The following is the speech that JAN3 CSO Filip Karađorđević delivered at the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
I appreciate the invitation to speak in front of you. My name is Prince Filip, from house Karađorđević of Serbia.
I am the Chief Strategy Officer at JAN3, a Bitcoin technology and digital asset company founded by Samson Mow. Samson presented alongside President Bukele of El Salvador the plans for the “Volcano Bonds.”
I have come a long way, with great excitement from my native Serbia, to speak with you today about why Bitcoin is vital to Costa Rica's future and why it is essential to turn the Crypto-assets Market Law into a success.
Here in the Assembly, deputies have the responsibility of debating the problems of the Republic and to propose solutions. On whether to pass this law, to invest in this program, to incentivize this industry. Beneath almost all of these debates are resources, more specifically, money.
Money is a fascinating and complex subject. We all use it, it is vital for society to function. Everyone here knows what a Colón, a Dollar, an Euro is, but what is money, really?
Money, in essence, is an invention that allows us to exchange our time, our energy, our life. Having a reliable currency avoids the problem of barter, and those of the "double coincidence of wants".
Without the division of labor that money allows, we would all be weaving our own clothes, growing our own food, and human civilization would be much less diverse and poorer. The division of labor, the accumulation of capital and wealth that money encourages, allows complex civilizations to emerge and flourish.
Unfortunately, today's fiat-based money is broken. In the last few years we have seen a torrent of fiat money being printed across 3 years by central banks all over the world. We are awash in this storm, and we are living through the consequences.
Additionally, conflicts in distant lands have affected global trade and commodity prices. Of course, the price of everything has gone up. This is not likely to slow down, rather, it is likely to get worse. Once inflation starts, it is difficult to stop.
The inevitable consequence of printing money is inflation. And inflation is unfortunate, because it is a "hidden tax" that disproportionately affects the poorest.
The rich have real estate, shares in the stock market, and these go up along with inflation. Their purchasing power and quality of life is maintained. But the poor generally do not have access to many of these assets. At most they have a house or a piece of land, while the prices of food, transportation, clothing, everything goes up.
Inflation is like pouring water into orange juice. I pour a little bit, and I don't notice it. But the more water, the more diluted the juice becomes, until it is no longer orange juice. It's just water. It is no longer nourishing.
If the real inflation is 10%, the economy, the gross domestic product, must also grow 10% just to keep up. Beyond inflation - which is a huge problem, we have - stagnant growth, and austerity policies can only do so much.
Costa Rica has been a beacon for economic growth and development, ecotourism, industry, and technology. Of democracy and human development in Latin America, but - economic growth becomes stagnated as public policies become less and less sustainable. The world is changing very fast.
Article 45 of the Constitution says: Property is inviolable. However - inflation is a hidden tax that effectively violates the right to property. The big central banks, far away from here, are flooding markets with new money, they are diluting everyone's purchasing power. And working harder and harder for less and less pay, living in such an environment, is kind of a serfdom.
Which brings us to Bitcoin. What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a strange subject, an almost unbelievable story. A mysterious, pseudonymous individual, Satoshi Nakamoto, invented this decentralized digital currency that no one controls. Tens of thousands of computers around the world operate day and night to keep the Bitcoin network active. Digital gold.
A currency that has no issuer? There is no one behind it, a company or a government? There are only 21 million? It's like a fire in cyberspace that cannot be stopped. One whose price is always going up. It's savings technology for everyone.
It's not like anything we've seen before. It's something new and strange, and anything new brings with it a familiarization process. It's a subject that requires dozens of hours of study. But the more we study it, the more we are convinced that Bitcoin is a momentous invention for humanity.
It is the highest-performing asset in the last 10 years.
Crypto-assets or digital assets - based on new technologies related to Bitcoin - allow us to create cryptographic representations of monetary instruments. Bitcoin is a bearer instrument, money that appreciates over the long term.
In 1821 Costa Rica and its sister provinces in Central America declared their independence from the Spanish Empire. It was the dream of founding fathers to live in freedom, in charge of their own destiny. That great achievement is partial freedom.
My dream is that the people of Serbia become free, and that people around the world will choose to be free. That is why I have chosen this path.
Honorable deputies here present, you are elected representatives by the will of the people of Costa Rica. It is also my dream that the people of Costa Rica choose to be free, to be truly sovereign, independent, and prosperous. To be masters of their own destiny.
Something very special is happening in this region of Central America, something I admire very much: Bitcoin movements are emerging, organically. In El Zonte, Atitlan, or in Uvita. These three Central American republics have the opportunity to show the world that it is possible to be great.
That is why I urge you all to take seriously consider this Crypto-assets Market Bill that will allow Costa Ricans to have free access to this transformative instrument that is the Bitcoin. To turn Costa Rica into a Bitcoin-friendly country, along with other digital assets.
Participating in the Bitcoin economy of the future will drastically improve the quality of life of 5 million Costa Ricans.
Betting on Bitcoin is betting on a more prosperous Costa Rica, and thus how we create a brighter future.
Bitcoin is freedom.
Bitcoin is prosperity.
Bitcoin energizes individuals and entire nations.
Bitcoin is the currency of truth and real independence.
Bitcoin is hope for 5 million Ticos and Ticas.
For 52 million Central Americans.
And for 8 billion humans on the planet.