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Bitcoin: The Sexiest Non-Solution Of All Time?
Alt-Market.Com ^ | 8 January 2014 | Brandon Smith

Posted on 01/08/2014 8:29:45 AM PST by Errant

A few years back, at the end of 2009, I was approached on two separate occasions by people claiming to be “representatives” of a digital alternative currency format. I was, of course, intrigued by the initial proposal, being that I had been writing for some time on the concept of non-participation as a way to insulate average Americans from the dangers of our unstable fiat driven mainstream economy. Before that, I had already dealt with just about every currency alternative one could imagine; from paper scripts backed by goods, to scripts backed by time or labor, to gold and silver laden currency cards, etc, etc. All of them had the advantage of NOT relying on private Federal Reserve notes, and all of them had flaws as well. The proposed digital script, which the representatives called “Bitcoin”, was no different.

The idea was to recruit my website as a promoter for bitcoin, but I had many questions before I would stick my neck out on a brand new high-tech anti-currency, and most of these question were not answered in any satisfactory manner.

There is no shortage of “solutions” in Liberty Movement circles, but many of these solutions require that we work within the system according to establishment rules (which they can change at any given moment). They assume that the system will abide by some kind of internal code, that our candidates will be treated fairly, that elections will not be rigged, that a better methodology or technology will be acknowledged and eventually adopted, that the “majority” of the public will someday see the light and back our cause, that the elite will not simply decide to put a bullet in our head.

The reality is, if a solution is dependent on a paradigm controlled by the corrupt system you are trying to change, it is no solution at all. Because of this, my focus has always been on methods that separate Americans from reliance on the system as much as possible.

When first confronted with bitcoin activism, I recognized almost immediately that this was NOT a method that operated outside the system, even though it tried very hard to appear that way. It was high-tech, it was sexy (admittedly far sexier in its presentation than gold and silver), and it catered to the egos of the digital generation, the loudest voices in media today. This thing was certainly marketable. However, just because something is highly marketable does not make it a good idea, or a meaningful alternative.

The Tantalizing Allure Of Non-Solutions

When a person invests a sizable amount of capital into an idea, not to mention a sizable amount of philosophical faith, they tend to lose a measure of objectivity. This is not just a struggle for proponents of bitcoin but for proponents of ALL methodologies. I do believe that many bitcoin promoters have the best of intentions, and that they are seeking some way to break from what they understand is a corrupt financial structure. That said, there is an escalating streak of elitism within the bitcoin culture, and I have witnessed on numerous occasions the kind of anger and immediate dismissal the average statist would spew when they are confronted with criticism. If you dare to question the greater details behind Bitcoin, be prepared to be accused of anything from “conspiracy theory”, to “jealousy” for missing the boat on bitcoin profits, to “ignorance” of the genius of cryptography.

What I came to realize through my questions to bitcoin followers was that many of them were not actually involved in the deeper aspects of the Liberty Movement, constitutional activism, sound money, self defense, and so on. Almost none of them had a preparedness plan, few of them had experience with precious metals, none of them owned firearms, and none of them had any inclination towards the building of local networks for mutual aid. Worst of all, many of them had no understanding of the wider threat of economic collapse that America faces today. In fact, when the possibility of full spectrum collapse is brought up, many Bitcoiners actually respond with the same brand of shallow dismissals that one would expect from the Paul Krugman's and Ben Bernanke's of the world.

This reaction is not necessarily shocking. Most people imagine themselves accomplishing heroic feats, and why not? It is one of the more noble and beautiful traits of mankind. For the crypto-engineers of the new century and the digital generation overall, heroics have felt unattainable. Elections are finally being recognized as the sham they represent, while protest activism has fallen flat on its face. The concept of peaceful redress of grievances has been met with rather frightening displays of state violence and censorship to which a physical response for the common protestor is unthinkable. The signs and slogan chants may have inspired the education of some, but in the meantime, they have accomplished very little in terms of political or social change. The bottom line is that the establishment LOVES non-aggression protests – they have no plan, few concrete goals, and present no overt threat to the elite.

The system only grows more despotic, more invasive, and more dangerous. Anti-establishment champions have been searching for something that goes beyond mere “education”, or clamoring like caged monkeys for media attention. They want to storm the castle, they want to fight back, but they haven't the slightest clue how. They desire an intellectual method of combat, something with far less fear, far less risk, and far less pain. Enter Bitcoin.

Bitcoin gives the digital generation the chance to feel heroic where they never could before. They don't have to face the machine head on. They don't have to fight. They don't have to suffer. They don't have to die. All they have to do is utilize some cryptographic wizardry within the supposedly anonymous safety of the web, buy bitcoins en masse, and the system would crumble at their feet, rebuilt in the name of free markets by the electronic commons and without a shot fired. Again, very sexy...

Unfortunately, the real world does not necessarily lend itself to the demands of the digital. The digital world is at the mercy of physical. The real world is rarely sexy; often it is ugly, brutal, hypocritical, illogical, and psychotic. The real world, at times, can break, and when it does the digital will break with it. The digital world is in large part a fantasy supported by the whims of the real. Which leads me to the core failings of the bitcoin adventure...

Bitcoin Theater

We've all heard praises lavished on bitcoin, not only from the web activists but from the mainstream media itself. Establishment controlled outlets like Reuters and Bloomberg have an astonishing number of bitcoin stories per week, and most of these stories paint the crypto-currency in a positive light. We've heard about bitcoin's “unbreakable” cryptography. Its finite supply. The inability to duplicate the currency from thin air. Its rising acceptance in the corporate world. The Cinderella stories of bitcoin investors buying Lamborghinis and New York brownstones. Even Ben Bernanke seems to have a soft spot for bitcoin:

But is bitcoin's rise really all it's cracked up to be? Here are just a few of the problems which lead me to believe the digital currency is ultimately a clever distraction.

Who really started Bitcoin?

One of my first questions to bitcoin representatives back in 2009 was WHO, exactly, founded the operation? Well, Satoshi Nakamodo, everyone knows that, right? But who the hell is Satoshi Nakamodo? Who is the original designer of bitcoin? Who holds the foundational key to the structure of bitcoin's cryptography? Is Nakamodo a person, or a group? Why should we trust him, or them, to safeguard our wealth any more than the Federal Reserve? The fact is no one except maybe Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, knows who is behind the digital currency. We actually know more about the banking elites behind the Fed than we do about the founders of bitcoin.

The common response to this concern is to suggest that it doesn't really matter, bitcoin is secure, it is open source, it is cryptography's holy grail, the creators are protecting their identities against retribution from the establishment, and the excuses go on...

I'm sorry, but this attitude constitutes an act of blind faith in a currency mechanism, which is exactly what proponents of the dollar are guilty of. If an activist individual or group is going to offer a solution to the movement, then they had better be willing to take the risk of being personally available to the movement. If you don't have the balls to show your face to help legitimize your idea, I can't take your idea seriously. Maybe I'm just old fashioned...

For all we know, bitcoin is a creation of the establishment, not a creation countering the establishment. After all, the globalists WANT the destruction of the dollar - why not let the public destroy the dollar using a mechanism that ultimately does not represent a threat to the greater bankster cartel?

The Media Love Affair With Bitcoin

During the first and second Ron Paul campaigns, the mainstream media made a blatant and obvious effort to purposely ignore the candidate, his arguments, and his successes. Coverage was next to nil. His expansive crowds of supporters were edited out of news footage. His high polling numbers were censored. If not for the independent media, you wouldn't have known the guy existed. When someone or something presents a legitimate threat to the establishment, the establishment's first tactic is to make sure no one knows.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, has received a steady flow of positive media attention, with the random critical piece thrown in for good measure. Overall, the establishment has embraced, if not directly fueled, the bitcoin trend. This is rather surprising to me considering the “destroyer of the dollar” has only been around for four years.

When an anti-establishment vehicle suddenly becomes the center focus of establishment affections, and when globalist monsters like Ben Bernanke throw flower petals in its path, I have to wonder if Bitcoin is a real threat, or just a ruse.

Bitcoins Can Indeed Be Confiscated

Some of the early hype surrounding Bitcoin claimed that the currency could not be confiscated, making it “better than gold” (the better than gold motto has been widely espoused by Gavin Andresen). This claim turned out to be false when the FBI became the holder of the world's LARGEST Bitcoin wallet:

I find arguments that this is only a temporary condition and that the feds will eventually auction off their holdings a bit laughable, but indicative of the denial inherent in Bitcoin culture.

Bitcoin Values Can Be Manipulated

Another claim heard was the assertion that bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air, they must be “mined” using powerful computers, which removes centralized manipulation of value. This may be true in certain respects (for now), but anything digital can be exploited in one way or another.

Bitcoin malware, for instance, hijacks the computers of unwitting people and uses them to artificially “mine” the currency.

The bitcoins mined are then transferred into the hands of anonymous hackers. This represents a serious threat to the stability of bitcoin because it creates an invasive form of attack speculation. Bitcoins can be removed from the market and deliberately hoarded. Hackers, or governments could conceivably kill bitcoin by mining a large portion of them out of circulation, artificially hyperinflating the value of the remaining coins (like a speculator would do with commodities), or dumping a large portion and abruptly cutting the value. Major bitcoin hoarders could use their massive bitcoin stakes to shift values at will. As long a Bitcoin operates on supply and demand, it can be threatened through speculation like ay other commodity (if you consider digitized numbers floating around the web a commodity).

Bitcoin Is Not Private

While bitcoins can apparently be stolen or criminally mined by anonymous persons or organizations, honest users are subject to considerable scrutiny. A disturbing aspect of bitcoin is the group surveillance that goes into tracing transactions, otherwise known as the “proof of work system”. The bitcoin network is constantly dependent on decoders who track and verify bitcoin trades in order to ensure that the same bitcoins are not used during multiple trades or purchases. Anyone with the desire could decode the transaction history of the network, or “block chain”, including governments. Though Bitcoiners are considered “partially anonymous”, tracking the individual identity of a bitcoin trade is not difficult for entities such as the NSA because every transaction leaves a digital trail..

The use of anonymising browsers like Tor also have not produced the kind of privacy that was promised when bitcoin was introduced.

This is exactly the kind of currency system global bankers have sought for some time - total information awareness of all financial transactions and purchases within the system. While bitcoin proponents claim that their currency is a revolution against centralized oversight of monetary transactions, the truth is they have built the perfect centralized surveillance solution. Paper dollar purchases are difficult to trace. Gold, silver, and barter purchases are nearly impossible to track. Bitcoin, though, is the most traceable form of currency on the planet, and this is basically REQUIRED by the network itself. The entire trade history of every bitcoin is recorded. The digital landscape is the ultimate form of privacy invasion, especially for the likes of super computer wielding agencies like the NSA. Bitcoin aids the development of this intrusive system.

Bitcoin Relies On The Continued Survival Of The Open Web

Yes, bitcoins can be stored on physical wallet devices, but the majority portion of bitcoin trading and bitcoin mining requires the continued operation of the web. The internet is NOT a creative commons, as many believe. It is in fact a controlled networking system that we have simply been allowed to use. The exposure by Edward Snowden of NSA activities has proven once and for all that nothing you do on the web is private. Everything is tracked and recorded. Period.

Web access can also be easily denied by governments, and power centers around the globe have been utilizing this option more and more. During a national crisis, whether real or engineered, the continued function of the internet as we know it is not guaranteed. A currency relying on a government dominated internet is not truly independent. A grid down situation would also make bitcoin stores virtually useless.

The Suspicious Nature Of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is consistently touted as a superior option to precious metals as a way to decouple from central bank fiat. Under examination, though, it appears to me that bitcoin is instead a deliberate distraction away from gold and silver, and other tangible solutions; in other words, I believe it to be a form of controlled opposition.

A vital aspect of physical gold and silver investment is not only to break from the dollar, but to also remove physical metal from the system and starve international banks that issue millions of fraudulent unbacked paper certificates. The strategy, which I still stand by, is for the public to absorb as much of the precious metals market as possible until manipulators like JP Morgan finally have to admit that they don't have the coins and bars to back all the fake ETF's they have been issuing investors for years. In the process, we decouple from the dollar AND do damage to the banking cartel itself. The bitcoin fad, in my opinion, is designed to lure the public away from overtaking the metals market while banks and foreign governments vacuum up remaining physical in preparation for a dollar collapse.

Bitcoin's market value is not only extremely volatile, the currency is also subject to replacement at any time. Anyone with an interest can create a cryptocurrency. There is nothing particularly special about the bitcoin design, and if someone offered a digital currency tomorrow that was truly anonymous, it could quickly supplant bitcoin. Though its cryptography makes it difficult to artificially inflate (again, for now), other digital currencies can still be produced out of thin air. Bitcoiners desperately want to equate cryptography with tangibility, but the truth is that there is no comparison. Physical gold and silver cannot be artificially produced by anyone, anywhere. Digital currencies can be produced at will and hyped like Dutch tulip mania.

The most unsettling aspect of bitcoin, however, is not its distraction away from precious metals. Rather, it is the distraction away from localized solutions. Bitcoin proponents may be searching for decentralization, but they seem to have forgotten the most most important part of the process – localism. The trade of digital mechanisms over impersonal web networks and online marketplaces is not conducive to local economic stability or sustainability. Bitcoin does not encourage people to build local markets, to adopt useful trade skills, to prepare for a grid down scenario, or circulate wealth within one's community. Bitcoin only furthers the removal of independence and self sustainability from local economies by fooling activists into thinking that buying things without dollars is enough.

If Americans in particular want to pursue any solution to the threat of globalism or dollar collapse, they are going to have to start with themselves, and the community around them. Online trade is the last thing they should be worried about. Only when neighborhoods, towns, and counties become producers and self suppliers will they be safe from financial instability. Only when those same communities band together for mutual aid and self defense will they be safe from tyrannical political entities. Bitcoin accomplishes nothing in either of these categories, making it possibly the most popular non-solution for liberty to date.

KEYWORDS: allhailcryptography; bitcoin; cryptography; cryptographyisgod; crytocurrency; fiat; godiscryptography; gold
Some good points as the author, a gold bug and prepper, raises a number of issues that one should consideration. I think he missed the biggest issue of this new technology being a game changer in the financial world, similar to the way the horseless carriage changed transportation; if the world holds together of course.
1 posted on 01/08/2014 8:29:46 AM PST by Errant
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin; nascarnation; TsonicTsunami08; SgtHooper; Ghost of SVR4; Lee N. Field; DTA; ...

Click to be Added / Removed.
2 posted on 01/08/2014 8:30:43 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: All
Lots of Other Bitcoin News Today:

BTC China Bitcoin Volume Bounces Back After Company’s ‘Darkest Hour’

Belgium Central Bank Remains Positive About Bitcoin, Unofficially

Coinsetter Integrates With Bitstamp to Boost Its Bitcoin Trading Platform

Slovakia Sets Record Straight on Europe’s First Bitcoin ATM

Removing Barriers from Bitcoin’s Evolution Will Accelerate its Adoption

US Senator Tom Carper Sees ‘Good Things’ in Bitcoin

Can Hong Kong Lead the Way for Bitcoin Adoption Across China?

Bitcoin Woos Washington to Ensure Lawmakers Don’t Kill It

Bitcoin: How should it be taxed?

Meet bitcoin, 2013's biggest winner

3 posted on 01/08/2014 8:39:18 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: All

Reasons Why The U.S. Government Is Destroying The Dollar

JP Morgan Behind Madoff Ponzi Scheme? Pays $2 Billion to Avoid Prosecution

JPMorgan metal futures unit included in commodities sale - sources

Yahoo Virus Converts Millions Of Computers Into Bitcoin Mining Slaves

4 posted on 01/08/2014 9:11:07 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

Could BC possibly be taken over by some government entity?
Could that entity then say “no one can buy or sell unless they us BC”?
And, by the way, you need this RFID in order to make any transactions...

5 posted on 01/08/2014 9:12:48 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MrB
Could BC possibly be taken over by some government entity?

No, though a country or power could implement their own version and require a mark or RFID to access the system.

IMO, as this relates to end times prophecy, it would likely be some remaining world power that rises from the ashes of a worldwide war. Probably a theocracy that lobs off heads for not submitting to their belief system. Sound familiar?

6 posted on 01/08/2014 9:32:18 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

I would love to start a conversation about the current problems with our existing currency, DOLLARS, and a more stable valued conversion to a more stable method..

I believe we were more secure when the value of our currency was stabilized by a valued commodity, GOLD and Silver, for instance.. Removing a transferable, or valued commodity placed a floor on it’s value, at least as the value of the commodity was unambiguous by supply and demand..

Gold was not the best choice because it hasn’t a value other than that of a short supply, we think or have been lead to believe.. But other than scarcity, GOLD is only a pretty thing, and has not many applications to maintain it’s value but perception..

SILVER, on the other hand has massive applications, in manufacturing as an example.. Other commodities such as food, energy, real-estate, medicine, has real value, and could be a stabilizing effect by demand.. Hell, it could be Diamonds, which have a natural scarcity, if not for the DeBeer’s monopoly..

Not that I believe they can/would be considered a replacement, but why not something as useful, that can be a real valued and a convertible substitution in exchange of the paper in emergency..

Digital, has nothing valued other than perception, and artificial value controlled by shadows, behind closed doors that may not even exist.. jus sayin..

7 posted on 01/08/2014 9:40:39 AM PST by carlo3b (Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.. Henry Kissinger)
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To: carlo3b
When you study the cryptocurrency concept, you realize it has every other "medium of exchange" beat at almost every level (excepting unforeseen problems due to it being based on new and somewhat unproven technology) except of one, and that is its reliance on an automated ledger system (which theoretically could be made manual in an emergency).

Then what doesn't rely upon automation in this day and time. If the internet goes down, just about everything else will go with it. Without technology, the planet could not support the numbers of people it is supporting today. Our best chance is to use technology to our advantage. Look to the lesson of the dinosaur for the lack thereof.

A really huge advantage of crytocurrency is its ability to eliminate the need to trust a bank or even a government. As history has shown us, even the most trusted government (the US) eventually succumbs to corrupting influences. Any system that relies upon trusting others through some centralized control mechanism, be it gold certificates or other, is doomed to eventual failure.

What might work would be numerous independently audited private mints, completely outside the influence of a country's legislators or executives. Those certificates could be far better trusted than any issued under direction of some central power. If that become the currency, then whatever was used would have to be locked away - taken out of use. Gold, since it has little industrial use, would be the ideal candidate.

IMO, our fist mistake under the "gold standard" was to attempt to assign some arbitrary value to the price of gold (i.e., $20). It should have been denominated in weights and markets allowed to set the price. In the end, ALL currency controlled by a state is eventually debased as we've seen though history. Cryptocurrency may just put the power of gained from controlling the medium of exchange into the hands of those most affected by it, the people.

8 posted on 01/08/2014 10:12:50 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

Nothing to see here/s
Move along!
It;s not happening, It’s not happening!

A Wall Street Analyst Has Identified The Winners And Losers In The Rise Of Bitcoin!

Read more:

9 posted on 01/08/2014 1:01:53 PM PST by TsonicTsunami08
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To: Errant

Of all of the possible currency, I find the use of the cryptocurrency concept, is my least attractive, least of which has to do with Central control, although that is the prime misconception..

The FED is perceived to be an Independent Contractor, out of the reach of the Government.. However, anyone that believes the Fed Chairman isn’t politically motivated, is delusional..

My concern is their power of the purse, utilized to protect the world financial institutions that are totally corrupted by Internationale Monetary Power Brokers, protecting political systems created by them, for themselves.. The EU is a prime example..

I would be more inclined to trust limited licensed Independent Mints, secured by actual, tangible, and proven assets, secured by their irrefutable usefulness IE; FOOD, FUEL, MATERIAL, necessary to sustain life when all else failed..

10 posted on 01/08/2014 1:18:24 PM PST by carlo3b (Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.. Henry Kissinger)
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To: Errant

But this guy indicates that the bitcoin advocates he know have no preps, no gold, and no guns.

On the contrary, I’ve met no bitcoin advocate who hasn’t espoused ALL of those things before talking Bitcoin.

I guess we run in different crowds.

11 posted on 01/08/2014 2:25:02 PM PST by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
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To: Vermont Lt
I’ve met no bitcoin advocate who hasn’t espoused ALL of those things before talking Bitcoin.

Yep, he has missed the boat on a number of issues. One being a pot calling a kettle black. lol

He has a few good points but there again nothing most bitcoin advocates haven't already considered. I felt it needed to be posted for those who need to understand risks as well as potential of any cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin and others may serve as a backup to the dollar or other fiats around the world if/when we have a collapse and hyperinflation. One of the major things that John Williams of warns about, is there is no backup for the dollar to be used in commerce or black market even - well, maybe there is...

12 posted on 01/08/2014 2:45:19 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: carlo3b
Of all of the possible currency, I find the use of the cryptocurrency concept, is my least attractive...

Care to elaborate?

However, anyone that believes the Fed Chairman isn’t politically motivated, is delusional..

The Fed, IMO, are bagmen and women for government and banksters.

I would be more inclined to trust limited licensed Independent Mints...

Me too. What ever can be done to remove the "power of the purse" from government and the money changers and put it in the hands of the people. Crytocurrency excels in this regard.

13 posted on 01/08/2014 9:07:56 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant
Care to elaborate?

Sure.. I refuse to believe that a technical instrument designed by humans can not be breached by humans or better technical instruments, created by humans.. Without impregnable security, that has no stabilized value, nothing is truly safe..

Even our current tender has the full faith and credit of our vast Federal assets, and GDP.. There can be no Cybercurrency with that kind of stability, but I feel the same way about 95% of stocks and bonds..

The independent Mints can each have commodities, with a Collateralize value, determined by market prices, with appraised futures..

14 posted on 01/08/2014 9:47:34 PM PST by carlo3b (Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.. Henry Kissinger)
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To: Errant

Good Read:

It has the effect of making one stop and think, however it could be, maybe, perhaps in 5 years this guy will be spending Bitcoin like it’s going out of style.

I remember in the early 90’s when I started on the internet, I went all in, I was trading stocks and options, was banking online, applying for real estate loans, and buying all kinds of stuff online.

The vast majority of people I knew, thought I was crazy stupid for taking such a risk...well we all know how that turned out, everybody’s doing it, all things considered the risk is very limited, in all these years I’ve yet to have a negative online financial, transactional experience.

It takes vision to stay ahead of this new world order, and vision requires risk to beat whatever is coming, my regret is I didn’t hear about bitcoin sooner before I lost everything to the very economic institutions that this guy considers safe and legitimate.

I know one thing that works in every market and bitcoin is no exception...Buy Low...Sell High!

15 posted on 01/09/2014 3:53:18 AM PST by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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