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Closing the Loop

Author: John Vallis

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Closing the Loop is a podcast about Bitcoin. In it, we will be speaking with the entrepreneurs, developers, and thinkers who are contributing to the evolution of this revolutionary technology. The podcast will also be an ongoing experiment of sorts, leveraging the latest developments in the broader ecosystem, highlighting and implementing solutions that foster censorship-resistant communication and new content monetization models. Join us in discovering the many possibilities that Bitcoin brings!
36 Episodes
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For our final episode of season three, we were excited to have Francis Pouliot join us for a discussion. Francis is the founder and CEO of Bull Bitcoin, a popular 'non-custodial' bitcoin exchange and payment service in Canada. He has been heavily involved in the bitcoin industry since 2013, helping people understand and use bitcoin from the earliest days of Montreal's Bitcoin Embassy to Costa Rica's Bitcoin Jungle today. In that time, he has accrued a wealth of knowledge and experience, which in addition to his uniquely principled approach to things, has made him a popular and respected voice in the bitcoin space. Personally, I've always appreciated his reverence for the truth, his dedication to doing what he believes to be right, and the ideas, arguments, and products which have emerged from that approach. Including his company Bull Bitcoin, which, full disclosure, I'm a happy customer of. Enjoy! --- Follow Francis and Bull: Twitter (Francis): @francispouliot_ Twitter (Bull Bitcoin): @BullBitcoin_ Website: bullbitcoin.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.info
In this episode of Closing The Loop, we’re honored to have Ray Youssef join us for a discussion. Ray is the founder and CEO of Paxful, a popular peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, which offers users over 350 different payment methods to choose from. Paxful has placed a particular focus on what Ray refers to as the ‘Global South,’ where billions of unbanked or underbanked people are effectively cut-off from global markets and subject to numerous forms of financial repression. In this conversation, Ray and I discuss how bitcoin and Paxful have helped to level the playing field for these people: by giving them greater access to global financial infrastructure and, in doing so, helping them to circumvent authoritarian regulations which seek to confiscate their wealth and limit their financial freedom. As you’ll hear, Ray is extremely passionate about his work and takes his mission—providing everyone with the financial tools they need to build wealth and unleash their full potential—very seriously. Enjoy! --- Follow Ray and Paxful: Twitter (Ray): @raypaxful Twitter (Paxful): @paxful Website: paxful.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.info
Our guest today is Patrick O’Sullivan, the world’s first 'Chief Bitcoin Officer', for the Australian Baseball League club, The Perth Heat. In late 2021, Patrick convinced the organization to shift to a full 'bitcoin standard', and since then, they’ve been experimenting with all the ways in which they can leverage the benefits of bitcoin, to bring a higher-quality and more rewarding experience to players and spectators alike. Recently, grounded in a firm belief in the merits and possibilities of the bitcoin-enabled 'value-for-value' philosophy, the team has launched what their calling 'sats4stats', where live or online spectators can send bitcoin payments directly to players, for whatever reason, in real-time! Patrick and the whole crew at the Perth Heat not only believe that their club will reap substantial rewards by being first in pursuing this strategy, but also that their pioneering work will inspire others to do the same, and in time, completely revolutionize the world of spectator sports. Enjoy! --- Follow Patrick and The Perth Heat: Twitter (Patrick): @CBO_21 Twitter (Perth Heat): @PerthHeat Website: perthheat.com.au Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.info
Today's guest is Matt Hill, co-founder and CEO of Start9 Labs, a leading pioneer in what he calls ‘Sovereign Computing.’ In today’s world, many have become accustomed to using third-party platforms to interact online, host their data, and much else, but as the saying goes, ‘the cloud is just someone else’s computer.’ As a result of this, there is no true privacy, anyone can be censored, and data honeypots exist everywhere for dishonest or malicious actors to exploit. Matt and his team are determined to reverse this concerning trend, by making it easy and affordable to run a personal private server, allowing any individual to take back control of their data, opt-out of corporate and state surveillance, and engage in their digital lives in a manner that is private, secure, and censorship-free. --- Follow Matt: Twitter: @_MattHill_ Website: start9.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.info
Today’s guest is Jeff Booth, a serial technology entrepreneur, advisor and board member to multiple businesses and organizations, and the author of the very popular book, ‘The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future'. Jeff is also a prolific speaker and advocate for bitcoin, educating people in all parts of the world, about the nature of the problems we all face, and how bitcoin is an essential tool for resolving them. Finally, to further enhance his impact, Jeff recently founded ego death capital, a venture fund which invests in companies in the bitcoin ecosystem, thereby accelerating the transition to what he likes to call, ‘a world of greater truth, hope and abundance.’ Enjoy! --- Follow Jeff: Twitter: @JeffBooth Website: egodeath.capital Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.info
Our guest today is Jason Les, CEO of Riot Blockchain. Riot is one of the largest publicly traded bitcoin miners in the world, with a current hash rate capacity of 4.8EH/s, and an expected self-mining capacity of 12.6EH/s by Q1 2023. The bitcoin mining industry is notoriously competitive, and that is especially the case right now in the fall of 2022, as a confluence of factors conspire to reveal which among the current operators are capable of weathering the storm. As such, I thought now would be a perfect time to have Jason on to discuss his story, how he thinks about building successful bitcoin mining operations, as well as the broad and massive implications of this burgeoning new industry. Enjoy! --- Follow Jason: Twitter: @JasonLes_ Website: riotblockchain.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
Our guest today is Prince Filip Karađorđević, Hereditary Prince of Serbia and Yugoslavia, and Chief Strategy Officer of Jan 3, a digital infrastructure company focused on expanding access to bitcoin technology, and accelerating hyperbitcoinization. We first met Prince Filip at the Miami Bitcoin Conference in 2022, and were struck by both his down-to-earth demeanor, as well as his passion and enthusiasm for bitcoin. His family history is tremendously interesting, and Filip seems determined to follow in those footsteps, by using bitcoin, in conjunction with his other initiatives, to bring more freedom and prosperity to the people of Serbia, and those living around the world. --- Follow Prince Filip: Twitter: @PrincFilip1 Website: jan3.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Abubakar Nur Khalil, a contributor to bitcoin core and co-founder of Qala, a non-profit focused on training the next generation of bitcoin and lightning developers in Africa. He is also the CEO of Recursive Capital, a venture capital fund focused on funding African bitcoin startups. Finally, Abubakar is a founding member of B Trust, a non-profit funded by Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z, with the stated purpose of supporting the people and initiatives working to decentralize bitcoin development further. Though still relatively young, Abubakar's accomplishments in the bitcoin space are substantial. His curiosity, dedication, and humility with which he approaches life shine through in his work and this discussion. --- Follow Abubakar: Twitter: @ihate1999 Website: rcrsv.xyz Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
Today’s guest is Brent Whitehead, co-founder of Giga Energy, a company that builds, operates, and sells equipment for off-grid bitcoin mining operations. The mobility, viability, and adaptability of bitcoin mining has in the last few years become recognized for the unique opportunities it represents, for capturing and monetizing stranded or 'waste' energy. As a result, the industry is currently experiencing a boom, as market participants respond to the incentive which now exists to turn a liability, into an asset, which has a global market and operates 24/7/365. This method of bitcoin mining is helping to increase resource efficiency, improve the economics of energy production and distribution, and helping to further decentralize and secure the bitcoin network. It’s an incredibly exciting development in the bitcoin ecosystem and bound to have many other positive downstream effects, which is why I invited Brent on to share more about his experiences and perspective. --- Follow Brent: Twitter: @B_Whitehead21 Website: gigaenergy.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Jean Amiouny, co-founder and CEO of Canadian bitcoin exchange, Shakepay. Launched in 2015, Shakepay has become one of the most popular ways to buy bitcoin in Canada, with $7 billion in transaction volume and over one million Canadians signed up to the platform. As you'll hear in this discussion, while their current focus is on making it as easy as possible for Canadians to accumulate bitcoin, they have much bigger aspirations of ultimately taking on the five big legacy banks in Canada, re-creating the financial system on top of bitcoin, and ushering in what they call the "bitcoin golden age." --- Follow Jean: Twitter: @aiouy Website: shakepay.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
Today's guest is Lyn Alden, founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, board director of Swan Bitcoin, and advisor to ego death capital. Lyn is one of the most highly regarded voices in finance today, both for her excellent commentary on the macroeconomic landscape as well as for her sober, analytical approach to understanding bitcoin. Lyn's ability to distill complex, multi-disciplinary topics into insights that anyone can comprehend has made her a favorite amongst expert investors and humble savers alike. With all the recent developments in the bitcoin world, as well as the volatility and uncertainty in all financial markets, we thought it was a perfect time to have a chat with Lyn and get her perspective on what's going on. --- Follow Lyn: Twitter: @LynAldenContact Website: lynalden.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastApps.com Value4Value.io
Welcome to Season 3 of Closing the Loop! As has become tradition, Gigi, our friend and colleague here at Seetee, software engineer, and prolific writer in the bitcoin space, has joined us once again, to get this season kicked off. In our conversation, we reflect on some of the guests and topics of Season 2, discuss our experiences at the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway recently, and delve into some of the current events, developments, misunderstandings, and musings going on in 'bitcoin land' today. --- Follow Gigi: Twitter: @dergigi Website: dergigi.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastApps.com Value4Value.io
Our guest today is Leopoldo López, a democracy activist, former political prisoner of the Maduro government, and national coordinator of the 'Voluntad Popular' political party in Venezuela. We recently met Leopoldo at the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway and subsequently had the chance to spend some time with him and hear the harrowing story of his life-long fight for freedom in Venezuela. We also spoke to him about Bitcoin, the ways in which it can and does support the cause of freedom, and the critical distinctions between it and all other 'cryptocurrencies.' In our discussions, we came to greatly admire Leopoldo's character and found his genuine curiosity, humility, and questions about Bitcoin—something which was fairly new to him—to be very endearing. As a result, we thought it would be interesting to invite him on the show, to continue our discussion, and delve further into his fascinating and inspiring story. "If we figure out ways in which more people have access to financial freedom, that will, in turn, increase the probabilities to have a free society." --- Follow Leopoldo: Twitter: @leopoldolopez Website: leopoldolopez.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastApps.com Value4Value.io
For this episode, our guest is Bernard Parah. He is the founder and CEO of Bitnob, a Nigerian bitcoin exchange & financial services platform. We met Bernard recently at the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway, where we had the chance to hear his story firsthand. His unique perspective on bitcoin, the experience he has gathered when launching Bitnob, and the many fascinating stories he has to share about the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Nigeria make him a unique voice in the ecosystem. Bernard's passion, purpose, and dedication to Bitcoin are as contagious as they are impressive, which is why we invited him to share his story on Closing the Loop. We hope that putting a spotlight on Bernard's work and his part of the world shows how empowering and essential Bitcoin truly is, especially in those parts of the world that do not share our financial privilege. "Bitcoin treats everyone as equal," to quote Bernard. "It won't fix everything, but it helps tilt the scale." --- Follow Bernard: Twitter: @bernard_parah Website: bitnob.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Shaun Connell, Executive Vice President of Power at Lancium. Lancium develops technologies and builds infrastructure to improve the economic efficiency of power production, balance and stabilize the power grid, and improve the viability of renewable energy resources. Shaun has a wealth of experience in energy markets, in particular in energy trading and risk management, and through his work at Lancium, he is becoming a leading expert in the rapidly occurring integration of bitcoin mining and traditional energy infrastructure. We cover a lot of ground in this discussion, and as usual, we could've talked with Shaun for another two hours about all the incredibly fascinating implications of these converging industries. For now, we'll have to save that for part two—sometime in the future. --- Follow Shaun: Twitter: @ShaunEnergy Website: lancium.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Farida Nabourema, a social activist and writer, who since being a teenager, has been a fearless advocate for democracy and human rights in her native Togo. We met Farida recently at the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway and were intrigued by her story, her work, and the ways in which she's been educating her followers and community about the benefits of Bitcoin. This conversation was not only illuminating with regards to the nature and degree of oppression in Togo (and elsewhere), but it also left us incredibly impressed by the courage, conviction, and wisdom of this young woman, and grateful for her work in the cause for freedom. --- Follow Farida: Twitter: @Farida_N Website: nabourema.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Bob Burnett, chairman and CEO at Barefoot mining. Barefoot focuses primarily on what they call 'wild mining,' or small-to-mid scale bitcoin mining operations, using independent or off-grid energy sources. Their approach is not only contributing to the monetization of remote or stranded energy resources, which otherwise likely would have remained unproductive, but it's also helping to diversify and decentralize the bitcoin mining ecosystem, making it more resilient to various potential risks and attacks. Bob is another great example of someone who was reinvigorated with purpose as a result of learning about bitcoin, and I'm grateful for the work he and the team are doing to protect the network and contribute to the innovation taking place in the rapidly co-evolving bitcoin mining and energy industries. --- Follow Bob: Twitter: @boomer_btc Website: barefootmining.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Alex Leishman, founder & CEO of River Financial. River is a bitcoin-native financial services firm that offers bitcoin acquisition and management products for individuals, as well as a variety of institutions and high-net-worth investors, through their private client services division. They've also recently begun offering a bitcoin-mining product, which allows their clients to own their own mining hardware and establish regular bitcoin-denominated income, or what's become known as "sats flow," while River takes care of all the work to make it happen. In this show, Alex and John have a wide-ranging discussion about the growth of River, the details of their new mining offering, their approach to the lightning network and possible future applications, the notion of social progress, and how we should be thinking about it, becoming a Kardashev Type 2 civilization, and much more. River represents what is still a very small initial cohort of new financial services companies, which are focussing exclusively on bitcoin, and building out a suite of products and services that allow people to unlock more of its enormous potential. In my opinion, Alex and the team at River have built a brand imbued with the bitcoin ethos, which is likely why they are so well respected in the industry, and why it was such a pleasure and an honor for me to have a discussion with him today. --- Follow Alex: Twitter: @Leishman Website: River.com Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
This episode's guest is Grant Gilliam, co-founder and managing partner of Ten 31. Ten31 is a venture capital firm that invests in leading bitcoin-native companies. In addition to that, Ten31 supports and invests in various free and open-source software projects in the Bitcoin ecosystem to help build out the infrastructure necessary for a hyperbitcoinized future. Grant comes from a traditional private equity background and has brought a ton of high-level experience with him to this new endeavor. While Grant and the team at Ten31 recognize the enormous opportunity that investing in early-stage bitcoin-only companies represents, they're also aware of the necessity to think differently about investing when doing so in a bitcoin-denominated world. In our opinion, it is their willingness to accelerate the flywheel while aligning deeply with the bitcoin ethos that will lead to their continued long-term success. We are looking forward to supporting the bitcoin-only ecosystem along with Ten31. --- Follow Grant: Twitter: @GRANTGILLIAMBTC Website: Ten31 Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology Fountain.FM NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
Our guest today is Alex Gladstein. Alex is the Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum, and the Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally. In recent years, Alex has placed particular focus and emphasis on speaking, writing, and educating about bitcoin. In particular, the powerful potential it has to serve as a means for people the world over to protect themselves from various forms of oppression, and establish greater freedom in their lives. His efforts, and in particular his prolific and popular writing, has helped many to appreciate the faults in the current global monetary system, the broad yet under-recognized consequences of them, and the salutary role which bitcoin may play in their resolution. --- Follow Alex: Twitter: @gladstein Website: HRF / OFF Articles Book Follow John & Seetee: Twitter: @johnkvallis & @Seetee_io Website: seetee.io Use Podcasting 2.0: Breez.Technology fountain.fm NewPodcastingApps.com Value4Value.io
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