Each week we ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
Each participant then gets to remove one blockchain question — and a personal one — and they can substitute in two of their own for the next victim.
This week our 6 Questions go to Pete Rizzo, Editor-at-Large at Kraken exchange.
Pete Rizzo oversees content development at one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which has also recently scooped up pioneering Bitcoin lawyer Marco Santori and acquired Circle’s OTC desk.
He was an original member of crypto media outlet CoinDesk and served as its Editor-in-Chief until 2019. There, he was one of the world’s earliest and most active cryptocurrency journalists, publishing nearly 2,000 articles during his six-year tenure.
1 – What kind of consolidation do you expect to see in the crypto industry in 2020/21?
It will definitely be an environment where big cryptocurrency firms have ample opportunity to get bigger through acquisitions and strategic hires.
More broadly, though, I think one of the biggest narratives that has flown under the radar is that there are two distinct types of attitudes emerging at large cryptocurrency companies.
On one side, you have businesses that are interested in furthering crypto adoption through new and novel products that embrace the technology’s ethos.
On the other side, you have companies that are tailoring traditional business models for cryptocurrency or else looking for ways to extract fiat value from the crypto economy.
I think a more telling question is not whether there is consolidation, it’s which ethos will have a greater impact on short-term adoption.
I’m bullish on companies that are prioritizing ethos and seeking to scale the industry in a way that preserves and evangelizes its values.
2 – What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited, and why?
Very few places I’ve visited have stuck with me quite like Dubai.
Not only is it a visually arresting city, but being from suburban America, it probably provided me with my biggest culture shock to date. (I accidentally boarded the subway in the women and children’s section on arrival.)
It’s also a place where I think technology will have the most long-term impact for good.
It’s hard to hear a call for prayer while watching people shop in a Victoria’s Secret and not think that the Middle East could be a place of real and radical change in the not too distant future.
It also reminds me of how travelers may have seen America in its early days.
People forget America was a very religious country founded by Puritans, but it evolved rapidly. I wonder whether the UAE could take on a similar role in history. We’ll see.
3 – Which media personality or influencer do you enjoy most in this space?
Very many people to list here, so I’ll narrow it down to someone who I think is knocking it out of the park during the lockdown.
Overall, I’ve been most impressed of late with Anthony Pompliano. Pomp gets a lot of flak for a Twitter persona that prioritized (maybe even pioneered) Hallmark-style, feel-good Bitcoin messaging, but I think he’s really come into his own during the recent crisis.
Rather than doubling down on easy rhetoric, his emails are really sharply cutting through the noise, illustrating succinctly why the current economic bounceback is based on a stock market that’s becoming wildly divorced from fundamentals.
He’s also drawn on a much wider variety of guests and is doing more than anyone to bring mainstream financial personalities into the conversation about Bitcoin.
This flowering of the Pomp Podcast is also coming at a time when a lot of crypto media are talking big about expanding to mainstream audiences, while doing so awkwardly and unsuccessfully. Pomp, on the other hand, is clearly having no issues with the transition.
(I’m also pretty excited about Peter McCormack’s Defiance video series and will be excited to see where that heads once he can travel the world with his usual abandon.)
4 – Star Trek or Star Wars – and why?
Let’s see, Star Wars is an epic that completely changed how movies were made forever. Star Trek is a mostly enjoyable, sometimes intelligent 1960’s TV show.
This isn’t even a contest for me. Star Wars.
Here’s hoping the R-rated Quentin Tarantino Star Trek script gets made into a movie, though.
5 – What are the best and worst aspects of the shelter-in-place orders for you personally?
I am fortunate enough to work from home in an industry that is entirely operated over the Internet, and I mostly watch movies and read books written before I was born. So, my life hasn’t really changed at all.
I did move out of New York City during the quarantine, and that has been great.
(Last movie: “The Ten Commandments.” Last book: “The Red Badge of Courage.”)
6 – What will happen to Bitcoin over the next ten years?
Bitcoin will continue to batch transactions into blocks roughly every 10 minutes and award miners a steadily declining amount of newly minted Bitcoin for completing the computation required to create blocks.
Non-controversial software patches (likely Schnorr and Taproot) will be added to the code that makes it easier for nodes to store a full transaction history and audit the blockchain.
In short, not sure that much will “happen to” Bitcoin. What will happen is that Bitcoin will begin to “happen to” society.
More people will come to understand that Bitcoin has effectively proved that scarce data can satisfy the definition of money, and that its fixed software rules ensure it provides (and will continue to provide) a viable monetary option outside of government control.
I think the world will increasingly grapple with accepting that change, particularly larger institutions and governments who won’t get to decide whether it becomes widely accepted and who won’t be able to change how Bitcoin works according to their whims.
I expect it to be an eventful transition!
Pete substituted questions 1 and 2 with two new ones for our next buidler…
Take a look at places 50 – 100 on the market cap rankings on CMC right now, and share a project that stands out for you. Why?
Thinking of a favorite song or poem, what are the words that move you; and why are they important?