A topic of interest to many in the digital currency industry is how the debt-based monetary system works and how Bitcoin could change it. In a recent video, BSV developer Joshua Henslee talked about it at length.
Thoughts on the debt-based monetary system and debt in general
Henslee provides a high-level overview of the Federal Reserve, central banks, and how the debt-based monetary system works. He explains how, for most people, this system is a bit like indentured servitude; most people accumulate debt and work their whole lives to pay it off with interest. He points out that he is not saying debt is bad, but simply stating that this system leads most people to a lifetime of debt repayment, which he compares to future demands for time.
Henslee examines some famous quotes about central banking, including “let me issue and control a nation’s money, and I don’t care who makes its laws”, by Mayer Amschel Rothschild. According to him, Rothschild knew that central banks could do whatever they wanted, including inflating the money supply, and that the majority of the public would remain oblivious. That said, he says he’s noticed more and more people waking up and becoming aware of this system. For example, he hears a lot of ordinary people talking about inflation. People are becoming aware of how this system works.
Digging deeper, Henslee notes that most people who take out loans don’t factor in inflation. Interest is a component of loan repayment, but the dollars people earn are also constantly being devalued, making it harder to pay off the debt in many cases. Satoshi Nakamoto himself explained how central banks have historically downgraded fiat currencies through inflation in his first public article on Bitcoin.
Greed in both systems and the multiple facets of debt
The few who could understand the system will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great many people, mentally unable to comprehend the enormous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaining, and perhaps even without suspecting that the system is against their interests. – Mayer Amschel Rothschild
While this quote explains how our current financial system works, Henslee notes that it applies perfectly to the current situation in so-called “crypto.” Those who understand how the system works (essentially like a pyramid scheme) are so intoxicated by the wealth and profits it has brought them that they don’t fight. At the same time, the masses remain ignorant, buying up various coins in hopes of a little financial relief or easy riches.
Henslee takes a brief detour through how banking is supposed to work. Banks are supposed to lend money to value creators (entrepreneurs) at higher interest rates than they pay to depositors. However, they were unable to resist the urge to take on more risk, operating on a fractional reserve system in pursuit of greater profits. Again, Henslee notes that this is how many operations in the digital currency industry operate. They even created their own ticket printer (Tether) to fuel their greedy ambitions. This is also the mindset of many speculators in space; double-digit annual returns aren’t enough – they want 100x pumps on their coins fast.
Concluding this section, Henslee notes that opting out of these systems is the third option. While debt can be used to enslave oneself, and it can also be used to make money by those who know how to exploit it to buy assets, one can also opt out of the debt-based system and to liberate oneself.
Bitcoin was meant to be money
Henslee opens this segment by noting that the title of the Bitcoin White Paper clearly indicates that it is a peer-to-peer electronic payment system. “Money is an asset,” he reminds us.
However, neither Bitcoin nor other digital currencies behave like money today. Henslee look how Coinbase recently used BTC as collateral to take out a loan from Goldman Sachs. He finds this pathetic, given that Bitcoin was meant to compete with the fiat money system.
“The circle is complete,” he said, visibly exasperated by the situation.
In Henslee’s mind, this kind of thing happens because BTC has failed as liquidity and also because there is no real liquidity in the markets. Borrowing real dollars against Bitcoin is a way to extract money from the system, and it could be the new tactic used by those looking for fiat currency in exchange for essentially worthless tokens. He notes that if BTC was spendable like cash, there would be no need to do this. The other possibility, he speculates, is that Coinbase (NASDAQ: PIECE OF MONEY) is running out of money, which is worrying in itself.
In conclusion, Henslee returns to the Mayer Amschel Rothschild quote above. “People are just giving in to the old system,” he says, noting how Coinbase, a company that was supposed to challenge banks and the financial system, is now doing business with one of the main architects of the 2008 financial crisis. This is hypocritical, given that BTC maximalists often talk about how Bitcoin was created as a solution to this crisis.
Fortunately, Bitcoin is alive and well in the form of S.V. Bitcoinso there is still hope for change.
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