Videos:Bitcoin Stories

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Living, Breathing, & Betting on Bitcoin - Outliers Ep. 2[edit]


  • Olaf Carlson-Wee is was the first Coinbase employee.
  • Olaf pays his friend in Bitcoin when buying pizza when bitcoin price is still at around $35, which literally makes his friends becoming rich today as well.
  • Olaf first get to know bitcoin on June 2011, where he saw an article in Gawker, which is on Silk Road about bitcoin technology. He never heard of it before but sounds interesting to him. So he tries to find out what is bitcoin about.


00:00 I Think my parents frankly still struggle to understand what I do.
00:01 When I started, you know I told my parents like hey I got this job, and they said you know what are your co-workers like.
00:07 And I was like well, there's only two of them but they're great guys.
00:10 You know, what's the office like?
00:12 And I was like well.
00:12 It's an apartment.
00:14 And they were like well, at least you're getting paid right?
00:16 And I said well I'm getting paid in this crypto currency called Bitcoin.
00:18 And they were like wait, is this like legit?
00:22 cryptocurrency is basically digital money that is outside the control of any central government or bank, and the best-known form of it is Bitcoin.
00:33 Since bitcoins start in 2009, it and other crypto currencies have evolved.
00:39 And some now believe they're on the cusp of fundamentally reshaping money as we know it.
00:45 OLaf Carlson we is a leader in this new industry.
00:48 He famously lived off Bitcoin for years and now runs poly chain Capital, a hedge fund that deals exclusively in cryptocurrency.
00:56 I Got a lot of friends interested in Bitcoin, by having them kind of like buy the pizza, and then I would send them 20 bucks in Bitcoin.
01:06 And I actually accidentally ended up making friends like thousands and thousands of dollars by doing this.
01:12 OLaf made his friends and himself so wealthy because the price of Bitcoin has exploded.
01:17 When Olaf first got paid in Bitcoin, one was only worth around $35.
01:22 But today that same Bitcoin will cost you over four thousand dollars.
01:26 More than three times the value of an ounce of gold.
01:30 Tell me about what the experience is like and having to live off of Bitcoin.
01:33 You know that was kind of a no-brainer to me.
01:39 For stuff that I couldn't pay with Bitcoin, I would just sell the Bitcoin and use dollar, so I like had a bank account and everything.
01:46 When did you first get introduced to cryptocurrency.
01:47 So June 2011, a somewhat historic now, article came out in Gawker, that was on Silk Road, but it talked about this technology Bitcoin.
01:58 I Had never heard of that and I thought it sounded really interesting.
02:01 So I started reading more about Bitcoin and just went down the veritable rabbit hole.
02:06 I Was going to my senior year of college and was still just really really obsessed with this concept, so decided to write my undergraduate thesis on Bitcoin.
02:15 And my professors were very skeptical.
02:17 I Said at the time even if Bitcoin fails, a future version of this decentralized cryptocurrency will succeed.
02:23 After college, Olaf went on a kind of Jack Kerouac ask journey, road tripping around the country and working as a lumberjack before landing in Oakland.
02:32 Soon he got a job at coinbase, then a small cryptocurrency startup, where he famously took his entire salary in Bitcoin.
02:41 All I had was like a bunch of really nasty job stuff, so I'd like the SAP covered sweatshirt.
02:47 And so on the way to the interview, I like stopped and picked up like some nice clothes and put him on and like tearing off the tags as I'm walking over there.
02:59 I Have known Olaf since I was 19.
03:04 I Always said in college that Olaf would get really become really wealthy doing something kind of obscure, or he would live in the mountains, and he actually ended up doing both after college, so I guess I was right.
03:14 I Came into school in 2008 and kind of the financial crisis.
03:19 I Think I've always been a little bit skeptical of the kind of blind trust that people have in financial systems that exists in the United States.
03:28 So to me, one thing about cryptocurrency is that although it's kind of technically complicated, it's fully transparent how it works.
03:36 If you ask someone how the Federal Reserve works, I think it's a much more complicated question actually than like how Bitcoin works.
03:44 Really, bitcoins very complicated.
03:47 So well, it's complicated but there is a very precise kind of mathematical definition of how it works, just a lot of the world hasn't maybe realized it because the reality is we're dealing with, a breakthrough technology that we haven't seen it like so since the internet itself.
04:01 Not everyone shares olaf's perspective.
04:03 Many think that we are in the midst of a cryptocurrency bubble, with rising prices fueled by rampant speculation.
04:11 But olaf says he still has faith in the underlying technology.
04:17 What's exciting are the types of applications that today sound sort of sci-fi, but I think could actually be really viable in the future.
04:25 Think about like a self-driving car.
04:27 I Could imagine a future well self-driving cars aren't owned by anyone, they actually own themselves.
04:36 And like the software that's on that car, can hold you know cryptocurrency and it can enter into various arrangements like, it can go try to get its oil changed or something like that.
04:47 And this sounds sci-fi right, it sounds a little bit out there right now, but I think this is the type of thing that we're going to start seeing emerging for real.

  • This video is published on Oct 6, 2017 by VICE News on YouTube.





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  • This video is published on AAAAA by AAAAA on YouTube.

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