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Episode 106 February 27, 2018 | 28min

Is Your Religion Art or Technology?

Our co-founders sit down with Aaron Lammer, founder of Longform and co-host of Coin Talk.

Show Notes

It’s healthier to see it as gambling: This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade sit down with Aaron Lammer to talk about his new podcast Coin Talk. We discuss the stability of bitcoin, the value of human satisfaction, and the similarities between bitcoin investors and startup founders (spoiler alert: it’s that you have to be a bit insane). Rich also grills Aaron on his shift from marijuana enthusiast to financial advisor!

Paul Ford Cuz the last time you were on here it’s like, “Ah I’ve got this podcast about weed [chuckles], it’s really important, it’s a huge market, it’s growing, we’re starting a platform,” and then I look on the internet and it’s like, “Aaron Lammer is doing a podcast about Bitcoin with Jay Caspian Kang and it’s called Coin Guys — ”

Aaron Lammer Coin Talk.

PF “Coin Talk.”

Rich Ziade See, that’s the thing, you can’t transition from stoner to Bitcoin.

AL You don’t like it?

RZ It’s not that I don’t like —

AL Going in the wrong direction.

RZ — it’s like a religious awakening of some sort.

PF What the hell happened?

AL I mean those things aren’t that different from each other [boisterous laughter].

PF How high were you —

RZ So is Stoner gone?

AL No, no it’s just on hiatus. It’ll come back for another season [PF and RZ laugh boisterously].

PF I’m sorry.

AL That wasn’t even a joke.

PF I know.

RZ It hasn’t been to class in three months.

PF When your weed [RZ laughing] podcast is on hiatus, it’s a bad sign. “Yeah, we’re moving production to Colorado.”

RZ Yeah, it’s in a van right now, driving west.

AL Uh I did —

0:53 PF “The mics are in the van.” [Laughter.] [Music fades in and plays alone until 1:10]. Aaron Lammer is a member of Francis and the Lights.

AL Co-songwriter.

PF Co-songwriter in Francis and the Lights which is a very sort of . . . Kardashian associated band.

AL I would not go that far.

PF Ok, but there’s a lot going on [AL laughs]. Kanye’s involved.

AL I would not make that claim.

PF Ok, so there’s Francis and the Lights, there’s the Longform podcast —

AL Correct.

PF — there is Stoner, the weed podcast currently on hiatus.

AL It’s about weed and creativity.

PF And now there’s a new thing.

AL I got a new thing —

PF Also you just had a kid.

AL And I did have a kid.

RZ This is international man of interestingness.

PF How —

AL And I also went on tour.

PF You went on tour with Francis and the Lights?

AL And Chance the Rapper.

PF Wow. What was that like? [RZ laughs.]

AL It was fun.

PF Did you make any weed-based adjustments to your life after the birth of your beautiful daughter?

2:01 AL Umm, yeah, I’ve actually cut back on the weed use just cuz I’m very busy, and I’ve talked on the show about having kind of an addictive nature, I say as I sip my second Diet Coke here.

PF It’s true. You chain drank.

AL There was a period I feel like I was smoking weed like it was like cigarettes. I have a pretty high tolerance to it and I think I just kind of got addicted to the smoking part of it. So um so basically I’ve switched being — my addiction to uh blockfolio now.

PF Podcasting?

AL No, no, my addiction is now just updating cryptocurrency prices.

PF Oh ok so it’s a great time for cryptocurrency the last couple of weeks. So first off —

AL A terrible time in the last couple of weeks.

PF — the podcast is called Coin Talk.

AL Coin Talk. It’s produced in partnership with Medium.

PF Oh, with Medium! Ok. And your co-host on this is another person who’s not normally associated with cryptocurrency, a guy named Jay Caspian Kang.

AL That’s correct. That’s correct.

PF I’ve never met him but he’s very well known, well-respected journalist.

AL He’s on Vice News Tonight on HBO, he’s a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine, and he was one of the founding editors of Grantland.

PF But again, these are not Bitcoin related qualifications.

AL That’s correct. That’s correct.

RZ Which is nice. That’s how it should be.

PF Yeah that’s good. When did you get obsessed with cryptocurrency?

AL Not very long ago. I did not really get super interested in it until 2017 and, I will say, most of the people I’ve met who are really into it, got into it in the last year. I mean there is a definitely an OG class, but —

3:25 RZ I think that’s right.

Bitcoin combines a lot of stuff that I’m really interested in. It has elements of startup technology, but it also has some game theory, and some like . . . just like gambling-y stuff. And I also think that people who are like, say, investing their own time and resources in startup technology are doing a form of gambling.

AL — I once heard someone describe it that basically the size of the audience was like doubling every month and a half. So that means 50 percent of the people are new all the time. And that’s very evident in culture, in the media around it. It’s a lot of people, getting very obsessed, very quickly.

PF Learning and getting the religion.

AL Yes.

PF Did that happen to you?

AL It struck me as a really incredible entertainment product.

PF Right.

AL That doesn’t necessarily mean I believe it’s good for the world. And it also doesn’t necessarily mean that I drink the entire political kool-aid that comes with it, but what I saw when I kind of got into it was that it was like combining a lot of stuff that I’m really interested in. It has elements of startup technology media world, but it also has some game theory, and some like . . . just like gambling-y stuff. And I also think that people who are like, say, investing their own time and resources in startup technology are doing a form of gambling —

RZ Oh hell yeah!

It’s healthier to see it as gambling; if you see startups as a business, you’re an idiot.

AL — that has a risk, and it has a reward, and it has a strategy, and other people can sort of watch them and handicap whether they’re gonna succeed or not, and potentially even stake them financially.

PF It’s healthier to see it as gambling.

AL It sure is.

PF Cuz if you see startups as a business, you’re an idiot [RZ laughs]. For real, like I mean that’s just — it’s not, none of those things — nothing is proven.

AL Correct.

4:53 RZ That’s the excitement, right?

PF Yeah.

AL And if you’re right 50 percent of the time, you can be very successful.

PF Well this is what’s tricky about that world, right, is that you’re creating this portfolio, you’re counting on a couple hits, and you’re rolling the take, if you’re a good VC, you’re willing to just put chip after chip down on that roulette wheel, and lose 90 percent of the —

AL Well, that’s the model!

PF That’s the model.

RZ That’s how it works.

PF Psychologically that’s really tricky too — cuz on the startup side what they tend to is convince you that it’s a real business, and that their money is like a serious investment, and they would like to see that return, like it’s this very psychologically imbalanced thing.

RZ I said this to you many, many years ago —

PF Yup.

RZ — you have to be delusional, to some extent, to really go after it.

PF Yup.

RZ Like it’s actually necessary, you have to convince yourself that everything is gonna line up, when nothing ever lines up, and 40 percent of the things break.

PF I mean the reality too is that you have to be fluid when they break.

RZ You have to be fluid when they break but you have to be irrational to really go because anybody you pitch an idea to that has it together, that has a 401K, will look at you and say, “Look, you sound really excited about this, Rich. You really should go after it cuz that’s your dream,” but they really mean is, “You’re an idiot, you’ll have to go get a job eventually, go do it.”

PF “But I don’t wanna deal with until — ”

AL “Go learn your lesson.”

RZ [Laughing] “Go learn your lesson.”

6:17 PF “Yeah, I don’t wanna deal with you until you’ve figured this shit out. It’s too exhausting.”

RZ So let’s dial back.

AL Yeah.

RZ Everytime I ask someone to define cryptocurrency, they become philosophers [AL chuckles] and I never get the same damn thing.

AL Ok well —

RZ Define it.

AL First I’ll say, I’m gonna pick up where you left off, so most software seems like it’s probably gonna fail. Most startup up digital projects, the odds are just incredibly long. So Bitcoin is digital money. It’s someone making digital money and trying to create a system for it that will flourish and compete with all the other forms of money in the world, without the backing of a state. That’s, at its core, I think what Bitcoin, and I think the second largest currency is Ethereum. And the best way I’ve ever been able to understand Ethereum is that it’s programmable money. It’s money that both has value and can execute code that will, in some ways, change, transform, divide, move, what-have-you, with that money. And all of the other cryptocurrencies are variants on those ideas. Um and they’re being traded on exchanges against each other. They’re being very lightly used and, as technologists —

PF That’s the thing: no one’s spending them, right?

AL — you guys would go, “Wow! These are some pretty primitive projects that are pretty vaporware-ish, and Bitcoin is much further along, you know, its own arc as a piece of software than a lot of them cuz it’s existed for longer. On the other hand, the ones have come out since Bitcoin have, in many ways, improved on some of the designs. So it would be difficult to say which one is further along in, you know, towards whatever it’s gonna become.

There are a lot of currencies in the world that are less stable than Bitcoin.

RZ Can I say something?

AL Yeah.

RZ I’m Lebanese.

AL Yeah.

RZ The Lebanese Lira —

AL Yeah.

RZ — is vaporware [laughs].

8:17 AL There are a lot of currencies in the world that are less stable than Bitcoin.

RZ Exactly.

AL And that has happened, in Zimbabwe as the national currency fell apart and there was a run on banks, people were trading into Bitcoin, and they were doing at rates that were 2X premiums, just cuz that was — there was only one Bitcoin exchange.

RZ Safe haven.

AL So as currencies decline, I do think people will probably push money into digital currencies in places with um, you know, vaporware currencies.

RZ The stressed currency, yeah.

AL It may be a very good bet.

I believe really strongly in like experiencing these things…like you don’t want to get lectured about Twitter by someone who’s not on Twitter. You really have to like experience technology to get it.

RZ Yeah.

PF What is your portfolio like?

AL So I believe really strongly in like experiencing these things. I think you would agree, like you don’t wanna get lectured about Twitter by someone who’s not on Twitter. You really have to like experience technology to get it, I think. So that’s a lot of my interest, like I’m both trying to make money but I’m also doing it so I can talk about it on the show.

PF It’s the opposite of archetypal journalism, right?

AL Yes.

PF You’re really supposed to not do this.

AL I’m not a journalist.

PF You’re invested, meaning you want these things to go up in value.

AL I do but I also am along for the ride and the narrative. And it doesn’t mean I want them to go up at all costs — I actually think it’s pretty healthy right now that the market absolutely wrecked itself [laughing] in the last few days.

9:38 PF As we are speaking [laughter] Bitcoin is —

RZ 8000?

PF — hit its peak of hilarity . . . it hasn’t been this funny in a while.

AL The best times to be involved in Bitcoin media are during a crash.

PF Oh it’s so good.

RZ Of course.

AL Absolutely.

PF Because it’s just, it’s also . . . it’s when all the most obvious fantasies emerge.

AL Yes.

PF When people are like, “Oh well you know if you wanna believe in states existing, then go ahead! But I’m holdin’ on!”

AL One of my favorite ones is when Bitcoin’s going up, when people say that um the US dollar is at an all time low against Bitcoin.

PF Right, right. That’s really, really good. Ok, but we’re, you know, 8,162 — which is a lot of nonsense nickel.

AL It’s incredibly how far the project has already come. Even if it collapsed tomorrow, when you were reading the uh, you know, the postmortem book about the cryptocurrency era, it’s quite like what has already transpired, I would say.

RZ So let’s get — I mean without getting into personal life like what it really hit hard if this thing crashed . . . for you?

AL No, I didn’t put in any money that I’m like not comfortable using.

PF Ok, your daughter is going to have shoes.

AL I mean, absolutely [laughter]. No, I treated it pretty much like I had a small amount of money in the stock market and didn’t really know what I was doing and I was like, “Apple, I don’t like the new iPhone! Sell!”

PF Right.

AL Like, “Oh I love these airpods! Bye!” And I basically shifted doing that to doing that with cryptocurrency.

PF Are there coin mutual funds yet?

AL There are.

PF Oh nooooo!

AL Well there’s ETFs. There’s coin-based ETFs. I don’t know if that counts as a mutual fund. So basically it’s like [PF laughs] instead of buying Bitcoins, you’re just buying a stock of someone who’s buying Bitcoins [music fades in] and when Bitcoin goes up, you lose a lot of the profits, but you don’t have to keep ’em yourself and you’re not gonna get hacked, et cetera.

11:28 PF [Music fades out] [ad spot] Rich, Postlight builds platforms. People need to know what a platform is, what is a platform?

RZ A platform is sort of the [clears throat] what’s under the hood.

PF That’s right.

RZ The stuff that’s kind of lower, that powers the whole thing.

PF Instagram’s a great example. You open up Instagram, it’s got a lot of pictures.

RZ Yes.

PF That’s great. That’s nice. Where do those pictures come from?

RZ The platform.

PF That’s right. It’s says, “Hey! Give me all the pictures from all the people that I follow on Instagram, tell me where they are, and then go get those pictures themselves.”

RZ Complicated, sophisticated, scale . . . is a problem.

PF Big engines! Big racks and racks of computers sittin’ there, servin’ all that stuff up.

RZ [Music fades in] We do that.

PF We love it. It’s our job. And we’re pretty good at it. So get in touch: [email protected] Let’s get back to the show.

12:12 PF Can I tell you [music fades out] my theory?

AL Sure.

PF Ok. So one of my friends wrote an article for The Irish Times in like 2010. And in the article he was like, “Yeah, you know, I figured I had to try this out. So I bought 70 Bitcoins at a quarter at a piece!” And I got in touch with him, I’m like, “What happened?” And he’s like, and this a person — this is a journalist, he’s immune to money, he’s like, “Well, I bought some pizzas [chuckling], I bought some mattresses. But I actually still have quite a bit in the wallet.” So —

AL There’s a whole strand of stories on our show already of journalists who bought Bitcoin for a stunt and are trying to find the Bitcoin they bought in like 2013 to do like a story about buying something on the Silk Road.

RZ They can’t find it?

AL A lot of people kind of lost track. It was best if they only —

RZ You mean like forgot a password?

PF No, because if you look at —

AL I think it’s like on some old laptop or something. It’s like if I was like, “Eh, Rich, do you have your login for this startup that went out of business in 2013?” You’d be like, “Maybe.”

RZ I thought that like once you have a Bitcoin, it’s in the blockchain and it’s everywhere.

AL Well, it’s still on the ledger but if you don’t know where your wallet — you still need to know what your wallet is and have the private keys to your wallet. That’s just saying —

RZ You can’t — can’t they connect —

AL There’s an account, right? That’s like saying, “Yes, I know Rich Ziade at Gmail has an account with me, but he does not have his password, so he cannot come in.”

RZ No, but then I can go in and say, “Forgot password.”

PF No.

AL But you have to know that you’re [email protected] This is just gonna be like —

PF It doesn’t know your email.

AL — this is just gonna be a hex. This is gonna be like a multi-digit hex.

13:51 RZ No, I understand but there’s no correlation between the hex and the human being?

AL No.

PF No . . . you are just a number in the system.

RZ The correlation is with what?

AL With your wallet, like the company you registered you wallet with. For me it would be like Coinbase correlates my email and my wallet. But this was in 2013, this was like on Tor with like some sort of like GUI wallet.

RZ So they’re doing that today?

AL Yeah you can get custodial wallets that you —

RZ Claim and save.

AL That would be like Coinbase offers that kind of a service. And you can buy and sell —

RZ I see.

AL — Robin Hood has just started doing it, Square is doing it now.

I think today [bitcoin] is nonsense. Eventually there has to be a dotted line to actual value, whether it be services or resources. Bitcoin is in a vacuum, as I see it today, and eventually somebody is going to want to trace that line. It leads to nothing today

RZ So . . . is it nonsense?

AL No . . . what do you think? Cuz you’re not a person who is afraid to think in a utopian sense about software and its possibilities.

RZ I think today it’s nonsense. I think eventually there has to be a dotted line to actual value, whether it be services or resources. Bitcoin is in a vacuum, as I see it today, and that eventually somebody is gonna wanna trace that line. It leads to nothing today, as far as I know. It’s just another representation of a dollar that has — it should be one to one. It’s a technology version of a dollar that is —

AL But is it a dollar? Because you said that the Lebanese currency was vaporware. So how does the Lebanese currency relate to the dollar?

RZ It’s because it is in the marketplace.

AL Right.

15:24 RZ It’s a distressed, dotted line [AL chuckles], right? Because Lebanon has some resources —

AL Right.

RZ It has an economy based on expats that come in for vacations and whatnot that bring American dollars and spend them — So it is in the marketplace, it just doesn’t have leverage.

AL Right. My viewpoint would be that the blockchain is what we’re actually talking about, not the part that’s like the US dollar.

RZ Ok.

AL So like think about like Bittorrent, right? You know when you download a movie from Bittorrent?

PF Who’s —

RZ Never done that.

PF Never done that. I don’t know.

AL It never happened . . . um I’m doing all the illegal stuff [laughter] on your guys’ show. You guys make me feel like I’m like an outlaw here. I’m a pretty normal —

RZ I mean we gotta create [laughing] a story arch of some kind.

PF It’s because we’re jealous. Yeah.

AL Uh ok so —

RZ So download a movie from Bittorrent?

AL What server did that movie come from? It didn’t come from any server, it came from a direct connection to many, many peoples computers around the world and you could go to any one of those computer’s house, rip it offline, the movie would still exist. Until you got rid of all the computers, all over the world —

RZ Wonderful analogy.

AL — what’s powerful about that idea?

16:37 RZ Unplug a server!

AL There’s no server! Which means even a government can’t really shut it down. You could put a person on that network in jail but you can’t put the network itself, you can’t destroy it.

The blockchain is really just the lowest layer. Once you take that idea of an immutable server that everyone can access without anyone controlling it, whether the project succeeds or fails is whatever people can build on top of that. And the first thing that they’ve built on top of it that’s truly been viral is money.

PF Ok so all the value that was created, there’s some record of what happened.

AL Ok so —

RZ And that record is —

AL — right and so now we’ve created a way not only to maintain —

PF That’s the blockchain.

AL — that dataset but to have people add and subtract to it immutably. So that no one can erase anything that’s on it, no one can alter, no one can seize it. You know at least with Bittorrent, you could say, “Well, we’ve deleted the file from here.” But there’s not even really that potential in a blockchain. So I guess like if you believed in this stuff — and I don’t necessarily think you need to believe in this stuff, but if you believe in this stuff, what you’d believe is that a form of money that is not subject to any nation’s control is potentially even more immutable than a form of money that a country controls, backed by its resources and reserves, et cetera. It like could potentially be like a post-national project, in the same way that many open source software projects are post-national. That blockchain is really just the lowest layer. And once you take that idea of an immutable server that everyone can access without anyone controlling it, whether the project succeeds or fails is whatever people can build on top of that. And the first thing that they’ve built on top of it that’s truly been viral is money.

PF Right. See this is my thing because I think that like . . . the connection between this technology and money is just almost a joke. Like it’s a parody on human behaviour, and I always felt that way about Bitcoin. Like when you read the original paper, you’re like, “Ah, these guys are being dicks.” Like they’re just — they’re playing with you. And they’re going like, “Hey, we can make this like money. Ha ha!” And then people took it seriously.

AL Well it’s a very elegant system, this idea of like mining and the proof of work and mining and how it’s controlled and there’s like a limited flow. So it’s not like rushing into the market. It was a bunch of weird decisions like when you’re making a board game —

PF Yeah.

AL And, generally, when you’re playing the board game you’d be like, “Oh shit! We didn’t think of this. You can just do this strategy and win every time.” Not only did the “White Paper” set out that board game, but that board game . . . the software has basically worked.

PF Right.

19:11 AL Which is pretty surprising as people who’ve developed software. It should have a major flaw in it.

PF No, no, I mean what they came up with ten years ago is also what is out there now. There’ve been changes to the network but it’s pretty —

AL And there’s similarities to the internet! With that which is, “Why did we do this whole HTTP protocol?” And it’s like, “I dunno. We did it and seems to be working, now people are building on top of that.”

PF It’s what people want.

AL Yeah.

PF Yeah.

AL So I draw a lot of similarities to the early web in how people are building on top of it except it’s way weirder.

RZ What I still struggle with is it hopped into the market.

AL Yes.

RZ The market is driven by — they are units of value that you can always trace back to tangible value.

AL Can you always trace it back though? At a certain level? Or is the whole system kind of like built like —

RZ I think the system takes care of itself.

AL Yeah.

RZ What Bitcoin has shown up to do is say, “Look at this project, technically it’s fascinating and really, really interesting. Let us play.”

AL Yup.

RZ “And jump into this marketplace.” But it itself is not tying back to anything that could benefit that could benefit that marketplace.

20:29 AL Ok, I’m gonna give you the counter-example.

RZ Go.

AL What happens if every person who works in technology in New York City signs up for Venmo?

PF Yeah.

AL Ok so the value of the startup, Venmo, goes up because they’ve claimed new unique users and market shares and if it was acquired, it would theoretically be worth more money cuz more people are using it and it has —

RZ That’s not why Venmo’s value would go up!

AL Why?

RZ Venmo’s value would go up because they provided a service that allows them to take a vig, to take a little bit of money off of each one of those transactions.

AL Right. So . . . what happened — ok so here’s a thing I can do with uh cryptocurrency. I can work in the — I’m a Filipino nurse and I’m working in the middle east, in Saudi Arabia, and I usually pay a five to ten percent fee to a Wells Fargo-like company to send my money back to my family.

RZ Ok.

AL Now I can do it as a direct digital transaction with Bitcoin for let’s say a fraction of a cent. Not right now.

RZ Instead of let’s say two dollars.

AL Right. Ok. So now I’ve — has Bitcoin claimed value of that lost fee in the same way that Venmo has claimed its vig?

RZ Ok, you know what you just did?

AL What’s that?

21:47 RZ You redefined Bitcoin as a service.

AL Ok.

RZ And you are taking a fee —

AL Yeah.

RZ For the ability to transfer to transact from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines.

AL But! There’s no company that controls Bitcoin, so who takes the fee? Does the fee go into the overall value of the network then?

PF But wait, my understanding is that the fee, for what it is, the transaction gets verified by the miners —

AL Yes.

PF — who are rewarded because after a certain period of mining they unlock complex hash codes that then are sort of the —

AL They find a coin!

PF Yeah, whatever a Bitcoin is in quotes. That’s what it is.

AL The find a coin and they are rebroadcasting the network and they charge a fee for the service. But not the entire fee necessarily. I believe that overall the network is creating value. In the same way that if Mike Novagro, if some hedge funder, liquidates a hundred million dollars, US dollars, and pours it into Bitcoin, is the Bitcoin network not more valuable now that it’s swallowed that money? Even though it doesn’t trace back to any point, even when you go back to zero all you have is like a line of code? The fact that a person poured a hundred million dollars into basically broadcasting that code all over the world and paying miners to broadcast that mode, and virally get more people to participate in the network and the code, and to convert their money to the network and code. To me that’s like a net value.

RZ No, but that value eventually.

AL Yeah.

RZ Right? — Bitcoin is a way of buying time . . . is what you can say, because eventually that value is susceptible to the marketplace, right?

AL Yes.

23:28 RZ And it can’t stand up when it finally gets called because what you did — what you did with that example is you tied that Bitcoin to value. Real tangible value.

AL Yup.

RZ You went and sought out tangible value and you latched it onto Bitcoin, right?

AL Mm hmm.

RZ Today what it’s saying is uh, “We’re really interesting technology, therefore we should be valued and some people are putting money into it . . . which the speculation is people will think this will be valued forever and therefore the money will remain where it is.” By the way, there is value in Bitcoin, some value in Bitcoin. Is it six times the value of a dollar?

AL Well that becomes — I feel like — I sort of agree with you —

RZ The market will take care of that, right?

AL The whole thing works whether Bitcoin’s worth one dollar or a hundred thousand dollars, the utility of the network is the same. But there’s a total of 21 million coins ever. So if more and more people wanna play this video game, um and there’s only 21 million coins ever, you can’t tie it to one dollar. What happens when I want a coin and you’ve got the coins? And I’m like, “I wanna buy into the game! I wanna go to the arcade!” Now the price is above a dollar.

RZ Ok now I’m gonna chase you again.

AL Yeah.

RZ You’ve created a game!

AL It’s a game.

RZ There are video games that cost 60 dollars and you pay a fee every month to play the video game.

AL Yeah.

RZ And if that’s the value that is tangible, because human beings love to play games —

AL Yup.

24:55 RZ Then here we are.

AL But what about the value of a sword in um a role-playing game that there’s only —

RZ That’s part of the game.

AL — let’s say there’s only a hundred of them, right? And there becomes an economy for that sword. Does that lead back to nothing? Or does it lead back to the virtual sword?

RZ No, it leads back to joy!

AL Is this the weirdest conversation you’ve had on this?

RZ I think it’s great.

PF I love this conversation!

RZ I think it’s great. No, because I think you’re right.

AL Yeah.

RZ I think here you are — you know what you’re talking about? Human satisfaction [AL yeah], the tieback which is what every video game is, when I get that sword, I’m in my mom’s basement but I got the big sword. Feels really good and I will pay you US dollars for it.

AL Yes.

PF Well and the sword makes me more powerful, and it’s pleasurable to look upon, and I have it in my collection, and I mean there’s a — if you wanna focus on materiality: you can start to get an argument that it’s pointless to buy books, you know? It’s just —

AL Yeah.

RZ Look, you’re helping me get there and what I’m realizing is that people — this is really tied to — the technology is a decoy [AL chuckles], it’s all bullshit. What this comes down to is that this plays on human satisfaction. And desire. That’s it. That is its tangible value. Just as a Rembrandt, by the way, could be tied to status —

Is your religion art or is your religion technology? And where will it be in a hundred years? Will it be with a technological religion or an art religion?

PF Comfort. Comfort.

RZ Comfort. That’s the value.

AL Is your religion art or is your religion technology? And where will be in a hundred years? Will it be with a technological religion or an art religion?

26:23 PF Oh in this case I’d probably bet on the art.

AL I think I’d bet on art too actually but right now I think there are a lot of people who would bet on technology. And we haven’t even talked about Altcoins yet which are like ten times more entertaining and hilarious.

PF We can’t do it. We can’t do it. We gotta wind down [laughter]. I mean alright —

RZ This is great though because I learned a lot here. I had never — everytime someone would explain the blockchain to me, I’m like, “Ok, very cool.”

PF Look, let’s leave it there. Everyone —

AL Listen to Coin Talk!

PF How do I get to Coin Talk?

AL Just go in a podcast app and search ‘Coin Talk’ or go to medium.com/cointalk. [Music fades in] we have transcripts of every episode.

PF That’s the best. Transcripts are important!

AL I think transcripts are great!

PF Well, Aaron, um —

RZ Always a pleasure!

PF That was great. I’m actually now —

RZ That was like Meet the Press [AL chuckles] a little bit.

PF — I’m very excited about our new role in which you’re my personal financial advisor [RZ laughs boisterously].

AL Absolutely. Paul! Paul. Two words: all in.

PF All in. Here we go! Ok, I’m gonna go buy 500 Altcoins right now.

AL Sumokoin.

PF Oh yeah.

AL If you’ll allow me to show [RZ Bananacoin!] my bags: Sumokoin.

PF Really? Sumokoin?

AL Yes.

PF Alright I’m gonna go check it out. Everybody check out Sumokoin! Aaron, thank you.

AL Thanks.

RZ Thanks [music ramps up to end].