FTP018: Vinay Gupta – Techno-Social Systems, Meditation, and Basic Human Needs

Vinay Gupta

Vinay Gupta is an old-school cypherpunk who has been involved with cryptography and crypto-currency since the 1990s – he was  as active member of the E-gold community before it got shut down. In recent years, he has been working on humanitarian projects to do with disaster prevention and relief with United States Department of Defense and other organizations. He is also the inventor of the Hexayurt, a cheap, open-source, zero-waste disaster relief shelter which is being used in refugee camps and in festivals like BurningMan.


This is first part of our 2-hour conversation with Vinay Gupta, we talk about cryptography and how decentralized technologies and platforms like Ethereum can change our society.  We discuss techno-social systems, and how disruptive technologies can break the cycle of those systems. We talk about having everyone’s basic survival needs met as a human right, and creating a future that includes all 7+ billion people – not just the Western world. We also touch on different approaches to meditation, and its place in our lives.

Check out Part 2 for our conversation with Vinay, where we talk about artificial intelligence, the brain as a quantum computer, and all sorts of other out-there stuff.

For more on enlightenment, check out our next 3-part interview with Vinay: Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

In this episode of The Future Thinkers Podcast:

  • [05:03] – What is eGold?
  • [09:24] – How Ethereum is fundamentally different from current web systems
  • [18:44] – Database vs. Network, and how networked databases can change the world
  • [21:41] – What is Ethereum besides a database?
  • [29:36] – Escapist Meditation vs. Meditation for understanding the Truth
  • [34:42] – Medieval Bullshit Meditation
  • [41:55] – How do we adjust our systems to accommodate 10+ billion people?
  • [49:00] – Understanding the constitution from the perspective of intent
  • [1:04:40] – How is Vinay Gupta radical?

Mentions & Resources:

Recommended Books:

More From Future Thinkers:


  1. As someone who has also meditated for over 30 years, I’m not sure I entirely agree with Vinay’s assessment of “reality”. Firstly, not all meditation practices are equal. They can often produce only “flavors of awakening”. They are also not all entangled with medieval superstitious beliefs. There is no inherent contradiction between the simple awareness practices of meditation and the scientific method – in fact they are utterly complimentary – try this, check results, try that, modify accordingly. Although I agree that when engages in authentic awareness practices of mind/emotion/body, one will uncover those parts of oneself that were previously suppressed, made wrong – trauma’s, fears, unresolved emotions, etc. A practitioner who doesn’t can often fall into the trap of “spiritual bypassing” where their efforts at enlightenment result in reinforcement and further suppression of unresolved emotional complexes. However, for those of us who do the courageous work of honestly embracing realities within ourselves, what we discover is the essence of ourselves, one that is flowing, joyful, bountiful, blissful. These positive states are reality, when we are in tune and in flow with it. It is never “neutral’.

  2. carl034 3 years ago

    Hello, I really enjoy your podcasts and this episode was all about why I love you guys. Keep doing what you are doing, thank you. Greetings from Guatemala.

  3. […] with a boatload of really interesting, borderline-crazy stuff in this great two-part—one and two—interview on the Future Thinkers […]

  4. […] he’s thinking about, speaking about, and working on. All of these quotes are taken from parts one and two of his interview with the Future Thinkers Podcast, which I cannot recommend highly enough. […]

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