Dance like nobody’s watching. Think like you’re Xi Jinping.

“China is not democracy and will not become democracy. I am leader for life (not even think of word “emperor” except in dreams). We not Marxist, Communism never worked. We are Confucian, always were, even when Mao did his Great Leap Backwards. He was Confucian emperor, just a nutty one.”

“We are world-leading country and will become most world-leading country. We will lead in every area of technology. Communications, computers, cell phones, solar power, space rockets, weaponry, trains and boats and planes, and noodle-making machines. Even crypto — but how do we dominate crypto?”

“I despise Bitcoin abomination. People hide money in crypto-wallets, and we cannot track it. People must not stop using the Yuan. It is Renminbi [that’s Chinese for “the people’s currency]. They must use. If they have crypto, their money will make exodus from Chung Kuo [that’s Chinese for “China”]. We will lose taxes, and I will lose power. So must stop this?”

“We will make Renminbi into crypto. Will make crypto-fiat — cryptiat. And we will slowly squeeze Bitcoin and its dogs out of Chung Kuo. So now time to make plans.”

“Kong Fuzi [that’s Chinese for “Confucius”] say “it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

That’s the crypto news from China. China would like to add crypto capabilities to the Yuan. Read PBoC Filings Reveal Big Picture for Planned Digital Currency if you want the nitty gritty.

Of course, you will. That’s the whole point of the Permission token (ticker: ASK). But rather than blow the trumpet, let’s mention an article I ran into a month after it was published, with the title: A big name in advertising thinks you’re going to get paid for sharing your data.

The big name is Maurice Levy, former CEO and now chairman of Publicis Groupe, a $15.8 billion French ad giant and one of the largest ad firms in the world.

“I know that some governments are not in favor, but when the consumer says, ‘There is all this wealth of information that you are using, and the only thing I’m getting is a free service. But you are getting much more from me, and maybe I should get a share of that revenue,’” Maurice said. “And I’m absolutely convinced that this will be the future.”

He’s talking about Google and Facebook, of course, but he is too polite to mention their names. The governments he thinks are not in favor is just one: the US. And he’s probably right, given that Washington is alive with Google and Facebook lobbyists, and in America, the words “data” and “privacy” never stand next to each other in any sentence written or spoken. That’s right. In the US when they speak of write about that horrid EU GDPR legislation the concept of data privacy never invades their psyche.

Blockchain technology was supposed to preside over elections in Sierra Leone in March this year. But it didn’t, sorry to say.

But don’t be down-hearted, tip your hat to Switzerland — or to be precise to the town of Zug [incidentally Zug is the crypto capital of Switzerland and, give it a year or two, maybe the world], which is launching a trial run of its blockchain-based election system.

Will it work? Of course, it will. How hard can it be?

First, you record the vote, and then you add it to the blockchain. Optimists believe that Blockchain systems will be the dominant means of electronic voting once the technology has been properly tested.

However, critics are pointing out that blockchain voting systems suffer from a series of considerable flaws:

  1. The blockchain is immutable, and hence there’s no possibility of altering votes once cast.
  2. Blockchain systems are notoriously secure, and hence hackers will not be able to interfere with results. Vladimir Putin is particular miffed about this.
  3. The voting system is particularly useless when it comes to rigged elections in dictatorships like Venezuela, Russia, etc.
  4. Double voting would be impossible without a 51% attack, which is impossible when the blockchain is decentralized.
  5. It would be auditable.

Advocates of blockchain voting maintain that these are features — not bugs at all. On the contrary, they say the technology’s only serious defect is that its implementation requires a majority vote by honest politicians.

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