Many times the rise of a new phenomena can be better explained not by what it is but by what it is not. And so it is with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and the various remainder of crypto currencies and crypto tokens that are now part of our universe: For Bitcoin et al are not money as we know it, and this is precisely why crypto markets will keep rising, and its power growing until …
… all traditional money has been replaced.
Crypto currency as an alternative
Yes, the block-chain technology is a great invention – or should we say a discovery – but what makes this phenomena special is not that it is new or innovative, but rather that it offers a clear and present alternative to what traditionally we think of as ‘money’.
An explanation will follow. Bear with us. For the current existing money with which we do business is so devoid of a real value that we can best say what is best said in French at the Casino table when you can no longer raise the stakes any higher: Rien Ne Va Plus!
For our current monetary system is based upon debt and credit creation and NOT on asset or wealth creation. It assumes (oddly) that our central currency reserve system in its infinite wisdom and independence should be granted the power to, hmm, ‘create’ money by issuing debt certificates through our local banking systems by simply adding a set of numbers under a certain coded book entry. In other words, the creation of ‘money’ out of thin air.
So how does that have any value? It doesn’t but you and many others will believe that it does because your government (mind you, that is not the central bank now who starts this perverse process) TELLS you that it does. Because you trust your own government don’t you? All good citizens do. And you are no exception.
But that is just the start of the racket. Because now your government wants you to work for this money and you are going to be paid with what is essentially worthless commercial paper, a piece of debt created from hot air by some functionaries who sit in what calls itself a central bank. For which government today has enough in assets to pay all their debts? None, except the oil economies, and even they support this massive racket by all doing business in petrodollars.
So you are now paid and you work all your life for worthless debt instruments issued vainly by your mysterious ‘central bank’ (which is independent and not transparent but essentially a private bank but that is for another story) believing you are getting something of real value in return for your real efforts, and if that was not enough already now your own government is asking you to pay ‘taxes’ (both VAT + income) over something for which you worked which essentially has no value. Wow.
And to add the insult to injury of course your local banks are asking you for fees to have access to your own ‘money’ thus created and kept. Let this sink in. Your bank is asking you to pay contributions and fees for something which only they can manage but which never had asset value from the start and over which you now have to pay taxes and banking fees. And this is supposed to be YOUR money. They call this money. But a real currency it is not, for even though it is a medium of exchange, and a measure of accounting by law, it is NOT a store of real value.
Dollars, pounds, and euros currency they are not. Because your banks are part of a money creation racket run by governments. Without the banks the government create-money-out-of-nothing scheme would not function, and governments could no longer pay their bills for your social services or housing migrants for free, or starting wars or what have you, all these bills would remain unpaid, and what is more neither the banks nor the government would still be able to control the flow of this mysterious force called money (again money technically is defined as a medium of exchange, a measure of accounting, and a store of value), so that they no longer would know what all their good citizens are up to, where they spend it, or what kind of transactions they would perform during the day etc. etc. etc., but ask yourself – is this really the government’s or your bank’s business? Or, as long as you stick and abide by the laws of the country, is it only yours and counterparty’s business? Thus in effect, our monetary system based upon debt creation in the current form is a form of technocratic social control by governments and banks. A neo-capitalist framework to control the citizenry, just like most of the internet today has become. Liberty it is not. Trust it is not. Independence it is not.
So you may probably ask then if there is anything worse than this fractional reserve banking money creating scheme by banks and governments which we are currently using. Well here it comes, hold on. Because there is something worse still.
It’s called LEVERAGE. For if creating things from nothing by mysterious non-governmental entities is not enough, banks and governments also have the power to turn every dime and dollar, and every pound and penny, many times over to be made to appear as assets on their balance sheets. A loan sold to a client by a bank appears as an asset on the bank’s balance sheet because it still needs be paid by the client. But does the bank keep the principal of the underlying asset in its vault? No. They can leverage all their asset up to nine times over. I wish I could do that with what I own. They have nice term for it and call it fractionalization.
So you ask if banks can settle accounts with money they do not have? You bet they can. They do it all the time. And if they are short beyond their imaginary ‘statuary limits’ they borrow at night from other banks under the counter on the intra-banking markets. As long as they can show that there are some valueless monetary assets hiding nowhere in their empty vaults they can turn every dime into a thousand dollar. This is called leverage my friend. This is not even debt. It’s not creating something from nothing but nothing ten times from nothing.
Exit the clearinghouse
While the reader of this financial short story by now probably has the creepy feeling of knowing where this story will end or in which direction it will be going as if you are halfway through a film or a murder mystery, the point when you realize that the clues and hunches you took for yourself vis-à-vis the Bitcoin were probably just and justified, because what is block-chain technology essentially is is nothing less than a private technological solution that is replacing what is traditionally called the clearing house – that secret and hidden abode where banks SETTLE OUR ACCOUNTS.
Notably these clearing houses are never in the same location as the banks themselves (so that it takes time and fees to ‘process’ transaction) and with the rise of electronic traffic of course eventually they would take place in cyberspace, but still BETWEEN the banks, and not between you and me, in some remote server probably, where one bank secretly controls the power to settle and close with another bank for each and every transaction for each and every citizen while we are doing business peer – to – peer, on the street, in the pub, on the market, in a hotel, while traveling, or just buying something in the local store around the corner. And there it is because it is the access to this account settlement clearing house what gives bankers their power and it is precisely this that what Bitcoin is replacing today. For now peer – to – peer banking has become possible with a perfect method of clearance of transactions. All transactions clearing directly between your wallet and my wallet, with no bank or clearing house necessary. And with a perfect record to boot in cyberspace.
Enter the Bitcoin
In short the block-chain offers in the form of Bitcoin or other crypto tokens offers a peer – to – peer account settlement system which exposes the fallacy of central bank debt and money creation as a massive racket without underlying real asset values, and fractional banking and leverage for the corruption and usury that it really is. And this is why Bitcoin is rocking ‘n rolling.
The number of crypto currency in circulation is set by an algorithm in advance so no banker can play and toy with the money supply. The crypto has to be mined first and has a perfect account settlement system for which no bankers are necessary. It even has a perfect recording of all transactions in cyberspace in case there is something not right going on with a transaction. But your government and your bank will have none of that, because they will no longer have control over their leverage and debt creation racket, and will no longer be able to exercise social control over you.
Control fraud or usury?
Today in accounting the type of illegitimate behavior where real asset values are hidden in the name of business and buried under tons of commercial or financial paper and other seemingly legitimate certificates, signatures, and other rubber stamps are called control fraud.
But in medieval times crimes by means of false debt creation (issuing financial paper without real underlying asset values) and leverage would simply be called usury. The term applies originally just to interest as the price of money the idea being that a fair like-kind kind-for-kind exchange between two commercial partners or businessmen should never be subject to additional fees over the medium of exchange itself.
Because the real value of a business transaction lies in the exchange between two real assets or real services and NEVER in the money itself. This is why they king of old would ENDORSE gold with his own face engraved as the image of the token of currency. A token not of the exchange of money – but of the power of equity. The idea being that all like-kind exchanges are warranted by the King to have the sanction by power of his law of the realm. Gold then sanctions and sanctifies each transaction in the name of the King. The King becomes your accountant, because it is he who owns the gold and wields the sword. Because it never touched the hand of a bloody banker or money-changer. No interest was taken on the transaction. And no tax was demanded. No fees required. And leverage was forbidden by penalty of law. But usury today is what the money-changers are still good at.
Enter the Bitcoin in 2008
Why 2008? Because it may very be that someone released the block-chain in the form of Bitcoin right after the Financial Crisis, and here it comes – as a form of sweet REVENGE on the bankers who in their aberrant greed and rampant corruption (just call it control fraud in public and you will be okay) caused the financial crisis by debt creation, toxic assets, false book entries, leverage, and …
Yes, Brutus was an honorable man.
For the worst part of the leverage and false debt creation story is not yet told. And it’s called derivatives.
For what do you (of course too much scheming creates unsolvable conundrums) if you are a bank and you can no longer sustain the debt and the leverage created on your balance sheets because of market and competitive pressures? Very simple. You do some financial engineering (usually done in small hidden closed offices somewhere in London not subject to oversight and regulation) and you create some what are called ‘derivatives’ (so called because these financial instruments are supposed to be ‘derived’ from underlying assets).
But let’s call them indulgences. Like those instruments the Popes of Rome would use in order to fleece the flock of ordinary and honorable peoples throughout Europe in the medieval times. So you could buy off your sin and crimes for a good price if you could afford it. Yes there is a price on redemption. And yes your banks love to write indulgences because in this way they can set big business and themselves free from any sin (any debt) by simply selling all valueless and toxic debt or toxic assets back into the markets and into the far future.
The vain idea here is that the market will price the toxicity of the debt or the asset and that thus there is always a third party guarantee for a debt gone wrong. Confession time and in the Name of the Lord we will set you free! For a price of course. I have billions of bad debts and toxic assets on my balance sheet which I need to certify just in case someone asks. So I buy myself a nice derivative. A CDO, a CDS. And all is well that ends well.
But what they do not tell you is that when the knock on the door comes, that there is chance there are not enough real assets to satisfy such contracts. When all real business value is so much distorted beyond recognition that no one can still verify if transactions are real or false then derivatives have become useless – in fact they have become a liability impossible to be paid.
What is money?
So here is final piece of the Bitcoin puzzle: money creation without underlying asset values by mysterious papacies called Central Banks. Endorsement by governments whose politicians need false monies in order to satisfy election campaign promises. Creation of debts and credits out of thin air (book entry values only) with the help of ‘banks’ which capitalize governments and the banks themselves by means of fractionalized banking, followed by the leveraging of transactions (making ‘money’ available without having real asset values in possession as a guarantee) for all customers and citizens and businesses into the sky.
Then comes the full stop, the indulgence for saving grace. The derivative, the credit default swap (CDS, this name alone should give you pause and make you think), the collateralized debt obligation (CDO, a contradiction in terms because no one still knows where the underlying asset value is or if it even exists, the calculations having become too complex for anyone to read or follow).
Indulgences. A grand racket if ever there was one. For what is money again? One. A measure of account. Check. Two. A medium of exchange. Check. And three. A store of value.
But no, ladies and gentlemen, there is no hard value in our money today, your governments and your banks have sold you a big lie so that they can rig a system which is meant to control you and make you work more and more and more. So that you can consume and consume and consume. The nine to five treadmill of credit and debt creation, I give you a consumer society based on toxic assets, false debts, and ubiquitous credits for all. But less and less and less real value!
The block-chain revolution
If our current banking and monetary system were the Catholic Church of old, then now today the Reformation would have begun: THUS ENTER THE BITCOIN – no thesis by Martin Luther necessary to start the revolution. For peer – to – peer banking is now here. No more leverage possible. Immediate and direct accounting and recording for all. An excellent digital medium of exchange. And a practical store of value within any economy in which the token or the coin functions because of its limited and controlled supply by mining and algorithm.
Bitcoin, ladies and gentlemen, is the coming Revenge of the Nerds on corrupt bankers and slick politicians, who see their vain powers deteriorate before their eyes.
Bitcoin is the “Bane of the Money Changers”
Short essay for AurelP.com, written by Roberto (Professor of finance at Grande Ecole in Paris).