Parts of the $1 million ‘Bitcoin Balaji Bet’ and ‘Operation Chokepoint 2.0’ seem to be coming true everyday.
US banks that catered to cryptocurrency exchanges and Bitcoin firms? Obliterated.
Popular Bitcoin payment app used by millions of Americans? Short seller hitjob.
Your ability to wire money to a crypto exchange in the UK? Denied.
The second-biggest global exchange put on notice by US authorities? Dinged.
European sat stacking services? Choked.
One by one, as if by coordination, popular on-ramps for converting fiat money to Bitcoin are under the gun — and the timing couldn’t be more suspicious.
- The aforementioned banks that catered specifically to crypto firms were Silvergate and Signature Bank, both based in New York. In the wee hours of the first weekend of March, New York State regulators swooped in and placed the banks in receivership, basically taking them over for the good of financial stability.
- Block (formerly known as Square), which owns Cash App (a huge Bitcoin on/off ramp for Americans) and is chaired by Twitter founder and current Nostr Sugardaddy Jack Dorsey, is the subject of an extensive hitjob piece by the short selling firm Hindenburg Research.
- The second-largest global crypto exchange Coinbase was recently served an Securities and Exchange Commission “Wells Notice,” a convoluted legal note that informs the crypto exchange that they’ll soon face retaliatory action.
- UK banks are canceling wires to crypto exchanges and the Swiss authorities are reducing the limits on how many sats KYC-lite services can allow their customers to stack without more info.
I’m sure many more examples will surface in the coming days, but this does seem to be a ready trend that others have predicted.
Over on Pirate Wires — another Substack I’d recommend — crypto investor “my star will continue to rise” Nic Carter has a great piece that expounds on the key knockouts in what he dubs Operation Chokepoint 2.0. His thesis is that the crypto crackdown by the Biden Administration and allies has caused the current banking predicament, which I hope I’ll expound on later. But otherwise, we’ve got a motherload to deal with.
Unfortunately, it seems the early parts of the Balaji Bet are playing out.
By Balaji Bet, I refer to the seemingly loony prediction by technologist, investor, and (my words) futurist visionary Balaji Srinivasan that Bitcoin would go to $1 million in 90 days…meaning June 15, 2023.
As Balaji has made the podcasting rounds (man that one guy looks like Jim from The Office), he’s expounded more on his thesis that the illiquidity of global banks, especially in the United States, plus the brrrr of the money printer from the Federal Reserve, will lead to hyperinflation in the US.
And, as fiat institutions crumble in the ensuing 90 days, Bitcoin will reach $1 million as billions of dollars of capital flees the banking system for the protection of Satoshi’s protocol.
There has been plenty of ink spilled about the Balaji Bet, but the important consideration in his argument is the idea that the fiat on-ramps to Bitcoin and its crypto offspring will be limited as a fiat protectionary measure, hence why he encourages everyone to move to Bitcoin as soon as possible, and get those sats off exchanges ASAP.
FIAT FEDERATION STRIKES BACK
If this prediction holds true — and the early indications are already proving that — it means that the Fiat Federation is moving toward its goal of absolute annihilation of your ability to convert your wealth into Satoshi hard money.
There are many who consider the Balaji Bet as nothing more than an ill-veiled attempt at pumping his own bags. But if you’re reading this and you’ve already adopted a Bitcoin Standard, you’re probably secretly hoping it pumps your bags too. Regardless, Balaji’s track record on sounding the alarm has been pretty accurate thus far.
In January 2020, Balaiji warned that the early cases of COVID in China and the frenzy that followed wouldn’t just be isolated cases in a lone far-flung province, but would instead metastasize to impact the entire world:
- border closures
- social isolation
- remote work
- face masks
- distrust in governments
While all of that did ultimately prove true for COVID, there are a plethora of reasons why the Balaji Bet may fall though — recent Fix The Money podcast guest Matthew Mežinskis has generated much nerdier graphs than I could to examine this.
But what is true, regardless of what we think of a June 15th $1 million Bitcoin price, is that the current on-ramps for Bitcoin are closing faster than we thought.
The ability to seamlessly transfer your fiat dollars or Euros to your favorite Bitcoin brokerage or exchange may become harder in the future, and this will be an impediment to broader Bitcoin adoption. We hope this won’t last, and certainly hope (selfishly) that it won’t impact you, dear reader.
But with all the bank failures and the regulatory pressure, we can surely expect this will tick up in the months to come.
It’s yet another reminder that, despite all the upheaval, peer-to-peer services are our savior. The ability to openly list your buy price on online chat platforms, slick apps, or full-service websites, will remain an important part of agoristic Bitcoin adoption that can’t be limited by the Fiat Federation. No matter their resources.
We haven’t yet seen these explicit moves by the Fiat Federation in the European Union, but we surely have seen it in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Will you be prepared when the time comes? Will you be able to stack hard on your own hardware signing device backed up by your own node to verify the state of the Bitcoin network? If you’ve taken any key lessons from what I’ve written today, I hope you’ve already made some steps on that journey.
Recent Fix The Money podcasts and posts:
- The System Goes to Hell – FTM13 with Matthew Mezinskis
- This is exactly what Bitcoin is here for
- The US Treasury is Pinched for Cash and Wants Bitcoin Miners and Traders to Pony Up