The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the views of the US military, the US Department of Defense, or the US government.
I have been with soldiers for nearly a decade. Bitcoin seems a natural fit for a US service member, however, few of them can overcome their skepticism and choose to invest. I hope this article can work its way through the ranks of all services to help our soldiers and soldiers achieve a better life for themselves and a better future for their families.
Bitcoin will make your life tangibly better in many ways: it will act as a defense of your freedom while you work to defend others; It will act as a defense of your purchasing power, as there is virtually no way to keep up with military pay inflation. Finally, it will provide you with the economic opportunity that you probably didn’t have, because that’s one of the main factors that drive people to enlist in the military in the first place.
I was one of the lucky few. I worked hard in high school and was fortunate enough to stumble upon West Point, where I got into a four-year college for free in exchange for years of service. I found bitcoin through a series of extraordinary events that prompted me to start buying seriously before the COVID-19 crash in 2020. Once again, through some luck and chance, I found my way into a graduate program with the military, which allowed me to get Two MA degrees from a reputable university in less than 18 months. The army paid it in full. The military can be an incredible sacrifice at times, but it can also be a wonderful opportunity for personal development and societal advancement.
Bitcoin is your icing on the cake if you play your cards right. It is your best chance to improve your best chances.
In Defense of Freedom: Bitcoin as Ideology
“I solemnly swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
An interesting part of military life is the oath we take with each re-enlistment or promotion; An oath of allegiance, not to an individual, not even to a government, but to a document created over 200 years ago. Much like the Constitution, Bitcoin itself is an idea, a set of rules that define a set of governing principles in order to enforce equal justice and freedom for all participants.
Bitcoin principles, such as those enshrined in the Constitution and subsequent amendments, are primarily about freedom. Bitcoin was born out of the chaos of the 2008 financial crisis, striving to preserve the freedom to store value and transact freely.
If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past two years of falling into the Bitcoin rabbit hole, it’s that you don’t really own anything. Even if you pay off your mortgage or your car, what happens if you stop paying your taxes on it or fail to renew your registration? The government will confiscate your property. As evidenced by the recent Freedom Caravan protest in Canada, the once-liberal Western democracies have shown that they will freeze your bank and investment accounts, without hesitation, for supporting a political movement with which the ruling class disagrees.
At the same time, payment processors such as Mastercard are developing technology that tracks the carbon footprint that they embed in their credit card interfaces in order to rate every transaction you make based on its carbon score. One option allows users to sign up for a program that cuts off your ability to spend once the carbon limit is reached. This raises a number of questions in my mind, chief among them: How long until features like these become not only standard, but mandatory to use their services?
Bitcoin fixes this.
Bitcoin is the first thing I actually own. I hold my own keys which makes it extremely difficult for anyone to access my funds and basically impossible to “freeze” my account. Furthermore, Jack Mallers, CEO of Bitcoin-focused Strike, has partnered with some of the world’s largest point-of-sale hardware companies to enable in-store Bitcoin payments at thousands of locations you probably use on a regular basis. The freedom to deal and maintain your own sovereignty just got a lot easier.
In defense of purchasing power: Bitcoin is the best way to save
The baseline for military pay increases comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Cost of Employment Index, which essentially indexes the average cost of hiring in the private sector to try to keep military pay increases in sync with the private sector. The issue here is twofold. First, the data is late and about two years behind by the time of the salary increase. This is largely due to the legislative process. The second problem associated with this method is that private sector wages have not kept pace with inflation, so using that as a primary metric still means costs are rising faster than your wages. A projected 4.7% wage hike for 2023 is great, but in the face of 8.5% inflation as of March 2022, you’re actually cutting your pay by 3.8%.
With the government’s growing deficit and debt, I see no mathematical way in which military salaries can align with inflation, let alone the political way, in which the government is likely to come under pressure to rein in spending in order to help combat inflationary measures.
To make matters worse, even if inflation returns to the normal 2% level that the Fed so desperately wants, the lower rate builds up from a higher price base, still leaving you behind as prices grow steadily over time.
Bitcoin fixes this.
As a digital asset with absolute scarcity, your stake in the cash network cannot be diluted by printing money if you own bitcoin. Over time your wealth and purchasing power can continue to grow, and with enough time in the market, bitcoin is expected to significantly outpace inflation as adoption continues. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but a better way to save. As little as 1% of your salary per month allocating bitcoins can have a huge impact on your financial situation. There are many ways to automate this process as well so you don’t have to think about it. The approach I’m currently using is a savings allotment I set up directly in MyPay which buys me Bitcoin every month in the Strike app’s “pay me in bitcoin” feature.
While short-term price action may seem choppy and intimidating, if you zoom out and maintain a long-term focus, your small monthly, weekly or daily bitcoin bites will pay off over the years, effectively increasing your paycheck to yourself, allowing you to To continue serving you without sacrificing purchasing power.
In Defense of Stability: Bitcoin as the Equivalent of Generations
Prominent Bitcoiner, Greg Foss, also likes to point out that central banks will never stop printing money because it is a computational impossibility to service the current federal debt burden. What this means for ordinary people like us is permanent inflation in asset prices as new dollars entering circulation raise the prices of those assets first. This phenomenon is known as the Cantillon effect and is one of the biggest drivers of economic inequality.
Every dollar printed not only reduces the value of your hard-earned savings, but at the same time makes it difficult for you to move forward with the investment. Your dollars buy fewer shares with each contribution to the Thrift Savings Plan. Buying a home is becoming increasingly more difficult, as inflation causes prices to rise much faster than other sectors of the economy – and certainly faster than your salary increases. How are you supposed to land on your feet when you get out of the military if your home’s financial foundation is built on a constantly eroding layer of sand?
Bitcoin fixes this.
As one of the last free markets that exist in the world, and one of absolute scarcity, it opens up the possibility for you to generate disproportionate returns. Since stock markets are closely related to the rate of printing money from the Federal Reserve, I see investing in stocks as a long and bumpy ride until you end up in the status quo: you may end up with more dollars in absolute terms, but you’re not necessarily better off than Where is the purchasing power.
Many soldiers I encounter have joined the military to escape a life where you have little chance, to pay for college or make a better life for themselves. I originally joined because I could find no way to pay for college without a huge and overwhelming debt burden that I had to bear for years, if not decades. With inflation and the stock market rising at close to the rate of printing money, I no longer have faith that traditional markets will take me where I want to be.
By redirecting my investment and savings flow to bitcoin, I was able to really build a strong economic base that allows me to less worry about money and enjoy my life more. I am more present with my family and a more attentive father to my children. In addition, uneven returns over time are expected to outpace all other investments. With the increasing developments in secured lending, you do not necessarily need to sell your bitcoin to take advantage of it. I recently financed a kitchen renovation using a loan from BlockFi, secured against my bitcoin stack. The possibilities are endless.
I see this opportunity as one of the best opportunities in my life to truly build a generational fortune, to leave something for my children when I die and to ensure they can live a better life than I did. Bitcoin gives me hope for the future because of this.
In Defense of Hope: Bitcoin for a Better Tomorrow
Bitcoin has radically changed the way I see the world. Every purchase is vetted, yet I feel more financially secure than ever in my entire life. The path I chose to follow once again gave me optimism for a better future with my family. I wish you to seize and make the most of your opportunities in the military, while at the same time seizing your opportunity to achieve financial stability and generational wealth. Change your present so you can change your future. Fix the money, fix the world.
This is a guest post by Mickey Kos. The opinions expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.