“There are long-term debt cycles, which are 75 to 100 years. These are often correlated to the rise and fall of the global reserve currency and right now, it seems like we are at this turning point.”
Back in March, I visited Warsaw for the Weekend Kapitalizmu conference, and fortunately for me, at the same time, the world’s first-ever Bitcoin film festival was also happening just around the corner. So, of course, I took the opportunity to meet as many of the film directors in attendance as I could and managed to record a number of interesting interviews for the podcast, of which this will be the first.
Pierre Corbin is a film director and co-founder of the festival who was also showing his latest film at the event. Titled ‘The Great Reset and the Rise of Bitcoin’, this conversation with Pierre is a deep dive into the film which reflects his ideas and observations of the current macroeconomic situation that we all find ourselves in.
Some of the many subjects touched upon in this discussion include The gold standard, Venetian war bonds, Ming dynasty hyperinflation, debt cycles, social networks, Chat GPT, CBDCs, AI, UBI, and the IMF. Apparently, if you love acronyms, you’re going to love this episode. So stay tuned!
I will also take this opportunity to remind you that we are also hosting our own festival this year. So jump on over to libertyinourlifetime.org to secure your tickets to the Free Cities Foundation’s conference taking place in Prague this October.
In the meantime, enjoy the conversation.
Automatically Generated Summary
00:36 Introduction and Film Interviews in Warsaw
Section Overview: The speaker introduces themselves and mentions being in Warsaw in March. They talk about recording interviews with film directors and observations of the current macroeconomic situation.
Film Interviews in Warsaw
- The speaker recalls being in Warsaw during Weekend Kapitalizmu.
- They mention recording a number of interesting interviews with film directors.
- The interviews provide insights into the current macroeconomic situation.
02:01 Hosting Own Festival
Section Overview: The speaker mentions hosting their own conference and encourages viewers to visit http://www.libertyinourlifetime.org for more information.
Hosting Own Festival
- The speaker announces that they are hosting their own festival.
- Viewers are encouraged to stay tuned for more updates on the festival.
03:17 Discussion about Films and Genres
Section Overview: The speaker engages in a discussion about films, genres, and specific scenes from movies.
Films and Genres Discussion
- A conversation takes place about a particular film called “Babylon.”
- Specific scenes from Hollywood films are mentioned, including one where a character vomits at a fancy party.
- The speaker expresses appreciation for films that challenge traditional norms and push boundaries.
06:27 Artistic Expression and Impact on Audience
Section Overview: The speaker reflects on how artistic expression can provoke strong reactions from audiences and potentially influence their perspectives.
Artistic Expression and Impact on Audience
- The speaker discusses a recent film they watched that aimed to challenge societal norms.
- They question whether such films truly impact the audience or if they are better received by those already familiar with avant-garde cinema.
- A debate arises regarding whether art has the power to change people’s minds.
09:06 Unexpected Length of Video Production
Section Overview: The speaker shares their experience of unexpectedly extending the duration of a video production.
Unexpected Length of Video Production
- Initially, the speaker intended to create a 20-minute video but ended up with an hour and 20 minutes.
- They attribute the extended length to continuously adding new topics during the writing process.
09:30 Difficulty in Explaining Bitcoin
Section Overview: The speaker discusses the challenge of explaining Bitcoin to others and the need for discipline in conveying clear messages.
Difficulty in Explaining Bitcoin
- The speaker mentions that anyone who has tried explaining Bitcoin understands the difficulty involved.
- They emphasize the importance of being disciplined and focused when discussing complex topics like Bitcoin.
10:40 Congratulations on Completing Video
Section Overview: The speaker congratulates someone on completing their video and expresses interest in its content.
Congratulations on Completing Video
- The speaker commends someone for successfully completing their video project.
- They express curiosity about the content covered in the video.
Note: Timestamps are approximate and may vary slightly.
Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the concept of debt cycles and their relationship to the gold standard.
Understanding Debt Cycles
- Debt cycles are explained as the recurring patterns of borrowing and repayment in an economy. 11:33
- The speaker mentions that it is important to understand what debt cycles are and why they exist. 11:33
Section Overview: This section focuses on the impact of losing global reserve currency status and the need for governments to have more cash for larger expenses.
Losing Global Reserve Currency Status
- The speaker explains that when countries lose their status as a global reserve currency, they require more cash for bigger expenses. 14:21
- Other nations, such as Germany and France, followed suit after losing their global reserve currency status. 14:21
- The year 1914 marks the start of World War I, which required governments to find ways to fund wars under a gold standard. 14:21
Section Overview: This section provides historical examples of funding wars under a gold standard.
Funding Wars Under a Gold Standard
- The Italian cities during the 16th and 17th centuries serve as an example where citizens were not directly involved in fighting wars. Instead, governments would pay mercenaries to fight on their behalf. 15:20
- Wars during this time period happened in the background while people could continue with their normal lives. However, some cities were destroyed on a smaller scale compared to post-World War I conflicts.15:20
- To finance wars under a gold standard, governments had to either spend their gold reserves or persuade people to buy war bonds.15:40
Section Overview: This section explores the historical significance of gold and its value over time.
The Value of Gold
- Gold has been valued by humans for thousands of years and is found in ancient mythologies and remains, such as those discovered in ancient Egypt.16:55
- The speaker mentions that gold’s scarcity, non-degradability, and ability to hold value over time make it a desirable form of currency.17:22
- Gold’s characteristics, such as divisibility, also contribute to its appeal as a form of money. However, using gold for large transactions like purchasing a house would be impractical due to transportation and storage challenges.18:06
Section Overview: This section discusses the challenges faced by society as international trade grew and the need for alternative forms of currency arose.
Challenges with the Gold Standard
- As international trade intensified and technology advanced, relying solely on gold became impractical. The speaker highlights how ledgers were used for thousands of years but were not sufficient for the increasing intensity of international trading.18:29
- To facilitate easier transfer of value, societies transitioned from trading with physical gold to using paper currency backed by gold reserves. Trust in the existence of these reserves was crucial for maintaining confidence in the currency system.18:53
- Various societies throughout history have experimented with different forms of money, including paper money backed by gold or other means. China is mentioned as one example where paper money was introduced during their time on the gold standard.19:21
Section Overview: This section briefly touches upon China’s use of paper money during their time on the gold standard.
China’s Experiment with Paper Money
- China was one of the earliest societies to introduce paper money while still operating on the gold standard. The speaker mentions that this experiment took place around the 14th century.19:42
- The outcome and eventual end of China’s use of paper money during their time on the gold standard is not discussed in detail.19:42
Note: The transcript provided does not cover the entire video, and some sections may be missing context or details.
Section Overview: This section discusses the perspective of using coins and the impact of interest rates on the economy.
Perspective on Using Coins
- The speaker mentions that their perspective is based on using coins as a form of currency. 20:16
Impact of Interest Rates
- Interest rates have been continuously decreasing, which has implications for the economy. 33:45
- There are limitations to reducing interest rates further. 33:57
- Increasing interest rates can have negative effects, such as causing inflation. 34:07
- The Federal Reserve and Central Banks need to consider the consequences before making decisions about interest rates. 34:19
Section Overview: This section explores the debt problem and potential consequences faced by central banks.
- The current issue faced by central banks is a significant amount of debt in the system. 35:00
- Managing this debt poses challenges and may result in financial losses for individuals. 35:11
Consequences for Central Banks
- If central banks trigger a crisis, there could be revolts and negative impacts on their reputation. 35:33
- It may be easier for central banks to control the situation over a longer period rather than implementing a hard reset. 35:48
- Increasing the monetary supply can provide a temporary solution but also allows for more control over people’s finances. 36:01
Section Overview: This section discusses historical debt cycles and how they were resolved in the past.
Historical Debt Cycles
- Debt cycles typically occur every 60 to 70 years, with the last major cycle happening around World War II. 37:34
- The resolution of debt cycles in the past depended on which nation had the most financial influence globally. 38:16
- Reserve currencies, such as the US dollar and British pound, played a significant role in managing debt cycles. 38:28
Section Overview: This section explores inflation, how it is calculated, and its impact on the economy.
- Inflation is calculated by central banks using various methods, including the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 40:01
- The CPI is a basket of products that can be manipulated by adding or removing assets. 41:22
- Changes in the CPI can affect purchasing power and asset prices. 41:53
Impact of Inflation
- High inflation can lead to irrational pricing and economic instability. 39:42
- The US dollar’s status as a reserve currency makes it more challenging to create high inflation compared to other currencies. 40:16
Note: Due to limitations in the provided transcript, some sections may not have sufficient information for detailed summaries.
42:50(t=2570s) The Impact of Hyperinflation on Currency Value
Section Overview: This section discusses the impact of hyperinflation on currency value and the importance of fast money transfer within the economy.
Hyperinflation and Currency Value
- Hyperinflation can significantly devalue a currency.
- In this scenario, a steak burger is worth ten dollars due to hyperinflation.
Importance of Fast Money Transfer
- During hyperinflation, it is crucial for money to be transferred quickly within the economy.
- Fast transactions encourage increased economic activity.
54:05(t=3245s) System of Growth and Limitations on Savings
Section Overview: This section explores the system of growth that requires constant buying and the limitations imposed on savings.
System of Growth and Constant Buying
- The current economic system relies on continuous buying as a means of growth.
- People are encouraged to spend rather than save their money.
Limitations on Savings
- Central banks may impose rules and limits on interest rates and savings.
- These limitations can affect individuals’ ability to save money for personal or business purposes.
54:27(t=3267s) Transition Period Challenges during Currency Transformation
Section Overview: This section discusses challenges faced by individuals during a currency transformation period, particularly in relation to their financial situation.
Financial Challenges during Transition Period
- Individuals with savings in the old currency may face difficulties during a currency transition.
- It becomes challenging for businesses to operate without the ability to save money.
55:17(t=3317s) Protecting Different Socioeconomic Groups during Currency Transformation
Section Overview: This section explores how different socioeconomic groups are affected during a currency transformation period and how they can be protected.
Transition Impact on Different Socioeconomic Groups
- The transition period affects individuals differently based on their socioeconomic status.
- The decisions made during this period often favor the rich over the poor.
- To protect individuals during the transition, central bank digital currencies (CBDC) can be distributed to those in need of government support.
- Welfare spending can be facilitated through CBDC, ensuring financial assistance reaches the intended recipients.
55:57(t=3357s) Impact on Individuals with Average Income and Savings
Section Overview: This section discusses the impact of a currency transformation on individuals with average income and savings.
Transition Impact on Individuals
- Individuals with average income and savings may face challenges during a currency transformation.
- Their money and financial situation may be affected by the transition process.
56:44(t=3404s) Coexistence of Old and New Currency Systems
Section Overview: This section explores the coexistence of old and new currency systems during a transition period.
Coexistence of Currency Systems
- During a currency transformation, both old and new currency systems may coexist for a certain period.
- Not everyone has access to smartphones or internet banking, so alternative methods should be available for financial transactions.
57:33(t=3453s) Phased Transition to CBDC Pound Britcoin
Section Overview: This section discusses the phased transition to Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Pound Britcoin.
Phased Transition Approach
- The first step in transitioning to CBDC is providing it to individuals who require government support, such as welfare recipients.
- Incentives will encourage people to gradually adopt CBDC for various transactions.
57:56(t=3476s) Use Cases: Welfare Spending and Merchant Adoption
Section Overview: This section explores specific use cases for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), including welfare spending and merchant adoption.
Use Case 1: Welfare Spending
- CBDC can be used for distributing welfare payments, ensuring efficient and transparent transactions.
- Recipients may have restrictions on where they can spend their welfare funds.
Use Case 2: Merchant Adoption
- Merchants can gradually adopt CBDC for transactions, replacing traditional payment methods like credit cards.
- This transition can lead to lower transaction fees and increased efficiency.
01:00:53(t=3653s) Universal Basic Income (UBI) and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
Section Overview: This section discusses the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) in relation to Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
UBI and CBDC
- The ability of central banks to issue currency allows for the potential implementation of Universal Basic Income.
- UBI aims to provide financial support to all individuals as a form of economic security.
01:01:27 Universal Basic Income and Bitcoin
Section Overview: The speaker discusses the concept of universal basic income and its relationship with Bitcoin.
Universal Basic Income as a Solution
- Universal basic income is seen as a way to directly support people financially.
- The speaker believes that governments and central banks are inclined to fight against universal basic income due to their existing system and knowledge.
- Bitcoin offers an alternative system for individuals to protect their own money with its own rules.
Different Opinions on Bitcoin
- Economists and central bankers tend to view the current system from within, without considering alternate systems like Bitcoin.
- Bitcoin is considered a peaceful revolution, where people gradually adopt it while central bankers may be the last to embrace it.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
- CBDCs are expected to be introduced by 2024.
- CBDCs may provide free money or even universalize it, similar to what El Salvador did with Bitcoin.
- There is concern that CBDCs could restrict access to cryptocurrencies by blocking on/off ramps.
01:16:37 Financial Crisis and the Importance of Fighting Against It
Section Overview: The speaker discusses the importance of fighting against financial crises and how governments and central banks are incentivized to do so.
Incentives for Fighting Financial Crises
- Financial crises can have severe consequences for economies, leading governments and central banks to take action.
- Governments and central banks live within the existing system and have strong incentives to protect it at all costs.
Bitcoin as an Alternative Solution
- Bitcoin provides an opportunity for individuals to protect themselves outside of the traditional financial system.
- Governments may try to block access points between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but this has limitations.
01:17:44 Bitcoin as a Peaceful Revolution
Section Overview: The speaker discusses how Bitcoin represents a peaceful revolution and the potential impact it can have on individuals and central bankers.
Peaceful Revolution of Bitcoin
- Bitcoin is considered a peaceful revolution where people gradually adopt it.
- Central bankers may be the last to embrace Bitcoin due to their incentives and existing knowledge system.
Escaping Financial Systems
- People are increasingly realizing that Bitcoin offers an escape from traditional financial systems.
- Central bankers may not even need to adopt Bitcoin if CBDCs evolve quickly enough.
01:18:49 Potential Restrictions on Bitcoin Access
Section Overview: The speaker discusses the possibility of restrictions on accessing Bitcoin through programmable central bank currencies (CBDCs).
Restricting On/Off Ramps for Bitcoin
- There is concern that CBDCs could restrict access to cryptocurrencies by blocking on/off ramps.
- Governments are already attempting to limit access to cryptocurrencies, such as recent legal actions against cryptocurrency exchanges.
01:20:03 Escaping Towards Bitcoin
Section Overview: The speaker discusses how people turn to Bitcoin as an escape route from devalued currencies and economic instability.
Turning to Bitcoin for Stability
- In countries with devalued currencies, people often turn to Bitcoin as a more stable alternative.
- Economic instability can lead individuals to seek refuge in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
01:21:36 Blockades and Gold as Alternatives
Section Overview: The speaker discusses blockades on accessing funds and the role of gold as an alternative during economic crises.
Blockades on Accessing Funds
- During economic crises, governments may impose blockades on accessing funds, making it difficult for individuals to withdraw money.
- This leads people to explore alternatives like cryptocurrencies or other assets such as gold.
Role of Gold
- The value of gold depends on the circumstances and actions taken by governments.
- While gold can be a potential alternative, it is not without its own risks, such as theft.
01:23:04 Holding Bitcoin for Safety
Section Overview: The speaker discusses their preference for holding Bitcoin over stablecoins or other currencies during economic instability.
Preference for Bitcoin
- The speaker believes that Bitcoin is a safer option compared to stablecoins or other currencies.
- Obtaining US dollars can also be challenging due to restrictions imposed by banks or accounts.
01:23:43 The Impact of Facebook Integrating with Bitcoin
Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the potential impact of Facebook integrating with Bitcoin and the advantages it could bring.
Facebook’s Power and Potential Integration
- Facebook is one of the biggest networks in the world, making it logical for them to consider integrating with Bitcoin. 01:33:03
- It is surprising that Facebook has not yet integrated with Bitcoin, considering their power and influence. 01:33:11
- Integrating with a Bitcoin Lightning network would be a better solution for Facebook as it would allow direct payments for users. However, they prefer to create something they can control. 01:33:38
Privacy Concerns and Control
- Using Bitcoin as a currency offers privacy benefits as transactions can be peer-to-peer without revealing personal information. This is in contrast to using a network like Facebook where all transactions are monitored. 01:34:13
- Despite having control over their own Bitcoin, users’ transaction monitoring on platforms like Facebook can be just as intense as with Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). 01:34:36
- If Facebook were to integrate with Bitcoin, they would have access to transaction data on their network, which raises privacy concerns. However, the Lightning Network provides some level of privacy for transactions within its nodes. 01:35:04
User Adoption and Control
- Integrating with Bitcoin through platforms like Facebook could lead more people to explore and understand the benefits of cryptocurrency ownership outside of centralized platforms. Users can take control of their funds and conduct transactions independently from these platforms if desired. 01:35:44
01:36:37 ESG and Energy Issues
Section Overview: In this section, the speaker touches upon the topic of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues related to energy and climate change.
False Incentives in Central Bank Actions
- Central banks often provide financial support to specific companies or industries to develop solutions for energy and environmental challenges. However, these incentives can create false outcomes and favor certain technologies over others. 01:36:37
- The example of nuclear power is mentioned, where it has been phased out despite being a green technology with significant potential. Recent changes in the UK have redefined nuclear power as a green energy source, which may lead to increased adoption. 01:37:03
Solar and Wind Energy Challenges
- While solar energy is considered good for the environment, it takes a long time for the energy used in producing solar panels to be recouped. Nuclear power plants can produce equivalent energy within weeks compared to years for solar panels. 01:37:31
- The cost-effectiveness of nuclear power plants becomes evident when considering the short time required to recover the energy used during their production phase. 01:38:02
Note: The transcript provided does not cover all sections of the video; therefore, only two sections were summarized based on the available content.
01:38:48 The Impact of Sun and Wind on Earth
Section Overview: The speaker discusses the difference between solar energy and wind energy, highlighting that while the sun is constantly hitting the earth, wind is not always present.
Solar Energy vs. Wind Energy
- Solar energy from the sun is available 24/7, continuously hitting the earth.
- In contrast, wind energy relies on the presence of wind, which is not always guaranteed.
01:50:19 Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact
Section Overview: The speaker shares their thoughts on Bitcoin’s environmental impact and how it is often overlooked by those outside of the Bitcoin world.
Programs for Industrial Energy Usage
- Initially, programs related to Bitcoin were mainly used in industries that required a significant amount of energy, such as metal melting plants.
- These industries cannot easily shut off and turn back on their operations within minutes; it takes hours to do so.
Positive Perspective on Bitcoin and Energy
- The speaker believes that having an abundance of energy is beneficial for society.
- They argue that there is a correlation between growth, prosperity, and increased use of energy in our daily lives.
- Many people fail to understand this perspective because they are accustomed to always having access to power.
Unlocking Energy Access through Bitcoin Mining
- The speaker suggests that if Bitcoin mining can provide access to electricity for communities without reliable power sources, it would be a positive development.
- They mention examples where small hydro power plants have been installed in African villages to generate green energy for both local communities and Bitcoin mining.
- This approach unlocks possibilities for poor communities by providing them with financial solutions and internet access.
01:53:17 Decentralized Energy Solutions with Bitcoin Mining
Section Overview: The conversation shifts towards decentralized energy solutions facilitated by Bitcoin mining in Africa.
Empowering Communities with Independent Energy Sources
- In areas without a centralized grid, small communities can set up their own independent energy sources.
- Bitcoin mining can help these communities secure their monetary sovereignty while providing access to electricity.
Challenging Centralized Grid Systems
- The speaker highlights the inefficiencies of centralized grid systems, using the example of sending excess solar energy back to the grid and buying it back at a discounted price.
- In contrast, decentralized energy solutions allow communities to have control over their own energy generation.
01:54:58 Utopian Visions and Positive Outcomes
Section Overview: The discussion concludes with reflections on utopian visions and the potential positive outcomes of decentralized energy solutions facilitated by Bitcoin mining.
Skepticism towards Utopias
- The speaker expresses skepticism towards utopian ideals, cautioning against blindly pursuing perfect societies.
- They mention that both libertarians and socialists often base their arguments on utopian visions.
Realizing Positive Outcomes
- Despite skepticism, the speaker acknowledges that witnessing decentralized energy solutions in action brings us closer to positive outcomes.
- They emphasize the potential benefits of providing internet access to individuals in Africa, enabling them to learn new skills and monetize them online.
01:55:25 Guest Introduction and Sabbatical Question
Section Overview: The host introduces the guest and asks about their background before concluding the conversation.
Guest’s Diverse Background
- The guest has experience in finance, filmmaking, programming, and other fields.
- Their career has been shaped by learning online and acquiring skills through various industries.
- As the conversation comes to an end after nearly two hours, the host mentions that it is time for a sabbatical question but does not provide further details.
01:56:09 Consulting Work for Another Film
Section Overview: The speaker discusses their experience of doing consulting work for another film after quitting their job.
Consulting Work Experience
- After quitting their job, the speaker immediately started doing consulting work for another film.
- No further details or information about the consulting work is provided in the transcript.
Note: This section provides a brief mention of the speaker’s experience with consulting work for another film. However, no specific details or insights are given regarding this experience.