Originally posted on https://financhill.com/blog/investing/jeff-berwick-the-dollar-vigilante
Jeff Berwick isn’t subtle. He is passionate about his beliefs and philosophies, and he puts substantial time and effort into sharing his ideas with others.
Berwick considers himself an anarcho-capitalist activist. He promotes the theory that governments are unnecessary in fact, detrimental and that capitalism is the most effective economic and political system.
He uses a variety of channels to get his message out, including a website, a podcast, and an annual retreat known as Anarchapulco. He was one of the first to bring attention to the possibilities that cryptocurrency offers for getting out of the government-controlled financial system.
Berwick was an early investor in Bitcoin, and he was featured in a number of mainstream media publications as an expert on the subject. He is widely recognized as the first to propose a cryptocurrency ATM, which was thought to be an outlandish idea at the time. Today, there are more than 3,400 cryptocurrency ATMs in service worldwide.
Jeff Berwick was born in Canada, and he later acquired citizenship in the Dominican Republic. However, after traveling to more than 100 countries, he decided to be a “citizen of nowhere”. Berwick’s global adventures gave him a new perspective, and he launched the concept of a Dollar Vigilante.
He defines the term like this:
“A dollar vigilante is a free market individual who protests the government monopoly on money and financial policies such as fractional reserve banking and un-backed fiat currencies by selling those same fiat currencies in favor of other assets, often including gold, silver, foreign real estate and bitcoin.”
His Dollar Vigilante website, founded in 2009, has become quite well-known in financial circles, because it is unique in its pure free-market viewpoint. Every analyst, writer, and editor that contributes to the project is an anarcho-capitalist.
Berwick and other contributors to the Dollar Vigilante are quite certain that the US dollar is nearing extinction.
When it loses its value completely, Dollar Vigilantes believe there will be widespread economic collapse and political instability.
The site is devoted to monitoring the declining power of the dollar, as well as offering readers advice on surviving the chaos that results from changes in the financial system. Recommendations often touch on gold, silver, Bitcoin, mining stocks, and offshore banking.
Cryptocurrencies are especially attractive to anarcho-capitalists in general and Jeff Berwick in particular, because they exist outside of government regulation and authority.
Every transaction is anonymous and untraceable, and no bank takes part in tracking or monitoring cryptocurrency accounts. That level of privacy doesn’t exist within the standard financial system. Even those individuals who choose to stay cash-only can’t keep themselves completely out of sight.
As a decentralized means of exchange, cryptocurrency transactions are tracked through a digital ledger. Users validate transactions to ensure exchanges are recorded accurately in a system called the blockchain.
This prevents the same currency from being spent twice, which has always been a big obstacle for independent digital currencies.
The entire cryptocurrency system is operated and maintained by its many users, taking decision-making out of the hands of a small group of politicians and bankers. For anarcho-capitalists like Berwick, this is the biggest benefit of building cryptocurrency assets.
Currency trades in the FOREX market, which is by far the largest investment market in the world. While a majority of trades are made by financial professionals, it is becoming more common for individual investors to explore opportunities to invest in currency.
The value of any currency is based on the standard economic principles of supply and demand. If the world needs more US dollars, the value goes up. If there are too many in circulation, the value goes down. Investors bet on whether a currency’s value will increase or decrease against other currencies when they make a trade.
Before you get started in currency trading, it is important to be aware of one of the biggest differences between currency investment and buying or selling stocks.
When you invest in currency, you can’t simply buy or sell your target investment. All trades must be paired with another currency. For example, if you want to sell US dollars, you must buy some other type of currency perhaps Euros, the Pound sterling, or Japanese yen.
If your focus is on the US dollar, the simplest and most effective way to invest is through an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
Fees are typically lower than other investment products, and you have the flexibility of buying and selling shares any time the market is open. Note that this differs from mutual funds, which only trade once a day, after the market closes.
ETFs are often designed to attract investors with specific goals, so it is wise to examine several options before making a final decision. For example, if you are bullish on the dollar, the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) could be a good match, while the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bearish Fund (UDN) may be a better choice if you are bearish on the dollar.
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