The Bitcoin Standard Podcast

By Dr. Saifedean Ammous

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Description

Saifedean's The Bitcoin Standard Podcast is the place to discuss Bitcoin and economics from the Austrian school's perspective. Listen to the weekly saifedean.com discussion seminar, where a group of learners from all over the world discuss the website's online courses, as well as a wide variety of economic, political, and social issues, and occasionally host special guests for the discussion. The podcast also includes the most interesting interviews conducted with Saifedean on other shows.

Episode Date
55. Is easy money good for exports?
00:57:26

In today’s seminar Saifedean talks to regular attendees about whether increasing a nation’s exports should be seen as a desirable policy goal, and why countries that devalue their currencies don’t necessarily export more. The discussion focusses on the post-war experience of Germany and Switzerland and how these countries grew prosperous through maintenance of a strong currency.

Books referenced during the discussion include:

Gold Wars: The Battle Against Sound Money as Seen From a Swiss Perspective by Ferdinand Lips: https://amzn.to/33Akfve

For a discussion of Ludwig Erhard’s market reforms see: The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw: https://amzn.to/3f7Rlbl

May 12, 2021
54. Bitcoin and the Global Economy with Lyn Alden
01:42:57

In this podcast Saifedean and Lyn discuss Bitcoin and trends taking place in the macroeconomy. Lyn starts by giving her view on the investment case for Bitcoin, PlanB’s Stock to Flow model, and whether Bitcoin can be characterized as a Ponzi scheme. They then move on to discuss global macroeconomic conditions and why Bitcoin represents a more attractive investment in a world where fiat currency supply expansion is accelerating. They touch on long-term debt cycles, 1970s stagflation, CBDCs and whether we should expect high inflation during the 2020s.

Articles by Lyn that were referenced in the conversation include:

See PlanB’s website for information on the Stock to Flow model: https://100trillionusd.github.io/

May 09, 2021
53. Allen Farrington's adventures with Fiat Intellectuals
02:51:46

Described by Jordan Peterson as "frighteningly smart", Allen Farrington is a member of saifedean.com who has written some excellent essays on bitcoin, and also spent an enormous amount of time studying the work of various fiat intellectuals, so you don't have to. He joins us for a deep dive into why fiat intellectuals have such a hard time understanding bitcoin, why it triggers them so much, and whether there is anything important or profound in the ramblings of angry fiaters like George Selgin, Eric Weinstein, and Nassim Taleb. 

The discussion makes reference to the following articles by Allen:

Other books and articles referenced in the discussion include:

  • Enders Game by Parker Lewis: https://bit.ly/3edxAQl
  • Principles of Economics by Carl Menger
  • The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises
  • The Ultimate Resource by Julian Simon
  • The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto
  • Complexity and the Economy by Brian Arthur
  • Competition and Entrepreneurship by Israel Kirzner
  • The Dao of Capital by Mark Spitznagel
May 04, 2021
52. What is CPI good for?
01:09:49
Saifedean and seminar regular Peter Young discuss what price indeces such as CPI tell us about inflation. They discuss whether ageing demographics lead to inflation or deflation, whether inflation measurements are even theoretically possible, and the historical failure of central bank attempts to manage the economy based on price index data.
May 01, 2021
51. The Global Bond Market and Bitcoin with Greg Foss
02:01:51

Experienced high-yield credit trader Greg Foss joins Saifedean Ammous for a discussion on why bond investors should own Bitcoin. They talk about why Bitcoin represents insurance against sovereign debt defaults, how Greg’s values Bitcoin using data from the Credit Default Swap markets, and why those same markets suggest that Canada’s official credit rating is too high.

Greg makes reference to:

Apr 28, 2021
50. Precautionary principle & mass hysteria
01:25:56

We compare the precautionary principle approach of obsessing over avoiding one negative outcome to the economic way of thinking, which entails examining the seen and unseen consequences of each action, and is a much more sane, safe, and intelligent way of approaching complex issues. We examine two contemporary episodes of global mass hysteria to see how dangerously reckless and counterproductive using the precautionary principle is.

Apr 22, 2021
49. Can electric cars save the planet?
01:45:20

We discuss the economics of electric cars, and what the heavy subsidies they receive tell us about their future potential. Will they save earth from CO2 emissions? Is eliminating emissions possible? Is it even desirable?

Apr 19, 2021
48. The oportunity cost of fiat
01:29:14

In this seminar, we apply the economic way of thinking to figure out the opportunity cost of a century of fiat money. How would the world look like if it had hard money over the past century? What would be the impacts on capital accumulation, international trade, poverty alleviation?

Apr 16, 2021
47. Fiat food
00:34:36

In this episode we discuss the link between fiat money and fiat food, based on the latest chapter from The Fiat Standard, available to subscribers on saifedean.com. We discuss: fiat's encouragement of high time preference thinking causing soil depletion and bad food choices; why fiat governments heavily subsidize fiat foods to make inflation look better; and how a hard monetary standard incentivizes eating real food and regenerating soil.

Apr 13, 2021
Guest Episode on Tom Woods Show: Bitcoin, Present and Future
00:39:08

I joined Tom Woods to discuss current trends in Bitcoin, whether it’s in a “bubble,” what its advantages are, what the future may hold, and why all of this should matter to libertarians.

Apr 11, 2021
46. Debate: are precious metals being demonetized?
01:27:32

Peter Young hosts a debate between Saifedean and gold investor Mark Valek on the monetary status of precious metals. Has bitcoin obsoleted gold as money? Is gold being demonetized? Do gold's uses in jewellery and industry help or hinder its monetary status? 

Apr 08, 2021
45. Bitcoin's energy consumption
01:27:47

We discuss the economics of energy, based on the chapter on the topic in my Principles of Economics textbook, which is available to subscribers on saifedean.com. What is the economic rationale for consuming energy? How has energy use increased the value of human time, helped end slavery, and improved living standards? What does this teach us about bitcoin's energy consumption? What are the real costs of low-energy alternatives to bitcoin?

Apr 05, 2021
44. The economics of banning bitcoin
00:47:15

We look at the economic problems of cracking down on bitcoin, and how that's working out for governments trying it. What can we learn from prohibition of drugs & alcohol? Will India's recent ban on bitcoin be as big a historic mistake as staying on the silver standard in the nineteenth century?

Apr 02, 2021
43. Bitcoin and market efficiency
01:14:04

Are markets efficient? How do we think of this question from an Austrian perspective? We discuss how the absence of constants in economics has always been the problem with all quantitative approaches to economic questions, and what bitcoin means for this.

Mar 29, 2021
Debating Professor Hanke on Bitcoin's value
00:54:08

Professor Steve Hanke has many decades of experience studying currencies and fighting inflation, but does not see value in bitcoin. He joins Saifedean and Hong Fang, the CEO of OKCoin, to discuss Bitcoin's value, whether bitcoin has intrinsic value, if bitcoin is just a speculative bubble, and if a currency board would work for a digital currency.

Mar 25, 2021
42. The Fiat Standard, Chapters 4-7
00:42:43

In this seminar we discuss chapters 4 to 7 from my book The Fiat Standard, the forthcoming sequel to The Bitcoin Standard, available to subscribers on saifedean.com. How does the fiat standard work internationally? We look at how mining fiat by lending it incentivizes international financial institutions, how it shapes international politics and the domestic politics of developing countries, and how it has prevented economic growth in poor countries.

Mar 22, 2021
41. Can bitcoin obsolete bonds?
00:49:03

As insurance industry giants begin to enter the bitcoin space, we discuss the implications for bitcoin’s proposition as a store of value. Will the satoshi rate become the new risk-free rate? Are there any good reasons for bonds to exist in a world in which bitcoin works? What is the case for holding gold in a bitcoin world?

Links:

Mar 18, 2021
40. Dr. Shawn Baker on Meat, Fiat Foods, and Bitcoin
01:23:59

This week we host the poster child for carbohydrate deficiency, carnivore elite athlete, orthopedic surgeon, author, and bitcoiner Dr. Shawn Baker! We discuss Shawn's personal experience as an athlete, and his professional experience as a surgeon, on the carnivore diet, the rationale for eating meat-only, the health benefits, and why dietary interventions are far more effective than public health interventions. We also ask Shawn's views on sourcing meat, the environmental impact of meat production, fasting, coffee, and wine.

The makers of my favorite grill, the Otto Wilde Grill, are offering you a 10% discount and a free membership to saifedean.com if you buy a grill from them in the next five days! Just use the coupon code saifedean100!

Shawn's book, The Carnivore Diet

Mentioned by Shawn in the episode:

39. The Shitcoin Standard
01:05:17

This week we discuss: What are shitcoins good for? Can shitcoins help bitcoin scale? Do shitcoins take market share from bitcoin, or from each other? Plus, find out why backing gold with bitcoin is far more likely than backing bitcoin with gold!

Mar 09, 2021
38. Bitcoin and fiat debt
01:15:29

Should you borrow fiat to buy bitcoin? Is it better to sell bitcoin or borrow against it? In this seminar we discuss optimal fiat strategies for bitcoiners, and the risks involved, based on Michael Saylor's comments in seminar 34, and the early chapters of The Fiat Standard.

Mar 04, 2021
37. Art on The Bitcoin Standard
01:15:26
In this seminar we are joined by Stephen Chow, founder of Chow Art Fund, whose mission is to embrace the bitcoin standard in order to sponsor living artists to create masterpieces, and @FractalEncrypt, an artist who has produced a magnificent bitcoin full node sculpture. We discuss my book, The Bitcoin Standard, and how its discussion of time preference was influential in their artistic journeys; how they see art evolving in a bitcoin world; and the problem with "art on blockchain" nonsense. We conclude with a discussion of my favorite artist, classical Egyptian music's legendary diva, Umm Kulthum, and how she was the inspiration for my thoughts on time preference.
 
Chow Art Fund website: https://chowartfund.wordpress.com/
 
 
Umm Kulthum's wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umm_Kulthum
Some of her best songs: 
Feb 27, 2021
36. Michael Saylor, stock-to-flow, and praxeology
01:15:20

In this podcast we discussed last week seminar with Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor. We go over his strategy for buying bitcoin and wether it works for everyone. Then we discuss wether his actions and analysis contradict the bitcoin stock to flow model. Finally, we move on to discuss how we can reconcile the stock to flow model with praxeology and the Austrian economics we cover in our courses on saifedean.com

Feb 24, 2021
35. An Austrian in Pyongyang!
01:16:48
In this podcast we talk to Peter Young, a regular attendee of our seminars and student of Austrian economics, who has spent a lot of time traveling to North Korea. Peter gives us his perspective on the communist economic system and how it functions, through the lens of the Austrian economics.

You can follow Peter on Twitter using the handle @TheAustrian3.

His Medium page contains a list of his threads on economics.

Books Referenced

Andrei Lankov – The Real North Korea (2013)

Paul French – North Korea: State of Paranoia (2014)

B.R. Myers - The Cleanest Race (2010)

Robert L. Schuettinger & Eamonn Butler - Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls: How Not to Fight Inflation (1979)

Videos

YouTube video showing a DPRK market before and after the 2009 currency reform.

Andrei Lankov discussion of Kim Jong Un land reforms.

B.R. Myers discussion of DPRK economy and Hikikomori state.

Feb 20, 2021
34. Michael Saylor on The Fiat Standard
02:23:06
We are rejoined by Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who has read the first part of The Fiat Standard and shares some fascinating feedback on it, including how to think of time preference and bitcoin. We also discuss Bitcoin for Corporations, the conference Microstrategy organized, and how he sees the bitcoin corporate wave advancing. What are the assets obsoleted by bitcoin? What are Michael's mental models for thinking about bitcoin's price, his thoughts on price prediction models, and whether he thinks we'll see another big crash in bitcoin. 
 
Subscribe to receive chapters of The Fiat Standard as they are written, on saifedean.com.
Feb 16, 2021
33. Stock-to-flow: a deeper look
01:06:46
In this seminar, we look closely at the concept of stock-to-flow, comparing it across bitcoin, gold, silver, other metals, and altcoins. We go over the data from The Bitcoin Standard, and look at more recent numbers for silver, and explain why attempts to monetize silver and platinum failed, why mining asteroids would not eliminate gold’s monetary role, and what actually could do it.
Feb 10, 2021