meakkineni: Can you give us some Crumbs stats? Like the number of downloads, total amount managed by Crumbs etcPatrick: Unfortunately cannot go into detail but we are into the thousands of users.
meakkineni: From the jobs postings looks like you are recruiting more people for Crumbs. Can you tell us about some of the exciting new features that are going to be implemented?Patrick: Expect to see on-demand purchase of crypto bundles, mainnet deposits and withdraws, integration with Metal Pay, and more coins! Over the coming months, we plan to offer lower fees for MTL holders, unlock features, and more!
Abu: Is Crumbs going to include any gamification aspects in the future? How is the marketing strategy for Crumbs differ from pay?Patrick: Yes, we will add an element of gamification in the future, the current focus is user acquisition
red: How come we don't have referrals yet? Are we holding the feature back for some reason?Ephraim: Referrals is one of the most exciting features we have in the works, because not only is it a technical challenge on both front-end and back-end, but it also introduces a new way to earn Pop. In fact, we’re just about wrapping up and finalizing the details for this feature, while making plans to translate the tech to support even more ways to earn rewards in the app. Something to look out for in version 1.1.0 😏
flumpson: My biggest hurdle in getting people to sign up is that their bank doesn’t work. In my case it was Citi. When will there be router and account number signup for people who aren’t served by plaid?Ephraim: Currently the app integrates Plaid, a bank-linking SDK that supports over 90% of U.S. banking customers and is used by some of the biggest names in FinTech. We are aware however that online banking is required with your financial institution, and one way around that is routing/account number input. This feature is on our roadmap as a new service that will verify your account via micro-deposit. TLDR; it’s definitely coming!
Mondo: How do you see Metal Pay taking market share from the more popular apps like Venmo and CashApp? What will convince new users to switch over?Marshall: I really believe through innovation, amazing user experience and specifically the value proposition to users on new behaviors and new technology. Specifically, I believe PoPP and the interactions with crypto to be completely new behaviors that the mass market is yet to be introduced to. Being paid (currency not points) for making a payment? I think this is a new concept and one that Metal owns. What will convince them? This is the hard question. A viral campaign that gets our apps out there, with proper messaging and the right endorsements I believe is key. Finding the viral loop, increasing our K factor (number of invites that every new user brings). When I started this company I recognized that design, user interface, user experience, incentives, and proper information were the biggest holes in cryptocurrency. We are hitting on all of these pieces.
Mondo: “A viral campaign that gets our apps out there, with proper messaging and the right endorsements I believe is key. Finding the viral loop, increasing our K factor (number of invites that every new user brings)" - is there an estimated date for this campaign? I'm sure your community would love to help where possible as well.Marshall: We are in the process now of smoke testing our campaign strategies, and we will certainly be involving the community as we begin.
biyamin: "I am not okay putting my social security number in [Metal Pay]. Is there another way?"Ephraim: This is one of mostly heard feedback, and we’re aware of the friction it can cause among new users. However, it is due to our financial partners' requirements, U.S. law, and FDIC insured Cash balance (we create a bank account on behalf of users) that prompt us to ask for SSN during on-boarding. Rest assured, we have a plan in placed to make onboarding as streamlined as possible, especially when SSN no longer serves as a fool-proof means of identity verification, due to recent security breaches by large firms. Finally, we have in our roadmap to allow users onto the Metal platform with limited KYC.
jake_eisenberg11: When will Metal Pay release in New York happen?Marshall: This is a tough one, it will happen upon one of two things coming to fruition. An exchange partner joins us who has a Bitlicense and will deeply integrate their back-end with us or us acquiring our Money Transmission License for NY and the accompanying Bitlicense (which if this is the case will take at least 1 year). That being said we're shooting for the former obviously, a partner to help us fast track and we've got a few in the pipeline
[A bunch of different people]: When will Metal Pay release in [insert location here]?Kristal: I can assist with all the WHEN will Metal Pay release in MY STATE or COUNTRY. We have no firm timelines on either, but we are pursuing all states and expanding to Europe/Asia simultaneously… Ditto for Crumbs.
Jan: Quick one - Metal Pay debit cards?Marshall: VERY SOON, it's next up on our feature roadmap
redruggles5: Really excited about Metal Pay for merchants, particularly micro-business. Are you able to tell us how that will look and where in the timeline that is? Do you have plans to integrate with current bookkeeping software like QuickBooks, plans for accepting credit cards/integration with Pay, etc? The biggest objection I get is in regards to integration with their current system, the ability to accept cards, addition of QR codes or another private way for customers to pay besides their phone number. Lastly, will there be a separate referral system for merchants?Marshall: We are very excited as well, in terms of merchants we are going to start with the integrations into existing POS. Integrating with QuickBooks and Intuit are a must for crypto record keeping for S/M/L business, we have ambitious plans for this. Referral system for merchants via consumer - YES.
ekasu: Is there a possibility to increase the Metal Pay bank transfer speed (from 1 day or so currently to within the same day like Venmo) to increase competitiveness/attraction?Marshall: Yes with Instant ACH for US customers, a feature we will be adding and is in the PF board on Jira
Bitcoinbella: Are there any plans for retail stores to use Metal yet?Marshall: Yes, a big part of our plan of attack here is to launch first with the debit card so we can go anywhere Visa/MC is accepted. The next step is to go after small business with technical integrations through payment partners as well as simple QR codes at the register similar to Wechat/Alipay (China really inspires me). Technical integrations - this means WooCommerce, WordPress, Shopify, Authorize.net, etc, and for physical brick and mortar stores working directly with processors (lots of them see Square as a threat and are much larger, eventually Square will go to cut out interchange and stick it to the credit card companies, many partnership opportunities abound)
jake_eisenberg11: When cannabis merchant service?!?!?!Marshall: We have pivoted away from high-risk merchants, that being said crypto is like cash and is permission-less. The bank poses no restrictions on what you do with cash withdrawn from the ATM unless you are doing something that could be considered illegal or pose harm to the bank. Very similar to us, replace paper cash with crypto.
ekasu: What is the deadline looking for these features: (a) transfer Metal to erc20 wallet/Metal vault; (b) use Metal Pay with merchantsMarshall: Mainnet deposit/withdrawal early end of this year or January. Metal merchants will kick off with our card integration for consumers, integrations for Merchant will start next year (upon hiring more developers) Glenn very early on built a very cool WordPress plugin for WooCommerce. These integrations for WP, Shopify, etc will come first and most likely early in 2019.
meakkineni: Looking at things so far, I have a feeling that PoPP score implementation has barely started. What is the time frame we are looking for it to go live?Marshall: PoPP score is implemented just not integrated into the UI, this is a high priority one for us.
Decoder1: There's been talk about making the MTL token more prominent in both Crumbs and MetalPay. Some things which have been mentioned are discounted fee's, moving it to the top of the buy list, unlocking special features and obviously the increased POPP score which has already been confirmed. Are these still in the works or have they been shelved? If so are there any other bonus features Metal are considering?Marshall: I'm really looking forward to adding these additional features to highlight the special function of MTL inside the Metal ecosystem of apps. Some things that have not been talked about yet are early access on special features for users with a MTL balance, gamified features to unlock surge PoPP, partner integrations and more.
NilesCrane: What will be the utility of the MTL token when other tokens are available to be popped? What will being the 'native currency' for the Metallicus apps involve and why would you expect this to drive the token price higher when other tokens are available in the same network?Ephraim: We have a grand vision of how Metal and Pop will play a role in your daily experience on the Metal platform. Although we can’t go into too much detail into the features we have in our roadmap, we can say that MTL token will be an essential part of the Metal platform and overall ecosystem. Earning Pop when making payments is the stepping stone to realizing this vision, as we become the best, most rewarding, and user-friendly payments/crypto platform on the market.
kt: When will we start to see some other utilities for the MTL token through pay and Crumbs etc, other than the existing PoPP mechanism, and what are they likely to be?
Deaethtofiat: Will Metal's [ticker] still be changing?Marshall: That [$XMT] is something we want to do upon announcing our mainnet chain.
Tblgu: Did Metal pay a fee for Bittrex relisting?Kristal: Simple answer is no. We haven't seen any American-based exchanges charging for listings, and we believe the Bittrex re-listing was based entirely on the merits of our company.
marc0o: I know it might take a while until Metal reaches Europe. My favorite and IMO very promising exchange (Lykke) often gets the question whether PayPal can be used to deposit EUR or FIAT in general. Do you think it would be possible and useful to partner up with exchanges to provide FIAT deposits/withdraws?Marshall: Yes we absolutely do and are talking to top exchanges right now, there are so many exchanges that are crypto/crypto only and we think we make a very nice fit for an integration to be the onramp/offramp, p2p payments, spending and link to the merchant world. This is a critical part of our business model and so far we are seeing HEAVY interest.
lemme: Why is Metal selling so much $MTL from the operational pool for such a low price?Marshall: Selling and spending are two different things, so I think one of the assumptions is that selling = spending which is not the case. Yes, we are selling MTL to fund our operating bank, but not spending it at the rate that we are selling it. We are doing this because of three reasons: (1) We raised a very small amount last year to build out our apps (which arguably we have delivered) $3m vs most crypto startups raising $20m+ and we have delivered much, much more. (2) We need to demonstrate a full year of burn in the bank account to close the audit. (3) We need to close the audit to retain our money transmission licenses to get all fifty states, Europe as well, in addition to certain features like in app-exchange that we do directly. We're actively growing the company and as soon as we close Series A we will stop selling and focus on accumulating (not only MTL, but certainly as much MTL as we can get our hands on while diversifying).
ekasu: How likely is that more MTL is taken out of the operational pool in the short term, which can decrease the price much more?Marshall: MTL will be taken out of the operational pool until the successful closing of our financing round which we are in the process of right now
meakkineni: Have you come up with any other significant use cases for MTL apart from BNB style use case in Crumbs and building a better PoPP score?Marshall: Yes, and you will be hearing more about that as we plan to release an updated paper showcasing the fully decentralized aspects of the chain we are building.
marc0o: I hope I remember it right. A while ago Marshall talked about Metal being a service targeting people that do not have a bank account. Is this still on the roadmap?Marshall: Yes it is. I know it may not appear that way right now but I firmly believe a good product keeps a narrow execution and a large vision. So the first part of the network and what will eventually become decentralized is starting on the equivalent of testnet or centralized (this is not too different than Bitcoin or Ethereum in the early days). We’re starting with linked bank accounts and moving to keep that as an option that people can skip over and opt to choose a stable coin, all while creating a Metal profile and [obtaining a] PoPP score.
Parker: Would Metal consider doing token buybacks (a la BNB)? Are they even legal in the U.S.? Could doing so make Metal a security?Marshall: As a company, we will buy different cryptocurrencies at different times depending upon the market situation, buying MTL is something that we will do, as far as any guarantee to x amount being bought back per quarter or percentage of profit, that is most likely indefinitely off the table for a US company.
CryptoSheffield: Do you “own” the PoPP concept?Marshall: We own trademarks yes, the first mention of media and are working on a provisional patent. This type of thing is very hard to get a patent for even harder to defend right now.
Future: Some people noticed Sid no longer on the website. Has he moved on? If so what's the story there?Kristal: Sid put together some beautiful designs and helped shape and create the early stages of Metal until it's launch. As we move into the next stage of post-launch, we amicably parted ways with Sid and wish him continued success wherever he goes. As a company, we're on the hunt for a Principal Designer to continue our progress on great design and user interface, to push us into the next phase of our product.
SciGuy: You guys still thinking of launching in Korea? Of all the places, this is where I'm actually going to be paying very close attention. Korea loves crypto.Marshall: BIG TIME. We want to enter the Korean market ASAP as we know we have quite a few fans there. The goal is to quickly enter the international market by the end of this year. Now that Nebula is working the next hurdles are bank/FI partners, licensing, localization and marketing (its more complicated than that but those are the critical pieces to expansion). Keep in mind we will be allowing anyone in the world to sign up in the future and skip bank while choosing a stablecoin as their "bank" fiat choice. This goes back to the unbanked question. If we just release a crypto wallet and say tada we've banked the unbanked... have we really? I'm serious when I say it. And you can see it in the progression with our products and the vision. Gotta link existing banked citizens along with merchants and unbanked, they all must be in the same ecosystem. Otherwise, the dream can't become a reality.
andrea: I would like to ask about timing. I remember there was a talk about things that could be done before EOY such as new crypto implementing PoPP; debit card, series A round.Marshall: Yes, I'm happy to say this is all on track. In terms of fundraising round, I believe the missing link for us is demonstrating user growth and b2b client acquisition, something we are working on fiercely right now. One of the things I saw in Dogecoin community that was really awesome was the involvement of the community in viral campaigns (especially for good) such as NascaJosh Wise, Doge for water, Sending the Jamaican bobsled team to the Winter Olympics.
nofomo: Anything you can share about things to look forward to before EOY? Any big partnerships, etc.? From a marketing perspective, are there ways that MTL can showcase or communicate SEC compliance more? Not to flaunt it, but as people scramble out of bad projects/Tether, etc., it might help to get more info out there. When Desk, and can we expect to see USD/MTL pairs?Marshall: We have quite a few new features coming: PoPP in under ten minutes always, PoPP notifier so you can know if a payment is PoPP eligible, API for other companies (exchanges, cryptos, FIs), adding more cryptos for PoPP funnel, buy functionality, mainnet deposit/withdrawal. Partnerships we have a few big ones in the pipeline 😉 In terms of compliance I think our actions speak louder than words, we operated very differently than 99% of the other companies in the space and focused heavily on compliance in a rapidly evolving landscape. We were chastised initially for keeping the token offering private and to accredited but in the long run this was the correct way to operate and we're seeing that now. Desk/Vault is postponed until next year as we have more than enough to conquer right now on Pay/Crumbs... USD/MTL pairs, soon!!! Not just with us, but on other exchanges we anticipate.
meakkineni: Has any other banks shown interest in Metal lately?Marshall: Yes, a few big ones, as well as smaller tier 2 banks
meakkineni: Is there any tangible benefit Metal has gained so far by sponsoring Necker Cup?Marshall: Yes, quite a bit with partners we are in talks with now, in addition to bringing in investors in our next financing round... Not to forget influencers!
cryptoandcannabis: Is there any institutional support for Metal being shown, even in preliminary stages? Now that traditional asset custodians such as Fidelity are in the mix maybe MTL can become a slice of people's crypto asset classMarshall: We are starting to see interest from the big custodians in the space, very exciting times. Fidelity recently entering has really helped this, in addition, several trust companies are opening up.
1Chance: Will [Metal] consider supporting any of the stablecoins?Marshall: Yes, all of the good ones we will be supporting.
Yannik: Will be some parts of the new Metal Blockchain open source? And based on Stellar?Marshall: Yes it most certainly will be open source and anyone can connect to our public network. Based on Stellar? Where are you getting this information? 😛
Québécoiserie: Are you working on Metal Blockchain now or has it not started yet?Marshall: We are in the very beginning phases and testing the assumptions for PoPP on our centralized back-end. Additionally, we are in the process of raising a funding round, The Metal Foundation will be running the open source initiative when we launch it next year.
Decoder1: There is a lot of talk about a Metal blockchain - this sounds exciting but also quite ambitious because it can take years to achieve the fine tuning and security required to develop a new blockchain. Would it be PoW? PoS? Wouldn't it be easier to build a side chain on Ethereum like Loom, or build something on Cosmos SDK to take advantage of existing layer 1 security solutions? If you plan to one day PoPP with other tokens Cosmos might be a good idea. My concern is that with a small team and many things like Desk, Merchant, revamped Vault, new features on the App, Android, new regions, that Metal might be biting off more than it can chew. So if you could elaborate more on these plans that would be great!Marshall: This is a correct assumption and we are already doing a lot, there is a reason we have put Vault/Desk on hold while we focus on Crumbs and Pay. In terms of the blockchain side, we are staying agnostic and specifically with the consensus mechanism we are looking at lots of options. We will, without a doubt, be leveraging other chains for interoperability. Jae Kwon is a good friend of mine and I think Cosmos has a lot of potential (I'm an investor full disclosure), I also look at the work that has been done with Komodo leveraging the bitcoin blockchain, I find this very interesting as well. The idea here is that this will be a non-profit initiative under The Metal Foundation and not directly intertwined with Metallicus Inc. the private company.
meakkineni: Lately we have been talking more about Metal Blockchain than Metal Merchant. Has the focus shifted?Marshall: The focus has not shifted, one of the things that did change from the inception of the project until now is that we've decided to stay away from re-inventing POS and merchant software, we feel that it is better to partner with processors than try to replace them ala Square
Sporklin: I did warn I came with a vital question. @Marshall Shoes, you are known in the crypto space for having good taste in clothes. What is on your feet at the moment?Marshall: Hey @Sporklin!!!! Long time no see and thank you. Ok check it out, these ones are steezy and I just picked them up.
Yannik: Is Kangen Water still available in the office?Marshall: Yes, still on tap, always. Kangen 9.5.
Parker: how many fingers am I holding up?Marshall: Two? 🤘
|American here. A sizable group of us believe that copyright and patent law in America has grown completely out of control. However, most of us would also agree that it is still important for creators to have some window of protection over their creations. So my question is: What form of copyright and patent protection would you like to see established in the future? If you could single-handedly write the law, what would it look like?||The more I look at patent monopolies and copyright monopolies and their respective effects, the more I dislike them. The effect always turns out to be the strong opposite to the one claimed (i.e., the framework does not protect the creatoinventor at all, but only the big incumbents who can afford a bigger lawsuit war chest). If I were to write the law entirely myself for a small nation, I'd scrap both of them completely and set up a research/creativity haven. In some 15-20 years, practically all patents monopolies filed in other countries would be a result of research in that country, as - this is important to get - research would not be illegal there. However, I'm not writing the law myself so it's important to be realistic. Shorter-term, I think copyright monopoly law can be scaled back to cover a commercial-only monopoly of 20 years from publication with DRM banned as fraud. When I say "commercial-only", I mean that noncommercial sharing of knowledge and culture should be not just legal, but encouraged. (Patents should still go, though, but it takes longer to explain why to the public at large: unlike with the copyright monopolies, they are not as directly affected - unless you count the millions in the third world who die due to lack of medicine, but they never counted in Western policymaking, sadly)|
|Could you elaborate more on the research/creativity safe haven? How would this be done?||Today, patent and copyright monopolies have the effect that inventing and creating is illegal in most cases. If I could write the laws myself in a reasonably small, reasonably technically literate country, it would be great to create such a haven.|
|Do you have an essay or an article on this specific point? It's still a bit vague. Edit: grammar.||I don't, but I'll make a note to write an article about it and ping you when I've done so.|
|Mind putting whatever you write somewhere visible? Many are interested.||I'm publishing at falkvinge.net as public domain, meaning you could freely republish it anywhere you liked. Is that satisfactory?|
|How have your political views changed over the last 20 years? 3 years? This year?||In general, my views and values have stayed the same (defend freedoms of speech, expression, assembly, and the press; defend the right and duty to share culture and knowledge) but the urgency of defending them has increased with the backlash from the establishment against their loss of power.|
|I've also come to start favoring a Universal Basic Income as a replacement for all current social safety nets.|
|But most importantly, I've grown increasingly cynical about the way the world works, the deeper I have gone down the rabbit hole. In essence, the big incumbent economic interests are writing our laws, and I didn't think it was that bad.|
|We need to return power to the people. In order to be able to do that, we need to defend the freedoms of speech, opinion, and assembly provided by a free, untracked, and uncensored net.|
|Re: Universal Basic Income (UBI): there's an ongoing European citizens' initiative for basic income which needs a million signatures until 14.01.2013 - 28 countries, including Sweden, are collecting signatures right now and when we succeed, the European Commission has an obligation to organize a public discussion about it in the EU parliament. We have a chance to speed things up regarding the implementation of UBI in Europe. We could appreciate any help with promoting the initiative. An endorsement from a known person such as you would help us a great deal. Would you be willing to endorse us?||I'll take a look at it. In the meantime, link to it in your post here?|
|Won't a universal basic income drive the cost of goods up over time such that the income will be too small to really be effective? Just like how printing more money lowers it's value, rather than giving you more spending power?||Well, we effectively already have a minimum income with all our social safety nets (nobody needs to starve). This would be a simplification.|
|Link to rt.com.||Thanks, I'll take a look at it (but having grown a bit cynical about how the world actually works, I doubt I'd be surprised).|
|If you really want to head down the rabbit hole, here's a great interview with a former World Bank lawyer, and corruption whistleblower.||Cheers, Rick.|
|Have you read Heinlein's "For us, the living"? There's a focus on a similar economic framework if I remember correctly.||I haven't. Heinlein used to be one of my favorite authors while I still allowed myself the time and enjoyment of reading fiction, so I thank you for the tip, and add it to my list of things to look at (and hopefully get around to)!|
|In your opinion, what's the biggest threat to a free and open Internet (i.e. not controlled/blocked by a government), today and in the future?||People and industries that, for some reason, don't like when everybody has the power to speak and express themselves freely without centralized control. (EDIT/ADD: Looking at history, this has always been the key to power - the ability to speak and reach a large audience; the ability to interpret reality. It's basically the #1 power from which all other powers stem.)|
|This particularly includes the copyright industry, the cable TV industry, the telco industry, and every politician that has ever wanted to control public opinion.|
|In general, the incumbent industries that claim to embrace the internet are not to be trusted on that matter.|
|Do you worry that calling your party "The Pirate Party" might be a marketing blunder? Did you use the word "Pirate" to attract a certain type of person or to project a certain image to the masses?||Link to falkvinge.net (longer)|
|Link to i.imgur.com (shorter)|
|Are you still invested in bitcoin? If yes, how many % of your original "all in" at $10 do you have left?||I originally went all in at $7, went out at the same price on the way down, and went back all in at about $3. I've done extensive (bad) trading, and don't have my entire initial position, and far from enough to make me financially independent, but still a substantial amount (more than a year's average net pay, to give a ballpark number).|
|I'm currently all in.|
|How secure do you feel about your investment now with all the events regarding bitcoin this past year? Most recent of these being the recent closure of silkroad and the Chinese search giant Baidu accepting bitcoin for some services. Disclosure: I own some coins.||I follow developments on an hour-by-hour basis, and one of my screens is constantly showing Link to bitcoinwisdom.com.|
|Wait a minute.||Yes, that's me. I made a couple of bad assumptions in that piece, and learned a lot from the comments.|
|Weren't you the one who wrote that long idiotic piece about how way overvalued BTC was only about 2 mo ago?||That's one of my primary modus operandi - put a stake in the ground and go from there.|
|and went back all in at about $3. On the way up, or down?||Doesn't really matter now, but on the way up after the bottoming-out at $2ish.|
|Like Piper67, it was your 2011 article that got me to move all my savings (just savings, not retirement investments) into bitcoin. Thanks for that!||I'm happy you read my thoughts in that article and are now quite rich as a result!|
|Nobody makes the first jump.||Very true. Trading is a brutal game.|
|Where do you see bitcoin/cryptocurrency in general going in the next 5-10-100 years?||Bitcoin is going to do to banks, what email did to the postal system. (The first time I sent the value of a cup of coffee to a friend in India on a Sunday, and they had the money instantly, with nobody but me and them seeing the transaction went to them at all, was an absolute blowaway. It was a frogleap 40 years into the future from where the banks have been holding us. They don't stand a chance.)|
|When did you realize you prefered polyamorous relationships? What are your biggest reasons?||When did you realize you were homo-, bi- or heterosexual? It's an orientation, not something you choose.|
|I have never been jealous, and I have never understood the sentiment. If I would go out with my gf some night, and she'd meet a man while we were at a party together and go home with him, and come back by lunchtime the next day - she'd be shining happy as the sun itself. Assuming I care about her and love her, I absolutely enjoy when she's happy. I don't see a problem. I see reasons to celebrate that somebody I care about is happy. (Note that this is not a theoretical scenario; this has happened.)|
|It was much later in life that I learned that most people react with resentment that their loved one is happy in this situation, and I have never been able to relate to this, only to learn it at a purely rational level.|
|EDIT: Actually, let me add a bit of gleeful anecdote here.|
|When I was living with one of my serious exes a while back, an ex who was equally polyamorous, we'd sometimes bring home one night stands and sleep in the guest room with them. When she did so, and I fixed breakfast the next morning for the three of us, the guy she'd brought home (being introduced to me as the bf she lived with) was almost always unable to deal with the situation as I happily made breakfast for all of us. They just didn't know how to act or react, they had never been in that situation, they were utterly confused. It was hilarious. :)|
|You mirror my sentiments. What a relief that there are several of us out there.||It took me a long time to realize I wasn't alone in this. Check out polyamorous communities.|
|Because that says you have no desire for power over another person. Wow, I just love you man! Edit: You don't want to rule them, you want to help them.||Wow. I don't know what to say to that. Thanks, you almost make me blush! (Edit:) Thinking about it, Swarmwise is full of that very philosophy - that you hold no real power to command any other human being, and can only lead by inspiring them, now that you mention it.|
|Well I definitely appreciate it! I have followed your work and was really excited when I saw you were doing an AMA, but did not expect random, off-topic questions to be answered. So thanks again!||Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate them!|
|EDIT - also, congratulations on your cake day!|
|Your reaction when the Icelandic Pirate Party managed to get 4 people into the Icelandic parliament?||Three, but still a major achievement.|
|I was in Reykjavik for the election party - I always try to be present when the movement expects a major victory, just to re-live that amazing election victory night of 2009 when we were elected to the European Parliament. (Seriously, it was the memory of a lifetime. That's a cliché, but that night lives up to it.)|
|I had a couple of beers with the Icelandic crew, did a writeup on the victory in the night, and went back to my hotel extremely happy.|
|The election night was a serious cliffhanger - the party failed a technical threshold right after I had fallen asleep that night, going from three to zero seats, and came back on the right side of that technicality just before I woke back up. So I had been happily asleep while all the nail biting had taken place, and my victory article turned out to be far premature, but correct in the end anyway. :)|
|Iceland was a great case of getting elected on the national level. Meeting the future MPs before their election was equally great.|
|Thanks for the respond and thank you for correcting me, thought they had four.||It's possible and probable that her being previously known contributed to the election success of PPIS [Pirate Party Iceland].|
|But on another note, how much of an impact do you think Birgitta Jónsdóttir has on the Pirate party? Shes is heavily criticized in Iceland for being a nut-job, rude and to much "everything is evil except me"-kind of attitude which I find absurd.||And having that attitude - being prepared to piss off your colleagues in parliament to do the right thing with the people - can easily get the prerequisite 5% if you do it visibly enough and reasonably often. It's a stand most representatives would never take.|
|What are your thoughts on the war on drugs?||One of the worst humanitarian disasters in policymaking of the 20th century. You'd think people learned something from the U.S. Prohibition of alcohol.|
|A history professor somewhere in my information flow said that it's easy to predict the future - it's only a matter of looking at what mistakes people have always made and predict they'll keep being repeated over and over.|
|To wit, look at when coffee was banned in Sweden and was claimed to be a gateway drug to heavier drug use [in this case alcohol].|
|Link to falkvinge.net|
|What do you think is the biggest challenge to those in the U.S. trying to establish and brand a pirate party? Any tips/tricks for organizing?||The first-past-the-post system, in my mind, is the biggest challenge. The Swedish Pirate Party was founded, as I describe in Swarmwise, with the estimate that you could get 225,000 votes, and Sweden has a proportional system. (The math would turn out to be remarkably spot on - we got 225,915 votes in the European elections of 2009.)|
|A proportional election system means that if you get 5% of the votes at the national level, you get 5% of the seats at the national level. In turn, this means that 19 out of 20 people can hate you, and you still win.|
|In other words, you can and should take big risks to gain visibility in such a system.|
|In a first-past-the-post system, you need the most votes in a particular geographic area to become that area's representative. Assuming you enter as a third party and the other two parties are of approximately equal strength, that means you must get 34% of the votes somewhere to get a single seat, compared to 5% nationwide for 5% of the seats.|
|It's a different ballgame completely.|
|That said, it can still be done, primarily by recruiting previous non-voters, but it needs to be done with a tenacious eye for the goal and a seriously long-term planning - having run the numbers for the US, I estimate that you'd need about 20% of the votes of the eligible electorate. Looking at the PP numbers from elsewhere, that's doable, but in a 10- or 15-year perspective.|
|People living inside the system may find ways that I haven't, of course.|
|The tips and tricks would be in Swarmwise.|
|The biggest challenge would be the first-past-the-post election system. It's easier in a proportional system.|
|What are the best arguments to use when people claim that copying is theft?||Link to falkvinge.net|
|You may want to avoid the argument about what the lawbooks look like, though. It can be debated, and you don't want to go down that marsh as the point is to change the lawbooks.|
|In short - it's exercising control over your property when you manufacture copies that can be regarded as theft; manufacturing something using your own property (network equipment, computer, storage) was never theft.|
|Link to falkvinge.net|
|This example would be more like if a person made a documentary costing a million dollars and another person also made a documentary about the same subject, I don't think that is really what Tornada was suggesting.||Link to falkvinge.net|
|I am interested in the pirate party and I think that a free internet is vital but I am still not sold on this argument. Would you help me out by explaining the party's logic again?||Cheers, Rick|
|Imagine you spent time and energy starting the Pirate Party. And then, I come along and also also start a Pirate Party, stealing votes therefore ruining your entire investment!||Well, a lot of people have done exactly this, so it doesn't really work well as an argument to demonstrate some kind of immorality...|
|American here. I contend, like Al Franken and others, that money in our politics is a basic flaw that should be fixed. You only spent $50,000 to get your people elected. I would call that proof positive that publicly funded elections can get people who deserve to be in office in to office. How do we go about getting money out of our politics? Or, in your opinion, should we get money out of politics as a first step towards balancing our government? Finally, are you concerned the tactics in Swarmwise could be used nefariously(or used to get terrible people like the Tea Party elected)?||Yes, from what I've understood of the U.S. system, it's very biased toward people with money. However - and this is equally important - this is due to how campaigns have always been run, and the until-now criticalness of TV ads, which are horribly expensive. As for the €50,000 - it's important to realize that those were not public funds. They were small donations from what students had left over at the end of the month. Once you're in office or have a near-office election result, you get public funding for the next election, but for your first, you get nothing. So we had €50k against the incumbents' €6M, which were a lot from public funding (and donations). If you want money out of politics, you need to put politicians' jobs on the line over the issue. They're not going to make that happen voluntarily. However, I feel I have demonstrated that results can be achieved without having access to war chests. I speculated a bit about the possibility of using swarm tactics to spread a hate message, but I sincerely doubt it would work - the swarm organization is optimized for speed, trust, and scalability. You can't have a message of distrust and simultaneously build the org on trust; it would most likely take on its own external values and fall apart in internal turf piss fights.|
|Thank you for coming here and doing this.||As for electing terrible people, I don't think the Tea Party see themselves as terrible. Initially, at least as I understand it, they were U.S. Constitutionalists, diehard about freedom of speech and so on, but naïve enough to let themselves be hijacked by corporate interests. This may be wrong in full or in part, but it's my understanding.|
|Hi the Freshmaker, thanks for the kind words!|
|Does it help the artists as much as it claims?||Further, it doesn't help artists one bit. Remember that the record labels have never been on the artists' side.|
|Do you feel it legitimize piracy in Sweden?||The blank media levy doesn't really legitimize piracy, though. Sharing knowledge and culture never needed legitimization or justification. Preventing somebody from accessing knowledge does.|
|What do you think about voluntaryism?||I don't think it's feasible to argue for a dismantling of governments at this stage. It's much too far out on the Overton window, even if I did like it.|
|I'm more of a tactician - I choose short-term goals that cause progress toward my long-term goals. Obviously, getting elected to office assumes the existence of a parliamentary democracy.|
|What should be the first step (apart from buying your book of course :P) I should take in order to make change in my world?||You don't need to buy the book, you can download Swarmwise for free at Link to falkvinge.net - go there first :)|
|The first thing you should decide on is exactly what you want to change or accomplish. Be laser focused. The second thing you should do is figure out how many people you'd need to be a part of your goal to make it happen.|
|Then, do it. :)|
|Hi Rick, I see you're a redditor for a while now, whats your favorite subreddit(s)?||technology, /science, /funny, and /bitcoinmarkets, I think.|
|EDIT: removed /gonewild from the original list as some seem to have not taken the response seriously (the comment is hidden by default) - but this is an AMA, after all; I place value in responding candidly to the questions.|
|What about /Sweden and /svenskpolitik? Do you spend any time there?||Not really - the Swedish political scene is for my successor(s) to deal with; as a former party leader, I should not intervene in how they're doing their job.|
|Are you of the opinion that global change is possible or even desired? And on what scale?||Global change is absolutely both possible and desired. I describe in Swarmwise how to accomplish it. One obstacle is that a swarm of people who set out to change the world must have a razor-sharp focus in order to succeed.|
|Nobody can change everything, but everybody can change something.|
|Also, there is a saying: "Politics is the art of making people agree to change something all for their own reasons." That last part is very important to make things happen.|
|If hypothetically you could only make one change to Swedish legislature what would it be?||Kill the FRA law [the Swedish equivalent of the U.S. Patriot act, enabling warrantless bulk wiretapping], probably.|
|On a close second, insert the single line "this law only applies to commercial, for-profit activity" in the copyright monopoly legislation.|
|What is your opinion on why the Swedish Pirate Party succeeded, while the German Pirate Party imploded? What led to your initial success?||The histories are actually very similar. The Swedish and German parties both had initial huge successes, but then failed to remain at the attained altitude, due to people assuming success would be inevitable.|
|Getting visibility is hard; keeping it is even harder. Once you start infighting for the inevitable resources that will follow the equally inevitable victory in the future, you've already lost and you're in for a very tough bottoming out before starting to climb back.|
|I describe this more in chapter 10 in Swarmwise, "Beyond Success".|
|The German PP is not doing bad by any means, by the way. Getting 2.2% in the federal elections, while not carrying for the Bundestag (German parliament), is still a climb from the last election and too big to ignore.|
|American here, the eu is mandated to respond to petitions ?||The same way the White House has their We The People. "Responding" doesn't even mean "Taking Seriously" - don't read too much into it.|
|A common argument for internet surveillance and control is the fight against child abuse imagery (and pedophile activity). You argue on the other hand, as seen here and here that surveillance and laws against child abuse imagery is counterproductive. My question is about the argument that surveillance only will make it easier for "internet criminals". Is that your opinion as well? And how is that?||There is the saying that "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns".|
|I argue that any ban on possessing evidence of a crime will be of great help to the perpetrators of that crime, just as you argue.|
|Also, surveillance is not really a problem for geek-intelligence (meaning technically savvy) criminals; it's the average Joe that gets hit by it. But as the police say, most criminals are stupid, unbelievably stupid.|
|That saying from the police is not entirely true, of course. The police have a biased selection toward the stupid criminals. The smart ones are never seen, so we can't tell how many there are of them.|
|Would you rather have a fully transparent society or one with perfect privacy?||It's not an either-or; you need privacy for the citizen and transparency in the government.|
|Essentially, it's a sliding scale - as a purely individual citizen, you should have perfect privacy up until the point where you're formally and individually suspected of an already-committed and serious crime. As you take public office, your right to privacy is gradually replaced with a requirement for transparency of your work depending on the weight of the office, to hold the elected leaders accountable in the next election.|
|Thank you for the excellent answer! Would not the opening up of government records reveal a lot about citizens however? For example, should you know if someone near you has killed someone (after they have been to prison)? Or is this up to the person to decide how much to reveal.||If we employed a public servant, we would be their boss, and they would not be allowed to keep secrets from us, just like you're fired on your own job if you're keeping secrets from your boss that concerns your job performance. Such a transition has implications on what records the government may keep on the citizens, as you correctly point out.|
|What can I do to help?||Help the Pirate Party? Contact your local Pirate Party. You can find it easily by searching for the word(s) "Pirate Party" in your own language and adding your country name.|
|Examples: Piratenpartei Deutschland, Piratpartiet Norge, Κόμμα Πειρατών Ελλάδας, מפלגת הפיראטים, Пиратская партия Росcии, حزب القراصنة المغربي, etc.|
|Help the world in general by making it a better place to be in? Read Swarmwise and put a stake in the ground, and form a swarm of volunteers around it to make the cause happen.|
|Any indication of one in Brazil. We any not very strict in our copyright laws but i can definitely seeing it getting worse in the future.||Yes, there is a PP in Brazil trying to get going! I was there at its foundation last summer.|
|Rick, do you smoke weed? Thoughts on marijuana in general?||I don't, but I think those who do should be free to do so as long as they don't subject others to second-hand smoke.|
|Mr. Falkvinge, thanks for doing this AMA. This question has already been asked but - what are your thoughts on the NSA spying issue? Do you think the US will become more like China and Russia and begin restricting, or even censoring, opposing popular political opinions? Suppose there were a Pirate Party in the USA. What would that be like?||Hi Grimspur, thanks for participating!|
|NSA spying: I'm happy that it came to light, but shocked at the scale of it. I mean, when us net liberty activists have been shouting, warning, and flailing our arms about the surveillance possible, we have been discarded as unrealistic tinfoil hats.|
|Now with the facts on the table, it turns out that we have been severely underestimating what has been going on. I'm still not sure how to relate to that.|
|The US has pretended to be a white knight in shining armor with regards to respect for human rights, and all of a sudden it turns out it's one of the worst crooks out there. This will legitimize a lot of [other] rogue states as they introduce similar wiretapping and mass surveillance: "even the United States and Europe are doing it".|
|When the Swedish equivalent of the NSA was debated daily in Sweden, we knew that they started each day by visiting the blogs of its critics by using a visitor-IP matcher to their public IP range. Feels safe, sound and cozy, doesn't it?|
|There are nascent Pirate Parties in some states of the US, but they have a different election system to grapple with (first-past-the-post rather than proportional representation).|
|Hello Rick! Big fan, long time fan! First off I wanted to let the world know that you have personally helped me in my growth as a citizen of the internet. After reading about how encrypt my personal emails, you gave me some tips and helped me through that process. Thanks!||First, thank you for the kind words!|
|My question is: What do you think of the modern nation-state? What do you think of national sovereignty and borders? Are you a firm proponent of the social contract theory of human relations?||What I think the modern nation-state is a rather large question. We can observe that borders are becoming less important within some cultural spheres (say, the US-Canada-Europe-Australia), but increasingly guarded along others (say, US-Mexico). There are many different social contract theories AFAIK, so I can't subscribe to any one of them. But if you want a more politics-based response to the same general idea, I think it's crucial to have the consent of the governed if you are to run a nation-state.|
|What do you like to do in your spare time?||I was about to respond "what spare time?", but I guess I'm rather privileged to have worked myself into a position where I do what I really enjoy doing.|
|Seeing how I'm currently employed to travel and speak about the pirate political perspectives, I guess spare time is when I do other things.|
|So, I write code. At the moment, I'm working on generalizing the rather advanced swarm management software the Swedish Pirate Party was using, in order to adapt it for general use. Going to take a while still, but I enjoy coding.|
|Also, I enjoy cooking for my friends a lot, especially steak dinners, and I love riding really fast motorcycles (I sometimes describe myself as a "low-altitude motorcycle pilot"). Sadly, I haven't had a bike now for a couple of years.|
|Link to www.facebook.com|
|EDIT: forgot endquote.|
|Absolutely gorgeous bike!!!||Thanks! It's a Suzuki Hayabusa 1999. The fastest production bike ever built; the year after (or the year after that) the Jap manufacturers entered into an agreement to electronically cap the max speed at 300 km/h.|
|Thanks for the response. Hope you get a bike soon!||This is one of the best things somebody has told me all year!|
|One more if you get to it: Do you have hope for a utopian post-scarcity world like /futurology tends to point to?||As for whenwhere those conversions will happen, that's a different story. For example, the United States is completely bankrupt and overdue for a structural collapse - the only thing pegging it up is the reserve-currency status of the USD, which is crumbling. Collapses tend to be localized, even if they have global knock-on effects. Compare the collapse of the Soviet Union.|
|What, from your perpective, is the most pressing challenge for the Pirate Party at this moment in time?||Learning how to get re-elected, I'd say.|
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