The protocol behind cryptocurrencies has first been developed by a mysterious figure: Satoshi Nakamoto who developed the Bitcoin system.
As the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies is behind us, this does not mean that the technology underlying the functioning of those currencies is a force to be reckoned with. Don and Alex Tapscott gave a good summary of the promises of the technology: “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
The prices of cryptocurrencies across the board have recently taken a large dip and no one knows in which direction they will go in the future. The falls in prices largely had to do with bad news and hence a more pessimistic outlook on how governments across the world want to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Although the hype has died down a bit in the last few weeks, cryptocurrencies still are a major development in the finance industry. This article aims to provide an introduction to this issue’s Spotlight to explain the driving ideological forces behind cryptocurrencies and to introduce some of the main arguments on their utility.
Recent natural disasters have severely hit some Caribbean countries and some regions of the United States. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated households, cities and whole countries. Millions of citizens were forced to abandon their homes and the economic losses are estimated to be over 100 billion dollars. This situation has once again raised the question about global warming and its consequences. Scientists claimed that climate change has contributed to making these bad storms even worse.
In the acclaimed film “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” the young hero fights a villain, who, having lost faith in the ability of mankind to make the efforts to curb emissions, and fight global warming, decides to try and kill most of humanity to save the planet and himself. The idea that curbing emissions will not be enough, or will not happen fast enough and other means will be needed is gaining traction. If you are to be a villain and expect to find how to commit global scale killings, stop reading here because this piece is about geoengineering: a new field of climate science, which intends to curb global warming through global scale projects.
Richard Thaler received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics for his pioneering work in behavioural economics. As readers of the previous issue of the TSEconomist know, behavioural economics has challenged the traditional assumptions of economics, especially the assumption that human behaviour is rational. One policy tool that has emerged from behavioural economics is the concept of a nudge, which is aimed at encouraging certain decisions or behaviours without forcing them. This tool can be useful to help lower individual’s impacts on the environment.