Before Bitcoin became the newest trend for silicon valley bros, it was a tool for hackers and revolutionaries who wanted to undermine the banking system. In fact, this was the original vision of the cryptocurrency’s mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto, and the group of anarchist hackers called “cypherpunks” that developed the technology.
It appears that this original vision was not missed by the US government, which has been developing plans to contend with a potential cryptocurrency rebellion. Documents obtained by The Intercept through a freedom of information act request show that the US Department of Defense has created war game scenarios in which a rebellion of Gen Z revolutionaries used cryptocurrency to undermine and evade the establishment.
In one of the war games, the Pentagon prepared for hordes of Gen Z hackers who used cyberattacks to steal money and convert it to Bitcoin. The revolutionary group in the war game was given the name “Zbellion.” This exercise happened two years ago, in 2018, but it was set in the future year of 2025. In the scenario, Gen Z was involved in protests all over the world and waged a “global cyber campaign to expose injustice and corruption and to support causes it deem[s] beneficial.”
It was noted that Gen Z sees themselves “as agents for social change” and believe that the “system is rigged against them.”
In light of the protests that have developed around the world over the past months, activists are starting to revisit the original spirit of the technology, and are seeing its potential as a tool for revolutionary movements. The details of the Pentagon war games were not made public until Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz suggested freezing the financial accounts of demonstrators who are spotted at the ongoing protests against police violence.
Nathaniel Whittemore, a bitcoin and cryptocurrency consultant, and strategist, previously told Forbes that, “One of the most important tools in the authoritarian toolkit is the ability to freeze the funding of legitimate political dissent. By separating the infrastructure of money from the infrastructure of state power, bitcoin makes it that much harder for this type of politically motivated confiscation.”
“In the wake of unprecedented central bank action around the Covid-19 crisis, it seemed like the most relevant narrative of bitcoin in 2020 was as a hedge against inflation. It appears, however, that its capacity for censorship resistance might be just as relevant,” he added.
Congress has submitted a law making it illegal to hold cash, Bitcoins, or other assets outside of the bank without informing them with writing.
By now, it seems to be common knowledge that the government tries very hard to monitor and regulate every single transaction individuals choose to conduct.
Yet, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, and the new fears coming out that decentralized virtual money could actually start or magnify a financial crisis, on May 25th, Congress submitted a bill making it illegal, and placing individuals subject to asset confiscation and imprisonment, for anyone to have a medium size amount of cash, Bitcoin, etc. outside of a bank without telling the government how much they have, where they have it, and why they have it through filling out new Federal forms.
The new bill is entitled, “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.”
Within the bill they even include prepaid phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Also within the bill is the government’s aim to greatly extend its authority to seize assets through “Civil Asset Forfeiture”.
Civil Asset Forfeiture rules allow the government to take whatever they want from you, without a trial or any due process.
The bill has also vastly expanded on the definition of ‘financial crimes’, which now includes the failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more then $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’.
According to the bill, if you do not tell the government about the cash you have, they are authorized to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but also all your assets and bank accounts. They even name “safety deposit boxes” among the various assets that they can seize if you don’t fill out the form.
On top of civil penalties, there are even criminal penalties. Right now, according to current law, they can imprison you for up to five years for not filling out the forms.
This bill aims to double the criminal penalty to ten years in prison. The bill also gives the government authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping if they have even a hint of suspicion that you may be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’.
Normally wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc.
Banks in the U.S. are already required by law to fill out suspicious activity reports on their customers. Then Congress added stock brokers, casinos, currency exchanges, precious metal dealers, pawnbrokers, and even the Post Office to the list.
Under the new bill, the government also wants to forcibly recruit even more unpaid spies, including any business which issues or redeems anything that is prepaid. So, Amazon would be required to file reports to the government about prepaid gift cards
The bill also wants to pull any business which “issues” cryptocurrency under the anti-money laundering regulatory umbrella.
Yet, no one “issues” Bitcoin. There is no Bitcoin central bank. There is no Chairman of Bitcoin who decides on a whim to increase the supply.
Bitcoin is created amounts that are pre-determined by its code. It’s software.
So the Senate is essentially trying to force the Bitcoin core software to comply with money laundering regulations.
The bill also attempts to include Bitcoin in the list of monetary instruments that must be reported when entering or leaving the U.S.
this means if you leave the U.S. with more than $10,000 in Bitcoin or Ether, you will have to confess it to authorities or face the aforementioned penalties, i.e. prison time, civil asset forfeiture, etc.
It seems that the bill criminalizes or delegitimizes the most mundane and harmless financial activities, all under the guise of keeping us safe.
The Federal Reserve is apparently very worried about bitcoin disrupting the monetary system.
According to an alleged whistleblower’s post on Reddit, Fed governors were “highly alarmed” by internal economic modeling that showed Bitcoin has the potential to completely displace the dollar by as early as 2021 (which they called “worst case”).
The whistleblower, who currently remains anonymous, claims to work for the Federal Reserve as a researcher who was tasked with doing “econometrics and related modeling” for Bitcoin.
The Dirty: We were directed to upgrade our modeling of bitcoin from developing currency to a major currency. In addition to all of the common modeling and forecasting that task entails, we were instructed to do full simulations of money flows, interest rates, multi currency derivative baskets, risk metrics, and their effects on global macro monetary policy and trade agreements. What we found was shocking. Even with a mediocre adoption rate and variable growth rate, bitcoin severely disrupts how we model, forecast, and ultimately understand currency interactions to make monetary policy decisions. This is a huge technological, monetary, and policy disruption which leaves the Fed, the US govt, and other entities with much less control.
Our best case scenarios are modeled upon current bitcoin adoption rates which have simulated a tipping point for the year 2026 (worst case 2021); this time frame projects the Fed (via the dollar) to lose its dominant global monetary policy maker status – instead everything will superseded by bitcoin.
I presented this updated report along with all of our modeling work and simulation outputs which were statistically and independently verified to the Board of Governors. The Board was highly alarmed and interrogated me and my fellow researchers in a 3 day session trying to understand every point of our research. It must be remembered that unlike politicians, the Board of Governors is a very well educated and empirical group with an ability to conceptually grasp complicated research.
The ramifications of this internal analysis could be huge. Pressed by the Reddit community to verify his claims, he is said to be working with journalists to release proof or his employment and of the report itself
Federal Reserve official warns bitcoin threatens central banks – and that’s a good thing
04/07/2014 10:48 am Filed Under: BTC – Bitcoin by Andrew Moran
Last week, David Andolfatto, St. Louis Federal Reserve Vice President and Director of Research, published an in-depth presentation on the peer-to-peer decentralized currency bitcoin. This is the first time that such a high level central banking official has studied the cryptocurrency and upon his research he has discovered that it could very well pose a threat to the system – but that’s a good thing.
The Business Insider was able to sit down with Andolfatto and talk about the presentation entitled “Bitcoin and Beyond: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Virtual Currencies,” (PDF) his blog post and bitcoin itself.
He explained that it all began when he attempted to refute that gold is not superior to fiat money, but because bitcoin was in the news he acknowledged that the two share a similarity: there is a fixed money supply. Andolfatto blogged a little bit more and wrote about traditional theories of money.
After this, he was approached by Marcela Williams, the St. Louis Fed’s assistant vice president of strategic communications, to deliver a presentation on bitcoin.
When he first discovered the digital currency, Andolfatto deemed it “silly” and read a blog post by Keynesian economist Paul Krugman and concurred that this was an “intensive effort to mine for gold,” something that the world doesn’t need more of. He performed a little bit more research and then tergiversated.
“I shared in that opinion, but I continued to read about it, and it struck me that that analogy was incorrect — that in fact what these miners were, was mislabeled,” said Andolfatto. “They were performing a communal service, a record-keeping service which is critical to any money system. Mining was a red herring, it’s just one way to reward record keepers for their service, and that protocol could function even with constant supply.”
During his talk, Andolfatto attempted to explain that bitcoin would have immense difficulty competing against the United States dollar because of its fixed money supply. History has shown, says Andolfatto, there is a problem with multiple competing currencies.
“So I asked, how do we think things are going to work out? Do we think merchants are going to accept several different virtual currencies? The relative prices remain stable? Really? What makes you think that? History shows these things are going to fluctuate like crazy.”
He argued that the dollar has remained stable and secure for the past three decades.
In the end, though, bitcoin could be a threat to the establishment, which he argues is a good thing for the Federal Reserve System and other central banks because it prompts these institutions to operate sound policies. If they refrained from doing so then the citizenry would look into another currency.
States have implemented currency controls because it produces demand for a domestic currency – whether it’s in good shape or not – but these days it’s a lot more difficult because everyone has a computer or a smartphone so these regulations make it harder.
“So that’s not gonna happen in the U.S., but to the extent there are other technologies looming out there, that threat might discipline central banks,” said Andolfatto.
– See more at: http://www.pfhub.com/federal-reserve-official-warns-bitcoin-threatens-central-banks-thats-good-thing-501/#sthash.kGlqFLSX.dpuf
The bitcoin infrastructure is subject to the whims of just one person running MTGox who can arbitrarily decide to shut it down whenever he thinks the market needs a “cooling period.” This is nearly equivalent to a financial dictatorship where one person calls the shots.
Just two days ago, the largest bitcoin exchange MTGox suddenly and without warning shuttered its doors, blocking all customers from accessing their accounts which are collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The entire MTGox website now reads:
Dear MtGox Customers,
In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.
Here’s the screen shot of the message:
Health Ranger calls Bitcoin crash… again!
I’m on the record as the one person who accurately and publicly predicted the massive 2013 bitcoin crash just 24 hours before it happened. That story is covered in detail in this Natural News article.
After predicting this crash which saw a billion-dollar drop in bitcoin values, I was of course attacked by a full complement of bitcoin pushers who are just as deluded about bitcoin as the average American is about federal reserve notes.
According to bitcoin enthusiasts, some of whom have long abandoned any attachment to actual reality, bitcoin will save human economies from collapse, bitcoin can always be trusted because it’s anonymous, bitcoin is going to rise to $100,000 per bitcoin, and so on ad nauseum.
That’s why on April 11, 2013, I wrote:
Keep in mind that MtGox makes money off bitcoin transactions, meaning the organization has every reason to spin bad news (just like Wall Street) and keep the market “churning” so that more transactions are taking place. Listening to bitcoin advice from people who are making money off bitcoin transactions is a lot like listening to Obama promise you how he’ll protect your liberty.
You are a fool if you believe anything now coming out of the “bitcoin cult.”
MtGox crash makes total fools – again! – out of bitcoin apologists
As is now obvious from recent events, my foreboding words were right on the money. Or in this case, the loss of money. When MtGox decided to close its doors and disappear over the weekend, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of accounts vanished with it.
For all we know, the very founders of MtGox simply swiped everybody’s bitcoins and fled to Japan en route to the Cayman Islands where they will now enjoy a life of luxury, laughing it up at all the gullible suckers who bought into the bitcoin Ponzi scheme in the first place.
And yes, bitcoin looks a whole lot more like a Ponzi scheme than a legitimate currency at this point. The only reason bitcoin valuation rose over the last year is because more and more fools were suckered into spending “real” money to buy a virtual currency protected by absolutely nothing. They were baited and reeled in by a deceptive MtGox which tried to spin every major red flag failure as yet another “success.” As I wrote about MtGox a year ago:
Every piece of bad news will be “spun” by exchanges like MtGox into good-sounding news. As bitcoin was crashing yesterday by 60% in value in mere hours, MtGox announced it was a “victim of our own success!” So while bitcoin holders watched $1 billion in market valuation evaporate, MtGox called it a success. Gee, then what would you call it when bitcoin loses 99%? A “raging” success?
How to avoid being victimized by bitcoin schemes
Tempted by greed, nearly every human being will predictably abandon all rationality and dive headfirst into almost any scheme that looks likely to produce financial gain without effort.
Honestly stated, most people got into bitcoin for the simple, raw reason that it was a “get rich quick” opportunity. Buy low, sell high. It’s the same scam repeated throughout the history of financial markets and made famous by people like Ponzi and Bernie Madoff.
As much as I try to warn people here on Natural News about financial schemes, inexperienced minds are nonetheless easily influenced by seductive promises of riches without effort. It’s the oldest investment scheme in the book: “Buy now and you’ll be rich! You’re smart to buy now!”
The hype that propelled bitcoin’s initial rise was of course chock full of seductive messages and tempting promises. But in retrospect, nearly all the bitcoin buzz was generated entirely by the very people who stood to benefit from a rise in bitcoin’s value.
Bitcoin was, essentially, a multi-level marketing currency Ponzi scheme where every person who bought in wanted to convince yet more people to buy in so that their own buy-ins would rise in value as heightened demand collided with limited supply. In this greed-driven quest, true believers shamelessly attacked anyone who asked intelligent questions or exhibited even the least bit of skepticism about the long-term stability of the bitcoin currency. Rationality was entirely abandoned, largely by people who technically should know better, because “bitcoin-type” people tend to be among the highest IQ people in society. Yet even they lose massive IQ points when tempted by greed.
My best advice? Buy a farm with a water supply and grow your own food
So once again, I implore all Natural News readers and fans to get out of bitcoin and don’t get suckered by it. But don’t dump your money into greenbacks, either, because that’s just another scheme of a different type: a global debt scheme structured on deliberate currency debasement engineered by the Fed: a slow, deliberate theft of economic productivity by those who control the world’s money supply.
You want to invest in something of real value? Buy an actual farm with good soil and a sustainable water supply. That’s worth more than all the bitcoins in the world, if you ask me. Bitcoins are fleeting. They can — and do — disappear in the blink of an eye. But if you own farm land with clean water and good soil, you’re sitting on a gold mine of food production, and a piece of land is significantly more difficult to take away from someone than a bunch of encrypted digital files.
It’s food that’s going to soon become the new currency for a society in collapse, after all. Mark my words on this prediction: A food apocalypse is coming. Those who cannot produce their own food in a decentralized, secure manner — which curiously reflects some of the properties of a virtual currency — will sooner or later find themselves subjugated and powerless.
Personally, I’d rather have a secure farm, a locker full of heirloom seeds and a working aquaponics food production system than a hard drive full of bitcoins. Long after both bitcoins and federal reserve notes have crashed into oblivion, I’ll have living fruit, vegetables, medicinal herbs and clean fish protein to barter with. The question for you is: What will you have of value to barter in exchange? A pathetic thumb drive that “used to have a million dollars worth of bitcoins on it?”
Reconsider that strategy while you still have time.