Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin

Many netizens have heard of bitcoin, the digital currency. This means it exists electronically. To be more precise, bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency – the implication of security and encryption is important. Cryptocurrency, or digital currency, is an invention of the Internet. Basically, someone out there thought, "hey, what if…Read more. In this post, we attempt to identify 10 questions about Bitcoins that can give you a clearer understanding of what it is, what it does and how you can use it to buy products or services online.

What are bitcoins?

Bitcoin (capitalized) refers to the software or network (ie: the Bitcoin Network), while bitcoin (not capitalized) refers to the digital currency itself (ie: two bitcoins). he price fluctuates, depending on what people were willing to pay for it. It traded for as low as pennies (during the infancy stage) to as high as USD1200 during its peak in 2013.

Who developed the idea of bitcoins?

The idea of Bitcoin was conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous figure. In May 2008, he shared a white paper [PDF] about Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. Without disclosing who he was, Satoshi outlined how the currency would work: bitcoins would be ‘mined’ by computer software, transferred directly amongst users and recorded in an untamperable ledger without the need of a third party.

Part of Bitcoin’s appeal is Satoshi Nakamoto’s anonymity, who many view as a selfless act towards a new era of financial revolution. Online detectives have identified a few candidates, including a real-life Japanese person sharing the same name. Some even theorized that Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym for a collective.

In May 2016, the Bitcoin community was shocked when Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto. Some people believe his claim, some didn’t, but on the whole the Bitcoin community is unaffected – the Bitcoin ecosystem is decentralized, and cannot be controlled by any person(s), including the creator.

What is so special about bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency and runs on a system which allows you to send and receive bitcoins without a third party. To put simply, fiat currencies rely on third parties, such as banks or payment processors like Visa, to verify the transaction. This is how you and I can ensure payment sent was indeed received. However, bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public ledger called the bitcoin blockchain. This information are permanent and publicly viewable on Blockchain.info and cannot be edited or deleted.

This means that the transaction records act as proof of transaction. Bitcoin is also programmed to be non-duplicable, which means double spending is highly unlikely.

What is decentralized currency?

Bitcoin is also a decentralized currency, as in no one government, individual or group holds authority over it. This makes bitcoin spendable anywhere in the world as long as the receiver accepts bitcoins as payment.

Decentralised currencies are a unique concept. Similar to the internet, it is free from geographical boundaries – this is why bitcoin is also dubbed ‘the currency of the internet’.

Due to lack of control and regulations, many countries are understandably wary of bitcoin – and other cryptocurrencies in general – but some progressive countries such as Japan have started to recognize it as currency.

Is bitcoin anonymous?

Bitcoin’s anonymity is a myth. Or rather, it is now much harder to make anonymous transactions with Bitcoin. Because as the ecosystem matures, many bitcoin service providers have started implementing KYC/AML regulations. KYC/AML stands for know your customers/anti-money laundering . This requires users to submit proof of identity and proof of residence.

It is also fairly easy to trace bitcoins. Bitcoins are usually bought from bitcoin exchanges, received as payment, or donated. With transaction details publicly viewable online, it is possible to trace where the bitcoin came from.

 How do you use bitcoins?

Bitcoin can be used for spending, similar to money. Some people also keep them for investment purposes, while others prefer to use them as a method to make international money transfer.  Bitcoin exists electronically and is kept in ‘bitcoin wallets’. There are many types of bitcoin wallets: desktop wallet, mobile wallet, online/web-based wallet, hardware wallet and even paper wallet.

To read more about bitcoin storage, check out this article by CoinDesk. You can have as many wallets and bitcoin addresses (where you receive money from others) as you like.

How many people are using bitcoin?

Estimates vary – it is hard to find out the exact number of people who use Bitcoin. One way to measure number of bitcoin users is by measuring the number of bitcoin wallets. According to CoinDesk’s State of Bitcoin and Blockchain 2016 report, bitcoin wallets doubled to 12.77 million in one year, from the end of 2014 to the end of 2015. Even though many bitcoin users have more than one wallet (it is common to hold a few wallets), this is an indication that the number of bitcoin users worldwide is increasing.

Another way to estimate bitcoin usage is by the number of bitcoin transactions, which has steadily increased. Although this could mean that the same people are simply making more bitcoin transactions, it is fair to assume that there are new bitcoin users in the mix, too.

How do I acquire bitcoins?

There are three main ways to get bitcoins: mine them, buy them, or work for them.

Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin mining used to be really profitable. However at the current time it is no longer cost effective for the average individual. One will need to buy specialised Bitcoin mining equipment, get/rent dedicated spaces for them, and pay their associated costs (rental, electricity and cooling costs).
Buy Bitcoins
You can buy bitcoins from many online exchanges. There are a lot more options now than ever before – there are global bitcoin exchanges and also country-specific bitcoin exchanges. You can also buy them from other people via Localbitcoins.
Work for Bitcoins
Some people get paid in bitcoins, instead of cash currencies. Websites such as XBTFreelancer… and Coinality list jobs with bitcoin payments.There are other less effective ways to acquire bitcoins. You can get (very) small amounts of bitcoins from bitcoin faucets, which pay you to look at advertisements. You can get them as donations. There are also bitcoin ‘investments’ but if you wish to not lose money, Badbavoid companies that are listed in itcoin Badlist.

How do I send/receive/spend bitcoins?

Bitcoin wallets come with bitcoin addresses, which represent a destination, similar to an email address. Bitcoin addresses are alphanumeric, between 27-34 characters in length. Many bitcoin service providers have user-friendly user interface which allows users to generate bitcoin addresses, send and receive bitcoins.

To send bitcoins, users simply have to ensure positive balance in their bitcoin wallets, insert the receiver’s bitcoin address, and hit send. There is a small miner’s fee to process the transaction – miner’s fees are given as a reward and incentive to Bitcoin miners for maintaining equipment. Bitcoin transactions usually take less than an hour to arrive, but it can take longer or shorter depending on the fee amount and the bitcoin service provider.

You can spend bitcoins anywhere that accept bitcoins as payment. You can also use a Visa/Mastercard-linked bitcoin debit card issued by companies like Wirex or Coinbase.

What are bitcoin’s disadvantages?

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers. Coders and programmers might argue that bitcoin is already an outdated network, compared to some of the newer cryptocurrency networks available. Here we will concentrate on bitcoin’s disadvantages to the casual user:

Advanced digital knowledge is necessary

Bitcoin can be stolen in many ways. It is the bitcoin owner’s responsibility to keep them safe, and this meant implementing additional layers of security such as 2-factor authentication. Keeping them in web wallets can be dangerous. If you have a significant amount of bitcoins, you are advised to keep them in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger.

Bitcoin service providers can be hard to trust

The biggest names have failed the Bitcoin community. Who can forget the Mt. Gox incident in 2014. It was the biggest bitcoin exchanger at the time and practically disappeared overnight along with almost 745,000 bitcoins. More recently in 2016, thieves stole almost 120,000 bitcoins during the Bitfinex hack – and experts still don’t know how they did it.

Lack of acceptance

Cold hard cash is still the widest and most used form of payment – it’s acceptance is second to none. By contrast, bitcoin is only accepted at a handful of shops. However, bitcoin debit cards help to address this issue – linked to payment processors, they help make bitcoin spending a bit easier.

Lack of protection

In general, bitcoin is not considered legal in most countries around the world. Therefore, theft or scam victims have almost no option for recourse. However, the legal landscape is ever-changing and one of the best spots to update yourself on where bitcoin is acceptable or not is Bitlegal.io.

Anti-bitcoin politicians

While many countries around the world mainly cautioned the public against the risky nature of Bitcoin, some politicians or political parties have extreme views about bitcoin. Russian and French lawmakers are considering banning it altogether.

Wrap Up

Bitcoin is cool, but the underlying technology behind it – the blockchain – is even cooler. Turns out, having a method to record data in a way that cannot be tampered or deleted is a good thing. It is also a cost-effective method to store information. Many companies including major banks have expressed interest in the blockchain technology.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David

New Year New Opportunities and Resolutions

 New Year New Opportunities and Resolutions

Two years ago I started writing down my New Year resolution. Which helped me keep track of my plans and the direction of my life. This year year marks a period of consolidation and times to consider what we will do when Jay completes his secondary education.

There are some uncertain times ahead due to Brexit. Will Jasmin and Jay be granted permanent UK residency early than the original five years under EU rules. Will it still be possible to retire to other EU countries on favorable terms. We are both working so that we can save for the future, however the weather is still a challenge and I miss warmer climes.

Jasmin and Jay will visit their family in the Philippines this summer who they have not seen for some five years apart from via Skype. We still have a house to sell in the Philippines and it would be great if this could be concluded this summer to release capital.

Hopefully I will pass my retraining tests which will confirm my position at Go Ape as an Instructor for the 2017 season. This helps keep me fit and active. I also hope to have further sailing opportunities with the Jubilee Trust and Old Pangbournian Yacht Club such as the Round the Island Race on 1st July and The Arrow Trophy in the Autumn.

Turning to my various business interests, it would seem to be time to leave Valentus an MLM who promised to be different but then shut down their European warehouse with out notice and also started to enforce rules regarding minimum sales prices. The fact that prices are in USD and deliveries come from the USA results in too low profit margins, and to be honest the products are overpriced .

At the end of 2016 I took up an interest in Cryptocurrency which would seem to offer a number of business opportunities, especially when one considers the likes of Bitcoin have grown in value faster than any traditional currency are increasing being considered as perhaps becoming the new gold standard and replacing the USD. At the moment you can certainly see in the both the short and longer term that cryptocurrencies can offer a better rate of return compared with savings rates from banks and even investment from stocks and shares.

MarketHive continues on its long journey to re-program its software, but has yet to be launched and its lack of funding is delaying it completion, however as we enter the new year it would seem that funding will no longer be a problem and the likes of Facebook and Linked in will have a new business based rival.

For the first time in many years I am not sure of direction, there is a possibility that I could double my net worth, the only thing that is sure is we will remain in the UK for the next two years which coincidentally is the expected time to complete Brexit.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David

Google’s Year in Review – in terms of search

I don't think it is healthy to dwell on the past and spend time lost in nostalgia, but it is good at the start of a new year to reflect on the passing year, and determine to make sure that the coming year will be much better in terms of every measure that can be used.  In that spirit, I encourage everyone to do their best to make 2017 their best year ever, in whatever terms you feel are important to you.

Here is a Google review of 2016 in terms of search that may inspire you to do your best in 2017.

Year in Search 2016 – from Google

Have a fantastic New Year!  Celebrate wisely!

John Lombaerde – VP-NJ for Markethive

 

David

As Bitcoin Price Surges, Phishing Attacks on Cryptocurrency Wallets Intensify

As Bitcoin Price Surges,
Phishing Attacks on Cryptocurrency Wallets Intensify

Today's Bitcoin to US Dollar exchange rate has reached $902, the first time Bitcoin price has gone above the $900 mark since January 2014, almost three years ago. Nobody knows what's driving this sudden surge of Bitcoin popularity, but cyber-criminals won't bother looking into macroeconomic factors when deciding that the market is ripe and ready for the taking again.

Bitcoin price surge reverberates through cybercriminal landscape

Over the past couple of months, as the Bitcoin price was slowly coming out of the $200-$400 price range where it spent almost two years, cyber-criminals took notice.

The first to do so were ransomware authors, who had to cut down the ransom demands they asked from victims. They had to do this because a ransom of 2 Bitcoin that once meant $400, all of sudden became $1,200, or more, a sum that very few users could afford to pay.

But ransomware victims are occasional Bitcoin users. A more lucrative operation is the phishing market sector, where crooks have yet again turned their full attention to Bitcoin wallet services.

The culprits behind these phishing pages targeting Bitcoin users are your regular career phishers. The Cisco OpenDNS team has tracked the operators of some of these Bitcoin phishing sites to numerous other phishing domains, used for collecting credentials for other services, such as Google, Dropbox, Apple, Amazon, and others.

What Any Cryptocurrency Needs to Achieve Mass Adoption

    5 Things Any Cryptocurrency Needs to Achieve Mass Adoption

Bitcoin, the giant in the world of cryptocurrency, continues to defy all expectations of an early demise and rises higher and higher in value and use. Its adoption as everyday money, however, remains negligent among the common people, almost eight years after the digital currency first emerged.

While the title of “ the first cryptocurrency” is no longer up for grabs, the title of “digital cash” still remains unclaimed, ready to be seized by another up-and-coming digital money. In order to become the common medium of exchange for large swaths of the world, a cryptocurrency first needs to fulfill a few crucial requirements.

Easy and inexpensive transactions

Forget about cryptocurrency for a second. Right now, regular people use either cash or card for day-to-day transactions.

Cash has no transaction costs but requires you to be physically present and have adequate change, and card transactions are relatively instant, though final confirmations often happen the next day, although fees are relatively high it is enough to disincentivize very small transactions. Any cryptocurrency wanting to make inroads with the common people has to beat this by having faster and cheaper transactions.

Bitcoin already offers this advantage, though the margin by which it does is growing slimmer by the day, and even now it may not be enough to entice the public to abandon traditional financial means. Any cash or card replacement has to be better by a large enough margin to warrant a change.

The same goes for fees. Cash has no fees. Other money transfer tools, like cards and bank accounts, are able to charge a fee because they are able to function across great distances with greater efficiency. Cryptocurrency has those same advantages over cash, and as such can be expected to have an associated transaction fee. However, that fee must be significantly lower in order to entice your average consumer away from banking systems. Large companies can afford to make major payment changes in order to save a few cents per transaction because of scale, but regular people cannot.

Improvements to Bitcoin’s basic model

Bitcoin retains an enormous lead in adoption ahead of other cryptocurrencies. Compared to traditional financial systems, Bitcoin provides enough benefits and improvements to warrant a switch. If a currency wants to beat Bitcoin as the new money, it has to be objectively better. Faster or more inexpensive transactions, more anonymity, a better governance structure, and other features are needed to set another coin apart to justify its use and adoption. If a cryptocurrency does similar things as Bitcoin in the exact same way, its chances of taking over as the digital money of the future will be extremely slim.

A streamlined Bitcoin substitution mechanism

Right now, Bitcoin maintains a massive lead in adoption over every other cryptocurrency. That lead was earned on the promise and hype, not of Bitcoin alone, but of cryptocurrency and of the Blockchain technology itself.

Attempting to best the great front-runner of digital currency from scratch, and without a truly staggering level of difference between the two, simply won’t happen. The only way to compete with Bitcoin, as previously mentioned, is to provide at least as much utility, and a large chunk of Bitcoin’s utility is its adoption lead. What another cryptocurrency needs, then, is an easy and efficient way to be used in Bitcoin’s place such as an automatic exchange built into the wallet.

An easy fiat currency conversion system

Like it or not, the world still currently runs on government-issued fiat currency. Living entirely off of cryptocurrency, without any method of conversion into fiat, it is extremely difficult at the present time, and not a viable option for most people. The average person will need an easy way to buy and offload a cryptocurrency for it to be a practical option for them. Most cryptocurrencies are only easily accessible through first acquiring Bitcoin. In order to become dominant and widely accessible, that crippling reliance on Bitcoin needs to end.

An aggressive adoption campaign targeted at the common people

Finally, in order to entice the world at large, the digital currency needs to presented in a way that resonates with most people. While some technical users will care about hash rates, cryptographic keys, smart contracts, and ring signatures, the common folk will not. They need to be reached with the language of cheaper fees, faster access to funds, more security, less paperwork, etc. The only way anyone will know why cryptocurrency makes sense for them is for someone to tell them why. In order to achieve that, a successful marketing campaign is needed.

The cryptocurrency world, while new, is wildly diverse. However, in terms of a tool for everyday use in financial transactions, Bitcoin has almost exclusive reign. In order to dethrone the king of digital cash, any competitor has to bring their A-game.

David Ogden
Contributor

 

David

Cash Is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun

Cash Is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun

(ANTIMEDIA) – As physical currency around the world is increasingly phased out, the era where “cash is king” seems to be coming to an end. Countries like India and South Korea have chosen to limit access to physical money by law, and others are beginning to test digital blockchains for their central banks.

The war on cash isn’t going to be waged overnight, and showdowns will continue in any country where citizens turn to alternatives like precious metals or decentralized cryptocurrencies. Although this transition may feel like a natural progression into the digital age, the real motivation to go cashless is downright sinister.

The unprecedented collusion between governments and central banks that occurred in 2008 led to bailouts, zero percent interest rates and quantitative easing on a scale never before seen in history. Those decisions, which were made under duress and in closed-door meetings, set the stage for this inevitable demise of paper money.

Sacrificing the stability of national currencies has been used as a way prop up failing private institutions around the globe. By kicking the can down the road yet another time, bureaucrats and bankers sealed the fate of the financial system as we know it.

A currency war has been declared, ensuring that the U.S. dollar, Euro, Yen and many other state currencies are linked in a suicide pact. Printing money and endlessly expanding debt are policies that will erode the underlying value of every dollar in people’s wallets, as well as digital funds in their bank accounts. This new war operates in the shadows of the public’s ignorance, slowly undermining social and economic stability through inflation and other consequences of central control. As the Federal Reserve leads the rest of the world’s central banks down the rabbit hole, the vortex it’s creating will affect everyone in the globalized economy.

Peter Schiff, president of Euro-Pacific Capital, has written several books on the state of the financial system. His focus is on the long-term consequences of years of government and central bank manipulation of fiat currencies:

Never in the course of history has a country’s economy failed because its currency was too strong…The view that a weak currency is desirable is so absurd that it could only have been devised to serve the political agenda of those engineering the descent. And while I don’t blame policy makers from spinning self-serving fairy tales (that is their nature), I find extreme fault with those hypnotized members of the media and the financial establishment who have checked their reason at the door. A currency war is different from any other kind of conventional war in that the object is to kill oneself. The nation that succeeds in inflicting the most damage on its own citizens wins the war. ” [emphasis added]

If you want a glimpse 0f how this story ends, all you have to do is look at Venezuela, where the government has destroyed the value of the bolivar (and U.S. intervention has further exacerbated the problem). Desperation has overcome the country, leading women to go as far as selling their own hair just to get by. While crime and murder rates have spiked to all-time highs, the most dangerous threat to Venezuelans has been extensive government planning. The money they work for and save is now so valueless it’s weighed instead of counted. The stacks of bills have to be carried around in backpacks, and the scene is reminiscent of the hyperinflation Weimar Germany experienced in the 1920s. Few Western nations have ever experienced a currency crisis before, meaning many are blind to the inevitable consequences that come from the unending stimulus we’ve seen since 2008.

In order to keep this kind of chaos from spreading like a contagion to the rest of the world, representatives are willing to do anything necessary, but this comes at a cost. Instead of having to worry about carrying around wheelbarrows full of money, the fear in a cashless society will likely stem from bank customers’ restricted access to funds. With no physical way for consumers to take possession of their wealth, the banking interests will decide how much is available.

The level of trust most people still have in the current system is astonishing. Even after decades of incompetence, manipulation, and irresponsibility, the public still grasps to government and the established order like a child learning how to swim. The responsibility that comes with independence has intimidated the entire population into leaving the decisions up to so-called ‘experts.’ It just so happens that those trusted policymakers have an agenda to strip you and future generations of prosperity.

Some of the few hopes in this war against centralization are peer-to-peer technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. These innovative platforms have the potential to open up markets that circumvent state-controlled Ponzi schemes. The future development of crypto-assets has massive potential, but being co-opted is a real danger.

The greatest threat to individual freedom is financial dependence, and as long as your wealth is under someone else’s control, it can never be completely secure. Unfortunately, private blockchains are becoming increasingly popular, creating trojan horses for those just learning about the technology (in contrast, Bitcoin’s transaction ledger is public) . Without the decentralized aspect of a financial network, it is just a giant tracking database that can be easily compromised like any other.

The World Economic Forum released a report on the future of financial infrastructure. Giancarlo Bruno, Head of Financial Services Industries at WEF stated:

Rather than to stay at the margins of the finance industry, blockchain will become the beating heart of it. It will help build innovative solutions across the industry, becoming ever more integrated into the structure of financial services, as mainframes, messaging services, and electronic trading did before it.”

The list of countries who are exploring integrating blockchain technology into their central banking system is extensive. Just to name a few; Singapore, Ukraine, France, Finland and many others are in the process of researching and testing out options.

For those who appreciate more tangible wealth, diversifying into hard assets like gold and silver is a great first step. It’s not about becoming a millionaire or getting rich quickly, but rather, using precious metals as vehicles for investment in the long-term. Regardless of what events unfold over the decades to come, the wealth preserved in physical form is more secure than any other asset. Forty years ago it was possible to save your money in the bank and accumulate interest over time, but that opportunity no longer exists. Those who fail to adapt to this new financial twilight zone will likely find themselves living as slaves to debt for years.

Control and confidence are two of the most important things in the system we live in. Once these digital spider webs have been put into place, the ability for an individual to maintain privacy or anonymity will all but disappear. Only through understanding the subversive actions being taken can people protect themselves from having to put their future in someone else’s hands. The cash that allows free transactions without tax burdens or state scrutiny won’t be around much longer. There will be many rationalizations for a cashless society in the years to come, but without fixing this broken financial system first, this will only ensure that despotism gains an even sturdier foothold.


This article (Cash Is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun) by Shaun Bradley is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Shaun Bradley andtheAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

 

David

How Google’s investment in Rank Brain and Deep Learning resulted in a dramatic improvement in Google Translate.

This is a fascinating article by the New York Times on the evolution of Google Translation using Rank Brain and Machine Learning or Deep Learning to achieve some rather spectacular results.  This is a long read, but definitely worth the investment of time.  It goes to the heart of what Google is doing internally that has profound implications for search and nearly everything Google is doing now and in the long-term future.  Highly recommended.

The Great AI Awakening

Let me know what you think about this!

Thanks

David

Doubt Is The Mind killer – A Short Rant

A Malaise of Doubt Creeps Amongst Us

We have become Doubters, we are undecided or skeptical. Doubters tend to disbelieve, distrust and regard most as unlikely.

I Doubt It!

We have a new President, I doubt …

The economy …I doubt …

My business …I doubt …

My money …

My safety …

Even today's information flow … I doubt IT!

I may even doubt myself, what? I doubt it.

Overcome doubt with belief.

I believe in Myself and my purpose.

Doubt is OK, Doubt Is the Heart of Belief.

I am a doubter, what about the rest of you doubters?

As always, your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart believe in it and give yourself completely to it.

Completely believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Imagining a solution in your world and believing in that solution paves the way to realizing that solution.

Ponder on this

“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

― Gautama Buddha

I Believe, that is no doubt!

I believe in Green Fire and the “Children of the Landfill”, I doubt that will ever change.

What do you believe in?
 

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

David

Children refugees from Myanmar tell of trauma

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar tell of trauma

Some hid in rice fields, others ate only leaves while making the long journey by foot across the border into Bangladesh.

New arrivals are grateful for whatever support they can find [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh – Outside this town by the Bay of Bengal, we kept bumping into fresh arrivals when we visited the camps for Rohingya refugees fleeing a security crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.

Many of them said they were from the village of Kearipara in Myanmar. From the sounds of it, that village has been utterly devastated.

All of them shared similar stories: watching family members get murdered, hiding without eating for days, and having their homes burned down.

Several told us about having to sell their valuables – rings, piercings, earrings, whatever they had on them – to facilitate a safe passage into Bangladesh.

The route, which was always difficult and deadly, has become even more problematic.

After thousands of Rohingya were found stranded and starving off the coast of southern Thailand in the middle of last year, widespread international coverage forced the hands of governments of the region to crack down on a network of human traffickers who were exploiting the desperate refugees for cash.

But those very traffickers were also paradoxically the Muslim Rohingya's only hope to make it out of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and get on the circuitous trek that would take them through Bangladesh and Thailand into the relatively safe haven of Malaysia.

Now, just getting across the border to Bangladesh is a tough proposition for the Rohingya.

The refugees we met described hiding in rice fields for days. Some didn't eat. Others ate only leaves they found in the forests on the hills surrounding the border.

 

They advanced a few minutes at a time, taking care to stop and check every few hundred metres to make sure the Myanmar army or border guards weren't lying in wait – making a long journey by foot even longer.

Arriving in Bangladesh didn't mean the ordeal was over. If they were caught by the authorities, some would be allowed through by the border guards, others would be turned back.

Every few hundred metres there were checkpoints manned by armed patrols. Next to each of them would be one or two Rohingya families who'd been caught.

Would the soldiers show clemency? Or would they be returned to the heart of the violence they were fleeing? They sat by the side of the road, unsure of their fate.

Tens of thousands have managed to get into Bangladesh. Many of them are in the unofficial Rohingya refugee camps near the tourist town of Cox's Bazar.

Their hosts are refugees themselves with little to offer in terms of food or shelter.

But the community was pulling together to do what they could, faced with the suffering of their fellow Rohingya.

The new arrivals were grateful for whatever support they could find, but seething with resentment at the lack of action by the international community.

Ethnic cleansing proof

As far as they are concerned, the world has decided that the Rohingya are expendable.

From the Bangladesh side of the border, the evidence of what the UN has called a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar seems strong.

Aung San Suu Kyi, in response, has said that blame shouldn't be cast until all the facts are known.

That's fair enough.

But one of the known facts is that the Myanmar government won't let journalists or independent observers enter the areas where large-scale violence is believed to be taking place.

Why keep journalists out if Myanmar authorities have nothing to hide?

  by 

 

 

 

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

David

What is Ethereum

¿Qué es Ethereum? 

Ethereum, es una criptomoneda y una plataforma blockchain que ofrece una máquina virtual descentralizada para contratos inteligentes.Una computadora mundial

"It is very possible that … one machine would suffice to solve all the problems … of the whole [world]" – Sir Charles Darwin, 1946

Ethereum, es una plataforma de servicios ''smart contracts'', programas y protocolos en forma de contrato, que funcionan automáticamente. Como son programados, no tienen ninguna posibilidad de cortes en el sistema, censuras, fraudes o interferencias de terceras partes.

¿Smart qué?

El término fue acuñado por el criptógrafo y jurista Nick Szabo, allá por 1996 pero no ha sido hasta hace pocos años cuando se han podido materializar gracias a tecnologías recientes como la ''blockchain'' (“cadena de bloques”).

Los ''smart contracts'', son scripts escritos con lenguajes de programación capaces de ejecutarse y hacerse cumplir por sí solos de manera autónoma sin intermediarios y sin posibilidad de censura. Pueden ser creados por una persona física, jurídica o por otro programa informático y reciben esas características gracias a existir sobre un sistema descentralizado como la ''blockchain'' en la que miles de equipos alrededor del mundo ejecutan los nodos que procesan y verifican las transacciones lo que evita que exista alguna entidad (empresa o gobierno) que pueda actuar sobre ellas.En resumen, los contratos inteligentes permiten a desconocidos comerciar o automatizar cualquier tipo de relación que se pueda expresar en un contrato tradicional, a través de internet sin la necesidad de una autoridad o intermediario.

Automatizar transacciones simples

Un pequeño ejemplo con apuestas: Alicia y Bob se apuestan 500€ por quien ganará un partido deportivo. Ambos, mandarían el equivalente en criptomonedas a una dirección controlada por el contrato inteligente. Cuando el juego haya terminado el contrato podría verificar vía API el resultado y depositaría el total en la cuenta del ganador.

Por ser programas informáticos, sería trivial añadir mayor complejidad como posibilidades y estadísticas a la apuesta. Hay servicios que procesan este tipo de transacciones, pero todas cobran una comisión. La diferencia es que los contratos inteligentes hacen todo esto de manera descentralizada, accesible para todos al menor coste posible, en el caso de ethereum el precio se llama “gas”, pequeñas partes de ether que pasan a los mineros que verifican las transacciones.

Compras online

Un ejemplo cotidiano pueden ser las compras online. Si realizas una orden de compra podrías tener un contrato entre la tienda online, una empresa de mensajería y tú, este, controlaría el proceso y ejecutaría cada pago en el momento acordado que podría ser la recepción  del paquete tras comprobar que todo está correcto.

Internet de las cosas

Tu nevera podrá realizar la compra por sí sola, usarás un taxi que se conduce solo… en el futuro, no hay duda de que todos los dispositivos estarán conectados entre sí en la denominada internet de las cosas (IOT).

Mediante microtransacciones programadas con ''smart contract'' este ejército de aparatos podrían llegar a funcionar de manera autónoma.

Alquiler de propiedades (vehículos,viviendas,etc), gestión de derechos de autor, servicios bancarios, notarios, sistemas de votación, organizaciones autónomas descentralizadas (DAO), los posibles usos de los contratos inteligentes son aún desconocidos, como fueron en principio para los creadores de internet las redes sociales antes de la aparición de facebook o la computación en la nube antes de amazon.En artículos posteriores, introduciremos los smart contract desde el punto de vista del desarrollador centrándonos en Ethereum y repasaremos los conceptos de las criptomonedas y el resto de plataformas (Bitcoin,Lisk,IOTA,NXT,etc..) cada una con sus peculiaridades y diferentes lenguajes de programación.

 

Ethereum: Introduction to Contracts smart ~ ITECMA.

Source: Ethereum: Introduction to Contracts smart ~ ITECMA

David

What is your business plan for 2017?

employees-entrepreneurs Now is the best time to review your successes in 2016, and begin to plan for 2017. This is especially true for start-ups and part-time or full-time entrepreneurs that would like to make this coming year a breakout one.

Here are some simple steps to fine tune your plans for 2017.

1) Eliminate waste. Review your monthly expenses. If there is any expense that is not critical to your operations, it must be eliminated or reduced. It is also wise to shop around for competitive services if you have not done so already. The smaller the size of your company, the more critical it is to examine and review any and all unnecessary expenses.

You can view any unnecessary expense as if someone were reaching into your wallet and stealing your hard earned profits. The problem is that you undoubtedly gave them permission to do so. A big problem for small entrepreneurs is recurring monthly expenditures that do not contribute substantially to their bottom line.

2) Make sure that the products and services you offer are top notch and that they meet the needs of your customers. Review each of your products and services, and examine ways to improve them in terms of functionality, quality, speed of execution, etc. Ask your customers directly by phone or by email how you can improve your products, or if there are additional products that they would like to see from you.

3) Based on the input you receive from your customers, make plans to expand your product offering. Above all, do not be a one-trick pony to your customers. Even if you have a main product, see if there isn't a way to offer some kind of premium service or an extension to one of your products or services that might command a premium price that some customers would be willing to consider.

4) Consider outsourcing smaller tasks for which you may not have staff with the particular skills to accomplish the job. A good place to outsource micro-jobs is Fiverr. For a guide to Fiverr that will make your outsourcing job much easier, I have a free Fiverr Finesse – Outsourcing Guide for you.

Just send email to info@goldfinchdigitalpublishing.com with your request, and I will send it to you. It is a 250-page guide with text and data that will help you quickly locate Fiverr vendors in over 120 categories.

Here is a video that explains all about the course, but of course, you will not have to pay for it, It is completely free.

Fiverr Finesse – Outsourcing Guide video

wish you the best possible success in all your endeavors for 2017.  

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David