Banking on Bitcoin

Synopsis: Not since the invention of the Internet has there been such a disruptive technology as Bitcoin. Bitcoin's early pioneers sought to blur the lines of sovereignty and the financial status quo. After years of underground development Bitcoin grabbed the attention of a curious public, and the ire of the regulators the technology had subverted. After landmark arrests of prominent cyber criminals Bitcoin faces its most severe adversary yet, the very banks it was built to destroy.
90 min


I really like it down here.

I live literally right by

the world trade center.

I walk home.

I live above it, actually.

My ankle bracelet.

Tells the government where I am

every second of the day,

any time of the day.

But it's gonna come off

when I go to prison, I think.

I mean, I don't think I'm

wearing this in prison, so...

That's what

the plan is for that.

Closing numbers

on the markets today,

at one point, the market

fell as if down a well.

It was an historic day,

with wall street shaken

to its very foundation.

And even the health

of the most trusted firms

are now being

called into question.

We have former

secretaries of treasury

who go from government

to wall street

pocketing hundreds

of millions of dollars.

In 2008, I became

somewhat obsessed

with the role that money

itself played in the crisis

and the role that governments

and banks played in money,

and why was it that our money was

controlled by central banks?

If something new happens,

is the government

likely to give it a nod

or at least ignore it for a

while, or is the government

likely to come down

and try to crush it

because they're afraid

of anything new and different?

This is a monetary revolution.

Bitcoin is the honest currency.

Okay, this past week

we've been talking about money.

I'm gonna ask everybody

what you think money is.

Can you give me

some answers now?

Money is, like, paper

and you can, like,

buy stuff with it.

So you have to have, like,

four quarters for a dollar.

You need money to buy

your house, like, food,

water, oxygen...

Not oxygen.

Money is basically just

an accounting system.

It is a way of recording

who owns what,

who has what,

who owes what to whom.

That is all money really is.

And you needed somebody

who could stand as

the central issuer,

somebody who was

the trusted third party,

someone who could guarantee

that the money was real.

And for hundreds of years now,

we have had

governments issue money.

Again, money is just

an accounting system.

That's what bitcoin is.

Bitcoin is really just

an accounting system.

It is a way of

recording transactions,

recording value,

and it does it digitally,

so you and I can send it

to each other directly,

and everything is recorded

in the open ledger.

By monitoring and

updating that ledger,

in a collective,

consensus-based system,

you do away with the need

for somebody in the middle

having to be

that sort of repository

of all the information.

And that's what gets away

from the fees,

the inefficiencies,

and ultimately the potential

for corruption and risk

that come with centralizing

information in that way.

What it does is it takes

that trusted

third party function

and it automates it.

It puts it into an open

ledger that is put online

that is there

for anybody to see,

so that every bitcoin

is accounted for,

so that you know that you're not

getting a counterfeit bitcoin.

It's kind of remarkable

that this idea of bitcoin

was launched just a few weeks

after lehman brothers

went bankrupt

and the whole system

nearly collapsed.

And the problems

that cropped up in the crisis

were very much a part of the

writings of satoshi nakamoto.

I think what the crisis

showed is that

the existing system

had some major flaws.

It wasn't working

and people were hungry

for some sort of alternative.

I discovered bitcoin's power

when I understood

for the first time

that it was not controlled

by a central company

or a central person.

Because I knew that meant

it couldn't be shut down.

And if it can't get shut down,

all it needs is

to do something useful,

and it will become

more and more adopted

and as the value grows,

people will find

more and more uses for it.

The beauty of bitcoin is,

it's easily transferrable,

it's anonymous.

And by 2140

there's gonna be 21 million,

and that's the cap.

There's only x amount of gold.

There's only x amount

of bitcoin.

Before, if you wanted to send

something of value

across the Internet,

you had to get

somebody else involved.

You had to have

a credit card company

or PayPal, or maybe a bank

involved in the transaction.

The promise of bitcoin is that

you're directly sending

this currency to another person

and then the bitcoin network

performs the function

that normally PayPal

or a bank or your credit

card company would perform.

Bitcoin really puts the control

back in the hands of everybody.

Everybody who's participating

in the bitcoin system

is controlling how it works.

If you want to look

for the Genesis

of cryptocurrency, it was

the cypherpunk movement,

you know, growing out of a

kind of a love of the Internet

and its possibilities.

The discovering

of cryptography and imagining

that you could give birth

to a new world, really,

out of the Internet.

A world that lives outside

of the nation-state,

and outside the structures

of power and the hierarchies

that are associated with that.

These people had talked

about the need

and the possibility

for a digital currency

that was anonymous

or could be anonymized,

using cryptography.

The cypherpunks that emerged

in the early '90s

were hyper-concerned

about privacy,

about personal Liberty,

and a lot of people had come up

with their own systems.

Some of them came

very close to happening.

The one that probably came the closest

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    "Banking on Bitcoin" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <>.

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