what about people who bought low and sold high? im sure there's at least 1 person who did that. or are you talking about making money from holding bitcoin?
Blockchain technology is real world technology. It can help to solve really challenging problems and make real world systems more efficient / productive / cost effective / autonomous.
The two are in no way comparable... if you're looking for a comparison to Second Life which happens to use blockchain technology, check out Decentraland: https://decentraland.org/
Not a big fan of bitcoin here, but there is a difference which I don't think it's captured by that "lack of centralized control". And it is that bitcoins exist as some sort of mathematical object, that is guaranteed in its working and will exist forever as long as there are people mining the blockchain.
They remind me a bit of the ever expanding, mathematically deterministic Autoverse in Egan's Permutation City, for those who have read the novel.
No, sorry, such dichotomy is irrelevant. What's relevant is that Second Life didn't get traction.
How's Bitcoin doing as a technology? Lots of traction! Now it remains to be seen where it can keep it. What applications does it have? I'm not sure, as right now there's some 250k backlogged transactions because currently the blockchain can't seem to handle even a trivial number of transactions.
If by traction you mean massive, wild speculation. If by "traction" you mean "shipped a functional product that does something for the mainstream", bitcoin has a long way to go. In fact, Bitcoin's flaws are so deep and unfixable it will never see non-speculatie mainstream adoption, period. Same with pretty much the entire crypto "space".
You know how bubbles work, right? What I mean is that what you've described is compatible with the "bubble" hypothesis just as it is compatible with the "disruption" hypothesis. I need to see the thing solving problems to believe the thing.
This is just me though, I'm not trying to convince you. The point I meant to make in my previous post was not a case for/against Bitcoin, but against the idea that "Bitcoin is nothing like Second life". It is in some important sense: there is a reasonable case for both and it's still too early (now for Bitcoin as at the time for SL) whether they can deliver on their promises of disruption.
EDIT: But if you want to talk about the credibility of Bitcoin, I notice you didn't respond to my observation. I don't care if it's $0.5tr or $500tr: there's still a backlog of 250k transactions. The thing is unusable right now. Now, this might be solved, yes. But right now it's a serious concern. Do you not agree?
And yet here we are.
It's easy to dismiss in hindsight. If crypto-currencies turn out a fad it will have been so easy to predict that people will wonder how anyone could be tricked into buying. And if it eventually succeed, people will wonder why anyone could be this stupid not to have invested, since success was so obvious.
I live in Sweden and I can buy something from the US in minutes over the Internet and the fees are pretty reasonable. Would a crypto currency have any advantage over the current situation?
I'm sure the userbase has dropped off massively since the hype phase, and I'd be surprised if anyone's making millions from SL "Real" estate any more, but it seems to still have its niche.
I wonder if ten years down the line BTC will have found a niche like that, where it ticks along unremarkably, just being used rather than hyped.
Ironically, a black swan isn't really at all - just unknown. Which really is Taleb's point: black swans aren't as rare as they are priced to be.
But the moment your case is perceived by authorities as political or somebody with power finds your business interesting, one gets BIG troubles. Now, by playing by the rules one can protect somewhat from the "business" interests, so the situation is better than, for example, in Russia. But political part is very unpredictable and it is impossible to know which action can cross the line.
Lukashenko is a dictator. Being able to change laws at a whim is a defining characteristic of dictatorship.
* power delegated to the President by statute passed by Congress
* powers explicitly and exclusively delegated to the President by the Constitution (of which there are few)
It's a misconception that the President can issue an "executive order" that overrules Congress. Such an order would have no force, and would fail in front of a federal court --- you saw this with the original Trump Muslim Ban.
It is quite typical for many countries and Belarus is definitely not the worst one in this sense. For example, the situation in Latvia and Estonia is much worse because everything is ok and fair but only until you have "right" ethnic origin (citizen of 1st class) - otherwise, if you do not belong to the titular nation then you are in trouble - the whole system will play against you.
No, not really. Especially not if you are conducting business.
I wouldn't trust the guy who broke the law on purpose. What he did is entered the territory using a fake passport, after he was specifically told by the government the he can't do this. And he did it not for any valid reason, but just to create hype in his blog. Pretty idiotic thing to do.
Anyway situation with this blogger is totally irrelevant to the Decree of Digital Economy that was signed today.
I am having trouble finding an independent source for this claim.
Belapan is one of the biggest informational agencies in Belarus.
Российско-израильский блогер Александр Лапшин был задержан в Минске 14 декабря 2016 года по запросу Азербайджана, который объявил его в международный розыск за незаконное посещение Нагорного Карабаха.
The Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin was detained in Minsk on December 14, 2016 at the request of Azerbaijan, who declared him on the international wanted list for illegally visiting Nagorno-Karabakh.
Лукашенко заявил, а Шуневич подтвердил, что Лапшин был задержан в Минске не по инициативе Азербайджана, а потому, что находился в розыске по линии Интерпола. "Мы согласно решению Интерпола его задержали. И согласно всем законам и порядку мы должны его передать Азербайджану.
Lukashenko said, and Shunevich (Minister of Internal Affairs) confirmed that Lapshin was detained in Minsk not on the initiative of Azerbaijan, but because he was wanted by the Interpol line. "We, according to the decision of Interpol, detained him and, according to all laws and order, we must transfer it to Azerbaijan.
Belarus had no interest in this guy and his destiny. He has 3 citizenship (Russia, Israel and Ukraine (denounced)) and got himself in the middle of Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict. All this countries, except for Ukraine wanted Belarus to do something different, release him, transfer him, etc. Belarus just did what international law says and washed the hands off. Right after he was transferred to Azerbaijan he apologized for wrong-doing and was released by the president of Azerbaijan and sent home to Israel.
Emphasis on "independent". I see a bunch of Belarussian sources saying he had an Interpol warrant out and a bunch of Armenian sources saying he didn't . BBC simply says "Azerbaijan issued an arrest warrant" for Lapshin's arrest , with no mention of Interpol. (Note: Interpol's charter bans, at least in theory, disputes of a political nature .)
I think decision to transfer this guy to Azerbaijan was the right one. He violated the law, used the fake passport and wrote crap about them as a country. Why Belarus should cover up his shit and decide who's right and wrong in this story? They got the warrant and send his ass there. Done deal.
Next time when you travel, use valid passport, be respectful to the locals and you get the same treatment in return. Always worked for me. He did totally opposite and got burned. Good thing he's doing OK now, at home and hopefully learned the lesson.
That's cool but not what we're talking about. OP said Belarus jailed a journalist. You said it was in response to an Interpol warrant. We have impartial evidence of the jailing. We have no impartial evidence of your claim.
P.S. Also he's a blogger, not journalist. And the story of Belarusian jail that OP referring to is full of shit, even some Belarusian opposition members who spent some time there, not few days like this guy, wrote in comments to the article that he wrote mostly bullshit. Of course it's not a resort, and for someone who got there first time it can be tough and shocking, but it's not as bad, as he describes.
I have been reading this guy for many years and tend to believe him more than the "Belarusian opposition journalists" (Belarusian opposition can exist only outside of Belarus or inside mother earth).
What I think happened, after he was released by Azerbaijan he decided to make as much profit out of this story by generated hype as possible. And wrote the fairy-tale about this jail. Don't get me wrong, those jails are bad, but things that he says in the story are simply not true.
Jails are bad in any country, read here about American jails if you think Belarusian jail is bad:
10 years without trial, how about that?
The point of sources is to separate reality from what some guy on the internet thinks happened. I believe you are being deluded or disengenuoid in this thread.
Not true. I'm Belarusian, and it's the first time I'm seeing this. I cannot say for every compatriot, of course, but "Belarusians often refer" implies something well-known, and it's not the case here. Truth be told, thoughts of majority of Belarusians do not revolve around US policy.
There are effectively no elections held in Belarus since 1994. Any true contenders are crushed and imprisoned, and the votes aren't counted either way.
> the laws change at the whim of the rulers.
There are not too many (probably non at all) places were law changes are voted on by the general public directly.
I really do not think that calling some place "undemocratic" helps. What is more interesting to me is to what extend a place rulers/rules promote or counter oppression.
Democracies are more stable and tend to contain healthier economies, in the long run . Commerce doesn't care about "what extend [sic]...rulers/rules promote or counter oppression." It is meaningful, on the other hand, to consider how long a regime (and thus one's investments) will last, the odds of your employees being jailed for falling out of political favor, whether favorable rules (such as this one) could be re-written, again on someone's whim, et cetera.
Good for the economies. But some great economies happen in non-democratic places. It tells me nothing. I'm more concerned with fighting oppression than promoting the growth of "healthier economy" (what ever that may mean).
> It is meaningful, on the other hand, to consider how long a regime (and thus one's investments) will last
Investment of worker's means (like his house): sure.
Investment of a billionaires fortune: I do not give a shit, it's not in my interest to protect that kind of investment. For the record: I do not believe investment creates jobs, I believe increased consumption and protective economic policy create jobs.
> the odds of your employees being jailed for falling out of political favor
Now THAT'S oppression right there! I really hate that to happen, not because some company owner has to find a new employee, but because a person and their social environment is ripped to pieces.
> whether favorable rules (such as this one) could be re-written, again on someone's whim
Rules favourable to what? Billionaires? Or the common people?
Ask yourself: can you really define the word "economy" unambiguously? Or are you chasing a spook?
You are entitled to your beliefs, but factually you are completely wrong. Without investment, you have no goods to consume. A bicycle consists of many parts. You can’t buy a bicycle without someone willing to mine the metals necessary to make those parts. You can’t mine metals without money to hire people and buy equipment to extract and process those ores. Since people don’t work on contingency, it requires an investment in order to pay people and buy stuff to extract the ores and then someone has to buy the resulting metal and create the tooling to create bicycle parts — which requires capital.
Let’s say government can do all of that — where does government get the money? Taxes. Where do taxes come from? They come from taking a share of people’s production. If people aren’t producing anything, they have nothing to tax.
I suppose investment doesn’t create jobs if you have a society of pure slavery.
Protective economic policy doesn’t create jobs — it stifles them. North Korea isn’t known for its booming economy (or full employment) because they don’t have much outside investment.
Investment absolutely creates jobs because there is one human truth that can’t be escaped — people need to eat and thus they need to be paid. Getting by paid comes from capital and capital comes from investment.
Almost the entirety of Silicon Valley was built on investment. And that creates millions of jobs around the world. Apple alone employs hundreds of thousands in China — jobs that would not exist without investment. Don’t believe me? Have a look at the Chinese poverty and unemployment rates in 1970 long before they began opening up to outside investment.
I get it that’s many people seem to dream of a socialist utopia — however that is a fantasy. It doesn’t exist and it never has because people are fundamentally driven by their need to eat.
It's true that investment creates jobs, but it's also true that there's no investment without consumption.
The current prevailing economic policy consensus is very much misguided in that it only focuses on increasing investment. But investments just won't happen when there's nobody (or rather: not enough demand) to buy the resulting products.
This is why we need more policies that aim at consumption.
As a final thought: the reason why our prevailing economic policy consensus is misguided in the way it is is probably mostly down to motivated reasoning. If your goal is aiming at consumption, you have to look at the lower end of the income and wealth scale (because that's where the marginal propensity to consume is high). If your real goal is to make life even easier for the wealthy, it's comparatively easier to hide corresponding policies under the mantle of helping investment. Hence the focus on investment.
This is a straw man . Consumption is generally recognized as being the dominant component of market economies' GDPs. The IMF's position with regards to China has been, consistently and for years, that they are prioritizing investment over consumption to the detriment of stability.
> You are entitled to your beliefs
Thank you :)
> but factually you are completely wrong. Without investment, you have no goods to consume.
I'm not saying investment in not needed at all. I'm saying that it does not create jobs. The demand for bicycles creates jobs. Not the investment in the production process.
The investment follows the (predicted) consumption.
> I suppose investment doesn’t create jobs if you have a society of pure slavery.
Seriously? Slavery has often been "invested" in. They merrily went hand in hand. Societies that did not have a capital system (like native americans or aborigines) sure were not all slaves. Your statement make no sense.
> Protective economic policy doesn’t create jobs — it stifles them. North Korea isn’t known for its booming economy (or full employment) because they don’t have much outside investment.
I have no idea, nor interest in NK, in this matter. Look at Taiwan, Singapore and HongKong. They were protective and managed to race out of poverty. Now look at the countries that signed every trade agreement the IMF made them sign: all fucked.
> Investment absolutely creates jobs because there is one human truth that can’t be escaped — people need to eat and thus they need to be paid. Getting by paid comes from capital and capital comes from investment.
Dead wrong again. Am economically-rational business owner would rather not pay anyone. The only reason he does is because he needs the worker in order to supply the demand. THE DEMAND comes first, consumption comes first. Thus investment does not create jobs: increased consumption does.
There's a chicken-egg problem there, a consumer needs money to consume, and that often comes from jobs. Investment can break that cycle, but it can just as easily fuck it up. And --as I mentioned-- investment follow (predicted) consumption.
> I get it that’s many people seem to dream of a socialist utopia — however that is a fantasy. It doesn’t exist and it never has because people are fundamentally driven by their need to eat.
If that need is frustrated, yes. But often we have enough food, and housing, and then it starts to get interesting. I'm not dreaming of a soc utopia, I'm being realistic in knowing that it is increased consumption and protective econ policy that creates jobs.
You literally picked three free trading economies , each highly reliant on foreign investment. Hong Kong was explicitly established as a free trading nexus for London and China. The IMF has for years been asking Hong Kong to increase regulation .
In contrast to Belarus, you also picked at least two countries which have defined themselves, in large part, around a respect for the rule of law.
Yes! Protective econ policy does not mean to close borders. It means to open/close when it makes domestic sense. And I'm not talking about their policy today, I mean their policy over the years of working their way out of poverty.
Democracies are overrated. It's not the "silver-bullet-regime", and has it's own set of flaws compared to others. Why is everyone thinking that living in a democracy makes de-facto your life better ?
• The rights of physical and legal entities in terms of token circulation are defined. Legal entities are
entitled to possess tokens, create and list their own tokens through HTP residents; buy, exchange
tokens and perform other operations using tokens only through the cryptocurrency exchanges and
cryptocurrency exchange operators.
• Individuals are entitled to possess tokens; perform mining; exchange tokens, buy and sell them for
Belarusian rubles, foreign currency, e-money, as well as present and bequeath tokens. The mining
activity of individuals, tokens purchasing and sale shall not be considered entrepreneurial activity.
• Tokens and revenues from operations with them shall not be subject to declaration by the
• Turnovers, profits (income, proceeds) from various operations with tokens are not recognised as
taxable items until January 2023.
Unless you're an American. You'll probably be out of luck then.
As you say there is no reason for another plant to be built in the area now, but it'll also mean the Baltic states most likely end up purchasing electricity from Belarus. As they have strong political ties with Russia, that doesn't really help their case in becoming more independent.
MAGATE SEED mission external risks report is overall positive:
Here's interview with vice-minister of energetic where he answers a lot of questions and concerns of Lithuania:
There's 7 more MAGATE SEED missions planned to visit the station and security tests are going according to the plan.
Here's info that crush-tests were made and results provided to EU commission and everyone who wants to know.
What I see is that Lithuania takes totally nonconstructive position. They concerned about security of the station, but at the same time want to pull off the scientists from EU commission that will be working on implementing EU security standards on station.
Reality is this station will be build, because Belarus needs it for energetic security to diversify it's energy consumption from dependency russian gas. Belarusians are the first who interested in high security standards. But Lithuania wants Belarus to stop building it, it's ultimatum and it's not going to work. It's not to late to find compromise decision and Belarus is open for dialog and Lithuania tries to take unfriendly steps like twist the facts and mix up the question about station with the other things. Even swedish deputy said you guys shouldn't bring Europe to two-sided conflict:
I'm actually open to see any documents saying that station violates EU standards from the other side if they exist.
Question 7: How does the Law regulate Blockchain and cryptocurrencies?
It can't. The principle argument that deals will be safe because the HTP residents are 'trusted and respectable companies' is naive and invalidates the fundamentally trustless model of blockchains.
Question 8: How is the mining activity of individuals regulated? Won't they launder funds through Belarus?
Money laundering happens every day with fiat currency, and with cryptocurrencies this is even easier. Exchanging currencies across both blockchains and boarders introduces innumerable difficulties for detection of money laundering.
Do they have technologists telling them, “yes we can track this.” Or do they not actually care about what they claim to, eg: money laundering...?
In the 80's, Luxembourg introduced some progressive tax-incentives for space companies. The inflow of business related to space (mainly satellite parts and software suppliers) has had and enormous impact on the economy of Luxembourg.
I think there's chances in the Crypto/blockchain space for small economies as well.
Politics and underlying motivations aside, it gives a lot of people work opportunities as the field continues to grow.
Then again, what is Europe, geographically? If I count continents, I count something often call "eurasia" as one continent, not two. I think cutting it in two over some mountain rig is a bit, well, arbitrary.
Always a clash of values there.
Come on. This regulation movement is made only to have bigger control over the people. Nothing more.
I think people in the West who do not have to experience having one guy as "president" for 20+ years are either naive or ignorant of how these autocrats or kleptocrats operate.
Fun fact: Belarus still has the KGB and a lot of Soviet era imagery on emblems and such.
Belarus is the source of great engineers that created Viber, Juno, MSQRD, WoT to name a few. PVT revenues will reach $1 bln. in 2017. This decree just added more perks to already existing tax privileges.
The system is stable and growing, why kill the cash-cow? IT enterprise is not and oil factory that you can nationalize. Engineers will take the laptop and fly away same day and your seized company will turn into empty building with zero profit. Even dictators understand it.