Did you know that transactions between crypto-currencies are not re-portable by the exchanges in which they are held. The 1099-K is deliberately erroneous so that people will mistakenly include the information on their Form 1040 and then be subject to paying taxes on property that was not subject to the tax. It’s not because of a law, it’s because of how people are mistakenly reporting information on their 1040 that creates the tax situation.
There is no income tax between crypo-graphic currency exchanges; however,the IRS is mis-applying the “backup withholding” provisions under 26 U.S.C. §3406 to force the exchanges to sell 31% of the dollar value of your crypto holdings and pay it to the IRS unless you request a determination letter and file a current W-9 Certification. This is specific to personal accounts at the exchanges, not business accounts such as LLCs that do not file returns.
Why do you request a determination letter? Because backup withholding applies only to “re-portable payments”. Re-portable payments are only payments of interest or dividends in U.S. Dollars. Trading between crypto-currencies has nothing to do with receiving payments from interest or dividends. The IRS is doing this to escape the normal tax assessment procedures that would allow people to scrutinize what is being done and you will not find any accountant or attorney who understands this well enough to correct it.
How do you request a determination letter? You must request a determination from the Secretary and it must be in a particular format as described in the most recent IRS Revenue Procedures Manual. I’m not trying to be cryptic here, but the language of the request is fairly technical and specific to 26 U.S.C. §3406 and 26 C.F.R. §31.3406(a)-1. I’ve used this process for nearly 20 years and it is very effective.
This works whether or not you are using the limited liability company and Blockchain Tax Immunity Trust or not. Everyone who is filing a 1040 and receives a 1099-K reported in his or her name and his or her social security number or EIN can use this process to eliminate any taxes resulting from the amounts reported on the 1099-K. One request will need to be made with regard to each 1099-K.
This needs to be corrected immediately, do not try to use the falling prices of crypto-currencies to claim losses with the IRS because you will be on the hook for taxes as the currencies increase in price against the dollar. Don’t play this game, correct it now or it could cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When people begin receiving 1099-K forms from their crypto-exchange accounts, for crypto trades that did not involve selling cryptos for dollars, all hell is going to break lose. They will probably, and mistakenly, report the information on their tax returns because they don’t know any better, or ask a CPA or attorney for advice, who will mistakenly tell them to report the amounts on their tax returns. This report pertains only to people who have personal accounts on the crypto-exchanges, and does not apply to tax deferred limited liability companies and those using the Blockchain Tax Immunity Trust.
There is no tax liability for trading crypto-currencies for other crypto-currencies; however, if you can be tricked into reporting what you believe to be taxable income on your tax return, then it becomes taxable.
If you want to keep your money, and legally avoid the taxes, you must EXclude the 1099-K information from your tax return and send the exchange an updated Form W-9 certifying the correctness of your social security number and that you are not subject to backup withholding for the most recent tax period. Additionally, you must request a determination letter from the Secretary regarding the issue of backup withholding. This is where almost no tax professional will understand what to do, including attorneys.
You must have filed your tax return for the same period, and filed a current Form W-9 with the exchange, retaining a copy for yourself and have kept a copy of the Form 1099-K from each exchange. These documents must be sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, to each of three mailing addresses, via certified mail, along with a properly written request for determination letter. You cannot simply send a letter to the IRS or to the exchange claiming that the Form 1099-K is incorrect, this will be ignored. You must use the proper administrative procedure, as published by the IRS, and request a determination as to backup withholding. This will allow you to exclude the Form 1099-K data from your tax return, minus the amounts of cash you took in your own name.
Please follow this blog for updates and information. You should expect a Form 1099-K from each exchange before January 31, 2019; and in response, you will need to prepare and send one request for determination letter for each.
The following is the legal analysis for the reason why no taxes are owed, but I must caution you that simply using this analysis in some kind of protest letter will do nothing, it must be part of a six-page request for determination letter as instructed within the Internal Revenue Bulletin.
STATEMENT OF LAW: The law is certain and unambiguous. Please be advised that 26 C.F.R. §1.1471-1through 7 is defined as: “Reportable payment” to mean,“The term reportable payment means a payment of interest or dividends (as defined in section 3406(b)(2)) and other reportable payments (as defined in section 3406(b)(3)).”
ANALYSIS: The 1099-K incorrectly reports dollar amounts that were not remitted or distributed to the payee as stated on the form. The payor has retained ownership of the underlying property (amounts erroneously reported as payments in dollars on Form 1099-K) and never dispersed any payments to the payee, other than those reported on the payee’s filed tax form or statement (i.e. Form 1040). The “taxpayer”herein was not the “payee” of any interest, dividends or other re-portable amounts identified under 26 U.S.C. §3406(b)(3). Additionally, the dollar amounts erroneously stated on the disputed Form 1099-K do not represent dollars paid to the payee (settled transactions) and do not identify any amounts of interest or dividends paid to the payee and therefore, are not subject to backup withholding.
Specifically,“other re-portable payments” as they relate to this transaction,are identified in 26 C.F.R. §31.3406(b)(3)-5(a)“Payment card and third party network transactions subject to backup withholding.”
26 U.S. Code § 6050W(c) identifies a “reportable payment transaction”to mean “any payment card transaction and any third party network transaction”, and as it pertains to the transaction herein, Form 1099-K, “The term third party network transaction means any transaction which is settled through a third party payment network.” Assuming for a moment that the reporting party (payor) is a third party payment network, the dollar amounts stated on the pertinent Form 1099-K were never “settled transactions” within the meaning of the regulation and the dollar amounts stated on the Form 1099-K are incorrect. No payments were made to the “payee” as erroneously stated on the disputed Form 1099-K.
CONCLUSION: I am not subject to backup withholding for the period ending December 31,2018.
Imagine for a moment that we had a taxing framework and did impose taxes upon the use and ownership of crypto-graphic currency. As all income tax systems operate, anywhere in the world, the taxpayer is the owner of the thing being taxed. We all understand very well that if we don’t own it, we don’t owe taxes on it. Even sales taxes are imposed upon retailers, not the actual customer. Itemizing the business expense of sales taxes on your receipt is a trick to make it appear as if the customer is paying the sales tax when in fact it is the retailer. The same is true of crypto-graphic currency. The owner of the currency in a central exchange such as Coinbase, is the taxpayer. If you don’t already know how the software for crypto-graphic currency functions, there is a blockchain, a ledger that keeps track of all transactions, a “mining” operation which is software that produces the units of currency or tokens through mathematical calculations, and then we have the actual unit of the currency, the “coins” that are held in wallets, individual databases where this data is stored for use. The individual units of the currency are controlled by keys, or lengthy codes that come in two parts. One part is the public key that allows anyone to see the value of the wallet or key and then the private key which is only known by the owner of the wallet or coin and which is used to “spend” or transfer the currency. The owner of the private key of a crypto-graphic currency is the owner of the currency.
In the case of central exchanges, the exchange is the owner of all of the private keys. Even if some tax was imposed on exchanges between currencies, the taxpayer would be the owner, or the central exchange, not the user such as the account holder, or the exchange customer (people using the exchange). This tells the whole story, and all the misleading news articles just play upon our lack of knowledge.
In the situation where the exchange owns the private keys for your wallet, we have a trust relationship. The customer is the grantor and the exchange is the trustee who owes the private keys back to the grantor on demand. The trust collapses at the point that the currency is transferred away from the exchange and into private keys held by the customer. The way to have this properly recognized, for example in a tax audit, is to declare the existence of the trust within a written declaration of trust.
Lacking this understanding, you’re probably setting yourself up to pay way too much in taxes from crypto exchanges because of all the misleading statements in recent articles published by mainstream periodicals and their attorneys. There has to be a specific taxing statute, and taxable activity and rate in the statute, and then the agency must have promulgated a regulation to implement this specific taxing statute.
Because people don’t understand the law, they report items that are not required to be reported and because the tax return is signed under penalties of perjury, the IRS just accepts that you are telling the truth and what was not taxable before, becomes taxable because it was reported incorrectly. For example, because people don’t read the definitions, nor do tax professionals, they act as though their business is a “trade or business”; however, the statute under Title 26 section 7701 defines “trade or business” as “the performance of the functions of a public office”. If you’re a Congressman, agency employee or federal judge, you’re involved in a taxable trade or business, but if you’re a plumber, you are not.
That is how the system works, and your accountants and attorneys help you make those mistakes. Here is an easy way to understand this one aspect being described in the news lately. It pertains to one word being added to limit the application of “1031 exchanges” to only “real property” and not just any property. If you sold real estate and made a profit, it was taxable unless you bought another similar property within so many days. If you took your taxable profits and bought another “like” property, you qualified for the “1031 exemption”. You went from property to “dollars” back to another like property. There is no such thing as a “crypto-exchange of like cryptos”. Adding the word “real” to the statute did not create a whole new legal framework that now imposes taxes on crypto-currencies of any kind or in any way.
This change simply limits the exemption to “real” property. Property has always been taxable to the extent that a gain is realized by a taxpayer. Here is an example you can ask any tax professional. “Does a taxpayer incur a tax debt when he buys gold, which is property?” “Does a taxpayer have a tax liability if he trades his gold for silver?” Or, “does a taxpayer have a tax liability when he sells his gold for dollars?” What if I exchange my gold bullion for gold coins? It’s the same question, and same answer.
In the cryptographic currency example, going from one crypto to another does not involve first going back into “dollars”, so this is a completely different situation, assuming it’s even taxable in the first place. Stay out of fiat, reinvest, and, even if you would personally have a taxable event, use a tax deferred structure such as an LLC in the states and use its EIN and not your name and SSN and you can defer the fiat tax liability, assuming there will ever be one. It can be deferred forever if you plan it correctly.
Even if there were eventually a taxing statute and regulation imposing a tax in a crypto currency, one or all, how would you pay the tax, in crypto? A taxing statute and its regulation would specifically apply to a taxable activity, and it would specify a rate along with the type, kind or class of tax. There is no such statute or regulation at this time. Even if there were, you could never pay the tax in the crypto-currency. It just isn’t taxable, anymore than words can be taxed, or taxing the use of words, no such thing, and no such tax on cryptos.This tax myth is based upon incorrect premises, read the statutes and regulations. I know that some people have good intentions, but everyone should really do some research first, and don’t just rely on a tax attorney or accountant as those are just agents of the system to get you to buy into the false premises.
True story: In the early nineties, my first debt collection case assigned to me by my partner involved a flower farmer who had spent 35 years building up an incredible seasonal flower farm business. When I got the case, the IRS and bankruptcy trustee were tagging every item in his home, his farm and had taken all of his equipment and vehicles. He only filed bankruptcy because he thought he could deal with the IRS better that way, but it just made it easier for them to take his property. After a few months of collecting facts in the case and corresponding with the IRS and different offices, I discovered that the IRS had been taxing this flower farmer for “manufacturing surface coal mines”. This is actually a crime, so I filed a formal report of my findings to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It wasn’t 30 days later that my fax machine (remember this was back in the nineties) began spitting out page after page my client was sending, of notices from the IRS, releasing every lien and levy it had and returning all of his property. The IRS vanished and he never had another problem again. That’s when I began to realize what kind of a racket these pirates have been perpetrating. It should make you wonder about cryptos, because I can tell you from additional research I had done following that case, that the IRS is taxing people under Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, for activities involving the manufacture of alcohol, tobacco products and firearms and related industrial activities such as mining.
Don’t be so quick to believe that there is some “new law” or “new rule” just because Forbes published an article with lots of misleading and erroneous conclusions. Adding a word to a statute does not create an entirely new taxing statute, or class of tax. The next thing we’ll probably discover is that the taxing authorities want to tax our brilliant, million-dollar ideas, before we even write them down on paper or make any money with them.
Why do you believe that because the IRS changed its “1031 exchange” definition from “property” to “real property”, that it somehow imposes a new tax on crypto-graphic currency? There is no tax on crypto-graphic currency, assets, coins or tokens. However, the centralized exchanges have now been forced to help create the illusion that you owe taxes by producing income reports, such as the “1099”. Your accountant will dutifully include these reports in your tax return, and that is when the “income” becomes taxable, but only because you said under penalties of perjury that the income was taxable. What is being taxed is your gain in the dollar and the presumption is that the 1099 shows you had taxable gains. Even though the burden of proof is now in the IRS, you are reporting under penalties of perjury. Maybe you figured out how to report a loss because maybe you had a net loss from “cryptos”. Wouldn’t you rather avoid the issue altogether, get your money when you want it, and then deal with any tax issues on terms that you normally do, so any gains have nothing to do with cryptos? How about deferring any taxes, even if you do have a taxable gain, into the future for as long as you want?
The exchange is already acting as a trustee by virtue of it holding your private keys. Let me show you what I’ve been doing for 25 years and how we can use this trust association to maintain the correct accounting and avoid any tax situation. I created a special purpose trust in order to solve and prevent any tax problem for those who are still using the centralized crypto-currency exchanges, such as Coinbase. There is no reason to incur any tax liability when using these exchanges; however, it appears that most people don’t understand how to set up their accounts and simply do the same thing they are used to doing with banking. The purpose of this trust is to provide a traditional solution to what might be a new tax situation.
Each blockchain based coin, token or asset can operate in a trust relationship because the nature of the blockchain is an association of computing devices networked together and managed by people. Changes to the manner in which the blockchain operates cannot be changed by a single beneficiary and there must be a consensus with network managers for any changes to take place. The blockchain is already performing the same functions as a trustee because it is a distributed ledger, giving access to the ledger in a real-time basis. This is the perfect organization to function as a trustee; likewise, no law requires anyone using these coins or tokens to do so in his individual capacity. First, control over the asset is already given up because of the system architecture of the blockchain. Second, ownership is already maintained by virtue of the exchange owning your private keys. The public and private keys operate like trust certificates.
You can do your own research, but I just wanted to make this point. Some of you incorrectly believe that “gains” between cryptos are taxable. Let’s use the example of moving “your” Bitcoin from Coinbase to another centralized exchange such as Kraken. And let’s say you funded your Coinbase account with $1,000 of after-tax currency (USD). Assuming your principal doubled in value for example, you send $2,000 worth of Bitcoin to your Kraken exchange account to buy Litecoin (or even more Bitcoin for that matter). Now, let’s act as if there is a taxable gain here and we arrive at the end of the tax period with this gain. The owner of the private key is the de facto trustee, being that you are the grantor who funded the account, and it is the trustee in this situation which has realized the gain. If it is in fact taxable, then the trustee must report to the IRS and remit the proper tax payment. Remember, this is before going back into fiat dollars. This is a very easy test to demonstrate why exchanges between crypto-graphic currencies, tokens or other assets is not taxable. Let’s say you, the grantor in this example, then move your $2,000 worth of Bitcoin back into your dollar account at the bank. There is a presumption of an income tax liability. If the correct accounting were reported, you would have a tax on your gain of $1,000; likewise, if your $1,000 was reduced by 50% because the dollar price of Bitcoin fell, you would be able to claim a loss and maybe even qualify for a deduction, in dollars. Why? Because you received a disbursement from the trust, which is taxable. This is nothing new, like I’ve explained before, the tax has always been there since we began taxing profits and gains, there is no new law needed to collect taxes from crypto-currencies. The tax falls on gains earned from buying low in dollars and selling high in dollars.
Let’s talk details. The trust relationship I set up here is irrevocable. It is a trust relationship that is not incorporated and does not derive its existence or function from any statute or legislative enactment. It is simply a business trust organization that is managed for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries and for the purpose of earning profit and gain. By definition, this is a structure that is not merely exempt from taxation, it is immune.
The trust is formed inside of the operating agreement written for a limited liability company (LLC). The LLC is the beneficiary and its members act as the trustor or creator of the trust when they contribute or exchange their fiat currency for a blockchain based asset. The trust is introduced into the operating agreement as a clause that defines a specific class of property to be managed by the LLC and the manner in which it will be managed. The operating agreement must be amended to include the specific terms and include the Blockchain Tax Immunity Trust into the agreement. This has the same force and effect as enacting a law. The trust provision in the LLC becomes the law of the business and creates two layers of protection, one given by the trust relationship and another given by the manner in which a properly written operating agreement provides protection against charging orders (writs of attachment), tax deferment and pass through attributes for property rights.
The trust does not require any tax identification number (EIN, etc.) and does not require any bank account. You continue using your same exchange accounts and with this structure, you open a new bank account for the LLC to act as beneficiary for the trust. You then fund this account to purchase crypto-graphic coins, tokens and other assets, but maintain those assets as a managing member for the beneficiary. You can even move your crypto-graphic holdings from your personal wallet to the beneficiary’s wallet. Any tax reports, such as a 1099, are then made in the name of the beneficiary with its tax number. Because the beneficiary is a tax deferred structure, neither the IRS nor any state look to it for the payment of a tax. And because the intent of the trust is to make a profit from this activity, the trustee is not subject to any tax either. Can you imagine the IRS trying to audit the blockchain? It’s already audited, every moment, in real time. Can you imagine the IRS expecting the blockchain to file a tax return? It’s not subject to any taxes, at the very least, because it is the trustee for an irrevocable business trust organized for the benefit of beneficiaries for the purpose of earning profits and gains. By definition, it’s not taxable. The only situation in which a managing member would cause a taxable event, would be if he reached a consensus with the other managing members under the operating agreement, to disburse fiat currency from the beneficiary to himself, in his personal, individual capacity. Of course this is entirely unnecessary and can easily be avoided.
If you already have an LLC that you can or are using with an exchange, I will need to see a copy so that I can make the appropriate amendments. If you don’t have an LLC and want to easily avoid a taxing situation with an exchange, I can register an LLC for you in the appropriate jurisdiction. If you’re in California, I prefer to avoid that state if at all possible. Once we have your new LLC in place, I will provide you the documents you need in order to open its bank account so we can then include the property classification and trust clause, and then I will be able to provide you with a completed Blockchain Tax Immunity Trust.
To order your Blockchain Tax Immunity Trust, send an image of your check payment, or check information including the name of the account holder, check number, amount of $275, bank account and routing numbers from the bottom of the check, to my secure email account firstname.lastname@example.org or via Skype to my ID “johnjaysingleton”. The payee is “Georgia Capital, LLC”. Be sure to obtain confirmation from me before sending via Skype so that we know you have the correct one. If you also need a limited liability company because you are not already using one, include an additional $497 plus state fees with the amount in your check. If you don’t know your state fees, just ask via email or Skype.
Boyle sent a notice to King George III by way of a captured merchant vessel that he had released for the purpose. The notice, he commanded, was to be posted on the door of Lloyd’s of London, the shipping underwriters. In it he declared that the entire British Isles were under naval blockade by Chasseur alone. This affront sent the shipping community into panic and caused the Admiralty to call vessels home from the American war to guard merchant ships which had to sail in convoys. In all, Chasseur captured or sank 17 vessels before returning home.
On February 26, 1815, just off Havana, Chasseur took HMS St Lawrence. Chasseur carried 14 guns and 102 men, while St Lawrence carried 13 guns and 76 men. The intense action lasted only about 15 minutes, during which St Lawrence suffered six men killed and 17 wounded, several of them mortally. (According to American accounts, the English had 15 killed and 25 wounded.) Chasseur had five killed and eight wounded, including her captain. Both vessels were badly damaged. Captain Boyle, of Chasseur, made a cartel of St Lawrence and sent her and her crew into Havana as his prize.
LM. Schr. 356 T. 115.6, 26.8, 12.9, B: Balto. 1812, 52 M. 2 long 12s, 8-12pd car. C: Pearl Durkee, L: John Ross, 0: John Hollins, John Smith Hollins & William Hollins, & Michael McBlair. Com. 2/23/13. Mutiny prevented voyage. P. 148 M. 6 long 12s, 8—12pd car. C: Wm. Wade, L: Chris. Bartling, 0: George J. Brown, John Clem, John Craig, Jesse Eichelberger, John Franciscus, Lyde Goodwin, John Smith Hollins, Ferdinand Hurxthal, Thos. Kemp, C. Newhouse, Wm. Penniman, C. Raborg, Nicholas Stansbury, Jeremiah Sullivan, Christian Keller, Francis Foreman, Thos. Shepherd. Com. 12/24/13, P. 150 M. 16 long 12s, C: Thos. Boyle, L: John Dieter, 0: Some of the same, plus Boyle. Com. 6/19/14 ( New York)
Most people live out their lives and never buy any assets. I think this may be attributed to people getting their basic costs of living needs met with a job and saving some money, such as in pension fund. A house in which you live is not an asset, but a house that you own and rent out to a tenant can be an asset. If managed properly, it will pay you a regular income, that is an asset. Your car is not an asset, but a collection of antique cars that people pay admission to come and see may be an asset, or a fleet of taxis that you lease out to taxi drivers may be an asset. Just because you can sell something does not make it an asset. An asset provides regular income for the asset holder, hopefully it is positive income (profit). By implication, everything else is a liability.
Yes, that work of art you bought at the auction for $7,500 and had appraised for $10,000 is still a liability because it’s not generating regular cash flow, good job on buying low however. Owning assets or the rights to cash flow from assets is how you acquire and build a net worth. While most people know how to acquire long term debts for college, homes and cars, they have no clue about buying assets. If you create a scale on buying assets, the best assets are those for which you have no liabilities for ownership, but derive the benefits from the cash flow, and make infinite returns. That means none of your own “cash in”, but you get “cash out”, profit. These are the kinds of deals I like the best and it’s becoming easier and easier as we have developments such as the Internet and blockchain and cryptographic currency. That’s at one end of the scale.
At the other end would be something like, you get an option on a commercial real estate site, and draw in capital from investors, develop some retail space and begin making 7% on your money in about 5 years. It’s still an asset, and might be worth more cash than the infinite returns deal, or maybe not. Every deal is different. But how would the average person who has never bought an asset or never really considered this subject until now, go about “acquiring” assets?
First, you need a way to own the asset, or manage the cash flow, or hold title to whatever it is you want to buy. I’ll start with something that most of us can relate to, let’s buy that coin operated car wash in our town. That is very close to a commercial real estate deal, but without the commercial lease agreement, presumably, and without employees, these are my specifications for this example, especially if you are just getting started. The car wash is actually a real estate deal and those have publicly recorded titles, so you would use a corporation to receive the conveyance of the title as part of the sale.
Second, if you don’t already know what you want, you have to go shopping. Either you can do this yourself, or through a broker or some other agent that can help you find the deal or deals you want, where you want them.
Third, you need to be able to make an offer, it should be in writing, but this is not required.
Fourth, you should always look for financing, even if you pay cash, you will still want financing at some point so you can make the best returns on your money. Here is where many people run into a brick wall. They either believe they don’t have enough money or cannot get the financing because of their personal credit score. What most people don’t know is that most of these types of deals for example (the car wash) are not usually done with personal credit or lots of cash.
Imagine buying an asset, such as retail zoned real estate in your town, on credit and with little or no cash of your own. Yes, it can be done, and once you see how this works, you will want to do this all the time even if you have enough cash to just buy the property without any financing. Always risk the least amount of your own cash on a new deal.
Let’s take a closer look at financing the purchase of an asset. First of all, you are buying an asset on credit, much easier than buying a liability based upon the fact that you have a job (such as your home). The first consideration for lending should always be with the seller. Ask yourself, if the seller is selling his asset, something that is paying him on a regular basis, why is he doing that? This information comes from a discussion with the actual seller, not his agent. Let’s say he has a good reason for selling, and that the asset is really a good deal, the seller should be willing to “bet on himself” or the “profitability of what he’s wanting to sell you” by financing it to you. But maybe there are so many buyers that he won’t consider it, this is an important consideration.
The second consideration in getting financing is to understand that the collateral for the financing is the asset you are buying, it should be paying for itself. It’s not like you are buying a house and your ability to make payments depends upon you keeping your job. It’s a much better financing situation to buy a business than to buy a home. Remember that I explained previously, an asset can be owning the thing that pays you, or it can be the actual cash flow coming from the asset, whether or not you hold the title. In fact, it makes more sense to buy a business or two and use that money to offset the purchase of a home or finance a liability.
Let’s say our car wash generates $50,000 of gross income annually, and let’s say that a fair asking price is $50,000, the asset’s annual income, and this assumes that the real estate comes with the business, same owner (doesn’t have to be though). You may never find a deal like this, but I’m only using this as an example. Estimate your financing based upon a short term debt, such as 3 to 7 years. And let’s just be optimistic that the seller is so excited about financing this deal that he’ll be jumping for joy upon receiving your offer.
It’s already generating a monthly income of $50,000 / 12. You will want your monthly payments to be a fraction of this amount, after all, you want positive cash flow and you still have to factor in operating costs (taxes, insurance, materials, supplies, maintenance, etc.) If your monthly gross is $4,166, structure your financing for one-third of this, or $1,388 and get a three year note. You’ll have some wiggle room for the interest rate by doing it this way.
There are several ways of managing the title during this transaction, the easiest one is likely to be with an exclusive options contract where the seller gives you (or sells you) an option to buy (take the title) at some point during the life of the note, or upon full payment of the note. Let’s say the seller of your local car wash agrees to sell you his car wash, under the provisions of an options contract in which you take the title after the note is paid in full, three years from now. Within 30 days of the closing, you will be keeping about 2/3 of the $4,166 or $2,777. This will be your new income, and you didn’t have to go begging to the bank or use your personal credit. Instead, you would have probably had to show the seller that you had solvency in a company, which only takes a few months to establish.
I’ve just described a very simple and boring transaction that created nearly $3,000 a month in new income for you. Let’s step back for a moment and talk to all of you who believe you would never get “owner financing” for a moment. If the seller won’t carry a note, maybe there are others whose business it is to only carry notes? Yes, of course there are. You would then need to find a third party lender, and in some cases you might prefer this. If the seller insists on doing it this way, then he will need to transfer the title at the closing. Or, maybe the seller will finance it (second position) if your lender contributes 25% to 50% of the purchase price, there are many options.
In this case, the title holder will be your company, that will have shown its solvency to the eventual note holder or lender. You don’t want to be the personal guarantor on this, where your personal credit is being used. These deals can always be done using the company’s credit, even if this is the first asset being acquired by the company.
Who would hold a note on commercial real estate with a history of positive annual cash flow of $50,000? You will find many lenders for this. I would suggest that your best options do not include any traditional banking organizations. You want to look for cash or hard money lenders, let those organizations source the lender for the loan they are giving you, that’s how it works. Where would you find these? I would start with a business broker, maybe it’s the same broker who helped you find the deal. He or she can probably connect you with real loan money, hard money, again, not bank “funny money”. I use the term “funny money” because you don’t want to get tied up in loan contracts with the evil banking system since you are not in that business, let someone else do that, you get a hard money loan and let that lender deal with financing of his loan portfolio.
You might also find equity financing, that is, someone with cash who doesn’t want to be a lender, but wants a share in the business, in the equity of the deal. These are also very good ways to get financing, just write your contract so that your equity partner has a clear exit strategy or includes a buy-out clause so the deal has the most flexibility for everyone. I would not suggest selling actual shares or even advertising for the sale of shares; rather, I would look for a partner who brings cash to the table and his rights and interests are expressed in an operating agreement and or a joint venture contract. You don’t want to be under the purview of selling securities; however, once you become a little more sophisticated, you may want to look into “Reg D financing”, I’ll save that for another article.
Notice that so far, I haven’t mentioned anything about writing a business plan or a marketing plan, or even a financing plan. These are important and you should have them, but don’t let not having them prevent you from moving forward. Like I’ve explained, you want to show solvency in the business. You can do this with a balance sheet and income statement. Once you form the company, have a bookkeeper create your balance sheet and income statement, even if you show only the $100 you used to open its bank account, that is where you begin. The next step may simply be you depositing an additional $100 a week or month into the business bank account as a contribution for your interest in the company. This creates a record of regular cash flow, it doesn’t have to be millions of dollars, just regular.
Consider additional ways to create funding, such as grant money. I would start with finding a grant writer to prepare a grant application and then shop it around for a grant. It doesn’t have to be substantial, just get one grant and it will do wonders for your future ability to attract more capital. Along with finding a grant writer, contact the Small Business Administration to review what is required for a grant application, just so that you know, even though your grant writer will be working you through that process. The SBA is not the only place to get grants, that’s why I suggest starting with the grant writer, and a grant broker, but only use the SBA as just one possible source and a way to learn about the process.
Grants.gov is also good place to start when looking for grants. There are professional grant services such as eCivis, Inc. This one provides a suite of Web-based software applications, along with grant-writing and grant-management services. Grants.gov is the federal government’s e-portal for 26 grant-making agencies. The website is a central storehouse for information on more than 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. You may also want to get a copy of Grant Writing for Dummies, 4th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2011).
You may also find that getting a short term loan from the SBA would be beneficial in getting your venture going faster. Remember that you want the business to get the financing, not you personally, never disclose your personal credit information for a business loan, but before you look at getting a business loan from the SBA or bank, you will need to create, not only a balance sheet and income statement, but a real business credit file with Dunn & Bradstreet. There are many services that can help you do this, even some that guarantee a certain amount of unsecured credit within a short period, such as six months. That should be one of the things you do in the first year, and before you submit any traditional loan applications. I’ll discuss this along with business brokers in more detail.
The SBA is a good source, but don’t overlook state and local sources for grants. It will be useful to consider the economic development office of the state, county and city in which your business operates. These grants are often less restrictive than federal government grants and it is likely there is less competition.
Another good source for small business loans would be a company called Start Up Nation, at https://startupnation.com/. Let’s review the process of setting up business credit before we go any further. I didn’t want you to think that your only financing source depends upon a high credit score, I’d rather you think of it as just another tool. I’ve done many lucrative projects with no credit whatsoever, so don’t let this prevent you from getting the assets you want.
Once you have a corporation registered, you want to be sure it has a business location as its address, maybe it’s a virtual office space or maybe it’s your barber shop because your friend works there and his boss doesn’t care if you use his address as yours for a short time, or you really do have a business location for the company address, not just a mail box. You can also use a mail box, but your main address should be a business location. The next step is to get that business information listed in the 411 directory, this can be done online and there are specific instructions to help you.
If you can be patient, you should receive a letter from Dunn & Bradstreet within about 60 days of registering on the 411 directory, welcoming you to the service and giving you an account number. The objective here is to sell you business services, and these are not required in order to get a business credit file, even though you might find some useful. I don’t recommend turning down D&B offers for services, instead, just explain that you have to discuss them with your partner and ask for additional information and explain you will call back. In the meantime, you will have a D&B account with no credit score. D&B is actively looking for new businesses and once you get on its radar, it will create an account for you. The next move is yours, as you will eventually need a credit score. That takes a little more planning and you have to understand some basic concepts.
You will need four “net 30” accounts, there are were you buy supplies for example, on store credit and pay the bill when it arrives. You don’t need 5 or 6 and 2 or 3 would not be enough. The trick is to buy things you already need, such as office supplies, and be sure that the retailer reports to your business credit file and never use your personal credit information to obtain the store credit with the retailer. Sometimes you have to call a different office or search online to get the actual business application that does not require any personal guarantee, never settle for being the guarantor, ever. Next, pay the bill immediately, don’t wait for the full term, in fact, you may want to call in advance of receiving the bill and pay within 5 days of using the credit. This will result in a D&B creating an actual credit score for your business’s use of credit. The scores range from 0 to 100, and your first score may be above 90. A higher score is not better. You want a score that shows you are able to use debt and manage the business properly, so that score would be around 75 – 80. The more debt you have and the better your balance is, the more creditworthy your company becomes. It’s because your company is using debt to increase it’s net worth. People can’t do this because typically consumer loans are based upon limited income, wages, and those don’t go up with more debt.
The next step is to take unsecured loans for about $20,000 to $50,000 within the first six months of starting your business credit profile. It’s important that the lender reports these accounts to your D&B file, you must confirm each time, do not assume. Once you do that, it’s then just a matter of managing your company, but again, you should be able to obtain financing just by thinking through a deal and not be totally dependent upon asking an institution or bank per se.
I mentioned a business broker earlier. What can a business broker do for you? If you are new to this “business” of buying assets, it’s best to start with a business broker. Tell him what you want, what you are looking for and ask what will be needed in terms of your company’s financial records, in order for the seller to even consider your offer. This will be such a great education, better than taking on huge student loans to get your MBA.
I talked with an MBA student one time. She said she was studying how Star Bucks runs its business, so I asked her how it does. She could not answer me. What’s more, I asked her the general question, how would she create a corporation, the main tool of business. She couldn’t tell me. So I suggested that if she really wanted to know how a business operated, including Star Bucks for example, that she get together with her classmates and form a corporation and then get into a licensing deal with Star Bucks (which is how that works by the way, no franchises). I think she was mortified at the thought, but this is my point, it’s not difficult and if you’re going to study it, you should do it, that’s the best way. I remember presenting a thesis to my college professor about how it would be a good business to teach elementary school children how to do high school algebra. I thought I was so smart, so I was surprised when she wasn’t that impressed after reading it and suggested that I actually go out and do it. So I did, and I made lots of money, and then she was impressed.
Business brokers will help you with pricing the business with a professional valuation and then drafting an offering summary, sometimes called a confidential business review. This piece becomes one of the most important marketing tools for the offering, and is provided to prospects only after they have signed a confidentiality agreement and been qualified by the broker.
Marketing the business to the widest possible audience while maintaining strict confidentiality. This is one of the important distinguishing differences between business brokers and real estate agents. Real estate agents put a sign in front of their properties and typically without the need for confidentiality, advertise widely the specific location. Business brokers are trained to maintain strict confidentiality. When you contact the broker, he will research his database for the deal that works for what you want.
Your broker will also facilitate meetings between you and the seller. When it’s time, he can also writing an offer to purchase the business and be involved in negotiating between both parties. Your broker can work for and represent only you, or work for both parties, it depends on the contract. Either way, he can also facilitated the due diligence investigation, as most offers to purchase are made contingent upon a due diligence finding. And as I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, your broker can assist you in obtaining financing. He may not be as creative as what I’ve described in this article, but that is your job after all. Your broker can help you through the entire deal, even scheduling and facilitating the closing of the transaction. This article would not be complete with at least a brief review of crowd funding.
This is a way to get funding from a large number of people who like your idea, but may not necessarily know much about business or being a lender for profit. Crowd funding allows the average person to benefit from your ideas with low risk and avoids the need to sell securities or do any public offering.
While you may have planned a marketing and advertising campaign for selling your actual product, you will need a marketing and advertising campaigning to raise money through crowd funding. The idea of “its not what you do, but why you do it,” really hits home here. By focusing on a bigger purpose, the driving force behind a brand, project creators will be able to create a unique community of like-minded individuals. Each campaign is set for a goal amount of money and a fixed number of days. Once the project is launched, each day will be counted down and the money raised will be tallied up for visitors to follow its success.
Instead of traditional investors, crowdfunding campaigns are funded by the general public. Typically, most successful startup fundraising efforts receive about 25-40% of their revenue from their first, second and third degree of connections. This could include friends, family, work acquaintances, or anyone that the owner is connected to, including their second and third degree connections. Once a project has seen some traction, unrelated consumers start coming out of the woodwork to support campaigns they believe in, but you must have a story that appeals to people, such as for the car wash, your business is involved in developing the community (sounds lame, but you get the idea). You may want to launch the campaign with pre-arranged contributions that are made immediately with the launch.
This is a very cursory review of how to buy assets, but the references should really help you get a better view of how it’s done and hopefully, why you should buy assets, at least one new asset a year.
Over the last 25 years I’ve been providing clients, friends, partners and subscribers with little pieces of the whole picture on how to live well without using any social security number. Now I realize that some of you are committed by having disclosed or associated a social security number with, at least, a driver license or professional license. The same is true of myself; however, I’m going to show you how to live well without associating a social security number that was assigned to your legal name. This will especially apply to my anticipated following of the “GenZ” or “iGen” demographic, people born between 2000 and possibly 2025. I know this time period may change somewhat, won’t matter. Let’s understand a few things about this social security number scheme. It’s a Nazi system of numbering people, it was described in the Bible, and so what. It was dredged up into our legal system by Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’s wife, during his term as president. If you read your history well enough, you’ll discover that FDR was responsible for “The New Deal”. It was a collection of congressional acts, executive orders and federal regulations that re-organized the bankruptcy of the United States under Title 5 USC §552(a), otherwise known by two names, The Government Reorganization Plan or by the Administrative Procedures Act. I’ll leave the why and how for a later time, let’s focus on this numbering scheme.
First, no law requires anyone to obtain or use a social security number as a condition of living, working or even voting in any of the fifty states or the United States. If I can believe my congressman’s written word, I have a list of many letters from congressman over the last thirty years who have so stated.
Secondly, even if you have one, you are not required to disclose it, even on a tax return. This is very clear in 26 CFR Part 301.6109-1(c) “Identifying Numbers”. It states that only someone paying you must ask for the number. How many times have you been asked for a social security number when you are paying the one requesting? Federal regulations apply to federal agencies, not people, but this regulation only requires an officer, employee or elected official of the federal agency to request the number. It does not require anyone to actually disclose a social security number, even you are asking for federal benefits (Privacy Act of 1974). If the employee is going to pay you and you refuse to give the number, the regulation requires the employee to lie to you and tell you that disclosure is required. If you still refuse, the employee is then required to submit an affidavit so stating along with whatever forms on which your social security number was going to be reported.
Third, the social security number applies to officers, employees and elected officials of the United States; however, some of the states’ legislatures passed laws requiring the disclosure of the number for state privileges such as getting a driver license. I’m not sure if the Supreme Court would have upheld this or if anyone has ever challenged it, but it is not embedded into our society. Its use has become so pervasive that to stop using it literally requires a series of lifestyle changes, the degree of which depends on how much you want to rid yourself and your life of this fraudulent scheme. Let me tell you a bit more, just to get the blood pressure up if it’s not already. The fact that you are using this government number and associating with what you do throughout your life, allows a handful of elite individuals and organizations to move billions of dollars in the form of securities through your social security account everyday, and enables bond holders to name you as the guarantor and collateral on debts and security they create for their own profit. Yes, you are a slave if you are associating this tax number with what you do throughout your lifetime and if you got your children a social security number and claim them as a deduction on your tax return, you’ve done the same to them before they were even of legal age. It’s a form of human trafficking.
The number itself is 9 digits; therefore, there are 10 combinations per digit, for a total of 10 to the 9th exponent of combinations, or 1,000,000,0000 (a billion) combinations. The program began in 1933 or 1934 and apparently, no number is permitted to be issued more than once. We now have one-third of a billion people living in the United States and easily that many social security numbers being used by everyone, except a few people like myself. Go back 40 years and that’s another one-third of a billion numbers being used. Then consider how many 9 digit tax numbers have been assigned to illegal aliens, trusts, corporations, estates, etc. We are well beyond over a billion numbers in use, not to mention that blocks of them cannot be used as they are reserved for government purposes.
The way the IRS and Social Security Administration avoid confusing files as they are indexed by social security or EIN or TINs, is to use the first four letters of a taxpayer’s last name and concatenate them onto the end of his SSN. For example, William B. Smith’s SSN is 666-00-1234, so his individual master file at the IRS would be 666-00-1234SMIT, a total number of combinations equal to 10 to the 9th power times 26 to the 4th power, problem solved.
I believe the best way to explain how to live well without a social security number is to give you actual case examples of how I’ve done it and how I’ve helped others do it. In my case, it’s plenary, including every aspect of my life. Like I said, it is a lifestyle change, and I can’t expect everyone to simply adopt all of it overnight, so I only focus on one immediate situation.
The first example is how to bring your children into this world, with a traditional birth at a hospital, without a birth certificate and without any social security number. I did this five times for my family. I even brought my wife here from Europe, legally of course, and she was never forced to get a social security number. Here’s how you do it. We all know it’s an exciting time, having a child. We get over nine months to prepare and in that time we get to decide on a name. Remember that a name is what you call yourself, not necessary a series of letters on a birth certificate or government document. The last time I checked, we still have the right to freedom of expression, even without the Constitution. In any case, after that wonderful moment when you’ve given birth to your new baby, and all of the nurses and doctors congratulate you, a short time after, you will receive an uninvited visitor from the Department of Health. Let’s call her the tax collector.
The tax collector can only collect taxes on the new child with the help of an informant. Who is the informant? It’s your mother. But you don’t have to be an informant because your child is not a new taxpayer, and he is not collateral for the national debt, nor is he an article of commerce. But I prefer to be kind and courteous. So when the tax collector comes into the room, uninvited, with that fake smile and a clipboard, and asks the informant to inform by telling the name of the new baby, you simply respond by saying something like this, “You know, we just cannot agree on any name at this point, not sure when we will.” and just leave it at that, until that awkward feeling comes and then continue to hold, and watch the tax collector simply leave. Now the tax collector may try to get you to come up with a name right then, like I said, leave it at that, change the subject, ask her to leave because you’re tired, etc. And say it with a smile.
The trick here is to never use the baby’s name at any time during your stay. I would say it’s best not to use your legal name when you check into the hospital in the first place, but that would be very difficult for many people, especially with insurance, etc., and it’s not necessary. The tax collector will either not prepare any birth certificate, or will prepare one with the first name being “Baby” and if it’s a girl, middle initial will be “G.” and a boy “B.”, and then use the mother’s last name as the last name on the birth certificate. That’s okay, remember, it’s not yours or your baby’s, unless you claim it someday and use it for something. The reason we claim ours is to get passports but I have discovered that this was not necessary. We are just talking about the social security number though. Because you did not give a name, inform, the tax collector will not file an SS-4 in your child’s behalf. This is illegal, or it should be, but the trend over the last 20 years is for the tax collector who prepares the birth certificate to also submit an SSN application.
Whenever you’re asked for a social security number for your child, or given a form, use 000-00-0000 in place of any number. Do not use all nines or anything but these zeroes. If anyone asks, explain that he or she has no number and no law requires you to get a number for your child. You can also cite the regulation from earlier in this article, I’ve never had any problem with this and it usually makes for an interesting conversation.
Next I’m going to show you how you can get a credit file without a social security number, but keep in mind that you may want to do as many things as you can even without a credit file. On the mobile phone, apply for a two year contract with no credit file and no social security number. Use all zeroes on the application. There is a chance you will get the contract, or maybe you’ll have to make a large deposit, like 25% in order to establish a file with the carrier, but once you do, it’s good for as long as you pay the bill timely. If this is a problem, don’t get a two-year contract, use a month-to-month service and buy the phone, there are many options. Many people believe they can’t do this before they have even tried. Try getting a mobile phone contract or the service you want using the zeroes on your application, see if that works or if you need a larger deposit or to pay for the phone, the deal can be made, and don’t get frustrated in the process, it can be done. I’ve done it many different ways and many people I have helped always get what they want.
Renting a House
Renting a house is probably easier than renting an apartment and over the next few years it will become easier to find all kinds of rental deals and owner financing and lease options, without using a social security number, but more importantly, without using a credit score. Some markets are more difficult than others, but for the most part, you will be able to find a house you like and sign a lease agreement without a social security number. The difficult ones are usually property managers or corporate owners, they have strict policies that the employees will not be willing to dodge in order to get you into the lease. This becomes a numbers game, instead of looking at four deals and choosing one like most slaves with good credit, you might need to look at 20 deals before you choose one.
You want to talk with the owner, show him your bank statements or whatever will make him satisfied that you can pay and will pay the rent on time. Come with written references from previous landlords or employers or neighbors. Offer to pay two or three months’ rent at signing, plus deposit. We did this in a hot market, but my wife showed up the minute the first showing began and spoke with the owner. After a very nice conversation about nothing really important, the owner told my wife that she seemed like a nice person and that she wanted to offer her the lease, and that was with about four other prospects standing next to her. We discussed it over the phone for a few minutes and then accepted, and when it came to time to sign, the owner didn’t even care if I signed the lease. That was over a year ago and we’re still here on month-to-month terms. This is one example of fifty or sixty we’ve done over the years.
Buying A House
Would you believe that renting an apartment without a social security number or a credit check is more difficult than buying a house the same way?
You’re not going to get a traditional bank loan and I don’t recommend that as the best form of financing. Instead, you’ll want to seek financing from the seller using an owner financing deal or more specifically, a lease with an option to buy contract. I’ve done this many times and worked with people in many situations to do this. It does help to determine what the seller needs (not wants) before you make your offer. Maybe he just really needs $10,000 now and can live with that and give you short term financing. In the next few years, you will find this deal to be trending, but many investors have used it as a staple over the last thirty years, at least from what I’ve seen.
Agents and attorneys are usually the type of people that don’t know how to market themselves and rely on their professional status alone, as a substitution for competence, in other works, they usually screw up deals. Get around them, get them out of the way, or just minimize their involvement. You want to talk with the seller, find out what he needs. Maybe you will need to make a larger down payment, or ask for a short term owner financing deal, or include an options contract. Maybe you can find someone to match your funds with the down payment and then buy him out later. And you don’t do this because you have bad credit or no credit, or don’t want to use a social security number; you want to do this because it’s the way we are supposed to make deals, without interference from our government or other creditors or the corporate system. Set up the deal so that everyone’s interests are protected and you will get it. Yes, it will be more difficult in a popular market, where listing are short term, but the trend is a deflating market, so your time is coming.
Another really good reason to avoid putting your name on the title to real estate, and use an options contract for this purpose, is so you don’t “go down with the ship” when the market tanks. You can exercise your option for the fair market value when the seller is screaming for you to heal his pain as he watches the market dive down each week.
How do you get credit without a social security number? I decided to explain this to you now, it will become very useful, but I’m going to caution you not to replace your addiction to personal credit with this new understanding.
The social security number has a certain format and the manner in which the numbers were generated including groups being assigned by state, and then in sequence. The algorithm was developed by the Navy, but it’s not important that you understand the details here. Basically, because no law requires anyone to have a social security number, and establishing credit does not require a social security number, you simply need a nine digit number to be associated with your name and address and manage it in a way so that it will not be merged with your previous file that has a social security number, or anyone else’s for that matter. Sometimes this happens, so you just have to know how to correct it and manage that file just like you manage any other financial matter. You can do this because it’s legal and because you are not cheating or defrauding anyone. Keep in mind however that if you use this technique to cheat someone, or commit a crime, using this type of number for your credit may be considered an element of the crime.
You would not be using someone else’s number intentionally, as everyone’s number is already being used by someone or something else, at least once. So again, just be sure that the person who was issued the number you are using for your credit cannot have his credit file merged with yours, and this is easily fixed if it ever happens. It can simply be disputed for accuracy. You will never need to show a social security card to do this, and if anyone asks, you can show other records proving that your name is what you say it is and by implication, this is your correct credit file number.
The most common way I’ve done this over the years is to simply create a new credit file without the assigned social security number, build the credit and then use it just like you did the first time. It’s then very easy to get unsecured credit cards, just like you did when you first started getting offers in the mail.
Once you have a credit file without a social security number, and have verified that the number has not been reported to the death index, you will be able to open a bank account with yourself as a signer. You just won’t be able to show a social security card with your name and that number, and don’t try to make a fake one. If this is a deal breaker for the bank, find another bank.
A more sophisticated, and slightly more costly, way of getting access to a bank account is to have an attorney on annual retainer where he signs for you as trustee for a trust he’s written for your banking purposes. Explain to the attorney you don’t use an SSN and are frequently out of the country and you need “someone you can trust” to sign on the account. Some attorneys will not be willing to do this, but some of them provide this as part of their service, you’ll have to shop around. And, no, you cannot trust any attorney; however, they are bonded and you can require additional bonding and avoid giving them access to much money at any one time and you should be fine.
Buying A Car
Most of the situations I’ve solved were for people who needed a car for practical reasons, driving to work, grocery shopping and school. In nearly every case I’ve recommended simply saving the cash and paying yourself regular payments until you have more than half of what you need for a car. Buy a reliable used car from a local dealership. See if you can pay for it with the cash you’ve saved and then a short term loan, say 24 months, and drive today. There are many variations of this, but we are heading into a time when there is an enormous glut, especially in the used car market, and many dealers will take this deal. Don’t be desperate, there is a deal somewhere, if you are not comfortable with one, just walk away. But you can buy a car without a social security number and without credit. My mother did something like this once time, she bought a Toyota Camry, and her credit was the worst, but because she made the payments on time, the dealer sold her one or two more of the newer models over the years.
I like to open utility accounts in several different ways. I’ve had to figure this out over the years in order to solve specific problems, such as people needing to hide for fear of their lives, or who were the target of an unfair collection that precluded them from getting a utility account like most people.
If you are not going to give your credit file information, the utility company will try to coerce you into disclosing it, but ultimately, you will simply have to make a larger deposit. That’s the simple example. But let’s take this a step further, what if you wanted a utility account in a fictitious name? It’s about the same, larger deposit, and either avoid producing a copy of your government identification, or use an acceptable form of identification that you can create and will not be considered a “phony ID”, such as a “W-2 statement” or an International Driving Permit” (IDP). You’ll have to ask me about this because it’s not common to find a service that will provide those without a driver license from some government. Another legal way to make it appear as if your name is something other than what appears on your driver license, birth certificate or old credit file, is to set up a corporate (I prefer an LLC) bank account with a “dba” in that fictitious name, and then get a debt card with only that fictitious name on it, as the business name. For example, XYZ Company, LLC dba “Bill Smith”, and Bill Smith shows on your debit card for the account.
The insurance company will act like a bank, so if you can open a bank account with no SSN, you can get car insurance in the same way; however, I like to take it a step further. It’s not for everyone though, as I’ve said before, you can have your privacy, if you have the stomach for it. I prefer to carry my own car insurance. I set up a company and created a balance sheet for it along with an annual insurance card that I print each year. This is known as “self insurance” and in Florida it has a code “11111”, so that appears on my card and both my wife and I are covered under it. Assuming that statutes apply to people for a moment (don’t want to get too far off topic), the law does not require you to have insurance and pay an insurance company regular premiums and then be liable for whatever someone can sue you for; not at all, the law only requires that you carry with you, “proof of financial responsibility”. And while you really should have the ability to pay if you are responsible for damage and injury, no police officer on the scene is going to audit your balance sheet. He’s just going to accept your insurance card at face value and do his job.
But this is very basic, only comes into play if one of us is found to have injured someone and has to pay. We have enough liquidity on the balance sheet that we could pay, but we would never pay $1,000,000 for example. We only have enough to pay up to the statutory requirement, $40,000. And if we did that, we’d have to replenish the balance sheet to be considered having “financial responsibility” once again. Additionally, if someone scratches your car, steals it and it’s never recovered, or you total it yourself, your company is liable, cash out of pocket. I’ve done this for twenty years without any problem, and I’m a careful driver and so is my wife. I’m betting that if I’m in a wreck, it’s going to be the other guy’s fault and his insurance will pay. You still have one more serious concern however.
What happens if you get into a crash, it’s clearly the other guy’s fault and either he doesn’t have insurance or his policy won’t cover your injuries and you are out of work and in the hospital for months? Getting an auto policy for this reason alone would defeat the purpose and what I call the benefits of being self-insured. You will want to research this for yourself as you might be able to get a homeowners policy or some other type of risk management to offset such a risk. You might also be able to get the type of automobile policy that someone who doesn’t own a car could get, someone who is in town only intermittently and rents a car. It’s one of the areas I haven’t explored very much, but worth the time because this is a serious matter, we’re not trying to trick the system, but only wanting to avoid being exploited by the social security number and banking system.
Whenever you visit the doctor, chiropractor, dentist, acupuncturist, hospital and these types of health car professionals, you are not only asked for a social security number, but proof of your identity using a “government photo ID”. This is just plain and simple surveillance, but the doctor does need to know your age, within a certain number of weeks at least. Remember that for most of you reading this, you will have used a social security number to get a driver license and you will use that for identification. If you are using a driver license for anything other than a traffic stop, you need an IDP or passport or something without any connection to your DMV, via your DL number. I’m saying it this way because it’s your DL number and/or the magnetic stripe on the back of the card that gives merchants access to your entire DMV file, trust me, you don’t want to know what’s there or you’ll really be angry (think Nazi surveillance state).
In any case, if you’re not yet using a passport, either a United States passport or one from another country, or an IDP, and the service insists on you providing a government issued photo ID, use a color photocopy of your DL. Make this copy before you go to the doctor or have a few copies handy in your car or a paper file in your home. Make a color copy, then use a black marker to redact the DL number and your date of birth. Then make a color photocopy of this redacted version and be sure this information is not visible. Use that as your ID.
If the office gives you a difficult time, use this explanation. I’ve been a victim of identify theft in the past and my attorney told me never to use my driver license for ID except at a traffic stop. He said if anyone insists on seeing my original DL, that I should ask for his data retention policy and a written explanation of what liabilities and insurance coverage the requesting party has for securing my records. Once I get this information, he said I should call him and come to his office to show him how my information is going to be protected by the service that’s requesting it.
You are actually saying, my attorney wants to know how you are going to indemnify my client against any misuse or unauthorized access to his information. Sometimes these people get smart and ask to speak to your attorney directly. Explain this, he said if you are asked to speak to me directly, explain that our retainer agreement doesn’t cover this type of involvement and that his hourly rate is $350 to answer questions and please make an appointment.
You should never have a problem. Sometimes I don’t even do these things. If someone asks for proof of my identity, I just explain that I am who I say I am, do you suspect I’m lying? I also pay for visits with cash, sometimes a credit card, but it should be no problem to use your insurance carrier as well, same scenario.
Remember, I said to redact your date of birth? But the doctor needs to know your age in order to give you medical advice or treat you in many cases. He doesn’t need to know your actual date of birth. So change your date of birth by a few weeks or months, and remember what date you did you with that physician’s office. In some cases, your social security number can be obtained simply with your full legal name and date of birth and some companies will get that information. Yeah, it’s probably illegal, but this system is so broken that even illegal things like surveillance of private citizens by anyone, government, companies, etc. has become an acceptable practice.
This is another reason I use an alias with these services, and I either get around showing ID, or I use an IDP, a debit card or other means to establish that the name I’m using is my name. Most of the time, when asked for a DL or ID, I explain that I didn’t bring it, or it’s in the car. Sometimes, whoever is asking for it, will ask me to go get it. Sometimes I say I don’t have it at all, even if it’s obvious that I drove, then explain I’ll be sure to bring it next time. Sometimes the office forgets to ask me again, and sometimes we have the same conversation, and then sometimes, I don’t need to continue visiting that office because I’m usually in good health. I didn’t give you all the answers here, just plenty of means and references to think through these situations.
If you already used an SSN to get a United States passport, you’re stuck with it, just like with the DMV records and the DL; however, if you have not, now is the time to get a U.S. Passport with no SSN. Just use 000-00-0000 on the application. Yes, there is a notice that you could be subject to a fine for not disclosing one. Keep this in mind, no one using an SSN actually “owns” or “has” an SSN. It’s a government number, that’s why it cannot be revoked or surrendered, it’s not yours, it’s the government’s. Also, the use of the number was never assigned to you, a human being. It was assigned to a security, or evidence of a security, known as a birth certificate and the common label on that certificate which looks just like your name, but it’s in all capital letters. This is not your name, anymore than someone who shares your name is not using your name, it’s his or hers because it’s being used to identify he or she but not you.
In any case, a new federal law was passed in the last days of Obama’s term that required employees of a federal agency known as the Surface Transportation Board to disclose a social security number with a passport application if the IRS had served notice on the agency of the employee’s tax liability that was in excess of $50,000. The Department of State is now trying to use this law to preclude anyone from renewing or getting a U.S. Passport who does not disclose a social security number. Assuming there is a legal mandate, which there is not, as I’ll explain, it only applies to employees of the Surface Transportation Board if their agency has received a notice of the assessment of an unpaid tax liability from the IRS in excess of $50,000.
I’m going to save you the legal research, just understand this. I have found no implementing regulation for this law, meaning even though there might be a statute for this, there is no agency regulation that makes it binding for the employees. And remember, it’s only for agency employees where their employer has been served notice of an assessed and unpaid federal income tax liability exceeding $50,000. Assuming it even applies to them, it certainly does not apply to people who are not employees of this agency. Additionally, this is a due process and right to travel issue. The government cannot restrain or impede your right to travel because “you don’t have” a tax number, or because you didn’t pay a certain tax. In fact, you can travel internationally without a passport, to and from the United States, but that is another subject. If you renew your passport via mail and are denied because of this issue, applying in person should resolve it, just explain that you don’t have a social security number and are not required to go get one. One that thing that is very important, DO NOT sign any additional documents, such as an affidavit stating that you don’t have a social security number. The passport application is already made under penalties of perjury and you are not required to sign additional affidavits, especially those you didn’t write in your own words, restating the same things you stated on your original application. If you sign such a document, after having already submitted a correct and complete passport application, the agency will impose whatever ad hoc rules it wants and you will have no legal defense or protections. Again, I’ll spare you the legal memorandum.
It’s important to remember that if you truly want to do things without a social security number, remember these basic principles, and that with some organizations or individuals, it’s enough to disclose your legal name and actual date of birth, and this can be used to obtain your SSN. Of course it’s not legal, but again, you’re dealing with people that usually thing anything the government does is okay and why should you care if you’re not doing anything illegal.
This article is supplementary to my chapter in The 7 Year Mortgage and Debt Free College Degree published earlier this year.
What does the student loan debt look like on a national scale?
There is $1.3 Trillion, with 44 million borrowers, who have an average debt of $40K each and the default rate is over 11%. What may have caused this debt to become so pervasive? You could say it has been subsidized with the help of the government, just like “Fannie Mac and Sallie Mae” buying up all of the bad mortgages to keep the system afloat, and just like the government health care plan along with health insurance, more subsidies that have caused prices to explode. Anytime you make it easy to go into debt, you get more debt, just like the home appraisal process was abandoned about a hundred years ago, from pricing homes in terms of labor and materials costs together with a builder’s premium, now the home prices have no limits because they are based upon the prices for which other homes are being sold. Student loans are no different.
The United States Government allowed the creation of securities for these student loans, in fact, it went a step further and guaranteed them to investors. They are known as student loan asset backed securities (SLABS – bonds). Because the government guarantees and collects these debts administratively, without having to sue in court (like the IRS), investors are betting on the government’s ability to take or coerce payments from borrowers. These investors are not concerned with people getting an education, they just want a return on their money from this system of usury.
This is not the way to invest in the education of young people for the future, it’s just a way to make money without any moral consideration. What can students do in a situation where they have too much debt or cannot pay (in default)? We can first look at this from the debt collections phase; first, you want to use available procedures, such as settlement or payment options, to mitigate the re-payment. It’s a good idea to be sure you organize your cash flow and property rights so that none of them can simply be taken through an administrative levy. This means cash flows and property titles and other property rights should be held in the names of tax deferred and tax flow-through structures, limited liability companies are the easiest and most effective and least costly. Trusts are also good, but those can be costly and have many restrictions. The same may also be try for C-corporations, it’s important to review these structures yourself, but I am recommending the use of one or more limited liability companies. Once you are finished using them, you can sell them as “shelf corporations” so in the long term, these may cost nothing.
The only risk you have that cannot be eliminated is “W-2/W-4” wage income, if you have this, and cannot change your type of income to self-employed or independent contractor, get into a workout program or use student loan procedures to negotiate. I’m not promoting any service here, but a quick search online showed that a company by the name of Global Bridge Holdings specializes in student loan workout programs. These would be the last efforts if all else fails. As you’ll learn here, you may never have to get into this situation if you follow the other recommendations.
The Department has what it calls “Standardized Compromise and Write-Off Procedures” for use by guaranty agencies. These are for negotiated agreements between borrowers and guaranty agencies to accept less than full payment as full liquidation of the entire debt. To summarize the guidelines, collection costs can be waived and as much as 30% of principal and interest can be waived. If a guaranty agency chooses to compromise more than 30%, it cannot waive the Department’s right to collect the rest. It is possible to change your payment plan to drastically reduce the amount you are paying, even down to nothing, based upon your income.
There are also employer Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP), either your employer has one or you can negotiate one as part of your compensation)
You can also transfer guaranteed student loans to unsecured credit cards. There are no guarantees and will impact your cash flow the least.
This is probably the most important one but keep in mind that what I’m going to explain here, is something that can and should be done by everyone. In fact, this technique is what the rich people use to pay for their expensive toys. Acquire assets or build a cash flow asset and use that to offset the student loan debt situation, this can be done no matter how much debt you have or what types of debt, even if you have judgments and active levies. Consider buying into a cash flow, or brokering the sale of real estate by taking an interest in the title with an options contract, or buy local assets, like that car wash down the street. You want to buy assets to offset the liabilities of a student loan. This is explained in greater detail in my book.
Additionally, the Federal Ombudsman is “a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.” If you have a loan dispute that you simply can’t resolve in any other fashion, contact the ombudsman. Such disputes could include discrepancies about federal loan balances; issues related to default, bankruptcy, tax offsets and other concerns; and questions about postponement, discharge and forgiveness requirements.
How can students avoid this type of debt in the first place?
Plan ahead to avoid taking on long term student loan debt by leveraging cash flow and assets to offset the costs of tuition.
Parents should never co-sign or show that they are eligible to be guarantor or co-signer for children attending college.
Use an asset to pay for college. Here is an example, it’s not really using an asset, just some equity that you might have in property, even though it is a liability. Use short term debt (real estate with clear title, write a short term note on 25% of the property value and sell it in peer-to-peer lending, pay it off and then do it again in series)
In some professions, you can gain competence without enrolling, sounds crazy, but this might be worth considering. My daughter wanted to attend art school, and it’s not that I’m cheap, but rather, I’m practical. I know that she’s not going to use her degree to qualify for a job, but she will be able to use her qualifications to make money in a business venture. So I explained how she could rent a luxury apartment near campus and let two students room with her for free, the only condition being that they include her in their art lessons and activities.
What alternatives are there for people that want higher education for the advancement of a career that would support their families? You can find apprenticeships or get vocational training, you don’t need a four year college degree to be successful and find a career that will lead you to a prosperous lifestyle.
Consider learning important things so that you can be self-reliant, such as basic home wiring, plumbing, gardening, composting, canning, saving seeds, for food, along with water, sewage and rain filtering. Learn net metering practices to reduce your costs for energy. Learn a useful trade, such as mechanics, carpentry and landscaping.
Don’t plan on going to college for useless degrees in things like “social justice” and public relations or practicing law, etc.
Do your own research about what qualifications are required in the field you want to work. Example, instead of going to veterinarian school to be an employee veterinarian, contact a business broker and look for veterinarian businesses for sale and buy those assets.
In summary, a quality or formal education is important at least through the age of 25 and you can get it with little or no debt. Taking on too much debt too early in life may seriously diminish your ability to acquire a size-able net worth. Build upon skills that help you offset liabilities with assets and this will be a skill you will use for your entire life, no matter what your vocation or educational background.
Have you ever called customer service and heard the welcome greeting that says something like “…this call may be recorded for quality assurance”, or “…this call may be recorded for security purposes…”? This is not truthful, your call is being recorded for purposes other than “quality assurance” or “your security”. The recording serves only to indemnify the company against future claims you might make or to waive claims you might have based on what you say during the conversation. This is not the point of my article here, but I wanted to introduce the topic this way because this is when I began questioning these occurrences. I began denying these companies my consent to record my voice without first agreeing to my own “data retention policy” terms, which include paying me a license for the storage and use of my recorded voice. Some disconnected, some agreed, and some decided to send me a letter. That was dating back to the late nineties. This same understanding carried over into the development of smart phones and other new technology.
Don’t confuse security with surveillance, especially when it comes to your home and your family. Video surveillance of your home while you are not there is a very useful tool in allowing you to take action in real time during any invasion of your home; however, it’s important to recognize that surveillance by itself is only good for one thing, surveillance. If something is captured on video, it can be seen by anyone, for many years to come. If you have video surveillance in your home, the signal should be encrypted so that only you have access to that feed and so that no one else can intercept it and collect video images from your home, whether you are there or not, or at anytime. This should be a very easy concept for people to realize, but I think many people mistakenly trust the manufacturers of these devices and incorrectly assume that no strangers are watching them or collecting this data. While the risks are the same for home “security” systems as they are for all other forms of surveillance, I just wanted to focus on these innocent looking fun toy-like devices that people love to buy.
Yes, if you have any video or audio systems in your home, you are under surveillance. This includes a new television, smart phone, computer, surveillance cameras and especially these devices such as “Alexa”, “Scout”, “canary”, “Echo”, “Piper” and others such as OK Google, Google Home, Siri and Cortana. This leads me to the main example of this article. These devices are fun, entertaining, informative and useful, but they are “listening” to you when you don’t need them to, recording what you say, and in some cases, collecting video data, whether through the device itself or by capturing video data from other un-encrypted devices in your home. If you’re going to allow this, then you don’t need locks on your doors, you don’t need doors and you can build walls made of glass.
People spend lots of money for locks, doors, secure windows, security systems, and then completely ignore twenty-four hour video and audio surveillance of their homes by these devices. Most if not all of this data is being transmitted to your SMART meter. Your SMART meter is a node on an international surveillance network and your power company is collecting your data and selling it. Why invest in all of this security and then throw it out the window by allowing this type of surveillance? The SMART meter nodes are not encrypted. The space used for the batter of the computer hardware inside does not also allow for any firewalls or other forms of encryption. What this means is that anyone can collect the data from your SMART meter at any time.
These devices use speech recognition to respond to requests you make verbally. And although the “wake word”, which is usually the name of the device, so that it responds when you say its name. Don’t believe this for one second. The device is “listening” to everything that is audible and recording that information all the time. Anything said, that can be translated into text, is translated into text so that the data can be sold and used by companies that want to sell you things that are consistent with your conversations. But what are the legal implications?
From a legal standpoint, voice tracking isn’t necessarily out of line. “These devices are microphones already installed in people’s homes, transmitting data to third parties,” Joel Reidenberg, director of the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School in New York City, told USA Today. “So reasonable privacy doesn’t exist. Under the Fourth Amendment, if you have installed a device that’s listening and is transmitting to a third party, then you’ve waived your privacy rights under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.” It’s just like being outside, once you’re in the public outside of your private home or vehicle, you have no protections to privacy. There mere fact that you have such surveillance devices in your home or use, begs the question of whether or not you have overtly or implicitly waived your rights and protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. And I’m not falling for the promise that pressing a mute button restores any of my privacy or rights.
It should be obvious that people should not be using these devices. It’s bad enough that smart phones have replaced telephones and have become one of the most useful consumer tools in human history. Those of us who adopt practices to protect our privacy should consider establishing our rights in a written security agreement that is established along with the terms of service and privacy policies of these companies. Who says people or consumers cannot have their own terms of service and privacy policies? If enough people did the following, it would create the changes we want.
It is important to first understand what risks you have to your privacy from the technology you are using, then take steps to mitigate or reduce those risks. And then, to the extent you cannot eliminate them totally, impose license terms for the use of the information that is being collected about yourself on the companies doing it. At that point, collecting your information is no longer an asset or valuable, it now becomes a liability in which you are the creditor.
If you think these are crazy ideas, then answer these questions: Why was Muhammad Ali able to sell his “likeness” for $50,000,000 in 2004? And, why is Marilyn Monroe’s estate still in business? And don’t tell me because they were famous, that only puts a higher price tag on the data. Last question, did you know that the average person’s identifying information alone (his financial data) is worth about $25,000,000 in an average life time?
Your car engine is defective if it’s getting less than 100 miles per gallon. There is vacuum and other technology, that is fairly old, which has been excluded from today’s engine manufacturing so that people will need to buy more fuel and pay for more maintenance on their car engines than necessary.
The fuel injection technology was developed by the car manufacturers when people began discovering that the carburetor could be modified to give engines an efficiency of more than 1,000 miles per gallon. In fact, it was the car manufacturers that discovered this through their own research. Yes, that is more than one thousand, not just one hundred. I’m not going to discus this because the vast majority of cars people are using now have fuel injection and the carburetor research is fairly easy to find.
The fuel injection system we use today involves a “throttle body” and this along with the spark plug specifications and the positive crankcase ventilation or “PCV” valve can be modified (upgraded) to give gas engines, at least double the efficiency they are now getting. We should be getting at least 100 miles per gallon by simply correcting what the manufacturer deliberately did not build into the engine.
I’ll bet you never thought that your car engine was manufactured defectively, but I’ll bet it will really set your head spinning when you realize that it was deliberate. I’m not technically inclined on this subject, so I must include a detailed explanation from one of the inventors himself, Ron Hatton. Here is how he explains it.
In March of 2009, while speaking with a pilot who holds several records for fuel efficiency in flight who was describing the turbulence over his wings, I had an idea. If I could make that kind of action occur inside an engine, something good would happen. Almost immediately, the shape and location popped inside my head, accompanied by an energy that made it impossible for me to do anything but apply this modification.
Beginning with a 2000 Land Rover, we began to find it working to enhance combustion characteristics across all gasoline engines. Now, more than three years later, this technology has spread to more than 20 nations and is in almost every state in the union.
Basically, what we have discovered is the shape or a “groove” that I call “The Gadgetman Groove”. It has a profound effect on the naturally occurring pressure curve inside the intake manifold in such a way as to reduce the pressure available as the fuel is delivered to the cylinder. This reduction in pressure has the added effect of increasing the quantity of fuel that is in vapor state at the point of ignition.
Fuel that is normally burned in the exhaust (so-called “Waste Fuel”) is given what it needs to burn inside the engine, enabling tremendous increases in fuel efficiency and all that means to an engine AND the environment.
The normal process of the intake cycle generates a condition of reduced pressure inside the intake manifold. This is called “Vacuum” and represents anything below normal atmospheric pressure and is measured in Inches of Mercury (Hg). As an engine ages, the seals that create this vacuum deteriorate (ring wear, broken lines, dried and cracking diaphragms). As the vacuum drops, so does the efficiency of your engine.
This is because of a little considered scientific law called “The Law of Standard Temperature and Pressure” or “The Ideal Gas Law” which, simply stated, is “At a standard pressure and a standard temperature, fluid X requires Y amount of BTU’s to change states.” As it applies to us here in the world of fuel efficiency, if you reduce the pressure on a liquid, it will vaporize at a lower relative temperature.
Why is Pressure Important?
Gasoline is a liquid. Oxygen is a vapor. You cannot mix the two under normal conditions. They must both be in the same state to blend (liquid to liquid, vapor to vapor). As you will never see the amount of pressure inside an engine necessary to liquefy oxygen, you can forget that approach. BUT! Since there is already a vacuum present, you CAN enhance the wave already present, providing the conditions appropriate for blending the fuel with the oxygen, a prerequisite for combustion.
What’s a “Normal” Vacuum?
Normal engine vacuum is considered “ideal” at about 17” Hg. But, as we discussed earlier, this is just a figure, and all engines will have different values here, as will the temperature-to a greater or lesser degree. It is the vacuum (in conjunction with the manifold temperature) that causes some of the fuel vaporization, enabling the fuel to burn faster at the point of ignition. These vapors, when ignited, then supply the BTU’s the rest of the fuel compounds require to vaporize, so they may complete the combustion process. Combustion will continue until either the fuel or the oxygen is depleted to the point it will not support further combustion. Unfortunately, the fuel we are given today to run our engines burns so slowly that most of it is consumed in the catalytic converter.
The raw (un-combusted) fuel is held up there, coming into contact with certain heavy metals which, when heated, allows the fuel to burn (or catalyze) leaving compounds less harmful to the environment than the raw fuel. In summary, the catalytic converter burns what is considered to be “Waste Fuel” (the fuel the engine can not consume -under “normal” conditions.)
Therefore, if you want to increase the rate of combustion (and clean up your emissions!) you have to be able to reduce the amount of fuel in the exhaust. The best way to do this is to change the conditions on which the computer bases its fuel delivery. Simply, burn more of the fuel (and the oxygen!) in the combustion chamber. The only way to do that is to get it to mix better with the oxygen, and the BEST way to do that: vaporize more of the fuel!
The core problem is that liquid fuel must evaporate to burn completely. Combustion happens so fast that the fuel cannot evaporate completely, resulting in un-combusted fuel being sent to the catalytic converter. This is where the emissions are processed, and where the computer takes most of the information which it uses as the basis for its calculations to determine the fuel requirements.
He is not specific here, but this involves modifying the throttle body. The throttle body is the part of the air intake system that controls the amount of air flowing into the engine, it looks something like this:
Once you’ve modified the throttle body, you will want to further increase your engine’s efficiency by capping off the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve and then modifying your spark plug gaps beyond the manufacturer’s specifications.
I’m going going to get into all of that detail, you can read it for yourself via this link:
My point is writing this article is to explain that the corporations that are supposed to serve people, have instead by serving their owners at our expense. We can stop this, and we can do it in a way that everyone benefits, even the owners and their customers (us).
It’s not enough that, for example, the throttle body isn’t made properly, but there are mechanisms in your car that deliberately help to waste fuel, such as the O2 sensors. These sensors prevent you from improving the gas mileage using a technique such as modifying the throttle body, or changing your spark plug gaps. In fact, the specifications for spark plug gaps also keep your spark plugs from operating in the most efficient way possible. Of course I’m not a mechanic and people will criticize what I’m saying here, but at least check it out for yourself and don’t take my word for it.
Suppose that the USD price of a Bitcoin (XBT) was $2,000, just suppose. As it turns out, today it is nearing $2,100 and is the reason I’m writing this article. In this case, 1/1000th of a Bitcoin would be, using international nomenclature, a “milli-Bitcoin”. The abbreviation of “milli” is “m”, so one-thousandth of a Bitcoin would be 1 mXBT. It should be noted that sometimes XBT is expressed as “BTC” but I’m using the former in this article as I believe it will be adopted by the International Standards Organization (I.S.O.).
It’s not part of our common experience, even if we are only using cash, to deal in $1,000 or $2,000 notes, so it may become important to start talking about Bitcoins in terms of what we use everyday. 1/1,000th of a $2,000 Bitcoin therefore is worth $2, this is an “mXBT” (milli-Bitcoin).
What happens when 1 Bitcoin becomes $10,000? That would be 10 mXBT. We don’t have any language for this, so let’s consider what we’re talking about; a tenth of a thousandth of a Bitcoin is 100 micro-Bitcoins. A micro-Bitcoin is a millionth of a Bitcoin. Who wants to say that? We need some language for this. We have a Bitcoin, milli-Bitcoin and micro-Bitcoin. One micro-Bitcoin (µXBT) just happens to be the smallest unit of Bitcoin, and it’s already named after the founder of Bitcoin, a “Satoshi”. Maybe we can talk about that someday when Bitcoins are a million USD each, not sure how soon that will be, but for now, we need two new words, one for 1/10th of an mXBT and one for 1/100th of an mXBT.
If it takes 1,000 micro-Bitcoins for 1 mXBT, it would take 10,000 micro-Bitcoins for 10 mXBT. In other words a “micro-Bitcoin” = 1 millionth of a Bitcoin or “1 Satoshi”, which using standard metric system abbreviations, could be “µXBT”. This chart demonstrates the relation between factors of ten, assuming 1 XBT is $2,000:
The term “mBit” would represent 1/1,000th of a Bitcoin.
The term “penny” would represent 1/10,000th of a Bitcoin or ten mBits.
The term “dime” would represent 1/100,000th of a Bitcoin or one hundred mBits.
I think the language will develop very soon, I just wanted to add in “my two cents” as part of the conversation. I’m sure others have already proposed similar terminology. This may solve the problem of naming the quantities while we are talking to each other, and computers don’t care, they just calculate numbers, but we don’t speak like computers. The real usefulness of this understanding is when Bitcoin is priced in grams or ounces of gold and silver, without using the dollar as a conversion factor.
Even though it’s priced in the dollar, we can look at the U.S. Debt Clock www.usdebtclock.org to help get some idea of the conversion rates. But like I just stated, eventually, no one will care about Bitcoins and USD, and the conversion will be defined by free markets in terms of purely how many Bitcoins I can get for a gram of gold.
The USD / gold ratio as stated on the U.S. Debt Clock as of today is $6,975 to 1 ounce of gold. Dividing the current USD price of Bitcoin (which I’m suggesting that soon we won’t have to do that) by this amount, gives us $2,737 / $6,975 = 0.3924 ounces of gold for 1 Bitcoin. Let’s look at this in terms of grams of gold. A troy ounce of gold is 31.1034807 grams. This would give us $6,975 / 31.1034807 USD / g Au or $224.25 dollars per gram of gold. At this rate, how many grams of gold would it take to buy one Bitcoin? Dividing $2,737 by $224.24 gives us 12.2051282 g Au/XBT. I believe the exchanges should begin to set this pricing, just like they set the exchange rates for Bitcoin and local currencies now. We should not have a centralized “price fixing” authority.
What if the government passed a law requiring everyone to wear blue uniforms in the same style, and you had to buy the uniform from the government, or a single business designated by the government, and no one was permitted to sell any uniforms in competition with the government?
What if the government could tell you who your friends could be and how you could interact with those “friends” and that unauthorized friends and unauthorized interactions would be a crime?
What if the government forced you to use only one currency that always lost its buying power and denied you any ability to question it?
These are three questions that have recently come into light, at least since I’ve been researching them. When I traveled to Europe, at least before 2008, I was seen as some kind of rock star or a rich guy, even though I may not have been rich.. I was spending U.S. Dollars, I was associated with “Americanism”, you know, blue jeans and Coca-Cola. Using dollars gave me a social status, a means of expressing myself and associating with others. I could have just as easily exchanged my money for Canadian Dollars and claimed to be a Canadian, or even an Australian. These would have been different expressions of myself and created entirely different associations with others.
The “money” we use today, or currency as it is correctly named, is not mined with human labor and ingenuity, it’s fabricated in a counterfeiting scheme in which only a certain, small group of people reap the benefits and the vast majority of people who are forced to use it, must do so at their own peril. The currency we use today, it’s not the “dollar”, it’s a Federal Reserve Note, a bank note, an “I.O.U.”, or technically, a “perpetual bond”. The holder of a unit of this currency is not holding money or an asset, he is holding a liability, a debt. The “creditor” is the Federal Reserve Bank. Merely holding “FRNs”, as they have come to be called, is a tax. As the government borrows these notes into existence and spends them, the buying power of the people forced to use them diminishes, it’s a tax. The value of their labor is diminished. The value (not to be confused with price) of their goods is diminished, and these people are forever forced to “hop” from one situation to another in order to avoid the adverse effects of this diminishing value, or the “taking of their property”. How can this diminishing value be distinguished from the taking of property? It cannot.
Money, or even currency, has always been one of the means by which people associate with others, express themselves and protect their wealth. Forcing people to use a certain currency, especially the Federal Reserve Note, violates our rights to free speech, freedom of association and due process of law regarding the taking of property without due process of law and the right to redress of grievances. It is important to note that people do not derive these rights from a written document, the First Amendment or any series of written words anywhere. They derive these rights from their creator, whoever they individually believe that to be. People had these rights long before words were written anywhere. Therefore, no individual or group of individuals (corporation, church, government, etc.) may deprive the people of these rights and remain in the right, or in good standing with them.
It’s time for people to reclaim their rights as we now have the means and the urgency. Adopt cryptographic currency and use it with precious metals in private vault services and boycott bank notes. It’s that simple.
Is it a felony to bring a video camera into the public restroom or locker room?
Isn’t it interesting how we have laws regarding stalking and voyeurism, and regulations regarding harmful radiation, but those seem to be ignored with the mobile smart phones today? What is worse is that people have no clue, they are innocently enjoying their phones everyday, taking them wherever they go, even into locker rooms.
I’ve even seen people caressing and holding their mobile phones for no apparent reason; and reading and texting on them while driving. I’ve even seen a couple of people watching a video while driving. Many people have them mounted on their dash board, what kind of stupid is that, especially driving at night? Everyday I see people reading them while they walk or ride a bicycle, and just carrying them as they move about like you would a drink at a party. People stand in public entrance ways, motionless as if in suspended animation, while staring at their phones and obstructing other pedestrians. I’ve seen parents at their children’s soccer games, like pipes sticking out of the ground, also motionless in that same shape, head down–hands cupped out in front, as they read and text on their phones, entirely divorced from the world around them. People go to restaurants, two or four or more sometimes, sitting at the same table, all reading and texting on smart phones, not speaking to each other.
I’ve been in two rear-end car collisions because of people texting while driving and I’ve seen about seven wrecks on the side of the road, just in the last year, even where several cars were involved, most likely from drivers texting and then ramming into the car in front. How many times have you been waiting in traffic only to discover you were waiting behind the driver in front of you for no other reason than he was texting on his phone and didn’t see the traffic ahead of him move forward.
Did you know that a driver license is legally considered “evidence of incompetence”? That is very fitting under the current circumstances when so many people think it’s their free time when waiting at a stop light or in traffic, to read their phones (text) or watch videos. This doesn’t even begin to cover the other problems with our “friendly” technology.
Each mobile phone has its own unique frequency and the longer it’s used, the more data is stored in that frequency. Don’t believe me? Watch this short video:
The pattern of movement, where you travel, with that phone is stored in an NSA/CIA database. All of your data is captured, stored forever and in many cases, sold for profit. This doesn’t even consider the fact that no one is using any type of encryption, which means that anywhere you go and use free Wi-Fi, someone with another phone or device may be sitting on the network waiting for you, and just grab your data without you ever knowing. You probably pay money for ID theft protection, but you’re not really getting it as these systems are antiquated. Must of the encryption security you can get on your phone is free, and while it’s not absolute encryption, it’s very close. While the NSA/CIA, for example, could grab your encrypted data, it might take 100,000 years to decrypt, if it could be decrypted. People are concerned about privacy risks that are nothing compared to what their mobiles phones expose them to, without adequate encryption.
What about our personal and home, safety and security? We have smoke detectors, locks on the doors, alarm systems, but a huge gateway into our entire lives is just walking around with us, totally unguarded against the most sinister people there are.
Why are people taking their phones into the gymnasium and then reading them during a workout? I don’t think people yet realize that the cameras and microphones are activated continuously, or at least intermittently. Worse still, I see people walking around, reading their phones in the locker room. I wonder if it’s still a crime to be ignorant of a crime while you’re committing it and I wonder if the other people who are showering and changing would appreciate sociopaths at the NSA/CIA watching them. I wonder what liabilities the property owner has for allowing people to knowingly or unknowingly make video recordings of people in the bathrooms and locker rooms. What if children are involved? It’s gets ugly to say the least.
I really don’t like exercising next to someone who is watching his phone, because I’m probably being video recorded. I don’t bring my phone to the gym for this reason, but if three other people around me are staring at their phones while exercising, well then it’s likely I’m under surveillance, both with video and audio. Why does anyone need to bring a phone to the gym anyway. Do you think Arnold ever did that?
Did you know that with each photo taken on your mobile phone, it is time and location stamped with the exact coordinates of where the image was taken, and when that photo is uploaded to any Internet website, that data is included? How many times have you taken your friendly, harmless smart phone in with yourself to use the toilet? Yeah, let that one sink in for a moment.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that having your mobile phone “on your person” at a traffic stop allows the police to legally collect all of your mobile phone data from your carrier in about a minute just by scanning it? This habit waives protections you would normally have because of the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unlawful searches and seizures. But why would you care? You’re not doing anything illegal; however, I’ll bet you didn’t know that your babysitter is under investigation for drug use and her name and number are in your contact list. Maybe a simple traffic stop for speeding ends up with you as a suspect in a criminal investigation, just because you waived your rights from lack of knowledge. Have you ever heard what happens because of the forfeiture laws? In this case, you could lose your house, car, job, freedom and even your children. Sounds unlikely, right? Yeah, and the government would never spy on you.
Your mobile phone is transmitting all of the surveillance data it has collected from you everyday to the SMART meter on your house. If you don’t know what a SMART meter is, you may want to take a look for yourself; but it’s a node on an international network of SMART meters that collects and relays data about yourself and everyone else. It’s not the data you might think; in addition to your name and address, it’s transmitting at least your financial information, Internet connection (e.g. browsing habits and movies you watch), and use habits for each of your appliances. It’s also downloading data from your car while it’s sitting in the driveway at night. This data describes which appliances you own and when you use them. Why, you might ask?
This data is more valuable to the power company than what you are paying for energy and it’s being sold, at least to other companies so that it can be used to market other products and services to you, among other nefarious purposes. As your data is being collected and transmitted by the SMART meter network, it has no level of encryption. Anyone can get that information with a simple phone app. What might we surmise about our data and the SMART meters being used for energy on the buildings we visit throughout the day, such as the grocery store, doctor’s office, school, etc.? Look closely at the video cameras set up around different intersections in your city and while those are obvious, what you might not have noticed is the square, flat box-like gadget somewhere nearby, usually at the same height. This is a Wi-Fi scanner and it’s collecting the signals from your car and mobile phones, even if you’re not using the phone.
Did you know that wi-fi signals can be used to form images and enable people to see through walls and into your home? https://youtu.be/cQrd5bPAyIQ
And you should know that your mobile phones are broadcasting data to collection centers at certain places around the world, where certain globalist type creatures are watching all of your financial transactions, Internet habits, telephone communications, your dishwasher and other appliances, and predicting the future and your every move, and they are betting against you. See for yourself, https://youtu.be/XBSApfGV7IE
And if this is not friendly enough, what about the adverse health consequences of your phone’s radiation?
Did you know that 4G and 5G (gigahertz or billion cycles per second of radiation) of energy penetrates human tissue and changes the way your cells function. If it can cause the embryo cell wall to harden and prevent fertilization and sterilize the human reproductive system; what else can mobile phone radiation do? Preliminary studies have also revealed that cell phone radiation may decrease sperm count, sperm motility and viability.
Our bodies are 70% water. What does microwave radiation do to water? What is this radiation doing to our brain, cardiac and neural tissues? Studies have shown adverse effects to the blood-brain barrier and flow of cerebral fluid caused by EMF radiation, along with the optic nerve and cornea. What are other peoples’ phones doing to the rest of us (kind of like second-hand cigarette smoke)? I see people holding their phones to their chests, in their laps and some people even have them strapped to their bodies, which leads me to another point.
Why do we have pacemaker warnings because of microwave radiation in convenience stores, but nothing about four and five billion hertz of tissue penetrating energy that surrounds us all the time? Maybe there is so much money involved with this technology that the producers of it have paid off our lawmakers so that they can get away without notifying us of the harmful effects this technology has on the human body.
If you don’t think there is any harm in using a mobile phone, watch these short videos;
Don’t think for one second that a new phone has less radiation than an older phone. Can you imagine what this does to children?
If there is a questionable health risk to the smart phone technology, why not err on the side of caution and wait for further, real scientific research? That’s what rational people do.
A senior science fellow at Environmental Health Trust, L. Lloyd Morgan, published a review in July of 2015, in that Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure; wherein, a review of the current literature showing that children face a higher health risk than adults was undertaken. He and his team looked at peer-reviewed cell phone exposure studies from 2009 to 2014, along with cell phone radiation data, government documents, manufacturers’ manuals, and similar publications and have concluded that children and unborn babies do face a greater risk for bodily damage that results from MWR given off by wireless devices, according to Morgan and colleagues.
The review reported that the rate of MWR absorption is higher in children than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and their relative size is smaller. Fetuses are particularly vulnerable, because MWR exposure can lead to degeneration of the protective sheath that surrounds brain neurons.
Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioral problems, according to authoritative research.
A comprehensive study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven. Part of my motivation for writing this article was my observation of children waiting at bus stops before school, most of which with heads down, hands under their faces and texting or reading mobile devices. I’ve been to soccer games where two-thirds of the parents are staring at their phones and the others are caressing them in their laps while they watch the game. This is neglectful. If you are a parent and this describes yourself or your children, you are neglecting your children, but the state wants you to do this because it wants to injure you so you will need medical care, cancer treatment and pharmaceuticals and it wants to collect all of your data all the time. Why are you allowing this? Why don’t you let your children play with mercury and x-ray machines as they did in the fifties?
Microwave Invented by Nazis and Banned to Soviets
Did you know that it was the Nazis who actually invented the microwave oven? They were used in their mobile support calling them the “radiomissor”. These ovens were to be used for the invasion of Russia. By using electronic equipment for preparation of meals on a mass scale, the logistical problem of cooking fuels would have been eliminated, as well as the convenience of producing edible products in a greatly reduced time-factor.
After the war, the Allies discovered medical research done by the Germans on microwave ovens. These documents, along with some working microwave ovens, were transferred to the United States War Department and classified for reference and “further scientific investigation”. The Russians had also retrieved some microwave ovens and now have thorough research on their biological effects. As a result, their use was outlawed in the Soviet Union (for a year or two). The Soviets issued an international warning on the health hazards, both biological and environmental, of microwave ovens and similar frequency electronic devices. It’s the same frequency range used in mobile phones today, but on the higher side of the spectrum.
The Russian scientists discovered that Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to ensure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodiethanolamines, a well-known carcinogen. Their research found that, icrowaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens, that thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances, that extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens, and that carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables.
Why don’t we at least require this type of disclosure for our electronic devices? We have Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for nearly every compound, why not electronic devices?
What about the physiological effects of looking at your mobile device throughout the day? Millions of people do it throughout the day and are totally unaware that cell phone use can be detrimental to the back. Did you know that cell phone use can double or triple the weight of your head and can strain your neck? If you are reading this article on a cell phone or tablet, you are probably doing it right now, tilting your head forward and down in order to look at your device.
Typically, an adult human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds. As the head tilts or angles forward, the cervical spine’s (neck) muscles, tendons, and ligaments support the head during movement and when static; such as holding the head in a forward tilted position. Even the neck’s inter-vertebral discs are involved and help absorb and distribute the forces exerted on the neck. The Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, created a computer model of the cervical spine. In an article published in Surgical Technology International, he reported that this model showed that the strain on your neck rises as the forward angle of your head increases: at 15 degrees of forward tilt may equate to a head weighing 27 pounds, at 30 degrees forward, the strain on the neck equals a 40 pound head. The greater the angle, the greater the strain: 45 degrees forward equals 49 pounds of strain, and 60 degrees forward equals 60 pounds.
Now consider the fact that the average person is holding his or her head forward to look at a phone or read a tablet for 2 to 4 hours a day, according to Dr. Hansraj. teenagers spend even more time each day looking down at their devices. As you tilt your head, you also move your shoulders forward into a rounded position, which is another aspect of poor posture. All this excess strain creates extra wear and tear on the structures of the neck, upper spine and back, and contributes to spinal degeneration that may require surgery.
If you’re one of those people who glances at his smartphone 150 times a day, chances are your eyes are paying the price for your screen addiction. Staring at your smartphone — or tablet, e-reader or laptop, while we’re at it — for too long can lead to tired, itchy, dry eyes, and even blurred vision and headaches.
Digital eye strain or asthenopia, sometimes referred to as computer vision syndrome, is well documented. If you’ve ever experienced dry or irritable eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, or head, neck and back pain after using a computer or smartphone, then you’re familiar with it.
A 2015 report from The Vision Council, Hindsight Is 20/20/20: Protect Your Eyes from Digital Devices, found that 61 percent of Americans have experienced eye strain after prolonged use of electronic devices — nearly 2 out of every 3 people. Long-term damage or not, we have an outbreak of eye strain on our hands.
Mobile phones emit HEV light (also called blue light), so staring at phone and tablet screens may actually harm our eyes permanently. HEV light is that portion of the visible light spectrum that comprises light with the shortest wavelengths, which carry the greatest potential to damage living tissue.
Reading your mobile phone within an hour of going to sleep may impair your natural sleep cycle that normally responds to the cycle of the sun setting and the onset of darkness. By stimulating your optic nerve with this type of light, it causes your brain to act as if the time is in the middle of the day. This interferes with the different phases of your brain waves and sleep cycles. It’s no wonder why the inventor of this technology, Steve Jobs, refused to allow his children to use an iPad or iPhone.
Some of this may be redundant because different references I’ve used in this article have arrived at the same conclusions from different research. The recent explosion of smartphone use has provided people with the ability to access limitless information and instant communications at any given moment. Ninety percent of adults in America own a cell phone, and while this may not be a problem for many people, some individuals develop an addiction to their mobile devices. Mobile phones are constantly being improved by expanding upon their functionalities, which in turn increases the likelihood of overuse and addiction. According to the PEW Research Center, 67% of smartphone owners have admitted to checking their phone for calls or messages when their phone didn’t vibrate or ring. This is one major sign of cell phone dependence and should serve as a warning to cell phone owners. A more sinister discovery is that applications such as Facebook are purposes designed so that when the subscriber checks for messages, a slight delay is programmed into the response so that it creates a elevated degree of anxiousness and when the messages finally load and display, the sensation of satisfaction becomes addicting. This type of addiction has symptoms.
Although cell phone addiction is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), research has compared it to gambling addiction, which has clearer diagnostic criteria and is included in the DSM-5.
At least 4 of the following signs and symptoms are thought to comprise criteria for cell phone addiction, and the problematic cell phone overuse must cause significant harm in the individual’s life:
A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.
The compulsion to ignore dangerous or awkward situations in order to read phone, such as texting and driving, or texting while standing in the middle of the parking lot or a public walkway and being oblivious to obstructing others, such as texting or read one’s phone in a doorway or hallway in a crowded movie theater.
Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.
Preoccupation with smartphone use.
Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.
Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.
Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.
Need for newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.
Feelings of withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable or after forgetting your phone.
Feelings of anger, tension, depression, irritability, restlessness.
Overuse of your cell phone or smartphone can result in a number of different physical problems that may cause permanent damage or be difficult to treat, including:
Digital eye strain, you have pain and discomfort associated with viewing a digital screen for over 2 hours. Your eyes begin to burn and itch or you have blurred vision, eye fatigue or headaches, or a combination of these. You may also suffer from neck pain, also known as “text neck,” which refers to neck pain resulting from looking down at cell phone or tablet for too long.
There is also an Increased illnesses due to germs. Did you know that 1 1 in 6 cell phones has fecal matter on it? E. coli bacteria, which can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, is found on many phones. Phones have been found to be contaminated with MRSA. Phones have also been discovered to cause painful abscesses and life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, bloodstream, heart valves, and lungs.
There are no “car accidents” from texting while driving as the term “accident” implies it could not have been avoided. These are car collisions resulting from negligence and deliberately choosing to put your life and the lives of others at risk by texting while driving, or viewing your phone while driving. Again, waiting in traffic is not free time to read your phone to resume a texting conversation. Many people mistakenly believe that they can multitask and use their phones while driving, but this causes significant impairment and puts the driver and others on the road in danger. Research has revealed that texting and driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.
In addition to these, there are important adverse psychological effects of cell phone addiction. It can be the cause of sleep loss. Mobile phone addiction has been linked to an increase in sleep disorders and fatigue in users. Using your cell phone before bed increases the likelihood of insomnia. Bright light may decrease sleep quality. Smartphone use could increase amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Light emitted from the cell phone may activate the brain and interrupt the sleep cycle.
Other symptoms include depression, obsessive/compulsive disorder, relationship problems, real world relationships may suffer as a result of neglect in favor of excessive mobile phone and social media use. You may suffer from anxiety. Research has found that college students who use their cell phones the most are more likely to feel anxious during downtime.
Are you addicted to your smartphone? Consider these questions:
Do you find yourself spending more time on your smartphone than you realize?
Do you find yourself mindlessly passing time on a regular basis by staring at your smartphone even though there might be better or more productive things to do?
Do you seem to lose track of time when on your cell phone?
Do you find yourself spending more time texting, tweeting, or emailing as opposed to talking to real-time people?
Has the amount of time you spend on your cell phone been increasing?
Do you secretly wish you could be a little less wired or connected to your cell phone?
Do you sleep with your smartphone on or under your pillow or next to your bed regularly?
Do you take your phone into the bathroom or while exercising in the gym?
Do you find yourself viewing and answering texts, tweets, and emails at all hours of the day and night, even when it means interrupting other things you are doing?
Do you text, email, tweet, or surf the internet while driving or doing other similar activities that require your focused attention and concentration?
Do you feel your use of your cell phone actually decreases your productivity at times?
Do you feel reluctant to be without your smartphone, even for a short time?
When you leave the house, do you ALWAYS have your smartphone with you and you feel anxious or uncomfortable when you accidentally leave your smartphone in the car or at home, or you have no service, or it is broken?
When you eat meals, is your cell phone always part of the table place setting?
When your phone rings, beeps, buzzes, do you feel an intense urge to check for texts, tweets, or emails, updates, etc.?
Do you find yourself mindlessly checking your phone many times a day even when you know there is likely nothing new or important to see?
Believe it or not, you could be suffering from an un-diagnosed mental disorder by the manner in which you use your mobile phone, and there are actual treatments for it, just like any other mental disorder.
There has to be ways to counteract the security and safety problems I’ve described here, and there are.
Safe Conduct, Encryption and EMF Shielding
The easiest and most obvious is, stop using your phone while you’re driving, or sitting in traffic. Have the self discipline to wait and use your phone when you are not behind the wheel. Waiting in traffic is not your free time to resume a chat session.
If you’re going into a public restroom, or any bathroom or locker room, be sure to conceal your phone so that no part of it can be seen, and of course, don’t use it while in those locations. There are new devices you can buy to encase your phone and block, at least the camera, and some block the microphone. I can envision a day when businesses provide a wall of key-lock boxes insulated into Faraday cages so that customers can place their phones safely and securely into them and eliminate all or most of the EMF radiation from so many phones in one building.
How do you limit your exposure to the radiation and surveillance from your phone? Carry it in a specially designed EMF shielded pocket (usually about $20) and use the speaker phone or ear buds when you can during conversations, and avoid using your phone to answer email or read websites. Instead of using the factory installed chat or text function, download the free app “Signal” and use that instead, it’s end to end encryption. Replace your Wi-Fi router with an Ethernet only router (careful not to choose one with both features). Keep your router in a Faraday cage, you can buy these and they are actually kind of stylish. Double-wrap all your power transformers with aluminum foil and keep them at least a meter away from your body when you’re using your computer. When you can, store your phone in a double foil-lined shoe box (makeshift Faraday cage) stored in the microwave, and don’t get me started on microwaves; I’ll just tell you that I unplugged and replaced mine with a really nice toaster oven, and use it only to store my mobile phone. A microwave is a Faraday cage, but you can now buy a real Faraday cage for your Internet router and other electronic devices. It’s worth researching and you don’t need to spend lots of money to protect yourself within reason.
You can also consider using EMF shielding and absorbing fabrics and materials in your home and look at the different versions of a “chem buster” online and see if that might be something you’d want to use to absorb these frequencies to prevent them from being absorbed by your body.
Don’t let your children hold or carry these devices close to their bodies or charge them at night within the room in which they are sleeping, and especially, don’t leave them under the pillows where your children are sleeping. Basically, children should not have mobile phones, especially at school.
Concentrated solar power (also called concentrating solar power, concentrated solar thermal, and CSP) systems generate solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area. This is a scalable technology, however, the larger production appears to be the most efficient use of the related technology.
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Basics
Many power plants today use fossil fuels as a heat source to boil water. The steam from the boiling water spins a large turbine, which drives a generator to produce electricity. However, a new generation of power plants with concentrating solar power systems uses the sun as a heat source. The three main types of concentrating solar power systems are: linear concentrator, dish/engine, and power tower systems.
Linear concentrator systems collect the sun’s energy using long rectangular, curved (U-shaped) mirrors. The mirrors are tilted toward the sun, focusing sunlight on tubes (or receivers) that run the length of the mirrors. The reflected sunlight heats a fluid flowing through the tubes. The hot fluid then is used to boil water in a conventional steam-turbine generator to produce electricity. There are two major types of linear concentrator systems: parabolic trough systems, where receiver tubes are positioned along the focal line of each parabolic mirror; and linear Fresnel reflector systems, where one receiver tube is positioned above several mirrors to allow the mirrors greater mobility in tracking the sun.
A dish/engine system uses a mirrored dish similar to a very large satellite dish, although to minimize costs, the mirrored dish is usually composed of many smaller flat mirrors formed into a dish shape. The dish-shaped surface directs and concentrates sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which absorbs and collects the heat and transfers it to the engine generator. The most common type of heat engine used today in dish/engine systems is the Stirling engine. This system uses the fluid heated by the receiver to move pistons and create mechanical power. The mechanical power is then used to run a generator or alternator to produce electricity.
A power tower system uses a large field of flat, sun-tracking mirrors known as heliostats to focus and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on the top of a tower. A heat-transfer fluid heated in the receiver is used to generate steam, which, in turn, is used in a conventional turbine generator to produce electricity. Some power towers use water/steam as the heat-transfer fluid. Other advanced designs are experimenting with molten nitrate salt because of its superior heat-transfer and energy-storage capabilities. The energy-storage capability, or thermal storage, allows the system to continue to dispatch electricity during cloudy weather or at night.
There’s more than one way to make good use of the Stirling cycle. Just ask the engineers at Infinia, Kennewick, Wash. They use it in both their PowerDish, a device already on the market that turns sunshine into electricity, and StAC, an innovative air conditioner that has earned development grants from the government. Both exemplify energy efficiency and sustainability.
In the PowerDish, heat from the Sun drives a free-piston Stirling power generator, an external combustion engine. A 161.5-ft2 parabolic dish made of mirrors bonded to curved sheet-molding compound reflects incoming sunlight onto a concentrator at the dish’s focal point. The mirrors are currently made of un-coated high-reflectivity glass and Infinia engineers see no need to add costly coatings at this time. Sunlight gets concentrated in an 800-to-1 ratio, which would raise the temperature at the heat-resistant nickel-alloy concentrator to 2,000°C if the Stirling generator didn’t extract heat from it and keep it at about 650°C, says Tim Talda, Infinia’s director for system electronics and controls.
A parabolic trough is a type of solar thermal collector that is straight in one dimension and curved as a parabola in the other two, lined with a polished metal mirror
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies use mirrors to concentrate (focus) the sun’s light energy and convert it into heat to create steam to drive a turbine that generates electrical power.
CSP technology utilizes focused sunlight. CSP plants generate electric power by using mirrors to concentrate (focus) the sun’s energy and convert it into high-temperature heat. That heat is then channeled through a conventional generator. The plants consist of two parts: one that collects solar energy and converts it to heat, and another that converts the heat energy to electricity. A brief video showing how concentrating solar power works (using a parabolic trough system as an example) is available from the Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Web site.
Within the United States, CSP plants have been operating reliably for more than 15 years. All CSP technological approaches require large areas for solar radiation collection when used to produce electricity at commercial scale.
CSP technology utilizes three alternative technological approaches: trough systems, power tower systems, and dish/engine systems.
Trough systems use large, U-shaped (parabolic) reflectors (focusing mirrors) that have oil-filled pipes running along their center, or focal point, as shown in Figure 1. The mirrored reflectors are tilted toward the sun, and focus sunlight on the pipes to heat the oil inside to as much as 750°F. The hot oil is then used to boil water, which makes steam to run conventional steam turbines and generators.
These are utility scale solar power systems. They require land, permitting, grid management, employees, taxes, insurance and all the usual conditions for a mid-level business structure. There are many of these projects underway and ready for new investment capital and expansion and it makes perfect sense to join with existing businesses in this area.
Another very promising species of this concept is the use of concentrated solar with photovoltaic power generation. The global market for concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems is on the verge of explosive growth, with worldwide installations set to skyrocket 750% between 2013 and 2020, according to a report published on Tuesday by market research group IHS.
IHS is a global information company with world-class experts in the pivotal areas shaping today’s business landscape: energy, economics, geopolitical risk, sustainability and supply chain management. It employs more than 8,000 people in more than 31 countries around the world.
In the new IHS Report, Concentrated PV (CPV) Report – 2013, IHS predicts CPV installations will rise to 1,362 MW in 2020, up from 160 MW in 2013. Indeed, installations are expected to expand at double-digit percentages every year through 2020.
CPV technology employs lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight onto solar cells. While this allows for more efficient PV energy generation, the use of additional optics for focusing sunlight has also driven up the cost of CPV compared to conventional PV installations, limiting the acceptance of concentrated solar solutions.
The situation is changing rapidly, however, as advancements in CPV technology are reducing costs.
“What is happening in today’s CPV market is very similar to that of the overall PV space in 2007, beset by high costs and an uncertain outlook,” said Karl Melkonyan, photovoltaic analyst at IHS. “However, the CPV market in 2013 is on the verge of a breakthrough in growth. Costs for CPV have dropped dramatically during 2013 and are expected to continue to fall in the coming years. Furthermore, when viewed from the perspective of lifetime cost, CPV becomes more competitive with conventional PV in large ground-mount systems in some regions.”
Prices for CPV are retreating as manufacturing processes progress down the learning curve.
Average installed pricing for high-concentration PV (HCPV) systems are estimated to have decreased to $2.62 per watt in 2013, down 25.8% from $3.54 per watt in 2012. Rising volumes and improved system efficiencies are driving the decline, according to the report, which adds that prices will slide further at an annual compound rate of 15% from 2012 to 2017, falling to $1.59 by the end of 2017.
Taking lifetime costs into account
In the conventional PV market, cost analysis predominantly focuses on the module price-per-watt and the total installed cost-per-watt, IHS points out. When comparing the installed cost-per-watt of conventional PV to CPV, the cost of conventional PV is significantly lower.
“This is mainly due to the higher panel cost of CPV, given that CPV suppliers have yet to achieve the economies of scale, as well as a better balance of system and installation cost, because of the required tracker system,” IHS says.
“To be sure, conventional PV has a lower upfront cost and appears to be a more attractive option based on upfront system costs. However, this does not take into account the overall cost of the system over its lifetime, nor does it consider the energy yield of the system.”
Instead, the report adds, it is important to compare the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). The LCOE estimates the cost of generating electricity at the point of connection, dividing the total lifetime system costs by the total energy produced over the system’s lifetime.
“Such a calculation is also necessary in order to compare the competitiveness of PV and CPV with that of conventional power generation.”
Using the LCOE, IHS predicts that system costs for HCPV will remain low enough to compete with conventional PV for large commercial, ground-mount systems in target regions. These are the areas with hot, dry climates and high daily irradiation at more than 6 kilowatt-hours per square meter of direct normal irradiation.
The following is a comparison of CPV (concentrated photovoltaic) to CSP (concentrated solar power), more properly called concentrated thermo-electrical solar power to flat PV with solar tracking.
CSP (concentrated solar power), more properly called concentrated thermo-electrical solar power
and flat PV panels with solar tracking
First, I should make clear for you that each one of those categories actually encompasses different sub-technologies. Solar tracking may be along one or two-axis. In particular, the CSP technologies show a great deal of variety between Fresnel, parabolic trough, parabolas and central receivers (there is plenty of literature available around there). CPV systems are usually not as well known but there is also very different systems : inflatable parabolas (Cool Earth Solar), Fresnel lenses (Concentrix solar), parabolic trough (Exosun), panels of small parabolas (Solfocus) and I am probably missing many other companies.
Notwithstanding these differences, I chose to distinguish only the 3 categories mentioned above.
Flat PV vs CPV
We start with the easiest comparison.
Cons of CPV compared to Flat PV:
you only capture the DNI (direct normal irradiation)
Price per peak watt, given that your concentrating systems costs less per unit of surface than the PV cells.
If your do cogeneration of heat using the (absolutely required) residual heat of cooling system, it is much easier to achieve significant temperatures (i.e. 60ºC)
So choosing CPV instead of flat PV can be summarized in two short questions :
“How much radiation do I loose because of diffuse radiation and how much cheaper per unit of surface is my CPV compared to flat PV ?”
“Could I use most of the residual heat ? Does it have an economic value for me ?”
CPV vs CSP
CSP systems are great toys for engineers : they are complex and require a very multidisciplinary knowledge. However, that engineers enjoy working on them is not what will make them successful on the market.
The main advantage of CSP compared to CSP is its capacity to produce also during night time (using thermal storage). Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no country giving any special incentive for this. Thus, to the investors, it is irrelevant.
The other advantage is that, at the present time, big CSP power plants are able to produce electricity at a cheaper cost than CPV. However, CPV systems are more recent and prices may go down in the future as experience is gained.
Cons of CSP compared to CPV :
Not very scalable (although some organizations are working on the smaller end of the power range)
More maintenance leading to more O&M costs for small plants.
Lower costs if you can reach a size big enough.
Capable of operations during night (but as stated earlier, it may not be valued economically).
Possibility to do co-generation with higher temperatures (above 100ºC). This has not been exploited much so far, but there has been enough research suggesting that industrial applications are possible.
PV generators are quite uninteresting for engineers : it is almost too easy. But that is exactly what makes the beauty of it. The cost PV also already decreased seriously these last years and will carry on. On the other hand, that cost decreases are possible in CSP is not yet a clearly established fact .. but many companies are betting their money on it.
You can see more images of these and related devices by searching google.com for the term “image of concentrated solar pv”.
Third attempt for Dish-Stirling, Infinia’s Tooele plant goes ahead
By CSP World on 12 June, 2013
Infinia Tooele Dish-Stirling plant
Infinia Corporation has announced it has begun commissioning the first of seven commercial-scale PowerDish™ installments currently underway at the Tooele Army Depot, a U.S. Army installation in Utah, USA.
This project is likely to be the third attempt to commercially deploy the Dish-Stirling technology. The 1.5 MW solar power plant that includes 429 PowerDish units will be the largest Concentrated Solar Power plant to use the Dish-Stirling technology, after the decommissioning of the Maricopa Solar Project, a 1.5 MW Dish-Stirling plant developed by a consortium made of Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems.
The Dish-Stirling technology has always been seen as the most vulnerable of the Concentrated Solar Power technologies to falling prices of photovoltaic modules due to its similarity with it, in terms of intermittent generation and non availability of cost competitive energy storage system. Despite of this, Tessera Solar built the 1.5 MW Maricopa Solar Project as a demonstration project for further planned large-scale plants of nearly 700 MW. Unfortunately, Stirling Energy Systems filed for bankruptcy, the pilot project was decommissioned and auctioned and the planned projects were turned to photovoltaic plants or withdrawn.
Another attempt occurred in Spain, Renovalia tried to deploy this technology with a pilot plant and up to seven commercial plants announced. After the decision to change its technology provider, Infinia, to another company -a fact that was announced as ‘the 3rd generation CSP is here’-, and expected changes in the regulatory framework of Spanish CSP sector, the company withdraw the projects.
Infinia has deployed, in a small-scale so far, its PowerDish product at numerous locations around the globe and is currently involved in two NER300 projects awarded by the European Commission. The Cyprus/Helios project includes a 50 MWe transmission-scale PowerDish deployment near the city of Larnaca where each of the 16,920 dishes will supply electricity to the national grid. The Greece/MAXIMUS project in the Florina region will have a total installed capacity of 75.3 MWe. The plant includes 25,160 PowerDish units composing 37 distribution-scale power plants, each connected to the grid via a single connection point.
“We are excited to mark this milestone in providing the Tooele Army Depot with a long-term, dependable clean energy solution,” said Infinia President and CEO, Mike Ward. “Given their need for secure energy, high performance and reliability, our PowerDish is ideally suited to help them optimize their sustainable energy goals and provide them with 30% of their electricity requirements.”
PowerDish is a parabolic dish with a unique free-piston Stirling generator that converts the sun’s heat into grid-quality AC power at 34% efficiency. The PowerDish uses no water, and can be deployed faster than other concentrating solar thermal technologies.
“Infinia has been a leader in free-piston Stirling technology for more than 25 years,” said Jos van der Hyden, Infinia Chief Commercial Officer. “The maturity of this technology combined with our lean manufacturing expertise creates a compelling message that resounds with our customers and is setting the tone for our expansion in the European solar market.”
The European Commission’s strict eligibility criteria for awarding these projects is similar to the high standards Infinia is required to meet for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and includes proven innovative technology, scalability, and on-time delivery. “We are confident our free-piston Stirling technology will help create a lasting impact as we move forward to help the EU meet its aggressive renewable energy goals,” added Van der Hyden.
The elegant MM-7 is a beautiful conversation piece for your home or office. It will run indefinitely on your warm hands, or on top of any electronic device that generates sufficient heat. It will even run on the bright sunlight shining through your window. It only requires a 7.2°F (4°C) difference between the top and base plates. The MM-7 makes a unique gift for that special person who has everything. Amaze your friends, your family, your co-workers, or just yourself!
The Stirling engine
The Stirling Engine (from the name of the inventor of the first example built in 1816, Rev. Dr. Stirling) is an external combustion engine.
Its operational principle is extremely simple: a constant mass of gas is contained inside of the cylinders, which when heated expands and when cooled contracts, pushing the piston with alternating force or upwards or downwards. As a function of the cylinder displacement, the speed with which the thermal exchange takes place and the temperature differential between the maximum heat and the minimum cold the power produced varies (these are only some of the variables at play).
Stirling Engines may be divided into three main categories:
1 – ALFA: engine with two 90° opposed cylinders, one cold and the other hot;
2 – BETA: engine with one power piston and a displacer piston in the same cylinder;
3 – GAMMA: engine with a power piston and a displacer piston in two different cylinders.
The main features that make the use of Stirling Engine advantageous are:
Any heat source may be applied to it: gas (even if produced by biomass) coal, wood, waste heat (i.e., produced by cooling plants), concentrated solar heat, etc., and also any of these combined;
Emissions are easily controllable and far less toxic than those from an internal combustion engines;
The engine structure does not require complicated maintenance procedures;
Noise emissions are extremely contained;
Residual heat, which is not used for the production of power, may be recovered and reintroduced in the water heating cycle, in this manner, increasing the total efficiency of the system.
In short, the Stirling Engine is quiet, user friendly and practically needs no maintenance. It may be powered by a broad variety of energy sources whilst it produces easily controllable emissions if any at all.
All of these features make it usable in any location and by anyone. Nevertheless, at nearly 200 years from its invention, this technology has found application only in very specific circumstances: it has been used for example by the NASA space agency on occasion of the most recent United States space missions; the Norwegian Navy has installed Stirling Engines on three submarines due to their particularly quiet operation; and finally some American companies have applied Stirling Engine prototypes to solar concentration energy production plants. Naturally these prototypes are not usable in the normal consumer market due to their elevated realization costs.
Anyone who needs to produce heat has above all the need to produce it efficiently (economically). To be able to produce electrical energy at the same cost and without the need to increase the power of the furnace with which heat energy is produced, without a doubt increases the efficiency of the plant.
Our market is therefore represented by all of those small or medium concerns that need energy: energy that these firms, either totally or in part, produce on their own and which in and of itself represents a significant cost and a critical resource.
There are situations in which none of the technological alternatives currently available on the market may be advantageously applied to the work being carried out. Furthermore, even compared to other forms of renewable energy production, the advantages of a range of Stirling Engines are evident: from the environmental and landscape impact, being basically null, to the lack of any long bureaucratic authorization procedures for the facility, going on to the certain economic return for anyone who intends on making the initial investment, given the quantity of energy produced.
Today, alongside the large power stations and the traditional distribution lines, ever more small, localized systems are working. These, combining the production of heat energy with that of electrical power, represent in many situations an efficient solution both from the economic point of view as well as that of energy availability.
The Micro-Cogeneration market is being extended and established, favored also by the new regulations surrounding it regarding the liberalisation of electrical energy production and in favour of micro-generation plants, making this type of technology ever more desirable compared to the traditional furnaces able to produce only thermal energy.
There are very many settings in which micro-cogeneration finds optimal conditions for application: practically all of those situations in which there is a need to produce heat energy for a prolonged number of hours over the year, such as, for example:
Swimming pools and sports centres, private health care facilities and hospitals, community centres, restaurants and hotels, rest homes, schools and dormitories, supermarkets, mountain community water purification plants, farm holiday centres, nature parks and reserves, ecology oases, mountain pasture retreats, mountain refuge cottages, green house farms, agro-food industries, dairies, pasta factories, tanneries, chemical-pharmaceutical industries, textile industries, wineries, distilleries, dye houses. In addition there are all of those concerns that may be found in areas that are under-developed in regard to the traditional power lines service such as, for example, isolated houses.
Stirling Engines may be combined with existing technology, or in any event, with those technologies available on the market, to transform them from a mere heat sources to co-generation plants.
The best example of the most recent utility scale application was by Infinia, and it’s use of the Stirling Engine with concentrated solar in a parabolic dish. I’ve detailed this technology in the next chapter.
In this plasma reactor, or “fuel processor”, the incoming fuel goes in the opposition direction to outgoing exhaust in a chamber that surrounds the fuel, heating up the fuel. In the middle of this exchange chamber is a rod of a certain composition and length, which takes on magnetic polarity. Supposedly as the fuel encounters these conditions, by the time it exits past the rod, it turns to a plasma state, at a relatively low temperature, and the fuel molecules are broken down into their most elemental state, creating a new fuel state.
This new state burns more completely, with little or no emissions. Its properties are different than what petrol products (i.e. implosion rather than explosion). It’s this plasma phenomenon that explains why a wide range of substances can be fed into the reactor as fuel, such as wasted cooking oil or wasted engine oil. This engine will also operate a crude oil, yes, unprocessed oil from an oil well. It’s similar to what a plasma arc does in a municipal waste-to-energy plant, except this operates on a very small scale. Specifically, a converted generator can produce between 5kW and 250kW.
The following is an image of the conversion kit components:
Fuel Processor Kit
The kit comes with all parts needed to make a basic reactor including the rods for all three application positions. They are constructed of 304 Stainless Steel. Laser cutting assures precise joints and machine welds means solid joints. After the fitting is complete, it’s only necessary to drill four 4 holes and make 11 spot welds to have a lightweight heavy duty plasma reactor.
The following is a diagram of how the technology functions.
There are of course limitless applications for this system. Consider what the oil industry has created in terms of opportunities for new technology or new uses of the same technology and fuel from sustainable sources. Furthermore, once the modifications are completed, on a standard generator for example, there are little or no pollutants that require the system to operate outside or in a well-ventilated area. In fact, this system can operate in small cement enclosure where noise pollution can be greatly reduced.
It seems best to operate this system at the same locations where there is a steady supply of waste oils, such as near restaurants.
The following is an illustration of how a lawnmower would be retrofitted:
TechNavio’s analysts forecast the global diesel and gas generator market to reach $16.5 Billion by 2016. One of the key factors to this market growth is the increasing concern over the energy deficit. The global diesel and gas generator market has been witnessing the development of the next-generation generators. However, the need to comply with government regulations and guidelines could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.
The wood gas generator market is present mainly in the United States and Canada in North America; Finland, Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden in Europe; Japan and Korea in the Asia Pacific region; South Africa and Brazil in the Rest of the World.
The increasing demand for energy, lesser emission as compared to the petroleum fuels and uneven distribution of oil and gas reserves are the major drivers for the wood gas generator market. The problems associated with the transportation and storage of the woods and charcoals are the major restraints to the wood gas generator market. The large amount of forest cover in the untapped market of South American and Central African countries can act as opportunities for the wood gas generator market.
Wood gas generators may be a competitor for the fuel processor. The increasing demand for energy has created concerns for the government to supply life line energy to all its citizens. Presently, the scientists are working on either developing or designing such systems that can convert the waste, timber or charcoal into useful energy sources with lesser carbon emission. These systems will not only generate energy but will also help in achieving the goal of reduced global carbon footprints. The wood gas generator is a type of generator that meets the above requirements. The wood gas generator can be used to convert the charcoal or timber into wood gas or syngas. The wood gas that is formed by the help of wood gas generator is a type of a syngas consisting of carbon monoxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and methane. The increasing temperature due to emission of green house gases coupled with the increasing demand for energy can have positive impact on the wood gas generator market.
In my opinion, this only helps to create acceptance for the fuel processor/plasma reactor modified generators.
Industry Analysis by Country
There are no threats to new entrants. NAFTA has paved the way for smooth trade with Mexico. Additionally, Mexico’s electricity industry is booming. The Mexican government estimates the need for total investment in the industry to be $50 billion over the next ten years. They estimate the need for an additional 26,000 megawatts over the next eight years. One advisor to Mexico’s Energy Secretary said that over 50% of the investment in the industry over the next 10 years is expected to come from the private sector. He added that reforms to be put before Congress this fall may increase that number significantly.4
In this fertile market, firm rivalry will be significant. This industry is growing rapidly and Mexico’s market is ready. It will be important to get in first and establish a market share. There will be numerous competitors, primarily from the U.S. and Canada. In the beginning as companies follow slightly different lines of development, there will be some product differentiation which will taper over time.
Threats of substitute products include other form of energy production including wind, solar, and grid supplied power. With utilities being privatized, grid power may pose a serious threat to general consumer acceptance of this product limiting the market of this product to critical systems and rural applications. In the rural applications wind and solar power may provide formidable competition.
Brazil is currently having a major energy crisis due to the most severe drought in seventy years. Over 90% of Brazil’s power comes from hydroelectric dams. Reservoirs that should be over half after the rainy season are instead only a quarter full. The government is requiring electricity consumption cutbacks of 15-25% and doubling rates charged for electricity. Violators who fail to cut back will be punished with fines of up to 200% of utilities cost and subject to having power cut for up to six days. This amid unreliable, overtaxed grids leading to random blackouts. This has likely served as a wake up call that will inspire many Brazilians to look beyond the dam for other sources power. In fact many companies in Brazil are generating their own power.
Due to the intensity of the electricity shortage, there is stiff competition in Brazil. EnergyWorks, a division of Iberdrola S.A., a Spanish utility, has been engaged by several companies. EnergyWorks builds 5 Megawatt mini-powerplants on company grounds. They are expensive and require a commitment to buying electricity for 16-18 years. In view of recent economic instability in Brazil, many companies are not willing to make such a long term commitment.
Threats of substitute products include alternate means of power supply. Brazil has existing electricity supply to combat the current shortfall however there is no infrastructure in place to carry the excess supply to the heavily populated urban areas where the shortfall exists. In view of the current situation, Brazil has plans to create that infrastructure. Officials estimate that it will take about two years to close the gap between existing power supply and high need areas.
Thailand is experiencing an electricity glut. While worldwide electricity reserves are required to be at 15% by international standard, Thailand’s reserves are at 40%. The Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (Egat) is asking independent power providers who have not yet signed contracts to postpone supply until 2007. They had been planning to provide power starting in 2004. Egat claims that reserves are sufficient to last until 2006 and that is without considering power that Egat is obliged to purchase from plants in Laos and Malaysia.
Despite the electricity glut in Thailand, there is still a market for power generation in critical systems. However, recent economic hardship and underdevelopment make rural customers in Thailand unlikely.
The overzealous power grid in Thailand poses the greatest single threat to sales of on-site systems. With an abundance of electricity the need for on-site generation will appear to be minimal.
As a part of joining the European Union (EU), Greece has been forced to abolish its state run monopoly on the production and distribution of electricity. Additionally, in an effort to meet the objectives agreed to in the Kyoto Treaty, the EU requires that no later than 2010 a minimum of 12% of electricity will be produced using renewable energy. In fact, renewable energy is the main focus of Greece’s energy policy. In 1998, Greece approved 10 wind-energy projects and 25 hydro-electric projects and forecasted a 400% increase in the amount of electricity produced using renewable energy sources. Also, as part of the EU effort to create a single integrated infrastructure, Greece and Italy have recently joined their respective electricity grids by way of a high-voltage DC cable under the Adriatic Sea.
In Europe there is much emphasis on unification between EU countries. This would likely lead to preferential treatment being given to EU based competitors. In a separate study of the aerospace and defense industry an example of this behavior was cited where Raytheon lost a contract for air-to-air missiles to an unproven start-up cross-border European missile company.
The greatest threat is by alternative methods of producing electricity. Greece seems to have sound energy policy as it plans its use of renewable energy sources and its integration with other EU countries.
Some issues such as the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers are common in all countries.
The bargaining power of buyers is significant with large buyers such as the government or universities with medical and computing centers. These buyers would likely be sensitive to price.
The bargaining power of suppliers will relate to companies that emerge as industry leaders and are able to achieve economies of scale. There are currently many companies in the development stages in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Eventually, the number of competitors will decrease and the product will move toward being a commodity. There are already signs of that happening with the PEM component as Dupont and 3M enter the market as major production players.
Country Selection Summary
During the market research phase it became apparent that this product will serve a niche market. Unlike fuel cells used to power cars, stationary power generation units serve essentially two markets. The first is where reliability is paramount such as in hospitals, computer facilities, and emergency services. Secondly is the market of eclectic cabin dwellers far from any grid. All of the countries have the former while probably none have much of the latter. So what rationale is best in selecting only two of the countries? One investment publication put it this way:
“All it would take to stir up a frenzy for fuel cell stocks is a cold winter, a further increase in oil or natural gas prices and/or a major conflict in the Middle East. Any sign of the oil/utility markets having serious turbulence would make the nascent fuel cell industry seem like a quick-fix solution, when in reality it remains a long-term potential play.”6
This analysis of investing in the industry is helpful in determining which markets are best for this product. Using the same logic, the market with the most turmoil around the electricity industry, where electricity is either scarce or unreliable would make the best place to enter the market. Emotion is an unavoidable and even useful part of the buying process. Emotion is the main differentiating factor in looking at the needs of customers in the four countries. While all critical applications need on-site generation, a sense of urgency toward purchasing such a system will be strongest in areas with troubled power supply.
Thailand can be ruled out first because there is an abundance of electricity and no indication of it being problematic.
Second to be ruled out is Greece where increased integration with EU neighbors will strengthen their grid which at this time shows no signs of stress. Additionally, growing ties with European neighbors would likely make competing more difficult.
Among the four choices Brazil is currently the country with the most severe electricity supply problems. Despite economic problems, the crisis around the sector will create more potential buyers. In fact, on-site power generation with PEM based generators may provide sufficient supplementation to grid power while serving as backup for critical systems. And the cost would be significantly less than the alternative 5 megawatt mini-powerplants provided by EnergyWorks.
Finally, Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. and unity under NAFTA make it a good choice. Mexico’s open invitation to investment in the sector is also a plus. Mexico has seen the power woes of its close neighbor, California, and will likely try anything to avoid the same fate.
Having considered such things as the current electricity supply situation and surrounding emotional factors as well as barriers and competition, Mexico and Brazil seem the better choices as target markets.