Ukraine - Gigantic Missed Opportunity for Cardano

I am devoted to writing software and building devices for the blockchain community, but I support my family as an industrial controls and robot technician specializing these days in machine vision and machine learning. My mentor, the guy who taught me to be an industrial electrician is from Ukraine and he served in the Russian army. So I figured this man knows both sides of the issue. I called him the other day and asked what is going. He said that women and children are being evacuated from areas where there is fighting and that the men are staying to fight. “Ok”, I said, how can I help. He said that he is sending money to a lady in Ukraine via MoneyGram and that she is using the money to make meals for the fighters and for body armor. For all I know they are using it to buy weapons as well. The only thing I do know for sure is that my friend knows both Ukraine and Russia and he has decided to help Ukraine by sending money to support their effort. I have decided to do the same because I know, trust, and respect my friend. My regret is that I am now using MoneyGram to send support. This is what Cardano was built for and it’s not quite ready yet. Imagine you live in a town and supported a fund drive for a new fire engine. And while they were building it at the factory a bunch of houses caught fire and burned down in your community. I wouldn’t have any regrets about supporting the efforts to purchase a new fire truck but I would be sad that it hadn’t yet arrived. That’s how I feel right now about Cardano. I know that so many hardworking people in the Cardano community are working to get our fire truck ready. In fact, it is ready. The problem is that the Ukrainian people can’t spend ADA directly as they can with cash. It’s like having a fire truck but no roads. Imagine if this happened in El Salvador. We would be able to support the people there with Bitcoin. So probably the most important thing we could do to be read to assist our neighbors is to promote the adoption of Cardano as legal currency all over the world. I think this is what Charles is trying to accomplish by focusing on Africa. Supporting the expansion of Cardano in Africa may be the best thing we can do to get ready to help our neighbors all over the world. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Does not seem to be that much of a success:

And that not only because of the bad luck of falling value of Bitcoin, but also because of: “But, as Fortune’s Shawn Tully reported, Salvadorans found that accessing remittances in bitcoin ‘is shockingly costly — on both ends of the transaction.’ Crypto exchanges charge the sender commissions of 2 to 4 percent for changing dollars for bitcoin. When deposits digitally land in a Chivo wallet, Salvadorans — many of whom don’t want to hold bitcoin — end up going to an ATM, where they can convert withdrawals to dollars. The ATM provider takes another 5 percent cut. In total, fees can run between 7 and 9.5 percent, and potentially higher.”

And that would totally crumble the plan of having this as a better alternative to MoneyGram.

We are far from having cryptocurrencies as a sensible legal tender. And therefore it’s also not a “missed opportunity”.

I also do not know if ADA should serve as the legal tender. I had a discussion in another thread some time ago, where my question was: If a billion people use ADA, their average wealth will be at most 45 ADA. Even with my limited ADA holdings, I would be obscenely rich in such a scenario, the people getting in early enough (or being rich enough in fiat or Bitcoin or all of it), will be even richer.

One very reasonable answer was:

So, it might very well be that the successful way will not be making ADA the legal currency, but just minting the legal currency of a country on a Cardano sidechain (or on another blockchain).

It’s all much too unclear to do it just now. Being able to send cryptocurrencies to arbitrary people in need around the world will stay a dream for quite some time.

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As always, your thoughts are well represented and informative. I could only read the Washington Post article, however. The other one requires a subscription. The Washington Post article seemed like a hatchet piece to me and was very one sided. Assassinating the character the the president did not help to inform.

In any case, I agree that Bitcoin is not the best crypto currency for a country to standardize on. I am only saying that I prefer a crypto currency to MoneyGram because MoneyGram could be censored.

You could argue that cryptocurrency could be used to send money to oligarchs but the transparent nature of block chain favors censoring the powerful few where as it would be more difficult to censor billions of citizens.

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Sorry for that. I did not read it, either, just copy and pasted the link in the excerpt from the WaPo article, where it was given as a source. Unfortunately, 12ft.io also seems to be unable to crack their paywall.

It has an opinion, sure. Most articles have, even if they do not come as comment or analysis (which this one does). And I might judge it mildly, because it’s close to my opinion, sure as well.

Read a few more articles, some focussing more on Salvadorians happy with it, some more on the quite large protests against it, but all also highlighting the risks of this plan.

Most things are subjective. Assassination for some might be faithful characterisations for others.

For what it’s worth, I read an article about another of this president’s policies a few days ago:

… and that’s why I think it might not be wise to use this policy by this president – who seems to have hang for grandiose marketing rather than sustainable solutions – using this cryptocurrency as a positive example of what should happen. (One could also cite Bitcoiners’ penchant for dissing Cardano/ADA as a “shitcoin” as a – quite selfish – reason for not using one of their – alleged – success stories. :grinning:)

I did not even use this point.

My doubts are more in wealth distribution (How benevolent is it to “bank the unbanked” if they get peanuts, but I will surely not give up my much larger piece of the cake?) and maturity (Can I really give something in good conscience to ladies in rural Ukraine if we are not even successful in preventing the much smaller current number of users from all sorts of scams and pitfalls? They maybe won’t surf YouTube to fall for giveaway scams, but still might lose their seed phrase and be pretty surprised to find no service that can help them.).

There is an interesting piece in the Hoskinson video you sent me in our last discussion:
“Sometimes cryptocurrencies are bad. Sometimes cryptocurrencies are good. And in our love and rush to embrace this new technology we must be intellectually honest and wise enough to acknowledge the times that they are bad. The point of regulating structures are to figure out how do you blunt that.”

(I am a bit skeptical regarding the honouring of him in this community. He is obviously a good speaker and very likeable on YouTube – for a believing capitalist. I don’t share most of his anti-communist and anti-government views at all, though. And I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run to be perceived as the creation of a single person. I think, I have heard that he said something along those lines himself.)

Point here is, I’d also say that it’s intellectually honest to say that we are not there, yet. That the regulating structures preventing the bad things from happening are not there, yet, but also the promised useful applications of cryptocurrencies for the masses in general. I acknowledge Hoskinson and many Cardanians believing in the vision that they will come, but will also very critically assess the solutions, when they arrive.

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As anyone in Afghanistan could tell you, it’s practically impossible for the world at large to understand precisely the kind of toll a long term war + insurgency inflicts upon the civilians. Arguably (not in this thread I hope) Ukraine is already showing the signs of the same kind of conflict, already with the same kind of biased misrepresentations in the media.

Therefore I humbly admit the only ones who can really understand how cryptocurrency could maintain health & safety, infrastructure, and freedom in conflict areas are the affected people themselves: and the developers in these areas will be thinking of survival instead of just profit. So several weeks ago, based on historical signs we decided to support this project in the hope that some significant part of the answer lies here:

Beyond the usual means of support I think the greatest gift we could give such enterprises is faith, with consistent support: in the understanding that to accept delayed delivery deadlines is a blessing our brutally competitive crypto industry will be reluctant to offer:

(BTW If there are other crypto infrastructure projects with a Ukrainian base I hope they will also post here.)

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Wow! I didn’t know that kind of service existed.

That’s why I called my friend and mentor. Although he is from Ukraine he talked warmly about Russia. He said he felt treated fairly when he was there. I knew he was both informed and not biased.

Yes, the parade of Goblins to quote Army of Spies YouTube channel. This thread is about a missed opportunity to support the Citizens of Ukraine because it’s hard to spend cryptocurrency as money, but you show me a true but gut wrenching piece about murdered people in El Salvador. And in my shocked and saddened emotional state when my mind is most pliable you are expecting me to stop thinking and agree with you. Maybe I will stop thinking and agree with you after seeing those horrors but it won’t help us solve any problems or get any closer to understanding what is true.

Yes this is a problem. I use a Ledger Nano S which has an app called recovery check. This allows you to put in your recovery phrase and check that you have the correct words. I memorized my 24 words using the memory palace technique and practice recalling them using the recovery check application on the Nano S periodically. I belive anyone who learns to read or write should learn the memory palace technique to remember their recovery words. This way if they are forced to run from their homes with nothing then they will at least have all their money as soon as they can acquire a new hardware wallet in their new country. As Cardano gets more advanced then this same recovery phrase can be used as a passport, voting registration, or repository for property deeds. The memory palace technique has been practiced by many ancient peoples and is still practiced by native peoples that do not use writing. People that use writing are not taught this skill. The memory palace technique is the missing piece of the cryptocurrency security problem. At some point they will have to start teaching it in schools and everybody will have to learn it. Then and only then will people truly have custody of their money.

This is not communist vs capitalist. Each as benefits and either can work. The issue is centralized or decentralized. A centralized government might be able to react more quickly but the range of choice are so limited that it becomes unlikely that it will react in a way that leads to more choices. Russia today may be a good example. Russia does not have a communism problem it has a centralization problem. It has a lack of choice problem. A decentralized thing might move slower but it has exponentially more choices. And it is more choices that create more opportunity which leads to greater life.

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