It’s the last Thursday of November, a day celebrated since ancient times though in different dates and under different names.
In US it has the simplest one: Thanksgiving. The harvest so collected in theory, we get to have a feast and of course be thankful that the land gave aplenty.
The crypto land it may seem has more taken this year. Five figures have become four for many holders. For some that held Luna, Terra, or indeed deposited in FTX, all their figures have become pretty much zero.
There’s anger this Thanksgiving as accusations of corruption towards Democrats reach fever pitch.
They took about $40 million in donations from Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s CEO. Many cryptonians fear that will act as ‘protection’ from prosecution for basically theft as Bankman-Fried took customers’ deposits and gambled them away.
No regulation can protect from such an act, except prison. When cryptonians therefore see not only that he still roams free, but gets to speak at a conference alongside Prime Ministers, the Treasury Secretary, and the guy in charge of some $10 trillion, Larry Fink, any confidence in any regulatory agenda falls to zero.
Yet we have to be thankful in this space that we can have confidence in the blockchain and in free market competition.
These two combined provide us with Proof of Reserves, which isn’t perfect as you can’t see the liabilities, but provide us nonetheless with concrete evidence which is of a continuous nature and permanent.
This transparency for big accounts and privacy for small accounts turns on its head the fiat system where it is the opposite.
You can’t really tell where one eth or one bitcoin is going. You can reasonably tell where 10,000 bitcoin might be moving, and however much Coinbase does not want to be on-chain transparent, we can still see them.
Unfortunately the United States wants to deanonymize all public addresses. This is something that must be resisted on privacy grounds but also on security grounds.
As we’ve come to expect, our data will be leaked. The best protection therefore is to not collect such data. Any exchange that requires evidence of who or where you are withdrawing to, therefore, should see their customers close their accounts.
Not least because we saw and followed very closely how this
sausage law was made, and we saw how one Senator was able to block a consensual amendment for reasons unrelated at all to the amendment or the law.
Thankfully, and we have to be very thankful, for the fact that any law applies only by consent. The positive theory of the law, which states it must be obeyed simply because it is the law regardless of whether it is just or unjust, we reject.
The public rejects, and that has been the case at least since the tales of Robinhood. A law is law only if it is just, and to routinely as well as systematically require the revelation of a public address without due cause is not just. Not only that, it is in contravention of the 4th Amendment’s right to privacy.
We have to be thankful that this space does still have crypto punks. There remains a feeling that we are our own jurisdiction, we have our own ways, and maybe we can even do better.
That doesn’t mean throwing away all that our grandfathers have built, but it does mean not necessarily accepting precisely all of it.
We do therefore have to be thankful for the revelations regarding Bankman-Fried and the Securities and Exchanges Commission chair Gary Gensler, the former banker that is still set to receive a pension from Goldman Sachs.
Because it proves in effect that Gensler is not impartial and is not objective on his approach towards cryptos, shown in countless of instances, including the fining of Kim Kardashian for a tweet while Bankman-Fried still roams free.
And more than all of that we do have to be thankful for the fact that we have the choice and the opportunity to analyze and participate in all these debates as our own actors with our own influence and even power.
That’s the spirit of this crypto space fundamentally. It gave hope in 2009 to the more informed and capable that there is another way, that change in substance is possible, that the public can have a real say.
Whatever one’s views on cryptos, we hope the whole world is thankful it arose because otherwise the cream of the millennials may have been forced to pick between nazis or communists as our lesser friends did.
Instead we’re busy building a code based global financial network that naturally has its ups and downs, but raw value is being created in providing an alternative to the entire world.
If crypto had a challenging harvest, at least we’re used to it. The plentifulness in stocks however has had a fairly rare year of draught with many stocks down 70% and even 80%.
Bonds, usually the safest of assets, have crashed. Commodities now may be going down too with oil below $80, and we are thankful for that one.
Many in stocks and bonds are thankful for the Fed pivot with markets now expecting a 0.5% hike in December, rather than 0.75%.
A small difference that might seem, but from then on markets expect lower and lower hikes, until even a cut in a year’s time.
The economy so far has sort of managed to still grow year on year, though most expect a recession but we would be very thankful if the economy can actually handle these hikes, although they probably are too high and need some cuts.
Inflation is downtrending however, thankfully, and liberty seems to be prevailing in Ukraine where Kherson has been liberated.
We are very thankful for that bravery and even heroism of the Ukrainian army and its people, though we hope their testing time comes to an end as soon as possible.
In China, different sorts of testing times are ongoing as they see the worst economy since data began in the 90s, in 30 years.
While US is sort of used to these booms and busts and manages to muddle through, China is seeing its first bust in living memory with it unclear whether they have the capability to address it.
Xi Jinping, the re-appointed Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, was welcomed however during G20 where he arrogantly gave a public dressing down to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
That brash style overshadowed what some speculated was potentially a pivot. In anticipation, Justin Sun of Tron has gained ownership of Huobi apparently in expectation that Hong Kong will be more open to crypto with their regulator announcing they may reopen crypto exchanges.
The Chinese market remains the only one of note to be closed to cryptos, and a re-opening of such markets would probably be the only real sign of a detente or pivot.
The Human Spirit
So plenty to be thankful for, but none more than for the fortitude of man, and woman.
Through challenging times across millennias and centuries, they’ve withstood a lot more than our generation, and by comparison our generation does remain in free and prosperous times overall.
Some say the boomers had it better, forgetting of course that the boomers are still with us and they’ve gone through everything the millenials have.
It could have been a lot worse, though it could have also been better. We naturally focus on the latter, and be thankful that we can hope we can make it better.
The how is largely known. The space exploration, the proper dawning of it at least. The industrial tech revolution with things like renewables infrastructure and much else. The code upgrade of all things with crypto leading that charge.
These are shared ambitions from the very richest to the very poorest who all can feel some sort of pride about the capabilities of the human species.
For though in other days we might all engage in the great gladiatorial game/s, today we perhaps should be thankful that there are some things we all share, whatever station and whatever nation.
It is not a global holiday this one, and so the sermon might not be heard everywhere, but the man’s ambition to peace and prosperity knows no borders or nationality or ideology.
Even those wrong aim for it, even authoritarians, even dictators, even those waging war.
That’s a shared truth and a shared hope. Iblis afterall fell because he thought of better, not of worse, even though he was wrong in claiming that effectively bots, which just follow orders, are superior to humans which have free choice.
Pride, and a sense of loss that he was being replaced in some way, explain his actions and that of quite a few who are currently wrong.
Yet even in that naive wrongfulness and some might say evil, we have to be thankful that their aims tend to be noble, for that allows for rationality to prevail, and for persuasion to be effective when it is right.
This fundamental state of man explains not only his perseverance, but also his betterment throughout the centuries.
While it might seem therefore that nothing changes, that dictators diktate and authoritarians wage war, that corruption prevails, we have to be thankful the human nature is such that is not quite the case.
For something else that binds us all is a drive towards self-actualization. It is precisely this that allows both the poor and the rich to feel a sense of fulfillment at the ambition to go to Mars or indeed replace dirty coal.
This drive is imposed by nature through normalization. Someone non rich may dream of it, and yet if they achieve it, they will quickly become very used to it. Likewise one might dread of being poor, yet quickly accustoms.
We have to be thankful for this state too as its opposite is non-existence, and existence is better because it is rare so you might as well enjoy and experience it, while non-existence is the default conceptually.
We have to be thankful also because it is this state that allows for common humanity, common dreams and common ambitions.
It is this base reality that leads to the easy dismissal of concepts like post-truth or post-modern. There is no such thing.
There is common truth, even if it travels at different speeds, and a new invention or way is what is modern, with modernity being not an era, but a state.
Not that the traditional is necessary worse. Seasons are a very long tradition, and still no one has found a better way, making that which is modern not just new, but also better.
And that’s our whole point in many ways, an endless quest for better. It is what people are willing to fight for, even at the ultimate cost. Not nations, not even concepts like liberalism, but that which they judge to be better.
We should be thankful for that too, even if it has its own trappings, as it allows for movement, and in the face of entropy movement is better than still because still is non-existence, at least eventually.
This all allows us to say that we shouldn’t ree at the rich, or accept corruption as a natural state of affairs, or authoritarianism, dictatorship, war, abuse in short.
Instead we must always be thankful of the fact that their nature contradicts human nature, and where the rich are concerned, that they are part of human nature.
We can therefore achieve our dreams and aspirations, we can achieve our ambitions of agency and self empowerment, we can achieve our ambitions of general peace.
In time, while knowing that it would be just a step to other ambitions. And for that we do have to be thankful as otherwise we would be very bored and boredom is not a nice state, although it can be a catalyst for change.
Finally, we do have to be thankful that much of Europe is now able to freely travel and see all the nice places.
This is the biggest unsung achievement of the boomer generation, because it has turned out to be overall right in all ways with 250 million very successfully transitioning to a stable democracy and prosperity.
Poland, always chained and broken apart, is now on the verge of being pretty much Western Europe.
For Russia it went a very different way, but they had the same station and the same development, just very different outcomes.
It proves nonetheless that time moves in one direction, so to speak metaphorically, that these subjugated people finally achieved their ambition.
And therefore, these are not times of despair, however it might seem, but times of inspiration that this generation has the capability of achieving greatness in both starting the space age to a proper extent, and in connecting the world under the principles of the enlightenment.
For however challenged these principles might seem, the European model has proven their effectiveness, and therefore we can focus more on doing than theorizing as there is no real debate on the superiority of the enlightenment model.
We should be thankful for that, that we generally have a working model, and we need only tinker or improve at the edges, rather than go through all the many experiments.
And therefore that we have been freed to build, basically. Build the Orient, build Africa, and the stanis, build tech, build Mars and even space, build the world for hopefully better harvests.