Let me ask you something.
How do you feel about slavery? Are you comfortable with the practice of a human being been owned and controlled by another?
My guess is that it’s probably not something that sits well with you. And it shouldn’t. The concept of enslavement is a cruel, barbaric one.
And yet, we’re all active participants in a classic, modern-day master and slave arrangement.
It’s the architecture of money.
An architecture in which you have no control. An architecture where each and every interaction is mediated by numerous third parties, who hold absolute power. An architecture based on debt. Backdoored. Designed to fail. And callously constructed to steal wealth in the form of inflation, tax, austerity and most dangerous of all, interest.
An architecture carefully devised to ensure we remain enslaved; needing to request permission to access our own wealth.
I started my first business at the tender age of 12. As a spirited, young entrepreneur I believed the money I generated was my own. I assumed I was carving a career path that would allow me to price my time and efforts on my own terms. That I was creating my own financial freedom. Actively establishing my own sovereignty.
Oh, how deluded I was!
The harsh reality is that every pound I earned was derived from a bank, and ultimately ended up back in a bank. Not a single penny was ever actually mine, simply rented. I was no master. I was merely another slave in the money machine, drudging my way through a system that would never allow me true financial independence.
Consider why most wealthy individuals invest in assets such as gold and art, use trust structures or utilise offshore shell companies. You may imagine it’s a means to avoid heavy taxation. That may be a benefit, but it’s not the underlying objective. Rather, it’s an act of self-preservation. It’s the intrinsic desire to protect their prosperity, which has taken time, effort and resources to build, in the firm knowledge that it could be taken from them. Confiscated by the masters in a mere moment.
But it’s not only the super-wealthy who fear for their funds.
The global economy is in a mess. Banking crisis after banking crisis. Bail-in after bail-in. It doesn’t take a doctorate in economics to see that the legacy banking system is failing. And there’s a looming global meltdown posing a severe risk to our financial wellbeing. All of us.
The citizens of Cyprus and Portugal already live in the gloomy wake of financial bailouts and bail ins. People are depressed and anxiety is rife. Unemployment, while better than previous years, still remains high and qualified individuals work as waiters to earn measly salaries and cover basic expenses. Greeks are subject to stringent capital controls and severe austerity. In Spain, unemployment hovers around 22%. They have low productivity and high levels of debt, making them vulnerable to financial crisis. Argentineans are under draconian currency controls, with an annual inflation rate of 25% and a fiscal deficit that could read 6% of GDP. Italy, France, Ireland and Venezuela, as well as the ‘powerhouses’ of the U.S, Japan and our own United Kingdom are all at serious risk of bank bail-ins.
However, there’s one way to truly protect what is rightfully ours.
By breaking free of the shackles of the traditional financial system and using bitcoin.
Bitcoin is fundamentally different because it’s a system based on solvency, not debt. In Bitcoin, I don’t owe anyone anything, and no-one’s indebted to me.
It’s a system based on ownership, not censorship. My funds are truly my funds. They can’t be frozen or seized, because in bitcoin there’s no central body of authority. There’s no master.
And with no master, there are no slaves.
Bitcoin is no longer a ‘geeky currency of the Internet’. It’s a genuine need. Ask someone in Venezuela why they have taken a recent interest in bitcoin and the answer will not be full of technical jargon, mention the recent block size debate or why the creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, chooses to remain anonymous.
Their answer would be because their national currency is experiencing hyperinflation to the tune of 141% (and expected to rocket to 720% this year). A rate making it impossible to plan ahead even the most basic financial commitments such as food and shelter. To a Venezuelan, bitcoin offers a safe haven from the ever-increasing devaluation of the national currency, and a buffer, if not escape, from the appalling ramifications of financial crisis on their modest funds. For them, bitcoin is desirable simply because it works.
It’s my hunch that it’s a view we may all share in the not-too-distant future.