The search for digital gold began long before the launch of bitcoin. In 1996, Douglas Jackson and Barry Downey founded E-Gold, Ltd., which enabled its customers to transfer titles to warehoused gold on the Internet. The company had secured more than one million users by 2005, when Jackson and Downey, along with co-owner Reid Jackson, were indicted for money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Article by William J. Luther from AIER.
Rather than risk spending decades behind bars, the defendants accepted a plea deal. But doing so effectively precluded them from securing the requisite licenses to operate E-Gold. The gold transfer site never reopened.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have little in common with E-Gold. They are not claims to gold or any other asset. They do not rely on a trusted third party to process transactions. But, like E-Gold, they offer the hope of a new monetary system that improves upon the shortcomings of physical commodity and fiat monies.
Commodities like gold are naturally scarce. It is costly to dig gold out of the ground and mint it into coins. Miners and minters will only engage in their respective activities if the benefits of doing so––that is, the purchasing power of a coin––exceed the costs.
The natural scarcity of gold means that the supply of gold coins is governed by a decentralized, self-adjusting mechanism. If the demand for gold coins increases unexpectedly, the purchasing power rises. Since the increased purchasing power makes it more profitable to mine gold and mint coins, miners and minters produce more coins than usual. And, as the supply increases at a faster rate, the purchasing power of gold coins is gradually driven back down to the cost of production. Then, having eliminated the profit opportunity, miners and minters resume normal operations to accommodate more routine increases in demand from population and income growth and reductions in supply from wear and tear.
Under the classical gold standard, market participants could be reasonably confident in predicting the price level in twenty, fifty, even a hundred years! They knew that the decentralized, self-adjusting mechanism of the gold standard would accommodate changes in the demand for gold coins or offset changes in the supply of gold coins. Hence, changes in the price level would tend to be mean reverting. In other words, the gold standard provided a credible long-run nominal anchor.
The classical gold standard was not without its downsides, however. The natural scarcity of gold, which enabled the decentralized, self-adjusting mechanism to function, also meant that the monetary system was costly to maintain and slow to adjust. To increase the supply of gold coins, one must employ workers and machines to dig up gold and mint it into coins. Those workers and machines could be used to produce other valuable goods and services. Moreover, the adjustment period could be quite long. While the purchasing power of gold was relatively stable over the long term, it was quite volatile over short periods of time.
With the shortcomings of commodity monies in mind, it is easy to see the allure of fiat monies. Fiat monies lack natural scarcity. The marginal cost of creating a dollar is effectively zero, as it is accomplished with a mere keystroke. Fiat monies are made artificially scarce by their issuers, typically a central bank. If a central bank were to manage the supply of a fiat money well, then, it could provide a credible long-run nominal anchor similar to that of the gold standard with a much shorter adjustment period and at a much lower cost.
In practice, fiat monies have not lived up to their promise. Even the best fiat monies have tended to be less predictable than the classical gold standard. And, while it is cheap to manage the supply of fiat money, the lack of predictability leads market participants to incur significant costs to estimate future nominal variables.
Why do fiat monies perform so poorly? Just as natural scarcity enabled the gold standard to perform so well but also accounted for its shortcomings, the artificial scarcity of a fiat money makes it possible to outperform the gold standard while also making it probable to perform much worse. The problem is that the artificial scarcity of fiat monies depends on the decisions of inherently-discretionary central banks.
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to improve upon both commodity and fiat monies. Like fiat monies, cryptocurrencies are artificially scarce. But, like commodity monies, their scarcity need not rely on discretionary supply management. A cryptocurrency issuer might guarantee appropriate supply adjustments by writing them into the source code. If designed properly, a cryptocurrency would anchor long-run expectations and provide timely supply adjustments at a lower cost than commodity and fiat monies.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report has appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. One of our YouTube accounts was banned and another has been suspended. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancelation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects. These questions are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting cancelled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $5300 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.