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Weathering With You: An Agorist Perspective

If someone asked you what your favorite emotion was, how do you think you’d answer? For many people, I suspect they would answer “Happiness”, “Joy'', or some variant of exclusively positive emotion. Someone may think more meticulously and answer with “Contentment”, which while a positive emotion has a lot of nuance attached to it. However my answer to that question is what I feel others would consider more orthodox: Bittersweet. Pleasure accompanied by suffering, not exactly most people’s first pick but from my perspective pain is necessary in order to enjoy the pleasure that life gives you. Perhaps I'm over-romanticizing but there’s something to desire from looking back fondly at times where you were hurting and seeing yourself in a better place in the present. Perhaps you finally have moved on from “The one who got away” and can look back on those times with fondness. Perhaps you are sharing stories of a friend or family member at their funeral and though they may never w

10 Use Cases for Crypto in the Counter-Economy





Blockchain technology has been a boon for counter-economists. Prior to Satoshi's white paper, in order to conduct a transaction with an individual or firm not physically present, a third party was required to verify transmission and receipt of funds. Historically, the state, whether directly or indirectly, has played this role - albeit poorly.

Therefore, most of the items on this list will be new ways to utilize blockchains, fresh takes on existing infrastructure, or entrepreneurial paths to spread the mass adoption of cryptocurrency.


1. Sell Crypto


We're all aware central banking is evil. The question is: What to do about it?

We can cross our fingers & support the Federal Reserve Transparency Act for the 4th time (the bill died in the Senate on 3 previous occasions), or we can use competing currencies to instantaneously liberate ourselves from the cartel.

Using p2p exchanges, you can not only help others make the transition from fiat trash to crypto, but you can earn a profit for doing so. Sites like local.bitcoin.com, localcoinswap.com, & localethereum.com allow buyers & sellers to connect & place orders using a variety of payment processors. When an individual opens a trade with a seller, the funds are placed into escrow & payment is made. Once payment is received, the funds are released from escrow to the buyer. 


Denying the state revenue is the essence of counter-economics & this is an easy and highly profitable way of engaging the grey market. 

2. Smart Contracts


Know how to code? Consider writing smart contracts professionally.

Smart contracts are protocols designed to automatically execute the terms of an agreement based on a set of pre-determined conditions. Agorists use smart contracts to disintermediate the just-us system. By easing the public’s dependency on court services, smart contracts help bring the outdated & barbaric court system into a state of irrelevance.

In the state’s kangaroo courts, public employees are regularly treated like first class citizens while the rest of us are their personal cash cows. Pigs, prosecutors, & public employees, are given breaks that you and I are regularly condemned for.

No more of this nonsense. With smart contracts, all parties are equal and judgement is free of bias and prejudice. Moreover, all parties to the contract agree to clearly definable terms prior to it taking effect.

Smart contracts will also help facilitate the internet of things, which I expect to cause cascacading disintermediation in a variety of industries.



3. Tokenization of Securities & Assets


We’ve covered the tokenization of securities and assets here at The New Libertarian, and also on The Agora extensively. The idea is simple and goes back to Rothbard’s conception of compulsory cartelization.

Essentially, cartels aren’t possible in a free market. They pollute the economy like tumors pollute the body and can only be maintained by the state apparatus. Cartels are formed when a group of industry leaders agree to cooperate rather than compete. They decide on a particular price and everyone agrees to stick to it. At least, that’s the idea.

In a free market, one member of the cartel will always let ambition get the best of them. In a bid for increased market share, they lower prices beyond the agreed upon number & briefly enjoy market dominance. Once other cartel members realize they’ve been duped, they can either lower prices to establish an equilibrium, or exit the market entirely. To avoid this inevitable breakup, cartel members eventually began bribing politicians to enforce their rules. Thus, it became the job of the agorist to bust the cartel. 


FINRA, is one such cartel, composed of brokers. They pay the state to enforce their stranglehold on the brokerage of securities. By creating digital tokens to represent ownership shares in a security or asset & then trading them on decentralized exchanges, we strip the state of their ability to cartelize the brokerage industry. This will open the flood gates and allow capital to pour in to projects previously inaccessible



The SEC’s days are numbered.

4. Tokenize a Raffle


That’s not the only thing you can do with tokens. Using a different type of token, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), like the ERC-721 or SLP NFT, you can create digital tokens with unique identifiers. This may include group tokens with a subset of child tokens.

This is useful for generic purposes such as issuing tickets for an event. You’d create a group token for Event A and child tokens representing tickets - each bearing a unique identifier - say, seat, row, etc.

For the agorist this opens a world of possibilities.

Imagine for a moment, creating a political death pool, similar to a football pool - 100 boxes containing the names of politicians who individuals can buy in the hopes that the parasite occupying their “box” will croak first. The owner of the winning “box” receives a payout, and the agorist running the raffle, a small percentage.




With the use of NFT tokens, we can now digitize this process and by incorporating smart contracts, we can automate it as well. Tokens representing a particular box can be sold, funds can be stored in escrow and payouts may be issued automatically based on input from the entrepreneur.

5. Trade Crypto


This one isn’t for the faint of heart & I only recommend it to those who are well versed in day trading. I tried this method years ago and had limited success. Before Poloniex required KYC I’d spend most of the day in the trollbox. I didn’t get rich, but thankfully I didn’t get my clock cleaned either.

That being said, there are a number of successful day traders in the crypto community. Those who are able to pull it off make a good living. I personally know several millennial day traders who take their laptops & move where the cost of living is cheaper and the sun is alway shining.

By doing so, they help stabilize crypto-markets and in this way, help promote mass adoption.

6. Mining 

Although mining has become less profitable, it remains a valuable tool in the agorist toolkit. There are two main reasons for this.


First, mining increases the hash power of a chain, making it stronger & more secure, & thus encouraging wider adoption.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, mining allows agorists to acquire cryptocurrency without going through an exchange subjected to government imposed KYC/AML regulations. This clean crypto can then be traded on p2p exchange without the state’s knowledge.

7. Masternodes


Masternodes are servers carrying a full copy of the blockchain, backed by collateral & are used to provide auxillary features & governance. They were discussed in detail on this episode of The Agora.

This can be a bit costly. Running a masternode on DASH for example will require 1,000 DASH upfront.


However, DASH masternodes empower individuals to use the Private Send & Instant Send features. DASH masternodes thus help conceal user identity & transaction details from the prying eyes of busy body federal agents. Masternodes also enable quick transactions - a necessary prerequisite for any commodity seeking to become a general medium of exchange. For their services, DASH masternodes are rewarded with roughly 7% return on their collateral.


8. Dark Web Retail

Deep web retail is a great way to protect income from political parasites. Ross Ulbricht proved, with the legendary Silk Road, that an encrypted marketplace combined with a p2p cryptocurrency, can effectively enable free trade. 

You can buy or sell anything!

From unregulated showerheads (yes, most countries including the USA, regulate the water flow of showerheads) to pure China white heroin, deep web retail is a powerful tool for the counter-economist. 

Indeed, it has brought agorism from the theoretical to the practical.

9. BlockFi High Interest Savings Acct.


BlockFi wealth management offers up to 8.6% APY on crypto savings accounts. That’s certainly a better deal than the banking cartel will give you. Also, blockfi accounts are not FDIC insured - thank God.

10. Be Your Own Bank


Quit banking with the cartel like you’d quite any other habit that is detrimental to your health. Although crypto infrastructure remains sub-par, it is nevertheless, a better option for agorists & cypherpunks than legacy banking.

A BCH wallet using CashShuffle, or a BTC Wasabi wallet (or for that matter, a Dash or Monero wallet), is generally more secure than a Swiss bank account.

Open two wallets; use one as a checking account & the other as a savings account. Draw funds from the former to load a BitPay card. The latter can be a vault wallet, meaning a 48 hour window must pass before withdrawals can be made. 


You can even have your paycheck direct deposited into crypto using BitWage.

Conclusion


As you can see, crypto-currency and counter-economics are natural bedfellows. Considering all of the ways one can use blockchains to disintermediate the state, it's no wonder crypto has been in the cross-hairs of governments around the world.

My advice to budding agorists is to begin with the use cases which you're comfortable with, and as you grow more accustomed to utilizing blockchain technology, advance incrementally. 

Find ways to disrupt, disintermediate and decentralize state infrastructure in a secure and profitable fashion.

I hope this list helps. 


Comments

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Weathering With You: An Agorist Perspective

If someone asked you what your favorite emotion was, how do you think you’d answer? For many people, I suspect they would answer “Happiness”, “Joy'', or some variant of exclusively positive emotion. Someone may think more meticulously and answer with “Contentment”, which while a positive emotion has a lot of nuance attached to it. However my answer to that question is what I feel others would consider more orthodox: Bittersweet. Pleasure accompanied by suffering, not exactly most people’s first pick but from my perspective pain is necessary in order to enjoy the pleasure that life gives you. Perhaps I'm over-romanticizing but there’s something to desire from looking back fondly at times where you were hurting and seeing yourself in a better place in the present. Perhaps you finally have moved on from “The one who got away” and can look back on those times with fondness. Perhaps you are sharing stories of a friend or family member at their funeral and though they may never w