The Non-Revolution in Digital Payments with Eric Hughes – March 7

“So long as it is digital and centrally controlled, Mr. Global could not care less whether the new currency system is called dollar, peso, franc, gold, silver or wampum beads. ~ Catherine Austin Fitts

By Catherine Austin Fitts

It was the 1990’s. Eric Hughes was a brilliant mathematician from Berkeley, a founder of the Cypherpunks and an entrepreneur with a deep interest in the payment systems that serve as the financial train tracks of the global economy. My company in Washington was growing, investing our profits in financing software tools and venture vehicles that would allow small business and communities to circulate and build equity. We both believed that digital technology could revolutionize our investment model.

That revolution, however, did not happen. Instead, Silicon Valley was pumped and dumped in the boom, while Wall Street created a sky high pile of mortgage bubbles and derivatives and the banks drove the payment system deep into the last mile of retail transactions.

In the process, Eric and I learned a great deal about the “deeper” organization of our financial system.

Where does this leave us and what’s next? Eric joins me this coming Thursday night to talk about digital money – the state of global payment systems, currency wars, the shift to mobile payments and wallets, and what this means to me and you and, yes, answers to your questions about Bitcoins!

To celebrate that dreams can and do come true, in Let’s Go to the Movies, I will review Searching for Sugar Man, winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and British Academy Film Award for Best Documentary. The film tells the story of two South African fans who set off to find out what happened to American musician Sixto Rodriguez, whose music was a smash hit in South Africa, but never took off in the U.S.

I will start with Money and Markets. Please post your questions for Ask Catherine on the blog. Talk to you Thursday!


  1. Hello,

    I found the TED talk by ‘Mykko Hyponnen’ to be a good primer as to the actors and motives as to the types of online activities that threaten privacy and deter online commerce. It presents certain key concepts in a non-overly technical way with valid current examples.


  2. Via e-mail or equivalent , I want to have my friend in Mexico, to send a demand on his bank account, which would be transmitted to my bank account, and have satisfied my loan to my friend in Mexico.Why can’t this be done?

  3. I particularly liked the BitCoin discussion. Believe me, there is nothing secure on Windows anything. Plus, any serious security hopes for BitCoin would have to start with it’s own private network. Unix / Linux or a hybrid bootstrapped ver. would have to be the OpSys and there would have to be a dedicated hybrid ssh / audit / connectivity protocols.. Where not unqualified device could gain entry / conduct transactions..

  4. Regarding the Privacy part of the discussion:
    I don’t think the public understands the depth and accuracy of their “file” as maintained by the marketing data mine sellers. We can’t price the unseen and misunderstood correctly. I wish Solari could buy Catherine’s marketing data for a real business purpose …to educate us about the details and how they can be used to influence us by corporations.

    It was not clear to me if Eric believes the psychotic have taken to global domination…that rule of law is nothing to them. I expect the National Security Agency database file on me to be peeped into by the dominators.

    Listening to Max Kaiser trying to get Alex Jones to push Bit Com was priceless after hearing Eric and your discussion!

  5. I’m looking for the talk where Catherine discusses attending a VC feeding frenzy of funding marginal Silicon Valley startups at $10M each, and then pumping and dumping them. I was right in the middle of that, talking to paper option millionaires who never saw a dime. I’d be talking to a new startup run by a recent college grad who didn’t have a day of work experience, yet he’d been funded for millions and with a very shaky business plan. Anyway, I saw the bubble growing, just didn’t understand the backroom players.
    Thanks, Paul

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