Thanks for tuning back in!
This is Part 2 of my ongoing blog series, “Shit My Dad Says About Crypto.”
This blog unknowingly began with a series of conversations I had with my Dad and occasionally my Mum. Since early 2017 I have become progressively more and more obsessed with crypto (just like many of you!), and naturally my parents started off very confused. What is this crypto thing? Why are you spending so much time on Twitter? Why do you keep posting frog memes and claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto?
I realized that by having these conversations and doing my best to explain difficult topics to my parents, I was also learning more about crypto and finding gaps in my own knowledge that I could fill.
If you like this blog series, please share it with friends and family, and I urge you to have your own crypto conversations if at all possible. Send your relatives or best friend some Bitcoin. Send them a PepeDapp card! Or a Crypto Kitty! Show them “Blockchain and Morty.” Or if a loved one has an old PC lying around, show them how to download Honeyminer so they can start saving up Satoshis.
There are so many ways to help spread mass adoption of Crypto Currency and Blockchain technology, and it all starts with a conversation.
The following conversation began on a beach in Malibu, California. My parents were visiting for part of the summer, and we were having a nice relaxing day, until I started talking about Bitcoin, like I usually do…
Brekkie – Dad have you bought any Bitcoin yet?
Dad – No not yet. But are you seeing what’s going on over in Turkey and Venezuela? Unbelievable.
Brekkie – Ya it’s a shame there isn’t an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. You know, one with a limited supply that the government can’t arbitrarily inflate when politics get in the way of monetary policy..
Dad – Yeah, yeah. Bitcoin again? I was actually looking at the price of Turkish bonds. They’re very cheap right now.
Brekkie – Dad, have you ever considered that you might have a little bit of cabin fever? Stockholm syndrome? You’re still thinking of Bitcoin in the same way that you think of traditional currencies. Bitcoin provides an alternative to what we have now. Putting it in the same box as what you’re used to is counterproductive.
Dad – I can see that. But why do we need to change?
Brekkie – Well there are a number of inefficiencies in the current system. I had to pay $20 for a wire transfer the other day. That’s absurd. But look at Venezuela and Turkey. Politics are getting in the way of sound monetary policy. And let me ask you, why is currency the domain of governments in the first place? Who says governments should be the ones to control currency?
Dad – Well. Actually. I don’t know.
Brekkie – We look at the current system as if it’s been around for ages too, but we didn’t fully abandon the gold standard till 1971.
Dad – Well I know we got off the gold standard and people started trusting their country more than a physical object. In other words the promise that the country would back up the currency was more important than the commodity backing up the currency, that seemed to be what took hold after they got off the gold standard, or at least that’s my understanding.
Brekkie – Right, well it’s kind of like what you taught me about the price of something only being what someone is willing to pay for it. So a currency only has value if you assign it value and if people believe it has value. People believe the US dollar has value so it does.
Dad – So if you bring that thought process over to crypto currency, what gives people the confidence that there’s any kind of value behind the crypto currency, other than people currently willing to trade up for it.
Brekkie – Well that’s why I believe we have to fight for mass adoption of crypto and educate as much as possible. It’s highly unlikely, but crypto could technically go to zero, because if everyone lost faith in it, it would lose it’s value. But if everyone believed in it, then there would be value. I would also argue that with Bitcoin, there is value generated in how the network is secured. As time goes on, the Blockchain gets longer and longer, the network gets more secure, and for me and many others, that equals value.
Dad – I see that.
Brekkie – We trust a dollar is a dollar because there are all these symbols on it that are supposed to remind us of the power of the government. The government is going after counterfeiters right? So we see the dollar as secure. But you can’t counterfeit bitcoin! This is probably a conversation for another time, but the amount of energy it would take to initiate a successful 51% attack on the Bitcoin network and rewrite all the previous blocks is astronomical and cost prohibitive..
Dad – But wait you also believe in crypto because supposedly there’s a limited quantity of it being produced. If there was an unlimited quantity then it would be diluted.
Brekkie – Well with Bitcoin at least, it’s mathematically guaranteed that there are only a certain number of bitcoins. Once the last Bitcoin is mined, there’s no more new Bitcoin.
Dad – But wait, I thought anyone could go into the business of mining Bitcoin and just produce more of it? It just takes effort?
Brekkie – Well up to a point. By the way it was designed, Bitcoin at least, it was designed so there would only ever be 21 million of them. Ever.
Dad – How many have been produced so far?
Brekkie – Mined, remember. Not produced. They already exist, they’re just unlocking them by mining them.
Dad – Mined. So how many have been mined?
Brekkie – About 17 million
Dad – Oh so there aren’t that many to go? Only 4 million?
Brekkie – Yes, but as time goes on, they get more and more difficult to mine and the reward goes down.
Dad – But what about now, now you have… I don’t know how many others, but you have all these other currencies out there. What is that doing? Are they diluting Bitcoin? Or what are they doing?
Brekkie – Altcoins. Well they don’t affect the number of Bitcoin, but there’s interplay between all of the currencies. And that’s the thing, for people who are Bitcoin Maximalists, who think Bitcoin is the best and is all we need, some of them are angry at all these other Alternative Coins.
Dad – Are people using Bitcoin to buy all these other currencies?
Brekkie – Sometimes yes. There are only certain fiat-crypto pairs for now depending on the exchange. Like whether you’re on Coinbase or Binance or wherever. So in order to buy some of these altcoins, you have to first convert to Bitcoin or Ethereum or one of the other major trading pairs.
At this point my Mom interrupted us with a very important question…
Mom – Hey you wanna go to that Italian restaurant down the street for dinner?
Brekkie – Yeah sure.
Mom – Stop looking at the butts!
Dad – Would you stop it! I’m not looking! I’m just amazed! Someone should tell them to put some clothing on.
Mom – I know. It’s ridiculous.
Brekkie – The human body is a beautiful thing.
Mom – So now you’re a crypto nut AND a hippie?
Brekkie – Don’t forget part-time anarchist Libertarian.
Mom & Dad – What?!!!
For new and returning readers, thank you again for joining me on my crypto journey! If you have similar stories of your own you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment on this page or feel free to drop me a line on social media. Much love.
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