March 18, 2024


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Citadel Dispatch

Originally recorded in 2022 in front of a live audience at Bitcoin Park in Nashville.

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(00:00:00) Introduction to Bitcoin and its simplicity

(00:00:27) Ease of use and benefits of using Bitcoin

(00:01:08) Comparison of credit card fees and chargebacks with Bitcoin

(00:01:45) Bitcoin as an empowering tool for individuals

(00:02:11) Bitcoin's fixed supply and potential for increased purchasing power

(00:03:19) Bitcoin as open source code and its resistance to change

(00:04:42) Bitcoin as a decentralized and permissionless form of money

(00:05:54) Bitcoin as a savings vehicle and the perversion of its narrative

(00:09:26) Challenges with centralized entities and the concept of a circular economy


00:00 - Introduction to Bitcoin and its simplicity

00:27 - Ease of use and benefits of using Bitcoin

01:08 - Comparison of credit card fees and chargebacks with Bitcoin

01:45 - Bitcoin as an empowering tool for individuals

02:11 - Bitcoin's fixed supply and potential for increased purchasing power

03:19 - Bitcoin as open source code and its resistance to change

04:42 - Bitcoin as a decentralized and permissionless form of money

05:54 - Bitcoin as a savings vehicle and the perversion of its narrative

09:26 - Challenges with centralized entities and the concept of a circular economy


People have a tendency to think Bitcoin is extremely complicated.

But the cool part about Bitcoin is it's actually really simple and easy to use.

Now if you decide to dedicate your life to Bitcoin education

and trying to use it as powerfully as possible, it can get very complicated,

but that's the same with most things. But on the surface, Bitcoin is simply a money. It's a money that is independent of governments and companies

that you can use between 2 people.

You can do transactions around the world. You can do transactions in person without any middleman in between.

To use Bitcoin's as simple as just installing an app on your phone.

The sign up process is very clean.

You don't have to provide an email address. You don't have to take a picture of your face. You don't have to provide a driver's license.

You simply install this app. You get presented with this Bitcoin wallet on your phone, and you're able to receive Bitcoin instantly.

Once you have Bitcoin, you're able to send Bitcoin instantly.

No middleman involved, no company in the middle taking fees,

no company that you have to trust with settlement over 30 days like these credit card companies do,

No chargeback risk.

Some of these online businesses we see you know, people talk about credit card fees. Credit card fees are, like, 3 to 5%.

Not great for a business with with low margins.

But what really crushes you is the chargebacks. And if you look at online business,

it really goes up. Chargebacks account for almost 30%.

So if you if you include chargebacks

in taking credit card payments,

you're looking at kind of, like, a 30%

margin hit for taking credit cards if you're an online business. Fraud's a little bit less

significantly less for in person transactions.

So Bitcoin is very interesting in that scenario for accepting payments as a business.

But Bitcoin is also extremely

empowering for individuals.

Bitcoin is a movement of personal responsibility.

There's no customer support line you can contact, but at the same time, it means

that your money is in your hands and complete control of you.

It's on you to secure it,

but as a result, you can spend, you can save without permission, without anybody's permission.

Nobody can debase Bitcoin. There's no Jerome Powell that decides how much inflation there's gonna be. It's just a fixed supply. There's only a certain amount of Bitcoin.

Most people know there's 21,000,000 Bitcoin.

That number is mostly irrelevant except that it doesn't change

because Bitcoin is computer code

and decimals exist.

So as adoption increases,

Bitcoin price should increase. Big Bitcoin I don't like saying Bitcoin price. Bitcoin purchasing power.

And for this crowd, that means how much beef can you buy with your Bitcoin?

That should increase with adoption.

But as that increases,

people will use smaller and smaller units of Bitcoin

because we have decimals, because we can infinitely

basically infinitely divide Bitcoin.

So don't get wrapped up in, oh, Bitcoin's $16,000.

I can't afford it.

You can transact $5 worth of Bitcoin. You can transact $2 worth of Bitcoin. And when we're done with this movement, hopefully, we won't even be using dollar terms. It'll just be how many how much Bitcoin do you need to to buy that beef? How much Bitcoin do you need to buy that land? How much Bitcoin do you need to buy that milk?

So bill Bitcoin is

13 year old project. It's open source code. Why is that important?

Open source code is not owned by anybody.

It is inherently viral in nature.

No company controls it.

No one's got copyrights on it, trademarks.

Anyone can take that code, change it, do whatever they want with it.

But Bitcoin's also a social movement, and what that means is the majority of Bitcoin users

are running this code,

and changes are extremely, extremely hard to happen.

By design, it's very, very difficult to change because you need an overwhelming majority of those users

to go along with the change.

And people just aren't you know, it's it's it's hard to get millions of people to agree on something. So as a result, Bitcoin's extremely hard to change, but that's a value, not a negative.

Because if you can have changes, then you can have changes that are negative to us.

You can have a change that increases the supply of Bitcoin is the most popular one that people like talking about because people like getting rich and they like talking about it as an investment vehicle, But also changes like people of a certain

political spectrum can't use Bitcoin,

or people of a certain religion can't use Bitcoin, or certain people of different,

races or countries can't use Bitcoin. Those kind of changes

are almost they're practically impossible to happen on Bitcoin

because it's so hard to change. So that's a key that's a key key value prop there of Bitcoin.

So with all this said,

we have this money

that you can transfer between individuals,

no permission,

no company taking fees,

no government telling you what you can do with it, has a free floating

market purchasing power.


as a result,

any individual anywhere and this is key. It's a it's a movement of consent.

I will never tell someone that they should use Bitcoin. I will never, you know, call you an idiot for not using Bitcoin.

I love talking about Bitcoin. And if you have questions, I will answer all of your questions.

But my belief with Bitcoin is

these kind of movements that empower individuals

is that people will realize the need. And when they realize the need, we need to make sure we have education and tools available for them. And there's millions of people that have a need for better money already,

and they're being underserved.

So why focus on trying to convince people that have no desire or no need to discover this thing to use it? It's just a waste of time. It's not it's not a productive exercise, and, ultimately, it's consent. It's opt in. It's an opt in movement.

You either want personal responsibility or you don't want personal responsibility.

One last thing I wanna touch on before we go to q and a. The narrative around Bitcoin has been perverted to a degree,

and it's been perverted by this idea of it as an investment asset.

Now I believe that Bitcoin

is a fantastic way

to store wealth and save wealth.

And why is that important? That's important because this idea that

people need to be

financial wizards

or hire

a financial


in order

to save their wealth and make sure it increases in value over their time just so that they can get that wealth

to their children or to their grandchildren is absolutely ridiculous.

It's completely insane that that is the status quo. Really, people should be able to focus on on on what they do.

They should be able to live their life, enjoy their life. They should be ranchers and plumbers and whatever they wanna do in life, and they should be able to just store their wealth in the money that increases their purchasing power over time.

So the fact that that Bitcoin is scarce, the fact that you can hold it yourself without permission, the fact that the purchasing power should increase long term because of adoption is important

as a savings vehicle.

But this idea of of of treating it almost like a stock as an investment where you go on to these brokerage platforms

and you trade the ups and downs of the short term movements

is a complete perversion of the movement to me. Now

because Bitcoin doesn't require permission, people are welcome to do that. They can do that. But when you're thinking about Bitcoin,

it's important not to think of it in that lens.

And as a result, what we've seen is we've seen a lot of people's first experience with Bitcoin with these large centralized brokerages. You can think of them like stock trading websites or apps, stuff like Robinhood. Most of them now seeking money


have added Bitcoin even if they do stocks. Like Robinhood, you can buy Bitcoin on now. Venmo, you can buy Bitcoin on. Cash App, you can buy Bitcoin on. But these are centralized entities. And as a result,

they are connected to the traditional

financial system. They're connected to the banking system, and they have all of this KYC regulation.

They require you to upload your ID. They require permission to use. They have privacy risks involved.

They can cut you off from your money at any time.

And as a result, people start to think of Bitcoin in that light even though Bitcoin at its core requires zero permission, and you can just use it without any of these centralized entities.

You also have on top of that, you have all of these

penny stocks

compared to Bitcoin. You have all these altcoins or alternative networks.

We like to call them shit coins.

Bitcoin is open source software, which means people can change it if they want, but it doesn't mean that the rest of the community has consensus with

those changes. So any of us like, we can launch a shitcoin in 15 minutes if we wanted to, and then we can build a big narrative around it and try and pump the price up and then sell it on unwitting fools,

and make a quick short term profit.

That is completely separate from the Bitcoin movement. It looks it might look a little similar. Their promoters might make it seem like it's similar,

but it's completely it's completely separate from the Bitcoin movement. We recently found out Kevin O'Leary got paid $15,000,000

to promote the FTX Ponzi. That was one of the examples.

And a lot of people trusted FTX with their with their Bitcoin

and with the shitcoins too, and they lost all their money because,

it required trust. It was a centralized platform. A lot of fraud was committed.

But Bitcoin on its own, you can actually hold yourself and and hold those keys yourself, and and no no one can take it away from you.

But why do I bring that up? I bring that up because we have these centralized entities. I consider them essentially an attack on Bitcoin.

Similar to, I'm sure we have some gold bugs in the room. They rightfully believe that centralized entities are an attack on gold and that there's paper gold trading out there, lots and lots of paper gold trading out there.

And so how do we get around these centralized entities? Everyone says it's unavoidable. People are gonna wanna use their bank account to connect into Bitcoin.

That comes with regulation. That comes with all this burdensome regulation. Those burdensome regulations result in centralizing factors where you only have 2 or 3 large exchanges in the country.

How do we get around that? The way we get around that is is something called a circular economy.

The idea that you don't buy Bitcoin, you earn Bitcoin.

You don't sell Bitcoin, you spend Bitcoin.

And as a result, we we start to

start to build a thriving

thriving local first circular economy, where it's individuals

transacting with individuals

rather than individuals

interacting with large financial institutions.

Just consenting individuals deciding to

transact with each other is a truly special thing.