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Dan Morehead and Joey Krug of the blockchain investment
fund Pantera Capital sit down with Michael Green of Thiel Macro. The
group explores the current state of cryptocurrency, blockchain
technology, and the current investment environment. In addition,
Morehead and Krug look ahead to the future of distributed ledger
technology to explore how smart contracts will create value for users and investors by reducing transaction costs and eliminating middlemen.
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Bitcoin & Money Laundering: Fact Or Fiction? Dan Morehead, Joey Krug – Pantera Capital | Interview | Real Vision™
Transcript: I have a slightly different take. Right? Which is that the use case of Bitcoin– I agree with you, is Bitcoin. It happened to arrive at a time period in which criminal enterprises in Russia and China needed mechanisms for getting money abroad very easily. So I am very skeptical of that dynamic. But I agree with you that there are absolutely use cases in the form of, it is used for money laundering, for example. And that’s certainly not the only thing that it’s used for. But it’s a primary use. But it opens up so much else, right? And I know you disagree with me. And feel free to push back.
Instinctual response is, oh, it’s so great for crimes. And hey, maybe years ago it was pretty anonymous, and it was OK for crimes. But it’s prominent feature is every 10 minutes a ledger of every trade that’s ever happened is published with a permanent paper trail of every step in that 10 minute process. That’s a really bad feature for committing crimes. All of your transactions are there. And it’s very well known that the Silk Road guy used Bitcoin, right? Very few people know that there were two federal agents that went rogue and were extorting money from the Silk Road guy independent of each other in the same task force. Stealing money from other people on the internet, doing all kinds of bad things. They wired $1 million through five major banks in the US and one mutual fund company, none of whom filed a Suspicious Activity Report. When you have a federal worker paying his mortgage off in one paycheck, writing $30,000 checks to cash, that’s suspicious, right?
And it was two peer to peer companies, Venmo and Bitstamp they reported both of these people to the authorities. And I’m actually on the board of Bitstamp. And they were telling me this, there’s a federal agent laundering money on their site. And I’m like, you guys have watched way too many Tom Cruise movies. There’s no chance that’s actually happening. And I looked at this stuff. And I was like, oh, crap. We gotta report this. So we reported it to another federal agent. That guy resigned that day. And we’re like, oh, no. That’s a problem. So both of those people were rogue. And the deal is when the prosecutor, Katie Hunt, dropped the whole list of all their crimes from that blockchain on their desk, they had to sign guilty pleas. There’s no way to even remotely even go to trial, because you have a list of all the crimes. So I think law enforcement already knows that Bitcoin’s terrible for crimes.
Filmed on May 22, 2018 in San Francisco.