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We are Bitcoin - Peter Opara

How do table football and bitcoin complement each other? The answer was shared with me by Peter Opara, bitcoiner and co-owner of Orcabay, with whom we talked about the collapsing pension system, over-regulation in Europe, what can stop bitcoin, micro-payments and his personal bitcoin story.


Do you call yourself a Bitcoiner and what does that term mean to you?

Peter: Yes, I consider myself a Bitcoiner. For me, it means that I have the option to opt out of the current monetary system and that I have the option to send money to anyone without restrictions. At the moment I only use the first one, but it is the option that is important!


Who or what brought you into the world of Bitcoin and when did you first get involved?

Peter: I was introduced to Bitcoin by colleagues at my first job. At the time, I was trading in the forex market and I only saw bitcoin as a trader. I missed the 2013 cycle because I didn't understand the broader meaning of bitcoin. Since then, I have been technically educating myself about bitcoin, and I started to learn about the monetary theory around bitcoin in 2018.


You're a physicist by profession. Did that make learning how Bitcoin works (technically) easier, faster?

Peter: Yes and no. As a physicist, I always doubt all things, even good things. That's certainly kept me away from bitcoin for a while. When that important click in my head happened, I guess my education really helped.


Michael Saylor says that money is the highest form of energy that humans can channel. How do you feel about that?

Peter: I see bitcoin as more static. For me, bitcoin is the best battery. Energy that you can convert into electricity, you can convert into bitcoin. Later, when you need energy, you can sell the bitcoin and get energy in return. The fact that bitcoin can be 'channelled' through space and time is superb. But that is what I expect from perfect money. The fact that we can store energy in it in such a direct way is revolutionary. It will completely change the way society thinks about energy production, and we know that living standards are proportional to energy consumption (and therefore production).


Is Bitcoin the soundest money? Why?

Peter: I measure the soundness of money by the ratio of the existing stock to the newly created stock. I don't know if there is money with a higher ratio. I'll think about that when someone presents me with a better alternative, but I won't look for it myself (the same reason why I was sceptical about bitcoin to begin with).


You are one of the "culprits" for the availability of the Slovenian translation of Bitcoin Standard. You have recently released a reprint. How challenging was it to translate content that lacks Slovenian terminology? Where can people buy the book?

Peter: Ugh, that was a very challenging project. First of all, thank you to the translator, Blaž Hafner, for his dedication and desire to produce a good final product. Thanks also to Luka Medic, who invested a lot of his time in improving the translation. Aljaž Čeru has done a solid job of keeping us on track by attending the weekly co-ordination meeting. The lack of Slovenian terminology certainly makes the translation difficult. It would be good to standardise the terms in the community. The most difficult thing, of course, is to organise the community to come to a common table and get down to business. Once that happens, we will quickly standardise terms. The book can be purchased at https://www.bitcoin-knjiznica.si/.


People allways ask where they can pay with bitcoin. I am glad to see that there are more and more such places. But I have heard that one place is particularly relevant for football fans. Table football. Can you please tell us more about that?

Peter: Hehe, unfortunately this place is no longer available. The football table is unfortunately sitting in the garage, because I haven't found a suitable place for it yet. The project was done as a proof of concept in 2019. At the time, I wanted to learn how to program microcontrollers. Mechanically, it is very easy to open the ball flap of a table football. You need a simple linear electric motor and a controller. The controller needs to have access to the internet so that it can check the validity of the deposit on the Lightning node and then put the electric motor in a state where the ball hatch is open. Unfortunately, at that time there was no LNURL (functionality that simplifies the implementation of payments), so the communication was a bit more complex than it would be now. The project demonstrates how easy it is to automate payment not only for things in the digital world, but also in the mechanical world. A very similar example would be Lightning payments on vending machines for coffee, sandwiches, snacks, etc.



Where do you see opportunities to simplify and automate the purchase process and make bitcoin a means of payment?

Peter: Everywhere. I'm very happy with using payment cards at the moment. I use them every day and the best thing is the speed of use. Until bitcoin is faster and easier to use, I see no reason to switch. If I think about censorship or transaction size limits, I am not worried about that as a shopper at the moment. I myself am ready to switch to the bitcoin standard at any time. So if I myself might one day have a problem with censorship or other restrictions, I would try using bitcoin. I see a great opportunity for bitcoin to be used in micro-payments at the moment. What I would most like to see is for newspapers and media houses to be able to charge for just one article for their print editions.


Slovenia's pension system is on the verge of collapse. The number of working-age people is falling and the number of pensioners is rising. In 20 years' time, will we have a pension, and will we be able to buy anything with the pension money?

Peter: According to Slovenian social democratic logic, a pension is supposed to be a solidarity contribution of the working population. This logic will (has) hit the wall. There will be no money because inflation means that wages do not rise as fast as costs. The difference in growth is directly visible in the level of pensions. If we persist with the current system, we will one day arrive at a paradoxical situation where a pensioner "earns" more in real terms than the active population. When the active population realises this, the system will collapse. The irony will be that, when the system collapses, the most vocal will be the disadvantaged pensioners who have financed the current system, but will also be the most responsible, because they had the power to change the system in time but did not do so.


What steps do you think the state should take to try and save what can still be saved?

Peter: Moving from a solidarity contribution to a savings scheme that can be managed to some extent by the final beneficiary. This would also shift responsibility from the state to the citizens, which I think is a good thing.


Money printing will only intensify under the guise of climate hysteria and the 2030 Agenda. Will the euro survive the next 10 years?

Peter: I don't know. The Lindy Effect talks about how long a thing will exist, given how long it has existed. The answer is that on average it will exist for as long as it has existed. So I would say 10 years it will exist, 25 years it won't 😀 .


You are a co-owner of Orcabay Ltd and in some way connected to bitcoin there. What do you do?

Peter: We are professional traders in the crypto markets, and our trading is automated by computer programs. We focus on trading strategies that provide liquidity and settle prices between different exchanges. We trade for our own fund and also offer computer programmes for providing liquidity as a service. Of course, we also trade other cryptocurrencies, but most of our turnover actually comes from moving bitcoin to exchanges where small investors buy bitcoin. There, we sell bitcoin at a slightly higher price than we buy it on the so-called wholesale market. When necessary, we make transfers of all funds between accounts so that liquidity is always available to the small investor.


How would you try to open the eyes of Slovenians and make them aware of the collapse of the monetary system and the alternatives? It is proven that facts and warnings do not work.

Peter: Hmmm, if I could use politics, I would make the payment of some (crisis) bonus (Slovenian tourist vouchers...) in bitcoin. Some proportion of people would probably change it into fiat and spend the euros, some would keep the bitcoin for a while and thus see the benefits of the system for themselves.


Europe seems to be winning in (over)regulating everything. How do you view this kind of market intervention?

Peter:🤦I am in favour of a lean state with clear rules and an efficient justice system. Since we have failed to do either, we are under the illusion that we can regulate the market with complex rules. By trying to hunt down the 5% of crooks, we will make it impossible for the productive and honest 95% to work. When I thought about this a few years ago, I was just beginning to understand conservative politics. These are not people who oppose abortion or gay marriage, but people who want everyone to decide for themselves what their own destiny is (without instructions from the state). Meanwhile, political progressivism is seen as a technologically advanced political movement, but it has no connection with technology. Everyone is in favour of technological progress, progressives and conservatives alike, progressives just want to come up with a new political system/regulation every month.


Bitcoin's success is not guaranteed. What do you think can stop it?

Peter: I fear an attack by a wealthy entity that would deliberately buy a large stock of bitcoin and then sell it in concentrated quantities, which would affect the market in the short term and make it impossible to use on a daily basis because of the high volatility. Such a strategy could be profitable for the attacker if the price of bitcoin keeps going up in the long term.


Why bitcoin?

Peter: Because it provides the most fair playing field for all participants.


You have one orange pill. Who in Slovenia would you give it to?

Peter: Žigi Turku.Where can people find you?Peter: @oparex at X




 

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