On Bitcoin, Wealth Inequality, and the Future: Russell Lacour of Tantra Labs

As Bitcoin (BTC) continued to grow over the course of 2021, the history of Bitcoin has moved on. Bitcoin is increasingly viewed as a store of value or, more precisely, as a hedge against inflation. In the United States, the Federal Reserve has issued an estimated $ 9 trillion since September 2019.

As a result, more and more companies and individuals are starting to view the dollar as a liability rather than an asset. At the same time, assets like Bitcoin could gain ground as a potential antidote to an inflationary economic environment.

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Finance Magnates recently spoke to Russell Lacour, Chief Technology Officer of Tantra Labs, an algorithmic research and development platform designed to generate Bitcoin Alpha. Russell spoke to us about the impact of USD inflation on wealth inequality, Bitcoin in this present moment, and the future of alternative assets.

This is an excerpt edited for clarity and length. Visit us on Soundcloud or Youtube to hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Russell Lacour from Tantra Labs. This is a sponsored piece.

“Earning Money is Sexy”: The Origins of Tantra Labs

Who is Russell Lacour?

“I’m a conscious software engineer working to create financial algorithms that will allow people to relate to an asset other than the dollar,” said Russell. As such, Tantra Labs’ work “focuses primarily on Bitcoin and Ethereum, enabling investors to make returns in BTC and ETH” rather than offering returns in dollars.

Russell explained the meaning of the rather unusual name of Tantra Labs. “A lot of Westerners are familiar with the concept of tantric sex, and the concept that ‘tantra’ is that sexual thing, and frankly it’s sexy to make money,” he said. “But ‘Tantra’ actually means technology.”

“That’s why we named our company Tantra Labs because we’re a technology company that is solely concerned with transforming finance. We want to enable people to be made out of the assets of their choice, especially as it becomes increasingly toxic to hold assets like the dollar. “

Why is the dollar so “toxic”? Russell stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout exacerbated an important problem. “We have no control over the USD or any government-issued fiat currency.”

USD inflation & “poverty wages”

Additionally, “we have many” poverty wages “around the world today, which has resulted in the formation of a group of people who are essentially” slaves “to the financial system,” Russell said.

“It’s been like this for decades, we have a low-income population and a poverty wage that keeps people in that population. You have almost zero say; These are people who will live their entire lives without ever getting a chance to invest in any asset. They will rent from the day they are born until the day they die and will never escape the slavery of the system that they have absolutely no say in. “

“Yes, you can vote for an elected official, but even the elected official does not control the actions of the United States Federal Reserve.”

Russell Lacour, Tantra Labs chief technology officer.

Russell explained that the past 18 months have been a prime example of what can happen when this type of destructive system goes into high gear. “We made trillions of dollars in the economy,” he said. “In the United States in particular, many of us recently received a stimulus check for $ 1,400. For that $ 1,400, however, the Fed actually printed $ 5,000. “

“The remaining $ 3,600 actually went to your local government or to unemployment, a group of people you will never meet or whom you will never hear from and who will never help you directly,” he said. “For me this is a symptom of a broken system.”

“Not only has the US government brought all of the capital into the market, but those who have minimum wage jobs are directly affected but may not know exactly how badly they have been hit by inflation, rising house prices and much more. ” he said.

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“If you look at the purchasing power that people have with the money they hold, it has dropped tremendously. If you wanted to buy real estate two years ago it was literally half the price today … we are not taught that in school, although money literally rules most of our lives. “

“Nobody ever tells us that the dollar is not an asset. It’s a liability. “

How does Tantra Labs work?

What is Tantra Labs doing to combat this dollar toxicity?

“I started writing algorithms for stock trading about six years ago,” said Russell. “I created bots that would work for me.”

“Over time, I’ve seen that I’ve basically animated a simple set of rules, for example: If the 10 days exceed the 20 days, I want to buy. If it goes down I want to sell. ‘You can automate the whole process,’ he said. AI-based “genetic algorithms” can also be created to improve one’s own performance.

“At Tantra Labs, we developed a system that is written in Golang, a programming language developed by Google. It’s extremely fast and has allowed us to run around 50 algorithms in our portfolio. Each of these algorithms are constantly evolving and updating based on market conditions. “

“We have also developed market-making algorithms that provide liquidity to the market. We have developed algorithms that operate option spreads and arbitrage. All kinds of algorithms can be built with an underlying genetic model that enables it to be self-sufficient optimize.”

“We have automated the whole process so that we could open up to retail investors if we could.”

“All of that [Tantra Labs Is] Working today means either training individual investors or advancing a new paradigm of money: “

Unfortunately, “another aspect of this broken financial system is that we are only available to accredited investors in the US,” and investors outside of the US, Russell said. In the United States, accredited investors are those with a net worth of $ 1,000,000 or more (excluding primary residence value) or those who have had an income of $ 200,000 or more per year (or a combined income of $ 300,000, if they are married).

“If you look at the situation, the SEC and the other three- and four-letter organizations in the US have really put in place barriers to entry that do not allow workers to access opportunities that might benefit them. I would like to believe that Tantra Labs could be one of those possibilities, ”he added.

The problem with opening up these options to retail investors right now is that there aren’t many precedents. “Nobody did what we are trying to do [and has been engaged with a regulator]”Russell explained. As a result,” we’re getting into an weird legal gray area, but there are no clear answers “as to whether offering investment products to unaccredited investors would cross legal boundaries.

Meanwhile, “Everything we do today is aimed at either educating individual investors or advancing a new paradigm of money: living in a world backed by assets rather than a world backed by liabilities is secured. ”

The future of bitcoin

What does Russell think about the future of Bitcoin? “I see Bitcoin becoming a world reserve asset that governments will use,” he said. “I have a reason for this: do you think China would want to use the USD to process its transactions? Do you think the United Nations would use the yuan instead of the dollar? “

“The simplest settlement layer for all countries in the world would therefore be a neutral third party,” he said. “It would be something that no single country controls but that everyone agrees on. That’s bitcoin today. “

“The most logical step would be if the governments of the world told the world that the dollar was toxic because we don’t control it, the Federal Reserve does, and we can’t really trust them. China throws a fit, Russia throws a fit, the US throws a fit, so we choose a neutral third party that no one can control. “

“That is decades away. I don’t see that anytime soon, ”added Russell. “In this case, however, you are seeing a market cap of $ 50 trillion or $ 100 trillion for Bitcoin. You have BTC at $ 10 million apiece. That is my course goal. It sells for $ 50,000 to $ 60,000 apiece today. “

This is an excerpt edited for clarity and length. Visit us on Soundcloud or Youtube to hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Russell Lacour from Tantra Labs. This is a sponsored piece.

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