This was a post I wrote for the DTOM Blog, which can be found HERE.
Unless you don’t pay any attention to any news at all, you have probably heard what’s going on with Bank of Cyprus in the EU. In case you haven’t heard, the government shut down the banks because they were in danger of bankruptcy. $13B (in US dollars, $10B in euros) in debt, these banks are. In order to prevent people from removing their money from their accounts, the banks were not doing business for about two weeks. It was announced that those who have over 100,000 in euros will have 60% of their money removed from their accounts and the money will go towards paying the bank’s debts. Those who have less than 100,000 euros are safe from the governmental raid, however, people will not be allowed to withdraw more than 1,000 euros and leave the island (source).
There are those that aren’t that alarmed, because it’s said that this is a special circumstance. However, I beg to differ. I don’t mean to fear-monger, because I hate that tactic, but I got a cold, cold feeling in my gut listening to the news on a recent podcast, being talked about on Free Talk Live.
We already know that banks are systems that are controlled by the government, and they have the ability to go in and freeze your account with no warning, garnish your wages for not paying taxes, etc. But, now there’s a precedent for them to go in and do whatever they like, including shutting down a bank and removing money from accounts to pay off debts that have nothing to do with these people. That’s a scary thought, is it not? What’s to say that another government can’t freeze all the accounts, and remove your earnings without your permission? These people earned that money, and 60% of it is going to be taken from them! That doesn’t include whatever income and property taxes they’ve already paid, and other fees from various regulations and what not. Central banks are bad, bad, bad. Fractional banking is bad, bad, bad. It’s just not sustainable in any sense of the word, and it’s being proven time and time again with all the banks and countries that are seeing the consequences of this horrible business model. It’s the worst kind of ponzi scheme, because now the people that have their money in these banks in Cyprus are paying for it. I honestly don’t know what’s worse: the government confiscating money in this manner, or inflation by printing billions of dollars in paper money. The confiscation plan is certainly much more visible.
All of this being said, I think the future of personal finances lies online,with open source, peer-to-peer currency. The kind of decentralized currency that is impossible to inflate. The only such currency that has real traction is Bitcoin. There may be a competitor or two, but it seems that Bitcoin is certainly the biggest contender at the moment, at over $100 FRN per 1BTC. In fact, it may not be a bad thing if there was more than one such currency. Of course, I still see value in gold and silver, but in this digital age where the future has every indication of new and great technologies in an online world, Bitcoin has a huge value. I mean, many of us already use FRNs through technology. I personally carry very little cash, and instead have direct deposit for my paychecks, I pay every bill online (with paperless email alerts), and I make purchases online and in person with my debit card. I only pull cash out if I see myself needing it for some reason. Because, there’s also ridiculous ATM fees. My checking account is through the bank my school uses to hand out the financial aid, so there’s NO free ATMs. All the ATMs charge at least $2.50 to use THEIR ATM, and then my bank also charges a fee of $2.50 for the transaction. So every time I pull out cash, it costs me at least $5. I’m sure many people can relate to the first part about having very little actual cash on hand, or at least in limited amounts. This is the direction that we are headed as a society, so it only makes sense that a digital currency has immense value. It’s also much more secure than using debit/credit cards online (if someone steals your wallet or purse, they have all the info needed to use your cards, and that’s not the case with Bitcoin).
I think that as more and more people start using Bitcoin for transactions, the more businesses will pick up on the trend and accept Bitcoin as payment, because this is what their customers are doing. Unfortunately, since some bills have to go to the government, such as the electric bill, a government monopoly, those bills won’t be able to be paid in Bitcoin, I don’t think the government would allow it. But wouldn’t it be nice to pay your cell phone bill with Bitcoin?? I think this is where the future is headed, as more and more people realize that their money isn’t safe sitting in central banks, people will have as little in FRNs as possible. This is what I see for the future, and I think it’s wonderful. Of course, there are already businesses that accept payment in Bitcoin! I’ve listed some that I know of, and feel free to comment with more!
To learn more about Bitcoin:
We Use Coins
Places you can use your bitcoins:
DTOM (DTOM Facebook page) Don’t Tread on Meme clothing, silver dime cards, and other items
Savory Scents (I don’t have my website set up yet, but it’s a work in progress! For now, I still accept Bitcoin, you can just contact me regarding using Bitcoin and we can still arrange it. Savory Scents Facebook page) Savory Scents features candles, lotion, dead sea bath salts, and other items
Stateless Sweets (Stateless Sweets Facebook page) Stateless Sweets features the most delicious candy that will ever enter your mouth..the raw honey salted caramels are my personal favorite!
Terra Mater Botanicals (Terra Mater Botanicals Facebook page) Terra Mater Botanicals has a range of products including tea, essential oils, and assorted flower essences.
FPP.cc (FPP.cc Facebook page) The first link will take you to the donation page, but FPP (Free Press Publications) will also accept purchases made with Bitcoin.
Singing Tall Grass (Singing Tall Grass Facebook page) Singing Tall Grass is also working on her website, and she currently isn’t accepting bitcoins as payment, but she plans to accept them when her website is up and running, but you can still go and see what wonderful products she has available! She makes absolutely wonderful organic bath and body products. Everything I’ve tried is amazing, including organic lip balm that’s customizable.
Shire Silver (Shire Silver Facebook page) Shire Silver sells gold and silver in denominations that one can actually use (versus trying to use a troy ounce of silver, for instance)
Shiny Badges (Shiny Badges Facebook page) Shiny Badges makes some awesome pins. Not only that, but you can contact Davi for design work. He’s an awesome graphic designer (who designed my Savory Scents dime cards!!) and I don’t think it’s possible to be disappointed with his work. He also has a book that was recently published by FPP, Voluntary Islam, which you can buy with Bitcoin!