Michael Saylor is an American entrepreneur, inventor, author and the CEO of MicroStrategy. He combined his passion for technology, business and computer science to create a strong place for MicroStrategy. He became a Bitcoin believer in March 2020, and tells us about his monetary thesis and why Bitcoin is the best Store of Value.
Interview Date : 8th December 2020
Are you planning on Integrating Blockchain technology into Microstrategy?
We are running a full Bitcoin node right now. We are extracting the blockchain, studying the data, looking at our business, and are trying to consider how we might be able to add value. We don’t have any concrete announcement in that area but we are researching it, and if we can find some constructive way to bring value with our software to Bitcoin, then we will.
How did you research and study Bitcoin?
Most of my research was done on YouTube and I learned a lot from Andreas Antonopoulos. I also watched Bitcoin debates by Erik Voorhees and Peter Schiff, Pomp podcast, I also read the Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous, I watched, and I read Vijay Boyapati’s “The Bullish Case for Bitcoin,” Parker Lewis’s writings. So, I have been through a variety of writings and videos.
What ways are there to make money today?
I think that you have to tap into large waves of technical change taking place today. We are living through the virtual wave right now. In the virtual wave, it is now possible for us to zoom anywhere to the speed of light and bend time and space. The speed of light can be defined by 2 people who are each in a different corner around the world, interacting through Zoom. Before the pandemic, it didn’t happen as much as it has increased exponentially in 2020. This year I started talking to people from Australia, Germany, and many other countries.
However, bending time and space can be described as a video recording that is watched anytime wherever by anybody. Just like this, bending time and space in a business to create opportunity is important. This could be arbitraging labor that is available in one part of the world to provide a service in another part of the world. Or, finding a way to automate something that used to be done manually, and do it 100 000x cheaper by streaming a video for example. Such virtual aspects can be found in every single part of the market today in various forms.
What are the monetary layers and settlement layers?
In the finance world, the best opportunities are tapping into the finance transformation as people convert fiat investments into crypto investments. Bitcoin is the fundamental settlement layer and monetary layer. Its monetary network offers people to plug into it. Some people plug into it by becoming miners while others build exchanges, which is also very important. Then you have a payment network like Square and Paypal who are plugging in through creating a settlement layer. Besides, there are analysts, as well as more sophisticated financial instruments in the crypto space. At some point, life insurance policies, debt, yield, banking and other sorts of derivatives will plug into it because the market is evolving.
In a world of 7.8 billion, people are going to lose half of their wealth in the next 46-48 months if they don’t convert it into something like Bitcoin. To me, it seems that is a pretty big driver of business opportunity if you can solve that problem. However, solving that problem means you have to solve it subject to all sorts of regulatory compliance requirements in every country on the planet. It is not only every country but different between states in the same country as well. For example, if I want to trade derivatives of Bitcoin in Florida, regulatory bodies in Florida may respond by “you are not allowed to do this if you are a Florida resident”. However, if you were an Ohio resident, the Ohio governmental body may say “you are allowed”. So, not only am I not allowed to do it if I am in the wrong country but, I might be living in the wrong state. Therefore, an idea of how to solve and change the regulatory tax compliance constraints, allowing people to do what they want to do could be a major business opportunity right now.
What do you think about the Japanese economy today?
I think Japan has the same challenges macroeconomically as every other country has. It has undergone a very aggressive monetary expansion by the central banks. The Japanese banks own a great deal of the equity but have a lot of the national debt as well. They are expanding the money supply, just like the EU and the US federal government are. The number one & overarching problem in this situation is assets are over-inflated and there is a lack of price discovery in the market. The capital markets have frozen including the markets for bonds, stocks, real estate, etc. All of those asset values are inflated such that the average person cannot work and make enough money to buy them. As the price of all these assets go up, and the wages are flat or going up much slower, it freezes a whole class of people out of being able to buy assets. Consequently, there will be no asset trading because you will have zombie companies and zombie assets that create economic inefficiency. This has been the situation in Japan for a long time now, and it’s starting to become a problem in other countries in the world. We have to find ways to deal with it, and the best way to deal with it is to adopt Bitcoin as the solution. As monetary energy flows out of those assets where there is no price discovery anymore, people will eventually become aware of it, and logically start to sell their overvalued assets to buy Bitcoin. As they sell their assets the monetary energy flows into a more perfect monetary network leading price discovery to return to all the other markets. As a result, you will be able to afford to buy things again. The best way to make it happen is to grow the exchanges, and educate everyone to make it easy for them to acquire Bitcoin.
We are not traders, and we are not trading with Bitcoin. We are not gamblers not speculators, and we are not macroeconomic traders. Most traders are very technical and have models of how they think the price will go up and down. However, we have another view on that which is, there are 300 trillion dollars of assets in the world, and half of the wealth in the world is going to get drained out of those assets by the central banks over the next 46-48 months. Thus, Bitcoin is a safe-haven for us, and we are long term convinced that Bitcoin will become more valuable, the network is going to absorb monetary energy which means that any time is a good time to buy it. I don’t think you are ever going to sell it. Why would you ever sell it if the alternative you are going to buy is defective?
It is like being in the north pole, and it’s getting colder day by day. If you see a heated igloo you will want to enter instead of freezing to death. Assuming there is only one igloo, you enter the igloo. There is no point in thinking like those people saying “ do you think you paid too much to get into the igloo?” I didn’t want to freeze to death. Besides, as it gets colder, other people come in too, and they may pay a higher price to get it. “When are you going to leave the igloo?” is a question that I would never pay attention to. I am never going to leave the igloo because it’s freezing outside. Why would I leave heat? It does not matter if you paid some extra dollars for the ticket. I get up every day thinking about how I can make the world a better place. For me, Bitcoin is as important as running water, electricity, airplanes, steel, railroads, and oil networks. Most people have yet to understand that, so I am simply interested in evangelizing and building the Bitcoin monetary network.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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