Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to Richard Heart, Bitcoin millionaire and founder of Hex.
You can watch the full video of our talk below. Despite some minor technical difficulties, eventually we were able to discuss a plurality of topics ranging from Bitcoin’s early mining history to how the coin can be adopted worldwide.
And of course, we discussed his current project – Hex – and how the company aims to bring value to Bitcoin and Ethereum holders.
One of the topics I was keen to discuss with Richard was, of course, Bitcoin’s purpose and its use cases. To me, it started as a P2P payment network that quickly became a store of value as more and more people became HODLers. One of the most intriguing comments from the marketing guru was, when referring to blockchain technology being adopted by institutions and corporations:
“People (companies) don’t need censorship resistance – no one is trying to censor their transactions. The reason why people use the blockchain? To get rich and to buy stuff on the dark net (and I hope you’re using a good mixer).”
In Richard’s view, there’s little current distributed ledger technology can’t do that blockchain will improve for most corporations.
To him, blockchain is over-hyped as a mystical technology that solves all database, network, security, and scalability problems. As he has so eloquently put in a previous interview:
“The blockchain is a giant excel spreadsheet with some passwords and some fancy fault-tolerance transaction ordering.”
— Pedro Febrero (@Febrocas) August 19, 2018
In addition, we discussed Richard’s belief that there’s currently a lack of development around Bitcoin. I personally do not agree with his views on this – I’ve been writing a lot recently about new privacy features and how these could impact BTC in the near future. However, Richard claims that Bitcoin has been lacking serious development and won’t be able to properly implement any feature that could potentially add an extra layer of privacy or anonymity.
The conversation then moved on to price and whether Bitcoin is a store of value. And Richard’s take was, yet again, quite interesting:
“Bitcoin hasn’t seen any improvements over the last two years. Price will go higher, but SegWit might be the last interesting improvement we get. Google searches suck. Technical improvement sucks. Wallet downloads suck. Almost everything sucks. Except the regulatory environment.”
Richard warned enthusiasts about the imminent failure of the SegWit2x project (he was working on the team at the time) as miners were “forced” to run upgrades at the expense of a network attack in case they didn’t follow through.
Interestingly, he also believes most simple explanations about Bitcoin are wrong, especially when it comes to abstract stuff like BTC being used as money or the purpose of certain cryptos (that is, how people actually use the technology rather than what it was built for). In Richard’s eyes, for instance, exchange failures are good for Bitcoin’s price if they’re not really an on-ramp for new people to join the space, as that puts positive pressure on Bitcoin’s price.
We then went on to talk about Proof-of-Work (PoW) and how it compared to other algorithms, and how security, scalability, and governance usually come hand-in-hand (we can’t improve scalability without compromising either security and/or decentralisation).
Finally, and before we dived into HEX, Richard added some quite interesting thoughts about Ethereum:
“I don’t think Ethereum will move into Proof-of-Stake. (…) ProgPoW could challenge the ASICs manufactures and be efficient; so why move into PoS?”
What about Hex?
Hex markets itself as the first high-interest savings account on the blockchain.
In Richard’s view, technology is fun to talk about, but without mass adoption and people buying up something with economic value, there is no purpose. To him, Bitcoin is not private enough, it’s not used to pay taxes, and it can’t be used by peers as internet cash.
Richard claims that Hex is an answer for both Bitcoin and Ethereum holders as it offers continuous gains for anyone who owns Bitcoin and for anyone who wishes to convert their ETH into Hex.
“Hex is the first certificate of deposit on the blockchain. Trustless interest. It pays holders instead of miners. No Mt Gox dumping on you. No inflation bug possible like Bitcoin has had. Unit bias fixed. Higher TPS. More distributed. Whale penalty which gives coins to stakers. Dishonest stakers that end their stake early or late pay honest stakers. A longer stake commit pays 20% more per year (partial years are fine). Open source. No pre-mine, no ICO, lower fees, lower inflation.
“Every week you don’t claim, someone else gets your coins. Critical mass and Virality bonuses increase payouts to early stakers to cancel out the desire to keep it a secret and get more unclaimed coins. The inflation is also delayed, because it’s only paid on ended stakes, and stakes can last 50 years.”
It remains to be seen whether Hex will gain more traction in the crypto space, but Richard is certainly confident in the project and its goals.
Stay tuned to Coin Rivet for more interviews, news, and price analysis.