Archive for January 26th, 2021

Down With Bitcoin

January 26, 2021

Bitcoin and its ilk should be unlawful. Not just because these so-called crypto currencies violate the principle of sovereignty, by privatizing currency… and in democracy, sovereignty, that’s us… we don’t want unknown forces privatizing our society from shadows so deep, one does not know who is behind them…

The real problem with crypto-currencies is ecological. The so-called block-chain technology at its root is a humongous ecological waste. Bitcoin “mining” consumes more than the total electricity consumption of Switzerland. In the latest news we have, the total bitcoin mining, was at least using as much energy as the Netherlands in 2019.

In mining, what are presently high power, hence energy guzzling, computers compete against each other to create bitcoin; so basically bitcoin creates what I call AWE (Absolute Worth Energy) in the worst possible way, by deliberately wasting energy… A few year back, Bitcoin production was seen as generating between 22 and 22.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, or between the levels produced by Jordan and Sri Lanka, according to a 2019 study in scientific journal Joule. 70% of bitcoin “mining” is made in China, and its ultimate energy source is… coal (when hydro is low, which is most of the year). That Elon Musk condones this, while claiming his greeness is a testimony to hypocrisy. The argument that said mining could be made “green” is irrelevant: bitcoin is designed to be a waste of AWE.

If one let the crypto-clowns have their way, crypto-currencies would soon need more energy than the world economy itself. It’s grotesque. Another reason for that monstrosity, besides the cryptocurrency “mining” itself, is the very source of the pride of the crypto-clowns: all and any transaction bitcoin transaction is recorded, that is all and any history of all transactions recorded, and kept alive in zillions of computers. It’s a gigantic waste.

Oh, what’s bitcoin? An electronic transaction with an organization standing in the shadows, founded by nowhere man… With a Japanese sounding name. Maybe the Yakuza made a joke?

A currency has meaning only when backed up by a government, that is, an army. Yes, I know there were currencies shared by several polities (Thaler), and that countries such as New Zealand do not have much firepower, and, yet, a currency… Apparently contradicting my (currency = sovereignty = army) equation. However, closer inspection shows that such polities are part of larger ensembles with powerful armies. For example it is the leading military powers of the West which protect and gives meaning to the Aussie and Kiwi currencies… 

Bubbling up. Major Money Center banks are behind the latest Bitcoin bubble. New Secretary of the Treasury Yellen shot across their bows, and bitcoin promptly collapsed by 25% (in 2 days) . She wants to “examine ways in which we can curtail the use of crypto currencies and make sure that [money laundering] doesn’t occur through those channels.”

If one analyzes worth throughout history, one realizes that its evolution is dominated by military events. The Late Roman empire, especially under the Christian dictatorship, around 400 CE, saw the fiat currency value plummet to zero (the gold Solidus kept its value for another 6 centuries, but  that was currency for the wealthy).  That happened because the Roman army plummeted to zero… To be transmogrified into the Frankish army after 480 CE…

When the Franks reestablished the fiat currency, based on silver, in the late Eighth Century, they also re-established respect for it. In a tradition that extended to the late Middle Ages, faux monnayeurs were forced to reside, for their last few hours, in special elongated iron cages, which were partly immersed in increasing hotter water, oil, or even wine… enabling them to express enthusiastically for all to hear, their denunciation of the equivalent of bitcoin… Fiat currency was boiled down to sheer force.

And there it remains.

Show me a currency, I will show you an army, or armies, backing it up.

Bitcoin has not army… Except if you want to count the usual suspects of the financial plutocracy as an army…

And now I will brace for the hate mail which I get each time I attack bitcoin… See my “Bitcoin Is Organized Crime“. But I am like John Muir who climbed up a gigantic conifer in the Sierra Nevada, during a raging winter storm, just to enjoy the power of nature… The greed associated to bitcoin spices up human nature considerably…

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S: In December 2020, Trump’s outgoing team at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network—a unit of the Treasury Department focused on money laundering—proposed a new set of rules to prevent cryptocurrency-based money laundering.

Under the new rules, cryptocurrency-based exchanges would file transaction reports with FinCEN any time a customer made a cryptocurrency transaction worth more than $10,000. This duplicates existing rules requiring banks to report when customers make cash withdrawals or deposits worth more than $10,000.

FinCEN also wants to impose new record-keeping requirements for transactions of users who manage their own private keys—dubbed “unhosted wallets” by FinCEN. Under FinCEN’s proposal, if a cryptocurrency exchange’s customer sends more than $3,000 to an unhosted wallet, the exchange would be required to keep a record of the transaction, including the identity of the customer who initiated the payment.

Biden and the esteemed Yellen (ex-Fed Chair nearly reconducted by Trump) seem to want more of the same, and that’s very good. So far, much of Biden’s most important policies seem to be Trump on steroids… And that’s excellent.


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