This is an op-ed and transcript by Will Schoellkopf, host of “It’s So Early!” »Bitcoin Podcast.
Bitcoin Magazine contributor Stephen Chow transcribed a Bitcoin podcast episode of “It’s So Early!” between host Will Schoellkopf and fellow Bitcoin Magazine contributor Mark Maraia. They present their new Telegram group where they have created a market for Bitcoiners to include in their transactions with each other a satoshi value not only for the product/service they buy, but also a satoshi value for each other the others acknowledging the privilege of transacting on the Bitcoin network. The following transcript has been edited for brevity.
Will Schoellkopf: Our group is called #250satsperdollar, and Mark, you had the honor of giving the first messages of the Telegram group. Could you please read aloud what you wrote in the group so that people can get an idea of the Telegram channel?
Marc Maraia: I would be glad to. So he says, “Welcome to this group!” Everyone in this group agrees that the Bitcoin network and protocol is worth 250 sats per dollar – that’s sort of the intro. The other thing that I think you and I have talked about is that we’re all going to agree in this chat – it’s just you and me right now – that the unit of account is the sats, not the bitcoins. And everyone is welcome to post any transaction they made when the parties valued the Bitcoin network and protocol at 250 sats per dollar. You are also welcome to bid for products or services for this review as well. And the reason, by the way, why sats is our unit of account is this: sats reduces the confusion between bitcoin in small b and bitcoin in capital B, which is the network. It also allows you and me to unilaterally upgrade – as it is a permissionless network – the bitcoin network to whatever we accept as a meeting of minds. I also think it allows well-informed and knowledgeable Bitcoiners to establish a market where they all agree that the Bitcoin network equals or is worth 250 sats per dollar. So we can do that, whether it’s just you and me for the next five years, or if 50 people want to join us this month, I don’t care. I think it’s a market that’s now sitting on our phone and we’ll see where it goes from there. I think it will be fun. I appreciate you helping me set it up.
Will Schoellkopf: So, for example, you have an offer for a 2′ x 3′ replica of the Declaration of Monetary Independence (DoMI) for sale.
Marc Maraia: So this is something that cost me $30 to print. In fact, I printed a bunch of them. They are nice and thick, they are really high quality, they look like colonial style writing. These are exact replicas of the 9′ x 12′ version that was signed by thousands of Bitcoiners at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami so I’m making one of those available at 7500 sats so I’m ready to put my sats where my mouth is when letting go – parting – from one of these exact replicas for this sitting amount.
Will Schoellkopf: $30 times 250 (sats per dollar) = 7500 sats.
Marc Maraia: To correct.
Will Schoellkopf: So that’s where the price comes from. So the question I have is, let’s say in five years we’ll be at the Bitcoin 2027 conference, you’re redoing the 2′ x 3′ DoMI poster, but this time, because the printer store still doesn’t take satoshis, this time the print shop says the same poster will cost forty dollars to print instead of thirty dollars to print. In five years, would the price you would ask in this Telegram group be 10,000 satoshis instead of 7,500 satoshis?
Marc Maraia: Asking me what I will be doing in five years is tricky because the price of Bitcoin will have changed. I think at some point the market will value the Bitcoin network and protocol more fairly. The point of this chat is that you need a meeting of the minds. I practiced as a lawyer for about seven years, and what you learn in law school is that there is no deal until there is agreement. Alright, so you and I did the first 250 sats to assess the bitcoin network and protocol with your book, so you got nothing for the book but you got paid for the network. We can do a transaction for your book tomorrow that might be different than this, or in a year or in five years.
Marc Maraia: Again, two parties can agree on the value of the network, and they could even create their own Telegram channel for this evaluation. And the longer each currency in the world is in a zero run, the higher the likelihood that the asset will rise to larger numbers.
Will Schoellkopf: It’s separate from network valuation, isn’t it?
Marc Maraia: This is completely a separate issue.
Will Schoellkopf:So the big thing I’m interested in is that people say “bear markets are for builders” so even if the price of satoshis (the asset) goes down, the network just goes down grow and grow stronger. I’m not only looking to have a bitcoin core or full bitcoin node, but also a lightning node, so it’s bullish on the network getting bigger, stronger, and more decentralized even as the price of the asset goes down. So really associating a value to the network more than just an asset.
Marc Maraia: I don’t want the number of satoshi to go up against the dollar — I want it to go down. It’s starting to fry people’s brains because we’re used to thinking about investing. Nope! That’s purchasing power! It’s saving! I want a satoshi today to have more buying power in a year, 10 years or five years, and I’m very confident – if I hang on to my satoshis for five or 10 years – I’m very confident that it will hold its value better than any other currency on the planet. I am very confident of it.
Will Schoellkopf: Very cool. That’s why if someone wants a copy of your signed poster, they have to have a meeting of the minds, they have to value the network like you do if they want to have that poster.
Marc Maraia: Correct, for this price.
Marc Maraia: I believe – and I think you agree with me – that the best way to maintain and preserve purchasing power is through satoshis and the network it operates on which has been working almost flawlessly for 13 years without downtime and has never been hacked is the bitcoin network and protocol. Well, that includes developers. What we say to those developers, what we say to every volunteer who runs a node, who mines — there are miners who probably don’t earn any block rewards, they literally aren’t part of a pool, but they secure always the network. I want to send the message, to the World Economic Forum, to all the central bankers of the planet, to the Bank for International Settlements: listen, I estimate this network at this amount.
Will Schoellkopf: There is no company on Earth that could do that. Even Western Union can’t move value like this – this quickly, easily, safely, securely and without permission – so of course it’s completely undervalued.
Will Schoellkopf: What would you say to someone who thinks it’s too late to get into bitcoin?
Marc Maraia: It’s so early. Because nobody understands – I wrote an article for Bitcoin Magazine and quoted Jameson Lopp: “Nobody understands Bitcoin and that’s okay.” So right now there is a beautiful arbitrage time for anyone brave enough to do their homework and get into bitcoin. And if you do and have the will to hold it for at least five years against any currency – all of which go to zero – you will be well rewarded as long as you don’t need to live on it and you don’t use leverage to get it.
Will Schoellkopf: Okay, do you hear what Mark Maraia is saying? It’s so early! Thank you Mark for coming on the show.
Marc Maraia: You are more than welcome, it was great fun. Hope we do it again.
This is a guest post by Will Schoellkopf. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.