Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Doing Liberty Right

Through my blockchain startup I intend to build the most sophisticated digital tools to put at the service of the democracy movement in Russia. The Russian people have to take the lead. The Russian diaspora has to take the lead. I did similar work before Facebook with barely a blog and a mailing list hosted for free by Google. But then we also wrote before computers. It will not hurt to have the tools I intend to build.

Liberty is at risk in the United States. The same tools could be used to take this country to a new Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson expected a constituent assembly every 30 years or so. It has been way more than 30 years.

Racism is fascism. It is the opposite of liberty.

The same tools will neutralize the surveillance state that is China. But the proof is in the pudding. The work of liberty will take China back to a 10% growth rate, clean energy powered. Perhaps the CCP needs to be broken up like AT&T. Xi is Brezhnev. Perhaps there is an emerging figure in the Chinese Communist Party who successfully pushes the case for political reform.

The same digital tools will turn Saudi Arabia into a republic. The smart monarchies in the Gulf will volunteer to become constitutional monarchies. The not so smart ones will pave the way for repubics.

The same digital tools will take e-Estonia like government services to every poor, nascent democracy on the planet and help build the institutions of democracy.

Voting should be eezy peezy. Noone should be without a digital identity that they can take to the bank that resides on their phones.

Facebook and Twitter did not topple Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. The people did. Facebook and Twitter were just digital tools.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

18: China, India, Russia

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Local people in China can immediately tell that Gong is a Chinese living abroad, as he – from time to time – still uses the small banknotes and coins in his wallet long since discarded by locals.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Silver Lining For China On Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Endgame Scenarios

The Chinese currency is nowhere close to full convertibility. And so Shenzen can not replace Hong Kong for China. Hong Kong has been and will continue to be indispensable to the Chinese mainland. More than 60% of Foreign Direct Investment that goes into China goes through Hong Kong, and that figure is a low point.

But Hong Kong is not the "Silicon Valley" of hardware. That is Shenzen.

Something is cooking up in the Hong Kong Bay Area that is really interesting from the tech and innovation viewpoint. Shenzen is number one for hardware in the world, and there is this thing called the Internet Of Things hanging on the horizon. There are also robotics and drones: physical things.

Hong Kong is not being destroyed. Hong Kong is being rejuvenated. That is how I look at the current protests.

The quickest way to end the protests is for Xi Jinping to say, okay, you can have a directly elected Chief Executive. It beats me as to why he will not do that.

A successful conclusion to the Hong Kong protests will not end one country, two systems and will take free speech in Hong Kong to a whole new level. And there will be much innovation as a result.

The Hong Kong Bay Area reminds me of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Also, South China Sea would be a great place where to build the ocean cities of tomorrow. Don't build on Mars. Build in the South China Sea. It has six key components: gravity, water, air, food, capital and demand.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

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Navigating The Hong Kong Protests
Hong Kong: A Crisis For Capitalism As Much As Communism
News: Hong Kong, Plan B, Mainland, Bubble Tea Summit
Hong Kong 2019: This Is 1989 For Asia
Hong Kong Should Take The Plunge
China, US, Hong Kong, Xinjiang
Universal Basic Income (aka Freedom Dividend) Is Not Free Money
Hong Kong Should Inspire America?
Hong Kong Protests: The World Should Not Watch A Possible Massacre

What I am attempting in Hong Kong is the butterfly effect. I have done this once before. For Nepal in 2005, 2006. But this is much larger in scale. I think it is doable. The most effective way to proceed is to make all parties feel like they have been heard and they have been understood. There has to be intense listening. But also fearless calls for action every step of the way.

Trying To Understand Hong Kong And China
News: Hong Kong, Kashmir, Vigilantism, Curfew, Terrorism, Diaspora
Hong Kong, Non Violence Works
Globalization 4.0
Xi Jinping Should Act
The Asymmetry Between Beijing And Hong Kong Is On Hong Kong's Side
Defiant Hong Kong
The Two Wangs
Hong Kong: Antennae Problem?
Hong Kong: No Police Solution, No Military Solution, Only A Political Solution
Hong Kong: Let The Dragon Grow Up

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

India, China, Cryptocurrencies, And What's Up With Banning?

China might have active censorship of the Internet, but it knew better than to ban the Internet. China might have disallowed Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. inside China, but it actively nurtured Chinese versions, most of which are huge in size by now.

Banning cryptocurrencies is not like banning Google, or Facebook, more like banning search engines, or social networks. Cryptocurrency is not a company. It is an entire class of application. The Blockchain is the fundamental technology, just like the Internet. There are many cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that sit on top of that Blockchain. Take just one Bitcoin. There are many, many companies who all deal with Bitcoin. The Bitcoin is basically a ledger. It is bookkeeping.

There are too many bright minds in China and India to want to skip something that is going to be 100 perhaps 1,000 times more monumental than the Internet. The Blockchain is as inevitable as the Internet. There is no skipping the Blockchain.

But there is a feeling that US-based Bitcoin dealing companies go into all these countries and suck money out of the system. People buy Bitcoins with real money. But the Bitcoins they buy then is no longer in reach of the respective central banks. That the governments of China and India seem to see as a problem. Is that a problem?

What they fail to see is the Bitcoin challenges the global hegemony of the US dollar like China has long dreamt about. Donald Trump's anxieties about trade deficits would go away if the US dollar is no longer the global currency by default. So looks like even the US government ought to be rooting for crypto.

Just like the Internet has been free speech in a concrete form in places that have yet to enshrine free speech through the traditional political route, the cryptocurrencies challenge the global hegemony of the US dollar, as well that of the central banks of the world. Crypto gets rid of both inflation and deflation.

Instead of trying to stop cryptocurrencies, countries like India ought to try to shape them. There are glaring governance issues. There are obvious questions.

If citizens in a country like Venezuela were to move their money from the local currency suffering the plague of hyperinflation onto the crypto realm, does the central bank in Venezuela become toothless? No. It can still print more money.

Being able to easily move money is a boon for the average person in a country like India. That is the most immediate application of the Bitcoin. For the number one remittance country in the world, it is curious India might want to ban crypto. Don't you want the Indian diaspora to be able to send money to India in frictionless ways?

It is true right now is the wild west phase of the crypto. Too many people are using it as a speculative exercise. Many of them will lose money. By the Indian government's count, there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies floating right now. This is the dot com mania all over again. If Ethereum were to collapse, whatever that might mean, there is no entity that will reimburse you for the money you might have used to buy those crypto coins. Is the Indian government seeing a crypto crash in the near future? And preparing for it?

The G20 should instead take the initiative to try and create a B100, or Blockchain 100, a G20 like grouping of the top 100 Blockchain companies by market value that would meet annually, and hold transparent debates and discussions to forge the ground rules for cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain in general.

For example, it should not be easy for anyone to simply launch a cryptocurrency. Unless a cryptocurrency meets the basics of the rules laid out by the B100, it would lack B100 certification.

The number one rule ought to be that no matter who you bought the cryptocurrency from, that money does not sit with any one company, but rather sits on top of the Blockchain and thus is indestructible. The company that was your gateway might go out of business, but your money will stay safe. The number two rule ought to be that every person who buys and holds a cryptocurrency must tie it to a valid biometric ID, traceable by the Interpol for law enforcement purposes. You don't want druglords and crime masters to be able to easily move money. That would create havoc.

China, India, and the United States, one of which has already acted, another is about to act, and a third has expressed anxieties at the highest levels, ought to help create the B100.

It necessarily means that the B100 would together create a super-secure database of a digital, globally available, biometric ID for every human being on earth that is collectively owned, created and maintained by the B100, that meets the highest standards of privacy and security, is kept out of reach of governments unless they show up with warrants issued by recognized courts. All ground rules following crypto companies should be able to access that database for transaction purposes.

These concerned governments should not throw out the baby with the bathwater before the baby is even born.

Indian government panel wants cryptocurrency holders jailed, but can’t deny its tech has merits
The Growth of Cryptocurrency in India: Its Challenges & Potential Impacts on Legislation
Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency faces more backlash
Facebook won't launch Calibra or cryptocurrency Libra in India
Move to ban cryptocurrency has Indian blockchain firms worried
Understanding India's Cryptocurrency Crackdown
India's central bank bans financial firms from dealing with cryptocurrency
What is Laxmicoin, possibly the first legal Indian cryptocurrency?
Proposed Indian Ban on Crypto is Even Harsher than China’s
A history of the development of cryptocurrency in India
Has RBI’s Ban On Bitcoin Killed The Future of Cryptocurrency In India?
No Blanket Ban on Cryptocurrencies in India, Government Says
Warning: India is Heading Towards Clueless Bitcoin Regulation, Here’s Why The only concrete steps the world’s sixth largest economy took all these years were: raid cryptocurrency startups, portray bitcoin as a scam via half-baked media coverages, and – to top all – ban its banking sector from offering services to cryptocurrency industry. When the Western economy had moved forward with bitcoin, India started walking backward....... the multifaceted nature of cryptocurrencies. The technology converges multiple disciplines – of securities, currency, and commodities – making it difficult for regulators to assess its exact use case from a user’s point of view. Before the banking ban, RBI and SEBI passed the burden of regulating cryptos to each other, never realizing how they would define the asset class. It is one of the reasons why one cannot help but be skeptical about their intentions to deliver a robust legal framework in four weeks. ...... With any luck, RBI would have realized by now that its banking ban is not working. On the contrary, it has moved the bitcoin market underground. ...... both the regulators would first define how they would separate utility tokens like bitcoin from security tokens like a company-backed equity coin...... In the worst case scenario, SEBI and RBI would call an outright bitcoin ban after taking inspirations from their neighbor China. Practically, that does not change anything for Indian crypto users, which are already trading bitcoin via peer-to-peer methods. However, for an economy that boasts of being the world’s largest IT hub, India will lose a lot that it would gain by shunning an emerging sector.
India's First Cryptocurrency ATM Launched In Bengaluru
India signals ban on cryptocurrencies, embraces blockchain
An Indian government panel wants ‘Digital Rupee’ to replace all private cryptocurrencies The report admitted that the distributed-ledger technology behind digital currencies can have positive effects if deployed in financial services, but their most popular application, cryptocurrencies, have “risks associated with them”. ..... India must consider introducing an official virtual currency, or the “Digital Rupee”, to replace private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin....... As opposed to traditional ledgers, which store records of financial transactions in a centralised database, distributed-ledger technology uses local electronic ledgers that synchronise and share the data. The elimination of central record keeping makes financial transactions operationally more efficient and secure. ....... “The distributed-ledger technology-based systems can be used by banks and other financial firms for processes such as loan-issuance tracking, collateral management, fraud detection and claims management in insurance, and reconciliation systems in the securities market”....... Private cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value and cannot replace fiat currencies”, it added, recommending measures that could potentially destroy the crypto-ecosystem....... The Garg panel recommends penalty and imprisonment for those who directly or indirectly “mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, transfer, dispose of or issues cryptocurrency”....... private cryptocurrencies have not been recognised as legal tender in any jurisdiction....... Ajeet Khuranna, CEO of crypto-bourse Zebpay, which was compelled to shift out of India last October, said India will miss out on the benefits of distributed-ledger technology.

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