Bitcoin: Not a Value-Producing Asset?


Dear Cryptocurrency Readers:

It’s good to keep tabs on the big picture while hoping for the good news. But don’t short change yourself if the time comes to make a choice between regulated or unregulated cryptocurrencies. It may be better to pay the tax, than pay the fine…or worse yet, be placed in a “political” prison cell.

Think long and hard about trying to hide your crypto stash and making your escape to some foreign island after you trade a chunk of it for some local fiat, gold or silver.

Things like crypto need to be won first in the courts, in countries where that is still possible. Political representatives must carry the banner and I feel that eventually, crypto needs an anchor. A hard currency. Only then will it be able to unhinge the fiat myth we have lived under for over half a century in these United States of America.

Is not that the ultimate dream of cryptocurrency?

It made many see, for the first time, that there is a way through this monetary nightmare we call government fiat currency. If it is only a pipe dream, that dream has had a lasting impact upon the minds of many – worldwide – I will posit. And dreams drive change.

Even if cryptocurrency dies, fifty years from now, people will remember, that for a brief time, the purse strings were almost given back to their rightful owners. The people. To you and me. We were almost back in control.

I write all of this in the hopes that I am dead wrong. That cryptocurrency, as it was meant to be, does not die, but evolves and helps to remake this decaying fiat world.

In short, this is not investment advice, it’s thinking advice. Education and speculation, is better than throwing the virtual darts at the virtual dart board.

For those who highlight cryptocurrency charts, citing all the technical reasons to “buy now,” know that the problem is a fundamental one. We need to look at the creators of these cryptocurrencies, why they make them, how they will work and so on.

Fundamental analysis is a must in the cryptosphere.

According to a MarketWatch article, Warren Buffet recently remarked that he thinks coin [cryptocurrency] offerings will end badly. “People get excited from big price movements, and Wall Street accommodates,” he said.

I don’t think Buffet gets it.

Buffet also advised that “You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”

Now think on that a moment. “Not value producing.” That’s a fundamental issue, is it not?

So, it’s not a house or a farm or stocks. We know this. Buffet is not telling us anything new here, just couching it in investment terms. But remember, Buffet is also – if I can judge by his past statements – pro-big-government, pro-higher taxes for the wealthy…he’s a status quo kind of fellow. Rose colored glasses and all.

Guys like Buffet need what? They need the rules to remain “stable.” Capital gains taxes, income taxes, regulations, political support, all play into the scheme to use the system to earn more fiat money. Fiat money and other real assets, but all lubricated by a slowly crumbling (could be quickly) monetary system.

Bitcoin and company mucks up system, if they are seen as a currency replacement mechanism, say to the grand old investor types. So, they refuse to imagine the potential if such thinking requires them to start from ground zero. If it requires them to ask that burning question they refuse to hear: What is sound money? And the other one. Can we get along better without it if we pay off (buy) the bureaucrats and ask for special favors granted involuntarily, by the taxpayers?

But let’s compare.

Is digitized anything, say music, talk radio or even movies – are they value producing?

Yes, but they have an industry behind them. Singers, producers, directors, and labor unions. Companies with stock. Buildings, cars – the machinery of sight and sound.

Does bitcoin, specifically, have that same sort of structure? Or is it a bubble?

No. It has voluntary “assistance” right? Those who are willing and able to code and debug, right? There was no bitcoin creation company, as far as we know. Satoshi Nakamoto could be anyone or a group of communist sympathizers. We haven’t a clue.

Bitcoin is not an asset, in the traditional sense, only a service based upon secret codes, information exchange, shared data ledgers, miners, computers, internet use and so on. We know that bitcoin (currently) is very valuable, but subject to change, forks, political risk, clones, hackers and crowd sentiment.

Bitcoin is also subject to being replaced, at any time, by better technologies. Some new developer who can convince the world that this new bit of code is the cat’s meow.

Bitcoin is also subject to wide value fluctuations. Fluctuations, if you are risk tolerant, that can earn profits – or not.

So, bitcoin does not appear to fit any valuation model that I am aware of. Yes, it is anti-fiat, anti-capital controls, pro-personal banking, anti-inflation, anti-establishment, anti-tax, anti-status quo, and emotionally charged, probably a bit bubbly, but its asset value is, like Buffet contends – missing in action.

Is it just a numbers game?

Certainly, we are in new territory here.

Steve Wozniak of Apple fame thinks “cryptocurrency could become a better standard of financial value than gold or the U.S. dollar. Wozniak argued that Bitcoin is more stable and less prone to arbitrary supply changes.” This, according to a recent piece at Futurism.com.

If Wozniak does think, as the article suggests, that bitcoin is better than gold or the U.S. Dollar, he should qualify that statement.

Currently, the U.S. fiat dollar works, but into the future?

Gold? Well, it’s not used as legal tender in the United States in any huge way.

So, yes, right now, bitcoin appears to have a lot of advantages, except for what the article mentioned:  stability. You can’t depend on it.

Wozniak is a computer guy, not an economist. So, I would lean more toward the investor extraordinaire side – be a little Buffet-ish. But does not the truth land somewhere in the middle?

What seems to support Buffet’s words and may spell bad news for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general (maybe not Ripple or Stellar Lumens) is the recent news from AMD. AMD sells GPU’s which can be used for cryptocurrency mining. They are projecting losses now.

Does that mean cryptocurrency miners are no longer as interested as they once were? Or is it as this article explains, that the centralization of mining is requiring more than GPU’s? ASIC farms and other specialized processes, in China? Could it be a larger move away from mining altogether? A shift to Proof-of-Stake coins?

And then there’s the Russian angle to consider. Motherboard advises that the Russian Government is finally – if we can believe it – regulating these crowd funding mechanisms, i.e., cryptocurrencies. Taxation is coming to a miner near you – in Moscow. Wow, even America is past that part. Well, except for the registration part. “Papers please, Comrade!”

But what are the Russians really doing? Invading. It’s what aggressive regimes do. Take over other “countries.” This one is called “The Virtual Currency Country.” Dear Comrades, bend over and take it — be invaded.

Hey, don’t worry, America will probably join you soon. They will be a bit more coy about it, however. The bankers will hide behind the regulatory agencies, I’ll assert. Pushing them all the while to “register” all cryptocurrency related organizations, companies, and exchanges. Make them fall in line or suffer the fines, taxes and yes — Jail House Rock.

Just as Jamie Dimon hinted – arrests might be next. Oh, but they love the blockchain. Go figure. Wanna bet the bankers do not want a public blockchain — like bitcoin?

What does this tell you? That the banking industry will soon use the blockchain technology and then seek to outlaw all private cryptocurrencies? To monopolize cryptocurrency like they do fiat? With the blessing of the FED of course. Or maybe they will use a ready-made solution. Ripple? Hmmm.

Think again. Banking is about responsibility and control over the owned (official)  currency. They will want their own crypto’s. Crypto’s identified to their banks in some way. Ones that they control absolutely, if possible. If not, at least a Fedcoin, but then why would we need banks at all then?

Do you really think banks will outsource cash to Ripple? No, Ripple will be used to lubricate international transfers, until the banks figure out a cheaper system. A more profitable exchange mechanism.

If all this bad news continues, my concern is which non-establishment, unregulated cryptocurrency or system can survive and profit – long term – in such an environment? Will the ones which sought to comply with regulations early on survive in an anti-bitcoin world? Ones like Ripple? Ethereum? Stellar Lumens? How about Cardano?

And does this lack of backbone, a crypto’s desire to please the masters, only help to destroy a movement with the original intent to halt the devaluation of fiat currencies altogether? To replace the corrupt system, from the computer up?

Maybe so, but I still think that for now, one can profit if there are any major shifts from the dream – a private decentralized cryptocurrency – to the reality – soon to come “government regulated crypto.”

Not necessarily “state” created crypto, however. That wouldn’t be any different than the current fiat mess we are in now. In fact, it would be much worse. Every bit of your money could be tracked.

Welcome to a Brave New World.

That’s all for now.

In the meantime, you might want to store some coin on a Trezor.

Jack Shorebird


 

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