Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Cypherpunk Holdings Joins the Cypherpunk Guild Council

News Release

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - June 22, 2021) - Cypherpunk Holdings Inc. (CSE: HODL) (OTC Pink: KHRIF) (the "Company"), a sector leader for privacy technology investments, is pleased to announce it has joined the Cypherpunk Guild Council on NEAR Protocol, which is focused on funding the deployment of the next generation of privacy solutions.

Chief Economist and director of Cypherpunk Holdings, Jon Matonis, has joined the Cypherpunk Guild Council as a representative of the Company. The Cypherpunk Guild Council is a new initiative funded entirely by the NEAR Foundation in order to support the development of privacy infrastructure on the NEAR Protocol blockchain platform and beyond, and to increase the overall deal flow for the sector.

"Cypherpunk Holdings' support for the Cypherpunk Guild Council is rooted in our belief that privacy solutions must be encouraged and actively developed across different crypto ecosystems," said Mr. Matonis. "As an organization that seeks to embody the original cypherpunk mission, we look forward to supporting a host of new privacy applications that will both strengthen the community over time and engage a new generation of users. Through its participation in the Cypherpunk Guild Council, the Company aims to benefit from early deal flow access to investment opportunities."

Seeded with 100,000 NEAR, the Cypherpunk Guild is led by second-generation cypherpunks Arto Bendiken and Frank Braun. The initiative was created to incubate a community of privacy advocates, developers and entrepreneurs interested in building robust privacy solutions on NEAR Protocol.

As a core member of the Cypherpunk Guild Council, the Company expects that Mr. Matonis will hold a direct influence and voice on the funding and resource allocation of the Guild. Since launching in early April, the Cypherpunk Guild Council has funded two projects to fully develop privacy transactions on NEAR Protocol, Suter Shield and Zecrey. Support is actively being provided to a third project: ZeroPool.

A Fund For Privacy Solutions Is Here: Submit a Proposal Today

As an experienced community of privacy advocates, the Cypherpunk Guild has emerged as one of the most popular guilds on NEAR Protocol, and one of the most serious privacy organizations in crypto. With hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding available, the Cypherpunk Guild is openly encouraging privacy-related proposals for new applications. Any project in line with the mission of NEAR Protocol is considered and evaluated after the project proposal is posted on the NEAR Governance Forum.

To join the Cypherpunk Guild community or to stay up to date with the latest updates, interested users can follow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/CypherpunkGuild) or join the community Matrix group.

About Cypherpunk Guild:

The Cypherpunk Guild is a group of privacy-minded developers, marketers and entrepreneurs, collaborating to pioneer a future built around private transactions on NEAR Protocol and the larger crypto ecosystem. Led by two second-generation cypherpunks, the Cypherpunk Guild supports the development of privacy applications on the Open Web as a means of safeguarding user privacy and freedom.

About Cypherpunk Holdings Inc.

Cypherpunk Holdings invests in companies, technologies and protocols which enhance or protect privacy. Its strategy is to make targeted investments in businesses and assets with strong privacy, often within the blockchain ecosystem, including select cryptocurrencies. Current equity investments include Samourai Wallet, Wasabi Wallet, Chia Network, NGRAVE, and Hydro 66.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, any statements that are not historical facts may contain forward-looking information, and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or indicates that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be" taken, "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to the Company's planned participation in the Cypherpunk Guild Council and the Company's expected benefits therefrom. There is no assurance that the Company's plans or objectives will be implemented as set out herein, or at all. Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions the Company believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include the historical price volatility of bitcoin; uncertainty regarding the regulatory treatment of bitcoin under various securities, commodities, and other regulatory regimes; the potential for significant impairment charges to the Company's earnings in the event of a decrease in the price of bitcoin and resulting volatility in the Company's reported assets and earnings; the potential for security breaches or other cyberattacks that could result in a partial or total loss of the Company's bitcoin assets; and other risks detailed in the Company's disclosure documents filed under its profile on www.sedar.com. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by law. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.

Investor Relations Contacts:

veronika@cypherpunkholdings.com, Veronika Oswald, Investor Relations

Cypherpunk Holdings Inc.,

Office: +1 416.599.8547 & +44 (0) 20 3143 7418

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Alt-Currency Martyr

By Brian Doherty
Reason Magazine
Monday, March 15, 2021

https://reason.com/2021/03/13/the-alt-currency-martyr/












In the mid-1990s, just before the arrival of PayPal and more than a decade before bitcoin, an oncologist from Florida named Douglas Jackson created a system by which people could send each other digital payment tokens backed by gold. Jackson's e-gold became the world's first truly successful digital currency, serving over half a million customers and doing billions of dollars' worth of business.

But after a decade of success, the feds came after him, raiding his company's office, taking computers, freezing bank accounts, and ultimately extracting a guilty plea for conspiring in an "unlicensed money transmitting business." Once trailblazing, e-gold was quickly forgotten, derailed first by legal hassles and then by the tsunami of interest in blockchain technology.

Now Jackson has uncovered information that he thinks can not only overturn his conviction, and thus ease the path to him restarting his business, but help wean alt-currency from what he regards as a ruinous addiction to Satoshi Nakamoto's brainchild. While the value the markets place on cryptocurrency keeps rising precipitously and no e-currency model closely emulating e-gold has grabbed significant market share in its wake, Jackson remains convinced that if he could only get back in the game, things would be very different. The guilty plea that he now insists was squeezed from him through government trickery blocks his doing legal business in the e-currency space.

"It's as if I'm the only person in the world not allowed to go and compete in this area where I'd pioneered the industry," he says. "It's like everything came off the rails and it's been a decade of unprecedented malinvestment."


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cypherpunk Guild Launches on NEAR

By Cypherpunk Guild
Medium
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

https://medium.com/nearprotocol/cypherpunk-guild-launches-on-near-dd6c492038f6

Privacy Advocates, It’s Time To Pay Attention

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Privacy is a topic that has become more prominent in recent years, as awareness surrounding unwarranted data collection has increased. An entire generation of Silicon Valley products, starting with Google, inaugurated what has been aptly coined Surveillance Capitalism. These products, unlike traditional software services, offer users an experience in return for their personal data. Complex partnerships between intelligence agencies, financial institutions, and tech behemoths have resulted in a march towards dystopia that few would deny, and that Cypherpunks have long foreseen.

On the NEAR Protocol, the Cypherpunk Guild has officially launched as the largest community funded initiative to date. This launch is one of the most exciting events in all of crypto. For the first time, a group of privacy minded developers, marketers, and entrepreneurs, are jointly collaborating to pioneer a future built around private transactions on NEAR, and private applications on the Open Web. It could not be more timely, more necessary, or more in line with the original mission of Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies.

Cypherpunks Write Code

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An excerpt from the Cypherpunk Manifesto

Cypherpunks are not well known today, because they have largely been forgotten or deplatformed. Arto Bendiken, the leading force behind the creation of the Cypherpunk Guild, explains the long and rich history of cypherpunk software contributions in the Cypherpunk Guild Proposal:

The Cypherpunk Guild is continuing that tradition today, by incubating a next-generation of privacy solutions on the Open Web.

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May/June 1993 cover of Wired (source)

When Eric Hughes wrote the Cypherpunk Manifesto, he spoke to the need for privacy in a free society:

Open-Source protocols, building in the Metaverse, are equally relevant to the same demand. If NEAR wishes to successfully birth the open, decentralized, and permissionless digital society that it aspires to create, then including privacy is a fundamental and essential component of that vision. That is why the Cypherpunk Guild matters.

The Mission and Activities of the Cypherpunk Guild

The Cypherpunk Guild has applied for funding of 100k $NEAR for the next 18 months, to start building the future of privacy on NEAR. The first, and overarching priority of the Guild, will be to Get Private Transactions built into NEAR. In parallel to completing this milestone, the Cypherpunk Guild will work to recruit the next generation of privacy minded entrepreneurs, developers and Cypherpunks to launch privacy minded and user-first solutions.

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An unencrypted transaction.
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Encrypted transaction.

What is important to note is that these initiatives come at a time when other Layer 1s are only starting to take privacy concerns seriously. As Arto writes in the proposal, launching Cypherpunk Guild today gives NEAR a first mover advantage in the space, and a high likelihood of attracting other Cypherpunks and privacy minded developers to the protocol.

In summary Cypherpunk Guild aspires to bring the following to NEAR:

  • Private Transactions to NEAR Smart Contracts.
  • Developer, Entrepreneur, and Enterprise Support for Privacy Solutions in Web3
  • A hub for new and existing Cypherpunks, at a time when privacy concerns are increasing significantly.
  • Starting new conversations, hosting events, and enabling the next-generation of Cypherpunks through meetups, forum discussions, and online events.

Who Sits on the Council of Cypherpunk Guild?

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Image source

An important indicator of the seriousness and future potential of the Cypherpunk Guild, are the founding council members involved in growing the guild over the next 18 months.

  • Arto Bendiken: An original member of the Cypherpunk movement dating back to the 1990s. Outspoken privacy advocate. Digital Nomad, Hacker, public speaker, and software engineer with more than 20 years of experience working in entrepreneurial ventures. For a general overview of Arto’s past experience and beliefs see his Humans of NEAR Interview.
  • Frank Braun: Doctor in Computer Science (PhD). Seasoned Software Engineer and Cypherpunk Activist. Host of the Cypherpunk Bitstream Podcast, featured in the Down the Deep Dark Web Documentary. For a more detailed overview of Frank’s life and previous ventures see his Humans of NEAR Interview.
  • Jon Matonis: Director and Chief Economist of Cypherpunk Holdings (the 9th largest Bitcoin wallet in the world). Founding Director of the Bitcoin Foundation. Over the course of his professional career Jon has held senior positions at Sumitomo Bank, Hushmail, VISA and VeriSign.
  • Evgeny “Eugene The Dream” Kuzyakov: ICPC gold medalist (2008). Eugene brings a career of software development experience starting at Google, moving onto Facebook, and since focused on Machine Learning and blockchain research. He currently works for NEAR.
  • Yulian Lavysh: Business Development and Marketing Expert at NEAR bringing over 5 years of experience working at high growth startups at the intersection of data, software development, marketing and business growth strategies.
  • Dani Osorio: Dani brings over 12 years of experience to high-growth startups. Previously having worked for Infura, as Director of Global Partnerships and Marketing, and ConsenSys as Executive Director of developer tools, Dani is intimately familiar with a diverse array of stakeholders across the crypto industry. She currently works on the NEAR Developer Relations team.
  • Ozymandius: Founder of 4NTS Guild, the first guild in the NEAR Ecosystem.

From what is publicly available, there is no better group of Cypherpunks and privacy advocates working jointly to advance the Cypherpunk mission in the Web3 space. From IPCC Gold Medalists, to serial entrepreneurs, monetary economists, Computer Science PhDs, and long-time business development and management experts, the Cypherpunk Guild is uniquely positioned to incubate and develop a host of privacy solutions on NEAR over the long term.

Get Involved In The Cypherpunk Guild

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Learn more about Cypherpunks on the Cypherpunk Bitstream podcast hosted by founding guild member Frank Braun

The Cypherpunk Guild is a new guild. It needs passionate and committed guild members to advance the cypherpunk mission and vision of bringing privacy and freedom to the Open Web and beyond. As Eric Hughes originally wrote:

To get involved you can join the discussion on the Cypherpunk Community Chat or follow the Cypherpunk Guild on Twitter.

“We have to make privacy profitable.” — Jon Matonis, Director and Chief Economist of Cypherpunk Holdings

Friday, January 1, 2021

Cypherpunk Holdings Inc. Invests in Next-Generation Hardware Wallet Company NGRAVE

MarketWatch
News Release
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/cypherpunk-holdings-inc-invests-in-next-generation-hardware-wallet-company-ngrave-2020-12-30

Toronto, Ontario, Dec 30, 2020 (Newsfile Corp via COMTEX) -- Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - December 30, 2020) - Cypherpunk Holdings Inc. (CSE: HODL) ("Cypherpunk" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has completed a convertible note investment in NGRAVE.IO ("NGRAVE"). NGRAVE's flagship product "ZERO" - also known as "The Coldest Wallet" - is a fully offline hardware wallet that features the world's highest security certification, EAL7, for its secure operating system.

Under the terms of the transaction, Cypherpunk Holdings invested an initial €100,000 via a convertible loan agreement which also includes the right to participate in NGRAVE's Series A financing round for an additional undisclosed amount, which is expected in first quarter 2021.

The ZERO is the most secure hardware wallet ever made, and the corner stone of NGRAVE's impenetrable security ecosystem. Conceptualised and built from scratch in close collaboration with world leading institutes in chip manufacturing, applied cryptography, and hardware security, the ZERO comes with an unparalleled level of inherent anti-tampering. The ZERO is completely offline, from secret key generation to transaction signing, keeping your holdings away from any online attack vector.

Belgium-based NGRAVE is a digital asset and blockchain security provider offering a secure and user-friendly end-to-end solution for the management of individuals' and businesses' digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the company introduces multiple innovations with GRAPHENE, the industry's first recoverable and encrypted backup.

Commenting on the investment, Cypherpunk Holdings President and CEO, Antanas "Tony" Guoga, stated, "The NGRAVE team has a significant lead over comparable competition in the space and they provide an excellent complement to our existing portfolio of secure privacy-based wallets. This initial investment into NGRAVE sets the stage for our continued participation in the company's future growth."

As the sector leader for privacy-technology wallet investments, Cypherpunk Holdings will also contribute advice and expertise on rapid management team development and matters of corporate governance. The Cypherpunk Holdings management team is led by investor, serial poker champion and former member of European Parliament Tony Guoga as CEO, with Moe Adham serving as Chief Investment Officer and Jon Matonis serving as Chief Economist. Moe is the founder and CEO of Canadian ATM leader Bitaccess. Jon is a founding Director of the original Bitcoin Foundation and previously Head of Foreign Exchange Trading at VISA International.

NGRAVE'S CEO, Ruben Merre added, "In Cypherpunk Holdings, we believe we have found not only an investor, but a strategic partner with whom we share common interests and goals regarding privacy. Cypherpunk Holding's ticker symbol 'HODL' is an interesting word play on the most effective use case of ZERO: keeping your crypto safe for the long term. We look forward to working together as we continue to grow the business of NGRAVE."

NGRAVE previously made headlines by onboarding Jean-Jacques Quisquater, legendary cryptography professor and second reference of the bitcoin paper, to its team, as well as raising a record amount of more than 450KUSD in sales through its Indiegogo pre-order campaign in June 2020.

Cypherpunk Holdings Inc. invests in the companies, technologies and protocols which enhance or protect privacy. Its strategy is to make targeted investments in businesses and assets with strong privacy, often within the blockchain ecosystem, including select cryptocurrencies. Cypherpunk's common shares trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol(CSE: HODL). For further information on NGRAVE, please contact investments@ngrave.io.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information


This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, any statements that are not historical facts may contain forward-looking information, and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or indicates that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be" taken, "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to the Company's goal of making investments in businesses and assets with strong privacy, within the blockchain ecosystem, including select cryptocurrencies, or otherwise and enhancing value. There is no assurance that the Company's plans or objectives will be implemented as set out herein, or at all. Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions the Company believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that such forward- looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by law. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.

Investor Relations Contact:
Veronika Oswald
veronika@cypherpunkholdings.com

Cypherpunk Holdings Inc.
130 King Street West
The Exchange Tower, Suite 3680
Toronto, ON
M5X 1B1
Telephone: 416.599.8547
Website: cypherpunkholdings.com

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/71177

Monday, October 19, 2020

Bitcoin Bar 'Room 77' Shuts Down

By Jeffrey Gogo
Bitcoin.com
Monday, October 19, 2020

https://news.bitcoin.com/mission-accomplished-worlds-first-bitcoin-bar-shuts-down/

Room 77, the German bar and restaurant that claims to be the first retail outfit in the world to accept bitcoin payments, has shut down. Cypherpunk Holdings chief economist Jon Matonis broke the news on Twitter. Bar owner Jorg Platzer later confirmed it on Reddit.

“Room 77 is closing for good,” Platzer revealed in a rather futuristic, celebratory post on Oct. 18. “We think our mission is accomplished and it is time to go back to our home planet. Thanks for all the fish and the generous tips!”

No official reason was given for the closure of the Berlin-based joint. But there’s suspicion this may have been related to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown restrictions linked to Covid-19 have hit the global hospitality industry hard.

In Berlin, strict restrictions on the sale of alcohol remain in place, with bar operators banned from selling the product from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The measures have badly affected profits.

Located in Kreuzberg, Berlin, Room 77 began accepting bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payment in 2011, becoming the first bar, and most likely the first private retail outlet, in the world to do so. Since then, the drinking spot has developed into something of a pilgrimage site for bitcoiners, who patronize the place for its BTC payments and more.

“Before we did that (accept BTC), all media coverage about bitcoin was about hackers stealing credit card details and selling them on the black markets,” Platzer said in a 2018 interview, highlighting how the establishment had changed media perceptions and coverage around the top cryptocurrency.

In the crypto community, people responded to Room 77’s closure with fond memories of the past.

“End of an Era: Room 77 in Berlin closes doors permanently!” tweeted Jon Matonis, the Cypherpunk Holdings chief economist. “Blame it on Covid or blame it on gentrification. Either way, this Kreuzberg landmark has served as a Bitcoin watering hole for over 10 years, with thousands making the obligatory pilgrimage. Thx for the memories, Joerg!”

Redditor @etrnetm said: “Thanks for providing the unofficial embassy of Bitcoin in Berlin to us earthlings. We shall meet again.”

In his Reddit post, Platzer concluded:
It is clear by now that nobody will stop bitcoin anymore. Sound money on a global scale will soon make it unfeasable to wage wars and it will create economic equality amongst mankind. We estimate it will take you less than another century to rise and join the intergalactic community.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Human Rights Foundation Funds Bitcoin Privacy Tools Despite ‘Coin Mixing’ Legal Stigma

By Leigh Cuen
CoinDesk
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

https://www.coindesk.com/human-rights-foundation-bitcoin-privacy-tools-developer-fund

On one hand, the bitcoin industry has matured to include traditional brokerages and institutional traders. On the other, bitcoin privacy tech is still shrouded in a legal gray zone.


Critics like Reckless VR founder Udi Wertheimer and Jon Matonis of Cypherpunk Holdings, the latter of which invested in both the privacy-oriented Samourai Wallet and Wasabi-maker zkSNACKs, say blockchain analytics firms are overestimating the amount of illicit transactions when they flag mixed bitcoin.

“Exchanges, banks and regulators are being sold a false narrative if they believe that this [analytics] technology provides reliable, or more importantly, actionable results,” Matonis said. “It is purely a dangerous game of probabilities and false positives, disingenuously overstated to peddle more forensic services.”

HRF’s Gladstein recently took Elliptic, another blockchain analytics firm, to task for its “surveillance” work. “The tools you’re building regardless of your intentions will be used for policing bitcoin,” Gladstein said during a panel with Elliptic’s Tom Robinson at an event this month. “At the end of the day what you’re doing is warrantless surveillance against people in other countries.”

For his part, Matonis’s investment thesis revolves around the belief the legal community will adopt compliance norms that don’t restrict or criminalize privacy-tech like mixers.

“The concern around mixing technology, or coin hygiene, stems from the flawed thinking that cryptocurrency transactions are identical to bank transfers using fiat currency,” Matonis said. “This is a grand societal battle that must be won by privacy advocates, not because it is a cute feature or a principled position, but because it is an existential economic necessity. A peer-to-peer value transfer system fails without underlying coin privacy at its core, because the entire system would lack fungibility if all coins were not treated equally the way paper cash is today.”

This is why some bitcoiners continue to work on privacy tech, regardless of exchange policies and other hurdles.

Continued growth

Meanwhile, CoinJoin usage continues to increase, with roughly 13,500 new Wasabi Wallet downloads this year.

So far in June, more than 10,000 fresh bitcoin were used in Wasabi CoinJoin transactions for the first time, the highest record since the all-time peak in August 2019 according to the Wasabi team.

Overall, usage has more than tripled since May 2019, when roughly 9,764 total bitcoin were used in Wasabi’s CoinJoin transactions, compared to 35,697 total bitcoin used in May 2020, they said.

And that’s not even to mention the few thousand bitcoin sent using other CoinJoin tools since the coronavirus began, including Samourai Wallet and JoinMarket. Generally speaking, usage appears to be up across the sector.

Matonis said as long as companies and public individuals focus on non-custodial, open source software, he believes privacy-tech projects will actually bear less compliance costs over time as the tools become normalized. For example, mixing protocols could become a “standard default feature” in bitcoin wallets.

“Both the bitcoin industry and law enforcement need to resist falling for the myth of blockchain forensics as perpetrated by the blockchain surveillance firms,” Matonis said of companies that routinely flag mixed coins as suspicious.

“Law enforcement methods will undoubtedly have to evolve beyond simply using money as an identity tracking device or simply relying on metadata through non-targeted driftnet surveillance,” he added. “This means employing real and sometimes cumbersome police work that doesn’t violate the rights of any individuals.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Blockchain Rock Interview with Jon Matonis

Blockchain Rock
Tuesday, March 24, 2020


We are back, and we open this new season with an outstanding guest: Jon Matonis! A legend of the crypto-world (and you’ll know why by the end of this episode): he’s the Chief Economist at Cypherpunk Holdings, a Forbes and Coindesk recurrent author, and the Founding and Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation.

This episode explores Jon’s story as well as the story of digital cryptography: starting from encrypted email, to Verisign, Digicash, eGold, and the work of the Bitcoin Foundation. We also discuss themes such as financial privacy and its importance to economic and political freedom, the Crypto Arms Race, the end game for Bitcoin, and the three primary functions of money.

Also available on Apple podcast:

Also available on Spotify podcast: