Cameron Tyler Winklevoss Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the Answer | Winklevoss Twins on What Bitcoin Did Podcast

Check out the What Bitcoin Did Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Crypto is the future of money, and it’s where social networks were in the early 2000s
  • “Bitcoin is the answer; it’s the only hedge or vaccine to give you immunity to the disease of money printing.” — Tyler Winklevoss
  • “You can be pro-regulation but disagree with the state of regulation” – Winklevoss
    • An example is changing the regulations to prevent big tech companies to follow you around the internet and mine your data
  • While Bitcoin has built-in rules, the companies built on top need thoughtful regulation
    • For instance, users should always have the freedom to self-custody their private keys
  • “The cornerstone of human rights and dignity is your ability to reveal yourself when you want to and when you are ready, if you want to at all” – Winklevoss
    • Our money should mimic that privacy, regardless of jurisdictions
  • “We are ready for wall street, [but] we are not waiting for wall street” – Winklevoss

Intro

Dynamic Twins

  • Cameron and Tyler are mirror-image twins
    • For instance, they row opposite sides of the boat
  • Their relationship is not competitive, rather they push each other
    • “If one of us achieves something, then it means the other one can do it”
    • They work together to amplify the outcome

The Social Network

  • The movie relied on publicly available documents to create the story; the brothers were not involved
    • They describe the experience of watching it as “Surreal” and “The older I get and I see clips of it, the more I can sort of appreciate it objectively as art”
  • The goal was to tell 3 sides of the story, and discussions begin once people leave the movie theater
    • “Our position was never hey we deserve everything, it was we deserve more than zero” – Winklevoss
    • That said, the movie omits the entrepreneurial side of the brothers and more portrays them as athletic jocks
      • “If you told me at 13 you are going to be running a technology company as an adult, I would be like yeah, that makes a lot of sense that’s exactly where I sort of see myself. If you say to me at 13 you are an Olympian, I would be like huh! How did that work?” – Cameron Winklevoss

Facebook and Libra

  • Facebook entering crypto is the beginning for many large companies entering the space
    • It’s still unclear how centralized Libra will be
  • The brothers settled for Facebook stock at a $15B valuation, not cash
    • The settlement was the last time they spoke to Zuckerberg
    • In a sense, it was a seed investment
  • “We try to dispassionately and objectively look at Libra and we are open to it” – Winklevoss

Money is the Greatest Social Network

  • Crypto is the future of money, and it’s where social networks were in early 2000s
    • Plus, economic inclusion holds an even greater promise than connecting online
  •  “There is nothing I would rather be working on and doing right now than crypto”
    • “We want to be doing this for the next multiple decades” – Winklevoss
  • “It’s amazing what Facebook has accomplished, but when I login to the internet, I don’t login to Facebook, that place feels dead. It doesn’t feel like where the action is happening, it doesn’t feel like an exciting problem to work on” – Winklevoss

Discovering Bitcoin in Ibiza

  • The brothers discovered Bitcoin in 2012 after retiring from rowing
  • After being introduced to cryptocurrencies by a stranger in Ibiza, they quickly realized this is either the next big thing or a complete scam
    • “It felt like an underdog that could challenge everything starting with the financial system”
    • What resonated the most: The idea that Bitcoin provided increased choice, independence, and opportunity

Pro-Regulations vs Anti-Government

  • “You can be pro-regulation but disagree with the state of regulation” – Winklevoss
    • We can change regulations to make sense, rather than aim to abolish all regulations
  • While Bitcoin has built-in rules, the companies built on top need thoughtful regulation
    • However, keep in mind that over regulating something will stifle it
  • “The independence and sovereignty around crypto is unmatched with any technology before”
    • That said, the on-ramps need some thoughtful regulation
  • One example is users should always have the freedom to self-custody their private keys
    • Podcast Notes recommends Ledger and Trezor Hardware wallets for controlling your private keys. They are secure, easy to use, and support over 1200 coins and tokens

Big Tech

  • Regulations allow big tech companies to follow you around the internet and mine your data
    • This is broken, the solution: better regulations
  • The pandemic lockdown is decimating small businesses and it’s all accruing to big tech
    • They have an incentive to censor anti-lock down views

Financial Privacy

  • “The cornerstone of human rights and dignity is your ability to reveal yourself when you want to and when you are ready, if you want to at all” – Winklevoss
    • Our money should mimic that privacy, regardless of jurisdictions
  • Contrary to popular misconception, Bitcoin is not anonymous, it’s pseudonymous
  • When you send a wire transfer, only the receiving and sending banks can see the transfer
    • But the whole world can see Bitcoin transactions
    • “If crypto is not private and totally open, then it’s not really going to achieve a lot of things we think it can” – Winklevoss
  • Highlighting that the existing banking system is comfortable with cash allowed Gemini to list Zcash, a privacy-focused coin
    • Visibility at the entry and exit points got regulators comfortable enough with privacy coins
    • Additionally, by pointing out it’s better for regulators to work with companies than be left blind

Rise of the Cypherpunks

  • The media skewed the narrative around bitcoin by portraying it as a currency for illicit transactions and drugs
    • The truth is the smartest people in the room were obsessed about bitcoin
  • Cryptographers, cypherpunks, developers spend 2 decades fighting for online privacy
    • The Bitcoin white paper is a culmination of decades of cryptography and privacy research
    • For a long time, cypherpunks were not popular and now they are the rock stars

Capital Controls

  • “Currency and money have been used by governments to manipulate and control populations for as long as the creation of money” – Winklevoss
    • Capital controls and censorship are just another tool of oppression
  • To shut down Bitcoin in a country is to shut down the Internet

Wall Street Coming to Bitcoin

  • “We are ready for wall street, [but] we are not waiting for wall street” – Winklevoss
  • This is about the individual before wall street
  • “Bitcoin is decentralization of gold”, thus the movement begins with the individual
    • Many people can’t get a bank account, even in the US
  • We are yet to see institutions get involved, mainly because of regulatory and custody issues
    • That said, many wall street veterans invest in Bitcoin in their personal capacity
    • ETFs will make it easier to get exposure

Bitcoin Is Coming to Wall Street

  • One of the shortcomings of the Occupy Wall Street movement is it didn’t propose solution
    • Most people on Wall Street are concerned with the enormous printing of US dollars
    • People articulate the problems but haven’t yet reached the understanding of bitcoin as a solution
  • “Bitcoin is the answer; it’s the only hedge or vaccine to give you immunity to the disease of money printing.” — Tyler Winklevoss
  • What the boomers will be leaving for the generation to clean up is mind-blowing
    • College education is one example, no way people can work their way out of this debt
  • We don’t have to fix wall street, we can just build a new one, and many will join from the old wall street

What Does Bitcoin’s Success Look Like?

  • If Bitcoin is gold 2.0, then it has to have a larger market cap than gold
  • Other decentralized projects challenging all the centralized services that make up the web today

What Caused the Bitcoin Sell Off?

  • In a crisis, people move into cash to cover margin and get liquidity
    • Additionally, asset managers can quickly buy gold ETFs, but Bitcoin requires additional thinking and time
  • US is the best positioned fiat regime, that said, it’s in a very precarious situation
    • After the dust settles from the current crisis, people will take notice of what happened and they are increasingly understanding the thesis of digital gold

“Think Different”

  • Napster was a response to the recording industry taking advantage of the customer
    • But this came with piracy concerns, malware and was shut down
    • iTunes came along with a better delivery and pricing system
      • Artists, record companies, and consumers all gained value – a better experience for everyone
  • Another example is legalizing the personal use of cannabis
    • Rather than banning cannabis, a regulated market is better for everyone, including the government
  • The brothers started the rowing team in their high school, this created the opportunity for people to row
    • Fast forward to the future, every single high school has a rowing team

Miscellaneous

  • The founding fathers were visionaries and revolutionaries
    • Throwing over the king is step 1, it’s all about what comes after, going from zero to one – A startup country
  • “It’s like the same movie with an unhappy ending for the majority of the world, except for the few that keep creating the problems and also don’t seem to be the victims, they have this golden parachute all the time” – Winklevoss
What Bitcoin Did : , , , , , , ,
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