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What is bitcoin? Get rich quick or exiting new technology?

September 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

What is bitcoin? Get rich quick or exiting new technology?

Bitcoin at USD 8 billion market cap is almost nothing compared to the hundreds of Trillions in fiat transactions. Bitcoin has – as of now (2014) – done nothing to the status quo in the credit card hegemony (scam/rip-off), for example.
Bitcoin – as an ever-increasing-in-real-value investment destroys its chances to be a real currency.
As a real currency (real money) bitcoin has to be perfectly or at least relatively stable in real value which is the absolute last thing bitcoin enthusiats want (in their natural, human unlimited greed). Greed is good: Gecko :-)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with bitcoin being the greatest niche value-transfer medium of exchange ever. What would be wrong with that?
As a medium of exchange bitcoin could be valued at 1 cent or even 0.0001 cent too. It would work perfectly well at any value – with very efficient (nano-second) medium of exchange technology. As a medium of exchange you want to (eventually) go into and out of bitcoin in a nano second.
That is bitcoin´s unique selling point, and not its potential to have an exponential increase in real value over time.
Bitcoin´s best value to the world economy would be the ability to absolutely securely and instantly transfer real value at almost no cost to anywhere else in the world – outside the traditional banking system. Governments are still going to regulated it to protect consumers.
Just as it was very difficult to make money from the internet in the beginning, so it should be very difficult to make money from using bitcoin as a medium of instant exchange in the beginning until clever minds monetize free bitcoin exchange in a profitable way – similar to monetization of successful internet businesses.
Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Single centralized bitcoin block chain ledger versus hundreds of millions of decentralized fiat ledgers

September 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Single centralized bitcoin block chain ledger versus hundreds of millions of decentralized fiat ledgers

Single centralized bitcoin block chain ledger versus hundreds of millions of decentralized fiat ledgersAll bitcoins exist only in the one, single, unique, completely centralized, public bitcoin block chain ledger. They never leave this one, single, unique, completely centralized, public bitcoin block chain ledger. Bitcoins are moved from one original key owner to another original key owner only inside this one, single, completely centralized, unique, public bitcoin block chain ledger.This aspect of the bitcoin technology – everybody agrees – is completely centralised in the one, single, unique, public bitcoin block chain ledger.

Trillions of fiat monetary units, on the other hand,  are debited and credited in any amount from 0,01 cent to hundreds of trillions of Dollars, for example, in any of hundreds of millions of completely decentralized company and other entities´ bank accounts in their hundreds of millions of completely decentralized private and public company ledgers all over the world.

Satoshi Nakamoto could only solve the problem of preventing the double (or more) spending of the same bitcoin (by simply copying it digitally), via the age-old double-entry accounting ledger.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Scotland: If yes wins, then yes for own currency too

September 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Scotland: If yes wins, then yes for own currency too

If Scotland were to leave the UK, then it should have its own currency too.

Scotland should not join the EMU while the latter does not function with a federal central bank. If Scotland were to join the EMU it would simply be another German monetary colony like all the others in the EMU.

If Scotland were to leave the UK and keep the Pound with the Bank of England as bank of last resort, it would be a UK monetary colony.

So too if Scotland were to leave and keep the Pound without the BOE as bank of last resort. It would be an even weaker UK monetary colony.

If Scotland votes to leave the UK , then

1. it should immediately have its own currency.

2. Next Scotland should abandon Historical Cost Accounting and change over to Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power in terms of the Daily CPI. That would stabilize the constant real value non-monetary item economy (including salaries, wages, rents, taxes, capital, all profit and loss account items, trade debtors, trade creditors, provisions, etc.). It would keep the real value of all constant real value non-monetary items perfectly stable in all entities that at least break even in real value – ceteris paribus – at all levels of inflation or deflation for an indefinite period of time.

3. Lastly it should inflation-index its entire money supply on a daily basis in terms of the Daily CPI. That would only remove the effect of inflation or deflation from the monetary economy. It would do nothing to actual inflation or deflation. That depends on the central bank. However, the economy would function as if there were no inflation or deflation.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

 

The IASB could help Venezuela, but would never do that.

September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

The IASB could help Venezuela, but would never do that.

If the International Accounting Standards Board were to revise IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies (which listed companies in Venezuela have been implementing since 2009) to require daily indexing in terms of the Daily CPI, it would help to solve the “massive distortions to relative prices” in Venezuela without the involvement of the Maduro government.

All constant real value non-monetary items, e.g., issued share capital, all other items in shareholders´equity, all items in the profit and loss account, provisions, trade creditors, trade debtors, all other non-monetary payables, all other non-monetary receivables, all taxes, salaries, wages, rents, pensions, etc. would be maintained constant in real value by virtue of them being required in a revised IAS 29 to be measured in terms of units of constant purchasing power in terms of the Daily CPI.

Daily indexing – if it were to be required – in IAS 29 “is the key to restoring Venezuela´s macroeconomic health.”

IAS 29 requires the use of the monthly published CPI. It had no positive effect during the 8 years it was implemented in Zimbabwe´s hyperinflationary economy. It had no positive effect in Venezuela from 2009 till now.

The IASB refuse to admit that IAS 29 had no positive effect in Zimbabwe´s hyperinflationary economy.

The IASB stated that “financial reporting has no effect on the economy”, which is one of the silliest statements ever made regarding accounting. Yes, the IASB stated that in January 2013.

A possible review of IAS 29 had been placed in the very long term future by the IASB: that means possibly never.

How the IASB could carry on – year after year – knowingly ignoring the fact (strongly brought to their attention various times) that a standard they have supported for the last 25 years has absolutely no effect in a hyperinflationary economy, is beyond human understanding.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The IASB has absolute power regarding matters relating to IFRS. They are absolutely corrupt in their abuse of their absolute power to refuse to revise IAS 29.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

 

What is bitcoin: money or property?

September 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

What is bitcoin: money or property?

Every institution in our society/economy operates in terms of its specific laws, regulations and generally accepted concepts.
For example: Judges: They interpret the law. That´s it. Nothing more. When the US IRS code states 23 times that money is a property then – for US judges interpreting US IRS laws – bitcoin is money. Finish and klaar. Ponto final. Very simple. They interpret the law. However, judges are not required to define economic concepts. They just interpret the law.
Another institute: Tax authorities: for them money is something that is, inter alia, legal tender. For them bitcoin is not money. For them bitcoin is a property.
Economists: An item has to have all three attributes of money to be money. Bitcoin is not and will never be a relatively stable in real value unit of measure for accounting purposes. Bitcoin thus is not and never will be money for economists and the accounting and auditing profession.
Consumers: Anything (cigarettes in a prison) that is widely accepted as a medium of exchange which overcomes the double coincidence of wants problem, is money. For consumers bitcoin is money.
In the end the market (consumers/users) will win the battle.
Example of what was not suppose to happen, but users simply ignored the rules: Money was/is suppose to be perfectly stable in real value as from the beginning of money. Dishonest kings (monetary authorities) debased money and it never was or is perfectly stable in real value on a sustainable basis. With fiat money, inflation and deflation do the destabilizing bit.
What did users do? They (economists, accountants, auditors, business people, people in general) simply ASSUMED money is PERFECTLY STABLE as from the beginning of money  - till today. Today the traditional, globally implemented, generally accepted accounting model used by all companies is the Historical Cost Accounting model under which the STABLE MEASURING UNIT ASSUMPTION is implemented for the valuation of many (not all) items in the economy; e.g. capital, salaries, wages, rent, trade debtors, trade creditors, etc. These items are ASSUMED to be perfectly stable in real value. For their valuation, money is ASSUMED to be PERFECTLY STABLE, although everyone knows money is NEVER perfectly stable on a sustainable basis.
So, the above is a perfect example of what will most probably happen with bitcoin: users will simply ASSUME it is money although it is impossible for bitcoin to ever be money because it is not relatively stable in real value and will never even be  ASSUMED to be perfectly stable in real value like real money is for accounting purposes.
You can´t beat the market/users.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

 

Two of the three parts of the post-HC economy would be stable in real value

September 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Two of the three parts of the post-HC economy would be stable in real value


The economy consists of economic entities and economic items. There are three fundamentally different economic items in the economy:

1. Monetary items
2. Variable real value non-monetary items
3. Constant real value non-monetary items

1. MONETARY ITEMS

DEFINITION   Monetary items constitute the money supply.

Only when an item is part of the money supply in a non-dollarized economy is it a monetary item within the economy where the units of money are created. Otherwise it is a non-monetary item.

Money, i.e., any item that is

(i) a medium of exchange (which eliminates the double coincidence of wants),

(ii) a relatively stable store of real value,

(iii) a relatively stable real value unit of measure (for accounting purposes) and

(iv) legal tender (for the settlements of debts)

is an essential component of a modern economy.

NON-MONETARY ITEMS

DEFINITION   Non-monetary items are all items that are not monetary items.

Non-monetary items are subdivided in:

(a) Variable real value non-monetary items
(b) Constant real value non-monetary items

2. VARIABLE REAL VALUE NON-MONETARY ITEMS

Examples include property, plant, equipment, inventories, listed and unlisted shares, foreign exchange, raw materials, finished goods, patents, bitcoins, other crypto-currencies, etc. are generally not perfectly stable in real value in an open and free economy.

Measurement
Their variable non-monetary real values are generally determined by supply and demand in free and open markets in terms of fair value.

3. CONSTANT REAL VALUE NON-MONETARY ITEMS

Examples include issued share capital, all other items in shareholders´ equity, all items in the profit and loss account, provisions, salaries, wages, rents, taxes, pensions, interest received/paid, bank charges, trade debtors, trade creditors, all other non-monetary debtors, all other non-monetary creditors, etc.

Measurement
Constant real value non-monetary items are measured in units of constant purchasing power in terms of the Daily CPI under the Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power accounting model.

TWO STABLE PARTS OF THE POST-HC ECONOMY

I. Constant real value non-monetary item economy

The constant real value non-monetary item economy is the first part of the economy that would be maintained stable in real value via measurement in units of constant purchasing power (under the UCPP paradigm) under CMUCPP in terms of the Daily CPI.

See examples above.

II. Monetary item economy

The second and final step is the daily inflation-indexing of all monetary items in terms of the Daily CPI with complete coordination. That would stabilize the real value of all monetary items thus inflation-indexed daily in terms of the Daily CPI.

This would do nothing to actual inflation or deflation. That depends on the actions of the central bank. Daily inflation- or deflation-indexing only eliminates the effect of inflation or deflation.

Current examples of perfectly stable in real value monetary item markets/areas

1. The global USD 3 Trillion plus market in government and commercial inflation-indexed bonds. Examples are US Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).

2. 25% plus of Chile´s money supply is inflation-indexed daily.

3. All mortgages in Colombia are inflation-indexed daily.

ONE UNSTABLE PART OF THE ECONOMY

Only the variable real value non-monetary item part of the economy would not be (is not) stable in real value because these values change and would normally change minute by minute in their respective markets, e.g., forex markets, stock exchanges, money markets, capital markets, commodity markets, etc. See examples above of variable real value non-monetary items.

Sine qua non

The above orchestrated/implemented stability in real value (purchasing power) is only possible with the implementation of daily updating (daily inflation-indexing in the case of monetary items) in terms of the Daily CPI: actually, in terms of all changes in the general price level which can change more than once per day during severe hyperinflation.

The CPI was institutionalized by the International Labour Organization in 1927.

In summary: The above stability in real value requires the rejection of the stable measuring unit assumption, i.e., the rejection of Historical Cost Accounting.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

The post-Historical Cost economy

August 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

The post-Historical Cost economy


The post-HC economy would be an economy in which the stable measuring unit assumption would be replaced with the Units of Constant Purchasing Power (UCPP) paradigm. The HC paradigm would be abandoned and no-one would ever assume money is perfectly stable during low and high inflation and deflation for the purpose of valuing some (not all) items in the economy as all economists, accountants and business people do during non-hyperinflationary periods in the current HC era.

HCA would be replaced with the Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power (CMUCPP) in terms of the Daily CPI model in the post-HC economy.

CMUCPP was authorized in IFRS as an alternative to HCA during all levels of inflation and deflation in the original Framework (1989), Par. 104 (a) which stated:

“Financial capital maintenance can be measured in either nominal monetary units or units of constant purchasing power.”

The above wording is maintained intact in International Financial Reporting Standards in the current Conceptual Framework (2010), Par. 4.59 (a).

The accounting model for the post-HC economy was thus authorized in 1989 in IFRS. It was also authorized in US GAAP and other national accounting standards during that time.

The following is unbelievable, but true:

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) suggested in January 2014 to the International Accounting Standards Board that it should remove the capital maintenance paragraphs from the Conceptual Framework (2010). SAICA mistakenly believes that capital maintenance is only of importance during high and hyperinflation and thus made that silly and unbelievable suggestion to the IASB. I fell off my chair when I read SAICA´s suggestion to the IASB. I emailed SAICA about it to express my horror at their suggestion, but they had no real answer for me. They repeated to me what they had suggested to the IASB, but they omitted in their repetition to me the actual suggestion to remove the capital maintenance paragraphs from the Framework thus silently admitting their terrible mistake.

SAICA is clueless about the benefits of CMUCPP in terms of the Daily CPI. CMUCPP would stabilise the SA constant real value non-monetary economy over a short period of time. SAICA has no clue what this means.

SAICA is clueless about capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power as stated in IFRS in the Framework. They don´t have the foggiest idea what it means or what it´s effect on the SA economy would be if it were to be implemented in terms of the Daily CPI: not the foggiest!!

But, they were quick to state in public on their website for everyone to read that I would insult users of financial reports prepared during low inflation (you) if I were to suggest that they inflation-index, in terms of the Daily CPI, constant real value non-monetary items like issued share capital, all other items in shareholders´ equity, provisions, all items in the profit and loss account, salaries, wages, rents, pensions, taxes, trade debtors, trade creditors, all other non-monetary debtors, all other non-monetary creditors, etc. although it was authorized in IFRS and US GAAP in 1989.

Everything on this blog is thus an insult to users of financial reports prepared during low inflation (you) as far as SAICA is concerned. You have to believe SAICA: they are the highest authority and the most respected on accounting matters in SA.

 

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Hayek: Stability in value would prove to be the decisive factor

August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hayek: Stability in value would prove to be the decisive factor

On 11 August I blogged: Is Bitcoin fatally flawed? in which I stated:

The fact that bitcoin has a fixed supply limit – 21 million – may mean it may be fatally flawed in its attempt to be money (a monetary item possessing the three attributes of money) because the limit in supply may result in it never being able to be relatively stable in real value: an essential requirement for money.”

Friedrich Hayek had the same view regarding the fact that a relatively stable real value is essential for an item to be accepted as money.

“Hayek stated that “Stability in Value” would prove to be the decisive factor in assessing the level of acceptance” (of a currency).

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Ecuador´s (possibly [hyper]inflationary?) virtual IOU´s

August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ecuador´s (possibly [hyper]inflationary?) virtual IOU´s

Ecuador was reported to be studying the creation of its own virtual currency. 

See: Ecuador Cryptocurrency

Now the Wall Street Journal states: 

“Implying that this is a “virtual” currency is an attempt to lend Bitcoin-like cachet to what will essentially be IOUs issued by a country with a rather dodgy credit history.”Ecuador´s phony bitcoin ploy – Wall Street Journal

The value of money

August 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

The value of money

Growth

Credit

If money is a means for growth and not the end, a lack of money is not sufficient a reason for the augmentation of money to fail to happen. With the availability of credit money, banks and fractional reserve banking it is evident that this is the case. Just because some company did not earn enough money yet to invest in a new plant, that does not mean it cannot – it would apply for a loan from a bank. That bank in the last instance may have borrowed that money from the central bank which created it ‘out of thin air’. However, assume, for the sake of argument, that these things did not exist. Even then, at any given moment, companies (or parts thereof) are necessarily in different stages of their accumulation cycles: some are just starting to sell a large stock of goods while others are looking to buy machines and hire workers. Some companies have money which they cannot spend yet while other companies need money to spend now. Hence, both the need and means for credit appear. If some company A expects to make, say, 110 BTC from a 100 BTC investment but only has 70 BTC in its accounts, it could take a loan of 30 BTC from some company B with 10% interest rate and still make 10 – 3 = 7 BTC of profit. For the company B which lends A 30 BTC, this business – if successful – is also better than just sitting on those 30 BTC which earn exactly nothing. If growth is demanded, having money sitting idly in one’s vaults while someone else could invest and augment it is a poor business decision.29 This simple form of credit hence develops spontaneously under free market conditions.30 The consequences of this fact are not lost on Bitcoin adherents. As of writing, there are several attempts to form credit unions: attempts to bundle up the money people have in their wallets in order to lend it out to others – for interest, of course.

Growth guarantees money

Central banks

The full article is available following any link above.