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Blockchain is De-Dollarizing the Investing World

This past week I flew from Moscow to Vietnam, participating in a new international business model for investing in worldwide property development using the blockchain.

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I felt it was too important to miss especially in these current sanctioned and trade tariff times. Pioneering this effort is an American company called Relex (RLX), the world’s first cryptocurrency-based real property development and investing group.

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This approach allows investment in projects during the development phase, resulting in passive income, equity stakes, or proxy ownership of property(s). Initial projects are based in Vietnam, Vladivostok (Russia), Cambodia, and Myanmar, which for various non-business reasons and external barriers have been politically shunned on the FDI scene of late, although showing strong, solid growth. Included was an on-site visit of their first large oceanfront development in DaNang. Among those attending were a broad cross-section of businesspeople from throughout the international community, investors, financial advisors and developers.

It is clear that businesses in a number of countries are feeling various and increasing pressures from their governments, banks and similar regulating/regulated groups to conform within ever-narrowing, ever-thornier investment opportunity corridors. This has been emphatically and clearly shown through sanctions, trade and tariff confrontations, as well as a host of other political and financially erected barriers.

There even was a consensus that with the onset of these vigorous trade disputes and tariffs, significant inflation is in the cards regardless of the Federal Reserve or other central banks tinkering.

Global free trade as we have come to know it traditionally is coming to a critical juncture of change, perhaps never to be as straightforward or open again, or even as it was 10 years ago, not to mention before then.

Commerce by definition is meant to be fluid and unrestricted. Money has no politics, it should not have – it is a field of openly traded risks & returns. Hence, a real race is on in every global market to find possibly untraditional, less constrained innovative and secure ways to do international business legally, securely and profitably.

Much was discussed at this gathering, which included executives from Vietnam, Ukraine, Australia, Russia, Burma, Korea, Cambodia, America, Canada, India, and the list goes on. One of the major issues were the trade and investment restrictions unilaterally led by US foreign policy and by extension the US Dollar, which are expected to become even more constraining over time.

Hence the very real and attractive role for cryptocurrencies and the blockchain when backed by tangible asset projects like property, infrastructure and enhancing actual business development.

There were and are a number of instances where banks declined to move US Dollars to one or another directed area, despite long standing bank/client business relationships. The reality of asset freezes, currency seizures and other similarly restrictive measures are expected to become the growing “new normal”.

In such an environment, any alternatives that can bypass these restrictions to free trade yet meet business and investment requirements, are gaining traction – quickly. Alternatives are not only sought by Russian or other “sanctioned” investors, but quite a few developed as well as developing economies as there is a feeling of seeing the “writing on the wall” of ever greater control pressures coming, mostly from the USA.

In watching the tug-of-war between the US administration and the Federal Reserve a goodly percentage of the executives I talked with are of the opinion that the White House will prevail and the US Dollar will be dropping noticeably before midterm elections.

The reasoning is that neither the US Government, not the US corporate sector can afford an extremely strong dollar when the current administration is deploying a new trillion dollar annual deficit regardless of a “strong” economy. A muscular dollar would make this magical juggling act well-nigh impossible, and would badly impact US corporations which receive nearly 50% of revenues from overseas.

This tension is happening as the US Fed needs the dollar to remain strong enough to attract capital in order for the US to be able to fund its deficits and debt issuance, but not strong enough to put the brakes on the national economy. From outside the USA many feel they are financial hostages to a global reserve currency that is spurred mainly by internal American financial self-interest and not the ebbs and flows of healthy, competitive, unregulated global trade.

Today alternatives are actively analyzed on how best to reduce the financial and geopolitical effects imposed by the United States and the US Dollar. On a macro level for example the EU is examining establishing an economic assistance fund to reduce dependency on the International Monetary Fund and expanding the scope of an EU-centric payment and settlements system to insulate itself from U.S. secondary sanctions over a number of “issues”.

These include the possible sanctioning of SWIFT board members in Brussels by the US as a means of convincing them to “go along to get along”. There have even been discussions between the EU, China and Russia to create a global, blockchain-based financial payment and settlements system that would moderate the United States’ financial stick.

U.S. tariffs and unilateral sanctions will eventually spur Europe to reclaim its economic sovereignty from the United States. This is a slow-moving trend, but one that will have serious long-term consequences for everything from NATO’s evolution to the future of the global financial system.

Far more consequential in the long term would be a European move to team up with other major powers, like China and Russia, on global financial reform proposals that include the adoption of a global blockchain-based financial payment system.

Washington has threatened to sideline Iran from SWIFT as part of its tactics to isolate Tehran from the global financial system. Such an action was briefly discussed back in 2015 regarding Russia as well, and recently noises have been reported that this may become an issue yet again.

SWIFT, however, is a Belgium-based private company subject to EU laws. The United States could still try to sanction individual board members of SWIFT to punish the company for noncompliance, but this would doubtless severely damage faith in the US Dollar and the global financial system — not to mention set off a truly serious international crisis.

Of far greater consequence would be a European move to team up with other major powers, such as China, Russia and possibly several others, on global financial reform proposals that might pave the way to adopting a global blockchain-based financial payment system. This apparently has been a topic of discussion between Russia and China for the past few years although no details have been confirmed.

Additionally, a number of independent banks worldwide are already experimenting with the technology as a way to improve efficiency, enhance security and reduce the cost of cross-border transaction fees.

Among the many implications of such a system is reducing the ability of any one participant like the United States, to isolate a country through primary and secondary sanctions. This would also be yet a further step along the long winding road of global de-dollarization. Over time, such a system would greatly enhance the trading of other currencies, not just the US Dollar.

This may also be the game-changing future for cryptocurrencies by giving them as asset base with which to underpin value (be it real estate, metals or other hard assets), and begin to compete with fiat currencies like the USD.

Change is inevitable, embracing it may be difficult for many, but it has been made easier because of foreign policy, most specifically from Washington that is forcing change by many nations. A quick overview of recent situations is an apt example:

The United States starts a tariff war with China. Japan and Germany jump at the chance to gain market share in China, the world’s fastest-growing passenger car market. The United States imposes sanctions on Turkey.

Germany announces that it will offer economic aid to Turkey, Qatar pledges new investments and a foreign exchange swap line, and Chinese banks provide billions of dollars in new loans to the cash-strapped Turks. Chinese commentators declare that crisis is a great opportunity to integrate Turkey into China’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy.

US President Trump scolds Merkel for buying Russian natural gas through the Nord Stream II pipeline. Merkel then meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin to confirm the pipeline arrangement, and even agrees to aid reconstructing Syria in cooperation with Russia.

The United States imposes economic sanctions on Iran, Western insurance companies stop insuring Iranian oil. China then responds by accepting Iranian insurance on oil imports thereby increasing oil imports from Iran, and shipping the oil in Iranian tankers.

Central to market thinking is the belief that Eurasia/Asia will provide the greatest margin of growth to the world economy as it delivers about three-fifths of the world’s new economic growth. Now add to this the steadily growing blockchain and crypto-currency world, which many feel, is the logical economic and social inheritor of traditional fiat currencies and government structures. It is certainly a way to avoid the worst of the trade and currency transfer blockages imposed on business with greater, and more frequency, but it also forces established institutions to slowly, gradually cede control. Always a worrying period, fraught with knee-jerk reactions and unintended consequences.

Meanwhile within the noise, dust and confusion some companies are taking the necessary steps to find and capitalize on the processes and technologies that allow positive, less encumbered business activity. The Relex model could just as easily be adapted to not only real estate development, infrastructure and the like, but to education, agriculture and the entire business chain of being.

One fact came up which was illustrative, almost 75% of global capital invested in commercial property development is in the Top 10 most transparent countries in the world. That means that projects in countries with low transparency scores are considered ineligible projects for investment – a self-sustaining vicious downward cycle.

What if transparency scores in projects located in developing countries were improved? What if the medium of financing FDI were not limited to a single currency, single policy or payment corridor? Projects like Relex get an increased transparency, sustainability and accountability score, becoming classically eligible for a wider stream of investable capital into their projects. In addition, the door is open to investors worldwide, a freedom enabled by blockchain.

This is a very positive development for investors, in which there is easier capital access, and better access to development projects with a high degree of yield. It is certainly worth the time and effort to examine and keep a sharp eye on such developments as the future of international business access is already happening today.

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thomas malthaus

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-27/gold-bloc-iran-russia-and-turkeyoh-my

Another technique (currency board) to advance gold-backed currencies.

Guy
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I recently purchased a book on crypto currency and blockchain .I don’t know very much about it but aim to find out .I am fascinated by the possibility that this might be the future method of exchange for
goods , labour , services etc. worldwide.

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BREXIT chaos, as May’s cabinet crumbles (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 18.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the various scenarios now facing a crumbling May government, as the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is forcing cabinet members to resign in rapid succession. The weekend ahead is fraught with uncertainty for the UK and its position within, or outside, the European Union.

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If Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is eventually rejected this could trigger a vote of no confidence, snap elections or even a new referendum…

Here are six possible scenarios facing Theresa May and the UK (via The Guardian)

1 Parliament blocks Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement and political declarations

May faces an enormous task to win parliamentary approval, given that Labour, the SNP, the DUP and 51 Tories have said they will not vote for it.

If the remaining 27 EU member states sign off the draft agreement on 25 November, the government will have to win over MPs at a crucial vote in early December.

If May loses the vote, she has 21 days to put forward a new plan. If she wins, she is safe for now.

2 May withdraws the current draft agreement

The prime minister could decide that she will not get the draft agreement through parliament and could seek to renegotiate with the EU.

This would anger Tory backbenchers and Brussels and would be seen as a humiliation for her government. It might spark a leadership contest too.

3 Extend article 50

May could ask the European council to extend article 50, giving her more time to come up with a deal that could be passed by parliament – at present, the UK will leave on 29 March 2019.

Such a request would not necessarily be granted. Some EU governments are under pressure from populist parties to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible.

4 Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister

If Conservative MPs believe May is no longer fit for office, they could trigger a no-confidence vote.

Members of the European Research Group claim that Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee, will receive the necessary 48 letters this week.

A vote could be held as soon as early next week. All Tory MPs would be asked to vote for or against their leader. If May wins, she cannot be challenged for at least 12 months. If she loses, there would be a leadership contest to decide who will become prime minister.

5 General election – three possible routes

If May fails to get support for the current deal, she could call a snap general election.

She would table a parliamentary vote for a general election that would have to be passed by two thirds of MPs. She would then set an election date, which could be by the end of January.

This is an unlikely option. May’s political credibility was severely damaged when she called a snap election in 2017, leading to the loss of the Conservative party’s majority.

Alternatively, a general election could be called if a simple majority of MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government. Seven Tory MPs, or all of the DUP MPs, would have to turn against the government for it to lose the vote, triggering a two-week cooling-off period. May would remain in office while MPs negotiate a new government.

Another route to a general election would be for the government to repeal or amend the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which creates a five-year period between general elections. A new act would have to be passed through both the Commons and the Lords – an unlikely scenario.

6 Second referendum

May could decide it is impossible to find a possible draft deal that will be approved by parliament and go for a people’s vote.

The meaningful vote could be amended to allow MPs to vote on whether the country holds a second referendum. It is unclear whether enough MPs would back a second referendum and May has ruled it out.

 

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement may lead to Theresa May’s downfall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.

During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.

Via iTV

Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”

“Parliament is at an impasse”

“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”

Nigel Farage:

“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.

“Nothing has been achieved.”

“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”

“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”

“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.

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Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge

  • UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
  • UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
  • EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
  • Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
  • EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain

The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.

As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”

Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.

But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.

As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.

Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:

  • May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
  • The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
  • It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
  • It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017

The full document…

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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