About the significance of currencies, banking behaviour, crypto history, trading and recent developments, all in everyday language.

The Big Bang and Other Theories!

By | South Africa, Tom | No Comments

Big Bang – The past year will become known as the year in which cryptocurrencies damn near exploded or, at least, came into the public domain in a big way. Not only did the number of coin brands increase significantly but Dash gained an apparently sustained growth of around 10 000% in terms of USD while Bitcoin, as the market leader, grew by approximately 2000%.  The year-end has seen Wall Street’s approval of the blockchain as an effective and efficient management tool, as well as the arrival of the first crypto futures market: crypto is finally entering mainstream rather than being an instrument of esoteric investment.

Whether 2017 was itself the Big Bang or merely the onset of a super nova event remains to be seen, but the indications are that the financial institutions can no longer ignore the investment potential of cryptocurrencies. While many of the financial pundits continue to talk down crypto, variously as wild speculation, a bubble, or as a Ponzi scheme, a few respected commentators are warning that the world only ignores crypto at its own peril, with total market capitalisation exceeding the GDP of some significant countries. Dawie Roodt, of S. Africa’s Efficiency Group, recently warned that the banks appear to follow the crowd of non-believers and that crypto in general is now too large to ignore while, at least, the leading brands provide examples of solid fiscal management.

This is against the backdrop of the stupendous meltdown of Steinhoff International, a massive retail conglomerate created out of S. Africa: as a result of apparent fraudulent manipulations, the enterprise lost around 90% of its stock market value in a couple of days, taking with it a significant chunk of value from supposedly inviolable national pension funds. At no time has any of the leading cryptocurrencies performed in such a manner as the opportunity for misleading the investor does not exist. What you see is what you get and the value of investment is only governed by supply and demand.

Another backdrop slowly descending onto the stage is that of the Chinese already having a youth culture in which payments are made by cellphones/mobiles, thus bypassing the banking system which is reliant on simple cash flow “over the counter” for profitability. Roodt’s warning on the banks’ ignoring of growth in crypto then becomes all the more significant, with increasing amounts of investment also bypassing the banks to go into crypto. Banks then become increasingly redundant as they provide declining service to fewer customers, thus they will logically fold, collapsing into whence they came not too long ago: bankruptcy will return to its original meaning!

However, the most resounding echoes of the Big Bang concern the inherent privacy of dealings in crypto. No transaction in Dash, for example, is visible to the tax authorities of any country which means that, eventually, as fiat currencies disappear, there will be no tax collection. The logical implication of zero taxes is the inability of any government to govern as it could pay for nothing. It’s all very well not having money to pay for armed forces but public infrastructure becomes unsupportable. Maybe that is another problem for another day: in the meantime, we should sit back, invest in Dash, and watch the universal fireworks display. Are there any seats left at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?

Tom Rogers

(with apologies to Chuck Lorré and Douglas Adams)

Down the Rabbit Hole

By | Tom | No Comments

We seem to live in an era in which the future is only bounded by our imaginations. The illusory rabbit hole was created by Lewis Carroll who was reputed to have a predilection for hallucinatory substances to expand his thought processes. And Carroll’s rabbit much later achieved infamy courtesy of an unforgettable note sung by Grace Slick, formerly of The Great Society which eventually morphed into Starship: Grace never revealed what substance was used to induce the incredible note! Whatever, we would prefer to trip into an imaginary world without pharmaceutical assistance.

Our trip starts with the very sober and real world of Dash Africa which promotes cryptocurrency into the African continent. That promotion is premised on Africa generally being ignorant of the implications of adopting crypto, either as a saving/investment vehicle or as a means of day-to-day transacting. However, no matter how attractive, the latter is simply implausible without a significant supply of currency in circulation.

It would appear that the only means of achieving crypto circulation is to first gain its uptake for saving/investment by established “institutions” which, periodically, must disinvest, to one extent or another, in order to distribute profit to their members. Unfortunately, that profit only exists in one fiat or another. The upside is that the disinvestment facilitates the entry of new players into the crypto universe by buying up the divested funds. Then our problem is that those players again retain funds rather than use them to buy goods and services from crypto-enabled vendors, still rather rare animals.

The route to the rabbit hole would, thus, appear to be dominated by a need to persuade of the power of investment in Bitcoin and its peers, irrespective of brand or “fork”. The troublesome aspect is that the investment only has potency by virtue of its exponential increase in value in terms of fiat, while the ultimate aim must be to supplant fiat, and everything that rides with it.

And so the rabbit hole comes into view, the point at which crypto is no longer solely an investment but a principal means of transacting, replacing the mega tons of paper fiat which only have value by way of enormous leaps of faith and/or lack of a credible alternative. At that time the “value” of a Bitcoin will be measured in millions of any fiat which will have become pretty much meaningless relative to the collective financial power of cryptocurrency.

As we dive into our rabbit hole another world appears, one which is no longer controlled by the banking fraternity, stock markets, and the unending demand for “economic” growth. Central governments, as we know them, disappear as they can no longer rely on taxation for financing of many useless pursuits, such as making war, providing aid to unsustainable populations, and featherbedding the criminal community. Of course, the banking industry, and everything dependent on it, also does a vanishing act: that involves an enormous slice of the world’s so-called economy, and it calls into clear focus the sustainability of the world’s population, irrespective of its rapacious consumption of the planet on which it lives.

The world’s wealth, and the sustainable means of increasing it, becomes concentrated in the hands of the relatively few financial free-thinkers who no longer believe in the traditional regime of servitude to thoroughly corrupted politicians and bankers. The free-thinkers can hardly do worse than the luminaries who participated in Madoff’s outrageous Ponzi scheme. And the Mad Hatter was probably a better bet than the Queen of Hearts!

The Governance Issue – Bitcoin in Zimbabwe

By | South Africa, Tom, Zimbabwe | No Comments

Zimbabwe

Governance is the hot topic in Africa, the continent of never-ending coups and presidents for life, that is until life comes to a sticky end as the victim of the next coup. The long-suffering Zimbabweans have had enough of a nightmarish future featuring a Mugabe dynasty and effectively deposed the dictator before his wife could grab the reins of power. At least, so far, the military coup has been without any loss of life and a semblance of civility continues, to what eventual end no one can guess.

In observing the Zimbabwean shenanigans it could not escape notice that some of our wealthier cousins north of the Limpopo (Kipling’sgreat grey-green greasy”) river immediately ran for financial cover when the army appeared on the streets of Harare. This meant going online to their cryptocurrency exchange and buying Bitcoin in large amounts, to the extent that the local value of Bitcoin increased to more than double its global value in USD.

Value

It’s a reasonable question as to why the local “value” of an internationally traded commodity should exceed the going price by such a margin. One can only assume that the exchange found itself short of supply of Bitcoin while demand continued to rise, and the basic law or markets governed while the exchange couldn’t complain about massive profit margins. If nothing else, it’s a salutary lesson in the outcomes of panic as, once the dust settles, the purchasers of high-priced Bitcoin would find themselves holding an asset valued at the much lower global price, that is unless they have the patience to let the general value trend catch up.

Governance

All that brings us to the matter of Bitcoin’s own governance, in which a major difference of opinion caused the “fork” of the currency into the parent and Bitcoin Cash, with the original Bitcoin presently trading at over $7000 and Bitcoin Cash at around $1200, Since then another “fork” has occurred and Bitcoin Gold has appeared. All this revolved around Bitcoin’s speed of transaction, relatively slow and throttled by the capacity of the block in Bitcoin’s block chain. The latest instability in Bitcoin’s governance caused a major loss in value, which translated into a healthy rise in the value of Dash.

Meanwhile, from the safety of the sidelines, the Dash community observed Bitcoin’s internal struggles and was determined that the same would not happen to Dash. Using its consensual governance, a major project was launched to upgrade the Dash block chain’s software to prevent the Bitcoin phenomenon affecting Dash. This was promptly implemented and the stability of Dash was ensured for the foreseeable future.

Our point is that healthy governance is the core to any successful undertaking, irrespective of whether a country or a cryptocurrency. Since its outset Dash has had democracy as the foundation of its community and is governed by consensus as far as that is practicable; so far, the “fork” remains in the domain of those who cannot achieve communal agreement. Maybe, the next time a coup threatens, the Zimbabweans will buy Dash instead, better still, be invested in it as a way of life.

Tom’s Blog  ∙  Zimbabwe  ∙  Dash South Africa  ∙  About

Lateral thinking: The Dash South Africa Leopards

By | South Africa, Tom | No Comments

The Dash Leopards story is about lateral thinking! The average definition might be “a sideways mental process”, but that imitates a crab’s approach to progress. We prefer to use lateral thinking to create alternative approaches to achieving a target; in this case achievement of a significant profile for Dash in Africa.

Hout Bay, just south of Cape Town, is a patchwork of communities of varied origins, colours, abilities, and means, and the poorer fishing community of the Hangberg (immediately above the harbour) have created a very successful kids football team, largely because of the care taken by the coaching team who supervise the kids after school, keeping them safe and making sure that their homework is completed. The team was invited to an international tournament in Amsterdam, Holland, but the registration fee of €560 was beyond their means: yet it was raised by the Dash community in less than 24 hours.

Within a few days, Dash South Africa created branding for the team, including design of shirts for The Dash Leopards, alluding to Hout Bay’s Leopard Rock – an iconic bronze sculpture placed on a rock in the north-west corner of the bay.

The achievement of launching the Dash Leopards was quickly announced by the Dash Africa website and the news attracted the attention of other countries, interested in creating other Dash soccer teams. The popularity of the concept was then gratefully boosted by Dash Global who translated the post into four other languages, including Korean, meaning that the Dash Leopards already have a global footprint.

Within two weeks Dash Africa has transformed a plea for help into the beginnings of a global franchise with immense promotional potential for Dash. And it has the unique advantage of involving youth, who will rapidly educate their own families and friends into the world of cryptocurrency and Dash.

Tom Rogers, Hout Bay

The Cryptocurrency Universe, in Brief

By | Tom | One Comment

The following is the latest post from the Tom Rogers Blog which is specifically written for the enlightenment of newbies to the world of cryptocurrency. It is not intended to be news!!

The cryptocurrency universe’s “Big Bang” was initiated in 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin, possibly as a reaction to the major bank failures of 2008. It only exploded around 2014, a good indication of the world’s scepticism and unwillingness to accept the principle of crypto but, by then, the creators and original investors in Bitcoin had made a goodly fortune as they had attracted a critical mass of investors for Bitcoin to be regularly traded.

The Bitcoin vision was then enhanced by a literal wave of newly launched altcoins: that wave is now almost a tsunami but, like all tsunamis, it carries with it all sorts of flotsam, some not qualifying as true crypto currencies as they do not meet the standards established by the more significant cryptos. As of July 2017 we could count around 900 cryptos of various pedigrees: the universe is, supposedly like its celestial parent, steadily expanding.

For those who want to know who’s who in the crypto zoo, Wikipedia publishes an online list of the Top 50 cryptos, classified according to their market capitisation; a term borrowed from the stock exchanges which attach a total value to a traded entity based on its share value. In the case of crypto the number of coins existing is known, together with the traded value, for each brand. Therefore, the market “cap” is easily calculated at any instant, the total for all traded cryptos being reckoned at close to $200billion at present.

The Wikipedia listing also demonstrates the extreme divergence in value of the various digital coins, from several hundred USD to a few USD cents. As the larger value coins are generally traded in part units there is need for a smaller denomination. Within Dash there is talk of the smaller coin being a “Duff”!

Over half of the total market cap is represented by the Top 5 brands, with the two branches of Bitcoin accounting for half of that value: Bitcoin “forked” into two entities during August 2017 over a major difference in governance philosophy, governance being the most significant difference between all the various crypto brands. The Top 5, in order of market cap, are:

  • Bitcoin
  • Etherium
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ripple
  • Dash, followed closely by Litecoin

To put it into perspective, Dash presently has a market cap of $2,5billion and is in a very healthy space, not exposed as the dominant player but still influential.

The major banks, and some central (national) banks, could not simply ignore the crypto universe as it is no longer a case of kiddies playing with a new toy in the sand box. Serious amounts of money are now involved and the growing credibility of crypto is very much at the expense of credibility of the conventional banking system, seen by many as a licence to systematically steal from the broad mass of its customers.

They are now becoming participants in the crypto universe, the Dutch central bank already having created an internal crypto in order to better understand its workings and practicalities: of the smaller currencies some are suspected to be creations of banks. However, the banking system is bogged down by conservatism and managerial inertia, largely to ensure https://dash-africa.com/the-rogers-index/that the rich get richer while broad, and rapidly reacting, democracy dominates in the crypto universe. Star Wars, anyone?

Dash Africa  ∙  Tom’s Blog  ∙  Introduction  ∙  Dash South Africa  ∙  About

Value in Practice

By | Tom | One Comment

Today, all values (apart from morals) known to man are established by trading, everything from iron ore to baked beans. Most of that trading occurs in the digital underworlds of the planet’s stock and commodity exchanges, even if we could liken those establishments to nothing but glorified betting shops. The exchanges are largely for punters with enormous wealth and liquidity, the latter being a term applied to the ability to convert investments into cash, otherwise into other investments, a term loosely used as it would generally apply to long-term transactions whereas many such trades are short-term, made only to profit from marginal gains.

The value, or price, of baked beans is not set by a commodity exchange but by the general public’s acceptance of a shop-keeper’s named price; if that price is consistently refused then there is no trade in baked beans and, eventually, they disappear from the shop shelves. Of course, the scenario is much different with staple food-stuffs and food riots cannot be described as trading!

In many respects crypto currencies are no different from any other “commodity” as they are all traded on a continuous basis, maybe not as easily as stocks and shares as crypto involves a specialised broker. The major difference between crypto and commodities in general is that that the historical trend in value has been upward, probably because it is rarely sold, or demand is always greater than supply. The meteoric rise in the value of Dash in August, even if that is only in fiat, can be attributed to two large purchases on the back of which some long-term investors cashed in big-time, causing trend corrections while buying continued unabated.

After it became apparent that fiat currencies are the planet’s largest confidence trick, with little underlying value, the world’s largest “restaurant” chain, McDonalds, created the “Big Mac Index”. Maybe it was a publicity stunt, now seen to have very long legs, but we have much to learn from it. The basic ingredients of a Big Mac are now largely priced globally: therefore, the selling price of a Big Mac should be much the same (in US$) around the world, apart from the costs of labour and real estate. But the Big Mac Index shows major discrepancies only attributable to inconsistencies in the relative “values” of fiat currencies, aka exchange rates, supporting the con-trick view.

So, we are forced to revert to the world’s traditional store of value, that of gold, always in rare supply and now very expensive to mine as remaining ore grades are generally low, at 2-3 grams/ton. In other words, we have to extract up to 15tons of rock from the bowels of the earth, to subject it to complex processing in order to gain an ounce of gold. This is not much different from the rigorous process of “mining” crypto, even if it involves no rock, nor regular loss of life.

Therefore, we are logically persuaded that, in order to give crypto any real value, we should state its value in terms of gold: thus, we arrived at what Dash Africa refers to as the Rogers Index, now a unique feature of the Dash Africa website. In line with modern practice, the traded values of Dash and gold are continuously tracked to arrive at a number which is the value of one Dash in grams of gold. The gram unit is used purposely, instead of ounces, in order to respect the universally metric world and to finally dump a vestige of colonialism. It also, by pure chance, produces a very meaningful Rogers Index number which will soon surpass 10.

Dash Africa  ∙  Tom’s Blog  ∙  Introduction  ∙  Dash South Africa  ∙  About

The Value System Part II

By | Tom | One Comment

Contrary to common perceptions, that crypto only has value to the crypto community, the process of creating the currency naturally gives it value. In addition to the investment of intellect the creative process consumes considerable electrical energy, not dissimilar to the modern mining of gold, hence the adoption of “mining” as the term used for creation of units of cryptocurrency.

Read about The Value System here.

Each unit represents a complex digital solution to a very complex algorithm, as solved by giant computing systems. And the underlying value of cryptocurrency lies in the electrical energy consumed during its creation, as measured in kWh, apart from the scarce intellect required to create the algorithms, each of which has a finite number of solutions, endowing crypto with the same property as gold, that of rarity as a distinctly finite resource.

To emphasise the point of energy consumption, one Chinese “miner” of Bitcoin was recently reported to have created his second mine, i.e. large computer system, alongside a private source of hydroelectric power such that his future energy requirements come at predictably little cost. The investment in the power station and the computer was a strong statement of faith, by a man of intellectual and financial substance, in what he had already achieved and in its future.

At the outset there was no apparent equivalence with power costs. There was also little faith in the concept of cryptocurrency and legend has it that, in the very early days of Bitcoin, a pizza, maybe two, was purchased in exchange for 10 000 Bitcoins. How the transaction took place is not part of the legend, nor is the name of the owner of the pizza parlour who, if he kept the 10 000 Bitcoin, would now be a rather wealthy man.

The rarity aspect of crypto in its value must be emphasised. The mathematical algorithms used in its creation are specifically designed to have a strictly finite number of solutions, each of which represents a single unit of cryptocurrency. Once a particular algorithm is “mined out” a new one is required, that is if the market demands that more currency be made available. What is certain is that the rarity of cryptocurrency is far more absolute than that of gold: once a gold mine is “mined out” there is still considerable gold remaining behind, and then someone, somewhere, discovers a new deposit to be mined.

At the end of the day, irrespective of other factors, value is eventually established by the tried and trusted method of trading in the market place, where the law of supply and demand controls the outcomes. Crypto is traded in a similar fashion to stocks, shares, and commodities, even if the prices of all major crypto brands tend to be very volatile: at the time of writing Dash had increased in value by 20% during one week. Volatility is typical of a market of few but very large trades and, therefore, volatility will decrease as the crypto market matures with increased participation. And, as the credibility of cryptocurrency increases, so does its value, with some investors reporting profits measured in thousands of percent over relatively short periods.

As much as the fast-growing crypto community would like otherwise, we are forced to ignore the conundrum of cryptocurrency being attributed value independent of any fiat currency, as it leads us nowhere. Maybe, one day, crypto will be valued in terms of the world’s ancient and still widely respected store of value, that of gold, but that is merely a shot in the dark. It would, indeed, be a bizarre twist of history, returning to a currency based on a gold “standard” which is what the banks rejected, not many years ago, as their unending appetite for creation of money was far outstripping the availability of gold with which to support their promissory notes which, without public faith, became worthless.

Home  ∙  Tom’s Blog  ∙  Introduction  ∙  Dash South Africa  ∙  About

For the Sake of Interest

By | South Africa, Tom | No Comments

In the world of cryptocurrency the subject of interest, as generally paid on a loan of money, is hardly worthy of discussion as it does not exist. The question remains as to why.

Interest is a weird subject with a very chequered history while, today, it’s the device used to control the world’s major economies and their inflation rates. However, despite its significance, the Wikipedia entry is very sparse, probably at the behest of those who control the world and wish to keep the proletariat largely ignorant, apart from enabling it to calculate what it owes to the bank.

Once humans had invented currency to facilitate trade it became a common view that money effectively replaced the animals and cereal seeds for which it was exchanged and, therefore, should have similar properties of reproduction, i.e. increasing with time. All good and well as long as the currencies had the intrinsic value of the metals from which they were then minted.

Meanwhile, the Middle Eastern religions (including Christianity) emerged and the moralistic clerics variously ruled against the charging of interest, hence Jesus being famously angry with the money-lenders. Interest was described by its detractors as “usurous” and generally immoral; today, “usury” is only applied to excessive, decidedly immoral rates of interest while the principle of charging interest is commonly accepted.

The religious influence on interest continues today. In the Middle Ages most Christians found themselves in the same dogmatic boat as Muslims and unable to charge interest without incurring the wrath of God. This provided those of the Jewish faith, unfettered by religious principle, a monopoly in banking from which today’s monoliths grew, along with the economies dependent on them, to the enormous benefit of the banks which ever more dominate world trade. Eventually, Islam made a detour around its dogmatic impasse and founded a banking system with a complex system of charges which replaced interest per se.

The fact remains that interest (or similar device) is merely a way of creating “wealth” from nothing, certainly no productive process. And interest is naturally inflationary: it is often clearly visible that the rates charged by central banks generally match their local inflation rates, with inflation being the vital factor in the affordability of any long-term loan, the monetary value of which rapidly diminishes due to inflation.

A recent (post 2008 crash) peculiarity of the (Western) banking system was the reduction of prime interest rates to around zero, followed by the innocuously named “quantitative easing” which seems to have been wholesale printing of money, replacing that generated by interest, to support the perceived values of the vitally (to the rich) important stock markets, also supporting continued inflation if only at relatively low levels.

What does this mean for Dash which, unlike any fiat currency, has no underlying interest rate? If anyone wants to lend Dash to another that is simply a private, one-off affair, subject to its own T&C’s. However, the nature of true cryptocurrency is that, by and large, its value constantly increases due to it being a finite resource – it cannot be created willy-nilly by a central bank. Also, the unfortunate feature of Dash is that it’s only “usable” through conversion into fiat, any one of which rapidly decreases in value relative to Dash. This infers that a Dash loan generally becomes unaffordable, with or without interest attached.

We may never forget that, because true cryptocurrencies are strictly finite, they are deflationary by definition. That forces a completely new paradigm for humanity, requiring a totally new take on what we refer to as “economics”, a system in which interest is absent.

The Value System

By | Tom | One Comment

The fundamental question in the sphere of cryptocurrency concerns the reason for placing any value on some mathematical construct sitting in cyberspace. A wonderful topic for one who has little interest in academic economics, one who probably comes from the very same space as those who ask that question, one who started with much the same scepticism.

Several millennia back in history humans started trading using the basic system of barter but that quickly became very unwieldy, carting livestock and materials around the market places of the world. And the warlords and rulers of the ancient world had to reward their soldiers, as the very source of their power, in some practical manner: for that they also had to collect taxes and/or tribute, also rather impractical if paid in goats, sheep, and pigs.

So early civilisations devised coin minted from relatively rare minerals, such as silver and gold. The rarity of the minerals gave the coin a perceived value, an equivalent in the materials which were then traded for the coin, the trick being “perception” as there was no absolute value anywhere. In due course of time that value attached to the coin and the metals from which they were made, particularly as it cost a lot of time and energy to obtain those metals.

The last visible remnant of that system disappeared nearly 50 years ago when the UK finally dumped the £sd currency in favour of decimalised sterling. A little research reveals that the very peculiar £sd system, with multiples of 20 and 12, derived from Roman days when the basic unit of currency was a rod of one pound (“libra” in Latin, hence the stylised “l” of £) of silver which was then cut (a practical consideration) into 20 shilling coins. Each shilling was then subdivided into 12 pennies, made from copper, a much more common material, and pennies were originally known in Latin as ”denari”, abbreviated to “d”. Notable is that the Romans had little gold to use on currency and relied on silver as their basis of value.

Gold, in particular, was always scarce and remains so. In the modern world we might consider making coin, or currency, from the “rare earths”, the extremely rare metals on which high performance electronics are now based, but then they are too rare to be used in coinage, i.e. they would be impractical, apart from being unknown until a couple of centuries ago. Even gold has become too rare to be used as common currency. More importantly, it can no longer be used as a store of value to support the paper currencies which eventually replaced the coin. Fort Knox could never hold enough gold to support the US$ irrespective of the price, or value, placed on gold.

The replacement of “real” money with paper currency was probably the greatest leap of faith of mankind as the owner of banknotes is placed at the mercy of the various national banks printing those notes, initially as promissory notes, promising the “bearer” equivalent value in gold. But then we should recall that the original private banks were the goldsmiths, the “bank” being the term for the smith’s workbench: when a goldsmith was no longer able to meet his liabilities his craft guild broke his bench and he was “bankrupt”.

Today, the banks no longer have a guild, much less adequately strong legal regulation. They are generally laws unto themselves while the major banks control so much value that no nation dare allow them to be bankrupted. They are now known for reckless trading in all sorts of scrip having little to do with coin or currency or anything of near tangible value, little short of confidence trickery of enormous proportions. And we won’t get into “ïnterest”. It all comes down to “value” and “confidence”: should the world lose confidence in the modern banking system then it loses the basis of value necessary for world trade.

That, in essence, is what has driven some notable innovators to invest in the creation of alternatives to the established banks and their system of value, even if the new units of value presently rely upon conversion to the fiat (US dollar, British sterling, Euro, Rand, etc) currencies as benchmark values.

Whether the alternatives can cut themselves loose from the perceptions attaching to fiat currency becomes the conundrum.

Click here for Part II of this article!

Home  ∙  Tom’s Blog  ∙  Introduction  ∙  Dash South Africa  ∙  About

Introduction

By | Tom | 4 Comments

Introduction to Tom’s Dash Africa Blog

The Dash Africa Blog provides an introduction to the world of cryptocurrency, in particular Dash as a significant brand. We discuss everything from the significance of currencies, banking behaviour, “crypto” history, to trading in currency and, later, all the recent developments, all in everyday language as our host is far from fluent in the geek-talk which tends to dominate the general crypto space.

There are masses of information published every day, mainly online, on various aspects of cryptocurrency. However, much of that information is written either by crypto experts, who have developed their own proprietary brand of English, or in pseudo English emanating from Eastern Europe and Russia. Irrespective of source, it is equally cryptic with few of us having the time or skill for translation into reasonably universal English.

Clearly, one chief purpose of the Dash Africa blog is to translate geek-talk into plain language such that all participants can read from the same page. Should we ever depart from these basic aims it’s up to you to recognise and correct our excursion!

We start on the premise that cryptocurrency, in general, was created as a rebellion against the worldwide banking system which is increasingly unfriendly towards the general consumer of banking services. Crypto provides the beginnings of a parallel financial universe which is independent of the established banks and the “fiat” currencies created by the central banks of various nations and used in everyday trading. But then we need to understand the origins of conventional currencies, and the banking system which relies on them.

The earliest of the cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, predates the financial meltdown of 2008 in which a number of very large banks failed, only to be propped up and relaunched at incredible cost to the world’s honest taxpayers. Bank rescue was certainly not at the cost of the banks’ owners/shareholders who, in an honest world, would have been left penniless, just punishment for being reckless with the funds entrusted to them by the man in the street. Now that the banks have been exposed as a financial mafia cryptocurrencies have taken off, with up to 800 various brands of currency, some well-founded and many of questionable provenance.

When the media discusses crypto there is a tendency to use Bitcoin as the generic term for all the currencies which now have a combined value in excess of $150billion and growing steadily; that total is somewhat greater than South Africa’s annual budget.

However, as the oldest player in the game, Bitcoin has recently gone through its own meltdown and has divided, or forked, into two separate brands, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The basic reason for Bitcoin forking was a major difference opinion amongst large investors in Bitcoin as to how it should be governed and protected. And that is the nub of the dilemma facing all credible cryptocurrencies. How should they be governed and by whom?

That should provide the flavour of how this blog will attempt to better inform those who want to be better informed and, hopefully, entertained. From here on in Dash Africa postings will be limited to roughly the same length as this Intro and they will tackle, as far as length permits, one crypto aspect at a time and/or address those aspects raised by readers.

The Value System

Value in Practice

The Cryptocurrency Universe, in Brief

Dash Africa  ∙  Tom’s Blog  ∙  Introduction  ∙  Dash South Africa  ∙  About