Last week, I published a blog related to futurist and satirical novelist Kurt Vonnegut that was supposed to tie into the two topics being discussed this week. But after going off on a 400-word tangent on Kurt Vonnegut and the brilliance of his first novel Player Piano, I decided to publish that blog as an appreciation for that novelist and push these topics back till today. As I waited another week to discuss these topics, more news was released that helps bolster the information in this blog. This blog will cover two topics that recently came to my attention. The first subject revolves around recent investment tools which most individuals probably have no knowledge of and the impact that these investments could have on our society. The second subject is a few updates related to the crypto universe that relate to our primary topic as well as a couple of interesting ‘experiments’ that border on the ridiculous. It is shocking how much things have changed in 2020 where the ideas presented in this blog would have been considered outside the norms of legitimate debate. Now, they just seem to be the new normal in our rapidly devolving world.
I am going to be diving into a topic that is definitely not an ‘expertise’ for me. But I want to try to understand the goal and purpose of what is trying to be accomplished. My feelings on global warming are mixed. I do believe that the planet Earth has been warming up for the last few decades. My problem is that the reasoning for the warm up is not clearly defined. People of the liberal persuasion want to blame corporate mega-polluters and irresponsible governments for global warming. Al Gore told us that the polar ice caps would melt in 2013, the ocean would rise 20 feet leaving Florida underwater, and the polar bear would starve to death. Well, Al Gore is a politician. Politicians are prone to lying to promote a viewpoint that they are passionate or financially motivated about. Gore’s predictions have not been very good and the polar bears appear to be just fine. On the other hand, conservatives tend to support the idea of a warming sun as the cause. This is a legitimate reason as the earth has gone through periods of warming and long-term, hundred million yearlong ice ages (According to this article, we are currently living in the Quarternary Ice Age). So considering all this information and whether you believe it or not, count me as a cynic on the global warming topic from the point of view of it being human caused. One of the best things that Donald Trump did was get the United States out of the Paris Agreement because if the sun is warming up and our current ice age is coming to an end, there is absolutely nothing we can do from a human perspective to resolve this global warming problem unless we want to build Mr. Burns’ Sunblocker. Plus, there is just not enough evidence showing that one opinion on this topic is more legitimate than any another.
Keeping this in mind, I received a recent email from Uphold, an investment company involved in international currency, metals, a small amount of stocks and cryptocurrency. Uphold came to my attention through the usage of the Brave Browser. I have been using the Brave Browser on my PCs and Android phone for over two years. The genius of Brave is that they block internet advertisements and serve you ones promoted by their company. Many of the advertisements promote open-source corporations and websites, a callback to my Linux days. Acknowledging the advertisements gets you paid in the crypto BAT, the Basic Attention Token, which you can donate to other online publishers or collect for yourself to invest on the Uphold platform. Currently, I have invested a little under 300 dollars on the platform and the money has grown to nearly 400 over the past six months. I have invested in nine cryptocurrencies, two stable currencies (The Croatian KUNA and the Singapore DOLLAR), and silver. I recently received an email from Uphold about a new crypto token that is related to this global warming movement. Called Universal Carbon (Symbol UPCO2), it allows people to buy, hold or sell tokenized carbon credits. These credits can be purchased by the biggest corporate or governmental polluters in the world to offset their carbon production. Where have you heard this idea before? Well, there are two places. The first is the idea of cap and trade. As this article states about cap and trade,
“It’s a system designed to reducepollution in our atmosphere.
The cap on greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming is a firm limit on pollution. The cap gets stricter over time.
The trade part is a market for companies to buy and sell allowances that let them emit only a certain amount, as supply and demand set the price. Trading gives companies a strong incentive to save money by cutting emissions in the most cost-effective ways.”
The second is from Article 6 of the Paris Agreement where one of the primary solutions of global warming revolves around the idea of multi-national corporations attempting to create a carbon market for bankers and financiers to trade this element. As Wikipedia notes, “Broadly, it outlines the cooperative approaches that parties can take in achieving their nationally determined carbon emissions reductions. In doing so, it helps establish the Paris Agreement as a framework for a global carbon market.”
If there wasn’t money to be made, do you really think that global warming would be an issue that we have been propagandized to believe over the past 25 years? Turning the element of carbon over to a financialized trading market to help reduce emissions (If that actually is the case) is not going to resolve this problem in anyway. In fact, all that a carbon market can do is create scarcity and likely lead to a potential ‘carbon’ tax where every individual on the earth will have to pay a fee or buy a Universal Carbon token to offset their breathing, commuting and resource burning that occurs in their daily lives. Because if we eventually do convert everyone to a ‘green energy’ world, carbon will always be created in some way (Animals and humans, Petroleum, Manufacturing). Also, if carbon dioxide is going to be eliminated, what is that going to do to the precious Amazon rainforests that environmentalists constantly show concern about? Don’t trees need CO2 to survive?
The second aspect of this new ‘financialization’ of everything in the world revolves around the most important liquid asset of all: water. Well, starting this week, water will now be traded as a commodity on U.S. exchanges. As this article states,
“Farmers, hedge funds, and municipalities will soon be able to trade water contracts linked to the $1.1 billion California spot water market, according to Bloomberg, citing Chicago-based CME Group.
Water contracts will help users manage risk and better align supply and demand. They were first announced in September as wildfires ravaged western states.
"Climate change, droughts, population growth, and pollution are likely to make water scarcity issues and pricing a hot topic for years to come," said RBC Capital Markets managing director and analyst Deane Dray. "We are definitely going to watch how this new water futures contract develops."
Tim McCourt, global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME, said billions of people around the world live in areas where water scarcity is a major problem.
"The idea of managing risks associated with water is certainly increased in importance," McCourt said.”
Memories of the rolling blackouts that ravaged California back in the early 2000s have come rampaging back into my mind. As history showed us, Enron used the deregulation of the energy market in California to manipulate and drive-up prices which led to the energy being in short supply leading to the summer blackouts. Thinking about this from the carbon perspective, this is probably an honorable goal with good intentions that could lead to oppressive, authoritarian tactics. But from a water perspective where the quest to make a profit greatly outweighs the importance of individuals who can die to a shortage of water, this new ‘water market’ will attract greedy investors, and this can only end in a human created tragedy.
Besides carbon and water, there are plenty of other investments that revolve around important resources that you can make.
Oil ETFs and Futures. Check.
Corn ETFs and Futures. Check.
Wheat ETF. Check.
Livestock ETF. Absolutely.
How about Video Games? Yes, youcan bet on the future of that industry also.
I have always been a proud individualist with more of a libertarian-left, mutualist focus. Not everything in our world needs to be bought, traded, and sold. Some aspects of our life should exist for the public good. Electricity, Water, Carbon, and National Parks are four great examples of this. City run utilities are usually more efficient than corporate run ones. Water and Carbon are naturally occurring commodities that are required for human beings to live. National Parks are probably the only entity run by the U.S. government that it handles well. If something happened to these Parks, it would not be shocking if a charity or organization came into existence to take over the maintenance and protection of them. I also believe in co-operative type organizations. Has there been any invention over the last thirty years that has had more social impact and cooperation from the public than the creation of the decentralized Linux community? Trading commodities is a step too far for our Great Reset loving, authoritarian capitalists. All these financial tools will do is create more scarcity and difficulties for the average person who will not even be aware that the shortages in their town are created by these investment tools.
So ExpertofSome, how does this all relate to crypto? Well, the UPCO2 token is likely showing us the way. As the Universal Protocol Alliance states on their website, “Every asset class will be digitized and tokenized.” My Brave Browser’s BAT is one form of this tokenization by paying me in crypto when I view advertisements that are served to me. One of my personal favorite coins, SushiSwap, allows you to buy crypto and exchange it for delicious sushi. Pepsi Company has created PepCoin, a way for the company to pay you in corporate controlled crypto for every product that you buy. Because blockchains are public ledgers, they track every crypto transaction that has ever been made. Now that this technology is further understood by governments, corporations, and the public, the blockchain, which was created to celebrate the idea of decentralization, may actually be the greatest financial tracking tool ever invented. There is a reason why governments and corporations are pushing us towards a ‘cashless’ digital society. Blockchains may be the final nail in the coffin for financial freedom and privacy. Because if the United States is contemplating the idea of a Fedcoin, you know that the blockchain will be controlled by a centralized Federal Reserve database that will be able to monitor every financial transaction that you make.
This future is not certain. As a person who invests in crypto on a speculative level, there are plenty of options out there where you can maintain some aspect of privacy and bank outside of the financial system. The idea that Bitcoin has set off has led to some amazing innovations in the crypto currency universe. Ethereum changed the conversation by creating a platform that allowed the building of applications onto a single blockchain powered by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) that processed the smart contracts created by developers that are put into the Ethereum blockchain in a permission less fashion. There are now hundreds of different cryptos that have been developed onto this Ethereum system. I invested into Cosmos which is tied around the idea of various blockchains from different cryptos communicating with each other in a decentralized way. Besides this, there are also some amazing privacy coins where anonymity is the primary feature. ZCash created a crypto with a private blockchain that records the transaction, but the data is confidential meaning that the sender, receiver, and transaction amount are all private. Monero encrypts all of its data to shield personal data and transaction amounts on the blockchain. One of my new personal favorites is called Pirate Chain (ARRR, Get it?). This one goes even farther by shielding all activity on the blockchain (Because users can reveal themselves on privacy coins by ignoring the security protocols). Pirate Chain is 100% anonymized and private and will likely become more popular as the system is tested. There are always various options out there to protect your freedom in an increasingly oppressive world.
Let me know your thoughts on these topics above. Talk to you next week!
EXPERT OF SOME