Look closely. What do we all have in common? No matter what corner of the world you live in You need food, water, shelter and money. Half of every transaction involves money in exchange for goods or services. Stocks, a loaf of bread illegal drugs you gotta pay for it. We spend much of our lives chasing money to make a living and accomplish our dreams. But it’s also an instrument of destruction some might say evil driving criminals to lie, steal and even murder. The existing banking system extracts enormous value from society and it is parasitic in nature. Money is a catalyst for the worst and the best of human endeavor.
Before civilization We created currency. Fuel for wars The path to power Champion and enemy of innovation Money is so integral to our society and our global economy, That it’s true nature remains a mystery to most. This is the story of money. Perhaps the end of money as we know it. No matter how fat your bank account, or how thin your wallet, To us, It’s all cold hard cash. There are some who want to kill it, get rid of it Burn your Dollars, your Euros, your Yen and transform every penny you have into ones and zeros digital currency Entrusted to the web and computers spread across the planet Magic internet money It’s called cryptocurrency Bitcoin Invented in secret It was a gift to the world It’s not just the currency, but it’s actually programmable money A potential curse on bankers I mean, there’s nothing that the big banks or politicians can do to stop it.
Breaking every government’s grip on money supply What the internet did for information, Bitcoin is doing for money. Could it be the new gold ? No, you have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is. Regulators, the Federal Reserve, the banking system, least to understand, this is a thing that they have to take seriously. This is going to change the economic culture. Bitcoin could be a micro economic miracle worker, and it could be a macro economic wrecking ball. Is Bitcoin the currency of the future ? A godsend for criminals ? Or a recipe for financial disaster ? If you trust your money just as it is, we have a little story to share.
Once upon a time there was a big party, with everyone standing around the punch bowl, drunk ! Politicians credited the strong economy to their wise decisions. Businesses jumped into new profitable markets, ignoring risk. In fact, the experts said there was no risk. Then, troubling market data from minor countries spooked the markets. Rumors spread. More bad news rattled housing prices at the heart of the financial world. A major bank went insolvent. investors and businesses made a run on the other banks, demanding their cash deposits. The largest financial Institutions in the center of the modern world were frozen.
Assets were seized. Banks foreclosed. A credit crunch threatened the entire world economy. And then, finally the government stepped in. The largest bank bailout ever Swift action by the head of state had saved the day. Remember that ? No, you don’t. It happened 2,000 years ago. Rome, 33 AD Ground zero for the first recorded liquidity crisis and government bailout in history. The largest empire the world had ever seen was brought to it’s knees by a banking disaster. Emperor Tiberius used money from the National Treasury to bail out the country’s troubled banks and companies. History may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes
Badly. People in power and their money have always been at the very center of it. The story of money is as old as civilization itself. When we lived in small tribes, keeping track of debt was easy. You owed somebody a load of firewood. A neighbor owed you a piece of meat. Credits and debits were kept in your head. A mental ledger Currency is a language that allows us to express transactional value between people. It’s a technology that’s older than the wheel. It’s as old as fire. When humans wanted to trade outside their tribe or village, they needed something everyone could agree had value. Something scalable.
Enter commodity monies There were many kinds but each had to embody the same five characteristics. A commodity money is relatively scarce, Easily recognizable, Can be cut into smaller pieces, You can substitute one piece for another of equal value. and you can carry it around without too much trouble. In ancient Rome, it was salt. The Aztecs used cacao beans, It was whale teeth on Fiji, Yak dung in Tibet, Shells in Africa and China, Grains, metal, ivory, rare stones, leather, fish If it had the five characteristics of commodity money, someone probably used it as currency. And then you ask What value do these currencies have ? If you go into a primary school, you’ll see children exchanging rubber bands and Tamagotchi and Pokemon cards and baseball cards, and sweets and candy, and any other form of currency.
People invent currency when they have no other currency, and now they’re going to invent digital currencies. But commodities that aren’t durable, are a lousy store of value. A bad cacao crop, or a huge new salt discovery can throw your currency and economy into turmoil. A more stable system was needed. About 2,500 years ago the first metal coins were minted in China, and in what is now Turkey. These coins shared the same five characteristics with commodity money. But were also very durable. In some cases coins are the only thing left of entire civilizations. Money does not originate with goverments.
Money arises naturally as markets are began to develop and as people with the division of labor, realized that if I have eggs, and you have a cow We may need some medium of exchange in order for you to buy my eggs, and for me to buy your cow. Coins were an objective and universal unit of account and they allowed people to buy and sell goods over vast regions. The market economy was born. Coins worked. But only if people trusted that the king or Emperor who issued them wasn’t cheating on the metal content. Using coins also meant that an authority now controlled the supply of your currency. Money and political power were inextricably linked.
Centralized. Minting coins in a steady and predictable manner, allowed economic growth and stability. The Wu Zhu coin in China retained it’s value for 500 years. In Constantinople the Solidus lasted for 700 years. But in those times the coins didn’t have the the milled This sort of milled edge. They were flat. And what used to happen was as coins were passing from people to people people would cut little bits off. And in fact some of the taxation that the Kings would do they would actually be taking 1/8 of the coin off. Taxes built castles. and financed military campaigns. Expensive hobbies ! Soon royal mints were substituting cheaper metals for silver and gold.
This is called “debasement” and Europe’s Kings, made a habit of it. The currency of France was debased every 20 months for 200 years ! If no one can trust the gold or silver content of your coins, how can you trade with other countries? International merchants found a solution. They recognized that one person’s debt has value. It can be traded or transferred. When those IOUs came from reputable sources, they could be used as a form of money. Paper money. This money was not based on hard commodities or metal, but instead on someone’s promise to pay. Merchants families like the Medici in 15th century Florence acted as clearing houses for these IOUs.
It worked like this : An English trader ordered a shipment of Italian cloth from the Medici for 100 gold coins. His promise to pay the Medici was put on paper. Meanwhile, the Medici owed 100 gold coins to another trading partner for delivery of wine from France. The parties didn’t go to the expense of transporting and exchanging gold coins. Instead, the paper was transferred. Everyone agreed that the paper had value : “100 gold coins” But only because everyone trusted the Medici as solvent middlemen. They had created a paper money machine Within a few generations, they rose from low crime to high finance.
Their great wealth helped fuel the Italian Renaissance,. and elevated the family to levels of enormous political power.. The power to marry into royal families,. and get elected as popes.. The ties binding money to power, politics and influence. now ran through church and state.. Merchants had proven that creating paper currency. could be wildly profitable.. Goldsmiths wanted in on the action.. Imagine it like this :. if the Goldsmith had seen over a period of time. that some of the coins he was storing for people,. were gathering dust.. The people who owned them, don’t need them right now.. So what if I go and lend them out into the community,. and I charge them interest on this loan ?. So he starts out lending some of these gold coins and then. later, he realizes actually people don’t even want the gold coins.
They just want the piece of paper, that says the gold coins are in the bank and with the goldsmith. So I can now make a loan with these pieces of paper. And whatever I write on a piece of paper, as long as people trust me, they’ll trust the paper. And effectively the Goldsmiths and the early day bankers they had literally acquired the power to print money. More and more private paper money from merchants and banks, circulated and began to rival the crown’s coins. The power inherent in controlling and issuing money, began slipping away from the rulers. They couldn’t tax or debase this new kind of money.
But they had bigger ambitions than ever with trading posts, colonies, and empires that now stretched across the globe. For centuries European countries would take turns building massive fleets and waging war on each other to rule the world. Government wanted to take the people’s money in order to finance its wars. That’s essentially the history of money. Money and warfare go together. War is expensive. One year’s income taxes simply aren’t enough. Kings and queens had to borrow money against future taxes. They needed a groundbreaking financial innovation. Government bonds The loans came from rich merchant families and Goldsmiths who by now had become powerful financiers and bankers.
Sovereign debt and deficit spending had been born. In 1694, The Bank of England was established to fund a war against France. England central bank was privately owned and granted the monopoly to issue banknotes. Paper that could be redeemed for an equal amount of gold from the government coffers. The central bank soon also managed the entire debt of the crown. Money has been a tool of sovereignty for centuries. Being able to issue currency, gave you the power but it also gave the value to that monetary supply, by backing it with a force of state. With essentially the debt of the state. When the US won independence from Britain, the first article of the new constitution gave Congress the exclusive right to coin money.
This currencies value was tied to gold in government vaults. From 1781 until the panic of 1907, The financial system of the US was an economic petri dish ; Brief central banks, State banks, private banks, private currency, government currency, depressions, strong growth, recessions, regular boom and bust cycles. The long term, as far as capitalists concern, people want predictability, people want stability. From the back of that they can plan. That’s very hard to plan in the long term, when there’s such a level of volatility. In 1913, bankers and politicians decided that it was in the country’s best interest and theirs, to have a permanent central bank.
They created the Federal Reserve. Among it’s jobs : Expand or contract the supply of a single national currency The Federal Reserve Note The dollar was tied to gold, and strategic control of it would avoid booms that lead to busts. At least that was the plan. Then came 1929. The Great Depression would have a profound effect on monetary policy Worldwide “I Shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument ” ” to meet the crisis” “Broad executive power” Soon the Fed had printed nearly all the money it legally could to pump life back into the economy. It needed gold to fire up the mint. So in 1933 President Roosevelt issued a controversial executive order.
Forcing all US citizens to sell their gold to the Federal Reserve at a fixed price, Or go to prison. The Fed offered far more cash to foreign governments for their gold. Many jumped at the offer. Gold flowed in, and dollars spread across the globe. World War 2 devastated nearly every major economy. Except the United States. The military and industrial juggernaut emerged as THE global financial superpower. The Dollar had become the world’s most stable and trusted currency. Other countries pegged their currency to the Dollar. Which could still be redeemed for gold. In fact the US owned more than half of the world’s gold reserves.
In the next few decades more Dollars flowed to foreign countries. Governments began debasing their coins with cheaper metals, and printing more of their own currency than they had in gold. The bond between precious metals and paper currency was cracking. This is a 1966 50cent piece. It was the last coin in regular circulation in Australia to contain silver. And it contains 80 percent silver. So in 1966 this was 50 cents. Nowadays, It’s 8 Dollars, roughly, in silver alone ! By 1966 foreign nations had had enough of the US Collecting gold and printing cash. And they had more value in Dollars than the US had bullion in its vaults.
They demanded gold in return for their paper Dollars. Arguments about the value of the Dollar versus their currency ensued. In 1971 President Nixon settled the matter. He severed United States currency from the gold standard. “I have directed secretary Connally to suspend temporarily ” ” the convertibility of the Dollar into gold or other reserve assets …” ” Except in amounts and conditions determined …” ” to be in the interest of monetary stability …” ” and in the best interest of the United States.” Never again could anyone legally demand US government gold in exchange for paper Dollars.
For better or worse the Dollar was now backed solely by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States government. The wealthiest nation the world had ever known would bet its future on a single word : ” Trust ” People have this mythology of money that is based on very little fact. And one of the nice things about Bitcoin is that it forces people to start to ask questions about the fundamentals of money. Bitcoin is an attempt to adopt the advanced computerized system that we have, the internet to resurrecting what money used to be all about. I think our Dollar policies, our monetary policies our fiscal policies, have absolutely created a nation of debtors.
Not just personal debt, not just corporate debt, but government debt, and you have to look at those all together as one big thing. What is the wealth of the nation? Well, the wealth of the nation is a gigantic hole of money that we owe to the rest of the world That is never going to be paid back. Today the United States pays more than 400 billion Dollars in interest to its creditors every year. When a government spends more money than it collects in taxes, it simply borrows more. Or it creates more. At one time every piece of paper money was backed by gold. Remember ! For every $20 bill there was $20 worth of gold in the government vault.
Not anymore. Today governments create currency by first creating bonds or Treasury bills. These bonds are sold in the market. Generating funds for the government that issued them. Large banks buy US bonds to flip them. Selling them to the Federal Reserve at a profit. This is the magic money machine. You see, the Fed is America’s central bank, but it doesn’t have any money. No cash on its balance sheets. When a bank buys a bond and takes it to the Federal Reserve the Fed simply says : ” Thank you Mr. Banker !” ” Here’s the principal and some profit. ” New money isn’t exchanged. It simply appears on the bank’s accounts.
Magic ! For 100 years and counting, the precise mechanisms of these bond purchases have remained a secret. Here’s where it gets really interesting ! The Federal Reserve is not a government agency. It’s a private entity and its shareholders are banks Which earn a dividend. As much as 80 billion dollars per year total are paid out to some of the very same banks that sell the government debt to the Fed. Which banks ? Don’t even bother asking ! That’s also a secret. In other words the magic money machine answers to no one. The Fed also sets the bar for how much interest you pay for a car, home, or business loan.
The Federal Reserve has been given the impossible task of trying to run the credit and monetary system as though we are the Soviet Union. It’s the central planner for the key aspect of Capitalism, which is how money and credit is allocated. The Federal Reserve unbalance does not help the economy, unbalance hurts the economy. And it’s bound to make mistakes. Even with the best of intentions. The Fed is also supposed to boost employment with low interest rates. Encouraging people and businesses to buy more goods and services. Governments getting involved in money is a good thing and it’s also a bad thing.
It’s a good thing because money is the arteries of the economy, the blood supply of the economy. Markets are subject to bouts of euphoria and despair. And it makes sense for governments to back currency and manipulate it. Moving the money supply up and down is the most powerful way to sedate that boom and bust cycle. Manipulating the supply of money has shortterm and long-term consequences. Central Bank’s aim to create new money carefully, strategically, and very very slowly. Releasing more money into the economy Causes prices to rise. Ideally by two percent every year. That’s supposed to foster economic growth.
But 2% inflation means the buying power of one cash dollar in your pocket today will be 98 cents next year. and less nearly every year to come. Since 1913 when the Federal Reserve took over the United States Dollar, we’ve seen that the United Sates Dollar has decreased in value 98% Inflation is a far higher tax. Because on your income you pay it just once. If inflation is 2% you’re paying a 2% tax on your net worth every single year your net worth held in currency. So what does that mean? If you earned a Dollar in 1913, you could buy 16 loaves of bread. Today a Dollar barely buys you one. That’s not a quaint notion of how cheap things used to be.
It’s proof that the value of your cash is slowly withering away. That one Dollar invested at 2% in 1913 would now be worth $ 7.24 more than %600 return versus a near total loss. The US Dollar has gone from being worth $1 to now being worth about 4 cents. So that’s, you know, 96% of its original value. And it’s a direct result of government control. Governments, don’t create money from thin air all alone. You play a key role in the magic money machine. It’s not really the central banks that are the problem. I mean, they’re part of the problem. But the real problem is that we’ve given the power to create money, to the same banks that caused the financial crisis.
We put our paychecks and savings into a bank account, and draw from it as we need it. The banks are custodians of our money, right? Wrong ! It is now the property of the bank on their balance sheets. They can do just about anything they want with it. For example create new money. Here’s how : Your bank account shows $100 but the bank only holds $3 and loans $97 to Bob to buy something. In the bank’s computers, you still have $100 in your account. But Bob now has $97 of new virtual money in his account. Just digits on a computer screen. There’s no cash, no gold, or anything else backing up the new numbers in Bob’s account.
Just his promise to pay it back. This is new money created as “debt”. When those $97 are spent, say in a shop, the shop owner deposits into another bank. And it is lent out again and again and again. And each of these people have numbers in their accounts, showing that they own this money. So your original $100 has multiplied. There are over $ 3,300 in the system. This process of loaning out far more money than a bank actually has as cash on hand is called ” Fractional Reserve Banking “. in the UK %97 of the money that exists is just numbers in a computer system, and those numbers are created by the banks.
Banks earn untold billions in interest every year by creating and lending virtual money. What’s more, banks don’t even need your deposit to create new money. If they consider someone creditworthy for a loan, they can put new magic money into his or her account, and start charging interest. So reporters talk about Bitcoin as though it’s the first digital currency. But actually we use digital currency every time you make a transaction through internet banking or through your bank card. Actually, it’s not even just digital currency. It’s digital currency that is created by the banks. They essentially have nothing.
In other words all new money is debt. This is the part of money creation that isn’t taught in economics class. Money in paychecks, bank accounts, 401ks that loan to Bob, credit card debt, your home loan, all began life as virtual money. Created by the banks. The entire system is based on trust. Trust in the bank’s solvency. Trust in the debtors ability to repay their debt. If all bank customers demanded just 3% of their deposits, right now, in cash this run on the banks would reveal the truth. Almost none of that paper currency you think is in your bank account exists It never did ! Remember the drunken party ? Our financial crisis had everything to do with virtual dollars Too many people with very little income borrowed a lot of money they could never repay.
But the banks didn’t care. They didn’t have to. They quickly made and sold shaky loans to someone else for a profit. Selling bad loans was a good business. Until the whole thing blew up in a global financial crisis. The magic money machine destroyed 30 million real jobs. The United States alone lost 16 trillion Dollars in household wealth. and the banks foreclosed on more than 1 million homes. Selling subprime loans and betting they will fail, may not be sacred But it is lucrative ! As much as one quarter of our best and brightest, are being lured by the siren call of the money machine. Instead of science, engineering or medicine They chose a career playing with betting with other people’s money to get rich quick.
Very rich And sometimes they take shortcuts. My ancestors in Greece talked about the corrupting influence of power. And nothing has changed in these 3,000 years. When you give control of massive amounts of money to a few individuals, they will take advantage of that control. Banks today are factoring in fines and money laundering and all the rules that they break into their cost of doing business. JPMorgan is today coming out and saying that Bitcoin is not a legitimate way of doing business. Banks today are tied in to a system that is completely rigged to basically harvest money from the entire global economy and pump it into the hands of very few.
The existing banking system is cozy. it’s captured the regulators, It extracts enormous value from society without delivering anything in return. and it is parasitic in nature. The banks play a very pivotal role in an economy If you look at any successful economy, It has successful banks. There’s a very close correlation with banking profits and the economy as a whole. In medieval Europe a banker who couldn’t repay depositors, was hanged. Today that same banker would get bailed out, paid bonuses and enjoy some tax benefits too. To date, no senior US banking executive has been charged for selling the bad loans that fueled the Great Recession.
In December 2014, just 6 years after the last banking crisis brought the world to its knees, a congressman snuck a lastminute provision written by Citigroup into a crucial funding bill. The provision allows the largest US banks to once again make risky derivatives bets with bank deposits But no need to worry if the banks implode again, lost deposits must be paid back By US taxpayers. Today’s financial innovators package assets in ever more complex ways. Slicing, dicing, securitizing always using someone else’s money. They sell debt, transfer risks, leverage bets that’s what they call “innovation” .
When you’re talking about financial innovation, Bitcoin certainly is a very good example of innovation. But there’s also been other innovations that people a bit closer to the world of finance would Cite as good examples. an example of that would be the original swaps market. From there moving on to the credit default swap. It is an excellent example of financial innovation. But also if it’s used incorrectly, it can create a lot of problems as we’ve just seen. History teaches that the most revolutionary and disruptive innovation, nearly always comes from the fringe, not from corporate cubicles.
True innovators see the world differently. They see the big picture. Creating new products and entire systems that lead to new industries. Steve Jobs called them “the square cogs in round holes” It’s unsurprising that new innovations always come from a niche group of early adopters. Because it is inherently very hard for many people to realize the benefits of new technologies. In 2011 most Bitcoin community people were Either people from the technology space the geeks and hackers, or people from the traditional financial industry. There were even some bankers and hedge fund traders using Bitcoin at that time as well.
Which was really surprising to me. A radical new idea is often met with skepticism, ridicule, even hostility, from those who stand to lose the most from its success. Case in point : The automobile In the late 19th century, Karl Benz and others built the first cars. Contraptions that could threaten the stagecoach and railroad industries. These selfpropelled vehicles or “road trains” would certainly scare horses, injure people, and damage roads. Cars, the railroad barons said, were just too dangerous. And to protect us, they used their power to pass a law in 1865. It required every automobile in England to observe a 4 mile per hour speed limit and And to be operated by a crew of three : A driver, an engineer, and a flag man.
This heroic flag man walked in front of the car to warn fellow citizens of the coming danger. The railroad tycoons, the lawmakers, the selfappointed gatekeepers used regulations to stifle innovation. But they didn’t invent the flagman. He’s been around for a long time. For centuries very few could read. Books were copied by hand. The people in control, Political and religious leaders, wanted to keep it that way. and they greeted Johann Gutenberg’s printing press with licensing laws, publishing bans, taxes. In some parts of the world printing was a crime punishable by death. After all, they were just protecting us from dangerous ideas.
Before the printing press, there were an estimated 30,000 books in all of Europe. 50 years later, there were 10 million. As Gutenberg’s invention flourished, the dark ages withered. Progress couldn’t be stopped. But the flagman never stops trying. His masters set him loose on each of these innovations, because they threaten someone’s profits. Someone’s control. But remember, this is a story about money. What if a technological innovation, allowed anyone in the world to be their own bank ? To create a currency free from taxes and banking fees. The US Constitution forbid citizens from printing or minting their own currency.
Competing with or undercutting reliance on the US Dollar. In 1998 Bernard von NotHaus decided to test the resolve of the federal government. The Liberty dollar was available in gold, silver, platinum and copper. It was available in three forms ; Both in specie, in other words gold and silver, in paper, as warehouse receipts, and in digital form. Obviously the government didn’t like it. They arrested me and convicted me of counterfeiting, fraud and conspiracy. And I’m currently awaiting 22 years sentence in federal prison. Lesson learned. There was a hackers convention in Netherlands There was a young hacker there who used the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto and he talked to a friend of mine and he identified the Liberty Dollar and me as Inspiring him to create a new currency.
Bernard von NotHaus’s arrests for creating private money may also have inspired Bitcoins inventor to keep a lower profile. Publishing the invention under an alias and vanishing. Part of me is interested to know like who Satoshi is Maybe that’s part of the mystique of the story. It’s completely irrelevant to the functioning of Bitcoin, because we have the code to read. But it would be kind of fun to know. Who is Archimedes ? Who is Euclid ? We don’t know. We don’t know if you Euclid was one person or multiple people, and you know what, it doesn’t matter. Euclidean geometry works, whether I know who Euclid was or not.
Whether Euclid was a moral and good person or whether he was a corrupt plutocrat and a bastard ! Science and mathematics have essential truth, that stands alone irrespective of it’s inventors, and irrespective of their motives. Well, Bitcoin is a system based on mathematical truths and these mathematical truths stand alone. We can read the source code in Bitcoin and understand it and it will be true whether Satoshi Nakamoto is a man, a woman, a collection of individuals, a government agency, or aliens from the future. Bitcoin is digital currency and computer software. Capital “B” Bitcoin is the shared code that creates a global payment network using computers connected to the Internet.
Bitcoins are virtual currency, digital money created stored and exchanged on that network. But unlike virtual Dollars created by a banker this new currency was created with math by an anonymous inventor. Bitcoin is an open source software protocol, like much of the code supporting the internet and email. Open source means anyone, everyone, can use the protocol No, one person or company can control it. Every change to the software is public, open and transparent. The code was first developed by Satoshi Then there were dozens now hundreds of programmers Constantly collaborating to improve Bitcoin’s features and security.
So what makes Bitcoin a breakthrough ? it tackles an ancient human dilemma, and solves a computer science problem. Any shared information or data can be flawed, corrupted. Anything can be faked. How do we know that what we’re receiving can be trusted ? In our traditional mindset, it’s very important to know who is behind this currency. Because their reputation is significant in knowing that our funds and our true wealth is actually safe. In finance, we rely on trusted third parties like banks, credit card companies, remittance services They keep track of money as it moves from one account to another and they charge us handsomely for it.
We trust that their digital ledgers of credits and debits, balance. A financial system that cuts out these middlemen, could be faster, cheaper and more secure. But Bitcoin is digital. Music and movies are easily pirated, copied, stolen. How can a digital currency retain value if anyone can make a million copies? The answer is at the core of Satoshi’s invention. A Bitcoin is not a file on a computer. It’s an entry in the publicly distributed database, called the blockchain. Just as the Medici kept a ledger of credits and debits, today’s banks record each transaction as a plus and minus in their ledgers.
Now we call them databases. Bank accounts are replaced by a digital wallet that you alone control. Bitcoin’s ledger is the blockchain. A record of every Bitcoin in existence, and every Bitcoin transaction ever made. It always balances, because no Bitcoin ever leaves it. When a Bitcoin is sent from one digital wallet to another, what they are really sending is control over that part of the database. Code, that is a unique key for the new owner As the network processes transactions, It constantly synchronizes the one ledger across the global network. Each computer or “Bitcoin miner” has a complete and identical copy.
And because the blockchain is public, it cannot be controlled by any one person or computer. Owners of the Bitcoin mining computers are rewarded with new bitcoins for processing transactions and keeping the network secure. In other words the Bitcoin network replaces banks and bankers Today the combined computing power of this global network, is greater than the 500 biggest supercomputers combined times 10,000 Because every transaction is verified and recorded by the network, a Bitcoin cannot be forged. Digital currency cannot be debased with cheap metals, or printed by the billion at will. Too much currency can unleash a monster.
Skyrocketing prices, trillion dollar bills that can’t buy a loaf of bread. There’s a big movement in the US, demanding that the Fed be audited so we can find out what they’re doing. Nobody really knows how many dollars are in existence. For example, Ben Bernanke created several trillions of dollars over the last several years, but nobody really knows where they landed. At any time for any reason the central banks can print as much money as they want. They call it fancy things like “quantitative easing” and when they do that It makes the Dollars or Euros or Yen that you and I have worth less. So if the world starts using Bitcoin as their currency, it can’t be controlled by central bankers or politicians.
Remember, central bank’s create money to boost the economy and try to pull it back out before inflation heats up. But no one knows how much magic money global banks are creating to boost their profits with questionable loans. Bitcoin’s completely opposite. It’s totally transparent. You know exactly how many exists. The computer code behind Bitcoin has a builtin brake pedal, cutting the creation of bitcoins in half every four years. This ensures a transparent controlled scarcity. And ultimately limits the total number of bitcoins to 21 million No lobbyists, no politician, no banker, can create more, or change the mathematical rules dictating their creation.
And that’s the thing I think is most exciting about Bitcoin and the technology behind it is not so much that it will supplant the dollar, or that it will supplant government itself, But that all of a sudden there’s a competitive to government and the government itself now needs to look over its shoulder more than it did. This new digital currency can be purchased online with a credit card, or in person with cash. And it has the five key characteristics of money. But is it a store of value? Is it stable or will it diminish over time like a commodity rendered useless or a crop that fails ? The ultimate power of a cryptocurrency is unleashed by mainstream adoption and an evergrowing volume of transactions.
With Bitcoin the currency has been created much more slowly than other currencies, and the effect of that has been to turn it into what is essentially a speculative asset. if you ask a lot of Bitcoin enthusiasts, whether they’re spending the currency, they’re not. They’re sitting on it waiting for the price to go up. It isn’t a currency if you don’t use it to pay people. The point is the average person is quite happy to walk into a bar and hand over, you know a $5 note in order to get a drink. so you’ve got to realize that most people are happy with the money system they have. If most people are happy with cash They’re in love with plastic.
In the US 2/3 of inperson sales are done with debit or credit cards. That plastic is a 60 yearold technology. Created by a middleman, never designed for the Internet, each transaction requires personal data like your name and address. Credit card databases are regularly hacked. with fraudulent purchases charged to your account. criminals buy and sell stolen credit cards by the thousands in dark corners of the Internet. In some parts of London 1/3 of all online credit card transactions are fraudulent. Card issuers don’t hold you responsible for fraud, but protection comes with a price. 2 4 percent in fees. That’s 50 billion Dollars a year.
The issue with credit cards from a merchants perspective, is there’s a lot of risk. If they take a credit card there might be a charge back. There might be fraudulent purchases. In fact, there’s hundreds of billions of dollars every year in fraudulent purchases. A Bitcoin purchase is done for pennies, But there are no protections. If you lose your passwords or are fooled into paying the wrong person, You can never get your money back. It is like digital cash. For a seller, this means no charge back risks. For an ecommerce company like Expedia or Overstock cutting credit card fees can double their profit margin.
You could not miss the points more effectively, than by thinking of Bitcoin as a currency and payment network that will make shopping easier for the first world. Bitcoin is about everything else everywhere else. There are 2.5 billion people without a bank account. With Bitcoin a mobile phone with an internet connection is now a bank, with access to the global marketplace. What happens when Bitcoin services and infrastructure and Bitcoin wallets and payment processes start going into these countries ? These people will be able to gain benefits from trade where they could not previously. These people will be able to send money home, International remittance.
Which is one of the major paying points of the current financial system. Here if I send $100 with banks it’s going to cost me 20% Western Union is going to cost 10% other options that are competing with Western Union still going to be about 5% And if you are sending to really remote areas it’s going to be anywhere between 15 and 30 percent. So in terms of money remittances, it’s gonna be a gamechanger using Bitcoin. You do not need a bank account. You just need an internet connection and a wallet to get set up. It’s a tool to give people an access into the global ecosystem and give them a promise for an economic future.
And specifically provide a way for them to not be dependent on a government that could shut down their bank accounts or even could go into their bank accounts and take out finances. Goldman Sachs came out with a report and they basically looked at if you were to replace all transactions globally, so FX, bank to bank transactions with the Bitcoin protocol and still charging 1% mind you, it would save the global economy $200 billion. So not million, $200 billion a year in saved transaction costs. Which ultimately goes back into the hands of the consumer. An international wire transfer can take up to four days.
Yet the internet allows us to instantly and globally share text, pictures, videos, anything digital. Why not money ? Money which we now know only exists as digits in the bank’s database. Wouldn’t be great. If you could send Bitcoin transactions just simply via a tweet. For example, you would say @TheEndOfMoney $1 and so it’ll be just that. All you have to do is hashtag it with #tippercoin press send, and our Twitter bot will process the transactions, notify you and give you a link. and this will allow you to either withdraw your Bitcoins or send it to someone else. With Bitcoin you can send $1 or $1 million worth of value anywhere in the world You can do it for free or you pay the Bitcoin network fee which is still just around a penny and there’s nothing that the big banks or politicians can do to stop it.
A cryptocurrency that can only be created and transferred with computer networks, may be the next step of the digital revolution. The rise of machines. Selfdriving cars, drones Robots that rely less and less on humans. What I often think is that the future of Bitcoin or digital currency from a broader perspective is really about machine to machine payments. So by the time you have an unmanned taxi driving you around New York and then going to power up at an unmanned power station, or going to get repairs an unmanned auto shop, you’ll see the machine to machine payments done with some sort of digital currency.
We actually built this world that we live in over the last 200 or 300 years We’ve made some mistakes. We’ve learnt to make things better. The idea that there’s some magic key that if you just sort of stop doing a few things that there will be this perfect order that will settle is a very childish ideological delusion in my opinion But that is not to say that Bitcoin isn’t an exciting thing. It’s a terrifically exciting thing. But we have to try and engage with it with working minds not with magical thinking. People are suggesting that it’s going to be another world currency, a rival of the Dollar or the Euro or the Yen.
I think that’s not going to happen. I prefer to trust the banks or the central government compared to the Bitcoin is because someone’s accountable. Whereas with Bitcoin, It’s completely deregulated. There’s no central control. There’s no one held accountable. It is a free float. It’s purely demand and supply driven. So clearly this is not a currency. Currencies don’t behave like this. What this is, is a highrisk speculative commodity So for the entrepreneurs, the bankers, the governments and everyone else studying and watching Bitcoin all I have to say is that there will probably be a lot of volatility in an upward trajectory, and to buckle up ! Criminals, scam artists, bad actors are drawn to any kind of money like a moth to a flame.
Silk Road was a marketplace that was online, and it existed in the underground web. Now this marketplace allowed people to sell things that were illegal to governments. fake IDs pirated music Bibles in North Korea Are crypto currencies inherently bad, or just the newest tool to acquire the forbidden? Porn is illegal in Iran. There was a few percentage points of sales on Silk Road was to sell porn to Iranians. Now a much broader one that gets a lot of press with the Silk Road is drugs. I’ve been doing research over the past couple of years into the online drug market places in the dark net using Tor and Bitcoin, as technologies to enable illicit drug transactions.
We did a global survey of drug users, and we had over 20,000 people respond to that. and the majority of those people were buying traditionally illicit drugs, ecstasy, cannabis The FBI brought down Silk Road. It certainly hasn’t stopped the trading of illicit drugs online. A lot of people want to criticize Bitcoin for being used for illegal things or illicit things But if you look at it, the most popular currency in the entire world for doing bad things, is the US Dollar. If you think of Bitcoin as a platform instead of a currency, then you really begin to see the potential it has. The ledger which cannot be forged. It cannot be changed.
The universe accepts it. It’s genius ! There will be Bitcoin technology forever, and it’ll have applications for years to come. Creating a secure global payment system may just be the beginning. Patents, contracts, land titles, proof of ownership, can be baked into Bitcoin, securely held in the public ledger. I Read up a bit more about Bitcoin, I played with the source code I built some things that I realized this is actually a very very powerful protocol. It’s not just a currency, but it’s actually programmable money. The digital age has fundamentally changed the world. We have embraced digitized music, film, medical records, communications
The internet.. The free exchange of information and currency can fuel revolutions. Help in a disaster.. But our money is shackled to the 20th century.. Manipulated by governments and banks.. The champions of Bitcoin ask us to imagine. payments without a middleman,. Investments without a broker,. loans without a bank,. insurance without an underwriter,. charity without a trustee,. Escrow without an agent,. betting without a bookie,. recordkeeping without an accountant .. Global, secure, nearly instant and free.. is it fantasy ?. Or the future of money and commerce. I. Love bitcoins. I’m really into bitcoins. Well Satoshi. Nakamoto, that’s the name. I love to say and we don’t know much about him, but he came to save the day. If you don’t know what a Bitcoin is rice, usually the way people describe it is digital cash its money.
Into the old. Jóska banking, you know, what’s two plus two is like well I can tell you but there’s a fade. Down the road will be told about the death of old Mount GOx about traders trading. altar coins and miners mining now big parties and their technology. I like to say banking in lies see all of the convenience. None of these. Into the old block chain up it I know you’re going to rain gonna rain. till everybody knows everybody knows, you know when I go online and I buy like. I know pair of socks if I pay with a credit card. I’m just buying socks, right if I buy those socks with Bitcoin. It’s a. revolution I. Am sticking it to the man. Pass B, Samar. there’s always people we’re not ready to get into the new technology, you know, like when the internet came out there was gonna. Be. Like nah, this isn’t gonna catch on.