Will Economic Meltdown Benefit or Cause Bitcoin Market Crash?

I did it.

12 years of disciplined boring investing almost all in SPY and later VOO and I am a millionaire in my late thirties.
900k from index funds and 200k from real estate.
Started with zero. No inheritance. Separate money from my wife (not counting her assets or contributions). Made mid five to low six figures income the whole time. One kid... now two.
edit 1
I actually did not thing anyone would respond to this but a lot of people did. Some asked for proof. Here it is. Omitting real estate holdings. https://imgur.com/a/zI9UWJa
Also including credit report - no debt outside a used car loan because I will not pay cash when I get money at 3.49%.
Edit 2
People asked for more details.
At a high level I have been investing / studying markets since I was very young. I tried everything (internet stocks, FOREX, Options, Futures, small caps etc) coupled with fundamental and technical analysis. Did OK, even won second place in a trading contest but never got what I wanted.
Like many people I made bad decisions and had divorce, job loss, etc. Even had to close out an IRA in my twenties.
Ended up turning to a disciplined index fund strategy about 12 years ago.
Strategy was to max out 401k and live below my means (old car, no cable tv, make my own food, etc). At the end of each month swept all my pennies into an after tax fund since my 401k was maxed. That is it. Make your own coffee and buy VOO or SPY ideally in a tax advantaged account.
I road this through the 2008/2009 crash - kept my investments and bought more.
I also have small (like 5% of my money) in Bitcoin, Tesla and Pot stocks. This is purely for fun.
A couple people mentioned this was just luck. I think it is important to understand the market will move up, retrace, consolidate and then move higher. The timing of this is somewhat luck. The strategy part is live below your means, buy and accumulate positions for years so when a bull market hits you are in. I guess you can call each runup "luck" except people keep living in debt no matter what their income. I would much prefer people take away an investment strategy that does work if you are a disciplined from someone not born rich and who tried a lot of different strategies.
The takeaway really is with education and discipline you can reach a level of financial independence even after many screwups. I can publish this simple system and honestly few will follow it... There are no ads, systems to buy or affiliate links. I make zero dollars sharing this. I make my own coffee and watch netflix. I invest the rest in index funds. Take a trip or buy something if it really is important to me. That is it.
Edit 3
People asked what is next. Teach my six year old and newborn savings and investing. Opening a ROTH* for the 6 year old and custodial brokerage account for the new addition. They will have millions as a safety net at retirement. They will now know about this money and will need to find their own path in life.
Staying in the market, if it crashes I will buy more.
Stating in until I reach 5-10 million. Don't need the money for a long time...
submitted by ControlPlusZ to investing [link] [comments]

Best Quotes from "The Bitcoin Standard"

Best Quotes from Saifedean Ammous book "The Bitcoin Standard"
  1. "Bitcoin can be best understood as distributed software that allows for transfer of value using a currency protected from unexpected inflation without relying on trusted third parties"
  2. "While Bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problems it purports to solve - namely, providing a form of money that is under the full command of its owner and likely to hold its value in the long run - are as old as human society itself"
  3. "People’s choices are subjective, and so there is no “right” and “wrong” choice of money. There are, however, consequences to choices"
  4. "I like to call this the easy money trap: anything used as a store of value will have its supply increased, and anything whose supply can be easily increased will destroy the wealth of those who used it as a store of value"
  5. "For something to assume a monetary role, it has to be costly to produce, otherwise the temptation to make money on the cheap will destroy the wealth of the savers, and destroy the incentive anyone has to save in this medium"
  6. "The monetary media that survived for longest are the ones that had very reliable mechanisms for restricting their supply growth - in other words, hard money"
  7. "The choice of what makes the best money has always been determined by the technological realities of societies shaping the salability of different goods"
  8. "Human civilization flourished in times and places where sound money was widely adopted, while unsound money all too frequently coincided with civilizational decline and societal collapse"
  9. "Whether in Rome, Constantinople, Florence, or Venice, history shows that a sound monetary standard is a necessary prerequisite for human flourishing, without which society stands on the precipice of barbarism and destruction"
  10. "History shows it is not possible to insulate yourself from the consequences of others holding money that is harder than yours"
  11. "Some of the most important technological, medical, economic, and artistic human achievements were invented during the era of the gold standard, which partly explains why it was known as la Belle Epoque, or the beautiful era, across Europe"
  12. "World War I saw the end of the era of monetary media being the choice decided by the free market, and the beginning of the era of government money"
  13. "Government money is similar to primitive forms of money and commodities other than gold: it is liable to having its supply increased quickly compared to its stock, leading to a quick loss of salability, destruction of purchasing power, and impoverishment of its holders"
  14. "With the simple suspension of gold redeemability, governments’ war efforts were no longer limited to the money that they had in their own treasuries, but extended virtually to the entire wealth of the population"
  15. "Had European nations remained on the gold standard, or had the people of Europe held their own gold in their own hands […], history might have been different. It is likely that WorldWar I would have been settled militarily within a few months of conflict"
  16. "The cause of the Great Crash of 1929 was the diversion away from the gold standard in the post-WWI years, and the deepening of the Depression was caused by government control and socialization of the economy in the Hoover and FDR years"
  17. "All spending is spending, in the naive economics of Keynesians, and so it matters not if that spending comes from individuals feeding their families or governments murdering foreigners: it all counts in aggregate demand and it all reduces unemployment!"
  18. "In essence, Bretton Woods attempted to achieve through central planning what the international gold standard of the nineteenth century had achieved spontaneously"
  19. "Hyperinflation is a form of economic disaster unique to government money. There was never an example of hyperinflation with economies that operated a gold or silver standard"
  20. "With government money, whose cost of production tends to zero, it has become quite possible for an entire society to witness all of its savings in the form of money disappear in the space of a few months or even weeks"
  21. "Hyperinflation is a far more pernicious phenomenon than just the loss of a lot of economic value by a lot of people; it constitutes a complete breakdown of the structure of economic production of a society built up over centuries and millennia"
  22. "Even if the textbooks were correct about the benefits of government management of the money supply, the damage from one episode of hyperinflation anywhere in the world far outweighs them"
  23. "Hanke and Bushnell have been able to verify 57 episodes of hyperinflation in history, only one of which occurred before the era of monetary nationalism, and that was the inflation in France in 1795, in the wake of the Mississippi Bubble"
  24. “The constantly increasing supply means a continuous devaluation of thecurrency, expropriating the wealth of the holders to benefit those who printthe currency, and those who receive it earliest. This is termed the CantillonEffect”
  25. “Whether it’s because of downright graft, “national emergency,” or an infestation of inflationist schools of economics, government will always find a reason and a way to print more money, expanding government power while reducing the wealth of the currency holders”
  26. “It is ironic, and very telling, that in the era of government money, governments themselves own far more gold in their official reserves than they did under the international gold standard of 1871–1914”
  27. “A sound money makes service valuable to others the only avenue open for prosperity to anyone, thus concentrating society’s efforts on production, cooperation, capital accumulation, and trade”
  28. “The twentieth century was the century of unsound money and the omnipotent state, as a market choice in money was denied by government diktat, and government-issued paper money was forced on people with the threat of violence”
  29. “Sound money is an essential requirement for individual freedom from despotism and repression, as the ability of a coercive state to create money can give it undue power over its subjects, power which by its very nature will attract the least worthy, and most immoral”
  30. “Sound money is a prime factor in determining individual time preference, an enormously important and widely neglected aspect of individual decision making. Time preference refers to the ratio at which individuals value thepresent compared to the future”
  31. “Economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains that once time preference drops enough to allow for any savings and capital or durable consumer-goodsformation at all, the tendency is for time preference to drop even further as a“process of civilization” is initiated”
  32. “Microeconomics has focused on transactions between individuals, and macroeconomics on the role of government in the economy ; [...] the most important economic decisions to any individual’s well-being are the ones they conduct in their trade-offs with their future self”
  33. “The better the money is at holding its value, the more it incentivizes people to delay consumption and instead dedicate resources for production in the future, leading to capital accumulation and improvement of living standards”
  34. “The move from money that holds its value or appreciates to money that loses its value is very significant in the long run: society saves less, accumulates less capital, and possibly begins to consume its capital”
  35. “Civilizations prosper under a sound monetary system, but disintegrate when their monetary systems are debased, as was the case with the Romans, the Byzantines, and modern European societies”
  36. “What matters in money is its purchasing power, not its quantity, and as such, any quantity of money is enough to fulfil the monetary functions, as long as it is divisible and groupable enough to satisfy holders’ transaction and storage needs”
  37. “The best form of money in history was the one that would cause the new supply of money to be the least significant compared to the existing stockpiles, and thus make its creation not a good source of profit”
  38. “Had government money been a superior unit of account and store of value, it would not need government legal tender laws to enforce it, nor would governments worldwide have had to confiscate large quantities of gold and continue to hold them in their central bank reserves”
  39. “The fact that central banks continue to hold onto their gold, and have even started increasing their reserves, testifies to the confidence they have in their own currencies in the long term”
  40. “Sound money is money that gains in value slightly over time, meaning that holding onto it is likely to offer an increase in purchasing power”
  41. “Unsound money, being controlled by central banks whose express mission is to keep inflation positive, will offer little incentive for holders to keep it”
  42. “With unsound money, only returns that are higher than the rate of depreciation of the currency will be positive in real terms, creating incentives for high-return but high-risk investment and spending”
  43. “Savings rates have been declining across the developed countries, dropping to very low levels, while personal, municipal, and national debts have increased to levels which would have seemed unimaginable in the past”
  44. “One of the most mendacious fantasies that pervades Keynesian economic thought is the idea that the national debt “does not matter, since we owe it to ourselves”
  45. “Only a high-time-preference disciple of Keynes could fail to understand that this “ourselves” is not one homogeneous blob but is differentiated into several generations -namely, the current ones which consume recklessly at the expense of future ones”
  46. “The twentieth century’s binge on conspicuous consumption cannot be understood separately from the destruction of sound money and the outbreak of Keynesian high-time-preference thinking, in vilifying savings and deifying consumption as the key to economic prosperity”
  47. “It is an ironic sign of the depth of modern-day economic ignorance fomented by Keynesian economics that capitalism - an economic system based on capital accumulation from saving - is blamed for unleashing conspicuous consumption - theexact opposite of capital accumulation”
  48. “Capitalism is what happens when people drop their time preference, defer immediate gratification, and invest in the future. Debt-fueled mass consumption is as much a normal part of capitalism as asphyxiation is a normal part of respiration”
  49. “The only cause of economic growth in the first place is delayed gratification, saving, and investment, which extend the length of the production cycle and increase the productivity of the methods of production, leading to better standards of living”
  50. “This move from sound money to depreciating money has led to several generations of accumulated wealth being squandered on conspicuous consumption within a generation or two, making indebtedness the new method for funding major expenses”
  51. “As H. L. Mencken put it: “Every election is an advanced auction on stolen goods””
  52. “As politicians sell people the lie that eternal welfare and retirement benefits are possible through the magic of the monetary printing press, the investment in a family becomes less and less valuable”53.“The majority of the technology we use in our modern life was invented in the 19th century, under the gold standard, financed with the ever-growing stock of capital accumulated by savers storing their wealth in a sound money and store of value which did not depreciate quickly”
  53. “The contributions of sound money to human flourishing are not restricted to scientific and technological advance; they can also be vividly seen in the art world”
  54. “In times of sound money and low time preference, artists worked on perfecting their craft so they could produce valuable works in the long run”56.“Modern artists have replaced craft and long hours of practice with pretentiousness, shock value, indignation, and existential angst as ways to cow audiences into appreciating their art, and often added some pretense to political ideals, usually of the puerile Marxist variety”
  55. “As government money has replaced sound money, patrons with low time preference and refined tastes have been replaced by government bureaucrats with political agendas as crude as their artistic taste”
  56. “The Use of Knowledge in Society, by Friedrich #Hayek, is arguably one of the most important economic papers to have ever been written”
  57. “In a free market economic system, prices are knowledge, and the signals that communicate information”
  58. “Prices are not simply a tool to allow capitalists to profit; they are the information system of economic production, communicating knowledge across the world and coordinating the complex processes of production”
  59. “Any economic system that tries to dispense with prices will cause the complete breakdown of economic activity and bring a human society back to a primitive state”
  60. “The fatal flaw of socialism that #Mises exposed was that without a price mechanism emerging on a free market, socialism would fail at economic calculation, most crucially in the allocation of capital goods”
  61. “In an economy with a central bank and fractional reserve banking, the supply of loanable funds is directed by a committee of economists under the influence of politicians, bankers, TV pundits, and sometimes, most spectacularly, military generals”
  62. “Creating new pieces of paper and digital entries to paper over the deficiency in savings does not magically increase society’s physical capital stock; it only devalues the existing money supply and distorts prices”
  63. “Only with an understanding of the capital structure and how interest rate manipulation destroys the incentive for capital accumulation can one understand the causes of recessions and the swings of the business cycle”
  64. “The business cycle is the natural result of the manipulation of the interest rate distorting the market for capital by making investors imagine they can attain more capital than is available with the unsound money they have been given by the banks”
  65. “Contrary to Keynesian animist mythology, business cycles are not mystic phenomena caused by flagging “animal spirits” whose cause is to be ignored as central bankers seek to try to engineer recovery”
  66. “Economic logic clearly shows how recessions are the inevitable outcome of interest rate manipulation in the same way shortages are the inevitable outcome of price ceilings”
  67. “Monetary history testifies to how much more severe business cycles and recessions are when the money supply is manipulated than when it isn’t”
  68. “A capitalist system cannot function without a free market in capital, where the price of capital emerges through the interaction of supply and demand and the decisions of capitalists are driven by accurate price signals”
  69. “The central bank’s meddling in the capital market is the root of all recessions and all the crises which most politicians, journalists, academics, and leftist activists like to blame on capitalism”
  70. “Imagining that central banks can “prevent,” “combat,” or “manage” recessions is as fanciful and misguided as placing pyromaniacs and arsonists in charge of the fire brigade”
  71. “Central planning of credit markets must fail because it destroys markets’ mechanisms for price-discovery providing market participants with the accurate signals and incentives to manage their consumption and production”
  72. “It is typical of the #MiltonFriedman band of libertarianism in that it blames the government for an economic problem, but the flawed reasoning leads to suggesting even more government intervention as the solution”
  73. “Only when a central bank manipulates the money supply and interest rate does it become possible for large-scale failures across entire sectors of the economy to happen at the same time, causing waves of mass layoffs in entire industries”
  74. “In a free market for money, individuals would choose the currencies they want to use, and the result would be that they would choose the currency with the reliably lowest stock-to-flow ratio. This currency would oscillate the least with changes in demand and supply”
  75. “It is an astonishing fact of modern life that an entrepreneur in the year 1900 could make global economic plans and calculations all denominated in any international currency, with no thought whatsoever given to exchange rate fluctuations”
  76. “The combination of floating exchange rates and Keynesian ideology has given our world the entirely modern phenomenon of currency wars”
  77. “Hard money, by taking the question of supply out of the hands of governments and their economist-propagandists, would force everyone to be productive to society instead of seeking to get rich through the fool’s errand of monetary manipulation”
  78. “Under a sound monetary system, government had to function in a way that is unimaginable to generations reared on the twentieth-century news cycle: they had to be fiscally responsible”
  79. “For those of us alive today, raised on the propaganda of the omnipotent governments of the twentieth century, it is often hard to imagine a world in which individual freedom and responsibility supersede government authority”82“. The fundamental scam of modernity is the idea that government needs to manage the money supply. It is an unquestioned starting assumption of all mainstream economic schools of thought and political parties”
  80. “Having the ability to print money, literally and figuratively, increases the power of any government, and any government looks for anything that gives it more power”
  81. “By placing a hard cap on the total supply of bitcoins, Nakamoto was clearly unpersuaded by the arguments of the standard macroeconomics textbook and more influenced by the Austrian school, which argues that the quantity of money itself is irrelevant”
  82. “Societies with money of stable value generally develop a low time preference, learning to save and think of the future, while societies with high inflation and depreciating economies will develop high time preference as people lose track of the importance of saving”
  83. “With sound money, the government’s war effort was limited by the taxes it could collect. With unsound money, it is restrained by how much money it can create before the currency is destroyed, making it able to appropriate wealth far more easily”
  84. “Unsound money is a particularly dangerous tool in the hands of modern democratic governments facing constant reelection pressure. Modern voters are unlikely to favor the candidates who are upfront about the costs and benefits of their schemes”
  85. “Unsound money is at the heart of the modern delusion believed by most voters and those unfortunate enough to study modern macroeconomics at university level: that government actions have no opportunity costs”
  86. “It is no coincidence that when recounting the most horrific tyrants of history, one finds that every single one of them operated a system of government-issued money which was constantly inflated to finance government operation”
  87. “Unsound money makes government power potentially unlimited, with large consequences to every individual, forcing politics to the center stage of their life and redirecting much of society’s energy and resources to the zero-sum game of who gets to rule and how”
  88. “In the world of fiat money, having access to the central bank’s monetary spigots is more important than serving customers. Firms that can get low-interest-rate credit to operate will have a persistent advantage over competitors that cannot”
  89. “Banking has evolved into a business that generates returns without risks to bankers and simultaneously creates risks without returns for everyone else”
  90. “In a world where central banks allocate credit, the larger firm has an advantage in being able to secure funding at a low rate which its smaller competitors cannot get”
  91. “Bitcoin was the first engineering solution that allowed for digital payments without having to rely on a trusted third-party intermediary. By being the firstdigital object that is verifiably scarce, Bitcoin is the first example of digital cash”
  92. “Whereas in a modern central bank the new money created goes to finance lending and government spending, in Bitcoin the new money goes only to those who spend resources on updating the ledger”
  93. “Difficulty adjustment is the most reliable technology for making hard money and limiting the stock-to-flow ratio from rising, and it makes Bitcoin fundamentally different from every other money”
  94. “Bitcoin is the hardest money ever invented: growth in its value cannot possibly increase its supply; it can only make the network more secure and immune to attack”
  95. “The security of Bitcoin lies in the asymmetry between the cost of solving the proof-of-work necessary to commit a transaction to the ledger and the cost of verifying its validity”
  96. “The Bitcoin ledger of transactions might just be the only objective set of facts in the world”
  97. “Bitcoin is the first example of a digital good whose transfer stops it from being owned by the sender”
  98. “Bitcoin presents a tremendous technological leap forward in the monetary solution to the indirect exchange problem, perhaps as significant as the move from cattle and salt to gold and silver”
  99. “Without a conservative monetary policy and difficulty adjustment, Bitcoin would only have succeeded theoretically as digital cash, but remained too insecure to be used widely in practice”
  100. “Bitcoin’s volatility derives from the fact that its supply is utterly inflexible and not responsive to demand changes, because it is programmed to grow at a predetermined rate”
  101. “As the size of the market grows, along with the sophistication and the depth of the financial institutions dealing with Bitcoin, this volatility will likely decline”
  102. “As long as Bitcoin is growing, its token price will behave like that of a stock of a start-up achieving very fast growth. Should Bitcoin’s growth stop and stabilize, it would stop attracting high-risk investment flows, and become just a normal monetary asset”
  103. “Bitcoin is the cheapest way to buy the future, because Bitcoin is the only medium guaranteed to not be debased, no matter how much its value rises”
  104. “The strict digital scarcity of the Bitcoin tokens combines the best elements of physical monetary media, without any of the physical drawbacks to moving and transporting it. Bitcoin might have a claim to make for being the best technology for saving ever invented”
  105. “Any person who owns Bitcoin achieves a degree of economic freedom which was not possible before its invention”
  106. “For the first time since the emergence of the modern state, individuals have a clear technical solution to escaping the financial clout of the governments they live under”
  107. “Bitcoin, and cryptography in general, are defensive technologies that make the cost of defending property and information far lower than the cost of attacking them”
  108. “If BTC continues to grow to capture a larger share of the global wealth, it may force governments to become more and more a form of voluntary organization, which can only acquire its “taxes” voluntarily by offering its subjects services they would be willing to pay for”
  109. “Contrary to popular depictions of anarchists as hoodie-clad hoodlums, Bitcoin’s brand of anarchism is completely peaceful, providing individuals with the tools necessary for them to be free from government control and inflation”
  110. “The invention of Bitcoin has created, from the ground up, a new independent alternative mechanism for international settlement that does not rely on any intermediary and can operate entirely separate from the existing financial infrastructure”
  111. “Bitcoin can be seen as the new emerging reserve currency for online transactions, where the online equivalent of banks will issue Bitcoin-backed tokens to users while keeping their hoard of Bitcoins in cold storage”
  112. “Bitcoin’s advantage is that by bringing the finality of cash settlement to the digital world, it has created the fastest method for final settlement of large payments across long distances and national borders”
  113. “Bitcoin can be best understood to compete with settlement payments between central banks and large financial institutions, and it compares favorably to them due to its verifiable record, cryptographic security, and imperviousness to third-party security holes”
  114. “BTC, having no counterparty risk and no reliance on any third-party, is uniquely suited to play the same role that gold played in the gold standard"
  115. “If Bitcoin continues to grow in value and gets utilized by a growing number of financial institutions, it will become a reserve currency for a new form of central bank"
  116. “The first central bank to buy BTC will alert the rest of the central banks to the possibility and make many of them rush toward it. The first central bank purchase is likely to make the value of BTC rise significantly"
  117. “While central banks have mostly been dismissive of the importance of BTC, this could be a luxury they may not afford for long. As hard as it might be for central bankers to believe it, BTC is a direct competitor to their line ofbusiness”
  118. “The modern central bank business model is being disrupted. Central banks now have no way of stopping competition by just passing laws as they have always done. They are now up against a digital competitor that most likely cannot be brought under the physical world’s laws”
  119. “If the modern world is ancient Rome, suffering the economic consequences of monetary collapse, with the dollar our aureus, then Satoshi Nakamoto is our Constantine, Bitcoin is his solidus, and the Internet is our Constantinople”
  120. “Should it achieve some sort of stability in value, Bitcoin would be superior to using national currencies for global payment settlements, as is the case today, because national currencies fluctuate in value based on each nation’s and government’s conditions”
  121. “Bitcoin is the only truly decentralized digital currency which has grown spontaneously as a finely balanced equilibrium between miners, coders, and users, none of whom can control it”
  122. “After years of watching altcoins get created, it seems impossible that any coin will recreate the adversarial standoff that exists between Bitcoin stakeholders and prevents any party from controlling payments in it”
  123. “It is high time for everyone involved in BTC to stop concerning themselves with the question of the identity of Nakamoto, and accept that it does not matter to the operation of the technology, in the same way that the identity of the inventor of the wheel no longer matters”
  124. “No single altcoin has demonstrated anything near Bitcoin’s impressive resilience to change, which is down to its truly decentralized nature and the strong incentives for everyone to abide by the status quo consensus rules”
  125. “Contrary to a lot of the hype surrounding Bitcoin, eliminating the need for trust in third parties is not an unquestionably good thing to do in all avenues of business and life”
  126. “A non-Bitcoin blockchain combines the worst of both worlds: the cumbersome structure of the blockchain with the cost and security risk of trusted third parties”
  127. "“It is no wonder that eight years after its invention, blockchain technology has not yet managed to break through in a successful, ready-for-market commercial application other than the one for which it was specifically designed: Bitcoin”
  128. “The most common potential applications touted for blockchain technology - payments, contracts, and asset registry - are only workable to the extent that they run using the decentralized currency of the blockchain”
  129. “All blockchains without currencies have not moved from the prototype stage to commercial implementation because they cannot compete with current best practice in their markets”
  130. “Any application of #blockchain technology will only make commercial sense if its operation is reliant on the use of electronic cash, and only if electronic cash’s disintermediation provides economic benefits outweighing the use of regular currencies and payment channels”
submitted by shibley to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Saifedean Ammous book "The Bitcoin Standard":

"Bitcoin can be best understood as distributed software that allows for transfer of value using a currency protected from unexpected inflation without relying on trusted third parties"
"While Bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problems it purports to solve - namely, providing a form of money that is under the full command of its owner and likely to hold its value in the long run - are as old as human society itself"
"People’s choices are subjective, and so there is no “right” and “wrong” choice of money. There are, however, consequences to choices"
"I like to call this the easy money trap: anything used as a store of value will have its supply increased, and anything whose supply can be easily increased will destroy the wealth of those who used it as a store of value"
"For something to assume a monetary role, it has to be costly to produce, otherwise the temptation to make money on the cheap will destroy the wealth of the savers, and destroy the incentive anyone has to save in this medium"
"The monetary media that survived for longest are the ones that had very reliable mechanisms for restricting their supply growth - in other words, hard money"
"The choice of what makes the best money has always been determined by the technological realities of societies shaping the salability of different goods"
"Human civilization flourished in times and places where sound money was widely adopted, while unsound money all too frequently coincided with civilizational decline and societal collapse"
"Whether in Rome, Constantinople, Florence, or Venice, history shows that a sound monetary standard is a necessary prerequisite for human flourishing, without which society stands on the precipice of barbarism and destruction"
"History shows it is not possible to insulate yourself from the consequences of others holding money that is harder than yours"
"Some of the most important technological, medical, economic, and artistic human achievements were invented during the era of the gold standard, which partly explains why it was known as la Belle Epoque, or the beautiful era, across Europe"
"World War I saw the end of the era of monetary media being the choice decided by the free market, and the beginning of the era of government money"
"Government money is similar to primitive forms of money and commodities other than gold: it is liable to having its supply increased quickly compared to its stock, leading to a quick loss of salability, destruction of purchasing power, and impoverishment of its holders"
"With the simple suspension of gold redeemability, governments’ war efforts were no longer limited to the money that they had in their own treasuries, but extended virtually to the entire wealth of the population"
"Had European nations remained on the gold standard, or had the people of Europe held their own gold in their own hands […], history might have been different. It is likely that WorldWar I would have been settled militarily within a few months of conflict"
"The cause of the Great Crash of 1929 was the diversion away from the gold standard in the post-WWI years, and the deepening of the Depression was caused by government control and socialization of the economy in the Hoover and FDR years"
"All spending is spending, in the naive economics of Keynesians, and so it matters not if that spending comes from individuals feeding their families or governments murdering foreigners: it all counts in aggregate demand and it all reduces unemployment!"
"In essence, Bretton Woods attempted to achieve through central planning what the international gold standard of the nineteenth century had achieved spontaneously"
"Hyperinflation is a form of economic disaster unique to government money. There was never an example of hyperinflation with economies that operated a gold or silver standard"
"With government money, whose cost of production tends to zero, it has become quite possible for an entire society to witness all of its savings in the form of money disappear in the space of a few months or even weeks"
"Hyperinflation is a far more pernicious phenomenon than just the loss of a lot of economic value by a lot of people; it constitutes a complete breakdown of the structure of economic production of a society built up over centuries and millennia"
"Even if the textbooks were correct about the benefits of government management of the money supply, the damage from one episode of hyperinflation anywhere in the world far outweighs them"
"Hanke and Bushnell have been able to verify 57 episodes of hyperinflation in history, only one of which occurred before the era of monetary nationalism, and that was the inflation in France in 1795, in the wake of the Mississippi Bubble"
“The constantly increasing supply means a continuous devaluation of the
currency, expropriating the wealth of the holders to benefit those who print
the currency, and those who receive it earliest. This is termed the Cantillon
Effect”
“Whether it’s because of downright graft, “national emergency,” or an infestation of inflationist schools of economics, government will always find a reason and a way to print more money, expanding government power while reducing the wealth of the currency holders”
“It is ironic, and very telling, that in the era of government money, governments themselves own far more gold in their official reserves than they did under the international gold standard of 1871–1914”
“A sound money makes service valuable to others the only avenue open for prosperity to anyone, thus concentrating society’s efforts on production, cooperation, capital accumulation, and trade”
“The twentieth century was the century of unsound money and the omnipotent state, as a market choice in money was denied by government diktat, and government-issued paper money was forced on people with the threat of violence”
“Sound money is an essential requirement for individual freedom from despotism and repression, as the ability of a coercive state to create money can give it undue power over its subjects, power which by its very nature will attract the least worthy, and most immoral”
“Sound money is a prime factor in determining individual time preference, an enormously important and widely neglected aspect of individual decision making. Time preference refers to the ratio at which individuals value the
present compared to the future”
“Economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains that once time preference drops enough to allow for any savings and capital or durable consumer-goods
formation at all, the tendency is for time preference to drop even further as a
“process of civilization” is initiated”
“Microeconomics has focused on transactions between individuals, and macroeconomics on the role of government in the economy ; [...] the most important economic decisions to any individual’s well-being are the ones they conduct in their trade-offs with their future self”
“The better the money is at holding its value, the more it incentivizes people to delay consumption and instead dedicate resources for production in the future, leading to capital accumulation and improvement of living standards”
“The move from money that holds its value or appreciates to money that loses its value is very significant in the long run: society saves less, accumulates less capital, and possibly begins to consume its capital”
“Civilizations prosper under a sound monetary system, but disintegrate when their monetary systems are debased, as was the case with the Romans, the Byzantines, and modern European societies”
“What matters in money is its purchasing power, not its quantity, and as such, any quantity of money is enough to fulfil the monetary functions, as long as it is divisible and groupable enough to satisfy holders’ transaction and storage needs”
“The best form of money in history was the one that would cause the new supply of money to be the least significant compared to the existing stockpiles, and thus make its creation not a good source of profit”
“Had government money been a superior unit of account and store of value, it would not need government legal tender laws to enforce it, nor would governments worldwide have had to confiscate large quantities of gold and continue to hold them in their central bank reserves”
“The fact that central banks continue to hold onto their gold, and have even started increasing their reserves, testifies to the confidence they have in their own currencies in the long term”
“Sound money is money that gains in value slightly over time, meaning that holding onto it is likely to offer an increase in purchasing power”
“Unsound money, being controlled by central banks whose express mission is to keep inflation positive, will offer little incentive for holders to keep it”
“With unsound money, only returns that are higher than the rate of depreciation of the currency will be positive in real terms, creating incentives for high-return but high-risk investment and spending”
“Savings rates have been declining across the developed countries, dropping to very low levels, while personal, municipal, and national debts have increased to levels which would have seemed unimaginable in the past”
“One of the most mendacious fantasies that pervades Keynesian economic thought is the idea that the national debt “does not matter, since we owe it to ourselves”
“Only a high-time-preference disciple of Keynes could fail to understand that this “ourselves” is not one homogeneous blob but is differentiated into several generations -namely, the current ones which consume recklessly at the expense of future ones”
“The twentieth century’s binge on conspicuous consumption cannot be understood separately from the destruction of sound money and the outbreak of Keynesian high-time-preference thinking, in vilifying savings and deifying consumption as the key to economic prosperity”
“It is an ironic sign of the depth of modern-day economic ignorance fomented by Keynesian economics that capitalism - an economic system based on capital accumulation from saving - is blamed for unleashing conspicuous consumption - the
exact opposite of capital accumulation”
“Capitalism is what happens when people drop their time preference, defer immediate gratification, and invest in the future. Debt-fueled mass consumption is as much a normal part of capitalism as asphyxiation is a normal part of respiration”
“The only cause of economic growth in the first place is delayed gratification, saving, and investment, which extend the length of the production cycle and increase the productivity of the methods of production, leading to better standards of living”
“This move from sound money to depreciating money has led to several generations of accumulated wealth being squandered on conspicuous consumption within a generation or two, making indebtedness the new method for funding major expenses”
“As H. L. Mencken put it: “Every election is an advanced auction on stolen goods””
“As politicians sell people the lie that eternal welfare and retirement benefits are possible through the magic of the monetary printing press, the investment in a family becomes less and less valuable”
53.“The majority of the technology we use in our modern life was invented in the 19th century, under the gold standard, financed with the ever-growing stock of capital accumulated by savers storing their wealth in a sound money and store of value which did not depreciate quickly”
“The contributions of sound money to human flourishing are not restricted to scientific and technological advance; they can also be vividly seen in the art world”
“In times of sound money and low time preference, artists worked on perfecting their craft so they could produce valuable works in the long run”
56.“Modern artists have replaced craft and long hours of practice with pretentiousness, shock value, indignation, and existential angst as ways to cow audiences into appreciating their art, and often added some pretense to political ideals, usually of the puerile Marxist variety”
“As government money has replaced sound money, patrons with low time preference and refined tastes have been replaced by government bureaucrats with political agendas as crude as their artistic taste”
“The Use of Knowledge in Society, by Friedrich #Hayek, is arguably one of the most important economic papers to have ever been written”
“In a free market economic system, prices are knowledge, and the signals that communicate information”
“Prices are not simply a tool to allow capitalists to profit; they are the information system of economic production, communicating knowledge across the world and coordinating the complex processes of production”
“Any economic system that tries to dispense with prices will cause the complete breakdown of economic activity and bring a human society back to a primitive state”
“The fatal flaw of socialism that #Mises exposed was that without a price mechanism emerging on a free market, socialism would fail at economic calculation, most crucially in the allocation of capital goods”
“In an economy with a central bank and fractional reserve banking, the supply of loanable funds is directed by a committee of economists under the influence of politicians, bankers, TV pundits, and sometimes, most spectacularly, military generals”
“Creating new pieces of paper and digital entries to paper over the deficiency in savings does not magically increase society’s physical capital stock; it only devalues the existing money supply and distorts prices”
“Only with an understanding of the capital structure and how interest rate manipulation destroys the incentive for capital accumulation can one understand the causes of recessions and the swings of the business cycle”
“The business cycle is the natural result of the manipulation of the interest rate distorting the market for capital by making investors imagine they can attain more capital than is available with the unsound money they have been given by the banks”
“Contrary to Keynesian animist mythology, business cycles are not mystic phenomena caused by flagging “animal spirits” whose cause is to be ignored as central bankers seek to try to engineer recovery”
“Economic logic clearly shows how recessions are the inevitable outcome of interest rate manipulation in the same way shortages are the inevitable outcome of price ceilings”
“Monetary history testifies to how much more severe business cycles and recessions are when the money supply is manipulated than when it isn’t”
“A capitalist system cannot function without a free market in capital, where the price of capital emerges through the interaction of supply and demand and the decisions of capitalists are driven by accurate price signals”
“The central bank’s meddling in the capital market is the root of all recessions and all the crises which most politicians, journalists, academics, and leftist activists like to blame on capitalism”
“Imagining that central banks can “prevent,” “combat,” or “manage” recessions is as fanciful and misguided as placing pyromaniacs and arsonists in charge of the fire brigade”
“Central planning of credit markets must fail because it destroys markets’ mechanisms for price-discovery providing market participants with the accurate signals and incentives to manage their consumption and production”
“It is typical of the #MiltonFriedman band of libertarianism in that it blames the government for an economic problem, but the flawed reasoning leads to suggesting even more government intervention as the solution”
“Only when a central bank manipulates the money supply and interest rate does it become possible for large-scale failures across entire sectors of the economy to happen at the same time, causing waves of mass layoffs in entire industries”
“In a free market for money, individuals would choose the currencies they want to use, and the result would be that they would choose the currency with the reliably lowest stock-to-flow ratio. This currency would oscillate the least with changes in demand and supply”
“It is an astonishing fact of modern life that an entrepreneur in the year 1900 could make global economic plans and calculations all denominated in any international currency, with no thought whatsoever given to exchange rate fluctuations”
“The combination of floating exchange rates and Keynesian ideology has given our world the entirely modern phenomenon of currency wars”
“Hard money, by taking the question of supply out of the hands of governments and their economist-propagandists, would force everyone to be productive to society instead of seeking to get rich through the fool’s errand of monetary manipulation”
“Under a sound monetary system, government had to function in a way that is unimaginable to generations reared on the twentieth-century news cycle: they had to be fiscally responsible”
“For those of us alive today, raised on the propaganda of the omnipotent governments of the twentieth century, it is often hard to imagine a world in which individual freedom and responsibility supersede government authority”
82“. The fundamental scam of modernity is the idea that government needs to manage the money supply. It is an unquestioned starting assumption of all mainstream economic schools of thought and political parties”
“Having the ability to print money, literally and figuratively, increases the power of any government, and any government looks for anything that gives it more power”
“By placing a hard cap on the total supply of bitcoins, Nakamoto was clearly unpersuaded by the arguments of the standard macroeconomics textbook and more influenced by the Austrian school, which argues that the quantity of money itself is irrelevant”
“Societies with money of stable value generally develop a low time preference, learning to save and think of the future, while societies with high inflation and depreciating economies will develop high time preference as people lose track of the importance of saving”
“With sound money, the government’s war effort was limited by the taxes it could collect. With unsound money, it is restrained by how much money it can create before the currency is destroyed, making it able to appropriate wealth far more easily”
“Unsound money is a particularly dangerous tool in the hands of modern democratic governments facing constant reelection pressure. Modern voters are unlikely to favor the candidates who are upfront about the costs and benefits of their schèmes”
“Unsound money is at the heart of the modern delusion believed by most voters and those unfortunate enough to study modern macroeconomics at university level: that government actions have no opportunity costs”
“It is no coincidence that when recounting the most horrific tyrants of history, one finds that every single one of them operated a system of government-issued money which was constantly inflated to finance government operation”
“Unsound money makes government power potentially unlimited, with large consequences to every individual, forcing politics to the center stage of their life and redirecting much of society’s energy and resources to the zero-sum game of who gets to rule and how”
“In the world of fiat money, having access to the central bank’s monetary spigots is more important than serving customers. Firms that can get low-interest-rate credit to operate will have a persistent advantage over competitors that cannot”
“Banking has evolved into a business that generates returns without risks to bankers and simultaneously creates risks without returns for everyone else”
“In a world where central banks allocate credit, the larger firm has an advantage in being able to secure funding at a low rate which its smaller competitors cannot get”
“Bitcoin was the first engineering solution that allowed for digital payments without having to rely on a trusted third-party intermediary. By being the first
digital object that is verifiably scarce, Bitcoin is the first example of digital cash”
“Whereas in a modern central bank the new money created goes to finance lending and government spending, in Bitcoin the new money goes only to those who spend resources on updating the ledger”
“Difficulty adjustment is the most reliable technology for making hard money and limiting the stock-to-flow ratio from rising, and it makes Bitcoin fundamentally different from every other money”
“Bitcoin is the hardest money ever invented: growth in its value cannot possibly increase its supply; it can only make the network more secure and immune to attack”
“The security of Bitcoin lies in the asymmetry between the cost of solving the proof-of-work necessary to commit a transaction to the ledger and the cost of verifying its validity”
“The Bitcoin ledger of transactions might just be the only objective set of facts in the world”
“Bitcoin is the first example of a digital good whose transfer stops it from being owned by the sender”
“Bitcoin presents a tremendous technological leap forward in the monetary solution to the indirect exchange problem, perhaps as significant as the move from cattle and salt to gold and silver”
“Without a conservative monetary policy and difficulty adjustment, Bitcoin would only have succeeded theoretically as digital cash, but remained too insecure to be used widely in practice”
“Bitcoin’s volatility derives from the fact that its supply is utterly inflexible and not responsive to demand changes, because it is programmed to grow at a predetermined rate”
“As the size of the market grows, along with the sophistication and the depth of the financial institutions dealing with Bitcoin, this volatility will likely decline”
“As long as Bitcoin is growing, its token price will behave like that of a stock of a start-up achieving very fast growth. Should Bitcoin’s growth stop and stabilize, it would stop attracting high-risk investment flows, and become just a normal monetary asset”
“Bitcoin is the cheapest way to buy the future, because Bitcoin is the only medium guaranteed to not be debased, no matter how much its value rises”
“The strict digital scarcity of the Bitcoin tokens combines the best elements of physical monetary media, without any of the physical drawbacks to moving and transporting it. Bitcoin might have a claim to make for being the best technology for saving ever invented”
“Any person who owns Bitcoin achieves a degree of economic freedom which was not possible before its invention”
“For the first time since the emergence of the modern state, individuals have a clear technical solution to escaping the financial clout of the governments they live under”
“Bitcoin, and cryptography in general, are defensive technologies that make the cost of defending property and information far lower than the cost of attacking them”
“If BTC continues to grow to capture a larger share of the global wealth, it may force governments to become more and more a form of voluntary organization, which can only acquire its “taxes” voluntarily by offering its subjects services they would be willing to pay for”
“Contrary to popular depictions of anarchists as hoodie-clad hoodlums, Bitcoin’s brand of anarchism is completely peaceful, providing individuals with the tools necessary for them to be free from government control and inflation”
“The invention of Bitcoin has created, from the ground up, a new independent alternative mechanism for international settlement that does not rely on any intermediary and can operate entirely separate from the existing financial infrastructure”
“Bitcoin can be seen as the new emerging reserve currency for online transactions, where the online equivalent of banks will issue Bitcoin-backed tokens to users while keeping their hoard of Bitcoins in cold storage”
“Bitcoin’s advantage is that by bringing the finality of cash settlement to the digital world, it has created the fastest method for final settlement of large payments across long distances and national borders”
“Bitcoin can be best understood to compete with settlement payments between central banks and large financial institutions, and it compares favorably to them due to its verifiable record, cryptographic security, and imperviousness to third-party security holes”
“BTC, having no counterparty risk and no reliance on any third-party, is uniquely suited to play the same role that gold played in the gold standard"
“If Bitcoin continues to grow in value and gets utilized by a growing number of financial institutions, it will become a reserve currency for a new form of central bank"
“The first central bank to buy BTC will alert the rest of the central banks to the possibility and make many of them rush toward it. The first central bank purchase is likely to make the value of BTC rise significantly"
“While central banks have mostly been dismissive of the importance of BTC, this could be a luxury they may not afford for long. As hard as it might be for central bankers to believe it, BTC is a direct competitor to their line of
business”
“The modern central bank business model is being disrupted. Central banks now have no way of stopping competition by just passing laws as they have always done. They are now up against a digital competitor that most likely cannot be brought under the physical world’s laws”
“If the modern world is ancient Rome, suffering the economic consequences of monetary collapse, with the dollar our aureus, then Satoshi Nakamoto is our Constantine, Bitcoin is his solidus, and the Internet is our Constantinople”
“Should it achieve some sort of stability in value, Bitcoin would be superior to using national currencies for global payment settlements, as is the case today, because national currencies fluctuate in value based on each nation’s and government’s conditions”
“Bitcoin is the only truly decentralized digital currency which has grown spontaneously as a finely balanced equilibrium between miners, coders, and users, none of whom can control it”
“After years of watching altcoins get created, it seems impossible that any coin will recreate the adversarial standoff that exists between Bitcoin stakeholders and prevents any party from controlling payments in it”
“It is high time for everyone involved in BTC to stop concerning themselves with the question of the identity of Nakamoto, and accept that it does not matter to the operation of the technology, in the same way that the identity of the inventor of the wheel no longer matters”
“No single altcoin has demonstrated anything near Bitcoin’s impressive resilience to change, which is down to its truly decentralized nature and the strong incentives for everyone to abide by the status quo consensus rules”
“Contrary to a lot of the hype surrounding Bitcoin, eliminating the need for trust in third parties is not an unquestionably good thing to do in all avenues of business and life”
“A non-Bitcoin blockchain combines the worst of both worlds: the cumbersome structure of the blockchain with the cost and security risk of trusted third parties”
"“It is no wonder that eight years after its invention, blockchain technology has not yet managed to break through in a successful, ready-for-market commercial application other than the one for which it was specifically designed: Bitcoin”
“The most common potential applications touted for blockchain technology - payments, contracts, and asset registry - are only workable to the extent that they run using the decentralized currency of the blockchain”
“All blockchains without currencies have not moved from the prototype stage to commercial implementation because they cannot compete with current best practice in their markets”
“Any application of #blockchain technology will only make commercial sense if its operation is reliant on the use of electronic cash, and only if electronic cash’s disintermediation provides economic benefits outweighing the use of regular currencies and payment channels”
submitted by shibley to CryptoCurrencyTrading [link] [comments]

My weekend with Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, TBIS

This is my first ever blog post so please excuse me if I don’t adequately meet up to your writing expectations or answer all of your questions. Just a warning I tend to be wordy.
In the Telegram world, my name is “Titanium Big Fish” and I hold a 6-figure amount of Titanium’s utility token, TBAR. As many of you know, Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure was hacked February 21, 2018. Prior to the hack, I had always been active on the telegram channel and enjoyed talking of our future riches to others as I found myself loving the banter and comradery. Moon landings and Lambo’s were often the fun conversation. Unfortunately, this hack happened immediately after I sold my business and a week after my first child was born. I went from someone mentally retired on Titanium and crypto to someone unemployed with a newborn, having to now bust out my 2011 resume.
By February 21st, I was known to the top level in the company as a 6-figure token holder and I was still actively accumulating, so when I noticed A LOT of BAR being dumped on IDEX, I sent a telegram to Richard the COO questioning the ‘sale’ of so many tokens. Much to my surprise, and until today, I have kept this to myself, Richard asked me for my email and to sign an NDA and I was to call into a group chat. Much of what I write here might “bend” this NDA.
Besides myself on the call there were a few top-level managers. I was informed that there was a hack. Michael, the CEO sounded extremely upset. I could hear despondence and stress in his voice. Before they decided to go with their plan A, they wanted a token holders’ thoughts. Someone who might have some other insight into a different idea and hear how the community might react. I came up with an idea that was not feasible at the time which was to fork into the ‘ingots’ but Richard said the blockchain would not be ready for a few months and not a solution to stop the hacker from profiting. They then discussed an actual fork, that Richard and James could start working on ASAP. Everyone agreed that the fork was the best idea to prevent the hacker from profiting and TBAR was created at this point. Apparently, the team had previously contacted the exchanges, because our call ended when the IDEX owner called for Michael and Michael had to get off the phone with us to take that call.
There were 4 takeaways from this phone conversation that I had. One: I strongly suggested NOT to reveal this hack to the community and to make up ANY excuse but ‘hack’ to the token holders. I knew the mention of that word, would cause the BAR price to plummet and as a large holder I wanted to avoid that. Michael said, that we had to take the high road, and be honest and transparent. I really felt that was a strong statement for him to have made and it was something that I am certain that I would not have been able to do in that moment had I been the CEO. Two: I immediately noticed there was one top level manager NOT on the phone call, the CTO. I had been following Titanium and knew all the management and expected the CTO to be on this call. Literally that week I had run background checks on everyone so when someone was not there, I took notice, especially since his background check had some minor criminal issues. Three: when I asked whom I thought could possibly do something like this, it was evidently clear to me that the others on the call had a definite idea who the hacker was and it seemed Michael even wanted to blurt it out, saying something about not knowing who your true friends are. Four: I found myself somewhat on the ‘inside’ of the company.
The next few weeks were basically a nightmare. I had added to my holdings all month leading into the hack and even had a 5-figure order on the books that the hacker grabbed up. To say I was fully invested is an understatement. I became the voice of reason to many on the telegram channel, because I really believe in the project, and knew they would pull through and also suspected they knew whom the hacker was and his being caught was inevitable. Also, hearing Michael and Richards voices on the call to discuss options, gave me confidence that they had nothing to do with this. I also felt it best to be reasonable about my holding and think everything through logically and clearly before taking a negative stance on this. My logic and reasoning led me to fully believe in the team after seeing how hard they were working on resolving this. I always felt, if it was not for Hitbtc, this would have been a minor issue that would have been incredibly resolved quickly, brilliantly and with almost no loss of BAR. Over time, I started to grow closer to Richard and others on the team in my private discussions about the hack and my own Sherlock Holmes investigations. Unfortunately, I am still under my NDA and even now can not reveal things that I know because mostly they are circumstantial or might hinder the investigation. My NDA also prevented me from revealing other things that I had known in the past. For example, when a youtube interview was rescheduled, people blamed Michael for this. He seemed to be an easy fall guy, whom everyone felt just didn’t show up. However, I had known all along that it was cancelled by the interviewer and Michael was actually ready for the interview. One of the team members took the fall blaming themselves for this miscommunication. People questioned this when it was revealed, but I saw it as a team that never places blame on others and never speaks negatively about anyone, nor do they try to counter FUD even when they can and should. To me that is the sign of a company specifically thinking long term. I still have not seen a team member bad mouth anyone or any company (even HBTC).
On a whim, I reached out to Richard and said that I wanted to meet him, to see the office and meet Michael. I was concerned about my purchase, of course, and felt as a token holder I needed to see what was going on. There was a blockchain event coming up in LA and I was told that weekend would work as Martha, the CCO, would also be there.
For this trip, I rented my own car, paid for my own airfare and rented my own hotel room. Titanium did not pay for me to come out to LA and they did not suggest that I come. Titanium is not paying me to write this nor are they demanding I say or not say anything.
I never intended to write anything about my trip and my trip was not intended to answer Q and A for myself, nor did I take notes until the last day. My purpose of the trip was not to learn roadmap details nor product details, so I apologize to those that think I will fill you all in on the goodies. I was told many goodies, but I took them in stride as a big whole positive picture. I went to see if this was a long-term hold, if I should actually buy more, and to meet the humans behind Titanium, to get a feel for them specifically.
I have been careful in what I have written as to not excite people too much with mentioning things not fully completed nor have I mentioned things told to me that might violate others NDA and I do not go into detail at all on any road map dates nor many specific products really. For example, we discussed the Element wallet in detail, but I won’t mention it in this blog at all, nor will I mention many of the products being worked on. All I will say is that there are a lot of things going on.
It took me 2 weeks to get this blog out, and as we know in crypto 2 weeks is a lifetime, so many of the issues discussed below have been resolved, as well as some of the questions at the end, have already been answered.
My initial meeting with Richard and Martha was brief. It was a cordial meeting- the conversation focused on HITBTC, the big hack, the twitter hack, as well as the fud group. I initially asked what the plan was for HITBTC. Richard had told me he was waiting on their contact there to do what is asked of them, and though they seem to want to help, and they have agreed to help, they always seemed to stop short of helping. I asked if HITBTC wanted money to resolve this, he said yes, and he was willing to pay. Plan B, Richard said, will take place very soon. Although It is not an ideal solution, Richard would have to have each of the 1500+ wallet holders left on HITBTC send in proof that they have BAR on HITBTC, prove when that purchase was made, and individually, each wallet will be sent TBAR if they qualified. It would be a slow and tedious endeavor, that would use up a lot of manpower, but it would get done.
The conversation then turned to the hacker. I can’t speak to most of this as it is under investigation and I don’t know the full details, neither did Richard nor Martha. We all have our suspicions, and everything is unfortunately circumstantial at this point, so we just had an in-depth conversation on the circumstantial evidence. I can’t really discuss some of this information however, it is my opinion that this hack was a hack of vengeance, and not really for profit for they would have waited for a much better time to hack and BAR was really under the radar at this point with very low volume. This person does not want Titanium to succeed and more so, has a personal vendetta against Michael. The amount of people on this list is very, very small and it seems apparent that this is what the FUD group was set up for. Interestingly, this same person that I suspect is often in the FUD group. I suspect the person that publicly stated they did not want a fork and also publicly insinuated we should have paid the hacker, is to blame. You can all decide on that one… Interestingly, when I asked the telegram group to send over some Q and A, only 1 person asked about the hack. It seems that people are starting to move on from it.
The conversation then turned to the twitter hack and the FUD group (note: this group is currently shut down as of the writing of this blog). Much to my surprise these two things did not seem to bother Richard nor Martha very much at all as they were already past this and implemented new company protocols and procedures. They felt that they have done nothing wrong and were not concerned as the price of the token was moving downward with the market and was now currently sitting near or above ICO Ethereum price (actually as I finish this, it is double the ICO ETH price). It seems Richard was focused more on moving forward, hiring and getting the product created and out. Laser focused actually! We all suspected the twitter hacker and this FUD group are related. I suspect the same people. I learned, there is only 1 person that no longer works with the team, that would have access to the ‘released’ database (that was threatened to be released), and that person is active in that FUD group. That person still had access to the websites and I learned, apparently had shut them down a few times over the weeks. Richard said they are not even investigating the twitter takeover as it would not lead to much and they needed to focus on putting resources where they are better served. There were a lot of conversations back and forth between the founder of the FUD group and Richard. The founder of that group, was asking a large sum of ETH to do an AMA right after the hack. She was pretty upset that she was being ignored, to me it just made sense that during this moment of crisis, she obviously would not be priority #1, nor would a discord AMA be worth the price of many dozens of ETH. It is now old news, so lets move on.
Prior to my arrival in LA, I received a message from someone on Telegram who had “secret information” and correspondence from Michael regarding moving the office to Europe. This individual had once worked for the team and worked on setting up a possible international office and wanted me to know this information. I thought that would be a great idea, to get away from the regulations of the USA. Initially the person seemed to be telling me this as if it was secret FUD that he had, but when questioning him more, he said this was discussed months earlier and definitely not an escape plan, but more so to expand our offices internationally. I asked Richard his thoughts on moving the company, and he said that there are definitely no plans on doing so, however they do plan on running the DEX exchange in a favorable European country. Malta (where Binance recently opened office), Switzerland and Belarus had all come up, but no decisions were being made as to where. They went as far as looking into the intricacies of opening bank accounts and offices if necessary in these European locations, but it has not moved forward at this moment. More details might be released soon, and if so, it is not FUD, but a well thought out plan by Titanium. They truly thought everything through on this.
After about 90 minutes, Richard and Martha were heading to the office to meet Michael and interview 2 new engineers. My takeaway from the initial meeting was that I was surprised to hear Martha had recently just met Michael that morning, in person, for the first time. I had always thought they knew each other well, Michael always acted on the telegram that he was very personal with Martha, but I soon found out he is very warm and friendly to everyone. Richard and Martha had also just recently met face to face and only knew each other from Core through the ICO. My initial impression of meeting Richard is that he does not seem phased by anything. Every amount of FUD thrown his way he seemed to brush off with his answer of “we did nothing wrong, the product will speak for itself”. This seems to be his true belief. He is pretty certain of whom the hacker is, and does show some emotion when discussing that. Regarding the investigation, all Richard could say was that he was told something was definitely happening and news will be released soon. He is pretty calm and collected for someone basically running the helm here. Martha seemed to have her ducks in line and was very passionate about the project. She has the high energy and the knowledge it takes to fill her position with the company.
That night I met Richard and Martha in bar in LA. We had a few drinks and the topic of course turned to Titanium. Most of the discussion that we had made me super excited, as it detailed many of the future products. I recall texting “Dr Hodler” the telegram manager, that night and telling him I am loading up on more TBAR (since my trip my position has increased by 5 figures). Much of my memories of the conversation revolved around the master nodes. This is where my NDA really kicks in, so I can’t go into detail about them. I know they will be tiered and they will exist, though Richard mentioned unlike regular master nodes that we know of, because those pay a dividend and as a utility token we have to avoid paying a dividend. They will be blockchain rewards based. So token holders that have master nodes will earn block rewards. This was very well thought out. What I will say, and this was a running theme for the weekend, is that Richard is extremely brilliant. Not the nerdy brilliant, one-subject brilliant or boring brilliant but the type of brilliant that probably knows more about your profession, than you do. The Jeopardy champion brilliant. He thought of so many intricate details on every product and regarding these nodes, and this company, that his excitement, passion and intelligence made me excited. He did go into technical detail on these things, but I would never be able to explain it correctly. It was very detailed and thought out. Though after this evenings conversation, I do see why Michael mentioned Elon Musk once in a telegram chat.
What I would later find out about Richard was that at age 12 he was building and taking apart computers, and probably charging more to tutor people in computers, than a doctor was charging. He is someone that can lead Titanium to the top, someone that is motivated to, desires to, has the financial ability to, financial incentive to, and someone that will certainly be a huge success story in anything he wants. I am extremely confident in him and Titanium. Everyone wants to hear Michael speak, but Richard in my opinion is really the man behind the tech here. Unfortunately, like many tech guys (or geeks, though he does not come across as that), he is more comfortable behind the scenes instead of in front of a camera and never seemed to bite on my idea of getting him to do weekly video updates.
The next day we met at the Blockchain conference. It was not a great conference, but I did end up meeting 3 guys from the LA office, the amigos as Richard would say. They seemed excited to be working for Titanium. They were all intelligent and high energy, amicable and knowledgeable on this space. They were open to doing whatever it is that Richard asked of them. They were however not engineers and are part of the admin team working with Michael out of the LA office and they were there to help network with some of the youtube speakers at the conference and to get TBIS name out. Eventually one of the guys, Alex, got us in the backroom with the main speaker and a youtube personality that I follow. I was excited that this happened however that youtuber seemed only interested in how we could help him, and since his future ICO seemed like shit to me, that was not gonna happen. One takeaway was that I was a little dismayed at the teams elevator pitch. Hopefully in the future if they get to sit down with a big player off-the-cuff like that, it would be a bit more organized. I know it was the first time something like this might have happened, so next time hopefully they prepare better. Sales is extremely important in this space, and being able to spew EXACTLY what you need, what you do and how you do it, all within 30 seconds, has to be practiced. I can tell it was not. It did not matter because this guy was a dud, even though he was a main youtuber, it just goes to show these youtubers just are out only for themselves. Interestingly, in later conversation, I asked if Titanium ever paid “Supoman” and I was not surprised to hear that they 100 percent never had.
Our next stop after the conference was to head to the new office to meet Michael. One of my many reasons for investing into the ICO was because this was a USA based company, something located close enough that I could visit if I needed and because of Michael. When I first met Michael, I could see he was extremely well liked by his staff. A few of the guys that I met had come along to the office, and he hugged them when he saw them and seemed to be very warm, friendly and easy going. I have only heard great things about Michael from people that know him and worked with him and I remember our conversation on the phone after the hack how he seemed pleasant even in crisis. He was very professional as well as friendly, we shot the breeze a bit. It was mostly small talk. I had wanted to bombard him with a bunch of questions, but at the time, it didn’t seem appropriate as I was not one on one with him. Richard had already told me there was an investigation going on, but that it was secret and unless I could get alone with Michael I foresaw that was not going to be answered. He definitely seemed more the sweet, caring, puppy loving, family loving, honest and easy-going type, rather than anything else I could have imagined. I didn’t see any ‘snake oil salesman’, ‘used car salesman’ type at all. In fact, how this guy could have any enemies anywhere actually is surprising. I immediately liked him and could see why he would be good in sales. I assume anyone that does not like him, has clearly never met him.
When I thought about the office, I envisioned it where every techie developer on the team would be flown in worldwide, living out of a commune together and working 24/7 on Titanium. I envisioned team brainstorming meetings in a huge conference room with 100s of people running around. Well this I have come to understand is not what happens in the real ICO world. Titanium has a really nice office (the new carpet smell was prevalent) though it was not set up completely. It is perfect size for a start-up and I suspect mostly will be Michael’s home base /private office. Especially since Richard said he was not only not moving to LA, but that he was opening up his own office in Oregon (apparently Eugene is a tech town). Much to my dismay, the LA office is just not going to be an active hub of developers and engineers burning the midnight oil. What I have come to know is that the best developers and engineers, just don’t live in LA, nor do they want to, and I can definitely understand that. So, although Richard interviewed a few developers the day before, that might work in the office, he even said they could probably work from home (after implying he was hiring them). The LA office will house most of the admin people working for Michael and possibly the future sales staff, but really won’t be much of an active office with engineers working so anyone wanting that 24/7 camera set up in the LA office, I have given my two cents that it is stupid idea and a complete waste of time, money and energy as there will not be people burning that midnight oil like I suspected.
Previously, Richard had mentioned to me and to the telegram group that they have hired about 40 contractors and subcontracted engineers and Michael agreed with that statement when I brought it up. Richard has also told me they are hiring up to about 60 in total. I was pleasantly surprised to hear such a large number. He said they will be located worldwide and did mention what cities he was advertising in, but I have since forgotten. For the most part, people working for Titanium, will work remotely. Richard did state that anyone working for TBIS moving forward will be solely employed exclusively by TBIS and not allowed to work on any other project but ours. That was also refreshing.
Other things that were discussed with Michael was the FUD group. Again, I found it interesting that Michael did not seem to care too much about this group. I was under the impression he did not even know much about them at all. Seems the team doesn’t feel they have anything to worry about. The common theme is that they are a utility token, a product, sold to the public for future use in their ecosystem. When asked by me if they thought about getting a cease and desist on the group, they shrugged off the idea. Interestingly, everyone that bought into the ICO is now up money on TBAR compared to ETN, ETH and probably every other coin used to purchase BAR (unless fiat was used) Titanium is trading spectacularly compared to the rest of the market. One last thing that happened in the meeting with Michael was that when I revealed someone wanted me to reach out to the ex CTO for a conversation with him, Michaels demeanor completely changed. He went from a smiling happy guy shooting the breeze about the office furniture, to a complete 180 turn, becoming a stern father figure telling me exactly not to go play in shit. Basically, he gave me warning that it would be a bad idea and lets just leave it at that.
That night we ended up going back to Richards Airbnb. We all played a bit on the telegram and chatted about how inexpensive TBAR was. It was here that one of the main team members that I was with went on IDEX and purchased 12,000 TBAR after confirming the price was just too cheap at .25 cents. I also was told that recently another main team member bought a larger amount of TBAR in the 40 cent range. That was confidence building for me. Then it came up that immediately after the hack happened Richard and Martha confirmed that Richard went through ALL 22000+ wallets, one at a time, to take a snap shot of each wallets BAR holdings, to know who had what at the time. This took many hours. I was impressed. It seems that he has a lot of passion for this company and desire for it to succeed and, also that he doesn’t mind taking a back seat to all the work he does. I felt at that moment that I should write a little blog about my trip so that others can see how much work these guys are doing. Martha is also completely on the ball. She is overwhelmed I am sure with her duties, but seemed to handle everything perfectly in stride. She is also very intelligent and has her Master’s Degree in Communications from an amazing school. So even though she came from CORE, seems she is a great fit for the job.
Sunday afternoon we spent a little time going over some questions that were asked of me on the telegram chat. Much like some of my blog, some of the issues and questions have already been resolved. I apologize it took me so long to get this out.
I do want to make clear, the purpose of my trip was not for me to get answers to certain questions, it was for me to meet the team, see real substance, and get a better understanding of Titanium, it was not a Q and A session for me. It was about absorbing and getting a feel for TBIS. It was for myself and not really to make this blog. I am not technical, so I could not dig too deep into technical details, if you want those answers, hopefully the new Q and A weekly newsletter will answer those for you. I am under an NDA so some of the questions or concerns that I might have answers to, are tough for me to relay. But here are a few paragraphs of what came from these questions.
As far as partnerships are concerned, Titanium is obviously seeking out many strategic partnerships, but the product is high priority right now. Politically it is hard to discuss potential partnerships before they actually happen, so there was no set name of a partner that was mentioned. Nor did I ask. This seemed to be the theme with exchanges as well. There was a mention to me of a few exchanges that were seemingly definitely coming, but they cannot be revealed by me because there are NDA’s with those exchanges and of course things could change. I assure you from what was randomly said to me, possibly by accident, there is a real great one coming. But again, that can always change.
Product completion is imperative for acquiring customers as well, but I was happy to hear Richard and Michael are flying to Thailand to meet with a potential customer. That seems to be something Michael mentioned in a video and it was confirmed with me that it was indeed definitely happening.
As for seeing Michael more, Michael is now focused on the big picture of Titanium as a whole and will be fostering past and new relationships and partnerships for the most part. Due to this he won’t be available as much for video interviews going forward. Hopefully that changes, but the team feels that it is a positive for him to concentrate on the connections he has first and foremost.
Masternodes will be tiered and might be set up like block rewards as opposed to dividends. The larger the amount of tokens, the more possible rewards could be earned……. No word yet on how many tokens are needed for MN, rewards will be based off the new token and not TBAR. 10,000 was recently confirmed as one tier.
The way it is set up, the # of tokens will not be diminished in our lifetime, I am not sure exactly where this supply is coming from but when I asked where do the never ending supply of blockchain rewards come from, I was told, block rewards are similar to how bitcoin works and the economy is designed to last longer than any of our lifetimes.
Tbar will not be minable.
There are plans to un ban everyone that has been banned in telegram and start a new slate, once things clear up with all the TBAR HITBTC nonsense. It might be read only or they might open it back up with a short leash, but that is definitely on the agenda. I myself will probably unban everyone banned to read only shortly.
There are no patents at the moment- can’t really patent some of this kind of software but if they can they will try. They are looking into all IP patents however, and any patents they can get, they certainly will.
Technical whitepaper- a new version is coming with more tech specs and with a tech write up but not how things will work, that isn’t going to be released.
No public github but Richard will write a readme writeup for github explaining their open source stance. Some will be open source but it takes longer to open source. Companies often do this. Telegram for example has their app open sourced and some server tech but not all of it.
Titanium is concentrating on only hiring the best people around. When asked exactly how many are currently hired full time the answer was- there were already 35 direct hires and they have some contract employees working on a couple of the projects with them (I guess this is the 40 total mentioned before).
The website is being redeveloped because it was still in control of the ex CTO, who actually might have crashed it multiple times and took the ICO site offline a few times. Hmmmm, interesting.
Some of the new projects will have one-of-a-kind technology. Some were explained in depth and sound awesome…
As far as competitors go, Richard seemed happy that Google and others have been very clear on what they will be creating and he says it is not anything like what TBIS is doing.
Here are some other direct questions answered briefly. How can long term holders be rewarded? Staking of their tokens for services as well as Master Node options. Is there an ever a reduction of supply? Burning is being heavily considered as services are being paid for. Premium Michael promised after the hack? ICO supporters will have something. It is not solidified yet, the team can’t wait for ICO buyers to hear about it in the official announcement. When can we expect a working product? They currently have working versions of their product and it’s constantly evolving. Open Betas and Alphas are upcoming but I couldn’t get exact dates yet. Apparently, software design is often tricky but they have a good team and always hiring.
As far as some past FUD I would like to answer. Many brought up the home address as the address of record on TBIS website and incorporation. Those of you who question this have clearly never set up a small business in the USA. The process is simple. You can NOT lease an office without a corporate bank account, you can NOT get a corporate bank account without incorporating and you can NOT incorporate without an address. It is all one big catch 22. So, the VAST majority of business have 1 or 2 options. One is to use a home address or maybe a PO Box though I don’t think that is allowed in my state, the other option is to pay a ‘registered agent’ to collect your mail and use their random address. This is what a lot of companies do, but it costs money and there is no need for it. There is absolutely NO FUD nor concern that TBIS used a residential address as their initial address. All of my businesses have been incorporated at a residential address.
Also, I ran a background check on the 5 current and an ex main player of Titanium and 4 of the 5 background checks (the 4 current and new employee) were clean as can be, completely stellar, the 5th was not.
I also have a friend that works for the FBI. She is a psychological forensic profiler. Now I personally do not have an answer to whom was contacted regarding the hack, but my FBI friend said there is no chance, zero chance that the FBI will discuss any ongoing investigation with any Joe from the general public. She went on to say, unless you are an interviewed suspect or the victim, you would not be told about an ongoing investigation. She was very adamant about this. Even stating, “Do you think they would have fielded your call about Madoff?” However, she went on to say that the FBI would be the wrong people to contact regarding a crypto hack and that a private company that specializes in this stuff would be better, as FBI agents (in her words have no clue about this stuff) and make about 1/3 what a private company would pay their hackers.
So, this sums up my visit. I learned many things and I hope I could help you with some of your questions. I know I could not answer the whodunit question nor give a price prediction of the future of TBAR, nor resolve HITBTC for you, sorry. One of the most important things I realized is that this is truly a startup. If you are looking for a quick buck it is probably not happening. I think this frustrates many of you, causing unnecessary FUD. Much like my newborn stretching and kicking and making awkward faces, Titanium is in the newborn phase doing similar things. Finding their strong points, falling down a little, scratching themselves and even maybe a little crying / firing. Eventually, like my son, things will fall into place and what we will end up with is a very successful operation because all the groundwork is being laid right in front of our eyes. I was privileged to see the office blueprints, hear conversations about the hiring of team members, meet the CEO, hear about other offices being started, and the intricacies of products that are being built. I believe that once they overcome the hack and hitbtc and the fud, things will be smooth sailing when they can truly focus on all things positive. Those that are interrupting this process are like the big dumb schoolyard bully that doesn’t realize that instead of picking on the cool nerdy kid, they should join forces with this kid, help him off his feet as this will one day grow into something extremely successful. But like the big dumb bully, unfortunately you just can’t reason with stupid.
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