Alan"s Money Blog

Jul 9, 2007

Interview With Gordon Hayes Creator Of Phoenix Dollar Pt. 1 of 2

Check out this interview conducted with the creator of Phoenix Dollar by Digital Money World.

The Phoenix Dollar was created in late 2005. The company is a silver bullion retailer offering their own brand of pure silver bars, disks and even digital silver holdings which is 100% backed by bars in a secure vault.

These accounts are free to open and the Phoenix Dollar community offers some exciting advantages and tools to those who would use the digital silver for online commerce. The digital silver is transferable between anyone operating a Phoenix Dollar Holding and there are several popular independent exchange providers who can assist you with a secondary market transaction. The digital product is exchangeable with other digital currency such as Pecunix.

Any user can easily have their silver balance (as little as one ounce) delivered right to their front door for just a few dollars over the spot price. The physical silver one ounce disks and bars are very beautiful and I happen to own several.

The bars and disks can be used as payment between any person as a method of barter. While some of these items may look like money, its important to note that The Phoenix Silver Bullion Products are NOT “legal tender” and NOT “current money” nor are they endorsed by any sovereign government, country, city or state. While the designs are great, both the silver and paper designs do not look like government issued currency. Paper designs? Yes, the company is soon offering SilverBacks® which is a series of Authentic Paper Silver Certificates. More on that below.

Today I’m interviewing Gordon Hayes designer, creator and operator of the The Phoenix Dollar.

(Q) Can you tell us your current position with the Phoenix Dollar company and how long has it been operating?

(A) I am the President. We opened to the public in October of 2005. The concept was in development for a couple years before that.

(Q) Who came up with the design for the silver bullion products? How about those new silver certificates?

(A) I have two very special artists that I collaborate with who shall remain nameless for security reasons. I create the concepts and they come up with the artwork for them. Sometimes I am able to pick a piece out of their extensive portfolio for certain things and apply them to the silver without any modifications. Having a high caliber art team has enabled us to exceed in designing silver pieces that never fail to win people over for their sheer beauty.

(Q) Out of all the successful businesses you have been involved with over the years, why did you create the Phoenix Dollar? What were your reasons for coming out with a private barter currency backed by silver?

(A) The world simply needs to know that what I am doing is possible. My ultimate goal is to create a currency that actually improves the lives of its owners. This would take a bit of explaining to get across properly, but to summarize, today we have a world that contains all sorts of fiat currencies. Not a single one of them have any real value except that which is derived from the end of a gun. I set out to build a currency that actually protects the wealth of its users, that improves how people interact and do business with one another and that creates more freedom and success in the world. This is the sort of philosophical background information that is not really necessary to know when using the currency. The results of using it speak in subtle ways.

Phoenix SilverBacks(Q) I have seen the pictures of your new SilverBacks® paper silver certificates which are now on the way. What do these certificates offer users that the bars and disks don’t already provide?

(A) This product conflicts with my personal beliefs to some extent, but its main benefits are that you can carry it in your pocket in quantity without being weighted down so much that you cannot walk. Silver bullion is very heavy and cannot easily be transported in quantity. The SilverBacks® address that problem thus enabling the currency to gain more use in the everyday over the counter market. I expect this product line to be a curiosity in the market for some time, but I am doing it anyway, just in case things rapidly change.

(Q) Your bullion products look fantastic.

(A) Thank you.

(Q) They also make fine gifts.

(A) That is right. I have a lot of feedback from customers who do use the silver items as gifts. Every time I hear a story like this, I feel very good about life. One customer was very recently married and all of the guests at the wedding received a silver bar as a gift. This shows a very distinctive respect for the guests at the wedding and I was very humbled.

Phoenix Silver(Q) Everyone I know loves to receive gold and silver. If I order some of the 1 oz. silver bullion disks or bars, do you ship them right away and are they in mint condition?

(A) Absolutely. This is what has made us successful. We have the fastest shipping times of any bullion dealer anywhere on the planet bar none. We ship within 24 hours for all orders on business days and all the silver is brand new, freshly minted and in perfect condition. I have heard horror stories of other companies who have 90 day delays. This seems to be very common. I am determined to take all their customers away from them and make them my own loyal patrons.

(Q) If I order 10 or 20 of the disks, can I have you ship them to someone as a gift?

(A) Yes we can. We do this as a courtesy for our trusted customers. There are some cases where we will not do that such as for people trying to launder money. It helps if you know us and it especially helps if you take the time to go through our verification process. We place a huge premium on customers who take the time to establish a personal trust based relationship with us. I can’t emphasize that enough.

(Q) Do you have a blog or a forum where readers can keep up with the progress of the Phoenix Dollar?

(A) We have a discussion forum here:

(Q) Regarding, the digital silver holdings, where is the silver bullion kept?

We used to think it was useful to disclose that data and did for some time, but we have since come to the conclusion that it serves no purpose to our customers to tell the world about our storage services. We have since changed things around a lot behind the scenes. Our current policy is non disclosure.

(Q) Is the Phoenix Dollar associated with the city Phoenix, Arizona?

(A) No, we are not endorsed by any sovereign government, country, state, or city at this time. The Phoenix is representative of the mythical Phoenix bird which is actually a hybrid of 3 animals and is metaphorically representative of the death of the old currency and birth of the new. Wikipedia has this to say:

The phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird in ancient Egyptian mythology, and in myths derived from it. Said to live for 500 or 1461 years (depending on the source), the phoenix is a bird with beautiful gold and red plumage. At the end of its life-cycle the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises. The new phoenix is destined to live, usually, as long as the old one. In some cases of mythology, however, this is not true. The new phoenix embalms the ashes of the old phoenix in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (”the city of the sun” in Greek). The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible — a symbol of fire and divinity. Tears from a phoenix can heal wounds.

The same properties found in this mythical creature are also found in silver bullion itself. It is a known fact now that silver ions contain disinfectant and healing properties. All this talk in the news about paper and metal coin currency carrying germs and such would be immediately rendered moot of we actually used silver in commerce.

(Q) What do you see as the most important difference between fiat money and silver backed Phoenix Dollars (barter money)?

(A) Where do I begin? Well you asked for the most important so personally I feel that the most important thing is that silver currency limits governments in their ability to create wars and act as an empire. If all the currency were based on silver and/or gold bullion, the idea of creating aggressive wars against non threatening nations would be over because to do so would immediately shrink the wealth of the attacker until they either gave up or became extinct. With the current fiat money, governments can just print it and keep printing it for as long as the people “believe” in its value. Thus, they can print enough to go to war. Silver currency would put a stop to that immediately and literally usher in a time of peace, but this is a world wide issue and it cannot be practiced on an island alone.

(Q) What are the benefits your silver products could bring to everyday brick and mortar commerce?

(A) If you have the choice to tell the truth and gain a prize, or tell a lie and buy some time which do you chose? Everything that is wrong with fiat money is solved by using commodity money. This idea spans so many things, but one simple example is purchasing power. When you use commodity money, its ability to buy something cannot be inflated away through the use of the printing press. If you print more fiat money, the prior existing money is reduced in its ability to make purchases over time and the people who are inclined to save and do the right things for their families are penalized. Commodity money, like silver and gold, maintain their purchasing power over long periods of time. I can illustrate this in a chart:

The 200 year long line in this chart illustrates your purchasing power when using silver and gold as money. In the early 1970’s the government removed the silver backing from money and the people are now literally in trouble, in debt and in what amounts to a crisis that is slowly emerging.

(Q) Is there any type of audit, either monthly or quarterly that you show your holding holders?

(A) We have redefined the concept of the conventional audit. We are audited by our customers on a continuous basis on about a 3 day delay. Since we ship and redeem physical silver within 24 hours on all orders, our customers are learning to trust that the silver is real and of the highest quality simply by continuously receiving it as ordered at their doorstep. I cannot conceive of any auditing system that would be more trustworthy that that. If we ever failed to deliver on a redemption or bullion order it would become a big deal real quick in the community.

(Q) I know that Phoenix Silver has become very popular with my friends and associates. Has the business grown as rapidly as you projected? More rapidly?

(A) The physical bullion aspect of the business has taken off faster than expected and the digital side is just as expected which is very slow and steady growth as we work to educate people about using this type of currency. Since we do not allow any grey/black market or investment type programs to use the currency the growth is slower that it otherwise would be. We believe that long term slow growth and a solid reputation are vastly superior to allowing just anyone to come in and use the digital currency system. As a result, we have a stable digital currency that people can trust and that has zero fraud.

(Q) Where do you see the price of silver going in the next twelve months?

(A) I see it catching a low at the end of August 2007 and never looking back for the next 5 years. I expect it to dip slightly under $11/oz USD and then its anyone’s guess. Personally I think $200/oz or even $2000/oz would not be surprising in the next decade. It all depends on how the US Dollar devalues. This can be done slowly over a decade or the fed could lose control over it and it could be a sudden worldwide collapse. For now, they are doing us a favor by manipulating the silver and gold markets and keeping the prices down while slow landing the US Dollar. This cannot last forever though. The time bomb is ticking on the US Dollar and they know it.

(Q) I read the mission statement as listed on the Phoenix Dollar web site. Here it is again for readers:

* To protect wealth through quality bullion products.
* To provide the fastest bullion services and design beautiful bullion products that people will be proud to own.
* To promote and teach freedom in the course of our business

How can owning Phoenix Silver bullion protect my wealth from being eroded?

(A) The value of silver bullion is not based on fiat dollars. It is based on some weight in ounces of a commodity that has had a steady and low supply rate in the market for a very long time. Thousands of years. Once you convert to silver, your wealth cannot change since it becomes based in weight and not fiat dollars which is not an accurate measurement of anything. So once you store your wealth in a commodity the only way to reduce it is to physically shave or cut off slivers of the metal. What people perceive as a change in value in the market price of silver is actually an illusion. What is changing in reality is the value of a dollar against the weight of silver. Over time, the fiat dollar value always trends toward zero at your expense.

to be continued…

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