Money & the Erosion of Value

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws.”
Mayer Amschel Rothschild
Banker

Since the early days of civilized commerce, the equitable exchange of value has been under fire. Once societies evolved past man-to-man barter and trading became more complex, experts of the “do less and take more” methodology systematically worked to centralize the issuance of money, further distancing it from the value it serves.

With the convenience of centralization comes control, and all too often this power falls into the hands of those whose goal is to extract wealth from the participants. And with money as the life-blood of a society, the consequences reach further than just commerce.

As the world got bigger and fortunes more vast, monetary instruments became more complex, ushering in the Day of the Banker. Seemingly overnight, enterprising young goldsmiths, money changers, lenders, scriveners and other financial intermediaries were all too willing to take deposits in exchange for warehouse receipts and promissory notes. These “payable on demand” receipts along with the goldsmith’s issuance of term loans marked the birth of fractional reserve banking. This gem of the financial world paved the way for the rapid disappearance of value from exchanges, marked by several notable disappointments:

1913

After Congress successfully avoids renewing the country’s central bank charter twice, a financial panic orchestrated by the world’s wealthiest men results in passage of the United States Federal Reserve Act. Several years later, the required 20-year term limitation was removed, ensuring its perpetual existence.

1933

Following 20 years of skepticism regarding the Federal Reserve’s purpose, legality & usefulness, President FDR issues the Gold Confiscation Executive Order, mandating circulation of Federal Reserve Notes under threat of fine and/or imprisonment.

1964

Shortly following the assassination of the President (who some believe was working to dismantle the Federal Reserve), silver certificates and silver coins are phased out of circulation. Today, not one country’s money supply contains significant amounts of silver.

Attempts to Restore Value

Fortunately, the erosion of value from money is obvious to anyone paying attention.

Some have even attempted to reverse the trend…

The Liberty Dollar

1998-2007 Privately minted and issued silver coins & certificates circulated for years as local currencies across the USA until the FBI raided company headquarters in 2007. The founder was charged with counterfeiting and convicted in 2011. He was labeled a “domestic terrorist” for “endangering the economic stability of the country.”

Liberty Reserve

2007-2013 In stark contrast to fractional reserve banking, Costa Rican-based Liberty Reserve conducted a full-reserve banking system independent of any government. Used for billions of dollars in transactions, Liberty Reserve assets were seized in 2013 by US Prosecutors under authority of the Patriot Act, claiming Liberty Reserve was used to fund terrorism and other illicit activities.

Iraq, Libya & Iran

2003-? These Axis of Evil nations all at one point threaten (or continue to threaten) the hegemony of the US Dollar by crafting plans to trade oil for gold. Not surprisingly, two of the three have since undergone violent regime changes in the last several years.

All hope for financial freedom seemed to be lost forever.

Bitcoin & the Currency rEvolution

In 2009, “cryptology expert” “Satoshi Nakamoto” introduced a peer-to-peer payment system, relying on internet participants to clear transactions instead of the conventional central authority.

Following a short period of obscurity, Bitcoin gained popularity in gray and black markets, eventually thrusting it to the very center of the world’s financial markets.

“Bitcoin is the end of financial discrimination and segregation based on nationality and political privilege…there are no artificial barriers to entry, you are not asked for any papers, there are no unnatural restrictions preventing mutually beneficial transactions. Basically, if you’ve got value to offer, you’re in business!”
Tuur Demeester
Banker

Though it requires several key technological components to operate and participate, Bitcoin has no artificial barrier to entry and can be used by anyone. Relatively speaking, Bitcoin is fast, anonymous & inexpensive. And unlike other recent attempts to reverse the trend towards financial centralization, Bitcoin lacks a central administrative choke-point, making it difficult or impossible to shut down without disrupting the entire internet. Best of all, the growing global gray-market workforce – people that aren’t currently serviced by mainstream finance – are adopting it at a shocking rate.

In 2012, Bitcoin entered the hearts and minds of 9.45 million TV viewers during The Good Wife Episode 59 – “Bitcoin for Dummies” – introducing the virtual currency and its many mysteries to the masses. Over the years, Bitcoin’s had its fair share of booms and busts, but Bitcoin’s USD valuation from Sep1 2016 to Sep1 2017 (866% increase) now has even the globe’s leading financiers paying attention.

What was first used by nerds to buy pizza is now discussed and debated in almost every city, every Statehouse, & every office of government around the world.

The AOCS Approved Copper Bitcoin

To commemorate the virtual currency, the American Open Currency Standard created an iconic physical manifestation of Bitcoin in 999 fine copper. The coin featured an interpretation of the Bitcoin symbol, integrated with digital computer circuitry and the text “BITCOIN • DIGITAL • DECENTRALIZED • PEER TO PEER”. The reverse of the coin continued the circuitry elements, along with the text “AOCS APPROVED”, the mark of authenticity added to every coin minted under the authority of the American Open Currency Standard.

Over the years, millions were minted, and the design inspired dozens of variations, all featuring some elements of the original AOCS Approved Copper Bitcoin.

In the years since first strike, the iconic design has gone on to become the most widely used pictorial representation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Fad or FinTech’s Future?

Cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise to fame has minted its share of millionaires, but it’s volatility and ambiguous “asset or currency” classification has made the landscape difficult to navigate.

Bitcoin’s staunchest supporters cite the limited mineable supply vs. the total value of the global financial market as reason to double-down and continue investing, while mainstream financial gurus predict a Bitcoin bubble, the likes of which not seen since the days of Tulipmania.

Regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, two things are certain:

Bitcoin is Just a Tiny Blip on the Global Financial Market Radar

Blockchain Technology & Distributed Ledgers Aren't Going Away

The total market capitalization of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and other blockchain assets is just a blip on the global financial market’s radar (valued between $150 and $300 Trillion). Bitcoin and other competing asset classes have a lot of room to grow before they become serious competitors in the global banking system.

Bitcoin’s underlying technology – the “blockchain” – isn’t going away anytime soon. The idea of a peer-to-peer immutable ledger appeals to those skeptical of the big banks, and is helping “cryptofy” traditional assets (both tangible and intangible), ensuring proof of ownership is distributed across nodes on a network as opposed to a single, ‘trusted’ authority.

Fortunately, the explosive USD value of cryptocurrencies in general has ushered in a shift in the way we – bankers, governments, and ordinary people – think about money. And all over the world, enthusiasts race to develop applications and support services like currency trading platforms, exchanges, payment gateways, mainstream finance interconnections and much more – technologies useful for Bitcoin, similar protocols, and other decentralized monetary systems. Today, thousands of competing cryptocurrencies circulate alongside crypto-assets, using (and misusing) blockchain technology, all in the interest of ending the chokehold held by bankers for more than 100 years.

The road to financial freedom is still bumpy. Cryptocurrencies and their usage are plagued by problems: hot wallets are hacked on a regular basis. Passwords are forgotten. Currency exchanges go bankrupt, hardware & backups fail, while offline paper wallets get destroyed in fires and floods. And these are troubles faced by even Bitcoin’s biggest fans; many more want to join the revolution, but have no idea where to even begin.

Regardless, eyes still light up and heads still turn at the mere mention of Bitcoin. Despite the risks, most people are still eager for a piece of the reward.

Introducing Cold Storage Coins

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When someone searches the web, or looks for a stock photo to use for a research report, or reads a news article, the first image they usually see is our coin.

Our team has been designing & manufacturing coins since 2008. By combining our minting excellence, distribution network & technical savviness, we’re able to offer something new.

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Bitcoin: Hold it. Own it.