Another bank issued cryptocurrency! Now in the Baha​mas!

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The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) plans to launch its cryptocurrency by next year.

As reported by Nassau Guardian, in the near future, CBOB will sign a formal agreement with NZIA.io to create and develop Project “Sand Dollar”. It would be the first digital currency in the Bahamas. At the beginning of 2019, in March, the Bahamas Central Bank announced NZIA Limited as its main partner in this project along with Singapore’s software development company Zynesis.

Equal, Expanded Access to Modernized Digital Payment Capabilities

Project Sand Dollar will be an “integrated, accessible electronic payment system for all businesses and citizens”, the central bank announces. The project will work in accordance with local financial legislation and aims to provid equal access to digital payments to the inhabitants of the archipelago. By doing this, they hope to reduce the volume of operations with cash and service costs.

Although there hasn’t been an official announcement by the CBOB, John Rolle, President of the Bank, noted that the institution hopes to fully expand the project by 2020. In general, the Bahamas are moving closer to full integration of blockchain applications and fintech solutions.

Bahamian Dollars

Currently, there are two accepted currencies in the Bahamas. The United States Dollar and the Bahamian Dollar, which is pegged to the US Dollar at 1:1. Since there is no other information, just the fact that there is going to be a digital currency, it’s quite safe to say that the new cryptocurrency will also be pegged to the US Dollar. Thus it becomes just another government-issued stablecoin. It looks like this government praxis will keep on evolving. Governments will continue to look into developing their own cryptocurrency, rather than using a global one, like Bitcoin, for example. But by doing so, they keep themselves on the same path as before. That is, being centralized and controlling the currency. The only question is – how transparent these government cryptocurrency blockchains are going to be. If they’re private and only governments have access to them, then the word “cryptocurrency” loses its definition. 

Source:

https://thenassauguardian.com/2019/05/29/central-bank-to-sign-contract-for-digital-currency-system/

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Does government attack crypto? Norway cuts electricity subsidies for Bitcoin Miners.

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Norway has announced that by the end of this year they will cut the current discount for electricity. It applies to data centers and bitcoin mining factories, who produce more than 0.5 megawatts. Until now, they had to pay 0.48 cents per kilowatt-hour, instead of 16.58 cents. 

A shock for the industry

Roger Schjerva, ICT (Information and Communications Technology)-Norway Chief Economist says that “this is shocking!” He expresses dissatisfaction as the government didn’t conduct any dialogue with the people working in the industry. He said that Norway scores high on the rankings of political stability and predictable framework, but now “they are gambling with the governments’ credibility.” The decision directly affects crypto-miners in Norway and Denmark. “We can only hope that the politicians understand that energy-intensive computing is something of what we are supposed to live by in the future,” he added.

Norway cannot continue like this

Several sources have pointed out that these cryptocurrency mining factories are gaining huge benefits from this tax discount. “Norway cannot continue to give huge tax breaks to the dirtiest form of cryptocurrency production as bitcoin. It requires an enormous amount of energy and provides large emissions of greenhouse gases globally,” stated a member from the Norwegian parliament. The Christian Democratic Party filed this proposal in combination with the coalition parties, and the tax cut will come into force by early January 2019.

ICT-Norway defends miners

It looks like the Norwegian crypto-miners have been living worry-free till now because the cost of roughly 0.5 cents per kilowatt is ridiculously small. It is hard to imagine what the effect will be profit or economic-wise. Since it is not yet mentioned what the future cost could be, it looks like ICT-Norway will not stand back and watch this escalate. They feel that the government hasn’t conducted a proper dialogue with the people working in the industry, and single-handedly decides on a sector that will be a big part of the future information technologies. It is still believed that this proposition will be filed for a more in-depth review. Whether it will be after the discount cut takes place, or before – that remains unknown.

Norway blocking Crypto?

However, if we look at this from a different perspective. Could it be that the Norwegian government is “throwing rocks” at bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general? This decision seems odd, because of the recent news of Sweden announcing the development of their native cryptocurrency – E-Krona. Alternatively, on the other hand – this isn’t odd at all. Could it be that Norway is looking into its own cryptocurrency development? That could lead up to that. They have realized that the demand for mining Bitcoin is enormous and the consumption of electricity clearly shows that. I believe that one of the plans would be applying a standard electricity fee for Bitcoin miners. After which comes the creation of their own cryptocurrency, with a lower power tax than usual. Which at the end of the day will be more beneficial to miners. However, that is just a poor vision.

Source:

https://goo.gl/14akre

Photo by pexels.com

Blockchain Turkey Summit 2018

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Last week Best Coin Investments attended one of the largest Blockchain events in Turkey – Blockchain Turkey Summit 2018. It was a well-organized event with somewhat around 1200 attendees with some of them being government representatives, politicians, authorities and, mostly, people in the tech and business field. The summit mainly consisted of talks about Blockchain development within the country and how it might affect the future. Also, representatives from the Turkish government did a few presentations on the governments take on cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general. 

The main stage. Photo by Best Coin Investments

Turkey is positive about cryptocurrencies

The primary outcome of the summit is that Turkey is very open to developing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies in the future. Tensel Kaya, CEO of Mindstone, pointed out that they would need stablecoins or stable currencies for doing better business with cryptocurrencies.

Workshops

Furthermore, the summit also gathered many tech enthusiasts to take part in the IoT and Blockchain workshops. They tested out software with Markov chain with Monte Carlo simulations on the blockchain. The physicists from the Manhattan project invented the Monte Carlo method, and it is all about generating data for variables to simulate systems. However, A Markov chain is a stochastic model describing a sequence of possible events in which the probability of each event depends only on the state attained in the previous event.

Urs Bolt

Decentralized systems

Moreover, the summit consisted of talks about decentralized systems and how they could overcome the traditional centralized systems we know. Robert Wiecko, the COO of Dash Group Inc. and Jan-H Meyer, the CEO of Dash Embassy D-A-CH UG, presented their instant payment platform and gave a few convincing arguments why DashPay is faster and cheaper than any other cryptocurrency.

The conclusion after this summit is that Turkey is still a newcomer to the crypto-space, but they are very determined to jump into the scene and start developing their cryptocurrency market and to evolve blockchain technology as a whole in their country. They are willing to support new companies that operate in the blockchain area, but significant works still need to be done.

Photo by Best Coin Investments

Certificate instead of crypto? Venezuela starts selling Petro!

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On Monday, October 26th, Venezuela announced that the government’s issued cryptocurrency – Petro, is open for the public for purchase. The government has opened an exchange desk for the country’s national cryptocurrency at the headquarters of the Superintendency of Cryptoassets. It can be purchased directly from there (Superintendency of Cryptoassets) and from Related Activities (Sunacrip), which is in charge of the country’s regulations regarding crypto. Citizens can purchase Petro with many currencies, including cryptos like BTC, ETH, and XEM. 

Petro Pago and Petro Ahorro

Initially, the public sale was issued on November 5. However, the president Nicolas Maduro moved the event forward due to “the fluidity with which events developed and the support of President Nicolás Maduro,” says El Universal. Moreover, on November 5, two more Petro options will be unveiled – Petro Pago (pay) and Petro Ahorro (savings). Venezuela’s vice president of the economy, Tureck El Aissami said: “We are in the purchasing stage. Next week will be the savings stage.”

Certificates, seriously?

Chinese delegate showing off his Petro certificate.

That all sounds like good news, the Venezuelans can finally store their money in a safe place, but there is one but. People buying Petro receive certificates instead of crypto. The documents include the buyers’ name, signature, and fingerprints. There is no info on the fact that people would receive actual cryptocurrency. There are even photos with Venezuela’s Minister of Agriculture buying Petro and later posing a picture holding up the certificate, which would mean that it doesn’t consist of a private key. 

Is Venezuela scamming its residents?

You can buy Petro with real money like the Euro, USD, and Yuan and in return, you get… a piece of paper.

That somehow reminds me of that monkey story about how the stock market works, which is very similar to this situation:

“Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. That renewed the efforts of the villagers, and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each, and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort even to see a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers; “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35, and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.” The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!”

Is Petro even real?

Some say that Petro doesn’t exist, due to the facts that you don’t get a private key, their block explorer is barely moving, consisting with only 316 blocks(while the block time is one minute), and that you can’t get any information on the transaction details. Also, Google has suspended the Petro wallet app from the Google Play app store. El Assami explained that this is because Google is checking the wallet crypto functionality. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you cannot download the desktop version for Windows and Linux as well.

All this leads up to the fact that Petro could not be real. Could this all just a show for the wider public?

Source:

https://goo.gl/hgMZRc
https://goo.gl/oPUJsE

Photos by Canva.com and the Venezuelan government.

IBM signs a huge deal with Australian government

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Thursday Bloomberg reported that IBM has signed a five year $740 million deal with the Australian government to use blockchain for data security issues. IBM will provide technology like blockchain, automation and AI (artificial intelligence) to Australian federal departments, including defense and home affairs. IBM’s Asia Pacific head, Harriet Green In her interview accentuated the emphasis on ensuring data security for citizens, “The new partnership will catapult Australia to the top three of digital governments in the world”.

Source:

https://goo.gl/TEzjWd

The first 21. century crypto crime with a judgement

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Theresa Tetley, a 50 year old woman was pleaded guilty to a number of charges surrounding the operation of an unregistered transmission business and exchanging $70k in just one exchange. She was based in Los Angeles, California and had been operating a money transmitting business presumably against California law. Theresa was making over $300k a year by trading bitcoin. Overall in the time period from 2014 to 2017 made around $6 million. These high numbers brought the attention of L.A. law enforcement. They seized her assets – over $500k, as well as a number of gold bars. 

“Prosecutor’s Office said in official documents that these activities were closely linked to a black-market financial system that was deliberately far outside the regulated banks and financial services of the state of California” says CryptoDaily.

There have been almost no prosecuted crimes in the cryptocurrency world, and this is thought to be the first of its kind in Southern California, yet similar cases have been seen in the United States – a man from Detroit was sentenced to a one year in prison, and a father and son duo where sentenced to 106 months on similar charges. Both of these charges involve relation to money laundering and narcotics trafficking.

Source:

https://goo.gl/FbAEDH

Photo by Pixabay.

Indian state government of Kerala to put groceries on a blockchain

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Kerala came up with a new project with the aim of organizing the supply chain process of everyday groceries. It will specifically look in to streamlining the supply chain networks of milk, vegetables, fish etc. using blockchain technology. 

The Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) chairman K. M. Abraham explained that the blockchain “will continuously monitor production, procurement, and distribution of milk to ensure speedy delivery to millions of people on a daily basis.”

This transportation monitoring will be done with the help of RFID tags (an ID system that uses small radio frequency identification devices for identification and tracking purposes), mobile apps and the use of Internet of Things(IoT) devices.

“Each component of the supply network will have a separate ID number, using which the source and quality of the product can be checked at every point of the chain” said Abraham continuing “it will make the entire process, starting from making applications for coverage to the settlement of claims hassle-free and time-saving. The new technology will come in handy in ascertaining whether the crop loss was due to natural causes or not, which would help avoid unnecessary disputes between insurance firms and beneficiaries besides eliminating the role of middlemen.”

A continuous monitoring and verification of goods at every point of their movement, linked farms and fishing spots with packaging centres using geo-coded images – this really sounds like a food industry revolution. Picture this – you will be able to trace from A to Z your milk, fish or vegetable – with no fraudulent possibilities whatsoever. It almost seems like in a short while we will know where our food is coming from, what chemicals has been added to it and where from has it traveled just to get on your plate. Sounds a little sarcastic, but that’s the reality of today, that most of the groceries we buy at our everyday shops, have traveled an unknown distance in an unknown container. All it has is a small paper leaflet attached to it stating the country of origin and the date of expiry.

The blockchain revolution is happening – here and now!

Source:

https://goo.gl/QfTHQK
https://goo.gl/NEAZnk
https://goo.gl/NryN7b

Photo by Pixabay.