Listen here or on your favorite platform
About the Episode
Matt and Kelso examine the new documentary yet to be released, Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain. It’s from Alex Winter, who produced popular documentaries Downloaded and Deep Web, covering outlier aspects of the digital space.
He’s back to take on blockchain, and if the press release and trailer are any guide, it too looks pretty compelling. Narrated by Rosario Dawson with Ethereum's Joe Lubin as exec producer.
The Los Angeles screening happens in less than 48 hours. And guess who will be in attendance ...
Watch the trailer here.
Bitcoin.com Interview with Alex Winter
How did you score Rosario Dawson to do VO? She has a killer voice. Does she get crypto and blockchain, or were you just hiring her for the voice over?
Rosario is friendly with our producers at SingularDTV, due to her interest in blockchain-based technologies. So yes, I was looking for someone who had some grasp of the world, as well as a fantastic voice and presence.
We're big fans of your documentaries on the crypto/not-well-understood tech space. How did you find topics like the deep web, Silk Road, and crypto?
Thanks! I've been engaged with cryptographers, cypherpunks and the internet-based communities that gave rise to the current space since the late 80's. This is a very specific community as you know, and it's not that large at the end of the day, so major innovations/disruptions, like Napster, the dark net, Bitcoin and Silk Road, all of these hit my radar fairly quickly.
You'd said elsewhere it took you a while to grasp crypto, bitcoin. Why were you skeptical?
Not crypto but bitcoin specifically. I immediately understood the motive and political views of Satoshi in the whitepaper, but the cypherpunks had been talking about cryptographic technologies like Bitcoin for decades, so I didn't see what made it special, other than it had clutter bust, so to speak, meaning that Silk Road had put it on the map and now people were adopting it. And a lot of people were using it purely for contraband or financial speculation. I wasn't at all interested in the financial speculation and knew it was also being misunderstood as an anonymous technology, because there's a general lack of understanding of encryption. So I felt that many of its immediate uses wouldn't hold, i.e. for trading and for buying contraband. It wasn't until I understood its application as a micropayment and means of transferring funds amongst third world countries that I began to understand its potential. This was back at end of 2013.
Do you have any crypto? Have you used it any capacity?
I've had various amounts of Bitcoin over the years and at a certain point had a fair amount in my wallet. When Trump was elected, I dumped all of it into organizations to help combat his administration, like the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, etc. Now I have a little BTC, ETH, NEO and some others. But I am not at all a speculator. I'm interested in the potential and implications of these technologies, not creating a portfolio.
You've also said you're more interested in blockchain and its implications. Around here, we tend to see blockchain as a bunch of hype, with many who embrace it as scammers. What have you found?
There's obviously a lot of hype in the blockchain space, just as there has been in the Bitcoin space. Enormous and absurd hype. I don't see the difference really between the hype in one area of crypto and another. Blockchain is nothing more than a verifiable digital ledger. There is obviously a lot of potential and use-cases for this, as much as there is room for hyperbole and scammers. My film TRUST MACHINE takes a hard look at both the potential and the bullshit. There's a great deal of both.
About the Hosts
C. Edward Kelso
C. Edward Kelso has written hundreds of articles as a journalist covering a range of topics from international finance, regulation, to cryptocurrency philosophy, interviews with luminaries, and book reviews. He is a longtime journalist focusing on financial technology, with a particular emphasis on global political structures and their influence.
Being based in San Diego, California USA allows him to experience binational economic arrangements (Mexico and the United States mostly) alongside a local hub of technology sector businesses -- from genomics to mobile phones.
Matt Aaron has been podcasting since 2013, when he launched the Food Startups Podcast.
He recently found a second love in cryptocurrency and blockchain and hasn't looked back.
His first major investment into cryptocurrency was the money he made betting on (but not voting for) that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election.
Matt believes that public blockchains and cryptocurrencies are the solution to the many problems exposed of the current banking system in the 2008 financial crisis.