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  • Businesswire

    June 25, 2015 12:00 PM

    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BitFury Group, the leading Bitcoin Blockchain infrastructure provider and transaction processing company added Dr. James Newsome, ex-Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and former CEO of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Hernando de Soto, the President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD), to its advisory board.

  • Hernando de Soto at the Block Chain Summit on Necker Island, 25-28 May 2015. Photos courtesy of John Dill.

  • Hernando de Soto, the Peruvian economist and anti poverty campaigner, estimates that five billion people live without adequate records. They face serious challenges in documenting their economic activities, their assets, even their existence. 

    Until now, de Soto has depended on political persuasion to try to address this problem. But now he’s getting help from new technologies that could fast-track the creation of permanent registries and give people manifest power to execute their property rights. One of the most promising solutions arises from open-source software called the block chain that underlies digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

  • Brave New CoinPosted by B Holmes on 19 June 2015

    In 2000, revered Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto published The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, a study on the relationship between poverty and property rights. In the book De Soto claims approximately $9 trillion is tied up in land, homes and businesses belonging to people who do not have deeds or titles.

    Peter Kirby, CEO and founder of Factom, draws inspiration from De Soto and endeavours to make an impact in the land title arena. “Land Title corruption is a very common problem in the developing world and a immutable ledger solution could help these economies move forward dramatically.”

    According to the USAid and Tenure website approximately 80% of privately held land in Honduras is untitled or improperly titled. “Only 14% of Hondurans legally occupy properties and, of the properties held legally, only 30% are registered.”  The ongoing land title disputes in Honduras have lead to violence, environmental abuse, and the displacement of indigenous people.

  • People's homes are most often their biggest asset -- something that can be borrowed against to start a business or secure a safe retirement. In the developing world, property titles take on even more meaning. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, for example, has identified trillions of dollars of "dead capital" in the developing world: people living in the world's poorest slums own their homes, but without formal titles they can't easily sell, appraise, insure or borrow against those assets.

  • The Blockchain, Bitcoin and Property Rights Project aims to demonstrate how the five of the seven billion people in the world who cannot productively combine their assets can fully benefit from blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin digital currency. We are actively working with the main entrepreneurs and innovators of blockchain who have declared that their work is nothing less than the digitalization of the Mystery of Capital

    Blockchain and Bitcoin

    The 1st annual Block Chain Summit concluded May 28th 2015, on host legendary entrepreneur Richard Branson’s private Caribbean island. The goal of the event was to define a way that the world can fully benefit from Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin’s digital currency. A key moderator of the event, which gathered the top thinkers was Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto. According to co-host George Kikvadze, Vice Chairman of the world's leading blockchain infrastructure provider, the technology behind the blockchain is essentially the digitization of De Soto’s book, The Mystery of Capital.

    Kikvadze who is also Managing Director of GCF, a $6 billion private equity partnership, stated that blockchain’s transparent digital transfer public ledger system is tamper proof and its ledger cannot be fraudulently manipulated because it is supervised worldwide by all its users.

    Nearly everyone who attended the summit agreed that the system's adaptability and simplistic security procedures makes it ideal to serve humanity in many ways.  Especially to secure the legal property rights to 5 of the 7 billion people in the world, who own things but cannot productively combine them because they do not have the standard legal documentation that allows them to prove ownership over their assets or properly transfer and join them with other assets to produce additional wealth.

    That is the thesis behind the Mystery of Capital: most of the things that we own are useful only when they can be joined into complex wholes. Humanity's achievements —from the 120 ingredients of a clock to the countless financial deals and developments that produce the internet and flight navigation systems— all result from the few people who are able to legally join and combine their talents and assets because there is legal clarity about the conditions for owning and transferring them.

    The challenge that we are facing is how to plug in the formulas used by De Soto’s ILD to legally identify the chain of extralegal conventions that give the majority of the world’s population control over wide swaths of territory and resources but none of the legal devices required to develop them by entering into fruitful agreements with those who have that capability. Ranging across all continents in the world from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia, to India, Nigeria and Turkey. If property rights were clearly defined in those areas, not only would the poor be able to lift themselves out of poverty by joining their belongings on a global scale but it would also lower the risks that international investors always face when investing in resource rich areas outside of the West. Thus, also significantly reducing one of the principal causes of conflict and violence worldwide.

    Blockchain Summit - Tai, De Soto, & KikvadzeAnother co-host of the conference, Bill Tai, is co-founder of Mai Tai whose community has accumulated a net worth of $7 billion, according to Forbes. Tai stated more precisely that the summit’s focus was not to disrupt governments and banks by messing with their currency systems’ but rather it was an effort to use the great minds invited to the summit to do good from a societal perspective. The plan was to crystalize a discussion of how modern open source technology, like that embedded in the blockchain, can be used to potentially solve some of the structural issues that lead to poverty and conflict.

    In the words of Wall Street Journal columnist Michael J. Casey, who is the co-author of The Age of Cryptocurrency, ‘De Soto explained how blockchain could apply to property rights and specifically address controversies in mineral-rich parts of Peru’ that would allow multinational mining companies and neighboring households, farms, indigenous communities and other forms of informal property to receive adequate compensation and live in harmony by revamping Peru’s poorly designed artisanal title chain by plugging it into blockchain. In this connection, De Soto showed an artisanal title chain based on the case of farming communities in Cajamarca and Lambayeque (where the most important Peruvian gold concessions are operated by US and Chinese companies are located) that was so unclear that it led to confrontations between the mining firms and local people to the point of paralyzing major development projects, such as Conga in Northern Peru and Tia Maria in the South.

    De Soto and miners in Juliaca, Peru, 16 March 2015De Soto and the other attendees are now hatching plans to inscribe assets into a high-tech, digital currency blockchain in order to create a public ledger that would pick up the social contract and begin to legitimize both the interests of neglected farmers, artisanal miners and their land and water rights, as well as that of multinational companies so that both can prosper and live peacefully together within a global economy. In the same manner that miners and fruit growers learned to live with each other in California, as well nuclear plant operators learned to get along with vineyards owners in Switzerland.






  •  Peruvian Miners

    At the request of thousands of Peruvian miners, in July 2014, we began traveling throughout Peru to meet with the hundreds of thousands of miners —who were fighting against what today is recognized as absurd government regulations by both informal and formal extractive industries. Our goal is to determine the roots of informal hostility against multinationals and identify what is needed to build a national social contract on extractive industries that could harmonize their property interests with those of multinationals as opposed to creating conflict. (See below some of the adverts we published to inform Peruvians about the miners' plight.)
    In April 2015, after months of coordinating with the miners' group, most informal miners now support our plan. Furthermore, the interest in property rights and formalization has spread and support has been won by the following: coffee growers, emerging traders in popular malls, emerging entrepreneurs in industrial parks, farmers who fought in militias against the Shining Path, former presidents of Peru's largest legal business organizations, and the Amazon’s foremost indigenous leaders.  See Exhibit A below: an advertisement published on April 20th 2015 inviting the press and 10,000 attendees to a meeting in the informal commercial center of Gamarra on May 7th. (In PDF format)

    The objectives of the project

    Objective 1-  To use our skills and protocols to approach and establish an empathic relationship with emerging social groups outside the West.

    Objective 2 - To influence well-meaning anti-globalization scholars to do less abstract thinking and more fieldwork to comprehend reality.

    Objective 3- To find the best ways to solve ongoing violent conflicts between environmentalists, multi-national corporations and indigenous organizations throughout the non-western world, by dis- covering the property rights origins of said conflicts and correcting controversies within a rule of law context.

    Objective 4- On the basis of our failures and successes create a model that can be used world- wide to solve conflicts relating to natural resources.


     ILD In The News

    The following front page articles announced that the ILD has discovered that some $70 billion in mining investment is being paralyzed by former subversives who have taken up the ecological cause. It also revealed that ILD has been debating them in their provincial strongholds. And that in the course of the debates, the Shining Path militants, who 30 years ago attacked ILD headquarters vari- ous times and killed staff members now, after many public debates, agree that property rights could be an important part of the solution to social conflicts in Peru.




    Annex 1 below contains an illustrated summary of our campaign in favor of integrating the poor miners into the mainstream economy. (In PDF format)


    Exhibits A and Annex 1

    (click on the images to see the PDF file)

    Exhibit A    Annex1 pw350 
     Advert inviting attendees to Gamarra    Summary of ILD's campaign to integrate miners



    Examples of adverts explaining the miners' plight


    300 thousand informal miners   Peru is not Brazil   Peru is not Brazil 2
    President Humala and jobs for youth   Costs of Pulgar's formalization    

    For past material on property rights in the Peruvian Andes and Amazon, please visit The Avatar Myths Strategy

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