“The Bitcoin Standard” by Saifedean Ammous is a fan-favorite book among Bitcoiners that is constantly recommended to newbies and veterans alike. It serves as a fantastic reference to learn about the history of money and what makes money valuable: two critical factors informing the importance of Bitcoin.
I personally have written a few articles of my own about these topics and always find myself coming back to “The Bitcoin Standard” to gather information for my research. Learning the ins and outs of how money operates is a very interesting and beneficial thing for anyone to understand.
But even after reading this book, I found myself wanting to learn more. And, if you felt the same way, you’re in luck because I had the chance to discuss Ammous’s latest book, “The Fiat Standard,” with the author himself.
“The Fiat Standard” is the “debt slavery alternative to human civilization,” as described on its cover, and it will take readers on a deep dive into the monetary system and underlying technologies behind fiat money to find out exactly how it functions.
In this podcast interview, Ammous and I dive into multiple topics surrounding fiat money, such as its foundational technology, the debt standard, fiat states and fiat banking.
Understanding how fiat operates in comparison to Bitcoin can be a difficult task. Since Bitcoin is an open-source protocol, it allows anyone and everyone to check its code down to the very last detail. Fiat, on the other hand, is protected by smokescreens that hide its operational methods, with an additional layer of propaganda promoted by people who benefit from it the most.
“So, I started distilling the operation of the fiat standard away from … the means of its promoters and its propaganda that is taught about it in schools, [to] just talking about it operationally: How does it actually work?” Ammous explained in our conversation. “And I’m delighted to announce that it doesn’t work too well.”
Although fiat money has its problems and is not the most efficient monetary system, Ammous brought up a point that some Bitcoiners may not like to hear: He explained that even though fiat currency is a shitcoin, it has still succeeded in some areas.
“When you think about it this way, you can see where the advantages lie,” he said. “It is a shitcoin, but it’s still a shitcoin that is massively adopted by seven and a half billion people and it does a lot of transactions every day.”
The slight advantages of fiat don’t mean that it’s an overall positive monetary system, as fiat money has brought us upon the debt standard and possibly the worst debt crisis that the world has ever seen, with no end in sight.
“When mining fiat works through lending, then everyone has an added incentive to engage in lending,” Ammous said, building an analogy between Bitcoin and fiat. “It’s essentially a subsidy to lending. So everyone who wants to borrow is effectively being subsidized. When you borrow, you effectively mine a block of fiat.”
Looking back on the history of civilization under sound money, you tend to find that it helped to bring great times of prosperity to humanity, while easy money brought on hard times, war and utter chaos.
One of the most effective ways to usher in a solid fiat standard is to start “educating” the youth that all of this nonsense is not only good, but beneficial to them and everyone else. This has brought us to fiat education.
Fiat education plays a massive role in the debt crisis as discussed above. Universities today depend heavily on and are essentially controlled by fiat money.
“The major form of subsidies that is given to universities is the low-interest rates loans for students,” explained Ammous. “That is what constitutes an enormous subsidy to the university-industry. And so with this kind of subsidy, plus all the money that comes in for research, universities effectively are run by fiat.”
Also, people used to go to universities to connect with other like-minded individuals and increase their knowledge on whatever subject they’re interested in. But today, we don’t see that at the “overpriced country club” that is the fiat university.
“Universities have become completely separated from reality, and they can afford to be completely separate from reality because their paychecks do not depend on reality” said Ammous. “Because they need to meet bureaucratic targets, they don’t need to meet the approval of people on the market.”
In my opinion, this lack of proper education and arguable brainwashing that occurs in universities today has been affecting the real world in a negative way after their graduates go on to find jobs and function in society. The combination of the lack of proper education and easy money has spiraled into fiat medicine, science, fuel, families and more.
Today we are truly living in peak, fiat euphoria. Bitcoin fixes this.