Embrace decentralization to escape "central bank Stockholm syndrome" - Nick Spanos
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(Kitco News) - Nick Spanos, founder and CEO of Bitcoin Center in New York, says he is on a mission to help bring about the demise of the Federal Reserve due to the financial wreckage that it has caused over the years.
Spanos first realized that the Fed was a problem through the stock market crash of 1987, which evaporated the blockchain innovators' wealth and forced him to become a commercial fisherman to pay the bills.
Years later, Spanos recalled hearing a news reporter quip that if Alan Greenspan’s briefcase was wider, we might not have had the crash.
“Allen Greenspan’s briefcase made me a fisherman,” Spanos said, which ignited the fire of anger inside that led the Coin Center creator to decide that he wants to “do something to get rid of the Federal Reserve.”
“It sounds a little crazy, but I’m crazy,” Spanos joked.
This led to years of work with politicians to start a Fed movement that led to the creation of a bill written by Ron Paul calling for an audit of the Fed. It was passed in the House but ultimately failed after it was unsuccessful in the Senate.
“I went many years, 20-years-plus went by, where I was fighting the Federal Reserve in my way, organizing protests and organizing laws to be passed,'' Spanos said. “And nothing happened. I thought I threw my life away at one point.”
But the more he thought about the situation – about how people work hard for their whole lives only to have everything taken away “with a swish of the finger” – the more determined he became to make a difference.
That’s when Spanos decided to go a different route which eventually resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Center in 2013, the first live cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. with an office just 100 feet from the New York Stock Exchange. A Netflix movie entitled Banking on Bitcoin documented this journey.
“I got Francis Suarez into Bitcoin. The Mayor of Miami opened up the first blockchain center in Miami,” Spanos noted as a way to show the positive effects of his new course of action.
It also led to a wider understanding that what Spanos was really fighting against was centralization. “With centralization, the world is a boundable place. So before centralization, you know, people didn't really work that much, I don't think,” he mused.
Spanos went on to cite centralization as the cause for many things including the deaths that resulted from the creation of the Great Pyramids and the introduction of the wake-up bell to go to work during the Industrial Revolution – which they then introduced into schooling to get people used to operating on a fixed schedule.
Fast forward to today and you have the implementation of smart cities, which Spanos refers to as “surveillance cities,” as well as central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which he calls “surveillance currencies.”
“There are some places that you're not gonna be able to shop and some things that you are not going to be able to buy,” he warned. “They're gonna control what you want to buy.”
But there is a silver lining to CBDCs, according to Spanos: They will entice more individuals who want to avoid surveillance and limitations into Bitcoin and decentralized currencies. “It's gonna bring adoption. So it's gonna be a better, easier, faster on-ramp,” he said.
He went on to refer to people's use and proffering of the central bank system as a form of “central bank Stockholm syndrome.”
“People think that they can store their work through time in these lithographs of dead people. And if time is money, like we say, every time they print more money, they're stealing time from you,” he warned. “Everyone has to embrace decentralization.”
This brought the discussion back around to the topic of Bitcoin – which Spanos noted is “one hundred percent totally decentralized” – and to the wider crypto market, which has been under pressure as of late.
Much of the conversation on mainstream outlets has conflated the recent troubles with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX with Bitcoin, which is giving blockchain technology a bad rap.
“FTX is not Bitcoin,” he exclaimed. “It's a database that some kid was controlling. And the assets, he did whatever he wanted with them. You need to promote decentralization. Cause that's the only way we're gonna survive here.”
More than anything, the collapse of FTX is the same old story that has been happening in the traditional financial system for decades. “Centralized exchanges that collapse, that spend other people's money – that's an old thing that's been happening forever,” Spanos noted.
“You have to control the narrative in your own mind and move forward right now, because the future depends on you. There are generations after that are depending on this moment in time right now. Cause if we don't free ourselves with the permissionless, open blockchain, they're gonna imprison and oppress us with the closed data silos – like the one that just crashed,” he said, referring to FTX. “Data silos that they are going to call blockchain.”
“So if we don't free ourselves with the permissionless one, they're gonna imprison us and control us with the closed one,” Spanos warned. “This is our chance, this is humanity’s chance. It’s your responsibility.”
He went on to call for a new generation to take up the torch and continue this fight and not suffer the oppression that has been put upon humanity for centuries.
“All that stuff that happened is the legacy financial system. FTX is legacy financial system. It's not Bitcoin. It's not blockchain.”
The Bitcoin Center founder then explained how blockchain actually played a role in bringing down FTX in a matter of days as opposed to the 10 years that Bernie Madoff got away with his fraud despite people reporting suspicions to the SEC.
“No one did anything to [Madoff] because they couldn’t prove it.” When it came to Sam Bankman-Fried, “he went down in one afternoon,” Spanos said.
“So the blockchain is working, everything's working, we're correct. We have to stand bold, tall and be a beast” that is capable of consuming the other beasts in our midst, referring to the centralized printing press and central banks.
Above all, Spanos called for everyone to strive for “self-sovereignty and ownership of our lives and our future.”
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