LLPress: World Bank’s own charter might obligate it to accept BTC, even if it refuses to provide further assistance with crypto adoption

Originally published by Liberland Press

El Salvador requested the World Bank’s help with its transition to add Bitcoin as legal tender. The World Bank flatly refused. However, the World Bank’s own charter may force it to at least accept Bitcoin, if nothing else.

The World Bank’s excuses for rejecting El Salvador’s request were the following, according to Yahoo Finance, “While the [Salvadorian] government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings”.

RELATED: Bitcoin and ecology: What activists forgot

On their website, the World Bank specifies their “Environmental and Social Policies”, saying,

When we provide governments with financing to invest in projects — such as building a road, connecting people to electricity, or treating waste water — we aim to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from potential adverse impacts. We do this through policies that identify, avoid, and minimize harm to people and the environment. These policies require the borrowing governments to address certain environmental and social risks in order to receive World Bank support for investment projects. We know from experience that including environmental and social considerations into project design and implementation improves development outcomes.

World Bank

According to the “International Bank for Reconstruction and Development” Articles of Agreement, which is found on the World Bank’s website,

SECTION 12. Form of Holdings of Currency
The Bank shall accept from any member, in place of any part of the member’s currency, paid in to the Bank under Article II, Section 7 (i), or to meet amortization payments on loans made with such currency, and not needed by the Bank in its operations, notes or similar obligations issued by the Government of the member or the depository designated by such member, which shall be non-negotiable, non-interest-bearing and payable at their par value on demand by credit to the account of the Bank in the designated depository.

World Bank

For those who do not speak legalese, it basically is saying that “The [World] Bank shall accept from any member [in this case, El Salvador]… notes or similar obligations issued by the Government of [El Salvador] or the depository designated by [El Salvador]…”

Thus, it seems that the World Bank may be forced to accept Bitcoin (or at least an asset derived from Bitcoin) from El Salvador.

Additional assistance from the World Bank related to Salvadorian BTC adoption, on the other hand, probably faces a more uphill battle.

This article by Martin Leo Rivers in Forbes lays out a case for why the World Bank must accept Bitcoin, plus how the environmental standard held for Bitcoin by the World Bank is apparently different from the standards which it has held for its own fossil fuel investments in the recent past.

As far as the World Bank’s transparency concerns go, Rivers says that Bitcoin’s nature as a distributed public ledger makes it, “by far, the most transparent monetary network that has ever existed.”

Bitcoin’s transaction history can be easily viewed by visiting a BTC block explorer website. However, instead of actual names, the transactions record what the public keys of the senders and recipients were. As soon as an investigator is able to link one’s public key to their actual identity, then the investigator is able to know their entire transaction history for that address. Privacy coins, on the other hand, (like Monero, Zcash, Dash, and Pirate Chain, among others) use technological means to (so far as possible) hide the transaction histories and/or balances while still retaining the anti-double-spend property of Bitcoin.

Despite the above, Reuters reports that a spokesperson for the World bank said, “We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes”.

Trump is a dollar supremacist

Former U.S. President Donald Trump condemned Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying, “I want the [U.S] dollar to be the currency of the world–that’s what I’ve always said.”

Not only that, but, in the same interview which he had with Fox’s “Varney & Co.”, Trump said that Bitcoin “just seems like a scam”.

These remarks are not surprising. Trump is a member of the legacy system of finance. He grew up in a different generation. It is common for members of the older generations to not be open to the revolutionary idea of a new form of money which lacks a central governing authority. Of course, there are notable exceptions, like Trump’s personal friend Robert Kiyosaki, who said, “Money without borders and without government control will change the entire world. Blockchain may take us out of the Information-Age and bring about the Decentralized-Age.”

In addition to his old age, Trump also is an economic nationalist in other areas, like when he would impose tariffs in order to incentivize Americans to purchase more expensive products that are made in America.

It is clear that Trump values American dominance more than he values individual liberty, especially on the economic front.

It remains to be seen exactly how much the Biden Administration will be attempting to suppress Bitcoin, but one member of his team—Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen—has openly declared intent to persecute the use of cryptocurrencies. Yellen said back in January, “Cryptocurrencies are of particular concern. I think many are used, at least in a transaction sense, mainly for illicit financing. And I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use, and make sure that anti-money laundering [sic] doesn’t occur through those channels.”

Notes:

“Donald Trump” image by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Learn more about OBB.

Ammunition startup ditches Big Tech social media platforms

The ammunition subscription startup AmmoSquared announced Thursday that it will “no longer post or provide customer support through” the platforms “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube”.

The company says that this was not only the smart move from a “business” perspective, but that “it was also a moral decision,” due to the fact that tech giants profit from user engagement, including that of companies that post content to their platforms.

It is refreshing to see a company that is willing to vote with its digital feet and go to greener firing ranges in the social media landscape. I really should start following their example with Outsmart Big Brother.

I am an investor in AmmoSquared. I am also a person who is familiar with Big Tech’s hostility to free speech, especially things like firearm freedoms. To see this kind of leadership from AmmoSquared makes me extremely proud.

Here is AmmoSquared’s statement which they posted at the end of their May 13 update.

Lastly, on a completely different topic, we have decided to discontinue our use of the “Big 4” social media platforms. We have pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube but will no longer post or provide customer support through those platforms.

This was primarily a business decision: we don’t have the resources to keep posting content for a questionable return – or under constant threat of deletion. However, it was also a moral decision because we can’t, in good faith, support companies that engage in politically motivated censorship.

The reality for a 2A company is that these platforms can delete our business profile in the blink of an eye without so much as a warning – so why should we play their game and invest in building up a community and content on their platforms? So we won’t.

So in the mean time we’ll utilize email and blog posts more often and look for other freedom loving platforms to support in the future. Or maybe we’ll just build our own. 😉

Outsmart Big Brother has reached out to AmmoSquared for more information on where they plan to go from here.

Notes

Original ammo image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

OBB is (finally) on Parler!

After many attempts during the past couple of months, I am proud to announce that Outsmart Big Brother is finally on Parler.

Parler is a alternative social media platform that has had a shaky start to the year, since they were formerly hosted on AWS, but were then booted from it.

That upheaval resulted in OBB not being able to create an account. What luck, right?

Fortunately, OBB had a stroke of good fortune today and successfully joined Parler. Those who are interested in following OBB there can find OBB’s profile at @OutsmartBigBrother.

Outsmart Big Brother looks forward to sharing useful content to this recovering platform, in addition to all the others.

To view OBB’s updated list of content distribution platforms, please check out our social media list.

For legal stuff, check out OBB’s Terms of Service.

Social media site “Liker” goes offline, claims “We were attacked by Trumpers…”

WARNING: sensitive content mentioned.

UPDATE – 17 March, 2021: OBB has reached out to Liker to request evidence of why they concluded that the hack on their platform was committed specifically by Trump supporters

Liker.com, a social media site based in North Hollywood, California, claims it was hacked by politically-motivated “Trumpers,” resulting in the platform going completely offline.

This hack comes in the wake of right-wing social media company Parler being booted off the App Store and AWS, resulting in it being down completely and only recently starting to gain back some limited functionality for users. For example, I was able to now log in and post while in the web app, but the iOS app still is empty for me.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3… — Jonathan McCormick, Jr. McCormick Tuesday, March 16, 2021

https://parler.com/post/7e328fd6-445b-4fd5-a61d-c64fa352bed2

The Liker.com hack also comes in the wake of Gab, another social media site apparently dominated by right and alt-right individuals, being hacked. As news of the hack came out, Outsmart Big Brother™ (OBB) noticed uncharacteristic material being posted by Gab CEO Andrew Torba‘s account, including a porn video with a caption indicating that it was depicting incest. After seeing that, OBB promptly blocked Torba, not realizing at the time that the porn video was probably posted by a politically-motivated hacker who had already gained access to Torba’s account. OBB has reached out to Torba for clarification on this.

RELATED: What to do if you were a Gab user during the hack

Back to the Liker hack.

Here is the email that was sent by Liker.com to OBB on March 14:

Why Liker is down: We were attacked by Trumpers…

This is very difficult email to write. As many of you all know, Liker is a grassroots social network that set out with a difficult, herculean mission of creating a kinder, smarter social network where hatred is unacceptable and thoughtfulness, love, and humanity flourish. After over a year of testing and tweaking in preparation for our full public launch, we were well on our way toward achieving that, and were only days away from launching our brand new, world class version of Liker to the public when disaster struck.

Computer savvy Trump supporters, angered by Parler being de-platformed, decided to retaliate against Liker. Unfortunately, they were successful in extracting their revenge, breaching our system and gaining access to the accounts of many of our users. As soon as we were alerted to their attack, we made the difficult decision of taking Liker offline in order to protect our community.

But it’s not all bad news. We have been overwhelmed by all the emails from our users who are sad that their go-to social network, their Liker family, has been temporarily taken from them. While we share your pain, we are glad to know that the Liker family is stronger than ever, and that we have succeeded in creating an amazing community of over a quarter million thoughtful and kind individuals who call Liker home. 

Thankfully, we have hired a top-notch security firm, and expect Liker to be back on line within the next 4 to 8 weeks. The great news is that the next time you all see Liker, it will have our updated design that will blow your socks off, strike fear in the heart of Parler, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks, and never again be vulnerable to digital attacks from Trump’s alt-right henchmen. 

Please stay tuned! We will send you all an email when Liker is back up , and we promise that it will be worth the wait. 

Until then, please accept our heartfelt apology for not being able to share our home while we make these upgrades. Soon, we will all once again be together and toasting to a smarter, kinder social media. 

Thank you all, 

Liker staff


OBB Statement

Jonathan McCormick wrote the following statement on behalf of Outsmart Big Brother™ in response to this incident:

Free expression and property rights are essential to any decent and civilized society.

Outsmart Big Brother™ condemns all efforts to silence people through deliberately interfering with the free flow of information, including the unauthorized hacking of social media platforms and individual accounts. Regardless of a person’s political views, they should be free to peacefully express their beliefs.

If authoritarianism really is as terrible as we believe it to be, then we should be able to debate it and win easily. Censorship not only violates the right to free speech, but it also can be counterproductive to the goals, however just they might seem, of those who engage in censorship. When a minority group is censored, their ideology does not simply disappear; it goes underground, where there is even less opportunity for opposing viewpoints to debate it. Censorship also provides fuel for the passions of those who are upset at the censorship, which can lead to groups resorting to violence as an outlet for their anger, which OBB also condemns.

Because of alleged politically-motivated interference by hacktivists and corporations, OBB has been unable to post content to the online communities on platforms like Liker and Parler. OBB looks forward to joining the conversation on these platforms once they are functional again.

Official statement by Outsmart Big Brother™ 16 March, 2021, at 11:19 GMT-6.

Outsmart Big Brother has reached out to Liker and Parler for comment.

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Gab got hacked. Now what?

Posted on Medium by Outsmart Big Brother™·Mar 1

Regardless of your political beliefs, basic cybersecurity practices are essential. Choose strong passwords (the longer and more diverse the characters, the better!). Manage your passwords well using a password manager so you don’t forget all of them (many modern browsers have this feature built into them already). If you suspect malicious actors may have compromised an online account of yours, changing your password and logging-out of all other sessions can help.

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DISCLAIMER: nothing posted here is legal, financial, investment, cybersecurity, or any other type of professional advice. This content is posted for educational purposes only. #NotLegalAdvice