And he just got scared, he said: you can’t
say things like that. If I’ve had, you know, $45 million of cryptocurrency stolen for me,
I’d be grasping at every straw that I possibly could to help me. Anybody, every mining pool,
anyone, Cointelegraph, help me. BTC version of Bitcoin, it just seems like a bunch of
speculators speculating on the future speculation of other speculators. Already more physical
shops around the world accepting Bitcoin Cash as payment than any other cryptocurrency because
Bitcoin Cash’s price will be higher than the BTC version of Bitcoin’s price. What’s up, YouTube? My name is Jackson and
today I’m going to be joined by one of the more controversial figures in crypto. He used
to be called Bitcoin Jesus, but these days he’s busy promoting Bitcoin Cash. This is
the CEO of bitcoin.com, Roger Ver. How’s it going today, Roger? Thank you, Jackson. Honor to be with you guys.
You guys have been one of the oldest and most reputable media pieces in the entire space.
So nicely done. In a series of interviews on bitcoin.com’s
YouTube channel, you talked about how when you heard about Bitcoin, you pretty much dropped
everything in order to buy Bitcoin. You’ve even sold you Lamborghini to buy Bitcoin. When Bitcoin came along, I thought, oh, I
better sell my Lamborghini to buy more Bitcoin. And that’s exactly what I did. I went the
reverse direction. Do you remember the exact moment when you
realized just how big Bitcoin was going to be? I realized how important Bitcoin was going
to be right from the first time I wrap my head around exactly how it worked. And that
was that you can send and receive any amount of money to buy and sell things with anyone
anywhere in the world instantly. And I literally got so excited, but I spent every waking moment
reading about it. I couldn’t fall asleep. I stayed up all night, you know, multiple
nights in a row. And after just going on this crazy binge of studying and learning everything
I could about Bitcoin, I actually got really, really, really sick due to lack of sleep.
And I was so sick I couldn’t even drive myself to the doctor. So I called my friends,said:
please, can you help take me to the hospital? And they took me to the hospital. This is
in San Jose, California. And the doctor gave me some sort of a sedative or something that
I slept for maybe 18 hours straight or something like that, and then woke up again feeling
a bit more refreshed. But right back to Bitcoin everyday all day. And if you go to watch my
early videos, too, you’ll be able to see just how passionate I was about people being able
to use Bitcoin to buy and sell things with people all over the world. And that’s the
same thing I’m still so excited about today. Awesome. So for those of you who don’t know,
Roger actually spent about 10 months in jail in the US for selling firecrackers, correct? Right, so I bought firecrackers on one website
and then resold them on eBay to people all over the country. And if they had Bitcoin
around at that time, I would have gladly accepted Bitcoin for payment. But this was back in the days where people
actually had to send physical money orders in the mail. For most of the orders on eBay,
so they’d go to the post office, buy a money order and then ship that in the mail because
this is before PayPal, before Bitcoin, before much of any of that sort of stuff. So in the YouTube series on Bitcoin.com, you
talk about how your time in jail actually helped you to recognize the opportunity that
Bitcoin presented. For the things that have utility and these other characteristics naturally
become used as money within the prison. And people are buying and selling everything,
using these things as money. And so when Bitcoin came along, I knew, I knew that people were
gonna start using this money. Could you just explain that connection a little
bit more between Bitcoin and your time in jail? Sure. So before I went to prison, I’d spent
a lot of time studying economics books since particularly the origin of money and how something
comes to be used as money. And anything that winds up being used as money, it has to have,
or anything it being used as a store value or money has to have some additional use case
outside of just the use case of money. So if you look at the you know, in prison, everybody
is using tobacco as money because you can smoke it. They’re using top ramen soups as
money because you can eat it, using postage stamps as money, because you can mail things
with it. All of these things have these additional use cases outside of just being a store of
value. So when I saw the prison economy and how people were buying and selling things
and how things just naturally became used as money in prison, it validated what I had
read about theoretically in the economics books as to what the origin of money was.
So I knew from the economics books what theoretically their origin was supposed to be, but I knew
practically from my experience in prison what the origin of money was. It’s something that
has some additional use case. It has to be easy to store, easily recognizable, easily
divisible, easily transportable or in prison, in this case, easily smugglable. So all of
these things led to those particular things being useful as good money. When I heard about
Bitcoin for the first time, I knew that people were going to start using it as money to buy
and sell things. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind. And because the supply was limited,
I knew as more and more people started to use it as money, the price would go up over
time. So the first step was to buy some Bitcoin. The next step was to help build the infrastructure,
to make it even more usable for people to pay each other and buy and sell things over
the internet or in person. That’s really interesting. So what you’re
saying is that what you saw in the prison economy sort of confirmed what you were reading
in the books at that time. Is that correct? Yeah, a lot of people don’t realize it, thankfully,
because they’ve never been to prison. But in prison, there is just this massive internal
prison economy where people are doing anything and everything to earn money and serve their
fellow men. So everything from cooking for each other, doing each other’s laundry, shining
shoes, you know, even prostitution services like anything and everything is going on.
They’re in prison for money and people, you don’t have access to normal, you know, dollar
bills or credit cards or PayPal or Bitcoin. So you have to improvise and use the next
best thing for money. And in that case, the next best thing for money is things like tobacco
or top ramen soups or postage stamps. Yeah, it’s a barter system, right? I don’t even know if you would really call
it barter. So like there’s specific exchange rates between Top Ramen soups and postage
stamps and tobacco, and I can’t remember exactly what the exchange rate is now. But like occasionally,
like the commissary in the prison would be sold out of one of those items and you would
watch the exchange rate, you know, go up and people would hoard the particular things and
then sell them for more. So like it was really interesting watching prices rationed goods
in the economy. And if you study economics, you know, anytime the government has price
fixing, it leads to shortages or surpluses. And in prison, when the market, you know,
is clearly the what’s setting the prices within the prison economy. You watched the prices
and just how amazing they are transmitting information as to what goods people want and
what people are willing to do for those goods. It’s really, really an amazing micro economy
to be able to watch firsthand, to see that all the things that you studied and read about
in these economics books are actually true in practice. So it’s really a fantastic learning
experience in that sense. So I remember in an interview you did with
us actually last year, you said that one of the nicknames you earned in prison was El
Peligroso. What on earth were you selling in order to earn that nickname? Yeah. So for those that don’t speak Spanish,
my nickname in prison was El Peligroso, which means “The Dangerous One”. But it was just
more of a joke than anything, because all I did everyday in prison is I once I figured
out how things work, I was able to pay somebody else to do my job within the prison. And I
just stayed in my bed all day everyday reading books, and I hardly left my bunk bed at all.
I just stayed in bed reading books all day, every day. So it was just a joke because at
that point I probably weighed maybe 120 pounds or something like that. And I was just a 22
year old kid. And, you know, it’s far from dangerous as you could get. So that was like
the joke within prison was to call me, you know, El Peligroso, The Dangerous One. You’re
selling knowledge then, huh? Actually, I remember speaking of selling knowledge, I remember
a specific instance. I made friends with a guy in there that was in there for a tax evasion
or tax problem. He’d been selling a whole bunch of phone cards and then didn’t pay income
tax on it. He was an immigrant to America, so he probably
didn’t even necessarily know exactly how everything worked. And I was telling him, I said, no,
no, no. You served a bunch of customers who had a product that you wanted to buy. You
saw them phone cards they wanted to buy. They paid you money they want to buy. It’s the
government that should be embarrassed for having sent you here. You were helping make
the world a better place, and now they’re making the world a worse place by sending
you here. They’re the ones that should be embarrassed for having sent you here. You’re
not the one who should be embarrassed for being here. You should hold your head up high
and say that the guards and the press, prosecutors and the judges and IRS, those are the ones
who should be ashamed for having sit you here. And he just got scared, he said: “you can’t
say things like that”. He didn’t necessarily philosophically disagree. He was just scared
to even have those ideas. On Saturday, Cointelegraph reported that an
investor who is allegedly Josh Jones, the founder of Bitcoin Builder, lost $30 million
worth of Bitcoin Cash in a wallet hack. Dovey Wan, who is the founding partner of crypto
asset fund Primitive Ventures, said that this will play a role in the, quote, “slow death
of Bitcoin Cash”. What is your version of the events that led to this hack? So I dont know Dovey Wan or much about her,
and I didn’t have a chance to follow the hack closely. But it wasn’t $30 million, I think
it was $30 million of Bitcoin Cash and $15 million of Bitcoin core BTC. And so that’s
a really interesting thing right there. Here’s somebody that’s worth at least $45 million
and he’s choosing to keep the majority of that in Bitcoin Cash. Not doing what everybody
is calling Bitcoin today, and so that’s a really, really bullish sign for Bitcoin Cash
right there. That somebody without much money is keeping it in Bitcoin Cash and not the
same amount in Bitcoin BTC. That’s a really, really big deal as far as
what Dovey says, like, I don’t know her and I don’t know much about her, but what an ignorant
statement. The fact that hackers are willing to go and steal Bitcoin Cash means that something
worth stealing, it’s something valuable. If it wasn’t valuable, was it worthwhile? Hackers
wouldn’t be busy trying to steal it. So I’ve heard the same sort of thing when, you know,
there are problems with Mt Gox and other exchanges being hacked. Hackers wouldn’t be hacking
these things if it wasn’t valuable. So I don’t know. I don’t know what sort of twisted logic
she’s using to come up with it. This will lead to the slow death of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin
Cash right now, today is the second most used cryptocurrency in the entire world behind
only the BTC version of Bitcoin. And I think that that’s going to change in
the future because Bitcoin Cash provides a better user experience than than BTC does.
So as an investor, I’d be looking to Bitcoin Cash. I think that’s the smart investment.
Bitcoin Cash could potentially go up 500 or a 1000 times from where it is today. I don’t
think BTC is ever going to go up. I don’t think it’s going to go up a 100 times from
where it is today, even 10 times, I’d be really, really, really shocked. That’s a very optimistic sort of glass half
full perspective. And I remember in the Reddit post the investor made about the hack, he
called on the miners to help him do something with the blocks in order to reverse the transaction
and possibly get his money back. Is there anything that you can do to help him with
this hack? I wish there was to some extent, but on the
other side, you know, that’s the kind of the whole point of cryptocurrencies, the transactions
are irreversible. If I’ve had, you know, $45 million dollars of cryptocurrency stolen from
me, I’d be grasping at every straw that I possibly could to help me. Anybody, every
mining pool, anyone, Cointelegraph, help me. And I don’t blame the guy one bit for asking. But the fact the matter is there isn’t really
anything that anybody can do unless the hacker is dumb enough to just put deposit the coins
directly to an exchange without sending them through any sort of fungibility tool of any
sort. Something like, you know, coin shuffle or cash fusion of Bitcoin Cash. There’s a
lot of cool tools on Bitcoin Cash to enable that. But in this instance, it’s a little
bit sad that those tools would be used to help a hacker. Definitely an unfortunate loss for Josh Jones,
if it was him. So moving on, on January 22nd, a proposal was announced to funnel 12.5% of
all Bitcoin Cash mining rewards into a fund in Hong Kong. This fund would be used to support
software development for Bitcoin Cash. This proposal was supported by the CEOs of BTC.Top,
Antpool and ViaBTC as well as yourself. Together, the companies these CEOs represent control
27% of the mining power of Bitcoin Cash. On January 28th, Bitcoin.com made an announcement
saying that until there was a negligible chdance of a chain split, this proposal would not
go through. Why did you initially support this proposal? Yeah, I’m glad you asked me that question
because it sounds like there’s more clarification that needs to be done. So we never supported
that proposal. The signature came out with our company name and my name on it, but it
came out without my permission. And so we never, ever were actually assigned to that.
It didn’t come out because of malice. There’ve been internal discussions and there was definitely
talk about it. But I never gave my consent that have my company name on that thing. And
we’ve never actually been a supporter. I only supported people being able to talk about
it. So we never changed our position. I still support people being able to talk about it.
That’s one of the things that I love the most about the Bitcoin Cash community is there
isn’t any censorship on these platforms. People can go and talk about it and advocate it.
And you even have the former CTO of Blockstream, Greg Maxwell, shows up on r/BTC and comes
and argues with us and he doesn’t get banned. Whereas if you know, anybody shows up in r/Bitcoin
and advocates in favor of Bitcoin Cash, they’ll instantly be banned and have their post deleted
from there. So it’s a really a fantastic sign that the Bitcoin Cash community has such a
strong commitment to, you know, freedom of speech and in free minds and free markets
and, you know, discussing and exploring new ideas. And so but to your question specifically,
we never signed it. And it was just a miscommunication that came out with our name on it. And later
we put a statement out saying that, hey, we didn’t sign that, but we do support people
being able to talk about it. So it’s just the typo then, because your name
is just right here. Typo is a little bit too light. There’s multiple
time zones and Chinese speakers and English speakers and there was lots of back and forth.
And but it was definitely, I was stunned when it came out and had my name on it because
we had not given our permission for that at all. So that’s where we’re at. But I fully
support people’s right to discuss it. Where do you think the motivation for this
proposal came from? I mean, you were clearly involved in a discussion. So where do you
think the driving motivation for this proposal came from? I think there are some businesses that have
been paying Bitcoin ABC to do protocol development work and they’ve been paying out of their
pocket. And I think they would like to find a source other than their own pocket to help
pay for that. And I think that’s the motivation for it. So this actually reminds me of a report from
Electric Capital that was made in the summer of last year and said that Bitcoin Cash had
lost 32% of its software developers from the previous six months. Why do you think so many
software developers stopped working on Bitcoin Cash? So I don’t think that there was a decline
in the number of software developers working on Bitcoin Cash. But there’s so many different
projects and different things happening at Bitcoin Cash that if they just measured that
one specific repository, that maybe there was a decline. But there are a whole bunch
of other software deposit repositories and things happening like, you know, CashShuffle
and, you know, the meetupbitcoin.com and then there’s Bitcoin Unlimited Guys and Bitcoin
Verde and there’s just a whole bunch of different projects, all of the world busy building all
sorts of different things so that the total number of developers working on Bitcoin Cash
stuff is probably more today than ever before. So if there was a decline within one repository,
that’s what they were looking at. But if they look at the bigger picture, they would have
seen that there’s more stuff and more action happening on Bitcoin Cash than ever before. So the report was inaccurate as what you’re
saying. Sure. Great summary. The report was inaccurate
if it said that there were fewer people working on Bitcoin cash. Great. So going back to my previous question,
is this proposal of essentially taxing the miners something you would consider if it
was at a lower percentage or are you totally against this sort of fund raising? So Bitcoin Cash, arguably, if you can track
it back to the original Genesis block of Bitcoin. It’s been around for over a decade and there’s
never been anything like that. I would have to hear some really, really, really strong
arguments by such as big, big, major change should be made to Bitcoin Cash. I haven’t
heard any arguments that are even remotely strong to get me to to think that those changes
are worthwhile. But I’m you know, I try and keep an open mind to all sorts of different
things. And I’m happy to hear new arguments that might come forward. But at this point,
I don’t see any reason to to change the way in which Bitcoin Cash is funded. If I look
at what happened to the BTC version of Bitcoin, I think the reason it went off the rails is
that the developers had too much money, right? There were 100+ million dollars of external
money from traditional banks and traditional finance companies came into BTC to fund, you
know, protocol developers and then they destroyed the entire project and made it so it was no
longer usable in commerce as money. So from my point of view, that was the problem
with Bitcoin and why it went off the rails. I don’t want to see the same thing happened
to Bitcoin Cash. And so for those reasons, I’m not really a fan of the miner… tax isn’t
really the right word, but it’s the most concise, simple word. So I’m not really a fan of the
mining tax. Got it. So as I’m sure you know, Bitcoin Cash’s price
has just about doubled since the beginning of the year. This must be exciting for you. Sure. I like it, but I rarely check the price
for me. The really important thing is the underlying utility, right? What can people
actually use this for in their lives to make their lives better and easier and more convenient?
And then the price is just a side effect of that. So if you can make it super useful for
people to buy things on Amazon at 20% off using purse.io or making their own token and
sending that around the world or doing who knows what else with it. That’s a good thing.
And then the side effect of that is that the price goes up. So do you have any targets where you say,
OK, if we get to here, then we’ll see more mass adoption or if we get to here then we’ll
see less volatility? Or do you strictly see price as an effect of the utility and increased
utility of Bitcoin Cash? Well, there’s also people speculating on the
future utility. And from my point of view today, the BTC version of Bitcoin, it just
seems like a bunch of speculators speculating on the future speculation of other speculators. And that isn’t a game that I want to play
or get involved in. Whereas Bitcoin Cash, I think the speculators are speculating on
the future usefulness of Bitcoin Cash in commerce for real people in the world to do real things.
And there’s already more physical shops around the world accepting Bitcoin Cash payment than
any other cryptocurrency. And I think that that’s a really big sign of things to come. And I remember in 2011 when Bitcoin went from
less than a $1 to $30 in the course of a month or two, and then over the next year or so,
it dropped all the way down from $30 down to less than $2. Right. So big, big, big job, more than 90%
drop. And some people are feeling discouraged. But no. I could see all the stuff that people
were building and all the tools and all the infrastructure that is being created. And
I knew that Bitcoin was going to start being used by more people than ever before and that
the price was going to go up because of that. I see the exact same thing happening with
Bitcoin Cash right now. There’s so much infrastructure and so much activity. Cash fusion is amazing.
If people haven’t looked at the cash fusion yet, it’s fantastic. It’s going to make Bitcoin
Cash just as private in the same ballpark of privacy level as something like a Monero
or ZCash. It’s really, really a big deal. There’s more than 10 million wallets have
been created with the Bitcoin.com wallet. Now, that’s a really, really big deal. Bitcoin.com
has all of its money in resources focused on Bitcoin Cash. There’s a 200 million dollar
Bitcoin Cash ecosystem fund that’s starting to be deployed. And this is a really, really,
really big deal. And in terms of adoption of BTC, maybe it’s because I don’t follow
the news so closely anymore. But man, every time I’ve had to use it in the last couple
of years, it’s a bad user experience. The fees are at least 10 cents, if not a couple
of dollars. And the transactions take forever to go through and they can be reversed. And
you know, it’s not me talking bad about Bitcoin, it’s me speaking the truth. Bitcoin Cash has
more usefulness in commerce than Bitcoin, and I think the day will come when the price
will reflect that because Bitcoin Cash’s price will be higher than the BTC version of Bitcoin’s
price. I don’t think that’s a wild thing to say.
I think that that’s the future. Because when Bitcoin limited its block space, it limited
its usefulness, its commerce, it limited censorship resistance, it limited its ability to be adopted
by people around the world. It basically committed economic suicide or first mover advantage
suicide and for me it’s one of the biggest holders of Bitcoin in the entire world and
the owner of Bitcoin.com. That’s the reason I fought so hard in the scaling debate because
I wanted to see Bitcoin be a success. And today the cryptocurrency, I hold dozens of
cryptocurrencies. I’m not a Bitcoin Cash maximalist, I hold everything. The one I’m the most bullish
about, though, is Bitcoin Cash. I think that that’s an interesting sign that somebody that
holds lots of different cryptocurrencies is most bullish about the Bitcoin Cash, whereas
you have a bunch of Bitcoin maximalists that only hold one single coin, they only hold
Bitcoin. Of course, they’re the most bullish on Bitcoin. They’re trying to pump the only
thing that they hold, whereas with me if basically any of the top 50 cryptocurrencies succeed,
all do just fine monetarily. And I’m already just fine, I’m here because I want to build
the economic tools to bring more economic freedom to the entire world. That’s what gets
me up every day, seven days a week to focus on this sort of stuff. So thank you for letting
me rant on that topic. No worries. So what do you think about this
whole idea of Bitcoin as a safe haven or Bitcoin as a store value as opposed to Bitcoin being
used for its utility? Yeah, it’s silly. It’s absolutely silly. Like
I saw firsthand in prison, there’s nothing that can ever be used as a store of value
that doesn’t have a secondary use case. It’s just plain doesn’t exist in the entire world.
I don’t think anybody can think of an asset that’s only use case as a store value. It
doesn’t exist. Right. So I like to think that Bitcoin is going to be the only thing ever
in the entire history of humankind that’s only use case as a store of value and it doesn’t
have some other secondary use case. That’s nonsense. The only reason Bitcoin still has
the value that does is because some people are still managing to use it in commerce.
But to think that it’s the only use case that it needs to have is to be used as a store
value. And it doesn’t. You know, man, go pick up an economics book or if you want to learn
the hard way, go spend some time in prison and study the prison economy. All right, great. Thank you so much for coming
on the show, Roger, we really appreciate you coming over and taking the time to talk to
us. My pleasure. Thank you so much, Jackson, and
people, if you like Cointelegraph’s content share it on your own social media. Subscribe
to this channel, share their articles, read their articles. They’ve been around for a
long time. They put out great content and they put out the best animated cartoon images
for all their articles of any news publication ever in the history of the world. So thank
you Cointelegraph for that. Thank you, everyone, for watching. My name
is Jackson and that was Roger Ver. And always, guys, remember to like, subscribe and hodl.