On the 29th of August 2019, Michael Hudson (Bitstocks CEO-Founder) participated in a podcast on the BSV Channel. During the 46 minute long discussion, Michael told Shem Booth-Spain aka @CaptinBitcoin of the playground lessons that led him to Bitcoin, his motivation for founding his Bitcoin investment company, Bitstocks in 2014, and gave some insight into Gravity - Bitstocks’ new BitcoinSV Banking Ecosystem. Michael took us back to the encounter he had with NASA hacker Gary McKinnon in his late teens that shaped his alternative view of history. The two then took a deep dive into the distorted narratives that divided and conquered BTC, and Michael shared his epiphany on the space-time model of Bitcoin: “We should think of it as a Timechain, instead of a Blockchain.”
Read the transcript or watch the video. If you’re short on time, the video index will allow you to jump straight to the topics that interest you most.
1. Bitstocks Founding Purpose: an Educational Resource for Bitcoin Investors
2. Gravity: Bitstocks BitcoinSV-Banking Ecosystem
3. Michael on Individual Sovereignty, Bitcoin as Shining Light in Shady World
4. Michael Crosses Paths with NASA Hacker, Gary McKinnon
5. Bitcoin as the Final Evolution of Money
6. When Michael Started Seeing Through the Cracks of Core, and Off Chain Scaling
7. Bitcoin as Timechain, not Blockchain
8. Where BSV Stands in Terms of the Bitcoin Timechain
9. Michael’s Drive and Motivation
10. Words of Wisdom: Resist Divide and Conquer
11. A Recommended Read from Michael’s Private Bookshelf
12. A Final Thought on the Bitcoin Story
13. Closing Words on Metanet
I set up Bitstocks in 2014, predominantly to become an educational resource for private retail investors.
The approach we’ve always taken is: To truly assign a value to this new asset called Bitcoin, you have to understand why it’s even relevant in the first place.
We felt very strongly that everyone got too caught up in the money-making potential of investing in Bitcoin. I know how ironic this sounds for the CEO of an investment firm to say that. But, the narrative we’ve always pushed is “you have to understand why this technology is important and why the world requires it right now. If the world’s systems were operating so beautifully, the need for Bitcoin would not exist.”
As my own understanding of what Bitcoin is has morphed and changed, I’ve shifted my focus to encouraging the community to take a more holistic approach to utilising Bitcoin. I try to emphasise how Bitcoin fits in with how we already interact as human beings - an approach that doesn’t require a deep technical understanding. And that’s what we’re building now with Gravity.
At the base level, Gravity is a BitcoinSV-banking ecosystem that will allow you to utilise BSV in the same way as you experience traditional banking. Also, the terminology that we’re employing for the user interface is a lot more aligned with a familiar banking experience. The goal is to get rid of the ‘nerdiness’ of the Bitcoin experience and allow people to use Bitcoin for their everyday financial needs.
As you can see, we’re trying to step away from the narrative of just HODLing - I say just, because Gravity also has an investment section. We want people to be able to use it like a current account, and we want to implement debit card facilities, loans, etc. We want to allow people to engage with Bitcoin in a really easy way.
But also, going back to basics, we want fast SWIFT and simple AML/KYC onboarding processes. In the crypto space, most companies don’t do proper onboarding. And even if they implement AML/KYC in their onboarding process, the experience itself is pretty horrific. We wanted to make sure everything is regulatory compliant, but have the process be seamless and sexy.
We’ve worked really hard over the years to solidify the right relationships with the legal community to lobby regulators to provide a framework that allows us to build an ecosystem that is legally compliant - not just when we launch Gravity, but for years to come. Because we started on that really early, it gave us time to focus on the execution of Gravity.
The products and services within Gravity ecosystem will not be launching all at once. Right now we’re in private Beta testing. At this stage, Gravity allows you to set up an account, fund your account with fiat, buy BSV, BCH and BTC, and keep it safely stored within your Gravity wallet with cold storage facility. Right now, the record for getting from onboarded to funding is 30-minutes.
Shem: It’s very refreshing for someone to have such a holistic and dynamic worldview as you display in episode 1 of your Truth & Light series (The World's Control Chain and Why Bitcoin Matters). In an age where we’re at, the very precipice of technological innovation, where is Bitcoin’s place in the global transformation? There’s dark forces, there’s good forces, and all different forces at work. Where is Bitcoin and why is it the shining light we should be heading towards?
Michael: Brilliant question! This topic is interwoven with my story and why I’m doing what I’m doing right now.
Bitcoin is one component we need in order for humanity to go through their next evolutionary jump. It was vital for me to document my background story around Gary McKinnon and put online in Truth & Light. I’m always going to be talking about these controversial subjects because I believe it’s a direct consequence of owning your sovereignty. One of the things I want the brands of Bitstocks and Gravity to promote is individual sovereignty. And, to be sovereign means that you should speak your mind irrespective of the people around you think about it. I’m always going to put my sovereignty in practice through our channels and invite other open-minded people to join me in going down paths that might be taboo for the masses.
Let me give a bit more context about who Gary McKinnon was. First of all, he was the individual who famously hacked NASA back in 2002, and orchestrated what at the time was the largest military hack in human history. When Obama came into office, he wanted the UK to extradite Gary McKinnon and have him brought to Guantánamo Bay.
What people might not be aware of is that Gary, who was London-based, bought the vast majority of his computer equipment from a computer store my uncle owned in North London, and I was a Saturday Boy at the shop. I knew who Gary was, but I never really interacted with him. When the whole story around his hacking blew up, I wanted to get in touch with him. I was doing my own research and was always curious about human existence. I could never entirely accept the history I was being taught through the [traditional] educational system.
To me, the line was too fine between history and HIS-story. I realised this from my experiences on the playground as a kid. When I had had a conflict on the playground, my Dad would sit me down and ask me the same question he would always ask. (Bear in mind, my Dad’s six foot five, a huge guy). Walking home from school earlier, I’d know he’d gotten a phone call from the school, so I’d already start thinking what I’m going to say. And when he sat me down, asked me, “What happened?”, I knew I had the opportunity to change history and make it his story (Michael points at himself). If I was the antagonist on the playground, I could switch that around and make it look like I was the victim.
That was quite a profound realisation for me at that young age. It caused me to act very differently throughout my educational experience. I simply couldn’t accept the history I was being told as absolute fact. I knew it instinctively, though I didn’t have facts to support this feeling.
After my school days, I had the opportunity to explore much more freely. These were the early days, the days of AltaVista - one of the earliest search engines. The Internet had just started becoming ‘a thing’, and I started researching aggressively. I had a lot of questions in my mind. I wanted to know about human existence, the Genesis, and also simple questions like, why do we have an asteroid belt in our solar system and why is it only in that one vicinity.
So, when I became aware of Gary McKinnon’s profile, I had the opportunity to pull him aside and ask him some questions. The first one, of course, was: “Why did you hack NASA?”. Secondly, “What did you see?” He told me that he saw pre- and post- photoshop images of the moon. The images of the moon you see on NASA’s website are the photoshopped versions that we’re all familiar with. The pre-photoshopped images show broken domes, obelisks and a crashed craft. He also told me about Off-planet Operatives - he saw a folder with names of Off-planet Operatives.
As a 17 or 18-year old kid, the most credible person I had access to at that time gave me direct confirmation that how we think the world is run and what we think is ‘truth’, is not necessarily so.
My next questions were; how is this being hidden from us, how is this being funded, and who are the corporates and individuals involved?
These led me to start watching things like Zeitgeist. It had me study Modern Money Mechanics, so I could really understand the creation of money that explains the origin of every single Pound that’s owed to somebody by somebody.
Then I started asking myself much more profound questions, like If we are all humans cohabiting this earth, why are we paying to inhabit this earth, and who are we paying?
What attracted me to Bitcoin from the very beginning was the opportunity to have an economic system with an equilibrium. I’m talking about free and equal access, not the socialist distribution model.
I found it incredibly intriguing that Bitcoin was not based on the existing power structures, the global pyramid of power, and the way the incumbent banking system works - it’s fundamentally different. I saw the opportunity for people to have it as part of their investment portfolio and get a great return by investing in the infrastructure that is going to help humanity evolve to the next stage.
Because of my background knowledge of power structures, I wasn’t naive enough to think that this evolution of money is going to happen without friction. I was even aware that our own community could be misled.
As I was going through this process, I was a very firm BTC, Core camp supporter. I remember we started to question our stance when the Lightning Network idea was just starting out. In the beginning, I was pro-Lightning Network.
At this point, Bitstocks had about 12 employees, and I put my team onto doing a research paper on why LN and off-chain scaling is the way forward. That research ended in us becoming Big Blockers. I won’t pretend that I got it right, right from the beginning. It was an evolutionary process - just like any educational process.
For me, the epiphany was when my understanding of what Bitcoin is started changing fundamentally. It changed so much that I changed my company logo to represent what I saw inside Bitcoin.
What I realised was that Bitcoin is not about money - it’s not. Bitcoin is memory. It’s a space-memory model or a space-time model. What triggered this realisation was the different types of mathematics I’d been studying - vortex mathematics, polymath, etc. - and then Craig [Wright] came back on the scene…
Craig made this statement that Bitcoin is the first biologically inspired network, and then he showed a diagram of the small-world network, or small world mandala. When he showed the diagram, I almost fell off my seat, literally. I had been studying and seeing this geometry for years. When I saw this, I started looking at Bitcoin very differently. I realised that blockchain is a terrible term.
What Bitcoin really is, is a Timechain. What you have is human to human, human to machine, or machine to machine interactions documented on a tape in 10-minute windows, or pockets of time.
Let’s say this time window is a 1-centimetre cube of space. Then, how much you condense in that same space of time gives you density. If you have a model that limits the density you can fit into that 1-centimetre cube of space (like 3 or 4 transactions per seconds) and you look at the number of seconds you have in a window, you’ll never have a space that’s lit up and connected.
Taking this back to Craig’s statement that Bitcoin is biologically inspired... A brain is not going to be functional if its neurons aren’t able to fire in a cohesive way. There will be minimal connectivity. With SegWit, Core already got rid of the connection points needed for high density connectivity. They got away with this because the Bitcoin narrative has been fundamentally money-based for so long.
We’ve ended up having a community that is mostly fuelled by misguided idealists, and it ended up in a vision of anarchy where everyone is anti-bank and anti-government, without distinction or exception. The age-old technique of divide and conquer has run rife in this community over the past 10-years because of the lack of understanding Bitcoin.
If we understand Bitcoin in the sense of space, time, density, connections, then you’ll start seeing how all of our planetary interactions are reflected in the power of Bitcoin. When those interactions can happen in a way that can not be tampered with, that is the power of Bitcoin. Nobody on this planet, not even Craig himself, can imagine the full range of possibilities that could flow from this.
That’s what excites me about Bitcoin - it’s not just about money. That would be massively downplaying it.
Shem: I'm interested in your opinion on where we are in BSV at the moment in terms of the Timechain. Some people have speculated whether the Bitcoin blockchain will someday allow people to travel back in time, because of the time reference point. It sounds like a far-out idea, but I've always thought it's an incredible idea. Cometh the day, cometh the time.
Michael: The Timechain reference, and the relationship with time itself, is experienced with forks. In Avengers Endgame, Tony Stark gives a rather accurate breakdown of time-space travel and the issues involved with it. If you take that thinking and you apply it to Bitcoin and forks - it's the same stuff.
Let me explain that.
Bitcoin writes forwards, and it reads backwards. All the interactions are happening in the present. Right now, you and I are writing our future by delivering it in the present. Even if it's down to the picosecond, my thought process speaks through my voice box and mouth - it comes from the future and is delivered into the present. There's a constant relationship between my thoughts and what I'm saying, and as soon as I've said it - it's now in the past. So you have the future, present and past all playing out in a cohesive relationship - like a feedback loop.
Bitcoin is doing this all the time. You've got the future: I know I'm going to send a payment to a company. In the present: the payment is actually made. And as soon as the payment is made, it's recorded in the blockchain, and it can be read as a memory for all of time - which is because of its digital immutability. So, if you try to reverse time, like with a 51% attack, you don't maintain that timeline, you create a new timeline. The only way you can merge these timelines is with a much bigger amount of resources, which is not an easy thing to do. Forking is a splitting of time: From Bitcoin BTC to Bitcoin Cash, to BitcoinSV. Bitcoin is space-time.
In my podcast with Craig, I censored myself to a large extent. I'd done a huge amount of research for weeks before and found that nobody was speaking about this connection. Yet, I wasn't sure if I wanted to seed it out into the public domain so quickly. That whole podcast is around Bitcoin being a space-time model.
Shem: Okay, so we're waiting for BSV's Genesis lockdown next year February. We've just had the two-gigabyte quasar upgrade that's allowed us to upload data and the capabilities of BSV are increasing day by day. Tell us what your thoughts are around the BSV space, and what's going on right now from now till Genesis.
Michael: It's been just incredible to watch and see this BSV community fueled by proof of work in the truest sense of the term. It encourages me to shut out distractions and focus on what we're building with Gravity - so much so that I haven't really been that active on my social media feeds and channels for the last six months. It's encouraging to be in a space where people are just building and not getting distracted with infighting, or wasting our time on trolls. That speaks to the maturity of the BSV community, and it's why we are seeing such great results. We’re seeing results because we’re focussed. I find it reassuring that I'm devoting my personal and professional time to building infrastructure on top of Bitcoin SV.
If BSV didn't happen, as much as I love the promise of Timechain technology and what it can deliver, there would’ve been so many reasons to give up, to pull the plug and quit. In terms of maturity and being able to have discourse without malevolent actors narrating that discourse, I would’ve just said, we’re not ready yet. There would’ve had to have been a massive clean up of the Global Pyramid of Power, before we would’ve had another shot at it. The supporters of BSV - the major players who’ve put so much time, money and resources into ensuring the preservation of this community, this project and its promise for humanity - deserve a huge amount of respect for that.
This community is the beacon of light for delivering on the true promise of blockchain technology, which is documenting human to human, human to machine, and machine to machine interactions - on a chain that is genuinely immutable. It could even transcend the planet, but that's a topic for another time. (Cue knowing grin.)
Sovereignty and humanity. I want to see us become what I genuinely believe we can become; a global collective bathing in the light we deserve. In order for that to happen, we need this planet’s infrastructure built on the right incentive scheme where malevolence can be identified, held accountable and sorted out. And that's part of what we're doing with Gravity: to build an ecosystem that enables sovereignty for anyone who's involved, whether you're an employee, a client, an introducer or anything in between. We know it’s ambitious what we’re set out to do. To build a template for a bank, that if successful, there would be no other model. You’d have to follow this model. And that’s what fuels me.
One of the major challenges is to ensure that the notion of ‘divide and conquer’ isn’t allowed to seep into this community, and by community, I’m not only referring to BSV, I’m talking about the wider cryptocurrency community. The agenda, as I’ve seen it for a number of years now, has been to use this method to see us constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, in fact, not only that, but running on hamster wheels. We have to ensure that we don’t allow these hamster wheels to be installed in this community at any given point.
Fortunately, we’ve had the right formula from the start, which is just building, and we need to continue to do that. Build and challenge. Challenge with the view to be enlightened.
The reason we have a huge advantage is because we have corporate structuring. The likes of The Bitcoin Association, CoinGeek, nChain, HandCash and MoneyButton. We’ve got great leaders here with great business acumen putting in infrastructure. If you think about CoinGeek and nChain in particular, they’ve put in hundreds of millions to ensure that the roadmap is adhered to. If we look at Bitcoin Cash, for example, you can see what happens when you don’t have infrastructure or resources put together in a cohesive way that allows people to just build, and build in a progressive manner, your project is going to fall away.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter about branding or ideals that fuels those brands, what matters is business structure and execution, and I think we’re (the BSV community) are really, really good at executing, we just need to stay on track!
Fielding questions from the live audience, a number of people were keen to hear about Michael’s favourite reads.
Turning to his private bookshelf, Michael introduces Cosmometry: Exploring the HoloFractual Nature of the Cosmos, authored by Marshall Lefferts.
Michael: This is one that’s come out recently and in my opinion is the most modern ‘tip of the spear’ understanding of unified field physics. So that’s taking mathematics, physics, and even music, and combining them together to go far beyond the work of Einstein. Einstein spent the second part of his life trying to connect everything together with one thread. He made these amazing major breakthroughs and was definitely seeing that they were all connected, but he couldn’t quite sew that thread. He spent his whole life trying to create a unified field model for physics, to really understand and breakdown what black holes were, etc. etc. There are great scientists now who’ve made those breakthroughs and Cosmometry is a great place to go to where it’s kind of all in one place. It’s a good starting point and it’s quite visual too.
(Michael flips to a page to show an image of a torus.)
Some of these you’ll recognise in Bitcoin. Studying this stuff for as long as what I have is what allowed me to see the pattern in Bitcoin and how it’s completely governed by geometry. As is everything, even the words I’m speaking right now are governed by geometry but that’s a much deeper, more sophisticated thing to go into. Bitcoin as a mathematical system is completely geometric. In fact they tried to close the loop, they tried to square the circle, but Craig says himself, they haven’t quite been able to do that. There had to be an interaction, where they had to interact with the system, but again, that’s another conversation.
There were three components; (Dave) Kleiman, Craig (Wright) and a pure mathematician. The story of Bitcoin isn’t just about the creators, and the genius of what was created - what Craig created - the story of Bitcoin is that if we do get this right, we have the ability to implement systems that allow us to steer humanity’s evolution in a way that provides for a full audit trail. (For emphasis) That’s human evolution with an audit trail!
The power of what a system like Bitcoin can do and what it can bring means that when we’re ready, when we tap into things like free energy, when we have the ability to explore space, go beyond even just our own solar system, these are no longer taboo things. Elon Musk is spending billions trying to do that. Donal Trump announced the U.S. Space Force as a sixth faction of the U.S. Military so that the U.S. would become the most dominant force in space - which begs the question, well, who’s the most dominant now? But I digress. Again, another conversation for another time.
We (as humanity) will be able to really start being able to control our own trajectory and hold those who are hindering our trajectory accountable. Do not underestimate your role as a single individual - whether that’s on the development side, the sell side, or spreading awareness and education, trying to bring people together to have discourse, because the underlying promise to what this technology is once it starts hitting it’s potential, is that it enables us to step into a new era of human existence, that prior, was just not possible. It’s not just money, and I implore people to stop looking at it as such.
Shem: How far do you think this is going to go with Metanet and the capabilities of SV? Global system? Global computer?
Michael: I’m smiling right now because the timing of Metanet couldn’t be more perfect, considering what’s going on in the world right now. When people start realising who Google is, who Facebook is …
In fact, here’s a quick one to leave on: Study LifeLog Project.
There’s a Wired.com article that was released on February the 4th, 2004 documenting that DARPA, a military faction in the U.S., announces the closure of the LifeLog Project. What this project was, was the online ability to track someone’s interactions, movies they liked, relationship status and history. Basically everything on this website.
And on the very same day they close this project, Facebook was founded.
Now, you have to understand that symbolism is the downfall, hidden in plain sight. Google has a similar initiation. You have to start questioning what Facebook is? Who owns it? Well, it’s the same big four banks who own the mainstream media. So, essentially those who own [the majority] of mainstream media, now also own social media. Think about the ramifications of this. How have they wielded this power? Mass censorship is going on right now.
That’s why Metanet is important!