Daily Bits May 14th, 2017

On Thursday I had the honour of attending a session in the European Parliament on blockchain regulation. I won’t go into more detail here, but CoinDesk published my (very brief) summary of the event.

EP

I will say that it was inspiring to see such an influential governing body take an innovation-first approach.

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China’s infrastructure plan: will it provide the base for strong economic growth (possibly displacing the chaotic US as global economic superpower)? Or will it tip China’s debt over the edge?

A huge gamble, but one that it seems it has to take.

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Interesting insight into why low-income people prefer check-cashing companies to banks. Cost, transparency and service. Hmmm, I wonder how else they could get those advantages, without actually having to go to the outlet? Would they want to even if they could? Maybe the human contact is part of the appeal.

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This is intriguing: Palestine is contemplating a blockchain-based currency. It sounds quite official, but it could just be another central bank jumping on the bandwagon – “contemplating” is a long way from implementing. And while the use case is there and the advantages are apparent, the level of coordination needed to execute will be tough in an economy with fractured infrastructure.

What makes this situation unusual is that Palestine is an implicitly recognized state. In other words, it’s sort of sovereign, but not really. Only 70% of the members of the United Nations have recognized it as a state. That is a majority, but it’s… complicated.

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Recommended reading: A Man Called Ove. (The book – I haven’t seen the movie.)

a man called ove

Funny, emotional, uplifting, sad and happy. And beautifully written. We all know someone like Ove. This is a book that changes the way you see people.

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According to an article in Wired, the internet dumps us in silos of like-minded people much less than we think.

I’m not convinced, but it is an interesting take that points to a more inclusive future. While I hope it’s right, I think it is focusing on a small, relatively enlightened (the word “relatively” is important here) subset.

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Captivating (via Colossal):

by Greg Klassen, via Colossal
by Greg Klassen, via Colossal

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I will probably be quiet over the next few days – I’m fighting an awful cold and have to get better before heading off to New York next week for Consensus. Have to.

I’m pulling out the big guns, taking garlic pills, vitamin C, Echinacea and over-the-counter cold remedies. I’m inhaling eucalyptus vapour. And I’m sipping the most vile infusion of garlic, thyme and rosemary – it tastes so awful it has to be good for me.

So, I shall crawl into bed and continue watching the extraordinary Korean series Man x Man on Netflix. I’m thoroughly confused as to the plot, but it is engrossing – I keep hoping all will become clear in the next episode.

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