Jimmy Song Interview | Crypto Insider


On October 12th 2018, Crypto Insider’s Vlad Costea has interviewed Bitcoin developer and educator Jimmy Song. Below you will find the complete transcript of the interview. Topics include Blockstream’s Liquid Network, SegWit2X, Bitcoin Cash, shopping with the credit card, Nouriel Roubini’s Bitcoin maximalism, and educating the next generation of Bitcoin developers.

 

Full Jimmy Song Interview Transcript

Vlad: Hello Mr. Song, it’s good to have you hear. I’m Vlad and you’re doing the Crypto Insider Interview!

Jimmy Song: Thanks for having me it’s a lot of fun to do these things.. I hear you’re in Romania, so I love that the interview allows us to do interviews like this from across the world.

Vlad: Oh you have no idea what it’s like to be a second class citizen of the world…(laughter)

Jimmy Song: (laughter)

Vlad: Well, it’s I who’s saying it so I guess it’s fine. To be a second class citizen of the world to have this privilege just to interact with people with whom otherwise you wouldn’t have this connection. I came late to the party of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of them, but they didn’t become popular here until very late. Even until we had some whales as far as I heard. There’s somebody who owns like forty…no four hundred thousand bitcoin

Jimmy Song: I believe Marcel Popescu is Romanian, so yeah, he’s the one Romanian bitcoiner I know of.

Vlad: Yep he is quite famous. So I should be asking you questions…

Jimmy Song: Yeah that might be a good idea (laughter).

Vlad: So the recent news, and I’m not going to go with the controversial one first, so I’ll go with the Liquid Network. What do you think about it? So I wrote an article and asked the opinion of Samson Mow. He seemed to be very positive and even said that it can decongest the main blockchain. And what do you think about it as an invention? Do you think it’s maybe too centralized or it can harm the reputation of bitcoin, or do you have any criticism at all?

Jimmy Song: I mean my opinion is that it’s a good first step towards side chains and the model that they have is a federated trust model so I think a super majority of the participants need to sign off before transactions go through so I think it’s, if I’m remember correctly, they have 23 and you need a super majority, or 1 + ⅔ or something like that, so that ends up being 17 out of those 23 or something like that. So Sixteen or Seventeen out of those twenty-three need to agree before any transactions go through but generally if it’s signed by people then it can go through fairly quickly because it’s a trusted, sort of, closed wall garden. I think it’s a very good idea to provide liquidity between exchanges. We saw, for example, last year that there was significant premium in Korea for significant chunks of time and that was because there wasn’t liquidity back and forth. Now most of that liquidity isn’t there because of the fiat money not being able to flow out. So there are capital controls in Korea that make it very difficult. But when you have at least a bitcoin liquidity you can settle a little bit faster. And people were trying to arbitrage between things and people were bringing suitcases of money to Hong Kong just so they can bring more bitcoin to Koreans and stuff like that. This mitigates that a lot and makes a lot of the bitcoin transfers a lot faster. Not even 30 minutes or something like that it’s almost instant with the sidechain. A lot of the Bitcoin network activity that’s actually on chain is often between exchanges that’s from people that are looking to arbitrage so having this will definitely help a lot in mitigating some of that because a lot of that volume now is taken to Liquid Network as soon as you know that the other address is from somebody that’s a participant so then you can transfer instantly, almost, instead of waiting you know, 30-40 minutes. You can close these gaps very very quickly. Eventually I imagine this will become sort of like a second layer network that’s more commercial and I think that’s a good thing. You know I like competition, I like innovation, I like when new things are tried out so it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s called liquid for a reason and it provides liquidity to everybody and it should sort of even out the prices between all of these and any participant in this network that doesn’t have the same price as everybody else is actually more reflective of the fiat money in that country than anything else. So I think it will be a good thing. I look forward to watching more.

Vlad: Yes, a lot of what you just said makes sense and I agree with it. Now I’m wondering about that tweet which became controversial, about spending with your credit card and paying out in Bitcoin. Can you please explain it? Because I saw that some people really reacted in maybe better ways. Like Jackson Palmer said oh that’s a great way of providing a new form of money and innovation to the world. Where as people like Tone Vays seem to be much more defensive and explain through an article, which I haven’t read yet, that he presented a similar argument four years ago in a debate.

Jimmy Song: Yeah, so my point was that this is the economically rational and more convenient thing to do. I didn’t say this is my recommendation or anything but if you want to do that, this is the economically rational and convenient thing to do. I don’t think there’s any disputing that credit cards are way more convenient, other than darknet markets, international remittances, maybe micro payments. With a few exceptions, credit cards are way more convenient. More merchants take them.  It’s a lot easier to use credit cards to buy what you want and my point was if you use a credit card, then it’s economically rational because you get points back, you don’t have to pay the bill for 25 to 55 days after your purchase, you get consumer protections in the form of chargebacks, I mean there’s a lot…there’s a whole host of benefits to using a credit card even though the prices are the same.

So really you’re getting a discount for utilizing a credit card versus using a bitcoin. Why would you pay more to be able to use bitcoin? Economically that does not make a lot of sense. But, a lot of people took that to mean “oh you’re like pro-visa” or something like that and that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying it’s the economically rational thing to do, it is the more convenient thing to do, and if you want to use it as a method of payment then just pay off your credit card bill when it comes. That way you get like 25-55 days of upside which in bitcoin terms can actually mean a significant difference. You can double up on all of the savings, you may be getting 3-4% savings from using the credit card and then in addition to that get like 10 or 20% upside on bitcoin appreciation during the 25-55 days. So economically it makes much more sense to use a credit card and do it that way. That was my argument. It’s economically rational and it’s more convenient. But what people took that to mean is “oh Jimmy is anti-spending” or something like that and I mean, I didn’t really understand their argument because they were sort of saying a shriek and point tactic of a mob that doesn’t like what you say but doesn’t really have an argument against it. So, you know especially Jackson Palmer or whoever, he’s an admitted socialist. He doesn’t really understand economics whatsoever. So to me, his criticism is a badge of honor, and I really hope that he continues to criticize me. For me, I do not want to be on the same side as him for any economic issue because I don’t think he understands economics, at all! I have an article that explores this significantly further including why they were so angry about it. I mean at one point this was the top 5, 6, 7 posts on r/btc and you have to wonder, why are they so against doing what is individually economically rational? Why are they like that? So you’ll have to wait for my article to come out but yes, it’ll come out next week.

Vlad: I will definitely read it. But let’s talk about your work as an educator. I remember reading back in consensus back in May, that you had a workshop with Elizabeth Stark and you helped to educate a lot of people and get them introduced to programming and bitcoin. And is this what you like to do best? Or would you say you’d rather write VIPs and contribute to the governance or the functioning of bitcoin? Because I remember there’s this Woody Allen quote and I’m not going to be mean but that’s what he said “those who cannot do, they teach”.

Jimmy Song: (laughter) Yeah, I get that idea. So first of all, it’s a two-day seminar I’ve been running all over the world. And I’ll be hitting my fifth continent this year in December when I head off to Australia. But I’ve done a bunch of them in North America, in Europe, in South America, in Asia… and there’s a lot of learning all about Bitcoin and that’s what my seminar. Elizabeth Stark was helping with getting some scholarship funded so that I could teach developers that maybe can’t afford my course, but I’ve been doing this for over a year now, I’ve taught over 400 people and they get to learn a lot about the needy-greedy of Bitcoin and what it’s all about.

Now, why I am doing that versus contributing directly? Well, I realized about a year and a half ago that I could probably be a developer for the Core open-source projects, and I could probably do it in a way that I could do 50 commits a year or something like that. But I’ve realized very quickly that you need more developers than just a few, and one of the big lacks in the space was people understanding the material and being willing to teach it, and could do it in a way that people can understand. I’ve been doing some form of teaching, not too often, but enough that I could potentially do something like that. And I quit my corporate job in the middle of last year and I started to do this, and I’ve done like 23 editions of my seminar in the past year and a few months. And by doing that, I’ve been able to train over 400 people. The idea is that, even if one out of either of those guys whom I’ve trained does one commit a year, then I still come out ahead. And that’s the idea, I want to train the next generation of developers. I really mean “next generation”, I’ve taught people as young as 14 and all the way up to people in their 70s… it’s a lot of different people! And getting to teach, that’s my mission: to make Bitcoin stronger by creating more developers.

Vlad: So speaking about teenage people, the ones that you teach… let’s say that you are 18 right now and you went to a seminar and learn about Bitcoin. Would you actually work on Bitcoin or look for something else which you consider to be the next generation of blockchain innovations or whatever? Try to answer this as if you’re an 18 year-old and you don’t know as much as you do right now from experience, or you don’t know anything at all about economics. Do you think it’s more attractive to work on different projects like EOS, or whatever?

Jimmy Song: Well, I think EOS is a scam and I don’t think you should work on it. Towards the end of the seminar, I have a lecture about the next steps that you can take after the seminar, and ways to figure out where to take your career, or journey, or path in Bitcoin. Generally I recommend that people start working on open-source projects and learn as much as possible because developers that know this stuff are incredibly rare and they become desirable in the marketplace anyway. So it isn’t that difficult to find someone that will hire you and a lot of these ICO projects will flush you with money but have no developers, and often times they will come and offer a lot of money.

But one of my recommendations is generally to look at what it is that you really wanna do and work towards it. Because working for something EOS… I don’t think it’s a really idea because it will die in a horrible dumpster fire in the next five years. Doing something for an ICO, that’s not gonna last. You’re not going to have anything good on your record by joining a lot of this stuff. I think most people will do fine trying to learn, getting better and seeing what market opportunities there are. It might involve getting an entry-level job at certain Bitcoin-related companies, or it might be creating a new open-source project. It really depends on the person and what they’re passionate about, and what their goals are. But based on that I have made recommendations and I have students that work in almost every major Bitcoin company around the world, so it’s really up to what you want to achieve and it’s tailored towards the talent of the particular individual. It takes introspection, it takes knowing yourself in order to get there, but that’s the journey I hope they go on in order to really contribute.

Vlad: Okay… You still haven’t answered my question in the sense that you didn’t say what you would do yourself.

Jimmy Song: Oh, what I would do myself? I would probably start by contributing to open source. I mean, not necessarily to Bitcoin Core because that’s a bit intimidating, thought not as intimidating as people think. There are people like Andrew Chow and Matt Marallo who started as sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen year-olds, so it can be done. But it takes an amount of self-discipline, knowing how everything works, and really just gaining some experience. So I hope that if I were an eighteen year-old right now, I would definitely be in this space, I wouldn’t go towards EOS or ICOs, and I would certainly stick with Bitcoin and figure out a solid way of contributing to an open-source, possibly working for a company. The nice thing about being young is that the world is your oyster, right? There’s a lot of opportunity. The hard part about being young is making some choices, and that requires some deep reflection about who you are and what you care about. And that’s not obvious to an eighteen year-old, and that’s probably what I would spend figuring out first.

Vlad: Right, I actually have a long list of questions, and I guess now I am breaking the fourth wall. But a lot of people want me to ask you and they specifically put it as Bcash… what do you think about Bcash, what do you think about ERC20 tokens, how do you feel about Ethereum? And I actually wanted to ask you about SegWit2X and what you think about it in hindsight a year later, because you were the one who discovered two major flaws in the code.

Jimmy Song: Well, I didn’t discover them, I just wrote about them and explained them to people. There were other people who found it before me, but they just didn’t want to do the write-up. So I went through the code and I got some hints from various developers and I tried to explain it the best that I could. But let me get through all of those: BCH has no reason to exist, I wrote an article called “Bitcoin Cash is fiat money”, please go read that if you want to see my arguments about why I think Bitcoin Cash is worthless or it doesn’t really have any value to anybody.

As far as ERC20 tokens, they’re using the wrong tool for the job. If you are actually creating some sort of utility token for some sort of distributed service, then that’s the wrong tool because most of the time it’s a decentralized entity trying to capture decentralized value. It doesn’t make any sense. Most of the time, these people are just trying to print their own money and make money off of it. We have a work for that here, it’s called a scam. So I don’t see those things as worth anything.

Ethereum, I think it’s a platform for these scams and that’s more or less their killer feature. I don’t think it’s technologically very interesting, most of the features that they have done are done in a very amateurish way. Like adding Turing completeness… that’s not used by anybody, it’s stupid.

And the other one was SegWit2X, I thought that was corporate governance take-over attempt. I thought it was a way of influencing what was going on in Bitcoin by saying “we’re the businesses, therefore we can pick the direction”.
Did I lose you?

Vlad: Yeah, sorry. So you were at the part with SegWit2X, sorry. And you said it was a corporate takeover.

Jimmy Song: Yeah, it was a corporate takeover attempt, but the users rejected it. And I think it was a really good thing and one of the reasons it went up so much in price afterwards. It’s that the corporate attempt didn’t succeed, and that it proved Bitcoin’s anti-fragility. That scarcity of Bitcoin was proven to be sacred, and I think that’s good.

Vlad: I think people also were expecting the fork to happen and think “Oh, if I buy Bitcoin right now, then I can get two coins.”

Jimmy Song: Well, that would have been before, but afterwards it still rose.

Vlad: Right, I agree.

Jimmy Song: Oh wow, has it been almost a year already?

Vlad: Yeah, it was in November, I think. And I remember at the time I was reading so many sources and I don’t think I had a compass for whom to look to. And I was reading all the sources and I ended up on Bitcoin.com and they were like “Oh no, the old Bitcoin is going to be taken over by banks” and they had these conspiracy theories. And it was so hard for someone who wasn’t well-versed with how the industry works and who the people are and what their interests are, and what they have lobbied for years because for example, let’s take Erik Voorhees. He is a hero in the film “Banking on Bitcoin”, but otherwise he tried to support the SegWit2X as hard as he could. And he was maybe the most vocal advocate. But I think I have a question right now: do you think that Bitcoin Cash would have been as successful if SegWit2X also happened?

Jimmy Song: That’s a great question, I don’t know. I don’t see it as that successful if you look at the price a year ago, I think it’s the same price. And also, the futures price right before Bitcoin Cash forked, which I think was late July 2017, was about $400-$500. And it’s still the same price. It hasn’t really been successful per se, I think it’s thread water and that is mostly due to Bitmain going on and buying a billion dollars worth of BCH. I wouldn’t say it’s been very successful in any way, shape, or form. It’s been propped up by a lot of people, but as far as the actually price and everything else, it’s done horribly. I don’t understand how you could call it a success in that regard.

Vlad: Oh, it could have been worse, like Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, Bitcoin Unlimited, or whatever.

Jimmy Song: Yeah, there are 74 different hard forks, right? But had 2X happened, I guess that community would have been split a little more and I don’t think it would be that different, though it would still be Roger Ver telling all of us that we’re stupid or something like that. But regardless, I don’t think it was really in any way successful and I don’t think 2X would have been successful. It would have been a complete PR disaster and people were distancing themselves even a couple of weeks before. So to me, it’s kind of like a reality that never would have come into practice anyway.

Vlad: About Roger Ver, because you’re the one who mentioned him, I remember I saw that failed debate attempt when you were just upset that he had a microphone to speak over you and he is way more vocal than you are. And he’s the kind of person who tries to speak all the time and not let you present your argument. But do you think you would have handled the situation differently from Tone Vays?

Jimmy Song: What happened that a lot of people don’t know is that he put a camera to my face right before we went on stage, about 15 minutes before. He came in with his crew, there were like 10 of them and they just sort of ambushed me and tried to have an interview right there, right before we were going on stage. So I was like “What the hell?”. He’s done this to a lot of people, where he would go with a camera and he would totally sealion saying “I’m being very polite, I don’t know why you are being rude. I’m just here trying to talk about bla bla bla”. And it’s extremely irritating, I was already irritated before I went on stage, and I told the organizers specifically that I want one microphone so he can’t just speak over me exactly like what you’re saying. Instead, the organizers screwed up and they gave him a second mic. So I went off stage, trying to figure out what the hell happened, why does he have his own mic and I wanted only one mic so that he wouldn’t be able to speak over me.

That ended up being the big news and it wasn’t at all about the actual argument, which is very typical of any debate with Roger, he doesn’t want to engage at the idea level, but wants to engage at the personality level. Cause I wanted to keep the conversation at the idea level, and he had no interest in doing that. He was sort of like “Gotcha! Hey, have you read all of Keynes’ theory of money and credit?”. That’s idiotic, that’s an appeal to authority, it’s not about the actual idea, it’s about discrediting the other person. And this is something that I’m realizing about him, that’s how he operates. To him, control over a particular thing is more important than bringing self-sovereignty to the world or allowing people to control their own money. It’s all about him, that’s what that whole debate was about. It wasn’t about the merits of Bitcoin Cash or any of the actual economic theory, it was about him. He even said during his debate later on with Tone, that he was the one who made Bitcoin popular and he was going to do the same with Bitcoin Cash. It’s the mindset of someone who thinks that he’s the reason for something, rather than the actual design of the idea. So, to me it was an educational experience. I wouldn’t say that I would do it again, but it was really an educational and it helped me learn what it was that he was thinking and where the Bitcoin Cash people at the location were coming from. It’s much more about controlling the narrative and attacking people, rather than engaging at the level of ideas. And I think that’s really sad.

Vlad: I think Roger Ver is a politician at core, he tried to run for office when he was younger, and he has used so many tactics which you can find in even ancient debate books, like “Rhetoric”. He just tries to make you small and he takes the ball in his field all the time. I’ve watched the debate which he had with Charlie Lee of Litecoin and he was trying all the time, whenever he was feeling insecure about the topic, to insult the other person in one way or another, then ask “Are you a Marxist? Did you read ‘Das Kapital’ by Karl Marx? Because I read it from cover to cover and I know all about it. And if you agree that Bitcoin has intrinsic value because it’s being mined and there are mining costs, then you are a socialist!”.

Jimmy Song: This is exactly what people like him do, and he’s not even doing it well. He’s doing it badly. I came into the debate and arrived to that cruise without actually having met the guy. And having met him, my opinion of him would completely changed. I thought he was just a naïve idealist who didn’t really understand what was going on, and it turns out that it’s not the case. It’s very much somebody who wants control things, and this is his way of controlling things. He has the backing of several people in Bitcoin Cash, so he feels like he has more of a voice than others because he has influence.

Like you said, he’s a politician, he doesn’t really care about helping the world or even engaging at the level of ideas. It is all about power for him, and that was really disappointing. He has done some really good things for Bitcoin and I applaud him for that and I said that at the very beginning of my speech, but seeing him like this is so blatant, so obvious, and so sad. It was very disappointing, let’s just put it this way.
Vlad: I think I would love to talk to him someday, or maybe interview him. Because I would know what he’s doing all the time, and maybe I would just be like John Carvalho, or how do you pronounce his name?
Jimmy Song: Yeah, Bitcoin Error Log.

Vlad: Use that nihilistic approach to whatever he’s saying and demolish his arguments in a very calm way. Because that’s what he’s trying, he wants to piss you off and get you to that boiling point where you just give up or you try to attack him personally. And once he takes you away from the reasonable argument, or makes you be less rational than you wanted to be, that’s when he wins. Because he comes out as very confident, but he’s passive-aggressive. He’s like “Oh, I’m being so nice right here, I’m trying to have a civil debate with you.”

Jimmy Song: Oh, that’s what sealioning is, that’s what he was doing. “Oh, I’m being civil, and therefore I win”. And this is very common in political discourse, which is why I avoid anything politics-related like that. I’m interested in the tech, I’m interested in talking about economics, I’m not interested in people or who said what. I don’t pay attention to what Kim Kardashian is doing.

I care about the ideas, I care about like how the incentive is structured, I care about the actual technology. He has no interest in any of that, instead he wants to talk about what books he hasn’t read or others have read. It is the stupidest form of debate ever. Unfortunately, that is what politics tend to degenerate to, it is one person – one vote. Instead of one dollar for one vote. I think one a dollar one vote is way is much more effective because people are much more careful about how they vote with their money. You know all evidence so far as been that Bitcoin is the big one, bitcoin is the one that people trust. Bitcoin is the actual store of value. He is trying to turn it into something else. He is basically by force of will – force other people to do his bidding but it is not going to work. There is no central place that you can control. There is in bitcoin cash but not in bitcoin. You can’t browbeat people into believing whatever you want them to. It is against everything that libertarianism stands for despite the fact that he claims to be libertarian. I find him very, I don’t know. He purposely tries to agitate and do all the demagoguery and stuff like that. I find that this is distasteful. I think the community is too smart to fall for all of that. The people that he does find to manipulate, I am glad they are with bitcoin cash.

Vlad: That is a good point. I have some questions from JF who is the boss who funds this project and he has been mining for over 7 or 8 years in Canada. He wants to know what are the main challenges of Bitcoin and if we are still scared of 51% attacks or over centralization of mining or if you think bitcoin will ever switch to Proof of Stake.

Jimmy Song: Yeah, I would be completely against any intent to move to POS it is not secure. The fact that it costs a lot of money to mine a block is a feature not a bug. That means that is that much more difficult to 51% attack. Directly proportional – if it takes very little effort to produce a block, then it takes very little effort to roll it back. POS doesn’t do anything because it takes very little effort. POS makes zero sense. Is there one manufacture that is producing a lot of mining equipment. Yeah, it has been true but I am not worried about it. I worked out the game theory. The only people that could really affect a 51% attack and that would be some state level actor. I don’t think they are coordinated enough to try. If your business and you have 51% of the hashpower it would be absolutely ludacris for you to try to attack the network with that much hashing power. You would try very hard to make it look like there is like 3 different pools or something like that which arguably Bitmain is doing, but you would not attack the network. The reason would be it would not be in your economic benefit to do that. If you did that all of your value would go down. It is mutually assured destruction.

Mining centralization is already becoming more diffuse. We know that there are a ton of other miners that are getting into the space. It takes 6-12 months to get equipment that can actually work on the network. We know that Bitmain is losing market share. We know that there are a lot of different people mining. I don’t think it is a problem and it is more decentralized than anything we have ever tried. A lot of people that worry about this sort of thing worry about the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario can only come to fruition if there is some incentive to do so. It is possible for me to go in my car and crash into everyone on the road. Most people don’t do that. I have the freedom to go and drive but I don’t like swerve into everybody that I see and just completely destroy them. The traffic and everything else, it is not something that I do. That is because the incentives are there for me to not do that. If I crash into somebody – I hurt myself. That is the way I see a lot of these conversations, it is people worrying about some lunatic that is going to crash into everybody and cause a 30 car pileup on purpose. Yeah, I think it is an overblown issue

Vlad: What do you think of Nouriel Roubini? He has been very vocal in the past week, he even tweeted to Vitalik Buterin. And I actually managed to trigger him with an article in which I said he was turning into a Bitcoin maximalist.

Jimmy Song: He kind of is! I love that quote where he said ‘Shitcoin is a derogatory term for shit because shit is actually really really useful whereas these other coins are not’ You know that is kind of true, it is an insult to manure. A lot of what he says is Keynesian, he doesn’t really know a lot about economics. Unfortunately, we have a lot of idiots that have imminent positions. Mostly because they are supported by the state and the state will give you a prominent position if you give them justification for taking more of your freedom away and getting to control you. That is just reality, I hear this guy is like – has been like you look at his tweets from like 5 years ago or something like that. He has been railing against bitcoin since it was like 50 dollars. See I was right, it came out 20 percent. He says that every time, he doesn’t have any credibility. Make a prediction and if you’re right you’ll get some credit, and if not then you don’t actually know anything. It is the same thing as the Paul Crudeman’s of the world do, just say things when it is going down and don’t say anything when it is going up. Idiotic

Vlad: I guess when he predicted the crash of the housing market in 2008 but did it years before, he had more data to support his claims. Right now he is just speculating he says “Oh, this decentralization is bullshit I met Jihan Wu, he bragged about owning so much of the hashing power he could attack both Bitcoin and Ethereum”. He had this testimony, I am not sure if you watched the video or read the documents which was largely misinformed in the sense that he didn’t even try to look beneath the surface. There is this indicator which is called the Gini Coefficient which shows inequality, and he said that in the case of Bitcoin it’s much worse than in North Korea because there’s a concentration of wallets which own too much. But he didn’t mention that these wallets belong to exchanges. So he distorted the facts just to fit his narrative and I think he’s trying to make a name for himself in the community because right now he’s getting a lot of coverage from other media outlets like Coindesk, The Coin Telegraph, and CCN… they all write about him and he retweets the articles because he likes the attention that he’s getting.

Jimmy Song: Yeah, I mean… I’m not surprised, it’s a big topic and he wants to make the news and whatever. I don’t really care about this guy, he’s about as relevant as Jamie Dimon… I don’t care!

Vlad: That’s fair. Well, I have two more questions, I guess. The first one… wait. We’ve made a list and I’ve got to pick one. Oh yeah, I guess this is going to be a fun one: What kind of t-shirt would you like to see Roger Ver wear after he made that bet that he’d wear whatever t-shirt is given to him if Lightning Network gets more than 1000 merchants in 5 years. He made this bet with Charlie Lee during the cruise, the same one which you were on. They had this debate, and at the end, just like he (Roger) made a bet with Tone Vays and claimed…

Jimmy Song: Well, he offered me a bet and then he squelched on it he just like ran off and said I don’t want to do this bet. I mean the guy doesn’t really have any integrity so I don’t really care. He is going to be given a shirt and he’s not going to wear it or will find and excuse. As far as I can tell he is not good on his word so I mean, I don’t care what he wears. If he wants to wear a shirt that says “I’m an idiot” or something like that I guess that may be more appropriate. I don’t really care. He just like he’s doing all this for publicity. For me, it doesn’t really matter at all. 

Vlad: Okay. the final question I think. I ended the series with this. Persons in the bitcoin space are a lot like rock stars, tour the world and share your “songs” that you wrote which happen to be whatever project that you are working on.

Jimmy Song: Well I’m a song so.

Vlad: You’re a song… What kind of rock star would you be? Do you make a parallel with any personality in music? Do you say “I’m a lot like that guy in my field”.

Jimmy Song: I don’t listen to music all that much, I once in a while listen to classical because it is the least distracting. I can get to work and it is a way to drown out the noise if I am in a cafe or something like that. Actually I think it is a healthy for Bitcoin to not have that many prominent personalities. You look at like Twitter followers, Vitalik has way more followers than say Adam Back. Vitalik is clearly the leader of Ethereum, Charlie is clearly the leader in Litecoin. All of these guys have a following that is based on that. I don’t want Bitcoin to be a cultic personality like that. Like I think that it is part of the perception that Roger had which was like “I represent Core”.

Nobody represents Core because it is a decentralized system. You don’t have representative of a decentralized system. This is the most annoying things about the media, whenever there is a grassroots movement, they always want a spokesperson, somebody they can put a mic in front of and ask “how do you defend doing this”. They try and define their enemy that way. I think it is good for Bitcoin not to have that and I am flattered that you think that I am a rock star, and flattered that you liken me to a personality in this thing, it’s not about me. I don’t want it to be about me. I want it to be much more about bringing sound money to the world. That changes absolutely everything, the more I study money the more I’m convinced that all sort of good things will come as a we all have access to money that cannot be taken away from them.

Money that will continue to hold value. That to me is the most important for people to have in the world. Once we have that we unleash the creativity and entrepreneurship and ingenuity of millions of people. How long that may take? I don’t know but that is my vision for this community. Honestly, I would be happy not having to do all of that if it came tomorrow I would gladly exist here. If somebody gave me the option of disappearing I would take Satoshi’s leave and do that the next day as long as I get the sound money that would help the world immensely. I don’t really care about my “fame” it isn’t what I am really seeking.

Vlad: Honestly I could not think of a better way of ending this, that was inspirational. 

Jimmy Song: Thank you.


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