Long before silver was being used in your smartphones, television sets and ipads – silver was money, just like gold.
Countries over the world have implemented various types of silver monetary standards, at various stages throughout their history. In fact, the US was still using 90% silver coins up until 1964 and 40% silver in their coins until 1970.
Today silver seems to be used for everything but money. Electronics. Solar Cells. Jewellery. Antibacterial clothing and medical equipment. Water purifiers.
However, there is a devoted group of conservatives, called Silver Stackers. Us Stackers believe that one day the world will return to ‘Good Money’ and that silver will have a large roll to play in this. Because unlike paper currency –
You can’t print silver!
And it is relatively scarce – just as money is meant to be.
Today us stackers have cause for celebration. The spot price of silver has finally broken $US20 – the first time since 2016.
Of course, if you are wanting to buy physical silver, expect to pay a lot more than $US20. However, it is certainly nice to see the futures price catching up to reality.
As a part of your Financial Awakening – I suggest you learn all you can about silver.
We borrow the following chart from a Money Management article by Russel Chesler titled ‘The Gold Factor‘. The link to the article is here.
The article begins –
‘With the world mired in debt and economic despair, the price of gold precious metal has rallied to nine-year highs and could soon surpass its all-time high as systemic financial risk grows with every dollar spent by governments trying to stimulate economies.‘
Russel Chesler – Head of Investments at VanEck
And here at Goldsmith Money, we are seeing the world the exact same way.
Previously we have discussed Good Money and the Dollar. We concluded that dollars are not good money, because they could be printed at the will of Central Banks and Governments.
The following chart from abovenoted article is an example of this exact behaviour.
In the past 4-5 months the US Federal Reserve (FED) has printed 3 trillion dollars and flushed it into financial markets. This is $3,000,000,000,000.00!
Since 2002 the amount of currency digitally printed onto the FED balance sheet has risen from $1 trillion to $7 trillion. A 700% increase in the circulating currency supply (stemming from the FED), over a mere 18 year time frame.
Worse still – this is just one nation’s Central Bank. Consider that there are many other central banks around the world dong the exact same thing.
Worried? Well you should be!
All this new currency are new claims on the limited land, resources, products and services around the world. Effectively diluting the current claim of every person who has been saving dollars (or any other paper currency), for their own future economic benefit.
So how might one combat currency expansion of this magnitude? Might we suggest saving in assets which can’t be printed.
Gold – as the article suggests.
A business selling products or services with an inelastic demand. Primary production perhaps?
Cryptocurrency?With consideration to specific blockchains, their network security and adoption – perhaps?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Mass currency printing in various forms has been attempted the world over for 2-3 millenia – and the outcome has always been a disaster. Perhaps this time it will be different though. Perhaps?
However… we at Goldsmith Money, will not be taking any chances.
Gold chart thanks to Gold Hub and Silicon Cloud Technologies.
The article was first published by Relationship Counsellor Deborah Fox in 2017, republished by Medium’s TheGood Men Project, on 10 April 2020.
The article resonated with me — a husband and partner of nearly 20 years. It touched on what I consider to be some quality tips for maintaining the emotional connections and communication within a long term relationship. And all from a woman’s perspective!
If this video saves just one marriage and the enormous associated costs – we will consider it a success.
Please enjoy and share with that special someone in your life.
And if you do enjoy it – please be sure to hit LIKE and Subscribe to the Goldsmith Money YouTube channel –
This video is one man’s opinion and general discussion only. It did not take into account your personal or financial situation. Before acting upon anything you see or hear in this video, you should seek personal and professional advice.
The catch phase of every businessman and woman since the birth of money as a medium of exchange.
Accountants, butchers, bakers, builders, doctors, lawyers all understand the value of their time, in the production of a good and service. They also understand that they must charge for their time through the sale of their goods and services.
Seldom discussed however, is that the equation is equally true in reverse.
‘Money equals time!’
We know from the Financial Awakening page Our Money that the first characteristic of good money is that it must be a ‘Store of Value’.
When you transact with another party, you are in effect, exchanging your time for theirs. Money is merely the medium which allows the exchange of time to take place instantaneously.
You may have 1 dollar in your pocket which you have earned from time spent working. You then call into the a grocer to buy an apple. In this one transaction you have compensated the farmer, the wholesaler, the truck drivers and the grocer for their time in bringing this apple to you.
You spend many hours working and exchanging your time for money. So it is very important that at the moment of your choosing, you are able to exchange this money back for the time of others. In other words – money must store the value of your time forever.
As mentioned in previous posts – inflation devalues your money. As such, inflation is devaluing your time. Given enough inflation – your time will be regardless as worthless. So be sure you are exchanging your time for Good Money.
So why should everyone build themselves their own (WordPress) website?
Until I started building the Goldsmith Money blog, I never realised what a valuable store of time it could be.
First, I enjoy blogging – however, without a website of my own I was not investing time into my own asset, which I may be able to monetise in time. Instead I was investing my time into someone else’s. Reddit, Medium, Steem, Facebook. Twitter – all owned by others.
Second, through a personal website an individual is able to capture their skills and talents and put them on display for the world. Importantly though, they need only do it once! If you are continually and repetitively promoting your abilities on many different forums, you are doubling, perhaps tripling up on time – and therefore you are losing money.
Third, by building a website around your personal skills and talents you will no doubt discover methods to speed up your work. Creating efficiencies.
On this site I am building a comprehensive News Feed, along with a readily accessible Quick Links page. The News Feed allows me to access many of the Twitter feeds I like to track. The Quick Links page provides me with links to all pages I access frequently in my work and business. The time I am already be saving, would more than cover the moderate costs of maintaining the site.
Four, readily accessible data and information storage. No matter who you are, you should have some need to keep information handy for easy reference. This might include instructions, recipes, guides, manuals, catalogues and charts. All of which should save you time and money – especially if you are prone to misplacing information.
Investing your time in your own website may allow you to monetise it the future – allowing you to exchange your time invested now, for the future time of others.
In the meantime, the time savings your are making now, are covering the monetary cost of maintaining the site.
Finally, if you are anything like me – the time you spend drafting posts and building your site, keeps you from spending your money on entertainment, dining and drinks. And these are the savings that really add up.
Day 1 in Coronavirus Home Isolation, we are thankful that the governments of the world are printing trillions of dollars to keep us fed and paying our bills.
Day 2 we start to wonder… if the governments of the world can simply print money… why have I been paying taxes for all these years?
The taxes we have paid all our working lives pales into insignificance to the amount of currency printed by governments over the past month.
If you have been reading this blog and other similar blogs, you are part of the Financial Awakening. You understand that there is a finite amount of resources in the world. You also understand that currency is a claim over these resources.
When currency is printed by banks and governments, it is creating new claims on the finite resources. In effect, it is stealing resources from those who had been saving their currency and allocating those resources to others.
Once the panic of coronavirus is over, the reality of what we have done will set in and the inflation will begin.
Pay attention to how different countries attempt to combat this inflation. There will be:
more printing; and,
many combinations of the above.
Of course this has all been tried before and by potentially every failed civilization in human history.
The Financially Awakened (especially those in the US) will be on the lookout for a currency reset. A reset to a gold or silver standard would be a reset back to good money. However, a reset to a new fiat currency, would be simply be starting a debt based system over again.
There has been some talk about a new Digital Dollar. This is not a cryptocurrency. This is simply another fiat currency, which will be electronically printed and issued at the discretion of those in control.
Regardless of many good intentions at this time, we must remember that no country has ever printed itself into prosperity.
To finish I would like to say – citizens paying taxes can be a wonderful thing. Taxes can build great nations. Just as important however is the Golden Rule – Governments should be spending less than they earn. Additionally, well managed countries with plenty of savings, would have no trouble managing pandemics, without the need to print.
So tell me…
What would you do if you were the leader of a country, which was tens of $ trillions in debt?
How will you protect yourself against consumer price inflation?
According to those in the know – being those speaking with bullion dealers, wholesalers and the mints daily…
‘The shelves are now empty!’
Much like the toilet paper and grocery runs we are seeing at the supermarkets, demand for physical gold and silver is up 10 fold in the past 7 days.
Speaking with a dealer yesterday – they claimed they were experiencing ‘unprecedented account registrations’ as people sought to buy physical. Unfortunately for these new comers, this dealer had no stock on hand and the orders they would take – expect an 8 week delivery time-frame.
Tuesday night the Perth Mint sent out a message to distributors – they were no longer taking orders for their 100 ounce and 10 ounce silver bars due to ‘unprecedented demand’. Yesterday their website was updated to indicate that they had no silver bullion in stock at all.
There is still gold available, however be prepared to pay $AU2,700+ per ounce plus delivery costs.
At this time the gold and silver paper spot prices continue to be the prices quoted by the media. These paper prices are down. However, there is now a huge disconnect between the physical prices being charged.
Customers are reporting that dealers who do have stock on hand are charging 25%+ premiums over the spot price for gold, with anything from 50-100% on silver. As one industry observer put it – ‘the dealers aren’t even looking at the spot prices anymore.’
At present the silver spot price is $US12.50 per ounce. Single ounce Liberty Eagles however are now selling for around $20+ on ebay.
I expect that the news of this surging demand will go mainstream within a week. At this stage the only discussion is taking place is on Twitter and in other social media sites.
There have now been a couple of industry articles published explaining current conditions in more detail than I will here – excerpts and links follow.
The disconnect between paper prices for precious metals and demand in the bullion markets has never been clearer. Nervous investors are frantically buying coins, rounds, and bars. Dealer shelves quickly emptied of more popular products and delays are now being quoted on many products – especially in silver.
The demand experienced industry-wide over the past 5 days has been unprecedented. This is worse than Y2K, 9/11, or the Great Financial Crisis. It is the speed at which demand spiked (seemingly overnight) that has crippled the industry. Volume is up over 10x (in some cases much more) in a matter of days. This has strained customer service, logistics, and – relevant to this article – supply. The industry is built for elasticity. We are used to big spikes in demand. We can handle a 1 or 2 standard deviation move. We can’t handle a 5 standard deviation move in 5 days.
Distributors sold out of stockpiles in 48 hours. Dealer inventory disappeared immediately. Precious metals are the toilet paper rolls of the financial markets – under appreciated until there isn’t much left.
Sales of the one-ounce American Silver Eagle coins were at 3.1 million so far this month, as of Wednesday, compared with total sales of 650,000 in the month of February, according to data from the Mint.
As discussed previously, it is important to hold ‘Good Money’ – not the paper promises which are currently being printed by the trillions. Some people are waking up to this and a new trend is forming. Perhaps for most however, it is already too late.
In our previous two posts on the topic of cryptocurrency, we learned what blockchain and cryptocurrency is and briefly examined the technological leaps it had made over the past decade.
In this post we shift our focus back to GOOD MONEY, by asking the question – does cryptocurrency really cover all the criteria necessary to be considered ‘good’ money?
Let’s revisit the criteria – one at a time.
A Store of Value
This is the most contentiously argued point in regard to cryptocurrency being considered ‘good money’.
Some argue there is simply no store of value for a unit of cryptocurrency whatsoever, and its price is merely a result of speculation. I do not accept this premise.
There is an inherent value in the computing infrastructure which runs the individual blockchains. There is value derived from the skills, efforts and energies of those actively maintaining and developing the capabilities of these cryptocurrency networks and platforms.
There is value being created by those developing the applications to tap into these blockchains.
There is ultimately value being derived from the use and adoption.
I will accept the argument that if the internet fails and the world stops producing electricity, and as such cryptocurrencies have no value. However, the likelihood of this happening in our modern world is so extremely minute – it is a poor argument. Besides, if for some reason we lost the internet or our ability to produce electricity on a global scale – we would have much bigger problems to worry about than how we access our cryptocurrency tokens.
Finally, it is argued that the creation of new tokens at a rate in excess of the growth of the participation in that particular blockchain will be value destructive, similar to the destruction in the value of the dollar. However, unlike dollars, blockchain currency expansion can be easily monitored and the market is able to adjust prices accordingly.
So I would argue, YES, cryptocurrency can be a store of value. Especially those cryptocurrencies which end up being highly utilised and responsibly governed.
Scarce and difficult to create
Within an individual cryptocurrency network, all tokens can be seen and are only ever created as per the rules of that blockchain. The rules of an individual blockchain can be altered. However, this is transparent for all involved and therefore the market can reprice tokens based on the changes.
In cryptocurrency, inflation is measured in its true sense – as the expansion of the token supply. So unlike dollars, where nobody knows how many dollars are actually in circulation – cryptocurrencies are very much a known quantity and inflation can be measured with 100% accuracy.
It is true that new cryptocurrency blockchains can be created quite easily. Creation of a new cryptocurrency though is akin to the creation of a new monetary system, not inflation of the current. There is no guarantee that this new monetary system will be adopted though and new cryptocurrencies do act as competition for the existing. Which is not a bad thing in that it is keeping the blockchain engineers and application developers busy constructing bigger and better financial ecosystems.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are growing in acceptance. It is believed that over 20 million people worldwide are using Bitcoin and other currencies on a regular basis. More and more desktop and mobile wallet applications are being developed to facilitate quick and easy trade.
Some countries are considered to be very friendly toward cryptocurrency based trade and business development. Some of these countries include: Malta; Switzerland; Singapore; Honk Kong; Japan Belarus; and, Estonia.
We have had indications out of Russia and China that they are working on their own national cryptocurrencies, which in itself would compel acceptance.
There has been speculation that Chinese and Russian cryptocurrency tokens might be backed by their national gold reserves – which would resolve any question around ‘Store of Value’.
The concept of a gold backed cryptocurrency would freely encourage mass adoption, quickly becoming an accepted and desirable medium of exchange. It is for this reason that I do not speculate in Bitcoin. A gold backed cryptocurrency, where say a single cryptocurrency token could be exchanged for a gram of gold, might end Bitcoin’s appeal very quickly.
A decentralised cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin has no single point of failure as it is run on computers all over the world simultaneously.
Furthermore, a Bitcoin held on the Bitcoin blockchain belongs only to the one who holds the private key to the account. Meaning the Bitcoin is not the liability of a bank or other third party. As such, we should consider cryptocurrency to be trustless.
Durable and indestructible
As mentioned previously, Bitcoin is the most powerful decentralised computer network on the planet. It would be virtually impossible for a hacker, company or government to bring down the network. This makes Bitcoin virtually indestructible. There is no reason that other blockchains will not be constructed with similar or even enhanced durability and indestructibility features.
Accessing your cryptocurrency can be as easy as carrying around a unique 50 digit password in your pocket. This password can be easily carried anywhere in the world.
To access the cryptocurrency you simply need a PC or mobile phone wallet. Establishing a wallet is now as easy as downloading a free Android or App Store app. Try setting up a bank account this quickly.
Yes! Generally speaking a cryptocurrency can be divided up into smaller units – often utilising between 4-6 decimal places.
Homogenous and fungible
Yes! Every Bitcoin is the same as every other Bitcoin on that blockchain. Other blockchains are similar in that their native tokens are identical.
It is clear that ‘cryptocurrency’ may have all the characteristics of ‘good money’, yet as established previously, ‘fiat currencies‘ do not. For this very reason it is possible that those in government, banking and finance will attempt to regulate cryptocurrency and/or discredit it. Afterall, if you were allowed to print all the currency you wanted to – wouldn’t you try to put a stop to a competing system, which does not?
Regardless, the world of blockchain is here to stay and the disruption to the established monetary and banking systems will be total.
Instantaneous and free international transactions will be available on trustless and infallible payment systems.
Public blockchains, private blockchains and national blockchains are all possibilities. Blockchains with physical backing of precious metals and other commodities and resources are likely to emerge.
The winners and losers with regard to blockchain is the unknown. However, over the next 10 years expect that the complete replacement of current systems will take place. And for the Financial Awakened – there will be a smorgasbord of opportunities.
In coming posts we will look at some of the opportunities which have already begun to arise. Please be sure to subscribe.
In a recent post titled ‘Innovation through cryptocurrencies‘ we provided you with an introductory explanation of blockchain, along with a quick brief on the original, 1st Generation blockchain and our most well known cryptocurrency – Bitcoin.
Over the years however, blockchain has evolved. It is no longer simply a transaction platform for transferring electronic tokens. Generation 2 and 3 blockchains are doing much, much more.
Second generation blockchain Ethereum (launched 30 July 2015), was the first smart contract blockchain, which not only allowed the transfer of tokens, but allowed conditions to be attached to the transfer. Meaning a transfer would only be executed when the conditions of the contract had been satisfied. Smart contracts have opened up blockchain to an unlimited array of commercial opportunities. Unfortunately, Ethereum like Bitcoin is limited by speed to approximately 15 transactions per second.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions incur transaction fees which are paid to the miners. These fees are are difficult to gauge as they change depending on how business the network is. They have also been known to get very expensive in busy times, causing both delays in transaction times and high transaction costs.
In the end, the fees make it next to impossible to use Bitcoin or Ethereum for small purchases – your morning coffee for example. So again this comes as a drawback to mainstream adoption for Generation 1 and 2 blockchains.
Third generation blockchains, such as the EOSIO blockchains (first launched in 2018) can now process thousands of transactions per second, near instantaneously, with no transaction fees.
These EOSIO blockchains are run efficiently by 21 specialised and elected block producers, with paid backup block producers on call should any top 21 servers be taken offline.
They come with smart contract capability, multiple account permissions, human readable account names and multiple token functionality. They are opening up a huge range of trade and commercial opportunities for individuals, businesses and other organisations.
Third generation blockchains could theoretically connect people in every country throughout the world – allowing them to freely and securely communicate; trade and transact instantaneously and, all completely outside of current banking and finance systems.
As a part of your financial awakening you should strive to understand blockchain technology. Consider the evolution it will take over the next decade; and, the role it could play as a future monetary supply and global transaction platform.
So does cryptocurrency really cover all the criteria to be considered ‘good’ money?
Be sure to subscribe to Goldsmith Money, so as not to miss our next blog, which will answer this very question.
Previously I mentioned that there may soon be a new medium of exchange which could one day be a ‘good’ form of money. This money is what is has been named ‘cryptocurrency’ – a result of combining the internet, cryptography and currency. No doubt the first cryptocurrency to spring everyone’s mind is of course is – Bitcoin.
Bitcoin (launched 2009) was the first cryptocurrency, built upon a decentralised blockchain. In essence, a ‘blockchain’ is simply a ‘spreadsheet’. However, unlike a spreadsheet which is open and running on a single computer, this spreadsheet is run on computers all over the world – simultaneously, with no single point of failure.
Each Bitcoin (or part thereof) represents a unit of currency on the spreadsheet and each Bitcoin account represents a cell.
Only those who hold the password (private key) to an account are able to transfer Bitcoin from this account to others. This means that so long as an account owner keeps their private key safe, their Bitcoin will not leave their account. However, others may send Bitcoin to the first owner’s account if they know the account address (the public key).
Blockchain can be trustless, to the extent that responsibility for operating and maintaining the blockchain can be spread across multiple third parties, across multiple jurisdictions and can be kept outside the boundaries of any one government, regulator or bank.
Transactions are near instantaneous, are borderless and permanent. Compare this to the transfer of monies to foreign bank accounts which can take many days to complete the transactions. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make transfers happen in minutes and with some, mere seconds.
Once a transaction has been made, it becomes forever written upon a single block within the blockchain. Each block is compressed, encrypted and verified by the miners or block producers. The ending ‘hash’ of one block then becomes the ‘header’ of the next, thereby forming the chain. And the more blocks in the chain, the more difficult it becomes to alter earlier transactions.
Bitcoin itself is now the most powerful computer network on Earth and it is virtually impossible for any one organisation to hack and fraudulently alter transactions.
We are still in the very early stages of cryptocurrency, however blockchains are evolving rapidly. Bitcoin itself, whilst the most commonly used blockchain is only capable of a maximum 10-12 transactions per second. This is nowhere near quick enough to be a mainstream transaction platform – at least not in its current state. Visa for instance, processes thousands of transactions a second.
In addition to transaction limitations, Bitcoin also requires enormous quantities of electricity to maintain the blockchain. The servers (called ‘miners’) which are running the Bitcoin blockchain, are said to be collectively using enough electricity to power a small country. Unless Bitcoin can overcome this inefficiency, its future again looks limited.
As I have said in the opening – Bitcoin was just the very beginning of blockchain and cryptocurrency – the 1st generation. The technological advancement of blockchain over the past 5 years though has been remarkable.
In upcoming posts we will discuss 2nd and 3rd generation blockchain technology. We will also examine cryptocurrency with respect to the8 characteristics of‘good money’. All part of your…
Our analysis of the ‘dollar’ in respect to the ‘8 characteristics of good money‘ detailed at Good Money continues. In this post we ask – are dollars trustless?
The only reason a paper currency has any type of value is because a government says it does – not for any other reason. So we start by trusting the government to protect the value of these dollars.
So what if this government simply turned around and stated – ‘Those dollars we told you to trust… well sorry, you’re not allowed to use them any longer!’
This was exactly what happened in India. With the stroke of a pen, President Modi banned all 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee denominated notes effective 31 December 2016.
Under the guise of eliminating cash from the black economy, the plan also had the impact of flushing out savings of law abiding Indian citizens. Those savings were then forced into banking institutions.
You might think, ‘this is not so bad’. Well not so bad if you trust the banks and you were able to get to one in time to deposit your rupees. However if you were in a village without a bank and lacked the transportation to get to one, this policy change might have been a financial disaster.
Think this can’t happen to our Australian dollars? Wrong! There have been reports for many years now that the Australian Government was looking to abolish the $100 note. There is also talk about getting rid of cash in Australia altogether – thereby forcing everyone to become a creditor of the banks.
Currently being debated in Australian Parliament is a bill banning cash payments of over $10,000, subject to a two year jail sentence. Imagine, two years jail for using your country’s legal tender.
So in India, and probably in Australia – great sums of cash are being forced out of the cash economy and into the banks. So you might now ask – ‘once done, the dollars will now be safe in the banks right?’
In 2013 the Government of Cyprus simply seized a percentage of all funds sitting in Cyprus bank accounts. Account holders woke up one morning to find their bank accounts pilfered by the very people they had elected to represent them in parliament.
Other countries are introducing so called ‘bail-in’ provisions. Should a bank experience financial difficulties, the dollars of depositors would be automatically converted to ordinary shares, to ensure that other creditors of the bank can be paid out first.
When it comes to TRUST – you now know that when holding cash you are trusting your government to protect the integrity of those dollars. You also know that once you deposit the cash with the bank, you are now both reliant on the government to protect the integrity of the dollars and on the bank to remain solvent.
So NO, dollars are NOTtrustless!
Of the ‘8 characteristics of good money‘ – modern day fiat currencies fail at least 3, being:
Dollars are not a good store of value due to inflation.
Dollars are not difficult to create, as financial institutions simply create currency with each loan they write.
Dollars are not trustless, as you must either trust the government to honour and protect the currency in circulation; and, you must trust the banks who you deposit these dollars with.
Understanding what constitutes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ money is necessary for your Financial Awakening. This does not mean that we should be avoiding cash and bank deposits – this is not practical or even desired.
What it does mean is that we need to understand the risks and opportunities associated with holding dollars and we will structure our financial affairs accordingly.
Next time I address the topic of Our Money, I will examine types of money which have all the characteristics to be considered ‘good money’.