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The Nature of Scarcity: Robert Breedlove on Bitcoin and Time

Mar 19, 2024

The Nature of Scarcity: Robert Breedlove on Bitcoin and Time

The Nature of Scarcity: Robert Breedlove on Bitcoin and Time

Key Takeaways

Bitcoin, the underpinning of many discussions on scarcity and value, is often misunderstood. In the 6th episode of "Scarce Assets," hosts Andy Edstrom and Jesse Myers invite Robert Breedlove to explore the depths of bitcoin's scarcity, its role as a representation of human time, and its potential impact on the future of economics, society, and individual well-being.

Robert Breedlove, a prominent voice in the Bitcoin community, shares his journey from reading about Eastern philosophy to delving into Western philosophy, particularly the works of DC Schindler and Plato, to understand the philosophical underpinnings of money. He emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of bitcoin and its ability to cut deeply into our understanding of the universe and human nature.

Breedlove discusses the misconceptions about scarcity, clarifying that scarcity is not just about supply but the relationship between supply and demand. He asserts that money, as a tool for trading human time, must reflect the scarcity of time to facilitate fair exchange. Bitcoin's fixed supply mirrors this scarcity, making it a perfect emblem for representing human time – the true scarce resource.

The conversation also touches on the impact of incentives on human behavior and how bitcoin's design might lead to more ethical behavior, a reduced time preference, and a more peaceful world. Breedlove argues that bitcoin's scarcity and supply integrity make it a non-corruptible form of money, contrasting it with fiat currencies that can be expanded and lead to the "economic bloodletting" of society.

Best Quotes

  1. "Money is the language of human action, and this is the title of Mises' famous book, obviously, and human action is basically everything." - Robert Breedlove
  2. "If money is this tool we use to acquire goods and services, and goods and services are scarce... we need something that represents the scarcity of human time." - Robert Breedlove
  3. "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Robert Breedlove, quoting Bob Marley
  4. "Bitcoin, private property bitcoin is like an advancement of [the idea of property rights], but it's a tool plus an idea that moves us forward on that ethical continuum." - Robert Breedlove


The episode encapsulates the nuanced and profound perspectives of Robert Breedlove on bitcoin and its intrinsic nature. Bitcoin is not merely a technological innovation; it is a philosophical and economic revolution that redefines the concept of scarcity and value. It challenges the status quo of fiat currencies and presents an opportunity for a more ethical and rational economic system that aligns with the finite nature of human time. The discussion is a testament to the evolving understanding of bitcoin and its potential to reshape our world by embodying the true essence of scarcity and the representation of our most valuable asset – time. As bitcoin continues to infiltrate global consciousness, it beckons a paradigm shift where individuals and societies can reconcile their practices with the immutable laws of economics rooted in scarcity.


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