The Matt Brown Show recently hosted a live event in Johannesburg, focused on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Panel guests included Centbee founder and Bankymoon CEO Lorien Gamaroff, YouTube “investor” Adam Meister, and derivatives trader Tone Vays.
The panel debated the merits of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as digital cash, with Meister and Vays backing the core Bitcoin protocol and Gamaroff backing Bitcoin Cash.
Gamaroff argued that people would choose whichever cryptocurrency was cheap, easy, and convenient, and that Bitcoin Cash was currently more viable than Bitcoin as a payment method.
Meister and Vays punted Bitcoin’s increased potential for decentralisation, saying it delivers higher censorship resistance and freedom for users.
Cryptocurrency in South Africa
“The market will decide which cryptocurrency is used for payment,” said Gamaroff.
“80% of Africans are unbanked and would love to have a digital payment method.”
Meister said that Americans and First World residents do not immediately need a decentralised currency, but the Third World does.
“We don’t need it in the First World, the government isn’t taking our valuables,” said Meister.
“I hear governments are taking people’s land and stuff – they can’t take your Bitcoin.”
Gamaroff said maximum decentralisation is not required for censorship resistance, however, and sufficient decentralisation was needed.
He said Bitcoin Cash would be sufficiently decentralised, with merchants and businesses running nodes to verify customer transactions.
Vays disagreed with this evaluation of Bitcoin Cash’s potential as a payment method, though.
“Bitcoin Cash is nowhere near as decentralised as Bitcoin. I’m surprised it has even lasted this long,” he said.
The question of cryptocurrency regulation was also raised during the discussion, with Gamaroff arguing that regulation is necessary for accessibility.
“We need regulation to use cryptocurrencies in our day-to-day lives. Hoping for a lack of regulation is wishful thinking,” said Gamaroff.
The panelists said this need has arisen, in part, due to the dangerous environment surrounding initial coin offerings and related scams.
“I am happy for the hammer to come down on ICOs,” said Vays.
He added that although payments and personal money should not be regulated, the platforms which attempt to solicit currency from the public, such as ICOs and investment schemes, should be subject to constraints.