Peter Schiff Bitcoin Gift As Birthday Present To Son ...

P-REP Proposal; ICON, 20% exposure in top crypto event of 2020, reach 100+ universities/corporate partners (BETTER THAN SLICED BREAD), organized by MouseBelt.

Summary:
Event site: https://www.ri2020.io/
Event date: May 18th, 2020
P-PREP Commitment Date: April 30th, 2020
Telegram: u/markusreisner
We believe we have a strong proposition to market ICON in a meaningful way to some of the largest communities in crypto.
The MouseBelt team has the largest global network of over 100+ universities in 20+ countries. Over the last few months, 10+ university blockchain events we were working with got canceled for obvious reasons.
Due to that fact, and our understanding of our reach we decided to launch a virtual conference. Since April 10th here is what happened:
MouseBelt will invest over $70k+ into this event. We would like to have fellow P-Reps invest $20k (this will go 100% to BlockTV production cost).
The benefit to the ICON community will be:
Background:
MouseBelt is a popular blockchain ecosystem consisting of multiple parts:
MouseBelt as ICON developers:
Our engineering team has implemented token assets on ZenSports (SPORTS), the first STO on the ICON network, and GrowYourBase, the #1 IRC2 application token in market capitalization on the ICON network.
Currently, we are developing the Balanced network in concert with ICX_Station, PARROT9, and Iconosphere. Balanced will bring synthetic assets backed by ICX to the ICON network, as well as tokenized staked ICX. This can assist with both a stable asset for payments, and a base for other DeFi applications
MouseBelt as a P-Rep:
We have been a Main P-Rep most of the time since decentralization of the network and so far had utilized our funds for student education.
Such as the “ICON in a box” workshops and the Milwaukee Blockchain Conference, which we sponsored in a direct ICX payment and the second annual payment for UCLA’s blockchain engineering course.
REIMAGINE2020, Conference details:
Conferences have always been an integral part of the blockchain space to promote projects in the industry.
With recent evolutions around the globe, things have changed. They either got canceled or delayed.
We have created REIMAGINE2020, a virtual conference.
Shared by the ICON Foundation on April 18.
We can effectively and efficiently promote ICON to the world through Reiamgine2020 | BlockTV. The driving force behind the conference is: highest quality of Content matched with the best production quality for Video. The funds will allow MouseBelt to promote ICON logo/branding throughout the conference/programming for straight 72 hr of live streaming. Additionally, we have the opportunity to properly place ICON logo/branding in highly favorable on-screen placements (tickers/commercials/plugs and continuous branding) reaching 5M viewers globally. ICX Station is providing a Keynote to drive global interest.
Confirmed partners
Schedule & Format
Production Status
Audience
In addition to the communities of our confirmed partners and universities we are targeting:
1. Viewers - Tuning into the livestream, attending a workshop, or watching the content post-conference.
2. Participants - Speakers, partners, and sponsors
3. As far as hard data for "attendees" we have two signals:
submitted by patrickMouse to helloicon [link] [comments]

Peter Shiff Explains Brilliantly Why Capitalism Works And Socialism Causes Misery - Money Facilitates Capitalism, But Bitcoin is Better Money for Same Underlying Reason: Human Nature

We discuss many things here and people may be familiar with certain topical keywords - taxes, capitalism, libertarian, Peter Schiff, Venezuela, socialism, privacy, choice, free markets - but many may not realize the underlying connection.
I have a gift for explaining complicated ideas in easy to understand ways. However, nobody knows everything and we all continue learning and growing as we go. I just learned something listening to Peter Schiff recently and wanted to share. It wasn't something I didn't subconsciously know, but I'd never heard it explained so clearly before. I want to give people an opportunity to learn and understand because I think many just don't know how to make the lives of ordinary people better, which should be a common goal for us.
We've just hit 2020 which means an election year in the United States. A big theme in the country now is how middle of the road politics are no longer sufficient to make people happy. The country is being pressured to move more extremely left or right, meaning toward more freedom and less government or the opposite, less freedom and more government. I wished someone had explained this to me earlier so I'll try to do so for others.
To understand the difference between political left and right think of a line representing how free people are. On the furthest left of the line people are the least free. Think of communism and places like North Korea where the government has nearly complete control over nearly all aspects of lives; there is no free press, and people heasee only what the gov allows. On the furthest right people are the most free they can be, and in fact there is no government at all. That's called anarchy and Roger Ver, I believe, is an anarchist. America, after leaving Britain, started as anarchist. There was no federal government, but later libertarians, which are slightly more toward the left on the line, created the Constitution and federal government.
What does this all have to do with Bitcoin? I'm getting to that. I'm covering all this because people worldwide are struggling, but many just don't know how to make things better. This post here explains the answer. It also explains how Bitcoin (Cash) is part of that answer.
So an age old debate came down to which system of government makes people happiest? One where they are very free or one where there is a government managing everything for them? If we look at countries that have achieved the most in terms of average quality of life, advancements in human knowledge and achievement it's not even close. The free situations win easily.
Yet with all that factual history people still even today question whether capitalism is a preferable system to socialism which is a close relative to communism. Why is this? Peter breaks it down wonderfully. In essence he explains the fundamental argument for why socialism should work is beautiful. People want it to be true. That argument is: people will work harder for others than they work for themselves. That's a beautiful sounding thought, but that isn't the reality.
Capitalism works because people, ALL people, for the most part care most about themselves. That's not a bad thing. It's just reality. It doesn't mean people don't also care for others, it's about priorities. Capitalism works because it deals with the reality that people prioritize themselves first.
The key thing I learned, however, is that even though capitalism should be preferred because taxation is theft, which alone should elevate it morally, there is something else: capitalism actually does care for others, and it does this better. Listen to Peter explain how:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbGBMVb6Fnk&feature=youtu.be&t=1018
Listen 17:00 to 25:00
Getting back to Bitcoin. The reason Bitcoin helps solve world problems is it aligns with the reality people prioritize their own interests first. Bitcoin (Cash) is being designed to allow people to control the most wealth they can. It does this by seeking the lowest fees. It does this by making it hard for people to lose from theft, whether illegal (using things like hardware wallets) or legal theft in the form of taxes (using things like strong privacy features). All this is about working with human nature as it actually is, not how we wish it could be. In doing so we actually make the situation better, via capitalism, for everyone around us too, because that's how capitalism works.
submitted by cryptos4pz to btc [link] [comments]

[meta] [long and rambling] [philosophy] Flirting with Nihilism ; Is Conversation Pointless?

I used to have an ideal of conversation as being a Socratic dialogue: people ask probing questions of each other about important philosophical issues and reveal the mistakes in each other’s logic, ultimately reaching life-changing conclusions through the argument.
Over the years, I have often tried to engage in such debate and while there have been some interesting discussions more typically it has been a pointless endeavor which simply leaves everyone involved convinced more thoroughly of their rightness and doubting the sanity of the others. To be sure, my abrasive style and personality have played a role, but this has itself in part come from the mistaken views of the world and human nature which I held.
By the standard I used to hold, conversation is largely pointless.
Now, of course, most normal people would characterize argument and debate as being very different than conversation. This is because their objectives in conversation are not trying to change someone’s mind but to exchange more basic information or simply enjoy each other’s company. To be sure, there is clear value in conversation of this sort, but it is not what I’m talking about here.
What I’m suggesting is that the attempt to change someone’s mind by reason is generally impossible and not worth trying.
We all have certain foundational beliefs which no one is likely to be able to change. What exactly these are varies widely by person: for some people it is religious, for others political, or philosophical principles (whether or not a person explicitly recognizes them as philosophy).
But what is common about them is that no matter how sound an argument may appear to some “neutral”, disinterested third party, if someone tries to reason you out of these core positions, your mind will always be able to find a rationalization in response. And again regardless of how strong or weak this response is judged by our hypothetical third party, it will be sufficient to convince you that your position is right and likely cause you to be somewhat annoyed at the person making an “obviously” bad faith argument against something so basic.
This is not, as it might appear to be, an argument that people are irrational nor that I am any different in this. It is simply a fundamental side-effect of the process of reasoning. One must have a basis upon which to operate; there is no green field to work from.
Even Descartes’ brilliant argument showing how one can prove to themself that one exists, which is as close to pure reason without any external base as it is possible to get, itself relies upon certain foundations: the desirability of trying to prove such “trivial” matters; the value of pure reason as a source for truth. And it rapidly moves on by “the clear light of reason” to further argument which rests upon, essentially, “it seems obvious to me that…”
This is, essentially, a generalization of Gödel's incompleteness theorems (not that I fully understand them and certainly don’t know how to prove it, but simply that I recognize this point is not a fundamentally original thought) and similar: we must always start with something which we simply believe and cannot prove.
This may seem trivial, but I do not think it is. What it suggests to me is that the space for productive discussion in disagreement is far smaller than is often believe by those who, as I used to, believe that everything that matters could in theory be resolved by honest, wise intellectual exploration.
Therefore, when we find ourselves in disagreement with others on a fundamental level, there may well be no resolution to be had other than the phrase I have so hated for so long: “agree to disagree”. Others are able to accept this with grace and move on. I have always been bothered by reaching such impasses. If we are in disagreement about an important issue which is the basis for much of our reasoning, then how could we come to any agreement on any of the things which follow as a result of that basic view? And how could we have meaningful discussion if we simply must avoid all consequences of a major section of our world view?
And so, to me, the segmenting of discourse into “echo chambers” of various sorts makes perfect sense: people must have a shared foundation in order to be able to meaningfully communicate productively.
And yet, that is not enough to make forward progress either, because while less irritating perhaps, discussion simply among those who agree is pointless too.
So, then, if we cannot in general convince anyone else of anything that matters, nor do we wish to simply preach to the choir, what discourse could be useful?
  • Disagreement on facts rather than worldview
Among people who agree about, for instance, valid sources and other basic foundations, but who disagree about a particular fact, then linking to a source can actually be productive. This is as opposed to those who do not have such an agreement beforehand, where linking to a source can just be a self-congratulatory act which is unproductive.
  • Challenging one’s own worldview (or refining arguments ; this write-up’s category)
If you truly wish to have your own beliefs examined for whether or not they are incorrect, or their limitations; or if you simply want to try to refine and make more coherent something which you’ve vaguely thought, then it is useful to express your views not for the purpose of changing another’s opinion, but for the purpose of understanding your own.
This is what this piece is for me: a response to my own thoughts, particularly set in motion about a month ago when the title occurred to me, about what is and isn’t useful ground for disagreement and debate.
  • Responding to an invitation to challenge another’s world view (limited circumstances)
This is something which is often presented but rarely genuine: whether intentionally or unintentionally many people who present themselves as looking to have their own views challenged are actually going to respond with rationalizations to anything presented. While that means that this apparent opening is often unproductive, there is a kernel of sincere and thoughtful people who are open to examining their beliefs and are looking for something to build on to do so. I actually consider this less important than it may often seem, as people’s desire for self-justification generally means that there is abundant material available for one who looks to understand any major viewpoint, so there is relatively little need to try to seek to be the one to minister to such a unicorn.
But, since so much conversation is pointless, recognizing it and moving on rather than getting bogged down in it is more productive.
There is a large realm of productive material, for us to gain knowledge on a more “superficial” level - much does have a shared basis, and we don’t see these issues visibly in, for instance, learning a language or learning history (even though there really are philosophical issues underlying both, but generally speaking a person can find much productive ground). Since our time is limited, it makes sense to pursue these unambiguously productive areas instead of beating our heads against a wall trying to convince others about things we consider important but which are foundational for them and which they have not sought to question.
Examples of pointless discussions from unbridgeable views:
  • Bitcoin vs gold
While this might seem unintuitive as I have written about how I see Bitcoin and gold as having complementary strengths rather than being in opposition, what I mean when I express it as a pointless category is that trying to tell a Bitcoin fanatic about the uses of gold is a waste of time, just as trying to explain to Peter Schiff that it’s possible for people to create sustainable and meaningful value out of nothingness arbitrarily is a waste of time.
The “Bitcoin-only” and “gold-only” camps will never change their mind as a result of someone trying to come in and ‘save’ or ‘educate’ them.
  • Tsla vs tslaq
Quite similarly: those who believe Tesla will save the world have essentially no common ground to discuss productively with those who believe Tesla will go bankrupt and vice versa. There are simply fundamental differences about approaches to reasoning which will not be surmounted by the surface arguments like “but he lands rockets!” or “look at the historical rates of cash burn!”
Less obviously: the actual outcome will not resolve this either. Even if Tesla becomes wildly successful, the critics will still believe dishonest and unjustifiable actions to have been taken. Even if Tesla fails, the supporters will not believe Musk did anything wrong.
World views are generally proof against what might seem from the outside to be events which should break them.
  • Religious preference
Given the general argument I’ve made, this should be fairly obvious. However, I spent a fair amount of time over the years arguing some of this from both sides (when I was much younger I was an evangelical Christian ; by college age I was an “evangelical atheist” ; in hindsight, I don’t consider either a good way to spend time).
  • Political preference
This too follows clearly from the positions I’ve taken. No socialist is going to convince a capitalist that profit is evil. No capitalist will convince a socialist that profit is good. (Choose whatever dichotomy and examples you find appropriate.)
Examples of productive discussions sharing a common foundation:
These examples have been generally covered previously or are self-explanatory.
  • Specific facts between mutually respecting people
  • World view in rare cases where seeker wants introduction to different view
  • Skills (languages) or Bodies of knowledge (history)
  • Determining positions
This last is a potentially interesting one: even when changing a person’s mind may be impossible and unproductive, unbridgeable divides as far as resolving the disagreement can still be productive in terms of understanding what exactly the relative positions are. The socialist may not convince the capitalist of anything, but if they simply want to understand what the capitalist believes, that could be productive (and vice versa).
Of course, if it devolves into trying to convince the other person they’re wrong rather than trying to understand their position, it goes back to being pointless.
My choices:
As a practical matter, what am I doing with these views?
  • Unfollowing and blocking easily on Twitter
I’ve been using Twitter for the first time lately. I find it interesting and useful in many ways. However, there is a potential to waste a lot of time there trying to argue things where the other person will never be convinced.
Other people wiser than myself may well choose to hear all voices, but I wish to maintain an environment where I find what I’m reading useful and where the people I hear from are ones where I think I could engage productively or at least enjoyably.
So I am unfollowing and blocking fairly quickly when I encounter views which I consider to indicate unbridgeable divides of opinion. Unfollow is my first step. If I wasn’t following the person previously and find something irritating they say, I will block rather than engage.
In rare instances I will engage where I think there may be a productive discussion but I won’t go into extended arguments.
  • Maintain open discussion here
However, I have long held a different view for this subreddit: I specifically want to encourage and allow dissenting voices. I wish to avoid building an echo chamber here for a multitude of reasons, but in particular because I think it’s extremely important to try to avoid having a blindspot about critical issues with the system or will drawbacks to any proposed changes.
In the framework of what I’ve discussed here, this could be seen as a combination of wanting to maintain space for understanding other views (even if we don’t change each other’s minds) as well as trying to deliberately hold open at least in some cases a willingness to change my mind. For instance, while I am strongly opposed to ever removing the 337 nillion cap, I want to allow such discussion and encourage anyone with those views to be free to express them. In other areas, like the block size cap, while I had held a stronger position toward larger blocks on principle, and still tend in that direction, some of the discussion previously here and more broadly on the other side has at least led me to more of a wait-and-see approach.
Some various concluding thoughts:
  • Difference between random vs long-term relationships and discussion.
Twitter is an example where there is generally little to no strength of relationship as a starting point. This makes any challenging discussion more difficult and less likely to be productive and is part of my hair-trigger in unfollowing and blocking.
However, in general I don’t tend to believe that in most cases a long-term relationship changes what ground is productive so much as it changes the calculation about whether one unproductive area justifies severing a connection. Necessarily those we have chosen to be part of our lives will not agree with us in everything, but there are likely to be areas not worth engaging in.
For those we have no particular prior need or desire to have in our lives, I see no reason to accept any noise.
  • Low value in one-way communication upon determining different foundation (watching videos or twitter feed, etc. upon significant disagreement)
I tend to believe that without some shared common basis, there’s not much point in taking in what’s presented by someone. This can be seen as creating one’s own echo chamber, but the more positive way I might put it is that you have to have a reason to respect what a person is saying for it to be worthwhile to listen to them. Someone whose arguments you are likely to reject almost entirely is not worth listening to in the first place, as the goal should be to get new information or listen to someone who might change your views rather than to simply suffer through for the sake of having heard what can be known in advance to be something you will reject.
  • Tie-in to views on crypto: neither dedicated pumpers nor dedicated critics are useful. Nor are we looking to bring in people who aren’t interested. So what’s left? Those who are seekers are welcome and we should look to assist with helping people get exposure and broader knowledge of strengths and weaknesses.
Weighing the various perspectives on the overall issue I’ve put together here led me to this view which is a refinement of what I’ve thought for a while. We do not want mindless fanatics. And we do not want to try to convince people who aren’t interested or those who have already decided the whole concept is worthless.
However, there is still a productive sliver left there: people who are interested in cryptocurrency but have not already set their opinions in stone. This fits in with the early mindset I had that we would want to have offering technical support as a core competency (and which is something I’ve been proud of this community doing well). This also fits into my original coin-a-day series, long defunct, trying to offer a view of the strengths and weaknesses of various cryptocurrencies. Perhaps this may be worth reviving in some form in the future, but the general concept at least fits my views here: offering a perspective to those who are looking for it, but not trying to convince anyone who has already decided and just wants to argue.
As I have been discussing here, at this point my choice is generally: I make no attempt to change someone’s mind. Occasionally I’ll make one response I expect to be futile. Twitter is not suited towards meaningful in-depth communication and there is no established relationship to anchor a difficult discussion. In closer relationships, topics simply become no-go areas.
I’ve probably swung too far towards avoidance from confrontation at this point, but I’ve got too much scar tissue from years of fruitless argument.
Some examples of aspects I collected while putting this together
https://twitter.com/Venado_0320/status/1125060447646957570 (twitter thread which shows a specific example of TSLA bull vs bear thesis and pointlessness of general discussion although room for discussion on one specific aspect)
https://twitter.com/Jonathankrier1/status/1125922545679527936 (twitter thread example of production conversation - starting from same point of view but slightly different knowledge)
https://old.reddit.com/RealTesla/comments/bmcy5q/teslacom_forum_5719_collision_while_using_auto/emwbohb/ (comment about people changing their mind over time)
https://twitter.com/jposhaughnessy/status/1128005778445611010 (news and knowing what isn’t so)
submitted by coinaday to nyancoins [link] [comments]

Takeaways from Vorhees-Schiff debate

If you haven't seen the most recent SOHO forum debate over bitcoin with Erik Vorhees and Peter Schiff, it was entertaining, but you're not missing much: it was a near repeat of both their arguments from a prior debate a few years back, and all the points were mere regurgitations of popular (but lacking) arguments for their respective commodity.
The silver lining is that there's still things we can learn or refresh our memories on. One of them is that (while Schiff is getting old and is stubborn in his refusal to see logic and reason regarding cryptocurrencies) he actually, unwittingly, made what I consider to be the most salient point for bitcoin, and which is so rarely understood (which even Erik fails to recognize and utilize): at about 54:15, Schiff starts to talk about how gold is no longer circulating and being used, to a high degree, as money, and that it's price and value reflect that; that it's price would be higher (and more stable) if it were circulating as money, and that it's current price reflects the value derived from it's non-monetary uses (such as jewelry, electronics, etc.). And Peter is absolutely correct here, and it actually undermines, somewhat, his argument for the superiority of gold over cryptos.
So why is this significant? Because it goes back to Carl Menger and The Origins of Money, where he gave us one of the most important and largely correct theories of the origin and nature of market-based money and how it develops on a market; his one major flaw in understanding, being that gold as money has it's exchange value backed exclusively by it's non-monetary uses or utility. To Menger, there was nothing else: he could only see the token, the unit or weight of gold as being the good. Menger had not yet fully internalized the abstract nature of goods and services and as such, had not conceived of what we now call "network goods", of which money is the prime example; the ultimate network good.
See, when a commodity becomes a money, the "good" ceases to be the thing that can be eaten or turned into jewelry or used as some other capital; the "good" becomes the service of having a medium of indirect exchange (alleviating inefficiencies of barter or trust-based credit systems), as well as a store of value and a unit of account. The good of money, being wholly separate from the good of serviceability to some other end (such as in making jewelry or having a status symbol, as are some of the non-monetary "goods" of gold). In mainstream economics, this is actually a well-known and synthesized idea. . . but unfortunately among many Austrian's, Menger's error has continued to cast a pall over the concept of money, and what can be good money; it has cast unnecessary doubt on cryptocurrencies and lead to trust for too long in inferior "barbaric relics" like gold, which (while having served faithfully as a market money) ultimately lacked the properties to avoid confiscation and de-monitization by the modern state, and so are no longer suitable for use as money in a free society (at least, not so long as the threat of statism looms).
In fact, what Schiff does here is also inadvertently expose something that I've written a lot about but is unfortunately still not widely understood (and Vorhees here even fails to bring it in to play, which would have more thoroughly and quickly dealt with Schiff's contentions): that there are large hurdles to a money developing on the market; that proto-money commodities face coordination problems (assurance and free-riding); and that non-monetary uses (such as gold has) are a stepping-stone or a help to a proto-money commodity, in overcoming these coordination problems; in getting an initial distribution which is wide enough and liquid enough, such that the token's good monetary properties (e.g. scarcity, divisibility, fungibility, transportability) can take over; that non-monetary uses are at best a component of a commodity money's value/exchange price. . . not the composite; that once ensconced as unit-of-account money, a token need not rely on or fall-back on a much lower non-monetary exchange value (as even this drop would completely undermine it's serviceability as money and thus is logically not a psychological backstop) and that we need not logically regress the value of a money back infinitely; but that the value of money references the utility of the service. . .the network good of the monetary system as a whole and one's share of that. It is also likely that once ensconced as money, the demand (and supply) foof a commodity for non-monetary purposes, is, if anything, a destabilizing effect on it's moneyness; a liability. . . and this is why we understand that bitcoin has a more daunting prospect than gold, in terms of becoming a fully actualized money; but once ensconced as such; has the properties which would make it a much better money than gold could ever be.
Finally, as one last critique of Vorhees performance (which handily destroy's Schiff, but still he could do better and lay this all out, if only to keep his rhetoric fresh): when Schiff criticizes the extended period for which bitcoin has floundered around in short-term-speculative price discovery; Vorhees fails to take account of how damaging already existing government interventions have been (and also government's lack of enforcement of property rights surrounding bitcoin thefts and ownership), as the proto-money has struggled to gain sufficient transactional network effects. The primary culprit here being the tax classification in the U.S.: nobody can expect any market-based proto-money to succeed, when government makes the tracking and reporting requirements of using it as an everyday currency so daunting, that only the most idealogically-driven (or those where government money has completely failed) will ever adopt it as their currency.
Anyhow, I'll stop my rambling there. Hopefully this has been a helpful and interesting commentary for some of you or at least a good refresher on what's going on, economically, with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general; hopefully this helps people to see beyond first-order causes and effects and understand more intimately how markets and the state work in regards to the single most important good in the economy: money.
submitted by kwanijml to GoldandBlack [link] [comments]

Wealth Formula Episode 172: Ask Buck

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/172-ask-buck/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone we have a number of questions today on Ask Buck so I am gonna get with it right away the first question is from Beau Cannington. He’s a member of Investor Club and Wealth Formula Network. Here's his question.
Beau Cannington: How much of a negative impact do you think that a rising interest rate environment will have on our commercial real estate investments and specifically the syndication investments with Western Wealth Capital? Thank you very much.
Buck: So Beau good question especially on paper right makes a lot of sense that potentially rising rates could be problematic for multifamily real estate or really for any kind of real estate. But let's go back to basics first because I think it's important, a lot of people don't have a good enough understanding of this in the first place which is when does leverage help you in the first place when does it help to borrow money from the bank? Well leverage only really helps you if you're borrowing at a rate that is less than your effective cap rate and what I mean by effective cap rate is you know you're gonna constantly drive net operating income into a property if you're increasing value of the property if you're in a value-add situation. That's what we do in the Western Wealth Capital opportunities that you're talking about. But that rate at which you borrow has to constantly and always be above your effective cap rate otherwise it's gonna hurt you. All leverage does is to simply amplify the directionality of your profit or losses. So just like it makes you profit more if your effective cap rate is greater than your interest rate, if that you know that income drops to a point where now your cap rate is actually below the interest rate, it's gonna magnify your losses. So that's at a very basic level hopefully that makes sense if it doesn't real issen to it because it's critically important and for some reason you know a lot of people don't pay attention to that especially people who are just getting into real estate for the first time it's really important. Now let's talk about the idea of interest rates themselves I mean the one that most people are familiar with is the one that's on the news all the time. It's a Fed Funds rate you know people call benchmark rate whatever. It's the one that's set by the Federal Reserve and the way I think about the Fed Funds rate is that it's an indicator for whether or not the economy is healthy it's it's sort of a barometer when the rates are getting hiked the economy is in pretty good shape and the Fed is trying to prevent it from getting too hot and to you know potentially prevent inflation. On the other side when the you know Fed lowers rates, like it just did by the way, it signals some level of concern about the economy it you know suggests that maybe there's some deflationary activity going and suggest that there's some recessionary activity going on. You know ultimately the Fed rate is you know it's set by the Fed and it's it's a tool of monetary stimulus to try to control inflation and ultimately mitigate recessionary cycles so it's a way for the Fed to control the economy you know it's one of the ways that they try to control the economy one of the monetary pulse. Now the Fed Funds rate does not equate to mortgage rates I I hear a lot of people you know like on social media and stuff talking about had funds rate goes the perfect time for me to go shopper shop a loan or something like that and well you should know a little bit more than that if you're in the business of real estate and taking loans out but you know I mean I'm seeing like syndicators do that. The Fed fund rate really affects short-term and variable adjusted rates really it's really an indication of what's going on right now in this economy in the very short term. And mortgage rates of course then are far more complex mortgage rates reflect sort of a longer-term health of the economy and they're probably there's a lot that goes into them but probably the thing that you need to watch the most is the ten-year Treasury which is much more a reflection of you know the long-term rates what the market thinks to the markets gonna be in the future right so if there is a belief that there is you know inflation on the horizon you probably see those rates start to rise. Inflation tends to rise when the economy's you know hot so anyway now again so what you should be looking at is the 10-year Treasury now I'm giving you a little bit of background rather than just answering Beau’s question initially but the good news right now is that the Fed fund rate was actually cut so it's actually not going up anyway so we don't need to worry about that right now but what we we also had a big dip in the tenured Treasury so our mortgage rates are very favorable right now as well now that's interesting because that happened before the Fed cut rates you know we recently closed on something within our Investor Club and got really good rates and that was before the that was because the treasury took a dive before it took a dive right before you know the hope this whole thing in the last week or so couple weeks where there's actually a Fed rate. But let's move back again and you know to Beau’s question. Say mortgage rates were going up what would that mean and how would that affect our investments? Now presumably that would be a suggestion that the 10-year Treasury as we talked about was going up which would also be suggestive of an inflationary environment. Now here's where it's really helpful to be invested in real estate like multifamily real estate which is of course my sweet spot. Inflation also means that we raise rents more right so in other words as rates go up so to our rent. So the ten-year Treasury is reflective of inflation when we and so the rates go up but so do rents proportionally and so theoretically we should be in good shape and not worry about it too much because it's really just an adjustment for inflation if you think about it that way. Bottom line is for me personally I don't worry too much about rates when it comes to our Wealth Formula accredited investor opportunities that we're doing and one of the reasons for that is we are incredibly aggressive about value add. So we're constantly in decompression mode as well and we're you know we're locked in to some good rates here too so. Now in addition if you look at the speed at which you know some of these companies work like Western Wealth Capitals the one you mentioned and they're forcing equity into these assets like you know incredibly fast so you're in a dynamic mode of decompressing cap rates in real time and that effectively again de-leverages the asset altogether. So if you found that confusing, listen to it again. But bottom line is if you take nothing else away from this I would tell you that interest rates in general mortgage rates will reflect inflation. So if inflation is going up rates are gonna go up and vice versa and so they tend to cancel each other out don't worry about it that's what I would tell you. If anything rates going down might be potentially more of a concern simply because that's a much more of an indication of an economy that's not healthy. Now we're doing you know BC classed multifamily I still think we're positioned very well so again I don't worry about it too much. Okay let's see next question from Chris Odegard another Investor Club guy and also another Wealth Formula Network guy so Chris here you go.
Chris Odegard: Hey Buck. Chris Odegard here in Kent Washington. My question relates to asset classes. If I remember correctly from Tom Wheelwright he talks about four asset classes: paper or commodities, real assets, real estate real assets aka real estate and businesses. So I believe that you know if I'm a shareholder in coca-cola that's paper but I'm also a private shareholder in a number of small start-up businesses so because my ownership of private shares and small businesses constitute a paper asset or a business asset? And if that's still a paper asset you know what makes you a have what makes you have an investment in business since most of the time you know if you're an owner or part owner of a small non publicly traded business it's usually their share so anyway I'm kind of struggling with the distinction between paper and a business asset classification so appreciate your help on that. Thanks.
Buck: So Chris I thinkx first of all let's back up and just say you know the reality is that these are you know these are just definitions right and there's a gray area between them and we can use them to guide us a little bit as we appropriate things into the right quote-unquote basket but you know we shouldn't get hung up on them too much but let's go back and review the definitions right so what are what are paper assets. So well let's talk about what real assets are so real assets are physical assets right and the thing that they are known for is that they have intrinsic worth due to their substance and property so precious metals commodities real estate land equipment natural resources these all have some kind of intrinsic value to them whereas paper assets would be assets where ownership’s defined only by paper like as you mentioned stocks and currencies and bonds and things like that. The reality is that in in some cases like you're talking about the definitions might not be as useful it might be a better idea to simply ask yourself in a sort of a common-sense way well what is it that I actually own? You know if you own businesses that are not asset heavy lots of you know and what I mean by assets heavy is like you know lots of machinery, stuff that you could liquidate, it's probably fair to put it in the you know the paper side of things. On the other hand if you have a business that as a significant balance sheet of stuff that could be liquidated you might actually put it in you know the real asset bucket. But I will tell you in knowing yours what you're talking about you invest in a lot of startups I would say that I personally would probably never consider an investment limited partner investment in a start-up as a real asset I mean I think the bottom line is that most of those businesses are not going to have a significant amount of equity or collateral to back your debt so there's not a lot to liquidate there's not a lot of intrinsic value in those businesses other than their ability to produce income. So that's where I would put that. Now what gives real estate and precious metals let's go back to that real status well it's ultimately again their inherent value. that it can't really be erased the way a stock price can go to zero. Or frankly if you talk about businesses what happens if the business that you're invested in Chris what if that goes to zero right? If there's no profit if there's no nothing to distribute etc it's not worth anything anymore right so that that to me is probably the biggest thing to distinguish. Although I should bring up I keep thinking about this as we're talking that you know I was listening to the Peter Schiff they still like to listen to I think he's a smart guy just you know he's a little stubborn and he's always thinking the this guy is falling which I don't I don't agree with him but you know he's on this big rampage against Bitcoin and he's been debating all these people about gold versus Bitcoin which I actually think it's kind of a silly debate because I think the gold and Bitcoin people should sort of you know be on the same side but I think you know it might be in part because Peter sells gold and it's a good opportunity to get in front of people, but one of his arguments about gold is that the reason that it has value is that it has intrinsic properties and those intrinsic properties are that it can be used you know to melt down and make stuff and I think there's true but the problem with this argument there in my opinion is that seriously for those of you who are out there like owning gold have you've owned a few ounces of gold and you store it somewhere are you seriously owning it because you know because you might be able to use it sometime or because somebody might be able to use it or are you using it because somebody thinks it has a value? I would argue that the reason you own it in most cases unless you're like a big jewelry buff or whatever is because somebody because you or you want somebody else to you know at some point pay you more for that then what you bought it for so in that respect it's not a whole lot different from like Bitcoin right like you know people the value of gold it has to do with the fact that it also has a monetary value it's really seen that way if you took that out of it and all of it was just a matter of it being jewelry it would not be worth as much as it is but anyway that's my take on that a little unrelated but I thought I would throw in that commentary. Next question let's see is from Ramin Rafie here we go.
Ramin Rafie: Hi Buck. I'm a physician general practitioner. I've been out of residency for about decade now. I have been an employed physician working for a larger corporation making house calls and a hospice director for their large healthcare organization which actually has recently been bought by an insurance company, that's a whole nother story. I actually went to medical school in California. And I've always wondered if it's feasible for me to open up my own kind of practice I don't know enough about the tax structures reimbursement etc, etc. I understand insurances are a big problem and you have to hire a lot of staff that's a waste of resources to strike to insurances but I was debating if solo practitioner doable perhaps direct primary care and if so is one better off just doing a cash face back to this and the legal structure of either having an LLC or an S corp or C Corp I don't know if you can operate on that that's gonna be I guess I need to talk to it accounts it's about that I figured I'd ask you and you might know you might not but I enjoy listening to your podcast it's amazing how many physicians up there are in the same boat. Thanks great time.
Buck: Alright so we do have a lot of physician listeners non-physicians to probably about in case you're wondering it's probably about but not just physicians but health care people right so you know physicians dentists and you know you know high doctors and you know all sorts of stuff, chiropractors and that's probably because well I've had a healthcare background myself on doing a few different kinds of surgery and stuff like that but thanks for the question. I'm gonna try to I mean there's a lot there and I think honestly the truth of the matter is I'm not necessarily an expert on all of these issues but you know some of the things I can answer I think will be relative relatively useful to anybody who's thinking about going on their own. First of all I'd say that if you're starting your own thing you know it an LLC is generally going to always be the best structure for a small business for maximum flexibility you can take, if for some reason you want to be taxed as a c-corp you could where you do an S selection so that's pretty easy. The answer your question of you know can you do it the answer is absolutely yes. There are solo practitioners out there now and you can do it and you could probably do it better and that's always generally been my philosophy when starting businesses usually I don't start businesses I'm you know I don't start businesses that have not in some way shape or form shown that they can be a success, I usually rip off somebody's idea and then pivot a little bit add a little bit something and executed and so I think to the extent that there are plenty of sole practitioners out there in California still I think it absolutely can be done. You know so your question about cash versus insurance based medicine just keeping it brief I'll tell you that it's not really an expertise of mine but by but what I can tell you is that coming out of the door with any business if it's just a cash business you're gonna have to advertise like crazy and you're gonna have to run it like a business which not everybody is ready for so the nice thing for physicians and dentists sometimes is that you know if you do take third party payers like you know these insurance companies they drive patients to your door so especially in the area of primary care there's a shortage so I don't think you'd have any trouble if you took insurance getting filled up really quickly and succeeding. Now as far as advice on how to move forward in general first you know again in this applies anybody who's starting a business and anything in my opinion, first of all finding somebody who's doing what you you know you want to do in another market and kind of copy them if you can reach out to them even better if they're not in a competing market but find in you’re case find a you know solo practitioner market that's similar to what you're trying to do and is showing a success and you know see if they're willing to spend some time with you I would offer to pay them because everybody's helpful until it's like damn I'm busy and this guy wants me to help him. But I think if you say hey now you get a successful thing there I'm looking for some help and you know looking for some consulting from a successful practice it might be useful. Another option of course is to go straight to a consultant and again this applies to every business in my opinion. Of course there's a lot of you know consultants out there. I had one for my first practice ultimately it was a cosmetic surgery business and again I ran this thing not like a medical thing, I didn't take any third-party insurance and stuff but I marketed like crazy I knew nothing about running a business or marketing when I started this the business I set out to start ended up looking nothing like the one I ended up with. What I ended up with was a lot better because I learned a lot on the job. But a lot of the back end things whether it's medical whether it's you know any kind of business or the same right I mean you've got to figure out how do you pay bills how do you set up all the systems accounting payroll and that for me where the consulting was like a really useful thing and I'm you know at the time I think I must have paid like twenty five thirty thousand dollars for and it seemed really expensive but I can tell you in any start-up situation you are much better off spending some money up front with someone holding your hand getting you started quickly and you know I have been you know. I literally have friends I have a couple of friends who've been trying to start up their own practices from multiple years now they could have been up and running in like three months if they just had paid somebody to get it done. So don't be that person you know anyway that's a message for everyone really if you have a problem, now remember this if you have a problem that you can write a check to someone to fix, you don't have a problem right? So that's the way you deal with this stuff don't spend all your time trying to deal with stupid little problems think of yourself as a you know is a thoroughbred right I mean you save yourself for you know high-value tasks. If you mess around and try to do everything yourself you're gonna end up worse I pretty much guarantee it, that goes for anyone starting any kind of business for the first time. So finally I would just say that I don't know a single I don't know a single health care provider in particular I know there's a lot of you out there with your own practice that once you have your own thing would ever go back to working for someone else or who'd ever want to go back for working for someone else, I know some of you have done it after you've sold your practice which is different you sitting on a huge chunk of cash but if you have any sort of entrepreneurial spirit and like the idea of not having limits on the upper end I would highly encourage it. All right so hopefully that's helpful and you know it's broadly I think it's broadly applicable to a lot of people who have ever contemplated any kind of entrepreneurial activities. So let's see the last one that's an actual voice one so let's do that from Ravi.
Ravi Ghanta: Hi buck this is Ravi Ghanta I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and for providing such valuable information to this community. As part of the investor I've gained so much knowledge from you as well as from your guests on your podcast. Unfortunately I have not been able to attend the Meetup and I won't be able to go to the next meetup in Dallas in September, however I was wondering if you would consider creating a directory of some sort where those who are willing to provide their name their mailing address email address or even phone number to create a community where we can interact with each other you know perhaps by having this information we can even meet up with each other in different places informally, we can also discuss things you know we may all many of us are in the medical field and other specialties or other aspects of business and crafts developing contacts in that way just a thought. But once again thank you for your insightful information and I look forward to continuing to work with you. Thank you.
Buck: All right thanks Ravi. Ravi again is a member of the investor group now I don't think Ravi's part of Wealth Formula Network and that could be part of the confusion or not confusion but part of the question you answer the question which is, is there community that you could join or have you know or have some additional contact. The first thing I'm going to tell you there is that's really what Wealth Formula Network was really all about. So Wealth Formula Network is the online private community we have you know a very strong community there are a lot of people who are really just interested in connecting with one another it is of course that started out with the course and the course was with you know with Tom Wheelwright, Ken McElroy real estate guys bunch of guys I know sort of us gives you the bases gives you the foundation for things that we talk about and then we have these bi-weekly phone calls these bi-weekly phone calls are very useful they're not just phone calls they're zoom phone calls zoom video so we can see each other it's very personal and we have very in-depth conversation, people who are on in well formula Network often create relationships off line off community and that's certainly an option for you. In terms of online communities I would say that I probably wouldn't do anything else and the reason being that anytime you preside over an online community you kind of have to keep an eye on it and I I have well formula Network and that's really all I really want to focus in on I don't really want to you know monitor other sites. As far as you know people putting their information out and stuff I don't necessarily have a problem with that the thing that I worry about is if it's anywhere that people can access, I worry about your privacy because you know we have an extremely robust audience here including you know an accredited investor list of over a thousand people and if there's some like you know advisors registered advisors or you know people who are trying to get to those people they will spam you like crazy if they ever got a hold of that. But Ravi let me think about it because there could be a way to do you know to what you're talking about to a certain extent you know we certainly like I said we certainly already do this kind of thing and within Wealth Formula Network if that's of interest you check it out WealthFormulaRoadmap.com I think you'd probably really enjoy that if you enjoy the show. So all right I don't have any more video I don't have any recorded questions I have a couple of written ones I'm going to get to those the first one says is from Robert McLeod. He says I've been listening your podcast for the last couple years now I know you're a huge proponent of investing in real estate assets especially multifamily but I can't remember you've ever discussed mobile homes. I was wondering if you've looked into investing in or thought of mobile home park space. Thanks for the informative podcast. So it's a sensitive thing because I know there's a lot of people were interested in that people listen to this and friends of mine who are involved in this but you ask I'll answer. To be honest I'm not a big fan of that space right now here's why the cap rates on these things are approaching multifamily real estate right multifamily can always be improved significantly and attract higher level tenants and then areas get gentrified, they get improved I mean there's some improvement ability in mobile home parks right but it's really capped I mean think about it at some point you don't want to live in a damn mobile home anymore right. so here's a good example of you know how multifamily doesn't really have on that cap Chicago Lincoln Park is one of the like fanciest parts of Chicago's really expensive jam-packed full of mansions and stuff now, but there's also a bunch of apartment buildings that are over a hundred years old and you know forty years ago Lincoln Park was an absolute dump and it was dangerous and no one wanted to live there and then it got gentrified and all these places that were probably low income housing are now these incredibly luxurious apartments have been upgraded like crazy and now they are you know now they're multi-million dollar asset selling at ridiculous cap rates. Now tell me how do you do that with a mobile home community? You can't right. So at some point if people are doing well they want to move out of a mobile home park so you can't keep raising rents and expect people to live there so that's one reason so now so if you're capped on an appreciation of rents it's gonna cap your equity upside so now the syndicators out there that I'm seeing especially on the limited partners side are giving returns that frankly are inferior to what we're getting in multifamily an investor club by a longshot I know some of you like this area but I don't and I sure as hell would never invest in a limited partnership like this for returns that are less than double-digit again that's just me though. So finally let me just say this, my philosophy right now in general, buy quality assets don't buy crap okay. I see people posting stuff on Facebook about single family you know Class C Class D homes they bought we're supposed to cash flow like crazy and they you know all they have is problems now you know the idea is that these things might look good on numbers but when you add in the capex and paying for damages and you tenants I mean you may not cash flow at all people are losing money on this stuff left and right so there's a reason why these numbers look so good on paper because they're not good investments and people are trying to sell you them so bottom line is I'm not saying that mobile home parks are you know bad for everyone. I'm just saying that I personally look at the alternative and the alternatives from me are better. I prefer to focus on high quality assets and markets that are growing quickly right. I mean to me I mean it may be boring and repetitive what I do but I can tell you from personal experience it works and I think chasing yield in the idea of going to lower quality assets are going to tertiary markets is a very very bad idea because those are the markets those are the areas in my view that are going to suffer the most if and when there's a significant recessionary activity or market turnaround so hopefully that answers that. Next question Mark Dvorak. Hello can you talk about on your podcast about real estate professional? I feel like it's the ultimate green card to play in real estate as passive losses are you limited? Everyone only talks about this powerful designation briefly. Like the 750 hour rule, can two people count towards those? What are the max deductions and then he says for LP is what are the max deductions one can get without being a real estate professional, a show detailing all these options. Well let me just be brief about this, the reason people are briefed about it is because for the most part there the definition of real estate professional is this ok 750 hours of documented actual work in real estate like not just being a limited partner but you know looking for real estate acquiring you know talking to people whatever you got to have that 750 hours per year and it can't be two people no it has to be one person and you can't have anything that you're doing more of so it's not I've heard some people say they're gonna try to do it with a full-time job I just don't recommend it I think the IRS is gonna not take you seriously in that situation but you know you could try. In that situation of course the losses there's no cap to your losses. The beauty of it is what what you're talking about is say you have a spouse who has a W2 income that's active income but as you as a professional real estate professional all of the passive losses that you generate through depreciation where most people who are not real estate investors can only offset those against passive investments, you can offset that against active active income because your losses as a real estate professional your what would be passive loss has become activated. So if you've got $100,000 loss from real estate depreciation you could offset you know your hundred thousand dollars of your Weiss active income because you're filing jointly right. So that's that's the Holy Grail you're right I think it's a big deal and so but that's really all there is to it. I mean you have to find a CPA who can guide you on this you know I would recommend you know for somebody from WealthAbility and pretty much anybody there's gonna tell you all the right rules but really the issue with the that is you got to find a CPA who's going to tell you how to do it and then stand by you in in the event of an audit. An audit not it's not a bad you know it's not the end of the world it happens anybody's making money you gotta have somebody who is actually you know going to defend that successfully. So anyway that's it in terms of the caps about you know being a limited partner and what are some of the maximum deductions you can get without being a real estate professional the honest truth is that I don't I don't know that there's any really maximum deductions for real estate I mean listen if you have a hundred thousand dollars or two hundred thousand or a million dollars of passive income and you have those losses you have passive losses out of the same amount you could deduct it all so there's no cap at all. I mean the only thing I think there's a cap on I think charitable giving is about fifty percent you know charitable giving fifty percent but you know and then and then there's all your typical things that I don't you know I don't really get into about you know the basic accounting deductions and things like that for other things but I'll tell you from the standpoint of real estate there really is no cap on deductions, it's just you know it's what you have whatever if you're in the passive column as is a non real estate professional you could deduct all that and then the active side you could deduct all of your depreciation against all of your income. So that's pretty straightforward. Okay last question and it's from Betty and she said Buck I heard you talking about a bad drug reaction you had a Minneapolis. What was the drug that gave you the bad reaction yeah so let me let me tell you about that I am those last show I talked about that was my near-death experience thing where I thought I was gonna die, listen to this show you'll get the whole story but bottom line is as it turned out it was a CBD tincture. And I took some CBD for my back in in Santa Barbara and it worked really well for me and then I don't know what was in this bottle that I bought but it just gave me some sort of crazy out-of-body experience and I'm it wasn't like being stoned okay I I've been to college I know what that feels like was something was very wrong, anyway it was the CBD it's a long story. Bottom line is if you are interested in that story and how what I came about listened to show where I talk about this in the last show I think it's probably last week according where this is and you will you'll hear about that. By the way, I'll say that you know riffing off that last show I'm looking again those vintage cars to things that mattered the most of lessons that I had there were to make sure to take care of your family so look at Wealth Formula Banking make sure you you know get into that and and and try to you know align your investments with legacy to a certain extent that's one of my takeaways the other one was to try to have a little bit of fun here and and don't always push it away into delayed gratification. Okay that's it for the questions today and we will be right back.
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Nexus Conference - Biggest Crypto event of 2017

Last night the Nexus Conference program was released, confirming that this is the biggest event in crypto this year. I'm not writing this post to shill, but rather show how serious Nexus Earth is about it's role as a future industry leader. You can make your own decisions from there.
Looking back over the last few months, it has been insane what positive media attention has done to the price crypto. Sometimes all it takes is a handwritten 'Buy Bitcoin" sign at a Federal Reserve press conference.
The aim of the Nexus Conference isn't so much to talk up Nexus as a cryptocurrency, but rather an event that will bring the top minds from a variety of fields and industries to discuss how blockchain/cryptocurrency tech can benefit everybody.
If you haven't already seen the speaker list, here are some of the big names:
Roger Ver - Bitcoin Legend Dave North - CEO of Sedgwick (World's largest insurance provider) Peter Schiff - CNBC Dr. Patrick M. Byrne - Founder of Overstock.com Jim Cantrell - CEO Vector Space Systems Colin Cantrell - Nexus Earth founder
Google them all.
The program even states that Nexus will even be hosting a debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates for the 2018 Colorado Governor Election at the conference, with former Presidential Candidate Dr. Ron Paul closing the conference with a key-note address. Another former Presidential Candidate, Dennis Kucinich, will also be speaking at the conference.
Besides it's partnership with Vector Space Systems, Nexus is still relatively unknown by a lot of the crypto world. This conference will change everything.
So do your own research, don't buy coins on rumors of Visa partnerships, or Las Vegas strip club tokens. There are projects out there looking to revolutionize the tech industry, and Nexus Earth is one of them. In fact, no project is more ambitious.
Check out the conference program here: http://nexusearth.com/downloads/Nexus_Conference_Program.pdf
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Bitcoin and Mises Regression Theorem

Hi guys,
Just wrote an article exploring Mises's Regression Theorem and Bitcoin. Text is below. Basically I hope to persuade people that Bitcoin does not need inherit value to become money.
http://www.marcolapegna.com/2017/11/24/marco-on-money-misenean-regressionpart-ii/
It’s been almost a month since my first post exploring monetary theory and crypto-currencies. I’m still working on the research into the inner workings of Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general and while it’s been quite fun, it’s also very time consuming. So in the meantime I thought it would be nice to explore a part of monetary theory I find relevant to Bitcoin—Mises’ Regression Theorem (MRT).
I wrote about Bitcoin only one other time in a previous blog I discontinued sometime around 2013-2014. At the time there was some hype around Bitcoin and I was worried at how aggressively the libertarian community was pushing Bitcoin. My worry was that if Bitcoin turned out to be a scam, then the movement overall would take a big hit. To that effect I titled the blog post Bitcoin: Friend or Foe of Freedom?
My first thought was that Bitcoin violated MRT and hence was most likely a scam, but as I kept doing my research I changed my mind drastically.
But before we continue we should discuss what issues MRT helped to correct.
How Prices are Developed
The significant achievement of MRT is that it provides a credible theory on how prices develop in a monetary economy.
In economics 101 we all learn that prices for goods are set at the intersection of demand and supply curves. Demand curves are downward slopping indicating that that as the price of a good drops, we are willing to consume more of the said good.
This phenomenon is explained in economics by the concept of marginal utility.
Marginal utility is the derived satisfaction a consumer gets from consuming an additional unit of a good. This utility diminishes as the consumer continues to consume more of the same good. It’s safe to say we can all relate to this, for instance, most of us love chocolate, but after eating a few squares most of us will get sick if we continue to consume. Hence, our satisfaction from continuing to eat more chocolate will drop to near zero.
In economics, this is referred to as the law of diminishing marginal utility.
The law of diminishing marginal utility is why the demand curve for goods is downward slopping and in turn helps explain how the market formulates prices. This is where we run into problems though.
A demand schedule for a good is determined by the marginal utility of the good itself to the consumer, and the marginal utility of money, or simply the alternative uses of money to the consumer. However, to properly evaluate these alternative uses of money, the consumer needs existing prices of other goods in order to rank his choices. Therefore, in order for the market to formulate a price for good X, it needs the price of good Y, which in turn needs the price of good X. This circular argument represented a chasm in our collective understanding of monetary theory for a long time—until Mises came along.
Circularity and Bitcoin
But before we go on to explain how MRT addresses the problem of circularity, let us take a quick look at Bitcoin. Let us go back to 2008 when Bitcoin was first introduced into the market. Sure, you could easily argue that Bitcoin makes a better indirect means of exchange than paper money; it’s infinitely divisible, and as long as we have computers it’s more durable, it’s easily more portable than paper money, and one could easily make the argument the strength of the code has intrinsic value. This satisfies all the basic requirements for a particular good to become money in a society. Check, check, check, and check….With all that said though, how do you begin to formulate prices for goods in Bitcoin?
Let’s assume I’m a particular merchant selling my goods, how do I determine how many Bitcoins I am going to charge for my goods? My instinct is going to be to look at other merchants and see what they are charging their goods for in Bitcoin, so I can construct my own personal demand schedule for Bitcoins. Only problem is that other merchants are looking at me to do their own calculations. Hence, at first look it seems like Bitcoin is going nowhere fast.
Keep this issue in the back of your mind; we will get back to it.
Mises’ Regression Theorem
Ok so back to Mises.
Mises addressed the issue of circularity by suggesting an individual constructs his demand schedule of a certain good not by simultaneously looking at the prices of other goods on the market, but by recollecting the prices of the goods in a prior event in time. This will give the consumer a general array of prices in the economy from which he can rank his preferences and from there we can construct his demand schedule.
For example, if I am at the bread store holding $5, how do I decide how much bread to buy? First, I think of how much bread I already have at home, and rank my satisfaction of purchasing additional loaves, then I evaluate alternative uses of that $5 by recollecting previous prices of butter, fruit, and other goods. Based on these evaluations, I will rank the purchase of bread loaves either higher or lower than holding on to the $5.
While this model certainly works, the obvious problem is that at this point, the issue of circularity has been replaced by one of infinite regression. If today’s prices are determined by recollecting prices in a previous period in time, how are those prices formulated? By obviously looking at a period further back in time and so on the regression goes on indefinitely.
In MRT however, the regression is not indefinite. Eventually one would arrive at a period in time when the economy worked on a barter system. From the first instant that a merchant accepts a good from a trade not because of its end use, but because of its exchange value, the economy begins to formulate prices in terms of the accepted indirect means of exchange good. Once a particular good becomes the primary indirect means of exchange in an economy, and this good is accepted by the vast majority of participants, we term said good the “money” of that economy.
The implication of MRT is that for a good to become money, it must start out as a good that has perceived value in of itself. Otherwise it would never begin to be traded in a barter economy. After that, the qualities of durability, divisibility, and portability are essential to determine what good will function as money in a society.
Bitcoin and MRT in the Libertarian Community
There has been, there is, and will likely continue to be an intense debate in the libertarian community about the future of Bitcoin. Many of the detractors of Bitcoin use the MRT as proof that Bitcoin will never become money and hence is nothing more than either a pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, or fraud.
Peter Schiff is a prominent analyst and beloved figure in the libertarian community who has been a vocal detractor of Bitcoin. Although I have never seen him reference MRT directly, he employs a line of attack similar to the critics that charge Bitcoin with violating the MRT. The charge is that since Bitcoin has no end use in of itself, it has no chance to become money and hence all attempt to make it so are futile.
To Schiff, money must be a commodity. Gold for instance has a far longer history of being treated as money than bank notes; many detractors of Bitcoin—like Schiff—are in fact strong supporters of gold.
Detractors argue that gold instead of Bitcoin is perfectly compatible with MRT, since MRT explains gold’s emergence as an indirect means of exchange from the earliest barter economy to the last link between gold and the US dollar. To the gold bugs, it’s the use value of gold as jewellery that allowed gold to begin its emergence as money. Without this use, gold would never have developed as money.
Since Bitcoin really has no use or “inherit value” outside of indirect exchange, then it is in violation of MRT and hence can never become money. And since the valuations of Bitcoin are based on the future assumption that Bitcoin will become money, the whole thing is a swindle.
Why Mostly Everybody is Missing the Point
The predominant response by supporters of Bitcoin and MRT has been to come up with arguments as to how Bitcoin does indeed have some use value in of itself. In my view, some of the cases are good, while some seem downright silly. Either way this is an unnecessary step.
Bitcoin is perfectly compatible with MRT even if it has no use value.
As Davidson and Block point out in this paper (here). MRT says nothing about introducing a new indirect means of exchange in an economy that already has money. All MRT seeks to do is to explain how prices form originally, from the starting point of a barter economy.
Take central bank notes, nobody disputes that it is money in our society. Whether it’s Euros or US dollars none of these bank notes have direct uses other than possibly real expensive toilet paper. Despite this, prices for goods in terms of central bank notes developed. This is in large part because these bank notes could be converted to gold on demand, and since people had a history of the general array of gold prices in mind, this allowed them to evaluate alternative uses of these new bank notes. Now these participants in the economy could come up with new value scales that led to the creation of prices in bank notes instead of gold.
Back to Bitcoin and Circularity
Now that we have a solid understanding of MRT behind us, let’s get back to the issue of how to come up with prices of goods in terms of Bitcoin that I brought up earlier.
Well thousands of merchants are already selling their goods in Bitcoin, so how do they do it? Easy, at the time of sale they look at how much a Bitcoin is being traded for in USD and use that number to determine the Bitcoin price.
Exactly the same process that was used when central bank notes began to replace gold as money.
My aim in writing this post is not to prove how Bitcoin will undoubtedly replace central bank notes as money. There are many more factors to explore and in the end such a claim would be nothing more than speculation—that could prove to be right or wrong in the future.
My whole aim has been instead to show how Bitcoin does not need any “inherent value” to eventually succeed and become money. It is perfectly feasible for BTC to piggyback on central bank notes in order to establish prices as demonstrated by MRT.
submitted by Vecissitude to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

A Response to Peter Schiff's Bitcoin vs Gold Video from a Bitcoiner

Posted this on /bitcoin here: https://pay.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1r6mrm/a_response_to_peter_schiffs_bitcoin_vs_gold_video/
Figured it made sense to post it here too:
"You can see Peter Schiff's video on bitcoin vs gold here: Bitcoin vs Gold
I'd like to start out by saying that I have a huge amount of respect for Peter Schiff, and I've been an avid follower of his since he was Ron Paul's economic advisor in the 2008 Presidential campaign. I've often followed his financial advice over the years, and it has almost always been on point. Peter has always been right when he has talked about the intrinsic value of gold and silver vs fiat currency, but I think he has it wrong when it comes to bitcoin.
While Peter starts off talking about how bitcoin is actually a decent idea and how it has many of the same qualities as gold, the one difference that he points out is that bitcoin lacks intrinsic value. He talks about how gold and silver became money in the early days because the metals also had other uses besides being used as money. This economic law was true until the invention of bitcoin. While you can't use a bitcoin for anything other than sending it to someone else as payment, it's by far the best payment/banking mechanism ever created. While you can't use a bitcoin as anything other than money, it's amazing qualities as a payment system give it intrinsic value because merchants will want to accept bitcoin.
The key fallacy in Peter's argument actually comes when he talks about the comparison between paper money and bitcoin. He talks about how people think that bitcoin will work as a currency without intrinsic value because the dollar has already shown that this idea is possible. He rightly points out that the only reason people want dollars is because they have to use them to pay taxes. He states that this is the main reason dollars have more value than bitcoin, but he doesn't realize that the same argument can be used when it comes to the relationship between merchants and bitcoin. This is the key element of bitcoin. Merchants will want to accept bitcoin as payment because of the lack of processing fees. They will be able to use the savings from processing fees to offer their customers discounts in the range of 3-10%. We're already seeing this happen with Gyft. This means that consumers will only be able to use bitcoin if they want to get the best deal on basically anything they decide to purchase. Peter's argument in the dollar vs bitcoin is, therefore, invalid. The reason that the dollar has value (people have to use it to pay taxes) is the same reason that bitcoin has value (people have to use it to pay lower prices). There are a number of other issues with the gold vs bitcoin debate, but I think this is the one point that hurts Peter's argument the most. He also ignores the fact that citizens could petition their governments to accept bitcoin for tax payments. I'd definitely like to hear a response from Peter on the bolded point above."
submitted by kmoneylongshanks to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] Bitcoin and Mises Regression Theorem

The following post by Vecissitude is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7f74jq
The original post's content was as follows:
Hi guys,
Just wrote an article exploring Mises's Regression Theorem and Bitcoin. Text is below. Basically I hope to persuade people that Bitcoin does not need inherit value to become money.
http://www.marcolapegna.com/2017/11/24/marco-on-money-misenean-regressionpart-ii/
It’s been almost a month since my first post exploring monetary theory and crypto-currencies. I’m still working on the research into the inner workings of Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general and while it’s been quite fun, it’s also very time consuming. So in the meantime I thought it would be nice to explore a part of monetary theory I find relevant to Bitcoin—Mises’ Regression Theorem (MRT).
I wrote about Bitcoin only one other time in a previous blog I discontinued sometime around 2013-2014. At the time there was some hype around Bitcoin and I was worried at how aggressively the libertarian community was pushing Bitcoin. My worry was that if Bitcoin turned out to be a scam, then the movement overall would take a big hit. To that effect I titled the blog post Bitcoin: Friend or Foe of Freedom?
My first thought was that Bitcoin violated MRT and hence was most likely a scam, but as I kept doing my research I changed my mind drastically.
But before we continue we should discuss what issues MRT helped to correct.
How Prices are Developed
The significant achievement of MRT is that it provides a credible theory on how prices develop in a monetary economy.
In economics 101 we all learn that prices for goods are set at the intersection of demand and supply curves. Demand curves are downward slopping indicating that that as the price of a good drops, we are willing to consume more of the said good.
This phenomenon is explained in economics by the concept of marginal utility.
Marginal utility is the derived satisfaction a consumer gets from consuming an additional unit of a good. This utility diminishes as the consumer continues to consume more of the same good. It’s safe to say we can all relate to this, for instance, most of us love chocolate, but after eating a few squares most of us will get sick if we continue to consume. Hence, our satisfaction from continuing to eat more chocolate will drop to near zero.
In economics, this is referred to as the law of diminishing marginal utility.
The law of diminishing marginal utility is why the demand curve for goods is downward slopping and in turn helps explain how the market formulates prices. This is where we run into problems though.
A demand schedule for a good is determined by the marginal utility of the good itself to the consumer, and the marginal utility of money, or simply the alternative uses of money to the consumer. However, to properly evaluate these alternative uses of money, the consumer needs existing prices of other goods in order to rank his choices. Therefore, in order for the market to formulate a price for good X, it needs the price of good Y, which in turn needs the price of good X. This circular argument represented a chasm in our collective understanding of monetary theory for a long time—until Mises came along.
Circularity and Bitcoin
But before we go on to explain how MRT addresses the problem of circularity, let us take a quick look at Bitcoin. Let us go back to 2008 when Bitcoin was first introduced into the market. Sure, you could easily argue that Bitcoin makes a better indirect means of exchange than paper money; it’s infinitely divisible, and as long as we have computers it’s more durable, it’s easily more portable than paper money, and one could easily make the argument the strength of the code has intrinsic value. This satisfies all the basic requirements for a particular good to become money in a society. Check, check, check, and check….With all that said though, how do you begin to formulate prices for goods in Bitcoin?
Let’s assume I’m a particular merchant selling my goods, how do I determine how many Bitcoins I am going to charge for my goods? My instinct is going to be to look at other merchants and see what they are charging their goods for in Bitcoin, so I can construct my own personal demand schedule for Bitcoins. Only problem is that other merchants are looking at me to do their own calculations. Hence, at first look it seems like Bitcoin is going nowhere fast.
Keep this issue in the back of your mind; we will get back to it.
Mises’ Regression Theorem
Ok so back to Mises.
Mises addressed the issue of circularity by suggesting an individual constructs his demand schedule of a certain good not by simultaneously looking at the prices of other goods on the market, but by recollecting the prices of the goods in a prior event in time. This will give the consumer a general array of prices in the economy from which he can rank his preferences and from there we can construct his demand schedule.
For example, if I am at the bread store holding $5, how do I decide how much bread to buy? First, I think of how much bread I already have at home, and rank my satisfaction of purchasing additional loaves, then I evaluate alternative uses of that $5 by recollecting previous prices of butter, fruit, and other goods. Based on these evaluations, I will rank the purchase of bread loaves either higher or lower than holding on to the $5.
While this model certainly works, the obvious problem is that at this point, the issue of circularity has been replaced by one of infinite regression. If today’s prices are determined by recollecting prices in a previous period in time, how are those prices formulated? By obviously looking at a period further back in time and so on the regression goes on indefinitely.
In MRT however, the regression is not indefinite. Eventually one would arrive at a period in time when the economy worked on a barter system. From the first instant that a merchant accepts a good from a trade not because of its end use, but because of its exchange value, the economy begins to formulate prices in terms of the accepted indirect means of exchange good. Once a particular good becomes the primary indirect means of exchange in an economy, and this good is accepted by the vast majority of participants, we term said good the “money” of that economy.
The implication of MRT is that for a good to become money, it must start out as a good that has perceived value in of itself. Otherwise it would never begin to be traded in a barter economy. After that, the qualities of durability, divisibility, and portability are essential to determine what good will function as money in a society.
Bitcoin and MRT in the Libertarian Community
There has been, there is, and will likely continue to be an intense debate in the libertarian community about the future of Bitcoin. Many of the detractors of Bitcoin use the MRT as proof that Bitcoin will never become money and hence is nothing more than either a pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, or fraud.
Peter Schiff is a prominent analyst and beloved figure in the libertarian community who has been a vocal detractor of Bitcoin. Although I have never seen him reference MRT directly, he employs a line of attack similar to the critics that charge Bitcoin with violating the MRT. The charge is that since Bitcoin has no end use in of itself, it has no chance to become money and hence all attempt to make it so are futile.
To Schiff, money must be a commodity. Gold for instance has a far longer history of being treated as money than bank notes; many detractors of Bitcoin—like Schiff—are in fact strong supporters of gold.
Detractors argue that gold instead of Bitcoin is perfectly compatible with MRT, since MRT explains gold’s emergence as an indirect means of exchange from the earliest barter economy to the last link between gold and the US dollar. To the gold bugs, it’s the use value of gold as jewellery that allowed gold to begin its emergence as money. Without this use, gold would never have developed as money.
Since Bitcoin really has no use or “inherit value” outside of indirect exchange, then it is in violation of MRT and hence can never become money. And since the valuations of Bitcoin are based on the future assumption that Bitcoin will become money, the whole thing is a swindle.
Why Mostly Everybody is Missing the Point
The predominant response by supporters of Bitcoin and MRT has been to come up with arguments as to how Bitcoin does indeed have some use value in of itself. In my view, some of the cases are good, while some seem downright silly. Either way this is an unnecessary step.
Bitcoin is perfectly compatible with MRT even if it has no use value.
As Davidson and Block point out in this paper (here). MRT says nothing about introducing a new indirect means of exchange in an economy that already has money. All MRT seeks to do is to explain how prices form originally, from the starting point of a barter economy.
Take central bank notes, nobody disputes that it is money in our society. Whether it’s Euros or US dollars none of these bank notes have direct uses other than possibly real expensive toilet paper. Despite this, prices for goods in terms of central bank notes developed. This is in large part because these bank notes could be converted to gold on demand, and since people had a history of the general array of gold prices in mind, this allowed them to evaluate alternative uses of these new bank notes. Now these participants in the economy could come up with new value scales that led to t...
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

Regarding the "Bitcoin and Magical Thinking" blog post spotlighted on Techmeme today - The network, the infrastructure, and the community behind it is hardly a "magical thought."

I'm referring to this post, which a Bitcoin-opposing friend just sent to me with the subject line, "An damning indictment" -
http://www.techmeme.com/131219/p3#a131219p3
I responded with this:
The network, the infrastructure, and the community behind Bitcoin is hardly a "magical thought" (Here's the definition of that concept from contemporary Western psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking)
Two weeks ago, there was very good debate about Bitcoin -
Ultimate Bitcoin Showdown - Posted Dec 2, 2013 - [30:14] - Goldbug/dollar-skeptic Peter Schiff vs. Erik Voorhees, Bitcoin entrepreneur formerly of BitInstant (https://www.bitinstant.com/), now of Coinapult (https://coinapult.com/) - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/erik-voorhees/b/804/385
I'll post the link to the full video below, but I first want to quote from it:
As Voorhees says, gold-backed digital curencies have been attempted and were then quickly shut down by the gov't. He later says (at 9:20), "[Bitcoin] could absolutely go to zero and the whole thing is completely experimental right now. So I'm not here to say that Bitcoin is a good investment. What I'm here to say is that the Bitcoin payment network is one of the most important technologies that has ever been invented, and it's important to understand that there is value in that technology [and] it's important to understand why that technology is so useful to people, especially people who care about liberty around the world." And he explains later that this infrastructure cannot be reproduced easily...even if Bitcoin is not the winner of the crypto-currency market competition. He also compares the hardy vitality of P2P currencies to that of P2P file-sharing. The free, independent Napster file-sharing service was launched in June of 1999 an rocketed to popularity, but the shutdown of it in July of 2001 was not exactly the end of free P2P music-sharing... In fact, just going by the services that I can just recall fellow college students using at the time, there was:
SoulSeek (launched in 1999/2000)
Gnutella (early 2000)
BearShare (December 2000)
Morpheus (2001)
Kazaa (March 2001), and
LimeWire (May 2000).
And of course there are the file-sharing services that are popular today, from Dropbox to these:
http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/file-sharing-websites
to these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients
Now. As far as digital crypto-currencies today, there's Litecoin, Peercoin, Namecoin, Quark, Protoshares, Worldcoin, Megacoin, Primecoin, and Dogecoin, and dozens other listed here, totaling in 54:
http://coinmarketcap.com/
The point that Voorhees makes about the pooled inventiveness and ingenuity of the crowd reminds me of something both revolutionary and prophetic that was said by John Gilmore (an American computer science innovator, Libertarian, Internet activist, and one of the founders of Electronic Frontier Foundation). He said:
"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
-As quoted in TIME magazine (6 December 1993) (yes, 1993!)
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Gilmore
Furthermore, on a separate note, the media angle that Bitcoin is practically "over" because of China blocking it (which that same friend was gloating about), here's all I have to say as well:
Here's a list of enterprises that were hardly destroyed after being banned in glorious all-powerful China:
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, and the New York Times' online edition (and a few others, named at the following links) were each NOT blasted into nonexistence by the force of "the Golden Shield Project," which we Americans call "the Great Firewall." Yup, Bitcoin is "over"!
References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_China
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_Wikipedia#China
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/world/asia/china-blocks-web-access-to-new-york-times.html?_r=0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
Hey, but waddaya know - Some of the 1,350,695,000 people in The People's Republic have ways around that censorship, as do the millions of people in so many other Internet-censoring countries:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China#Evasion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_circumvention#Software

Here's the full video of the Bitcoin debate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mUn-d8R98k
Edit/Follow-up: To extend the analogy of P2P digital currencies and P2P file-sharing (and most notably, music-sharing), what would be the currency equivalent of iTunes, which came ou in January 2001? Will JPMorgan's crypto-currency project (as I saw here, and it was downvoted to hell: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1sp6hh/jpmorgan_is_looking_to_copy_bitcoin_and_the_coin/), even though it was initially rejected 175 times, find some way to charge/surcharge people small amounts at a time for usage (a la iTunes' 99 cents per song), in traditional-bank-style?
submitted by wazzzzah to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A Response to Peter Schiff's Bitcoin vs Gold Video from a Bitcoiner

You can see Peter Schiff's video on bitcoin vs gold here: Bitcoin vs Gold
I'd like to start out by saying that I have a huge amount of respect for Peter Schiff, and I've been an avid follower of his since he was Ron Paul's economic advisor in the 2008 Presidential campaign. I've often followed his financial advice over the years, and it has almost always been on point. Peter has always been right when he has talked about the intrinsic value of gold and silver vs fiat currency, but I think he has it wrong when it comes to bitcoin.
While Peter starts off talking about how bitcoin is actually a decent idea and how it has many of the same qualities as gold, the one difference that he points out is that bitcoin lacks intrinsic value. He talks about how gold and silver became money in the early days because the metals also had other uses besides being used as money. This economic law was true until the invention of bitcoin. While you can't use a bitcoin for anything other than sending it to someone else as payment, it's by far the best payment/banking mechanism ever created. While you can't use a bitcoin as anything other than money, it's amazing qualities as a payment system give it intrinsic value because merchants will want to accept bitcoin.
The key fallacy in Peter's argument actually comes when he talks about the comparison between paper money and bitcoin. He talks about how people think that bitcoin will work as a currency without intrinsic value because the dollar has already shown that this idea is possible. He rightly points out that the only reason people want dollars is because they have to use them to pay taxes. He states that this is the main reason dollars have more value than bitcoin, but he doesn't realize that the same argument can be used when it comes to the relationship between merchants and bitcoin. This is the key element of bitcoin. Merchants will want to accept bitcoin as payment because of the lack of processing fees. They will be able to use the savings from processing fees to offer their customers discounts in the range of 3-10%. We're already seeing this happen with Gyft. This means that consumers will have to use bitcoin if they want to get the best deal on basically anything they decide to purchase. Peter's argument in the dollar vs bitcoin is, therefore, invalid. The reason that the dollar has value (people have to use it to pay taxes) is the same reason that bitcoin has value (people have to use it to pay lower prices). There are a number of other issues with the gold vs bitcoin debate, but I think this is the one point that hurts Peter's argument the most. He also ignores the fact that citizens could petition their governments to accept bitcoin for tax payments. I'd definitely like to hear a response from Peter on the bolded point above.
submitted by kmoneylongshanks to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: I'm Patrick Byrne, a pro-freedom supporter of cryptocurrency and school vouchers, early critic of Wall Street, three time cancer survivor, journalist at DeepCapture.com, and CEO and founder of Overstock.com. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-05-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
What would you say to other CEOs and decision makers who are hesitant to utilize bitcoin? It depends upon what their hesitancy is.
There are business reasons to do it: save on transaction fees, eliminate fraud and charebacks, etc. There may be business reasons not to do it as well, such as the risk of volatility (but this concern can be obviated by trading out of Bitcoin immediately upon receipt, a service that the firms like Bitpay, Coinapult, and Coinbase all offer, I believe).
But if they are pro-freedom, they should want to get behind it on principle alone. Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Hi Patrick, do you have any thoughts on where the economy is heading? Are we truly in a recovery as the powers that be suggest? Do you have examples you see in business that say one way or the other? No we are not in a recovery. We have re-inflated a bubble and called it a recovery.
The government lies to us about the stats. Think of it this way: assume Alleged GDP (that is, "Nominal GDP") is growing at 3%. Inflation is calcualted to be 2%. So Real GDP is growing 3% - 2% = 1%. That is the basic equation. However, what if they are lying about inflation? Imagine it were really 5%? Then the truth, God's-eye-only view would be 3% - 5% = -2%. That is, if inflation is understated, then growth is overstated. I think this is likely the case. I think we are in a shallow dive that they are trying to make look like a level or small climb. See John Williams' site Shadow Government Statistics for more.
The Fed's policies are all about driving up asset prices (homes, stocks) in order to create a wealth effect. Your 401k goes from being worth $300,000 to $500,000. You think, "Gosh I made $200,000! I'll go out and spend $50,000 of it."
The Snoop Dogg Overstock commercial was awesome! When can we expect to see more ads from him? Thanks. It was even more fun hanging out with the guy for four hours. He is one smaaart dude. He asked me more intelligent questions about our business than any of the 80 or so VCs with whom I ever dealt. No kidding.
Also, he rolls a mean cigar.
Shouldn't the government be spending our tax dollars on putting wall street guys who caused the financial crisis in jail (instead of making them pay fines) ? Not one of them has ever been criminally convicted. But I do think the government should put more resources into policing Wall Street. The last I checked, the SEC budget was about $800 million. I think it was around the size of the budget for the Denver police force. It should be about 10X that. However, they should unplug the SEC and ship it to the DOJ. The only thing that scares these guys on Wall Street is an orange jumpsuit, and only the DOJ can issue those.
Patrick, What was your evolution toward being "pro-freedom" like? Were you always so? Was there some event that turned you in that direction? I grew up in New England and thought of myself as a Yankee Republican. Then the Republicans went crazy getting worked up over things that are none of the government's damn business. The old man with whom i sued to build stone walls in Vermont, Earl Barre, taught me that government should pave the roads, run the Post Office, and stay the hell off my porch. I think he must roll over in his grave to see the kinds of things Republicans care about today.
My friend, mentor, and teacher Milton Friedman used to say, "I'm a small-l libertarian and a small-r republican." Sounds right.
PS Thanks for seizing the term. We have a lot of people in our society who call themselves "progressives". If they can hijack the word "progress" I can hijack the word "freedom".
Hello Patrick, Thank you for doing this. Do you know when Overstock.com will be accepting bitcoin for international shipment? I've been waiting this for months! (I'm in Canada) Working on it now. Phase II was getting so we could issue credits back in Bitcoin. I think it came live last week. Phase III will be accepting it internationally. Should happen late summer +/-.
Hi Patrick! You've gotten a lot of praise for accepting Bitcoin, I think its great. But I'm curious what you've found to be the biggest challenge or drawback with accepting this new form of currency. What is something new merchents need to keep in mind before accepting bitcoin? It has been unbelievably seamless.
Coinbase made it easy. But Bitpay and Coinapult do as well, I hear.
Once integrated, it has not demanded an ounce of effort.
Where do you see Bitcoin in 1 year? What about 5? Or 10? I have no theories as to valuation.
Adoption... I would imagine SpaceCash (of one flavor or another) will gradually increase until you see 2-3% of transactions occur within it. If that day ever comes, it will leap quickly to 15-30%. (Lots of things are like that in life, rates of HIV infection in the adult population being one of them, for example.)
What percentage of transactions (# or revenue) are paid for in Bitcoin on Overstock.com? Tiny. <.1%
Did you ever reveal who the "Sith Lord" is??? Inquiring minds want to know! It was an amalgam of two people. 1) Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital (hence, all my references to "someday I am going to sack up and tell the world...")
2) Michael Milken, who, I believe, is the Hannibal Lecter of the financial world. Read Den of Thieves. Since he was let out of prison (on his 98 count indictment) he spent a lot of money burnishing his image, but he is a really bad guy.
Is naked short selling still a problem? What do you see currently as the biggest risks to our financial system? "Is naked short selling still a problem? " Not so much, or at least, not as obviously as previously.
"What do you see currently as the biggest risks to our financial system?" Chains of title. You think you own something because you have some paperwork that says you do. However, in the central clearing systems of our economy there is slop. The slop was designed in as a way of providing fault tolerance. However, crooks figured out how to game that slop and create circumstances where more than one person thinks he owns the same thing.
Fractional reserve banking without a reserve requirement.
Nice to see you on Reddit, Mr. Byrne. I like Schiff. Opponents say, "Even a broken watch is right twice per day." But he shares my Austrian views.
Here is my question. Peter Schiff and many others think that a collapse of the dollar is imminent. What do you think about that? And what impact this collapse will have on digital currencies like Bitcoin? Yogi Berra said something to the effect, "Anything that cannot go on forever won't." We are living on borrowed time in many ways. However, it is like seeing a bridge built for 10 cars, that now has 80 driving across it. Will it collapse? I have no idea. I thought it would ahve collapsed at 20.
Did you have better experiences at Stanford, Cambridge, or Dartmouth? Which school influenced you the most, both culturally and intellectually? The day I got to Dartmouth I swore to myself that while I was there I would never enter a church, a party, or a fraternity. never did. Never had a single beer with anyone in college, went to a party, anything. I was a total grind. I did play football two years, then split, went to Asia, mucked around, came back just to graduate.
Cambridge - Marshall Fellow - Did a Master's in moral philosophy but was mostly an invalid, and spent my time with a handful of people, just reading for two years. Was in the uber-Lefty envornment of King's College (where the British traitors come from). When I got there I was Left-Curious, but when I split I was into Sowell and Milton Friedman.
Stanford - PhD They were great to me. I was an invalid there as well for much of the experience. Started in mathematical logic, ended up doing stuff in development economics, jurisprudence, and political philosophy. As a grad student my major influences were the other grad students, with whom one forms close bonds. Martin Jones (Oberlin?) and Taylor Carmen (Barnard?). Ask them.
What convinced you to damn the torpedoes and what other examples, successful or not, can you give of this full speed ahead orientation with respect to your life? So that has focused my mind tremendously. Lot of things I want to get done, and none of them have to do with knuckling under to the Combine. In fact, they largely have to do with blowing up the Combine. (Gold star to the first who can say where the expression "Combine" comes from.)
Combine = "Our Benefactors" in the half-life universe. HL3 confirmed! One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Organised crime on Wall St -- Can you elaborate? Yes. Wall Street started to be infiltrated by Organized Crime. It sttarted with Michael Steinhardt in the 1970's (his dad, Sol Steinhardt, was the biggest Mob fence in America, and went to Sing Sing, from whence he put his son Michael through Wharton, who then started what was arguably the first hedge fund in 1968, funded over time by cash from his dad's cronies.)
Google "Operation Uptick": the largest Mob arrest in US history was 120 goons from around Wall Street.
The Gambinos and Genovese fought over Wall Street in the 1990s. The Genovese won. Wherever Genovese are, there is Russian Orgnized Crime (the Genovese sponsored the Russian OC into the US like you or I would sponsor a family from Laos). See "Red Mafiya."
Anywhere you see "bucket shops" you are seeing OC.
I also work as an editor and journalist at DeepCapture.com, which explores this subject in hundreds of posts.
Mr. Byrne, No opinion on such companies.
What is your take on companies that operate solely in Bitcoin (i.e. Blockchain, Bitcoinstore.com, etc)? Are you offering your employees to take a percentage of their salary in Bitcoin? Not offering it to employees yet, but there is always the year-end bonus to consider!
Thank you for doing this AMA, and thank you for your activism and conviction you have shown over the years! Hindsight is 20/20, what is one decision that you would make, or wouldnt make, if you had to start Overstock.com all over again? When someone is dishonest, do not try to cajole or coach them. Get rid of him.
Hello patrick first i will like to say thank you for all you do. i have 3 questions 1. who are your favorite philosopher's and what book on philosophy do you recommened for enlightenment? Who are your favorite philosopher's and what book on philosophy do you recommened for enlightenment?
I admire tesla as a person and for his work, have you heard of the keshe foundation? where do you stand on free energy? I admire tesla as a person and for his work, have you heard of the keshe foundation? where do you stand on free energy? NO THOGHTS.
Will the criminal cabal who runs the united corporation of america fail? Will the criminal cabal who runs the united corporation of america fail? I'M WORKING ON IT, I'M WORKING ON IT.
I'm a computer programmer, so I'd like to ask a technical question if it's not a secret - what do you use for source control? Ironically enough: Subversion.
As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone just starting up their own (tech) company? Calculate how much capital it is going to take to start your business, and how many years. Then square both those numbers.
I'd like to thank you for the nice red lounge chairs I got from Overstock. I was able to get a good price for them at a garage sale later. My question is how do you ensure a stable inherent value in cryptocurrency? Unlike Gold, which is a tangible thing, or a Federal Reserve Note which has value simply because the government says it does, with something like Bitcoin how can it retain value and trust without some "official" endorsement and tie in to a national currency? - if you DID tie it to something like the dollar.. then what would be the point? Right. Some say that Bitcoin is a figment of someone's imagination. But as I said on Fox or CNN or something recently (search my name on Youtube, you'll find it), I would be happy to debate the metaphysical properties of Bitcoin versus whatever the metaphysical properties are of those 65 billion figments Janet Yellen createde last month.
An opponent would say that those 65 billion figments are backed by the taxing authority of the US government. To which I respond: But if that taxing authority is tapped out (which it obviously is, otherwise we would not be in the fiscal state we are as a country) then those 65 billion things are backed by... nothing. At least there are a limited number of Bitcoin figments!
You have previously mentioned in a interview with Forbes that you are very intersted in a "Bitcoin version of the stock market" and having the ability to conduct more than just simple transactions via a blockchain. I am a bit confused about what you are asking. My fight with Wall Street came about because I became convinced in 2004 that the market's mechanisms for clearing and settling trades had been corrupted by bad elements. It all started there. Hence, the peer-to-peer aspect of Bitcoin et. al. deeply attracats me.
NXT - the first second generation cryptocurrency is doing this with it's new features being launched in the upcoming weeks and months. Have you looked into it and / or considered accepting it for overstock? I do not know NXT, but I am interested in finding (and even potentially investing in) efforts to create a peer-to-peer capital market. In fact, if a good solution emerges, you might even see Overstock be the first issuer of a stock or bond in such a market, just to help things get going! (Incidentally, we were the first to do a Dutch auction IPO, for precisely that reason.)
Clearly bitcoin has the potential to rid the world of much corruption. Have you thought of publicly endorsing it in this manner. Because most people do not understand the countless benefits that this technology has to offer to our society. All our new commercials end with a "Now Accepting Bitcoin" under the logo. Look for them.
Your top executives (Stormy Simon, Johnathan Johnson, Dave Nielsen) make $350K a year in salary, while Amazon pays their around $160K. This information is made public in SEC fillings. How is your executive compensation determined? One must look at cash and non-cash together.
When and from whom have you first heard of Bitcoin, and what was your first reaction? About two years ago I read a short piece about it in Wired, or Fast Company (perhaps). It struck a bell, from my computation studies at Stanford. I was also struck by how it has properties similar to gold's.
Edit: I also want to thank you for pioneering the way with cryptocurrencies and exposing Wallstreet corruption. Your work is very much needed and greatly appreciated! However, I think the crowdfunding movement is spectacular, and might be considered as well.
You mentioned the term bust out in your presentation on Ecomonic Warfare. You taught that an example of this was the S&L crisis. Where do you see the next bust out occurring? I don't know. Wherever you see an industry get over-leveraged, I suppose. Look for whatever sector has the most cronies of Michael Milken: thta would be a good guess.
I've heard from multiple sources that the stock market is due for a major retraction this year because its been artificially propped up by the FED's QE. Your thoughts? It is true that the Fed is propping it up, but they are not going to stop. They cannot stop lest we slide back into a deeper recession/depression.
However, eventually reality has a way of happening.
Remember, we used to refer to "The Great War" before we learned enough to start numbering them. The same will be true someday of "The Great Depression".
What do you think of the issues cryptocurrencies have been having in terms of security (Mt Gox "break-in", Flexcoin, etc all)? Will people ever be able to overcome their bias of Bitcoin or will it need to rebrand as a more secure currency or more user friendly to gain wider acceptance? So did Target.
It won't "rebrand" deliberately because there is no owner. It will morph and evolve to be better and better. I suspect that as other currencies develop traction, Bitcoin will harvest their better attributes and make them its own. However, switching costs are not too high... Other currencies may fare well.
I admire your position and fight for school vouchers, now that charter schools have become more common, do you feel that charter schools can replace the need for school vouchers? Charter schools are less controversial but not as readily available due to the lottery system. 1) Backpack funding (e.g., Oakland) - Send your kid to any public school in the district that you want, and the funds travel with him (in his "backpack" so to speak). Something like Henry Ford saying, "You can buy a Model T in any color you want as long as it's black." But it's a start.
2) Charter schools - As you say, these have momentum.
3) Vouchers (or their economic equivalent, tuition tax credits). These create the most freedom of all the methods.
Thanks for doing this Mr. Byrne. I was curious if overstock held a small % of the btc from purchases or is it all automatically sold on the market? 10%.
Sorry if this has been mentioned already but how would you suggest the community as a whole informs the general public about bitcoin? Obviously mainstream media isnt doing a great job since their main focus are the negative stories relating to bitcoin since thats what sells. Like Ho Chi Minh, make it a war of the ants against the elephants.
My company's CEO thinks there are more important things to take care of rather than bitcoin payments. What would you say to him? Beat the rush.
Hi Patrick! I'd just like to say it's great working here at Overstock. Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck? Having been nibbled to death by a duck, I would rather fight the horses of whatever size.
What do you like about Utah and what do you do for fun here? What do you like about Utah and what do you do for fun here? BUILD OVERSTOCK.
Any chance the Ostk benefits would include more than the Snowbird pass discount? Maybe more resorts discounts benefits? Any chance the Ostk benefits would include more than the Snowbird pass discount? Maybe more resorts discounts benefits? NO. WOULD RATHER JUST PAY THE CASH.
I'm sorry that you contracted cancer numerous times, do you have any ideas about what caused it? Also, Bitcoin :-} Nope. Just lucky I guess.
What was the last thing you bought from overstock.com? A book about Camille Claudel, I think.
What the fuck was the deal with Snoop? Stormy just wanted to meet the guy, so you waste MILLIONS on an ill-fated promotion that is so at odds with your brand? You mean this? Link to www.youtube.com
Note our appearance in his video: Link to www.youtube.com
It has 2.5 million hits. Seems to have struck a chord for some.
What are you, racialist?
"three time cancer survivor" Did you grow up under power lines? Or did you just like the way lead-based paint tasted? Some guys just get lucky.
Related note: Seriously, no one is out to get you! Quit moving your damn office every three months! 3) I move my office because we are a flexible, agile environment. Sounds like that was something you could not grasp during your tenure here.
Do you know who's behind the Satoshi twitter account? No.
I work over at castle and I challenge you to a game of ping pong. You're on.
My paycheck against yours?
(Joke: I don't get paychecks, I believe.)
Truly. The beautiful thing about bitcoin is that we can all be a small part of this change. The peer to peer aspect makes it truly pro-freedom. True dat.
Thank you for accepting bitcoin Patrick. I've made several purchases on Overstock instead of Amazon because of it. Thanks. Spread the word! We took a chance by taking it. Help make it pay off by getting more people to think like you.
(Notice Amazon recently dissed Bitcoin? They do not want to appear as Me-too'ers.)
Hello Mr. Byrne, I became a strong believer in several ways. 1) As a grad student at Stanford I studied computation thory, which underlies public key encryption, and so when cryptocurrencies came along it was not as magical-sounding to me as it might have been. 2) I am a proponent of the Austrian School of Economics, which, in general, eschews fiat currency in favor of a gold standard. The goal is not really the gold standard, however: the goal is to have a form of money that is intrinsically limited. Bitcoin et. al. accomplishes that. In addition, cryptocurrencies are SpaceCash (a word I think I just made up) that can be beamed across the galaxy! (Henceforth in my answers I will use "SpaceCash" top refer to all cryptocurrencies.)
Clearly bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how our world does money for the better. What made you such a strong believer in bitcoin, and how would you spread this knowledge to other CEOs like yourself.
It's my understanding that since Overstock.com uses a Coinbase to facilitate the transaction Overstock does not sit on any Bitcoin; just the cash after the fact. Correct. Acutally, I think we are accumulating 10% of what gets spent with us in Bitcoin, as Bitcoin.
Just want to say you sound like a really cool mega rich person. Thanks. If so, it helps that I was a really cool person before I became a rich guy.
Last updated: 2014-05-06 21:05 UTC
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The Gold vs Bitcoin Debate : Anthony Pompliano vs Peter Schiff

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