Stellar & Ripple: Steady Incline Before Announcements

 There’s a steady incline on Stellar and Ripple and both have confirmed partnerships that are yet to be announced. Due to the expected 2X hard fork which did not occur, most groups were expecting to make announcements after the 16th following the fork. However, due to the conflict launched by the Bitcoin Cash backers and cancellation of 2X, most people simply forgot about what was sure to be an ideal moment for announcements.

With that said, Stellar and Ripple are looking steady and are practically sure to experience a surge after the announcements that are likely to take place soon. I believe this will happen between the 16th-20th. However, it’s possible that shifts are being made for strategic purposes. These announcements may be set for a delay due to Bitcoin Futures, which will absorb most of the attention this December, as well as the developments that follow.  If neither are made soon, then we’ll likely have to wait for January or February.

Both Ripple and Stellar are being vastly underestimated, especially Stellar. Everyone has their eyes on Bitcoin and Ethereum but these two groups are the ones making the most progress. I expect 2018 to be a massive year for both. You could see Stellar with the market cap currently seen in Ripple and Ripple retain its third place market cap by the end of 2018.

Ripple & the Gates Foundation Partnering To “Level Economic Playing-Field” for the Poor

Ripple has announced that it’s teaming up with the Gates Foundation in order to “level the economic playing field for the poor.

“Many of the world’s poor in developing countries — nearly 2 billion, according to the World Bank — struggle to lift themselves out of poverty simply because they don’t have a bank account or financial services.

This is a missed opportunity for the financial services industry that has traditionally focused on the rich and middle class. In fact, developing markets represent the next frontier for economic growth.

Mobile wallets can be an effective, alternative solution for unbanked people, but it’s costly and complicated for banks to develop digital financial services for new markets, as well as make them interoperable so that digital money can be exchanged as freely and fluidly as cash.

This lack of interoperability not only prevents financial growth for the impoverished, but also slows growth for local and national economies.

However, a new collaboration supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will change that. Ripple, in partnership with Dwolla, ModusBox, Software Groupand Crosslake Technologies, with funding and support from the Gates Foundation, developed a new open-source software called Mojaloop for creating a real-time, interoperable payments platform on a national scale to reach the world’s poor with essential financial tools.

A New Interoperable System to Bring the Poor into the Global Economy

Leveraging the power of the Interledger Protocol (ILP), Mojaloop offers a way for financial providers, governments and mobile network operators to simplify and reduce the cost of developing inclusive payments platforms.

Mojaloop can be used to connect customers, merchants, banks, providers and government offices across a country’s economy — accelerating progress toward a truly inclusive economy.

The new software is a boon for the 90 percent of the world’s poor that don’t have bank accounts and are covered by different mobile signals.

Now, individuals in developing markets can send and receive payments on any Level One-enabled payment system and store the funds in a mobile wallet.

This revolutionary technology provides a bridge between mobile networks and financial providers in order to drive prosperity in local, national and regional economies — helping to create an Internet of Value.

Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer Stefan Thomas said, “Enabling the poor to make payments to anyone, anywhere, using a mobile wallet has implications beyond increased access to their domestic economies. It has the potential to bring millions into the fold of the global digital economy. We are honored to have been a part of this project.”

Kosta Peric, deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, added, “We believe that everyone benefits from an economy that includes everyone. This software can help empower billions of new customers and drive massive economic growth in developing markets.”

“The open-source code we have created thanks to the contribution of Ripple, as well as Dwolla, ModusBox, Software Group and Crosslake Technologies, will give billions of people the opportunity to make and receive payments using their mobile wallets. It is our hope that they will be able to buy and sell goods and services in a way that is safe, transparent, affordable and instant,” Peric concluded.

Where Can Mobile Networks Access Mojaloop?

Mojaloop is free of charge and available to developers to use via GitHub. Ripple and the Gates Foundation encourage anyone who’s interested in Mojaloop to explore the software, use it to build or adapt products and services, or offer updates to the software.”
( Ripple )

IBM & Stellar Launch Global Payment Platform: Stellar Explodes Over 150.00%

According to Fortune, IBM and Stellar have launched a global payment platform.  This major announcement has caused Stellar Lumens to experience an increase of over 150.00% within five hours of the announcement.

“In a breakthrough for payments technology, IBM and a network of banks have begun using digital currency and blockchain software to move money across borders throughout the South Pacific.

The significance of the news, which IBM announced on Monday, is that merchants and consumers will be able to send money to another country in near real-time, accelerating a payments process that typically takes days.

The banking network includes “12 currency corridors” that encompass Australia and New Zealand, as well as smaller countries like Fiji and Tonga. It will reportedly process up to 60 percent of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridors by early next year.

The news also comes as an important validation of blockchain technology, which has long promised enormous efficiencies for the financial sector, but has been slow to move from the concept stage to the real world.” ( Fortune )

Monero & Ripple: Top Contenders For Coinbase Support?

 On January 2, 2017, the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, stated that the exchange was not just a Bitcoin company but a cryptocurrency company. In 2017, we can expect the trend of adding more cryptocurrency to Coinbase to continue, he says.

Despite having Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, at Coinbase, it took some time to add Litecoin support. This would indicate that Coinbase isn’t in the business of supporting just any cryptocurrency. Coinbase appears to be a standard bearer of exchanges and will probably add only the more stable of cryptocurrencies to its platform, crypto that has serious developer foundation and viability.

Monero

We believe Monero fits that profile and that Coinbase will add Monero to its exchange within the next year.

Monero has private transactions, it’s privacy tech is well-tested, there isn’t high inflation, and there is no tax on miners to pay investors. It certainly ranks higher among the cryptocurrency hierarchy.

As a side note, Monero is followed by Charlie Lee, Coinbase, and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Twitter. Of course, this isn’t necessarily indicative of future Coinbase support but it shows that Coinbase and its staff are supportive of Monero.

We also believe that Ripple and Stellar could be added to Coinbase in the near future, perhaps before Monero. In fact, if not Monero first, it would probably be Ripple.

NOTE: We are not counting Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, or Bitcoin 2x, as these are hard forks and essentially force support that would not otherwise naturally occur. Bitcoin Cash will be added to Coinbase, it’s not known whether or not Bitcoin Gold will be, and the future of BTC 2x is not known.

Is Bitcoin Becoming Too Entrenched To Fail?

 In the analysis of things, there’s always this pseudo-intellectual tendency of subscribing to the seemingly ‘objective’ or safe bet. Ironically, this tendency is precisely what makes it difficult for people to perceive things objectively. To the pseudo-skeptic who is not skeptical of his own skepticism, Bitcoin is obviously ‘in a bubble’ and ‘it will be stopped by governments and banks’. This isn’t an objective perspective, it’s an appeal to the establishment’s power and capacity to crush any innovation that usurps its authority.

If we’re speaking objectively, the expected volatility will decrease over time and the legal framework around cryptocurrency suggests that governments and banks actually aren’t trying to prevent its use, at least not to the extent commonly implied. Instead, what we’re seeing is simply caution but positive reception to potential innovation.

Shifting Tides 

When Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, said that Bitcoin is a fraud, he wasn’t met with applause. Instead, he was systematically attacked and overwhelmed with disagreement, even from the mainstream media.

New York Times: What Jamie Dimon Is Missing About Bitcoin
Forbes: Jamie Dimon, Here’s Why You’re Wrong About Bitcoin
Bloomberg: What Jamie Dimon Got Wrong About Bitcoin and Tulips
The Guardian: Don’t Let The Bankers Fool You: Bitcoin Here To Stay
CNBC: Why JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Is Wrong About Bitcoin

Dimon was scrutinized by various sectors, from Zerohedge pointing out that JPMorgan’s ‘Bitcoin-alternative patent was rejected 175 times, his former head of global macro at JPMorgan telling him to “STFU”, media outlets reporting on JPMorgan handling Bitcoin-related trade, Dimon facing a market abuse claim over ‘False, Misleading’ Bitcoin comments, the CEO of Morgan Stanley refuting Dimon, saying it’s ‘not just a fade’, an analyst ‘firing shots’ at JPMorgan and Dimon for calling Bitcoin a fraud, etc…

What I’m getting at is simple. If Bitcoin is becoming entrenched enough to be systematically defended, it’s going to survive and it’s going to succeed. The more interdependent relationships, the more entrenchment into the lives of individuals and nations, the better. On that front, there are countless examples of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency becoming increasingly entrenched.

Escaping Failing Fiat 

 There’s a global shift into cryptocurrency, especially among countries with failing currencies. Specifically, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, UK, Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil, Germany, Egypt, and Russia, are all utilizing Bitcoin. In fact, in Venezuela, we could be seeing the first ‘Bitcoinization’ of a sovereign nation.

Legal Framework

The majority of countries allow the use of cryptocurrency, besides Bangladesh, Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ecuador. These bans aren’t exactly effective, either. In Ecuador, for example, use has growth despite illegality.

Use of cryptocurrency is legal and-or unregulated in Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, United States, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Bosnia , Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Lithuania, and New Zealand.

This idea that governments and banks will launch a systemic crackdown on cryptocurrency has no basis in objective reality, nor is it even remotely feasible. In fact, it’s actually absurd to believe such a thing because no technical legal consensus of that nature would ever manifest in reality across various nations systematically.

Most countries have already addressed the matter and just want to assure that it’s legally defined and properly regulated. Despite this, any regulatory motion is regularly viewed as the beginning of the big ‘crackdown’, even though most of it is to dismantle the ICO scams, which are a completely legitimate concern. It’s a possibility regulatory bodies eventually move against Bitcoin to an extent but even then, this won’t be the end of Bitcoin and it will not be regulated out of existence.  In the worst case scenario, Bitcoin suffers some significant losses due to other innovations and-or regulations but survives as a reserve cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s status as a reserve is unlikely to go challenged for quite some time but even when that challenges comes, it will survive.

Mining

Mining has gone from the activity of enthusiasts to that of giant enterprise.

Recently, Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest investing firms, said the company is actively mining cryptocurrencies.

In Japan, Tokyo’s GMO Internet Group is spending millions to develop mining operations. In short, these type of developments are happening all over the place.

In terms of state-level mining, various nations are already actively mining or developing the operations to. In fact, it’s being referred to as the ‘mining race’.

In Russia, an aide of Vladimir Putin is seeking $100 million to rival the former? mining dominance of China and in Leningrad, the governor is inviting miners to create an industrial park for cryptocurrency mining. Furthermore, powers generators in Russia are selling excess capacity to miners.

In Sweden, a Miami-based computing company is developing a major data center in Sweden to mine cryptocurrency. Smaller jurisdictions are developing mining operations, too, such as the Republic of Transnistria.

In North Korea, they are mining Bitcoin and targeting South Korean Bitcoin exchanges as a method to bypass sanctions. For good or bad, mining has even become relevant in a geopolitical context, so it’s actually becoming bigger than corporate enterprise.

Of course, I also want to address China. According to a trusted source, China has not banned mining and probably won’t. Regardless, the mining sector is growing fast and becoming a legitimate enterprise. If one nation decides to ban mining or exchanges, others nations will simply pick up its slack. That has already been proven with the recent developments in China and how Japan quickly obtained market dominance.

Culture 

The culture of cryptocurrency is absolutely dominating and the networking effect is propelling it forward faster than anyone could have imagined just a few years ago.

You’re actively seeing celebrities like Floyd Mayweather, KISS front-man Gene Simmons, Paris Hilton, Jamie Foxx, The Game, DJ Khaled, and more regularly promoting ICOs and cryptocurrency, in general. This isn’t necessarily good in terms of ICOs, as Andreas Antonopoulos points out, but in general terms of promotion of cryptocurrency, it’s a great thing.

In corporate, marketing culture, “Bitcoin” is the market’s favorite buzzword according to Bloomberg and Bitcoin Long is the most crowded trade, according to Bank of America.

Everywhere you look, cryptocurrency is becoming more and more recognized and understood. It takes time for cultural shifts of this nature to manifest into action, though. In time, we’ll begin to see greater shifts into cryptocurrency. If this seems unlikely, remind yourself that years ago, the current state of things seemed too seamless and improbable. Personally, I never expected things to go from such a niche phenomenon to where it is today. We can’t underestimate these things.

Other Developments 

I wanted to compile a big list of positive developments but every day, a new story, a new crucial development, was being covered. I decided to just give up on the list since it felt impossible to keep track of and just created a sample of recent developments instead.

White House Doubles Down On Commitment To Blockchain )

( US Bank Regulator Opens Door To National License For Bitcoin Firms )

( U.S. Lawmakers Drafting Bill To Protect Cryptocurrencies From Government Interference )

( W3C, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Mozilla Working On Browser API For Cryptocurrencies. )

( Japan Issues Licenses To 11 Bitcoin Exchanges )

( IMF’s Lagarde: Bitcoin “Might Give Existing Currencies A Run For Their Money” )

( Two ETF Submitted For SEC Approval )

( Gold Companies, Even Former Nay Sayers, Are Beginning To Embrace Cryptocurrency. Likewise, As Are Some Jewelry Companies. Some Gold Companies Want To Use The Blockchain For Gold Trading / Verification )

( BRICS Considering Cryptocurrency As Alternative To National Currencies )

( Japan Is Pushing Bitcoin Into Retail Use )

( Putin Is Interested In Ethereum )

( In Chiasso, Switzerland, you can pay taxes in Bitcoin )

( Miami real estate will embrace Bitcoin )

( Five Leading Russian Universities Offer Cryptocurrency Courses )

( You’ll Soon Be Able To Pay Rent In Dubai’s City Walk With Bitcoin )

Clarification 

Obviously, this article could appear as mere confirmation bias. It’s not. In the crypto-world, everyone’s always aware of resistance and regulatory struggles.

Despite projections of a dramatic crackdown, in which the whole ‘bubble’ bursts, there actually hasn’t been that much resistance and the upper echelon of governance and banking doesn’t seem hostile to the overall development of these things. In fact, most governments and banks are experimenting with blockchain technology and only seem cautious about decentralized currencies but not hostile to them. Even in such a scenario, there isn’t much governments and banks can do to stop it.

A major part of this misconception about the willingness of governments and banks to accept cryptocurrency has stemmed from China. A big portion of FUD regarding China was fabricated intentionally and perpetuated by people’s own ignorance of the Chinese government and how it operates. While it’s possible a few governments will behave similarly, it’s incredibly unlikely that most will. In Japan and the U.S., for example, you can expect a more measured and positive approach that will ultimately be beneficial.

In my perspective, the actual threat to Bitcoin is the acceptance of another cryptocurrency for widespread use, not regulatory actions taken against it. Even then, Bitcoin could still succeed as a store of value.

U.S. Military IoT Network & Global Identity

In November 2015, we discussed the potentiality of IoT forming a global identity, in which everyone and everything is connected.  As it turns out, the U.S. military is developing something of that nature to reassure U.S. primacy.

The military is developing a network described as a “cephapoloidal nervous system” armed with advanced interconnected weaponry. It would allow jets, drones, ships, satellites, and more to coordinate in unison as if it were a singular entity.


Image: DefenseOne

Of course, pseudo-intellectuals will invoke apocalyptic scenarios and compare this to movies like the Terminator. The developers of these projects detest these uninformed comparisons. In reality, like many times in the past, the military is leading to advancements that will be implemented and utilized by citizens later on.  The internet is the best example of this, something that evolved from military projects. The internet democratized information in previously unimaginable ways. Now, even poor people have access to endless information that can change their lives completely.  Likewise, when regular society has the same type of advanced IoT networks, everything will move faster and act in unison. It will have a similar influence on society as the internet, except in terms of everyday life and practical application.

These type of developments are closing in.  Machine learning, IoT, the blockchain, and more, will completely revolutionize life. In the future, individuals will have an unprecedented level of power and capability.  Far from the perspectives of conspiratorial defeatism, life will be a lot better and brighter, more decentralized in terms of individuality and we’ll be working on much greater things.

The Dark Ages of Banking & The Crypto Reformation

 In ancient times, the intermediary of control was the proper understanding of astronomy for prosperous agriculture and consequently, the perceived divinity of individuals with a connection to the ‘heavens’. This slowly transformed into an intermediary of mythology and subsequently, the type of dogmatic religious centralization that destroyed the Serapeum and Library of Alexandria.

Eventually, religious dogma began to fail and monetary machinations began to substitute its central authority. The debasement of precious metals, which greatly contributed to the fall of Rome, is an example of these type of machinations and the danger of their centralization.

 Business Insider

 

The Age of Reason freed us from the central authority of the church but the banking system was already patiently waiting to become the be-all-end-all of intermediary control. The banking system became more centralized over time, and eventually, most currencies were no longer backed by precious metals. To be fair, there are major issues with gold-backed currencies and that’s why Ben Bernanke wasn’t necessarily wrong when he said gold isn’t money when Ron Paul infamously asked. Ron Paul isn’t wrong either, the printing of money out of ‘thin air’ is a problem. We need something of more substance but with easy circulation, valueless fiat will not suffice as currency in the long-run. In short, it’s the modern form of debasements of metals, except it’s all digital.

( Recently, Ron Paul said Bitcoin could contribute to the destruction of the U.S. dollar supposing the FED causes a panic, prompting people to seek alternatives to the dollar such as Bitcoin. Paul has also commented on Bernanke’s positive outlook on cryptocurrency as money rather than gold. Ben Bernanke will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming cryptocurrency Ripple event. )

The banking system is the ultimate centralization of power for the currency of any given nation is the necessary intermediary of manifestation and under the banking system, that fiat currency is not subject to protocol nor restricted from commodity-backing. Fiat currency can be inflated or deflated at any time. Banks dictate the value of your dollar, your purchasing power, wealth, and prosperity or lack thereof. A stable cryptocurrency, which is definitely within the realm of possibility, is the solution to that problem. Bitcoin could fail to fill that role due to scaling or regulatory issues but the concept and its economic system are sound.

The Central Bank of Finland has researched the Bitcoin infrastructure, the authors of the paper have dubbed Bitcoin’s economic system ‘revolutionary’, and stated the following:

“Bitcoin is a monopoly run by a protocol, not by a managing organization. Familiar monopolies are run by managing organizations with discretion to determine and then change prices, offerings and rules. Monopolies are often regulated to prevent or at least mitigate their abuse of power.”

“Bitcoin cannot be regulated. There is no need to regulate it because as a system it is committed to the protocol as is and the transaction fees it charges the users are determined by the users independently of the miners’ efforts”

BIS ( Bank for International Settlements ) has also released a paper, this one is regarding the creation of Central bank cryptocurrencies. It argues in favor of their creation, citing various use cases. This is one of many papers,  one of many entities researching cryptocurrency and blockchain potential. In fact, some are actually releasing good open source variations but most are focused on privatized and centralized developments. Overall, we see a ton of research and development accumulating and yet, nothing that’s discrediting the decentralized cryptocurrencies that are already available to us today. There is no reason to assume nor any evidence to suggest the Bitcoin Core Team, for example, won’t continue to make progress.

History Repeats Itself 

 In 1440, the ‘Gutenberg’ printing press was invented. It rapidly spread across two hundred cities, eventually spreading further, printing an estimated 150–200 million volumes in the 16th century. The printing press lead to an era of mass communication, altering the structure of society. Since the printing press outpaced the capacity for individual persecution, new and revolutionary ideas crossed borders, upset religious authority, created reformation, and broke the literacy monopoly of the elite, allowing the middle class to learn and prosper. If it were not for the printing press, perhaps no Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Reason, and Scientific revolution would have occurred to lay out our modern knowledge-based economy.

The age of banking and its economic authority are staring down the barrel of reformation and like the church, it’s attempting a counter-reformation. Instead of accepting and supporting decentralized cryptocurrencies, which would free the individual from the grips of fiat intermediaries of control, big banks want to create their own centralized and privatized cryptocurrencies to maintain the status quo. Of course, some of these banking entities are seeking genuine improvement but most are only offering resistance where there should be none, clinging to their power and control as the great intermediary.

Prediction

Blockchain technology will reshape the financial system just as the last Global Trends report indicates.

 “New financial technologies — including digital currencies, applications of “blockchain” technology for transactions, and AI and big data for predictive analytics — will reshape financial services.” ( pg. 15 ) Global Trends — Paradox of Progress, National Intelligence Council, under auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The banks that don’t introduce cryptocurrencies will become dated and fail in the long-run. The ones that do probably won’t be able to before the decentralized cryptocurrency ecosystem takes root and renders it mostly irrelevant, although some will likely succeed in the interim.

There won’t be a major consensus among banks. Various banks will implement differing cryptocurrencies, some will group together and others won’t. Some banks will succeed, many could fail, and the ones that do succeed will make major alterations to their structure and business role in the long-run to remain relevant.

Decentralized cryptocurrencies will outpace central authority no differently than the printing press outpaced the individual capacity of the central authorities of the church to persecute supposed heretics. The Dark Ages of Banking will end, the Crypto Reformation will begin. From there, we’ll shift into a new age, a new Renaissance in financial terms. This is a long-term projection of what could transpire. In the mean time what we’ll see is a battle between state-backed crypto in contrast to decentralized crypto.  Even this compromise has a lot of potential for the reworking of the financial system, in which people are more empowered to make beneficial changes. In reality, this all boils down to the people and what they allow to happen. If people are passive and allow the same monetary machinations of old to succeed over the sound economic systems and innovations available, then it rests on their shoulders. Ideally, the people push for this new wave of innovation, allowing it to thrive and succeed.

Obama Urged Trump To Keep U.S. Atop International Order

In 2008, Barack Obama was photographed by Doug Mills of the New York Times with the best-selling book, The Post-American World.  It was falsely interpreted and still is, as the former president leaning toward a Muslim’s perspective of a defeated America.  In reality, it’s an analysis of the rise of other nations, especially China, and what it means for the state of geopolitics. If this was not apparent enough, the Inauguration Day Letter from Obama to Trump should make it clear.

In the Inauguration Day letter, Barack Obama urged Donald Trump to keep the U.S. atop the international order.

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.

As it stands, the U.S. is drifting into a state of post-primacy, in which China could take the reins of international order. Unfortunately, many accept this without understanding the amoral compromises of such a transition. Just look at Silicon Valley, their relations in China, and the amorality of their overreach and compromise, which they accept to stay competitive while using unintentional doublespeak, “Don’t Be Evil’.

It would be disastrous to enter a state of U.S. post-primacy. It could deal irrevocable damage to the world and Western Culture. No one’s paying attention because of the endless groans of virtue signaling pseudo-intellectuals, who protests the ‘evils’ of the U.S., which pale in comparison to Communist China and most countries, in general.

It’s revealing and indicative of the state of geopolitics, that Obama would urge Trump in this way.

FULL LETTER

Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.

This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.

First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.

Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.

Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.

Good luck and Godspeed,

BO

Crypto Recovering From PBoC ICO Ban

The People’s Bank of China banned initial coin offerings and asked for an immediate halt of fundraising activity. Despite only applying to China, this rocked the crypto markets, shaking weak hands of out of crypto, only to begin a quick and predictable recovery.

For those who have been in the game long enough, this is nothing new nor is it cause for hysteria, as it has become a well-established pattern. Furthermore, it has shown that cryptocurrency has become increasingly resilient to these type of announcements.

        Established Pattern of Resiliency: Source

 

 

It’s important to understand that it’s still the wild west for cryptocurrency, it’s still relatively new and unregulated. You can’t expect it to go unregulated and there is nothing wrong with regulation, so long as the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency remains intact, and it will. These type of regulations are not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. The more legitimized and safeguarded it becomes the better.

“This is a positive move given the rapid proliferation of low quality and possibly fraudulent coin sales promising the moon,” said Emad Mostaque, London-based co-chief investment officer at Capricorn Fund Managers Ltd.

“There is tremendous value in the model but we need to see more separation of high quality, ethical offerings versus those seeking to circumvent securities law for a quick buck.”

In regard to ICOs, this was a legitimate concern that had to be addressed. It’s a bad idea to allow ICOs to go unregulated, a lot of people will get burnt bad and it would only reflect poorly upon cryptocurrency. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that China won’t later accept regulated ICOs that will be of higher quality.

Truth About Afghanistan & Anti-War Movements

I‘m not an advocate of war but I’m skeptical of anti-war sentiment and the danger it creates. The anti-war sentiment regularly rejects objective reality, replacing facts with feelings. Ironically, this can and has lead to far greater immorality than the immorality of war itself. I also find it troubling that anti-war movements are unaware that anti-war propaganda is a foreign nation’s best tool for controlling a nation it seeks to undermine. This is something activists of any type should be aware of, as they’re naturally a prime target for covert infiltration and influencing of policy change.

Myth of Meaningless War 

In today’s politics, Afghanistan is a “meaningless” and “endless war”, only destructive to America and democracy itself. This could not be further from the truth.  A big secret of the military industrial complex is that there is no such thing as a meaningless, endless war. There is a purpose for almost, if not every act of war the U.S. takes. However, the American people can’t be trusted by the establishment to recognize the greater dangers in the realm of geopolitics, so the veil of terrorism is used to simplify and pacify the masses.

If They Were Honest

If the U.S. establishment said, “We need you to risk your life to prevent the escalating threat of Communist China dictating global affairs”, nobody would sign up for that war as the implications of world order under China aren’t as tangible to them as the “war on terror”.

Proxy War On America

The average American doesn’t understand the destructive influence of China on Silicon Valley, Hollywood, mainstream media, academia, manufacturing, etc. It’s slowly eroding America and democracy but no one sees it since this war is very complex and subtle and therefore, intangible. So, instead of Trump decrying Iran, Russia, and China for undermining Afghanistan and America, the Trump Administration invokes the veil of terrorism and focuses on Pakistan, which is the right thing to do if we’re serious about Afghanistan, China, and North Korea.

Afghanistan 

In reality, the war in Afghanistan is more about China, Russia, and North Korea than the ‘war on terror’, although Pakistan is a legitimate concern.

“New scenarios of the US strategy in Afghanistan affect the interests of China. Over the recent time, the administration of (President Donald) Trump has been way too active in initiating hotbeds of tension close to the Chinese borders: in North Korea, and now in Afghanistan”

“Behind all these bright-eyed statements about a certain new strategy in Afghanistan is a trivial position — to remove a rival or weaken him. Nowadays, the People’s Republic of China is the main rival of the US on the global arena,” Adzhar Kurtov said.

This is about assuring dominance, preventing China from becoming the international leader and containing Russia.

Lesser Of Two Evils 

The U.S. establishment is morally indefensible in many ways but it pales in comparison to Communist China and what a world order under China would mean for humanity. I don’t welcome that world, a world lined with Foxconn factories with suicide nets to prevent their slave labor from killing themselves in mass, nor do I welcome the ever pervasive censorship of China, which has crept its way into America through the intermediary of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Likewise, I think it’s obvious from a geopolitical perspective, that Russia and the U.S. have motives that clearly aren’t in alignment.

It comes down to a choice. . .

In geopolitics, we are stuck between choosing the lesser of two evils. If we do not choose the lesser evil, the greater evil prevails. I do not believe in the evil of veiling our interests, especially when the military has created incentives to join. I don’t believe in the evil of occupying foreign nations for political purposes. Nevertheless, these are more acceptable compromises than that of the greater evil and rejecting the greater evil is something worth fighting for.

Perhaps, one day, we will not be subjected to moral compromises of that nature but as it stands, this is the objective reality of our world.

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