Rock On! Debate: Spencer Travis on Cryptocurrency

Is cryptocurrency a bit confusing to you? Well, it sure confuses Lyle. That's why it was great to have Spencer Travis on Rock On! Debate to take on this confusing topic that is currently the subject of the November/December Public Forum resolution.


 

Spencer Travis is here to talk about the current Public Forum resolution which is all about cryptocurrency. Spencer is currently studying Political Science at the University of Wyoming. He competed in Speech and Debate for four years at Green River, and his career there was highlighted by two top five State finishes and a finish in the Top 90 of International Extemporaneous Speaking at the National Speech and Debate Tournament.


You all know Spencer as one of the hosts of The Half Hour podcast which has been a powerful resource for Extemporaneous Speakers. On this episode of Rock On! Debate he took time to give us a topic overview of the current Public Forum topic, discuss a few thoughts on the new topic for next month, and give some teasers about what is next for YuYu and Spencer on The Half Hour. We know that the crypto resolution is almost over, but we think this discussion could have some valuable knowledge and give ideas to extemporaneous speakers and debaters.

 

Spencer's Outline for the Cryptocurrency Topic Analysis:


Resolved: Increased United States federal regulation of cryptocurrency assets and/or transactions will produce more benefits than harms.


Note to the audience: I am pro-crypto…


First and foremost, what does each part of the resolution mean?

  • Increased

  • Add more; could be 1 more, could be 1,000 more

  • United States federal regulation

  • This is the entire U.S. government regulating an action

  • Typically passed by Congress and then signed into law by the President

  • Cryptocurrency

  • Also referred to as “digital assets;” type of money that is digitized

  • Cryptocurrency Assets

  • This is crypto that people hold, typically through the stock market

  • Biggest areas to buy Bitcoin or other crypto assets: FTX, crypto.com, or CoinBase

  • Cryptocurrency Transactions

  • This is a “mean of exchange” in which crypto is used to buy a product

  • Buying a Big Mac, Fries, and a Coke with Bitcoin

  • And/Or

  • Choose one, the other, or both

Why has crypto become such a big deal?

  • The answer is simple: U.S. inflation has led people to be skeptical about the U.S. Dollar’s value.

  • The government has been printing a ton of money during the pandemic, in order to help keep the economy moving. Increasing the amount of money that exists is key to inflation.

  • Crypto typically has a cap on the amount that exists. Bitcoin has 21 million bitcoin that can ever exist, unless 51% of the people on the Bitcoin network agree to improve the amount that is in existence.

  • This would not happen because increasing the amount of bitcoin would lead to inflation. Less bitcoin causes the currency to be scarce, which drives up its price.

  • The U.S. Dollar is becoming less scarce, which is causing doubt that the Dollar will remain a “currency.”

Why is this resolution being discussed?

  • In the last two years, cryptocurrency has exploded. Crypto is extremely anti-government, as it is designed with an intention of going against fiat currency. It is also anti-bank.

  • Discuss counterparty risk and intermediaries

  • The problem is: We live in the real world. Regulation needs to exist on something that can become monopolized, controlled, held, etc.

Lastly, what makes crypto considered “money?” This is an age-old question that people want the answer to. Let’s explain.

  • 6 characteristics that define money:

  • Acceptability - Is it deemed as an acceptable currency to transact with?

  • Scarcity - Is there limited resources of money?

  • Portability - Can we take this value to a different location and still use it?

  • Divisibility - Can this be broken down into different parts, such as coins?

  • Fungability - Can this be replaced (or exchanged) with another item?

  • Durability - Is it durable?

  • Obviously, the U.S. Dollar fits all of these, but so does Bitcoin.

  • Acceptability - Bitcoin has become an acceptable currency for us across different nations and some businesses as a form of transaction.

  • Scarcity - There can only ever be 21 million Bitcoin; thus, there are limited resources.

  • Portability - Since the value is digital, it can be transported across the globe and still be of use (i.e. El Salvador)

  • Divisibility - What would be called “coins” with the U.S. Dollar are called “satoshis” with Bitcoin. Bitcoin is divisible by satoshis.

  • Fungability - You can earn one item (such as a Tesla) for exchange of Bitcoin

  • Durability - I’d say it’s pretty hard to break a Bitcoin

  • Why people have resulted to Bitcoin (or other digital assets) is because of the U.S. Dollar becoming less scarce. Think about this: Printing more money leads to more money which means that people have access to more. This makes the dollar less scarce. When there is a limited amount of something, it is extremely scarce; people can only get a certain amount of it (i.e. Gold).

Arguments on the Topic for Both Pro/Con

 

Thanks so much to Spencer for taking the time to chat with me about Crypto, the legalization of illicit drugs, and the exciting stuff on the horizon for The Half Hour.

 

Shout outs: thank you to everyone who is a patron of One Clap Speech and Debate. Your kind gifts help me keep this show going. Thank you to Marcus, Londe, Debbie, Missy, Ashley S, Ashley M, Beth, Laura, Brenda, Aaron, Terry, Tina, Allen, Matt, and Joel for your continued support. Check out our patreon page (HERE) if you’d like to join in support of One Clap Speech and Debate and partner with me on this journey.


The One Clap December Newsletter: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1naSnRR8eHDRtROvjJuDsc5yKubM_DHxLeDQplMVwXw8/edit


If you have an idea or a request for Rock On Debate, shoot me an email at lylewiley@gmail.com or reach out on the website or social media.


Debaters, don’t stop Rockin’!

 

Our One Clap and Wyoming Speech and Debate community mourns with the Kramer family and the many others who loved and appreciated Mack Kramer - a Rock Springs and University of Wyoming debater who was tragically taken away from us too soon. Mack was a kind, hard-working, hilarious, brilliant soul, and they will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Mack.