EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Free State Bitcoin Shoppe: Interview With Co-Owner Derrick J. Freeman
By Joe Jarvis - August 06, 2017

Can you give me the rundown on your shop?

Derrick J: Free State Bitcoin Shoppe is a place for people to level up on their cryptocurrency knowledge and trade their digital cash for unique tech and freedom-themed souvenirs. Our mission is to help people use better money.

To a backdrop of dance-punk and electronic music, we offer one-on-one assistance to the bit-curious to help spread the crypto-economy in New Hampshire. It’s packed with seditious propaganda like libertarian art and literature, books on programming, and freedom tech like hardware wallets and USB thumb drives with TAILS Linux loaded on them (the operating system Edward Snowden uses to protect
his privacy online).

When we’re not busy teaching tourists and passers by about Bitcoin, the shoppe is an office for [co-owner] Zyler and me: where we do coding, writing, and video production. The Shoppe is right on the edge of New Hampshire at 56 State St in Portsmouth — so close that both the water and Maine’s coast are visible from our front door.

What do you sell at the shop? Is there specific merchandise you hope to add?

Derrick J: We sell things you won’t find anywhere else: Doge curtains and pillows, 3D-printed combination locks to protect USB keys, Tesla T-Shirts, laser-cut wood boxes with secret compartments, BipCot Licenses, Bitcoin clocks, an Aztec calendar, build-it-yourself 3D-printer kits, and various New Hampshire-themed gifts. Next week, a unique Bitcoin vending machine will arrive at our store, offering the opportunity for people to trade in their Federal Reserve Notes for Bitcoin, Dash, and Monero.

Besides Bitcoin, what forms of payment do you accept?

Derrick J: Monero is preferred. We take all forms of cryptocurrency and offer 20% if you pay for the merchandise with that currency. Yesterday, a customer bought $85 of doge-themed merchandise with Doge-coin.

We don’t take Federal Reserve Notes, credit cards, or metals. (Sorry, silver bugs. Time to realize the silver thing is never going to happen.)

Since the value of Bitcoin fluctuates, how do you set the prices?

Derrick J: It’s easy. We set prices in Bitcoin. The bitcoin wallet on your phone will convert instantly so you can see how much things cost in terms of dollars or any other currency.

How did you choose the location for your shop?

Derrick J: We had been scouting locations for a retail shop for a month or two. While walking downtown in the Portsmouth Pride Parade this June, we passed some empty windows where a small boutique had been.

We said “This would be perfect!!” It’s 100 feet from the biggest park in town, where musical theater and concerts play daily and nightly, visible by the water, plenty of parking across the street, and adorable tourist-trap stores nearby that attract lots of foot traffic from international guests. It’s one of the busiest corners in one of the wealthiest and most happening places in the Shire. It’s the perfect location to draw in people to learn about Bitcoin.

You have long been a liberty activist. You have committed acts of civil disobedience (Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree), challenged unjust laws in court, and even spent some time in jail. Does this shop mark a shift in tactics for gaining individual freedom?

Derrick J: Yes, totally. I’ve learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t.

Civil disobedience may be moral and make me feel good, but it is ineffective at achieving more freedom unless others participate en masse. Good luck with that — most people aren’t courageous enough to take any risks and would prefer comfortable slavery to dangerous freedom.

Instead, I am taking the entrepreneurial route: offering political art and freedom-enhancing tools in exchange for cryptocurrency. The mission isn’t as much to “make money selling merchandise” as it is to grow the value of my cryptocurrency holdings by growing the network. As more and more people use bitcoin, the value of the crypto-economy grows, and the power of the central banks shrinks.

This is the best way I’ve discovered to empower myself and others, by taking a small, low-risk baby step toward more financial independence (which is the most important type).

Do you consider Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the best hope for freeing individuals from the unjust power of the state?

Derrick J: Oh, lord no. Philosophy is the best hope for freeing individuals from the power of the state, because the power and the state only exists in their heads. Without philosophy, people are doomed to continue on whatever path their ancestors’ trajectory put them on.

Fortunately for New Englanders, our ancestors placed us on a slow vector toward ever-increasing respect for property rights, which continues today (in New Hampshire especially).

Bitcoin is packed with philosophy, whether users are aware of it or not. Bitcoin empowers the individual with privacy over their money (if they want it), reduces the power of international central banking cartels with every dollar that exits into the crypto-economy, and ultimately helps end wars as people quickly become accustomed to a deflationary currency (rather than the inflationary currencies used to finance the wars of the 20th century).

A mug depicting Bitcoin smashing the Fed.

Do you have any advice for people who want to be free, but feel it is impossible? What can people do to free themselves in your opinion?

Derrick J: Read books that inspire you. Fill your brain with ideas that energize you. Pursue happiness through a virtuous life. Challenge yourself. No matter my current situation, behind bars or on a deserted island, my journey to freedom has been one of personal growth.

So far, what is your favorite part of running the shop?

Derrick J: My favorite part of running the shop is seeing libertarians walk in and watching their faces light up as they realize what the store is. They see Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, and Ludvig Von Mises, a Bitcoin symbol, Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, and “Live Free Or Die” signs plastered everywhere, and they all say some variation of “I’ve never seen a store like this before!”

Those interactions make my day.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

Derrick J: Thank you for asking!

 

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  • Derrick J. Freeman

    Thank you for sharing the news about news, Joe. I’ve been a longtime fan for years and forgot to mention that we sell copies of your books “Anarchy in New England” and “Flight Grounded.” They are among some of my favorite anarchist literature and are entertaining teaching tools for the uninitiated. If you are reading this comment and you haven’t yet read both of these books, go get them now!

    • Derrick: Maybe you should take some of your own advice and educate yourself. Think!

      https://moneydelusions.com/wp/2017/08/06/free-state-bitcoin-shoppe-interview-with-co-owner-derrick-j-freeman/

      We need a “proper” MOE process. The dollar has a 4% leak. we can live with that on a daily basis … but the money changers profit by it long term … and the governments they institute sustain themselves on that inflation.

      The Bitcoin is trade strangling. It will never be money. You wouldn’t buy anything out of you own store using a Bitcoin.

    • Joe Jarvis

      Derrick, I’m so glad to hear that! I really appreciate it.

  • RED

    And then…..there is this:

    https://pro.dailyreckoning.today/p/AWN_dollarreboot_0717/LAWNT810/?h=true

    Not an advocate…..just FYI……(Just Sayin).

    • From your link: “That’s why I’m typing this letter to you.”

      You mean “hyping” don’t you?

      See the real Money Delusion exposed.

      https://moneydelusions.com/wp/2017/08/06/free-state-bitcoin-shoppe-interview-with-co-owner-derrick-j-freeman/

      • RED

        My link leads to one of many promotional “info-mercials” put forth by self professed money & investment guru Jim Rickards. He has some “Credentials”, but The bottom line is he wants you to subscribe to his expensive newsletter.

        I put the link forth as a counterpoint to balance out the crypto-currency promotions which I have not yet really bought into.

        As you are undoubtedly aware, there are many self professed money gurus with an opinion……..

        It is not clear whether or not your use of the word “Hyping” refers to the DB article under review or my link. But, I found your analysis on your link interesting as well as entertaining.

        • Re: my use of the word “Hyping” … at the moment I typed my comment (i.e. hyping) I was reading at the link and felt “hyping” was a better word for what I was reading than “typing” was (which I quoted directly from the link).

          • RED

            I have looked at the link I posted. There is no word “Typing” in the link or in the title that refers to a possible Trump move that would destroy “Crypto Currencies”.
            Moot point though.

          • I don’t know what happened. I clicked on your link … read it … copied the text I quoted … opened a reply … and pasted the line I quoted … and then commented on that quote.

            Now when I click on the link it doesn’t take me to the content I copied and pasted from. Maybe somehow I went to a different link.

          • RED

            Yes, that is what I thought may have happened. I have had that happen as well. (Mysterious server issues perhaps).
            What do you think of Mr. Rickards theories about “re-booting the dollar”…..

          • What do you think of Mr. Rickards theories about “re-booting the dollar”

            Without even knowing what those theories are, I think it is foolish. You don’t fix an “improper” MOE process by resetting it. You don’t fix an “improper” MOE process by switching to another “improper’ process. And if you have a “proper” MOE process in operation it never requires “re-booting”. It guarantees perpetual zero inflation of the media itself. And the media is in perpetual free supply. I would recommend the HUL (Hour of Unskilled Labor) as its unit of measure. The HUL has not changed value over all time. It still trades for the same size hole in the ground as it did thousands of years ago. Right now a HUL is worth about $8. When I was a HUL 50+ years ago, it was worth about $1.50. Yet is traded for the same size hole in the ground in both cases. If the dollar had been a proper MOE process over that period, a HUL would trade for $1.50 today … and forever after. What’s not to like?

          • RED

            Interesting….the HUL may be a good reference point for a unit of “measure”, but you still need Medium of Exchange that can be converted into whatever useful goods and services are required. By their own acknowledgement, whatever “reboot” they may accomplish….it will be temporary. They are apparently counting upon “timing” to realize significant gains.
            The dollar is still “Fiat Currency”….A “promise to pay” with no honest intrinsic value other than the economic engine that supports it.
            It’s been interesting “speaking” to you.

          • R: Interesting….the HUL may be a good reference point for a unit of “measure”, but you still need Medium of Exchange that can be converted into whatever useful goods and services are required.

            [T] Correct. But the Dollar, the Euro, the Pound, the Peso … they are all arbitrary units. You can’t relate to them or them to anything. That’s not true 4 HULs for the HUL. “You” can relate to the HUL. If you had a summer job in
            high school, you probably worked a for single HUL per hour. When I was
            in HS, a HUL was $1.50. A hamburger cost $0.25 or 10 minutes. A gallon of gas cost $0.25 so a full tank (16 gallons then) cost about (i.e. 4 hours hours pushing a shovel). WIth a HUL valued at about $8 today, a burger costs 1/6 to 1/2 of a HUL. A 16 gallon tank of gas costs 4 HULs. This is pretty comparable to when I was in high school.

            A huge difference between the HUL and other measures of “improper” money is it is a reference that never changes … like the inch, or the ounce, or the degree … and unlike the “ounce of gold”. Thus, it won’t work for an “improper” money that has “designed-in” inflation (or in the case of Bitcoin and gold, deflation).

            [R] By their own acknowledgement, whatever “reboot” they may accomplish….it will be temporary.

            [T] Does that mean it will be followed by a “un-reboot” … like an undo in text editing. Are they saying that with a straight face? Have you read “When Money Dies” by Ferguson?

            [R] They are apparently counting upon “timing” to realize significant gains.

            [T] Who is “they”. With a “proper” MOE there are no gains! … period! Usually are reset means the create a new name for their money, you redeem the old money for the new money at 1,000,000 to 1 … and it all starts over again. People holding the money just get screwed. People getting paid back in the old money have already been screwed.

            There is only one right value for inflation of money … and that is zero … all the time … everywhere!

            [R] The dollar is still “Fiat Currency”….A “promise to pay” with no honest intrinsic value other than the economic engine that supports it.

            [T] “All” money is fiat … because all promises are fiat … they are made up by the person making the problem. And that’s not a bad thing … though fiat is “always” used as a slur.

            When that trading promise spanning time and space is certified as money, the process is obligated to see that it is delivered upon. If the trader fails to deliver, the “orphaned” money is reclaimed and destroyed by interest collection of like amount … by the process .. from other deadbeats. That’s how zero inflation is guaranteed … the “process” maintains a perfect supply/demand balance for the money itself.

            [R] It’s been interesting “speaking” to you.

            [T] Thanks. It’s the most important subject I have on my plate. I have yet to find someone who gets it.

            WTC7 is the second most important. Of 289 people I have personally polled on WTC7, only 17 have known anything about it. And I only poll someone when they engage me on current events … because I want to test their information sources. Less than 6% have a clue! And once told, except in one case I get cognitive dissonance. In that one case, a young postal worker said “that changes everything”. It’s left me thinking everything social and political is totally hopeless. They truly are brains full of mush!

          • RED

            I have been a bit busy, but finally have a little free time to respond.

            Dissecting select statements and then sniping at them with what is often presumptuous and self serving rhetoric (as you did with the Bitcoin shop piece and other readers feedback is a “TACTIC”. Apparently you believe that this type of “dialogue” places you in the critics seat or “instructor” role providing “instructive critique”; it does nothing of the kind, and rest assured you do not enjoy that relationship with me.

            Allow me to demonstrate:

            TM – Without even knowing what those theories are, I think it is foolish. You don’t fix an “improper” MOE process by resetting it. You don’t fix an “improper” MOE process by switching to another “improper’ process. And if you have a “proper” MOE process in operation it never requires “re-booting”………”

            RD – How can you comment upon the efficacy of any theories if you do not read them. You speak of a “proper” MOE but you repeatedly fail to identify it. Your statement indicates that it is not necessary to learn anything about other theories as only your own are of importance.

            TM – [T] Who is “they”. With a “proper” MOE there are no gains! … period! Usually are reset means the create a new name for their money, you redeem the old money for the new money at 1,000,000 to 1 … and it all starts over again

            ……”

            RD – Who to you think “they” are? It is the authors of the piece at the link. If you read the piece you would know this.

            TM – [T] “All” money is fiat … because all promises are fiat … they are made up by the person making the problem. And that’s not a bad thing … though fiat is “always” used as a slur…..”

            RD – Of course the dollar and other currencies are Fiat money. The fact that I called the dollar Fiat currency should make it obvious to you that I am well aware all paper currency is Fiat. Bellicose statements are not required.

            Do you see what I mean? Your style of communication does nothing to advance the discussion let alone your own theories.

            I am quite busy and have little time to engage in this level of discourse, let alone time to even read the DB, and I am “done” with this communication thread.

            Respond if you must, and if it follows your prior “protocol”, rest assured that it will receive all of the consideration it deserves!

    • RED

      But then again….there is this:

      https://pro.dailyreckoning.today/p/TAO_blueprint_0617/LTAOT825/?h=true

      Make up your own mind.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Bitcoin is the black or underground market’s wet dream. How is tax evasion and dealing in anything illegal using Bitcoin NOT civilly disobedient? You can’t pick and choose the society you are willing to participate in. You get the one you are living in and its laws and regs. Otherwise, please leave and go someplace where EVERYBODY understands and agrees to use Bitcoin.

    “It’s easy. We set prices in Bitcoin. The bitcoin wallet on your phone will convert instantly so you can see how much things cost in terms of dollars or any other currency.” —- Bitcoin’s dollar value changes, sometimes wildly, on a daily basis. Thus the “set” Bitcoin price must be adjusted on an ongoing basis. Say you are asking one bitcoin for a piece of art. It’s value is $3000 today. I agree to purchase it, except I don’t have my Bitcoin wallet info. on hand. I come in the following day and Bitcoin has been pumped up to $3300 per coin. At this price – no deal. How about it drops to $2700 per coin. You won’t sell at that price. Still no deal. IS THIS ANY WAY TO DO BUSINESS? Or am I totally misguided about this?

    • gamathers

      This is the perfect way to conduct free enterprise. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to use Bitcoin. On the other hand the government is attempting to force people to use the digital dollar (i.e. They are discouraging cash.)

      Is it ok, at a point of a gun, to rob your neighbor? I suggest the answer is no.
      Is it ok to hire your neighbor up the street to rob your neighbor down the street? Again I suggest the answer is no.
      Is it ok for several neighbors to hire someone to rob the people across town? Again I suggest the answer is no.
      Why is it ok for a people group to hire (vote in) a small ruling class (government officials) to rob the rest of the residents just because they happen to be born in the borders of a country?
      BTW I pay my taxes (extortion) because of the consequences of not doing so.

  • Rosicrucian32

    Should one of our “friends” decide to detonate an EMP……………..the bit currency and all of its’ cousins will be worthless and inaccessible. So will all the useless paraphernalia being purchased with it. If you are doing clandestine (read illegal) activities in which you need the currency, that will be over as well. Barter will be the trade means. Until then the gov will likely abolish paper currency when the y identify the way they will compel everyone to get “chipped”. Funny thing happens on the way to the coliseum though, all those that flock to the sanctuary city won’t be getting chipped because they are invisible to everything but the bread and food stamp line. I don’t see them buying into the 100% surveillance capability such tech brings.
    There will still be a black market, but silver, beans, bandages, and bullets will be the currency of choice.

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