Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Whether Bitcoin Lives or Dies, We Win

The Bitcoin saga has been interesting to witness in real time. Businesses are starting to accept it in greater numbers. Analysts are giving it a good look as viable and not just laughing. Paul Krugman's latest blurb on Bitcoin is pure trolling with the title "Bitcoin is Evil". Watching Krugman transform from a smart guy who could explain difficult concepts in easy to read English into a hack with the temperament of a flakey sorority girl has been depressing. It is easier to deal with as an economics major when you laugh at all of his missives. Krugman cites a Charles Stross essay on wanting Bitcoin to die in a fire (what is it with progs and wishing death on opponents?). These two men flicked a light switch in my mind completely unintentionally because they created an almost Buddhist calm and understanding. Bitcoin becomes a criticism of the dollar and the entire petrodollar monetary regime. It does not matter whether Bitcoin lives or dies.

There are two outcomes. If Bitcoin lives, there becomes an alternative currency outside the rules of the dollar. Moldbug mentioned the "coup-complete". It becomes an institution outside the current network of corrupt institutions that works within the networks of real life, not USG dominated life. If Bitcoin dies, then a currency, backed by nothing, made up of encrypted data that only has value as a medium of exchange as agreed to by its users is discredited in the eyes of the world. The Krugmans of the world will say it had no store of value. That is Bitcoin's eulogy. It could also be the petrodollar's eulogy.

Bitcoin is electronic and used for exchange but has no store of value. Bernanke has stated multiple times that the technology now is to make credits at the push of a button for nothing to distribute for exchange to push up prices (destroying present value). In Bernanke's own words,
"It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed, much the same way that you have an account in a commercial bank. So, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money than it is to borrowing."

Bernanke's staff creates dollars out of thin air to then spread through the banking system. The Catholic Church did this with the word of God, bishops, priests, and critics called it an oppressive clerisy. This is a clerisy of the dollar. The downside to the dollar is that it has no limit but the whims of Bernanke figures, and is infinite, forever destroying value.  Every criticism of Bitcoin becomes a criticism of the dollar. This is the lunacy of fiat currency. It's made out of thin air, it is only a medium of exchange since it is no store of value (check Shadowstats). If Bitcoin were to see a real exposure bump, where the likes of your mom and dad start talking about it or dare to even ask how to get in on that, it's death could start conversations about what makes the dollar different. If the dollar is not so different, it could lead to fear moves in the population like in late '70s America.

This is not what the authorities want. They do not want a conversation about the dollar that is backed by the faith of the USG and it's ability to strip enough taxes out of its citizens. They do not want a fear based rush to an asset that competes with the dollar. The stock and housing bubbles of the '90s and '00s were greed based bubbles. The '70s commodity bubble was a different animal that had heavy fuel from the absolute fear citizens within the dollar system had of the end of the dollar. Greed was involved to keep up with double digit inflation, to cash in on the rise in oil prices, and develop new markets (developing nation lending). The fear was in foreign heads of state, farmers and the common man or woman, and it required the government to repeal decades old usury laws and interest rates never seen since to end the panic. That panic cannot happen now in our debt saturated monetary system that cannot handle 100 basis point upticks before acting funky.

That is why Krugman uses a word like evil for Bitcoin and snipes at it. He knows the Wile E. Coyote moment for the dollar is coming, but he wants it pushed out later (notice he didn't in 2007). Cheap and easy credit is the lubrication for the entire multicultural, welfare state system, and without it, liberalism unravels. The banksters do not want to go back to gold backing or even just the gold exchange system. A rush to gold creating a fear induced rise rather than the gradual rise of the last decade would lead to a panic moment of confidence and faith. A currency backed by faith and confidence in a government to enforce contracts cannot have that. Fiat currency depends on men and men are fallible and susceptible to corruption. Whether you hold any Bitcoins or not, keep talking about it because the day will come where you can just substitute US dollars for Bitcoins in the conversation of value and existence and nothing else will change.

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