Bitcoin Community: Get Your Act Together! -

Bitcoin Community: Get Your Act Together!

interview 101

In my network of contacts there are a couple people that have given me their opinions on Bitcoin. From professors at reputable European universities and senior business managers to every-day people, all have had interesting things to say. 

Of course some people didn’t like what these people had to say. However, people need to put their reactionary ways aside when reading criticism about the Bitcoin technology. Yes, it is not fun to read negative things about something we love so much, but we should look closer at what these people are really saying. If you are doing that correctly, you might find some legitimate problems with Bitcoin need to be addressed in order for the currency to flourish.

The following interview will undoubtedly step on a lot of toes, like most articles that have a skeptical tone towards Bitcoin. However, skeptical articles can provide great feedback — if done correctly. Hopefully, this article will point out problems that aren’t always visible to Bitcoin community members.

Serge: You have been following Bitcoin for quite a while now. Can you introduce yourself and give us your views about Bitcoin?

Aula at university, own collection

Aula at university, from Serge’s photo collection.

JC: Well of course I can. I’m JC and a professor of economics, business and development at 3 different universities in Europe (they are quite famous ones and as such I will not mention them). I’m also a board member in a dozen other companies ranging from the fruit the fruit sector to precious metals. The reason that I’m not giving my name has 2 reasons. The first is that a good colleague of mine has recently been hacked because she was too vocal and asked a lot of questions concerning Bitcoin. The second reason is Bitcoin itself and the “anonymity” it hold so dear.

Whenever I read a lot of comments on articles that hide the name of the interviewed people saying: “ it is a fake interview” and things along that line; it makes me laugh very hard. Most of these people commenting on them use VPN to mask their online activity, use fake names when placing those messages, etc. Don’t you think it is a bit hypocritical to criticize the article while you yourself are using anonymity tools (laughs)?

I could go on and on, pointing out the inadequacies of these people but I won’t do that either. Usually those people never learn anything and are frustrated by something or another. Let us now move to the second part of your question; which is my views.

I think Bitcoin is the next evolutionary step in the monetary system. We have seen the digitalisation of currency in the 20th century. To get higher and faster transaction speeds you need to digitalise your transactions. The banks did that eventually but in the last two decades; the real innovations have been slowing down to a low belly crawl. They were either bogged down due to regulation and oversight. Regulation and oversight can be a good thing but not if the sons and daughters of political and influential people are given a place in that organisation. Agreed this is a generalisation but an apt one and i speak from experience. Students that have fought their whole life to get somewhere, sometimes failing and having to do a year or 2 over are more proficient afterwards. Nevertheless that is a discussion for a later interview.

Bitcoin does provide that stifled innovation and creativity to burst forth and bloom. Some ideas will work, others won’t but the fact that there is an opportunity for people to be creative and innovative is a good thing.

In my opinion Bitcoin, and the technologies surrounding Bitcoin, are “a” solution for the current problems in the world. Some people view Bitcoin as “the” solution to everyone’s problems. That view is a bit narrow minded. The real world is more complex than a black/white or 1 and 0 point of view. Bitcoin, and the Bitoin community, does have serious issues that need to resolved before it can grow faster.

However all in all I believe that Bitcoin is currently the best and only option for us out there. Sure there are some altcoins that try to live up to the “Bitcoin standard”, but Bitcoin will be here to stay so to speak. One of my favourite alt coins is Dogecoin. They have such a positive “can do” attitude that reminds me of my favourite students. They are also more open to receiving and analysing the critiques they get.

Serge: You said something interesting in the previous question. You said: “Bitcoin, and the Bitoin community, does have serious issues that need to resolved before it can grow faster.” What is it you did not like or what problems did you encounter?

JC: There are so many big and little things that I found that are problematic that can potentially turn into some huge problems in the near future for Bitcoin and its community. I will just point out a couple things that need to be resolved quickly.

Well the first problem that I found was inaccurate, unprofessional and amateurish news reporting and analysis. Writing a professional article does involve more than just a copy/paste move, like some self-proclaimed “prominent news sites”. This shows the world and professionals alike that the whole Bitcoin community is a fake or fraud, which it isn’t.

My suggestion is that news sites should hire professional personnel to do their articles. What do I mean by that? Hire people that can actually write and preferably have a university degree from a reputable university. Don’t hire people because they proclaim to be a “journalist” ( basically any higher educated person can write articles because they have the necessary know how to do a good job), “historian” ( which you need to have a master’s degree in history from a university to claim that, if you do not have that you are just an amateur).

The second problem is that I have is that the community is pushing for more merchants. If you push for more merchants but the general population doesn’t understand your product, your product will not flourish. First education then merchants, otherwise you will miss crucial momentum that can be problematic in the long run.

The third and maybe one of the most important one of all: Get you house in order! Make a list of known scammers and fraudulent people, just like the some forums are already doing. Take action against these people and identify who they are. Claims like “he/she stole my Bitcoins” without providing proof should be dismissed immediately but the cases where there is actual proof should be further investigated.

Serge: what are your conclusions about Bitcoin and can you give us some professional advice?

JC: I know I am a bit harsh in my critique but all in all Bticoin and its community are doing a fairly good job. Nobody is perfect and neither are companies but Bitcoin can, and the technology surrounding Bitcoin, react nearly immediately on problems that might occur. Bitcoin is on the right path but is must not ignore the critics.

In this interview I highlighted problems that have a lot of people worried. I suggest the community listen to the professionals when they are giving critique. Look at what they are saying. Of course you always have professionals that are speaking about things that they have less expertise in but even then that can be a good indicator for identifying problems. In that case education concerning Bitcoin is the factor. So instead of going in a rage, look at what the critics are saying and do something about it.

The bitcoinist team and I would like to thank Professor Dr. JC for his time and agreeing to do an interview with us. The views and opinions that the professor gave in this article may not be the same as we have at Bitcoinist. The Bitcoinist team is quite diverse and so are our own opinions.

Do you think that the professor is correct in his viewpoints about the problems within Bitcoin and the crypto community in general? How would you tackle the highlighted problem?

Sergio Schout

Sergio Schout

Serge, aka Sergio, has been travelling the world since he was 6. Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, java, Sumatra, Bali, Japan, US, Entire European region, etc. are a couple examples of his travel destinations. He has been curious about different cultures and practices. This curiosity has led him to pursue a couple of university degrees. Serge has a couple master’s degrees from top European universities. While attending university, he wrote a lot of scientific papers concerning socio-economic and financial developments in the past and present. During his studies at university he offered his free time up to do volunteer work, along with some friends. They helped the homeless get back on their feet ( some of these "homeless" now have small companies of their own and Sergio has good connections with them). It was at during his studies at university, in 2009, when he first heard about "Bitcoin". Being a coin collector and economic expert, he was intrigued by it and is active in the Bitcoin and digital currency community ever since. He translated the Bitcoin comic from Spanish to English and he is also using his connections to get the comic into the Belgian and Dutch comic market, he is an official member of the Belgian Bitcoin Association and he is a freelance investigative journalist that has written under his own name as well as under a pseudonym for a multitude of news outlets. After graduating he was immediately hired by the university that he graduated from. After moving on from that research position he was hired by a famous European think-tank as a researcher. His hobbies are: dancing (from Argentine tango to Zouk), collecting coins and determining them, writing articles, translating, proof reading and doing scientific research. In 2014 Sergio and Jp combined their forces and created the crypto news outlet called Cryptoarticles. Sergio attended most of the European Crypto currency conferences, where he made a lot of connections and friends along the way.

  • Steve

    No problems with the actual infrastructure of Bitcoin, rather the marketing techniques? Your big “problem” with Bitcoin is literally that “They should have people with ‘Masters of History’ degrees write articles about Bitcoin”… I guess, by that, you mean the same historians who have spoon-fed us the misguided and flawed view of how our current blunder of a financial system works? That is your “educated” view on the problems with Bitcoin? Gee, thanks.

    Wouldn’t an expert economist with extensive understanding of the field of cryptography be better suited to educate the public on the significance of Bitcoin and the technology behind it?

  • sarah hammer

    Clearly you are one of those frustrated nobodies the INTERVIEW is talking about. Attacking the investigative journalist with unsubstantiated BS and by the way loser; you should check those accusations. The “have spoon-fed us the misguided and flawed view of how our current blunder of a financial system works”, That weren’t the historians who made those “blunders” it were the one’s with financial degrees or is your brain so full of drugs that you cant even understand the basic facts? Historians are more qualified than anyone actually since they have a versatility and interdisciplinary proficiency that others in the academic world lack. ( i guess that there are a lot of words you clearly don’t have a grasp on so i suggest you look them up before humiliating yourself any further)

    Oh and for the record it economic expert. That title, regardless of what you yourself might think of yourself; if you don’t have a masters degree from a reputable university every academic ( only 1-1.5% of the world population) will LAUGH with your claims. So that is what i will also do :) The onely ones that can officially claim that they are an exonomic espert are the ones who have masters degrees from reputable universities for obvious reasons. If you don’t and you still claim that you are one you are just an amateur and your claims don’t matter.

    Furthermore have you actually READ the article? from what I gather you didn’t or you have serious issues that i would recommend you should get checked out. Here is the obvious MISTAKE you made by making accusations: ” I’m JC and a professor of economics, business and development at 3 different universities in Europe”

    ANYBODY that read this knows that the person that is interviewed is a professor of high standing. Oh well stupidity doesn’t hurt, hey steve the troll.

  • Steve

    I don’t care what kind of professor he is, the article was still an awful assessment of Bitcoin.

    Also, when did I ever say that I was an expert? I simply described somebody who would have a better understanding of this revolutionary technology. So maybe you need to re-read my comment as I never once claimed that I was an expert.

    How is my comment in any way humiliating to myself? It was an assessment of this article. I simply stated that an expert economist with a thorough understanding of cryptology would be the most suited to explain Bitcoin. I’m supposed to be humiliated by that? Haha. Okay.

    My guess is that you must have a history degree and that you took offense to my suggestion that historians have been teaching us lies (whether they know it or not) about all kinds of different things throughout history. Those who are in power write the history books. Just because something is written in a history book does not mean that it’s the way it really went down. I’m sure that’s way over your head but I’m also sure that most concepts usually fly way over your head anyway.

    I stand by my assessment and I’m sorry that your history degree is useless.

  • sarah hammer

    Steve the troll is trying to overcompensate for his woefully inadequate intellect and manhood apparently. Oh well if you can’t read English, or remember/ bother with your previous unintelligible ramblings ( a sign of steroid use, which includes a severely shrunken manhood, or maybe you are suffering from dementia caused by smoking things that are bad for you) It is no wonder that you miss the ball 1000000x and draw the wrong conclusions.

    Just for the record: Historians base their findings on FACTS not fiction like you so obviously do. This is something that is apparent to people who have had higher education and not some snot nosed egotistical nobody like yourself.

  • Steve

    I have two degrees: A bachelors degree in accounting and an MBA in finance.

    History can be interpreted in more than one way based on facts. It’s all about who writes that history.

    Not sure if you’re using bigger words in an attempt to make yourself appear more intelligent, but it’s not working. It’s obvious that you have fallen victim to America’s failed education system. You have been taught “what to think” rather than “how to think”. Simply possessing a higher education doesn’t make you any more intelligent than the next person. If anything, the state of higher education nowadays is more of an indoctrination than anything.

    Anyways, I’m not going to continue arguing with you as I don’t particularly care for arguing with anybody who resorts solely to personal attacks to build their “arguments”. It’s not worth my time.

    Have a nice day, my friend.

  • sergiosc

    Normally I do not discuss articles or, in this case interviews, because of the limited time that i have. However I had to step in this time and respond to some of the “allegations” of “Steve” which is pointed towards me and stop the shouting match to continue.

    First of all let me point out that this “article”, as Steve put it, is an INTERVIEW. An interview is filled with the interviewee’s perception of the subjects that are talked about in the interview. These perceptions are being formed by the person that is being interviewed on his or hers lifelong : experiences, business and scientific accomplishments, etc. If said person that I do an interview with wants to remain anonymous, that is his or her choice and I will not break that trust. Besides it is very common practice in journalism. In my opinion someone who hides behind a fictitious name that is calling out a professor for wanting to remain anonymous is a bit low brow.

    I also warned that this interview will step on a lot of toes and if you bothered to read the interview entirely you also would have noticed the last paragraph which stated that: “The bitcoinist team and I would like to thank Professor Dr. JC for his time and agreeing to do an interview with us. The views and opinions that the professor gave in this interview may not be the same as we have at Bitcoinist. The Bitcoinist team is quite diverse and so are our own opinions”.

    But that aren’t the only misconceptions “steve”. The educational institutions in Europe, especially Belgium, UK, France, Germany, etc are of a higher standard then a lot in the US, with some exceptions that i will not mention here. Why do i think you are from the US because you said this:”History can be interpreted in more than one way based on facts. It’s all about who writes that history”. In my time i ripped apart over 500 “research papers” coming from the US that were published in “scientific journals” because the materials used in them were either clearly fabricated and/or not reproducible, based on statistical data with a high mistake margin, etc. These so called research papers were from all kinds of themes like: gender, financial, historical, socio-economic, etc. A lot of “historical” themed research papers”, as were most of the others, ignored some part of either source or scientific material that didn’t fit the proposed theory. If a student here in Europe tries that he or she will fail automatically and will have a lot of problems in her academic career. In a lot of US “academic institutions” it seems that that that particular standard of quality isn’t present; only the quantity is what counts.

    I know this because of my previously mentioned ripping apart “scientific research papers” and some of my friends that were exchange students at certain universities. These friends were in Europe, about average students ( 70% on average) but when they were in the US their average shot up to 89% or higher. This speaks volumes of the state of certain US academic institutions. Nevertheless there is improvement coming on those aspects from what i gather.

    I also want to point out that facts are facts. Academic historians, not the amateurs or the ones from not that great academic institutions ( like the examples i presented to you above), have to follow a certain set of rules and implement critique on said source material and scientific materials they use in their research papers ( again this is not found in most of the aforementioned ripped apart “scientific research papers”). Academic historians are one of the few sections within academia that uses the full potential of interdisciplinary tactics.

    The rest of your posts are just attacks at Miss Hammer and it seems that they are getting angrier by the post. Ok that is your choice but mate, take a chill pill. If you are going to get worked up by every little thing people say or do that doesn’t fit into your reality or way of thinking, you will become extremely frustrated. I think you already are and the fact that you claim that you have 2 bachelors degrees, which i personally doubt very much( otherwise you didn’t say what you said or built up some strong arguments on the how or why, or even actually answered my questions i posted at the end of the interview and you would know the difference between an interview and an article, which you actually do not need to have a degree for to make that distinction ) is another attempt to try and “shut up” miss Hammer.

    To conclude i will say this again: “The bitcoinist team and I would like to thank Professor Dr. JC for his time and agreeing to do an interview with us. The views and opinions that the professor gave in this interview may not be the same as we have at Bitcoinist. The Bitcoinist team is quite diverse and so are our own opinions”. I know that this was a highly controversial interview and that it is quite unique to hear the critics point of view for a change. I also have to tell you that a professors, any professors, opinion counts more than the one you have. Again this might anger you again which will undoubtedly generate another tantrum on your part. However i will NOT respond or give attention to you.

    Some advice: If you can’t substantiate or even have a civilized conversation where you back up your claims with decent source material and scientific publications, I’m afraid that you will be viewed as just another opinionated ( or even frustrated) person ( man or woman).