BeInCrypto recently caught up with tech entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos to discuss the world of cryptocurrencies and beyond. You don’t want to miss this one.
Andreas Antonopoulos has been in the Bitcoin space since 2012. Since then, he has become one of its most outspoken advocates. He is also the author of “Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain,” which has been met with high praise since it first came out in 2016.
He decided to speak with us recently about the state of the industry and many other topics, one of which is bound to pique your interest. It’s a must-watch.
Bitcoin Likely Won’t Replace National Currencies
Many in the cryptocurrency world seem to believe that Bitcoin will someday replace national currencies entirely. However, according to Antonopoulos, this is based on a fallacy. Instead, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have offered us choice.
The era of [a] monopolistic currency system where you’re born into a currency, and that’s the only currency you can use… [that idea] died on Jan. 3, 2009 with the introduction of Bitcoin. Now we’re talking about a world of choice.
Antonopoulos says that currencies are now like the web: you can choose which ones you want to use, ideally.
Antonopoulos also stresses that we are still early in the maturity curve. In his opinion, one of the main obstacles today is user interfaces. The learning curve is still too great. Wallets should be viewed much like web browsers; in other words, they are the front-end interface that everyone sees. However, wallets are struggling to support themselves because most people anticipate them to work for free. This remains a major issue.
According to Antonopoulos, UI and the front-end interface remain the main obstacle preventing ‘mass adoption.’ However, this issue will inevitably be resolved in the coming years as the competition between cryptocurrencies and fiat heats up.
50% of Miners Could Go Offline and Bitcoin Would Still Be Secure
Concerns have repeatedly been brought up regarding miners potentially capitulating after the halving event. Bitcoin mining is expected to be less profitable and some miners are expected to drop out entirely, thus severely hurting Bitcoin’s network security—or so the narrative goes.
However, Antonopoulos disagrees. As he told BeInCrypto:
If 50% of the mining capacity turned off tomorrow morning, we’d be back to where we were in 2018 in terms of hashrate.
According to him, even this is still a perfectly healthy level of security. So, even if half of all the miners went bust, the entire network breaking down is simply not realistic.
The more interesting question we should be looking at, according to Antonopoulos, is the impact of oil on Bitcoin mining. With oil now at historic lows, electricity will become cheaper—hence, Bitcoin mining will become cheaper as well.
Mining technology is also now evolving at a slower pace than ever. One mining rig could be good for two, three, or even four years. According to Antonopoulos, this means that the main determinant of mining nowadays is energy use, which is becoming much cheaper. In effect, “we may see more of a decentralization of mining” as a result of oil’s price collapse.
COVID-19 Is Being Used to ‘Ram Through the Largest Bailout in the History of the World’
Antonopoulos didn’t mince words when asked about the state of monetary policy and how governments are responding to the ongoing pandemic, saying:
This is essentially a transfer of the future of the lower-middle classes, robbing them in order to pay off the richest multinational corporations. And it is disgusting. My position has been no bailouts.
Shareholders, according to Antonopoulos, should lose their investments because they knew the risks. Instead, they are being bailed out at the public’s expense. When asked what he would do if he were head of monetary policy, he jokingly said: “resign.”
Ultimately, it is historical moments like these that make a strong case for alternatives to monopolistic fiat currencies. However, given that our entire financial system is still tied to dollars, cryptocurrencies remain marginal. This sadly gives banks the power to offer bailouts ‘with no strings attached’ to corporate benefactors.
‘Don’t Buy Bitcoin—Earn It’
Antonopoulos surprised us when he said bluntly, ‘don’t buy Bitcoin.’ Instead, you should earn it.
Don’t buy it. Earn it. Convert your labor, your services, your products into something you exchange for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies instead of national currencies.
The advice makes sense: people who earn cryptocurrencies are much more likely to stick around. More importantly, by earning cryptocurrency, you are now within an alternative financial system that is separate. Ultimately, this is what’s needed for the cryptocurrency space to mature and compete with monopolistic fiat. It needs to have its own internal economy.
Throughout this interview, you really see Antonopoulos’s passion for the cryptocurrency space. Above all else, he’s an educator at heart and excels in explaining the ‘how’ questions. For Antonopoulos, it’s all about building something from the ground-up. So, be sure to watch the full interview—it’s definitely worth it.