I believe that each Bitcoin could someday be worth about 440,000 dollars. This may seem like an outlandish claim, but it is very possible. Imagine that tomorrow the whole world adopted Bitcoin as the currency used for pretty much every transaction.

Here is the reasoning. The world’s GDP is about $55,000,000,000,000, 55 trillion for those of you whose eyes can’t handle that many zeros. In 2012 the annual velocity of the average dollar was about 6. The average dollar changed hands about six times. I will admit that for the sake of ease of my calculation I have assumed the same velocity for all other nation’s currencies as well as the whole world using dollars (the values of the other currencies are taken into account). I take the 55 trillion number and divide it by six to get the number of dollars in the world economy. I get 9.61 trillion. Divide that by 21,000,000 (the final number of Bitcoins) and you get $436,500 per Bitcoin.

Admittedly a lot of things have to go right for Bitcoin and wrong for other currencies before this price is realized, but  the potential is there. Even if you believe the chances of Bitcoin become a universal currency are low I would still contend that the potential for return way out ways the potential for loss. Besides as you buy Bitcoins now the price goes up and entrepreneurs look for ways to earn and exchange Bitcoin more readily. Feel free to suggest improvements for my reasoning in the comments section below.

Bitcoins have recently become a hot topic as the exchange ratio of USD to Bitcoins has gone up at a respectable rate and continues to flirt with $50. I think that Bitcoins are a relatively risky investment, but the potential returns are still huge. I could easily see buying in now and selling after a couple percent gain, but I am in it for the long haul. The number of people who have Bitcoins now is still pretty small which is easily less than one percent of the population of the US. As the price continues to go up I think that the media attention will increase.

As the Bitcoin community and infrastructure has matured and developed, the price of Bitcoin has become more resilient to price shocks. While still varying in exchange rate much faster than most other currencies Bitcoin is much more stable now than its drastic price spike and crash of 2011. In March there was even an issue in the Bitcoin system that was quickly resolved by the decentralized authority of the Bitcoin miners. The price temporarily dipped around 20% but took little time to return its previous price.

Also worth mentioning is that the publicity, Bitcoin is receiving, is much more positive than past strong criticism. The price has not responded as drastically, as before, to the increased media attention. In the bubble of 2011 the price went up very quickly then crashed. Since then the price of Bitcoins has gone to new highs much slower than previously. These recent circumstances indicate a healthier infrastructure and a gradually maturing market presence for Bitcoins.

I repeat Bitcoin is a risky investment. I happen to believe that the potential return outweighs the risk; however I make no guarantees. I own a few Bitcoins myself. Please do your own research.

Hey “……..” I like your “blank product” but I don”t like giving out my credit card info online. You might try want to try Bitcoin as an additional method of payment. The moment you start accepting it the Bitcoin community will give you a respectable amount of free publicity. Also no charge backs. Just check it out and let me know if you have questions.

Feel free to modify the message and please personalize it so its not spam.

Recently the paleolithic diet has become a popular option to minimize disease and maximize health. I personally believe that eating the foods, that our ancestors ate for millions of years, makes a lot of sense. The Paleolithic lifestyle doesn’t just include food it also includes getting much more sleep than the typical modern human, and doing a lot of low intensity exercise throughout the day.

I believe that paleolithic societal structure could provide another example of healthier living for modern humans. There have been multiple studies that indicate that the human brain is developed for a social structure containing from 150 to 300 people. The most widely cited number is 150. It came from the work of British anthropologist Robin Dunbar. Other anthropologists have done research indicating “that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar’s_number).

Precedent for a lifestyle based on being part of a small societal grouping is way more recent and long lived than the other parts of living Paleolithic. The size of societal groupings has only started to be so large in the last century. Before the 1900s most people lived away from cities in small agricultural communities. It is interesting that the large role of government in our lives might be caused by urbanization of pretty much everyone. Localization might be a much better way for people to organize themselves and allow them to enjoy many fewer rules laws and much more accountable leaders.

Changing the world can be done with only a few minutes of your time. You may not be able to donate millions of dollars to a political campaign. You may not be even able to volunteer in a campaign. But what you can do is use a dash of your time to have a material affect in the political realm. What is even better, about this method for change, is that it can be done through an avenue that a lot of people use  for entertainment every day.

This magical tool is video ad viewing on the internet. Most of the ads I view are a result of my time on YouTube, but I see a number of others on other websites. When an ad pops up about a candidate that I disagree with I don’t get annoyed and skip the ad the moment that counter goes to zero. I take an extra minute and 15 seconds to finish watching the ad. Yes it is a weird behavior but I just cost that campaign 20 cents and stopped them from reaching a person who may have been more susceptible to their message. If nothing else I get to utilize half of the sunk time cost for those ads I have to watch before accessing a website or video.

On the other side of that behavior is what I do to help the causes I identify with. I immediately skip the ads for causes and candidate I already agree with. I save those campaigns 20 cents and let them use those funds to reach someone who has yet to be persuaded.

The same tactic can be used on companies, products and organizations that utilize YouTube commercials. I have found this method to be  an emotionally satisfying way to divert small amounts campaign resources in directions that I approve of. For my approved candidates and causes I divert the resources to more productive endeavors.The effect may be small but it can add up and it lets me do my small part for the world.

Alex Maxwell France

quarter share a trader taleTrader Tales by Nathan Lowell is a science fiction series set in the the 24th century also known as the golden age of the solar clipper. The main character Ishmael is orphaned at age 18 and needs to find a way off of the company owned planet now that he is no longer a dependent. Ishmael manages to find employment on a ship called the Louis McKendrick where he grows into and learns what it means to be a spacer (space sailor). The Tales are very well written and the narration brings the characters to life. Trader tales has my recommendation as a great read.

One of the best things about the series is that Ishmael never becomes larger than life. Even when he is the captain of his own ship much later on in the series Ishmael is very easy to relate to. He shows how some hard work and out of the box thinking can make a big difference in quality of life aboard ship and anywhere where else. Another fantastic theme in the series is the constant entrepreneurship and capitalism practiced by Ishmael and his friends. They move goods to planets where those goods are desired and get paid good money for it. The free market at work is a beautiful thing.

Nathan Lowell is by far my favorite author and narrator. What is even better is that his the majority of his  work is available in audio form for free in the podcast section of the Itunes store. Most of Nathan Lowell’s work is science fiction but he does have one fantasy book out with more on the way. On the Itunes store Nathan Lowell pretty much always receives five star ratings. Another thing that tells you how good his books are is that Nathan Lowell makes money by selling physical books to the people who like the book so much that they want a physical copy for their book shelves and for loved ones who don’t listen to audiobooks.

I have enjoyed his audiobooks while driving running and waiting in lines. Whatever I may be doing at the time Nathan Lowell keeps the boredom at bay and makes the time fly.To listen to his work for free you can go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trader-tales-1-quarter-share/id216922503 or podiobooks.com.

Margit von Mises typed Human action on this typewriter.

Margit von Mises typed Human action on this typewriter.

If you enjoy the ideas of Austrian economics and are ever in the vicinity of Auburn Alabama then I would strongly recommend that you make a little time to go visit the physical location of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute. The receptionist was happy to give me a quick free tour. To say that “A tour at the Institute is really cool.” is a huge understatement.

I have watched a few economics lectures, from the Institute, on YouTube. On the tour I was shown the two conference rooms where many of those lectures were recorded. Elsewhere on the tour was the room where the Institute records podcasts and audiobooks. I would compare what I felt to the experience of an avid film fan who gets to see the production set for a highly regarded film series. At one memorable point in the tour we passed Lew Rockwell and I shook his hand and introduced myself. I  will admit that I was a bit starstruck. There were a few other cool things on the tour like the typewriter and the medals that if I remember correctly were awarded to Ludwig von Mises for his service in the first world war.

The Institute has two libraries that are stocked with about 35,000 economic, political, and other books. Many of those books were left to the Von Mises Institute by important Austrian economists. One of the books that I looked through was from the personal library of Friedrich Hayek. In the margins were notes I could read and know what his thoughts on the text were. You can’t check out the books; however you can read them at the Institute. They allow students to go and study in the quite of the libraries. I have only studied two times at the main library. When I was there I saw Mark Thornton and again Lew Rockwell. Both gave me a small greeting.

The Ludwig von Mises institute is a great place to visit and I am thankful that I get visit the organization that educates millions for free over the internet.

Until next time

Alex

Authenticity?Beware of fake bullion from private non dealer sellers. I have been horrified on several occasions, while perusing the internet, to find that there are a number vendors that sell so-called art bullion. These bars are fake bullion. They are clad in either silver or gold and look very much like real Bullion when they actually contain only a few milligrams. The majority of online vendors don’t try directly try to deceive the buyer.The real danger is the people that fraudulently resell or trade with the art bullion with full knowledge of  the bullion’s fake metal value.

For example there was a guy on craigslist who was selling the bars as a great investment because he was selling silver bars at 5% of their value. Wow! what a great deal! NOT! Stay away from a too good to be true deal on bullion from craigslist. Another ridiculous and borderline fraudulent example of “art” bullion is the 2013 $50 Buffalo Proof from National Collector’s Mint. The proof is sold as a good investment with a solid value and potential for profitable resale when it contains about 60 cents worth of gold, about 14 milligrams.

If any of these terms is used when someone is selling bullion then become extremely skeptical and cautious:

Pure silver or gold

Plated

Art Bar/Coin

Leaf flake

Replica or Copy Bullion

Proofs

Also beware of Mini, Copy and Replica coins

I am trying to compile a list of known “fake” bullion as it were. Please comment with links to examples of the bullion so potential secondary buyers can increase their knowledge before they enter into a disappointing deal.

Disclaimer: The vendors who clearly label their products as not real are not being fraudulent. I am concerned about the people who buy the fake bars in the hopes of deceiving others.

List of “fake” bullion links/examples:

National Collector’s Mint

Beautiful Gold Plated Buffalo Art Bars

1 Troy Oz .999 Silver Clad Maple Leaf Bu Gem Art Bar

Example of Gold Maple Art Bar

1933 20 Dollar Gold Proof

Mini St. Gauden Gold Plated Coin

TROY OZ 2012 Ancient Gold Plated Mayan Coin

5g Gold Buffalo Indian Replica Bullion Bar

Please be careful when you buy from private sellers who have nothing to lose in the way of personal and business reputation.

Silver and Gold Coins as a way to pay less taxes

This article demonstrates a very cool and clever way to avoid taxes. Every one dislikes more taxes on themselves right? Does anyone agree or disagree that this could be done with US government issued gold coins with US dollar denominations on them? Could it be done with Bitcoin?

Ex. Car Title Tax in Georgia is 6.5 percent of the bill of sale. If you bought a used luxury car for $22,500 in paper then the taxes are $1430; but with the Car Title Tax on a bill of sale denominated in pre 1964 dimes, quarters, and half dollars for $1,000 the Tax is $65.

Warning it is a gray area.

goldbitSaving Bitcoins and just sitting on them is actually taking part in the Bitcoin economy; but there are definitely ways to be more active.  In my last post I talked about how I would either sell half of my Bitcoin or loan it out. Considering the recent upswing in price I decided not to cash out the dollar value of my Bitcoin and see if I could invest or loan my Bitcoin and end up with more.

While searching among the interwebs for ways to invest Bitcoin I found a couple of sites where one can buy stock in companies that are involved in the Bitconomy. Most of the value of those stocks seems to come from the fact that they pay Bitcoin dividends. Those sites are btct.co , mpex.co/cryptostocks.com, and picostocks.com/ . What really got me interested in Bitcoin investments was the Bitcoin lending website btcjam.com. I lent out half of my Bitcoin out at 4.5% interest a month for 2      months. That is a phenomenal rate of return.

The lending terms are fairly straight forward and the potential returns are tantalizing. An average return is any where  from 2 percent to 8 percent a month; but the caveat is that there is a high chance of default. The last default rate on btcjam that I saw was about 30 percent of the loans made. The borrower’s credit history on the website can be viewed by potential lenders. I lent half of my Bitcoin out to BTC Quick a company that enables people to easily buy Bitcoins with a credit card. This borrower had their website up as well as a phone number. I contacted them and talked a bit with someone from the company. I also looked at their borrowing history and it is perfect.

I think that a lender on Btcjam who applies a little rigor and good judgement on Btcjam can make a very nice return with out too much worry.

Cha Ching and until next week (hopefully),

Alex

imagesBitcoin has a lot of potential since it is a fascinating work around of traditional fiat currencies. Bitcoins are needed to be all over the world. They are a revolutionary way  to increase personal freedom, economic freedom and prosperity for everyone. If Bitcoin use continues to spread, given the fixed supply there is a reasonable chance that someday the Bitcoin I own may be worth a respectable fortune. A lot of the people who bought Bitcoin early on are probably of the same opinion. But that attitude is putting a strangle hold on the adoption of Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin Millionaire Syndrome is where individuals are hoarding Bitcoin due to its potential value, therefore it is keeping Bitcoins out of the hands of people who need them as a medium of exchange. In economic terms the velocity of 50 to 70 percent of the Bitcoins in circulation is practically zero (http://eprint.iacr.org/2012). If Bitcoin were to be adopted by even a fraction of the world as medium of exchange then each of the 11 million Bitcoins in existence would be much more valuable than they are now. Therefore early adopters expect to be better off than the late adopters.

It is up for debate as to whether Bitcoins are backed by the value of the computing power and electricity used to create them. What is not up for debate is that Bitcoins represent a praxeological and real way to exchange and account for value. Those properties are needed universally by individuals for their day-to-day economic calculations. Those properties in fiat currencies today are all hugely distorted by inflation from government spending/printing and from monetary expansion as a result of fractional reserve banking.

I worry tho that my hoarding and lack of  participation in the Bitcoin economy is accomplishing the opposite of what I like about Bitcoin’s potential. From now I will be looking for ways to participate in the economy. That may mean selling half of my Bitcoin or maybe loaning them to an individual so the Bitcoin circulates but eventually come back into my possession. Whatever action I take it will be better than just sitting back and waiting for Bitcoin’s widespread adoption.

Cha Ching and until next week (hopefully),

Alex

picture is from http://transhumanity.net/articles/entry/bitcoin-a-means-for-redistribution-of-wealth

Solid savings options

Solid savings options

I find that it can often be quite difficult to keep increasing the amount of money in my savings account, considering that it is way too easy to transfer money from savings to my debit account. As a young adult, I have trouble not spending money that I don’t need to when whatever small item I want is just a card swipe away. I can only imagine how my easy spending habits would be magnified with a steady income.

My best savings strategy by far has been to lock my savings into something that can’t be accessed online within minutes of opening up my bank’s website. Whenever I get a respectable savings balance, I make a withdrawal and go to my local pawn shop where I purchase all the bullion I can afford which is pretty much always silver. Of the silver bullion options out there, I prefer pre-1964 – 90 percent silver coins.

These are commonly referred to as junk silver, but the term is misleading. If you compare the look and feel of a silver quarter to the crap that passes for pocket change today, you will find that it is a beautiful and real store of value. This may be odd, but I think the clink a handful of silver makes is much more satisfying than that of modern coins.

Someday I may liquidate my silver savings to fund a surefire business idea or pay for an emergency expense, but until then, it will remain in a safe place where it can’t be stolen without extreme difficulty or sold by myself when the current dollar price becomes too tantalizing to pass up.

Cha Ching and until next week (hopefully),

Alex

An ounce of motivation

An ounce of motivation

I have made a deal with myself and my mother to keep myself committed to this blog. In her possession I have placed 25 ounces of my silver savings and for the next  25 weeks every week that I neglect to put up a new blog post is one less ounce of silver in my savings. I used to get a few dollars for a good grade so why not reverse that motivation scheme now?
It’s not as if I don’t want to blog, I just needed to find a good solid way to motivate myself. When this method of motivation works and the 25 weeks is over I will most  likely be addicted to blogging. Even as I write this post I can breathe a little easier with the reassurance that an ounce of my silver is safe.

My mom, Sylvia France, the marketing guru and social media maven has her own blog on www.evolvingcircus.com. She convinced me to start my own blog since she thought my rants and thoughts might be interesting to some people and its a great way to build my credibility as an entrepreneur. We started this process by developing a content calendar and identified the areas in which  I will be blogging – myself, health, bit coin, precious metals, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute (www.mises.org), an economics think tank in Auburn, Alabama.

        This is my first ever blog post and I would appreciate any constructive criticism, encouragement and suggestions.

Cha Ching and until next week (hopefully),

Alex

Bitcoin is becoming more stable over time. The fact that after each bubble the people that really believe in Bitcoin buy at the the lower priceis a market feature that increases the price floor of bitcoin. Like myself these true believers definitely tend to have steady hands when it comes to their bitcoin investments. They hold hold hold and rarely ever sell. I purchased more bitcoin at the bottom of the burst and the few bitcoiners that I know offline did the same. This type of behavior raises the lower bound of the price as people, who hold their BTC no matter what, gain a larger part of the market. One other effect of this bitcoin transfer is that there will now be higher prices over all because the steady hands decrease the supply of bitcoin available.

I can speak for myself when I say that most of my Bitcoins will stay in my wallet for at least a decade and even then I will most likely keep half. In the meantime I will make a couple purchases online in an attempt to support vendors that accept the currency and I will buy whenever there is a price crash. The most recent crash has made bitcoin a sounder investment and increased the likely hood of future price increases.

Recently Bitcoin has been receiving more and more media attention as of late. I am thrilled that people have been learning about this amazing tool for the achievement of economic freedom. Bitcoin is beautiful in that it is a voluntary medium of exchange not enforced by laws and government officials with guns. It is not a part of the fiat fractional reserve banking system and gives people control over their own money in a way that a bank never could. 

Bitcoin makes government theft through taxation difficult and makes capitol controls virtually impossible. It allows people to send their assets anywhere in the world within an hour without expensive fees and taxes. Cyprus is the prime example of why people might want to move their money out of a country and out of a banking system. 

Bitcoin is showing people that they don’t have to be controlled through money and taxes. It  shows people that there are much better and voluntary alternatives for at least some of the current functions that government attempts to provide in this day and age. Bitcoin is opening eyes and that makes me optimistic for the future as well as the price of my Bitcoin.

 

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