So much money has been destroyed at the hands of centralized altcoins and crypto platforms.
So many have suffered as a result of placing blind faith in these projects. Stories abound of people losing their life savings after holding it in a platform like FTX or Celsius.
But there’s one group who has, sadly, been vindicated at the same time.
For years, so-called “maximalists” have been trying to warn others of the dangers posed by centralized crypto projects and platforms. As has now become clear, these warnings mostly fell on deaf ears.
The “toxicity” of these maximalists suddenly looks a lot more sobering.
Perhaps the suggestion of Bitcoin maximalism that altcoins and centralized services tend to not be what they seem was insulting.
Or maybe it seems like Bitcoin maximalists promoting Bitcoin self-custody over crypto collateralization have fallen victim to some sort of strange cult-like ideology, as some critics have claimed.
But is that the case?
Bitcoin Maximalism: FTX Collapse Explained
The details of the FTX collapse have been covered extensively in countless articles, podcasts, and videos. There are certainly some interesting details [see my podcast episode on the subject here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PXlovQwDDk.
But for the most part, I want to focus on one thing: the harmful, or, some might say, toxic, concepts that allowed this type of thing to happen in the first place. First, let’s look at a quick rundown of the FTX collapse.
This simple 11-step explanation by journalist Matt Levine describes quite well just how a scam of this magnitude was orchestrated:
In essence, a PoS coin like FTT gave SBF and FTX a license to print money by using FTT as collateral for dollar loans. Dollars that were then used to buy everything and everyone. This always leads to catastrophe, whether it be in crypto or the traditional financial system.
SBF has since been put in jail before being released on $250 million bond. His parents put up part of the bond for his release, although it’s unclear as of yet who else participated.
There are at least two other individuals who helped secure SBF’s bond, although as of now, they remain anonymous. SBF’s legal team has requested that the identities of these people be kept secret. We’ll see how the story continues to play out in the months to come.
But it’s okay, SBF is very sorry:
Bitcoin Represents Hope
The Bitcoin protocol includes a hard supply cap of 21 million BTC. This cannot be changed. If someone were to try to change the code, full nodes would hard fork the original protocol away, and the new chain would become worthless like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or the countless other forks of Bitcoin.
For the first time in human history, everyone can now have access to hard, unconfiscatable money. As Bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor puts it, Bitcoin gives property rights to billions of people who otherwise have none. “Life is hopeless” for billions of people, Saylor has said, referring to the fact that fiat currencies are constantly devalued by those who print the money.
This equates to a devaluation of life – the time and effort spent to earn that fiat currency.
Bitcoin provides an “escape hatch,” as Christine Lagarde, former head of the IMF and current president of the ECB put it, from the perils of the perpetual loss of savings that ensue when central banks print money. They do so with no concern for the average person and no consent from the public.
In fact, most people do not even know that to a large degree, their financial fates lie in the hands of a very small group of unelected officials.
Thanks to Bitcoin, that is no longer the case.
Simple, Secure Crypto Exchange
Looking for a secure, reputable exchange where you can buy Bitcoin?
Kraken has been in the crypto exchange business for over a decade. Their platform has never been hacked.
For those unaware, Andrew Tate became the most Googled person on the planet earlier this year. Names like Donald Trump and Joe Biden became less interesting to internet searchers than Andrew Tate.
Everyone seems to be talking about how much they love or hate this guy, what he stands for, and where he came from.
But far fewer have posed the question: how did he accomplish this level of notoriety in such short order?
How did one man go from relative obscurity to being more internet famous than anyone else alive?
In this post, I’ll examine the process and methods used by Andrew Tate to achieve monumental success in short order.
First: who is Andrew Tate and why does anyone care?
Andrew Tate is a four-time world champion kickboxer. He once appeared on the UK’s Big Brother, where he got kicked off the show. He’s also appeared on several other reality TV shows throughout his life.
But none of this has much to do with the man’s recent fame.
In little more than six months, this guy took over the entire internet. After being banned and de-platformed from almost all mainstream social media platforms (at which point his success and notoriety skyrocketed even further), he has gone on to appear on national TV shows like Piers Morgan’s Uncensored.
Here’s a screenshot showing Andrew Tate’s Google Interest peaking at 100 during August of 2022:
His controversial takes on masculinity, money, gender roles, and self-improvement are a big part of what got people talking about him. Tate has appeared on many podcasts and YouTube channels which receive millions or even tens of millions of viewers and listeners.
Andrew Tate’s brother, Tristan Tate, also appears in much of the content.
Important Note: Not an Endorsement
First, I encourage readers to proceed with an open mind and objective perspective.
I’m not here to argue for or against anything Andrew Tate has to say. The specifics of his content are not the subject here. Rather, I’m going to look at the marketing methods that made him so successful.
To be fair, Andrew Tate was already successful before his recent fame. The man was a multi-millionaire before anyone knew his name. Details of his past entrepreneurial endeavors can be found online easily, and aren’t relevant for our purposes here.
Money had little to do with Tate’s marketing successes, however. Instead, he employed a strategy that the world has never seen before.
And while certain elements of these tactics were already well-known and widely used, the marketing campaign as a whole represents a massive undertaking that was executed in a way that has never been done to date.
Tate is fond of proclaiming his intent to “conquer the world.”
It only took about six months for him to accomplish that, at least in terms of virality online.
Here’s how it happened.
Step 1: Create Controversy
It began with Tate appearing on many different podcasts espousing his views on money, life, and gender roles.
Most of his conversations were with people who disagreed with his views. He would often be over-the-top with his enthusiastic communication, making for an entertaining show.
A lot of his speaking involved encouraging young men to live up to their potential, pleading for the public to be less manipulated by the media, and bragging about his finances and previous fighting prowess.
But mixed in with these more positive comments would be the occasional sexist remark, unruly rant, or controversial worldview.
This was no accident. Tate has stated publicly that he sometimes uses controversy and deliberate provocation to “emotionally manipulate” people, arousing their anger to make for a more interesting and compelling conversation.
This element was key in setting the stage for a rise to radical fame.
Step 2: Get Banned
Perhaps the most crucial and ingenious part of Tate’s strategy was this: most of his content doesn’t exist on his own channels.
Instead, he appeared on dozens of other people’s podcasts and YouTube channels. This way, even after being de-platformed, he’s still everywhere. YouTube, Instagram, and other social media networks still have tons of Tate’s content all over them.
It may seem counterintuitive, but getting banned was the best thing that ever happened to Tate, at least in terms of his popularity.
But a portion of that content also contains ideas about masculinity and traditional gender roles that many people find offensive.
So, when he was banned, these potentially offensive words were mostly weeded out as platforms sought to enforce their terms of service.
What does that leave us with?
A whole bunch of videos and podcasts that make the man look like a saint. Everything he says (that remains online and uncensored) encourages young men to become the best version of themselves, strive to get more out of life, and refuse to settle for lesser expectations that others and society may have placed upon them.
YouTube channels have popped up devoted to “Tate Inspiration” or “Make Money Like Tate,” or similar names.
These are not things that Tate paid for. Why would he have to do such a thing? He’s already rich and famous.
Rather, because his content has seen so much engagement, other people have every incentive to try and piggyback off it.
Take this blog post and related podcast episode, for example. There’s a good chance I’ll get traction with this topic simply because the name Andrew Tate appears in the title.
The only difference is that I’m offering a unique marketing perspective that no one else has shared to date, at least as far as I know (if you know of others who have broken down this process in a similar way, please say so in the comments below).
Step 3: Make a Comeback
After being banned, Tate’s popularity skyrocketed.
Personally, I never knew this guy existed until I heard about him being banned.
Within just a few months of being banned, Tate began appearing on even bigger shows than ever before. He’s gained an audience with people he never would have without executing the first two steps.
Building Your Brand, Using Multiple Mediums, and Networking Consistently
Starting out as a freelancer can be difficult.
So difficult, in fact, that many never even get started.
I have a friend who works as a programmer and coding tutor, and while he doesn’t want a new 9-5 job, he’s so intimidated by the prospect of starting a freelance career that he remains practically paralyzed.
The biggest question he has is, “how do you get work?”. That may indeed be the most difficult part of the equation, as it does take some time and strategic planning.
But it can be done. Without knowing how to market yourself as a freelance writer, however, you don’t stand a chance.
Regardless of whether you want to be a freelance writer, developer, video creator, or anything else, there are some important things to know when it comes to marketing.
This post will provide a great starting point for some of the key ways how to market yourself as a freelance writer.
Consider the Source
First thing’s first: why should you listen to me?
I’ve been doing this for five years. That has included the 2020 recession as well as the recession going on right now.
I’m now at the point where I don’t have to market myself very much. Most of my business comes through inbound leads on LinkedIn, and every now and then, my website.
My inbound marketing work mostly consists of posting and commenting on LinkedIn, getting new connections, and the occasional video or blog post (like this one). I don’t do much outbound marketing these days beyond reaching out to new LinkedIn connections, people who have viewed my profile, past clients, or applying to the occasional freelance writing job.
It wasn’t that long ago I was writing for content mills, making a measly $0.02 per word. Now my average rate is more than 50x that.
My freelance writing income was once beneath the poverty level. Today, I’m financially independent and constantly improving.
In the past 18 months, I’ve
raised my rates several times,
reached over 4,000 connections on LinkedIn,
gotten bylines in Business Insider and The Balance,
appeared on a few podcasts, and
been granted a Google Knowledge Panel.
That’s enough shameless self-promotion for now. Let’s get into the details of how to market yourself as a freelance writer.
Figure Out Your Niche
Before you can do anything, you must find your niche. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, it will be much easier to market yourself and get inbound leads.
Some gurus claim you don’t need a niche. That might work for some, but I don’t recommend it.
There are too many benefits that come from having a niche not to have one. Some of these include:
Writing about similar topics consistently. This makes your job easier because you will often already know something about what you need to write about. Assignments will become less research-intensive and you can be more creative. This both makes your writing better and allows you to work faster.
Achieving expert-level authority. As mentioned, there’s a lot of value in being perceived as an expert. You can raise your rates to the highest level possible, get higher-status bylines, grow your network with ease, and create higher-quality content.
Focus on where you’re needed most. Having a niche allows you to target specific publications for pitching if you’re doing outbound marketing, and makes it easier for people to find you when it comes to inbound marketing. You can also create content focused on your niche, which makes it easier for you to build your blog’s SEO using topics that are related to each other.
If you don’t have a niche, the only real benefit is that you open yourself up to writing about anything. While this may mean there are more job openings for you, it can make it more difficult to find anything in the first place and means you will have to spend additional time conducting extra research every time you write about something new.
Creating your personal brand forms the foundation for everything else you will do.
This starts with creating a name for your company, creating a logo, and getting a professional email address. Being consistent is key. This way, you’ll be easily recognizable no matter where someone finds you.
As an example, my company name is BDN Content, my primary email is Brian@bdncontent.com, my social media handles are @bdncontent, and one of my logos looks like this:
You can hire a graphic designer on Fiverr to create a simple logo for yourself.
I also recommend researching color psychology when creating your logo. That’s a different topic that I won’t delve into here.
Create Your Own Content
After establishing a brand and a niche, you can start putting your content marketing skills to work for yourself.
Short-form social media posts and long-form blog posts are obviously a good target, but the occasional video and live streams can be helpful, too. Use tools like InVideo to help you more easily create video content, or hire a cheap freelancer on Fiverr to create videos for you (pro tip: don’t search for freelance writing work on Fiverr, Upwork, or other freelancing platforms).
Some writers also choose to utilize other mediums like podcasting. Creating a podcast can be a big undertaking, although there are ways to simplify the process. If you just want to record yourself speaking and have that be the podcast, then all you need is a USB microphone and recording software like Audacity. Having a full-on audio program that includes guests takes a bit more work.
There’s one key point to note here: focus your efforts on where the most results come from.
This is one of the most important things to know when it comes to how to market yourself as a freelance writer.
I used to use Buffer to post to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook automatically, in addition to manually making Instagram posts. This turned out to be a monumental waste of time.
At some point, I realized LinkedIn was the only place I ever got any results from, so I started focusing my efforts there.
Now I spend less time overall on this kind of content marketing while getting a much greater outcome.
Another crucial point to mention on the subject of creating your own content: you must own the digital real estate upon which you post.
Otherwise, you run the risk of being de-platformed for whatever reason. That means you must have your own self-hosted website.
If you create a course, host it on your own platform.
If you start a podcast or create videos, make sure they exist on your site in addition to platforms like Spotify or YouTube.
When it comes to how to market yourself as a freelance writer, there’s nothing worse than going through the effort to create and publish content only to have it all wiped away in a flash by someone working at a social media company (I was banned from Twitter for a few months in 2020 for no reason, so I have personal experience with this).
Research, Rewind, Repeat
Putting out content that’s related to your niche and provides value to others will build your brand, increase your visibility, and bring you leads. It’s vital to have a system like this up and running, as it reduces your chances of waking up one day and wondering where the next project will come from.
Even when you have plenty of client work, try to keep marketing yourself to some degree. Obviously, if your schedule is packed with high-paying projects, you won’t have time to write a blog post, make videos, or record podcasts every week. But you can still post and comment on LinkedIn.
The key is to make it a point to produce something whenever some downtime presents itself.
Of course, there’s another piece I left out here: cold pitching. This should be a part of how to market yourself as a freelance writer, too.
Cold pitching involves pitching an idea to a publication that didn’t advertise a job.
A slightly less intimidating form of outbound marketing comes in the form of asking for referrals. When you connect with someone new on LinkedIn, send them a message saying what you do, asking them to refer you to anyone who may need your kind of writer, and offering to do the same for them.
That last piece is important because anyone who asks for favors without offering anything in return won’t be welcomed. Personally, I block people who do that 100% of the time.
Most freelancers begin with a mix of outbound and inbound marketing before reaching a “tipping point” at which most of their work comes from consistent inbound leads.
Join a Community
One of the fastest ways to accelerate your career as a freelance writer is to join a community of others working to do the same. This allows you to learn from others’ mistakes and successes, potentially saving you years of wasted effort.
To date, there have been over 20,000 altcoins created. 99.9% of them have no legitimate use case. Their main purpose is to enrich their creators. Over time, most have seen their values tank by over 99% against Bitcoin, never to recover. The reason has to do with why Bitcoin is the most secure blockchain, and altcoins can’t compete.
They are not decentralized by definition. Some of them are even pre-mined, meaning the coins were all brought into existence at once by one central group of people.
According to crypto research firm Messari, the vast majority of proof-of-stake (PoS) coins saw a large portion of their pre-mined tokens go to insiders.
Here’s a great video on the subject (start at 2:00 for the Messari research):
Once the token’s price rises, insiders then dump it on the general public, pocketing a hefty profit.
Some coins have no supply limit, making them the same as fiat currency (e.g., Ether, Dogecoin).
These tokens are not sound money – they’re pieces of software.
And they are not decentralized because they have concentrated teams behind them. These teams can make unilateral decisions that impact the network. Users often have no say in these decisions (just look at Ethereum, the DAO hack of 2016, and the resulting ETC/ETH split).
Even protocols that use delegated proof-of-stake, like Steemit, can be taken over at a whim (if you’re not familiar with the Steemit/Justin Sun saga and how he took control of the entire network, read about it here)
Proof-of-work is the only sound and secure consensus mechanism. It has had over 13 years to prove itself.
This brings us to the topic at hand: why bitcoin is the most secure blockchain.
I don’t mean to sound like a “toxic bitcoin maximalist.” I have nothing against innovative new software projects. And I hold small amounts of Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and several smaller altcoins (Shiba Inu, when moon?).
But Bitcoin truly is different. There’s no marketing team behind Bitcoin (little b for the currency, big B for the network). Bitcoin is the only blockchain to have survived “in the wild,” as Saifadean Ammous put it at the Unconfiscatable conference in February 2020.
And bitcoin is the only currency with a fixed supply limit of 21 million, making it perfect, unconfiscatable money (yes, in theory, the supply limit could be changed, but in practice, this would be almost impossible, as a majority of nodes could just hard fork and maintain the original chain with its fixed supply cap).
Bitcoin is the most secure blockchain for a few key reasons, including:
The highest hash rate of any network
The longest history
A long list of competing altcoins that make for easier targets for attackers
Let’s examine each of these in more detail.
Decentralized Node Distribution
Bitcoin is the most secure blockchain in part because it’s the only network that can claim to be truly decentralized.
There was no pre-mine, ICO, IEO, or SAFT of any kind. There is no marketing team behind bitcoin.
In fact, there is no team of any kind behind bitcoin, period. There are only volunteer developers.
Other coins have entire companies built up around them. I’ve worked with many of the people behind these projects. They’re highly intelligent and motivated individuals. Their contributions to the technology sector should be admired.
But here’s the problem.
With other coins, the team can step in at any time and make decisions that affect the network. Even Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency market cap, saw its team intervene in the midst of the DAO hack of 2016.
It was decided that the network should hard fork so the blockchain could be rolled back to a time when the hack never happened. The result was the new ETH blockchain, with ETC being the original chain.
Some proponents may argue that “the community” made this decision together in solidarity. Even if it were true that some kind of democratic vote was held and this action was the will of most Ethereum users at the time, this misses the point. The goal of a decentralized monetary system is to avoid such governance structures, not re-create them.
A Hash Rate That Bests All Others
It’s no secret that bitcoin boasts 98% of the total hash rate of all proof of work coins in existence. Even after China banned bitcoin mining, the Bitcoin hash rate still managed to reach new record highs later on in the same year.
Why is this important?
At this point in time, taking control of the Bitcoin network would require more computing power than exists in the world. In the absence of a highly advanced quantum computer (approximately 100x more powerful than anything currently known to exist), there’s simply no way to compromise Bitcoin.
Decentralization and a high hash rate are a big part of why Bitcoin is the most secure blockchain.
This brings us to the next point – proof of work.
13 Years of Proof-of-Work
Coins that do not utilize the proof-of-work consensus mechanism cannot claim to be secure. Even those that do utilize proof of work but have very low hash rates are still vulnerable to 51% attacks, as Ethereum Classic (ETC) suffered more than once in 2020.
Consensus mechanisms like proof-of-stake show some potential promise, at least in the minds of their zealots, but are still unproven.
PoS is in its infancy. It remains to be seen how these networks will remain decentralized or respond to high-powered attacks. And attacking such a network only requires one thing – money. If Jeff Bezos cared to, he could take over every PoS network on the planet overnight.
And why do we even need to experiment with PoS in the first place?
We know that the Bitcoin energy FUD is a joke, yet this is one of the main points that PoS proponents point to as necessitating the use of an alternative means of achieving consensus.
Proof-of-Work: Wasteful or Net-Zero?
While much has been made of the “wasteful” nature of the energy-intensive proof of work process, the entire argument against proof of work is pure FUD.
The argument goes like this: the Bitcoin network uses as much energy as some small nation-states, and is therefore extremely wasteful.
On the surface, it seems like a reasonable assertion. Anything that uses such a tremendous amount of energy must be wasteful and harmful to the environment, correct?
But this line of thinking leaves out many key factors. This is no mistake. One of the most powerful rhetorical tools involves using bits of truth to spin a narrative that leads to a larger falsehood.
In this case, opponents of bitcoin never seem to ask the most important questions, such as:
Where does the energy that powers the network come from?
How much of that energy comes from renewable sources?
How much of that energy is power that would’ve been wasted otherwise?
How much value does the bitcoin network secure in comparison to its energy usage? How does this compare to other industries like gold mining or banking?
The answers to these questions are not hard to find. They reveal that bitcoin is the most green and efficient use of energy that human beings have designed so far.
In brief, the answers are as follows:
According to research from the Bitcoin Mining Council, bout 60% of the energy used for Bitcoin mining comes from renewable sources. This includes solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind power.
Of the remaining 40%, nearly all of that energy would have been wasted otherwise. For example, solar-powered mining projects might partner with utility companies to buy their energy that isn’t being used during off-peak hours (at 3 AM, for example, utilities often have extra energy that otherwise goes to waste because no one is using it. There’s no demand and the energy can’t all be saved in batteries or something like that). This allows miners to make use of otherwise wasted energy without creating any extra carbon emissions.
The Bitcoin network secures over $400 billion as of today. When taking into account the value of transactions that are sent on an annual basis, the number is even higher.
To mine all the gold that is currently above ground in the world, which is valued at approximately $11.7 trillion, has taken many generations and used an amount of energy that is almost incalculable. Entire portions of the planet have been desecrated to create gold mines.
The number of carbon emissions created by the equipment required to extract the ore, refine it, and manufacture bullion or industrial gold is hard to even imagine. Few industries on the planet can say that they are dirtier, more wasteful, or more destructive than gold mining.
Bitcoin is almost a net-zero technology: the amount of carbon emissions generated is negligible. Bitcoin accounts for 0.1% of global energy usage. Almost everything else humans do creates more pollution than sending a transaction over the Bitcoin network.
Altcoins – Easier to Hack
If you’re a hacker trying to conduct a 51% attack or take control of a network somehow, you’re not going to even think about targeting Bitcoin. There’s no point. You’d need more computing power than exists in the world (quantum computers are, as of today, nowhere near powerful enough to compromise Bitcoin, as far as publicly available information can show).
Altcoins do have a purpose. That purpose is usually to serve Bitcoin in one way or another.
Litecoin is a great example. LTC can serve as a live testnet for Bitcoin. In 2017, for example, the Segregated Witness (SegWit) upgrade went live on Litecoin before going live on Bitcoin. When it became clear that things worked just fine on Litecoin, it seemed certain that the same would work with Bitcoin, and it did.
Ethereum is a similar example. All kinds of great applications have been built on top of the Ethereum network. Smart contracts are a wonderful invention (at least when they don’t get hacked, which they usually do).
But smart contracts have now come to Bitcoin. It’s only a matter of time before projects begin migrating to the most secure base-layer protocol. Add to that the Lightning network with its almost non-existent fees (10 to 20 satoshis on average, which amounts to less than $0.01), and projects will also solve their scaling problems (ETH gas fees are so high that it can cost $20, $30, even $50 dollars for a simple transaction at times).
While Ethereum could manage to scale if it upgrades to ETH 2.0, changes to proof-of-stake, and implements sharding, this will still make it vulnerable to the other problems mentioned. The network will become even more centralized and less secure.
All in all, it’s great that so many software projects are being experimented with. Some of them might prove useful. But most won’t survive. And very few, if any, ever wind up bringing the immense promises of blockchain to the world in the way their founders envision.
Why Bitcoin is the Most Secure Blockchain and Always Will Be
Altcoins are not in competition with Bitcoin. There is no way to compete. As far as holding monetary value and peer-to-peer transactions are concerned, Bitcoin will always be king. There is nothing to improve upon and no “next big thing” or “bitcoin 2.0” will ever be needed.
Bitcoin’s energy usage, scalability, transaction throughput, or lack of privacy or other functionality are all red herrings. They are non-issues. In no way do they detract from the underlying value proposition that Bitcoin has to offer.
To recap: here’s why bitcoin is the most secure blockchain:
Proven proof-of-work consensus
An alternative blockchain cannot achieve these feats in the same way, nor is there a need for such a thing.
What do you think? Is Bitcoin the most secure blockchain? Or is there an altcoin that should be considered superior?
Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Views expressed here are that of the author and shall not be considered investment advice. Invest at your own risk. I am not a financial advisor. Brian Nibley and BDN Content, LLC shall not be held liable for any investments that readers make.
Held in Las Vegas at The D Hotel on Fremont Street, Unconfiscatable 2022 will host some of the most influential speakers in Bitcoin. Past speakers have included names such as:
Adam Back, Saifedean Ammous, Max Keiser, Jack Mallers, Stacy Herbert, Peter Todd, Jimmy Song, Giacomo Zucco, Trace Mayer, Murad Mahmudov, Peter McCormack, Tone Vays, Willy Woo, Dan Held, Jack Mallers, Leah Wald, MIR, Dan Held, Colleen Sullivan, Jon Najarian,
At Unconfiscatable 2022, you’ll learn all about the technology of Bitcoin and what makes it unique. Some of the top minds in Bitcoin will explain topics like the following:
Why networks that don’t use proof-of-work can’t be considered secure
How digital scarcity is a built-in feature of Bitcoin that can’t be replicated
How Bitcoin can accomplish anything that other cryptos can
Here is a preview of what the event has to offer:
The last event was held in 2020.
One of my favorite talks from that conference was given by Saifadean Amous, author of one of the most influential books in Bitcoin – The Bitcoin Standard.
The Bitcoin Standard vs. The Fiat Standard
On February 22nd, 2020, hundreds of people gathered at The D Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the second annual Unconfiscatable conference, hosted by Tone Vays. The conference centered around the technology of bitcoin and how it differs from that of other blockchains.
One of the most anticipated talks at Unconfiscatable 2020 was given by Saifedean Amous, author of The Bitcoin Standard.
The Bitcoin Standard is a famous book within the cryptocurrency community. In it, Amous explains many key characteristics about money, including:
The history of money
Hard money vs. easy money
Gold and its monetary significance
Bitcoin as the latest evolution of hard money
The first seven chapters of the book have almost nothing to do with bitcoin. Instead, they lay the groundwork for a discussion about bitcoin by taking the reader through the history of money.
The book looks at the various forms that money has taken throughout the ages and why some worked better than others.
Of the utmost importance is the realization that sound money, or “hard money,” has been crucial to human civilization flourishing and advancing, whereas unsound money, or “easy money,” has been the key contributing factor to civilizational collapse and tyrannical regimes throughout history.
These concepts will sound familiar to those who have studied economics in the past.
However, Amous gives a most interesting take on the subject by suggesting that with 21st-century hard money, Bitcoin, it’s now possible to unwind the fiat standard, which is based on debt.
This is an interesting point because, for the first time in history, a peaceful solution to the problem of the fiat standard exists.
In the past, when confronted with the reality of an oppressive government regime empowered by fiat currency, people had to choose to either flee the country or participate in a violent revolution.
Now, through the bitcoin standard, humanity has the power to go beyond that and undo the fiat standard without any bloodshed at all. And because bitcoin knows no borders, this can happen on a global scale.
There may be one caveat, however. Governments could, at some point, attempt to stop the unwinding of the fiat standard by controlling who can and cannot purchase debt.
“People might have to make a choice between fiat and bitcoin, for example, if you’ve ever posted on Twitter about bitcoin or you have a Coinbase account, or any of the fiat standard surveillance systems have tagged you as “Bitcoin” you may not be allowed to go into debt”
Given that hard money always rises in value compared to easy money, those who hold bitcoin will, at some point, be able to pay off their debts, “effectively unwinding the fiat standard.”
In the past, before the dollar became pure fiat in 1971, gold was the hardest money and it was what all central banks used. They “had to earn money like everybody else”, Amous noted.
The Fiat Standard
Amous made some compelling points by comparing the fiat system to the Bitcoin system. He noted that the current system has the following features:
Fiat money is essentially “a violent autocratic sh*%coin that fully controls its user”
Fiat functions as an Involuntary network, like “malware that throws you in jail if you don’t use it.”
There is only one single node – the US Federal Reserve
The token of the fiat network is debt: ”in this monetary system, money is debt.”
He also articulated the fact that new money is created all the time in the current system:
“In the fiat standard, money is made by lending. When you lend money you make more money…when you make a new loan, if you borrow new money, the bank is effectively making more money.”
This lies in stark contrast to bitcoin, which requires proof-of-work to create new money. Again, there are only 21 million BTC that can ever be mined.
Saifedean also made a joke about his recent losses in a particular fiat currency, the Lebanese Lira. After saying he got wrecked (#rekt) by having too large an investment in the Lira, he reminded the audience of a piece of age-old wisdom:
“Don’t invest more in these fiat sh#%tcoins than you can afford to lose.”
This evoked a hardy roar of laughter from the audience.
Leaders and So-Called “Elite” Empowered by Fiat
Saifedean used the example of Argentina, calling it a “soap opera,” with regard to how the loan sharks at the IMF and World Bank “pick at the carcasses of the pillaged nations.” He said that the country goes through the same cycle every 7 – 10 years but with different players.
He also made the observation that “the most horrific leaders we had in the 20th century, they all had fiat sh*%coins that allowed them to do what they did”, noting that the fiat standard “attracts the worst kind of people to power”
In contrast, Bitcoin “neuters governments and makes the fiat standard obsolete” because:
Bitcoin is the hardest money ever
Fiat is easy money
It’s much easier to make debt than bitcoin
This is like glass beads vs gold coins
Saifedean went on to say that even with 1% of the growth of the last ten years, the growth of the bitcoin economy will continue to grow substantially.
Unwinding the Fiat Standard
If BTC increases in value to the point where people can pay off their debts, “we are effectively unwinding the fiat standard,” says Ammous.
This is a powerful point because, for the first time in history, a peaceful solution to the problem of the fiat standard exists.
In the past, when confronted with the reality of an oppressive government regime empowered by fiat currency, people had to choose to either flee the country or participate in a violent revolution.
Now, through the bitcoin standard, humanity has the power to go beyond that and undo the fiat standard without any bloodshed at all. And because bitcoin knows no borders, this can happen on a global scale.
Unconfiscatable – The Best Bitcoin Conference in 2022
Are you ready for the best Bitcoin conference in 2022?
Join me and many others at The D Hotel in Las Vegas from March 3 – 6 for Unconfiscatable 2022. Here are some details courtesy of the conference organizers:
Topics will focus around the technology of Bitcoin and what makes it unique. No altcoins or other blockchain-related projects will be promoted or discussed. The Unconfiscatable “Bitcoin not Blockchain” conference is just that – for Bitcoin and Bitcoin enthusiasts, not centralized tech projects that claim to be decentralized.
The conference will feature several days of talks in addition to a variety of social events and activities. A brief overview of the weekend’s schedule is as follows:
Starting on March 3rd, we will have a FREE sponsor expo and demo sessions from 1-5PM. This is a great way to check in early, see scheduled demos from sponsors, and hang out if you’re in town!
Friday March 4th, is the first day of our conference! The Unconfiscatable Conference will be a Bitcoin event you don’t want to miss. We are bringing you high profile speakers from the world of Bitcoin to discuss the technology with emphasis on both scalability and privacy. Full day conference with solo presentation, fireside chats and panel discussions. Taking place once again at the D Hotel in downtown Las Vegas.
This is followed by a 4 star Bitcoin Carnivory Dinner taking place in the historic courtroom at the world famous Mob Museum. 7 PM Cocktail hour with the dinner to follow at 8 PM. Guests will have full private access to the Mob Museum.
Saturday March 5th, is the second day of our conference! This will conclude with a killer after-party featuring the “Tone Vays’ Scammy Awards.” Always lots of fun and the “Troll Table” will be in the house with commentary!
Sunday March 6th, we’ll be over at Neonopolis at 1 PM for an Axe Throwing Tournament, Bowling and some fun and games! For anyone still standing after an amazing Bitcoin ONLY Sin City Weekend.
Visit Unconfiscatable.com for tickets and more information. Tickets to the best Bitcoin conference in 2022 can be bought with either Bitcoin or fiat currency.
Wondering how to buy bitcoin for the first time? It’s not as hard as you think.
Many people tend to be intimidated when even thinking about how to buy bitcoin. After hearing some unfamiliar terms like “crypto wallets” or “crypto exchanges,” they lose interest and give up halfway through.
But the process isn’t all that complicated. Anyone can buy bitcoin and learn how to use bitcoin. Storing bitcoin securely is somewhat trickier, but we’ll touch on that as well later on.
In this crypto blog, you will learn everything you need to make your first bitcoin purchase.
Before Buying Bitcoin
A few things will be required for anyone interested in buying bitcoin. These include:
An internet connection
A crypto exchange account
A payment method
Most exchanges will ask for a form of valid government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or passport. This lets the exchange comply with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations.
The other prerequisites are self-explanatory.
Quick Fix: Bitcoin ATMs
There are some methods of buying bitcoin that do not require anything more than a payment method and a bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin ATMs, for example, might let users buy BTC with cash and send the coins directly to a user’s personal wallet. Although it has been noted that more and more Bitcoin ATMs have begun requiring identification.
These ATMs can be found at any business that has installed one, most often grocery stores or liquor stores. My hometown of Simi Valley, CA, had a Bitcoin ATM in a local liquor store that I would use to buy BTC back in 2017 and 2018.
There are currently over 21,000 bitcoin ATMs operating in the USA. Here is a list of Bitcoin ATMs: https://coinatmradar.com/countries/
For those looking to make a smaller, one-time Bitcoin purchase, using a Bitcoin ATM might be the simplest method. An individual could simply download a wallet app like BitPay or the Blockchain.com wallet, buy BTC with cash at the Bitcoin ATM, and send the coins to their wallet. Doing so would involve either manually entering the 21-string alphanumeric public key address for the wallet or scanning a QR code on their smartphone (hint: scanning a QR code is the easiest and safest option when it’s available).
For those who want to buy Bitcoin using their personal computers and possibly make larger, regular investments, using a centralized exchange will be the easiest way to learn how to buy bitcoin.
1. Select an Exchange
For U.S.-based users, there are a lot of options for crypto exchanges. This step may require some additional research on the part of the new user.
Fortunately, I’ve written some articles comparing different exchanges for The Balance:
Here I’ll briefly discuss a few of the most popular exchanges. It will be up to the reader to decide which is the best bitcoin exchange for them.
Coinbase is the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange. They were the first crypto exchange to issue stock shares on a public exchange, too.
Coinbase has a lot of educational materials for first-time crypto investors. Everything about the exchange is geared towards newbies.
The big drawback to using Coinbase, however, is the fees. Coinbase has some of the highest fees in the industry.
Kraken is another beginner-friendly exchange that hosts a lot of educational materials on its website.
I haven’t used Kraken before, so don’t have as much to say about it. Here’s a tutorial video on how to place an order on Kraken.
Binance, or Binance.us for American users, is also among the largest exchanges in the world. Binance has different graphic user interfaces for everyone – beginner, intermediate, or advanced users.
The “basic” view would be most appropriate for first-timers.
Binance also has its own exchange coin called Binance Coin (BNB). Holding this coin in a user’s account provides a 25% discount on trading fees.
Crypto.com is one of the fastest-growing mobile phone apps for buying bitcoin. The exchange provides trading pairs for hundreds of coins and is known to have some of the best fees in the industry.
2. Connect a Payment Method
Now that you’ve chosen an exchange and created an account, a form of payment will be required to fund bitcoin purchases.
The best option is often a bank account ACH transfer or a debit card.
Credit cards can also be used, but involve higher fees. Credit card issuers treat crypto purchases as cash advances, which typically involve an upfront fee and comes with a higher interest rate than normal purchases.
3. Place an Order
Finally, the real fun begins. Everything has been leading up to this point – your first real Bitcoin purchase.
Placing an order will look slightly different depending on the exchange.
On Coinbase, select the “buy/sell” button in the upper-right corner. Then choose the cryptocurrency you want, enter the amount, click “buy,” and then confirm on the next page.
On Binance, users can choose between “basic,” “classic,” and “advanced” views. The “basic” option is designed for new users. It involves a simple interface that only requires a few choices: the currencies being exchanged, whether the order is a buy or sell, and the amount of the purchase or sale.
If you run into any problems during this step or the previous one, search for the exchange’s help articles. If that doesn’t do the trick, do another search for articles like this one that go in-depth about one specific exchange.
4. How to Store Crypto Securely
Storing crypto securely is a long and involved subject. Understanding it requires a deeper understanding of the technology.
Fortunately, there are ways to sidestep around spending 100 hours researching how Bitcoin works and figuring out where to go from there (although you should do that too if you’re making a substantial investment).
First, a note on cybersecurity in general. Everything involves a balance between usability and security. To illustrate this point, consider the best way to make your smartphone completely safe and secure. Doing so would involve putting the phone on airplane mode, placing it in a faraday cage, and then placing that inside a locked safe. Of course, now you can’t use the phone!
With crypto, the most secure option involves holding your own private keys in cold storage. But there’s a catch – doing so puts you 100% in control of your keys. A mistake could lead to a total loss of funds. While this is part of what makes Bitcoin so great (the personal sovereignty that comes with responsibility, not the potential loss of funds), it also means new holders could be their own biggest liability.
So, what are the options for people who want to keep their crypto secure without taking possession of their own private keys?
Casa is a service that helps users set up a multi-signature wallet for their Bitcoin. It requires a hardware wallet, but the wallet is only used as one aspect of a multi-signature system that requires 2 out of 3 keys (or 3 out of 5 for premium users).
Casa Gold, the 3-key multisig plan, costs about $10 per month.
Third-Party Custodial Solutions
Most people who find Bitcoin confusing will likely wind up storing their Bitcoin with a third-party custodial service or exchange such as Coinbase. While Coinbase has received some bad press lately due to customer accounts being hacked, this isn’t actually the company’s fault. Every hack of a Coinbase user to date has been the fault of the individual user.
How do you avoid getting your Coinbase account hacked? Here are a few simple steps to take to make it much more difficult for anyone to get their hands on your Coinbase funds:
Enable the strongest form of two-factor authentication possible. A physical security key is best, but authenticator apps work well too. Make sure 2FA is required for both log-in and sending transactions.
Store the majority of crypto in Coinbase “vaults.” These are cold storage multi-signature wallets that are much more difficult to compromise than regular hot wallets. Vaults require signatures from two email addresses and have a 48-hour holding period placed on any withdrawals.
Use a strong password. At least 14 characters, or as many as 25. Use numbers, special characters, lower-case letters, and upper-case letters.
Only log in to your account on a network you know to be secure, and use a VPN if possible. Don’t ever log in on public Wi-Fi, e.g. at a coffee shop or airport.
Nothing is perfect, and the bad guys are constantly finding new ways to take advantage of people.
But if you follow these steps, it will make things so difficult for hackers that they are likely to give up and search for an easier target. And if someone does somehow manage to get into one of your vaults, you will be notified 48 hours before a withdrawal occurs, and have ample time to lock your account.
Final Notes on How to Buy Bitcoin
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are a few extra things to note before getting started:
Don’t worry about any other coins if this is your first time learning how to buy bitcoin. Altcoins (coins other than bitcoin) are highly speculative and risky. None of them have the features that make bitcoin unique and valuable – namely, decentralization, security, and a fixed supply.
Start small, but not too small. You don’t want the fees to eat into your initial investment.
Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day short-term news and price fluctuations. Doing so invites an urge to sell or buy at the wrong times. Bitcoin is best viewed as a long-term savings account.
Consider using dollar-cost averaging to even out Bitcoin’s notorious volatility. Schedule regular, recurring buys that will occur regardless of what the price does.
And that does it. I hope you’ve found this guide to be helpful. If you’re interested, read about why large corporations have begun adding Bitcoin to their balance sheets here:
If you’re like most people, you might be struggling to understand the recent rush of corporate bitcoin investment.
Corporate bitcoin holdings have soared in recent months. Only a year ago, few even imagined such a scenario.
What is fueling this new generation of corporate bitcoin buyers? If previous media narratives about bitcoin are to be believed, then we must infer that a bunch of CEOs have been caught up in a “speculative mania,” deciding to go all-in on a veritable digital casino for no apparent reason.
The average CEO is likely to be a wiser, more responsible investor than the average journalist or corporate media hack. If given the choice, I know who I’d look to for investment advice.
The economic rationale driving this corporate and institutional bitcoin buying is rather simple. It stems from something that many in the crypto community have been warning of for quite some time.
Put simply, endless fiat money creation will benefit scarce assets and hard money. Bitcoin is the hardest money humans have ever known with a supply of only 21 million.
The CEOs and institutional money managers of the world have come to realize this reality. Thanks to the money printer going brrr all over the world to a degree never before thought possible, everyone has begun to recognize that their fiat currency might be on borrowed time.
Real Inflation Drives Corporate Bitcoin Purchases – Not CPI
Michael Saylor (hailed as “the high priest of bitcoin” by max Keiser) has said that one of the main factors driving his decision to move his company’s balance sheet into bitcoin is the real rate of inflation.
Asset inflation is running at 10% to 25% annually, as evidenced by sharp increases in the prices of stocks, real estate, and commodities, according to him.
Saylor has described his company’s cash reserves as a “melting ice cube” because fiat currency is slowly but surely losing its purchasing power. Bitcoin offers a solution, being a finite asset with only 21 million BTC to ever be mined into existence.
What Company Owns the Most Bitcoin?
MicroStrategy is the company that owns the most bitcoin by far. The organization owns 91,850 bitcoin, worth about 3.5 billion dollars at the time of writing.
Compared to MicroStrategy, most other companies only have a tiny portion of their assets allocated to bitcoin.
Tesla, the company with the second-largest bitcoin holdings, has less than half as much BTC as MicroStrategy, with 43,200 coins on their balance sheet.
Investors looking for exposure to bitcoin through the stock of a company that holds bitcoin on its balance sheet can choose from any of the small but growing number of corporations that have done so.
MicroStrategy holds the most bitcoin, as mentioned, but any company that holds bitcoin is likely to serve as a sort of proxy bitcoin investment vehicle to an extent.
There’s also the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which is thought to be a preferred vehicle for many institutional investors. This can be a great way for investors to get exposure to bitcoin in their brokerage accounts. However, there are two potential drawbacks.
GBTC often trades at a premium to its net asset value (NAV), meaning investors pay more for shares than they would for a direct bitcoin purchase. The fund also has a high expense ratio, charging 2% annually. By contrast, the SPY index fund currently has an expense ratio of about 0.1%.
The average person can choose to simply get up to speed and buy some bitcoin. Popular exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Swan Bitcoin all make the process easy for beginners.
Corporate Bitcoin Investment: What’s Next?
The list of corporations investing in bitcoin keeps growing longer. MicroStrategy was the first and Tesla really got the ball rolling.
Some have speculated that hundreds of large corporations have already made the decision to convert some of their balance sheets to bitcoin. If true, we won’t know about it for many months, as it can take a long time for organizations to put these things into action. Agreements have to be made, regulatory hurdles must be overcome, and then there’s the issue of actually acquiring and holding the asset.
Institutional Money in Bitcoin
Institutional investment in bitcoin has a large focus on futures contracts, like those offered by CME Group.
Open interest in bitcoin futures has been rising for quite some time. This indicates that people are interested in holding a futures position for the long-term and not just speculating.
I also had a chance to speak with David Mercer, CEO of LMAX, recently. LMAX is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by bitcoin trading volume. You may have never heard of them because they only cater to institutional clients.
David corroborated this narrative of increasing institutional investment in bitcoin. He said that many of his clients are either actively investing in bitcoin or planning to do so at some point in the future.
Corporate bitcoin investment in 2021 is strong and growing. In all likelihood, it could take another 6 – 12 months or more before the majority of companies in the S&P 500 begin adding bitcoin to their balance sheets.
It takes a considerable amount of time for an organization to set in motion actual plans for acquiring bitcoin after making the decision to do so. It’s possible that most or all of these companies have already chosen to allocate some of their cash to bitcoin, but we won’t know that for some time.
Cathie Wood of Ark Investments has said that if all the S&P 500 corporations were to put 10% of their balance sheets into bitcoin, that would add another $400,000 to the price, leading to almost $500,000 per bitcoin. Interestingly, this aligns with Max Keiser’s long-term outlook for the bitcoin price (his near-term projection is $220,000 by November 2021).
What do you think? Will massive corporate bitcoin investment propel the bitcoin price to over six figures this year?
The silver squeeze is far from over. Here’s a bit of the silver squeeze explained.
The near-total media blackout on this topic ever since the COMEX price of silver tanked supports the notion that something real is happening that “they” don’t want anyone to pay attention to. Press coverage has mostly fizzled, and somehow it seems like nothing is happening.
But as this chart from Zerohedge shows, the spot market (the market for physical silver) is telling a different story.
Premiums are sky high and they are not coming down. In fact, never before have premiums been this high above spot.
COMEX silver futures have been hammered over the last few weeks, down to $25.21 at the time of writing from a peak near $30 in late January/early February.
Many forms of physical bullion, however, are still sold out in many forms across many dealerships. Premiums are still sky-high, barely tapering off from their peak in early February. Many silver coins can only be found at premiums of around 30% above spot.
Squeezing a commodity market like silver is a much more significant event than squeezing thinly-traded equities like GME or AMC. It has to involve the physical metal, not just related securities.
It looks like this may already have begun.
The question is: is there enough capital and conviction to see this through? Will it get to the point where retail investors buy so much silver in small quantities that investment-grade 1,000 oz. bars will have to be melted down to meet the demand for smaller bullion such as rounds and coins? Will people demand delivery on COMEX contracts?
To answer one of those questions, it appears that demand has become so strong that it has spread to investment grade bullion. From Zerohedge:
#SilverSqueeze spreads into the 1,000 oz wholesale silver bullion bar market.
Check out this fresh video report from various physical bullion industry players (the biggest of which has to stay, unnamed).
The world has watched the retail demand for #Silver spike over the past 2 weeks.
But now the outsized silver bullion demand tightness has spread into the 1,000-ounce wholesale silver bullion bar market.
Will all of this amount to nothing? Will it collapse the fraudulent manipulation of metals markets? Will it lead to a “systemic event,” where banks get bailed out by the government? Or will this end in a total collapse of the global financial system, shutting down every market in the world?
In a recent poll I conducted on LinkedIn, 44% of participants chose the answer “nothing but crickets” when faced with the question “what will happen with the silver squeeze.”
A few selected other answers, like “global financial crisis,” but the largest answer by far was crickets. No one seems to take this seriously, and you can’t really blame them.
Silver Squeeze Explained: Paper Silver vs. Physical
The paper silver markets, including some miners like First Majestic Silver (AG), have been getting hammered. This might only be a temporary setback. There’s every reason for miners to keep rallying, and even the physical-backed ETF, PSLV.
SLV raised their margin requirements in response to this #silversqueeze movement, another indication that big things are happening. Mike Maloney of GoldSilver.com has covered this and other related developments in detail.
The raising of margin requirements by SLV caused a drop in most all related securities, a demonstration of how the big players control the game by changing the rules whenever it suits them.
This is only a minor example, though. Sometimes they even control entire markets.
We now know that banks like JP Morgan actively manipulate precious metal markets in an illegal fashion. Last year, JPM was fined nearly a billion dollars for this criminal activity.
They do this by “spoofing” markets through naked paper shorting of the COMEX futures. Basically, by creating sell orders for silver they do not have, they create the illusion of selling pressure, driving prices lower.
Over eight years, 15 traders at the biggest U.S. bank caused losses of more than $300 million to other participants in precious metals and Treasury markets, according to court filings on Tuesday. JPMorgan admitted responsibility for the traders’ actions. The Justice Department filed two counts of wire fraud against the bank’s parent company but agreed to defer prosecution related to the charges, under a three-year deal that requires the bank to report its remediation and compliance efforts to the government…
The New York-based lender will pay the biggest monetary penalty ever imposed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, including a $436.4 million fine, $311.7 million in restitution and more than $172 million in disgorgement, according to a CFTC statement. The CFTC said its order will recognize and offset restitution and disgorgement payments made to the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission.
Breaking their potential for this manipulation is part of the goal of the #silversqueeze – through the mass buying of physical silver, paper markets might be overwhelmed at some point, bringing the charade to an end.
Of course, we’ve heard this all before.
In 2011, Max Keiser was responsible for a similar campaign called “buy silver, crash JP Morgan.” This combined with the first quantitative easings of the Federal Reserve to bring silver to its all-time high of $50 per ounce.
Over the coming years, that price would steadily fall to under $15, and even under $13 during early 2020.
So, it should come as no surprise that the paper markets have gotten hammered.
All it took was one or two trading days to knock the futures price back down to where it was a week before this whole thing began. Fast forward to today, another four weeks later, and COMEX silver is still at a 1-month low, right about where it was in January, despite a lot of ups and downs.
Metals or Crypto?
Some market observers, like Max Keiser, believe that “all roads lead to bitcoin.” This could be true in the end, but silver and gold are likely pitstops along the way.
Everyone is slowly realizing that fiat currencies are approaching their end. The mother of all safe-haven panics has only just begun.
2020 has been the year of the long-awaited beginning of mass adoption.
Bitcoiners have always known that the time would eventually come when growing numbers of people and organizations would begin to understand the technology of bitcoin and realize the extraordinary value proposition that it presents.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has no central marketing team or organized brand – only volunteer programmers and outspoken users who promote it organically.
Bitcoin is the only blockchain to have survived “in the wild,” in the absence of a centralized team and community maintaining it.
And Bitcoin is the hardest money ever known, with a supply limit of 21 million.
As Bitcoin dominance increases and the USD price continues making new all-time highs above $20,000, and even $29,000, it’s important to take stock of how this happened.
The service only allows users to buy and sell within their account. The PayPal wallets don’t have any functionality that allows users to send coins off the platform. There’s also counterparty risk involved.
Still, the announcement alone was yet another huge public endorsement for crypto.
Paul Tudor Jones
Perhaps the single biggest crypto headline of 2020 involved famous hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones. News of his bullishness sparked smart money FOMO, with many other prominent billionaires and multi-millionaire investors following in the months afterward.
It’s worth noting that Paul Tudor Jones made his announcement prior to everything else that happened with Bitcoin in 2020.
In other words, it can be said that Jones’ approval gave others the green light to investigate and invest in bitcoin.
In November, the legendary investor said he had “warmed up” to bitcoin as a store of value.
Welcome to the club, Stan.
Jack Dorsey’s Square payments app invested $50 million of its cash reserves in bitcoin, following MicroStrategy’s lead.
This represents a much smaller allocation than MicroStrategy but still adds to the corporate FOMO effect.
Crypto Indexes on NYSE
In early December, it was announced that S&P Dow Jones Indices would be creating an index to track the performance of cryptocurrency. They plan to partner with crypto data company Lukka for the endeavor.
Bloomberg and Nasdaq have also created crypto indexes, but S&P Dow Jones doing so represents an even bigger leap forward in mainstream adoption.
This is Only the Beginning of Bitcoin Dominance
There are other important bitcoin headlines from 2020 not covered here as well, and some big money has come into the space just during the last few days alone.
One factor that someone on LinkedIn mentioned is Grayscale. The Bitcoin Grayscale Trust (GBTC) is rumored to have been buying all of the new bitcoin being mined each day. That means all the demand coming from everywhere else will necessarily bid up the price of BTC, because there is no new supply coming online.
This is the way that bitcoin dominance has always been destined to go. Everyone who understands hard money knew that this was going to happen at some point.
If you owned Bitcoin prior to 2020, congratulations. You happened to seize upon what might be the only opportunity in our lifetimes to front-run the “smart money.”
People like Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones are the smart money – they get into profitable trades before everyone else. It’s almost unheard of for the average person to pick a trade before those kinds of investors.
2021 will also likely see new all-time highs for Bitcoin as well, and volatility could be reduced. Now that everyone understands the importance of holding hard money, they will be less likely to sell for short term fiat-denominated gains.
I spoke to a real human being the other day who said that they could only pay so much for free content marketing for financial companies because it doesn’t bring in any money.
I still can’t believe this really happened.
It blew my mind to learn that not everyone understands the most very basic essence of content marketing, which involves giving away great content in a way that provides value, is useful to people, and makes them trust your brand and eventually want to do business with you.
I don’t mean to be demeaning. I’m just truly and honestly in awe of the fact that those people exist – people who need content marketing and have already been using it in some capacity for some time, yet actually go so far as to argue that they should pay less for free content because it’s “free” and doesn’t generate any revenue.
If that were true, it wouldn’t be the case that the largest companies in the world provide writers and other creative professionals with substantial compensation to create so-called free content.
Such companies understand that content has the most profitable ROI of any other type of marketing today. That’s a big part of what makes them successful.
The Power of Content
Imagine you’re a bank, fintech company, or financial firm of any kind, for example.
Think of the value that would come from showing up on the first page of search results for almost any question that your target audience might be asking.
E.g., someone searches for “what is a mutual fund,” “what is the easiest way to get started investing,” or “bull market strategies.” On page one of Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, or whatever search engine being used, a curious searcher stumbles upon an article answering their question.
After reading, the searcher feels informed, has a sense of trust with the author, and has become curious about the organization that published this free piece.
Now a lone internet user has become a potential customer – just like that.
We all know how this works. We’ve all done it.
In searching for answers to our questions, we come across the massive amount of free content that has been published. We use that content to help us make informed decisions about almost everything.
Sometimes that content comes in visual or audio format rather than keyword-oriented writing.
But even then, there have to be words written for search engines to index the page. At the very least, a headline, introduction, and meta description are always necessary (it’s a common misconception that visual/audio content has somehow made written content obsolete, although video and podcasts have grown in popularity).
This is the value of content. It’s all out there for free.
And smart, competitive companies will pay for it because they know that their ROI will be substantial.
Bring Value Consistently With Content Marketing for Financial Companies
The moral of the story is this: if you only focus on the value that you receive from your clients or customers, you won’t get very far, and any success you do have will likely be limited and short-lived.
Instead, focus on the value that you bring your customers. If you’re not giving value, how can you expect to keep receiving any?
Giving content away for free brings value to everyone. An unlimited number of people can engage with that content. All it takes is a small percentage of them to find so much value that they decide to reciprocate and return value to your business.
In some cases, companies even give away their real services for a period of time, e.g. Spotify giving users a 1-month free trial of Spotify Premium (that’s how I got hooked, and now I’m a Spotify subscriber for life!).
This is how things work now, and probably how they will continue to work from this point forward.
Figure out where your skills lie – podcasting, blogging, video creation, graphic design, memes, other social media content. etc.
Then get to work crafting and sharing content that speaks to the needs of your target audience. Don’t forget to engage with others who are also creating content in your niche.
Whether you’re an individual looking for a job, a new business, a hustling entrepreneur, or a multinational corporation, some variation of this strategy is how you can grow, expand, and reach heights that go beyond what has ever before been possible in history.
Now is the time. Get started building your business today, and go create something!
“Something so volatile can never be a store of value.”
“Bitcoin is no longer a safe-haven.”
Have you called into question the safe-haven status of Bitcoin recently?
If so, you’re not alone.
And also…you’re wrong.
A big short-term crash in dollar terms doesn’t automatically disqualify Bitcoin as a safe-haven. There are other metrics, too.
Take volatility for example. Historically, Bitcoin has seen extreme volatility. So much so that it has sometimes been viewed as the ultimate risk asset.
But year-to-date, you can’t beat the performance of Bitcoin anywhere else in the market, by any metric imaginable.
Allow me to make the case for this in short order by looking at nominal value, hash rate, and volatility.
Even after falling from a recent peak of over $10,000 reached in February this year, Bitcoin has still held up well on a year-to-date basis.
BTC began the year around $7,000, and as of the time of writing, it was in the exact same price range in USD terms.
2) Hash Rate
A higher hash rate makes Bitcoin more secure, as it becomes more difficult to take over the network.
Contrast this with certain Bitcoin imposters, who have very little hashing power and are therefore vulnerable to devastating attacks.
Bitcoin has over 80% of all total cryptocurrency hashing power (I didn’t manage to find a source for this, but Max Keiser recently made this statement on Kitco News). In this light, there’s no other coin that can compete, and none that can say they are anywhere near as secure.
For example, compare the hash rate of Bitcoin (BTC) to that of Ether (ETH), the token of the Ethereum network, which is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The numbers don’t even come close.
For ETH, the hash rate equals 186 terahash/second (THs) – 186,000,000,000,000
For BTC, the hash rate equals 118 exahash/second (EHs) – 118,000,000,000,000,000,000
In other words, Bitcoin has several orders of magnitude more hashing power than the next largest cryptocurrency network.
So far in 2020, Bitcoin has been both less volatile than its average and less volatile than financial markets in general (with the exception, of course, of the mid-March crash).
Compared to the unprecedented volatility we’ve witnessed so far this year in stocks, bonds, fiat currencies, and commodities like oil and precious metals, almost all asset classes have proven they can be just as volatile – if not more so – than Bitcoin.
Hard Money is Always a Safe Haven
And finally, Bitcoin remains hard money, and always will, with the 21-million BTC limit being engraved in programmatical stone. This quality alone makes it a safe-haven.
In a time of endless fiat money creation, all hard money ought to be sought out. And history has shown that in the end, hard money always overcomes easy money.
As Saifadean Ammous notes in his excellent book about the economics of sound money, The Bitcoin Standard (and I’m paraphrasing here), “you cannot avoid the consequences of others having harder money than you.”
The reason is that over time, easy money flows into hard money as people notice their purchasing power eroding. At some point, everyone begins seeking out safe havens as life rafts used to flee the destructive currents of unsound money.
This process happens slowly at first and then all at once.
So, by the time most people realize that they need hard money, it’s already too late.