HBO third-stringer Bill Maher capitalizes on “Crypto-Mania” with Boomer Monologue
Bill Maher’s cryptocurrency monologue was a desperate, yet lazy misinformation rant against Bitcoin. But before I go any further, I have a question: Who the F still watches Bill Maher?
I literally thought his show was canceled 5 or 6 years ago.. no joke.. Yet there he was on my Twitter feed, not once, not twice, but five times before I finally took the bait and clicked on his dumb face. And to be honest, I half expected it to be good, but nope, all we got was a smug-faced, condescending, has-been, boomer yelling at those damn kids on their skateboards again.
Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!
Bill Maher opens his cryptocurrency monologue with a false analogy comparing Apple — the consumer electronics company, to Bitcoin — the cryptocurrency. lol! Maher claims that, unlike Bitcoin, Apple makes money because it creates a physical product(e.g. The iPhone) that people can purchase in a brick-and-mortar shop.
I'll try to ignore the fact that he’s erroneously equating value with the physical tangibility of a product. It's just not worth the time.
Bill, the question is not “How does Apple make money?”, but rather, “How legitimate is the money that Apple makes?”
In other words,
- What makes USD fiat an acceptable medium of exchange?
- What underlying assets guarantee the value of USD fiat?
- How can the Fed relentlessly print trillions of dollars — out of thin air?
The truth: Bill Maher doesn’t know, but instead of exploring these very real questions, he goes on a fallacious, misinformation campaign against Bitcoin (and the broader cryptocurrency space), while quoting the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as credible sources on the subject — more on these two later.
BITCOIN IS A JOKE
Maher asserts that because he doesn’t understand cryptocurrencies, the entire space must be a fraudulent joke.
Hmm.. Interesting.. First of all, since when does anyone need to completely understand the mechanics of a technology to successfully utilize it, or find value in its utility?
Bill Maher probably doesn’t understand TCP/IP either, but that doesn’t mean the internet is a fraudulent joke.
In fact, the reality is that Bill probably doesn’t understand 99% of the technologies he encounters on a daily basis, but he still uses them. If his TV, smartphone, youtube app, fuel pump, or air-conditioner suddenly stopped working, he probably couldn’t fix any of them. But that’s ok, because “not understanding” their mechanics, doesn’t diminish the value they provided.
Yes, a lot of people will lose money speculating on meme coins, NFT’s, and useless token projects. Yes, there are countless scammers in the space taking advantage of uneducated people looking for the “next Bitcoin”. And yes, crypto-mania is here!
But, Maher refuses to understand that “mania” is not invalidation.
Nonetheless, Ol’ Bill attempts to label the space as such, ultimately throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
BITCOIN HAS NO VALUE
Maher then provides his analysis of crypto-mania, citing several companies, including Tesla and Microsoft, that now accept cryptocurrency payments and/or hold cryptocurrencies in their corporate treasuries. Specifically noting that Microsoft accepts cryptocurrencies as payment for software — but more on this later.
Then(in perhaps the most fallacious, incohesive manner possible), Maher asserts that because we don’t know the identity of Satoshi “Nerd” Nakamoto, the Bitcoin protocol is incomprehensible, and Bitcoin itself is, therefore “printed out of thin air”. He further states that “[..]money had to originate from, and be generated by, something real, somewhere”. And doubles down on ignorance, in an appeal to authority from Warren Buffett saying: “cryptocurrencies basically have no value and they don’t produce anything.”
These ridiculous statements have been debunked so many times, I don’t know where to begin, but I’ll give it a shot.
1) BITCOIN HAS NO VALUE:
Mr. Buffett, the only thing that has “no value” is the nutritional label on Coca-Cola. The value of Bitcoin, however, is derived from its algorithmic protocol and network security. These guarantee scarce, predictable, permissionless, immutable peer-to-peer money. Satoshi “Nerd” Nakamoto solved the double-spending problem, eliminated unabated monetary inflation, and incentivized opt-in network participation. All of this without a centralized authority, or third-party mediator. If you can’t see value in that, then you simply don’t understand money.
2) BITCOIN IS PRINTED OUT OF THIN AIR:
A) Bill Maher, Bitcoin is not “printed out of thin air”. The protocol uses hash power to solve complex equations, confirm transactions, and secure the network. Newly minted Bitcoins serve as a reward(or subsidy) to offset the energy and operational costs of providing these services.
On the other hand,
B) USD is printed out of thin air. This is known as quantitative easing or QE. The Fed digitally creates trillions of USD fiat, and uses this “money” to purchase debt, risky mortgages, and bad loans from various institutions — many in bed with your pal Warren Buffett. QE is only possible because USD fiat isn’t backed by any natural resources, standards, or stores of value(i.e. Gold or Bitcoin). It’s literally monopoly money printed at the discretion of 12 people, and secured by trade sanctions, trade tariffs, bullets, and bombs. Have fun taking the moral high ground on that.
The next two are petty personal attacks, but they must be done!
ABOUT WARREN BUFFET
3) Warren Buffett is the least credible source on this issue. Aside from the fact that he’s a living dinosaur that is incapable of understanding innovative tech, he’s also infinitely long USD. From cash to sovereign Bonds, nearly all of his corporate and individual net worth is locked in fiat. Thus, Buffett has a fiduciary duty to reject anything that challenges its supremacy.
I know, I know, people look at this guy’s net worth and think “Wow, he must be a genius!”
Well, sure I guess, if you’re willing to overlook the fact that his wealth is derived from century-old junk-food empires, monopolistic rating-agencies, predatory investment firms, and cartel money laundering banks.
Yup, Wells Fargo(and others) laundered billions for Mexican Cartels. Moody’s sold Triple-A rated “junk” securities that helped usher in the ’08 financial crisis. And Coke-Cola sold diabetes to children in third-world countries.
Let all that marinate for a moment…
And make no mistake about it: Warren Buffett is a government rent-seeker. When banks and capital markets start failing (as they inevitably do), Buffet will literally call the Fed for bailout capital that will ultimately be printed(out of thin air), then taxed out of your earned income. In other words, our US fiscal and monetary policies serve as Buffett’s personal backstop at the taxpayer's expense. If you’re good with that: then fine, do you, but you have absolutely no high ground against Bitcoin or the broader cryptocurrency space.
BITCOIN BOILS THE OCEANS
As mentioned, Bill Maher acknowledged Microsoft as a company that accepts cryptocurrencies as payment for their software. But later, summons the authority of Bill Gates to validate the Bitcoin-climate FUD. Yes, Bitcoin consumes a lot of energy(for reasons outlined above). However, issues with the Bitcoin-climate-change narratives are far more complex than the debunked research Maher exhibits in his rant. And honestly, it goes far beyond my expertise. So, I’ll let Nic Carter address the credibility of those specific studies.
As for energy consumption, I’ll just say this:
People should be less concerned about how I use my energy, and more concerned about how that energy is produced.
For those concerns, you should talk to Joe Biden.
ABOUT BILL GATES
4) Bill Gates has taken a “neutral view” on Bitcoin but has openly opposed everything open-sourced since before forever. Bill Gates has always championed monopolistic activities and denounced open-source projects as communist and unamerican. Obviously, he was wrong. This is partially why Internet Explorer could never keep pace with Chromium (an open-source browser project that forms the basis for the Chrome web browser). This is also why Microsoft purchased the open-source platform Github. But, if you understand Bill Gates’ perspective on open-source, it’s easier to see his monopolistic motives.
First, he remains “neutral” or downplays its value, while simultaneously being optimistic about specific attributes. Then he creates his own private version of the system for his monopolistic enterprise.
See, quite easy!
Bitcoin or CBDC?
When the central bank creates its version of Bitcoin, will Bill Maher still claim it has no value? Or will he find comfort in knowing a human(not a neutral protocol) has determined how many zeros to add after the 1? Personally, I prefer a system of rules without rulers, but apparently, Bill is more comfortable in a system of centralized governments that control his money, its production, its value, and its distribution — for better or worse. But who cares what he thinks!?