3 Struggles that Only People who are Truly Awake Will Understand

3 Struggles that Only People who are Truly Awake Will Understand

MARCH 28, 2016 BY 

3 Struggles that Only People who are Truly Awake Will Understand

One Topic I Read About In My Personal Life A Lot Is The Concept Of Being “Awake”. I’m Not Talking About Literally Not Being Asleep, I’m Talking About Being Awake To The World Around You.

Wakefulness is a combination of mindfulness, consciousness, and awareness on a very deep and often spiritual level. Imagine walking around with your eyes open in a world full of people with their eyes clenched shut. That’s honestly what it feels like. The more I study, meditate, and really search my soul – the more I realize that this mentality isn’t the norm. No matter how much I wish it was. If you’re like me and consider yourself to be awake in a world full of people with their blinders secured tightly to their heads, then you’ll understand the following struggles just as much as I do.

Seeing The Forest For The Trees

Of all of the aspects of wakefulness that I struggle with, this notion is #1 on my list, and the entire reason for me writing this post. You’ve heard the cliché of people “missing the forest for the trees”, meaning that when you look so intently at that one tree – you don’t notice that you’re surrounded by them. If you’re truly awake, or at least well on your way to being awake, you see the forest from an aerial view. You see the connections between people and actions in ways that other people don’t understand. A big part of wakefulness to me is understanding people and human nature in general. Intuition has a lot to do with it, but studying psychology, spirituality, and the human mind

Intuition has a lot to do with it, but studying psychology, spirituality, and the human mind has given me a different perspective. I have always wanted to know what makes people tick outside of the actual physiological components. That’s why I write a lot about emotional intelligence; because I think it is the first step in being awake. If you consider yourself to be emotionally intelligent, then you understand how many people are emotionally ignorant. This is where the forest and trees come in…

As someone who is awake, you see the actions of people and understand why they do them. For me, it is seeing the underlying reasons for people’s actions. Perfect example: I have a friend who is passive aggressive to a fault. But when he gets behind the wheel of a car, he turns into a road rage machine. Not because the people around him are really driving badly – but because there is a wall of metal and glass around him that prevents others from hearing him express himself. All of those frustrations that get bottled up throughout the day, get unleashed as a torrent of ranting and cursing that would make a sailor blush. And for what? Nothing really. It doesn’t solve any of the issues that have been bottled up. Hell, it doesn’t even address them. Now, I know that there has got to be a pressure valve somewhere, in all of us. Seeing this behavior, I know exactly what is going on but never bring it up, which brings me to my next point:

People Don’t Want To Hear The Truth

Most people are completely comfortable with their blinders. Thos blinders provide a sense of safety and security. One of the hardest things people can do is focus their gaze inward. The general consensus seems to be that if you’re looking for answers to the way that you are, that something must be wrong with you. Nothing could be farther from the truth. That’s like saying that you are exploring a coral reef because there is something wrong with it. The human psyche is fascinating, and there is nothing more fulfilling than exploring your own. Again, there is a very strong parallel here to emotional intelligence. There is a difference in knowing what you feel and knowing why you feel it.

When you have this understanding of the human psyche, even on a basic level, you see those “forest and trees” connections. For people who choose not to see those connections, the last thing in the world that they want to do is hear about them, let alone understand them. People take evaluations of their actions and emotions as criticism. If you say, “you do (this) because you do/feel (this),” people get the notion that you are psychoanalyzing them. They don’t want to focus that microscope on themselves because they are afraid of what they might find. Tearing apart your own psyche and peeling back the layers of how your mind works and why isn’t a comfortable process. No matter how fulfilling it is in the end. So, then you find yourself understanding the thoughts and actions of the people around you better than they understand them themselves. That’s when the hard part comes in:

No matter how fulfilling it is in the end. So, then you find yourself understanding the thoughts and actions of the people around you better than they understand them themselves. That’s when the hard part comes in:

The Fear Of Expression, And The Consequence Of That Fear

Knowing that people don’t seek the same enlightenment for themselves that you seek in yourself leads to a condition where you want to express yourself about someone’s actions, but you fear the defensive nature that comes with it. Have you ever tried to tell someone that their behavior is a result of an emotional condition that they don’t care to understand? It’s like telling an alcoholic that they drink too much. SO in an effort to avoid those defensive repercussions, you end up biting your tongue, which only leaves your blood in your mouth.

There are so many situations in my everyday life where I see the underlying emotional connections to people’s actions and choose not to say anything about them, that the end result is nothing but stress. Stress, for me, often manifests itself physically, so the more stressed out I am – the worse I feel. I just want to snap, and yell at people to stop projecting their emotional ignorance in the form of finger-pointing and deflection, and address their own issues. But…I simply don’t. I reflect on how their actions make me feel, and I ruminate on the things I wish I could say, and I’m the one that ends up absorbing it. For instance, have you’ve ever been around a coworker that treats you like crap because of some other aspect of their lives outside of work?

You worry that if you point out that you aren’t the problem – they are, there could be repercussions from you expressing yourself. So you end up in a terrible work environment, fully aware of why this person treats you the way they do, knowing it’s not your fault, and afraid to do anything about it. That’s a very general example of wakefulness, but the reality of it is universal. The struggle is all too real.

BY 

David

Ripple Cryptocurrency Aims to Make Global Assets Liquid

Ripple Cryptocurrency Aims to Make Global Assets Liquid

Ripple Cryptocurrency Aims to Make Global Assets Liquid

 

One one level, Ripple is another cryptocurrency in an ever-growing list of fledgling products, hoping to earn a place in the wider world of business and finance. While the value of Ripple's currency, XRP, is well below $1 per unit, making it a mere fraction of the value of Ethereum or Bitcoin, Ripple nonetheless sports the third-largest portion of market capitalization as compared with the rest of the cryptocurrency industry. But aside from its growing position as a currency, Ripple is drawing more and more attention from banks and financial institutions around the world for another crucial reason, too: the blockchain technology behind the currency itself.

Ripple Aims to Build an "Internet of Value"

A recent profile on Ripple by American Banker reveals that the San Francisco-based startup has its sights set on creating an "internet of value," a worldwide network system for financial transactions. Ripple's goal is nothing less than the ultimate freeing of monetary value, allowing assets to flow instantly and seamlessly between mobile systems, public blockchains, and bank ledgers. The goal is a massive one, and yet Stefan Thomas, Ripple's chief technology officer, stands behind his company's ability to enhance banking around the world. "We're not the disruptors, we're not the guys who come in and tear everything down," he stresses.

But in the Meantime…

For the time being, though, Ripple seems to occupy at least two different spaces. First comes the chryptocurrency side, and success in that area has not come as quickly as some would have liked. John Light, a consultant working with multiple startups that have integrated Ripple's technology into their systems, indicated that Ripple has "had something of an identity crisis about who their customer is, and what problem they are trying to solve."

First, the company aimed to build a new currency that would improve upon Bitcoin. This was a key component of the instantaneous transactions goal, as Bitcoin has been racked with problems relating to the system's processing capacity which has left some users waiting for days for their transactions to clear. Beyond that, though, Ripple differed from Bitcoin and other digital currencies further, even at its earliest stages. Ripple's leaders disagreed with other chryptocurrency enthusiasts who suggested that the new currencies could replace banks or even government currencies. Rather, Ripple aimed from the beginning to work with banks to make global assets even more liquid.

With roughly 60 financial institutions around the world sporting Ripple technology, the company is seeing its vision begin to take shape. However, the fact that the currency itself has not gone away makes the list of offerings that Ripple presents somewhat confusing. If banks and investors around the world are to continue to gain interest in Ripple, it seems that the company will be best served by streamlining its offerings further into the future.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Nathan Reiff

 

David

More than 5 billion people – or two-thirds of the world’s population – now have a mobile phone connection

More than 5 billion people – or two-thirds of the world's population – now have a mobile phone connection

You can watch the number increase in real time

By  on Jun 19, 2017, 10:00 AM

gsma

How many people do you know that don't own a cell phone? For the majority of us, that number will be very small, if not zero. Not too surprising considering that 5 billion people around the world – or two-thirds of the earth’s population – now have a mobile phone connection.

The data comes from GSMA Intelligence, the research unit of the GSMA trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Its real-time tracker shows that the number of unique mobile subscribers has now passed the 5-million-person milestone, representing year-on-year growth of almost 5 percent.

The site also shows the number of mobile connections around the world. This figure is considerably higher as many people use more than one SIM card, and it includes machine-to-machine connections, of which there are around 400 million.

It’s taken four years for another billion people to acquire a mobile phone connection. Back in 2003, there were just one billion unique mobile subscribers across the globe. GSMA director Mats Granryd called reaching the milestone a “tremendous achievement for an industry that is only a few decades old.”

“Today, mobile is a truly global platform, delivering connectivity and, perhaps more importantly, social and economic opportunities to citizens in all corners of the world,” said Granryd.

Over half of all mobile subscribers, 2.7 billion, are located in the Asia-Pacific Region. When it comes to individual countries’ mobile markets, China sits at the top with 1 billion subscribers, while India is second with 730 million. It is in Europe, however, where phone penetration is at its highest, with 86 percent of citizens subscribed to a mobile service. The US has the second-highest subscriber penetration at 80 percent.

By the end of this decade, GSMA predicts that the number of unique phone subscribers will reach 5.7 billion – around three-quarters of the earth’s population – with India responsible for the largest share of this growth.

David

How To Grow Bitcoin

Grow Your Bitcoin

How to grow Bitcoin

 

Bitcoin is the leading chryptocurrency and is starting to change the way people use money and invest in the future. The coin is a limited resource which some compare to Gold and certainly at the moment it is holding its own value wise.

Unlike traditional coins chryptocurrencies have many more decimal places which mean you can purchase sell or earn a bit of a coin, just like in ancient times where physical coins were cut into pieces.

Bitcoins have become popular in developing countries, where they are perceived to be better value and safer to use than traditional currencies which are controlled by Governments

I started earning bitcoin a few month ago, completing online survey and earning 74to 359+ bits for 5-30 minutes work. It may not be much, but I puts you on the road to prosperity. Currently I have some 100 ukpd worth of coins in my wallet.

Rather than leaving you Bitcoin in a wallet, You can invest and trade them online, which can be risky if you do not know what to do, the basic aim is to buy on the lows and sell on the highs.

You will see many companies which offer to multiply you coins by hype methods offering high returns which are not sustainable and often lose down without notice.

I have found two companies who actually trade chryptocurrencies using specialized trading algorithms, which greatly reduce the risk of loss. One company has a excellent track record, however you need to keep you coins invested for a year, compounding your gains.

The second company based in the Far East has only been trading for a short while but is very reactive to changing conditions, which have forced its competitors to shut down, it also transfers the interest you earn into your personal wallet, which is then under your own control.

There will be many people who claim that both of these companies are a scam, but frankly most do not know what they are talking about. I used to be a currency trader many years ago and know for a fact that automated trading programs do work. Chryptocurrencies are more volatile so one can see that doubling your money in 60 days is not an unreasonable target.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David

Forfeit Your Bitcoin? Congressional Bill Draws Fire Over Border Check Rules

A group of US lawmakers wants to see cryptocurrency holdings declared at the nation's border – and advocates of the tech are pushing back.

Bitcoin value continues to fluctuate, price fails to go beyond year's ...

Introduced last month, the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017 – which is actually the third iteration of a bill that debuted in 2011 – would bring a range of digital currency services under federal scrutiny, including those that provide transaction mixing services.

Yet, the provision that has attracted the particular ire of cryptocurrency advocates – especially those who prefer a regulation-light environment – is one that would make such holdings subject to disclosure requirements at US customs checkpoints. This means if a person trying to enter the country has more than $10,000 worth of bitcoin in their possession, under the proposed legal change, they would need to inform the relevant authorities.

Such requirements are already in place for payment methods like cash. But given the rising public profile of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, coupled with the perception among policymakers that they could be used to fund terrorist activities, is driving legislative efforts like the bill currently under consideration.

One observer, Joe Ciccolo of Canada-based BitAML, remarked that cryptocurrency has become the "new face in an old debate", going on to say that policymakers and law enforcement officials have long sought to expand the definition of what constitutes a "monetary instrument".

Ciccolo told CoinDesk:

"Earlier this decade, we saw a push to include 'prepaid access' such as gift cards. Law enforcement went so far as to pursue card readers to scan prepaid access devices for their balance. Now that digital currencies have gained traction, they've been included in the same conversation. As in the past, I suspect there will be strong opposition from across the financial services community."

Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a blockchain trade advocacy organization, said the legislation is "not necessary" given the existence of regulations from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which require exchanges services to register as money transmission businesses and adhere to federal reporting requirements.

"While we encourage thoughtful and meaningful study of the prevention of cross-border financial crime, the storage of virtual currency carries different and complex considerations than those attributable to prepaid access," she told CoinDesk.

Asset grab

It's clear from the response that the frustration toward the measure isn't going anywhere. That anger surfaced in earnest over the past week or so in social media postings and fiery blog entries about the move.

One of the points of concern is a policy called 'civil asset forfeiture'. In the US, law enforcement officials have faced strong opposition to the rules, by which assets, particularly cash, can be seized if they are suspected of being connected to criminal activity. Proponents say it deters money laundering and – controversially – provides a funding means for police forces in the US.

Under the proposed bill, cryptocurrencies would be included in that definition, subject to confiscation by border agents.

The practice has drawn fire in recent years over instances in which innocent people have their funds taken from them, triggering legal processes that can play out for months or longer before any money is returned.

In one high-profile example in 2015, a US man had $16,000 in cash taken from him while he tried to relocate to Hollywood despite the fact that he wasn't suspected of a specific crime. And data published earlier this month by the Chicago Tribune illustrated how the policy tends to target lower-income residents who, if anything, are guilty of crimes of lower severity, if at all.

Investor and writer Simon Black, who pens the Sovereign Man blog, took aim at this aspect of the bill by declaring that, in the eyes of the US government, "bitcoin is evil" and should be up for grabs by border agents.

"So, theoretically if you leave the US with more than $10,000 in bitcoin or ether, you'd have to confess this fact to the authorities or otherwise face the aforementioned penalties, ie prison time, civil asset forfeiture, etc," Black wrote.

"HOORAY FREEDOM!" he added.

Fighting on

Thus far, the bill hasn’t advanced significantly since being introduced last month, public records show. On 25th May, the measure was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.

At press time, representatives for Senators Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein hadn't responded to CoinDesk requests for comment. The bill is also being sponsored by Senators John Cornyn and Sheldon Whitehouse, constituting a group of two Republicans and two Democrats.

But at least one person is moving to wage a war against the bill’s provisions: Theo Chino, who as profiled by CoinDesk last November, has waged a persistent campaign against the New York State Department of Financial Services BitLicense regulatory framework.

He told CoinDesk in an email that he has set up a webpage with the relevant contact information for the senators who are sponsoring the bill. Chino himself has been reaching out to offices in an effort to educate lawmakers on what he described as "misunderstandings of the technology".

"This 'over-criminalization' of bitcoin, based on common misunderstandings of the technology and its economic nature should be worrisome to the bitcoin and technology communities," he told CoinDesk.

The two main advocacy groups in Washington, DC – the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center – are said to be in contact with the relevant Congressional offices. Though it declined to comment on this story, Coin Center indicated on Twitter that it's reaching out amid the furor.

"We are aware of S 1241, are in touch with the relevant folks in Congress, and will post an analysis soon," executive director Jerry Brito wrote on Twitter.

Chino – who in an email called the bill a "sham" – spoke to the grassroots effort taking place, and said that he’s still reaching out to people who have posted on Reddit as part of a broader bid to get constituents to contact the senators involved.

"One call from a constituent has so much impact," he said.

David

Ethereum Tokens Are All the Rage. But What Are They Anyway

Ethereum Tokens Are All the Rage. But What Are They Anyway

Ethereum Tokens Are All the Rage. But What Are They Anyway

Ethereum wants to create an ecosystem where everything works together seamlessly as part of its vision for a 'world computer' – and that includes the tokens required to power it.

Launched in 2014 by a band of coders and an upstart teenager, ethereum was designed to make it possible for anyone to code nearly any type of app and deploy that on a blockchain. Many of these decentralized apps (or 'dapps' for short) needed their own token that could, among other things, be sold and traded easily.

To that end, nearly 18 months ago, the ERC-20 token standard was born.

It's hard to overstate how important that interface has been. By defining a common set of rules for ethereum-based tokens to adhere to, ERC-20 allows developers of wallets, exchanges and other smart contracts, to know in advance how any new token based on the standard will behave.

This way, they can design their apps to work with these tokens out of the box, without having to reinvent the wheel each time a new token system comes along.

As a result, almost all of the major tokens on the ethereum blockchain today, including those sold in the recent surge of ethereum-based initial coin offerings (ICOs), are ERC-20 compliant.

 

Tokens 101

Before delving deeper, it's important to spell out what a token actually is and how it differs from ether, the native currency driving the ethereum blockchain.

As they relate to the ethereum network, tokens are digital assets that can represent anything from loyalty points to vouchers and IOUs to actual objects in the physical world. Tokens can also be tools, such as in-game items, for interacting with other smart contracts.

But put simply, a token is nothing more than a smart contract running on top of the ethereum blockchain. As such, it is a set of code (functions) with an associated database. The code describes the behavior of the token, and the database is basically a table with rows and columns tracking who owns how many tokens.

If a user or another smart contract within ethereum sends a message to that token's contract in the form of a 'transaction,' the code updates its database.

So, for instance, when a wallet app sends a message to a token's contract to transfer funds from Alice to Bob, this happens:

First, the token's contract checks that the message was signed by Alice and that Alice has enough funds to cover the payment

Then, it moves funds from Alice's to Bob's account in the database

Finally, it sends a response, letting the wallet know the transaction was a success.

In contrast to tokens, ether is hard coded into the ethereum blockchain. It is sold and traded as a cryptocurrency, and it also powers the ethereum network by allowing users to pay for smart contract transaction fees. (All computations on the ethereum network have a 'gas' cost.)

When you send tokens to an exchange, for example, you pay for that transaction (in this case, a request to the token's contract to update its database) in ether. This payment is then collected by a miner who confirms the transaction in a block, which then gets added to the blockchain.

Early on in ethereum's history, standards were part of the overall plan to create a user friendly and broadly accessible system. But like all standards, ERC-20 took time to evolve over a series of long discussions and careful considerations.

So, sometime before DevCon1, the first big ethereum conference in 2015, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of ethereum, introduced the initial standards token.

Later that year, Fabian Vogelstellar, one of the developers working on ethereum's Mist wallet, took that standard, changed a few things, and proposed it to the community as ERC-20 to initiate a formal conversation around how the standard should be implemented.

Then in April, due to changes in how the Ethereum Foundation was organizing its GitHub, the ERC-20 standard was moved to a Github pull request.
 

What's inside?

ERC-20 defines a set of six functions that other smart contracts within the ethereum ecosystem will understand and recognize.

These include, for instance, how to transfer a token (by the owner or on behalf of the owner) and how to access data (name, symbol, supply, balance) about the token. The standard also describes two events – signals that a smart contract can fire – that other smart contracts 'listen' for.

Together, these functions and events make ethereum tokens work the same almost everywhere within the ethereum ecosystem. As a result, nearly all wallets that support ether, including Jaxx, MyEtherWallet.com and the official ethereum wallet, now also support ERC-20 compliant tokens.

According to Vogelstellar, who spoke to CoinDesk about the importance of ethereum's token standard, this interoperability lays the groundwork for big changes to come.
 

He said:

"I believe we are just at the beginning of tokenizing everything. Maybe in the future, you will be able to buy a share of the chair you are sitting on, the paint inside your house or a fraction of equity in a huge building complex."

 

Bumps in the road

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that ERC-20 is formally a draft, meaning it is not being enforced and still needs to be fully blessed by the ethereum community. Regardless, Vogelstellar said, every new token will likely conform to its set of rules.

He cautioned, however, that the standard is still young, so there will be bumps in the road. One of those bumps is that sending tokens directly to a token's smart contract will result in a loss of money. That is because a token's contract only tracks and allocates money. When you send tokens to another user from a wallet, for example, that wallet calls on the token's contract to update the database.

As a result, if you attempt to transfer tokens directly to a token's contract, the money is 'lost' since the token's contract cannot respond.

So far, $70,000 worth of tokens have been lost in this manner.

But solutions are in the works. As an extension to ERC-20, ERC-223 attempts to resolve the issue by suggesting a token's contract implement a tokenFallback function to prevent the contract from holding tokens sent directly to it accidentally.

Vogelstellar argued this is all just part of developing a solid system, though, saying:

"Driving with these prototypes can be rocky at times, but ultimately they provide the necessary learning that will bring us to the future of blockchain and smart contract interactions."

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Amy Castor

 

David

Top 3 Reasons Not to Use an Exchange Wallet to Participate in a Cryptocurrency ICO

Top 3 Reasons Not to Use an Exchange Wallet to Participate in a Cryptocurrency ICO

Top 3 Reasons Not to Use an Exchange Wallet to Participate in a Cryptocurrency ICO

Even though cryptocurrency ICOs have been going on for quite some time now, a lot of basic questions continue to show up. It appears there is a lot of confusion as to why one should never send funds to an ICO from their exchange wallet directly. There are several good reasons as to why this should not be done, though, as we outline below.

3. TRANSACTION DELAYS CAN COST MONEY

Contrary to what some people may think, exchange wallets do not always send out withdrawals right away. In some cases, it can take an hour or longer until your withdrawal is effectively processed. Depending on which cryptocurrency we are talking about, it may take even longer to get the necessary network confirmations. This is anything but a fun experience, especially when it comes to dealing with a cryptocurrency ICO.

These ICOs often provide early investors with some sort of a bonus. Having to wait until the exchange sends out your funds can result in buying less ICO tokens than initially anticipated. It is not something anyone wants to deal with. Even if an ICO is scheduled to last multiple days, there is no reason not to transfer funds to your own wallet first before participating in a crowdsale.

2. AN EXCHANGE WALLET IS NOT YOUR WALLET

It may be hard for novice users to understand this principle, but a cryptocurrency wallet is not like a bank account. With a bank account, you rely on a third-party service provider to safeguard your funds. That is exactly what exchange wallets are, yet they do not let users spend their funds as they want. You always need “permission” from the exchange wallet service provider to move funds around, which is both annoying and risky.

There is a big difference between an exchange wallet and a private wallet. With a private wallet, you are the only one controlling the wallet address and its associated private key. An exchange wallet is generated on your behalf, yet you have no control over it whatsoever. Although you can freely use an exchange wallet, it is not your digital property by any means. Unless you own its private key, it’s not yours, nor is any of the money associated with it.

1. YOU WON’T GET YOUR TOKENS (RIGHT AWAY)

Perhaps the biggest complication that arises when using an exchange wallet is how the purchased ICO tokens are not yours to control by any means. In most cases, a cryptocurrency ICO smart contract will send money back to the address the deposit was made from. If that wallet is an exchange wallet, the exchange is the actual owner of the tokens you purchased using their wallet. That is a rather disturbing way of buying ICO tokens, yet the end user cannot claim ownership of the tokens, as they do not own the wallet’s private key.

Granted, in some cases, exchanges will eventually support these ICO tokens and return the purchased amount to the customer. However, one has to keep in mind they have no legal obligation to do so by any means. If you send money to a cryptocurrency ICO address from a wallet, you do not fully control as the sole owner, it is your own fault. All ICOs clearly warn users not to send funds from an exchange to avoid any complications.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: JP Buntinx

David

There Will Be No Bubble for Bitcoin and Ethereum, Here’s Why

By Joshua Althauser
https://cointelegraph.com/news/there-will-be-no-bubble-for-bitcoin-and-ethereum-heres-why

There Will Be No Bubble for Bitcoin and Ethereum, Here's Why

Tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban has recently stated that Bitcoin is facing a bubble. However, Daniel M. Harrison, the CEO of DMH&CO and managing partner of Monkey Capital, reveals that such a thing is impossible due to the market-influencing capabilities of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Market bipolarity

The main factor that makes a digital bubble impossible is market bipolarity. For many people, market bipolarity is confusing but it can be distilled in a few important and understandable viewpoints. Apparently, market bipolarity is directly affected by George Soros’ “theory of reflexivity.”

According to George Soros, market conditions are not influenced by equilibrium. Rather, they are “reflexive” due to the synchronization of two functions: cognitive and manipulative function. The cognitive function is a neutral thinking base – this is where economic participants assess facts for what they are.

The manipulative function, on the other hand, turns one fact (or a couple of facts) in order to gain an advantage. Once the cognitive mind is affected by the manipulative mind, the neutrality will be “painted” in a different light it becomes a manipulated fact.

Therefore, markets reflect the view and perspective of participants, not the full scope of economics.

The situation can be represented in two ways:

  • Manipulative Cognitive = Reflexive
  • Manipulative + Cognitive = Equilibrium

The aforementioned equations show that a manipulative thinking pattern is the usual baseline and not a cognitive function. This shows the reflexive nature of all markets one of the clear indicators that Bitcoin and Ethereum are far from experiencing a digital bubble.

Artificial vs. Natural

More importantly, Ethereum and Bitcoin markets are influenced by two thinkers: artificial and natural. Artificial pertains to the Blockchain AI and natural is all about human intervention. Many experts think that Blockchain is adopting an "economic mindset."

If markets with manipulative and cognitive participants are suddenly annexed, it will always result in reflexivity or positive feedback loops. In this case, digital markets are bound by reflexivity or states of reflexivity. This is a self-perpetuating situation that can go on for many years.

It’s also important to know that artificial thinkers are the “igniters” of self-perpetuating reflexivity. With AI (Blockchain), digital markets will continue to thrive, leading to fluctuating values of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Market bipolarity will always be constant.

Through market bipolarity, any episode of a digital bubble is canceled out. The whole Blockchain system will never return to its “roots” but it will continue evolving. Price valuations, on the other hand, may remain grounded and directed by economic factors.

Innovation or its application in various sectors is also another important factor that shapes Blockchain technology’s tenacity and ability to survive a “bubble.”

David

Why Hydro-Politics Will Shape The 21st Century

It's been called the 'next oil'. In the coming decades, the supply of water has the potential to influence geopolitics, diplomacy and even conflict.

  • By Bryan Lufkin 16 June 2017

Ecopol Project - Portland State University: Water Wars

The 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace pits 007 against an evil criminal syndicate bent on global domination. Sounds par for the course… but this particular network of baddies isn’t using lasers or missiles to cause havoc.

Grand Challenges

In this special series, Future Now takes a close look at the biggest, most important issues we face in the 21st Century.

For two months, we'll bring you insight from leading scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and influencers to help you make sense of the challenges we face in today's rapidly evolving world.

No, the Quantum organisation has a uniquely dastardly plan: seizing control of Bolivia’s water supply.

While the evil syndicate’s role in the film might not be entirely realistic, this piece of fiction does raise a scenario that is worth considering seriously: what would happen if a country’s water supply was cut off? What would be the global fallout?

Think about it: sure, we need water to survive. But it also fuels a country’s commerce, trade, innovation and economic success. This has been the case for time immemorial, from the Nile in Ancient Egypt to the Amazon in the Brazilian rainforest.

While bodies of water typically help form natural borders of countries, several nations tend to share access to rivers or lakes – the Nile runs through nearly a dozen countries alone, for example. Given how conflict-prone humankind is, it’s surprising there haven't been more dust-ups of a “hydro-political” nature.

 

Water politics

Bodies of water have always formed natural boundaries between countries, forcing people to figure out ways to share water peaceably. (Credit: Getty Images)

 

Experts agree: if there was no access to water, there would be no world peace. That’s why one of the grand challenges of the next few decades could be maintaining this ultra-sensitive stasis of water management. In the 21st Century, freshwater supplies are drying up, climate change is raising sea levels and altering borders, explosive population growth is straining world resources, and global hyper-nationalism is testing diplomatic relations. Meanwhile, water demand is expected to go up 55% between 2000 and 2050. In the coming century, in terms of its value as a global resource, it’s been described as “the next oil."

So what can we do to guarantee global access to water – and thus global peace?

World peace hinges on hydro-politics

Water’s role in shaping politics goes back centuries. “In the ancient world, large bodies of water formed natural boundaries for people and nations,” says Zenia Tata, executive director of global development and international expansion at XPrize, an organisation that’s holding a worldwide competition for innovative water management solutions. “But today’s geopolitical landscape looks very different,” and access to water remains paramount.

Experts agree: if there was no access to water, there would be no world peace

In many areas of the world, bodies of water run through several countries or brush up against many countries’ borders. That’s where something called "riparian water rights" come into play.

In the case of a river, upstream countries – where the river originates – enjoy inherent power and leverage over the downstream countries. These kinds of riparian hotspots abound. And they’re often in places that are already fraught.

In the Middle East, the Jordan River basin is the primary water source for many regions, including Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, regions of long-standing political tensions. In Syria, meanwhile, the worst drought in close to a millennium has been partly blamed for the country’s generation-defining civil war and radicalisation that led to the formation of so-called Islamic State.

Egypt and Ethiopia have sparred over development of water from the River Nile for centuries: the iconic river originates in Ethiopia but ends in Egypt, which sets up an inherently combative relationship. In 2015, Egypt and Ethiopia put enough differences aside to construct the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the river, which is Africa’s largest dam and is due to open in July. The countries also signed a deal that strives to ensure fair river access.

Tata points to many developed or emerging markets that have had similar challenges: “Take the example of Malaysia’s 99-year deal with Singapore, giving them paid access to fresh water from the Johor River,” Tata says. “Singapore is arguably one of the most progressive nations on our planet, but without sufficient fresh water resources within its boundaries, all industry, trade, commerce and culture would all stand still."

The answer might lie in how countries with more food and water export those supplies to other countries

According to the Pacific Institute, a California-based water resource information nonprofit, there have been dozens of water-related conflicts worldwide from 2000BC to present day.

So how do we make sure everyone gets enough water – and thus keep relative world peace in the 21st Century? The real answer won’t lie in countries controlling others’ water supply in what’s been dubbed so-called "water wars" – rather, the answer might lie in how countries with more food and water export those supplies to other countries.

 

Water politics

Droughts and climate change will make water-fuelled diplomacy a crucial exercise in the 21st Century. (Credit: Getty Images)

 

Divvying up water supplies

While there have been many “water-related” conflicts over the millennia, there have actually been very few in terms of sending water over national boundaries.

There are three main issues when it comes to water in the 21st Century, says Aaron Wolf. He’s a professor of geography at Oregon State University who specialises in water resource management and environmental policy.

The first issue is the most obvious: water scarcity. A lack of safe, reliable water kills as many people worldwide as malaria and HIV/Aids, he says.

The second issue is the political implications of that scarcity. For example, in Syria, that history-making drought drove more people to cities, saw rising food prices, and exacerbated tensions in the country that already existed. They ended up with “climate refugees”, who travel to other countries to seek places that have better water availability, which may in turn stoke the flames of political tension.

The third main issue – and perhaps the most underreported, experts say – is that trans-boundary flow of water. In other words: water moving between countries. And that’s where those riparian rights come into play.

But here’s the twist – that third part of the puzzle, the hydro-politics, is actually the part to be most optimistic about, says Wolf, since there have been so few violent skirmishes over transboundary water flows.

 

Water politics

Countries with a water surplus export "virtual water" around the world – water embedded in products like wheat and meat. (Credit: Getty Images)

 

The grand challenge: building hydro-diplomacy

Despite alarmist headlines about “water wars”, the 21st Century is still offering up no shortage of new and unique threats that complicate hydro-diplomacy more than ever before.

Population explosions, especially in Asia and Africa, strain resources. Increasing global temperatures have led to some bodies of water drying up. And rising nationalism worldwide may stymie diplomatic efforts across the board.

While water presents obvious potential conflict, it could also accelerate global cooperation

So that’s why at Oregon State University, Wolf helps organise the Program in Water Conflict Management – where they try to identify where hydro-diplomatic tensions are going to rise in the next three to five years. For example, Afghanistan is an upstream country to many nations in the region, and is trying to use that advantage to develop its economy. For a country that’s been subjected to decade upon decade of war and upheaval, the political power of water sources like the Kabul River could be a boon.

That’s why there’s growing academic desire for an increased awareness of not just hydro-politics, but hydro-diplomacy – that while water presents obvious potential conflict, it could also accelerate global cooperation.

“We’re building the next generation of hydro-diplomats,” says Wolf.

A solution? Pay farmers more

But amid all these changes in the aqua political landscape, experts urge us to remember that not all water exists in rivers and lakes and even oceans.

There’s water in the soil – the soil that farmers use to grow vegetables, crops and feed for livestock. And the water from that soil is transferred into these products – whether it is wheat or beef – ­before they get shipped from water-surplus nations to deficient ones. This is known as “virtual water”,­ a phrase coined by John Anthony Allan at King’s College London, whose specialities include water issues, policy and agriculture. "Virtual water" is going to play a huge role in the 21st Century.

 

Water politics

Governments stay in power by subsidising farmers' livelihoods, and water-deficient countries gladly import the under-priced food. (Credit: Getty Images)

 

If you include virtual water in the picture, farmers are managing much of the water in the supply chain. And in countries that are water deficient, that imported embedded water is integral. In Europe alone, 40% of this "virtual water" comes from outside the continent.

Here’s the problem: farmers are underpaid for the critical role in that transaction. And by the time the food reaches the destination country, its politicians use subsidies to keep food prices low. The reason? Politicians want to maintain peace among their people – they want their citizens to live under the assumption that they’ll be able go to the store and expect food on the shelves.

160 countries depend on imported food – and the water needed to make it

“Governments go to great lengths to make sure there is enough affordable food on the market,” Allan says. “There are forces in places that will bring the prices down – there’s pressure to keep food cheap."

For water-surplus countries like the United States or Canada, they sell these products to more water-deficient countries at a low price. Over 60% of the around 220 countries in the world are major food importers. In other words, 160 countries depend on imported food – and the water needed to make it.

“The world is at peace because we have virtual water trade,” says Allan. “It’s solved silently. Revealing virtual water trade as a solution is something that politicians don’t want to do because they want to appear as they’re managing their country well.”

But in reality, the water that goes into the country's food is being brought in from elsewhere. That’s why hydro-diplomacy is one of the great unsung heroes in maintaining global stability that you never hear about.

It’s also why water’s next big challenge isn’t just making sure it’s judiciously and peaceably managed between nations to accommodate the world’s ever-burgeoning population. It’s about helping farmers who live in nations that have lots of water do their jobs successfully, and manage that water and how it’s distributed to drier places.

Of course countries need low-priced food, especially in places with lower income citizens. But the public needs to know that imports, exports, and hydro-diplomacy are what really keep countries with imbalanced water sources in balance. In our globalised, 21st Century world, it's not just about where countries fall along the flow of a river. It's about working together to share Earth's most vital resource.

So while a James Bond-scale water hostage situation isn’t exactly realistic – there’s nothing unrealistic about needing to maintain worldwide access to water. Even as we use it to slake our thirst and grow our crops, the political power of water shouldn’t be forgotten. It's been around for millennia, and it's not going anywhere.

 —

Bryan Lufkin is the editor of Future Now. Follow him on Twitter @bryan_lufkin.

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David

Bitcoin prices likely to continue wild ride

Bitcoin prices likely to continue wild ride

Bitcoin prices likely to continue wild ride

SAN FRANCISCO — What goes precipitously up, often comes crashing down to earth.

So it was with bitcoin on Thursday, when the price of the digital currency plunged 19% — its steepest drop in more than two years — after a record run. The volatility remained on full display late Thursday and, as of Friday evening, bitcoin rebounded to $2,484.59.

The cryptocurrency, which flirted with $3,000 on Monday, sunk as low as $2,076.16 in intraday trading early Thursday amid a confluence of bad omens. Tech stocks have recently taken a thumping over concerns about their lofty valuations. Ominous reports from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley suggested bitcoin was due for a reversal in price and required government regulation. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates Wednesday.

Compounding worries, digital currency exchange Coinbase experienced an outage Monday because of high-trading volume. Another exchange, Bitfinex, on Tuesday said it was under DDOS attack.

Meanwhile, prices for digital currencies ripple and NEM declined the past week, though Ethereum, the second-largest currency, has soared 20% on speculation it will be the top currency. At $371.36, it lags far behind bitcoin in value.

CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations

"Bitcoin and other digital currencies are experiencing rapid growth these days," says Guy Zyskind, CEO of Enigma, a start-up in cryptocurrency investing. "For this to be sustainable over time, the market has to correct itself from time to time."

The market's wild ride this week underscores "the ebbs and flows of an entirely new asset class," says Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, a peer-to-peer payment service.

"While the bitcoin price will likely recover and continue to rise, what we should see in the future is bitcoin becoming a solid store of value, much like gold," says Mihir Magudia, executive director of LEOcoin Foundation. "It will be relatively easy to liquidate but will not be used to commonly pay for goods and services."

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Jon Swartz , USA TODAY

 

 

David