Ulric Pattillo, writer for Bitcoin Magazine and signatory to the Declaration of Monetary Independence, shares his thoughts in this editorial.
Warning: the following work combines real-world commentary with fan fiction in the style of your favorite science fiction universe. I have no intention of stealing anyone else’s ideas or plagiarizing anyone else’s work. There is no intention to plagiarize or copy any ideas or works from the fan fiction section. A continuation of my “Bitcoin: What-If?” series, this is Bitcoin Part 2. Surely Marvel wouldn’t want to have the monopoly on that.
Is It Possible That… The Government
The individual has been let down by the State as a system. This is not meant to pin the blame on any particular group or “the current administration.” Incorrect solutions such as “voting for the proper people” or “educating our leaders” have not worked in the past and won’t work now to solve this problem. Furthermore, in a Bitcoin future, elected and unelected officials’ use of services and agencies will inevitably come to an end.
Hyperbitcoinization, like the debates in finance, is more than just adding Bitcoin to existing fiat networks; it requires an entirely new system in which sound money serves as the preeminent unit of account worldwide. A system that intermediates and coerces against the incentives of the individual players in the world at large is fundamentally at odds with Bitcoin, a truly trustless and voluntary monetary network.
In contrast, the State does not exist because of voluntarism or the will of the individuals, but because of the act or threat of violence. The State’s ability to collect taxes depends on this function. The state does not produce anything of value but rather destroys it through taxation, inflation, and outright theft.
While paying taxes is often presented as a patriotic responsibility, it is really just a slickly disguised kind of virtual servitude. If everyone was subjected to a 100% tax rate, workers would be no different from slaves of the past in that they would have no control over the fruits of their labor and no means to build wealth for themselves. A statist’s rebuttal that taxes are the price of living in the domain would make it true that there is no such thing as “public property.” To what end am I paying someone else for something in which, as a member of the public, I have a stake? Once taxes are deducted, do I no longer owe anything or am I required to accept the services?
The creation of additional money units occurs when a government or other authoritative body uses its constitutional authority to do so. This strategy for survival is necessary since the size and scope of government have expanded to the point where they cannot function independently. Their ideal 3% inflation basically means 3% of your buying power is taken annually and redistributed to the group the thief’s choosing, which Keynesians will laugh about and dismiss from their privileged perch. Perhaps favoritism is at play here, with benefits going to already-wealthy businesses. Perhaps this is a welfare state that redistributes resources to those who are paid not to work. Perhaps this is a communist country, where the newly created wealth is distributed among the coffers of incompetent government departments. Victims are society’s value generators in any of those three scenarios. The workers’ fair share of the economy’s value is improperly diverted through manipulation of worker expectations without their knowledge or permission.
Theft can also occur through the third method, direct confiscation. Governments will exercise their exclusive right to use force to seize citizens’ property when necessary. To fight such an intrusion of natural rights is difficult for privileged Americans because of the difficulty of imagining the implications of imprisonment or death. Is the idea of private property now a sham since people have given up their rights in exchange for the state-provided high of safety? It happens all the time in different parts of the world, but the media always seems to try to downplay its significance.
The Dutch government has made a concerted effort to harass farmers in an effort to take their land. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “nitrogen emission” recommendations provide the reason for these activities, which can be interpreted as a purposeful assault on food supply in an effort to utilize hunger as an instrument of control.
The Bank of China, the fourth largest bank in the world, proclaimed their customers’ checking accounts to be “investment products,” preventing the ability to withdraw. When banks try to claim something that is not theirs, the government backs them up by stationing armed guards at their branches.
No citizen shall “[be] deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor should private property be seized for public use, without reasonable compensation,” as the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution (also known as the Bill of Rights) declares.
In a country where the value of personal freedom is increasingly being downplayed, the “you will own nothing” dystopia might become a reality with the “right sort of bad” political leaders and the vagueness of both phrases. Perhaps the liberty of American people to bear arms has helped prevent such abuses, but there are also clear ongoing efforts to fight such policies.
If extortion were the only threat to the wealth of a society, it could be eliminated. If taxation isn’t enough to sustain the State, then reasonable people will start to question the value of the current arrangement. If The State did not have a monopoly on violence, would it still exist? Even if there will be further shifts in power, the underlying problem remains: the current ruler will use all of their influence to protect their own safety in a dangerous society. A financial death spiral like the one depicted below is the result of a monopoly on the authority to define money.
Does the argument that “this is how it’s always been” provide a sufficient justification for the inefficient institution? These days, the State model of government has taken on more than it can handle. It has resulted in unneeded economic losses, inconceivable theft, and a loss of appreciation for what is truly valuable. Until the advent of Bitcoin, no such blazing beacon of hope had
It’s the 2050s or thereabouts…
There is optimism for the future. The population of Earth increases and advances in this hypothetical future. The value of the world’s fiat currency has been completely absorbed by Bitcoin, the decentralized monetary network. Bitcoin surged through bull and bear markets for years, with public buyers including governments around the world, before the 2033 Bitcoin International Treaty (B.I.T.) dismantled central banks worldwide in favor of a new Bitcoin Monetary Standard. This came exactly 100 years after Executive Order 6102 banned private gold ownership by U.S. citizens. Bitcoin-backed regional digital tokens were adopted by nearly all governments across the globe, including those in North America, Europe, South America, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa (dollar, euro, peso, rupee, dinar, franc). Some people preferred these currencies because of the centralized management and insurance they provided. Bitcoin was the leading unit of exchange in the decentralized, permissionless cryptocurrency market.
A number of Oceania and Asia-Pacific nations, including China and Australia, continue to be steadfast in their support of hard currency. They refused to take part in B.I.T. and made it illegal to possess any form of cryptocurrency. Instead, they choose to steal money from their constituents by creating CBDCs that monitor and intimidate their members. The prohibition of immigration many years ago, which practically transformed the residents of some countries into prisoners, facilitated the introduction of the CBDC. In those areas, people essentially lost their individuality and became cogs in a machine.
Due to the virtual end of currency inflation in the Bitcoin realm, the value of one BTC has stabilized at around $25 million. As the value of assets decreased due to technological advancements, the purchasing power of all free-world citizens increased. Soon after the end of the era of central banks, governments began selling off other sectors of society that they had previously dominated. When good money is at the center of human activity, governments quickly learn their limits.
Using Cold, Hard Cash to Privatize the Post Office
Only three years since the turn of the century have been profitable for the US Postal Service (2003-2006). Years after adopting bitcoin as the global standard, and decades of value loss later, it was evident that the system was flawed. To “build post offices and post roads,” as stated in Clause 7 of Article 1 of the Constitution. Traditional usage expanded its scope to include “transport, deliver, and regulate the mail.” Due to the statement’s decline from advantage to liability, the Supreme Court proclaimed it to be “of need for the formation of an infant nation, not intended to be in perpetuity” in the year 2051. Since the postal routes were rendered obsolete by improvements in transportation infrastructure, it was decided to sell off the post offices via public auction to any national, regional, or even local business that was interested in making a profit off of postal services. P.O. boxes were popular because of the improved privacy and protection they provide against theft and the less exposure to the wider scale collecting of personal information provided by local commercial postal services.
It’s unlikely that the postmaster general’s office will be eliminated entirely, so long as it serves its limited purpose of protecting the free market postal business. The federal government lacks the resources to continue its unprofitable monopolization of the sector. The US Postal Service’s invasive and expensive “legal monopoly” has been ended.
Hard Currency Replaces Welfare
The annual increase in welfare spending has been consistent ever since it doubled from 2019 to 2020. Through all of the state’s intervention in the 2020s, it became evident that poverty would not be eradicated by The State. An increasingly popular alternative among the populace was to rely on the generosity of others for financial support. Money was once again trusted shortly after 2033’s B.I.T. The urge to gain that confidence followed. The advocates of universal basic income and welfare among socialists and communists were worried that bitcoin would lead to a deflationary crisis. Worker productivity rose and record numbers of people applied for jobs in a wide variety of fields. The availability of motivated labor allowed businesses to function at unprecedented levels of efficiency. Goods prices fell steadily as a result of this impact and the deflationary money. By 2043, the welfare state was all but extinct for those who followed the Bitcoin norm. Finally, the reward justifies the trouble. Orphans and widows, both vulnerable groups, were helped by private nonprofits that relied on donations from the public to operate. Since the focus of these groups was on getting people off of poverty as quickly as possible rather than encouraging them to remain on it indefinitely, they were more successful and efficient than government benefits.
Hard currency depletes police budgets.
The scandalous political movement to defund law enforcement has returned in the 2050s, almost 35 years after it first emerged. States and enormous cities were examples of institutions that grew to be too large to function effectively. The police were slow to respond, favored safe, wealthy neighborhoods, and abandoned poorer ones, leaving them vulnerable to crime and degradation. In other areas, residents receiving this service felt the police did not advocate for their best interests because officers did not share their views or get financial incentives to do so. Since the government was footing the bill, it was sense that any incentives should represent the government that was paying them. The popularity of Bitcoin has led to a decline in confidence in debt-based IOUs. For this reason, law enforcement agencies could not function like they had in the fiat era.
Self-custody did, however, teach humans the value of armed self-defense. Because of this, private citizens began arming themselves at unprecedented rates. More than that, they banded together at the municipal and local levels for mutual defense. Because of their desire to maintain control over relatively narrow areas, these security coalitions responded to crimes more quickly than the official police. Some municipalities were wise to hire one of the many private security firms mushrooming as state-owned police forces shrank. Since these organizations were hired by the communities rather than The State, they did not feel at odds with the communities they served. If there is a major disconnect in priorities, neither the security party nor the consumer will want to renew the contract when it expires. Some security companies even provided their clientele with firearms instruction. This technique lowered crime against vulnerable targets while promoting firms as trustworthy members of communities, which in turn helped to prolong the company’s business connection with the community. To my knowledge, “a well-regulated militia” has not been so widely used since the early days of the colonies.
The Disincentive Effect of Hard Money on Politicians
Hard, unconfiscatable currency was highly prized, but political power was devalued. There were still representatives and senators, but the laws they could pass did not carry the same weight as they had when the fiat standard was in effect. The State merely had enough money to maintain a much simpler existence, thus it did not prioritize any particular industry in terms of government funding. Since all firms and individuals were already paying significantly less in taxes compared to the fiat past, the cost-benefit analysis for corporations to buy the loyalty of politicians was minimal. It would have been more productive to invest in R&D or advertising rather than pay bribes.
After the democracy revolution of the early 20th century, elected presidents met the same destiny as monarchy. In the same way that monarchs are hereditary leaders, presidents and prime ministers have become elected hereditary leaders with a focus on diplomacy and ambassadorial duties. The power of a presidential edict is limited by the resources available to carry it out. Celebrity presidents in this era were those that safeguarded citizens’ property rights and encouraged the growth of industries that could function without assistance from huge companies and the state.
It wasn’t long before people from all walks of life entered politics. To help actors in their domain, they would temporarily step away from their sector to act as a neutral party offering advice to all industries. It was a drastic change from the days when people could make a living by breaking the law for their own benefit. A vestige of the defunct fiat standard, the academic field of “public policy” fell out of favor as it was seen as a means to an end of swindling and manipulating the public. Since the finest money in the world was verifiable on the blockchain, the state could no longer assume unreasonable latitude to operate above their capability. As a result, for the first time in modern history, politicians lived out the role of “civil servant.”
However… The State Is Necessary
If Bitcoin is a part of the future, it is obvious that governments will be drastically reduced in size. People like us need to evolve as well if that is to occur. The ancient human race made many of its own decisions based on the need to always have a deity-king close at hand.
After leaving Egypt, the Hebrews wanted to have a king election like their heathen neighbors around 1030 B.C. The Old Testament is replete with tales of corrupt and feeble Israelite monarchs who fell short of the people’s confidence in God.
“Behold, you are old, and your sons do not follow in your ways,’ they told him in verse 5. Put us under the rule of a king so that we may be judged fairly, as are all other nations. But when they said, “Give us a monarch to judge us,” it angered Samuel. As for Samuel, he prayed to the LORD. 7 The LORD told Samuel, “Hear the voice of the people in all that they say to you; because they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” (First Samuel 8:5-7, ESV)
After years of turmoil and violence caused by splitting from the king they already had in London, Colonel Lewis Nicola urged that George Washington assume the kingship of the colonies. The United States capital firmly declined:
…I think strong argument might be made for granting the title of king, which I feel would be associated by certain material advantages, if all other things were once resolved.
The desire to control the actions and beliefs of others, on the part of both those who would wield power and those who would be ruled, may contribute to the universal appeal of strong states and sovereign entities.
Someone once said, “There are a lot of individuals who want to tell you what to do and how to do it.” — coinarus
Bitcoin, dubbed “the money for your enemies,” is diametrically opposed to this idea. Without Bitcoin as that cornerstone, freedom proponents who rely on a centralized monetary network will lose credibility. These hypocrites claim we have to put our faith in an outside party to protect our independence. Since Bitcoin doesn’t require any sort of trust, there’s no reason to ask someone for permission to make a financial choice that could go against their interests. This is a global issue that will eventually hit the United States if Bitcoin isn’t adopted as a solution.
A trustless dynamic is of infinite more significance than the funding of a valueless entity. How will they keep the roads up? Adopt-A-Highway is a microcosm of the future volunteerism will create. The only thing stopping highways from being privatized is a thinly veiled belief in the government’s importance. In the world of fiat currency, transponders are already being used to pay for toll roads. For the Lightning Network, this seems like a no-brainer. Is the fire department involved? There have always been and always will be volunteer fire departments. In 2019, 722,800 (67%) of the total fire fighters in the United States were volunteers. Just like in the Bitcoin future above, communities may readily compensate them for their dedication. The millions of public servants are surely in need of attention. If a job is important enough, it will be filled in a really free market. Potentially, that will shed light on millions of pointless occupations (details below) and allow their relocation to areas where the free market makes the most sense. Jobs are not created just because they exist in a Bitcoin economy, unlike the communist MMT myth propagated by many in the economic elite and believed by the uninitiated.
All that’s certain in life is death and taxes.
You can count on two things in life: death and taxes. Bitcoin resolves the issue. One institution can tax the people and devalue their currency because it has a monopoly on the use of force and the production of money. You can either agree with me or not. To reject means to not use or take part in the fiat economy in any significant way. Bitcoin is the first major economic force from the outside to make this a reality since the validity of gold was revoked in 1971.
State institutions everywhere must now weigh the pros and cons of unlimited fiat currency versus the adoption of digital and decentralized hard money. Some would argue that “everyone wins with bitcoin.” They need to ask themselves, “What good did it do the giant when Jack took his gold egg laying fowl?” The government has access to incredible technology—a goose that lays golden eggs—but the eggs are locked into an unavoidable track whose speed can be adjusted, the power can be cut, and the participants can be blocked. Why would anyone with any sense relinquish such control? Fiat money can be used as a weapon, manipulated, and shaped to conform to the whims of its issuer. Bitcoin is a clear loss of net power for any ruler. A nation that adopts a hard currency with no inherent constraints is showing a commitment to taking mathematically sound decisions. There ought to be a positive sum effect from their efforts.
Efficiency and stability make up for any reduction in authority. One of the most obvious signs of The State’s inefficiency is the absurd size of its bureaucracy. In the 2020s, about 20% of the population did not work in the free market because they were employed by the government, which was funded through monetary expansion. If the government is unable to produce the funds necessary to pay its employees, these organizations will inevitably lay off workers.
As the digital currency of the future, Bitcoin will force a weakening government to deal with the challenge of tracking anonymous transactions. The IRS would have a hard time convincing another 87,000 agents to work for IOUs if they were using a hard money criterion. The difficulty of recovering stolen funds through taxation is amplified by the Bitcoin network’s anonymity and decentralization, which reduces law enforcement’s ability to effectively track down crooks. Hyperbitcoinization strangles The State by rendering its parasitic activity of stealing from value-creating transactions obsolete. Auditing the network for such responsibilities would be a higher cost-burden than the possible benefits, as Bitcoin is more like cash than checking or credit. Taxes paid to the overbearing state would become a charitable contribution. You can’t feed a nasty guy with donations. Bitcoin is immune to confiscation by government authorities. Self-custody would increase by the thousands every time a state actor attempted to freeze or confiscate from third-party custodians. Whenever the government spends bitcoin, it returns funds to the hands of those who generate value, who will never forget that the government once tried to restrict their freedom of exchange.
You Can’t Come in Second Place
Bitcoin is intended to replace not only the fiat monetary unit but also the underlying institutions that support it. The conventional dollar competes with Bitcoin for a similar position in the economic hierarchy. If Bitcoin were to gain traction as a people’s currency network, it would render the dollar and other fiats incapable of the practices that have become commonplace but are actually illegal, such as illegal penalties against commoners, monetary debasement, and bordered payments.
To quote: “There is no such thing as a close second.” If you don’t agree with the people in charge of your domain, your only other choice is to cease to exist. Do not be fooled by the appearance of ownership of public land or the right to vote. The world’s elite did not rise to power by limiting people’s choices. Bitcoin prevents privileged parties from taking control of its infrastructure. Only by being truthful will the internet be saved from oblivion. As time goes on, full independence is literally impossible without Bitcoin. Refusing to use Bitcoin is akin to participating in a slave economy. Is there a preference between the two of them?