Banking On Africa - The Bitcoin Revolution (full documentary) - True Story
How are you feeling. Very excited. Making. History. And also there's going to be a lot of. Very. Pleased, people. At the school. It's not just a tech thing. It's not just a new. Invention. It's something that can actually. Help real people. So it's fine. It's fun to do that, and exciting it gives you gives it all meaning. Not just. Interest. Living at the bottom of africa can really make world affairs feel like things that just, happen somewhere else. So in 2014, when i heard the word bitcoin for the first time. I made it my mission to find out what is so wrong with the way things are. That people are trying to change the financial, system, for everyone. The thing about storytelling, though. The story you expect. Is never the one you find. I reached out to friends to find out who knew about this thing called bitcoin. And i was pointed in the direction, of lauren. Within four minutes of receiving my email about being interviewed on bitcoin. Lauren responded, saying yes, i do believe that this will impact our lives, as much as the internet has done. So can you first explain to me what cryptocurrency. Is, all it is essentially. Is, a mechanism. For being able to transfer. Digital assets. Without there having to be a duplicate. Of that digital asset. I'll give you example, if you have an mp3. Or a, digital photo, it's very easy to make a copy of that digital photo or mp3, and send it to multiple, friends. Or, what, this, term is called double spend. In 2008. An anonymous, developer, or engineer, or financial. Guru devised a way to create a digital, currency. Which essentially, solved that problem, where you could create a digital asset that could be transferred, from one end to another. And couldn't be easily copied. 2011. I read a blog. About. An underground, website, that was using this new. Internet currency that was different from any other currency that had ever come before it i immediately. Decided, to try and play around with it and see where it would go. And acquired, a number of them where they were worth very little. And then over the years i've just seen, the usage explode, people. Come around to the idea that this could, very well be the next, innovation, that disrupts, and upturns, our lives, and, has a massive positive. Impact. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies. Out there and, they're quite diverse, in terms of what their intentions, are and what they were designed, to do, so for me the discussion, begins with bitcoin, it's the proto-cryptocurrency.
It's The first one that, mattered. When you first geek out. About, bitcoin, and blockchain, and cryptocurrency. You tend to become very excited about the, the tech itself and i think. I made the mistake, quite a few times early on of getting too technical when i'm just speaking, to, my mum or my wife, or friends who just want to understand how it works. It's, digital, money. In 2016. We attended the bitcoin and blockchain africa conference, so we could hear people who get it, explain it. There was a woman on stage from botswana, who educates people on both the potential, and risks of bitcoin. After she shared her personal story, i snuck over and slipped a piece of paper into hand with the hastily scrolled words. I'm making a documentary. And i would love to interview, you. Come come come. Welcome to my farm. This is a very small. Uh. Farm that i started in 2017. When. The bitcoin market went, a bit up. I managed to buy the goats and i bought myself some chickens. And i set up the farm and also what might buy myself this car that is why it has got all these bitcoin stickers. You can come and check out my goods, they're like way cool. The other ones are not yet here. I think they're still, in the. Bush. The humbly beginnings. I'm hoping. In the future i'll have like. Much much wider. Uh farm. As, i continue, in my journey of bitcoin, so this is a bitcoin farm. But instead of mining bitcoin, i'm mining goods. The piece of land i got it in. 2011.. So from 2011, until 27 there was nothing happening. I couldn't you know clean it up i couldn't because i didn't have money some of my goats are coming. It's one of my passions, before besides. Teaching people about bitcoin. My husband is the one who's always like coming here most of the time because as for me i'm always like busy. I do my education. And doing my satoshi, center, and sometimes story. People have flooded, africa with a lot of scams. And a lot of other people are falling into those games so i'm going to basically, only focus on gujarat, where my education, is needed i. Go. The whole idea of the farm is so that you know you can be able to sustain myself. I'm just educating, people. Without making any profit out of it. For me education. Is very important, even though, i get stressed when you know my life is, is not, working. According to plan and my vision for this center is not like really. Accomplished, i would say, but i'm always, grateful for the bitcoin, community, because they are really a super amazing, family. Everyone in the bitcoin space is. Amazing. The original document that outlined the vision to reinvent, the world of finance, and technology, was released in 2008. Against the backdrop, of the financial, crisis. In order to understand, all of that the most obvious place to start was money. What is money where did it come from, and why isn't the way it works. Working for us anymore.
You Know one of the first things we, figured out to do that really distinguished, us from the other animals on this planet. Was invent language, and a way of communicating. With each other. That could convey, very complicated. Ideas. We could have armies, of hundreds, or thousands of individuals. Where other great apes would only be able to organize, in you know clusters, of up to about 100, individuals. So that gave us an edge language was extremely, powerful as an organizing, mechanism. But the thing we needed, next was a way of making our trust in each other portable. We used seashells. Baboon, bones were a popular form of currency, in africa. But money is and always has been a form of an iou, note. I could give you something and you could trust that that thing had value because, society, believed, it did. Things like dollars, and rents, we call those fiat currencies. And and fiat is a latin word that means let it be done, it basically, means that they have value because governments, say they do, governments, tell us that you will use this money, you will accept it as repayment, of debt and you will pay your taxes, in this currency, so, it really is just because we say so, there was a period, where fiat currencies, were backed by the gold standard. And now really money is just backed by a government's, ability, to, enforce, taxation, within its borders. Governments, or their central banking, authorities. Can, print as much money as they want to, the decision to print money is something, that lies with a few individuals. It's open to flawed decision making. And really it's it's fair to say that fiat money isn't backed by anything. For a time bitcoin, felt like a lot of talk and very little action. But lauren was taking bitcoin, out of academia. Out of the future and creating a real real-world, use for it, in 2015. Something tangible, for the world to see. If you consume electricity, you're going to have a meter installed at your property. There's two modes that that meter can be in either post paid or prepaid. Post paid is where you just consume. The utility, and at the end of the month, somebody will come and read your meter and then send you a bill and then you pay, you're consuming, first, and then you're paying. Now, prepaid, meters are trying to solve the problem where people are consuming, and they're not paying, which is a problem we have and it's showing itself. In our, energy provider, s com where they. Say they don't have money to maintain, their power stations. Because they can't recover from the municipalities. Their municipalities. Can't recover because nobody wants to pay for the utility, they've really consumed, it, so they're trying to close that gap by switching all their customers up to prepaid, so, they can't consume, unless they've paid. But it introduces, another, problem from the consumer's, point of view. At least 80, of africans, aren't backed. If they want to make a payment they have to use cash. Obviously, now the costs are increased, because the, vendor has costs.
And There's travelling costs, security, costs. So, although prepaid systems will solve, the recovery from the utilities, point of view, it doesn't solve anything from the consumer's, point of view, bitcoin, is a payment system, which is an electronic, payment system, that is outside of the banking system. Anybody, who has an app on a mobile, mobile phone it doesn't even have to be a smartphone. They can easily become part of the bitcoin, economy, and have access to your electronic payments. So it's just, a common sense thing if you think about it that. Being able to make bitcoin. Payment method. For pre-payment, system. Opens up, that massive, market. And has opportunity, to drastically, reduce costs. And increase efficiency. At least. From the perspective of the consumer. So now. There's a solution. Bitcoin. And applied to smart, metering. Can solve for massive problems throughout, africa as well as latin america and asia. Pacific. I started. Uh. My journey, with bitcoin. In a little bit, of a segway. Can you tell me that story my. Son. Grenadier, on the wall. In, 2007. I, gave birth to a baby boy, his name was called paco. Which means praise. He was born with a heart defect. Called hypertrophic. Obstructive. Cardiomyopathy. I was looking for ways in which i can raise money and probably take him, overseas. It was kind of difficult, here in botana, for for them to promise me anything. One time the doctor told me that. There's literally nothing that they can do. When we're brought to south africa i was very happy, i said my son will get help. But they say to me for us to be able to help your son, we finish first with a list, that is in south africa, for children who need transplant. So i went online to try and do freelancing. So maybe i can be able to raise more funds to help my child. And i remember i got across a survey, where they say you can do a survey and you can you know be paid in bitcoin. I, went through that. Worked you know my heart out. I never, got any bitcoins. From the work that i did a lot of things that i met were scams, one stem, after another. And then in, april, on the 4th. My son. Died. So. Yeah. First time i heard about bitcoin, was. To raise money for my son, so when he died, i felt like i've lost the purpose for why i should work online. So i just. Stopped. Something was just nagging me in my head like you know you need to go back to that bitcoin thing and look at it and see if it can be. Off anywhere. The more i read the more i get learned. I decided, let me take another step further. It's no longer about my son. Now it's about changing. My country, it's about changing, the people, i'll group together people and i'll teach them about bitcoin. So 2013. I did my first meet up but before the meetup i did a video. Which i put on youtube, i did an old t-shirt with my bitcoin, address, and i was like i want to work for this company, even by then i don't even understand, what bitcoin, was, like for me it was more like a company. Then. 2014. My, my group was growing. And i kept on educating, people about bitcoin. From that moment on what. So why, can we trust that crypto. Is worth something. Bitcoin. As as a primary example. Has a finite, supply, which makes it a deflationary. Currency. It actually, in very real terms, is scarcer, than gold, there's no central, authority, that can decide, to, raise interest rates or to print more money. As a part of quantitative, easing, the bitcoin, network, runs itself. Once the network, was set in motion. That system. You know runs, by consensus. Can you tell me, about, caesar. Sure. Imagine a poor school in africa. They have a bitcoin, meter. Anybody from anywhere in the world could pay for a week or. Months worth of electricity. Directly. Without having to go to that organization.
And I, actually thought instead of just talking about something why didn't i go and do it. What. Is. A zulu word, that means, help. The whole point of this project is to, kind of relieve the burden of the electricity, i mean obviously there's a lot more things to be paid for in the school and these schools have small budgets. If they can have that burden. Lifted a little, where they they don't have to uh actually pay for the utilities. Then they can then, spend what little they have, on other things. One of the struggles that we've had is trying to get a metering company to, agree to the project, a lot of these metering companies, make a lot of money on the vending solutions they supply. Taking the fees. Uh you know from the. Fiat. Transactions. Now having a blockchain, based, system means that. The funds go directly. Through to the meter. And so the metering companies that we've been dealing with weren't willing to go along with the project so it was quite an uphill struggle, but like that we have found some enlightenment. Partners. We've got about. Two bars out of the three. So i think communication, should be fine. But we also have an antenna so what we can do is perhaps, bring an antenna through here just to. Boost the signal. So once we get the donation, going through and the meter can pick up the payment on the blockchain. The next step is for the actual meter to switch on and then we should see the school, light up, it'll be hard to see now but at least we'll see uh, something happen. And then on. Monday night when it's all pitch dark, i think it'll be quite spectacular. When everything goes on that's the theory. Very exciting. The blockchain. Is, the operating, system that it runs on so you can see it as, your windows, or your linux, or mac, osx. The software, layer, is, the blockchain. And bitcoin, is an app that runs on top of the blockchain. Blockchain, is the magic behind the money. But really it's just a decentralized. Database, stored on a very large network of computers, all over the world. It is the technology, that underpins, bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. But it's not just for monetary, transactions. You can use it to store data like patents, or wills or to exchange anything of value such as products, property, services. And even votes. The authenticity, of the exchange, of value, or transactions. Is verified by the community, as a whole, rather than by a single entity.
Removing The risk of a single point of failure in the system. Each transaction, is recorded, on a public, distributed, ledger, that can be viewed by anyone, in the world. The blockchain, is a decentralized. System. And the strength, of the blockchain, is that everybody, is checking everybody, else, no single institution. Is in charge, of this information. Now that differs. From the current financial, system that we actually do have all over the world, in the case of south africa and the center, of our financial, system, is the south african reserve bank, and the reserve, bank. Checks, all the other banks and all the other banks. Check us, and that's the difference between a decentralized. System, the blockchain for example. And a centralized. System. If i for example want to give you, government money or central, bank money, and i do a transfer. From my cell phone. To your, cell phone, it is impossible. For me, to transfer money from one bank account. Directly. Into another bank account, we think that is what happens, but what really happens is that, i send a message. To my bank. Which will send a message to the central bank, which will send a message message to your bank, to make a deposit, into your bank account, so there's somebody, else, always, in charge there's always a middleman. Somewhere, between my account, and your. Account. So who invented, blockchain, and bitcoin. The creator, of bitcoin. The cryptocurrency. And the technology, is satoshi, nagamoto. People, think it's a group of people or it could be an individual, is a complete mystery, no one knows who he is. People have their suspicions. I have my suspicions, as well. Several people have come out to claim that they are satoshi, nagamoto. I think it's quite nice that it's a mystery, i like the fact that i don't know who it is and i think we would be disappointed. If we found out who it was. So why did you name your dark situation. Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency. And blockchain technology, has taken over my life. I love bitcoin. I really do and i like what it stands for. And, the name suits him completely. I'll organize small talks. And i'll go around i've been in caburoni, and i went to francis town, to go and teach people about bitcoin. I met students, who are into i.t. We talked blockchain. And all that and i began to, tell them about the possibility. Of changing. The way things are in our country the way things are, in the world. I was inspired, by satoshi nakamoto. Not liberating, the people from. What was happening. During the financial. Crisis, coming up with something that would really help people. The satoshi, center's vision. Was to create a community, lab. Where people can come. And learn, about bitcoin, and also be able to be very creative. Somebody, came up with this idea. Of making it possible, to, trust the record, of ownership, of money, without, trusting, any individual. In the, ecosystem, that makes things. Work together, and that is, such a clever, invention. That. We have to make it work and make it valuable, in the way we apply to society. If you compare it to, the traditional, financial, system, i don't think any of us really get. Excited, about going to our bank. We're excited, about logging on to a, banking system. One of the, disadvantages. Of cryptocurrency. Is the, the complexity. Still that we're working with a very. Rough, technical. Thing where you need to understand, things like the transaction, fees and things like that. But. To be fair if you compare it to the traditional, financial, system that's not really. Clear as crystal, either it's really very difficult to understand. How banking, fees are going to apply to you, what's it going to cost to transfer.
10 000 brands to a u.s bank account, things like that are also very, very complex. What we're going to basically do is an auction, the item in question, is this over here. Which is a 100, round nodes. We're going to be bidding for this 100, rand note, it's a standard auction whoever wins the auction gets the 100, notes slight switch though on the traditional, auction model. Is that the person who comes second. Has to pay whatever, their bid was but they don't get the notes so i'm going to open it up at 10 rand would anybody pay me 10 round four 100 rand notes, whose first, 10 round we've got 10 rand in the back. 180, round going once. 100, radio ram going twice. Sold, for 180. Rand. You can come and settle afterwards. And, the person who came second used to settle with me as well. It's not that central, financial, authorities, were a bad idea it gave us a way of scaling, up to what now it's the global financial, system, that gave us a way of trading with each other you could travel to the other side of the world and you could start to trade with people there, and that was fantastic. Uh but where it has failed us for example. Is where human greed has been able to manipulate, the system, to put it quite bluntly. That's the, second highest price i've ever gotten for 100 rand nodes, it's a great game for me. Because, i essentially, now have made, 310. Rand. And parted with 100 rand, right. The game, of course, is rigged, it's designed, so that, i'm gonna win, and it has to do, with the irrational, mindset, people have around money. We all remember what happened with the financial, crisis, in 2009. In that situation, we were reminded, again that banks can fail. We have a fractional, reserve banking system in most countries. Where banks don't actually, have to have all of the money that they're storing on behalf of their customers. They only need to keep enough of, that money around, that they can satisfy. All of the withdrawals, requested, in any given period. When a bank, gives you a loan, to buy a house for example. They don't have to have that money, either that's basically, money they can make out of thin air. But when you have a run on the bank when there's a crisis, and everybody, tries to pull their money out of the banking system at the same time, banks don't have that money. And that causes them to collapse. Governments, then stand, as, what we call a lender of last resort so governments, say, if the bank doesn't have enough money to sort out all of its customers. We'll step in and we'll lend them the money to do that, but of course that money needs to come from somewhere too, and so what happened in 2009. Was you had banks. Which didn't have enough money to pay all of the people trying to withdraw their money the u.s government didn't have enough money to act as a lender of last resort. And so, the u.s taxpayer. Effectively, had to bail out a bank, with a tax-free. Non-reversible. Loan that never had to be paid back to the taxpayer. Now it doesn't really matter how you present that story it doesn't strike me as fair. Every country's economy, is intertwined, with every other country's, economy. Imports, exports, investments. And the world reserve currency. Meant that the financial, crisis in america. Became the global financial, crisis. The saying before 2008. Was that the banks were too big to fail. But the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Over a decade later there are now banks that are even bigger, than the too big to fail banks of the financial, crisis years. Hi, my name is big machado, and i have a question for the chief economist. So i'm an economic, student, right and i'm not sure if you've noticed, but a lot of people in the bitcoin space they know more about economics, than, most psg, students in universities.
Actually. This is because in university, we're not, particularly, exposed, to different other schools of economic, thought like the austrian school of economics, for example. And, if we're not exposed to certain things then we won't question certain things for example like money. In school we're not particularly, taught what money truly is what is your opinion. Of bitcoin, being used, as a way to. Escape. This economy that's exist. That exists right now, you're absolutely right that in our universities, we should, teach other schools of thought as well, and a very important school of authority, is the school of thought, of real freedom, and i've got a suspicion, this new technology, will really put the power in the hands of the individuals. And allow us, to experience, that real real freedom. And not, to to enslave, us the way that politicians. Have been enslaving, us for the last couple of hundreds of years, this is a real, freedom, but not only is it real freedom, it's very very dangerous, and with that there's a huge responsibility. As well. 21, year olds don't, normally. Go, to. Events like we did the other day yeah yeah that's not a normal 21, year old thing let's see, usually like clouds. And stuff right yeah. The first time i heard about bitcoin, was from a movie called, dope. This movie didn't cover. Bitcoin, like, in a positive, like. And then i heard it again, and i was like maybe let me like look at it and like do some a little bit more research. And then that's where i fell down the rabbit hole is the same save. My economics teacher was heavily into gold. So he was explaining central banking right and fractional reserve banking, and. Insiders, think well like this seems a little bit shady. He explained that we actually don't need the system. In a normal economy, things are supposed to get cheaper over time not expensive, over time. And the common, thing that i'm hearing on news or youtube, is that no we need inflation. So that there's economic, growth. I did a little bit more digging in and then that's when i found like measles, they followed the austrian school of economics. Right. And then they explain that no we actually don't need inflation for economic growth and in fact that like that whole statement is a whole contradiction, in itself. When you define, economic, growth it's the increase, in production, right and the increase in production. Causes prices to decrease, an example of this would be like technology. And the first phone came out was like quite expensive, and then eventually there was a lot of people, contributing. To different designs. Basically providing alternatives, to smartphones, and then the prices of smartphones, decrease over time. That also could apply to the economy, as whole. And now i know that, this person what he's saying on tv, it's like that's a nonsense. And then like what can i do about it it's like buy bitcoin bro. Using this greedy algorithm, i can make a lot of money, and actually the only way you could have won that game was to not play it, the problem is when you have money on the table human beings start acting in a very curious, way. But i want to use this auction. As an example, of our banking system. And in fact the financial, system that runs the world today. Because it is rigged. There are rules that have been put in place that mean that you will lose every time you play. And somebody will make a lot of money because they control the algorithm, that ensures that you lose. Our current banking systems while they're useful for things like buying carrots and going to the movies, and stuff.
Are Exploitive. And they're exclusionary. And they cut out a lot of the world, and we don't have to play the game anymore, because, we have the technology, now, to opt out. Money was always centralized, was always opaque, was always, exclusionary. Had too many middlemen, too many rent seekers, too many people quite frankly benefiting, from exploiting, others. Finally. We could use the internet. To create a financial, system. That benefited, everybody, potentially. That was. Resistant, to censorship. That nobody could take control, of. That's what the world had been waiting for and finally, it arrived, with the bitcoin, network. You know i was never interested in all these subjects, you know there's a. Economics, and finance. And um, since bitcoin. Like i became interested. I would still be living in my oblivious. Way. Hoping that whoever's running the system is running it fine, and that we don't, end up in the same way that zimbabwe. Ended up where their money became worthless. It's not so much about not having a long-term, view. It's just about being educated. On this. And the majority, of people. Aren't educated, on this. Can i just go on and say something else that i think is important. Okay. If we use a blockchain. System. The power. Is actually where i believe it should be, and that's in the hands of the individuals. We do not need the permission. To transfer money, between, my, account. And your account and that of course also. Opens the possibility, for things like for example fraud. And tax evasion and all sort of illegal things. And that their responsibility. Is also in the hands of the individuals. The way i believe it should be. Why. Why should we have that kind of responsibility. In all instances, when governments, got involved, with money. In all instances. Without, one single, exception. They have either, destroyed. The money. Or they are in the process, of destroying, it, so don't think that the politician, or central bank, is in a position, that you can always trust him it's just another individual. Just another human, and they always, make mistakes, and it's inevitable. But ideologically. I also believe. That i should have the right to decide for myself. Whether i want to lend you money whether i want to borrow money, it's not up to some politician. Or some other institution, to tell me what i can and what i can't do that's, my business. There exists, a definite, two camp divide over where the bitcoin, should be used to facilitate, liberty, and self-sovereignty. Or if it should be regulated, to protect users. Can you, give me an example, of some of these crazy, schemes, that people are coming up with using crypto, there's so. Many. I remember. But most of them are coming from south africa. So, in the very beginning, i remember they used to like call me and try to recruit, me they said like you have got a network of people who can make a lot of money, i'm like i'd rather be poor. Than to join something that at the end of the day i'll hurt my own people. There's always a joining thing it's like a pyramid, scheme. The lady came to our office she was like really heartbroken. Because. She has put a lot of money into her scheme and then it, disappeared. You know people actually put their. Children's school face. What i know is once you you start having an influx, of people calling and say they want bitcoin, not that there's a scheme coming up, so, they are good in the sense maybe they make bitcoin to be used a lot. But at the same time, they are really bad. The bad surpasses, the good. One of the biggest, challenges, to explaining, bitcoin, is to if somebody, who comes already with the free knowledge. Of what bitcoin, is and then they come to you and say like, how much do i join. How would i make money very quick you try to convince the person that it's not about joining. It's like a revolution. It's like a new technology, arising, altogether, it's about you understanding, they're like no. But it's not.
That. The pros. For me, is, liberation. Freedom, the ability to be able to control your money your own money. Or the ability to send any amount of crypto or carriage. Imagine if you were to carry, a chunk of gold you want to pass through the border or whatever you can't. So that's the beauty of of bitcoin. The negativity. Is, people using it wrongly, you know making our people poor. Also lack of regulations. And stuff. If you can have maybe some sort of regulated, legal, framework. It will also help protect. Us. I know you cannot control it because, of the way it was created but just regulations. You know it can help a little bit. Since bitcoin's, early days it's been shrouded, in mystery and controversy. From the bankruptcy, of mount gox one of the early exchanges. To the infamy caused by the dark web silk road marketplace, that accepted bitcoin, for nefarious, goods and services. While silk road became one of the first use cases for bitcoin. It also perhaps put the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Years behind where it might have been otherwise. It was run by dread pirate roberts, or. Ross ulbrick. You follow the news you know that ross ulbricht, was, found guilty by a jury. The federal judge took his activities, very serious, and she actually sentenced him to serve a life, sentence. They counted at least six, individuals. Who had purchased narcotics, off of silk road and died as a result. What we. Basically, are focused, on one is criminal offenses, involving. Digital, currency which could be any sort of. Crime whether it's narcotics, whether it's murder for hire whether it's identity, theft and so on. In which, the bad guys are utilizing. Bitcoin. Rather than other forms of money because they, in our experience, believe it to be untraceable. Which is, clearly. An accident on their part um, a misunderstanding. Say the least. Uh but we also deal with the regulation. Of exchanges, and money, okay. Very nice, don't touch. Every single transaction, that, occurs, in the bitcoin network is recorded in something called the blockchain, a public ledger of every transaction, that's made the only problem is that even though you can see every single transaction.
And You can see, the addresses, which are like the account, numbers. Of the people, or, that are holding those bitcoins. You don't actually know who those addresses belong to. So the correct term isn't anonymous, it's pseudonymous. Cash. Is truly anonymous. If you have a suitcase, of cash and you go and. Spend it, there's no way that that transaction, is recorded. So. Bitcoin, is less, anonymous. Than, cash, and we certainly know, how. Cash can be used for nefarious, purposes, we know that, suitcases, of money and drug deals happen all the time. There was a name that kept coming up in conversation. And research. And for his name alone it felt necessary, to meet him, fluffy, pony. It's a nickname that stuck years ago that despite his best efforts ricardo, is not able to get rid of. But amongst the noise of the crypto world, fluffy pony definitely, stands. Out. Why is privacy, so important, and how is it lacking, in the way we currently, do things. Privacy. Is the natural, state of things. You're not closing the door at the bathroom. Because. You want to plot to overthrow, the government, you're closing the door at the bathroom because you don't want people to see you, on the loo. There's certain, aspects of our life we want to keep private. That we might reveal, to certain people. We, hopefully take our clothes off in front of the person we're married to but we don't go and walk around the shopping center naked, but, privacy, has become. It's sort of become overshadowed. By, oh bad people want privacy, or things like if you have nothing to hide. Then why do you care about privacy. It's not about wanting to hide it from everyone, it's just that we want to control who sees, the information. If law enforcement of the government want information, about me, they should have to come knock on my door, to get that information. They shouldn't be able to just get that information, because, my bank is telling them about every transaction, i've ever done. I know people say there is there is information, on the internet. But it's different. If i'm able to like really expand. On the information, that you picked from the internet and make you understand, it makes me feel good. Because i know, i've empowered you you'll take the same knowledge, and you. You give it to someone. So, if i'm able to reproduce, somebody who does what i do. That's the real thing, that's the real deal, yeah. Had it not been for him. I wouldn't be doing what i'm doing, like he made me to. Know about bitcoin. So. Because i was trying to help him, during that time now i'm helping people with knowledge. So it's like you know transferring, whatever that i wanted to do for him now. He's somehow, doing it for the people through me i continue, to honor him and yeah, it will be my baby forever. When i got introduced to bitcoin, and it's like okay. Let me save, each month i save i save save, i'm thinking more about the future, what's going to happen in the future and orientate, my actions, today. That would impact the future. I mean that's the reason why i'm studying right i'm like seeing like a really like some interesting, stuff in the space of crypto. I'm not saying i'm against banking. I'm just against fractional reserve banking so i oriented, my actions towards that. The new financial. System. I would be a lot more stressed if i didn't have bitcoin honestly. Why. Let's say for example, if we have. The central, bank government, decides like yo. I'm going to print like two trillion, rands into the economy, the consequences, of that would be hyperinflation.
I Can't remember who said this but it says that bitcoin, is not about getting your money out of your country, it's about getting your country out of your money. Essentially, it's like protecting, your savings protecting, your store of value that's why i'm into birthday. I think the financial, crisis started a discussion. That bitcoin, then accelerated. Around, why the financial, system works the way it does and whether or not it should work that way, how can we make it more transparent, how can we make it more fair, how can we improve, the world of money for everybody. But it was a very difficult discussion to have with people in the early days of bitcoin. You know i was writing for finweek magazine, at the time and i did a story on bitcoin, in 2011.. And some of my colleagues literally laughed at me they were like this is the dumbest thing we've ever heard of, it's a bubble it'll never be worth more than nine dollars. At its height, it was worth twenty thousand dollars and it's going to be worth, a lot more than that one day, and every, time we see the cycle. We have people laughing, it's not going to last it's over inflated. And every time they write for a very short period of time and then every time they are proven, ultimately, wrong, in the medium term. I believe that one day it's something that you won't have to understand. It just makes your life better, very few people can tell you exactly how their smartphone, works, it doesn't matter because the narrative, has become about why it's good for them what does it enable, in their lives, well i can speak to my grandchildren. I can stay up to date with the news i can take pictures of my family. Those are the things that matter. You know how the processor, works and all of the software, that makes it possible, nobody really needs to understand. The bits and, pieces. Welcome to uh. M.o.n. In the middle of the night. At two o'clock in the morning i followed laurie and artist soweto, to witness history being made with a live demonstration. Of his bitcoin, prepaid meter. Lorien would be skyping through to a conference on the other side of the world at mit, in boston. Where his friend ed would be making a bitcoin, payment straight to the meter. What i'm going to do. Is i'm actually going to. Be ready okay, so, let's get this whole thing started. We're going to be calling right now. In about, two minutes. And then i'm going to come to that. Classroom. Shane they've been here for two hours. Three hours, they got your 12.. Hi, nice to see you all. Thanks for coming, can you shortly explain. Where you are and, what you're doing there, sure i'm in uh it's a city outside of johannesburg, in south africa. It's called soweto, where i am right now is very close to where, nelson mandela used to live in his youth. And i'm in a small school, we're going to be demonstrating. Uh, our, blockchain. Prepaid metering system, so this is now uh one of the electricity, boxes. I don't know if you can actually see. But there is a. This is now a just a conventional, meter box but there's a. Blockchain enabled meter over there. And uh what we're going to do now is i'm going to go to. The classroom. And there's uh some features there and uh. And it's all dark, and it's going to make the. Transaction, so let me just. The transaction, takes about. It should take about 30 seconds. All right. Okay. And we hope it works. So now what's happening is it's not going through the blockchain, the meter is going to detect the payment. It's going to calculate the tariff, and then load the required amount of electricity. Onto the, meter. There's nothing on at the moment that's why we're done. And. Uh.
Hopefully In a few seconds the meter should be activated. I'm not just sitting in one of the classrooms, here so you're going to see. This stuff, yeah you. Ready. All right. This is this is usually what happens you know in a in the live demo. Oh there we. Go. I've got four sons, who are you know, busy. One of the things that i've been involved with is the cub scouts. I take my sons there. On a front of friday night and we get involved. Teaching kids how to, you know be independent. And also, most importantly be good citizens. It's very important to, get children, to consider. Their communities, and their society, and do, to be empathetic, to other people. To try and make their communities. Better, to build it up. To try and think, civic-mindedly. This is the thing that i struggle with so, in africa. I don't know that, it, helps to resolve, third world problems because. I mean if you if you live in a hut, you don't have access to the internet you don't have access to a phone. Do you think that it is actually something that could really genuinely. Make a practical, real world difference, here, i tend to think that cryptocurrencies. Have potential, to solve real world problems all over the world you're not going to solve all the problems certainly, even if it just becomes a global reserve, currency. The local currency, for a country becomes less important. Where people can, trivially, shift from. Whatever the local currency, is into bitcoin. And then, it doesn't matter what happens to the local currency. Now your reliance, isn't on the government, to keep the economy, stable. Because you kind of you've got a backup you've got to fall back. That's very powerful. And i think that that's something, that. Could have lasting, effects and impact. In africa. We've had. This, leapfrog, thing that that occurs, where. There's an innovation. Like. Digital, cell phones when they came out, those are the first cell phones that really got deployed, in south africa. And because of that, we were on 3g. Faster, than, like the united states and most of europe. And it's just because. The infrastructure, is a little bit more modern, because it was deployed, slightly, later in the game, there, are a class of problems. In, africa. Where we can just leapfrog. And. You know use cryptocurrencies, to our advantage, and i think that's what's going to happen. Even though myself, on a day-to-day, basis, i don't use bitcoin. In the way i would like you know i do want to be able to spend bitcoin, and i do want to be able to have people out there in this country, spending bitcoin. I want, merchants, and service providers to accept bitcoin. So, instead of waiting for, them to do that, i am now going and actually providing, those tools.
I Will certainly, you know. Strive. To, create the opportunity, for people to, to spend it in their day-to-day, lives and also to accept it in their day-to-day lives. Ironically. The story i expected, was to be told by a bunch of men in suits just in pursuit of more money. I expected, to find bandits, and terrorists, and everyday jones organizing, dark deeds in dark places. But in the last five and a half years the story i thought i would be telling about the crypto space in africa. Never. Materialized. I've realized that my pessimism, at the beginning of this journey was actually just misplaced. But regardless. That pessimism, has now turned to optimism. Not so much because of the tech. But because of the people who are using it to make the circle both bigger. And better. And that's what i call. The beginning of a revolution. Uh, just. Off the top of my head. Bitcoin. Ethereum, classic, hunter coin, monero. Ethereum. Ripple xrp. 30 coins, bitcoin, gold bitcoin silver bitcoin diamond, bitcoin, private, all of the things that start with bitcoin and have another word after it dash. Z cash, there's cordano. Yes. Stellar, lumens. Caliber. Iota. Another one called the ura. Oh, sorry that was like a scavenger. Dash. Dash. Uh. Litecoin. Cash. I've just hit the flank. Now they're escaping, me these coins. As many as i can. There's. Uh. You know there's so many but it's hard to think of them, a little. Boo-boo. Um. Bnb. Uh. Privix. Uh, that should be a lot. Easier.