Mike Belshe, BitGo CEO, on US regulation and institutional crypto adoption | Ep. 245

In an exclusive interview with blockchain.com, Mike Belshe, Co-Founder and CEO of BitGo, talks about US crypto regulations and how they should be principles-based, and institutional crypto adoption.

About Mike Belshe

Mike Belshe is the Co-Founder and CEO of BitGo and an Internet Pioneer. At BitGo, Mike Belshe drives product and business strategy for delivering security, compliance, and custodial solutions for blockchain-based currencies. Before founding BitGo in 2011, Mike helped develop the internet as we know it today and was also an advanced tech pioneer.

Mike Belshe gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication, provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com.

Highlights Of The Interview

  • US Crypto Regulations Should Be Principles-Based
  • Most of the problems that we have today stem from regulators that move too slowly
  • Principles-based approach increases adaptability and flexibility for regulators and does NOT mean advocating for deregulation or a light touch
  • 35% of the 510 exchanges in the world use BitGo wallet or BitGo services
  • BitGo processes approximately 20% of all global Bitcoin transactions by value and is the sole institutional custody provider for wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the blockchain Podcast. We are buzzing as always, and I’m super pumped to have today’s guest on the show a true chiseled vet, Co-Founder and CEO of BitGo, and an internet pioneer. Mike Belshi is on the show today. Mike drives product and business strategy for delivering security, compliance, and custodial solutions for blockchain-based currencies. Before founding BitGo in 2011, Mike helped develop the internet as we know it today and was also an advanced tech pioneer. He’s done it all. Been a hot minute. Pumped to have you on, Mike, welcome to the show.

Mike Belshe Thanks for those kind words, Matt. Nice to meet you.

Matt Zahab You as well. Super pumped to have you. I know before we went live here, you said your Twitter fingers are a little spicy this morning. You’re in a little bit of a Twitter debate. What’s going on there?

Mike Belshe Sure. Well, we’re in the wake of Prime Trust being shut down by its regulator a couple of days ago, and so people are discussing that. And by the way, I love what’s going on in Wyoming. Sometimes Twitter does not capture your true feelings. Sometimes it seems more hostile than it is. Caitlin Long has been pioneering over there. She’s been doing a great job. I love that they have explicit laws and regulation around how to handle cryptocurrencies, and most states and our federal government don’t have that explicit law. So that’s the good news coming out of Wyoming, which I think is great, but now that we have Prime Trust entering bankruptcy, there’s this question of, you know, does Nevada protect the clients of Prime Trust the way Wyoming would? And Caitlin has been claiming for a long time that Wyoming is superior, and I think from an academic and theoretical perspective, there’s some truth to that. But in practice, there’s really not. For one thing, there’s just no case precedent where when a trust company, state-chartered in New York, South Dakota, anywhere in the United States goes bankrupt, the assets of the clients get assumed into the creditors of the trust company. There’s no case precedent on that. There are a few examples that she cited here and there, but literally that’s not what’s happening in those cases. So anyway, we’re discussing that and I think this can be a sideshow to the real issue. So we’ve had failures in the crypto space. We’ve had institutions that failed in their job, whether it’s mostly been exchanges and here we have a custodian for the first time and how do we prevent that? And the reality is that the Wyoming law about bankruptcy would not have prevented this, right? They could have been a Wyoming state-chartered trust company. And if you lose the client assets, the client assets are gone. It’s like, imagine a bank robbery where the bank vault is empty. It’s not like bankruptcy can somehow make that come back. And it’s not like the Wyoming taxpayers are going to foot the bill either. So anyway, that’s the debate that we’re having. And I think there are two parts to it. One is like, look, people need to know that there are a lot of good ways to do custody in the United States. State-chartered trust companies are some of the largest trust companies in the world. Bank of New York Mellon, a state-chartered trust company in New York. The DTC, which manages all the stocks and equities in our markets, is also a New York state-chartered trust company. So it’s a perfectly viable way to run a trust company. And the arguments against it are kind of silly. But more importantly, we need to have discussions about how to prevent crypto failures, whether it be at an exchange or anywhere else. And I think that’s the more interesting thing to discuss.

Matt Zahab: Well, Mike, you just laid that up for me. No defenders in the lane, a clear baby. Actually, that’s a slam dunk. What am I talking about? But let’s jump onto US crypto regulation. I know you and the team have had numerous chats with the big dogs who can actually make these changes, and you are in the camp that US crypto regulations should be principles-based and that most of the problems we have today stem from the regulators moving at an extremely slow snail/tortoise-like pace. If you were running the show, you are the head of the SEC, you are the head of regulation. What would Mike Belshe do to make sure that we prevent further crypto failures?

Mike Belshe: Well look, I wish I were smart enough to be able to give you a perfect playbook answer. I do not have that. And also, just kind of on your intro there, I would not put all of the blame at the foot of regulators, but I think that they do have a hand in it at this point by not having helped regulate sooner. I think a couple of clear examples. Number one, Silvergate Bank had a massive concentration risk in the crypto sector. I think 90 plus percent of their revenue all came from crypto clients.

Matt Zahab: It was that high?

Mike Belshe: Yeah, why was it that we had a single bank taking the full load of a trillion-dollar industry on its shoulders? Like if we had had 100 banks each doing 1% of the banking activity, we would not have had this failure. So why weren’t there more banks? Well, the regulators could have helped banks say, “Here’s how you regulate crypto companies, this is what you do, it’s safe, you’re not going to be in trouble, we’re going to work with you. We’re not going to find you on the other side if you’re doing things in earnest to protect client assets and investor protections.” Right? So they have laid a forward path even if it wasn’t perfect, even if it couldn’t have stopped every failure. Just to make sure that we get the robustness which is inherent with having a many participant system. So that’s one example. The second example where I think regulators have now contributed to the problem is lack of an ETF. So we’re getting into BlackRock, I’m sure, because that’s the news of the week. But look, it’s been seven years. It’s been a long time since the first ETF application came out. They’ve been rejected and rejected. Look, if we ran an ETF as a way to get access to Bitcoin, and there’s been clear investor demand for Bitcoin for years, then instead of having to go and wire money to an offshore exchange running out of the Bahamas to get access to Bitcoin, you would have just done it through Charles Schwab. It would have been through all regulated participants, would have been super simple and smooth. And frankly, there’s no reason why a number of these that were rejected should have been rejected. You can even see this in that there’s, like, some ETF futures, Bitcoin futures ETFs, and those have the same controls and the same dependency on having a good price index as a spot ETF would have. So the fact that they were able to approve that, but not the spot ETF, it just shows that there’s some picking and choosing going on which is not related to the actual ETF. It’s related to someone’s desire to decide what can and can’t be put into an ETF. All right, so now consumers, investors, don’t have access to ETFs, which could have been a very safe vehicle, certainly much safer, wouldn’t guarantee perfection. But the regulators haven’t allowed us to do that. And instead, we’ve had other types of failures.

Matt Zahab: One of the points that you specifically, Mike, have said many times about the importance and security of the ETF, the US has undoubtedly the best traditional financial firms who specialize in risk sorting on the whole planet. The best risk management people on the planet are US firms, and it just seems like a no-brainer to launch the ETF. Playing the devil’s advocate side. Why did they not want it? I genuinely do not understand it.

Mike Belshe: Well, look, I mean, I can’t really understand the logic on the other side either, but I think it is about power and money. So let’s see a couple of things. Like is the US the best at managing risk? Probably. Is it perfect? No. And we see that right now, completely unrelated to the crypto markets, is the inverted yield curve of US treasuries, causing banks to have mismanaged all of their client funds. And this is the cause of SVB going under. It had nothing to do with crypto, nothing to do with Silicon Valley, had everything to do with bank management under the supervision of the best and brightest of our regulators. And I’m not trying to put blame on them, actually. There may be blame there, but really what I’m trying to point out is that, look, there are imperfections in any system that you put forward, and yet you put it forward anyway. And the US markets, the reason I say they’re the best is, like, look at where the US sits in the equities world, in the Treasury’s world, globally, right? We have an open system where US participants participate, where foreign money can participate, and people know that they’re going to have consistency of result. I mean, a lot of what you’re building with trading in markets is markets that people can count on. Right? If you’re going to invest in a market, you need to know you’re not going to get rug pulled. Right? We didn’t hear the term rug pulled before crypto came along. Why? Because we had markets which helped prevent that. It’s not perfect. Bernie Madoff, that guy was a rug puller. Right? So, anyway, I have advocated for yes. If you want to upgrade the crypto risk-taking system, you’ll make sure that all the things that we’ve learned from the past can be applied. Now, I also want to be careful here. And you asked a moment ago about principles-based regulation. So I want to come back to that because it’s really important. The existing traditional financial system has identified and partitioned risk in a certain set of ways and it has some goodness to it. It’s not perfect, it still has some ability for flaws. What’s happening now is that all of a sudden software has moved into the financial services sector like never before, and anybody across the globe can create financial services products and sell them across the internet. That’s what’s happening. So regulators are grappling with what does it mean to be in that global context? I mean, previously you couldn’t have money inside your computer, right? You couldn’t fit the quarters inside. So all of a sudden they’re dealing with that issue. But the second thing is that this opens up innovation and innovation just changes super fast. So having a rules-based regulation where you say, “Hey, this is rule A, here’s rule B, here’s rule C,” and by the way, there are millions of rules across multiple regulators. It’s like really hard to make that work for all of the innovative types of things. So not every regulator is based off of rules. In the UK, for instance, they have this thing, it’s principle-based regulation. And what that means is they set the principles around what types of things are you supposed to be doing for investor protection, so that you can define it across a broad sector of assets and have it work and have some flexibility to it. And I think that so you asked me what I would advocate for. It would be more of a principles-based type regulation, which would include, of course, digital assets. It would include a number of things which digital asset exchanges, broker-dealers, custodians would need to do, which we’re not necessarily doing as an industry or individually today, but it would be covered under principle and be much more flexible. Now, we could innovate and the regulator might actually keep up with the innovation. If you go with the rules-based, there is zero chance that the regulator can keep up. And remember, the regulator is given a domain from the legislature. Right? So the legislature anoints a regulator to handle a particular set of things, and then the regulator is supposed to operate within some boundaries around that. The rules-based approach means that when something doesn’t fit within the boundaries, you have to go all the way back to the legislature, which is hard, slow, takes a lot of time, causes a lot of confusion. Right? So the regulator is now in a bit of a jam. They’re like, well, wait, is this my domain? Is it not my domain? If I do something, am I going to get in trouble? If I don’t do something, are investors going to be harmed? And so they start having to stretch the rules, which is exactly what we’re seeing right now. Right? So, I mean, you could argue then, why are they doing it? Is it political? Is it power’s money? Okay, lots of reasons. Some are well-intentioned, some we might perceive as

Matt Zahab Yeah, well said. This is one aspect that we’ve discussed on the blockchain Podcast for about 245 episodes, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of principle-based regulation. I feel like this is something that is not at the forefront of people’s minds.

Mike Belshe Well, we’re here in the US, so you probably have a US-centric view, and I do too. These are things that have come up over the last several years as we’ve been talking about market structure. BitGo’s mission is to deliver trust in digital assets. I don’t usually like mission statements because I’m an engineer and I see them as kind of fluffy and silly, but for us, it’s worked. In the early days, delivering trust was about creating a technology that people can rely on without single points of failure, and we achieved that. Then, people needed a Fiduciary, and we thought traditional Fiduciaries would come in and use our software and hardware, operating under their regulatory umbrella. But that didn’t happen, so we had to do it ourselves. The second phase of BitGo was that, and now we’re in the third phase. This is the hardest phase for sure, which is how to create a market structure that can handle trillions of dollars of digital assets flowing through it. The current model of verticalized exchanges, where the exchange acts in every function, is prone to failures. We’ve seen those failures. The reason it evolved this way is because people didn’t know how to handle it in the beginning. Digital assets are different from traditional finance and evolve quickly, so it needed a different caliber of company to handle it. But now, we have to start focusing on providing stability for reliable trading and investing markets. As a custodian, people want stability and consistency. There are still many failures that need to be addressed, and broad classes of risk that need to be taken on. But I believe as a custodian, we are uniquely positioned to provide that stability. So right now, delivering trust in digital assets for us means building market structure, which has led us to do a lot of research on how regulatory bodies like the CFTC and SEC work, both in the US and the UK. While it’s not as simple as saying, “Hey, Mike, if you were in charge, how would you solve it?” a lot of work needs to be done and many smart people need to be involved. But I do think moving away from rules and back to principles is the key.

Matt Zahab That’s the secret sauce. I love that. Mike, let’s talk more about BitGo. Before researching for the show, I was aware of BitGo. I know you guys power Canada’s biggest exchange, Bitbuy, and provide security and operational support to over 1500 institutional clients in 50 different countries. You work with some of the biggest players in the industry, which is incredible. Congrats to you and your team. What are some of the biggest differences you’ve seen from when you started in 2013 to now, in terms of providing these services? It must be a drastic change. Can you share a couple of funny or interesting stories that highlight the differences and how far you’ve come in the past ten years?

Mike Belshe Sure. When it comes to security, you’re never done. You just keep raising the bar. One simple example is the size of wallets. In 2013, a big wallet was around $10 million. By 2015, we were seeing $100 million wallets, and by 2017, we were seeing billion-dollar wallets.

Matt Zahab These are institutions, not individuals, right?

Mike Belshe Sometimes there are individuals with large amounts of money. When I talk about wallets, I don’t mean just a single address on the blockchain. There are billion-dollar wallets on the blockchain. But in general, I’m talking about how to secure large sums of money, like 10 million, 100 million, or even a billion. We want to be able to handle all types of assets through digital technology. Tokenized securities, asset-backed securities, and tokens are becoming more popular, and they will be regulated. Some of them will fit into existing regulations, but we need a system that can handle trillions of dollars in volume and transactions. It’s a never-ending process. In the early days, we used a naive approach to security. We started with one key, then split it into two keys. Then we had two people holding those keys, then three or an organization, and even splitting it between two organizations. Currently, when using BitGo, most people don’t realize that two independent companies sign every transaction, and we are working towards making it three. These keys will be separated across different jurisdictions because the regulatory landscape is still unstable. People who want custody for billions of dollars of assets want consistency and assurance that the rules won’t change. We can spread the keys across multiple jurisdictions and companies that are all regulated. We couldn’t do this before, but now we can. We are constantly evolving and focusing on the markets rather than just the technology of custody. It’s a never-ending process.

Matt Zahab I love that. Let’s take a quick break and thank our sponsor, PrimeXBT. When we come back, we’ll discuss Go Network. For the first time, institutions can access, transfer, and settle USD and digital assets instantly 24/7. But first, let’s talk about PrimeXBT. They offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. You can customize your layouts and widgets to fit your trading style. Listeners of the blockchain Podcast can enjoy an exclusive promotion by using the promo code blockchain50 to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your account. Now back to the show with Mike. Mike, tell us about Go Network.

Mike Belshe Go Network is a significant step towards enabling prime brokerage in the crypto industry. It addresses the problem of post-trade settlement activities within qualified custody. In the crypto market, if a large fund wants to liquidate or accumulate a position, they have to move assets from banks or custodians to exchanges. This process has been ad hoc and operationally driven, leading to risks and failures. Go Network aims to solve this problem by allowing clients to settle directly with each other within qualified custody. BitGo, being a crypto-native firm, specializes in this area. Additionally, we are integrating off-exchange settlement, allowing assets to be allocated to different exchanges while staying in qualified custody. This provides liquidity and efficient use of capital for traders. Go Network is an important innovation in the industry.

Matt Zahab It seems like you guys are primarily focused on providing peace of mind to clients. You solve complex problems and security issues, dealing with multimillion or billion dollar issues, by ensuring that clients have peace of mind. This is just a high-level explanation, without going into the details, but everything you’re talking about, Mike, revolves around giving peace of mind in various issues. It seems like you’re operating as a peace of mind factory.

Mike Belshe Yes, that’s a big part of what we do. Custody is meant to be a stable and boring business. We want it to operate smoothly and reliably. When it comes to retail flows, such as personal trading and storage, it’s easy to think about which brands you’re using, like Coinbase. But behind the scenes, it aggregates into millions of people’s activities. And when it comes to institutions handling other people’s money, it’s important to have a higher level of operation. You want to know that the people behind the scenes, whom you don’t see, are operating at a completely different level. When it’s your own money, you can make choices like putting it in your sock drawer, although I wouldn’t recommend that. But when it comes to other people’s money, you can’t do that. Fiduciary care is necessary. So, what we’re building is essentially peace of mind. We ensure extreme levels of technology controls, financial controls, and operational controls. A lot of it may seem boring and mundane, but the details matter. In the next few years, we’ll see who has taken the necessary care to deal with natural disasters or data center failures. We have designed fault tolerance into our system, using two or three multisig and MPC. The architecture we have allows us to do these things, and we continually strive to improve and take better care. We undergo audits to prove our smooth operation, not just to the world, but also to ourselves. But yes, peace of mind is what we aim for. You don’t want to have to think about these things, but in our industry, we have to. There have been too many failures. We’re not yet good enough.

Matt Zahab One surprising statistic I found when researching for the show is that you guys process almost 20% of all global Bitcoin transactions by value and are the sole institutional provider of custody for wrapped Bitcoin WBTC. How did you manage to achieve such a high number? Considering the sheer volume of Bitcoin transactions per day, especially during its peak, it’s quite impressive. How did you get there? Or is it simply a matter of doing the small, mundane, repetitive tasks that move the needle? Mike Belshe Well, it’s based on the number of transactions by value. In terms of the number of transactions, we’re not as high, probably around 6% or 7%. But in terms of value, we handle a lot of the larger flows of money. That’s because we focus on institutions. We have provided a great service and connected numerous brokers, exchanges, and others who deal with large volumes and flows. So, those transactions go through our wallets. Think of it like Coinbase. They are a much bigger institution than BitGo, but our wallets are used by thousands of companies, while theirs are used by themselves. So, even though they are a huge exchange in terms of on-chain activity, they are smaller than us because they are just one exchange, whereas we power many.

Matt Zahab Very true. Mike, this episode has been incredibly enjoyable. If you have any strong opinions, I’d love to hear them. We need a couple of hot takes from you before you leave. They don’t have to be related to crypto, custody, or finance. They can be about health, wealth, happiness, anything. But give me a couple of your takes before we wrap up here.

Mike Belshe Well, let’s see. We’ve been discussing traditional finance and the crypto world a lot. I actually believe that the crypto world is currently the most surveilled financial services system in the world. It’s ironic that people think crypto is not monitored and needs more anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) measures. I’m not saying it doesn’t need them. It does need them at the endpoints, but we have public blockchains where every transaction can be seen. The largest recoveries of lost assets and funds across all asset classes have actually happened in the crypto space, despite the limited controls in place. And the reason is that blockchains are simply better. So we have an opportunity to rethink the rules. I’m not saying the existing rules are bad. It’s just that the solutions chosen were outdated, and we can create new ones this year. So that’s a bit more long-winded than a hot take, but yeah, I believe that crypto is already the best surveilled financial system in the world.

Matt Zahab Interesting. I mean, what happened last week, or maybe two weeks ago? I can’t remember if it was JPMorgan or someone else, but around 700,000 documents mysteriously disappeared. This kind of records trend seems to happen quite frequently.

Mike Belshe That’s why I commented on that incident. The real tragedy is why do they have to keep track of every single record? Why do they have to keep track of every text message with a client, for example? This goes back to the regulatory structure we have today, which heavily relies on monitoring humans. But blockchains suggest a different approach by incorporating technology. Once the technology is set up, it operates consistently. A computer won’t suddenly decide to act as a bad broker, and you can instead become a code reviewer. So here’s maybe a hot take: regulators in the future will simply be software code reviewers. That’s what they’ll be, ensuring that the code functions correctly. If it does, there’s no need to constantly request thousands of documents from banks like JPMorgan. What were you doing on Tuesday?

Matt Zahab Yeah, just go check it out. One thing I completely forgot to ask you, Mike. You’ve worked at Netscape, Lookout, Microsoft, and Google. You must have some interesting stories. Our listeners and I love hearing stories. Do you have any good ones from your days at the big Web1 and Web2 companies?

Mike Belshe Well, maybe I’ll share one from the HTTP/2 era. I was around in 1995, but I can’t take credit for HTTP. I was just a young engineer at Netscape, having a great time. However, by 2008, I was back in the browser space at Google, working on Chrome. I was given the task of improving the speed of Gmail, which led me to dive into network performance and HTTP. This ultimately resulted in the HTTP/2.0 protocol that is widely used today. By the way, BitGo is actually included in the RFC (Request for Comments) for HTTP/2. You can look it up in the Internet standards. Of course, Google deserves more credit than BitGo, but BitGo’s name is there too. Anyway, with HTTP in 2010, we learned that the need for encryption was different from what was discussed in 1995. Back then, Netscape was building SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to enable encrypted traffic for ecommerce. It was a system with certificate authorities, protocols, and everything designed to create trust for online transactions. But by 2010, only about 25% to 30% of the web was encrypted. The rest was open. Today, it’s over 90% encrypted. With HTTP/2, we made it mandatory to use SSL. This decision was met with some resistance, but I made a statement back then that still holds some relevance today. While SSL was originally designed for ecommerce, it turns out that the real need for encryption is for matters of life and death. The entities hacking into certificate authorities are not after money from banks like Wells Fargo or credit card information. They are governments like Iran and China, seeking to harm dissidents. Encryption became more about protecting people than facilitating online commerce. So a lot of what we did with HTTP/2 was to ensure that encryption was widely adopted. There were complaints, with some saying it needed to work on printers, but fortunately, organizations like the EFF, Mozilla, and Google pushed for SSL. Technically, HTTP/2 doesn’t require SSL, despite my advocacy for it. However, major browser vendors like Microsoft, Firefox, Google, and Apple decided to only support it over SSL. As a result, we now have almost 100% SSL encrypted traffic. Now, if we want to relate this to crypto a bit, we often think about crypto in terms of money and how to make it digital and faster. People speculate on assets, and I hope that aspect of crypto diminishes soon as it can be annoying. However, better payments and improved velocity of money are valuable. But ultimately, when we look back 15 years from now, we’ll see that crypto was about humans and life and death. Imagine living in Turkey, Argentina, or Venezuela, where you’ve saved money all your life, deposited it in a bank, and then the government mismanages it, leading to hyperinflation and leaving you with nothing. It’s a human right to earn money, spend it, save it, and use it as you wish. Taking that away through taxation, theft, or inflation is wrong. Crypto will be seen as the solution to this problem. I say crypto, although Bitcoin is the most likely candidate to succeed. I just disagree with the terminology. There’s so much innovation happening in the crypto space, including within Bitcoin. But yes, Bitcoin is likely to be the solution to this particular issue of inflationary safety.

Matt Zahab: Thank you for sharing those stories. Mike, I have one last thing to ask you. I’m a big fan of Chrome. It’s funny how you keep mentioning the stories from 1995, and I was born in 1995. I remember when I was about ten years old, maybe towards the end of junior school, transitioning from Explorer to Firefox, and then all the cool kids switched to Chrome. It was so much faster and better. Did you and the team anticipate that it would become as popular as it is today? Because now there are niche browsers like Brave, but everyone uses Chrome.

Mike Belshe: Well, Brave is also based on Chrome. Underneath Brave is Chrome. Even Internet Explorer today is based on Chrome’s innards, along with Apple WebKit. Chrome and Apple had a split. No, we didn’t anticipate it. Our goal was to build a web platform that could compete with desktop vendors like Microsoft. The browser standards were not progressing at that time, so Google wanted to push the standards further. Initially, Chrome was intended to work within Firefox, and Google had hired key people from Firefox. But it wasn’t radical enough, so they eventually created their own browser project. At one point, one of the guys did a test against WebKit, which rendered much faster. Google also improved the JavaScript engine, which Apple didn’t think could be significantly faster. Google hired experts to make it 20 times faster. The browser market was stagnating, with IE dominating and Firefox not progressing fast enough. Apple had other priorities like the iPhone. Chrome came in to push the standards and force other browsers to improve, and its success exceeded expectations. Back then, people might have thought that Chrome having 90% market share would be a bad thing. There were concerns about introducing a new rendering engine (WebKit) after the browser wars between Netscape and IE. Apple had a small market share at the time. Sorry if I went into too much detail.

Matt Zahab: No, I love that. It’s so cool and nostalgic. I remember being a little boy and my parents being surprised when they saw Chrome on the home desktop instead of Internet Explorer or Mozilla. We only had one desktop at home, so my brother and I had to fight for our computer time after school. We were using Chrome, and my parents were curious about it. They asked why we weren’t using the other browsers, and I showed them how fast Chrome was. It was a cool experience.

Mike Belshe By the way, security was also built into that. We’re talking about security here and Chrome was the first browser to create. We called it a sandbox for each web page. So each web page ran in its own process. A lot of work went into making that memory efficient. It wasn’t perfect. There were trade offs, for sure, but the rationale was like, there was so much malware, in particular on Windows being distributed through web pages, and the browser is just a huge surface area to keep secure. And so that sandbox we created, google had bought a company. I think it was called Green Border or something like that. And what they did, they did process isolation and they stripped all the writes. What they wanted to get to was where even if you hack into that process, you can’t write anything to the disk. And if you can’t write to the disk, then, hey, you can just shut down your browser and you can come back up or you’re clean again. And for the most part, they were able to do that. There were some things at the time, remember Adobe Flash was like this huge violator of pretty much every good software engineering practice known to man. But that’s gone now, fortunately. Anyway, that was a huge thing and the browsers being secure is still a challenge. It’s like contest pone to own, which Google did very well for a long time. Super hard to hack, definitely raise the bar in terms of security practices for browsers nowadays I think everybody’s doing those models. Still a lot of work to be done because it’s a super hard problem. But anyway, lastly, we can learn from the browsers to crypto. I think really is thinking about what are we really doing here? Are we trying to trade and speculate or are we creating forms of money that in the end are going to help humanity and I really believe it’s the latter. And we saw that in encryption protocols and governments get scared of encryption protocols. In the 90s, by the way, it was illegal to export certain RSA cryptography. You probably don’t remember that regulators and lawmakers have had concerns about encryption software, right? We see this like regulators want to be able to get into your iPhone and they want Apple to provide backdoors to the regulators. This never ends well. Cryptography is humans friend. It is not big brother’s friend and it will apply to money. It’s inevitable. It’s not stoppable. Even if we try to stop it in the US. It won’t be stopped elsewhere. The bad guys, of course, are bad guys. Of course they’re going to use whatever tools they can. So the only guy you’re going to lock out are the good guys. Why would you want to lock out the good men, women and children of the world?

Matt Zahab Well said, Mike, what a treat. Really appreciate having you on. Learned a ton. You’re quite the speaker and your pedigree shows. Can’t wait to have you on for round two. Before then though, can you please let us know where our listeners can find you and BitGo online and on socials.

Mike Belshe Super easy to find. Just bitgo.com. Fortunately, the name easy to find BitGo.

Mike Belshe Yeah BitGo everywhere. Mike, thank you so much, man. Really appreciate it. Can’t wait to have you on for round two, but truly treat and all the best.

Mike Belshe All right, take care.

Matt Zahab Folks what an episode with Mike Belshe from BitGo. A true chiseled bet, dropping knowledge bombs left, right and center. And some great stories as well. We love to see that. If you guys enjoyed this one. I hope you did. Please do subscribe. It would mean the world to my team and I. Speaking to the team love you guys so much. Justas, my amazing sound editor, you are the man. Appreciate everything you do. And to the listeners love you guys. Keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy and happy. Bye for now and we’ll talk soon.