The cryptocurrency space has won several battles in the past month.
The most significant of these battles was getting at least one country to officially adopt cryptocurrencies.
El Salvador, early last month, adopted Bitcoin.
The government also created a hybrid wallet system for residents of the South American Country.
We spoke to Brock Pierce, the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation about this then.
He answered all our questions.
In the wake of the adoption, critics within and outside the cryptocurrency space have also raised their fears and doubts.
In light of recent events where other State Actors have banned cryptocurrencies, these critics have decided (in their minds) that this is the beginning of the end of the cryptocurrency space.
These pundits have created fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) in the hearts and minds of many who hitherto were interested in learning more about web3 technologies.
And though this is a part of the journey towards adoption, we still reached out to Brock over these kinds of opinions and more.
As usual, he was gracious enough to give us his responses to our questions.
Here is how the interview went.
Brock Pierce Chairman at the Bitcoin Foundation and Tether Founder
The Aftermath of the El Salvador Situation
Critics have said that ultimately, the El Salvador system of Bitcoin adoption will not work.
They indicated that this is a publicity stunt by the cryptocurrency space to up Bitcoin prices.
They have brought all sorts of reasons to buttress their so-called facts.
When we asked Brock about this, he said,
“Well, I mean it’s clearly not a publicity stunt by the cryptocurrency space, this is a Head of State. And their government has chosen to do this.
So I would love to give the cryptocurrency space credit for having that kind of power and influence, but it’s simply not true.
I don’t think we have any elected officials in a head of state that got elected on a cryptocurrency platform.
I do hope that changes one day”.
He then faced the issue of critics and said
“So in terms of critics, I think, you know, everyone’s welcome to their views. But what we have seen is over two million people, two million El Salvadorians, you know, we’re, we’re talking about coming up on like one-third of the population having Bitcoin wallets”.
“I’d say it’s, it’s exceeded my wildest expectations in the timeframe that is there. The amount of entrepreneurs and innovators that from this field how they’ve shown up to support what’s happening in El Salvador. The rollout of ATMs and everything else”.
“It’s absolutely extraordinary and the cryptocurrency community is going to be there in a big way [on] November 15th to the 20th for a major conference, which is the Lat Am Bitcoin community”.
The LaBit Conference which takes place from November 15th to the 20th this year is going to be one conference to change how many critics think.
Critics are Usually Team Players
Some critics of the cryptocurrency space believe Countries and other State Actors shouldn’t adopt cryptocurrencies and their allied technologies.
They believe for their self-serving reasons that cryptocurrency adoption should follow certain set patterns.
Brock was emphatic in his response to the critics when he said,
“Yeah, well I mean obviously, this [critics slamming the idea of countries adopting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies] is [of] high potential impact.
And there are always going to be critics on two sides.
And I’d always be curious [about] where their criticisms come from.
Generally, and this is not a statement regarding everyone.
But when I look at most of the critics, they are typically on the team, trying to protect vested interests.
And that’s generally apparent, but not true of everyone, you know. Some people just don’t know, but generally, the critics are on [the] Team status quo, and they don’t like the idea of change.
And they’d like to see these developing nations not be part of the future economy. The new economy, the thing that can bring financial inclusion transparency, and accountability.
You know, I asked them,
“Do you think accountability is a good or bad thing? Do you think transparency is a good or bad thing?
Do you think the democratization of opportunity is a good or bad thing?
Do you think the democratization of tools and access and utility for everyone is a good or bad thing?”
I believe that everyone should have access to these things, and I believe accountability and, transparency is good”.
It points to the fact that the members of the cryptocurrency space are doing everything they can to promote the values of cryptocurrencies and their allied technologies.
Values such as accountability and transparency are the bedrock for the principles that future societies could look like and operate on.
Cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies are the foundation of these new societies.
The 2023 El Salvadorian Elections will Not Have Minimal Impact on Bitcoin’s Adoption
Many critics have posited that El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption will be reversed come 2023.
Political pundits have tried to bring their views that the Presidential Elections in El Salvador could go in either direction.
“While I’d say there’s so many governments around the world already doing things in this space.
El Salvador was the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender or currency, but they’re not the first country to start working with this technology.
Probably half the countries of the world are already experimenting with this technology.
So it’s not gonna have any impact on adoption.
The only thing that could have had an impact is if no one downloaded a Bitcoin wallet, and that’s already happened.
So, the signal is there. It’s already done.
There’s no changing that fact.
And in terms of the election in 2023, I’m no expert in El Salvadorian politics, but it’s my understanding that the President has an 80 to 90 percent approval rating.
So, you know, I’m not sure that means, either way, I’m not an expert in El Salvadorian politics, but those are approval ratings, you know, that are generally unheard of, or seen.
But the only other thing to look at is, I don’t know what the term limits are and things of that nature.
And so I’m not sure whether he’s able to be elected for another term, but again, I can’t speak to the answer to that”.
While sociopolitical factors could weigh in on El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption, there won’t be that much influence.
The Developing World Holds the Greatest Potential for Cryptocurrency and Allied technology Adoption
Mr. Pierce’s focus of his activities has been seemingly on Latin America and other developing countries, When asked why his activities reflected this focus he was direct about his reasons.
“Well I’ve always said, you can go back to watching my speeches from even 2013 onward, that I’ve always said that this technology’s greatest potential is in the places that need it the most.
I’ve said Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
First and foremost, I live in Puerto Rico.
And so, Latin America, and the Caribbean and Central America right all of it is most convenient to me.
And so, unfortunately, or sadly convenience does play a part. You know, when I can fly somewhere in two or three hours versus one or two days. It just makes my job a little easier”.
State Actors and Countries Adopting Bitcoin is a Positive Thing
Critics of the cryptocurrency space have always indicated that state actors and countries adopting Bitcoin will destroy the concept of decentralization that the cryptocurrency space was founded on. Brock disagrees with this assertion.
“I disagree. State actors, supporting Bitcoin and driving adoption and validation of what we’re doing, is a positive thing.
The idea that everything we do has to be contrary to [the] government, contrary to culture is an early adopter mindset, the reality is if you want Mobi (sorry this is a DJ analogy), now as an allergy to go mainstream, you eventually need to welcome the mainstream, and I’d say government is part of the mainstream, and we welcome them. Or at least I do, and glad to see them recognizing what we see, adopting as we see, and driving adoption within their country.
I don’t think it undermines decentralization, in any way”.
Stablecoins are Becoming Too Many
Stablecoins have been increasing at a faster rate than most of the other cryptocurrency token types that exist.
Brock was emphatic when he spoke about this. He said,
“Well, having been one of the founders of Tether and one of the inventors of the concept. I think it’s great.
I think there’s too many stablecoins.
Too many people trying to copy.
And the reality is that more stable coins doesn’t really help that much.
By all means, create things if you see an opportunity to further innovate.
But you know, most people just go where they see someone having had success.
And so, you know there’ll be more of it.
It’s all good.
I mean, I wouldn’t be starting another one right now unless I had some real major innovation to make it substantially different from what already exists.
But you know, “to each their own. Build baby build!”.
Curiosity About Cryptocurrencies and their Underlying Technologies Exists in Government Finance Circles
There have been several countries where the finance ministers and others within finance circles have been worried about the emergence of stablecoins and other issues within the cryptocurrency space.
Others are curious about cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies. Mr. Pierce alluded to this when asked about those who are concerned about stablecoins and other tokens within the space. He said,
“Well I talk to world finance ministers and treasurer’s on a regular basis.
They’re not all worried.
The ones I talked to are genuinely interested and curious and want to learn more.
You know it’s human nature to fear that which we don’t understand and we conquer fear with knowledge.
And I see a lot of these people interested in knowing more, and understanding how they can participate.
That’s what I’m seeing in terms of, you know tether. I haven’t been involved since 2015.
You know, it’s, it was the first it’s still the biggest is the most trading crypto in the world.
And of course, when you’re number one in the world at something so revolutionary, you’re going to face a lot of criticism”.
There is Ongoing Engagement with Governments Concerning Bitcoin Adoption
Mr. Pierce also spoke about his various activities as far as Countries and State Actors adopting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are concerned. He said,
“I’m dealing with dozens of them and if you look at my social media you can see, Honduras and Panama and the images from there.
And I think you can probably see pictures of me, just days ago with the President of Poland.
But yeah we’re in discussions with dozens of governments, most of them are not public”.
China’s Cryptocurrency Ban is a Good Thing
In light of the Chinese Government’s cryptocurrency ban, Brock indicated that he was happy with the ban. About governments banning cryptocurrencies, he said,
“Well, really the only one that matters is China and I’m very happy about it.
One of my biggest concerns for the industry was how much concentration of the industry was in China.
I saw it as a systemic risk, and the best thing that could have ever happened for cryptocurrency was China banning it.
I popped a bottle of champagne”.
The Bitcoin Foundation’s Role has Evolved
Many members of the cryptocurrency space have wondered what the role of the Bitcoin Foundation is right now.
Brock Pierce indicated that the role of the Bitcoin Foundation has evolved.
“Well, the Bitcoin Foundation [has] been the first organization to organize, not to control but to try and be a tool for interfacing with governments, with media, as a platform for advocacy to support, technological development.
I was elected and brought into the organization to distribute its power and authority.
We did that effectively to make sure that we were a more decentralized or distributed, industry.
And it appears as if the organization has another role to play. And specifically this area of adoption, and communication with governments”.
Cryptocurrencies will Rule the Future
Mr. Pierce indicated that cryptocurrencies will rule the future. He gave us his idea of what the future could look like.
“Well, again, I don’t see a world that is mutually exclusive.
I don’t see a world where there’s only Bitcoin in the future.
I see a world that’s balanced with a lot of diversity, and a lot of choice.
And in that world. I see a world where there’s more accountability.
And people are being more responsible as a result of that.
I envision a world with greater transparency and behaving more appropriately as a result of that, and a tool where we built a world that can work for everyone.
A world where everyone has access to the tools to pursue happiness in their lives to live a life of purpose and meaning. And a tool where opportunity exists not only for the elite, but everyone equally”.
Endless Opportunities Within the Cryptocurrency Space are Coming
During our weekly postmortem of the cryptocurrency and allied technology space, we took a look at the efforts of people like Mr. Pierce and others in aiding the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and their allied technology space.
After a lot of back and forth among ourselves, we came to one conclusion.
We hope you will come to this conclusion too.
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and a massive number of opportunities are coming.