If it’s not Decentralized, It’ll not work : Interview with Naomi Brockwell ①

Naomi Brockwell is an award-winning producer who hosts some of the largest blockchain and economics conferences around the world. She interviews the biggest names in Tech, Business, and Politics and is a regular on US national television discussing blockchain technology and current events.

Naomi Brockwell

Interview Date : 20th May 2020

The Bitcoin Girl

My name is Naomi Brockwell. I am a TV producer, producer for the Stossel Show, and I have my own show NBTV that is focused on privacy, tech, and blockchain. Having secure digital money is such an integral part of our digital lives.

I love Japan! I have been twice. I wrote a J-pop song a few years ago about Bitcoin called ビットコイン月に行く(Bitcoin’s going to the moon). My name turning out to be Naomi is just a coincidence. I just happen to get a Japanese and Jewish name but I am neither of those.

Naomi Brockwell

I have been teaching myself Japanese. I have learned hiragana and katakana so far, I am not even gonna attempt trying kanji, but I have been working hard to improve. Despite that, it seems like the entirety of what I know in Japanese consists of basic phrases like how to say your name or “Itadakimasu”, then the opposite extreme of being able to say “Bitcoin is money of the future” from my J-pop song.

Idea of Decentralized Currency

I first started hearing about crypto in about 2012. Many of my friends were into it. I was living in New York at the time, and my friends were computer programmers, mathematicians, and really into cryptocurrency. I was very much interested in economics and the Hayekian idea of competing currencies, and so when I heard about Bitcoin it really piqued my interest. I liked the idea that there might be alternative money that wasn’t created by the government. I liked that Bitcoin was created anonymously, and no one is in control.

Around 2013, I started making videos about Bitcoin on multiple platforms including my own. I started experimenting with everything in the space: the websites back then were pretty janky and not very user friendly. But I wanted to explore all the areas of cryptocurrency that I could. I started to meet people in the space who were building the tech. I just threw myself into it because right away I recognized that this could be such a powerful tool for freedom for so many people around the world.

Whoever controls the money supply controls most things. If someone else has control over your finances, can seize your assets, freeze your funds, then they can coerce your behavior also. Controlling your money becomes a tool for controlling you. I became interested in cryptocurrency from a freedom perspective. Also, I just really love technology, nerdy stuff, and innovation. I am obsessed with keeping up to date with all the latest tech out there. We have not had much innovation in the money supply, because there has been a monopoly on the money supply for so long and no incentive for innovation. Now with Bitcoin, we have some incredibly smart people developing new technologies all the time, and trying to make money better and better, and that excited me.

Dry subjects have to become more Fun

The subject of math, technology, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin can be quite dry subjects. Music videos were a way for me to make them more fun. I am interested in economics, math, and game theory, but most people don’t care about these things. So I was trying to find a way to explain to people why these things interested me, and I thought it would be easier to reach out to people if I made something exciting and easy to understand. Creating music videos was a fun way to talk about these subjects and get people’s attention. I find that sometimes the engineers aren’t the best people to explain complex concepts to mainstream audiences. Engineers are often great at explaining concepts to other engineers who understand the technical jargon, but we are trying to create a worldwide movement that reaches beyond these people. It’s important to make things very simple and to connect with people using concepts they already understand. Engineers value certain things like decentralization and the underlying technology. Your everyday person doesn’t. They look at this and say “why should I care about this?”. You need to understand their value system in order to connect with them about this topic.

Influential People in Crypto

There are far too many influential people to name in the crypto space today. I love keeping up with developers who are building the new tech. I also like keeping up with those working on the legislative side, like Caitlin Long, who did a tremendous job establishing legislation in Wyoming that protected cryptocurrency users. There are also great communicators out there being spokespeople for the industry. When Bitcoin was created, first the media ignored it, and then all of the major media outlets referred to it as drug money, and for criminals. The fact that we are now at a point of time where some of the most prominent venture capitalists, investors, and business people are talking about it in a positive light is a huge shift. All of this is the combined effort of countless people. At the end of the day, we all get to benefit from it by having an alternative and a choice in money which is very exciting.

Bailouts to Giant Corporations Angers People

A lot of people, especially the people who came into cryptocurrency late in recent years, don’t understand really why Bitcoin created so impassioned uses. That is because Bitcoin came at a time when we were in the middle of a financial crisis. People were angry at what was happening to the money supply, and angry at all these bailouts to giant corporations. They saw corruption in this industry, so when this alternative money system came around, many rallied around it because of the potential it represented. It excited so many people.

I have Hope

Since then, new people have entered the crypto space for financial gain, who don’t understand the ethos of the early adopters: instead many are just here to make a quick buck. But now we are going through a financial crisis again. There have been trillions of dollars in corporate bailouts. The FED is printing all this money. Again, we are just seeing the corruption that comes about when only a few people have control of money supply. I think we could see a renaissance in the fervor that originally popularized Bitcoin. People will start to understand the message of the early users once money, and realize why this is important.

If it’s not Decentralized, It’ll not work

There are all kinds of digital currencies. Not all of them are useful or good. A digital currency created and controlled by the government, for example, would be no different to the system we already have. Most of our money already exists as 1’s and 0’s and can be manipulated at the click of a button. Any system capable of being controlled by a selected few people is not what we should strive towards.

But decentralized, open systems like Bitcoin, which no one can control, give me hope. We have democratized money and given the power back to the people, because we have money that no one can arbitrarily choose to inflate.

I don’t like it that a group of unelected bureaucrats get to decide to print huge amounts of money whenever they wish, which devalues my savings in the process. That makes me angry and it makes me feel helpless. For a long time, people have tried to create alternative currencies. Monies backed by gold for example. But governments have shut them down, because they’ve been centralized. But with Bitcoin, there is no CEO you can throw in jail, or central server you can unplug, or vaults you could seize. Bitcoin can’t be shut down. It could be slowed significantly if the government wanted to do that, but it can’t be stopped completely, and that’s why it’s exciting.

Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada



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