The Death of Internet Freedom: A call to arms.
What is right and what is legal can be disparate concepts. Whispers of state intervention into cryptocurrency are becoming more frequent. What’s worse? The whispers are now in English. Creeping authoritarianism in all corners. Cameras on every dual carriageway and intersection. The carnage of government surveillance to ‘protect’ us from enemies and terrorists. Enemies the same government created whilst engaging in illegal warfare. Is there an end in sight? An end to grubby fingered bureaucrats, who’ve never so much as paid for a coffee without public funds. An end to torrents of legislation designed to restrict personal liberty and make your day-to-day life more difficult. No, there most certainly is not.
Cryptocurrency and online anonymity are fast becoming freedom’s last Bastian. A Bastian that is inches from annihilation. How? With the snap of a finger your government might make crypto trading illegal. Think there’s no precedent for such governmental overreach? Think again. In the US, for a good chunk of the past century, gold ownership was illegal. This was done to quell typical ‘store of value’ investing. Lots of it was seized. It was not till 1970, when liberty plucked ‘justice’ by the nose. Praised be, it was legal to own gold again. Closer to home, in 1959 the Australian Commonwealth enacted legislation allowing “expeditious” gold seizures. Done to “protect currency and public credit” alike. This was done mostly at random, at the discretion of the authorities — yuck. The young had been sent to fight and die in the war. And the Australian economy still hadn’t recovered. Quite a way to thank your soldiery for their bravery. Make their family heirlooms and treasures valueless. Very kind indeed.
One of the major sagas surrounding bitcoin has always been its battle with gold. Which is the better store of value and so on. Some think one way, some the other. As far as I’m concerned, you pay your money, you can think what you like. But the purpose to most is the same: to protect and preserve the fruits of labour. Whether that be from economic mismanagement, high inflation, or both. ‘Liberal Democracies’ have encroached upon citizens rights’ with gold. You’re a fool if you don’t think the same is possible with Bitcoin.
On the other sides of both the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, from Nigeria to Chile, Federal encroachments into private treasures are as frequent as they are arrogant. Fortunately for us, legislative ‘Bitcoin Bans’ have been symptomatic of rubbish currency. India recently drafted a bill banning private cryptocurrencies. With ministers deciding the digital rupee should be the investors’ priority. A bit like the Christmas present from your long-lost second Auntie, twice-removed. She’s bought you a Liverpool jersey which is nice and all. But You’re an Arsenal fan. Aren’t you. More drastic was the CBN, Nigeria’s Central Bank, “ordering banks to close accounts of all crypto users”. Lest Nigerians wished to face “severe regulatory sanctions” they’d better listen. You might think ‘well, India and Nigeria are hardly the finest exhibits of economic management’. You’d be correct, of course. But in 2014 a debate in Australia’s Parliament raged about how Bitcoin ought to be treated. God above it was boring, but bankers, interest-groups and think tanks all touted a ban. Some very powerful, and especially stupid people have no interest in you preserving your wealth.
Imagine that. Your government empowered only by your collective mandate. Seizing or arbitrarily devaluing your private assets. To stem the flow of economic peril for which the same government is responsible. The cheek! I hope it brims you with rage as it does me. It’s irredeemably wrong to anybody with a moral conscience. We must ensure it doesn’t happen to us.
Next time we experience serious economic hardship, watch for anti-bitcoin rhetoric in Prime Ministers’ Questions and Q&A. There is precedent for this evil behaviour at a federal level. Believe me, it will happen again. Write to your local member and ensure you understand their position. If they are vague or in disagreement. Vote them out. Until then, let’s enjoy another housing bubble!
Fortunately for you, whether you’re a bullion-boy or bit-boy. The markets have probably stroked your ego somewhat over the past while. A majority of you have probably offloaded most of your position. Probably in fantastic profit. So, congratulations are in order. Next week there’ll be some asx chat from me. Til’ then ta ta for the weekend.
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