Part 2: Towards An Open, Free-Flowing Economy
A world of greater prosperity is possible when we believe in a better future and have the ideas and financial tools to create it. New financial technology is changing the nature of money and providing grounds for this optimism
Part 1 of this article described how concepts of money, credit, and trust are closely intertwined and how historically, these pillars of our financial system have been maintained by centralized and manual processes. New technologies (including decentralized networks and machine learning) are opening up more possibilities and creating a fresh canvas upon which innovation can thrive.
An Expanded Financial Tool-Set
One of these new tools is blockchain technology, which is significant because it allows for data to be verified and kept in sync across multiple places, without the need for a centralised record-keeper. This enables the creation of decentralised crypto assets (like bitcoin) and holds promise to facilitate the creation of many other types of digital assets. Another related tool is the ‘smart contract’: an agreement between parties which is written directly in code and automatically executed if certain conditions are met. Like bitcoin payments, smart contracts can be implemented in a decentralised a manner, without the need for a central third party. However, digitalisation of this kind is not restricted to decentralisation. The economic inefficiencies of legacy financial infrastructure compared to what’s becoming possible will mean that, over time, existing money and credit systems will move to a new natively digital infrastructure. When money is truly digital it will be programmable. This means the financial system won’t just do things more efficiently, it will do entirely new things.
This paradigm shift is happening at this very moment. Whilst most of what’s taken place thus far represents only incremental improvements to a dated financial system, technology is on the brink of not only making the status quo more efficient, but in fact wholly and irrevocably transforming it. We are now facing the possibility of an entirely new financial system where money and credit flow seamlessly, just like how data and information flow across our smartphones today. This will bring down cost barriers, widen financial access, and lead us on a journey towards a global web of frictionless economic interactions.
Free-Flowing Money and Credit
In this vision, personal loans will no longer be based on outdated credit scoring metrics, but become universally accessible, individualised, and dynamically adjustable to specific needs and circumstances. Excess cash in your account will not just sit idly, but will be programmatically lent-out, by the minute, using algorithms that continuously scour the financial system for the most optimal risk-adjusted return. Salaries and bills will be paid in real time, creating a personal finance flux that will afford the individual clarity and control of their financial position to a degree never before thought possible.
Efficient and smart pricing will drive down the cost of lending on both a micro and macro level. Organisations will have far wider access to financing and be able to cheaply issue digital assets that are immediately liquid and tradable on global markets. For individuals, digital assets will increasingly offer the potential to obtain secured loans and financing. For example, excess memory on home computers will be ‘lent out’ in return for interest payments. Other digital items like tokenized computing power will be pledged as collateral in return for cryptocurrency loans — the digital equivalent of borrowing cash from a pawnbroker by leaving your watch as a deposit. We will see new types of mortgages secured by previously unregistered property or land — which will be recorded digitally on immutable public blockchains. The economist Hernando De Soto identifies trillions of dollars of unregistered assets, such as land owned ‘informally’ by the poor in developing countries. If recorded in a trusted and digital way, these assets could potentially be used as collateral to secure loans that help people improve their economic lives.
Could This Democratize Finance?
Widening access to responsible credit is fundamental because credit combined with good ideas leads to wealth creation. Combining the increased flow of information with increased credit provision are two elements that have the potential to dramatically improve individual lives and the ultimate trajectory of global growth. Digital money will oil the wheels of social progress.
The financial reality we are building is one where we have access to information and services that drive us to reimagine our financial lives. Where we all have the tools that enable us to access markets, finance projects, and manage portfolios of investments. This is a world where we think differently about money and finance: where we increasingly believe in a better future because we are empowered with the capacity to create it.
If you want to help build this future come visit us at Blockchain.
NFT Sales Heat Up as Rarible Marketplace Passes $5M in Volume
While decentralized finance (DeFi) has grabbed most of the recent headlines, the non-fungible token (NFT) market has quietly picked up steam over the summer. According to a Sept. 16 report from crypto asset data website Messari, Rarible, an NFT marketplace, has passed $5 million in sales so far this month—more than quadrupling sales numbers from August. […]
The post NFT Sales Heat Up as Rarible Marketplace Passes $5M in Volume appeared first on BeInCrypto.
According to a Sept. 16 report from crypto asset data website Messari, Rarible, an NFT marketplace, has passed $5 million in sales so far this month—more than quadrupling sales numbers from August. The report also noted that $1.5 million of this new volume came on a single day, on Sept. 14.
Rarible is a place where you can create, buy, and sell digital collectibles and, as such, is the beneficiary of surging NFT popularity, driven mostly by digital art. On Sept. 21, the news of a record-breaking digital art NFT sale was announced, with a piece called “Right Place & Right Time” selling for more than $100,000.
Rarible’s numbers, and the general buzz surrounding digital art, have caught the attention of a few big names in crypto. Morgan Creek Digital co-founders Anthony Pompliano and Jason Williams have reportedly made a “big bet” on digital art.
As outlined in Pompliano’s daily newsletter, the bet is based on the idea that digital art will become bigger than traditional art, a market that has had a cap of “$65 billion for the last few years.” By comparison, digital art’s current market cap is around $10 million.
Never one to shy away from a controversial stance, Pompliano went on to state, “my confidence level that we see a future 6,000x increase in the digital art market cap is fairly high.” Because of this, “we [Pompliano and Williams] plan to invest heavily in the space over the coming months and years” he said.
Others, however, were slightly less bullish. The CEO of crypto derivatives exchange FTX and Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried, tweeted a more skeptical take.
The tweet prompted a debate over the value of art, the ease with which “unique” digital art can be copied, and the future NFTs may or may not have.
Adam Back, the well-known cryptographer and founder of Hashcash, chimed in, encouraging Bankman-Fried to consider buying digital art NFTs as art patronage, “you could photocopy it, but then you’re not a patron.”
Digital art is, of course, just one piece of the NFT pie. The fantasy soccer game Sorare, which allows players to collect “limited edition digital collectibles” while also managing a team, has also seen an increase—recording sales of around $750,000 this month, almost half its all-time total.
Iran to Provide Crypto Miners With More Electricity Subsidies
The Iranian government has continued its crusade to support the country’s fledging crypto mining space. In its latest show of help, Tehran has announced a program that will allow miners to access a significant surplus of energy.
A Great Time to be an Iranian Crypto Miner
According to reports from local news media, the Iranian Thermal Power Plant Holding Company (TPPH) has announced a plan to provide three power plants’ electricity output to miners in the country. The program, which will be conducted after a tender, improves miners’ access to one of their most fundamental resources, thus improving their overhead efficiency.
Mohsen Tarztalab, the agency’s head noted that the country’s struggling economy had been a concern for the government. It now seeks to create an enabling work environment that will benefit companies and provide employment opportunities. The country’s electricity has also seen a significant gap between revenues and expenses, and the government sees crypto mining as a means to improve revenues and provide income for the state.
However, the initiative comes with a condition, as miners will only be able to get the output from expansion turbines in plants. According to Tarztalab, this process won’t include any consumption of liquid fuels. By using just natural gas, the government is hoping to make the process as green as possible.
Tarztalab noted that the expansion turbines are independent and don’t participate in the national grid’s electricity production process. So, the government will be able to conduct this electricity transfer without necessarily affecting the country’s electricity production capacity.
A Structured Mining Industry Yields Results
So far, Iran has done a laudable job of legitimizing the crypto mining industry and providing an enabling environment for players. So far, the process has yielded some positive results. In July, local media house Mehr News Agency reported that the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade had issued 14 mining licenses to foreign companies, as investments in the country continued to surge.
Iran’s mining license requirement began earlier this year, as Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri issued a directive to that effect. To get a license, miners would need to disclose information on their officials, the mining equipment they use, and the size of their operations. A report from the country’s Banking and Economic System Reference Media (IBENA) back in January confirmed that over a thousand companies already got their licenses.
Another incentive for registered miners is a reduced power rate, with Mehr News Agency reporting that miners are now getting charged as low as $0.11per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For peak summer season (June to September), however, they will have to pay $0.46 per kWh.
The government has also set up a process that rewards citizens for blowing the lid on illegal mining facilities. Last month, Tavanir, the state power company, announced that it had shut down 1,100 of such criminal outfits already. Per reports, every whistleblower gets a 100 million rial ($480) reward for their help.
Litecoin Transactions Skyrocket as LiteBringer Game Takes Off
In idle fantasy role-playing game LiteBringer, every players’ move is a transaction—and that benefits the whole blockchain.
- The number of daily Litecoin transactions has exceeded 130,000 following the launch of LiteBringer.
- The blockchain-based fantasy RPG allows players to trade their loot for LTC.
- The drastic increase in cheap transactions is good for the blockchain, said LTC Foundation’s project director.
After rapidly growing for the past few days, the number of daily transactions on the Litecoin (LTC) blockchain has reached over 130,000 today—and all thanks to LiteBringer, a decentralized, fantasy game that officially launched on September 15.
“Transactions are exploding on the Litecoin blockchain!! This is due to the [LiteBringer Game] but the best part about it is everyone playing [the] game has to learn about LTC and [its] use as a currency. You can not play unless you have some lites,” Litecoin team member Jon Moore tweeted today.
According to decentralized applications (dapps) DappRadar, LiteBringer has already claimed the ninth place among the top blockchain games with a 2,584% increase in player base since it’s official launch on September 15. In the days prior to the game’s release, the number of daily Litecoin transactions hovered around roughly 35,000–50,000.
While recording every in-game move as a transaction may be seen as “spamming” the blockchain, Litecoin Foundation’s project director David Schwartz argued that the recent increase in transaction count actually benefits the network.
“So has the Litecoin blockchain benefited from the increase in [transactions], but decrease in median LTC [transaction] value? YES Litebringer from CipSoft has brought additional attention and usage of LTC, through micro [transactions] via legitimate gaming,” tweeted Schwartz.
Bringing the Lite
LiteBringer has been in development since 2018 by CipSoft, a studio best known for browser game Tibia Online that launched back in 1997—and still has active players (At the time of writing, more than 7,600 users were online).
CipSoft’s latest project is an “idle” fantasy role-playing game, a genre mobile gamers are quite familiar with. This means that most of the time players assign tasks to their fantasy adventurers—for example, to go on a quest or mine resources—and wait for them to finish.
According to the developers, Litecoin was the blockchain of choice from the start thanks to its low transaction costs and the lack of fee spikes. Another crucial factor is block generation time as every players’ move is basically a transaction on the blockchain. This is why Bitcoin, for example, wouldn’t suit LiteBringer’s needs—players would have to wait at least 10 minutes until the game recognizes their commands.
“Every game operation is stored in the blockchain. Because this can only be done with a tiny transaction, LiteBringer is very vulnerable to spikes in transaction fees. If there is a spike–which happens in Ethereum from time to time, our game would become unplayable for this period,” CipSoft explained.
As Decrypt reported, items in LiteBringer can be traded on the in-game market for LTC, so players can turn all their hard-earned loot into real money. The game also requires a subscription of roughly €1 worth of LTC per month.
Speaking to Decrypt, LiteBringer’s community manager Constantin noted that while it’s obviously too early to make any long-term predictions at this point, the team behind the project hopes that it can help promote the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies beyond the decentralized community.
“It is one of our main goals to reach people beyond the blockchain community. We don’t want to create and demonstrate just another use case for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. We wanted to make an intricate, well-crafted game!” he said.
Ethereum transaction fees are getting out of hand lately, making its dapps too costly for average users and creating a golden opportunity for Litecoin.
Blockchain4 weeks ago
Market Wrap: Bitcoin’s Powell-Induced Price Swing; Ethereum Still High on Gas
Blockchain1 month ago
The US Post Office Files a Patent for a Blockchain-Based Voting System
Blockchain4 months ago
How to Identify the ‘Third Wave’ of Cannabis Investments
Blockchain2 months ago
Wealthfront Lures Millenials With Crypto Memes and Tactics
Blockchain2 months ago
Top Five Most Advanced Cryptocurrencies
Blockchain3 months ago
5 Tips to Interest the Press in Your Cannabis Business
Blockchain3 months ago
Top 5 Most Effective Cannabis Marketing Strategies
Blockchain2 weeks ago
Blockchain Bites: Is DeFi an Inside Deal?