Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

Organic farmers in Argentina using bitcoins

January 18, 2016

For small farmers wishing to sell on-line, traditional payment systems such as Visa or even PayPal are not viable, due to to high transaction costs and slow payment.

Bitcoin is a step in the right direction. But not ideal, due to its volatility, being skewed to the rich, the high energy costs in minting (mining in the jargon) new bitcoins.

If the farmers form themselves into co-operatives, faircoin would be a better crypto-currency to use.

Bitcoins in Argentina

January 12, 2016

Volatility of bitcoin is only exceeded by volatility of currencies like the pesos in Argentina.

As a currency, bitcoin is an unmitigated failure, it is extremely volatile, and you will be hard fetched to to be able to spend it.

Volatility though is relative. Some currencies are even more unstable than bitcoin.

Where bitcoin comes into its own, is as a quick and dirty means of transferring money across borders.

Most of this film is nonsense. Would anyone go with a stranger to their apartment, especially if carrying money?

Why did they not do this transaction in Starbucks? Do they not have wifi? Unless of course they were engaging in an illegal currency deal, which may well have been the case.

And why even meet in Starbucks,  a US company that serves disgusting coffee and drains money out of the local economy? Do they not have decent indie coffee shops in Argentina?

It is also a biassed portrayal of Argentina.

During the last crisis, when the people forced out the President, caused the government to collapse, and the owners fled their factories, taking what they could liquidate overseas, the workers scaled the fences and gates and took over the factories and ran them successfully.

To describe bitcoin as democratic is laughable. The early adapters were able to mint millions. Now a prerogative of the rich, as only the rich can afford the computing power to generate bitcoins.

Faircoin, which attempts to address some of the problems associated with bitcoin, may be democratic, or at least tries to be, it is used to finance community projects, bitcoin is not.

Sharing the spoils

October 23, 2014
protest against Nicaragua trans-ocean canal

protest against Nicaragua trans-ocean canal

protest outside BHPBilton AGM at coal mining in Colombia

protest outside BHPBilton AGM at coal mining in Colombia

Bolivia: Gap between rich and poor narrowed, unemployment halved, reduction in those living in extreme poverty.

Brazil: Reduction of those living in extreme poverty by 65% in a decade.

Venezuela: Reduction by half those living in extreme poverty, college enrolment has doubled.

Ecuador: Extreme poverty reduced by a third.

Argentina: Urban poverty halved.

But is has been achieved by sharing the spoils.

Peasants Revolt, French Revolution, Russian Revolution. a fight as to who shares the spoils.

Cutting down the rain forests and giving the man wielding the chainsaw a greater share of the spoils.

Better than Africa where a tiny elite divvy out the spoils, and most drains out of the country.

But all is based on growth, dirty extractive industries, cutting down the rain forests.

Ecuador has a growing dependency on oil exports, including from the Amazon

Bolivia a huge dependency on natural gas.

Argentina open cast mining and green deserts of genetically modified crops.

Brazil mega-dam projects and off-shore drilling.

Those who suffer worst from these projects are the rural poor and indigenous people. They lose the land, their forests, see their watercourses polluted.

And we all lose when global temperatures rise above 2C and we face thermal runaway over which we will have no control.

In Brazil, there has been many legal challenges against the mega-dam projects.

It is no different to what went before, growth, trashing the planet.

Dirty extraction is not of course limited to Latin America.

Statoil, is investing in tar sand and Arctic drilling.

In Greece gold mining.

There has to be genuine change and a move away from a model of growth and unsustainable dirty extraction. Otherwise all we are doing is re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic to give everyone an equal view of the iceberg.

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