paint-brush
7th US President Andrew Jackson's Thoughts on Cryptocurrencyby@michael-brooks
832 reads
832 reads

7th US President Andrew Jackson's Thoughts on Cryptocurrency

by Michael BrooksApril 25th, 2022
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript

Too Long; Didn't Read

Let's discuss the potential of cryptocurrency and its origins with none other than President Andrew Jackson, AKA Old Hickory, the 7th US president. Even viewed from the perspective of 2022 many things can be learned from him about the decentralization of money. Surprisingly, his beliefs are actually playing out today in the growth and acceptance of cryptocurrency.

Company Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
featured image - 7th US President Andrew Jackson's Thoughts on Cryptocurrency
Michael Brooks HackerNoon profile picture

Many college professors like to bring in guest speakers whenever possible to give their students a fresh perspective. And online courses on Zoom have made the process much more speaker-friendly because it’s so convenient. Now, imagine if you could take that app to the next level – and call on experts from the past. (It’s possible to create with holograms and AI but is very expensive). Putting those limitations aside, let’s explore what Professor Smith, who teaches economics, can do to discuss the potential of cryptocurrency and its origins.


His guest lecturer was none other than President Andrew Jackson, AKA Old Hickory, the 7th US president. I’m not going to get into some of the things about Jackson that were considered divisive, especially when viewed from the perspective of 2022. Instead, I’d like to discuss what we can learn from him about the decentralization of money. Surprisingly, his beliefs are actually playing out today in the growth and acceptance of cryptocurrency. Check out this class session:


Smith reaches out to his students in a Zoom call.

Smith: I’ve always been a believer in decentralizing money. I know that many people are more in favor of traditional ways of conducting transactions. But I’d like you to consider that it just might not make sense to have only one entity gain total control over your finances. Don’t you want more choices and flexibility? For these reasons, I’ve called on a guest from the past, who is joining our virtual session right now. President Jackson, can you hear us?


Jackson: Just a minute. My horse, Sam Patch, is making too much noise.


Smith: Sorry. When I signed up to bring you into the session, I didn’t realize the horse would be attending. I don’t think the college is going to pay for the extra costs of transporting the horse.


The horse disappears from the frame.


Jackson: I apologize for that. I just sent Sam Patch back to the 1800s. As you know, I’m all about reducing costs and debts. I shut down the Second National Bank and redistributed the funds to state banks. I thought that was a good move. In fact, I’m the only president in history that ever managed to pay off the US national debt. I’m grateful, though, that you remember me whenever you see my face on a $20 bill, but I prefer crypto.


You people of the future really messed things up because the national debt is now more than $30 trillion. I can’t even imagine that amount. And it’s about $4 trillion higher than it was around this time in 2020. What’s going on?


Smith: It would take too long to explain. However, I can assure you that some of your ideas about opposing the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few and giving more flexibility to the states are also getting traction in the form of cryptocurrency. Some people even call you the father of cryptocurrency because you believed in decentralization of money and ensuring privacy from government intrusion.


Jackson: I’ve been called a lot of things and that description sounds possible. I’ve read up a bit on what’s happened since I left your planet in 1845 to prepare for this class. You’ve moved to digital assets, like bitcoins and other types of cryptocurrencies such as stable coins. Just to be clear, though, let’s agree that stable coins are not what you used to pay for where your horses sleep. Anyway, I’m told that some people are saying that cryptocurrency is like the revival of the banknote and will transform how people purchase goods and services. I like that.


Smith: Tell us about the banknote.


Jackson: Well, states had their own private currencies to support transactions as they conducted business. When they issued banknotes, they no longer had to lug around as many heavy gold and silver coins. And they used those banknotes in their communities to conduct and grow local businesses. The notes were popular because they gave people freedom because they weren’t stuck with just a single issuer of currency. I think that freedom is one of the key reasons why many people in your time are attracted to cryptocurrency.


Smith: Yes, freedom is an important factor. Nearly 20 years after you died, the National Currency Act was passed as the government began centralizing banking again during the Civil War, a time of chaos.


Jackson: Centralization of money wouldn’t have happened if I was president.


Smith: It was a challenging time for state banks and most of them faded away. Eventually, the state banks came back by giving their customers more options. The last banknote was issued in 1929.


Jackson: But it sounds like cryptocurrency is more flexible than the banknote. I’ve even brushed up on the blockchain – that newfangled technology that uses computers to track transactions as they grow. And there’s no middleman involved. What will they think of next? Even electricity was in the infant stages during my time.


Smith: That’s right. There’s no middleman. Cryptocurrencies, as well as crypto tokens, ensure that assets are authentic and eliminate counterfeiting.


Jackson: That’s good because counterfeiters can be real troublemakers. By the way, I was surprised and pleased to learn that in Massachusetts the BerkeShares recently became the first blockchain local currency in the US. People use it to purchase items in their own town – and it’s now being done electronically.


Smith: We’ve come a long way but we can also learn from the past. Cryptocurrency and other digital assets are like the new banknote. But crypto is more effective, transparent, and has the potential to achieve a more sustainable future.


Jackson:So, I’ll accept the fact that society has advanced with all of this technology and that my principles have helped to start the whole cryptocurrency and digital asset trend. But I have to draw the line somewhere. I just don’t feel the same way about transportation. I don’t like the way cars and planes have taken the place of my beloved horse. But who am I to criticize progress? It’s time I joined him and headed back to the past. I’ve seen a lot and even dealt with bank wars, so I want to share some closing thoughts with you.

Smith: I’ve heard you like a good fight.


Jackson: Yeah, I’ve even been in duels, but that’s beside the point. And I’ve won several battles in the War of 1812. I think you’re headed in the right direction with crypto but be prepared for the battles. And get ready to fight. It’s worth the effort.