What Joe Rogan and His Billions of Viewers Have Learned About Bitcoin, Crypto and Blockchain

Podcast powerhouse Joe Rogan has been dipping his toes into cryptocurrency ever more frequently since Andreas Antonopoulos made his first of four appearances to date on the show back in early 2014.

In the intervening years, a potential billion monthly listeners have frequently been exposed to informative, educational, and sometimes controversial, cryptocurrency conversations on the podcast platform. These have been conducted by blockchain evangelists (Dr. Ben Goertzel) as well as hardcore skeptics (Peter Schiff), and have explored a plethora of crypto and blockchain’s potential uses.

So, amid the cacophony of opposing thought and opinion the largest media platform in the world has exposed its viewers to, just what will the JRE viewers have taken away from the podcast’s crypto-centric episodes?

The Good

Crypto fundamentalists would have been more thrilled with Anton Antonopoulos’ appearances on the show than blockchain fanatics. Antonopoulos makes no secret of his desire to see crypto shake up the existing global financial paradigm, and Rogan’s somewhat lefty/hippy nature assured he received these ideas enthusiastically.

“All you creeps that are controlling money all throughout the world… your time is slowly closing in. Am I right?”

That’s the question with which Joe Rogan opened JRE #844 – Antonopoulos’ fourth appearance on the show. Andreas answered with a simple ‘Yep’, and went on to explain the phenomena which saw the banking industry make a (devious?) move into the blockchain world:

“ (In 2015) The media was constantly bashing Bitcoin. And then… we saw this interesting phenomena where the banks started getting interested…not in Bitcoin, but in blockchain – the technology behind Bitcoin.”

The best side of cryptocurrency – its potential to wrestle financial control from the hands of our global banking overlords – is best displayed during Antonopoulos’ appearances on the show, and are worth a listen for his wonderful analogies alone:

It’s rather amusing. I look at that a bit like the Horse-Buggy Association of America is going: ‘we like this automobile thing you’ve designed, but we have a very big investment in hay and horses, stables and veterinarians, so we’re going to use the technology behind the automobile – the pneumatic tyre – and we’re going to revolutionize horse-buggies.’”

The Bad

Perhaps the worst side of cryptocurrency to be exposed on JRE is its tendency to find itself the target of hackers and thieves. More than once Rogan and guests have brought up some of the ridiculous sums of cryptocurrency stolen in recent years, and the conversations usually end with a hopeful plea that one day ‘they’ll find out how to make it more secure’.

Of course, the vast, vast majority of crypto thefts to date have taken place on exchanges. Holding this up as an example of crypto’s lack of security is like blaming a car for getting stolen, even though you left it out in the middle of the road with the engine running – or worse – placed the keys in the hand of the thief yourself.

The Ugly

The ugly truth which investment broker and financial commentator, Peter Schiff, thought he was unveiling on JRE went something like this: Bitcoin has no value; Bitcoin is doomed; Buy more gold. On JRE #1145, Schiff said:

“Bitcoin is trying to digitally replicate the properties of gold. That’s the whole selling point – they say it’s digital gold. And it does have a lot of gold’s properties which help it succeed as money, but it doesn’t have any of gold’s physical properties that gave it so much value in the first place.”

Schiff also caused a stir back in July 2018 when he placed a $1,000 price prediction on BTC, and ridiculed its ‘fake scarcity’. Despite Schiff’s pessimism, and the furore that his appearances always cause, he has probably added some much needed healthy skepticism to the podcast over the years – even though most here would disagree with him completely.

The Future

With Andreas Antonopoulos slated to re-appear in the coming months – his first appearance in over two years – it will be interesting to get his take on the ICO madness of 2017-2018, the market’s ATH, and its subsequent drop-off since then.

Whether you’re a fan of JRE or not, the podcast might end up playing a bigger part than most in spreading crypto and blockchain awareness around the globe.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.