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#65 Nat Brunell | Seeking Truth, Finding Bitcoin

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In the first of the Bitcoin Bear Market series, Terry chats with one of the most compelling voices in Bitcoin: Robert Breedlove. Roberts articles and podcast episodes boast more than 10 million downloads. And it’s not hard to see why. He is part philosopher, part educator, and part subject matter expert. In this conversation, you’ll see all sides as he explains how and why he came to devote his professional life to Bitcoin.

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Welcome to the second episode in his Bitcoin at bear market series. On this episode, you’re going to hear from Emmy award-winning journalist, Natalie Brunel. Not it’s also the host of one of the most popular Bitcoin podcasts out there. Coin stories. 

And over the last couple of years, she’s interviewed many of Bitcoin’s most notable proponents experts and even skeptics of Bitcoin. Her background in journalism also means she’s excellent at getting at the truth, pushing back respectfully. And also distilling information into its most impactful nuggets of truth. 

As a result, she’s now regularly featured on national news networks in the U S to discuss Bitcoin it’s price action and longterm trends. So she really understands how the media machine works. And that’s a big part of why we wanted to share her views with you. 

She’s seen firsthand how the structure and function of the media industry has changed. And when it comes to Bitcoin and just financial coverage in general, there’s so much misinformation and frankly, shoddy reporting that it can be hard to know what to think. 

So I wanted to get NATS tyke. Take on how the news actually gets made and the human incentives that drive decisions within this. 

So we spent a bit of time discussing this, plus the painful childhood memory that forced Nat to realize the financial system is broken. Y you don’t need to be technically minded to understand and appreciate Bitcoin. And why she sees Bitcoin as a way out for younger generations who would otherwise have to pay the tab for those who have gone before them. 

We also touched on NATS, favorite Bitcoin skeptic, and why she believes he’s going to have to eventually change his mind. Now he’s a really engaging speaker and has a compelling story to share. And I love how passionate she is about education. If you want to peek behind the media curtain and a different take on why Bitcoin could help us build a better future. You find this episode is edifying as it is inspiring. 

Terry: Hello and welcome to the show. I’d love to start with your background, you grew up in Poland. Is that right? 

Natalie: Yeah, I’m a first generation immigrant. My family is from Poland and immigrated to the US outside Chicago when I was just five years old. So it’s the story of, my parents growing up in a communist country and wanting to flee that type of government and oppression. In order to go to a place that represented economic freedom and the idea of the American dream, where they could have a chance at upward mobility and for their kids to go to a good school and achieve their dreams. So that’s my background.

Terry: And what age did you guys move?

Natalie: So I was five years old. My mom was 38, my dad was 41 and my brother was 16.

Terry: Okay. And so is there much of your life that you remember from Poland?

Natalie: I remember little things. My parents took a lot of photos of us when we were little because we used to travel a lot for my parents’ jobs. So there are pictures of me in like random places like Bulgaria and former Czechoslovakia. And so I remember like bits and pieces of these images in my head of our trips that we took and my young life there.
But I mean, it was so long ago that I don’t have this like vivid memory of my life back there.

Terry: what’s your kind of first memory of coming to America?

Natalie: I would say the first most vivid experience and memory that I had was just feeling so alien and different. My parents didn’t speak English. The culture is very, very different. Um, everything from what you eat and how you dress and just how you conduct yourself, I think in general, like my family has these very European sensibilities.

They were trying to assimilate to the American culture and everyone is speaking this foreign language and I was very lucky that I was five years old, so I jumped right into classes as English as a second language. But you know, the kids are trying to figure out who you are, why you’re different. Um, you don’t speak the language so you kind of get bullied and made fun of.
Uh, certainly I remember being young and being in elementary school and like bringing my Polish lunch to school, which had weird foreign things in it. Kids making fun of me. They told me that my name was not Natalia, it was Natalie. So what did I do? I changed it cuz I just wanted to fit in. It was like this feeling.

Wanting to fit in so badly and feeling like you’re different and feeling like you don’t belong and wondering why you don’t belong. And I think definitely that shaped me early on. And I was lucky that I had two parents, especially my mom, who was like, Ignore anything negative around you. Like you are beautiful and smart and you could do whatever you wanna do.

So just be nice to everybody around you, even if they’re mean to you. And like, go pursue your dream because you can make anything happen. And so I’m really grateful for that cuz I had a very strong spirit starting early, but certainly was not easy moving to a new country and adjusting when you feel so different.

Terry: Yeah, I can only imagine. You’ve mentioned before that your parents traveled for work a lot. What did they.

Natalie: They owned a business in Poland and basically they imported merchandise and then they sold it in Poland, but they basically went themselves to different countries, purchased it, brought it back to Poland, and they would sell it. So they were like merchants. Life wasn’t easy. I mean, they grew up where you had to stand in line for basic necessities because of the communist regime and Poland was constantly being invaded by one country or another. There wasn’t the. Nationalistic identity, the way that it sort of has developed in the years since, but just very difficult. There was no sense of becoming someone with money or having a sense of upward mobility. My grandma was a cook, my grandfather was a car mechanic.

I mean, No one really had very much, even if you were a doctor, like you didn’t make that much more than say a school teacher or something. And I just felt like my parents saw life there if they remained there as very limited, especially for their children. Whereas if they were to move and take this giant risk of coming across an ocean to a place where they don’t even know the language.

They thought, well, maybe it would be hard for them and maybe they can’t achieve that much cuz they’re older, but their kids could achieve whatever they want. And so that kind of self-sacrifice really means a lot to me. I think it’s the reason why I am persevere and I’m very, very brave because I wanna justify the sacrifice that my parents made and I feel like I don’t care where someone comes from.

Life is about proof of work like Bitcoin, like you prove yourself, you work. You’re good to people and you deserve a seat at the table, and so I really live my life by that example.

Terry: I guess when you move to America, you’re moving there. You see it as a land of opportunity, the land of freedom. Do you see the culture shifting towards where you came from in terms of like socialism, that whole sort of like everyone should get everything all the same all the time. Is that a trend you see?

Natalie: Yes, very much so, and it’s been really fascinating and disappointing to watch my parents observe this because they left the country specifically for those reasons. They wanted economic freedom and they wanted the chance to just decide their future. They really valued the things that the United States was.

Built and founded on the idea of pursuing whatever you wanna pursue and providing value and working hard and having true freedom. And so I’ve seen that erode and I’ve seen it harder and harder every single year to achieve the American dream or to maintain the American dream, I feel like. When my parents came here or were working to come here, there was a very strong middle class that represented the majority of the US and where wealth was concentrated.
And since then it’s really, really changed and we have this like blaring wealth gap. And I think I never saw apparently that the system was rigged and very much changing to the disadvantage of folks like my parents was during the financial crisis. My parents. So hard. They were always really, really good savers, but they didn’t have assets.

And when the stock market and when everything crashed, they had just purchased our first home. I was living in this like tiny apartment before and. , they had saved enough money to get a mortgage and get a townhouse outside Chicago, and all of a sudden the financial crisis happened and they lost everything.

So they went from just making it to bankrupt and having to start over again. And so I think that that really like solidified this feeling inside me that something is wrong with our system. I don’t know what it is, but something is fundamentally wrong and it hurts the little person and I wanna figure out a, what it is and I wanna be part of the change.

Terry: Mm. Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve seen the same thing But it seems to be going back to what we already know doesn’t work. So what, what do you think your parents would say to someone who’s young, who’s kind of leaning towards, no, we should go more towards socialism. What would their warnings be, do you think?

Natalie: Yeah, they would say to study history. I think education is just the key to everything, and I’m grateful that. My family, they’re just voracious readers and consumers of information and current events, but they’re very skeptical. They don’t just like buy into the mainstream narrative. They really look for sort of what other information and theories are out there.
And that’s sort of, I feel like what I ended up doing when I discovered Bitcoin and Austrian economic. Because the stories have already been told in history. I mean, it’s history repeating itself over and over. When you base the currency, when you expand the money supply, when you encourage inflation and you centralize the monopoly on money, it ends up hurting the very people in society that make up the majority of it.

And ultimately leads to the collapse of your empire, of your, your country. And I see that playing out. I’m very scared for it. And what’s sad is a lot of it starts or is sort of under the guise of good intentions, right? It’s the politicians coming in saying, I wanna help the little guy. I’m gonna give you money, I’m gonna give you this.
When in reality there’s such a lack of fundamental understanding of basic economic. And the history of things like inflation and price controls and wage ceilings the way that they’re talking about now, and you really have to dig in and understand that history to appreciate that we can’t keep making those same mistakes and we can’t keep allowing the powers to be so centralized and to allow this kind of wealth in equality to continue.
Because I would argue that when we stop lumping people, Big groups or just this big blob? On an individual level, I would say that we have so much in common. We have more in common than separates us, and we want the best for our families, for our future kids, our future generations. We want a sense of connection and we should all be able to have that.
If again, we work hard, we’re good people. We form connection and fellowship, and so I really believe that Bitcoin can help lead us back to that. I think we’ve lost that and I think it’s gonna take education and getting people. to understand why the problems exist so that they can appreciate the solution.

Terry: Yeah, I agree. I think the more you do kind of look into it, the more you say, well, it’s, the solution isn’t to go back and do what we’ve already done. The solution actually could be staring right in front of us.

So you’ve got a background in journalism. How much do you think your parents willing to go and seek and sort of find the truth, push you in that direction?

Natalie: It’s interesting. When I was young, I was very much influenced by storytelling, whether it was fiction or nonfiction. I just grew up on TV and movies, and the TV was like sort of always on at my house, especially when my parents came home because it helped them assimilate to. The American culture and to learn English like that was their way.

Watching English news programs helped them learn English, and a lot of people I know do that when they move to other countries and are trying to learn another language. So I grew up watching a lot of news and uh, interview format shows. And I thought, what an amazing job. You know, you get to learn and travel and interview world leaders and you get to understand different policies and different trends that are happening.

And I just thought it was like an incredible noble profession. And you know, it was obviously also a job that was very lucrative. Like if you were on one of these national networks, you were making great money to provide for your family and you also. What I thought would be a very fulfilling career. So I always knew very young that I wanted to work in like that storytelling industry.

I wanted to work in media, so I pursued that from a young age, but it’s been really fascinating to work at it in this point of history and time that we’re in, because it’s also changed in real time. As I basically ventured out of school and got my first jobs, it basically transitioned from a career.
Literally, most of Americans like sat down for appointment television and millions of people watched the five or six o’clock news and all the eyeballs were on it from a couple of different channels to a complete decentralization of media where the networks are competing with people on YouTube and podcasts, and there’s echo chambers of all this different messaging and you don’t know who to necessarily trust, and all of a sudden there’s a mainstream narrative and, and the.

Like eroded because now you’re doing the job of five people for the salary of like, you know, a fifth. And it was very interesting to see that evolution happen because I probably would’ve chosen a different career path for several reasons. But at the same time, I also dunno what else I would be doing because I’m so naturally curious and I love talking to people and learning and so it’s also like a great fit.

But watching how the industry has changed has been really fascinating.

Terry: Yeah. And so you started a podcast called Career Stories. How much of that do you think was you kind of teasing that out for yourself going, look, this isn’t quite hitting the mark for me and I wanna explore this area. Is that how you kind of learn like we’re talking to people and understanding different people’s stories?

Natalie: Yeah, so when I learned about podcasts, I just loved the format because it was just so free flowing like this, you know, two people engaging in a human conversation, and you got to basically listen to it from beginning to end, and nothing ended up on the cutting room floor for the most part. You know, it doesn’t, in television, it’s such a different format.

It’s highly produced and highly structured and formulated. So when I was a reporter, I would work basically an eight to 10 hour day, sometimes longer to put together. A one and a half or two minute TV piece, one and a half to two minutes. I’m working eight hours to put together two minutes, and I’m running around getting interviews, making phone calls, reading reports or documents, taking in information, and then synthesizing it to basically something that you could summarize and someone could consume in a short amount of time.
And people’s attention spans are very, very, So it was good in the sense that it taught me the skills of being able to simplify and crystallize a message, which now I’m trying to do with Bitcoin. But at the same time, you feel like a lot is left out because ultimately you have to pick and choose between eight hours of material and cut it down to just a few sound bites.
And I sometimes felt like the full picture wasn’t being told or I wanted to share more. And for me, I don’t know if you feel this way, but like I’ve always been fascinated with back stories, like origin stories, how people made it, why they are the way that they are. And especially rags to riches, like people overcoming some great obstacle in order to achieve success and prosperity.
And so I wanted to learn more about people’s backgrounds, both in my industry as well as other people in media. And there was this really great podcast out there that I still love. It’s called How I Built This with Guy Ra, and he focused on people. In business. So it was like, you know, the guy who created Southwest, or the woman who founded Spanx, and super cool stories, and I always loved to hear it.
All the journeys were so unique. But I wanted a place where it was people that I would see in the media, like any, anyone from politicians to social media, influencers, journalists, actors. I wanted to hear how they made it. So I basically just set off and started a podcast on my own. I called it career stories, and it had, I think, three seasons.
And then I became very passionate about Bitcoin and I had a mentor of mine who basically said, why are you not interviewing the people in the Bitcoin space? Like you’re sitting there reading all about them, you’re reading their material, watching their podcast, watching their YouTube channels. Why aren’t you talking to them like this is the future, you believe in it.
And so I go, you’re right. I’m gonna go and turn career stories into coin stories. And here we.

Terry: Take me back to the first time you heard the word Bitcoin. When were you first introduced?

Natalie: Yeah, so I was living in Northern California working in a local news market. It was Sacramento, so the state capital for California, which was fascinating cuz you’re basically covering the fifth largest economy in the world. But being in a state and in a local environment, And I had friends that were in San Francisco and I would visit just because Sacramento’s kind of like a small town and there’s not too much to do, and San Francisco’s the really big city that’s an hour and a half away that most people go to.

And so I met a bunch of people there and I started to hear the word crypto, Bitcoin, Coinbase. A couple of the guys I met had Bitcoin that they lost in Mount GOs. A friend of a friend worked at Coinbase and I just started. Be involved in these conversations and I said, you know what’s Bitcoin? And unfortunately I did what most people do, I think when they first hear about it.
I just assumed I was too skeptical and I didn’t put in the time to do the homework. Then I just thought, oh, this is like some funny money. Maybe it’s like getting stocks, but I don’t really understand this. I don’t have a lot of money to risk. I was very risk averse and it wasn’t until I went down that rabbit hole and started to consume a lot more information and started to understand the technology and how powerful it is and how transformative it is, and also how our monetary system works and all the flaws in it, and all the problems it’s caused that have affected my family.

And all the people that I was interviewing, that’s when sort of that aha moment happened for me because I was already feeling a little bit disillusioned as a reporter, seeing all the rices sort of playing out in real time that were dividing our country. And then I realized, oh my gosh, this is all connected to money. Our money is broken. This is a technology that fixes these problems. And then I became like the biggest bull for Bitcoin ever.

Terry: Yeah, it seems like. Because your story mirrors my own in the sense that like you initially dismiss and then you have another look, and the second time you have another look, you’re actually a different person. You’re in a different mind space. What is it that you think had changed for you between the first time when you were kind of going, oh, whatever, to the second time going, no, I’m gonna actually have a really good look at this.
What was different for you?

Natalie: For so many people. I think the pandemic was a very transformative moment for me because I guess I just didn’t see that long term vision, and I also hadn’t done the homework about how broken our system was. I feel like what our country is really good at is kicking the can down the road and making it Seem like everything is fine and you know, painted over and glossed over. But in reality, we’re forming these big bubbles and again, we’re encouraging more and more wealth concentration at the top and hurting the people that are at the bottom. And as a reporter, I was seeing all of this kind of playing out.

I was seeing poverty increase, homelessness increase, especially here in California where I live. I was. Seeing public corruption. I was investigating officials taking bribes and I was like, wow, this system is really corrupt and people are increasingly having trouble taking care of their families. It’s kind of a joke and a meme now online, but it’s like millennials, my generation.
We’re the most educated. We all have college or grad school degrees, and we can’t afford to buy a house. It’s too hard. I mean, a generation before us was able to accumulate wealth in the form of property and some of these assets, and we have trouble affording just basic things like having a house that you pay your mortgage or college education.
Everything is just. Ballooning in terms of price, and then you have these politicians coming in and I would report on them. I would report on the elections. They all claim to be the solution, the profit that’s gonna solve everything. This guy’s the one that caused it. This is the bad guy. And all of a sudden you’re covering that year after year after year, and the problems are ballooning, ballooning, and they’re pouring more money on it from your.
Taxpayer money. And when I learned about Bitcoin, I was finally like, oh my gosh, this is what’s wrong. This is what’s wrong. And I never knew and I never understood. And I get why other people don’t. Because you could be in the best school in the country and you don’t learn about Austrian economics or these economic theories that basically say that stimulating the economy artificially through lowering interest rates and basically manipulating the money supply and expanding it to cause inflation isn’t good.
We don’t learn. You have to do the homework to learn that. So Bitcoin for me was like that big aha moment. But again, like I didn’t see the light until more recently in the last two to three years. But now that I do, I feel like it’s my calling to share and spread that message.

Terry: Yeah, love it. And. A smooth ride for me. It wasn’t a comfortable journey down the rabbit hole. There was a lot of things you had to, I guess, sit with and acknowledge. Was there a moment where you kind of thought, I kind of don’t want to know some of this stuff.

Natalie: I don’t know. I feel like because of what happened to my family, I had a chip on my shoulder and like I had an ax to grind and it made me a really. Passionate and determined reporter. I was an investigative reporter for a good chunk of my career, and so I, I felt like it was my duty and it was my responsibility to hold the powerful people accountable and to hold their feet to the fire.

And if they’re doing something wrong, to call them on it and to be brave. And it’s. Expose that information to the public. I just felt this like fire growing inside of me. And so when I went down the rabbit hole and I started with the Bitcoin Standard by Safe Moose, which is my favorite book, especially in the space that fire grew and it went from a fire of feeling sort of jaded and disenfranchised and frustrated and angry to a fire.
Hope and feeling like there’s something on the other side and feeling like we can build something better. We just have to like shepherd people into that system and help them understand. And so it went from almost like a negative feeling to a positive one through Bitcoin actually.

Terry: Yeah, exact same for me. Same thing. I was very angry at the start, and then you become very hopeful. But it’s funny, like people at different stages of that journey, they see you at different stages and they think that you’re trying to tear everything down. And you’re just a negative, cynical sort of person and you’re like, well, actually it’s funny, I had a conversation with my business partner Ryan, who’s on the podcast and, and I was kind of knee deep into safe Dean’s work right in the middle of the Bitcoin standard and also Jeff Booth’s book as well.
The Price of Tomorrow, like I went to business school, I was just taught Straight Kasian economics and I guess I bought it, you know? So I started talking about this stuff and saying, mate, there’s probably more to the story here than we think. And actually this is broken. And the comment he made to me was really interesting.
He said, I think I’m just more optimistic about the future than you are. And I said, how could that be? Because your kind of logic is this is the best we’ve got and mine is we can do better. Like how are you more positive than me? We have to get beyond this current system to be able to get to that place.
And so it’s been an interesting kind of journey. We’ve been at different stages at different times and, and having debates and conversations along the way has been really useful. But I found it really interesting as you’re at different stages, the way you’re perceived externally as well. So I’ve also heard you mention that.
You don’t consider yourself to be a, like a technical person, and I know that that idea probably stops a lot of people from even considering doing the work to understand this space. What advice would you give to somebody who’s thinking to themselves? Yeah, but you guys are probably really, really smart and you understand developing and code and all that kind of stuff.
Do you think that’s a barrier or what would you say?

Natalie: Yeah, I mean, I can understand why people are just, I. Space at large, and obviously it’s very male dominated, so it was difficult for me to find female role models, and I would argue to people that you don’t have to know how the internet was created or coded, or how a car engine is broken down and actually put together in order to appreciate.
The amazing utility and the mission that those products or services offer you. You know, so you can appreciate the internet and not understand how it was invented. You can appreciate a car even if you don’t know how to build one. And I think the same way about Bitcoin. Like I’m passionate about the programming and I do educational webinars where I get very excited talking about.
Just the monetary policy that was programmed and like the difficulty adjustment and how mining works. And I think that there are easy ways to just form analogies that resonate with people that aren’t technical. But at the same time, you don’t have to go that far and that deep and understand every single thing about, you know, blockchain technology and how Bitcoin was invented and all the research and development.
Over the course of about 40 years that came to the invention of Bitcoin to again, get a tremendous use and appreciation for it. So I definitely encourage people to just get curious and to learn about Bitcoin, even if it is just the basics. And I always kind of go back to what you mentioned earlier. I think if you were to put your money in the bank, you get what, like a 0.01% return.
Bitcoin’s performance over the last 10 years has really spoken for itself. And now that we have inflation that they can no longer. And we have essentially negative yielding bonds, which was traditionally that 40% allocation in a portfolio with little risk. I mean, there’s no denying you should really look at Bitcoin and as I think we.
Are in this digital age or information age where the older generations who were probably more in tune with something physical like gold. Now we have generations who exist their entire childhood with cellular devices and mobile technology who can appreciate a digital gold and a digital store of value.
So I think we’re moving in the right direction, but I would just say I’m not technical. I like the human interest and the political aspects of Bitcoin, and that’s why I’m passionate. Okay.

Terry: Yeah, you’ve done such a great job of getting the best voices in the space on your podcast. And drawing that out. I’ve learned so much through the work that you’ve done, so thank you for that. what I’d love to know is who do you think right now is the most compelling voice in this space?

Natalie: Oh gosh. I think that there’s so many and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to meet some of them. I would say Michael Sailor’s one of our most important voices, and I think that his entering the space and showing us what an institution can do has been just so compelling and. So necessary and the way that he’s able to also formulate analogies that are easy for people to understand, like the idea of your money being a melting ice cube, or inflation being sort of like having the oxygen sucked out of a room and Bitcoin being this oxygen mass that comes down.
I just think that those analogies and metaphors are so visual and so they capture the essence of why we need this technology, and I also think he’s very calming to listen to because of his. That it doesn’t have to threaten the US dollar. You know, I think we’re in a very pivotal time right now where regulators and officials and Washington insiders who truly don’t understand Bitcoin, they automatically latch onto the negative headlines or the negative narratives, and they wanna make sure that they maintain their prerogative on power.
They wanna remain in office, and they wanna remain in power. I think the more that we sort of soothe and massage that narrative a little bit and really focus on how this is allowing people who don’t have access to banking to be banked. This is allowing for financial inclusivity. This is a chance for generational wealth accumulation.
This is a savings technology. This is a. Store of value, those ideas are much more important than saying down with the Fed , you know, like the US dollar is done burn hell. I don’t think that that’s an effective communication when we’re so early and we need mass adoption. So I commend Michael Sailor for being really great at translating that message.

Terry: Yeah, I would agree. And Michael Sas, the guy. Killed me. I heard about Square and I heard about PayPal and those guys kind of getting into the Bitcoin space, and then I traced it back to the micro strategy and somebody told me about Michael Sailor and then what Micro Strategy had done. This is what I said.
I was like, this guy’s, either the dumbest person I’ve ever heard of or. He knows something, I don’t know. And then I watched his interview on the impact theory and he, where he laid out the whole logic over about two hours. And by the end of that I was, oh, actually about five minutes in, I’m like, this guy’s not dumb
He’s way smarter than me. And after about 15, 20 minutes, I was like, okay. There’s a lot that I have to get across here. So I would agree. I think he’s been absolutely pivotal in the space and he was recently on Safe Dean’s podcast and I dunno if you heard, it was like a three hour interview and the whole thing was exactly what you were saying, where he was saying, guys, you just gotta calm down a little bit because you know we’re gonna get there, but not the way you are carrying on.

Natalie: No, and I think, again, what I like is this idea of, you know, Satoshi Nakamoto sort of like initiated the spinning top, you know, and it’s hands off. It doesn’t even matter who Satoshi is, and the system will work itself out. The incentive system that was created by Bitcoin, it’s now out there. And the world will respond in different ways.
Like this is a true, I think, return to an economy or a base layer of the economy that’s based on sound money in a digital form and could allow for real supply and demand and value and production to sort of dictate our economic future. And I’m super excited about that. And what the central banks end up doing with their currencies will decide their.
And I think Bitcoin is separate from that. It’s an option out of that and it’s insurance policy against it because so far what they’re doing is leading, again to this massive blaring wealth gap, and we need to change something. And so I’m so grateful to have discovered Bitcoin.
Terry: Yeah, definitely. Something else I appreciate about your approach to is that you’ve talked to non-believer. Sort of try to understand them as well. And Peter Schiff’s, one that comes to mind and he’s one of the biggest, I guess, naysayers. What have you learn about, I guess, the personalities and the backgrounds behind these people?
What’s your view on why they are the way they are?

Natalie: So I love Peter Schiff. Uh, I’ve talked to him a couple times, um, and I really appreciate how knowledgeable he is about monetary history and about how our system works and sort of the problems that exist, but also that potentially are leading to what he predicts is this massive crash or deflationary bust.
Like I mentioned before, our country’s very good at kicking the can down the road and inflating this bubble even further. But so I read his book, the Real Crash, which whether you believe in Bitcoin or not, I think everybody should read it because it really lays out the problems in our government. And he writes solutions that if you’re kind of pessimistic or realistic, they will never happen cuz it includes things like Do Away with the Fed, you.
So they’re a little bit extreme, but it’s just really fascinating how he unpacks how our system works. And he told me on my podcast that he obviously should have bought Bitcoin because it would’ve been probably the greatest trade of his life, but he didn’t see the potential back then. And I think it’s right now a matter of stubbornness.
I really do. And I also don’t think that he has done as much homework as he. Claims to have done because sometimes he goes on these shows and he compares Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies and he claims that it could easily be copied and like someone who says that to me doesn’t understand proof of work and just like network effect and everything about how Bitcoin was designed.
So it makes me sad to see people speak negatively about something that is fundamentally. Exactly what they believe in, right? I mean, he’s an Austria economist who believes in hard sound money. This is just hard money in a digital format, and if it were to succeed, then all the things he wants to see could happen.
Like there’s hope through it. So I think he like capitalizes on the fact that he’s sort of the villain of the Bitcoins. Space and likes maybe that persona. Um, but I also think that he could have a turnaround like Michael Sailor was saying, like, this is going to zero, it’s not gonna survive. And people have called him out and he never took down those tweets.
He’s like, Hey, I changed my mind. And Peter Schiff has told me on my podcast that if people’s salaries are becoming denominated in stats, and if you’re paying for things in sat, then he will say he was wrong about Bitcoin. Then I think that that will happen.

Terry: Same. I wonder. I’m like, what’s the go here? It’s just about, I guess, being noticed and being out there and because it’s easy, it’s very easy to get a lot of attention very quickly. By being a very vocal naysayer of Bitcoin right now, you will get a lot of attention.

Natalie: Yeah, but there’s definitely a difference between people like Peter who understand the system and like get like the fundamental core problems. And people like the Steve Hankeys of the world who are like, are very much brainwashed and indoctrinated by Kensey in theory. And they will never see it. Like they’ll never see the light because they’re just gonna be the ones who argue for government intervention and stimulus.
And it’s like, don’t understand how your brain can function.

Terry: I know it’s bizarre. People just don’t wanna change their minds. I’m like, it’s a strength to change your mind. It’s actually you learning. If you don’t change your mind, you’re not learning. I wanna just jump to probably a little bit more around the media machine, right? Because something that is very difficult, I think right now is people passing their way through headlines, and the headlines are incredibly, a lot of the time misleading, very polarizing.
I guess I wanna understand from your view, with your background being cnn, all this space, what are the incentives? What’s the main thing? Pushing these extreme type headlines that don’t necessarily educate us, they just more enr us and push us into corner one or corner.

Natalie: Yeah, I definitely think it’s a couple of things. I mean, as far as a business model, the internet has really just transformed and caused the media industry. To splinter and become sort of desperate for clicks and any share of the advertising dollars that remain and now exist in different formats. And so I definitely think there’s something to be said about sort of the click baby headlines and things that you know will get your eyes on the paper, the article, the video that maybe aren’t of total substance and something that might not have made headlines, you know, maybe a decade or two ago.
Which is really sad. But the other thing is I genuinely believe that there’s just like this fundamental lack of education on economic theory and financial literacy, and that trickles into the newsrooms and reporters just don’t understand. Reporters are trained in universities that just like you, they were trained as kingian kind of mentality.
Theories and they believe that if the government says it, it’s probably good. I just feel like there’s more and more a lack of holding government accountable. What frustrated me about my industry is seeing some networks become almost like a propaganda machine or a mouthpiece for big government, and I didn’t understand that because I felt like the great journalists of the past and the muck breaks, they did not do that.
They were very skeptical and they were very hungry. For information that would challenge whatever officials or the powerful narratives might be. And I’ve seen that transform, and I don’t know if that’s about having access. Like one of the things that I remember was really important to some of the networks that I worked for was the idea that you have access to certain officials or certain people to interview, and that could be very intoxicating.
That can maybe lead you to not covering things in a certain way. I just think it’s deeper than that. I think it’s this fundamental misunderstanding of economics, not having an appreciation for things like currency, de basement, monetary policy, money printing. Like I guarantee you, I could walk into a bunch of newsrooms right now with people who have amazing degrees at great universities, and I could ask the reporter, or even the anchor, explain money printing to me, and they would be like, uh, explain why they’re buying treasury.
Explain why the market is functioning the way it is. I guarantee a majority of people would not be able to give me an answer that makes any sense. And so that’s a huge problem. And then I think that that just kind of influences how they see stories and. It’s kind of the idea that you’re mean if you want people to work and have a challenging time in an economy like this, like you’re mean if you don’t wanna give people stimulus, you’re mean if you don’t wanna hand things to the victim, and it’s like that’s sort of backwards because it’s creating more victims and it’s creating more problems, more leverage.
A tab for future generations that they have to pay. And yet people don’t understand that because you can’t treat symptoms. You have to understand like the base layer problem and the ultimate sickness, the illness, which is in our monetary system. And we’re electing people that don’t understand that we’re electing people that don’t understand inflation.
We’re electing people who are blaming corporate greed and blaming the wrong people for problems that ultimately their policies create. So like I think all of that trickles in, it’s like politics and media and it’s blending now more than ever. And this is why I think education is so important. So sorry if that’s like a wide tangent, long answer, but I just think that there is a broken incentive system, but I just also think it’s an education problem.

Terry: Yeah, very true. I’m interested in your view, because I think at a surface level, even if you’re not saying it, you can come across, like you’re saying, tear this system down and everyone’s gonna have to go through a whole lot of pain. And that’s how we get things better. But I think that message is just lost on so many people.
Like, so for example, I think Jeff Booth’s book is so important for people to understand what is happening here in terms of the inflationary system colliding with the deflationary technology and those two forces butting up against each other and it’s accelerating the endgame of this. Right. But then I hear the Peter shifts of the world, and it sounds like they’re saying, and I’m not saying they’re saying this, but it sounds like they’re.
You need to go through a whole lot of pain to fix this, but the way I understand it is, listen, look, we have to let this unravel because that’s how our generation gets our shot. That’s how we actually get back to normal valuations. That’s how we get our opportunities to be able to build our own world.
And we don’t get that chance right now because like you say, we are just kicking it down the road and the further we kick it down the road and the longer, the harder it’s gonna be for us to be able to build the same or have the same opportunities that generations previous had. So in your view, how do we better manage that message?
Cause I don’t think we’re nailing it.

Natalie: Yeah, so this is why I’m so excited about Bitcoin because I. That if we didn’t have Bitcoin, we would have to experience a ton of pain. And there’s a great opportunity in that pain, right? I mean, that’s where some people have built their greatest wealth is by investing during a time of recession or depression, but at the same time, it hurts.
The majority of people, and it hurts the people on fixed incomes and pensions and it, it crushes people. Nobody wants that. And look, I’m the first person to understand that that’s essentially why we had the stimulus, and this is why certain decisions are being made because we ended up through bad policies over decades and going off the gold standard with an economy.
Where people can’t afford a $400 emergency, where the idea of shutting down for two weeks and not getting a check or stimulus means literally the economy crumbles because we’re basically just existing on thin ice. We’re a house of cards. And who built that House of cards? Well, it was government propping up big corporations and themselves.
And so I think if we didn’t have Bitcoin, we would have to suffer a very, very painful deflationary bust. And from that, we would have to rebuild. And because we have Bitcoin, I truly believe we now have this Noah’s arc. We have this ship that people can opt out of peacefully. And who’s the loser if people jump onto Bitcoin bonds?
I guess if everyone just put money into Bitcoin and Bitcoin. And the cream lifted to the top, everybody in that system would benefit. Your enemies would benefit and your best friends would benefit and your future children would benefit. And that’s what I think is so incredible and it, it’s almost like it takes greed and it pivots it into something that helps everybody and secures money for generations into the future.
So I just think that that’s so incredible and powerful and that’s the narrative that like makes a great impression on me. Because if we didn’t have Bitcoin and we’re in this place of so much leverage, we are in a debt spiral. We have to keep purchasing these treasury bonds to keep everything afloat and we’re kicking the can and the tab down the road for generations to suffer to try to pay this bill that they can never pay off.
We’re essentially in solvent if we’re really, really honest about it. And we exist in like this imaginary wealth that we’re creating from debt and credit. And the second that that unwinds it is gonna. The most painful bus that could lead us into authoritarianism, right? Where people are fleeing to the one person that promises to like take them out or promises them the, the free checks and the, the salvation out of this like disaster.
That’s scary. That’s like really scary to think about. I don’t wanna exist in the world like that, and I truly believe that Bitcoin is like the escape patch from that happen.

Terry: Well said. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate you giving your time. I know that you’ve got plenty on in this space and you’re really sought after voice because of your ability to translate this stuff, make it really accessible. So thank you so much for coming on. I’ve just got two more questions to ask.
What is your best orange pill story?

Natalie: I would honestly say it’s my family because my parents, again, they came here, they’ve sacrificed so much and they really value every dollar that they earn because they worked so hard for it. And my mom, like, you know, they’re an older generation who does value something physical like gold. And so I sent my mom the Polish version of.
The Bitcoin standard, and it was the first time after that that she was no longer so worried about me owning Bitcoin. And so I’m grateful that I’ve been able to sort of teach my family about it because I hope that Bitcoin continues to grow and allows them to save in a way that they couldn’t before.

Terry: If you could recommend two or three books for people to read to be able to, I guess, get beyond the headlines and better understand this space, what would they.
Natalie: Yeah, number one, the Bitcoin standard by Safe Moose, and he has this great follow up book that digs even deeper into our credit system, Fiat Standard. I think both of those books are at the top of my list. I would also add a bullish case for Bitcoin by VJ Boya Pot, who was on my podcast, safeing Ma on it as well.
That book is phenomenal, and I also just really like the real crash. I think people should read that. I think it’s a really great depiction of the problems that exist in our society and government. Some solutions, and you can sort of connect the dots to Bitcoin from someone who doesn’t even appreciate Bitcoin.

Terry: Yeah. Yeah. Love that. So what’s on the cards for you now? Like what’s the future for you in Coin Stories as a podcast, and what do you see?

Natalie: I just wanna continue to share the message and simplify it and, and do as much content and, uh, speaking opportunities as possible to help bring the average person in. If you follow my work, you know that I’m really focused on Bitcoin because I think its. Solves the problem that we have with our money. So I think, you know, fix the money, fix the world.
I agree with that mantra and I choose to focus on that because until we have everyone on the arc, I don’t wanna venture off and splinter off into anything else because ultimately I worry that some of the other projects and tokens out there are gonna hurt people more than they’re gonna help them.
Whereas I believe like Bitcoin could potentially. Allow people to save for their future families and really accumulate wealth for generations that is outside the purview of oppressive and greedy government. So I’m passionate about Bitcoin. If there’s anyone who wants to learn more about it, please reach out to me.
I’d just love to share the message with as many people as possible.

Terry: Yeah. And where can people follow you and hear more from?

Natalie: Yeah, I’m very active on Bitcoin, Twitter, so at Na Brunel, my podcast is Coin Stories on YouTube, Google, apple Podcast, Spotify, all of it. And, uh, you can also inquire about speaking engagements or educational webinars. So reach out.

Terry: Awesome. Thank you so much again for coming on, Nat. Really appreciate

Natalie: Thanks you so much for having me.