Living the Future
An Interview with Brian Harrington
Brian is a Marketing Consultant, Project Manager and Film Producer, but first of all a true Bitcoiner.
He is producing videos for BitcoinIs_ ,educating viewers on the importance of the Bitcoin Circular Economy and how to join it.
Brian discusses with me how he became passionate about Bitcoin, why the Circular Bitcoin Economy is so desperately needed, and the tools available for anyone to join it today.
Poly: Hi Brian, good to have you on Polylunar, I’m looking forward to discussing how to make the Bitcoin Circular Economy a reality.
So, to get us started, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself, your background and how you got into Bitcoin.
Brian: I’m a marketing consultant and freedom fighter from Anaheim, CA. All of the work I do is freelance based and up until Bitcoin I was heavily focused on political campaigns and film producing. I graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2013 and have been living in Orange County, CA for the majority of that time since then.
I’ve been married to my wife Sherin for 3 years and we’re raising a kitty named Pishi.
The first time I bought Bitcoin was in 2015, the first time I really started watching Youtube on it was 2016 and 2017, and then in 2019 is when I got involved with the Orange County Bitcoin Network.
Poly: Nice, I think Orange County is making a comeback these days thanks to you. Previously you told me that this year fully made you realise that we need a Bitcoin circular economy. What does that mean to you and what led to that insight?
“The reason for this is that I really don’t appreciate the way the ruling class is treating normal citizens right now.”
Brian: So the Coronavirus lockdowns are actually what led me to start taking the Bitcoin circular economy seriously and start to figure out what that means to myself. The reason for this is that I really don’t appreciate the way the ruling class is treating normal citizens right now – in any country.
I don’t appreciate that our freedoms to move about are not being taken seriously. That’s what made me start to ask why are we paying these people? Why do we pay taxes if we aren’t receiving services and are receiving bigger and bigger headaches from having to deal with the ruling class decision making.
A simple definition is a Bitcoin circular economy designs out government fiat currencies and allows economic actors to earn, save, and spend Bitcoin with no interaction with the legacy financial world.
Poly: I like that definition, “designing out fiat currencies” is a good way of putting it. What did this lightbulb moment to more actively promote a circular Bitcoin economy mean to you personally?
Brian: It personally means I’m converting my fiat paying clients over to paying me with Bitcoin. The lightbulb moment has led to real world rubber on the road conversations where I’m letting people know who have paid me to work for them for several years that I will no longer be accepting checks. I tell them the apps they can download and show them how to pay the QR code invoices on my website.
Poly: How about friends and family, did you convince everyone of Bitcoin’s benefits? How do they see your activism?
Brian: My friends and family largely love it. A lot of the political class in Orange County has now heard me off and on mention Bitcoin and I look forward to having more and more conversations about it as I get sworn in to my seat on the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee Board in January 2021.
The only pushback I get is from those people that still view Bitcoin as just a stock and a way to make more dollars. I’m slowly working on those people and letting them know that I understand they don’t need more stock picks; they need a way to protect their wealth from government confiscation.
Poly: I didn’t know about your political activism and I don’t recall many Bitcoin proponents advocating through political channels. Could you elaborate why you chose that route instead of advocating outside the political system?
“To me politics, and life, and Bitcoin is all kind of the same thing.”
Brian: To me politics, and life, and Bitcoin is all kind of the same thing, Bitcoin is inherently political and politics is inherently about influence. It all goes back to the classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I had influence with this group of people before getting into Bitcoin and now I’m going to leverage the influence to help people be free in any way I can.
Don’t get it confused with bowing to the system, I let the legacy world power brokers know everyday that their time at the top of the hill is limited because Bitcoin is a brand new paradigm. Politics is all about negotiation and Bitcoiners are going to win because we hold the cards now.
Poly: In your Citadel21 article you wrote that “People don’t need freedom in the future, they need freedom in the present”, can you elaborate on how getting into Bitcoin will help people achieve more freedom?
Brian: Yeah, it’s just a reminder to myself and to everyone that Bitcoin isn’t happening in the future, it’s happening right now today as you’re reading this. Getting into Bitcoin helps you start to realise how much your day to day existence really is controlled by a government currency that is slowly ripping you off. Not being ripped off anymore is a very freeing feeling.
Poly: Full ACK, whenever I’m stacking some sats I still get excited, especially when I see the transaction coming in on my own node. Some other interviewees with similar views have gone all-in on Bitcoin, if you don’t mind sharing, does that apply to you too? Why or why not?
Brian: So I’m all in on Bitcoin as far as every ounce of influence and professional reputation I have is dedicated to Bitcoin being the biggest overarching paradigm shift happening in the world today.
Financially my liquid savings is about 50/50 between USD/BTC. My earning and spending potential is currently 5 to 10% in BTC and 90% still in USD.
These are just my current numbers and I’m not ashamed of them, I’m honestly really excited about them and I’m having active conversations everyday to keep upping that earning and spending in BTC percentage.
Poly: I understand the arguments why some people go all-in and why others stay allocated in Fiat, as so often it’s a personal decision with everyone having a different life situation and risk profile. I’m further interested in what way you are using Bitcoin? Do you use it to buy groceries and daily necessities or do you still use Fiat for that?
Brian: My wife and I try to make it a point to buy at least one meal or one grocery haul per week in Bitcoin. That goal keeps me active to make the earning Bitcoin side go up so that we’re always stacking sats and never going down week over week.
Poly: Of course, have to replenish the stash. How about Bitcoin as a unit of account? Do you think in Sats/Bitcoin or still mentally calculate to USD?
Brian: For savings the unit of account is for sure sats, my wife and I have clearly defined savings goals denominated in sats. On the spending/earning side I actually don’t think it’s bad to still think in USD. We have a mortgage in USD and it’s easiest for me to onboard clients to pay in BTC if I tell them it’s X amount in USD per month paid in Bitcoin.
Poly: Good point, one has to consider the other side of the exchange which usually is thinking in USD. OK, Brian, I’ve seen some of your videos on Youtube where you explain why the Bitcoin circular economy is important and how to get into it by starting to earn and spend Bitcoin.
Tell us a bit about what you’re trying to achieve with your channel and BitcoinIs_.
“BitcoinIs_ is all about normalising Bitcoin for everyday life so that people can see it’s the solution to humanity’s biggest problems.”
Brian: I really like watching Meet Kevin, George Gammon, and Whiteboard Finance on Youtube. I’m trying to follow their style in making videos about how to budget and use Bitcoin day to day to make your life better. BitcoinIs_ similarly is all about normalising Bitcoin for everyday life so that people can see it’s the solution to humanity’s biggest problems. I’ve been really thankful to George Mekhail and Russell Okung for letting me help them grow out the Monday Night Bitcoin show for that channel.
Poly: Good stuff. You mentioned you’re earning partially in Bitcoin, which I think is an important step in developing a circular Bitcoin economy. Do you have any examples and tips on how you earn in Bitcoin and how to convince a client or employer to pay you in Bitcoin?
The price fluctuations are tricky and I know some negotiate a Fiat salary that pays in Bitcoin at exchange rate on pay day.
Brian: If people want to checkout brianharrington.org/xpub they can see a demo of how I charge $2 per beer paid in Bitcoin at my garage bar named X Pub. You can see a demo of BTC Pay Server and of Open Node on that screen. And then in the footer of the website you can see the pay in Bitcoin button that my consulting clients use.
I think fiat prices and salaries paid in Bitcoin is a great place to start. We’re all navigating this transition together. Through talking with a lot of different people about it that way has been the easiest and most fair.
The best tip is to just ask, I think if someone has been paying you for a long time and they like your work they should be willing to work with you. Offer a test run and say can we try this with half my payment or a quarter of my payment for one month, just to test out the apps and the flow.
Poly: I wonder, when you tell people to get into Bitcoin, what do you tell them about the expected but potentially heavy retraces in price?
This is still something that keeps people from investing into Bitcoin and making it their primary unit of account, especially if they don’t have savings and a low time preference.
Brian: Recently I’ve noticed my whole pitch is honestly centered on the collapsing legacy world. The legacy world has no solutions, whatever frustrations you may have about Bitcoin are nothing compared to the frustrations of the legacy world. I stick on that alot and get people to realize how broken the current system is.
Poly: Basically explaining that staying in Fiat is riskier long-term than allocating to Bitcoin.
Let’s have a look at Bitcoin setups, being your own bank comes with additional risks, can you share some best practices on how you handle security? I’m always keen to learn best practices to optimise my setup and am sure readers feel the same.
Brian: 100% recommend multi sig. I’m a happy Casa customer at their Gold level subscription. I’ve never really enjoyed keeping balances on a single hardware key.
Poly: How about Lightning, do you consider Layer 2 the future payment rail of Bitcoin? With higher Bitcoin prices and fees, I’m leaning towards showing friends Lightning wallets first for small amounts.
“I think the Strike App has been a game changer for the Bitcoin circular economy.”
Brian: For sure, I don’t think that’s bad at all. I think the Strike App has been a game changer for the Bitcoin circular economy. Managing lightning channels is the learning curve that I am on right now but I definitely believe lightning is important.
Poly: And what’s your stance on privacy in Bitcoin? When people are acquiring and transacting in Bitcoin, do you recommend CoinJoin, Non-KYC etc. or what do you propose to do to avoid privacy issues?
Brian: I wrote a different piece for my own site on how I think the simplest privacy wallet and coinjoin setup is Samourai Wallet on a dedicated pixel phone.
Poly: I know we’ve covered quite some ground already but we want to move the space forward and it would be interesting to know which parts of the ecosystem, in your point of view, need more work to make living on Bitcoin practicable?
“The eco system needs more entrepreneurs demanding Bitcoin and not accepting other payment methods.”
Brian: To make living on Bitcoin have more saturation, the number one thing I think we need is just more people talking about it. There are people living on Bitcoin today that do it way better than I do but I think are a little afraid to share their secrets.
I’m all about just ripping that band aid off and telling people: “yeah I work for Bitcoin”. This is a revolution. I’m dumping the tea in the harbor. I work for Bitcoin and buy stuff in Bitcoin from other entrepreneurs and I’m sorry if a few bureaucrats are cut out of the process. The world is demanding solutions and Bitcoiners have the solution.
All the tools are available for us today, different ones will cater to different people differently but all the tools to increasingly drop dollars and convert clients to Bitcoin are available today.
The number one thing we need to make it more widely known is for entrepreneurs to start demanding Bitcoin for their time, goods, and services.
To sum it up in one sentence the eco system needs more entrepreneurs demanding Bitcoin and not accepting other payment methods.
Poly: Love it, I promise you, if I ever ask for compensation on Polylunar it’ll be Bitcoin-only!
Last but not least, under what circumstances would you recommend others to fully embrace Bitcoin now? Or what would need to happen for that to be the case?
Brian: Under all circumstances I tell people to start embracing Bitcoin. Bitcoin is for everyone all the time everywhere.
Poly: Awesome, Brian this was great!
Tell us, how readers can find you and please share any final thoughts you want my readers to know.
Brian: My DM’s are open on Twitter @brainharrington, that’s the easiest way to reach me. If you are doing anything with meet-ups or circular economy I will retweet you, send it to me.
Poly: Nice, thanks again Brian, this was very insightful and fun! I think readers will take away valuable information from your experience and maybe one or the other will soon join us in Living the Future.
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