• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 4/15 – Rule By Fiat: When The Government Does Whatever It Wants, Covid concerns cause mortgage rates to retreat

    by Daily Digest

    Thursday, April 15, 2021, 7:01 PM

Economy

COVID-19’s toll on US business? An extra 200,000 closures

The economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough to measure, but new estimates from the Federal Reserve suggest it wasn’t as bad as feared for smaller businesses.

The pandemic resulted in the permanent closure of roughly 200,000 U.S. establishments above historical levels during the first year of the viral outbreak, according to a study released Thursday by economists at the Fed. In recent years, about 600,000 establishments have permanently closed per year, or about 8.5%, according to the study.

Rule By Fiat: When The Government Does Whatever It Wants

That’s about as good a description as you’ll find for the sorry state of our nation.

SWAT teams crashing through doors. Militarized police shooting unarmed citizens. Traffic cops tasering old men and pregnant women for not complying fast enough with an order. Resource officers shackling children for acting like children. Homeowners finding their homes under siege by police out to confiscate lawfully-owned guns. Drivers having their cash seized under the pretext that they might have done something wrong.

Third Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose ‘likely’ needed within year, CEO says

Those who completed the two-dose regimen for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will likely need a third shot within 12 months, CEO Albert Bourla said.

There is also a chance people will need to receive an annual COVID-19 vaccine thereafter, he said.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs in a CVS Health Live event, “Race to Vaccinate.”

Beijing Displaces New York To Become The World’s Billionaire Capital

For the first time in seven years, New York City has lost its title as the world’s billionaire capital.

Statista’s Niall McCarthy reports that in 2020, the Big Apple was displaced by Beijing which recorded a net gain of 33 billionaires. Beijing is now in top spot with 100 individuals worth a billion dollars or more, narrowly ahead of New York’s 99.

The Battery-Powered Future Depends on a Few Crucial Metals

In the big, exciting future that’s measured in kilowatt- and gigawatt-hours, batteries are enabling mass electrification across many sectors. The rapid decline in battery prices has ensured burgeoning interest from electric-vehicle makers and consumer-electronics manufacturers—even from the energy industry, for enormous stationary storage systems operating on the power grid.

Companies such as QuantumScape Corp. are developing next-generation batteries that could accelerate the transition. The field is so competitive that the industry is shrouded in secrecy, but the market still values the company at more than $16 billion despite no promise of real revenue for many years to come.

Covid concerns cause mortgage rates to retreat

For seven weeks in a row, mortgage rates steadily moved higher. Then they started pulling back last week. But despite this week’s decline, experts don’t expect their downturn to be long-lasting.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average sank to 3.04 percent with an average 0.7 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 3.13 percent a week ago and 3.31 percent a year ago.

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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33 Comments

  • Sat, Apr 17, 2021 - 4:43am

    #1

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2428

    9

    Covid 19 hasn’t been a big enough crisis in the US to pave the way to the Great Reset

    https://alt-market.us/globalists-will-need-another-crisis-in-america-as-their-reset-agenda-fails/

    ....They seem to be particularly obsessed with deconstructing and sabotaging America in the pursuit of their global Reset. Real philanthropists would not have a problem if someone didn’t want to accept their “charity”, but psychopaths cannot abide a group of people rejecting them and their ideology. You are not allowed to walk away from them. You are not allowed to do things your own way. You must be forced to comply. The agenda only works if EVERYONE submits.

    Unfortunately for the globalists, the Reset is not working out for them everywhere. In the US, the agenda is failing miserably compared to Asia and parts of Europe.

    As the head of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, is so fond of reminding us, the Covid pandemic is the “perfect opportunity” to push forward the globalist plans for a total Reset of human economy and society. To the globalists, the crisis is a panacea, a doorway to their version of a better world. They love the pandemic, they are not distressed by it.

    The problem is, it’s not doing enough damage or terrifying enough people....

    Maybe the cyberpandemic will do the trick.

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  • Sat, Apr 17, 2021 - 5:54am

    ironpuppy12345

    ironpuppy12345

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jan 12 2021

    Posts: 44

    1

    ironpuppy12345 said:

    The gloom & doom conspiracy theorists created this  “Great Reset” (GR) hoax out of the darkness of their souls.  When the GR never came to be, instead of accepting that they were wrong, they create a new (equally fake) theory that “it wasn’t bad enough.”  They have no shame. Why not just get with the program, take your vaccines, and comply.  Drink the Kool-Aid

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  • Sat, Apr 17, 2021 - 12:55pm

    #3

    SagerXX

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 538

    9

    Just....wow

    "Why not just get with the program, take your vaccines, and comply.  Drink the Kool-Aid".

     

    Pathetic.

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  • Sat, Apr 17, 2021 - 1:51pm

    ao

    ao

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 1566

    9

    OK, this seals it

    No gloom and doom conspiracy theorists created this Great Reset "hoax".  The Great Reset was clearly presented from the highest levels of the globalists.

    And "Drink the Kool-Aid"?

    This seals it.  Attention moderator.  Ironpuppy is a troll.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 17, 2021 - 3:24pm

    #5
    brushhog

    brushhog

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Oct 06 2015

    Posts: 488

    3

    brushhog said:

    He's obviously been trolling here all day.

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  • Sat, Apr 17, 2021 - 6:26pm

    #6

    sand_puppy

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2754

    4

    Bitcoin, Gold and Fiat Currency -- Comparing them

    A very excellent article is posted today at ZH.  Written in 2018 and with great graphics.
    The Bullish Case for Bitcoin over Gold

    The article begins about 10% of the way down the page.  A very scholarly and (to me) balanced look at the various forms of "money" and the strength and weaknesses of each.

    Some are better for:

    • Anonymous transactions between people who are physically in close proximity.
    • Long distance transactions.
    • Divisible--can buy a house or a loaf of bread.
    • Durable over centuries and millennia, a good store of value.
    • Easy to send across borders where capital controls or regulatory prohibitions exist.
    • Resistant to regulation by "the authorities" (permission-less)

    .

    Don't use Bitcoin for your criminal activities

    A surprise for me was on the issue of secrecy:  Gold and Fiat (cash) are the best for illegal and subversive activities.  Bitcoin is the worst as a record of the flow of funds is publicly and permanently recorded on the blockchain where all can see it.  A forensic reconstruction can be done by those with skill and the funding traced.  So when you hire a prostitute or buy an AK-47 on the black market, just pay in cash.  😉

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 8:24am

    dreinmund

    dreinmund

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 177

    2

    Re: Bitcoin for your criminal activities

     

    This “fact” has long been used to discredit Bitcoin, but it’s a red herring. It might have been more true early on, but definitely not these days. I have not seen any credible data regarding this.

    Plus, you never get complaints regarding criminals worldwide using USD for their enterprises, LOL.

    Edit: Just saw this on ZH

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 10:48am

    Tycer

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 26 2009

    Posts: 312

    2

    Nick Carter on NYT BTC article. Priceless

    https://medium.com/@nic__carter/on-bitcoin-the-gray-lady-embraces-climate-lysenkoism-a2d31e465ec0

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 12:20pm

    Mots

    Mots

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 412

    2

    "Bitcoin is a settlement, not a payments network."

    Thank you Tycer
    You referenced an article by a bitcoin expert who debunked the New York Times article which argued that bitcoin uses way too much energy to operate.  The main argument by this bitcoin expert against the NY Times was that bitcoin has a maximum usage rate of only 300 to 500 thousand transactions per day. The phenomenal amount of energy required per transaction seems undisputed by this expert.  This comports with the notion that bitcoin will be primarily reserved for settlements between big banks (if they exist) and large organizations in the future.  Of course, tons and tons of other cryptos exist that will be used for transactions.  It would be great to read a review article comparing the major alternatives.  Of course new developments will allow the grafting of payments networks onto bitcoin settlements, but such kind of payment event will not be the same quality as a peer to peer bitcoin settlement event as enjoyed presently.

    "the Bitcoin system cannot support the tens of billions of transactions the authors assume it will. It’s pretty much maxed out at 300–500k txns per day. Data overheads mean that it will never grow much beyond that, and that’s ok. Bitcoin is a settlement, not a payments network."

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 12:43pm

    #10

    sand_puppy

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2754

    4

    Hard Assets versus Easy Assets

    Nick Giambruno posts an interview today at ZH in which he recommends hard assets as the antidote to the dangers of unrestricted printing of Fiat Currency.

    Here, he is using Easy (rather than Soft) as the opposite of Hard.

    Hard money cannot be produced causing inflation of the monetary supply.  Easy money can be produced with little effort.

    Both Gold and Bitcoin are Hard Money.

    The opposite of Hard Money is 1)  central bank fiat, the 2)  digital version of fiat (Central Bank Digital Currency), and 3)  all of the 4,000 other cryptocurrencies that have an individual person or committee that controls the supply.  (History shows that sooner or later, those who can print money will do so.)

    Bitcoin shares many of gold’s monetary characteristics. They’re both durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, scarce, and most importantly, they’re “hard assets.”

    “Hardness” does not mean something that is necessarily tangible or physically hard, like metal. It means “hard to produce.” By contrast, “easy money” is easy to produce. The best way to think of hardness is “resistance to inflation,” which helps make it a good store of value—an essential function of money.

    It’s also important to clarify that none of the other 4,000 or so other cryptocurrencies are genuinely scarce like Bitcoin. They all have key players, insiders, and development teams that can act like central banks and inflate the supply if they choose to. In short, all other cryptos have artificial scarcity. Bitcoin has real scarcity.

    The second big point is that both Gold and BTC are bearer assets:  They have no counter party risk.  You must have Gold and BTC before you can spend it.  There is no risk when one is paid in Gold or BTC.  You have the money and give it to someone else, or you do not.  No TRUST is needed.

    This is different from fiat paid in a check.  With a check you say "I don't have any money with me, but my bank will pay you a few days from now."  Will the check bounce?  Will charges be reversed.  What if the account is empty, funds are on hold, someone has a lien on the bank account?  You must TRUST the other person not to scam you.

    So HARDNESS and TRUSTLESS.

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 2:09pm

    #11
    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 610

    2

    Lightning Networks

    1. How it works (Dec, 2017; 5:30 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrr_zPmEiME

    2. That it works (Dec, 2020; 8:30 minutes) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZKc58F2mTw

    3. It's important to remember this is an emergent system. That means it was more liquid and built out in Dec 2019 (when video 2 was made) than it was in Dec 2017 (when video 1 was made), but not as liquid and built out as it will be in Dec 2021. And...Lightning's maturation will follow the rules of all networks: it starts out limited, but grows exponentially. To look at it today and say it is too small and illiquid is to misunderstand network effects.

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 2:29pm

    #12
    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 610

    1

    BTC and energy consumption

    Here Nic Carter discusses BTC energy consumption and the role of miners in advancing environmentalism in energy production and consumption, including the positive influence btc miners are having on chip design.

    https://medium.com/@nic__carter/noahbjectivity-on-bitcoin-mining-2052226310cb

     

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 2:46pm

    #13

    sand_puppy

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2754

    0

    Scalability Problem: Secondary layers for transactions on top of BTC base

    So glad to have VTGothic in the discussion, as my understanding is an order of magnitude less than his.

    Bitcoin has several design features that keep it from being able to scale up past  500,000 transactions per day.  This is about 100 times less than the capacity of the VISA and MasterCard payment processing systems.

    The Bitcoin Standard was published prior to the development of the Lightning Network mentioned above.  Ammous talks of the structure of a Bitcoin layer for the settlement of large sums between parties and a savings account for people and individuals.

    On top of that BTC base layer, can be secondary systems that do not link to the BTC blockchain with every transaction.  These are called off-chain transactions.

    Bitcoin‐based businesses, such as exchanges, casinos, or gaming websites, will only use Bitcoin's blockchain for customer deposits and withdrawals, but within their platforms, all transactions are recorded on their local databases, denominated in Bitcoin.  ...[T]he majority of Bitcoin transactions today are already carried out off‐chain, and only settled on‐chain.     .... a conservative estimate would put the [number of off-chain transactions] as being more than 10 times the number of transactions carried out on the Bitcoin blockchain.  In effect, Bitcoin is already being used as a reserve asset in the majority of the transactions in the Bitcoin economy.

    Ammous, Saifedean. The Bitcoin Standard (p. 236). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

    An individual would keep a majority of their savings on the blockchain, but smaller amounts of day-to-day spending money could be carried with the user on a USB mobile wallet.

    Another possibility for scaling Bitcoin is digital mobile USB wallets, which can be made to be physically tamper‐proof and can be checked for their balance at any time. These USB drives would carry the private keys to specific amounts of Bitcoins, allowing whoever holds them to withdraw the money from them. They could be used like physical cash, and each holder could verify the value in these drives.

    Ammous, Saifedean. The Bitcoin Standard (p. 235). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

    A mobile USB wallet could be used to fill up the gas tank or buy a latte at Starbucks.

    So banking would continue to exist in this transactional layer.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 4:30pm

    #14
    PreCambrian

    PreCambrian

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 06 2021

    Posts: 15

    2

    Bitcoin Facts

    Some of the best no-nonsense articles on Bitcoin are by Lynn Alden (who actually is quite positive on Bitcoin).  You will see that Bitcoin has a slow transaction rate and high transaction cost that make it unsuitable for a payment network but better as a depository similar to a bank account.  I have linked three of her articles.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4404419-is-bitcoin-ponzi-scheme-point-point-analysis

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4413121-analyzing-bitcoins-network-effect

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4417744-bitcoin-security-modeling

    If the above are behind a paywall they are available here. https://www.lynalden.com/

    About two thirds of the hashrate of Bitcoin is located in China. Another 16% is located in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran.  This gives a total of 81% in these countries.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1200477/bitcoin-mining-by-country/

    Overall a big security risk in my opinion.  Once 50% of the nodes say OK then they can cook the books. It won't happen now while they still are mining Bitcoin but once they get out with their dollars they might decide otherwise.

    Illegal activity on Bitcoin network is understated when you take into account transactions by exchanges.  If these transactions are removed the activity percentage is much higher.  See this interesting video.

    https://www.realvision.com/shows/the-interview-crypto/videos/opposing-views-pomp-mike-green-on-bitcoin?source_collection=4770472392d44f7eb44d63142109394f

     

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 5:57pm

    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 610

    3

    Your Bitcoin Facts aren't really

    @Precambrian said

    Once 50% of the nodes say OK then they can cook the books. It won't happen now while they still are mining Bitcoin but once they get out with their dollars they might decide otherwise.

    I'm disinclined to spend much time once again debunking FUD that has been addressed many, many times on this site, yet persists in coming back for another round. You can do a bit of research on PP - I've written a lot and linked a lot, including Lyn Alden's work from her blog. *So have several others over the years.) If you want to read my responses to the things you're claiming, which have been claimed before, and then advance the discussion, I'm all ears. But beyond this bit, I'm not going to just go repeating myself on old material.

    I did look at one of the Alden articles you listed, and scanned a second, because I haven't read her SeekingAlpha material. However, I know Alden very well, having followed her for several years, now, and having worked through some of her lengthy posts minutely (as you'll see if you look up my posts). In addition, I have listened to more than 70% of the podcast interviews she has given in the bitcoin space over the last 20 months or so - since she became publicly bullish on bitcoin last spring, and then started giving interviews in the space.

    I know she isn't casting the doubts on bitcoin that you suggest. She does give very even-handed treatment of the pros and cons of any topic (bitcoin or other) that she addresses, and then weights probabilities for each pro-con pair. If you weight the pros and cons differently than she does, that's fine; but don't suggest she's agreeing with you just because she made good points regarding your preconceived conclusion. If you read her as fairly as she writes, she does not conclude bitcoin is in danger of being compromised by either private or state actors. She thinks it's "highly unlikely" because of several technical factors she addresses in the "bitcoin-security-analysis" article.

    Because I know she does not think bitcoin is a ponzi I didn't bother to look at that article. She has addressed that several times in other places, very consistently. If you have included it because you think she does think it's a ponzi, or like a ponzi, you need to re-read it, more objectively.

    In the bitcoin security modeling article Lyn says,

    Bitcoin, therefore, would be a base settlement layer, rather than a frequent payment network. Payment networks can be built on top of it, as some applications are already doing via the lightning network and other solutions. This should work well if bitcoin’s adoption continues to increase in the decade ahead.

    About security she says

    Bitcoin, however, is extremely resistant to 51% attacks, because the amount of dedicated hardware and electricity that an entity must acquire to attempt one is massive.

    Besides the consensus node network, rational self-interest is basically the backup defense for a 51% attack. Miners invest a ton of capital into their rigs and generally own a lot of coins; if they were to achieve a successful 51% attack on bitcoin and threaten the security of the system, it would likely damage the market capitalization of the network, resulting in a reduction in their income and net worth, even if they were able to steal some coins in the attack. And the resulting pushback from the rest of the ecosystem in the wake of such an attack against them would be immense.

    The energy required to mount such an attack would be immense – enough to power a small country. And likely a waste of that energy because it would break the model and render the bitcoin worth far less than is the payoff for maintaining its security rather than attack it; if not render it completely worthless.

    In addition, such an attack has to be sustained indefinitely or the non-attacking miners and nodes would simply continue on as the attack subsides. Such a sustained attack would take a dedication of the power used by Singapore. That's expensive, if not ruinous, for any major country. Plus, they'd need the ASICs, which are very hard to come by from foundries. Or, they'd need to coordinate a simultaneous attack on all of the miners in China, Russia, etc., simultaneously. Lyn notes all of the above in relation to state attacks, and concludes it's “highly unlikely.”

    The other factor is that node operators – who are ordinary people like me who voluntarily run nodes from our homes or offices – have the power to simply refuse to propagate a false fork of the blockchain. We are the ultimate line of defense. That is exactly why the “New York Agreement” among miners, financiers and developers who wanted to take over bitcoin failed. Distributed means something. Your comment,

    Once 50% of the nodes say OK then they can cook the books. It won't happen now while they still are mining Bitcoin but once they get out with their dollars they might decide otherwise

    indicates, however, that you don't understand the difference between a node and a miner.

    I briefly scanned the article on network effect, which is essentially a slightly modified version of one she posted on her blog awhile ago. A good half of it is helping the uninitiated understand what “network effect” is; she also wants readers to understand that bitcoin has achieved the network effect while the rest of the crypto universe has not. She then notes the two sentences you're making too much of, writing

    Bitcoin is primarily a savings technology and payment settlement network.

    Smart contracts, apps, and other things are being built on top of it, but at this time that's not its dominant use-case yet.

    Notice the “yet.” She understands that more is coming; she understands the bitcoin network is emergent, and therefore not fully matured. Do you? She even dealt with Lightning Network's emerging tools, and how SphinxChat is facilitating micro-payments. These are two more nascent networks yet to build their own network effects; but because they are tied to bitcoin they have the ability to piggy-back on bitcoin's more advanced network effect, which means they will scale out in a matter of a few years rather than the 12 years bitcoin itself took (or compared to the 20 or more years it took the FAANG companies to reach mature network effect in each of their categories).

    In the end, the choice we each have is to decide whether to invest in bitcoin while it's still young and developing – when it is (a) limited in its use case, (b) still volatile, and (c) possessing abnormally strong asymmetrical upside growth potential. Those who are risk-adverse will decline. Those who are comfortable with risk will take a position; how big a position will be determined based on each person's risk tolerance. Lyn recommends 1-3% for most portfolios. Fidelity Investments has the same recommendation, stretching perhaps to 5%. Raoul Pal, on the other hand, admits he has put 80% of his investment portfolio in bitcoin, and 20% in other cryptos, almost all of it in ethereum.

    Michael Saylor (the founder and CEO of MicroStrategy) wrote, way back in 2012 – long before he was interested in bitcoin – that the first network-based company in any given niche to reach a market cap of $100 billion would dominate that niche, garnering 90% or more of the activity in that niche. In his book of the time he recommended his readers invest in the FAANG stocks even though they were then as volatile and unproven as bitcoin is today because, he said, they had achieve network dominance (measured by market capitalization) and would give steadfast investors a wild but profitable ride. Last year he announced he was piling everything he can into bitcoin because it has hit the same milestones he laid out in his 2012 book, and that had served his personal portfolio so well. He's so convinced that this time he's also putting his company's treasury into bitcoin. Your question is whether you think Saylor is just delusional, or whether you think he learned something worth your giving long and deep thought to from his 2012 investment thesis and the subsequent skyrocketing valuations of the FAANG companies that he greatly benefitted from holding.

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 6:10pm

    #16
    Mots

    Mots

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 412

    5

    Your bitcoin facts arent really......

    Good points VT

    I conclude that bitcoin will replace gold in backing of currencies.   As you both point out, Lyn states: "Bitcoin, therefore, would be a base settlement layer, rather than a frequent payment network. Payment networks can be built on top of it,"
    A currency (or "payment network") backed by (built on top of) bitcoin is much more convenient than such currency backed by gold.  This brings our monetary institution into the computer age.

    This is also the reason why most private buyers of bitcoin will want to hold on to it.  An interesting debate to hear would be: if a government wants to control (or back up) its currency with bitcoin, could it force its people to sell their private bitcoin to the government like they did with gold in the 1930`s?  Most people would argue no, I suppose.

    An interesting aspect to this is that China mines most of the gold in the world and mines most of the bitcoin in the world. China quite possibly owns more gold than any other country and possibly controls more than half of bitcoin miners.  I think that the Chinese superior position in both assets will be asserted against the US economic system in a war.  What do they say... war always starts economic before turning hot?  The Chinese are much more active (and advanced) in digital currency and in Bitcoin mining.  Bitcoin and digital currencies (backed by bitcoin, with miners under control of CCP in China?) may play a role in this next one.

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 7:36pm

    PreCambrian

    PreCambrian

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 06 2021

    Posts: 15

    1

    Bitcoin Facts

    All miners are nodes but not all nodes are miners.  There are over 1 million miners and maybe 10,000 other reachable nodes (with the US having the more of these than other countries). I haven't reached any conclusions, just giving out information. The amount of electricity use from mining is much higher than that of nodes.  So the electricity use would not be an issue.  Believe what you want.

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 9:29pm

    timot78

    timot78

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Sep 18 2010

    Posts: 65

    1

    timot78 said:

    Michael Saylor led MicroStrategy through dot-com revolution (1998-2001).    As this article states:  MS went from $6 to $330/sh in one year.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2001-02-20/michael-saylor-on-microstrategys-wild-ride

    However, in Feb.2001 it was trading back at $10/sh.  So, M. Saylor (allegedly overbooked revenues) "destroyed" $13.3 B in the process.  His bitcoin buying in 2020 and "gains" are  nothing compared to the losses he incurred in 2001.  Looks like he jumps on anything that can create "fast" capital appreciation  - be it dot-com or bitcoin.   Not an example to follow , at least for me.

     

     

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  • Sun, Apr 18, 2021 - 9:32pm

    #19
    davefairtex

    davefairtex

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 2365

    2

    CCP & 51% attacks

    I agree with the concept that - if the CCP decided one day it wanted to execute a 51% attack (i.e. "cook the bitcoin books" - it could do so with relative ease.  It would only do this if it somehow was able to damage the West in some egregiously disproportional way.  You know - like it blocked land exit from Wuhan, but allowed international travel - back at the start of the pandemic.

    The debate isn't that they couldn't do this - the debate is about whether or not they'd want to, and what sort of advantage they could gain from the act.  Exporting the plague to the West definitely gave them an advantage.  Would a 51% attack do so as well?

    Certainly if China owned very little bitcoin, while the West owned most of it, taking down the network (turning all those bitcoins into no-value items overnight, due to a collapse in confidence) could be seen as a similar sort of Comprehensive National Power exercise.

    That, or they do this as a sort of quid pro quo for the oligarchs/banksters, who might want bitcoin offline to stop all the capital flight.

    Again.  Its not about it being difficult for the CCP to arrange.  Just - do they get some advantage from doing so.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 12:38am

    Mots

    Mots

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 412

    4

    "the debate is about whether or not they'd want to,..."

    Dave, I think that your debate is now settled.  I suggest that the next debate is a. when will they finish their next goal of shifting away from export led (based on exports to America) towards a consumer led economy (internal consumption by a society that will soon be 2-3 times the size of N America, especially if you discount racketeering in the GDP calculation), and b. when will they and Russia and Iran get their alternative to SWIFT operational to the extent that they can trade with most countries outside of SWIFT.
    In this regard I note that their gold backed yuan oil market has already started, but havent heard anything recently about it.  Cant anyone see the writing on the wall?

    I agree with Max Keiser that China will destroy the dollar with a gold backed cryptocurrency.  This is the easiest way to take care of the US military.  https://www.kitco.com/news/2019-11-01/China-s-secret-gold-backed-cryptocurrency-to-destroy-U-S-dollar-skyrocketing-gold-prices-Max-Keiser.html

    So, how does control of 2/3 of bitcoin miners factor into this scenario of dollar destruction?

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 1:27am

    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 610

    2

    Best strategy: let BTC alone to undermine USD

    @Mots

    I agree with this analysis.

    As to the question in the last line: I don't think China needs to worry about taking down the dollar. The US is taking down the dollar - and most countries are more willing to let it happen every month. They'll all breathe a sigh of relief when it goes.

    @davefairtex

    That is the question: what best serves China's interest? We're only able to speculate. I speculate China gets more by taxing bitcoin mining than by crashing it. Especially if by "taxing" we mean the ruling class is or becomes integrated into the mining operations at least to the degree they get to skim profit off the top - as they do with so much else. Personally, I think they're already integrating, if not integrated. Ditto Iran and Russia, both of which countries' leadership class is benefitting from btc mining.

    I also think that just letting bitcoin run is a great, hands-off way to undermine USD. As USD inflates, more and more wealth seeks outlets; btc is a key and growing escape hatch. Let it run to hasten USD collapse.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 4:08am

    #22
    davefairtex

    davefairtex

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 2365

    5

    institutionalized banking fraud

    From my understanding, the banking industry of China is effectively a massive fraud operation.  The banks "loan" money to the CCP leadership that never needs to be repaid.  Normal people have to borrow-and-repay.  Leadership doesn't.  Its nice work, if you can get it.

    Of course the rest of the world governments know about this absurd level of leadership-driven banking-system fraud in China, and that's why nobody - I mean nobody - wants to hold RMB as any sort of "reserve" currency.  I mean - would you? It brings a new meaning to the phrase: "borrowing money into existence."

    So the question we are really asking, is: will the CCP leadership give up this perk?  I suspect they'll give it up right around the time they allow dissent in country, which is to say hell will freeze over before this happens.

    Note that a true (convertible) gold-backed anything (crypto, notes, etc) which allowed holders of the thing to redeem that thing for ounces of gold would make that perk of the CCP leadership go away overnight.  Do they have such convertibility for that gold-based oil trading thing?

    It is well known that US corps have trouble repatriating their profits out of China.  You think you'll get gold out of the regime in exchange for RMB?

    I see a zero percent chance for a convertible gold-backed anything in China.  There may be a faux-gold-backed currency.  But nobody will believe it.  Well, perhaps gullible people will.  But the rest of the world certainly won't.

    China's people are very hard working, but they are crippled by the institutional fraud from the CCP which is many times worse than exists in the US - which admittedly is pretty bad.  One tiny example: if you do well, you get your company snatched away from you by the leadership.  Jack Ma is the latest such example.

    I don't think their economy going forward will be the explosion of excitement that people think.  The "CCP corruption tax" is just too egregious.  No way do they give this up.  And they'd have to, to create a real currency that others would want to use as a reserve.

    Just my sense.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 5:10am

    #23

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2428

    5

    Happy Battle of Concord and Lexington Day!

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history

    At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, a shot was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

    READ MORE: 7 Events That Led to the American Revolution

    By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from England to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against the Patriot arsenal at Concord and capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington.

    The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a military action by the British for some time, and upon learning of the British plan, Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes were ordered to set out to rouse the militiamen and warn Adams and Hancock. When the British troops arrived at Lexington, a group of militiamen were waiting. The Patriots were routed within minutes, but warfare had begun, leading to calls to arms across the Massachusetts countryside.

    When the British troops reached Concord at about 7 a.m., they found themselves encircled by hundreds of armed Patriots. They managed to destroy the military supplies the Americans had collected but were soon advanced against by a gang of minutemen, who inflicted numerous casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, the overall commander of the British force, ordered his men to return to Boston without directly engaging the Americans. As the British retraced their 16-mile journey, their lines were constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them Indian-style from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls. At Lexington, Captain Parker’s militia had its revenge, killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily marched through his town. By the time the British finally reached the safety of Boston, nearly 300 British soldiers had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action. The Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties.

    The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first battles of the American Revolution, a conflict that would escalate from a colonial uprising into a world war that, seven years later, would give birth to the independent United States of America.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 5:21am

    Kat43

    Kat43

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 10 2020

    Posts: 307

    2

    Kat43 said:

    It's celebrated as Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts.  Traditionally the day of the Boston Marathon until C19 interfered last year.  My town, Bedford, is famous for having produced the flag (Victory or Death!) that was flown during the skirmish.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 5:55am

    #25

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2428

    2

    So sad

    What a rich history in Massachusetts, but so sad they have fallen so far from their patriot roots when it comes to firearms and freedom in general. ☹️ That’s the main reason we chose NH over MA, which for other reasons would’ve been our first choice upon retiring.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 6:16am

    brushhog

    brushhog

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Oct 06 2015

    Posts: 488

    4

    brushhog said:

    I hate to think about it THc0655 but the whole northeast is going that way. NH was always the "live free or die" state, but even NH isnt the same as when I was young. back in the 80's you didnt even need car insurance to drive in NH.

    But the creeping nanny state and leftist mentality has made alot of headway there too. I love the northeast but I fear at some point I might have to pull up stakes and head west just to lead a normal, semi-free lifestyle.

    If the few remaining semi-free states were smart, they would develop some mandatory criteria for residency. An aspiring resident should have to prove;

    1. Means of support

    2. A knowledge of the text and relevance of the constitution [ state and national ]

    3. A respect for individual liberty [ gun rights, private property, stand your ground, etc ]

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 6:52am

    #27
    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 610

    2

    Speaking of CCP money games...

    While we're posting on CCP money games, here's an interesting take on the btc crash yesterday from Australian on-chain analyst Willy Woo. He tweeted, first:

    “Chinese miners went offline 3hrs into the difficulty adjustment. The difficulty adjusts every 2 weeks to match the natural increase in hash rate from miners. This keeps block times to a steady 10 mins. If you're going to slow the network down, this is the best window to do so.

    "9.5 hrs into the difficulty adjustment, 9000 BTC was deposited into Binance, this provided enough selling pressure to drop the Bitcoin price below $59k support, forcing the $4.9b of liquidations.”

    Then:

    “9,000 BTC in, before the crash. 20,700 BTC out, after the crash. I wonder if that's the same whale?”

    Implication: some whale in Asia crashed the market by depositing 9k btc in Binance (the top Asian exchange). He cashed out as the price crashed, driven by automated stop orders. Then bought back in on the dip – more than doubling his btc stack.

    It's an interesting theory. He has charts to go with it. You can find it all here:  https://twitter.com/woonomic/status/1383978439460286466

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 8:13am

    #28
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 272

    4

    Peak Excitement

    Just a little, possibly worthless, recent anecdotal observation.  While at a large-chain health store recently, I noticed the reception desk setup to register potential "clinical trial" participants for their "jab" (I hate using that term but I used it just to piss myself off) was participantless (not in the dictionary, I looked).  Just one lonely registrar.  The medically certified "jabber" in the pharmacy section of the store was wandering about looking bored.  Occasionally the "jabber" would ask folks in line if they were there for their "jab".  No takers apparently.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 10:11am

    #29
    Steven Kelso

    Steven Kelso

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Aug 22 2018

    Posts: 104

    4

    The Aliens Are Coming! The Aliens Are Coming!

    I think it's important to stress that there is both a real UFO phenomenon and a plausible human conspiracy involving this topic, as identified by scientists (like Jacques Vallee) who have studied the matter.

    Pentagon confirms leaked photos and video of UFOs are legitimate
    In December, Congress passed its government funding bill that included a directive to the national intelligence director and defense secretary to release a report on UAPs in six months’ time.

    Adversary Drones Are Spying On The U.S. And The Pentagon Acts Like They're UFOs

    There is a long and weird history of the U.S. government, and the Pentagon and intelligence community especially, abusing the UFO topic dating back the better part of a century.

    Fresh Calls for Space Security Governance Measures Unlikely to Yield Results

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, delivering a special message on the occasion, said, “We support the start of negotiations on the development of an international legally binding instrument prohibiting the deployment of any types of weapons [in space], as well as the use of force or threat of force.” Echoing similar sentiments, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said earlier in the week, “we are calling on the international community to start negotiations and reach agreement on arms control in order to ensure space safety as soon as possible.” Lijian added that “China has always been in favor of preventing an arms race in space, it has been actively promoting negotiations on a legally binding agreement on space arms control jointly with Russia.

    Russia and China Seek to Tie America’s Hands in Space

    In a notable and positive step, the U.N. General Assembly passed a British-introduced resolution in December that seeks to establish “norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours” in space, which could reduce the chances for dangerous miscalculation.

    The vote was 164 in favor, including the United States—and a mere 12 opposed.

    Any guesses regarding who voted no? You guessed it: China and Russia. They were joined by their friends Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba.

    Dr Steven Greer… This Is How We Stage UFO & Alien False Flag Events

    Steven Greer reveals the technology and tactics used to create events that appear to be aliens or UFOs but are highly sophisticated false-flag events. This can include staging scenarios that appear to be UFO crash landings, alien abductions, strange implants or psychic attacks.

    I personally think that Steven Greer is a charlatan, but given the story of Paul Bennewitz and the NSA (Project Beta; Mirage Men) I'm including this video here.

    It appears as though "Disclosure" is just another smokescreen for intrigue, this time both international and exopolitical.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 10:16am

    dreinmund

    dreinmund

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 177

    3

    Re: China control over miners

    So, how does control of 2/3 of bitcoin miners factor into this scenario of dollar destruction?

    China holds the power to cripple BTC (force a hard fork), if they wanted to.

    Crippling BTC would not be causing dollar destruction, quite the opposite. It looks to me that China's BTC "lever" is not useful if they wanted to hurt the USD.

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  • Mon, Apr 19, 2021 - 1:26pm

    #31

    sand_puppy

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2754

    0

    *Whale Games* Question

    So my understanding is the the small size of the BTC market makes it volatile.  When adoption includes a greater percentage of the global wealth, will it become more resistant to price fluctuations caused by Whale Games?

    (Buy in to BTC with a sudden huge order, run the stop-loss orders of common traders triggering sales, then buy back in shortly thereafter.)

    Sounds to me that it would.  Price stability will appear when the market cap is much higher.

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  • Tue, Apr 20, 2021 - 1:59am

    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 610

    2

    Everybody's just theorizing

    Bottom line, @sand_puppy, everybody's just theorizing about why the btc price dropped. Some theories are better supported by data than others - that doesn't make them right, only more plausible.

    To me, this is the same phenomenon we see in the stock market. Every change - or the failure for a change to manifest - is interpreted by experts and amateurs alike. Most of those explanations are frivolous, a few make some sense. But we rationalize anyhow because we crave order and assume some kind of rational explanation for events can be constructed. Might be possible, but the full dynamics might be more complicated than we can wrap our heads around - like predicting the weather.

    For me, NLW's explanation is the most convincing (so far).

    What is certain is that each past btc bull market has included dramatic volatility. At the moment, this one looks no different. We (some of "we" including me) thought it might be different because of all of the institutional buying coming into the space, but now it appears that even though there are measurable differences, in the larger pattern events are showing us wrong. That said, this ~20% retracement (so far) is more shallow than we've seen historically.

    Volatility is why no one should invest more into btc than lets them sleep at night when it's in its down phase. Money put into alt coins is even more susceptible to dramatic downside risk; at least, historically.

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  • Tue, Apr 20, 2021 - 6:39am

    #33

    JAG

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Oct 26 2008

    Posts: 756

    1

    Bitcoin Blues

    VT: Bottom line, @sand_puppy, everybody's just theorizing about why the btc price dropped. Some theories are better supported by data than others - that doesn't make them right, only more plausible.

    Pi Cycle Top + Coinbase IPO = Bitcoin blues

    I'm just joking.

    I do find it a little amusing that the drop over the weekend broke a major rule of technical analysis. The bullish breakout from last week was confirmed with price action, and then the dump happened on the weekend. That dump can't happen, and when it did, it wasn't reversed immediately. Not good.

    Somebody knows something that we don't, but what else is new.

    BTW, it sucks trying to find where you guys are discussing things here on PP. With all the spam on the site, I couldn't find the active thread yesterday. I miss DF's daily thread.

    Can we decide where to have our discussions so that I don't get lost, lol?

     

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