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Fat Monies: Anti-Contrarianism in Cryptocurrency Investing


August 10, 2018 09:00

00:00 / 121:40

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In a first-ever two-hour episode for Venture Stories by Village Global, Erik
talks to two of the most interesting crypto thinkers around: Arjun Balaji
(@arjunblj), crypto investor, trader and incubator, and Murad Mahmudov
(@MustStopMurad), crypto analyst and angel investor.

In this wide-ranging and mind-expanding interview, the three discuss a number
of topics relating to cryptocurrencies, effects on government, economic
history, and predictions for the future, among many other things including:

\- The arguments for Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies and whether Bitcoin
can be toppled
\- Why Bitcoin is less like digital gold and more like “digital nuclear
\- Whether Bitcoin will be “the MySpace of money”
\- A history of the Austrian school of economics
\- The impacts of hard forks on a community
\- How competition between monies accelerates capitalism
\- Whether blockchain as a technology is overrated or underrated
\- The parallels between cryptocurrency and the Asian construction bubble
\- Institutional movement into cryptocurrencies
\- The psyche of crypto hedge fund managers
\- How crypto changes how countries compete for tax revenues

Quotable lines from this episode:

“The creation of a non-sovereign sound money system has the potential to be
one of the most significant events in our lifetime.” - AB

“I view money as a good, just like anything else, and I don’t believe we have
pure capitalism until we have competition among currencies.” - MM

“Cryptocurrencies in general and in particular Bitcoin are a higher quality
form of money.” - MM

“Through the fat money lens, all tokens are cryptocurrencies.” - AB

“The whole market is like a prediction market for which one or few coins will
be the long term money winner.” - MM

“Bitcoin is the Schelling point of the market”. - MM

“Despite all the fancy bells and whistles that blockchains enable, the fact
that nobody can print more Bitcoin is the greatest innovation here.” - MM

“The idea that money has to be continuously in circulation is completely non-
sensical.” -MM

“We’re not trying to build another PayPal here, we’re trying to disrupt
central banking.” -MM

“Miners don’t control Bitcoin, businesses don’t control bitcoin, users and
full nodes control Bitcoin.” - AB

“As time goes on, everyone is going to become a Bitcoin maximalist whether
they like it or not.” - MM

“The number one thing that we can learn from economic history is that if there
is an actor that can create more money, they will.” - AB

“If there’s free competition around money then the market would never
naturally converge around something [the US Dollar] that is expanding at 6% a
year. It’s totally irrational.”

“Just as we witnessed the separation of church and state, in the next 20-30
years we are going to witness the separation of money and state.” - MM

“People who say capitalism is dead or that we are entering the end of
capitalism don’t know what they are talking about, because capitalism is going
to go into overdrive.” -AB

“What previously took a 200-person team in 2000, took a 100-person team in
2007 and takes a 5- or 10-person team now.” - AB

“We’re entering an era where businesses will be able to be built and run on
the internet by one person.” - AB

“These tokens suck as money or are absolutely and utterly useless.” -MM

“Almost all of these tokens were unethical fundraising scams by the founders.”
- MM

“This whole thing [the ICO boom] was a form of IQ arbitrage, where people took
advantage of these overvalued shit tokens… Do you want to walk around New York
and use a different form of currency at each store?” - MM

“Erik, if you’re looking to hold your wealth in the equivalent of gift cards
to the Gap, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” - AB

“The hype around blockchain is nothing more than an indicator that Silicon
Valley is largely oriented less around the original counterculture movement
and much moreso positioned as a form of opportunistic greed behaviours.” - AB

“The monetary premium that is embedded inside [altcoins] is purely
psychosocial, it’s purely cognitive. It’s almost like an ongoing hallucination
of our collective unconsciousness.” - MM

“The recurring selling of narratives that Murad mentioned is the core business
of most crypto hedge funds. They’re not active traders, they’re just early
investors that then sell the dream and then sell their bags on many retail
investors.” - AB

“One of my favourite things that Murad has ever said is that blockchains don’t
create revenues, they destroy revenues.” - AB

“If your product is open source and your rent is too high, you risk getting
forked or re-architected by someone else charging less, and it becomes a race
to the bottom.” - MM

“Let’s be honest, on-chain governance is essentially the rule of the rich.” -

“No governance is the best governance, or at least for neo-gold.” - MM


Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your
favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at or get in touch with us on Twitter

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-
founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Shawn Xu is our researcher, Colin
Campbell is our audio engineer, and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy. Read more
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