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Dear Shar hol ers,

T day we a nounced that Aker1 has e ta lished Se tee2, a new com-


p ny that will i vest in e ci ing projects and co p nies throug out the
Bi coin ecosy tem while kee ing all of its li uid i vestable a sets in bit-
coin3. e new co p ny has a ca ta s tion of NOK 500 mi lion, an
amount we aim to i crease si ni can ly over time as we gain e p r ence
and ide t fy e ci ing o po t n ties.
B fore I pr ceed with our st ry, I want to state u front that I am
aware that Bi coin is o ten cri cised for a nu ber of pe ceived chal-
lenges, i clu ing its ele tri ty co sum tion, its i abi ty to scale with re-
spect to tran a tions, and its p te tial to f ci tate anon mous i l gi i-
mate pa ments. We b lieve that Bi coin can be a s l tion rather than a
pro lem for each of those, but we will get to the a g ments for that la er.
Se tee’s stra gy is thre fold.
First, we will use bi coin as our tre sury a set and join the co m n ty.
In Bi coin speak, we will be hodlers. We will be di e ent, but a d tive.
Pe haps not as r be lious as the cyphe punks who i ven ed Bi coin. But

1 Aker has a 180-year hi t ry as an i po tant i du tr al group in No way. In


1996, I prou ly b came the main shar hol er and our fa ly still owns
more than two thirds of the co p ny t day. For more i fo m tion, see
https://www.a erasa com/en.
2 Contra te rene, C.T., or se tee, is a term from two sc ence tion books by
Jack Williamson, Se tee Ship and Se tee Shock, where it refers to a t mat-
ter. In physics, a t ma ter is the o p site of ma ter, which is the costl est
m t al to pr duce a cor ing to some sources. E t mates range from hun-
dreds of bi lions to tri lions of do lars per gram. A pro er name for an am-
b tious co p ny.
3 As has become a cep ed pra tice, we use Bi coin with u pe case ‘B’ to de-

note the pr t col, sof ware, and co m n ty, wher as bi coin with lo e case
‘b’ l bels units of the cu re cy i self.




















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much more pr gre sive than most e ta lished co p rates. e team at


Se tee is a ready ru ning open source bi coin pa ment servers and will
r main a tive co tri tors in the co m n ty.
Se ond, Se tee will e ta lish mi ing o e tions that tran fer stran ed
or i te mi tent ele tri ty wit out st ble d mand l ca ly—wind, s lar,
h dro po er— to ec no ic a sets that can be used an where. Bi coin is,
in our eyes, a load-ba an ing ec no ic ba tery, and ba te ies are e se tial
to the e e gy tra s tion r quired to reach the ta gets of the Paris Agree-
ment. Our a b tion is to be a val able par ner in new r ne able projects.
ird, we will build and i vest in projects and co p nies in Bi coin’s
ecosy tem. is is where our true pa sion is! Our home game is i du tri-
al a plications. But we also b lieve nic ly d signed mo ern user i ter-
faces will e able new a plications whe e er tran a tions ha pen. I am
pa ti la ly i te es ed in m cr pa ments and how these may e able us to
avoid use names, pas words, and our pe so al data b ing mo tised
with, and o ten wit out, our know edge or co sent.
Aker is part of the i du tr al e ta lis ment. As som one who star ed
my c reer in the e gine room of old s ing trawlers ou side the coast of
No way and la er in the Bering Sea in the Uni ed States, I’m i mens ly
proud of what Aker has b come, i clu ing the ne ly-formed i du tr al
par ne ships we have r cen ly a nounced. But all large co p nies have
one thing in co mon: they were once small. And many large co p nies
are vi tims of their own su cess and end up small or d funct. I will do
ever thing I can to keep Aker c r ous, i n tive, and able to keep up
with the times.
A ter forty years in bus ness, I have learned that you a ways have to
keep an eye out for new o po t n ties and d ve o ments on the hor zon.
Se tee marks that hor zon. It p s tions i self in the mi dle of an i du try
that could d ne the next se e al decades, much like the i te net has

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done since the ea ly 1990s. Se tee is an open i v t tion to push, pull, and
poke life as we know it. To act like young e tr pr neurs every day.

On the shoulders of giants


Aker’s d c sion to e ter Bi coin through Se tee is the r sult of a long and
fu d me tal di cu sion about va ue. I have been drin ing from the re
hose since last su mer. While this le ter is my way of e pres ing my
thoughts on the ma ter, my i sights are larg ly d rived from rea ing a ti-
cles and books, li te ing to po casts and watc ing videos, as well as con-
ve s tions with pe ple around me.
Our co le tive know edge was d rived from the e te sive and bri liant
m t al pr duced by ot ers. ese i clude Saifedean A mous, A dreas
Antonopolous, Adam Back, Nic Carter, Christ pher Cole, Ray Dalio,
Michael Green, Hugh Hendry, Reid Ho man, Lacy Hunt, Jack Mallers,
Raoul Pal, Chamath Pa hap tiya, A th ny Po pl ano, Pierre Rochard,
Michael Sa lor, Eli beth Stark, Erik Townsend, and Grant Williams.
Some of the pe ple me tioned above are not b lie ers in Bi coin or in
agre ment with our i ves ment th sis. We like to dive into co pe ing
na r tives, and me tion them here in case the rea er wants to dive into
the prove bial ra bit hole. It’s ama ing to see that the cry tocu re cy
space a tracts so many i te l gent pe ple of younger ge e tions—much
like the i te net did when it was in its i fa cy.
While pr cu sors e is ed ea l er, most would agree that Tim Ber ers-
Lee’s world wide web from 1990 was the start of what we reco nise as
the i te net. T day, we take it for gran ed, but it has only been around
for thi ty years and the d ve o ment has a ce e a ed. Co me tary on
the i te net’s lack of us ful a plications, and e pert for casts about its
lik ly demise were fr quent in the 1990s. Bi coin was i ven ed in 2009

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and will go through waves of d ve o ment b fore it achieves the a pl ca-


tion m t r ty that we are now used to on the i te net.
It’s a te t ment of our times that the i te net has gi en many of us in-
stant a cess to i fo m tion. But the real va ue comes when we let our cu-
rio ty na gate b yond the a g rithms for re o men ed co tent. You
can only cha lenge pr co ceived idas when you are wil ing to go ou side
of your co fort zone. Bi coin has i spired us to cha lenge our i t itive
u de stan ing of mo ey.
Ha ing fo lowed the cry tocu re cy di course for a while, we d ci ed
to reach out to the e g neers who made it their mi sion to change the in-
ner wor ings of mo ey more than two decades ago. is mor ing, we
also prou ly a nounced that Se tee has formed a par ne ship with
Bloc stream, a glo al leader in Bi coin and blockchain tec no gy. Block-
stream’s lea e ship i cludes Adam Back, the i ve tor of Has cash, a
1997 pr cu sor to Bi coin. With Bloc stream as our par ner, we are con-
dent that we can na gate this i du try.

Not investing is the riskiest decision


Risk is not an o v ous co cept. What’s co mo ly co si ered risky is fre-
quen ly not. And vice ve sa. We are used to thin ing that cash is risk free.
But it’s not. It’s i pli i ly taxed by i tion at a small rate every year.
It adds up.
Ce tral bankers have ma ca ly agreed that they should ta get two per-
cent i tion, which i plies that one third of your mo ey’s worth is
taxed away every twe ty years. If it was three pe cent, a most half of it
would be gone in that time. Now you should ask, why is it two, and not
one or three? What’s sp cial about two pe cent?
e Fe e al R serve has r cen ly said it will ta get an a e age rate of
two pe cent over time, which i plies they will a low i tion to run

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above the ta get for some years. I tion is very good for debtors. And
the U.S. is the world’s largest debtor. ey owe the bond ow ers. And
they owe pe sions. Both groups may be out of luck in the long term.
One way to demo strate this e ect is to price real e tate in gold. e
Schiller Case Home Price I dex is the lea ing me sure of U.S. re den-
tial real e tate prices. Me sured in gold, home prices in the U.S. are
among the lo est they have been in the last hu dred years4. In 2004,
Norges Bank sold its last gold r serves ci ing poor hi to cal r turns.
Apar ments in the wealt est part of Oslo are 35 pe cent chea er t day
than they were in 2004 if priced in gold. And most would say real e tate
r turns have been spe ta lar in that p r od.
So what’s risk? It’s all re tive.
In 2018, Twi ter has tag #Ge O Z ro star ed to ci c late. e main
a g ment: it may be i r spo s ble not to i clude some e p sure to bit-
coin gi en the asy me ric r turn pro e ties. Even if you don’t get the un-
de l ing cyphe punk and li e ta an ideals, which I nd most i te es ing,
you still need to co si er the p te tial d ve s c tion be ts of bi coin:
“Schmuck i su ance” in the words of S cial Ca tal’s Chamath Pa hapi-
tiya.
I’ve told this st ry b fore. On Un ve s ty Street in Sea tle, Vi tor
Rossel ni had his a ship resta rant, the 410. My me tor, Bob
Breskovitch, i vi ed me there to di cuss the to ic of a sis ed su cide with
ve catholic priests. ey taught me the i po tance of scr tiny. Of ques-
tio ing your own a sum tions, li te ing to ot ers rather than a g ing
your p s tion, analysing o je tiv ly b fore you d cide.
It was a life chan ing lunch.

4 https://www longtermtren s.net/real-e tate-gold-r tio/

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As a young s e man in the Nort west, far away from my n tive Nor-
way, d ve s c tion was not high on my age da. As far as I was con-
cerned, d ve s c tion was a rich man’s game. Wealth prese v tion was
som thing you could do once you had a t al wealth to pr serve. And
since I didn’t have a pe ny to my name, I was g ing to f cus on ge ting
there. For years, I didn’t think about an thing ot er than buil ing Amer-
can Seafoods. I was young. D te m ned. And su roun ed by ama ing
pe ple.
In one way, I still stand by my younger self. If you’re ce tain about
som thing, it pays o to f cus and i vest ever thing you have in it. But
u ce tai ty and doubt build as time goes by. e more e p r ence you
have, the more you r alise that not ing is ce tain. Ever thing is a bet with
some a s c a ed pro bi ties. I should know—a most 80 pe cent of our
por f lio was in oil and gas when the oil price went ne tive a ter
Covid-19 hit.
e pa de ic. N body was pr pared, d spite the n me ous war ings
from sc e tists who said it was a ways a que tion of “when”, not “if.” Like
most events, pa demics are rare in a lif time, but fr quent throug out
hi t ry. No way hadn’t e p r enced a pa de ic in ve ge e tions, so it
was hard to ima ine.
But it still ha pened.
ere are many be ts from ow ing a few co p nies in di e ent in-
du tries, but the price d clines for all co p nies in a cr sis. As we saw in
March last year. I vestors use bonds to d ve s fy their por f lios. Nor-
way’s e tire so ereign wealth fund is d signed that way and it has worked
well in r cent hi t ry. But what if e u ties and bonds fall co cu ren ly,
which they have done for long p r ods hi to ca ly? B fore the Fe e al
R serve stepped in with u prec den ed me sures, that was about to hap-
pen one year ago.

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And it will pro bly ha pen again. And what ha pens if the ce tral
banks ca not stop the fall? What ha pens to the mo tary sy tem if
pe ple start que tio ing the st bi ty of the r serve cu re cy? Again, this
has ha pened many times in hi t ry.
I r spond to t day’s cha lenges as I would when I was a young man. I
will a ways pr fer to be a f cused e trepreneur rather than a d ve s ed
i vestor, a beit with a tad bit more risk ma ag ment and i nitely more
ac ic rigour around me than I had ea l er in my c reer. One of my
favourite que tions to pe ple who ask me about the risk that’s i he ent to
our ideas: What about the risk of lo ing out on the u side?
Young pr fe sio als know they are ris ing their c reers if they say yes
to what eve t a ly b comes bad i ves ments. at’s the name of the
game. What you should r a ly get red for is sa ing no and lo ing out to
once in a lif time o po t n ties.
Bi coin may still go to zero. But it can also b come the core of a new
mo tary a ch te ture. If so, one bi coin may be worth mi lions of dol-
lars. e asy m try is i te es ing to a por f lio. Pe ple who know the
most about bi coin b lieve its f ture su cess is nea ly i evitable. Wher as
the ot er camp thinks that its fai ure is equa ly ce tain. St tus quo is not
po s ble.
In the past months I have met many new pe ple. One of them was
Jack Mallers at Strike. He’s a most forty years younger than me. E p ri-
en ing his e e gy and e th s asm was sp cial. I felt old in his co p ny,
but also very e bol ened: I lost out on m bile co m n c tions. I didn’t
i vest in i te net co p nies. It was only r cen ly that I star ed to i vest
in and build sof ware co p nies (and I love it!) When I r alised how
much brai po er goes into Bi coin, I saw the f ture in the ma ing.

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Turning challenges to opportunities
It has been more than a decade since the pse d n mous Satoshi
Nakam to pu lished her/his/their p per, launc ing a new form of elec-
tro ic mo ey: bi coin. I was sce t cal of bi coin for many years and my
a g ments were more or less co si tent with ever one else’s: the net-
work’s ele tri ty co sum tion is wast ful, the ne work is not sca able, its
ideals of anonym ty play into the hands of cri nals, and so on.
Mo ey is a h man i ve tion, a s cial co struct that only works since
we co le tiv ly b lieve in it. In fact, the term “ at mo ey” is d rived from
the Latin word “ at,” which means “an act of will that cr ates som thing
wit out fu ther e ort.” It’s a d cree. Of all the pr v ous a tempts at dig tal
cu re cies—and there were many—bi coin was the one that broke out.
In the b gi ning, it was worth zero point zero with as many z ros as you
would like. But the more pe ple b lieve in it, the more val able it be-
comes. It’s a cla sic ne work e ect.
Yes, Bi coin co sumes ele tri ty. And pays for it at the l ca ly pr vail-
ing ma ket prices. But we b lieve Bi coin will e able a plications that can
cr ate treme dous va ue. If so, it will be e grained into the s cial fa ric
and can’t go to zero since it’s i mune to the p li cal forces that d stroys
a cu re cy. If this sc nario plays out, we might change our f cus from the
price of a bi coin to that of a satoshi (one bi coin is one hu dred mi lion
satoshi). If our phones are full of Bi coin a plications in ve years, the
ne work’s va ue is a Stai way to Hea en.
So, is it wast ful?
To achieve the a b tions in the Paris Agre ment, we need to vas ly in-
crease ele tr c tion of s c ety, which will drive hig er d mand for elec-
tr cal po er. But we need that ele tri ty from r ne able sources. Wind
and s lar are now cheap enough. But they are i te mi tent, mea ing we
can only pr duce when the wind blows and the sun shines. To tran form

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it into bas load po er that can be su plied at any gi en time, there is a
treme dous need for ba te ies in all forms.
Ba te ies are the mis ing piece in the pu zle to e able the e e gy tran-
s tion. R me ber, one liter of gas line co tains the equi lent of a li tle
less than 10 kWh of e e gy. But less than 30 pe cent can be r tained as
us ful po er to move a v h cle b cause of the e e gy loss in an i te nal
co bu tion e gine. R gar less of where you live, I bet that the price per
kWh of us ful e e gy in gas line is e trem ly high re tive to ele tri ty.
You don’t buy gas line b cause you want the chea est e e gy. You buy it
b cause it’s an e ce lent ba tery: Exxon is a ba tery co p ny.
e ne work co sumes e e gy to e sure it r mains s cure. R me ber,
banks are go er ment re la ed cu t d ans we pay fees to m d ate trust.
Bi coin has solved that pro lem in a way where two pa ties can tran act
wit out ve f ing and trus ing each ot er, ci cu ven ing the need for a
third pa ty like a bank. But the mec nism r quires ele tri ty.
E ter the so-called mi ers. A mi er uses ele tri ty and is co pe sat-
ed with bi coins. e nanciers of mi ing o e tions will i sist on u ing
the chea est e e gy and so by d tion it will be ele tri ty that has no
be ter ec no ic use. Bi coin then acts like an ec no ic ba tery. What
ot e wise was of li tle va ue l ca ly, is turned into an ec no ic a set that
can be used glo a ly. E trem ly e ble d mand from mi ers can o ti-
mise the l cal su ply and d mand for ele tri ty, which may a ce e ate
the e e gy tra s tion by i pro ing the ec nomics for new r ne able
projects.
In di cussing this with Adam Back and Chris Cook at Bloc stream, I
r alised that they a ready have grid ba an ing tec no gy that plays right
into what we are tr ing to do at Aker Hor zons. Som times we can
pump w ter into h dro rese voirs and turn i te mi tent c pa ty into
bas load. Som times we will pr duce green h dr gen and a m nia to
r duce emi sions in a eas such as shi ping. Bi coin is less o v ous, but

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I’m ce tain that it will e able many more r ne able projects than would
ot e wise be po s ble.
Come on, it co sumes as much ele tri ty as…
Bi coin’s ele tri ty co sum tion must be a alysed with r spect to the
f ture sc na ios for the ne work. A lot of volati ty is na u al when mar-
ket pa ti pants are tr ing to for cast whether bi coin is (i) a spe l tive
bu ble that will i plode and be wort less, (ii) a dig tal scarce a set that
could r place gold as a store of va ue, or (iii) a mo tary a ch te ture that
will serve as the core trust and ve c tion la er for n me ous types of
tran a tions.
If you su scribe to the bu ble na r tive, you can rest saf ly kno ing
that the ele tri ty co sum tion of Bi coin will r turn to zero in the near
f ture. Mi ers will not e pend e e gy if their bi coin r wards are ren-
dered wort less. If that’s your view, the di cu sion is moot.
What if bi coin r places gold as an a set class for por f lio d ve s ca-
tion and store of va ue? Now, to all the gold bugs out there, this is not
our pr di tion. o sands of years of hi t ry as sound mo ey means
gold will lik ly r main a tra tive. We mer ly use this e a ple to show
that bi coin’s scarc ty would be su cient and e v ro me tal price would
be much lo er. Also to be clear, this sc nario is not why we are e ci ed
about Bi coin, but it may be the ea est use case to u de stand.
Cu rent gold pr du tion is around 3,000 tons a year against an i ven-
t ry of about 200,000 tons, which is all the gold that has been pr duced
throug out hi t ry. Of that, less than half is used for je ellery. e so
called stock-to- ow r tio, which is a me sure of scarc ty where a hig er
nu ber is be ter, is ther fore cu ren ly around 56: at the cu rent rate of
pr du tion, it would take 56 years to do ble the i ve t ry.
What’s the co p r ble scarc ty of bi coin? e cu rent block r ward is
6.25 bi coin, which tran lates to about 900 new bi coins every day, or
328,500 per year. Gi en 18.6 mi lion bi coin in e i tence, the stock-to-

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ow is cu ren ly a pro mat ly 56, which is on par with gold. But a ter
the next hal ing, which will ha pen du ing the spring of 2024, the stock
will be hig er and the ow will be lo er, so stock-to- ow will be more
than do ble that of gold: Bi coin will be much scarcer than our scarcest
co mo ty.
e e t ma ed CO2 emi sion for pr du ing new gold is more than
100 mi lion tons per year. E t mates vary, but r cent stu ies put Bi coin’s
around 30 mi lion tons a n a ly. at’s less than one third of gold’s CO2
emi sions. And as r ne ables i crease in the mix, Bi coin’s CO2 emis-
sion i te s ty should drop si ni can ly. Note that this is still di r gar ing
the cost of r ing and sto ing gold, as well as the ne tive i pact land
e c v tion in less co pl ant r gions of the world has on both pe ple and
the e v ro ment.
at leaves the most o t mistic sc nario for bi coin. e one that gets
us e ci ed. Where Bi coin’s abi ty to ve fy tran a tions b tween two
pa ties wit out a trus ed third pa ty is used to build an ecosy tem of ap-
plications.
We are a ready e plo ing Bloc stream’s Li uid and E ments pro ucts
for i du tr al a plications: fo eign e change, cash ma ag ment, trade set-
tl ments, emi sion ve c tions. But these are mer ly the o v ous ones.
e broa er p te tial? Ec no ic a cess for the u banked through sav-
ing, spen ing, and len ing se vices. M cr pa ments. Ow e ship of pri-
vate data. Tec no gy that can di rupt co pl ance, which is now more
than ten pe cent of bank e plo ees and i crea ing. With the added ben-
t of i proved s c r ty and near-i stant se tl ment.
We o v ou ly can’t know how this will play out. Many tec nol gies
will co pete to solve these cha lenges. But we do know that many ap-
plications are too i po tant to leave the ve c tion to ce tralised sys-
tems owned by a co p r tion or co trolled by a si gle cou try.

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So what about the ele tri ty co sum tion in the sc nario that we are
most e ci ed about?
Clea ly, the pr t col is d signed to cut the r wards in half every four
years or so. Mi ers will only e pend the ele tri ty if it r mains pro table.
18.6 mi lion of the ma mum 21 mi lion bi coin e ists t day. So at the
end of this year, 90 pe cent of the bi coin is a ready in e i tence and paid
for. Nine tenths of the i frastructure is there.
Since the block r ward goes down si ni can ly over time, the mi ers
would be wil ing to e pend less ele tri ty all things equal. E ther the
var able tran a tion fees or the price of bi coin have to i crease su stan-
tia ly to co pe sate the mi ers. Since the block r ward will a proach
zero, fees are the only v able long-term co pe s tion mec nism.
Since the tran a tion vo ume ca not i crease gi en Bi coin’s d sign, fee
i crea es i ply that the va ue of si gle tran a tions must be su sta tia ly
hig er than t day. Pr su ably, that’s only po s ble if every tran a tion on
the mai chain a ways i volves very large amounts. Bi lions of smal er
tran a tions would have to e cute with a cep able s c r ty in se ond
la ers and sidechains.
Again, all of this is only co me cia ly and ec no ca ly v able if the
va ue of ve f ing large tran a tions wit out a trus ed third pa ty is su -
cien ly high. is i plies high d mand for the ne work’s a ch te ture,
which again means that us ful a plications that cr ate treme dous va ue
have been built on top of the core ne work. Bi coin can ther fore only
su vive, and ele tri ty will only be co sumed, if the va ue cr a ed by the
ne work is su cient.
Even co plet ly di r gar ing Bi coin ac ing as an ec no ic ba tery
that may i prove the ec nomics of r ne able projects, which could a cel-
e ate the i sta l tion of i te mi tent sources of ele tri ty, we don’t see a
long-term pro lem r la ed to Bi coin’s ele tri ty co sum tion.

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If it’s a bu ble, it dies and co sumes not ing. If it’s dig tal gold, it’s
more e cient and will emit much less than the a set it di rupts. And if
it’s r a ly su ces ful, it’s b cause of d mand from tr ly va ue cr a ing ap-
plications that d ne our f ture and should be worth the ele tri ty.
Fine, but how will it scale?
It is true that the Bi coin mai chain ca not process the nu ber of
tran a tions that we d pend on in mo ern s c ety on its mai chain. But
that’s b cause Satoshi Nakam to’s d sign didn’t trade ce so ship r sis-
tance and s c r ty for sca bi ty. So sca bi ty has to be solved by mak-
ing slight trad o s.
Bi coin doesn’t co pr mise. To e sure it’s open and s cure, r si tant to
ce so ship and retroa tive e its, it’s d ce tralised. But that’s a m jor
dra back for sca bi ty: Kee ing one ce tral sprea sheet up to date is
o v ou ly more e cient than ha ing n me ous copies that all must be
u da ed. A Bi coin tran a tion takes about ten mi utes to be co rmed
and the d sign c pa ty is about se en tran a tions per se ond. Har ly
su cient to deal with t day’s tran a tion vo umes.
But when I heard Jack Mallers talk about the Ligh ning la er I had an-
ot er Rossel ni m ment. e Ligh ning Ne work is built on top of Bit-
coin to make it scale. Tran a tions are done in b la e al cha nels that
co nect in a ne work and each cha nel is a chored to Bi coin’s main-
chain with a si gle tran a tion. Ligh ning tran a tions co plete in mil-
lise onds and can process mi lions per se ond with har ly any use of
ele tri ty. It ther fore leve ages Bi coin’s s c r ty while i crea ing speed
and r du ing cost to le els not achie able by leg cy pa ment rails.
Does a glo al di tributed ne work of b la e al pa ment cha nels
sound i po s ble? In fact, that’s how spot fo eign e change works. Aker
is the largest i vestor in Abelee, a non-bank li ui ty provider in the for-
eign e change ma ket. We have spent a lot of time lear ing about the mi-

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crostru ture of na cial ma kets. It’s only a ma ter of time b fore the old
and the new world of mo ey is sea les ly co nec ed.
On that night, with all of us on video from Chic go, Tel Aviv, and
Oslo, Mallers sent do lars from a re lar bank a count in the U.S. via a
wa let in Tel Aviv and fu ther on to Oslo. en, for fun, we sent it to an
Aker co league in A cra, Ghana. All of these tran a tions took place in-
sta t neou ly and at nea ly no cost. is cr ates the po s bi ty of pro-
grammable m cr tran a tions, a pa ment stream, which can u lock lim-
i less o po t n ties.
A plications will have di e ent needs and pe ple will be wil ing to
make slight trad o s to achieve those. I’m ce tain that, with time and cre-
ati ty, a plications that scale in sidechains and la ers on top of Bi coin
will ou ish. is ecosy tem can pr vide ma sive sca bi ty, and will only
need to se tle with the mai chain now and again. Like ge ting a stamp of
a proval from the source of a s lute truth.
As such, we b lieve Bi coin will scale bri lian ly in la ers upon la ers
that make the trade o s a pli ble to pa ti lar a pl c tion. And as we
will see in the next par graphs, it may pr vide the o po t n ty to build
an e tir ly new a ch te ture for how i fo m tion ows in s c ety.
Still, doesn’t bi coin e able u d sired a ti ties?
e rst i du try to take a va tage of the i te net’s p te tial was ar-
guably the porn grap ic i du try. When we foun ed Co nite, a co pa-
ny that e ables siloed data and leg cy sy tems to sea les ly i te act to
i prove a cess and ow of i du tr al data, we did that with i te net p o-
neer John Markus Lervik. He told us how his rst co p ny, Fast Search
& Tran fer—la er a quired by M crosoft to po er their search fun tion-
a ty—was co stan ly a proached by the porn grap ic i du try in the
late nineties: they wan ed a cess to the co p ny’s lea ing and pr pr etary
i age co pre sion a g rithms.

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So when a new a ch te ture for mo ey emerges, it should not be en-
tir ly u e pec ed that cri nals b came its rst users. It was more e -
cient to use cry tocu re cies than cash, which has a ways been and is still
avai able for those who want a bea er a set to co duct i l gal a ti ties.
But when the i te net went mai stream it found ot er l gi mate uses.
We see the same d ve o ment with cry tocu re cies: cri nal use of bit-
coin is re tiv ly m nu cule.
In fact, the li e ta an ideals of the cyphe punk mov ment holds
pro ise and val able ideas for the world t day. On the one hand, our ba-
sic h man rights i clude fre dom of speech, r l gion, a se bly, and a so-
c tion; and right to equal pr te tion of the law. As such, i fo m tion
about the i d vi ual and his or her a tions and tran a tions should be
avai able to those with a l gal right to a cess. On the ot er hand, as has
been so el quen ly e posed by Shoshana Zubo in her book, e Age of
Su veillance Ca ta ism, the i te net b h moths have turned us into the
pro uct. I’m ce tain we need to ght back against u la ful a cess to in-
fo m tion, and that r quires a new a ch te ture.
On a pe so al note, I am fr quen ly fru tra ed that I give away user-
names, pas words, l c tions, cre it card d tails and ot er i fo m tion to
read new p pers or watch movies. I’m fa c na ed by the prospect of bit-
coin Ligh ning wa lets that may e able i stant cre it via m cr pa ments
wit out the need to o er pe so al i fo m tion that my cou te part can
mo tise wit out a proval or co pe s tion.
So if you i sist on b ing anon mous, doesn’t that mean you are hi ing
from the law? Of course not. To the co trary, I b lieve Bi coin holds the
pro ise of much more s phi t ca ed KYC (know your cu tomer) and
AML (anti mo ey lau de ing) pr c dures that e ables a cess when
there is l gal grounds but keeps ever thing anon mous in all ot er cir-
cu stances. A ter all, the leg cy bank sy tems are the selves a cane,
co plex, and vu ne ble, which means there is room for i n v tion.

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Las ly, let’s also r me ber that the cu rent sy tem doesn’t work for
ever body. As a bus ness man in my si ties, I have a cess. e cu rent
sy tem works re tiv ly well from my pe spe tive. But what about the
poor but hard wor ing farmer? What about the bi lions of u banked
that have no way of a ces ing a bank a count, much less cre it to build
their lives?
From their pe spe tive, what we have t day clea ly doesn’t work. And
the re l t ry patc work makes it even har er for them. It’s u a cept-
able. Bi coin’s pr t col should e able an ecosy tem of a plications that
may change that b cause many more pe ple will have a cess to m bile
phones and the i te net than have a cess to tr d tio al na cial in-
frastructure.
One hu dred years ago, in the Roa ing Twe ties, the young Howard
Hug es pr duced Hell’s A gels, a World War I epic f mous for its spec-
ta lar ae al ba tle scenes. (It was ori na ly co ceived as a silent sta ring
Gr ta Ni sen, a No w gian a tress who was r placed due to her a cent
when Hug es d ci ed the movie was g ing to have d logue.) e war