Top 5 Alternatives to LocalBitcoins -

Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya

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Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya

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Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya

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Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya (and Pine Ridge!!)

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Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya

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Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya

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Alternative Currencies Are Bigger Than Bitcoin: How They’re Building Prosperity From London to Kenya

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Courtesy message to the team

I just don’t understand why ETN is going down yet it is among the few projects with a working product. On the other side many cryptos in the top 100 with only plans on paper seem to be attracting investors. While ETN boasts of going for the 99% it should know that the 99% are not found entirely in Africa and Asia but the entire world. I am from Kenya, currently living in Canada and I can guarantee you that penetrating African market can be tough especially if the product doesn’t seem to have an advantage to what currently exists. For instance, in Kenya there is M-pesa which is the greatest thing that has ever happened to this country’s economy. With just a phone number you can send and receive money at an instant, pay for goods and services without needing a traditional bank account. You can have access to loans too. Sending money abroad from your M-Pesa account has become easier, with services like M-pesa to PayPal, M-pesa to western union , M-pesa to some select bank accounts in the Asian markets. This technology is very popular in many African countries and continues to grow. To me when I hear that "we want to bank the unbanked" I just laugh cause there is little understanding of what is really happening in these African countries. I consider many people in Africa banked but the developed world just doesn’t know since the mobile banking is quite unpopular to them. The only problem that exists is a well developed system to bridge the gap that exists between these two financial systems so that there is flow of money in both directions. And this is what ETN need to really focus on e.g making it easier purchasing things on amazon with ETN. People have money to spend in Africa it’s only that the popular mobile money system is not supported by most e-commerce services like Amazon, brokerage sites and cryptocurrency exchanges.

One thing that the ETN team seam to get it wrong is that they are trying to solve a problem that in most cases is already solved, it’s just a matter of having ETN integrated in most services that people in the developing world would love to access just like people in the developed world. This leads me to the point of price. The price REALLY matters. This is because ETN is positioning itself as the next generation currency just like bitcoin and not a share of a company. This is simple economics; nobody would want to ditch the dollar or whatever fiat currency for something that is depreciating in value thus reducing the purchasing power. Cryptocurrencies and shares are totally different things. The team should approach its visions with the goal of redeeming it's cryptocurrency. People in the developing world are not morons to waste their time in something that will not be of value to them. At the end of the day , the value of something is tied to its price especially if it’s something that is to be exchanged for goods and services.

My advice to the team will to stop promoting ETN as some sort of ‘charity’ coin but focus on bridging the gap that exists between developing and developed countries of how money moves between them. How ETN performs in the developed market will determine how it will perform in the developing world. If people in the developed world are walking away from ETN don’t expect the people in the developing world would walk towards it. The demand that will be in the developed world that have easy access to purchasing ETN on exchanges will seamlessly translate to demand of using ETN as an alternative currency in the developing world.

I hope this message gets to the ETN team. Stay strong, stay positive.
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How do I mine Dogecoin?

How do I mine Dogecoin?
Let’s take a lucky guess that you’re here today because you’ve heard a lot about cryptocurrencies and you want to get involved, right? If you’re a community person, Dogecoin mining might be the perfect start for you!
Bitcoin was the first in 2009, and now there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies. These new coins (that operate on their own native blockchain) are called altcoins or alternative coins. One popular altcoin is Dogecoin. It can be bought, sold and traded, just like Bitcoin. It can also be mined!
So, what is Dogecoin mining?
You’ll know what hardware and what software you need to get started. You’ll also know whether or not Dogecoin mining is for you!
So, where would you like to start? The beginning? Great choice. Let’s have a quick look at how Dogecoin got started.
A (Very) Short History of Dogecoin
In 2013, an Australian named Jackson Palmer and an American named Billy Markus became friends. They became friends because they both liked cryptocurrencies. However, they also thought the whole thing was getting too serious so they decided to create their own.
Palmer and Markus wanted their coin to be more fun and more friendly than other crypto coins. They wanted people who wouldn’t normally care about crypto to get involved.
They decided to use a popular meme as their mascot — a Shiba Inu dog.
Dogecoin was launched on December 6th, 2013. Since then it has become popular because it’s playful and good-natured. Just like its mascot!
Dogecoin has become well-known for its use in charitable acts and online tipping. In 2014, $50,000 worth of Dogecoin was donated to the Jamaican Bobsled Team so they could go to the Olympics. Dogecoin has also been used to build wells in Kenya. Isn’t that awesome!
Users of social platforms – like Reddit – can use Dogecoin to tip or reward each other for posting good content.
Dogecoin has the 27th largest market cap of any cryptocurrency.
Note: A market cap (or market capitalization) is the total value of all coins on the market.
So, Dogecoin is a popular altcoin, known for being fun, friendly and kind. It’s a coin with a dog on it! You love it already, don’t you?
Next, I want to talk about how mining works…
What is Mining?
To understand mining, you first need to understand how cryptocurrencies work. Cryptocurrencies are peer-to-peer digital currencies. This means that they allow money to be transferred from one person to another without using a bank.
Every cryptocurrency transaction is recorded on a huge digital database called a blockchain. The database is stored across thousands of computers called nodes. Nodes put together groups of new transactions and add them to the blockchain. These groups are called blocks.
Each block of transactions has to be checked by all the nodes on the network before being added to the blockchain. If nodes didn’t check transactions, people could pretend that they have more money than they really do (I know I would!).
Confirming transactions (mining) requires a lot of computer power and electricity so it’s quite expensive.
Blockchains don’t have paid employees like banks, so they offer a reward to users who confirm transactions. The reward for confirming new transactions is new cryptocurrency. The process of being rewarded with new currency for confirming transactions is what we call “mining”!
It is called mining because it’s a bit like digging for gold or diamonds. Instead of digging with a shovel for gold, you’re digging with your computer for crypto coins!
Each cryptocurrency has its own blockchain. Different ways of mining new currency are used by different coins where different rewards are offered.
So, how do you mine Dogecoin? What’s special about Dogecoin mining? Let’s see…
What is Dogecoin Mining?
Dogecoin mining is the process of being rewarded with new Dogecoin for checking transactions on the Dogecoin blockchain. Simple, right? Well no, it’s not quite that simple, nothing ever is!
Mining Dogecoin is like a lottery. To play the lottery you have to do some work. Well, actually your computer (or node) has to do some work! This work involves the confirming and checking of transactions which I talked about in the last section.
Lots of computers work on the same block of transactions at the same time but the only one can win the reward of new coins. The one that earns the new coins is the node that adds the new block of transactions to the old block of transactions. This is completed using complex mathematical equations.
The node that solves the mathematical problem first wins! It can then attach the newly confirmed block of transactions to the rest of the blockchain.
Most cryptocurrency mining happens this way. However, Dogecoin mining differs from other coins in several important areas. These areas are;
  • Algorithm: Each cryptocurrency has a set of rules for mining new currency. These rules are called a mining or hashing algorithm.
  • Block Time: This is the average length of time it takes for a new block of transactions to be checked and added to the blockchain.
  • Difficulty: This is a number that represents how hard it is to mine each new block of currency. You can use the difficulty number to work out how likely you are to win the mining lottery. Mining difficulty can go up or down depending on how many miners there are. The difficulty is also adjusted by the coin’s protocol to make sure that the block time stays the same.
  • Reward: This is the amount of new currency that is awarded to the miner of each new block.
Now, let’s compare how DogeCoin mining works compared to Litecoin and Bitcoin…
Mining Comparison
Bitcoin uses SHA-256 to guide the mining of new currency and the other two use Scrypt. This is an important difference because Scrypt mining needs a lot less power and is a lot quicker than SHA-256. This makes mining easier for miners with less powerful computers. Fans of Litecoin and Dogecoin think that they are fairer than Bitcoin because more people can mine them.
Note: In 2014, Litecoin and Dogecoin merged mining. This means they made it possible to mine both coins in the same process. Dogecoin mining is now linked with Litecoin mining. It’s like two different football teams playing home games in the same stadium!
Mining Dogecoin is a lot faster than mining Litecoin or Bitcoin. The block reward is much higher too!
Don’t get too excited though (sorry!). Dogecoin is still worth a lot less than Bitcoin and Litecoin. A reward of ten thousand Dogecoin is worth less than thirty US Dollars. A reward of 12.5 Bitcoin is currently worth 86,391.63 US Dollars!
However, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Dogecoin mining difficulty is more than one million times less than Bitcoin mining difficulty. This means you are much more likely to win the block reward when you mine Dogecoin.
Now I’ve told you about what Dogecoin mining is and how it works, would you like to give it a try?
Let’s see what you need to do to become a Dogecoin miner…
How to Mine Dogecoin
There are two ways to mine Dogecoin, solo (by yourself) or in a Dogecoin mining pool.
Note: A Dogecoin pool is a group of users who share their computing power to increase the odds of winning the race to confirm transactions. When one of the nodes in a pool confirms a transaction, it divides the reward between the users of the pool equally.
Dogecoin Mining: Solo vs Pool
When you mine as a part of a Dogecoin pool, you have to pay fees. Also, when the pool mines a block you will only receive a small portion of the total reward. However, pools mine blocks much more often than solo miners. So, your chance of earning a reward (even though it is shared) is increased. This can provide you with a steady new supply of Dogecoin.
If you choose to mine solo then you risk waiting a long time to confirm a transaction because there is a lot of competition. It could be weeks or even months before you mine your first block! However, when you do win, the whole reward will be yours. You won’t have to share it or pay any fees.
As a beginner, I would recommend joining a Dogecoin pool. This way you won’t have to wait as long to mine your first block of new currency. You’ll also feel like you’re part of the community and that’s what Dogecoin is all about!
What You Need To Start Mining Dogecoin
Before you start Dogecoin mining, you’ll need a few basics. They are;
  • A PC with either Windows, OS X or Linux operating system.
  • An internet connection
  • A Shiba Inu puppy (just kidding!)
You’ll also need somewhere to keep the Dogecoin you mine. Go to Dogecoin’s homepage and download a wallet.
Note: A wallet is like an email account. It has a public address for sending/receiving Dogecoin and a private key to access them. Your private keys are like your email’s password. Private keys are very important and need to be kept completely secure.
There are two different types; a light wallet and a full wallet. To mine Dogecoin, you’ll need the full wallet. It’s called Dogecoin Core.
Now that you’ve got a wallet, you need some software and hardware.
Dogecoin Mining Hardware
You can mine Dogecoin with;
  • Your PC’s CPU: The CPU in your PC is probably powerful enough to mine Dogecoin. However, it is not recommended. Mining can cause less powerful computers to overheat which causes damage.
  • A GPU: GPUs (or graphics cards) are used to improve computer graphics but they can also be used to mine Dogecoin. There are plenty of GPUs to choose from but here are a few to get you started;SAPPHIRE Pulse Radeon RX 580 ($426.98)Nvidia GeForce GTX ($579.99)ASUS RX Vega 64 ($944.90)
  • A Scrypt ASIC Miner: This is a piece of hardware designed to do one job only. Scrypt ASIC miners are programmed to mine scrypt based currencies like Litecoin and Dogecoin. ASIC miners are very powerful. They are also very expensive, very loud and can get very hot! Here’s a few for you to check out;Innosilicon A2 Terminator ($760)Bitmain Antminer L3 ($1,649)BW L21 Scrypt Miner ($7,700)
Dogecoin Mining Software
Whether you’re mining with an ASIC, a GPU or a CPU, you’ll need some software to go with it. You should try to use the software that works best with the hardware you’re using. Here’s a short list of the best free software for each choice of mining hardware;
  • CPU: If you just want to give mining a quick try, using your computer’s CPU will work fine. The only software I would recommend for mining using a CPU only is CPU miner which you can download for free here.
  • GPU: If you mine with a GPU there are more software options. Here are a few to check out;CudaMiner– Works best with Nvidia products.CGminer– Works with most GPU hardware.EasyMiner– User-friendly, so it’s good for beginners.
  • Scrypt ASIC miner:MultiMiner– Great for mining scrypt based currencies like Litecoin and Dogecoin. It can also be used to mine SHA-256 currencies like Bitcoin.CGminer and EasyMiner can also be used with ASIC miners.
You’re a beginner, so keep it simple! When you first start mining Dogecoin I would recommend using a GPU like the Radeon RX 580 with EasyMiner software. Then I would recommend joining a Dogecoin mining pool. The best pools to join are multi-currency pools like Multipool or AikaPool.
If you want to mine Dogecoin but don’t want to invest in all the tech, there is one other option…
Dogecoin Cloud Mining
Cloud mining is mining without mining! Put simply, you rent computer power from a huge data center for a monthly or yearly fee. The Dogecoin is mined at the center and then your share is sent to you.
All you need to cloud mine Dogecoin is a Dogecoin wallet. Then choose a cloud mining pool to join. Eobot, Nice Hash and Genesis Mining all offer Scrypt-based cloud mining for a monthly fee.
There are pros and cons to Dogecoin cloud mining;
The Pros
  • It’s cheaper than setting up your own mining operation. There’s also no hot, noisy hardware lying around the house!
  • As a beginner, there isn’t a lot of technical stuff to think about.
  • You get a steady supply of new currency every month.
The Cons
  • Cloud mining pools don’t share much information about themselves and how they work. It can be hard to work out if a cloud mining contract is a good value for money.
  • You are only renting computer power. If the price of Dogecoin goes down, you will still have to pay the same amount for something that is worthless.
  • Dogecoin pools have fixed contracts. The world of crypto can change very quickly. You could be stuck with an unprofitable contract for two years!
  • It’s no fun letting someone else do the mining for you!
Now you know about all the different ways to mine Dogecoin we can ask the big question, can you make tons of money mining Dogecoin?
So, Is Dogecoin Mining Profitable?
The short answer is, not really. Dogecoin mining is not going to make you a crypto billionaire overnight. One Dogecoin is worth 0.002777 US Dollars. If you choose to mine Dogecoin solo, it will be difficult to make a profit. You will probably spend more money on electricity and hardware than you will make from Dogecoin mining. Even if you choose a Dogecoin pool or a cloud pool your profits will be small.
However, if you think I am telling you to not mine Dogecoin, then you’re WRONG! Of course, I think you should mine Dogecoin!
But why? Seriously…
Well, you should mine Dogecoin because it’s fun and you want to be a part of the Dogecoin family. Cryptocurrency is going to change the world and you want to be part of that change, right? Mining Dogecoin is a great way to get involved.
Dogecoin is the coin that puts a smile on people’s faces. By mining Dogecoin you’ll be supporting all the good work its community does. You’ll learn about mining from the friendliest gang in crypto. And who knows? In a few years, the Dogecoin you mine now could be worth thousands or even millions! In 2010, Bitcoin was worthless. Think about that!
Only you can choose whether to mine Dogecoin or not. You now know everything you need to know to make your choice. The future is here. So, what are you going to do?
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On the Nature of and its Effect on the Price of Bitcoin

As we celebrate the death and rise of Satoshi Nakamoto Jesus Christ, it's nothing but a slow weekend on the markets.
Therefore I've been putting some thought into the nature of who uses it, why do they use it and what is its effect on the price of Bitcoin? (full disclosure, I run this LocalBitcoins related website)
Who uses LocalBitcoins
The way I see it, LocalBitcoins is used by:
Who doesn't use LocalBitcoins
The effect of LocalBitcoins on the BTC price
LBC's volume has risen in lockstep with the BTC price - USD volume is up about 4x since jan 2015, transaction volume 6x, while the price has risen around 4-fold.
Because correlation != causation, there are a few things to consider as to why these phenomenons coincide.
My money is on 1 because I am a sucker a hodler biased towards Bitcoin's success. There might be other hypotheses that I can't come up with right now.
The effect of the 1MB blocksize cap
A lot of arguments have been thrown around about the 1MB blocksize cap and its crippling effect on Bitcoin's usefulness. There are numerous contenders to the throne (Ether, Dash and Monero come to mind - I have no preference for any of these or even Segregated Witness/Bitcoin Unlimited - all have interesting properties).
However, consider this (thanks to all who pointed out these arguments - I'm too lazy to look it up):
Hope this will get you through your Easter. And drop me a line if you have any comments.
P.S. I hate Reddit for not showing a preview - expect many ninja edits.
submitted by anacoinda to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS, the central bank of central banks) on Cryptocurrencies today

I'd like to hear your thoughts on his lecture held today at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.
Read the full transcript here or via pdf link.
1/10 Money in the digital age: what role for central banks? Lecture by Agustín Carstens General Manager, Bank for International Settlements House of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt, 6 February 2018
Introduction Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for that kind introduction, Jens. I am very happy to be here at this prestigious university and to be part of this impressive lecture series sponsored by Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (SAFE), the Center for Financial Studies (CFS) and the Deutsche Bundesbank. I would also like to thank Professor Brigitte Haar for being such a generous host today. It is an honour to discuss money at an event organised by the Bundesbank, which has been a beacon of stability since its foundation some 60 years ago. As Jens can attest, being a central banker is a fascinating job. In fact, it is a privilege. During the last decade it has been anything but quiet in the central banking world. We have been confronted with extraordinary circumstances that have required extraordinary policy responses. In such an environment, it has been of the utmost importance to share experiences and lessons learnt among central banks, creating a body of knowledge that will be there for the future. One of the reasons that central bank Governors from all over the world gather in Basel every two months is precisely to discuss issues at the front and centre of the policy debate. Following the Great Financial Crisis, many hours have been spent discussing the design and implications of, for example, unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing and negative interest rates. Lately, we have seen a bit of a shift, to issues at the very heart of central banking. This shift is driven by developments at the cutting edge of technology. While it has been bubbling under the surface for years, the meteoric rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led us to revisit some fundamental questions that touch on the origin and raison d’être for central banks: • What is money? • What constitutes good money, and where do cryptocurrencies fit in? • And, finally, what role should central banks play? The thrust of my lecture will be that, at the end of the day, money is an indispensable social convention backed by an accountable institution within the State that enjoys public trust. Many things have served as money, but experience suggests that something widely accepted, reliably provided and stable in its command over goods and services works best. Experience has also shown that to be credible, money requires institutional backup, which is best provided by a central bank. While central banks’ actions and services will evolve with technological developments, the rise of cryptocurrencies only highlights the important role central banks have played, and continue to play, as stewards of public trust. Private digital tokens posing as currencies, such as bitcoin and other crypto-assets that have mushroomed of late, must not endanger this trust in the fundamental value and nature of money.
What is money? “What is money?” is obviously a key question for any central banker, and one on which economists have spent much ink. The answer depends on how deep and philosophical one wants to be. Being at a university, especially one named after Goethe, I think I can err on the side of being philosophical. Conventional wisdom tells you that “money is what money does”.1 That is, money is a unit of account, a means of payment and a store of value. But telling you what something does does not really tell you what it is. And it certainly does not tell you why we need or have money, how it comes about and what the preconditions are for it to exist. In terms of the “need” for money, you may learn that money is a way to get around the general lack of double coincidence of wants. That is, it is rare that I have what you want and you have what I want at the same time. As barter is definitely not an efficient way of organising an economy, money is demanded as a tool to facilitate exchange. What about the other side of the coin, so to speak? How does money come about? Again, conventional wisdom may tell you that central banks provide money, ie cash (coins and notes), and commercial banks supply deposits. But this answer is often not fully satisfactory, as it does not tell why and how banks should be the one to “create” money. If you venture into more substantive analyses on monetary economics, things get more complex. One theory, which proposes that “money is memory”, amounts to arguing that a “superledger” can facilitate exchange just like money. This argument says a ledger is a way of keeping track of not only who has what but also who owes, and is owed, what. I will come back to this later. Moving beyond this line of thought, other scholarly and historical analyses provide answers that are more philosophical. These often amount to “money is a convention” – one party accepts it as payment in the expectation that others will also do so.2 Money is an IOU, but a special one because everyone in the economy trusts that it will be accepted by others in exchange for goods and services. One might say money is a “we all owe you”. Many things have served as money in this way. Figure 1 gives some examples: Yap stones, gold coins, cigarettes in war times, $100,000 bills, wissel (Wechsel), ie bills of exchange or bearer notes, such as those issued by the Bank of Amsterdam in the first half of the 17th century. It includes an example from my own country, Aztec hoe (or axe) money, a form of (unstamped) money made of copper used in central Mexico and parts of Central America. 1 See J Hicks, Critical essays in monetary theory, 1979. 2 See D Lewis, Convention: a philosophical study, 1969.
Common to most of these examples is that the nominal value of the items that have served at one time as money is unrelated to their intrinsic value. Indeed, as we know very well in the case of fiat money, the intrinsic value of most of its representations is zero. History shows that money as a convention needs to have a basis of trust, supported by some form of institutional arrangement.3 As Curzio Giannini puts it: “The evolution of monetary institutions appears to be above all the fruit of a continuous dialogue between economic and political spheres, with each taking turns to create monetary innovations … and to safeguard the common interest against abuse stemming from partisan interests.”4 Money can come in different institutional forms and colours. How to organise them? The paper by Bech and Garratt in last September’s BIS Quarterly Review presented the money flower as a way of organising monies in today’s environment.5 It acknowledges that money can take on rather different forms and be supplied in various ways. The money flower Allow me to explain, noting that we do not sell seeds to this money flower! 3 Fiat means “by law“. So, in principle, it should be said that money exists by convention or by law. But if trust in money does not prevail, the legal mandate that conveys value to money becomes meaningless. 4 C Giannini, The age of central banks, 2011. 5 M Bech and R Garratt, “Central bank cryptocurrencies”, BIS Quarterly Review, September 2017, pp 55–70.
The money flower highlights four key properties on the supply side of money: the issuer, the form, the degree of accessibility and the transfer mechanism. • The issuer can be either the central bank or “other”. “Other” includes nobody, that is, a particular type of money that is not the liability of anyone. • In terms of the form it takes, money is either electronic or physical. • Accessibility refers to how widely the type of money is available. It can either be wide or limited. • Transfer mechanism can either be a central intermediary or peer-to-peer, meaning transactions occur directly between the payer and the payee without the need for a central intermediary. Let us look at where some common types of money fit into the flower, starting with cash (or bank notes) as we know it today. Cash is issued by the central bank, is not electronic, is available to everyone and is peer-to-peer. I do not need a trusted third party such as Jens to help me pay each of you 10 euros. Let us try another one: bank deposits. They are not the liability of the central bank, mostly electronic, and in most countries available to most people, but clearly not peer-to-peer. Transferring resources from a bank deposit requires the involvement of at least your own bank, perhaps the central bank and the recipient’s bank. Think here not only of commercial bank deposits but also bills, eg non-interest bearing (bearer) certificates, issued privately, as in the case of the Bank of Amsterdam mentioned earlier. Local or regional currencies are the ones that can be spent in a particular geographical location at participating organisations. They tend to be physical. The túmin, for example, was a local currency circulating (illegally) for some time around 2010 exclusively in the Mexican municipality of Espinal. What does digitalisation mean for the flower? Digitalisation is nothing new: financial services and most forms of money have been largely digital for many years. Much of the ongoing transformation is just adding a mobile version for many services, which means that the device becomes a virtual extension of the institution. As such, there is not a new model. The money flower then also easily accommodates these forms.
That is also the case for the digital, account-based forms of money that central banks traditionally have made available to commercial banks and, in some instances, to certain other financial or public institutions (ie bank reserves). It would also be the case if the central bank were to issue digital money to the wider public for general purposes. Each central bank will have to make its own decision on whether issuing digital money is desirable, after considering factors such as the structure of the financial system and underlying preferences for privacy. The central bank community is actively analysing this issue. A potentially important and leapfrogging digital-related development, however, is distributed ledger technology (DLT), the basis for Bitcoin. Many think DLT could transform financial service provision, maybe first wholesale, then possibly retail. For example, it could enhance settlement efficiency involving securities and derivatives transactions. A few central banks have conducted experiments in this area, for example the Bank of Canada, the Bundesbank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of England.6 Yet doubts remain regarding the maturity of DLT and the size of associated efficiency gains relative to existing technologies. Moreover, their robustness, including to cyber-risk, is still to be fully understood and ascertained. Still, there are potential benefits, and I expect that central banks will remain engaged on this topic.7 For now, DLT is largely used to “create” bitcoin and other digital currencies. Such cryptocurrencies can be placed easily in the money flower. Nobody issues them, they are not physical and they are peer-to-peer. But beyond that, how should one think about them? What constitutes good money? Just because we are able to find a place for bitcoin in our money flower does not mean we should consider it as “good” money. As I mentioned before, trust is the fundamental tenet that underpins credible currencies, and this trust has to be earned and supported. There are many lessons from history and institutional economics on the earning of trust that we can use as we move further into digitalisation.8 Over the ages, many forms of private money have come and gone. It is fair to say that the same has happened with various experiments with public money (that is, money issued by a public entity that is not the central bank). While some lasted longer than others, most have invariably given way to some form of central bank money. The main reason for their disappearance is that the “incentives to cheat” are simply too high. Let me give three historical examples: one in Germany, another in the United States and the last one in Mexico. In Germany, the Thirty Years War (1618–48), involving small German states of the Holy Roman Empire and neighbouring regional powers, was associated with one of the most severe economic crises ever recorded, with rampant hyperinflation – just as happened three centuries later during the Weimar Republic – and the breakdown of trade and economic activity. The crisis became known as the Kipper- und Wipperzeit (the clipping and culling times), after the practice of clipping coins (shaving metal from their circumference) and sorting good coins from bad. This morning, we are launching a BIS Working Paper, by Professor Isabel Schnabel and BIS Economic Adviser Hyun Song Shin, which further details and explains this experience, as background to my speech. 6 See Bech and Garratt, op cit. 7 See Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, Distributed ledger technology in payment, clearing and settlement: an analytical framework, February 2017. 8 See D North, Institutions, institutional change and economic performance, 1990.
While episodes of currency debasement have occurred throughout history, this one stands out for two reasons. First is the severity of the crisis and its rapid regional spread. Debasement proceeded at such a pace that public authorities quickly lost control of the downward spiral. Second is how the debasement was brought under control. This occurred through standardisation of wholesale payments by public deposit banks, for example the Bank of Hamburg and the Bank of Amsterdam. These were in many ways examples of the precursors of modern central banks. As the working paper argues, monetary order could be brought to an otherwise chaotic situation by providing reliable payment means through precursors to central bank money, which at the end means the use of a credible institutional arrangement. In the period in the United States known as the Free Banking Era, from 1837 to 1863, many banks sprang up that issued currency with no oversight of any kind by the federal government.10 These so-called free bank notes did not work very well as a medium of exchange. Given that there were so many banks of varying reputations issuing notes, they sold at different prices in different places, making transactions quite complicated. And as supervision was largely absent, banks had limited restraint in issuing notes and did not back them up sufficiently with specie (gold or silver), thereby debasing their values. This era of “wildcat banking” ended up being a long and costly period of banking instability in the history of the US, with banking panics and major disruptions to economic activity. It was, after some further hiccups, followed by the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Let me present a final example, from Mexican monetary history. A little known fact is that Mexico had the first series of hyperinflations at the beginning of the 20th century. My country had a revolution from 1910 to 1921, in which no central government existed in an effective way, with many factions fighting and disputing different territories. A winning faction would arrive in a territory, print its own money and make void previously issued cash. So different bills issued by different factions coexisted, leading to chaos and hyperinflation. To give you an idea of the disorder, in 2015 four trunks full of bills were returned to Mexico after having been appropriated by the US Navy in 1914, when the US occupied the port city of Veracruz. In the trunks, the Bank of Mexico discovered dozens of types of bills that the central bank had not even known existed.11 At the end of the conflict, a new constitution was drafted, having as a central article one which gave the Bank of Mexico the appropriate institutional framework, designating it the exclusive issuer of currency in the country. Once this was in place, hyperinflation ceased, illustrating the importance of controlling fiscal dominance (which tends to be the result of the abuse of publicly issued money). Based on these experiences, most observers, and I suspect all of you here, would agree that laissez-faire is not a good approach in banking or in the issuance of money. Indeed, the paradigm of strict bank regulation and supervision and central banks overseeing the financial and monetary system that has emerged over the last century or so has proven to be the most effective way to avoid the instability and high economic costs associated with the proliferation of private and public monies. 9 I Schnabel and H S Shin, “Money and trust: lessons from the 1620s for money in the digital age”, BIS Working Papers, no 698, February 2018. 10 See G Dwyer, “Wildcat banking, banking panics, and free banking in the United States”, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review, vol 81, nos 3–6, 1996; A Rolnick and W Weber, “New evidence of the free banking era”, The American Economic Review, vol 73, no 5, December 1983, pp 1080–91; and C Calomiris, “Banking crises yesterday and today”, Financial History Review, vol 17, no 1, 2010, pp 3–12. 11 See Bank of Mexico, “La SRE entregó al Banco de México un acervo de billetes de la época del porfiriato”, press release, 1 June 2015,
The unhappy experience with private forms of money raises deep questions about whether the proliferation of cryptocurrencies is desirable or sustainable. Even if the supply of one type of cryptocurrency is limited, the mushrooming of so many of them means that the total supply of all forms of cryptocurrency is unlimited. Added to this is the practice of “forking”, where an offshoot of an existing cryptocurrency can be conjured up from thin air. Given the experience with currency debasement that has peppered history, the proliferation of such private monies should give everyone pause for thought. I will return to this shortly. We have learned over the centuries that money as a social institution requires a solution to the problem of a lack of trust.12 The central banks that often emerged in the wake of the private and public money collapses may not have looked like the ones we have today, but they all had some institutional backing. The forms of this backing for their issuance of money have differed over time and by country.13 Commodity money has often been the start. History shows that gold and other precious metals stored in the vault with governance (and physical) safeguards can provide some assurance. Commodity money is not the only or necessarily sufficient mechanism. Often it also required a city-, state- or nation-provided charter, as with the emergence of giro banks in many European countries. Later, the willingness of central banks to convert money for gold at a fixed price (the gold standard) was the mechanism. Currency boards, where local money is issued one-to-one with changes in foreign currency holdings, can also work to provide credibility. The tried, trusted and resilient modern way to provide confidence in public money is the independent central bank. This means legal safeguards and agreed goals, ie clear monetary policy objectives, operational, instrument and administrative independence, together with democratic accountability to ensure broad-based political support and legitimacy. While not fully immune from the temptation to cheat, central banks as an institution are hard to beat in terms of safeguarding society’s economic and political interest in a stable currency. Where do cryptocurrencies fit in? One could argue that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ attractiveness lies in an intelligent application of DLT. DLT provides a method to broadcast transactions publicly and pseudonymously in a way that achieves in principle ledger immutability.14 Who would have thought that having people guessing solutions to what was described to me by a techie as the mathematical equivalent of mega-sudokus would be a way to generate consensus among strangers around the world through a proof of work? Does it thus provide a novel solution to the problem of how to generate trust among people who do not know each other? If DLT provides the potential for a superledger, could bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies then substitute for some forms of money?15 We do not have the full answers, but at this time the answer, also in the light of historical experiences, is probably a sound no, for many reasons. In fact, we are seeing the type of cracks and cheating that brought down other private currencies starting to appear in the House of Bitcoin. As an institution, Bitcoin has some obvious flaws. 12 See M King, “The institutions of monetary policy”, speech at the American Economic Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, 4 January 2004. 13 See Giannini, op cit. 14 See Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, op cit. 15 See N Kocherlakota, “Money is memory”, Journal of Economic Theory, vol 81, pp 232–51, 1998. In fact, he shows in a very stark setting that having a costless means to record the memory of all economic actors, both present and past, can do as much as money, and sometimes more. Conversely, money effectively functions as memory by providing an observable record of past transactions – that is, agents can tell whether a potential trader is running a current deficit or surplus with society by looking at the money balances that trader is carrying. The finding, however, is theoretical and not robust to slight changes in assumptions, including the risk of loss of data.
Debasement. As I mentioned, we may be seeing the modern-day equivalent of clipping and culling. In Bitcoin, these take the form of forks, a type of spin-off in which developers clone Bitcoin’s software, release it with a new name and a new coin, after possibly adding a few new features or tinkering with the algorithms’ parameters. Often, the objective is to capitalise on the public’s familiarity with Bitcoin to make some serious money, at least virtually. Last year alone, 19 Bitcoin forks came out, including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Diamond. Forks can fork again, and many more could happen. After all, it just takes a bunch of smart programmers and a catchy name. As in the past, these modern-day clippings dilute the value of existing ones, to the extent such cryptocurrencies have any economic value at all. Trust. As the saying goes, trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. Historical experiences suggest that these “assets” are probably not sustainable as money. Cryptocurrencies are not the liability of any individual or institution, or backed by any authority. Governance weaknesses, such as the concentration of their ownership, could make them even less trustworthy. Indeed, to use them often means resorting to an intermediary (for example, the bitcoin exchanges) to which one has to trust one’s money. More generally, they piggyback on the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and on the trust that it provides. This reflects their challenge to establish their own trust in the face of cyber-attacks, loss of customers’ funds, limits on transferring funds and inadequate market integrity. Inefficiency. Novel technology is not the same as better technology or better economics. That is clearly the case with Bitcoin: while perhaps intended as an alternative payment system with no government involvement, it has become a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster. The volatility of bitcoin renders it a poor means of payment and a crazy way to store value. Very few people use it for payments or as a unit of account. In fact, at a major cryptocurrency conference the registration fee could not be paid with bitcoins because it was too costly and slow: only conventional money was accepted. To the extent they are used, bitcoins and their cousins seem more attractive to those who want to make transactions in the black or illegal economy, rather than everyday transactions. In a way, this should not be surprising, since individuals who massively evade taxes or launder money are the ones who are willing to live with cryptocurrencies’ extreme price volatility. In practice, central bank experiments show that DLT-based systems are very expensive to run and slower and much less efficient to operate than conventional payment and settlement systems. The electricity used in the process of mining bitcoins is staggering, estimated to be equal to the amount Singapore uses every day in electricity,16 making them socially wasteful and environmentally bad. Therefore, the current fascination with these cryptocurrencies seems to have more to do with a speculative mania than any use as a form of electronic payment, except for illegal activities. Accordingly, authorities are edging closer and closer to clamping down to contain the risks related to cryptocurrencies. There is a strong case for policy intervention. As now noted by many securities markets and regulatory and supervisory agencies, these assets can raise concerns related to consumer and investor protection. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act. Moreover, there are concerns related to tax evasion, money laundering and criminal finance. Authorities should welcome innovation. But they have a duty to make sure technological advances are not used to legitimise profits from illegal activities. 16 See Digiconomist, “Bitcoin energy consumption index”,
What role for the central bank? Central banks, acting by themselves and/or in coordination with other financial authorities like bank regulators and supervisors, ministries of finance, tax agencies and financial intelligence units, may also need to act, given their roles in providing money services and safeguarding money’s real value. Working with commercial banks, authorities have a part to play in policing the digital frontier. Commercial banks are on the front line since they are the ones settling trades, providing real liquidity, keeping exchanges going and interacting with customers. It is alarming that some banks have advertised “bitcoin ATMs” where you can buy and sell bitcoins. Authorities need to ensure commercial banks do not facilitate unscrupulous behaviours. Central banks need to safeguard payment systems. To date, Bitcoin is not functional as a means of payment, but it relies on the oxygen provided by the connection to standard means of payments and trading apps that link users to conventional bank accounts. If the only “business case” is use for illicit or illegal transactions, central banks cannot allow such tokens to rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and freeload on the trust that it provides. Authorities should apply the principle that the Basel Process has adhered to for years: to provide a level playing field to all participants in financial markets (banks and non-banks alike), while at the same time fostering innovative, secure and competitive markets. In this context, this means, among other things, ensuring that the same high standards that money transfer and payment service providers have to meet are also met by Bitcoin-type exchanges. It also means ensuring that legitimate banking and payment services are only offered to those exchanges and products that meet these high standards. Financial authorities may also have a case to intervene to ensure financial stability. To date, many judge that, given cryptocurrencies’ small size and limited interconnectedness, concerns about them do not rise to a systemic level. But if authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability. Most importantly, the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies should not make us forget the important role central banks play as stewards of public trust. Private digital tokens masquerading as currencies must not subvert this trust. As history has shown, there simply is no substitute. Still, central banks are embracing new technologies as appropriate. Many new developments can help. For example, fintech and “techfin” – which refers to established technology platforms venturing into financial services. These are changing financial service provision in many countries, most clearly in payments, and especially in some emerging market economies (for example, China and Kenya). While they introduce the possibility of non-bank financial institutions introducing money-type instruments, which raises a familiar set of regulatory questions, they do present scope for many gains. Conclusion In conclusion, while cryptocurrencies may pretend to be currencies, they fail the basic textbook definitions. Most would agree that they do not function as a unit of account. Their volatile valuations make them unsafe to rely on as a common means of payment and a stable store of value. They also defy lessons from theory and experiences. Most importantly, given their many fragilities, cryptocurrencies are unlikely to satisfy the requirement of trust to make them sustainable forms of money. While new technologies have the potential to improve our lives, this is not invariably the case. Thus, central banks must be prepared to intervene if needed. After all, cryptocurrencies piggyback on the institutional infrastructure that serves the wider financial system, gaining a semblance of legitimacy from their links to it. This clearly falls under central banks’ area of responsibility. The buck stops here. But the buck also starts here. Credible money will continue to arise from central bank decisions, taken in the light of day and in the public interest. In particular, central banks and financial authorities should pay special attention to two aspects. First, to the ties linking cryptocurrencies to real currencies, to ensure that the relationship is not parasitic. And second, to the level playing field principle. This means “same risk, same regulation”. And no exceptions allowed.
submitted by stellan0r to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The Bitcoin Ideology

The digital gold rush is upon us and I thought it would be helpful for those that only see Bitcoin as an investment to understand the philosophical reasons to own Bitcoin. To the bitcoin warriors out there, keep doing your thing to promote this revolutionary protocol. Peace and love.
IF you’ve only recently tuned in to the seemingly endless conversation about bitcoin, you could be forgiven for thinking that the digital currency is little more than the latest Wall Street fetish or a juiced-up version of PayPal. After all, so many headlines in the last few weeks have focused on its market price and the cool stuff you can get with it: Bitcoin breaks $1,000! Bitcoin plunges by a half! Bitcoin has a banner Black Friday! Use bitcoin to buy a ride on Richard Branson’s starship!
But all the talk about bitcoin’s value (or lack thereof) obscures the fact that it was never really meant as an investment nor primarily as a way to purchase sex toys or alpaca socks — let alone a brand-new Lamborghini. One could argue that bitcoin isn’t chiefly a commercial venture at all, a funny thing to say about a kind of online cash. To its creators and numerous disciples, bitcoin is — and always has been — a mostly ideological undertaking, more philosophy than finance.
“The ideas behind it — that’s what attracted me,” said Elizabeth Ploshay, a regular writer for Bitcoin magazine, which describes its mission as being “the most accurate and up-to-date source of information, news and commentary about bitcoin.” And if the magazine has a mission, so, too, does the subject that it covers. As Ms. Ploshay explained it, bitcoin isn’t merely money; it’s “a movement” — a crusade in the costume of a currency. Depending on whom you talk to, the goal is to unleash repressed economies, to take down global banking or to wage a war against the Federal Reserve.
For those with an uncertain understanding of its history, bitcoin entered the world on Jan. 3, 2009, when a shadowy hacker — or team of hackers — working under the name Satoshi Nakamoto released an ingenious string of computer code that established a system permitting people to transfer money to one another online, directly, anonymously and outside government control, in much the way that Napster once allowed the unrestrained transfer of music files. In a 500-word essay that accompanied the code, Nakamoto suggested that the motive for creating bitcoin was anger at the financial crisis: “The root problem with conventional currencies is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.”
It was fundamentally a political document and, as such, it attracted followers among libertarian and anarchist groups who saw in bitcoin a means of removing the money supply from the grasping hands of government. In blog posts and at bitcoin conferences around the globe, these evangelists began to spread its gospel. It is only in the last few months, as bitcoin has attracted the attention of political parties, regulators and speculative investors that the narrative of bitcoin as a tool for change has been drowned out by a simpler story line: that of bitcoin as a kind of crypto-credit card — or, even more, as a digitized casino game.
“Price is the least interesting thing about bitcoin,” said Roger Ver, an early investor who is often called, in a typical movement phrase, the Bitcoin Jesus. “At first, almost everyone who got involved did so for philosophical reasons. We saw bitcoin as a great idea, as a way to separate money from the state.”
While the bitcoin hype has inspired Ron Paulian dreams of evading inflation and undermining the Federal Reserve, the currency has also gained cachet among less conspicuously conservative adherents, like the founders of BitPesa, a start-up firm in Nairobi, Kenya, that plans to help Africans abroad send money to their families at home. According to the World Bank, $1.3 billion in remittances is sent each year to Kenya, a process that costs about $110 million in fees. By using bitcoin’s peer-to-peer technology to avoid banks and wire-transfer companies like Western Union, BitPesa hopes to reduce these fees by two-thirds, saving ordinary Africans $74 million annually.
You know you’re talking to a true bitcoin believer if you hear the word “disruption.” But that’s how bitcoin is seen within the broader movement: as an unruly tool with potentially transformative effects on entrenched businesses like retail payment and asset management.
“Right now in the United States, bitcoin is mainly considered a get-rich-quick scheme with a little financial privacy thrown in,” said Jon Matonis, the executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, the self-proclaimed center of the decentralized crusade. “But its larger implications down the road are major disruptions to certain legacy industries.”
Mr. Matonis added that the ideology of bitcoin was wide enough to accommodate people on all points on the spectrum — “from libertarian capitalists to socialists.” It not only has a following among the anti-central bank crowd, he said; it has also proved attractive to communitarians like the residents of the Kreuzberg neighborhood in Berlin, which now boasts the highest density of businesses accepting bitcoin in the world.
There are even those who see bitcoin as the ultimate alternative to the global banking system. Ryan Singer, a co-founder of the bitcoin exchange Tradehill, based in San Francisco, compared the currency to email, conjecturing that it would gradually supplant traditional banking, just as digital messaging displaced handwritten letters. “When kids wake up to the fact that they don’t need their parents’ help to create a bitcoin wallet,” Mr. Singer said, “when they can use bitcoins for free international transactions, at any hour, in every major city on the planet, then you’ll know that something has changed.”
Perhaps the best proof of bitcoin’s ideological underpinnings is that a schism has emerged in recent weeks between moderate elements in the movement who sense the necessity of cooperating with officialdom, and a more uncompromising faction that wants to keep bitcoin free from any government regulation. The hard-line bloc is exemplified by the crypto-anarchist developers of a bitcoin product called Dark Wallet, which is scheduled to be introduced next year and will include extra protections to ensure that bitcoin transactions remain secure, anonymous and difficult to trace.
“We see this as part of the total sublation of the state,” said Cody Wilson, Dark Wallet’s director, who gained fame earlier this year when he published online the blueprints to a pistol that could be manufactured with a 3-D printer. “I know I sound like some kind of weird Jehovah’s Witness, but we’ve only just begun. We admit that we are ideologues.”
submitted by mw8912a to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Just returned from a kind of bitcoin awareness cycle from Cape Town to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. Happy to answer any questions if anyone is interested in the possibilities of bitcoin in sub Saharan Africa.

I spoke to a large number of individuals such as owners of internet cafe's, local merchants, backpacker managers etc.
My goal was to promote bitcoin as a vehicle of transfer mainly and not to expose people who might be financially vulnerable to potential losses in price fluctuations.
Mobile cashless transactions are big in Africa and it is one of the few technological areas where Africa is leading the world. This, together with governments which are unable to regulate the free market; people who lived through hyperinflation (and therefore understand the relationship between government and money supply) and the culture of using mobile credit as an alternative currency, makes it one of the perfect testing environment for crypto-currencies.
My next leg will be from Livingstone, Zambia through Tanzania and Kenya. These are areas which are well versed in M-pesa.
I would also like to tap into your collective wisdom for ideas on how to maximise my reach, the possibilities of starting an anonymous blog for that purpose so that you can make me aware of key places or businesses I can target as well as me reporting back so that you can interact and guide new bitcoin entrepreneurs .
Pic related: it's me and my bitch
submitted by frankros to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: I am Jeffrey Sachs, Professor and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. I’ll be teaching a free online class on sustainable development starting this month. Ask me anything!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-01-15
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Professor Sachs thank you so much for doing this AMA. I've always argued that if agricultural subsidies were cut around the world it would be more effective in lifting people from poverty than all aid combined. It seems that lately developing countries have also gotten into the ag subsidy trap. Is it possible we've reached a point where reducing global ag subsidies might hurt the poor more than it helps them? There is a lot of use of open source, and a lot more on its way. Free apps. IT-based service delivery. Some really great stuff. I think the classrooms will also be transformed through online curricula.
Hello Dr. Sachs, I was wondering if you could respond briefly to a few questions I have had for awhile. I was in the military and deployed overseas when I read the Shock Doctrine and could verify everything that she claimed when I was in the Middle East. I have since been discharged and I pursued an Economics degree during which I took an Economic Development course. In the course, we reviewed your new and refined writings/theories and I had also wished to ask you these questions: 1) What is your retort to what Naomi Klein so succinctly documented about Free Market reforms and the subsequent repression to maintain them the world over. “The idea is to get the guys heart beating again. And it’s a bloody mess. But you don’t have any choice.” Do you still hold to this rational? 2) In your revamped understanding, you state that it is immoral to experiment because you would be withholding funds from a given population, but how do you reconcile this as an academic who is trying to solve poverty without the faintest idea of what works because of a lack of data? Secondly, do you not see that the big push is a logical fallacy if the only reason as to why it could fail is from there not being enough? Thanks for asking. I don't think that Naomi Klein understood my own work and ideas (which by the way are all on the record). She lumped me, for some reason, with extreme free-market economists, which I am obviously not. I've been concerned with social justice from the very start of my work, and therefore argued for debt cancellation and social spending in Bolivia, for example. She overlooked all of those complexities, to make her story line go smoother. I certainly agree with much of what she wrote in general, but she did not depict my own ideas and approaches accurately.
Do you believe that, if our basic instinct as humans is to adapt and survive, then the most logical course of action to tackle the 'big issues' we face is to harness the power of greed within an acquisitive framework of business? I.e. the Triple Bottom Line approach, using models to create multiple value effects yet based on the inherent need to further one's position to create security and success. In short, can or must greed be good? I think that starting with "human nature" is right (as did Aristotle, by the way). But we are more than greed. We are a mix of greed, compassion, honesty, cheating, and much more. Humanity in all its complexity. Therefore, greed (markets) are one motivator, but so too is morality a crucial key to success.
I read 'The End of Poverty' and I have to say, I am a huge fan of that book. I often cite your work to support ideas like that sweat-shops aren't necessarily the evil they're portrayed to be. Since the book, how much, in you eyes, has changed in the world? Do you feel like leaders sat up and took notice? Also, from your perspective, what is going well or not so well with the US economy? The most important thing that's happened since 2005 is that the idea of ending extreme poverty has actually begun to take hold. People see the success of China in ending poverty, the start of real poverty reduction in Africa, and the power of the new ICT technologies. Because of this optimism, the World Bank Development Committee voted in April to take on the goal of ending extreme poverty globally by 2030. So the idea is there, step by step.
ending extreme poverty globally by 2030. So the idea is there, step by step. O.o rly? sounds like a dream to me. I live in Uruguay and with the corrupt government we have i doubt we could make such a thing. I'm seriously thinking in move to another country. I thought that Uruguay was doing better in governance. You don't think so?
Hi Professor Sachs- I just wanted to say that I've read some of your work and I really admire it. I was wondering how you would respond to some of William Easterly's arguments, such as that made in "Democracy and Good Government", where he claims that there is an inherent contradiction in giving money to sitting governments (which is in and of itself a political act) and expecting them to reform. Also, it seems in a lot of your work that you believe that governments will work in the interest of their people, rather than for themselves. What is it that has drawn you to that conclusion so firmly? What do you believe will happen to the villages of the Millennium Village projects once the project term ends? To what extent are measures being made to equip government officials with the skills they may need to govern? I believe that aid can be designed in ways that promote accountability and transparency. This is how the Global Fund has worked most of the time. It's been a good and successful model. Yes, we should promote a high degree of transparency. Remember that much of the corruption starts from the side of the rich countries and their companies.
Hello from Western Australia. Thanks for offering this online course! Practical questions: (hope I did not just overlook pertinent info on main page). a) a course book is mentioned - what book is that? Is it referring to the 'free, online text'? b) Will the times of the various video hang-outs be at various times of the day - to cater to the from around the world crowd? c) Will the weekly video links remain active for the rest of the course, once they are up? Thanks. All the details will be available once the course Link to goes live on January 21. a) Yes, the course book will be a free, online text on sustainable development to accompany the class b) Exactly – the times of the video hangouts will vary in order to accommodate as many time zones as possible, and the specific times will be posted ahead of time. They will be conducted in English, Spanish, French, Hindi, and Chinese. c) Yes, the links will remain active for the rest of the course once they are posted. Please do tune in to the class, more information will be up once it is live next Tuesday!
If automation moves to the point where sweat shops are no longer needed for the labor intensive goods produced in developing countries, do the people of developing countries have a real alternative to becoming serfs? The question of how automation, robotics will affect development is crucial and UNSOLVED. I will discuss it in class. There is as yet too little thinking about this.
Dr Sachs, there's a growing movement in international development to study impact empirically, and a good amount of the evidence coming back so far has shown ineffectiveness in many aid projects. Your book posits that this is because we are not investing enough in the projects we have, while other theorists (like Easterly) would rather invest in different projects. Do you think there is a middle road in this discussion for sustainable development? And how far do you think empirical studies can be trusted when so much of developmental success is context-specific? We need to be smart in our aid policies, using knowledge, experience, and EXPERTISE outside of economics (such as in public health). The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, and GAVI are examples of aid success. We should measure and evaluate programs, but use methods that are appropriate to the circumstances. There is too much of a one-size-fits-all strategy to evaluation these days (too much on randomized trials, excluding other means of evaluation).
I saw you in "Commanding Heights" and learned that you advised several countries face their staggering economies. Quite amazing! Thanks for doing this AMA! Do you see need for the US and EU to face the trouble their currencies are in, especially after measures taken since 2007/8? Have you had time to dive into bitcoin and what are your thoughts? You know, I've worked on currencies for 30 years but not yet on Bitcoin, but many (many!!!) people have been asking me about Bitcoin recently, so I need to start my own education on it. Sorry to be a laggard!
My name is Nikolas Tsaousis. I'm from Cyprus Professor ill follow your course on line and i have questions 1.How many times in the week the lectures it will take place and when? 2.Can we have access to the videos at any time because we are +7h EST time? 3.The interactions can happen verbally or only by text in the time of the lectures? 4.Who we are going to add in Hangout TAs to place our questions? 5.All the information's they will send to us by mail so we have the correct sides? Personal quest: On 20 of January I'm flying back to my country from USA and still up 21st GTM time 19:00 i reach Cyprus how I will be able to follow lecture 1? Glad to hear you’ll be following! All the logistical information regarding the posting schedules, etc, will be up on the coursera course page (Link to once the course goes live next Tuesday January 21. The videos will be posted weekly, every Tuesday. Once the lecture videos are online they will stay up for the duration of the course, so you can watch whenever you’d like. There will be weekly google hangout videos with myself and the course staff, where you can submit any questions; the details of how to join will be on the website. Even if you can’t join at the time, you can go back to watch the videos later. There will also be discussion boards, and I’m looking forward to answering more of your questions and having interesting discussions there! The information will all be available on the coursera website, and you will also receive email updates if you’re registered.
I'm fascinated by the new environmental technologies like billboards pulling drinking water from the air, or Mexico City's smog eating paint. What technology do you look at as having great potential? Probably the single most important breakthrough in recent years has been the dramatic decline in price of photovoltaics, which have fallen by a factor of 100X since 1977. 1 Watt of PV now costs less than $1 dollar. This will make possible an enormous upscaling of solar power in many parts of the world.
How do you think microfinance (and microcredit in particular) can help alleviate poverty? Is that of any help to the poorest people, or only tho those slightly above that level? Microfinance is a proven useful tool, but not a single magic solution. it can help households to start small business and to smooth income fluctuations. Some people thought it was a single panacea, but alas, it's not powerful enough for that.
What's your take on the Affordable Care Act? How do you think it compares to a single payer approach, as seen in Canada and the UK? Give me single-payer ANY DAY!!! It's the lobbies that block it.
Why are you not devaluing education through free courses? As an economist, I would think you'd be very wary of removing price signals from any product, especially one with so much investment as a college-level course. I am thrilled that anybody can join in my lectures through an online experience. The marginal cost of that is essentially zero, so I'm happy to be supplying that "service" to anybody that's interested.
Public Health advancements stand out among the successes of the Millennium Development Goals. Does the international community’s recent failure to raise the bare minimum $5 billion for the Global Fund indicate that global health will not factor prominently in the Sustainable Development Goals? The Global Fund is still trying to close the $5 billion. I'll be speaking with several governments over the next few weeks as well to help close the deal. The name of the game is PERSISTENCE. It takes time to convince governments!!!
Dear Prof Sachs, thank you for doing this AMA. If I understand correctly you once stood in favour of big-package approach to development, rather than very targeted randomized trial, which due to their narrower focus, have the benefit of being easier to evaluate (they can be randomized). Where would you stand today on this debate? What do you think of the Banerjee-Duflo approach to development? I think we have many ways to knowledge, and should limit ourselves to things that fit randomized trials. That would be an arbitrary and unnecessary barrier to tacking great challenges. That's the point I've been making, e.g. regarding public health. I'm happy to say that the evidence on public health is supporting the ambitious agenda. There is a place for RCTs (randomized controlled trials) but only one place among many methods.
As many borders in Africa were established in Europe in the 19th century, do you think that an AU/UN guided attempt to re-draw borders peacefully (and democratically) would increase the overall cohesive structure of most nations on the continent? The borders are often very arbitrary, carving Africa up into 54 countries on the continent itself, plus islands. The carving has left 14 landlocked countries (I believe that's the number), plus incredibly arbitrary divisions of ethnic groups, spread across countries. Yet solving this by redrawn borders is probably not feasible. More feasible is to increase economic and social integration in Africa, so that borders matter much less. Also, more investment in good transport infrastructure!!!
Which country teaches sustainable development in schools? Is this an effective way to know the importance of this topics for the world? How can we do it? When the world adopts Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, we should all work to ensure that SD and the SDGs are taught in all schools as part of the curriculum. This will be an important step in global problem solving!
Hi Jeffrey, I had the pleasure of taking a class from Lisa Cook at MSU, and we actually studied a paper you two wrote together. My question is how would you recommend oil rich countries in Africa harvest their resources without degrading their environment? Do you think that's even a likely achievement? Oil development can be done effectively, with the money used for true development. It requires far more transparency of financial flows, far more policing of environmental abuses, and far more long-term policy planning. I am working with several governments to try to stop the resource curse and turn it into a resource blessing.
What will happen to the Millennium Villages after the MDG's expire? Will the program be sustained at its current level or are there any plans for expansion? The MVs will be evaluated at the end of 2015, and we will make course corrections and improvements as needed in several national programs underway to scale up the MV model. So the basic notion of using community-based rural development will continue past 2015, for sure. It's working in many powerful ways, but will have even clearer evidence in 2015 on many important detailed issues.
Hi Professor Sachs, believe it or not I'm writing this from Nairobi! I'm a Columbia College senior, and I've been spending the past week here at the CGC getting to see some of the great work that's being done with the MVPs. Great to hear from you. (I'm in Moscow now, myself). So good that you are visiting the CGC.
My question is what your goals are for this course, and what you think students stand to gain from taking it? The course will offer an intro to the marvelous field of SD. And as I'll explain, I believe that Sustainable Development will be a central theme of our age, and especially for your generation. A world of 8-9 billion people will need to learn how to live productively and peacefully together, and at peace with the planet itself. That will be the subject of the course.
What would you consider to be basic steps, it even crucial steps, that those of us living in the industrialized work should pursue to lessen our drain on global resources? We need to focus on ending the environmental damage were causing. This means, for example, converting our energy system from fossil-fuel dependence (oil, coal, and gas) to low-carbon sources, such as hydro, solar, wind, and in my view, some nuclear power (though that one, of course, is the most controversial). It also means changing agricultural patterns that deplete soils and groundwater.
Hi Professor, thanks for doing this. What role would you say access to family planning has on alleviating poverty at the aggregate level? Also its impact on sustainable development? Full disclosure: I am looking into doing an MSc dissertation on this topic over the summer. Family planning is very important. Development success has almost always depended (in part) on a voluntary reduction of high fertility rates. When fertility is reduced, then each child is able to get a better start in life. Economists call this the "quality-quantity" tradeoff in number of children in a poor household. Many countries in Africa still have fertility rates even above 5 children in poor households, and the poor parents are unable to provide adequate nutrition, healthcare, and education for such a large number of children.
What would you consider to be the strategies to end poverty while increasing sustainable development in third world countries? I think that the key to ending poverty and increasing sustainable development is "investment-led growth," with investments in people (health, nutrition, education, training), plus investments in infrastructure (such as low-carbon energy), plus investments in "smart" systems using information technologies.
Does the Millenium Development do any work within the United States to alleviate the poverty that goes unrecognized or undereported? The Earth Institute, which I am very honored to direct at Columbia University, is beginning several projects right here in NYC. Some of them involve, for example, using a community-health-worker model to reach underserved populations. Also, scaling up public health screening in NYC schools.
There's been a push over the past few years to "buy American" (wares made in America). To me, this goes against Globalization (a trend that would ultimately make the world a the manufacturers and drive down prices). Whats your stance on the protectionist attitude and buying only made in America wares? This kind of protectionism is especially damaging, and is seen by poor countries are a kind of "cheating." How are they supposed to develop if the rich-country markets are closed to them?!
Water is often a scarce commidity in very poor areas. Do you see any possibilities of treating salt water to make it potable and/or so that it can be used for irrigation? Also, how do you see water scarcity leading to violence in areas with little or no rain? There are many technologies to recycle water, or desalinate, or to use mildly saline water in some cases. Yet the local specific are crucial. Water scarcity can absolutely lead to poverty, famine, and conflict. The evidence is very clear on that.
I know you taught Dambisa Moyo at some point. What's your take on her argument "DEAD AID" regarding Africa? Unlike Dambisa Moyo, I believe that aid is needed and can be organized effectively and respectfully. I am very happy with the successful scale up of aid for public health in the past decade. It has saved millions of lives and helped to promote economic development.
What is the most extreme, ridiculous proposal you've ever seen to fix climate change that is just crazy enough to work? It sometimes seems that the most "ridiculous" idea is that the governments actually agree to do something, and do IT. 21 years later, that's not yet happened. The goal now is for a comprehensive agreement in Paris at the 21st meeting of the signatories of the climate change agreement (COP21, so called), to take place in December 2015. Working now towards success of that.
What do you recommend to switch to a career in sustainable dev? Located in NYC, already in a masters program, but having trouble being useful. Thx! The great thing about SD is that many fields can contribute -- business, law, public health, social worker, nursing, medicine, etc. So if you've got some good Masters skills, that's a great start to searching out some opps in business, government, or NGOs.
Prof. Sachs, what do you think is the best way to engage companies so that they contribute to the sustainable development of the countries where they work? Each company should have a sustainability division and a code of good conduct. Companies should not create damage to the communities where they operate, or to the planet, EVEN if such behavior is "legal." Companies have responsibilities not only to shareholders but to stakeholders (communities, workers, suppliers, customers, and the planet!)
Are you pesimistic about the european future because of the aging population and its impact in the economy and sustainability, or not? Ricardo from Spain. I'm optimistic about Europe (and love European culture, cities, and heritage). I'm also not against aging. :-) I believe that Europe still has the best model of social democracy, combining high productivity with social justice and environmental protection. Yet clearly some EU institutions and processes really need fixing!
Hi Professor, thanks for the AMA. I've spent time working with World Bank employees on several projects. While not going into specics, do you think change must be instituted through large institutions such as World Bank? Our political system is inherently disabled in many ways abroad, and it seems that economics are the key force at play and will remain the major motivator in developing a sustainable future. Thoughts? The World Bank can play an important leadership role, and I know that the new World Bank President Jim Kim is committed to doing so. I'll do my best to help the institution fulfill its new commitment to work to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Prof. Sachs, it's always fascinating to read the endless retorts you and William Easterly have on the subject of development economics. Aside from what we're exposed to in numerous essays, how would you describe your relationship with him? There are days when I'm happier and days when I'm less happy. We're colleagues and friends, but sometimes I'm simply amazed (and not happy) when he declares that "aid has failed." This is simply NOT RIGHT!!! :-)
What is your opinion of lifelong learning and its potential to eradicate poverty? Lifelong learning, including online courses!!!, will be the way of the future. I'm in Moscow today, and the Deputy Prime Minister said exactly that too. Good news.
Dear Prof. Sachs, will you address the discussions about switching from the classical economic growth paradigm to a transition period towards a way down? thanks from Brazil. Yes, we will talk about new growth paradigms, certainly!
What do you think are the most important aspects that we need to take up in the United Nations post-2015 development agenda? The key is to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that cover all three major areas of sustainable development: economic development (including the end of poverty); social inclusion and lower inequality; and environmental protection. I'm hoping for a set of 10 concise SDGs to help guide the world during 2015-2030.
Dear prof. Sachs. I wonder if you consider the following case a "resource curse" Since the end of WWII, Greece (actually its elites) has received various money injections. Marshal Plan, "Jacques Delors" assistance, EEC and EU money, and €300bn on cheap loans. We have a situation with of great malfunctioning of institutions and citizens having no trust in them. We also have countless fraud cases, as well as a largely destroyed production base, since all our growth was on imports with borrowed money. Would you consider easy money as kind of a resource curse? I love Greece, I have to say. Gift to the world. Beautiful country, wonderful culture (and food!), unbelievable history, great friends. But alas, soft governance, corruption for too long, and now a harsh crisis that Germany should do more to ease. I am a believer that Greece would recover much faster if the government puts forward a clear growth strategy to motivate export-led growth and new business startups.
Why subjects relating to Sustainable Development are not part of the curriculum of the primary schools, high school and universities; if we know that is toward that direction to which we have to go? We have to start from schools to change our paradigm about development. What is your opinion about this gap? I am hoping that the world will have Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the years 2015-2030, and that schools at ALL levels from primary to post-graduate will teach age-appropriate curricula about SD. You are right!
Greetings and thanks for offering what promises to be a fascinating course! My question would be: what do you see as the biggest global challenges to implementing Sustainable Development and where do you see the most inspiring innovations that look like they might overcome those challenges and where do you see the UN within this framework? Thanks. Have a look at the website for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network ( to have a look at the report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (Link to That describes, I hope, a good summary of the SD challenges will be discussing in class!
What role do you see art play in a sustainable society? Art plays a vital role for the health of the soul, for our wellbeing, which is a key purpose and part of Sustainable Development!
Your book "economics for a crowded planet" was the reason I went to study economics at university! My question is how would you go convincing corporations that are fixed on increasing the value of their stocks, to actually care about the environment? Many companies are already on side I'm happy to say. They see the future, and also the need to protect their reputations. Many CEOs actually want to do good. We still have to get more oil companies on board, that's for sure. And we need a sound regulatory policy in any event.
Dr Sachs, I am a fan of your works that I have read (The End of Poverty and The Price of Civilization) and wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this and for generally forwarding developmental economics around the world. My question is: if you could instantaneously achieve any one of your development goals which would you choose and why? I'd start with the health goals, since those are life and death. And then (or simultaneously) the hunger goal (obvious reason) and then education. Of course once people are alive and properly nourished, education becomes the KEY!
Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, First hand, I thank you for this opportunity to join you in learning from someone as knowledgeable as yourself, its a great honor for me. Im from Costa Rica, in 2006 I was honored with an opportunity to pursue an undergraduate degree at DePaul in business management. The first book I read was ¨The End of Poverty.¨ I used it throughout my college years for multiple papers and still consider it one of the best I have ever read. Where can this additional knowledge that I will acquire through your course take me? I am unemployed right now and wish to work for the private or public sector in matters related to finance-banking and sustainable development, can you help with this? How may we network an employment opportunity abroad or in Costa Rica? How may I assist you for future educational matters? Is there an opportunity to use my country as a hub for projects of this caliber? Thanks for writing, and joining the class. We can all learn from Costa Rica, which has had some very innovative successes in the "green economy." In general, I believe that Sustainable Development offers job opportunities in all sectors: government, business, and civil society (NGOs). Good luck!
Do you see the world shifting to a more eastern centred focus? By this I mean, the BRICS and the rising economic powers of the east will rise high enough to not be so dependant on the west? This could also values, like suggested by Kishore Mahbuban. Yes, the center of gravity of the world economy is tending to shift from the North Atlantic, where it's been for centuries, to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Basin. The rise of China is a great game changer, together with the economic strength of Japan, Korea, Singapore, and others.
Professor Sachs the third world countries are in the developing rute. But they are doing this as India and China did it: sacrificing the natural resources. What are the options to new nations in order to have a real sustainable development? One key is to use the new information and communications technologies to the maximum, and to use renewable energy -- especially solar power and wind power -- to the maximum. Technology will be crucial for sustainable leapfrogging.
Thank you for your dedication and persistence! And thank you for this course - I am very excited to participate in this collaborative intention. For a number of years I have been exploring what I call Transformational Global Leadership, defined as "the ability to generate fulfillment of a seemingly impossible vision for every human being.". What are your thoughts on the need for new models of leadership designed to deal with current global challenges? Yes, we need transformational leadership, and can look at great examples in history: the fight against slavery, the fight against colonialism, the fight for civil rights, the fight against apartheid, the fight for human rights, and so on. In each case, bold, clear, powerful leadership played a key role.
When the government or culture in an area does not support elimination of poverty, have you seen other ways to make substantial progress, or is the government/leadership really the key to success or failure? Government is necessary. The tools of policy (taxes, regulation, public subsidies of science, public investment) are indispensable. They are not the only things that matter, but without government, broad-based and sustained development is not really possible. Of course, governments do not need to be perfect. Thank goodness!!!
What is the active participation expect from third world countries which are rich with biodiversity, in achieving millennium development goals? The countries rich in biodiversity (e.g. Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Rwanda, etc.) hold that biological heritage for all the world. We should helping those countries, including with financial assistance through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to preserve and protect the biodiversity.
Do you thing we can use some indigeneous vision as "Good living" to adapt them as sustainability solutions ? Yes, the question of "good life" or "happiness" is essential. Please see the 2013 World Happiness Report (online), which discusses this approach.
Last updated: 2014-01-19 18:27 UTC
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Something to consider funding in the future. It's a weird looking bird, but super rare. Kakapo, from New Zealand. I emailed them asking for them to consider accepting Doge, hopefully they respond in the affirmative.

Here's the email I sent, any pointers or constructive criticism would be appreciated, as I am considering reaching out to other groups in an attempt to spread awareness of Doge and would like to do so in the most effective manner possible. Anything I should be mentioning, or anything I should omit?
"I don't presume to know how technologically savvy the staff are at your particular operation, nor am I aware if you have been approached about alternate methods of donation, but I'd like to propose another avenue of funding that would take a minimal amount of effort on your part that in the long run could be incredibly beneficial to the preservation of the Kakapo ( I had honestly never heard of the bird before tonight, they're beautiful, though a little bizarre to be honest).
The alternate method of funding I was referring to was that of altcoins, more specifically Dogecoin. Perhaps you've seen some of the recent media surrounding Doge. If not, then I'll give you a brief intro. It's essentially like Bitcoin but without all the negative press, the community raised enough money ($30,000 USD) to send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Sochi Olympics, as well as another $30K to send to doge4kids - - in an initiative that paired service dogs with children as well as needy families through cooperation with 4 Paws - - an organization which has been active in New Zealand if I'm not mistaken. The latest initiative is to raise $50K in order to drill water wells in Kenya - - for impoverished communities. Besides, we already have a little experience with birds, as our community raised over $6K USD for science, specifically helping to fund a project that studies American crows - And this is only after 3 months of existence as a community! It's one of the reasons I became involved with the group, I believe in the technology, but the community is amazing.
I know the idea may face some resistance, it's a new technology, the value of the currency can/does fluctuate, but the risk on your end would be minimal if you were simply going to convert the Doge to a government backed currency. It costs very little to transfer Doge from one "wallet" to another (provided you set one up, it's fairly simple actually), in fact, it costs far less than a wire from a bank, nor are there charges as high as those associated with a cred card/PayPal. It's also global, presents no risk to the sender (in terms of financial info being intercepted), and transfers are extremely fast (within minutes)
I hope you give this offer serious consideration and that you don't dismiss this letter without at least visiting some of the links (or at least reading about our charitable initiatives). I may have just discovered this bird, and our community may seem a little goofy, but I can think of few things I'd rather donate to than the preservation of this bizarrely beautiful bird. I realize that I can donate using a credit card or PayPal, but I (and the community) love to use our Dogecoin for a good cause. All I ask is that you please consider us as a potential revenue stream.
Thank you for your time and reading this to the end (I know it wasn't as short as it could have been). And best of luck with your beautiful birds!
Jon Ford
You can find me on Reddit as user: jf_industries The main Dogecoin community can be found here:
Please, feel free to approach us with any questions or concerns you may have. Our community will be more than happy to assist you in any way we can."
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How To Sell Bitcoins In Kenya Bitcoin looking to as a vehicle to move the country’s digital trading systems forward Joe Mucheru Talks Bitcoin and Blockchain in Kenya Citizen Extra ? A 'Kenyan' Bitcoin Cashing Out Bitcoins on BitPesa

You have two options when considering where to buy or sell bitcoin for Kenya shillings. One option is the members of the Blockchain Association of Kenya who broker bitcoin and digital assets locally. Another option is to head over to an online peer-to-peer marketplace where you can exchange regular money for digital assets. Here’s a list of alternative platforms for p2p trading. We have left out blockchain-based exchanges like OpenLedger, CounterParty, Etherdelta, and others due to the lack of fiat currency support. BITSQUARE. Bitsquare is a fully decentralized Bitcoin, altcoin, and fiat exchange. We say it is fully decentralized because even the platform itself Market value: $7.3 billion Litecoin (LTC, $130.31) was created in 2011 by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, forking the original Bitcoin blockchain as a “lightweight” alternative (hence the During Bitcoin Wednesday on 1 April 2020, Will Ruddick, the founder and director of Grassroots Economics, will present his experiences in community inclusion currency and the development of local economies in the face of the C19 pandemic. Will has developed three community currency programs in Kenya since 2010. Instead of being minted or printed, bitcoin is digitally-mined. The currency’s volatility is, however, a cause for concern. The price of a bitcoin rose from $13:40 in January 2013 to peak at $1,120.40 in November last year. Since then, the price has been on a general downward trend.

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How To Sell Bitcoins In Kenya

A 'Kenyan' Bitcoin - Duration: 18:15. Kenya CitizenTV 7,104 views. ... Blockchain taskforce say Kenya is ready for digital currency - Duration: 3:12. Kenya CitizenTV 3,620 views. . Citizen TV is Kenya's leading television station commanding an audience reach of over 60% and in its over 12 years of existence as a pioneer brand for the Royal Media Services (RMS), it has set ... The CS for ICT, Joe Mucheru, in an interview with Citizen TV, explained why Kenya needs to adopt the Blockchain technology and embrace cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He explained that in order to ... Kenya's Central Bank has long made it clear it does not approve of BitCoin - the famous crypto-currency. But it's said nothing about the technology behind BitCoin. We find out more about that. Kenya may now be looking at bitcoin, the volatile global digital currency, as a vehicle to move the country’s digital trading systems forward. Despite protests from the central bank and the ...

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