Anyone Who Goes To Work For A Central Bank Coin Is A Traitor

There’s a time and place for just about everything, and this is a time to be blunt:

Anyone who takes a job for a central bank or any similar entity, building a cryptocurrency, quasi-cryptocurrency or kind-of-blockchain-thing, is a traitor.

Not just a traitor to Satoshi (though that’s very certainly true), and not just to the crypto community, but a traitor to mankind.

This is how rulers enslave us. When we build some great new thing, they try to get rid of it. And if they can’t, they just hire us, build a version that suits them, and order everyone to use it. If compliance isn’t immediate they post a few heads on pikes.

It has happened over and over, but we can’t fall for it this time.

Anyone who builds a central bank coin will be forging the chains of mankind for mere paychecks.

Say it loud and say it proud.

Bitcoin and the Power Grid

BPowerGrid

“Bitcoin is evil” articles exist in profusion, and these days I pretty much ignore them. But one of the recent types – raising awareness of Bitcoin’s environmental unsustainability – has engaged me. As it turns out, I have an unusual background to bring to this topic, and I think I should contribute.

So, here we go:

Another Apocalypse?

Let’s be honest and admit that most of the “environmental movement” sells fear of an apocalypse. And as we should all realize by now, humans have an innate weakness for fear.

More or less every apocalyptic environmental prediction has failed. (I’m talking about those that could actually be measured, obviously.) That won’t stop the fear-sellers of course, and now Bitcoin has come into their sights.

The fear is that because crypto mining uses so much power, it will bring down the grid or cause various environmental disasters. The advocates of this fear throw around scary sounding numbers (measured in terawatts) and assorted scientific terminology. (“They understand it and you don’t… don’t expose yourself to ridicule.”)

But it’s mostly just fear. Sure, proof-of-work sucks up power, but that’s nothing new. How much power do you suppose all those millions of air conditioners suck up every summer? I haven’t dug up the figures, but I’m ready to take bets that it’s several times more than crypto mining. Shall we now fear the air conditioner?

Further Factors

I worked for decades in the electrical industry, and so I’d like to give you some facts from that perspective:

  • Power use has been going up since the beginning. These days most houses get 200 amperes of electrical service. But there are still thousands of houses that are wired with only 60 amperes. That was plenty 60 years ago. New loads (devices using power) come along all the time. In just my time, we’ve added air conditioning, microwaves, and lots of computers.

  • Mining is a nice, steady load. The kind power companies thrive on. What makes their lives crazy are seasonal loads like air conditioning, which occur only a few months per year.

  • Power failures happen every year, especially in summer due to the aforementioned air conditioning load. It’s a good bet that several fear-sellers have press releases ready to go for this summer.

  • The utilities are making money on this. More power use means more income.

  • If people use too much power, the providers will raise their prices. Econ 101.

And the Big One

Cryptocurrencies don’t finance war.

The public hasn’t actually paid for a war since WW2. Since then the whole game’s been run on credit. (The same goes, more or less, for everything Big Guv does to save us poor, helpless sheep.)

With Bitcoin and all the cryptos that I know of, you can’t do such things. If you want to throw a war in a crypto-based economy, you’ll have to convince people to pay for it. Good luck.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

So, You Wanna Get Involved with Crypto… Here’s What You Need to Know

InvolvedCrypto

After several quiet months, I’m hearing of more and more people who want to get involved with cryptocurrencies, and not just buying and selling. I’m hearing about people who want to start crypto-related businesses, even things like crypto-themed bars. These people need some orientation and most long-time crypto advocates are simply too overwhelmed to help much.

So, if you’re thinking of getting involved with cryptocurrencies, I’d like to give you the lay of the land, because crypto is not like other kinds of business.

Here are five things you should understand:

#1: It’s not just about money.

If you want to gain any amount of respect among crypto people, you’ll need something more than just a way to make money… you’ll need a why. If you don’t have something driving you besides naked profits, most people will shy away from you. They’ll probably be quite polite about it, but they’re not going to invest their passion in your venture… and probably not their money either.

Bitcoin is far bigger than just money, and so are its children (the newer cryptocurrencies). What Satoshi Nakamoto created was a decentralization tool… something the world had never seen before. It’s going to take you some time to wrap your head around that, so you should get started as soon as possible.

Bitcoin inaugurated a new step in social evolution, and you’ll need to understand that if you’d like bitcoiners to take you seriously.

#2: We’ve had way too many hopeful projects.

For several years we’ve seen a stream of ideas that I can only characterize as “hopeful”; they relied on the genius of crypto to make everything work. But crypto isn’t magic, and we’ve learned that hopeful projects don’t work out.

So, if you want people to throw coins into your project these days, you’ll need more than just excitement; you’ll need adult-level plans and products. Throwing “blockchain” into your product’s name isn’t going to work anymore… and it was a mistake that it ever did.

#3: A whole lot of us are not impressed with “meeting regulations.”

Government regulations are the impositions of centralized regimes… of fear- and violence-based regimes. Large numbers of us want as little to do with them as possible. And so, when someone comes into a meeting and brags about their product being compliant with government edicts, we mutter “barbarity” to ourselves and look around for something more interesting.

What percentage of the crypto-economy do such people account for? I don’t know, but it’s a significant percentage, and it may in fact be growing. (It takes a while to really “get” decentralization, but nearly everyone eventually does.)

In #1, I said that Bitcoin was a new step in social evolution. Governments, functioning on a model that’s more or less unchanged since the Bronze Age, are quite the opposite. To put it simply, government money and all that’s attached to it enforces the past.

Some significant percentage of the crypto world is deeply interested in creating a better future and will walk away from gleefully compliant companies… or at least hold their noses if they have to use them.

#4: Don’t make appeals to authority.

You are not going to impress most of us when you advertise that your new thing is supported by the European Union or a Fortune 100 company. We’re not seeking the approval of authority, and we’re not awed by them. You’ll find exceptions of course, but most of us look at authority as fundamentally retrograde. Neither do we find corporate-speak comforting.

And please don’t imagine that the system at large is going to love crypto someday. Decentralization is fundamentally at odds with centralization.

#5: People in the crypto-economy are more concerned with morality than are people in government economies.

The morality of government economies (such as it is) is imposed with force. In a crypto-economy, no such centralized force is possible. So, whatever morality there is in a crypto-economy is brought into it by the participants. As a result, crypto people pay more attention to the ethics of others, and they’re far more likely to examine the person they’re dealing with.

Granted, a fair amount of “crypto” business has been done in government currencies, but in the rest of the crypto-economy, people understand that morality matters, and they may want to understand yours before doing much business with you.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Seeking Refuge

Refuge

A good deal of my life has been spent in a half-conscious search for places where a healthy person could function as a healthy person: places where health was accepted rather than resented, where it didn’t have to be hidden.

Such places have proven to be scarce. The healthy man or woman is all too often taken as a threat, rather than a friend to perhaps learn from. This stems from the status obsession that has infested mankind. By it, another person’s health undercuts your value as a person.

Perhaps the most common coping technique for this in our time is for people to overtly condemn anything they can brand as evil. (This is the root of polarized Blue/Red hatred in the US, for example. Each side is obsessed with the sins of the other.) Each time they can condemn evil, people feel they are rising incrementally up a moral status hierarchy. But in so doing, they are centering their minds on evil and corruption, which is toxic.

But please understand that, by “centering on evil,” I do not mean that people are striving to be evil. What I mean, rather, is that they are arranging their minds and lives in reaction to evil. They endlessly uncover, define, catalog, and condemn all the evil in the world, and by doing so, darkness, fear, and threat become enthroned at the center of their minds. They see evil on every side and cannot conceive that a health-centric mind is even possible.

I am fully convinced that this is a devolutionary mentality. At first I grasped at this concept instinctively and intermittently, but now, at length, with some understanding.

Who’s Healthy?

It’s not all that hard to define who is healthy and who isn’t. A healthy person is kind, benevolent, curious, reasonable, and acts with integrity. An unhealthy person is conformist, legalistic, takes advantage of others, and enjoys belittling people and things.

We might add to these lists – and people do move between the categories at times – but I think a basic healthy/unhealthy divide is easy enough to see.

Fortunately for us, far more of us are healthy now than in the old days. Slavery is gone, justifications for cruelty are mainly gone((Justifications for the cruelty of the state remain, but these too are weakening.)), and people are simply better than they were centuries or even decades ago.

For this we should be thankful, but it also remains that millions of people, especially any who are noticeably healthier than their neighbors, are to one extent or another punished for their virtues.

Refuges, Old and New

For all the flaws and abuses of the churches of the West, it is true that churches have often been refuges for the healthy. Operating within a church, or at least by being associated with it, people could do exceptional things without being overly exposed to consequences. This was especially true during the most decentralized periods of Western history, including the eras when great talents were supported by clerics and nobles.

Even in modern times, church has been a safe training ground for exceptional musicians. In church, for example, the great singing voice was treated as a gift from God, rather than a threat to those less gifted.

Radical Christian groups have sometimes served as refuges, but only those that were sharply dedicated to following Jesus, “walking in the spirit,” and so on. Put in nonreligious terms, those pursuits are simply “striving to become healthy.” (Debating doctrines and rules are fundamentally otherwise.)

Some nonconformist groups were refuges as well. You can find coverage of this in issue #16 of our subscription letter.

Many good families have provided refuge of course, but existence apart from the family is necessary too.

The ability to be openly healthy (or at least smart) was often an underlying appeal of the cypherpunks.

The internet, particularly in its early days, provided a safe way to be healthy. It was far more anonymous in those days; as the joke went, “No one on the internet could know if you were a dog.” Anonymous forums now serve the same purpose.

And finally, we now have a large and thriving cryptocurrency community, where talent is welcomed rather than resented. It is therefore no surprise that healthier-than-average people are gravitating toward it.

Last Words

The status model destroys us all by inches, but the healthiest among us far more than others understand. Simply from a species-preservation standpoint, this is a horrible error.

Status, I maintain, is not hardwired into us. I think that’s a false belief, and more than that, I think it’s an excuse. We are better than that, and it’s time we started acting like it.

So, find refuge as you can, my friends, but whether within or without a refuge, strive not to diminish yourselves.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

ROSC 17: The Rise of the Elderly

rosc17

Under the mindset of the factory era, old people were expected to move quietly to the side after they stopped working. From there they were to quietly dote on grandchildren, then get sick and die. That, however, has changed.

For one thing, people are living longer and retaining their health into advanced ages. Also, old people never really were fit to be pushed off the stage. Certainly old people tend to slow down, but “slower” is a long way from “no movement at all.” Old people are more than capable of many things, and they frequently have piles of massively valuable experience.

Anyway, what we learned as the sanitarium (and now Crypto House) opened back up last week, was that Esther and the sanitarium refugees have been busy. While they were away, they spread their new ideas to at least three different old folks’ homes. Contrary to the system’s assumptions, the people there – or at least a decent percentage of them – don’t want to disengage from the world, and they do want to continue making an impact in it. Three cars full of such people have visited the sanitarium/Crypto House this past week, and more are expected.

On top of that, the Swedes (wonderful people) are settling in, and the Bitcoin Bus family is slated to stay at the house for a month. As a bonus, the musicians (a few will remain in an extra room for a while) are going to put on weekly concerts in the factory parking lot next door once weather permits. The factory manager ended up being a pretty cool guy, and he thinks his workers will enjoy it after the last shift on Friday. The cops will probably find some permit violation to shut it down with (or rather, their bosses will… God forbid someone might have fun without paying them first), but the manager is game for it as long as the musicians are.

So, lots of good things are happening. But I’m straying from my main subject: the old folks.

Old and Smart Go Together Really Well

The status quo system we all grew up in made a major error by ignoring the abilities of old people. These are people who spent long decades developing important skills. To simply ignore that was ridiculous. Worse, the assumption that they should be moved to the side has been encoded in laws for Social Security, health care, professional regulation, business insurance policies, and more. The legacy system forcibly ejects old people from the pool of the productive.

In the crypto-world, however, they can do whatever they want, and no one need ever even know their age. There are many in the old-age homes who take comfort in filling the role assigned to them by the status quo, and we really have nothing to offer them. But we’re finding a pretty strong percentage of oldsters who don’t want to tread water for 10 or 20 years and then die. They may not want to work full days or weeks, but they do want to work… they don’t want to give up being productive until they need to.

I’ve talked with only five or 10 of these people so far, but here are the things I know they’re up to:

  • An elderly lawyer has taken up online arbitration work on the Open Bazaar system.

  • Three sets of old ladies are setting up to work as sales agents for anonymous buyers, working through Open Bazaar. They’ll wear cop-type body cameras and drive from one estate sale or garage sale to another, taking live bids from remote purchasers. They already have a dozen or more customers lined up.

  • Two retired engineers and a retired programmer have just acquired their first customer for anonymous drone delivery. Their drones (they have two at the moment) are being programmed with a set of maps, GPS, and a memory system using ephemeral key encryption. And so, a client enters his or her address, which goes directly to the drone, which verifies it to be within its flight radius. But it does not share those details with anyone else. The “Tech Elders” team (that’s what they’re calling themselves) then attaches whatever goods are to be delivered (within a specified weight limit) and sends the machine on its way. They are never told where it will go. Once the delivery is completed, the keys that encrypted the address are automatically dropped from the system. It is known that the drone delivered something somewhere, but only the purchaser knows where.

  • Two friends of friends who really are past their ability to do much have offered their postal addresses for deliveries. If something forbidden gets delivered, what are the enforcers going to do, put them on trial? They’d hardly be considered fit for trial, they’d have no information to give up, and by the time a trial could be arranged, they’d likely have checked out anyway.

All of this will be done behind walls of cryptography. A variety of cryptocurrencies will be used (Bitcoin will mainly be a settlement currency between the other currencies), all communications will be encrypted, and only pseudonyms will be used. But for customer comfort with pseudonyms, they’re using realistic names (Sean W. Thornton, for example) rather than the purposely quirky names we used in the old days of crypto-anarchy.

The Purpose of It All

The entry of the old folks really made me happy. The deep purpose here isn’t to make money or even to escape tyranny. Rather, it’s to help life function in the world. And these old folks still have life in them. They should be able to use it any way they wish to. Crypto gives that to them.

More next time.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

The Essential Goodness of the Crypto Community

CryptoCommunity

Quite a few people have been complaining about the cryptocurrency community lately. And to be fair, they have legitimate reasons: Many get-rich-quickers, corporate sellouts, and outright scammers have shown up recently.

But it’s far too easy for us to focus on the malicious and the misguided. The bulk of the crypto community are decent people, even if they’re unsure of the best paths forward. (No surprise in that, with perfect knowledge remaining scarce on this planet.)

What I want to point out today is that most of these people are caring and decent. And here’s why I say that:

A couple of weeks ago one of the best Bitcoin advocates, Andreas Antonopoulos, rather publicly admitted that he had serious money problems of his own making. (If you don’t think that takes guts, imagine doing it yourself… after first imagining yourself way out and alone in front of millions of people… including plenty of immature trolls.)

And Andreas did get critical comments. But then something else happened: Hundreds of people – many hundreds, I think – stepped up to help him. Andreas has been working full time to promote Bitcoin for years and has done it well.

And people had noticed.

And they remembered.

And they cared.

Over the following days, hundreds of people signed on to be his patrons and lots of people made Bitcoin donations… in some cases giant donations. (Emphasis his.)

As a result Andreas will not have to worry about money for a long time. He can continue (and expand) as an independent voice for cryptocurrencies.

Out Here on the Frontier

Cryptocurrencies, while gaining some measure of acknowledgement, even if not acceptance, remain a frontier technology. For those of us out on the frontier, there is no one to help us when we fall except a few others like ourselves.

A few weeks ago, one of us fell… and the other frontier-dwellers ran to him and helped him back up.

The people on the frontier are good people. They just proved it.

So, acknowledge problems in the crypto community when you see them. Fix them if possible. But don’t go negative. Once you start “fighting the threats,” inertia will carry you forward into finding one new threat after another, and you’ll end up like Inspector Javert, feeling ever so righteous about enforcing purity.

Killing the bad, I’m here to tell you, is a dead end. Your job, rather, is to build the good.

So, evade errors as they appear. But far more importantly, help each other, improve each other, find better ways, and share what you find.

Keep building a better world. All else is detail or distraction.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Is Bitcoin “Bigger than General Electric”?

GeneralElectric
I’ve seen a lot of headlines like these lately, and so I’ll take a moment to point out how wrong-minded they are. To compare Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) to a company is just wrong.
As I keep saying, Bitcoin is not an investment. That is,

  • It’s not a share of ownership in a corporation, like a stock.
  • It’s not a promise of debt repayment, like a bond.

Bitcoin is a currency.
And so, if we want to compare it to something, we must compare it to other currencies, not to stocks, bond, real estate, or whatever else.

So…

So, let’s compare Bitcoin to dollars.

In 2013, there were said to be 10.5 trillion US dollars in existence. That was the figure for “M2” (M3, the broader figure, is no longer published.)

There are currently some 16.7 million bitcoins in circulation.

At its current valuation ($11,000), Bitcoin is worth about 183 billion dollars, or just 1.7% of the US dollar’s value.
That doesn’t make it sound quite so big, does it?
So, what if Bitcoin captured just 5% of the dollar’s value? In that case (and presuming that the relationships remained the same), one Bitcoin would be worth more than $31,000.
And if it captured 1/10 of the dollar’s action, Bitcoin would be some $63,000 each.
And bear in mind that we’re using a figure for US dollars that we know is too low.

But There’s More

Consider this please:

Bitcoin isn’t a replacement for just dollars, it’s a replacement for all government currencies.

Money supply figures are purposely difficult to find, but we can say that the value of dollars, euros, pounds, yuan, and yen – that is, just the biggest currencies, ignoring more than a hundred others – comes to at least 18 trillion dollars, and probably quite a bit more.
Presuming that those hundred-some smaller currencies equal the five big ones, that comes to a world money supply of 36 trillion dollars, minimum.
And if so, Bitcoin accounts for just 0.51% of world money supply.
If, then, Bitcoin captured 5% of world money supply, a single coin would sell for $108,000. At 10% it would be $216,000 each. At 25% it would be $540,000 each.
Granted, these are very rough numbers and the correlations are uncertain. This is definitely “back of the envelope” figuring. But after all the dramatic numbers, the point is this:

If we’re going to compare Bitcoin to something, it needs to be compared to currencies, not to investment vehicles… and Bitcoin is simply better currency.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

ROSC 15: Building Ourselves a City

ROSC15

Theorizing is one thing; doing is quite another. No matter how good you think your theories are, applying them to the real world is always a revelation. More than that, actually doing is far more fun that theorizing. And right now hundreds of thousands of young people (and a lot of older ones too) are building the economy of the future. It’s a magnificent thing to be part of.

The sanitarium is well on its way to becoming a Bitcoin House. The renovations proceed apace and the musicians currently living there, and their friends, are thoroughly intrigued not only by Bitcoin, but by the concept of decentralization. They’re writing songs about it.

At the same time, the members of our little group have their own projects blooming: decentralized exchanges, drone delivery, biohacking, OTC Bitcoin exchanging (that is, buying and selling Bitcoin for cash, usually at a Starbucks), and of course lots of ridesharing and apartment sharing.

I think Johnny and his uncle are about to launch a crypto-based certification agency for home remodelers. Municipal regulation of construction has gone insane over the past two decades, adding thousands of dollars to even the smallest construction projects. And so, a workaround that still delivers quality is something people are willing to take a small risk on.

The New Plaque

You may recall that there was a rather depressing plaque that used to hang on the wall of the sanitarium. As several of our group reviewed the remodeling work last week, they decided that a new plaque would be nice. And as it happened, Nikos had stumbled upon something just days before.

At one point, as we sat at Jay’s bar discussing books and authors, I mentioned that I enjoyed the work of Eric Hoffer, the “Longshoreman Philosopher.” Later, Nikos remembered the conversation and started checking into Hoffer. One of the things he found was an interview Hoffer did in 1967 with Eric Sevareid. (Sevareid was a famous broadcaster of that era.) In the interview, he talks about a poem that he found written on a wall at Pier 35 on the San Francisco docks. He recited it in the interview:

Build yourself a city; found yourself a state.

Do not cry for pity; grab a master fate.

Grab a swamp and drain it;
cut a log and plane it.

Make the hills and valleys fields.

And on the manmade plain,
breathe your last complaint.

Slay your shame;
forget your name.

Do not strive for pity; build yourself a city.

That of course is what’s going onto their plaque – a large plaque – and that’s exactly what these young people are doing.

“It’ll go back down”

The day after Nikos sent me the link to the interview and told me about the plaque, I received an email from an old friend. This guy has seen dozens of hotshot investments come and go, and so I think he can be forgiven for thinking that Bitcoin is just another of them. In this email he said something about it going up, then coming back down. And that got me thinking: Could Bitcoin – and cryptocurrencies in general – really crash back to the ground?

But before we can address that question, we have to specify something: Bitcoin is not an investment. Rather, it’s a revolution in currency. That’s a fundamental difference, and it set my thoughts in the right direction. Here’s what I wrote back to my friend:

Honestly, I don’t think this one’s “coming back down.” There will be choppy times for sure, but the underlying technology is simply not going anywhere. This is not a company or a strategy; it’s just a protocol.

That’s a very different thing from past “hotshot investments.”

Bitcoin has withstood endless attacks from people who hate it (more or less none of whom have taken the time to understand it). And more than that, it has survived its friends acting stupidly.

I think it’s important to stop and think about this for a moment.

Bitcoin has survived under extremely hostile conditions, taking blows from both enemies and friends, and it has remained standing. And the core reason is its central feature: It’s decentralized. There is no center to grab and no controller to be corrupted. Cryptocurrencies are simply protocols… protocols that establish trust via applied mathematics.

A protocol doesn’t disappear when some ruler declares it a danger to nation and motherhood. It doesn’t even disappear if people ignore it. It just is. Using a protocol as money is a new and different thing and utterly unlike any investment of the past.

Here’s how I finished the email:

It’s hard to imagine how Bitcoin could actually “go to zero.” There is no center to kill, and it’s simply better at doing what currencies are supposed to do. A demand for it will remain, no matter what.

To actually kill Bitcoin would involve breaking the encryption (which is really unlikely) or for governments to kill every person caught using it. (And that’s pretty unlikely as well.)

And Now…

Cryptocurrencies are simply different. They are not investments. They have no center. They have operated for nine years under hostile conditions, starting from nothing at all. They were born into a world that rejected them from the outset and has attacked them nonstop.

In addition, they’ve survived the foolish behavior of some of their biggest advocates.

Cryptocurrencies, in the end, are decentralization protocols. They provide no privileged position from which controllers can control transactions or take money by force. They have no tools for setting interest rates. No one is forced to use them.

With apologies to Ecclesiastes, this really is a new thing under the sun.

My young friends are embracing this, and they’re spreading the concept to their friends, who are spreading the concept to others. And now Bitcoin Houses, Institutes of Cryptoanarchy, innumerable Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain meetups, and God knows what else are spreading everywhere. We’re actually moving quickly through the “new concept” pattern attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer:

All truth passes through three stages.

First it is ridiculed.

Second it is violently opposed.

And third it is accepted as self-evident.

It’s awfully hard to know what the future holds of course, but the enforcers of the old way seem to be running out of time, being busy with troubles of their own and with all the usual wars, financial manipulations, and general mayhem.

And so a new world is taking shape. Slowly, erratically, even sloppily… but sinew is joining to sinew… and they are building themselves a city.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Advice To Bitcoiners Who Are Finding Themselves Rich

Bitcoiners

A lot of Bitcoiners are waking up to find themselves rich these days, and I suspect that most of them have little experience handling significant amounts of money. And so, having been around the block a few times, I think I should pass along some lessons.

  1. Shut your mouth. Seriously. Tell your spouse, of course, and if there’s someone else you trust deeply, but after that shut up. If asked (your friends must know that you have Bitcoin) be vague. And do not be the schmuck who buys the Lamborghini. Repeat these words: Low Profile.

  2. Go ahead and buy a house. You’ll always need somewhere to live, so go ahead and buy a home. But notice that I said a house, not mansion. (Again, Low Profile.) Buy a nice, comfortable place where you can live pleasantly. Make sure you’ll have good neighbors. Think about maintenance. Think long term.

  3. Buy assets. An asset is something that brings money in. A boat, for example, is an not an asset, it’s an expense. A functioning business is an asset. Buy assets.

  4. Put your extra Bitcoins to work building the crypto-economy. We need an entire, functioning, cryptocurrency ecosystem, and Bitcoin was just the start. Find a project you can put your heart and soul into (or start your own), and pursue it.

  5. Understand that money management is a skill. If you haven’t spent years building up that skill, be clear on the fact that you don’t have it. Find professionals to help you. Don’t give anyone “the keys to the kingdom,” and don’t give away any of your decision-making power, but do get advice from experienced people.

  6. Don’t get cocky. Having more money than your friends can make you over-estimate your genius. Your money came from both insight and luck, not from insight alone. Don’t forget that. Now your job is to earn your luck.

  7. Don’t let money define you. If you start thinking about status… if you start enjoying people paying deference to you because you have money… you’ll get sucked into a miserable life of “he has a yacht and I don’t.” It never ends and it’s a miserable way to spend decades.

So, decide right now who you want to be, how you’d like the world to be, and how you’d like to be remembered. Use your money for those things. Start getting wise. It takes time and effort, but you’re as able as anyone else.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

ROSC 14: The Bitcoin House

It’s been a strange but recurring theme in my life that when a cluster of bad things hit, something good follows close behind. Often, I learn later that the good thing was initiating just as the bad things struck.
But whatever that is and however it works, it happened to me again. There is currently so much going on that I barely know where to begin.

BitcoinHouse

It’s been a strange but recurring theme in my life that when a cluster of bad things hit, something good follows close behind. Often, I learn later that the good thing was initiating just as the bad things struck.

But whatever that is and however it works, it happened to me again. There is currently so much going on that I barely know where to begin.

Creative Commerce

Chester Cruz, as it turns out, chose his friends very well. The sanitarium, we learned, was actually owned by a land trust, and the trustee, now quite elderly, is still a member of Chester’s old law firm. The group that opposed young Esther had contacted this man, wanting to kick Esther, Stanley, Sophie, and two others out of the sanitarium. The trustee and lawyer, a Mr. Medansky, explained to them that he would not do that, but if they were entirely serious about the matter, he could arrange to sell the property and distribute the proceeds to everyone living there.

And so the sale began. But after Esther and the others were notified of the upcoming sale by Mr. Medansky, they put together a new plan: to buy the trust themselves, and of course the sanitarium with it. The lawyer cleverly worked out all the details for them (which allowed them to keep all the sanitarium’s legal advantages), but it would require a cash payment.

This is where we all thanked God for the rise of Bitcoin. While none of our group (so far as I know) had a huge number of bitcoins, they had all accumulated some back when the price was low, and now (the price is hitting $8,000 as I write this) that translates to a lot of dollars… and so they’re buying the trust and property outright. The offended group will get their payout and go live wherever they wish, and the others will get to move back in. (They moved out once the sale was forced and are currently living in an Airbnb.)

The question then was what to do with the property. And that’s where things get really interesting.

First of all, the group will give the building a facelift. Being that no one is currently living there, this is a good time. But there’s more than that. The last month at the sanitarium was pretty ugly, and the group that forced the sale had been getting pretty dark anyway. More or less everyone agreed that the place needed a fresh start.

Now here’s the fun part:

As I discussed the remodeling with the group at Jay’s one day, I told the story of the very first agriculturalists of Europe and how they burned out their houses upon leaving them, even when giving them to new occupants((You can find more detail on this is FMP #73.)). We can’t use actual fire these days of course, but they liked the idea, and last week they came up with a cool version of it.

Adam’s youngest brother is in a band and knows a lot of other poor, young musicians. The group decided to let them have free run of the sanitarium during the remodeling, provided of course that they don’t damage the structure, don’t bother the neighbors (rather hard to do anyway, as their closest neighbors are a factory and a parking lot), and don’t interfere with the remodeling crews.

And so the sanitarium is now being “burned out” by members of four different bands, who are living there, rehearsing there, and entertaining there, and often all three at the same time. They’ll probably have only a month or two, but they’re already having a great time and have been respectful to all involved.

Enter the Swedes

“Synchronicity,” as we used to say way back when, “happens.” And it still happens. Just as our group had to make long-term plans on using the sanitarium, I got an email from a group we’re now calling “the Swedes.”

I ran into the Swedes at a cryptoanarchist conference in Europe a year ago, and they intrigued me. They’re actually two families from Stockholm who are traveling around the world, visiting “Bitcoin Houses.” How they can afford to do this, I didn’t ask (it’s really none of my business), but both families have young children and they’re educating them as they go. They had taken up residence in central Europe for a while, had been in Japan for some time prior, and were on their way to a Bitcoin place in India next. I was surprised that they had so many actual places to stay, each dedicated to cryptocurrency.

“It’s not just here in Europe,” they had assured me last year. “These places are springing up everywhere.” And lately I have seen others forming.

As I say, these people intrigued me, even though I didn’t have much time to spend with them. I couldn’t help feeling that a century ago they would have been Christian missionaries, traveling the world and “bringing light” in a somewhat different way.

Now, as it happens, they want to come to the Central US. Not to the glittering coastal cities, but to someplace where Americans still do productive work. And so, beginning in two months, they’ll take up residence on the second floor of the sanitarium, their purpose being to turn it into a functioning Bitcoin House. (Esther and company will use the top floor.) They’ll stay for six months at least, and they’ll have access to the sanitarium’s front room and rather large basement for any kinds of meetings and gatherings they wish to arrange. The backyard too, once spring hits.

This should be fascinating. More next time.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com