Fuck You Savings & Loan
CGD reader J. Ventura writes:
Do you think Bitcoins are actually Buttcoins? Are you a smarty who thinks conspiracy theories are tinfoil hat junk and the United States Buck is good? Leave this crypto-junk to the crackpot Infowars readers, and put your United States BuckDollars into a savings account… be reasonable, you wouldn’t want people to make fun of you. Savings accounts earn 0.2% interest with a very low $20 monthly service fee—and with the real purchasing power of the US BuckDollarCoin decreasing at a reasonable 10% per year, it’s like throwing your labor and your wealth down the toilet slowly at a nice rate…
…Bitcoins are tulips…
…they are tulips (why is milk and gas getting so expensive?)…
Dear J. Ventura,
Whether or not one is a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is hard to imagine that in twenty years, our highly-advanced society will just keep humming along, business-as-usual for the financial sector, and everybody will still be using ACH and waiting three business days for money transfers, with a little 2% here, and a 3% there, no big deal (and by the way a Polish hacker named t0XiC_1 now knows the name, address, and social security number of you and 14 million of our other clients, sorry). Is this really how some choose to envision The Future, with all it’s flying cars and luxuriously equipped gynoids?
At the very least it would seem that Bitcoin has spurred the major financial players to action. Not Gordon Ramsey kitchen action, not look-out-our-empire-is-crumbling-and-we-need-to-pull-off-the-craziest-cosmic-sized-Ponzi-scheme-ever-devised action, but these behemoths have definitely taken notice, with internal conferences and research and trial experiments and what not. Maybe they talk about Bitcoin in low whispers at their key parties.
The fact is, they (the banksters) are the Southeast Asian fishermen of financial tyranny, and off in the distance the ocean is swelling and racing towards them. One by one they go silent, standing at the prows of their shitty boats, squinting off into the distance. Soon these chain-smoking, betel-leaf chewing, shrimp-gut-sucking rubes of the sea will realize that the bulge on the horizon is a tidal wave, but by then it will be too late. This sort of thing is tragic, but it’s also incidentally the way immovable, evil institutions are changed. This is why it’s called a ‘sea change’, because it’s just like an Asian tsunami.
Now, contrast this to one’s natural knee-jerk reaction to financial tyranny, which is of course to cowboy up and fly some planes into the Financial Tyranny World Headquarters. Or maybe drive some Ryder trucks filled with fertilizer and some other stuff into the lobby, I dunno. Such acts aren’t ultimately effective, and though they may make a stylish statement, they also hurt the innocent and create a big fucking mess… The Real Shit comes when you make a product that is so good and so efficient that people can’t imagine life any other way. This is something I call, a Paradigm Shift (a phrase I coined and trademarked), and in the great battle between evil bureaucracies and individuals, it’s the only real weapon we have.
Hedge funds didn’t go out with a big 747 bang, but no-load, low-fee mutual fund cock-kicks and savvier, internet-equipped investors make these French-cuffed, spread-collared dad kissers whimper harder every year. Eventually they’ll all just shrivel up and drop-off like Warren Buffet’s balls.
Consumer outrage, SEC oversight, and a bunch of crying from whiny consumers so far haven’t done diddly to tame the high-frequency trading tiger, but new alternative exchanges like IEX that level the playing field might…. Shift…. the….. Paradigm….. (if the service is so good and efficient that people can’t imagine life any other way, that is.)
These are just smaller examples, because in finance we’ve yet to see the real sort of nutso fireworks democratization that the internet has brought and is bringing to other sectors–but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I mean, imagine some guy killing the president with a 3D-printed assault rifle livecast from his Oakley iVisors… and you’re telling me that same guy is using a piece of plastic with a mag-stripe to send transactions over a 56K modem, getting sacked with account maintenance and overdraft charges, and paying fucking $3.00 ATM fees?
Given the size and hallowed traditions these cocks have (world-dominating un-usurp-able crime-syndicates typically reacting at a glacial pace to anything other than their own complete meltdown), it’s actually surprising they’ve been paying any attention at all to cryptocurrencies. But, they do hire good people, and the sharper analysts know that NFC (Whoa, you mean instead of SWIPING something to pay, you just, WAVE something!? Revolutionary!) and iBeacons aren’t enough to satisfy the TED Talk hungry masses’ appetite for paradigm shifting. Quite simply, something must be done.
Ten years from now, will we be using cell phone cameras to scan QR codes and gambling with Satoshi dice? Or will we be using whatever great thing Chase and Citi invent that’s even better (you just KNOW they have something cool and revolutionary tucked up their sleeves!)? Leave a comment in the comments section below with your reply, because we don’t know, and that’s not the point.
The point is that once a technology is unleashed, it propagates like fracking fluid until every crack that can be filled is filled… sometimes it causes fissures and explosions, sometimes it just seeps into the groundwater, sometimes you won’t know the results for decades or more. But technology—all of it, from cuneiform to atom-splitting—is a force of nature, that can be steered one way or another to a minor degree but never stopped.
Imagine technology that has perfect sex toys… A real woman could never be so skinny but with big milky tits and a perfect ass… Now imagine virtual reality sex that’s so real you wouldn’t believe it, and because it’s virtual you can do any sex act, even illegal shit. This is what we’re talking about.
The banking titans can’t be killed off. The cards are too stacked, the coke is too white, and you’re just some poor piece of shit who can’t even afford nice clothes. But, if we could just…. Shift the Paradigm… change the rules of the game while these old fucks are asleep at the wheel, then we can imagine a future where the main branch of Chase Bank isn’t some glitzy, stainless steel palace with high-vaulted ceilings, but instead looks like a fucking check cash spot or ghetto 7/11.
It’s 2069. The biggest money players never got decapitated with home-run swings, but to adapt and survive they had to scrape, beg, and crawl like Radio Shack. JP Morgan is an auction house for decommissioned planes and commercial fishing vessels. Chase got bought out by Del’s Lemonade, and Citizens makes most of their money selling lottery tickets and blunts. Bank of America was gutted and then sold on eBay for basically the value of the used office furniture and filing cabinet scrap metal. You’ll sit down with your MtF dragonkin son and watch the vintage gay Ben Affleck holoflick The Town, and your son won’t get it because why would somebody go to all that trouble to rob the future equivalent of a bunch of Coinstar machines.
Anyway, even if cryptocurrency fails utterly as an experiment, which is unlikely though certainly possible, it has signaled the beginning of a new attitude towards money…
Money, cloaked in the robes of tradition, totally inert, previously immune to the paradigm-shifting TED Talk revolution, is now the center of Silicon Valley’s attention. Little MIT fucking nerds are playing around with finance like it’s Lego Mindstorms. Some autistic Chinese kid is using his TI-83 to invent a new telepathic micropayment-based virtual dispute resolution and digital contract notarization platform RIGHT NOW. Finance is no longer a giant, bewildering, six-dimensional puzzle, cordoned off behind a velvet rope and tended to by Harvard elites and people with middle names like Shalom—I mean kid’s are making memecoins in their moms’ basements, and that means it’s time to see some real shit…
Critical Thinking Follow-Up:
If in 2007 you told your dad that it might be a good idea to look into precious metals, that you should buy some precious metals, and “Dad the gov’t can’t print more gold”, and he told you that he has an MBA and you don’t understand how the economy works, should you break your dad’s jaw? Should you show up outside your dad’s house unannounced and crack him across the face as hard as you can and leave him bleeding and unconscious on his garage floor and take a piss in his Audi? What if in 2011 you printed out an article about Bitcoin and told your dad to read it, and he didn’t even read it, and he buys a new Audi every two years even though he’s $80,000 in credit card debt… should your dad die? Should you kill your dad?