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The Bitcoin Revolution is upon us!

TIGELE MOKOBI

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity,” Mark Zuckerberg
Part 2

The technology that underpins the transfer of value and assets through the internet and is rewriting business models and revolutionizing industries is called the blockchain technology. Blockchain is a shared digital distributed ledger with a continually updated list of all transactions that happen on the platform. The ledger keeps every transaction that ever happened in a completely decentralized form and distributed among users.

The decentralized nature of the blockchain means third parties, like banks, who have traditionally been responsible for the ledger have been eliminated from transactions. The invention of the blockchain is greatly impacting daily lives and is creating, “an open, accessible and fair financial future making transactions with digital currencies, stocks and property simple and secure.” Blockchain enables, ‘the Internet of value,’ and provides a distributed ledger across the Internet making it possible to manage, exchange, store and track assets without any powerful intermediaries.

Futurist and professor of theoretical physics at the City Collage of New York, Michio Kaku says, “The blockchain eliminates traditional intermediaries like banks, utility companies and governments from business transactions.” Blockchain underpins cryptocurrencies (digital currencies) like bitcoin. Created in January 2009, bitcoin is the first decentralized, globally accepted digital currency that was designed to work without a central bank, single administrator or government.

Bitcoin is both a store of value and a transactional currency that is exchanged by users on a peer-to-peer bitcoin network. The digital currency is operated on a cryptographic protocol without the need for intermediaries. Bitcoin is produced through a process called “mining” which entails encrypted techniques used to regulate the generation of units of the currency and verify the transfer of funds. These transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in the public distributed ledger, the blockchain.

Just as investment opportunities in the mobile phone technology made Strive Masiyiwa a multi-millionaire and the first era of the internet made Mark Zuckerberg and his business partners extremely wealthy, bitcoin is set to take a lot of the worlds population out of poverty and catapult many more to a state of immense wealth.

In its April 2015 edition, Forbes Magazine quotes partner at William Blair and Company, Brian Singer asserting that, “bitcoin and the blockchain encryption that underpins it has a greater ability to bring more of the world’s population out of poverty than anything we have ever witnessed before.” William Blair and Company is a financial services firm that is industry leaders in the sphere of investment banking, investment management and private wealth management across the world.

Singer’s wealth creation sentiments are backed by the explosion of emerging millionaires created by the bitcoin revolution across the world. The sentiments are echoed by Michio Kaku who says, “If you want to become a billionaire, take any industry, look at all the places where there is the middleman, where there is friction, obstruction and frustration, digitize it and you too could become a billionaire in the mould of Amazon, Uber and Airbnb.”  

BitClub Network (BCN) is a global wealth building company for the digital currency market. The company is rated as one of the world’s top ten mining companies. It is the only bitcoin mining company on the blockchain that offers ordinary citizens business and investment opportunities in the cryptocurrency space and the blockchain technology. All the other companies are privately owned by wealthy investors such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Al Gore and the New York Stork Exchange.

By combining a crowd funded mining pool with the power of an affiliate structure the BitClub Network investment pool provides an opportunity for members to leverage their earning potential unlike anything else in this space. With over 300,000 members in over 90 countries the BitClub Network has mined over 60,000 Bitcoins and created more than 100 millionaires across the world. BitClub Network remains the best crowd funding mining opportunity in the world today and bitcoin the fastest growing and best performing digital currency in the world.

For its audacious intent of disrupting current global financial systems and usurping world currency dominance, bitcoin has faced fierce resistance from governments, banks and other business intermediaries who are fast losing ground to the new kid on the block. It is inevitable that these entities would never surrender their dominance and control of the global monetary system that easily. They seek to retain the existing system of fiat money and they will defend the status quo to the hilt.

The arrival of the ubiquitous bitcoin has presented them with a double-edged knife because while the prolific digital currency is a threat to their dominance, they cannot wish it away nor stand on the sidelines in a game they believe they should be playing.In the 10 years since its creation, bitcoin has defied all odds and continues its buoyant rise to world dominance despite disparaging comments from governments, vicious attacks from banks and the vitriolic remarks and poisoned pen of these entities ‘hired pens and mikes.’

Leading the chorus of aggressive local crypto-bashers is Consumer Watchdog’s Richard Harriman while the global assault is marshaled by prominent bitcoin detractor Nouriel Roubini also known as ‘Dr Doom’ for his cynical outlook of cryptocurrencies. In a curious turn of events, it is worth noting that, notwithstanding the unflattering commentary from these stool pigeons, their masters, governments, banks and other major players in the current global monetary system are heavily invested in bitcoin and other digital currencies.

One need only visit any of these sites to see the hypocrisy of these forked tongue crypto-bashers;  HYPERLINK "https://blockchain.com" https://blockchain.com or  HYPERLINK "https://www.worldcoinindex.com/" https://www.worldcoinindex.com/ These sites list all investors in cryptocurrencies. The list of all those who have invested raises questions, why would these entities be busy amassing bitcoin and then turn around and dissuade the ordinary citizen from investing in the digital asset?

The sustained attacks by crypto-bashers coupled with damage coursed by criminal elements, schemers and nay-sayers have undoubtedly tarnished bitcoins good image and instilled a pessimistic wait-and-see attitude among those seeking to take up the investment and business opportunities presented by this prolific digital asset. BitClub Network has been called a Ponzi scheme, a scam and alarmists have gone on to call bitcoin a financial and asset bubble that is about to burst.

However, bitcoin has gallantly fought off competitors for market share. It is temper-proof and the most successful online platform where futile attempts to hack the system are made 24/7 because of the immense value the system carries.  The digital currency is rapidly becoming accepted as a reputable currency and well on the way to replace fiat currency and become the global currency.

Bitcoin’s phenomenal success has made the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pay attention. Winds of change have reached the global organization with its managing director Christine Lagarde encouraging central banks throughout the world to, “consider using digital currency to make transactions more efficient and secure.” Locally, the initial indifference displayed by government, Bank of Botswana and the Botswana Stock Exchange has slowly dissipated, and we are now witnessing their awakening to the fact that bitcoin is here to stay.

There is evidence these entities are busy making room to accommodate the digital currency with the Governor of Bank of Botswana Moses Pelaelo making reference to bitcoin’s staying power on occasion of the currency’s 10th anniversary. He was speaking at the recent Botswana Stock Exchange Limited opening bell ceremony. Bitcoin was created to challenge the conventional financial system and return the ownership of money to the people, beyond the reach of banks and the state.

The digital asset presents a radical approach to money and finance giving ordinary citizens business and investment opportunities in the emerging monetary system. British computer programmer and businessman (Founder of software company MaAfee Associates) John McAfee states, “We are in a revolution against the waning power of governments and banks.

Their only weapon is sowing fear.” Swedish politician and information technology entrepreneur, Rick Falkvinge declares that, “Bitcoin will do to banks what email did to the postal industry.”  As the bitcoin revolution sweeps across the world, BitClub Network presents ordinary citizens with a crowd funding business and investment opportunity in the cryptocurrency space. We have a choice to either be a part of it or we could watch it happen. 

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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