Famous podcast host and MMA commentator, Joe Rogan, is no stranger to Bitcoin (BTC).
Having mentioned it in numerous conversations already, both he and his guests have praised the asset before for its absolute scarcity and freedom-focused properties, while contrasting it against the controlling nature of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). He’s even accepted BTC as payment for one of his comedy shows.
That said, the podcaster’s remarks on Bitcoin are often only in passing. Despite popular demand, he seemingly neglects to host any experts on his show to explain its benefits at length, or to answer common questions about the technology – which he’s confessed to not understanding very well.
What might be keeping Rogan from hosting Bitcoin-dedicated podcasts with experts in the field? To answer, let’s examine his only historical exception to the rule so far.
The Andreas Episodes
Rogan has hosted at least three podcasts focused on Bitcoin so far – all with the popular blockchain expert and author, Andreas Antonopolous.
In the most recent of those interviews, the men talked about Bitcoin’s place in hyperinflationary environments, its lack of counterparty risk, the implications of a cashless society, and so on.
That discussion, however, was in 2016 – when Bitcoin’s price was still below $1000, and corporate adoption of crypto was a fraction of today’s. Even then, Rogan was giving Bitcoin a fair shake, and exposing his audience to the idea.
While Antonopolous has mostly stepped out of the spotlight since that time, a slew of new corporate and intellectual voices have stepped in to advocate for Bitcoin and digital assets at large. Yet this rise to prominence may be exactly why Rogan has sidestepped the topic entirely.
The Rise of Altcoins
Back in 2016, Bitcoin also consumed nearly the entire crypto market. According to TradingView, the asset’s market dominance was above 95% at the time.
Today, that figure has shrunk to 50%. Other major digital assets now breathe the same air as Bitcoin, including smart contract platforms like Ethereum (ETH), stablecoins like Tether (USDT), and non-fungible token (NFT) collections.
Like Bitcoin, Rogan has mentioned these alternative assets in more recent conversations – but he’s not quite the same fan.
“It’s a weird hustle,” he said about NFTs in 2021. “I think it’s like a cryptocurrency hustle. It doesn’t make any sense to me… I can have that photo and I can have it on my phone.”
On other occasions, Rogan has admitted to having “a little bit of Bitcoin,” and acknowledged it as “semi-tangible,” while expressing confusion over the thousands of other cryptos and tokens, such as Dogecoin (DOGE).
While no hardened expert, Rogan’s reservations about some cryptos compared to others reflects disagreements within the crypto industry as well. To this day, community leaders continue to dispute the role of other crypto compared to Bitcoin regarding value storage, transactions, scaling, DeFi, and other roles.
As a host, launching a Bitcoin-focused episode in this climate creates complications and controversy that weren’t present when he discussed the topic years ago.
For example, by hosting a podcast with self-proclaimed “Bitcoin maximalist” and billionaire Michael Saylor, Rogan might be labelled a maximalist himself, and be subject to all the criticism that comes with that. Similar events have occurred in the past in the realm of politics, where Rogan has been labelled “far right” for hosting conservative voices like Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro on his show.
In fact, we’ve already seen another podcaster face the same fate. After hosting Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin on his show years ago, Lex Friedman has since been pressured into hosting dissenting voices from across the space. Some of these guests have included Michael Saylor, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson, Bitcoin Standard author Saifedean Ammous, and others.
However, in hosting such guests, Friedman has found himself further embroiled in online drama, which has even prompted him to release video messages directly criticizing Bitcoiners for their “style of discourse”
Given Rogan’s history with controversy already, and the example set by Friedman, its likely the podcaster is attempting to entirely sidestep this conflict before entering it.
Though Rogan appears to hold more pro-Bitcoin opinions on the subject right now, expressing these in the form of a dedicated podcast could invite backlash from rivalling communities that he may not like. He may then feel compelled to invite altcoin supporters (ex. Vitalik, Hoskinson, etc) to create a “balance” of voices – whether or not he’s actually interested in doing so.
Bitcoin expert Jimmy Song put it succinctly in a recent Twitter post:
“The controversy will remain on Bitcoin versus altcoins and that’s not something he’ll be able to avoid. He needs more conviction before he’ll talk about it on his show and that’s not something he has yet.”
Until Rogan cares enough to enter the flames of that controversy, it’s likely best not to pester him further for a Saylor episode anytime soon.
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