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Why Bitcoin is Often More Expensive in South Africa

@veejay

Bitcoin pricing on local exchanges can vary significantly from the average exchange rate on international platforms.

The price users pay for a Bitcoin can be influenced by numerous factors, including trade volume and market size.

Many South Africans have also noticed that the price of Bitcoin on local exchanges is different to that shown by Google’s exchange rate.

Price Difference

At the time of writing, a single Bitcoin cost R37,000 on South Africa’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, Luno.

However, searching for the Bitcoin price using Google delivered a value of only R33,000.

Google Finance’s disclaimer states that its current Bitcoin price is calculated using data from Coinbase, a popular international exchange.

This amounts to a difference of R4,000 between global and local Bitcoin pricing – an issue Luno addressed in a recent blog post.

The exchange said; “There is no standard or global Bitcoin price, and its local price is determined primarily by supply and demand”.

Luno also pointed out that the Bitcoin price listed by Google is an average of current trade values on Coinbase, and excludes transfer fees and other costs involved in purchasing Bitcoin with fiat currency.

This means that the Bitcoin-to-rand exchange rate shown by Google is the US dollar value converted to Rand, and is not representative of local markets.

Bitcoin in South Africa

Luno said its Bitcoin price was higher in price than international exchanges due to the supply and demand of the South African market.

An exchange is a platform which allows users to sell Bitcoin to buyers, and the amount of sellers relative to the amount of buyers determines the Bitcoin price for that particular exchange.

The price of Bitcoin can vary greatly from one exchange to the next, depending on the individual markets of these platforms.

Luno’s Werner van Rooyen said; “The main driver of the local Bitcoin price was the South African market, not the exchange“.

“Although it is easy to speculate about the causes for the Bitcoin premium seen from time to time, it is important to realise that you are not trading directly with Luno,” said van Rooyen.

“We merely provide the platform upon which buyers and sellers interact. The forces of supply and demand ultimately determine the price,” he said.

Bitcoin

Arbitrage

The lack of a standard or tethered Bitcoin value allows for users to engage in arbitrage potentially.

Arbitrage is defined as the buying and simultaneous selling of assets in different markets to take advantage of differing prices for the same product.

This can be profitable, depending on the user’s local exchange and the price difference between markets, but is also limited by transaction fees and other costs involved in moving money internationally.

Arbitrage does occur, although it is reliant on market conditions, transaction speeds, and transfer costs.

Recently, there was a massive discrepancy between Bitcoin exchanges in South Korea and global averages, allowing users to make enormous profits thanks to arbitrage opportunities.

7 Reasons why S. A. Ethereum miners are buying all the AMD graphics cards

7 Reasons why S. A. Ethereum miners are buying all the AMD graphics cards

AMD’s Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 graphics cards are in high demand globally and are almost impossible to find in South Africa.

Reason # 1 Wootware‘s Matthew Berry said; The recent global increase in cryptocurrency value has caused miners to purchase more AMD Radeon RX-series graphics cards, leading to a decrease in availability.

Miners use graphics cards to mine blockchains and earn cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ZCash.

Reason # 2 “The cryptocurrency mining boom has created a surge in demand for RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs in particular,” said Berry.

Reason #3 The graphics cards are favorites among cryptocurrency miners due to their high hash rate and relatively low price.

AMD’s Radeon RX 400-series cards were succeeded by RX 500-series GPUs, and although there are Radeon RX 560 and RX 550 cards available in South Africa, top-end RX 400-series and RX 500-series cards are sold out at most retailers.

Reason #4 Less-powerful AMD graphics cards like the Radeon RX 550 are not as popular due to their lower hash rates.

Reason #5  Crypto mining has become a profitable undertaking, and six Radeon RX 480 graphics cards mining Ethereum every day can generate the owner a monthly income of around R10,000 ($ 780) at current prices.

Global Stock

Berry said additional stock of the AMD cards is arriving in the country on a continual basis, but all of this generally fulfills back orders

Miners around the world are clamoring to buy RX 580 and RX 570 cards, as they can pay for the hardware with three to four months of cryptocurrency mining.

Reason # 6 As the value of cryptocurrency increases, more users are building crypto miners, and existing miners are expanding or updating their hardware due to increased returns.

Reason # 7 Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen dramatic increases in value in 2017, making it more attractive to purchase graphics cards and mine the digital currencies.

The performance of mining cards below:

https://steemit.com/@veejay

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Ethereum miners are buying all the AMD graphics cards in …” Mybroadband.co.za. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Jun. 2017

 

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent Night, Holy Night is a popular Christmas carol composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. The carol has been translated into about 140 languages.

The song was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914 during World War 1, as it was one carol that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew.

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of World War 1 around Christmas 1914. In the week leading up to the holiday, French, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk.

silent night christmas carol

Silent Night, Holy Night

By A. C. Michael – The Guardian [2] / [3]Originally published in The Illustrated London News, January 9, 1915., PD-US.

In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. Men played games of football with one another, giving one of the most memorable images of the truce. Peaceful behaviour was not ubiquitous; fighting continued in some sectors, while in others the sides settled on little more than arrangements to recover bodies.

The following year, a few units arranged ceasefires but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting fraternisation. Soldiers were no longer amenable to truce by 1916. The war had become increasingly bitter after devastating human losses suffered during the battles of the Somme and Verdun and the incorporation of poison gas.

The truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of “live and let live”, where infantry close together would stop overtly aggressive behaviour and often engage in small-scale fraternisation, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised or worked in full view of the enemy.

The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation—even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable—and are often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of human history.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Silent Night: by Kelly Clarkson

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing “Alleluia”!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Silent night, holy night
All is calm and all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Oh Holy Night is a video that I quickly put up together and uploaded onto this website for you to enjoy.

It’s that time of the year again. December is the month in which we celebrate Christmas. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world.

It is written in John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

 

Socio-Economic Rights for All

Socio-Economic Rights for All


There are still persistent patriarchal attitudes and practices that negatively impact the socio-economic empowerment of women. This came to light when when the Department of Women briefed Parliament on the country’s Fifth Periodic Report on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The report provides an overview of the problems facing women and the effectiveness of laws, policies and programs implemented by the government to address these challenges.

Socio-Economic Rights for All

The report acknowledges that levels of maternal mortality remain high, a key challenge for the health sector. Various factors contribute to this challenge. These range from the uneven quality of public healthcare service delivery, inadequate health infrastructure, inadequate human resources for health, delayed health seeking behavior by women, violence against women and girls including high levels domestic violence and rape; substance abuse, lack of accountability by professionals and a high burden of disease particularly HIV and AIDS.

The lack of adequate access to economic opportunities and finances for women remains an ongoing concern. Women are still paid lower than their male counterparts. Further, the Department conceded that there is inadequate monitoring and implementation of legislation concerning women’s rights – there were still problems with land and property ownership in relation to inheritance, and there was a lack of gender – disaggregated data.

Despite this, there were some positives on women’s empowerment and gender equality in the areas of political and decision – making positions, provision of basic services, inclusion in economic activities, poverty reduction, gender based violence and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and AIDS. Human trafficking was addressed through enactment of legislation. Along the same line legislative amendment, the Employment Equity act was amended to incorporate the concept of equal work equal pay which protect women from desperate wages.

The National Task Team had addressed gender – based and sexual orientation – based violence perpetrated on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) and developed a strategy to address corrective rape, an issue which had become an increasing concern in South Africa. A program called Kha Ri Gude (Tshivenda for ‘let us learn’) had been implemented to improve particularly the literacy of women who lived in rural areas.

MPs complained that what was presented and what was actually being done on the ground were often very different, and that Parliament should ensure that implementation of plans and polices was actually happening. They also raised secondary victimisation of women who tried to open cases of sexual violence at police stations.

The Portfolio Committee on Labour invited the Departments of Home Affairs and Labour to brief it on work permits granted to foreign nationals, particularly those working on farms. This follows the Committee’s visit to farms in Mpumalanga where it found many foreign nationals working in appalling conditions with expired work permits.

The Committee called on the departments to attend to the exploitation of foreign nationals. The Chairperson said that “locals would never work in those conditions. They know their rights and they can easily run to trade unions for protection, but the foreign nationals do not have that”. The Department of Labour agreed there is a need to protect every worker, whether illegal or not. Every worker is supposed to enjoy all the rights provided for in the Constitution.

Being illegal did not reduce their rights. In some instances the foreign workers were not employed by the farm owners. They were recruited by labour brokers and loaned to farms and transported from one farm to another. The problem was dealing with employers who provided substandard work conditions. The migrants were deported, so when the case went to court, there were no witnesses so magistrates tended to dismiss the case and the farmers got off scot free. South Africa’s justice system could drag on for a long time and one of the solutions suggested was the establishment of special courts. There were ongoing discussions around this.

MPs asked what monitoring took place when work permits had expired. During the oversight visit, foreign workers told the Committee that they struggled to extend their permits of get permission to extend their employment. As a result, some of them were on the farms for more than 20 years. The Department of Home Affairs stated that it did conduct raids; however there were only 800 or so inspectors nationally, to do all the inspections and follow ups on visas that had expired. To make matters worse, it was difficult to catch any wrongdoing even when raids were unannounced as farmers communicated with one another and, there was only an impact on the first farm.

MPs probed why farm owners hired foreigners instead of South Africans as farm labour was not a scarce skill. The departments replied that if there is motivation from DoL, DHA is allowed to process work permits for foreign nationals, even if it is for general work purposes. A DHA official said a survey of farms close to the border found that South Africans are not interested in farm work.

DoL senior official refuted this and said this was the perception that continued to be propagated by farm owners. There was no official research that confirmed this. If one had to ask a South African why they did not want to work on a farm, they would say the conditions were bad. There was nothing wrong with farm work, the only problem was the treatment of workers. This perception that South Africans did not want to work was what some farmers were using as an excuse. At the end of the meeting, the Department of Home Affairs committed to inspecting the farms and reporting to Parliament within three months.

African Youth in Southern Africa

African Youth in Southern Africa…

African Youth specifically in South Africa regard June 16 as Youth Day. This started about 40 years ago when the students were prostesting against the forced use of Afrikaans language as a medium of instruction in some of their schools. In those days youth leaders took the struggle to different provinces in South Africa and became unstoppable.

Just across South African borders is another rising youth leader who is approaching youth concerns in a different angle. His name is Mcleo Mapfumo.

Mcleo Mapfumo has become one of the most influential youth in Zimbabwe. He is the Youth President of Zimbabwe United Nations Association, a Youth Representative in the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) for Humanitarian Affairs, a part of the Global Youth Network, a representative to the UN DPI/NGO Cluster for Youth, and a Post-2015 Development Agenda Youth Advocate.

Mcleo works at the grassroots level to stop the top-down approach to government in Zimbabwe. He believes that the local people have been isolated, and their voices have been silenced. He aims to help grassroots organizations in Zimbabwe improve the lives of marginalized groups through the use of Agenda 2030, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) proposed by the United Nations.

Mcleo is determined to bring the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to Zimbabwe. He plans to initiate a program to translate these goals into the local languages of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, he hopes to use sign language in order to increase the number of people receive information regarding the sustainable development goals; if more people are educated, more people will work to reach these goals.

Another goal of his is to increase the amount of youth involvement and youth leadership in Zimbabwe. Mcleo believes that young people are the future for the country, so it is imperative that they work as early as possible with the government to create a better future. He is working with high school students and university-aged youth, both in and out of school, in order to get the youth interested in the future of Zimbabwe.

Mcleo believes that if students participate in activities such as model United Nations in high school and university, they will want to become educated, empowered, and change the world. He also predicts that after the youth discover what issues they are interested in, these youths can then push their respective local leaders to advocate for change to meet their needs.

There is a common trend between the Youth of June 1976 in South Africa and that of Mcleo of Zimbabwe. The common factor is the language barrier. This is Mcleo Mapfumo approach, “he is determined to bring the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to Zimbabwe. He plans to initiate a program to translate these goals into the local languages of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, he hopes to use sign language in order to increase the number of people receive information regarding the sustainable development goals; if more people are educated, more people will work to reach these goals.”

 

 

 

 

Statelessness or The Absence of Nationality

Statelessness or The Absence of Nationality


It is a problem affecting at least 10 Million people globally. There is no region on the planet that does not host stateless persons. In addition to the indignity being without nationality, stateless persons are often denied basic right, such as access to education and health care. While statelessness is a serious problem, it can be resolved and parliamentarians can play a vital role in achieving law reforms to prevent, reduce and ultimately, end Statelessness worldwide.

In law, statelessness is the lack of nationality, or the absence of a recognized link between an individual and any state. A stateless person is someone who is “not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”; he or she has no citizenship or nationality.

Statelessness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parliament, the Inter-Parliament Union and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees organised a two day conference or convention to discuss how national legislatures can successfully contribute to ending statelessness worldwide.

Lawmakers were encouraged to persuade their government to accede to the Conventions as well as relevant international/regional treaties, adopt legislation that correspond to the provisions contained in the Conventions and institute safeguards against statelessness, regardless of whether they are parties to the Conventions.

Delegates identified that there was a need to understand and address the roots causes of displacement- from conflict over resources, to poor governance: human right violations or unequal access to development benefits, among others, and explore what governments, parliamentarians, the sector, humanitarian organisations civil society and others can do to address these pressing challenges. Awareness raising campaigns and partnerships between parliaments and civil society were critical to ending statelessness and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The National assembly adopted the final report of the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals. Parliament set up the multi-party committee earlier this year to investigate the outbreak of violence against foreign nationals, where seven people, three of them South Africans, lost their lives and shops were looted.

The report identifies the following roots causes- social, economic and political issues affecting both South Africans and foreign nationals and finds that the main causes of the violent attacks were criminal actions that started with the stealing of goods from foreign owned spaza by South African criminals who are often drug addicts.

The report recommended that the affected countries and parliament work together to address Social-economic and political conditions and that the relevant government bodies should continue to monitor, pre-empt and protect vulnerable communities. The Democratic Alliance described the report as flawed as it failed to recognize xenophobia as a crime. Meanwhile, the EFF criticized the report for not offering any new solutions.

Here is another article about Revolutionary New Land for Housing Projects Plan.

 

Fees Must Fall

Fees Must Fall

SCHOOL READINESS FOR 2016


The cost of tertiary education has been at the forefront of the national debate and the parliamentary agenda following unprecedented protests across the country, which led to the closure of university campuses, the storming of the parliamentary precinct by demonstrators and the eventual decision by the President to freeze fee hikes for higher education next year.

The Minster of Higher Education and Training informed MPs that the protest were fueled by a number of burning issues, the immediate one being the proposed 2016 increments in student fees. However two specific and more systematic issues underpin this:

  1. under-funding of the university system in general,
  2. the demand for free higher education.

The Minster said that free education for the poor was a goal that should be fast-tracked and that the cost of the 0% fee increase would be shared between government and the universities, each according to their means

As a medium term solution, his department will explore the possibility of developing regulatory frameworks in the area of fee increments and interrogate the balance between the institutional autonomy of universities and the need for public accountability.

The National Development Plan set a target of 500 000 university graduates every year for the next 15 years.   The objective will not be achieved if additional funding is not channeled into the system.

The Committee expressed concern about where the money to fund the 0% fee increase would come, and the fact that the sector as a whole seemed to be underfunded.  They noted the low level of university funding as a percentage of gross domestic product in South Africa, which was below global and continental average.

Some MPs voiced concern about the financial health of the universities, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) disbursement mechanism and the failure of students to repay loans.

SIYASIZANA NEWS FOLLOW UP FROM PARLIAMENTARY MONITORING GROUP

Revolutionary New Land for Housing Projects Plan

DHS Reveals New Plans to Acquire More Land for Housing Projects


The Department of Human Settlements (DHS) said it was developing a land identification and acquisition framework to acquire more land for housing projects. The lack of a framework was regarded as the main contributing factor in creating unintended consequences and imposing high costs on households and the economy. The Minister of Human Settlements had instructed the Department to develop a practice note for this framework, which has several objectives:

1. To ensure that provinces and municipalities coordinated the activities of land and eliminate the acquisition that remained fragmented across provinces and municipalities.

2. To facilitate the process of the identification and acquisition of well located land and eliminate the acquisition of land at exorbitant prices that was done outside the mandate of the Housing Development Agency (HDA).

3. To improve coordination with various sector departments that are expected to contribute to a coherent land acquisition programme that seeks to enhance the delivery of of sustainable human settlements, including the land reform programme of South Africa.

4. To eliminate the practice of disposing suitable and well-located municipal land with the expectation that the Department and the Housing Development Agency would later acquire such land for human settlements development.

SHANTY TOWN IN SOUTH AFRICA

community development projects

Continue Reading Here… The Department of Human Settlements