Anita Posch is an educator, keynote speaker, and the host of her own Podcast that is mainly about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. She has done some wonderful work inside and outside of Europe to inspire people, and to teach them about how to protect themselves and their assets. In this article, she talks about her background, and expresses her thought on our current traditional monetary systems, hyperinflation. Please have a look.
Interview Date : 1st July 2020
Widen you Spectrum
My name is Anita Posch, and I am an independent Bitcoin podcaster and an educator. I published Bitcoin For Beginners in German and translated two volumes of Internet of Money authored by Andreas M. Antonopoulos into German. My podcast is available in English and German where I talk with developers and makers of Bitcoin about the ideas and philosophy behind Bitcoin. Bitcoin is not easy to understand because it has many facets, so I try to shed light on all of them with my interview partners.I think it is a great idea to show other use-cases for Bitcoin, how things run in other countries because everybody is most of the time too focused on their surroundings.
It is good to focus on the regional stuff, but especially with Bitcoin, which is a global phenomenon, you need a perspective that is also out of your borders. That is also a reason why I talk to matters and issues in other countries.
Here in Germany and Austria, many people can speak English, but there are also a lot of people who do not have the English skills to follow an English interview. That is why we try to make some content in German as well.
I would like to do more in German than what I do now, but it’s a question of resources, and I work alone. However, I hope to expand my scale and be able to operate as an educator and publish more content and do more work for the people who support me.
The Issues with Traditional System
I have been in the web development space since 2000. I have had an agency where I worked with clients and built a lot of websites and shops. Through my work, I have experienced the complexity and problems that come with the traditional payment finance system.
For example, the company “Wirecard” is now bankrupt, and they have lost 1.9 billion euros that maybe they never had from the start. The traditional financial system is old technology and a closed system with gatekeepers that provide us with payment services. It makes it costly to participate in this economy for a small business or a single independent person.
Besides, I always have had a great interest in sustainable development, sustainable environments and cities, and small-scale systems where people and small entities can thrive as opposed to the “bigger is always better” slogan or the idea of “endless growth at low cost”. I think Bitcoin as a tool can contribute a lot to an economy that is built on real connections and value creation for the people.
The Bitcoin Movement
Unlike the current system that has brought the need to commodify every human-to-human interaction and natural resources, I think this is a powerful concept, and I would love to see people realizing that there is an alternative to the financial system now. Bitcoin is a liberation tool. It is the first time money can be sent globally and decentralized, without the government being able to stop it and interfere. It is the people’s money and it is great to contribute to this movement.
When talking to others about the effects money like Bitcoin could have on our structures, I think it is important that we now have alternative money that does not mean it will bring down governments. It can be an alternative, and that’s how I see it as at the moment. There is a very interesting video by Andreas M. Antonopoulos called “Rules without Rulers”. You can listen to how he sees the future regarding the problems we have at the moment, like for example, we do not trust our governments anymore and that there is a huge tech gap. We are becoming more and more international, and with all the internet and digital communication, it is not possible anymore for a national government to rule or have a coordinating effect on the economy alone. Hence, I think Bitcoin and the government will eventually go hand in hand, and our government systems are going to change internally as well soon.
Podcast Guest – Andreas M. Antonopoulos & Adam Back
I have been podcasting since 2018, and the idea was to cover marketing and educational content. However, I was lucky to get Andreas M. Antonopoulos is one of my early interviews. Thus, I have interviewed him once a year, which is a huge learning experience for me. It is great to have a guest who has a sophisticated and well-balanced answer to every question regarding Bitcoin. I also worked with him and his team when I translated the two first volumes of The Internet of Money. They have a very focused and professional work atmosphere. It has been an everlasting learning experience for me because Andreas M. Antonopoulos always adapts his talks and educational material to recent developments.
Another prominent guest, and interesting person, I interviewed on my podcast, is Adam Back. His work is cited in the Bitcoin whitepaper and the Tor Browser whitepaper. His work was and still is very influential in the Bitcoin space.
Usually, I have developers, users, and company founders from the Bitcoin space on my podcast. We talk about ideas and philosophies behind Bitcoin. The people in the Bitcoin space are very discreet, supportive, and they do not run around bragging around how good they are. They are very humble, and I like people who put a lot of effort into their work. Like both Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Adam Back – I would call them polymaths, people who know a lot of different disciplines, and that is what I admire a lot.
Trip to Zimbabwe
The focus of this year was on Africa. I have been to Zimbabwe earlier this year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us all. I traveled down there, because I was very interested in what ways Bitcoin was used, if it is used, and if it can be used there. In the Bitcoin space, we often talk about Bitcoin being the perfect money for countries battling hyperinflation. Other relevant topics I wanted to cover there were privacy and financial inclusion, which are the reasons why I became interested in the first place.
It was great to talk to the people in Zimbabwe, and share the Bitcoin basics. People are very curious and want to learn, and the average age of people in the African continent is 25. So it is a very young continent and everybody wants to work, and they need money.
50% Inflation every 5 years
People living in African countries have to suffer very high inflation. I talked to Tim Akimbo, who is a Bitcoin core developer, he did research and found out that, all the national currencies of the African countries, on average, lose 50% of the value every five years. Moreover, in Zimbabwe, the inflation rate is much higher. Now, Zimbabwe is a kleptocracy, meaning that the government has been extracting value from the country since independence, for the last 30~40 years. It is a cruel system, and the human right situation is very bad.
The government also controls the monetary system. Last week they banned the payout of EcoCash. EcoCash is a mobile money payment method in Zimbabwe. 99% of all digital transactions in Zimbabwe are done through EcoCash. However, EcoCash is a private company, so the government can interfere at any time and use private data leaving no privacy for the people.
The government banned mobile money and changed it to cash or transactions through banks only. It allows people to buy and exchange money, but they cannot payout. The authorities also halted the stock market, so they influence the financial system and the market as well.
Internet Access Is an Issue
For people in Zimbabwe, money like Bitcoin, which is uncensorable and not inflatable, would be a great store of value tool and a great advantage. The problem is internet access as it is very expensive, so most people have so-called internet bundles. I saw many people with mobile phones, so the technology is there. However, they are not able to go to the world wide web and download the Bitcoin non-custodial wallet. For example, most people only have a WhatsApp bundle, so they can only communicate over WhatsApp. So, some technical difficulties and restrictions have to be solved.
Eager To Learn About Bitcoin
I think for poorer countries, they will need the lightning network because it allows for microtransactions. You can send transactions smaller than 1 US dollar cent on the lightning network.
After talking with many different people there like entrepreneurs, start-ups, and founders, I understood that they were very interested in Bitcoin and technology. I also interviewed some of them who already use Bitcoin as a way to store value or to earn money from abroad. That is the only way they can generate income over the internet. This includes doing tasks like editing videos or affiliate market. If you are a business in Zimbabwe and you want to import goods from, for example, Japan, you have to ask the central bank in Zimbabwe for permission. That is not a free way to do business.
As an Educator
It is great being an educator, and it is even better when the people who want to learn are open. The people in Africa wanted to know what Bitcoin is. If you tell them that it is uncensorable and non-inflatable that nobody can take away from, and you can send it anywhere with no restrictions, they get eager to learn more and excited. They are clever, and they find their ways around it on how to use it.
1000s of Ways to Use Bitcoin
There are 1000s of ways in even those countries and use it to get liquidity. For example, amazon gift cards are used in Nigeria. People from Canada or the US send the amazon gift card code to people in Nigeria. Then, the Nigerians sell the amazon gift cards code for BTC globally, or in the local market. If they can afford it, they will save it. However, for poor people saving money is hard. Following this, they take the BTC and exchange it with the local currency. It is a very clever way around the system, and get away with it.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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