Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cryptocurrency – Good or Evil?

By now many of you are much familiar with the cryptocurrencies. For starters, Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies (Wikipedia Article), built based on the blockchain  (strong encryption) and used for transactions. Since 2009, bitcoins are widely used in several transactions. How legal are the cryptocurrencies? Are they being used for good purposes? In one of my previous blogs, we have discussed how money can do good or evil (Is Money Good or Evil?)

Few countries strictly ban the usage of Cryptocurrency and US impose a capital gain tax for the cryptocurrency. In the United States, the crypto exchanges (traders) are supposed to report the transactions to the IRS. Currently, the value of bitcoin is ~$8000. See the above Graph for the trend (in US Dollars).

                Anything new takes time for everyone to get used to it and the authorities to impose controls. The same applies to the cryptocurrencies. Currently, the controls are not strict, it is hard for the authorities to control and many countries are not concerned about bitcoins, most of the transactions (cryptocurrency to money) happen in those countries.

                So, apart from the new admirers (investors), who use the cryptocurrency? Mostly all of the darknet transactions occur in cryptocurrencies. Not only that, but these are also used in ransomware and data breach demands. A friend of mine who owns a small law firm; years ago, three of their computers got locked by ransomware, and they ended up paying bitcoins worth of ~$10,000 to retrieve their data. They even reached out to law enforcement at that time, but due to the complexity (the demand was to pay by bitcoin through darknet; which is not traceable). This is just an example; in real life, this is how the cryptocurrencies are used!

                Think about it, when you use a credit card or mobile payments, you are not carrying the currency, it is digital. Also, those encryptions are secure as well. Then, what is the difference? The banking architecture controls the regular digital money, whereas the cryptocurrency is not. So, it is easy for people who conduct illegal activities to monetize without getting caught. What do you think?


Friday, May 3, 2019

What is my Purpose?

Do you know what is your purpose in this World or Galaxy or Universe…? That brings the next question, “Are we supposed to know our purpose?”, Even if we do, “Are we capable of understanding and recognize our true purpose?”… A lot to think, let me take you through a short journey from my perspective.

We always talk about successful people and heroes, but shouldn’t everyone have a purpose? There was this very successful man, who excelled in his trade. One day, an interviewer asked him about his success. He mentioned that his father was a failed businessman and drug addict who didn’t take care of the family and died early. So, the son was determined not to be like his Father and turned his life around. Now, think about it, what was the purpose of his Father??

The perspective differs from person to person. When we study someone (maybe a family member or someone whom we admire or popular personality), we will have different perspectives of their life. There are several influential factors; such as our knowledge, our beliefs, etc.… For example, have you ever thought about what was the purpose of Hitler? Won’t you agree there are different versions based on different perspectives?

Now, let's go back to the initial questions. “Are we supposed to know our purpose?”, Even if we do, “Are we capable of understanding and recognize our true purpose?”. Hypothetically, let's say if we are capable of identifying our purpose, would everyone in the world agree to that? Do we need to spend our precious time chasing to define our purpose or would it be wise to stay on the flow of life?

The world around us continually imposes us to define our purpose based on fame, wealth, health, etc. I have been continuously redefining my purpose over the past several years. During childhood, I thought to live a good life the society is all one needs (mostly influenced by parents), during adolescent age, I thought my life should be in a monastery as a Priest, later in my 20’s everything was shifted towards money, now in my 30’s I feel living a healthy life is all that matters,.. Don’t know what the future holds for me? But, don’t you agree we all keep redefining our purpose in life. While taking a closer look into my life, I don’t believe it was me who was trying to redefine the purpose of my life; it was the circumstances. Why are we forced into situations that define the purpose of our life?? Do You or I have any control over defining our purpose in life??