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Why should the Idaho Legislature make Bitcoin freedom a priority in 2024?

Why should the Idaho Legislature make Bitcoin freedom a priority in 2024?

Niklas Kleinworth
September 11, 2023

Control over how money is created, spent, and distributed is at the crux of the Left’s legal and cultural takeover of the United States. With the free market circumventing this tyrannical control through the adoption of Bitcoin, Idaho lawmakers should consider legislative action to protect this innovation in financial freedom.

Policies should bolster financial privacy, stop special taxes for bitcoin mining, provide a legal right to mine bitcoin, and bar special taxes on spending bitcoin. Legislators who enact these policies would allow Idaho businesses and consumers to innovate beyond the limits of the dollar and pursue their own prosperity outside of the centrally planned economy.

Remember that Bitcoin is designed to be money, not a traditional investment. It is an escape from the ails of the current financial system, rejecting government-based paper money for a private, free-market solution.

The Bitcoin protocol is not owned or operated by any single entity and harbors few barriers for anyone wishing to participate. It disincentivizes corruption and promotes integrity by making it more costly to game the system instead of playing by the rules. It allows you to keep your assets without having to trust a bank or the government and wards off inflation with a hard stop on the supply of currency. 

Bitcoin benefits everyone who uses it by creating an accessible, robust, and trust-less exchange of value. This is juxtaposed by the current financial system where the government benefits most.

Inflation is a good example of this top-first system. Federal bureaucrats control the money supply and can redistribute your wealth through using inflation as an invisible tax. Printed and borrowed dollars prop up the welfare state and, in turn, drive even more inflation. On average, your dollar only covers 82% of what it did just before the start of the pandemic. If we are discussing gas, groceries, and your electric bill, this percentage would be even smaller. 

Those operating the system do not appear concerned whatsoever by its instability — even publicly claiming there is an “infinite” amount of money in the Federal Reserve. Thus, if the government deems it has bigger spending priorities than you do, no new taxes will be required. Instead, all that is needed is to print and borrow new money to subsidize COVID-19 vaccine development, a war in Ukraine, and runaway medical welfare programs. At this rate, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal debt held by the public will be 118% of GDP by 2033.

The federal government is also seeking to expand its control and oversight of Americans’ financial business by implementing a central bank digital currency. Under this program, the federal government could monitor and control the financial transactions of all Americans. It would even automatically distribute welfare payments and collect taxes.

These policies should give all Americans pause. Some states are fighting back by allowing the free market to innovate with bitcoin and move to a truly free market economy.

Montana passed legislation just this year that makes bitcoin functionally legal tender. Not only does it bar state and local governments from creating special taxes for bitcoin mining and spending, but it also provides a clear legal right to participate in the system and restricts local governments from passing laws that would unduly inhibit mining.

Being that bitcoin is exchanged on a public ledger, there are also some concerns about financial privacy. There are, however, private sector solutions that provide some privacy protections for bitcoin transactions. In the realm of public policy, Arkansas passed legislation that limits the government’s ability to track financial transactions through digital currencies. Idaho lawmakers should adopt and expand on this law to provide even greater protections for residents.

These protections reduce the regulatory barriers that could stunt businesses’ innovation with Bitcoin. Idahoans do not need to wait until the government passes such legislation, however. Despite the hurdles, the market is continuing to grow, with more businesses departing from the traditional, dollar-only market.

Idaho has developed a reputation as a sanctuary for those wishing to escape destructive government overreach. But it may all be for naught if we cannot escape failing federal fiscal policies. Bitcoin could offer Idahoans the emergency exit needed from the inflationary and regulatory scheme. It is up to Idahoans to defend their right to prosperity through restoring sound monetary policy.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
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