Detractors of Bitcoin often point to its costs — namely in the form of electricity used in proof-of-work mining and its perceived impact on the environment — as reasons for why it will never be a sustainable alternative to traditional fiat currency. These detractors often believe that Bitcoin is fundamentally unscalable, or more likely, come from the power structures that fiat currency has enabled, such as government or centralized financial institutions.
In his presentation on the main stage of Bitcoin 2022, Dr. Saifedean Ammous delivered a presentation meant to underscore the invisible costs of fiat money, and how it has been used for centuries to economically oppress the average citizen of a fiat-based economy. Dr. Ammous has long been a supporter of Bitcoin, and has written “The Bitcoin Standard” and “The Fiat Standard,” both of which have helped educate numerous individuals about the advantages of Bitcoin and the corruption that is ingrained in most fiat states.
Dr. Ammous started his speech by focusing on inflation and how using fiat money helps back a system that is inherently unequal. Dr. Ammous specifically cited how fiat inflation is used primarily for the needs of the government, saying that “The cost of fiat is currently 3.5% of all global wealth, and is used to finance government parasites, wars, and monopoly banksters.”
He followed up by citing how fiat money often helps those who are already rich, and who have the ability to store their wealth in hard assets such as real estate, and often preys on the poor. He added that “fiat parasites who are always talking about inequality, like Elizabeth Warren, Thomas Piketty, and WEF global leaders never mention this.” It certainly seems as if the very politicians and leaders who preach for a more equal system are rather enabling and backing an economic model that is predatory on the very people they pledge to help.
Dr. Ammous then brought up a little-talked-about consequence of using fiat money: its impact on the health and nutrition of its users. He argued that governments often encourage their citizens to “eat their sponsor’s industrial waste” as a cheap alternative to organic and high-grade essentials. He also cited fiat’s impact in scientific reporting, especially in energy, saying that “fiat scientists are telling us that windmills, a sixth-century technology, is what is going to be needed for the future. This is just an inflation cover-up.” Of course, it is often these very same fiat scientists who attack Bitcoin over its sustainability, especially on ESG grounds.
For most Bitcoiners, myself included, it was the allure of using a currency that was independent from centralized authority and oversight that drew me down the so-called rabbit hole. However, I had neglected to think deeply about the extent of the detrimental impact fiat currency was having on my life, and the lives of billions of people all over the world. Fiat is not just government-controlled; it is government-enabled. Using fiat money powers a system that funds unhealthy eating, economic oppression and more. Dr. Ammous, as always, has managed to open the eyes of hundreds of orange-pilled Bitcoiners at Bitcoin 2022 through his creative and original thinking.
Dr. Ammous concluded his speech by rebutting the critics of Bitcoin who focus solely on its computing and electricity consumption: “If you think a machine and electricity are not worth it for Bitcoin, kindly get rid of all your machines and use primitive alternatives.”
Bitcoin 2022 is part of the Bitcoin Event Series hosted by BTC Inc, the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine.
This is a guest post by Archie Chaudhury. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.