New Jersey ranks 50 out of 50 when it comes to its financial state. According to Truth in Accounting, New Jersey has accumulated $189.6 billion (as of September 2020) in debt. Ballpark best guess, we each owe $57,900 — and we have Trenton insiders to thank for this ever-escalating burden.
The state’s financial grade is an F and we are going to have to get creative to settle our accounts. I’ve not even mentioned the over $225 billion in retirement benefits promised. It should also come as no surprise that the state did not fund the $95.7 billion in pensions and $76.8 billion in retiree health care benefits, either.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could make the digital economy work for us for a change? We could get our rating up and our obligation down. We need a bold and unique approach. That’s why I’m proposing we add Bitcoin to New Jersey’s balance sheet.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency created in early 2009. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator in charge of the entire Bitcoin network. It can be saved, traded for goods and services, or sold for money without the need for intermediaries. This anonymous ledger is shared publicly with everyone who wants to see it, but to keep the privacy of everyone who uses Bitcoin, there are no names or personal information on the BlockChain. The BlockChain only shows your Bitcoin Wallet address (which is a long strand of random numbers and letters).
Imagine an investment, no matter what it may be. Whether it be gold, silver, stocks, land, bonds, they all have something in common. They can all be seized and devalued. Gold was once confiscated from the American people at a fixed price. Stocks can be a target of devaluation. Land can be seized if you do not pay your taxes. Bonds are not even outpacing the current rate of inflation. Bitcoin is a digital asset that was designed to be capped at 21 million Bitcoin. Once we reach that number, no more can be brought into the world. This brings scarcity into effect. As of August 17th, 2021, 18.78 million Bitcoin have been mined on the network. There’s little time left before the volatility ends and prices start to rise.
What I am looking to achieve is what many second- and third-world countries are adopting. Nations across South America and Africa are implementing or considering adding Bitcoin to their reserves, or even making it the reserve currency of their country. Countries like Nigeria, Vietnam, the Philippines, all riddled with economic issues, are trying to innovate their way into the future, I strongly believe that New Jersey should follow suit, becoming the first state in the union to add Bitcoin to its balance sheets.
I am proposing New Jersey spends 1% ($448 million) of its annual budget per year buying Bitcoin. I would also introduce restrictions on selling the state’s Bitcoin for 5 years after the transaction is complete. The Bitcoin can then be used to pay off the incredible amount of debt we have achieved, which means fully paying pensions, benefits, and we would also see major growth in the state’s economy.
Kevin Ryan is running for New Jersey Assembly Legislative District 27, which includes parts of Essex and Morris counties. He is the founder and CEO of Motivity Marketing, Inc, author of “Taking Down Goliath,” and host of the TMIKMR podcast.