Opinion: Metaverse, Crypto Philosophy, and the Future
His questions are not just crypto-related, but also personal – answers to which will inspire you.
– As an editor-in-chief of Cointelegraph Brazil and an author of amazing articles about cryptocurrency and technology, you seem to know a lot about crypto. Can you describe your background prior to entering the crypto world?
I’ve worked here in Brazil since I was 12 years old. I started as a bartender in a club. After that I worked as a bartender in college, and then I’ve been involved in Brazilian politics for 12 years. Along with all of that, I graduated in advertising and journalism. I specialized in globalization and culture.
But I don't like to talk about academic training, because I believe that everything is part of our training as human beings. Keeping our eyes open to infinity is what really matters; it stops us from believing that Elon Musk is a god.
– Is there a philosopher whose philosophy is most similar to that of blockchain?
I got interested in Bitcoin because of the philosophy behind the idea – decentralization, the cypherpunk environment; and also mainly because of Jude Milhon who had nothing to do with Bitcoin but with the movement that preceded it.
Milhon was an activist, a freedom fighter. For me that is what really matters – fighting for people to have equal opportunities. Not for them to be the same, because that's bullshit. The difference between people is what makes us human. You are totally different from your mother and so on. Anyway, offering equal opportunities is what I believe in, and Milhon fought for it.
Blockchain is not a philosophy, it is a technology.
– Could cryptocurrency eventually replace traditional finance? If so, what impact will it have on our daily lives?
Listen, I'm not a saint and I'm not better than anyone else. I also have prejudices and I also want to have money, give my family a better life, and I like to eat well and drink well.
Why does it matter if Bitcoin replaces traditional finance? Why is it important if Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are to replace the traditional financial system or not? Will it bring equal opportunities to people? No.
Concentration of wealth and power will remain the same as it is today. Does Bitcoin give opportunities? Sure. But the plough has also opened up opportunities for thousands of people across the world. Bitcoin doesn't change anything. People are the ones who change life, and also the use they make of technology is what changes everything.
People have a false illusion that state control is responsible for human misery. This is bullshit. The state is neither a devil nor a god, the state was invented by human beings, so if the state is shit, if it prints money like crazy, if there is poverty in the world, it's not “the state's fault”. This is how humans are – we are always looking for someone to blame for our misery and don’t assume responsibility for our actions.
Bitcoin replacing the dollar is useless. Money is just a means. Or do you believe that people would be kinder, would respect each other more, do you believe that men would stop beating women if Bitcoin was to become the new money standard of the world?
Will human beings stop killing each other, or stop fighting, or will people respect each other's religion more just because Bitcoin has become “the currency of the world”?
If Bitcoin becomes the world standard, you and I and everyone else will just look, like today, for ways to earn and accumulate more Bitcoin. Just that.
– Regarding the metaverse, it is currently in the WIP stage, but how do you see it evolving? Are we witnessing the dawn of a new era, or is it just passing a fad?
We live a life of illusions and lies that we choose to believe in order to give meaning to our existence. All our senses do is gather information for our brain to interpret. It chews it and spits out a “logic” that we are capable of absorbing. This means that nothing is absolute and therefore everything, absolutely everything can change.
As Marx once said, all that is solid melts into air. So, the metaverse is nothing more than part of the process of deceiving the mind and giving meaning to life.
Then, the metaverse is the opposite of decentralization. This is interesting as crypto investors are “against the state” but believe the metaverse is different from it, when it is actually the same thing. We have to think of the state differently. The state is just a set of rules designed to organize people in a given time and space. This set of rules is what allows different human beings to understand each other and co-live together.
In the metaverse, whoever creates the code, rules the data. And if we are data in the virtual environment, then whoever owns the data and the code dictates the rules. You can't smoke weed in Decentraland if the code doesn't allow it. The metaverse is the deprivation of individual liberty and not its emancipation. You cannot cross your Axie with your avatar in The Sandbox.
I don't see this as either good or bad. Those are choices. It is up to each of us to choose what fits us at the moment.
We are always at the dawn of a new era. It was like that with every technology we created. When we mastered fire, when we created the wheel, when we established agriculture, when we sailed the seas, when Gutenberg started printing the Bible... each time it was the dawn of a new era.
I say this to get the deification out of the metaverse. I do believe that it will be a way to expand the knowledge and amplify the relationships between human beings. It might even give us immortality one day, but what we do with it is what matters.
– What about escapism? Is it going to be a global problem with the metaverse?
To answer that, we first have to be certain what life is. What is living? If to live is to give meaning to existence then there is no escapism, there is only a new way of giving meaning to life. If living is “enjoying the moment”, then there is no escapism, because the metaverse is also that.
If to live is to “feel” then there is no escapism because in the metaverse we will also feel.
What we call life is in constant transformation, and the metaverse is part of it. There are theories that point out that even the rules of the universe were being modified throughout their existence. Therefore, I don't believe in any form of escapism, I believe in reality transformations and how we will deal with them.
Reality itself is just a construct of the mind.
– Should there be any guiding ethical code for people participating in virtual worlds?
Ahahahaha as I said, the metaverse is the total deprivation of liberty. Whoever owns the code will command how life should be lived in the digital environment. So, of course there will be codes of ethics and rules.
The human being likes and needs power, and power is control. This has already migrated into the metaverse and will continue to transform.
I hope there will always be hackers ready to break the rules of code, find flaws, and spit in the face of the creators.
– Plz elaborate on this: we are living inside a metaverse that, of our own volition, we chose to be inserted to avoid our extinction in another reality.
We already live in a metaverse. We are already in a “parallel” reality created by our senses and interpreted by our mind. We cannot exist if the computer of our mind does not interpret the data captured by our senses. Isn't this a metaverse? Isn't it an “alternative” reality?
Also, how sure are we that we're not in the “Matrix”?
You see, reality, or what we call reality, is a creation of our mind. It matters little to me whether it is digital or, as we believe today, physical. What matters is what we're making of it.
– What are your current hobbies and interests apart from crypto?
I like a lot of things. Art, music, reading (but I've read very little), traveling… I don't know, I like to take advantage of all the possibilities that are available to human beings. Keep my eyes and ears open and listen to the music that comes from uncertainty.
So, if one of those companies wants to give me a trip to space, let me know! hahaha
– I’m going to speak with a variety of cryptocurrency experts throughout this series of interviews. Do you have suggestions about an interviewee and questions to ask?
Question 1 for Adam Back: Why he registered Blockstream in 2009 when he said he only returned to Bitcoin in 2013?
Question 2 for Jihan Wu: Does he still believe that Bitcoin Cash is better than Bitcoin?
Question 3 for Tony Vays: How much money has he lost on trades gone wrong?
Question 4 for Edward Snowden: Has he stumbled upon any documents about life on other planets?
– Any final thoughts you would like to share?
Whoever creates gods also creates demons.
I would also just like to thank the entire Cointelegraph team for their trust in my work. I love them. I am very grateful to them for the opportunity to show my work, and also to CriptoFácil, which was the first place that opened the doors to this universe for me.
Mike Ermolaev, the Head of Public Relations at ChangeNOW.io, conducts an expert interview series with different notable people in crypto to provide both crypto beginners and veterans with an inside perspective on the crypto market. This interview was originally published on Benzinga.