September Newsletter


If you haven't already subscribed to the Australian Bitcoin Podcast on your favourite podcasting app, here are the episodes that were released in September:

k3tan on Bitcoin Nodes (and the Node Box guide) and balancing privacy, security, and convenience.

Tutanota discusses email privacy and other Tutanota encrypted services (calendar, storage, etc) with Hanna from Tutanota.

iVPN on what VPNs do and don't protect you from, and how bitcoin'ers can improve their privacy with Victor from iVPN.

Global Conferences

With international travel becoming the norm again, two major Bitcoin-only conferences were held during late August and September.

BitBlockBoom took place in Austin, Texas. Check out this summary of the event, and some of the talks here.

Then in September, Baltic Honey Badger (BHB) was held in Riga, Latvia. Bitcoin Magazine covered the event, check out their article, or go straight to BHB's website where you can watch all of the presentations.

International Bitcoin Payments?

How far away are we from seeing countries settle their trade balances with Bitcoin? In the current geopolitical environment, Bitcoin stands out as the obvious solution for international trade settlement. It doesn't need to be transported (gold), there's no risk of it being seized (foreign currency reserves) and transactions of even billions of dollars can be executed in an hour or so for a minimal fee.

This month we saw news that Iran and Russia may be the first countries to start using Bitcoin for international payments. Watch this space.

Is the world's oldest currency dying?

Sterling has been in continuous use since AD800, over 1,200 years. While we more commonly refer to Great Britain's currency as the Pound, the term was orginally used to describe the unit of Sterling. A Pound Sterling in AD800 was equivalent to 11.25 Troy Ounces of silver. Today, that much silver is worth GBP193 (or AUD325). Over the centuries, the amount of silver, and then gold, backing the Pound declined to zero.

This month saw events that were both hard to imagine, but also predictable for anyone who has studied money: the price of the Pound collapsed, falling from US$1.23 in August to a low of $1.04 on September 26. The move on the 26th was so violent that trading of GBP futures were suspended. To make matters worse, pension funds, who had leveraged government bond positions, were having to sell bonds to meet margin calls (yes, pensions funds, and no, this is not DeFI). The Bank of England's solution is to buy up to 5 Billion Pounds of Gilts (UK government bonds) per day.

Russia's main stock exchange, Moscow Exchange, announced that they will stop trading in British Pounds on October 3rd, citing "potential risks and difficulties in settling in the British pound."

That's right, risks in settling the British pound. Which currency will be next?