The bitcoin industry has created a growing economy of businesses, miners, artists, writers and radio broadcasts. One particular broadcast is the Austin-based The Crypto Show. It began in 2013, highlighting the cryptocurrency community and its memorable moments.
Recently I chatted with the Crypto Show crew about how they got the show started, and recent events. The guys gave us some insight to their recent Dash proposal, the Free-Ross-A-Thon, and all the fun moments recording cryptocurrency and liberty proponents. The hosts believe we are facing a “Brave New World” and bitcoin will be an integral part of promoting freedom in the future.
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Bitcoin and Liberty Over the Airwaves
Bitcoin.com (BC): When did you guys first come up with the idea to start the Crypto Show?
The Crypto Show (TCS): The idea was hatched in December of 2013 at one of the Bitcoin meetups while planning for the first Texas Bitcoin Conference. Harlan came up with the idea for the show. He was the founder and owner of Brave New Books and had a long history of supporting Logos Radio Network and the FM affiliate TXLR 89.1 fm in Austin, so his connections allowed us to pitch the show to a producer there.
Once we got the show off the ground, Harlan hosted the Bitcoin meetups at Brave New Books for quite some time. Unfortunately, Harlan leased Brave New Books to a new management team, and the Austin Bitcoin and Liberty community really didn’t embrace the new managers the way they did with Harlan at the helm. The bookstore was the nerve center for Austin during the Ron Paul campaign and just about everything else over the last ten years.
BC: Can you tell our readers about some of the shows most memorable guests and projects?
TCS: The guest list is pretty long. As can be seen here. Roger Ver, of course, is a favorite. He always shines a positive light on the issues we tend to care about. John McAfee is always a blast. I think he likes to plant far fetched stories so that people will run with it and then he sits back and laughs. He’s got a hell of a sense of humor.
Of course, Cody Wilson is a frequent addition to the show, and he is without a doubt the most generous person to ever be named “The Most Dangerous Man in Austin.” There is some discussion of possibly moving our studio to Defense Distributed since it’s quickly becoming the new Liberty hub for Austin. The guys at DD are holding workshops to help people with their digital privacy, with the group “Central Texas Mutual Aid Society.” Everyone that works at DD is amazing and feel like it’s their dream job, for philosophical reasons of course.
The Kimdotcom interview was very interesting. We had him on to talk about BitCache but instead it became a very revealing account of the U.S. government acting like pirates. I think because we didn’t cut anything out it was far more interesting than the other interviews we had seen. Some of these interviews cut out parts that made the government look nefarious. It’s hilarious really how they manipulated the body cam footage of the raid to appear like they had to break into a secured compound. Later footage shows the gate the cops so dramatically climbed over didn’t have fences on either side, a few steps to the left or right and they could have simply walked in.
While we’re very low tech insofar as we would have trouble programming our coffee maker to make coffee on time, we do have our finger on the pulse of what’s new in the space. We’re always considering the different technologies and how they might accent each other to make a better version of what they do. It’s pretty exciting when we’re able to lay the groundwork for two separate projects to work together. Two such cases involved Arcade City partnering with Unsung.org and Airbitz. While it remains to be seen whether or not Arcade City will be successful under Christopher David, there is no doubt that the community will, under the Arcade City name which is wildly successful. App or no app they’re not stopping, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with the drivers who call themselves Arcade City.
Their eagerness to help out the community with the Unsung.org events has been incredible. We’ve been able to feed well over 1000 people. Not just the homeless but battered women shelters, can food drives for the Central Texas Food Bank, Trick or Treats and currently a purse and shaving bag drive to get some dignity and personal hygiene products in the hands of those that need it, the homeless.
BC: The Crypto Show has been strong supporters of FreeRoss.org and the Ulbricht family. Can you tell our readers about this relationship?
TCS: We first met Lyn around the time the show began at the first Texas Bitcoin Conference. It seems like no-one was really paying any attention to her walking around with her FreeRoss sign, although a few people actually did bring her flowers. (Jon Rumion) for one.
We already knew about the Silk Road of course but after meeting Lyn you really just can’t say no. We introduced Lyn to Luke Rudkowski which led to her doing her first video interview. Lyn was very reluctant to do a video interview because all of the mainstream press had twisted around everything she had to say to make Ross out as the “kingpin” image they were trying to create. We assured her Luke was on her side.
Harlan soon began organizing the first FreeRoss fundraiser at Brave New Books. Part of that fundraiser was printing the first batch of Free Ross T-shirts. We held an event at Brave New Books and sold all sorts of things that people donated like a Liberator 3-D printed gun that someone made and Cody signed. We raised about $4000 that time. We did later hold another bigger event with more stuff to sell like a Ghost Gunner and Deep Web DVDs signed by Alex Winter. That resulted in another $6000 a lot of that stuff is actually still available on our website. TheCryptoShow.com/FreeRoss. We continue to go to events and bring the FreeRoss swag with us and sell it there.
Ross is from Austin. He was an entrepreneur, a truth teller and someone who challenged one of the most destructive forces in our times, the War on Drugs. He is a hero to everyone on the show, and we will continue to raise money and awareness till we are able to have him do an interview as a free man.
BC: What do you guys think about the current state of Bitcoin at the moment?
TCS: While we feel impatient about the block size obviously we’re not qualified to know what’s best for Bitcoin. I once had an eight-day transaction. I wasn’t overly happy about that. We once had on a guy named John with Blockstream, and he explained the virtues of this long process of deciding what to do with the block size. He said this slow pace would help prevent a fatal flaw. He said this to us before the Ethereum fork, perhaps he’s right.
BC: Can you tell our readers about your recent Dash proposal and what that entails?
TCS: Danny was the first one to approach Dash and thought it was a solid team with an interesting funding model. Like all things, the hosts try to remain objective, and we do not try to involve ourselves in any territorial disputes, but we do like seeing tech work in the space and deliver what it promises. So Harlan helped write the proposal and within two months we were funded for a trial period of 3 months. What is great about the proposal is that it not only supports the show in exchange for advertising, but one-third of the budget is used to buy foodstuffs for our partnership with Unsung.org.
We felt that the Dash brand was in need of a makeover and still had a reputation from its Darkcoin days, so we offered to help by showing how a decentralized, autonomous organization, which the masternode system of Dash is, can fund a proposal that in turn gives exposure to a community that is working on solutions in both the crypto space and the real world. A win, win. So far it’s worked out great, and it’s been enjoyable having all the Dash guests on to tell us and our crypto-minded audience about the project. It’s also important to point out that the Dash protocol and governance system is more than sufficient to stand on it’s own.
There’s no need to point to flaws in other projects like Bitcoin. We feel like we don’t need to take that route when explaining Dash. Fans of other projects are the most likely new users of Dash and at this point should not be alienated. This may actually be the root of some animosity by the crypto community at large.
More Than Just a Show
BC: Can you tell us your experience with Unsung.org and Arcade City this year?
TCS: As mentioned above, it’s been great. You hear all of the criticisms about Christopher David being a scammer but really look at what Arcade City the idea has become. Especially here in Austin after the Uber and Lyft fiasco, your everyday Joe Blow who was driving for Lyft or Uber started working with Arcade City and in essence became a market anarchist without even knowing it.
We quickly reached out to Christopher and asked him to have the Arcade City meet ups at Brave New Books so that we could take advantage of telling the new drivers about cryptocurrency since that’s what Arcade City was supposed to be based on. Earlier in the year Jason King of Sean’s Outpost came to SXSW to display his idea of Unsung. We had him on the show, and we really loved the idea, we constantly pestered him, hey when does the Unsung app come to Austin.
After Arcade City arrived and we saw the success that was happening with the Facebook page and realized we don’t need the app to make it work. We reached out to Jason and asked him if it would be OK if we had Arcade City team up with Unsung to be the Uber end of the Unsung idea for Austin. He loved the idea, and so we went to Christopher to see if he was interested in getting the drivers involved. We didn’t even have the full sentence out of our mouth before he said yes yes yes absolutely. So we created the Facebook group Unsung Austin #HackingHunger, and within hours there were about 100 drivers signed up who wanted to help.
Today we’re still going strong on it and have a little bit of extra help with the proposal that we mentioned above at Dash.org. Only so much of the food and stuff that is donated is enough to make up these meals, the funding we get through Dash gets the extra things that are donated like water bottles, lunch sacks, napkins and energy bars stuff like that. The idea we have is that if we can perform as much as possible in these charitable ventures, we can capture the attention of the general public or just those that thought you could only buy drugs with bitcoin and crypto.
BC: Do you guys listen to any other crypto-related radio broadcasts or podcasts?
TCS: Mostly podcasts from the LTB network and LRN.FM . Favorites are “Let’s Talk Bitcoin”, “Bitcoins and Gravy” and a few others. Amanda B Johnson’s Dash Detailed Youtube channel is subscribed to for the latest on Dash.
How do you guys envision the bitcoin landscape in 5-10 years?
TCS: We didn’t realize bitcoin did landscaping too 😉 But seriously, we are excited to see where all the investment takes bitcoin. We are still enthusiastic. As crisis after crisis hits markets all around the world, we feel pretty good to be talking about what bitcoin can do to save people’s assets from government incompetence and maliciousness. Money will become the most important problem to disrupt in the next 5-10 years, and bitcoin seems poised to lead us into that brave new world.
Thanks guys for telling us all about the fun and good times during your radio broadcast.
What do you think about The Crypto Show? What radio shows or podcasts do you listen to? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via The Crypto Show and Shutterstock