Digital currencies have been front-page news as the value of bitcoin, the most popular of the cryptocurrencies, continues to surge, albeit with wild fluctuations. Bitcoin backers argue that once digital currencies become widely used, governments will be unable to destroy them — users simply won’t allow it.
This view falls short on two points. First, digital currencies, even in their current form, are a bigger threat to national governments than most people currently understand.
Second, bitcoin’s success would also be its downfall. As bitcoin gains popularity, and especially if it stabilizes in value, it becomes a viable substitute for government-backed currencies.… Seguir leyendo »
Events in Pakistan have taken yet another dreadful turn for the worse with the suicide bomb attacks on Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming rally. Ms Bhutto has been quick to accuse supporters of the late military ruler Mohammad Zia ul-Haq of complicity. Others suspect al-Qaeda.
For any Pakistani politician the equation seems unappealingly simple. Attacking the terror fastnesses in Waziristan and the other border regions along the old North West Frontier courts personal danger, while appeasing these mountain territories risks national catastrophe.
The tentativeness has been such that Pakistan’s Army did not venture into the Tirah Valley until 2002, 55 years after its absorption into Pakistan.… Seguir leyendo »