Can you give me the rundown on your shop?
Derrick J: Free State Bitcoin Shoppe is a place for people to level up on their cryptocurrency knowledge and trade their digital cash for unique tech and freedom-themed souvenirs. Our mission is to help people use better money.
MD: BitCoins are going up so fast against the dollar, only money launderers and drug dealers can afford to use it (i.e. to spend them). Just think about it. If you have a choice of buying a hamburger today with Bitcoins worth $6.00, but next month the hamburger still costs $6.00 but the Bitcoin trades for $8.00, what are you going to use to buy the burger … dollars or BitCoins?
We’re a long way from the day people use BitCoins in trade. In fact they never will. Just an instant after it quits rising it will drop like a rock. And only the people pulling the strings know when that instant will be … as it will be when “they choose it to be”.
If we instituted a “proper” MOE process, we could at least give them a better alternative than the dollar with it’s 4% inflation leak. They would enjoy a 0% inflation leak. “Real” money does “not” appreciate or depreciate!
And “freedom-themed”? Perhaps he should be doing something about the 3/4ths of the fruits of his labor that is taken routinely by government. That only leaves him with 1/4th of his original freedom! Perhaps he should have some T-Shirts that depict the stupidity in buying government lottery tickets. Perhaps he should have some T-Shirts revealing the government steals 3/4ths of the fruits of everyone’s labor. That would be constructive.
To a backdrop of dance-punk and electronic music, we offer one-on-one assistance to the bit-curious to help spread the crypto-economy in New Hampshire. It’s packed with seditious propaganda like libertarian art and literature, books on programming, and freedom tech like hardware wallets and USB thumb drives with TAILS Linux loaded on them (the operating system Edward Snowden uses to protect his privacy online).
MD: Maybe Snowden needs to be concerned about his on-line privacy. After all, he did poke the NSA in the eye and they don’t take that lightly. But if most people are doing something on-line, they’re probably not that vulnerable. If they are, you can be sure they’re not doing their nefarious deeds on-line.
When we’re not busy teaching tourists and passers by about Bitcoin, the shoppe is an office for [co-owner] Zyler and me: where we do coding, writing, and video production. The Shoppe is right on the edge of New Hampshire at 56 State St in Portsmouth — so close that both the water and Maine’s coast are visible from our front door.
MD: Do they still call it “teaching” when it is known what they are conveying is absolute nonsense and provably a scam. At least with the Charles Ponzi, there was an identifiable scammer to put in jail. When this thing blows up there is nobody to blame. The winners won without being a party to the scam. And the losers will have no-one to blame but themselves. And neither have any control over whether and when they will win or lose.
What do you sell at the shop? Is there specific merchandise you hope to add?
Derrick J: We sell things you won’t find anywhere else: Doge curtains and pillows, 3D-printed combination locks to protect USB keys, Tesla T-Shirts, laser-cut wood boxes with secret compartments, BipCot Licenses, Bitcoin clocks, an Aztec calendar, build-it-yourself 3D-printer kits, and various New Hampshire-themed gifts. Next week, a unique Bitcoin vending machine will arrive at our store, offering the opportunity for people to trade in their Federal Reserve Notes for Bitcoin, Dash, and Monero.
MD: Ah … the modern version of the slot machine is coming to this store. They can do this at any convenience store right now … anywhere in the country. It’s called the government lottery … and supposedly supports education, but can’t even un-stupid the students enough not to buy a lottery ticket. People who buy lottery tickets are stupid because it’s a 50% instant loss … and even more if you win. But then these same people work an hour for their wage … and that’s a 75% instant loss to the government. So I guess you could say the lottery looks like a better deal than working for a wage. What’s not to love about government and its scams?
Besides Bitcoin, what forms of payment do you accept?
Derrick J: Monero is preferred. We take all forms of cryptocurrency and offer 20% if you pay for the merchandise with that currency. Yesterday, a customer bought $85 of doge-themed merchandise with Doge-coin.
We don’t take Federal Reserve Notes, credit cards, or metals. (Sorry, silver bugs. Time to realize the silver thing is never going to happen.)
MD: Offers “20% if you pay with cryptocurrency. ” Now what does that tell you? My local convenience store offers me 10% if I pay with cash for my gas instead of using a credit card. The merchants are using the same logic for their behavior. With the credit card, the merchant is being gouged 10% by the credit card company. With the cryptocurrency, the merchant is guaranteed a 20% gain … unless he’s holding it on the day it explodes. In the case with the gas, the merchant is smart. In the case of this shop … he’s a stupid gambler.
And regarding the silver? I was there in 1965 when they took the silver out of the coins. It proved the value of the coins in trade was never about the silver being a precious metal and of intrinsic value. With or without the silver, a quarter still traded for a gallon of gasoline. Today it takes 8 or so quarters to trade for a gallon of gas … again, whether they contain silver or not.
Since the value of Bitcoin fluctuates, how do you set the prices?
Derrick J: It’s easy. We set prices in Bitcoin. The bitcoin wallet on your phone will convert instantly so you can see how much things cost in terms of dollars or any other currency.
MD: You have to have a computer to use Bitcoins. When the exchange rate for dollars for Bitcoins is exponentially increasing noise you have no idea what to pay for anything … ever. Only the computer knows.
How did you choose the location for your shop?
Derrick J: We had been scouting locations for a retail shop for a month or two. While walking downtown in the Portsmouth Pride Parade this June, we passed some empty windows where a small boutique had been.
We said “This would be perfect!!” It’s 100 feet from the biggest park in town, where musical theater and concerts play daily and nightly, visible by the water, plenty of parking across the street, and adorable tourist-trap stores nearby that attract lots of foot traffic from international guests. It’s one of the busiest corners in one of the wealthiest and most happening places in the Shire. It’s the perfect location to draw in people to learn about Bitcoin.
MD: You’re also likely to find people there with their stupidity magnified by mind altering substances.
(go to link to see a picture of the shop)
You have long been a liberty activist. You have committed acts of civil disobedience (Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree), challenged unjust laws in court, and even spent some time in jail. Does this shop mark a shift in tactics for gaining individual freedom?
Derrick J: Yes, totally. I’ve learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t.
Civil disobedience may be moral and make me feel good, but it is ineffective at achieving more freedom unless others participate en masse. Good luck with that — most people aren’t courageous enough to take any risks and would prefer comfortable slavery to dangerous freedom.
MD: If you can’t beat them, join them. Governments only steal 3/4ths of the fruits of your labor. Returns on Bitcoin will exceed 75% annually … until they crash. Heck, Ponzi’s scheme earned 100% … in just two months. Make hay while the sun shines.
Instead, I am taking the entrepreneurial route: offering political art and freedom-enhancing tools in exchange for cryptocurrency. The mission isn’t as much to “make money selling merchandise” as it is to grow the value of my cryptocurrency holdings by growing the network. As more and more people use bitcoin, the value of the crypto-economy grows, and the power of the central banks shrinks.
MD: Proving once more, Bitcoins are not money. The value of money never grows. And you don’t refer to it as a money-economy, so you can’t refer to it as a crypto-economy. It’s a trading economy … and with the dollar your trading with something that shrinks 4% per year. With the Bitcoin your not trading at all. It is so deflationary, you can’t afford to give them up. I wonder if they’re going to ask this guy if “he” would trade in his own store. By his very statements, he would be foolish to do so.
This is the best way I’ve discovered to empower myself and others, by taking a small, low-risk baby step toward more financial independence (which is the most important type).
MD: … as he creeps over the cliff. Surely he’s not that stupid. He knows exactly what he’s doing. But then again, many religious people look just like him. Stupidity can be hard to recognize by looking at someones face..
Do you consider Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the best hope for freeing individuals from the unjust power of the state?
Derrick J: Oh, lord no. Philosophy is the best hope for freeing individuals from the power of the state, because the power and the state only exists in their heads. Without philosophy, people are doomed to continue on whatever path their ancestors’ trajectory put them on.
MD: Philosophy? How about logic? The whole power of the state comes from philosophy. It is that philosophy (brain washing) that has put people on the pied piper’s path in the first place. You just can’t make this stuff up can you!
Fortunately for New Englanders, our ancestors placed us on a slow vector toward ever-increasing respect for property rights, which continues today (in New Hampshire especially).
MD: Massachusetts is in New England isn’t it? It was the first state to cave to the money changers. John Adams (of Salem) was the greatest proponent of making the USA into the image of Great Britain … with himself as king. True, New Hampshire was one of the last to sign on … but they signed on. And now people are migrating there to form critical mass to effect secession from the union. It is small and has a port. See the Free State Project.
Bitcoin is packed with philosophy, whether users are aware of it or not. Bitcoin empowers the individual with privacy over their money (if they want it), reduces the power of international central banking cartels with every dollar that exits into the crypto-economy, and ultimately helps end wars as people quickly become accustomed to a deflationary currency (rather than the inflationary currencies used to finance the wars of the 20th century).
MD: A proper MOE process has absolute privacy for everyone who “uses” it. It has absolute transparency to everyone who “creates” it. And that’s as good as you can do.
Would you say a “proper” MOE process is backed by philosophy … logic … or plain ole’ common sense (we have to say ole’ because there doesn’t seem to be any common sense these days … it’s been government educated out of us). A proper MOE process guarantees zero inflation. You can’t do better than that. It guarantees free supply of money (and thus no restriction to trade). You can’t do better than that. Responsible traders enjoy zero interest load. You can’t do better than that.
A proper MOE removes “all” the power of central bank cartels by employing simple competition … which destroys their criminal business model. Crypto currency really doesn’t offer any competition at all. It’s trying to solve the wrong problem … the problem of privacy. The problem with the dollar is inflation. Crypto currency swerves in the other direction by guaranteeing trade killing deflation. It does this because of the nonsensical belief that “sound and honest” money is “rare”. It is not!
A mug depicting Bitcoin smashing the Fed.
Do you have any advice for people who want to be free, but feel it is impossible? What can people do to free themselves in your opinion?
Derrick J: Read books that inspire you. Fill your brain with ideas that energize you. Pursue happiness through a virtuous life. Challenge yourself. No matter my current situation, behind bars or on a deserted island, my journey to freedom has been one of personal growth.
MD: I wonder if I filled Derrick’s brain with the simple truth of a proper MOE process he would change his opinion. I predict he would not. Just like showing people the mysterious collapse of WTC7 does not make them question the government’s 9/11 fairy tale about the 19 cavemen with box cutters flying 767’s like they were fighter planes when they couldn’t even land a Cessna. Cognitive dissonance is a tough nut to crack.
So far, what is your favorite part of running the shop?
Derrick J: My favorite part of running the shop is seeing libertarians walk in and watching their faces light up as they realize what the store is. They see Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, and Ludvig Von Mises, a Bitcoin symbol, Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, and “Live Free Or Die” signs plastered everywhere, and they all say some variation of “I’ve never seen a store like this before!”
MD: But they can’t (won’t) be buying his goods. He’s only accepting crypto-currency. Only really stupid people would be giving up the perpetually deflating crypto for his goods. It won’t be long before he’ll have to resort to accepting dollars and credit cards … just to liquidate his inventory. Mark my words.
Those interactions make my day.
MD: Pretty soon he’s going to realize interactions don’t make his day … trade makes his day. There aren’t enough stupid people to make his day. He has to change his model. He’s trapped, because when he changes his model, he abandons his philosophy. You just can’t make this stuff up!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience!
Derrick J: Thank you for asking!