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From cypherpunk to state contracts: the changing face of blockchain

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Blockchain continues to occupy an unusual space in the contemporary tech sphere, with concepts such as “decentralization,” “transparency” and “immutability” continuing to slide between a purely technical meaning and a more overtly politicized one. 

Certain blockchain advocates — at least, those still steeped in the libertarian ethos that survives the technology’s roots in the cypherpunk movement — continue to question the technology’s implementation for projects like government defense contracts, as well as its wider absorption into the traditional financial banking systems it was originally designed to circumvent.

Earlier this week, Cointelegraph reached out to several executives at the Fantom Foundation to reflect on the choices and approaches taken by blockchain companies who work in governmental and institutional contexts that raise fundamental questions about blockchain’s status from a socio-political perspective.

 Fantom had recently announced a new public-private partnership with the Tajik Ministry of Industry of New Technologies that will see the rollout of a range of blockchain-based solutions across nationwide IT infrastructure. The partnership forms part of Fantom’s wider business strategy across Central and South Asia.

In respect to the incumbent Tajik government, citizens have long called attention to the abuses of President Rahmon’s dictatorial regime, which emerged out of a brutal civil war in the mid-1990smid 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. State monopoly over media, the systemic repression of political dissent and banning of the main opposition party, and the absence of civic and democratic freedoms has forced many Tajiks to seek political asylum abroad.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Fantom’s chief government relations officer Barek Sekandari said that Fantom’s choice to collaborate with various regimes, despite their politics, is due to the company’s priority to provide the populations of countries in underdeveloped economies with the same level of technological modernization as exists across the Global North. 

Sekandari argued that for Fantom:

“Our goal is not to help these so-called regimes or whatever to to be more repressive […] our goal is to solve […] real-world problems […] There are a lot of people suffering because of the state finance and health system, supply chain management, the educational system, the paper money system. These are the problems that the general public is facing on a daily basis. It’s not the government as a whole, if you put it that way.”

As noted, there are many blockchain companies who choose, for example, to pursue contracts with federal military agencies at the core of the Global North, the United States, where innovative technologies are already widespread and broadly accessible.

Sekandari further emphasized that Fantom is not only working with the Tajik ministry but also coordinating its work with international organizations working in the region, such as the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations, among others.

Fantom’s previous engagements in Central Asia and South Asia have also included the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Pakistan Punjab Prisons Department to formalize the beginning of blockchain-based software implementations

As with Tajikistan, Fantom’s choice to work with the authorities is a fraught one: under the premiership of Imran Khan since 2018, the government has come under criticism for its brutal repression of grassroots movements among students, farmers and teachers against the austerity prescriptions of a 2019 IMF loan conditional on a structural adjustment program. 

Responding to Cointelegraph’s questions about Fantom’s choice to work with the prison systems management of the Pakistani state, Fantom’s director of Asia operations, Samuel Harcourt, said the company would still hold that improving transparency and data integrity remains an important thing, regardless of the institutional context.

As part of a different project in the region, the Fantom also continues to collaborate with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health, including work on a blockchain-based product to prevent the circulation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Fantom’s CEO Michael Kong told Cointelegraph he believes the benefits of a blockchain system are particularly evident here, in light of the fact that 40% of drugs in Afghanistan are counterfeit, with most citizens therefore unable to trust the quality of what they procure at local pharmacies. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/from-cypherpunk-to-state-contracts-the-changing-face-of-blockchain

Blockchain

Bitcoin Mining to Relocate from China to US Amid Crackdown

Bitcoin Mining China US

Rate this post Following the nationwide crackdown on miners, Bitcoin mining operations in China are gearing up to relocate three tons of crypto mining equipment to the US. The new reports emerged just a few weeks after authorities in several provinces ordered power companies to discontinue supply to mining firms. Bitcoin Mining Operations Are Transitioning From China to The US In light of China’s hardening stance on crypto mining, Bitcoin moguls in the country have started to look elsewhere for lucrative opportunities.  The world’s most populous nation banned crypto-related services in May and decided to monitor mining activities more stringently. Critics in China argue that mining operations consume inordinate energy and jeopardize the country’s climate goals in the process.  To date, Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Sichuan have openly prohibited power supply to mining companies. Not surprisingly, Bitcoin’s hash rate fell sharply in the aftermath of these decisions. The ban in Sichuan, in particular, took a toll on daily hash rates.  Some experts believe that China’s anti-mining climate could provide a breakthrough for the US. For years, crypto miners relied on China’s cheap electric supply to carry out their operations. In fact, in 2018, miners in China accounted for the world’s 74%  production of Bitcoin. Now, these ventures are eyeing Texas, South Dakota, or even Canada, triggering a mass transition. The recent relocation of a mining farm from Guangzhou to Maryland is the most visible instance of this mass transition. According to Eunice Yoon, a CNBC representative, the move will see nearly three tons of mining machinery being transported to the United States. Miami Opens Its Doors to Ousted Crypto Miners Meanwhile, Miami is welcoming ousted miners to establish operations in the city. Its current mayor, Francis Suarez, a vocal advocate for cryptocurrencies, has highlighted his support for digital assets on repeated occasions. Suarez has promised several incentives for miners, which include tax concessions, infrastructure incentives, and limited regulations to galvanize investments in the sector. Furthermore, he has guaranteed lower electricity bills for miners, with more than sufficient supply from Miami’s abundant nuclear power. As far as the BTC hash rate is concerned, the current gap between the US and China is significantly wide. However, this gap is expected to begin closing as more mining companies transition to the US.

The post Bitcoin Mining to Relocate from China to US Amid Crackdown appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

Republished by Plato

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Following the nationwide crackdown on miners, Bitcoin mining operations in China are gearing up to relocate three tons of crypto mining equipment to the US. The new reports emerged just a few weeks after authorities in several provinces ordered power companies to discontinue supply to mining firms.

Bitcoin Mining Operations Are Transitioning From China to The US

In light of China’s hardening stance on crypto mining, Bitcoin moguls in the country have started to look elsewhere for lucrative opportunities. 

The world’s most populous nation banned crypto-related services in May and decided to monitor mining activities more stringently. Critics in China argue that mining operations consume inordinate energy and jeopardize the country’s climate goals in the process. 

To date, Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Sichuan have openly prohibited power supply to mining companies. Not surprisingly, Bitcoin’s hash rate fell sharply in the aftermath of these decisions. The ban in Sichuan, in particular, took a toll on daily hash rates. 

Some experts believe that China’s anti-mining climate could provide a breakthrough for the US. For years, crypto miners relied on China’s cheap electric supply to carry out their operations. In fact, in 2018, miners in China accounted for the world’s 74%  production of Bitcoin. Now, these ventures are eyeing Texas, South Dakota, or even Canada, triggering a mass transition.

The recent relocation of a mining farm from Guangzhou to Maryland is the most visible instance of this mass transition. According to Eunice Yoon, a CNBC representative, the move will see nearly three tons of mining machinery being transported to the United States.

Miami Opens Its Doors to Ousted Crypto Miners

Meanwhile, Miami is welcoming ousted miners to establish operations in the city. Its current mayor, Francis Suarez, a vocal advocate for cryptocurrencies, has highlighted his support for digital assets on repeated occasions.

Suarez has promised several incentives for miners, which include tax concessions, infrastructure incentives, and limited regulations to galvanize investments in the sector. Furthermore, he has guaranteed lower electricity bills for miners, with more than sufficient supply from Miami’s abundant nuclear power.

As far as the BTC hash rate is concerned, the current gap between the US and China is significantly wide. However, this gap is expected to begin closing as more mining companies transition to the US.

READ  Blockpass Provides KYC Services for Trading Firm Blitz Network

#Bitcoin In China #China Crypto Mining #Francis Suarez #Miami

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/btc-mining-ops-to-relocate-from-guangzhou-to-maryland-amid-chinese-crackdown/

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Blockchain

MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC

MicroStrategy Bitcoin

Rate this post Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury. Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets. In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500.  As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance.  Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000.  MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million.  Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin. Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

The post MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

Republished by Plato

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Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury.

Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy

Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets.

In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500. 

As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance. 

Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000. 

MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment

Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million. 

Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin.

Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

READ  MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin Stack Up: Brilliant Moves or Risk?

#Bitcoin #CEO Michael Saylor #MicroStrategy #MicroStrategy BTC Investment

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/microstrategy-acquires-more-bitcoin-holds-more-than-105000-btc/

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Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ‘backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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One of the few high-profile public officials to have served under both the Obama and Trump administrations, Chris Giancarlo is a former Wall Street executive-turn-regulator who is widely-respected by nearly all parties on Capitol Hill. As the former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, however, his latest venture, the Digital Dollar Foundation, might well test his soft touch with politicians.

The former regulator is now leading the Foundation towards five pilot programs set to launch this year, part of a broader effort to help the United States regain the lead in a race against China towards a functioning CBDC.

According to Giancarlo, however, the US’s priorities when it comes to a CBDC shouldn’t merely be jingoistic:

“What’s very clear, [is] that China intends their digital yuan to be an instrument of state surveillance. […] And this is why it’s one of the reasons why the digital dollar project, we’re so animated, because we feel that our new mission is to make sure central banks wake up to this and the US Fed wakes up to this, that these social values that got us here, the rule of law, a free capital markets, free enterprise, zones of individual economic privacy, are ingrained in a new digital future of the US dollar, and that we don’t allow ourselves to be taken in by what China’s doing and match that state surveillance approach.”

However, the race to a CBDC isn’t merely about maintaining current US values, but also potnetially about unlocking new forms of smart contract-based value for the wider population. 

“The notion of a digital currency, whether it be sovereign and non-sovereign, tied to smart contracts, allows money to solve the old problem of being able to move it in place, i.e. moving around the globe as easily as you could send a text message, but also move it in time. Heretofore, money was a temporal thing, but with a smart contract you can say, I want to program my money today to go to my one grandchild in the future once they graduate college and all of those contingencies can be programmed in. […] With a programmable digital currency, you can program it today to move around the globe in space, but move around the globe in time. And that is such, I think, such a powerful construct.”

Ultimately, this work is part of an effort to ensure that America maintains technological supremacy. 

“You can’t stop the march of technology in time, and if you do, you become a backwater. We in the United States have always been open to innovation and we must be open to this innovation as well. In a prudent way, in a way that’s in correspondence with our society that expects investor protections and a role for government. […] And it’s one that I’m very excited to be involved in.”

Watch the full interview here:

[embedded content]

Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ’backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/chris-giancarlo-u-s-risks-becoming-backwater-without-central-bank-digital-currency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chris-giancarlo-u-s-risks-becoming-backwater-without-central-bank-digital-currency

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