Can Bhutan’s digital cash lift its gross national happiness

Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan has announced a pilot with San Francisco-based Ripple for a national currency running on distributed electronic account-keeping.

The open-source XRP ledger claims to be carbon neutral and 120,000 times more efficient than proof-of-work blockchains. Unlike El Salvador, which has chosen to use the volatile and energy-guzzling Bitcoin as money alongside US dollars, Bhutan wants to retain the ngultrum, the national currency. The bet is that a paperless version of the central bank’s liabilities would be a more attractive alternative to bank deposits for a sparse population scattered across a rugged, mountainous terrain.

Why Bitcoin’s wild ride bodes well for the future of digital cash

The mania and panic that have gripped decentralized cryptocurrencies are heightening the attraction of their coming rivals: digital cash, issued by central banks. These tokens will be staid, centralized and state-controlled. That’s exactly what users will want in an Internet of Things world where machines need to settle claims with one another all the time, instantaneously, but without contributing to global warming.

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Rights for nature: How granting a river personhood’ could help protect it

Galvanised by widespread environmental degradation and rising Indigenous rights movements, indigenous communities around the world are leading the way in upholding the rights of sacred and ancestral rivers. This includes Maori tribal relationships with the Whanganui River in Aotearoa New Zealand, the role of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in the Atrato River in Colombia, and the Yurok Tribal Council’s granting legal rights of personhood to the Klamath River through an ordinance in the United States.

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Is Covid-19 Vaccine a victory for Big Pharma

It’s an incredible public relations coup for an industry desperate to rescue its image. Just last month, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty and has agreed to penalties of more than $8 billion after being prosecuted for its role in America’s horrific opioid crisis. Pfizer set an earlier record for a drug industry fraud settlement in 2009 at $2.3 billion, in a case over its fraudulent marketing of a painkiller, an antipsychotic and other drugs for conditions for which it hadn’t received approval.The turpitude of the pharmaceutical industry is so commonplace that it has become part of the cultural wallpaper. The screenwriters of the 1993 movie

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Robots in finance could wipe out some of its highest-paying jobs

“Financial machine learning creates a number of challenges for the 6.14 million people employed in the finance and insurance industry, many of whom will lose their jobs — not necessarily because they are replaced by machines, but because they are not trained to work alongside algorithms,” Lopez de Prado told the US House Committee on Financial Services.

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Harnessing India’s Youth Power:Running out of time

“India is not taking advantage of its demographic dividend,” said Satyaki Roy, an associate professor at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development in New Delhi. “If you see the story of South Korea, Taiwan and other East Asian countries, there was a concerted effort by those governments to create the kind of human capital required for industry.”

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