Tag Archives: Bitcoin

Cancel-Culture Goes Full Hobbesian, by Mark E. Jeftovic

Mark Jeftovic is one of the few Internet commentators other than SLL who is calling the present moment peak government. From Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

When the financial system is weaponized, Bitcoin becomes the peacemaker.

When Hobbes wrote Leviathan, he proposed an all powerful government possessing an incontestable monopoly on force that would prevent humanity from descending into a battle of “all-against-all”.

Today, with government authority and overreach seemingly at its zenith we’re seeing that Hobbes didn’t anticipate what would happen if Leviathan lost the consent of the governed. Thanks to the pandemic and two years of COVID tyranny, that now seems to be happening.

Leviathan used to be the so-called “international rules based order” of globalism, which was an industrial age concoction fuelled by cheap debt and fiat currency. The steering committee behind that paradigm, unelected plutocrats like the World Economic Forum are now frantically trying to pivot globalism into some other set of rules where they still get to call the shots. Call it Stakeholder Capitalism, The Great Reset, or The Great Narrative, the problem is that these are all just industrial age constructs in an emerging decentralized world.

Most people agree that at the very least, we’re heading into a new multi-polar world, but it may not unfold  the way PolySci majors  characteristically think of it. Not only is the US inexorably relinquishing its role as global hegemon behind Leviathan, but globalism itself is rapidly imploding. Along with it last vestiges of legitimacy and credibility that the institutions and political class who held it together still had.

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Bitcoin Companies’ Response to Canada’s Request to Freeze Protester Accounts Is Pure Gold, by Nick Arama

You can’t freeze an account when you don’t know who the account is. Canadians discover the wonder of cryptocurrencies, from Nick Arama at redstate.com:

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP
We’ve seen a lot of troubling civil liberties questions regarding the Freedom Convoy, particularly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. Among the most concerning: banning of protests at the whim of the government, conscripted labor — the government telling tow truck workers that they would be forced to work for the government against the Convoy — and even the freezing of bank accounts for the grievous sin of being involved in a protest against government mandates.

As we reported, you even had Trudeau’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland laughing about seizing accounts. She is asked not just about the protesters’ accounts being seized but about the accounts of the people who donated to the protesters. She doesn’t give a clear answer about whether the donors’ accounts would also be affected.

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GoFundMe Just Proved Bitcoin’s Use-Case, by Mark E. Jeftovic

Imagine GoFundMe writ large: a central bank digital currency for which the central bank or government can changes the rules anytime it wants. From Mark E. Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

In case you were wondering what life under a CBDC will look like

By now, everybody is probably aware of the Canadian #FreedomConvoy and how GoFundMe, at the behest of the Mayor of Ottawa and Justin Trudeau, summarily closed their fundraiser, which had exceeded $10 million. They also announced that they would literally redistribute funds to other “approved charities”. Those approved charities would presumably be those mentioned by name by the likes of Trudeau (like the avowedly Marxist BLM, who have fundraising issues of their own owing to lack of financial transparency).This kind of incident is a microcosm of exactly why the world needs Bitcoin, decentralized crypto-currencies and communications protocols.

Because we now live in a world run by collectivist technocrats. They sincerely think that what they believe should be rules and what you or I believe should be thought crimes.

On its own this would be merely annoying, having to perpetually deal with shrill, sanctimonious hysterics, perpetually shrieking in your face about things they want you to think and how they want you to live.

But it’s a problem when these people congregate around the choke-points of a centralized, bureaucratic technocracy and impose their personal neuroses onto the rest of society. Not only as policy, but as official canon on what is truth itself.

The final straw is when dissent is criminalized and plunder legitimized. When all actions against those dissenters are fair game, while any civil (and constitutionally protected) resistance is by definition reprobate, then we have arrived in dystopia. At the very least: authoritarianism.

Reality will always intrude…

The Fourth Turning people observe that the generational cycles oscillate between individuality and collectivism. By extension, right now we’re in a phase of peak collectivism. They’re not wrong, but I think that misses the overall progress of humanity. On a scale of individual autonomy and empowerment, the long term trajectory is always “up and to the right”.

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Bitcoin, 2022 and the Real Story Behind COVID-9/11, by Tom Luongo

The people are pushing back on Covid. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

I don’t necessarily like to do so-called ‘annual prediction’ posts. Having written a ton of them for the newsletters I’ve written over the years, looking back on them is always a bit cringe-inducing. But 2021 was a crazy year and one where so much happened that changed the landscape it looks like one of those necessary evils for 2022.

In fact, I may wind up doing more than I normally do.

After being on Bitcoin Magazine’s Fed Watch podcast in December, I was asked to do a 2022 Predictions article for them.

It just dropped over there.

IS 2022 THE YEAR BITCOIN PROVES ITSELF ON THE WORLD STAGE?

It was a fascinating year for cryptos. One in which no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep up with everything that happened. Going to Bitcoin 2021 in Miami and seeing the clash of OG bitcoiners with the gold rush mentality of the industry it reminded me of the best of times at your typical precious metals conference.

Hey, even Ron Paul was there, which is always a treat.

But that said, 2021 was as strange as any year I’ve ever experienced. The real clash wasn’t in the various crypto fiefdoms per se, but what the emergence of crypto as a full-fledged investible asset class meant that grabbed and held my attention all year.

It was beyond the regular bull market mentality that morphed into mania by mid-year. It was the realization that bitcoin and crypto would begin asserting its potential as a safe-haven asset that was finally proven to more than just us fringe Austro-libertarian types.

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I Want to Buy Bitcoin, But …., by Ira Katz

It appears you have to jump through some major hoops to be able to buy Bitcoin. From Ira Katz at lewrockwell.com:

I don’t remember when I first became aware of bitcoin. I do recall that I have always had a favorable view of it; that is, I had a favorable view of the concept of a cryptocurrency at least in the sense of competing currencies following Hayek (and Rothbard). Nonetheless, I never acted on this view until a few months ago. Herein I discuss my experience very much as a neophyte, and what this perhaps typical experience portends for the future of bitcoin and Bitcoin.The words bitcoin and Bitcoin are used as follows: When the B is capitalized, it represents the overarching concept of Bitcoin: The technology, the community, the protocol, and the software.  When the b is not capitalized, it is describing the unit of currency.

It was not the astounding rise in the price of bitcoin that attracted my interest, but more so the principled arguments about Bitcoin that I heard from proponents. The advantages include privacy, a method to hold wealth outside of a national setting, limited inflation, and wealth secured in the cloud away from private and public theft. I do not recall exactly what initiated the email conversation, but a correspondent made some good arguments about why bitcoin and ethereum among the dozens of other cryptocurrencies available today were worth buying. After a few minutes of internet research I decided to buy a bit of each on the large exchange called Coinbase. To sign up required more security than I had ever experienced online, including pictures of my identity card and a picture of myself. And then when buying it is necessary to have a photo of a handwritten page with the current date. For different reasons regarding the quality of the images, my purchase was not approved. If I recall correctly, it was 5 or 6 attempts before I finally succeeded. But then my bank account was not approved. This was the last straw and I gave up.

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How we know that Bitcoin is a force for good, by Mark Jeftovic

Private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are the antidote to Central Bank Digital Currencies. From Mark Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

Cryptos are the antidote to repressive Central Bank Digital Currencies

Yesterday I wrote up why I don’t think any kind of China-style ban on Bitcoin and cryptos would be tenable in (so-called) liberal democracies here in the West. It referenced an earlier piece that described the threefold governance structure I see competing for relevance over the coming decades.

Somebody linked to those in the comments from a Tom Luongo piece (which I rather enjoyed enough to subscribe to his newsletter) but when I read through some of the other comments around Bitcoin, how it’s a globalist Trojan horse for surveillance capitalism and social credit I realized I needed to get a piece out to speak specifically to this aspect of future governance.

I cover this a lot in The Crypto Capitalist Letter, in fact it’s a pillar of our macro economic thesis (which you can download free here). It all comes down to the differences between real crypto currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero, et al and coming Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), like China’s Digital Yuan, like the coming FedCoin, and anything else that will be issued by central banks, directly from governments or even in conjunction with Big Tech platforms.

There are the two main types of digital money that will co-exist in the future.

Each type of digital money corresponds to a governance mode of the future. Which type of this money you make your own or your business’ financial centre of gravity will have an outsized impact on whether you live in the future as a neo-Feudal serf or as a sovereign individual.

Each one has its own fundamental architecture, and the governance and economics that result from those architectures reflect the governance models of the mode that is built on them. This is critical and builds on what I’ve been writing about for  years now, drawing on the work of relatively obscure commentators like Vincent Locascio and Steven Zarlenga. The latter who wrote in his Lost Science of Money, whoever controls the monetary system, controls society.

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Why The West Can’t Ban Bitcoin The Way China Did, by Mark Jeftovic

While they’re headed that direction, the West’s governments are not yet dictatorships like China’s. They’d have to convert themselves to full-fledged totalitarian states to do what China did to Bitcoin. From Mark Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

Only a complete “dictatorship of the proletariat” can kill Bitcoin

Evergrande is being called China’s “Lehman moment” and overnight the PBC closed the loop on their clampdown on crypto with a total ban on virtual currency transactions.

For those paying attention, however, China isn’t just moving against crypto, they’ve been bringing their entire technology sector to heel. They also stated that it is time to redistribute wealth from the top tier of the nations wealth holders to the rest of the peasant class.

This isn’t a return to their Communist roots as much as it is a move of self-preservation against rising internal powers. In the words of my friend Charles Hugh Smith via some correspondence we’ve been having this week “Xi has set out to crush the Network State”.

I said in my earlier Network State Primer about the coming tension between Nation States and Network States: the former will go down swinging.

The power structures of the nation states won’t go gently into the dustbin of history. They will go down swinging, over a transitional era that may span decades or longer, similar to the centuries long tensions between monarchs and the Papacy that shaped the transition from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance.

China has decided to make their last stand of the Nation State, now. Here at this moment in time. They will not bail out Evergrande, they will allow their side of the Everything Bubble to pop, and they will use the economic crash to make a final sweep of consolidation of their power. They will make sure their Big Tech knows who is in charge and that it is not them.

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Why Bitcoiners Are Doing What Libertarians Never Could, by Paul Rosenberg

Libertarians are theorists, not doers. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has handsomely rewarded those who have embraced it and understood its decentralization and autonomy, things Libertarians claim to cherish but never really advance. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

I am not trying to insult libertarians; they’ve been right, or reasonably close to right, on most everything, and for decades on end; that’s not a trivial thing. Nonetheless, they could never get much moving in the world, while Bitcoiners, to use an old but fitting phrase, are turning the world upside-down.

I think it’s important to understand why.

To Say And To Do

Can you name a Libertarian martyr? I’m not sure I can, and I’ve been involved with libertarian things for a long time. There’ve been a few anti-tax protesters, but they weren’t actually libertarian martyrs, largely because libertarianism excluded them.

Now, shall we name martyrs for the causes of Bitcoin and cypherpunk ideals? The list, as most of us know, is long. We can begin with Julian Assange and Ross Ulbricht, and from there we can go on to Charlie Shrem, near misses like Phil Zimmerman and at least a dozen lesser-known names.

Martyrdom doesn’t prove too much, of course – thugs will destroy for many reasons – but there is a clue here, and it’s this: Libertarians didn’t threaten very much. The powers that be never loved them, of course, but publishing policy papers didn’t overturn very many apple carts.

Now, to be very frank about this, and with apologies for doing so, libertarianism is a philosophy of intellectuals who wish to change the world without risk or suffering. That is, they imagined they were smart enough to do it by intellect alone.

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Calling Out The Willfully Ignorant, by Omid Malekan

Ignorance of a subject has never stopped anyone from bloviating at length about it. The phenomenon is rife when it comes to cryptocurrencies. From Omid Malekan at zerohedge.com:

Paul Krugman is the gift that keeps on giving.

The popular and supposedly progressive columnist has a special talent for prophesizing things that are already demonstrably false.

Back in 1998, he predicted that the internet would have no greater impact than fax machines, because “most people have nothing to say to each other.”

Yesterday, he said that crypto doesn’t matter because there are no use cases beyond speculation and criminal activity. Specifically:

“..Bitcoin and its relatives haven’t managed to achieve any meaningful economic role..”

Here is a quick summary of how wrong he is:

  • Stablecoins on various public networks are now the fastest growing fiat payment method in the world. Krugman mentions Venmo as being useful in his column, but is ignorant of the fact that Ethereum will move more dollars in the month of May than Venmo, PayPal, Square and Adyen combined. This is why both Visa and Mastercard are scrambling to integrate stablecoins into their networks. Notably, unlike the FinTechs above, stablecoins do not discriminate based on nationality, wealth or immigration status. That’s the kind of access real progressives celebrate.

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The Rise of Bitcoin, by William J. Luther

A good explanation and history of Bitcoin, from William J. Luther at aier.org:

In hindsight, the rise of cryptocurrencies appears to have begun with the introduction of bitcoin in 2009. Earlier cryptocurrencies had been launched in the 1990s, but they failed to take hold. David Chaum’s DigiCash is widely thought to have been ahead of its time. Chaum founded his company at the start of the decade, well before the rise of e-commerce. By 1998, it had filed for bankruptcy. More generally, early “digital-cash firms made a fatal miscalculation,” Julia Pitta wrote for Forbes in 1999. “They figured, wrongly it turns out, that consumers would be leery of using credit cards on the Web and would demand tight security and ironclad privacy.”

It was not clear, at first, that bitcoin would be any different. Perhaps fearing the fate of e-gold creator Douglas Jackson, bitcoin’s designer(s) adopted a pseudonym––the now-famous Satoshi Nakamoto––and shared the upstart open source project in email to the Cryptography Mailing List on January 8, 2009. Nakamoto had circulated a white paper explaining the technical details a few months before. Congratulatory replies soon followed, but there was little indication that bitcoin would quickly become a household name. It was little more than a novelty discussed by a handful of programmers on the Internet.

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