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Good Friday Crypto

Chris Campbell

Posted April 02, 2021

Chris Campbell

"There is an economic storm brewing that threatens the sandy foundations of our monetary system."
-Russell Okung, Super Bowl Champion

--This is perhaps the only day in history we give the title of GOOD when an innocent man was put to death.

It’s a day that celebrates the brutal murder of a man for committing blasphemy… no, wait… treason.

As you may know, the politicians (illegally) switched his charge.

Technically, they weren’t allowed, under Roman law, to sentence him to death.

So they flipped the script and told Pontius that, wait, no, his offense was not blasphemy at all… it was that he was trying to subvert the nation, urging people not to pay their taxes. Treason!

(Those who committed treason and murder -- especially parricide, or murder of a family member -- were the most brutally punished in ancient Rome.)

But, there was a hitch.

It was custom that the Roman governor release one prisoner during Passover by the will of the people. To keep Jesus from getting the slip, the politicians whipped a mob of zealots into a frenzy… and had them rally around a loon named Barabbas.

Ironically enough, Mark and Luke refer to Barabbas as treasonous. He was involved in a “στάσις” (a riot), "one of the numerous insurrections against the Roman power," and had committed murder during the treasonous insurrection.

Barabbas was set free. You know the rest.

Why, then, is today considered good?

Because of what happened next.

After the politicians spent their weekend gloating and celebrating that, ding, dong, the rabble-rouser was dead…

The mischief-maker casually strutted back onto the scene three days later and Paul apparently said…

Well, I’ll tell you what Paul said in a moment.

First, let’s continue on with our theme of the week: crypto meanderings and chucking crystal balls at dartboards.

Bull Run or Tire Slash?

“Chances are, your biggest mistake during this bull run,” a popular cryptocurrency Youtuber said in a video yesterday, “is that you are not bullish enough.”

Oof.

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

We don’t know.

This is why I prefer taking the long view. I’m interested in projects where, chances are, any price is a good entry point in 2021.

(This is just my observation, but the smartest cryptonauts don’t trade. They generally embrace a hybrid of dollar-cost-averaging and doubling down on big dips.)

This means not getting caught up in the hype.

Which, for some, is difficult to do.

It means avoiding that hot new NFT selling for the low, low price of $282,000 (or 130 Ethereum tokens)… it means holding back from buying that FOMO (fear of missing out) coin that’s already gone screaming up 5,738% this year… and avoiding any other flavor of the week.

We have other reasons for prudence…

Soon, the global regulatory powers will begin making their moves, perhaps spooking weak hands. And the Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are coming, too.

1.] China has proposed global rules for CBDCs. “The PBOC is aiming to become the first major central bank to issue a CBDC,” says Reuters, “part of its push to internationalize the yuan and reduce dependence on the dollar-dominated global banking system.”

2.] The SEC’s complaints against Ripple (a private, permissioned, centralized “bankchain”) and, more importantly, LBRY, a distributed (IPFS) file-sharing system, could set bad precedent in the U.S. for crypto.

3.] The G20’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) just released its guidelines on how to deal with cryptocurrencies. In short, it has some DeFi developers spooked.

These three things have the doomsayers popping out of the woodwork.

But we’re in a bull market, so nobody’s listening. Instead, they’re listening to crypto gurus who say things like: “Your biggest mistake will be that you’re NOT BULLISH ENOUGH!”

Let’s take a more balanced approach.

Indeed, there are reasons for concern. But there are also reasons for optimism.

“Bad People Doing Bad Stuff”

First of all, CBDCs are coming.

And the rules will largely be set by those who frequent Davos, some of whom genuinely believe the things that come out of their mouths.

It’s hard to say how this will affect the markets.

Whatever the SEC does next will set precedent. (Gary Gensler, the new head of the SEC, did an excellent (and freely available) course at MIT on bitcoin and blockchain. He seems to take a balanced approach when it comes to crypto. But he’s also, at heart, a centralist. In short, beware crypto that began with a pre-sale and an ICO.)

And, yes, the FATF is coming on strong with the “money laundering” and “bad people doing bad stuff” language. This could be bad news bears for certain elements of DeFi.

But on the other hand, there are reasons to be optimistic (we’ll go into those tomorrow).

The short term is relatively uncertain.

Long-term, however, I believe that any attempts to completely shoehorn this technology into old systems will prove impotent.

Centralized ledgers defined the last 10,000 years. Distributed ones will define the next 10,000 years.

The future is distributed.

It’s not some “libertarian pipe dream.”

For one, it’s the only way the Internet, the global nervous system of humanity, will survive.

And we’ve been here before.

Most people don’t know this…

Before 1991, commercial traffic was forbidden on the Internet. Many netizens fought this policy’s repeal viciously. Why? They said it would bring a whole lot of bad stuff.

Despite the fear mongering, can you guess what happened next?

(More on that also tomorrow.)

In short, entrenched legacy systems will undoubtedly fight this new innovation…

Regulators might even kill a few projects and destroy hard-won innovation in the process. A few might even call cryptonauts blasphemers… treasonous… and tax cheats!

But then one day, perhaps after this technology has been announced dead (for the 5,000th time)...

It will rise again.

And those who see it will say: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

(Or maybe it won’t be quite as dramatic as that.)

Whatever the case, as Superbowl Champ Russell Okung writes in his foreword for the book, Thank God For Bitcoin, there’s one thing we can be sure of:

"There is an economic storm brewing that threatens the sandy foundations of our monetary system."

Happy Good Friday.

Enjoy your weekend.

[Ed. note: Got something to say about crypto? Take our crypto survey right here at this link.]

Until tomorrow,

Chris Campbell
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today

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