Paul & CZ In-Conversation: The "Problem" With Crypto

In a MasterClass first, CZ and Professor Paul Krugman engage in a debate covering several of crypto’s most polarizing topics, including the greatest challenges for digital currency.

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Topics include: The “Problem” With Crypto


[MUSIC PLAYING] PAUL KRUGMAN: In a MasterClass first, I'm going to be joined by my fellow instructor, CZ. And we're going to debate some issues surrounding crypto and blockchain. Okay. Hi, CZ. Great to meet you for some values of meat. I understand you're in Dubai. I'm in hipster Brooklyn. And let's hope that we have an interesting discussion. - Thanks for having me. - So, obviously, I'm part of the crypto-skeptic community, I guess you'd say. And our rap has always been that we can't see what problem crypto is solving, what it really is doing that we aren't already doing, or, to the extent there is a problem, how it can solve it better than other more conventional methods. And I guess I'd like you to explain to me what I'm missing. How are we wrong in feeling that there is really no justification for this thing? - Sure. I think there's two aspects to it. More fundamentally, if we look at blockchain, crypto, Web3, it's just a new way to transfer value. If you look at the internet, it was just a new way to transfer information. That was it. But then you can build this whole industry out of it. For Web3 crypto, we haven't got that far yet. So that's kind of on a fundamental level. And then on the application level, there is a few use cases now. Number one is, it is a better-- Bitcoin, crypto, Bitcoin specifically-- it is a slightly better form of money. It fixes some of the problems we have with money today-- unlimited supply, not easy to use, not a lot of freedom, and not very low fees, if you think about global commerce, international transfers, remittances, micropayments, et cetera. And to be very frank with you, Bitcoin's first use case was imagined to be payments. That hasn't taken off. But the other use cases have. It is global fundraising. It is much easier for entrepreneurs to raise money globally using cryptocurrencies. A reputable entrepreneur can raise 10, 20 million US dollars equivalent in crypto in a matter of days. Going through a VC, that process would take months or years to get to, like, you know, $10, $20 million valuations. And Binance is one of the example that we did ICO, and that was it. We didn't need any other funding, and we built a successful business out of it. Artists, now they can sell their art using NFTs, using the blockchain technology globally, again. And because of the global audience, they typically get 10x more value for their art. So I spoke to a local artist in Dubai. He normally sells his art for, like, $10,000. But through NFTs, he can sell them for $100,000. So now he's doing purely NFTs. So those are some of the examples. - Okay, let me just delve into that a little bit because I'm a little puzzled. And it's not clear why blockchain should, in itself, make it any easier to raise money. How much of that is simply the fact that crypto is popular or people want to buy stuff? Slap the label, say this is blockchain, and it comes in. Why? What is inherent in...

About the Instructor

Since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, crypto has offered the hope of a stronger, more democratic financial system. And it’s raised plenty of questions as it continues to evolve. Now experts and skeptics at the center of the conversation are sharing a straightforward look at how this ecosystem is changing. Learn the basics, dive deep into the world of blockchain and Web3, and get the breakdown on what you need to know now.

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Chris Dixon, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Emilie Choi, and Paul Krugman

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