What Bitcoin Did : Interview with Peter McCormack ①

We had the honor to have an interview with Peter McCormack, a popular influencer and podcaster in the Crypto space from the UK. He has covered many different and controversial topics and themes with various guests from the space on his Podcast What Bitcoin Did. In this interview, we discussed how his path of becoming a Podcaster started, as well as what possibilities lie with Bitcoin. Please have a look.

Peter McCormack

Interview Date : 28th September 2020

My name is Peter McCormack, and I am from the UK. I am from a funny “nobody” town called Bedford, which is located north of London. It’s not far from Cambridge. 

Encountering Bitcoin

I stumbled upon Bitcoin 6 years ago. I had heard about it, and even bought and sold a little bit, but I didn’t really understand it.  At that time, I used to work in the advertising industry in London. I decided to take a year off  because I needed some time for myself. I had spent my whole life working, and needed a break. That was 3 years ago, and during that time how I fell into the rabbit hole and got serious about it. Besides being a podcaster today, I have a very ordinary life as a single dad with two kids, and most of my time is spent looking after them. I do school-runs, get their lunch ready, iron their school clothes, and so on. We are big Liverpool fans, so the three of us usually watch football together. I also like horrible heavy metal, like the worst screaming kind that nobody likes. 

How did you decide you wanted to be a Podcaster?

That was at the end of 2017. By that time, I had also realized trading was not for me. Trading is cool, fun, and exciting, but I couldn’t envision myself doing that for years. I knew I had to do something else. I was writing a little bit about Bitcoin, and I did some articles as well as put some posts on Facebook. However, I have got a friend who is a very successful podcaster. I was watching his lifestyle and what he was doing with his show, and I thought it was really cool. I started to think I wanted to do that too. I was in America, in Los Angeles, and I went to see him. He told me how to manage a podcast and how to create content. He also told me what equipment I needed. Then, he called Luke Martin, a well-known trader in the Bitcoin and Crypto space, and asked “do you want to do an interview with Peter?” That was my first show. Here we are now 3 years later, and I have done over 300 shows with all my podcast shows combined.

What is the main theme of What Bitcoin Did?

The main theme of the podcast is the issues and matters I am wrestling with myself. So, it is not just about Bitcoin, but it is about Bitcoin and associated topics. We discuss topics that are asymmetric like politics, economics, etc. It has always been a podcast about the things that I really care about. I have never really made it for anyone else. If I find a topic interesting, then I will cover it. Occasionally, you get on twitter and get into a fight. Everyone is yelling at each other about whatever they are fighting about. However, sometimes the topics they are fighting about are really great and should be debated. Thus, if I think that the matter needs to be talked about, I do make a show about it. However, most of the time, it is about topics I care about.

What’s your view on American politics?

American politics is interesting, and I am very interested in it. I have always been fascinated by the United States, and it is the country I have traveled to the most. As a kid, I would look at American shows and would think “Wow, Disneyland, burgers, and the Grand Canyon!” It just looked like this big, fascinating country, but I didn’t get to go there until I was 23-24 years old. However, ever since my first trip, I have traveled there once to two times a year.  

In many ways, it is the leading country in the world. It leads the world in the sense that it polices the world. There are the superpowers, but America is where I am always drawn to. In terms of politics, there is a lot to really like and a lot to really dislike about. For example, I love the US constitution, and I think it is an amazing bedrock of what American politics is built on. However, it always seems to be under attack by the people in power. I certainly think it is under attack with the current administration. 

What do you think about the two-party system in the US?

Peter: It is fascinating to watch the two-party system they have, which I think is deeply flawed as we can see by how the two-party system has played out so far. We have experienced the growth of the internet, and how 24H news has come onboard. We have SNS, and anyone can create media content and blow controversial topics up on Twitter and Facebook. With this growth, we are seeing that it has an impact on politics, and I don’t know if it is good or bad. I think, in some ways, it has made it better because it is so inclusionary. On the other end, it has made it a lot worse because everything is about fighting and winning now. I believe that in politics, even though parties are divided and have different views, ultimately the leader should unite the people. Although I find American politics really divisive right now, I think it has spread the country into two firm camps. I know that they have always existed, and others will say “it has always been that way”, but I feel like it is getting quite nasty now. 

Can Bitcoin fix American politics?

This is where you get into the world where Bitcoiners will say “Bitcoin will fix everything”. I am not sure Bitcoin can fix human nature. Now, what can Bitcoin do? Well, you have to get to that tipping point where we have enough money in Bitcoin. If enough of the economy is controlled by Bitcoin in a circular economy, that perhaps could deform politics in several ways. I would love to see it happen, but it is highly unlikely.

What can Bitcoin do?

What Bitcoin can do is shifting mindsets. I have changed fundamentally due to Bitcoin. For example, I don’t vote anymore because I don’t believe in that two-party system in the UK. If I was to vote, I would vote libertarian even though I struggle with the idea of a completely libertarian society. At the same time, if Bitcoin makes us rethink money, power, politics, and economics, then perhaps it can have a positive influence.

What political ideology do you believe in?

Some people argue that everything should be decentralized, but I am not too sure about that. I think certain things work better if they are centralized. I remember when I ran the advertising firm, I think it absolutely needed leadership and absolutely needed team workers who gave their input. In a decentralized space, that kind of business could not work. We need decision-makers, but you get into this tricky area when you talk about “monarchy”. We have to ask “who are these elective individuals?” The monarchy in the UK does not really have any real power, but when you do have centralized power, you have to define if it is “democratic” or “authoritarian”. In the UK, over half the panel lives under authoritarian rule. So, I think there is an area to debate; what works better, centralized, or decentralized? 

Centralized or Decentralized, which one do you think works better?

What I certainly think works better is “localism”. Smaller branches of power governing over smaller groups of people is a better way of structuring society.

Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada


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