Something astounding is happening right in front of us. A new credit system is emerging and it’s under the control of….no one. It’s growing by leaps and bounds and putting credit into the hands of the people directly without the need for a middleman. People are feeling hope for the first time in years. Cryptocoins are offering people a clear choice, a new future that they had only dreamed of. Nothing is forced on anyone, no one is forced to accept these new coins. The coins could go to zero and you could lose everything — people know that, but they also know what they are getting from what they have in their pocket right now. So far it’s already created quite a few millionaires and probably a few billionaires and if current trends continue, it will have exponential growth.
What we call money is actually credit that is created by banks when they lend money — it is someone’s debt! Deposit $1,000 in a bank and that bank is legally able to lend out $9,000. Where did the $9,000 come from? It was created out of thin air and someone has to pay it back, with interest, so new credit has to be constantly created to pay the interest or the system will implode. Charging interest for something that doesn’t exist is the definition of usury. That $9,000 is spent into the system, just like money. The “money” in circulation is actually someone else’s debt, therefore it’s a form of CREDIT! This is of course perfectly legal, as long as a bank is doing it.
Crypto coins, on the other hand, are created in two ways, they can be issued by mining; coins are generated all at once in the beginning or self-issued through a mining process over time (like Bitcoin). They can also be “forked”, where an identical copy of a coin is created with a new name and the total coin supply is immediately doubled. Creating a new coin from cloned code is simple as well — there are many derivatives of Bitcoin that have minor code changes, these include Litecoin, FLASH, and many others. For these reasons, the supply of coins will grow exponentially. Each coin can have different features, some have low inflation, some have zero inflation. Some have privacy features, other coins offer fast transactions. There are thousands of coins.
With a cryptocoin, there is no debt possible — it’s impossible to have a negative balance in a blockchain — therefore cryptocoins are truly a debt free system of exchange. A coin doesn’t really exist in any physical sense, it’s a private key that can access a ledger entry and transfer any value to another ledger entry. It’s a form of communication, there is a sender and receiver, the only difference is the message contains something of value that unlocks something else.
While creating coins is easy, making them valuable is not so easy. What makes a coin valuable? People need the coin to do something, it has utility because it is needed for some function like storing a file on a computer or using a service, or it can be exchanged for other coins. People have to want a coin. Bitcoin currently has the greatest marketcap and utility because it’s needed to purchase virtually any other cryptocoin on exchanges. Like buying oil, you’ll need dollars and if you want to buy any of the thousands of cryptocoins, you will need Bitcoin and that’s why Bitcoin is currently number one. Keep in mind, people are free to use or ignore a cryptocoin, if they need to pay taxes or buy food, they’re required to use legal tender fiat currencies.
The supply of something and it’s value are not necessarily related, it’s possible to create synergies from creation of additional coins and substantial value is created. The recent fork of Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash is a perfect example. A blockchain fork is when an exact copy is made of a blockchain and then software is updated and presto! a new version of that blockchain and coin are created — the supply is doubled. If you owned a Bitcoin on August 2nd, 2017, you automatically owned a Bitcoin Cash coin. There were roughly 16 million Bitcoin Cash coins, an exact mirror for the number of original Bitcoins. Because the software update was successful for both coins, at the moment of the fork, there was an instant creation of several billion dollars in value, because Bitcoin went up a bit and Bitcoin Cash traded as high as $800, it currently has the #3 marketcap at $8B. In this case, 1+1 does = 3. Not just anyone could pull this off, all the Chinese miners and exchanges and many exchanges around the world supported Bitcoin Cash. Because of the value creation, exchanges were forced to carry Bitcoin Cash, which was something fun to watch the exchanges that originally didn’t want to support the coin scramble so their users wouldn’t sue them for the coins. Rumors were that up to $20 billion of Chinese state funds were available to promote and ensure success for Bitcoin Cash and the Chinese Ethereum coin NEO. Those are two coins worth watching, I own them both.
ICO’s are an efficient way to promote coins, finance technological development and rapidly build coin value. ICO’s make use of a value creation loop where people who own appreciated cryptocoins like Bitcoins and Ethereum invest their appreciated coins into a project to buy new coins typically issued at a discount. The cost basis in these appreciated cryptocoins creates a gambler’s winning edge because losses to these participants are a tiny fraction of the face value of the coin being invested — they paid a small fraction for the coin they are investing. They keep all the gains, but the losses are not directly out of pocket, they are merely lost opportunities. This is creating exponential credit into the cryptocoin system as new coins finance new coins and this will continue until investor returns diminish with oversupply or bad deals. This has quite a way to run if you believe my thesis that there is another $1 trillion entering the cryptocoin asset class in the next 18 months.
Contrast the issuance of cryptocoins to the credit banking monopoly currently enjoyed by nearly all the world. All systems have what I’ll call the First Coin Problem. How do you determine who gets a newly issued coin? With Bitcoin, the people who do the work mining and securing the network get the new coins — that seems fair. With an ICO, the coins are issued via an auction process and to the founders, like options at a tech company, they have to work to get coins. It’s not so clear how the central bankers issue their coins and who gets to spend them first. If it costs just over a dime to print a $100 bill, someone is getting $99.90 in free value when new bills are first spent. In an economy that is completely reliant on credit, whomever gets the First Coin has a significant competitive advantage.
As Senator Bernie Sanders discovered in the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank lent at least $16 trillion to other multi-national banks and corporations. The full GAO report is HERE. This is probably the tip of the iceberg — you can be sure the owners of the central banks will take care of themselves, their banks and companies, as well as their government clients.
Issuance of credit by anyone is an exciting idea to entrepreneurs and individuals, but not everyone sees it that way. Neel Kashkari, an American banker and politician who is also the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said:
“The problem I have with bitcoin is while it says by design that you’re limiting the number of bitcoins that can be created, it doesn’t stop me from creating Neelcoin, or somebody from creating Bobcoin or Marycoin or Susiecoin.”
That’s exactly the point of Bitcoin, to put the power of credit creation back into the hands of the people. No one is forced to accept a Neelcoin, Bobcoin, Marycoin or Susiecoin, they are not legal tender fiat currency and they might fill the need of a tiny niche that no banking system cares about. I might have a personal relationship with Bob or Susie and I want to support what they are doing by accepting their coin for work or trading things. Convincing others to accept your coin is not easy, a lot of hard work goes into establishing a network of people who use a cryptocoin after all.
A friend told me about a dream she had. “There was a mountain of giant gold coins that were pouring away from the bottom. Above this mountain was a giant red shield protecting it, but the red shield was shattered.” Maybe the red shield really is shattered and now is the time for cryptocoins to shine.
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