Most people forget that money started with stones and pebbles thousands of years ago, before shells and salt, when it was invented. Just a few hundred years ago, paper money and government-issued means of payment were common for the transfer of value.
This argument still holds true today for most proponents of cryptography. Rian Lewis is co-founder of the London Women in Bitcoin meetup, which has grown in attendance and relevance since its inception in 2014.
A former journalist for The Times and The Sunday Times, Lewis has worked in the industry for over a decade and is one of the most prominent women in the European cryptocurrency space.
Today Lewis sat down with Alex Faisel, host of the crypto entertainment show Cryptonites, on the podcast to talk about bitcoin, the origins of fiat currency and other popular topics driving the crypto space these days.
This is what they said.
Are you saying bitcoin is not money?
Returning to the argument of money as a medium, Lewis began the segment with a brief explanation of the use of bitcoin as a currency. In the beginning, when people bought coffee and beer with bitcoin….. It was really very threatening to people. The idea that you can pay with something that’s not a pound or a dollar or whatever, she said.
It just opened the door, not only to a new technology, but to a totally different way of thinking.
But what’s strange is that this isn’t even the case with private bitcoin currencies, which were surprisingly prevalent perhaps 150 years ago. Governments have enacted laws to encourage people to use only government-approved money. But there’s really no reason why you can’t use whatever you want as payment, Lewis said.
She further explained that the currency is currently not backed by anything, despite what bitcoin’s detractors say. Those same people are often surprised when you point out that the currency is not backed by anything. I think it’s a misunderstanding, she said.
I saw a poll recently where I believe 43% of Americans still believed the dollar was backed by gold. And that’s actually a surprising statistic to me, but I don’t think people think much about money. Interestingly, however, countries that have experienced inflation, hyperinflation or devaluation of their own currencies in the past are much less skeptical of bitcoin, Lewis said.
After the NFTcycle
Lewis, being the crypto-currency that he is, says non-disruptive tokens (NFTs) are here to stay, even if their prices are a bit out of touch with reality at the moment. For the uninitiated, an NMT is a blockchain-based representation of tangible or intangible items used to prove ownership of an underlying asset they represent.
Lewis says he sees the area staying for a long time. I’m fascinated by that. Last year in Hacker’s Afternoon, I wrote a very, very long article about NFT and virtual reality (VR). And the idea of representing products in games and virtual worlds with MNTs will certainly not go away, she added.
However, caution is advised: A lot of stupid money is paid for things that aren’t really worth it. But over time, I think it will settle down a bit, like at Aikos 2017, she concluded, before moving on to smart contracts with Fasel.
Want to know what she thinks about the end of layoffs and the rise of smart contracts? Watch the 38-minute episode of Kryptonites in its entirety below).
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