Rockstar Developer joins me to talk about his experiences in open source development, working on BTCPayServer, Tor crowdfunding, and his philosophy of Rockstarism.
- Open source vs closed source development
- BTCPayServer and the community
- BTCPayServer benefits
- Tor crowdfunding
- Rockstarism philosophy
- Experiences with hyperinflation
Rockstar and BTCPayServer links:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/r0ckstardev
- BTCPayServer: https://btcpayserver.org/
- Tor Crowdfunding project: https://bitcoinfortor.torproject.net/
SLP BTCPayServer series link:
- SLP BTCPayServer series page: https://stephanlivera.com/?p=1228
- Kraken: http://www.kraken.com/?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=stephanlivera
- Unchained Capital: https://www.unchained-capital.com/?utm_source=Stephan%20Livera&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=Affiliate
Stephan Livera links:
- Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/stephanlivera
- Show notes and website: https://stephanlivera.com/
- Subscribe to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/stephan-livera/
- Rate and Review the podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/stephan-livera-podcast/id1415720320?mt=2
- Email contact: email@example.com
Podcast Transcript (Sponsored by http://givebitcoin.io):
Stephan Livera: Hi and welcome to the Stephan Livera podcast focused on bitcoin and Austrian economics. Today we have a very special episode. It’s the start of a series on BTCPay Server. The episode today is with Rockstar Dev, but first let me introduce the sponsors of the show.
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Stephan Livera: So, this is a special interview series I wanted to about BTCPay Server, an important project in bitcoin that helps provide free censorship resistant payment processing for merchants, along with many other benefits. Quick note, if you haven’t already listened to episode SLP 48 with Nicolas Dorier, go and check that one out too. I may even retrospectively add it to this series. Hopefully after this series you’ll be motivated to try out BTCPay Server for yourself, familiarize with it, and teach your bitcoin newbie friends how to set it up. Also, how cool is it that BTCPay Server is being used as part of the recently announced Tor crowdfunding campaign? Go and donate to the Tor campaign and to BTCPay Server also.
Stephan Livera: Rockstar is a funny guy and I really enjoyed chatting with him. Here’s the interview, which I’m sure you’ll love.
Stephan Livera: Rockstar, welcome to the show, mate.
Rockstar Dev: Thanks man.
Stephan Livera: So, Rockstar, you’re infamous in the bitcoin community and I thought it would be great to get some focus on you and people can learn a little bit more about your background. I wanted to start with your name, Rockstar Dev. Now, I understand within the software recruitment world there’s a bit of a trope or a meme of this idea of, “Oh, you gotta hire this guy, he’s a rockstar dev,” or the person trying to hire someone will be like, “No, we really want a rockstar level developer.” Is that where your name came from?
Rockstar Dev: Well, I mean, it is that kind of a joke. Right? Because everybody’s like, when they say they want to hire a rockstar developer they really want somebody who is working 12 hours a day, right, without requirements or anything. So, it is a joke but actually there is a secret meaning behind that name, which I will show you when we meet in person and do the party stuff. So, you will also get that component of being a rockstar.
Stephan Livera: And the other trope is the one of how, let’s say some new technology has only existed for two years and they’ll say, “Oh, we’ll looking for someone with five year’s experience.” So look, I think BTCPay Server has been around for less than one year, so look, I’m looking for somebody with at least three years’ BTCPay Server experience. Have you got that?
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Yeah. I do man. I do. And then there is that also great comic on the topic, right? Where they’re hiring rockstar developer and the guy just throws the chair out of the office and starts partying and whatever and then they’re like, “Yeah, let’s hire this guy.” So, we would just turn it into a joke, I guess. I guess that’s it, because if we’re serious about software development, yeah, you always want steady guys. Right? Like low profile ones. I mean, even if you look at the bitcoin development, those that are really driving bitcoin development, you don’t see them shit posting on Twitter like me. You know, the guys are actually doing work and then when you ask them a question they’re very serious, steady.
Rockstar Dev: So, I don’t know, us rockstar developers will just entertain people and let the guys do real work, and we’ll help as much as we can with our own effort. Right?
Stephan Livera: Right. And let’s talk about your background as a software developer then. Tell us a little bit of how you got into it.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. I was always fascinated with computers. It’s just one of those things, as a kid where … especially when you’re starting out and you’re just playing games on computers. Right? And back in the ’80s and ’90s the games left a lot to be desired and you needed to use way more imagination than today, right? But there were some seriously good games, even back then, and then I was fascinated with computers. Beyond playing games it was always this concept of automating work. Right? Because I guess that’s how all humans are wired. If you can do something once perfectly and then have that repeat over and over, that’s extremely attractive.
Rockstar Dev: So, that was the biggest thing for me and I simply wanted to understand how to direct these devices to do my bidding and I started my first programming, I even did basic back on Commodore 64. But I really got into it with .NET framework when Microsoft released that, and my first job, it was like 2002. So, looking now, it’s 2019. Man, I’m an old geezer. No, I mean, I’m serious. I know especially today I also joked on Twitter how these young upcoming guys … Back in the day when I was … it’s still 2002, so it’s not too much back in the day, but man, programmers weren’t as pretty as Nicolas and Blue Matt.
Stephan Livera: You got to be an attractive-
Rockstar Dev: No, I mean seriously. You saw that, right? Like, you saw how attractive both of them are? Come on.
Stephan Livera: Yeah, for sure. For sure. How can a normal mortal keep up with someone that attractive? It’s very difficult.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. And I mean, it’s ridiculous, man. Not only great programmers but good looking guys. I don’t know. But to get back onto me, yeah. 2002 started professionally and since then, 17 years in this coding thing. I’ve programmed in big companies, small companies, back in Europe, sometime in Asia, then here in the U.S. the last 10 years, mostly startups. And yeah, that’s me and programming in short.
Stephan Livera: How about your experiences then contrasting whether you’ve done open source development versus closed source development. What are your thoughts on that?
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. I mean, it is quite interesting to compare how it is working in some corporation. I’m on a project that’s proprietary and everybody’s like, “Oh, nobody can see this code.” And usually when nobody can see the code it’s pretty shitty, so that’s always characteristic. Like, if somebody won’t let you see their code you can bet it’s pretty bad.
Rockstar Dev: But what fascinates me when I compare those two field is how underfunded open source is and still how passionate people are about it. Because if you really look at there is really no other profession that uses their free time the way programmers do. Right? You have programmers who work eight hours for some corporation and then you ask them, “Okay, when you go home, what is your hobby?” And they’re like, “Okay, more programming.” Right? It is kind of ridiculous but it’s fascinating to me, really. And especially on BTCPay Server, it’s fantastic community, lots of passionate people, both programmers and non programmers but people that are still really important, really contributing a lot. I really say if you want to get into bitcoin development but you can’t start from bitcoin core or your not C++ wizard, come and see BTCPay Server. I’m sure people will stick because of the community.
Stephan Livera: So, let’s talk about BTCPay Server and why it is so special. Everyone knows the story of Nicolas Dorier and so on, but from your point of view, I’d like to hear why do you think it’s special.
Rockstar Dev: Well, I think it’s special, if I start going through my list of reasons, the number one is definitely BTCPay Server as a model. And I even said this recently in some discussion, I think with Pierre, our awesome Pierre, that I really believe that the future of especially bitcoin is open source. Any big company in bitcoin ecosystem that wants to be impactful and good for the community will need to be open source. Exactly because one of the biggest beauties of bitcoin is opting in and opting out, and proof of work where you are picking what is bitcoin by simply looking at different parameters.
Rockstar Dev: When I said BTCPay Server as a model I meant you had a situation with BitPay that was extremely unfortunate where they were the ones deciding for tens of thousands of merchants what is bitcoin. Not only were they deciding but they were trying to be funny with the whole thing and lead the narrative in a certain direction, and it was like, “Yeah, we will just transfer all the merchants to a SegWit2x. If you don’t like it, tough luck.” And all those merchants that were using it, BitPay was in an unfortunate position, because you want to keep your business running but you don’t want to support SegWit2x. Right? So, that’s what I love about BTCPay Server, that example of a model how this all should work. If BitPay wants to be a big company, bitcoin ecosystem, ideally they should’ve been open source, and then when the management decides to support SegWit2x then every merchant can say, “Okay. I don’t support it. I’ll bring up my own instance. This is bitcoin for me.”
Rockstar Dev: And yeah, I wish to see that for all the projects in the bitcoin ecosystem, to have that ability for people to host their own instance and have full access to source code.
Stephan Livera: Yeah. I love what you’re saying there about that idea of self sovereignty. I think that was a lesson that many bitcoiners learned, this idea that in the past, “Oh, I’ll just trust BitPay to deal with it for me.” But now with what happened is essentially the anti fragility of bitcoin kicked in and then BTCPay Server came and now people have that option to not trust some external service. And one cool thing about that is when you run BTCPay Server you’re actually also running a full node.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s all about that, and if you look at bitcoin itself it’s so fascinating how now you have this money, or however we call it, I mean, it’s not even money, it’s like a new element, new gold, but you have a system to transfer value between people without any intermediary eventually. And what fascinates me with bitcoin mostly is how it’s such a big invention. First money that’s not issued by government and yet people are still talking it’s a bubble, it’s this, it’s that. That Peter guy is crazy with gold, man. It’s so funny. What did he say, he can make cuff links, right?
Stephan Livera: Yes, it was cuff links. He was basically trying to say something like you can make something out of it. He’s very focused on this idea of going back to some kind of industrial value to it.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Yeah man. Everybody will have gold coins and carry them in those little pouches, right? I don’t know man, it’s so funny. But no, in all seriousness, respect to gold community but that guy is just so funny. I can’t help it. It’s my fascination with people like that that just … they decide and then they try to make the whole world and everything fit their views. But yeah, they make so many good jokes in the process, so you can at least laugh.
Stephan Livera: Yeah, we can have some fun along the way.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah.
Stephan Livera: Another topic I’m interested for you to touch on is, I agree with you about this idea that I think the future is going to be open source, but I’m just envisioning some listeners, maybe they’re not as familiar with that idea. They might be thinking, “What? Hang on, how am I going to protect my own business model?” So, do you have any thoughts on how a company can be open source but still be profitable?
Rockstar Dev: Well yeah, I don’t even need to go into details considering Mattermost almost raised, what, like 50 million VC recently. Because in the end it’s all about service. That’s how I see it. It’s all about creating value and especially with software, that’s something that more and more people are realizing. I mean, source code itself, it does depend on the model, but I would say you will have increasing number of business models that simply work without so much focus being on, “Let’s hide the code.” Right? If you look at, I don’t know, Red Hat as an example of open source done extremely, extremely well. You’re in a position where you can send zero dollars to Red Hat yet people are sending them tons of money and IBM bought them for 35 billion.
Rockstar Dev: Just realize that at the end of the day it is all about value creation and interaction between us humans and them. Organizations. Those groups of people that come together to provide a service. Just providing, building value, and always the most value is not in the code, man. I mean, value is always between people. And even if you look at bitcoin as an example, what’s the value of that source code? It’s again all the network effect, all the people, that they’re participating in bitcoin eco system. It is community, it is history even. So, source code is there, people are trying to fork it, creating their own bitcoin or whatever they try the peddle, but in the end it’s people.
Rockstar Dev: So that’s how I really see the future and more and more companies are realizing that. I, for example, love what Microsoft is doing on that topic. I mean, they’re open sourcing more and more and they should keep going.
Stephan Livera: So yeah, I think aligned with that is this idea that you might produce certain software but what typically happens is that the people who are coding that or working with that have a better knowledge of it and they can then deliver it as a service. So even though the software itself, for example in the Red Hat model which is a famous model, is free but then if you want service and the support, that’s where you pay them.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, yeah. I mean, again, there are likely softwares that will forever or for at least a reasonable amount of time stay closed source and models where you don’t want a source code of every Candy Crush game cloned from the App Store. But really for anything in the bitcoin ecosystem, I really believe all the companies should go in that direction and then focus on service. You need to give me examples and I’ll be hard pressed to identify a company that needs to stay closed source in the bitcoin ecosystem.
Stephan Livera: Yeah. No, agreed. Another point that you might touch on is around this idea of in bitcoin it’s very … as the bitcoin itself is a bearer asset, he who holds the private keys holds the coins and then even by necessity the code has to be open source for that reason as well, so that people can place trust in the software that they’re using.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. And really it’s such a great feeling to participate in this global community of people and improve in that fashion where everything is public. I mean, just look at you and me man. How would we ever meet if it wasn’t for bitcoin and everything? It’s really beautiful, because you meet all these people that you share beliefs with and somehow you’re working together, essentially, pushing forward this great system that will make humanity more efficient eventually. Fascinating really.
Stephan Livera: Let’s talk about some of your experiences in building up the community of BTCPay Server. You’re seen as a leader in that, so tell us about that.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. I mean, those guys are … I don’t if they would vote me as a leader. Maybe as a chief entertainer or something. But yeah, again, we can come back to the previous question of open source and it’s just that. People see what you’re doing and then they can help you. They can look at it and say this is missing or that is missing. Maybe I have this knowledge that’s needed. And when I look at our translator community, for example, I love all those people even though I don’t know most of them, because somebody’s helping you, you are helping them. It’s poetry in motion, man. Really. And for me, when I joined up I really joined because I wanted to code something with Nicolas. I mean, we knew each other before this project and I was following his work and basically said to him, “Whenever you need plus one, I’m there,” and then he started his BTCPay Server stuff.
Rockstar Dev: It also allowed me … It was a good opportunity, because I spent a lot of time being anonymous troll on Reddit [crosstalk 00:23:08]. Right? And you can argue so much with people before you go crazy. So I was really frustrated and demoralized with civil war and everything that was happening, and I had skills and wanted to utilize those skills so when Nicolas started BTCPay Server I was like, “Yeah, let me join in. Let me not argue with people.” If Craig Wright is the Satoshi, man, after 20 discussions when somebody was saying, “Yeah, Craig Wright is Satoshi,” I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t explain to people why he’s not and this was back in, what, 2017, 2016.
Rockstar Dev: But yeah, I then joined Nicolas and from there it was just whenever good person joins you want to be there to greet them, to interact with them, to see what skills they have, what skills they possess are not used in their everyday life and BTCPay Server can use it. And people are great. People will do phenomenal stuff as long as you just give them opportunity to do so. So that’s really all I’ve tried when it comes to building up community.
Rockstar Dev: And then considering my experience with being in the software industry for so long, I really wanted to add people around Nicolas, because he’s this Peter Pan, man. If you look at his history, his always doing something amazing and then jumps to the next thing and with BTCPay Server I really wanted to see if he can be supported more by people, because he’s not like some other people that are very loud and have a huge reach. He’s so focused on the code and I really wanted to help a little bit with that and add people around him that will further amplify what he’s doing. And man, it’s been phenomenal. I can maybe try to take credit but really it was just luck, man. Especially when you look at people, Pavle, Kukks, Britt Kelly, Esky. Phenomenal people. It’s just … thank you, guys, for being on the project with me.
Stephan Livera: So, tell us a little bit about how people fall down the BTCPay Server rabbit hole, for example. Do they join the Mattermost chat group and then they start hanging out and then they try and contribute in a certain area? What’s that process look like?
Rockstar Dev: Well yeah, the way that I see is people essentially see something that bothers them and then they do something about it, maybe come to Mattermost, start interacting, and as soon as they start talking with me they fall in love and stay forever on the project.
Stephan Livera: You’re just a charming man, Rockstar.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I mean, really, if I think about Pavle, Pavle really was kind of like that. He came and he was helping with documentation and I guess BTCPay Server project was the first project that really noticed and acknowledged everything that he was doing. Because man, he contributed a lot even before BTCPay Server. Then for Kukks … Yeah, with Kukks, he’s just crazy, man. You will see, he’s just crazy and he codes and when I saw that I was just trying to get him … the more I can connect him with Nicolas the better it is, because with programmers you do want this, what I call vibration. You want two people that are vibrating off of each other, you know. One person does this, other person does that and they just keep amplifying. And Britt Kelley, as I already said, she’s an angel that fell from the sky and is trying to help humanity beat entropy.
Stephan Livera: Rockstar, I’m also curious to ask you a little bit about your philosophy. I’ve heard it’s called Rockstarism.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Yeah, man. I’m really a philosophy buff. Like, really big into philosophy and with Rockstarism it’s really another joke. I say it’s a branch of nihilistic philosophy. It acknowledges the nihilistic philosophy essentially that it says yeah, everything is pointless. Right? Everything sucks. But with Rockstarism we need to take optimistic twist about it. You know?
Stephan Livera: Yeah.
Rockstar Dev: Exactly because everything sucks and everything is pointless, let’s do fun stuff. You know?
Stephan Livera: Yeah.
Rockstar Dev: Actually, when we were talking back about building up community and the whole thing with Britt Kelley being an angel and that, it does come back to Rockstarism and building up community, because it’s interaction between people and the stuff that we don’t know, those are the interesting topics. And I think also when we talk about this podcast, for example, the whole interaction between two individuals philosophizing about certain topics, that’s the core of the whole experience and why people listen to this and participate and like. So, more power to philosophy, yeah. And if anybody wants to expand their knowledge, reach out. Let’s talk about Rockstarism and that optimistic twist and all of us being rock stars and contributing.
Stephan Livera: I love that. I love the way you act on Twitter as well. You’re sort of like, “Oh, it’s fine, you can take it out on me but we’re just all going to keep building and keep going anyway,” and that’s the way you operate.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, for me, especially a few months back when there were all that fun stuff with the attacks on the project and everything else, I do think my philosophical background helped with that. Although, I’m not sure if people understood that I was serious or they thought I was trolling, because I was mentioning we need to go back in time and kill Vitalik. You read that post or no?
Stephan Livera: I’m not sure if I read that particular post, no.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, we need to link that post. I was actually being serious. I mean, if we invent time machine and go back and kill Vitalik, save all the resources being wasted on Ethereum. We will just have the bigger problem with Justin TRON and what is the other guy, Bytemaster. Right?
Stephan Livera: Yeah, Dan Larimer.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, the one that just keeps building the system and just when the money runs out he has the new idea for a new project. I mean, that guy is so much fun man. But anyways, yeah, if we take out Vitalik we have even bigger problems. So yeah, I really think my background in philosophy shows there that everything is for the reason and we should keep supporting lesser evil, essentially, because you don’t always have good choice and bad choice. Most of the time you need to pick between lesser evils.
Stephan Livera: On the topic of less evil, how about the topic of good? In the open source funding model around the world of bitcoin, who are some people who do it well?
Rockstar Dev: Well, a lot. A lot of people are doing it well and I’m really hoping that eventually, as we transition maybe towards having more and more of bitcoin ecosystem being open source, because today it’s not, today really the companies that are making the most money in bitcoin ecosystem are really closed source, focused on stockpiling more power. And again, the ones that contributed to the ecosystem, good for them. But the ones that didn’t, we need to find alternatives. For me, looking at, for example, RTL, Ride The Lightning, that’s an awesome project. I mean, LND itself, also love the way they’re organized. C-lightning, again …
Rockstar Dev: But really, the non funded open source project I would say, like Ride The Lightning, really great project. Then what Pierre Rochard is doing with holding, bringing the people up and running with full nodes, that’s freaking fantastic. And finally I am really, really looking forward to seeing what will happen with Square Crypto, how that will completely play out. I had the opportunity to talk with the crew there in Square Crypto and lately with Steven Lee who was hired to spearhead the effort, and the guy is just … I didn’t know him before but when I met him, first talk, second talk, he’s phenomenal man. You always want high energy people and this guy is so high energy that I can’t wait to see what will happen with Square Crypto effort.
Stephan Livera: Yeah, I had the chance to meet him as well in San Francisco just briefly, but my experience of him was really great as well. He sounds like a really switched on guy and the way he’s trying to help project manage bitcoin and bitcoin development is a really smart idea. So-
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, yeah. I always want people that you look in the eye and you see you’re clicking and then as soon as you’re done they’re back with something, and that’s what I get with Steve. Just a constant stream of energy and I can’t wait to see that energy harnessed and hopefully we’ll have this explosion of all the services being open source and people being able to … that self sovereignty component.
Stephan Livera: Yeah. Speaking of open source software funding, I’m also interested to discuss Tor. Do you want to expound on that a little bit?
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. I would be really glad to talk about that, because BTCPay Server itself, we are not funded at this point by anybody. Right? It’s just a bunch of people coming together and self funding it. Nicolas helped a lot with funds actually. Some other people from bitcoin community. We did have a fundraiser and I would use this opportunity, whoever donated, even if you donated a dollar, thank you. It’s really great to be a community project in that sense.
Rockstar Dev: But we essentially built this crowdfunding and used it first for us and it was successful. People like that model simply. So, what we started thinking, if we ourselves can’t be sustainably funded, let’s at least try to make it happen for somebody else. Right? Like, do good. So, Tor came up as a project that we definitely want to support and bitcoin community, everybody loves Tor because it is very important to open source projects. So, we reached out to them, came up with the agreement and actually, I think, the day after you release this podcast there should be Tor crowdfunding campaign up and running. So people, please be on the lookout for that. And again, it will be bitcoin focused, it will be hosted by BTCPay Server, we’ll have a lot of great people supporting it, including you, Stephan, probably.
Stephan Livera: Of course. Of course.
Rockstar Dev: So yeah. I mean, just come together, enjoy time together, interact over Twitter, and try to repeat. It probably won’t be as … we are all Hodlonaut, it won’t be as big bang as that was but still, we’ll have fun man.
Stephan Livera: It’s one of those things that you can uniquely use BTCPay Server. Where every other option is gone, you can still fundraise with BTCPay Server so that is an interesting point of differentiation that BTCPay Server can offer compared to basically any other payment processor.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it all comes from that self sovereignty, the fact that you control 100% of the technology, and I often try to explain to people that BTCPay Server is not really like payment processor as much it’s really becoming a technology stack. And you have more and more people that just use BTCPay Server to run their nodes or they use BTCPay Server as a starting point for their own development. I, for example, love what Jeff did with LibrePatron where he essentially provided bitcoin alternative for Patron. The only problem is nobody really took it forward. Instead, people are trying to build something new or from scratch while they really should be supporting that effort.
Rockstar Dev: So yeah, that’s again … We were talking at the beginning of the podcast why I like BTCPay Server and it’s exactly that. That 100% control. Of course, for some people too much control just is … they can’t do 100% because of the knowledge, but I believe we should always start from that premise, 100% control, and then eventually, as the ecosystem develops, there will be people that host for the others. Then if that hosting doesn’t work out you always have the option to go towards more control for yourself.
Stephan Livera: Fantastic. With the Hodlonaut campaign, as listeners probably are aware, there was the Lightning Torch and Hodlonaut was famously the one who started this. And then when Craig Steven Wright, the fraudster, tried to sue Hodlonaut there was a big campaign. So, tell us where BTCPay Server came in there and some lessons from that.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. But what do you mean fraudster man? The man is Satoshi, right? No, the best video, I mean one of the best videos, because Craig is really entertainment, man, but the best video is that guy yelling at him like, “Faketoshi. Faketoshi.”
Stephan Livera: He’s like, “Goodbye, Faketoshi.”
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, goodbye, Faketoshi. Yeah. But with Hodlonaut I actually just happened to meet the guy a few months back because we had this crazy meet with people in the bitcoin space. I mean, to be honest there were also some people that are, what, shitcoiners. So, we call them that. I mean, we’re all Hodlonaut, that’s the name of the campaign.
Rockstar Dev: But it was a great meet with great people. It wasn’t bitcoin, shitcoin, it was more like [DGen 00:41:21]. That was the title. And I love the guy. Really. And we stayed in touch after that and then the whole craziness with Craig happened where they’re just looking for promotion and piling on this guy that can’t defend himself because of some stuff, and they unfortunately identify that and you know how jerks are. Whenever they identify the weakness they just start following it more. Yeah. Yeah. But luckily we have Twitter and really all the action on Twitter is in DMs. I must say, all the action is in DMs, people. This public thing with likes and retweets. No. It’s not there.
Rockstar Dev: So yeah, a pretty good group formed around the idea that we should do something and from there it was just execution. I mean, we really moved fast, really fast, and I can see that some people are still playing with the domain names, with loser.com and the other domain names, Initially we actually wanted to use some interesting domain names to drive the campaign, but in the end lawyers wouldn’t let us so we only went weareallhodlonaut.com. It was phenomenal, man. It was really phenomenal and I guess that’s also where we really took it to the next level and understood that we can use this technology for more fundraising, and that’s why I’m excited for Tor, to see how it will follow up. Form there really whatever cause the community identifies as good, if we are needed BTCPay Server team will be there to help and support with technology.
Stephan Livera: Excellent. Well, that sounds great. I’m also interested to just talk a little bit about if you had any experiences in terms of growing up and living in hyperinflation. Did you have anything you wanted to touch on there?
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. I mean, for me, I was really impacted with the fact that growing up you had the government doing what it was doing back in former Yugoslavia and it really left a big mark on me. When I think about all those formative years I really needed to take some time to come to terms with what was happening Then actually when I discovered Cypherpunks and the whole Cypherpunk movement I was really glad, because I understood I’m not completely crazy and these things that are important to me, like privacy by default and all that stuff, it wasn’t just me or the impact of situation in which I was growing up but rather there were people that even grew up here in the U.S. and were sensitive on those issues and understanding how important they are. And for hyperinflation itself, I mean, just that unfortunate thing of power corrupting where you’re telling to yourself that you’re doing something for the greater good, right? And when you have control over money, that temptation to print money just to make things right is so, so huge. With hyperinflation, yeah, it’s just terrible.
Rockstar Dev: For me, I thought I would be probably the last generation to grow up in hyperinflation, but obviously what did I know? Now when I look, man, we have hyperinflation even today with all the countries. Something just goes wrong and then government is like, “Oh, foreigners want to invade us. We need to print more money to defend poor us.” It’s just so unfortunate and I don’t see that cycle breaking up until we have hyper bitcoinization. You know? When we have the bitcoin standard, essentially. Because politicians, if they have option to solve the problems by printing money, that’s what they’ll do. I mean, that’s the way out.
Stephan Livera: Yeah. And I view BTCPay Server as important project as part of that mission, because the other things is, in the past other attempts have been co-opted by the government. So, PayPal, they got co-opted by the government, and so that’s why a project like BTCPay Server is so important.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Man, the more you talk about how much you love us, the more I’m loving you. I mean, I don’t know where’s the end and where’s the boundary, limit, to this [crosstalk 00:47:18]. It is really that. And if you look even at the arc of history, it absolutely bends towards individual freedom. As soon as we had the technology to make individuals more free, that’s what happened. And people were saying, I don’t know, bitcoin will disappear or this, No, it won’t. I mean, people want to separate the state and money the same way they separated state and religion. For good reasons. Because you do want that separation. As soon as your technically able to have that separation you should do it. As soon as you don’t need old people to be farmers working in the field, being generalists instead of specializing, that’s what you do.
Rockstar Dev: With money it simply will happen. People have been trying to separate money and state for a long time and finally we have technology to make it happen so that’s what’s coming up and what we will see. And we will need a lot of technology to make that reality and to make it user friendly, seamless, and it’s an honor, really, to be participating in that and what our capacity.
Stephan Livera: All right. So look, turning our eye now to the future, do you have any ideas around future directions or ideas that BTCPay Server might go down?
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. I mean, I would really talk first maybe about future of BTCPay Server itself, but then I do believe that future will be interesting in a wider perspective of whole bitcoin ecosystem and how it will impact BTCPay Server. Because number one thing for BTCPay Server absolutely is making it a sustainable project and a sustainable effort, because right now, man, ever since it’s inception it’s really been going on a goodwill of everybody involved and I am hoping to see more support for the project that goes beyond the love of you and me and individual people who love BTCPay Server and gets more into concrete help from companies that operate in bitcoin ecosystem. Because we do want to use this model of 100% control by end user and individual, but still the code base is flexible enough that it can be run by some enterprise.
Rockstar Dev: So, I would say that’s number one thing for BTCPay Server, that sustainability, and whoever can help with that, please feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be glad to talk.
Rockstar Dev: Number two for BTCPay Server when it comes to future is doing more work that will further solidify BTCPay Server as a development platform. Something that people can build on top of. And I already mentioned Jeff with his Patron alternative. I think that’s fantastic service. Ride The Lightning also you can run it on BTCPay Server, and we really have good architecture that allows, regardless of technology used, you can plug in into BTCPay Server and run. It’s a fantastic platform and we will be doing more work to further make that more easier and also build the API that’s free of BitPay legacy and bad design choices. Yeah.
Stephan Livera: Excellent. So, what about you then? I know there’s a couple of conferences coming up. Where can any of the listeners, if they want to meet the legend in person, where can they find you?
Rockstar Dev: Yeah. Well, the first one that’s coming up is Bit Block Boom in Dallas and there is also a great dinner organized by SNI. Jeff will be lifting weights with people, that will be freaking fantastic. So, that’s the first conference and then I’ll also be coming for that Honeybadger in Riga. That one will be freaking crazy, man. I already am preparing people and talking with the crew, the Degen crew, so likely a lot of them will be there. They’ll probably pile on me for the shitcoiner comment, but you know what, we’ll be partying so yeah. Hopefully they won’t mind it too much but we’ll just have fun.
Rockstar Dev: And yeah, really on Twitter, whoever wants to reach out, talk, banter on anything BTCPay Server, bitcoin related, I’m always there so holler and we’ll start interacting.
Stephan Livera: Fantastic. So, I think that’s pretty much it so I just wanted to say thank you again for joining me today.
Rockstar Dev: Yeah, thank you, Stephan, for everything.
Stephan Livera: Hope you guys enjoyed that. Make sure you donate to the Tor crowdfunding campaign and donate to BTCPay Server. Also, share this episode and interview series with your friends so they can also get an insight into BTCPay Server. Show notes are on my site, stephanlivera.com. That’s it from me. Thanks guys and I’ll speak to you soon.