The Reformation of Money: Bitcoin’s Whitepaper And Its Parallels To Martin Luther

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/the-bitcoin-whitepaper-and-its-parallels-to-martin-luther

It’s that time of year when the leaves are changing, the chill of winter is in the air, and many of us in the Western world are once again gearing up for the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are important holidays for many and one of the best times to gather with family. Still, I would argue that one of the most important holidays is only celebrated by .01 percent of the global population.

That’s right, I am talking about Whitepaper Day. It was 15 years ago today that one of the most important documents ever written was released to the world. The importance of this document is akin to Martin Luther, who published his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517.

Satoshi Nakamoto must have been a student of history because there is little chance this was a coincidence and Satoshi must have understood the significance of publishing the Whitepaper on this day. The parallels between the Whitepaper and the 95 Theses simply can’t be ignored.

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses directly challenged the established moral authority and teachings of the Catholic Church that were never questioned by the average person in those days due to blind obedience to the powers that be.

To the typical citizen back then, the Church had the final say on everything and was never to be questioned. This system worked for a very long time until, one day, people started asking questions.

Such meaningful changes to how people see the world, such as what occurred during the Reformation, don’t happen in a vacuum. There was a series of events that led people to this paradigm shift.

The Catholic Church in the 1500s operated more like a government than a religious institution. Popes in those days were in charge of massive bureaucracies that dealt with everything from forging alliances, building armies, and preying on the fears of their congregants to create a corrupt money-making enterprise.

Essentially, over the centuries, the Catholic Church diverged from the original mission of spreading the Gospel and obeying God’s commandments and became more focused on worldly issues of money and power.

The same paradigm shift about money and power is occurring right now and is present in the genesis block. “ The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” is more than an observation of the news: It is a realization that the global monetary system is irreparably broken.

Man has proven time and time again over the centuries that when given absolute power over the lives of others, even the most pious and well-meaning among us will become corrupt. It is a fatal flaw of the human condition. The only thing that we as humans can do is to mitigate this urge as much as possible.

This is what makes the Bitcoin Whitepaper such a profound and essential part of world history.

Money Makes The World Go Round

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Everybody knows, young and old, that money makes the world go round. This is why most people roll out of bed and head to a job they hate to earn little pieces of paper that their governments say have value. People do this because they want what the pieces of paper represent.

These pieces of paper represent time, labor, and desires for goods and services that can benefit their lives. Just like in the days of Martin Luther, the masses were content with the Church having all the power. People today are content with governments controlling the money printer. But a few are starting to ask questions and notice things.

The surging inflation of the last two years is becoming hard for the average consumer to ignore, and the burgeoning global debt crisis is an intractable problem that central banks can only solve by printing more political currency units, thus further devaluing them in a vicious debt spiral until monetary collapse.

The publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper and the widespread dissemination of this information has shown the world that there is a better way to create money, in a way that takes the power and temptation away from our so-called leaders to print new money at will for their own benefit. Bitcoin binds this innate temptation towards corruption in an unbreakable chain of positive incentives, decentralization, transparency, and hard-capped supply, enabled by the ingenious difficulty adjustment and backed by the world’s energy.

These features never existed in the barter system, the gold standard, or the fiat system we are living under right now. Today, we have the opportunity to remake the world with better money that works for everyone and not just the elite. This is a social experiment that has never been tried in human history and is one that we can ill afford not to try.

We have seen the results of other types of money. Why not try money that can’t be created out of thin air or confiscated by governments? What else do we have to lose? Our backs are against the wall, folks; it’s either freedom or tyranny. Liberty or death. Which way will humanity go?

On this glorious Whitepaper day, choose hope over despair. Stand up to the powers that be like Martin Luther did so long ago and change the world with each action you take.

Remember, “ It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

Bitcoin Needs Resilient Communities

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/bitcoin-needs-resilient-communities

The threat of online censorship is real and an ever-expanding threat to our freedom of speech and association. Before the creation of the Internet, the way most people connected was through their community. Places such as moose lodges, rotary clubs, union halls, car clubs, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts were the primary ways people in the same community could get together and organize around a shared sense of principles and purpose.

Those days seem quaint and from our very distant past. Meeting people this way was the norm until the early 1990s, which is not long ago when you think about it. With the creation of the Internet, people have relied less and less on in-person social networking and opted to start networking on the Internet.

It’s not like you can blame people for adopting a new tool that makes life easier. As a child of the ’90s, I remember using America Online (AOL) and the terrible 56K modem to connect to the Internet. Back then, you could literally hear your computer connecting to the Internet. If you are a millennial or older, you will know what I’m talking about. 🙂

I remember the first chatrooms when all you needed was a username and a chat you wanted to jump into. Completely unfiltered, raw, and new. No one knew what would become of this technology, but we knew it was cool and exciting. No online censors were filtering for “hateful” content or powerful algorithms designed to keep you hooked into chatrooms. It was just a tool to have fun and connect.

While the Internet has been a net positive for the world and society, it did come with some drawbacks. It has taken away from the sense of community we had before the Internet. You can look around and see everyone staring at their phones. No organic conversations are going on around you. Everyone is happy living in a digital prison of their own making.

If you want to know why everyone is feeling disconnected from each other even though we live in the most hyper-connected time in history, the Internet and smartphones are at the root of the problem.

Loneliness Epidemic

Believe it or not, America is in the midst of a loneliness epidemic. Nearly 50 percent of Americans have reported experiences of loneliness. Did you know the mortality impact of loneliness is similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day?

Within this 50 percent of Americans reporting feeling lonely are countless Bitcoiners. As early adopters of Bitcoin, it may seem like you are on an island alone with no one to talk to about Bitcoin and how it will change the world even though you are surrounded by people you know and love.

Bitcoin changes you and how you see the world to the point that it is hard to relate to pop culture or BS around the water cooler about last night’s game. You realize how f’d up the world is and understand what the government is doing to the money and society at large. Talking about sports or the latest show just seems trivial now, doesn’t it?

No one outside of the Bitcoin community can really relate to this worldview. It becomes very isolating if you don’t have a friend who can vibe with you on that level.

This is why many of us look for a community online for connection. Finding people who can relate to you on Bitcoin Twitter is much easier than finding someone in your local community. Bitcoin Twitter is cool and fun to interact with people there, but it’s not the same as sitting in the same room with a fellow Bitcoiner, drinking a beer, and nerding out about Bitcoin for a couple of hours. You CAN’T replace that in real-life experience with digital.

We need that in a real-life sense of community if Bitcoin is going to succeed in the long run. Strictly being a community that only exists online makes the movement easier to control, divide, surveil, and conquer. As the dollar’s value continues to hyperinflate into oblivion, the last thing the powers that be want is for strong communities of Bitcoiners banding together to show people how Bitcoin is a better money and a better monetary system to organize society.

When the government feels threatened by Bitcoin and the central bank digital currency comes to fruition, having the ability to transact locally with Bitcoiners will be incredibly important for you and your family. In addition to monetary tyranny, digital censorship will come down like a hammer on X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, etc., to control the narrative that society follows. The one thing that can’t be censored is face-to-face interactions. They can’t stop you from sharing your knowledge with others in your local communities.

Developing the social layer of Bitcoin is incredibly important and a mission that Orange Pill App has taken to heart.

The Social Layer Is Censorship Resistant

The social layer of Bitcoin is what makes Bitcoin, Bitcoin, if you think about it. Without the social layer, Bitcoin is nothing but a protocol, but when you overlay the social layer on top of Bitcoin, the real power of Bitcoin is to change how we interact with the world and each other.

While centralized platforms such as X (Twitter) have gotten us this far, it is time to embrace true freedom tech to avoid the all-encompassing censorship that continues to creep into our lives. Nostr is freedom tech that I urge Bitcoiners to use instead of centralized platforms like X, but getting on the Orange Pill App is the best way to build the social layer in your local community, thus making Bitcoin even stronger.

The government can’t stop you from talking to your friends, family, neighbors, and strangers about Bitcoin. When you meet people in real life, friendships tend to form, new business partnerships are created, and everything improves. When things get tough, this is the social network that you can genuinely depend upon. Sign up today; it’s super simple and easy to use. You can even host your own events! You will see that you are not the lone Bitcoiner in your area and start to make friends and new connections.

An orange pill a day keeps loneliness away!

You can find me on nostr: npub1cl4deuxsxk2ldqgq85q9xfn898253qjyfcrcnkqd2wdks7ppu43qn0gu8k

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

The Time To Leave X(Twitter) Is Now

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/the-time-to-leave-x-twitter-is-now

Bitcoin Twitter has been an exciting place over the last year as the Nostr and Ordinals protocols became the new up-and-coming protocols on the scene.

Ordinals exposed a fault line starting to form within the Bitcoin community. The ossifiers class that wants to keep Bitcoin the way it is versus the builders that want to explore and create new use cases for Bitcoin has turned into two distinct camps that will never reconcile their differences.

This has yet to happen with the NOSTR protocol. Capital has been pouring into development from some of the most well-known entities in Bitcoin. Primal, a nostr-focused client, recently secured $1 million in funding from Ten31 and Hivemind. Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, has pledged $10 million to spur the development of the nostr protocol. Despite these positive developments, there hasn’t been a mass exodus of Bitcoiners from X, formerly known as Twitter, to the freedom protocol. Why is that?

I’m shocked that most Bitcoiners have decided to stay behind the barbed wire fence of mass surveillance and have their data continually harvested for the benefit of Elon Musk.

The door to freedom is right before us, yet many decide to stay, but why?

For all the talk about incentives matter, the average Bitcoiner has fallen into the same social media trap that every other nocoiner has found themselves in. Here are a few reasons I believe Bitcoiners on X resist leaving the platform.

Network Effects Are A Hell Of A Drug

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This is one of the main reasons why the most prominent voices on Twitter have yet to make the jump to being nostr only. X has been around much longer than the nostr protocol and is used by millions of people around the globe. If you are a Bitcoiner who has spent years building a massive Twitter following, it must be tough to migrate to a new platform with a much smaller user base and requires some technical knowledge to set up. It is easy to understand the rationale for staying on Twitter. There is too much to lose from a business perspective to make the jump.

By making this decision, they are missing an opportunity to introduce their audience to nostr and the idea of freedom tech in general. Staying on Twitter doesn’t advance the mission of hyperbitcoinization because it perpetuates the usage of centralized communications platforms and undermines the message of freedom. Twitter might have a more extensive user base than Nostr, but when you look deeper at the numbers, it doesn’t mean anything.

According to Pew Research, 23 percent of Americans use X, which puts it in the middle of the pack of other social media platforms Americans use. Facebook and YouTube are favored by Americans more than Twitter.

In the same survey, 25 percent of users said they would not be on the platform a year from now. That’s a lot of people who will not learn about Bitcoin from X.

Usage of the app continues to decline year over year with no end in sight. Worldwide visits to Twitter.com dropped 7.3 percent year over year. Monthly active users on Android and iOS are down 15 percent for Android and 14 percent for iOS. X is on a slow-motion decline, so the argument that Bitcoiners should stay on X because it’s more effective for orange pilling nocoiners doesn’t hold water. Nocoiners are fleeing X in droves.

We also know social media companies are used to control and influence society worldwide. How can we advocate for separating money and state when we can’t even leave our Twitter accounts behind? Here are a few examples of the state using centralized social media platforms to its advantage:

X certainly doesn’t free humanity from the clutches of the surveillance state in any way; it traps us in a digital panopticon with no escape. If the goal is hyperbitcoinization, we should do everything possible to erode the state’s power. Staying on X empowers the government by giving them unlimited access to our data. You might lose followers and money in the short term, but it’s worth it. Short-term pain for long-term gain should be the priority. We are doing this for the kids, right?

Dopamine Hits Feelz Good

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Who doesn’t like posting a tweet and watching it go viral on Bitcoin Twitter? It gives you the massive dopamine rush that social media was designed for. This is why most of us keep coming back to Twitter in the first place. We want that dopamine mang! Think of Twitter as the drug dealer on the corner giving you all the dopamine you want. It’s available on your phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It has been clinically proven that when you receive a notification or retweet, your brain experiences an increased level of dopamine, further positively reinforcing the need to use social media. Did you know nearly 40 percent of those aged 18-22 reported feeling addicted to social media?

The engineers at X clearly understand this issue and have designed their platform to encourage people to stay there as long as possible. They are no fools. This is how they make money. I am guilty of scrolling away on X, but we all should be conscious of what they are trying to do.

Not saying nostr is the panacea to this problem, but the protocol doesn’t have the mind-altering algos that are trying to keep you addicted to the protocol. Is it fair to say that nostr is better for your mental health? Just throwing that out there.

We Need To Live Our Values

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This picture is the one that hit me the most and inspired me to write this article. As Bitcoiners, how can we rail against big tech and the surveillance state if we continue to use the tools the state uses to suppress free speech? How will we rally people to the cause of Bitcoin if we don’t live by the very ideas we espouse to the world?

Using Twitter is, but one compromise, but one leads to another and another. We all live in a world of trade-offs. We should all strive for a world where freedom tech is the norm and not an exception. In general, Bitcoin and freedom tech have allowed us to remake the world and orient it towards peace and cooperation and away from the war, death, and destruction that the psychopaths in political office want to inflict on the common man.

Remember that the rich and powerful are not on our side. I urge all Bitcoiners to use nostr and slowly transition away from big tech because you never know when you will lose access to your data and all your hard work.

Here is my pubkey if you want to chat using freedom tech! I look forward to seeing you over there! Escape to freedom.

npub1cl4deuxsxk2ldqgq85q9xfn898253qjyfcrcnkqd2wdks7ppu43qn0gu8k

Bitcoiners Must Appeal To America’s Increasingly-Independent Voters

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/bitcoin-needs-the-support-of-political-independents

This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.

The United States has two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. These parties are basically diametrically opposed to the other. As of late, both sides have drifted to the extreme edges of the political spectrum to a point where they can’t agree on a basic set of facts about America. Both parties essentially live in two different worlds and can hardly speak to one another. This is what political polarization looks like.

This polarization has resulted in serious problems for the country. For many of us, nothing ever seems to change from administration to administration. I wonder if anyone can anyone honestly say with a straight face that things haven’t ultimately stayed the same, from presidents George Bush to Joe Biden.

The United States government is still overspending to the tune of trillions of dollars per year and stealing the future from our kids and grandkids to pay for social security, medicare and military bases overseas which are needed to protect the dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

The people at the top of this pyramid are incentivized to keep the system going for as long as possible. This is why Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Biden all march to the same drum once they get into office. The ultimate goal is to keep the money printer going for as long as possible because, once the music stops, it’s all over for the rich and powerful. They will be blamed for the calamity that will unfold.

Many Americans understand this dynamic at some level and are surely tired of the partisan warfare, preferring a government that works and is not too intrusive. This bears out in a recent poll conducted by Gallup. The poll found that 49% of Americans identify as political independents. Simultaneously, 25% identify as Republicans and 25% identify as Democrats.

Moving On From The Politically Entrenched

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According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 260 million people in the U.S. are over the age of 18 and therefore eligible to vote. If you take half of this number and put those people in the “politically-independent” camp, then that’s 130 million people who must be dissatisfied with both political parties and are looking for new solutions to their problems.

Will these politically-independent voters become Bitcoiners overnight? No, but with the right message, I think many of them can learn and begin to understand how powerful Bitcoin is and the problems it can solve. Bitcoin smashes the false, “red versus blue” narrative into a million pieces, never to be reconstituted again.

As such, the political climate in the U.S. today offers a massive opportunity for Bitcoiners to speak to a group of people ready to hear the message of hope that Bitcoin brings to the world.

For the other 50% of voters who are more-deeply entrenched in the narratives that the Democrats and Republicans are disseminating, honestly, I don’t know if they will take the time to understand Bitcoin. I hope they do, for their own sakes, but I don’t have much faith that they will. They are too caught up in the red versus blue dichotomy to see that it’s a false narrative and that both primary parties collude to keep third parties off the ballot across the U.S.

But what about followers of a third political party, whose ideal might more closely align with Bitcoin? I conducted a Twitter poll to investigate the political leanings of the average Bitcoiner. I had a feeling that the respondents would lean heavily Libertarian. The results confirmed what I thought to be true:

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This was just an impromptu poll on Twitter, but I would suspect that the larger numbers wouldn’t vary too much from these results. It is probably safe to say that many within the Libertarian party either own bitcoin or have heard about it. If the U.S. were full of Libertarians, we would have massive adoption right now, but we don’t, and that is because people who identify as Libertarians represent just a small fraction of the population.

It should be no surprise that Libertarians make up a tiny portion of the electorate but make up a large majority of Bitcoin holders. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen, the creators of Bitcoin content tend to make content that appeals to the Libertarian crowd, not to the vast majority of Americans, many of whom are politically independent.

The bottom line is that Bitcoin adoption among hardcore cypherpunks, anarchists and Libertarians is essentially tapped out. If mass Bitcoin adoption in America is going to move forward, our messaging must change to appeal to more middle-of-the-road types of open-minded people. As Americans wake up to the problems with our political dichotomy, these increasingly-independent thinkers are who we need coming into Bitcoin.

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

The Ordinals-Focused Infighting Is Bad For Bitcoin

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/as-bitcoiners-argue-about-ordinals-they-are-losing-the-plot

This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a disappointing trend that has divided the Bitcoin community into two warring factions. On one side, the “Bitcoin transaction maximalists” believe that Bitcoin Layer 1 should be used purely to process transactions. On the other side of the spectrum, the “Ordinal enjoooyers” want to use Bitcoin’s Layer 1 to inscribe arbitrary data and generally want to experiment with the base layer.

I personally don’t have a dog in this fight. I think both sides make compelling arguments for their use cases. The purpose of this article isn’t to say one is right and the other side is wrong, it is to raise the alarm about what happens if the infighting continues and how this could hinder the movement.

Sympathy For Bitcoin Transaction Maximalists

The current schism in the Bitcoin community appeared right when Ordinals showed up on the scene in January 2023. The Ordinals protocol essentially allowed for NFTs on Bitcoin. Until then, NFTs were generally left to the Ethereum crowd and their ilk. Ordinals changed that dynamic and brought the creators who were minting NFTs on Ethereum to Bitcoin, and this new influx brought new developers and, of course, higher transaction fees.

As we all know, the Bitcoin blockchain is not optimized for speed. This is why we have the Lightning Network and other Layer 2 solutions. The purpose of mainchain Bitcoin is to transfer value ultra securely and consistently. The Bitcoin network has an uptime of 99.98%, which is a remarkable achievement. This is exactly what we want in a base money that can be trusted: not to debase over time.

When new participants come into the Bitcoin ecosystem and want to transact on the network, inevitably, transaction fees are going to go up. It comes down to the simple issue of supply and demand. With every block, there is only a limited amount of block space, so users have to compete to get their transaction into the next block.

This leads to users getting outbid and having their transaction action languish in the mempool or priced out of sending a transaction in the first place.

As someone who is lucky enough to live in the Western world, this isn’t a huge deal for me because I can wait for transaction fees to come back down. Many users in the global south don’t have that same luxury.

They are using Bitcoin as a monetary network to conduct day-to-day business, so Layer 1 fee spikes are a detriment to their daily survivals. This is where I am sympathetic to the argument that Bitcoin should be primarily used for transactions.

Sympathy For Bitcoin Ordinal Enjoooyers

But the rules are the rules, and Ordinals follow the parameters of Bitcoin. Since Ordinals launched, there has undoubtedly been an explosion of activity on the Bitcoin network. Before Ordinals, transactions could be sent for pennies, but after Ordinals, fees spiked to over $19.20 in May 2023. This represents a 560% increase.

Obviously, this is a massive spike in fees, but on the flip side, it has shown the Bitcoin community that fees can replace the block subsidy in time. With block 788,695, for instance, there was 6.7 BTC in fees, versus the standing block subsidy of 6.25 BTC.

Ultimately this is what we want to happen, but from what I can venture to guess, Bitcoin transaction maximalists didn’t want this to happen so early in the Bitcoin adoption cycle. Considering how early we are, I can see why they would be upset with the Ordinal enjoooyers.

Many of these maximalists think Ordinals enjoooyers are nothing but degenerate altcoiners, bringing their garbage to the Bitcoin network and clogging it up with monkey pics and d**k butts. Fair point, there is some of that going on. But there is nothing that can be done about it.

Bitcoin is for everyone, right? It is permissionless, and people can do whatever they want with Bitcoin as long as it doesn’t violate the rules.

But this tension in Bitcoin right now is creating two distinct camps in Bitcoin, which is sad to see because we should be united in the mission of getting the world on a Bitcoin standard.

We Are The Emissaries For Bitcoin

The division between the pro-Ordinal and anti-Ordinal camps mainly existed on Bitcoin Twitter, but it definitely came to a head at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami.

If you watched the “Great Ordinals Debate,” you saw the tension from the get go. Both camps, represented by speakers on stage, came out swinging against each other, accusing one another of harming Bitcoin and Bitcoin adoption:

The debate came off as childish, and the arguing over BRC-20 tokens was little more than a sideshow. This schism was the front that was presented for the world to see, four guys arguing over something the general public doesn’t understand. Perception is everything right now, and if the goal is to onboard billions of people around the world, arguing over wizard pictures and obscure protocols isn’t the way to go.

In my view, this debate highlighted the struggle for the soul of Bitcoin right now. What does it mean to be a Bitcoiner? How should the network be used? Do Bitcoiners get to tell other Bitcoiners how to use the network?

These are questions that will probably continue to come up as long as Bitcoin exists and other use cases are created for Bitcoin.

I don’t like the infighting on Bitcoin Twitter or at the conference as it makes the Bitcoin industry look bad and like it isn’t ready for the big leagues. How can bitcoin become the world’s reserve currency when we don’t have our own house in order? Don’t s**t where you eat, guys. We are the emissaries for Bitcoin, and we should always be cautious of how Bitcoin is shown to the world.

The mission of Bitcoin is to offer a better alternative to the world and take away the power from the people who corrupt society with fiat currency. The powers that be won’t take Bitcoin seriously until we get serious numbers of people adopting it. If we want to change the world, the community needs to stay focused and presentable to a wider public. Ditch the wizard hats, and turn off the laser eyes. We are all on the same team and working toward the same goal. Let’s not forget what brought us to Bitcoin.

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

As The U.S. Faces Default On $31 Trillion Debt, The Case For Bitcoin Grows Stronger

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/us-31-trillion-debt-makes-bitcoin-case


This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.

If you follow U.S. politics, you understand that the country is on the brink of defaulting on its massive $31 trillion debt.

At the crux of the issue is that there are Republicans in one corner, who control the House of Representatives with a slim 222 to 213 majority. In the other corner, the U.S. Senate and the White House, under Joe Biden, are controlled by Democrats.

Both parties are diametrically opposed to what the other wants. Republicans want to significantly cut spending in order to raise the debt limit for a year. Democrats want a “clean” debt ceiling bill passed without strings attached. As you can see, both parties’ starting positions are nowhere near each other. Ultimately, this has turned into a game of chicken based on who will blink first. It’s all very tiring.

Is this the way a government should be run? It is absolutely crazy that these leaders would risk defaulting on money that has already been spent. This is like if you or I whipped out a credit card, went crazy buying all kinds of stuff, and did not make the monthly payment at the end of the month.

The government has been able to run up the debt for a long time because it has had willing participants, such as pension funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and regular joes who lent them money by buying treasury bills because they believed they would be paid back with interest.

This has been the case for a long time, but now this arrangement is being called into question with the will they, won’t they bull going on in Congress right now.

Seriously Broke

Are these politicians so detached from reality to think that, once the debt limit is breached and people stop getting paid what is owed to them, people will go right back to loaning them money?

If they do, they will demand even higher interest rates. The government can’t even afford the rates we have now! What happens if the borrowing cost for the government goes to 10% or 15%? Ain’t nothing getting funded; I can tell you that much.

Check out this: The federal government spent a record $475 billion on interest payments in fiscal year 2022. Interest costs grew 30% last year and are poised to jump another 35% this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) own estimate!

The CBO believes the federal government will spend $640 billion in interest payments this year alone. Is this the debt spiral that James Lavish has been talking about lately? It sure as hell seems like it to me.

We are on a slow-motion collision course with the economic reality that you can’t print and borrow money without consequences. Inflation rears its ugly head first, and then people realize the money they are being paid back with has diminished purchasing power. Once people know they are losing money when they lend it to the federal government, it’s game over.

This debt-ceiling debate will highlight the dysfunction of the federal government and its inability to keep its promises. This is what surprises me about the politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Do they really want to show this level of incompetence to the world? It’s like watching your family fight in the front yard. It’s embarrassing as hell and will change the perception that your neighbors have about your family.

A debt default will change the perception of the U.S. from a trusted payer to a debt junkie unable to pay its debts.

How Is Default Good For Bitcoin?

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The silver lining to this whole debt-ceiling debacle is that it’s going to throw rocket fuel on the price of bitcoin. As people see that their money is no longer “safe” with the federal government, they will seek an alternative to U.S. treasuries. Undoubtedly, some of the dollars that would have been earmarked for treasuries will flow into bitcoin.

New entrants to bitcoin will see that it is the safe haven asset they were looking for the whole time. There is no counterparty risk, and the supply can’t be diluted.

During the last contentious debate over the debt ceiling, under the Obama administration, the price of bitcoin went from $13 and ended the year at $755. It also reached an all-time high of $1,163 that year. Coincidence? Maybe, but it does make sense for people to protect their wealth during times of potential calamity such as a default.

So, I say to the politicians running the government right now: Go ahead and keep playing these games. Default or don’t default because, in the end, it doesn’t matter; you still lose. You have led the world to ruin, and it will be up to Bitcoin to save humanity from itself. The debt-ceiling debacle only accelerates the inevitable.

And to the Bitcoiners: Keep stacking them sats like your lives depend on it, because one day they might.

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

The 2024 Presidential Election Could Make Or Break Bitcoin In The U.S.

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/us-needs-a-bitcoin-president-in-2024


This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.

The race for the 2024 U.S. presidential election is starting to kick into gear, featuring some of the same cast of characters from the last few elections. On the Democratic side, you have Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy and Marianne Williamson suggesting they will run. Then, Former President Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy are on the other side of the aisle.

If you have been following the race so far, you might know that Trump seems to be walking away with the nomination before the process even starts next year. If he ends up being the nominee, we will likely get a re-run of 2020, where we have two men over 70 years old who both think that they know what is right for the country. Who else is tired of having baby boomers running the show? I am, to be honest.

Boomer Presidents Don’t Understand Bitcoin

Baby boomers, you’ve had their time in the sun. It’s time to leave the stage and let the younger generations of leaders have a chance to lead the country. We need leaders who understand the emerging challenges facing America as we speak.

We need leaders who thoroughly understand economic policy and the value of innovation in the financial space. For instance, the baby boomers at the top of the ticket don’t have the depth or the capacity to understand the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Bitcoin presents to America and the American people.

Biden and Trump have been openly hostile towards Bitcoin because they believe in the supremacy of the fiat dollar system. The time is now to elect someone with a bold vision for the future, who understands that the way that the entitlement systems are set up and the dollar’s role in the world isn’t sustainable over the long term.

If America stays on its current path, it will only lead to chaos, lawlessness, and a lower standard of living for everyone. Is this the future that you want for your children and grandchildren? 2024 is our chance to start a new journey toward freedom, the rule of law and the opportunity to make something of yourself, regardless of your station in life.

Why We Need A Bitcoiner As President

It has been reported recently that the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, is close to a decision on whether to run for president next year. For those who don’t know him, he is one of the most pro-Bitcoin politicians in the country. He has actively courted Bitcoiners to come to Miami and help make it the Bitcoin capital of the world. So far, he has largely succeeded in doing that.

But in addition to making the U.S. an epicenter for Bitcoin innovation, having a Bitcoiner like Suarez as president will, critically, stop the emergence of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in America dead in its tracks. If Biden or Trump is elected, it is almost certain that some form of CBDC will be activated in America. With the deployment of a CBDC, you can kiss your financial freedom goodbye. You can kiss your privacy goodbye.

You will no longer have autonomy over what you can eat or how far you can travel. You will have a social credit score, as has been implemented in China. Is this the type of life that you want? We have to strive for a better life.

Just recently, the rails for a CBDC were introduced to the public. FedNow, as it is called, will be operational by July 2023. It is said that it will be used to speed up payments between customers and businesses, which may be accurate at the moment. However, as with any system, it will likely evolve into something vastly different than what it was intended to be.

Can we really trust a government that has given us the Patriot Act, PRISM and now the proposed RESTRICT Act to resist total control over what you spend your money on?

The RESTRICT Act, for instance, put forth by none other than Bitcoin-hating Senator Elizabeth Warren, has the potential to harm Bitcoiners in the United States with its overly-broad language about digital communication tools being a threat to national security. While the overt target may be TikTok, nothing is stopping regulators from using this law against Bitcoin in the future.

Looking past this smokescreen, you can see that they are building their case to the public: Hilary Clinton, international regulators and the U.S. Treasury have all warned about the dangers of cryptocurrency.

Now, put this in the context of $31 trillion in U.S. national debt, unsustainable entitlement spending, a world slowly moving away from the dollar, high gas prices and uncontrollable inflation. Then it becomes clear that they will close off the exits to Bitcoin before most people learn about how to use them. They want to herd the masses into a CBDC for a “great reset” of the monetary system. This is coming if we don’t start electing people who understand that Bitcoin is our last chance to escape a sinking ship.

Mayor Saurez gets it, and if any other politicians in America understand Bitcoin, it is time that we support them and get more Bitcoiners in office. The dollar is the Titanic, and Bitcoin is the lifeboat. Will enough people get on to be saved? Time will tell and the upcoming presidential election could be a final chance.

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

Orange Pill App Is Accelerating Hyperbitcoinization In Real Life

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/orange-pill-app-joins-bitcoin-in-person

Orange Pill App brings Bitcoiners together, demonstrates demand for adoption to local businesses and propels the bitcoin standard.


This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner who has an Orange Pill App profile.

The team over at Orange Pill App is breaking new ground toward Bitcoin adoption on a peer-to-peer level. But if you don’t know anything about this platform, here is a quick rundown:

It’s an app available on iOS or Android that helps you find local Bitcoiners in your area. How often have you felt like you are the only Bitcoiner in town? I know I have plenty of time. Wouldn’t it be nice to make new friends that love Bitcoin as much as you do in real life?

This is what the Orange Pill App is all about: building friendships and building a thriving Bitcoin community one meetup or connection at a time. As of this writing, there are thousands of users.

Users can list their Bitcoin-focused events and attract attendees from their areas. Source: Orange Pill App

In addition to helping you to find new Bitcoiners in your area, Orange Pill App is also on a mission to orange pill businesses. How much better would it be if we could spend sats at our local bars, hotels or restaurants? That would be awesome, right?

It definitely would add some rocket fuel toward the goal of achieving a bitcoin standard. To make this happen, Orange Pill App has partnered with BTCMap.org to use demand-side pressure to orange pill merchants en masse.

When this new feature is launched, the app will be able to plug the number of its users into BTC Map to show how many Bitcoiners are in a given area. This data will be shown to business owners so they can understand if there is an active group of Bitcoiners ready to spend sats at their establishments.

This is a win for small business owners, because they can instantly gain new customers without advertising. Bitcoiners are eager to spend sats and support businesses that accept bitcoin. One thing I understand about Bitcoiners is they are loyal and believe in Bitcoin to the core of their beings.

Users can find Bitcoin-focused events happening near them. Source: Orange Pill App.

This is a win for Bitcoin educators as well. Instead of spending valuable time explaining Bitcoin’s tenets to each individual business owner, those owners can see the demand with their own eyes.

And, once one business starts accepting bitcoin and seeing results, word will spread like wildfire among other business owners. It’s all about creating a network effect at the business level.

The road to hyperbitcoinization will take different methods and vectors to reach the masses. This could be a highly-effective method of orange pilling the people who we need to create a new Bitcoin-based economy!

My hat is off to the team over at Orange Pill App. I can’t wait to see what else it comes out with in the coming months and years. Remember: stacks friends who stack sats!

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

In The Face Of Banking Crisis, The Bitcoin Price Rise Is Proving Us Right

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/on-the-bitcoin-price-in-banking-crisis

The bitcoin price, rising in the face of an ongoing banking crisis, appears to vindicate what Bitcoiners have known all along.


This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.

The events of the last few weeks have spooked investors and regional banks alike. More importantly, the people who go to work and make the economy run are starting to question whether their bank deposits are safe. Fears of more bank runs after the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature Bank, Silvergate Bank and Credit Suisse are rampant.

And these fears are not unfounded, if you ask me. For instance, when you turn on the TV and see that First Republic needs a $30 billion bailout to stay afloat, it doesn’t inspire confidence in the banking system. And more banking chaos could come. Legendary investor Michael Burry believes that two more banks could be in trouble in Comerica Bank and U.S Bancorp. Essentially, these banks are in the same position that SVB was in. The likelihood of more bank bailouts seems to be increasing by the day.

To top it all off, federal regulators are studying the possibility of insuring all bank deposits in the entire banking system. There are approximately $19 trillion in bank deposits in the banking system. Any talk of insuring the bank deposits of every bank in America is insane and outright dangerous. Talk about throwing more fuel on the fire. I think this would make people more worried about their money and spur more bank runs. The government and the Federal Reserve are playing with fire.

The Federal Reserve is reacting to situations instead of being clear headed and planning ahead. This will lead to overreaction and implementing policies that could do more harm than good. It’s crazy that the fate of the entire economy is in the hands of people like Janet Yellen, Jerome Powell and Joe Biden.

Do you sleep like a baby at night knowing these people are in charge of the economic fate of the planet? How we got to this place is well documented, and there is no reason to go into detail, but taking a step back makes you realize what a precarious situation we are in right now.

Source

Thank God For Bitcoin

I want to be the first to say in chaotic times like this: “Thank God we have Bitcoin.” We have certainty that our money is our money. There is no third party that is going to f*ck with it and inflate its value away. There are no third parties that can stop you from accessing it. No one can stop you from spending it on what you want or sending it to whomever you choose.

For the first time in history, the power to transact is truly in the hands of the people. Bitcoin is the most innovative monetary technology ever created. This realization is starting to dawn on people as more people flock to the safety of Bitcoin during times of turbulence.

The bitcoin price has ripped higher on the news of these recent bank collapses. As of this writing, in the last 14 days alone, the price of bitcoin has shot up 28.8 percent. This is a massive move in a matter of two weeks. Is it safe to say that bitcoin is becoming a risk-off asset in the eyes of the average consumer? It is certainly trending that way.

Bitcoiners already know this to be true; we are simply waiting for everyone to play catch-up in real time. As of the writing of this article, the price is just north of $28,000, and in all likelihood, won’t stay there for long if news of more bank failures comes to pass.

As a Bitcoiner, it is nice for more people to realize what we have come to about Bitcoin and start to save their wealth in bitcoin. On the other hand, I didn’t want it to happen in such a way that it endangers the entire global economy.

Some believe bitcoin will reach $1 million in the next 90 days! What a time to be alive, right?

Source

Events will happen the way they are supposed to happen; the best thing we can do as Bitcoiners is to continue to spread the word about Bitcoin to anyone who will listen and continue to stack sats accordingly.

“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.”

Vladimir Lenin.

Not that I like quoting dead communists, but I feel like this is appropriate for the times we are living in. 2023 could end up being a consequential year for Bitcoin and the globe. Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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

Bitcoiners Shouldn’t Fight Solar, They Should Embrace Resilience

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/culture/bitcoin-must-embrace-solar-power

Though Bitcoiners often fight solar power as merely another ESG attack vector, it could make Bitcoin more resilient and decentralized.

This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.

I don’t know where you come down on the solar energy debate, but whether you are for or against investing in more solar power is irrelevant. Regardless of how you feel about green energy, installing rooftop solar panels has become a prevalent choice for homes, schools and business owners over the last 10 to 15 years, and installations don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Did you know nearly 4% of U.S. homes have installed solar panels? This isn’t a small number and it will continue to increase, especially with the Inflation Reduction Act providing subsidies for solar energy.

A study by Princeton University found that added solar capacity could increase from 10 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 to five times as much by 2024 and 100 GW per year by 2030.

As you can see, solar energy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So, instead of being hostile to solar energy, should Bitcoiners think about changing their position on solar? I think it might be time to reconsider.

Hostility Toward Solar

In Bitcoin circles, solar is often synonymous with ESG, a set of guidelines used by socially-conscious investors to determine how companies impact the environment and communities where they operate. Sounds harmless right?

But if you are in the know, you understand that behind the nice-sounding platitudes, there is an agenda being enacted by the elites in society to control how much energy others can use, how much meat they can eat, how many miles they can travel and so on. It’s a very twisted way of looking at the world.

This worldview is unsurprising because these elites are used to getting their way and using the Cantillon effect to their advantage. For that reason, many Bitcoiners associate solar power and ESG considerations with the fundamental problems of the legacy economy.

But the real question we face as Bitcoiners and as free people of the world is: What can we do to secure our freedom in an environment of increased surveillance and raging inflation that is stealing our wealth and our time?

The answer is that we need to acquire our own energy production.

Personal Energy Sovereignty

The one thing that Bitcoin has taught me is that decentralization is critically vital to the resilience of any system, especially energy and Bitcoin. Centralization of power makes a population easier to control and manipulate.

Take a look at what Ukraine is going through as concerted attacks by Russia attempt to knock out its energy grid. This is only possible because its energy grid is centralized, just like every other countries in the western world. Centralization of energy production may make energy cheaper to produce, but it is still a central point of failure that any adversary could exploit to their advantage.

Decentralizing energy production is the only way to make a nation resilient to attack and keep the lights on in an emergency. And rooftop solar is the only technology that could do this at scale and relatively quickly.

Rooftop solar unshackles the individual from the central power grid, promotes self sovereignty and turns an energy buyer into an energy seller. Being self sovereign is where rooftop solar and the values of Bitcoin align perfectly.

Solar Plus Bitcoin Mining Equals Freedom

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average home in America uses about 886 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy per month. Solar installation costs vary by location, but on average, you can expect to pay around $18,000 to $25,000. Using a website such as Project Sunroof, you can enter your address and see how much a solar array would cost for your home. Here is what I got back when I entered my address:


As you can see, the potential savings are pretty significant. The money saved with rooftop solar can buy more bitcoin, instead of paying a utility company. More bitcoin, you say? Yes, please!

And the savings aren’t even the best part, my friends. When you add a Bitcoin miner to the mix, now you are really cooking with gas! Rooftop solar is notorious for being unpredictable and oversupplying the grid with power during the day when demand is lower. Utility companies often will pay you for this oversupply of energy, but don’t pay you very much.

For example, in Arizona, utility companies will pay you up to 9.4 cents per kWh of excess power. The kicker is that this rate has the potential to go down 10% every year. This, no doubt, is meant to stop people from putting solar panels on their roofs, thus limiting self sovereignty and independence from the grid.

So, instead of selling your excess power to the utility company, you can use the excess energy to mine Bitcoin! Which one sounds like a better deal? Stacking sats with the sun or getting paid back with a dirty, depreciating, fiat currency?

Not only are you monetizing the excess energy that your home produces with solar panels, but home mining with them also decentralizes Bitcoin mining even further, thus making the network more robust and resilient over the long term.

Now, envision this at scale: Millions of homes with solar power and Bitcoin miners hashing away. This is the kind of future I want to live in. I could honestly see solar companies in the future offering Bitcoin mining as a value-add product. It’s a no brainer if you ask me.

Rooftop solar aligns with the ethos of Bitcoin and should be embraced by Bitcoiners.

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