Just the incentives, right? You look at the people who are promoting SegWit2x and it was a very aggressive plan and they are major Bitcoin stakeholders.

So there was no reason, especially at that point we had SegWit, there was no reason to risk their golden goose to try and push through this change and that’s why they backed out at the last second. But it got pretty obvious within like four months, five months up to SegWit2x, where I was loading up on Bitcoin and I was just like, “there’s no way this happens” and look what happened. We hit all time highs after Bitcoin Cash and SegWit2x, we hit all time highs, it was a net positive.

I think it taught a lot of people about the value prop of Bitcoin, how Bitcoin works and then meanwhile Bitcoin Cash has just gone down since the fork. At the fork, at the time of fork, before it was traded on any market, it was one-to-one, everyone got one-to-one.

When you talk about all time high in terms of Bitcoin, that’s where it is and what is it down, like 99% or like 98% from one-to-one if you counted. People say like, “oh it opened up on exchanges at 20%”, nah, if they want to pretend that it was the real Bitcoin at any point, then they have to accept that it was at one-to-one at one point and just completely capitulated.

Peter McCormack: Do you think it’ll ever happen again? Another contentious fork like this?

Marty Bent: I don’t want to say never.

Matt Odell: Of course it will happen again. Anyone can fork if they want to, that’s the beauty of Bitcoin. It’s going to happen many times. Most of them will be complete non…

Peter McCormack: Forget the shit forks. The pointless, who cares, nobody cares anymore like…

Matt Odell: But Bitcoin Cash was a shit fork?

Peter McCormack: No, what I mean is like, that was a real community split. Are there any things coming up? Any topics that you think might split people again?

Matt Odell: But I don’t think it was a real community split, because if you look at every single metric including futures prices and where it opened on the market and stuff, it was very much a minority split. It was like 20% to 30% max.

Peter McCormack: But that’s still a significant group of people.

Matt Odell: I don’t know if it’s that significant.

Peter McCormack: 30% is significant to me.

Marty Bent: Yeah, but again that’s the nature of the system, is that 30% of people better make sure they have a lot of fucking hash power! Again, my worries were calmed after the hard fork, because the system and the incentives proved to work. I think that instance in particular the SegWit2x and Bitcoin Cash and the aftermath that we’ve witnessed, that shit’s been two years.

Matt Odell: It feels so long ago.

Peter McCormack: Did you see the hashrate Tweet today that went around?

Matt Odell: What the Ethereum hash rate?

Peter McCormack: No, no, the comparison of hashrates of Bitcoin Cash and SV, isn’t the hash rate dominance 97%?

Marty Bent: 97% yeah.

Matt Odell: But it’s been like that for a bit now. I’ve been waiting for an attack patiently and it hasn’t happened.

Marty Bent: But I think again, going back to long term, the incentives are aligned to never hard fork. To answer your question, I can’t see somebody hard forking and a majority of people moving to that chain.

Matt Odell: Well first of all, you said it yourself, what is it, the 2140 bug or whatever?

Marty Bent: It’s the 2038 bug, but it will not affect Bitcoin until…

Matt Odell: 2140?

Marty Bent: No, that’s when the last Bitcoin will be mined. It’s like 2106 or something like that.

Matt Odell: Oh yeah, but there needs to be a hard fork before then?

Marty Bent: Presumably yes.

Matt Odell: There might be other things. Look, all I’m saying is like you said, “never say never.”

Marty Bent: I’m talking like crazy consensus changes.

Peter McCormack: So I was with John Newbery today and we were talking about incentive structures and one of the things he was talking about that he worries about, what’s going to happen when the subsidy, I think he was like nine years time, so we’ll have had three more halvings, so the subsidy would halved three times. If we don’t have enough on chain transactions, what happens to the incentives for miners?

He’s like, “this needs to be talked about. People are scared of talking about it, because if there’s any discussion around say inflation as a potential solution, it’s like “fuck you, we’re not discussing this. We’re never going to have more than 21 million.” But at the same time it is something that needs to be thought about.”

Could you ever see potentially that might end up becoming a contentious fork where one solution is a Bitcoin, which has inflation to replace the subsidy and one that continues without it? Because that sounds to me, that could become something that would be very contentious.

Matt Odell: Yeah, I find solace in the fact that if… I mean I think this conversation is premature and I think that if we ever hit a critical mass where a tail emission was necessary, we would fork in a tail emission. But I don’t think it actually will be necessary.

I think there’ll be a lower bound on fees, because it is such a desirable block space, that they’ll pretty much be a perpetual backlog with a lower bound on fees and it shouldn’t be an issue. But there are discussions about stuff like fees sniping and things like that, in an extended backlog type of environment. Yeah, like I said, premature, if there’s ever a critical mass, then we can fork then. There’s no reason to talk about it now.

Marty Bent: You dirty man talking about forking like that! But I would agree. I am bullish on the ability that we’ll be able to solve this problem without tail emissions for many reasons. Again, like Matt alluded to earlier, block space is going to be in demand. People are going to want to transact in a PTP censorship resistant way and they will pay the price for that, which is a fee in the Bitcoin system.

On top of that, worried about demand to create fees and stuff like that, the fact that we had something like Lightning already sort of, I don’t what to call mature, I think it’s premature to call it mature at this point, but already pretty extensive and in it’s reach and the amount of capital working on that network, that brings into something that a lot of people like to talk about, which is Jevons Paradox. 

That is just being able to leverage Bitcoin via Lightning on that second layer, which drives demand for block space, which will, if we’re thinking to the future, I envisage more systems like Lightning being built on Bitcoin, driving that demand and Jevons Paradox will come into play, where the utility of the block space and the tools built on top of it will drive demand and drive fees.

Peter McCormack: And a lot of crazy shit is going to happen over the next few years. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is reading your email. You know how much I love it because I’m constantly telling everyone to fucking subscribe to it!

Marty Bent: Thanks! I’m always flattered when people say things like this.

Peter McCormack: But it is so good. There’s three emails I read. I really enjoy Pomp’s email, not all of them, but the odd one comes in and I’m like, “that’s really good.”

Marty Bent: You have to pay for that right?

Peter McCormack: Well he offered it to me for free, but I paid for it, because I wanted to pay for it.

Marty Bent: What is the cost?

Peter McCormack: It’s like $100 a year. I think that’s fine, I’ve got no problem with people charging for it. But what I’ve really enjoyed in your emails though is the ones where you talk about the broader macro issues that are happening right now, especially in the US and the European economy and rampant money printing, the threat of negative interest rates, all this stuff is all new to me by the way, but that might be the perfect storm that will drive Bitcoin forward in the next few years.

It’s weird scenario where you want Bitcoin to succeed, but it might succeed based on a bunch of bad shit happening and I don’t want to celebrate bad shit. Do you know what I mean?

Marty Bent: No, I know exactly what you mean and this is sort of what Ben Hunt from Epsilon Theory was yelling at me about a couple of weeks ago, is like you don’t want to be that curmudgeoning gold bug that’s waiting on the end of the world and I do not see myself where Bitcoiners as those curmudgeony goldbugs throughout the world.

A lot of the conversations I’ve had on the podcast are people who are very pessimistic about the state of the world and pessimistic about their futures before they got into Bitcoin, because they didn’t think there was a way out of this stuff that’s unfolding on the macro landscapes. While yes, it’s heavy that Bitcoin may succeed if the ills of money printing that we predict will happen, happen. Bitcoin is not bad in and of itself because of it.

We’re lucky that we had this escape valve and then on top of that, like this stuff can go on a lot longer and that’s the one thing I’ve learned throughout my “career” since I’ve graduated high school, is that you think this stuff’s right around the corner, but it can go on and on for a while and you just, as an individual, be prepared for when it happens.

I do believe it’ll eventually happen at some point, the unraveling of this monetary system that we’ve sort of built up, this Frankenstein system that we have. I don’t want to predict it, put a date on it, but you just want to be ready and Bitcoin has provided the opportunity to create a sort of life raft in this situation.

Matt Odell: Two quick things I’d add there, because I’ve gotten talking down in the same way as Ben did, particularly through rich individuals who I’ve tried to show Bitcoin too. Everyone should try and if you have access to like a billionaire, you should try and show Bitcoin to them. That anti-goldbug argument, I would say Bitcoin has two different things that are going for it. The first thing is I think Bitcoin will be successful, whether or not the bad shit happens.

Then the second thing is the bad shit seems like it’s inevitable regardless of Bitcoin. So that’s a little bit different than I would say like the goldbug argument. They always do the straw man too against the goldbugs, which is a little bit unfair, where they’re like, “oh they’re hoarding their gold and their guns and stuff and they’re waiting for the end of the world that’s never going to happen.”

I have the uncle who’s always doing that or whatever. It’s a bit of a straw man. I think with Bitcoin, even if we have best case scenarios, like Bitcoin still flourishes. We see in an extended bull market like we have now, like a government fueled bull market, Bitcoin is doing fantastic.

Peter McCormack: But what is successful? You said it will be successful, like it already fucking is, right? I mean that’s where the conversation with John Newbery came from, because he referred to Bitcoin as an experiment, will it succeed? My reply to that was, “look, everything has a shelf life. Driving your car will have a shelf life. 

There’ll come a time where it will be illegal to drive a car because it’s too dangerous. Having a home telephone has a shelf life.” Bitcoin might have a shelf life where it survives for 20 years, 100 years, 500 years, nobody knows. But I think we’re beyond experiment now, because it’s being used.

Matt Odell: Yeah, I mean I said this on our first episode that we ever recorded, when he was just interviewing me in the TFTC interview series, because Matt Corallo had just said that Bitcoin has like a 5% chance of success. These guys, they’re scientists, they’re engineers…

Peter McCormack: But they have to think adversarially as well, right?

Marty Bent: That and they are also most intimately abreast of the technical capabilities.

Matt Odell: They’re being responsible about it and then it’s up to us to be like the bull tards!

Peter McCormack: I use Bitcoin now regularly and it works.

Matt Odell: Bitcoin is fantastic. We love Bitcoin!

Peter McCormack: So what I’m saying is, it’s not an experiment anymore for me, it is a real thing that’s a part of my life. Outside of the podcast, I have a bank account, I have Bitcoin, I have a phone. It’s just a thing I use now.

Marty Bent: Yeah and we can argue that it’s worked since January 3rd 2009, as long as it’s producing blocks in a peer-to-peer distributed fashion, it’s working. It has no idea that we’re sitting here recording about it or the price that we put on it. As a system, it’s just worked, give or take a couple blocks!

Peter McCormack: I don’t see us getting to that time where we’re all going to sit down and go, “oh we’re here now, it’s done! We’ve succeeded, Bitcoin did it!” It’s either a perpetual Beta or it’s succeeded. I don’t know, I think we’re there.

Marty Bent: It’s like anything in life. Have we humans ever said at any point in time like, “we made it, we’re done! We’re done building things”. No, things going to continue progressing, right?

Matt Odell: Yeah, one step forward at a time.

Peter McCormack: Do you know Matt’s probably the primary reason why the podcast went Bitcoin only. Do you know this?

Matt Odell: No, I did not know.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, so I’ll tell you what happened. I was minding my own business, listen to a Stephan Livera show and Matt was on it. They were talking about other Bitcoin podcasts and Matt was talking about the shows he likes and then he said, “and I like some of the stuff Pete does.” I was like, “ah, fuck! That’s crushed me.”

Marty Bent: That’s the one thing you’ll come to love about Matt Odell, is he’ll be straight to the point.

Peter McCormack: So I got on Telegram, I was like, “you’ve made me think” and we had a conversation didn’t we? I said, “I’m thinking of doing this.” I can’t remember what you said, but yeah.

Marty Bent: For me, it was why I wanted it to be Bitcoin only from the beginning. I got burned too many times and there’s enough in Bitcoin and if this is like a long-term game, I don’t see Bitcoin not being at least very successful, if not like as successful as we view it will be. So there’s so much to talk about.

There’s so much you’re doing and that’s like the other thing, is if we’re talking about the overarching landscape of “crypto” and all the alt coins, there’s only a scarce amount of brain power that can be put on this space as well. I think it’s most worthwhile to focus on our best chance at having a peer to peer distributed system for money and Bitcoin by any metric, is the best chance at this point in time.

Matt Odell: I mean there’s so much noise in this space, the simplest way to cut through that noise, is to just focus on Bitcoin only. Anything else takes a lot of active filtering, because there’s just so much fucking shit. You can just cut out 99% of the shit if you do it. The second thing is, a lot of times I get shit from the so called crypto people about you know, I pretty much never say “crypto”.

I actually cringe inside every time I hear the word. But the thing is like all these motherfuckers live in a Bitcoin world. When I say Bitcoin, I mean every shit coin, I mean all the fiat, I mean all of it. It’s just all part and underneath the Bitcoin ecosystem. Like Ethereum in a far enough way is like a Bitcoin dApp. It is legitimately, whether you think it’s a scam or whether you don’t, it’s a use case of Bitcoin is to gamble on Ethereum.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, I’m tweeting that out, as soon as I get out of here! Matt Odell says that Ethereum is a Bitcoin dApp.

Matt Odell: I’m sure that will not have any controversy.

Peter McCormack: I think the thing was though, you said you got burned. I was making money on shit coins when I started, so I had a vested interest in them and then I lost all my money!

Marty Bent: It was one of my favorite threads by the way.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, but do you know what, it’s gone though. It did really work, it got to like 9,000 fucking likes or something. But I started Tweet Deleter, because I started having people like old tweets and I was like, “fuck, did I say that? That’s so moronic!” So everything over 40 days has gone now.

Matt Odell: I’m conflicted on that one.

Marty Bent: You’re talking to the number one tweet sniper in the world, right?

Matt Odell: I kind of like that you deleted like shitcoin promotions and stuff in there as well. But I kind of love the idea that you can go back and look. Usually if I see someone who deletes often, like I understand you deleted your own shit, but maybe turn it off from now on, now that you’re more educated?

Marty Bent: Don’t force somebody into decision they don’t want to make. People can do whatever they want.

Matt Odell: All I’m saying is, it allows the charlatans and the scammers to hide amongst us, if we tolerate that kind of activity, because they do it too and they’re not held accountable for the countless bullshit that they pump and promote and all this shit. Because if everyone is doing it, then no-one gets accountability and I think that accountability is important.

I think like if CryptoManRan, who actually doesn’t delete that many Tweets, which I’m like super impressed about. I mean he can go fuck himself, but like he should have accountability when he tells people at the end of last bull market that they should be in 90 different fucking cryptocurrencies. When the newbies come in, they should know that he was completely fucking wrong about that!

Marty Bent: Did you guys know the latest craze of this bear market for Twitter accounts?

Peter McCormack: Nope.

Marty Bent: A lot of crypto accounts turned into puppy picture accounts to get a bunch of followers and they’ve since converted back to crypto accounts to shill crypto!

Peter McCormack: No! That’s a long con.

Marty Bent: Talk about chasing that clickbait.

Peter McCormack: Jesus, do you know what it is? It’s that I just say a lot of stupid shit, really stupid shit and also a lot of the English banter doesn’t travel well. So I’m posting shit sometimes I just think is really funny, because I’m just being British and people will take it really literally and then I’ll have to defend it later on and then other times I’m embarrassed.

So yeah I just put on Tweet deleter after 40 days its gone. Also do we really need to go back every time? It’s like that Black Mirror episode, do you remember the one where every one of your conversations is recorded? I don’t want that shit!

Matt Odell: But Twitter is a public platform. Don’t tweet stupid shit that you won’t stand behind in a year, that’s ridiculous.

Marty Bent: Well I would disagree with that. I would say again, one of the big memes when I first got into Bitcoin was strong opinions, weakly held and people like parodied that for a while. If you make a bad take in the past, if you’re willing to own up and be like, “yeah, I don’t believe that anymore.” I think that’s perfectly fine as well.

Matt Odell: Yeah, but so I had the Ethereum guys, they found a tweet from 2017, where I said “there was no doubt that the $90 million that Gavin Wood just lost, will be returned to him because there’s a precedent set that when Ethereum founders lose money, they roll back the chain.” Well I guess it’s not technically a roll back, but they do a fork to reclaim the fund.

They found that Tweet two years later and they started trolling me on the tweet and the first thing I did was I trolled back because that’s important. Then the second thing I did, I was like, “it’s a two year old tweet. I was obviously wrong, here we are, it hasn’t happened.” You don’t have to have Tweet Deleter to do that. Then the third thing I’d like to say is, my buddy Mr Charge, has a crypto deleter bot, so we could kind of force your hand even if you still delete, we’ll just put you on crypto deleted.

Peter McCormack: Is Gavin Wood the guy who has a very strange taste in…

Matt Odell: Children?

Peter McCormack: I was going to say in written literature. He’s just kind of made an attempt to be an author? Are we allowed to talk about this?

Matt Odell: I mean, we’re allowed to talk about whatever we want!

Peter McCormack: So he was going to be at an event I was at, one I was MCing actually and I was like, “I’m not fucking sharing the stage with that guy. This hasn’t been dealt with!”

Matt Odell: Yeah, I mean I can’t comment any further than the blog exists and it was a little creepy.

Marty Bent: Yeah, he had a blog that was kind of creepy, right?

Matt Odell: Very creepy yeah. But Ethereum’s the open and welcoming arms community!

Marty Bent: You should not throw those grenades, I’m sure there’s creepy people in Bitcoin as well.

Matt Odell: But my point is, there’s plenty of creepy people fucking everywhere. The problem is is when you say that it’s a Bitcoin problem and pretend like it’s not a problem everywhere else, including all of these competing networks.

Marty Bent: That’s what I’m trying to make clear in this particular instance as well with Gavin Wood.

Matt Odell: That’s very good, I appreciate that.

Peter McCormack: So do you think I should delete any of my old shitcoin podcasts?

Marty Bent: No.

Peter McCormack: I knew you would say that, that’s why I’m asking him. I know you wouldn’t. I’ve been told, so for example, I’m not allowed on the Bitcoin only website because I’ve got old shitcoin podcasts.

Matt Odell: Well that would be the wrong reason to do it, but I think there’s a good idea… Maybe branch out another channel and move all of your old shitcoin podcasts to like “my old belief’s podcasts” or maybe you could add a forward. You can add like a little five minute forward giving like a little bit of color of maybe how your opinions changed in certain ways or stuff like that. That’d be a good way of doing it.

Marty Bent: It’s important to see the transformation too.

Matt Odell: That’s what I’m saying. That’s what I don’t want you to delete the tweets in the first place. I love going back, even for myself, to see how I was communicating. But if I go back on Twitter to 2017 to try and see like, where were we at that point?

There’s just people in there where there’s breaks in all the threads, where motherfuckers who I was arguing with just deleted their fucking thing and that’s like a learning experience for everyone that they should be able to see that. If you’re going to waste my time and you’re going to post this publicly on the Internet for the whole fucking world to see, it should stay there.

Marty Bent: It’s starting to mess up my “Ethereum will never transition to proof of stake” thread. That’s got a lot of holes in it right now.

Matt Odell: Lot of deletes in there!

Peter McCormack: Well so that’s another point. So do you think if you’ve got a Bitcoin only podcast, it’s okay to do a show, which covers why Ethereum is junk and you should avoid it?

Matt Odell: Yeah, obviously!

Marty Bent: I got shit for interviewing Ben Hunt and just not pushing back on him as hard as some people would have liked. People are going to have their opinions.

Matt Odell: I like that interview. I’ve said this in the past, like that’s the most reasonable critique of Bitcoin, is that you think the state will overtake it, because well first of all, if you’re like a statist like Krugman, then you trust the state as well as thinking it’s omnipotent.

Then Ben doesn’t trust the state, he just knows it’s really fucking powerful and we all know the state’s really fucking powerful. That’s why Bitcoin’s design decisions are exactly where it is. I went on, for instance, I went on the POV Crypto pod?

Peter McCormack: Yeah, is that Christian from Bitcoin magazine?

Matt Odell: It’s Christian and David Hoffman. David is the ETH head and then Christian is the Bitcoiner. So I went on that show to debate Bitcoin versus Ethereum and state resistance and what not and I think that’s very informative. I mean like I said before, I think all this shit is part of the Bitcoin ecosystem, whether you like it or not.

The important thing is that trade-offs need to be discussed. All these things need to be discussed and especially when you were starting off, a lot of the issue is, is that you didn’t understand the trade-offs, you didn’t know where to push back. So there was a lot of…

Peter McCormack: Still don’t!

Matt Odell: But you know better than before. There’s a lot of baseless shilling that happens, where they make claims that are not factually based and it’s really important that you push back in those situations.

Peter McCormack: Is Matt the most Bitcoin person?

Marty Bent: Yes, I mean the most Bitcoin person I intimately know.

Matt Odell: I mean we know a lot of Bitcoin people.

Peter McCormack: I put you in that category with John Carvalho.

Matt Odell: Oh well that is just really flattering and I really appreciate it.

Peter McCormack: If was going to war for Bitcoin, I’d have you as a general.

Matt Odell: All I know is that I surround myself on a daily basis with people that live and breathe Bitcoin. That’s why I completely understand the semantics at play when people say like, “there is no Bitcoin community”. I loved what Pierre did where he flipped it, he was like, “the USD community is really toxic!” But Bitcoiners are fucking awesome and at this early stage, which I still think we’re really early, I think everyone forgets.

People realize two years later that when we all come in, we always think we’re late. It doesn’t matter what time you came in, everyone thinks they’re late. We’re really early. It’s a very small subset of people that have it and we tend to share a lot of the same values. So Bitcoiners are fucking dope, they’re awesome and I think a lot of times when you find Bitcoin, especially now, you just end up living and breathing Bitcoin, like everything is Bitcoin related.

Marty Bent: Is it the virus that Pomp said has been spreading? Is it a disease?

Matt Odell: I kind of both love that meme and hate it because like viruses are usually bad.

Peter McCormack: I love Pomp!

Matt Odell: But I give Pomp a lot of hard love and I think he’s become a better person because of it.

Peter McCormack: I’ve put him in that category of net good, he’s net positive for Bitcoin and I’m also watching his tweets and he’s becoming more Bitcoin. You can tell he’s becoming more Bitcoin! I’m seeing him tomorrow, I’ll be having lunch with him.

Marty Bent: He’s perfect at being right under a tweet that is associated to Bitcoin in any way and being like, “this is why you need Bitcoin”, flame emoji.

Matt Odell: My biggest issue with Pomp, I’ve said this before and I know he listens to these podcasts, so I think it’s constructive criticism and he’s taken it, is that there’s so many reasons to be bullish about Bitcoin. We don’t need to embellish things, because it hurts all of us when large account promoters are embellishing different items.

A perfect example was the AT&T Bitpay integration or whatever and he’s like, “the largest corporations in the world are accumulating Bitcoin”. AT&T is immediately converting to fiat with one of the worst companies in the space.

Peter McCormack: He won’t actually know that though.

Matt Odell: But he should.

Peter McCormack: Well no, I’ll give him some defense there, because I didn’t know they were one of the worst companies until recently. Sometimes if you haven’t heard it or been told it, then you don’t know. Have you actually ever hung out with him?

Matt Odell: Yes, I’ve hung out with a couple times.

Peter McCormack: You’ve hung out with and chatted with him?

Matt Odell: Yes.

Peter McCormack: You should do a show with him. You should go on his.

Matt Odell: Well, so I’m actually boycotting his show.

Marty Bent: I hate for this to sound like I’m ditching this, during the middle of the Pomp conversation, but I have a train to catch, I have to go. Thank you for letting me crash this podcast.

Peter McCormack: Dude, I asked you the other day, I wanted to record you!

Marty Bent: But I’m not going to be here tomorrow.

Matt Odell: He asked me for tomorrow too, but we made it fucking happen and we invited you. You did not crash the podcast.

Peter McCormack: Well you’re always welcome in Bedford, but I think most likely it’s me back here again.

Marty Bent: I’ve actually never been to London. I need to get out to it.

Peter McCormack: You need to come to London. I’ve got your back. But I’ll be here again. My new show is coming, there’s some other stuff coming, we’ll do some stuff again man.

Marty Bent: Definitely!

Peter McCormack: I love your show man.

Marty Bent: Enjoy the rest of your time in New York!

Peter McCormack: This is going to get really hardcore now cause it’s just me and Matt.

Marty Bent: See you guys!

Peter McCormack: See you! We’re also about to do Libra, so you’re gonna miss out on that! I know you’re going to just naturally hate Libra, but I’m wondering if there’s any surprises in there. I want to know what you think of the Libra community?

Matt Odell: The Libra community is just straight up toxic.

Peter McCormack: What do you think Libra? Honestly, do you see anything good in there?

Matt Odell: Well, first of all, what I said from the beginning is that I don’t think it’ll launch. I pegged it at 20% before the hearings. It’s probably still about 20%. I mean it basically is, they only launch if they bend the knee and if they bend the knee, it completely proves why it doesn’t compete with Bitcoin in the first place.

Peter McCormack: I never thought it would. It competes with Bitcoin to the extent that somebody may choose to use it to send some money, like using it for remittance instead of Bitcoin, but I don’t think it really competes. I think it’s just another instrument in the financial system. Who was I talking about it with the other day? I think Alex Gladstein was saying there’s essentially three types of money. There’s the government money, there’s now corporate money, which is Libra, and there’s decentralized money.

If I had to put them in order of what I trust the most, I actually trust Facebook money ahead of government money and the reason being, all I have with government money is a vote, which is another party that comes and does the exact same fucking thing every time. But with corporate money, I essentially have an opt out. I actually think Facebook wants to do the best, I think they know how fucked they are.

They know what negative opinions people have of them. I thought David Marcus did a really solid job when he faced six hours of relentless attacks for Facebook’s mistakes. That’s not me saying I think it’s going to be brilliant. It is going to be surveilled. It is going to be essentially just a fucking shit coin. But I do think there’s some benefits to it and I do think it’s better than government money.

Matt Odell: I mean it’s a low bar, right?

Peter McCormack: Yeah!

Matt Odell: Look, I envision a world where there’ll be plenty of corporate moneys competing against each other. I also don’t think altcoins are going anywhere. I think there’ll be plenty of altcoins in our future. With the birth of Bitcoin, we’ve unlocked basically this like free market of money, that I think Bitcoin will always be on top of, it’s like the reserve currency of the space.

As far as corporate money goes though, Libra is a first shot across the bow and because they do have to bend the knee, its effectiveness as like a competition to government money, is going to be greatly reduced. I assume first of all that especially the US government, but probably other governments as well in cooperation with the US, will have full surveillance capabilities over the network.

Then the second thing is they probably will actually have a say on what the asset holdings are. They’re not actually going to be like a private central bank, because they’re going to be regulated into all these different things. So I don’t even think it’ll be able to compete with like potentially future corporate monies, but it should be interesting.

It’ll definitely… If it gets launched, I’m not going to say definitely about anything about this shit, but it could educate users about some elements of how Bitcoin works. It might make access to Bitcoin easier, it might not. There could, for instance, there could be no addresses or anything. It could just be like type in Facebook name to send and then at that point, you’re not really educating users farther than just sending PayPal or Venmo or Cash app or something.

Peter McCormack: “All news is good news”, historically is a very true statement unless you’re Epstein. All news is pretty much good news and I always thought that it has a chance of making people more aware of Bitcoin and that was the perfect case, it was proven.

I don’t think Trump would have tweeted about Bitcoin without Libra, but he tweeted about Libra and therefore Bitcoin and therefore we also had the hearings in front of the Senate and the House and because of that, more people are now aware of Bitcoin.

Matt Odell: Right, I think all of that is net bullish, but I would’ve liked if… Libra basically forced their hand for that all to happen a little bit sooner than it would have otherwise. One of my bull cases for Bitcoin is that I think Hillary was designed to regulate all this stuff, like she was born for it. One of the beauties of Trump getting elected, it had nothing to do with his values or anything, but there was a distraction.

They were focused on so many other things that the last thing on their mind is Bitcoin and because of Libra, it brought it back to the forefront because everyone fucking hates Facebook. So I was kind of upset by that, but yeah, I mean everything’s bullish for Bitcoin. We’re pretty clear about that one!

Peter McCormack: Yeah, so how are you feeling right now? We’ve been through a shitty bear market, a lot of stuff has been wiped out. Really incredible kind of 10 plus years now when you think about it. Right now, when you look at Bitcoin and look at the market, how are you feeling about everything? What excites you? What worries you? What do you want to happen?

Matt Odell: I’m still in a bit of a state of shock about all the hearings, Trump tweeting about it, the Fed chairman saying Bitcoin’s “a store of value” and Mnuchin saying that speculating on Bitcoin is okay, is like a big validation. Even if he uses all the elicit bullshit arguments, he still is like, “but if you buy it to speculate on it, you’re completely fine.”

Peter McCormack: Surreal as fuck, really wasn’t it?

Matt Odell: Yeah, it really is. I was talking to someone else, I remember I used to do like my moon math in 2014/2015 in that bear market was based off of $10,000. That was the moon. $10,000 is normal now! So just in terms of price, which is indeed the most important metric I would say, that’s fucking crazy.

Then when you look at stuff like, Lightning wasn’t even possible two years ago because we needed SegWit for it and it’s made great strides. Privacy on Bitcoin, which I’ve taken a very big stance on, in terms of improving privacy, has gotten way more easy than a year ago.

A year ago, the average person was just completely screwed in terms of trying to take back their privacy and today we have driving competition between software developers who are trying to make tools to make Bitcoin more private. 

We have a lot of privacy soft forks in the works for Bitcoin, stuff like Schnorr and Taproot and stuff that will also further help Bitcoin. Also, things like the CME. I’m still in shock that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is trading Bitcoin. I’m still in shock that I thought Bitcoin was going to be made illegal. In 2014/2015, the consensus around Bitcoin was prepare for them to make it illegal.

One of the things people don’t realize is part of why the HODL movement grew was… I mean I knew me personally, I was scared that if I sold my Bitcoin, America was going to ban it, it was going to pump anyway and I couldn’t get back in. I think that grows less and less likely everyday. As Bitcoin continues and they don’t realize necessarily the threat that it poses and they don’t act, it becomes more and more difficult for them to do any kind of lasting damage.

Peter McCormack: I think it’s too late to ban it and to make it illegal. I know you could and I know the government could, I just think it’s too late. I think the opportunity to make it illegal was 4 years ago, 5 years ago, maybe even 3 years ago. But now, you think about the amount of businesses that would be destroyed. I think the natural path now is regulation, just more draconian regulations but I just can’t see a blanket ban.

Matt Odell: Right, but they could ban self custody, which would be pretty bad.

Peter McCormack: But I just don’t see that happening.

Matt Odell: But that would be way more politically tolerable. If they said no more self custody, current exchanges will let you trade it just like Robinhood or Circle does, but you can’t withdraw it. Then if you have Bitcoin outside of it, you have to declare how much you have, the addresses you have and keep updating it with them, otherwise you’re breaking the law.

I think they’d be able to push that through if they wanted to, if they actually had the political willpower to do it and like I said, I think this administration, we’re very lucky in terms of that.

Just in terms of that one microcosm, like forget all the other politics, but in terms of Bitcoin, it is not high on their priority list. They’re not going to try and make any big moves. So we have at least what, like two more years here of more chaos before they possibly turn their focus on it.

Peter McCormack: Probably six years.

Matt Odell: Yeah, I think he’s going to win again, which would be bullish for Bitcoin, just like everything else.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, but again, it’s one of those situations I’m like, “fuck man, I don’t want that.” Okay, let’s imagine a scenario, okay, they ban it. Imagine self custody is banned. Do you declare your addresses? Because I know I don’t. I mean, it’s a weird thing to publicly admit.

Matt Odell: It might end up in a courtroom someday.

Peter McCormack: I imagine people won’t.

Matt Odell: Well, the move would be, theoretically, to declare some, but not all.

Peter McCormack: But it’s prohibition, right?

Matt Odell: Well, first of all I’m a hypocrite, but I preach this all the time. It’s like you should not tell anyone about Bitcoin. You should try and keep it on the DL as much as possible and reduce your attack surface in terms of them knowing that you’re even involved in Bitcoin to begin with. We’ve both done a horrible fucking job at that!

If they do know that you have Bitcoin, then the play theoretically would be to declare some, but not all, because you need to give them a sacrifice. They’re not going to believe you if you’re like, “ah, I had a boating accident, I lost all my keys,” like fuck you, no one’s going to believe you and you can’t prove that you lost it. That’s one of the issues with Bitcoin, you can’t prove that you don’t have access.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, me, Gregory Maxwell, Fluffy Pony were out on a boat… Okay, let’s just imagine a broad scenario, not even personal; they ban self custody. It still doesn’t kill Bitcoin.

Matt Odell: No.

Peter McCormack: I mean they banned weed, do you stop smoking it? No. If they banned alcohol, do you stop drinking? No. It’s just a prohibition era. It kind of becomes a bit cooler.

Matt Odell: One of the things is that, I don’t think it’s a threat to Bitcoin, I think it’s a threat to American Bitcoiners or a threat to Indian Bitcoiners or a threat to wherever you are. Of course as an American, like it’s highly relevant to me.

Peter McCormack: But it will come with a premium then and it will be cash bought.

Matt Odell: Of course and then part of the beauty is that, the longer they wait, the more Bitcoin holders we have, the more people who are willing to enter that black market economy. So the longer they wait, the harder it’ll be to enforce something like that.

Peter McCormack: But I also think we know in some ways banning could be kind of bullish anyway. I don’t think it’s realistic. I can’t see it happening. The only threat I think to banning self custody is if there was ever a move to have on chain privacy, which again I don’t think will come, but there’s a reason Monero isn’t on Coinbase.

Matt Odell: But I think it would be the opposite, right? I think if we saw widespread bans, there might be more push for on chain privacy. Because here’s the issue, most people are leaking way more information than they think they’re leaking, when they’re using Bitcoin. So if you’re actively… So two things.

First of all, if you think your government is going to ban Bitcoin, which I thought for the longest time with America, it would ban self custody at least, then you try and accumulate as much Bitcoin as possible, because you want to get in before they don’t let you get in anymore. I think we might be in an era right now where you can get large amounts of Bitcoin for the easiest you could possibly get it, like in terms of ease of access to get large amounts of Bitcoin and self custody yourself.

So you want to take advantage of that now. But the second thing is, if you’re going to then actively lie to your government about it, those privacy tools better be fucking good. Right now, there’s so much nuance to using Bitcoin privately that even people that know a lot about it, fuck it up and if you do do one fuck up, then you’re in jail, then they’re trying to confiscate your Bitcoin and take your Bitcoin from you, all these other implications.

Peter McCormack: Can you imagine going to fucking jail for using Bitcoin. That would be insane.

Matt Odell: Yeah, but governments’ have done plenty of insane things that make no fucking sense.

Peter McCormack: Of course, but it’s still kind of like, “whoa!” That could be a lot of people who could end up in jail.

Matt Odell: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Especially if a large country bans it, it’s definitely not short term bullish, that would be bad.

Peter McCormack: Well I mean they banned it in China. There was a price dip for like a day or two, but people still use Bitcoin in China.

Matt Odell: But they never really did. They never like went for it. There was a lot of talk, there was a lot of this, exchanges moved off shore and stuff like that, but they never actually went for the, “we’re going to target known holders and try and put them in jail”. Also we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, especially for the large guys in China.

There’s a lot of corruption there, there’s probably payoffs and stuff going on, but that’s also to our advantage. As more politicians on Bitcoin, it’s like a sliding scale. It keeps coming down to like, will there be the political willpower to actually do any of this shit? You have to be very aggressive about it.

Peter McCormack: So in your mind, how do you see the next few years playing out?

Matt Odell: Well the last few years played out kind of way different than I expected.

Peter McCormack: It kind of played out perfect?

Matt Odell: I don’t think they make any kind of moves. At least in America, like the whole congressional hearings and stuff were like extremely bullish for Bitcoin. We have senator, Patrick McHenry, saying “you can’t destroy it” and “we can’t kill Bitcoin.” That like we’d have to be more aggressive than China. China’s super aggressive and we can’t kill it.

Peter McCormack: Everyone who’s tried has failed.

Matt Odell: Yeah, so all that sentiment, makes it very unlikely for me, for that to happen and we’ve noticed that Bitcoin has been improving at a pace that I never fucking expected. I think once we pushed back all these actors who were like basically acting in bad faith and not legitimately discussing points and tradeoffs and stuff like that, we’ve been unleashed! We can improve actual things that are important, instead of arguing about what the block size number is.

Then Lightning, because of this layered solution, they’re able to just improve at insanely rapid pace and not worry about consensus breaking changes and stuff like that. I was actually like a Lightning bear until December of last year. I was afraid that people were putting too much eggs in the Lightning basket and it was going to blow up in our face. I was proven wrong.

The beauty of that is because it was a layer, it didn’t fucking matter that I was bearish on it! They could do it and we could see how it worked out before. Now I’m like a huge Lightning shill! I shill Lightning all the time!

Peter McCormack: So I’m not a bear. I’m more of a Lightning critic. I’m a bit of a Lightning critic. Okay, let me try and articulate my problems with Lightning, I just did this with John Newbery and then you come with the Matt Odell response. So I think the user experience on Lightning is 5x more complicated than the experience with Bitcoin. I’m thinking in terms of, if I explain to a friend how to use Bitcoin, it’s actually not that hard.

I can usually get them on board pretty easily. Lightning’s a lot harder. Now, people explained to me that the complexities in the experience will be abstracted away, which is cool because I don’t think anyone really needs to understand and want to care about channels or capacity, they just want to use it, like they just use Bitcoin. So I’m like, “okay, cool” and then people explained to me then, you’ll get to a stage with say a Lightning wallet where it’ll just be natural.

You’ll just buy Bitcoin and you’ll have Bitcoin in your Lightning wallet and that’s great. What I don’t understand is how someone will never know know whether they’re using Lightning Bitcoin or base chain Bitcoin. But also, if we get to a stage where people are mainly using Lightning Bitcoin, say someone wants to buy a bunch of sats and start using it for whatever purpose, do they actually own Bitcoin or do they have a loan?

Matt Odell: They own Bitcoin, they own Bitcoin locked in a multisig.

Peter McCormack: But do they actually own that Bitcoin? Because what if someone closes that channel?

Matt Odell: Then it would close and they would get Bitcoin to an on chain address.

Peter McCormack: But they would then also lose a certain amount of Bitcoin. What if we get to a stage where, and I’m throwing this at you purposely, what if we get to the stage where on chain fees are, say I’m not going to throw out the Roger Ver $50, but say maybe $10. I wonder if they had like $5 or $6 of Bitcoin sats and the channel closes and they lose it to the on chain fee. That scenario, I don’t think anyone’s ever given a proper explanation to that scenario.

Matt Odell: So I would say two things. First of all, the first comment in terms of usability, I mean that improves everyday. I mean have you used the Zap Light wallet yet?

Peter McCormack: No, the wallet I’ve been mainly using is the Blue Wallet.

Matt Odell: Right, so Zap is non-custodial their Light wallet, but it isn’t a full node, so it’s not ideal, but it’s better than custodial. It uses Neutrino filters that unfortunately right now, I’m pretty sure only Lightning Labs is serving Neutrino filters. Maybe Chain Analysis is also serving Neutrino filters, but it’s like a better version of a Light client. So you can load up Zap right now, on your computer, on your phone.

Well, I’m not sure if they merged it on the phone yet, but you can definitely do it on your computer. It syncs within a minute. You can deposit straight from Cash app or something else into it. Then it takes one confirmation. You open a channel with a major node and then the vision is then at that point, you do like a loop out and the channel gets balanced and you’re good to go. So that should all take 20 minutes, 30 minutes tops. Boom, you’re in.

Peter McCormack: You know I’m just going to say that’s too much for most people though.

Matt Odell: And it will get even better. But that’s where we are right now, which is crazy! Like I said, I was bearish Lightning in December and what is it? It’s July right now, so that’s crazy. I mean for instance, one way you could speed that up is if the exchanges are running Lightning and do withdrawals and processed withdrawals for Lightning. The second thing is the whole fee issue.

First of all, the most important number is really not the fees in dollars, it’s the fees in Satoshis, because that’s what you’re holding. So like if the fees go up in Satoshis, then you can get stuck in that type of situation. I will once again fall back on my earlier statement, which is I think that if we hit a critical mass, where there needs to be an actual upgrade to Bitcoin, that is a hard fork, we will do it.

There’s no reason in debating this theoretical right now, about having issues where basically channels become trusted instead of trust minimized, because you can’t actually close them out. Certain payments will be lower than the fee threshold, so you can’t close them out and actually recoup what has been sent. So that’s something that we will explore in two years or three years or whatever and if it is absolutely necessary, if 95% or 98% of the stakeholders believe it, we’ll change things with Bitcoin.

We’ll upgrade, we’ll increase the block size or do something like that. Once you realize that everything is driven by stakeholders acting out of greed in a system that is designed from the get go to be highly resistant to change, you’re at peace. Everything will work itself out because people are fucking greedy and they want number go up.

Peter McCormack: So the incentive structure works perfectly?

Matt Odell: It works loosely and effectively. I don’t think anything in this world is truly perfect. I think one of the beauties of Bitcoin’s incentive structure is that it is so rough and it’s because it’s simple. The simplicity is nice because complexity is the enemy of security.

There’s so many issues that you have when things get really complex and outliers that you can’t expect. So it’s as complicated as it needs to be and that rough consensus, that rough game theory, will work itself out as we continue on.

Peter McCormack: Where does your conviction come from? Because like I said, you’re about as Bitcoin as they get. John Carvalho is another one who’s like that, Francis Pouliot who’s like that. There’s a few that carry a very deep technical knowledge, firm conviction, but without being, I don’t know how to explain it, without being “shilly”.

It’s more conviction than shilly. I see the way I promote things more shilly, because I don’t actually fully understand what I’m shilling, I trust things like you say or John says, or I believe in you, so therefore I believe in it. But you’ve got this deep conviction, where’s it come from?

Matt Odell: Well so John said something on our pod, which I really resonated with, is that Bitcoin doesn’t need us to shill. By shilling, we’re just hastening the process. We’re making it quicker and cleaner. But if we just all got off of Twitter and stop shilling and stopped doing all this stuff, Bitcoin would be fine and would grow and improve and all of these things would work themselves out. I think it’s just a matter of time.

I think you just spend so much time in this space, you watch all of this, you watch it grow, you watch the network handle all these external factors, you watch people come and go, you watch all the same tired arguments over and over again, and you develop this sort of conviction. I think history has rewarded the people who have believed in certain things.

They saw the writing on the wall and they believed in them and they realized that, first of all, I feel extremely lucky that I’m at this place at this time. One thing I was talking about today, is there was people who had conviction in the New York City real estate market in 1970s.

Peter McCormack: Stacking flats!

Matt Odell: First of all, I was really upset I didn’t think of that. It’s because it’s a British slang!

Peter McCormack: It got to me straight away!

Matt Odell: When I saw it, I was like, “ah, I should’ve thought of it!” I did appreciate that. But yeah, there was people with conviction back then and people thought they were crazy.

Here we are and they’re sitting on 30x/40x, like some of the most primo real estate in the world, and they paid like $70,000 for a building that’s worth $10 million today. So what happened there? They were in the right place at the right time, but they saw something and had conviction to dedicate themselves to it.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, but with you, this is more than just personal profit. I know that, look great, Bitcoin goes up, number goes up, your value in USD goes up, you make more money, but there’s something more to it with you. Your conviction is beyond personal monetary gain I know that, I’ve hung out with you enough to know that, I’ve listened to you enough to know that.

Matt Odell: No, it’s definitely not just monetary gains. That’s like a really fantastic by-product. Do I think that Bitcoin’s success is 100%? No! I don’t think Bitcoin’s success is 100%, but I think we’re fucked if it doesn’t succeed.

Peter McCormack: In what way? Just everything’s just going to get worse and worse?

Matt Odell: Yeah, like a lot of Bitcoin critics say, “oh, Bitcoin’s too transparent. It’s going to become like a panopticon, like all this other shit”. We already live a panopticon. The panopticon will happen if we don’t have Bitcoin.

Peter McCormack: Listen, this is one of my dumb moments. This panopticon came up in the podcast I recorded yesterday. I don’t know what it is!

Matt Odell: So it originates from a prison design, where the guard house in the center can see every cell. It was pre-cameras. So it was just designed in a way that their vision could see everything. You could do it with one way glass, so as a prisoner, you never knew if you were being watched, so you just assumed you were always being watched. That’s what we live in today and that’s continuing and will get worse.

We see the precursors in places like China or other authoritarian regimes, where they’re already experimenting with this shit, pushing it even forward. But even in America, I mean with the Snowden leaks, stuff like that, we have massive surveillance and that is going to be the end result. That will be what our kids grow up in, if Bitcoin doesn’t succeed.

So in my mind it’s a cause worth fighting, that I also think is pretty inevitable. I think like the risk reward ratio right now for Bitcoin… That’s why I always say like “stay humble, stack sats”. It’s the distillation of that thesis is that I think this risk reward ratio right now on Bitcoin is the lowest it’s ever been.

People don’t realize and even me when I got in, I wish I bought Bitcoin at $2 or whatever. The risk reward ratio at Bitcoin in $2 was way worse than it is today, because who the fuck knew what was going to happen? It was way more easy to kill than it is today.

Peter McCormack: Look, it says it here dude. I wrote it down in my notes, “everyone early got lucky and they’re just defending their interest!”

Matt Odell: I have a beautiful tweet during the bear market at the bottom, and it was literally like two days from the dead bottom, which you can’t really hope for more than that.

Peter McCormack: When Cobie bought in again!

Matt Odell: I said, “2018 Bitcoin is trending to zero, it’s worthless. Then 2022, everyone who bought Bitcoin got lucky.” That’s what always happens. I mean, you see it like just harking back to New York City real estate again. Trump and everyone else, they got lucky buying real estate in the 70s and the 80s. Is there a little bit of truth to it? Sure, they were in the right place at the right time, but there was conviction, they fucking held, they improved, they held and they shilled and it came out.

There’s so much conviction there and to give people shit, like every single person who’s bought Bitcoin has either bought it with their own money fairly or they earned it or they mined it, which is also earning it. They contributed work to receive the Bitcoin. So in my opinion, Bitcoin is the most fair ledger we have ever had in the history of the world. I think that it can never be replaced because, I mean Marty talks about this a lot he’s not here anymore, because of that immaculate conception.

There was no one watching it at the time. So I’ll go even further from my earlier statement where I said, “if there’s a critical mass, Bitcoin will fork to whatever that critical mass desires.” I think that if you see a lot of Bitcoin stakeholders say like one of the threats with Bitcoin is if there’s like a 10x improvement, some random other technology that’s like completely different than Bitcoin.

I think that if that happens, there’ll be a critical mass support of forking that project, which has to be open source otherwise it’s disqualified to begin with, with the Bitcoin UTXO set, the most fair ledger that’s ever existed in humankind. So in that way, if you own a piece of this ledger, you’re protected in that situation because that will have the network effect, that will have the credibility and that will continue forward.

Peter McCormack: I interviewed Saifedean the other day, and one of the things he said, which was quite interesting and which never crossed my mind. I don’t see this playing out, but he said, “one of the biggest threats to Bitcoin is government changing their policy and creating better money.” Realizing that they’re fucked because of Bitcoin and having to create better money themselves. I don’t see it happening…

Matt Odell: Yeah, I mean he’s said that a bunch but I don’t think that’ll happen. They move too slow, they’re too blind, I just don’t see that situation. At that point, like by the time they realize, it will be too late. So I don’t really see that. He’s a true Austrian and he likes gold a lot. I’m younger than him. I think gold is a shit coin! I understand where they’re coming from, but gold is done now. We have the 10x improvement, it’s here.

There’s no way to transfer the gold’s UTXO set over to Bitcoin. So they’re just fucked and I don’t see… Governments’ are made out of people. There’s a bunch of people in government that run that shit. They’re all old. They can barely send emails and they’re just super fucking cocky.

We even had Mnuchin, who I actually think probably owns a little bit of Bitcoin even though he won’t admit it, we had him on Squawkbox on CNBC with our boy Joe, who is awesome, he is woke now! To go back to the Libra conversation, Libra made it click for him, so that’s a positive. Mnuchin was like, “I’m not going to be talking about Bitcoin in six years.” They’re cocky.

Peter McCormack: I heard him say that, of course you’re… Well only out of choice, but it doesn’t mean it’s not going to be around.

Matt Odell: He either owns Bitcoin and he’s playing the opposite game or he really believes that and I think a lot of them do believe that.

Peter McCormack: Or he’s playing the career role he has to play.

Matt Odell: Maybe.

Peter McCormack: Sometimes people say stuff that they don’t believe, because they have to, because this is their job.

Matt Odell: I mean, that’s fair. But I think they’re really cocky and I think for a lot of reasons they should be a cocky. If you look at history, there hasn’t really been very successful movements against this creeping state power that just keeps getting more and more powerful. We’ve had big wins.

I mean the whole encryption war was a very big win. We have more encryption today than we’ve ever had in the past. It’s easier to access than ever before, but they’re just super cocky and they’re living in this like little cocky bubble, until they’re not living in it anymore and I don’t see that transition period where they’re like, “well, we have to do better.”

Peter McCormack: Do you know one of my favorite ever quotes? It wasn’t during an interview, it was just over a lunch. I had lunch with John Pfeffer. Do you know John?

Matt Odell: Yeah, John’s great!

Peter McCormack: This quote, it kills me! I think it was this scenario, unless I read it somewhere else, but I’m pretty sure it was this over lunch. He said to me, “do you really think in a hundred years, when we’re all flying around in our Millennium Falcons, we’re going to be transferring value with lumps of yellow metal?”

Matt Odell: Exactly!

Peter McCormack: I think the point he’s making is that every single technology advancement, which is digitized, an asset or a product, whether it’s music or whether it’s content, we’ve never gone backwards. I mean some people still buy records for novelty, but there still only a novelty and cause there’s a purity in that product. Some people will still own gold.

Matt Odell: And it’s mostly virtual virtue signalling, “oh I have records.”

Peter McCormack: You’re so cool! But it really is much easier to plug in your Spotify and play Spotify. But I get it, there’s something nice about holding a vinyl and there will be people, there’ll be something nice about holding a piece of gold. There’ll be something nice in the future when everyone has to have an automated car to go to a track and drive a car. There will be novelty facts, but everything gets digitized and the digitalization of money is happening.

Matt Odell: Right, those are all niche use cases. But not the mainstream.

Peter McCormack: It makes a lot more sense to be… I love it when you have a news story, like remember that plane where all the gold fell out of the back? They were trying to move the gold.

Matt Odell: I mean that just looked like a Bitcoiner set that up!

Peter McCormack: Yeah, it was fucking perfect! But you look at that and you go, “actually it just makes a lot of sense. You’re flying at a huge cost all this gold from one location to another”. Look, I get it, gold isn’t going to go to zero value now and they’ll be a long time that gold holds value. But logically speaking, if we all agree that Bitcoin has value, then Bitcoin as digital gold makes a lot more sense.

Matt Odell: But look at the gold value prop, especially for nation states is that, if you’re a pariah state, you can still maintain your economy. But then if you just have someone like Venezuela where all their gold is stuck in London and they can’t get it back. That’s because it’s so costly to move. So you end up in these custody situations. One of the beauties of Bitcoin is that it’s a defensive technology, it’s easy to store and secure yourself.

Peter McCormack: Well, we’re refusing to give it back.

Matt Odell: But that’s what I’m saying, right? Bitcoin is so easy to store yourself that you don’t get stuck in those situations where you have billions of dollars in another country, because it’s so costly to move. That’s why they didn’t move it 10 years ago is what I’m saying. That’s why it stayed there. The other tangent and the thought process that I like going down, the future thought process that I like going down is… Do you ever watch Black Mirror?

Peter McCormack: I’ve seen every single episode.

Matt Odell: So uploading your San Junipero or whatever, like uploading your brain into like a cloud type of situation to live kind of forever, like uploading your consciousness or like moving to new bodies and stuff like that. You kind of need a digital native bearer asset if you want to bring your wealth with you. I like that argument! You can’t bring the gold with you into the cloud, but you could bring your Bitcoin with you.

Peter McCormack: Do you know what, the latest series of Black Mirror is a bit of a disappointment. It was three episodes, they weren’t great. I can’t even remember what they were.

Matt Odell: They were so bad!

Peter McCormack: Do you remember which ones they were? There was the Twitter one. Actually, that was quite interesting because they basically did a Jack Dorsey. It was the guy who was out on the silent retreat and the other guy was in this car and it turned out he’d crashed while tweeting while driving.

Matt Odell: And he killed his girlfriend that he loved. Spoilers! It wasn’t a very good episode.

Peter McCormack: I did like Bandersnatch though. I found that interesting.

Matt Odell: I liked the concept but I thought it was lacking on execution. But I liked the idea that Netflix is flexing their capabilities as both a worldwide TV network and that they have like full creative control and you have a controller in front of you, so you can do things.

Peter McCormack: Well, I assume the money went into Bandersnatch and the other three they kind of rushed out.

Matt Odell: Right, and that’s why they pushed them out by themselves. But the early Black Mirror was like fucking gold.

Peter McCormack: What’s your favorite? You got to give me three shows that you absolutely love. I’ve got a personal favorite, I’ll throw you my personal favorite, it’s Metalhead with the robotic dog. I just love that one. I absolutely love the show Crocodile, where they can look into your memories and see what happened.

A girl and a guy had been driving the car, they knocked the guy off his bike, they threw him in the water, and then she ends up at some other place in a hotel room. She sees a car crash. Do you remember that? With the insurance?

Matt Odell: The insurance one where they could audit your memory and it was like an investigation? That was good.

Peter McCormack: That blew my mind. I also absolutely love the first one actually.

Matt Odell: Is that the pig one? That’s what I was going to say first, that was my favorite one.

Peter McCormack: Because that’s Tony Blair!

Matt Odell: And how has that not happened yet? How have we not had a copycat? Can we please have a copycat? Can someone do that? It’s so easy to execute.

Peter McCormack: But it won’t happen because it’s falling prey to terrorists, you don’t ever do it!

Matt Odell: I don’t know. They did a good job of like balancing those two things. He didn’t want to and especially with the UK, where they went with the royal family, there’s like a special combination there where it works really well. It’s fucked up to theorize, but you could do it with like a family member or something. It could have that kind of effect. I’m surprised we haven’t seen any copycats.

Peter McCormack: I’m surprised we haven’t seen some kind of digital money version of Black Mirror or some kind of episode touching on, I don’t know what the subject would be.

Matt Odell: Well that’s one of my big things, is I love Sci-Fi and I find Sci-Fi unrealistic now if they don’t have Bitcoin connected to it, because it’s like, why are we 20 years in the future and not everyone’s using Bitcoin? It doesn’t seem very realistic to me. 

My favorite episodes were, I like the pig episode, I liked the bees episode where they had the automated bees. I think they were controlling bees basically and then there was like a hack or someone compromised it. It was in Britain and they used the bees against the populous. They were like killing people. It was a very good episode.

Peter McCormack: Why can’t I remember that, I’ve seen every episode. It makes me think I’ve missed on.

Matt Odell: I really liked the one where the soldiers thought they were like killing non-humans. I thought that’s probably definitely going to happen. The San Junipero one was really good I thought, because I think that could happen too, where we are uploading consciousnesses and saving them and re-uploading them.

They missed that next step, but I think that next step will happen as well, where you pay someone for their body and they get upgraded. It’s kind of fucked up when you start thinking about it.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, it does when some of this Sci-Fi stuff comes true. Look, the social scoring is happening, the social score episode is happening in China.

Matt Odell: I didn’t like that episode as much because it’s like here. You weren’t that creative, right? The other one I really liked was the exchange, oh no, he was a backpacker in the UK and he was testing out the game, like the really realistic horror game and he died in the simulation or whatever.

Peter McCormack: Oh shit yeah! He had like a seizure.

Matt Odell: I also watched that while I was backpacking, so it was extra scary. But yeah that was a really good episode.

Peter McCormack: All right man, well listen, we’ve gone way off tangent. Also I’ve got to get back over to Manhattan. I could talk to you for fucking hours! So a couple of things to finish on. Firstly, thank you. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for that conversation we had where I was deliberating about the podcast.

It really helped. Thank you for everything you do. I’ve learned a lot from you. I really appreciate everything you do. Viva La Bitcoin! Tell people how to stay in touch, how to follow you, tell them how to follow your amazing podcast that you make with Marty.

Matt Odell: First of all I want to say I consider you a friend. I’m like very grateful that I got to meet you. I think you mean well! It’s been great watching you grow in this space. I’m glad we made this happen. It was on very short notice, so that’s fucking dope. It’s our first time actually recording in person, I hope it’s the first of many.

Peter McCormack: Yeah, we’ll definitely do this again!

Matt Odell: Just to everyone else, shake out the noise, focus on the signal, stay humble, stacks sats, don’t overextend yourself and just realize that we’re in this for the long game and that this is like a really important mission here.

Really we’re kind of fucked otherwise. I love all of you guys and you can follow me on Twitter, @matt_odell and our podcast is Tales From the Crypt, that’s or you could just search Tales From the Crypt on your favorite podcast app.

Peter McCormack: All right Matt, well listen, appreciate you and yeah, Viva La Bitcoin.

Matt Odell: Cheers dude!