[0:00] [intro music]

Kevin Garber: [hums along] [0:13] Cool. I love that intro song. Episode 33 of the It's a Monkey podcast. It is Thursday/Friday 23/24 of January, 2014. January is nearly over.

James Peter: [0:34] It's been a warm one here.

[0:36] [laughter]

Kevin: [0:37] I want to chat to some sort of cosmologist or someone on some other show on this phenomenon of time and the relative nature of time speeding and slowing down.

James: [0:50] How it compacts itself when you're having fun, you mean.

Kevin: [0:53] Exactly. They have done research that apparently shows when you are doing volunteer work that the perception is that time slows down.

James: [1:02] Because it's boring.

[1:03] [laughter]

Kevin: [1:04] James, you're such a cynic. You're such a cynic. Episode 33 of the It's a Monkey podcast. Boy, do we have a special show for you today. It is the cryptocurrency special. If you haven't heard the word Bitcoin you probably have been in a cave somewhere in Nepal which even Jimmy. Who is our staff member who sometimes is in a cave in Nepal, and he's 74, and he's our bookkeeper, and he has heard of Bitcoin, actually. We're having a cryptocurrency/Bitcoin special.

[1:37] Later on in the show we've got some great interviews coming up. We'll be talking to Asher Tan, who's the CEO of CoinJar, which is a Bitcoin exchange here in Australia where Australians can cash in their Bitcoins and buy their Bitcoins and transfer between Australian dollars and Bitcoins. We've spoken to Asher a little bit earlier on in the week.

[1:55] Also excitingly, we spoke to Jackson Palmer, who is the creator, one of the creators of Dogecoin, which is one of the spinoffs of Litecoin, which is one of the spinoffs of Bitcoin. We've got a lot of interesting discussion coming up. But James, what I want to do first is I want to take a little bit of a step back. Because I still have a lot of people coming up to me and just saying Bitcoin, what is it? Let's just go right back, make it grandmother friendly.

James: [2:24] Oh, that's a hard one. [laughs] What is it? I guess, so just from a very basic point of view, it's really just a currency. You don't really have to think about it in any deep level of complexity.

Kevin: [2:37] I think what confuses people about -- sorry to interject there -- is it's both a currency and a platform, and I think that's what confuses people a little bit. It's not just like Zimbabwean dollars and US dollars. It's Zimbabwean dollars plus a whole platform that interconnects other people with Zimbabwean dollars.

James: [2:58] Yeah, the idea behind having virtual currencies and currencies that aren't tied directly to any particular value, spear currencies. It's not a new thing. There have been lots of currencies that have come up since the Genesis of the Internet. There was some really popular Web 1.0 currency. Do you remember what it was called? It was like dollars with a Zed or something? There was a bunch like that.

Kevin: [3:25] I'd have to dig into the archive of my mind here.

James: [3:28] It's not like a new idea, and in theory, you can see why it's an interesting idea, because people might use US currency day-to-day, but they might want to be able to see some complexity that's tied to that. Those little companies that have vested interest, the credit card companies, the banks, everything along the financial chain, that makes it quite hard for new players to get involved. In some ways, it's much simpler just to start your own currency if you're facing these problems.

[3:56] The real thing that Bitcoin has solved that nothing has solved before, and the reason why it's kind of a new platform, and it's interesting, is because it solved the problems of shared-ownership. Each of these digital currencies before if you used them, you had to rely on whoever created that currency being there and maintaining it and actually being like a benevolent dictator and making sure they weren't going to do anything wrong with it or abuse their power.

Kevin: [4:24] Sort of like PayPal in a way.

James: [4:26] Yeah, well like a bank. If you give your money to the bank, you have to trust the bank, and you have to have lots and lots of credibility and assets built up there in order to actually use that service.

[4:38] That's why small companies and just individual entities are trying to stop their own currency, it's not really going to fly. Then they're really going to be as big as a country that they can start their own currency. But if you really can trust these people, if you can trust individuals, separate individuals that have their own potentially malicious intent, and you can ensure that everybody's going to agree, and nobody's going to abuse the system, then you have this ability to create new currency. That's really what founded Bitcoin.

[5:08] Bitcoin is a way that you can actually trust other people. It's a public ledger, which means, imagine like your bank statement combined with everybody else's bank statement out in public. It's like a ledger, a very simple transaction, and it's a way to secure that ledger that makes it important.

Kevin: [5:26] But just as an important point as well, even though that ledger is public, it doesn't list your name. It lists transaction references and...

James: [5:34] It doesn't list your name, but it does actually, interesting, list, yeah, the amount of money you've received and the amount of money you've got. An interesting part that I think some people don't even quite understand when they use Bitcoin is that if you give somebody your Bitcoin address, they can actually see how much money in your Bitcoin address.

[5:50] There are ways you can obfuscate that and you kind of launder the money. Laundering's not the right word, but you can...

Kevin: [5:57] No, we don't say that word around here.

[5:58] [laughter]

James: [5:59] You can pass it through other channels and other avenues to actually do something with it. But...

Kevin: [6:06] Cloak.

James: [6:07] Cloak it, yeah. Like you can burse it into other cryptocurrency or you can pass it through these things that are called tumblers. What they do is they...I think they're called tumblers. Not that kind of tumbler, like a dish tumbler. You put your money in and at some point it randomly puts money back out to a separate address. It's like a way of washing the money with everybody else's money. From that point on, you can't say who that money then went to, even though systemically everybody ends up with the same amount of money.

[6:39] Yeah, it's a very interesting space, and yeah, it's really that innovation, the ability to sort of trust other people on the Internet. That's really what Bitcoin has sold, in a funny way that's built up this currency.

[6:50] But that's more of a currency, human challenge than an Internet issue. Currency essentially only works because everyone has agreed they work. Sometimes back by governments ensuring you with all sort of checks and balances and lenders of last resorts and things like that. But essentially everyone needs to agree that it's an exchange of value.

Kevin: [7:13] Yeah. There was nothing necessarily wrong with those other, Beans , that was the name of one of them, Beans.

James: [7:18] Ah, Beans, yeah. Yeah, we worked a bit with Beans in one my previous incarnations. There was one of the guys from Oracle I think was behind Beans. There was a lot of money behind Beans.

Kevin: [7:30] There was nothing inherently wrong with those systems. It's just that, yeah, once you, well other than the fact that you have to trust the person who runs it. But people didn't give them value so they had no real USD exchange rate of any meaning. Yeah, the real difference with Bitcoin is people actually do give it real value and that's why it shot up in the USD exchange rate and why people are raving about it and really using it in day-to-day stuff.

James: [7:59] The interesting thing about Bitcoin is it's made me fall in love with economics again. Economics at university was one of these funny subjects. Did you study any economics?

Kevin: [8:10] Yeah, only at high school, never at uni level.

James: [8:13] I don't know, uni was one of these funny subjects that there were parts of it that were fascinating and just really intellectually challenging and interesting and there were other parts that were just incredibly useless and dry. Bitcoin has just brought to life so many interesting theories. For instance, the Bitcoin's supply designed to be limited due to curbing inflation, as I understand.

[8:43] But the challenge that brings is it brings deflation and deflation in many ways is worse than inflation. Inflation can be a very positive means of growing economy. Not enough money be chasing goods and services, it means things are growing and going in the right direction. But deflation is very contractionary and gums things up. That's one of the criticisms of Bitcoin is that it's inherently deflationary.

Kevin: [9:11] Yeah, it's very interesting. There's all these other cryptocurrencies which, if you have any criticism of Bitcoin, there's like another cryptocurrency that takes the opposite view to that and tries to solve that problem. While everybody talks about Bitcoin, it's really these other ones that I think make the area so interesting.

[9:31] There's no indication at this point that, for me anyway, that Bitcoin won't be very successful. But if there is any real issues that arise out of it, I think we'll see another cryptocurrency come take its place. I think when people talk about Bitcoin from now on it's not going to be just Bitcoin, but it's going to be all its successors and everything that comes after it as well.

James: [9:52] I think you make an interesting point in terms of, there's Bitcoins that solve every problem and in the future will be derivative of the Bitcoin in a way. There was a fantastic article which I'll put a link up to. Felix Salmon, he's a financial journalist.

[10:08] He published an article about Bitcoin, a wonderful analysis, the pros and cons, and what he said is similar to you in that he doesn't believe that the future is Bitcoin. But Bitcoin has definitely kicked off Currency 2.0 in a way, and whatever we're going to land up with, in many ways we're going to have to be grateful to Bitcoin to actually just kickstarting it and putting it out there.

Kevin: [10:38] There's no turning back now.

James: [10:39] There's no turning back. I think it's similar to early days of the Internet, where maybe...I don't know. Did you ever use Gopher? It was some weird sort of trying to be graphical...I think that was the one that was trying to be graphical browsing of certain databases.

Kevin: [10:59] No, I don't think so. No.

James: [10:59] There were all these precursors too, and it was only when the browser emerged that everything started tying together. I don't know if you saw on my tweets stream, I re-tweeted a graphic of the Internet in 1969. It was just the West Coast of the US. I think it was UCLA with UC Berkeley with Stanford, and it was just three or four just connected in 1969, which was really interesting.

[11:29] What I want to talk to you a little bit about, James, is I went through the process of buying some Bitcoin, and transferring some Bitcoin, and using Bitcoin to buy Dogecoin, and I just want to talk through what I went through, and maybe if someone's listening they may find that useful, because it's still just not that clear to people how to get involved and how to play with it.

[11:54] It is quite simple, and it is not scary, and it doesn't mean you're getting involved in Silk Road and you're going to buy contraband, etc. although according to...

Kevin: [12:04] Not yet. You don't know. [laughs]

James: [12:06] Not yet, but according to the FBI...let me just find it over here. According to the FBI, it is actually illegal to create a competitive currency to the dominant currency in the US. It is actually theoretically...

Kevin: [12:26] We don't live in the US, so we should create them. [laughs]

James: [12:29] Yeah. It would be interesting to see what the Australian law is as well. But theoretically, because it's a peer-to-peer network, the government would have a hard time doing anything with the Bitcoin platform itself. But where they could really come and clamp down is at that point we want to exchange it into currencies. They could definitely clamp down and say, "Well, look. It's illegal to convert Bitcoin into Australian dollars." They could totally do either way.

Kevin: [12:54] I would imagine if they did do that, it would move offshore and somebody would do it from a different country. I don't see how they could possibly lock it down, and even if there was some way they could continue to lock it down from US, they could just turn to pounds, or yen, or something, and that will get transferred to US dollars. I'd imagine that would be a losing strategy. It'd be pretty hard to do.

James: [13:15] Yeah. They should rather tax it.

Kevin: [13:17] Absolutely. Yeah.

James: [13:18] Which I'm sure they will. Anyway, I'll talk you through the process that I went through. You probably went through a similar process, although you've been fiddling around a lot longer with it than I have been. I used CoinJar, which was the interview later on in the show. CoinJar has one of these exchanges in Australia. What's one of the big ones in the US? There's one or two very well-known ones.

Kevin: [13:48] Coinbase is very popular...

James: [13:49] I think Coinbase is the one I heard about.

Kevin: [13:51] I'm not sure if you can actually buy US dollars. I think you can. Yeah, probably Coinbase.

James: [13:57] Because I had to...CoinJar requires you to be verified, and they do have an online verification service, where you put in all your driver license, etc., etc. I went through that process, but I hit a wall for some reason. I didn't have one of the documents, so the alternative to that is to physically go into one of our banks here that CoinJar are linked with, affiliated with, and they help you print out a deposit slip.

[14:25] I deposited the equivalent of one Bitcoin, exactly one Bitcoin, and I put that physically through cash, which felt quite ironic because this is all this cryptocurrency platform, blah, blah, and actually going old school with cash which I never touch, and into a bank branch which I never go into.

[14:49] Within an hour I got a notification from CoinJar that I had money in my CoinJar account, and then in the CoinJar account I purchased one Bitcoin, and there I had it. I had the Bitcoin in my account, and what might be a little bit daunting is it deals with all these really large character strings. I don't know how large they are, 64 characters or...

Kevin: [15:16] Yeah, I don't know. I think it's about 32.

James: [15:17] Is it? Once I had Bitcoin, then I could fiddle around on another exchange to buy Dogecoin.

Kevin: [15:30] Which exchange do you use?

James: [15:32] I can't remember which exchange.

Kevin: [15:33] Cryptsy? Black and blue one?

James: [15:37] Gee, I don't know. It had literally...it had dozens of different currencies.

Kevin: [15:41] It was probably Cryptsy. There's not that many that support Dogecoin.

James: [15:47] Then when I said something like, "Buy Dogecoin," and it gave me another string of characters that...I'm trying to remember which were the sequence.

Kevin: [15:59] You would've had to transfer Bitcoin to that exchange, and then you could've used your Bitcoin for an exchange, and then buy the Dogecoin.

James: [16:07] I sent some of my Bitcoin into that exchange, and then I just converted some of that Bitcoin into Dogecoin.

Kevin: [16:15] Yep.

James: [16:16] That sounds right, and now I'm sitting with half-a-Bitcoin and some Dogecoin.

Kevin: [16:21] Yep. How much Dogecoin did you buy? Do you remember?

James: [16:25] I think quite a bit, actually.

Kevin: [16:27] Yeah.

James: [16:27] Yeah.

Kevin: [16:27] You would've made quite a bit of money on that already.

James: [16:29] Really?

Kevin: [16:30] If you haven't tracked it, yeah.

James: [16:31] No, I haven't tracked it.

Kevin: [16:32] Because I think I bought mine after you bought yours, and mine's gone up by five times, so if you...I only bought like a dollar's worth, Australian dollars' worth, but I was still like 10 down. I think it was 1,000 Dogecoin I bought. Yeah. You're making a good investment, actually.

James: [16:48] Wow. Who knows? Maybe...you know?

Kevin: [laughs] [16:51] Time to retire.

James: [16:54] The interesting thing, you know, we did mention that Bitcoin was created by either a single person or a collective of person called...do you remember the name?

Kevin: [17:05] Something like Satoshi. I can't pronounce it very well.

James: [17:06] Satoshi, yeah, and apparently the original founders held onto a lot of Bitcoin that's worth a ridiculous amount. I mean, you're talking...I think they even mentioned...I mean it was definitely billions.

Kevin: [17:21] Yeah. Insane amounts, yeah.

James: [17:23] But they can't cash it in because then people will be able to reverse engineer who they are.

Kevin: [17:27] Yeah, identify them.

James: [17:29] It sort of reminds me of the joke about the rabbit that goes and plays golf on the Sabbath, which he's not allowed to do, and he gets the hole-in-one, and he can't tell anyone because it's...you know?

Kevin: [laughs] [17:38]

James: [17:41] It's a similar thing. These guys are sitting on billions of dollars and they can't cash it in.

Kevin: [17:46] That would be a tough position to be in.

James: [17:48] Yeah. Anyway, that's...have we left anything out that's probably worth covering on the Bitcoin side of things?

Kevin: [17:58] That's a pretty good overview.

James: [17:59] Yeah, but I encourage you to have a play with it. Crypto-currencies are definitely here to stay. Whether the currency part might flake away, or separate out, and the platform part will just start to thrive, I think it's worth remembering to think of it in those two separate components, the platform and the currency. I think that's what tends to confuse people a little bit.

[18:27] There was also a great video interview on Jason Calacanis's "This Week in Startups." He had a panel of about three people, and they really pulled apart some of these issues. I'll put a link to that, but if you want to Google "This Week in Startups Bitcoin Special," I think you'll find that very interesting.

[18:48] You're listening to Kevin Garber and James Peter on the "It's a Monkey Podcast." It is Thursday 23rd of January or Friday 24th on January, depending where in the world you are. Please let us know where in the world you are. If you are using ManageFlitter, while listening to us, a special welcome to you.

[19:06] You can tweet us @monkeypodcast. You can email us at podcast@itsamonkey.com. You know how to get a hold of us. Comment on the blog article if you are listening online or on your podcast, on your iTunes. If you go to itsamonkey.com, you can actually comment as well, and particularly around this cryptocurrency issue, there's a lot to discuss. There's a lot of different opinions. There's lots of points of view.

[19:29] We'd love to hear what you have to say. Do you think this is the future? Are you scared of...a lot of people are fearful that this peer-to-peer currency sidesteps a lot of the checks and balances that have emerged. I know James doesn't like checks and balances.

Kevin: [19:50] No. Wild West for me.

James: [19:52] You're an anarchist at heart, James.

Kevin: [19:54] Absolutely. I'm secretly an anarchist.

James: [19:56] Secret? Not so secret now.

James: [19:58] Got my own club, just of me. [laughs]

James: [20:04] Anyway, we are going to take a short break, and we are going to be back with Asher Tan, who is the CEO of CoinJar, which is...is it the most popular Australian Bitcoin exchange?

Kevin: [20:16] It is in this office. [laughs] I don't know. It's really hard to measure that, but it's up there, yeah.

James: [20:24] It's up there. Interestingly, the Bitcoin market at the moment is only worth about 1.2 billion, so we're about 1.2 billion of exchanges, transactions every day, including currency conversions, etc. whereas the US dollar market is 14 trillion, so there's a little bit of a way to go.

Kevin: [20:45] Absolutely, still early days.

James: [20:47] Still very early days. Anyway, we'll be back after this break.

[20:52] [dog barking]

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[21:26] [dog barking]

Kevin: [21:30] You're back listening to the "It's a Monkey Podcast" with Kevin Garber and James Peter. We don't always have studio guests, because most of our guests are based all around the world, often in Silicon Valley. But I'm very excited to say that we actually have a studio guest sitting in our professional studio, actually, not really just our boardroom in Sydney, Australia.

[21:53] Straight from Melbourne, that great town down south, I really love Melbourne, we have Asher Tan, who is the CEO and co-founder of CoinJar. Asher, thanks very much for joining us on "It's a Monkey Podcast."

Asher Tan: [22:05] Thanks for having me.

Kevin: [22:08] Look, I only need to say one word, "Bitcoin." You guys are in the thick of it. Just tell us, very briefly, where does CoinJar fit into the whole Bitcoin ecosystem experience?

Asher: [22:23] That's a good question. What CoinJar's really doing right now, it's building infrastructure to support the Bitcoin ecosystem. At the moment, we have a few products, and our most basic product is a Bitcoin wallet that helps users manage an online balance. Right now in Australia, we also have CoinJar Filler, which allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin easily, so that's just basically the cornerstone of Bitcoin infrastructure that we're building right now.

Kevin: [22:51] Basically you help people...you're in exchange. You help people get onto the Bitcoin ecosystem by converting "real money" into Bitcoin and back into real money when they want it.

Asher: [23:05] Yes.

Kevin: [23:08] Let's get into the more interesting...you're obviously someone that lives, eats, and breathes Bitcoin. Let's talk a little bit...let's take a step back. People have all sorts of opinions about Bitcoin at the moment. Where's Bitcoin at?

[23:31] You have some hedge fund managers in the US with a huge amount of credibility, and they're saying Bitcoin is just going to be clamped down by the authorities. It's going to go nowhere. Then you have other people like James Peter, my co-founder, who's an incredibly smart guy, whose opinion I respect hugely, and I'm going to hand over the mic to him shortly, actually, and he's just like, "This is the future. The more I use it, the more I see it as the future."

[23:56] Tell us, from an industry insider's point of view, what do you make of everything that's going on?

Asher: [24:03] Well, I think 2014 is going to be pivotal for Bitcoin. A lot of people are really bush, and over the last year you've seen not only the price increase, but interest increase as well. That's why I'm here today. We've also seen lots of people building new and interesting applications for Bitcoin, and that's really the heart of it. It's about the application of Bitcoin. Without real use cases, Bitcoin is just another speculative tool, and I think 2014 will start to prove to people that Bitcoin does have very good uses.

Kevin: [24:38] I see overstock.com started accepting Bitcoin, and I think in the first few hours they sold over 100,000 US dollars' worth of stock on Bitcoin.

Asher: [24:48] Yeah.

Kevin: [24:49] Which is, I think, even...from what I read, it even surprised the Overstock team.

Asher: [24:56] Yeah. Definitely a lot of people do have Bitcoin right now, and it's just about avenues of spending it. It could be overstock.com. It could be things that we haven't really imagined how we can spend our money yet, but it's all about people building cool and interesting applications of Bitcoin.

Kevin: [25:14] Those were the easy questions. I'm sure James has some more interesting questions, and if the listeners, if you're listening to this podcast, we're almost professional. James and I are sharing a mic at the moment, so this is why I actually have to do a formal handover of the mic to James.

James: [25:35] Thanks, Kevin. I'll try not to be too technical. It seems like you've had an interesting ride since you've been founded a few years ago.

Asher: [25:44] We found, sorry, eight months ago.

James: [25:46] Eight months, ago. Sorry, not a few years. A few months ago. Have you found interacting with the existing financial institutions in Australia, you've had a few issues there, haven't you, in terms of...

Asher: [25:57] Yeah...

James: [25:57] Is that something you can talk about?

Asher: [26:00] Yeah, definitely. We've always been very transparent of how we do things. We did run into some issues with our previous banking provider, Commonwealth Bank. I don't dislike bank, but it was just a lack of communication, so I don't think it's just a Bitcoin thing. New tech startups often operate in ways that old world industries fail to understand, and when it's a breakdown in communication, that's where the relationship breaks down.

[26:29] I don't think it's just banking. It's not just, "We hate Bitcoin," that sort of thing. It's just about more of understanding how the world is changing, and whether you want to accept new and disruptive technologies.

James: [26:43] It sounds to me like...That basically they had some issues that they're accepting payments through CoinJar, is that how it went down, and then you went and talked to a different bank, and that resolved your issues?

Asher: [26:59] I don't think many people understand our business model or what we do completely, and part of the reason is they don't ask or we have no one to speak to, so when we went to the NAB, they were really open to listening of how we're operating, what measures we were taking to ensure security and transparency, so yeah, we've had a really strong relationship with the bank so far.

James: [27:22] That's interesting, so it sounds like NAB have a little bit more of a hold on the situation, would you say, like some of the banks have a better understanding of what's happening. Do you think they're hedging their bets a little in accepting your...do you think there could be any sort of close relationship in the future? Is anything along those lines?

Asher: [27:40] Definitely. We don't really consider ourselves just a Bitcoin company. We see ourselves as a financial company trying to innovate with Bitcoin, so if anyone else wants to innovate in financial products, we're always really happy to extend a hand. The NAB has...we consult with the innovation team. They ask us questions of how money is changing, how can user experience be better. It's really good to see people take a proactive stance on finance, personal finance, and just finance in general.

James: [28:14] In terms of innovation, how difficult have you found it working within the Australian government regulations? I think there are some issues there, isn't there, in terms of to accept money coming onboard? I've noticed that there's been a little bit of a challenge in the system in terms of just identifying yourself in order to actually comply with Australian government guidelines. Has that been a bit of a challenge?

Asher: [28:39] I don't think it's any different from any other country around the world. Governments and regulatory bodies are trying to understand how to deal with something they've never seen before. Some of their fears are maybe founded. The regular anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism laws, which exist because there is some measure risk when dealing with money, but then again we've always been happy to comply and work within the framework provided.

[29:14] I think the issue is, a lot of the time, there lacks a framework for Bitcoin, so governments and regulatory bodies just have to decide, "How do you want to deal with Bitcoin?" That's as simple as that.

James: [29:26] You've just launched some new stuff today, haven't you, or at least recently in terms of identifying yourself?

Asher: [29:32] We've had a few scaling issues, too much interest from users, not enough staff looking at IDs and approving verified users. So we've just transitioned to Green-ID, which is a provider of identity services. They do that for banks, government bodies. It's good to team up with them and have them provide the same types of service they would of other financial institutions.

James: [29:59] It's very cool, yeah. I actually used it today. Unfortunately it didn't recognize me straight away, because I had to get extra manual approval or something, but it's a very cool system. It looks like it's a very innovative solution to the problem.

[30:13] I guess a lot of the issues around Bitcoin is partly that it's non-refundable, you have to be really careful with who you get onboard. Is that part of it, or is it more the government thing, that you have to actually...is it more government regulations that you have to be really careful about identifying the people using your service?

Asher: [30:29] I think we just wanted to be proactive in trying our best to make sure that people aren't using compromised bank accounts, or trying to do anything that we wouldn't want them to do. I think it's...the least we can do to show that we are truly serious about making a sustainable and totally legitimate business.

James: [30:52] In terms of people using the system, do you have mostly or 100 percent Australian customers, or is it a bit of an international base? Where are you heading?

Asher: [31:03] Almost all of our customers are Australian-based at the moment. The Filler, which is the buying and selling Bitcoin, only works in Australian at the moment, although we are launching in other countries very soon.

James: [31:15] You also have the merchant product as well, don't you? Have you had much uptake in that so far?

Asher: [31:20] We've got a lot of merchant interest, brick and mortar, online stores. We're refining the process at the moment. We'll probably re-launch the product in a couple of months, but already we've got over 20 merchants who actively use our services on a daily basis, not just merchants but also other startups who want to build new products, such as a point-of-sales software.

[31:45] We're trying to accommodate not just regular shops who buy and sell items, but I think Bitcoin is uniquely flexible, and we're trying to build tools that can accommodate other use cases as well.

James: [31:58] You do have some actual physical shops using it?

Asher: [32:02] Oh yeah. Definitely.

James: [32:03] How does that work? Do you actually go to the shop, or does it all have be an online purchase to actually buy a physical product?

Asher: [32:10] You do need an Internet connection, but you can walk up to a shop in Melbourne, in this cafe in St Kilda, take out your phone, pay for a coffee, and that's a simple as that.

James: [32:21] Wow, that's really cool. Is there any in Sydney? [laughs]

Asher: [32:24] You can buy beers for Bitcoin in Sydney right now.

James: [32:26] Oh, is that what you're saying? I'll definitely have to try that. Maybe our next Friday afternoon thing we can go do that.

Asher: [32:32] Old Fitzroy Hotel.

James: [32:34] Old Fitzroy, cool. Cool. Fantastic.

Kevin: [32:39] Just a couple more questions from me, Asher. You guys are obviously still...Bitcoin's obviously very, very risky still. Your business could be killed in a heartbeat by regulation, yes or no?

Asher: [33:02] What sort of regulation are you talking about?

Kevin: [33:06] Well, if authorities clamp down. At the end of the day, the government's still have [inaudible 33:10] . If they get too nervous that they can't tax it properly, or that the risk of money laundering and illicit activity in Bitcoin is too high, if they...they can literally flick the switch on it, can they not?

Asher: [33:24] I'm not really sure. The governments can exercise powers, numerous number of things they can do, but Bitcoin is a people-powered movement. So when you talk about Bitcoin, are you talking about the Bitcoin network? Are you talking about the currency? Are you talking about a company in specific?

Kevin: [33:43] I'm talking about the currency. As a currency and a means of exchange, the government can start meddling in ways that can really kill a lot of the benefits of Bitcoin.

Asher: [34:00] Well, Bitcoin is a person-to-person payment, so as long as two consenting individuals agree to a transfer, there's no way of really stopping that transfer. Government might exercise rights as tax implications, or they might not allow certain businesses to exist, but the idea of Bitcoin is a decentralized network. It's a network of people trusting each other, and you can't really kill trust with a flick of a switch.

Kevin: [34:26] It's sort of like a payment equivalent of the Internet, that you can kill it in some ways, but it sort of finds a way around it.

Asher: [34:34] That's the beauty of it. If you talk about Bitcoin, it's money of the Internet. It has a lot of parallels. It's open. It's free. It's decentralized. That's what draws people in, because they see what platform such as the Internet has enabled, and we want to see the same thing for finance.

Kevin: [34:53] As an entrepreneur, you don't feel you're unduly exposed, or you're exposed to a risk that's out of your control, that might just impact your business in a very high-impact way.

Asher: [35:08] I think all entrepreneurs who try new and interesting things face these challenges. You've seen how Airbnb has faced issues in New York where the legalities of renting out your apartment are sort of in a gray area, Uber has had a lot of issues with acquiring the license to operate in different countries as well, but it is a beneficial service, and when people see the benefits of such service, I don't think anyone wants to kill a really good and innovative product that benefits people, governments included.

Kevin: [35:46] What are the benefits to the person in the streets? If my non-technical friends decides for speculative purposes to make money, how would you sell Bitcoin to someone who's not technical, and they say, "I use credit cards. I use PayPal. I use Google Wallet. Why do I need this thing called Bitcoin? It seems like a real hassle. The currency's fluctuating like mad. All I've heard is that people buy drugs and hit men with it." What would you actually say to them that's your benefit of using Bitcoin?

Asher: [36:22] We've heard a lot of these similar arguments in the early days of the Internet. "Who are you going to send an email to, your grandma? What are you going to use the Internet, look up naked girls on the Internet?" That's sort of the resounding arguments you hear of Bitcoin, the same things you've just mentioned, but it does unlock a lot of possibilities.

[36:41] If you talk about sending payments internationally, paying lower fees on credit card transactions, or if you've ever used PayPal and had a transaction locked before, you know what a problematic process that is, so Bitcoin does solve a lot of problems, and if I asked you in certain parts of your life, "Have you tried sending money to someone overseas or creating a bank account overseas and moving money?" that's a real problem that we are solving with Bitcoin.

Kevin: [37:11] It sounds like just like the early days of the Internet. No one really knows what's possible yet.

Asher: [37:18] I think one of the best explanations of Bitcoin that I like is that Bitcoin is the world's largest human experiment right now. Everyone is taking...we all have our own hypothesis that Bitcoin could do this or be this, but no one really knows, myself included.

[37:36] What we are doing is taking part in this experiment and looking for the results, and whatever the result is, at least I know we've tried to innovate and tried something new with this experiment, instead of sitting back and saying, "Well, that's how credit cards works and that's how banks works, and we should just accept that wholeheartedly." Everyone who's interested in Bitcoin uses Bitcoin and takes time to learn how to use it. I really admire they're being part of something bigger than themselves.

Kevin: [38:09] Talk to me a little bit about your company as well. You guys are funded or bootstrapped?

Asher: [38:14] We started out in an incubated program out of Melbourne. To be honest, I applied to the program for a whole different idea that I was working on, and at the final interview, my investor said, "Well, how about you try something a lot more ambitious than what you're doing now? Try something that will change the world and could make you a lot of money, not just a quick exit. Let's try to be super ambitious about this."

[38:44] He says, "What's the most ambitious thing you can think of?" Me and my business partner said, "Well, Bitcoin," so that started from there. Recently we've raised another round of funding from Blackbird Ventures, which is a Sydney-based VC firm, and a handful of Australian investors who've made some really cool things. We've raised about half-a-million dollars so far.

Kevin: [39:08] How's the startup ecosystem in Melbourne going? Are there a lot of interesting businesses emerging in Melbourne?

Asher: [39:18] They're definitely, from someone who wasn't from a tech background. My previous occupation, I was an economist. I wrote reports most of the day, so I'm non-technical, but getting into the startup ecosystem was really friendly.

[39:34] Attending events, people teaching me things and taking out their own personal time to work through my ideas and flesh them out, has really helped me make that transition from someone who's traditionally outside the tech ecosystem getting into startups and starting my own project.

Kevin: [39:51] There seem to be a few interesting startups that have emerged out of Melbourne. I'm a huge fan of Melbourne, by the way. I love it, and I think it's definitely...I'll probably get grief for saying this, but I think it's one of Australia's friendliest cities, actually. I find the people quite accessible and quite open, and it doesn't surprise me that the ecosystem's a little bit more supportive of each other than Sydney's gung-ho, "go it for yourself" type of mentality, which can sometimes creep in.

[40:26] What's the next steps for you guys? What's your headcount and what's your plans for the year?

Asher: [40:33] We're looking to growing fast. We should be seven employees by the end of this month.

Kevin: [40:38] Are those mainly developers?

Asher: [40:40] Mixed, support, development. We're just growing really fast. We've had issues of support, identification. Part of it is hiring more staff to tackle these problems, so we really want to provide a quality user experience for everyone using Bitcoin. Bitcoin is still not the most user friendly in terms of technology, but what we can do is really add a layer of trust and support for people really getting into Bitcoin for the first time.

[41:14] Besides that, we also are looking to expand globally. I'm hoping to launch CoinJar New Zealand in a couple of months as well.

Kevin: [41:26] You mentioned your users and your mentioned. Tell us, most of your users, are they just geeks at this stage?

Asher: [41:33] You would be really surprised of our user base. A lot of them are baby boomers, retirees.

Kevin: [41:39] They've got too much money, the baby boomers, right? Yeah. [laughs]

Asher: [41:44] Well, my theory is they've been around long enough to see how technology like the Internet can really revolutionize some fields.

Kevin: [41:52] That's true. They've been through the cycles, right?

Asher: [41:53] Yeah. You've seen the cycles. Yes, it is highly...there's a lot of things we don't know about Bitcoin right now, but people can see the benefit in backing disruptive technology which is beneficial to everyone.

Kevin: [42:10] Aren't they mainly speculative at this stage, the people that are getting into Bitcoin?

Asher: [42:14] Yeah. That's inevitable, because Bitcoin has been one of the best-performing asset classes of any in the world right now, but even though there are a lot of speculators, I think we can...if we make the use case compelling enough, why not spend some of your Bitcoin which you have gained over the past year with these price increases?

[42:38] If you target specific industries which Bitcoin can help solve, for instance, international payments, or if you needed to move money to your brother in the US to pay him for something he bought for you, if you get the use case correct, and you make the user experience one that's really high quality, there's no reason why you wouldn't repeat it again.

Kevin: [43:05] Your merchants, tell us about some of your merchants. You mentioned one of the pubs in Sydney, the Old Fitzroy. I don't know about that pub. I haven't heard of it.

Asher: [43:14] A bunch of people out of interest...you can buy everything from a four-by-four off-road vehicle in Melbourne right now for Bitcoin, or some more things like VPN services, so the Bitcoin, yes, if you accept Bitcoin, it's not only great publicity, but you're looking at reduction of fees. You're looking at potential cost savings in the future if you apply it to your whole supply chain as well.

[43:41] Right now what we're trying to do is help merchants realize the full potential of Bitcoin and not just a one-time publicity run that you run on your website.

Kevin: [43:51] Sounds interesting. James, do you want to ask any other...

James: [43:59] Sure, yeah. I just want to tell one quick anecdote. When I was first starting to use CoinJar, I signed up for the system, and I wanted to get my first Bitcoin. I didn't know much about it. I just knew I wanted some Bitcoin, and I went in, and I got [inaudible 44:17] .

[44:18] I went into the NAB branch, and I filled out my deposit slip, and I took it up to the teller, and she goes, "This is the fourth one of these I've seen today." [laughs] "I should just start writing them out." She didn't actually have to look it up. She could just do it from memory. I think that tells an awful lot about the success of what you guys are doing and the Bitcoin in general.

[44:41] Following on from that, how high do you think Bitcoin can go? Where do you think it's going to reach? Do you think it'll reach 10,000?

Asher: [44:49] I don't speculate on price. I hardly track what the price is. I'm more interested in making it useful, and I believe the more useful it is, then the price can be whatever you want it to be.

James: [45:01] That's a very diplomatic answer. [laughs] Thanks.

Kevin: [45:05] Asher, tell us your entrepreneurial journey. What has been the most surprisingly positive and the surprisingly challenging aspect of your entrepreneurial journey?

Asher: [45:17] There are all sorts of challenges going out on your own, doing projects that people don't believe will succeed. You have to have a lot of faith in what you're doing, and I am a really strong believer not only in Bitcoin, but the people I work with as well. It's also good to see once you've put your trust in other people, you come up with products and you find that people really like your products.

[45:45] Not even like, they have some sort of...your product really solves their problems, and they're really grateful for you to going that extra mile to build it for them. That for me is taking the risk to build something that you hope at least will work well, and getting that confirmation from users who say, "Wow, this is great and I really want to use your product again and again."

Kevin: [46:09] Your mom going, "You're giving your job as an economist to do what? Bitcoins?" Did she...I know those comments when you start a business, when I started my business very young, and the early days were pretty tough, and had a few people saying, "Well, why don't you just get a job? Why are you doing this to yourself?" Did you have some of that at all?

Asher: [46:36] Yeah. Inevitably you'll get that bit of slack from your friends, your parents, but I think I've always wanted to try new and interesting things. Even in my previous position I was already trying to automate processes and make things better, and I think that's just part of my nature, and I think my parents are very clued-in when I said, "I'm going to start my own thing." They said, "Well, no one's really going to stop you, so just give it your best shot."

Kevin: [47:03] There's actually an interesting anecdote, a story, from Ruslan Kogan, who's another Melbourne entrepreneur. I don't know if you've ever heard his story about how he started Kogan. Are you familiar with Kogan, the online store? It's Kogan.

Asher: [47:17] Yeah. Ruslan, if you are listening to this, you better start accepting Bitcoins soon.

Kevin: [47:21] He said he was working for Accenture, that consulting company, and he was given a task to manually do something in Excel, and he scripted it, and it took him an afternoon, and he went to his supervisor, and his supervisor said, "Look, this is supposed to take two weeks. I don't know. Just come back to me in two weeks," and he spent the rest of the time building his business.

[47:47] In that time, he built a business, and it started getting traction, and he talks about how he not-so-politely left his consulting job, and started his business, and the rest is history, as they say, so when you've got a hunger for it and you go for it, amazing things are possible.

Asher: [48:10] Yeah. Definitely.

Kevin: [48:11] Cool. Asher Tan, the co-founder of CoinJar, out of Melbourne. It's great to have an Australian startup. We struggle to find Australian startups to talk to. We know they're out there doing interesting things, but somehow the American ones have a little bit more visibility, so we really you all the best with CoinJar.

[48:34] I'm sure we'll catch up to you in a year's time, and I'm watching this space with great interest. I'm still on the fence. I'm on the fence. I'm not pessimistic or optimistic. I'm on the fence about where all of this is going to go.

Asher: [48:48] Do you have Bitcoin yet?

Kevin: [48:49] I don't. I'm actually going to hop onto your site, register, and I'm going to start dabbling and playing.

Asher: [48:56] OK. Best of luck.

Kevin: [48:57] Thanks for joining us. Appreciate your time, Asher.

Asher: [48:58] Thanks for having me.

Recorded Announcer: [49:00] The "It's a Monkey Podcast" is brought to you by ManageFlitter. With ManageFlitter, you can easily find out who isn't following you back, find new people to follow, track keywords on Twitter, and schedule tweets for the most appropriate times, tweet code Monkey to @manageflitter to receive a one-month free budgie account.

Kevin: [49:25] James, the most interesting part that I found of Asher's interview was when he said, "We are not a Bitcoin company. We are a financial company innovating with Bitcoin, or using Bitcoin as one of our tools." I think that's what most interesting about cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, is it may really democratize, or de-democratize, depends which way you look at it, financial services, in way.

James: [49:54] Absolutely, yeah, and the barrier to entry to building a financial company under existing regulation is huge, but most have faced a lot fewer challenges. They still have their own fair share of challenges, as he mentioned with the issues they're having with the verification and identification of people, but there's definitely a much easier way to get into it if you have things you need to do.

Kevin: [50:17] That was really...I remember a few years ago there was a new English bank that was set up in London, and was one of the first major new banks in London in a long time, one of the high street banks, and the CEO said, "Our biggest competitive advantage is actually that we've got no legacy IT systems to deal with."

[50:41] That's what bigger burden...these banks are still dealing with systems in COBOL and crazy stuff that's just very hard to undo, and as a new financial services company using all just seamless peer-to-peer networks, and platforms, and obviously you've got to work within the legislation, but the opportunity is incredible. One of the reasons why VISA and PayPal exists is as a clearing house type service, with Bitcoin being peer-to-peer, you don't need that.

James: [51:13] Absolutely. The other interesting thing about the space is that the companies can really come out of nothing as well...oh, I had a point, and I totally forgot what it was. I was trying to carry it on until I got there.

[51:31] [laughter]

Kevin: [51:34] Yeah. It will pop back into your head. Yeah. Do you think I've become more bullish in Bitcoin?

James: [51:41] Me?

Kevin: [51:41] Me.

James: [51:42] Oh, you. Yeah, definitely, yeah. You seem to be. Do you think you are?

Kevin: [51:46] Look, I've got to understand it. I was uncomfortable with the...I agree with Felix, just on that the journal that, it's going to end up looking like something very different. But I think as a catalyst, as a kickoff point, I think it's been invaluable.

[52:05] I'm intrigued. I am intrigued. Payments is an area I know you and I are both very interested in. It's the bedrock of our modern society. I'm curious to see where it goes. I'm curious from an intellectual point of view the whole deflationary aspect and the money laundering aspect. I believe Silk Road, the only currency they used to accept was Bitcoin. Is that true?

James: [52:34] Yeah, probably. Crypto, the other cryptocurrencies are actually still relatively new, like Bitcoin has been around for a while, but Litecoin, the other popular ones, it's really only in the past six months or so they've had any kind of value. Yeah, it's all really very new. Actually that was the point I was going to make that I forgot.

[52:54] The other thing is there's lots of opportunity here for people who just believe in the space. Like that's the reasons why you're not seeing banks and financial institutions and hedge managers getting into the space is I think there's a lot of uncertainty there and there's lot of knowledge that's been up in the financial system.

[53:12] If you believe in Bitcoin, just by taking that knowledge that's been applied and services that exist in the existing financial system and building them for Bitcoin. There's some very early ends. Like if you really do believe in the service, it really just needs to take a very simple concept like a bank and apply it to Bitcoin, which is kind of what CoinJar are doing.

[53:32] But yeah, I'm sure there's a whole range of other financial services that we'll start seeing coming through Bitcoin over the next 6 to 12 months. The wrong approach, which we've seen in the music industry, we've seen in the movie industry, it's the defensive attitude taken, feeling under threat, feeling like they're going to be replaced. What happens is that they lose the opportunity to actually...

Kevin: [53:52] Absolutely.

James: [53:54] As the movie and the music industry has shown, these things land up co-existing side-by-side, and there's opportunity. They've obviously got a head start, and PayPal and the banks should be all over this, absolutely all over.

Kevin: [54:09] Exactly. It's why whenever I hear any negative comments from somebody heavily invested in the existing financial system, the treasurer of the US, Alan Greenspan or something, whatever his name is...

James: [54:19] Well, he was the ex-treasurer. They don't call it the treasurer, but...

Kevin: [54:23] Whatever their equivalent.

James: [54:25] Anyway, I think he made some, not completely negative, but disparaging remarks towards it, and I think when you're so ingrained in that kind of frame of mind, it's very hard to step outside of it like that. We're not particularly involved within the payment, so we can look at it from a very abstract point of view, and I think the people who are doing that are the ones that are making these early investments.

[54:48] We still don't know what's going to happen, but I'm still 100 percent convinced that if it's not Bitcoin, it's going to be the success that becomes a huge, huge thing.

Kevin: [54:57] You're so brave to have your entire life savings in Bitcoin.

James: [55:00] I know. I know. It's a good thing my life savings are only like a dollar.

[55:03] [laughter]

Kevin: [55:07] Look, I think a lot of the official line from some of these regulators, etc, has to be cautionary, because they can see an environment where people do put their...the speculation is what worries them probably more than anything.

[55:24] For them, the volatility is not a good thing, because strange things happen with volatility, and you have 90-year-old people putting their life savings into Bitcoin, and it crashes, so they inherently...that role, the reserve bank inherently has to be conservative, but the financial services companies, not so much, and PayPal definitely not so much, but are we going to start accepting Bitcoin in ManageFlitter soon?

James: [55:55] I'd love to, yeah.

Kevin: [55:57] Let's do it.

James: [55:58] Sure.

Kevin: [55:58] Let's do it. I'm curious to see Bitcoin, Dogecoin.

James: [56:02] Maybe, just maybe one of the teams can do that.

Kevin: [56:05] Yeah.

James: [56:06] See how we go.

Kevin: [56:07] Coming up in our next interview in this cryptocurrency special, we're talking to Jackson Palmer, who is one of the co-creators of Dogecoin and happens to work at Adobe in Sydney down the road, which...

James: [56:22] Yeah. He's a great guy. Yep.

Kevin: [56:23] We're just going to take a very short break, and we'll come back, and we'll talk to Jackson.

[56:32] Welcome back to It's a Monkey Podcast. My name is Kevin Garber, and together with James Peter, we are the co-founders of ManageFlitter, and all things exciting at 89n. We've been talking a lot about cryptocurrencies lately, of course, Bitcoin has just exploded, and everyone's talking about cryptocurrency.

[56:55] I stumbled upon an article yesterday about an Australian connection to cryptocurrency. Now we don't have enough Australians on the show, it's not for lack of trying. I saw an article about Dogecoin, I saw one of the co-founders of Dogecoin was an Australian, and as luck would have it, someone in the office met this co-founder of Dogecoin at a barbecue.

[57:22] Through a strange series of events, and small worlds, and one-degree connections, we tracked down the Dogecoin founder, being a colleague of one of the staff members here, and I'm happy to say we have got him in the office with us which is a real treat. Thanks for joining us Jackson Palmer.

Jackson Palmer: [57:43] Thanks, thanks for having me here.

Kevin: [57:45] Tell us about this Dogecoin phenomenon. It's a Bitcoin spin-off of sorts, but take us through how it evolved and what it is.

Jackson: [57:55] It really just started out as an idea in my head. I'd been following cryptocurrency for quite a while, and I'm sure you guys probably have as well. It was Bitcoin, and then there were also its derivatives like Litecoin, Feathercoin. Just over a month ago, I noticed there was like a [inaudible 58:12] of different, what we call alt coins or alternative coin coming on the scene.

[58:18] As kind of just a parody of it, it was a typical Australian kind of thing to take the piss out of something. I put out a Tweet that was like, "Hey, I'm going to invest in Dogecoin. It's the next big thing." I didn't really think anything of it, until the next day I went to work, and a bunch of people were saying, "That's hilarious. You should actually make that a thing."

[58:37] A couple of nights later I went home one night, I had nothing to do, grabbed a beer and sat down and just put out Dogecoin.com. At that point, it was just a simple, one-page of it had the picture of the famous dog named face, transposed over the top of a coin. I did it in Photoshop in about two seconds.

Kevin: [58:56] Just take us back to the dog mean. Not everyone is going to be familiar with the dog mean. I sure wasn't familiar with what the dog mean was.

Jackson: [59:03] The dog mean it's based on this kind of famous series of photos that were taken of a Shiba Inu dog. It's a breed of Japanese dog, and it's been photo-shopped into many different things, and often they put this self-talk of what the dog is thinking around its face. It'll say stuff like, "Amazed, Wow," in our case "Such profit, much currency," that kind of thing.

[59:37] I'm sure everybody's probably seen one, but not really known what they were looking at. It's connected to that doge face where it's just kind of like staring at you.

Kevin: [59:48] So you sent out this tweet saying, you were going to invest in Dogecoin. Your colleagues said, "That's a great idea, do it." You registered the domain. What happened next?

Jackson: [59:58] I threw up the image. It was simple at that time. It wasn't even the logo you see now. It's just like a two-minute Photoshop job, and tweeted about it, said, "This is what I spent my evening doing," tweeted it, and then went to bed. It was like midnight by the time I put it up.

[60:13] I wake up the next day and had something like hundreds of re-tweets. People had started writing articles about it. I had one guy, Billy, who's my co-founder, he's based out of Portland, Oregon. He's an IBM software engineer. He tweeted at me, "Hey, I've actually started making this a thing. I've got a working wallet on my machine." I'm like, "Wow, OK."

[60:38] I got in touch with him by direct message on Twitter and emailed back and forth for about two or three days, and then on December 8th, we actually launched the thing. We just put it out there in the world and said, "Hey everybody, you can start mining or digging in this case for Dogecoins."

Kevin: [60:55] It's based on?

Jackson: [60:57] It's based on Litecoins. Bitcoin uses a different type of hashing algorithms, so that's the kind of way that cryptocurrency works. You have to, the hashes used a certain algorithm. Litecoin and its derivatives use something called script, which is a type of algorithm that can't be...One of the big problems with Bitcoin right now is that people can get these server farms, and use these thinks called ASIC miners, which really easily chew through the algorithm that Bitcoin's using.

[61:29] The guys behind Litecoin actually started using a different algorithm that the common person at home with their average GPU could start solving the algorithms and mining and these big guys that have the server farms, their setups wouldn't be effective against the script algorithm that Litecoin was using. Yeah.

Kevin: [61:49] To level the playing field a little bit.

Jackson: [61:51] Pretty much, yeah.

Kevin: [61:52] What fascinated me the most is Dogecoin is I'm looking at the article here. I think it's the seventh most popular cryptocurrency?

Jackson: [62:03] Yeah, well it's funny, it depends how you look at it. For a while there are market caps so like if you got every Dogecoin that had been mined ever and put it into raw US dollar value, it was the seventh largest in terms of market cap. I think that's gone down a little now. But what's really interesting is seeing over the past couple of days is the number of transactions that are taking place.

[62:30] Within the last 24 hours the number of individual transaction, so like me sending my friend Dogecoin, them sending a friend Dogecoin, the number of raw transactions outnumbers Bitcoin and every other cryptocurrency combined, so yeah.

Kevin: [62:45] You're saying that the number of peer to peer exchanges on Dogecoin is outnumbering the number of peer to peer or individual peer to peer exchanges... [crosstalk]

Jackson: [62:54] That's right.

Kevin: [62:55] ...merchant peer to peer exchanges.

Jackson: [62:56] That's right. Yesterday, say in the last 24 hours, around 50, 60 thousand people sent one another or received some Bitcoin individual transactions. We're talking well over a hundred thousand Dogecoin transactions. That's mostly because Dogecoin has, with its lower value and higher number of coins, that we've really seen an explosion in this tipping culture. That's what people are using it for. They're tipping one another with it.

[63:24] If you go onto like Reddit or Twitter right now there's these tipping bots. If somebody posts something cool or does something and you just want to give them some kudos, you can send them just a hundred Doge. Because of that there is so many transactions taking place. It's actually being used.

Kevin: [63:40] It's fascinating. It's almost like, I know this may seem like a bit of a strange analogy. But I was lucky enough in May this year to be in Hawaii and I went to see the lava flows out of the, and it felt a little bit like seeing the beginning of time, land forming. I don't want to get all sentimental and dramatic, but seeing the formation of a currency and an economic ecosystem is quite, quite, and a value of exchange, a form of exchange of value is quite fascinating.

Jackson: [64:11] I think that's what interesting about Dogecoin. I think a lot of people say, well, it's the meme currency. But I think it's really in the last month gone beyond being the kind of parody that it started out as and it is actually becoming a store of value.

[64:27] Something that when I talk to a lot of people about Dogecoin is I talk about how in order for a digital currency to really succeed it needs to actually be a store of value and it needs to be used. Something that a lot of Bitcoin people are doing and a lot of Litecoin people are doing is they're just sitting on it.

[64:44] They buy it, they sit on it as an investment, and they're not actually using it as a digital currency. They're seeing it as an investment like investing in art or investing in gold bullion. They're not actually using it. Really, for a digital currency to succeed I think it has to be used. There has to be transfer for...

Kevin: [65:01] Liquidity.

Jackson: [65:01] Exactly, yeah. There has to be trade volume, right?

Kevin: [65:04] Yeah, there has to be liquidity.

Jackson: [65:05] Exactly. I think where, and that's kind of one of the disappointing things that I've seen happen with a lot of these old coins and Bitcoin even is it's become more of an investment game rather than actually taking steps towards a decentralized digital currency.

Kevin: [65:23] Almost like a gambling play.

Jackson: [65:24] It is, yeah. It's become like trading stocks rather than the original vision, which was to have a digital currency. For a lot of people that are in Bitcoin or Litecoin the only real store of value to it is how much they can cash out in US dollars. In that light, is it really a store of value? If Mt. Gox or one of the big exchanges for Bitcoin went down tomorrow and you couldn't cash out to US dollars, well how much value is a Bitcoin worth to anybody?

Kevin: [65:54] It's a very important question. The one, I don't know if it was yourself or your cofounder. They were quoted in this article saying it works as a store of value because it's deflationary and there will be cap.

Jackson: [66:07] Yeah.

Kevin: [66:10] I'm curious about that, because there was a fantastic article about one of the Silicon Valley investors earlier this week which I'll put a link to on the show notes. He was on the fence exploring the pros and cons of Bitcoin. But one of the criticisms he has was there's danger to a deflationary environment because people then, they meet gums up because everyone wants to wait so that they can get more value tomorrow for the same number of spend. What exactly do you mean or did your cofounder mean by this comment about the deflationary...

Jackson: [66:45] OK, so most, as outline in the original paper that was written about digital currency and Bitcoin as a protocol, it was, he talked about there being a deflationary currency. By that, what that means is there's a cap on the total number of coins that can be mined. In Bitcoin's case that's 21 million. In Dogecoin's case that's actually a hundred billion.

[67:10] Significantly more coins. Significantly more coins, where we're sitting around 25, 26 billion that have been mined to date for Dogecoin. But the beauty of the way that it works is that over time the rewards that you get from mining decrease and the difficulty also increases as more people mine it. Although it's really easy to mine Dogecoin right now, it'll eventually slow down and you'll be getting less and it'll be harder to mine it.

[67:40] That is good. But I think a lot of people walk away from Bitcoin and most of these currencies saying, well, eventually we're going to run out of coins, we're not going to have anything more to mine. But if you really look into the fine print, after we do get to a hundred billion coins in Dogecoin there actually isn't a hard limit, and there isn't for any digital currency. It's just like this misconception.

[68:02] Once Dogecoin actually is mined out to a hundred billion, every year after that five percent more of the hundred billion will be able to mined. What that is is an incentive for miners to continue going. Because without miners on a network the network fails. You need that hashing power for the decentralized nature of the network to keep processing transactions.

[68:28] That's what miners are doing. They're essentially processing and confirming transactions on the block chain. If everybody stopped mining Bitcoin tomorrow everybody's wallets would stop working and no transactions would be processed, so there needs to be an incentive at the end of the day for the miners to keep going.

[68:45] In our case there's two things. There's transaction fees, which people pay on every Dogecoin transaction. If I send 10 Doge right now, I'm going to get a one Doge transaction fee. That gets put back into the block chain so that miners can harvest it. Then, like I said, there'll be that five percent year over year that is then opened up for mining. I think having a larger cap's also a good thing because that means there's going to be a lot more coins that can be mined as it slowly inflates. It's not purely deflationary.

[69:15] Whereas Bitcoin, I think they do face an issue when they eventually get to their 21 million, because there is no real incentive for people to mine, and the people that have the power to mine are already swimming in money, because you need to have a multi-million-dollar mining operation that's like a cold storage unit. Some people have set them up in Iceland and stuff because they can cool without having air conditioning, just to mine a few Bitcoin.

Kevin: [69:43] What's your grand vision? I understand you're a marketing manager at Adobe. What's your grand vision for Dogecoin?

Jackson: [69:51] It's not my full-time job, but I'm still very supportive of them...I'm trying to help the community as much as I can, and that's kind of the other cool thing, I think, that sets Dogecoin apart from any other cryptocurrency, the community that's built around it. I've personally never seen such a passionate group of people join around a digital currency, and want to grow it, and build awareness, and actually use it rather than sit on it.

[70:21] There is a large Bitcoin community, but, like I said, they don't really know anything about the protocol. They're all investors who are there for one reason, and that's to get rich. They want to buy and then just dump it a couple of months later when it goes up in value.

Kevin: [70:35] In defense to investors, investors add liquidity to a market as well.

Jackson: [70:39] Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Not to say that there's anything bad with investing it. I just think that the problem is that it's resulted in Bitcoin not being used...there's no real for a merchant in accepting Bitcoin at the moment if their only way to store value is for them to cash out to US dollars.

[70:59] Although we say these things like, "Oh, Virgin are accepting Bitcoin. Reddit accepts Bitcoin when you buy Reddit Gold," well, yes, but the only reason they're accepting it is because they can use a Bitcoin-to-USD exchange like Coin Base and instantly transfer that money back into USD. Reddit isn't sitting around, sitting on a heap of Bitcoin, and neither is Virgin. They're just cashing straight out into US dollars.

[71:26] Is it a really a stored value if they are cashing right out as soon as they get paid? I'm not sure. I think the beauty of the Dogecoin community is that people actually want to use it. They've given it to one another. People are trading real-world things and also online goods as well, like games and music, for it, a few online books you can buy with Dogecoin.

[71:48] Yeah, that community's numbering close to 30,000 on the subreddits. It's one of the fastest-growing subreddits there is. There's also meetups coming up as well. There's a meetup coming up soon in New York that's being hosted by AOL and Huffington Post. They're helping host it.

[72:04] I don't know. I think there's a great deal of passion around it, and in a way, Dogecoin started to run itself, so I guess getting back to what you said, what's my grand plan for it, I think the community's going to decide that. I think it's a community coin, and it really just...I think it kind of encapsulates everything that people were sick of or unsure of in Bitcoin, and we're being able to steer it as a community with Dogecoin.

Kevin: [72:28] It's interesting you say that. This article that I'm talking about, he says that...he's a bit critical of Bitcoin, but he says, "What we will have Bitcoin to thank for is kickstarting this movement of crypto-currencies," because ultimately crypto-currencies are going to look very different, and we'll be using them in different ways, but Bitcoin has definitely catalyst-ed this movement.

Jackson: [72:50] Oh, yeah. I love Bitcoin and I love the idea of digital currency. I think Bitcoin is possibly one of the best economic experiments that has ever been run, because up until Bitcoin's invention, digital currency wasn't a viable thing. There was the whole double spending problem where a digital key or file could be duplicated, so if I just copy and paste something, I can give it to two people and say it's a stored value.

[73:17] The beauty of Bitcoin, and its whole distributed ledger that's public, is that the double spending problem was solved, so as far as solving problems, Bitcoin was a pioneer, but I think in five years, cryptocurrency might look entirely different. It might not even be cryptocurrency. The only reason we call it cryptocurrency is because of the way that we're distributing the ledger, the way that we're using hashes, and then the way we're using these algorithms to do what we call proof of work.

[73:47] When a miner is processing these transactions, doing so tells the network that this person's had to dedicate a certain amount of processing power, but I think for long-term cryptocurrency, or digital currency, we want that proof of work based on something other than just wasting electricity needlessly, because I think at the moment, when I go, and these people with these massive server farms that are chewing up a heap of energy, creating a bunch of greenhouse gas emissions, they're benefitting nobody but themselves.

[74:19] There's a few projects out there like Ripple, which is a big Bitcoin competitor, and there was a project called folding@home, which was kind of similar to seti@home, and that processing power, instead of just going mindlessly into harvesting coins for you, actually with folding@home, it goes into helping map the human genome, so your processing power isn't just being wasted. It's actually going towards scientific research, or helping the Seti project, or something like that.

[74:49] I think a future digital currency, I think that's the next big step. I think Bitcoin solved the double spending problem with the public ledger, but I think the next big problem for digital currency is to make the mining process, or however we want to harvest it, we need to make it so that it betters society, if you will, because at the moment, the only people who benefit are the Bitcoin miners themselves.

Kevin: [75:17] You bring up some really interesting points. I'm going to hand over to my co-founder and co-presenter, James, who has actually been dabbling in Bitcoin and crypto-currencies a lot longer than me, so I'm sure he's got some intelligent...and he's more intelligent than me, so I'm sure he's got a lot of intelligent questions to ask.

Jackson: [75:34] Cool.

James: [75:35] That's a big build-up for...I don't know if I have that much to bring to the table. What was I going to ask? Yeah, I do have a couple questions. Obviously since you started dog coin...Dogecoin...

Jackson: [75:49] Dogecoin. You can say "doge" if you want.

James: [75:52] Dogecoin. I've got to say it a few times. Do you personally have a lot of Dogecoin? Are you...

Jackson: [75:58] Well, that's one of the funny things. The kind of nature of it is that...and this is a good example. A lot of the alt coins that were coming on the scene when I made this, and this is partly the reason I parodied them all, is that a lot of people see these alt coins and creating one as a get-rich-quick scheme, and what the developers do is they do this thing call pre-mining, so before they release the client to the public, they go ahead and they pre-mine a bunch of it, so they're sitting on like, what, a billion coins.

[76:30] Then they go out. They create a whole bunch of hype about it. As soon as it gets listed on exchange, they cash out for US dollars. Developers are rich. The community gets left.

[76:39] Billy and I didn't do that. We didn't think it was going to take off really, so we just put the client up on Bitcoin Talk, and mined it ourselves at the same time as everybody else, but within an hour people had set up mining pools, and our poor little home graphics cards couldn't handle it, so we're sitting on about as much as...no more than anybody else that started off.

[77:08] I think that's also part of the reason that Dogecoin's taken off, that community that's built around the fact that it's genuine and it's honest. Nobody's out to get rich in this thing, and there's a good example.

[77:22] There was a coin that was recently released called Coinye West. It was in the news a lot. They've recently shut down. They shut down two days ago, because there was a lawsuit and stuff like that, but from the very start, the developers, they pre-mined something like 1.3 percent of all coins to pay off journalists, and pay for legal costs, and then the developers the other day just cashed out, shut down the website, and now they're laughing about it.

[77:49] I think that's one of the big problems we face as well in cryptocurrency, that people are using it...because people...there's a lot of greed in the community.

James: [77:57] Because it's real money as well.

Jackson: [77:58] Well it is, yeah, and if people are putting their real money into something, I think it's a big problem at...there's a new alt coin coming on the scene like every day or two, and a lot of them are these what they call pump-and-dump. You pump up a whole bunch of hype about, you're sitting on a whole bunch that you've pre-mined, you get all these fools to want to buy it, and then you dump it on them, and then they're left with nothing.

James: [78:21] Speaking of all of the alt coins that are coming out, I guess the thing that differentiates Dogecoin is...what is it, other than the way that it came from? How do you think it's going to succeed where the other ones don't?

Jackson: [78:35] I think community, really. I think it's just the fact that there's a community that have gotten behind it, and now it's just got that staying power. We have a larger community than Litecoin, which just is ridiculous, but these people want to see it succeed, and I think the real great thing about it is they don't want to see it succeed to get rich. They want to see it succeed because for many people, Dogecoin was a learning experience.

[79:04] A lot of people that got into it, a lot of those 30,000 people, never used a cryptocurrency before, because Bitcoin is daunting technologically, but also it has this kind of negative association with the Silk Road illegal activity, stuff like that. I think in a way, by combining the doge meme with a cryptocurrency, it brought it to the mainstream, but then also made it so people could come in and be treated with open arms.

[79:33] Any newbie that goes into the Bitcoin world right now will be shouted out by investors who say, "You don't know what you're doing. Bitcoin's only for people that know what they're doing." There's this real elitism, whereas the Dogecoin community, we were on the front page of Reddit yesterday, and there were like 1,500 new people that subscribed to the subreddit.

[79:50] Everybody's saying "Hey here, have some doge. Get started. This is awesome. Go and share it with your friends and family. Start spending it on buying some Steam games or something." I think number one is definitely the community, and it's something that I don't think any other cryptocurrency has. I think it's our unique.

James: [80:09] People are emotionally invested, not just financially invested.

Jackson: [80:13] It's something that they truly care about, I think, because they had that learning experience, because it was the first cryptocurrency they ever used.

James: [80:21] Do you think that could be a problem? Say the doge meme comes out of vogue and it's no longer popular. What do you think will happen? Do you think it can exist despite that?

Jackson: [80:31] Yeah, absolutely, and I think the doge meme, like all memes, will probably fade away, but as it does, I think we've grown beyond the doge meme. A lot of the times, when I talk about doge, I forget that the doge's even on it. It's kind of a second-nature kind of thing. It's become more about...I don't know. People talk about it as an Internet currency.

[80:57] It's kind of like the currency that is the face of what it means to be on the Internet, what it means in the whole meta-world of the Internet, and I think it represents the good side of the Internet in that there's a really kind of dark side. There's people that just want to yell at you, and have flame wars and stuff on the Internet, and just say bad things about people.

[81:17] I think Dogecoins is kind of like one corner of the Internet that's impervious to that, and people are actually nice to one another, and I think people like that feeling. I think even if the doge meme gets completely disconnected from it, although it'll still be called Dogecoin, I think people want to be part of a community that's nice to one another.

James: [81:39] I guess if you look at the history of memes as well, there tends to be these...the early ones tend to have a lot of strength, like Rick Rolling and all that kind of stuff. There tends to be a few things that shine out. Even though things go out of vogue, there's still...just the fact that they're early, and they have a lot more ability to build up attention over time, they can propel themselves.

[82:01] It's interesting. I'm in two minds. It's hard to know whether it's going to be like a...Maybe in some ways it might look more bit like the stock markets. Maybe you have a series of alt coins that are tied to meme's success. It's a very interesting area though.

Jackson: [laughs] [82:14] The thing is we want to go beyond the meme. I try to say this to people. I get, as you can imagine, a lot of emails everyday with people being like, "I want to create my own alt coin." I'm like, "Seriously, the last thing we need is more of these."

[82:28] What we need to do is as a whole community of people who are all interested in digital currency, all want to learn about how it works, all want to see it become an actual competitor to the local fiat currency let's work together instead of creating a bunch of little kingdoms within this and all hating one another and getting angry at one another or having competing coins.

[82:55] I don't think that Dogecoin competes with Bitcoin at all. I think it's a tipping currency. It's for micro transactions. It's awesome for that. Where I want to see it is instead of the up vote, instead of the "Like" online you're sending people some Doge because it's that much more stronger and less hollow than a like, or a re-tweet or an up vote.

[83:17] I don't see people buying cars like they are with Bitcoin with Dogecoin. It can really easily exist side by side.

[83:24] To anybody out there that's like, "I'm going to go and create another alt coin and try and make it the next big thing," come and work with us. Honestly. Because the best thing we can do for the community as a whole is work together and just not try to flame one another like a lot of people.

Kevin: [83:40] Yeah. It's interesting. You're bit of an idealist. I like it.

[83:46] [laughter]

Jackson: [83:48] Well, I'm not an idealist. I like to see the good in things. That's one thing. I've had my fair share of negative things come out of Dogecoin. There's a lot of negativity from other communities towards Dogecoin. There's been some bad things said about it. You get some people sending you hate mail and stuff like that.

Kevin: [84:14] You've had hate mail?

Jackson: [84:15] I've had hate mail. Hell, yeah.

Kevin: [84:17] Hate mail, groupies.

Jackson: [84:18] All of that. But the cool thing is no matter how much that happens the kindness of the community shields you from that. I've also made a lot of cool friends from this and a lot of people are.

Kevin: [84:34] You came in here wearing your dharma t-shirt.

Jackson: [84:37] Yes.

Kevin: [84:41] It's great. I like what you said about this is the best of the Internet. I think there's a lot of visibility about the worst of the Internet. We sometimes lose sight of what is the best of the Internet. I think it's something very worthwhile, worth focusing on.

[85:00] In a way I take my hat off to you in that you're not being opportunistic about this. You just wanted to be a force for good, so to speak. We really look forward to watching you with interest. I'm going to hop online and see what I get involved with.

Jackson: [85:19] Get started.

Kevin: [85:21] I bought my first Bitcoin yesterday.

Jackson: [85:23] Oh, nice.

Kevin: [85:24] I bought one Bitcoin. I'm not quite sure what to do with it.

Jackson: [85:29] Buy some Doge.

Kevin: [85:31] There we go.

[85:33] Look, fascinating time. I read a brilliant article a few years ago about how every piece of great technology started out as a toy, whether it was the airplane or the car or the Internet or Twitter or Facebook. Hearing you coming from a meme and starting out as something. In a lot lighter form that it will ultimately probably be a lot more substantial, has the potential to be a lot more substantial in terms of impact than its current form of playing around in the fringes.

Jackson: [86:10] Absolutely.

Kevin: [86:12] I really appreciate your time coming in.

Jackson: [86:14] Awesome being here.

Kevin: [86:14] It's so great to have Aussies and Sydney people involved in this space and making an impact. Let's please stay in touch.

Jackson: [86:22] Absolutely. Yeah. Everybody check out Dogecoin. Thanks for having me.

Kevin: [86:26] We'll put in the links on the podcast. You'll get some interest.

Jackson: [86:30] Awesome. To the moon.

Kevin: [86:32] Absolutely. Dogecoin, you want to hear something interesting about Dogecoin? Dogecoin is helping the Jamaican bobsled team.

James: [86:46] Yeah. That is true, winter bobsled.

Kevin: [86:48] Here we go. Wow. Dogecoin are the donors in Jamaican bobsled team to Sochi. There was a big campaign and Dogecoin was involved in that as well. The team has now more than $184,000, real dollars not cryptocurrency, towards their Olympic efforts.

[87:12] The Dogecoin effort produced around $30,000 for the bobsled team after it was promoted in the currency's Reddit community page.

James: [87:21] Yeah. That's crazy. It doesn't necessarily say that much about the currency per se as you can raise money in any avenue. I think it says an awful lot about the community, which was what Jackson was talking about. He was saying it's such a strong community as people are gathering together.

[87:37] It seems such a strange avenue for people to gather around. It's such an odd meme. But it's just crazy how these things take off. People have become invested in them emotionally and obviously financially to a certain degree.

Kevin: [87:54] I think that's the fascinating thing about the Internet and the Internet being so porous and not a proprietary closed system. Behavior just becomes very tangential but tangential behavior becomes very significant and morphs into a life of its own. That's what's so fascinating about self-organizing system in a way.

James: [88:22] Absolutely. Yeah. I think it's a very interesting space. I think it was very interesting that Jackson hoped that a lot of these other cryptocurrency efforts would combine into Dogecoin. It is certainly possible that might happen. It's very interesting that there is so much activity happening.

[88:44] I read in some articles recently that part of the reason why there's so much activity is that the value of Dogecoin is so much lower. For a dollar, US, you can buy. I don't know what it is, about 5,000 Dogecoin, maybe 10,000 right now. It feels good. You can become a millionaire in a second, a Dogecoin millionaire with a thousand bucks.

Kevin: [inaudible 01:29:06] [89:06]

James: [89:07] Yeah. It's great. That's partly why because it has such a low value that it's so exciting and it's interesting that that low value and aggregate has actually made it something like the second largest currency in terms of market cap or something to that effect. It's a very, very interesting space.

[89:26] I'm personally not totally convinced that it's going to end up as the only cryptocurrency. I think we're going to end up in a situation where we have a marketplace, a different cryptocurrency where their value is tied to their name, which is where Dogecoin is coming. It's got this really exciting meme that everybody likes, it's fun to be part of. But I don't think it will end there. I think this is the first of many. That's my prediction for this space.

Kevin: [89:55] Do you know much about the history of the American railways?

James: [89:59] No. I don't. That's an odd tangent.

Kevin: [90:02] James, we thought you knew everything. You're the go-to intellectual guy.

James: [90:07] I'm not a railway aficionado. No. It's my one topic.

Kevin: [90:11] You take a train twice a day and you don't know the history and evolution of...

James: [90:17] Yeah. I know I should. No idea.

Kevin: [90:21] I happen to be a local railway expert...No, I'm not an expert. But one of the interesting things about...We really should try keep these podcast interesting, James, going on that no one's interested in our stupid little nonsense banters.

[90:34] One of the interesting things about the railways was when the railway boom was happening there were many different railway companies that all had their own gauge of railway.

James: [90:46] Ah, right. OK.

Kevin: [90:48] If I stand to be corrected, I think New South Wales and Queensland. I think there's still a different gauge of railway.

James: [91:00] Yeah. I think that Queensland or Victoria, but one of the two. Definitely one of those states has a different gauge of railway.

Kevin: [91:06] All these technologies including something real world as the railways when there's the innovation and the differences happening and haven't worked out what areas need to be coordinated and what areas can be separate. There were all these different railway companies with different gauges, which seems ridiculous.

[91:29] But tying back to the cryptocurrency is we may go through that phase of just rapid evolution where there is different cryptocurrencies and there might be benefits to have different ones of there may be benefits for one of them to dominate or to standardize or something.

James: [91:47] My personal feeling about it is, that things that tend to have high outlay, that tend to consolidate. Things like railways where it's expensive to start a railway company.

Kevin: [91:56] It's a big overhead.

James: [91:57] Yeah. There's lots of overhead, there's not that many opportunities for it. It makes an awful lot of sense to consolidate. Just from hearing Jackson's story. It was so simple. He didn't have any concept of how to build a Dogecoin. He had mentioned really through a tweet and that was the genesis of Dogecoin. Just one tweet that got re-tweeted and then somebody else joined in and it was just more people joining in just building up this currency.

[92:23] There's absolutely zero overlay required to start a new currency. When you have that kind of environment...Obviously, there's benefits to selling as well particularly if your currency does become successful. By getting in early you then actually gain financially. There's lots of financial incentives to start a new currency.

[92:44] I'm totally convinced we'll end up in a...Currencies will look much more like stocks in memes rather than our current concept of currency which is like an individual single thing that you exchange value for.

Kevin: [93:04] The interesting thing if you think about current stocks and the fluctuations in stock prices a lot of the time the reason why they fluctuate...Ultimately it comes down to earnings, et cetera, but all the noise on top of that is essentially memes.

James: [93:21] Absolutely. Yeah.

Kevin: [93:24] Say there's a rumor that Marissa Mayer is going to leave Yahoo, they're essentially memes that come as a wave into the stock price and add that noise. Memes are embedded in the stock price as it is.

James: [93:44] Yeah. Memes can be everything as well. It's not just what we necessarily call an Internet meme but it can be like a concept, like a brand or whatever, a country in some ways is what you can define as a meme. I think it's a very, very interesting space. Definitely one to watch.

Kevin: [94:02] One of the non-monetary or alternate currencies that actually exist at the moment that has been very successful is our frequent flyer points or as they call them in the US "Miles." Essentially they're so successful that they actually are a currency.

James: [94:21] They do have a lot of value. Yeah. One tries to really not to pay attention because they manipulate you in a little way. They motivate you to spend more and fly with the same company. It works in the airline's favor.

[94:38] I must admit I've been victim...not victim but I've installed apps so I can keep an eye on my balance in the past and made sure I've flown certain airlines rather than others to add up to it.

Kevin: [94:54] It works.

James: [94:55] Yeah. It does. It changes behavior.

Kevin: [95:00] I think that's about it. We've covered a lot of ground. It's a topic that we're going to keep on coming back to. If you're listening to the show and you're an economic expert or you have access to really the economic side of things, the real fundamental economics, inflation versus deflation versus discussion of a fiat currency.

[95:24] You know how currencies used to be pegged to the gold standard? Maybe cryptocurrencies will be pegged to Dogecoin.

James: [95:32] Maybe. Maybe. Or perhaps it will be our own currency. We should start an "It's a Monkey Coin" or something like that.

Kevin: [95:42] Currencies around communities makes sense. They have existed. There was thing in Australia, I don't know if it's global, that existed for a long time. It's called Bartercard.

James: [95:51] Oh, yeah.

Kevin: [95:52] It was this concept of building a community. If you were a chiropractor and there was a plumber and you both were on Bartercard you could exchange services at a lower value than what the dollar exchange would be because you both are on Bartercard and in a way you're both getting a deal.

[96:10] But you could convert that into dollars but it would be more expensive to convert it into dollars.

[96:16] Where there're human beings there's currency exchange. Prisoners use cigarettes. It's one of these fundamental things along with love, war and something else which we should mention because this podcast is a family friendly podcast.

[96:35] Thanks for joining us. Please tweet us MonkeyPodcast, follow us on Twitter, sign up for the email list at itsamonkey.com. Find us on Facebook, on most social media networks. Email us, we love to hear from you.

[96:51] This has been Episode 33. In two weeks we'll be in Episode 35. James Peter is going to be in Canada.

James: [96:58] Yeah. Not long now. I'll be snuggled up in my minus 30 degree weather in a big coat.

Kevin: [97:05] Onesie.

James: [97:06] My onesie, yeah.

Kevin: [97:07] That's exciting. We'll talk to you in two weeks' time. Thanks for joining us.

James: [97:13] Have a good one...

[97:14] [outro music]