How safe is it to invest in cryptocurrencies?

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The popularity that cryptocurrencies have gained globally in recent times have come with a healthy dose of scepticism. Many people are more conversant with the volatility side of these virtual currencies but are not clear – if not wary of – what the long term investment opportunities are and how safe they are.

It is worth distinguishing between investing and speculating. A speculator buys an asset expecting to sell it at a higher price in the future. Their primary concern is the price, not the asset itself. An investor purchases an asset believing it has real, long-term value.

Investing in cryptocurrency could be a good investment and it can also be a bad one. But that is true for all investment instruments out there.

The first rule to investing in cryptocurrencies is to begin by getting a clear understanding of what they are and how they work. It is not something one goes in blindly. There are platforms that can aid this understanding. For instance in Nigeria there is the Luno platform which tries to simplify the process for first time investors.

To understand cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies think about them as digital money designed to work as a medium of exchange. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies record every transaction and distribute the records of the transactions equally to all parties involved. Every now and again a “block” of these transactions is verified an essentially sealed up and stacked on top of the last block, creating a chain. The transactions are users buying and selling different cryptocurrencies, in the form of virtual coins or token.

By nature, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are decentralised and permissionless, meaning not a single country, company or person controls it and anyone can build applications. They are internationally accepted, directly or in exchange for local currencies. Being digital means they are quick to send around to anyone anywhere in the world.

One argument that often shows up on the wrong side of cryptocurrencies is their tendency to fluctuate without notice. The prices can go up and down and it is nearly impossible to predict those movements. This is partly due to their being young in the currency market, which is why new investors need to understand it before making their decisions.

According to experts at Luno, once the understanding is there and the decision is made to invest, start with a small amount.

“Never invest more than you can afford to lose and of course deal with reputable companies that offer an exchange and wallet – to store your digital currencies – like Luno. It is very easy,” they said in a note to BusinessDay.

Price surge can be very tempting, however Luno experts say making purchases when the market looks exciting can come back to bite. Hence, it is important to calculate how much money you have at the end of month after all expenses and savings. Then, take that and consistently invest it in digital currencies. You can start with any amount of money, no matter how small.

Besides volatility, investors are cast shades on cryptocurrencies because they are susceptible to scams and fraud practices. Most cyber criminals not only prefer to get paid in virtual coins but also target e-wallets. Hence, it is important that due diligence is carried out into the organisations providing the services. Companies like Luno will take extra measures to protect the funds of their users.

For instance, while it takes 30 seconds to download the Luno app for Android or iOS, there is an identity verification (ID) system, to make sure the investors funds are protected from money laundering, terror financing and so on. The process takes at most two days to complete.  After the ID verification, the customer can make a naira deposit to Luno, using their credit card. This is usually done instantly. Once the naira shows in their Luno account, they can just tap ‘Buy Bitcoin/Ethereum using the instant buy option or on the Exchange (for experienced traders).

Investments into cryptocurrencies are already gaining traction. In 2017 Nigeria was the second country (China was number one) in the world with the largest number of peer-to-peer transactions in bitcoin.

BusinessDay have also found that there is an increasing influx of institutional investment entering the space. For some investors, digital currencies represent a hedge or alternative asset class worth considering in an investment portfolio.

“However, it is also important you have your security measures in place like securing your email and all social media logins with strong and unique passwords, enabling two factor authentication (2fa) which is one of the best and free ways to secure your online accounts,” Luno experts said. “

To understand more about cryptocurrency, read more about it in our previous post about cryptocurrency!

Price competition squeezing ground handling business in Nigeria

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Competition between the two major handling companies in Nigeria has led to under-pricing of the services they render to airlines and other clients, and this has affected the growth of the business adversely, Basil Agboarumi, acting managing director of SAHCOL, says.
Agboarumi made this known last week at the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) interactive gateway forum where he reiterated that ground handlers were charging below par due to the unnecessary price war.
He noted that businesses were looking for common grounds to pull resources as it was done in other climes, and called for regulators to standardise pricing of the services rendered.
“Cooperation is for the best of the industry; we as a company have identified cooperation as the tonic to building the industry. We will continue to do our best, take the right step and initiative to ensure that what can give us the kind of aviation that we desire in the future is done. There must come to a point whereby we will definitely need ourselves.
“In other parts of the world, ground handling companies are pooling resources together; it is for us to get to that stage of maturity. Even, airlines are cooperating now. When you have airlines in various parts of the world, they complement each other in passenger and cargo operations. We will have better aviation industry once we begin to look at the industry from that perspective,” he said.
On the price war currently rocking the handling companies, he said for years despite the increase in exchange of the dollar to naira, the handling rates had remained the same even though airlines were currently changing their fares to adjust to trend.
“Let us look at the banking industry, for instance; there is a regulator that regulates their activities. The handling rates we pay in Nigeria has not changed over the years despite the fall in the value of the naira to dollars and other major currencies. The airlines have consistently changed their fares, but we have not done that for so many years. We still operate with the same tariff that we have been operating up to the time naira was N165 to a dollar, and regrettably today, the rate has grown more than double.
“What it costs us to buy a ground handling equipment today has grown astronomically. It is not that the cost has changed, but whereby we were spending one naira to buy a ground handling equipment before, by the time we source for foreign exchange, you will see that it has gone to about N3. That’s the situation we have found ourselves. But, the airlines still pay the same amount of money they have been paying us even before then,” he said.
He called on government to support handling companies the way they have supported airlines stressing that the zero-tariff regime should be extended to handling companies too.

Up to 10 corporate bond issuances expected in 2018 as borrowing costs ease

File photo of stacks of Swiss franc Euro and U.S. dollar banknotes

There are indications up ten Nigerian corporates are currently in the process of raising bond compared to about five recorded in 2017. The yields on fixed income securities have fallen dramatically this year and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is committed to single-digit inflation.

Nigeria’s headline inflation for month of April 2018 eased to 12.5 percent year-on-year (y/y) in line with many analysts projection, representing the 15th consecutive decline since January 2017.

The increasing preparation for record bond issuance by companies results from their quests to benefit from lower interest rates regime and an economy on the fix.

While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it expects Nigeria’s economic growth to continue to pick up in 2018 to 2.1 percent, the World Bank forecasts that economic growth in Nigeria would edge up to at least 2.5 percent in 2018, as the country benefits from improved commodity prices, investments and trade.

Nigerian corporate bond market is on fire as companies could raise up to N200billion of bonds in 2018, almost double the all-time high set two years ago. According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), five companies have already submitted plans for debt sales totaling about N60.5billion.

“Average discount rates for corporate issues have tumbled to 14.8percent compared to 19percent in 2017, stimulating several corporate pipeline deals”, United Capital research analysts said in their May 16, 2018 note.

The analysts at the investment firm noted that an increased exposure to corporate bonds is important to alpha seeking investors wishing to optimise return.

Corporate bond markets are an important part of the global capital markets and a critical source of financing for companies and, consequently, for economic growth and jobs.bonds.jpeg

Nigerian stocks fall to lowest level in more than four months

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Nigeria’s main stock index fell to its lowest level in more than four months on Friday after shares in banking and consumer goods companies declined.

The index which fell for the seventh straight session, recovered some ground but closed down 1 percent. Stocks had fallen 1.28 percent in late trades, sliding to 39,213 points, a level not seen since January, Reuters reports.

Offshore investors have been exiting local assets as yields on Nigeria’s treasuries have fallen to around 12 percent from as high as 18 percent a year ago due to government action to lower borrowing costs and U.S. interest rate rises.

Traders expect the bear market to continue, even as the capital flight has also put the local naira currency under pressure.

Stocks fell widely on Friday with 41 companies declining and 12 firms advancing. Julius Berger and Transcorp each shed 5 percent while Fidelity Bank fell 7.7 percent.

Anambra assembly wants repayment of N43.5bn spent on federal projects

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Anambra State House of Assembly has urged the Federal Government to reimburse the state the N43.5 billion expended on rehabilitation, maintenance and reconstruction of federal roads in the state.
The House passed the resolution following a motion sponsored to that effect by the member representing Anambra East Constituency, Obinna Emeneka and 28 others during Friday plenary.
The member representing Idemili North Constituency, Nkloli Nmegbuanaeze, seconded the motion.
Moving the motion, Emeneka emphasised that the said contracts had been completely executed and the various contractors fully paid at the expense of Anambra State government.
He affirmed that the state government had severally made request to the Federal Government for the reimbursement.
On his part, the member representing Njikoka Two Constituency, Peter Ibida, appealed to the Federal Government to pay back Anambra government the money as non-reimbursement of the fund had adversely affected the economy of the state.
In his contribution, the majority leader, Victor Okoye, noted that the continued delay in reimbursing the state government the said sum had stalled the completion of other ongoing road projects.
In their separate contributions, the member representing Orumba South Constituency Nikky Ugochukwu and her Idemili South Constituency counterpart, Chuka Ezenwanne, the member for Awka South one Constituency, Nnamdi Okoye and Romanus Obi, representing Orumba North Constituency, spoke in favour of the motion.
Deputy speaker, Hafford Oseke, and the member representing Aguata One Constituency, Ikechukwu Umeh, called on federal legislators from the state to prevail on the Federal Government to reimburse the state.
Speaker, Rita Maduagwu, urged the Federal Government to reimburse the present administration the money to enable it rehabilitate other roads that need urgent attention.

UBA paving the way for Chinese investments into Africa

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Africa is definitely rising on all fronts and investors who are looking for new business opportunities are all eyes on the continent. The rewards seem endless especially for savvy investor trying to get in there first.

And one does not need a crystal ball to ascertain that Nigeria is one of the fastest growing investment destinations in Africa.

According to Voice of America, Chinese president Xi Jinping offered a whopping $60bn loan and aid package to Africa in December 2015. Xi said that China aims to develop infrastructure, improve agriculture and reduce poverty on the continent. China’s investment in Africa is far beyond Xi’s recent offer: its investment there has skyrocketed from $7bn in 2008 to $26bn in 2013. China’s investment and economic influence in the entire African continent is impressive. There is huge evidence of these funds and investment gradually swelling astronomically across Africa and particularly Nigeria as is evidenced in the following: Infrastructural development, trade partnerships, Foreign Direct Investments, and gradual influx of Chinese citizens into Nigeria.

China is one of Nigeria and also of Africa’s largest trading partners and Nigeria is the first-largest investment receiver from China based on the number of deals China has made with each African country. Therefore Nigeria is being assessed as a gateway to Africa via the lens of China’s investment in Africa and beyond where Chinese companies businessmen and investors are already playing a leading role. China is becoming more and more interested in Nigerian banks, and Chinese banks are interested in Nigeria.

With the combination of growing interests comes an important element a potential investor looks out for in attaining his/her goals: the financial institution worth its mettle. A reliable financial power house that can meet all their financial needs and easily serve as a gateway to other African countries when the inevitable expansion drive beckons.  A resilient bank that is strong and dependable across all frontiers.

A recent survey ascertained how China has been able to effectively manage its operations and involvement in various African markets with support of leading banks in Nigeria, chief among which is United Bank for Africa, a bank with strong presence in 19 African countries as well as in France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom

Findings also pointed to the fact that one of the key attractions is the fact that the bank has a strong pedigree of supporting business incursions into other African countries where china also has several foot-holds.  The reason, according to financial experts might not be far-fetched as the bank prides its self as one with many achievements in Africa, helping the continent develop across all sectors with a plethora of big ticket transactions in various sectors like infrastructure, power, Agriculture, Telecommunication, amongst others.

To mention a few, the  financing of the construction of Photovoltaic in The 105 Heads – Places District Of Benin Republic as well as strengthening of the country’s Local Energy Production Capacity; financing power infrastructure deal under a syndication arrangement in Tanzania; capital expenditure for various power projects including upgrading and expansion of power distribution infrastructure;  part financing of Xaf60billion for the construction of A 216mw Gas power generating plant near Kribi city, Cameroon; network expansion to the counties outside of Monrovia. The list is endless.

This firm support of the various sectors on the continent are without doubt, the reason behind the growing attraction to the bank.

Its strong affinity to businesses and investors might not be unconnected to the bank’s strategic move in establishing a China desk that helps Chinese businesses across Africa explore and invest in huge opportunities across the continent. The desk is manned by Africans speaking fluent Chinese. This no doubt easily informed a historic, strategic and vision driven business relationship that earned the bank a recent eye-catching partnership with the world’s largest development finance institution, China Development Bank (CDB), on February 27, 2018 where both parties signed a letter of intent for a $100 million seven-year deal to finance the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The $100 million loan will amongst other things, help enhance UBA’s capacity to provide access to finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the 19 African countries the bank is present in.

The partnership between the two financial giants was one which also promised to help cultivate and cement cultural affiliations between both businesses and the countries they represent.  A little after the signing of the loan intent, UBA went into partnership with another Chinese organization,  Star Times, who offer a direct-to-home pay-TV service, by putting its weight behind the maiden edition of Chinese Kung Fu Festival which was held recently in Lagos.

US and China kick off talks to avoid a trade war

President Donald Trump’s top advisers have arrived in Beijing for two days of talks on how to avoid a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

The United States and China have threatened recently to impose tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s goods, and both sides are hoping enough progress will be made in the negotiations to dial down the tension.

The US delegation, which includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, will meet Chinese officials at a state guesthouse in Beijing and plan to depart the Chinese capital on Friday evening, a spokesperson for the US Embassy said Thursday.

“Our great financial team is in China trying to negotiate a level playing field on trade!” Trump said in a late night tweet on Wednesday.

Announcing the visit last week, Trump said he thought there was “a very good chance” of getting a deal with China.

“I don’t expect any grand bargains being struck,” said Michael Camunez, CEO of consultancy Monarch Global Strategies and a former senior trade official under President Barack Obama.

According to Camunez, the US administration isn’t projecting a coherent stance with a team of negotiators that includes trade hawks like Lighthizer and free trade advocates like Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser.

“There is no clear strategy that can be discerned,” Camunez said.

The Chinese government has also tried to reduce expectations.

Given the size and complexity of the trade relationship, “it’s not realistic to expect to have all issues resolved through one consultation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

While the strategy may not be obvious, and expectations may be low, the US delegation will be looking to make progress in three key areas:

1. Cutting the deficit

The Trump administration wants China to buy more US exports in the hope of cutting America’s $375 billion deficit in goods with its biggest trading partner. It’s also pressing Beijing to move away from an industrial policy that critics say subsidizes Chinese companies on the global stage and pressures foreign rivals to hand over key technologies.

But the best the United States can hope for this week is a “short-term bargain,” said Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

That might include China giving more details about its plans to open up its auto sector and pledging to increase imports from the United States. Scissors said a “credible promise” from Beijing to buy an additional $50 billion of US goods each year would be considered a win by Trump’s trade team, but he doesn’t think that’s likely to happen.

China is likely to find it hard to ramp up imports of American-made goods, experts say.

There just aren’t many additional “big ticket” items China needs from the United States, said Pauline Loong, head of Hong Kong research firm Asia Analytica.

Chinese businesses want high-tech US products. But the Trump administration sent an alarming signal last month by banning Chinese smartphone maker ZTE (ZTCOF) from buying components from American companies for seven years.

2. More access to markets

Rather than buying more American goods in substantial amounts, China is more likely to offer the possibility of greater access for foreign companies to its huge markets, Loong said.

But experts say China’s promises of greater access often turn out to be difficult for foreign companies to take advantage of because of delays or onerous requirements they need to meet.

Beijing “happily offers good intent,” Loong said. “But what it has always been reluctant to offer is specifics.”

Late last year, the government said it would allow foreign companies to control Chinese banks and investment firms for the first time, in theory making it easier for Wall Street to do business in the country.

Lyndon Chao, a managing director at the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association, said many foreign investment firms may struggle to qualify because of the amount of assets they’re required to hold.

Still, one European bank has already moved quickly to seize the opportunity. Swiss bank UBS (UBS)said Thursday it has applied to increase its stake in its Chinese securities venture to 51%.

3. Protecting intellectual property

American companies that already operate in China want the Trump administration to pressure Beijing to do more to stop theft of their intellectual property, counterfeiting and forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, according to Jacob Parker, vice president of lobby group the US-China Business Council.

The issue has become a particular point of contention as China works to shift its economy from low-end manufacturing toward more high-tech industries.

Related: How China gets what it wants from American companies

Trump and his senior economic advisers have spoken out about the issues, citing them as a key reason for imposing tariffs. But Parker says business leaders worry that the administration’s obsession with the trade deficit, which many economists say is misplaced, reduces the likelihood of improving conditions for American companies.

“We’d like to see the Trump administration clearly articulate what it wants China to do,” he said.

Know Cryptocurrency!!!- A Must Read!!!

What is Cryptocurrency: Everything You Need To Know!!

What is cryptocurrency:  21st-century unicorn – or the money of the future?

This introduction explains the most important thing about cryptocurrencies. After you‘ve read it, you‘ll know more about it than most other humans.

Crypto Currency: A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Today cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon known to most people. While still somehow geeky and not understood by most people, banks, governments and many companies are aware of its importance.

In 2016, you‘ll have a hard time finding a major bank, a big accounting firm, a prominent software company or a government that did not research cryptocurrencies, publish a paper about it or start a so-called blockchain-project.

 


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“Virtual currencies, perhaps most notably Bitcoin, have captured the imagination of some, struck fear among others, and confused the heck out of the rest of us.” – Thomas Carper, US-Senator

 

 


 

But beyond the noise and the press releases the overwhelming majority of people – even bankers, consultants, scientists, and developers – have a very limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies. They often fail to even understand the basic concepts.

So let‘s walk through the whole story. What are cryptocurrencies?

  • Where did cryptocurrency originate?
  • Why should you learn about cryptocurrency?
  • And what do you need to know about cryptocurrency?

 

What is cryptocurrency and how cryptocurrencies emerged as a side product of digital cash

 

Few people know, but cryptocurrencies emerged as a side product of another invention. Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown inventor of Bitcoin, the first and still most important cryptocurrency, never intended to invent a currency.

In his announcement of Bitcoin in late 2008, Satoshi said he developed “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.“

His goal was to invent something; many people failed to create before digital cash.

 

Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It’s completely decentralized with no server or central authority.  – Satoshi Nakamoto, 09 January 2009, announcing Bitcoin on SourceForge.

 

The single most important part of Satoshi‘s invention was that he found a way to build a decentralized digital cash system. In the nineties, there have been many attempts to create digital money, but they all failed.

 

… after more than a decade of failed Trusted Third Party based systems (Digicash, etc), they see it as a lost cause. I hope they can make the distinction, that this is the first time I know of that we’re trying a non-trust based system. – Satoshi Nakamoto in an E-Mail to Dustin Trammell

 

 

After seeing all the centralized attempts fail, Satoshi tried to build a digital cash system without a central entity.

This decision became the birth of cryptocurrency. They are the missing piece Satoshi found to realize digital cash. The reason why is a bit technical and complex, but if you get it, you‘ll know more about cryptocurrencies than most people do. So, let‘s try to make it as easy as possible:

To realize digital cash you need a payment network with accounts, balances, and transaction. That‘s easy to understand. One major problem every payment network has to solve is to prevent the so-called double spending: to prevent that one entity spends the same amount twice. Usually, this is done by a central server who keeps record about the balances.

In a decentralized network, you don‘t have this server. So you need every single entity of the network to do this job. Every peer in the network needs to have a list with all transactions to check if future transactions are valid or an attempt to double spend.

But how can these entities keep a consensus about this records?

If the peers of the network disagree about only one single, minor balance, everything is broken. They need an absolute consensus. Usually, you take, again, a central authority to declare the correct state of balances. But how can you achieve consensus without a central authority?

Nobody did know until Satoshi emerged out of nowhere. In fact, nobody believed it was even possible.

Satoshi proved it was. His major innovation was to achieve consensus without a central authority. Cryptocurrencies are a part of this solution – the part that made the solution thrilling, fascinating and helped it to roll over the world.

 

What are cryptocurrencies really?

If you take away all the noise around cryptocurrencies and reduce it to a simple definition, you find it to be just limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions. This may seem ordinary, but, believe it or not: this is exactly how you can define a currency.

Take the money on your bank account: What is it more than entries in a database that can only be changed under specific conditions? You can even take physical coins and notes: What are they else than limited entries in a public physical database that can only be changed if you match the condition than you physically own the coins and notes? Money is all about a verified entry in some kind of database of accounts, balances, and transactions.

How miners create coins and confirm transactions

Let‘s have a look at the mechanism ruling the databases of cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency like Bitcoin consists of a network of peers. Every peer has a record of the complete history of all transactions and thus of the balance of every account.

A transaction is a file that says, “Bob gives X Bitcoin to Alice“ and is signed by Bob‘s private key. It‘s basic public key cryptography, nothing special at all. After signed, a transaction is broadcasted in the network, sent from one peer to every other peer. This is basic p2p-technology. Nothing special at all, again.

 

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand

 

 

The transaction is known almost immediately by the whole network. But only after a specific amount of time it gets confirmed.

Confirmation is a critical concept in cryptocurrencies. You could say that cryptocurrencies are all about confirmation.

As long as a transaction is unconfirmed, it is pending and can be forged. When a transaction is confirmed, it is set in stone. It is no longer forgeable, it can‘t be reversed, it is part of an immutable record of historical transactions: of the so-called blockchain.

Only miners can confirm transactions. This is their job in a cryptocurrency-network. They take transactions, stamp them as legit and spread them in the network. After a transaction is confirmed by a miner, every node has to add it to its database. It has become part of the blockchain.

For this job, the miners get rewarded with a token of the cryptocurrency, for example with Bitcoins. Since the miner‘s activity is the single most important part of cryptocurrency-system we should stay for a moment and take a deeper look on it.

 


caleb-chen: What is Ethereum

“In the next few years, we are going to see national governments take large steps towards instituting a cashless society where people transact using centralized digital currencies. Simultaneously, the decentralized cryptocurrencies – that some even view as harder money – will see increased use from all sectors.” – Caleb Chen London Trust Media

What are miners doing?

 

Principally everybody can be a miner. Since a decentralized network has no authority to delegate this task, a cryptocurrency needs some kind of mechanism to prevent one ruling party from abusing it. Imagine someone creates thousands of peers and spreads forged transactions. The system would break immediately.

So, Satoshi set the rule that the miners need to invest some work of their computers to qualify for this task. In fact, they have to find a hash – a product of a cryptographic function – that connects the new block with its predecessor. This is called the Proof of Work. In Bitcoin, it is based on the SHA 256 Hash Algorithm.

 

What is Cryptocurrency

 

You don‘t need to understand details about SHA 256. It‘s only important you know that it can be the basis of a cryptologic puzzle the miners compete to solve. After finding a solution, a miner can build a block and add it to the blockchain. As an incentive, he has the right to add a so-called coinbase transaction that gives him a specific number of Bitcoins. This is the only way to create valid Bitcoins.

Bitcoins can only be created if miners solve a cryptographic puzzle. Since the difficulty of this puzzle increases the amount of computer power the whole miner’s invest, there is only a specific amount of cryptocurrency token that can be created in a given amount of time. This is part of the consensus no peer in the network can break.

 

Revolutionary properties

If you really think about it, Bitcoin, as a decentralized network of peers which keep a consensus about accounts and balances, is more a currency than the numbers you see in your bank account. What are these numbers more than entries in a database – a database which can be changed by people you don‘t see and by rules you don‘t know?

 


Eric Vorhees: What is Cryptocurrency

 

“It is that narrative of human development under which we now have other fights to fight, and I would say in the realm of Bitcoin it is mainly the separation of money and state.” 

– Erik Voorhees, cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

 


 

Basically, cryptocurrencies are entries about token in decentralized consensus-databases. They are called CRYPTOcurrencies because the consensus-keeping process is secured by strong cryptography. Cryptocurrencies are built on cryptography. They are not secured by people or by trust, but by math. It is more probable that an asteroid falls on your house than that a bitcoin address is compromised.

Describing the properties of cryptocurrencies we need to separate between transactional and monetary properties. While most cryptocurrencies share a common set of properties, they are not carved in stone.

Transactional properties:

 

1.) Irreversible: After confirmation, a transaction can‘t be reversed. By nobody. And nobody means nobody. Not you, not your bank, not the president of the United States, not Satoshi, not your miner. Nobody. If you send money, you send it. Period. No one can help you, if you sent your funds to a scammer or if a hacker stole them from your computer. There is no safety net.

2.) Pseudonymous: Neither transactions nor accounts are connected to real-world identities. You receive Bitcoins on so-called addresses, which are randomly seeming chains of around 30 characters. While it is usually possible to analyze the transaction flow, it is not necessarily possible to connect the real world identity of users with those addresses.

3.) Fast and global: Transaction are propagated nearly instantly in the network and are confirmed in a couple of minutes. Since they happen in a global network of computers they are completely indifferent of your physical location. It doesn‘t matter if I send Bitcoin to my neighbour or to someone on the other side of the world.

4.) Secure: Cryptocurrency funds are locked in a public key cryptography system. Only the owner of the private key can send cryptocurrency. Strong cryptography and the magic of big numbers makes it impossible to break this scheme. A Bitcoin address is more secure than Fort Knox.

5.) Permissionless: You don‘t have to ask anybody to use cryptocurrency. It‘s just a software that everybody can download for free. After you installed it, you can receive and send Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. No one can prevent you. There is no gatekeeper.

 

 

What is Cryptocurrency

 

Monetary properties:

 

1.) Controlled supply: Most cryptocurrencies limit the supply of the tokens. In Bitcoin, the supply decreases in time and will reach its final number somewhere in around 2140. All cryptocurrencies control the supply of the token by a schedule written in the code. This means the monetary supply of a cryptocurrency in every given moment in the future can roughly be calculated today. There is no surprise.

2.) No debt but bearer: The Fiat-money on your bank account is created by debt, and the numbers, you see on your ledger represent nothing but debts. It‘s a system of IOU. Cryptocurrencies don‘t represent debts. They just represent themselves. They are money as hard as coins of gold.

To understand the revolutionary impact of cryptocurrencies you need to consider both properties. Bitcoin as a permissionless, irreversible and pseudonymous means of payment is an attack on the control of banks and governments over the monetary transactions of their citizens. You can‘t hinder someone to use Bitcoin, you can‘t prohibit someone to accept a payment, you can‘t undo a transaction.

As money with a limited, controlled supply that is not changeable by a government, a bank or any other central institution, cryptocurrencies attack the scope of the monetary policy. They take away the control central banks take on inflation or deflation by manipulating the monetary supply.

 


Sarah Granger. Cryptocurrency

“While it’s still fairly new and unstable relative to the gold standard, cryptocurrency is definitely gaining traction and will most certainly have more normalized uses in the next few years. Right now, in particular, it’s increasing in popularity with the post-election market uncertainty. The key will be in making it easy for large-scale adoption (as with anything involving crypto) including developing safeguards and protections for buyers/investors. I expect that within two years, we’ll be in a place where people can shove their money under the virtual mattress through cryptocurrency, and they’ll know that wherever they go, that money will be there.” – Sarah Granger, Author, and Speaker

 


 

Cryptocurrencies: Dawn of a new economy

 

Mostly due to its revolutionary properties cryptocurrencies have become a success their inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, didn‘t dare to dream of it. While every other attempt to create a digital cash system didn‘t attract a critical mass of users, Bitcoin had something that provoked enthusiasm and fascination. Sometimes it feels more like religion than technology.

 

What is cryptocurrency

 

Cryptocurrencies are digital gold. Sound money that is secure from political influence. Money that promises to preserve and increase its value over time. Cryptocurrencies are also a fast and comfortable means of payment with a worldwide scope, and they are private and anonymous enough to serve as a means of payment for black markets and any other outlawed economic activity.

 

But while cryptocurrencies are more used for payment, its use as a means of speculation and a store of value dwarfs the payment aspects. Cryptocurrencies gave birth to an incredibly dynamic, fast-growing market for investors and speculators. Exchanges like Okcoin, poloniex or shapeshift enables the trade of hundreds of cryptocurrencies. Their daily trade volume exceeds that of major European stock exchanges.

At the same time, the praxis Initial coin Distribution (ICO), mostly facilitated by Ethereum‘s smart contracts, gave live to incredibly successful crowdfunding projects, in which often an idea is enough to collect millions of dollars. In the case of “The DAO” it has been more than 150 million dollars.

In this rich ecosystem of coins and token, you experience extreme volatility. It‘s common that a coin gains 10 percent a day – sometimes 100 percent – just to lose the same at the next day. If you are lucky, your coin‘s value grows up to 1000 percent in one or two weeks.

While Bitcoin remains by far the most famous cryptocurrency and most other cryptocurrencies have zero non-speculative impact, investors and users should keep an eye on several cryptocurrencies. Here we present the most popular cryptocurrencies of today.

 

What is Cryptocurrency

 

Bitcoin

The one and only, the first and most famous cryptocurrency. Bitcoin serves as a digital gold standard in the whole cryptocurrency-industry, is used as a global means of payment and is the de-facto currency of cyber-crime like darknet markets or ransomware. After seven years in existence, Bitcoin‘s price has increased from zero to more than 650 Dollar, and its transaction volume reached more than 200.000 daily transactions.

There is not much more to say: Bitcoin is here to stay.

Ethereum

The brainchild of young crypto-genius Vitalik Buterin has ascended to the second place in the hierarchy of cryptocurrencies. Other than Bitcoin its blockchain does not only validate a set of accounts and balances but of so-called states. This means that Ethereum can not only process transactions but complex contracts and programs.

This flexibility makes Ethereum the perfect instrument for blockchain -application. But it comes at a cost. After the Hack of the DAO – an Ethereum based smart contract – the developers decided to do a hard fork without consensus, which resulted in the emerge of Ethereum Classic/ Besides this, there are several clones of Ethereum, and Ethereum itself a Host of Several Tokens like DigixDAO and Augur. This makes Ethereum more a family of cryptocurrencies than a single currency.

Ripple

Maybe the less popular – or most hated – project in the cryptocurrency community is Ripple. While Ripple has a native cryptocurrency – XRP – it is more about a network to process IOUs than the cryptocurrency itself. XRP, the currency, doesn‘t serve as a medium to store and exchange value, but more as a token to protect the network against spam.

Ripple Labs created every XRP-token, the company running the Ripple network, and is distributed by them on will. For this reason, Ripple is often called pre-mined in the community and dissed as no real cryptocurrency, and XRP is not considered as a good store of value.

Banks, however, seem to like Ripple. At least they adopt the system with an increasing pace.

Litecoin

Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies after Bitcoin and tagged as the silver to the digital gold bitcoin. Faster than bitcoin, with a larger amount of token and a new mining algorithm, Litecoin was a real innovation, perfectly tailored to be the smaller brother of bitcoin. “It facilitated the emerge of several other cryptocurrencies which used its codebase but made it, even more, lighter“. Examples are Dogecoin or Feathercoin.

While Litecoin failed to find a real use case and lost its second place after bitcoin, it is still actively developed and traded and is hoarded as a backup if Bitcoin fails.

Monero

Monero is the most prominent example of the cryptonite algorithm. This algorithm was invented to add the privacy features Bitcoin is missing. If you use Bitcoin, every transaction is documented in the blockchain and the trail of transactions can be followed. With the introduction of a concept called ring-signatures, the cryptonite algorithm was able to cut through that trail.

The first implementation of cryptonite, Bytecoin, was heavily premined and thus rejected by the community. Monero was the first non-premined clone of bytecoin and raised a lot of awareness. There are several other incarnations of cryptonote with their own little improvements, but none of it did ever achieve the same popularity as Monero.

Monero’s popularity peaked in summer 2016 when some darknetmarkets decided to accept it as a currency. This resulted in a steady increase in the price, while the actual usage of Monero seems to remain disappointingly small.

Besides those, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies of several families. Most of them are nothing more than attempts to reach investors and quickly make money, but a lot of them promise playgrounds to test innovations in cryptocurrency-technology.

 

What is cryptocurrency

 

What is the future of Cryptocurrency?

The market of cryptocurrencies is fast and wild. Nearly every day new cryptocurrencies emerge, old die, early adopters get wealthy and investors lose money. Every cryptocurrency comes with a promise, mostly a big story to turn the world around. Few survive the first months, and most are pumped and dumped by speculators and live on as zombie coins until the last bagholder loses hope ever to see a return on his investment.

 



“In 2 years from now, I believe cryptocurrencies will be gaining legitimacy as a protocol for business transactions, micropayments, and overtaking
Western Union as the preferred remittance tool.  Regarding business transactions – you’ll see two paths: There will be financial businesses which use it for it’s no fee, nearly-instant ability to move any amount of money around, and there will be those that utilize it for its blockchain technology. Blockchain technology provides the largest benefit with trustless auditing, single source of truth, smart contracts, and color coins.”  

– Cody Littlewood, and I’m the founder and CEO of Codelitt

 


 

Markets are dirty. But this doesn‘t change the fact that cryptocurrencies are here to stay – and here to change the world. This is already happening. People all over the world buy Bitcoin to protect themselves against the devaluation of their national currency. Mostly in Asia, a vivid market for Bitcoin remittance has emerged, and the Bitcoin using darknets of cybercrime are flourishing. More and more companies discover the power of Smart Contracts or token on Ethereum, the first real-world application of blockchain technologies emerge.

The revolution is already happening. Institutional investors start to buy cryptocurrencies. Banks and governments realize that this invention has the potential to draw their control away. Cryptocurrencies change the world. Step by step. You can either stand beside and observe – or you can become part of history in the making.

 


brad-mills-what-is-cryptocurrency

 

“If the trend continues, the average person will not be able to afford to purchase one whole bitcoin in 2 years. As global economies inflate and markets exhibit signs of recession, the world will turn to Bitcoin as a hedge against fiat turmoil and an escape against capital controls. Bitcoin is the way out, and cryptocurrency as a whole is never going away, it’s going to grow in use and acceptance as it matures.”

– Brad Mills: Serial Tech Entrepreneur 

South Africans defrauded of $80 million in Cryptocurrency scam

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South African Police on Friday said that the authorities are investigating an alleged cryptocurrency scam that defrauded investors of 1 billion rand ($80 million).

The fraud, involving a company named BTC Global, was orchestrated with promises of huge returns that never materialised.

BTC Global allegedly told clients they would earn two per cent per day, 14 per cent a week and 50 per cent in a month.

Reuters reports Friday that a search for the company on the internet showed its services had been suspended. Although, the website lists Steven Twain as the “primary trader”, request for comment sent to an email address listed on the website as belonging to Twain received no response.

“Members of the public are believed to have been targeted as part of the scam and encouraged by agents of BTC Global,” the police said in a statement Friday.

“Some of the investors got paid in terms of the agreement. However, the payments suddenly stopped.”

“This may prove to be the tip of the iceberg with potentially thousands more yet to discover they’ve lost money,” police investigator Yolisa Matakata said.

On Thursday South Africa’s central bank said it was in the process of determining whether cryptocurrencies complied with its financial surveillance and exchange control regulations.

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography (the art of writing and solving codes) to secure its transactions, control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets.

In March, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cautioned Nigerians to be wary of investments in the digital currency, stressing that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria.

FG Makes N50.45bn from Bonds Auction

 

The Federal Government has recorded N50.45 billion from its May bonds auction, lower than the N70 billion it targeted to raise, the Debt Management Office (DMO), has said. 

According to the auction result obtained from the DMO website on Thursday in Abuja, the Federal government made N3.50 billion from a five-year bond at 12.75 per cent.

It also made N8.54 billion from a seven-year bond at 13.53 per cent and N38.50 billion from its 10-year bond at 13.98 per cent, bringing the total amount realised from the May auction to N50.45 billion.

The DMO added that N14.99 billion of the 13.53 per cent for March 2025 and N14.99 billion of the 13.98 per cent for February 2028 were allotted on non-competitive basis.

It also said of the 101 bids, only 62 were successful, adding that the auction drew subscriptions of N89.82 billion.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit. (NAN)

Swiss authorities block bank accounts linked to Malabu Oil scam

The government of Switzerland has blocked several bank accounts in the country linked to the planned bribery trial of Eni and Shell executives in Milan, Italy, as it relates to the infamous Malabu oil scam.

On Monday, the office of the Swiss Attorney-General confirmed that at the request of public prosecutors from Milan, it has confiscated, assets and shared information with Italian authorities.

The trial of the executives, including former Eni’s Claudio Descalzi, and his predecessor, Paolo Scaroni, was originally slated for March but was moved to May after it was transferred to Milan.

Nigerian and Italian investigators accuse officials of both Eni and Shell of shady financial deals to secure a licence for the lucrative OPL 245.

Three separate bank accounts in Lugano, Basel and Geneva were blocked, according to media reports confirmed by prosecutors but they declined to reveal the value fo the seized assets.

In all, apart from Messrs Descalzi and Scaroni, 11 other people including two former top Shell managers, former Nigerian oil minister, Dan Etete and a series of middlemen and advisers are being probed.

Eni and Shell were also listed as corporate defendants in the case. Both oil companies have denied wrongdoing and expressed confidence that the trial would exonerate both the companies and individuals.

Apart from Mr Etete, a former Attorney-General, Bello Adoke, are amongst several Nigerians indicted in the deal, which was approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who also denies wrongdoing.

Despite price recovery, cost discipline remains key driver in oil, gas industry

 

The oil and gas industry has survived some tough years due to weak demand and low prices. While the low price lasted, oil and gas companies aggressively slashed capital expenditure (CAPEX) budgets, bringing drilling activity to a fraction of what it was at its peak.

Evidently, prices are beginning to recover. Crude oil futures recently hit a near three-and-a-half-year high, bolstered by geopolitical risk with July Brent crude futures trading as high as $80.18 per barrel.

“Supply overwhelmed the market but the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cooperation with non-OPEC oil producing countries helped to rescue the market which marked the beginning of oil price recovery”, said Ambrose Ojiako, Chairman, Seplat Petroleum Development Company at a recent breakfast meeting on “Emerging trends in oil and gas sector” organized by Olaniwun Ajayi Law firm.

OPEC’s “declaration of cooperation” with a group of non-OPEC oil producers did speed up the rebalancing of the international oil market and accelerated the stabilisation of the global oil market. The oil cartel, which along with 10 non-OPEC allies led by Russia, cut about 1.8 million barrels per day production which helped to draw down crude oil inventory levels.

As the oil and gas industry strengthens, with eyes on rising commodity prices, maintaining cost discipline remains a critical factor considering the profligacy that has always been associated with high oil prices in the past.

“There were a lot of financial indiscipline during the past boom period. Projects that needed 10-year loan were given 5-year duration loan. There was a huge compromise of balance sheet such that when the bust happened, the impact was not restricted to the oil and gas sector”, said Hakeem Adedeji, executive director at HydroCarbon Advisors.

Though in the past three years, oil and gas companies learned to live with the lower prices, a tighter capital spending program and a much stricter cost discipline, however, there is always that temptation to reset costs amidst the rising crude oil prices.

“There is still limited capital available locally, thus, increasing cost discipline cannot be over emphasised. I agree that there is a shifting dynamics with focus on leveraging producing assets and focusing one core business, but this is the age of prudence” said Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, head, energy and natural resources at FBN Quest Merchant Bank.

Credit rating agency, Moodys, in a recent report, stated that “an increase in oil production and higher oil prices support Nigeria’s slow economic recovery and the 2.8 per cent growth we expect in 2018.” The agency, however, says that Nigeria’s economic recovery is cyclical and that the government will need to take further reforms to boost the economy.

 

CBN injects additional $100mn Forex to cater for pilgrims

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday injected additional $100 million into the foreign exchange market (Forex) barely 24 hours after making available $210 million on Wednesday.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday injected additional $100 million into the foreign exchange market (Forex) barely 24 hours after making available $210 million on Wednesday.

The bank said in a statement  that the additional injection of funds was to cater for the personal needs of Nigerians who may want to travel to fulfill personal obligations, particularly for pilgrimage.

The bank said the move was to safeguard the interest of customers seeking to purchase foreign exchange for personal obligations and checkmate any attempt at causing panic in the market.

On Wednesday, $210 million was allocated to the wholesale segment of the market, to take care of the the spike in the seasonal demand for foreign exchange to meet various personal obligations.

The statement said the CBN plans to inject more dollars into the market in the coming days, to checkmate any attempt to trigger artificial scarcity.

The CBN spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said the decision to inject fresh funds became necessary to protect customers from the activities of speculators who might want to capitalise on the increase in demand for foreign exchange at this time to make brisk gains.

Noting that the CBN had sufficient foreign exchange to meet genuine needs, Mr Okorafor cautioned dealers against speculation.

He warned that they stood to lose much if they chose to hoard currencies in anticipation of a spike and a depreciation in the value of the Naira.

On Wednesday, the CBN frowned at the action of some banks that reportedly refused to sell FOREX to customers requiring the currency for the purpose of religious pilgrimage or embarking on personal and business travel allowance (PTA/BTA).

Naira maintains rate against Dollar, Euro, slips against Pound

The local currency maintains the same rate against Dollar and Euro at parallel market.

The local currency, however, slipped against Pound

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The Naira closed at N366 to a Dollar, N430 to Euro while the Pound traded at N500 .          The Nigerian Naira on Friday, May 25, retained its depreciated rate at the parallel market against Dollar. According to Halifsblog.com findings, the local currency maintained the same rates of N366 against Dollar and N4308 against Euro as it was yesterday, May 24.

Halifsblog.com earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made available 210 million dollars to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the foreign exchange market, Isaac Okorafor, the acting Director, Corporate Communications (CBN) said in a statement. Okorafor stated in the statement on Wednesday, May 23, in Abuja that CBN offered 100 million dollars to authourised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market.

More people embracing farming as Business! – Ruwase

 

More farmers have turned out to be registered as members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The President, LCCI, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, disclosed this on Wednesday during the 2018 induction ceremony into the chamber in Lagos.

Ruwase noted that this was a sign that people had started recognising farming as business.

He said, “Farming business was not what people liked to do but today, 20 farmers have joined the chamber out of the 105 new members admitted.  They are tractor assemblers, tractor hirers, and people who are producing drugs for farming.

“This is an indication that many people are embracing farming as business.”

He said that 105 members were inducted making it the largest number of new members admitted into the chamber in recent times.

Ruwase said, “A good number of them are graduates of  our mentoring programme that prepares young men and women  to go into business.

“We also have people from the Information and Communications Technology sector and real estate.

“Real estate is the barometer of measuring recession. If more people are going into the real estate business, it means that indeed we are coming out of recession.”

According to him, the members have stated their expectations from the chamber and he is studying them to see how best to meet those expectations.

He advised members on how to maintain the  tradition of the  chamber which involves high ethical standards, integrity, and good corporate governance in business practice.

He said, “As businessmen and women, we have obligations which transcend profit making. We should pay adequate attention to integrity in our business transactions and practices.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Membership Welfare Committee, Mr. Soboma Ajumogobia,  disclosed that the companies had fulfilled all criteria to become members of the chamber.

He urged members to participate in all activities of the chamber and pay their subscription dues promptly.

“I will like to reiterate the need for high quality representation at the level of chief executive officers and managing directors or at least at the senior management level in participating in the activities of the chamber.

What Requirements Do You Need to Be a Cocktail Waitress?

Personality is a cocktail waitress's greatest asset.

Because alcoholic beverages carry a higher price tag than milkshakes and soft drinks, a cocktail waitress has the potential to make a good amount of money, most of it from tips. While you don’t need formal education to be a cocktail waitress, you should have certain traits and skills. Mostly, you just need to be a friendly face to offer a cold drink to your patrons.

Food Service Experience

The position of cocktail waitress is highly desirable among restaurant staff. Due to the level of competition, restaurant managers usually allow a waitress to move up to alcohol service only after she has gained experience serving food and non-alcoholic beverages. While the promotion is partly a reward for seniority, the position is such that an entry-level server will find its execution difficult. Time as a regular waitress allows a server to familiarize herself with the workings of a restaurant gradually as opposed to starting in the faster-paced job of cocktail waitress.

Personality

One of the most important aspects of being a cocktail waitress is having a friendly, outgoing personality. Whether a person is drinking to celebrate, to unwind or to sulk, a cocktail waitress should provide efficient, friendly service. If a customer wants conversation, she should be willing to accommodate him while remaining attentive to the other patrons. If he simply wants to be left alone, she should keep her distance, occasionally checking to see if he needs anything. Whichever situation she encounters, she should remain friendly and professional in her interaction with the customer.

Multitasking Ability

If a bar is doing well, a cocktail waitress will make more money, but she will also work much harder. She must be able to handle multiple customers and their drink orders simultaneously. If she is able to provide accurate and expedient service, she will do better with tips. If she makes mistakes and takes too long to serve drinks, her tips will suffer.

Ability to Handle Pressure

A downside of serving customers alcohol is that the product has an adverse effect on patrons. It is inevitable that at some point, a cocktail waitress will have to handle belligerent customers. She must do so cautiously and responsibly. It is part of her job to recognize the signs of intoxication and know when to stop serving a patron. This responsibility in itself adds extra pressure to the job

Everything you need to know about cocktails

I love cocktail do you

Are you feeling more shaken than stirred when it comes to cocktail making? Never fear, we’ve covered off all the basics to making brilliant beverages.

With Summer just around the corner, it’s important to have a few entertaining ideas up your sleeve for when your friends and family pop by. One of the greatest ways to delight your loved ones is with a mean beverage, especially when you’ve mixed it especially for them.

With that in mind, we sat down with Joe Worthington, general manager of Oxford Street’s latest hot-spot, Della Hyde, to give us some expert insight into the world of cocktail making, and answer some of our most pressing questions.

Cocktail terms and definitions

What does it mean when a cocktail says neat, sour, dirty, or on-the-rocks?

Neat: straight up, spirit poured the way the producer meant it – on its own.
Sour: heavily laden with some form of citrus, usually lemon.
Dirty: more often than not, when you ask for a martini dirty it involves olive brine!
On the rocks: cocktail poured over ice.

And what’s the difference between a shaken martini and a stirred one?

Unless you’re James Bond, all martinis should be stirred! Shaken means placing ice in the shaker and giving it a vigorous once over.

Stirring involves just that, stirring the alcohol around in the glass until it is chilled. It results in a smoother, clearer martini as the ice hasn’t been broken up in the drink like it would if it was shaken.

What to serve – and when

What’s the most commonly requested cocktail at Della Hyde?

Probably the negroni or the mojito, and for bartenders, the daiquiri.

What would you recommend for drinking before a meal?

Della Hyde’s Count Negroni – cold drip infused gin, orange bitter liqueur and Dolin Rouge (vermouth) stirred down. This is perfect before a meal as it clears the palate.

What would you serve during a meal?

Wine. I normally wouldn’t drink cocktails during a meal. But if you were that way inclined, go for something light and neutral – like a Tom Collins.
A tip, though; never have more than one cocktail with dinner as it can ruin the meal.

And what would you serve to finish the meal?

Our salted caramel espresso martini – it’s practically dessert in liquid form.

Entertaining for crowds

What’s a good cocktail to serve if you’re having friends over?

Margaritas! Great for girls and boys, we call that a uni-sexual cocktail. At Della Hyde, try Tommy’s Margarita – double shot tequila, agave and lime. Simple ‘n delicious.

What’s a good cocktail to prepare a large amount of (eg. a big jug or bowl for a party)?

The simpler the better: daiquiri or margarita. The classics are the best, that’s why they’re called classics.

A bartender’s secrets

What are some ideal pairings?

Rum ‘n lime! My current favourite at the minute is trying to put something sweet with something typically savoury, like mango and basil or pineapple and chilli!

What are your tips for getting a perfectly frothed egg white?

Using them guns! Give those eggys something to cry about when you shake. Dry shake (without ice) first followed by wet shake.

Tips for beginners

If you’re setting up a liquor cabinet, what would you recommend as the basics?

Pick your favourite from the spirit categories; vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey. That way you please everyone. And don’t forget your liqueurs! I’d recommend Cointreau, Vermouth, Aperol and Tia Maria (for a sweet option).

What are the basic tools you would need?

A cocktail shaker and stirrer are a must, as is ice. It’s also worth investing in a measuring jigger. If you want to get really fancy, look into buying a Perlini; it’s a wonderful tool that carbonates your cocktail – spirits and all!

Nigeria’s oil output drops by 150, 000 bpd under Shell’s force majeure

NIGERIA’s daily oil output has dropped by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) as a result of the shutdown of Nembe Creek Trunk Line.

In its 2018 budget, the Federal Government had earlier projected to produce 2.3 million bpd at the reference price of $51 per barrel. But with this development the target would not likely be met.

 

Already, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has declared a force majeure to protect itself against any liability with international oil traders and other stakeholders over the supply gap.

 

But the development has not yet impacted on the market as Vanguard’s survey of the oil markets around the world showed that the price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light was still a little below $80 per barrel in the market yesterday.

 

The price of organisation of Petroleum Exporting countries, OPEC basket of 14 crudes stood at $76.75 a barrel, compared with $75.18 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

 

Investigation showed that despite increased government romance with stakeholders in the Niger Delta, the region has continued to record pockets of pipeline vandalism, meaning that oil operations may still under threats of disruptions.

 

In its latest report released about two weeks ago, Shell stated that: “Security remains a high priority due to continued crude oil theft and criminality in parts of the Niger Delta. Illegal refining and third-party interference are the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta today.

 

“Third party interference caused close to 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited operated Joint Venture (SPDC JV) pipelines in 2017.

 

‘’Security in parts of the Niger Delta remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, kidnapping and vandalism as well as onshore and offshore piracy. Although there has been no damage to key oil and gas infrastructure caused by militant activity since November 2016, the security situation remains volatile in this region of the country.”

 

 

6 Signs You Are Going To Be Successful

Successful people are not so different as you think. There are a lot of patterns successful people have in common. Studying those by reading biographies, I have come up with six main points a lot of successful entrepreneurs have in common. If you find some points fitting to your personality, you are on the right track.

Here are six signs you are going to be successful:

1) You Love The Competition

We are comparing us to each other constantly. Some are satisfied faster than others and then there are people who can’t get enough. The most successful people are those who never stop competing! Athletes, businessmen, authors etc. Only the strongest, fastest, smartest will make it to the top! Successful entrepreneurs will always think about the next steps to outcompete the others. In a world that is dominated by capitalism, it is all about competition.

2) Don’t Start What You Can’t Finish

Successful businessmen finish what they’ve started. There is no satisfaction in giving up. The reason why people become successful is that they didn’t give up when others did. This goes hand in hand with the first point because a huge part of the competition gives up on the way to the top. You just have to be consistent long enough until you are the last man standing. Do you finish the books you’ve started to read? Do you work until you reach your goals? If the answer is yes, you are on the right way.

3) Surrounded By The Strongest

Since successful people are always looking for an opportunity to grow and improve themselves, they surround themselves with more successful people to learn from them. They observe their patterns, ask questions about their decisions and follow their philosophy.

4) Credibility Through Social Proof

Additionally to the third point, social proof from other successful people is essential! By hanging out with inspirational people and getting to know them you’ll start to grow a reputation amongst them. This will open new opportunities, which grow into an upwards spiral. Successful people know how they can build a great reputation and how to use this to build an even stronger social proof. (see more at How to leave an impression that stays )

5) You Never Stop Thinking

Being successful isn’t a 9 to 5 job. Your mind doesn’t stop when you leave the office. If there is a problem, you will look for a solution while you are jogging through the park. Your mind is always filled with questions, options, and different solutions or ways to handle your business. This can be only achieved when you work for something you are passionate about. Otherwise, your mind will stop working as soon as the clock hits 5 o’clock.

6) You Have To Have It

When you listen to successful entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc. there is always a dream behind it. There is always a greater cause. It doesn’t matter if it is a technical revolution, a Lamborghini or a new mansion. The motivation isn’t relevant as long as it is consistent until it’s reached. Successful people have to get what they want and they will find creative ways to get it!

Personally, I find those six points to be very difficult to achieve. It is easy to identify yourself with 2-3 points but that won’t be enough. On the other hand, it is not important to dominate all six points. But the more, the better. By writing this article I found that I have a huge potential for improvement. But this is good! It is always great to know where you have to put in the work to improve personally.

Try it out for yourself! Which points are fitting your personality and which points are potential goals for yourself?

Could you be a workaholic, addicted to your job?

“My name is JC and I am a workaholic.”

JC, who lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, says she needed a lot of courage the first time she stood up and said that in front of a group of people she had never met before.

JC, who doesn’t want us to reveal her full name, had gone along to a meeting of Workaholics Anonymous because she felt she couldn’t cope anymore.

A 40-year-old healthcare worker, who had conquered her alcoholism and an eating disorder, she says she couldn’t experience the serenity that she hoped sobriety would bring because she instead had become addicted to working.

Work life balance

“I was constantly obsessed with work,” she says. “I realised I used work to numb out and avoid myself, my feelings and my fears.

Her work addiction and the stress that came with it affected her health.

“I had premature grey hair within three months of starting a management position,” she says. “I experienced adrenal fatigue… I have a heart condition.”

Following a similar 12-step recovery plan to the one first devised by Alcoholics Anonymous, Workaholics Anonymous started in the US in the early 1980s.

Today there are more than 100 meeting groups around the world, from Argentina to the US, the UK and Japan. There is also the possibility of joining an online meeting via Skype or over the phone.

But how do you know if you are a workaholic? And what other ways are there to get help?

Wilmar Schaufeli, a professor of work and organisational psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, describes a workaholic as “a person who works obsessively hard in a compulsive way”.

Wilmar Schaufeli

“So it’s a combination between excessive work and compulsive work, compulsive tendency.”

He adds that going to Workaholics Anonymous works for many sufferers because “you see people who have the same problem, so you are not alone. I think this is an important thing for all kinds of behavioural problems or addictions.”

For other people with work addiction problems, having one-to-one therapy with a trained professional might be the answer.

But what actually can lead to work addition?

Dr Claudia Herbert, a clinical psychologist at the Oxford Development Centre, in Putney, Oxfordshire, often treats sufferers. She says that many workaholics have other mental health disorders.

“Lots of clients may feel depressed, they may actually think that life is a little bit empty, they may have anxiety problems, they may also have aHerbert says that many workaholics have other mental health problems

The condition can be triggered by someone having to work too hard in the first place. “People often have to take jobs that in previous times would have been done by two or three people,” she says.

Work addiction may be caused in part by a person being pushed too hard by his or her parents in their earlier life. “People who as children were reinforced by their achievements rather than who they are, they are more likely to become work addicted,” she adds.

When it comes to the types of jobs where people are more vulnerable to becoming workaholics, Prof Schaufeli says it is more a case of senior professionals rather than those with jobs on the lower rungs of the workplace ladder.

He says that self-employed people are also vulnerable because they can become obsessed by their businesses.

Prof Schaufeli adds that work addicts very often don’t see that their behaviour is problematic because the fact they are doing vast amounts of work often means they are earning more and being promoted.

A stressed office workerworkaholics are not said to recognise that anything is wrong because they have secured promotions and pay rises

When it comes to treating work addiction, Dr Herbert says it needs to be individually tailored to each sufferer, and getting to the bottom of what caused it.

At Retreat South, a rehabilitation centre and mental health retreat in the Australian state of Victoria, they run a work-related stress and executive burnout programme, trying to get people’s work/life balance back.

The programme started six years ago, and the average length of stay is one month, with prices from 8,000 Australian dollars ($6,100; £4,400) per week.

Most of the clients are Australian, but they also have some from Asia and Europe.

“We work on the guilt – I haven’t been a good parent, I haven’t been a good partner,” says Jane Enter, Retreat South’s clinical director jane Enter says that her rehabilitation centre aims to help people rebalance their lives

“People should reconnect to who they are, it’s about getting a more balanced life.”

Back in Florida, JC – who first went to Workaholics Anonymous back in 2012 – now volunteers for the organisation.

“I have more time for fun and relationships with people,” she says. “I have the same job. However, because I have changed the way I think and act it is much more manageable.

“I place limits on the number of hours I work in a day.”