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Bitcoin Could Be as Bad for the Planet as Beef

Bitcoin mining’s climate impact is comparable to farming cattle or burning gasoline when taken as a proportion of market value. Bitcoin mining’s climate impact is comparable to farming cattle or burning gasoline when taken as a proportion of market value, according to researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Cryptocurrency mining is energy intensive because it requires highly specialized computers—and most of the electricity it consumes is generated by burning planet-warming fossil fuels. The climate-related economic damage caused by mining the popular digital token, Bitcoin, exceeded its market value on 6.4% of the days it traded between 2016 and 2021, the paper published in Scientific Reports on Thursday found. The study calculated the climate cost of mining Bitcoin against its average market price, and compared it with other commodities like crude oil, gold or beef. That means the results don’t reflect total emissions by these industries, which would be far greater, but their relative impact. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Read More: Fact-Checking 8 Claims About Crypto’s Climate Impact The climate impact of mining gold, to which Bitcoin is often compared, is just 4% of its average market price on an average year, compared to 35% for the world’s most popular cryptocurrency between 2016 and 2021. And the environmental impact has grown as the cryptocurrency market has matured, calling into question the sector’s overall sustainability. “While proponents have offered (Bitcoin) as representing ‘digital gold,’ from a climate damages perspective it operates more like ‘digital crude,’” the researchers said, signaling the need to find more efficient ways to produce the tokens, or to increase regulation. Mining of Bitcoin, which represents roughly 41% of the global cryptocurrency market, consumed more energy than was used to power entire countries like Austria or Portugal in 2020. The mining of Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Monero coins generated 3 to 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from January 2016, to June 2018, according to research cited by the paper. That’s equivalent to the emissions of Afghanistan, Slovenia or Uruguay in 2018. Bitcoin’s carbon footprint also grows over time because, to mine new coins, multiple miners compete to verify transactions on the blockchain. The fact that an ever-growing number of miners compete to solve increasingly difficult operations means the overall energy use rises. That’s why a Bitcoin mined in 2021 would have emitted about 113 metric tons of CO2 equivalent—126 times more than one mined in 2016, according to the researchers. The paper estimates the economic value of that damage at $11,314 for a single Bitcoin mined last year, while the value of total climate damages generated by all Bitcoins mined between 2016 and 2021 could have been as high as $12 billion. Read More: A Crypto Game Promised to Lift Filipinos Out of Poverty. Here’s What Happened Instead In recent months, plunging profit margins from mining Bitcoin have pushed miners to operate more efficient machines—a move that’s resulted in a decline in greenhouse gas emissions from the industry, according to a different report earlier this week. Emissions this year are estimated to be 14.1% lower than in 2021, representing about 0.1% of human emissions globally, and about half of what gold miners generate in absolute terms. Cryptocurrency miners are also ramping up efforts to source a larger share of the energy they consume from renewable sources like geothermal, hydro, solar and wind. Researchers at the University of Albuquerque ran a simulation and concluded that, if renewables like wind and solar had represented 88.4% of the total amount of power used to mine Bitcoin between 2016 and 2021, climate damages would have dropped to just 4% of average market price. Another way to reduce climate impact is to shift to a different mechanism to verify transactions—and produce coins. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, this year moved to a mechanism called Proof of Stake, which the study said should reduce its estimated energy use by more than 99%. —With assistance from Muyao Shen......»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 30th, 2022

The "War On Cash" Endgame Is Here

The 'War On Cash' Endgame Is Here Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org, “Programmable Digital Currency”: The next stage of the new normal? The war on cash’s endgame is here: money replaced by vouchers subject to complete state control. Building on the bitcoin model, central banks are planning to produce their own “digital currencies”. Removing any and all remaining privacy, granting total control over every transaction, even limiting what ordinary people are allowed to spend their money on. From the moment bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies first emerged, sold as an independent and alternative medium of exchange outside the financial status quo, it was only a matter of time before the new alternative would be absorbed, modified and redeployed in service of the state. Enter “Central Bank Digital Currencies”: the mainstream answer to bitcoin. For those who have never heard of them, “Central Bank Digital Currencies” (CBDCs) are exactly what they sound like, digitized versions of the pound/dollar/euro etc. issued by central banks. Like bitcoin (and other crypto), the CBDC would be entirely digital, thus furthering the ongoing war on cash. However, unlike crypto, it would not have any encryption preserving anonymity. In fact, it would be totally the reverse, potentially ending the very idea of financial privacy. Now, you may not have heard much about the CBDC plans, lost as they are in the tangle of the ongoing “pandemic”, but the campaign is there, chugging along on the back pages for months now. There are stories about it from both Reuters and the Financial Times just today. It’s a long, slow con, but a con nonetheless. The countries where the idea progressed the furthest are China and the UK. The Chinese Digital Yuan has been in development since 2014, and is subject to ongoing and widespread testing. The UK is nowhere near that stage yet, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak is keenly pushing forward a digital pound that the press are calling “Britcoin”. Other countries, including New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Malaysia, are not far behind. The US is also researching the idea, with Jerome Powell, head of Federal Reserve, announcing the release of a detailed report on the “digital dollar” in the near future. The proposals for how these CBDCs might work should be enough to raise red flags in even the most trusting of minds. Most people wouldn’t like the idea of the government monitoring “all spending in real-time”, but that’s not the worst it. By far the most dangerous idea is that any future digital currency should be “programmable”. Meaning the people issuing the money would have the power to control how it is spent. That’s not an interpretation or a “conspiracy theory”, just listen to Agustin Carstens, head of the International Settlement Bank, speaking earlier this year: Here’s that quote again, with some emphasis added: The key difference [with a CBDC] is that the central bank would have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability, and the have the technology to enforce that.” …which tells you not only that they want and are seeking this power, but how they justify it to themselves. They transform other people’s money into an “expression of their liability”, and so consider it’s only right that they control it. An article in the Telegraph, back in June, was just as candid [our emphasis]: Digital cash could be programmed to ensure it is only spent on essentials, or goods which an employer or Government deems to be sensible The article goes on to quote Tom Mutton, a director at the BoE: You could introduce programmability […] There could be some socially beneficial outcomes from that, preventing activity which is seen to be socially harmful in some way. Governments and employers making sure the money they issue can only be used on “sensible” things, and not be used in “socially harmful” ways? It doesn’t take much imagination to see just how this system could evolve and re-shape society into a truly dystopian nightmare. In China the process is already beginning, with a trademarked lack of subtlety. As they progress toward the release of their digital currency, they are banning all cryptocurrencies to remove competition and it’s already known the digital yuan will be programmable. The West’s approach will probably be less direct, but no less controlling for that. Britcoin will likely be programmed in only “special circumstances”. Starting, as the Telegraph says, with state benefits. They will be flagged to be spent only on “essentials”. (Of course, if Universal Basic Income is put in place, then it’s possible the majority of people could end up on “state benefits”.) It’s also not hard to see programmable money feeding into the “protect the NHS narrative”, where people aren’t allowed to spend state money on sugar, cigarettes or alcohol. Or people on organ waiting lists, or diagnosed with certain conditions, have their wages and spending controlled. By and large, however, it is the nature of British tyranny to be unofficial. So the UK government will make a big show of renouncing their own power to program the money, thereby positively contrasting themselves with China…but at the time will take no steps to prevent large companies “programming” the wages they issue. So, while the state controls the digital yuan in China, the digital pound will be subject to corporate control and used to enforce the unspoken state-corporate partnership that defines true fascism. It will likely start in small, predictable ways designed to “limit competition”. McDonald’s, for example, will make it impossible to spend their wages at Burger King, and vice versa. Coke and Pepsi. Starbucks and Costa. You get the idea. We’ve witnessed the rise of cancel culture, the cultivated age of identity politics, and virtue signalling. Well, imagine how programmable currency fits into that. Companies could commit to “combatting hate”, and stop their employees from donating money to black-listed political parties, religious groups, charities or individuals. In the age of Covid we have seen how authors/actors/singers who step out of line are subject to poisonous witch hunts, but imagine a world where companies could “renounce those who spread misinformation”, by making it impossible to spend wages they issue on art/films/music/books by outspoken critics of the government. Maybe companies will make it so that employees who aren’t vaccinated have more limitations placed on their wages than vaccinated ones. Maybe an unvaxxed paycheck can’t be spent at cinemas or nightclubs, to “stop the spread of the virus”. John Cunliffe, deputy director of the Bank of England, told the Telegraph: You could think of smart contracts in which the money would be programmed to be released only if something happened. So maybe employers will remove choice altogether, and make a negative test and/or a vaccine booster a prerequisite for unlocking your wages. That could be applied to all kinds of behaviours moving forward. The World Economic Forum has a clear vision of the future where people “own nothing and are happy”, combine that with a prolonged war on homeownership, and you can see employers and governments issuing money which can be spent on rent, but not on a mortgage. Now imagine the nascent “Green New Deal”. Hard limits on how much money you can spend on petrol, plastic, or meat. Only X dollars on flights per year. Only Y pounds on beef. All for the good of the planet. Money will turn from an expression of independence into nothing but a voucher system operated completely at the whim of corporate monoliths. The year is 2030. To reduce your CO2 footprint, your food purchase with digital cash been declined because you went over your car mileage limit. Its all tracked with your digital ID. 15 social credit score points have been deducted from your climate change passport. — PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) September 29, 2021 All of this would have sounded like rampant paranoia just two years ago, but would you honestly be surprised to see that suggestion in the Guardian, these days? A programmable digital currency would have, coded into it, the ability to control our entire society. And it looks like that’s where The New Normal is heading next. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/10/2021 - 08:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 10th, 2021

The Maskparade Charade

The Maskparade Charade Authored by Sylvia Shawcross via Off-Guardian.org, In the ridiculous world of the New Abnormal where we apparently find ourselves it is critically important to add your opinion to the cacophony of why we are who we are, where we are on the path to seeming totalitarianism and… why people are still wearing masks. Here in Canada apparently 7 out of 10 members of the public would want mask mandates back while most of the rest of the world has abandoned the concept to the rearview mirror. Perhaps understandable if you have a medical condition but now study after study. Peer-reviewed. Well-researched. Top quality medical journals. Top-of-the-line researchers. All saying these masks do very little good.** Even Fauci himself said so once…before he changed his mind as he tends to do when the landscape changes with the weather.  And in response, of course, drug companies and governments sponsored researchers in duelling studies to prove the opposite because that’s the game being played. It’s all about who you believe. It’s not about “the science”. Quite the game really. In fact, most now know that masks are harmful in many cases, with children paying the biggest price by far on many different levels. We know now masks don’t work for covid but perhaps they work for RSV or the flu? Maybe that’s why the push is on again. Because here in Canada it certainly is. Maybe that’s why we have the new narrative and being good abnormal citizens we must comply. Do you think? Don’t be silly. We know why. We just don’t want to say. So the Media and their polls have told us that 7 out of 10 people want to keep the masks. And why might that be? They can hide their crooked teeth. Or their unbrushed teeth. Or their morning-after-the-night-before breath. They don’t have to wear make-up. Or shave. Or wash their faces or their children’s faces. They can stick their tongue out at people without being caught. They can whisper without lip readers. They can smile and smirk and bite their lips. They can hide their cosmetic surgery in progress.They can hide their chin hairs and warts and zits and leftover food in their moustaches. They can rob a bank or say whatever they want to strangers because no one knows who they are and even the cameras don’t know.  God only knows what’s going on behind those masks! But! Those mask-wearing people are free in a weird weird way. Advocates of the new abnormal have found a form of freedom from social norms behind a mask. How is that possible? Is it possible that masks are freedom? No wonder we’re all mixed up. We don’t even know what freedom is anymore. Or is it because we lost the freedom to have crooked teeth, no makeup and snarky opinions in the real world due to ever evolving relentless social norms and now have to hide for any sort of freedom…Hmmm…  Seems to be true for a lot of things now doesn’t it? (Except for anything sexual. You can pretty much proclaim or do anything publicly now. Except child molestation. You can apparently sniff but not anything else. But I’m doing that digression thing again…) So, let’s get this straight— when we see someone in a mask are they to be feared as nasty snaggle-toothed leprous sneaky sociopaths with sharp tongues and nefarious intentions? Or are they just victims grasping for what little freedom they can garner in a socially punishing world? Hmmm… It could well be either one… How would we know? Nevertheless, this is all terribly alarming. WHAT is going on? 7 out of 10 of us!!!  Well, I have a theory.  Beyond the usual theories of enforced enslavement, virtue signalling, forced shame, neurosis, herd-like conditioning, continued fear porn, dehumanization/objectification/subjugation/alienation, circumvention of facial-recognition systems, gateway moves to social credit scores, anti-feminist one-step-to-the-forced-wearing-of-shuttlecock-burkas assault and the ultimate theory that this poll is nonsense propaganda from our captured media. All of these theories are as good as the next as long as science seems to have little to do with mask mandates. I mean, real science by independent researchers. Beyond these theories is the “we’re in the Dark Ages during the plague years of 1346 or so again” theory of mine which I thought I might as well throw into the mix now that we’re all mixed up about freedom and stuff. Not that there is a plague or anything really at the moment but because people’s reactions don’t change. Not through all these centuries. We’ve changed NOT at all. Here’s my theory: People wearing masks are the flagellants of the dark ages during the plague years who would run around whipping themselves publicly for God’s forgiveness and atonement or something. Now during the plague years we would have asked a priest about all this guilt and fear stuff that drive flagellants to be flagellants but today we ask the psychologists. This is because many if not all of the first world countries have become atheistic and have abandoned religion. But human nature needs what human nature needs—hence the psychologists for priests e.g. or Fauci as Pope and Schwaub as God and Greta as Mother Mary Marx. Some people believe either technology, money, or medicine has replaced religion but it is clearly evident that it is the Green movement. If we can accept that religion is something that people participate in every day in a meaningful way, then clearly the Green movement has it all. It has priests, codes of behaviours, dictates and forbidden things. It has a hell (the world as it is going now) and it has a heaven (sustainable development in utopia) It has worshippers. It has the holy and the damned. It has flagellants. And the people now wearing masks are them. After thirty or so years of being told  humans are responsible for killing the planet and being driven to weeping guilt over spending and frivolity and recycling and plastic and gas and beef-pork pies, humans are despicable. They know it. They’re guilty as hell. They want to be punished. They believe they deserve it and they are doing this as an appeal to their new Gods of the Environment.  Masks appear not to be about the virus, but about supporting the true religion of the Environmental Zealotry in all its glory and condemnation no matter whatever absurd, illogical or terribly hurtful thing that might bring in whatever sphere of influence. For many masks might even be called the uniform of the uninformed.  No wonder they read the riot act to the truckers protest of Canada over things like mask mandates. Those heretics! Well… that’s my theory. It’s as good as any of those other ones, isn’t it? Or maybe not. What do I know… As far as wearing masks is concerned, I appreciate that people are afraid and don’t wish to make too much light of it. Fear isn’t fun. It’s just important to know what to fear and why. Mostly I’m all for following the law of the land as long as the law isn’t an ass. That’s the hard part to figure out. Here’s an earworm: Tyler Durden Fri, 11/18/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 19th, 2022

The wild life of billionaire Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who has apologized for Elon Musk"s layoffs and is known for eccentricities like eating one meal a day, and taking ice baths

Jack Dorsey, famous for his unusual life of luxury, stepped down as Twitter CEO in 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006 and the company made him a billionaire. He's famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. He stepped down as Twitter CEO in November 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square — which he rebranded as Block in 2021.He led Twitter through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.And Dorsey announced on November 29, 2021, he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter. He continues to lead Block, where in April 2022 he changed his title from "CEO" to "Block Head." In May 2022, Dorsey officially stepped down from Twitter's board of directors amid Elon Musk's bid for the company, which became final in October 2022. Shortly after the takeover, Musk called for mass layoffs at Twitter, impacting thousands of employees and an estimated 50% of the company's workforce. Dorsey subsequently apologized to "folks at Twitter past and present" in a tweet, claiming responsibility for the terminations because he "grew the company size too quickly." Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to have taken a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Both Musk and Dorsey are crypto enthusiasts, and appear to have developed a good public relationship.Source: InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional executive these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Insider, Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square was launching a new bitcoin business in summer 2021.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hadn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey split his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.Dorsey said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.Twitter announced on November 29 Dorsey had stepped down as CEO.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesCNBC was the first to report on Dorsey's expected resignation, citing unnamed sources.Twitter confirmed the story the same day, announcing Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal would take over as CEO with immediate effect.Dorsey posted on his Twitter account saying: "Not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter."In his tweet he included a screenshot of the email he sent to Twitter staff announcing his resignation.—jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021And in May 2022, his time on the board of directors officially came to an end, an anticipated move that coincides with the company's stockholder's meeting. Two days after Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO, Square changed its name to Block.Block's revamped logo.Block"The name change creates room for further growth," the company said in a statement."Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes," it added.The line about tungsten cubes was an apparent reference to a craze among crypto enthusiasts of paying as much as $3,500 for novelty tungsten cubes.In April 2022, Dorsey changed his official title at Block from CEO to "Block Head."Jack Dorsey's official job description on the Block website was changed to say Block Head.BlockThe title change was made official in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 20, 2022."There will be no changes in Mr. Dorsey's roles and responsibilities," the filing said.Block's website was also updated to list his new title as Block Head.Musk tweeted in response to the news using fire emojis to signal his approval for Dorsey's title.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2022 Musk officially added the title of "Technoking" to his role at Tesla in March 2021.Dorsey said in an April 2022 tweet his "biggest regret" was Twitter shutting down Vine.Marco Bello/AFP/Getty ImagesDorsey replied to a Twitter user lamenting Vine's demise saying: "I know. Biggest regret," accompanied by a sad face emoji.Twitter acquired short-form video app Vine in 2012 but shut it down in 2016.In August 2022, Twitter's former head of security, Peiter Zatko, filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC alleging the company participated in negligent security practices under Dorsey.Ex Twitter security chief Peiter Zatko.Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesIn his 84-page report and subsequent testimony, Zatko made a number of allegations against the company, including claims it had "egregious deficiencies" around security protocol and that Dorsey experienced a "drastic loss of focus" in his last year as CEO of Twitter. In September 2022, Dorsey was deposed and questioned under oath as part of Elon Musk's legal battle with Twitter and his proposed $44 billion takeover.Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington, DC, in 2018.APMusk's team accused Twitter of misleading investors and intentionally "miscounting" spam accounts, Insider reported. Later that month, private texts revealed Dorsey had tried to get Musk involved with Twitter a year prior to the Tesla CEO's $44 billion proposal.Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue/Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesIn the texts, Dorsey explained why he left the company and said he previously pushed to get Musk involved with Twitter. "A new platform is needed. It can't be a company. That's why I left," Dorsey wrote to Musk, adding he thinks Twitter should be an "open-sourced protocol" and "cant have an advertising model." Dorsey also told Musk he had advocated for the Tesla CEO's addition to the Twitter board a year earlier, but the request was denied, which he said he thought "was completely stupid and backwards."In October 2022, as Musk was finalizing his Twitter deal, Dorsey quietly launched a beta for his new social-media company, Bluesky Social.Bluesky SocialThe blockchain-based company's beta launch raked in 30,000 signups in two days. According to Bluesky's website, the company is intended to support "a new foundation for social networking which gives creators independence from platforms, developers the freedom to build, and users a choice in their experience."After Musk ordered mass layoffs at Twitter after taking over in November 2022, Dorsey tweeted an apology: "I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that."Jack Dorsey/Twitter"Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient," he wrote on Twitter. "They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realize many are angry with me."He continued: "I am grateful for, and love, everyone who has ever worked on Twitter. I don't expect that to be mutual in this moment...or ever…and I understand."Source: InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 5th, 2022

Walmart and Kroger customers can now buy plant-based Beyond Steak, which company describes as "seared to perfection" and "chopped into bite-sized pieces"

The new product arrives amid lower sales of plant-based meat alternatives. Beyond Meat recently scaled back its revenue outlook and cut its staff 19%. Beyond Meat Beyond Steak is plant-based food company Beyond Meat's newest product. The product arrives in more than 5,000 Kroger and Walmart stores amid a decline in sales of plant-based meat. Beyond Meat recently cut 19% of staff, and its stock price has fallen more than 80 percent since January.  Beyond Meat has added a steak substitute to its lineup of plant-based meats.Beyond Steak will share shelves with the company's plant-based Beyond Burger, Beyond Beef, and Beyond Meatballs. The product is rolling out at more than 5,000 Walmart and Kroger stores, as well as some select Albertsons and Ahold locations. The company says the $7.99 product is "designed to deliver the juicy, tender and delicious bite of seared steak tips with the added nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based meat." It says the product is "seared to perfection and chopped into bite-sized pieces," has 21 grams of protein per serving, is low in saturated fat, has 0 milligrams of cholesterol."Beyond Steak is a highly-anticipated expansion of our popular beef platform and we're proud to introduce this innovative product to consumers nationwide, Dariush Ajami, Beyond Meat's chief innovation officer, said in a statement "Beyond Steak delivers the taste and texture of sliced steak in a way that is better for both people and the planet."The product rollout comes amid declining sales of plant-based meats. Retail sales were down 10.5% for the year that ended Sept. 4, Bloomberg reported, citing data from Information Resources Inc.Beyond Meat recently cut 19% of its workforce, and forecast that its 2022 revenues will drop as much as 14% compared with last year, Insider reported.  The company's stock has fallen more than 80% since January. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 24th, 2022

Has The USA Reached Another Historical Inflection Point?

Has The USA Reached Another Historical Inflection Point? Authored by Kevin Duffy via The Mises Institute, “At the rate things are going, we are all going to end up working for the Japanese.” - Lester Thurow, MIT economist, 1989 “The United States is rapidly becoming a colony of Japan.” - Congresswoman Helen Bentley, 1990 “The Japanese can buy our buildings, our Wall Street firms, and there’s virtually nothing to stop them. In fact, bidding on a building in New York is an act of futility, because the Japanese will pay more than it’s worth just to screw us. They want to own Manhattan.” - Donald Trump, March 1990 During the late 1980s, Japan had the Midas touch. In the eyes of the mainstream media, Wall Street strategists, economists and politicians, the Japanese could do no wrong. America’s brand of capitalism—self-centered, greedy, chaotic, and unplanned—was no match for Japan’s unique brand of state capitalism, with the long-term-oriented government bureaucrat, aggressive businessman and diligent, loyal employees all working in perfect harmony for the common good. Newspaper headlines routinely lamented America’s decline as much as they feared Japan’s rise. While a whole slew of Keynesians and mercantilists confused a liquidity bubble for an economic miracle, a handful of contrarians, including Jim Grant, John Templeton and Marc Faber, parted ways with the crowd. At the end of 1988, I wrote, in a letter to the editor that was published in the Wall Street Journal, By the end of this century, the question may not be “Will the U.S. be No. 1?” but “Will Japan still be No. 2?” That was a pretty bold prediction at the time. (I was young, naïve and didn’t know better.) There was some luck, no doubt. My study of financial bubbles, including Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, implanted the idea that a frenzied crowd is almost guaranteed to be wrong. And my discovery of Austrian economics, especially Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, provided the economic rationale for why government intervention would not only fail in Japan, but likely intensify with the downturn and usher in a decade or more of stagnation. My sense was that the world’s financial markets were at a major inflection point and that sticking my neck out and flaunting the consensus would lead to significant returns. A 239-Year History of Inflection Points in America Does the everything bubble suggest a similar inflection point today? To try to answer this question, I’ve constructed a table of major financial turning points in the US, with coinciding political and foreign policy events, to see if a pattern emerges (see below). Major US Inflection Points   At first glance, our table reveals some obvious patterns:   Timing—The best time to buy stocks is at the point of maximum pessimism about the economy. The onset of wars tends to build the wall of worry further and ensure key bottoms: Spanish-American War (1898), World War II (1941) and the first Iraq War (1990). The start of the second Iraq War (2003) pinpointed a four-year bull run. One notable exception was US involvement in the Vietnam War, which began covertly right after World War II and escalated from 1965 (first combat units introduced) to 1969 (five hundred thousand US military personnel stationed in Vietnam). Adjusted for inflation, the Dow Jones Industrials Average peaked in 1966 and didn’t bottom until 1982. Meanwhile, peace and prosperity generally coincide with stock market tops. E.g., the roaring ’20s (1929) and dot-com bubble (2000) witnessed an absence of external enemies. Duration—Inflection points alter the course of stocks, bonds and gold for long periods of time, often decades. E.g., the 1946–81 bear market in bonds (thirty-five years) was replaced by a thirty-nine-year bull market. Conflict vs. cooperation—The 1946 inflection point ended a long period of conflict between nations: centuries of imperial rivalry culminating in two world wars separated by a massive trade war. The end of World War II ushered in a seventy-year period of decolonization, globalization, expanding division of labor and relative peace. (While President Trump’s trade war with China arguably arrested this trend, at least in the short run, I believe the long-term trend will reassert itself.) Megatrend: Big Government The overarching trend in the US since 1789 has been an ever-expanding and centralized government. That year marked the scrapping of the Articles of Confederation for a more centralized federation of sovereign states with George Washington its first president. The new government was the outcome of a heated debate between competing visions for the United States, with the federalists (led by Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s first treasury secretary,) prevailing over the Anti-Federalists who were thrown a bone with the Bill of Rights to try to keep the central state in check. (The federalists were clustered in commercial centers; their message was amplified by the press. The more agrarian anti-federalists included such luminaries as Patrick Henry, Melancton Smith, William Grayson, George Clinton, and Richard Henry Lee; most have since faded into oblivion.) Importantly, the new government’s Constitution opened the door to direct taxation and enforcement at the national level, roles confined to the states under the Articles. This was a boon to speculators in government bonds which had become practically worthless after the war with Britain. Where the founders did agree (including Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson) was on national greatness and expansionism. According to Sheldon Richman in America’s Counter-revolution, Even the government’s schools teach … that America’s founders had—let us say—an expansive vision for the country they were establishing…. Clearly, these men had empire on their minds. Indeed, in the eyes of the founders, the American Revolution was largely a war between a mature, exhausted empire and a nascent one. Many—but assuredly not all—Americans of the time would have cheerfully agreed. In other words, the dramatic shift from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution was the ultimate inflection point. As historian Vernon L. Parrington (1871–1929) wrote: [It] marked the turning point in American development; the checking of the long movement of decentralization and the beginning of a counter movement … The history of the rise of the coercive state in America, with the ultimate arrest of all centrifugal tendencies, was implicit in that momentous counter movement.1 A key step on the path to centralization occurred in 1861 as state sovereignty became a casualty of the misnamed “Civil War.” The bloodiest conflict in US history, which took the lives of roughly 2 percent of the population—seven times the death rate of World War II—was over the South’s right to secede (taken for granted seventy years earlier), not a struggle between factions over who would run the government. As Tom DiLorenzo, author of The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked, wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks: Lincoln’s war established myriad precedents that have shaped the course of American government and society ever since: the centralization of governmental power, central banking, income taxation, protectionism, military conscription, the suspension of constitutional liberties, the “rewriting” of the Constitution by federal judges, “total war,” the quest for a worldwide empire, and the notion that government is one big “problem solver.” The next giant leap took place in 1898. According to Stephen Kinzer in Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq: Historic shifts in world politics often happen slowly and are hardly even noticeable until years later. That was not the case with the emergence of the United States as a world power. It happened quite suddenly in the spring and summer of 1898. The seeds, however, were planted five years earlier with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy: In the months after the 1893 revolution in Hawaii, that country’s new leaders sought annexation to the United States, but [anti-imperialist] President Grover Cleveland … would not hear of it. He was quite right when he declared that most Americans rejected the seizure of faraway lands “as not only opposed to our national policy, but as a perversion of our national mission.” Five years later, this consensus evaporated. Almost overnight, it was replaced by a national clamor for overseas expansion. This was the quickest and most profound reversal of public opinion in the history of American foreign policy. The April 21, 1898, invasion of Cuba began with a false flag incident (the Maine explosion) providing fodder for prowar yellow journalists (notably William Randolph Hearst), was sold to Congress and the American people as a mission to liberate the Cuban people from Spanish rule (Teller Amendment) and ended with broken promises and betrayal of the original cause: In the United States, enthusiasm for Cuban independence faded quickly. Whitelaw Reid, the publisher of the New York Tribune and the journalist closest to President McKinley, proclaimed the “absolute necessity of controlling Cuba for our own defense,” and rejected the Teller Amendment as “a self-denying ordinance possible only in a moment of national hysteria.” Senator Beveridge said it was not binding because Congress had approved it “in a moment of impulsive but mistaken generosity.” The New York Times asserted that Americans had a “higher obligation” than strict fidelity to ill-advised promises, and must become “permanent possessors of Cuba if the Cubans prove to be altogether incapable of self-government.” The long-term consequences of America’s interventions in Cuba would prove to be as profound as they were tragic. The 1898 inflection point put the rest of the world on notice: Outsiders watched the emergence of this new America with a combination of awe and fear … The Manchester Guardian reported that nearly every American had come to embrace the expansionist idea, while the few critics “are simply laughed at for their pains.” Some of these journalists were unsettled by what they saw … The Frankfurter Zeitung warned Americans against “the disastrous consequences of their exuberance” but realized that they would not listen. Endgame Is the megatrend towards big government in the US nearing an end? For starters, history has not been kind to empires. The British empire had its day, peaking with the first world war. By the time of the 1947 partition of India it was in full retreat, ushering in a bipolar world with the United States pitted against the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989–91 created a vacuum with the US assuming the mantle of global hegemon. The American empire appears to have peaked somewhere between 1988 with the absurdity of presidential candidate Michael Dukakis’s failed photo-op in a tank and 2003 with the hubris of President George W. Bush’s staged declaration of “mission accomplished” aboard an aircraft carrier just weeks into the second Iraq War. Public debt–to-GDP was 58 percent when Bush declared victory; today it stands at 123 percent. To keep the game going, the political class has increasingly relied on borrowing, inflation and diversions like victimology, covid and climate change. “War is the health of the state” needs updating. The modern state has evolved, learning the lesson that any conflict feeds the Leviathan. Conflict is not limited to “us versus them” and “good versus evil,” but left vs. right, black vs. white, male vs. female, straight vs. LGBTQ, rich vs. poor, entrepreneurs vs. employees, young vs. old and even man vs. the planet. Wars have morphed into abstractions—e.g., war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terrorism, and now a war on a virus. The justifications for protecting party A against the predations of party B are endless. This presents a problem for the state, however: the web of lies becomes infinitely more complex and impossible to keep stitched together. The truth is an ever-present nuisance, as Lew Rockwell, founder of the Mises Institute, so passionately argues: The truth, no matter how seemingly battered and bruised, still shines through. It can never be wiped out, no matter how rotten the regime. In the end, the truth will triumph over deceit. One sign that Americans are beginning to see through the lies: a record number are rejecting both major political parties. Interventionists Jump the Shark Perhaps the most convincing argument that a major change is at hand is the nature of bubbles and their ability to reverse long-running trends. If the everything bubble is unraveling, the game has changed. In classic form, a timeline of the past two and a half years reveals a burst of euphoria accompanied by peak absurdities, followed by increasingly visible warning cracks and general denial by the interventionists: March 2020—As covid-19 arrives and panicked investors dump stocks for safe haven assets, US thirty-year T-bond yield hits all-time low of 0.84 percent (now 3.52 percent); President Trump signs $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill (CARES Act); April 2020—Fed Chairman Jerome Powell urges Congress to unleash “great fiscal power” to defeat covid, claims “we won’t run out of money”; May 2020—President Trump unleashes Operation Warp Speed to fast track a vaccine for covid; the death of George Floyd, a forty-six-year-old black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police, ignites months of “fiery but mostly peaceful protests”; June 2020—Quaker Oats cancels “Aunt Jemima” image from syrup brand to fight “racial stereotypes”; November 2020—Joe Biden narrowly defeats Donald Trump in disputed election; December 2020—President Trump signs $2.3 trillion stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act); January 2021—First wave of meme stock craze ends with GameStop topping out at split-adjusted 81.25 (now 28.64, down 65 percent); February 2021—Growth-at-any-price manager Cathie Wood’s ARK ETFs rake in $8.3 billion in new money, third behind fund giants Vanguard and BlackRock; ARK Innovation ETF peaks at 158.82 (now 42.58, down 73 percent); assets hit $23.3 billion as inflows total $8.8 billion over previous three months; March 2021—President Biden signs $1.9 trillion stimulus bill (American Rescue Plan Act); nonfungible token by a digital artist known as Beeple sells for $69 million; April 2021—Sri Lanka government bans all chemical fertilizers to make farming 100 percent organic, reverses course seven months later after mass protests by farmers and a surge in food price inflation; May 2021—Price inflation hits thirty-year high, with the year-over-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) +5.0 percent; June 2021—Italian artist sells “invisible” sculpture for more than £12,000; tiny activist investor Engine No. 1 wages successful battle to install three directors on Exxon Mobil’s board with goal of reducing company’s carbon footprint; August 2021—US ends twenty-year war in Afghanistan; Federal Reserve assets total $8.3 trillion, double prepandemic levels; September 2021—El Salvador adopts bitcoin as legal tender; November 2021—Bitcoin hits all-time high of $68,790 (now $20,040, down 71 percent); December 2021—University of Pennsylvania swimmer Will Thomas (identifying as “Lia”) qualifies to compete as a woman after taking a year of hormone treatments, records fastest national times in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, and wins 1,650-yard freestyle by forty seconds; January 2022—S&P 500 hits all-time high of 4,819 (now 3,873, down 20 percent); New York City mayor Eric Adams takes his first paycheck in cryptocurrency; February 2022—Canadian truckers protest Trudeau government’s vaccine mandate; price inflation hits forty-year high, with year-over-year CPI +7.9 percent; Engine No. 1 launches climate change ETF; Russia invades Ukraine; March 2022—Federal public debt tops $30 trillion, up $7.2 trillion from prepandemic levels, and Lia Thomas becomes first transgender athlete to win NCAA Division I championship in any sport; April 2022—President Biden’s approval rating sinks to new low, Nasdaq Composite enters bear market territory; Federal Reserve assets peak at $8.9 trillion (now 1.5 percent lower); May 2022—Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admits she didn’t see inflation coming, Sri Lanka defaults on its national debt; Solomon Islands signs new security agreement with China; June 2022—Two-thirds of economists anticipate a recession while Jerome Powell sees “no sign of a broader slowdown;” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci tests positive for covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated and twice boosted; Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, returns power to the states; Sri Lanka government collapses; and August 2022—Anthony Fauci announces his resignation, effective in December; California plans to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo helps launch ESG fund. Investment Implications “It has been 241 years since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Being short America has been a loser’s game. I predict to you it will continue to be a loser’s game.” - Warren Buffett, CNBC interview, September 21, 2017 “In the beginning of the QE period, I became convinced that the system was going to destroy the nature of money itself. I became convinced that the rules of the game had changed completely. When the rules change, the basic framework with which you make decisions need to change.” - Tony Deden, Q&A with Grant Williams, July 5, 2018 With all due respect to Warren Buffett, if we are at a major inflection point reversing a 239-year megatrend in government growth, the last thing you want to do as an investor, entrepreneur, or young person launching a career is to play by the old rules and blindly emulate past winners. Government bonds should be avoided; likewise, the stocks of companies sucking up to government, looking for favors, and peddling official narratives. Under the new rules, investors will likely pay a premium for independence—i.e., companies that can stand on their own. While Warren Buffett and John Bogle have had great runs (fifty-seven and forty-eight years, respectively), their playbooks are widely copied. Imitation is the sincerest path to subpar returns. Admittedly, much of their wisdom is likely to stand the test of time—e.g., the circle of competence, patience over activity, and keeping fees and turnover low. However, I suspect paying attention to macroeconomic issues will pay dividends because this is largely dismissed by the Buffett faithful as an exercise in futility. Likewise, active investing will be rewarded because Bogle’s brainchild, the index fund, is far too popular. At the end of 1988 I suggested looking forward, not backward: The world is still in the early stages of a third economic wave—the transition from an industrial to an information-based economy. Innovators tend to lead, whereas imitators tend to lag such waves. As the world’s best imitators, the Japanese capitalized on the ending of the industrial age. As the world’s best innovators, Americans should be the main beneficiaries of the beginning of the information age. That advice still holds today. The information age is thirty-four years older, but shows no signs of slowing down (although it has become far more global and not nearly as concentrated in Silicon Valley). Likewise, the “hockey stick of human prosperity” is still early, having begun just 250 or so years ago, up against five thousand years of recorded history. “You can’t afford not to be invested in the relentless ascent of man,” advises Dan Ferris in so many wise words. All bubbles are destructive in nature and based on a false belief that must be exposed and repudiated. In this case, the bad seed is government as universal problem solver. Bear markets have their place, to impart lessons, change behavior, restore health, and introduce the deluded to reality. Major tops are a process, not an event. The trend in centralized power was a long time in the making. Its reversal could play out over a century or more (with plenty of heart-wrenching rallies along the way). The transition will be messy and painful for those who are unprepared or live in the past, but wildly bullish long-term as the government parasite withers and dies. If I am right, the everything bubble helped seal the fate of big government. The state will increasingly be seen as an impediment to human progress and vestige of the past. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/11/2022 - 20:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 11th, 2022

Five Examples Of Bitcoin"s Real-World Utility

Five Examples Of Bitcoin's Real-World Utility Authored by Trent Dudenhoffer via BitcoinMagazine.com, Bitcoin has real-world use cases right now that are major improvements on the dollar and other fiat currencies, even during a bear market... Believe it or not, bitcoin is money. This may be a hard sell to many of us in the Western world, specifically here in the United States. I get it; the dollar is the reserve currency of the world. Yes, there is inflation, but it’s not that bad, despite today’s inflation being the highest it’s been in more than 40 years. I don’t know about you, but the ever-decreasing value of my dollars is one of the reasons I learned about bitcoin in the first place. Whoever said we needed to have inflation? John Maynard Keynes did, by the way, and it’s the economic theory taught in schools throughout the nation. My point is it can be difficult for Western civilization to understand why bitcoin is important. Many are blinded by the “strength” of the dollar and are unable to appreciate bitcoin’s utility. To jog your memory, let’s go through five examples of what bitcoin can do that the dollar, other fiat currencies and gold cannot. 1. BITCOIN PROVIDES NEUTRAL, CENSORSHIP-RESISTANT MONEY The theme of censorship has been in the spotlight over the last decade, and especially relevant in the last handful of years. Twitter deplatformed a sitting president of the United States. COVID-19 origination theories — once viewed as heresy — are now largely accepted as valid. Believing in this theory earlier led to the deplatforming of many prominent people, including legitimate, respected doctors. And this is just what’s happening on social media. What happens when your money is censored? Look no further than the Canadian trucker protest that took place in early 2022. The Canadian government sought to require vaccination of every trucker that entered its country. At the sight of this obvious intrusion of human rights, the truckers decided to protest the mandate by essentially closing the capital city of Ottawa by blockading the streets. One thing led to another, and before you knew it, the Canadian banking system began to “turn off” the money of every person involved in these protests. That’s right. Whether you were a trucker yourself, donated some money to the efforts or passed out food, you were on the hit list and you had your money turned off. Frozen. It was there, but you couldn’t do anything with it. Today, it’s a trucker protest. What if it’s a women’s rights protest next? A protest against abuses by a country you’re allied with? Who decides? Bitcoin sure as heck doesn’t. Bitcoin doesn’t care about the color of your skin, your political affiliation, the country you’re in, what videos you watch on YouTube, etc. If you play by the same rules that everyone else plays by, you can use bitcoin. This is one reason why thousands of people donated bitcoin to the Canadian truckers’ cause. It was money that no one, not even the government or banking system, could stop. More than 21 bitcoin was raised in the effort by 5,000 donors, at the time totaling nearly $1 million in support. Bitcoin is censorship-resistant money. 2. YOU CAN TAKE YOUR BITCOIN ANYWHERE WITHOUT ANYONE ELSE KNOWING Jurisdictional arbitrage will become more prevalent with political parties leaning further to the extremes here in the United States, as well as across the world. You see polarization, capital controls and capital flight taking place every day: Pro-choice and pro-life states States with legalized marijuana and/or other drug use Countries with sensible energy policies (e.g., not Germany) Countries that are prone to sanctions, such as Iran and Russia As a citizen, sometimes you must act fast or risk being too late to flee, but how do you move an entire household of trinkets and things with you as you leave? How do you cross borders with wads of cash falling out of your pocket or gold ingots weighing you down? The answer is simple: you don’t. Good luck getting anything of value across borders without it being confiscated. But you can move your bitcoin and if you do it correctly, you can move it with no one else knowing and without any evidence. All you need to do is maintain 12 (or in some cases 24) words. These words can represent your entire livelihood and are known as a seed phrase. By having these words, you can bring your wealth anywhere in the world. That’s what Laleh Farzan did. After receiving threats from the Taliban in 2016, she fled to Germany. Most of the time, when you flee a hostile area such as Afghanistan amid chaos, you’re bound to run into thieves and/or unrelenting governments. The emigrants typically leave with nearly zero possessions. But for Laleh, she was able to store her wealth via her seed phrase. It was contained on a tiny piece of paper which thieves and others disregarded. Once she arrived in Germany, she was able to sell a portion of her bitcoin for fiat to pay for everyday expenses. 3. BITCOIN MINING AND THE ENERGY GRID ARE MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN Bitcoin mining requires a great deal of energy. Talking heads on the news have parroted this line plenty of times. It’s supposed to consume all the world’s energy by 2020 (how’d that work out?). One might argue, the more energy bitcoin consumes, the better. Hear me out. Bitcoin miners act as an energy consumer of first and last resort. Essentially, they will always buy (use) energy if it’s available to them. What most don’t know about our modern energy grids is that this type of reliability and consistency is extremely helpful. Rather than having to plan for energy demand peaks and troughs, energy producers can simply provide energy without worrying that no one will use it. Long story short: Bitcoin miners stabilize entire energy grids. If you’d like a deeper dive, read more here. Not only do miners stabilize grids, but bitcoin mining encourages using the most efficient energy sources available. As a miner, your profit and loss statement is very easy to decipher: your revenue is the bitcoin you mine, your expenses (for the most part) are the energy required to mine it. As a business owner, you ideally want to increase revenue and decrease expenses to beef profits. Besides mining more bitcoin, what’s the easiest way to increase profit? Lower your expenses, aka your cost of energy. What’s the cheapest energy available to us? Energy that comes naturally: solar, wind, hydro, etc. Bitcoin is ushering in new developments and innovation in green energy, and even more importantly, wasted energy. Bitcoin miners attempt, as best as they can, to mine with energy that would otherwise be wasted. It’s a win-win for both parties. The miner gets cheap energy and the energy producer sells energy that otherwise would have not produced any revenue. A great example of this is flared gas mining. When I first saw a video of miners using flared gas, I knew it was a game changer. It makes sense for every single producer on earth to plug in a bitcoin miner to earn more revenue and decrease emissions. It’s a no-brainer. Did you know that an estimated 60% of energy produced is lost before reaching the consumer? Bitcoin miners will happily buy the otherwise wasted energy from producers, thus allowing the producers to earn more revenue as well as provide reliable expectations for supply and demand. It’s only a matter of time before miners fully integrate themselves with energy markets. 4. BITCOIN IS OPEN 24/7 Ever needed banking services after 5:00 p.m. or on a weekend? Pretty inconvenient, right? In a world of globally connected markets and on-demand everything else, why haven’t our financial services been held to the same availability standards? Bitcoin has an up-time of 99.99%. Spanning more than 12 years, the Bitcoin network has only experienced a cumulative 14 hours of downtime. I can be anywhere in the world at any time of the day and interact with the Bitcoin network as long as I have internet connectivity. If internet connectivity is an issue, some geniuses much smarter than me are working on ways to account for it. 24/7, 365. No holiday closures. No circuit breakers during volatile times. Tick tock, next block. 5. MICROPAYMENTS AND THE EASE OF INTERNET COMMERCE Commerce occurs on the internet rather than meat space more and more as the years go by. I’m not going to focus on commerce that requires a product to be physically shipped to your house in this post, but what I want to talk about instead are products and content that you consume directly on your computer. Why do I have to divulge my credit card information and address to the Wall Street Journal if I want to read an article? Why do I have to do the same with Spotify to listen to a podcast? Bitcoin, and its scaling layers, such as the Lightning Network, are going to disrupt e-commerce with internet-native micropayments. There is a growing trend in the space known as value-for-value. Let’s look at Fountain as an example. Fountain is a podcast app that is built directly above Bitcoin’s base layer on the Lightning Network. While using Fountain, podcast listeners can load up a Lightning wallet and stream tiny portions of a bitcoin — known as satoshis, or sats — directly to the content creator. These streams may be as small as five sats per minute, which today has a value of $0.0011. Content creators can now rely exclusively on their audience to fund their venture if they prefer. Many podcasters appreciate this idea to align their own incentives with their listeners: zero product shilling, zero false advertising, etc. This also allows for a more engaging experience between the two parties. Another fantastic use case for bitcoin in internet commerce is those pesky paywalls. Let’s use the Wall Street Journal again as an example. I rarely ever read the Wall Street Journal, but let’s say one article catches my eye that I desperately want to read. Then I encounter a paywall. 99 out of 100 times, I’m going to exit the window and forget about the article. The odds of me getting my wallet, typing in my credit card info, all my other personal information and likely having to sign up for a monthly subscription are next to zero. With the Lightning Network, the Wall Street Journal may put up a paywall using BTCPay Server. In this instance, I can whip out my Lightning wallet, scan the QR code, pay the invoice and begin reading the article. The whole process may take less than 30 seconds without the publication having any clue who I am or where I live. This avenue of billing could expand the Wall Street Journal’s reach considerably, keep the one-time readings affordable and respect their viewers’ privacy. Although these types of transactions aren’t nearly as world-changing as some of the other points mentioned above, it’s another arrow in Bitcoin’s quiver. Another real-world use case that bitcoin does worlds better than our current system. CONCLUSION No, bitcoin isn’t dead. This isn’t the first bear market and it certainly won’t be the last. Too many are fixated on bitcoin’s fiat price. What most don’t realize is that bitcoin continues to work just as advertised. It’s reliable, open to all and there are no rulers — only rules. Bitcoin is objectively better money. I look forward to everyone else coming to this realization. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/10/2022 - 14:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 10th, 2022

How QT Broke The Market: As Tail Risk Has All But Disappeared, The Dow Jones is Now More Volatile Than Bitcoin

How QT Broke The Market: As Tail Risk Has All But Disappeared, The Dow Jones is Now More Volatile Than Bitcoin Something is breaking in the market, and it is not only making trading via options virtually impossible, it is also flipping legacy, post-QE trading patterns. As one of Goldman's top derivatives traders, Brian Garrett, wrote over the past few days, "for much of my career, if you would mentioned “spot vol correlation” in conversation, you lose would lose 95% of your audience by the third word… this was is until investors started to feel the impact to your convexity book’s performance ... depending on the market regime, this dynamic can lead to periods of both large outperformance and large underperformance." What does he mean by this? The two charts below help frame what once was (low vol, high skew, index upside attractive) vs what now is (high vol, low skew, index upside less attractive) Regime 1 (then): “spot up vol up” became part of the investing vernacular in 2017-2019. In the first chart below, you can see why - calls went bid as the market rallied, and owners saw both a delta and vol bloom in upside convexity. Regime 2 (now):  in the last two years, a higher implied vol regime has manifested and the attractiveness of convexity has quickly diminished. For traders who are bullish, Garrett would recommend against buying outright call options as your carry will be quite difficult, and spot up vol up is (for now) a thing of the past (chart 2) Garrett's conclusion: "keep your index vega exposure in the right tail at a minimum for now, spot up vol down is here." Does this sound all too Greek (no pun intended) to you? Luckily, one of the financial all-time greats, Citigroup's Matt King is out with a brief note (available to pro subs), putting the above arcane view into far more understandable terms: while the QE era suppressed day-to-day vol risk, it boosted tail risk; now, with QT, both trends have reversed. As King puts it, "sharp spikes higher in vol, especially in rates, have been accompanied by widespread concern about illiquidity." But in many ways King thinks of this "as part of a return to a more healthy, less unbalanced, market. QE saw day-to-day vol suppressed unnaturally, at the expense of increased tail risk and OTM skew." i.e., this is what Garrett defined as "Regime 1." Not surprisingly, to King, "QT means the opposite", i.e. "Regime 2" Obviously, the removal of the large, off-market, price-insensitive bid for risk courtesy of the Fed that resulted from QE has left a giant void beneath market prices, and to King, who has for much of the past 13 years been a tacit critic of how central banks have broken market, "it may take forced issuance or outflows to precipitate true price discovery." However, until this point is reached, King,  like Hartnett and Wilson, finds it "hard to be bullish on risk. Indeed, just as QE almost forced investors to be short vol and long risk, so under QT there is a case your default position should be short risk and long vol." Going back to Garrett, the Goldman trader also had some ideas how to monetize this growing market discrepancy, starting with index trades... Index ideas:  spreads, KO calls, and call flies are the trades to put in the book for now … or a slightly nuanced version, one could go long puts on a heavy delta (ie, buy 30 delta put and run on 50delta – i believe skew should go bid if the market rally continues) ... and then looking at single stock derivatives, where an especially interesting trade opportunity has opened up: singles ideas … at this moment in time, the cost of a single stock call (3m25d) is at one of the lowest levels in the last decade  (chart 3) relative to the index. Said another way, the cost of “idiosyncratic” upside has rarely been cheaper. There is one more chart that the Goldman trader posted earlier last week that was quite stunning that: given the rally in yields (fwds higher) and the level of implied volatility, this is one of the first times in 20y that the 12 month 10% OTM put is funded by a call that is greater than 10% OTM (i.e, uneven risk reversals line up for costless and the vol market is daring you to sell the index call) Fast forward a few days until after last week's payrolls report, when we saw Garrett's trade recos pan out very much as expected. As mentioned above, the hurdle for spx realized to pay is extremely high, and Friday's "underperformance of convexity is one of the most severe we have seen since March of 2020", or as Garrett puts it, "following up from earlier this week, just as you can’t own calls for a rally, it appears you also can’t own puts for a sell off." This broken derivatives market may explain why on Friday, Garrett noted that "the floor is extremely quiet despite an almost 4% (not a typo) sell off in NDX … cash 1 delta volumes are down 3% vs the 20d avg (our desk is almost 400bps better for sale, very much driven by asset managers) … option volumes are up small // mostly has been monetization and vol for sale (hence, the underperformance)." Then again, as King explained above while tail risk has collapsed in the QT era, day-to-day vol risk has exploded, and as Garrett notes, "if it feels like rates are completely driving the equity bus, it’s because they are… SPX and 10y yield rolling correlation (50 day) has not been this negative in 20 years ... truly does not feel like this is going to change, we have had seen spx down rates up trades printing." But the clearest visualization of just how broken (or is that unbroken) the market is now that QT is the dominant market force, look no further than what Garrett said is the "chart for the weekend" - "the dow jones (30 largest industrial stocks on planet earth) if officially more volatile than bitcoin." More in the full note available to pro subs in the usual place. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/09/2022 - 16:11.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 9th, 2022

Bitcoin Could Be as Bad for the Planet as Beef

Bitcoin mining’s climate impact is comparable to farming cattle or burning gasoline when taken as a proportion of market value. Bitcoin mining’s climate impact is comparable to farming cattle or burning gasoline when taken as a proportion of market value, according to researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Cryptocurrency mining is energy intensive because it requires highly specialized computers—and most of the electricity it consumes is generated by burning planet-warming fossil fuels. The climate-related economic damage caused by mining the popular digital token, Bitcoin, exceeded its market value on 6.4% of the days it traded between 2016 and 2021, the paper published in Scientific Reports on Thursday found. The study calculated the climate cost of mining Bitcoin against its average market price, and compared it with other commodities like crude oil, gold or beef. That means the results don’t reflect total emissions by these industries, which would be far greater, but their relative impact. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Read More: Fact-Checking 8 Claims About Crypto’s Climate Impact The climate impact of mining gold, to which Bitcoin is often compared, is just 4% of its average market price on an average year, compared to 35% for the world’s most popular cryptocurrency between 2016 and 2021. And the environmental impact has grown as the cryptocurrency market has matured, calling into question the sector’s overall sustainability. “While proponents have offered (Bitcoin) as representing ‘digital gold,’ from a climate damages perspective it operates more like ‘digital crude,’” the researchers said, signaling the need to find more efficient ways to produce the tokens, or to increase regulation. Mining of Bitcoin, which represents roughly 41% of the global cryptocurrency market, consumed more energy than was used to power entire countries like Austria or Portugal in 2020. The mining of Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Monero coins generated 3 to 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from January 2016, to June 2018, according to research cited by the paper. That’s equivalent to the emissions of Afghanistan, Slovenia or Uruguay in 2018. Bitcoin’s carbon footprint also grows over time because, to mine new coins, multiple miners compete to verify transactions on the blockchain. The fact that an ever-growing number of miners compete to solve increasingly difficult operations means the overall energy use rises. That’s why a Bitcoin mined in 2021 would have emitted about 113 metric tons of CO2 equivalent—126 times more than one mined in 2016, according to the researchers. The paper estimates the economic value of that damage at $11,314 for a single Bitcoin mined last year, while the value of total climate damages generated by all Bitcoins mined between 2016 and 2021 could have been as high as $12 billion. Read More: A Crypto Game Promised to Lift Filipinos Out of Poverty. Here’s What Happened Instead In recent months, plunging profit margins from mining Bitcoin have pushed miners to operate more efficient machines—a move that’s resulted in a decline in greenhouse gas emissions from the industry, according to a different report earlier this week. Emissions this year are estimated to be 14.1% lower than in 2021, representing about 0.1% of human emissions globally, and about half of what gold miners generate in absolute terms. Cryptocurrency miners are also ramping up efforts to source a larger share of the energy they consume from renewable sources like geothermal, hydro, solar and wind. Researchers at the University of Albuquerque ran a simulation and concluded that, if renewables like wind and solar had represented 88.4% of the total amount of power used to mine Bitcoin between 2016 and 2021, climate damages would have dropped to just 4% of average market price. Another way to reduce climate impact is to shift to a different mechanism to verify transactions—and produce coins. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, this year moved to a mechanism called Proof of Stake, which the study said should reduce its estimated energy use by more than 99%. —With assistance from Muyao Shen......»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 30th, 2022

A List Of 33 Things We Know About The Coming Food Shortages

A List Of 33 Things We Know About The Coming Food Shortages Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, Things are far worse than you are being told.  Over the past few months, I have been carefully documenting facts that show that global food production is going to be way down in 2022.  Unfortunately, most people out there don’t seem to understand that the food that isn’t being grown in 2022 won’t be on our store shelves in 2023.  We are potentially facing an absolutely unprecedented worldwide food crisis next year, but the vast majority of the population doesn’t seem very alarmed about this.  So I would encourage you to help me get this warning out by sharing this list with as many people as you possibly can.  As you will see below, we now have so many data points that it is impossible to deny what is coming.  The following is a list of 33 things we know about the coming food shortages… #1 The hard red winter wheat crop in the United States this year “was the smallest since 1963”.  But in 1963, there were only 182 million people living in this nation.  Today, our population has grown to 329 million. #2 It is being projected that the rice harvest in California will be “half what it would be in a normal year”. #3 The U.S. tomato harvest will come in at just 10.5 million tons in 2022.  That is over a million tons lower than a normal year. #4 This will be the worst U.S. corn harvest in at least a decade. #5 Year-to-date shipments of carrots in the United States are down 45 percent. #6 Year-to-date shipments of sweet corn in the United States are down 20 percent. #7 Year-to-date shipments of sweet potatoes in the United States are down 13 percent. #8 Year-to-date shipments of celery in the United States are down 11 percent. #9 Total peach production in the U.S. is down 15 percent from last year. #10 Almost three-fourths of all U.S. farmers say that this year’s drought is hurting their harvests. #11 Thanks to the endless drought, the total number of cattle in Oregon is down 41 percent. #12 Thanks to the endless drought, the total number of cattle in New Mexico is down 43 percent. #13 Thanks to the endless drought, the total number of cattle in Texas is down 50 percent. #14 One beef producer in Oklahoma is now predicting that ground beef “could eventually top $50 per pound”. #15 At least 40 percent of the United States has been suffering from drought conditions for 101  consecutive weeks. #16 Overall, this is the worst multi-year megadrought in the United States in 1,200 years. #17 Europe is currently experiencing the worst drought that it has seen in 500 years.  In some parts of central Europe, river levels have fallen so low that “hunger stones” are being revealed for the first time in centuries. #18 Corn production for the entire EU could be down by as much as one-fifth in 2022. #19 We are being warned that there will be crop losses in France of up to 35 percent. #20 It is being projected that crop losses in some areas of the UK could be as high as 50 percent. #21 It is being reported that there will be crop losses “of up to 50 percent” in some parts of Germany. #22 Some farmers in Italy have already lost “up to 80% of their harvest”. #23 Agricultural production in Somalia will be down about 80 percent this year. #24 In eastern Africa, the endless drought has already resulted in the deaths of at least seven million animals. #25 In China, they are facing the worst drought that they have ever experienced in recorded history. #26 India normally accounts for 40 percent of the global rice trade, but we are being warned that production in that country will be way down in 2022 due to “considerable rainfall deficits in key rice producing states”. #27 A third of the entire nation of Pakistan was under water after recent floods absolutely devastated that nation, and agricultural areas were hit particularly hard.  As a result, the vast majority of the crops in the country have been “washed away”… It has also been estimated that roughly 65 per cent of the country’s food basket — particularly crops like rice, cotton, wheat and onion — have been washed away. Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in an interview to CGTN earlier this week, offered an even starker outlook by saying that “about 80 to 90 per cent” of the country’s crops have been damaged by the floods. #28 The prices of some fertilizers have tripled since 2021, while the prices of some other fertilizers have actually quadrupled. #29 One payment company is reporting that the number of Americans using their app to take out short-term loans for groceries has risen by 95 percent. #30 Demand at U.S. food banks is now even worse than it was during the height of the COVID pandemic. #31 The World Health Organization is telling us that millions of people in Africa are now potentially facing a very real possibility of starving to death. #32 According to the World Food Program, 828 million people around the world go to bed hungry each night.  Needless to say, that number will soon be much higher. #33 UN Secretary General António Guterres has publicly stated that he believes that it is likely that there will be “multiple famines” in 2023. As global food supplies get tighter and tighter, so will the risk of civil unrest. In fact, this has already been happening… The risk of civil unrest has surged this year in more than half of the world’s countries, signaling a coming period of heightened global instability fueled by inflation, war, and shortages of essentials, a new analysis says. According to Verisk Maplecroft, a UK-based risk consulting and intelligence firm, 101 of the 198 countries tracked on its Civil Unrest Index saw an increase in their risk of civil unrest between the second and third quarters of this year. In recent weeks, we have seen absolutely massive protests in cities all over the planet. But conditions aren’t even that bad yet. So what will things be like in 2023 when it finally becomes exceedingly clear that there simply will not be enough food for everyone? Wealthy countries will have the resources to buy up much of what is available on the market, and that means that many poor countries will deeply suffer. If everything that you have read in this article sounds familiar, that is because we have been warned for years that such conditions were coming. In 2023, there will be famines and civil unrest all over the globe. This is not a drill.  An extremely serious global food crisis has already begun, and I would encourage you to get prepared for what is ahead while you still can. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/10/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 10th, 2022

Bitcoin Aligns Incentives In The Perfect Way

Bitcoin Aligns Incentives In The Perfect Way Authored by Conor Chepenik via BitcoinMagazine.com, When a nocoiner asks me about Bitcoin, it’s hard not to take a “Michael Saylor breath” and embark on a four-hour conversation about how there is no second best. My Bitcoin elevator pitch has become better over time, but it’s hard explaining why the world so desperately needs an honest monetary ledger in 30 seconds. Proof-of-work is required to have the glorious experience of going down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. In this piece I attempt to lay out why the incentives of the network are so well thought out at every level. Humanity has never before had such a fair game. A truly free market ledger that anyone can access, verify and update if they play by the rules. From individuals to small businesses, followed by grid operators and energy companies, and finally nation-states, everyone benefits in the long run by playing fairly with electricity rather than through coercion and violence. While I’m most hopeful that Bitcoin can help empower sovereign individuals, it appears we are entering the point where institutions start stacking sats. As the network continues to grow in size, Bitcoin will reach a point where every company and nation-state will adopt the technology in some form or fashion, just like they have with TCP/IP. The Bitcoin rabbit hole makes learning fun and teaches people about energy, finance, philosophy, physics, history, game theory, economics, computer science and a bunch of other subjects. At my local Bitcoin meetups in Massachusetts, I’ve heard many similar stories of people starting to study and learn about subjects they otherwise would never have bothered to study. In order to have a good understanding of Bitcoin you must commit hundreds, if not thousands of hours. At which point you are just getting started because “no one has found the bottom of the Bitcoin rabbit hole.” Once you start to grasp what Bitcoin means for humanity, it almost feels like a cheat code for life. An apolitical, censorship-resistant, truly scarce, decentralized ledger that is being adopted by the masses from the ground up. It’s a blessing that the anonymous person or group named Satoshi Nakamoto solved the Byzantine generals problem.  (Source) INDIVIDUALS Socialism doesn’t work because people are self-interested. I’d love to live in a utopia where everyone cooperates and helps their neighbor. I firmly believe that when you give via your own free will, it is one of the best feelings in the world. However, it does not feel very good to give when you are forced to do so in order to avoid violence. Throughout history, taking away the ability for people to keep the fruits of their labor has always ended poorly. Telling people they must produce for “the greater good” is a recipe for disaster. One example of this is what happened in China between 1959-1961. The country experienced what is now referred to as the Great Famine under Mao Zedong. “Taking away all means of private food production (in some places even cooking utensils), forcing peasants into mismanaged communes, and continuing food exports were the worst acts of commission. Preferential supply of food to cities and to the ruling elite was the deliberate act of selective provision.”  - Vaclav Smil This is just one example of what happens when the government takes away the ability for its citizens to work on what they themselves deem worthy. It ruins the incentive structure for productive people to work on meaningful tasks. The world is not a utopia no matter how badly socialists want it to be. It is one thing to demonize monopolistic practices because they hinder the free market from operating properly. It is a completely different thing to demonize profit. If people can’t make a profit they won’t spend their time and resources making something of value. That is unless they are forced to do so by the threat of violence. The more coercion is applied, the less value is created because someone working for profit is a lot more motivated than someone working because they are being forced to do so. One monopolistic practice hindering our modern world today is the monopoly central banks have on fiat currency. By centrally planning interest rates and having the ability to create fiat money without facing an opportunity cost for doing so, the free market becomes corrupted. This leads to distorted price signals and individuals being pushed out on the risk curve. “Every day that goes by and Bitcoin hasn’t collapsed due to legal or technical problems, that brings new information to the market. It increases the chance of Bitcoin’s eventual success and justifies a higher price.” — Hal Finney While bitcoin becomes less risky every day it exists, I tip my hat to the individuals who understood its importance before buying bitcoin was a mainstream thing. Before exchanges like Mt. Gox, people were not using fiat currency to buy bitcoin. They were using electricity and computers to mine it, which is what made Bitcoin so special. A new system that is completely outside the traditional one of relying on credit and growth. Many projects that came before Bitcoin failed in the long run, but various ideas from these projects were referenced in Nakamoto’s white paper. Logically, over time, more people will come to the Bitcoin network to protect their purchasing power as long as the network keeps adding blocks of transactions approximately every 10 minutes. The more people who see the impact that fiat currency debasement has on their purchasing power, the more likely they are to look for alternatives to protect said purchasing power. This is what initially attracted me to buy some bitcoin in early 2017. My friend told me about this new form of currency that had appreciated greatly since its inception. I watched the documentary “Banking On Bitcoin,” which I still highly recommend because it helped open my eyes to the fact that money is just a ledger. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully go down the rabbit hole at that time. I spent the first couple of years of my journey looking at my exchange balances as my bitcoin and altcoins multiplied 10 times, only to be depressed when my gains came crashing down after the bull market ended. Like most who are initially attracted to cryptocurrency for the speculation, I obsessed over the fiat price. Doing so caused me to miss the whole point of not having to rely on any counterparties to verify and hold bitcoin. While it sucked losing all the fiat gains I had made, it taught me some very valuable lessons. “The danger is if people are buying bitcoins in the expectation that the price will go up, and the resulting increased demand is what is driving the price up. That is the definition of a BUBBLE, and as we all know, bubbles burst.”  - Hal Finney As Finney so eloquently pointed out in those early days, when something goes parabolic superfast it will likely crash just as fast. Pain is the best teacher and this was my first hint at why having a low time-preference is so important. It also served as a lesson for myself to focus on Bitcoin, not crypto. I kept an interest in Bitcoin, but it wasn’t until 2020 that I really started digging into the rabbit hole. When I got a stimulus check in the mail for doing nothing, that set off an alarm inside my mind. While free money is always nice, it was obvious that there would be consequences to the United States government handing out cash to its citizens. I didn’t fully understand why at the time. It was annoying me that I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong so I started down the Bitcoin rabbit hole which led me to Austrian economics and how money actually works. It was both frustrating and enlightening to learn about Bretton Woods, 1971 and why central banks are in a race to debase their currency. When I learned that most U.S. dollars are held on a server (in an SQL database) at the Federal Reserve, I was shocked. These people can press buttons on a keyboard and print trillions. By granting 12 unelected officials the privilege to centrally plan the cost of borrowing money we have hindered the free market’s ability to effectively tell market participants what the cost of capital is. Fiat is latin for “by decree”; thus, it makes a lot of sense why central bankers will fight tooth and nail to keep the ability to control money. The Fed claims to be an apolitical organization, but as debt levels increase to numbers typically seen during times of war, central bankers are pressured politically to debase their currency. The other option is to default on the debt and that is never politically viable. The silver lining is that more people are waking up because they get frustrated watching their purchasing power decline rapidly in inflationary environments. Being self-interested is not a bad thing. It is what motivates individuals to work hard so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. Bitcoin optimizes for this, while the Keynesian economic models of ever-expanding credit steal the fruits of people’s labor. No one knows how it ends but over time it makes sense more people would end up saving their “fruits” in the harder money.  Figures with a Bitcoin flag, walking on the U.S. dollar SMALL BUSINESSES Visa and Mastercard have a combined market capitalization of about $775 billion dollars at the time of this writing. They charge around 3% of retailers’ revenue for their services which eats into the profits or get passed onto consumers of the companies accepting debit and credit cards. While cards make it much easier to transact, many businesses and consumers would be happy to avoid these fees if possible. There is an option of going cash-only for final settlement, but that means missing out on business from younger generations who don’t carry cash. By accepting bitcoin, these companies not only avoid the fees, but they also receive final settlement transactions just like cash. No more waiting 90 days to make sure a credit card doesn’t get charged back. Bitcoin will massively disrupt many financial rails we have today. Many in the Western world might not appreciate what a big deal this is because our financial rails are pretty well established. However, those in less developed countries know perfectly well what a pain it is to have hucksters butting in to take a cut. It won’t be instant, but bitcoin can help wean small businesses off middlemen who are no longer necessary. Bitcoin can also serve as an incredible marketing tool. I’d gladly spend some satoshis at any local small businesses that took bitcoin. Tahinis is a great example of a small business who leveraged bitcoin to get some brand awareness. I’ve never been to Canada, but if I ever go, I’d like to eat at Tahinis so I can use bitcoin to buy shawarma. Bitcoin forms a special bond between people to the point where you literally want to support their business because you know they have taken the orange pill. (Source) ENERGY COMPANIES AND GRID OPERATORS Energy companies and grid operators also have a massive incentive to adopt a bitcoin strategy. Rather than just having one buyer on the grid that demands more energy during the day than at night, the grid could have a second buyer who is willing to consume energy 24/7, 365 days/year. Bitcoin miners can monetize energy that would otherwise go to waste. There is the up-front cost of buying an ASIC and having the technical whereabouts to maintain and run said ASIC. This means more jobs for the talented individuals who understand how to do so. More talented workers creating value means more energy efficient grids. It amazes me how much fear, uncertainty and doubt gets spread about Bitcoin’s energy usage, when the reality is Bitcoin can stabilize grids and make the capital put up to build green energy infrastructure much less risky.  If you wanted to build a massive hydro plant in a rural area before there was Bitcoin, it would be very hard to raise the capital. Investors would not want to put up their money for a power plant that did not have buyers for the power being generated. With Bitcoin, the investors can rest assured there is always a buyer for that power. While I think there will be a point when miners just keep the bitcoin, they can also sell them for fiat at any point in time. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin never stops trading. Since fiat depreciates over time, the most efficient miners will be able to hold and accumulate their bitcoin, while the less efficient miners will have to sell for money that is constantly being debased by the money printer. The best companies will thrive over the long run, while the inefficient operators will have to adapt or die. It is the free market doing its job.  The more I learn about how grids operate, the more apparent it becomes that bitcoin can help usher in an abundant energy future where energy prices aren’t going parabolic because of poor decisions made by central planners who are printing money at unheard-of rates. The whole green energy and environmental, social and governance (ESG) narrative is an antihuman farce meant to hide the disaster that the central banks have created. These greeniacs claim that CO2 is going to suffocate the world, but this chart in Alex Epstein’s “Fossil Future” shows why more fossil fuel use is needed. (Source) Energy is the base layer of society. Without reliable and reasonably priced energy, things will get ugly fast. Just look at what happened to Sri Lanka who had one of the highest ESG ratings in the world before their economy collapsed. Every example of hyperinflation stems from irresponsible monetary policy. Calling currency debasement “quantitative easing” doesn’t change the fact that it results in more money chasing the same number of goods. People joke that Bitcoiners are psychopaths who can’t stop talking about magic internet money, but the truth is we just want others to take the orange pill so we can stop suffering from the central planners. Bitcoin Maximalists have a reputation of being mean online for calling out bad actors, but almost every Bitcoiner I’ve met in person turns out to be one of the most genuine, kind and intelligent people I meet. In person, I’ve seen that Bitcoiners are willing to help onboard as many people as they can because we all strongly believe Bitcoin is the best way to achieve a pro-human future where we have an abundance of food, energy and choice. In my opinion, helping people understand that bitcoin is the life raft is one of the most noble things a person can do. History has shown that the free market will ultimately end up with one form of money winning out. Before bitcoin that was gold and then we ended up with fiat to keep up with the speed of commerce. Now that we have bitcoin, I believe fiat will continue to rapidly lose its purchasing power as more people and businesses realize that bitcoin can’t be debased by a single entity. NATION-STATES This one is a double-edged sword. I want as many individual people to adopt bitcoin before the nation-states start accumulating. I’m hopeful that the nation-states who do end up adopting bitcoin will be able to utilize its fiat price appreciation to create a more abundant society for the individuals that live there. At the time of writing, two countries have adopted bitcoin as legal tender. According to the World Population Review’s prosperity index, El Salvador ranks 98 and the Central African Republic ranks 165 out of 167 countries. Neither of these countries is in the top 50% of prosperous nation-states and they were the first to adopt bitcoin. I believe this trend will continue since the most prosperous countries have much more to lose by not being able to “decree” what happens with their country’s money. Before bitcoin, El Salvador was a dollarized economy. Now they allow both USD and BTC to operate as legal tender. The Central African Republic had the CFA franc as its currency. According to Wikipedia: “Critics point out that the currency is controlled by the French treasury, and in turn African countries channel more money to France than they receive in aid and have no sovereignty over their monetary policies.”  Top: Central African Republic flag. Bottom: El Salvador flag It is encouraging to see nation-states that are at the mercy of foreign central banks adopt bitcoin to get around these monopolies. I imagine at some point the richest nation-states will be forced to adopt bitcoin if their currency is hyperinflated because it will be the only viable way to trade with other countries. These wealthy nations will fight for as long as they can to keep control of their monopoly on fiat currency. It is the poorer nations who don’t have complete sovereignty over their money that will look to bitcoin to protect their purchasing power because they have the least to lose.  If you are a nation-state and you can’t create your own money to fund government spending, you are much more likely to invest in a truly scarce currency than another nation-state that can create more of its own currency out of thin air. While El Salvador might not be in the green in terms of where they bought bitcoin on the spot market, they have made up for it with the massive boost in tourism and interest in their country. Personally, I would love the opportunity to visit El Salvador and use bitcoin to buy stuff. El Salvador will likely continue to experience a massive influx of tourism as more Bitcoiners, like myself, start to plan trips there so they can use this new form of money. The cyber hornets don’t mess around and as more countries notice the impact bitcoin can have on their local economies, the logical conclusion is to adopt it as legal tender and attract tourists to bolster their economy. (Source) CONCLUSION It might get messy. Rich nations, the World Bank and The International Monetary Fund aren’t just going to toss up their hands and go, “Well, it was fun controlling fiat while it lasted.” Just look at the U.S. who passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes hiring and arming an additional 87,000 IRS agents. The United States is planning on printing money out of thin air so they can pay citizens to do this. (Archived source) It is quite ironic that the nation which was created because we demanded no taxation without representation is doubling down on its tax force. The people in power will fight tooth and nail to protect their interests and hinder bitcoin’s adoption. Top-down controls can only go so far. Individuals, companies and nation-states are all self-interested. No one likes a parasite when they are the one dealing with the consequences that are draining their resources, time and value. Over a long enough time horizon, it seems bitcoin will bleed these parasites dry as they lash out and try to impose top-down controls across the world. The truth can only be hidden so long; it always comes out in the end. Bitcoin can fix energy, monopolistic central banks, credit-based systems and massive surveillance states. It can help disincentivize violence because if someone stores their private keys in their head, no one can steal that bitcoin. They can kill the person who holds the keys, but if they were not able to torture those private keys out of the victim’s head, that just results in a donation to the rest of the network since that person’s bitcoin will never be moved. If enough people adopt bitcoin and use solid safety practices, powerful entities stand to gain more by cooperating with these sovereign individuals rather than killing them. I don’t want it to get messy and I truly believe the best way to avoid conflict is by getting more people to take the orange pill and showing them how to run a node. Individuals, companies and nation-states theoretically no longer need banks to transact. As a U.S citizen, I hate to see America in disarray. Ray Dalio makes some excellent and terrifying points about the state of our republic in his book “The Changing World Order.” The U.S is a declining empire at this point and China is on the rise. This chart from Dalio really helped me understand what it means to have world reserve currency status. Estimates of 'power' levels of empires relative to others. The Netherlands had reserve currency status and lost it to the British, who lost it to the United States. Now it looks like China is getting ready to gain world reserve currency status over the U.S. There is little hope of reversing the trend of USD no longer being a global reserve currency. While losing reserve status is never a fun experience, the U.S could benefit greatly from having bitcoin as a neutral world reserve currency rather than the Chinese yuan. Having a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as the reserve currency would serve as the ultimate tool for central planners to corrupt the free market and wreak havoc on value creation. As a country, China has a deep, rich history and a nation full of hardworking people. However, their massive surveillance state and CBDCs are not something that will ever fly in a free country. It is up to the masses to say “enough!” and opt out. Future generations deserve a better world than one where the government can turn off access to its citizens’ money with the flick of a switch. These past two years have been absolutely insane. We are seeing people get their bank accounts frozen because they donated to a peaceful protest put on by truckers in Canada. We are seeing an attack on farmers across the globe to meet antihuman ESG agendas that will destroy countries in the same way it did Sri Lanka. We are even seeing the greatest nation on the planet come after its own citizens by devaluing their currency at unprecedented levels, hiring more IRS agents and raising taxes during a recession. All of this is what is at stake if the masses don’t wake up and peacefully opt out from these corrupt regimes with bitcoin. All we have to do is use an old computer or a Raspberry Pi and run Bitcoin Core. Now, it is that easy to transact with anyone in a peer-to-peer manner and verify that only 21 million bitcoin will ever be created. It brings a warm, tingly feeling to my heart thinking about the freedom, prosperity and abundance bitcoin can bring to the world. “Abundance in money creates scarcity everywhere else, and scarcity in money creates abundance.”  - Jeff Booth Once the masses understand this, they will understand why the phrase “Fix the money; Fix the world,” is the embodiment of the Bitcoin ethos. Tyler Durden Mon, 08/29/2022 - 21:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 29th, 2022

Elon Musk subpoenaed Jack Dorsey as part of his Twitter lawsuit, but the two have had a crypto bromance stretching back years. Here"s how it started.

Jack Dorsey called Elon Musk one of his favorite tweeters in 2016, and Musk has lauded Dorsey for his "good" heart. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk are vocal crypto enthusiasts and have been friendly to each other online. Most recently, Dorsey tweeted his support for Musk as he joins Twitter's board of directors. Their friendship stands out against other tech execs' feuds, like Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook's. See more stories on Insider's business page. Both Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk have emerged as quasi-bitcoin ambassadors, using their Twitter platforms to spout their devotion to the virtual currency.And their mutual love for the digital currency has brought them together in a way that has become somewhat rare among big tech executives.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook famously have beef stretching back years, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had a long feud with the late Apple visionary Steve Jobs.But what Musk and Dorsey have shared online is different. That fact remains even as Musk subpoenas Dorsey for material relating to spam accounts as part of the Tesla exec's defense against Twitter.Here's how their bromance was born and blossomed.One of Dorsey's first public bouts of praise for Musk was in 2016Dorsey.Francois Mori/APThe Twitter CEO said Musk's account on the social platform was one of his favorites."He's constantly on Twitter, constantly talking about what [Tesla is] doing — and how he's feeling about it as well," Dorsey said at a trade show in 2016. "He's very open and using it to correct press and if people aren't focused on the right things. I think he's a really good model of how to use it well."Musk gave Dorsey some tips on how Twitter could be improved in January 2020Musk.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesDorsey asked Musk for "direct feedback" in a video call in front of thousands of Twitter employees.The Tesla CEO said it would be helpful to tell fake and real users apart."Is this a real person, or is this a bot net, or a sort of troll army, or something like that?" Musk said. Musk came to Dorsey's defense in March 2020 amid an attempted oustingDorsey.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaAn activist hedge fund that had amassed about a 5% stake in Twitter pushed an initiative to drive Dorsey out of his role as CEO. The hedge fund, Elliot Management, reasoned that since Dorsey led two companies, Twitter and Square, he wasn't focused enough on the former.Musk — who also helms two companies — tweeted, "Just want say that I support @Jack as Twitter CEO. He has a good" heart, using the heart emoji.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 3, 2020 Musk said he called Dorsey right after his account was compromised in the great Twitter hack of July 2020Musk.Britta Pedersen / POOL / AFP via Getty ImagesHackers staged a coordinated attack on dozens of celebrity accounts last summer, and Musk's was one of them. He told The New York Times that he personally called Dorsey after realizing he was hacked."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," Musk told the Times.Both Musk and Dorsey have become accidental crypto influencersDavid Becker/Getty ImagesDorsey especially has thrown his support behind the digital currency, which has seen booming popularity and growth recently.The Twitter CEO has simply "#bitcoin" in his account bio and said at Miami's bitcoin bonanza last year that "Bitcoin changes absolutely everything. I don't think there's anything more important in my lifetime to work on."And he said in a series of tweets in mid-2021 that Square was toying with building out a hardware wallet for bitcoin.And Musk has proven he can move markets with crypto-related tweetsMusk.Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty ImagesMusk has said he strongly believes in crypto, and Tesla said at one point it would accept vehicle purchases in the form of bitcoin. The CEO also included the #bitcoin hashtag in his Twitter bio at one point.But last year, Musk announced the company was suspending bitcoin payments over concerns around the use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions. He said Tesla would start accepting it when at least half of bitcoin mining is powered by clean energy. Musk has kicked off market rallies for the tweets he posts about cryptocurrencies, much to the anger of regulators and investors.For example, he tweeted in 2021 "my Shiba Inu will be named Floki," a reference to the  Shiba Inu that represents dogecoin. The altcoin shot up 16% just minutes after Musk published his tweet.Musk and Dorsey finally publicly dished on their mutual enthusiasm for cryptoMusk and Dorsey.Joe Skipper/Reuters; Philippe Wojazer/ReutersDorsey posted about an upcoming bitcoin event called "The B Word" on Twitter in the summer 2021, and after Musk responded to it, the Twitter CEO invited him to attend for a conversation.Musk responded, "For the Bitcurious? Very well then, let's do it," and added a wink face emoji. Dorsey said he would set it up.The virtual chat in July 2021 was the first public appearance starring the two friendly executives. You can watch a recording of it here.Dorsey chimed in with support for Musk as the latter joins Twitter's board of directorsElon MuskPicture Alliance/Getty ImagesIn March, Musk became Twitter's largest shareholder after buying up a 9.2% stake in the social media giant.Musk is also becoming a Twitter board member, and the company's current CEO tweeted his support early Tuesday for the news, calling Musk a "passionate believer."Dorsey shortly after tweeted something similar."I'm really happy Elon is joining the Twitter board!" Dorsey said. "He cares deeply about our world and Twitter's role in it. Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts, and they will be an incredible team."—jack⚡️ (@jack) April 5, 2022   Musk subpoenaed Dorsey in August.Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.Associated PressMusk is after any documents or communications as far back as 2019 that might mention "the impact or effect of false or spam accounts on Twitter's business and operations."Twitter sued Musk in July after the Tesla exec attempted to back out of his $44 billion purchase of the company. Musk has countersued the company, accusing it of misleading his team over how many bots are actually on the platform.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 28th, 2022

California Votes To Ban New Gas Vehicles By 2035 In Push For EV-Utopia

California Votes To Ban New Gas Vehicles By 2035 In Push For EV-Utopia The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Thursday on a groundbreaking measure to approve a ban on new vehicle sales with internal combustion engines. It's a move by the progressive state to combat climate change. By 2035, the state would only allow EVs - electric vehicle sales.  The plan is heralded as a major acceleration toward EV adoption to tackle what many leftist lawmakers in the state believe the world is rapidly descending into a climate disaster because of increasing carbon emissions: "It's ambitious, it's pioneering, it's what we must do if we're going to leave this planet better for future generations," Lauren Sanchez, senior climate adviser to Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, said Wednesday on a conference call. California appears to be leading the rest of the US (and possibly the world) in the quest for EV-utopia: "California will now be the only government in the world that mandates zero-emission vehicles. It is unique," said Margo Oge, an electric vehicles expert who headed the Environmental Protection Agency's transportation emissions program under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.  CARB's new rule is expected to require all new vehicles sold in the state by 2035 to be 100% electric. Currently, sales are about 12%. By 2026, the rule would require the state to have at least 35% of new passenger vehicles produce zero emissions and then 68% in 2030.   "The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution," Newsom said in a statement. The goal to increase the US' largest EV market from 12% of all new sales to 100% looks pretty ambitious, considering China controls all the battery-making rare earth metals. Also, global supply chains are being rejiggered in a multi-polar world as US companies pull out of China and shift operations to friendlier countries.  Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs told Axios that CARB's new rule doesn't sound "realistic" given "there are some hurdles:"  "Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly linked to external factors like inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor, critical mineral availability and pricing, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage. "These are complex, intertwined and global issues well beyond the control of either CARB or the auto industry," John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents the major automakers on policy issues, said in a statement. Another issue is cost -- as The Epoch Times explained, only "the top tier of society" can afford new electric vehicles. As The Verge reported:  "One of the major barriers to mass adoption of electric vehicles is cost. EVs are just way too expensive, with the average price hitting an all-time high earlier this summer of $66,000. That's disappointing because the auto industry has always promised that prices would come down as EV battery packs became more efficient to manufacture. "But even more disappointing is the rate that EV prices are increasing as compared to their gas equivalents. According to a recent analysis by car shopping database iSeeCars, electric car prices saw a year-over-year increase of 54.3 percent while gas-powered cars were up just 10.1 percent." And so, what does that mean for the bottom tier of society who can't afford new, expensive EVs? Well, as Epoch's John Seiler opined: The Bottom Tier of car owners will be those who can't afford new EVs, or even EVs a couple of years old. They will be forced to buy much older EVs at high prices, with mechanical problems that will strain family budgets even more. Or they will be forced to keep old, gas-powered flivvers running much longer than expected.  One can only imagine what the power demand situation in the state would look like with millions of new EVs on the road, requiring daily charges -- if lawmakers in the state fail to beef up the already fragile grid with clean nuclear power generation to ensure the transition to a low-carbon economy, then the reliance on unreliable solar and wind could derail Newsom's future EV-utopia.  Tyler Durden Thu, 08/25/2022 - 22:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 25th, 2022

What Would A Crypto Crash Mean For Markets And The Economy

What Would A Crypto Crash Mean For Markets And The Economy By Peter Tchir of Academy Securities On “bitcoin infinity” day (apparently 8/21 is symbolic of ∞ infinity, the projected value of bitcoin) divided by 21,000,000 (the total number of bitcoin that can ever be mined), it seemed like a good time to explore what a crypto crash would look like and what it would mean for markets and the economy. We all know what a mortgage bank collapse looks like (Washington Mutual). We’ve seen broker dealers collapse (Lehman), we’ve seen the stress on the system when money center banks and insurance companies come under intense pressure. Heck, we’ve even endured a sovereign default (Greece). We’ve also experienced flash crashes in equities and bond yields. In all those cases, I would argue that having a gameplan ahead of time allowed companies and investors to profit from the events (both positive and negative). I haven’t seen much on what a crypto crash would mean, so I figured we could examine that today. Jackson Hole I could have written the 900th Jackson Hole primer, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I’ve already covered a lot that is applicable to Jackson Hole in Taxi Strategies, Orwellian Moments, Things You Won’t See, and Inversion and Inventories. My focus right now is pretty simple: What is the real story on jobs? The weak data is a more accurate sign of the current situation. How bad is the inventory build? I think it might be the worst we’ve seen in my lifetime. Is the wealth effect a problem? I think that the concentrated nature of the wealth effect in disruptive stocks and crypto is different than anything else we’ve experienced historically, and the housing sector weakness is ominous to me. Inflation Fighting. Be careful what you wish for is all that comes to mind. Time and again, lower commodity prices have accompanied stock prices as they became much lower as well and I’m not sure why that will be different this time. Anyways, let’s get back to being off topic and discussing a crypto crash. 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast I cannot come up with 6 impossible things before breakfast, but as the Queen suggested to Alice, you do need to practice. Let’s start with the premise of a crypto crash or crypto collapse. If it is impossible, then there is no point even thinking about it. However, not only is it possible, but I put the possibility of it occurring in the next year at 10% or higher. Still unlikely, but a high enough probability that I should think about what it would mean. Why a crypto crash or collapse seems possible: It has already happened. Luna/Terra is gone. Poof. XRP is down 80% from its highs, Cardano is down 85%, Bitcoin Cash (you got to love the name) is down 91%, and Dogecoin is down 90% as well. Dogecoin was allegedly started as a joke, which makes it all the more ironic (or moronic) that an SNL skit helped pump it to the moon. So, collapses and crashes have occurred in some segments of the market, which alone tells me that it is worth exploring more. This chart is precarious. Bitcoin continues to hover near levels that would ensure that no “hodler,” or someone who buys crypto and will never sell (diamond hands as opposed to lettuce hands), has made money on any purchase in almost two years. That is a long time to wait to make money (or to sit on large losses). FOMO is a big part of crypto trading, and we are on the precipice of declining to levels where many could decide to take their money and run. There is an ongoing theme in crypto that the “whales” keep buying dips, which might be possible, though it seems more likely to me that many have decided to lock in massive amounts of wealth into the much maligned (but useful) “fiat” currency. Crypto bounced here recently, but that was just the first test and I suspect that there were some heavily incentivized holders who went out of their way to support the price (there really are no rules in this space). This chart, by itself, doesn’t convince me that a crash is possible, but when I highlight the other issues, it certainly adds to that overall theme that a crash or collapse is a non-zero probability event. The chart isn’t much better.   The $13.5 billion trust, GBTC, is currently at a 32% discount to NAV. This isn’t an ETF, so it has the ability to trade at a discount or premium to NAV for extended periods. A 33% discount lets you buy bitcoin at the equivalent of under $14,000 ($21,000 * 67%). There is, to some extent, over $4 billion in “free” money in this stock if the discount closes to 0. It is bizarre and scary to me that the discount continues to widen. In ETF’s, I believe that discount/premium to NAV leads the way (cheapness begets lower prices and vice versa). While that view doesn’t quite translate given the nature of GBTC, it is cautionary to me. A lack of interest. Recently one of the largest asset managers on the planet announced plans to collaborate with one of the largest public companies focused on crypto to work on some crypto projects. Two years ago, I can only imagine the impact that headline would have had on bitcoin. My guess is $10k in a heartbeat, but we are already back below the price when that deal was announced. Every headline like that (a year or more ago) was met with thousands (if not millions) of social media posts touting ADOPTION! While adoption is growing and more big banks have announced crypto strategies, the response seems to be more like “well, of course they are going to see if they can make money in it” rather than “OMG, XYZ just endorsed crypto, BUY!” Subtle shift in response, but an important one (albeit subjective). The best “use” cases are diminishing. China, to me, has always been the best use case. A large population with enough money to matter. For all the talk about banking the unbanked, etc., which sounds nice, this isn’t what will drive crypto prices higher. There are stats saying that as many as 4 billion people are unbanked across the globe. According to the World Bank, about 700 million people make less than $2.15 per day. That is depressing, scary, and almost mind-boggling, but from the crypto perspective, it is not the poor that will drive prices (there just isn’t enough money). But China, where millions of “middle class” citizens exist under a regime where they may want to keep money outside of the system, it has always been a good use case. With the property market in tatters, a slowing economy, and the government continuing to crackdown on crypto (outside of the digital Yuan), that use case may be dropping rapidly. Sanction avoidance as a use case may also be diminishing. If you were illicitly trading embargoed products (like oil), crypto may have been the “currency” of choice. But with the U.S. looking to ease restrictions on places like Iran and Venezuela (hypothetically), maybe some of the alleged trade will come back onto the books. With China and India openly buying Russian oil and Chinese currency gaining in stature (at least amongst some nations), there is less reason to use crypto when the Yuan is about 10 times less volatile than bitcoin (30-day vol of 5.4 versus 53). Criminal activity still flourishes, though the ability to track and reclaim ransomware payments seems to be increasing. It’s about blockchain and blockchain technology. The number of pundits, experts, and companies that seem to be doing contortions to pitch themselves as blockchain rather than crypto is high. Again, this is subtle, but it seems that re-positioning oneself as blockchain rather than crypto is occurring, which doesn’t bode well for crypto. It’s a Ponzi scheme, but it’s our Ponzi scheme. There were always the slogans that accompanied crypto, like “have fun staying poor” but they often included passionate explanations about the greatness of crypto. The use cases would take up pages including such themes like it is banking the unbanked (already discussed), that it is an inflation hedge (hasn’t worked on that front for some time), that it is outside the reach of the government (it is being regulated more by the day, and many in crypto, after some recent highly visible failures, now seem to embrace this), that it is lower cost (costs remain high and there is little protection against mistakes or fraud, unlike with bank accounts or credit cards), or speed (but how many people really need to instantaneously shift large amounts of money, but aren’t already served by Venmo or Zell or some similar product?) I still see those arguments being made, but with far less enthusiasm. However, there is another “use case” that seems to be getting traction (at least in my social media streams). It basically amounts to the argument that convincing more people to participate will help. Kind of like “adoption” but with a more cynical tone. Basically, it is admitting that it only really works if more people get in (so get in, and get more people in). It has the advantage of being true and seems honest, but it seems like the last vestige of a pump and dump scam. I’m not sure about you, but that is enough for me to at least take a look at what a crypto collapse or crash would mean. Crypto Market Cap Let’s start with the market capitalization of crypto currencies as that is the most obvious and direct hit to investors. We will use coinmarketcap for this section (beware of using the link as it will ask to send notifications, know your location, etc., but I figured there should be a link to something to verify). Bitcoin at $21,262 has a market cap of $406 billion. Ethereum at $1,628 has a market cap of $199 billion. Binance Coin at $286 has a market cap of $46 billion. Then XRP, Cardano, and Solana come in between $13 billion and $17 billion. Dogecoin, Polkadot (love the name), and Shiba Inu are all about $7 billion, with Avalanche, Polygon, TRON, and Uniswap, all a bit over $5 billion. Let’s call it about $750 billion in total market capitalization for crypto. To make things “simple” let’s assume that after the top 3, most of the coins could disappear and people would hardly notice (I’m assuming that many of those coins are not widely held, and a few “whales” would lose a lot, but the average person wouldn’t lose much more than what they are already prepared to lose.) If you believe that this is an area where many have spent their “winnings” or took money made in bitcoin or Ethereum to really roll the dice (which I believe), that gives us further reason to argue that the hit here would be minimal on the economy (it also makes the analysis much easier as we only have to focus on a few key currencies). Stablecoin Market Cap We need to also consider the stablecoins. Terra/Luna was supposed to be a stablecoin. Stablecoins, in theory, are backed by assets of some sort, except those that were algorithmically backed (whatever that means). Tether (USDT) is still the biggest at $67 billion. I love how much everything is made to sound like dollars (USD) despite the rhetoric against fiat. This stablecoin, in particular, attracts a lot of negative posts about how it is backed. The company asserts that Tether is backed by T-bills, commercial paper, etc., but to my knowledge, it has never produced a detailed list of its holdings, let alone an audited list of its holdings. This behemoth of an account ($67 billion is large even in money markets) is unknown by any money market participant I speak to (albeit that is only a handful of people outside of Academy’s strong short-term liquidity desk). Someone recently pointed out that they apparently manage that much money without a Bloomberg terminal account (there is no Bloomberg account linked to a company called “Tether,” but they could use a different name on Bloomberg to obfuscate their existence, which isn’t unheard of). Tether has seen their market cap drop from $82 billion to $67 billion, and part of that could be that some investors, given what has gone on this year, have shied away from it. USD Coin or USDC (again, notice how much it tries to sound like the dollar) has a market cap of $52 billion. Its market cap only peaked at $55 billion, so it has gained at the expense of USDT. Circle, which is the company behind USDC, makes a big deal out of being transparent and regulated in the U.S. I’ve had brief conversations with people involved in the company and the pitch makes sense to me (though I have not yet gone through the effort of figuring out how granular that transparency is – that’s a project for another day). But they are clearly marketing themselves on the transparency issue and have surged relative to Tether over the past year or so. Binance USD (BUSD) weighs in at $18 billion and is a distant third and seems relatively tied to the Binance ecosystem. Vegan hotdogs. When I see all these names trying so hard to associate themselves with the dollar despite being part of an ecosystem designed to avoid the dollar, I can’t help thinking about vegan hotdogs and why vegans try to replicate an already weird food, when vegan food in its own right can be awesome! But I digress. My view is that stablecoins and their market caps are a function of the overall utility of cryptocurrencies. If crypto crashes, we should see a decline in the market cap of stablecoins. Two things could occur: Those backed by assets will have to sell the assets to meet redemptions. If it is a few billion and they are back by T-bills, then no sweat. Markets would digest that easily and no one would be impacted. But if the size is bigger (10s of billions) and the assets are less liquid (non-standard commercial paper programs for example) then we could see some friction in markets. Again, if we knew exactly what they held we could be more or less prepared. What they hold and the size of the selling would impact the knock-on effects of any unwind (Terra/Luna held nothing, so that didn’t spread to the greater financial system, but this could). If the stablecoins don’t truly hold sufficient assets or the assets are of low quality (there are all sorts of conspiracy theories out there on what it might be invested in that isn’t worth me repeating here, even if they intrigue me) then we could see what looks like a “bank run” occur not just in stablecoins, but ultimately in the assets they hold and asset classes that compete with what they hold. Let’s just pretend, for the moment, that they have money market lending that is off the radar screen, and presumably paid a lot, as it wasn’t standard. If they have to sell, that could cause prices to plummet, possibly to a level that more traditional players sell what they have to buy this stuff, creating that first domino effect. There is a circularity between crypto and stablecoins. They can bring each other down. While crypto losses themselves will be largely isolated to the holders (we still have to dig into that), the unravelling of stablecoins is likely to influence other markets, possibly quite negatively. Direct Losses The direct losses are relatively easy to figure out. Crypto losses. Let’s say $500 billion could be wiped out of crypto. While some evidence points to there being a small subset of “whales” that would bear the brunt of that loss, I think there is a broad enough swath of the population that would take a serious hit and it would affect spending in the near-term. Stablecoin losses. Stablecoins in theory should have an orderly unwind. If, and that remains a question, there is a disorderly unwind of one or more stablecoins, the losses would be in the 10’s of billions (which isn’t so bad). The problem is that unlike crypto losses, where investors presumably treated this as a risky portion of their portfolio, stablecoins are viewed as cash equivalents. Losing cash is always more problematic than losing risky investments. Something to watch. Public Company Losses. There are at least a couple of public companies that are linked to crypto. Then there are the miners, mostly listed on foreign exchanges. HIVE for example went from almost $2 billion to just over $400 million (higher than the recent lows of $237 million). Not a huge market cap loss, but only one of many miners out there. This would add up to more losses, some of which would hit mainstream funds. The bigger losses would likely be felt in the private domain as many of the companies in the space have not yet made the leap from private equity to public equity. The losses shouldn’t be material to the broader market, but would likely be concentrated enough to leave a mark disproportionate to the size of the losses. On the private equity side (even more than the public side) the losses will hit employees the hardest and that will hit spending. Jobs. If you consider day trading crypto and waiting for NFT drops to be a job, then there will be job losses. The companies I’ve mentioned, both the public and private ones, will be forced to let go of employees (that already will have lost significant paper wealth). These are skilled employees, so in theory, could find other jobs, but that could be more difficult to do in an environment where crypto losses cause investors (including private equity) to be more conservative across the fintech space. Domino or knock-on effects. Assuming the stablecoins hold liquid assets, that unwind should be handled easily (there is a risk that isn’t the case, at least for some stablecoins) but I won’t harp on it. There is not a lot of direct debt tied to crypto (though there are some bonds out there, but they are too small to have any material impact). I don’t see crypto being used as a major source of collateral. If bitcoin holdings, for example, were being used to leverage up stock investments, then I’d be very scared. I think some individuals may manage their personal wealth along those lines, but I don’t see it as a widespread issue (unlike housing in 2008, for example). Spending. How much spending is coming from this sector and what does that mean for us? Spurious Correlation or Real Threat You can take any two data series and potentially see a correlation. They may have nothing to do with each other, so we can stare at the “correlation” chart as long as we want, but it isn’t going to help us because there is no causation. Complicating matters further, we should be looking at correlations between the rate of change rather than correlations between asset classes themselves (I vaguely remember the reasons for this, but I will ignore that technicality for today). Here is the SOX (Philadelphia Semiconductor Index) versus bitcoin. I chose to use this index because it is more likely to be spurious and highlights how much more correlated some individual semi-conductor stocks are. Spurious correlation. The argument for “spurious correlation” is strong. It seems impossible that a small segment of the market, like crypto, could have a large effect on such a big diversified market. Many of the things that drove crypto were also driving other industries that placed huge demands on the chip industry (video conferencing, autonomous driving, big data, etc.). So crypto was just one of many things driving those industries and those industries should not be impacted by a crash in crypto. I could go on, but I can see heads nodding here, so I won’t spend any more time arguing what is a consensus (and probably correct) view. What if it is correlated? The wealth being generated by those in crypto was large. From the miners to the “exchanges,” there was a race to capture revenue and there was plenty of revenue to capture. The spending on chips (rigs to mine, servers to provide customer service, etc.) was large. Chip companies presumably saw this demand and knew that they could charge a premium to an industry where speed and timeliness meant everything. Were chips designed specifically for the crypto industry? Was production of generics shifted to higher profit margin lines? Not only were the companies (that succeeded) spending money, but many failed business ideas (or those just not yet successful) had money to spend as well. What if crypto spending went to web services (seems like it would). What if it went to advertising? (It did). What if that spending caused those companies to spend more? Maybe they needed to add systems, components, and people to keep up with the demand from the crypto industry. Did that spending then create more spending and make it very difficult (if not impossible) to figure out where crypto spending ended and where “regular” spending went? How much money was crypto spending on energy? At one time I saw stories that in terms of energy usage, crypto, if treated as a nation, would have been the 10th largest country in terms of energy use. Commodity prices are always affected by the marginal 5% or 10% of demand. Is it possible that part of energy inflation was due to crypto? Does that mean policy makers are responding to a problem (high inflation) while ignoring one of the causes (because it isn’t on their radar screen, except in China, which has been clamping down on mining in that country?) The case for crypto being a bigger driver than previously thought may seem weak, but I cannot help but believe that it is a risk we should be discussing more than I think we are. What if the correlation was a driver for exciting new technologies where enormous wealth seemed possible (to such an extent) that current spending or success was irrelevant? What if crypto’s decline and potential collapse may not be causal, but is correlated to some broader move in markets and the economy? Then in that case, it might be spurious, but is still dangerous. Impossible Things, Black Swans, and Thinking Out of the Box I do not think a crypto collapse is impossible. It isn’t my base case, but there is a real possibility that it occurs. Black swans are things that people didn’t think were possible (and turned out to be possible). We can get a pass on missing black swans, but not if we are looking at a grey swan and choose to ignore it. I’m not lying awake at night thinking about a crypto collapse because: It “probably” won’t happen. If it does happen, the damage to the economy “could” or maybe even “should” be minimal. But I am thinking more and more about it because if there is a correlation between crypto and the broader economy (and markets) or because crypto, the broader markets, and the economy are moving to the same theme, there is serious risk to the downside. Some of this risk may not be getting priced in based on some simple charts of crypto versus other asset classes. On this broader correlation theme, check out ARKK shares outstanding because something seems to have shifted in terms of the investor mentality there. For those who celebrate, enjoy bitcoin infinity day! It really seems weird that not only is that a thing, but on 8/21/21 the CEO of a public company enjoyed tweeting it out. I’m possibly too old and jaded, but stuff like that seems silly rather than compelling. Tyler Durden Sun, 08/21/2022 - 21:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 21st, 2022

What Psychedelics And Bitcoin Have In Common

What Psychedelics And Bitcoin Have In Common Authored by Maxx Mannheimer via BitcoinMagazine.com, I’ll begin by stating that I do not suggest that anyone take psychedelics. Each individual knows what is best for them and it is not my intent to challenge your free will in any way. If what I have written connects with your life experience, great. If it does not, feel free to ignore every word. But if you wish to debate about what I am presenting, I would only request that you carefully read this article in its entirety. I do not recommend participating in any activity which is illegal where you live and I do not recommend taking psychedelic substances without professional guidance. Psychedelic experiences can be profoundly liberating and inspiring, but they can also be existentially earth-shattering if used without proper preparation. As always, do your own research and use your best judgment. I’m not the first to draw a link between psychedelics and Bitcoin. Articles about billionaire investor Christian Angermayer have highlighted at least one anecdote of psilocybe mushrooms assisting with the understanding of Bitcoin. However, I believe this won’t be the last time we see these two topics mentioned together. If my intuition is correct, we will be seeing many more articles along these lines as Bitcoin and psychedelics both enter the mainstream consciousness. A financial revolution without a spiritual one will fail to create a better world for the majority of life on this planet. A spiritual revolution without a financial one will fail to enact lasting change due to the corruption that is built into our current monetary system. Both are needed to fix the world. It is important that we acknowledge this dynamic period in human history holistically and ecologically rather than making blanket statements about quick-fix solutions to the issues that humanity is facing. The Bitcoin community often discusses the potential for a second renaissance. I hear much of the same talk in the psychedelics space. However, the two worlds often don’t consider the potential synergies between the two. My hope for this article is to support the ice-breaking process which has already begun. The 1960s were a time of ranging counterculture with no concrete direction. It represented a powerful lashing out against a system that doesn’t serve humanity. But after creating a cultural movement — and some excellent music — the flame was extinguished by draconian government intervention. Not only did all use of psychedelics get pushed to the black market, but all scientific research was completely halted for about 50 years. Many psychedelics were being used recklessly at that time, but psychedelics were made illegal for political reasons, not health reasons. The loss to human progress is impossible to calculate. In my assessment, the heavy handed prohibition is unraveling before our eyes. Various city and state governments have opted to decriminalize or legalize the use of psychedelics for therapy. Well known authors, comedians and other public figures are openly discussing psychedelics. Netflix is airing documentaries about psychedelics and many podcasters are covering the topic in a way which would have been shocking ten years ago. Publicly-traded companies are even working on psychedelic pharmaceutical development. More conservative-minded Bitcoiners may pause before seeing this in a positive light, but the data regarding psychedelics potential for therapeutic use can’t be ignored. Therapy using MDMA — the chemical abbreviation for the drug known more commonly as ecstasy or “Molly” — seems to be the most effective way to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a lasting manner. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is moving through U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials to have the substance rescheduled. Their phase three trials have demonstrated 67% of PTSD patients no longer met the criteria for PTSD two months after their sessions. Even after the fiat fiasco collapses we’ll still need to support these people who were traumatized by it. Note: MAPS accepts donations in bitcoin. The psychedelics community may have some hesitancy about the Bitcoin community as well. From my interaction with plant medicine enthusiasts, I have gathered that they’re a sensitive bunch. I genuinely mean that as a compliment, but sensitivity doesn’t always lend itself well to the self-identified “toxic” Bitcoin community. As a generalization, they are wary of anything that could be used to exclude people and deepen inequality. These concerns are valid, but are often projected onto the bitcoin life raft rather than the fiat sinking ship. As a result, there isn’t a sturdy connection between these two communities, but I am predicting that there could be for a number of reasons. The first bridge is the one that leads towards personal and collective liberation. Psychedelics have the potential to liberate us from old systems of thought and all of their downstream effects. Bitcoin has the potential to liberate us from Modern Monetary Theory and all its downstream effects. Both are interested in reducing violence against humanity. Both are interested in reducing government control over what we decide to put in our bodies. Both carry an inherently egalitarian questioning of authority. The second bridge is the novelty of thought required to understand Bitcoin. As I mentioned in “The Bitcoin Customer Service Department,” Bitcoin is a complex paradigm-shifting topic. Despite the simplicity of the Bitcoin white paper, understanding all its implications requires a dramatically novel understanding of the world. In Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind,” the following metaphor is used by Mendel Kaelen to explain the effects of psychedelics on the human psyche. “Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill, a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into the preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time, it becomes more and more difficult to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction. Think of psychedelics as temporarily flattening the snow. The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.” This metaphor is an excellent way to visualize what has been observed in psychedelic patient trials. Neural pathways become more flexible. New connections are created that allow for novel thought, understanding and behavior. Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they fully understood your viewpoint and agreed with everything you said just to see them revert back to their default assumptions a day or two later? That’s the snow metaphor in conversation form. The more concrete our neural connections become, the less likely we will be to understand new emergent technologies. The third bridge relates to the counterculture which gravitates around both Bitcoin and psychedelics. Radical rejection of conventional norms seems to be inherent in the Bitcoin ethos. Bitcoiners generally don’t accept mainstream media, political corruption or dishonesty. Psychedelics enthusiasts generally don’t accept moralistic arguments, violence or inauthenticity. Both groups seek fair treatment of humanity. Both groups avoid processed foods. Both groups are opposed to mindless materialistic consumption. Psychedelics enthusiasts are proponents of meditation and if Bitcoin holders haven’t been meditating through the 2020-22 market, I wouldn’t know what else to call it. Psychedelics pose a threat to authoritarian systems of control because they show users a deeper potential for spirituality and connection with their environment. They enable a novel view of circumstances which allows people to notice that what they are used to may not be the truth. What happened in the 1960s, exactly? A ton of young people realized that the game they were playing was making them and the rest of society miserable. They dropped out in the hopes of finding a new way to live. Most of the hippies in the 1960s were deeply distrustful of the government and of the fruitless wars politicians were creating. They knew the game was rigged and the best course of action was to opt out. What are Bitcoiners talking about today? Essentially the same thing. I know that both of these amorphous groups may balk at the fact that I have categorized them into groups at all. They are not really groups, but rather millions of individuals who share common interests and many of whom will never meet. That’s the beauty of it. Bitcoiners and psychedelic enthusiasts seem to be under a constant centrifugal force. As soon as I begin to categorize or wrangle them into any semblance of a group identity, they sprawl out even further. They span the full scope of human backgrounds and experience. The propaganda war against psychedelics has largely lumped them together, in the mind of the public, with dangerous addictive substances. I would recommend a more nuanced approach to understanding drugs and their uses. Every drug is a tool and each has its proper use. To simply ask for any random tool when what you really need is specifically a Phillips-head screwdriver, you’re unlikely to meet your needs. A closer inspection of each substance will clearly demonstrate that lumping all “drugs” together, simply due to legal status, is absurd. The federal government has clearly lost its grip on “The War On Drugs.” In direct opposition to federal drug scheduling laws, Oregon has decriminalized all drugs and made psilocybe mushroom therapy legal. As Ryan McMaken points out in his recent article, 43% of Americans are currently living in states which have legalized recreational cannabis. Again, in direct opposition to federal drug scheduling laws. If there was a “War On Drugs” it is fair to say that the drugs have won. Right or wrong, this trend is likely to continue. The continuous lack of understanding regarding drug use in America has had a devastating impact on the psyche and freedom of the country. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and approximately half of our prisoners are locked up for non-violent offenses. Drugs and alcohol play a critical role in many of the violent offenses as well. Those incarcerations damage families for generations which ultimately increases future crime rates and use of addictive drugs. Rinse and repeat. The harder we press down on drugs, the more harmful the drugs on the street become. Opium, heroin, oxycontin, fentanyl. Overdoses have never been worse. The criminal justice system is totally broken and people are suffering. Is it possible that people are turning to these drugs because they are disenfranchised by a system which has done nothing but abuse them since the moment they were born? Don’t worry though! Big pharma has a solution for us. They’ll use their cantillon-bucks to lobby for their interests and pay doctors to prescribe psychotropic pharmaceuticals to numb the populace. It’s helpful to keep folks docile as we push them back into the massive machine which is crushing their souls. Western medicine really shines when it comes to saving people who are in dire need of intervention, but largely falls flat when it comes to improving quality of life in a sustainable way. In addition to treating PTSD, psychedelics have shown remarkable potential in assisting with anxiety, depression, addiction, birth trauma and fear of death. I personally have witnessed resolutions of serious physical ailments which were thought to be permanent medical conditions following ayahuasca ceremonies. Is this a result of the plant medicine or is it a result of the plant medicine’s ability to unlock human potential in self-healing? In either case, the effects could only be described as miraculous. Due to the lengthy prohibition, empirical research in this field is just beginning and the potential benefits are much broader than most realize. As John Sanro argues in “The Mindbody Prescription,” many of the ailments which we think of as physical in nature originate in the emotional body. If used responsibly, psychedelics can create lasting emotional relief which does not require repeated use. Most psychedelics are also non-addictive. Many have said that one profound experience is enough to create a permanent positive impact in one’s life. To my knowledge there are no pharmaceuticals which can make that claim. The understanding of self-interest in human action is a critical component for understanding society. The understanding of what constitutes the self is a critical component for understanding spirituality. At the core of every spiritual practice is the same lesson. The litigious dogma which separates religions simply distracts from that. This has been said at least since Baruch Spinoza, Sri Aurobindo and Alan Watts. Some have argued that the core spiritual message has been lost since the original teachings of Buddha, Christ and Muhammad were passed on to their followers. As eloquently discussed by Eckhart Tolle in “A New Earth,” humanity has simply missed the mark and that is the origin of suffering. The boundary between our self-interest and the interest of every other form of life is merely a condition of our perspective on the separation. You may discover that acting exclusively in self-interest without any consideration of others gradually becomes self-destructive. Most actions taken for the exclusive benefit of others, at great personal cost, typically prove themselves fruitless as well. There is a good reason for this. In his 2001 book, “No Boundary,” Ken Wilber presents a thorough case that all separation is simply an illusion. It is my belief that we all get the chance to see through this illusion upon departing this physical realm, but if we can look through the door, before permanently crossing the threshold, the broadened perspective can be beneficial to our experience until the departure. However, all of these words have very little consequence if they are not accompanied by first-hand experience. The metaphor I like to employ for this understanding is that of the mountain. Throughout human history the great prophets and mystics have arduously made their way up the mountain using various methods. Many have done their best to describe the sights, sounds and viewpoints from the paths that they chose. Those who reached the top have seldom had words to describe what was there and many never make the attempt to explain. That place is not describable to those who have not experienced it. This is true of every aspect of life. How can sight be described to a blind person? How can sound be described to a deaf person? Words ultimately only point to truth, they do not contain truth. Without a shared context of reality, words are empty. What psychedelics may be able to assist with, if the seeker is prepared, is to find a temporary view of various parts of the mountain. The glimpses into those heightened states of consciousness are simply that: glimpses. They do not contain the same value as thousands of hours of meditation, years of yoga practice or pilgrimages to holy sites, but the glimpses they provide can be profoundly liberating. To hop in a helicopter and visit the top of the mountain for fifteen minutes has the potential to alter your life permanently. The permanency is what many people fear when they hear about psychedelics, but what if the changes that remain with us are largely beneficial to our well-being rather than harmful? What if the expansion of human consciousness is exactly what is needed to slingshot us into the next phase of human evolution? The lowering of time preference alone seems to have a spiritual component, but is it enough to shift human nature away from the darkest parts of our past? The answer will come in the form of individual choice and expression. I want to believe that the separation of money and state will benefit humanity as a whole, but I won’t be entirely convinced until I see how it happens. What I would ask from the reader is a gentle approach to both psychedelics and to Bitcoin. You may benefit from listening for the true intent of those you are communicating with, not the intent you may have assumed they have. This speaks true not just for Bitcoin and psychedelics, but for all topics of discussion. The lack of understanding of a topic is not the same as malevolence. Assume the former even if you suspect the latter and your ability to support others in learning will improve significantly. Have a nice trip. Tyler Durden Wed, 07/27/2022 - 20:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 28th, 2022

8 unforgettable moments during the International Space Station"s decades in orbit, from DNA research to making space tacos

While Russia's role at the International Space Station may be ending, the ISS is still a shining example of international collaboration. The sun beams off the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia, as the International Space Station orbits 264 miles above.NASA Over two decades, the International Space Station has been humanity's home in space. The orbiting laboratory was launched in 1998 and has exceeded its 15-year expected lifespan. ISS science led to cutting-edge research and international science collaborations.   For more than two decades, the International Space Station has been humanity's only inhabited outpost in space.The orbiting laboratory, which was launched in 1998 and received its first visitors less than two years later, has well exceeded its 15-year expected lifespan. NASA aims to keep the space station going until 2030 and beyond, even opening it up to commercial spaceflight.The ISS enabled great strides in science, and collaboration across humankind, but Russia's space agency announced Tuesday that it would pull out of the aging station after 2024, when the current international arrangement runs out. Russia's involvement may be ending, but the ISS's legacy in low Earth orbit, where space agencies can study how humans live away from Earth, lives on.Here are eight unforgettable moments from the ISS's 24 years in space:The landmark 'Twins Study,' which showed that living in space can change human DNAIdentical twin astronauts, Mark and Scott Kelly, took part in the "Twins Study."NASAMuch of the research at the ISS is preparation to understand the effect of space exploration on humans, ahead of putting boots on the moon and Mars. NASA's groundbreaking "Twins Study" compared the health and biology of astronaut Mark Kelly to his Earth-bound identical twin, Scott Kelly.The study, published in 2019, found that Kelly's DNA changed in space. Upon Scott's return to Earth after 340 days aboard the ISS, researchers found that his telomeres — the protective caps at the end of DNA strands — were unexpectedly longer than Mark's telomeres.Scientists are also conducting experiments aboard the ISS to combat bone and muscle loss. According to NASA, astronauts lose between 1 and 2% of their bone density for every month spent in space.The first observation of an unusual 'cool-flame' An experiment aboard the ISS shows the appearance of a steadily-burning "cool flame."NASADuring an unrelated experiment, conducted in 2012, scientists aboard the ISS were able to observe large fuel droplets of heptane extinguishing twice. While the initial burn was at the traditional higher temperature, the second time it went out, the scientists observed low-temperature, soot-free flames in steadily burning fuels for the first time.This so-called "cool flame" flickers at about 600 degrees Celsius (about 1,120 degrees Fahrenheit), according to NASA. That's about half the temperature of a candle flame, which burns at about 1,400 degrees Celsius (2,500 degrees Fahrenheit).The flame burns for much longer in a low-gravity environment, such as aboard the ISS, which allowed the scientists to see the flame in heptane fuel burn for the first time, according to NASA. The discovery could help scientists use fuel more efficiently in the future, and improve fire safety on the ISS.Astronauts send the first tweets from the ISSIn 2010, astronaut Timothy "TJ" Creamer sent the first live tweet from the International Space Station, after the space station updated to a better internet connection, which allowed astronauts access to social media. —TJ Creamer (@Astro_TJ) January 22, 2010This, however, was not the first tweet sent from an astronaut aboard the ISS.Access to the internet on the space station was limited until 2010, so astronaut Mike Massimino had a tweet sent by NASA on his behalf in 2009. Massimino transmitted messages to NASA's Mission Control Center on Earth and NASA tweeted them out:"From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun," Massimo tweeted, with help from NASA.The ISS became one of the first space tourism destinationsYusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, floats inside the International Space Station in this photo, uploaded on December 9, 2021, and obtained from social media.Yusaku Maezawa/Instagram/ReutersThe first space tourist was Dennis Tito, a US millionaire who boarded the ISS on April 30, 2001, and stayed aboard for eight days.In total, 14 people have gone to the space station as commercial spaceflight participants, the official term for space tourists, including Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, Russian film director Klim Shipenko, actor Yulia Peresild, billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, and production assistant, Yozo Hirano.NASA also opened ISS commercial space opportunities in recent years. In April 2022, Axiom Space, a commercial aerospace company, launched the first private mission to the ISS. "We are opening a new era in human spaceflight," Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut, who is also an Axiom executive and mission commander, said on Twitter in April. "We are taking the first step in a next generation platform initiative that's going to bring working, living, and research in space to a much broader and more international audience."Astronauts grew plants on the ISS and made space tacosAstronauts have successfully grown fresh food aboard the space station, in order to help NASA study plant growth in low gravity, give them fresh grub, and gain insights into how to provide future spacefarers with a sustainable, long-lasting food source. The agency says the ISS astronauts have successfully harvested three types of lettuce, radishes, and peas. In 2021, scientists aboard the ISS cultivated the chili peppers grown in space, using them, along with fajita beef and vegetables, to make the first space tacos. Astronauts are not just growing edible plants. In 2016, astronaut Scott Kelly shared photos of his space-grown zinnia flower, making it the first flower to bloom in space. A Russian film crew filmed the first fiction movie fully shot in spaceA Russian film crew went to the ISS in October 2021 to film a full, feature-length film aboard the space station. The film follows a Russian doctor sent to the station to treat a critically ill cosmonaut."I'm feeling a bit sad today," actress Yulia Peresild said on Russian state TV, after landing on Earth after 12 days of filming, according to CBS News. "It seemed that 12 days would be a lot, but I did not want to leave when everything was over."Actress Yulia Peresild attends her spacesuit check ahead of her expedition to the International Space Station, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on September 19, 2021.Andrey Shelepin/GCTC/Roscosmos/Handout via ReutersStill, there is controversy about whether this is the first fiction production filmed in space. An eight-minute movie shot by space tourist Richard Garriot, called "Apogee of Fear," took place aboard the ISS in 2008 and starred astronauts on the ISS. An ongoing example of international cooperation in a divided worldView of an aurora taken from the International Space Station as it crossed over the southern Indian Ocean, on September 17, 2011.NASAThe ISS has been a shining example of international collaboration since it launched in 1998. The station involves space agencies from the United States, Europe, Canada, and Japan, with a rotating crew of astronauts.As of May 2022, hundreds of individuals from 20 countries have visited the ISS, according to NASA. In July 2022, amid high tension between Russia and the US over the war in Ukraine, Russia's space agency announced its plans to pull out of the ISS after 2024, ending a decades-long partnership with NASA at the orbiting outpost. In a July 26 statement, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the agency has not been notified by Roscosmos of any plans to end ISS cooperation."NASA is committed to the safe operation of the International Space Station through 2030, and is coordinating with our partners," Nelson said in the statement, according to The New York Times. "NASA has not been made aware of decisions from any of the partners."Dazzling views of Earth from space — including auroras and volcanic eruptions The city lights of Italy, including the French island of Corse and Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily, from the International Space Station.NASAAstronauts aboard the ISS — like the station itself — are traveling at 17,500 mph, 250 miles above the planet, and orbiting it every 90 minutes. With this vantage point, they regularly share beautiful images looking down at Earth, snapping shots of phenomena like aurora, harsh storms, volcanic eruptions, and light pollution. In a 1987 book, author Frank White coined the term "the overview effect," referring to the high astronauts report experiencing after seeing Earth from space.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 26th, 2022

Tesla just celebrated its 12th year as a public company. Here are the most important moments in its history.

Take a tour through Tesla's history from Silicon Valley startup to the world's most valuable car company. Tesla Model 3.Tesla On June 29, 2022, Tesla celebrated its 12th anniversary as a public company.  Tesla closed out its first day of trading in 2010 with a market cap of $2.22 billion. It's now worth roughly $700 billion.  The company put electric cars on the map.  On June 29, Tesla celebrated its 12 year as a public company. Since its IPO in 2010, Elon Musk's electric-car company has contented with high highs and low lows. And through all the twists and turns, Tesla managed to put electric vehicles on the map and become the most valuable car company on the planet. Tesla's journey from fledgling startup to EV juggernaut hasn't always been smooth sailing. While the company has notched plenty of achievements, it's also experienced its fair share of setbacks. Here's a breakdown of the company's most defining moments since its founding. July 2003: Tesla Motors is founded by a group of Silicon Valley engineers.Martin Eberhard, co-founder of former CEO of Tesla Motors, poses next to an electric motor.Paul Sakuma/ AP PhotoWhile Elon Musk, Tesla's current CEO, has led Tesla for the majority of its existence, he wasn't always at the helm of the company. Tesla, named after the famous physicist Nikola Tesla, was incorporated in 2003 by two engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Later co-founders included JB Straubel, Ian Wright, and Musk. Eberhard served as CEO until August 2007, and left the company shortly thereafter. February 2004: Elon Musk invests.Musk in 2006.Joanne Ho-Young Lee/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesMusk led the company's Series A funding round in 2004, contributing $6.5 million and joining Tesla's board as chairman. August 2006: Musk reveals Tesla's Master Plan.Musk.Thomson ReutersIn 2006, Musk published a blog post entitled "The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)" in which he laid out Tesla's long-term mission: to help transition the world away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. "Some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars. This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution." November 2007: Ze'ev Drori named CEO.Ze'ev Drori.Robert Galbraith/ReutersTesla announced Drori would take the helm at Tesla at the end of November. An Israeli engineer and tech veteran, Drori was tasked with bringing Tesla's first car, the Roadster, to market by the first quarter of 2008.  February 2008: Tesla's first Roadster is delivered.The Tesla Roadster.TeslaDrori managed to bring the Roadster into production on time and the first vehicle was delivered to Musk, who was serving as the company's chairman at the time. To celebrate the occasion, Musk jumped in the Roadster and led four other prototype Roadsters packed with engineers down Highway 101 and University Avenue in Palo Alto, California.  March 2008: The company begins regular production of the Roadster.Tesla RoadsterScott Olson/Getty ImagesBy mid-March, the company had met its goal of getting regular production of the Roadster up and running. At the time, Drori referred to the event as a "milestone for the company and a watershed for the new era of electric vehicles." Tesla produced the Roadster, which priced at $109,000, until January 2012 and in total sold 2,450 of them.October 2008: Musk assumes title of CEO.REUTERS/Noah BergerBy October, Tesla was feeling pressure created by the financial crisis. "The global financial system has gone through the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and the effects are only beginning to wind their way through every facet of the economy. It's not an understatement to say that nearly every business will be impacted by what has unfolded in the past weeks, and this is true for Silicon Valley as well," Musk said at the time.Musk announced he would be taking over the company and that there would be layoffs. He also pushed the launch date of the Model S sedan, Tesla's next vehicle, from 2010 to mid-2011.  November 2008: Tesla secures $40 million in financing and avoids bankruptcy.Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, listens as Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada speaks during a press conference at the Nevada State Capitol, September 4, 2014 in Carson City, Nevada.Max Whittaker/Getty ImagesBy November 2008, the company's financial situation had worsened and Tesla was on the brink of bankruptcy. To help restore Tesla's coffers and speed up Roadster production, the company's board of directors approved $40 million in convertible debt financing."Even then, we only narrowly survived...We actually closed the financing round on Christmas Eve 2008. It was the last hour of the last day that it was possible," Musk said in 2015.    March 2009: Tesla unveils a prototype of its second car, the Model S sedan.Elon Musk and Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen at the Tesla Model S media launch in Hawthorne.Fred Prouser/ReutersTesla unveiled its second car, the Model S, in March 2009 in Hawthorne, California at the SpaceX headquarters.  By May 12, 2009, Tesla had already surpassed 1,000 reservations for the Model S.   May 2009: Mercedes-maker Daimler takes a 10% stake in Tesla for $50 million.Elon Musk and Daimler Board Member Thomas Weber talk about the deal on Fox Business news.YouTube/Every Elon Musk VideoThe $40 million in financing helped get Tesla through its darkest hour, but the company needed more resources to further develop its battery technology. Tesla and Daimler had already been in partnership for about a year working on an electric Smartcar. But by May, Daimler made a long-term bet on Tesla by taking a 10 percent stake in the company. The two companies agreed to work together on developing battery and electric drive systems.In June 2009, Tesla also received a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy, which it repaid by May 2013.   June 2010: Tesla goes public.CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk waves after ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ market in celebration of his company's initial public offering in New York June 29, 2010.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidTesla offered 13.3 million shares at $17 per share. The company raised $226.1 million. Shares closed at $23.89, valuing Tesla at $2.2 billion. October 2, 2011: Elon Musk reveals Model S beta.REUTERS/Stephen Lam In late 2011, Tesla showed off a near-production version of the Model S to about 3,000 early reservation holders. Musk revealed that the vehicle would get 320 miles per charge and go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. "The oil companies said electric cars can't work, but the truth is, they don't want them to work. But here it is. They would say this car is the equivalent of a unicorn. Well, tonight you had the opportunity to ride a unicorn," Musk said at the event.February 2012: Tesla reveals the Model X SUV.Alex Davies / Business InsiderJust a few months later, Musk unveiled a prototype of the Model X, the company's first SUV. The vehicle's most novel feature was its falcon-wing doors. By February 2012, the company had amassed advance sales of more than $40 million. At the time of its reveal, Tesla aimed to have the Model X in production by 2014. However, it wouldn't actually enter production until the end of 2015.   June 2012: Tesla begins delivery of Model S.Tesla Chief Executive Office Elon Musk celebrates at his company's factory in Fremont, California, June 22, 2012, as the car company began delivering its Model S electric sedan.ASSOCIATED PRESSIn a major milestone, Tesla started delivering the Model S to customers in June 2012.September 2014: Tesla decides to expand out of California with a second factory in Nevada.Tesla MotorsTesla announced its plans to build its giant battery factory, dubbed the Gigafactory, in February 2014 and ultimately decided to built it in Sparks, Nevada. The original site was 1,000 acres, but in June 2015 the company purchased an additional 1,864 acres of adjacent land.April 2015: Tesla reveals the Powerwall, a giant rechargeable battery for your home, and its Powerpack, a battery for commercial use.Tesla's newest product "Powerwall" is unveiled on stage in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, April 30, 2015. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages.AP Photo/Ringo H.W. ChiuTesla made a big push into energy when it unveiled the Powerpack and Powerwall at an event in Hawthorne, California in 2015.Musk said that batteries were the "missing piece" of Tesla's business model and claimed that 160 million Powerpacks could power the United States.The company followed up in a statement on its website declaring that "Tesla is not just an automotive company it's an energy innovation company."September 2015: Model X deliveries begin.Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTesla had originally planned to launch its Model X SUV in late 2013 or early 2014, but production delays forced the company to push back deliveries by almost two years. The vehicle's highly-specialized features, like its signature doors made it complicated to manufacture on a mass scale.     October 14, 2015: Tesla launches Autopilot to customers.YouTube/TeslaTesla began rolling a software update that activated its new advance driver-assistance system, Autopilot. Since late 2014, Tesla had included the necessary radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors to make Autopilot work. With Autopilot switched on, a Model S could automatically stay centered in its lane and brake and accelerate to keep up with traffic. These remain the basic functions of Autopilot.  March 2016: Tesla unveils the Model 3, its first mass-market car.TeslaMusk unveiled the much-anticipated Model 3 on March 31, 2016. He announced that the car would get 215 miles or more per charge and go from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds. Tesla planed a starting price of $35,000, though that price point was never widely available. May 2016: A man is killed while using Tesla Autopilot in his Model S.National Transportation Safety BoardThe first fatal Autopilot accident occurred in May 2016, but word didn't get out about the incident until more than a month later. On June 30, government regulators revealed they were looking into a tie between the fatal accident and Tesla's Autopilot feature. Tesla issued a statement calling the incident a "tragic loss."According to Tesla's statement, the Model S was driving down a divided highway when a tractor-trailer cut across the highway perpendicular to the vehicle. "Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor-trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S," Tesla said.   June 2016: Tesla announces plans to purchase Solar City for $2.6 billion.APThe company made a $2.6 billion bid to acquire SolarCity, a solar installation company run by Musk's cousin. Not surprisingly, the deal was controversial from the start, primarily because SolarCity was about $3 billion in debt and the deal was seen as a bailout. Further complicating the matter, Musk was also the chairman of the company.  July 2016: Elon Musk reveals Tesla Masterplan Part Deux.ReutersIn 2016, Musk revealed the second part of his company's "master plan," which outlined four key goals: 1. Develop "stunning" solar roofs that seamlessly integrate with Tesla's battery storage.2. Roll out more affordable vehicles "to address all major segments."3. Advance its self-driving technology so that it is "ten times safer" than manual driving. 4. Roll out a car-sharing program that enables Tesla owners to make money by renting out their autonomous car. Over the years, Musk has repeatedly touted Tesla's plans for self-driving vehicles that can earn their owners passive income. But this robotaxi vision is still a long way off. November 2016: Tesla buys a German engineering company to help it push further into automation.YouTube/iPhone-FanMusk made it clear in early 2016 that automation was the future for Tesla. During a shareholder meeting in June, Musk said that he saw a huge opportunity in "building the machine that makes the machine." So it wasn't all that surprising when Tesla announced it was buying Grohmann Engineering, a German firm that specializes in designing systems for manufacturing automation.  November 2016: Tesla officially gets into the solar business.Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at SolarCity's Inside Energy Summit in Midtown, New York.Thomson ReutersTesla closed its deal with SolarCity in November 2016.Some Tesla shareholders alleged that the deal amounted to a bailout that unfairly enriched Musk's family, sparking off a lengthy legal battle. Musk won the case in April.     February 2017: Tesla rebrands.APIn 2017, the automaker dropped the "motors" from its name in a move meant to reflect the fact that Tesla no longer just sold cars.  July 2017: Tesla launches the Model 3.Tesla Model 3.TeslaTesla launched the Model 3 in July 2017.  The first cars went to Musk and Tesla employees. Getting the Model 3 — a more affordable, mass-produced vehicle — to market was crucial for Tesla to grow its reach to become profitable. What ensued was months of "production hell," as Tesla ramped up production to thousands of cars per week. November 12017: Tesla unveils the Semi conceptTeslaAt an event at Tesla's Hawthorne, California, facility, the automaker showed off its Semi truck concept. With a center-mounted seat, the Semi promised a range of 500 miles and a 400-mile range after 30 minutes of charging. Musk even claimed it would have self-driving capabilities.The Semi has been delayed multiple times, but Tesla now says it will go into production in 2023. November 2017: Tesla unveils the Roadster conceptTeslaAt the Tesla Semi's unveiling, the company took the opportunity to tease another future product: the Roadster. Tesla claimed the $200,000 sports car would hit 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds. After delays, it's set to go into production in 2023. February 2018: Musk's Tesla Roadster goes to space.SpaceX via Getty ImagesIn February 2018, the rocket company SpaceX, another Musk venture, launched its founder's Tesla Roadster into orbit during a test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. A dummy dubbed "Starman," wearing a SpaceX spacesuit, was strapped into the driver's seat.  The car is currently orbiting the Sun.  August 2018: Musk tweets that he is "considering taking Tesla private at $420" a share.AP PhotoHe also said that he'd "secured" funding. The tweet would kick off an SEC investigation into Musk's tweeting habit. September 2018: The SEC charges Musk with making "false and misleading statements" about taking Tesla private.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe agency accused Musk of misleading the public, claiming that he knew he didn't have a deal to take Tesla private. Eventually, the two settled. Musk had to step down as the chairman of Tesla's board of directors. Both he and Tesla were fined $20 million. The agreement stipulated that, going forward, Tesla lawyers needed to approve any of Musk's tweets containing material information about the company. March 2019: Tesla unveils the Model Y, its fourth vehicle.Tesla's Model Y.Tesla Motors/Handout via ReutersIn March 2019, Tesla revealed its fourth vehicle to date. Tesla said the Model Y would be able to travel 300 miles on a charge and seat seven people. October 2019: Tesla starts production at its new Shanghai factory.A Tesla logo is seen at a groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in ShanghaiReutersTesla became the first western automaker to own a factory in China without a joint venture. The factory, located in Shanghai, would help Tesla better supply the world's largest car market with its most popular vehicle, the Model 3. November 2019: Tesla unveils the Cybertruck pickup.FILE PHOTO: News: Tesla CybertruckReutersMusk unveiled the Cybertruck at an event on November 21, 2019. Tesla said the radically designed truck would be able to tow 14,000 pounds and travel 500 miles on a single charge.All did not go off without a hitch, though, as a demonstration meant to show the strength of the "armored" glass used in the truck left two huge cracks in it. The Cybertruck was supposed to be on sale already. Now Tesla says it'll hit streets in 2023. It's been beat to market by electric pickups from Ford, General Motors, and Rivian Automotive. March 2020: Tesla starts delivering the Model Y.Tesla Model Y/TeslaTesla started delivering the Model Y SUV to customers just as the global pandemic hit the US. June 2020: The Tesla Model S becomes the first EV to get a 400-mile range rating by the EPATeslaThe Tesla Model S Long Range Plus achieved an EPA-rated range of 402 miles, making it the first EV to do so. The company achieved this through cutting down on weight and maximizing regenerative braking.The Model S has since been beat by the Air, a sedan from the California startup Lucid Motors. But the Model S is still one of the longest-range electric cars you can buy today. July 2020: Tesla says it's turned a profit for four quarters in a row for the first time.Elon Musk.Alexi Rosenfeld / Contributor / gettyAfter burning through cash for years, Tesla hit its stride and started turning a consistent profit. The feat teed it up for being added to the S&P 500 index later that year. December 2020: Tesla builds 500,000 cars in a year.Tesla Model Y vehicles.Visual China Group / GettyTesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, just shy of its goal of half a million units. February 2021: Tesla spends $1.5 billion on bitcoin.Bitcoin tumbled to well below $20,000 over the weekend, before rebounding somewhat on Monday.Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesAmid a cryptocurrency gold rush, Tesla announced it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in January of 2021. It said it planned to accept the currency as a payment for Tesla cars, but that didn't last long. The value of bitcoin has plummeted in recent months, meaning Tesla's crypto bet is likely under water. June 2021: Tesla starts delivering the Model S Plaid, its fastest car ever.Tesla Model S Plaid.TeslaTesla announced the Model S Plaid at an even in September 2020, and started shipping it to customers in June 2021. Tesla's most powerful and fastest vehicle ever, the Plaid has three motors that propel it to 60 mph in a claimed 1.99 seconds. It now costs $135,990. October 2021: Tesla becomes a $1 trillion company.Tesla's share price soared to new heights in 2021.NDZ/Star Max / Contributor via GettyTesla's share price skyrocketed for the better part of 2020 and 2021 as the company proved its profitability and grew sales. In October 2021, as its share price crested $1,000, Tesla's market cap surged past $1 trillion. It joined powerhouses like Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft. December 2021: Tesla moves its headquarters to Texas.Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility during the "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty ImagesAfter announcing the move in October, Tesla officially moved its headquarters out of Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas in December. Musk also moved to Texas, where SpaceX's launch site is. March 2022: Tesla opens its third car factory near Berlin.One of the first Tesla Model Y SUVs leaves the assembly line at Tesla's Berlin factory.picture alliance / ContributorAfter months of bureaucratic delays and environmental protests, Tesla kicked off production at its new factory near Berlin in March. Tesla is building Model Y SUVs there for the European market. April 2022: Tesla opens Austin, Texas, Gigafactory.CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty ImagesMere weeks after opening its third vehicle plant in Germany, Tesla opened a fourth, marking the occasion with a "Cyber Rodeo" party. The company makes the Model Y there. It also plans to eventually build the Cybertruck pickup at the sprawling facility. June 2022: Tesla moves to cut 10% of salaried staffA Tesla Model 3.David Zalubowski/APAmid a broader economic downturn, Musk outlined plans to cut 10% of Tesla's salaried staff in June. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

Mike Novogratz pounded the recession alarm, warned stocks would plunge further, and predicted some benefits from the crypto crash this week. Here are the 12 best quotes.

The Galaxy Digital CEO expects a deep recession in the near future, and anticipates the crypto crash will eliminate some of the industry's excesses. Mike Novogratz.Reuters/Rick Wilking Mike Novogratz predicted the US economy would rapidly slump into a deep recession. Tha Galaxy Digital CEO warned asset prices might not recover until the Fed reins in inflation. Novogratz suggested the crypto crash could wash out some of the industry's excesses. Mike Novogratz predicted the US economy would quickly fall into a brutal recession, warned stocks could tumble another 20%, and cautioned asset prices might not rebound until the Federal Reserve gets inflation under control.The veteran investor and Galaxy Digital CEO also suggested the crypto crash would help remove excessive leverage, reckless speculation, and aggressive tribalism from the fledgling industry. He made the comments in interviews with CNBC and Bloomberg and during a Morgan Stanley conference this week.Here are Novogratz's 12 best quotes, lightly edited for length and clarity:1. "It's hard to not underestimate the huge impact that the response to COVID-19 had on all assets. We pumped so much liquidity into the markets it was crazy, we had never seen anything like it. We were throwing trillions of dollars around like matchsticks."2. "We don't have 12-year bull markets that end with a 4-month bear market. It's not the way it works."3. "The only way you kill inflation at this level is to put the economy in a deep recession."4. "A soft landing is impossible. The economy is going to go into a recession fast. You're going to see the economy just screech to a halt. That's what the Fed needs to do to get inflation down."5. "As long as the market believes the Fed is behind the curve and is going to catch up, I think you're going to see asset prices under pressure."6. "I don't think we've seen the bottom of the stock market yet. Stocks could fall another 15%, 20%. I think you're much closer to the bottom in crypto; ethereum should hold around $1,200, and bitcoin around $20,000 or $21,000."7. "We're going through what feels a little bit like a Long-Term Capital Management moment in crypto." (Novogratz was referring to a highly leveraged hedge fund that blew up in the late 1990s.)8. "When you have really big players that have borrowed money from all over the place, it creates a daisy-chain effect. That is burning through the system right now. My sense is it's mostly burned out, but these fires go until they run out of oxygen. You would have to be one heck of a diamond-handed player to sustain all of this if you have too much leverage. My guess is leverage has been knocked out of the system."9. "A lot of confidence got kicked out of the market. It's going to take a while for Humpty Dumpty to get put back together again."10. "During the COVID bubble, Robinhood and lots of others spread this idea that everybody should be an investor. Well, a lot of people don't have the training to be investors, they don't understand risk management. You saw a lot of froth, and that's mostly been taken out of the market now."11. "In crypto, it's tribal as heck. I literally get death threats when I badmouth another ecosystem. There's almost an irrationality in how people invested — not just in crypto, around the planet. That's going to get washed out. Not completely, these communities are resilient, but I think it's going to be a lot less important." (Novogratz pointed to GameStop and AMC's retail fanbases as examples of "identity investing.")12. "Bitcoin will lead the markets back out of this Fed tightening. The moment the Fed flinches, the moment Powell pauses because the economy's really starting to roll over, you're going to see bitcoin explode north."Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Markets are highly volatile - so invest in these 23 stocks primed to deliver long-term returnsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 18th, 2022

How To Protect Yourself From Davos Man

How To Protect Yourself From Davos Man Authored by Mark Jeftovic via BombThrower.com, Read this if you don’t want your human rights ‘recalibrated’ The pandemic is clearly in the rear-view mirror, no matter how badly the our elites wish it wasn’t so. The window on the World Economic Forum’s self-proclaimed “opportunity” for transformative change is quickly closing. Yet, billions of plebes are still dragging their knuckles around, thinking for themselves. Anybody paying attention to the talking points coming out of this past Davos meeting, knows what they have planned for us: everything from individualized carbon footprint tracking, the requirement for “passports” to navigate the web, to “recalibrating certain human rights… like free speech” This three part piece takes us through what we’re dealing with, why it’s actually impossible for it to succeed, and what you can personally do to secure your own future regardless. #1) Know what you’re dealing with The Davos Club are at their core, Malthusians and Marxists. By Malthusian I mean that they think there are too many useless eaters in the world taking up space and resources. You’re one of them. They’re not. By Marxist I mean the true outcome of socialism: a two tier society. Ostensibly, Marxism is about class struggle and equality for all, but in reality it’s about about eliminating the middle class and the reduction of the class structure to only two: them, a thin scab of elites who sit atop the cap table of the world, who own everything and make all the rules, and everybody else, who own nothing and have no human or civil rights. Class structure, now and future Anything that comes out of Davos, no matter how noble it sounds is really just veneer to get enough useful idiots to convince enough useless eaters to accept the narrative that what is being done to them is for their own good. This year took aim at individual carbon footprints. UK Fire, is a British think tank with a five year mission to map out a pathway to Absolute Zero by 2050. Funded by the UK government’s UK Research and Innovation, along with “an active and growing industrial consortium”, their plan is to eliminate all carbon emissions by 2050. All of them. This includes: Elimination of air travel by 2050 Elimination of shipping (there are no electrically powered ships) The phasing out of beef and lamb for food (replaced by vegetarian food) Radical reduction of steel manufacturing and all blast furnaces Elimination of cement (expand use of clay, “think up something else”, literally) 60% fewer cars, or 60% smaller in size It’s an epic 60-page report that has it all figured out, most importantly how everybody else is going to live. The punchline being the complete elimination of fossil fuels by 2050. But if there’s one thing you can bet on it is this: In 2050, the Royal Family, members of the government, billionaires and industrialists will all still be flying around in private jets or sailing somewhere aboard super-yachts, eating grass fed beef, lamb, bison, and being chauffeured around in 25-foot limos between their multiple 10,000 to 25,000 square foot residences. Some people get triggered by these machinations of our self-appointed betters. The idea that the people who come up with these schemes will get to retain all the trappings of a modern, luxurious lifestyle while taking them all away from the rest of us in the name of “climate justice” or “equity” seems, somehow… unfair. To put it lightly. But when you fall into the trap of getting triggered by these plans, these high minded “roadmaps” and all encompassing  agendas you’re actually falling into a type of mental trap that will compromise your own ability to mitigate these machinations. It’s therefore important to: #2) Understand that it’ll never happen One of the most sanity preserving mental tools I’ve ever discovered is what I call “Embracing the recipriversexcluson“. The term was invented by Douglas Adams in his thinly veiled as satire “Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy” documentary. It means: a number whose value can be anything but itself. His example was the stated hour of a dinner party is the one moment in time when it is impossible for any of the guests to arrive. In this world of management by technocrats and expert authorities, we are immersed in recipriversexclusons: If the most wizened technocrats say “sub-prime is contained”, it isn’t. The future inflation targets are the one value inflation can never have GDP estimates, CPI, PPI, money velocity, all of it, aren’t predictions, they’re exclusions There is a kind of ontological structure to why this is the case: knowledge of the future (predictions) never occur in a vacuum. Putting the prediction into the world (planning) by that very act creates reinforcement and opposition. However both forces reduce the odds of the outcome matching the prediction. The reason why has to do with something called the Three Body Problem, which describes how it is impossible to create an algorithm that describes the movement of three disparate objects in space. The ramifications of this are astounding. Without getting too long-winded about it, I’ll distill it down to this: The World Economic Forum could not successfully execute a plan for total world domination, even if the entire world consisted of only three inanimate objects. I’m oversimplifying. But the concept illustrates how central planning is futile. Whether it’s Soviet-era  Five-Year Plans or FOMC models for transitory inflation, there are simply too many moving parts in the world, many of them with minds of their own, to know where they’re all going to be in 5 milliseconds. Nevermind trying to control the outcome of the entire global economy (or the planet’s climate) out past 2050. What can happen though, and frequently does, is you can cause a lot of damage via central planning. You can screw up everybody else’s plans, even the individual ones that would have otherwise landed in the ballpark. So for interim periods of time, central planning can appear to be omnipotent, but if you look closely, none of those plans actually succeeded at anything other than derailing everybody else’s lives (COVID, lockdowns, vaccines, etc). Any time central planning or technocratic impulses appear to be in control of anything, it’s, as a rule never what was intended. More often it’s a train wreck of unintended consequences. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have runaway inflation, we’d have had a soft-landing in the rate hikes, 100% vaccine compliance, Russia wouldn’t be Ukraine, the supply-chain would be humming along, oil wouldn’t be over $100/barrel and Bitcoin would be a zero, #3) What you actually do about it There is a great difference between resisting evil and renouncing it. When you resist evil, you give it your attention; you continue to make it real. When you renounce evil, you take your attention away from it and give your attention to what you want. Now is the time to control your imagination and give your energy to what you want.” — Neville Goddard This quote provides a nice encapsulation for the decentralized revolution and the emergence of Bitcoin. This movement is not a full frontal assault against globalism, nor is it a fear-based reaction to any impending attempts at tyranny. It is a worldwide, unstoppable opt-out. People are putting their energy literally into what they want. Non-state, neutral, digital bearer instruments, absolute property rights, and self-sovereign autonomy. That’s what I want. That’s what many of you want. I really don’t give a rat’s ass what Klaus Schwab, Justin Trudeau or any of the collectivist eggheads who authored Absolute Zero 2050 want. The reality is nobody is in control, and for both the elites, and the NPCs who love to to have their lives ordered by them, that is terrifying. We live in an out-of-control world, and yet each one of us are bestowed with a few super-powers that give us the ability to rise above any adversity or undesirable circumstances. Those super-powers are the ability to adapt, learn and our ability to think creatively. Individually, any single person can rise above their circumstances. In parallel, we can upend entire empires. Smash Your Great Barrier In order to be able to live your life irrespective of how Davos Man thinks you should, you have to be independently wealthy. That may not be ideal or fair, but that’s how it is. If you aren’t independently wealthy as we go through this Fourth Turning of history, then there’s high likelihood you’ll be a neo-Feudal serf, trapped within a social credit system, living on stimmies (CDBCs), and doing what you’re told. By independently wealthy, I mean not reliant on single external entities, and especially not on government entitlements. If you live in a trailer on a plot of land that you own free and clear and have a viable niche in your community, you’re independent. You’re in better shape than the mid-level investment banker whose bonus is $750K but he’s several million in debt over and above his assets. If you aren’t where you want to be financially now (and it’s not because you’re still in school or otherwise laying the foundation for your future), then there’s one step you have to do first, which clears the path toward financial independence. You have to identify your one crippling barrier to being who you want to be, and get rid of that obstacle. You probably already know what The Great Barrier is in your life, because you spend a lot of your mental energy pretending it’s not there or not a problem. Maybe it’s drugs, booze, negative thinking, sex, porn, co-dependancy, television, Youtube, who the hell knows these days. Being a Karen. Whatever it is, just stop it (for years I’ve been trying to figure out who wrote this book, but if you’re at this stage where you need to deal with your Great Barrier, then get it and read it, it’s under $3 for chrissake). At the age of 30 I was broke, in debt, an alcoholic, alone and suffering from depression and crippling anxiety. Now I’m not. My Great Barrier was the booze. So I stopped drinking. It’s hard to believe that was only 22 years ago, because I’ve come a long way since, and risen to comparatively dizzying heights. I am not especially gifted nor talented. If I can do it, so can you. Become financially independent After you smash through your Great Barrier, the first job if you’re not financially independent, is to do that. Become that. Yes, it’s that simple. You make the decision and then you go out and do it. If your Great Barrier was an addiction, you’ll actually have so much extra time and money it will feel positively pink cloud-ish. Use that lift to get up to speed on financial literacy and then the way you get there is through starting or owning a business. Even one on the side. Think for yourself Start jettisoning low-signal inputs: Television All mainstream/corporate media Social media – massive curation will required here All politicians Expert authorities You have to start paying attention to what’s going on in your head most of the time, and then ask yourself if it’s something put there by an external influence or if you’re actually expending brainpower on your own plans, goals and relationships. People can waste their entire day on whatever Twitter puts in the “What’s Trending” bar. They can get caught up ruminating on external events, people and behaviours they have no control over and will almost never impact them. Have a goal. Come up with a plan. Spend as much of your mental energy thinking about your goals and your own plan. Think Napoleon: . “I see only the goal. The obstacle must give way” - Napoleon Or the other Napoleon: “Choose your goals. Work toward them. Direct your thoughts. Control your emotions. Get into action… and you ordain your Destiny” - Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone Cultivate Optionality Once you’re the captain of your own ship, you’ll still have to navigate the machinations of innumerable external authorities who think they have moral claim over your life. You do that by cultivating optionality. A wizened lawyer once told me, “he who has the most options, usually wins”. When you’re on a single paycheque, over your head in debt or reliant on government stimmies, you have no choices.  Basically you live at the whim of your circumstances. As we say in The Crypto Capitalist Letter (our premium channel) “We worship at the alter of optionality”. Multiple streams of income Multiple business interests Diverse assets (i.e. gold and Bitcoin) Plan B (second passports, out of country real estate) Notice I didn’t say “Buy Bitcoin” in the section about achieving independent wealth. That’s because it most properly belongs in this section. Bitcoin is the ultimate optionality, because it’s such an asymmetric set up. If you are 100% no-coiner, backed-by-nothing, ponzi, Tulips, headed to zero, then what kind of premium would you pay for Dead Wrong Insurance? Imagine an insurance policy that covered you against being absolutely, totally wrong about something as important as the future of the global monetary system. What would that be worth to you? $5? $10? If that’s all you’d be willing to concede that you might be proven wrong about Bitcoin, then take that five or ten dollar bill down to the nearest Bitcoin ATM and buy a few sats of Bitcoin. Then do it again next week. Do it every time you’re at the store pissing away the rest of your money on lotto tickets and cigarettes and in due course you’ll have a cushion that could make all the difference in the world if the Bitcoin thesis plays out. If you’re higher up the spectrum such as a HNW or family office, think about allocating 0.5% or 1% into Bitcoin. That’s it. Then forget about it. Be Ready Being a Sovereign Individual (this is basically what we’ve been laying out herein) requires commitment and preparation. You don’t have to do it, but just understand that if you don’t, we’re headed into a world where you’re probably going to spend the rest of your life doing what you’re told instead of what you want. We’re in an air pocket now, the job is resiliency, because we’re transitioning out of an existing system that is no longer functional, and into a new one. Nobody really knows how it looks yet. The tension between Davos Man and the Sovereign Individual is that the former wants to keep the old system going as a linear extension into the future: more centralization, more top down control, more confiscation of any remaining wealth. The latter may not know what the future looks like but we know what it won’t look like: it won’t be a digitized linear extrapolation of the Industrial Age. Aside from that, all bets are off, so we we need all manner of resiliency. Backup generators Medical Supplies Tools Food Lawyers, guns & money We also have to connect with each other and create our own support structures because the government, the experts, the Davos crowd, they are not coming in to save us. My guess is in the not-so-distant future their primary concern will be outrunning the pitchforks and torches. So be it. In Bitcoin circles there is a meme: WAGMI. I’ll leave it to the reader to find out what that means if they don’t already. Many people believe that Davos Man controls the world and is steering everybody into a technocratic authoritarianism. Davos Man assuredly aspires toward this. The laser-eyes, those who think WAGMI have their own designs on how things will play out. It is largely a global opt-out as incumbent institutions lose credibility, and their authority and importance in world affairs goes into secular decline. Either way, they are both correct. It will be largely self-selecting. *  *  * You can learn more about the overall thesis behind the coming Monetary Regime Change by joining the Bombthrower mailing list.  Wherever you are on the path to being a Sovereign Individual, Bombthrower can help you navigate the terrain. (Gettr, Twitter, Telegram) Tyler Durden Thu, 06/09/2022 - 12:25.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 9th, 2022

Has JPMorgan Become Bitcoin"s Best Friend?

Has JPMorgan Become Bitcoin's Best Friend? Authored by Tom Luongo via BictoinMagazine.com, A recent note from JPMorgan Chase suggested the bank realizes that bitcoin isn’t going anywhere. But what do the rent-seekers really think? There was a lot of fanfare made recently over an investment note from JPMorgan Chase which seemed to elevate bitcoin over real estate and other traditional asset classes as the “alternative asset of choice.” A May 25 investor note made the argument that bitcoin was around 28% undervalued and that the bank was targeting an upside price of around $38,000 per coin, in effect making an argument for bitcoin’s recent price weakness being overdone relative to real estate, private equity and private debt. On the surface this seemed to be a big change from the one major, money center U.S. bank whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, refuses categorically to jump on board the bitcoin bandwagon. If anything, Dimon’s antipathy to bitcoin rivals only that of European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde, who continues to peddle the idea that bitcoin has no value because, of course, it lacks the backing of a central bank and/or government. This is Dimon’s public beef with bitcoin as well. He’s been very clear about this: Bitcoin doesn’t matter because it has no official support or backing. Since JPMorgan is one of the shareholders of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, you really can’t blame him for “talking his book,” just like Lagarde or another famous bitcoin hater, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway. So, what about this investor’s note then? Well, as always, the devil is in the details. The first thing to remember is that this is a so-called “sell side” analyst’s note, meaning it is the opinion of analysts within JPMorgan of where investors should put their money preferentially under current market conditions. It has nothing to do with the opinion of the CEO of the company. Anyone who thinks Dimon would be mucking around in the depths of his investment banking sell-side division to grind his personal ax against bitcoin simply doesn’t understand how a company like JPMorgan Chase works. Even Dimon himself has said as much. In an interview in May 2021, he said the following: “I’m not a bitcoin supporter,” Dimon said during The Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit on Tuesday. “I don’t care about bitcoin. I have no interest in it.” “On the other hand, clients are interested, and I don’t tell clients what to do,” he said. “Blockchain is real. We use it,” according to Dimon. “But people have to remember that a currency is supported by the taxing authority of a country, the rule of law, a central bank.” There are a lot of ideas in these quotes from Dimon. He’s the CEO of one of the largest, most powerful and influential banks in the world and he maintains that business by being smart enough to give his customers what they want, even if he himself is not interested in that product and/or is working on products which are, tangentially, its competition. His sell-side analysts aren’t paid to be his mouthpiece, they are paid to see things clearly and present an investment thesis to clients and get them to sign over some funds to make the bank a broker’s fee. It’s nothing more complicated than that. That said, however, if that was all there was to this story, I wouldn’t be writing this article. There is more to it than that. JPMorgan, along with the rest of Wall Street, is in a real pickle. For the past 14 years, for the most part, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates near the zero-bound. At zero-bound interest rates traditional bank revenue models collapse to zero as well. Net interest margin, or NIM, is supposed to be the core business of a bank. NIM is simply the difference between what the bank pays you for your deposits to loan them out to investors at a higher rate. The bank charges X, you get 30% to 50% of X and the bank keeps the rest. That “rest” is NIM. And NIM is a dead letter office on the quarterly earnings report of most major banks in the era of coordinated central bank policy. Instead, the banks have engaged in ever more esoteric investment banking and trading schemes to make money while looking on their traditional depositor customers as some albatross they have to deal with in order to keep the regulators at bay. As such, then, bitcoin and other digital assets have become just another source of funds for banks to tap to sell another structured product to high-value investors, which is where they make the bulk of the money anymore. Enter the sell-side talking up bitcoin at crucial moments in the market. Honestly, when that investor note was published and bitcoin was clinging desperately to technical support around $29,000 per coin, I’m hard pressed not to believe that was the signal to the market that JPMorgan itself had decided it had accumulated enough bitcoin to stuff into some line item on its balance sheet. Bitcoin is big business now and with the shift in hashing power from China to the U.S. over the past couple of years, there is more interest than ever in finding ways to sell cryptocurrency-related products to investors, while Wall Street finds ways to accumulate on pullbacks while amping up the FUD whenever the price rallies. Why do you think Dimon hates bitcoin? It’s not because it’s a challenge to his company’s business. It’s for the same reason that he and Munger hate gold. Munger can’t lobby some government official to create a one-way trade for him to “invest” in it and Dimon can’t structure a product around it to build a regularly-occurring income stream from it. There is no business for them there. There is no profit selling you a fund once or twice that holds bitcoin in a cold wallet. How can they come up with their “two and 20 income” streams on something people just want to buy and HODL for the end of times? This is why, from the very beginning, Dimon and people like him have only had eyes for Ethereum and DeFi, while decrying bitcoin as having no “there there.” Of course, nothing could be further than the truth. Bitcoin, like gold and other assets that exist independently of the financial system — what Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Pozsar recently termed “outside money” — are the very things that have the capability of re-establishing financial discipline on the world. But that puts at risk the very nature of the existing system, even though that system is creaking along on its last legs and both Munger and Dimon understand this better than anyone. Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are fighting an insurrectionist fight attempting to reverse the wealth extraction dynamic of the existing system. Remember, Dimon and the rest of the New York Boys have made their trillions on extracting rent (unearned wealth) from the world through the Cantillon effect of being close to the source of new money. Dimon has no interest in giving any amount of breathing room to something that threatens that, but at the same time, he and JPMorgan are trapped by being major players trying to stay afloat as that system is being drained of its pool of real capital. This is what best explains the mixed signals coming from his organization. The market is slowly, but surely, choosing “outside” assets to preserve wealth while JPMorgan and the rest of the New York Boys all make their money by manipulating the costs of “inside” assets to keep returns high enough to staunch the outflow. In effect we are now in a race toward an uncertain future, one where there are major forces vying for market share during this breakdown of the old system and the establishment of a new one, or multiple new ones. Men like Dimon and the World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab will fight tooth and claw to remain relevant players going forward. This is why JPMorgan on the one hand can and will recommend bitcoin to its family office and investment house clients, but on the other spend billions developing a payment layer to replace SWIFT. In fact, I find the fight surrounding Ripple (XRP) to be far more interesting than whether or not Dimon and JPMorgan are finding ways to make money with bitcoin. Dimon is backing his product through ConsenSys, Schwab and the WEF are backing Ripple and, in my view, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit was a poison pill left behind by outgoing SEC Chair Jay Clayton for Gary Gensler while everyone works to slow down the real crypto-revolution, where none of these oligarchs and rent-seekers are needed anymore. This is the real promise of bitcoin and JPMorgan’s high-net-worth investor clients are finally, for the first time in decades, truly becoming scared of where things are headed financially. Schwab and the WEF have laid out their plans for the future, a fully-tracked and cataloged life for all people living wholly within a digital identity that decides for you what your range of actions in the real world are allowed to be. Too fat? No pizza. Wrong politics? No job. Haven’t dated a tranny? No healthcare. In that world there is precious little need for banks like JPMorgan or your local credit union. That is the threat that I know Dimon perceives is on the horizon. He wasn’t at this year’s Davos. But, other members of the New York Boys club were, like Larry Fink of Blackrock and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, to name a couple. JPMorgan is no friend to bitcoin, but Dimon is fully aware of the real threats to not only the current system, in which he’s a central player, but also to any and all potential escape routes desired by his best customers. This is why I can see him happily allowing bitcoin to develop to undermine Schwab and the WEF while simultaneously working to undermine it in the long run with his own preferred solutions. Personally, I think he’s doomed to fail as I think Schwab is as well. The way in which both of them appear to succeed in the short-term will be frustrating as hell for bitcoin enthusiasts to watch. But they are both fighting against a tide whose time is long overdue. Never in the history of capital markets have commodity prices been this cheap relative to that of equities (like the S&P 500) or debt assets. Bitcoin, being the first derivative of energy to procure commodities in the real world where real wealth is built, is then, by extension, criminally undervalued as well. Dimon, Schwab and their lieutenants at the Fed and the ECB can keep the flow of their overvalued dollars and euros high to reinforce their dominance but they also need to restrict their supply to keep inflation from eroding the political power from which their currencies, by their own admission, derive their market share. That is the catch-22 that Dimon and JPMorgan find themselves in today. Friend or foe, bitcoin doesn’t care. It will just keep accreting value and building a network strong enough to allow us to ignore their grand dreams of global control. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/07/2022 - 15:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 7th, 2022

Bitcoin Is The Ultimate Representation Of Energy

Bitcoin Is The Ultimate Representation Of Energy Authored by 'Freedom Money' via BitcoinMagazine.com, Love, violence and money are interrelated through their connection to energy. As the digital representation of energy, Bitcoin offers a better store of energy. “’But how is [Bitcoin] digital energy; how do you get it back to being energy?’ The answer is, I send a billion-dollar block of it to Tokyo, I run it through an exchange … I convert it back into yen and I take the yen and I buy electricity from the Tokyo Power Company.”  - Michael Saylor (WBD431) While I think most Bitcoiners generally agree with the concept of bitcoin as digital energy, I have seen some pushback that this is not consistent with physics, is just a metaphor or is just plain false. I started writing this paper with the intention to argue that all money actually represents a store of energy and bitcoin is simply the best money available. However, I started finding interesting parallels with both love and violence as alternate methods of channeling energy, so I expanded the scope of this paper to offer my thoughts on these areas as well. First, let’s start with energy. What is energy? According to Britannica: “Energy, in physics: the capacity for doing work. It may exist in potential, kinetic, thermal, electrical, chemical, nuclear, or other various forms. All forms of energy are associated with motion. For example, any given body has kinetic energy if it is in motion. A tensioned device such as a bow or spring, though at rest, has the potential for creating motion; it contains potential energy because of its configuration.” When it comes to what things humans typically think of as energy, there is certainly something to say for our ability to control or direct that energy. Before electrical applications were invented, electricity was probably not commonly thought of as a form of energy. Thus, the energy conversion device is perhaps just as important as the energy itself. Modern humans have invented devices that allow us to use and scale all sorts of different types of energy. However, our original energy conversion device was, of course, the ability of the human body to convert the chemical energy in our food into kinetic energy that we inherently control. Today, despite having access to other sources of energy that have scaled immensely, human energy remains extremely valuable. Despite our rather limited energy output, humans have evolved to be wildly efficient. With the assumption that an adult human worker uses 2,000 calories (food) per day, we can calculate the rate at which we can control our own energy: Human energy calculation At a rate of 98.5W, a human who works 40 hours per week, performs approximately 200 kWh of work for their employer in one year. In comparison to electrical energy conversion devices, this is an exceedingly minuscule amount of work. However, if this human has an annual salary of $50,000, the value of their energy output would be $250/kWh. The extremely high value of human energy is largely due to our ability to learn, adapt, engineer solutions and harness other forms of energy to provide valuable solutions to society. Note, however, that the energy delivered by each human is exclusively controlled by the individual. I am the only person who can choose to raise or lower my arm; therefore, I am the only person who has control over the actions of my chemical energy conversion device (body). Because of this, humanity is continuously looking for answers to the question: “How do we convince other humans to channel their energy to a specific application?” Our species has discovered many ways to motivate humans to channel their energy toward a specific task. In this article I will be discussing the following three broad categories: Love (family, friends, God) Violence (force, threats, war) Money (barter, metals, fiat, bitcoin) LOVE Love has evolved as part of human society and is the reason that parents choose to use their energy to meet the needs of their children. Love generally maximizes the efficiency of human energy because people who are motivated to cooperate via love genuinely want their work to achieve the best possible outcome. Love is a voluntary, decentralized means of channeling human energy. Each member of society can choose to love or not love another human; love cannot be forced. However, love is very challenging to scale. One possible reason for this could be related to Dunbar's number, which is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. Personally, I believe that connection to God allows humans to scale love beyond Dunbar’s number, however, I will reserve my thoughts on this topic for another time. VIOLENCE Violence, or the threat of violence, can also be used to channel human energy. Controlling energy through violence has its roots in the evolution of life on this planet. One attribute of violence that has made it such an effective means of forcing human cooperation is that violence scales. Specifically, violence can be scaled by engineering weapons that leverage human energy or incorporate more powerful forms of energy, i.e., gun powder, fission, fusion, etc. In addition, unlike love, violence can be stored and stockpiled for future use, offering the ability to scale the threat of violence as a means of channeling human energy. However, violence is a non-voluntary, centralized solution to scale cooperation. Violence centralizes power because it favors those with the most powerful weapons, which grants them access to the most human energy and innovation, which enhances their ability to engineer even more powerful weapons. This centralization has led to non-optimal outcomes for humanity as a whole and is generally an inefficient means of directing human energy. Forced labor will never be as efficient as voluntary labor, and centralized decision making will never be better than decentralized decision making. MONEY Which brings us to money. The invention of money allowed humans to scale cooperation beyond Dunbar’s number without the need for love or violence. Money motivates humans to use their energy toward someone else’s goals by promising them that the money they were paid for their work can be used in the future to deploy the energy of other humans. Similar to violence, money can also be stored and stockpiled for future use. Money is a battery for human energy; the battery is charged as you work for someone else, and is discharged as someone else works for you. Money, therefore, represents stored human energy. Unlike violence, money allowed for systems of decentralized decision-making to develop. Money enabled economies to emerge where humans all voluntarily participate in determining the value of different forms of labor. Decisions about what a society needs could therefore be set by the market, where each human decides what they are willing to pay for a good or service. In comparison to violence, money is a significantly more efficient scaling solution for motivating humans to channel their work toward a specific goal. However, all forms of money can be corrupted through violence. Money, like life, can be stolen using violence. Decentralized markets can become centralized when violence, or the threat of violence, is used to control human actions. In earlier societies, when governments wanted to use violence to accumulate wealth, they needed to physically take the money from their citizens or from other external entities. Largely after the invention of nuclear weapons, when the threat of violence and the cost of war started reaching unimaginably enormous magnitudes, governments started relying on money printing more heavily to continue acquiring wealth. Paper money that can be printed radically changed the scale at which governments could acquire and deploy money. Increasing the number of monetary units devalues all of the existing money in a given economy and transfers that value to the entity in control of the money supply. Note, however, that the amount of work that can be done with this stolen value will decay over time due to price inflation. As the newly printed money enters an economy, the decentralized market pricing mechanisms will take the new supply of money into account and raise all prices relative to how much individuals value their own human energy. Forcing the participants in an economy to reprice goods and services on a continuous basis also offers the opportunity to influence the value each human places on their own labor. Depressing a population, for example, may lead to participants ascribing less value to their own work and will result in lower relative repricing of goods and services after an inflationary event. When wages don’t keep up with price inflation, this can be viewed as a signal that market participants are attributing less value to the deployment of their own energy. Although governments may earn money through taxation by providing services determined to be valuable by their citizens, i.e., protecting physical property rights, the majority of monetary energy controlled by modern governments is stolen primarily using the threat of violence to maintain their control over the money printer. ENTER BITCOIN Users of bitcoin — like users of all other forms of money — can be subjected to violence, or the threat of violence, as a means of forcibly acquiring their wealth. However, the violence needed to forcibly acquire bitcoin from an individual who controls their own private keys must be applied with extreme precision. Neither bullets nor weapons of mass destruction are effective methods of violence for stealing bitcoin. I would argue that the forms of violence required to forcibly acquire bitcoin don’t scale at all in comparison to traditional violence. Therefore, bitcoin is strongly resistant to theft via violence. It is also not possible for bitcoin’s value to be stolen via supply inflation. Although the supply of bitcoin in circulation is increasing over time (albeit at an exponentially decreasing rate), the inflation rate is public knowledge and can be accounted for when pricing goods and services. Further, there is 100% market consensus on what bitcoin’s supply inflation will be used for. Newly-minted units of bitcoin are exclusively used to subsidize payments to bitcoin miners for the security and transaction processing services they provide. During the early stages of bitcoin’s existence as money, all bitcoin holders contribute to Bitcoin’s security and transaction processing budget via an exponentially decreasing inflation tax. Currently, about 98% of miner revenue is supplied by Bitcoin’s 1.74% annual inflation rate, i.e., block reward, which will be cut in half approximately every four years. In the future, Bitcoin’s security budget will be paid for entirely by market participants who transact over the Bitcoin network, i.e., transaction fees. The block reward is therefore a temporary measure designed to subsidize security while Bitcoin is still in its youth; it would be more accurate to view this form of taxation as a collective payment for a valuable service, rather than theft. In conclusion, humans have invented all sorts of energy conversion devices to accomplish our goals. However, humans remain one of the most efficient, flexible and valuable sources of energy conversion available. Therefore, controlling the flow of human-supplied energy remains a fixture of human civilization. Although each human controls their own energy, we can be motivated using methods such as love, violence and money to work together. Historically, love has failed to scale in comparison to violence and money. Although violence has proven to scale, it is inefficient and does not optimally orient human progress due to centralization of power and decision-making. Although money offers a more efficient scaling solution for channeling human energy, it has historically been susceptible to violence at scale and fiat based monetary units can be stolen via inflation. Bitcoin is a new form of money that cannot be forcibly acquired using violence at scale and cannot be stolen through inflation. Bitcoin represents an opportunity to protect money from the influence of violence, abolish inflation without consensus and restore high quality decentralized market signals. It will take time for society to realize these benefits as bitcoin is still young in comparison to other forms of money and is not currently widely adopted across humanity. If more people start to understand that money represents human energy, I believe humanity will start to demand better money, and when they do, bitcoin will be here for them. Tyler Durden Mon, 06/06/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 6th, 2022