July 12, 2019

Business & Trade

‘No One Uses It’ — Bitcoin a Speculative Asset Like Gold

‘No One Uses It’ — Bitcoin a Speculative Asset Like Gold

The Chairperson of the US Federal Reserve has stated that cryptocurrency, if adopted across the globe, would eliminate the requirement of a reserve currency altogether. Before the Senate Banking Committee, on the 11th of July, Jerome Powell analyzed the cryptocurrency system and said that its global prevalence surely would decline the requirement to maintain reserves which are kept as the anchor currency.

The US Dollar is currently the world’s dominating currency in reserves and Powell acknowledges that the preeminent cryptocurrency may demand to redraw the economic landscape. This may have not happened yet, but the signs of the times are telling. The Chairman also stated that he thinks that reserve currencies may soon become obsolete, but widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not too much to go from. Its value remains to be in the balance much like the value of gold.

His comparison of the currency must be noted as he is the custodian for the gold which is being held by the US and foreign governments, and other central banks and international organizations. According to Powell, this estimation has been happening since the inception of cryptocurrencies – from the moment that crypto currency was adopted into the financial system.

He claims the US may have several currencies at hand in the near future.

Mr. Powell has testified before the House Financial Services Committee earlier in the week while acknowledging that Facebook’s contribution of the stablecoin Libra could be impactful on a systematic scale for the financial and regulatory landscape in the world.

Chinese central banking veterans have already characterizes the anticipation for Facebook’s venture as part of the dollarization fashion across the globe, and are unhappy that Beijing must resort to cautious and detailed policy in place to maintain strength of their currency and its value.

The world may not be taking to cryptocurrency all of a sudden, but a slow and sure change seems to be in store, along with stabilization of the value of cryptocurrency if the current monetary climate is to continue.


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Space Age Bitcoin mining on an Apollo AGC

Space Age Bitcoin mining on an Apollo AGC

An Apollo Guidance Computer, which helped in guiding Man to take his first steps onto the moon 50 years ago may come in handy once again! The working AGC has been repaired and restored to its former glory by Ken Shirrif and his team, and is now ready to work as a mining rig for Bitcoin!

The restored AGC could previously perform only 40,000 operations every second, but its speed was not more important than its ability to be useful and an abundance of IO which is needed when a crewed spacecraft is being guided. The success of the Apollo missions relied on it but turning it into a rig for bitcoin may still prove a task.

While overviewing the mining of Bitcoin, with one of the best explanations of the hashtag algorithm, the AGC may be repurposed. Limitations persist regarding the memory addressing scheme of the contraption, and machine instructions which would translate the commands to the machine. However, with some coaxing, the machine seems to have begun its work, and now mines 10.3 seconds per every Bitcoin hash. Ken has estimated that within 400 zettaseconds, one Bitcoin may be mined which is a billion times older than the universe. With 12 quadrillion years to the mining of the very first Bitcoin, interested customers will be able to analyze the situation and educate themselves about it very soon.

This, it seems is not the first time that an attempt has been made to mine Bitcoin to almost no avail. The Xerox Alto mine was considered faster than the AGC. But, the IBM mainframe and punchcards are yet to be beaten!

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Real Estate

Housing-market distress is at its lowest in at least 20 years — can it hold?

Housing-market distress is at its lowest in at least 20 years — can it hold?

Since the housing crisis has been thwarted, lending and regulatory authorities have been hard on their associates so as to never recreate a situation of the likes of what has ensued in mid last decade. This has made it so the environment for borrowing has flourished and housing market observers have termed this scenario too faultless and functional. There have been warnings that since these stresses of the housing financial market have been so low and irregular, it may only be making way for a deflation from this point forward.

In May, the rate of foreclosure inventory, which is the percentage of homes which are at one of the many stages of the process of foreclosure, has been extremely low. It has been a record low which has not been witnessed in 20 years now, and the streak has continued on for six months in a row.

This data has been collected by CoreLogic, a real estate service provider. The company’s data dates back to 1999 only, so it is possible, that this is the lowest rate in over 20 years rather than under.

Delinquencies have also reached a low point since 1999, according to CoreLogic, which has cited that a 50-year low in rates of unemployment, rising prices of homes and responsible underwriting have been culprits in the matter.

 This all time low in factors is followed by a small increase in serious delinquency rates. These are loans which have become overdue by 90 days. For instance, since the California fires, serious delinquencies in the area are higher by 21% as compared to before.

This is to act as a reminder that the housing market as it was prior to the downer may not be too long a way off. Because of natural disasters, micro-economics, and municipal policies which are active in a region, the real estate in its entirety becomes local!

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Law & Order

Cannabis Law Reform Gains Momentum In Congress

Cannabis Law Reform Gains Momentum In Congress

The congressional hearing on marijuana law reform, the first of its kind, at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security was convened on the 10th of July. The debate was held to discuss alteration of federal laws on cannabis.

The majority seems to think that the need for reforming cannabis law is here, but disagreement is reached where it comes to framing the legislation, and the strategic decision to advance it. According to Representative Tom McClintock, E-Calif., decriminalization of marijuana may be among the first issues which will see a bipartisan agreement within this session

.This meeting marks a culmination point of sorts for the marijuana reform movement. Lawmakers have assumed so far that reforming these laws is bound to happen, and the matter deserves a fair hearing. Rep Karen Bass, D-Calif., spoke about the hearing being the first step towards putting the consensus of the nation towards the subject into law.

Proposals which were introduced in the session began from legislation to allow states to have their own policies, to bills which would de-schedule cannabis and include social equity provisions. The spread of legal pot is now causing major payment problems for federal law, since it is still being considered illegal. Due to this, banks and credit card, and debit card companies are too shy to enter into the equation at all, preferring to sit out until policy makers have their word.

Makil Burnett a physician at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who presented a written testimony at the hearing said that this legalization must simply take place. He is the COO of a cannabis business and was also a former policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance National Affairs Office in Washington DC.

Among the popular cannabis regulations, the States Act is the most popular. This policy states that the Controlled Substances Act needs to be amended and exemptions of State approved marijuana activity should be removed from federal enforcement. Proponents of this say that the federal concerns regarding legal marijuana will then be eliminated. However, it is to be noted that no rachial or social profiling has been considered in this bill.

Through these trials and tribulations, the retail industry of cannabis remains to grow and has seen as many as 11 states legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Majority citizen support also favours the decriminalization.

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