Dear Cryptocurrency Investors,
Let’s play a “worst case scenario” game. Why? Because it’s always good to play the “what if” game. It helps you prepare.
You see a lot of hints out there and worries. But I wanted a bit more. I wanted you to taste it, if even fictionally. Why?
Because this has happened before. I know people who lived through it. People who had to turn in their gold to the government or face criminal prosecution.
But a little background first.
Cryptocurrency is now being accused of outshining gold. It’s little wonder that in the United States bitcoin is effectively, 10 times the price of gold.
Think on that for a moment. Software – a ledger service – is now more valuable than a physical commodity.
What’s more, cryptocurrency cannot be as easily regulated as gold or silver. It’s a governmental conundrum.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) signed Executive Order 6102. It essentially confiscated gold from law abiding citizens because of an emergency.
The emergency? It’s debatable, but many point to one thing: to bailout the Federal Reserve. At the time, many foreign countries were cashing in dollars for American gold and well, the government was running low.
Gold prices back then were set by government at $20.67 an ounce. About a year later, the official rate of gold was raised to $35 per ounce. What that meant was that the US Dollar lost approximately 40% of its value in a year. Inflation was gifted by Uncle Sam. It may have also slowed the gold drain, since by then, foreigners had to use more fiat currency to buy the same amount of gold.
This is all history. How US citizens were ripped-off by their government. No wonder, that even today, people are nervous about their gold. But maybe they shouldn’t worry so much now.
Gold has been out-shined. The days of price manipulation by governments, is over.
Bitcoin is now the up and coming king of currencies. Perhaps it is better to say that cryptocurrency is king. Why?
Because we do not know if some new altcoin will win the day. Ethereum, IOTA, Litecoin or Monero – or some innovative altcoin may soon become the new digital gold. But there is no doubt that the digital gold rush is on.
Governments are paying much closer attention.
They see that their fiat currency is under threat by software that not only substitutes for fiat dollars, but does all sorts of other neat things too. They avoid capital controls, zip around the world in seconds, skirt banks and taxes – and hide in plain sight. Best of all, they can’t be confiscated, without permission – or so we hope. Governments have a difficult time tracking them.
The idea that blockchains cannot be cracked by quantum computers might not wash. If the government agencies utilize quantum computers to confiscate a single cryptocurrency transaction, this would no doubt have a chilling effect upon the entire cryptosphere.
Would people then stop transacting in crypto, knowing that any transaction could be redirected to a government wallet? Would that not halt crypto in its tracks? Make it worthless?
Could our governments conduct a 51% attack? A concerted effort to destroy specific crypto targets? These cryptocurrency websites often suffer such attacks and other issues.
North Korea attacks bitcoin regularly, via the exchanges. It appears that they are trying to steal cryptocurrency, however, and not destroy the targets themselves. They are a fiscally challenged despotic regime, after all.
Denial-of-service attacks recently hit the cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Bittrex.
Bitfinex shies away from American customers due to the onerous reporting regulations and the costs associated with them.
Bittrex is suspiciously locking Legacy accounts and asking for upgraded identity information from its customers. They telegraphed (reported) this process before they proceeded, but reduced customer withdrawal amounts. Shortly thereafter the total lockdown began. They have sent out emails to apologize.
One would expect a big outflow of funds when and if Bittrex releases the locks. Unless Bittrex customers have been Goxxed.
Crypto-jacking is on the rise. Are you mining crypto for others as you surf the web? You would hope not.
ICO’s may soon lose their luster. Initial Coin Offerings can be used to easily raise money, but will the developers make good on their promises? Recent US investigations might be one nail in that coffin.
And to top it all off, it appears that bitcoin has some serious problems ahead. Routing attacks are a concern. Apparently, most of bitcoin’s transactions flow through just three ISP’s. If true, how difficult would it be to slow the nodes? To make everyone lose the faith?
“…the biggest threat…”
In all this mess, many of us are ignoring the biggest threat of all, however: The Great Confiscators. The governments.
If FDR could sign an Executive Order to take all the gold from Americans, how difficult would it be for a sitting president to do the same – to steal the crypto?
If Congress, in the US, cannot agree on a bill to make Americans report their crypto-holdings, would it not be easier to whip out the presidential pen and in a matter of hours, criminalize bitcoin possession?
And that’s my thrust here. I wanted to imagine just what such an order would look like. So I looked up FDR’s great theft and perused a couple of The Donald’s recent Executive Orders and came up with this:
Presidential Executive Order Combating Terrorism, Money Laundering, Illicit Drugs and Cryptocurrency Pyramid Schemes
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463 of September 14, 2001 (Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks), which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States, and in order to provide the Secretary of Defense additional authority to manage personnel requirements in a manner consistent with the authorization provided in Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty and Delegating Certain Authorities to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation), and in order to clarify SEC. 13. Prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, (a) In general. —Section 5312(a) of title 31, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term “hoarding” means the withdrawal and withholding cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency contracts, prepaid access devices, and digital currency, from the recognized and customary channels of trade, be they held at a digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency or anywhere and in any form not yet known to exist. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.
Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver or transfer on or before January 1, 2018, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all cryptocurrency holdings, cryptocurrency passwords and password seed phrases, to include hardware, software, and paper wallets, now owned or controlled by them or coming into their ownership on or before December 6, 2017, except the following:
(a) Such amount of cryptocurrency as may be required for pre-approved legitimate and customary use within and under the direct control of the regulated banking and financial industry or those government regulated companies that serve said industries, including any cryptocurrency mined/minted therein.
(b) Cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate of .00000001 BTC, belonging to any one person; and cryptocurrency having a recognized special value to bankers as rare and unusual altcoins.
(c) Cryptocurrency and mining, minting, or other methods of network security, earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign Government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.
(d) Cryptocurrency and any derivatives thereof, licensed for other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including cryptocurrency and said derivatives, imported for reexport or held pending action on applications for export licenses.
Section 3. Until otherwise ordered, any person becoming the owner or controller of any cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency passwords or password seed phrases, to include hardware, software, and paper wallets after December 6, 2017, shall, within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such cryptocurrencies are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of Section 2; or unless such cryptocurrencies are held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such cryptocurrency, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.
Section 4. Upon receipt of cryptocurrency delivered to it in accordance with Sections 2 or 3, the Federal Reserve Bank or member bank will note therefor an equivalent amount of any other form of legal tender at the official rate of one US cent per one BTC or equivalent in any other altcoin.
Section 5. Member banks shall deliver all cryptocurrency owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal Reserve Banks of their respective districts and receive credit or payment therefor, at the going market rate, prior to the issuance of this order.
Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation or transfer of cryptocurrency delivered to a member bank or Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with Section 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal Reserve Banks.
Section 7. In cases where the delivery of cryptocurrency by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath, addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal Reserve Bank. Each application must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the cryptocurrency in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.
Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this order and to issue licenses thereunder, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal Reserve Banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust cryptocurrency to or for persons showing the need for the same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.
Section 9. Upon collection of the cryptocurrencies in question, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby ordered to delete, by any feasible method, as verified by Federal Reserve Banks and companies on retainer for said purposes, the cryptocurrencies in their possession by not later that February 1, 2018.
Section 10. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or of these regulations or of any rule, regulation or license issued thereunder may be fined not more than $1,000,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than twenty-five years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.
This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.
THE WHITE HOUSE?
December 6, 2017…
Do not think for a moment that such an order is impossible today.
Note: Please feel free to copy my fictional executive order and distribute. Wake up some crypto-heads.
P.S. Do you really think that all Americans – the true patriots – gave up their gold in 1933?