The 10th annual Latin American Bitcoin & Blockchain Conference (LaBitConf) 2022, on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, offers a bright light of optimism amid a harsh crypto winter. The event offers presentations by more than 120 international speakers, including Elizabeth Stark, Michael Saylor, and Vitalik Buterin.
At the event, Benzinga caught up with another notable speaker, Jimmy Song, a Bitcoin Educator, Developer, and Entrepreneur, and the author of “Programming Bitcoin” and “The Little Bitcoin Book.” Song is also a decided Bitcoin Maxi.
He tweeted, “Reminder: “Bitcoin Moderates” told you to put your money in FTX and BlockFi. Still think it’s Maximalists who are toxic?”
The recent FTX Exchange FTT/USD debacle has badly impacted Bitcoin BTC/USD, which hit a new 2022 low under $16,000, as well as crushing FTT by 46.49%. The ripple effect also hurt Solana SOL/USD which lost 60% of its value in just 24 hours.
When asked about his presentation on the merits of BTC vs. fiat currency, Song responded, “I gave a talk about Fiat versus Bitcoin, sort of the mentality shift that, that society takes when you go for fiat, which is based on debt, and Bitcoin, which is based on merit. And those two things have a lot of downstream effects.”
Song believes in Bitcoin as a superior alternative to fiat and other cryptocurrencies, and believes its strength is critical in Latin America.
“I think you see a lot of corruption and cronyism in Latin America. Just look at the official rate of exchange for the US dollar vs. the Argentinian Peso versus the exchange rate on the blue market. There’s a huge disparity because the Central Bank of Argentina wants capital controls.” Song said. “They basically steal from people that are exchanging at the official rate. That’s what central banks have been doing for a long time.”
He advocates for the official acceptance of BTC as a global currency, claiming it is more stable than fiat and immune to government control.
“I think people in Latin America get it better than most because there are currency changes, and two-thirds of your savings are gone. We’re in the trend of the U.S. dollar, but USD has not done well, either. The key is with Bitcoin, you don’t have to trust anybody. You can verify everything yourself. The minute you trust, you open up a security hole where your wealth can be seized.”
Song has little confidence in altcoins, which he sees as a similar risk to fiat.
“When you’re holding Argentinian Pesos, you’re trusting the Argentinian government. But if you’re in the Cardano, you trust Charles Hoskinson. If you’re holding a BNB coin, you’re trusting CZ. What the hell is the difference? You’re just trusting a different person instead of Argentinian central bankers?”
Song’s solution is simple – a trustless system based on BTC.
“Don’t trust – verify. If you’re trusting somebody else, you can get screwed.”