Juan Llanos at TedxMidAtlantic: “If Money Doesn’t Flow, Life Doesn’t Flow”

In the past 8 years, TED talks have taken the internet bystorm, with presentations covering everything from the positive effects ofgaming to the philosophy for a happy life. While not the first TED talk todelve into Bitcoin and certainly not the last, Juan Llanos delivered a rousingpresentation on the potential effects the digital currency could revolutionizemuch more than global distribution of wealth.

Llanos, a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist since 2003, was born inArgentina and now lives in the United States. He started off his talk by goingover the reality a majority of countries ravaged by inflations and loss ofcurrency face, including the hardships he faced in his home country.

As he put it simply: “If money doesn’t flow, life doesn’t flow.”

Llanos explained how this flow is hard to keep up due to high remittance feesfrom banks – in some countries in Africa remittance fees spill over 20%.According to the World Bank, if these fees were cut by 5%, over US$16 billiondollars would reach their destination country.

Citing this estimate, Llanos elaborated:  “Imagine if a mother (in Zimbabwe) were toreceive two additional dollars from her son in London. Two dollars is probablymore than she can make in a month.”

With the rising growth of internet users in Africa (Llanoscites an 82% growth in 2013), Llanos transitioned to what he considers the bestmoney transfer system sans a third-party: Bitcoin.



“I’m not representing a brand. I’m just excited to introduce to you a newtechnology that I truly believe is going to be life-altering for millions.”


According to Llanos, Bitcoin can be summarized in three parts:

1. A digital payments system

2. Digital money i.e. currency

3. Digital platform that allows for many innovations.


Llanos remarked that the third point is most important tohim. After explaining how distribution of bitcoin is controlled by no one,inflation is impossible due to the limited number of bitcoins, and users nevergive away their identification during transactions, he shed more light on theseinnovations and how they can be used beyond a payment system:

“For example, voting –our vote is going to reach the destination and never be altered. Andfundamentally, it could unearth all of the hidden value in the underground economies.The mystery of capital that[Peruvian economist] Hernando de Soto and manyothers have studied…these people could underwrite and get credit for the firsttime by being able to securitize an asset they have and is hidden in thateconomy.”

Ending on an optimistic note, Llanos took another chance to express his faithin Bitcoin: “I truly believe this technology is revolutionary. It can help usand really change the world.”

Juan Llanos is currently EVP at Stealth Bitcoin Startup.Previously he co-founded Unidos Financial services and acted as EVP, &Compliance Officer, where he was responsible for its technology strategyformulation and execution along with its AML and compliance risk managementinfrastructure.

Llanos’ Ted talk can be viewed here.

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