The Future of Banking

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Future of Banking

September 23, 2017
Hot Springs, VA

“The biggest disruption of Bitcoin is that banks are no longer needed. Every major financial institution has made this technology its focus… but they say Bitcoin is a fraud. It’s the blockchain, they proclaim. They can utilize the technology ‘behind Bitcoin’ to make themselves smarter, better, faster, bigger. But Bitcoin’s fundamental use-case is to remove the banking function entirely from the equation. When banks come to terms with this, they will contact their congressmen and spend millions… maybe billions to slander Bitcoin.”Erik Voorhees

The S&P closed yesterday’s trading session at $2,502. Gold closed at $1,300 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $50.66 per barrel. The 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.26%. Bitcoin is trading around $3,780 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

I have ventured back down to south Florida to see what Irma left behind… and maybe do a little more work in the publishing arena.

I have been flying back-and-forth between Florida and Virginia for several months now, but I do have a vehicle in Delray to get me around town… which I had left parked conveniently beside the largest palm tree I have ever seen.

I am happy to report that palm trees are quite hardy – which was a surprise to me. But the palm branches… not so much. So, my vehicle survived the hurricane. But you will find many naked and deformed palm trees hanging around south Florida now.

Hurricane Torn Palm Tree

Speaking of naked and deformed, I spent the flight down thinking about Bitcoin, banking, and the nature of disruptive technology.

As you recall, the CEO of JP Morgan called Bitcoin a fraud last week… and we had a little fun at his expense.

In reality, the banking sector is where the fraud is. Money laundering… rigging LIBOR… robo-stamping foreclosures… ripping off “muppets”… fraud has run rampant in the banking sector for more than a decade now.

That is why Bitcoin has been so successful. It is a timely solution.

But Bitcoin is not a new idea. The Cypherpunks were working on cryptocurrencies all the way back in the 80s.

It took thirty years for the idea to stick because the world was not ready for them. People didn’t know they needed independent money yet. They still trusted the System.

Bitcoin Will Change the World

But remember, Bitcoin is not just a solution to the banking problem.

Bitcoin is a disruptive technology. Disruptive technologies change everything. There will be no going back.

Agriculture was the disruptive technology 15,000 years ago. Agriculture made us farmers. We didn’t go back to being hunter/gatherers.

Capital markets were the disruptive technology 500 years ago. Markets made us an industrial society. We didn’t go back to feudalism.

The automobile was the disruptive technology 100 years ago. The world became smaller as transportation improved. And we didn’t go back to horse and buggies.

The internet was the disruptive technology 20 years ago. The world became connected… and we didn’t go back to paper records and post offices.

And Bitcoin is the disruptive technology today. Bitcoin makes all of us custodians of our own money. We won’t go back to banking.

Jamie Dimon may not know this yet… but some banks do.

The Future of Banking

Capital One just opened a new bank branch here in Delray Beach – right on Atlantic Avenue.

“That’s just stupid,” I thought to myself. “Their rent is at least $20,000 a month… but physical bank branches are completely obsolete. Why open a new one? Their best chance of surviving the next decade is to leverage mobile banking as far as it will take them.”

It turns out they aren’t as dumb as I thought. A friend filled me in a few days after the new branch opened:

“The new Capital One is awesome… it’s the best bank I have ever been in! You walk in and they have catchy music playing. And it looks like an upscale lounge… nice décor… comfortable furniture.

You look around and there are no bankers in sight. Instead, the one guy working there is selling expensive hipster coffee. And he will give you a tablet to open a Capital One account online if you want.

He told me that they are catering to the local business community. Businesses can rent the place out for meetings… or lunches… or parties… whatever they want. And the bank will sell them all the hipster coffee they can drink!”

So, there you have it – the future of banking!

Little Maddie will never have a bank account. She will never have to wait for her check to “clear”. Or wait 2 or 3 business days for her deposit to post.

Instead, she will handle all of her financial affairs herself, within the crypto economy.

But if she’s lucky, there will still be a local bank nearby to sell her all the hipster coffee she wants…

More to come,

Signature

 

 

 

Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

P.S. My new Bitcoin course teaches you everything you need to know to buy, trade, and store bitcoins securely. So far, the course boasts a 4.9 rating from active users. You can get it here.

Of Bitcoin, Bankers, and Tulip Bulbs

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Of Bitcoin, Bankers, and Tulip Bulbs

September 14, 2017
Hot Springs, VA

“At its core, bitcoin is a smart currency, designed by very forward-thinking engineers. It eliminates the need for banks, gets rid of credit card fees, currency exchange fees, money transfer fees, and reduces the need for lawyers in transitions… all good things.” – Peter Diamandis

The S&P closed yesterday’s trading session at $2,498. Gold closed at $1,326 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $49.34 per barrel. The 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.20%. Bitcoin is trading around $3,616 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

“I just want you to know that I actually like my Bitcoin shirt!”, wife Rachel said to me after reading my last journal entry.

“Have you worn it in public yet?”

“Well, no…”

Keeping with our Bitcoin theme, the honourable Jamie Dimon – CEO of JP Morgan Chase – shared his thoughts at an event hosted by Barclays this week:

“It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed… it will blow up.” Continue reading “Of Bitcoin, Bankers, and Tulip Bulbs”

A Season for Change

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
A Season for Change

September 12, 2017
Hot Springs, VA

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?” – Ecclesiastes 3

The S&P closed yesterday’s trading session at $2,487. Gold closed at $1,335 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $48.07 per barrel. The 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.06%. Bitcoin is trading around $4,288 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

It has been ten months since I have last written to you… and this world is far different from what it was before.

For starters, Little Maddie is no longer a toddler. She is a little lady. And like all ladies, Maddie knows best… about everything.

Daddy, that’s not how you do it!”, she exclaims with absolute confidence. “Here, let me show you! Okay, daddy. You try…

Her father just smiles and obeys… but his mind wanders in amazement. There was no Maddie four years ago. She didn’t exist. Continue reading “A Season for Change”

The Individual is Rising – Third Edition

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Individual is Rising – Third Edition

November 18, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Dear Journal,

A specter is haunting the modern world…

Society has undergone a massive change over the past several decades – the type of change from which there is no return. This change has been the transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age; a transition which is still in its infancy. Most people may not know this yet, but they can feel it.

The rules have changed, and many are rapidly falling behind because they still cling to the old paradigm. Yet a world of opportunity awaits those who understand what is taking place.

Continue reading “The Individual is Rising – Third Edition”

Transcending Politics

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Transcending Politics

October 20, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions… And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the fencing-off of vast ranches and farms, thus altering forever the concepts of land and property rights in the frontier West, so too will the seemingly minor discovery out of an arcane branch of mathematics come to be the wire clippers which dismantle the barbed wire around intellectual property. Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!” – Timothy C. May

The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,144. Gold closed at $1,270 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $51.72 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.75%. Bitcoin is trading around $630 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Today is little Maddie’s birthday! I still remember, two years ago to the day, witnessing her first breath of life. I can see it in my mind’s eye just a clearly as I see the computer screen in front of me. She has become a fantastically sweet and clever young lady in two years time, and her father’s cup runneth over with pride and joy.

Due to scheduling constraints, we actually celebrated her birthday on Tuesday. A few months back I asked Madison what she wanted to do for her birthday. “I want to ride Leo the horse!”, she responded without hesitation. So that’s exactly what we did. Continue reading “Transcending Politics”

The Only Debate Topic That Matters

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Only Debate Topic That Matters

September 29, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Loading up the nation with debt and leaving it for the following generations to pay is morally irresponsible. Excessive debt is a means by which governments oppress the people and waste their substance. No nation has a right to contract debt for periods longer than the majority contracting it can expect to live. ” – Thomas Jefferson

The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,171. Gold closed at $1,327 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $47.12 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.57%. Bitcoin is trading around $605 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Nearly one-third of all Americans – almost 100 million people – tuned in to watch the first presidential debate earlier this week. This represents an increase in viewership by nearly 40% from the 2012 presidential debates, and it almost rivaled television’s biggest draw – the Super Bowl – which received 112 million viewers last year. Apparently the debate was aired on television throughout Europe as well.

I see these numbers and the first thing that pops into my head is a question: how in the world do the ratings agencies know how many people are sitting on the couch in front of a given television?

I didn’t spend too much time with this, but all of the numbers I have seen reference “viewers” and “people”, not “households”. They are very specific about this.

I can’t help but think about poor Winston in George Orwell’s 1984 – he sits down in front of his telescreen and while he is watching it, it is also watching him… Continue reading “The Only Debate Topic That Matters”

Maximize Capital; Minimize Crap

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Maximize Capital; Minimize Crap

September 20, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction…
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.
” – Bessie Anderson Stanley

The S&P closed out Monday at $2,139. Gold closed at $1,316 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $43.80 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.70%. Bitcoin is trading around $608 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

The first leaves of Autumn have begun to fall, and each new morning is now accompanied by a light breeze. Little Maddie seems to share her father’s love of the season, as she enthusiastically gathers black walnuts from the yard to feed the squirrels.

Here, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel… I have an apricot for you!

Yeah, she calls the walnuts apricots. I am not sure where that came from.

Madison has also been debriefed on the proper way to carve a jack-o-lantern, and I test her knowledge daily.

“Maddie, what’s the first thing we have to do to make a jack-o-lantern?”

“We have to carve the top and get the gunk out!”

“And what are we going to do with the gunk?”

“We are going to throw it on mommy!”

…I think you are ready, kiddo.”pumpkin

It is truly the simple things that make this life worth living.

We spend most of our time in these journal entries and especially in the Zenconomics Report discussing complex topics within the world of money, finance, and economics, but that is only because we want to be able to enjoy the simple things. Continue reading “Maximize Capital; Minimize Crap”

The Gamma Phenomenon

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Gamma Phenomenon

September 5, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Humanity in our time remains in infancy. We are essentially unlimited creatures, yet we have been wallowing in abject poverty – physically, mentally, and spiritually. We have natures that are suited to high adventure, yet we remain stagnant. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned only to exist, not to live.” – Prester John, A Lodging of Wayfaring Men

The S&P closed out Friday at $2,180. Gold closed at $1,329 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $44.25 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.60%. Bitcoin is trading around $605 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Little Madison is approaching her second birthday, and somehow she has already picked out her own birthday gift. “I want to ride Leo the horse…”, she says with a hopeful sparkle in her inquisitive blue eyes.

Naturally, her father considers all of the things that could possibly go wrong in such a scenario. Do you want to mommy or daddy to ride with you?

No! I want to ride all by myself.

As best I can tell, to observe a toddler is to observe human nature in its purest form… before all of the social conditioning, group-think, and peer pressure begin to alter behavior.

Assuming this is correct, the need for high adventure, exploration, and excitement seems to be embedded into the core of human nature. Madison possesses a zeal for life, and she does not tolerate any restrictions on her freedom to play and explore. Any curtailment, indeed even the threat of curtailment, is met with fierce resistance and extreme displeasure. Continue reading “The Gamma Phenomenon”

The Zenconomics Report August Issue

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Zenconomics Report August Dispatch

August 31, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out Tuesday at $2,176. Gold closed at $1,314 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $46.42 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.57%. Bitcoin is trading around $573 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

The August issue of the Zenconomics Report has gone out to members of our network. In this issue:

Low trading volumes and little volatility in the financial markets this month… The state of the sovereign debt markets… Two large banks pass on negative interest rates to clients… The latest on monetary-financed fiscal programs in Japan… Global investment demand for gold the highest on record for the first half of 2016… All eyes on the Federal Reserve next month… A quiet change to IMF’s special drawing right currency… A correction hits the gold stocks sector… the Zenconomics Report Model Portfolio updates… Two new additions to our model portfolio

This month we added two new positions to our model portfolio which is constructed according to the Beta Investment Strategy. This portfolio is designed to capitalize on the prominent macro trends in the world of finance, and it is built to be fluid and flexible when trends change.

The Zenconomics Report is 100% independent, and all opinions are our own. It is also 100% free, though it is only available to members of our network. For access, simply sign-up using the form below or at http://www.zenconomics.com/report.

New members receive access to all previous monthly issues, and we will also send you two free reports as a ‘thank you’ for subscribing.

Assess, Mitigate, Implement, and Prosper is a report detailing the concept and implementation of asset allocation. Asset allocation is about strategically spreading your capital out across several different asset classes, and it is a critical part of the Beta Investment Strategy. This report also covers the ins-and-outs of managing an investment portfolio, including the risk management techniques that everyone should understand before putting a dime into the stock market.

The Zenconomics Guide to the Information Age is a 28 page report covering money, commerce, jobs, Bitcoin wallets, peer-to-peer lending, Open Bazaar, freelancing, educational resources, mutual aid societies, the Infinite Banking Concept, peer-to-peer travel, Internet privacy, and numerous other Information Age tips and tricks with an eye on the future. This guide is designed to be very practical – each section is loaded with action items – but it is also written to be entertaining as well.

To financial freedom!






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Monetary History in Ten Minutes

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Monetary History in Ten Minutes

August 23, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Money, moreover is the economic area most encrusted and entangled with centuries of government meddling. Many people – many economists – usually devoted to the free market stop short at money. Money, they insist, is different; it must be supplied by government and regulated by government. They never think of state control of money as interference in the free market… If we favor the free market in other directions, if we wish to eliminate government invasion of person and property, we have no more important task than to explore the ways and means of a free market in money.”Murray Rothbard

The S&P closed out Tuesday at $2,183. Gold closed at $1,343 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $46.81 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.58%. Bitcoin is trading around $585 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Little Maddie is rapidly approaching her second birthday, and I swear she is going on twelve. Like her mother, Madison is quite adept at the art of talking, and she communicates with us very well. This makes life so much easier when she tells us exactly what she wants for dinner; it makes life just a touch more difficult when she wakes up in the wee hours of the morning and tells us she wants to watch Mickey Mouse.

While this seems terribly inconvenient to her parents now, I can only imagine how immaterial it will seem when Maddie is a teenager and we just hope she comes home before the wee hours of the morning. Nevertheless, it all makes perfect sense when she looks up at us with her blue eyes shining bright and says I love you sooo much!

Moving on to finance… Continue reading “Monetary History in Ten Minutes”