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The Risks of Segregated Witness: Problems under Evidence Laws

September 12, 2017 OP-ED 0

The Risks of Segregated Witness: Problems under Evidence LawsBy Jimmy Nguyen Chief IP, Communications & Legal Officer – nChain Group The bitcoin community still debates whether Segregated Witness will help the network’s scalability or will instead create more problems.  As I have previously written, SegWit raises legal questions because it would enable full digital signature (witness) data to be dropped from the transaction […]

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Israel’s war against the United Nations

In Israel’s propaganda narrative, the apartheid state attempts to portray itself as upholding law and order in the “rough neighbourhood” that is the Middle East. In explicitly racist terminology, Israeli leaders talk about themselves as the “villa in the jungle,” as Ehud Barak once put it. But a simple look at the reality of what Israel has done and continues to do to the indigenous peoples of the Middle East shows the very opposite of law and order: death, destruction and disorder are the reign of the day. Israel has meant nothing but bad news for the Palestinian people. In 1948, Israel was established on the ruins of an already existing society, in a country which was very much with […]

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Bitcoin’s Biggest Bull Isn’t ‘Long Crypto’, He’s ‘Short Government’

September 12, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Six years ago, Kyle Bass provided a crucial context for the debt-laden world of ever-increasing sovereign debt:

“Buying gold is just buying a put against the idiocy of the political cycle. It’s That Simple”

And now, as interest in Bitcoin surges, Arthur Hayes, a former CitiGroup trader who runs BitMEX – a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange – asks an interesting question – In the coming war between digital currencies, which side will your money be on?

As CoinDesk reports, Hayes thinks blockchain is lighting a fuse that will ignite open combat between “true cryptocurrencies” (like bitcoin) and a new “digital fiat” controlled by central banks.

These two parallel currency systems are the inevitable outcome of his core investing thesis:

“A digital society needs digital cash.”

In other words, bitcoin has brought the world cryptocurrency and institutions of all kinds will use the technology to their advantage.

Here’s what Hayes sees shaking out as a result: Governments will respond to the proliferation of cryptocurrency by withdrawing banknotes from circulation, and governments will issue digital fiat that functions similarly to cryptocurrency.

But don’t be fooled, according to Hayes, the similarities here are all on the surface.

Government-controlled digital fiat will be the antithesis of absolutely everything true cryptocurrency stands for. Central bank’s issuance of digital money will lead to a brave new world where governments are able to monitor and control every single transaction in an economy.

And countering that overreach is the reason Hayes believes bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have a value proposition not just today, but for years to come.

When Hayes talks about digital money, he sees the scope of battle on a truly global scale, not just within the U.S., but all across Europe, in China and in India.

What all these country’s governments have in common, according to Hayes, is the desire to use digital fiat as a tool of economic control.

He sees digital fiat as an instrument that will allow governments and global central banks to monitor every financial transaction, tax every sale and even lock out people from the payment system if they don’t have the right government-issued licenses.

Shifting digital fiat into cryptocurrency, he reasons, will be the only way to preserve privacy. Plus, cryptocurrency will allow individuals and businesses to trade in jurisdictions where parties don’t trust electronic fiat – or each other, for that matter – because they know cryptocurrencies cannot be tampered with.

Hayes said:

“If you want to have a financial presence – and not have somebody else know what you’re doing at all times – then you’ll use a form of cryptocurrency.”

A form of cryptocurrency that’s true, like bitcoinzcash, monero or dash, he says, is one that offers users both privacy and security.

But there may be limits to the value propositions of even true cryptocurrencies today. For example, Hayes sees small value transactions are out of line with a once resounding narrative in the space, that bitcoin is – and should be – a payment system for consumers. Hayes told CoinDesk:

“I don’t think bitcoin is going to replace consumer facing activities, like buying a cup of coffee or buying a magazine at a 7-Eleven.”

Hayes called bitcoin’s user experience “terrible” for these purchases, because public blockchains are slower than private payment systems. So, for a trip to Starbucks, buying coffee with Apple Pay is a better experience than paying with bitcoin, he contends. It’s an interesting observation in that many of bitcoin’s strongest proponents tend to envision a world where the cryptocurrency is used for everything. Even still, Hayes is just as bullish on bitcoin, as he continues to reiterate what a fantastic mechanism it is for online international payments and anonymity.

And “those trade flows are massive,” he said.

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Minnesota Deals New Blow To Enbridge Pipeline Project

September 12, 2017 Irina Slav 0

Minnesota’s Department of Commerce dealt a blow to Canadian pipeline-maker Enbridge with a report that said the replacement of the Line 3 pipe that runs through the state is unnecessary, as is the pipe itself. Line 3 brings in crude from Canada to a terminal in Wisconsin and passes through northern Minnesota. Enbridge plans to replace the pipeline, which was built in the 1960s, with a new, extended one. This will cost some US$6.5 billion, but environmentalists and the state government believe it will threaten water resources in the area.…

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Can North Korea Survive An Oil Embargo?

September 12, 2017 OilPrice.com 0

The United States has recently suggested a global oil embargo against North Korea, something both China and Russia oppose. The DPRK’s neighbours to the north support UN sanctions against Pyongyang, but have firmly opposed unilateral U.S. sanctions against North Korea. Russia and China have made a commitment never to support sanctions against Pyongyang that could negatively impact the civilian population, a stance that would almost certainly include a full-scale oil embargo. On the contrary, Russia’s plan to de-escalate tensions on the…

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