Interview with Fabricio Terán & Susanne Tarkowski Temphelhof – Part 1
The austrolibertarian think tank Mises Hispano and the cryptotechnology-based self-governance platform Bitnation are joining forces, Bitnation ambassador Erik Vollstädt used this special occasion to interview both their figureheads in light of this unusual partnership.
A partnership between exponents of Austrian economic thought and cryptocurrency based organizations is quite unconventional, looking at their different views regarding how to fight centralized power. Austrians seem to prefer precious metals such as gold and silver as a way to wihdraw the governments’ control over their economies, whereas crypto-anarchists count on crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin as their weapons of choice to bring down fiat-based central governments all over the world.
Susanne, would you prefer owning gold to Bitcoin? And which has a stronger impact on global decentralization, gold or BTC?
Fabricio, Bitcoin’s value only depends on it’s use as a currency, whereas gold and silver can also be used as commodities. Does sound money have to have any other use apart from being a currency?
I want to start off by admitting that monetary theory is not my favourite topic, but yes, I have an idea and was able to form my own opinion, since I’ve been motivated to study individual sovereignty and independence from government monopolies from my political point of view. Money is a safeguard of individual sovereignty, as its mobility allows us transfer our savings with us in case of war, exile, escape, tax evasion and avoidance, or simply to move to another place in search of better opportunities or to change your bank during times of freedom and peace.
I’d like to own gold as I consider it the most accepted asset (or good to protect your savings) in the world and it is very difficult to let it not be accepted anymore. Moreover, it is exactly the fact that it is acknowledged as a commodity which empowers its monetary value, since it has more uses than just as a money. Besides, its different usages compete with each other, increasing its value and directing it towards its most valued use. The monetary independence precious metals give us regarding government money consists in the governments’ inability to control the global metal markets and therefore the savings protected by these metals. Further, the existance of a liable entity (a bank) for the storage of those metals gives us a sort of guarantee in case of fraud or negligence.
Nevertheless, I think Bitcoin gives us better possibilities to outsource our savings, allowing us to effectively avoid government control and facilitate international trade much more than precious metals could – requiring storage. On the other side, it doesn’t seem to have the same guarantees against fraud and negligence banks provide, since there is no liable entity you can sue for not protecting your assets. The idea of Bitcoin appears to me to be a strategy of resistance against government power, a form of skipping controls which limit international free flow of capital. Personally, I believe we should stop seeing Bitcoin as an investment opportunity, I wouldn’t recommend to get into Bitcoin for the sake of forex trading. It has not been designed as a way to make money, but rather to resist central banking, it is just a coincidence that this form of resistance is related to capital flows.
What’s the most interesting with Bitcoin is the technology it’s based on, the blockchain technology. The blockchain, a cryptographically secured public ledger distributed amongst hundreds of thousands of users – a global database – is tremendously valuable in itself. Currency is only the first application of the blockchain technology. An interesting application no doubt, but just one of many, and not necessarily the most important one. Applications we’re working on include the creation of identities on the blockchain, using it for land titles, marriages, birth certificates, wills, child care contracts, insurance distribution schemes, corporate incorporation including the creation of cryptoequity, and much more.
I don’t know which is better to own from a speculation standpoint. But from the standpoint of which one will revolutionize and decentralize the world, it’s definitely Bitcoin, because of the underlying blockchain technology, and its many important applications. Therefore, I would also rather own Bitcoin, I like to be a part of that technological revolution, needless to say :)
Fabricio, regarding liable entities for Bitcoin transactions, there exists a system already that provides escrow for Bitcoin merchants and customers, it’s called Multisig.
Do you think it is possible to unite Bitcoiners and supporters of precious metals as free market moneys since they share the same ideological goals (to end the government’s power over the markets)? And what strategic approach should they take for marketing their ideas – a constructive one showing the benefits of using stateless moneys, or a more analytic one focusing on the flaws of the current system (how the states are extorting their citizens through central banking and legal tender)?
Yes of course the two should work together. Many who are into Bitcoins are also into precious metals, and vice versa. I don’t see any conflict at all between the two.
I personally believe in positive messaging, simply showing the day to day benefits of crypto – at Bitnation we’re very consistent with that.
There are of course audiences that are triggered by anger, the copblock movement comes to mind. It’s great that that type of initiative exist for those audiences as well.
The free competition of goods should be welcomed by everyone, but it should be mentioned that they are not necessarily of the same quality.
The strategic approach requires both the delegitimization of the establishment, in this case from a monetary perspective, as well as “educational activism” by simplifying complex topics through examples and showing alternatives.
Nevertheless it should be noted that as long as there is no radical transformation of the legal order, be it through political reform, insurgent uprising or technological and cultural improvements, every attempt to create alternative businesses outside of the state will always remain incomplete and vulnerable.
*** to be continued ***
Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, BitNation Founder and CEO, is an international entrepreneur, tech investor, and writer. She has worked in Sweden, France, Brazil, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, United States, Libya, Egypt and Indonesia in the past. In 2008 she started Wise Strategic Communication, the first Afghan strategic communication company, which she sold in February 2011 to a US contracting firm. In the wake of the Arab Spring, in 2011 she started Shabakat Corporation in Egypt and Libya to support local grassroots movements. After the end of the civil war in Libya she turned Shabakat into a technology company, to provide crypto investment consultancy, currency mining in Indonesia, and other frontier applications. She’s the author of the forthcoming book “The Googlement – The DIY Guide To Starting Your Own Nation (And Changing The World)” – Nortia Press, and a regular writer and speaker at conferences, having appeared in New York Times, Huffington Post, The PanamPost, CoinTelegraph, Swedish and French Television, TEDx, and many other venues. Even though she used to work as a military contractor in the past, she has discovered the philosophy of voluntaryism several years ago and is a strong supporter of anarchist movements ever since.
Bitnation is a collaborative platform for DIY Governance, from dispute resolution and insurance to security and much more – but in a geographically unbound, decentralized, and voluntary way. Bitnation is powered by Bitcoin 2.0 blockchain technology – a cryptograhically secured public ledger distributed amongst all of its users. They are dedicated to the open source philosophy, and provide a platform for users to develop their own governance functions, or fork the code and create a brand new voluntary governance system.
They are a Distributed Organization incorporated on the Blockchain and selling XBNX, a cryptoequity exchanged for Bitcoin, on their own crowdsale. Their essential service is to provide DApps (Decentralized Applications) that can be used on a global level to register information or content on the blockchain, a voluntary way to universally certificate information, in order to render government authorization and licensing obsolete and to offer more efficient, cheaper and faster solutions than governments ever can.
Fabricio Terán, Director of the the Austrolibertarian Think Tank Mises Hispano, which is part of the Mises Global movement. Lawyer specialized in public law and conflict mediation for the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, Degree in Governability and Political Leadership at George Washington University, Master’s degree in Political Economics at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos under the direction of Jesús Huerta de Soto, receiving a doctorate in Social Sciences at the same university.
He used to be a supporter of anarcho-syndicalism, anti-capitalism and anti-globalization movements, but reading Bastiat, and most of all Rothbard, showed him the misery caused by central authorities, of which academics and state apologists have usually blamed private enterprise and a lack of regulation and centralization.
He wrote a variety of articles worth reading for Mises Ecuador before becoming Head of Mises Hispano, covering topics from Keynesianism and public spending, Ecuadorian policies, Secessionism, Geopolitics, Gay marriage, Anorexia, International Concerts up to historic events such as Columbus’ invasion of Latin American and Ecuador’s political chaos of 30-S. He openly questions government authority and the public opinion, holding contrarian stances for intellectual property, social security, organized religion and the role of government in preserving morality and nature.
Mises Hispano is a center for studies and promotion of Austrolibertarianism – the union of the Austrian School of Economics and the Libertarian philosophy – in Spanish language. They have a focus on social, economical, legal and political issues, aiming for peace, development of local communities and most of all, emphasizing the role of the individual by promoting personal liberty and voluntary cooperation.
It’s their mission to educate the public about the importance of human choice as crucial point of all social studies, critical investigation of established institutions and history, and to advance Ludwig von Mises’ and Murray Rothbard’s tradition of defending private property ethics, free markets, political self-determination of nations and secession, and peaceful international relations.
They wish to create changes in academic opinion through two basic activities: creating and publishing content. They intend to publicize documents and material that has remained widely unknown in Spanish language and to serve as a communication platform for like-minded individuals, increasingly penetrating the Spanish speaking world’s public opinion every time they publish something.
Their organization consists of a board, which holds the Austrolibertarian ideology, and a staff that makes the production of content possible. The director is the main communicator between the two groups. All of their operations are online.
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