Bitcoin is not an investment.

Bitcoin is not an investment. It is not a security. It is not a stock. It is a simple method of storing and exchanging value, with some game-changing properties.

The fact that bitcoin price has constantly been rising since its inception is just a side-effect. It fools people into thinking it is an investment. The explosion in price is happening because Bitcoin is absorbing the value stored in inferior pre-existing stores of value.

As time goes by, it approaches equilibrium with competing stores of value, and that positive effect on price diminishes. We are still a long way from equilibrium.

One of the game-changing properties of bitcoin (the most important one, many agree) arises from the fact that a bitcoin’s percentage of the total fully diluted supply never changes. One bitcoin is always 0.00000476% of the total possible supply. This has an important implication.

It means that a bitcoin is the personal property of the owner. Contrast this to fiat currency, like the US Dollar. That is common property. Why? Because a dollar’s percentage of the whole is not under your control.

Others can decide to (and increasingly do) diminish your dollar’s % of the whole. Which means the value of your dollar, no matter where you hide it, is a function of the whole, it isn’t independent, like bitcoin. Others control the equation. With bitcoin, you control it all, because you don’t ever have to accept the change of total supply if it is ever attempted. Remember, better stores of value absorb value from inferior ones, and changing bitcoin to be like dollars (with their increasing supply) is doomed, as bitcoin is already demonstrating.

When people call bitcoin “a safe haven” to store value, that’s a pretty good description. Stop thinking of it as some kind of investment that will make you rich. It’s not about that. That’s gravy. As are the rest of Bitcoin’s game-changing properties.

From a Tweet storm I posted.

Bitcoin vs. Fiat

Bitcoin is finite
Fiat is infinite

Bitcoin is open source
Fiat is closed source

Bitcoin is delayed gratification
Fiat is instant gratification

Bitcoin is decentralized 
Fiat is centralized

Bitcoin is saving
Fiat is spending

Bitcoin is money
Fiat is debt

Bitcoin is peace
Fiat is war

Bitcoin is hope 
Fiat is hopelessness

Bitcoin is property
Fiat is thievery

Bitcoin is an exotic sports car
Fiat is a broken down Fiat

Bitcoin is your servant
Fiat is your master

Bitcoin is freedom
Fiat is control

Bitcoin is truth
Fiat is lies

Bitcoin is curiosity
Fiat is numbing

Bitcoin is the future
Fiat is the past

Bitcoin mining uses electricity 
Fiat mining uses you

Bitcoin is love
Fiat is Hate

Bitcoin goes to the moon
Fiat goes to hell

Bitcoin is signal
Fiat is noise

Bitcoin is clarity
Fiat is obfuscation

Bitcoin is rules
Fiat is rulers

Bitcoin circles the earth.
Fiat circles the drain.

Bitcoin is self-responsibility
Fiat is victimization

Bitcoin is Fuck You Money
Fiat is Money That Fucks You

Fiat grants the government the right to run your life
Bitcoin grants you the right to run the government

Fiat gives you compounding debt
Bitcoin gives you compounding wealth

Fiat is income tax tech
Bitcoin is income stacks tech

Bitcoin is
Fiat isn’t

Bitcoin is everything
Fiat is

—-
This is a curated, edited list from this Twitter thread by @GunnarStoedle. Also this tweet. And this, this and this tweet.

Improve your universe.

Here’s what works for me.

Balance. There are never enough hours in a day. Get some work done, have some fun, do something nice for someone else’s benefit, call it a day.

Don’t be afraid to block people on social networks that you feel are never going to learn, or that will make you stupider for following them.

Never get offended by anything anyone says. If you do, maybe you are wrong about your facts or are reacting emotionally.

Better to buy nothing, rather than to buy crap. Wait until you can buy one of a decent quality instead of settling for a cheap, low quality product. Watch out whom you encourage. You are voting with your money. Those you buy from will be there tomorrow. Those you don’t buy from will disappear.

You will be thought of as “great to talk to” the more you listen.

There’s always someone smarter than you, quicker than you, or better than you. But you can still improve yourself.

The more you give things away, the more you will have.

Help people whenever they ask. How often do you really get the chance?

Eat real food. This is more important than choosing between eating “plant-only”, carnivore, vegetarian, whatever. Avoid processed foods. Avoid vegetable/seed oils, sugars, and refined carbs like white bread, white pasta, white flour. Just eat real, whole foods.

Weight loss? Easy. Intermittent fasting. But really, these two words are the key: control hunger. It’s not about how much you exercise.

Build muscle. If you do a lot of aerobic exercise but still don’t feel healthy, here’s a nice change. Switch to 20 minutes of weightlifting or resistance training two times a week, working your muscles to momentary failure, and prepare to be amazed. Too involved? Do the farmer’s walk. Simple.

There is no such thing as “the economy”. It is a completely fabricated concept. Similarly, there is no such thing as “society”. There are only individuals. Every other group is virtual.

Learn about the non-agression principle. Coercing others (even by just encouraging government to do it for you) to do things to accommodate your view of how the world should be is a surefire path to destruction.

The universe doesn’t owe you anything. This realization should be more wonderful than scary.

Manage your own money. Don’t ever let a financial advisor touch it. They can not do what you do. They are shackled, they must protect your money, or lose their job. Only you can put your money at real risk, and risk is how you multiply your money. You can’t afford to just “save” for the future, when the value of money is melting away at ever accelerating rates. You have to multiply your savings.

Don’t try to make money overnight. That’s improbable. Patience. Money really does flow from the impatient to the patient.

Keep things simple with investments. Place your “bets” and wait. A few course corrections are okay. Don’t constantly make changes. Don’t try to protect your money by taking it out of play because you are afraid there’s going to be some kind of crash or “correction”. That’s when you get left behind.

You WILL get scammed. Learn from it, and move on.

Never scam someone else. This will not improve your universe. It will flush it down the toilet.

The mind can turn heaven into hell, and hell into heaven. Keep this in mind whenever your world seems to be collapsing.

If someone pulls a knife on you, it’s not a fight, it’s life or death. Run if you can. You probably won’t see it coming, so never let an offender get close in the first place. (I don’t know for sure, this never happened to me.)

If you find yourself blaming “this” government, or “this” leader, and think that the other parties or another leader would have done better, grow up.

The Golden Rule really works.

Take responsibility for your mistakes. Admit to them, and try to fix them. If you blame others, you’re screwed.

Just do it. Just go. Just be there. It’s a major ingredient for success.

Don’t be afraid to fail. That’s another ingredient for success.

Hate and grudges are poison. Mainly for you, not for the target of your hate. Move on. Your universe doesn’t need to include people who have wronged you. Revenge doesn’t work, it makes everything far worse.

Plan for the future. You probably will live long. Always put some effort for the present, and some for the future.

If life or your situation gets really bad (and it will), calm down, don’t despair, try to get through it without destroying things or relationships. The next day then has a much better chance of being a better one. Don’t hold grudges.

Don’t say something about someone that, if they heard you saying it, you would be unable to defend or you would be ashamed to say it to their face. It will still happen. Try to realize when you are doing it, and stop.

This is a tough one to do. If you have sleep issues, go to sleep at the same time every day, with the same bedtime routine whenever possible. Wake up at the same time every day. Try your best to accomplish this. Studies show that this is even more important than the number of hours of sleep you get. Sleep may feel like a waste of time, but those 8 hours “lost” are what can make the difference between an unproductive, depressing 16 hours awake, or a great productive, happy day.

Buy good quality tools. Never buy cheap tools. Then upgrade the ones you use the most by buying the best you can afford.

Socialism is the path to destruction of all that is good in the world. The current Pope (Francis) is a socialist. Socialism appears to be good at first glance, but it is based on violent coercion. Beware.

Macs, move to ARM already

I think, hidden in my last two blog posts, was this undeclared conclusion:

At this point, there’s no reason for Apple to stick to Intel chips in Macs. Almost nothing of significance* runs on the latest MacOS anymore that can’t be recompiled by its developer to run on Apple A-chips (ARM) in an afternoon’s work.

So I guess it is high time that Apple switches from Intel to Apple chipsets. I, for one, will not be upgrading my 2016 MacBook Pro until that happens.

*To the existence of the Mac as its own platform separate from iPad or Windows PCs

Apple Arcade

As a quick follow-up to my last post, I’d like to point out that MacOS and iOS both have the new Apple Arcade subscription.

Apple Arcade doesn’t have any AAA titles. Blockbusters.

It’s not exciting. These subscriptions include a boatload of games, but nothing big and exciting. Nobody talks about these games. Imagine if Netflix had all the shows it did but none ever became popular and attracted people to the service for it.

For a computer system like the Mac, Apple Arcade doesn’t seem compelling. It looks and feels like you’re subscribing to be able to play a bunch of mini games.

This may be ‘OK’ for iOS devices… but not for the Mac. Not as a way to save the situation described in my previous post.

Mac vs. PC (gaming and VR)

Gaming on desktop computers is still important. My two sons love playing games on our desktop computers. They both started with MacOS. They both were using MacOS on iMacs.

But a year ago, one of them asked to install Windows. I bought a copy of Windows and we installed it. Because of games. He has never since loaded MacOS again. His next computer will be a Windows PC. His favorite game just recently announced dropping support for the Mac. Now I can’t play it (I love my MacBook Pro and my desktop setup with it, I have so far refused to dual boot Windows or get a second computer, a PC).

My other son also installed Windows on his iMac recently. But then wanted to switch to a laptop. We sold the iMac and bought an Alienware laptop. The MacBook Pro was completely and utterly wrong for this purpose. The 144hz display on the Alienware is amazing for games.

I don’t think these two will ever go back to MacOS the way things are.

The state of gaming on the Mac is dismal right now. Here are some facts. Some are old news, some are new:

  • Steam is a great game platform many people use. It supports the Mac.
  • Steam just today dropped VR support on MacOS.
  • With the latest MacOS, Catalina, many Steam games no longer work. Most of the games I bought for my Mac no longer work. Most likely this is the same reason new game software doesn’t support the Mac.
  • If Macs move to Apple chips, that’s not going to help at all. Nail in the coffin?
  • Overwatch by Blizzard, MTG Arena, and many other cool titles don’t work on MacOS.
  • The MacOS App Store doesn’t have what people want. Game developers just find it to be too much trouble, or the system access is too restricted, or the “deal” is just not good enough on the App Store. So the good stuff isn’t on MacOS.
  • Apple claims iMacs are great for VR. Steam just today dropped VR support on MacOS.
  • Macs don’t support things like greater than 60hz displays, even now.
  • There are at least 3 big MMORPG games that support Mac still, at least there’s that. World of Warcraft (Blizzard) has the money to convert their game to “Metal” (the API for using Mac/MacOS hardware graphics to get the most out of the machine) but who else has that kind of time and money? Apparently not many.

Apple may have been thinking they have so many iOS developers that can now make games for the Mac. But the gaming world does not revolve around iOS.

Apple doesn’t seem to be doing “whatever it takes” to make MacOS great for game developers to support. Perhaps this is “niche”, and they don’t care so much. Perhaps they think the iPad is the future of computers. I doubt that. But something’s wrong then.

It looks like, if I want to play “computer games” (not console, not iPhone), I will have to switch to using a Windows PC. My options are getting more limited every month, it seems.

Euphemisms and fake concepts

Four things today:

1) Government can’t “buy back” your weapons because they never sold them to you in the first place. Also, they won’t give you fair market value, so really, just say the truth, that government will basically be stealing gun owner’s property if they only give them pennies on the dollar. Have the guts to tell it like it is, since you’re going to take the weapons either way.

2) “Self-quarantine” is a euphemism, it’s “forced quarantine”.

3) There is no such thing as “crisis profiteering” or “price gouging during a period of emergency”, it is illogical. It is contradictory. I’ll debate this with you, but be prepared to be exposed as a closet communist!

4) The concept of money is NOT evil. However, the implementation of money that we are currently using IS evil, because it is an economically and socially destructive scheme. Yes, I’m talking about “fiat money”, the state-issued, debt-based, increasingly valueless money used as money because of government decree. The unlimited amount of inflation that fiat money is subject to is particularly evil.

…and for that much loved friend that rolls his eyes (hates!) when I use the word “evil”, because it seems like incendiary rhetoric, the definition is simple: “whatever harms or obstructs the causes for happiness in this life”.

Capitalism

Two travellers cross paths in the desert. There’s nobody else around. One, for some reason does not have any water, and clearly will not be able to reach civilization before dying from dehydration. The other has 2 jugs of water. One jug is all either one needs to reach civilization.

The thirsty traveller asks the other if he could give him a jug of water. The other says “I will not give one to you, but I’ll sell you one. Show me the contents of your purse so I can see how much money you have.” The other takes out his satchel and shows him he has 5 bars of pure gold, worth over 50000 jugs of water if traded in the nearest city. This is in actuality the thirsty traveller’s life savings. “Okay,” says the traveller with the water jugs, “I’ll trade you 1 jug of water for all your gold bars. Take it or leave it.”

The thirsty traveller thinks about it and gives the other his answer.

Question 1: If the thirsty man decides he does not want to make the trade for some reason (e.g. because “he is not going to be taken advantage of”, or “I don’t think water is worth that price, I worked hard for my money”) then isn’t he making the decision which he thinks will be the most beneficial to himself? (Same question if he decides to make the trade)

Question 2: Is the traveller with the water taking advantage of the thirsty traveller if he accepts this “ridiculous” trade? Or is it a “win-win” transaction?

Question 3: Is the thirsty traveller happy to have this opportunity to make this decision or better off not having ever crossed paths with the traveller with the jugs?

Question 4: If the thirsty traveller accepts and is happy with the trade (maybe thinking “better to be alive and poor than rich and dead”), and the traveller with the 2 remaining jugs is also happy (maybe thinking, “I guess water out here is worth that much!”), would you like a powerful third party to come and intervene in the name of whomever you think is the poor “loser” in this transaction and make it more “fair”?

Question 5: If the thirsty traveller refuses the trade and prefers to keep his money, and the traveller with the jugs says “suit yourself” (maybe thinking “I guess water out here isn’t worth that much”), should then a powerful third party come and intervene?

Question 6: What if the traveller with the jugs only had ONE jug, does this change your answer for question 2?

Question 7: What if there were two thirsty travellers and only the one that has the most money gets to buy the jug of water. Is there an injustice occurring because the poorer traveller will die but the richer traveller gets to live?

Question 8: What does it mean that the richer traveller had more money than the poor one? (Assume the richer one got the money legitimately)

By your answers to these questions, I think I would know what Capitalism means to you. Go ahead and send them to me, if you can find my email address.

Happy 10th Birthday Bitcoin

Bitcoin is 10 years old today.

Hundreds of obituaries. Dozens of rage quitting economists. $Trillion+ transacted.

10 years of a decentralized uncensorable currency available to anyone, anywhere. Even if you don’t agree with the power it brings, you can no longer ignore it. It’s here to stay, and will change everything. Its impact will be huge.

Happy birthday Bitcoin, you red-pilling, hope-giving, savage son of a gun! You are one of the most important steps towards freedom that we’ve seen in the last 100 years.

The first Bitcoin block was mined on January 3rd, 2009.

[In your face Nouriel Roubini, Glenn Fleishman and @counternotions]
[Parts of this text lifted from tweets by @hodlonaut and @nvk]

33 reasons why holding bitcoin is better than holding gold

Here are 33 reasons why holding bitcoin is better than holding gold. I hold and have experimented with both in various ways, which helped me come up with this list.

By the way, holding bitcoin means being in possession or control of the private keys to your bitcoins, like when using certain bitcoin wallet apps, instead of keeping a bitcoin balance online at an exchange or in an online wallet. Holding gold means being in possession or control of it, not owning gold certificates or bonds. Same idea, except one is the digital equivalent to the other’s analog.

1.

If you store your gold at home or in your apartment, it can be stolen. You can also lose access to your home, and therefore your gold. Gold can melt in a fire. Bitcoin can’t. If you store your gold in a bank vault, you can also lose access to it for a variety of reasons.

2.

If you carry your gold coins or bars around, they can be lost or taken. You can get mugged. You may be the victim of civil asset forfeiture, or other illegal seizure. Your Bitcoin cannot be taken from your smartphone or encrypted paper wallet without your consent. Also, nobody can frisk you or search your car or bags and figure out you have Bitcoin on you.

3.

You can’t buy stuff online with your gold. Like furniture from Overstock, items or services on craigslist, computers from Dell, Microsoft, and hundreds if not thousands of other online services and stores.

4.

You can’t buy gold online and immediately receive it within moments. It must be shipped to you, insured, and you have to be there at the right moment to receive it. Nor can you upload your gold to liquidate it into cash.

5.

If you get sued for any reason, or divorced, or your assets are seized by a court or the state, whether rightfully or wrongfully, then your gold stash can be physically seized. Your bitcoin cannot be taken from you without your consent.

6.

The best “sound money” is the one you have with you! Not only is Bitcoin safe to carry around, but Bitcoin has no weight, so you are not disincentivized to carry it around. You won’t carry around gold bars or coins larger than a Maplegram for those reasons. If your gold is at home and you need to liquidate it for some reason, you have to go back home to get it, and that may not be a good option at all times.

7.

Carrying gold around is less useful than bitcoins, because there are comparatively far less businesses –and these days, people– that accept gold for payment than Bitcoin.

8.

You can’t cross borders with some of your gold stash without declaring it. You can’t even bring any worthy amount on an airplane.

9.

There’s no “app for that”. You can’t send your gold to somebody over the internet. You have to hire today’s equivalent to the Pony Express, such as UPS or FedEx, and then wait, and trust them with it. Or deliver it yourself. Slow, tedious, costly.

10.

You can’t safely trade your gold for cash in-person with someone you don’t know and trust. With Bitcoin, there are trustless ways to trade.

11.

Storing your gold securely at home requires an expensive safe and electronic surveillance. Security through obscurity is weak. Storing your bitcoin securely just requires you to memorize a PIN code or a passphrase. You can have better than Fort Knox security with your Bitcoin at no charge other than to make sure you have a good smartphone (a non-jailbroken iPhone 6 and up with latest iOS will do fine.) and follow some best practices.

12.

You can’t get a gold-backed credit or debit card and then decide to instantly load it up with some of your gold stash.

13.

You can’t buy and sell gold at ATMs across the world. You can only *buy* gold from a Vending machine. In Dubai.

14.

If government outlaws private possession of gold, as they did in the USA until 1975 (and could do it again, as other countries still do), forcing individuals to return gold in return for paper currency, the risks of discovering your gold stash (or being denounced) are far greater than if this happens with bitcoin.

15.

It’s hard to tell the purity of gold. You might own impure or even fake gold. It’s drop-dead easy to know if you have real bitcoins.

16.

You can’t convert Gold to Silver or to Platinum or other precious metals if those become more fashionable or have better growth prospects with the press of a button from your sofa. You can convert Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies with the press of a button in your bitcoin wallet app.

17.

You can’t simultaneously store your gold in multiple locations. You can keep copies of your bitcoin private key in multiple locations.

18.

You can’t give partial control of your gold to other people. With Bitcoin, you can give private keys to your bitcoins to a certain number of people and have them controled only if 2, 3 or more of them accept to make a given transaction.

19.

You can’t lock-in your gold so it can’t be traded/sold until a certain time. You can with Bitcoin.

20.

You can’t check your gold balance (or know if it is still all there) whenever you want even, from anywhere. You can with bitcoin.

21.

You can’t accept gold donations securely without even being there to receive them or paying/trusting a 3rd party to collect and protect them for you. With bitcoin, you can. It can be as easy as having a bitcoin sticker with the bitcoin QR code to donate to on it.

22.

You can’t convert gold to a brainwallet and store it entirely in your mind. You could be naked and in solitary confinement and still control fortunes and therefore have the power to spend/trade it.

23.

Bitcoin is easily divisible into smaller units as needed. Gold, not so much. I have some nifty 1g Canadian Mint MapleGrams, they are pretty tiny, but still worth about $50 USD each. You can have $2.00 of bitcoin or whatever you need.

24.

Gold transactions can be reversed. Through violent coercion. Bitcoin transactions cannot.

25.

Bitcoin is more scarce. Total amount of gold is unknown, and in some ways unlimited. Total amount of bitcoin is known to all, and is limited. Scarcity helps maintain value.

26.

Gold mining/production rate (and therefore daily supply) is variable. Gold mines can be discovered. Therefore its scarcity is variable. Bitcoin production is a known and fixed quantity. Gold production may increase over time. Bitcoin production gets cut in half every 4 years. This directly affects supply and demand and therefore is a factor that causes bitcoin’s increase in value over time.

27.

You can’t mine gold from the comfort of your home, while doing other stuff. You can do this with bitcoin. Just buy a mining rig, plug it in and configure it, and you’ll be accumulating bitcoin.

28.

You can’t start your own precious metal or even mint your own coins or create a gold-backed currency of your own (see Liberty Dollar and e-Gold). You do all that with Bitcoin.

29.

Bitcoin is programmable (can support smart contracts, tokens, secure and automatic crowdfunding), gold is not.

30.

Bitcoin can and does significantly evolve. It gets new capabilities and features every year. Gold, far less, such as the introduction of thin, wallet-size gold wafers that can be separated into tiny rectangles for divisibility.

31.

Bitcoin can exist in virtual worlds below our level and move back and forth between the current layer (the real world) and the virtual layer (the level below), gold cannot.

32.

Bitcoin is still new, with a blue sky for potential value gain. Market cap is less than $100 billion. Gold has at least a $1 trillion market cap. Lots of room for bitcoin to grow. Gold, far less. It’s gold’s market cap to lose, and bitcoin’s to gain.

33.

Bitcoin transactions are time stamped, so proving you traded it is easy. Proving you paid in gold requires a trusted receipt, and the receipt can be cheated.