Bitcoin The Digital Bearer Asset: Demystifying Self-Custody and Private Keys

As Wall Street firms race for bitcoin ETF approval, Bitcoin advocates urge participants to consider self-custody as a lower-cost alternative.

Bitcoin is a unique asset. Though it exists only in the digital realm, it is also a bearer instrument that does not require any third party to hold or own.

Related reading : ETF Filings Could Introduce Bitcoin To A $30 Trillion Market
Related reading : Bitcoin And Self-Custody In The Cashless Society

By taking custody of your bitcoin, you not only maintain exposure to price action, but also eliminate the slow bleed of management fees and the catastrophic risks that counterparties involve.

When withdrawing from an exchange, bitcoin holders are able to generate a wallet that only they control. The wallet is generated from a set of random words. Many wallets will generate these words for you, but for extra security, participants may elect to generate randomness themselves.

Common techniques for generation include coin flipping or rolling dice. Proponents of this technique posit that it is the only way to ensure true randomness in the wallet generation, eliminating trust in the software that would provide this randomness for you.

Depending on what type of wallet you are generating, you will either generate a 12- or 24-word string. These words comprise what is known as your private key. When entered into a Bitcoin wallet device or software platform, a unique address is created which allows you to receive bitcoin and custody it without counterparty risks.

The private key is also the mechanism which allows individuals to send bitcoin from their wallets. The words must be kept secret and serve as a backup for your wallet if your interfacing mechanism is ever lost, destroyed, or becomes inoperable.

There are numerous methods for backing up your keys. A common solution is Black Seed Ink, a company that sells metal etching plates to protect your seed words from water and fire, as well as technical failures from storing them online. There are several other companies (e.g., Titan) that sell metal backup plates in different forms as well.

The recommended method for interfacing with your keys is through a hard wallet, otherwise known as cold storage. There are a multitude of hardware devices that are available for purchase which store your private keys and allow you to interface with the Bitcoin network by sending bitcoin in a peer-to-peer fashion.

Related reading : Trezor Model T Review 2023: The Best Hardware Wallet For You?
Related reading : BlockStream Jade: Hardware Wallet Review

Popular bitcoin-only hardware devices include the Foundation PassportColdCard, and Blockstream Jade. Though some come with proprietary software interfaces, those are not required in order to use the devices. Open-source software solutions like Blue Wallet and Sparrow also exist as way to interface with Bitcoin’s open-source ledger.

Though this list is certainly not all-encompassing, it should be enough to begin your self-custodial journey into Bitcoin. Though daunting at first, self-custody is the only way to ensure your bitcoin is truly safe.

Luckily, there are personalities like BTC Sessions who have dedicated their lives to educating others on how to properly use these software and hardware applications. His video library can be found on YouTube and is an essential first step in developing your individualized plan for securing your bitcoin.

Read more on the subject :

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network: Fast, Cheap, And A Lifeline For Latin America

The Lightning network might be the greatest payment network you’ve never heard of. It is a second-layer network built on top of Bitcoin that facilitates instant and cheap bitcoin payments without the need for intermediaries. Lightning is being leveraged to send money across the world faster, better, and cheaper than with traditional financial rails.

“The Lightning Network is a payments technology that democratizes access to the global economy, making it quicker and cheaper to reliably transact on or offline,” says Alyse Killeen, founder and managing partner of Stillmark VC. Stillmark was founded in 2019 as the first bitcoin-focused venture capital firm.

Killeen is bullish on the Lighting network in a number of different ways. With lightning, businesses can expand their total addressable markets to the unbanked. Money can also be sent in smaller payments, de-risking and reducing costs in the remittance market.

As bitcoin use expands, so too does its impact. The following two founders are creating opportunity in South America in the payments and remittance space, expanding financial services into areas where traditional means are unavailable.

Related reading : Strike Adds Mexico To “Send Globally”, Easing Remittances Using The Lightning Network


“Latin America and the Caribbean received more than $140 billion in cross-border payments. If we are to achieve wide adoption, we need to simplify the process,” Piero Coen explained about the inspiration behind his company Osmo.

Osmo is a mobile payment company that leverages the Lightning network to help people in Latin America send and receive money using a mobile app. It’s goal is to make digital payments faster, cheaper, and more accessible, particularly in countries with a high number of unbanked individuals.

The bitcoin received is immediately and automatically converted to the local currency of the user. “They don’t need to understand bitcoin; they just need to know it’s as easy as sending a WhatsApp message or an email,” Coen told me in our interview.

“We believe that universal participation in the financial system is a human right,” he concluded in our interview. Applications like Osmo are helping to bank the unbanked in locations where people might not be able to participate in the legacy system. A feat made possible by leveraging bitcoin and Lightning as payment rails, rather than holding the asset.


Ibex is a bitcoin infrastructure company that specializes in providing enterprise solutions for Bitcoin’s Lightning network. They offer their clients Lightning-as-a-service infrastructure for quick, scalable deployment, which is essential in helping them leverage the Lightning network to send value globally, instantly and at any scale.

“Imagine a world where transactions are processed instantly, disrupting existing norms and paving the way for a more efficient future,” Ibex CEO Jose Lemus told me. The instant nature of the Lightning network is especially pertinent in South America, reducing settlement risk and transaction fees for small businesses.

Headquartered in the USA, IBEX also has offices in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, enabling them to provide their services to clients worldwide. Most recently, the company secured a partnership with Grupo Salinas to adopt Lightning in its conglomerate, adding to their growing list of strategic alliances with businesses looking to expand globally by embracing emerging technologies.

“This transformative technology defies tradition and opens up new possibilities, creating a future where real-time payments reshape the foundations of commerce,” Lemus concluded — an optimistic tone.

Both companies facilitate instant value transfer over Bitcoin’s Lightning network. Payment recipients either don’t, or don’t have to receive bitcoin. It is simply the tool that facilitates the transaction.

Leveraging bitcoin and Lightning as payment rails will become increasingly common as people begin to realize the power and efficiency of these methods. As bitcoin continues to permeate underdeveloped economies, the next wave of adoption might just come from people who don’t even realize they’re using Bitcoin.

Read more on the subject

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Your Precoiner Friends Might Not Understand The Problems That Bitcoin Is Solving

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

It may seem counterintuitive, but in my last four years serving for the U.S. Army, I’ve essentially been a customer service specialist, whether it’s addressing pay issues in the military pay office as a commander, or addressing travel or budget questions as a comptroller in an operational unit.

Of late, I’ve found myself asking more questions of the customers than they’ve been asking of me. I’ve come to realize that many people don’t really understand the problems they are experiencing. And, because of this conundrum, the questions they ask me when seeking assistance may not yield an answer that actually solves those problems. I’ve come to realize that a large part of my job has become uncovering the actual problems, so that I can fix them at their roots.

Therein lies a common thread I’ve found with “orange pilling” and teaching people about Bitcoin. Much like the soldier who approaches me, asking a question that doesn’t quite make sense, your friends and family may be asking you strange questions as well — without a real understanding of what problems Bitcoin is trying to solve.

As stewards of the Bitcoin space and de facto ambassadors to our circles of acquaintance, I see the Bitcoiners’ role as similar to that of a customer service professional. People don’t understand the monetary system, let alone the problems they face within. (Insert the potentially-overused analogy about asking a fish about water here.)

Instead of answering questions blindly and taking them at face value, I challenge you to dig a little deeper next time. Help your curious friend understand what they are asking. Help them uncover the issues they didn’t know they cared about. Help them ask the right questions. Otherwise, they may never get their problems solved.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

These 4 Bitcoin Only Exchanges Will Likely Withstand Securities Regulations

This article was originally published by Mikal Koss via Forbes. It is republished here with permission.

The SEC has taken a number of enforcement actions against crypto exchanges in recent years. Some experts believe that the SEC is overstepping its authority and that the enforcement actions are stifling innovation in the crypto space. Others believe that the SEC is right to crack down on crypto exchanges that are not complying with the law.

Bitcoin has been classified as a commodity by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, making it different than the tokens often sold on crypto exchanges. A number of exchanges have capitalized on this clarification by focusing solely on bitcoin. While crypto exchanges initiated mass layoffs during the bear market, many bitcoin only exchanges continued to grow, making them an increasingly popular choice as investors seek out safer options.

Related Reading : Regulatory “Siege” Underway For U.S. Exchanges — Warns Ex-SEC Official
Related Reading : Bitcoin Is The Only Winner In SEC Clash

The SEC’s enforcement actions and the growth of bitcoin only exchanges are likely to play a significant role in shaping the industry’s future. The following exchanges focus on bitcoin only and may serve as a hedge against regulatory uncertainty for interested investors.


Jack Mallers is the Founder and CEO of Strike, a digital wallet built on bitcoin’s Lightning network that provides peer to peer and cross border payments similar to Venmo or PayPal. He has spent the last decade in the bitcoin space, pioneering efforts in distributed systems infrastructure and application development as one of the first Lightning network application developers. Though Strike has grown into a popular app for purchasing bitcoin, becoming an exchange was never the company’s intention.

The idea for Strike came from Mallers’ experimentation with the Lightning network. “With lightning, the money is in the message and the message is the money,” Mallers told me in our interview, comparing the Lightning network to an instant messaging protocol. The Lightning network is a second layer network built on top of bitcoin that allows individuals to send bitcoin instantly and with very low fees.

“Payments are promises of future settlement,” Mallers said in our interview, referring to the time needed in the current financial system for payment finality. He sees the Lightning network as a means to eliminate settlement time, in turn reducing counterparty risk, the need for intermediaries, and ultimately transaction fees.

Related Reading : Bitcoin Payment App Strike To Expand Operations To 65 Countries
Related Reading : Strike Embraces In-House Bitcoin Custody, Leaving Third-Party Intermediaries Behind

Strike leverages the Lightning network by converting customers’ currencies into bitcoin and transferring that money instantly over the Lightning network. At the receiving end, the bitcoin is converted back into the local currency. The speed of the transaction eliminates bitcoin’s volatility risk, transforming the Lightning network into a new payment rail like ACH or wire transfers.

Mallers told me that their mission is better money, superior payments, and access to bitcoin for all. Their mission appears to be going well, having recently closed an $80 million funding round and expanding their business into 65 countries. Strike estimates that its total addressable market is now 3 billion people.


Cory Klippsten is the CEO of Bitcoin the financial services firm Before bitcoin, Klippsten worked for Google, McKinsey, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley, after earning an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Swan features automated savings plans and withdrawals for retail customers, with specialized services for high-net-worth individuals and institutions as well. This year, Swan also started offering an in-house IRA product, allowing customers to hold actual bitcoin in a tax-advantaged manner, reducing the need for high fee exchange traded products.

Swan’s commitment to education makes it unique among other exchanges. “We believe Bitcoin will change the world for the better, and we’re dedicated to helping the world understand why,” Klippsten said in our interview about the intent behind their production efforts.

Swan’s educational commitments grew further in 2022 with the start of their annual Pacific Bitcoin Festival in Los Angeles. This year’s festival begins on October 5and is expected to host over 2,000 attendees. Despite their growing popularity, Swan claims to spend a minimal amount of money on marketing campaigns. Klippsten concluded that “when people understand the truth about Bitcoin, they tend to get on board, so education is the only marketing we need.”


Alexander Leishman is the CEO and Founder of River, a bitcoin financial services company. “My goal was to create my own commodity-backed currency that the government couldn’t inflate, but never quite figured out how to make that a viable business,” Leishman said about his journey leading up to bitcoin. Because of this, he was able to understand bitcoin relatively quickly, realizing that it could replace the role served by a commodity backed currency.

“The post-bitcoin cryptocurrencies never quite appealed to me because there was no obvious problem they were solving,” Leishman recalled about his bitcoin only focus. He soon recognized the opportunity to build a financial institution based on bitcoin, ultimately leading to River’s creation.

River differentiates itself by having full control over their custody infrastructure. In doing so, River states that they have a higher quality of service with stronger guarantees for their customers than other firms. River provides services to individuals, institutions, and the lighting network infrastructure powering bitcoin applications like El Salvador’s Chivo wallet. The Salvadoran government introduced the Chivo Wallet as a solution to onboard citizens when it adopted bitcoin as legal tender in 2021.

River also offers a mining product, allowing customers to purchase hosted bitcoin miners directly in the app, akin to a turnkey rental property service. “We are always thinking about which products to build next, but we are very conservative and tend to avoid complex financial products,” Leishman said about River, contrasting the company with the recent failures in the crypto space. River recently closed a $35 million funding round, a testament to their strength in the midst of a bear market.


Julian Liniger is CEO and Co-Founder of the European bitcoin app, Relai. He studied psychology and business administration in Switzerland before becoming an entrepreneur. Lininger credits a friend with his introduction to bitcoin in 2015, but said it took him until 2017 to fully grasp the economic implications. Relai is now the top bitcoin on-ramp in Europe, with over 200,000 downloads, 65,000 active users, and over €10 million in monthly trading volume.

“[Crypto] can be categorized as high risk, speculative venture investments. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is for long-term saving,” Liniger said in our interview about the company’s bitcoin only focus. He says their mission is to help people save their money and purchasing power in the long run, contrasting their goals with the big crypto exchanges typically used for trading.

Relai allows customers to buy bitcoin quickly and without registration, 24 hours a day, and send the purchased bitcoin straight into the customers’ self-custodial wallets. Relai said this method is intended to eliminate counterparty risks present with custodial structures.

Liniger told me in our interview that “despite the market turmoil… and crypto exchanges failing, we have doubled our volumes and revenues,” speaking to the success of Relai’s strategy. According to Liniger, customers have continued to buy bitcoin at increasing rates regardless of the price action.

Regardless of your choice, bitcoin only exchanges are a good option for those seeking to begin their journeys with simplicity. With automated savings plans and reduced regulatory risks, bitcoin centric exchanges are emerging from the bear market largely unscathed. Their recurring successes in fund raising and responsible growth strategies are indicative of their potential for longevity. These companies remain optimistic that they will continue to onboard newcomers for a long time into the future.

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Memorial Day Reflections: Reinvigorating Critical Thought, Bitcoin Can Honor Service Members

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

“That was before my time… Of course it’s true, everybody knows it’s true.”

The quote above is from the movie “The Sea Beast.” And although the film never mentions Bitcoin specifically, it might just be one of the best Bitcoin movies I’ve ever seen. 


It is set in a fictional world gripped by perpetual war between a sea-faring economic power and a population of monsters who appear to attack ships out of nowhere. The hunters, the heroes of the story, patrol the seas in a near-constant state of combat, fighting to keep trade routes open and safe. In exchange, they are paid after presenting proof of their monster kills to the monarchy.

It was a fairly overt critique of the military industrial complex, though the deeper theme that I saw was the toxic effects that the media propaganda complex has on a society, reducing peoples’ ability to exercise discernment, and obscuring objective truth.

Learn History Or Repeat It

I think the reason why “The Sea Beast” had such an impact on me is because at its core, it is a story of what can happen to society when truth becomes obscured by revisionist history and propaganda. In the end, it was up to individuals to exercise discernment, and break the societal trance that had been propagating violence for generations. In the end, the rulers only ever had power because the people had allowed them to.

American culture and history is rich with individualism and critical thought, such as the idea that taxation without representation is immoral. This ideal ultimately led to the Revolutionary War which founded this country. But now, people are afraid to have real and engaging conversations, especially in public, because it might be considered “wrong think” or offensive, ultimately leading to the cancellation of their public lives and digital exile.

Bitcoin reinvigorates many things, but the most important I think is the discernment of truth.

Bitcoin is fundamentally an exercise in regaining your power of discernment. One must sift through a slew of propaganda and fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in order to learn the truth and see true value. The journey that one must take in order to truly understand Bitcoin necessitates discernment and critical thought. And once we reach a critical mass, the intransigent minority becomes entrenched in the culture.

Furthermore, once you are able to store your hard-earned wealth in a self-sovereign way, the courage to speak freely becomes self evident. No more are the worries of cancellation and debanking. The changes in time preference as well will likely increase your savings rate, making people more financially stable and less fearful of leaving or losing a job that may be holding them back.

‘You Can Be A Hero But Still Be Wrong.’

I know that many Bitcoiners criticize the military and governments especially. They detest war in all its forms and hope to bring about the end of it with the dawn of a new, hard-money standard. This is, of course, a worthy goal. But I must urge Bitcoiners to separate the service members from the policy decisions they are charged with executing.

According to analysis from Jordan Peterson that I have seen, one of the main reasons individuals join the military is the desire to find meaning and purpose in life. Peterson argues that young men often lack a clear sense of direction and purpose, and the structure and discipline of military life can provide them with a sense of belonging and fulfillment. Additionally, the military can offer opportunities for personal growth, challenge and adventure, as well as providing a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Many have died in the pursuit, hence the day of remembrance that we celebrate on Memorial Day. And yet, some much-needed criticism has been quashed in the name of the troops.

The line, “You can be a hero and still be wrong” from “The Sea Beast” was especially striking in this context. Without the ability to see objective facts, it is difficult to ascertain objective truth. Discernment is a skill, a skill that has atrophied drastically throughout society in the passing years. It is perhaps one of the reasons why cries for the government to protect us have grown so loud.

There is no truth without debate and disagreement, characterizations of which have been elevated from being uncomfortable to becoming outright unsafe. And yet, creeping protectionism has its costs as well; the slow erosion of freedoms that we may never get back. The very freedoms that many service members have died to protect, the very service members who we are charged with remembering on Memorial Day.

If we are to remember and honor those sacrifices, perhaps the best way to do so in the current age is to exercise our discernment. Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned, or relearned in certain cases. Bitcoin helps those seeking to regain responsibility in their lives, and yes, exercise some critical thinking in order to discern fact from fiction, propaganda from news.

Bitcoin reinvigorates critical thought, critical thought leads to truth. Some have the humility to accept it. Others have to be slapped across the face with it, ultimately experiencing the pain of ego death. Truth is the only way to honor the fallen. Have the courage to choose truth, and live not by lies.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

If We Can Ignore Polarization, Bitcoin Will Fix Bipartisan Authoritarianism

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

Whether it’s the Patriot Act, COVID-19 measures or the proposed RESTRICT Act, it seems that the only thing U.S. politicians can agree on is that taking away freedoms is essential. It’s for your own safety, you see. And we can’t forget about security, too. Who wouldn’t want to be safe and secure?

The unilateral agreement around these measures has made the phrase “bipartisan” a warning sign in my eyes and I am increasingly concerned about the direction we’re moving.

Bread, Circuses And Conflict

I was criticized on NOSTR recently for covering environmentalist Bitcoiners, the justification being that the environmentalist movement is a net negative for society. While I understand where this individual who criticized me is coming from, I think there are some deeper concerns at hand hidden behind their comments.

After some reflection, I came to a realization: People are not really concerned with the environmentalist movement. In fact, people are not really concerned about politics at all. Most political disagreements are surface-level proxy wars for a much deeper argument: the argument over control.

Who is going to have control? What are they going to use it for? How is this going to affect my life?

As governments expand at increasing rates, the fear over who has control grows along with it. I think this is the root of the polarization we’re seeing today. The real concern is about central planners and central planning. Everything else is a distraction. I think that’s the real psyop.

Bitcoin Defunds Central Planners

As more and more people adopt bitcoin as their savings vehicle, we can begin to grow the parallel economy and take the exorbitant privilege of money printing out of the hands of those who would seek to abuse it.

In doing so, we can slowly but surely defund the central planners that so many are fearful of. In doing so, we can reduce the level of control that keeps us up at night. In doing so, we can reduce the amount of political polarization that is seemingly tearing the country apart.

I think that too many are fighting the wrong fight and missing the forest for the trees. If Bitcoin is truly incorruptible, then why do you care who chooses to support it? Why not give everyone a chance to have their egos and preconceptions about the world absolutely shattered by this permissionless monetary protocol.

Bitcoin is for everyone. We can’t allow the culture wars to manipulate us into friendly fire. We can’t allow political narratives to co-opt Bitcoin into a weapon for politicians to wield against us. It doesn’t matter if you win your little skirmish if the war engulfs you shortly thereafter.

The faster we can gain adoption, the faster we can make all these petty arguments irrelevant. Once central planners lose their ability to control, your neighbors’ vote becomes less of a concern. Without the ability to print money, governments suddenly have to think about trade offs again. The reintroduction of a sound money standard fixes political polarization.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

While Others Try To Tokenize Everything, Bitcoin Stores Value

Tokenization of real-world assets on other blockchains just perpetuates the financial issues that Bitcoin hopes to fix.

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

The demand for tokenizing assets like real estate is not a solution to, but rather a symptom of, the problems that bad money perpetuates. Real estate should be reduced to its utility value as a dwelling or place of business, rather than used as a store of value by proxy if we ever hope to solve the growing gap in wealth inequality.

LinkedIn post, March 2023

Blockworks highlighted this “advancement” in technology without properly addressing the potential side effects that widespread asset tokenization may cause. In the comments section, tokenization is touted as a means for individuals who are unable to purchase a home of their own to participate in the real estate market. But why are houses so expensive in the first place?

Because they are being used as stores of value, a former function of fiat money that is no longer possible due to decades of fiscal and monetary alchemy that has decimated peoples’ purchasing power.

Tokenizing assets like real estate will only make matters worse as crowds shove money into the market, driving prices higher. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People buy houses because they know the prices will go up, then the prices do go up and more demand comes in to chase the gains. Every investor following their individual incentives puts owning a home further out of reach for the average citizen. This is not a solution.

Furthermore, a “blockchain” is simply a ledger, or record of who owns what. With Ethereum especially, there is no meaningful link to the real world which would allow for native contract enforcement, preventing rug pulls of these token holders. The whole system ultimately relies upon legacy law enforcement and the judicial system to uphold the property rights of these investors — a system that appears to be increasingly hostile in enforcement actions against the crypto industry writ large.

Bitcoin adoption is fundamentally different, a fact that crypto folks seem to misunderstand completely. Rather than mindlessly tokenizing assets, Bitcoin seeks to fix the monetary issues that drive a desire to do so in the first place. By serving as an actual store of value, bitcoin will drain the monetary premium that real estate has accrued over the past decades due to the broken monetary system. Under a bitcoin standard, housing will ultimately collapse to its utility value, making houses affordable once more to the everyday citizen.

Tokenization is just another perpetuation of the current system in a faux peer-to-peer wrapper, disguised as financial innovation. Don’t let the new shiny thing distract you from what’s broken. Fix the money, and all of these things become meaningless.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

Financial Advisors Must Learn Bitcoin

Financial advisors need to study Bitcoin in order to prepare for a changing economic order, systemic risks and a possible return to a sound money standard.



What’s the difference between these two numbers?

The first is $100,000 compounded for 30 years at roughly the long-run rate of return for stocks, or 10%. The second is $100,000 placed into a specially selected basket of diversified stock funds that basically do the same thing — less the 2% management fee your financial advisor is charging you.

Now, I understand this is not how all advisors or financial planners make their money, but I’ve met too many people who don’t even know how much they pay their advisors. In fact, this article was inspired by one of my best friends’ financial advisors. As far as I can tell, the man has not done a thing for my friend for years aside from investing in generic ETFs and executing trades on his behalf. When it came to my friend’s questions on bitcoin, he was offered a completely unrelated ETF as an investment choice followed by radio silence. 

Advisors, this question is for you: What are you going to do to ensure that the fee I highlighted at the start of this article is worth it to the client? Are you sure you’re providing as much value as you can?

Financial Advisors: Fear Disguised as Skepticism?

Financial advisors and traditional finance types appear to me to be some of the most skeptical bunch when it comes to Bitcoin. I’ve seen everything from flat-out refusals to even discuss the topic with clients, to offering them generic, crypto-affiliated ETFs to get them to stop asking questions (see above). 

It’s hard to tell, but it seems like many are simply waiting for bitcoin to die, refusing to learn about an obvious passing fad, a scam, a bubble; ”see, the bubble popped! I told you it would. Good thing I protected you.” 

To all the reluctant financial advisors out there, I say: I think you might be scared. Scared to learn, scared to lose clients, scared to be first, scared to embrace the unconventional. But what you really should be scared of is: the longer you blow off bitcoin, the higher the likelihood is that you will lose your credibility and lose your clients. I wrote an article recently about ignorant experts loudly proclaiming their negative opinions on the topic. Their ignorance will be punished by the free market of ideas, but yours doesn’t have to be. You still have time. 

Where to Start?

One of the most difficult parts about explaining bitcoin to a financial advisor is how to value it. I recommend the following resources for financial types: 

The first step would be the familiarizing oneself with the wealth of knowledge there, ranging from basic explanations of what Bitcoin is, to Greg Foss’ mathematical model for how to value bitcoin using sovereign credit default swaps. 

You could also check out Fidelity’s 2022 report “Bitcoin First.” It’s a pretty comprehensive report on Bitcoin, written by financial types, for financial types. I think it does a really good job explaining how Bitcoin is different from the rest of crypto; In this market, diversification isn’t your friend. I would also recommend searching for Morgen Rochard, CFA, CFP®, RLP® on Twitter, Spotify, and YouTube. As evidenced by the letters after the name, she knows what she’s talking about. 

Lastly, while doing research for a potential consulting gig, I found a website that shows investment returns and volatility for a traditional 60/40 stock to bond portfolio with a 2% allocation to bitcoin. Yes, the asset is volatile, but isn’t the most basic investing advice to literally anybody to have a long time horizon? Said another way, getting into bitcoin at $60,000 doesn’t mean you’re stupid — it just means you were a little too late to that party, and a little too early to the one we’re having now. 

Technology Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Financial advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients. This means that they must provide investment advice that aligns with the goals, risk tolerance, and overall financial situation of each individual client. As Bitcoin becomes an increasingly popular investment option, financial advisors have a responsibility to educate themselves about this digital asset and consider its potential as a viable investment option for their clients.

The paragraphs in italics above were written by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. I’m using it to bounce ideas off of in an attempt to beef up my writing. This invented technology may very well eat my lunch in a few years, but at the moment it is a tool to make me better at what I do. If I can embrace new technology, then so can you. 

Education is the key. Not liking Bitcoin is fine; I don’t really care what your opinion is. What’s not okay, though, is not understanding bitcoin. 

How much learning have you actually done to arrive at that conclusion? Fifteen minutes reading mainstream media op-eds does not count. If you’re being honest with yourself, you will soon realize that it’s a dereliction of fiduciary duty. Your clients are going to want it. It’s inevitable. You can either guide them or lose them. I don’t see any in between. 

Stop patronizing your clients with reluctant and minuscule allocations to shut them up. It’s their money, not yours. With the recent bank failures in the U.S., it’s becoming more important than ever to have at least a part of your wealth stored in a self sovereign way, outside the system. Pull your head out of the sand and learn, because if you don’t, bitcoin is going to eat your lunch — and it will be your fault. 

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The Latest Banking Crisis Is Why I Save In Bitcoin

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has highlighted just how fragile the legacy financial system is.

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

This was inevitable and it will continue being inevitable in one form or another, as long as the system exists as is. When the fix is more money printing, which doesn’t fix anything, the collapse will always be inevitable. 

Reflecting on the events from this weekend, I have a feeling that it is only the tip of the iceberg, setting the stage for what may come to be over the next few years; a slow motion train wreck of the financial and banking system, systemically-dependent upon increasing levels of credit and debt, whipsawing between periods of inflation and near collapse as the financial levers are pulled in opposite directions in increasingly-frequent periods.

The fact is that the Federal Reserve caused this collapse, and its inevitable pivot back to quantitative easing will be the precipice for the next collapse. Easing is the only cure for the problem that easing causes. To paraphrase Jeff Booth, the system cannot be fixed from within the system. They’ve gone too far and there’s no turning back.


The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has highlighted just how fragile the system has become as the Fed desperately tries to tighten and stem the tide of inflation that has swept the western world for the past year and a half. “Demand destruction,” they call it, code for intentionally and artificially raising the cost of capital in order to cause unemployment. Fewer people working means fewer people spending, hopefully helping to ease the upward pressure on prices exerted by the quantitative easing, helicopter money and supply chain destruction that defined the COVID-19 era of the early 2020s.

The only answer was printing money, to drive the yields down, to drive the markets back up, to keep the system from collapsing. In order to maintain confidence, though, the Fed quickly reversed the trend, participating in the most aggressive tightening cycle ever. The effects are now starting to play out in the banking system.

Who knows how many banks are already insolvent and struggling to remain afloat? Who knows how many emergency meetings were held this past weekend by terrified executives, desperate to duct tape over the holes in their balance sheets before investors and depositors alike got wise?

The problem with bank runs is that they are all based on confidence. If a bank loses confidence, the ensuing deposits can wipe it into insolvency, even if it were not in any danger prior to the bank run. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it is now a systemic risk.

The move to backstop 100% of deposits following the SVB collapse was all about maintaining confidence at all costs, to prevent the next bank run and the bank run after that. Federal authorities are desperately trying to stem contagion before it takes hold. They need to finish the job on inflation before they can credibly start printing money again. Or so they say.

With the 100% depositor guarantee, the Fed has, in essence, already pivoted. Money doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, unless you work at the Fed, I guess.

Though the new Bank Term Funding Program is not called “quantitative easing,” I see no meaningful difference. Lending money to banks against depressed assets to prevent them from marking their losses to the market is nothing more than accounting alchemy, shadow money printing by another name.

Hidden Cracks In The System

With bond markets depressed to levels like this, it leads me wondering what the next domino might be to fall. I suspect pension funds are in quite a bit of trouble. How long can they survive the bond bear market? How much principal are they losing, servicing their obligations that they will never be able to replace? How long until the Federal Reserve has to step in to back stop their bonds?

How long until they start overtly printing money again, depressing yields to the point where pension funds have to lever up just to meet their obligations again? It’s cyclical. It’s going to be cyclical until it can’t survive anymore.

Money printing caused this problem in the form of quantitative easing. Money printing is the only way out of this current debacle. It is an inevitability. At the same time, money printing will only make things worse.

It’s a cycle, doomed to repeat, ad infinitum, until it can’t anymore. The next several years are likely to be volatile with accelerating periods of easing and tightening as the Fed fights inflation and then the ensuing financial collapse triggered by its reversals — a deadly dance edging on the verge of hyperinflation and complete financial implosion in alternating cycles.

Bitcoin is fundamentally different. I heard American HODL today refer to money as time, and inflation as time theft. Manipulation of money constitutes the manipulation of time for all of those who are forced to work for a living. Bitcoin is simply a better system, completely separate from the whims of man, outside the grasp of the ruling class that always seems all too eager to pull the levers of control of a complex system. I save my money in bitcoin to remain outside that sphere of influence. The price I pay is fiat volatility, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the cost.

Bitcoin might just be more important than ever, and I think people are starting to see it.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

As Banking Collapses Erode Trust, Bitcoin Fixes Moral Hazard

As the underlying issues in our economy are exposed by recent banking failures, Bitcoin stands as a trustless, alternative money.

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

As unrealized losses piled up, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) gradually, then suddenly became insolvent and people are beginning to wake up to issues pervading our financial system. Modern day bank runs, though digital, can force banks to sell reserve assets at a loss, inevitably leading to insolvency.

As Balaji Srinivasan has pointed out, what was once considered the gold standard for risk-free reserve assets is now on the precipice of a potential new banking crisis. Is this the end of the U.S. treasury as we know it?

If nothing else, the events over the weekend — from SVB’s failure to issues with other financial institutions to alarming intervention by the government — demonstrate just how fragile the system has become, underscoring its dependence upon money printing even as it is being undone by the low-yield, low-interest-rate environment that was caused by the printing in the first place. The dichotomy is stark, but there are lessons to be learned.

You Can’t Taper A Ponzi: Why The Legacy Banking System Is Ripe For Failure

The way the banking system works is, essentially, banks take your deposits and lend them out at higher interest rates than they pay you. They often keep reserves in U.S. treasury bonds, among other things, and everything seems to work until it doesn’t.

With the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle, raising interest rates meant decreasing the price of bonds, devaluing banks’ staple reserve asset. When depositors come to redeem their deposits, banks are forced to sell their assets at a loss, eventually becoming unable to stem the bleeding.

Regional banks will bear the brunt of this hit, as demonstrated by the recent collapse of SVB. Federal regulators are desperately trying to prop up confidence in the system by backing 100% of depositors’ money, but at what cost?

Depositors are surely already fleeing to the big boys, which will result in a more concentrated and fragile system than before. I think everyone knows deep down that they won’t be able to save every bank customer. Just how much money printing will the public tolerate in the name of financial stability?

In terms of equity holders, why would anybody want to hold stock in a small bank at this point? If banks fail and the Feds choose to make depositors whole while everybody else suffers, all of the risk is transferred onto everyone but the depositors, incentivizing stock sell offs and eating away at struggling banks’ risk-absorbing capital. This move could force smaller banks into much worse positions than they were before.

Systemic Trust Vs. Systemic Trustlessness

The scenario playing out before us is a stark illustration of what happens when trust starts to break down in a system fundamentally based on the idea of trusting, rather than verifying. In modern times, people think they need to hold their money in banks, but they have to trust the banks to maintain effective risk-management strategies in order to secure their deposits.

Bitcoin is fundamentally different. You can eliminate reserve requirements, duration and interest rate risks, counterparty risks and the like. There is no trust in Bitcoin. There is only code. It is backed one to one with itself, and as long as you hold your own keys properly, you don’t need to worry about a bank run.

As companies struggle to make payroll this week, I think this might just be a spark that lights a fire behind Bitcoin. Trustless money might just be the thing that helps to stem the tide of catastrophe in a system where trust appears to be crumbling.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

Fiat Money Debases Family Values, Bitcoin Inspires Them

I saw some people freaking out on social media recently about a former Trump official encouraging people to get married and have kids. While I can’t find the posts anymore the message was pretty concise: How dare you, and who is going to pay for this?

For thousands of years adult humans have been pairing up to produce the next generation. For most of that time, there has been no governmental assistance. In the grand scheme of history, there actually hasn’t really been a government at all. 

You think things are bad now? Just wait until the Universal Basic Income you want so badly rolls out. What’s the price of a staple good you can no longer get your hands on? When prices can’t adjust lest businesses be accused of greed and profiteering, the only alternative is through adjustments in supply. Shortages are also a cost of inflation; the price effectively becomes infinity. You pay for things now, or you pay for things later. There is no free lunch. 

The real question we need to be asking is what do we value? At work, I hear people complaining about money issues, and yet, they drive nice cars, go on nice trips, and frequently party on the weekends. I am concerned that the societal time presence has skewed so far that we risk falling into a period of financial nihilism. Iterated out into the future, the result is the extinction of the human species. No birth rate, no future. 

This problem is especially difficult for those with jobs that cannot be done remotely. The dichotomy of where the jobs are but where you can afford to live is stark. And it’s drastically affecting people. A conversation with one of my friends about that was the inspiration for this article. Monetary debasement is not only debasing family values but preventing good people from starting families that want them. 

A shift in culture is needed; the bitcoin prescription is the medicinal cure for what ails you. 

I don’t contribute to retirement accounts anymore. Not because I don’t believe I will live long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor, but because I reject the premise that I must wait that long to do so. I have hope for the future that was previously nonexistent, and confidence that I can achieve my goals prior to the ripe old age of 59.5 years old. Even at the (presumed) bottom of the bear market I felt secure, having accrued more savings for my family than we had previously had at the height of our net worth before taking the orange pill. 

I have three kids and a wife. We don’t live extravagantly, but we don’t need to. The dichotomy of having enough but always wanting more still exists, but in a different form. We save our time in sats, knowing full well what lies ahead. We look towards the future, and plan on enjoying it together, as a family, with our sovereign, hard-won wealth. Expensive experiences are meaningless if you don’t have someone to share them with. Having kids has made our lives richer. Bitcoin has refocused our efforts. 

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Bitcoiners Shouldn’t Just Retreat To Galt’s Gulch

An open community for an open system, and yet we so easily become prisoners of our own little bubbles and narratives. Are Ordinals an attack on Bitcoin? A passing fad? A cure for the blockspace and transaction fee FUD? Something else entirely?

To some it may make Bitcoin more interesting, to others more appealing; to most however it is simply another line item on a list that makes Bitcoin harder to understand. And yet, those very people may be the ones who need it the most. 

Narratives I have been noticing lately outside the space’s inner circle have been interesting, to say the least. Apparently, eggs cause strokes now, climate change is causing heart attacks, and billionaire investors want to be more like China in order to defeat Bitcoin. Can’t forget the most recent call to ban gas stoves, quickly followed by some backpedaling and damage control. 

Absurdity appears to be the common thread linking the 2020s together. There is the increased incidence of political polarization we are seeing because of this — though I suspect much of that is relegated to the social media feeds. By accident, I recently found a deliciously ironic demonstration of such absurdity and wanted to share it. 

(Media Bias Chart from Vanessa Otero)

Behold “The Media Bias Chart” — a fitting title for a chart so obviously biased. I suspect many of these absurd narratives are designed and magnified on purpose; to distract and divide. How can people wake up if they’re too busy fighting each other? There is a problem I see happening however, and that is that the media has gone so far into the absurd.

The beneficial aspect is that the absurdity has become so absurd, it is commonly indistinguishable from parody. Absurd narratives are causing people to wake up, shocking them out of the matrix to an extent. I have been approached by friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike about bitcoin. I attribute this to the mainstream absurdity on display virtually 24/7. And with that, an opportunity presents itself. 

Who is John Galt?

Bitcoin and Atlas Shrugged can be analogized as both representing a rejection of central authority and a belief in individual freedom and self-sovereignty. In Atlas Shrugged, the characters reject government control and instead seek to create a society based on merit and individual achievement. Similarly, Bitcoin was created as a decentralized alternative to traditional financial systems and government-controlled currencies, placing power in the hands of individual users rather than centralized authorities.

Building the parallel economy from the ground up is important work, yes, but we must not retreat into our own version of Galt’s Gulch to watch the world burn around us. Society feels no pain, society cannot suffer; the individuals however that make up society certainly can. As they begin to wake up, we need to be there for them. 

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way, becomes the way.”
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius 

When I first read Atlas Shrugged, I was fascinated with the theories and captivated by the characters. As I’ve grown older and had kids, my sentiment has shifted. The romantic vision played out in the idea of Galt’s Gulch has been replaced by a sense of responsibility for those around me — a sense of responsibility to teach others about responsibility.

Bitcoin’s greatest advertising is undoubtedly during the violently abrupt price pumps, but it is much more than simply number-go-up technology. The freedom and responsibility attributes of Bitcoin help bolster individual rights, which has the potential to lift up all of society in turn. I challenge you to remain steadfast in your beliefs, listen intently to others, and seize the opportunity to help others see Bitcoin the way we do when the opportunity presents itself. 

There is a new Gulch forming in the doldrums of cyberspace — a permissionless community of responsible individuals working diligently to lift up society. Never forget that there is enough room for everybody in this revitalization of meritocratic values.  

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Bitcoin: The Monetary Metric System

While reading my copy of Allen Farrington and Sasha Meyers’ Bitcoin is Venice I encountered a phrase that hit me like a ton of bricks: “We don’t want to use a stretchy ruler.” I think it might be one of the most accurate characterizations of what is wrong with money as it stands today.

As an oversimplified concept, in my mind money can be described as a measure of value. Prices contain a lot of information in a single number, but at a base level, they measure how the product is valued by the consumers and producers of said value. 

I’ve always hated the phrase “too expensive.” It could mean a multitude of things. What are you really trying to say? You don’t have enough money i.e., value to purchase the item? Potentially. But most often, what people mean is that they don’t value that particular item enough in relation to the set of all other items they could purchase at that time.

Could I buy an $800 espresso machine today? Yes, I could. But because of all of the other responsibilities, wants, and needs we have as a family, the price precludes me from making this purchase. So I don’t. 

So, in terms of value, price seems like a pretty simple measure in which to compare things in the moment. The problem arises when you are trying to predict or project values across time.

This is where it gets a little tricky. 

Stocks and bonds for example are often valued on a decades-old model that that uses projected cash flows out into the future — and then uses inflation and assumed rates of return and discounts them back to a value in the present. You type some assumptions into a spreadsheet, and bam, you get your price. The main problem I see is that you are making estimates based on estimates and best-guesses.

This is probably a significant contributor to market volatility, and a large reason why traditional asset managers simply don’t know what to do about bitcoin. They can’t value it by a model that was created in the early 1900s (if memory serves me right).

Imagine if the metric system changed on a regular basis because there was a largely unaccountable agency who could create more mass, or more distance at will. How the hell would you build anything? You couldn’t. Because you couldn’t rely on your measures from year to year. It would be chaos. 

How can we accurately project and predict prices, i.e., value, into the future when we have absolutely no idea of how to predict inflation? It all depends, fundamentally, on a set of unpredictable variables, including but not limited to the Federal Reserve’s proclivity for printing money. 

Financial planning for individuals and businesses relies upon measures, but we are measuring our money with a stretchy ruler. There is no constant; it is fundamentally unpredictable. This problem in my eyes is one of the largest contributors to instability in the country, if not the world. Without a constant there is no stability. Without a measuring device, there can only be chaos. 

One of the most important prices in the market is the price of money, or interest rates (the price of borrowing money). Pundits like to talk about them incessantly, as the Fed decides to raise or lower them based on how they interpret current and future economic conditions. How do they actually do this? By purchasing bonds with newly printed money.

A key detail that I think so many prominent Bitcoiners just hand-wave away is what a bond actually is. A bond is an interest-only loan. Government sells a $1,000, ten-year bond, with a $100 annual coupon payment. I give the government $1,000 for ten years, in exchange they give me $100 a year, and return the $1,000 at the end of the ten years. If you divide the coupon payment by the bond’s price, you get the yield: $1,000 divided by $100 is 10%, so the yield on this bond is 10%. 

Where it gets interesting is once the bond is sold, the price begins it’s float freely on the open market. There is where the Fed steps into the picture. If they start purchasing bonds at quantities of, let’s say, $120 billion a month — like they did for the Covid Quantitative Easing program — the excess demand starts to drive up bond prices. As the denominator in your yield equation goes up, the yields go down. This is what Greg Foss means by the inverse relationship between bond prices and yields.

So what quantitative easing actually means is the Fed artificially created dollars to artificially drive up bond market prices to artificially drive down yields, to artificially decrease the cost of borrowing, which artificially lowers the price of money.

I would venture to say that the price of money is the bedrock of all prices. If price is a signal, a measure of value, and the price of money is fundamentally manipulated, then it must follow that all other prices are manipulated. Prices cease to communicate value in a clear and coherent way. It makes planning and measuring difficult at best — especially over longer time periods.

This is why the 21-million hard cap of bitcoin is so important. We can transition to a period of stability and predictability. Baseline measures can be standardized. Individuals and institutions can now predict and plan and project because there is now a standard which is unmovable. Unchanging. Bitcoin is the monetary metric system. It can standardize all measures across the economy and lead to unimaginable progress by eliminating the stretchy ruler of fiat money.

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Why I Sold My House To Buy A Bitcoin Dip

After realizing that taking out a home loan meant his property was never really his, a military member sold his house to buy bitcoin instead.

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

I actually started this article nearly a year ago and had abandoned it, until the idea was reinvigorated through a Twitter Spaces with “Toxic Happy Hour.” When hearing @publordhodl speak about wealth taxes there, the implications suddenly slapped me across the face:

Wealth taxes and property taxes mean that you never truly own anything. Ever. Maybe that’s the point.

You Already Own Nothing, You Just Don’t Know It Yet

Back in 2018, my wife and I decided to leverage our VA home loan benefit to purchase a home at our new duty station. The home was in a nice pocket of a low-income area, so the price would allow us to rent the home after leaving to try and build some wealth and cash flow.

Fast forward two years: We were met with an unconscionable black swan event, and I’m not talking about COVID-19. The event I’m alluding to were the eviction moratoriums that were passed hastily during that period.

Through luck and happenstance, our tenant remained in place and kept paying rent, but had they stopped, it could have meant financial disaster. The message was clear and the precedent was set: I no longer had rights to my own property. We worked diligently to sell the home, eventually offloading it through an off-market deal to another investor, and we used the proceeds to buy that beautiful, glorious bitcoin price dip in 2021.

Came For The PGU, Stayed For The FGU

Like many in the military and the middle class alike, home ownership is an essential piece to building long-term wealth for me. For military folks especially, the frequent moves makes this difficult to do without choosing properties that can be rented out after you move.

I see the risks, however, as having increased exponentially after what happened in 2020. I don’t think it’s a viable strategy anymore.

Furthermore, even if we were to pay off properties and own them outright, we would still owe taxes every year, and what’s to stop another rent moratorium from going into effect? Or worse, a wealth tax? It really got me thinking: Do we already own nothing and just don’t know it yet?

It took me a while to understand this, but bitcoin is the only thing that I truly own. The talks of wealth taxes and eating the rich has been causing me to reevaluate this lesson

It makes me think about the Jeff Booth thesis above, that the system cannot be fixed from within. Bitcoin is attractive at first because of the price go up (PGU) sensation, but you inevitably hit an inflection point; will you panic sell at the first sign of danger, or will you dig deeper through proof of work and uncover the true value?

The true value of bitcoin is not reflected in its day-to-day price fluctuations; the value of bitcoin is reflected in its ability to empower the individual. Bitcoin in self custody is fundamentally freedom go up (FGU) technology. The confiscation-resistant nature enables people to exercise jurisdictional arbitrage, fleeing hostile areas without coercive exit taxes or penalties. It levels the playing field for individuals, a fact that is going to become more obvious in the coming years.

Freedom can only exist in a state where individual rights are protected, including property rights. What people fail to realize is that policies targeting the rich may inevitably be the very things preventing them from joining that group, notwithstanding that those very policies may change, targeting the individuals who once supported them.

This is first-order thinking, wrought with unforeseen consequences and unplanned impacts; an insidious envy, based on a scarcity mindset. In a world bereft of monetary scarcity, everything else becomes scarce as a result. Wealth taxes solve the problem the same way vengeance does, short-term satisfaction with potentially-dire, long-term implications.

If you think the last bull market was exciting, just wait until nation states start passing wealth taxes. Bitcoin’s true value will be reflected in time. Until then, I will continue to stay humble and stack sats, waiting for the inevitable.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

How Bitcoin Helped Me Find The Courage To Write This Article

For years, I lived a life of self-imposed limits. But the Bitcoin community has given me the confidence to share my perspective.

This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.

This one is for the plebs.

I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but I was not invited to write for Bitcoin Magazine. How could the team there have even known that I existed? In actuality, I found its article submission link by accident while looking for a customer service email address. Then, an idea hit me for an article, I shot off a quick email and they liked the idea.

Suddenly, I actually had to write a draft. When it eventually went live, I was hooked. Completely obsessed. I could not get enough of writing and then, the second article submission I sent received an unceremonious “no.” When I asked why, I received a scathing review from the editor.

I realized though, just because they thought the article sucked, that didn’t mean that I did too. The critique was for the content, not for me. It was a great learning point that allowed me to adjust my strategy and change my frame of mind. Heck, this article is an adoption of a draft that got rejected for one of the print editions of Bitcoin Magazine. The editor who rejected me is now the producer for a fairly large, Bitcoin-focused YouTube channel. He actually just hired me to write behind the scenes for him. How’s that for full circle?

I didn’t even post my first article through social media. It took nearly 10 articles of mine being published for me to publicly allude to the fact that I wrote them by posting the articles to LinkedIn. I was scared. I was scared about what my friends would think, what people would say, how they would react. I didn’t have the confidence to promote my own content. But the community was welcoming and supportive. They continue to be. Along with the support of my wife, the Bitcoin community is what gave me the courage to keep going. If nothing else, the friendships I’ve made along the way have been more than worth it

Write Your Proof-Of-Work Resume

Who am I? I’m nobody. I probably have no business being here. But you’re reading my article. It could have just as easily been yours. It can still be yours. Bitcoin has a hard cap, yes, but the Bitcoin community is not a zero-sum game.

Until I found Bitcoin, I had lived a life of invisible and self-imposed limits. I had resigned myself to the fact that I needed to invest early and often, and that I would need to pursue a low-risk, average and prudent career in order to be able to retire at 60 and live just long enough to die as my grandchildren started graduating from college.

But I became restless. Bitcoin allowed me to see things that I had previously been blind to. It made me brave. It gave me the courage to seize responsibility for my life and forge my own path. Bitcoin unlocked my potential. Storing your life force in an non-dilutive, permissionless, peer-to-peer monetary network is incredibly powerful.

Every single person who tells me that Bitcoin is stupid, a Ponzi or a scam makes me all the more bullish. They’re simple reminders that we are still so unfathomably early in this decentralized revolution. These NPCs have rarely put more than a few minutes or a few hours into oppositional-minded research to confirm their own existing biases. They are in prisons of their own making, opting out of a once-in-a-millennia opportunity to build something new.

The truth is, the biggest impediment in your life may very well be the self-imposed limitations in your own mind.

Eliminate your doubts with Bitcoin and become limitless.

This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.