Saturday, November 6, 2021

Satoshi Nakadoenuts

You may not realize it now, but the Bitcoin Whitepaper is as groundbreaking to human development as Gutenburg's Bible or Homer's Iliad. Trust me here: It is that historic. 

This one nine-page document, published way back in 2008, has led to the growth of an entirely new financial system of transactions and investment. Soon, it will change the way we understand property, property transfer and wealth storage.  Trust me here: The Bitcoin Whitepaper is that historic.

By "new financial system", I mean, of course, decentralized. And by "decentralized", I mean power to the people. 

Since the release of the Whitepaper and the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, a great many average regular everyday people have become wealthy just by investing a part of their income in Bitcoin. While this new sector is fraught with danger (including fraudsters and risks galore), CBS News recently reported  that as many as 100,000 people may have become millionaires by investing in Bitcoin and its related cryptocurrencies. 100,000 new millionaires. 

Cryptocurrency investor Raoul Pal is a popular voice in this space. He has described this power to the people phenomenon in this way  

"...what this really is is real time venture capitalism for the everyday person. The everyday person has been shut out of the big opportunities because you have to need to go through a financial institution and there's barrier after barrier after barrier so only the rich people get access...."

Now I'm not recommending you run out and open up a Coinbase or Gemini account.  If you are thinking about that because of something you have read here, please stop and understand that the entire sector is literally the Wild Wild West and is terribly terribly dangerous and risky. 

But don't forget that an entire generation has had to sit by and watch as opportunities went to rich, connected people and powerful organizations. Within that context, the presence of a mere possibility for an regular person to enjoy these types of financial gains (just like the big banks and real venture capitalists) has, in fact, captured the hopes and imagination of millions of Americans (and roughly 150 million people world-wide to date). 

This simple fact -that Bitcoin has captured the imaginations of millions- is beyond dispute for any reasonable person. The hopes and imaginations of millions of Americans have, in fact, been captured by this aspect of the new economy. 

And those people vote. 💡

This is why I found it interesting when a popular showboat mayor from Miami started his city's very own crypto currency, the Miami Coin. Billed as a way to raise revenue for his city, the Miami Coin has already achieved something far more powerful -for the Mayor of that city

Francis Suarez, you see, is an American politician by trade. That's his profession. The success or failure of his entire career depends upon capturing the hopes and imaginations of his voters and then capitalizing on both. This is what Miami Coin has truly accomplished.

Now let's be clear,  Miami Coin has raised only  $7.1 million for that city's budget. This is not (repeat not) a 'King's Ransom' level of money. But the political capital that has come from aligning himself with the hopes and imaginations of regular folks is indeed a King's move, one which paid large political dividends for mayor Suarez last week when he won his reelection bid by a landslide.

The last generation of American politicians aligned themselves with the anger and frustrations of voters. Bill del Blasio tapped into those frustrations with his 'Tale of Two Cities" campaign. Andrew Cuomo tapped into them by promising to be the tough guy; the one person who could beat all of the people who made voters frustrated and angry in the first place. This new generation of American politicians are shaping up to be leaders who have figured out how to align themselves with the hopes and dreams of voters. And one of them just won by a landslide. 

So it should be no surprise to note that our new mayor-elect has recently announced that he will be taking his first three paychecks in Bitcoin, not US dollars. 

There actually is no way for a city employee to be paid in Crypto (mayor or otherwise). Mayor Adams will have to open up a Coinbase or Gemini account, or go to PayPal, just like everyone else. But Eric Adams is also an American politician by profession so that one small logistical reality was probably part of the messaging his team wanted to send out. That messaging surely includes a premise that sounds something like this: "You see? I'm just like you. I have the same challenges as you".  

Just one week after his election, our soon-to-be mayor has already aligned himself with the hopes and dreams of regular people -just like 'the guy from Miami who won by a landslide'.  

This shouldn't be overlooked.  As he gets ready to begin his first term, it is becoming more and more clear to anyone paying attention that our next mayor has taken on a populist's persona. 

And this is why, when Eric Adams says ... 

"NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries!" Adams said Thursday...

...the message he really sending out is, "I'm down with what YOU want, regular voter. Think about what YOU want, and I'll be down with that". 

This should be overlooked either. Not for one moment.

(Bitcoin to the moon 😍!)

And this is why it is so important to quickly parse Adams' words about the DOE last week when he was on Pix11 News:

Wow! Just wow! That quote could have (and probably has) been muttered by every frustrated parent in the city at one time or another.

By issuing this public statement, and indicating that the DOE will fall under scrutiny, Adams is (again) aligning his actions with public sentiment. All of this has the same goal, of course: Capturing the imagination and hopes of regular everyday New Yorkers so that he remains popular. 

A closer look at the quote will probably show you that what is at play here is a very a very simple concept. The mayor understands that parents generally like their child's classroom teacher ("Great teachers..") and are generally happy with their child's local school ("great educators ...") but that the department of education itself, with its many unpopular personalities, initiatives and policies, has come to be widely disliked by regular New York City voters. ("One of the greatest embarrassments ..." sends a pretty clear message, in my opinion). 

This was, again, a smart political move from a talented, populist oriented politician who is trying to closely position himself with the hopes and imaginations of his voters. Look for the policies that flow from this statement to be only those that are popular. Not unpopular but needed. Not visionary. Not groundbreaking. Popular among his voters. 

So here is my summary on Eric Adams; he is going to try to do things that, generally, people like and that's all there is to it. If he is good, then he is going to avoid doing things that are contentious and that's all there is to it too. This approach will have wide reaching consequences for teachers over the next 4 years. 

So, my predictions:

  • Don't look for the new mayor to give every city teacher a small budget on ShopDOE to order their own school supplies. He's not looking for that type of popularity. Instead, look for a reasonable expansion of charter schools. Parent voters like that. 
  • Don't look for a teacher raise anytime soon. Most parents understand that teachers make more money than they do and this city is about to be in dire financial straits. Instead, look for a greater emphasis on Students With Disabilities or on class trips or on anything that is generally popular.
  • Don't look for a mayor to stop your overly abusive principal. I'm sorry. This is just not going to happen. As a captain in charge of his own precinct, Adams' was the NYPD version of a principal himself. Instead, look for him to be cut from the 'support principals' cloth. 
  • Do look for the mayor to stay within the realm of what is popular. He may go after the union, but he will avoid going after teachers in general. 
  • Finally, Mr. Adams is about to learn that the Department of Education is New York City's version of the Military Industrial Complex. So don't look for too much change from Tweed. To the bureaucrats down at Tweed, this soon-to-be mayor is just the "hired help" who will be gone in four or eight years. Carmine Farina didn't get rid of them. Richard Carranza didn't get rid of them. Meisha Porter (who had already targeted by them  with this NYPost hit piece before she even took the job) won't get rid of them.  I don't think the new mayor will be able to do much about them either. 
  • Do look for this to be a show. Like mayor Suarez from Miami, Eric Adams is a showman who wants to make voters happy. So whatever happens, it's going to be interesting. 

Part of the mystique around Bitcoin is that its true inventor is unknown. The whitepaper that lead to Bitcoin's creation and development was published under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and nobody has ever known for sure who Satoshi Nakamoto really was. To add to this mystique, this person simply vanished shortly after the whitepaper was published. Don't look for our next mayor to be mysterious this way, though.  But, just as there is an air of mystique around Bitcoin, do look for Eric Adams to align himself with as much mystique as is out here. He wants to be loved. He wants to be popular. And that knowledge should give the people who he leads a lot of power.

Power to the people. Ain't that democracy. 

1 comment:

  1. I am looking at Adams's background as a police captain as a plus instead of a negative. He has leadership qualities. I have had principals who have been ex admins from NYPD and former military. They know how to treat subordinates and know how to lead.