[As heard on WGAN on 2021-06-16-wgan]

Did you notice on your IRS tax forum this year? The very first question. Yes. The government is starting to crack down on cryptocurrency transactions. We just found out about what the FBI did. There’s a whole lot there. And then also this morning, Tesla versus Volkswagen, completely different ideas and methodologies for your next autonomous and even electric car. How might things turn out for us? So here we go.

[00:00:35] Aaron Chadborn: [00:00:35] This is Aaron Chadbourne in for Matt on the WGAN morning news, and we are excited to be joined now as we are every week by Craig Peterson. Craig. Good morning.

[00:00:45] Craig Peterson: [00:00:45] Hey, good morning.

[00:00:45] Aaron Chadborn: [00:00:45] Sure. So with Biden meeting with Putin, obviously we’ve been dealing with the Russian hackers.

[00:00:51]One thing that I’ve always understood about cryptocurrency and why it’s become so popular is because these payments are untraceable. And we’ve seen that these ransomware attacks they’ve asked for payment in Bitcoin, but now they’re turning up and investigations with the announcement by the FBI that they’ve reclaimed the cryptocurrency that was paid.

[00:01:10] What’s going on, Craig.

[00:01:11] Craig Peterson: [00:01:11] Yeah, this is a very interesting problem because initially Bitcoin value came because of a bunch of illegal maneuvers. These guys were trading Bitcoin back and forth to each other and would pay a little bit more every time. They were pulling money from the same pot, manipulating the value of bitcoin to try and get it to be worth something right? When you’re paying thousands of Bitcoin for a pizza, it tells you something. So next up, what we had is the next major momentum for Bitcoin was ransomware. In fact, if you look at the value of Bitcoin and compare it to the amount of ransomware that’s out there and how much people are paying in ransom, they go hand in hand because of what you just said, Aaron.

[00:02:02] People look at it and think, oh wow, it’s “crypto” currency, it cannot be traced. Now I’ve sat in briefings with the secret service, where they went through exactly how they trace Bitcoin. And this time with the whole colonial pipeline hack, the FBI has actually come out and told us how they have tracked it.

[00:02:25] Bitcoin is moderately anonymous. It’s like cash, frankly. It can be traced. It was traced. The Bitcoin from the colonial pipeline hack was found in California of all places. And the, these guys are not safe. So as soon as the FBI announced that they had gotten back more than half of what colonial pipeline had paid, the value of Bitcoin dropped, but then Bitcoin went back up again. Why?

[00:02:56] While the meat packing company that we’ve all heard about getting hacked and maybe losing our meat, we had a little bit of a rush. They paid $11 million Bitcoin, and we have businesses now who are putting in their public filings with the securities and exchange commissions indications.

[00:03:15] In fact, the absolute declaration. They have been buying Bitcoin in case they get hacked. There’s a counter for, oh my gosh. Who got hack. Okay. We’ve already got the Bitcoin. All of this drives up the price and it is not secure in that you don’t really know. Who has it forget about it? They can track it depending right there.

[00:03:39] There’s some dependencies here

[00:03:41] Aaron Chadborn: [00:03:41] I wondered, though weather. There was this drop, obviously because it, the mystique and the idea that it couldn’t be traced, but part of the hesitancy. Of, reputable finance authorities to, to acknowledge Bitcoin and say that they’re going to accept cryptocurrencies was this idea that it could be used for these purposes, but this idea that it is traceable, maybe it speeds up the broader scale adoption of cryptocurrency.

[00:04:00]Craig Peterson: [00:04:00] It might absolutely. It has no inherent value. It’s just the value people place on it, but you know what. I just described our U S currency. You can turn it in for silver anymore. You certainly can’t do it. And for gold anymore, the value in it is what we place in it. And the whole idea behind cryptocurrency and the way the blockchain works behind it is to build trust in it.

[00:04:24] We trust it. We know about it. Governments are taxing it. In fact, this year, first question on your IRS. Forum was about Bitcoin, frankly. And have you had any of these transactions? The government is now going after all of these trading institutions that are dealing in it. And now these institutions are providing the IRS with information about any transactions, more than $10,000, in cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin, but any of them. So they are cracking down. China sees this as a huge opportunity and has been pushing their own cryptocurrency and they’ve been pushing it very hard. To become the international standard in trade of oil instead of the us dollar. So we’re going to get something you saw on Facebook.

[00:05:13] They were going to do their own thing with a cryptocurrency that kind of fell by the wayside. Other companies have as well, but it is something that desktops and governments worldwide really want to do because it makes everything entirely traceable allows them to print money. Like that just by adding a little bit more into their crypto pipeline,

[00:05:35] Aaron Chadborn: [00:05:35] you’re listening to the WGA and morning news.

[00:05:38] This is Aaron infer, Matt chatting with Craig Peterson, who you can catch every Saturday from one to three right here on WGAN Craig, another topic I know you wanted to dive into, has to do with. Automakers trying to figure out these advanced features for autonomous driving, how they can capitalize office and whether they can charge kind of software as a service type payments.

[00:05:57] What are you seeing with this announcement from Volkswagen?

[00:06:00] Craig Peterson: [00:06:00] Yeah, this is an interesting one because many people know about Tesla. There are other electric cars out there and there are regular. Cars, let go. A Cadillac did a few years ago with their high-end cars driving down the freeway.

[00:06:14] Basically it was a cruise control using radar to keep the proper distance Virginia and the cars in front of you. There was a lot of them out there and Tesla charges you for the autonomous driving. They said that from the beginning an extra fee. Do you want that feed? Do you want to pay for the Tesla?

[00:06:34] And that’s what Volkswagen has been trying to figure out. And they just had a board meeting and the board they were discussing. Do we want to have a $50,000 of. Bill or check out underneath the hood of the car, if you will for features people don’t want. And so they’re saying instead of having this this new plaid version of the Tesla model S which is totally cool, by the way, at 120 grand, what should we do?

[00:07:01] Because we’re the people’s car. Volkswagen’s looking at putting all of the features into their new cars, all these auto driving features and the fancy cruise controls and things, and then having a golden key. They’re all there, but you can’t use them until you pay for them, but they’re taking an even different tact than Tesla is using.

[00:07:22] They’re saying. How about if we charge by the hour for the fees, if you’re driving your car around town, you’re not going to be using the autonomous mode. It just doesn’t work yet. Some estimates are it’s going to be 20 years before it’s entirely reliable around town, but when you’re on the highway, Would you pay $8 and 50 cents per hour to have the car drive you somewhere?

[00:07:48] It’s like an

[00:07:48] Aaron Chadborn: [00:07:48] Uber driver, right? Do you value your automatic driver at the same way? You would an Uber driver?

[00:07:53] Craig Peterson: [00:07:53] Exactly. You’re right on

[00:07:55] Aaron Chadborn: [00:07:55] Aaron Craig. If our listeners want to hear more, they can catch you every Saturday. One to three right here on WGAN for a tech talk. This is Aaron Chad. We’re on for Matt on the WGAN morning news.

Listen to this episode