Episode 78 – Pre-Philanthropic Billionaires and Bitcoin (Feat. Mario Gibney)

Pre-Philanthropic Billionaires and Bitcoin (Feat. Mario Gibney) Crypto Critics' Corner

Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Mario Gibney, host of the Unhashed Podcast and employee at a Bitcoin lending service called Ledn. We debate pre-philanthropic billionaires, lending services in the Bitcoin and DeFi industries, and other weird topics. Follow Mario on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mario_Gibney This episode was produced by Asher Hirsch.

In this episode Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by Mario Gibney to discuss cryptocurrency lending, Bitcoin, and pre-philanthropic billionaires.

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This episode was edited and produced by Asher Hirsch.

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English Transcript:

00:00:05:01 - 00:00:11:24
Cas Piancey
Welcome back, everyone. I am Cas Piancey and I'm joined, as usual, by my partner in crime, Mr. Bennett Tomlin. How are you?

00:00:11:27 - 00:00:13:06
Bennett Tomlin
I'm doing well. Cas, how are you?

00:00:13:24 - 00:00:23:00
Cas Piancey
I'm doing well. We are joined by a special guest today, Mario Gibney, who works at I don't know how to pronounce it LEDN or LEDN is what's the right way here?

00:00:23:00 - 00:00:23:11
Mario Gibney
LEDN

00:00:23:24 - 00:00:43:05
Cas Piancey
You got that in. OK, a Bitcoin lending platform and stable coin lending platform and and savings account platform, I guess I'll say. And he used to work for Blockstream, which is probably going to displease some of our guests that we're having a former Blockstream employee on. But I'm glad. I'm glad that we are.

00:00:43:06 - 00:00:44:13
Mario Gibney
People don't like Blockstream here.

00:00:46:18 - 00:01:03:20
Mario Gibney
So I'll play that role to Mario today. Well, to be honest, I like I've listened to the shows of your guys I listen to have mainly been like taken down like, you know, Luna and tether and something more egregious scam. So I actually I actually haven't listened to you guys come to you before. So this should be fun.

00:01:03:23 - 00:01:11:15
Cas Piancey
We don't really comment on Blockstream what I'm talking about is that we have we definitely have some Bitcoin Cash fans out there who listen to us.

00:01:11:15 - 00:01:14:05
Mario Gibney
Oh, what's up, guys? They might know me.

00:01:15:22 - 00:01:16:10
Cas Piancey
I also want.

00:01:16:18 - 00:01:30:13
Mario Gibney
To say the last time I came on a podcast and was was unexpectedly defending Blockstream, they were really big fans of Nano, and I kind of spent the rest of the episode trying to explain why I didn't like Nano, but I feel reassured that hopefully I won't have to do that this time.

00:01:30:13 - 00:01:32:21
Bennett Tomlin
I promise not to shill Nano.

00:01:33:25 - 00:01:46:13
Cas Piancey
Yeah, same You're also the co-host of the Unhashed Podcast. I wanted to also get that in there to make sure that we we show all your products well while we have the opportunity.

00:01:46:13 - 00:01:55:22
Mario Gibney
But yeah, I would have shilled it myself had you not done that. So thank you. Better when you guys mentioned I was on, if you'd notice, because often the people who know me for Blockstream don't know of the podcast and kind of vice versa.

00:01:56:08 - 00:02:10:27
Cas Piancey
Well, it's a pleasure to have you on and, and yeah, I'm looking forward to, to talking about a lot of this, I guess it'd be it'd be nice to give the guests an opportunity. Is there something you would like to first talk about primarily?

00:02:11:11 - 00:02:31:01
Mario Gibney
Oh, no. Let's just see where the conversation goes. I like I'm really curious about this because like usually when I go on a go on shows, it's like people from the Bitcoin world are excited to hear about from another maxi like me and usually it's like I can kind of assume that we kind of have similar, I don't know, bullish sentiments on Bitcoin and why it's good for the world.

00:02:31:08 - 00:02:41:05
Mario Gibney
And then I'm often just kind of talking about, you know, when I was at Blockstream about like our products fit into that and that I'm letting you know, would fit in there. So I'm actually just really curious where you guys want to go with things.

00:02:41:12 - 00:03:08:26
Cas Piancey
Well, I think that actually is a perfect perfect segue way because I guess the Bitcoin ecosystem in general is kind of, I would suggest, against lending. Most lending is against kind of giving your Bitcoin up your right, not your keys, not your coin. So I'm wondering how you found yourself going from Blockstream, which seems like an overall a pretty Bitcoin maximalist prone company to something that's so different from that in LEDN.

00:03:09:00 - 00:03:09:10
Cas Piancey
Yeah, I.

00:03:09:10 - 00:03:34:27
Mario Gibney
Got a lot of people were surprised when I made the move and yeah, I guess like from my perspective, I don't think that there's any necessarily contradiction there for me. Like, not your keys, not your coins is a really good heuristic, especially given the first ten years the absolute Wild West nature of the Bitcoin ecosystem. You know, you just you had the empty boxes, you had the quick triggers, you had all this stuff going on that strongly encouraging people not to put their coins on.

00:03:34:27 - 00:04:03:04
Mario Gibney
You know, any platform was a really good idea. And I remember thinking back about like I guess around 2018, you know, I was thinking like, you know, there's, there's probably a bunch of really valid use cases for Bitcoin and, you know, some, some kind of ways to use it that will depend on a custodial model that are probably being under utilized because I think a lot of the people really understood the Bitcoin ecosystem or really understood the kind of the value prop of Bitcoin moved away from that kind of thing and wanted to build kind of you know, of self sovereign tools, et cetera.

00:04:03:16 - 00:04:23:06
Mario Gibney
But I was kind of keeping my eye out for companies and individuals who were kind of like, you know, we're going to provide a custodial service because you know, it's the only way we can do like X, you know, provide this type of service. And actually, I found out about blockchain before lending and I thought, OK, well, this is like one use case that kind of makes sense.

00:04:23:06 - 00:04:41:19
Mario Gibney
Like, you know, you can't really do non-custodial lending. It doesn't make sense. The entire purpose of lending lending coins out kind of requires you to give that up and I ended up meeting the co-founders of LEDN in Toronto and and hit it off them pretty quickly. And I really jived with them because we kind of had similar Bitcoin focus leanings.

00:04:41:19 - 00:04:57:15
Mario Gibney
Like we're we're in kind of a toxic maximalists those people who are going to make it our whole lifestyle and, you know, you know, tech people on social media, but we're a bit more on the pragmatic end of things and so our values aligned a lot. And I, I was an early client of LEDN and kind of used the service for a while, thought it was good.

00:04:57:27 - 00:05:14:26
Mario Gibney
And especially the thing that really made me kind of think, OK, these guys get it before I joined the team was the proof of reserves where twice a year what we'll do is open up our books. I love this is just a live matter like twice a year, twice a year. We'll, we'll open our books up to a Arminio LLP to basically give an attestation.

00:05:15:04 - 00:05:37:16
Mario Gibney
And I'm really interested in this side of things. I don't think that long term Bitcoin can ever reach mainstream adoption, have everyone hold their own coins. I don't think that's realistic. I think it's a really good thing to push for early on. And as the the industry matures, I think it's really important. People can still do that if they want to, but also that we kind of get used to supporting and building companies that can be more responsible when taking possession of other people's coins.

00:05:37:16 - 00:05:42:01
Mario Gibney
So that was that was a mentality I had when I kind of shifted shifted companies.

00:05:42:10 - 00:06:05:17
Bennett Tomlin
Related to that. In February of 2019, you tweeted at one point "178 Quadriga seeks clients owed over $11 million. That's nearly $150,000 per client on average. Why on earth are people leaving such staggering amounts of money on an exchange minor injury as is done here? Not your keys, not your coins people. Come on." So would you say since that time your views have evolved?

00:06:05:23 - 00:06:12:16
Bennett Tomlin
You think people can safely store more than $150,000, for example, on an exchange, you're on a lending platform.

00:06:12:28 - 00:06:32:03
Mario Gibney
Yeah, I guess they would. This is legit. I've never actually had someone dig up a tweet of mine and ask me to comment on it. It. So my views have definitely evolved since then, I think. Yeah, mainly because the I guess like the way I phrased it, there was kind of like there is no custodian or there is no platform on which you should feel comfortable leaving the coins on.

00:06:32:03 - 00:06:55:16
Mario Gibney
And yeah, I guess I don't hold that view as strongly anymore. And yeah, partly because I think that the space has evolved and that the kind of quality of platforms has improved a lot. And I think there's I think there's a lot of evidence to bear that out. Like there are still a lot of Mickey Mouse operations going on out there, but the percentage of kind of asset value that is like, oh, how do I phrase this?

00:06:55:16 - 00:07:13:13
Mario Gibney
Like, you know, like when MTGOX happened like that was like a massive percentage of the total value of all kind of Bitcoin cryptocurrency in circulation. And then like, you know, in 2017 there was like a lot of hacks and kind of over time the percentage of the economy out there affected by those is going down. I think part of the reason for that is that the industry is maturing.

00:07:13:13 - 00:07:13:21
Mario Gibney
Yeah.

00:07:14:01 - 00:07:48:13
Cas Piancey
Well, I mean, I have an interesting counterargument to that, which would be that while we've seen perhaps better operational security from centralized exchanges, at least in the past, maybe let's say a year or two, I don't know. I don't want to give too much credit there, but I think a lot of that risk now, as we saw this past week with Terra and Luna is being passed on to things like stable coins and the environments that those stable coins end up building, which are oftentimes lending platforms that can offer and do offer numbers that are unsustainable.

00:07:48:17 - 00:08:14:02
Cas Piancey
So, for instance, we have seen a kind of intense decrease in the price of Celsius networks token. And we have seen them struggling after this Terra Luna fiasco. What is it that differentiates your platform from that? Why do you feel more safe than these other ones? And I know that you guys no longer allow U.S. residents to use your platform, but we saw that BlockFi.

00:08:14:12 - 00:08:26:01
Cas Piancey
And Nexo and Celsius have all kind of been targeted by U.S. regulators in the in the past. Don't you think that's a concern that you guys should have as well? Or.

00:08:26:11 - 00:08:54:08
Mario Gibney
Sure, yeah, there's a few different things there. First, I'd say that like actually some of our products are still available to Americans, but yeah, the kind of poster that a prominent product like that, us and other lenders, our savings accounts, which you're right, have been discontinued for Americans. I think that's important to distinguish between the types of risk that come from custodial mismanagement and operation security and more systemic risks that come from the actual construction of these assets.

00:08:54:08 - 00:09:20:01
Mario Gibney
Right. Like the risks that we have seen kind of blow up with them. You know, with Luna and UST that's a different type of risk than the that would happen with Quadriga, for example. You know, with us there was you know, it was a Ponzi scheme, right? Like the the way that Luna was structured, whereas Quadriga was like there is a way to properly manage it, run a platform and like responsibly, you know, use clients funds.

00:09:20:01 - 00:09:36:02
Mario Gibney
It was just that Quadriga wasn't doing that. Right. And again, that's where stuff like you know, like, sorry to repeat myself, but like I think stuff like Proof of Reserves just makes the risk of that much, much lower. I think I've answered your question like I think I respond to that. Let me know if I missed one of the points you had to.

00:09:36:20 - 00:09:49:26
Cas Piancey
No, I mean, I think for the most part that accounts for it. However, I don't think that the proof of reserves would inherently mitigate regulatory risks that other lenders have had to.

00:09:49:26 - 00:10:25:25
Mario Gibney
Oh, yeah. Regulatory risks. Yeah, sorry, I didn't comment on that. That's fair. I again, the regulatory risks are like they're legitimate thing to, like keep an eye out for. And again, the industry is still maturing. And then hopefully as time goes on, there will become better regulatory clarity on this stuff. And then, you know, the amount of kind of uncertainty and change in products over time that will slow down but yeah, I maybe, maybe I'm stuck comparing this to like are we still we're still comparing this to kind of how my views have changed or custodial risk because to be honest, I actually like regulatory risk is not something I actually thought about a whole

00:10:25:25 - 00:10:33:07
Mario Gibney
lot until for the last couple of years before I was just like curious how kind of these products worked, like at a tactical level.

00:10:33:17 - 00:10:47:14
Cas Piancey
Sure. But I think that there's clearly just based on the fact that so many state regulators have gone after both BlockFi and Bennett. Correct? Me if I'm wrong, I believe it's blockchain. So is that who they're going after? Mostly. Was it Celsius too.

00:10:47:18 - 00:10:50:10
Bennett Tomlin
All three of the big ones have been targeted by different state regulators.

00:10:51:01 - 00:11:14:15
Cas Piancey
And I believe that was a combination of allowing U.S. residents to use the platform despite promising that that was not the case. And I think that it was also in some cases, just offering it to U.S. residents as well. So those are a couple regulatory risks. I don't know if we've seen the benefit. We've seen the Ontario like have we seen the Ontario Securities Exchange Commission, whatever it's called, going after any of these or.

00:11:14:15 - 00:11:15:00
Cas Piancey
No, I.

00:11:15:00 - 00:11:19:14
Bennett Tomlin
Don't know the OSC stance on Lending. So I don't know that off the top of my head.

00:11:19:21 - 00:11:38:23
Cas Piancey
So I guess I just see it as like an actual real concern for lending platforms a lot more than something like Bitcoin, which obviously what exactly what the SEC do about Bitcoin. They can't do anything. So you know, it seems like a real risk that people should take into account if they're going to be using any of these platforms at all.

00:11:38:23 - 00:11:39:03
Cas Piancey
No.

00:11:39:06 - 00:12:03:01
Mario Gibney
Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, like it's good to know what, you know, your jurisdiction has to say on these topics and understand that this is evolving field. Like from our stance, like we have been very fortunate to not have to deal with a lot of the legal difficulties of our competitors. And I don't think that's I don't think that's by chance we've been a lot more conservative in our product offerings in the way we market ourselves.

00:12:03:23 - 00:12:27:19
Mario Gibney
I mean, I guess I don't have direct insight into, you know, Celsius, BlockFi, Nexo's breakdown, but the impression I get is that we are more distributed. Like we have clients in 127 different countries. One of our co-founders is Venezuelan, and a large portion of our team are from LEDN America. And so we have a lot of clients in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and actually be in Canada does have its advantages in that.

00:12:28:05 - 00:12:49:16
Mario Gibney
Yeah, the regulatory environment here has been more stable. So, you know, for those reasons, we, we have been able to weather this kind of stuff. Yeah, I would say without too much difficulty. But yeah, like it again, I'm not trying to suggest that there is no risk. There absolutely is risk there. And it's, you know, an important thing if someone's considering using one of these platforms to keep an eye out for that.

00:12:50:03 - 00:13:07:23
Bennett Tomlin
So I have a couple of related questions here, and they largely are about where the yield comes from for people who are using the Bitcoin savings account on the list of risks listed on the LEDN website, it says, We may hold your digital assets in our name or in any other name, and we may pledge re pledge hypothecate.

00:13:07:23 - 00:13:32:05
Bennett Tomlin
re-hypothecate. So lend or otherwise transfer or use any amount of such crypto assets separately or together with other property, with all the attendant rights of ownership and for any period of time, and without retaining it like amount of crypto asset and user invest such digital assets. So can you talk a little bit about what the bitcoins are being used for when they're placed in the Bitcoin savings account and lent out?

00:13:32:05 - 00:13:45:16
Bennett Tomlin
And then related to that, why for the Bitcoin savings account, does the yield drop from five point to 5% to 2% as soon as someone deposits more than point one Bitcoin? We're about $3,000 as a recording.

00:13:45:24 - 00:14:14:06
Mario Gibney
Yeah, sure. The majority of our coins are lent out through Genesis Capital. For those who aren't familiar, Genesis Capital is the largest institutional lender in the cryptocurrency industry. They are very well capitalized, they're highly transparent. They release quarterly reports. We've been working with them for several years now, and up until quite recently all of the yield generated on our BTC deposits were lent out through Genesis.

00:14:14:20 - 00:14:35:17
Mario Gibney
You know, they pay interest on on that. We pass that on to clients. We are starting to deploy the capital directly ourselves. Again, we do this like through quite conservative methods. We don't put our client funds into DeFi for example. You know, we're not like trying to time the market and do stuff like that. We use very, very conservative strategies there.

00:14:36:10 - 00:14:45:10
Mario Gibney
Yeah, most of it through Genesis Capital some of it deployed directly ourselves. So the there's always the other question you would ask the where we're most the yield comes from and.

00:14:45:20 - 00:14:52:19
Bennett Tomlin
And then why does it drop off from five and a quarter percent to 2% as soon as you get past that 10th of a Bitcoin mark?

00:14:52:19 - 00:15:17:02
Mario Gibney
Right. Well, the 2% is much closer to what the actual rate is we could make on it. The the higher yield for kind of the initial deposit is we we subsidize that. It's it's a way to attract people to the platform and Yeah. And just get them cut what's essentially and and then it yeah. If people are are tied to the platform, they're more likely to kind of use us for a loan if they happen to need it in the future.

00:15:17:18 - 00:15:40:27
Mario Gibney
So that's it. It's quite simple like that. I guess we faced a choice in between like we could have had a like a higher threshold and, and kind of a lower first tier interest rate. But one of the things we actually try to do is, is I mean, maybe democratize isn't the right word, but we try to spread the benefits of our product to be available more for people who just have smaller stacks.

00:15:41:15 - 00:15:57:04
Mario Gibney
You know, we have much lower limits on our loans because as I said before, a lot of our clientele are in places like Mexico, Colombia, places where they kind of rely more heavily on the credit we offer. And, you know, if some of these platforms have like a $5,000 minimum for loans, you know, some people really need to have lower limits than that.

00:15:57:10 - 00:16:08:26
Mario Gibney
It's a similar kind of, you know, approach we take here. We would rather give a higher interest rates to a greater number of our clients, even if they have smaller stacks than to have kind of the wealthier ones take the lion's share of that extra rate.

00:16:09:02 - 00:16:26:07
Cas Piancey
Well, so on the flip side of that, the USDC rates are well significantly higher. The rates that you guys give to people for for USDC currently are seven and a half percent is that also through Genesis Capital?

00:16:27:00 - 00:16:48:01
Mario Gibney
Actually, a lot of that comes from just financing our loans. So the like a lot of people, you know, our original product is the you know, Bitcoin backed loan people deposits. You know, if you want to borrow $1,000 from us, you can deposit $2,000 worth of Bitcoin. We issue a loan worth $1,000. When you pay back the loan, the collateral was released back to your control.

00:16:48:12 - 00:16:54:27
Mario Gibney
And so we finance a lot of these loans with other clients, USDC deposits, some of it is also lent out through Genesis.

00:16:55:20 - 00:17:10:02
Cas Piancey
OK, but you're saying that the majority of that yield is from lending that out to your own customers and then handing it back off to your other customers. Is that that about.

00:17:10:11 - 00:17:24:23
Mario Gibney
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I believe that's the majority, at least it was last I heard several months ago. So it might have like hovered around like it might have. There might be like slightly more of it lent out through Genesis. I don't remember. I was top of my head, but yeah, that's basically.

00:17:24:24 - 00:17:44:16
Cas Piancey
OK. So, so my second question. Sorry, sorry. Just my second question really quick here. When you say when you say this, this interest yield is via Genesis, that that means you're handing it off to Genesis and it's like kind of no questions asked. You guys are receiving this yield in return. And I'm just wondering like, do we have any idea where those yields are coming from?

00:17:44:16 - 00:17:54:19
Cas Piancey
Do we know how Genesis Capital is promising to give you? Obviously, I would hope a little bit more than what you're offering your customers. And then you give your customers whatever you can from that, right?

00:17:55:01 - 00:17:59:06
Mario Gibney
Hmm. Are you asking specifically about the BTC or USDC? You're both just.

00:17:59:06 - 00:18:09:22
Cas Piancey
Generally, I guess both. I need any funds that you're giving to Genesis that they could promise these yields on. I guess I'm wondering, so you're saying like, well, that's how we get the yields is through Genesis. And I'm saying, well, what is.

00:18:09:22 - 00:18:35:01
Mario Gibney
What is showing you? I'm going to go one step further. Yeah. Yeah, sure. Yeah. So, I mean, Genesis will lend out through to, you know, a variety of other institutions that effectively have, you know, I guess trading strategies where they want to where it might require them to hold these assets. But they want for Bitcoin, perhaps they don't want exposure to Bitcoin price volatility or but perhaps they realize there's, you know, money to be made in, you know, the basis trade.

00:18:35:01 - 00:18:53:15
Mario Gibney
If they see that, you know, Bitcoin futures are kind of longer than spot Bitcoin you know, there's, you know, an opportunity there and that there might be demand for them to borrow Bitcoin. And that's just one example. And yeah, I'm not actually sure where most the yield comes from from the US, DC on the genesis side of things.

00:18:53:15 - 00:19:01:07
Mario Gibney
But I believe that the because I know that that the rate there is largely determined by what we can charge clients for, for the Bitcoin backed.

00:19:01:07 - 00:19:14:03
Bennett Tomlin
Loans, which makes sense. The rate you charge is 7.9% plus the 2% administration fee they're paying out of 7.5. There's the point four between those two for the profit. So that's that fits that makes sense to me.

00:19:15:03 - 00:19:15:19
Mario Gibney
Did I win?

00:19:17:06 - 00:19:17:17
Bennett Tomlin
Yes.

00:19:18:02 - 00:19:19:26
Mario Gibney
Yes, I did. Thanks, guys.

00:19:20:22 - 00:19:47:08
Bennett Tomlin
You've answered them all. We've got nothing left. No, the product I'm curious about. I'm just trying to figure out the right way to ask about it because it is the send one bitcoin, get two Bitcoins back product, the B to B to X loans, which is effectively as far as I can understand it briefly basically a one to one collateralized loan until the second Bitcoin is purchased and then like 50% loan to value loan.

00:19:47:15 - 00:19:47:27
Mario Gibney
You got it.

00:19:48:12 - 00:19:59:12
Bennett Tomlin
Yeah. Under the roughly normal terms for the other lending that you do. But is there anything that stops users from trying to re hypothecate through the B to service? Oh yeah.

00:19:59:12 - 00:20:00:23
Mario Gibney
We don't send them to Bitcoin.

00:20:01:04 - 00:20:02:20
Cas Piancey
So it's like layaway, right?

00:20:02:20 - 00:20:15:02
Mario Gibney
Yeah. Like, like you, you come to us with, you know, thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin and you want to take it to be to X loan, wish you a loan of $1,000 and we don't send that to you. What we do is we automatically purchase more bitcoin on your behalf and that gets added to the collateral.

00:20:15:08 - 00:20:21:13
Bennett Tomlin
Gotcha. OK, that actually does help because that, that makes more sense. It's basically just a leveraged buy of Bitcoin. Yeah.

00:20:21:13 - 00:20:43:15
Mario Gibney
I mean we basically found that early on we had clients coming to us and were posting, you know, 10,000 bucks worth of Bitcoin as collateral, taking out a $5,000 loan and a couple of days later coming back and depositing $5,000 with Bitcoin and then going out to take another loan. And we kind of said, you know, we can, we can automate this process for you and, you know, just pay as much money on fees and, and, and, you know, price slippage from sending to other some other platform.

00:20:43:15 - 00:20:43:19
Mario Gibney
Yeah.

00:20:44:05 - 00:20:45:16
Bennett Tomlin
Do you have any more questions about.

00:20:45:16 - 00:20:47:06
Cas Piancey
Leading we can move on to blockchain now.

00:20:47:10 - 00:20:58:02
Mario Gibney
This should be fun. I want to I want to preface this by saying I'm I'm on the show as an individual and I worked on the customer support team at Blockstream. So I am a shareholder still. I did claim a stock option.

00:20:58:02 - 00:21:01:07
Bennett Tomlin
So what's the point of Liquid?

00:21:01:16 - 00:21:23:24
Mario Gibney
What's the point of liquid? Yeah. I mean, liquid is liquid has a lot of points to it and that it's it's part of this original idea of side chains, which is I'm going to give you the long answer. So the you had Bitcoin was invented it was discovered you could reach decentralized consensus by a trusted authority. And so we had this one coin, Bitcoin, which had these specific parameters.

00:21:23:24 - 00:21:43:01
Mario Gibney
Right. And then people realized early on, hey, we could actually just like changes parameters and kind of have different coins that can provide different use cases. And, you know, so simple version of that was like coin, which you know, two and a half minute blocks, you know, tweak some of the numbers but effectively does the same thing. And, you know, a bunch of other coins got created with all these different parameters.

00:21:43:01 - 00:22:03:05
Mario Gibney
And, you know, I think more narrow is an interesting example. Of higher privacy, but like it scales even worse than Bitcoin, stuff like this. But there is this problem where each one of these coins needed. Well needed. Oh, yeah. You kind of need need a native token to do a proof of work blockchain, which really skewed incentives. And I don't need to tell you guys or your audience what those skewed incentives are.

00:22:03:05 - 00:22:32:03
Mario Gibney
You just said, well, we can print money and and the original idea was side chains was well, there probably is value in having these different types of blockchains. You may want to work under different parameters but how do we do this without, you know, these really warped incentives? And so side chains is this idea where, well, you can create a separate blockchain, but instead of having someone try to bootstrap a new economy and or and this question of who do we award the new assets to, you could just connected to an existing blockchain so people can move coins.

00:22:32:03 - 00:23:01:00
Mario Gibney
So it's a liquid and can use a different ruleset for the blockchain, move them around and then move them back to Bitcoin when they want. So, yeah, I mean, the original idea for that was in a side white paper. Most of the authors of that white paper went on to found Blockstream to pursue, you know, essentially. And we've had so liquid itself, you could use it for a few different things like so first of all, it's the trust assumptions are a bit it requires more trust trusting the federation rather than proof of work.

00:23:01:00 - 00:23:26:15
Mario Gibney
So it is like on a spectrum of totally custodial to a highly distributed like Bitcoin, it is more along the spectrum towards custodial and it has a cool thing called a confidential assets, confidential transactions. So there are higher privacy guarantees you can use with liquid. You can also issue other assets on top of them. So tether for example, has, has issued coins on liquid.

00:23:26:15 - 00:23:44:06
Mario Gibney
So if you have use cases where you want to, you know, have a single transaction that allows for the, say, atomic swaps between Bitcoin and and other, you can do that on liquid by having, you know, different inputs and outputs of different assets on the same chain. So yeah, there's a was a too low level description.

00:23:45:02 - 00:24:09:07
Bennett Tomlin
Generally, the reasons I hear people recommend using liquid are for either issuing the tokens, issuing the new assets, which was possible before liquid using like OP_RETURN like your coin did, or it'll be for something like rapid arbitrage, right? Because it can it's much quicker confirmations than the main blockchain. It can move quickly between these different entities and stuff.

00:24:09:07 - 00:24:32:05
Bennett Tomlin
And my struggle has always been that there's this native unseen way to issue other assets using OP_RETURN already. And for something like arbitrage where you move moving between exchanges it always seemed to make more sense to just use state channels enlightening to make that arbitrage rather than first having to commit the Bitcoin to like this multi signature wallet in this federation of groups.

00:24:32:10 - 00:24:43:04
Bennett Tomlin
Sure. And so between those two things that already existed, I always struggled to understand where liquid was supposed to fit or what it was supposed to uniquely bring to bear.

00:24:43:13 - 00:25:02:10
Mario Gibney
Yeah. So those are two, I think valid use cases, the opportune use case for Bitcoin. I think is unsustainable in that Bitcoin has limited block space. It needs to learn to block space to ensure that nodes can it's affordable to run a node and validate what's going on in space. And in the future the bitcoin blocks absolutely will disappear.

00:25:02:10 - 00:25:31:12
Mario Gibney
We're going to need fees to rise in order to provide security. So in the long run, I don't think OP or turnstile assets on top of Bitcoin are going to be economically viable. I think you're better off moving those two side chains like liquid. As for the kind of custodian to a custodian transfer, that type of thing, lightning's great for smaller amounts, but it is liquidity constrained, sending it to and from different parties through channels it requires you to have kind of a viably liquid.

00:25:31:18 - 00:25:52:09
Mario Gibney
I'm sorry, that's a tough word. Like enough liquidity channels between both parties. Now that's great. If you're sending between two custodians that have are like running a dedicated really kind of fat payment channel between them. But that might always be may not always be the case because Liquid operates as like a broadcast under a broadcast kind of transaction model.

00:25:52:27 - 00:26:10:13
Mario Gibney
There are no liquidity constraints like there is with liquid. So if you're sending kind of one Bitcoin one like LBGTQ from one participant to another, like as long as they have a liquid wallet, you can send as much as you like and they can receive it. So yeah, I think that like for smaller payments, you're absolutely correct, lightning preferable.

00:26:11:08 - 00:26:19:24
Mario Gibney
The larger you get to, the more participants there are, the more you kind of run to these these kind of routing constraints. And I think liquid can provide a good I'm sure.

00:26:19:24 - 00:26:45:01
Bennett Tomlin
But like, you know who the exchanges are? The exchanges can open the channels directly between themselves without even necessarily being connected to the rest of the lightning channels more broadly. Right. And so like both Bittrex and say, Kraken can each put up adequate liquidity for the normal arbitrage between their exchanges in the state channel? And is that meaningfully more infrastructure work for them to do than running and maintaining a liquid known to be able to do that integration?

00:26:45:06 - 00:27:01:18
Mario Gibney
It depends how many participants you want to be able to quickly in between, right? Because if you have like let's say, three custodians that sure, they make a big fat channel between each of them. No problem. Let's say you want to be able to quickly send between, you know, some smaller custodian and one of the bigger ones. They might not have a direct channel with them.

00:27:02:01 - 00:27:08:19
Mario Gibney
So that's the thing. It's a trade off between them. Between the kind of the number of participants that you want to be able to stand between.

00:27:09:02 - 00:27:18:21
Cas Piancey
OK, so I have some different questions about Blockstream. They might be a little more obtuse. So these might be either harder or easier to answer depending on how you want to look at them.

00:27:18:21 - 00:27:23:16
Mario Gibney
But this is one of the hardest conversations I had, by the way. I guess.

00:27:23:19 - 00:27:24:15
Cas Piancey
That's unfortunate.

00:27:25:11 - 00:27:27:25
Mario Gibney
No, it's but it's you're doing great.

00:27:29:16 - 00:27:54:02
Cas Piancey
So I think I don't know, a lot of people familiar with the space understand that there's a clear line of support between Blockstream and Bitfinex and Tether. And I think that there's people who, for instance, are Bitcoin Cash supporters who see that kind of collaboration as part of the block size war, which we haven't talked about on this podcast.

00:27:54:02 - 00:27:57:25
Cas Piancey
It's a long story and maybe we'll get into it one day. Can I just.

00:27:57:25 - 00:28:02:04
Mario Gibney
Tell your audience, read the read the book The Block Size War does an excellent job of describing.

00:28:02:10 - 00:28:28:28
Cas Piancey
So besides the block size war, though, I think it's become obvious that people within Blockstream are big supporters of tether. We talk about tether a lot. We talk about stable coins a lot. And I think that support from a company that is simultaneously perceived as being very pro Bitcoin maximalist, not only comes across as a bit hypocritical, but also really, really weird.

00:28:29:07 - 00:28:49:21
Cas Piancey
And I guess I'm wondering how does Blockstream own that? Like do you guys do you guys look at that and go like, yeah, we did affect the block size where that is a part of our history. We're we're glad we affected it. We're open to that. Do you do you look at your the support of tether by Blockstream and bid for next by Blockstream and and go like, yeah, we're glad we support these guys.

00:28:49:21 - 00:29:00:01
Cas Piancey
They're intimate and important parts of the space. I guess I'm just wondering how close are these ties and how much do people within Blockstream accept these perspectives as well?

00:29:00:01 - 00:29:19:09
Mario Gibney
OK, so I think there are 2 very separate questions there. It's it's Blockstreams kind of relationship to the block size or and the amount of influence that it and its kind of members had over what happened and then there are the ties to tether. I know they're not completely separate, but I have kind of very distinct feelings on both of those.

00:29:19:16 - 00:29:44:28
Mario Gibney
I also say from the get go that that you guys know, Rusty Russell is, you know, oh, you guys love Rusty. So Rusty is the Rusty. Russell is actually one of the it was bigger name from the kind of Linux open source kind of contribution days. He's a bit of a legend in that in those circles from what I understand and he leads the lightning development at Blockstream and he's also doesn't like toeing the party line.

00:29:44:28 - 00:29:50:25
Mario Gibney
He likes expressing his opinion regardless of what of how well that aligns with Blockstreams.

00:29:50:25 - 00:29:52:11
Cas Piancey
Is this that picture that you sent me?

00:29:52:20 - 00:30:14:13
Mario Gibney
I don't know if I maybe maybe it was the one I sent you. Yeah. Rusty was making fun of a block through his connection to tether, even though Rusty is a very prominent individual Blockstream. So I bring that up to say that having worked at Blockstream, it's kind of funny to be being asked to describe what Blockstreams relationship to tether is because there are many, many individuals at auction with their own opinions on it.

00:30:14:28 - 00:30:34:27
Mario Gibney
I would personally be more comfortable if Blockstream distanced itself a bit more from tether. That is my personal opinion. And I don't agree with the tether truth. I think these theories about each other is like propped up the Bitcoin industry. I think that those are wildly exaggerated I actually haven't looked into tether in a tremendous amount of detail.

00:30:34:27 - 00:31:00:08
Mario Gibney
I mean, like mainly because I just I think that if it were to go under, it would not really fundamentally change the reasons. I'm really interested in Bitcoin. It would like be I mean, it's difficult. Eventually the industry but like, yeah, I, I guess it's something that I'm preface I'm saying that because like it's not something I usually like end up talking to people about, but here we are.

00:31:00:26 - 00:31:36:07
Mario Gibney
I Yeah. So I'm like, yeah, I agree that there is, there are contradictions there. I think that's a valid point to make and yeah, I so I'm not going to try and say much more about that on tether regarding what happened with the block size. Whereas that's, that's much trickier to answer. You know, Blockstream itself. Like, you know, you have the situation where no individual can change what happens with the code and stuff, but you have different individuals, you know, even if it's a leaderless movement of different people are going to have going to have different possess different levels of status and kind of influence.

00:31:36:07 - 00:31:57:14
Mario Gibney
And so their opinions will hold more or less weight. And, you know, it is of course, true that a lot of the founders of blockchain, prominent members had voices that were listened to by a large number of people. I don't know if it makes sense to translate that into like Blockstream, you know, really decided what happened with, you know, with Segwit or the for cause there.

00:31:58:09 - 00:32:27:19
Mario Gibney
You know, I think it's totally reasonable to to say that, you know, the individuals there and, you know, did play a pretty key part. I, I joined shortly after all of that but I, you know, I you know, I feel like I did my small part. I was, you know, one of the organizers of a meet up in Seoul and we kind of wrote some materials and it was a bit weird because we had a friendly relationship with Roger Ver before all that and didn't really afterwards.

00:32:28:18 - 00:32:50:27
Mario Gibney
But like, I'm kind of like I feel quite proud of my part. Like, I think I, you know, changed a few minds and had some small influence on what happened there. And, you know, if you scale it up there, enough individuals and a lot of them are blocks of him, sure. It had an influence. But I think that the at the same time, I think people take that and they really run with it and then kind of exaggerate the degree to which that's true.

00:32:50:27 - 00:32:59:02
Mario Gibney
And then it just turns into this oversimplified, you know, therefore Blockstream controls Bitcoin and they can just dictate what goes on. Yeah. So that's my general direction on those two questions.

00:32:59:23 - 00:33:06:12
Bennett Tomlin
Yeah. The version I hear is, oh, is it Visa, MasterCard, MasterCard, invested in DCG and then DCG.

00:33:06:12 - 00:33:07:10
Mario Gibney
Investor watches.

00:33:07:24 - 00:33:16:13
Bennett Tomlin
Blockstream. And so MasterCard controls Bitcoin. I think that's that's the story you're trying to hide from us. Right? Mario is a guy MasterCard controls. Well.

00:33:17:01 - 00:33:34:21
Mario Gibney
You don't know the real story. What's the you know, there's actual people I was going to love this. There's a real Bilderberg connection to Blockstream, one of the I forget who it is, but like one of the investors I think it was like through AXA is like our investment. I'm sure I'm sure the critics know all this already.

00:33:35:09 - 00:33:47:25
Mario Gibney
But like one I think he was like one of the large investment. He was like heading their investment schemes and he had some great Bilderberg, which I thought was hilarious. So it was one of these like two or three connections. So it's Bilderberg, it's not Visa, MasterCard and.

00:33:49:05 - 00:33:50:24
Bennett Tomlin
He got kind of make sure to clarify.

00:33:50:24 - 00:33:51:01
Cas Piancey
That.

00:33:52:14 - 00:33:54:02
Mario Gibney
Yeah, it's important for everyone to know.

00:33:54:09 - 00:33:56:11
Cas Piancey
You have no idea what this can spur, but OK.

00:33:57:23 - 00:34:13:03
Mario Gibney
Oh, I know man. I like one of the things I like. I don't know, I say I missed the lizard beams, man. I miss. I still have my, my lizard mask that I got when I joined the company you know, I got it for myself. They didn't give it to me, but I remember like I say, I know.

00:34:14:02 - 00:34:14:11
Cas Piancey
I.

00:34:15:18 - 00:34:30:12
Mario Gibney
Well, to be honest, OK, this is my critique of Blockstream I'm actually I think that there are all these absurd theories out there, and a lot of the early founders, I think, just took them too seriously and like and I was just like, run with it, guys. Have fun. With it. Make fun of these people, to be honest.

00:34:30:12 - 00:34:44:13
Mario Gibney
Like, I, you know, I don't agree with everything Sampson did at his tenure at Blockstream, but I think ridiculing those types of theories was a good move on his part. And to the degree that Blockstream did more of that, I think it was good. Bring them on.

00:34:47:21 - 00:34:49:18
Cas Piancey
Bennett, do you have any more questions about Blockstream?

00:34:49:19 - 00:35:14:13
Bennett Tomlin
Not directly about Blockstream, but a little bit about Bitcoin governance, namely about check, template verify, which has been exposing some points of articulation in the Bitcoin governance process in the way people expect that to progress. Do you have any thoughts on how that proposal has come forward and passed through the governance process? So for.

00:35:14:23 - 00:35:16:07
Mario Gibney
Now, I have a lot of thoughts on that.

00:35:18:11 - 00:35:50:02
Mario Gibney
OK, like, all right, I'll give you very general high level stuff and then maybe you can be more specific. I like covenants I think that the functionality that CTV enables is generally desirable functionality. It's probably safe as far as I can tell. I am somewhat deferring to some more technically inclined people. To me on that, I think there's good reason to suspect that there are potentially better ways of adding covenants to Bitcoin that haven't been adequately researched yet.

00:35:50:13 - 00:36:17:19
Mario Gibney
It is for that reason. I do not want CTV to be added yet. It is for that reason as far as I understand that there isn't technical consensus yet. So now Jeremy Rubin, guy, you kind of main I guess patron of a kind of code it up OP_CTV and code it up the speedy trial proposal for it. I don't I think he he skipped a step in writing that code and saying, hey, like how about this for a timeline?

00:36:17:26 - 00:36:37:10
Mario Gibney
I think there should have been more consensus building. I think perhaps you should've been a bit more patient waiting for kind of research on, you know, Russell O'Connor had an interesting proposal a few months back that Rusty Russell has two separate people have has put forth like a proposal for like an alternative way to do it. And I want to see that researched more before.

00:36:37:24 - 00:36:55:18
Mario Gibney
And so for those reasons, I yeah, I think it was a bit early for speedy trial to be proposed. I don't think the people supporting it are like evil. I still like Jeremy. I, you know, hope he sticks around Bitcoin and continues to work on it. And I think people are being mad online you know, surprise. But yeah, I don't know.

00:36:56:13 - 00:37:00:01
Mario Gibney
I'm I want to know. What do you think, Bennett? What do you think?

00:37:00:23 - 00:37:24:14
Bennett Tomlin
That's a great question. I don't have any particular technical opinions on check template verify. It was just fascinating to see the types of reactions because there was a certain subset of Maximalist who seem to immediately reject it because it had come from outside of the normal proposal process and it come basically fully vetted with the code.

00:37:24:20 - 00:37:45:02
Mario Gibney
I think that's kind of bullshit. And I think that some overzealous proponents of OP_CTV are pushing that narrative. There are also some people who some people I actually like most of these people, I consider them friends like Paul Strzoc, for example, who really wants drivechains. And I think he exaggerates the degree to which there's like there's this kind of ivory tower because they don't support his proposal.

00:37:45:02 - 00:38:13:13
Mario Gibney
And I've told Paul this and I'm like, you know, and so for him and like a few others that really want OP_CTV people don't like the people have what I think are legitimate tactical reasons to hold off on it just yet. And rather than acknowledging those, it's easier to jump to, oh, didn't come for the right person. Like, you know, it's you know, it's not the Jeremy Rubin isn't isn't this big outsider like I mean, he's like he's also very much friends with, you know, like a lot of the people who have rejected his proposal.

00:38:13:19 - 00:38:30:00
Mario Gibney
I mean, it's not as though like this wasn't actually you know, it was discussed on the mailing list for a very long time. Like, I don't so no, I don't buy it. I think that people who are suggesting that the only reason this is being rejected or the primary reason is because it came from, you know, like the wrong person.

00:38:30:00 - 00:38:50:14
Mario Gibney
I think it's quite silly. Yeah. Yeah. It's just such a weird thing because it kind of suggests that Jeremy Rubin is some like pariah or, you know, it like someone who like you know, wasn't involved in the kind of core like circles before. Like, I mean, you know, it's been on the mailing list for ages. There's been very clear tactical reasons for not wanting this, you know, and I think he jumped the gun a bit.

00:38:50:14 - 00:38:58:21
Mario Gibney
But now, I mean, like, I yeah, I think I think those that that's an exaggeration pushback. Come on, man. Argue with.

00:38:58:21 - 00:39:20:01
Bennett Tomlin
Me. Yes. Some of the maximalist objections I saw to it did seem less to be about who it was from and more that that he was pushing for speedy trial and that it hadn't gone through like the normal approval process before. Oh, yeah. And so it takes Bitcoin a very long time to make any changes whatsoever. Which is a strength of sorts.

00:39:20:05 - 00:39:26:26
Bennett Tomlin
But premature ossification can also lead to challenges in accommodating later things.

00:39:27:06 - 00:39:31:00
Mario Gibney
Oh, I fully agree. Yeah, the people are like ossification. I'm like, yeah, fuck that, OK.

00:39:31:00 - 00:39:52:12
Bennett Tomlin
And so I keep going. I guess it's just there's still a bit of existing tension between like how quickly should Bitcoin make any changes and what changes should actually be on the table? Hmm. And even Segwit, which was adopted back during the Black Size Wars, has seen moderate adoption. (I was wrong about this, there has been significant adoption) There's still a variety of large industry players who still aren't using it.

00:39:52:18 - 00:40:09:04
Bennett Tomlin
I mean, it's I think it's still less than 50% of transactions are from Segwit addresses, (this is a low estimate, the actual number is meaningfully higher), taproot was released into production a while ago with the software and I think that the number of Taproot transactions is still like single digit percentage.

00:40:09:05 - 00:40:11:20
Mario Gibney
It's less less than 1%. Less than 1%. Yeah.

00:40:11:22 - 00:40:14:14
Bennett Tomlin
I guess. Is Bitcoin nearly done changing?

00:40:14:25 - 00:40:18:07
Mario Gibney
We're moving too slow. We're moving too slow. Is that. Yeah. OK.

00:40:19:09 - 00:40:21:05
Bennett Tomlin
Is it more fully ossified than it.

00:40:21:06 - 00:40:44:06
Mario Gibney
So no, I don't think so. I think if that actually gets ossified, it's going to change. But I know I'm I'm firmly in the way too early to even talk about ossification camp. OK, so a couple of comments on the on the Segwit thing. So I would be careful with using like transactions as a metric just because like the nature of how transactions are broadcasted more and more now, like you have more batch payments.

00:40:44:22 - 00:41:02:16
Mario Gibney
Segwit is actually like an output level change. So if a transaction might have like, you know, eight outputs that are Segwit and like two that are on Segwit or something like is that Segwit or not? Right. And when I look at like Segwit spending payments it's up to like 85%. Now the other thing is Segwit was already used to like Tapper, it was added because of Segwit.

00:41:02:16 - 00:41:23:26
Mario Gibney
Like the way it was added was through was enabled by Segwit. So like already we've been able to add another change and you could argue terahertz, I've use Arch, I'll get to that in a second. But like it was quite quite influential in like allowing us to more safely add upgrades in the future. The other thing is that we haven't reached a position yet in Bitcoin where blocks are consistently full.

00:41:24:06 - 00:41:54:21
Mario Gibney
That's never happened for more than a few months. So the incentive to use space more efficiently isn't quite there yet. As soon as blocks are consistently full, any reduction in block rate in the amount of data that you're writing to the chain will save clients money, and that's going to really kick in to like kick into gear the kind of speed and like how much these companies prioritize, you know, like adding, you know, changing the cycle to address changes, changing to Taproot addresses, you know, if like fees have been pretty low for most of the last few years.

00:41:55:06 - 00:42:19:09
Mario Gibney
So why would you bother investing resources into upgrading to new address types if it's going to save you essentially zero money? So, you know, despite that segwit, what's that like 85% adoption at the output level. Yeah. And like and even if it wasn't, I'm not sure how much that would change my view on it. I mean, if blocks have been full for like three years, no one is using Segwit, I think that would be a very valid case that like people aren't really using these upgrades we're adding and not much is changing.

00:42:19:16 - 00:42:46:07
Mario Gibney
Yeah, sure. But I'm not too worried about that. If we get it three years now and this conversation, the stats haven't changed, I will, I will be gradually coming over to your position. OK, having said that, the, the trade off you're bringing up between like being so careful as to getting left behind versus rushing things and breaking things is one of the really fundamental actually probably that is the fundamental thing we're talking about with OP_CTV versus this potential other upgrade.

00:42:46:07 - 00:43:03:19
Mario Gibney
And I was kind of worried about this and that, like I'm not really aware of any other covenants kind of alternative presentations at present. There was this kind of idea for a few months back. I want to see that pursued. But like I don't quite have technical chops to research that stuff yet. And, you know, it's open source research, so you can't just like make someone do it.

00:43:03:19 - 00:43:14:04
Mario Gibney
It's no one's job in particular. So again, I was quite relieved that a few weeks ago I could see there was actually progress being made there because there is a danger that you get to it some more. We don't know if we want to add this because we don't know if it's the best way to do it yet.

00:43:14:04 - 00:43:39:07
Mario Gibney
And if research and alternatives languish, then you're right, we can end up in this kind of ossification type scenario through like over caution and kind of just this kind of backlash to like any change whatsoever. So it is interesting question, but I think that like, honestly, in my opinion, within about two years or so, I think blocks are going to be really consistently full on Bitcoin and, you know, maybe maybe three or four, whatever.

00:43:39:08 - 00:43:47:08
Mario Gibney
But then once that happens, I think there's just be so much more incentive for kind of new upgrades to be used more quickly. And then, yeah, you'll probably see a turn around this stuff.

00:43:47:13 - 00:44:09:04
Bennett Tomlin
So why do you expect that within two years Bitcoin blocks will be full because like as you mentioned, this is fundamentally important for the long term security for Bitcoin because the Coinbase continues to go down and eventually hit zero. And as you already mentioned, over the last several years, most of the times books haven't been full. They'll be full briefly when the price is going wild and then they'll start to empty out again.

00:44:09:12 - 00:44:14:25
Bennett Tomlin
So what over the next couple of years will drive consistent enough demand for block space that the blocks will be consistently full.

00:44:15:02 - 00:44:36:26
Mario Gibney
So thank you for asking. This is my favorite question. I guess I kind of led us here. Basically, you need to find a way to measure block weight usage, like how much unused space there is and how efficiently block space is being used. And I've been looking at that a bit more deeply in the last few weeks. I will hopefully have some some research to publish soon, which will be my first paper in the space.

00:44:36:26 - 00:45:22:14
Mario Gibney
Whew. And yeah, I mentioned celebrate just yet. I haven't done it, but I will soon hopefully. But yeah, like long, long story short, like relative to what I was saying before about using outputs and payments as a metric rather than transactions, if you look at the number of payments, payments being defined as non change outputs, payments being processed by the Bitcoin network, that has been steadily going up and that's like a very long consistent trend and it hasn't it doesn't show up if you look at fees or if you just look at block wait because of the gradual adoption of things like Segwit and then the kind of the the gradual adoption of things like,

00:45:22:20 - 00:45:40:10
Mario Gibney
but I think that will show up next. You kind of just see these fluctuating wild, you know, you have people using you know, OP return for these other assets on Bitcoin, but then you realize that because you're going to use like tether or something, you don't really need all of the distributed properties of Bitcoin because it's a trusted issuer.

00:45:40:10 - 00:46:01:26
Mario Gibney
Anyways, that kind of makes sense to boot something like Tron, for example, because you know, whatever. So I think a lot of those kind of temporary cases move to other chains and I think that you'll end up with them. Yeah. I mean, just honestly, like it's almost a look at this that if you go to a transaction fee dot info and look for the for the data on payments like payments per day, they kind of describe how they define it.

00:46:02:16 - 00:46:12:13
Mario Gibney
I think this is I think this is a meaningful metric. It sort of looks at it and they think, well, I think you're just cherry picking something. Mario, keep an eye out my Twitter account, then I'll have a more fleshed out version of this argument.

00:46:12:25 - 00:46:32:04
Bennett Tomlin
Related to that. Before you move on from this issue, are there circumstances where in say, a decade, if the blockchain is still not full consistently, it would be time to start considering a Luke Dash Jr or Luke Dash Jr esque approach of starting to reduce the available block? Wait until the blocks are consistently full.

00:46:32:08 - 00:46:37:12
Mario Gibney
Is the is the idea there that that would drive the cost of block space up so more fees get paid Yeah.

00:46:37:20 - 00:46:47:23
Bennett Tomlin
From reading his writings, it seems to be twofold. One, that it reduces the cost to run a node, and two, that it would eventually help guarantee high enough fees for the limited block space that it would help with the security.

00:46:47:27 - 00:47:10:28
Mario Gibney
Right. OK, so I strongly disagree with Luke on this on both points for different reasons. First of all, I think that I don't think that node usage is really that constrained by resource consumption. The moment it takes you a day or two to spin up a node right now, I'm very comfortable with where that is. OK, so the key constraint there is like how quickly can you start up a node, download all the blocks in history, validate everything, and then now you're up to date with the network.

00:47:11:17 - 00:47:40:25
Mario Gibney
The bigger the blockchain gets because history, the more resources that takes and that increases at a linear rate because we have the block size limit, the cost of bandwidth and processing power increases at an exponential rate increases several percentage per year. So right now they're increasing at roughly the same pace. So getting up running a node is not easier year to year, but because improvements to our like computer technology have been improving or can continue to prove at an exponential rate.

00:47:41:08 - 00:48:01:12
Mario Gibney
I'm confident that, you know, basically we would need like if kind of the world's economy kind of stagnates and suddenly computers are not getting cheaper at a, you know, kind of fixed percentage rate, then yeah, I think we start looking at block size decrease. But I think that, yeah, Luke kind of exaggerates the degree to which that's a problem at the moment.

00:48:01:23 - 00:48:20:02
Mario Gibney
As for reducing the block size to increase kind of demand for Bitcoin block space, I think this is I'm really starting to believe this is the most like the most misguided but like widely held opinion in the space. I really don't think it works like that. I think that sure, demand elasticity is going to be low in the short term.

00:48:20:02 - 00:48:39:05
Mario Gibney
You can like cut the block size in half and fees are going to spike. But in the long term, I think that's going to I think you're more incentivizing people to seek substitute goods. So, you know, it's a really, really difficult question. And this is actually kind of the question that's maybe trying to like that I'm really interested in personally at the moment.

00:48:39:05 - 00:49:00:05
Mario Gibney
But we need a way better understanding of the elasticity of block space demand before we can confidently say whether increasing or decreasing the block size will increase the amount of fees. Luckily, I don't think I think we have more than a decade. I think we've got probably at least two decades to figure this out, which is quite a long time.

00:49:00:05 - 00:49:16:11
Mario Gibney
But right now I'm very much when it comes to like the block size, I'm very much in. Don't fuck with it mode. I we're within safe bounds for now. We have quite a bit of time to figure out what's going on with them with these. Yeah, that's where I'm at.

00:49:16:18 - 00:49:20:15
Cas Piancey
Well, this is a good segue to my next question. Have you heard of Nano?

00:49:20:19 - 00:49:24:02
Mario Gibney
Never heard of it. Never heard of it. It sounds it sounds exciting.

00:49:24:13 - 00:49:33:03
Bennett Tomlin
Very low fees. That's all you got to know, really, for now, at least. Really? For now at least. Is it secure does it matter when fees are this low?

00:49:34:05 - 00:49:58:09
Cas Piancey
All of this that's going on with Terra and Luna, the market at large plummeting, what, roughly 60% I don't know what we're at today. Obviously, you've been here long enough. You've seen this before. But I started my journey in 2017 so after you. But I've been through a bear market before. Do you see this as different to any of the other ones at all or do you just see it as another.

00:49:58:12 - 00:50:05:05
Cas Piancey
Well maybe it'll be 84% off and then we'll just jump right back up to whatever we need to like. How do you perceive this.

00:50:05:10 - 00:50:07:24
Mario Gibney
I mean I hope you're not asking. You predict the price is going to do.

00:50:07:25 - 00:50:17:26
Cas Piancey
No. And I know, I don't know. I don't, I'm not talking about price. What I'm talking about is a difference in market structure and psychology I guess.

00:50:18:01 - 00:50:37:26
Mario Gibney
OK, so I take the piss out of my fellow Maxis a lot, but this is one place where I'm very aligned with them in that I don't my opinions on Bitcoin are very, not very affected by what goes on in the kind of crypto world. Like, of course, there are impacts. It's going to impact regulation and it's going to impact kind of the price in the short term and stuff.

00:50:38:06 - 00:50:57:23
Mario Gibney
But when I when the reason I'm interested in Bitcoin, it's irrelevant what happens with Luna. You know, I'm interested in, in, you know, this type of asset that isn't controlled by any entity that can allow people to transact digitally without an intermediary. That's interesting to me. And what happens with Luna in USD doesn't change that as far as I'm concerned.

00:50:57:23 - 00:51:15:21
Mario Gibney
Like I love I like the bear markets, honestly. Like, sure, it's not great for my net worth in the short term because I am quite heavily invested into Bitcoin, but I like the bear markets and that it it often helps to kind of wash away a lot of nonsense. At least I kind of feel like it should. Sometimes I'm kind of like, why is all this stuff still going on?

00:51:16:02 - 00:51:32:01
Mario Gibney
But yeah, I mean, I do find it encouraging when like, you know, like, you know, friend of mine lost 500 bucks in Luna and I find that encouraging because you can afford to lose 500 bucks is not too much, but as a response, it seems as though we're going to be a lot more skeptical about the types of stuff we invest into.

00:51:32:01 - 00:51:47:15
Mario Gibney
And so that stuff goes on. It kind of gives me hope. I don't I don't think this is fundamentally different than what we have seen before. I'm sure in three or four years there's going to be some new three letter acronym that everyone's obsessing about. You know, it was ICOs and then it was, then it was then it's now.

00:51:47:15 - 00:51:56:05
Mario Gibney
And I'm sure it's going to be another thing a few years from now. And hopefully over time, those will constitute a smaller and smaller portion of activity. But none of that has fundamentally changed by the last week.

00:51:56:10 - 00:51:56:22
Cas Piancey
Awesome.

00:51:56:24 - 00:52:04:05
Bennett Tomlin
Well, I do have one more question, Mario. Why are pre philanthropic billionaires actually a good thing?

00:52:05:09 - 00:52:27:01
Mario Gibney
OK, I fucking love that term. Came up with myself. I am so I'm I'm a big fan of the the effective altruism kind of framework and I mean, I don't know how much your audience knows about this, but I think I've seen both of you guys sort of take the piss out of this scene now and then on Twitter or at least people people who claim to ascribe to it, perhaps as.

00:52:27:02 - 00:52:34:11
Bennett Tomlin
I'm less broadly mad at the idea of effective altruism, like trying to use your money to do good in an efficient way is a worthwhile.

00:52:34:11 - 00:52:35:22
Mario Gibney
Goal. You hate charity.

00:52:35:28 - 00:52:43:10
Bennett Tomlin
Earn to give effective altruists. Give me a bit of a that's where I tend to get a little bit of objections.

00:52:43:10 - 00:52:57:05
Mario Gibney
OK, I think it's good to be skeptical because of course, someone could just use that as a cover, be like, oh, OK, I'm not earning this money for myself. I'm just going to keep it forever. But don't worry, when I die, I'm going to give it away. Of course, there's going to be people who use that as a as just an excuse to feel good about themselves.

00:52:57:05 - 00:53:04:27
Mario Gibney
Why they just want to get rich. Right? I also don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to earn money as long as you're not harming other people. But like the like.

00:53:05:28 - 00:53:13:15
Cas Piancey
That gets harder and harder to justify with the more money that you have, right? Like, I think that out of suggest. Sorry, go ahead.

00:53:13:15 - 00:53:28:27
Mario Gibney
Well, OK. OK, OK, let, let, let me walk you through this. OK, so I, I got interested in the effect of altruism movement and kind of that the whole restless community stuff. Around the same time I got interested in bitcoin and I got way more involved in Bitcoin, partly because of some key friendships I made after the meetup in Seoul.

00:53:28:27 - 00:53:46:26
Mario Gibney
And, and I just found it a bit more interesting how like just kind of the nitty gritty details of it kind of just kind of captured me and I sort of fell into the Bitcoin industry. Right? And I don't think Bitcoin is the most important thing going on in the world, but there's a amount of inertia. I'm in it and my kind of fallback is I'm like, I don't actually I don't want to own a yacht.

00:53:46:26 - 00:54:04:19
Mario Gibney
I don't want to like, you know, live in a giant mansion. That doesn't appeal to me. I definitely live a more expensive lifestyle than most people on Earth live. Like, I'm not going to pretend I like live this like it's super frugal, like lifestyle and give everything away. No, like I mean, I, you know, I myself, I think proportionate to a lot of my peers.

00:54:04:19 - 00:54:23:26
Mario Gibney
Right. But I, I do tend to give a lot of my money away. And I look at the Bitcoin industry and I think there's a decent chance that we're going to fail at our mission. And like, you know, a few decades down the line, this thing doesn't work out, but it's quite profitable for me. And for me, having a positive impact on the world is really important.

00:54:23:26 - 00:54:40:23
Mario Gibney
And that's like an important fallback is that while I'm still acquiring resources that I can use to fund projects that I think will improve other people's lives. And then added to this, there's this long termist view. So like when I joined Blockstream, I had some disposable income and I started donating a percentage of my money to charity every month.

00:54:41:07 - 00:55:07:23
Mario Gibney
And I was also very bullish on the Bitcoin price. And it seemed like it seemed pretty likely to me that if I wait and give that money away later, I can a give away a higher amount and I can probably once I have a larger chunk of money, can maybe spend some more time to like find someplace where I can do more good now, I don't like I don't think I've ever actually talked about this on a podcast.

00:55:07:23 - 00:55:28:28
Mario Gibney
Maybe I have. And I kind of while I say this, I feel a bit weird saying it because I think a lot of people we hear that and we'll kind of think it's bullshit and that's OK. But the reason I'm bringing this up is that I look at someone like Elon Musk, and I think if I were in his position, I'm not sure I would do a whole lot differently if I wanted to have a positive impact on kind of the world or like SPF and stuff.

00:55:28:28 - 00:55:45:07
Mario Gibney
Right. I think that there are ways that you could invest money and earn money that provide valid services and improve the quality of other people's lives. And then at the end of that, you can donate it and give it away to other causes. And I think it's important to do both as well. But I think it's actually a really valid approach.

00:55:45:07 - 00:56:05:28
Mario Gibney
And what I, what I, I don't like and the big guys don't do this like, you know, I actually, I should say I'm not accusing you of doing this, but I feel a bit defensive about criticisms that that very idea can't really be valid. And anyone who claims to be doing that is like almost certainly like can't actually be genuinely motivated.

00:56:07:04 - 00:56:08:14
Mario Gibney
Yeah. So that's kind of.

00:56:08:27 - 00:56:21:18
Cas Piancey
Yeah, I do indeed struggle to believe most billionaires when they say that they're going to give away most of their money because I think that the reality is that they won't that they won't until they're dead and like that's fine.

00:56:21:18 - 00:56:26:25
Mario Gibney
They can do it when they're dead. What's wrong with that? Like, I mean, like, like, let's say like, I mean, OK, I look at something like.

00:56:27:07 - 00:56:38:14
Cas Piancey
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on one second. The harm to acquire that those billions of dollars that they're inflicting on other people is the problem. That's the problem is that there's you know, there's they.

00:56:38:14 - 00:56:41:11
Mario Gibney
Are getting rich at other people's expense. I agree with you.

00:56:41:14 - 00:56:46:04
Cas Piancey
Who who isn't when they're a billionaire, though. Come on, Mario. Who isn't when they're a billionaire.

00:56:46:16 - 00:56:47:25
Mario Gibney
People have so.

00:56:48:05 - 00:56:51:26
Cas Piancey
Themselves off the backs of other people. That's how they got billions of dollars.

00:56:52:09 - 00:57:06:18
Mario Gibney
Right. OK, so I think where we disagree is this idea that it's not possible to become a billionaire without like your net influence on the rest of the world being negative. Right. In the acquisition of that that billion or more dollars. Right. Is that the.

00:57:06:18 - 00:57:32:08
Cas Piancey
Idea? I guess I find I find it hard to believe that you could accumulate not not that you could hold and move through billions of dollars in your land. Yeah. That seems like a very realistic thing to me. The fact that you are holding on to billions of dollars until you die is actually a big issue to me because what that's doing is holding on to assets for as long as you're alive, until you're dead and then giving it away to help the world.

00:57:32:14 - 00:57:45:09
Cas Piancey
That's a huge problem to me. Well, OK, so and the only reason that a lot of these billionaires indeed do give any of their money away is for tax purposes. And there's nobody who's going to deny that. Oh, sure. Like that's why they give it away.

00:57:45:11 - 00:58:05:16
Mario Gibney
OK, yeah. Again, I think that if someone is like like passing on almost all of their wealth to like their kids and they're basically donating just enough to offset kind of what you being taxed for, I'm not gonna argue with you on that one. I think that like, I mean, I think our fundamental disagreement comes down to whether or not it's like plausible for someone to earn $1,000,000,000 without basically exploiting other people.

00:58:06:22 - 00:58:28:18
Mario Gibney
And I don't think that that's necessarily the case. Like, I mean, I would consider Bill Gates's influence on the world to be massively positive, even even before his philanthropic giving. Now, I'm sure a lot of people are going have big problems with that. And we'll kind of point out kind of shitty things that happened with like Microsoft and, and like kind of, you know, monopolistic practices and stuff like that.

00:58:29:19 - 00:58:47:01
Mario Gibney
But I think that the net effect of like accelerating the kind of putting a computer in everyone's home had massively positive impact for humanity. Right? So I consider I look at someone like Bill Gates and I'm like, I think even if he hadn't given any of his money away, I don't necessarily think that his existence and acquisition of those billions was a negative thing.

00:58:48:03 - 00:59:11:07
Mario Gibney
Like, we're probably not going to settle this there, but like at least we now at least at least maybe you guys know why why I'm not as like, OK. And also let me say, like, obviously this doesn't apply to billionaires in general. Like there's a lot of them that we are going to share our opinions on. Right. But it does seem a bit weird to me that like you know, you have people who are mega wealthy and they don't kind of do shit with it.

00:59:11:07 - 00:59:32:06
Mario Gibney
They kind of live these like super cushy lifestyles and these big homes and buy yachts, and they don't really seem to attract as much attention as to those who have their billion dollars and invest them into companies, which provides economic value, which I think is preferable to just spending it on like lavish lifestyles. And it seems like a lot of the the the criticism is directed at the the ones who do the businessmen.

00:59:32:16 - 00:59:38:22
Cas Piancey
So I, I agree. I agree with that to a large extent. But there's. Sorry. Go ahead, Ben. Yeah.

00:59:38:25 - 00:59:50:13
Bennett Tomlin
Yeah. My struggle is still with like Brock Pierce promised to donate $1,000,000,000 before he had $1,000,000,000 and then when asked about that fact, said, I don't think about money when I need money. I make a token.

00:59:51:24 - 00:59:54:02
Mario Gibney
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm defending Brock Pierce.

00:59:55:04 - 01:00:04:09
Bennett Tomlin
No, but like, he's trying to put himself in that same ideological thrust as that's OK for me to do these things as long as I'm eventually able to use this money for good.

01:00:04:09 - 01:00:06:19
Mario Gibney
Yeah, fuck that. That's. I'm not defending that.

01:00:06:21 - 01:00:25:04
Bennett Tomlin
Sure, sure, sure. But like, even you cited SBF there. And like yesterday, he said that Luna Terra was a system that was transparently going to falter. Nonetheless, he invested in it. He sold that investment to others, and he collected fees from listing it despite the entire time knowing that this was a system he said was transparently going to falter.

01:00:25:04 - 01:00:45:24
Bennett Tomlin
Right. The only value for an unsustainable scheme is the belief that eventually it will be able to be sold to a person who doesn't recognize it as an unsustainable scheme. And so that entire thing is this activity with harm that he is now claiming he was aware of the entire time and it's all part of his earn to give goal.

01:00:46:02 - 01:00:57:16
Mario Gibney
Hmm. Yeah. I have more mixed feelings about SBF I think it's a valid argument. I kind of had kind of the Gateses and the the Musk's the world in mind when I made that statement to you. Now, SBF.

01:00:58:11 - 01:01:04:28
Bennett Tomlin
Even Gates has promised to give a bunch and his net worth keeps going up. He's not even giving enough to stop his net worth from going up.

01:01:04:28 - 01:01:25:20
Mario Gibney
Right. OK, so if Gates dies and like, all his money goes to his heirs or like most of it, I'm with you, right? So there's a bit of like Schrodinger's philanthropist here and that we don't really find out until they're dead. We see what happens. Now, if he spends if he spends is like like I mean, it seems to me like the Gates Foundation is like a pretty, pretty good thing that's going on, right?

01:01:25:20 - 01:01:40:13
Mario Gibney
Like and if in the end, like, the money doesn't get donated, then, yeah, I'm with you, so. Sure. Like, that there's very much like, yeah, well, like, we're not going to know until we see what happens in the end. Right? We're going. Yeah, go ahead.

01:01:40:13 - 01:01:51:05
Bennett Tomlin
It's just a striking pattern because if you look at like the billionaires who made the giving pledge, the ones who promised to give away half or more of their wealth for almost all of them, their wealth has increased since they made that pledge.

01:01:51:10 - 01:02:10:24
Cas Piancey
Not only have most of these people's these billionaires wealth increased over this period of time since signing this pledge, but the ones who whose their wealth hasn't, like George Soros, for instance, while they're ridiculed and mocked and really not spoken highly of for donating a majority of their cash. So, like, what is the incentive for.

01:02:10:25 - 01:02:32:21
Mario Gibney
I think Soros should be praised for doing that. Yeah. Like, I mean, yeah, but OK, well, OK, let me let me do it this way. Like, I am not a billionaire and I am unlikely to ever become one but I have the potential to make more money than the average person. And I spent a lot of time thinking about how to how I like can best use that to improve lives for other people.

01:02:32:21 - 01:02:48:26
Mario Gibney
Right. And kind of the group that I've come to last few years is actually for now I'm best off actually trying to invest that money and earn more of it and then kind of focus on my career, make sure that I'm in a career where I'm not doing people harm. I think it's really important to think about that.

01:02:49:09 - 01:03:06:28
Mario Gibney
And then in the future, hopefully when I have more of it, think very hard about how to invest that in projects that are doing good and can hopefully earn more money and then in the twilight of my life, donate a lot more of it directly. Maybe in between now and then, I will come across some cause that needs a direct donation that I think is really urgent and I'll go there.

01:03:06:28 - 01:03:27:22
Mario Gibney
Right? And so that's kind of how I'm thinking about it now. When I look at like a lot of these other billionaires, like not all of them, again, we agree a lot of them don't do this or are just bullshitting, like kind of brought peer seems to be one of those right and SBF, I feel I have mixed feelings on because I think that he does do a decent amount of harm with some of the projects he provides cover for.

01:03:28:02 - 01:03:41:12
Mario Gibney
At the same time, I'm kind of like I don't really want to criticize him too much because if we didn't have him, I think we'd probably have some more. So that's a different argument. But like, OK, so when I think of someone in my position like, do you think that I like what do you what do you guys think I should do?

01:03:41:15 - 01:03:52:10
Mario Gibney
Like, do you think that that maybe I think he applies to someone in my situation because I'm not at billionaire's level where I'm probably exploiting people. Do you think maybe I'm actually approaching this in the wrong way? Like, you know.

01:03:52:24 - 01:03:58:06
Cas Piancey
Do you do you donate to charity every year? Can I ask you that? Do you donate still consistently?

01:03:58:06 - 01:04:07:12
Mario Gibney
I used to until it occurred to me that I can probably donate more if I if I invest that money. So I had like, you know, an automatic amount taking on a paycheck.

01:04:07:17 - 01:04:24:20
Cas Piancey
Even if you think about it. On a scale of like taxes wise, you you can donate a certain amount and still it benefits you monetarily, right? If you're making a bunch of money every year, whether it's through your salary or through selling Bitcoin or whatever, then you can take a portion of that to avoid capital gains by donating it to charity.

01:04:24:21 - 01:04:25:01
Mario Gibney
Sure.

01:04:25:01 - 01:04:31:04
Cas Piancey
I mean, so it seems like a W either way. Is that you would be donating some of this to some charity at some point?

01:04:31:09 - 01:04:36:13
Mario Gibney
Yeah. Like, I mean, I didn't have any capital gains for the last like year or two, so I don't need any. But yeah, I'm with you.

01:04:36:13 - 01:04:53:08
Cas Piancey
There. OK, so I think I think my major issue is twofold. One, yeah, I don't like that they're there suggesting that they're going to donate all of it before they die. They're signing some pledge making this promise that they're likely not going to keep in my mind, their wealth is not going to go to zero before they die.

01:04:53:08 - 01:05:18:11
Cas Piancey
They're billionaires. They're obsessed with money. But to it's that like I don't feel like I would need to accumulate billions of dollars before I would feel comfortable giving away a lot of that money to causes that I feel like are worthwhile. But I think most people are like that. So when people are billionaires and they have more money than the rest of us and they're like, well, I'm not going to do that unless I'm forced to via government taxation.

01:05:18:20 - 01:05:20:15
Cas Piancey
I feel pessimistic.

01:05:20:28 - 01:05:54:01
Bennett Tomlin
My struggle with effective altruism and especially especially earn to give effective altruism where you're trying to project out of the future is related to my issue with a lot of utilitarianism as a moral philosophy, which is that doing it well depends on knowing a lot of things so like in basic utilitarianism, you need to be able to assess all the possible benefits and all the possible harms of your action before you can really start to make a determination as to whether or not it's moral for something like effective altruism, especially earned to give where you're delaying the giving until some future point.

01:05:54:10 - 01:06:25:04
Bennett Tomlin
You're also trying to project the value of your assets and the cost to accomplish the things you want to accomplish at that time versus now. And so like for a lot of things I can imagine like consider, for example, climate change, right? The earlier you start giving to something like that, the earlier the dollars start being made available to the people working that, the sooner you can have a difference and the more overall benefit that dollars can end up having by reducing the total amount needed to accomplish the thing.

01:06:25:15 - 01:06:46:04
Bennett Tomlin
And so I struggle whenever I look at earn to give effective altruism with figuring out a way to consistently predict both the like nominal value of your assets in terms of whatever the currency is and their ability to do good in the future versus the immediate and pressing harms that are occurring right yeah.

01:06:46:04 - 01:07:02:13
Mario Gibney
I mean, like, so most of what you said there I agree with, but I don't see those as reasons you shouldn't take utilitarian approach. I see those as factors you need to take into account when thinking about it. Right. So yeah, there's kind of the low hanging fruit issue. Do I expect that my donations now are going to be worth more or in the future?

01:07:02:21 - 01:07:24:14
Mario Gibney
That's like a really valid question. If someone's like a short term, like, yeah, again, there's a big split in the community between like long term risks and short term risks. And I don't begrudge a short term. Yes. I think that depending what your assumptions are, that's a completely valid approach to take. I will disagree that you have to take into account all of the possible consequences to make a decision like of course, you're never going to be perfect information.

01:07:24:17 - 01:07:43:04
Mario Gibney
You never get a perfect information on any decision you make, but you just need to think about these things and try to put, you know, rough likelihoods on them and then make them come out that way. Now, I like it. OK, right now my hands are kind of tied anyways because most of the wealth I have is in kind of is in shares for companies that haven't, you know, haven't been issued yet.

01:07:43:13 - 01:08:11:00
Mario Gibney
On the market. Right. So I kind of have to hold it anyways. But as far as I can tell, I don't have any reason to suspect that my dollars will do more now than they will in the future. There is a risk that that yeah, there is low hanging fruit that is kind of disappearing. But like one of the reasons I'm also one of the reasons I got really convinced by the long term cost argument was that like what when I think about like 20 years from now, you know, the donations I make, you know, like if I, you know, Bitcoin like these doubles from here on out, I may be able to, you know,

01:08:11:16 - 01:08:17:26
Mario Gibney
make twice as during twice as much money to some global health costs. Right. And that might help a bunch of people who aren't alive yet and but.

01:08:17:26 - 01:08:23:10
Cas Piancey
It also might drop to half the price and then you'll help half the people.

01:08:23:10 - 01:08:43:17
Mario Gibney
Exactly. Yeah, but, but I think that there is human bias in like thinking about kind of the lives of people that don't exist yet. Are like that's really unintuitive. That's kind of that, that seems really weird. I say that to people and they give you like weird looks and like, why would you, like, withhold helping people now in exchange for people in the future that don't exist yet?

01:08:43:27 - 01:09:10:21
Mario Gibney
And so I strongly suspect that there's a real bias towards immediate, immediate donations and that that that doesn't mean that I think that immediate donations are bad. I think it's really good and really important that a lot of people are donating money now. But I think that because there is going to be human bias towards doing that, there's probably more value in being part of the smaller number of people that are going to do it in the future.

01:09:11:08 - 01:09:35:01
Mario Gibney
That's that's the way I kind of look at it. The thing is, if you guys are correct about the the kind of the pre pre philanthropic approach, the kind of long termist, early to give model is wrong. I like I'm trying to think how the reason I'm really interested in this question is because I want to know what I should do with like with my life and kind of how to kind of select my career and to make going for it.

01:09:35:10 - 01:10:08:24
Mario Gibney
And I didn't like I was never look, I'm not really worried about the billionaires. I don't think they need to be defended I like they're fine. They have plenty of resources with which to live comfortable lives. They're OK. They don't need me coming on podcasts and like playing protector for them. The reason I'm interested in this is I want to know, like, how should I change my behavior if what if, if and if I you know, I guess I found that, like, the conclusions I've come to in my own way, like reading kind of fact about this material and long term ism has kind of I guess it's helped me understand why at least some

01:10:08:24 - 01:10:28:00
Mario Gibney
of them behave the way they do and make me think of them as less evil and that none of that's how I arrived to it. So yeah. And by the way, look, I mean, I like my views on this have evolved in the last five years, and I'm sure they will evolve in the coming five years. And if you guys or anyone listening thinks that I'm making a very obvious flaw, please tell me like I would like to know.

01:10:28:16 - 01:10:47:06
Cas Piancey
The simplest counter to this is simply the the classic old man who, you know, plants a tree, right? The idea being that he's never going to see the tree fully grown. He knows he's going to die before the tree ever gets fully grown. But if he doesn't plant it today, the tree like never has an opportunity to actually start get rooted.

01:10:47:14 - 01:10:50:26
Mario Gibney
And yeah, it's the assumption that dollars are going to do more now in the future.

01:10:50:26 - 01:11:26:21
Cas Piancey
That's which is seems to be, as far as I can tell from Bitcoin, maximalist. It's a pretty safe assumption, right, that like my ability to fund building a bridge in, I don't know, whatever Milwaukee, Wisconsin, doing that to day right now is going to cost me significantly less than it will cost me in 20 years. And like we can talk about inflation and we can talk about all the reasons that that is the case but like donating to try to build that thing now is always going, in my humble opinion, always a more effective mechanism to try to get something done.

01:11:26:21 - 01:11:45:01
Cas Piancey
Because if I, if I wait 20 years who knows who knows what, what my what my actual income is going to be like in 20 years, maybe we all get canceled tomorrow. You never know what's going to happen. You never know what's going to happen to the assets that you're invested in. The entire market is dumping. It's not like it's just cryptocurrency, it's stocks, it's commodities.

01:11:45:07 - 01:12:08:03
Cas Piancey
You know, people invested in silver and gold like you never know what your assets are going to do. If what you want to genuinely do is do good and you want to donate to a charity that you trust and have done a significant amount of research on or want to start your own 501 C three like I think those are all great, but waiting 20 years genuinely I genuinely feel does not help anybody right now.

01:12:08:07 - 01:12:08:28
Cas Piancey
That's how I feel.

01:12:09:16 - 01:12:12:01
Mario Gibney
It certainly doesn't help anyone right now. I'm with you there.

01:12:12:18 - 01:12:14:23
Cas Piancey
But you never know if anyone's around in the future.

01:12:14:28 - 01:12:24:26
Mario Gibney
So it's true. It's true. There is uncertainty there. And I guess I the degree to which we wait, that uncertainty is a big crux between our positions. Yeah. Yeah.

01:12:24:27 - 01:12:46:01
Bennett Tomlin
I think it's entirely possible to construct a totally valid argument for supporting both effective altruism and earn to give effective altruism. My biggest issue with it is basically the embedded path dependance, basically the assumptions you're making about how these problems are going to progress, how your own situation is going to progress, and how your views on these things are going to progress.

01:12:46:01 - 01:13:22:21
Bennett Tomlin
Over time. And then juxtaposing that, it doesn't feel like a particularly moral act for, say, an oil baron to strip the earth, make a ton of money, cause these harms live a relatively extravagant life that still leaves a ton of money behind. And then once they're dead, they no longer have to feel any pain or issues or anything from the money being gone to give it at that point, it kind of feels like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too, you know, like that you get to do all the things while you're alive.

01:13:22:24 - 01:13:51:06
Bennett Tomlin
You've got a justification for any kind of questionable or borderline things you did. And then the potential pain of having to give up, having to have less, have to sacrifice these things is not something you are taking. And that's not to say that the good, the good that is still the good still occurs, the money is still given, people still benefit, but it feels a little bit like a way for someone to try to like get all the benefits of being a philanthropist without.

01:13:51:06 - 01:14:11:09
Mario Gibney
It can easily it can easily be used as a copout. Yeah. I'm with you. And like I said, I'll iterate this. I don't think this should ever be used as a like as a justification for doing things that would otherwise be immoral. Like, I think that like earning money in a way that harms other people with the justification of all donated to later that I'm not OK with and I don't consider that justified.

01:14:12:00 - 01:14:12:23
Bennett Tomlin
Cool. That's all.

01:14:13:04 - 01:14:17:14
Cas Piancey
Well, this is one of our longest longest episodes ever. Thank you, Mario.

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