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The Bitcoin Policy Institute Helps Shape Political Discourse

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In this week’s episode of “Bitcoin Bottom Line,” hosts Steven McClurg and C.J. Wilson are joined by Matthew Pines, a managing consultant at Krebs Stamos and National Security Fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute.

Wilson begins by asking Pines, “What is the discovery path to Bitcoin?” To that, Pines describes the increase in “tangible action taking place across various government agencies.”

McClurg asks from the perspective of adversarial thinking, “Which countries do we see as a potential threat to Bitcoin being a global digital currency? Which countries are really embracing it more? Where does the U.S. fall on the spectrum of support?”

Pines responds, “The United States is a remarkably pro-bitcoin place, and while the policy action and social media hostility tends to get a lot of attention … if you kind of look at where the conversation was two or three years ago and compare it with today, the trend has been uniformly positive.”

Wilson then asks about Europe and wonders “if there is more room to improve Bitcoin policy there?” Pines explains, “One thing that makes it unique is it is an economic union, but not a political union … the euro is a new thing, it has only been around for like 30 years, not that much longer than bitcoin has been around, so they [Europe] have a lot of vested political interest in the success of the euro.” He adds, “They have a much more acute sense of currency as a politically-unifying entity, and anything that could come in and chip away at that is going to be inherently regarded suspiciously.”

Wilson asks about Pines’ work with the Bitcoin Policy Institute, which he describes, “Got together to put out more rigorous, thoughtful, fact-based research analysis on Bitcoin-specific policy issues to help inform the conversation and to provide resources … to help inform policy decisions.”

McClurg furthers this thread by asking about the narrative that has been attributed to Bitcoin’s energy consumption, and “what they [Bitcoin Policy Institute] are doing to combat that narrative.” Pines explains, “You can rebut it with arguments, but you ultimately need data to look at what is happening on the ground … and investigate the claim empirically.” He goes on to say, “Bitcoin mining companies investing millions of dollars in operations in states around the country with job creation and tangible impacts across the grid, that is a more enduring story that is by definition not refutable.”

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