Tuesday, May 18, 2021

HODLing Bitcoin From One Natural Disaster To The Next

by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:

Those who follow me on Facebook know that I reported live this week from Hurricane Max in Acapulco, which luckily just missed our area, as opposed to four years ago today where a tropical storm wiped out some local towns and our anarchist rescue team helped in the recovery.

I then arrived yesterday in Mexico City just in time to live stream the 7.1 earthquake that hit the area. (*Note: I spent the evening with Jose Rodriguez of Bitso.com who had been helping the recovery all day and has started a fundraiser to help people in Mexico City HERE.)

Damage at the airport wasn’t bad but most flights were cancelled and I ended up scouring the airport like a vagrant for hours looking for my bag and then searching the entire city for the one remaining hotel room… which the damned price gougers had at $2,000 US for the night… albeit it was the Presidential Suite at the St. Regis. Thank you, by the way, price gougers.

As I write now I am finally on my connecting flight through to Houston, then Denver, then Aspen for the Nexus conference.

Before leaving Anarchapulco, though, I did an interview with the Silver Doctors about bitcoin where we talked about the Chinese fiasco… namely that the Chinese government threatened to kidnap or kill anyone operating a bitcoin exchange within their arbitrary, illusionary sphere of extortion. If I haven’t said it before, let me say now, f**k you, Chinese government.

In any case, as I pointed out, this will essentially prove to be futile in the grand scheme of the cryptocurrency market. All that the Chinese government can do is threaten its citizens with violence to scare them into closing down major exchanges in the mainland.

This will result in forcing existing mainland exchanges to move their operations elsewhere to places like Hong Kong and Singapore. And, eventually, into decentralized exchanges which exist exactly nowhere… try threatening code, government!

As I have said in the past, it is impossible to end bitcoin with a government decree. Bitcoin don’t care, it’s the honey badger of currencies and is based on emotionless mathematical equations. Exchanges, which are centralized, can fear the boot of government stomping down on their faces, but the bitcoin blockchain knows no fear.

Check out the full interview here which goes into further depth about these aforementioned points.

Hopefully there aren’t too many more natural disasters in my near future… but we are nearing September 23rd, which many speculate will have a major event… and today is actually the end of the Jubilee year… if it is this year.

Read More @ TheDollarVigilante.com

Why Every Government in the World Is Nervous About Bitcoin

by Justin Splitter, Casey Research:

The White House is watching bitcoin.

Germany’s central bank recently called it a “speculative plaything.”

The European Central Bank (ECB) thinks bitcoin is “a sort of tulip.”

The Royal Bank of India is telling people to avoid it like the plague.

I could go on and on.

My point is that every government in the world is nervous about bitcoin.

And they should be…

• Bitcoin is a direct threat to their monopoly on money…

That’s because, as regular readers know, bitcoin is unlike every paper currency on the planet.

It’s decentralized. This means it’s not controlled by any government or central bank.

That’s why many people, especially its early adopters, bought bitcoin. But that’s not the only thing that makes it special.

• The supply of bitcoin is predetermined…

It’s set to grow at a fixed rate over the next 123 years.

Not only that, the supply of new bitcoins that enter the economy is set to decrease by 50% every four years.

This will continue until the very last bitcoin is mined in 2140.

This practically ensures that bitcoin will become more valuable over time.

• Paper currencies are a much different story…

Governments can create them at will. They’ve been doing this since the dawn of time.

Of course, “money printing” comes at a steep price. Eventually, it destroys the value of paper money.

If unchecked, it can even render a currency completely worthless.

That’s why hundreds of paper currencies have failed throughout history.

• Unfortunately, central bankers have yet to learn their lesson…

They continue to print money by the boatload.

They do this to fund wars, entitlement programs, and a host of other bad ideas.

Because of this, practically every paper currency in the world is approaching its intrinsic value of zero. It’s one big race to the bottom.

I’m not just talking about the currencies of places like Zimbabwe and Venezuela, either.

• Major currencies are also in serious trouble…

That’s because the Federal Reserve, the ECB, and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) have been printing money with reckless abandon for nearly a decade.

In fact, they’ve created more than $12 trillion since the 2008 financial crisis.

Unfortunately, this money printing has done almost nothing for the “real economy.”

The U.S. economy, for one, is recovering at the slowest rate on record. Japan’s economy, on the other hand, has grown just 1% over the last 20 years.

About all these “stimulus” measures have done is rob everyday people of purchasing power.

Just look at the U.S. dollar.

It’s lost 97% of its value since 1913.

As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s nothing to stop the Fed from printing more money during the next financial crisis.

• Because of this, many people are losing faith in paper currencies…

…and turning to bitcoin.

It’s a big reason why bitcoin is up 1,937% over the last three years.

Read More @ CaseyResearch.com

BIS: 70% of Central Banks Involved in CBDC Research, Only Several Have Concrete Plans

by Marie Huillet, Coin Telegraph:

A new report published on Jan. 8 by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has found that seventy percent of central banks worldwide are conducting research into central bank digital currency (CBDC) issuance. However, concrete plans for implementation and motivations vary considerably across contexts.

The BIS is an organization based in Switzerland made up of 60 of the world’s central banks, and has to date devoted a number of major reports to both decentralized cryptocurrencies and CBDCs. The latter are distinct from the former in that they are digital currencies issued by a central bank, whose legal tender status depends on government regulation or law.

Gold & Bitcoin

by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I really encountered an insane goldbug who claimed you were paid off by the gold cartel to keep the price down. These people cannot open their eyes and see anything but gold or bitcoin. Then they argue the age of knowledge and bitcoin will become the new reserve currency. You really have to wonder if these people are on drugs. Will you be doing a gold report soon? Is it still a viable option for some portion of wealth in the future. Bitcoin seems to depend entirely upon a power grid. I was traveling back to the States and was actually asked if I had cryptocurrency. I said no. What is all that about?

Your Bitcoin is NOT Anonymous: IRS Moves To Track Bitcoiners With New Chain Analysis Tools

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

Last month Alt-Market.com founder Brandon Smith warned that Bitcoin may not be all that it’s cracked up to be in terms of its purported anonymity:

For years, one of the major original selling points of bitcoin was that it was “anonymous.” It always surprised me that so many people in the liberty movement bought into this scam. Surely after the revelations exposed by Edward Snowden and organizations like Wikileaks, it is utterly foolish to believe that anything in the digital world is truly “anonymous.” The feds have been proving there is no anonymity, even in bitcoin, for some time, as multiple arrests using bitcoin tracking have indeed occurred when the FBI decided it was in their interest. Meaning, when the feds want to track bitcoin transactions, they can, and it does not matter how well the people involved covered their actions.

Because every transaction exists on a public blockchain ledger, an enterprising organization – say like the NSA or IRS – could conceivably implement blockchain analysis tools to track down Bitcoin fund transfers around the globe. These days most bitcoin transactions are originated on “trusted” exchanges that exist in Western nations, where governments have always found new and innovative ways to ensure citizens have no privacy whatsoever, especially when it comes to personal finances. This means that there is more than likely a record of your original Bitcoin transaction, perhaps involving a credit card or bank transfer, and if regulators ask an exchange to turn over the information you can bet they’ll do so in order to avoid unwanted government scrutiny. Moreover, most exchanges now require a driver’s license, passport and even a phone number in order to approve your account for trading.

The point is, for government investigators with a bone to pick, your crypto currency activities online may not be as anonymous and private as you may think.

In fact, so exposed is the blockchain to Big Brother monitoring and interference, that the Internal Revenue Service has now implemented blockchain analysis tools to help them track down individuals who are profiting off the crypto currency and not declaring these profits on their tax returns.

Via Bitcoin.com:

According to a contract recently obtained by the Daily Beast, the IRS can now track bitcoin and other cryptocurrency addresses. They can do this to route out potential tax evaders. They purchased software from the blockchain analysis group Chainalysis.

The document details that “criminals” have used digital currencies to launder money, deal drugs, and commit other unlawful behavior. However, criminals have also been using digital currencies to ignore tax liabilities and evade responsibility. The Daily Beast article elaborated:

The document highlights how law enforcement isn’t only concerned with criminals accumulating bitcoin from selling drugs or hacking targets, but also those who use the currency to hide wealth or avoid paying taxes.

Reason for IRS Crackdown; Tracking Bitcoiners

The reason the IRS is cracking down on digital currencies appears to be because only 802 people declared bitcoin profits or losses in 2015. The Daily Beast article suggests that many people may have not expected the IRS to collect on digital currencies. Others may have just thought they could easily sidestep this alleged obligation.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

This Bill Will Remove the No. 1 Obstacle to Owning Bitcoin

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by Nick Rokke, International Man:

Nick Rokke: T, you’ve talked about a new law working its way through Congress. The bill would make every bitcoin transaction under $600 exempt from capital gains taxes.

I know you’re really excited about it. How will it affect our readers?

Teeka Tiwari: This new law could be a turning point for bitcoin in America. Because it removes the No. 1 obstacle preventing people from using bitcoin on a daily basis here in the U.S.

You see, right now, even if you buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin, technically you have to pay a capital gains tax on the purchase.

Nick: Why is that?

Teeka: Because of an IRS mandate. Back in 2014, when the IRS was trying to figure out what bitcoin was, they classified it as “property.”

That means if you buy bitcoin, and it goes up in price and you use that bitcoin to buy a cup of coffee, technically you have to pay a 28{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} tax.

So under current law, you’d have to keep track of every single purchase you made along with the price you paid for your bitcoin…

Nick: That’s absurd.

Teeka: Totally absurd.

Obviously, in a case like this, bitcoin is being used as a currency—not property. Everyone can see that… except the IRS. They say it’s property, so it’s taxed at 28{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Now, this is an unfair burden on bitcoin. Every other currency gets an exemption.

If a European comes to America and pays for a cup of coffee in euros, no problem. No capital gains tax. But if he pays in bitcoin? Sorry, he has to pay an extra tax.

Nick: But you’re saying this could all change by the end of the year?

Teeka: Lawmakers are pushing through a law that will eliminate this. It creates an exemption for bitcoin payments under $600, making them tax-free.

Nick: The same exemption other currencies get?

Teeka: The same exemption.

No more “coffee tax.” Bitcoin is treated just like every other currency. It’s put on an equal playing field with the dollar, the euro, the pound, etc.

Nick, this sets the regulatory stage for bitcoin to be used as a daily currency.

Nick: But Teeka, is bitcoin actually going to be used daily? I mean, do they even accept bitcoin at Starbucks?

Teeka: They do. They started accepting it late last year.

Subway, Microsoft, Expedia.com, Dell…

Over 100,000 stores across the globe now accept bitcoin as payment.

And hundreds of thousands more have signed up in just the past year.

Now, I’m not saying that, overnight, everyone is going to be using bitcoin instead of U.S. dollars.

But what I am saying is… this change in the law… it could help the day-to-day use of bitcoin increase significantly…

I wouldn’t be surprised if usage doubled in the next 12 months. And that would obviously increase demand for, and ownership of, bitcoin.

Read More @ InternationalMan.com

Billionaire Buffett Calls Bitcoin A Bubble Ignoring The Largest Equity and Debt Bubbles In History

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by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:

I’m officially calling this International Bitcoin Week. Because it seems almost everyone has come out with their opinion on it.

In 2014, when asked about bitcoin, legendary investor Warren Buffett said, “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically.”

Back then he said,

“It’s a method of transmitting money. It’s a very effective way of transmitting money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a way of transmitting money, too. Are checks worth a whole lot of money just because they can transmit money? Are money orders? You can transmit money by money orders. People do it. I hope bitcoin becomes a better way of doing it, but you can replicate it a bunch of different ways and it will be. The idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke in my view.”

No, Warren, “checks” aren’t worth a whole lot of money. Banks are though.

Poor, senile old man.

Now, in 2017, the bitcoin “mirage” apparently isn’t a mirage anymore after it has topped the billionaires net-worth. According to Warren Buffett, it’s a bubble and “You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”

This is the same criticism that “value investors” like Buffett or supporters of the fractional reserve banking model like JP Morgan’s David Kelly often levy against gold. It has no intrinsic value (nothing does), and “does not provide any cash flow, a right to future earnings,” and so on.

Which, when it comes to traditional equity or debt, claims against assets and capital help value investors estimate present values using the discounted cashflow model or PE multiple.

It could be noted that this is not really an intrinsic value as such, and TDV’s Senior Analyst, Ed Bugos, has written an extensive critique of the value investing approach in his book “Defensive Investing: A Beginner’s Guide and Primer To Investing Within the Context Of Business Cycles and Sectors” (which is available for free to TDV subscribers), and deals with the effects of the Fed on investing post-1929.

Buffett ends a few weeks where Jamie Demon, Ajay Banga and the Prince of Saudi Arabia have attacked bitcoin.

Notice what they all have in common? They are beholden to the fasco-communist crony rigged market system, and like to echo the establishment’s narratives, often without thinking. They don’t understand money, or economics, the causes of the business cycle, or even the source of innovation itself.

And, yes, Warren Buffett may be one of the best value investors of all-time, but he is completely ignorant on money.

Interestingly, his father did. But Warren was a spoiled rich kid who didn’t even take notice when he had one of the smartest men in the world when it came to understanding capitalism and money, Murray Rothbard, at the dinner table as a child.

Warren hated economics, unlike his gold loving and much smarter father. Warren’s hate for gold likely stemmed from a hatred of his father.

But now this hate has broadened to bitcoin, calling it a bubble.

As a TDV reader, you know bubbles are a monetary phenomenon. They are caused by the creation of money (unbacked fiat) out of thin air, manufactured by the fractional reserve banking system, supported by government and central banking legislation, and legal tender laws forcing merchants to accept a currency they wouldn’t accept otherwise if they were not forced after gold was outlawed as money in the USSA in the 1930s.

This entire apparatus is necessary to support the banking system because the model is bankrupt and fraudulent. This is the system that Buffett and Demon support. And the reason that Buffett hasn’t had a great track record in calling tops and other bubbles is because he doesn’t get the difference between the thing called an “asset” and the thing called “money.”

If he listened at the dinner table more often he might have realized that money is an entirely different kind of economic good. It is not an asset. The problem of valuing gold or bitcoin cannot come down to measuring future earnings power or extrapolating yields because they are not equity or debt. They are commodity-assets of a particular kind: monetary.

Read More @ TheDollarVigilante.com

Andrew Hoffman – Bitcoin Blows Away the Competition

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by Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network:

What’s Really Happening Wednesdays with Andrew Hoffman:

  • Bitcoin price, nearly a new all-time high yesterday
  • Surging Bitcoin “dominance,” as altcoin market weakens
  • Upcoming B-Gold and SegWit 2X hard forks
  • More Trump Administration Failures, as Tax Reform joins Obamacare Repeal in the dustbin
  • Resilient gold price, amidst dollar and stock market pump, and historically weak U.S. Mint sales
  • Etc.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @ FinancialSurvivalNetwork:

Is Bitcoin A Diversion from the Natural Monetary Order?

by Antonius Aquinas, Antonius Aquinas:

As modern man continues to wantonly deviate, flaunt, and reject the natural law and the Divinely-created order from which it derives, it is not surprising that illusions like Bitcoin and other crypto currencies have captured the imagination of many and have provided a vehicle for scammers to rip off their fellow man.

Crypto currencies are a more complex, yet still devious derivative of the immoral, economic destructive, and social debilitating system of central banking.  In response, Bitcoin pumpers have craftily tried to portray digital currencies as a “decentralized” alternative to the present fiat, paper-money standard.

Trump Administration Launched Bitcoin Futures To Manipulate Price Lower: Former CFTC Chair

from Silver Doctors:

The stunning news release last week didn’t even make it to many in the mainstream media…

by Chris Marcus via Arcadia Economics

The stunning news that was released last week that didn’t make it to many of the mainstream media outlets was that according to former CFTC official Christopher Giancarlo, the Trump administration actively intervened in the Bitcoin market to drive the price lower.

Millennials Can Punt On Bitcoin, Own Gold and Silver For Long Term

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by Mark O’Byrne, Gold Core:
– Bitcoin volatility shows not currency or safe haven but speculation
– Volatility still very high in bitcoin and crypto currencies (see charts)
– Bitcoin fell 25{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} over weekend; Recent high of $3,000 fell to below $1,900
– Bitcoin least volatile of cryptos, around 75{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} annualised volatility
– Gold much more stable at just 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} annualised volatility
– Bitcoin volatility against USD about 5-7 times vol of traditional forex trading
– Cryptos remain subject to huge speculation with little fundamental analysis
– Despite major differences many crypto currencies correlated, mimic one another
– Extreme hype – bitcoin expert bets will eat own body part on national television
– Millennials can punt on bitcoin, should also own gold and silver for long term
– Cryptos mere ‘babies’ when compared to time tested gold and silver