Seoul cryptocurrency

Seoul: Cryptocurrency Integral To Smart City Transformation

In Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order, I wrote, “Cryptocurrency is the futuristic tool of Sustainable Development.”  Seoul is proving that crypto is “an essential part of the Smart City toolbox.” ⁃ TN Editor

A local digital currency, separate from the national currency, is an essential part of the smart city toolbox.

Seoul is nearing several significant milestones in its journey towards becoming a blockchain smart city, blockinpress reports. By November, it aims to have the following in place:

  1. Public services accepting Korea’s national blockchain ID system as valid documentation.
  2. A blockchain system for managing part-time worker labour contracts, insurance and work history.
  3. A native city-wide cryptocurrency, dubbed S-coin.

According to blockinpress, S-coins will be redeemable for rewards and given to citizens when they use public services and participate in citizenship duties, such as paying taxes and participating in public opinion polls.

Beyond that, the potential applications of a digital currency such as S-coin are almost limitless, as a way of shaping people’s behaviour and streamlining interactions in the smart cities of the future.

The value of S-coin

To understand the value of the S-coin – the real rather than speculative value – it’s important to understand that one of the guiding principles of Seoul’s smart city program is to put engaged citizens at the centre of everything. After all, a city (and the entire planet for that matter) is for the benefit of its inhabitants first and foremost.

A native cryptocurrency is an excellent way of incentivising desirable behaviour in an organic way.

As people have previously said, government incentives have historically been oriented almost solely around punishments. Citizens behave because they get punished if they don’t. But just about every piece of behavioural research on the planet says a combination stick and carrot approach is by far the best way to instill desirable behaviour in humans and other animals.

Although the exact scope of S-coin, and where it will be rewarded and redeemable, is still up in the air, some of the areas it could be applied include the following:

  • Encouraging citizen participation in governance
  • Facilitating cooperation between citizens
  • Information gathering

Cooperative public-private decision-making

As a rule, most voters are apathetic. The exceptions to this rule are typically places with a longstanding history of citizen participation, and where participants can get a genuine sense of empowerment.

Only time can create that tradition, but a combination of incentives and some new processes can help create that sense of genuine empowerment on which everything rests. In this case, S-coin is the incentive part of the puzzle. South Korea’s citizen’s suggestion box website is another. Here people can make proposals, and others can vote on them.

Popular proposals go to public discussion forums, where government, private sector and citizens can all weigh in.

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Libra

Libra: Facebook Partners With 27 Companies To Launch Global Cryptocurrency

Facebook is making a massive power grab to dominate the global payments system and expects to have over 100 founding members in the consortium before Libra is launched in 2020. Members already include Visa, Mastercard, Stripe and Paypal. It will be hard for any regulatory body to override such a powerful financial organization. ⁃ TN Editor

Facebook is launching cryptocurrency next year that will allow people to move money from their smartphone into a digital “wallet”.

The currency is known as Libra, which the social network says it has “no special role” in governing and will manage equally with a group of big companies.

Experts have branded the move a dangerous power grab that marks Facebook’s “most invasive” form of surveillance yet.

So far, Facebook has enlisted 28 firms, including Spotify and Uber, who each had to invest a minimum of £8million to be a founding member of the Libra Association, an independent not-for-profit membership organisation.

It wants to attract 100 businesses in time for launch, which it is aiming for the first half of 2020.

Libra is supported by a reserve of the world’s best assets and the world’s most trusted central banks, who gave the cryptocurrency “general cautious support”, according to David Marcus, who started exploring blockchain at Facebook a year ago.

“Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem,” he explained.

The social network is hoping that its collaborative approach can ease volatility concerns of existing blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

Facebook will operate its own digital wallet for people to spend Libra, known as the Calibra Wallet, which will be available in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and as a standalone app.

Users will be able to send money to each other initially, at low to no cost, the social network said.

Eventually, it intends to open the Calibra Wallet up to additional services, so that people can pay bills, buy goods by scanning a code or accessing public transport.

Account information from Calibra will not be shared with Facebook to improve things like ad targeting, except for “limited cases” where this data may be shared “to keep people safe, comply with the law, and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra”, the social network added.

Libra is open source, meaning anyone will be able to launch their own digital wallet and include the currency.

“As a Founding Member of the Libra Network, Vodafone will extend its commitment to digital and financial inclusion by supporting the creation of a new global currency and encouraging a

wide range of innovative financial services to be developed through its open-source platform,” said Stefano Parisse, group director of product and services at Vodafone Group.

“This has the potential to be truly transformative and will benefit those who have never used, or are struggling to access, financial services around the world.”

Not everyone was singing the project’s praises.

Phil Chen, Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC, said the move was part of a “dangerous” power grab by Facebook.

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San Francisco

Cash Is King: San Francisco To Ban Credit-Only Stores

Reality meets globalization in San Francisco, one of the most liberal cities on earth. Retail trade is being hurt by cashless stores, so a new city ordinance will mandate that cash return or stores will lose their business license. ⁃ TN Editor

San Francisco is about to require brick-and-mortar retailers to take cash as payment, joining Philadelphia and New Jersey in banning a growing paperless practice that critics say discriminates against low-income people who may not have access to credit cards.

The Board of Supervisors will take up the issue at a meeting Tuesday, and it’s likely to pass, with nearly all 11 members listed as sponsors or co-sponsors.

“I just felt it wasn’t fair that if someone wanted to buy a sandwich in a store, and they had cash, that they would be turned away,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown, who introduced the legislation. “We also have our homeless population. They’re not banked.”

In many ways, the legislation is an easy call for San Francisco officials, who strive to make life more equitable in a city with an enormous wealth gap.

High-paid tech workers who flocked to San Francisco to work for Facebook, Google, Uber and Airbnb may like the ease of paying by credit card, debit card or smartphone. But many low-income people, including more than 4,000 who sleep on San Francisco’s streets every night, likely don’t have money to sustain bank accounts.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 17 percent of African American households and 15 percent of Latino households had no bank account.

Some people also prefer to use cash because they don’t want to leave a digital trail of where they have been and what they have bought.

San Francisco’s legislation requires brick-and-mortar businesses to accept cash for goods and some services. Temporary pop-up stores and internet-only businesses such as ride-hailing companies would be exempt, as would food trucks, which say they lack the resources to handle cash.

Philadelphia and New Jersey passed similar laws this year. Legislation requiring merchants to accept cash also has been introduced in New York City.

The efforts come after the rollout last year of cashless Amazon Go stores, which require customers to scan an app to enter . Whatever items customers take are automatically tallied in a virtual cart and charged to a credit card. The retail giant bowed to pressure last month and agreed to accept cash at more than 30 cashless stores.

Amazon opened its first cash-accepting store Tuesday in a high-end New York City shopping mall frequented by office workers. Anyone who wants to pay with cash will be swiped through the turnstile entrance by employees. After shoppers grab what they want, an employee will scan the items with a mobile device, take the cash and give customers their change.

Amazon didn’t say when its 11 other Go stores will start accepting cash.

Though plenty of cheap dim sum spots, taquerias and dive bars take only cash in San Francisco, some retailers argue that not taking cash is safer and more efficient.

Cashless restaurants are clustered in San Francisco’s Financial District and South of Market neighborhoods, where white-collar employees devour upscale salads and protein bowls.

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SDR

Call For SDR As ‘True Global Currency’ Is A Red Herring

The SDR has been around for 50 years and is structurally incapable of becoming the world’s ‘true global currency’. Thus, this story by a globalist academic and high-ranking UN official is a red herring meant to deflect attention away from Fintech that is expected to finance the Green Economy, aka Sustainable Development and Technocracy.

We (Sutton and Wood) wrote about SDRs and Bancor in the 1970s. It never caught on then, and there is no reason that it will catch on now. The current pressure on global finance is to scrap all national currencies. Since SDRs are based on a basket of those currencies, they will be worthless as well. ⁃ TN Editor

 

This year, the world commemorates the anniversaries of two key events in the development of the global monetary system. The first is the creation of the International Monetary Fund at the Bretton Woods conference 75 years ago. The second is the advent, 50 years ago, of the Special Drawing Right (SDR), the IMF’s global reserve asset.

When it introduced the SDR, the Fund hoped to make it “the principal reserve asset in the international monetary system.” This remains an unfulfilled ambition; indeed, the SDR is one of the most underused instruments of international cooperation. Nonetheless, better late than never: turning the SDR into a true global currency would yield several benefits for the world’s economy and monetary system.

The idea of a global currency is not new. Prior to the Bretton Woods negotiations, John Maynard Keynes suggested the “bancor” as the unit of account of his proposed International Clearing Union. In the 1960s, under the leadership of the Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin, other proposals emerged to address the growing problems created by the dual dollar-gold system that had been established at Bretton Woods. The system finally collapsed in 1971. As a result of those discussions, the IMF approved the SDR in 1967, and included it in its Articles of Agreement two years later.

Although the IMF’s issuance of SDRs resembles the creation of national money by central banks, the SDR fulfills only some of the functions of money. True, SDRs are a reserve asset, and thus a store of value. They are also the IMF’s unit of account. But only central banks – mainly in developing countries, though also in developed economies – and a few international institutions use SDRs as a means of exchange to pay each other.

The SDR has a number of basic advantages, not least that the IMF can use it as an instrument of international monetary policy in a global economic crisis. In 2009, for example, the IMF issued $250 billion in SDRs to help combat the downturn, following a proposal by the G20.

Most importantly, SDRs could also become the basic instrument to finance IMF programs. Until now, the Fund has relied mainly on quota (capital) increases and borrowing from member countries. But quotas have tended to lag behind global economic growth; the last increase was approved in 2010, but the US Congress agreed to it only in 2015. And loans from member countries, the IMF’s main source of new funds (particularly during crises), are not true multilateral instruments.

The best alternative would be to turn the IMF into an institution fully financed and managed in its own global currency – a proposal made several decades ago by Jacques Polak, then the Fund’s leading economist. One simple option would be to consider the SDRs that countries hold but have not used as “deposits” at the IMF, which the Fund can use to finance its lending to countries. This would require a change in the Articles of Agreement, because SDRs currently are not held in regular IMF accounts.

The Fund could then issue SDRs regularly or, better still, during crises, as in 2009. In the long term, the amount issued must be related to the demand for foreign-exchange reserves. Various economists and the IMF itself have estimatedthat the Fund could issue $200-300 billion in SDRs per year. Moreover, this would spread the financial benefits (seigniorage) of issuing the global currency across all countries. At present, these benefits accrue only to issuers of national or regional currencies that are used internationally – particularly the US dollar and the euro.

More active use of SDRs would also make the international monetary system more independent of US monetary policy. One of the major problems of the global monetary system is that the policy objectives of the US, as the issuer of the world’s main reserve currency, are not always consistent with overall stability in the system.

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Fintech: BIS Has Vision For Central Bank Digital Currencies

The BIS is a policy-making central bank to all the central banks of the world, and there is no doubt that it is planning to restructure the entire global financial system (Fintech) to enable the Sustainable Development economic system, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

The behaviour of central bankers is rarely (if ever) given sustained coverage in the national press. Outside of prominent economic channels, developments from within institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements are seldom remarked upon. Instead, attention is restricted to the latest round of political theatrics which serve to disguise the actions and intentions of globalist planners.

As the furore of Brexit gained in intensity last month, BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens gave a speech at the Central Bank of Ireland 2019 Whitaker Lecture. Under the heading, ‘The future of money and payments‘, Carstens mapped out what has been a long standing vision of globalists – namely, to acquire full spectrum control of the international financial system through the gradual abolition of what Bank of England governor Mark Carney has called ‘tangible assets‘ i.e. physical money.

The ‘future of money‘ narrative is one that both the BIS and the IMF have been actively promoting since the advent of Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency. Here are some links to speeches made by both Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens:

Central to the vision for a fully digitised global economy is the intent to reform national payment systems. The UK uses the Real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system, which the majority of payments in Britain are facilitated through. The Bank of England’s Victoria Cleland has emphasised on numerous occasions that the ‘fundamental renewal‘ of the system is being carried out through choice rather than necessity. This would indicate that RTGS works fine in its current manifestation, but the BOE (along with the European Central Bank) have been tasked with assuming more control over their respective payment systems.

As Cleland has confirmed via several speeches, tests on a renewed RTGS have demonstrated that distributed ledger technology (DLT) has the capability to connect to it in the future. Blockchain is a form of DLT, and by extension blockchain works in conjunction with cryprocurrencies like Bitcoin. In February 2019, Cleland intimated that the previous intention to have finalised the RTGS reform by 2020 had been pushed back to 2025.

We are looking at 2025 for completion, with a number of transition states as we head to that. What we want to achieve is more ambitious now, and we are doing some exciting work around innovation and looking at ways of bringing in participants.

The year 2025 is potentially significant as we will later look at.

Returning to Carstens speech at the Central Bank of Ireland, here he spoke of how the reform of payment systems have been ‘infrequent‘ over the decades, with wholesale changes to the nature of money ‘even rarer‘.

But now, attempts to create new forms of money or to engineer new ways to pay appear almost weekly.

The ‘new ways to pay‘ is in part a reference to services such as TransferWise, who have pioneered the introduction of borderless accounts that allow people to hold up to forty currencies at once with the ability to convert them whenever desired. New methods of payments such as this, which grew out of the 2008 financial crisis, bypass banknotes and coins altogether. Money can only be sent, received or converted electronically, unlike at high-street banks or travel bureaus which still offer physical cash. TransferWise describe their service as showcasing ‘bank-level security, minus the banks‘.

When it comes to ‘new forms of money‘, Carstens explains that the current system of central banks issuing banknotes, and commercial banks providing electronic money, is being targeted for reform – in the shape of central bank digital currencies (CBDC’s).

A CBDC would allow ordinary people and businesses to make payments electronically using money issued by the central bank. Or they could deposit money directly in the central bank, and use debit cards issued by the central bank itself.

It becomes apparent that two tranches of reform – to payment systems and to how money is used – are in the process of being carried out simultaneously.

In previous articles I have talked about how globalists invariably utilise the vehicle of gradualism when it comes to implementing changes within the financial system. The BIS themselves raised the subject in their final quarterly report of 2017. When seeking to centralise economic power further, central banks work by stealth. It can take many years, even decades, for a plan to become reality.

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Sweden Expected To Force Banks To Handle Cash Transactions

Technocrats pushing for a cashless society are seriously conflicted as its flagship experiment in Sweden is coming unravelled. The people in Sweden have spoken, and cash stays. ⁃ TN Editor

Sweden will likely push through a proposal to force banks to keep offering cash to customers who require it as the Nordic nation grapples with how to balance the rapid transformation into a cashless society.

Key lawmakers said in interviews over the weekend that the government will probably seek to enact proposed legislation that had been roundly criticized by the banking industry and called potentially illegal.

“There may be some changes, but mainly, what we proposed will be carried out,” said Fredrik Olovsson, a key lawmaker for the ruling Social Democrats. “There’s a broad majority for this, so I expect it will happen.”

Sweden Tries to Halt Total Cashlessness With Lawmaker Proposal
Sweden’s Banks Oppose Proposal to Force Them to Handle Cash

Olovsson is part of a committee that’s reviewing the central bank law, which proposed last year to make it mandatory for banks that provide checking accounts and have more than 70 billion kronor ($7.6 billion) in deposits from the Swedish public to offer cash withdrawals and handle daily receipts.

The legislation is a response to Sweden becoming one of the most cashless societies in the world, with bank branches not offering money withdrawals and stores not accepting cash. Some people are finding it difficult to cope without access to mobile phones or bank cards. There are also fears around what would happen if the digital payments systems suddenly crashed.

But the Swedish Bankers’ Association has said that the plan to make just a few banks responsible for providing cash could be in breach of European Union rules. The competition authority and financial watchdog have also come out against the proposal, arguing, respectively, that it would distort competition since it only affects some banks and that securing access to cash should be a responsibility of the state.

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Backlash: Cities And States Are Banning Stores That Don’t Accept Cash

Finally, the battle line is being drawn against cashless society Technocrats. Cities are enforcing cash as legal tender and banning stores from operating if they refuse to accept cash as payment. ⁃ TN Editor

Cashless stores are becoming controversial.

Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon’s physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers.

Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US do not have a bank account.

Philadelphia barred stores from choosing not to accept cash in early March, becoming the first US city to do so.

“Most of the people who don’t have credit tend to be lower income, minority, immigrants. It just seemed to me, if not intentional, at least a form of discrimination,” Philadelphia City Councilman William Greenlee told the Wall Street Journal.

New Jersey later followed with its own measure, which Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on March 18.

“This idea of ‘we don’t want to accept cash’ just marginalizes the poor, young people who haven’t established credit yet, people who prefer to pay in cash,” Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, a sponsor of the bill, told WNYC.

Lawmakers in New York City have been considering a similar measure since February, while a similar proposal in San Francisco is also on the table.

Massachusetts is something of a first mover on this issue, having barred stores from rejecting cash as payment for decades.

A ban like this would predominantly affect chic lunch spots like Sweetgreen, but also Amazon’s nascent physical store footprint. None of Amazon’s stores accept cash unless required by law.

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Seoul Emerging As The First Blockchain City

Seoul has morphed into a first-tier Technocracy and intends to become a coveted ‘global city.’ Mayor Park says blockchain will “bring a fundamental change to society” and indeed it will, but citizens will have other thoughts about it. ⁃ TN Editor

Used car salesmen typically aren’t rated highly on trust. They usually languish at the bottom of the rankings just above journalists and politicians. But the life of a used car salesman is about to become a whole lot easier in Seoul as the city is deploying blockchain technology to establish a trust system to restore credibility to the used car market and help the downtrodden salesman to better manage title transfers, accident history, car conditions and more.

It is one aspect of 14 set out in a US$109-million blockchain masterplan launched last October by Seoul’s mayor, Park Won-soon. According to Park, the Promotion Plan for Blockchain City Seoul will boost the blockchain industry–considered to be at the core of the Fourth Industrial Revolution–across multiple areas of his city.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a dispersed data storage technology which stores all transactions across various computers. Having information stored in a decentralised format makes it impossible–according to the city–to forge or manipulate. Due to this, it is applicable in sectors that require a high level of security and credibility such as finance, healthcare, logistics, and more.

IT market research institution, Gartner, forecasts that the world’s blockchain market will expand into a US$3.16 trillion market by 2030. Due to this, there is a high level of global competition to lead the blockchain market.

Vilnius in Lithuania took the lead in February 2018 by launching Europe’s first international blockchain technology centre. Switzerland has prepared and drafted blockchain industry guidelines while China created the world’s largest start-up fund (around US$1.4 billion) for blockchain. Competition is lining up between cities with Dubai and Moscow also leading the blockchain charge.

“Blockchain is an innovative technology that has the potential to bring a fundamental change to society,” says Park. “It has caught the world’s attention as a fuel for innovative growth that can boost a city’s competitive edge.”

According to the Seoul plan, a fund worth 100 billion won (US$88.5 million) will be set up in collaboration with the private sector. Park said that the Seoul Metropolitan Government will boost the blockchain industry’s ecosystem through five years of concentrated investment. In 2018, 14 administrative services began implementing blockchain technology (see box) in various steps to overhaul public services that are directly connected to the lives of citizens.

The plan is to develop Seoul from a “great e-government city” to becoming a blockchain-based smart city with a competitive edge.

“Seoul with its advanced ICT sector has the power to become the world’s best in blockchain industry and technology,” he adds. “We will aggressively support the blockchain industry to transform Seoul into an international blockchain city.”

Fourteen administrative services to be powered by blockchain:

  1. Direct democracy via citizen participation: By 2019 the aim is to create an online voting system (m-Voting, Democracy Seoul) where people can vote for major policies or engage in the community decision-making process. The city will share the voting process and results with all participants in a transparent manner. In the future, this can be widely used to decide on communities’ pending issues.
  2. Document-less online verification: The plan is to implement blockchain when selecting recipients for various services such as public employment, welfare service, and more. Blockchain will help minimise the verification process by storing verification data on the blockchain for institutions to search, instead of having the applicants visit various agencies to obtain documents. The city will integrate this into the employment sector in 2019 and expand into various businesses starting in 2020.
  3. Comprehensive management of Seoul Metropolitan Government mileage (S-Coin): Starting in 2019, Seoul citizens can deposit, use, convert, and claim individual mileage rewarded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for participating in city policies. Citizens can deposit mileage using S-Coin via the Seoul Citizen Card app and use it to top up transport cards, donations, and pay local taxes.
  4. Establish a trust system for used-car sales: Sellers can manage used-car title transfers, accident history and car conditions via blockchain to prevent fraud and to restore credibility to the used-car market. This will be carried out in the Janganpyeong used-car complex by 2019. Afterwards, it will expand to other used-car complexes.
  5. Prevent delayed payments for part-time workers: Blockchain will be used to manage part-time workers’ contracts, payments, and to improve working conditions. Based on working hours, payment calculations will be automated, and payments will be made. Starting in 2019, this will first be applied to the city’s affiliated agencies. In 2020 it will be linked to other relevant agencies for further expansion.
  6. Comprehensive verification of the Seoul Citizen Card: The city will provide a Seoul Citizen Card app service which allows about 400 city and district public facilities to be used via a single card. The plan is to implement a comprehensive verification feature using a single PIN instead of having to go through a separate membership application process.
  7. Automated subcontract payment: The city will automate Seoul’s public work payment via blockchain to protect the rights of workers and small business owners. The system will create an electronic contract between involved parties and automatically make payments based on the contract.
  8. Citizen-led smart healthcare: Personal healthcare records can be stored on encrypted blockchain with consent to create a shared system among medical institutions. This will help to prevent overlapping treatment and save medical costs, while providing customised healthcare. In order to achieve this, an information strategy plan will be drafted next year, beginning with sharing personal healthcare records.
  9. Prevent fraud and misuse of online civil documents: The government will issue the 29 types of online civil certificate documents via blockchain. This will strengthen the protection of personal information and prevent counterfeit documentation. Individuals can store and manage certificate files via electronic wallets which will be added onto the Seoul Citizen Card.
  10. Share history of donation and contribution details: A blockchain-based process will enhance transparency and credibility. By 2020, a comprehensive management system for ‘Donations and Contributions’ will be established to compute relevant tasks and to share donation records.
  11. Revolutionise the management system for private trust funds: By 2020, the city plans to create a management system which automates trustee selection, performance evaluation, and trust fund records. This will increase transparency for private trust fund businesses and reduce the workload for trust institutions.
  12. Manage the life cycle of electric vehicles: By 2020, a comprehensive management system will manage the overall life cycle of electric cars via blockchain. For example, applying for an electric car subsidy will all be managed under the blockchain system. Existing processes that were handled manually will be automated thereby helping to prevent any fraud regarding mileage records.
  13. Trading eco-friendly solar power: Electricity produced from a solar power generator will be managed via blockchain. The process of selling and buying surplus electricity will be automated and set up so that payments can be made using Seoul’s mileage S-Coin.
  14. Set up a blockchain standard platform: The city will set up a standard platform so that other administrative agencies can also utilise blockchain technology. Within a year, standards for blockchain applicable tasks such as e-forms and integrated verification process will be prepared. Going forward, a common model which can be utilised by other administrative agencies will be developed.

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Fintech: Threat Of Sharia-Compliant Finance Continues Without Scrutiny

The Islamic world is committed to leading the world in Fintech, the financing arm of Sustainable Development, because Fintech is Sharia-compliant. This is a back-door opportunity for Sharia to be systemically spread to the whole world. ⁃ TN Editor

Known usually by the euphemistic title “Islamic Finance,” designed to conceal its shariah basis, shariah-compliant finance continues to grow worldwide, with the help of the Western financial industry, as demonstrated by the relatively recent incorporation of blockchain into shariah banking and finance.

The incorporation of innovative financial tools may help shariah finance grow beyond its current $2 billion in assets, but no one in the regulatory environment or on Wall Street or Fleet Street seems to care about the potential troubling aspects of this sector.

The main purpose of shariah-compliant finance is to promote shariah, which is Islamic doctrinal law regarded in the Islamic world as immutable, indivisible and mandatory for all Muslims to follow in all aspects of life. Shariah can be accurately described as reactionary, and, in its implementation, barbaric. Shariah is the law of the land in three nations in the world today: Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, which all have dismal human rights records and extensive ties to Jihadist terrorism.

Shariah mandates as a religious obligation, conducting violent jihad against non-Muslims to establish Islam’s rule worldwide in a form known as the caliphate.

It comes as no surprise then that shariah is also the law of the land in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, Boko Haram-controlled areas of Nigeria, Al Shabaab-controlled areas of Somalia and the last vestiges of the Islamic State caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Shariah finance is indistinguishable from shariah itself since Muslims are not allowed to pick and choose different aspects of shariah to follow. Anyone that infers that shariah finance is something apart from shariah is simply being dishonest. In fact, the main purpose of shariah finance is to promote shariah.

Shariah finance is a threat to Western values, human rights and US national security. Shariah finance has a political objective: to legitimize shariah in the West. Evidence indicates that shariah-compliant finance provides financial support to Jihadist terrorism. Shariah-compliant financial institutions employ shariah scholars, many of whom have been shown to be associated with Jihadist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, even to the point of advocating suicide bombing and jihad against America. Among the decisions these scholars make is the donation of 2.5% or more of annual earnings to Muslim charities in a system known as zakat. Similar to zakat, earnings from investments that are judged to have been unislamic must be purified through donations to charities as well.

Given the Jihadist tendencies of some prominent shariah scholars such as Sheikh Youseff al-Qaradawi and Mufti Taqi Usmani, as well as the fact that no fewer than 27 Muslim charities have been designated as funding terrorism by the US Treasury Department, the UK charity commission or the UN, this presents a hazard which could obviously threaten US national security.

The effect of legitimizing and promoting shariah in the West can already be seen in Western Europe. Promoting shariah encapsulates Muslim communities from mainstream society and even creates enclaves controlled by shariah. Shariah-compliant finance plays a particular role in this because, a devout Muslim living in a Western country in which there are no shariah-compliant banks are allowed to use conventional “infidel” institutions under the shariah doctrine of “extreme necessity.” However, once shariah-compliant institutions do exist, they are religiously obligated to patronize them exclusively. Thus, by allowing the spread of shariah finance in the West and the US, we are pushing Muslims toward shariah.

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Bank For International Settlements Declared ‘Bastion Of Global Technocracy’

Not much is written about the secretive BIS, but this article is an exception as it recognizes it as “a bastion of global technocracy.” TN would add that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund complete the Technocratic troika. ⁃ TN Editor

There’s been a changing of the guard at the Bank for International Settlements, the little-known organization that sits at the heart of the world’s financial system.

Agustín Carstens, former head of Mexico’s central bank, succeeded Jaime Caruana as general manager on Dec. 1. He’s taking charge of an institution that stands out as a bastion of global technocracy in an age of increasing transparency and growing disillusionment with elites.

The BIS headquarters, which towers over Basel like a 70-meter stack of copper coins, serves as a clubhouse for the world’s central bankers and financial rulemakers. The likes of Mario Draghi, Janet Yellen, and Mark Carney routinely hold confidential gatherings there with colleagues from around the globe. “Maybe if it didn’t exist you wouldn’t invent it now, but
it plays an important role in the central banking world,” says Charlie Bean, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, who co-authored a report on the BIS’s research in 2016. “It’s the glue that helps keep the fraternity together.”

That hasn’t stopped the BIS, which was founded in 1930 and is owned by central banks, from challenging the economic orthodoxy of its own members. By 2003, William White, then economic adviser, and colleague Claudio Borio were pushing for preemptive monetary tightening to avoid dangerous asset bubbles, a contrarian view that looked prescient later, during the financial crisis. It’s kept beating that drum even as central bankers in the U.S., Europe, and Japan slashed interest rates to record lows and launched unprecedented bond-buying programs to fend off deflation. Borio, now head of the monetary and economic department at the BIS, argued in a September speech that central bankers may be underestimating the “generally benign” effects of globalization and technology on inflation and should rethink their response to deflationary trends. He called out Larry Summers, former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a proponent of the “secular stagnation” theory, who argues weak U.S. growth and inflation result from a persistent shortfall in demand. Summers describes the BIS as “an important source of thinking on issues relating to financial stability and economic performance,” while adding that he frequently disagrees with its conclusions. He’s not alone in questioning the BIS’s stance. A 2016 review of the bank’s publications co-authored by Bean found the organization “doing a lot right” on the research front but expressed reservations about the BIS “generating results to support the ‘house view.’ ”

Caruna, whose tenure began during the dark days of the financial crisis in April 2009, defended the BIS. “You may agree with what we say or not, but I think there is a value to introducing these elements in the debate,” he told Bloomberg in November, referring to the bank’s preference for taking a medium-term, global perspective and highlighting financial stability risks. Research aside, the BIS has grown in prominence in the years of monetary policy experimentation and banking regulation that have followed the crisis. While some central banks made efforts to open up as their increasing powers drew scrutiny from voters and governments, in Basel they’ve rowed back. Jens Weidmann, president of Germany’s Bundesbank and chairman of the BIS board of directors, says sometimes secrecy is necessary. “Informed decisions on domestic monetary policy require a nuanced understanding of international developments,” Weidmann says. “The privacy of the meetings facilitates a frank and open exchange of views.”

The organization hosts the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which hash out the rules that govern the international financial system. There’s also the Global Economy Meeting and its sister forum, the Economic Consultative Committee, dubbed “the world’s most exclusive club” by Adam LeBor, author of a book on the BIS. These latter two groups convene once every two months, on a Sunday, for formal sessions followed by a dinner on a top floor of the BIS tower, which has 360-degree views of Basel and the mountains. They seldom open themselves to scrutiny from the press and the public.

The clubby, shrouded nature of the organization and the
committees it hosts contrasts with efforts at greater transparency elsewhere. The European Central Bank bowed to public pressure in 2015 and began publishing the minutes of its meetings, while the Federal Reserve started holding quarterly press conferences in 2011.

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