The crypto space is experiencing massive growth at the moment. So much so that everything is happening all at once.
E-Crypto News reached out to technology investor, Cryptocurrency Billionaire, Bitcoin enthusiast, and Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation Brock Pierce to help make sense of what is happening at the moment in the crypto space.
Brock Pierce is one of crypto’s heavyweights. He has been one of those people who made the crypto space become what it is today. Of course, he needs no introduction to the public.
Having been at the forefront of driving cryptocurrency adoption, Brock is no stranger to the media glare and attention that comes with a passion for technology.
It is this passion that made him contest the US Presidential race. He did this in a bid to prove that Blockchain technology can be used for voting.
He has also been doing everything he can to move the crypto space in the same direction.
E-Crypto news reached out to Brock to hear his mindset on several issues within and outside the crypto space. Here is what he had to say.
Brock Pierce Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation
Video Games Stimulated Brock’s Interest in Cryptocurrencies
Brock was fascinated with video games, and it is that interest that propelled him to delve into cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies.
“It all started with video games for me. I became an internet or technology entrepreneur. As internet games became networked and virtual worlds started to emerge, I recognized that the virtual currencies in these online games had value.
[Games] like World of Warcraft and Second Life. And so I started a business (becoming a market maker and running exchanges). I ran basically the equivalent of crypto exchanges and platforms like Coinbase but for video games. This was the decade before video games so it [was] throughout the 2000s”.
The Dot-com bubble had burst, but it already planted the seeds for technology domination in the future. Brock explained the extent of his activities at that point, saying:
“I built up a supply chain of about 400,000 people that played video games professionally to mine those virtual currencies that I sold by the Billions and Billions of dollars all over the world”.
Brock’s influence on technology, advertising, and finance at the time was huge and had the depth that most people can only dream of. He said:
“We were PayPal’s largest merchant for years. We were instrumental in the launching of Alipay. We were Google’s largest advertiser for a brief moment. And we operated all over the world. [In] South Korea, we had 40% of the population over there as our customers.
We also had a lot of economists spending time with us”. He continued alluding to the fact that both physical and virtual gaming worlds functioned similarly on the same economical basis.
Economic Theories Affect Both the Virtual and Physical Economies the Same Way
He continued: “Because if you had economic theories in the world, it’s very difficult to test those theories because the ramifications could be very damaging to society.
But inside of these virtual worlds that you could almost think of as virtual countries, we could experiment with all sorts of things. So, professors were becoming tenured.
And so, after a decade of doing that, I wanted to see if those same ideas could be implemented in the analog world. So, naturally, that brought me into Bitcoin pretty early on.
And, I have spent a lot of time in cryptocurrencies as a result of that. So, it was virtual currencies and online games (video gaming on the internet) that led me here”.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and Stablecoins Both Have Markets
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have been the rave for a couple of years. Stablecoins (cryptocurrency tokens that are more or less equal to the value of national currencies) also exist.
As such, demand for the two is rising and there is a debate about which of these technologies will dominate the markets. Brock had this to say about the issue:
“Well, as a principal founder of Tether [USDT], having created the first stablecoin, which is now doing $40 trillion a year in transactional volume (that’s its current run rate $100 billion a day). Clearly, there is a market for stablecoins.
And that market is now proven. By far, proof-of-concept is definitely there. We have clearly demonstrated that there is a demand for stablecoins. Governments now are looking at how they can use technology to enhance their currencies. And, I think that there is likely going to be a market for both.
I believe that Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) will do very well. I encourage governments and central banks to utilize technology to get with the program”.
The “program” of course is the current crypto revolution where everything in money and finance is getting digitized.
The EOS Blockchain has Great Potential
EOS itself has had its issues after having the largest Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in history at over $4 billion. Yet, it has not fulfilled the expectations of many within the cryptospace. Many people were of the view that EOS will become an “Ethereum killer”.
On the matter of the EOS blockchain, Brock was emphatic. He said: “It (EOS) clearly has not [been an “Ethereum killer”]. Ethereum is at “all-time-highs”. [EOS has] a tremendous community and has had a lot of development. And so I’m disappointed that EOS has not lived up to its full potential.
He had good things to say about the EOS blockchain’s technical capabilities.
“I think that the performance of the blockchain has been very good. But, a few of the main challenges EOS has had. Its community hasn’t thrived in the ways that it could.
One of the functions or roles that I played in the early EOS community was as a community advocate, a community evangelist, [and] a community leader.
His leaving Block.One is [disconcerting]. Block.One is doing a great job as a company.
They are continuing to crank out products but with Block.One and the community and the developers and all of these things happening.
And EOS is not doing as well as I would have hoped for [it]”.
His comments were reflective of his desire to see EOS thrive within the cryptospace.
After all, who would like to see something that he helped build perform below its potential and expectations?
Demand for Bitcoin is Going to Rise
Bitcoin has a 21 million token limit. The last Bitcoin will be minted in just over a century from now by current calculations. Brock had this to say on what he thinks will happen then:
“Well, we have about a hundred years before that happens. I have no idea what will happen one hundred years from now.
But, in the short term, as the number of Bitcoins being mined continues to decrease, as the implications of scarcity has its effect on the market, and with all the financial uncertainty in the world right now, I’m very bullish on Bitcoin”.
We are already seeing this as institutions are piling their monies in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and inflationary tendencies.
Hard Forks Produce Significant Results
On the issue of Bitcoin hard forks from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) because of energy costs, Brock was clear on his position. He said:
“My view for everything in this market is that we need to experiment with many approaches. I’m what I would call “Chain-Agnostic”. I don’t say that this is the only way.
My attitude is “let’s try it all”. because if any of these systems win, and the people win, then life is better for all of us. So, let’s continue to experiment.
That might be something that happens [separately]. It certainly wouldn’t happen to the Bitcoin main chain. From the most popular chain, it would create another [chain] similar to what we have with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (SV).
So, I don’t think there’s a market appetite for a fork to occur on the primary Bitcoin chain to switch away from the current Proof-of-Work (PoW) structure. That could happen, but it will create another chain and another token”.
Bitcoin is Currently a Commodity
People all over the world have long considered Bitcoin to either be a currency (for spending) or a commodity to be held (the HODLers for example).
So, the world’s first cryptocurrency has maintained a duality that has confused many people. Brock said:
“Well, I would like it to be a currency. But it’s not a very good currency therefore, it’s more of a commodity right now. I don’t know what the future holds but right now I think of Bitcoin as digital gold.
It’s too expensive and too volatile to be a good currency or medium of exchange. But that may change in the future. But as of right now I view it as a commodity but that could change”.
On Bitcoin prices rising rapidly Mr. Pierce said:
“I think a lot of it has to do with general uncertainty. Twenty-six percent of all US Dollars were printed last year. Clearly, the money printing is not slowing.
And so, people are looking for alternative stores of value. They’re piling into stock markets, they’re buying precious metals like gold and silver. Clearly, cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, in particular, has been the biggest beneficiary of this movement.
And I think that considering the financial uncertainty in the global financial system, I think that Bitcoin will continue to do well”.
Bitcoin Prices Won’t Crash in 2021
As far as Brock is concerned, Bitcoin prices will not crash in 2021. he said:
“Not as long as things are as troublesome in the global financial system as they are. I think that Bitcoin will hold up well. If there is a speedy [economic] recovery, and the economy was fixed, jobs were coming back and small businesses came back quickly then the answer would be yes but I don’t see how that’s going to happen.
The road to recovery from what happened in 2020 is going to be long. So, I think that Bitcoin will do fine for the remainder of this year”.
Ethereum 2.0 Holds Promise
Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It doesn’t mean that other cryptocurrencies won’t take over in time. As it stands, Bitcoin is the king of the hill.
Brock’s view on another cryptocurrency taking over the crypto space was thus:
“Well, I would never suggest that anything is going to upstage Bitcoin. But, clearly, with the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, Ethereum is in a good position to do things (I don’t think they are mutually exclusive).
They have different attributes and there’s room for clearly more than one [cryptocurrency]. Lately, I’m a big fan of everything happening at Polkadot.
At blockchain capital, we were the main investors into Parity Systems that built Polkadot. And, I’m a founding advisor. So, I’m very excited about the work they’re doing. As always, I have my hands in a lot of things and I provide the industry broadly with a lot of support”.
The Bitcoin Foundation has Done its Bit
We all know how the Bitcoin Foundation has been instrumental in making the Bitcoin blockchain work as designed. We also know their efforts in ensuring that we all get to know and love Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies.
As Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, Brock had this to say about what they’re up to:
“Most of the functions (the things that the Bitcoin Foundation needed to do have been done). We migrated out the development (which is what the market wanted).
We partnered or transferred Key personnel to MIT back in the day. We held all the original conferences (many other organizations have emerged to facilitate those things). We focused on education (education is readily available in many ways).
Lobbying is being done well by the digital chamber of commerce. And so, we’re not doing a whole lot which is the goal. The original role of the Foundation was to do all the things the industry needed.
Now that there are so many organizations doing so much work, there’s less for us to do and so we’re not doing a tremendous amount these days”.
The activities of the Bitcoin Foundation and the selfless approach by the members have birthed a revolution. Their actions have also given impetus to the term “Socialpreneur”.
Rather than hog Bitcoin’s technology to themselves, they opened up the crypto space and created a new ecosystem for the best and brightest minds.
The Bitcoin Foundation has also created a new paradigm in corporate leadership: one where immediate benefits aren’t the ultimate goal.
Rather, the greater good is bigger than immediate gain.
Blockchain Technology and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) Can Change the World
Bitcoin’s underlying technology (blockchain technology)could change the world in many ways. Being a distributed ledger technology (DLT) it has many applications across several industries and in many scenarios. Brock said
“Some of the big potential (answers or solutions) that this provides is financial inclusion (there are still problems of financial inclusion in the world certainly in developing countries), access to credit (right now with decentralized finance (DeFi) credit is expensive but in the future that may change), access to global markets (broader markets) and that brings opportunities for [people around the world.
No matter where you are, it will bring transparency to financial markets. It will bring accountability to financial markets. These are all very good things.
There’s a whole lot of things that this could do to make the world a better place. But in the most immediate term and in the one area in which this technology has proven itself already is in the area of financial services.
And, bringing financial services to the world, bringing financial inclusion to the world is a great thing and, at a minimum, it’s pretty clear that’ll happen”.
Brock has His hands in Many Pies
For special projects, Brock indicated he had his hands in just about everything. He said:
“I’m always working on many of them. The projects that I’m focused on most these days have been Polkadot lately, a new project launched called Frax, and I’m very interested in censorship-resistant systems because we’ve been seeing social networks literally censor the speech of the sitting President of the United States of America.
No matter what your position is on politics, like the former President or not, freedom of speech is very important to our first amendment. It’s the first, not the third not the fifth for a reason. Freedom of speech is essential. It’s the foundation of our freedom and liberty.
It’s so important that we have a voice. So, I’m very interested in projects right now that are building censorship-resistant social networking and messaging tools.
With what we’ve seen today, and in the last week with Robinhood and Gamestop have seen there, the free markets are now being censored as well. So, I’m interested in tools that will ensure free markets as well. Cos, these are the things I’m most concerned [about]. Our freedom and liberty is at risk and at stake”.
Blockchain Technology has Problems
Blockchain adoption itself has come a long way. Though various problems have beset the new technology. Brock was enthusiastic about its ability to overcome them. He said:
“Most of it is easy-to-use. There [are] still usability issues. A lot of this is built by really incredible technology people. To some extent we’re lacking in marketing people, we could use some interfaces making products easy to use, and then it can get really simple.
So that our parents or grandparents could use it. Right now, most people participating in the cryptocurrency markets are at least people with a little bit of technology [knowledge]. They’re a little savvy. So, I think the main thing is making it continuously easier and easier to use”.
As for predictions of Bitcoin prices at the end of 2021, Brock said:
“As I always say “bitcoin could go to zero, it could go to the moon north of a million dollars a coin”.
It’s ultimately a binary outcome. It’s either going to go down to near zero or it’s going to continue to go up a whole lot. The timing of that is really determined by the traditional financial system.
There would be no need for Bitcoin if governments were being responsible, being accountable, and had a good fiscal policy.
Bitcoin’s performance to a large extent is determined by external factors. And the great performance it’s had over the past few months is the direct result of massive amounts of government money being created”.
Blockchain Technology and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) Will Ultimately Prevail
Now, Blockchain technology and other distributed ledger technologies have become quite popular. Many people believe that blockchain technology and the DLTs will rule the world. Others believe that legacy systems will prevail. Brock said:
“The answer is yes eventually. In the same way that we’re moving away from coal and natural gas to renewable energies like solar. Blockchain technology is better plumbing. It is better infrastructure.
It is only a matter of time for systems that are better, faster, and cheaper to win. So, what we are seeing right now is a parallel financial system.
Eventually, the faster rails, the better infrastructure, the better plumbing will win. Now, a lot of those legacy businesses and systems will most likely migrate to this technology.
Do I think that stock markets are going away? No! Do I think that the future of stock markets will run on blockchain technology? Yes, I do!
So, it doesn’t mean that everything that exists today is going away. It’s just going to be upgraded in a way that’s ultimately better for all of us”.
Blockchain Gamers Aid Technology Adoption
Blockchain gaming has become a thing for those who have the savvy to participate in them. Brock said a bit about blockchain gaming:
“These are some of the first markets. Gaming applications are going to be the earliest adopters. A lot of the earliest users or participants in cryptocurrency were people that used to buy from my old company because it takes a normal person quite a while to understand this and choose to participate.
But if you’re buying virtual currency and you’re like “oh buy Bitcoin” that makes sense.
So gaming with all new technologies are the early adopters. I expect they will continue to be with NFTs and everything else”.
Generation Z will Drive Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Adoption
Generation Z has been born with all the advantages of technology. So much so that this generation works better with technology than with previous ones. Brock admitted that a special relationship exists between Generation Z and cryptocurrencies. He said:
“I imagine a very large percentage of Generation Z will emerge as holders of cryptocurrencies. Young people get it. The young people understand it very quickly.
Those that are not avid active users of technologies are going to be much slower and so Generation Z is going to drive the adoption of cryptocurrency more than any other group”.
Blockchain Can Solve Many Issues with Elections
As for his involvement in any secret startups, Brock said:
“I’m sure there are many that I’m involved with about a hundred projects. I definitely keep busy. I’m very excited about the prospect of blockchain-based voting. We’re utilizing technology to ensure the integrity of our elections.
And, I ran for President of the United States last year. Not to win but as an exploratory process. To understand the mechanics of our system. We set a record: the first vote or ballot cast in a US Presidential election using blockchain was a vote for me in Utah County. That’s another area that I’m excited about”.
Beginners in Crypto Should Take Small Steps First
As for advice to those who want to get started in Cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies, Brock said that:
“I’d say take your first step. It’s the same thing I say in all my interviews. I do not encourage people to invest in cryptocurrencies.
But I do encourage people to go buy ten dollars worth or something small. Something you can afford to lose because I’m not encouraging you to invest in cryptocurrencies. I’m encouraging you to invest in yourself. Into your own knowing.
So that you can make informed decisions for yourself. So, I encourage you to take your first step and see how deep the rabbit hole goes”.
Cryptocurrency Forks are a Good Thing
The Bitcoin hard forks (most notably Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (SV) have been doing well in the financial markets. Brock believed that they will do well in the future.
He said: “That’s the beauty of open-source systems. If different groups within the open-source community have a different view of the future and how a project should develop, it has the ability to fork into two or more.
So, I think that this is a wonderful thing. That we have a consensus-based mechanism that allows for alternative views.
One of the beautiful things about open-source is that if the community diverges and has two different perspectives of how a project develops, they can both test out their thesis, test out their theories [and] invest their time and energy, and ultimately the markets will decide.
I think that the fact that forks can occur is a good thing. I don’t know how it will ultimately work out. I think it will take quite a bit of time”.
Public Service is Critical
As for secret plans for the decade, Brock indicated that he had none. He said:
” I live very transparently. I’m an open book. Clearly, my running for the President of the United States was sending a clear message: that I’m committed to public service.
And so, a lot of the work that I do these days and would be doing in the future is working in government to hopefully facilitate a healthy transition into the future.
I would prefer to see a system upgrade. I’d love to see an upgrade of the operating system of our government. Call it: “The United States of America 2.0″.
I hope to facilitate that. I believe it’s inevitable. The question is if it’s going to be an evolutionary event or a revolutionary event. I hope to lead us into the future in a healthy way”.
Three Issues that are Important
As for three wishes for the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, this is what Brock had to say:
“I’d say one of the big things right now is regulatory understanding. You know one of my biggest concerns is entrepreneurs (developers) building things with good intentions and finding themselves in a dangerous place with regulators.
I wish that regulators were supporting innovation all over the world and nurturing this innovation.
I would wish for all the scammers and fake account people to go away because there are so many fake “Brocks” out there that are constantly messaging people pretending to be me and trying to scam people and, so I wish for all of them to go away. They are actually causing a lot of harm.
They are hurting a lot of newcomers and their first experience with crypto is getting ripped off. It’s very sad.
Unfortunately, as most of us know if you have been around for a while normally, our first experience with crypto doesn’t work out so well. We normally lose our coins, or something bad happens.
So, I remind everyone to start very small. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.
My third wish is that the technology develops rapidly. I’m deeply concerned about the state o the world right now. I’m not in blockchain, in cryptocurrency because I’m against the system. I’m in this space because I’m concerned the system may fail and that we’re plan B.
We’re the backup and we’re not ready for prime time. If the financial system were to collapse right now, we’re not ready. We aren’t there. We can’t scale enough.
So, I guess I would wish for scaling. I wish that we are in a position that we can support everyone on earth; billions of users and we’re not there yet”.
Brock Pierce is regarded as one of the earliest faces of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In some quarters, he has been controversial, while in others he has been hailed as a hero for coming to bring the cryptocurrency industry this far.
His influence in the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and distributed ledger (DLT) technology global industry has been huge and in many instances without comparison.
Whatever the case, one thing is certain: this gaming and Cryptocurrency Billionaire will be a force to reckon with for some time to come.
So, buckle up your belts, ladies, and gentlemen, Brock Pierce will still be around when massive adoption hits the world.