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aantonop
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I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anything

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:01 pm

Hello!

I am Andreas M. Antonopoulos. I've been involved in bitcoin for 4 years, 3 of those as my full-time and only occupation.

I'm a computer scientist with a Master's degree in Data Communications and have been coding since I was 11. For two decades I was a freelance security consultant, system administrator, IT manager and developer in a wide variety of roles. I've spent a lot of time working in the data centers of financial services companies.

Once I discovered bitcoin and realized the power of this technology, I switched my focus entirely to bitcoin. I've written a technical book "Mastering Bitcoin" which is published by O'Reilly Media and also available as an open source title. The book is currently being translated into more than 30 languages and can be read for free in 5 languages.

You can buy the book from Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Bitcoin ... 1449374042

The source code for the book is here:
https://github.com/aantonop/bitcoinbook


I spend most of my time speaking at conferences, community meetups and doing interviews with both mainstream and independent media. You can find a collection of my videos here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... V24hFScvC0

I'm also the CTO of Third Key Solutions that specializes in multi-signature solutions for companies.

Ask Me Almost Anything

PS. I won't reply to any questions relating to yesterday's tragic attacks in Paris.

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Evander Smart
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:03 pm

Hey, Andreas, it's Evander. For all you do (for the Bitcoin community), this Bud’s for you!
Thanks.

What do you expect to be doing in Bitcoin 5 years from now? In 2020, will you primarily continue to be the world’s leading Bitcoin public speaker, or do you think your time will be spent in more private sector pursuits, with much less frequent flyer miles? What's your 5-year plan?
Evander

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:11 pm

What do you see as the biggest threat to Bitcoin?

I've seen you come out in support for larger blocks (correct me if I am wrong). What are your current thoughts on the block size debate?

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:12 pm

What do you expect to be doing in Bitcoin 5 years from now? In 2020, will you primarily continue to be the world’s leading Bitcoin public speaker, or do you think your time will be spent in more private sector pursuits, with much less frequent flyer miles? What's your Bitcoin goal?
I can see myself doing much the same as I do today. I will continue to do public speaking about bitcoin. I enjoy explaining bitcoin to people and I think it is the best way I can contribute to this community. In 5 years I might be publishing the 3rd or 4th edition of "Mastering Bitcoin".

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:14 pm

Hello Andreas,

As most people I'm sure here will repeat, thank you so much for what you do for the crypto community. Thank you for your time, for your hard work, for your sacrifices and for your knowledge.

I wonder if you would explain a bit on why private blockchains are not good for the bitcoin community as a whole and also I'd like your thoughts on this blockchain alliance and why it's probably not good for the bitcoin community either. I have a good idea of why but I'd like you to elaborate with your strong ability to articulate with detail.

I think it's very important for people to understand this a bit more, thanks.

Paperboy_ceo
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:17 pm

Hi Andreas, what is the safest place to create a Bitcoin address, I hope u know what I mean. Thanks

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:20 pm

What do you see as the biggest threat to Bitcoin?

I've seen you come out in support for larger blocks (correct me if I am wrong). What are your current thoughts on the block size debate?

The biggest threat to bitcoin is forgetting the core principles of openness, decentralization and privacy. If we abandon those principles, then bitcoin will have to be replaced by another system that supports those principles. The national currencies and banking systems are rapidly heading towards totalitarian control and surveillance. We need a safe haven alternative to big-brother-money.

I am neutral on the block-size debate. I think both "sides" are making nihilistic arguments that are not healthy. Bitcoin will survive regardless of the outcome of this debate. I expect we will see a combination of modest block-size increases and off-chain protocols to improve scaling.

davidths
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:22 pm

Hi Andreas,

Thank you for you work and sharing knwoledge about bitcoin disruptive technology and the transformation of our society and our lives.

May i ask a question about bitcoin, migrants and trust :
why migrants doesnt use bitcoin when travelling or moving across borders ? or why doesnt exist enougth services for thoses relatively "unkanked" and their need of trust or moving values ?


David

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:27 pm

Hi Andreas - thanks for all you do for Bitcoin. I personally use bitcoin daily and I have not experienced any issues with long confirmation times even with the recent large increase in transactions. It seems to me after a lot of thought on this issue, we need price discovery in the transaction fee market as much as we need to consider a block size change. Interested in your thoughts on allow the fee market to develop versus increasing block size, thank you, Rob

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:30 pm

We already have dozens of altcoins as competing money protocols to choose from, and today, bitcoin's politics could theoretically drive fragmentation of the wealth we see in bitcoin in many directions.

I'm not sure whether market fragmentation would be a good or bad thing, given this early phase of crypto adoption.

Would you mind weighing in?

Is there a magic number of use cases at a given time that should have distinct coins/protocols? What will it look like when consumers go comparison shopping for 'coins' (or is that even realistic)?

Thanks for being excellent at all you do for Bitcoin.

FuelBurnerGtr
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:30 pm

What do you see as the biggest threat to Bitcoin?
The biggest threat to bitcoin is forgetting the core principles of openness, decentralization and privacy. If we abandon those principles, then bitcoin will have to be replaced by another system that supports those principles.
If you were the biggest enemy of bitcoin, how would you try to destroy it and then all its crypto alternatives?

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Evander Smart
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:31 pm

What do you attribute the recent Bitcoin price spike to?

Was it Chinese capital controls? The Russian MMM Pyramid? Market pressures after being undervalued over time? What did you think caused it?
Evander

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:32 pm

I wonder if you would explain a bit on why private blockchains are not good for the bitcoin community as a whole and also I'd like your thoughts on this blockchain alliance and why it's probably not good for the bitcoin community either. I have a good idea of why but I'd like you to elaborate with your strong ability to articulate with detail.

I think it's very important for people to understand this a bit more, thanks.
Private blockchains are good for bitcoin! They enable banks to spend millions of dollars to train developers on this technology. At the same time, private blockchains don't help the banks defuse the competitive disruption of bitcoin. Bitcoin is powerful because it offers open, transnational, borderless, decentralized, permissionless innovation for money. These are all attributes of decentralized Nakamoto consensus through proof-of-work and not attributes of a blockchain per-se. What banks are building are blockchains that are closed, local, insecure and permissioned. Such things may save banks some money on settlement, but they don't satisfy the enormous global demand for money and payment systems that can be used anywhere without geopolitical meddling, without surveillance, without borders and without permission. Only bitcoin does that.

As far as the "Blockchain Alliance" is concerned, I think the emphasis of our community should be on economic inclusion and expanding financial access around the world. We should follow the example of Apple, Google and other Internet companies that put their customers and their customer privacy above the narrow concerns of law enforcement. What we need in this world is not more surveillance, it is more financial freedom, more due-process and more accountability by government.

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:35 pm

Hi Andreas,
RESPECT
How long do you think we shall have to wait for people to see the potential of the 'protocol' outside of currency?
For example in connected cars, vehicle networks, ad-hoc networks of microcontrollers, etc.
These networks are safety critical, evidently vulnerable and I fear 'State' attempts to address these issues with centralised thinking will only make matters worse.
How do we get the message out - about the potential - beyond bitcoin - of this fundamental innovation ?

Joe

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:36 pm

Hi Andreas,

Thank you for you work and sharing knwoledge about bitcoin disruptive technology and the transformation of our society and our lives.

May i ask a question about bitcoin, migrants and trust :
why migrants doesnt use bitcoin when travelling or moving across borders ? or why doesnt exist enougth services for thoses relatively "unkanked" and their need of trust or moving values ?


David
Bitcoin is not yet easy enough to understand and use. We're still at the very early stages of this technology where the primary users are super-technical. It will take some time for the user interfaces and supporting infrastructure to be easy enough to use. In remittances specifically, you need to have exchange infrastructure with sufficient liquidity on both ends of the transaction. Until people can use bitcoin directly, they have to be able to quickly, easily and inexpensively exchange into their local currency. Most of the remittance destinations don't yet have that infrastructure. Patience... it will take time.

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:36 pm

Thank you Andreas for all you have done already for the Bitcoin community.

What do you think will happen with the miners and network security when the block reward will decrease by half next year and the price stays the same? Do you think this will increase the price? What are is price outlook in general?

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:38 pm

Hi Andreas,

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Blythe Masters reinforcing her former boss, Jamie Dimon's bitcoin statements at the very recent Bank of England conference:

Blythe Masters: "I came across a quote from the CEO of my alma mater, with which I totally agree. I have to say I think that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. I happen to agree with what he's saying."

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has issued new remarks about bitcoin, dismissing the digital currency's potential to survive in the long-term.

Speaking at the Fortune Global Forum, Dimon said people were wasting their time with digital currencies such as bitcoin.

He added:

"This is my personal opinion, there will be no real, non-controlled currency in the world. There is no government that's
going to put up with it for long ... there will be no currency that gets around government controls."


Thank you.

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:40 pm

Andreas, Thank you for being the most amazing public speaker the bitcoin community could ever hope for.
We are certainly much further along today thanks to your oratory skills.

1. With a background in computer science, coding, and data Communications, how did you acquire your world class public speaking skills?

For anyone who doesn't know, here are a few amazing examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUNGFZDO8mM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0mykANOMGQ
Help spread Bitcoin by linking to everything mentioned here:
topic7039.html

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:44 pm

We already have dozens of altcoins as competing money protocols to choose from, and today, bitcoin's politics could theoretically drive fragmentation of the wealth we see in bitcoin in many directions.

I'm not sure whether market fragmentation would be a good or bad thing, given this early phase of crypto adoption.

Would you mind weighing in?

Is there a magic number of use cases at a given time that should have distinct coins/protocols? What will it look like when consumers go comparison shopping for 'coins' (or is that even realistic)?

Thanks for being excellent at all you do for Bitcoin.
I am not at all concerned about fragmentation of value. The market for digital currencies follows a power-law distribution (also known as a long-tail). Most of the value (90%) will be in 2-3 coins, with the other 10% divided among hundreds or thousands of coins.

In fact, alt-coins benefit bitcoin. Bitcoin is the primary reserve currency that supports all alt-coins. Want to buy an alt-coin? You have to spend bitcoin! All this ends up creating more liquidity and investment in bitcoin, as much as it fragments the value.

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:47 pm

Thank you Andreas for all you have done already for the Bitcoin community.

What do you think will happen with the miners and network security when the block reward will decrease by half next year and the price stays the same? Do you think this will increase the price? What are is price outlook in general?

I can't predict price. No one can. Anyone who does, even for 10 minutes, is lying.

The reward halving will change the inflation rate in bitcoin. How that affects the overall economy depends on the conditions of all the other parameters in the economy: price, adoption, transaction volume, hash rate, difficulty, investments, other currencies, world market conditions, etc.

We'll see!

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:49 pm

Hi Andreas,
RESPECT
How long do you think we shall have to wait for people to see the potential of the 'protocol' outside of currency?
For example in connected cars, vehicle networks, ad-hoc networks of microcontrollers, etc.
These networks are safety critical, evidently vulnerable and I fear 'State' attempts to address these issues with centralised thinking will only make matters worse.
How do we get the message out - about the potential - beyond bitcoin - of this fundamental innovation ?

Joe
Build stuff that makes people's lives better. Deliver value and people will see value. It's still too early for anyone other than those interested in the inner working of this system to be concerned or aware of the "potential of the protocol". Only innovators, investors and geeks can see that now. We need to realize this potential with applications for others to see it.

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Evander Smart
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:52 pm

What do you think is missing right now in the Bitcoin community, from the private sector?
Is there an app, a website, or a business that you feel the Bitcoin community really needs built, but is noticeably lacking?

There's a lot of open terrain in this new economic frontier. What direction needs the most attention, in your eyes?
Last edited by Evander Smart on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Evander

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:53 pm

I never really got bitcoin until I read your book. After that, I become interested in the technology and bought a good 5 figures (USD) of bitcoins. I think most of the negativity that comes with it, is due to ignorance.

1. Do you really think that Bitcoin has over 1million active users? It seems to me if this is the case, then we should be already doing +1million transactions per day.

2. If we agree that educating people about bitcoin will help it grow, what is the next step? Should we have a non-technical people book about bitcoin? How can we get it to be read by +100 million person?

3. I learnt software development on my own, and it makes me money. If I want to get into the bitcoin world, how can I monetize my new skills?

Mike Cautillo
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:53 pm

Hi Andreas......love your passion for and dedication to Bitcoin. I know it's helped me truly understand what Bitcoin is and what it can be and couldn't agree with you more regarding remaining steadfast in bringing awareness to Bitcoins true value and principles, so having said that......

What is the best thing I can do to help Bitcoin prosper and on a more functional point of view, being that volatility is one of the biggest current drawbacks in Bitcoin, what would you suggest to hedge against this for the everyday user. Thank you!!

Mike Cautillo

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:59 pm

Hi Andreas,

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Blythe Masters reinforcing her former boss, Jamie Dimon's bitcoin statements at the very recent Bank of England conference:

Blythe Masters: "I came across a quote from the CEO of my alma mater, with which I totally agree. I have to say I think that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. I happen to agree with what he's saying."

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has issued new remarks about bitcoin, dismissing the digital currency's potential to survive in the long-term.

Speaking at the Fortune Global Forum, Dimon said people were wasting their time with digital currencies such as bitcoin.

He added:

"This is my personal opinion, there will be no real, non-controlled currency in the world. There is no government that's
going to put up with it for long ... there will be no currency that gets around government controls."


Thank you.

That presentation was a stunning demonstration of hubris, nativism, hegemony, privilege and authoritarianism as I have ever seen. It reveals a world view in which the only part of the world that matters is the western developed world. The only economy that matters is the stock market. The only power that exists is that of the state and it is all-good, all-powerful and must not be questioned. It is a worldview in which might makes right and Masters is aligned with the top of the power pyramid and could therefore not be more "right". She smugly ignores the crimes of her fellow bankers as she supports further crime, such as negative interest rates, without any moral hesitation. Just as Masters called us all "bitcoin maximalists", she demonstrated what a "state maximalist" looks like. It was ugly and pathetic.

Fortunately, the world is bigger than the UK and US trading floors that Masters lives in. It contains countries that have constitutions (unlike the UK) and countries that do not believe in nor will accept western hegemony. The world contains 3 billion people with no banking, who won't let any government or banker stand in the way of securing the financial future of their children, if given that chance. Another 3 billion are underbanked, currency controlled and living under terrible governments.

We have a choice to make: Big-brother money that is under surveillance in a world where cash and other alternatives are banned? Or a free world where hundreds of currencies compete, with each individual free to choose the money that represents their principles?

I know what I choose.

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:02 pm

Hi Andreas,

Great to see you, thanks for all you do.

1) You seem to have a very solid moral code, for example you ask events you speak at to have an anti-harassment policy and many who are active in the space know that you definitely make decisions which place your beliefs ahead of money. What helped shape your views? Why type of things should the industry be doing in your opinion?

2) Bitcoin has a solid community...a couple years ago everyone was friends and knew each other...now we see more competition, a few more people in the space who are not friends and more and more people joining who are new. As this industry continues to grow, how can we keep some of the benefits of that strong community? What's a good balance between focusing on individual connections and corporate influence?

Thanks again!

Bruce
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brucefenton.com

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aantonop
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:03 pm

Andreas, Thank you for being the most amazing public speaker the bitcoin community could ever hope for.
We are certainly much further along today thanks to your oratory skills.

1. With a background in computer science, coding, and data Communications, how did you acquire your world class public speaking skills?

For anyone who doesn't know, here are a few amazing examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUNGFZDO8mM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0mykANOMGQ
Thanks for your kind words.

I started teaching computer classes when I was a teenager, in order to make money. In my college years I trained as a technical trainer (train-the-trainer!) and taught computer security seminars for several years. By my late twenties I started working on the conference circuit, speaking about security, cloud computing and data centers. I've spent more than 50% of my career development on public speaking. The secret to success is not a secret, it is endless repetition over two decades. By the time I discovered bitcoin I was already a professional public speaker with hundreds of presentations. So I decided to apply that skill to bitcoin.

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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:04 pm

Hey Andreas!

One time you mentioned that you started with youtube videos, and you gained a following from there, is that correct?
Are any of your early-day youtube posts still available? Would you share the link of some of your first bitcoin videos?

Thanks!

bilthon
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:06 pm

Hello Andreas. It seems to me that the current state of affairs is that the places in the world that had seen the most bitcoin awareness (North America and Europe) are the ones who probably need it less. I know you've traveled a lot, so have you seen anything that caught your attention? Is the currency being used in some part of the world more than you expected?

cypherblock
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Re: I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin", public speaker, podcaster and pundit. Ask Me Almost Anyt

Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:07 pm

Do you think spending bitcoins on goods/services is important (as opposed to buy & hold / speculation) and what can we do to increase that spending in the community?

Is it important for brick/mortar merchants to accept bitcoin, or should we leave them be and focus on online only?

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