“The Chain” Interview :: Wences Casares

Dear Community,

Pantera CEO Dan Morehead and Xapo CEO Wences Casares recently participated in the “The Chain” interview series for RealVisionTV, a popular online on-demand finance video channel.

What we really like about this series is that each person interviewed chooses and interviews the next, making for interesting conversations.

Last month, Katana Capital’s Charles Songhurst interviewed Dan. Dan then selected Wences Casares, serial entrepreneur and CEO of multi-service bitcoin startup Xapo, as the next link in “The Chain”:

https://teaser.realvisiontv.com/146689832 (4 min length).

To view the full-length interview, RealVision is offering free one-week trials. Simply follow this link (https://realvisiontv.com/discount/freetrial) to view the entire video and RealVision’s other financial revolution content.

Stay tuned for the next link in “The Chain”, where Wences interviews Pete Briger, Principal and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors at Fortress Investment Group.

Some of our favorite quotes from Wences’ interview:

(*timestamps are relative to the full-length video.)

“There’s more people in the world who need a currency they can trust than [there are people in the world who can trust their currency].” (~4:15)
“I think in many ways online advertising is a hack. It’s a way to go around the fact that charging small transactions is so hard. We subsidize these businesses with advertising, but if there was an easy way to charge one cent to a consumer instead of having to wait a few seconds for a video to load, a lot of us would rather than pay a cent or five cents, which is more than what the publisher is going to get. The internet would look very different if microtransactions were possible.” (~14:20)
Bitcoin has fixed supply; unsubjectable to capital controls.
“When you think about how many communications your grandfather had, or your great grandfather had every week, as communication systems evolved, your grandfather had a lot more weekly communications than your great grandfather. Then your father had a lot more communication than your grandfather, and you are having, in a single day — because of email, SMS, etc. — you’re maybe having more communications than your father, at one point, may have had in a month. So as the friction of communication goes down, the number of interactions go up. The same should be true for payments, and we’ve been seeing that happening. A hundred years ago the average person was doing a lot less payments than they’re doing today, but still for the average American, that’s all: sixty payments a month. I can’t imagine a day in which we’re doing that [many] every day, with email and SMS today, right? Super small, but very efficient, very practical, and Bitcoin is perfect enabler for those kind of transactions.” (~15:46)
“Up until Bitcoin, I always felt like the most intellectually stimulating part of my career was when I first saw the internet and that led me to start Argentina’s first internet service provider. Just the intellectual stimulation that came from understanding this new protocol, that moving information from anywhere to anywhere, it was revolutionary at the time and we take it for granted today. I could move anywhere in this network without asking anyone’s permission. Once you’re in, you’re in; the whole network. I was moving from one point to another in real-time and for free. All of those three conditions made it revolutionary. It was so exciting to go to bed one day thinking all the implications that it may have for commerce, another you would think about implications it may have for entertainment or communications. It took a while for all of that to sink in and realize how much that would change the world. I never felt that kind of intellectual stimulation again until I saw Bitcoin, and when I saw Bitcoin I felt exactly like I felt when I saw the internet.” (~18:20)
“I am pretty convinced that, in a decade, we’re going to see the same number of people who have cellphones holding at least a little bit of Bitcoin, because they’ll need it to move around in the digital world.” (~24:43)
“I think that the second silliest thing you can do right now is to own an amount of Bitcoin you can not afford to lose because there’s non-trivial chance that Bitcoin fails and it goes to zero. But the silliest thing you could do is not to own any because if I am right [about Bitcoin’s non-trivial failure chance], you put 1% of your investment in Bitcoin, and the worst that can happen is you lose 1%, which most people can stomach. If I am right [that Bitcoin succeeds], that’s forty times your entire portfolio, so it’s not like you’re going to say, ‘Oh I wish I had put more than you, or that it makes a difference.’ Completely makes a difference with very little.” (~32:14)

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