Max Hillebrand is an economist and open-source entrepreneur who runs Agora Towards Liberty. In this interview, we discuss fiat money’s fundamental weaknesses, the teachings of Austrian Economics, the importance of privacy, and how nano cameras mean privacy technology will need to keep evolving.
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Whilst the Bitcoin innovation was primarily predicated on the technical needs for enabling permissionless and uncensorable digital peer-to-peer transactions, its development was heavily influenced by the Austrian school of economics. At its root, Bitcoin is tied to the ethics of money production, where money production should be decentralized and not subject to the whims of a central authority.
The long-held fear of Austrian economists was that centralized control of money production would result in monetary inflation: governments would be unable to resist the temptation to print money as quick fixes to crises. This obviously impacts the value of the money being inflated, violating one of the core principles of money to be a reliable store of value. The problem for governments, as we’re seeing, is that the power to print money becomes an uncontrollable force.
Despite the inevitable fragility of fiat currencies, an alternative sound monetary system can hasten the collapse of fiat currencies during periods of loose monetary policy. This incentivises governments to constrain or ban access to such alternatives. See Executive Order 6102. This means that privacy for such alternatives is paramount. This is why Bitcoin privacy is vital. Because, when fiat currencies collapse, governments will come for people’s Bitcoin.