The Inyang Effiong Show

The PodCast About People and Events around Nigeria and West Africa

Tag: corruption

Card Paper and Coin Money

How Crytocurrencies really work (and what you can do with them)

In this 3rd part of the series on money and cryptocurrencies, we dive deeper into the mechanism of cryptocurrencies.

At the very core, a cryptocurrency is basically a token that is created and maintained on top of a blockchain, the blockchain is a distributed digital database with no centralized control. Any change on the blockchain has to be agreed upon by the majority of users, what this actually means in practice is that changes to the blockchain will follow the rules set up during the creation of the blockchain.

Various Money Types

To use the old banking vs cryptocurrency example once more, your bank can change your banking records at will, but that should not happen on a blockchain since there is no central body like your bank in charge.

Getting a Bitcoin
So, how do you get a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, you can walk down to the nearest bureau de change or bank and ask for some, you will not get it though (as of February 2018), so that option is out. There are only two ways you can get a cryptocurrency now,
  1.  You can be a miner and produce some, be prepared to invest in hardware and the power to run in or
  2.  You can buy Bitcoin or your preferred cryptocurrency on a cryptocurrency exchange.

Using a cryptocurrency
And how do you spend them? No practical way at the moment, you can go back to the same exchange and trade your Bitcoin back into regular money, outside converting Bitcoin and her sisters back into regular currencies, there  a few places available to actually spend them, it was – and still is – a popular method for underground payments for things the buyers will rather not have traced back to them.

Miners are at the heart of the blockchain and one of the reasons blockchain applications are currently limited to money applications, miners run the software that builds the blockchain. Miners check that transactions are legitimate and aggregate transactions into a block, their reward is being given a newly created currency as their reward.

What does it take to be a miner?
Power, as much power as you can get.
Kainji Dam looking downstream
Computing Power- The mining process is like a fixed lottery, every miner is given the chance to build a block, the first miner to solve a puzzle wins, the puzzle is a mathematical problem that needs a lot of computing resources to solve and the more powerful your hardware – read the faster your compute engine- the more faster you can solve the puzzle and be the chosen one.
Electrical Power – One side effect of computing is power consumption and dissipation in the form of heat. You will need power your computers and also keep them cool, the faster and more powerful the computer, the hotter they run and the more cooling you will need, which translate to you guess it, more power. Some mining operations are located near dams to get cheap electricity.
But do not be discouraged, there are ways to be a miner without running a warehouse full of specialized computing hardware.
  • use your present hardware and join a distributed mining combine, this is a decentralized group of people/computing resources that took together their processing power to solve the puzzles and the rewards are distributed back to members in accordance with their contribution.
  • build a specialized mining rig and join a mining combine to pool together your computing resources.
  • run mining software on other peoples machine over the net either with their knowledge or without their knowledge.

How are Cryptocurrencies valued?
The key question.  Just like any medium of exchange, the cryptocurrencies are valued based on what people will pay for it. Right now, cryptocurrencies are treated more like assets/commodities than money.
1000 naira note

Nigerian Naira

Their current value is based mostly on what people think they will be worth in the future or will do in the future, not on the present usage. If you are buying a cryptocurrency, a little research helps.

There is even a cryptocurrency -DogeCoin-  that was set up as a joke by Jackson Palmer and now has a market capitalisation of over 1.2 billion dollars, you can listen to the story on NPR PlanetMoney
 Why does the value of crytocurrencies appear to only going up and keep going up?  FOMO – Fear of missing out and it may be a bubble, then again, it may now. Caveat Emptor 

Current Challenges
What generation is the underlying blockchain the currency is based on? Bitcoin is generation 1, Ethereum is generation 2, some generation 3 blockchains are coming up. The main differences are transaction speed. One of the shortfalls of Bitcoin and even Ethereum is the slow transaction speed. Bitcoin is maxed out at 7 transactions per second, compared to say Visa which handles 2,000 transactions per second and can hit 50,000 tps

The Bubble issue
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can go all the way up, or crash, it depends on so many factors and if you are going into cryptocurrencies, do as much research as you can. There are predictions for 60,000 USD per bitcoin and also 5,000 USD dollar per bitcoin, sometimes coming from the same source ().

Our last article in the series will focus on other uses of the blockchain apart from cryptocurrencies. Do keep the comments coming in.

7 Common Problems in 3rd World Countries

Living in the third world comes with a set of problems you do not encounter in the developed world. Some are so baked into the psyche of the residents that they are not even thought of as problems again but as regular day to day minor inconveniences to be managed!

A visitor to a third world country will have a system shock right from when the plane lands, when crossing into the country by land – only for the brave -, and all through their stay. For both visitors and residents, we have gone ahead to list the top 7 problems in  third world countries here

Note: This was compiled from my Facebook page via a series of live videos with audience feedback used to update the list.

No. 1 Checkpoints

Read More

Ogun State Vehicle Papers

10 Ways to Improve Road Travel in Nigeria

Traveling by road around Nigeria is not a nice experience, actually, it is a horrible experience. I travel about 4,000 km average every month and come across the same things day after day, sometimes, it feels like groundhog day in hell.
What can be done to improve the experience, see my top ten suggestions
  1. Provide signs on the road
Sounds easy right, but even with a GPS and paper map, a simple sign pointing out the name of a town or road works wonders to make the journey less stressful.
Especially at night when landmarks  and you wonder if that last junction was Mokwa or Molete.

Read More

Ore Ijebu Ode Highway in Nigeria

RoadWorthiness Paper in Nigeria – Scam or Useless Piece of Paper?

The RoadWorthiness Paper Scam
Every vehicle on the road in Nigeria now carries one extra piece of paper.
Green background, with official looking logos and writing you can not read. You have to renew it every year or 6 months. It is one more thing for the police officers to check on the road.
And Road Safety officers.
And Vehicle Inspection officers.
And Operation Safer Highway officers.
And Anti Crime Patrol officers.
And Federal SARS.
And plains clothes officers.
And Customs officers.
And even local government touts.

Read More

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén