Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, stated in a recent interview that the entire modern financial system is a “big Keynesian magic money tree ponzi scheme”.
The statements were made during an interview with crypto YouTuber Naomi Brockwell on Monday, October 7.
The CEO of the tech-driven online retailer, which was one of the first major retailers to accept bitcoin, also believes that the modern financial system will eventually collapse, ushering in the global adoption of cryptocurrencies:
“People turn to it where they collapse, like Venezuela or Cyprus or Syria, something like that. When people start getting into it is when their own financial systems collapse.”
When asked about the role of governments in regulating cryptocurrencies, Patrick admitted being a national security libertarian. He believes that know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements are important tools to keep criminal activity from thriving on the crypto sphere:
“I guess I must confess, as revolutionary as I am – I’m what you could call a national security libertarian. So I worry about threats to our country. And that means that KYC and AML are not just things to be scoffed at.“
Patrick believes that it is possible to take blockchain to the point where it becomes completely anonymous. On the one hand he loves the idea of becoming truly free and anonymous, but on the other he acknowledges that there will be some bad actors that will take advantage of the situation to hurt others.
Patrick is of the opinion that there is a right balance between freedom and security but “the more the world gets digitized, the more there will be government surveillance.” He trusts that distributed ledger technology can remake society and hopes that authoritarian states are unable to exert control and own the technology. Specifically referring to China, he also expressed his concerns on the country’s plans to rank all its citizens based on a "social score" by 2020.
Patrick thinks that social barriers and stigma and the idea that Bitcoin is mainly used for illegal drug trades and money laundering, are what’s holding back crypto adoption. When asked if Bitcoin will become a worldwide currency or if it will always have specific use cases he replied:
“Now, whether Bitcoin is the one, whether Bitcoin has solved its speed problems or it’s another cryptocurrency, only time will tell.”