Is This Where Things Are Heading?

| August 23, 2020

 

Digital currency again! Crypto gold is now a topic of conversation. Bitcoin is non-extant, non-physical currency, traded on the financial markets as if it were tangible and solid when it is not. What happens if the databanks that harbor this electronic currency go dark, perhaps caused by an EMP or something worse?

To someone whose idea of a good time and having money at my behest, digital currency like Bitcoin doesn’t really exist. It’s a credit system, nothing else.

It’s also, as the article below indicates, a way to track you: every penny you spend, every purchase you make and everything you do, every place you go, every time you sneeze, they’ll be watching you!

Not exactly my cup of tea, as I’ve said before, but when did you ever see Buck Rogers, Luke Skywalker, Grand Moff Tarkin, or Ripley pay for anything with hard currency?? No, in fact, it was Han Solo who had some coins in his pocket when he was facing down Greedo.

How hard is it to get ripped off by this kind of thing, anyway?  Just askin’ for a friend. Shouldn’t be hard. Hackers rip off people all the time.

The people who delight in this kind of thing don’t seem to regard money or currency as anything necessary in an age of electronic discharges and online connections, when you only need a card with a commstrip on the backside to do things like get groceries.

Here’s the article about it:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-brainard/fedcoin-the-us-central-bank-is-looking-into-it-idUSKBN1ZZ2XF

From the article:  “But there are risks,” Brainard said, in a partial reprisal of her own and other global central bankers’ worries about the rise of private digital payment systems and currencies, including Facebook’s Libra digital currency project.

“Some of the new players are outside the financial system’s regulatory guardrails, and their new currencies could pose challenges in areas such as illicit finance, privacy, financial stability and monetary policy transmission,” she said.  – article

Read that sentence again, until it sinks in: some of the people involved in this are working outside the regulatory guards that are currently in place in the world financial system. Just how hard will it be for them to take control of all financial institutions?

Well, no! Really! Ya think?  She does seem to have a clue that digital anything can be hacked, everything stolen including your identity, in the blink of an eye. I know the banks have near-army sized groups whose lives are dedicated to keeping your small funds intact, but it will not stop the hackers, such as those who robbed the Bank of Bangladesh’s accounts held by the Fed in NYC back in 2016.

Here’s the link to reminisce about that.  https://www.wired.com/2016/05/insane-81m-bangladesh-bank-heist-heres-know/

And this should have a semi-scary effect on you: Australia’s government is doing something along these lines already, creating crypto gold currency coins to front the Aussie government reserves. As I understand it, “crypto” means ‘non-existent except in cyberspace, as in Bitcoin”.

https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2019/10/10/perth-mint-australia-government-blockchain-ethereum-gold-backed-cryptocurrency/

I do recall that Heinlein had one of his more cranky characters burn paper currency after recording the serial numbers in a ledger. I think it was in “Citizen of the Galaxy”. It’s been a while since I read that book.  It was my impression for a long time that Heinlein thought cash money was useless, and perhaps he had a point.

But crypto gold? Just give me the real, hard, genuine gold bars and go away. I can at least trade them for cash money.

In case you’re wondering why there’s a shortage of coins, it isn’t the Federal Reserve. They are all currently residing in my piggy banks and will stay there until sanity returns.

 

Category: Economy, Pirates

Comments (37)

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  1. Roh-Dog says:

    Bitcoin can also be viewed as a utility.
    — The ability to permanently record and store immutable information on the ledger. Also, all cryptos are mind via some type of verification of transactions so there is some type of security (ish? For now?) build into its schema.
    —(I’m not a huge fan of this next point, but it is a factor, if you squint just the right way…while on ‘happy mushrooms’): Crypto, because it uses electricity to ‘produce’, some people (enuf qualifiers yet?!?) believe it can be true-money because it stores ‘energy value’.
    — Knowing all debt/fiat currency (vs true moneies!) values go to zero, or effective zero, most people believe the next evolution of state/bank/state bank currencies will be blockchain based. Which leads me to a dirty theory…
    — There will always be a black market, subversive form of medium in which exchange is preferred. Now I don’t have a clue what that’ll be, but I ain’t discounting that Au/Ag might be that form. Considering there is history, as in the ‘whole of human history’ that sets president where governments seize or confiscate real-money.
    You’ve been warned.
    Now I’m a proponent of the ‘dollar milk shake’ lite. I think in the not-so-distant future the banks are going to hissy fit and tighten lending to the point the Fed will have no choice but to go negative on rates, but in that transitional space, assuming the USD has no competition, the USD shortage will cause a spike like we’ve never seen.
    Deflation of real goods, a manic rush to safety in metals and real/de facto restrictions on attaining metals.
    Just my theory.
    Oh, and if/when this whole thing starts to unravel; guns/ammo, food, water and a like-minded group will be vastly more valuable than digits or weights.
    You’ve been warned.
    *this is NOT financial advise, if you listen or read to what I am saying, you’re nuts and should be wearing a straightjacket!*

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      That’s a good analysis, Roh-Dog. Thanks!

      I can understand the aim at using debit cards, for example, that are keyed or whatever to someone’s DNA, for the sake of preventing theft, but what’s to prevent someone from taking a chunk out of your hide to use something like that?

      And I agreed with your take about the future of the USD, because our essentially stable currency sets the price/value of goods on markets.

      There is a distinct shift going on. No one should be left out of the loop, but at the same time, no one should be forced into a corner to use something whether he likes it or not. Hard currency in the form of gold and silver bars or coins or whatever is still the basis for the structure of the financial system, and it should stay that way.

      • Roh-Dog says:

        Agreed hard currency is the best (I’d say only) option.
        Also not out off the possibility map: currency reset, with or with out hardening.
        The “coinage shortage” had me on notice. If the dollar’s value resets ,redoing all the coinage would be impractical. If we keep paper the coins’ values will retain a higher purchasing power.
        The ammo can full of nickels doesn’t seem so stupid now, does it? (It was the most practical way to fill it for rucking, without resorting to steel or lead, I don’t like rust on my kit and lead could cause a Californian to have nightmares)

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Ammo can? Not a bit stupid? I have several pigs with large capacity. I address them as “my banks of the future”.

    • MI Ranger says:

      While I don’t share Ex-PH2s reading list (I read some Heinlein but don’t remember anyone burning currency) I do understand the draw to cryptocurrencies. As a futurist/technologist I see its value when we become a space faring race. We can value all we want “hard Currency” or assets but they by their very nature are not readily transportable and when transiting space (Star Wars and Star Trek aside) mass and volume will become premium. “wiring” a digital media between star systems will be the way it is done, and someone just stores the real stuff to back it up. Much like the Aussies are trying to do.

      What I read from the “Stable Coin” articles is not that many have failed, but that a lot of them are pretty sketchy on who is running them. It would not be a surprise to see them fail when you realize your money is guaranteed by a possibly Panamanian, hopefully Taiwanese, off shore bank that had its assets seized and did not tell you but issued a “credit” on its partner without telling them what they were doing. Buying an ETF whether it is a crypto-currency or bank notes guaranteed by a stable country backed by gold is a pretty reasonable option. Whether you get certificates issued, held by a ETF, or crypto-currency held in a “wallet” held by the ETF is pretty transparent to you as the consumer. Just look to what guarantees they have for the “bank” getting raided or folding.

  2. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    There is no such thing as unbreakable encryption.

    Cryptocurrency relies upon unbreakable encryption.

    There is no such thing as unbreakable encryption.

    You have been warned.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Exactly. Some day, someone will hack into Bitcoin and grab all of it as if it were real coinage.

      What happens then?

      Interesting stuff keeps turning up these days.

      • Inbred Redneck says:

        “What happens then?”
        Besides a lot of us sayin’ I told you so?

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        You get a real thumbs up on that one, Redneck.

        Just a gut feeling that something is literally going to crash in the near future (2 to 3 year) and will turn this data-based financial stuff into many, many zero digits. For that reason, I’m keeping some cash at home for emergencies… such as tornadoes, floods (on my hilltop, of course), trucks leaving the road and running amok, meteors impacting over near the Walmart store – that sort of thing. 🙂

  3. Jarhead says:

    The term Bitcoin per se never grabbed my attention so much that I have even a vague understanding of it. What I’d like to know, is how people get into it to begin with? No interest now or later personally, but where do people deposit real money in exchange for owning something supposedly resting in the clouds?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I don’t know how it works, but I know there’s a fee, and people do what is called “mining”, which I think is looking for unattached or “not owned” Bitcoins. Not sure about that, however.

    • KoB says:

      Me neither JH. Recall a story a little while back that homeboy had all of his and the company’s money in bit coin. He died and nobody knew the password to get into the account. Oh well! My Banker Lady that I’ve known/banked with for pushing 50 years (Branch Manager of a Credit Union now), does $0 of online banking; and they have some of the highest security known to the industry. My main man that keeps my inherwebz/IT going does a lot of super secreeiut skuwierill stuff for banks, CUs, Incs, PayPal and even Google, says that NO SYSTEM is 100% secure and they are all subject to being hacked into…as noted above.

      Even cash money is nothing more than blind faith/trust in someone, in our case the Fed, that the piece of paper I give you in exchange for the gas/groceries/whatever goods and services that you give me, will be honored by the person that you give it to in exchange for their goods, until it is worn out and returned to the Fed for exchange. At least with coins, you can put them in a sock to use as a weapon, or make into a small arrowhead for hunting small game with.

      In Forschtens 1 Second After Series, the accepted median of exchange was .22 bullets. Right now I will trade ice cream for cookies.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        What kind of cookies?

        This why I’m going after those 17th and 18th and 19th century cookbooks: they all tell you how to fix food and keep it safe when you have no real refrigeration and no modern stove or oven.

        • Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

          Good call there.

        • KoB says:

          Never met a cookie I didn’t eat! Imma thinking right now about that chewy mollassass, walnut one, or some lemon bars, or even your basic chewy chocolate chip. Peanut butter is always good, oatmeal raisin will work in a pinch, snickerdoodles, ginger snaps, and there’s a fruit filled chewy I can’t call the nomenclature on right now, but you get the idea. While going thru boxes at COP CRC I found Mama’s 1950s BC Cookbooks that I wasn’t sure if I had ended up with. Also found some of her commercial cookbooks from when she went thru dieticians school. Basic recipes in some of those are for 50 or more people. Stuck somewhere in a safe space is the Cookbook from the Kitchen of Mary Custis Lee. Been a minute since I’ve looked at that one, they’re all 1850s.

          Cook books are something else I look at when I do yard/estate sales, along with the cutlery and cast iron. Most people don’t pay attention to that kinda stuff. And you are right, in addition to the recipes themselves the old school survival/cooking hints are in those old books. When the grid goes down, all of those hoity toity recipes that Karen, Tiffany, and Heather have in their phone ain’t gonna be worth a damn.

          • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

            YOU JUST HAD TO mention Peanut Butter Cookies, I remember Momma’s, *MMMMMMMMMMMmmm…*

            • KoB says:

              And just when the sheet comes out of the oven and the Pnut Butter ones are still soft, stick at unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss in the middle. Melts it down just enough to hold the chocolate on the cookie.

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          Okay, you are all making me feel like I’m starving while I”m in the middle of a pounding rain storm that finally arrived.

          How many times do I have to go outside and yell “Rain on my house!” at the sky before the skydragons get the message?

          Pay attention to everything. If all your warning signals suddenly shut off, e.g., the calm before the storm, pay attention. Something’s about to happen.

          Finally got RAIN!!!! If I have to yell at the skydragons one more time….

      • Jarhead says:

        Mrs. Jarhead is a great cook. Southern born by the Grace of God and knows grease and butter are essential to good taste. Makes some killer Neiman Marcus $250 cookies best of all. Will trade three for one qt. of home made (ONLY) vanilla.

        So good that she ought to start her own Bitcookie currency. Trouble is most people would hoard it.

        • KoB says:

          Yep, I been called a cookie hore. And Bitcookie currency might not be a bad idea. I’d eat the profits. And no, no saving for the rainy day, like Ex is getting.

          My planned road trip would have sent me back home with somewhere near a full gross of assorted cookies, all homemade and pre packed ready for freezing when I got back home. Alas, it was not to be. Sister M has had a lot of back and forth here lately in NE with Bro C medical and new GGBaby. Sister L in Dakota blew out an elbow last month and is not back to speed yet.

          I could get off of my azz and back some my own self, but I hate to take away the pleasure they get making them for me.

          • Jarhead says:

            Imagine a Bitcookie currency. A loaf of bread cost three oatmeal cookies, a gallon of milk cost five tea cakes (5/77 will know what I mean), and a pound of bacon cost a dozen chocolate chip. Cashiers at grocery stores would all be 350 pounds or larger.

            I, on the other hand would volunteer to be a bag boy and love to carry bags for old ladies. My fingernails would be covered with chocolate while the customers arrived home to find a few cookies missing from their purses.

            Reminds me of my old bag boy days from the high school years. There was one particular old lady who came in by cab every week to buy her groceries. This other clown who bagged groceries along with me always had a good laugh, and the lady never caught on for whatever reason. Ready to leave, she’d always ask us, “Would you please call me a cab?”. My friend and I always just looked at each other, smiled, and said back to her, “Yes Mam, you’re a cab”. Honest to God true story.

            • 5th/77th FA says:

              “Tea Cakes?” Honey Hush and child puleeze, a sexy cross/love child of a sugar cookie, biscuit and a cake, can’t tell you how many of those were consumed by us young’uns. The original Bitcookie. Mama’s best buddy Mrs. Becky T would bribe us with her tea cakes for picking & shelling her beans and peas. Lot’s of recipes out there, I just grabbed this one.

              https://divascancook.com/old-fashioned-tea-cakes-recipe-authentic-southern/

              • Jarhead says:

                Thanks for the recipe; a bit more in depth than what the Mrs does, but we both are looking to give it a try before the weekend is over.
                I’ve warned my forehead to prepare for a down home slappin’. Fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and corn bread will be the Sunday appetizer. Increase the belt one hole after this feast. Ex may never have lived down this way, but I’d bet she could contribute some other goodies.

                All this talk makes me want to drink some of the best sweet tea ever this late knowing I’ll be up for a while. When I do get to sleep, pit cooked barbecue will be in my dreams tonight.

                • Jarhead says:

                  Gotta admit, I’m going’ to my grave still loving to listen to the old DAC music in my spare time.

  4. I thought that bitcoins were European gold coins until I just read the post. I still have a McGill Paragon 3 barrel coin changer I bought at Rexall’s plus a mens leather coin holder I use when I go shopping. Coin changer was used when I was renting and had to go to the laundermat to wash my clothes.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I have a small, pocket-sized leather wallet with a zipper that serves me well when I’m shopping and especially on the trail with a camera. It will hold a fat folded bunch of bills of any denomination, plus a lot of coins, and is innocuous and invisible when it’s in my pocket.

      No purse, no appearance of anything expensive, and even my keys fit into my pocket nicely.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Does anyone remember those plastic ovals, that you squeeze to open, which held coins? My kids found one in some stuff my parents gave us and thought it was the coolest thing…now they want some coins to go in it!

  5. Silver Stacker says:

    Privately minted silver rounds, usually 1 oz. Silver spot price + “carrying fee” (unknown at this time. used to be $1.50, then jumped to $2+). I have approx 11 pounds of rounds. I’d like more, but it’s a good start.
    Not the same as having the actual hard goods (water, food, gunz, ammo) but a better intermediary then paper when FedGov goes belly up.

  6. OmegaPaladin says:

    There is only one universal currency, and that is power. If you have gold, and I have a gun, all you are is a piggy bank. The best thing to stockpile is ammo.

    Also, if shit actually hits the fan, gold is basically useless. Aluminum is where it’s at, along with other metals.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      “if shit actually hits the fan, gold is basically useless”

      except for chewing any food I might happen upon.

    • Roh-Dog says:

      “The best thing to stockpile is ammo.”
      This x1000!
      Good luck with that these days.
      Ammo prices have more than doubled since the lows of last year.
      That ol’ adage, “buy low, sell high” never lets you down. That I promise.
      So, just a suggestion, if:
      .22 LR > .10c/ rnd
      5.56 > .40c/rnd
      .308 >.90c/rnd
      9mm >.35c/rnd, etc
      Buy to the gd rafters!
      You’ve been warned.

      • Roh-Dog says:

        All those carrots should be the other way. Dyslexia and drinking, never a good mix.
        You should see me do piecewise functions… I have to kill two trees with notes.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        .45 acp is hard to find in quantity now.
        Never saw that before, not even in Obama Times.
        Even 44 mag is disappearing. Very odd.

      • MI Ranger says:

        Our stores are empty…including Palmetto State Armory. They were limiting you to one box per caliber, but now the only calibers they have a weird!
        Their gun cases are also getting empty. Must be getting close to election time!

  7. STSC(SW/SS) says:

    Handful of gold or a magazine full of 9MM? I know what I would want when shit hits the fan.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Ammo as currency?

      So are you guys saying that I should go to the gun range and just buy ammo in small lots, keep it in a “secret squirrel spot” against the day when I might be able to trade it for dry goods like flour or wheat, or cooking oil and seeds?

      Not sure I could get away with buying ammo without a gun owner license in my state, but I could ask.