When did you first hear of Bitcoin and what did you think about it?
JB: I first heard about it in early 2011 from a Dollar Vigilante subscriber, Jeremy Bernal. I posted an interview with him here in May 2011. I met Jeremy at Doug Casey’s La Estancia de Cafayate in Argentina over a glass of torontes near a fireplace and was very interested as I had never heard of it before. I began to follow it near $3 and after interviewing him I then went on to talk more with another person I met in Cafayate, Trace Mayer in 2012.
[Trace] told me, in this interview, why it was so important. Trace actually walked me through opening my first bitcoin wallet, transferred me $10 in bitcoin and walked me through buying something on the internet with it all within a matter of about a minute and from then on I was enthralled with it. I’d also have to say you played a role in my bitcoin education as I initially got involved with you on the world’s first bitcoin ATM machine when Cyprus had their bank bail-ins. Quickly I was on Fox Business, CNBC and Bloomberg and you helped me to gain a better technical understanding of bitcoin at that time to answer the questions I was being asked.
What is your feeling of the Bitcoin ecosystem and the players investing in Bitcoin?
JB: I think it is vibrant and exciting. It reminds me very much of the mid 90s with the internet… a revolution I was very much a part of as I founded Canada’s largest financial website, Stockhouse.com, in 1994. Every year you can see more big name people coming on board with bitcoin and with the recent $75 million investment into Coinbase by banks, the New York Stock Exchange and former Thomson Reuters CEO it shows a lot of people see a major future for bitcoin.
What do you think about the Bitcoin Foundation?
JB: I truly didn’t see much about it until a good anarcho-capitalist friend of mine, Cody Wilson, stated that he wanted to run for President of it and then shut it down. I then discovered that the main purpose of the Bitcoin Foundation was to integrate bitcoin more with governments and the current banking system and, being an anarcho-capitalist myself, I don’t support that very much.
Is Bitcoin popular in Mexico?
JB: Amongst the general populace, no. But you could say the same about that in the US. It is rising tremendously with a vibrant business environment, however. I have spoken at a few bitcoin conference in Mexico City and every year the audience grows tremendously.
Are there any merchants in Acapulco taking Bitcoin that you know of?
JB: I think I am the only one right now. We accept bitcoin for our condo sales at Acacondos and at our hotel at Las Torres Gemelas Private Suites.
How can Bitcoin help the Mexican people/economy
JB: Bitcoin can help anyone, anywhere, because it gives us a free market currency option. Central banks, around the world, including in Mexico, serve no purpose but to impoverish the society, destroy the economy through money printing and price fixing of interest rates and also to fund government wars and other heinous acts.
One area, however, that I think will be massive for Mexico is in the area of remissions. Many Mexicans still work outside of Mexico and send funds back to their family in Mexico, usually via things like Western Union, which are difficult to use, heavily restricted and very costly. Bitcoin is easy, completely unrestricted and essentially free to transfer so bitcoin should catch on quickly here once it reaches critical mass.
Are you watching the Silk Road trial closely? Why?
JB: Absolutely. I recently called it the most important trial of our generation. The Silk Road was a completely free market (the government calls it a black market because they don’t get a cut of the action) with no restrictions or regulations except those put on by the users themselves. Ross Ulbricht stands accused of “masterminding” the website and is accused of, essentially, being a drug trafficker because people used the website to trade in things like plants (they call them drugs in government speak).
There were no victims and therefore there was no crime. The only victim in this case is the one standing trial, Ross Ulbricht, who has been kidnapped (arrested and jailed) and already had all of his bitcoin stolen from him even though he has yet to even be found guilty of anything. The case has major ramifications because it essentially says that if you have a website, of any nature, and people are on the website and transact that you are liable for their actions. It is the height of ludicrousness… but that is the police-state of the US today. Everything is illegal and everyone goes to jail.
How has TDV incorporated Bitcoin?
JB: TDV’s main role has been in championing the currency since 2011. Aside from that, every single product we offer, whether it be our newsletter (The Dollar Vigilante), second citizenships (TDV Passports), offshore banking and incorporation (TDV Offshore), wealth internationalization and management (TDV Wealth Management) or anything else, we accept bitcoin.
What is Anarchapulco?
JB: I have been an outspoken free market advocate since 2004 and a true free market advocate is an anarcho-capitalist. I’ve hosted my program, Anarchast, for many years now and had nearly 200 episodes with some of the most amazing free market advocates in the world including Doug Casey, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods and countless others. What I found, however, is that there had yet to be a truly anarcho-capitalist event. Most freedom events are called things like Libertyfest, Libertopia and Freedomfest… but they have all different styles of libertarians at it but don’t focus on the purest form, anarcho-capitalism. So, I decided to start one this year where I live in Acapulco, Mexico, called Anarchapulco, which I find to be the freest city in North America. We’ll be holding it from February 27th to March 1st.
What can one expect at Anarchapulco?
JB: The tagline is “Rethink. Reinvent. All the Things.” That really embodies the theme. We have a two day entrepreneurship camp, an independent media workshop, an unschooling workshop and we have many different speakers on things like precious metals, Austrian economics, anarchist and libertarian philosophy, expatriation and numerous other topics. The biggest topic is bitcoin and bitcoin/internet 2.0. We have many of the biggest names in the bitcoin world coming including Roger Ver, the bitcoin Jesus, Cody Wilson of Dark Wallet and countless others including most of the Mexican bitcoin community.
What Bitcoin options will be at Anarchapulco?
JB: I would say 99% of the people coming to the conference are huge proponents of bitcoin for its free-market value and so pretty much anything you can imagine bitcoin related will be there. And, of course, we accept registration for bitcoin.
JB: Thank you!