Crypto Bits with Roger Ver
Roger Ver, AKA “Bitcoin Jesus”, is the founder and CEO of MemoryDealers, and a Bitcoin evangelist. He is well known in the Bitcoin community and has helped many Bitcoin ventures. Ver, 34, has invested in over ten Bitcoin businesses including Bitcoin transaction company BitInstant. He’s recently launched a new webpage designed to help catch thieves/hackers by offering anonymous cryptocurrency bounties.
Bitcoin Bounty Hunter has a simple interface in which the site lists bounties offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals suspected of bitcoin thefts.
Roger is a Voluntaryist and is very much aligned with the thought here on The Art of Not Being Governed blog. Roger thank you for doing this interview.
When did you first start really thinking of yourself as a Voluntaryist?
It was a gradual process. The path stated with my study of economics. It quickly became clear that the free market provides the highest standard of living for the greatest number of people. These utilitarian arguments were the first to persuade me to oppose most things done by the state. Next I turned my attention to studying moral philosophy. The moral arguments based in natural rights, and self ownership as presented by Adam Smith, John Locke, and Murray Rothbard also seemed so clear, and aligned so incredibly well with the utilitarian arguments that I had already learned from my study of economics. Most recently I’ve been influenced by the thoughts of Michael Huemer and Larken Rose. They do a great job exposing the irrationality of the belief in authority.
I first heard about Bitcoin in late 2010 on FreeTalkLive.com’s podcast, but it took me a few more months before I realized how important of a technology it is.
We had a chance to catch Jeffrey Tucker out in Michigan for a talk and he said “The existence of the blockchain ultimately means the end of the Nation State” how do you feel about this quote?
I think this is likely to end up being true. The state is simply a small group of people, violently imposing their will upon the rest of us. They predominantly maintain their control by controlling money. Bitcoin will separate the control of money from the state.
There will always be violent individuals harming others, but I suspect Bitcoin will bring an end to their ability to do it on a mass scale in the form of governments.
Do you consider bitcoin a revolutionary first taste of real Laissez-faire?
We aren’t there yet, but tools like Bitcoin, and OpenBazaar will bring us much closer.
How do you feel about projects like OpenBazaar?
Things like OpenBazaar, and the forthcoming distributed stock markets, ownership of physical assets being traded on the Blockchain, and un-censorable websites are just some of the reasons that I’m so excited about Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin Bounty Hunter webpage what got you thinking of this idea?
Mostly I just wanted an automated way to deal with the wave of emails that came to me each day due to the original bounty I offered for the hacker. In a few more weeks, lots of additional automation will come to the site that will allow each individual donor to automatically reclaim their funds if the bounty is not paid out within a certain period of time. I think these changes will make the site much more popular and much more useful.
There has been a lot of talk about bitcoin 2.0 development and ideas for the blockchain. One idea is BitNation a service of governance represented on the blockchain. For example a couple just got married. How do you feel about things like this happening?
I think that anyone, anywhere, should be allowed to do anything that is peaceful. Bitcoin is all about allowing permission-less innovation, world wide.
Do you think Bitcoin or crypto in general can help people with limited resources?
New inventions help everyone on the planet, rich or poor. Twenty years ago, only the very rich could afford a cell phone. Today they cost just twenty dollars for smart phone. Bitcoin will help bring additional wealth and an improved standard of living to everyone on the planet.
I’ll be the first to ask you this. What are your thoughts on the Bitcoin “Bear-Whale” story everyone’s raving about?
This sort of thing doesn’t interest me at all. Bitcoin works the same at $1 a bitcoin as it does at $1,000 a bitcoin. I’m more interested in seeing additional bridges being built between the traditional financial ecosystem, and the new world of Bitcoin.
Do you think there is a lot of speculation still? Do you think people need to be concerned about investment and adoption primarily?
I think speculating on Bitcoin is a smart bet, but it isn’t as exciting or interesting as all the new things that blockchain technology enables.
What is the current state of bitcoin as far as economics goes in the opinion of Roger Ver? (Such as are we in a utility phase, things of this nature)
Bitcoin is still in its infancy, but enough people have heard about it, and are working on building the software tools to make it easily usable world wide. We will see an explosion of Bitcoin use over the next few years, at a pace much faster than the last few years.
What does Roger Ver tell someone who hasn’t heard of Bitcoin at all?
The short version is that it is the most important invention in the history of the world since the internet, so it is worth their time to learn about it now. The slightly longer version goes something like this: Why Bitcoin is Important for the World
Thank you for having this chat with us Roger. The Art of Not Being Governed thanks you for your services in promoting free markets and autonomous choice.