In the following 4 part video interview, I will interview Brian Files, a professional U.S. lobbyist about his thoughts on bitcoin and what it would take for congress to support the widespread use and adoption of bitcoin.
My understanding is that Brian lobbies extensively in the healthcare industry but he has a very insightful knowledge of the inner workings of how laws are passed in the U.S. and the potential difficulties and hurdles that bitcoin will face in Congress and how to overcome them.
Tai Zen: What’s up guys.
This is Tai Zen from PrisonOrFreedom.com where we blog about the different strategies and technologies that allow people to find freedom in their lives. And we’re currently right now at the Renaissance Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.
This is one of the states in the East Coast of the United States of America.
And with me today I have Brian and we just randomly ran each other today and we had a discussion about Bitcoin.
I found out that Brian works with law makers and the legislators in the United States and he has some very, very interesting insights on Bitcoins and what it takes for Bitcoins succeed in the US or around the world.
So let’s listen and I’m going to ask him a series of questions just so that you guys can understand the implications that Bitcoin has in the world and what it takes and some of the hurdles and stumbling blocks that it is going to run into and what it takes to overcome it.
Alright, from his legislative and law background dealing with law makers every day…
Brian, could you just briefly describe what is your back ground and what your expertise is in so that the audience will know.
Brian Files: My expertise has been in government affairs or legislative affairs for a couple of high value Fortune 10, 15, 20 companies. I’ve worked with three of them so I understand the inner workings of how it is to move legislation, regulatory guidance for things that can move into technologies.
I’ve been working in the healthcare space but, I’m also working in conjunction with other businesses to move some things forward.
Tai Zen: Okay. So basically, if a company, an individual or organization wants a particular law or legislation passed, you would be involved in helping to push that.
Brian Files: Absolutely. It takes a lot of dynamics to move legislation, even what we also call rules or guidance’s that may come into the bucket of Federal Trade Commission which a lot of it is technology when we talk about we come across and some of the common legislation that’s out there. So, to modify that legislation or create new ones takes a lot of dynamics and a lot of process.
Tai Zen: So when was the first time that you heard about Bitcoin or was even made aware of it and what are you thoughts about it the first time you heard about it?
Brian Files: Well, first time I heard about Bitcoin, I got to be honest, I think I’m probably educated, I think I’m tech savvy. I thought it was more of a gimmick.
Tai Zen: Okay, that Bitcoin was just a gimmick, a joke.
Brian Files: Well, not so much of a joke, but it was a currency amongst our network of people and it was their own trading value.
Tai Zen: It’s like an inside thing between geeks and nerds…
Brian Files: yes… in a closed loop… and there was no real monetary value attached with the people from the outside with the people in the inside that the people in the outside won’t attach to.
Tai Zen: How long ago was that when you first heard about it, a year ago, six months ago, when?
Brian Files: I heard about Bitcoin maybe a year or a year and a half ago.
Tai Zen: So now, moving forward because a year ago, the price of bit coin was like less then a $1,000, maybe it was around, I don’t know, in a low $100 or 200 ranges, somewhere around there.
Now, fast forward a year now, there’s a lot of media, lots of coverage in the media and the network about Bitcoin, the price of Bitcoin has gone up above a $1,000, went back down, now it’s back up to $600 as we’re talking.
What are your thoughts about it now?
Brian Files: Well, the first thing is… I just consider myself just “common folk”… is that I believe those prices with Bitcoin and the negative press…
Well, you add the negative press of Bitcoin with the fact that a lot of people don’t know it.
They want to NOT know it anymore.
The negative press kind of helped push the inadequate knowledge about Bitcoins or the randomness or the fact that it was an inside thing. A lot of people weren’t affected by the Bitcoin scandal per se.
So, if nobody was affected and everybody thinks it’s something like I thought that it was something for just a slight group of people and from what I understand about it, every time I talk with someone about it, it’s almost like it was gamers, geeks, rich folks, etc. and common folk people won’t understand.
Tai Zen: So it’s kind of like a niche product or service and it’s not something that’s mainstream.
Brian Files: Totally. Yeah. Not at all.
Tai Zen: Okay. So now…
Brian Files: Which hinders tremendously any effort to get mainstream, well, to get, we were talking about legislation. Until it becomes a common language or it totally becomes a common concept… until the common person can look at it as an avenue for tender…
How can I get goods with Bitcoin?
Tai Zen: How can you buy food, gas, pay your phone bills?
Brian Files: Yes. People want to know physically what they can do with the money. And a lot of people think that currencies are all electronic now and I know it is… credit cards, Amazon, etc. they do everything electronically but common folks always want something related to tender [physical money].
That’s why we really never gotten rid of quarter, nickels, whatever. I mean people want to feel it. So, unless there’s some translation to them, there’s going to be an issue. I think it would be considered something for educated tech folks and not normal people.
Tai Zen: Now, what would you have to suggest to the developers and people that are promoting and developing this Bitcoin technology? What do they say, oh Tai, Brian, you guys are coming from, you guys just need it wise enough or more about technology and stuff. What do you got to say about that?
Brian Files: I think it will fall on the way side of something that’s just trading out of the mainstream until it’s adopted on something mainstream, the banks or a token as a symbol from the banks that this is something that’s real.
Tai Zen: Let’s look at the legal… I don’t know if I should say legal or illegal, but let’s just say let’s look the positive and negative aspects that can happen, things that can happen with Bitcoin right.
Let’s just say from your background, let’s just say the U.S. government wants to completely ban Bitcoins.
In these other third world countries or these communist countries such as China for example, they can outright say, “Hey, its banned!” and that’s done!
There no voting.
The powers that be “above” can just make the law [how they like it] but, in the U.S., we actually have a system where you got to go to the legislative and legal channels before something becomes a law…
Brian Files: Right, unless it’s harmful. If that bitcoin is considered a threat, whereas…
Tai Zen: To the nation?
Brian Files: Yeah, to any fiduciary or monetary resistance, then they could do that.
Tai Zen: So, they can just outright ban bitcoin? The law makers can ban it?.
Brian Files: If it’s a threat. If somehow the fundamental crash of Bitcoin was really attached to [U.S.] tender or the banking system and was a threat, yeah, absolutely…
Tai Zen: So, they would push that and then make a law to ban bitcoin much quicker than other laws.
Brian Files: Absolutely.
Tai Zen: So would you have to convince a hundred congressmen to a hundred senators or a hundred and some representatives?
Brian Files: No, all the banks would have to do is push the button to lobby against bitcoin and it will be done.
Tai Zen: And money would pour in?
Brian Files: They just have the relationship [between big banks and congress]. It would end like that. If it [bitcoin] was that big of a threat.
Tai Zen: So right now, the banks, the law makers, the legislators, the lobbyist, they don’t feel that Bitcoins are a threat to the current banking system.
Brian Files: Absolutely. No.
Tai Zen: So, that’s why they don’t, it’s not even like in their radar?
Brian Files: It’s not under the radar.
Tai Zen: You don’t think so?
Brian Files: I don’t believe that it’s anywhere near their radar. It’s a whacky thing that has no connection to real tender and until they go into the common folks… until I can go to a cab driver… until I can go to a janitor… until I can go to a teacher… and say listen…
Tai Zen: Okay, your salary is in Bitcoins.
Brian Files: I’m going to pay you with Bitcoins. You have a hundred Bitcoins, you want to do some work for me?
So, until the common person says that and the only way it becomes common is that if banks started using bitcoins and it’s common.
Tai Zen: So as long as the banks don’t accept it…
Brian Files: Banks are your biggest worries.
Tai Zen: I appreciate your time and your insights, because talking to someone that actually deals with lawmakers helps to make it clear for my audience.
You previously corrected me and said “hey, I’m not a lobbyist”.
Brian Files: Well, I lobby for my organization but, there are people who are true lobbyist and that’s all they do.
Tai Zen: So, the lobbyist is the one that actually talks face to face to the lawmakers?
Brian Files: Absolutely.
Tai Zen: You don’t talk directly to the law makers?
Brian Files: Yes, I do.
Tai Zen: You do?
Brian Files: Yeah.
Tai Zen: But you’re not considered a lobbyist?
Brian Files: Yes, this is not semantics. I’m a lobbyist in that I talk directly to legislators but that’s not my primary function.
Tai Zen: Okay.
Brian Files: I contract a lot of that work out.
A lobbyist, just to be less technical… a lobbyist is anybody who lobbies their issue. So, if you want, you can talk to your legislator and you talk about the issue, you lobby for an issue, you’re a lobbyist.
Do you get paid to be a lobbyist? No, that will be the main difference.
Tai Zen: So you do that professionally, you get paid to do that.
Brian Files: Exactly.
Tai Zen: So the rest of the people and myself who lobby are just another amateur or just a citizen who just requested legislators to change the law but when you usually do it, you’re paid to do it.
Brian Files: I’m paid to do that.
So when I’m paid do it, I’m under different set of rules.
There are things that I can and cannot say, there are things that I can and cannot do and there are gifts I cannot give them.
There are a whole lot of rules that are involved because I am paid professionally to do it. It’s not my primary function. I do other things with legislative, regulatory, other things with government affairs.
Tai Zen: Now, if somebody is watching this video and they were interested in getting you to help them lobby for a specific issue or law or something or concern outside of Bitcoin.
Are you available to help them do that?
Brian Files: Absolutely.
Tai Zen: What is the best way to contact you? Is there a website or can you give me the info?
Brian Files: I’m going to give you personally all my personal info. Anybody can give me a call even if they want to just educate themselves on what any legislation is all about.
Tai Zen: Yeah.
Brian Files: Am I bound by any contracts… So you got some interesting stuff going. I will definitely help you in any way.
Tai Zen: Okay. Alright. Well, thanks man.
Brian Files: Pleasure to meet you.
Tai Zen: So thanks for watching this guys and if you want to support our channel, you’re welcome to visit our donation page and donate Bitcoins or whatever and I’ll catch you guys in the next video.
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