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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Singapore is a Meritocracy* [EXTRA LONG POST]

Singapore is a Meritocracy* [EXTRA LONG POST]
Edit: Thank you for all the comments and chat messages! I'm trying to go through each one. Writing thoughtful comments in the midst of having a full-time job is HARD WORK. I think I've missed a few questions, drop me a message if you're interested in continuing a discussion, I'm open to listening! There has been a lot of good comments, a few with great perspectives, and now I have a whole lot of things to read up on.
---
Now that the 2020 General Election is firmly in our rear-view mirror, there is something that I have been meaning to write about: institutionalized racism affecting the minorities, especially the Malays, in Singapore. If you are groaning at this thinking you have been misled by this post’s title, I assure you that by the end of this post you will understand the caveat behind the above-mentioned title. I plead for a little of your time and patience.
We have seen many discussions online about majority privilege and systemic racism impacting the minorities. Many of you may have even participated in some of these discussions. I will not try to explain those terms for they have already been repeatedly debated to death. What this post aims to achieve is to bring to light Singapore’s history and government policies that have either benefited the majority race or kneecapped the minority race. Or both.
Why am I doing this?
It is frustrating to see some Singaporeans fully buying into the narrative that Singapore is a truly meritocratic society; that the government’s policies do not discriminate against minorities, or if a Singaporean worked hard enough he or she will succeed (whatever the definition of success is), or that we have anti-discriminatory laws that protect the minorities. Some even claim that the Malays enjoy special privileges due to Section 152 of the Constitution describing the special position of Malays, and that the Malays are blessed with free education in Singapore.
Section 152, “Special Position”, free education for all Malays?
Minorities and special position of Malays
152.—(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Government constantly to care for the interests of the racial and religious minorities in Singapore.
(2) The Government shall exercise its functions in such manner as to recognise the special position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Singapore, and accordingly it shall be the responsibility of the Government to protect, safeguard, support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language.
The oft-mentioned Section 152 of the Constitution was an administrative continuation of previously existing colonial policy towards the Malays [Col: 126]. Regardless of the “special position” of the Malays, the only form of assistance rendered to the Malays was the policy of free education for all Malay students. This minimal approach of the government did little to improve the educational and socio-economic standing of the Malays as revealed by the 1980 national census. The free tertiary education policy was ultimately removed in 1990, despite opposition from Malays who questioned the constitutionality of its removal [col: 126].
With free education for all Malays, why haven’t their socio-economic and educational standings improved?
There are many factors to look at, and the issue goes way back to the colonial era so that’s where we shall start. The colonial administrators of Singapore, in their pursuit of capitalistic gains, had little use for the native inhabitants. The natives who were already living off their own land had no desire to work for the British as labourers. The British saw this unwillingness to work for them as indolence, and ascribed many other negative cultural stereotypes to the locals [pdf]. Nailing home the capitalistic intent of colonial presence in Singapore, the British Director of Education R. O. Winstedt explained their policy for education for the natives in 1920 [pg. 2]:
"The aim of the government is not to turn out a few well-educated youths, nor a number of less well-educated boys; rather it is to improve the bulk of the people, and to make the son of a fisherman or a peasant a more intelligent fisherman or peasant than his father had been, and a man whose education will enable him to understand how his lot in life fits in with the scheme of life around him".
And in 1915, a British resident revealed the colonial attitude towards education [pg. 3]:
"The great object of education is to train a man to make a living.... you can teach Malays so that they do not lose their skill and craft in fishing and jungle work. Teach them the dignity of manual labour, so that they do not all become krannies (clerks) and I am sure you will not have the trouble which has arisen in India through over education"
The type and quality of education that the British set up for the native inhabitants show that they had no intentions to empower the locals with skills for a new economy. The education provided, while free, was to make sure the locals were kept out of trouble for the British, and remain subservient to the colonial causes. Further impeding the socio-economic status of Malays, the British actively discouraged Malays in switching from agricultural production to more lucrative cash crops, preventing the building of wealth among the Malay communities (Shahruddin Ma’arof, 1988: 51). In contrast to the British suppression of the buildup of Malay wealth and provision of vernacular education, Chinese businessmen, clan associations and Christian missionaries established Chinese schools where students were taught skills like letter-writing and the use of the abacus. By the turn of the 20th century, the curriculum in these Chinese-language schools expanded to include arithmetic, science, history and geography while Malay-language schools under Winstedt’s educational policies focused on vernacular subjects such as basket-weaving.
So, when Singapore attained self-governance, did things get better?
Discontent with the education system and social inequalities was already a big issue in the mid 1950s that the parties that contested for the Legislative Assembly championed for reforms to social issues like better education systems, housing subsidies and workers rights.
The People’s Action Party (PAP) won the 1959 Legislative Assembly general elections by running on a rather progressive platform of low-cost housing, improvement of employment opportunities for locals and a stronger education. They also campaigned for abolishing the inequality of wealth in their election manifesto (Petir, 1958: 2), with PAP chairman Dr Toh Chin Chye expressing his disgust at seeing “so many of our people reduced to living like animals because under the present social and economic system, the good things of life are for the ruthless few, those who believe that the poor and the humble are despicable failures.”
With the PAP in power, assurances were made to Singaporeans that no community would be left behind. In 1965, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew promised aid specifically to help raise the economic and education levels of the Malays. In 1967 during a mass rally at Geylang Serai, PM Lee again promised that “the Government with the support of the non-Malays are prepared to concentrate more than the average share of our resources on our Malay citizens [pdf].” He emphasized the importance of lifting all sections of the community to an even footing, reasoning that “if one section of the community were to lag behind it would harm the unity and integrity of the nation” (Bedlington, 1974: 289).
Despite these promises to help the minorities narrow the inequality gap, very little was done to realize it. Instead, the government took a ruthless approach towards economic growth, sparing no expense. Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee explained the government’s main concern was “to generate fast economic growth by any and every possible means. . . . If unequal distribution of income induced greater savings and investment . . . then this must be accepted as the price of fighting unemployment.” (Goh, 1972: 275)
By the late 1970s, a strong shift in parents’ preference towards an English-medium education for their children had resulted in a rapid decline in the number of vernacular schools.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, there was a shift of parents’ preference towards educating their child in the English stream. This shift, together with a period of minimal intervention in terms of educational policy and assistance to the minorities by the government, caused the number of enrolments in vernacular schools to rapidly decline. The socio-economic gap also widened between the Malays and Chinese, as the Chinese community enjoyed greater occupational mobility relative to the minorities. This can be seen in the shift in the lower manual occupation category, from a relatively equal proportion in 1957 to a 10 percent difference in 1980 [Table A]. In 1980, the average Malay household income was only 73.8 percent of the average Chinese household income. The income gap widened considerably by 1990, where the average Malay household income dropped to 69.8 percent of the average Chinese household income [Table B] (Rahim, 1998: 19-22). Decades after the lofty promises were made by the government, the Malay community’s slide into marginality continued.
Table A

Table B
Wait, the gap got bigger? Did the government do anything?
In 1979, Education Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee with the Education Study Team released a report on the Ministry of Education, more widely known as the Goh Report. The team was made up of 13 members, most of them systems analysts and economists, and none of whom ‘possess much knowledge or expertise on education’ (Goh Report, 1979: 1). The all-Chinese team excluded social scientists and educationalists, as the Education Minister had little regard for their expertise (Rahim, 1998: 121). The Goh Report made recommendations for radical changes to the educational system, recommendations which then became the basis of the New Education System (NES).
During a time when Tamil, Malay and Chinese schools were getting closed down due to declining enrolment numbers due to the popularity of English medium ones, the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) was introduced in 1978 to preserve and develop nine Chinese schools into bilingual (Mandarin and English) schools while retaining the values and traditions of a Chinese school. As part of the NES, these schools were to be the only ones to offer the Special course which the top 10 percent scorers of the PSLE are eligible to opt for. With these schools getting more resources, better facilities and the best teachers, the SAP contradicts the multi-racial principle of giving equal treatment to the non-English language streams. This exclusivity and the elite status of SAP schools affords its students better opportunities and advantages that are virtually out of reach for many minorities in Singapore. Effectively, the SAP is an institutionalized form of ethnic/cultural favouritism (Rahim, 1998: 130)
The NES also introduced early streaming for students which further exacerbated existing inequalities. Despite primary school education being free for all Singaporeans, families with better financial means have a huge advantage in preparing their child for streaming through additional tuition and better preschool choices#. (Barr & Low, 2005: 177) As we have seen from the disparity in household incomes between the Chinese and Malays, early streaming served to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots. The have-nots, more often than not, find themselves in the lower streams, trapped with very limited options providing upward social mobility. They will have to face an insurmountable task to lift themselves and their future generations out of their current predicament.
In 1982, the PAP slogan “a more just and equal society” was quietly dropped from the party’s constitution. This signaled an end to the socialist ideals that the party built its identity upon.
Why? It can’t be that the government favours one race over another...can it?
Examining the PAP leadership’s attitude towards the different cultures and ethnicities is key to understanding what the government values and how these values shaped its policies. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, as quoted in the Goh Report, extolled the values of East Asian philosophies: "The greatest value in the teaching and learning of Chinese is in the transmission of the norms of social or moral behaviour. This means principally Confucianist beliefs and ideas, of man [sic], society and the state" (Goh, 1979: v). The government’s championing of SAP schools and ‘Chinese values’ is also complemented by the launch of ‘Speak Mandarin Campaign’ in 1979.
In 1991, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong espoused similar values as his predecessor, praising the virtues of ‘Confucian dynamism’ and claiming that Singapore would not be able to thrive and prosper without the Confucian core values of thrift, hard work and group cohesion. The fear of erosion of the Chinese cultural identity was never matched with a similar concern for the erosion of minority cultural identities, where the minorities were “expected to submit to a form of partial or incomplete assimilation into a Chinese-generated, Chinese-dominated society.#” (Barr & Low, 2005: 167)
On top of favouring Chinese cultural values and identities, the PAP leadership associated the cultures of the minorities with negative connotations. Speaking about a Malay who did well in business, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew described the man as “acting just like a Chinese. You know, he’s bouncing around, running around, to-ing and fro-ing. In the old culture, he would not be doing that” (Han, et al., 1998: 184). In a Straits Times article on 26 June 1992, SM Lee also implied that the Chinese are inherently better at Maths, and that "If you pretend that the problem does not exist, and that in fact (the Malays) can score as well as the Chinese in Maths, then you have created yourself an enormous myth which you will be stuck with.+"
These attitudes from the ruling elite translated into more policies that preserved the advantage of the majority. When faced with the “pressing national problem”* of a declining birth-rate of the Chinese, the government took steps to ensure Chinese numerical dominance in Singapore. The Singapore government encouraged the immigration of skilled workers from countries like Hong Kong, Korea, and Macau, countries which were accorded the status of ‘traditional sources’ of foreign labour (Rahim, 1998: 72). Meanwhile, showing the government’s preference and/or dislike for specific groups of people, Malaysian Malays faced great difficulty in getting work permits. (“‘Harder’ for bumiputras to get S’pore work permits.+”, The Straits Times, 7 Mar 1991)
Another policy which worked to preserve the advantage of the majority was the urban resettlement programmes of the 1960s and 1970s. This resulted in the dissolution of the Malay electoral strongholds in the east, undermining the organic growth of Malay political grassroots. When it became apparent in the 1980s that the Malays were moving back to the traditional Malay residential areas, an ethnic residential quota, labelled the Ethnic Integration Policy, was implemented. The rationale behind the quota was to ensure a balanced racial mix, purportedly for racial harmony. However, this rationale does not stand up to scrutiny in the face of numerous academic studies on interethnic urban attitudes and relations**. Another consequence of the policy is the reinforcement of racial segregation when taking into account the income disparity between the races. Underlining the weakness of the government’s reasoning, constituencies like Hougang were allowed to remain Chinese residential enclaves despite its population being approximately 80 percent Chinese. (Rahim, 1998: 73-77)
Perhaps the most controversial policy introduced was the Graduate Mothers Scheme. It was introduced in 1983 to reverse the trend of falling fertility rates of graduate women versus the rising birth-rate of non-graduate women***. In a push to encourage graduate mothers to get married and have children, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee unveiled a suite of incentives; all-expenses paid love-boat cruises for eligible graduate singles in the civil service, a computer dating service, fiscal incentives, and special admissions to National University of Singapore (NUS) to even out the male-female student ratio#. At the other end of the spectrum, lesser-educated women were encouraged to have smaller families in a scheme called the Small Family Incentive Scheme. This was achieved by paying out a housing grant worth S$10,000 to women who were able to meet the following set of conditions: be below 30 years of age, have two or less children, educational level not beyond secondary school, have a household income totalling not more than S$1,500 and willing to be sterilized#.
Based on the average household income statistics, a simple deduction could be made that those eligible for the sterilization programme were disproportionately from the minority communities.
Isn’t that eugenics?
Yes. Singapore had a government-established Eugenics Board.
The graduate mothers and sterilization programmes were greatly unpopular and were ultimately abandoned or modified after the PAP’s mandate took a 12.9 percent hit in the 1984 general election. However that did not mean that eugenics stopped being an influence in policy-making.
In his 1983 National Day address, PM Lee stated that when it comes to intelligence, “80 per cent is nature, or inherited, and 20 per cent the differences from different environments and upbringing.” This is telling of the role that eugenics, biological determinist and cultural deficit theories played in the formation of PAP policies.
To further safeguard Singapore from “genetic pollution” (Rahim, 1998: 55, Tremewan, 1994: 113), the Ministry of Labour in 1984 issued a marriage restriction between work permit holders and Singaporeans. The work permit holder would have his work permit cancelled, be deported and be permanently barred from re-entering Singapore if he were to marry a Singaporean or permanent resident without obtaining prior approval. Approval from the Commissioner for Employment would only be given if the work permit holder possesses skills and qualifications of value to Singapore.
Doesn’t sound to me like the government targets any particular race with its policies.
Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 1987 rationalized that certain posts in the Singapore Armed Forces had been closed to Malays for "national security" reasons. He claimed that this policy was implemented to avoid placing Malays in an awkward position when loyalty to nation and religion came into conflict. PM Lee also added that the Malays behaved more as Malay Muslims than as loyal Singaporeans. PM Lee and DPM Lee’s statements finally made explicit what many suspected to have been an implicit rule. It could be observed that, despite being overrepresented in the civil service, Malays tend to stay in the lower-to-middle rungs of organizations like the SAF. It is also noteworthy that, to date, no Malay has held important Cabinet portfolios such as Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Trade and Industry.
The conflation of loyalty to the country with approval of the ruling party proved to be patently flawed, as studies by the Institute of Policy Studies (ST, 30 Sept 1990: 22; IPS, 2010) indicate that Singaporean Malays showed a stronger sense of national pride and identification compared to the other major ethnic groups. The study also found that Citizen-Nation Psychological Ties (CNP) scores, that is, national loyalty, weakens with: higher socio-economic status, Chinese, youth, and political alienation. Even when the Malays have been historically disenfranchised, they were found to be proud to be Singaporeans, loyal to Singapore and more willing to sacrifice for the nation than the other ethnic groups.
Additionally, Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong threatened to withhold aid to the Malay self-help organization Mendaki in 1988. The threat was issued over an incident during election night where several Malays in a crowd of Workers Party supporters had jeered at PM Goh at a vote counting centre. It became apparent from this incident that any aid offered by the government was tied to loyalty to the PAP instead of it being the duty of the government to serve Singaporeans regardless of party affiliation^^.
There have always been Malay PAP Members of Parliament (MP), did they not help fight for these issues?
The Malay PAP MPs are in the unique position of having to represent not only people of their constituents but also the rest of the Malay Singaporeans while toeing the party line. With many of the government policies being unhelpful towards the Malays, it is near impossible to fulfill this role satisfactorily. PAP MPs Ahmad Haleem (Telok Blangah) and Sha’ari Tadin (Kampong Chai Chee, Bedok) were both made to enjoy early retirements from their political careers for bringing up “sensitive” issues of the Malay community^^^. This set the tone for future PAP Malay MPs to remain unquestioningly in step with the leadership, regardless of their personal agreement, in order to have a long career within the party. Today, Malay PAP MPs have continued with the trend of parroting PAP policies that ran against the interests of the Malay/Muslim community (e.g. Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim with regards to the tudung issue).
What about the Mendaki and the Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS)?
The policy providing free education for all Malays was ended in 1990 despite opposition from the Malays and the opposition party[Col: 126]. In its place, Mendaki introduced TTFS in 1991 to subsidise the cost of tertiary education in local institutions for those living in low household income. Due to the long history of marginalization and the widening of the inequality gap, the number of Malays who were able to make it to tertiary education institutions, especially in local universities, have been disproportionately low compared to the other ethnic groups. As such, the number of students able to benefit from this subsidy is even lower.
It was only recently, 20 years after the introduction of the subsidy, that the criteria for eligibility underwent revision. The revision takes into account the size of the family of the applicant, allowing for more Malay students to benefit from it. However, this subsidy is only one measure in an attempt to ensure that Malays students who were able to qualify for tertiary education are able to do so. Short of totally ditching streaming, more care, thought and resources are needed to lift the quality and accessibility of education for the Malays, especially in the early years of a child’s education.
So what needs to happen now?
Singaporeans, especially politicians, need to move on from making assertions similar to what PM Lee had made in 1987, that the "problem is psychological . . . if they try hard enough and long enough, then the education gap between them and the Chinese, or them and the Indians, would close. . . . Progress or achievement depends on ability and effort." It is important for Singaporeans to recognize the nearly Sisyphean task faced by marginalized communities in improving their socio-economic standing. Handicapped right from the start, their perceived failures in our “meritocratic” society should not be judged as an indictment of their efforts, but influenced in no small measure by the failings of the state in dragging their feet to take action. As a community, Singaporeans need to actively combat negative stereotyping, and move away from policies that were rooted in eugenics. Government intervention into ensuring unbiased, fair hiring practices would also help in raising the standing of the marginalized minorities. It would be impossible for Singapore to live up to its multiracial, meritocratic ideals without making fundamental changes to the above mentioned policies.
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# Academic journal behind a paywall. Most tertiary institutions should have partnerships with these journals, so you are likely able view them if you have a student email address.
+ Online scan of the article is unavailable
\* The declining birth-rate of the Chinese was one of three pressing national problems, according to PM Lee in a National Day rally speech in 1988; the others being education and the growing number of unmarried graduates [at approx 29 mins].
\* From Lily Zubaidah Rahim’s* The Singapore Dilemma (1998: 76-77): Rabushka’s (Rabushka, Alvin (1971), ‘Integration in Urban Malaya: Ethnic Attitudes Among Malays and Chinese’, 91-107) study found that it was common for people living in ethnically homogeneous areas to adopt favourable attitudes towards other ethnic groups. People who resided in ethnically mixed areas but did not mix with other ethnic groups were also found to hold negative attitudes towards others. He postulated that physical proximity coupled with superficial interaction across ethnic lines may in fact lead to heightened contempt for other ethnic groups. Urban studies (Fischer, Claude (1976), The Urban Experiment*) have similarly found that close physical distance of different ethnic groups does not necessarily result in narrowing the social distance between the communities. Indeed, physical ethnic proximity in large cities may well engender mutual revulsion and a heightening of ethnocentrism. These research findings have been corroborated by several Singaporean studies (Hassan, Riaz (1977),* ‘Families in Flats: A Study of Low Income Families in Public Housing’; Lai, Ah Eng (1995), ‘Meanings of Multiethnicity: A Case Study of Ethnicity and Ethnic Relations in Singapore’) which have found interethnic relations in the ethnically integrated public housing flats to be relatively superficial.
\** In the same article, PM Lee drew a straight line connecting the Malays with lower educational levels in this line of rhetoric questioning: “Why is the birth rate between the Malays, and the Chinese and Indians so different? Because the educational levels achieved are also different.”*
^ The stronger representation of Malays in civil service and Western multinational corporations was likely due to the difficulty in seeking employment in local firms. Prevalence of negative stereotyping of Malays meant that a Malay job applicant has to be much better qualified to be considered for a job in a local firm (Rahim, 1998: 25). A recent study into this phenomenon can be found here#.
^^ The PAP’s quid pro quo policy was put under the spotlight again in 2011, when PM Lee made it clear that the government’s neighbourhood upgrading programmes prioritised PAP wards over opposition wards.
^^^ PAP MP Ahmad Haleem raised the “sensitive” issue of the government’s exclusionary policy towards Malays in National Service, which adversely affected socio-economic standing of the Malay community [Col: 144]. PAP MP Sha’ari Tadin was actively involved in Malay community organizations and helped to organize a 1971 seminar on Malay participation in national development (Rahim, 1998: 90).
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Recommended Reading:
The Myth of the Lazy Native: A study of the image of the Malays, Filipinos and Javanese from the 16th to the 20th century and its function in the ideology of colonial capitalism [pdf].
The Singapore Dilemma: The Political and Educational Marginality of the Malay Community.
Eugenics on the rise: A report from Singapore#.
Assimilation as multiracialism: The case of Singapore’s Malay#.
Racism and the Pinkerton syndrome in Singapore: effects of race on hiring decisions#.
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References:
Bedlington, Stanley (1974), The Singapore Malay Community: The Politics of State Integration, Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University.
Chew, Peter K.H. (2008), Racism in Singapore: A Review and Recommendations for Future Research, James Cook University, Singapore.
Fook Kwang Han, Warren Fernandez, Sumiko Tan (1998) Lee Kuan Yew, the Man and His Ideas, Singapore Press Holding.
Goh, Keng Swee (1972), The Economics of Modernization and Other Essays, Singapore: Asia Pacific Press.
Michael D. Barr & Jevon Low (2005) Assimilation as multiracialism: The case of Singapore's Malays, Asian Ethnicity, 6:3, 161-182, DOI: 10.1080/14631360500226606
Rahim, Lily Z. (1998), The Singapore Dilemma: The political and educational marginality of the Malay community, Kuala Lumpur, Oxford University Press.
Shaharuddin Ma’aruf (1988), Malay Ideas on Development: From Feudal Lord to Capitalist, Times Book International, Singapore.
Tremewan, Christopher (1994), The Political Economy of Social Control in Singapore, London, Macmillan.
submitted by cherenkov_blue to singapore [link] [comments]

GE2020: The Roar of the Swing Voter

Hi everyone, this is my first ever post here.
I run a little website called The Thought Experiment where I talk about various issues, some of them Singapore related. And one of my main interests is Singaporean politics. With the GE2020 election results, I thought I should pen down my take on what us as the electorate were trying to say.
If you like what I wrote, I also wrote another article on the state of play for GE2020 during the campaigning period, as well as 2 other articles related to GE2015 back when it was taking place.
If you don't like what I wrote, that's ok! I think the beauty of freedom of expression is that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm always happy to get feedback, because I do think that more public discourse about our local politics helps us to be more politically aware as a whole.
Just thought I'll share my article here to see what you guys make of it :D
Article Starts Here:
During the campaigning period, both sides sought to portray an extreme scenario of what would happen if voters did not vote for them. The Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) warned that Singaporeans that their political opponents “might eventually replace the government after July 10”. Meanwhile, the Worker’s Party (WP) stated that “there was a real risk of a wipeout of elected opposition MPs at the July 10 polls”.
Today is July 11th. As we all know, neither of these scenarios came to pass. The PAP comfortably retained its super-majority in Parliament, winning 83 out of 93 elected MP seats. But just as in GE2011, another Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has fallen to the WP. In addition, the PAP saw its vote share drop drastically, down almost 9% to 61.2% from 69.9% in GE2015.
Singapore’s electorate is unique in that a significant proportion is comprised of swing voters: Voters who don’t hold any blind allegiance to any political party, but vote based on a variety of factors both micro and macro. The above extreme scenarios were clearly targeted at these swing voters. Well, the swing voters have made their choice, their roar sending 4 more elected opposition MPs into Parliament. This article aims to unpack that roar and what it means for the state of Singaporean politics going forward.
1. The PAP is still the preferred party to form Singapore’s Government
Yes, this may come across as blindingly obvious, but it still needs to be said. The swing voter is by its very definition, liable to changes of opinion. And a large factor that determines how a swing voter votes is their perception of how their fellow swing voters are voting. If swing voters perceive that most swing voters are leaning towards voting for the opposition, they might feel compelled to vote for the incumbent. And if the reverse is true, swing voters might feel the need to shore up opposition support.
Why is this so? This is because the swing voter is trying to push the vote result into a sweet spot – one that lies between the two extreme scenarios espoused by either side. They don’t want the PAP to sweep all 93 seats in a ‘white tsunami’. Neither do they want the opposition to claim so much territory that the PAP is too weak to form the Government on its own. But because each swing voter only has a binary choice: either they vote for one side or the other (I’m ignoring the third option where they simply spoil their vote), they can’t very well say “I want to vote 0.6 for the PAP and 0.4 for the Opposition with my vote”. And so we can expect the swing voter bloc to continue being a source of uncertainty for both sides in future elections, as long as swing voters are still convinced that the PAP should be the Government.
2. Voters no longer believe that the PAP needs a ‘strong mandate’ to govern. They also don’t buy into the NCMP scheme.
Throughout the campaign period, the PAP repeatedly exhorted voters to vote for them alone. Granted, they couldn’t very well give any ground to the opposition without a fight. And therefore there was an attempt to equate voting for the PAP as voting for Singapore’s best interests. However, the main message that voters got was this: PAP will only be able to steer Singapore out of the Covid-19 pandemic if it has a strong mandate from the people.
What is a strong mandate, you may ask? While no PAP candidate publicly confirmed it, their incessant harping on the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme as the PAP’s win-win solution for having the PAP in power and a largely de-fanged opposition presence in parliament shows that the PAP truly wanted a parliament where it held every single seat.
Clearly, the electorate has different ideas, handing Sengkang GRC to the WP and slashing the PAP’s margins in previous strongholds such as West Coast, Choa Chu Kang and Tanjong Pagar by double digit percentages. There is no doubt from the results that swing voters are convinced that a PAP supermajority is not good for Singapore. They are no longer convinced that to vote for the opposition is a vote against Singapore. They have realized, as members of a maturing democracy surely must, that one can vote for the opposition, yet still be pro-Singapore.
3. Social Media and the Internet are rewriting the electorate’s perception.
In the past, there was no way to have an easily accessible record of historical events. With the only information source available being biased mainstream media, Singaporeans could only rely on that to fill in the gaps in their memories. Therefore, Operation Coldstore became a myth of the past, and Chee Soon Juan became a crackpot in the eyes of the people, someone who should never be allowed into Parliament.
Fast forward to today. Chee won 45.2% of the votes in Bukit Batok’s Single Member Constituency (SMC). His party-mate, Dr. Paul Tambyah did even better, winning 46.26% of the votes in Bukit Panjang SMC. For someone previously seen as unfit for public office, this is an extremely good result.
Chee has been running for elections in Singapore for a long time, and only now is there a significant change in the way he is perceived (and supported) by the electorate. Why? Because of social media and the internet, two things which the PAP does not have absolute control over. With the ability to conduct interviews with social media personalities as well as upload party videos on Youtube, he has been able to display a side of himself to people that the PAP did not want them to see: someone who is merely human just like them, but who is standing up for what he believes in.
4. Reserved Election Shenanigans and Tan Cheng Block: The electorate has not forgotten.
Tan Cheng Bock almost became our President in 2011. There are many who say that if Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say had not run, Tony Tan would not have been elected. In March 2016, Tan Cheng Bock publicly declared his interest to run for the next Presidential Election that would be held in 2017. The close result of 2011 and Tan Cheng Bock’s imminent candidacy made the upcoming Presidential Election one that was eagerly anticipated.
That is, until the PAP shut down his bid for the presidency just a few months later in September 2016, using its supermajority in Parliament to pass a “reserved election” in which only members of a particular race could take part. Under the new rules that they had drawn up for themselves, it was decreed that only Malays could take part. And not just any Malay. The candidate had to either be a senior executive managing a firm that had S$500 million in shareholders’ equity, or be the Speaker of Parliament or a similarly high post in the public sector (the exact criteria are a bit more in-depth than this, but this is the gist of it. You can find the full criteria here). And who was the Speaker of Parliament at the time? Mdm Halimah, who was conveniently of the right race (Although there was some hooha about her actually being Indian). With the extremely strict private sector criteria and the PAP being able to effectively control who the public sector candidate was, it came as no surprise that Mdm Halimah was declared the only eligible candidate on Nomination Day. A day later, she was Singapore’s President. And all without a single vote cast by any Singaporean.
Of course, the PAP denied that this was a move specifically aimed at blocking Tan Cheng Bock’s bid for the presidency. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s current Minister of Trade and Industry, stated in 2017 that the Government was prepared to pay the political price over making these changes to the Constitution.
We can clearly see from the GE2020 results that a price was indeed paid. A loss of almost 9% of vote share is very significant, although a combination of the first-past-the-post rule and the GRC system ensured that the PAP still won 89.2% of the seats in Parliament despite only garnering 61.2% of the votes. On the whole, it’s naught but a scratch to the PAP’s overwhelming dominance in Parliament. The PAP still retains its supermajority and can make changes to the Constitution anytime that it likes. But the swing voters have sent a clear signal that they have not been persuaded by the PAP’s rationale.
5. Swing Voters do not want Racial Politics.
In 2019, Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and the man who is next in line to be Prime Minister (PM) commented that Singapore was not ready to have a non-Chinese PM. He further added that race is an issue that always arises at election-time in Singapore.
Let us now consider the GE2015 results. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Senior Minister and someone whom many have expressed keenness to be Singapore’s next PM, obtained 79.28% of the vote share in Jurong GRC. This was above even the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who scored 78.63% in Ang Mo Kio GRC. Tharman’s score was the highest in the entire election.
And now let us consider the GE2020 results. Tharman scored 74.62% in Jurong, again the highest scorer of the entire election, while Hsien Loong scored 71.91%. So Tharman beat the current PM again, and by an even bigger margin than the last time. Furthermore, Swee Keat, who made the infamous comments above, scored just 53.41% in East Coast.
Yes, I know I’m ignoring a lot of other factors that influenced these results. But don’t these results show conclusively that Heng’s comments were wrong? We have an Indian leading both the current and future PM in both elections, but yet PAP still feels the need to say that Singapore “hasn’t arrived” at a stage where we can vote without race in mind. In fact, this was the same rationale that supposedly led to the reserved presidency as mentioned in my earlier point.
The swing voters have spoken, and it is exceedingly clear to me that the electorate does not care what our highest office-holders are in terms of race, whether it be the PM or the President. Our Singapore pledge firmly states “regardless of race”, and I think the results have shown that we as a people have taken it to heart. But has the PAP?
6. Voters will not be so easily manipulated.
On one hand, Singaporeans were exhorted to stay home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact tracing became mandatory, and groups of more than 5 are prohibited.
But on the other hand, we are also told that it’s absolutely necessary to hold an election during this same period, for Singaporeans to wait in long lines and in close proximity to each other as we congregate to cast our vote, all because the PAP needs a strong mandate.
On one hand, Heng Swee Keat lambasted the Worker’s Party, claiming that it was “playing games with voters” over their refusal to confirm if they would accept NCMP seats.
But on the other hand, Heng Swee Keat was moved to the East Coast GRC at the eleventh hour in a surprise move to secure the constituency. (As mentioned above, he was aptly rewarded for this with a razor-thin margin of just 53.41% of the votes.)
On one hand, Masagos Zulkifli, PAP Vice-Chairman stated that “candidates should not be defined by a single moment in time or in their career, but judged instead by their growth throughout their life”. He said this in defense of Ivan Lim, who appears to be the very first candidate in Singaporean politics to have been pushed into retracting his candidacy by the power of non-mainstream media.
But on the other hand, the PAP called on the WP to make clear its stand on Raeesah Khan, a WP candidate who ran (and won) in Sengkang GRC for this election, stating that the Police investigation into Raeesah’s comments made on social media was “a serious matter which goes to the fundamental principles on which our country has been built”.
On one hand, Chan Chun Sing stated in 2015, referring to SingFirst’s policies about giving allowances to the young and the elderly, “Some of them promised you $300 per month. I say, please don’t insult my residents. You think…. they are here to be bribed?”
On the other hand, the PAP Government has just given out several handouts under its many budgets to help Singaporeans cope with the Covid-19 situation. [To be clear, I totally approve of these handouts. What I don’t approve is that the PAP felt the need to lambast similar policies as bribery in the past. Comparing a policy with a crime is a political low blow in my book.]
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. And so did the electorate in this election, putting their vote where it counted to show their disdain for the heavy-handedness and double standards that the PAP has displayed for this election.
Conclusion
I don’t say the above to put down the PAP. The PAP would have you believe that to not support them is equivalent to not wanting what’s best for Singapore. This is a false dichotomy that must be stamped out, and I am glad to see our swing voters taking a real stand with this election.
No, I say the above as a harsh but ultimately supportive letter to the PAP. As everyone can see from the results, we all still firmly believe that the PAP should be the Government. We still have faith that PAP has the leadership to take us forward and out of the Covid-19 crisis.
But we also want to send the PAP a strong signal with this vote, to bring them down from their ivory towers and down to the ground. Enough with the double standards. Enough with the heavy-handedness. Singaporeans have clearly stated their desire for a more mature democracy, and that means more alternative voices in Parliament. The PAP needs to stop acting as the father who knows it all, and to start acting as the bigger brother who can work hand in hand with his alternative younger brother towards what’s best for the entire family: Singapore.
There is a real chance that the PAP will not listen, though. As Lee Hsien Loong admitted in a rally in 2006, “if there are 10, 20… opposition members in Parliament… I have to spent my time thinking what is the right way to fix them”.
Now, the PAP has POFMA at its disposal. It still has the supermajority in Parliament, making them able to change any law in Singapore, even the Constitution at will. We have already seen them put these tools to use for its own benefit. Let us see if the PAP will continue as it has always done, or will it take this opportunity to change itself for the better. Whatever the case, we will be watching, and we will be waiting to make our roar heard once again five years down the road.
Majulah Singapura!
Article Ends Here.
Here's the link to the actual article:
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2020/07/11/ge2020-the-roar-of-the-swing-vote
And here's the link to the other political articles I've written about Singapore:
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2020/07/07/ge2020-the-state-of-play/
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2015/09/10/ge2015-voting-wisely/
https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2015/09/05/expectations-of-the-opposition/
submitted by sharingan87 to singapore [link] [comments]

[Econ] Agricultural Revolution: The Gem Capital City

Agricultural Revolution: The Gem Capital City

Maputo - The Gem Capital City

With the cities across Mozambique vacant for the time being while the population undergoes the Great Cultural Transformation, that leaves the cities open and ready for total remodeling. By remodeling, President Menete meant, bulldozing most of the city and starting over from scratch. While only a few streets of Maputo were considered truly modernized, not a lot of tears will be had about starting over. Which was once a city for 1,000,000, Maputo will be completely redesigned and planned from the ground up to have enough space for 2,000,000 people, who will be the upper crust of FRELIMO and the Government, the Vanguard cadre. Maputo was the exemplary colony of Portugal, and situated right next to Matola, the two cities are virtually inseparable. Just as Maputo will, Matola and Maputo will be combined, taking the name Maputo, and both will be created from the ground up. To maximize reusable resources, the buildings must all be carefully dismantled, and deconstructed so that most of the resources will be usable in the reconstruction of the new city. Maputo has a number of issues, being mostly huts, is not visually pleasing, no sewer, no metro-system, poor roads, poor electricity coverage, water integration, internet, the list goes on of the many issues Maputo has. The Maputo International Airport is poorly designed, and slapped in the middle of the city which awkwardly eats up a huge area of land. The only real redeeming part of the city is the port, but even then- it is definitely not ready for the level of trade that Maputo needs to hold. However, some token spots have been selected to not be destroyed, like the Samora Machel Statue, it will just be stored, as well as Vila Algarve building for the former Portuguese Secret Police, and Maputo Katembe Bridge. The Samora statue will be placed in protective storage for the mean time, while Vila Algarve will be completely preserved in its current status, as it will become the Portuguese Oppression Museum. Additionally, the railways will be retained, but the Maputo Railway Station will be destroyed and rebuilt in a different design. With approximately 100,000 workers from the People's Militia, this will take four months to complete, and when it is leveled- the construction of a new Maputo can begin.
The new Maputo will become completely urban-planned like a true Soviet-style city. First, the city will be designed alongside Russian architects and urban planners to cross hatch all of the roads in the city north to south as names of FRELIMO revolutionary figures, and east to west as international socialist figures like Karl Marx, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Xi Jinping, Kim Il-Sung, and the like. There will be two major roads in the city that will be larger and longer than the rest, namely General Menete Avenue which will be a completely modernized Avenida de Marginal, and Progress & Science Avenue which will take place of Avenida de Joaquin Chissano. With the exception of these two roadways, the rest of the city will be sectioned off into districts as follows:
  • Mpilo District - Maputo Port Authority, Industrial Area, President Menete Railway Station
  • Ganyah District - High-class residential area, State-Owned Enterprise HQs, Office Buildings, restaurants, local businesses
  • Ghakarhi District - Parks, light entertainment, shopping centers, sports centers
  • Phiwokwakhe District - Residential area, restaurants, local businesses
  • Induna District - Directly borders Maputo Bay, holds General Menete Avenue and the seat of government
  • Fokazi District - Embassies, universities, high-scale shopping centers
  • Spamandla District - Entertainment, High-class residential area, restaurants, local businesses
  • Bongani District - Residential area, restaurants, local businesses
  • Ilha Xefina District - Island off Maputo's coast, will only hold the new Maputo International Airport and hotel for foreign guests, Revolutionary Gateway Bridge will be created to connect Ilha Xefina District to Maputo proper
These will be the largest and most important districts in the new Maputo. Before any grand construction begins, the sewers must be dug, the water-pipes must be laid, along with internet cabling, and power-lines must be installed. This will prevent any over-ground wire-management and will keep it all centrally contained. At this time, the roadways can also be constructed three lanes on each side with clear dividers separating each side. Traffic light management systems will be installed along with roadway cameras which will be part of a greater "Security Network" project which will CCTV-capture the entire city, and prospectively cities in Mozambique. New signage in Xitsonga will be installed as well.
Residences
In the residential districts the land will be plotted off for the large scale apartment projects, so the foundation digging process can begin, because under the apartment complexes will be parking garages so that a parking ban can be enforced on the open streets, and keep them more empty during all day hours. The apartments will be constructed in the usual cookie cutter fashion, and will have integrated water systems, sewage, internet, electricity, and AC units as it is excessively warm in Mozambique. This will be standard across all residences in the city, both general and high-class. Because the capital city is for the most loyal supporters of FRELIMO and President Menete, they will be provided for the best. The roofs of each of the buildings will have solar panels on them to give back to the energy grid, while personal solar panels will be provided for each unit for use in their windows. Each unit will have three bedrooms, a kitchen, a common room, laundry room, two bathrooms, a dining room, and a study (Because this is the upper crust capital). The high-class residences that are apartment buildings will have a second story to each unit, and the other options for high-class residences include townhouses, and a select few mansions. The residences will all have gated entry, for apartments there will be three complexes per residential block, which will be gated off. Key card access on foot, or camera-parking pass access for vehicles. The entries and exits of the residential areas will be run by an officer from the Ministry of People's Security, the public law enforcement ministry. Visitors will have to check in and show identification upon entrance, mail will be delivered to the security entrances. There will be at least one officer manning the entry/exit 24 hours a day.
Maputo Metro System
At this time, the Maputo Metro System will be dug out as well at 500 ft deep, which will also serve as a bomb-shelter network. Three lines will be dug, two will be public, one will be for use of the military, government, and Presidency. The two public lines, Victory Line and Equality Line will provide basic ridership services. With around 2,000,000 people in the city, it is expected ridership will move around 500,000 to 750,000 in a day. No food or drinks will be allowed on the metro services to keep the system clean. Service will run from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM. For riders, tickets can be purchased by stop at a kiosk when entering for a low cost, or by acquiring a Revolutionary Pass which covers transportation by bus, taxi, and metro. Revolutionary Passes can be tapped at the turnstile to give access to the subway and once again when leaving to calculate distance and rate. These cards can be topped up at the same ticket kiosks, but the Revolutionary Passes are only for party members and offer a lower rate than normal. The Maputo Metro System will use SFM16 CRRC Qingdao Sifang rolling stock cars. Service for each station will be monitored by television with expected arrival times listed, cars will rotate between stations no longer than five minutes.
Maputo International Airport
After the old Maputo International Airport is dismantled due to its unwieldy location, island reclamation projects will begin on Ilha Xefina island to hold the new Maputo International Airport, and the Grand Maputo Hotel at the south side of the island. The Maputo International Airport will retain its old IATA, ICAO, and WMO callsigns, just its location will be moved, and modernized. It will operate two concrete runways of 3,800 meters in length. The airport will consist of two terminals complete with duty free stores, business and first class lounges, gift shops and other amenities like internet. The future of travel to Mozambique is uncertain, and truthfully, the Ministry of National Development has no idea of what sort of traffic to see. Terminal 1 will be domestic flights, whereas Terminal 2 will be international flights, and considerably nicer. Extensive hangars and repair facilities will be constructed as a normal airport might have, as well as a baggage claim system.
Revolutionary Gateway Bridge
To connect Maputo proper to Ilha Xefina island, it will require a suspension bridge with cable-stay capabilities to span 1.5 miles. The bridge will be 90ft wide and support highway-scale traffic on both sides. Clearance below the bridge should account for 375 ft so that freighters, and military vessels can pass underneath the bridge as needed. China’s Shandong Gaosu Group has been invited to lead the designing and construction of the bridge, to be supported by the People’s Militia work teams.
Grand Maputo Hotel
Orascom has been invited by the President to construct the largest hotel in Maputo which will service foreigners, domestic government travellers, and heads of state in the future. Most notably, Orascom has built the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang in the neo-futurist style- which is exactly the style that Mozambique is looking for. While Orascom will be given free reign on design, look, and features, the President has a list of specific requirements for the company to meet:
  • Built with Neo-Futurist Style
  • Between 1,900 Ft and 2,000 ft
  • Has a rotating restaurant
  • Between 100 and 170 floors
  • Can be completed by 2030
  • Costs under $2 Bn
  • Will hire Mozambican labor
  • Can display videos, images, or colors from the glass walls at night
Maputo Port Authority
During this overhaul, the Maputo Port will be expanded and modernized to support a large export capacity that Mozambique will need to bring in its revenues. The Port Authority is looking for 35 container berths, quay length of 15,500 m, an area of 600 hectares of container facilities, 130 quay cranes, and supporting capacity between 20 - 30 million TEUs annually. The fact of the matter is, Mozambique is way too poor to construct this port by itself and will need China Merchants Port to construct it. To finance this, Mozambique is proposing the Gwadar Port standard, where China Overseas Port Holding Company creates a joint venture with the Mozambican Government, like Sino-Mozambique Port Management Corporation, which will give some revenue both to the Mozambican Government, and China to pay back for the costs of construction, which will pay off and transition to Mozambique in 20 years.
General Menete Avenue
General Menete Avenue will be the most important road in the country, the seat of the Mozambican Government and also the longest continuous road in the city. The presence of the road will revolve primarily around Revolution Square. Revolution Square is a proposed area in front of the new Presidential Residence- the Palace of the Revolution, where military parades and other celebrations will be held for viewing on a national and international scale. On the West side of the square, will be the Palace of the Revolution. President Menete has contacted Mansudae Overseas Projects and asked them to design and commission the Revolution Square, the Palace of the Revolution, National People’s Assembly- comprising the Great Hall of the Nation, and the FRELIMO Party HQ that all will comprise the square. The East side of the square will have a nice view of the ocean. The North side of the square will have the FRELIMO Party Headquarters, which is also the meeting building for the Central Committee, comprising the Hall of the Workers- where the Central Committee and the National Party Conference convenes. The south side of the square will have the National People’s Assembly, where the seat of the legislature is. Between the Palace of the Revolution and Revolution Square, General Menete Avenue will split the two, making it a perfect location for a military parade. At the center of Revolution Square, the Samora Machel Statue will be dug out of storage, cleaned off and placed there. Alongside it, a similar statue will be commissioned by Mansudae Overseas Projects to also be 31ft in height, depicting President Menete. The two statues will be placed side-by-side, and in front of it, will be the National Flagpole, which will be the world’s tallest flagpole at 565 ft. which will carry a super-sized national Mozambican flag. Flanking the Palace of the Revolution on the north and south will be all the headquarters of the various ministries, and the Central Military Commission. One of the Maputo Metro stops for the public, and for the private government line will be Revolution Square.
Palace of the Revolution
The Palace of the Revolution, upon its completion will currently be the most high-scale and luxurious residence in the country, fit for a President, dare I say- a king. The complex itself spans 4.6 square miles behind General Menete Avenue and behind the properties of the ministries surrounding the facility and is accessible by the private government Maputo Metro line. The main house itself has 300 bedrooms, 115 bathrooms, and 400 other rooms. While three floors are above ground, there are also two floors below ground for access in dangerous situations like war, nuclear attack, and the like. In addition to the Maputo Metro access, it also has an underground railroad (more about that coming soon). The underground levels are protected with layers of thick concrete covered in lead, walls reinforced with iron rods. On the facility grounds is a moderate-sized military base, for the protection of the President, while the State Security Department also has VIP protection units inside the house. The facility limits are surrounded by electric fencing, mine fields, and security checkpoints. For leadership, government figures, the main entrance is actually through the metro, train, or a non-descript back road and foot entrance, where most of the security checkpoints are. The grounds areas have a shooting range, a swimming pool with waterslide, a racetrack, horse stables and riding area, a manmade lake with a yacht, seadoos, its own private airfield, and a large garden. The interiors are about just in the same level of excess as its outside, with banquet halls, interior gym and track, a spa and sauna, interior shooting range, bowling alley, ice rink, and its own restaurants, in addition to several kitchens. President Menete has asked the Supreme Marshal Kim Jong-un for permission to open a Pyongyang Restaurant inside his Palace of the Revolution, in addition to a Samtaesong (DPRK-based fast food chain). Unlikely to get any US companies to bite, President Menete also asked Canada if it could have a single Tim Horton’s location in the Palace of the Revolution. Contrary to popular belief, the Palace of the Revolution is not strictly just for the President, but also consists of the Cabinet members and their families, as well as key individuals designated by the President.
Basic Idea Map of Maputo
submitted by Erhard_Eckmann to Geosim [link] [comments]

More thoughts on collecting ebooks

ISBN numbers

For those unaware, ISBN numbers are 10 (and later 13) digit numbers assigned to books to uniquely identify them. In theory, they don't just identify a title, but rather a specific edition of it. For a typical modern book, this might be many such numbers... an author will sell his book to a US publisher, who prints a hardback edition (that's one ISBN), then releases it in paperback (another ISBN), then sell it to the UK publisher (yet another), who also releases paperbacks (one again). If years later the rights get sold to another publisher, those will get their own as well.
But about the year 2000 (plus or minus a few years), we started to see ebooks appear. In theory, those also get their own numbers, separate from paperback and hardback. On some titles, I'm even seeing 3 different ISBNs for ebooks. One for .epub format, another for Amazon Kindle, and a third which says "Acrobat Reader" (which I'm assuming is PDF, but that's unclear to me). However, for any early ebooks (release on up to about 2004), sometimes it seems like they use the same one as the paper edition (and these things are cheap too, like $1 for each number for a publisher). I guess they were still figuring things out then.
Most ebooks seem to use the 13 digit numbers (starting with 978-). Some are still showing the 10 digit. I've just learned (derp) that these are equivalent, a 13 digit ISBN is just the 10 digit with three more digits on the lefthand (and the rightmost digit changes because it's a checksum). If you're annoyed with using 10 digits in the filename, you can convert a 10 digit to a 13 digit and they are perfectly valid. There's even an online app to do that:
https://www.isbn.org/ISBN_converter
Finally, it turns out that many books don't just have them. Period. Obviously if you're collecting old 16th century grimoires they won't, but you wouldn't expect it for fiction would you?
I first became aware of them missing a few years ago. For those of you familiar with Magic The Gathering (a card game with a theme of magic and wizards and crap like that) there's actually a story behind it. And in the last 10 years or so, there's even been some stories written to that effect. Not fan fiction (not exactly anyway, it's hardly high art) and officially endorsed... I think you can even download it off of their site.
I don't want to be one of those assholes that says "no big loss", but it is sort of marginal. A problem to figure out later maybe. But here I am trying to collect all of Harry Turtledove's bibliography, and I discover that some of his works don't have them either.
Some of his novellas are apparently released for free on tor.com (Tor being a somehwat major imprint for science fiction). And since they're not printing them, I guess they don't bother to actually register an ISBN. Ugh.
If anyone has any ideas on what code/number to use for this, I'm all ears. Keep in mind that it should be fairly short and use a restricted set of symbols so it can be used in computer filenames. I'm stumped myself.

Unique Identifiers

Ebooks pose particular challenges... they aren't published once like paper books. Granted, sometimes a popular novel will be reprinted, but even then it's essentially the same as the first printing. Typesetting a book, editing, these all cost money and they didn't use to do that more than once. But with ebooks, if someone notices a type in chapter 14 they send off an email, and 12 weeks later some jackass in the publishing company has fixed it and pushed it to the repo, and now anyone who buys it will get version 3.16 with the typo fixed. It's cheap to fix them, and the version you buy today might not be the exact same I buy tomorrow.
It would be useful to know which version is which.
The good news is that at least some publishers are including that version number on the colophon (copyright page) in it. But only some. Ballantine (science fiction and fantasy mostly) seems to be good about this. Scribner (Simon & Schuster) not so good. Everyone else is hit and miss.
So, when I set the filename, I'm setting it something like this:
Night Shift - 9780385528849 (1978, v3.0_r6) - King, Stephen 
I'm including the ISBN first, as it's the primary identifier. Then in parentheses I'm including the publishing date (of the ebook, not when the book was first released necessarily). Sometimes that's not strictly available either, so I use whatever the highest year is that appears in the colophon. For example:
It - 9781501141232 (2016) - King, Stephen.epub 
For those unfamiliar with the title, that one was first released long before 2016, but the insides of the ebook make it clear that was when the ebook was first released by Scribner.
Finally, if there's an actual version number, I include that too as in the first example. Not all style it exactly in that manner, I've seen quite a few "Version 1.0", but for the filename I'm rendering that as v1.0 for simplicity, brevity, and consistency.

Authors

I think if you go back to one of my old posts from a few years back, you'd see that I'm always putting the authors at the end in lastname/firstname order. When just two of them, I'm using the ampersand to connect, like so:
The Talisman - 9780345452405 (2001, v3.0) - King, Stephen & Straub, Peter.epub 
If there were 3 or more authors, I use commas between last and first name, and semicolons between authors except the final, something like:
Fake Book Title - 978xxxx (2020, v5.0) - Blow, Joe; Tyson, Mike & Doe, John.epub 
(Note: The order of the authors should match the front cover of the book, or if that's unavailable, the title page on the inside of the book.)
But I came across an interesting example the other night. One of the old Stephen King books was first printed with a bunch of color plate illustrations... and there's an ebook of that now. It has all the pictures (and it weighs in at 30mb, ouch). But one thing I didn't notice all those years ago when I had a copy of the physical book was that they credited the illustrator on the cover.
And I feel that should be included in the filename. If you can get your name on the front cover of a book, then that's what we should name the file. However, in some cases the name's not the name of the author proper. So how should you handle that?
There's already a convention. A list of codes for people who have contributed to a work, but aren't necessarily the author himself. It's part of the Dublin Core standard:
http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators.html
You can browse the list, but in my case the illustrator code is "ill". Another useful one that you'll probably see the most is "edt" for editor (if you like science fiction there's a tradition of putting out novel-sized books of short stories, each by a different author... none of which have their names on the cover. However a famous name will be on the cover as the "editor", use that for those).
So, we'd make that filename:
Cycle of the Werewolf - 978150114113 (2019) - King, Stephen & Wrightson, Bernie (ill).epub 
Note that though there is a code for "author", I'm not actually using those because I consider that the default. It's a book after all.

Omnibus Editions

For those of us who are completists (heh, as if any of us aren't), we'd like to have every mainstream work ever released by an author. At least for those authors we like.
With short stories, I won't bother to pursue a collection that has only short stories already found in those collections I've already got. (Publishers are aware of this, so they tended to always include at least one or two new ones... even back when things were all on paper.)
But there's also the issue of authors who put out series. Trilogies (and more-than-three-logies) and so forth. Occasionally these were released all in one very big book, supposing it could fit without falling apart (paperbacks were limited to maybe 1000 pages at most, and even those could be flimsy). But ebooks offer no such limitation... filesizes are still quite comfortable for any page-count anyone could ever manage. So I've seen lots of 2000 page omnibuses and even some that must be larger still.
I'm personally shying away from those, and trying to find the individual titles. I would suggest that others do the same. No one wants to read Game of Thrones all as a single title. And while your ebook software will certainly keep track of where you are in it, it just feels daunting to read that. Most of the people who ever read these will, I contend, be more comfortable completing the first 500 pages (or whatever) and knowing they've read the whole title. Then they can move on to book two if they choose, and start again. But to be 1200 pages in, and still have it unfinished will be much more difficult.
I would consider these omnibus editions only in specific circumstances. First, the individual editions must be significantly on the smaller side. And the collected/omnibus must still be on the not-absolutely-gargantuan side. Say, no more than 800-900 pages total (which was about the biggest most paperbacks ever got). So, if the individuals were novellas or very small novels (300 pages), then putting three of them together is acceptable. Finally though, for me to consider this there is one more rule... the individual books must not be available in any tolerable edition (someone's iphone pictures of the pages scribbled on a stained napkin in crayon aren't tolerable).
Also, you should probably be aware that there are examples of the opposite of omnibuses. Some books were so large (back in the day) that though they'd be released as a single edition in hardback when it came time to release them in paperback they'd be split in two and sold that way (not a bad deal if you're making a profit per unit... and it was the same number of printed pages either way). Greg Bear's Songs of Earth and Power was like this, I think. Raymond Feist's Magician was another. Maybe even the Tad Williams' books.
For those, ideally I'd like the full, complete version, rather than two separate files. Though, basically the same rules apply... if nothing else was available but the split versions, I'd have to make a judgement call.

On Retail Versions

Many places (of the "less commercial" sort) will list them as "retail". But then you open them and they look like shit. The cover art is messed up or wrong, etc.
Well, until very recently, many publishers weren't including those (and some, like Ballantine, were including these shitty green generic images that just had the title captioned in)... so someone probably decided to add the covers themselves. You can probably revert them to retail version yourself. But there's a reason why the other guy tried to fix it... because it's fugly, and though he did a poor job of it, he still put more effort in than the publisher themselves.
You can determine if this is the case by opening the .epub in Calibre's ebook editing app (this may be the only good part of Calibre if you ask me). It lists the internal files on the lefthand side. They can be named almost anything... but if the person added a cover image and they did it with Calibre, then at the very top the file will be named titlepage.xhtml. This seems to be a signature of that app adding a cover image.
And you can change it rather simply too. It the Tools menu, about halfway down there is an entry called "Add Cover". It opens a dialog, and you can import another image.
If you do this, I have several recommendations. First, you find the matching cover for that publisher and edition. Or, in some cases fan art might be good (there's some surprisingly good stuff on Deviant Art). This image should be at most 500 pixels tall, but not much less than that... 450 is ok if that's the best you can find, but 230 pixels tall is just crap.
Finally, if anyone would like to offer an opinion on whether we should be doing that... please speak up. I'm not sure how I feel about it myself.
Another thing to mention... if you're one of those people who is including their own name in it (in the retail version, not a scan job), then die in a fire and drown in shit. It's not a goddamned bathroom stall door. Enough with the graffiti.

On Genres

In case my choice of examples doesn't make it clear, I'm a science fiction and fantasy nerd. Shouldn't have been difficult to guess.
Usually, this makes it easy. For those who haven't read my other posts (or who don't recognize my username), I'm a big proponent of UDC (or Universal Decimal Classification, a Dewey-Decimal-like system). UDC puts almost all fiction in one place (in the 800s), and with a few subcategories for genre. And those are simple too. Something like...
82-3 - Fiction (081)1.9 - Science fiction (collections, single author) (081)3.3 - Horror (collections, single author) (082)1.9 - Science fiction (collections, multiple authors) 11.9 - Science fiction novels 12.9 - Fantasy novels 13.3 - Horror & supernatural thriller novels 
Within those, I'm doing the standard, subfolders A-Z, and within those subfolders for each author. Stephen King will go in 13.3 even if a few of his novels are science-fictiony, even if a few of those are fantasy-esque. Whatever else they are, he's going for horrosupernatural primarily.
But other authors aren't entirely easy to pigeon-hole. Turtledove does just two kinds... his first are "alternate history" of the "what would have happened if the Japanese had invaded Hawaii and attempted to occupy it instead" nature. That's straight up science fiction to me. But nearly half of the rest are "this world vaguely like the Roman empire but not on Earth, and there are dragons and magic". That's straight-up fantasy.
Do I split up his stuff in two different places? Maybe with a "see also x" pointing to his other stuff? Can't quite do that so well on the filesystem side of things (symlinks can be overused). And I'm not yet at a point where I have a decent setup in Nextcloud to do that there either.
I like the author alot, and intend to read much more of his stuff (now that I don't have to fill a room full of used paperbacks hoarder-style to do it). But even then, I can't read everything of his, and since I haven't read it, I don't always know which genre it is. And that's for an author I know very well, for others that I'm just collecting, it becomes daunting to determine genre on a book-by-book basis.
Nor can I just dump everything into one bucket. People like what they like, and no one who reads science fiction wants to browse through 10,000 Tom Clancy and John Grisham (or god help me, Dan Brown) novels to find them. Nor would anyone who wants to find Dan Brown and John Grisham novels will want to browse through 10,000 Stephen King books (exaggeration, he doesn't have more than about 9300).
We need a resource that would help us with genres, but that's not Wikipedia. I wish there was a way to collaborate... if I get it figured out for this guy's or that guy's bibliography, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to use it. Or vice versa. It's only daunting work if we all have to recreate it from scratch ourselves even though it's already been done.

On Science Fiction

I've decided quite arbitrarily that both "dystopian" and "alternate history" fiction are also science fiction. Even if they don't include any other science fiction tropes. Turtledove's Worldwar series is definitely science fiction (aliens invade in 1940, right when everyone else is fighting), but his Southern Victory series is also despite that there are no other elements of science fiction (history just diverges because of some small thing, there are no ray guns or spaceships or anything else). And likewise... if there is an end-of-world scenario or a book about the aftermath of such a doomsday... that's science fiction too. It makes for some strange classifications, who would have thought of The Hunger Games as science fiction?
Fantasy is fairly straightforward too. If there are elements of magic, it is fantasy. Vampires? Fantasy (unless it's bad romance). Werewolves? Fantasy. Witches, wizards, spells, unicorns, elves. All fantasy.
There are exceptions. If the magic is touted specifically as "psychic powers" (and there is no other kind of magic), then it is science fiction. I don't want Isaac Asimov in fantasy, just because someone's telekinetic in the story.
Horror is anything that is meant to scare you, disturb you, or creep you out. Purely psychological stuff, or supernatural. Stephen King is almost always horror, even when it could be something else. If it takes place in a prison, it's still trying to scare you with existential crap. If it's kids finding a dead body, same thing. If the CIA is experimenting with drugs to turn people into psychic warriors and an 8 yr old Drew Barrymore can start fires with her mind using bad physics, still horror.
A weird artifact of this way of thinking is that comedy is totally besides the point. Douglas Adams is still science fiction, despite it being funny as hell. Terry Brooks is still fantasy, despite the same.
Finally, it should be said that it's tough to not moralize... I keep wanting to create a new category for shitty writing for Dan Brown, but I'm trying my best to remain neutral. I'm just organizing this stuff, not telling people what they should want to read.

Stephen King's The Dark Tower Series

I can't ask in books for obvious reasons. I've found good retail versions of these books, they even have good cover images (though not the ones I remember as a kid). However, they do not have the color plates in them (likely the artwork had separate rights/contracts, and so they can't include them without renegotiating).
I have found suitable copies of the artwork for these. I want to attempt to put them back in the epubs myself. (If I ever trade with any of you guys, I'll make it clear that they have been modified from the original). But I don't know where to include them... I no longer have physical copies of them. I don't want to just chuck them in randomly, it'd be nice to know which one goes at what page number (or maybe chapter... page numbers don't mean much in .epub format). Can anyone help with that, or does anyone know where I might find help with that?
Additionally, I've almost got the complete collection (find it on Snahp.it if you can get there). The only book I'm really missing is the original version of the stand. For those of you unfamiliar, he re-released it in the late 1980s after having Lucased it up quite a bit). I've got the lucased-up version, but the original would be difficult in the extreme to come by. If someone knows of a scanned-version, I'd be extremely grateful to hear about it. I'd probably end up re-typesetting it myself.

Nostaglia

Have any of your guys went and looked at the paperbacks (and/or magazines) section of a grocery store lately? It's depressing. It'd be my favorite place to hang out while mom was grocery shopping... now it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. I don't know if it's sad, but alot of what I decided I wanted to read came from there. I mean I realize that this gave alot of control to the people who decided what ended up on those shelves, but it's so hard to discover new stuff now days. I have access to tens of thousands of books (and I can afford them, so to speak), and I no longer know what to get.
submitted by NoMoreNicksLeft to datacurator [link] [comments]

Subjectivity of value and Labour Value Theory

TLDR
LVT is imcomplete and cannot explain everything, even with extreme mental gymnastics, and therefore it is rejected by professional academics. Main points of objection include the inability of the LVT explain why skilled labour is more valuable than unskilled labour, how sentimental goods have more value to individuals, and how surplus value necessarily needs to refer to market prices. Moreover, terms like "labour embodied in the commodity", "socially necessary labour" and "labour-power" conceal the hidden inconsistencies of the theory. ......................................................................
Value is the amount of benefit a good or service provides, while the price is the amount of payment offered as part of an exchange. Moreover, value can be subdivided into use value and exchange value. For instance, a fine-tailored suit has very high use value to whomever the suit is tailored for, but it has very low exchange value, as I would not be interested in exchanging something with use-value for a suit that does not fit me. Similarly, paper dollars have no real use value but high exchange value, meaning they are only valuable to us because we can exchange them for something else. Thus I would say that in an economy of 2 trading individuals, the market price is the exchange value expressed in terms of another commodity. LVT really struggles in explaining or finding a logical relationship that would show how prices arise from values, and has been dubbed the transformation problem. Menger criticises the attempt to ''solve the problem of discovering the causes of an alleged equality between two quantities of goods'', stating that as a result, the science of economics has suffered incalculable damage. He further states:
If goods were equivalents in this sense, there would be no reason, market conditions remaining unchanged, why every exchange should not be capable of reversal. Suppose A had exchanged his house for B’s farm or for a sum of 20,000 Thalers. If these goods had become equivalents in the objective sense of the term as a result of the transaction, or if they had already been equivalents before it took place, there is no reason why the two participants should not be willing to reverse the trade immediately. But experience tells us that in a case of this kind neither of the two would give his consent to such an arrangement.
In other words, if the value of two commodities is objective and the commodities are in such quantity to have equal value, there is no reason why we should want to trade at all.
This is of course not what we observe in human life. A more fitting explanation as to what gives commodities value is the ends towards which they serve. In other words, value is the significance or importance a good has for us because of our understanding of the causal relationship between the utility of the good and the satisfaction of our needs. Thus, bread has value only in as much as it is a means to satisfy the ends (our hunger). A wine maker will trade wine for wheat if the utility of wheat exceeds his utility of wine. If he produces 40 units of wine, but the full satisfaction of his needs only requires 30 units, he would find the remaining 10 units have no use value to him. In fact he would try to get rid of them either by exchange or by simply pouring the wine out, as it becomes invaluable to him. Menger actually described how, once human needs are fully satisfied, the goods lose their value to them and cease to be economic goods. So long as the amount of fresh water in the brook far exceeds our demand for water, we are quite content wasting it.A unit of water would therefore in this scenario have no value to us (marginal utility). ''But water is objectively valuable, because it's essential for life!'' So is oxygen, yet we have no value for a unit of air. However, to a man on the brink of death by dehydration, a glass of water would be more valuable than a tonne of gold. This is because the total utility of water is greater than the total utility of gold, and it is only when water is abundant does gold become more valuable to us than water. ......................................................................
Socially necessary labour, non-labour commodities
It would also be impossible for us to attribute value to goods when we know that we are not dependent upon them for the satisfaction of our needs
Mudpies are the typical popular version of this argument. Marx in particular enhances the LVT specifying that it's not labour, but rather socially necessary labour that gives value to the good. Since mudpies are not socially necessary, any labour that goes into their production is unnecessary, and therefore mudpies are not valauble. However, this is a problematic statement. Nozick criticised the ''socially necessary'' qualifier as hiding the subjective judgement of necessity. Indeed, what is socially necessary seems to be simply whatever is in demand. A labourer working hard producing mudpies is not employing his labour in a socially necessary manner, and what is ''socially necessary'' would actually be determined by looking at whether there is actual demand for the product. Thus we are still using supply and demand, just in a roundabout way. How else would we know what is socially necessary?
Another place where LVT fails or needs to make special cases are in the areas of commodities provided for by nature. If a volcano spits out a perfectly shaped and sized pumice rock, we would have to assume its value is 0 because no labour went into creating it. This is once again answered by Marx, as it is not actually the amount of labour that goes into a commodity's production that determines it's value, but rather the labour embodied in it.
The labor, however, that forms the substance of value, is homogeneous human labor, expenditure of one uniform labor power. The total labor power of society, which is embodied in the sum total of the values of all commodities produced by that society, counts here as one homogeneous mass of human labor power, composed though it be of innumerable individual units
Basically, what determines the value of pumice is the total amount of labour it took to produce and/or extract all the pumice in the world, or otherwise, the average amount of labour that a pound of pumice needs. A meteor containing a pound of pure gold falling from the heavens does not infact have no value, because it takes x amount of labour to normally mine a pound of gold in Peru. If you are finding it hard to follow these mental gymnastics, you're not the only one. ......................................................................
Labour
LVT struggles or fails to explain why skilled labour is more valuable than unskilled labour. Apart from the fact that it is actually impossible to reduce skilled labour into unskilled labour, the attempt to explain why skilled labour is more valuable than unskilled labour given that value is determined by the amount of labour embodied in a commodity would necessarily lead us to conclude that skilled labour is more valuable than unskilled labour because skilled labour has more labour embodied in it. This is a nonsensical conclusion, and I would argue as long as the transformation problem remains unsolved, there is no way to explain just why skilled labour is more valuable than unskilled labour without referring to market prices, wage-pay or exchange values. As Paul Krugman states, a theory ought to explain why a particular occurence is observed, not just assume it. Marx was accused of circular logic for trying to explain how skilled labour is more valuable than unskilled labour by looking at the wages they collect (since LVT is supposed to explain why the productivity or wage of skilled labourer is higher than that of the unskilled labourer). How else can we determine how much more valubale an hour of service of a doctor is than the service of a gardener? It is claimed that labour is not a commodity, but labour-power is. Workers do sell their labour, instead they sell their labour power. Labour is simply the capacity, while labour power is the act. Once again, we have to go through incredible mental gymnastics It makes no sense, because workers cannot sell that what is not a commodity. The central role of why labour is the only source of value creation is not logically demonstrated, and therefore makes as much sense a paper-value theory
The organic composition of capital would be the ratio of non-paper means of production to paper, and it would be asserted that only paper created new value, and therefore surplus-value. The whole of Capital could be rewritten, substituting 'paper' for 'labor'. Exploitation of paper-owners would occur because they do not really sell their paper, but rather their 'paper-power'. Goods requiring no paper inputs would be regarded as having 'imaginary prices', just as Marx regarded salable goods which require no labor inputs.
Criticism of this of course states that what all commodities share in common is labour, not paper or grain, and therefore labour is the only source of value. However, it is clear that not all commodities were produced by labour - a meteorite of pure gold, a volcano spitting out diamonds, or the seawaves depositing a precious pearl. No labour went into producing these commodities, yet they very clearly are commodities and would instantly be recognised as such. Thus since labour is in fact not a feature shared by all commodities, the claim is dismissed. You could just as likely claim that no-labour commodities have inaginary prices as you can claim that non-paper goods have imaginary prices, and therefore paper is what creates value ......................................................................
Surplus value and exchange-value
Further criticism of LVT involves the idea that the notion that workers produce surplus value must necessarily assume it refers to exchange-value, since the amount of value exploited is determined by comparing exchnage value of the product of labour and the exchange value of the wage. However, as discussed above, exchange values are subjective, since exchnage values are simply an indirect way to satisfy one's needs by exchanging a commodity without use-value for a commodity with use-value. Since use-value is subjective by definition, as it is simply the amount of utility that an individual gets from a good given his circumstances, it follows that exchnage values must be subejctive too. Another problem is what seems to be anti-chrnological explanation of exploitation and value. For if the value (as expressed in equilibrium price) of a bottle of wine is $10, but it took $9 to produce it, isn't it logical to assume the value of labour is in fact $9, and rather than the worker being exploited by not being given the market price of the good ($10), it is in fact the consumer who is exploited by having to pay an additional price (profit) on top of the good? The argument for this sequence of events to me is obvious when we look at the fact that the exchange value of the same good can vary in different areas and at different times. If the wine sells for below $9, the worker's wage does not shrink because the capitalist must extract surplus value. This is because the worker is paid before the product is sold, i.e before value was ever extracted. To argue from reverse would be to claim pearls are valuable because men dive for them, rather than what I hope is clear that men dive for pearls because they are valuable. In other words, pearls have value before any labour went into extracting them.
Notice how much easier it is to explain these phenomena is we are to assume value is subjectively determined. For example, to explain why we value a medal or a trophy, limited-edition figurines, collectable items or stamps, old photo albums and other goods of sentimental value using LVT is I would argue an impossibility.
This leads me to the final point:
Occam's razor is a principle employed in all sciences that states if two competing hypotheses seek to explain a phenomenon, the one which makes least assumptions is preferrable. In practise, this discussion is still a debate in professional economics , and to fully present all arguments and counter arguments would be equivalent to writing a thesis. In this situation I feel it is justified to appeal to authority and say: If we are to accept the scientific concensus that climate change is happening, or that vaccines work, why do we reject the academic concencus that LVT simply is an incomplete theory that cannot explain everything?.Even economists sympathetic to Marxism (and therefore LVT) agree that given what we know today, LVT simply cannot explain everything. Joan Robinson descibed the theory as ''logically a rigamole of words''.
In conclusion, I simply cannot accept LVT over SVT, and as a result, the entire Marxist doctrine seems to me to be founded on false assumptions.
submitted by nikolakis7 to CapitalismVSocialism [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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What is LIQUIDATION PREFERENCE? What does LIQUIDATION PREFERENCE mean? What is SEPARATELY MANAGED ACCOUNT? What does SEPARATELY MANAGED ACCOUNT mean? Homo Economicus ... and what makes us human! What is REGULATION T? What does REGULATION T mean? REGULATION T meaning, definition & explanation Examples Of High Frequency Trading Strategies For The Emini Futures 29th Jan 2013

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What is LIQUIDATION PREFERENCE? What does LIQUIDATION PREFERENCE mean?

The initial margin requirement for such margin stock purchases is 50%, and has been since 1974, but Regulation T gives the Federal Reserve the authority to change that percentage. Your typical Econ 101 textbook will start something like this: the 3 key economic ideas are: people are rational, people respond to incentives and optimal decisions are made at the margin. heres the definition of a daytrader courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons licence ... However, with the advent of electronic trading and margin trading, day trading has become increasingly ... ITM Trading & Lynette Zang uncover the truth about complex Financial Banking, Currencies, and Economic Systems which allows people (and investors) the abilit... Published on Mar 3, 2016. Costing and Management Accounting - CMA. MBA - MCA - CA - CS - CWA - BBA - BCA - BCom - MCom - GRE - GMAT - Grade 11 - Grade 12 - Class 11 - Class 12 - IAS - CAIIB - FIII...

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