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Bitcoin Cannot Be Ignored in Geopolitics Days Ex Dutch Bank Executive

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As more events unfold in the global economy, Bitcoin gradually becomes a leading indicator of hidden geopolitical tensions. As stated by Peter Tachir a former executive at a German at a multinational investment bank.
A signal of what is brewing behind the scenes in Chinese trade talks
Peter Tachir, Forbes contributor and a former executive director at Dutch bank, had iterated the fact that the Bitcoin price action observed could serve as an indication to what’s brewing behind the scenes on Chinese trade talks, according to an article stated by Forbes on July 30.
Tachir had made his observations based on the correlation in the price movement of Bitcoin and major news in the industry. He had cited his previous research saying that there was a surge in BTC in the month of May as the United States President Donald Trump had revealed that a trade deal with China was looking tenuous
Tachir was of the strong opinion that there is a strong correlation in the price of Bitcoin and the headlines in the past few days. He stated that the BTC/USD pair has been experiencing some decline amid ongoing talks and rising amid negative headlines. He made reference to a tweet made by Donald Trump which stated that:


While the former exec also admitted that there could be other factors that could have been responsible for influencing the price of Bitcoin, he concluded that Bitcoin’s value as a “leading indicator into behind the scenes geopolitical tensions” should not be ignored.
 

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Hybrid blockchain and Algorand

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Blockchain systems keep evolving as new discoveries spring up in the community of digital technology. The community is not only finding dynamic ways to make the transactions swift and secure but also modifying previous technologies for supreme results.

If you’ve wondered what hybrid blockchain means for the blockchain system and how it relates to Algorand, then this is the content you should be reading. For newbies, we will quickly breakdown core concepts of blockhain systems before we talk about the good stuff. 

Blockchain simply means a digital ledger, systematically distributed, that records all transactions executed among various players in a network.  Participants could be businesses or individuals and each are linked to the blockchain with an identical copy of the ledger. These participants are referred to as nodes.

Now, for us to grasp the idea behind hybrid blockchains, we must first understand what public and private blockchains are. Public blockchains, are permission-less by design. This means that it would allow virtually anyone to conduct transactions and join any consensus protocol being conducted, as long as this party is connected to the internet. 

Public blockchains possesses zero restrictions, making it possible for interested users to download that software, bring in fresh blocks, verify information or run their own nodes on the blockchain.

If you have observed the volume of activity that takes place on public blockchains then you now know the reason. Its pemission-less design makes it a hotspot for tons of nodes which go on to form a distributed, large-scale network of node which verify other nodes and communicate. Each of these nodes in this network is independent. 

Despites it’s unique benefits such as anonymity, immutability, openness and high security, public blockchain cannot guarantee users privacy. Also because it requires zero permission for anyone to participate, public blockchains commonly have very low efficiency in comparison to other blockchain types like private blockchain for example. Most corporate organizations and governments are known to opt for other types of blockchain due to the vulnerability of public blockchains to unethical activity, its high cost and instability. 

On the other hand, private blockchains are the opposite of public blockchains. They are permissioned networks which require permissions for participants to conduct any action on the blockchain. Joining this type of blockchain is by invite-only and to keep it secure, information is often times encrypted. Efficiency and stability are primary features of private blockchains.

Unlike public blockchains which are saturated with nodes, private blockchains are cost-effective since they do not demand much to maintain. They also do not have the anonymity and immutability of public blockchains. Private blockchains are managed by either a small body of entities or a singular entity.

Now what is hybrid blockchain and what is the connection to Algorand?

Hybrid blockchain is a unique network in blockchain that integrates both public and private features to bring about a transaction space that is flawless. In other words, this blockchain is centralized and decentralized at the same time. Users are presented with security, transparency, reduced cost of transaction and privacy, all in one blockchain. Members of a hybrid blockchain choose which transactions are made public and who gets to join in. This means that though transactions are private, they are open for public access. 

Why is the hybrid blockchain so remarkable?

Hybrid blockchain takes all the best features of public blockchains, all the best features of private blockchains, and incorporates them together to form one of the most incredible blockchain systems to ever be developed. The structure of hybrid blockchain goes a long way to help businesses and governments maintain control and flexibility over their data. While big organizations want to enjoy the benefits of a blockchain, none of them are willing to manage the risks that come with conducting transactions. Hence, the value of the hybrid blockchain to these organizations. An example of a hybrid blockchain is Algorand.

Algorand blockchain is the first blockchain platform in the world to develop a trustless and flawless Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol which offers users a decentralized platform to conduct scalable, safe transactions.  This sort of decentralized platform is highly needed in the world’s current economy as it grows. 

What does Algorand technology do really?

 The answer is simple. The Algorand technology eliminates technical barriers, that prevents transactions on its blockchains from being decentralized, scalable and secure. Its design makes its consensus mechanism trust-less and to guarantee efficiency, complete participation and protection its Pure Proof-of-Stake protocol is fully utilized.

Coordinated by winner of the Turing award, Silvio Micali together with his team of highly skilled mathematicians, engineers and cryptographers, what users have with the Algorand blockchain is a platform that is committed to churning out the best solutions for the future of economic exchange. Today, the most recent version of Algorand consists of multiple functionalities to accommodate the demands of many businesses.

Its most unique functionality is the layer-1 fundamental which enables atomic transfers, tokenization of asset, smart contract creation. This brilliant feature has facilitated the cooperation of decentralized exchanges and stablecoin who are currently making the most of Algorand’s remarkable blockchain system which helps them to manage resource-extensive applications and resources.

It would interest you to know that though Algorand blockchain is categorized as hybrid blockchain, it is also a very public blockchain courtesy of its permission-less nature.  With Algorand blockchain, users have true decentralization. Unlike the average hybrid blockchain, Algorand blockchain has no one contact point or influential central authority. Publicly available for anyone with internet access to audit with an open-sourced node repository, it is one of the best examples of a hybrid blockchain. This explicit characteristic of Algorand blockchain ensures exactitude, transparency and objectivity.

Now while Algorand blockchain has the same features of a hybrid blockchain, it is not like your regular hybrid blockchain. The inclusiveness and collaboration of Algorand blockchain is sustained by a supportive, dedicated community wholly driven by the vision of a scalable, borderless economy on a global scale. This means that Algorand blockchain is more of complimentary to the overall features of conventional hybrid blockchains. 

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Tighter AML/CFT Checks Emerge As US Regulator Traces ‘Privacy Protection Backed’ Transactions 

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It appears that the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to be able to pry into wallet holders’ accounts the way they have central access to digital dollars in traditional bank accounts. In light of this, Ricardo Spagni, Monero’s Privacy Maintainer, recently explained that regulators’ determination to control privacy in the crypto sector may continue to be in vain as smart cryptographers are always a step ahead of regulators.

Talking about Monero, this protocol which was released in 2014, is a private, untrackable and secure token. It allows maximum privacy in transactions as users’ identities are protected. No regulator gets to know the details of users’ transactions nor the amounts that users transfer, except if they so allow themselves.

Government Interested In Blockchain Users’ Privacy

Many regulators, the world over, are increasingly getting interested in controlling protocols that ensure the privacy of users. For a fact, the United States’ IRS employed the services of two Blockchain Analytics Firms: Chainalysis and Integra FEC so as to develop a tool that will enable the agency to track transactions on Monero and Layer 2 protocols as the firm had previously done to monitor on chain activities for privacy tokens like DASH and (ZEC). 

Looking at the rate of financial crimes in the world today, the government probably has genuine reasons to develop tools that will enable transparency and allow the tracing of transactions on privacy enabled protocols. This is especially as allowing absolute privacy of transactions may fuel money laundering or even financing of terrorism. To this end, the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) released a whitepaper dubbed “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework“ on the 8th of October 2020. The department emphasized that enabling anonymity enhancing cryptocurrencies (AECs) that run private blockchains will result in money laundering and easy financing of terrorism.  

Ricardo Spagni explained that the best option for the government is to lay down checks and controls (regulation) at the entry and exit points, anything other than that is going too far, according to him.

According to him:

“Payment service providers and merchant service providers are sorts of the points at which they can apply a degree of regulation. And that I think is feasible.”

Users may be required to ascertain their location or may have to go through checks before their transactions are approved in the case that they are using a Merchant Service Provider.

Privacy Coins Are Here To Stay

As at press time, the brains behind Monero are able to detect bugs made by external forces and will fix them so as to protect the privacy they have promised their users.

The Chief Economist and Co-founder of a Blockchain Analytics Firm (Elliptic) Dr. Tom Robinson, emphasizes;

“Untraceable cryptocurrencies such as monero are here to stay…in the short term, it may well be possible to find exploits in these systems and trace transactions to some degree, but these bugs will be fixed.”

As a matter of fact, Monero has gone ahead to upgrade its functions by creating the “Oxygen Orion,” which will inadvertently boost the present uptight security.

Government Desires to Prevent The Financing of Terrorism and Money Laundering

Although the government’s rationale for wanting to trace transaction details may be made in utmost good faith, this may give a leeway to hackers to abuse even a controlled system of limited access to accounts. Spagni laughed off the present passive surveillance methods of tracking bank accounts, facial recognition systems, and reports of suspicious activities by the traditional  financial systems. He emphasized that the government has to take their game to the next level when it comes to trying to control emerging technologies.

David Jevans, the CEO of CipherTrace, a blockchain forensics firm notes 

“Our position is that financial privacy is important, and people should be able to pay for day-to-day expenses without having to fear hitting regulators’ radar and providing identity proofs.” 

This is an opinion that a lot of people may not agree with because if indeed the transactions are made in good faith and they are compliant, no trader or merchant should counter transparency to the degree that the government is asking for. 

It appears that the government will have to find a legitimate solutions model that will strike a balance between countering financing of terrorism and anti-money laundering checks on the one hand while making sure that the model does not stifle the privacy concerns of users. 

Some regulated exchanges are already taking the hint and developing ways to support privacy coins with a legally compliant model.

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Yele Bademosi: I was kidnapped by SARS

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  • I was kidnapped by SARS in 2019 – Yele Bademosi, CEO, Bundle.Africa
  • SARS Operatives extorts Nigerians, now accepts Bitcoin – Hon. Akin Alabi, Member, House of Reps.
  • Yele Bademosi branded Yahoo Boy by SARS after he was kidnapped
  • SARS collected N51,000 from me and demanded N1 million – Yele Bademosi
  • There must never be a time when we fail to protest #EndSARS. – Yele Bademosi
  • ‘’It was one of the scariest experiences of my life”.- Yele Bademosi

The CEO of Bundle.Africa has come out to say he was kidnapped by some members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad popularly known as SARS in Nigeria in 2019. The incident which happened between 10:30pm to 1:30am is similar to what others have already described in time past. According to Yele Bademosi, he was less than two minutes away from his home when he was kidnapped by the SARS operatives and taken to from Lekki to Ajah and then to Ikoyi whilst stopping to harass other young adults. The operatives failed to listen to him.

Mr. Yele narrated how the operatives took his phones, wallet, house key and Apple Watch. He said the SARS operatives didn’t care for his ID cards and immediately branded him a “Yahoo Boy” – a term used to describe individuals involved in internet scams.

N1 million Demands, Fake Call and Continued Threat

Mr. Bademosi described in his tweet how the operatives demanded the sum of 1 million naira and made a “fake” phone call to their commander and threatened him that he would sleep in prison. He said they also asked him to withdraw the only naira he had on his account which was N51,000 at an ATM. He continued saying “They forced me to open my US bank accounts and said I should transfer USD from my Bank of America account to my GTB. I cried and prayed because I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t understand why and how this was happening.’’ ‘’It was one of the scariest experiences of my life”.

In the words of Yele Bademosi, “SARS must be banned” “They have no place in Nigeria and we must hold our government and leaders accountable. This could be any of us; we shouldn’t wait until we lose a loved one before we take action. As young Nigerians, there are so many times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest #EndSARS.

House of Rep Member, Hon. Akin Alabi Speaks on the SARS issue, SARS operatives now collect Bitcoin.

Oloye Akin Alabi, honorable member of the House of Representative has also spoken out on the activities of the SARS operatives. In a video posted by him on Twitter, he said, it is shameful and disrespectful that in 2020, the talk of police and by extension the SARS is still an issue. He said the average Nigerian is more afraid of the Police than armed robbers.

Hon. Oloye Akin Alabi who also founded NairaBET reiterated what Mr. Yele Bademosi has already said, the SARS operatives take victims to the ATM when they cannot take cash from them. He also said in his words ‘’ we now hear they even accept cryptocurrencies, they accept bitcoin. It’s now terrible Mr. Speaker.  

The #EndSARS Protest in Nigeria is currently on and it is one of the largest movements by the people of Nigeria to fight against their oppressors and hold their government accountable.

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