Bitcoin and cryptocurrency expert Tama Churchouse calls in from Singapore to answer the big question of, “how high can Bitcoin really go?” Tama teaches you a new way to value the digital currency invention of Satoshi Nakamoto and exactly how cryptos function as a transfer of economic value. Buck learns how anyone can download every transaction ever made with Bitcoin and why it’s massively secure. Tama reveals the three layers of crypto-assets you need to understand to realize why we are in the very early stages of financial and business disruption resulting from Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Buck tells you why he thinks the Trump tax bill could be the next “belly-flop into the shallow end of the pool,” if Congress cannot simplify the 70,000 pages of current IRS tax code to benefit working Americans. What kind of pork and fat are politicians cooking up in the Capitol kitchen to push this bill through? Decorated Marine scout sniper and author of Bounty Hunter 4/3, Jason Delgado, joins the show to tell you about what it’s like to wake up every morning and go to war as your day job.
Buck responds to listener feedback about electro-magnetic pulses (EMPs), political term limits, and dinosaurs.
Editor, Stansberry Churchouse Research
Male: Broadcasting from Baltimore, Maryland and New York City, you're listening to the Stansberry Investor Hour. Tune in each Thursday on iTunes for the latest episode of the Stansberry Investor Hour. Sign up for the free show archive at Investorhour.com. Here are the hosts of your show, Buck Sexton and Porter Stansberry.
Buck Sexton: Hello, everybody and welcome to the Stansberry Investor Hour. I'm Buck Sexton. Nationally syndicated radio host, and your fearless leader, our fearless leader, Porter Stansberry who is usually here with me is out for this edition of the podcast. We will miss the big guy, but we're gonna forge ahead. We've got some fantastic guests. A very special show for you dear listener. It is a double billing with two very inspiring guests. We'll welcome back to the show Tama Churchouse of Stansberry Churchouse Research. Tama is calling in from Singapore to tell you about what's going on with bitcoin as the cryptocurrency seems to be about to break the psychological $10,000 price point. How high can bitcoin go? Or what about its favorite cousin, ethereum? How do you value these new assets and others like it? If you are in bitcoin and other cryptos right now, what do you need to watch out for to protect your investment?
Also joining the show today is author and former U.S. Marine scout sniper Jason Delgado. I recently interviewed Jason on my nightly radio show, which is actually now going to be titled – this just changed – The Buck Sexton Show. We have gotten rid of the franchise model for the radio show. It is now just The Buck Sexton Show. You can find that on the iHeart Radio app or on iTunes, by the way. It's Monday through Friday. It's on 6:00 to 9:00 Eastern time. Or you can just download it.
Back to Jason, who's a fascinating guy. He has a new book out, Bounty Hunter 4/3. And it's about Jason's story escaping the death and drugs of crime-riddled Bronx, New York on the way to becoming a lead sniper trainer for the Marine Corps and escaping death in war zones abroad. Jason was part of the Marine Corps forces special operations command. He is an incredible guy. A great guy. An artist, by the way, as well as being a Marine Corps sniper, and a fantastic patriot and a really solid human being with an incredible story. You'll want to hear that for sure.
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All right. Let's get started. So this week I get to share with you all, our beloved Stansberry Investor Hour listeners and family, I get to tell you what's on my mind. We are without Big P, which makes me sad. But he's got business to tend to this week. So I'll just give you a quick rundown on what I think is important right now.
You've got a mad dash with the Congress to try and get to a place where they can finally put some points up on the board. Tax reform. Tax reform is the primary area that the Republicans are pushing and hoping to finally get something done on. And I just have to say, I'm a little bit skeptical for two reasons. One, never underestimate the GOP's opportunities to miss an opportunity. So there's that. And that's another way of also saying I just don't believe that the Congress is actually going to get this thing done before Christmas break. Maybe that's my cynicism. Maybe that's just me looking at what's gone on over the last year. During the Trump administration, the Congress has not shown us a particularly good side of itself – whether it was the belly flop into the shallow end of the pool on immigration or on repealing and replacing Obamacare. It hasn't been a good year for thinking that Congress can do things that not just are, well, worthwhile – whether you believe worthwhile or not, do much of anything.
What would you say you do here is a question that was asked in the wonderful and understated film, Office Space, by some efficiency experts brought in to fire people from the Initech Corporation. What would you say you do here? Would be the first question that I would ask, certainly Congressional leadership given what we've seen over the last year or so. They may finally have a response. Other than, well, you know we just, we spend money and we, you know we write laws sometimes. They may actually have something worthwhile to tell us all. And that's why there's such a focus on the tax reform issue.
I also have, and this is the second part of how I feel about this – beyond just the initial sense that they can't actually get it done – I have a skepticism that the tax reform when it's finally, when all said and done, I have a skepticism that it will be what was promised and that it will not be completely laden with pork and carve-outs and all kinds of little goodies for special interests.
Already the House version of the bill as we go on air here is in the hundreds of pages, as is the Senate version of the bill. Now that maybe is necessary, but I have to note that that doesn't seem like a particularly encouraging indicator when one of your main selling points is that the tax code's gonna get simpler. There'll be fewer brackets. Everything will be easier and smaller and more straightforward. Okay. Why is the bill hundreds of pages then? Couldn't they just excise and replace without having to add a whole lot of text to the already 70,000-plus page tax code? I don't know if Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell have a particularly good answer to that, but nonetheless it is a place where I see and have some concerns.
You also can already read about, for example, the multimillion-dollar tax break that I believe is in the House version of tax reform that would go to a tuna cannery in American Samoa because that's one way to make America great again. There are clearly going to be some last-minute deals to get this over the finish line. You will hear the cliché about how you don't want to see the sausage being made when it comes to politics. You know don't peek into the kitchen that Congress runs because you won't like what you see. But do we really have to accept that? We've been told now for quite some time, many months, that this administration would get this done and that it would be clear and we would even be able to file our taxes on one page on a postcard. I do not see that happening, my friends. And while the corporate tax cut could be great and I think would be great if passed as advertised, there's a lot of other work that would still need to be done. And that's assuming anything gets through. So tax reform – huge.
And then just a note on the sexual harassment and sexual assault avalanche of allegations, accusations and now perhaps some resignations. We will see. This has become a major issue because of the Senate race in Alabama recently. That's still under way right now and this has become a very polarizing debate between left and right. But then the Democrats who when it came to the discussion of Senate candidate Roy Moore were finally saying, you know maybe we should have reckoned with the Clinton years and the fact that Bill Clinton was accused by more than one woman of sexual assault. He was, in fact, accused on the record and credibly of rape in the case of Juanita Broaddrick. That the left and the Democrats had finally decided they were willing to look at this and deal with their past of covering up for partisan purposes what their leadership, some of their leadership had engaged in. And including the complicity of Hillary Clinton in all of that.
Well, that took a big, that whole narrative took a big hit over the weekend when you had Nancy Pelosi go on Meet the Press and say that Congressman Conyers who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, not of sexual assault specifically, but that Congressman Conyers, the longest-serving member of the Congress. He's been in since the '60s I believe. That he was an icon and perhaps there should be a different set of standards applied for him as a Democrat icon when it comes to sexual harassment. He's stepped down, at least temporarily, from his position as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, but no indications as of this podcast that Congressman Conyers will, in fact, resign.
You also have Al Franken, Senator Franken from Minnesota. Can't quite explain what the people of Minnesota were thinking with that one. He has had multiple female accusers come forward with allegations of unwanted advances and groping and grasping and just being very, very creepy. Franken gave a press conference in which he said he takes fully responsibility but he's just gonna get back to work as a senator. He's not going anywhere. Not gonna step down.
So with all of that, I think it's fair to say that while there is certainly a moment in time here where more accusers are stepping forward and more harassers are finally feeling the consequences of their actions, I don't think anything is really going to change. And largely politics will determine someone's fate when accused of any of these malfeasances much more so than an objective standard.
The double standard will continue. That's really what this all comes down to. And whether you think somebody should resign for their inappropriate behavior will in many cases, at least when you ask members of Congress, when you ask important political figures and all of the folks in the media, in media cases they will say, well, which party does the accused belong to? And that is concern number one.
So with that I want to just get into our guest interviews, 'cause this cryptocurrency stuff is absolutely fascinating. So let's get to that.
All right. So now up on the Stansberry Investor Hour we have Tama Churchouse. Tama opened his first brokerage account at the age of 16. Along with his father, Peter, he established Churchouse Publishing in 2012 with the aim of bringing independent, no-nonsense analysis and research to those who take an active interest in creative and managing their own wealth. He draws on over a decade of experience working for investment banks, most recently at JPMorgan working on derivative structuring and marketing for private banks in the Asia region. Along with his role at Stansberry Churchouse Research he manages a portfolio of internal money for the family office in listed securities and real estate.
Tama is the lad analyst and editor of the Crypto Capital service published by Stansberry Churchouse Research. Tama has established himself as a noted expert on bitcoin, blockchain and crypto assets, speaking at conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Please welcome, everybody: Tama Churchouse.
Tama, great to have you.
Tama Churchouse: Hey, Buck, how you are you?
Buck Sexton: I'm good. Thank you for joining us from abroad. I know it's probably a crazy time change wherever you are. So let's get into it. Bitcoin is going even crazier right now. Right now you got bitcoin 10,000 bucks or so. How high can this actually go you think, Tama? You've got hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz who said this week that bitcoin could be $40,000 by the end of 2018. What's your forecast? I mean how do you actually put a value to an asset like bitcoin?
Tama Churchouse: Yes. I mean the way I look at bitcoin is I look at is its potential as a global reserve currency. So a global decentralized reserve settlement currency. And I kind of look at it as potentially reaching on par with say a G3 level of money supply. Which would kind of put it into the trillions of dollars.
So, you know that's kind of the upside potential I see in bitcoin. And that's kind of the way I look at it. I don't value it in the way of a traditional currency. I look it as what can it potentially become and what can it potentially serve in terms of as a global digital goal, digital reserve currency. And kind of the upside that I see is potentially, you know a market valuation in the trillions. The low trillions of dollars.
Buck Sexton: Can I just ask real quick, I mean for listeners who this may be their first experience hearing about bitcoin in any detail, what's kinda your intro description of this cryptocurrency and how can you tell us about mining?
Tama Churchouse: Yes. So I mean I the way to think about bitcoin is, you know first of all bitcoin is really the proof of concept of all cryptocurrencies. It's really the godfather of all of these thousands of cryptocurrencies that are out there at the moment. And the way to think about bitcoin really just briefly is it's the first trustless decentralized medium for exchanging value. You know if you think of every single form of ledger that exists, whether it's your bank account or your bar tab, it is centralized. So that balance sheet is centralized by a particular party, whether it's your bank, as I say, or your bar tab. What bitcoin and the technology behind it allowed was for the first time it was possible for, you know people who didn't know each other to come together and achieve consensus in a completely secure and decentralized manner and be able to agree on what the state of this decentralized ledger was.
So I, you know I could send you $1,000 around the world in bitcoin. And that transaction could be processed, approved, secured and done so in a decentralized way, in an open and transparent way.
Now the miners are the guys who do that. They're the economic actors behind the bitcoin network itself. They are the guys who take all the transactions, bundle them together into a block, you know put it through a relatively computationally intensive process and then add that block of transactions to the blockchain. And that effectively updates the state of the ledger as it were. So, you know if I send you a transaction, $100 worth of bitcoin, that transaction will get bundled together by the miners into the block, added to the blockchain and then the ledger will now reflect a debit of $100 worth of bitcoin from my account and a positive plus $100 to your account. And it doesn't require any centralized intermediary. And the miners are the guys who support the network and process the transactions.
Buck Sexton: See I've been watching Narcos season three, which I highly recommend, and there is a point at which, without getting into any spoilers, the good guys, the police, they get their hands on a ledger and it has all the different payoffs in it. So – I'm just trying to extrapolate from what you're saying here. It's almost like everybody would have access – they would all have the ledger so to speak. Right? Anybody who's engaged in the transaction, they would all have an independent copy of whatever has gone on. So that's what you mean by decentralization, right?
Tama Churchouse: Absolutely. So anyone and everyone can go on download what's called a "full node," which is a full copy of the bitcoin blockchain. And that runs at about 150 gigabytes at the moment. And that file effectively contains the entire history of every single bitcoin transaction. And really what the miners are doing is simply updating that spreadsheet as it were on a period basis. And everybody is agreeing on it. So it's done in – that's what I mean by decentralized. So there's no single entity behind the state of that ledger. It's agreed to in kind of a – in a mutual way.
Buck Sexton: And tell me a bit about blockchain. You mentioned it when you were talking about bitcoin, but once again, by way of perhaps a refresher for a lot of the folks listening, but for some people maybe the first description of blockchain technology they've heard from an actual expert in this space. How should just the every day folks who are thinking about investing in this or getting involved in some way, how should they think about blockchain? And even for those who don't care about bitcoin necessarily as an investment, blockchain technology may be very important for the future.
Tama Churchouse: Yeah. I mean it absolutely will be. And, you know the way to think about it really is, you know if you look at the 1990s and the big dot-com boom, and you look about what the Internet really was, the Internet was really about the kind of democratization of value, of information transfer. So I would be able to send you an e-mail or someone would be able to send information around the world. I could access information. And it completely democratized that transfer of information.
But what you couldn't do was transfer value. So if I wanted to send you an e-mail I could do so, but I couldn't send you a real – I couldn't send you tangible value. You know I couldn't send you currency without several intermediaries. I couldn't send you kind of the economic interest in a particular underlying business without the involvement of several intermediaries.
What blockchain technology allows to do is kind of really for the first time isexchange in a peer-to-peer exchange of value. And do in a way which is completely secure and complete decentralized. And currency is the easiest way to think about it first. So bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it's the easiest way to think about it. It's these cryptocurrencies, these crypto assets – really just bitcoin, dash, monero – they're really just forms of currency. But once you kind of peel back the onion, what you start to see is that you can send a lot more than currency. You can send, you know an exchange, economic value in an underlying decentralized business, for example. Not to get too ahead of ourselves, but we're really just only at the very, very early stages of what this technology is gonna allow us to do. It's really gonna fundamentally transform the way every single business operates and it's gonna completely disintermediate a lot of existing business.
Buck Sexton: And among those is just businesses – I'm assuming that something you know a lot about having worked in it, financial services never really will be the same as a business, right?
Tama Churchouse: Well, I mean you know having worked in banks for a long time, there's a couple of things. I mean banks are weighed down by a lot of legacy software compliance issues. There's a lot of people who have vested interests in maintaining a status quo and maintaining their role as an intermediary. Because intermediaries make money. They exist to make money. If I can exchange money directly with you without an intermediary, then I'm cutting their business. I'm cutting their lunch. And that exists not just on money exchange but financial assets and everything in between. I mean, you know these decentralized companies that are being built, for example, don't really require an auditor, for example. Because everything is actually recorded on a distributed ledger. In the same way that I don't need an auditor when I look at the bitcoin blockchain. 'Cause I can see every single transaction that's occurred there.
So, you know blockchain has the ability to really just cut out so many layers that just don't need to be there. So many centralized intermediary layers that kind of have – whose sole role is to kind of take a cut of whatever transaction that doesn't actually need to be there. And it's really not gonna be there in the future.
Buck Sexton: We're speaking to Tama Churchouse of Stansberry Churchouse Research here everybody. Tama, tell me a bit about the other crypto assets and tokens that are out there. People talk a lot about bitcoin, but there's ethereum, neo, ripple, dash, zcash, potcoin, all this stuff. Are these currencies to be used only on certain online ecosystem? What are all these other currencies that are out there? What are some of the differences we should be aware of?
Tama Churchouse: Yes. I mean the way to typically break it down is into kind of three layers. You've got – you know overall you've got the entire kind of crypto asset space. And you've got, you know a couple thousand crypto assets which are out there trading at the moment. The way to break them down really is first and foremost you have cryptocurrencies. And those are assets like bitcoin, like bitcoin cash, like litecoin, dash, monero. And these are really some of the oldest and longest running blockchain assets or crypto assets out there. And they really function as a medium of exchanging value in a cryptographically secure way. So they don't really do anything else above and beyond that. They're just a mechanism of storing and exchanging value.
The second layer we have is what you call crypto protocols. And that really includes things like ethereum, neo, cardano. And what these are, you know one way to think about them is you look at the Internet, you know the Internet is built upon a layer of protocols. TCPIP, HTTP, SNTP, you know for e-mail. You've got that layer of protocols which really form the backbone of the entire outstanding Internet infrastructure. And at the moment what these tokens are doing is building a new layer of protocols that in the future, you know decentralized applications are gonna be built on. So that's kind of when we look at ethereum and those kind of assets, those are protocols. Some people also call them smart contracts or programmable money. And in many ways they're kind of like a 2.0 version of what bitcoin kind of proved that it could do.
And the third type of crypto asset out there are really crypto enterprises or applications. And these are usually very specific. So, for example, you know a decentralized storage token, for example. You know if I own some of this token then I can store my file securely in a decentralized manner. So think Dropbox but completely decentralized, for example. Or there are gambling applications out there. You know or there's messaging and so on and so forth. So there's a whole layer of applications which are being built on top of those protocols that are being constructed at the moment.
So those are kind of really the three types of crypto assets that we see out there at the moment.
Buck Sexton: Now tell me a bit about the bitcoin exchange coin base. That now has more users than Charles Schwab the brokerage. Schwab has 10.6 million users as of the end of October. Coinbase reported 11.7 million users. And Coinbase just jumped to 13.3 million as of this past Sunday. Tama, I've actually been talking to a couple of friends of mine who have just recently gotten involved in Coinbase and I think that begs a question, right? When everyone around you, you know everybody from the people who are completely novice to the finance world, as well as individuals that you just kinda hear talking about this in passing, makes you think is this possibly a bubble? Or do you think that bitcoin is still just a fringe part of the financial universe? That's what I want to know. Is this a bubble?
Tama Churchouse: Well, I mean the first thing I would say is, you know the pace of gains in the space in the past few days, in the past couple of weeks, has been unsustainable to say the least. You know it's moving too far too fast from my perspective. It doesn't change the underlying premise and it doesn't change the underlying promise of what this technology is gonna deliver. But at the same time, you know it's not sustainable to see 10%, 20% price increases day on day, you know for weeks at a time. So that would be the first thing.
The second thing I would say is yes, there is a – you know there's a lot of unsophisticated money that is kind of pouring into the space. I mean I get e-mails pretty much every day from friends of mine saying, hey, how do I buy it? Is it too late? Is the price too high? And you know my typical response is, well, you know do you have a proper portfolio that you're running already with some bonds and stocks? Maybe some real estate. And if you do, then great and, you know maybe you can take a little bit of, you know a small portion of your investable assets and look at crypto. But you know I certainly think it's the – it's one of the last things you look at not the first thing.
And, you know the second thing I would say is, you know I was speaking – I'm here in Singapore at the moment and I was speaking at a conference today to a couple hundred people on, you know, the view outlook for 2018. And afterwards there was kind of a group of people kind of clustered around me and we were talking. And this lady said, "You know bitcoin's closing in on $10,000. I think it's too expensive." And I said, "Listen, I don't mean to be rude, but do you know what the market value of bitcoin is?" And she couldn't answer. She was like, "Oh, $80 billion, $100 billion?" And to me that was extraordinary that someone would be talking about price, you know the dollar denominated price of a unit of one bitcoin without any kind of understanding of the market value. Which is really the important thing that people should be focusing on. Not the – you know the fact that it's hitting $10,000, yes, it makes a great headline and so on and so forth. But what people should be really focusing on is what the outstanding value of bitcoin in circulation? Which is around $165 billion now. And where do you think that can go? So kind of forget about the idea of what one bitcoin is worth and think more about what is the value of this currency in circulation and put it kind of in that perspective.
And one final thing is, you know I look at a lot of these cryptos at the moment and you know to be perfectly honest with you, there are cryptos out here which are trading for hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, that are gonna go to zero. So there's gonna be a fairly major bloodletting at some stage. And there needs to be. There needs to be a big shakeout in the space. And that's gonna happen. Whether it happens next week or early next year I don't know, but it's gonna happen for sure.
Buck Sexton: That was a question that I wanted to ask you about, Tama, specifically. Which is that if someone's going to invest in bitcoin, do they have to be prepared for it to go to zero? It sounds like some cryptocurrencies you would say that's the case. But would you say that about bitcoin itself? If someone's going to invest should they be at least psychologically prepared for the possibility that bitcoin all of a sudden just completely crashes?
Tama Churchouse: With bitcoin in particular you need to – you know I don't think it's going to zero any time soon. And one of the reasons is bitcoin is kind of underpinned by a large layer of what I would call "bit bugs." And these are the guys who don't sell under any circumstances. They are just holders or "hodlers" as they're known in the space. They don't sell. You know, "from my cold, dead hands," as it were. They're not going to sell.
But what bitcoin is is extremely volatile. So you know you should be prepared to see corrections of 30%, 40%, 50%, 70%. You know if you're going to get involved in the crypto space. So you need to be prepared to stomach a huge amount of volatility. And that's the price you pay for the kind of upside that you get. You know we launched Crypto Capital just over a month ago. Bitcoin's up 90% since then. You know it's pretty crazy. But what goes up can also correct pretty rapidly as well.
Buck Sexton: If someone was wondering right now, Tama, we're about to get into how they can subscribe to your Crypto Capital newsletter, which highly recommend for all those listening who are interested in doing this. Interested in investing and looking at this. But if someone wanted to start what is step one? I mean if someone listening says, you know what, I would like – I want to put 10% of my portfolio in some of these cryptocurrency assets, they have to go on to the exchange? What is the process of actually investing in and buying actual, let's just assume bitcoin. Let's just stick to bitcoin for now.
Tama Churchouse: Sure. Well, I mean the first thing I would say is 10% is probably too much. So start with something a little smaller than that. But the step-by-step process is pretty straightforward, and we lay this out with a lot of videos and whatnot in Crypto Capital. But it's pretty straightforward. First of all, you open an account with a crypto fiat exchange. So a crypto fiat exchange is an exchange where you can exchange deposit dollars and buy bitcoin. And the major two ones in the U.S., for example, are Coinbase – you mentioned earlier – and Gemini. So you go log on. Open an account with them. You go through a relatively straightforward KYC – "know your customer" – process. Submit some document ID. And then you can deposit say, you know a few thousand dollars by wire or bank transfer into your account. You then have a pretty standard looking trading dashboard where you can put in your order for a particular amount of bitcoin. And bear in mind, you don't have to buy whole denominations of bitcoin. Bitcoin is divisible down to eight decimal places. So you can buy a thousand dollars' worth of bitcoin or $2,000 or $5,000 or what have you. You put in a fairly simple limit order. And then you have some bitcoin.
Once you've got bitcoin on the exchange, you know, typically we recommend that you don't leave it on the exchange – that you move it to a wallet. So there's a whole range of different wallets that you can use. And a wallet is really just a piece of software or even a piece of hardware that acts as kind of an interface, a bridge between your bitcoin and the blockchain itself. So there's a whole bunch of different wallets out there. You can even have your wallet printed on a piece of paper, on a USB stick or on just on your computer or even your mobile phone. And that's really it. And you know for the vast majority of people that's kind of what I recommend. Just buy a little bitcoin, tuck it away and really forget about it.
But if you're kind of looking to really roll up your sleeves then you know get more involved in the space and you know there's plenty of tokens that outperform bitcoin, you know pretty dramatically. You know one of our recommendations, for example, only launched last month, it's up 450%. It's a pretty crazy white-knuckle space. But regardless, what I would say is, look, just try and soak in as much of this as you can. And unfortunately it does take quite a lot of – you know you really do have to roll up your sleeves and make an effort to learn as much as you can because you're not gonna find, you know there's a real lack of good information out there. There really is no Wall Street Journal for the crypto space. There's very few reliable sources of information. There's a huge amount of misinformation out there as well. So you know it really does take quite a lot of navigating to familiarize yourself with it. But it really is the future and I just, you know I would strongly recommend people, even if you don't buy into the whole crypto asset space, that you at least understand what's gonna happen next. That's kind of what we hope to help people, you know navigate their way through it as it were.
Buck Sexton: To that end, Tama, how can people contact you about subscribing to your Crypto Capital newsletter?
Tama Churchouse: You'll find us on StansberryChurchouse.com. That's our website. And you'll see on our publications there we have a few publications, one of which is Crypto Capital. You can call our hotline, which is open 24 hours a day. Well, during the week I think at least. And or drop us an e-mail or even subscribe online. Relatively straightforward. And, you know we have a full one month trial period. So, you know folks can try us out. We've got about two or three hours' worth of videos there, instructional guides. You know really just trying to handhold people as much as possible through, you know going through the process of doing this, kind of navigating this space securely and safely. You know that's really the priority first.
If you're interested in a subscription to Crypto Capital you can call us on 855-5996-002.
Buck Sexton: Tama Churchouse of Stansberry Churchouse Research. Tama, great to have you, man. This is fascinating stuff. Appreciate you joining on the podcast. Come back soon.
Tama Churchouse: Thanks a lot, Buck. It's been a pleasure.
Buck Sexton: That was a fascinating deep dive on cryptocurrency and blockchain with Tama Churchouse. We're gonna go from the world of cryptocurrency to the world of special operations now though, my friends. We promised that he'd join us and here he is. Jason Delgado is with us now. He is an accomplished Marine Corps sniper, entrepreneur, tattoo artist and father. Jason escaped the dangers of life in the streets of the Bronx only to battle for his life in Iraq during two combat tours as a Marine scout sniper. One of the most important snipers and instructors of the modern era of special operations, Delgado helped shape the future of sniping while serving as the Marine Corps Forces Special Operation Command's first lead sniper instructor. He is currently working for a security services contractor in Afghanistan, and he is the author of Bounty Hunter 4/3: My Life in Combat From Marine Scout Sniper to MARSOC. Jason, buddy, great to have you.
Jason Delgado: How you guys doing? That intro still so grandiose, you know.
Buck Sexton: Hey, we just want the folks to know who we've got on the line here, you know. We gotta give them the whole scoop, the whole story.
Jason Delgado: I'm nothing that big, man. I'm just, like I said, I'm just a guy that did work overseas. And most of the guys that I worked with as far as the instructor cadre of the training community, I mean all those guys put in their fair share. But you know that being said, I'm no longer a contractor. We were talking about this a few seconds ago. I am a podcast host for Sofrep. Took over for Brandon Webb. Thank god for that. So now I'm able to stay home and be a dad. So that's pretty cool.
Buck Sexton: Oh, very nice. A fellow podcaster. Is that on Sofrep.com, right?
Jason Delgado: Yes. iTunes. All that stuff. All that jazz.
Buck Sexton: So let's talk a bit about your book, Jason. Which is doing very well. Bounty Hunter 4/3. Walk me through what you tell everybody out. And I know you got Chris Martin as your co-author. Walk me through what the story is.
Jason Delgado: Great co-author, first and foremost. He already put out a book called Modern American Snipers. And so you know when they paired us together, the publisher paired us together, you know they already knew that he had a handle on the industry. Which I felt super comfortable with him because the lingo wasn't alien to him. So I think that helped with the book and it segues from one story to another. But he – the way he wrote it, it seems as if it's something like a television show. You know it just transitions into at the appropriate times to different situations. I mean great, great author, man. He's a great writer.
Buck Sexton: So but take us to the beginning here, Jason. Tell us what – so Bounty Hunter starts out you're living, you're like me. You're from New York City. You're living in the Bronx.
Jason Delgado: Yes, sir.
Buck Sexton: Things were a little rough in the '90s in New York and in the Bronx in particular.
Jason Delgado: Yeah. So back when I was raised in New York it was pretty – it was damn near lawless. I mean you had – I call it in the book the height of the crack epidemic. You know we're talking about the late '80s and the early '90s, mid-'90s, where we had million-dollar drug dealers running neighborhoods. And we didn't know no better as children, so I mean we would look up to these guys. We would walk around and witness, you know atrocities daily. You know people getting sliced and stabbed and killed. You know I witnessed my first murder when I was five years old. It so happened to be my uncle, you know sitting across the street. I watched someone murder him. So I guess it's situations like that is what I accredit to my path in life or the choice of my path in life was that I decided not to be a sheep or a victim. You know I wanted to be proactive in my survival. And ever since then I've always been that, you know head first kind of go-getter trying to accomplish, you know whatever it is that I'm trying to accomplish at that moment. And also within the book I explain how that blind ambition also took a toll on my family life, on my personal life.
So it's more or less, you know growing up, you know in the Bronx and growing up in that lifestyle and then coming over into the Marine Corps, it was almost an effortless transition because the Marine Corps' a very aggressive culture. It's a warrior culture. So you know I thrived in it. I think most inner-city kids that like to scrap thrive in the military. And from there, you know like I said, it's that blind ambition that just kept me wanting to collect accolades or try to be considered best of the best. Which you know in the Marine Corps at that time it was the Marine Corps Scout Sniper program. And that's what I wanted to achieve. But what I wanted to put out there in the book, this book isn't a book about me kind of praising myself saying that I was, you know the baddest guy in the block. You know it's me explaining to the younger generation or those that want to follow in my footsteps about the pitfalls of that blind ambition and you know the negative aspects of having a chip on your shoulder from certain things. Especially in this day and age, where you know we have this separation between the races almost. It's like everyone has a chip on their shoulders and you know no one kind of swallows that pride and work for the greater good. So I kinda want to get that message out there to the younger kids. You know it's okay to be a warrior but you have to understand you're working in a team and you know as well as your family. You know you have to sometimes stop and make sure you know you're taking care of them because you're gonna wind up like me, losing it all you know. And that's exactly what happened.
Buck Sexton: Jason, what does it take to become a Marine scout sniper? What are some of the – what's the selection process like? What were some of the more harrowing moments in that whole process of becoming an elite warrior? You know did you ever doubt yourself as you were going through it?
Jason Delgado: Of course.
Buck Sexton: What pushed you through the training? Bring us into that part of your life.
Jason Delgado: To become a Marine Corps scout sniper first off you join an infantry unit or you join – which is an infantry unit, you join a special operations unit like Marine reconnaissance battalion or force reconnaissance company. And then from there you're able to get to scout sniper school. However, prior to you getting – and this is back when I was a scout sniper, a lot has changed now. But back when I was actively seeking this out, you had to prove yourself to the unit in which you were gonna operate in. Which was my battalion at that time. 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. And so what we did was they sent out an indoctrination. We did the indoctrination. And the indoctrination is all physical-mental. So there's a lot of, you know mind games that they play with you. And then there is a lot of physical, you know a lot of physical requirements. Tough physical requirements that you don't see up to those point in the Marine Corps. I mean you have boot camp. To you boot camp was like, you know the hardest thing you ever endured up to that moment. Then it's like the rude awakening. Like, all right, welcome to the indoctrination where we're gonna torture you for a couple days and see how, you know what kinda stuff you're made up. We want to see what kinda guys you got.
And in order to accomplish that or in order to succeed in an indoctrination or even in the process of becoming that type of individual operator, special operator, you have to learn how to separate your metaphysical form from your physical form. There's no way in hell you're gonna be in your mind and succeed at some of these evolutions that you have to go through. You have to literally dig deep down inside and just not care anymore. You have to go zombie mode. You understand what I'm saying? And then once you realize that, that you have no quit in you, and that's basically what zombie mode is. Like I don't care what my body's going through right now I'm pushing through. And once you find that out, once you discover you have no quit in you, that's the realization or that's the point where your commanders or those employing you want you to be. Because they know 100% that when they send you out, you're gonna accomplish the mission above that of your own comfort. Above that of your own morale and your own safety. They just want the job done. And if you don't understand that and you can't bring yourself to terms with that, don't even bother going out for special operations.
Buck Sexton: We're speaking to Jason Delgado, who is the author of Bounty Hunter 4/3: My Life in Combat From Marine Scout Sniper to MARSOC. Jason, for all those listening, take us into what it was like as an elite sniper in the Marine Corps overseas.
Jason Delgado: So it's very, you know Marine Corps is – the Marine Corps has a funny way of taking the same – taking a bunch of different factors and grinding out the same product like McDonald's. You know. So it's nothing special when you're in combat as a scout sniper. You're just another team member of that battalion or that unit or that company, whoever you're in direct support of. They don't treat you special. You're not gonna get that, you know. But what you're gonna get is that personal satisfaction. That instant gratification of who you are and what you can do and the fact that not everyone around you can do that.
So in other words you're not gonna get that praise from your command, you know. So it's not like we're this cool unit that just shows up and we get our own area – and, you know, we run operations secretly behind the curtains. We have to learn how to play with the big picture. You know we have to be able to basically coordinate with smaller units and say, hey, how many times – you know for example, how many times did you guys use this building? You know during the last two weeks. 'Cause I'm planning on using it. And if, you know said person says, oh, I've used it six times, well, you're probably not gonna use that building. It's a lot of groundwork. It's a lot of legwork. And the reason I say that is 'cause it's probably burnt and you're gonna wind up getting hurt.
But what I'm trying to say, it's a lot of groundwork. You have to do a lot on your own. No one's gonna do it for you. You know. No one's gonna hold your hand in combat.
On top of that, most of the shocks or the decisions that are made on the ground, you're on your own with your team and you have a small unit. And you guys gotta stay alive. You know. You can't make an irresponsible judgement call like, okay, we're gonna open up four or five guys that we see and it's only three of us. You know and next you know there's 50, 60 guys surrounding you. You have to be able to come out of that situation or mitigate that situation as intellectual as possible. You know so at some point you're gonna probably dig down into your other resources. You know get a direct action team to come in there and take them out while you oversee it. Stuff like that. So it's playing chess. It's a long game. Being a sniper. It's not something that you go out there with a two quart canteen of water, a box of bullets and a rifle. It's very – a lot of, a lot of logistics. And a lot of should I say supporting elements and where you have to coordinate with. You know it's a difficult task. It's not what you see in Hollywood to tell you the truth.
Buck Sexton: Jason, what's the roughest place in country that you were and just for those who are listening who have no experience of it, what's it like to wake up and go into combat?
Jason Delgado: The toughest situation I've been in in is the Al-Qa'im. Al-Qa'im province of Iraq. Which it was a small border town. I'm not sure what they call it nowadays, but at that time we named it Husaybah. And it was right on the border of Syria and Iraq. It was like a border town similar to Nogales, you know. And needless to say, along with all the "terrorist" activity, or the insurgent activity should I say, there was the drug activity. There was the money activity. Everything that you would see at a typical border. Plus, you know the insurgency.
So it was a very difficult period in my combat experience. And waking up every day knowing that I'm going out in the wire is just something you gotta suck up and just push deep-down inside the pit of your stomach and just kinda hang on to it 'cause you gotta do it. There's no not doing it. And you know the pucker factor was at all time high every time you left the wire. 'Cause you never knew if you were coming back or not. That's how crazy it was. I mean we had guys getting, you know we had guys getting killed and injured every week. You know weekly. Throughout the week. It was ridiculous. We had mortar fire in our small base, you know two times a week at least, three times. Sometimes it was just a little bit more excessive.
Then that being said, there's also the downtime. Sometimes there's a lot of lulls in action where it was like, it'll be like two weeks of nothing. And then you just start getting complacent. But you start getting anxious as well, because you're used to a high pace and enemy activity and now there's nothing. You know all that builds up. So in other words, to be in combat is to be on an emotional rollercoaster. You know you're up and down so much it gets to the point where you're so desensitized to feelings by the time you get done, it's once again, going back into that zombie mode.
So I'll tell you a little story. The last day of our deployment, well, the last day for us of our deployment in Husaybah we got relieved by a incoming unit. And they gave us the option to drive through the city, which would take us about 30 minutes, 40 minutes to get to the main camp, Al Asad and fly out. Or to go through the desert, which would take us two, three hours to get to the main camp. But the likelihood of us getting hit going through the desert is much less than us getting hit on the main streets. You know trying to cut through the cities to get to the main camp. So everyone unanimously voted to go through the desert. We didn't care how long we were gonna stay in the desert 'cause we knew if we chose the city some of us might not come home. And on our last day it would have been a tragedy. And that was the quietest ride I think I've ever had with anyone. Everyone's just pale-faced, stone-faced and staring at each other waiting for the inevitable. We thought we were gonna get hit. That's how often we got hit. It was pretty, pretty emotionally tiring. You know that's what combat is.
Buck Sexton: Jason Delgado is the author of Bounty Hunter 4/3: My Life in Combat From Marine Scout Sniper to MARSOC. It is available on Amazon right now and in fine bookstores everywhere. Jason, thank you for your service, my friend, and thank you very much for joining us on the Stansberry Investor Hour.
Jason Delgado: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I appreciate it and, you know, Buck, thanks again, man. Seriously. You're a really good guy, man. You're a really good guy. And your interviewing skills, I watch your interviews a lot to learn from you, man. You're awesome. I don't know why you're not heading a lot of your own shows, but you'll be there one day. You're one of the best out here. Hands down.
Buck Sexton: Thank you my friend. I do what I can. Jason Delgado everybody. Jason, best of luck with the book.
Jason Delgado: Than you, guys. If you guys want to follow me, you can follow me on Instagram – jdelgadoarte – or on Twitter – BountyHunterJD. Either way I'm pretty approachable. You guys want to hit me up, get some books signed or something like that. I'm always throwing around events. You know whatever. Just, like I said, approach me. No big deal. And thanks again, guys.
Buck Sexton: Thank you very much, Jason.
All right, everybody. It's that time. The mail bag is up right now. Want to thanks to everyone who's been writing in the mail bag this past week. People like Albert L., Thomas N., Steve F., Roy W., Barbara D., Carol G., and Mark J. Just to name a few. We really enjoy all your feedback and questions. Please do keep them coming.
Let's see what is in fact in the mail bag this week. Number one. "Hey, Porter and Buck, personally I'm not a huge fan of podcasting, but I love your show. I read the book One Second After by William Forstchen. I don't know if you guys read it or if you know anything about EMPs or electromagnetic pulses. Buck, are EMPs a legit threat? And, Porter, if they are, is bitcoin not completely worthless already? Again, I love your show. I think investing, business and politics will always be joined at the hip, so you guys are a great combination. Steve."
Okay, Steve. I will tackle this one 'cause we don't have fearless leader Big P with us. So this is what I got to say on it. The EMP issue is a theoretical threat. Nobody has ever successfully used an EMP in the way that many are concerned it could be used in the future. My understanding of it, as somebody who does not have a science background, is that it is scientifically sound as a concept, but the exception of the EMP as a mass – as a weapon of mass electronic disruption – is something that would be more complicated than I think many of those who are concerned about it realize. So I'm not overly worried about the EMP. You would need a nuke to do it. Only certain countries we would be concerned would ever try it. And I think it's a little overheated as a concern.
As to bitcoin, well, we just talked to Tama Churchouse. You got a lot of bitcoin insight there.
"Dear Buck." This comes from Dennis. "Why does every 'conservative' commentary continue promoting term limits as a solution to our political gridlock? It's a nice soundbite but it doesn't work. Among the many problems the most obvious is the dramatic shift of power to lobbyists who have no such restrictions and have no accountability to the public. Here in California where we have some of the strictest term limit laws in the nation for almost 30 years, it has been an abysmal failure. Elimination of term limits would be better. After all, voters can always end a legislator's career at the ballot box. Doug Casey says it best. The Democrats are the evil party and the Republicans are the stupid party."
Hmm. Okay. Actually I'm not familiar with how California's state term limits work, so I can't speak to that. I think it's interesting though to say that it's a soundbite, that it doesn't work at the national level for federal elections for Congress when we don't have term limits. So how do you know it doesn't work if it's never been instituted? We obviously have a two-term limit for the presidency, but that wasn't always the case as we know.
So maybe we should try it before we say it doesn't work. That's a very simple straightforward, but I think fair answer to that.
And as to the power of lobbyists, I think lobbyists become a lot less powerful when you don't have career politicians who rely on lobbyists and the donor class to keep them in office all the time. The whole purpose of term limits, Dennis, would be that individuals would run and they wouldn't be preparing to feather their own nest for the next 20 or 30 or in the case of like a Congressman Conyers, 40-some odd years. The whole purpose of term limits would be that individuals would run for office because they're trying to serve. And not because they're trying to serve themselves. So I don't know why you think lobbyists would become so much more powerful. If someone said, "Buck you're going down to D.C. for two years and this is going to be part of your legacy to try and serve the country," I wouldn't care what a lobbyist particularly said to me. I would just go and do my job for two years and then be done with it, right?
Now I don't think you'd have a one term limit obviously. But just as a way of trying to expound upon the or expand upon the theory a little bit, I don't understand the logic of, well, lobbyists become more powerful if you have less of a need and desire to stay in office forever. That doesn't make sense to me. But a fair point, Dennis. And always appreciate the air quotes around something like a conservative. Just, you know. 'Cause.
Next e-mail's from Dan K. "Dear Buck and Porter. Great show, guys. You have a prefect blend of humor, politics and financial discussion to keep anyone and everyone engaged. My wife is also a UF grad, Porter, so go Gators. I, myself, am from the University of Calgary, where our mascot is a Dino Rex O'Saurus. Which is ridiculous and awesome all at once.
"Anyhow, I appreciate your open mind to bitcoin and blockchain technology. I think a fantastic guest for your show would be Dan Larimer. He really is to blockchain technology what Steve Jobs was to bringing personal computers and pocket smart phones to the masses."
So okay. I mean, look, Big P's not around, but I think we could definitely check this out.
"Larimer is a true visionary in the field. He's extremely well spoken with a lot of business acumen as well. His vision plays in perfectly with your episode about Google and their total control over content to the end user. A shout out to Buck, who reminds me of my father-in-law who is a retired Air Force colonel. His presence on the podcast is a great one to have. Gotta stop here so it's short enough to make it into your mail bag. Cheers. And go Dinos. Dan K."
Well, Dan, thank you so much. Very kind e-mail. And I'll pass along to Porter, to our fearless leader, that we should check out this Dan Larimer fellow. 'Cause I am personally fascinated by bitcoin and blockchain and trying to learn as much as possible. And to have a completely new subject area. I've been studying now, gosh, the Middle East for going on 20 years. To have a totally new subject area to dive not and to be able to approach as an excited novice, as I am with all this bitcoin blockchain stuff is really cool. It's fun to roll up my sleeves and dig into it as much as I can. So we'll push that along.
All right. That's it for us this week. If you got a question, please do write an e-mail to [email protected]. That's [email protected]. If we use your question on the show, we'll send some Stansberry Research swag your way. Love us or hate us, just don't ignore us. And that's usually the part that Porter would say. So, again, we miss the big guy. And remember, if you want to get access to transcripts from the show and all the show highlights and receive the Stansberry Investor Hour weekly update each Thursday, just go to investorhour.com and just give us your e-mail.
Big Porter Stansberry will be back with us soon. That's it for this week everybody. Also, please do check out Buck Sexton With America Now on iTunes. That's my daily show on Premiere Networks. If you're into politics and national security highly, highly recommend it. Double subscribe my friends. And with that, I will see you next time.
Male: Thank you for listening to the Stansberry Investor Hour. To access today's notes and receive notice of upcoming episodes, go to investorhour.com and enter your e-mail. Have a question for Porter and Buck? Send them an e-mail at [email protected]. If we use your question on air, we'll send you one of our studio mugs. This broadcast is provided for entrainment purposes only and should not be considered personalized investment advice. Trading stocks and all other financial instruments involves risk. You should not make any investment decision based solely on what you hear. Stansberry Investor Hour is produced by Stansberry Research and is copyrighted by the Stansberry Radio Network.
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