Reporting from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala…
I first met Pavol Luptak last year in Acapulco. He’s one of the most interesting and established figures in the cryptosphere.
I interviewed him recently, as mentioned yesterday, as part of a book I’m working on. It’s all about the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
During the interview, Pavol and I talked about government crackdown on privacy, Orwellian cashless societies, mainstream black markets, assassination markets, crowdfunded whistleblowing, anti-government insurance… and much more.
I’ll share with you some of this conversation in a moment. First, here’s a little bit about Pavol…
The rise of a new paradigm: Free and voluntary companies
He runs Nethemba, a Slovak IT security consulting company based in Czech and Slovak Republic. When he started Nethemba, he set out to destroy the traditional hierarchical consulting company model and create a new paradigm — a free and voluntary consulting company.
“I’ve been interested in hacking since I was a teen,” he told me during our interview. “When I got out of school, I spent many years in IT security corporations. Then, almost ten years ago I decided to liberate myself and created my ethical hacking company Nethemba (www.nethemba.com) focusing on web and mobile application security, and, of course, digital privacy.
“My idea,” Luptak went on, “was to hire the best security experts, maximize their motivation to do their job as best as possible and provide the highest quality results for our customers.
“I thought of the best way on how to achieve this goal with a limited budget. I found out the idea of ‘truly voluntary and free company’ where all interactions between our employees and the company, and the company and our customers should be entirely voluntary.”
(His presentation at this link describes how his 100% voluntary company works.)
The problem with traditional consulting companies, says Luptak, is the hierarchical structure where a boss delegates tasks to its employees — and the employees must take the project, whether they like it or not.
For the best minds in the business, this structure is a waste of all of that beautiful brainpower.
Lack of autonomy, he said, is “highly demotivating for skilled and intelligent people. Either they are willing to stay in the company by asking for salaries that are too high, or they often just quit.”
High-caliber performers respond to FREEDOM and PRINCIPLES
What does work for high caliber performers, say Luptak, is freedom and strong principles.
“Nethemba,” he says, “is based on six pillars — decentralization, internal competition, voluntaryism, consistency, fairness and strong ethical rules.”
Nethemba has also embraced the “swarm” mentality, where they leverage the wisdom of the crowds to be able to provide affordable security services to small companies.
“More than a year ago,” said Luptak, “my friends and I realized smaller customers cannot afford to pay thousands of euros for expensive penetration tests and security audits. Watching the worldwide success of bug bounty programs especially in Bitcoin community, we decided to create ‘bug bounty’ program as a service for an affordable price (everyone can pay as much as he wishes) and started the Hacktrophy company in Central Europe (more information here) focusing on all kinds of customers.
“Consider Hacktrophy as an Uber for hackers — a peer to peer network for hackers and clients.”
Moreover, with his colleagues, he’s created two hackerspaces — one in Slovakia called Progressbar and another in Prague called Parallel Polis, of which I had the pleasure of checking out last year during my time in Europe.
“I am especially euphoric about Parallel Polis,” he said, “it has been a huge international success. It’s a global freedom think tank promoting ideas of crypto-anarchy and digital freedom.
“It is probably the only space in the Czech Republic where hundreds of people attend crypto-anarchistic (the international Hackers Congress Paralelni Polis) or anarcho-capitalist events regularly. This year’s HCPP2017 with the title Liberate! will be focused on financial freedom and how to achieve it using truly anonymous cryptocurrencies.”
(I plan to attend, as I’ll be in Prague for a separate conference the weekend prior. If you’re in the vicinity and have an interest in cryptocurrencies, come out. More information here.)
Without further ado, here’s part one of our interview…
CHRIS CAMPBELL: Some of your predictions have included a total crackdown on personal privacy. Such as…
* A cashless society with likely negative interest rates
* Prohibition of anonymous transactions
* Mandatory backdoors into all commercial tech
* Criminalization of crypto-users
* And more and more draconian crackdowns on privacy…
Despite all of this, you seem fairly optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies.
What’s your take?
PAVOL LUPTAK: I don’t know if governments will ban cryptocurrencies (especially the truly anonymous ones) in the future or not.
For truly anonymous cryptocurrencies (anonymous digital cash) which depend on a black market demand, this is irrelevant. People who prefer anonymity will just start to use them as soon as we transfer to Orwellian cashless society with no fiat cash.
The thing I especially like about cryptocurrencies is that their future does not depend on the opinions of democratic masses or politicians. The potential for intervention is highly limited.
CC: One of your slogans for Nethemba is “The future is bright. The future is decentralized.” How does a decentralized society manifest itself in the physical world while governments are still fighting tooth-and-nail to remain in power?
What does this transition look like?
PL: The government has full control over the physical world. I doubt this will be changed soon. But thanks to decentralization and anonymity they will lose control over the virtual world.
Most ordinary people will switch to this system not because they love freedom or privacy, but because everything there will be significantly cheaper.
No taxes, no expenses related to government regulations — prices in the cryptoanarchy world may be 30-50% lower than in the case of the government-regulated e-shops.
We’ll gain a huge portion of freedom in the virtual world. And it’s quite likely we lose our liberties in the physical world at the same time.
Governments will lose their ability to tax businesses in the global virtual world. They’ll need to cover this loss. I think that property taxes will be significantly increased in the future.
And of course, there will be sacrificed victims, exemplary executions of people involved in the cryptoanarchy (Ross Ulbricht case is unfortunately just beginning).
CC: As a result of this transition, you believe some really interesting things will take place. For example, you’ve made predictions about crowdfunded whistleblowing which will incentivize government leaks, anonymous prediction markets, anti-government insurance and even assassination markets.
Can you talk a little bit about the implications of these innovations?
Also, what are some pros and cons of these things for the average person?
PL: I am not a big fan of assassination markets. But it’s an unstoppable technological evolution (especially anonymity + anonymous cryptocurrencies) that makes this possible…
END OF PART 1
TO BE CONTINUED…
[Ed. note: Tomorrow, we’ll finish the conversation with Luptak. He’ll be talking about the implications of assassination markets and why they’re almost inevitable. He’ll speak about crowdfunded whistleblowing, and how that’ll change the face of political corruption. He’ll speak on the possibility of anti-government insurance companies and how they’ll incentivize deregulation. And, finally, he’ll speak on what you can do to take advantage of this burgeoning landscape. Stay tuned. You’re not going to want to miss it.]
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.
The post Orwell 2.0: Cashless Societies, Crowdfunded Whistleblowers & Assassination Markets [PART 1] appeared first on Laissez Faire.