Jeff Booth is an entrepreneur, Visionary & Technology leader, Author, and Strategic Advisor who has started quite a number of different technology companies. He wrote a book published on 12th January 2020 called “The Price of Tomorrow – Why Deflation is Key to an Abundant Future” taking the readers through the effect of inflation and deflation are having in today’s societies. In it, Jeff offers his provocative thesis and views about the current state of our economies. He also discusses what we and our authorities have to enable for a brighter future.
Interview Date : 26th February 2021
What can Bitcoin or the cryptocurrency space do, if anything?
They are affecting the system already, specifically Bitcoin. It is transitioning the system by being a hard currency that cannot be manipulated. Our current situation is this: There are about $130-trillion of negative real interest rate bonds today, and every other economic calculation is on top of that $130 trillion. We’ve never had that amount of debt, and the people who believe the safest spot to store their money today is in the treasury bond are guaranteed to lose their money. That is on a good day, and we know it’s going to be a lot worse than that.
People in the Bitcoin and crypto system have started to realize that all the risk is in the system, which Bitcoin is outside of. This is making people trust Bitcoin as a store of value. The money flows are starting to move into Bitcoin making it gradually become less risky.
Are Banks going to set foot in space?
This is a giant opportunity and the problem because a system rarely does change what it needs to change. The change in a system comes from outside the system forcing a change in the system. When I wrote the book, I was hoping for a system change where we would realize “if prices were to fall along with the natural rate of technology, then we wouldn’t need the jobs to try to keep the prices going up forever because prices will continue to fall”. However, what I realized is that the system itself is not going to change it.
So, those changes are being imposed on the system from the outside, which is what Bitcoin is doing. I suspect over time, if it continues, that you could divide the world’s wealth by 21 million Bitcoin. If you measure our world in 21 million Bitcoin, you will realize everything that I’m talking about: we already live in a deflationary world, and everything gets cheaper every year.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Bitcoin?
First, I think it could be humanity’s greatest invention. It sounds crazy to say that right now, but a lot of people would have questioned the printing press when it was developed too. What the printing press did was move information out so everybody could have access to information. Now, anybody could put their thoughts together and express themselves, thus humanity exploded because the printing press took away power from the very rich and gave it to everybody to be able to spread their ideas. And, the best ideas won. That’s what Bitcoin is doing for money and a whole host of other things. One day, we will look back on this convention and think “why didn’t we do this all along?”.
If governments would have turned off the printing press, everything would unwind and that would be pretty destructive for society. Eventually, you are going to have revolution and war if governments keep printing today. However, if you could slowly bleed out what the governments and central banks are doing into Bitcoin at a slow-enough pace and get enough people involved at the right time, you could transition from where we are to where we’re going more peacefully.
Why are we against the force of technology?
Imagine an alien drops from outer space today and asks “why aren’t you using technology to allow prices to fall?”. What answer do you have? It’s so ludicrous that we are married to a system where many people believe that prices have to always rise for us to survive. The entire point of technology is to reduce prices and give us more for less, so why don’t we allow that to happen? To me, it isn’t even an uncomfortable truth: it’s just the truth that has consequences for the existing system. But the existing system also has consequences in itself if you fail to recognize the truth.
How can the value of money be destroyed?
Money is an abstract for our time. It’s an agreement for a trade of our time. If I work for somebody for $20 an hour, I’ve made a trade for my time for $20 an hour. When you destroy the value of money, you destroy the value of my time. When you think about those terms, we should be thinking about “where do we get our time back?”. In the case of Bitcoin, nobody can destroy the trade of our time. So, Bitcoin is a forcing function that makes sure nobody can destroy that power of your time perspective.
To me, Ether is not proven yet. It was not designed for the same function as a store of value like Bitcoin. It was more designed as a currency, it’s a currency, but it has a high cost for its function and purpose. Also, for the many changes that have gone through Ether, I don’t think it’s a stable platform that you can trust in any of those mediums yet. Maybe you can one day, but right now, Bitcoin has been proven as a store of value.
How can we pay attention to the bigger problem people eventually will face economically and socially as one society?
That’s why I do these podcasts, interviews and why I wrote the book. It wasn’t to try to make money, fame, or fortune out of it. I have very successful businesses and I love spending time with technology founders in creating special businesses. That’s something I love to do, and apart from that, I love spending time with my family and friends. I wrote the book in hope that it would work as a lightning rod to a conversation we need to have. People are having conversations that are too removed from the primary problem.
Let’s pay attention to this issue like an entrepreneur. When an entrepreneur sees a problem or a structure that’s broken, all their energy goes into fixing it. No energy goes into “what used to be”. All the energy goes into “how do I deliver this value?”. Even when the engineer hits a wall, they keep going until they deliver the value. When I think about how much energy is being consumed by the world in chasing past problems like slavery, ethnicity, cultural differences, byproducts of colonization, wealth disparity, etc., and making the matters worse instead of talking about the root issue and how we could transition to a better future, I shudder. That’s why I wrote the book. I hope that through podcasts, and my book, more people will start to talk about this. What I’m excited about right now is that people are carrying the torch of this conversation forward, and it’s impossible to put back. As Victor Hugo once said, “ Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”.
Message to Japan
Treat people who don’t understand the space and are just learning carefully and kindly. Once you understand the Bitcoin rabbit hole to the depth, it becomes really hard to face reality. You can’t believe why others around you aren’t seeing it, and that attitude pushes off a whole bunch of people from wanting to explore. The other thing is to always be curious and humble in asking yourself “what don’t you know” “what are you missing”, etc. to constantly dive deeper into the space.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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