Bitcoin.com spoke with independent journalist and cryptocurrency enthusiast David Seaman on the Ethereum split, the anti-climatic Bitcoin halving event and why users should stop bullying Coinbase for helping law enforcement snatch the founder of KickAssTorrents.
David Seaman (@d_seaman) is a huge proponent of cryptocurrencies and has even advised viewers to “go out and buy some Dogecoin” on RT. He has been a guest on CNN Headline News, FOX News, ABC News Digital, Coast to Coast, the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, The Young Turks and elsewhere. His opinions and articles frequently appear in Business Insider and Huffington Post.
As a bonus, joining us also for the Ethereum segment is the founder of Ether.camp, Roman Mandeleil, who also wrote the Java implementation of Ethereum.
Interview with David Seaman & Roman Mandeleil
Bitcoin.com (BC): Since it’s no secret you’re extremely passionate about Ethereum, what’s your take on the implemented hard fork? Won’t this hurt fungibility?
David Seaman (DS): No, I don’t believe so, not significantly and not long term.
Roman Mandeleil (RM): I had published very long opinion on the hard fork, you can find it here.
BC: Do you find it unsettling that the miner vote against the fork was ignored? What are your thoughts on Ethereum Classic?
RM: Not really, the miners who want to move to Ethereum Classic moved to that chain. Let’s see what will happen there. Time will tell if it was the right move.
‘Classic’ is little more than troll vaporware to get a giggle out of someone, I’m not sure who.
DS: I’m not interested in following the ‘development’ of a failed chain; 99.9% of the community is placing their development resources, capital, and efforts into the chain that became dominant by community choice, after considerable discussion and debate from all sides. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Classic’ is little more than troll vaporware to get a giggle out of someone, I’m not sure who. Bitcoin and Ethereum have both hard forked before, I don’t see active markets for any prior post-fork failed chains so…
BC: Since Bitcoin has still not been able to come to a consensus on the block size, do you agree with some who say Ethereum has a superior governance model? Or will various coins have different governance styles to let the users choose?
RM: The block size or the actual equivalent to a block size in the Ethereum network is constantly on vote, and miners can decide if each block should be increased.
DS: Well, it has a better design in that particular area, anyway. As Roman pointed out, Ethereum’s equivalent of a block size is dynamically retargeted, so the issue that has bitterly divided the Bitcoin world for quite a while is simply not on the debate docket over in Ethereum land. Also as Roman and others have pointed out, the ability to fork may have more to do with how new Ethereum is – with Bitcoin, it was a similar situation: forks are fairly easy to implement while the community is still fairly close knit and unified, creators and early users have some influence in the discussion, and so forth. As we get further out age wise as a blockchain, a fork gets more difficult to implement because the currency’s users and miners become very scattered and fragmented – so only the most universal, or most desperately needed, changes are likely to be implemented through a successful fork.
BC: How did you interpret what happened or, more specifically, didn’t happen with the Bitcoin halving? Did it go according to your expectations?
RM: Yeah, it was very smooth.
DS: Well, yes and no, one scenario I’d shared with my audience is that I could see it going very high after the halving, because the psychological rarity / fear of missing out kicks in spurred on by the change in programmed supply. Another scenario I’d shared, which turned out to be the correct one, is that “nothing might happen.” Because that’s what we had seen from some alts like Litecoin in the wake of their halvings- the reduction in reward for the miners didn’t scare them away, but it also didn’t really frighten the market into hoarding. Overall, it’s not a good sign, though. I don’t think it’s healthy to slash the reward miners get. Without a subsequent rise in price, a dramatic rise, they’re now shouldering a permanent reduction in earning capacity- yet they still have the same fixed costs.
BC: Elon Musk just revealed his ‘Master plan’ for Tesla, mentioning fleet car sharing and micropayments – an internet of cars, if you will. So if everyone expects EV’s to be the future, are virtual currencies and smart contracts pretty much inevitable. Thoughts?
DS: Nothing is inevitable, each of these technologies need to earn their place in the market, prove themselves with repeated use, and actually “get there” you know. Some technologies we think will succeed will probably fail miserably, and some that people have totally overlooked may leapfrog and move us forward in unexpected ways.
So many other asset classes are all interconnected to a dying financial system that is at its core very fractured and very fragile. Bitcoin is the opposite of that.
RM: It is true, and I think the movement of all assets registration and currency payments are moving in this direction, it’s just a question of time to adoption and the maturity of the technology. We have been doing it for years because we strongly believe it is the next stage of economics development.
BC: We’ve seen fiat currencies take a hit such as the pound following Brexit or the Lira plummeting in the wake of the coup attempt in Turkey while Bitcoin has been stable, if not rallying on global economic turmoil. Is Bitcoin becoming a new type of global safe-haven?
DS: It’s becoming a new type of asset, for sure. It doesn’t appear to correlate to much of anything other than the sentiment of Bitcoin traders and users, which many people are bound to find attractive as a hedge. So many other asset classes are all interconnected to a dying financial system that is at its core very fractured and very fragile. Bitcoin is the opposite of that.
RM: I agree that bitcoin is de-facto much safer than any fiat today.
BC: Demographically, why do you think millennials — particularly white males — are the biggest users of crypto? Do you think this needs to change for crypto to become mainstream?
DS: Climbing market values will sooner or later attract everybody, just as declining market values sooner or later clear out everyone aside from the die hards. We’re seeing more women at the real world meetups, but you are right, the demographic is still very skewed – I don’t like to speculate too much about stuff like this because there’s the risk of conflating correlation and causality.
If Bitcoin users have an issue with [Coinbase], they should start pushing legislatively big time, and stop bullying the company […]
BC: Coinbase was one of the companies who just gave the FBI private info to catch the founder of KickAssTorrents. How do you feel about this move by Coinbase?
DS: Coinbase: not the place to bank your bitcoins if you’re orchestrating criminal activity. Millions of law abiding users of that service have had no issue, and we have to remember Coinbase has NO choice. Their alternative is be shut down, and that would set crypto assets back by years. Every banks complies with this stuff, all the time, you just don’t hear about that – whenever a Bitcoin company has to comply with an investigation, we read about it, because Bitcoin is still a much smaller community, it’s a community with certain civil liberties tastes, so of course you’re going to see an uproar over this kind of thing but it’s par for the course in fintech, in banking, in money. If Bitcoin users have an issue with it, they should start pushing legislatively big time, and stop bullying the company that arguably has had the most to do with mainstreaming cryptocurrency, at least in the United States that’s certainly the case.
BC: Finally, who’s the best US presidential candidate for Bitcoin and crypto moving forward in your opinion?
DS: Look, whoever ends up creating more chaos and driving the public deeper into confusion and misery and debt… that candidate is going to be better for crypto, because the less stability the dying old financial system exhibits, the more open consumers will be to the new burgeoning financial systems. Luckily I don’t plan on voting solely on my cryptocurrency interests.
Do you agree with these responses? What are your thoughts on these questions? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of David Seaman, Twitter