He called on everybody to buy Bitcoin in 2011. He predicted the collapse of MT. Gox and the fall of Bitcoin after $20,000. And he keeps giving accurate forecasts to this day.
In the world of crypto his opinion has weight although he calls himself «just a guy on the Internet». The software developer and owner of Davinci Codes hates public speaking but runs a YouTube channel to help people get richer.
This spring Davinci came to SECTA’s headquarters.
— How did you feel about the word SECTA when you were coming to the show?
— At first, I was like «Okaaay, kinda strange» because this word means a cult in Spanish, kind of a thing, but...
When you’re trading, you’re pretty much locked in a basement by yourself, not doing anything and not talking to anybody. It’s kind of a lonely life, I know. I did day trading and spent hours and hours in front of a computer like a troll. It’s almost like a cocoon, right? And that’s why they probably came up with that [idea]. That’s how I thought.
The most sensitive followers suspect him to be either a prophet or Satoshi Nakamoto. Davinci patiently denies all these suspicions. We talked about how he’d ended up like this and how all the others could get to it in anticipation of the financial system collapse.
The search has started
I wanted to understand how money works since I was a child.
My father had told me that the reason why prices were going up was because the rich people were constantly raising prices on the poor people, at stores. So that’s why prices were going up, and it was just not fair. And I thought to myself, «Dad, that doesn’t make any sense! Because there will be somebody else to keep the price lower».
I couldn’t just tell it to my father. I needed to go and find out WHY. So I looked in a library to read books on how money works. And there was actually nothing! And I just thought I wasn’t looking right. So I gave up as a kid because, you know, when you’re 11 years old you not gonna be into research, right? And your only resource is a library, and the library doesn’t have it! What you gonna do?
But I always grew up thinking, «I’m missing some critical piece of how money works». I would read the newspaper every day looking for that piece of information that I knew I didn’t know. And I’d know it once I saw it.
I was like 36 or something like that when I heard on the news that actually was a Republican debate Ron Paul say, «Our monetary system is unfair. It transfers wealth from the poor and the middle class to the rich». And I was like «Whaaaat?!»
This guy is lying, this can’t be! Why would the government do this to us, right?
So I decided to research whether this person was telling me the truth, and I was shocked after reading that «Creature from Jekyll Island». It’s a really difficult read unless you really want to know how the system works.
And they did everything correct in order to make the system to transfer wealth from everybody else. And you know what? You have to applaud these bankers for getting it in there! It wasn’t easy, and they managed to do it. And basically now not only does it transfer wealth to the banking system but also the corporations as well.
Corporations can’t complain about the system because they benefit as well. Through inflation the biggest cost of the corporation is its employees. So obviously you want to transfer the wealth from your employees to the corporation. The prices go up, but they don’t increase the salaries of the employees as fast as the cost of living increases.
So basically when I saw this, I realized that I had to do something. I was like, «Oh my God, nobody knows this!»
Even though I don’t like speaking in public, and I wouldn’t wanna do a YouTube channel, I had to! Nobody is talking about this, and I have to talk about how to protect yourself from this insidious system of wealth transfer. Because I was living in the belief of our current financial system. That, you know, we had to go out and get that mutual funds, buy a house on themortgage, do all the things that they tell you to do. But that’s all a lie!
Everything the banking system tells you to do, do the opposite!
My father worked for a bank, which made me even more upset when I did finally figure out what was going on with our money. I asked him, «Dad, did you know that banks create money out of nothing and loan it to people? And this is why prices are going up?» And he’s like, «Yeah, I know that. They create money out of nothing». Oh, my... What could he say?
— But Dad, do you understand supply and demand, right? It’s like a constant thing. If you have more of something, the less it’s worth. And so if you prep more money, the less it’s worth, right?
— I know.
The person that most inspired me was Ron Paul. If it wasn’t for him, I would have been stuck as a socialist, living in the dark ages and probably for a long time. I mean, cryptocurrencies would have come along anyway. Everybody in this cryptocurrency space understands at this point in time why they are here and what is really going on. So I would have eventually learned. I just would have been late in the game, so I’m glad that Ron Paul showed me the light way back in 2007.
Not an oracle
— At first you caught a lot of heat from haters for calling for Bitcoin. How did you feel about that negativity?
— I understood it as that I was not explaining myself correctly.
I was not explaining how bitcoins work, and I needed to find a way to explain it to people. I didn’t treat it as «Ok, people are stupid» or, you know, «just ignore it». I thought, «Well, I am not doing it right. I need to figure out a way to explain it to people or give people confidence in some way.»
I was so desperate to give people confidence in this system that I even offered to back up anything that they purchased in bitcoins. I was so confident in buying this asset back when it was only a couple of dollars. Only a few people took me up on that offer, and my family said, «You shouldn’t do that. If they want to invest they should invest. Just do your best to explain it — and that is it.»
When Bitcoin boomed, I didn’t want to bother with «I told you so» because, you know, it doesn’t help. The goal was to get you out of this system and out of poverty, and if you didn’t take my advice, I failed in some way. So it’s not party time for me, it’s actually a failure.
And whenever people come to me and say «Oooraaacle!» or some other stuff like that, I say, «Dude, I’m just some guy on the Internet».
— They don’t really believe you if you look at the comments.
— No, I’m not an oracle, hahaha.
I take statistical analysis, and it’s only right 60% of the time. So keep that in mind when you listen to what I have to say. I will be wrong and you have to accept it as a fact.
Buy Bitcoin, protect your family!
People buy bitcoins and say, «When do I sell?» But you shouldn’t sell everything because the end goal is when we are ready you won’t have to sell your bitcoins. You’ll just be able to buy whatever you want with them. You’ll be able to earn in bitcoins. And even though you might be the last person in Bitcoin, you have the advantage to use the product and save for your future. And slowly over time your money will increase in value.
So for example.
Let’s just say a person earning 2 dollars a day in China doesn’t see any kind of future outlook. Even if they save 50 cents of that money every day. They have practically zero chance of getting out of poverty! With Bitcoin saving that 2 dollars a day will increase over a 30-year cycle for sure. So they don’t have to worry about investing that money in some sort of a get-rich-quick scheme. Or even if it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, in some sort of investment that might take them to zero because it’s a risk.
But now you have an asset that you can save for your future and live comfortably in the future and protect your family in the future. And that is the most important thing I see going through the future.
Who’s poor here?
If we do come of this in a positive, everybody is gonna seem rich. But there’s one thing I would like everybody to understand.
Jesus said that the poor will always be among us, and that is true! Now, I’ll prove it to you. I want to ask you a couple of questions.
One: Can you take a shower in hot running water?
Two: Do you have a flushable toilet?
If that’s yes, that’s good, that’s very good.
And do you have a television? A computer?
And if you consider yourself poor, I want you to consider one thing. You have way more than a king 200 years ago. You have more medical assistance and supplies, more options than a king! So yeeees, you are poor! And in the future there will be people who have more than you have right now and be considered poor, right?
But the point is I don’t want us to ever go back and say, «You know what? We need to get all those other people that don’t have the things that I have up to the level... No, no, no. Don’t ever do that because governments will take that and run with it. And then we will be right back to where we are today, being enslaved by the government.
Because this is how we have disasters, we tried this socialism before. You tried it in Russia, you tried it in North Korea — it doesn’t freaking work, please! You could do whatever you want, you could do the recycling, you could solve other problems with our planet. Just don’t force people through the government force of taxation. It’s a disaster every single time!
Bitcoin is like the Mona Lisa
Most people would say Bitcoin is scam because it’s going up in price and nothing goes up this crazy in price. But the reason is that we now have a [blockchain] system that allows us to write down who has what, and no one can cheat it. Bitcoins are limited in supply, there is never going to be any more than 21 million. It doesn’t matter how many people try to mine it, the amount that is produced is fixed, every day, every month, every year. So if you want more bitcoins, you buy at a higher price. And that’s why we see such high prices now.
And you might think, «Well, what gives it value? What backs up bitcoins?»
Ok, what backs up your dollar, what backs up your gold, right? The reality is that gold has history and because people want gold, it gives it value. And because people want bitcoins it gives it value. With dollars it’s a different kind of thing. You need it in order to pay your taxes and buy other things. So that’s what gives it value, the dollar. Once you don’t need it, it has no value.
And you might think, «Well, if I don’t need Bitcoin then it doesn’t have any value?»
It doesn’t have any value to you, that’s true. There are certain things that have no value to me. If somebody said, «Hey, we have Mona Lisa to sell!» Erm.... I don’t... Hahaha. But it has value for somebody else and that’s great! You can take it to somebody else who appreciates that value.
And why does somebody believe that Bitcoin has value? It’s because we know that our financial system is a fraud, and we need a better one. And this one is a better one. And that’s why we give it value.
Crypto needs enemies
What I like about cryptocurrencies as a developer is that I can produce any kind of financial tool I can think of. Without somebody telling me that I can’t.
— You know, we don’t give you access to program against our financial system. Sorry. You don’t have classification to do that.
— Ok. No. Hahaha!
Cryptocurrency is just starting to learn how to produce itself, how to fix itself, how to protect itself against the state and the banking system. And the only way they can do that is if the banking system fights against it.
If the banking system and the government decide, «You know what? We need to support this! We believe that this is the future, and everybody should use this and freely available, and that’s not gonna be a problem!» And that will be like «Hurraaaay!» For all the Bitcoin fans including me it would sound great!
But! The problem is there would be no reason to create security measures against an aggressor that would try to use it against us. Why would you develop a protection, for example, privacy coins if the government is not looking into your transactions. There will be no point!
So if they are not trying to prevent us from using the product, we’ll just go ahead and use the product as it is. It would never grow and secure our privacy, and prevent the government from taking it down. And eventually there will be, of course, a hole in a system that would allow the government to take it down and also prevent us from using it, in the future. The best thing the governments could do is actually do that because it will definitely make the system very weak.
When Bitcoin Cash is frustrating
Honestly, I didn’t like all the different altcoins first. What changed my mind is that basically somebody said, «Well, don’t you believe in competition?» By having competition we can see what are the best products, what’s the best way of doing things. And besides, if another cryptocurrency comes up with a better idea, it could be incorporated into Bitcoin.
Yes, I know this sometimes can be frustrating that we have this Bitcoin Cash. People are confused and don’t know which to buy, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond... It can be a painful exercise, but it’s part of your learning and part of learning exercise of the developers and creators of the products.
Because it can be done, it should be done to see what happens and how to protect against it in the future. And this is important that way.
— You’re looking at a cryptocurrency. What do you pay attention to in the first place: code length, idea, ...? How do you know it’s not a scam?
— There is a lot of currencies that are not just scams per say. Their ideas that will not work, most of them.
They are just somebody going, «Hey, I have an idea! Let’s come up with our own cryptocurrency that’s going to tell the amount of feathers on a chicken!» That person can actually believe that to be important.
So it’s not a scam, it’s just something that somebody believe it to be true that has no value. And there gonna be people out there that believe this thing has value. That’s why you can see all these shitcoins. People buy them anyways because they believe for one reason or another that this will have value in the future. That’s why you could trade them, but don’t hold them for a long time.
When people ask me how many cryptocurrencies should there be, I have to refer to Andreas Antonopulos’s statement. «How many bloggers do you think there should be?» There should be as many as you want! And it doesn’t mean they have to be all good, and you don’t have to listen to every single one of them. But there should be an opportunity to anyone to produce a currency if they feel that it is valuable.
How to start investing in BTC
This is the first time you are turned to Bitcoin, and you are interested in buying it. Let’s just say you are poor and you just have this only 1,000 dollars of savings. What should you do?
Well, I don’t think that you should put this $1,000 into Bitcoin right now. That would be the wrooong thing to do. But what I do suggest you to do is to start saving in Bitcoin. You just decide how much you want to put into bitcoins. It could be 5 dollars, it could be 10 dollars, it doesn’t really matter. And you put that every month or every week. It doesn’t matter what the price is, you just put that small amount.
Beyond that it requires a little bit of skill in order to trade this. And if you don’t have trading skills, you shouldn’t be trying to trade. At all. Don’t do it! Because I did that when I first got into bitcoins and I lost hundreds of them. If you feel like «Oh my God, look! It’s up! I’ll sell up here!», don’t do it.
If you are just doing cost averaging, you gonna be successful. If you want to trade, you have to learn. Trading is a skill. It’s like learning how to fix a car or how to farm. So you have to take courses.
Not dreaming of a Lambo anymore
— What has wealth given to you?
— I always wanted to have my own software company, so now I have that. I always wanted to buy lots of cool computer equipment. Now I have that. And as a kid, I always wanted to have a Lambo, but as an adult I’m like, «Yeaaah, it’s a waste of money».
— Was there any moment when you felt like your ego was starting to grow?
— I would say yes. During the process of learning how to trade and being successful at it, my ego expanded. But I had a good teacher to point out that. If you think you are going to be right all the time in the market, the market will humble you. «Always stay humble and you’ll always do well in the market», he said.
I always wanted to make money in the market, so I’m gonna stay humble and treat the market with respect. You are going to be wrong, and it helps because it brings you back down to Earth.
— You’re developing Pandora’s Wallet. What’s your main goal for the project?
— Mostly this product is for me. So that I can take aaaall these cryptocurrencies that I have on exchanges and put them on one wallet.
Most of the time when I am trading, I am just sitting there, waiting for a price action to happen, and this can take from months to years. So I don’t want sitting there on exchanges, because I have extreme amount of money on them. And I’m scared that exchange is going to collapse and I am losing it all. And I am, you know, not broken, just unhappy.
— Are crypto millionaires different from fiat ones?
— Crypto millionaires are people who never believed that they will ever have a chance to become this well-off. This is a different kind of people. When you are a fiat millionaire, you actually have to do things aggressively. Not every single case, of course. But in most cases, when you are building a business, you have to be extremely ruthless and nasty as a person.
Now, with our current fiat system what you can do is just keep raising money. Keep borrowing money. There is a saying, «If you owe the bank a million dollars, you’ve got a problem. If you owe the bank a billion dollars, the bank’s got a problem». So you wanna to get to that level.
Survive the collapse
— Why did you leave Canada for Chile?
— Well, Canada is a socialist country that has super high taxes, and it’s just as bad as the United States, in a different way. It’s going to collapse eventually like the United States will. They’ve done all the wrong things, and the population will pay for it because you can’t go into debt for ever. That’s true for every country, Chile as well, however it’s not as bad.
I picked Chile because I see a complete financial collapse, and I want to be in an area that could survive the financial collapse. The banking system will have to close and reset across the world. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take. Generally, it should take about a week or two. So you don’t wanna be in the place where there is no food. The trading companies should stop, the things should stop working for a while, and here in Chile they are very self-sufficient.
In the history of man we had several world wars and Chile didn’t notice that it was going on. Life continues even if there is a huge disaster going on around the world.
World on blockchain
If Bitcoin was not invented, I would say we’d be in the dark ages in 50 years. Honestly. I didn’t see any way out of the coming disaster that fiat money has created. The moral compass of the United States has been degraded to non-existence. Everybody wants to hang out, and when the financial system collapses, they are gonna all look for government to solve their problems. Which always leads to totalitarian government and pressure. And it is a cycle of humanity, actually.
If you look through history, it generally occurs in one particular society. You build yourselves up, you become very wealthy and powerful. And because you are so wealthy and powerful, you create social programs. But those social programs are founded by stealing wealth from other people, and it destroys society.
And then we are going to oppressive government, and then the religion comes out because everyone is oppressed and nobody has any future, except for a few people at the top. Then that religion flips the whole scale off, to build it up again. To oppress society which collapses again.
So I expected that in 50 years, but cryptocurrencies were invented and I have a positive outlook now. Also, the Internet allows people like me to provide information and talk about this. To say «Hey, this is not right and we need to do something about it.»
I think in time as we produce smaller applications on the blockchain that work and are built on top of smaller and smaller applications, we’ll be ready to create a larger one that works over time. We are going to build governments on blockchain.
And then we will have whole governmental bodies on blockchain systems like Etherium or EOS, or TRON, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s too early to say it for sure, but I believe that we will innovate in that direction where we don’t need the government to decide who is right in a sense of litigation. Because we will have the rules based on a software system. And you could say, «Well, that’s scary». No, because you’ll have an option to use those rules or not. Every single contract that you enter is always a choice of you entering that contract. And the same will apply to blockchain rules.
— If you were in front of Satoshi, what would you ask him?
— How did you know to hide yourself and not present yourself as a developer of Bitcoin? That was the most brilliant move you made beyond Bitcoin.
— Is your current activity enough for you?
— What is the limit of human desire? If you said that I could have a spaceship, I would want that! Am I happy with this situation? I’m happy so far, and I do want more. You always want more.
— What brings you happiness besides your main business?
— What makes me happy is family, mostly. I like spending time with my family. And the next thing would be my computer equipment. I looove hardware. Oh man, I’m nuts. I mean I dream about buying the latest and greatest cool gadget out there.
— Your unknown super skill?
— I make a great carrot cake and chocolate cake. That’s how I got my wife. I made her a carrot cake and tortilla espanola. That was just awesome, that’s my favorite. She says that she can make one better than me, but I don’t think so. But we gonna have a cook-off sometimes.
— How would you like the world to remember Davinci?
— Oh wow. I never really thought about that. I just wanted to live my life and take care of my family, and grow old and retire. That’s it. I’ve never thought of leaving a legacy. That’s pretty much what everybody wants. And if they can leave a legacy, that will be great, but that is not an expectation that everybody can achieve.
Now that I’m put on the spot like this, I have to say that I just want to be remembered as, hopefully, [someone who helped] people to focus on themselves and improve themselves. Not getting somebody else like government or some thug to improve everybody else around you. Improve yourself, and everybody else will improve as well.