This Independence Day, I am pushing the meme of New Hampshire Independence. It is its own country of 1,331,000 people with a unique set of cultural, economic, and philosophical values. It’s about time you and I start referring to NH as a country. Forget “draining the swamp” — Leave the swamp!
When most people think of New Hampshire, a few images come to mind: colorful trees, maple syrup, covered bridges, people with guns, and the great outdoors. They probably don’t think of high-tech cryptocurrency. But that’s changing, thanks to the great libertarian migration of the 21st century.
Anarchists and libertarians are moving en masse to escape oppressive political masters in their homelands to find peace and prosperity in tax-free, freedom-loving New Hampshire. With them, they are bringing their favorite freedom-enhancing technology: blockchain-based money.
Overstock.com reported that the day they started accepting bitcoin for payment, a third of all their orders came from New Hampshire. New Hampshire is only state that explicitly exempts crypto-currency businesses from requirements to register as money transmitters, attracting job-creating startups like Lamassu, LBRY, AnyPay, and more. No longer does Silicon Valley hold a monopoly on tech: the Swarm.City team could have launched from anywhere in the world, and they chose Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This week the Monadnock Shopper, a New Hamphire newspaper with 40,000 readers, published a front-page above-the-fold article about bitcoin and all the businesses in the area that accept it.
It can be hard to keep track of all the cryptocoin development happening in New Hampshire. That’s why David Jurist started Shire Cryptocoin, a website that tells you the closest businesses where you can buy and spend your cryptocoins, which ones they take, and when there are meetup groups in your area where you can learn and get your questions answered.
Shire Cryptocoin recently appeared at SomaliaFest 2017, and they were the best vendor there in my opinion, because they helped people get better money than what they had in their pockets. I used their service to trade bitcoin for litecoin, dash, and ethereum. I had a great experience, and I wanted to spread the word. Here’s a video I made about them:
You won’t believe this. Even I can’t believe it. I had to stop investigating this story because the rabbit hole of corruption was so deep that I lost sight of where it began. So let’s start at the end and work backwards…
Chris Brackett, the head of the jail in Dover, New Hampshire decided to impose a policy of obstructing all inmate mail. No more letters from the outside world. An article published by the Portsmouth Herald cites recent inmate overdoses as the potential justification for this excessively restrictive action.
There are two problems with that theory. First, the jail doesn’t allow packages of any sort, including birthday cards or anything other than ink and paper (at least, until last week’s new policy took effect). Second, it is policy for jail employees to physically open and check the contents of all inmate mail for any contraband and remove it before it reaches the inside. There is no way inmates were receiving heroin through ink and paper letters, and preventing their delivery will have no effect on inmate overdoses.
Who’s in charge of hiring these top-notch individuals working at the Dover jail? Well, none other than Bruce Pelkie, the Superintendent of Strafford County Jails, who was himself arrested earlier this year on felony charges of impersonating an officer. Apparently while enjoying more than a year on paid vacation on taxpayer’s dime, Bruce thought it would be great fun to get his personal vehicle outfitted with red and blue police lights and pull people over. Is he a cop? No. Does he have the authority to pull anyone over? No. Then surely the local police would notice this happening and stop him? Nope. A State Trooper was finally the one to catch the Superintendent of the jails pulling people over in his personal car. And all while he is out on “administrative leave” for what he claims are medical reasons. Surely this means he loses his job, his pay, and the taxpayer-funded medical insurance he’s been collecting? Also no. The superintendent of the jails continues to receive paychecks for not doing his job, and committing crimes on the side.
There are countless more crimes and stories of corruption emanating from this public embarrassment of a facility — too many to list in this one article. I had no idea what a can of worms I’d be opening when I dug into the first story about jail guards obstructing inmate mail. Is this even legal? Should groups like the ACLU and prisoner’s rights groups file a lawsuit against Chris Brackett and the people who are obstructing mail delivery to inmates? Please share this article and video with your friends and family and ask them what they think. Building a free society depends on people like you to think, speak, and act — especially when it is easier to do nothing.
On May 24 2017 I attended, “Exposing the Free State Project,” 90 minutes of slander and lies by Zandra Rice Hawkins. Hawkins is a propagandist with Granite State Progress, a political arm of the New Hampshire Democrats. She apparently missed her calling as a preacher of the fire and brimstone variety, given the fear, mistrust, and terror she attempted to sow throughout the crowd. In the end, attendees seemed rightfully doubtful of Hawkins’ spurious claims that Free Staters are wolves in sheep’s clothing, secretly plotting to dismantle every beloved societal institution they can. Instead, Free Staters were seen as open, willing to engage others on the issues that matter most to them, and find common ground where possible to make a better life for everyone.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Portsmouth, NH – The Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s bitcoin vending machine now offers Dash. The founder of Portsmouth-based digital currency company AnyPay, Steven Zeiler, says “Dash is newer than bitcoin and is more widely used on the Seacoast. Dash offers faster confirmation times and greater privacy than bitcoin.”
Bitcoin has been a popular digital currency in New Hampshire for years. Because of its recent rise in use worldwide, the fees for sending payments have increased significantly — from about 5 cents per transaction a few years ago to about $3 per transaction today. “This is great for large companies sending millions of dollars across the world instantly,” says Zeiler. “$3 is a real bargain compared to what they currently pay. But everyday bitcoin users accustomed to buying a $2 coffee with bitcoin are unwilling to spend an extra $3 just to use the digital currency.” This created an opportunity for new digital currencies to enter the market and specialize in faster payments and lower fees.
Seacoast residents have been using Dash for about a year, buying everything from soaps and salad dressing to haircuts and bacon. Some even offer a discount for customers who pay with Dash. But getting it was always a problem. Users needed to have bitcoin first, or trade a good or service to get Dash. Zeiler says, “Until now, it was only possible to get Dash in exchange for another digital currency. Now people can retire their dirty old federal reserve notes into the machine where they’ll be shredded. Just kidding.”
The price of one Dash is currently just under $200. Users can also buy bitcoin from the machine for under $3,000. Digital currencies offer users a way to hide their money from the government and buy things that would otherwise be impossible to purchase like high-quality lab-tested recreational drugs. New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu signed legislation this week extending protection to businesses that use digital currency from regulation, making it the most cryptocurrecy-friendly state in the nation.
The bitcoin vending machine is located to the left of the box office inside the Seacoast Repertory Theatre at 125 Bow St in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Seacoast Rep accepts bitcoin for tickets to their live performances.