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FutureMoneyTrends.com: Greetings and thank you for joining us at FutureMoneyTrends.com. I'm here with a good friend and a great guest of our show, of past shows, Mike Krieger. He's an economist and he runs LibertyBlitzkrieg.com. He posts daily; his articles get posted all over the web, including the very popular site ZeroHedge. Mike, thank you so much for joining us.
Mike Krieger: Hey Dan, great to be back on with you, and excited to talk.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Alright, so today I invited you on to talk about Bitcoin, the state of the U.S. Economy, and a little bit about housing, but mainly because we disagree on it, so hopefully that will be a nice fun conversation. And for people to hear some differing views on it, as far as housing asset protection kind of strategy or why it's a really bad idea. Okay, so let's start with Bitcoin though. I think what people are missing, and this is what I came away from this conference I just came back from the past two days, is the infrastructure (that exists). A lot of people from the outside are like "this is just bubble trading," but Mike, you've been on this way longer than I have and you certainly understand it more. Could you just share with people the kind of infrastructure there is. Are the businesses being built around Bitcoin? Is there big money involved in Bitcoin? Or is this just a bunch of speculators here in the States, on the blogs, and on YouTube.
Mike Krieger: Yeah, this is definitely one of the areas where I think people are misunderstanding about Bitcoin, and in particular that one criticism of "well, there's now 45 crypto-currencies, and so its going to be diluting the whole pool, and what's the difference between Bitcoin and all these others, and it's going to divert money from Bitcoin to them and it's all a speculative bubble. That's the key thing people are missing, is that the first mover advantage is huge for Bitcoin in a lot of ways. Not just for stores and companies deciding to adopt it, but also because of all the venture capital money, the human intelligence that is going in to building companies around Bitcoin and then building up the infrastructure. And that's the genius of Bitcoin. By being decentralized and open source, it allows is layers and layers of different companies and services to pop up around it so in reality it's actually really really good for the U.S. Economy. And we should be promoting it like crazy from a top-down perspective or just leaving it alone because it has such an unbelievable opportunity to create businesses that we can't even imagine, using Bitcoin technology and the infrastructure. I think that's huge and really important. And today a huge announcement came out, the biggest venture capital investment in the Bitcoin space to date, by a lot. It was 25 Million invested by Andreessen Horowitz, lead by them in to Coinbase. And Coinbase, for your listeners if they don't know, is a San Francisco based company that is a wallet provider, where you can buy and sell Bitcoin's, but it also integrates merchants in to the Bitcoin network. It helps them accept Bitcoin, so it's sort of like BitPay which has been the leader in that area, but now Coinbase is also putting its stake in the ground in processing payments for Bitcoin. The size of the capital that's being invested in BItcoin from very smart venture capitalists is only getting bigger and bigger. It's a huge part of the Bitcoin ecosystem. And it's real.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Mike, before you started to buy your first Bitcoin's, what was your personal biggest concern about the currency and the payment system?
Mike Krieger: Yeah, so here's the thing, and it's interesting because I'm sure this is actually one of the concerns I've seen out there, and one of the concerns I think a lot of people have still, and that's that we don't know where it came from, and we also know that it's in the powers that be, the banking elites, it's in their best interest to have everything go digital and then be able to track everything and basically shut people off and shut people down if they want to. I mean we've heard all about this for a very long time. And so it's been a fear in the back of the mind of a lot of paranoid, cynical people, including myself. You know I'm a pretty cynical guy in a lot of ways, so I had those concerns. I first heard of Bitcoin's about two years before, I publicly endorsed it. And it's not like I spent those two years just studying Bitcoin, but what held me back from getting involved early on, unfortunately, is that I did have those concerns. I was like "well, is this just a ploy? You know, is this a CIA thing?