Jack Dorsey Elizabeth Stark stephan livera

Bitcoin: The Native Currency Of The Internet – Jack Dorsey & Elizabeth Stark on the Stephan Livera Podcast

Check out The Stephan Livera Podcast Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Jack is focused on Bitcoin due to its principles, community, ideals, and brand
    • Bitcoin is inherently resilient—it’s persisted through multiple forks, scalability issues, and various attacks
    • The Bitcoin brand strength is spectacular—people may have different perspectives about what it does, but it’s now widely recognized as a digital currency and store of value
  • The Lightning Network enables a high volume of rapid/small transactions, opening up new possibilities for Bitcoin
  • The potential for instant & global micropayments could result in the decline of subscription & ad-based business models, and the rise of a pay-for-service model; a few examples of the latter:
    • Paying artists and authors directly for their work
    • Paying to read ebooks or internet articles per page
    • Paying by the second for video streaming
  • Jack is looking into how to use Bitcoin and other technologies to address some of the challenges Twitter is facing, including:
    • Providing economic incentives
    • Trust & identity issues

Intro

  • Jack Dorsey (@jack) is the CEO of Twitter and Square
    • For more Jack, check out the Podcast Notes from his latest appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience as well as the Podcast Notes from his appearance on Sam Harris’ Making Sense podcast
  • Elizabeth Stark (@starkness) is CEO of Lightning Labs (@lightning)
  • Host – Stephan Livera (@stephanlivera)

How Jack Came to Appreciate Bitcoin

  • Jack has been fascinated with the Internet and the Cypherpunks movement for quite some time (Cypherpunks are activists who advocate using cryptography to preserve freedoms like individual privacy)
  • Jack read the Bitcoin White Paper when it was released and thought it was “amazing, simple, and beautiful”
    • “I think it’s one of the most seminal works on computer science in the past few decades. I think it’s beautifully written. I think it’s very principled and has a strong point of view. I love that it was put out there through pseudonymity, which just feels very ‘internet’ to me.”Jack Dorsey
  • In 2014, Square enabled merchants to accept Bitcoin; however, the feature saw little use at the time
  • During a Square company hackathon week in 2017, they built a feature that allowed anyone to seamlessly pay anywhere with Bitcoin using the Square Cash Card

Bitcoin is Principled

  • Jack is focused on Bitcoin due to its principles, community, ideals, and brand
    • Bitcoin is inherently resilient—it’s persisted through multiple forks, scalability issues, and various attacks
    • The Bitcoin brand strength is spectacular—people may have different perspectives about what it does, but it’s now widely recognized as a digital currency and store of value
  • “Bitcoin wants to be a currency the most, and we’re [Square] focused on the transactional aspect and what that enables” Jack Dorsey

The Lightning Network

  • In essence, the Lightning Network enables a high volume of rapid/small transactions—this opens up new possibilities for Bitcoin
  • It’s easy to send somebody a photo or a video on the internet via a variety of applications, but there’s currently no easy way to send value (but Lighting is working on that!)
    • Lightning is building this layer for programmable, permission-less, border-less money
  • A growing passionate community of developers and testers from around the world are building on Lightning; Elizabeth recommends you follow:
    • Alex Bosworth (@alexbosworth), a Lightning developer tweeting about the emerging lightning economy
    • Nik Bhatia (@timevalueofbtc), who’s writing about the financial and economic aspects of Lightning, as well as the time value of money

The Lightning Network Enables New Business Models

  • The potential for instant & global micropayments could result in the decline of subscription & ad-based business models, and the rise of a pay-for-service model; a few examples of the latter:
    • Paying artists and authors directly for their work
    • Paying to read ebooks or internet articles per page
    • Paying by the second for video streaming
    • In-game micropayments for gamers
  • Because of the mental overhead required for micropayments, Nick Szabo (@NickSzabo) writes about how they can only work if automated
    • Nick is a polymath & computer scientist – Check out these Podcast Notes from his appearance on The Tim Ferris Show, co-hosted by Naval Navikant, where he spoke about cryptocurrency and blockchains
  • The Internet evolved based on existing, complicated payments technologies—effortless payments will spawn new business models that can add to or replace existing ones
    • The rise of mobile is key to growing Lighting economies and will enable innovations we’ve yet to think of

The Lightning Torch

  • The Lightning Torch is a fun demonstration of the power of the Lighting network; here’s how the torch started:
    • A twitter user (@hodlonaut) sent 100,000 satoshis ($10) to someone he trusted
    • That person added 10,000 satoshis ($1) and passed it along to someone else, and so on…
    • How many satoshis before it breaks?
  • 140 people from over 37 countries passed the Torch, including Jack—he passed it along to Elizabeth
    • This could have never been done with the traditional banking infrastructure
    • “It was Bitcoin and Twitter at its best and I wanted to participate” Jack Dorsey
    • “@hodlonaut has a space cat in an astronaut suit as his Twitter image, and a taco in his twitter name, which, I think, is exactly the kind of internet thing we need” – Elizabeth Stark
  • Stephan mentions how the Torch was even transmitted through a Blockstream satellite (literally from out of this world!)
  • A Note from Podcast Notes: The Lightning Torch began its second round on January 19th, 2020, reaching 157 bearers in 11 days in 59 countries, follow it at #LNTrustChain2

Square and the Cash App

  • Square is the first publicly-traded company to have a Bitcoin offering (they were also the first publically traded company to talk with the SEC about Bitcoin)
  • Cash App‘s (a product of Square) goal is to make sending and receiving money as simple as communicating it
    • The Cash App team is exploring ideas for increasing Bitcoin education and adoption, including implementing Lightning payments
      • This extends beyond buying and selling—it’s about helping the Internet get to its native global currency
  • For better financial health, Cash App discloses the potential risks involved with buying Bitcoin and doesn’t allow credit card purchases
  • In a high volume store, longer transaction times impact the queue, as well as the ability to make more sales
    • This is one reason why Square focuses on speed—they’ve since developed one of the fastest chip readers
  • Square’s Cash Card can be customized—this generated a ton of enthusiasm in the community
    • “It’s reflective of humanity—it allows for a lot of customization and personalization. All that drives towards building a sense of ownership. It’s not just this one company that’s building this app and service, but it’s the individuals that really feel like they own part of it and own some of the direction, which is really cool.” – Jack Dorsey

How Twitter Plans to Utilize Bitcoin & Blockchain Tech

  • Jack is looking into how to use Bitcoin and other technologies to address some of the challenges Twitter is facing, including:
    • Providing economic incentives, rather than just reach
      • For example, imagine tipping someone on Twitter for a superb tweet
    • Trust & identity issues (which blockchain technologies have the capability to solve)
  • Elizabeth looks forward to Lightning payments being integrated on Twitter
  • “What the technology enables is something that we could only dream of at scale in the past, but now it feels a whole lot more accessible and within reach” – Jack Dorsey

Bitcoin is Foundational to the Internet & Society

  • Bitcoin is evolving at a seemingly rapid pace, but it’s deliberate
    • “It’s something that’s foundational, not just to the internet, but also to society more broadly—it breaks down so many barriers and boundaries around the world. We have to be really deliberate in our thinking.”Jack Dorsey
  • Bitcoin design philosophy is moving cautiously, aiming to build a secure base layer (on which more secure layers can be built)
CryptoStephan Livera Podcast : , , , , , ,
Notes By Mostafa Khaled

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks