Max generously shares his economic insights on Bitcoin, privacy cryptocurrencies, precious metals and CBDCs with us. Max Wright aka Contrarian Dude, is a former engineer and now self-taught economist, educator and crypto evangelist who authored one of the first books on Bitcoin in 2013. He eloquently breaks down how gold and silver prices are manipulated in the paper trading market, making the case for digital gold as a store of value and nimble means of preserving your wealth. Max also shares his #1 secret skill that has made him a rich man in bear markets. Finally, he leaves us with the most valuable piece of advice – his mindset for dealing with the fear of an upcoming apocalypse.
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George Papp 0:08
Hi, welcome to the conscious renegade podcast with me George Papp, helping you to be the change you wish to see in the world.
Today, we are joined by Max Wright aka Contrarian Dude of Success Council. And we'll be discussing alternative economics and crypto to be free in the current system and the coming Great reset, I guess updates from our sides. Were looking at the membership being completed here on Cryptonomous Consulting. So that's what we're working on. And we will continue to do so. And when that's live, we'll we'll let you guys know. So how are you, Max, and thanks for coming on.
Max Wright 1:05
I'm doing really, really well. Thank you so much for having me.
George Papp 1:08
Thank you so much for joining. Obviously, your works quite in this space. I mean, it's quite well known in a sense. I've known your work for the last couple of years, with the Success Council, and also your work on YouTube, where you you give your sort of trading analysis and your views on on the crypto market currently, which is great. So I know that your stuff is, is really good work.
Max Wright 1:35
Thank you appreciate the compliment.
George Papp 1:37
Excellent. So I guess let's start with, I guess your story and how you got into crypto. And also, I guess alternative economics because I know it's not just really crypto you only focus on although a lot of what you're focusing on it within but just how you got into maybe alternative economics and crypto yourself.
Max Wright 2:02
Okay, well, that one goes back a long way. So I don't know why it's a weird quirk of personality. But for whatever reason, I was very interested in economics might one of my favorite classes in high school was economics. And I remember asking my teachers, especially the subject of money, just because what I was interested in, and I remember asking my high school teachers, the simple question, if everyone emptied their pockets and all the bank accounts, and you counted up all the money, I didn't know to use the word money supply at the time, I could have asked the question that much quicker. But the pockets or the bank entry chemical the money in 1900, and the accounts up all the money now is way more money now. How does money get into the system? What makes the money supply bigger without using the word money supply? And the high school economics teacher didn't have an answer. And this guy kind of put that to bed and just kind of this is pre internet. So what are you going to do? I went I went to college, I studied engineering, but was still interested in this question. So wondering myself over the economics department, and found a couple of people is whether they were particularly high up or low down in the in the spectrum of teachers? I don't know. But I asked them the exact same question didn't get a good answer. And this question was just in the back of my mind, and didn't get a good answer. And then the internet came along. And I remember I don't even know how or why, where I was looking. But I just found a lecture by a gentleman called G. Edward Griffin. And he authored a book called The Creature from Jekyll Island. And it's the entire book about the creation of the Federal Reserve the history of the Federal Reserve, and exactly answers the question, how does money enter the system. And so this weird curiosity that I had a teenager starts to get answered, but from there, I get introduced to the concept of money supply, G. Edward Griffin, he would be what's called a libertarian. And so he was down. Again, none of these words mean anything to me at the time. But he's an what would be called an Austrian economist, more so than a Keynesian economist, which is what we're mostly familiar with. And so this is just my introduction, I didn't go to formal schooling. So I didn't get Keynesian ism, ran down my throat, I got a little bit in high school, and that was it. But there and now I'm in this world where I'm starting to hear these people and suddenly get information from Austrians first up and on anybody, and then I'm hearing this information and makes an enormous amount of sense to me. And then I'm hearing the stuff on the news. And it all makes no sense to me. It's completely confusing. All the recommendations they're giving me makes no sense and seems counterintuitive. Whereas when I learned Austrian economics, I'm just like, that makes perfect sense. And so that's how I got into the world of economics. And then little bit of self study, YouTube comes along and all of a sudden, there's there's so much information out there. I just get to consume so much of this information. I started to become self taught economist starting to hear people saying, Yeah, Robert Kiyosaki, Peter Schiff. It's like, we're in a huge, they're on the precipice of a huge thing. And then the 2008 crisis hits, and I was like, oh, it's interesting. The Austrians the people I'm thinking about, they're the ones who are saying that there's a problem. You've got, you know, the head of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke. Keynesian He's in the middle of the recession. He's saying no problems are always good here. You know, 12 months later, they admit the recession started three months before, but he said that there was a problem. He said, No smooth sailing. So this is all confirmation for me that Austrian ism is where it's at. And, again, I've got a fair amount of knowledge. Now that's like, really a decade later, and time has gone on. And I realized, so I can't Is this the biggest thing hurting society? In the world, like everything, it plagues everything, it causes the wealth gap, it causes the income inequality gap, it causes the growth of government, it causes tyranny. I mean, it's it's just permeates everything. The cancer that is on this world is a corrupt money system. That's the conclusion I get to. And so now I'm like, Okay, well as a, how do I get myself out of the system? I, and how do I get the well, what do I advocate for? Who do I vote for? What steps do I take to try and make a better world, so I can help the world in whatever way I can. And the solution to that corrupt money system at the time is gold, onto the best system and something I learned very, very quickly. I'm not the first person to think of this. Plenty of people have tried to figure this out. And they get punished viciously for it. To give us a couple of highlighted examples, there are plenty of people who are like, who was like, Okay, we need the customer, the population need to escape the fiat system, the US dollar system, they need that we're never going to do it through Congress, those guys are bought and paid for there's trillions of dollars on the table. We're not getting get Congress to help us. So we're going to work. But how can we just from a bottoms up approach, grassroots? How can we do it, and people come up with things like Liberty dollar, and there's another website called gold money, they tried to do it. And what they do is they say, Hey, guys, you know, buy gold, send it into our store in the bolt, and you'll have an account with us. And you know, you'll have 700 grams of gold and Bob will have 400 grams of gold. And if you are Bob 50 bucks, we can transfer that amount of gold to him. And it's all done with like an app or an account online or whatever else, we can start to create an alternative money system. And so what I like I said, it's been tried a number of times before I gave you a couple of examples, a little bit of research tells us what happens is under the guise of it's being used by criminals, it's being used to launder money, it's being used by terrorists, we have to shut it down for your protection, they send in men with guns, police, army, SWAT squad, you name it, they'll do it, they confiscate all of the gold. So all of the investors lost their money. And the guy who started the idea of trying to make the world a better place, he goes to jail. So and this has happens over and over and over again. And so very clearly I understand this is not going to work they they have their monopoly in this corrupt money system. All the politicians are bought and paid for they own the media, they own all of the apparatuses the, what G Edward Griffin would call a power center in society. So it's everything from a news organization to Hollywood to you know, to protect their ability to print money out of thin air and have that ability they have bought up the FBI and the CIA and they bought up everything in order to protect it anything that could go after them is not there anymore to go after them it's it's in their pocket and so I got through a little bit of a depression at this point this is like a really like the world is corrupt and vicious and I say clearly for what it is and there's just no way out. And so I can personally buy gold and buy silver and do some things so that my money is not getting depreciated and gold runs up a lot in those years and I'm working kind of well for me. But then I just happened to be hanging out in those libertarian circles hanging out in those Austrian economic circles. Someone brings to me the concept of this digital money Bitcoin and I sadly ego driven I'm like really digital money all I know digital is if it can be copied a million times. So you have an mp3 song and all of a sudden it's copied a million times. So clearly this isn't gonna work. But big brain Max I'm feeling all egotistical over here. Tell me about your silly magic internet money Bitcoin so that I can tell you what doesn't work. And basically over the course of about a month every single question I raise the put the my mentor in the little Bitcoin and got gentleman by the name of trace Mayer, he has an answer for me. And I just go deeper and deeper into this. And it turns out this character of Satoshi Nakamoto has just found something absolutely incredible. He's managed to create gold, but in a defensible way, when the government says okay, this this is run by criminals and by the way, it's it's Bitcoin was originally used by criminals like a big part of the user base. Early on Silk Road, you probably heard about it two dozen 1112 13 It was predominately criminals. So this gives a lot of cover for the government to say this Bitcoin thing is run by criminals. We've got to go after them. Now they're going after them because their competition to their money, but it is standard practice on standard practice was a great choice of words. It is very typical, that it will be criminals because these are the people who are already outside of the system. So if you're a drug dealer or whatever it is, you you You can't enforce contracts, you can't have another contract with another drug dealer. And you can't go to the courts and say, hey, I want to sue this guy, he breached his contract. They have strict, you know, that's the reason they have to have gangs to exist to basically enforce their own rules and protocols, and all that kind of stuff. Because they can't exist inside the system. So they're the first group of people to get something outside of the system and take on all of those risks. And they did that. And they grew Bitcoin to a sufficient space where it was, they proved that it was defensible, no matter how much they wanted to come and get people, they couldn't get up, they couldn't go and round up every drug dealer, they managed to get a big name in, the
gentleman who had created Silk Road, managed to grab him eventually, many years later, but it looked like he was going to be for years, it looked like he was going to be available, like free. Let's say that that kind of process got us over the big hump. And it proved this defensible. So unlike the gold situation that I talked about before, the men with guns can't come and steal the gold and put the good guys in jail can't happen. And that was just a critically important hurdle and part of bitcoins journey. And so I'm sitting there watching it, I'm already a believer that at this stage I am I'm acquiring Bitcoin, and starting to use it and starting to get my head around it. And I had all my questions answered. And that's where I pretty much become a disciple, it's proved itself as a chance. And that's really, I don't need to be proven to beyond a reasonable doubt that bitcoins going to become the reserve currency of the world at this point. Remember, I'm in a depression for all intents and purposes, I'm a pretty happy person. So my depression wasn't that deep. So what I mean to make light of a serious word, because I know a lot of people suffer from depression but But you remember, the feeling is quite hopeless. The they've got controlled by the media, the politicians, there is no solution to this corruption, we've got gold, okay, great. It's it hasn't worked. We've tried it. The other thing times, it does not work, men with guns will come and steal all the gold. How can we have something that is defensible and exists in the cloud, that all of a sudden, all the men with guns count for zero, and one person at a time from the bottom up, we can just opt out of the system and get out of that corruption. And by the end of this process, and all this learning, I am now a just a rabid disciple of Bitcoin, and start using my my, my hobby was kind of like economics, my skill is as a teacher. And so people kind of gravitated towards me to explain Bitcoin and all of the things that I had to trace explained to me, I found that I could kind of explain them even better than he could explain them. And so I just became a little bit of a thought leader in the space and 2012, none of my back then when my youtube channel blew up as crypto content, and I had the number one best selling book on Amazon, back then in 2013 for for Bitcoin. Now, of course, that means like a couple of 100 copies are sold, because the space was so small, but even today, you know, 10 years later, I hear a lot of people using the arguments that I crafted and wordsmith to help explain people quickly and easily what kind of Bitcoin is. And so that's kind of the journey. And then the last kind of 10 years, I just, I hope that where I can create educational content where I can on YouTube, people can check that out on notice Contrarian Dude on on YouTube. And so yeah, that's that's kind of the journey to date.
George Papp 13:06
Great, excellent. Definitely check his YouTube channel. The contrarian dude, it's, it's got some great content, you know, all the way from the from the early days. But yeah, I think I mean, in your opinion, I mean, I know that there's, there's a lot of hype now and a lot of fear in the market, in the crypto market. There's a lot of guys now who are coming out of the woodwork saying, you know, oh, is this thing going? You know, going down? Like, is it you know, basically, is the sort of hype over? And what, what would you say to that, in your, in your own opinion, where the market is right now, where it's going? And how you see regulation coming in being a hindrance or potentially, you know, holding back some of the, the sort of the developments in crypto going forward?
Max Wright 14:02
Sure. So, so the first part of that question first, personally, no, no harm, no foul in asking those kinds of questions. Is Bitcoin gonna zero? Has it had a stay in the sun? Could it crash? All those questions are valid? I'm a skeptical mind myself. And I appreciate when skeptical minds come in and ask challenging questions. And so these are all great questions that need to be answered. It's something that you have to answer for yourself. But I can share some of the thoughts that I had around that subject. So I've been around since 2012. I miss the first bubble and pop in 2011. I lived through 2013 bubble, two bubbles and pops, I lived through 2017 bubble and living through this bubble on pop 2122. And so I've been through a bunch of this, and I can tell you that time in the trenches counts. So back then it was way scarier. And now we're going through it for a fourth time I'd have absolutely no fear whatsoever, and I sleep soundly having a second Giving and part of my personal wealth in Bitcoin. But I think it's overcome so many of the big, big challenges. And I guess for people who weren't around that, like it's understandable like we're not going into depth 12 The next thing I saw was like a big disastrous event. And I'm like, oh my god, the world's falling, this thing could be over. And then someone who was around in 2011 is nothing you should have seen what happened then. And it was was way younger, it was way more fragile. It was way less proven back then. And, you know, we huddling we say, holding on for dear life is the deliberate mispronunciation of holding your Bitcoin. We, it's not for the faint of heart, and there's some scary times and I would live through several 80 plus percent draw downs. But with each one, it strengthens your resolve. And you understand that, that, you know, this is this is growing it I, at the end of the day, it's growing, I don't think anybody has held Bitcoin for 40 years and lost money, you can hold it and it goes, price goes down and you in the six month 12 months. Occasionally, it happens in the 24 months, it only happened a few times. And I think once that happened, and after 36 months, where you could have bought the exact wrong time. And if you sold 36 months later, you lost but but I think it's never happened the price has always recovered after four years. And but there's let me let me steal man the original argument here. Which was what if bitcoin goes to zero? Bitcoin was kind of invented 2009 We don't really, really see it begin to take shape until kind of 2010 2011 Remember this the last financial crisis 2008 It wasn't around them. And Bitcoin just hasn't seen a a long drawn out 2008 global financial crisis situation, when it does is it is it going to have what it takes to get through it. It did get through much 2020 COVID locked down where everything kind of went down, went back up and kind of go through it. But what about a bigger, deeper, longer recession? So in that sense, Bitcoin is unproven. So I just wanted to kind of get that point out there to steal man the question. But having said all that, I know the space very well. I know the clientele very well, I know the different market actors, there are speculators here who don't know anything about anything, just trying to make money. There are people who treat it like a talk a tech stock, they see the number of users grow on Facebook, and they see the number of users grow on the Bitcoin network. And they say, I'll just treat it like a tech stock and ride waves, and they buy and sell it for that. But there's a fairly large cohort of people like me, who really, really, really understand the problems in society, the problem with the existing financial system, the corruption at the central banks all around the world, the poverty and misery and suffering that it causes for the average citizen. And for that, that same American spirit, for lack of a better word, but to be more general to allow the world to participate, that freedom loving spirit that are in the hearts of so many people, it's the only place to be sovereign, it's the only place to take the world, in your own hands, it's the only place to, to have that, that feeling of independence. And so I know there's a very, very large cohort, like me, who will, the only reason we don't spend put every penny into Bitcoin, is because we think the other people who might might get scared over the next few months or years, so we can buy a lot more at a cheaper price. And there's a fairly large cohort of people. And so there are that at some point, we were like, We it's gone down enough, you know, we could wait a little bit longer than maybe get it at an even lower price. But we just have to start scooping it up now while the price is low. And like I said, it's a fairly large cohort. And even on these drawdowns, where they go down 50% 60% 80% It's just us waiting money sitting on the sidelines, I myself, just right now I'm sitting on the sidelines, I think we're gonna go down a little bit lower. And I'm just waiting to jump in and scoop up at bargain prices. And that's my mentality. And so I know there's a fairly large cohort for that. So personally, I know that there will always be a price for Bitcoin. And as long as there is a price, as long as it doesn't go to zero, some things that couldn't, if there's a big bug in the system, if there's a they do some kind of update, which bitcoin is notoriously very, very slow at making updates, because they test everything for years before they put it out. Other chains who are trying to catch up to Bitcoin, like the theory of the world, no harm no foul on them. I'm not a not a Maxi, built Bitcoin next up by a long stretch, but in order to try and catch up in order to keep ahead of the competition, they're doing risky, relatively risky things, and they can do things like there's tax and there's people people lose money, that's kind of things the credit says the opposite mentality, it is it is in the lead by so far, and it can be cautious and and it can be deliberate. And the nature in which it was set up is it is very, very slow. So the and the of the likelihood of something like that happening some cataclysmic event like that happening, which would break Bitcoin and send it to zero, I would argue is very, very small and of all the cryptos by orders of magnitude smaller in the world of Bitcoin. And so for me, it's a very, very small, small risk that that risk of Bitcoin going to zero. And as long as it doesn't go to zero, then it's just proved itself over this decade plus timeframe, that it just gets bigger and stronger. And you can all we can look at the numbers day by day, week, by week, month by month, and see that it is attracting more and more people. And that's because every person that gets into it, one of the best things about Bitcoin is this cool technology. It's can be explained 50 different ways as a savings vehicle as a payment rail system as a whole bunch of other things, right. And there's 50 different ways to reach out to the community and say, Hey, come check out this cool new product. But for me, one of the my favorite things about this is no matter why you come, you can become because you think it's a tech stock, and you see the user base growing, so you want to buy it, you can come because you're cool. You're a geek, and you want to geek out at other cool technology that is blockchain, you can come because you're a drug dealer and you want to sell drugs online at Silk Road, you can come because you're a monetary theorists like me, doesn't matter how you get here. Once you're in here, the community will educate you and teach you why this is so much more than any of those things. This is the solution for humanity to solve our biggest problems in the world. And so that just creates evangelist after evangelists after evangelist and that kind of game theory mentality that's built into the system, because it is such an incredibly good solution to such a gigantically big problem that affects every, every single person. It just grows and grows and grows. And the number of diehards out there, like myself just gets it just goes up and up over time
George Papp 21:33
really does. It's like a It's an amazing effect that's happened. Soon as you get into crypto, you kind of find out what's wrong with the current system, and why it was made, in a sense, and what it can bring to the table. So yeah, that happened to me, myself, as well working in investment banking. So it was like, I didn't even know what it was even when, even in 2017 when we saw Bitcoin go up to 20,000 for the first time, I was just questioning what it was still, you know, just like what is this scan or whatever it is. And then, you know, after a couple of years, you realize I sort of looked into it, and I was questioning more and more how the system was. And yeah, you look and you get deeper and deeper into it. And then you start literally becoming like you said, like an evangelist where you're, you're looking to spread and preach to others. Why it's it's the solution. And it's definitely a at least a solution to what's currently happening out there. And especially now when we're looking at the most volatile in my opinion time in economics in the mainstream mode. We're looking at you know, hyperinflation events potentially happening closer to home we're looking at what was pretty much nearly already there you know, other other issues as well so yeah, we have solutions here we just need to use them and I guess spread the word as well. So I know there's a lot of guys in the freedom space in crypto who are into privacy coins we've spoken to many guys on on the privacy coin space we've we've you know we know the people at Mineiro and pirate chain I wanted to obviously know what your opinion on these coins are because you're you cover them a little bit less obviously then then some others in the in the freedoms movement, let's say who may be prior towards those coins. What are your opinion? What is your opinion on those coins? Compared to Bitcoin?
Max Wright 23:37
Yeah, so I think they're really interesting. I think there's a case for both I think that I'm definitely an anti privacy coin for a whole bunch of reasons. But I think maybe it's just it'll cut their time will come a little bit later. I think Bitcoin needs to do bit more of its job and a bit more of its heavy lifting first. But then once once we as we get closer and closer to a Bitcoin standard, then the jump from if bitcoin is a serious problem if the government start using Blockchain and the Bitcoin chain to start finding people harassing people whatever the jump from you know, all of the old systems to Bitcoin was so much of a bigger jump than from Bitcoin to another privacy coin or to a privacy coin the speed with which the community they come after Bitcoin and try and shut it down in any way or and start harassing individuals on I can see that you spent $3 on Silk Road or your You You You You pressed you're a trucker protester for like in Canada didn't so we're gonna go and get your your Bitcoin. Now if you hold it in exchanges or whatever, it's kind of like that's, that's tough on you. But if you're holding your own private keys, and they're doing forensics research, and then sticking the FBI on to you and like destroying your life because of some stuff, you will need, like half a dozen of those stories. And then all of a sudden, they'll just be this one or two things. will happen, the Bitcoin community will change his protocol to introduce more privacy, or people will jump ship and move to a privacy coin. I'm not sure which one of those two is, the more likely I suspect the former is more likely, I suspect the Bitcoin code will change, if this becomes that big of a problem, and that will be something interesting to watch play out over time. But before we get there, I just don't think we're there quite now. And that we can get there at any time. But, you know, I think it could be that we're a decade away from that. And during this time, bitcoins gonna explode and other things are not. Because right now, I don't think there's a great thirst for privacy in the Bitcoin world. And if once that thirst comes, it'll interesting to see how we react to either Bitcoin will adapt or will move to privacy coins. But to give you an example of the kinds of people who don't care about the, the privacy aspect right now, the biggest holder, for example, Milo, Michael, Saylor, and MicroStrategy. He actually wants to everyone to know how Bitcoin he has he tweets about it every other minute, so that you can you can see the reserves, and he wants proof of ownership, he wants you to look at his wallet, stare at his wallet, and know that he has all this Bitcoin that strengthens his balance sheet and things like that, to have proof of funds. So that's an example of someone where they specifically do not want privacy, they would see privacy coming to the Bitcoin chain as a disadvantage. So it's only once I think Bitcoin grows to be a bigger and bigger animal than it is, then maybe they start to come after it in different ways. But it would be a foolhardy endeavor, if they tried it, so they may not. But if they did try it, it's a very small leap, much, much smaller leap than going from Fiat and teaching people that magic internet money is the way you're gonna be. That's a huge leap to get to Bitcoin. Once you're in Bitcoin, Zagat has a problem with the system in some way, shape or form, you may get better security better thing if you either vote for this change in the Bitcoin protocol, or move to this privacy coin is a very, very small leap. And people will do that very, very quickly. And so harassing bitcoin is going to do very, very little. And so that's kind of my thoughts on on privacy coins, I think a good concept. And I love to see the, the, they're called alt coins, so or Manero, and pirate coin, all these kind of things, I love to spend, see him out there experimenting, testing things, doing things, trying to break things. And that way, if bitcoin ever wants to adopt some of those things to get more privacy, they have that option up their sleeve? Or maybe the Bitcoin community is too slow to adapt. And then you'll have Mineiro, or private or any one of these privacy coins overtake Bitcoin? That's absolutely a possibility. I don't think it's true, but it's a possibility. Another point that should be added in terms of investment and things like that. In order for privacy coins to be a better investment than Bitcoin, it does not necessitate the privacy coins, bro to have your market cap than Bitcoin. If you're starting at a much lower base, you know, your percentage increase doesn't is what makes you the money. It's not whether it's a bigger chain than Bitcoin or not. So, you know, I'm not saying that it could be that privacy coins could cannot overtake Bitcoin, and don't even come close to it, and still be a better investment in Bitcoin. So that's something worthy of noting. So there's a few different ways to look about I'm not sure if you want to get the philosophical approach to principled approach or the investment approach. But there's a few different ways to look at it. And those are my thoughts on that.
George Papp 28:21
Yeah. That's an interesting way of looking at it. I think. It's true, actually, that it seems like I don't see, by the looks of things right now. governments aren't too, let's say up to speed with how even crypto works properly. At this moment in time, however, the I know, Blockchain analysis and all this stuff is definitely getting larger and larger and more sophisticated. So I think that's where maybe at some point, yes, you know, they could start harassing people for, you know, their transactions, because it is transparent. But there's definitely a use case for transparent blockchains in my opinion, for sure. A lot of I don't advocate just for private just using private blockchains is certainly use cases for transparent blockchains especially in like, you know, whether you believe in in a government government system in itself, but if we had a transparent blockchain, which is viewable by all public individuals on potential tax expenditure, for example, are where our money actually even goes, whether you believe in tax or not, let's say, at least we would know exactly where everything's going rather than right now. We don't really know where any of our money's really going to. In regards to tax expenditure, let's be honest. So there are certainly and that's only one use case. Really, there's so many. But yeah, I agree. I think they could definitely coexist. I think there's use cases on an investment side as well, for sure. Bitcoin is a stable, you know, the sort of granddaddy of crypto And you know, institutions are definitely buying it up first. So I think, you know, having wealth in there is certainly, you know, people a lot of people say it's too expensive now and you know, it's too late, but we're looking to preserve our wealth as well. In a world where you know, inflation is eating up all your all your tradition, traditional fiat money. Certainly having it in Bitcoin is certainly much better than that as an option. So I mean, yeah, thanks for that. And I guess what is your, your thoughts on the future of mainstream economics? Because I know, there's going to be massive changes, we're looking at potential CBDCs, which was a conspiracy theory a few years ago. Now, it's openly being talked about, in regards to potential digital dollar digital euros, or these types of currencies? How do you see this playing out? In your opinion, where, you know, we could potentially have CBD C's and crypto almost at the same time? Or do you see like, government trying to outlaw crypto or just over regulate it to bring in CBDCs? How do you see it all working out? In that sense?
Max Wright 31:13
Yeah, and I'm sorry, you had you asked about regulation earlier, the part to your question, I forgot to go back to it. So I can do that now. So yeah, similarly, seeds are coming for sure. You say see, I used to be a conspiracy theory. Are there any conspiracy theories left? I mean, I used to believe in all of them. Now. They're all I'm trying. I'm trying to come up with one. There's like they've all been proven true at this point. Yeah. So okay, so yeah, CBDCs are coming for sure. And that's, I mean, it's just common sense. It's just a, I'm not a fan of central bank currencies. But if you're gonna have one, it's more efficient and better to have these digital ones and running around and like armored trucks and running the ATMs and all this kind of nonsense. So of course, that's coming. That's just common sense. So we're gonna have them? Are they gonna have nefarious things built in extra tracking? All those kind of things? I mean absolutely why not? They're gonna build it. So why would they build it to have their dream spy state, I'm sure they are going to have all of those things. I do think they'll, what's the word, they will be side by side for some time, until eventually, I think Bitcoin kills them, or just no one wants the fiat currency. But yeah, that I mean, those things, those things will be there, and they will be around for a long time, and they'll live side by side. And personally, I think it's a good thing. Like, I think it speeds up the adoption of Bitcoin. As people get used to their the, the, the, the digital money, once they're used to digital money, once again, it's now a very small leap to move over to Bitcoin, because they're used to the concept, they're used to an online wallet. They're just they're used to it. And so that's a very important thing. I know. People say so you know, like foreign currencies now, have these elaborate counterfeiting measures, the notes are different sizes, different colors, it also helps for the, for blind people, they can feel what note it is, depending on the size of it, and the texture and all these different things built into for the dead stitches, you'll notice that the US dollar is in the greenback so stayed the same largely over the decades, but I had any of these cool features. And we've run out of the reason why. And it's because it is basically because it would there's a chance that it could hurt the people's faith in dollars. So is it straight up marketing principle. So in order to keep people's faith in the US dollar, as they keep these, these notes in one of the very old technology, they don't put any of the new technology into the US paper currency anymore. And so there's a little bit of a catch 22 For them, like they're gonna have to move to this digital currency is that going to boost or lower, you know, the normies faith in the US dollar, argue it's going to lower their faith in the US dollar, that's, that's what I would suggest, then all of a sudden, that that has a cost to them as well, that drives even more people to Bitcoin. So a lot of these things about the CBDCs, I think are going to be very, very good for Bitcoin, are gonna exist in tandem for quite a while, I would suggest, and that's okay. Like I'm perfectly okay with that. So bring it on help help speed on the adoption of Bitcoin by bringing on CBDCs. We've talked about regulation a little bit, I can jump track to go over there. I think a few questions ago, you asked the question, I forgot to answer it, which was one of the big things that that kind of need to happen and what's going on in that world of regulation. So I think one of the biggest things, holding back the big institutional money coming into that is a rule, a silly guideline by the IRS, which is how you have to define this and how you have to market on your balance sheet. And basically, you can buy, let's say, a billion dollars with a Bitcoin and then by the laws released to Fortune 500 companies and all the laws, the SEC is and somewhere in that rigmarole of
law, like that, the word escapes me somewhere in that rigmarole of all that law. The way the CFOs have to mark that on their sheet, is they have to market that the value of their coins or their Bitcoin at the market as The lowest value ever was. So if you go and buy a billion dollars with a Bitcoin, and the price goes down as a gift, you want to go through a 50% drawdown. So now he's sitting on half a billion dollars with a Bitcoin, and then the price skyrockets, right 20x. And so now you're sitting on $10 billion of Bitcoin, when you report that to your shareholders and things on your balance sheet, you have to report it at the lowest price it was in its entire life while you held it, which is you got $10 billion worth of bitcoin, but you have to report to your shareholders that you have half a billion dollars worth of bitcoin. And so this is really, really hurting people, you've got companies when they held their cash that is reported as its actual value. And so you've got apples and you think on $200 billion cash plus, they're watching it melt like an ice cube through inflation. But at least they have a pristine balance sheet. So when they go to borrow money, they get it at the rates at really good rates, because their their balance sheet is pristine, if they look to convert that to Bitcoin. Now, all of a sudden, the way they have to report that is on their balance sheet, the lowest price that ever was at anytime during the time they held it. And it really hurts their balance sheet, it changes how much they can borrow money from in the future and things like that. So that is a really, really big fool in the system there. That just means people cannot hold the Bitcoin in a good and easy way. And so the big institutional money, the corporations, that's really holding them back. So that's why I would say number one thing to fix, if we're going to put pressure on the government to try and fix things, that would be number one. Number two, is you really got to help the SEC approve an ETF spot ETF. So at the present, there's a futures based ETF, which I was extremely skeptical of at the time, and still am. And I still think there's a lot of question marks over it. So a little bit of history.
The for the gold and silver prices have been, in my opinion manipulated for a very long time on the futures market. So the futures market, the gold and silver is bought and sold in huge quantities way more than even exists every single day. And so there's a lot of people wanting exposure to the gold price, you know, I think they're printing too much money, I want to hedge against inflation, I'm gonna go and buy $500,000 worth of gold or silver, people don't actually get to buy gold and silver because it's expensive to transport too expensive to secure. You gotta hire security guards to stare at it, not to get it stolen, or pay some other company to do it. And so what they do is they trade on the futures market, they buy and sell gold there. Well, the problem is on the futures market, because you're not taking possession of gold or silver. What they can do is if there's a huge demand for gold, there can be some some banks or some cronies on the other side, saying I'll sell you gold, and I'll eat the price. If the price goes up, I'll eat it, so you'll get your profit, but you never had to actually take the gold. And so what they can do is they can sell an infinite amount of paper gold to stop the buying pressure of gold going up. Right lots of buyers come in the price should go up with a limited supply. The problem is they can sell paper gold, like there's pallets and pallets and pallets of paper saying that you know where the other side of this bed and at the price of gold goes up? No worries, we will lose a bit of money we'll pay it we're making way more money over here with the fiat money system so we can afford these losses just to keep the system alive. And gold the gold price can't go up the silver price can't go up. And that gold is typically the canary in the coal mine that lets you know inflation is out of control. People do not trust the central banks and you need to get out of fiat money and into gold. And so a lot of people want to get into gold they get into gold but the price doesn't go up because they just bought paper just paper was sold paper gold was sold. And that's it. And so they can control the gold market and have done for many decades on the futures market. So what are the SEC do they have the world begging for a spot price Bitcoin ETF meaning the you buy the in that you buy money into the ETF? The ETF goes and buys the Bitcoin? And at the end of that if you want to redeem it, you can say send me the Bitcoin don't just send me the cash payment send me the Bitcoin and it actually take supply out of the market. They said no, we're not going to approve that kind of ETF we're going to approve a futures based etf.dot.it needs its paper contracts going back and forth. Which same problem people institutions make the man inflation is a problem I want to scoop up Bitcoin, huge demand coming in, they want that the price should go up. But the the futures market is just selling paper on the other side and not giving them the real Bitcoin. Because the futures market is not redeemable in actual Bitcoin. You can't say give me the Bitcoin at the end, you just say give me the dollars value of my profit at the end. And so I was extremely skeptical of it. I remain extremely skeptical of it. I don't think they're going to release a Bitcoin spot price ETF particularly soon, exactly. Because of this, we need to put a lot of pressure on them to do that. Fortunately, several other countries around the world have done that. And that's a really good thing. Australia has it. I think Brazil has it. Canada has it. Some countries in Europe have it. So there are spot ETS there. And so that's all kind of kind of really, really interesting and productive. And one more final thought on all this kind of topic is I will talk about game theory a little bit. We now have to Countries very, very small token countries. One, I never even heard of that it was the central Republic of Congo Central Africa, I forget. Thank you very much. You know, national GDP, I believe $2 billion. We've got El Salvador that was the other one was the first one, GDP $10 billion. The two, this is this is game theory, this is how it starts. And one by one, you're just gonna see more and more sovereign states, more and more companies, more and more individuals come on. Because I mean, the reason they came on is because, again, theory, they saw people like me buying in 2012, and seeing the price go up 10,000%. And they went like, this is worth putting 1234 5% of my portfolio into that. Let's give me some of that. And that's how it grows. So I'm really excited by that game theory playing out that the longer you wait, the worse is going to be for you, the earlier you get in, the better it's going to be for you. And it's true for individuals, states, companies, etc. And right now, we're just watching that game theory play out over many years.
George Papp 41:00
Yeah, it's really interesting about, obviously, Central African Republic and, and El Salvador, obviously, I think we can see more and more nations will adopt Bitcoin. Let's see how the world takes it. It obviously needs to have more, we need to inform more people and definitely spread the sort of education to more and more people to adopt it for themselves as well. And to really know the reason why, because there's still a lot of people out there who are, who are buying, I don't know, Shiba Inu to make some money, because they thought that, you know, it will do what Dogecoin did these sort of things, we need to sort of try and just educate a little bit, obviously, that there's nothing wrong with someone trying to make some money, but knowing the reasons why it can really, really change the world. And that sort of message needs to be spread unless that's what we're doing here. Yeah, so I guess let's move on slightly to, to your work. So the Success Council just wanted to, I guess, touch upon what what you're doing there and what it aims to do. And and yeah, the work that you're doing?
Max Wright 42:12
Yeah, so I'm in the Success Council was founded in 2012. And it's basically designed to teach people how to protect and grow their wealth during very, very uncertain times. And basically, during the times of going out of control central bank, and all over the world, the central banks are out of control and printing. And so all this inflation that we're seeing in America is quite bad. And the rest of the world, it's even worse, for the most part. All this stuff was very, very predictable. And it's not because of greedy corporations, group corporations didn't get greedy in 20,020 22. They were always greedy. So it's not that it's just it's very obvious what it is because it was easily predicted by the Austrian economists, which is it was the money printing, the government's the central banks just printed money when that money enters into the into the economy, it causes inflation. And so what does that do, it causes this massive roller coaster ride at this huge spike up in prices and assets. And then there's these big crashes, and then there's back and forth. And so the success council was was built to basically teach people exactly what is happening, what is going to happen. And then to help them understand how the financial system works. So all of a sudden, they can see it's like, oh, this is this is what's going to happen, that asset class is going to go up, that asset class is going to fold down. And so it's a really a way to just kind of protect your wealth as a bare minimum and grow your wealth. And what we've been able to be very good at at success counsel is jumping from asset class to asset class at the right time. And I just call this basically swimming with the current as an investor. So you know, you don't want to if you're a fantastic real estate broker or builder or whatever, you can make money in any market. But you didn't need to be really on the top of your game to make money in a down market. And that's true for stock trading. It's true for everything, you can make money in any market everywhere. But I just figured out early, it was better to take a step back, not be the world's greatest real estate guy, don't be the world's greatest crypto guy, not be the world's greatest stock market guy. But take a step back, understand the macro economic situation, and understand which asset class was gonna go up in which class the class was gonna go down. And that way I could avoid those big pitfalls when the market crashes. And I don't need to be a particularly great trade or anything, just by knowing which way the currents going, I can always know and swim with the current. That way, I don't have to be the strongest swimmer to make a lot of money. And that's just having one skill in macro economics has really helped me become very, very wealthy. And so I just wanted to share that knowledge and give people my framework. And so we teach people that with a newsletter and we teach people that with my YouTube channel, and so if people want to work from that, they're more than welcome to follow me on YouTube and kind of go from there.
George Papp 44:36
Excellent. Yeah. So you will have all the links to the success Council in our show notes as well for everyone to to check out how you I guess personally preparing for I guess, the coming decades. Obviously, there's a lot of volatility, the potential Great Reset of of what seems to be in the plans. So I guess Just what your personal preparations are, if any, currently in regards to that, I mean, are you preparing geographically, potentially just just you're just moving your wealth out of the system? Just little sort of, I guess, strategies that you're currently putting in place, if any, again, like I said, in regards to this.
Max Wright 45:22
Sure, you mentioned a couple of key ones there. But a big one, I absolutely believe that. No, there's no price, where like, splits, sometimes I believe we're in an absolute peak, at the top of the market, Bitcoin is going to crash and go down for a couple of years. If you don't have any bitcoin, I still buy some bitcoin today, you'll probably lose some money but buy it. And the reason is, things can turn on a dime. And there can be food shortages, there can be government crackdowns, they can be whatever. And even if your country is what seems like a really stable first world country, economic crisis can cause crazy things very quickly. And desperate governments do desperate things. You know, you see it in other places all the time. Like, if people like in Venezuela, people in Zimbabwe, people in Turkey, people in Ukraine, you know, when the Russians marched across the border, everyone left everything, all the money in the bank accounts gone, their home, gone, their car, their assets gone, if there had gold and silver, they could take what they could carry, and no more. That's it, it's gone. The one thing they could take was a thumb drive or a phrase in their head, and they could have had any amount of wealth Bitcoin with them. And it's going to work anywhere in the world within like an hour, they can you try to use that Bitcoin to kick out back into cash and be buying food. So for absolutely everybody, it is an essential part of being a a nimble person, and going to deal with any crisis, you have to have some cryptocurrency that's just an absolute must. On that front, next, what personal things, so actually, I'll touch on travel first, just hat being someone who's capable of change is a powerful thing. And I spent my 20s basically traveling all over the world, I have children now a little less mobile, haven't traveled for a few years, but I have all those skills. And if I needed to pick my family up, take, you know, millions of dollars worth of my wealth, we could relocate in a day. And we would be very, very fine. So we're very, very nimble. And there's something that I worked on for decades with this in mind. And I'm very, very comfortable with my level of nimbleness in this way. And so I highly recommend people do that. Now, having said that, I also believe in the there has to be somewhere better to go to. And so I I'm nimble in case of that kind of emergency. But I also choose to position myself in a place where I think is great. I choose to position was and I have a lot of, it's a good place to stay. For me, I have backup food at home, it's like it's been it's been a grand or two. And have you know, there's lots of companies out there who do long term food storage, just like freeze dried stuff, you buy it, it's been a great honor to sit in a cupboard there for 20 years. And if there's ever a food shortage, you know, you can eat for three months, six months, 12 months, however much it is You by knowing those situations that, you know, things can get hairy. And gangs can roam around looking for because they didn't prepare. So they want to get out, look for the easy targets and steal things. So make sure that you know as long as within the law, you are armed. So have your guns, have your bullets, and all that kind of thing. So all these kinds of things just play into a preparedness mindset. And I've kind of done all of those things. Honestly, I did them all, like 15 years ago. And so I don't think about them that much anymore. I just I know I'm in a very defendable position, I know that I can, I'm nimble if I need to leave, I'm strong if I need to stay. And I don't really spend too much time thinking about it and spent a year or two kind of learning about things and implementing some of the strategies. And then I just put it away and have peace of mind on it. Think about it. So that's kind of where I am with all of those things.
George Papp 48:35
Yeah, not being in fear of what's what could happen is another one, just that self work still is one of those key things of not being a failure, prepare. Never be in the fear, the fear zone, because that can really paralyze you and probably make the wrong decisions. So yeah, no, thanks very
Max Wright 48:54
critically important. So and then a little bit to help with that. It's just a thought that kind of helped me with that sunny kind of, kind of same concept. Humanity is gonna go on, right, no matter what, no matter how disaster it is, humanity is gonna go on. And, like, let's like the worst, worst, worst, most doomsday crazy situation ever, is like half the population is perished somehow starve to death or whatever? Well, in order for you to be a survivor in that situation, and to come out and thrive, you need to be in the top 50% of human beings on the planet in terms of preparedness, resources, skills, mental health, physical health, etc. So most people in the first world can do that very, very quickly and easily. And so it's a really, really soothing, calm thought. So once you get down this rabbit hole, and you start thinking about the threats, it's very easy to get overwhelmed. Put yourself in a depression, put yourself in a tough place. And so just remind remember that you know, you live in the first world you're doing just fine. And things are going to be okay, let's just take the simple steps to make things a little better.
George Papp 49:55
That's right. So yeah, that's why we're here is to make the world a better place. So, one of the podcasts was started I'm sure that's why that's why success council was started is to help people just you know, prepare for these types of moments and save their wealth basically. Excellent. Well, thanks. Thanks, Max for joining me today and I look forward to having you on in the future potentially. Some new projects, even on our side on your side to discuss make sure you subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Spotify plus, obviously if you're interested in checking out all of Max's, Max's stuff on success Council, we will have the links here in the show notes. So definitely check that out. So excellent peace and love to you. Thanks for listening.