Interview with Tom Hillenbrand on Crypto.
Tom Hillebrand is a bestselling author and his books like Drone State, Hologrammatica, Qube and the latest Montecrypto all feature compelling storytelling, often set in a near future setting sometimes involving crypto.
As a big fan of his work, it’s a great pleasure for me to be able to do an interview with Tom. I hope, dear readers, that the joy will spill over to you.
Tom, In your latest work, Montecrypto, you dive deep into the world of the crypto economy.
In doing so, you also shed light on dangers that can spill over into the conventional financial system. Reality has replaced Fiction in the meantime with the LUNA crash and many more scandals during the current crypto winter.
How did you perceive the LUNA situation?
Tom: Montecrypto is a thriller where the plot spins around a stablecoin system. And it is often the case that real events are exaggerated in books.
But in this case, reality not only catches up with me, it completely overtakes me. The real scandal is much more blatant.
What surprised me is how clear the indications are for many stablecoins that there is no sufficient coverage, no sufficient control, no audits – and still hardly anyone cares. It goes on and on with Tether and consorts.
We see the same principle that is behind bank runs: the loss of trust. Was the LUNA crash only a harbinger?
How big do you think is the threat from the much larger Stablecoin Tether, which accounts for 40% of Bitcoin trading?
Tom: It’s going to blow up in their faces at some point. It may take another year or two, but I think it’s inevitable.
On the one hand, because the trust is gone. You can already see that the outflows are significant.
But I think it’s even more important that the financial authorities have woken up from their slumber. They now see that this is a systemic risk.
And their questions cannot and will not be as simple as those of the public.
As a futurist, I hope it’s ok if I call you that, where do you see the crypto economy in 10 years and what role will regulation play?
Tom: Jeff Bezos once said during the first internet boom that we were in the Cambrian.
Vast amounts of new life forms emerge and 99% of them go die out again. It will be the same here.
You just don’t know who will survive. Of course, everyone is pretty sure that at least Bitcoin and Ethereum will still be around in 2032.
On the other hand, where are AOL and Myspace today? Cambrian…
Crypto and blockchain aren’t going away. But maybe the players will be completely different ten years from now.
Just as there is now a consensus that the Internet is not a a lawless space, there will be a realization that crypto needs to be regulated just like all other asset classes.
Beyond that, I think it’s possible that the U.S. or the EU could manage to bring a viable digital currency to the market, that kills off most independent cryptocurrencies.
In another interview with you, I once read that you were able to buy a new kitchen with crypto investments. Are you still invested?
Tom: I still hold small amounts in Bitcoin, ETH, Solana, Doge, Stellar Lumen and a few others.
But you can’t buy a kitchen from it anymore. At most a few new pots.
I don’t have a real favorite and bought cryptocurrencies mainly to understand them a bit better in preparation for my book.
As a big fan I just have to ask: Is there any replenishment in the Hologrammatica universe on the horizon?
Tom: The series is planned for at least four volumes, so there’s still still something.
But before that I have to deliver a historical thriller.
But after that, there will definitely be more science fiction.
Thank you so much for your time and thrilling insights!