A significant rise in bitcoin purchases at Square’s Cash App, which targets millennials, is making some wonder if there’s a generational trend and just what that might mean at a systemic level.
The latest figures from Square show bitcoin purchases grew in the third quarter from $42 million last year, to nearly $150 million for this year.
Within a nine month period in 2018, $114 million worth of bitcoin were sold. The equivalent from 2019 is nearly $340 million.
“First-time bitcoin buyers have approximately doubled,” Square said. Further telling its investors, which saw a 6% rise in Square shares, that the revenue in the third quarter for all stock purchases was $159 million from the Cash App.
In other words, almost as much money was spent on bitcoin as on the stock market by what is presumed to be a mainly millennial demographic as that was heavily targeted with rewards like $1 off coffee purchases.
In the grand scheme of things, the figures are small, but then in the grand scheme of things millennials have only began taking positions of wealth accumulation, with most still at junior levels.
Within that context, the figures might not be too small, especially if one considers the combined crypto market cap of $250 billion.
But that’s still almost insignificant compared to the global stock market cap of around $100 trillion. Yet, as that wealth gradually moves to a new generation through inheritance or through greater wage bargaining power – as well as arguably through a bigger voice in politics – a very big question arises.
Specifically, whether they will send that wealth back to the stock market, or whether they will choose to opt out to a parallel financial world that kind of does the same thing.
The 50/50 split suggests a bit of both. They like the convenience of bitcoin, which you can easily move and send to your friends or people online, unlike granny stocks, but they also want some of the latter for diversification.
That convenience however is just one aspect. Self interest is arguably a far bigger one, and indeed perhaps the main one.
The Game of Stocks
The game of stocks is very complex, but not once you understand it. It begins first with access control by an unelected and unaccountable body (SEC) that in America barely even engages in public consultation and dares say to the face of this generation: “we are not going to innovate for you.”
The arrogance of those words by a public servant, who serves at our pleasure, raises the question of who exactly do these people think they serve. The answer is in the act that gives them this power of access control.
“In the United States, to be considered an accredited investor, one must have a net worth of at least $1,000,000, excluding the value of one’s primary residence, or have income at least $200,000 each year for the last two years (or $300,000 combined income if married) and have the expectation to make the same amount this year.”
Those are the only people that have access in America to prime investment opportunities like Facebook when it launched in 2004 that turned a $500,000 investment into $3.6 billion for Peter Thiel.
The rest had to wait for SEC permission, allowing Facebook and Thiel to sell to the public shares that Thiel and his other rich friends had bought a decade earlier for the equivalent of pennies.
The public still got 10x over the past six years, but in six years cumulative inflation means in real terms they had very little return save for crumbs at best or stagnation if looked holistically.
That’s the first leg. Once we’ve limited almost all fruits to the pleasure of billionaires and maybe millionaires, we turn on the money printing FED machine which lowers your wage and cash savings while artificially increasing the value of these Thiel stocks that by law are artificially made “rare” because only a very select few entrepreneurs can sell a stock to you.
The vast majority need to live in a church to engage in entrepreneurship, or go to Thiel and the like and beg for $500,000 so that from it he can receive $3.6 billion.
That’s if Thiel gives you this $500,000 at all, which for 99.99% is less likely than hell freezing over, and for that 0.01%, you might get it after some humiliation.
That’s because rule number one of the game is access control. If all can play it, then money is hyperinflated. And thus there is no game.
There is only a game if others pay you this $3.6 billion from real new value they create, like toiling all day planting trees that grow apples from pretty much nothing, or working furiously to find the bugs in the Facebook code, after writing those bugs first, for the benefit of pennies in wages.
The House Card
Unlike bitcoin and stocks, a house is necessary. Unlike bitcoin, a house is not necessarily scarce. Like stocks, houses too are artificially limited by the force of law which demands access control, the green-light to build a house or to sell a stock to the public.
In Britain, 95% of the land is empty fields. Just 5% of it thus can house the entire population. Yet you can’t just go and build a house in the field, unless you cross your fingers and hope it isn’t bulldozed. You need to go instead through a very bureaucratic, complex, time consuming, and expensive process.
That’s because if we did build this 5%, the value of current properties would plummet. Those who have most houses would lose the most. It so happens that quite a few of them are the ones making the laws.
If instead we constrain new housing by even 5%, the value of current properties would rise. Again, the law makers and those that put them there get to be a bit richer (Putin wealth: $70 billion).
A normal family home in London in the 90s was about $20,000. The significant increase in population and in inflation would now have you lucky to buy a flat for $250,000.
The government has certain schemes to help you, but only for certain houses through certain providers. In an insult, an ordinary home from them is double the ordinary price at $400,000, making the “scheme” worse than a gimmick.
In addition to aristocrats and the rich, banks are the very biggest home owners. Courts up and down the country are in fact clogged with banks demanding possession of a property.
To be fair to judges, they do try and try to hold them at bay, but judges don’t make the law. Thus the army of bankers taking over homes is a story repeated all over the country every day.
This is the most sinister form of access control for with bureaucrats and regulators, although holding them accountable is difficult to the point it is easier to call them unaccountable, technically or in appearance there is at least a way you can hold them accountable.
For banks, there is literally zero accountability. They are a private entity, free to do whatever they please. Free to not give a mortgage, or free to charge 20% on credit cards, or to not give a loan, or indeed free to take your house.
This greatest of privilege comes not from risk taking, comes not from merit, comes not from a consensual intellectual understanding, but comes from cheating, literally.
Banks were entrusted with holding possession of assets as custodians, but they abused this trust and used these assets for their own gain. Eventually they did and do it too much, and like a Pyramid schemer runs away with a nation’s savings, so too banks now and then tell all that their savings are gone.
As corrosive as this theft is, nowadays you don’t even need to give them your assets for them to steal them.
The cheating has reached the level where by their word alone they can buy a home by giving you a mortgage, a theft to all those that don’t yet have a home.
There is in fact almost no way banks don’t walk away without a home. If you don’t pay the mortgage, then they physically take the house by the force of law. If you do pay it, at 3% interest over 25 years on a $200,000 mortgage, you will pay back $400,000. $200,000 in capital and $200,000 in interest.
The capital is created literally from nothing, not from savings in other accounts. The moment they issue the $200,000 mortgage is the moment this $200,000 is created at will, by the privilege of the abuse of initial trust.
Once you pay the capital back, it is burned, it doesn’t exist anymore. It is extinguished just as it was created: by their will alone.
The $200,000 paid in interest, however, is not burned. This is new real money created that enters circulation in this case primarily by covering the banks’ expenses, by going to shareholders in dividends, and of course by paying gilded salaries.
So the bank can’t lose, but if they have to take over the home and sell it, they’d be lucky to pay off the capital, which as we said is burned. That’s a loss because court fees and all other expenses and the house might sell less than the capital, leaving them with a debt from you – as in money they willed but now can’t burn as obviously you need money to now burn it – which they have to cover from profits since you can’t pay it.
One can therefore see how this can go wrong at scale and why now and then they ask the public to pay their debt, while taking the public’s homes, but the point is the bank would very much like you to pay that interest.
The higher the house prices, the more their profits through interest payments, the more long term money is created, the bigger the inflation, until a mass “burn of money” event through mass defaults temporarily presses the breaks.
Meaning the bank certainly wants to lend you a mortgage, but it is far more interested in ensuring those that have one pay it back, thus in ensuring house prices increase, thus in ensuring there is very tight access control on who exactly gets the mortgage in a systemic unaccountable largely centralized management of supply and demand for arguably the biggest necessity after food itself.
The best part is, every-time you buy a house, your money goes directly to the bank and rich landowners in parliament or congress.
That’s because of supply and demand. Since at the moment you buy a house, you just moved from demand to supply, there is now less demand and less supply at the same time – keeping all else equal – so all house prices increase, thus the profits of the banks and the rich increase.
On the other hand when you build a house the opposite happens, hence why they don’t build houses, why they have many laws that ensure building one is as difficult as possible for businesses, and many laws that ensure you don’t dare build one yourself.
The Bitcoin Game
The bitcoin game isn’t utopianly egalitarian or perfect either, but it’s of a different sort. It’s basically the above games, but playable and accessible by everyone.
There is access control here too, though of a different sort. For stocks, houses, and other investments, access control to ensure rarity is implemented by picking who wins or loses. In bitcoin, the code just sets a 21 million limit, so enforcing rarity.
With any one crypto, like with the Facebook sort, the earlier you are the better if it succeeds. It of course might not. The difference being anyone can be as early as he or she likes.
Unlike the Facebook sorts, however, anyone can be bitcoin by just launching a blockchain or by just publishing some code.
They’re trying to close that, but they can’t. Anon Nakamoto is still anon and filthy rich on paper from his bitcoin holdings. There is no reason why today’s Nakamotos can’t just copy him if the bureaucrats get more and more greedy with their enforcement of access control.
When you buy a stock, you are giving Warren Buffet money, literally. He is one of the biggest stock owners, so, like with houses, by buying a stock he owns you just moved down demand and moved down supply, compounding the price gains, which means Buffet’s stocks are now more expensive, and thus you just gave him your money.
They of course claim if you own a stock you own part of the company, but that’s nonsense. If you are a start-up or just a few people, that’s the point of a stock – ownership sharing – but if there are tens of thousands of share owners, you have no say whatever over the company. Try tell Bozos, Zuckerberg, Barclay’s CEO, the Twitter timeline gamifiers, what to do, you company owner.
In bitcoin, to make the same claim would be to say if you own some BTC, you own part of the entire bitcoin ecosystem with its many start-ups and coders because those are who you are funding presuming they have bitcoin.
So who would you fund: the ordinary “kids” who mined dogecoin on their university computers and dream of making things better, or the vultures of Wall Street, the Bezos and Buffets who say they have so much money they don’t even know what to do with it.
The Granny Deception
To paraphrase Zuckerberg, dumb fucks still give money to these stupendously rich public companies, the 500 or so that have been allowed to be “proper” public.
The dumb fucks in this case being the pension funds, the faceless grey entities that hide in darkness or in shadows, who no one has a clue just who these people are, what they do with our money, why, who is even looking over them.
They control trillions, yet no one can even name off the top of their head just which is the biggest pension fund company.
All everyone knows is they take money from their paycheck, put them somewhere, and at some point they’re expected to receive double in some pension at some time.
Over 35 years, the value of $500 today is likely to be 50 cent, presuming of course it goes as it has and it doesn’t Venezuela.
Even if you receive $1,000 in today’s money in 35 years, that $500 has only doubled over a third of a century. Doubled.
In the stock market, you’d expect 8% a year. Over 35 years that’s, well everyone would be filthy rich, but our dads by and far aren’t quite what you’d consider rich, just “normal” despite in many cases spending decades on these “pensions.”
Pensions that no one even knows anything about save for some slogan, like: you’ll still get a salary when you’re old. Same as: a stock is company ownership. Or: farmers sold expected produce today through futures, and that is what futures are.
Wall Street futures are of course nothing like that. Nothing is even sold in “futures,” it’s just betting on numbers like you’d bet on who would win the horse race. Nothing to do with farmers in the most prominent online platforms of “futures.”
A public company shareholder owns as much a part of a company as does a non shareholder. They too are just betting on a horse race, giving their bet money to billionaires first like in an actual betting house, who, since now they have the hard cash, can’t lose.
A pension is little more than sellotaping a $50 note on the wall for 35 years to see whether the paper will manage to maintain even 1% of its form.
And a bitcoin investment isn’t far too different, but at least it’s our game, and we can all be the players, and there are no access controls, and the money is circulated between ourselves, and it shuffles, and it moves. There’s a carousel. Not a pyramid. It’s round. Not a system of control.
Editorial Copyrights Trustnodes.com