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Sophie Amat of Where To Shop with Crypto on Crypto Clothesline Podcast


With over 20 years in the banking and finance sector, Sophie has a deep and impassioned understanding of money and how it works in our current Fiat system. She can also clearly communicate how our value-based world could look so different within the context of cryptocurrencies: transacting openly within real communities, both online and local.

Deeply passionate about the subject, Sophie is a writer for AltCoin magazine and is often asked to present on different panels and debates.

Sophie Amat speaking about cryptocurrency adoption at
Em-Tech by Blockchain Perth in Fremantle 2018

“I really loved my banking career, it was the thing that really helped me to understand the world.”

She’s very clear about the ways in which that sector has let down the very people it was intended to serve, which is why she’s so excited about the potential applications of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as they can both complement and challenge traditional banking.

“I think we’ve tended to forget that we can actually invest in the capacity to determine for ourselves what benefits us.”

Humans Need to Freely Determine Their Own Economic Liberation

Sophie feels that, while perhaps Bitcoin wasn’t originally created as a disruptive technology, it does clearly align with the principle of how humans need to freely determine their own economic liberation to a degree, from the state.

“The context of the evolution of Bitcoin, I believe was quite squarely based on the global financial crisis.

“And it was just a really logical solution for payment transfers.

“We’ve never imagined a world where banks weren’t intermediating financial transfers of any nature.”

Bitcoin and the ensuing cryptocurrencies challenge therefore a specific role that banks traditionally have performed, which is enabling the transfer of value between parties, whether they be in the same country or globally.

A New Way of Banking? Will Most Banks Have Their Own Cryptocurrency?

There’s some worry within the crypto community that the original intention of cryptocurrency will be lost when these banks become involved and issue their own coins.

Sophie suggests (and this may well rock some of you hardcore Maximalists out there) that the centralised encrypted currencies out there like Ripple and now the proposed JP Morgan coin, may in fact act as soft landings for the masses – who come to accept those bank-approved coins more readily than the classic cryptos like Bitcoin and co.  Following on from those acquisitions, Sophie purports that people may actually start to experience a deeper understanding of crypto in general, and in doing so, mass-adoption may end up being fast-tracked.

“Paradoxically I’m not against [encrypted bank currencies] because I feel that this offers a really exciting opportunity for people to soft launch into crypto currencies.

“I think people will actually start to ask good questions about the differences between:

“What does this coin actually represent?

“Who does it best serve?

What is the transparency of the inputs that underpin the value of that particular coin?

“So I think in some paradoxical way, it’s a helpful tool for people to actually onboard into the crypto currency ecosystem.”

Do You Actually See Cryptocurrency Being the Future of Money?

While Sophie doesn’t exactly clarify whether she sees crypto as being the Money of the Future, she does say that having more micro coins that serve specific communities is potentially better than having corporations control the masses through the overseeing of every transaction, as we do now.

Sophie Amat, Leanne Kemp, Dr Jemma Green, JP Parker,
Kim Gibson, Abheeti Kathryn Pass & Amy-Rose Goodey discussing the Future of Money at Women in Blockchain Perth,
November 2018

“When there were community banks, people had a lot more input into what a bank actually invested in per se. They had more involvement in interest rate pricing on debt products. There was a lot more of a community feel. People actually showed up to meetings and met the credit union members or perhaps the banking trust members.

“In dealing with these massive corporations, we’ve become really removed from the very essence of what the bank actually an effect is doing.

“I feel that cryptocurrencies have a far better way of coming back to community interaction… There are a lot of micro finance [options] and coins out there that really help people at the smallest possible level get a sense of caring and humanity.

“We want to have more affordable access to debt products, but we also want to have more affordable access to payments between businesses, between everyday people.”

Why Should People Trust Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Rather Than Traditional Banking?

Given the shameful outcome of the recent Australian banking commission, it’s a question we should all be asking ourselves, it SHOULD be the topic of dinner party conversations, yet all too often, we drift back into our troubled sleepy lives never changing our habits. 

As Lucas Cullen pointed out in his Clothesline interview, after the Facebook big data privacy invasion debacle, how many of us closed our accounts?  Not many.

After the Royal Commission into Banking in Australia, how many of us have closed our bank accounts?  Probably no-one.  We can’t seem to trust ‘em yet we can’t seem to live without ‘em.

“I feel that one has to look at… the innovation, the technology, the direct human involvement, the thinking and technologies that have gone into creating alternative currencies, alternative forms of value exchange?

“Does choice engender trust? I think in general it does. 

“And also, in Australia, of course the market is regulated. [That’s also] how we build trust, knowing that at some level the government, irrespective of how much thoughtfulness has gone into it, have permitted us to have this economic social experiment within the bounds of some legislation, some regulatory controls and people generally like that. They like to know that there is someone overseeing this.”

Being a practising Buddhist, having a long-term banking background, and now being deeply entrenched in research and writing in the cryptocurrency scene, (including being co-founder of Where To Shop With Crypto: an organisation that helps Australian retail businesses accept payments from their customers in Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies, while receiving Australian dollars for those transactions in their business account), Sophie is the perfect person to educate and help others see the big picture when it comes to Fiat currencies in their classic finance sector-scene, and their pesky cousins, cryptocurrencies when it comes to re-inventing the money wheel.

Sophie Amat part of the debate: “Is Bitcoin viable money?”
Blockchain Perth, 2019

Show notes

Find Sophie Amat on LinkedIn

Find Sophie at AltCoin Magazine on Medium

AltCoin Magazine Ghandi-nomics & Decentralisation: A Strong Foundation for Cryptocurrency

Where To Shop With Crypto on Facebook (website under reconstruction)

Come chat online to Sophie: Where To Shop With Crypto on Telegram

Sophie’s previous interview on the Clothesline

Other

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

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Disclaimer: We are not financial advisors and we chat in general terms which should NEVER be taken as financial advice. You must always do your own research (DYOR) before investing in ANYTHING not just cryptocurrency.

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