Junseth is an OG Bitcoiner and the former co-host of Bitcoin Uncensored. In this interview, we discuss how the early days of Bitcoin mirror the issues we’re seeing in the ecosystem today: over leverage, unsustainable returns, greed and excessive confidence that the party won’t end.
– – – –
The contagion in the DeFi market over the past few months has seemed unprecedented. Major companies wiped out. Investors rect. Confidence turned to panic. Commentators have been declaring that the recent events are an existential crisis: this time Bitcoin is really dead.
As one of the OG Bitcoiners, Junseth was part of the initial wave who eulogized and expanded on what the innovation could possibly mean for the world before the world had heard of Bitcoin. Then, between 2015-2017, he hosted the uncompromising podcast Bitcoin Uncensored, with Chris DeRose. They exposed false promises and scams prevalent in the space.
Past is, as they say, prologue. And the past events that triggered the development of Bitcoin, and its early days, rhyme with the present.
Junseth connects the over-leverage within traditional finance, which was the predicate for Satoshi’s message in the genesis block, with the excessive confidence and greed that has been the root of the cascading collapse of DeFi companies. In turn, the untenable yields prevalent within the altcoin markets were a practice employed by scammers working with Bitcoin nearly a decade ago.
What are the important lessons to learn? Humans are creatures of habit: scams and greed will always follow the money. But, is the more important lesson that the unnecessary complexity of the grift that develops diverts from the principle simplicity of Bitcoin? Is the innovation of digital value the singular utility? Will those motivated by greed, therefore, miss the real purpose of Bitcoin? Should we instead follow the actions of those motivated by need?