[QUESTIONER:] According to what you said, Bitcoin is possibly going to be banned in the next year, or very strictly controlled [ANDREAS:] In some places, yes [QUESTIONER:] For instance, one of these places could be China [ANDREAS:] Unlikely, but yes [QUESTIONER:] Because they are really having a lot of problems, with many people converting

their money from bitcoin And I think 70% of the mining facilities are in China So do you think they are going to try to control the mining facilities? What are the possible outcomes? [ANDREAS:] That's a great question So do I think mining will be controlled in China or do

I think that Bitcoin might be banned in China? I think it's extremely unlikely that Bitcoin would be banned in China Just because every time there's a little blip in the yuan and we see

$5 – 1 billion flow into bitcoin doesn't mean that's a large amount of money For China, that's nothing It's like you're facing the imminent collapse of a giant hydro-electric dam; you're not going to

worry about that tiny, little trickle of water in the side there That's bitcoin You're worrying about the gushing outflows of the things they are worried about Right now they're passing a new law to restrict mergers and acquisitions I heard this fantastic story of how Chinese companies

are exiting money from the economy even though there are currency controls It came about from a conversation with a lawyer This lawyer had been asked by a Chinese company to participate in an arbitration hearing They said, "We want to do this arbitration hearing Would you be interested in participating and representing us?" [The lawyer] said, "Yes, okay

Who is the other party?" "Well, the other party doesn't exist yet We would like you to create the other party, represent both us and the other party, and then we would like to lose an arbitration award of about $5 million to the other party, which you will set up in another country" [Laughter] When the need is great, it becomes

the mother of innovation Legal innovation, corruption innovation, et ceterea They have much bigger problems Now, you will see bans in some countries

In the countries where they can arbitrarily effect a ban, they can't actually affect that ban, in practice, on the ground Because where the rule of law is weak enough that a single individual – without any recourse, due process, or opposition – can simply ban a form of money, their ability to actually enforce that is probably pretty weak too Because everybody below them

is going to be taking bribes Just imagine, for example, the ruling comes down that says, "You can't do mining in China!" That goes down to the districts, from the districts to the smaller districts, to the cities, to the towns

Eventually, some official sends a fax to the local village where they're running a mining farm off [hydro-electricity] that represents 40-50% of the municipal income of the entire area

And they say, "You must close your mine" What does the local official say? " We have no mines here!" [Laughter] Or, "[whispers] Guys, close it down for 24 hours

" "[yells] We have eradicated mining in China!" "Long live China and our great leader!" "[whispers] Turn it back on" Right? The ability to actually affect change on the ground is mediated by layers and layers of bureaucracy, which are more and more corrupt The bigger the crisis, the easier they are to corrupt

You've got to realise that these mines are quite decentralised within China, and in many cases they provide a stream of "corrupt money" throughout every official in the area: the police works for them, the mayor works for them, the electricity company works for them Now the electricity companies are the ones who are mining Good luck shutting that down! Again, it's not as easy to do The higher the need, the more corruption & invention you're going to have [QUESTIONER:] What happens in the future when Bitcoin becomes mainstream, governments or inter-governmental organisations realise this, like the UN

, IMF, US, or EU? [What if they] decide to implement their own cryptocurrencies, say "UScoin" or "IMFcoin"? And they make it a rule that everyone has to use that coin, and illegal to use any others? They set up their own nodes and put a lot of budget in that

Could they cut out cryptocurrencies in that way? [ANDREAS:] They going to turn a lot of people into criminals, because a lot of people will then ignore that rule and break that rule

You have to worry if your government is setting up a system where they're not willing to compete on an equal basis, on merits, but instead have to pass a law that forces you to use that system and makes it illegal to use the competing system of open-market economics, what the hell kind of government did you just elect?! At that point, you're beginning to wonder: what kind of government

is this? Let's go through the words: Democracy? Eh, no Republic democracy? No Constitutional democracy? Police state? Fascism? Totalitarianism! That's the kind Okay

That sounds like totalitarianism I never signed up for that Great If your government starts doing crazy things The question is: can governments do crazy things that violate the rights of billions of people? Sure they can! They do it every day We have to resist and make choices, not only about which governments we elect, but also sometimes make choices about using other systems People in Venezuela are making that choice today, by breaking the law Because the choice is between feeding their family and not feeding their family! At that point, whether you've broken the law is a small issue, right? Again, I don't expect to see that The reason I don't expect to see that is because most governments in the world, when they see the idea of people being able to use a free, electronic commerce system that is efficient, creates growth, opportunities, and jobs An innovation that gives access to the world of commerce across borders – What's not to like? That's something you should encourage If your government does not encourage that, and does not believe in those ideals (that people should be free to associate, free to express, free to make choices), then your government is not free Which is a much bigger problem than Bitcoin, at that point I would be less worried about their

power over cryptocurrencies than by the fact that they have all the guns