Best of Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Written by: Lukas Schor of The Argon Group

Andreas Antonopoulos is one of (if not the) most renowned experts of the cryptocurrency industry. In this article, we give you a quick summary of his biography and present you his most interesting and inspiring speeches. Read all the way to the end, as there will be a little bonus waiting for you.

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Who is Andreas Antonopoulos?

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a Greek-British Bitcoin advocate, born in London and raised in Athens. Antonopoulos graduated from University College London, where he received degrees in Computer Science, Data Communications and Distributed Systems. After his studies he co-founded a technology research company in New York City, advising dozens of Fortune 500 company executives on networking, security, data centers, and cloud computing. He also published more than 200 articles on security, cloud computing, and data centers.

In the early 1990s, Antonopoulos’ career as a public speaker kicked off, leading to more than 1,000 speaking engagements around the world. In 2014, Antonopoulos was appointed a teaching fellow at the University of Nicosia, the first university in the world to offer a Masters Degree in Digital Currency. He helped to develop the curriculum and continues to co-teach the Introduction to Digital Currencies course that is offered as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Antonopoulos is one of the rare Bitcoin and open blockchain experts who approaches the subject from an educational, political, cultural, and human perspective — not merely discussing the technology in investment terms. He also authored the groundbreaking books including Mastering Bitcoin, widely considered to be the best technical guide ever written about the technology, as well as The Internet of Money.

The Classic

This video dates back to 2014 and is easily the all-time best public appearance of Antonopoulos. In the context of a hearing of the Senate of Canada’s Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, Antonopoulos discussed the current state and future developments of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and, most importantly, addressed the urge of governments to regulate this emerging technology too early. It is remarkable how many of Antonopoulos’ predictions and warnings were fairly accurate in retrospective. Even though the entire testimony spans over two hours, it is definitely a must-watch for every crypto-enthusiast. Antonopoulos’ appearance is a historically-important presentation that has influenced public policy vis-a-vis Bitcoin in Canada and globally.

“For me the most important thing is not what Bitcoin can do for Western developed countries because we have fairly sophisticated banking systems. I am fascinated by the idea of being able to deploy Bitcoin on a Nokia feature phone in Kenya/Lagos/Nigeria and bringing online to a global economy, people who have never had access to financial services with international credit. And who could now be connected to everyone else in the world on an equal footing.”

The Introduction

This second clip was recorded at the Internet Days 2017 “Internetdagarna” conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Antonopoulos gives a basic introduction to the nitty-gritty aspects of Bitcoin without going too much into the technical details. As this speech took place at an Internet conference, he draws a lot of insightful parallels to the early days of the Internet. Whether you are fairly new to the industry or would consider yourself an expert, this is a great watch to get a bird’s-eye view of the blockchain industry.

“People are beginning to notice [Bitcoin] is something more than what they are told. And what are they told? Drug dealers, pornographers, criminals… Guess what? That is what they said at the first conference 1993 about the Internet. They were wrong then [and] they are wrong now.”

The Interview

This is hands-down the best interview involving Andreas Antonopoulos. This 1-on-1 with Brian Rose from London Real showcases Antonopoulos’ knowledge of the industry — not just on a technology level, but also regarding the impact Bitcoin and blockchain has on societies, politics and the overall economies. It is obvious from this interview that Antonopoulos’ liberal and anti-establishment position is one reason he is so excited about the technology and its significance in fixing corrupt systems. This should come as no surprise given his Greek background and the monetary and economic crisis currently happening in Greece. Combine this insightful content with high-quality production and editing and you will get an interview you do not want to miss.

“If the government can watch everything you do, they can watch every time you spend money, their ability to control your behaviour is enormous. [… This] will put people at the mercy of a system in which, at a flick of a binary switch, you can become a non-person.”

The Grounding

The expectations and hype associated with blockchain technology and Bitcoin are currently at very high altitudes. To draw an analogy to Greek mythology, some might even fly too close to the sun. In this speech Antonopoulos gets to the bottom of these inflated expectations and explains where the real value of Bitcoin lays and what role blockchain will actually play in the future.

“If you can replace the word ‘blockchain’ with ‘database’ and the brochure reads the same, it is business as usual. It is not decentralized. It is not borderless, neutral, censorship resistant, open. It reestablishes trust in intermediaries. It is just a database. That is not disruptive.”

Twitter Extra

Antonopoulos is also very active on Twitter. As a little extra, here are some of his best tweets.

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