Andreas Antonopoulos: ‘I want to see the independence day of crypto’

Speaking at this year's ETHDenver conference, the open blockchain advocate called for unity amongst the crypto community in the event of a societal backlash against governments and banks

Andreas Antonopoulos hopes that we may soon see the “independence day of crypto”, calling for the many crypto tribes and open blockchain advocates to come together and unite in the event of any upcoming societal backlash against governments and banks.

His remarks were taken from a Q&A delivered at the recent ETHDenver conference about the scalability of electoral politics and the asymmetric power of cryptography.

At the start of the Q&A, Antonopoulos was posed a question regarding what he thought about the current turmoil in electoral politics across Western nations.

He started out by stating that in the current institutions of democracy, he sees a lot of “classical liberal perspective” with an “essence of Greek democracy” and finally some “renaissance and enlightenment ideals”.

However, he commented that countries of a Western cultural background are “currently struggling with a fundamental collapse of institutions”.

In his opinion, this collapse in governance is “due to scalability problems in decision-making” that were “failing to address an interconnected globe with trade across continents, and problems like climate change which affect people across the world”.

A fan of banks?

Andreas is known to be against big banking organisations, but on this occasion, he told the audience how “banks in the 17th century were the greatest liberalising institution humanity had ever seen”.

“They were persecuted for the idea that someone other than the pope or the king could write a cheque, have a deposit, trade across borders with ease, invest in a mutual corporation or association. It was absolutely unthinkable at the time, but they did their job and liberated billions of people.”

He mentioned that at the time, “the only people with a chequebook were the kings of France or Spain”.

Catering only to billionaires and multi-national corporations

Back on the topic of global politics, the Mastering Bitcoin author proclaimed: “We need to fix these institutions. We have tried to make a single institution or set of institutions scale up from the local all the way to the transnational level, but almost certainly the locals and the whole planet are being screwed.

“The only scale that works is in the middle. One constituency. The billionaires and multi-national corporations are very well represented.”

Public opinion has ‘near-zero’ impact on US law

The Internet of Money author then brought up the 2015 research carried out by the prestigious Princeton University that concluded “public opinion has ‘near-zero’ impact on US law”.

Regarding the report, Antonopoulos commented: “They looked at public policy and tried to see if there was a correlation with national surveys of popular sentiment on key political ideas. They couldn’t find any correlation. Then they compared public policy with the opinions of billionaires, and they were an exact match.

“They get the legislation they want. The ‘constituency’ is being served. The only problem is, you are not the constituency. I am not the constituency.”

Debt is the constituency

The Mastering Ethereum author went on to speculate that in many countries, oil, diamonds, cobalt, and lithium are the constituency, but in the United States, “debt is the constituency”.

He went on to say that governments “extract debt from the ground like oil and drown us in it. Creating a class of parasitic elites who don’t give a sh*t about any of us. They are the constituency.”

When asked if he thinks this will change any time soon, he said: “I am an optimist. But on this topic, even I have doubts at this point.”

Moving on to the topic of unity amongst the various tribes in the cryptocurrency space today, Andreas asked the crowd: “If the giant government and bank backlash starts now, can we all be friends again?”

Talking about the perspective of legislators and governments today, he said: “We are all weirdos in the same camp [to them]. They can not tell the difference.

“The only way [the crypto community] can achieve unity is by unifying against an external threat.”

Referencing the plot of the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, Andreas concluded: “I want to see the independence day of crypto, where we go implant a BIOS virus in an alien ship and blow them all up…..or something like that, only with Wells Fargo.”

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