In this episode of TO THE MOON, Max and Stacy look back to the year 2014 when the meme that describes the anti-fragile nature of bitcoin took hold. Giacomo Zucco points out that even if some users want something different, the protocol cannot be changed, no matter how vicious the attack is. The Vortex says that bitcoin thrives on being attacked, it grew up on the internet. In early 2014, Charlie Shrem, a young bitcoin exchange entrepreneur was arrested and became ‘bitcoin’s first felon’. The year progressed with the collapse of the largest exchange, MtGox, and then US Marshals auctioning off 29,656 bitcoin seized from Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road to Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper.
In the early days it was easy to nuke your software or lose your keys, thus, essentially, adds value to the network. From the Keiser Report vaults, Max talks to cryptographer Charles Hoskinson about the double spending problem, how bitcoin solves that, and the digital scarcity that made this experiment ultimately very valuable. The year 2014 was also the year of the great crypto winter in which prices had fallen hard and deep and the arrests and exchange collapses made the experiment appear failed. The aggressive attention of regulators and the slowness of consensus also saw the eruption of new ‘altcoins’, experimentations in various capabilities, and functions for ‘programmable money’ that, in turn, saw the emergence of the notion of ‘bitcoin maximalism’. Bitcoin was adopted without a figurehead, in 2014, when the media came sniffing about, they needed to talk to *somebody,* so they talked to individuals in the space who, in turn, used that media attention to start a coin project. Max says, “bitcoin filled a need, and it came about organically through the cypherpunk movement, the altcoins filled a space called ‘the spotlight’ and it brought about a bunch of ‘false Satoshis.’” Guests include Jameson Lopp, Francis Pouliot, Giacomo Zucco, The Vortex, Rodolfo Novak, Marshall Long, Simon Dixon, Tone Vays and Caitlin Long.