Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Prince Philip of Serbia: Bitcoin Is Freedom — Says ‘We Need to Take the Money Away From the State’

by Kevin Helms, Bitcoin:

Prince Philip of Serbia and Yugoslavia says that bitcoin is freedom. Noting that “we need to take the money away from the state,” the prince stressed: “We need to have hard money again. We need to have good quality money that’s not subject to inflation.”

Cryptocurrency Crash – Has it Done Long-term Damage?

by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I am impressed with your computer system for without historical data depth, it still manage to correctly forecast the high in Bitcoin. The BIS had come out against cryptocurrencies as has our central bank here in Switzerland calling them crude and unlikely to become a world currency without impressive advancement in the technology. With Bitcoin off more than 70% from the high, I am amassed that people keep calling for new highs. They did the same on gold. It appears to be some sort of emotional drug that these people get addicted to or are they just frauds?

Thank you

PVC

What Is Money? (Yes, We’re Talking About Bitcoin)

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

Good ideas don’t require force. That describes the Internet, mobile telephony and cryptocurrencies.

What is money? We all assume we know, because money is a commonplace feature of everyday life. Money is what we earn and exchange for goods and services. Everyone thinks the money they’re familiar with is the only possible system of money—until they run across an entirely different system of money.

Then they realize money is a social construct, a confluence of social consensus and political force– what we agree to use as money, and what our government mandates we use as money under threat of punishment.

We assume that our monetary system is much like a Law of Nature: since it’s ubiquitous, it must be the only possible system.

But there are no financial Laws of Nature for money. In the past, notched sticks served as money. In other non-Western cultures, giant stone disks (rai, a traditional form of money on the island of Yap) and even salt served as money.

In our experience, 1) money is issued by a government or central bank (i.e. a currency), and each of these currencies is the sole form of legal money (legal tender) in the nation-state that issues the currency; 2) each of these currencies is available in physical coins and paper bills and digitally as entries in bank and credit card accounts; 3) our currency is borrowed into existence by the central bank or by fractional reserve lending in private banks, and 4) this currency meets all of the utility traditionally required of money:

1. It is divisible into smaller units, i.e. a dollar is divided into quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, or it is a small unit (for example, the Japanese yen, which is roughly equivalent to a U.S. penny).

2. It is secure, i.e. everyone can’t just print or make their own in unlimited quantities.

3. It is fungible, meaning all the units are interchangeable.

4. It is easily transportable.

5. It has a market value that’s easily discoverable, so buyers and sellers can confidently exchange it for goods and services.

But history informs us that money doesn’t have to be issued by governments,nor does it have to be borrowed into existence by banks, nor does every form of money have to satisfy all five requirements; it’s possible to have multiple forms of money which each serve different purposes.

In other words, our system of money is merely one of many possible systems of money. With the advent of digital cryptocurrencies, the range of monetary systems has expanded greatly.

We tend to look at money as value-neutral and apolitical, but as a social construct, it reflects specific social and political values. As I’ve explained in previous posts, our money is created and distributed at the very top of the wealth-power pyramid.

This feature of our money optimizes the accumulation of wealth and power in the top of the pyramid, and thus our social contract of money guarantees the concentration of wealth and thus rising wealth-power inequality.

To understand why, we need to start with money’s three basic functions.

 

As a general rule, money is:

1. A store of value (i.e. it serves as a reliable repository of wealth);

2. As means of exchange between buyers and sellers;

3. A tool for recording transactions of credit/debt (i.e. it facilitates recording transactions and keeping track of credits, debts, assets and payments).

Modern-day government-issued currencies perform all three roles. The U.S. dollar, for example, acts as a store of purchasing power, a global means of exchange, and as a tool to keep track of transactions, debts and financial assets.

But in other social constructs, different kinds of money perform different functions.The giant stone disks on Yap (rai) are a store of value, and a means of exchange for high-value items.

But the recording of transactions involving the rai is done in an oral-history ledger: the transfer of ownership of a particular rai is recorded in the community memory, and so the heavy 2-meter-high stone doesn’t have to actually move in physical space to transfer ownership. As a result, a stone rai resting at the bottom of the lagoon is a perfectly functional store of value and means of exchange.

The rai are quarried on another island, and not easily counterfeited. They are not necessarily interchangeable; the value of each one is recorded in the oral record. But since a rai isn’t divisible, or easily transportable, another form of money is used for day-to-day transactions.

The point here is there is no intrinsic reason why the three primary functions of money have to be satisfied by one single currency.

Nor is there any intrinsic reason why one form of money has to be equally tradable for all goods and services. In some cultures, certain forms of money hold symbolic value and are used solely for transactions of symbolic import, for example, as a wedding dowry.

Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com

Japan Officially Removes Taxes from Purchase and Sale of Bitcoin

by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:
On July 1, a new law went into effect which removes all taxation from the buying and selling of Bitcoin in the nation of Japan. And with their already having recognized the cryptocurrency as a viable medium of exchange within their monetary system, the world’s third largest economy has moved another step closer to recognizing Bitcoin as a legitimate currency.

Japan’s tax reform bill which officially eliminated consumption tax on the sale of Bitcoin came into effect on July 1. Bitcoin trading activities are expected to rise in Japan following the activation of the bill.

Yellen Shrugs Off Bitcoin as “Full-Blown Financial Stability Risk.” In Other Words, No Fed Bailout when Prices “Fluctuate”

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

As long as banks are not exposed to bitcoin.

Bitcoin, after ludicrously dominating the financial media, even invaded the Federal Open Market Committee’s press conference on Wednesday. During the Q&A, Fed Chair Janet Yellen was asked about bitcoin by three different emissaries from major media operations.

Those weren’t questions about bitcoin itself but about the broader “cryptocurrency” mania – “cryptocurrency” in quotes because bitcoin doesn’t, as Yellen put it so elegantly, “constitute legal tender” – and the risk it might pose to “financial stability.”

This is code for a distinction: When “financial stability” is at risk, when the banking system is on the verge of collapse or when credit is freezing up or some such thing, the Fed will step in; if financial stability is not at risk, the Fed will let it go. Here’s what Yellen said:

“Bitcoin at this time plays a very small role in the payment system, it’s not a stable store of value, and it doesn’t constitute legal tender.

“It’s a highly speculative asset, and the Fed doesn’t really play any role, any regulatory role with respect to bitcoin, other than assuring that banking organizations that we do supervise are attentive that they are appropriately managing any interactions they have with participants in that market, and appropriately monitoring anti-money laundering Bank Secrecy Act responsibilities that they have.”

A few minutes later came the next salvo. In response to another participant’s question about the Fed’s coming up with its own cryptocurrency, Yellen made a distinction between “digital currency” and “cryptocurrency,” with central banks only looking at digital currencies.

“There might be a central banker or two that might go in that direction. But I really want to caution that this is not something that the Federal Reserve is seriously considering at this stage.”

“While we’re looking at research on this topic, there are, I think, to my mind, limited benefits from introducing it, a limited need for it, and some substantial concerns,” she said. “So I would doubt that the Federal Reserve would soon go in that direction.”

And then, at the very end of the press conference she got badgered again, ever so gently, about “bitcoin as a potential threat to financial stability” – again that term. Was the Fed ignoring the threats from bitcoin just like the Bernanke Fed had ignored the contagion from subprime mortgages before the Financial Crisis? “So are we underestimating the risk,” the question went.

Yellen:

“I certainly agree that it’s important for the Fed to attempt to understand emerging risks to financial stability, and to be looking not just in the banking system but outside it for developments that could pose financial risks, and we are doing that….

“When you ask about bitcoin, I still see the financial stability risks from it as limited.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

Is the Bitcoin Civil War Over? Here’s How I’m Thinking About Bitcoin Cash

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg

Before I get going, let me start out with the usual disclaimer. I’m not a Bitcoin expert, nor do I claim to be. I love people who live and breathe Bitcoin every day, and I have the utmost respect for all of you, but that’s not me. As you can tell from a quick glance at my website, my current focus revolves around the current political environment as well as the geopolitical implications of a declining U.S. empire. That said, I’ve been involved in Bitcoin since 2012, and I care deeply about it. In my opinion, globally interconnected humans functioning within decentralized systems of economics and political governance provide the best framework for the human species going forward. We have the tools, we just need the desire.

Today’s post is about an alt-coin that is about to fork from Bitcoin, led by a contingency in the civil war known as the big blockers. This piece is not meant for newbies, but is written for people who own Bitcoin and already have a good understanding of all the drama that’s been going on, and may continue to periodically resurface after August 1. If you aren’t already up to speed on these things you should probably stop reading. The post will just sound confusing and won’t have much impact on your decision making anyway.

 

First of all, I don’t think there will be any debate around what the “real Bitcoin” is following the fork and creation of an alt-coin called Bitcoin Cash (BCC). This coin will be a pet project of big blockers wanting to both save face, and also potentially hurt the original Bitcoin (BTC). Only time will tell if some of those considered “bad actors” will try to target the original Bitcoin out of pettiness, but you should never underestimate what people with a lot of money/power and huge egos will do. History is replete with the ruins of the crazed actions of these types.

If you control your private keys, you should be able to access BCC sometime after August 1st. Some people are describing this as a dividend, although it seems more like an asset spinoff to me. Either way, BCC will have some sort of value on or around August 1st, and a market will start being made. So how should people concerned about potential bad actors on the side of BCC think about all of this? Let’s start with a few tweets from Whale Panda that I think are important to ponder.

With that in mind, take a watch of this recent interview of Roger Ver. Roger is considered to be one of the largest holders of Bitcoin, and owns bitcoin.com

That video definitely made me feel that Roger could act in a hostile way following the launch of BCC. I really hope he swallows his pride and doesn’t go down that route, but we can’t make that assumption. I think we absolutely need to prepare for the possibility that some bad actors will try to harm Bitcoin using BCC. Here are a few more tweets from Whale Panda.