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Blockchain Technology in Protecting Children’s Rights

Humanitarian Blockchain

a series

   Part 2: Blockchain Technology in Protecting Children’s Rights

Welcome to the second instalment of the Bitcoin News Humanitarian Blockchain Series. According to Human Rights Watch, over 70 million children around the world work in hazardous conditions in agriculture, mining, domestic labor and other sectors.  We look at how blockchain is impacting upon these statistics to make the world a safer place for children.

A project is set to be launched this year, using blockchain, in order to provide manufacturers of devices such as iPhones genuine information that guarantees that the cobalt in their lithium-ion batteries is not mined by children. The tracking of cobalt in the Congo is an enormous problem due to numerous informal mining sites, many of them being worked by children. The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), devastated by a protracted war which has caused the death of 5.4 million people, is listed as the world’s poorest nation.

The US Department of Labor identifies 148 different consumer goods produced by child or forced labor around the world including beef, sugar, bricks, coffee and other products originating from 76 countries. With gold at the top of this consumer list, the report cites 21 countries in which “children help mine gold, climbing into unstable shafts, carrying and crushing heavy loads of ore, and often using toxic mercury to process the gold”.

Blockchain will offer much-increased supply chain transparency until a solution to finding an alternative source to cobalt can be found by phone companies and car manufacturers. Amnesty International is currently exploring the possibility of implementing blockchain technology to address the problem of child labor by enabling consumers to register a specific mine to make their purchase. Unregistered illegal mines would, therefore, be easily identifiable through blockchain.

This year, UNICEF published a website enabling crypto mining through donors’ computer power called “The Hope Page”. It mined Monero through Coinhive, a crypto-mining service. This was the second time that UNICEF had used cryptocurrency to fund its overseas projects. In February, it launched a similar program to support children in Syria, affected by the lengthy civil war in that country, using donors’ computers to mine Ether.

The donated funds went to UNICEF Australia’s current mission in Bangladesh for the Rohingya crisis, providing humanitarian relief for both children and their mothers, ensuring that they receive life-saving supplies such as safe drinking water, food, and vaccines.

Director of UNICEF France, Sébastien Lyon, commented on its current focus on using blockchain technology and accepting cryptocurrency donations to implement some of its projects around the world to support children’s well- being:

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology used for charitable purposes offers a new opportunity to appeal to the generosity of the public and continue to develop our operations with children in the countries of intervention.”

This year, the Global Bank raised USD 73 million for the two-year bond called “bondi”, due to the involvement of one of Australia’s “Big 4” banks. The funds were raised via the Global Bank’s funding arm, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The target was originally between USD 50 million and USD 100 million, aimed at supporting a range of sustainability projects in developing countries around the globe.

One of the World Bank’s main priorities is that children have access to health care, education, water and sanitation, and energy. Recent projects funded by the World Bank include improving agricultural research in Afghanistan, fighting hunger in Afghan villages, and improving infrastructure in the Palestine territories.

In many parts of the world, conditions for children are appalling, often requiring that they work for long hours in dangerous locations with little pay. In the jewelry retail sector, children working at source have often been injured and killed when working in small-scale gold or diamond mining pits.

This industry is clearly one that would benefit from blockchain in terms of addressing children’s vulnerability as they are forced to work for disreputable employers with little regard for the health or safety of their often under-aged workers. For the customer at point-of-sale, it is currently very difficult to know exactly the origins of the gold or diamonds in an item of jewelry, or whether it has been tainted by human rights abuses involving children. With more consumers beginning to demand responsible sourcing, retailers now have a supply chain solution at their fingertips by utilizing DLT. Retailers are able to take the emerging technology path and change their ways of conducting business, putting pressure on those at source to extract minerals using a much-improved code of ethics.

The missing element is education, and the dissemination of information, which are both badly needed to encourage industry to adopt this vital tool to change children’s lives and protect children’s rights around the globe.


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The 1,000 Bitcoin Casascius Made with a Troy Ounce of Pure Gold

Mike Caldwell, nicknamed Casascius, produced physical coins which contain Bitcoin from 2011 to 2013, which went on to become the most highly-regarded brand of physical Bitcoin.

This was done to make physical Bitcoin transactions easier and was accomplished by putting a piece of paper inside each coin with the private key. If the private key is removed, it exposes a glowing honeycomb, making it easy to know if the private key has been exposed. In 2013, Caldwell was forced to stop making Casascius coins after security regulators told him he was in violation of money transmission regulation.

The most valuable coin ever produced.

— Beautyon (@Beautyon_) August 19, 2018

The most valuable coin that Casascius produced has BTC 1,000 in it and is made with a troy ounce of pure gold. Only six of these were created. At the time, each was sold for USD 5,500, with the gold comprising a third of the coin’s value. Today, these golden 1,000 Bitcoin Casascius coins are worth around USD 6.5 million and were worth as much as USD 20 million during the rally in December 2017, with the gold being a minuscule fraction of the value. These values ignore the collector value of these coins, which may be significant. This just goes to show how profitable of an investment Bitcoin has been long term; this is an increase in value of over 118,000% for these coins as of 24 August 2018.

These golden 1,000 Bitcoin Casascius coins could be the most valuable coins in the entire world. If not, they may eventually be if experts are right and Bitcoin rises to USD 100,000. In that scenario, each of these coins would be worth USD 100 million. John McAfee says Bitcoin will hit USD 1 million, which would make these coins worth USD 1 billion each.

In 2013, two out of the six coins were opened and the Bitcoins transferred out. This was during the Bitcoin rally to USD 1,000. One of these fetched USD 1 million. The remaining four owners of the golden 1,000 Bitcoin Casascius coins are holding on tight.


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Bitcoin Volume Surpasses OTC Gold Market

Financial researcher Nic Carter has run the numbers and found that Bitcoin volume has surpassed the over the counter (OTC) gold market so far in 2018. The OTC gold market is on track to settle USD 446 billion of transactions in 2018 while the Bitcoin market is on track to have a volume of USD 1.38 trillion in 2018, using simple extrapolation.

So, not only has Bitcoin’s volume surpassed the global OTC gold market, it has surpassed it by about 200%. This is a good indicator that Bitcoin has become a major asset class.

Conservatively, (adjusted estimates), Bitcoin has settled $848b this year, and is on track to settle $1.38T. Bitcoin, it appears, has quietly surpassed the OTC gold market in settlement volumes.

— nic carter (@nic__carter) August 12, 2018

Carter used gold clearing statistics from the London Bullion Market (LBMA) which includes HSBC, ICBC Standard Bank, JP Morgan, Scotiabank, and UBS to arrive at the USD 446 billion OTC volume projection for 2018. In general, gold OTC volume is less than USD 30 billion per month, and silver OTC volume is less than USD 5 billion per month. According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin has a volume of USD 136 billion in the past month, and this does not include derivatives exchanges like BitMEX which actually have nearly as much volume as all the Bitcoin spot markets combined.

There is a caveat to this since total gold volume might be far higher than OTC markets due to paper gold. On markets like COMEX, paper gold is issued, which can be redeemed for the actual precious metal stored in a vault. However, there is only a tiny fraction of actual reserves in the vault backing the paper gold. There are many different estimates for the ratio of paper to metal stored in the vault, ranging from a 100 to 1 ratio all the way up to 1,000 to 1. Regardless of the exact number, the point here is most gold trading is done with derivatives that aren’t truly gold. This has saturated its market price and forced it to be far lower than it should be.

When it comes down to it, OTC gold market volume represents the true volume of physical trading, and Bitcoin has far surpassed it. This means there are more demand and activity associated with Bitcoin than physical gold.

As written in a previous article on Bitcoin News, Bitcoin is better than gold as a currency since it is far more liquid and far more secure. This makes Bitcoin much better for international commerce and finance than gold. It appears the market agrees with this, based on the global data.


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Bitcoin Is Better Than Gold

With the increasingly frequent comparisons of Bitcoin to gold, both as a store of value and a means of transferring value as a form of payment, traditional investors are now weighing in on the advantages of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

Is Bitcoin superior to gold for use as a currency?

The standard

Gold is perhaps the first decentralized currency, defined as a thing that has value but not under the centralized control of any governing body. It has been a sign of wealth and one of the most popular currencies for thousands of years. Physical gold holds its value since it can only be slowly mined over time, rather than printed rapidly like fiat.


Both assets are similar in that they are mined. However, Bitcoin has a limit on how much it can be mined – there will only be a maximum supply of 21 million Bitcoins. While gold has been determined to be finite, its total supply is unknown and only estimated. Should new, large deposits be suddenly discovered one day, its price would be significantly affected. Even a large unknown deposit on Earth can cause a big price crash.

Ease of transfer and security

Although physical gold is globally recognized as a currency, it is arduous to use for international commerce and finance. The metal is highly valued by the ounce, currently USD 1,200, but when dealing with large amounts of money, it can be very heavy. To send USD 1 billion to another country would require 52,000 pounds (approximately 0.25 tons) of gold. This would require a tremendous amount of effort and costs for customs, shipping and security. Additionally, it would take many days for gold to cross international borders, with multiple points of risk at en route.

Compare this to Bitcoin, where USD 1 billion can be digitally transferred anywhere in the world instantaneously, at a fee of only a few cents, with no additional costs. This digital transaction isn’t exposed to compliance with any jurisdiction’s regulations wither and cannot be intercepted nor hijacked once broadcast to the network.

Additionally, Bitcoin is cryptographically secure and has yet to be hacked despite years of attempts. Gold can be physically secured, but at great cost. Bitcoin’s cryptographic security can’t be compromised by even the most powerful supercomputer. Bitcoin transactions can be done instantly and leave no trace besides a note in the blockchain ledger that they occurred, while a gold transaction is very visible since it has to be moved physically, and a tremendous amount of traceable activity occurs when being moved.


Finally, gold has a huge paper market on COMEX, where its paper issuances can supposedly be redeemed for physical equivalents in a vault. However, COMEX’s vault contains less than 1% of the amount needed for all the paper gold issued. More is being printed too, saturating the market and keeping the price of the precious metal far lower than it should be. There is no equivalent situation for Bitcoin, since Bitcoins are highly liquid and there is no need for paper Bitcoin. The only reason paper gold exists is because its physical counterpart is difficult to transact.

Bitcoin can also be easily converted to local currency via peer-to-peer exchanges. Localbitcoins, for example, lists traders willing to buy or sell Bitcoin online at any one time in over 248 countries. It would be significantly more difficult to liquidate gold as it is likelier to find a buyer for Bitcoin than it is for the precious metal.

Ultimately, if fiat currency collapses it is clear that Bitcoin is in a much better position to become the top global currency, due to Bitcoin’s advantageous characteristics. This makes Bitcoin much more ideal for international commerce and finance than gold.


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Kim Dotcom Warns to Invest in Bitcoin Before US Debt Bomb Explodes

Internet legend Kim Dotcom, who became infamous for his website Megaupload that became a global hub for internet piracy, is warning the people of the world to invest in Bitcoin and gold before the United States debt situation hits the fan.

1 TRILLION DOLLARS in additional US Govt debt PER YEAR!

US spending is funded by lenders who will never get paid. US Empire will collapse followed by a world wide economic collapse.

Shift your USD into Gold & Bitcoin asap before USD becomes toilet paper.

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) August 9, 2018

Currently, the United States debt, provided by Treasury Direct,