We had a chance to interview Tuur Demeester at the Amsterdam conference. We were really lucky because he has decided to take a break from the cryptocurrency segment for a little bit and will focus on philosophy and self knowledge. He is the author of the financial newsletter MacroTrends which goes to investors in the Netherlands and Belgium. He has also co-founded two private schools in Belgium and also in the Netherlands.
As an economist, what do you think, in your opinion which country holds the greatest potential for Bitcoin development and success?
I think, if you look at what has driven Bitcoin adoption so far it has been an openness for technology, in the society. That’s definitely been a driver. Look at countries like Israel, United States, Great Britain, Netherlands. These have all been on the forefront of Bitcoin. So I think that may be a necessary component. And then also, what you want is a government that is basically allowing entrepreneurs to do their thing. And then the question is what’s required for governments to be open to Bitcoin. And I think desperation can be a great driver for being open to something so disruptive as Bitcoin. So we might actually see some unlikely places where Bitcoin’s gonna flourish. If you look at the gambling industry, the places where online gambling companies flourished, are not really, so it wasn’t so obvious, there were some islands, places far away, so I think those are the things you would be looking at. I would think it’d be small countries rather than large countries first.
So we can say that frontier markets, frontier countries. For example third world countries, like South Africa, we are talking about you know the low value of currencies and how people are actually now staying with, let’s see I’ve just heard about that, paying with minutes, phone minutes
Like prepaid, you know what I mean, like trading phone call minutes.
Well, it’s interesting, I mean maybe we have to separate. Maybe an interesting aspect of the currency and their value, and how Bitcoin could get involved in that. Yeah I mean crisis definitely drives the option for Bitcoin.
I think right now we are still on the phase where we are building the infrastructure. So the adoption is going to be the greatest in countries where Bitcoin solutions are going to be created. Because these are the geeks and the programmers that really understand it. But it’s possible that the next phase when we are talking about adoption, that the host countries for the Bitcoin virus so to speak, that they will be like you mentioned high inflation countries. Countries that are struggling with economic crises, and also countries that are not so adverse. Where people are not so adverse to operating in the grey market. So that could be different. We could have the companies serving the whole world in a few places, and then separate from that mainstream Bitcoin adoptions happening in different countries.
Also you have mentioned that you are considering taking a step back from this sector. And I was really interested in that. What has been motivating you in the Bitcoin and Altcoin sector so far? And why are you making the decision to step back a little bit from this?
Yeah I mean, why I got involved in this because I thought there was a great opportunity in Bitcoin for people to become more free personally. There was an enormous promise for freedom for people in Bitcoin, because of financial independence. And it means you can take your personal wealth wherever you want in the world. It has never happened before. And I am still excited about that promise. I have some doubts about whether I can add a lot of value at this point. Because the word is out, all the information is there, so I had some thoughts about that. And also on a personal basis, I’ve just noticed that I wasn’t studying as hard as I needed to keep up with everything so then I figured well maybe let’s try to do something else for a while and see if I maybe later would go back to Bitcoin. Definitely not selling my Bitcoins and definitely not abandoning the philosophy, but I think it’s good sometimes to take a breath of fresh air and see what happens afterwards, and then yeah. That’s about it. I’m probably gonna be making some investments later on that’re more on a personal basis.
Sure. And just if it’s not a secret, can you tell us in what areas are you looking at going into?
Well mainly into areas of philosophy and self knowledge. That’s also my background. I’ve always been very interested in helping, bringing about positive change. I co-founded two small private schools for children. Later co-founded the Rothbard Institute, where we are mainly focusing on the philosophy of law more than economics. But you know I became, one day I noticed I didn’t have any money in the bank, and I was having personal problems just paying the bills. I decided to use my knowledge of economics to try and help myself and other people making healthy financial decisions. And that went very well. But now I feel like going back and see what’s there. Now that I have all these experience in economics, going back to where I came from and see how I can make some positive contributions.
Interview by: Mate Tokay
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