Showing posts with label bitcoin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bitcoin. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Bitcoin Will Displace The Dollar (And Putin ... Putin First)

The dollar being the de facto global currency is not healthy for the world economy or even for America. But a de facto global currency has been needed. And the dollar has played that role since the end of World War II.

But the displacement will not come from the euro or the yuan. One dollar can not be replaced by another. The argument against the dollar is also the argument against the euro and the yuan.

This is like saying CNN should not be the only source of world news around the world. CNN was that when Bush Sr. started dropping bombs on Baghdad.

Look at CNN today. It is past tense. But it is still around and doing brisk business.

You can digitize the dollar, but it is still the dollar.

Crypto will displace the dollar. And there is nothing the US government can do about it. The march is unstoppable.

The dollar's place in the scheme of things is the reason the US economy has massive deficits. When your primary export is the dollar, you are going to end up with lots of goods and services in return if you are not giving out the dollar for free.

The US ends up with free money. It prints money for domestic consumption. And that money goes into global circulation. Free money for the US.

Looks like there is value in creating a stable, global currency. The crypto people realize that. They are busy creating money out of thin air.

The dollar is the print edition of the New York Times in 1993. There is no saving it. Although the Times is still around, and is my favorite newspaper today. I pay a dollar a week to read it. But I am so glad I have 100 other news sources. That is not counting the 1,000 sources on social media.

So if Putin is unhappy about the dollar and its status, he might as well root for the crypto crowd.

No, I am not saying he should pour his personal wealth estimated above $300 billion into Bitcoin. That would be even more outragenous than when Elon Musk put $3 billion into it.

World's Richest Man Elon Musk Thinks Putin Is Richer Than Him
Elon Musk claims Russian President the world's wealthiest
Putin Net Worth: Putin has 43 planes, 7000 cars and a gold toilet… Russian President is ahead of Elon Musk in wealth! Nemtsov says that Putin has a huge collection of watches worth Rs 5 crore. Putin’s superyacht, which was spotted earlier this month, is worth Rs 7 billion. According to reports, this superyacht is currently in the Baltic Sea. Alexey Navalny, Putin’s biggest critic, claimed that Putin owned a luxury palace worth 100 billion rupees and located near the Black Sea coast.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

March 30: Ukraine

AOC’s Warning for Democrats: ‘We’re in Trouble’ . I was never under the illusion that we can bring Manchin along.” ....... Ocasio-Cortez was one one of only six Democrats (including Representative Jamaal Bowman of the Bronx) — to vote against Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill last November. She reasoned — correctly, it turned out — that severing the infrastructure spending from Biden’s much larger Build Back Better proposal would allow the bigger bill to be killed, in the closely divided Senate, by the defection of two conservative Democratic senators, Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. ......... the Democrats face an uphill battle to keep control of Congress — a situation that requires firing up the party’s progressive base, Ocasio-Cortez said. ........ “We need to acknowledge that this isn’t just about middle of the road, an increasingly narrow band of independent voters. This is really about the collapse of support among young people, among the Democratic base, who are feeling that they worked overtime to get this president elected and aren’t necessarily being seen,” she said. ........ “I worked with some of our organizers out in East Elmhurst, and we created the largest-ever federal funeral-assistance program for COVID-19. And so I was able to author an $8 billion FEMA program. Now, every single person in the United States who loses a loved one due to COVID-19, can get completely reimbursed for funeral expenses and laying their loved ones to rest. That started with community organizers in East Elmhurst. It was picked up by myself and my office, Senator Schumer supported us in that effort, and it to date is the largest funeral-assistance program in history.” ......... Locally, Ocasio-Cortez is steadily remaking the mainstream of Democratic politics in her own image: younger, more diverse and digital, and more willing to break with tradition. ........ Ocasio-Cortez’s formidable social-media operation, which has nearly 13 million followers on Twitter and 8.5 million on Instagram. ........ “I have endorsed and invested in, I believe, 19 city council candidates that won their races this past cycle. ........ Through Courage to Change, a political action committee, Ocasio-Cortez supported 15 of the new council’s 51 members who took the Courage to Change pledge, a set of promises to adopt a progressive agenda that include advancing pro-worker policies, supporting environmental justice, refusing donations from real estate, fossil fuel and corporate interests, and championing community-based public-safety strategies. ........ she scored a bull’s-eye by backing Brad Lander, the new city comptroller, who has already begun pushing progressive policies like the Green New Deal law that mandates ambitious antipollution standards for city buildings. ....... In nearly every aspect of politics that matters — re-election itself, fundraising ability, grooming younger politicians, staying in the national spotlight — Ocasio-Cortez is considerably more powerful now than when she exploded onto the scene in 2018. .

. Putin’s War Is Complicating India’s Middle Path Among Powers India has been reluctant to criticize Russia, long an important ally. But China’s rise, and its closeness to Vladimir Putin, is creating new pressure. ....... Prime ministers of Japan and Australia, both part of that alliance, held meetings with India’s leaders. Israel announced that its prime minister would arrive soon. ...... India called for an end to hostilities and respect for the territorial integrity of states — an expression of displeasure with Russia’s war without calling it out as an aggressor. ...... an increasing clarity among India’s foreign policy strategists that the country cannot afford to take sides in what is increasingly a multipolar world ......... India’s vulnerabilities — including a slowing economy that is struggling to meet the demands of a growing population and an ill-equipped military stretched on two fronts by territorial disputes with China and Pakistan — are such that it needs allies far and wide ...... “Indian foreign policy decisions are made in Indian national interest, and we are guided by our thinking, our views, our interests.” ..... There was talk of a Western “double game” in pressuring India to stop oil purchases from Russia, just about 1 percent of its overall oil imports, while Europe continued buying Russian oil. ........ Dr. Jaishankar is in a unique position, at once the chief theorist of India’s vision for a path in this complicated new world order and the person responsible for the difficult work of implementing of that vision. ...... During his four decades in India’s foreign service, he held ambassadorial postings in Washington and Beijing before retiring in 2018 as the country’s highest-ranking bureaucrat in the service. He was chosen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become foreign minister a year later, but he used the gap to produce a book, “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World,” on the country’s foreign policy doctrine. ...... Indian officials stressed that the meetings with Mr. Wang were aimed at expediting the disengagement of the tens of thousands of troops ........ Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, who has listed India and China among countries “who would never accept the global village under the American sheriff,” is expected to arrive in New Delhi later this week. ........ the legacy of decades of dependence on Moscow and mistrust of Washington. ...... India lagged far behind China in opening up its economy, missing out on the early benefits of globalization that turned Beijing into a giant. India’s smaller G.D.P. — about $3 trillion, one-sixth of China’s — and the needs of a population of 1.4 billion have constrained the country’s military spending. ....... “Ultimately, the real security lies in economic growth and, you know, quickly getting to something close to $10 trillion,” said Arvind Panagariya, an economics professor at Columbia University who formerly advised Mr. Modi. “Basically what China did. Who would have taken China seriously until 1990?” ......... For a large part of India’s independent history, its leaders have looked to Moscow not just for weapons’ supplies, but also for political support at the United Nations. Moscow remained a steady ally when Washington repeatedly upset New Delhi, including aiding Pakistan — India’s enemy — and imposing sanctions on India for developing nuclear weapons. .........

the United States is now India’s largest trading partner

....... the Taliban, which New Delhi has long seen as a proxy of a Pakistani military that is hand in glove with Beijing. ...... In its quest for “strategic autonomy,” India has been slow in creating distance from Moscow. While India has increased its weapon purchases from the United States from little to about $20 billion in the past decade, it still depends on Russia for about 60 percent of its military equipment. ........ New Delhi joined the Quad alliance despite strong opposition from Russia and China, which have both likened it to a NATO in the east aiming to encircle China. But India has maintained its balancing act, buying weapons from Russia, including a missile defense system, despite threats of U.S. sanctions. ........... There remains a “deep distrust of the U.S.” in the Indian bureaucracy because of a legacy of seeing Washington as patronizing and unreliable. ......... “The U.S. bureaucracy has a lot of ifs and buts before it signs anything, while you have Russia coming and saying, ‘OK, let’s do this co-production’ and it’s done,” Dr. Kartha said. “Unless the U.S. is able to get past its own bureaucracy and its own way of thinking, we will still continue to be dependent on Russia.”

. General Strike Throws India Into Confusion The two-day strike, involving both public and private sector workers, was called to protest the Modi government’s economic policies, including a privatization plan. ........ The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a strong pitch for the privatization of some state-owned assets that it characterizes as underperforming. Government-backed financial institutions are protesting a federal move to privatize them and also protesting a bill that is expected to reduce the minimum government holding in public sector banks from 51 percent down to 26 percent. ...... The strikers’ list of 12 demands includes freezing all privatization plans and providing universal social security for workers in the so-called informal sector of the nation’s labor force, like rag pickers, street sweepers and rickshaw drivers. The informal sector makes up an estimated 80 percent of India’s 470 million workers. ....... “They are selling railways, airports, ports, oil industry and gas refineries and our power transmission sector, there is nothing left,” Mr. Saxena said. “Whatever our forefathers have built in this country is being now sold to big corporate and private entrepreneurs.” .

. Defection of Key Ally Gives Opposition the Votes to Oust Imran Khan Without the support of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, the country’s prime minister will lose the simple majority needed to survive Parliament’s no-confidence vote. ....... The announcement from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan or M.Q.M.-P, issued a critical blow to Mr. Khan, 69, who has been embroiled in a political crisis for weeks since the country’s powerful military withdrew support for his government and a coalition of opposition parties moved to vote him out of power. ...... “He has no other option, he has to resign,” said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party. ........ and denounced his opponents as part of an American-influenced conspiracy to remove him from office. ....... The political crisis comes as Pakistan, with 220 million people, grapples with rising costs of living and double-digit inflation that has sent the prices of basic goods soaring and fueled criticism that Mr. Khan was failing to deliver on his touchstone promises of reviving the economy and creating an Islamist welfare state. ........ The announcement by M.Q.M.-P on Wednesday brought the expected number of votes against Mr. Khan in Parliament to 177 — enough for the opposition to win the simple majority needed in the 342-member National Assembly to oust him. ....... The party’s support also meant that the opposition does not need to secure the votes of Mr. Khan’s party defectors ....... He has also said there is a foreign conspiracy against his government, in retaliation for his independent foreign policy. ....... Mr. Khan’s political fortunes dwindled in recent months after the country’s powerful military withdrew support for his government following differences over key military appointments. ...... He has been critical of the military’s newfound position of “neutrality” in domestic political affairs, and during one political rally said “only an animal is neutral,” stressing that people have to take sides when it is a matter of good and evil. .


PM Modi makes strong pitch for privatisation, asset monetisation Government has identified 100 assets whose sale could garner ₹2.5-lakh crore .

. Christophe Jaffrelot reviews “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World” by Dr S. Jaishankar . India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar is an unusual combination of diplomat, politician, and public intellectual. “The India Way” articulates his vision of India’s strategic choices. That he presently serves as India’s foreign minister makes the book an important primary document through which to understand the thinking of an influential architect of the country’s foreign policy. ......... he has a firm grasp on his subject: a career diplomat, he climbed all the ranks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, up to the supreme stage of Foreign Secretary – after having been ambassador in countries as important as China and the United States ....... Jaishankar emerges as not simply a spokesperson for Modi’s worldview but a believer ....... that Modi’s ascension to power in 2014 ushered India into a new era of expansion. ....... Firstly, the criteria for power are no longer the same. Access to technology, connectivity, and trade are now paramount. Secondly, all the regions of the world – and in particular the large countries have entered into unbridled competition: the planet is thus governed by an unprecedented multipolar logic. ........ He recommends exploiting the new circumstances in a realpolitik mode that is the polar opposite of what he describes as the “political romanticism” (p. 4) of yesteryear, a phrase implicitly associated with Jawaharlal Nehru and his sense of moralpolitik. ........

“the real obstacle to the rise of India is not any more the barriers of the world, but the dogmas of Delhi”

.......... the answer is to apply a purely transactional logic in its relations with a world that everyone is already doing, where there are no allies or friends, but only “frenemies” (p. 39): “In a world of more naked self-interest, nations will do what they have to do with less pretense” (p. 26) and “even partners will always strive for better terms of transactions” (p. 27). ........ “realism” (p. 12), “realpolitik” (p. 5), “hard security” (p. 74), but also “management of differences” (in order to exploit tensions between countries) and “pragmatic settlement” (p. 27). ....... In the “transactional bazaar” (p. 39) that the concert of nations has become, India must maximize its interests, guided unashamedly by the mantra of “advancing [its] national interests by identifying and exploiting opportunities created by global contradictions” (p. 11). ....... India must first establish a favorable balance of power. This requires a rise in economic power and genuine international activism. Economic growth is a categorical imperative, especially since, in Jaishankar’s eyes, India has already “emerged among the major economies of the world…” (p. 78). But the pursuit of all-out diplomacy occupies a more important place in the book. Early on, Jaishankar outlines his diplomatic agenda: “It is time for us to engage America, manage China, cultivate Europe, reassure Russia, bring Japan into play, draw neighbours in, extend the neighbourhood and expand traditional constituencies of support” (p. 10). ......... avoid alliances, exploit conflicts inherent in the multipolar world, and accept the contradictions that result. ......... “If India drove the revived Quad arrangement, it also took membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. A longstanding trilateral with Russia and China now coexists with one involving the US and Japan” (p. 14). ....... if the West does not understand that India does not see it as an ally, but only as a partner – and even then not on all issues -, “much of that arises from an ignorance of its thought processes. That is hardly surprising when much of the West was historically so dismissive of our society. It is revealing that the standard American introduction to Indian strategic thought does not even refer to the Mahabharata, though that epic so deeply influences the average Indian mind” (p. 47). ..........

it is India’s rediscovered nationalism that mandates the preference for multilateralism over alliances

........ an ethnic nationalism based on Hindu culture of which the Mahabharata is one of the flagships ........ “As an epic, [the Mahabharata] dwarfs its counterparts in other civilisations, not just in length but in its richness and complexity” .......... thanks to Narendra Modi, whose electoral victory in 2014 was a turning point for the country (p. 77). It was from this point on, according to Jaishankar, that “India set out to deliberately raise its global profile, consciously influence international gatherings and negotiations, purposefully increase high-level contacts and ambitiously invest in building linkages and connectivity” (p. 93). Such nationalism is the foundation of India’s success: “In emotional terms, nationalism obviously contributes to a stronger sense of unity. In political terms, it signifies a greater determination to combat sub-national and supra-national challenges to it. In policy terms, it focuses on how to maximize national capabilities and influence” (p. 114).2 ........... he trusts “the Indian street” more than “Lutyens Delhi” ...... his favourite target, the Indian senior civil service, because, for him, “Mandarins can no longer be impervious to the masses” (p. 110). The populist national rejection of yesterday’s cosmopolitan establishment is also explicit, as for Jaishankar “an elite created in a Western mould has now outlived its relevance” (p. 129). ........ For the moment, India refuses to choose sides and for its Western partners, one of the main lessons of Jaishankar’s book is precisely the low esteem in which he holds the West, the hegemon of yesterday that Asia will be called upon to replace. ......... The objective is to “engage competing powers like the US, China, the EU or Russia at the same time” (p. 15). ....... Jaishankar could have mentioned Indian ‘soft power’, but he does not believe in it. Instead, he attributes India’s bargaining power to its geopolitical position. India’s main asset today is to appear as a key element in the efforts of the West, Japan, Australia, and other Asian countries to counterbalance China – a country that Jaishankar is careful not to name here ........ For Jaishankar, the great powers see only advantages in India’s rise, which must in turn take full measure of this reliance: “If the world has developed stakes in India’s prominence, the latter, in turn, can utilize that sentiment to the fullest” (p. 41). For India, it is a question of offering a point of support to the great powers in the Indo-Pacific which “undeniably is a priority for all of them” (p. 182).3 “By maintaining a strong posture there, India’s value rises…” (p. 185), writes Jaishankar. The main target, in this respect, is none other than the West because, for him, “A stronger partnership with the West will lead to considerable political benefits and economic gains…” (p. 123). .......... “a parallel pursuit of multiple priorities, some of whom could be contradictory” (p. 16). ......... “To the uninitiated or the anachronistic, the pursuit of apparently contradictory approaches may seem baffling. How does one reconcile a Howdy Modi gathering [the Houston rally where Modi campaigned for Trump in 2019] with a Mamallapuram [named after the small town where Modi met with Xi Jinping also in 2019] or a Vladivostok Summit? Or the RIC (Russia-India-China) with JAI (Japan-America-India)? Or the Quad and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization)? An Iran with the Saudis, or Israel with Palestine? The answer is in the willingness to look beyond dogma and enter the real world of convergences. Think of it as calculus, not just as arithmetic.” (p. 100) ......... A critical assumption here is that India has become so indispensable on an international scene marked by extreme fluidity that its partners will not be offended if it also deals with some of their adversaries. ......... “There is much that India can learn from China. One important lesson is demonstrating global relevance as the surest way of earning the world’s respect” (p. 8). But China shows India the way from another point of view: “China, as the first non-Western power to seriously rise in the post-1945 era, has drawn on its cultural heritage to project its responsibility and shape the narrative. It is but logical that India too should follow suit” (p. 47). ........ Jaishankar argues that China is not in fact hostile to India because it “sees India as inherent to the rise of Asia and the larger rebalancing of the power distribution” (p. 40). ......... “The ability of India and China to work together could determine the Asian century” (p. 133). Thus, when he praises nationalism, Jaishankar adds that it is “represented by the rise of nations like China and India, of a continent like Asia and the consequent rebalancing of the global order” (p. 112). ......... “China is the great disrupter here since unlike Japan, South Korea or the ASEAN, its emergence cannot be accommodated in the old framework. The rise of India will only reinforce this pressure for change” (p. 113). ....... “India should not underestimate the influence that the West still retains” (p. 121). Dismantling Western dominance must occur by attacking the architecture of the international system: ......... “The key of Western durability till now is the set of institutions and practices that it progressively but firmly established in the period of its dominance. There is virtually no sector of human activity that in some form or the other is not shaped or regulated by it. Rules are set for the entire world, as well as for the global commons. These are supported by narratives that serve the West well, while diminishing its competitors. The mix of institutions, regimes, regulations and understandings is such a complex web that creating alternatives is truly a formidable challenge. However, as global power redistribution progresses, this will inevitably happen.” (p. 121) ........... the fact that the fight against climate change is a bone of contention between India and Western countries has rarely been articulated so clearly by an Indian minister. ........

India expects China to show better feelings towards it regarding its membership of the Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

...... the uncompromising defense of Indian interests in a realpolitik mode, underpinned and legitimized by a strong ethnic nationalism; the certainty of attaining a form of power, fueled by the fact that many major countries are courting India; and the corresponding refusal to choose sides in order to maximize one’s transactional advantage. This triptych is generally perceived as a rupture with the past brought about by Narendra Modi, which Jaishankar also affirms. ......... competent stewardship is lacking, growth is at half-mast, and India does not have the means to accomplish its foreign policy ....... For the moment, India refuses to choose sides and for its Western partners, one of the main lessons of Jaishankar’s book is precisely the low esteem in which he holds the West, the hegemon of yesterday that Asia will be called upon to replace. His approach is reminiscent of that of the Pakistani leaders who made themselves indispensable to the West against the USSR, China, and then Al Qaeda by pursuing a double game. Here again, Chinese strategy is the decisive variable: India will have to give up its Asian dream and move closer to the West if China threatens its interests more directly in the future.


What if Putin Didn’t Miscalculate? . Putin’s miscalculations raise questions about his strategic judgment and mental state. Who, if anyone, is advising him? Has he lost contact with reality? ......... Russia’s sieges of Mariupol and Kharkiv — two heavily Russian-speaking cities that Putin claims to be “liberating” from Ukrainian oppression — resemble what the Nazis did to Warsaw, and what Putin himself did to Grozny. ........ “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” .......... tends toward the conclusion that the best outcome is one in which Putin finds some face-saving exit: additional Ukrainian territory, a Ukrainian pledge of neutrality, a lifting of some of the sanctions. ....... In the early phases of the war, motivated Chechen fighters wiped out a Russian armored brigade, stunning Moscow. The Russians regrouped and wiped out Grozny from afar, using artillery and air power. ........ Since when has Putin ever played clean? ........ Suppose for a moment that Putin never intended to conquer all of Ukraine: that, from the beginning, his real targets were the energy riches of Ukraine’s east, which contain Europe’s second-largest known reserves of natural gas (after Norway’s). ....... Combine that with Russia’s previous territorial seizures in Crimea (which has huge offshore energy fields) and the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk (which contain part of an enormous shale-gas field), as well as Putin’s bid to control most or all of Ukraine’s coastline, and the shape of Putin’s ambitions become clear. ........ He’s less interested in reuniting the Russian-speaking world than he is in securing Russia’s energy dominance. ..........

“Under the guise of an invasion, Putin is executing an enormous heist”

......... It also makes sense of his strategy of targeting civilians. More than simply a way of compensating for the incompetence of Russian troops, the mass killing of civilians puts immense pressure on Zelensky to agree to the very things Putin has demanded all along: territorial concessions and Ukrainian neutrality. The West will also look for any opportunity to de-escalate, especially as we convince ourselves that a mentally unstable Putin is prepared to use nuclear weapons. ......... Within Russia, the war has already served Putin’s political purposes. Many in the professional middle class — the people most sympathetic to dissidents like Aleksei Navalny — have gone into self-imposed exile. The remnants of a free press have been shuttered, probably for good. To the extent that Russia’s military has embarrassed itself, it is more likely to lead to a well-aimed purge from above than a broad revolution from below. Russia’s new energy riches could eventually help it shake loose the grip of sanctions.

. Yes, There Is a Clash of Civilizations . the backbone of Huntington’s book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” which was seen as a sweeping interpretive alternative to Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis, with its vision of liberal democracy as the horizon toward which post-Cold War societies were likely to converge. ......... the Ukraine war as “definitive proof (because we have many others) that the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ theory does not work” — mostly because Huntington had predicted that countries that share Orthodox Christianity would be unlikely to go to war with one another, but instead here we have Putin’s Russia making war, and not for the first time, against a largely Orthodox Christian neighbor, even as he accommodates Muslim constituencies inside Russia. ....... the civilizational model has been a useful framework for understanding events over the last 20 years, but lately we have been moving back to a world of explicitly ideological conflict — one defined by a Western elite preaching a universal gospel of “neoliberalism” and “wokeness,” and various regimes and movements that are trying to resist it. ......... American power didn’t seem to be obviously declining. China was integrating with the Western world and liberalizing to some degree, not charting its own civilizational course. Russia in Putin’s first term seemed to aspire to alliances with America and Europe and to a certain kind of democratic normalcy. .......... China’s one-party meritocracy, Putin’s uncrowned czardom, the post-Arab Spring triumph of dictatorship and monarchy over religious populism in the Middle East, the Hindutva populism transforming Indian democracy — these aren’t just all indistinguishable forms of “autocracy,” but culturally distinctive developments that fit well with Huntington’s typology, his assumption that specific civilizational inheritances would manifest themselves as Western power diminishes, as American might recedes. ......... .


Why Bitcoin Mining Is Great for The Planet Turns out bitcoin mining can solve our energy concerns rather than contribute to them ...... Bitcoin makes no apology for the power it consumes. ....... if we agree — just for the duration of this article if nothing else — that bitcoin’s POW solution will continue for as long as the network itself does and accept that bitcoin itself has value, then there is a no question that using power to create and run it is justified. ....... Not only does bitcoin have the opportunity to radically and completely change the entire global financial system as we know it for the better, it also has the potential to deliver substantial benefits for the environment at the same time. ...... It surprises people to learn that we have enough energy to fulfill all of the planet’s current and future needs. ....... all of this energy comes from one single, clean source — the sun ...... Bitcoin, almost certainly by accident rather than design, provides us with an opportunity we have never had before to accelerate renewable energy networks in a way that is both reliable and cost effective. ....... 0.05% of all power produced on the planet is used for bitcoin mining, and the entire industry produces only 0.08% of global CO2 emissions. ....... miners are “non-rival” consumers of energy. In the vast majority of cases and on an increasing basis, miners use power that is unwanted by others, stranded, wasted, produced in the wrong place or even at the wrong time. ........ truly mobile. They can set up anywhere there is room to stack a few ASICS (Application Specific Integrated Circuits — the specialist equipment used by miners) and a power connection. The only other requirement, internet, can be provided via satellite. ......... Since miners are incentivized to use power that is cheap to maximize margins and can be set up in any location, they are able to absorb these significant pockets of extra power that would otherwise be generated, but lost. .......... Some have offered the analogy of bitcoin miners being the “dung beetles” of the energy world, slipping into places where other industries can’t (or won’t) go, finding pockets of wasted power deep in the crevices of over supplied substations and local networks. ........ connect generators directly to the well caps, use the excess gas to generate electricity and install mining apparatus next to it, literally right there on the site. ...... Not only are bitcoin miners incredibly flexible in terms of where they set up, they are also incredibly flexible about how they operate. .

BITCOIN’S MONETARY SUPERIORITY IS GUARANTEED BY PHYSICS The properties inherent to Bitcoin are deterministic, not probabilistic, and rely on the natural laws which make up our world...... . One of the least thought of ways that energy is present in our world today, until the advent of proof-of-work in Bitcoin, is how the concept of energy applies to money. ...... The distinct problem that we have today is that the monetary energy in the world is fundamentally distorted to the point where the signal is completely broken. Central banks have routinely bailed out Cantillon insiders and distorted the real cost of capital through interest rate manipulation. This has caused all understanding of monetary value to be lost. ...... Bitcoin combines the first and third law of thermodynamics. ....... Bitcoin isn’t a perfect monetary system. It’s simply the best monetary system the world has ever seen. This is why, on a long enough time scale, the majority of the world’s monetary energy will be stored on the Bitcoin network. It’s simply the natural laws of the universe that make this inevitable. .

BITCOIN IS A SAVINGS ACCOUNT WITH AN AVERAGE GROWTH OF OVER 100% A YEAR The solution to the problem facing billions of people around the world: access to a cheap, secure and reliable savings account. ...... With its fixed supply, open-source software and peer-to-peer (p2p) structure, bitcoin is the global money of the people, by the people, for the people. ........ Bitcoin is a fascinating entity which sits at the intersection of cryptography, economics and money, open-source software and computer science, game theory, politics and law, and more. Because of bitcoin’s multifaceted nature, it means different things to different people. .......... a rational choice by an increasing number of individuals and institutions to benefit from the best savings technology the world has ever seen ........ each bitcoin consists of a hundred million satoshis, meaning you can buy a fraction of a bitcoin. ...... Bitcoin’s meteoric rise fits in with the broader digital revolution which is dematerializing the physical world. ....... it is not the “Myspace of crypto” ....... In its 12-year existence, bitcoin has already eaten a $1 trillion-sized chunk out of the legacy financial system. ......... and consider bitcoin’s total addressable market is in the many hundreds of trillions of dollars, it is only getting started ......... At its core bitcoin is the soundest money ever invented by human civilization. ........ To date, despite having $1 trillion on the network, Bitcoin has not been hacked. ......... on August 16, 2018, in Caracas, Venezuela, a roll of toilet paper cost 2.6 million bolívars (the equivalent of $0.40). In Zimbabwe, in 2009, 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar bills were introduced, and, at the time, when in a bar, it was not uncommon for the price of the drinks to double by the time of the second round. .......... it has had 99.98% of uptime since going live in 2009 and is accessible 24/7 and 365 days per year. Unlike traditional banking, bitcoin does not have inconvenient opening times as it does not sleep. ......... the broad measure of the stock of dollars, known as the M2 money supply, rose from $15.34 trillion at the start of 2020 to $18.72 trillion in September 2020. The increase of $3.38 trillion equals 18% of the total supply of dollars. ......... nearly one in five dollars was created in 2020. ...... at a stroke of a computer key, every other dollar in existence had an 18% reduction in purchasing power. ......... since inception, bitcoin’s volatility trends to the upside. Consequently, the longer people have held a portion of their savings in bitcoin the more it has increased in purchasing power. ............ No other altcoin can compete with bitcoin’s superior monetary properties, established market cap, network effects, mining and hardware infrastructure, ATMs and so forth. ....... increased transaction throughput and speed can be achieved on the second layer of Bitcoin, such as the Lightning Network. This way the decentralization of bitcoin’s base layer is not compromised. ........ I would recommend looking no further than bitcoin. ........ “Bitcoin is as green as an electric car. Nothing about Bitcoin requires emissions. It will take whatever electricity you feed it. If the world goes green, so does Bitcoin.” ........ bitcoin enables a deflationary (meaning a reduction in global prices) economic system which would allow us to break out of the current, “endless growth” economic model. ........ With CBDCs, central banks will be able to offer digital dollars, pounds or yuan directly to citizens. Some people think this will threaten bitcoin’s rise, the short answer is “no” as they will still be a form of unsound money — meaning endless units can be printed — unlike bitcoin’s fixed supply of 21 million. ........... People have been saying this since the bitcoin price was $1, $100, $1,000 and $10,000 per coin and the same will be said when the price is $100,000, $1 million and beyond. .......... Global bitcoin adoption currently stands at around 2% of the world’s population and bitcoin solves a problem facing billions of people around the world — that of unsound money and the lack of a cheap, secure and reliable savings account. ......... Bitcoin’s market cap is $1 trillion and its addressable market is in the hundreds of trillions. ....... bitcoin can already be seen to be eating into gold, owing to its superior monetary technology ........

bitcoin is on track to becoming the primary store of value for global citizens.

......... bitcoin’s fixed supply of 21 million coins, decentralized nature and unstoppable code make it the soundest money invented by human civilization. ........ Currently, people around the world are working increasingly harder for ever-devaluing national currencies. Bitcoin’s growth at over 100% per year for the last 10 years offers global citizens the choice to store their wealth in the latter and not the former.

‘Russian soldiers raped me as my terrified son cried’ The woman whose case could be the first heard in a war crimes investigation tells Catherine Philp in Kyiv what happened ........ Natalya speaks in a hushed voice, fearful that Oleksii, her young son, will wake and learn the terrible truth. Of why they had to flee the little house by the pine forest that his father built for them. Of what the men with guns did to her while the boy sat sobbing in the darkened boiler room. Of who the man was lying lifeless in their front yard as they left home for the last time. ...... “He doesn’t understand much,” she explains down the phone line from the western city where mother and son fled three weeks ago from their village near Kyiv. “In the playground here, he goes up to people and says that we had to leave our house because there was war .

Am I Too Late for Bitcoin? . it is still very, very early. ........ Those who deeply under­stand Bitcoin tend to view its poten­tial as at least that of gold (~$13T) but theoret­i­cally more like $200T (about half the world’s total value). ....... the ~$100T in total value sitting in the world’s various curren­cies. ....... Since it’s unprece­dented for a store of value commodity to attain a value greater than gold, it’s simply uncharted terri­tory. ....... There are endless examples of people lamenting how late they were in 2011 or 2013 or 2016, when Bitcoin’s price was $5, $100, and $600, respectively. ............ latecomers to the California gold rush would have been disap­pointed to find the rich gold fields already spoken for, and might have settled instead for a few hundred acres of ranch land now worth a fortune. ........ To match gold’s valua­tion, Bitcoin still has to grow 26x. ........... And if the high-end outcome ends up being the case, a full 99.7% of Bitcoin’s total wealth gener­a­tion remains ahead. This would mean Bitcoin still has 400x to grow, dwarfing the gold milestone. ........ 2.2B people in the world have at least $10k in net worth ........ impov­er­ished commu­ni­ties will also use Bitcoin as a store of value, and will arguably derive greater utility from it as a result of marginal access to tradi­tional banking infra­struc­ture as “low value” bank customers. ........ Signif­i­cant believers .... most of the people who count themselves as believers in Bitcoin, including most of Bitcoin Twitter, are somewhere in this group. ....... ~820k addresses have at least 1 Bitcoin. ........ 125k maximal­ists. ..... it seems to me that there are maybe 10k actively engaged Bitcoin maximal­ists on Twitter, the primary home of maximalist commu­ni­ca­tion . ........ Bitcoin is on a path to become the dominant store of value and preferred money for the world .

The Bullish Case for Bitcoin . Never in the history of the world had it been possible to transfer value between distant peoples without relying on a trusted intermediary, such as a bank or government. ........ The ramifications of the creation of Bitcoin are so profound for both economics and computer science that Nakamoto should rightly be the first person to qualify for both a Nobel prize in Economics and the Turing award. ....... By design, only 21 million bitcoins will ever be mined and most of these already have been — approximately 16.8 million bitcoins have been mined at the time of writing. Every four years the number of bitcoins produced by mining halves and the production of new bitcoins will end completely by the year 2140. .......... An apple grower may desire trade with a fisherman, for example, but if the fisherman does not desire apples at the same moment, the trade will not take place. ......... Achieving a Nash Equilibrium for a store of value is a major boon to any society, as it greatly facilitates trade and the division of labor, paving the way for the advent of civilization. .......... the 19th century was the first time when most of the world converged on a single store of value — gold — and this period saw the greatest explosion of trade in the history of the world .......... Bitcoins are the most portable store of value ever used by man. ....... The attribute that most clearly distinguishes Bitcoin from fiat currencies and gold is its predetermined scarcity. By design, at most 21 million bitcoins can ever be created. ........ Nation-states have shown a persistent proclivity to inflate their money supply to solve short-term political problems. ........ No monetary good has a history as long and storied as gold, which has been valued for as long as human civilization has existed. Coins minted in the distant days of antiquity still maintain significant value today. ....... The use of inflation as an insidious means of invisibly taxing a citizenry has been a temptation that few states in history have been able to resist. ....... If Bitcoin exists for 20 years, there will be near-universal confidence that it will be available forever, much as people believe the Internet is a permanent feature of the modern world. ......... every transaction transmitted on the Bitcoin network is forever recorded on a public blockchain. The historical record of transactions allows for later forensic analysis to identify the source of a flow of funds. ....... A classic example of regulated money transmission is capital controls. A wealthy millionaire, for instance, may find it very hard to transfer their wealth to a new domicile if they wish to flee an oppressive regime. ............ Many have criticized Bitcoin as being an unsuitable money because its price has been too volatile to be suitable as a medium of exchange. This puts the cart before the horse, however. Money has always evolved in stages, with the store of value role preceding the medium of exchange role. ......... In the earliest days of Bitcoin, many people did not appreciate the huge opportunity cost of using bitcoins as a medium of exchange, rather than as an incipient store of value. The famous story of a man trading 10,000 bitcoins (worth approximately $94 million at the time of this article’s writing) for two pizzas illustrates this confusion. .......... The monetary premium of silver disappeared almost entirely in the late 19th century when governments across the world largely abandoned it as money in favor of gold. ....... Money acts as the foundation for all trade and savings, so the adoption of a superior form of money has tremendous multiplicative benefits to wealth creation for all members of a society. ......... $0–$1 (2009–March 2011): The first hype cycle in the Bitcoin market was dominated by cryptographers, computer scientists and cypherpunks who were already primed to understand the importance of Satoshi Nakamoto’s groundbreaking invention and who were pioneers in establishing that the Bitcoin protocol was free of technical flaws. ......... $1–$30 (March 2011–July 2011): The second cycle attracted both early adopters of new technology and a steady stream of ideologically motivated investors who were dazzled by the potential of a stateless money. .......... $250–$1100 (April 2013–December 2013): The third hype cycle saw the entrance of early retail and institutional investors who were willing to brave the horrendously complicated and risky liquidity channels from which bitcoins could be bought. ....... In the first hype cycle, there were no exchanges available, and acquisition of bitcoins was primarily through mining or by direct exchange with someone who had already mined bitcoins. In the second hype cycle, rudimentary exchanges became available, but obtaining and securing bitcoins from these exchanges remained too complex for all but the most technologically savvy investors. Even in the third hype cycle, significant hurdles remained for investors transferring money to MtGox to acquire bitcoins. ......... By the time the fourth hype cycle began in 2016 it was relatively easy for retail investors to buy bitcoins and secure them. .......... $1100–$19600? (2014–?): ...... The entrance of the first state to officially add bitcoins to their reserves will likely trigger a stampede for others to do so. ........ The states that are the earliest in adopting Bitcoin would see the largest benefit to their balance sheets if Bitcoin ultimately became a global reserve currency. ............ There is a great irony that the US is currently one of the nations most open in its regulatory position toward Bitcoin, while China and Russia are the most hostile. The US risks the greatest downside to its geopolitical position if Bitcoin were to supplant the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. In the 1960s, Charle de Gaulle criticized the “exorbitant privilege” the US enjoyed from the international monetary order it crafted with the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944. ......... the banking industry and the US Federal Reserve are finally having their first inkling of the existential threat Bitcoin poses to US monetary policy if it were to become a global reserve currency ........ There is another danger, perhaps even more serious from the point of view of the central banks and regulators:

bitcoin might not crash

. If the speculative fervor in the cryptocurrency is merely the precursor to it being widely used as an alternative to the dollar, it will threaten the central banks’ monopoly on money. .......... Not only does a sovereign money enjoy the advantage of a constant source of demand, by way of taxes being remittable only in it, but competing monetary goods are taxed whenever they are exchanged at an appreciated value. This latter kind of taxation creates significant friction to using a store of value as a medium of exchange. .......... the replacement of the Zimbabwe dollar with the US dollar. ....... The ability to easily transmit bitcoins across borders and absence of a need for a banking system make Bitcoin an ideal monetary good to acquire for those afflicted by hyperinflation. ........ When a nation’s money is abandoned and replaced by Bitcoin, Bitcoin will have transitioned from being a store of value in that society to a generally accepted medium of exchange. ......... As Bitcoin surpasses the market capitalization of gold, its volatility will decrease to a level that will make it suitable as a widely used medium of exchange. ......... once the opportunity cost of trading bitcoins is at a level at which it is suitable as a medium of exchange, most trades will not occur on the Bitcoin network itself but on “second layer” networks with much lower fees. Second layer networks, such as the Lightning network, provide the modern equivalent of the promissory notes that were used to transfer titles for gold in the 19th century............ The development of the Lightning network is a profoundly important technical innovation in Bitcoin’s history and its value will become apparent as it is developed and adopted in the coming years. ............ Binance, a prominent exchange that started in China, moved to Japan after the Chinese government halted its operations in China. ........ National governments are also wary of smothering a nascent industry that may prove as consequential as the Internet, thereby ceding a tremendous competitive advantage to other nations. ......... As a non-sovereign monetary good, it is possible that at some stage in the future Bitcoin will become a global money much like gold during the classical gold standard of the 19th century. ........ the brilliant cryptographer Hal Finney, the recipient of the first bitcoins sent by Nakamoto ...... [I]magine that Bitcoin is successful and becomes the dominant payment system in use throughout the world. Then the total value of the currency should be equal to the total value of all the wealth in the world. Current estimates of total worldwide household wealth that I have found range from $100 trillion to $300 trillion. With 20 million coins, that gives each coin a value of about $10 million. ............ It is more likely, and unfortunate, that tin-pot dictatorships and kleptocracies will be the first nations to enter the Bitcoin market. ........... Bitcoin rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the 2008 global financial catastrophe — a catastrophe that was precipitated by the policies of central banks like the Federal Reserve. ........ A global, non-inflationary reserve currency will force nation-states to alter their primary funding mechanism from inflation to direct taxation, which is far less politically palatable. States will shrink in size commensurate to the political pain of transitioning to taxation as their exclusive means of funding.

The two types of Altcoins, an investor's view The vast majority of alt-coins are Degenerators. Their price chart has a measurable half-life, like radioactive decay. Plotted on a log chart, it's a straight line down. ....... Oscillators are proving store of value (SoV) properties. To qualify they need to keep up with BTCUSD gains. To find them, plot their BTC value. It must oscillate around a horizontal line, for at least one full bull-bear cycle (around 4yrs). More cycles are better. ....... Let me bring up this Oscillator. It's DOGE, a coin that was created as a joke, it has had no active development for years. It's a humour fork of Bitcoin offering no technical innovation.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

January 27: Russia, Crypto

Biden Promised a Black Woman on the Supreme Court . The perception of Biden as a disappointment has been hardening among Black voters, the voters he needed to win in 2020 and the ones he would need again in 2024.

Our Tribalism Will Be the Death of Us . while a virus isn’t partisan, many Americans’ responses to this one have been emphatically so. ......... One of this tribalism’s obvious drivers is many Americans’ substitution of investment and involvement in physical communities with investment and involvement in online ones that more efficiently sort them into cliques of the rigidly like-minded.

Russia’s Military, Once Creaky, Is Modern and Lethal A significantly upgraded military has emerged as a key tool of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy, as he flexes his might around the globe and, most ominously, on the Ukraine border. ......... It is Mr. Putin’s highest-stakes use of the military to muscle Russia back into the global relevance it lost with the ending of the Cold War. Mr. Putin laid out that doctrine in 2018, when he used his annual state-of-the-nation speech to unveil new nuclear weapons that could fly 20 times the speed of sound. ......... The T-72B3 tanks amassed on Ukraine’s border have a new thermal optics system for nighttime fighting as well as guided missiles with twice the range of other tanks ........ Kalibr cruise missiles deployed on ships and submarines in the Black Sea and Iskander-M rockets arrayed along the border can hit targets just about anywhere inside Ukraine ......... The military relies less on a dwindling number of conscripts and more on a slimmed-down, well-trained core of roughly 400,000 contract soldiers. .........

“cross-domain coercion” — blending the real or threatened use of force with diplomacy, cyberattacks and propaganda to achieve political aims.

........ For all its strides in recent years, Russia’s military retains a critical weakness of its Soviet predecessor: the civilian side of the country’s economy, nearly devoid of high-tech manufacturing and corporate investment in research and development. Army expenditures amount to a far higher percentage of the gross domestic product than in most European countries, starving other sectors.

Russia Isn’t a Dead Petrostate, and Putin Isn’t Going Anywhere . The European Union typically relies on Russia for about 40 percent of its natural gas, making it by far the continent’s largest supplier. With an estimated 127,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, Europe seems torn between responding to what would be an egregious upset of its security and safeguarding its own energy requirements. ........... Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Russia’s Rosneft are all investing large sums to increase future oil production. ...... If the world reaches its climate goals of net-zero emissions by 2050, the International Energy Agency and others predict it will still be using roughly one-quarter as much oil and one-half as much natural gas as it does today. ....... From France’s “yellow vest” protests to Kazakhstan’s recent unrest over fuel price hikes, it is increasingly clear that if climate ambition comes into tension with energy reliability or affordability or the security of energy supplies, climate ambition will lose.

How Crypto Became the New Subprime . If the stock market isn’t the economy — which it isn’t — then cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin really, really aren’t the economy. Still, crypto has become a pretty big asset class (and yielded huge capital gains to many buyers); by last fall the combined market value of cryptocurrencies had reached almost $3 trillion. ............... So crypto has become a large asset class even though nobody can clearly explain what legitimate purpose it’s for. ............ 44 percent of crypto investors are nonwhite, and 55 percent don’t have a college degree. This matches up with anecdotal evidence that crypto investing has become remarkably popular among minority groups and the working class. .......... “Why are the most risky loan products sold to the least sophisticated borrowers?” He then declared, “The question answers itself.” Homeownership dropped sharply once the bubble burst. ......... regulators have made the same mistake they made on subprime: They failed to protect the public against financial products nobody understood, and many vulnerable families may end up paying the price.

It’s Hard to Tell When the Crypto Bubble Will Burst, or If There Is One Crypto prices are highly volatile, as this week’s sell-off showed. But die-hard enthusiasts believe prices will keep soaring in a world where traditional notions of value don’t apply.......... Traditional financial analysis doesn’t apply here. A stock analyst, for instance, determines whether a company’s shares are expensive or cheap by assessing its business model, future prospects and leadership. But few, if any, of those metrics translate to cryptocurrency valuation. Belief alone can drive value. ........

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

$100 Billion Plan To Save The World

The bitcoin logo
The bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Scale out the Google/Facebook drone initiative to blanket the planet with internet access, effective immediately. Cost $25 billion.
  2. Design a $25 smartphone and flood the Arab countries (and subsequently rest of the world) with them. The dollar a day crowd gets the phone for free. Distribute shared solar chargers alongside. Cost $25 Billion. 
  3. Use Bitcoin technology (zero cost for money transfers) and mPaisa technology (bank account on your phone, you get money on your phone, you pay back on your phone) to radically expand microfinance globally. The goal is to not generate any profit, just to keep the fund intact. Cost: $50 Billion. Anyone with a phone with internet access can borrow upto $100 per year as long as they keep up with their monthly payments. If they miss three monthly payments in a row, they don't get to borrow any more for the following two years, after which they can choose to get back in the swing. You need a phone, and you need to send in an image of your fingerprint to a central database, and your picture perhaps. There is an app for that. A credit rating agency is instantly being set up. This program comes from the air. There is nothing between the dollar a day crowd and the internet. The interest rate on the loan is 5% per year. This is to make room for the fact that 5% of the borrowers will default. You can only get $100 per year for now. The next Warren Buffet should add another $50 billion to this. This would be the magic bullet of curing poverty. 
The best way to fight ISIS (population: 20,000) is to show to them and to the two billion Muslims and everyone else how small and irrelevant they are. They don't speak for two billion people. This political challenge is primary. The military threat, though very real, is secondary.