10 Inside BUSINESS: ICT & GADGETS Wednesday, February 21 2018 | NEW ERA Cryptocurrencies a mechanism for economic inclusion - Marshall Staff Reporter Windhoek The immense interest in cryptocurrencies was evident on Thursday, 15 February 2018, when over 400 people attended an information session on Bitcoin and its supporting blockchain technology hosted by Bank Windhoek. Cryptocurrency expert Gavin Marshall from Blockchain Academy in South Africa, enthralled the audience with the origin and workings of Bitcoin and emphasised that its invention, together with blockchain technology, is revolutionary and could change the future of how we deal with money in the digital age. Setting the context for his talk on cryptocurrencies, Marshall started by saying, “The purpose behind us inventing numbers is so we could trade. As human beings, we have been trading for a long time.” Trade, Marshall explained, then took on the form of trading goods for paper as receipts for value backed by a guarantee held by a trusted third party or institution. The trusted third party has always been the debits and credits – or deposits and withdrawals against an account or ledger. In the current context of digital trade and easy internet access, the concept of trade and compensation has taken on a radical shift, “Now, we have a money system that is actually designed for the digital age. Bitcoin is the most secure database in the world with everyone in control. Self-regulatory by nature, it offers a secure platform to trade within seconds anywhere in the world. Blockchain and Bitcoin also opens the world of digital money to anyone who has access to technology. It is a mechanism for economic inclusion,” Marshall said. Marshall explained that cryptocurrency originated with the cypherpunk movement in the late 1990s experimenting with using various cryptographic technologies to create alternate ways for people to transact with each other without needing a trusted third party to safeguard the ledger. Nick Szabo, Adam Back, Hal Finney and Wei Dai were all pioneers in paper being released in October 2008 by someone - or a group of people - with the pseudonym version of Bitcoin was released early in 2009. “Every now and again a technology comes along and changes everything. Blockchain is one of those technologies,” Marshall said. The blockchain is one part of a suite of technologies that enables us to secure a decentralised, distributed ledger. A block holds batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree. Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the chain, linking the two. The linked blocks form of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block. This chain of validated transactions form the basis of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency creates the incentive to secure the ledger (a process known as mining). In Economist Rowland Brown, Bank Windhoek Managing Director, Baronice Hans, Gavin Marshall and Bank Windhoek’s Chief Bitcoin and its supporting blockchain technology that was hosted by Bank Windhoek. Photo: Contributed order to have a permission less decentralised ledger without needing a trusted third party, a blockchain needs an incentive - namely a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. There have been a number of experiments to separate ‘blockchain’ from needing a cryptocurrency, but all of these need trusted, permissioned entities to safeguard the ledger. Speaking at the same event, Bank Windhoek’s Managing Director, Baronice Hans, said, “For Bank Windhoek it is important to open the discussion on this much publicised technology. The aim of this information session is to educate and inform the Namibian public on the impact that this technology may have on society.” “Tonight, also emphasized the need for more debate and knowledge sharing. Only then will we be able to fully understand the of technologies can have on our daily lives. And with the intense media coverage of cryptocurrencies in recent weeks, this type of information sharing is long overdue for consumers in our country,” said Bank Windhoek’s Chapman. MARKET OVERVIEW Change Latest 3 months 0.00% 7.13% 6 months 0.00% 7.57% CGP CAPRICORN INVESTMENT GROUP L 1802 0.00% 9 months 0.00% 7.64% NBS NAMIBIA BREWERIES LTD 4499 0.00% 12 months 0.00% 7.89% BVN BIDVEST NAMIBIA LTD 784 0.00% Change Latest FNB FNB NAMIBIA HOLDINGS LTD 4660 0.02% GC18 (R204 : 6.89%) 0.03% 7.80% ORY ORYX PROPERTIES LTD 2040 -0.49% GC21 (R208 : 7.06%) 0.05% 7.88% NAM NAMIBIAN ASSET MANAGEMENT LT 69 0.00% GC24 (R186 : 8.13%) 0.05% 9.35% NHL NICTUS NAMIBIA 189 0.00% GC27 (R186 : 8.13%) 0.05% 9.74% BMN BANNERMAN RESOURCES LTD 41 5.13% GC30 (R2030 : 8.59%) 0.04% 10.26% DYL DEEP YELLOW LTD 245 -5.04% GC32 (R213 : 8.68%) 0.04% 10.39% SILP STIMULUS INVESTMENT LTD-PREF 12129 0.00% GC35 (R209 : 8.99%) 0.05% 10.42% FSY FORSYS METALS CORP 111 0.00% GC37 (R2033 : 8.81%) 0.04% 10.81% TUC TRUSTCO GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 940 0.00% %Change Latest B2G B2GOLD CORP 3406 0.09% Gold -0.48% $ 1,340.03 Platinum -0.02% $ 1006.31 Copper 0.00% $ 7,118.00 Brent Crude -0.38% $ 65.14 %Change Latest NSX (Delayed) -0.22% 1418.09 JSE All Share -1.44% 57,855.57 SP500 0.00% 2,732.22 FTSE 100 -0.27% 7,228.25 Hangseng -0.78% 30,873.63 DAX -0.05% 12,378.93 %Change Latest Financials -1.03% 18,144.47 Resources -1.47% 35,734.03 Industrials -1.67% 75,638.71 %Change Latest N$/US dollar 0.65% 11.7463 N$/Pound 0.55% 16.4242 N$/Euro 0.22% 14.5105 US dollar/ Euro -0.44% 1.2353 Latest Previous Namibia Inflation (Jan 18) 3.6 5.2 Bank Prime 10.50 10.50 BoN Repo Rate 6.75 6.75 Competency in Engineered Construction Vacancy Announcement 2x Project Engineer (BSc) (3years experience) 2x Prof Engineer & 2x CSE Technicians Min. of 3 years experience +Driver’s license Closing Date: 9 March 2018, Enquiries: 061-259728 Documents must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or hand-delivered at No. 39 Daan Bekker Street, Olympia Windhoek PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) INTRODUCTORY TRAINING Sam Geiseb, a local urban development consultant has scheduled a 2.5-day practical introductory training for senior officials and councilors of local authorities and regional councils on the topic of PPPs. Key topics to be covered include: PPP background, concept and guiding principles, PPP legal framework, PPP cycle, and PPP implementation. Training Dates: 11 – 13 April 2018, Location: Otjiwarongo, Registration Deadline: 16 March 2018. The fee per participant is N,000.00 (excl. VAT), with discounted rates available for multiple delegates. Please contact Mr. Dylan Mukoroli at: 061-227235 (tel), 061-228070 (fax) or email@example.com (Email) for more information.
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