How Bitcoin went Mainstream

HashTalk with Sankalp Issue #5

Sankalp Shangari

“Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!” - Bane (Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy)

This quote thoroughly sums up the early days of bitcoin. Born in the dark, Bitcoin grew silently to be a multi billion dollar project. With banks first opposing it and then later adopting the same darkness(i.e. decentralization) into their systems which is just like a cloak of lies hiding the disadvantages of their light(i.e. centralization).

Every type of monetary system which predated bitcoin had a value due to reasons for its use other than money. There’s cattles in Africa, postage stamps and ramen in prisons, and even the fiat currencies were backed by something valuable such as gold.

For instance, Bitcoin just started out as a virtual currency for geeks with no prior value and no one was forced to use it. But, even then it became a medium of exchange with a multi-billion dollar market cap.

Today people might know it as a payment method to pay for products and services. What they don’t know is that Bitcoin started out as a promise. A promise for a more transparent and non-authoritical financial system. Where people had complete control whether they wanted to use Bitcoin or not. No one was forcing them to use it. And when used, it provided the added benefit of being a transparent currency, which is not the case with fiat.

Recovering from the broken structures of multi-billion banks which collapsed due to the recession of late 2000s and early 2010s. Bitcoin came about as an alternative which accepted its flaws and improved upon the broken promises of fiat currencies. I have always held this believe that ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ might very well be a victim of the light of the centralized systems which made him to accept the darkness of decentralization and create Bitcoin.

But, apart from the fact that Satoshi created it. There were people who believed in it and spread the fire. People who were sick of not being an owner of their own money. People who didn’t know if the paper money they are holding might become toilet paper one day. People who were working their a** off but even then had no surety if the authoritative bodies printing them money(i.e. centralized coupons) might make it invalid. Basically, people who were staring into the abyss of financial insecurity. These were the ones who believed and spread the fire.

More than knowing who Satoshi is, I am more interesting in knowing what was the reason that made a person sell two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. What was his believe? Did he know that bitcoin will rise too high, was he a time traveller, PUN INTENDED.

We may never know, but, the main reason bitcoin went mainstream is because More Than Money, Bitcoin is a medium of power. Which liberated prisoners of centralized financial systems.

MY Week Summed Up

This week I interviewed Nischal Shetty. Based out of India, he is the Founder of WazirX, an online platform that allows users to buy bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in India. From developing the Crowdfire platform during a one night coding session to being the founder of WazirX, Nischal has learned a lot.

In this conversation, Nischal & I discuss:

  • His Backstory, how he started Crowdfire after an all night coding session

  • His learnings after major social media companies closed their plugins impacting his business

  • What he thinks about the crypto regulation space in India

  • His learnings after meeting finance and government officials in India and discussing about the potential of cryptocurrencies.

And much more…


I also discuss the long-term effects of the week’s before Fed Repo on the global economy, savings, crypto market etc.


P.S. HashTalk with Sankalp is now available on all the major podcast channels including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, PocketCasts and many more.

Selected Headlines: So that you don’t have to

  • Binance announced the launch of its official staking platform on Thursday. The announcement comes after Binance introduced support for Tezos and Binance CEO CZ hinted at staking for the new asset.

  • The central bank of Venezuela is running internal tests to determine whether it can add cryptocurrencies, specifically bitcoin and ether, to its international reserves, according to a report by Bloomberg. The test came at the request of Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), the state-owned oil and natural gas company. PDVSA is looking to have the Venezuelan central bank pay the company's suppliers on its behalf using the bitcoin and ether it has obtained.

  • Prime Trust, the digital asset custody and escrow platform, announced it will now serve 'Binance America' as a customer. Binance America is the US-based partner of Binance, the world's largest cryptoasset trading platform. Prime Trust is an STA Gold Corporate Member

  • The SEC is adopting a new rule that extends the “test-the-waters” accommodation. Under the new rule, all issuers will be allowed to gauge market interest in either a possible (1) initial public offering; or (2) other registered securities offering -- through discussions with certain institutional investors prior to (or following) the filing of a registration statement.

  • The NYT reports that the NBA has told Brooklyn Nets Guard Spencer Dinwiddie that he will not be permitted to tokenize his contract, citing the C.B.A.'s anti-assignment/transfer language.

Thought Starters

That’s the whole promise of fixed supply

India When?

Try fractionalizing a dollar note, and see its value disappear. MAGIC!

Rephrase: Opt Out. Buy Bitcoin. HODL.


LOL, Bitcoin can also stop the drug epidemic, what more do you want….

Curated Articles of Past Week: Best of the Best

  • Interoperability and composability within Ethereum - Linda Xie

  • Cryptocurrency isn’t the primary threat to sanctions enforcement - Jerry Brito

  • Privacy Is a Feature Not a Product - Ryan Gentry

  • Why building a new protocol for money is the only way to truly change the game for people - David Marcus

  • The Real Story Of The Repo Market Meltdown, And What It Means For Bitcoin - Caitlin Long

Top Listen: Best of the Best Podcast

113. Why do regulators hate libra? - Blockchain Insider by 11:FS

Click Here to Listen

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Disclaimer: None of the content in this newsletter is meant to be financial advice. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article.