*ahem* Let’s see how good my faux German accent is today. Buckle up. *snicker*
…before we begin our next phase, I would like to take some time to address a rumor floating around ze fleet.
Some of you have come to believe zhat I. Like. War.
I vish to dash these rumors. I do not like war.
I. Love. War.
Through my life, I have discovered so many forms of war. You get up in ze morning. You get into your shitty car, und you see a rich CEO who works half as hard as you do drive down the street in his Porsche.
Zen you try und post about it on your Facebook, but zen all your friends start arguing about vhat’s right und vhat’s wrong–
– The Major, Hellsing Ultimate Abridged (Episode 4… definitely NSFW… Check out Takahata101 on YouTube)
Ah, now that feels better. The whole speech truly encompasses the goddamn euphoric feeling I get when I am gloriously justified in loosing my wrath. I never once anticipated that my current Bitcoin obsession would eventually result in me picking a fight with the powers that be in Albany, NY.
Those of you that live in The Empire State are already facepalming, realizing that I am voluntarily preparing to stick my size 11 boot in the biggest pile of sycophants and fail found outside of The Federal Beltway. Why would I take on such an implacable edifice of feckless bureaucracy? Well, let me cut to the chase– they’re poised to shit in my Wheaties. In short, fuck that noise.
I will not sit idly by and let some six-figure-pulling jackass destroy my opportunity to make a decent living using my own ambitions and abilities. Sooooo, here’s where things are about to get interesting. Why, you ask? Well, it comes back to war. Waltzing into a fight without allies is more stupid than a bunch of technophobe Baby Boomers trying to regulate a global cryptocurrency. It’s bad enough that Wall Street is under their jurisdiction– and wouldn’t you know? They failed at regulating that so hard, it hatefucked the USA into another recession.
I’m not letting them screw my ambitions just because they’re idiots. Luckily for me, there’s a state assemblyman who has his head screwed on straight…. and I happened to have met the man a few weeks ago in person. The following is a verbatim copy of the letter that I’m sending to his office via certified mail tomorrow to fire my opening volley.
Have a read:
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have opted for such an informal salutation, however after meeting you while I was working at the [redacted]—you told me this is how you prefer to be addressed. I am writing you to express my concern and disdain for NYDFS’s proposed regulation/licensing of Bitcoin-based financial ventures. As you once said, NYS has a disturbing habit of squashing ambition and incentivizing failure—and I believe the proposed actions of NYDFS to be yet another sign of your observation. They claim that this is to strike a balance between protecting consumers and setting common sense rules—but the proposal is precisely the opposite in every way. No private individual or business entity can or will be affected by Bitcoin that does not choose to deal with it. Furthermore, virtual currencies like Bitcoin are of no danger to the public—contrary to this reactionary proposal. Truth be told, it’s plainly obvious they consider Bitcoin to be a criminal endeavor only—and they wish to destroy opportunities for residents who aren’t among the financial elite.
Firstly, as you plainly know—economic and employment opportunities in Western New York are pitiful if put politely. This proposed burdensome set of licensure and data-collecting measures reflects two things about NYDFS—and namely Superintendent Benjamin Lasky. One, they have no grasp of what they are trying to regulate. Two, they do not care if innovation and businesses continue to flee from New York State like first class passengers from the Titanic. Their myopic and alarmist set of measures betray their lack of understanding for what Bitcoin is (how it works, how it’s produced, and how it’s used)—and demonstrates deliberate ignorance of the IRS’s ruling that Bitcoin is a commodity and not a currency.
According to the IRS’s decision, virtual currencies like Bitcoin are to be treated in the same manner as birdhouses produced in one’s garage. Similarly, individuals like myself who have the technical knowhow to set up a Bitcoin “mine” have the opportunity to lift themselves from the current economic climate—and potentially return more to our respective communities than if we were stuck in the traditional job market. With their current proposal, any small mines like mine (in my case uniquely benefitting from the inexpensive electric service by the Jamestown BPU) would be driven out of business– or out of New York State. This is an economic boon that NYDFS will deny enterprising individuals, and exclude from the state’s taxable revenue.
It is very obvious that this proposed direction is an alarmist and reactionary move in response to articles on MSN, Yahoo (et al) that demonstrate that Bitcoin may be used for money laundering purposes. In the case of Bitcoin mines (the production side of the equation, where specialized computer hardware generates Bitcoin for sale/usage), that is impossible. I am not surprised by the myopic response by the NYDFS—it is on par with individuals who lack the technical abilities to handle the simplest of tasks like setting up their own email client. These cumbersomely stringent (and presumably expensive) licensing and documentation procedures reflect their erroneous understanding of virtual currency, from production to purchase/sale. If Mr. Lasky has his way and this proposal becomes law, the only individuals with the resources and capital capable of accommodating the regulations/licensing will be large businesses. There will be no room for forward-thinking individuals to better their circumstances through their own ability and ambition. So much for the American Dream of creating opportunities from your own hard work and ingenuity, right? I am not surprised by this disregard for the common citizen as the NYDFS members have little first-person experience with the current job market and economic climate. Their six-figure salaries and stock portfolios are already taken care of.
This brings me to my final, and probably most ireful, point. NYDFS has already failed pathetically at regulating Wall Street (which is already under their purview, and has harmed the lives of millions of Americans through their questionable practices.) After reading their proposal—I have little doubt that these individuals are borderline computer-illiterate, Mr. Lasky included. If you will pardon the phraseology, they have no business attempting to regulate a technology that they only understand through diluted third-party explanations. I am further disgusted by the fact that public funds were wasted on drawing up this reactionary policy, instead of focusing on aspects of public business and finance that do affect the majority of citizens in NYS and beyond. Instead of focusing on the spate of problems already on their desks that they have shirked and ignored, they have chosen to collect their salaries while demonstrating their clear lack of priorities—and understanding of the digital world.
Andy, my Bitcoin-generating hardware is at a stage where it pays my personal electric bill for my apartment—and part of a credit card payment. Currently, I can net roughly $120 per month, and while that is modest—it is a beginning of my business, one that Mr. Lasky clearly seeks to squash through ill-conceived overregulation. I have a degree in English composition, and even I lack the words to properly express how much this effort by NYDFS must be publicly and permanently ceased. I cannot stress enough the immediate need to generate a vocal and decisive opposition to his measures in Albany among the decision-making members of government.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to speak with you in the near future about how to stamp out these measures before they permanently drive more ambitious, youthful, entrepreneurs from New York State.
You feeling that joyous quiver in your loins yet?
Never piss off a guy with an English writing degree.