Markus Strasser

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The Internet of Money

A great series of talks put into a book. It was extremely prescient when it came out. Following are mostly direct quotes from the book

What happens when you don't need authority?

The Blockchain is just a database artifact of consensus

We need to be in a world where we have complete, ultimate, strong privacy for the billions of people.

Because that is a human right, because that is a cornerstone of the freedoms of expression, association, political speech, and all of the other freedoms that are very much attached to privacy.

Fiat currencies are forced upon us in a monopolistic fashion

Currencies are defined strictly by the geographies in which they occur, and where the choice of currency is not yours.

It is an accident of birth, just like many other things in our lives.

Net neutrality is essential feature of Internet

"We have been creating a system of global financial surveillance..."

When you look at the internet, the fundamental misunderstanding is that people think that the power of the internet comes from the ability to transmit information fast.

The real power of the internet comes from net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the concept that the internet does not discriminate based on source, destination or content.

Ownership is overrated (I mildly disagree)

Why on earth would you stream music instead of buy it and store it locally? Because it costs nothing.

Once it costs nothing and you can stream music, then you suddenly realize that ownership is overrated.

Wait, Aren’t NFT proving the opposite? We wanted digital ownership but didn’t have a mechanism for it?

If an entire generation realizes

, then intellectual property is kind of overrated. Bye-bye, recording industry.

These effects happen because the technology changes the fundamental costs of doing things.

Cryptography can guarantee that your money is actually yours

You control it absolutely through the application of digital signatures, and no one can censor it, no one can seize it, no one can freeze it.

No one can tell you what to do or what not to do with your money.

The money isn’t in the wallet; the money is on the network.

The wallet contains keys. So, it’s not a wallet; it’s a keychain.

Government are opaque, yet our financials are tracked

We live in a world where every individual transaction you do through the financial system is cataloged, analyzed, and transmitted to intelligence services all around the world that collaborate, and yet we have no idea what our governments do with money.

The financial systems of the powerful are completely opaque.

Our transactions are completely visible through this system of surveillance. This world is upside down. Bitcoin rights it.

The Internet is not failing to scale

By the way, the internet is failing to scale for Netflix and all of the other companies that are doing live video.

It will continue to fail to scale incrementally and gracefully.

Soon, we’ll be doing Oculus Rift holographic 3D, 4K, VR. Then, it will really fail to scale.

People will still write Ph.D. theses on why the internet is about to melt down

There are plenty of crooks in bitcoin — the network gets attacked all the time — but it doesn’t depend on access control to remain secure.

In order to participate in the bitcoin network and secure the network as a miner, which is a special function in bitcoin, you have to use a lot of computing power and spend a lot of electricity.

If you win that competition, you get bitcoin as a reward. That simple equation creates a system of incentives where it’s far better to play with the rules than against the rules. It’s game theory. It’s like a giant game of Sudoku.

If they attack bitcoin, it evolves to defend itself against predators, just like any species. If they attack bitcoin anonymity, it evolves to become more anonymous. If they attack its resilience, it evolves to become more decentralized.

The Internet of Money