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Friday, April 4, 2014

ECON 101 -- The Truth Behind the Con

There was a time, not too long ago, when money increased in value for the owner when saved.  The longer he could wait to buy something with it, the more he could buy!  The fancy name for that situation is "deflationary" money.  A deflationary money system works really great for us common folks.  Prices are usually falling and people get more for less because the money increases in value!  I jest you not.  We still experience this a little with products like electronics.  The longer you can wait to buy a computer, the better and faster it is, or else it will cost less in a few months.   Wouldn't it be nice if everything got less expensive.  What if it got easier to make a decent living, take care of a family, and still easily save up enough for when we are old?  Whole civilizations have enjoyed such conditions for generations throughout all of their economy.  They didn't have electronics back then, but homes and food and transportation steadily got better and more obtainable for everyone.

Unfortunately, about 100 years ago, some bright e"con"omists got together and figured out how to co-opt the above, completely natural, monetary system which utilized deflationary currencies like gold and silver.   Their agenda was to "tighten the screws" and improve the productivity of society ... i.e. force more work out of the people doing actual work.  We call these type of e"con"omists Keynesians today.  So, in the USA for example, where once we had property owned mostly by individuals, now ownership is concentrated in the hands of bankers and those who are connected to them.   What we see today is a natural result when one group of people can generate money for free, while another group of people (we-the-borrowers) must work for a little money whose value is always decreasing.  

For a common man, the robbery is a three-fanged strike.  First, the money he holds is always losing value.  Second, efforts to use "deflationary" currencies, like gold, are met harshly with capital gains taxes.  Third, whenever hard times hit, we-the-borrowers lose ownership of assets when payments are missed.  I hope I can paint this picture for all how perfect of a trap this is for we common men -- they can cause as much inflation as they want, we either take the losses from holding their cash or we pay income taxes on imagined gains if we try to store wealth elsewhere.   It would be easy for us to get out of the banker's trap if not for the income tax.  These two together, income tax and Keynesian e"con"omics are the perfect combination that enable the central command and control over all people.  The legal agreements on loans are the final blow which ultimately give bankers unearned control of the world's assets.

If you don't believe me, answer one simple question.  If you miss a few house payments, could a banker have a say in your ability to sleep there?   

There was a time when men owned their homes fully and completely.  Why is it that we all work harder, produce more, and yet we are stressed out over keeping up our payments to our landlords?  At least if you did have to rent a space back in the day, you knew you were renting.

The Keynesians will be all too eager to point out that wild crashes and fluctuations in the business cycle are the reasons that their policies are needed.  Make no mistake, the Keynesian system is an effective system to make a productive society.  It is also incredibly effective at robbing the common man of the fruit of his labor.

So now they are setting yet another trap.  They are inciting the frustrated working classes against the moderately wealthy.   They say, "Look at these people that make so much money, they need to pay their fair share."  We all seek justice, we all are frustrated, so we take the bait and raise taxes for everyone making $250,000 or more.  Little do we know, while the bankers quietly print more free money and spend it, our money that we work for decreases in value and so we must work more to get more because prices are rising.   Then one day we realize that we are working two jobs to make $250,000 and can't afford to buy real milk because the dang income taxes are so high.

This is our future unless we learn to see through the scam.  If we want life to be fair again, it is time for the income tax system to be replaced with a fair flat tax or consumption tax.  That's really all we need.  All the hoopla about minimum wages, monopolies, and regulations mean nothing as long as we are coerced into holding money that is losing value or paying taxes with money that we should be allowed to save for our own futures.   It is our money after all.  If you work for it, it is yours; and if you were smart enough to earn it honestly, you are smart enough to decide the best way to spend it.  

The only other way I can think to explain it is this:  Collectivism is a scam that really rich people use to steal assets from the working class.  The idea that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual is appealing.  But, collectivism is a thin disguise these days,  as it is more obvious than ever that the needs of the few who print the money outweigh the needs of the individual.   The flow of money to an honest worker should not be impeded or confiscated in any way.  Anyone who says otherwise is a con-artist.  If we-the-borrowers are having hard times, it is because the bankers and politicians have combined forces to rob us.  We can easily side step their grip with a renaissance of Individualism.



Sunday, March 30, 2014

How Digital Currencies May Change Everyday Life

Try to imagine how many ways you and I lose money doing "life" events.  I'm going to focus on one example:  An older couple who sells their 4-bedroom house to buy a 2 bedroom condo so they can lower their monthly housing costs and maintenance.

Here are just a few of the costs:

1.  Repairs on the old home and customization on the new
2.  Closing costs on both homes
3.  Moving costs
4.  Interest, fees, taxes, and time
5.  Loss of closeness to neighborhood friends
6.  Loss of personal features in current home

Now imagine a world running on digital currencies for a moment.  I'll do my best to describe it for you.  Here is a story about what Vern and Marge, retired seniors just trying to get by, might do in the future.

After a lot of research, Vern bolted into the kitchen and exclaimed, "Marge, I've got it; I've figured out how we can make ends meet and not have to move!"

Marge looked up with hopeful interest.  "Did you invent something again, dear?"

"No, no, this is for real.  We can become HomeHotelCoin miners."

"HomeHotelCoin mining?"  Marge's eyes glazed over as her hopes were dashed that Vern was really on to something this time.

But Vern never lost one bit of his enthusiasm.  He continued, "You won't believe how easy this is.  It sounds absolutely too good to be true, but an old friend of mine and his wife have been doing it for a year now and it works great.  They didn't have to front any cash, they don't have to do any work, they just signed up and collect the checks."

Vern and Marge had lived in their neighborhood for most of their adult lives.  All their friends lived close, their church was close, her favorite stores were close, and Marge especially did not want to move.  So, hearing that it worked for someone else got her attention.

Vern went on to explain how it works.  "This is a commitment, it involves renovations, losing access to part of our house, and a lien against our equity for the renovations.  Are you still interested?"

Marge looked skeptical, but the thought of moving makes her heart sink and so she gave a hesitant affirmative nod.

"OK, like I say, renovations are required, and to pay for that we do have to sign a 5 year contract.  If we break the contract or sell our home before then, we'll be responsible for the balance left to pay off the renovation costs.   If we sign up, a contractor will isolate part of our house into a hotel-like room with its own bathroom and private entrance.  When the work is done, the room gets listed on the HomeHotelCoin phone app.  When anyone is traveling through town, they can book our room right on their phone.  We don't have to interact with customers at all.  They pay with HomeHotelCoin which they can buy at any digital currency exchange, like that Digital Currency Exchange of Texas I was telling you about.  Once a customer books the room and pays, they get a code to get in the door, and we just get an email that someone is coming.  We don't even have to be there to check them in."

Marge looked even more skeptical.  "Who cleans the room?"

"Ohhhh, that's where this gets so amazing.  First off, the contractor gets a cut of the coins for his work; that's his incentive.  Second, housekeeping agents do their part for a portion of the coins as well.  In fact, most anything needed to make this service work is built into the system.  We don't have to do anything.  If we wanted, we could include our pool as part of the amenities for the room, and then there are built in features to include pool maintenance as well."

Marge's mind immediately went on with all the things that could go wrong, obnoxious guests, damage to the room, psychopathic murderers trying to stay there, and on and on.

Vern continued, "They've already thought of everything, private security, built in deposits, and biding systems to allocate the right amount of coin for each job.  Everyone involved gets rated:  our room, the customers, the contractor, housekeeping, maintenance, and security.   If we say we don't want to deal with any customer who has less than 5 stars, the app doesn't even allow our room to show up for anyone with less than 5 stars.   It is the same for the housekeeping; there are default settings, but we can adjust what rating we demand from the cleaners, as well as how much coin to allocate for them.   Hah, but obviously if we demand 5 stars and only pay 1 percent, we might not get any takers on the cleaning.  Everything is on a bidding system."

Marge was getting a little hopeful again, but this did sound like just another one of Vern's crazy ideas.  She decided to play devil's advocate for a bit.  "So, what about security?  What if some crazy person is in there bothering our neighbors or playing loud music at 3am?"

"There is a handbook the explains the recommended way to handle almost any type of situation.  Obviously for some kind of emergency we might have to call 911.  For loud music, we might simply put a ding on our customer's reputation rating so that future HomeHotelCoin miners will know that person likes to play loud music at 3am.  The security team does monitor cameras outside our home for suspicious activity, and electronic security for our side of the house is included.  If a security guard does have to come out to deal with a customer, the cost for that gets charged against their deposit just the same as if they damage something in the room or steal anything.  Bob and Melony said they've never had anything like that happen though, just towels go missing once in a while.  It's funny, Bob said there is a rating spot that says something like, 'we're not saying you stole the towels, we're just saying some towels were missing after you left.' I guess the theory is that if a trend shows up, people will know."

Marge thought of some more practical reasons why Vern's idea won't work.  "What about taxes, regulations?  Do we know what we are getting ourselves into?"

"Yes, yes, I checked into that too.  The system integrates with our tax software and it is customized for our zip code.  It files the right forms for us automatically, all we have to do is sign the forms it prints out.  Bob said that they had all the needed licenses and approvals before the renovation even started.  That app even sets us up with an exchange account integration so it can automatically convert the needed amount of HomeHotelCoin into dollars to pay the taxes and fees.  Fortunately we don't have a crazy Nazi homeowners association here, that could be a problem for some, but we're lucky on that."

"Do you really think we can do this, my power-puff man?

"I do."

******************************************************

The above story is completely hypothetical.  I don't know if this particular example would work in the real world.  The point is to illustrate how digital currencies might be used to help people allocate resources they already have in order for them to make extra money.  The object is to standardize and automate the business processes so that we the people can concentrate on the task at hand, whether our task be sleeping, cleaning, or gun slinging.  Digital currencies can help organize human activities in new ways to help customers get what they want, and service providers to get what they need.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Cashing Out Bitcoins for Gold

So slick ... I just transferred some bitcoins to my smartphone and bought 1 OZ of pure gold from Capital Coin and Bullion ... no cash, no credit card, and no hassle!  Bitcoin is superior to everything.  All we need is more and more merchants to accept them.   Transaction fees to process bitcoin payments are lower for merchants than what credit card companies charge too.   Word is getting out!  Get some bitcoins!   If you are a merchant, find out how to accept bitcoins for payment at https://bitpay.com/


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil:

But... But... Bu' I really loooveeeeee money!  I'm not evil ... muahhhaha, well ok, I'm a little bit evil, but not like ... central banker evil.

Ok, well, if I think about it, what I really love is "making" money.  I enjoy the money itself, but what I really love is making money.  The only thing I love more than making money is my sweetheart ... and the only thing I love more than her is making a bunch of money without having to work for it!

Gold button from e-scrap
I could see where some folks might think that is bad.  After all, people should make money the old fashioned way and earn it ... right?  Well here's my little insight on that ... people ain't gonna give you no money unless you've earned it.  The trick is to earn it (i.e. provide value to others) without having to exert much effort.  Simple example: you can dig a ditch with a shovel or you can dig a ditch with a backhoe.  It's the same ditch and it adds the same value (or not) to the same customer, but one way takes a lot of effort and the other not much.  And, the least effort method actually enables you to dig more ditches faster, creating more value for more people, and making more money for you for less effort.  See how that works?  Being lazy is actually a good thing!

Well, it is a special sort of lazy that works best.  Laziness is best accompanied with a love of "making" money which is in essence a love of creating value for others in the most efficient (least effort) way possible.  Creativity and imagination are your best tools for this sort of task.  This way of thinking is what drives invention.  Please don't say, "well, I'm no inventor" and stop reading here.  Everyone is an inventor!  Everyone has thought, "if only I had a such-n-such thingy that did this or that, this job would be a lot easier!"  Also, inventions include more than physical products, inventions are new processes as well as the adoption of a product or process for a new task.  Anything that helps produce a good or service in a more efficient way is an invention!  So, please repeat after me: "I am an inventor!"

OK, now that that is settled, let's go on about making a bunch of money without having to work very hard for it.  Now we need to talk about another facet of this topic, scale-ability.  The idea is to do the work once and have it benefit many people.  Suddenly, digging ditches doesn't seem like such a great career.  The guy who makes the big money is the guy who buys the swamp and pays someone else to dig the ditch to drain it, and then sells the dry land.  Environmentalists ... please don't hate me!  That was just an example.

The point is that the guy digging the ditch is only helping one person, the owner of the swamp.  The owner of the swamp has a bigger plan that will ultimately benefit many people when a neighborhood is built there.  Our world is ripe with opportunity to create value in a scale-able way!  Sometimes the processes involved are complex, and that is what we use our creativity and imagination tools for.  The goal is to find a path: the steps, the recipe, the combination of services and products that will create value for a large number of people.

Some careers are naturally scale-able   Content creation like writing, art, or computer application development are great examples.  You create the content once, and there is no limit to the number of people who can benefit from your content.  The possibilities are endless!  Another easy way to create value for others is to spot a revolutionary new idea that some genius came up with and then implement a niche for yourself to extend that person's idea towards some practical task.  You won't need genius skills to do this.  There are countless millionaires who don't have a clue about how to route data packets on the internet.  They just know how to sell the hell out of used golf balls online.  In a way, they are mooching off the genius skills of all the people who did invent the internet ... Al Gore was it?  It's all good; the goal is to create goods and services as efficiently as possible.  When you exploit the ideas and inventions of others, that actually adds value to their ideas too.  It is a win win situation for all!

There is a new revolutionary idea happening right now.  It is at least as big as the invention of "email".  It is so new that there is absolutely time for you to get in on the action.  People have already become millionaires with it.  There are both technical opportunities available as well as "down-to-earth" practical niches ripe for the picking.  If you want to make a bunch of money without having to work very hard, I implore you to learn everything you can about this new technology.  

BitScavenger: Android phone app
I personally started with $300 and have grown that into assets that are now worth over $20,000 in less than 2 years (with virtually no effort).  This is only the beginning.  I speak of Bitcoin.  Please google that term and know that there are Bitcoin scams and Bitcoin bonanzas ... read all.  Let the information percolate through your brain.  Follow Bitcoin writers on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  Never believe a word anyone tells you, but pay attention to every detail of every word.  Become an expert and notice especially where people complain that they would like to be able to do "this or that" with their bitcoins.  Therein lies your opportunity.  Once you know this topic thoroughly, network and find others to swap ideas with.  Find people willing to act and find people who can do things, like programming, that perhaps you cannot do.  For a quick start to trading, please also check out my blog on the topic: http://crypto-daytrader.blogspot.com/

In closing, be optimistic that the world is full of ways to make huge amounts of money with relatively little effort.  The object is to scale your efforts such that many people benefit from your work.  All you have to do is take the time to notice what other people need and want, and think up creative ways to provide it for them.  Remember to focus on scale-ability of your effort, where you plant an orchard once to provide fruit for many people for years to come.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

JamBit Crypto-Currency Design Proposal

The following is a non-technical overview of concepts that will be helpful to design a better Cryptography enabled virtual or electronic currency (crypto-currency) system.

Crypto-currency represents an amazing opportunity to bring fairness, prosperity, and freedom to all citizens of our planet.  There is no limit to the number and type of crypto-currencies that may be implemented, and like any new invention, only the best implementations will thrive.

The first examples of crypto-currency have been demonstrations of the viability of the concept.  Some crypto-currency examples, like Bitcoin and Litecoin have proven that an electronic token, independent of any national government, can hold value and transmit that value fairly and securely among members of the currency network.  Others, like BBQcoin or MMMcoin, had design or implementation flaws that led to their early demise.  All of these first attempts were primarily focused on overcoming the engineering difficulties associated with creating and distributing the currency, and managing transactions securely.   However, there is no limit to the features that a crypto-currency could have.

Eventually, the most successful crypto-currency will not only solve the technicalities of electronic funds handling, but it will also present more economic value to its users than any other system.  Now is the time to ask the right questions to make newly designed crypto-currencies more economically viable for more people.    If you have ideas, please submit them in the comments section below.  Until then, here is my list of concepts that I believe should be considered in the design of a new crypto-currency:

1.  How might we achieve a reasonable level of price stability?
2.  How might we promote productive behavior and discourage destructive behavior?
3.  How might we protect individuals who live under oppressive governments?
4.  How might we automate financial services like escrow, loans, insurance, and investments?
5.  How might we protect people from, or compensate them for, fraudulent activities?
6.  How might we provide probate services and protect against lost funds?

In the real world, we have governments to regulate and handle the issues mentioned above.  I believe we can do a better job by designing a monetary system to handle these issues as an engineering problem rather than from a social or regulatory perspective.  In fact, my goal is to remove people from the process as much as possible.  People have self-interests, computers not so much, yet.

So, here we go off to build a better monetary mouse trap.  First, in order to scale up a crypto-currency for worldwide usage by billions of people, we need to move away from "proof-of-work" reward/mining systems to "process transactions as efficiently as possible" reward systems.  The idea is that new money will be introduced into the system as a reward for people who support the network with their hardware and processing power.  Of course measures will be needed to assure that people aren't making bogus transactions simply to earn rewards (discussed in answer to question #2 above).  Automatic adjustments to rewards for transaction processing and fees on transactions will be the primary tools used to implement monetary policy in the network.

PRICE STABILITY

The first goal for a good currency is to achieve price stability, and some form of monetary policy will eventually be needed to accomplish that goal.  The goal is to prevent hoarding, depressions, rampant inflation, and all the other monetary problems that keep repeating throughout history.  One cool feature about crypto-currency is that all transactions can be known in real time.  All the economic data that is painstakingly collected, submitted quarterly, and used for making real world monetary decisions would be instantly available to a crypto-currency network.  So, it is simply a matter creating a system that can process the data and make adjustments to money supply as needed.   Bitcoin is off to a great start, and it is now being propelled by investors and speculators.  That's great for the beginning stages of a new currency, and that situation can be mimicked by limiting any increase of currency supply to a rate below the adoption rate by new users.

As the currency matures, it would enter a new "era" called the usage era.  During the usage era, new currency would be introduced at a rate slightly higher than what is demanded by new users and crypto-economic growth.  The idea is to get a very slight inflation rate such that the currency itself is no longer valuable as an investment item.  If the system detects excessive inflation, currency would be automatically removed from the system.  One method would be to lower the rewards paid out for processing transactions coupled with an increase of fees charged per transaction.  Users will always be protected from that slight inflation rate by being able to freely convert their savings to a crypto-currency, like Bitcoin, which is designed to always appreciate in value.

PRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOR

We live in a world where one's reputation has been devalued by law, regulation, and government enforcement.  There was a time when it wasn't safe to do business with someone that you didn't already know and trust.  Today, we don't necessarily bother to check out a restaurant's reputation before we eat there.  We trust the government, in part, to make sure that the restaurant is safe and/or to provide a means of recourse in court if we are cheated or poisoned.  In the world of crypto-currency, there is no law, regulation, or government.  The best crypto-currency networks will have built-in features to promote healthy and productive interactions among its users.  The best networks will at least include a capability to log complaints and compliments.  While any user could always get a new ID if there was a complaint against them, they couldn't fake compliments from other users with impeccable reputations, at least not without a lot of extra effort.  Since every transaction is logged in a crypto-currency network, unique users with multiple IDs can often be isolated.  For reasons listed in the section on protecting individuals from oppressive governments, a user's real world identity is not always wanted, but that user's "in-network" reputation is a very effective tool to help promote productive behavior.  This is seen to be the case on sites like the silk-road.

The organizers of the MtGox exchange for Bitcoin already implement one strategy that will also be effective. That is to offer verified accounts which have more freedom, but which also are associated with a user's real world identity.  There is a fine balance between offering user's new freedom, but also encouraging them to use that new freedom wisely.  There are many options that the crypto-currency system might use.  For example, higher rewards might be paid for transaction processing to verified account holders.  Rewards could be offered for transaction feedback.  Transactions which become suspect of fraud or (bogus transactions to gain transaction processing rewards) might be automatically categorized and charged higher transaction fees.  Specific units of a crypto-currency could also be labeled as "dirty-money".  The possibilities are endless, but we shouldn't get too carried away with them lest we end up with a monetary system that is more cumbersome than the one we have in the real world with its myriad of laws and regulations.

PROTECTION FROM GOVERNMENT

Control of money is probably the most effective way a government has to control its citizens.  Crypto-currencies have the potential to empower more individuals to live life as they choose more than anything since the Gutenberg Press.  It is a lost concept that an individual may produce what others want, and that individual has the right to request from others a reward similar in value to that which was produced.  It is a simple contract among individuals.  No other entity deserves a portion of that value unless they were a part of creating that value.  If another entity does contribute to the creation of value, like by providing roads for example, then it is the responsibility of the providing entity to monetize that contribution in a way that is voluntary to all parties involved.   In other words, it is not OK to produce something that no one wants, and then force them to buy it at the point of a gun (the working mantra of most governments).  It is OK to restrict usage to paying customers.  Any system that threatens the power of governments over their citizens will meet with resistance by the people currently in power.  The resistance will be more harsh in some countries than others, and so "real-world" anonymity is an absolute requirement for any crypto-currency network.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Think about how many people are employed in financial services.  Now think about how much more productive our world would be if their jobs were all automated.  Think about how much better off you would be if there were no closing costs associated with selling or buying a house.  Imagine that interest was always paid directly to the lowest bidding lender and that there were no middle men in the process.   This one aspect of potential for crypto-currency stands to improve the living standards for billions of people.  How frustrating is it that banks can borrow money at 0.01% interest rate, yet we have to pay 5 to 6% if we borrow money from them?  At the same time, if we keep savings in a bank, we would only make .01% interest on our savings while the money itself devalues at a rate of 3% per year.   All of these shenanigans would become history with a properly designed crypto-currency.

Rates for insurance can be automatically calculated in real time based on claims history.  As far as automating the process, imagine this scenario:
 
     - someone buys a house with Jambits.
     - insurance is purchased
     - house is reported to have burned
     - claim is filed

The crypto-currency system is now tasked with the job of determining whether or not a legitimate claim is being filed, or a fraudulent one.  Suppose that once a claim was filed the process was to auction off the property to highest bidder.  The claim would only payout the difference between the purchase price of the house, and the amount received at auction.  If the house really didn't burn, it would draw market value at auction.

We can also suppose that an owner might file a claim if the value of the house dropped.  In that case it becomes true that the insurance policy actually provides devaluation coverage also.  That is in fact superior to currently available insurance; and when one factors in the cost savings of having the whole insurance system automated and "not-for-profit", the premiums are not likely to be much higher.

Of course, the whole process must start from an auction based approach on asset sales from the beginning.  That is the only way to off-load the task of determining an asset's value and legitimacy to the network of users rather than paid appraisers, surveyors, agents, etc.   All insurable items must be bought and sold in an auction format in order to accomplish any sort of automation.   A system of auction based transactions for larger ticket items also lends itself to loan automation.

Since any user can always go get a new ID, individual bankruptcy should be expected to be a quick and easy process.  Given that, credit should be approached with caution and only offered in amounts and terms comparable to the credit worthiness of a given ID.  In other words, the system should not lend a 2 month old ID enough money to buy a house.  Since algorithms and transaction fees can constantly be tweaked to root out bogus transactions, it will be somewhat straight forward to determine an ID's income and credit worthiness.

Escrow services are often used in external systems related to current crypto-currency transactions.  It will be a value add to the users of the network to have escrow services built in and automated as fully as possible.  It is a fact of life that mail gets lost and stolen.  Cargo ships even still sink sometimes.  The escrow services could also be combined with insurance services to protect users as much as possible;  users must receive the items that they purchased, or a refund.  Fraudulent claims must always be guarded against, and this is where having real time access to all currency movements will be useful to the system.  Even in the Bitcoin world, suspicious activity is watched by the community.  That information can be used to affect the ratings of suspicious ID's and to flag new ID's who appear to be related to suspicious ID's.  I like the theme here though, any real person has the opportunity to turn a new leaf at any time.  The past is always forgiven, albeit built into the cost structure that everyone must bear.

FRAUD PROTECTION

Trust in this new crypto-currency system is a prerequisite to wide spread use of the system.  The most important goal of the whole system is to protect value that individuals have entrusted to the system.   Fraud that unfairly wipes out a single individual's value is the most damaging of all to their trust in the system.  Many safeguards can be implemented at the client level.  As the MtGox exchange limits withdrawals of Bitcoin based on their value, so can the Jambit client limit transaction sizes for various account ID's.  Users must be educated on strategies to protect their assets.  They could even be rewarded with insurance protections based on how well they comply with recommended best practices.   In other words, if you use a hardware key device and a secure password, keep large sums in offline encrypted wallets, have a great community reputation for your ID; if you are defrauded, the system can automatically settle reimburse you for your losses.  The information provided by the user on how they were defrauded could be used to improve the whole system.

Other helpful options might be to integrate transactions with shipping tracking numbers, or at least provide tools for vendors to do that easily.  I'm dreaming now, but wouldn't it be cool if the network of users handled deliveries for packages within their cities.  Everyone would have an easy way to earn JamBits by providing package delivery services.

PROBATE AND LOSS

As crypto-currency usage grows, people will want to know that their assets are safe from loss and that they can be passed down to people of their choosing even in the case of their own demise.   Currently, if a person encrypts their Bitcoin wallet and forgets their password, the funds are lost forever.  If their computer crashes and they lose their wallet.dat file, their funds are lost forever.  If they die and haven't told anyone else how to access their funds, the funds are lost forever.  There is a simple solution for these situations that can be built into the JamBit client tool.  When a new ID is created, a user should have an option to select an inactivity period and a beneficiary ID address.  If an ID goes inactive for 5 years (or whatever time the user chooses), then the funds credited in that account would automatically be split as defined by the original user, and credited to the beneficiary account or accounts.  This would help protect people from lost passwords and provide a means of transferring funds postmortem.

This article is just my brainstorm on the subject, so please do add your ideas to the comments sections below.




Saturday, March 16, 2013

Making the most of a bad situation.

A car accident can be a traumatizing experience.  Even if the accident was not your fault, it can end up costing you money if you are not careful about how you approach the situation.  Insurance adjusters sometimes count on your emotional state and will use that against you when determining how much to pay out.  A key take away here is good advice for all aspects of life, "Wait until your emotions are calm before you make any big decisions."  Make sure you are in a calm a clear state whenever you talk to the adjusters, or else have someone else talk to them for you.

My second thought on this topic is that there is usually more money available to you in an accident payout situation than will be initially offered.  A little patience on your part can get you a bigger check.  Let's look at a real world situation that I just went through and see how everything played out.  My one of past girl-friends got backed into in a parking lot.   Parking lots can be a strange place as far as traffic law goes, and the other person would not claim full responsibility even though the accident was totally her fault.   The other person's insurance would only offer to cover 80% of the damages to my girl.  That meant she would have to make a claim with her own insurance and pay a $500 deductible.   My girl was more distraught over that than the accident or the damage to her car.   Fortunately, she was too broke to pay the $500 and she followed my advice and haggled with the other driver's insurance company.

She did get some work done on her back and the lady who worked on her spine said that the stiffness was definitely from the accident.  Armed with a potential bodily injury claim, we began to haggle with the insurance company and threatened to hire a lawyer if they didn't at least send someone out to assess the dollar amount of damage to my girl's car.   After two months of crawling in from the passenger side, we finally got the other insurance company to cave.  They assumed 100% liability for the accident which was fair based on the way the accident occurred.  Their adjuster gave an estimate of about $3000 to repair the damage to both doors on the drivers side of my girl's car.

Now, there were two options for making repairs to the car.   One, we go to a body shop that works with the insurance company on a regular basis, and they would bill the insurance company directly, or two, we take a $3000 check and get the car fixed our-self.   We went shopping at various body shops and we found some that would fix the damage for slightly less, but they wouldn't make any promises if they found more damage than what was visible on the outside.  This was a little intimidating for us and we almost  went with option 1.  Option 2 is where you can pocket some money though.  You just have to make sure you can get the car fixed cheap ... and if you are willing to do some work yourself, you can save even more money.

For parts, I recommend http://www.car-part.com/ for any parts that you can't find off Craigslist or local pick-part businesses.  Again, only because my girl was broke did she let me talk her into fixing it our-self.  I drove about 200 miles to get two doors that were the wrong color, and they cost $500 each, but we still pocketed $1100 after the whole job was done.   I did all the work that I was capable of doing ... removing panels and trim and test fitting the doors.   Then I shopped for a body shop that wouldn't turn his nose up to me bringing in my own replacement parts.   He was a guy that understood we were on a tight budget, and he gave us a very competitive quote to paint and mount the replacement doors.  We got the body work done for only $900, and the car is back to original condition.

My last tip is to save any parts that you have left over and then resell those after the job is done.  I have a side mirror for a 2008 Saturn Aura, two glass windows, and the electric window regulators to sell now.  I should be able to recover a couple more hundred dollars once I sell those parts.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Government Study Concludes: Regulations Don't Cost Jobs

New Government Study Concludes: Regulations Don't Cost Jobs

Can you feel me cringe?  If only you guys knew me better, you'd know how much it hurts me to read stuff like that.  To add insult to injury, I had to read that article knowing full well that most people in America have never tried to start their own business.  That means most people have no clue about the malaise of federal, state, and local regulations that restrict almost any form of business.  They don't understand how regulations keep us "little people" out of so many trades, and keep us from working independently as business owners.

In order to stay positive about this reality, I must remind myself that this is my niche.  The harder the government makes it for people to earn an honest living, the more demand there will be for unique ideas to get around the government.  The ultimate purpose of "MrMoneyHustler" is to present new ideas for people to make money honestly, but also without all the hassles and regulations placed on established forms of business.  As frustrating as it is when the government restricts people from working independently, we should all be reminded that everyday brings a new way to make a little pay.

My strategy is to present new ways to make money that are honest, but not regulated.  Mostly, only new ways to make money are unregulated.  If it's been around for a while, someone will have lobbied for regulations to impede new competition.  If you have any ideas for new ways to make a buck, please share.

Ultimately, this is a quest for freedom.  We live in a world where money is required to survive, and people who control money use that as a means of control over us.  We will do what we have to do to make the money that we need to make to survive.  This is the mechanism that causes us to allow our government to make us contribute to actions that we find immoral, because our own survival is tied to compliance through the use of money.

Some people are upset that their tax dollars might be taken and used to perform abortions.   Others are upset that their tax dollars are taken and used to kill innocent people in foreign lands.   The Occupy Wall Street folks are upset that money is used to keep wealth and power in the hands of a few.   We can take much of their power away, by reducing our dependence on what they control, money.  We have to be wily with our views on "money" in order to preserve the power that we are rightfully entitled to, and to stand up for morality in our world.

In order to re-establish our power, we need to get back to the basics of what is "money" and what is a "fair exchange".  Money is an abstract concept after all.  If someone is abusing that abstract concept to control us, then it should be fairly easy to shift that abstract concept a little in our favor.  The key is to convince a lot of other people to go along with the plan.  When the system is rigged this heavily against the people, the people need to come up with a new system.  Anytime you set out to re-design a system, the first step is to identify the basic principles at work.

We the people create "value" in the form of goods and services.  One feature of "money" is that it is a tool to allow different people to exchange their goods and services in a way that is fair to everyone involved.  So, one of the first ways we might consider a new system, is to focus on "value" creation as the goal, and money as a secondary concept that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with actual value.  Many great systems spawn from a focus on "value" creation: co-opts, charity, partnership, and off-grid living just to name a few.  In all these systems there is exchange of goods and services that are not always tied to an exchange of money.

The main point about "value" creation is that when you are broke, sometimes the wrong question to ask is: "How can I make some money today?"   The right question is: "How can I create some value today?"  Of course, the next question to ask is: "How do I get what I need to keep creating value?"  The simplest answer to that is to create value for yourself, but this has a lot of limitations.   You will always have to go beyond that in order to thrive.   We all must figure out how to create value for others and make sure that we eventually derive some benefit from that as well.  Let's take an example at this point.

We all need a place to live.  Because of the way the world works, it costs money to reserve the use of a shelter.  However, some creative thinking on how you can add "value" to yourself, and then others might make it possible for you to occupy the space for free.   Suppose you rent or buy a run down old house and fix it up to be more comfortable for yourself.  This is a simple example of creating "value" for yourself.  Your effort to improve your living standards was not taxed nor was it devalued by inflation or other monetary meddling of the government.   Simply put, you have a nicer place to live.

That "value" creation also has potential for you to create value for others by letting others live with you.  Perhaps that other person would be so grateful as to buy the groceries and pay the electric bill.   Now you have added value to someone else and they have added value back to you, and no money was exchanged between.  If you have other practical examples, please submit them in the comments section.

Another feature of "money" is its ability to store value.   So, how can we store value without using money?  Again, please submit your ideas.