Here's a fresh reminder of the savagery that still exists in our world, the need for sound money, the need for privacy/anonymity, and the need for a non-physical store of value that can be hidden in plain sight. News out of Iran that two gold salesmen were executed by the government after being accused of cornering the gold market. While I'm not fully abreast of this particular situation and the extent to which these gentlemen were manipulating markets, it does seem like they were running an at least somewhat legitimate gold selling business during a period of high demand after a collapse of the Iranian rial. The death sentence seems a bit... harsh, if you ask me.
The harshness of the sentence and swiftness of the execution leads me to believe this was a shot across the bow of gold sellers throughout Iran as the authoritarian government begins to fear losing control of the country's monetary system. The crash of the rial is being caused by the recently reenacted sanctions from the US, which have resulted in Iran being cut off from the international payments network, SWIFT. A currency that can't participate in the global economy is not a currency worth holding in our modern hyper-connected world, so Iranians are dumping their rial for Gold, USD, and even bitcoins as they seek the safety of harder currencies. These harder currencies, when accumulated and used by more and more people, erode the government's ability to control the economy. This is why we have seen governments step in time after time throughout history to confiscate gold, force people to sell gold to a bank so it can be stored in a centralized location, or even made it completely illegal to use as a currency. This move in Iran looks, to me, to be something along these lines.
This is why we Bitcoin, freaks. For people in semi-despotic countries like Iran, the ability to store and exchange wealth in a non-physical asset like bitcoin is imperative as the physical nature of gold makes it easier to confiscate gold and target physical gold dealers. The ability to pseudonymously transact in a black market while your currency is failing and your oppressive government is trying to grasp control will be crucial going forward, especially as our financial system and overall confidence in governments continue to become more fragile.
Imagine a future where bureaucrats from around the world who have never met you won't be able to destroy your wealth with the stroke of a pen, forcing you to primordially scramble to keep your life together. Those will be good times. Buy Bitcoin.
It's a smooth jazz type of cold Thursday morning here in NYC.