Bitcoin has increased in recent months thanks to Tesla add $ 1.5 billion bitcoin to the balance sheet and interest from asset managers like Black stone. But last week, Finance Minister Janet Yellen issued a warning volatile cryptocurrency, proverb it is “an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions.”
“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal called Laura Shin, host of the video / audio series “Okay“And one of the first reporters to cover full-time cryptocurrencies. She talked to Ryssdal about what it is like to cover Bitcoin right now and why she is so interested in the cryptocurrency. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Kai Ryssdal: Is not the theory behind Bitcoin ever that it will become a useful currency? That I will be able to go down the street and buy a six-pack of beer with it?
Laura Shin: Well, so there are different people with different theories. It was famous that the first person to make a transaction that then valued a bitcoin spent 10,000 bitcoins on a couple of pizzas, which is like the hundreds of millions of dollars he spent on the two pizzas if you use the price today. So you know, at the moment where bitcoiners would say we’re in an adoption phase, people will probably not spend it that way. But they imagine a world where people are on a kind of Bitcoin standard, or it’s a world of what they call hyper-bitcoinization, and people make transactions in bitcoin and they think in bitcoin rather than think in dollars, and so instead of saying bitcoins are traded at $ 44,000, or whatever it is, it’s just like a bitcoin is a bitcoin.
Ryssdal: Wow, I’m not sure how I can beat my brain around that. Should we just stop paying attention to Bitcoin for a moment?
Tibia: When you say that, I do not know what you mean or why you should ask. Because in my opinion, as a journalist covering this, this is the most interesting thing I have ever covered. I can not imagine quitting. Paying attention to this is definitely the most fascinating thing I have ever seen.
Ryssdal: Tell me more about it. For look, your enthusiasm is contagious and I understand that, but it seems to be independent of everyday life in this economy.
Tibia: So when you really understand Bitcoin technology or any cryptocurrency, yes, not any, but you know, some of the more legitimate ones, you realize, “Wow, this is really a very superior form of money than any other money we’ve ever had. had purely at the technical level. ”
Ryssdal: Why? Why is it better?
Tibia: It’s more fungible, it’s more divisible, it’s more portable. It’s just more transparent. But surely, when I learned about this technique, I just realized that this will change everything. And I really think we’ll be looking at huge economic disruptions over the next decade, which we’re starting to see glimpses of.
Ryssdal: What is the good that comes from Bitcoin for the non-financial types for whom this is still a “holy cow, what is the Bitcoin thing?” What is good for this for an ordinary person in this economy right now, if any?
Tibia: I literally mean this moment, I’m not entirely sure. But over time, these technologies would allow for much more financial transactions to take place more cheaply. There’s alot remittance companies right now that charge about 30% of a transaction, depending on which countries you send the money to and from. If you are dark enough countries, they will take a huge chunk. But if you are going to send bitcoin from one obscure country to another, it is the same fee for everyone. It does not charge you, you know, separately for it. And there is an opportunity for it to beat the unbanked. Because all you need is an ability to hold these digital coins. And obviously there will obviously be a lot of training that will need to happen, because what unfortunately many people have learned the hard way is that digital assets do not work as digital objects that we are used to taking care of. And they do not work as the normal financial system does, where you can call the bank or credit card and ask them to reverse the transaction.
Ryssdal: Right. That’s the most important part. That’s the point, right? And that’s the thing that will take some time for people to sweep the brain. It’s just different, right?
Tibia: Yes. It’s like cash. But digital.