(In March of 2022, Doug attempted to orange-pill his church pastor. This was the letter he sent. I’ll update this space if he sees any success.)
Bitcoin is a MASSIVE undertaking. There’s a lot know to really “get” it and I am by no means an expert. It covers history, economics, war, art, architecture, energy production, politics, social media, the nature of man, even how we make, receive, and eat our food. Everyone tends to have their own thing that is of most import regarding Bitcoin, so your mileage will vary.
Where I started was back in 2020. In the midst of the COVID panic, something occurred that was nearly universally overlooked. The government printed nearly 25% of EVERY DOLLAR that the US has EVER PRINTED. This means if you took every single dollar the US had ever printed, since our founding, and stacked them all up in the church’s parking lot, and the field behind it, and the field next to it…a FULL 25% or so of all the money stacked up, would have been printed JUST in 2020.
That revelation really shook me. How can a country just print money like that? With no ramifications? What happens to the money in my pocket when something like that happens? (Hint: we’re seeing the results now.)
I didn’t understand how money worked at all, but I knew that just printing money like crazy could not be a good thing. So I started learning about how we make our money and the FED. I found “The Creature from Jekyll Island” which, for a long time was called a conspiracy theory, but is now pretty accepted as fact. It’s a huge read, but I’d suggest at least getting through the first 3-4 chapters. Crazy stuff.
CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND:AUDIOBOOK: https://bookaudiobooks.com/the-creature-from-jekyll-island-audiobook/
ONLINE READING: https://archive.org/details/pdfy–Pori1NL6fKm2SnY/page/n37/mode/2up
I’d also recommend this video: https://www.hardmoneyfilm.com/ Be warned, there’s some language at the very beginning (you were a cop though, so you’ve heard worse, I’m sure). It’s a great look at the money system in general and it lays a great foundational understanding of why we’d need something like Bitcoin. I will also be providing you with a copy of Saifedean Ammous’ book “The Bitcoin Standard” which is very well written treatise, again, on the nature and history of money and how it necessitates something like Bitcoin.
So, I quickly concluded that our money is very, very broken. At this point is just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s on a government computer somewhere, on which anyone in government can just add a few trillion and hit the enter button. As an American, I just always assumed that whomever “ran the money” knew what they were doing. But even a brief look shows anyone interested that that is not the case. So, all of that (and friend’s persistence) led me to Bitcoin. So, what is Bitcoin?
Here a pretty good dive into cryptocurrencies. It is a little technically heavy, but it covers the idea of a shared ledger. Please ignore all references to cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, I’ll explain why later.
And this is The Bitcoin Whitepaper. It is the inventor of Bitcoin’s own words on why Bitcoin is needed. It’s tech heavy at the end (I admit to understanding NONE of the algebra in Section 11) and I would recommend, that you really only need Sections 1, maybe 2, and 12 at this point in the game.
I will also be providing a copy of Gigi’s “21 Lessons”. Which is one of the greatest beginner level dives into Bitcoin, strongly recommend.
So what’s the quick and dirty on Bitcoin and why does it matter?
#1) The Government doesn’t and can’t control it. It is a cryptographic algorithm. It’s math. It’s not centrally planned or emotionally altered.
#2) It’s scarce. There are only 21 million Bitcoin. There can only ever BE 21 million Bitcoin. This makes it anti-inflationary.
#3) It’s secure. The math involved to encrypt and decrypt, as I understand it, would literally take the energy of a star to crack forcibly.
#4) It’s a full ledger from the beginning of its inception. Every transaction, ever made, sits on the blockchain. No one can go back and fudge the numbers.
#5) That blockchain sits on every node (https://bitnodes.io/ has the number currently at 15,000) located all around the world. This means no government can stop it. As long as my little $300 node is plugged in and running in my garage, Bitcoin exists and operates.
#6) Because my little node is running. People don’t need to use banks, with their fees, intrusive inquiries, rules, and sometimes outright discrimination or “un-personing” (see the Canadian banks during the trucker convoy). You can send millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin around the world in seconds with low/no fees.
Let’s talk about some objections to Bitcoin. In the “biz” we call these FUD (Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.) I don’t have a lot of links to this part, because mostly it’s just thinking through the problem. I can find some though if you really need them.
#1) Bitcoin is too volatile.
Response: You are pricing in a brand-new invention that replaces all previous money. You are using a technology that has never been used before in this manner. There is no advertising budget for this new thing. Adoption occurs sporadically. There is no government mandating it (except El Salvador, currently). If you invented a new ANYTHING it would take time for the market to determine the correct price for it. Volatility is the market working it out.
#2) Bitcoin uses too much energy.
Response: The use of energy is literally what makes Bitcoin secure. Beyond that, we use more electricity using Christmas lights than Bitcoin does. Beyond THAT, those that mine bitcoin are always looking for the cheapest methods to power their miners. Bitcoin has incentivized tapping into stranded/wasted energy sources such as mining methane blowoff, volcanic energy, and tidal energy. Bitcoin has done more for making “green” energy economically feasible that ANY government program, ever.
#3) The government can ban it. Hack it. Confiscate it.
Response: First off, governments do this every day, all over the world with fiat money. Secondly, they really can’t. China has “banned” Bitcoin something like half a dozen times since it’s invention. And every story you’ve ever heard of a government confiscating Bitcoin is the result of someone giving their keys over to the government, either through incompetence or coercion. Bitcoin has never been “hacked” in the sense that someone sat down at a computer terminal and “broke the code”.
#4) Only criminals use it.
Response: As a former sheriff, you should already know the answer to this. Every minute of every day, someone is using good ole American greenbacks while breaking the law. In my opinion, the biggest crooks are the ones in office, using it to fund illegal military actions. Point being, what someone does with a tool be it a hammer, a gun, or money has nothing to do with the nature of that tool. A tool just is. It’s the user of the tool that you might have a problem with.
#5) You can’t use it as money.
Response: I literally, just yesterday, sold a man in New Jersey a leather wallet that I made for him. I sent him a lightning address (Lightning is a secondary layer of tech on top of the Bitcoin foundation, we’ll save that for Bitcoin 102) and had my money in seconds. This is not the first time I’ve been paid in Bitcoin and won’t be the last. There’s also the issue of the entire nation of El Salvador using it as legal tender, every day. People pay for coffee, sandwiches, everything…in Bitcoin. Anyone who says Bitcoin can’t be used as money to you is either A) vastly ignorant on the subject or B) straight up lying to you.
So, what about other coins, why not use them?
So called alt-coins are, by the fact of being second, simply derivatives of the original. They are someone else’s take on Bitcoin. As such, they are not as good and often times go against the intention of Bitcoin. They ALL fall short of Bitcoin’s promise of self-sovereignty.
As a quick example. The next largest “crypto” is a thing called Ethereum (aka ETH). It was invented by a guy named Vitalik Buterin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalik_Buterin). When he created ETH, Vitalek “pre-mined” 70% of all available ETH and gave it to himself and his investors. The servers that run ETH are Amazon Web Services servers, which means if Amazon wanted to shut ETH down. They simply shut off the servers. It also means that, unlike my $300 node running Bitcoin, only the very wealthy can run the Ethereum network. The inventor of ETH makes many claims about his invention and most of those claims seem to revolve around issues that institutions like large companies, banks, and governments care about.
In the end, and in my opinion, ETH and every other alt-coin that followed, is simply a creation to make the inventor wealthy. None of them truly solve an issue that was concerning to me. They all end up having points of failure. They aren’t decentralized (can be shut down/banned). They have no limit on production (scarcity). They are insecure (hackable). I have never run across one that contains all the positive attributes of Bitcoin, ever. And I guess if I ever did, it would run into the issue of having to BE Bitcoin, when Bitcoin already exists. Why would I switch to a literal copy of something that is already working and has a large user base?
So, what about Central bank digital currencies? How are they related to Bitcoin?
When Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin, he made it open sourced. Anyone who wanted to could look at the code he used. They could copy it and play around with it, and many did (the source of many alt-coins results from this). CBDC’s are simply another imperfect derivative of Bitcoin. The main exception of this alt-coin being, of course, that it’s the government issuing it. Which is why I started at the beginning of all this with my story about the 25% of all printed money. The government has already shown itself to be untrustworthy with money. Not to mention they have now shown the willingness to turn off people’s ability to work, earn money, or buy food if someone isn’t behaving in a way they want. CBDC’s won’t reside on my little server in the garage. They’ll be on some government server somewhere. They will be able to “turn off” your money whenever they want. Or worse, inflate it to kingdom come without even having to whisper it out loud. Just a few keystrokes and bam, your money just became less valuable without you ever knowing. Not to mention that government servers are notoriously hackable. Think of all the leaks and breaches you’ve heard of in the last decade. Now realize it won’t just be your info that gets hacked, but your money, literally and directly.
So CBDC’s are definitely going to happen. But they are an awful idea. They will put too much control into the hands of untrustworthy, evil people.
But hopefully, I’ve given you enough info and sources to at least start to show you that Bitcoin is NOT an alt-coin or CBDC.
As I said, it’s a very large topic and it’s not something one can digest in one sitting. As I mentioned in my last email, it’s taken me a full year reading, studying, watching videos, and talking to lots of knowledgeable folks about it to even have a moderately good understanding.
I really hope this helps, Pastor. If you have any questions at all or need a better (or more) source(s) on something I’m happy to help.
I really think this is one of the most (worldly) important issues of our time.