In perhaps his most comprehensive interview to date, Saifedean talks to Lex Fridman about the history of money, the foundations of economics, and why bitcoin represents a pathway to a more peaceful and prosperous world. Starting from Lex’s question “What is money?”, Saifedean draws on insights from his most recent book, The Fiat Standard, to take the listener on a four-hour historical journey. He explains how money emerged as a market good; why the gold standard developed in Britain and spread across the world; and the intriguing historical circumstances that led to government-controlled fiat money becoming the global medium of exchange. By asking fundamental questions about money, the purpose of economics, and the technical foundations of bitcoin, Lex prompts Saifedean to present a first-principles case for free exchange, non-aggression and bitcoin. Their conversation also includes Saifedean’s reflections on his upbringing in Palestine, how to make the most of our short time on earth, and advice to younger generations.
- Lex Fridman on Twitter.
- Lex Fridman’s podcast website.
- Carl Menger’s Principles of Economics: the founding text of the Austrian School, published in 1871.
- Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, published in English in 1949.
- Critical overview of John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money in the Journal of Libertarian Studies.
- Saifedean Twitter thread on scientists who dismissed flight as impossible at the time the Wright brothers were inventing the airplane. Includes comments by Lord Kelvin and the New York Times.
- Graphic showing technological progress in Britain during the gold standard. For further discussion, see The Bitcoin Standard section: Innovations: “Zero to One” versus “One to Many”, and episode 74 of The Bitcoin Standard Podcast: The Real Drivers of Technological Progress.
- Saifedean paper on the decline of the aviation industry since the 1970s. For further discussion see chapter 10 of The Fiat Standard on Fiat Fuels.
- The Bitcoin Standard Podcast episode 108: A New World Monetary Order The ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The Blocksize War by Jonathan Bier.
- Bitcoin Net Zero paper by Nic Carter and Ross Stevens. See page 38 for comparison of bitcoin network energy consumption compared with tumble driers and other common household appliances.
- Bank of England Unpublished History of WWI by John Osmond (only released in 2017).
- Saifedean tweets on categories of people who believe proof of stake will work, and his comparison of proof of work and proof of stake.
- Pierre Rochard on Twitter.
- Saifedean’s first book, The Bitcoin Standard.
- Saifedean’s second book, The Fiat Standard.
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