Julian Assange Tells Google’s Eric Schmidt to Embrace Bitcoin

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by Konstantin Lazarev · 3 min read
Julian Assange Tells Google’s Eric Schmidt to Embrace Bitcoin
Photo: winkletweb/Flickr

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, discussed bitcoin with former Google chairman and then-CEO Eric Schmidt in 2011.

Julian Assange, the leader of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, mentioned in a recent reddit Ask Me Anything discussion that he was pethe one who raised awareness about the cryptocurrency to tech giant Google in the year 2011.

Mr. Assange reported, Google would “own the planet by now”.

In fact Julian Assange had previously talked about bitcoin to Eric Schmidt Google executive chairman and then-CEO.

The discussion was later described by Mr. Schmidt in the book “The New Digital World” co-written with Jared Cohen, a former US State Department advisor to Hillary Clinton.

The transcript of the interview is available on Wikileaks and it reveals Assange’s attraction toward bitcoin. At the time, he tried to convince Eric Schmidt:

“You should be an early adopter. Because your bitcoins are going to be worth a lot of money one day.”

During a five-hour conversation between Assange and Schmidt, a wide range of topics were covered such as topics regarding technology, privacy and data encryption.

Assange saw the emergence of digital currency around the world and he frequently referred to the cryptographic potential in the Bitcoin protocol and its structural framework.

“Bitcoin is something that evolved out of the cyberpunks a couple of years ago, and it is an alternative… it is a stateless currency.”

Moreover, Assange also proposed that bitcoin would see a major price fluctuation in the future, however at that time he didn’t say that the price of bitcoin would rise to such number as $1,300 in the winter of 2013.

Furthermore, he also discussed a few aspects regarding bitcoin mining and the nature of mining difficulty in the Bitcoin protocol.

The WikiLeaks founder commented:

“To enforce scarcity, and scarcity will go up as time goes by, and what does that mean for incentives in going into the bitcoin system. That means that you should get into the bitcoin system now, early.”

In addition, Julian discussed the development of a decentralized domain name system. He also specified a number of problems in the system, but also said that the ways can be found to solve them.

He said:

“So this bitcoin replacement for DNS is precisely what I wanted and what I was theorizing about, which is not a DNS system, but rather short names […] short bit of text to long bit of text tuple registering service. Cause that is the abstraction of domain names and all these problems solved. Yes, you have some something that you want to register that is short, and you want to couple that to something that is unmemorable and longer.”

Earlier this year, there were suggestions that Google was thinking about the integration of bitcoin. However, Google later distanced itself from comments on that topic.

Cohen was supporting digital currencies during his speech at this year’s SXSW festival. He mentioned that cryptocurrencies are “inevitable”, but the situation is still unclear.

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