This is part 2 of a 4 part interview series with professional lobbyist, Brian Files.
In this video, Brian uses his lobbying experience to explain why bitcoin has to take a grassroots approach to get pass big energy and big banks in order to succeed.
Brian Files: We were talking before about legislation, rules, anything that could be affected. Well, the strongest lobbyist on the planet next to big energy is big banks and that kind of switches year to year based on some issues.
Tai Zen: Now, so just so the audience can understand, when you say biggest lobbyist, right, energy companies, the big banks, what figures are you talking about because some of the folks that watch this they might not know your idea of big money and big influence, maybe mine [idea of big] is different… from what the audience is… Like, how much money would you consider [is big influence]?
Brian Files: Millions and millions and millions are spent on lobbying efforts for the banking system just to keep it as the way it is now.
Tai Zen: Yeah.
Brian Files: So for example, let me use some consumer things that the Average Joe needs and big banks think it will cut into their profits and maybe it’s the right issue to change it, but then they’ll put millions and millions and millions of dollars into the legislators…
Tai Zen: Just to prevent that law from getting passed?
Brian Files: To prevent that law from getting pass [so it doesn’t hurt their profits].
Tai Zen: So let’s say there’s an example, there was some type of consumer protection law that the consumer advocates want…
Brian Files: They’re doing it right now. They’re beating up President Obama about it, the consumer advocacy boards, etc.
They beat him up because it’s eating into their profits. It’s a quiet thing because there’s not reports out about how much they’re doing it.
Tai Zen: But, what is the realistic chance of them winning that though when they don’t have the millions of dollars like big banks do?
Brian Files: For the Bitcoin people?
Tai Zen: No, no, for the regular consumer advocates.
Brian Files: No, it takes time, it takes somebody in the White House to push it and it takes a good fight. When you have enough common folk who make decisions about who their elected officials are going to be… so you have to be part of an active “voting block” to get things done.
So what I consider active voting block is you’ve got somebody on your side right now for that particular issue or consumer advocacy to President Obama. Now, yeah, that’s the big process right up… but, you can do it on a local way.
So when you have enough local people that find themselves in congress, then you eventually go and talk about them about the advocacy issues, you’ve got those people in place. So now, the White House seems like real far high elite. You need a bunch of congressman in place that believe in what you believe.
So let’s translate that to Bitcoin.
When you get enough small grassroots congressman that know about and understand it, so eventually when it gets to lobbying level, you say Bitcoin and they don’t attach anything negative to it, it’s not going to cost them as far as a personal perception of it and is it a “flag” that they can carry into legislation. So I say it’s according to a dynamic effort and it takes a long time, you’ve got to build that up.
Tai Zen: Okay.
Brian Files: And if I’m going too fast just let me know.
Tai Zen: No, no, no, that’s fine, you go ahead. I think the information you’re sharing with the audience it’s been a powerful especially for the people who are developing the Bitcoin technology.
Let’s say that you know the big boys side of the government, the law makers, the banks, the energy lobbyist and all that work, right. So, let’s say that you wanted to see Bitcoin succeed and you jump into the Bitcoin community, what is the game plan that you would have to make sure that Bitcoin succeeds?
Like, we’re taking you, out of your normal working in the law and now you’re on the other side of the fence and you’re like okay… If your livelihood, your family livelihood depended on the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin… I mean I’m going to the extremes here but, what would you do?
Brian Files: The first thing I would say is use your advocates. I don’t know much about Bitcoin. But, if you’ve got someone like Bill Gates shouting to the rafters about bitcoin and you got Google… I’m just giving you brand names.
If you got those type of people talking about it, using it, promoting it, being involved, it is no longer something that people play with.
Tai Zen: It’s not something you can ignore…
Brian Files: Yeah, it’s for real [now].
So, I would get into what I call the advocacy world.
Who is advocating Bitcoins?
Who positively wants to move this on your behalf?
Tai Zen: Now, what happens if the Bill Gates, the Microsoft, the Google, the PayPal, what if the Bitcoin technology is in direct conflict with them?
Brian Files: Good luck! LOL!
Tai Zen: If you in your role, what would you do if you’re on the other side of the fence and you had to promote this technology that you knew was going against the big banks, is going up against the Google and the Microsoft because they don’t want the Bitcoin technology to deal with, compete against their payment systems?
What would you do, would you take a grassroots approach or would you just like bypass the lawmakers, the big boys approach, what would you do?
Brian Files: There’s three choices.
1) Divide and conquer which is get one of these people to adopt while the other one is shouting from the roof.
2) The other one is the grassroots that I mentioned where the common folk who are using it and know it’s a currency.
3) Well, the last one is you fold your tent and go home.
Tai Zen: Fold your tent and go home and give up? LOL!
Brian Files: No, no, not give up… maybe sell off whatever your ideas are and have it translated [and change it] to something else that is acceptable.
It may not be called Bitcoin, it maybe called “coin bit”.
It will transform itself into something else useful.
Tai Zen: So evolve?
Brian Files: Evolve… like Blackberry. That technology is good.
Tai Zen: It’s gone.
Brian Files: It’s gone. It evolved. At some point they had a choice to do those three things, 1) divide and conquer, 2) reinvent themselves or 3) fold. So you see what they did.
Tai Zen: Yeah. Okay. They’ve folded now.
Brian Files: They hit the mountaintop but then…
Tai Zen: Yeah, they didn’t respond in time…
Brian Files: Exactly.
So that’s also an example of the technology and you’ve gotten used to technology that didn’t get adopted like Betamax versus VHS and you saw who won.
Tai Zen: Like Myspace versus Facebook…
Brian Files: Exactly.
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.
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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