– Just explain to me what
the concept of blockchain is and what cryptocurrency is, and how you don’t see of it, the way that most
financiers, most economists, most governments see it. You see it as a way to – almost, it’s a spiritual
connection for you. What is blockchain, and
how do you take it out of the realm of finance? Blockchain technology is basically a decentralized ledger that
can do many different things. It can store transactions,
it can store information. And it’s based on public,
private key cryptography. So in the original design of the system, everything on the system is public. Every interaction that happens is public. And everyone has the ability to, with some wherewithal and know-how, be anonymous or at least pseudo-anonymous if they so choose to be. And so there are major implications
of blockchain technology for things like ubiquitous
access to individual rights in areas where people are living under extraordinary oppression, for the sole ability that
people can be able to gain the ability to register their
contracts, their legal rights, jurisdictional services that
were traditionally provided by a nation-state on a piece of technology that is beyond the bounds of borders. Very similar to this is the
idea of cryptocurrencies that are created on top of this, that you don’t need the middlemen any more to engage in a transaction. That you’re more working
through communities of people. You’re more working through
an immediate network. – What are the promises and the pitfalls of the concept of decentralization? – The reflections of this promise are already here in some ways. Instead of having the
majority of youth culture that’s engaged in different
kinds of activities aligning with a political movement that is bent on creating destruction or acts of violence
against other individuals, most people are aligning
themselves with online groups. And in that way it’s not to say there is a reduction in violence, because emotional violence
is still a form of violence. And really the internet
is just an outrage machine that is allowing people to recycle through their own traumas
in a series of likes that say, “I’m not good enough,” or retweets that allow people to express that they too have been traumatized or felt defeated in this way. But most of these groups, even the “Pepe the frog” movement, it is a group of people that
are extremely traumatized, that are all aligning with themselves and responding to the internet. They’re not responding to politics. And so I think we’re
seeing the first phases of this decentralized wave hit. But nothing is decentralized. Decentralization is a myth. Blockchain is not decentralized. There’s an idea of
distribution that’s happening in a way that is far greater
than it has been before. And distribution is happening
through the digital medium, and it’s happening through
the physical medium. And people who are mining with different digital rights groups are not necessarily distributing digital – extremism are not necessarily
aligning themselves with political extremism. Although some of them might
be, and there’s overlap. – Can you give me an example of that? What do you mean by that? – Well it’s the same thing
with activist groups. That we have different groups of people who are all engaged in forms of activism. But how many of those people are actively engaged with each other? And we’re seeing the world fragment into these different communities, and these different subcultures that are distributing themselves but not necessarily
decentralizing themselves. So it’s the idea that we have these sub-communities of reference where people align with
moral or ethical values in different ways. And every individual has
their own experiences in life which gives them a
different set of overlap. Which means that they might be involved in hundreds of different communities but all those communities may
be unique to an individual. – Why are governments
scared of cryptocurrency or of these blockchain ledgers? What is it about it that
scares a nation-state, or what a nation-state can do? – Governments are scared in general. Governments are run by
people who are scared. Governments are scared. They are units of fear. The people who run – and I’m not saying this
in a threatening way. I’m saying this in a loving way. That I am sorry that they are scared. Their position of power is an illusion. But what that illusion
represents is their suffering. Our leaders are suffering. And if that’s not obvious to people now, in the wake of everything that’s happened recently,
I don’t know what is. – How does trust fit in to that dynamic if our leaders are constantly
afraid of losing power or losing control, and we, the environment, our ecosystems, our communities are
suffering from that fear, where does trust fit into that dynamic and how can we regain it as a community of leaders and citizens, and an ecosystem and an environment that we live in? – We have to trust ourselves, and we have to trust each other. And we have to understand –
– How do we do that? You can look at any
continent on Earth right now and there are civil unrests, there are governments that
are accused of being corrupt or being there by false means. I can understand why it’s
important to work on yourself and to heal yourself in order to engage in that civil responsibility. But how do we do it, Toni? How do we regain that
trust that has been lost over decades? It’s been
eroded over decades. – Do something kind for
at least one person a day. – How does that change this discourse, and the
way that societies are run? How does that change the G20? How does that change the Davos meeting? How does that change
election gerrymandering? How does that work? – I’m not sure that we need to change those arenas. I think those arenas
are actually responding to the change that’s
happening in the world. And they have to because
what people aren’t realizing is that their way of being, and they are realizing this, their way of being is phasing. It’s just phasing, and that’s
why people are gripping and grappling for power where they can. This is why governments are trying to gerrymander information from major companies. Because the rails in which
they have been running reality are starting to create new tracks. So I don’t necessarily
think it’s about saying – It’s like saying how do
we make a faster horse? We don’t need a faster
horse, we need a car. I think to sit here and
talk about all the ways in which we need to engage
more in these processes that are so archaic and monolithic – we don’t need another monolith. And any device that becomes monolithic immediately becomes an
obstruction of human potential. – Do you vote? – I don’t. There’s an extreme way to say this and then a polite way to say this. – I’ll take both. – I don’t engage in the current institutional political
realm in any means possible. – Wow, so you actively
try not to participate in what arguably is your civic duty? – I would say that my civic duty is that I take care of my
neighbors when they get sick. And I do little things,
like I bring in their trash. I help elderly people with gardening. I’ve worked in hospice. I don’t do the things that I do for people because I need validation. I do it because I love them. – Toni Lane Casserly, thank you so much for talking to the Doha Debates. I’m just going to shake your hand. Really appreciative of your time. – Thank you for having me!
– Truly.