Interview withErik Voorhees

Recently Erik Voorhees was interviewed by the Austin Bitcoin Meetup group via skype. Erik Voorhees is an outspoken Bitcoin Entrepreneur and evangelist.  During the interview the topics of Bitlicense, Bitcoin Entrepreneurship and privacy were discussed. Bitcoinist has transcribed part of the interview and provided the video feed as well.

For more Erik Voorhees, follow him on twitter @ErikVoorhees

Watch the video here.

Can you talk about BitLicence?

“I don’t think New York deserves to be regulating anyone – I think the financial market they do regulate is a huge mess – so they should stay the eff out. It [bitlicense] tries to violate individual user privacy. This was my main problem with it.

So what do you think should be the community response to this? 

“The community should act in a decentralized way, other people can ignore the rules and they should build their businesses. some people should fight it on a political front – others are being loud about and getting people interested on the top of people’s mind. if you approach different people you’re going to get different things – there are a lot of ways to fight tyranny.”

There are some people in New York that are willing to give up privacy for more lax regulatory interests, what do you think about that?

“Some people think bitcoin will hit mainstream when they regulate it and have given its blessing . There are people that want that regulation because they think its legitimate – especially in the United States. – I think you should remain private unless you do something wrong. once you lose privacy over your identity, you can’t get it back. If someone wants to voluntarily give up their identity, I think that’s great but to force someone that’s pretty abhorrent. For the same reason people put curtains in their home – I think they should do the same with their finance.”

What advice do you have for bitcoin entrepreneurs?

“The first thing is most businesses fail. 9/10 bitcoin businesses will be complete failure – don’t let that get you down. ultimately you have to just keep trying things. It’s about finding needs and building systems that cater to those needs. I think what opeople worry about the most is the legal issues, it would be nice if entrepreneurs could do whatever they want and build wealth of the world – it’s a big distraction – in the us its the worst FINCEN licenses and BitLicence the legal fees are astronomical – that means the 18 years in college that wants to build a biz, 100s of 1000s will be spent in legal fees . If that means using a different identity that do it.”

Can you talk about Coinapult’s new ‘lock’ system?

“I was ceo of Coinapult stepped down a month ago. It is a couple things –  a wallet – blocked in America. Its a way to send bitcoin through SMS. Coinapult does B2B sells. A new feature called “locks” – how can they use the benefits of the cryptoworld without suffering the volatility – It lets you lock bitcoin to a more stable asset . lets say you put 1000 worth of btc to your coinapult – locked in to 1000 – you’ll have 2 years for 1000 – let’s you stay in the bitcoin world without suffering the volatility.”

Can you talk about Peter Shiff? 

“Peter Shiff was one of my idols when I used to live in Dubai – he was one of the first people i started listening to he taught me how gold works and why fiat systems and central banking is so problematic. Fast forward come bitcoin – it was disappointing to see how averse he was it. Bitcoin comes out and he ignored it then called it a ponzi scheme – a lot of people called him out and we had a debate – between that and the debate he slowly turned around and his company precious metals now accepts bitcoin.”

What are the challenges to the world about getting bitcoin to third world countries?

“There is a natural block for these people to be exposed to bitcoin . It’s just not something that comes on their radar – communicating advantages is a problem – its going to have to be introduced by each place – they have economics why they sell and buy things – they will have to recognize how bitcoin can be used in their territory . Someone from the us cannot go to Zambia – Zambia has to do it – it has to be done in a very decentralized way. I remember a couple years ago saying why isn’t Argentina using this , and now two years later taxi drivers are taking bitcoin, ultimately its just a question of time. People that are looking for profit and usefulness, they will come across bitcoin.”

The adoption of bitcoin around the world follows the penetration of the internet and the English language. 

Do you have any more insights into the bitcoin gambling sphere in regards to crowdfunding?

“I paid a lot of lawyers to tell me different things . Some say you can’t do it , some say you can. basically lawyers don’t know what the hell they are talking about – from what i understand gambling online is technically legal what is illegal is that you cannot use the financial system to gamble. after they told me these things – we just left america – I don’t want to deal with politicians I don’t want to deal with anything else – it sucks to do it – I love america I wish it was the land of the free but a lot of people will start blacklisting the us.”

What are your thoughts about decentralization and centralization ideologies in bitcoin?

“There are several branches are going to play their sides and it will be spontaneous order and we’ll see how it all plays out. If the regulation comes to pass, people can just ignore it. its easy to ignore regulation if you have a private source of money. If they put regulations there will only be the black market. We’ll see what happens. ultimately people that don’t want to pay attention to the laws will be fine.”

Why panama specifically?

“Zero or low tax rate , I’m morally opposed to taxes specially when its killing people – biz friendly and low taxes – we decided on panama because it was closer to the US and same time zone.”

Any Last Words?

“I think people need to realize money has to be decentralized – I think its because people don’t see it as a good – its the most bartered form of good – that was more clear when it was gold – when people used it as money – it’s just like cars pizza and x-boxes and like that i don’t want the Government producing it  – we have no built a system that removes money from the government with technology – there’s not going to be a vote, we’re not going to wait for the king or the president any longer we are giving the power back to the people with technology.”

Thank you for the interview Erik.



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