Bitcoin Tangents – The Capital

On Hypocritical Advice: “Hey kids, put all your money in stocks and bonds and let it ride for 40 years, the market outperforms on long time horizon and just ignore the volatility, your retirement will be safe. Oh, and past performance is not indicative of future performance.”

On Gold Standard Flaw: The flaw in the gold standard was the centralization of it and allowing banks — specifically central banks — to get intimately involved in transactional control.

On Sound Money and Sovereignty: Sound money needs to have individual sovereignty to disallow governments from taking over the value creation process.

On The Business of Government: Governments are in the business of enforcing and making rules and expanding power. At a conceptual level, they are in the same game as private businesses (power expansion) except that governments are the makers of the rules of the game, giving them an unfair advantage. They also have the banality of bureaucratic propaganda and the fatality of legal violence to support their endeavors.

On Printing Gold: A sound money supply like the gold standard implicitly acknowledges that countries cannot make all people richer by the printing of money.

People who haven’t earned their wealth take their skills and brains for granted more than those who generated their own wealth.

On Intellectual Laziness: Intellectual complacency tends to accompany wealth, especially wealth that was easily earned or inherited.

On The Irony of Government Money: Ironically governments couldn’t just create and declare dollar bills as money unless they held gold to back it up. Holding gold was the persuasive tool they used to get their printed money accepted by the masses. It was the prime mover for systemic trust building…and then they left the gold standard but continued buying up tons (literally) of gold. In an era of government fiat (I told you so money), governments own more gold in their reserves than they did under the international gold standard of 1871–1914.

On Predictability In Chaos: Asset confiscation and capital controls happen during times of crisis and national instability. Governments and other organizations with sophisticated planning resources and capital reserves never let a good crisis go to waste. The financial restriction reactions to chaos are predictable, much like what happens to a bull rider after the gates go up.

Riding into the arena includes chaos, but that chaos is predictable.

On Value Creation: Value does not exist outside the realm of human consciousness and creativity.

On Hayek: Good money is gone until it is out of the hands of government, and we obviously can’t (and shouldn’t) take it violently from the government (our fellow citizens), so all we can do is by some sly roundabout way introduce something that they can’t stop. (my paraphrase of Hayek, 1984 interview). Bitcoin is the best chance of that.

On Privacy vs. Secrecy: Privacy is the desire to avoid surveillance and have parts of one’s life shielded from the public eye. Secrecy builds on privacy and is also the holding and hiding of a truth.

On Lack of Choice: Currencies choose us, we are born into their playing field because we are born under a flag that represents a nation-state with a particular set of rules and values, whether we like it or not.

On Purchasing Power Is What Matters: We must judge currencies not by who issued it but by who uses it and for what purpose. Purchasing power is all that matters.

On Change: Until 2008 sovereignty defined currency, now currency creates sovereignty.

On Credit Card Problems: The token itself is the secret key for a credit card, so you are transmitting your secret keys during every credit card transaction.

On Money Evolution: Bitcoin has changed money into a content type — money is disconnected from the information content because you can encode a bitcoin transaction into emoticons, the back of a digital image, or whatever digital product that is useful to you. It doesn’t just have to be the long bitcoin transaction string that we are used to seeing. The medium is not the message anymore because bitcoin overcomes how most mediums influence, constrain, and distort the message. By separating the message from the medium, the perception of value shifts from the costs of production to the value the message generates to the audience.

On Mistaken Assumptions: Controlling the medium is the source of quality, this is what most legacy financial and media institutions believe. Every generation mistakes the medium for value and considers the next iteration of the medium — which widens access, opens availability, and broadens forms of expression — as a trivial, vulgar, dumbed-down, naïve, and cheapened message. Financial gatekeepers have confused their payment network fees for the value of their service. The quality of service isn’t in the gatekeepers or their control, their limitations and rules, or their censorship.

On Resiliency: Bitcoin gives you a set of ingredients and a recipe — this encourages and unleashes creativity and innovation at the edges, it allows the emergence of resiliency and with less focus on specialization of knowledge.

On Incremental Innovation: In the last 15 years, megabanks and credit card companies innovated from changing a swiped card into a floated card…not a huge amount of progress. When you have a monopoly, you don’t need to change. You simply acquire good ideas and own them or kill them.

Creating your own race is risky but could also be very rewarding.

On Forking: A fork in cryptocurrency can be explained if a rally car race driver decided to go “off-road” and began making her own race outside of the official boundaries of the sanctioned race. If no other drivers followed, that driver’s decision is basically worthless in terms of the business of racing (winning a race) because she would be disqualified and vilified…but if all the other drivers follow her a new race is created. Spectators and sponsors would watch and enjoy this type of spontaneous spectacle, eventually aiming to systematize and monetize the idea for future races. Value would be created. Crypto forks are similar — if the fork from the original protocol can attract enough miners, nodes, and users to follow the new protocol, then it will create value. If critical mass doesn’t follow the new protocol, then the new fork is not valuable or useful.

Author Disclosures
1. I own a small amount of bitcoin.
2. I own small amounts of other digital assets.
3. This series of articles is for education, it is not financial advice.
4. We can always enhance our knowledge — this ties into the bitcoin ethos of self-sufficiency and DYOR (do your own research).
5. My goal is to give readers information to help you make choices that align with your life goals. You spend your time and money as you see fit and I’ll do the same. That’s the American way.
6. Make decisions from positions of knowledge, not fear.
7. Enjoy the journey.

Ammous, Saifedean. (2018). The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking.

Antonopolous, Andreas. (2016). The Internet of Money: Talks by Andreas Antonopolous.

Ferguson, N. (2008). The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.

Photo Credits
Evolution of Money:

Money Cigar:

Bull Rider:

Rally Racing:

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