How much do you value your freedom?
This isn't the typical cryptocurrency related blog post that I normally write, however personal freedom, whether that be related to ones finances or personal movement is a subject that I feel extremely strongly about and as you will see cryptocurrency is an integral part
A changing landscape
Current world events have brought to the fore what can only be described as the erosion of civil liberties and personal freedoms and a quickening in the shift in a move towards more authoritarian control by governments that are starting to wield their power against their very own citizens. When you hear of such things one would typically associate this type of behaviour with either third world dictatorships or communist regimes, however, this is actually being undertaken by the governments of certain 1st world western democracies.
I think that it is vitally important for people to start to open their eyes and at least consider all of the facts and not just what the government propaganda machines are drip feeding society. If you think that I am a few sandwiches short of a picnic, fine, but everything that I will present is factually correct. If you believe that this could never affect you and you choose to sleep walk into what can only be described as a dystopian future, that is your prerogative.
I believe that the fight to retain personal freedoms is a worthy one. My fight will most definitely remain passive, however a major key to victory is having as many people as possible break free from the controlled media and government narrative and start to become more informed. Having the right knowledge and information is immensely powerful.
Hopefully what I will introduce to you in this article will at least give the inquisitive side of your nature a little nudge to at least start asking some questions.
A critical juncture
The world is at a critical juncture, how people react in the weeks, months and years ahead will shape the direction it ultimately takes. This isn't hyperbole, it is reality and the sooner people start to wake up and see the bigger picture as to what is going on the sooner there is the possibility of there being strength in numbers, which is the one thing that the powers that be fear the most.
The Offshore stigma
Before a go any further let me preface this by giving you a quick glimpse into a previous part of my working life. For over 11 years I worked in the offshore financial services industry, and yes during that time many of my 'onshore' friends would often make crude, naïve attempts at humour by suggesting that I was either helping people evade tax or I was busy counting suitcases full of funny money.
To some extent the unfounded suggestions of my friends may have been exacerbated by the movie "The Firm" starring Tom Cruise that not only featured the Cayman Islands, where I lived and worked, but also had a plot that included both tax fraud and money laundering.
There are always two sides to every story and having lived and worked in Cayman it is quite apparent that the manner in which things are reported and portrayed by the media is invariably skewed to fit a certain narrative, however the message or idea is invariably taken as gospel by those doing the consuming.
The negative connotations towards a jurisdiction such as Cayman has certainly left its mark over the years by adding fuel to the fire of skepticism towards the business dealings being conducted there.
Understanding the power of projecting a certain image, message or idea is an important concept that will allow you to start to grasp what is transpiring around us today.
The media blurs the lines
I am a firm believer in self sovereignty and the freedom of movement, whether that be on a personal level or in terms of one's capital and wealth. If an individual has worked hard and has been fortunate to accumulate wealth and in doing so they have paid their fair share of local taxes, I see no reason whatsoever why someone shouldn't be able to take advantage of offshore products and services that can provide benefits such as helping to mitigate certain taxes, help to plan for the future or to aid in the protection of assets, etc.. I want to emphasise that the contentious and often misunderstood aspect of offshore business (again as portrayed by the media) always centers around tax. Tax benefits are made possible by utilising the local laws to legally avoid tax, NOT, illegally evade tax which is an important and distinct difference.
An integral part of my job was dealing with banks, whether they be domestic or in a variety of different countries onshore. I often had to open bank or investment accounts for clients as well as deal with the relevant day to day transactions for estate planning structures that we set up for HNW clients, and in the process I invariably had to jump through all manner of hoops, and believe you me it was a real pain at times!
Although the structures that we set up were governed by certain local laws pertaining to ownership and privacy, as a result of pressure from key governmental bodies and certain governments the veils of both secrecy and privacy slowly started to be pulled back. This was primarily driven by the U.S. and the introduction of the Patriot Act, although the irony and standing joke in the company was the ease with which someone could open a Delaware LLC or a U.S. domestic bank account related to that company. In fact the truth of the matter is that the U.S. is an easier place to hide money than any of the over regulated offshore "tax havens."
Needless to say opening financial accounts from an offshore "tax haven" required the provision of a mountain of due diligence information and typically the process took several months to complete.
In house we had a Compliance Officer who operated in a state of almost constant paranoia, scrutinizing and critiquing all transactions that even remotely looked suspicious, as well as undertaking an almost forensic level of examination whenever the company took on any new clients which was taken down to an almost intimate level. By in large he acted as the 'police officer' for the firm and needless to say we had it drummed into us that if we took on a client who later turned out to be a bad egg it would ultimately lead to the company losing its licence, which certainly kept us on our toes.
So regardless of what the outside world's perception is of offshore business all I can say is that I had to operate a very tight ship with the decks kept spotlessly clean at all times.
A world full of hypocrisy
Why am I saying this? Well, if you haven't already figured it out we are living in a world of double standards, hypocrisy and irony. Let's now take a look at another jurisdiction that seems to have firmly established itself as the go to jurisdiction if you're a member of the global elite class - Switzerland.
According to an article that was written on 21 February, 2021 in the Guardian newspaper:
A leak from the Swiss bank Credit Suisse has shown it provided services to clients involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes.
When I read the article it made me recall my time working in an often black listed 'tax haven' and how such practices simply wouldn't have been possible, well definitely not in the firm I worked for or the firms I had dealings with. I guess there are different sets of rules for different groups of people, who tend to operate with impunity in certain chosen jurisdictions at favoured companies.
The article goes on to say:
The huge trove of banking data was leaked by an anonymous whistleblower to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Guardian is part of a consortium of media outlets given exclusive access to it.
The bank said the allegations were largely historical, in some instances dating back to a time when “laws, practices and expectations of financial institutions were very different from where they are now”.
But while some accounts in the leak date back to the 1940s, many were still open well into the last decade, and a portion remain open today.
Like "Pandora" and the "Panama Papers" leaks, the records exposed in what should now be tagged the "Suisse Secrets", compiles of mainly financial data, like bank account information, as well as evidence of internal red flags that were routinely raised - and routinely ignored.
This is however just the latest banking related scandal to come to light. Other big name financial institutions to become embroiled in illegal activities have included HSBC, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and UBS, to name but a few. But the common denominator in each incident has been that not a single senior bank executive has gone to jail and each time the bank has merely received a slap on the wrist, paid a token fine and then its been back to business as normal.
Scandals and secrecy are not new to Swiss based organisations; isn't it quite interesting and somewhat ironic that the following organisations have chosen Geneva as the city where they have their headquarters?
The Front Line: Canada
As I have already mentioned I am a firm believer in personal freedom, which is probably why I have gravitated with a passion and relative ease towards cryptocurrencies. If you aren't someone who follows alternative news sources you may have formed your opinion on current world events based on a main stream narrative. For example, it might come as somewhat of a surprise to hear about the very troubling events that have been unfolding in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, as the information being fed by the media has been shockingly sparse given the gravity of the situation.
The following quote from the (current) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should in itself send a shiver down your spine.
“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians…who know that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to ensure our rights, our freedoms, our values as a country.”
For many people, dealing with the restrictions imposed on them, their children, and their businesses because of the political response to Covid-19 has made it about them. It is at the heart of the Freedom Convoy of truckers in Canada and the stunning events that have been unfolding under Trudeau’s watch.
At a time when the severity of the virus is waning and many countries are finally pulling back from what history will undoubtedly judge to be ineffective, unscientific, and likely scandalous countermeasures, Trudeau doubled down, knowingly picking a fight with peaceful Canadian truckers over vaccine mandates.
In my opinion Canada has literally become the front line in a much greater fight.
Isn't it telling the way in which mainstream media have been extremely selective in what they have reported in terms of events in Canada? Now cast your mind back to the protests in Hong Kong or further back to the Tiananmen Square massacre in China. The western news media were more than happy to vilify the authorities at the time who were using brute force to bring an end to those protests which were for freedom. So, what has changed? Why isn't western media covering the events in Canada now? Why are no western governments being critical of Trudeau?
This is where you have to look at the bigger picture and ask yourself, if your own government is now not condemning such action against peaceful protestors in the name of freedom, why not? Ask yourself if it could possibly be because they would consider the same measures and tactics themselves. If you are in denial about this, just think about the past 2 years and consider the number of times your government either lied to you or deliberately hid information from the general public.
What actually started out as a peaceful protest, with an atmosphere almost reminiscent of an outdoor festival, in what is supposed to be a democratically run country, turned quite ugly with what can only be described as heavy handed storm troopers being called in to remove the protestors at all costs.
But just look at the irony of this tweet at the height of the pandemic:
Evis currently subject to the emergency orders. The orders limit peaceful assembly across the country and require financial institutions to freeze bank accounts without judicial oversight. The federal government does not control how and when these laws are used. These legal powers have been placed in the hands of police officers across the country. As with all broad grants of power, the risk of abuse is significant.
The following tweet sums up the state of affairs very well.
Cryptocurrency and freedom
Trudeau's regime, I mean government, told cryptocurrency exchanges to cease transactions with addresses they said were linked to the Freedom Convoy.
The order from the Police began circulating on social media. Several major Canadian crypto exchanges also acknowledged receiving the relevant guidance and the list from law enforcement, although the authorities quite clearly don't understand the technology. Below is a response by the cryptocurrency wallet provider Nunchuk following a request to freeze accounts.
A total of 34 electronic wallets have been blacklisted, including 29 Bitcoin addresses, and several addresses in other crypto currencies like Ethereum, Litecoin, and others.
The backers of the convoy donated 21 Bitcoins worth around $1 million dollars to the cause. The protestors turned to cryptocurrencies after mainstream crowdfunding platform GoFundMe blocked them earlier in February, and the Canadian government froze $8 million gathered online to help them to continue rallying.
It has also been stated that anyone who merely donated to the cause would be investigated and can expect to suffer the tyrannical consequences in the near future.
Using “emergency” powers or laws to compel financial institutions to disclose customers’ private data and/or freeze their accounts—without probable cause, a warrant, or due process—is in itself a monumental threat to human rights.
Whilst governments may be able to instruct bank accounts to be frozen, one thing is certain, if a cryptocurrency holder owns the keys to the wallet that holds their coins no government or financial institution is able to confiscate them.
Richard Heart, the founder of the cryptocurrency HEX came out in support of the Freedom Convoy. He criticised the government’s move to not let the Canadian truckers use their funds for a cause.
Richard is quoted as saying
”For thousands of years men have been able to exchange value with each other, without begging permission of the state. Now governments are avoiding the due process of law by taking a guilty until proven innocent stance on you using your own money.”
Fear is a powerful tool
Fear is a powerful tool of propaganda. A surprisingly high number of people are willing to forgo even basic rights in exchange for perceived protection from the state, no matter how small the increment of protection is on offer. The US Patriot Act, for example, is an Orwellian nightmare of government-approved intrusion, bureaucracy, and infringement on basic rights. At a basic level think of how many people who have complied to the requirement for shoes to be taken off as they have gone through U.S. airport security and for those shoes to go through x-ray machines that can't even detect the type of explosive that the measures were brought in to actually counteract.
Just consider the full name of the legislation: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. Lets be honest, nothing good is going to come out of legislation with a name like that, and the definition of “terrorism” has continued to evolve to the point where it basically means “opposed to the policies of those currently in power."
Stage 2 of the plan
You may think that financial sanctions against citizens in Canada appears to be an isolated extreme. But it is a trend: modern governments and central bank racketeers actually want to exchange your freedom for their power. Again you may think that this is a far fetched fantasy, however the following is a excerpt is from an article dated 21 June, 2021 in the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK.
Surveillance isn’t enough for the powers that be. Ultimately they want to control where you’re allowed to spend your money.
If they get their way Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and their programmable, centralised nature will ultimately serve as the central social credit system.
The money in your bank account is not only one "state of emergency" away from being the government's money, but if implemented, CBDC's will usher in the ultimate tool of totalitarian control, much like what is currently used in communist China.
But, do you think the global elite or the 1% will have to adhere to these draconian measures? Absolutely not, it's one rule for thee and not for me!
The question you need to be asking yourself is this: do you want to live in a world where you work hard, pay taxes and the government gets to decide how you spend your money?
The entire world just watched one of the most "highly rated democracies" attack the opposition without due process.
It's hard to imagine a more impactful message to send. Focus on self-sovereignty because sooner or later your beliefs are likely to make you an enemy of the state.
At a minimum I hope that you take some time to understand what is unfolding around you. If Trudeau gets away with his push for authoritarianism unimpeded then in my opinion this will send out a clear message to other leaders who have been following the WEF handbook.
Start to understand the power and place that the ownership of hard assets such as cryptocurrencies, precious metals and even high end watches or jewelry could have in the future as these uncertainties in the world continue to unfold around us.
If you value your freedom be prepared to push back at every opportunity. At the end of the day just remember who puts these people in power in the first place and why they are called 'Civil Servants.'