by Patrick O’Shaughnessy
My guest this week is Saifedean Ammous, author of the book the Bitcoin Standard. This was one of the more interesting conversations I’ve had in the world of cryptocurrency, primarily because we don’t talk about Bitcoin or Crypto until 25 minutes into the talk. Instead, we focus on history, economics, sound money, low time preference, and gold—all interesting topics.
Saif’s thinking on cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin—which is that they are worthless—is unique and thought provoking. His reasoning around why gold shouldn’t be compared to the returns generated by assets like equities was also compelling. If you’ve followed my Hash Power episodes, this is a new a differentiated interpretation of Bitcoin as a technology for the store of value use case. Please enjoy our conversation.
0:00 – (First Question) – Explain Sound Money
2:15 – Examples of hard vs easy money
5:26 – the even money trap
7:26 – The benefits of hard money vs today’s standards
11:55 – Why this interests him
14:07 – Correlation between time preference and people’s ability to succeed in life
17:49 – How money markets worked in the late 18th century vs today
25:47 – How he came across Bitcoin and how he thinks of it as a digital gold
33:32 – How will the world transition to a sound money standard
40:05 – The impacts of hyperinflation on crypto currencies
42:54 – The idea of a orderly upgrade of the world currency
46:10 – His thinking on alternative coins
51:55 – What it takes to compete with bitcoin
59:33 – How he diversifies
1:02:25 – Stalling bitcoins demand
1:04:01 – Does he apply his thinking of lower time preference elsewhere in his life
1:04:59 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him
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