August 16, 2019

The value of writing

Got to start writing again about live, and all the little things that happen while trying to get the most out of it. Why haven’t I written for so long? Well, it is really really hard to stick to writing every day, or every night for that matter. Because the written words seem banal at that moment. And of course it is tiring to try and record live in a diary, as if live wasn’t right there in front of me, waiting to be lived. But the writing is not only a record of life, it is also analysis and helps you to distill the meaningfulness and focus on living live mindfully and the way you want to live it.

It is difficult and requires a lot of concentration for me to distill something worth writing down in during my every day life. The average day looks rather unexciting and repetitive. Finish work, go to drink” is what my Thai friends in Khao-Lak used to say when I was there. Now, when was that again? In 2007, 2008 or 2009?

I don’t remember. If I had a diary from that time, I could probably look it up right now. On the other hand I could also look up the time in my cloud-saved photo albums. But the hassle. The struggle is not real, but feels real.

Thinking of those pictures from Thailand always reminds me of a few very specific pictures, mostly of myself. One is me in a white XXL Ralph Lauren polo shirt, after I had approximately lost 15kg after living in Thailand for 3 or 4 months. It looks so ridiculous, I don’t know how anyone could let me go out like this. I am pretty sure now I threw the shirt away after coming back to Europe and seeing those pictures from a different perspective, i.e. pictures of moments clearly lying in the past. I never wanted to go back to wearing XXL Ralph Lauren shirts.

I think I never really did. My body weight fluctuated quite a bit still. I got fatter again after Thailand, without a doubt. But few years later in China, I also became skinnier or at least fitter again, with the gym just a few floors down from the room I lived in. I even got quite ambitious and wanted to run a marathon some more time later, and, along the way, got close to actually being skinny. Being skinny, was a first after elementary school for me. But 2 professional setbacks at that time destroyed also my marathon ambitions. Plus, my knees, my legs and my back don’t seem to be built for running. I’m feeling too much pain to go through the arduous training essential to finish a marathon successfully.

On the other hand, I think my mind is perfectly made for running. I enjoy running, the ability to focus on setting one foot in front of the other, controlling my breath and giving my head a 1 hour break to go blank and think through anything it desires to think about. Running is fascinatingly liberating for my mind, and gives an immediate mood boost. But but…the pain in my shins and my lower back the next day is not worth it over the long term. I want to continue to be able to move myself somewhat agile when I am sixty, and not have a worn of knee-cap and non-existent backbone marrow.

Thus, I have to find mindfulness in other exercises. Riding for example, or swimming. Or simply listening to music, smoking weed, drinking alcohol, or writing. Yes, writing is good for that too. The problem with writing compared to running is twofold. I don’t really support my health by sitting on my butt and typing on this not ergonomically designed keyboard, while staring at a bright, eye-sight worsening LED screen. More importantly to me though, writing is slower than thinking, and it involves more mental and physical rules, such as grammar and keyboard layouts. So, I’d argue it is not as free-floating as what I think about when running.

This text serves as an example of where writing goes. But, it will only do so in hindsight. If this text survives my scrutiny in a year from now (and more years later would even be better, but I am an impatient writer) writing will have proven to be an effective way to organize and consolidate my thoughts. I guess the goal is to produce something of value. The question is do words become less or more valuable after enough green grass has grown on them?

April 19, 2019

What did you do for Bitcoin today?

The other day someone tweeted the above question, and it made me wanna write something positive about Bitcoin. Cause after all, if I believe in Bitcoin and the underlying philosophy of scarcity and long timeframes, I want to help it succeed.

What’s been bugging my mind though, is the questions whether there aren’t more urgent and trivial matters to support? The war in Yemen for example, or the climate crisis we are inevitably facing, or developing earth’s civilization into a space faring species. And yes, these all are matters of great importance and need our immediate attention. I feel grateful for people like Tilo Jung bringing the Yemen war into view of the German public, or the rebels fighting extinction on our planet brought by apocalyptic climate, and of course Elon Musk who’s making leaps and bounds in conquering outer space.

Yet, I sincerely believe that Bitcoin can positively influence all of the above problems. I think magical internet money will help making our world a better place. Here’s why:

1. Bitcoin is the hardest money ever created. It will ring in a paradigm shift for our global economy that will manifest itself by taking away power from governments and giving it back to the people.

In ten or twenty years from now, when Bitcoin is recognized and used as the world’s reserve currency, it will change the global economy in profound ways. Bitcoin will succeed because there will only ever be 21 Million Bitcoin and those Bitcoins enable censorship resistant, peer-to-peer and push only monetary transactions.

The hard cap on the issuance of Bitcoin will eventually make Bitcoin more scarce than gold, once the blockrewards have been halved for the 4th time in 2024. Hard money will force our economies back to balanced budgets and curb debt financing that is effectively borrowing current growth from future generations. The scarcity of Bitcoin will channel funding into sustainable projects only, that are more likely to bring a return on revenue than we have come to experience in an age of IPOs that focus on market share only, figure out monetization later and burn through VC money in the quest exit scam their way out of sound economics by selling of to unsuspecting retail investors.
The hard cap will also make it very difficult to fund their wars through taxpayer money by simply printing new money to fund their arms and weapons expenditures. If arms producers accept only Bitcoin, or Bitcoin-backed FIAT money, Governments will think twice before engaging in a war that they are unable to tax their citizens for funding. After all, governments will have to compete for their citizens tax money and free market between the best models of governance. If governments are unable to confiscate your push-only Bitcoin with the click of a button at the central banks computer, they have to incentivize citizens to pay their taxes for the services they provide and the promises they actually deliver on. While executive powers such as the police and the military will remain in power of law & order, Bitcoin certainly hands some of the budgeting power into the hands of the people.

2. Bitcoin is part of our transition from the industrial age into the information age. The internet has introduced us to a wealth of information and new ways of organizing society. Bitcoin will be the backbone of our civilization in which information is money.

Our species has developed from wandering foragers to settling farmers, who eventually invented the steam machine and kicked of the industrial age. Since the 1990s we’re indisputably changing our civilizations again and entering a 4th age. The information age is connecting us to ideas on a global scale within seconds and enables us to access the knowledge of the humankind at the click of a button. Within the next two or three decades physical work will be replaced entirely through automation and robots. What is already and will only become more valuable is the information shared, stored and accessed on the internet. This infrastructure of knowledge will be supported by a peer to peer money that enables us to make micro-transactions across space and time at the speed of light. In an economy of shared use and shared ownership, the only thing that we will care to move around with us freely is our knowledge and experience as well as our money. Bank accounts, gold deposits in swiss locker boxes, and national payment systems will have to be a thing of the past when you, me and the rest of our civilization embarks on a path of enlightenment aided by the internet.

3. Bitcoin fosters a high time preference thinking, and therefore gives us back sanity. Bitcoins scarcity and issuance rate will curb unbridled deficit spending and funnel investments towards sustainable projects that are greater than the sum of their parts.

Shopping is not a hobby, and future generations will be better off not spending their hard earned sats in the mall or on stuff’ at Amazon. Since the last Bitcoin will be mined in roughly 120 years from now, with the issuance rate decreasing by half every four years, there will be more gold than Bitcoin mined, in USD value, sometime in the next 10 - 20 years. While Bitcoins stock-to-flow ratio currently sits at the levels of silver, just 8 years later this ratio will be higher than that of gold and make it the most scarce monetary unit humans have ever invented. People will eventually discover Bitcoin for themselves as it is uniquely secure, resilient and temper-proof. Bitcoin is a hedge for gold and silver. Countries with negative interest rates such as in Europe, Japan and soon the US, will hedge into Bitcoin to ensure their reserves retain their value in a global competition of inflating currencies. Yes, countries with predatory governments such as Venezuela, China, Iran, Turkey will also charge into Bitcoin as a means of escaping international sanctions. Escaping US-controlled international’ organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Bank for International Settlements and World Trade Organization has to be the goal of emerging countries opposing the hegemony of the US government. Free riding on this accelerated adoption will be billionaires and millionaires hedging against quantitative easing, as well as institutional investors discovering the best performing asset of last 10 years. While this is great for all current hodlers of Bitcoin, it will equally have massive ramifications on how all of us do business today. Fractional reserve banking, debt spending, and negative interest rates will be a thing of the past, incentivizing us to focus our ambition and investments on long term projects. Ideally Bitcoin is helping our societies to vain off from the consumerists drug aka. shopping and steer our attention and money towards the development of meaningful inventions that have net-positive benefit for us as individuals and civil groups over a long time horizon.

4. Bitcoin is the energy-buyer of last resort, incentivizing the use of energy sources that would otherwise have been lost. In the quest for more efficient ways to mine bitcoin, Bitcoin is set to help humanity reach the goal of becoming a Kardeshev Type I energy civilization, removing restrictions on energy growth and raising the standard of living for everyone.

Bitcoin mining is already deployed as an energy preserving tool at oil fields in the middle east, at hydropower generators in Canada and China and at fracking wells in the US. Excess energy that cannot be stored or consumed otherwise is geared towards mining Bitcoin, securing the network and giving the energy producers a last chance of monetizing their energy resources. The quest of miners to find ever more efficient and cheaper sources of energy will propel research in production and research, enabling our civilization to store and use all of earths energy. Bitcoin will then act not only as one of the greatest distributor of wealth in our society, but will also level availability of energy resources for everyone and making our human organizations this much more scientific, as being based on cryptography and mathematics.

Bitcoin ultimately is the strongest equalizing weapon citizens can use to take power from governments rooted in theocracy and mono-culturalism. Peer-to-peer, free-speech money that cannot be seized or destroyed will benefit a multicultural and multi-polar world in which the greatest achievements ahead of us lie in sustainability and prosperity on a planetary scale.

Sats Bitcoin
March 22, 2019

Reader’s Digest Week 12 2019

You can soon buy a more useful version of the HTC blockchain phone for cash

Born out of the 2017 bear-market phone maker decided to build a blockchain’ phone. During the course of 2019 a phone with blockchain enabled features might finally become more useful. Just in time after Samsung loading their phones with hardware wallets.

How to achieve the same results of a professional bitcoin trader without taking the inherent risks

I swing-trade a little, mostly for fun on bitmex. Trading is extremely risky, even more so with cryptoassets and on margin. Longterm the best investment strategy is cost-averaging your position. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, buys $10.000 worth of Bitcoin each week. For starters $10.00 will do!

Bitcoin Has Saved My Family

An amazing story of sound money and how it can save lifes in hyper-inflated economies.

Evaluating MKR

Ethereum based Project MakerDAO with its stablecoin project DAI has been in the news a lot lately, mainly because it’s a success and failure at the same time. There are now more than $200 Million worth of ETH locked up in DAI CDPs. At the same time, DAI has been everything but stable and worth as little as $0,92 to the Dollar. Above article brings light into the value of the underlying token MKR.

Suspicious behavior on Kraken exemplifies the gap between crypto and legacy market structure

I’ve used Kraken a lot, especially for trading as it’s the cheapest platform to trade FIAT<->Crypto in Germany that I know of. Naively, I believed Kraken to be an exchange free of internal manipulation. The Block corrected my believe.

Saving fee markets with second-price auctions

One of the biggest remaining questions with Bitcoin, as the BIS has pointed out, is the fee market for transactions once block-rewards are halved to insignificance. The Block reports some possible solutions.

Schnorr Signatures & The Inevitability of Privacy in Bitcoin

A must-read article for all Bitcoin freaks. The dev-team behind Bitcoin is working on headache-inducing cryptography that is an evolutionary step for Bitcoin but could rectify two of the greatest shortcomings’ of the young currency: privacy & tragedy of the commons. Definitely read until the end.

I Tested the Saving Technique That Promises Retirement at 40

A fun little excursion into the lives and habits of extreme savers. Very disciplined, but nothing I aspire to live by anytime soon.

Weekly Readers Digest