The financial crisis of 2008/09 was the most significant event to happen in my lifetime. That episode, coupled with the deeply unethical and corrupt response to it, led to a direct delegitimization of governments and institutions worldwide. It’s precisely this self-inflicted destruction of credibility which opened up the window for the birthing of a new monetary and financial system in the wake of Bitcoin’s emergence in early 2009.
Bitcoin is a system designed to be everything the status quo isn’t. Decentralized, transparent, permissionless, with a well-defined and restricted monetary supply curve. Given the backdrop upon which it emerged, it’s unsurprising that as more time passes, the more popular it becomes.
Humanity is desperate for a major reboot and an entirely different way of doing things. Bitcoin and other crypto assets offer exactly that opportunity in the realm of finance and money, thus capturing the imagination of millions of the most brilliant and passionate people around the world. Since the status quo stubbornly refused to reform and change the system after the financial crisis, humanity had no choice but to take charge and do it independently at the grassroots level.
One thing that’s become increasingly clear to me as I’ve added years and experiences to my life, is that governments, generally speaking, hate freedom. It’s why something as beneficial and benign as cannabis remains illegal throughout the world, and why people like Jeff Sessions still want to criminalize it even in states where the actual people living there voted to make it legal (see Part 1 of this series). While the fairytale we’re conditioned to believe tells us government exists to protect us and create an environment in which humans can thrive, the reality is quite clearly the opposite. The crooked response to the financial crisis demonstrated this in spades to anyone paying even the slightest amount of attention.
As we transition into 2018, increasing numbers of people will see government and large corporations as the unified threat they represent to the global economy and human freedom. Younger generations are particularly aware, as they’ve been thrust into a parasitic system designed to prey upon them via a lifetime of debt serfdom. The more people learn about the way the world really works, the more they’ll want to reject it and create something entirely different. This is where Bitcoin and crypto assets come into play.
As Bitcoin rose through the $10,000 mark, I noticed an explosion in panic and fear on behalf of those who want to keep the current system in place. This is to be expected, as Bitcoin’s popularity is and should be seen as a report card on the global status quo. The financial system as it’s currently constructed is being publicly rejected with every uptick in the Bitcoin price, and with every billion dollars added to total crypto asset market capitalization. Naturally, this will make those in charge of the current predatory system, and those who have benefited most from it (oligarchs), increasingly hostile to its popularity.
There are so many recent examples of such hostility it’d be impossible to highlight them all, but I’ll provide you with a few examples so you know what I mean.
First, there was the clip of two billionaires, Michael Bloomberg and Lloyd Blankfein, discussing Bitcoin on Bloomberg.
They weren’t the only billionaires who chirped in about Bitcoin last week. Financial oligarch Ken Griffin came out with the truly original line of comparing Bitcoin to tulips, something I’ve heard non-stop in the more than five years I’ve been involved in the community. Via CNBC:
Citadel’s Ken Griffin said Monday that bitcoin may be in a bubble.
“Bitcoin right now has many of the elements of the tulip bulb mania we saw back hundreds of years ago in Holland,” said the billionaire hedge fund manager in an exclusive interview with CNBC’s Leslie Picker.
Griffin, however, said he does believe the blockchain technology backing the cryptocurrency is valid.
Griffin’s estimated net worth is $8.6 billion. Makes you wonder what sort of society and economy enriched someone like this to such an extent.
Carl Ichan also chimed in. Via Coindesk:
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has jumped on the bandwagon of financial bigwigs saying bitcoin is in a bubble
The business magnate and founder of Icahn Enterprises told CNBC that the cryptocurrency “seems like a bubble” and that he didn’t understand the hype around bitcoin.
“I got to tell you honestly, I don’t understand it … I just don’t get it. I just stay out of something if I don’t understand it.”
He admits he doesn’t understand it, but calls it a bubble anyway. This is surprisingly common.
Of course, there was the infamous nonsense spouted by Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who appears viscerally triggered by Bitcoin, saying it has no social function and should be outlawed.
Add to the above a plethora of central banker commentary about how dangerous Bitcoin is, and you know status quo types are beginning to sweat. Which brings me to the point of this piece. With Bitcoin having succeeded beyond the wildest imagination of status quo sycophants, many will begin to clamor and beg for an official response in order to defend their sleazy government sanctioned rackets.
At this point, I could attempt to outline all the various ways the U.S. government and others could target free market crypto assets, but I’m not going to do that. The reason I’m not going to do this is because I think the cat’s already too far out of the bag for the power structure to stop this trend. The benefits to humanity generally, and younger generations specifically, will make any attempts to stop this freight train futile. Any government that tries to do so will simply shoot themselves in the foot.
We stand on the precipice of historical shifts in relative economic power.
Those regions that embrace crypto assets will thrive, those that reject them will die.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) December 4, 2017
Unfortunately, most governments exist to protect and defend the status quo, versus doing what’s best for the public. If government actually cared about the future, every single country would be competing aggressively right now to be the most crypto asset friendly region on earth. The human brainpower and talent voluntarily dedicating their lives to this space is extraordinary. It’s a global movement and community the likes of which has rarely, if ever, emerged on this planet.
The smartest people on earth are dedicating their lives to Bitcoin and other crypto assets.
You want to bet against that?
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) December 1, 2017
The tweet above more or less summarizes how I see the situation. Anyone who bets against this overall space will ultimately end up historical roadkill. The emergence of Bitcoin and the crypto-asset ecosystem generally is one of the most liberating, paradigm disrupting events that’s ever manifested on this planet. Of course, entrenched interests won’t like it and will try to fight back, but they’ll be no more successful than those who wanted to ban the printing press.
Bitcoin is achieving what global central banks completely failed at. Animal spirits, a dynamic economy and revolutionary innovation.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) November 26, 2017
The above occurred despite governments having placed many roadblocks in the way. Imagine the innovation explosion that would be unleashed if governments decided to support this extraordinary community rather than fight it? At over $11,000 per bitcoin, a lot of money’s been made. While hodlers certainly prefer to spend fiat as opposed to bitcoin, the higher the price rises, the higher the percentage of their net worth is denominated in crypto.
If the U.S. government actually cared about dynamic economic growth as opposed to merely protecting status quo interests, it would unleash the power of this crypto asset wealth creation machine by eliminating taxes on gains. If no capital gains were owed, it’d encourage people to spend some of this newly created wealth in the economy. It’s an obvious move, but because governments are mainly about control and power, their initial reaction likely will be to go in the opposite direction.
The opportunities available right now for regions and nations willing to be openminded about Bitcoin and crypto assets generally are extraordinary. Government roadblocks and bans cannot and will not kill the spirit of this community and the ideals that motivate it. The only question is which regions/governments will put arrogance and control aside to do the right thing by their people. We’ll find out the answer to that question soon enough.
As a declining global empire, the U.S. is unfortunately prone to doing particularly stupid things in order to protect the predatory system beloved by the oligarchs in charge. On the flip-side, there are plenty of wealthy Americans and others with influence who see Bitcoin for the incredible opportunity it is, and cooler heads may prevail. The truth is nobody knows exactly how all of this will turn out.
In the short-term, we’re likely to face increased pushback and we should be mentally prepared to face it. In the longer-term, the future appears exceptionally bright.