The Bitcoin Letters of Bryan Daugherty

Why everyone should read ‘The Bitcoin Letters’ by Bryan Daugherty

Instead of arguing on social media, we should spend more time educating people on BSV’s cost benefits, efficiencies and potential for economic development. We hear that cry often, but how many people actually work 24/7 to do it? One person who does is Bryan Daugherty, co-founder and Chairman of Smartledger.

In what he calls a “transparent attempt at lobbying,” Daugherty has published “The Bitcoin Letters.” It explains in detail why scalable Bitcoin is the best way to process and secure the world’s information, as our lives and livelihoods are transformed ever-increasingly by data—and all the implications this brings.

Daugherty has also included the three letters that give the book its title: open letters to Elon Musk, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and SEC Chair Gary Gensler. The letters not only outline BSV’s case but also seek to clear up confusion about different blockchain networks claiming the “Bitcoin” title and various misconceptions about the technology in general.

As part of his outreach efforts Daugherty has also written to and arranged in-person meetings with elected officials and policymakers, regulators and businesspeople. Many will be curious to know what the response has been. Are there reasons to be optimistic that education can still beat misinformation campaigns? Has knowledge and understanding of blockchain grown since Bitcoin first appeared in 2008, and how have more recent circumstances changed the way it’s perceived?

Daugherty spoke to CoinGeek in the interview below, shedding a lot of useful light on what other BSV proponents should expect away from the social media ring and out in the real world—the place where real decisions get made and real money is spent.

Having spent large amount of his own personal resources in time, money and effort to spread the word, Daugherty wants others to know what discussions are occurring behind the scenes. Most of it remains unknown and it’s not always what you’d expect.

“The Bitcoin Letters” is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon, and in ebook form from ImmutableBooks (who will sell it to you for BSV). An audiobook version is coming soon.

Read the interview below to find out all the whats, whys and hows of Bitcoin lobbying (and BSV itself)—as well as a better understanding of how those outside the industry actually perceive BSV.

Interview with Bryan Daugherty, author of “The Bitcoin Letters”

What made you decide to write the book?

My intention in writing “The Bitcoin Letters” was to tackle the misconceptions and misinformation surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. I aimed to provide clarity and insight into the true nature of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, which includes understanding the various competing versions of the protocol such as BTC, BCH, and BSV.

With this book, I sought to offer new perspectives that can help policymakers, regulators, and technology innovators gain a better understanding of the true purpose and potential of this groundbreaking technology.

How and where will it be available?

The Bitcoin Letters is available in both print and digital versions on Amazon, as well as through Immutable Books. Immutable Books offers a SmartLedger Proof-of-Concept that enables readers to pay for the book per page, chapter, or in its entirety using micro-transactions. This innovative distribution model showcases the potential for blockchain technology to improve existing pay-per-consumption models like that of Amazon. By leveraging the efficiency and security of blockchain, this new model can enhance the reading experience for customers while also benefiting authors and publishers.

You’ve been pretty busy meeting with elected officials, regulators, and business leaders to talk about the benefits of an efficient, scalable blockchain network. Broadly speaking, what kind of reception did you get?

In my meetings with elected officials, regulators, and business leaders, I have been pleased to receive an overwhelmingly positive reception. I believe this is partly because many of the perspectives I share on topics related to blockchain are not commonly heard. There has been a heavy focus on the “crypto casino,” and a significant amount of money has been spent on crypto lobbying, which has had an impact on the perceptions of some people.

As evidence of this, recent reports show a sharp increase in crypto lobbying expenditure over the last six years. For example, in 2022, Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) spent $3.30 million on lobbying, making it the highest spender in the crypto lobbying expenditure category. This was followed by Blockchain Association with $1.9 million and Robinhood with $1.84 million. The spending by Coinbase alone increased by 4137% in the last six years, from $80,000 in 2017 to $3.39 million in 2022. Additionally, close to half of the total lobbying spending by crypto companies came in 2022 itself, which was $25.57 million out of the last six years’ total of $50.75 million.

Despite the heavy crypto lobbying, I remain optimistic about the positive reception I have received in my meetings. My goal is to continue to spread awareness about the benefits of an efficient, scalable blockchain network, and to provide insights that can help people better understand the true potential of blockchain technology.

What’s their level of understanding?

In my experience, policymakers are still in the process of acquiring knowledge and resources in the realm of distributed ledger technology. Most of them have a one-dimensional understanding of Bitcoin and other digital currency assets, and I spend a great deal of time clarifying the distinction between blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. This is particularly important as policymakers begin to seek input from experts and solicit committee testimony. By helping to separate the conflation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, I aim to provide policymakers with a more nuanced understanding of this emerging technology and its potential implications.

It is essential to provide policymakers with a more nuanced understanding of this emerging technology, particularly as it relates to national information security, national economic security, national energy security, and gaining a competitive advantage through innovation. By highlighting these critical aspects, I aim to help policymakers recognize the potential implications of blockchain technology and its impact on various industries. Through greater awareness and understanding, policymakers can make informed decisions and enact policies that promote the responsible adoption and integration of blockchain technology in society.

Were any of them surprised to hear what you had to say, and did you change any minds?

During my meetings with policymakers, blockchain and DLT experts, and industry leaders, I believe that all parties were surprised by some of the insights I shared. I myself was surprised by some of the reactions I received, as many officials were open to hearing new perspectives and gaining a deeper understanding of the utility side of blockchain technology.

I have also received feedback from individuals who have read portions of my book and engaged with my ideas. Some of them have shared that my perspectives have changed their understanding of Bitcoin and its potential implications.

While it is difficult to determine whether I have changed anyone’s mind entirely, I believe that my efforts to provide a more nuanced understanding of blockchain technology have been well-received. As policymakers and industry leaders continue to learn more about this emerging technology, I am hopeful that we can work together to build a more efficient and sustainable blockchain network that benefits society as a whole.

Do you feel like they truly understand what blockchain is for, or are interested in learning?

Based on my interactions with policymakers, I believe that they recognize the potential of blockchain technology and its potential impact on various industries. While some may have a limited understanding of the technical aspects of blockchain, they are earnestly interested in learning more about its potential applications and implications.

In my experience, policymakers are receptive to new perspectives and are open to hearing from experts in the field. They seek ways to leverage its potential to drive innovation and improve efficiency.

It is important to note that the media also plays a significant influence in the discussion surrounding blockchain technology. Policymakers often take cues from media coverage to shape their understanding of the technology.

Since the collapse of FTX, I have noticed a shift in the media’s approach to reporting on blockchain technology. In my conversations with reporters, I have observed a greater willingness to understand the technology and report more accurate and insightful information about it. This is a positive development, as accurate reporting is crucial to help policymakers make informed decisions about the potential applications and implications of blockchain technology.

Overall, I am optimistic about the level of interest and willingness to learn about true blockchain technology among policymakers and believe that this bodes well for the future of the technology.

What issues seem to most concern elected representatives and regulators?

Elected representatives and their staff can have varying degrees of exposure and experiences depending on their affiliation and beliefs. In the United States, for example, the DNC tends to prioritize consumer protection and regulation of financial markets. Consequently, they have greater concerns over potential fraud, money laundering, and other illicit activities in the cryptocurrency space. Additionally, the DNC has shown concern for the environmental impact of digital currencies and blockchain technology.

In contrast, the GOP tends to be more supportive of the free market and innovation. As a result, they are more likely to support cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, the GOP also shows concern for national security, specifically the risk of cyberattacks and terrorist financing, which has led to greater scrutiny and regulation of digital assets.

It is important to note that these party differences are not absolute, and there is still a great deal of nuance and complexity in their respective positions. Ultimately, understanding these differences can provide insight into how policymakers may approach issues related to blockchain technology and digital assets.

Did you encounter any resistance?

I am pretty thankful that almost all of the representatives and agencies I have met with to date, (70+) have been extremely receptive to my perspective. I can recall only one instance where the staffer was unreceptive and did not welcome new perspectives. Despite this, we still had a very productive conversation about the historical events surrounding the development of Bitcoin, including the identity of its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Has there been any response from the people you addressed them to?

We have received responses from the individuals and agencies we had meetings with and are actively collaborating with various House and Senate offices, as well as Federal and State Agencies. Our objective is to serve as a valuable resource and demonstrate how this technology can be harnessed to benefit not only the country as a whole, but also the representative states and towns of these offices. Through these collaborations, we aim to build constructive relationships and facilitate the responsible and effective implementation of blockchain technology.

In your opinion, do any business/political circumstances need to change for BSV to become more widely accepted as the “universal ledger of truth”?

In my view, the factors affecting the adoption of BSV as the universal ledger of truth are constantly evolving, and it’s essential to remain flexible as events unfold. The timeline of events post-FTX has led to increased awareness among policymakers, regulators, and consumers about the real motivations behind the “cryptocasino.”

There are numerous developers and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to building innovative applications and services. Their efforts, combined with continued education, collaboration, and innovation, give me confidence that BSV will ultimately gain widespread acceptance and adoption as a transformative technology. This is a goal that I am dedicated to making progress on every day.

Has the recent situation with multiple bank failures/bailouts increased the urgency for a more transparent, accountable system?

I think the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank has caused some significant concern, not only for digital currencies but for the financial industry as a whole. It has highlighted the need for a more transparent and accountable system. BSV has the potential to provide the infrastructure to empower better security, transparency, and accountability. Although I have not had any direct conversations on this specific use case, I anticipate that it will become a topic of discussion in the future.

Watch: SmartLedger team on CoinGeek Weekly Livestream with Kurt Wuckert Jr.

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