watch time: 36 minutes
Here are three common myths people that have when first hearing about crypto: that cryptocurrencies are anonymous (and therefore more likely to be used by criminals); that there’s no real use case (aside from speculation); and that crypto is just about currency. In this 35-minute presentation, a16z crypto general partner Katie Haun draws on her experience explaining crypto to different audiences — from government, where she was a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice (where she led the investigation into Mt. Gox and also took down the corrupt agents in the Silk Road case) and created its first cryptocurrency task force; to business (she’s on the board of Coinbase, among other things); to students and teachers (she recently taught a class on cryptocurrencies at Stanford Business School).
So Haun covers everything from current use cases in hyperinflation, money transfers/ global remittances/ cross border payments, store of value (especially as more and more of the things we value go from physical to digital) — also sharing the example of international entrepreneur Roya Mahoob — to the misconception of “blockchain without bitcoin” and importance of tokens as incentives in cryptonetworks.
But this isn’t your typical explainer — Haun debunks these myths in front of an audience of bankers, business leaders, and others based primarily in Mexico as part of a “Let’s Settle This” (hosted by Versus by KIO Networks in September 2018 in Mexico City) between her and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. “That’s the best defense of crypto I’ve heard”, he remarked after. [You can see his case against crypto here, and their ensuing debate here. (The entire YouTube playlist including all three videos can be found here.)]
But the critics <cough cough>, Haun argues, often confuse the current state with the potential end state — and that’s a mistake, since we’re still in “the dialup days” for crypto.
Footage provided courtesy KIO Networks; edited for length and flow.
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