As part of his ‘Internet of Money’ tour, Andreas Antonopolous gave strategies on how individuals and collectives can ‘escape’ from the global banking cartels.
Andreas Antonopoulos, author of the best-selling book ‘Mastering Bitcoin’, spoke at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in Seattle. He started out his talk by posing the question, “What do you call it when a bunch of companies collude to set prices, fix markets, capture regulators, and bribe politicians?”.
“We talk so much about the cartels in drugs and oil, but rarely about one of the largest cartels in the world: banking”.
“We call it a cartel”
Antonopoulos was, of course, talking about the banking or information cartels. “Cartels are most insidious when you don’t talk about them”.
“Regulators are there for so-called ‘consumer protection”‘.
Antonopoulos pointed out a recent example where Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel and Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel between them laundered $881 million through HSBC.
“In most cases, the fines issued by the regulators are less than the profits made from money laundering. If the penalty is less than what you earned doing the crime, then this is a system of immunity”.
Not immoral, but amoral corporations
Antonopoulos outlined the case for why modern corporations are not immoral, but amoral. He gave a fictitious example of how a company may decide to increase their profit margin by deciding to sell facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. In an example like this, you can see how an entity could be caught in a moral conundrum between tapping into a profitable demand for these services vs. empowering potential clients with tools that may potentially violate state constitutions around the world.
He did joke that, as a strategy to negate legal ramifications, if any global constitutions were violated, it would probably also incur a “terms of service” breach for the entity providing the services.
Toward the end of his talk, Antonopoulos advocated for individuals and collectives to exit “not just in money, in corporate governance, in law, in voting”.
“Until money breaks, the premium of liberty is the ability not to care about it”.
The architecture he pushed for resembled that of the open source movement itself. “It’s peer-to-peer, flat, decentralised, end-to-end, and innovates at the edges (without permission)”.
Antonopoulos claimed that half the people in the industry did not even know what a credit default swap was at the time of the 2008 crash.
“The baking cartel robbed us blind. They striped the entire economy and had a mountain of fraud—but it was all ignored as they had to dump $10 trillion into quantitative easing”.
“We must starve the cartel of money, by exiting and using peer-to-peer money”.