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
Fearing New Development
It gets more complicated if people are not so open-minded, and who might also fear new developments. You have to learn a little bit about Bitcoin to understand how it works. The scams that have taken place have taught us that you have many chances with BTC, but you also have a responsibility. If you use BTC and hold it, you have to have your private keys. If you have your BTC or money on an exchange, then it is not you who holds your BTC. It s like a bank. However, many people are frightened to store their assets by themselves, and most of the time, it is simply because they do not know how to do so. Holding your BTC may feel like too much responsibility, and there also is a trust issue. Bitcoin is very reliable and secure in itself, but we had had the banking system for 200-300 years and used gold for 1000s of years. So it is hard for people to just switch to something only 11 years old. They have to feel and see they can trust new forms of money like Bitcoin before actually adapting it.
Trip To Bostwana
After Zimbabwe, I went to Botswana to the capital Gaborone. I wanted to meet with Alakanani Itireleng, who is a Bitcoin educator and the founder of the Botswana Bitcoin Meetup. She has been educating people about Bitcoin from 2012-13, so she has become quite known in Africa. From my experience, Bostwana’s situation seems far better than Zimbabwe when it comes to the country’s governance system.
Zimbabwe is probably the country with the worst problems among African countries. In Botswana, there is a better human rights situation and less corruption than in Zimbabwe, but still, there is a shortage of jobs for the people in Botswana. People graduate from university, but they cannot find any jobs after their graduation.
Another problem is that, like Zimbabwe and Botswana, many African countries live off tourism. So, with the current COVID-19 situation, they will have huge revenue losses. I hope that it somehow will end well.
Privacy is a Luxury
I think anybody should have the right to data privacy. Companies or governments should not be allowed to collect private data by default. The users and the people should have the right to decide who is allowed to see and use what part of our data. People living in poverty struck regions they do not care about privacy measures because they need the services. They cannot afford the luxury to put in extra work to care for their privacy personally. They do not have any other options either. For example, 99% of all digital payments in Zimbabwe are done with EcoCash simply because it is the only other option to pay for anything besides cash.
That is why it is so important to have systems and money like Bitcoin with inbuilt privacy protection where users do not have to think about privacy protection and are automatically protected.
Extracting Value from Developing Countries
If we look at Facebook, it has betrayed us all in the last ten years, and they lie about what they do. If we do take a look at Libra, Facebook has 2.6 billion users right now, and they cannot grow their user base anymore. Therefore, the next step is creating a payment method that is built to strengthen the connection to users all the more, to earn more profit for their stakeholders. The so-called developed countries are and have extracted value from over-developed countries, that is a fact.
Blockchain is not the only Tech Behind Bitcoin
Blockchain is not the is the technology that alone gave birth to Bitcoin and all these innovations. The blockchain is only a database in which all transactions are recorded in a timely correct order. The genius part of Satoshi Nakamoto’s work was to combine several scientific disciplines like game theory, mathematics, cryptography, and IT methods, and then combine them with the proof-of-work mining system, which was a great combination to prevent double-spending. Despite this, there is so much confusion around blockchain. For example, there is blockchain without proof-of-work mining, permissioned blockchain, distributed ledgers, etc. The basic properties such as open-source, uncensorable, transparent, neutral, non-inflatable, and trustless of Bitcoin are what make it so special. If you understand what those properties mean, you can understand the differences between all types of cryptocurrency coins, and payment systems much better.
Lightning Network is the Future
I think the Lightning Network is the future of Bitcoin. In the future, I do not believe users will distinguish between Bitcoin and Lightning. We will just send Bitcoin or Satoshi, and it will be the entry ticket for poorer countries to be able to use Bitcoin. It also enhances privacy because you cannot follow payments throughout the Lightning Network. Moreover, it allows for microtransactions.
Also, you can have lightning apps you can use as a communication app on top of a decentralized network, that again, strengthens your privacy. So there are a lot of use-cases that can be conducted on the lightning network.
Lightning Network enables high payment throughput
We all remember the big hype about Bitcoin in 2017 when so many people wanted to buy and sell Bitcoin. At that time, we experienced what happens when we have too many transactions. There were so many transactions in the system. Everybody had to wait for much longer, sometimes up to several days. Not to forget, the transaction fees rose as well.
However, with the Lightning Network, you can have 1000s of payments at the same time, and they are settled immediately. So you do not need to wait for 10 minutes, some hours or days. Therefore, the Lightning Network is a big improvement and will be a big next step.
Duplicates of Bitcoin
I do believe that Bitcoin will stay the most dominant cryptocurrency in the world because its roots are manifested deep and strongly. It has grown from a person or a team who invented it voluntarily. Then, some tech nerds used it for the first 2 or 3 years in the beginning, and from there it became a worldwide known digital money. This is huge when you think that it has grown without any company, marketing, or investment capital behind it. Besides, all those Altcoins have been possible because of the open-source character that allows for just copying the code and changing it a little bit, and creating a have a new coin.
Bitcoin Can Adapt Too
Whenever I hear a new coin emerge that states “we are the new Bitcoin” or “we are faster, cheaper, we do not need so much electricity” etc. I become a skeptic. Bitcoin has proven its security in the last 11 years. On the other hand, many of the other coins have lost value. There are so many Altcoins, but I do not see any use case for most of them. They are also experiments like Bitcoin. So, if they have any technological breakthrough or change that makes it better than Bitcoin in any way, I am sure that Bitcoin developers will take a look at that technology breakthrough and implement it into Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a permanently developing technology. Thereby, Bitcoin can adapt too. I think that money should be free and not controlled by a company, state, or government.
Need To Have An Inbuilt Filter
Most people I have met in the space are very welcoming and humble people. I feel inspired by people who are polymaths, people with a broad knowledge of things, who can articulate ideas and complex concepts in simple ways for everybody who can follow and learn.
I stay on top of the discussions following other Bitcoiners in the space. I am discussing things with members of NPO Bitcoin Austria who are doing community meetups since 2012. I have made a lot of friends who I can talk with there. Also, there are a lot of telegram groups one could join, and there is a lot on YouTubers. I follow and support the work of Andreas Antonopoulos because he has so many videos and information on Bitcoin. So there is lots of information around, and you only have to search for information with a filter in your head to take in the relevant information and delete the irrelevant information.
From Here On…
I am planning new interviews all the time. I release one interview once a week. I am planning to release my Bitcoin beginner German online course very soon. Besides that, I will participate in some of the Bitcoin conferences this autumn only if the pandemic situation gets better.
The COVID-19 situation in Austria
We had a lockdown from mid-march until July when almost all restrictions had been taken down. The only restriction left is that you have to wear a mask in public transport. However, the number of infections is rising again, so I am not sure what will happen from now on.
In Austria, the first reaction probably was too harsh, and now to let loose of all the restriction is the other extreme side of the.
Educating in Europe Is Hard
It is incredible to be able to educate people who understand the use-case immediately. However, it is more difficult in Europe because we have well-working banks and payment systems mots of the times. Undoubtedly, there is corruption and fraud on the European banks as well, like we experienced with the Wirecard incident recently. However, people usually can use their money in this system with no problems. We have an inflation rate of 1 to 2 percent a year. Thus, there is inflation, but you do not experience it as severely as in Nigeria or Zimbabwe.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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