In 2017, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin captured the world’s attention. As the price of various currencies skyrocketed month over month – journalists and bloggers endlessly speculated about the long term feasibility of e-coinage. Were we witnessing the next evolution of economics, or just a technological fad?
Well, by the end of the year we had our answer – the bubble burst. The economy didn’t entirely disappear, but the hyperbolic mainstream conversations faded away as the calendar turned over to 2018. But cryptocurrencies didn’t go anywhere. As of this writing, a Bitcoin is worth a little over $5,000. This is a far cry from the exorbitant prices during the most recent bubble, but $5,000 is still nothing to scoff at.
While it might be a surprise for you to hear that cryptocurrencies are still going strong, this is all old news to Aaron Lammer and Jay Caspian Kang – the hosts of CoinTalk. In an interview, Aaron told me that during the bubble, they both got “overly interested in Bitcoin and needed an outlet for it.” The duo began recording their podcast January 2018, just after the market crash. As evidenced by their 74 episodes since, the duo clearly haven’t fallen off the bandwagon.
I previously knew about Aaron and Jay’s journalistic work, so I assumed their interest in crypto was sparked by the news beat. To my surprise, when I asked Aaron how he initially became interested in cryptocurrencies, he simply answered, “greed?”
In episode #59, Aaron and Jay directly discuss how their monetary aspirations. Recapping 2018, Aaron and Jay wistfully discussed how rich they thought they’d become. Jay recounted that at the beginning of the CoinTalk run, Aaron and Jay, “were – quietly – both thinking that all of [their] real estate dreams would be fulfilled by crypto.” Aaron then shares his missed expectations for 2018, “I was definitely thinking – I will totally sell my car for one Bitcoin”.
Now that they’ve had over a year’s worth of research and interviews, I was curious about what they’ve learned. I asked Aaron about the biggest misconception around cryptocurrencies, and his answer thoroughly shook my understanding of the currency. I previously thought that the main appeal of cryptocurrencies is that they’re anonymous; something about the blockchain that obscures who is purchasing what for how much.about shady people using cryptocurrencies for anonymous illegal purchases. That the decentralized blockchain obscures who is purchasing what for how much.
Aarons says that while people are definitely using the currencies for illegal goods, they are not anonymous, but pseudonymous. What makes transactions pseudonymous – and not anonymous – is that every cryptocurrency transaction is linked with an electronic address. Everything can be traced back to a screen name, but there’s no reliable method to discover the person behind the pseudonym – so cryptocurrencies are still relatively private.
Parallelling Aaron’s money-focussed response to his initial interest in cryptocurrencies, he says that the most difficult part of recording his show has been, “the year long bear market,” – which is financial speak for falling prices and pessimism. Similarly, when I asked about the future of his show, he said that he’s most excited for, “the return of the bull market”; a time when prices are rising – like a bull’s horns on the attack.So if you’re interested in how the cryptocurrency market has survived away from the spotlight, or looking to make some e-money yourself – give CoinTalk a try and let us know what you think by rating the show on Podchaser.
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