The Interview

The CEO of Xapo, Wences Casares, who also serves on the board of the behemoth payments company, Paypal sat down with the current CEO of Paypal to discuss Bitcoin, Blockchain and other matters.

Dan Schulman elaborated on the discussion topics:

“In my first Facebook Live of the new year, I’m sitting down with Wences Casares, a PayPal board member, renowned entrepreneur, and CEO of Xapo. Wences and I are discussing the rise of blockchain and other emerging trends in technology. I’m also excited to share a big milestone for the PayPal community. Tune in to hear what it is and send us your questions in the comments below!”

The interview took place on the platform of Facebook and started off the CEO of Paypal talking about the accomplishments of Wences.

Wences has had various involvements in the internet and financial space, as he was one of the first few involved in the ISP generation in South America as well as creating the first brokerage in the same continent. Wences is not new to the game of finance, money flow processing and the next era of finance. He’s stepped into this new era by participating as the lead individual at Xapo, a growing Bitcoin Wallet provider.

Wences Thoughts on Bitcoin and Blockchain

Wences believes that people are paying attention to cryptocurrencies because it is an interesting experiment, it’s an experiment that could change the world more than the internet, but he cautions that there is at least a twenty percent chance that the experiment could fail. He continues to say that he thinks that the experiment will prove results over the course of five to ten years, he stresses that it will take time. If the experiment does succeed, the world will look quite different.

There would be concrete economic differences; if the experiment succeeds, one Bitcoin will be worth a million dollars, leading those who didn’t purchase at current prices wishing that they had purchased now. At the same time, he stresses that there is risk involved and tells potential investors not to invest more than they can afford to lose.

How he got involved and predictions

He recalls how his parents lost their wealth several times over the course of young years due to decisions that were made by their banking and government systems. Hyperinflation was one of the reasons why the currency was devalued, and their purchasing power was significantly decreased. He remembers that his mother pulled him and his sisters out of school one day, she took them to the supermarket and she carried a plastic bag with her decent salary. She instructed him and his sisters to get more produce from the supermarket because if they didn’t purchase it now, they would have less buying power the next day.

Another instance he recalled was when the government confiscated all the bank deposits. Thus, this affected those who didn’t have various real estate holdings or bank accounts abroad.

Thus he got interested in Bitcoin because it could solve the prior problems giving people more power in how their money is handled. He dedicated his career, reputation and more to contribute to the success of Bitcoin because of this fundamental thesis.

According to Wences, the only blockchain that is working at scale, by far, where one does not have to trust any counterparty is that of Bitcoin, and this is so because of the mining network. The mining network places immense power into the network. They do so because they are getting in Bitcoin, if one were to remove Bitcoin, miners would disappear, thus taking away the network.

When asked how Wences looks at other cryptocurrencies in relation Bitcoin, he stated:

“Again, I think that this is an experiment and as such, nobody really knows what the outcome of the experiment is, my best guess at this point, is that when the internet was emerging, we didn’t call it Internet, we called it TCPIP, some people said we are going to use this for the Web and email. We will use other technologies for video and voice. But today, the internet is the one that all of these low bandwidth and high bandwidth applications run on.”

He believes the same incentives that made TCPIP protocol win out in regards to transport, are present for value, just more so, and the extent of trust in the blockchain is the square of the processing power.

He ultimately believes there will be one blockchain for value. He notes that just like we have one internet for everything, we’ll have the same for value and as of this current moment, it seems that it will be the Bitcoin Blockchain.

Wences continues to note the importance of the idea of the standard of value.

“I can imagine a world in which bitcoin becomes a global standard of value — it’s the first global and non-political standard of value — coupled with the first global and non-political standard of settlement. It would be the biggest leap forward in the democratization of money we’ve ever seen.”