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Blockchain technology is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices. In this podcast, host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and cryptocurrency will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.

Jul 14, 2020

Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the author of numerous books including The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World and most recently, the Square and the Tower: Networks and Power from the Freemasons to Facebook, and Michael Casey, chief content officer at CoinDesk and coauthor of two books on crypto, The Age of Cryptocurrency and The Truth Machine, discuss the history of money and the macro environment for Bitcoin. We cover:

  • how they became involved in crypto
  • historically, what has made things money, or how people have decided that something is money
  • the difficulty of managing fiat currency
  • modern monetary theory and the role of the state in the financial system
  • Satoshi’s message in BTC’s genesis block and what that indicates about Satoshi's intentions with Bitcoin 
  • whether a more transparent, blockchain-based financial system could eventually lead to a new financial order
  • how Bitcoin behaves like an option on digital gold, and when it will behave like digital gold
  • whether Bitcoin is simply a reversion to previous forms of money that weren’t controlled by the state
  • how crypto/blockchain and fintech innovation from startups and the Chinese government will affect the USD
  • how a hypothetical war between the US and China would affect the dollar's dominance
  • how China's DCEP could disintermediate banks 
  • how Bitcoin fits into all of the different macro conditions facing the global economy
  • whether Libra is going to be the initial gateway getting people into our digital currency world
  • how well the recovery from coronavirus will go, and how it will affect the development of the crypto space in the near-term


Thank you to our sponsors!




Episode links: 


Niall Ferguson:


The Ascent of Money:


Michael Casey:


Money Reimagined:

The Age of Cryptocurrency:


The first episode in the Why Bitcoin Now series: Mike Novogratz and Raoul Pal on 'the Single Greatest Brand' ofo the Last 10 Years:


How Niall got into Bitcoin:


Niall and Michael at Consensus:


Unchained interview with Chamath Palihapitiya, who believes Bitcoin is a hedge on everything blowing up:


Carlota Perez at CoinDesk's Consensus:


Unchained interview about the DCEP:


Unchained interview with Christopher Giancarlo about a digital dollar:


Unconfirmed episode with Michael about Libra:

Unchained episode with a co-creator of Libra: