One of the best things about bitcoin is that it has no politics, gender, or color; it’s truly neutral. In this episode of Goddess of Crypto, Halle Eavelyn sits with Holly – a passionate Bitcoin maximalist. Listen in as Holly discusses why Bitcoin is the king of cryptocurrencies, and why she believes you should stay away from investing in any others if you want true freedom. It’s the best store of value currently available to us now, skyrocketing in value. Get ready to learn more about why it’s important for you to educate yourself in this arena (no shame for not knowing, just the opportunity to change that with this episode!)
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Explaining Bitcoin: The King Of Cryptocurrencies With Holly
I am here with my friend, Holly. I shouldn’t necessarily call Holly my friend because this is the first time we’re truly meeting. However, I’ve known Holly for months. We are in a group together called The Bitcoin Babes on Telegram. As you have heard me talk about in the past, Telegram is a great platform for learning more about Bitcoin and all things crypto. There are some great groups that have sprung up, including some that are for women only and that are designed to support women getting into the space, learning or just having that camaraderie among themselves. Holly and I met in there.
Holly, welcome to the show. I’m so excited that you’re here.
Thank you very much. I’m very excited to be here as well. I think it’s confusing that our names are so similar. What can we do?
It’s funny because if I had a Bitcoin for every time I had been called Holly, I wouldn’t need to work ever again. Holly, why don’t you start off telling everybody where you live and what you do inside of the world of crypto?
Where I live is quite a long story. I’m originally English, but I have not lived in England for many years. I lived for a long time in Amsterdam. That happens to be where I am now, but I’m a resident in Portugal. I consider myself quite a citizen of the world. I like to move around quite some. My main residence is in Portugal now. I spent a bit of time in El Salvador as well. I was in the States for the Bitcoin conference, which was a fantastic experience as always. That’s where I live. What do I do in the crypto space? I’d have to pull the reins quite hard there already. I don’t consider myself to be in the crypto space at all. I’m what’s called a Bitcoin maximalist, so I don’t touch any NFTs or any altcoins. I’m only interested in Bitcoin.
It’s funny because you say, “I’m not in the crypto space,” but you are because as a Bitcoin maxi, you’re leading the forefront of what’s going on in crypto. Bitcoin was the first thing that created the entire ecosphere of crypto. Don’t you think?
I do. As a Bitcoin maximalist, I would say that’s perhaps one of the very few negative knock-ons of Bitcoin. I know that’s probably not a very popular opinion among your audience. It is the way I see it. For sure Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It’s one of several thousand cryptocurrencies, but it’s definitely the king. We’ll win out in the long term. It’s the only cryptocurrency that is truly decentralized. That’s the reason for that opinion. Centralization is the enemy of property. That’s why I feel so strongly about it.
When Holly says or when they say in the industry, “maximalist or maxi,” it basically means Holly is only inside of the Bitcoin universe as far as what she’s doing, trading and owning. She’s only interested in Bitcoin and ignores everything else. My experience with Bitcoin maxis or maximalists is that they tend to think of even Ethereum as an altcoin. It’s Bitcoin here and then there’s everything else. Would you agree with that?Bitcoin is the king of cryptocurrencies because it’s the only cryptocurrency that is truly decentralized. Click To Tweet
Tell us about your journey a little bit. When I first started talking to you, I loved that you were called to this space not from an engineering standpoint, not from a developer standpoint, not because you have this vision of wanting to create projects to save the world, but rather because of Bitcoin itself. Would you share that journey with people?
Yes, of course. It’s my pleasure to. My Bitcoin journey started in about 2016. I started a new relationship in 2016 with a man who was very fluent in all things financial. Having worked in a bank and being a successful banker, he was able to talk about and discuss money in a way which I found very accessible and understandable. For me, it’s quite refreshing and a new experience. I think there’s a lot of hocus pocus around money. A lot of languages are used which are almost designed to obfuscate, make things unclear, and pull the wool over our eyes in a way about how our financial system works.
For me, it was very refreshing to meet and be together with somebody who spoke about money in such a clear way. He told me, first of all, about Bitcoin. He said, “This is the new cryptocurrency. Have you heard of it?” I hadn’t. At that time, we were just embarking on a new relationship together. We both had children and he said, “Why don’t we go on holiday next year for the first time as a family of six?” I thought that was a great idea.
He asked me, “How much money do you usually spend on a holiday for yourself and your daughters?” I told him and we agreed to put that amount into a pot together. We will both put that amount into a pot in Bitcoin and see where we ended up. It was a nice agreement. We basically said, “If it ends up being nothing, we’ll go camping in France,” which is a car ride away. “If it goes up a bit, Portugal might be nice.” That was the year that Bitcoin skyrocketed. We ended up doing this incredible trip. We went on a road trip through California and Arizona. We went to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. His kids were quite used to fancy holidays, but my kids did not know what hit them.
I’m definitely one of the ones who came to the games. I saw firsthand what happens when you have a deflationary currency. What I first saw was that the price goes up. It’s simply that the numbers go up in technology. I thought, “This is a scarce asset.” Because of that, its value goes up and up as things are truly scarce too. I found that a very attractive idea. I had never thought about money in that sense before. That was what gave me a good hard shove down the rabbit hole. I started learning about money. I was astonished at how ignorant I was before that. I’m quite ashamed to look back and say that I got into my 40s.
If you would asked me before that, “Could you explain to me what the gold standard was?” I would have had a vague idea that I could not have concisely explained to you what the gold standard was when it was abandoned and what the effect had on our fiat money system. On a personal note, I think the fact that I was previously married to a traditional economist might have had something to do with that. In a way, that’s the profession of keeping the fiat system in the state that it’s in and the study of it.
Let’s take a second here though. I want to back up a minute before you move on. I want to talk about this because this is a show for women especially. I know that there are males in the audience because there was a lot of interest from men at the Bitcoin conference. They were saying, “Yes, I want to subscribe to your show too,” which I thought was awesome. I do wealth coaching for women when I’m not evangelizing crypto to the world. What I feel happens a lot is there is a lot of shame and feeling of, “Why didn’t I know about this? Why didn’t I understand?”
I want to talk for a second about the gold standard itself. I’m talking to the audience, not to you, Holly, because I know you know this. You probably know that at some point in time, there was a time when the dollar was backed by gold, and the gold was contained in Fort Knox. You’ve heard the expression if you’re an American, “There is more gold than Fort Knox.” What happened over time as we began to take that gold out of Fort Knox and spend it on things. Richard Nixon was the one who decoupled us from the gold standard and said, “The dollar will no longer be backed by gold. In fact, the dollar will no longer be backed.” That happened, I had the year 1974 in my head, is that correct? What year was it?
No, it’s not. That happened in 1971.
It’s three years earlier. Nixon decoupled us from the gold standard in 1971. That’s right, 1974 was the year that women could now get their own mortgages and credit cards without their husbands or their fathers being involved. That’s why that year is locked into my head. 1971, we eliminate the gold standard and at that point, that allows us to begin printing more money.
We didn’t see it as being a terrible thing at the time because we were printing little bits more money, not big bits more money. Holly, what I have heard and what I have been able to get stats on is that first, we printed 30% of all the currency in circulation in the last few years. I was able to get stats that said 40%. The signs of the Bitcoin conference said 80%, but I couldn’t get a statistic on that. What do you believe is accurate?
I don’t have an answer to give you on that. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with those statistics. What you’re saying raises two very important points for me. You talk about the feelings around this and a sense of shame. I’ would like to say directly to any of your audience, be they male or female, young or old out there, if you’re feeling that sense of shame right now that you did not have that understanding, let it go. It is not your fault. The information we have been given about our financial system is designed to mislead you deliberately. Our financial system as it stands now is built on a double lie.
The information surrounding that double lie has been built up and built up and worked upon and woven upon by central bankers, commercial banks, traditional economists and our governments. We’ve been lied to about the financial system until now. If you’re misinformed about the financial system, it’s not your fault. Here’s a small anecdote on that point. After I got divorced, I got a mortgage, and it’s incredible to me that women could only get mortgages from 1974. I was born in 1976. That’s almost been my lifetime. That is shocking.The value of truly scarce things goes up. Click To Tweet
In the US, not everywhere, but definitely in the United States. It’s shocking and sad.
I got divorced in 2014 and got a mortgage. Following that, I reworked my mortgage in order to buy a house. I took my boyfriend with me to the appointment with the mortgage advisor. I remember the two of us were sitting there and this mortgage advisor came out with this big fat folder. He sat down and said, “I see it like this. The way we’re going to structure it is we divide your mortgage into two parts and pay 16%. You have to know what’s in this big fat folder.”
I said to my boyfriend who had worked in a bank, “Does this sound legit to you?” He was like, “Yes, this is a good deal. Take it.” I took the deal and afterward, we came out and I was feeling weird. I said to him, “I’m not an unintelligent person. I’m very highly educated. I have a PhD. I’m able to take and retain information besides my academic qualifications, which I don’t think particularly means much in the real world. I’ve studied at the university life. I consider myself a fairly good communicator in general, but that conversation went totally over my head. I didn’t understand what this guy was telling me and I still signed.”
He said, “Basically, that’s the fiat world and our current banking system in a nutshell. You weren’t intended to understand that. That information was designed to pull the wool over your eyes. The system that we’re banking with now is based on a fake,” and to go back to that idea of a double lie. I studied ancient history and one of the key parts of my study was coincidentally coinage.
One of the things that I learned about was how civilizations throughout human history valued gold. We’ve always valued gold as a race and as a species. It was only around I’m not sure what period around the medieval times that they started to consider paper money. Gold is beautiful and it’s nice to hold. It has a special quality but it’s quite difficult to transport. It’s heavy.
It was the Templars that started transferring in the 1100s. Gold was heavy and unwieldy. Plus, you could be set upon by highwaymen and robbed. They started with IOUs and created the first bank. The first paper money was created in 600 or 700 BC by the Chinese. I teach this as part of my crypto-curious program. I know this specifically. They had this wonderful saying on their paper currency. It said, “Counterfeiters will be decapitated.” They meant it like, “Don’t get in the way of this. It would be very easy to copy the money, so you had to threaten somebody because you couldn’t watermark it at the time. Please continue with your story because I love the direction this is going.
I believe that the Medici was also quite key in introducing IOU notes. I think your point about counterfeiters will be decapitated is a very good one. That’s it in a nutshell. Basically, all paper money is based upon a threat. We all have to say this piece of paper is worth 20 pounds of silver, or it’s worth however much it is of gold. If I don’t agree, men with guns are coming for me. Our paper money system is backed up by violence. That’s what happens when you have a fiat system.
I’m not being terribly articulate about this. It’s also something I feel very passionate about. The problem with paper money is that it allows a fractional reserve. To try to put in a real nutshell what a fractional reserve is, let’s say you have a piece of gold and I have a piece of gold. We both put that piece of gold in a bank. The bank will say, “Yes, we’re going to keep your piece of gold for you,” but they can give IOUs on those two pieces of gold to as many people as they please.
That’s the problem with paper money. It was backed by gold but that backing soon became rather theoretical. As soon as they realized the value of fractional reserve, they would essentially bet on the fact that you and I, and all the other people who have an IOU on those two pieces of gold did not come up and pick it up at the same day.
In addition, what you were saying before about the mortgage, I know that in the United States, I think in 2021, they changed the rules. They used to have multiples so that if you had $100,000 on reserve, they could loan out multiples of that $100,000 to loans for other people. That has changed in 2021 to now the fraction that you need to keep got smaller and smaller, and now it’s zero. Our loans from the banks, if I put my $100,000 in the bank, is no longer like they can loan 10 times or even 100 times. It’s not like they can loan as much as they want because it’s been decoupled. For all of those reasons, the fractional reserves have disappeared. As you said, they are now theoretical.
We left the gold standard behind. At a certain point, Nixon said, “We both know this is BS. Let go of the whole gold standard thing.” He basically abandoned that entire system, knowing that there was very little relation and more between the actual gold in Fort Knox and the money that was circulating. He decoupled that whole system which cut lunch to the banks to start printing at will. That is what they did, what they started doing, and what they are now continually doing.
Even the commercial banks don’t have to have the amount of money that they say they have on their books to be able to give those loans or to be able to give you and me an account with the same $100 in it. The whole system is totally make-believe. For me, that was an incredibly eye-opening journey. That learning process is something that I’ve shared with pretty much every Bitcoiner that I have come into contact with in years.
What you’re sharing is so important because it’s interesting. We were talking about shame earlier, but I feel like how there can be any shame when all your education unless you go into it as a specific field of study, there’s zero education for the typical person in any country on basic finances. When I was a kid, they would teach you how to make stuff in the kitchen or how to make stuff in your woodshop, but wouldn’t teach you how to balance your checkbook or what you needed to understand. I remember somebody trying to explain compound interest to me in five minutes during some math class I had in high school. I remember thinking, “That’s going to take a long time. It feels like it’s going to take too long.” It wasn’t explained in a way that made sense and I could understand.
Perhaps even purposefully. It’s very cynical of me. Even for people who have taken the time to educate themselves on the fiat system, it’s only once you realize that the entire construct of the fiat system is a castle in the air that it can start to crumble and you can truly think about value. Once that penny drops, an awful lot more pennies start to drop. Like many Bitcoiners, I’ve also started to question diet and the things that we’ve been taught about food, and what’s good for you, what’s necessary, and what’s bad for you? I’ve started to question the norms around family, work, time, and government policies around Corona. Once you start questioning in this way, you can’t stop.Bitcoin has no politics, gender, or color; it’s true freedom. Click To Tweet
I’ve been in Bitcoin since 2017, but I wasn’t in the community until 2021. I didn’t even know there was a community until 2021. What I saw through with Bitcoin was I felt like it came from a very libertarian place as far as the politics at least in the United States. The libertarians are very interested in freedom from government and freedom to be and exist and be independent as they would like. It hasn’t been very mainstream as far as what I would consider the old political system.
For me, the libertarians were always far left compared to the far-right people. A few years later, everything is tossed salad, and I don’t even know whose politics or what. What I’ve seen as Bitcoin has moved more into the mainstream is that it has frustrated some people who started with it 10 or 5 years ago. It feels like Bitcoin and everything else in crypto is starting to get regulated in a way that is antithetical to why Bitcoin was created in the first place. Would you agree with that?
Is there a different perspective at your end?
I’m processing that information, that’s all. I’m processing that. Bitcoin has no politics, gender or color. It’s true freedom. That idea can create a little friction because the idea of true freedom is quite new. There are a lot of people who would say, “Bitcoin brings freedom,” but the subtext is, “It’s got to be freedom to do the things that I say you should be doing.” I’ve heard Bitcoins described as a cult before now.
I want to be clear to everybody reading this. Neither Holly nor I ascribed to any of that idea. We’ve both seen how many different kinds of people Bitcoin attracts, from the far left to the far right, from Born Again Christians to atheists. It doesn’t matter who you are. I do think that Bitcoin is not political. It’s going to become politicized because, in this next cycle of elections, we’re starting to see people who say, “Their biggest platform for getting elected is making Bitcoin legal tender,” which has already started happening in some countries. It’s a very much polarizing thing. In politics, there’s a lot of like, “Let’s keep a lid on this for as long as we can.” It’s Pandora’s box and it has been opened. That’s the way that it is. You can’t kill Bitcoin. That seems to be my observation at this point.
Anybody who is pro-Bitcoin and pro-freedom is a friend of mine. We see eye to eye on certain basic norms. Sometimes I’m a little suspicious of Bitcoin being used in politics. I suspect that it will be an easy strike. I don’t know for politicians looking to win votes within a certain population bracket. I don’t think Bitcoin isn’t political. By definition, it’s apolitical. It’s about personal freedom. I don’t yet see a case for large-scale political freedom.
I hope with all my heart that the population of El Salvador sees greater wealth and greater prosperity, more long-term thinking, a lower time preference, and a better future for young people. I think you already see the seeds of that there. I know that the introduction of it to El Salvador has definitely not been without growing pains. I can only see that as a positive. With that said, I also don’t think the Bitcoin needs to be legal tender anywhere.
The saying within Bitcoin is that the honey badger doesn’t care. The Bitcoin animal is supposedly the honey badger because it’s so tough, indestructible, and battle-hardened. It will get in there and fight a lion in Bitcoin words and will in the future. The saying is honey badger doesn’t care because things happen. For example, China bans Bitcoin or bans Bitcoin mining or whatever. The Bitcoin price blinks and moves on. Elon Musk makes some comments about Bitcoin and Tesla, and the Bitcoin environment. Bitcoin blinks and moves on. Even the positives that come to Bitcoin like it being adopted as legal tender in El Salvador, and some movements or noises about progress towards it being adopted elsewhere as well. It’s very interesting but I don’t think that’s crucial to Bitcoin’s further development.
I so appreciate everything that you’re saying. I have two more questions for you. One is that you said you were in El Salvador. I feel like Bitcoin is such a good store of value. It’s hard to ask anybody if they’re spending it, but you could have spent Bitcoin in El Salvador. Did you have any transactions that involve Bitcoin? Did you see Bitcoin being used to transact?
Yes, I did transact in Bitcoin while I was there. I have to say that there are two sides to this for me. First of all, as we know, Bitcoin is the best savings technology available to the humankind at this moment in time. It’s the best and the hardest money in the world. Because of that, it’s the best way to keep your store of value. Perhaps your audience is familiar with this, but there are three key functions that we require from good money, store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. Store of value means that your value is not going to rot or rust away. Keeping it an apple would be no good. They would rot. Keeping it in iron would be no good. It would rust.
Good stores of value with things like real estate are not going to die over time. Gold famously does not deteriorate, but Bitcoin is the best store of value available to us now. It proved its worth as a store of value by skyrocketing in value in the years since it was invented. What it has not yet done has been proven as a medium of exchange unit of account. It’s very exciting to visit a country where it has been introduced as legal tender because you see a tipping point in financial history. The shifting point where Bitcoin is becoming not only the perfect store of value but also a medium of exchange, and that’s exciting to witness. I’ve got to say that the first time we went out for lunch, I paid in Lightning. Thank you to Jack Mailers for making that possible with Strike.
It was a very exciting moment. I screenshot my first Lightning transaction. It’s very exciting for me to be able to support small local businesses. For example, I met a coffee farmer in El Salvador called Jorge. Jorge has a small coffee farm. He grows coffee and cocoa. He has Satoshi blend coffee and it’s so good. I like it. It was wonderful for my second trip there to be able to contact him on Twitter and say, “Jorge, I would like to order some of your coffee to be ready for me at my place of accommodation.” To have him say, “Yeah, sure. Here’s a Lightning invoice for the coffee that you want.” My payment is made in seconds across continents without any third-party bank being involved. The transaction was completed and the coffee is taken to my accommodation, and it was wonderful. I definitely recommend it to all of your audience.
If anybody isn’t familiar with this, Lightning Network is on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It is designed to be able to allow transactions that are what’s called peer to peer. As Holly was describing, it means that she and Jorge can have a transaction without involving the bank or anyone else. That’s fantastic. Thank you for that. I have one more question for you.Bitcoin is the best store of value currently available to us now, skyrocketing in value. Click To Tweet
I so appreciate all of the value that you’ve provided to everybody, how much incredible great information, and how you’ve explained it in plain English. I’m so pleased. As women reading this who haven’t necessarily gotten into Bitcoin or crypto at all, they’re scared and brand new to this, but they hear the word crypto and Bitcoin and they’re wondering. What do you suggest to them? What do you have to say to them?
There are several very important messages. I’m talking to you now as a Bitcoin maximalist. First, I would say cut out the white noise. Do not involve yourself in cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Some are out and are scams. All others are centralized in some form. If you’re thinking about making an investment in cryptocurrency, make certain that it’s Bitcoin. Not Bitcoin cash or any of the other derivatives.
Don’t go down that path. Don’t be scared of the price now. That is another key message. You can buy a fraction of a Bitcoin. I know people who have that on t-shirts. People come to me now and say, “I know you told me about it four years ago, and then it was this price, but now it’s like $40,000. Who has $40,000 lying around?” You don’t have to do that. You can buy $10 worth of Bitcoin.
There are also very good services. In Europe, I would recommend bittr. I know Swan also does it. I believe that a German bank called Nuri also does it. You can set up a standing order with them to simply buy a Bitcoin for you. You give them $10 every month. They buy $10 worth of Bitcoin for you and put it onto your accounts.
The last thing is that you’ll hear a lot of stories about custody. I should clarify this a little bit. When you buy Bitcoin, you buy it on an exchange. Exchanges can be vulnerable to hacks. Those exchanges are connected to the internet. If you buy your Bitcoin on a good reputable exchange, I do recommend Bitstamp. That’s pretty good. A reputable exchange is relatively safe. At a certain point, you might want to get your Bitcoin off an exchange.
We usually recommend that you do that if your Bitcoin is around the value that you might pay for a second-hand car. Once you start thinking, “This is a fair amount of money. Take it off in exchange. You’ll need a hardware wallet to do that.” There are all kinds of hardware wallets out there on the market. Research it, do your homework, but once you’ve got that Bitcoin and it’s in your custody, it’s yours. That’s true financial freedom.
Thank you, Holly. That has been incredibly helpful. I know you can buy Bitcoin in this country using Venmo, PayPal and Cash App. It has gotten to the point where it’s everywhere, but I appreciate you giving people those instructions. As always, everyone, please remember to do your own research. We are not here to offer you financial advice. We’re here to offer you an education. Holly, you’ve done an amazing job with that. I’m so grateful that you came to the show as my guest.
If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe. We are on seventeen platforms and YouTube. Please like, share, and comment on this episode. However, especially share this episode. I would like every woman on the planet to help empower herself around money and the future of money, the new energy of money as I call it. Holly, thank you again. Blessings to you all. I will see you next time.
Thank you so much, Halle, for the opportunity to come to your show. Thank you.
See you next time.