Pierre Rochard (VP of Research at Riot Platforms) rejoins me on the show to correct the NYT’s recent disinformation article on Bitcoin. We discuss:
- Fundamental problems with the degrowth world view
- Factual errors in the article
- Demand response
- Bitcoin mining has zero emissions
- How Bitcoiners should respond
- NYT article screenshots by Pierre
- Archive.is link to the NYT article
- Twitter: @BitcoinPierre
- SLP402 Pierre Rochard – Bitcoin Obsoletes Fractional Reserve Banking
- SLP367 Pierre Rochard – Lightning Network & Kraken
- SLP214 Pierre Rochard & Fabian Jahr – Where Are All The Bitcoins?
- SLP147 Pierre Rochard & Saifedean Ammous – Bitcoin as Savings Technology & Number Go Up
- Swan Bitcoin
- CoinKite.com(code LIVERA)
Stephan Livera links:
- Follow me on Twitter @stephanlivera
- Subscribe to the podcast
- Patreon @stephanlivera
Stephan – 00:00:08:
Pierre, welcome back to the show.
Pierre – 00:02:29:
Thanks for having me on, Stephan. Happy to be here.
Stephan – 00:02:32:
So, lots of things going on and obviously this new well, there is a very vicious and hateful propaganda blog website known as the New York Times who have put out a piece that is quite objectionable. So do you want to just open up and give us a few of your high level thoughts on this blog article?
Yeah, sure thing. So, first of all, I’d say that the bitcoin mining industry bitcoin mining. Bitcoin in general, we’re fair game, right? That we’re open to scrutiny, we’re open to feedback. I think that it’s important to have that. I think it’s also really important to have independent journalists who are investigating different issues in society and uncovering things that maybe need more attention and would be I’ll start with that. Unfortunately, this piece is not that this piece is highly motivated reasoning. It’s essentially they have a particular political agenda, a worldview that is not aligned with reality. And so when they go out and they do their journalism, they’re not actually trying to get to the truth. What they’re trying to do is identify facts or fabricate frankly, information to spin it in a particular way in order to justify their particular policy agenda. And I think that’s a problem because ultimately what that means is that you’re going to get bad policy. If you want good policy, you have to actually be open-minded and approach these issues without prejudice, right, and say, hey, look, I don’t have an opinion on bitcoin mining, but I’m going to go gather the facts and then I’ll form one. This is the opposite. They strongly despise bitcoin and bitcoin mining, and they’re going to figure out a way to disparage it. And the reason why we know that they are ideologically opposed to bitcoin is because they have been anti. The new york times has been anti bitcoin since at least 2011, which is at this point, twelve years ago. This was before even I knew about bitcoin. They were writing negatively about it and Paul Krugman was railing against it. And this is at a time where bitcoin was, I think, worth less than a dollar. They have really done a disservice to their readership over the past decade, constantly feeding them false information, which has led their readers to make bad decisions of not investing in bitcoin, not getting involved in the bitcoin industry. And frankly, I think that qualifies as, by definition, fraud, that they have materially misled the consumers of the New York Times, and those consumers have relied on that information and to their detriment. So in any case, I think that this piece is just a continuation. And the reason why they are doing this is because bitcoin is winning. If bitcoin had gone away in 2011 after they declared it dead, they wouldn’t be spending time writing pieces like this, propaganda pieces. But the fact of the matter is that bitcoin has grown and has increased in adoption by orders of magnitude over the past decade. And that scares them. That deeply, deeply scares them. Because ultimately Bitcoin removes their ability to control society. And these are folks who want to centrally plan society. They think that they know better. These are very ivory tower, but further than ivory tower, full of conceit and full of disdain towards anyone else in society that disagrees with, frankly, the marxist ideology that they’ve been indoctrinated with. And this is something I’m very familiar with because I lived in France and I think that France is actually a leader in terms of Marxist ideology. I’ve been arguing against what’s called degrowth, where these are folks who’ll say, actually we should want the GDP number to go down. Now we can get into GDP and the problems with measuring economic prosperity using GDP. But these are folks who they want to return to primativism. They are luddites. They despise technology. They despise innovation. They don’t want economic growth. They want us to return to a state of nature due to kind of a philosophical view about the noble savage is how Rousseau described this. Their entire agenda is about tearing down civilization and returning us to the Stone Age, quite literally. And that’s what this piece is about. So I was not surprised at all, frankly, that this is the angle they’re going at. But I think that not only are we winning, I know they’re going to lose. They’re going to lose because this vision of theirs is wholly unappealing to not only most Americans but most human beings, right? Most human beings want flourishing. They want their children to have a better life than they did. That’s something that it’s a universal, it’s not about United States versus the world. It’s not about conservatives versus liberals, Democrats versus Republicans. Everyone wants to increase their quality of life, their living standards. And we might have disagreements about how to do that, but that’s the direction we want to go in. The folks that are on kind of this radical anti-civilization agenda, they don’t have children. First of all. They might have pets. Some of them have cats, others dogs. But they are anti-children and they are anti-progress despite some of them calling themselves progressives. And I have progressive friends who also are opposed to this degrowth agenda, this anti-civilization ideology. And so I don’t think we should lump them all together. But that’s my opening tirade.
Stephan – 00:10:05:
Yeah, sure. And I think, as you rightly say now, there are factual errors in this piece. Also, as you said, even things like the suburb name, just basic straight facts are wrong. But it’s not just the facts that they’re getting wrong. It’s also the slant, right? Now, I’ve heard people explain it that I think Michael Malice said it this way. He said sometimes these corporate media outlets, they are factual but not truthful, right? They give you this slant in a way that, as you were saying, it belies or it reveals their underlying ideology. And so, as we can see in the piece, they talk about things and they cite climate scammer style experts, right? The kinds of people who are saying, oh, we quote unquote, need to rapidly cut fossil power, right? Like this is the kind of narrative that they’re coming from and not understanding or not recognizing the benefits of fossil fuels. Obviously, as you and I and many others have been talking about. So do you want to just talk a little bit about some of the errors or some of the slant aspects that we might object to in this New York Times piece?
Pierre – 00:11:14:
Yeah, so it is riddled with factual inaccuracies. And I know that because I work in the industry and I work at one of the companies that they are really targeting with this piece. And it’s just astonishing to us that they are misrepresenting or just inaccurate numbers. And these are financial numbers. And so it raises the question of where is Gary Gensler? Because The New York Times is committing accounting fraud and they are materially misleading the investing public. And that, I think, is caused for investigation by the SEC if they want to take their role seriously in terms of investing, protecting investors. Because a lot of these numbers, if they were actually audited by a third party, would not stand up to scrutiny at all. Some of them are off by orders of magnitude. And so I think that here we have a case of journalists trying to essentially communicate financial information and be financial analysts, but they don’t know financial accounting and they don’t have the underlying data either. And so I think that there’s severe problems there from a public investing or a public accounting perspective. Second of all, you mentioned like, even small details they got wrong. And I don’t consider these details. I think this is a really critical point. The first sentence in their piece says that first of all, they have a picture, a decommissioned aluminum smelting plant and coal plant. And this facility was decommissioned decades ago due to the fact that the United States has been exporting dollars instead of exporting aluminum. And so this plant is really a symbol of our hollowed-out manufacturing and raw materials base that has destroyed rural economies due to the money printing happening in New York City and Washington, DC. And so that’s the point, number one. Two, the journalist, quote unquote, applied a filter to the picture to make it look like there is smog. There’s no smog in this part of Texas because there’s no air pollution because the facility has been closed for decades. So they applied this filter to the picture to make it look like there’s tremendous pollution in this area. Meanwhile, if you go out there, it’s beautiful blue Texas skies. There’s no smog there. And so it is very well crafted disinformation. It reminds me of when The New York Times spread disinformation about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and helped George W. Bush justify the invasion of Iraq, which led to the death of, I believe, a million Iraqis. The New York Times has tremendous blood on its hands through this kind of misinformation. So this is really par for the course for them. I mean, they were also spreading misinformation about the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They were talking about how great the Soviet Union is and all that. So same thing with the Chinese Communist party. I mean, these people have a long track record of being opposed to western civilization. Anyway, small digression there. The other point about this picture is that the caption under it says that this is Rockland, Texas. It’s not Rockland, Texas. It’s Rockdale, Texas. And that might seem like a small detail, but look, if you’re trying to establish yourself as the paper of record, as the most credible source of information on this topic, how about you get basic facts right in the first sentence of your article rather than getting the wrong city? And I think that it’s really about the fact that these New York Times journalists, these reporters, they didn’t come to Rockdale. They didn’t come down and talk with the people of Rockdale. If they had done that, what they would have found out is that the people of Rockdale are good people who are excited about what Bitcoin mining is bringing to their community, which is one, jobs, great jobs in a community that was devastated by Alcoa offshoring due to the US dollar’s fiat inflation. So these people, one, the good people of Rockdale are getting great jobs. Two, riot bitcoin miners are the number one taxpayer to Rockdale ISD public education. So I would have thought the New York Times would care about that fact that bitcoin miners are helping with rural education. And maybe they would have found out about that fact if they’d taken the time to get on an airplane, emitted some CO2 to fly over to Rockdale and to spend some time with the community here, rather than sitting at their desk in Manhattan pontificating about something they don’t know anything about, right? Something that’s foreign to them. The New York Times is really for coastal elites. They despise rural America, and they would never go to rural America because rural America represents everything that is wrong with the United States in their twisted worldview. So the fact that they got the city’s name wrong just reflects how little involvement they had in tangible involvement, right, of coming here on the ground, doing the reporting, talking with folks, finding out that this county, Milam County, has record sales tax revenue thanks to bitcoin miners, creating revitalizing economic development in rural America. And so it starts from there, but throughout the piece, there are factual inaccuracies. There’s spin and then there’s simulations, first of all, on the carbon emissions. So it should be obvious to everyone that bitcoin mining has zero carbon emissions. It’s a computer, right? These are servers in data centers. So really what they’re talking about is carbon emissions from natural gas power plants, coal-fired power plants. And those carbon emissions, at the end of the day, they are not from mining bitcoin. They are from producing electricity. So it’s extremely dishonest to say that bitcoin mining has carbon emissions. It doesn’t. Bitcoin mining is fully electrified, just like Tesla. The problem with talking about bitcoin mining’s nonexistent, fictitious carbon emissions is that it leads to the wrong policy outcomes. Because let’s take it for granted. Let’s just assume, okay, we want to reduce carbon emissions, right? Let’s just take that at face value. Obviously, massive debate around this. Love Alex Epstein and his work in this area, but let’s just Zoom in on that. It would be a disaster if public policy focused on bitcoin miners and trying to reduce carbon emissions from bitcoin miners because they’re already at zero, rather than focusing on scope one carbon emissions that are real and do exist, that are coming out of natural gas power plants and coal-fired power plants. Because if you focus on the actual emissions, the real emissions, then you can say, okay, let’s replace these power plants with nuclear power so that we get to zero carbon emissions. That would make sense if you’re trying to reduce carbon emissions. And that New York Times would write an article about natural gas power plants and coal-fired power plants and how much they are emitting in CO2. That would make sense, right, from a policy perspective, assuming you are concerned about fossil fuels and carbon emissions. But to talk about bitcoin mining emitting CO2, it’s an absolute distraction from the climate crisis, quote unquote, right? It’s not at all contributing to the conversation. It’s distracting from it. So I think it’s problematic. Even if you agree with Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. Now we can get into the actual global warming debate and all that, but that’s where I think that there’s a level of dishonesty here that is really about them being anti-bitcoin. The New York Times does not care about carbon emissions, right? Otherwise they would be focused on coal and natural gas. What they care about is Bitcoin, because Bitcoin is decentralized and Bitcoin is a decentralized alternative to the legacy fiat system that controls and owns the New York Times. The New York Times is not a nonprofit. Right. They are owned by a Mexican billionaire, and they are deeply embedded with this Federal Reserve Central Banking Keynesian outlook as well, which is odd bedfellows with the degrowth people. We can get into kind of the paradox of Keynesian degrowth people, but I’ll leave it there.
Stephan – 00:22:26:
Yeah. And I think you make a great point that fundamentally they are even if you take their worldview, given obviously you and I disagree with their worldview even from the get go, but even if we accept that premise, it’s still the wrong focus from their point of view. Why are they focusing and targeting specifically Bitcoin Mining Companies? These are public-even companies, and they are simply pointing the finger at the wrong source at the wrong thing. If we were going to make this kind of argument, I mean, of course Tesla is like the sort of prized child or whatever of this kind of lowering the carbon emissions group. But you could make the same case that look, a lot of Teslas are effectively being powered by fossil fuels because that’s just the actual energy mix of many of the world’s markets, like just of the world. And so it’s very selective and very dishonest in a way. And this comes to that whole narrative, right? These people see their role as clearly policing a narrative and enforcing a certain narrative. And that’s where obviously, I think bitcoiners who care about honesty should be out there trying to speak about the truth and trying to correct the lies of these kinds of hate blogs. And we should talk a little bit about some of the different programs that they get into as part of this article, because as part of this article, they talk about demand response programs. So maybe that’s something you could help explain for listeners a little bit about from a bitcoin miners perspective. What is a demand response program? Why do bitcoin miners engage in this program? And then let’s compare that with the treatment given in this New York Times article.
Pierre – 00:24:04:
Yeah, so I’d love to get into demand response because this is something that has a lot of layers, complexity and nuance that thankfully we’re on a podcast where we have the time to unpack this and get into the details. Because what I love about your audience, Stephan, is that they’re intelligent and so they can follow this. So demand response fundamentally is about demand responding to price and to the incentives that they are faced with. So I think that’s the first point is that we’re talking about companies that are for profit. And The New York Times has animus towards any company that is for profit other than the New York Times, right? The New York Times is for profit. They publish clickbait in order to maximize their revenues, not to get it the truth, to maximize their revenues. They publish false information to get clicks and to get advertising revenue. So they don’t investigate themselves, obviously, but if they did, they would find some problems there. Now, the companies that are for profit in the electricity market, they are responding to incentives. So on one hand, you have bitcoin miners who ultimately, because of where we’re at in the mining cycle, are responsive to the electricity price. So when the electricity price goes up, they find themselves in a situation where their marginal cost of electricity is greater than the marginal revenue of selling hash rate to the bitcoin network, right, earning that mining reward from participating in a mining pool. And so when that happens, they turn off, that’s the rational economic decision is when marginal cost is greater than marginal revenue, you turn off regardless of your sunk costs, regardless of your fixed costs, right? Now, generally speaking, here in Texas, the price of electricity is less than the marginal revenue of a bitcoin miner. And so it is profitable to mine bitcoin most of the time. There are specific points in time during the summer and during the winter when it gets really hot or really cold, when the wind that is contributing, on some days, wind is producing like 30 or 40% of the electricity here in Texas. On other days, when there’s zero wind, it’s 0%. And that causes periods of time where the price of electricity goes up, and that it is rational for bitcoin miners to turn off their mining rigs for 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, so that they’re not mining at a loss. Okay, so that’s one thing. And in that situation, the miners are not getting paid anything. It’s just that they’re not incurring the cost of that high electricity price. And that’s kind of the first basic scenario, is that you have a miner who is purchasing electricity on the spot market in real time. The second scenario is a bitcoin miner who has purchased a ten year PPA, Power Purchase Agreement, which is essentially a fixed rate derivative. It’s a hedge where they put up a deposit with the electricity company, with the power producer, and they commit themselves to buying electricity for ten years at a specific price. And that’s a great deal for the electricity producer because that allows them to then turn around and make investments in electricity production with tremendous confidence that there’s going to be demand for at least the next ten years for this electricity. And then on the bitcoin miner side, it allows them to have confidence that they’re going to be paying a fixed electricity bill for the next ten years, and so they’re going to have the supply that they need to run their mining machines. And so it’s just a perfectly rational economic contract to enter into for miners. Unless you have a view that electricity prices are going to go down over time, which would make sense from the point of I think it was the Simon’s bet of saying over time, the cost of commodities goes down, the price of commodities goes down.
Stephan – 00:29:01:
The Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich bet, yeah.
Correct. Because of economies of scale, of technological improvements, we should expect deflation now, unfortunately, because of the Federal Reserve printing massive amounts of paper money or electronic money before the fact checkers come in and hey, it’s not literally money print. Yeah, okay, I get it. The price of electricity could go up, right, because of the money printer from Jerome Powell, even though it should go down, because we are an innovative society that is creating energy abundance in our civilization. In any case, the price of electricity in Texas, in the short-term, it is driven by wind and solar. And obviously at night there’s zero solar. But in the medium-term, it’s really driven by the price of natural gas, because if there’s not enough wind and not enough sun, we have to turn on natural gas power plants. And so that is the price setting mechanism for electricity in ERCOT is short-term renewables and then medium to long-term price of natural gas. Well, really long-term, you also have people building, people building more electricity production, whether it is renewables or natural gas. So the derivatives, the power purchase agreements mean that here’s how it changes things for the bitcoin miners that when the price of electricity skyrockets above the break even of bitcoin mining, then they’re able to sell the electricity that they had bought, that they pre-purchased. They can sell that back into the market and increase the supply of electricity in the spot market because they had pre-purchased that electricity. Right? And so that actually allows them to, one, earn a profit off of that sale of electricity that they had pre-purchased and also help push down the price of electricity because they’re bringing supply to the market. And so that’s a great thing. Now, The New York Times, they are spinning this as like price gouging, right? Exploitation, it’s just good business. And it’s Adam Smith’s invisible hand of, hey, look, we’re increasing electricity production and then when the grid needs it most, we’re shedding load and selling it back into the market and helping stabilize the price. This is good. The New York Times, to their credit, they were able to spin this as bad, which, I mean, I was really impressed by their ability to massage the facts in order to make something that is great look bad. And now the problem is that if policymakers rely on the New York Times and craft policies against bitcoin mining, that is going to undermine the grid, that’s going to increase energy scarcity, it’s going to really, from a policy perspective, it’s just going to create bad policy because they’re basing it on New York Times propaganda rather than the fundamentals. The fundamentals say we need more bitcoin mining in Texas, we need more bitcoin mining everywhere. That’s what the fundamentals say. The bitcoin mining is good policy. It’s good for the people of Texas, it’s good for human civilization.
Stephan – 00:33 03:
Pierre – 00:33:04:
Yeah. Now that’s the second layer. So you got first the spot market opportunity costs essentially of turning off. You get the opportunity benefit of turning off. Second layer is these derivatives where you get power credits. The third layer is what is called Ancillary Services, and specifically within that is RSS. So this is a Rapid Supply Service that allows ERCOT, the grid operator, to be able to buy control over power generators and loads. So that ERCOT, outside of kind of the free market price mechanism, ERCOT wants to be able to control some amount of generation and load so that they are able to stabilize supply and demand in a very granular way. Because at the end of the day, the electricity market has to clear perfectly, right? You can’t necessarily have inventory laying around like you could for cattle or something like that. So it’s a real time market and it is good for grid reliability for ERCOT to be able to buy control over load and generation. And it is good for ERCOT if they can have lots of people, lots of loads, different loads, different generators bidding into these programs, because the more bidders they are there are, the lower the cost is for these Ancillary services. And so Bitcoin miners have been bidding into these Ancillary services and driving down the cost of RRS, the Rapid Response Service, sorry, I got the acronym wrong earlier. And that is good for ERCOT, and it’s good for Texas electricity ratepayers because those ratepayers are the ones who ultimately the cost gets passed on to. And so this New York Times article, again, they were able to spin this as a negative. Bitcoin miners are helping reduce the cost of buying reliability for ERCOT. And The New York Times thinks that’s horrible because ERCOT is paying. And frankly, these numbers were the most inflated numbers. And the reason these numbers were highly inflated is because New York Times, whether it’s because they were deliberately malicious or because they’re incompetent, they conflated number two and number three, which are the power credits from Hedging and the ERCOT Ancillary services revenues and the payments for those services. And so the reason that The New York Times was conflating those if it was malicious, I’m assuming that they’re not stupid, was that the ERCOT payments are small relative to the power credits. And so maybe that’s why they wanted to make it look like that bitcoin miners are somehow exploiting ERCOT, which is just a total fabrication. Bitcoin miners are providing a service to ERCOT that ERCOT is voluntarily buying. I’ve heard people have philosophical debates about RRS, this Rapid Response Service, and people say, hey, look, it shouldn’t exist. It should just be a pure market mechanism of supply and demand. We don’t have to get into the philosophical debate there. But the bottom line is that ERCOT wants this program. The Texas legislators want this program. The people of Texas, through their representatives that they voted for, want this program. New York Times, if The New York Times wants to have an opinion on RRS, it better be well-informed and be based on data. But unfortunately, in this article, it’s not based on data. It’s based on concern trolling. It’s based on demagoguery misrepresenting and creating factual inaccuracies. So I think The New York Times should be held accountable for this propaganda that they’re publishing because they are defrauding their readers, their readers, the readers who are paying for The New York Times through subscriptions, through advertising. They expect The New York Times to be providing factually correct information to the best of their ability. They don’t expect The New York Times to be publishing fiat propaganda. And so to the extent that there’s fraud being committed, it’s not against the people of Texas, it’s not against riot. It’s against the readers, the people who are paying for The New York Times, who are being defrauded and who should be litigating this, frankly, because it’s high time for The New York Times to be held accountable.
Stephan – 00:38:19:
Right. And so let me just walk through some of that just to make sure everyone’s following along. So, as you’re saying, we can think of it like there’s three layers of this argument, in a way, or three layers to understand here. One layer is just you’re a bitcoin miner and you have a certain price point below which you are no longer profitable. And if electricity price rises above that, well, then you switch off that’s kind of first layer thinking. Then second layer, as you mentioned, it’s beneficial for bitcoin miners and electricity companies to engage in long-term contracts where they come up with a deal, and it gives certainty on both sides, right? The bitcoin miner, he can say, oh, I know I’m going to be paying this particular rate for the next five years, ten years, et cetera. And the electricity producer gets certainty knowing, oh, I can build out this much capacity because I know this bitcoin miner is going to suck up as much as I can give him at this rate for this much. And that’s kind of the second layer. And so that aspect, as you were mentioning, helps the grid because all other things equal, there’s now more capacity in terms of production, electricity production on the grid in general. So that’s just one factor there. And then, as you said, in times of extreme high demand, as electricity prices go up, it can be profitable and make sense for those bitcoin miners to switch off and let that energy be used by somebody else, right? So I guess that’s kind of the second layer. And then, as you said, the third layer is ERCOT. So for people who aren’t familiar, ERCOT stands for Electric Reliability Council of Texas. And as you said, they operate this program called RRS, which is another layer of letting electricity be taken by people who really need it at that time. Right?
Pierre – 00:40:04:
Yeah, that’s right.
Stephan – 00:40:05:
Yeah. And so then, essentially, as we’ve walked through, this is fundamentally a good thing for the people of Texas, the people of, you know, just in general, people who want cheap, reliable energy. It’s a good thing that these things and these programs exist. And as you said, the New York Times, this Fiat propaganda blog, are coming out with this slant that’s trying to paint it as though that’s somehow a negative and as though it’s somehow propping up fossil fuels. Because at the end of the day, as you mentioned, they see it like the goal is to reduce fossil fuels in any way, in any way, shape or form. And they are looking at an industry or people that they can point the finger at and say, oh, look, see, you are propping up fossil fuels.
Pierre – 00:40:54:
That’s right. And the New York Times wants to ban bitcoin. Right. They don’t want anybody using bitcoin, whether it’s as a store value or for payments and they’re looking for every angle possible to get that policy outcome. And if targeting Bitcoin Miners with disinformation is something that is workable, then that’s what they’re going with. Now I expect that they’re going to try to find more angles because I don’t think that this is going to make a lot of progress because it’s just so obviously false and disingenuous. But expect The New York Times to come out with articles about how Bitcoin is helping terrorists, it’s helping criminals, money laundering, right? They’re going to try to find every way to disparage Bitcoin because it scares them that there would be an asset out there, a monetary network that is outside the control of the Federal Reserve that is scarce and that empowers people to be able to control their own money without having to rely on a bank. Without having to rely on corporations. Without having to rely on governments. The New York Times that is anathema to their worldview. They want everything to be centrally planned. They wish that communism had worked, communism failed and now their next thing is environmentalism, quote unquote. And this fake environmentalism because it’s not about saving the planet, right? It’s about finding ways to use environmentalism to weaponize it in the service of Marxism to advance communism. It reminds me of George Reisman. The watermelon, right. You have this green outside, it’s just a veneer, it’s just a facade. On the inside it’s red. It’s pure communism.
Stephan – 00:42:56:
Right. And so there are a number of dishonest comparisons and another one they do make. Of course, of course you and I are strongly anti-altcoins but they favorably talk about Ethereum and proof of stake because again, they love these centralized programs. They love this whole notion and they are very dishonest in the comparison because obviously Ethereum and proof of stake are not comparable at all to Bitcoin and proof of work, aren’t they?
Pierre – 00:43:23:
That’s right. And we could get into proof of stake because I thought it was astounding too that they were saying that the Bitcoin community, it’s the Bitcoiners who don’t want to switch to proof of stake and that oh, it’s unworkable. Perhaps they should have talked with computer scientists. There was a great paper from Stanford. These are PhD Computer scientists saying here’s how to fix proof of stake because it’s broken. The way to fix proof of stake is to anchor it in proof of work because proof of work actually has security assurances transaction finality that is secure. So The New York Times, they don’t understand proof of work versus proof of stake, obviously. Otherwise they well or they do. And the reason they like proof of stake is because it is centralized, right? And proof of stake they can control because for example, even with Ethereum all they have to do is just print lots of dollars, buy lots of ETH, take over 60% of the stake and then they can set the protocol rules. So proof of stake is I’ve often heard people talk about how it’s the status quo. The existing dollar system is proof of stake. The rich plutocrats in New York and Washington DC. Who control the money printer, they are the ones who decide the protocol rules for the dollar. And I think there’s a lot of truth to that. So I think Ethereum is a CBDC and that ultimately The New York Times is pro CBDC and bitcoin being decentralized. And the only way for bitcoin to be decentralized is to use proof of work is for bitcoin mining. And so that’s why it is such a great target for them.
Stephan – 00:45:25:
Yeah. And so let’s talk about action items then. So obviously, listeners of this show, you can share this podcast, get the word out there, speak out, speak up about the problems of hateful, propaganda, fiat blogs like The New York Times. Do you have any other suggestions for listeners out there? What can they do to counter this or take some kind of action?
Pierre – 00:45:45:
I would say, first and foremost, keep bitcoining, right? Keep learning more about bitcoin. If you’re a software developer, if you’re interested in software development, learning to code. There’s been no better time to learn to code because of this GPT-4 AI functionality that really I mean, I’ve been using it. It’s so great because even if you’re not very familiar with the programming language, you can write a comment and the AI will write lots of code for you and then you just have to go in and kind of touch things up. So the thing that makes bitcoin unstoppable is that it’s decentralized and it’s open-source. So we got to keep leaning on the fact that it’s open-source and keep building and keep creating solutions for real world problems. And the bottom line is that currency debasement, fiat inflation, this is a real world problem. Censorship of payments, debanking, these are all real world problems. And using software, using code, open source, decentralized, we can solve these problems, and to a large extent we already have, but there’s always room for continued improvement in improving the UX, improving the Bitcoin protocol, the Lightning protocol. So my call really is keep building. And the politics of this we’re going to fight at the political level, and I think that’s important as well. But the most important is to keep building and to keep mining. Keep mining bitcoin. Right. Keep building your data centers, plugging in mining rigs, improving the energy efficiency of bitcoin mining by finding stranded energy, by using immersion cooling technologies. This is a nascent industry and we’re still very early. So I say, first of all, keep building. Second of all, keep educating, whether it’s your friends or family or legislators and staff or energy companies, local communities, we need to keep driving, understanding and education because the facts are on our side. So as long as we’re getting the facts out there and frankly, The New York Times is spreading disinformation and misleading their readers. But I’m confident that Bitcoiners can counteract that. And third is the last is the political engagement. Right? I’m trying to do all three. It’s a lot. But on the political engagement side, I was recently in DC. I’ve been at the Texas Capitol several times over the past week because a lot of legislators, they want to learn the facts because they want good policy. They know that if they create bad policy, there’s going to be a backlash from the voters and that come next election they’re going to have bitcoiners or bitcoin-friendly politicians getting up and making speeches about how Senator so and so voted for this horrible bill. That you, the voters, the constituents who are investing in bitcoin and who are excited about this new technology are at odds with. And so I think that at the end of the day, despite lots of cynicism about politicians, they want to do the right thing. And so it’s really about feeding them the truth because our competitors, the incumbents, the fiat bankers, the Ideologues, the Marxists, they’re feeding disinformation to these people and that’s to their detriment. So, yeah, those are my three calls to action.
Stephan – 00:50:02:
Fantastic. Well, I think that’s probably a good spot to finish up there. So, as Pierre said, listeners, number one, it’s building. Number two, it’s educating. Number three, it’s okay, a little bit of politics, try to speak the truth. And I believe, as you said, Pierre, the truth is on our side. And let’s just keep hammering that message out there. So, listeners, make sure you follow Pierre. All the links will be in the show notes. Pierre, thank you for joining me today.
Pierre – 00:50:26:
Thanks, Stephan. This was great. Let’s do it again soon.
Stephan – 00:50:29:
So I hope you found that episode useful as a debunking and a correction of some of the disinformation being put out there by The New York Times. Make sure to share this episode with your family and friends and get the show notes over @ stephanlivera.com/470. Thanks. And I’ll see you in the Citadels.