Jun 232017
Why connecting all the Blockchains is the final step for mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies Dr. Julian Hosp, 16 Jun 2017 – Development, Opinion, Protocol Dr. Julian Hosp is the co-founder and CVO of TenX, a Singapore based FintechCompany that makes any Blockchain asset spendable instantly by offering a debit card payment system to its users on the frontend and by connecting any Blockchain at the backend. Since the start of Bitcoin in January 2009, we have seen the introduction of a multitude of blockchains across all kinds of areas and financial markets. Today we can count hundreds of public blockchains that amount to a total market cap of almost 100 Billion dollars, excluding many more private blockchain installations. Last year we saw the emergence of precious metal backed tokens, derivatives, entirely new asset classes representing entire ecosystems, and even ETF tokens to invest into other blockchain assets. One such example is Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token sales that are gaining in popularity. The World Economic Forum is even going as far as predicting that 10% of the global GDP will be stored on the blockchain in less than 10 years. In terms of today’s global GDP that would be $7.8 trillion. Here a challenge arises: If we as a community do not find a way to connect blockchains, these 7.8 trillion dollars will be dispersed in such a way, that its true value is a lot lower. So what is the solution? The solution is one that we have seen in a similar way being executed around 30 years ago already: Before the invention of the TCP/IP protocol the Internet was also dispersed in many local networks, so-called Intranets. These provided local efficiency over the more traditional point-to-point communication (such as letter, fax, telephone calls). The real breakthrough only came in 1973, when different Intranet networks realized that they could use a unifying Internetwork protocol to communicate among each other, thereby extending reach by compatibility even more. With the requirements for an Intranet to join the so called Internet dropping to the bare minimum, it became possible to add almost any Intranet, no matter how basic or sophisticated their characteristics were. The initial adoption by users was relatively slow, as the services offered at the beginning were limited. There was one major factor however, that eventually sped it up significantly. The same providers that were already offering mail, FAX (more…)
Jun 212017
3 Struggles that Only People who are Truly Awake Will Understand MARCH 28, 2016 BY JUSTIN GAMMILL One Topic I Read About In My Personal Life A Lot Is The Concept Of Being “Awake”. I’m Not Talking About Literally Not Being Asleep, I’m Talking About Being Awake To The World Around You. Wakefulness is a combination of mindfulness, consciousness, and awareness on a very deep and often spiritual level. Imagine walking around with your eyes open in a world full of people with their eyes clenched shut. That’s honestly what it feels like. The more I study, meditate, and really search my soul – the more I realize that this mentality isn’t the norm. No matter how much I wish it was. If you’re like me and consider yourself to be awake in a world full of people with their blinders secured tightly to their heads, then you’ll understand the following struggles just as much as I do. Seeing The Forest For The Trees Of all of the aspects of wakefulness that I struggle with, this notion is #1 on my list, and the entire reason for me writing this post. You’ve heard the cliché of people “missing the forest for the trees”, meaning that when you look so intently at that one tree – you don’t notice that you’re surrounded by them. If you’re truly awake, or at least well on your way to being awake, you see the forest from an aerial view. You see the connections between people and actions in ways that other people don’t understand. A big part of wakefulness to me is understanding people and human nature in general. Intuition has a lot to do with it, but studying psychology, spirituality, and the human mind Intuition has a lot to do with it, but studying psychology, spirituality, and the human mind has given me a different perspective. I have always wanted to know what makes people tick outside of the actual physiological components. That’s why I write a lot about emotional intelligence; because I think it is the first step in being awake. If you consider yourself to be emotionally intelligent, then you understand how many people are emotionally ignorant. This is where the forest and trees come in… As someone who is awake, you see the actions of people and understand why they do them. For me, it is seeing the underlying reasons for people’s actions. Perfect (more…)
Jun 202017
More than 5 billion people – or two-thirds of the world's population – now have a mobile phone connection You can watch the number increase in real time By Rob Thubron on Jun 19, 2017, 10:00 AM How many people do you know that don't own a cell phone? For the majority of us, that number will be very small, if not zero. Not too surprising considering that 5 billion people around the world – or two-thirds of the earth’s population – now have a mobile phone connection. The data comes from GSMA Intelligence, the research unit of the GSMA trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Its real-time tracker shows that the number of unique mobile subscribers has now passed the 5-million-person milestone, representing year-on-year growth of almost 5 percent. The site also shows the number of mobile connections around the world. This figure is considerably higher as many people use more than one SIM card, and it includes machine-to-machine connections, of which there are around 400 million. It’s taken four years for another billion people to acquire a mobile phone connection. Back in 2003, there were just one billion unique mobile subscribers across the globe. GSMA director Mats Granryd called reaching the milestone a “tremendous achievement for an industry that is only a few decades old.” “Today, mobile is a truly global platform, delivering connectivity and, perhaps more importantly, social and economic opportunities to citizens in all corners of the world,” said Granryd. Over half of all mobile subscribers, 2.7 billion, are located in the Asia-Pacific Region. When it comes to individual countries’ mobile markets, China sits at the top with 1 billion subscribers, while India is second with 730 million. It is in Europe, however, where phone penetration is at its highest, with 86 percent of citizens subscribed to a mobile service. The US has the second-highest subscriber penetration at 80 percent. By the end of this decade, GSMA predicts that the number of unique phone subscribers will reach 5.7 billion – around three-quarters of the earth’s population – with India responsible for the largest share of this growth. Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Jun 192017
How Filipino children and adults risk their lives to eke out a pathetic living recycling waste Living among rotting rubbish, smoke-filled air and polluted water, these are the men, women and children who spend their lives scouring for recyclable treasures in a garbage-filled abyss – just so they can survive. Each day, as hundreds of truckloads of bags of waste are chucked onto the rubbish site in Paranaque, south of Manilia, the Philippines, gangs of so-called 'scavengers' rummage frantically to try and retrieve items they can sell for cash. Living in utter poverty, and employed for around $4 a day, these rubbish pickers are exposed every day to hazardous waste, such as used needles, as well as infectious diseases, including E coli, salmonella and pathogens that cause hepatitis and tetanus. And this is a scene which is played out on dozens of landfill sites across the world, as those living in extreme poverty try and make ends meet.  Now a set of eye-opening photos which convey the heat, stench and noise in which these pickers are forced to work have been released, to coincide with UN World Environment Day.  Celebrated every year on 5 June, and run by the United National Environment Programme, the day is a call for global awareness on protecting the environment. This year's theme – Small Islands and Climate Change – is marked by the slogan: 'Raise Your Voice Not The Sea Level'. According to the UN, people living in urban areas around the world generate 1.3 billion tonnes of waste per year and this will increase to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025 – unless something is done to change it.      An elderly woman looks for recyclable items at a garbage dump in Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines – but this is a sight witness in landfills and rubbish tips across the world, as those living in poverty try desperately to earn a living       So-called trash pickers and their families live amid rotting garbage so they can spend their days fishing valuable pieces items from a vast garbage tip, to sell on the streets themselves, or to hand over to those who employ them – in return for a meagre salary       +16 The eye-opening photos, which show the conditions in which these people work, have been released to mark UN World Environment Day, which takes place on June (more…)
Jun 192017
A group of US lawmakers wants to see cryptocurrency holdings declared at the nation's border – and advocates of the tech are pushing back. Introduced last month, the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017 – which is actually the third iteration of a bill that debuted in 2011 – would bring a range of digital currency services under federal scrutiny, including those that provide transaction mixing services. Yet, the provision that has attracted the particular ire of cryptocurrency advocates – especially those who prefer a regulation-light environment – is one that would make such holdings subject to disclosure requirements at US customs checkpoints. This means if a person trying to enter the country has more than $10,000 worth of bitcoin in their possession, under the proposed legal change, they would need to inform the relevant authorities. Such requirements are already in place for payment methods like cash. But given the rising public profile of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, coupled with the perception among policymakers that they could be used to fund terrorist activities, is driving legislative efforts like the bill currently under consideration. One observer, Joe Ciccolo of Canada-based BitAML, remarked that cryptocurrency has become the "new face in an old debate", going on to say that policymakers and law enforcement officials have long sought to expand the definition of what constitutes a "monetary instrument". Ciccolo told CoinDesk: "Earlier this decade, we saw a push to include 'prepaid access' such as gift cards. Law enforcement went so far as to pursue card readers to scan prepaid access devices for their balance. Now that digital currencies have gained traction, they've been included in the same conversation. As in the past, I suspect there will be strong opposition from across the financial services community." Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a blockchain trade advocacy organization, said the legislation is "not necessary" given the existence of regulations from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which require exchanges services to register as money transmission businesses and adhere to federal reporting requirements. "While we encourage thoughtful and meaningful study of the prevention of cross-border financial crime, the storage of virtual currency carries different and complex considerations than those attributable to prepaid access," she told CoinDesk. Asset grab It's clear from the response that the frustration toward the measure isn't going anywhere. That anger surfaced in earnest over the past week or so in social media postings and fiery blog entries (more…)
Jun 172017
By Joshua Althauser https://cointelegraph.com/news/there-will-be-no-bubble-for-bitcoin-and-ethereum-heres-why Tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban has recently stated that Bitcoin is facing a bubble. However, Daniel M. Harrison, the CEO of DMH&CO and managing partner of Monkey Capital, reveals that such a thing is impossible due to the market-influencing capabilities of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Market bipolarity The main factor that makes a digital bubble impossible is market bipolarity. For many people, market bipolarity is confusing but it can be distilled in a few important and understandable viewpoints. Apparently, market bipolarity is directly affected by George Soros’ “theory of reflexivity.” According to George Soros, market conditions are not influenced by equilibrium. Rather, they are “reflexive” due to the synchronization of two functions: cognitive and manipulative function. The cognitive function is a neutral thinking base – this is where economic participants assess facts for what they are. The manipulative function, on the other hand, turns one fact (or a couple of facts) in order to gain an advantage. Once the cognitive mind is affected by the manipulative mind, the neutrality will be “painted” in a different light it becomes a manipulated fact. Therefore, markets reflect the view and perspective of participants, not the full scope of economics. The situation can be represented in two ways: Manipulative Cognitive = Reflexive Manipulative + Cognitive = Equilibrium The aforementioned equations show that a manipulative thinking pattern is the usual baseline and not a cognitive function. This shows the reflexive nature of all markets one of the clear indicators that Bitcoin and Ethereum are far from experiencing a digital bubble. Artificial vs. Natural More importantly, Ethereum and Bitcoin markets are influenced by two thinkers: artificial and natural. Artificial pertains to the Blockchain AI and natural is all about human intervention. Many experts think that Blockchain is adopting an "economic mindset." If markets with manipulative and cognitive participants are suddenly annexed, it will always result in reflexivity or positive feedback loops. In this case, digital markets are bound by reflexivity or states of reflexivity. This is a self-perpetuating situation that can go on for many years. It’s also important to know that artificial thinkers are the “igniters” of self-perpetuating reflexivity. With AI (Blockchain), digital markets will continue to thrive, leading to fluctuating values of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Market bipolarity will always be constant. Through market bipolarity, any episode of a digital bubble is canceled out. The whole Blockchain system will never return to its “roots” but it will continue evolving. Price valuations, on (more…)
Jun 172017
It's been called the 'next oil'. In the coming decades, the supply of water has the potential to influence geopolitics, diplomacy and even conflict. By Bryan Lufkin 16 June 2017 The 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace pits 007 against an evil criminal syndicate bent on global domination. Sounds par for the course… but this particular network of baddies isn’t using lasers or missiles to cause havoc. Grand Challenges In this special series, Future Now takes a close look at the biggest, most important issues we face in the 21st Century. For two months, we'll bring you insight from leading scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and influencers to help you make sense of the challenges we face in today's rapidly evolving world. No, the Quantum organisation has a uniquely dastardly plan: seizing control of Bolivia’s water supply. While the evil syndicate’s role in the film might not be entirely realistic, this piece of fiction does raise a scenario that is worth considering seriously: what would happen if a country’s water supply was cut off? What would be the global fallout? Think about it: sure, we need water to survive. But it also fuels a country’s commerce, trade, innovation and economic success. This has been the case for time immemorial, from the Nile in Ancient Egypt to the Amazon in the Brazilian rainforest. While bodies of water typically help form natural borders of countries, several nations tend to share access to rivers or lakes – the Nile runs through nearly a dozen countries alone, for example. Given how conflict-prone humankind is, it’s surprising there haven't been more dust-ups of a “hydro-political” nature.   Bodies of water have always formed natural boundaries between countries, forcing people to figure out ways to share water peaceably. (Credit: Getty Images)   Experts agree: if there was no access to water, there would be no world peace. That’s why one of the grand challenges of the next few decades could be maintaining this ultra-sensitive stasis of water management. In the 21st Century, freshwater supplies are drying up, climate change is raising sea levels and altering borders, explosive population growth is straining world resources, and global hyper-nationalism is testing diplomatic relations. Meanwhile, water demand is expected to go up 55% between 2000 and 2050. In the coming century, in terms of its value as a global resource, it’s been described as “the next oil." So what can we do to guarantee global access to (more…)
Jun 172017
Bancor initial coin offering raises over $200 million in three hours to become the largest crowdfunded project ever DOMINIC POWELL / Friday, June 16, 2017 A demo of the Bancor protocol. Source: Bancor.network A new blockchain startup built on the Ethereum platform has become one of the highest funded crowdfunding projects ever, raising approximately $US153 million ($201 million) through an initial coin offering (ICO) in just three hours earlier this week. The startup is called Bancor, and it offers a platform aimed at making it easier for other startups and users to launch, manage, and trade their own forms of blockchain currency, known as “tokens”. These tokens are managed through the Ethereum network’s “smart contracts”, which enable self-executing contracts enforced and recorded on the blockchain. Combining these two features, the Bancor protocol offers “smart tokens”, which enable “any party to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens, directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula which balances buy and sell volumes”. The ICO was intended to run for an hour, reports Coindesk, with a funding target of 250,000 ether (the main currency of the Ethereum blockchain), or around $US95 million. Due to alleged difficulties with the network, including supposed delayed transactions, the campaign was extended an additional two hours, resulting in a total of 396,720 ether or approximately $US153 million being raised. Over 10,000 investors got on board with the ICO, with Coindesk reporting the largest single purchase was $US27 million, equalling 6.9 million BNT, the token used by the Bancor protocol to fuel its new platform. This was enough to shoot Bancor into the number one spot of highest funded crowdfunds, and continues the recent initial coin offering craze, with blockchain startup Brave raising $US35 million in 30 seconds via a recent ICO. However, due to the transitory value of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, the true amount raised by these startups is ever-changing. With the value of ether increasing over 2800% this year alone, a $US153 million raise could be $50 million more, or less, in a matter of days. The Ethereum protocol is proving to be a popular platform for successful crowdfunds, with seven of the top 10 crowdfunding projects having been based on the platform, including the crowdfund for the platform itself. Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Jun 162017
BREAKINGVIEWS-Review: Gold's financial fascination never dies by Reuters Friday, 16 June 2017 13:33 GMT (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.) By Kate Duguid NEW YORK, June 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Before winning the presidency and replacing the Oval Office's red drapes with lamé, Donald Trump was lionizing the gold standard (http://bit.ly/2riEUiS). He wasn't alone. Campaign rivals Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Ben Carson also backed reviving a policy that had been abandoned by the global financial system 40 years earlier. James Ledbetter's new book "One Nation Under Gold" helps explain why the outdated idea won't die. These Republican presidential contenders were not proposing sincere policies with white papers and serious co-authors. Bullion-backed bucks had been discarded for good reason: it was an impractical constraint that, even when it was the law of the land, had to be abandoned when the United States needed money for war or to combat recession. No countries in the world operates on a gold standard today; there is no consensus on what a standard would look like or how it would be implemented. And, as Ledbetter puts it: "there will never be enough gold in the world to support the U.S. economy at its current size." Yet gold, the book argues, is woven into the American DNA. It is enshrined in the Constitution which says that states may not "make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." Ledbetter chronicles two centuries of debate over the clause's exact meaning and its implications for a federally distributed currency. The California gold rush of the mid-19th century established the West as a locus of political and economic power, largely because of the immigration it brought, and the subsequent development of industry. The gold rush became part of America's founding myth, and for early settlers, evidence of divine providence. Sound money, as commodity-backed currencies are known, also appeals to an American tradition of small government. A limited supply of gold necessarily limits the supply of money a government can issue, which in theory limits government spending. Gold remains of interest to Americans not just as a basis for currency, but also as an investment. Though it pays no dividends and, unlike a company, the size of the asset will not grow, the precious metal is still popular, particularly amid economic insecurity. To (more…)
Jun 132017
This is from friend, a most dedicated man, the Director of Kigezi Orphans Project, Serving Children the lord! through this orphange. *In 1923, nine of the wealthiest people in the world met at Chicago's Edge Water Beach Hotel*. *Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the Government of the United States at that time*. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. *Attending the meeting were the following men*: 1. The president of the *largest steel company,* 2. The president of the *largest utility company,* 3. The president of the *largest gas company,* 4. The president of the *New York Stock Exchange,* 5. The president of the *Bank of International Settlements,* 6. The *greatest wheat speculator*, 7. The greatest *bear on Wall Street,* 8. The head of the *World's greatest Economy* & 9. A member of *President Harding's cabinet*. *That's a pretty impressive line-up of people by anyone's yardstick.* Yet, 25 years later, where were those nine industrial giants? *Let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later*. 1. The President of the then largest steel company (Bethlehem Steel Corp), *Charles M Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt.* 2. The President of the then largest gas company, *Howard Hubson, went insane*. 3. One of the greatest commodity traders (Wheat Speculator), *Arthur Cutten, died insolvent.* 4. The then President of the New York Stock Exchange, *Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.* 5. The member of the US President’s Cabinet (the member of President Harding's cabinet), *Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail just to be able to go home and die in peace.* 6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, *Jesse Livermore committed suicide*. 7. The President of the then world’s greatest monopoly, *Ivar Krueger, committed suicide*. 8. The President of the Bank of International Settlement, *Leon Fraser, committed Suicide.* 9. The president of the largest utility company, *Samuel Insull, died penniless.* *What they forgot was how to "make" life while they got busy making money!* *Money in itself is not evil;* it provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. *Money is only a medium of exchange.* *We need two kinds of education*: a) One that teaches us *how to make a living,* and b) One that teaches us *how to live*. *There are many of us who are so engrossed in our professional life (more…)