The Stories We Tell About Money

In this talk, Andreas recounts the history of Bitcoin and what it represents, building upon all the stories we’ve been told over the centuries about what “money” is, how we perceive its value, and why the old answers have changed as we adjust to this new world of digital peer-to-peer currencies. He also discusses global threats to economic stability and trust in the financial system, including demonetisation and wealth destruction through inflation.



This talk took place at the JW Marriott Sahar (International Airport) on 26th March 2017 in Mumbai, India.


In the beginning… 00:00
Digital scarcity 00:41
Peer-to-peer network 01:34
Solving the double-spending problem 01:59
Cash, peer-to-peer without intermediaries 04:10
People paying companies to maybe pay people 04:34
The un-banked and the under-banked 05:28
Bitcoin – digital money as cash 06:08
What is cryptocurrency? 07:16
Independent self-verification 08:42
Why the Internet is special – global free flow of information 10:24
Why Bitcoin is special – global free flow of money 12:24
The bizarre aspects of traditional banking 13:34
Adjusting to this new world 15:36
Governments attempting to control Bitcoin 16:48
“Who’s in charge?” – system of trust without hierarchy 18:18
People who see Bitcoin’s strengths as flaws 20:20
Multi-signature schemes for consumer protection 21:19
Our misunderstanding of the most ancient technology 23:20
What gives money value? Stories we tell, promises we trust 26:30
The shared hallucination of paper money 29:48
False promises and the myth of “zero-value” currencies 31:22
Gresham’s Law in India 34:02
The characteristics of good money & currency 35:13
Difficulties of barter at a large scale 36:49
Ancient tokens of values 38:13
Scarcity vs. inflationary supply, debt & devaluation 39:11
Bitcoin vs. traditional money as a store of value 41:52
“How much is a bitcoin worth?” 43:05
Digital gold 43:47
“Fake money” resolved by the market 44:21
Closing summary & remarks 45:17



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