Peter McCormack: Alright Jeremy, how you doing man?
Jeremy Welch: Doing well. How are you man?
Peter McCormack: Good! Good to see you in London.
Jeremy Welch: Always good to see you.
Peter McCormack: Saves me a journey! What are you here for?
Jeremy Welch: So here for the CogX festival, which is emerging tech and AI. It’s a pretty big festival, I think they had 10,000 or 15,000 people this year and just trying to bring a lot of the major AI players and emerging tech players to London for a few days. So we were thrilled and very humbled to participate this year. We gave a small talk, which is about usability and about what we’re doing. So yeah, catching up with a lot of friends here, some investors, some clients. But it’s been great. Always good to be in London!
Peter McCormack: So I guess it’s more of a generic crowd so you have to take the complexity of what you’re presenting back a bit?
Jeremy Welch: That’s right and I think that we’re at a point in the industry, where that’s necessary anyways. We have to get out of the kind of typical crypto crowd, crypto niche, crypto geeks and towards the more average users. So it’s a great time and we’ve been thinking a lot about it and spending a lot of time at kind of non-crypto conferences and starting to talk to non-crypto groups.
We of course love our core user base and our core family, the Casa family, but it’s no us if we all kind of stay in this bubble. We need to bring more people in and so we’re thinking a lot about that and this was a great conference for that.
Peter McCormack: You’re saying crypto, but you’re a Bitcoin only company, right?
Jeremy Welch: That’s right. We are Bitcoin focused. We’ve long said that we were Bitcoin first. We had a lot of customers that would ask us for help in securing other assets and that doesn’t just mean crypto assets. That even means, information or their physical assets, asking us about op-sec principals. So it doesn’t even refer to other currencies, that’s just data and wealth generally. So we’ve consulted across just general op-sec.
We obviously have software and products specifically around Bitcoin, but we now have tightened focus. We did a bit of very clear business analysis and the cost of supporting anything else are too high and they’re growing. The customer basis, the long-term wealth and the long-term importance of Bitcoin is so high that it’s just not worth our time right now at all to focus on anything else.
A lot of the developments around Lightning, a lot of the developments around even identity, Microsoft announced their ION product. There’s so much happening in the Bitcoin space, so we’re excited to tighten our focus, building a lot of integrations between the core products and expanding into these other areas like identity applications. But everything again, built on top of Bitcoin.
Peter McCormack: Obviously read your Tweetstorm this week that was quite popular. Nice coincidence that you are here in London, so we can actually record this together.
Jeremy Welch: Timing worked out great!
Peter McCormack: Yeah and it’s something that’s close to me because I worked in advertising for 20 years, I’ve written about…
Jeremy Welch: That’s right, I forgot about that! I worked in the industry for quite a while and we built some of the core tech around re-targeting. I wasn’t a founder of this team, but I was an early team member and learned a tremendous amount from the founders and that was kind of foundational to the company that we’re building today with Casa.
But I also learned a ton about that industry and it’s crazy! Most people, the average person just has no idea the depth of the data that is being sucked down on them on a regular basis. You’ve seen that, you’ve been in the industry directly and so I’m excited about this conversation because we can dig into a lot.
Peter McCormack: Yeah, I fell out of love with it and I was on the digital side. We were an agency and I used to buy two or three books for people when they joined the agency and even though we’re digital, one of the ones I bought was Ogilvy on Advertising because I wanted people to understand about the history of creative, the soul of the industry and then Mad Men came out and I absolutely loved it as a program, but by the end of my career, we got to the point where everything is just about data and testing and I kind of got a bit sick of it.
But one thing happened when I was reading your Tweetstorm and then I was thinking about Casa, I was thinking, “okay, I think I get what you guys are doing” and I can’t figure out if this was the plan all along or if this is an evolution, but to me you are key management. Then you are key management, but with a node, which I thought was a great piece of marketing, but also a great way of self sovereignty.
But now I’m starting to think, “hold on, are you guys foreseeing the future private web”, which is what I’ve always thought Web3 is, not this Kyle Samani token based web. Are you foreseeing that and actually starting to position yourselves as a layer between the user and the internet?
Jeremy Welch: Yes, I mean the core of it and now we can talk about this a little more publicly, but we foresee that people will begin to exit. They basically have been in these, you can think of them like fiefdoms. They’ve been inside of Google, they’ve been inside of Facebook. Part of that they were inside AOL. Now they’re exiting and going back into the real web and they have to deal with their own security, they have to deal with their own infrastructure.
Casa as a company, we started by understanding, “man, there’s a lot of security concepts that most of my friends don’t understand. They’re not going to remember even if I tell them a few times or even if I really just spend some time with them and help set them up.
They could make a mistake themselves.” So there’s a need for a kind of helping hand, a company that collaborates with you, that has a financial incentive to continue collaborating with you to provide recommendations and software around that security, but not in a way that undercuts your sovereignty and your control. It actually, and this is in talking about cybernetics and systems theory and these kinds of control loops, it actually forms a very tight control loop.
If the idea is; you pay me a flat fee per year, I now have an incentive to make sure that you stay safe. My business is dependent on you staying safe and continuing to pay a flat fee once a year. So the incentives align very nicely there. The more educated I can make you, the more secure I can make you, the longer I can kind of plan out and the more secure my revenue stream is.
So there is a very clear business incentive, but this business model is very different than a lot of the advertising business models, which are based around these very long control loops to where, I bring you in, it’s totally free. You use my product, we generate data, I sell that to someone who sells that to someone else, who sells that to someone else and it goes all the way around this chain.
Somewhere back around it kind of comes back and maybe I take some more data in and we put advertising into the product, but there’s so many hands in the pie, where instead of that, it’s very simple. It’s just our direct relationship here.
Peter McCormack: It’s funny, I’m starting to see that the industry I think is going to go full circle. We were talking in the car earlier about the Gimlet deal about creating media and I think it’s going to go back to a world of the importance of creative, because I think the access to data is going to start reducing.
Jeremy Welch: 100% that’s right.
Peter McCormack: So I think the old school advertising principles are going to come back, which I think are super important,
Jeremy Welch: Which is great! Advertising is not going to go away. I think that was one thing that a lot of people misunderstood, with this kind of Tweetstorm, is I made a point at the end that all this stuff will be reborn, But it will be reborn in a more organic, direct way of like, I really have to speak to the audience and I really have to engage them and not in a terror or shocking way, but in a kind of much tighter connection.
Peter McCormack: Well I still love advertising. So as I said to you, I love the Ogilvy on Advertising book, the old school creative team, we have an art director and a copywriter coming up with great ideas. I think what happened, what I saw happen at some of the big ad agencies was, the budget they used to have for like a TV and a radio spot and perhaps a print ad, was suddenly getting split between social and digital.
Then the creative teams were getting overworked because there was less budget, so the creative quality drops. Then we’ve gone to this horrible world! The one term that summed it all up for me is “programmatics”. Every time I heard that fucking word I was like, “oh what have we come to?!”
Jeremy Welch: That’s right!
Peter McCormack: But it was funny because about a year ago I was chatting to Ricardo Fluffy Pony and he said, “look, the thing about privacy is that we all kind of want it, but we’re all lazy.” So we’ll hear about our data being hacked and we hear about Cambridge Analytica and we won’t do anything. It needs to be driven top down by the companies. What we’ve now seen with Apple and Microsoft is that they’re essentially going to change the game.
Jeremy Welch: Yes they are. Even Facebook is now claiming that they’re making a new focus on privacy products, on heavy encryption across their Messenger. They’re still combining everything and we’ll see what their new currency looks like. But all of the big players are making moves in this space and I think that they’ve done it in a public way, but for the majority of the business population, the investor population, they still haven’t caught on.
They’re still not seeing it as… That was the kind of core point I was trying to make is that a lot of forces are aligning now and I was trying to kind of highlight those different forces and we’re just on the edge of it. This will still take years to play out, but what tends to happen in most systems is the feedback loop intensifies.
So although it starts very slow, it can pick up speed very, very fast and most technology, this is a common pattern across all technology, most technology waves, they happen a little slower than people anticipate, but when they do happen, they happen very, very fast. We’re starting to see these edges of these large companies, again it’s still a trickle, but it could become a flood very quickly.
Peter McCormack: I kind of can’t figure out what Google’s response is going to be to this because they’re the only ones where I look at them and think, “you don’t have a play outside of data” and I just can’t figure out what they’re going to do, because after I did my last interview with Lopp, I went and got rid of all my Google tracking. I turned off all my tracking on my phone, but Google ended up becoming a bit shit! It was a bit pointless. So I had to allow some data back in. So I’m wondering what their play is going to be.
Jeremy Welch: We’ll see. I think that they have a number of tools, they have a search monopoly. I don’t think a lot of that is going to totally go away, but it is going to evolve. The majority of their revenue has been from advertising for very long time and that will change. It’ll change the culture, it’ll change the way the company is formed, it’ll change the priorities of the company, it’ll change the revenue basis of the company.
But I think the way to approach it, the way to think about some of these existing companies is; is their product able to be directly sold or able to be bundled in something? If it is, they may have a shot. If it’s not, if it’s something that users won’t pay for directly, then there will likely be some other company ,that will start providing that product or service as a function of something they can charge for. So if it is security, if we were charging for security, we have an incentive to align and try to provide products for our customers and we’re trying to bundle more and more into the bundle.
But there will be other types of products people pay for. Apple is a great example. You buy the phone and you buy your service. Apple has search, they have a web browser, they have tech date and they have very light ad tech. But for them it really is about the hardware and they can bundle more of these products in and similar to Microsoft. So Microsoft and Apple are really in the strongest position here.
Peter McCormack: All right, let’s unpack this. So for anyone who doesn’t know the background. So obviously you put the Tweetstorm out, you kind of started to look up some of the future problems for ad tech. But let’s go back. Can you, for somebody who doesn’t know, explain what ad tech is, because you’ve worked in the industry and explain kind of the history from traditional print TV ads and how everything changed with the Internet.
Jeremy Welch: Sure. So the easy explanation is just to think about newspapers. Most people have a direct experience with newspapers growing up no matter where you were in the world and every city always had a major newspaper, sometimes two or three. Classifieds, advertising, close to the editorial section, there’s always a big chunk of an ad space and then you also pay for classifieds. A lot of people have taken out a classified ad at some point, looking for something, even if they’re buying a house or something, there are some legal requirements to list a classified ad in some of these newspapers.
So that was the primary revenue source for most of these newspapers. The Internet emerges, you now have all of these extra pages and you can think of each one of those webpages as being a page in the newspaper. It’s the same thing. I mean it’s just sourcing local information and in fact a lot of the earliest websites to grow, were news websites. So they tried to replicate the exact same model. The newspapers had these large advertising sales divisions that would go around to all the local businesses, some national businesses, and would sell in bulk, “you’re going to buy the ad for these few months at a time. We’re going to put it on these pages.”
They sell it in a bundle and “we have a certain type of listener or a certain type of reader. We know their general income, we know where they live and you want to reach this type of person.” That was how the sale worked, but it was all bundled. The Internet comes along and they tried to do the same thing and it just didn’t work that well, because now instead of selling a set number of pages 60 or so in a newspaper, you’re selling millions of sites.
So you had a roll up. You had companies like Yahoo. Yahoo’s whole play was building as many different types of pages as possible, then they had a common ad sales that would bundle and sell these massive bundles similar to newspapers. The big transition happened when you got programmers in the mix, you’ve got software in the mix and they said, “we can actually scale this faster. We can scale the sales faster and we can scale the ad serving faster, if everything is just totally software and no advertising guy.”
I mean you used to literally have an ad ops guy that would load the individual image onto the site and now it’s all automated. So you had all this software that got built out, allowed the business to scale and then that leads to these companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo. Yahoo used to be the largest publisher in the world. In terms of pure number of pages, they had the most pages where you could place an ad and you had these groups sales, but now it shifted all to programmatic.
The big transition happened where it shifted from being about instead of buying a property, what you would do in the last 10 to 15 years, is you instead bought an audience and it didn’t matter where that audience was on the web, you wanted to buy that audience. Now, in order to do that, in order to track someone as they go between New York Times, Yahoo, whatever the major websites are, you had to cookie that user, you had to tag them.
That’s why I was using this term bag and tag, you had to bag and tag users! You had to group them and then that data sales became like the major push around the advertising industry, tracking, collecting all the data you could. You then group those users, you sell the users, instead of selling the website and that became even more scalable, even more revenue and then we find ourselves in this current environment to where there’s massive amounts of data out there. Every person in the world has some sort of profile.
I mean you think that you have some CIA or NSA database, the advertising agencies have more data on individuals globally than anyone else. and it’s practically like an intelligence agency. The problem is that that data can leak. The problem is that that data can be hacked, can be taken. Again, people just don’t have privacy and now the cost, the point of the Tweetstorm is that now with Bitcoin and direct access to funds and the ability to hold large amounts of funds directly, the costs to holding those funds, the cost of having data out there, is now a much bigger risk.
Prior to Bitcoin and prior to holding a lot of this data and wealth directly, it’s not as much of a risk. But now that that’s out there, from an op sec perspective, a lot of Bitcoiners they won’t post on social media. They won’t post or if they do, they’ll post five days after they’ve been in a place. General security practices, it’s one thing we do. We’re talking that we’re in London right now, but this isn’t going to be posted for several more days.
Peter McCormack: We’re live streaming… No I’m fucking with you!
Jeremy Welch: It’s okay! But I mean, you do it from a security perspective. A lot of Bitcoiners are already taking those major precautions and that’s just not a world that most people have to live in and now they have the option. It doesn’t mean that everyone’s going to go this direction, but we anticipate that there will be more and more reasons for people to go towards this world, because you effectively get superpowers. You can control your data and control your wealth. You can craft a life. You’re not boxed into one media property.
You can read whatever you want. You can communicate whatever you want. As a lot of the other platforms, you know Youtube, these other groups or other platforms, they’re blocking people, not because, a lot of people think it’s just political. It’s not political. It’s they don’t want any fighting on their platform because advertisers will leave. So their money dries up if there’s a lot of infighting on their platform. There’s of course some bias.
But ultimately that’s why the bans happen and as that happens more and more, a lot of those users are going to go off and either create their own sites or create these smaller communities. Again, things are getting more private. The data’s getting tighter and the costs, if you do get attacked, the risk is getting greater and all of those forces are aligning. Now we also have governments!
So we have GDPR. But now we also have an incentive for governments globally. In US, California is going to enact a privacy law, I believe they already signed it in. I don’t think it’s active right now. But you now have governments now that are also enacting this for their citizens and all these forces are aligning.
Peter McCormack: So what you’re really saying is then, with Bitcoin, people are suddenly exposed to having their wealth perhaps online or exposed to online or easily stolen. Therefore there’s an imperative to protect your privacy, but there’s not that many Bitcoin holders. So this is almost like the Bitcoiners are… Well companies like yourself are paving the way. I perhaps wonder if something like the Facebook coin will end up accelerating this requirement.
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, that’s a really good point. I think that a lot of people have had a lot of criticism about JPM coin, about Facebook coin. Ultimately these all will just expose more people to life outside of your traditional bank account. That’s a good thing! As that happens, people will then begin comparing. Right now you kind of have people that have cryptocurrency and people that don’t. The people that don’t, there’s a much bigger portion of those!
Now you’ll have people that have cryptocurrency. It’s just a question for them of whether they have Facebook coin, whether they have Bitcoin. I fully expect there will be… I mean, we already have the Petro, so there will be other nationalities that lists cryptocurrencies as well. Users will have a lot of choice and that’s a good thing.
But as that choice comes out, they will again, they will have choice and some of them will choose to go down this path of holding their wealth more directly and they will need help with security. They’ll need help with op sec and need help with the tools. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do and why we’re building Casa.
Peter McCormack: So the Facebook thing is really interesting, because the first time I heard about it, I don’t know about you, but I was a bit like, “all right, here we go. They’re going to track all our spending.” But I kind of stepped back from that and said, “okay, what’s the big opportunity here?”
There’s a couple of things that crossed my mind, but firstly is that it’s going to expose a whole new group of people to the term cryptocurrency and the fact that they’re probably going to hold their first cryptocurrency, whether you believe it is or not, whatever. But you are going to be exposed to it. Secondly, with that, almost certainly at some point you’re then going to be exposed to a chart which shows the value of your Bitcoin or value of Bitcoin compared to Facebook coin. You’re going to constantly see that the value of your Facebook is going down against Bitcoin.
So you think, “oh, I might need some Bitcoin.” So that’s a couple of things on mind. The other thing on my mind is that as Facebook are preparing to release this and doing all their work in advance, I’m assuming all the hackers out there are preparing for the release and thinking, how are they going to attack this and steal the Facebook coin. Can they steal it? Can they move it? Can they liquidate it?
Jeremy Welch: This is again, if we just back up from a systems theory view. The western nation state banking system, the global banking system has been through hundreds of years now of building to become what it is today. Hundreds of tests in terms of… I mean we watch movies about it now, we don’t even think about it, but robbing the train as a western cowboy or bandit was really someone’s living. That’s how they made a living, is they robbed trains that were carrying wealth, carrying gold from the western frontier in the States.
We’ve been through hundreds of years now to evolve to the point and it’s a very stable system, but the way that they’ve created that stability is by basically closing out a lot of the frontier. Now with Bitcoin we have something that’s pretty unique and we view Bitcoin from this lens of, it’s just a resilient system. The monetary benefit is kind of a side point. It is part of the core design that that gives it that resilience, but the monetary nature or just from a systems theory view, it is the most resilient system on the planet in our estimation.
So we don’t know all the exact ways, but we do expect most computing, most social systems, most civilizational systems to eventually be dependent in some way on Bitcoin just because it’s one of the few things that you can point to and say, “it will be around.” Now the price is going to fluctuate, but at least it will be around and that’s really important. Where a lot of other systems die, companies die, products die and just from that perspective, again, just resilience of a system perspective, that’s another thing that people are going to compare with Facebook coin, with any other coins.
Then a lot of the attackers are going to be comparing that too. It’s funny, if you look at a lot of the hackers, they immediately try to convert into Bitcoin no matter what they steal. In some cases they’ve attacked certain exchanges and the only thing they take is Bitcoin or that’s the thing that they take the most.
Peter McCormack: Yeah it’s interesting. So I’m spending more and more time trying to look at Facebook and it’s funny, I flipped the podcast recently and said, “I’m just going to focus on Bitcoin”, but I think Facebook coin is going to be relevant, whatever it’s called, Libra coin, because of the exposure is going to bring to people. But there’s a couple other things that have been crossing my mind.
So I don’t know what you think about this, but I think the US government probably love the thought of Facebook coin, because essentially it strengthens the Dollar globally. I could see certain countries where, say Argentina, if everybody’s on Facebook and WhatsApp and they can access Facebook coin, why would they carry on using the Peso?
Jeremy Welch: Yeah! Ultimately, you will see some alignment between governments and groups like Facebook. Now the US obviously has a regulatory capture on Facebook, with Facebook being based in Palo Alto in California. Everything will be used as a tool for the government and the jurisdiction that’s there. So Bitcoin is a unique case and it will be both the one that’s fought the most, although there are plenty of people, at least in the US government that have spoken positively about it.
They’ve actually found plenty of corruption that they’ve actually uncovered because Bitcoin is easily traceable and it is anonymous, but it is also, once you kind of know which accounts you’re dealing with, they’ve actually kind of uncovered some corruption, which is interesting too. So I think you’re right.
I think that there’s something interesting there and I do you think that… It’s questionable whether we already know that Facebook was working with some of the government agencies around surveillance,, do you think that they’re already in their early building, collaborating with nation state actors, who knows?
Peter McCormack: I mean, almost certainly! Almost certainly with the US government, I don’t think you can launch a version of the Dollar on a social platform globally, with potentially 2 billion users, without having a conversation with the government. I don’t think it’s possible.
Jeremy Welch: Yep!
Peter McCormack: But I do see a huge amount of benefit to the government. I’m more interested in what other governments are going to think about this and actually, is it a good or bad thing? Was it good that the population will have a more stable currency to use, or is it negative, as that may completely devalue other currencies.
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, so that’s an interesting question as well. Ultimately in economics, in political theory, political economy, there’s a concept called the Triffin dilemma, which is the country that has a reserve currency, there is a tradeoff between kind of short and long-term thinking about taking the right actions for the global economy sometimes hurts your local economy. But if your goal is to grow the reserve currency status of the currency, sometimes you have to hurt kind of local business.
This has been a well understood concept for long time and we’ve had waves of different reserve currencies, but I think that there’s something similar here where there are these mixed trade offs. If the US government is going to lose the tool of having the US Dollar as a reserve currency, there’s this question of would they rather it shift to China or would they rather it shift to a kind of corporate coin or would they rather it shift to a coin that no one controls?
The interesting thing, I mean, Bitcoin effectively solves the Triffin dilemma because no one controls it, no state controls it. There’s some argument around where mining is, but if there is this balance, does the Triffin dilemma still exist or is Bitcoin just acting in its own self interest because there is no nation state tied to it?
There’s no issue anymore. So I think that that it raises that point and I think that other countries have already been dependent on the US reserve currency. So for them it won’t change anything, they’ll just shift allegiance. But the biggest question is for a lot of the regulators and politicians who have been used to using this as a policy tool and now maybe not having that control.
Peter McCormack: It’s so interesting also when you start thinking about these things in real detail. So I obviously interviewed Daniel Buchnar recently about what’s happening at Microsoft. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about kind of some deep interesting thoughts about Bitcoin. Actually Nic Carter put out a tweet recently, he said, “the goal is not mass adoption. That goal is a better financial system.”
Okay, so we’ve got a better financial system, but we’ve also got the ability to create decentralized IDs. So suddenly when you see these arguments about, “oh, I want to do peer to peer cash. Oh I want to do store of wealth.” It doesn’t really matter. It’s a whole global system. It’s changing the way we do everything!
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, it’s going to change everything. It’s funny, there are a lot of people in Silicon Valley I think that are underestimating how big the changes are going to be. A lot of Silicon Valley has effectively become like Wall Street, because they’ve captured both through regulatory means and through pure scale, they’ve now captured a lot of power and the people that have rotated in, a lot of the early dreamers and rebels have now rotated out and they’re either investors or they’re VCs or they’re just retired.
A lot of the people that have rotated in are kind of more common, they went to university, they went to business school, they’re a little more stable, they’re not the kind of rebels that Steve Jobs used to be or that some of the early founder types are. They’re still a lot out there.
But I do think that there’s this higher proportion. So what that means is that that kind of population, I think this is why they haven’t fully grasped and have had trouble with Bitcoin, that this is a more of a civilizational change and more of a nation state shift than it is just, “this single market is going to change.”
We’ve gotten a lot of criticism, saying again, “you guys are too idealistic” and it’s a simple calculation that most of those VCs do and that the market is so large, the impacts are so large that even if we’re wrong or even if the timing is slightly off, the upside is so big and the consequences are so big and it’s not just about the money, it’s about the implications on our families and the way people live.
The implications are so big, that there is no reason you should be spending your time really on anything else. So I think Nic is right, a lot of the decentralized tech is going to be important and a lot of the changes that are coming, and it is still a way off. We’re still very early in the game, but the impact is just so huge, or at least the risk of that impact is so huge.
Peter McCormack: So I brought this up in an interview, a couple of interviews ago. There’s this great book called Engines That Move Markets and it’s just got key chapters; the invention of the railway or the invention of the light bulb or the invention of the telephone or the internet, all the different things that fundamentally changed industry and the way the world works. I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to reissue that with Bitcoin at some point.
Jeremy Welch: Absolutely! I think that there’s an interesting question around what wealth is or what an economy is and there’s many economies. That’s another thing that I think is really important to distinguish, as a lot of people define it as just a single market for money. When really it’s a lot of overlapping markets. Each city is a market.
Each neighborhood within a city is a market and they all have differing needs and differing desires. So I think there’s something really important is to asking this question of what wealth is and what an economy is because there’s a difference. Wealth to each individual person is very different. I don’t know, did you ever have a dream car when you were growing up?
Peter McCormack: Yeah, I’ve always wanted a Lamborghini!
Jeremy Welch: Okay a Lambo! Did you have a certain type, a certain type of Lambo?
Peter McCormack: I mean, growing up it was the Countach. When I was a kid, I had the little micro machine version. Then before I blew all my money on mining, I nearly bought one! Not a Countach, I nearly bought just an old Gallardo. I was going to do it last year. I thought I’ll have it for six months, get rid of it and get out of the system.
Jeremy Welch: When moon?! Maybe we will be back there!
Peter McCormack: What was yours?
Jeremy Welch: So it’s interesting. When I was in third or fourth grade in primary school, I always loved the Dodge Viper and that eventually evolved…
Peter McCormack: With the huge bonnet?
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, I loved it! It’s a beautiful car, very powerful, very impractical. But I had, when the R8 first came out, the Audi, loved the R8. Of course I drive a very simple car and have a very simple life today. But maybe one day when moon kind of thing! But I bring the car up because it’s interesting because even if you’re not a car person, it was a defining part of most people’s lives and that may change because of self driving cars. But everyone has this kind of car that was a dream car and for generations past, they always had cars that were a dream car, that would be kind of aspirational.
If you go back and you buy that car, now there’s a limited market of people that actually want that Lambo and you can spend all the money you want keeping that car in perfect condition. But the number of people that will buy that is different. So the important thing out of that, is what is wealth to you is not always wealth to someone else. There’s something interesting about, you buy this car, you put a bunch of money into it, you maintain the wealth of that car. You might not be able to sell that car. Now you can keep it in until the end of your life. You can enjoy it and that’s great, but you might not be able to sell it back into the financial system.
There’s a question of like, “what is it that actually drives the calculus of what is worthy of being purchased in the market and not?” It’s not just the fact of like, “oh this person likes this.” For cars and for art, you do have collectors, but that is about personal preference. Ultimately it comes back down to typically cash flow or typically this question of… I think Peter Thiel simplifies it down to just doing more with less.
So very simply, what technology means, is doing more with less. You use less resources to do the same thing and if you can find a way to do more with less, that’s a technology and that’s going to attract capital all day long because it’s just X resource in, Y resource out. If that gets more efficient and it’s more efficient than the other alternative method, it’s going to constantly attract capital.
The Lambo is probably not the most efficient thing, so you might not be able to resell it, that’s okay. You enjoy it! But asking that question and getting to that fundamental principle of just doing more with less. Now, if we look at Bitcoin and there is this big question of its energy usage, but what is that energy use it to compare it to an entire nation state in terms of backing and the predictability of it is much more communicable amongst people. It’s much more resilient.
Overall I think it’s going to be shown to use less energy or have less energy waste and ultimately it’s just an overall better system. When you get into those kinds of core questions, like what money is, what wealth is and what drives the system, that’s where I think things align as to we’re going to see a lot of companies dig into this because it’s just a much more predictable system.
You either have to, if you are Facebook, how many of those companies are lobbying the government right now and basically have a hand in terms of the policies that are being made, versus Bitcoin where anybody can make a fork at anytime. You can fork off for your separate group if you want to have more control. It’s just going to allow much more predictability, much more resilience and overall a lot of people over time are going to see much more potential in it.
Peter McCormack: It’s funny you should say that and the point I’m going to make now aligns to Bitcoin, but I measure wealth now in time. Somebody said something to me, I can’t remember what it was like, maybe 10 years ago and always stuck with me. It was this saying that, “an inch of time, is worth an inch of gold. But you can’t buy an inch of time with an inch of gold.
So it just goes. Little things happen, like the other day, sadly Tottenham Hotspur footballer, ex player, he’s 49, he’d just been to watch Liverpool Tottenham in the Champions League final. He’s the manager. I think of Leyton Orient and just got them promoted, cardiac arrest and died. I’m like fuck! He’s 49, I’m 40! If that’s me, that’s nine years. So that’s on my mind.
So I measure it in time and I want to do what I like doing with my time. So when I had my agency, I thought I was happy, but I wasn’t really. I liked the fact I had a company and we were turning over good money. I liked the feast of when we won a new client, but delivering it and dealing with clients and working each night really late was bullshit. I was overweight, I had a cocaine problem, my marriage fell apart. It was bullshit! Life was wasn’t good, but I thought it was good. Now I value it in terms of time, I’m doing a job I love. My job is to sit here and have a conversation with you.
Jeremy Welch: It’s amazing!
Peter McCormack: It’s fucking great! So then I look at Bitcoin and the way I see Bitcoin is that, if I think about my time preferences, over a long enough timeframe, Bitcoin should be buying me more time. So I’m like, I do not want to sell this shit because if I can get through another bull run, I’ve made it and I’ve bought time.
Jeremy Welch: 100%. So this is a really important point…
Peter McCormack: Wealth isn’t rich for me.
Jeremy Welch: Yes, but I think that part of the point that I’m trying to make there, is that not all wealth is the same in terms efficiency. There are lots of types of wealth. There’s lots of individual preferences around wealth. But if you’re looking at wealth, “okay, so I’ve generated some wealth” or “I bought some wealth”, not all wealth is the same in terms of efficiency and in terms of tradeability. Bitcoin has an extreme on both. It has in terms of efficiency, because of the limited cap, because the predictability around it, that’s another thing that people haven’t quite processed yet.
If the Fed makes a change in interest rates, we won’t know until that exact day. But right now there are deliberations going on at every Fed meeting and they’ve been deliberating this for months and months and months and months. They know internally what’s happening and there are dinner parties to where they discuss these things and there is a circle that knows that. But for you and I, we have no clue. For Bitcoin, it is open, there’s open message boards. A lot of people talk about the toxicity and a lot of the arguments, but these arguments happen in every other business, every other government everywhere. But they just happen in private and people don’t see that.
Now they’re happening in public and any of the code changes, they happen in public, any of the code reviews, any of the planning, it all happens in public. That predictability creates a level of… The tech is already efficient, but it also creates a kind of communication efficiency to where, yes, the hard cap and the growth of the currency and the price of the currency and the deflationary aspect may generate more wealth that gives you more time. But that predictability actually also gives you more time, because now you can look out in the future or you can rather instantly know if something changes or something goes wrong.
Where in most jobs you may spend years, decades thinking, “okay, this is going to work.” But little did that some government official actually had some plan for some law that was going to kill your business. They’d been planning it for six years. You just hadn’t been in that discussion. You had no clue. You don’t see any of the drafts and all of a sudden it hits one day and your business is done and those 10 years are down the tube.
Again, it is the efficiency and its predictability, but it’s not just about the price and the growth and the wealth. It’s about the fact that it is more predictable just because you can literally go to the codebase. Anybody can go to that code base and that’s going to create a lot more dependence on the system because of that predictability. People can make further plans. Eric Lombroso was making a point on Twitter earlier this week and he was talking about what it would be like to have a kind of more stable, more predictable currency and he’s exactly right.
It’s like today we’re basically just building on quicksand. We’re trying to build houses on quicksand was the thing I was saying and if we had bedrock, we could build a skyscraper, we could build much higher, we can plan much higher, we can build what we want versus having these massive constraints.
Peter McCormack: I’ve definitely got to get you and Travis Kling together. I think you two could… You’d get wasted! You two would have a great time together and would get on really well, from two different angles. Have you ever learned to code? Not like HTML, proper programming?
Jeremy Welch: Yes, so I’m technical. I worked in an ISP when I was younger and I ended up studying philosophy in school and design. But a lot of the earliest versions of our products, I built.
Peter McCormack: Do you remember when you first learned to program and you’re looking at code and you’re just like… I mean, it might have not been the same for you, but for me, I remember when I first learnt my first scripting language. I was just like, “what the?!” Looking at it for days on end and then one day it just clicked and you’re like, “oh shit, this is how it all works. This is how it all looks. This is how it works together.”
It just clicks. When I’ve been doing this podcast, I’ve been veering around and people keep saying, “you just don’t get Bitcoin yet.” I’ve always fucking hated it when people say that, because I’m like, “what are you on about, it’s not about that!” But I think recently I have started to understand what they mean now.
Jeremy Welch: Interesting.
Peter McCormack: Because it’s not about these individual arguments, “what is the block size? Can I pay for a coffee with it?” It’s not that, it’s bigger than that. It’s much bigger. Bitcoin is going to change everything! Or it could…
Jeremy Welch: It will. I’m confident it will either go to zero or it will change the world.
Peter McCormack: It never will go to zero, because I’ll buy it all!
Jeremy Welch: There you go! Ultimately any technology… So this is something that’s just a kind of core point about science and now we live in this world of a lot of scientism, where people would just use it as like, “oh, science says…” Science doesn’t say anything. Science disproves things. So the scientific process is just purely about disproving things. Any theory that is the dominant theory, in a scientific discipline, is the theory that has the least objections or it is the one that has survived the longest.
But it doesn’t mean that it can’t be totally explained away or there couldn’t be a contrary point that emerges. It changes too, it evolves over the time. The material world evolves over time and so we get emergent events and we get new new materials, new things, new cities, new people, new ideas and so this evolves over time. But that important point is that any system at any time could collapse. It’s not just Bitcoin, the US Dollar etc.
It’s called the Ludic fallacy, which is… Naseem Taleb uses the example of a turkey, that if you look at a turkey’s life, he’s just getting plump and plump and plump all the way up to November. Then November comes along and off of his head! If you think about the life of a turkey, there’s day after day after day of feeding, of just getting plumped up. Life is great and then all of a sudden it’s bad. Any system could have the same thing happen. But again, the beautiful thing about Bitcoin is that the instant something like that happens, we would know. We would know instantly, we could adjust the code, it’s transparent.
Where all of our other current systems are completely… We talk about Facebook being open, open data, open privacy. But everything that happens behind the scenes, is completely opaque. Everything that happens in the government, is completely opaque.
You basically have to live and be in the social scenes of DC or London or Silicon Valley to really even know what’s going on and it’s because they talk in these back rooms in parties about all the opaque things. But now we have this system that’s open, that anybody can look at and that is something that is not been fully understood about how powerful that’s going to be.
Peter McCormack: I’m literally sitting there thinking, “right I need to go home. All that useless shit I’ve got in my cupboards I never use, sell it, stack sats!”
Jeremy Welch: Nice! Stack sats!
Peter McCormack: Yeah. My second car that I never drive, sell it, stack sats. Just get rid of this all, go simple life, stack sats and build the future life. Because if if you’re right, fuck this is huge!
Jeremy Welch: Oh, it’s huge. But it just means that… I think most people need to come at it in their own way. But that’s the thing that I encourage people is it’s not about… Bitcoin will be slightly different to everyone, but you should understand that it’s an open system that you can go read and you can think about and you can view and there’s no rules. You don’t have to ask someone’s permission to read this shit. It’s on the internet.
It’s true internet in the sense that it’s open source, peer to peer and from that perspective it’s incredibly empowering. I think we’re going to see some crazy events out of this. We’re going to see some kid in India or something that learns and starts reading and starts contributing. We’ve already seen a lot of contributors that come out of nowhere and that weren’t from the traditional backgrounds of a lot of the Silicon Valley kind of power centers.
Again, I think that’s one thing that a lot of Silicon Valley is getting wrong right now, is that they’re assuming that their power model and that their institutions and their rubber stamp is still going to be required and it’s just not. We’re in this new world where it’s not, and it’s going to be a global phenomenon.
Peter McCormack: So what do we do about education then? Because this is so complex. You’ve got to fall down the rabbit hole and you’ve got to do a lot to try and get your head around it. But what should we do about education, because we don’t want people to miss out.
We all want our friends to get involved, but we want to understand this and the potential in the future and we kind of have this decentralized education at the moment, where everyone does it in their own different way. You might explain it one way. I release a podcast. Casa will do their education on their website. There’s lots of different ways. How do we try and educate this? Or is it a case that there is no single way of educating?
Jeremy Welch: Well I think this is the beautiful thing about it. I think that the future is very bright for education, but I think you have to separate out education from indoctrination. Historically what we’ve really seen in a lot of educational systems, is it’s actually been more about socialization and indoctrination, than it has been about kind true education. True education is about experience. It’s about learning. It’s about challenges. It’s about stimulus. You’re taking a system of a human being and the human mind and you’re applying challenges repeatedly over time.
It’s like lifting weights. The more math problems you do, the stronger your brand gets, the more it can do, the more languages you read, the more languages it can adopt and that’s true education. It’s unguided! You are curious about certain topics. You’re sucked in certain areas. Indoctrination is trying to shove a specific concept, a series of concepts and socialization has been a part of university and these are not necessarily… I would say that like socialization and some type of community bonding and kind of community language, is really important.
It’s not to say that that’s not important, but we’ve had this kind of forced system to where, in the US, K through 12 and different states, it’s slightly different. But you’ve had this requirement and that’s going to change. We’re seeing a lot of kids already, they’re learning through Minecraft. They’re learning through YouTube. They’re learning through these other channels and they’re learning things that they come home and they’re speaking some language or they’re doing something and the parents are like, “where the hell did you learn that?”
So I think that the future of education is… I think we’re headed towards a golden age, if this proceeds correctly, but we have to get over the hump of, there are going to be a lot of powerful forces that are going to clamp down in terms of information resources and the process to get there. But again, being able to hold keys, being able to hold your own wealth, maybe there’ll be someone around the world. We have a very distributed team.
We are going to see more of that. We’re going to see people earning small amounts, living and doing geographic arbitrage to where their costs aren’t very high. They’re learning, earning a smaller salary, but it goes a long way in their area. They do the work and the company just doesn’t care. Whatever they think their politics, we don’t care. As long as you do the work, the easy transfer paying them Bitcoin or something else.
Peter McCormack: All right. So when we moon, are you still going to get the Dodge Viper? Or have you got your eyes on something else, because I have changed by the way.
Jeremy Welch: What is yours now?
Peter McCormack: Because of my age, I think I need an Aston Martin.
Jeremy Welch: Awesome, beautiful car!
Peter McCormack: I probably would never have one, but it would have to be the DB11.
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, that’s a beautiful car! I don’t know, I still like the Audis. The depreciation curve has shifted well enough now that they’re actually like somewhat affordable, if you compare it to a lot of the regular sports cars, the used ones. But I also like… So I actually worked on a project several years ago before this company. We were looking at electric car charging and problems around that. My thesis, when I started that company, we ended up having some kind of political internally and with co-founders and we ended up shutting the company down, shutting the project down.
But we recognized early on that Musk was right in terms of electric cars and it wasn’t because of just the moral arguments of driving electric cars, you can actually build a better car, a safer car. There are still questions around, like some of these are lighting on fire. You have some of those problems with gasoline cars too. It’s just like you get more headlines around the Tesla’s lighting on fire. But I’m bringing this up because I do think that we’re going to see a lot more electric cars. I think that a lot of the petrol cars are going to get more high end and more specialized.
But there’s a beautiful Audi e-tron that’s all electric, those are beautiful. A funny reversal of that, is that… I think the car was called a Karma. I don’t remember the manufacturer. It was all electric initially. Someone has now done a reversal of this, to where I think they bought the company and they’re now putting gasoline engines in the Karma. But there’s going to be a weird kind of dynamic over the next few years, even in that space with a lot of electric cars and the e-tron is beautiful, so maybe it’ll be an R8 or an e-tron, we’ll see.
Peter McCormack: It might even get to the point though, with the self driving cars that, my brother said this to me, he said, “you might in 20/30 years, it might be illegal to drive a car on the road, as it’s too dangerous.”
Jeremy Welch: That’s right. I think there’s a higher likelihood that it will just become cost prohibitive from an insurance perspective. So the only people that will have cars, it’s going to be people that regularly ride horses today or have their race track. They’ll have them at a race track or they’re show ponies or whatever. Different type of horsepower.
Peter McCormack: Did you listen to Andrew Yang on Joe Rogan?
Jeremy Welch: I did not yet, no.
Peter McCormack: So I’m not keen on his whole universal income.
Jeremy Welch: You’re not Yang Gang?
Peter McCormack: I’m not, but I’m outside of the US politics and Bitcoin has made me more conservative anyway. But he was talking about self-driving lorries and he was talking about, “it’s going to be safer. Less people are going to die. But there’s a whole wave of people who are going to lose their jobs because of these self-driving lorries.”
So he was talking about that and then talking about the future and how automation and AI is taking so many jobs, that people aren’t really prepared for this. Within the next decade, a whole wave of people could be losing their jobs, driving taxis, driving lorries and he was talking about what we’re going to do about that. I don’t know, I’m wondering if there’s… Has anyone theorized anything to do with Bitcoin with this?
Jeremy Welch: I’ve been thinking about this quite a while. Truck drivers are one of the globally or one of the, in terms of just pure numbers of truck drivers, it’s one of the largest jobs out there in terms of profession. It’s an interesting job because a lot of truck drivers, they own their own truck. They almost work as a contractor. You have a lot of kind of family based trucking companies that run as small businesses.
Historically, there are some larger players, but a lot of like smaller players and a lot of independent contractors. In terms of affording the self driving trucks, that’s going to be a game of the large corporations. That’s not going to be a game that a lot of the independent players can do. So it is, it’s not just the individual drivers, it’s a lot of the small companies. It’s a lot of small logistics providers.
That’s going to be a problem and for people going into that today, it’s more of an issue. Some of the kind pure logistics providers will be okay, because they’re just going to use whatever means they can, to get there. But it’s going to be a problem for a lot of people. I think that Bitcoin, the application there is that, right now we’re in quicksand as we were talking and the Dollar and other currencies are losing their value.
You used to be able to buy a house for $20,000/$30,000 and a very good house! The amount of money that you have to make now just to afford and provide for kids, have a family, have a basic house is absurd. If Bitcoin takes off, you will potentially be able to make one major, and this is very theoretical and it may not happen, but there is a case, at least a logical case to where, if Bitcoin takes off, you make one major contribution in your lifetime and you get one major payment, do one major deal and then you are kind of set.
You can go do whatever you want beyond that. That’s actually somewhat similar to the way the venture community and the startup community works today. It’s actually the way that real wealth works. This is the interesting thing. This is why I think you have to keep getting back to, what is real wealth? What is real wealth versus just maintaining some existing wealth, that’s not real wealth. You have this case to where you build a whole new company or you build a whole new technology, that is real wealth. The existing system values it.
The existing system pays a lot for it and adopts it very quickly, you get this high scalability. Then these entrepreneurs and the early team members, they’re able to go do whatever they want. So we already have a real world case of effectively a deflationary asset that is stock, if they’re not printing lots of stock, but right now, a lot of companies are buying back stocks, so it’s not a pure deflationary asset, it could be increased. You could increase stock, you’d do it every time you take a new round of dilution.
But the entrepreneurs are always trying to get to a state to where they have enough cash flow to where they can cap it. They don’t need to bring in new investors, they don’t need to sell new stock and the value of that stock rises tremendously while they’ve contributed this wealth. So we have a kind of model for how that would potentially work and we could see, everyone providing their contribution creative, it could be social wealth, it could be economic wealth, but that would be very interesting. So maybe we don’t need all the truck drivers!
Peter McCormack: We’ve gone way off the agenda here! So listen, somebody said to me once recently, they envisage a time where in the house they can essentially have their cypherpunk box and it’s going to be their key management access to their Bitcoin, their Tor, which accesses their internet. It’s going to be everything in one. Could that be the Casa node?
Jeremy Welch: Well, the whole reason why we’re building in that direction is yes, we do envision that same possibility, that same potential future. We’re trying to build a kind of extreme case. There’s several other great companies that are also building on this line. I think some people have questioned why we help pump other companies and we’re thrilled that more people are working this direction, because it needs to happen sooner.
Peter McCormack: We all grow together.
Jeremy Welch: Right! The important thing is that the model, the overall model grows and that this technology continues to grow and thrive and that’s what’s most important to us. But yes, the possibility of that exists. We have to build it, we have to prove that it’s possible. I think, and the reason why we even named the company Casa, the approach around that, we think that a lot of these questions are actually going come down to potentially fourth amendment protections.
For the individual, there are a lot of protections around the home, around your kind of, most sensitive data and objects. A lot of even like driving your car now, a lot of police officers have been taking funds into… You’re not even protected, even in kind of regular transport, but most homes are still under a special legal protection. So we think that putting the device in the home for kind of most sensitive data and other offices, other homes you can control, is actually potentially the safest place.
But you don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, so that’s the point of multisig and the key management portion being tied into that too. You can have the device, you have that in your home, but you also have the encryption is based more on multisig and on something that’s more distributed and resilient, than having just everything kind of one location. Because a fire could take it out!
Peter McCormack: Yeah, of course. You talked about in your Tweetstorm, I think it was in your Tweetstorm, you said about, “this is essentially the fourth wave of computing.”
Jeremy Welch: Yeah and we think that a lot of the tech… The fourth wave is really about encryption and balance. And Microsoft, I was really surprised, the more we started digging in and thinking about their ION project, Satya has led a major change in the culture there and he’s talking a lot about what he calls “intelligent cloud” and “intelligent edge” and this kind of constant dance and a lot of encrypted and privacy focused data.
That’s what it’s really about, is privacy making use of the entire computing infrastructure, but having more control over it, having that data encrypted, knowing what the companies are doing kind of behind the scenes in those clouds, as we have no idea. We have no idea how detailed Facebook’s profiles are of us. That’s scary! There was a report that they were actually going to newspapers around the country and actually pulling newspaper clippings and actually associating them with accounts. There’s all of this stuff that they’ve done that we just have no idea.
Peter McCormack: But they’re tracking you through other people’s apps! You don’t even have to have the Facebook app to be tracked by Facebook.
Jeremy Welch: That’s right. There’s a company they acquired that does a lot of app intelligence and I believe that the WhatsApp acquisition actually came from intel that they had, knowing that WhatsApp was growing at a certain rate, based on this other app that was basically spying on all the other apps on the phone. So it’s absurd the depths that the system goes that people just don’t realize and I did get challenged quite a few times during my thesis on that Tweetstorm, but because we had this idea of privacy before, it hasn’t been enough for the system to change.
I think what has changed now is that one, the experiences can become more compelling. We now understand all of the major problems and kind of consumer apps are well understood. So rebuilding those in a new architecture, we know what the incentives are, so we can rebuild, we can test new things. The other thing though is that again, the stakes are very high. If I have a lifetime of wealth potentially or I’m now planning for a massive future and I can plan for a massive future and you’re planning to get the Lambo or do whatever your plans are, you would do 10 or 15 years out, you are way more protective of the path to get there, of the data around your life, of your life generally because you’re thinking that far out.
So this obsession is starting. The momentum is starting. Everything is getting aligned. I think the spark is happening and we’re seeing it in small.. .What’s the quote? “The future’s here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” So it’s not evenly distributed, but I think it could rapidly become evenly distributed, if we kind of do our jobs right.
Peter McCormack: Wow man. It’s kind of a big deal!
Jeremy Welch: Oh, it’s crazy! And again, ad tech is going to be in a weird space.
Peter McCormack: Well like I said to you, I hope it goes back to what it was, where it was creativity.
Jeremy Welch: Storytelling, it’s just storytelling.
Peter McCormack: But we need creativity as well.
Jeremy Welch: We need community and I talk a lot about, social networks are not bad inherently. Community is not bad inherently. Advertising is not bad inherently. I’ll say another one and I might get reamed for this one, but inflationary currency is not bad inherently.
Peter McCormack: Be careful!
Jeremy Welch: Well listen, it’s when inflation happens that’s not predictable, that people can’t understand when their wealth is devalued without them even knowing about it. That’s the problem. Using a predictable inflation system, this is how how companies work. When you bring in a new investor, you inflate the overall pool, but the price of stock rises and that’s how a company works. So we use inflation regularly with companies when financing and it works perfectly fine in those scenarios. But that’s because it’s very clear to every stakeholder, every investor, every employee, they know what’s happening. When it’s not predictable, that’s the major problem.
Peter McCormack: Yeah Jill Carlson said the same. She said the same to me when we were talking about Venezuela and she was explaining it. But you’re not allowed in Bitcoin. That’s the only place where you’re not allowed it!
Jeremy Welch: I mean you can make that statement because the beauty about Bitcoin though, is because there’s a hard cap, that makes it predictable and that also means that the wealth is very clearly defined and you can’t inflate it away. That’s important to have in the overall system.
But it is still important for us to have companies that can grow and can shift their stock profile and that will continue to happen as long as you have that communication. I will tell you that if you ever had some scenario, where you brought new investors in or you diluted the overall pool and there’s some investor that didn’t find out, they will flip their lid.
Peter McCormack: Of course!
Jeremy Welch: And they will spread that you will never raise money again. But it’s funny that that’s the case if you’re not kind of keeping your investors and stakeholders up to speed. But yet we do it all day long in governance, we do it all day long and undercut the populace in terms of their wealth and their savings ability and nobody says anything.
Peter McCormack: So everyone’s got their Blockbuster moment coming now really, where you kind of accept what’s coming and get involved. You understand the future, the new privacy tools that are coming, the importance of Bitcoin or you ignore it and you get left behind.
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, I think so. It’s weird, everybody comes in for different reasons, but as soon as they come in, the rabbit hole is so deep that they get sucked in and it’s hard to do anything else. I think that’s going to continue. But I do think that that no matter when you come in, the overall world, the overall systems, because we now have this kind of rock hard layer of transparency and predictability, other systems will, and that’s the most resilient system, other systems will kind of replicate pieces of that.
So even if you don’t buy in early, even if you don’t get wealthy off of Bitcoin, you will still benefit from the overall system being there in place. I think that, you are going to have some very wealthy people that come out of this, but you’re also going to have a lot of people that their lives are just better and that’s important.
I was saying last night that there are still billions of people that are unbanked. There’s still billions of people that have no access to the financial system and actually using open source tech, using Bitcoin, we could serve.
Peter McCormack: Facebook?
Jeremy Welch: Well, yeah! I do think Facebook Coin actually, I do think that they are going to try to onboard entirely new sets of users globally and that that is a good thing! But again, those people will then be comparing Facebook Coin to Bitcoin into their other options. We now have a system that we can then take and bring more of the world into kind of a financial system and that’s overall a good thing.
Peter McCormack: I mean, these people are suddenly just going to have a wallet on their phone, which is going to have Dollar, which they can send to anyone in the world instantly.
Jeremy Welch: That’s right.
Peter McCormack: And they can understand the value. We’re flipping back and we shouldn’t really do this too much, but I do see certain governments might then start to block Facebook or have some kind of…
Jeremy Welch: You might see some of that. So I will say that that one of my bets is, and I haven’t said it publicly yet, but bet on balkanization. Bet on balkanization. What happens is that when you have this kind of base currency that is very predictable, I could be a totally different person than you, but we now have a common language and that common language is now not built upon our social status. It’s not whether I’m wearing a suit and you’re wearing a suit. That’s not the communication.
The communication layer is that I have Bitcoin, you have Bitcoin. You can look anyway. You can think anything. You can do anything you want. As long as we come together and there’s Bitcoin as the common language, we can do a business deal. That’s really important! That means that a Bitcoin is a Bitcoin is a Bitcoin, which means that I can begin to express crazy opinions. I can live wherever I want to. It’s not bounded there.
So I think that that we’re going to see a lot of cities, a lot of countries, as more and more Bitcoin adoption happens, as more predictable currency is there and it’s rock solid, we’re going to see more people, more countries, kind of come out of the woodwork with their new cultures, new music, a lot of new ways of doing things. What that looks like is balkanized, it’s kind of fractured in these small pockets of groups.
We’ll see how it plays out, but I do think that we’re going to get bands of Facebook Coin. We’re also going to get more forks like maybe we’ll end up with a Chinese version of Bitcoin and the US version of Bitcoin, who knows! But we are going to see a lot more balkanization I think.
Peter McCormack: All right man. Well I think that’s a really good place to kind of wind it up. Just the last couple of questions. If this is someone’s first time they’ve listened to my show and they’re like, “what the fuck!” What would you advise them to go and do right now, if they want to get involved, they want to learn, what are the things you would say go and do right now?
Jeremy Welch: Sure. So if they’ve never experienced or really thought about Bitcoin before, Lopp has a fantastic website, it’s lopp.net/bitcoin. But Jameson, our CTO has a phenomenal website that just is a big compendium of a lot of knowledge, both beginner sections and more advanced on a lot of knowledge, if you want to dig in there. If you want to dig into the tech and you know a lot of the basics, we have this $300 price point gold package, which really is one of the best deals on the Internet.
It’s more than $500 worth of kind of total product, but we were able basically through bulk, to bring the cost down overall. So we barely make any money on this package, but we view it as an exposure piece. You get a node, you get a hardware wallet, you get multisig, you get our direct support and a lot of people have started to explore. I mean, we were on tech support with like an elderly couple in somewhere in Switzerland a few weeks ago. It was shocking to us the adoption that we’ve seen and we’re trying to make it easier.
So you can go to keys.casa, to the website, you can grab the gold package and that is an easy kind of template and we are here 24/7 support to help you get up to speed on a lot of that tech and understand it, answer questions. Also yeah, listen to more What Bitcoin Did, there’s a ton of great interviews here, so there’s a lot to learn here too.
Peter McCormack: All right, cool. Just to close out, anything you want to say about Casa, what’s coming up and how people can find you and keep up to date on what you’re up to?
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, so we have the Twitter account, which is where we dump… We’re probably most active there and that’s just @casahodl. Keys.casa is the main website. We have a blog there as well. I’m at @jeremyrwelch, so on Twitter as well and somewhat active. But we have a lot planned this year. We’re thinking about the kind of next wave and what that adoption looks like.
We have mentioned publicly that we’re kind of working on version 2 of the device, which we’re excited about. There’s some new applications there. We kind of announced that we’re kind of partnering in learning and supporting ION, the decentralized identity project from Microsoft.
Peter McCormack: That’s a big deal!
Jeremy Welch: Yeah, we were in their blog post. We like the direction they’re headed so we’re supporting them. We’re just thinking about kind of what other layers we can do, to build into the core node that will be built on Bitcoin as this resilient kind of core and root system. So we’ve got a lot of ideas on that.
We’ve been doing a lot of experiments and you’ll see that we’ve got one surprise that probably be end of the month or sometime in July, that we’re announcing and a few more surprises to the end of the year. But it’s going to be a fun year. We’ve got the halvening next year. There’s going to be some interesting price movements, a lot of crazy politics, it’s definitely just going to be a very fun year. We are hiring too, so if you want to work in this space, let us know!
Peter McCormack: All right, awesome man!
Jeremy Welch: Thanks Peter. Thanks for having me on!