Today as we enter lockdown here in Ireland we are also waiting for the surge. So many new terms for our condition; social distancing, cocooning, washing hands, not touching our face, and of course the surge. In a matter of days my perception of the world has changed. Daily, I search online for news, mostly news of deaths, across the world. Nightly, I wait for our own account of new cases and new deaths. And recently when watching television, I shuddered when I saw a normal gathering of people – too close too close I thought – and I physically recoiled when two people hugged on screen. Suddenly two metres is the new norm. As a young teenage I loved history and studied it in Trinity. I particularly loved World War 1 for many reasons including the innocence, the heroism, and the misplaced notions of patriotism. In a war fought over a tiny principality the reality was far from any notion of fighting for good, whatever that might mean anyway. I studied stories in the trenches, about the boredom and then the going over the top. I read one story of a young captain who brought his football to the […]Continue reading
Category Archives: Uncategorized
Trying To Bring Order And Analysis To The World Of ICOs, Dmitry Machikhin, Cofounder Of ICObench
CCN ICObench, trying to become the Forbes of the ICO world. Only formed in August 2017, already ICObench is cornering the market as the ratings agency for the ICO world. With more than 1500 ICOs listed on their pages, 100 waiting for review per day and 1000 more in the pipeline, the platform is growing faster than it can almost cope. ‘We are looking to automate much of the qualifications of the ICOs,’ says CEO and co-founder Dmitry Machikhin from St Petersburg. ‘We have six editors working full time but we have our hands full.’ It might be argued indeed that the burgeoning ICO industry needed a ratings system or platform to try and manage the difficult task of measuring the numerous offerings. While most companies use uniform website layouts, similar white papers and often share advisers, there was no formal rating system to offer a quick and easy guide for investors and industry watchers. Machikhin’s background is maths and linguistics. He worked for Cointelegraph and used coinmarketcap.com as a ready reference but felt there was something missing – something that would bridge the gap. ‘We wanted to provide a platform where we could inform interested parties of the quality […]Continue reading
Will New SEC Regulation Shut Down ICOs? Munchee Forced To Abort ICO
CCN With $2billion raised in ICOs so far this year, it is not surprising that regulatory bodies are not only looking hard at the products and companies, but they are now starting to step in and test the veracity and legality of crypto fundraising. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently formed a Cyber Unit to fulfil this task. Last month it filed fraud charges against PlexCoin and it also forced Munchee, a distributed restaurant review ecosystem on the blockchain, to abort its ICO. Earlier in the month, as a result of the SEC Cyber Unit’s warning to Munchee, the ICO was cancelled. It had only run for two days and had attracted 40 investors. On the Twitter account plans were been made to return funds as soon as possible as of November 2. Munchee had aimed to raise $15million to provide development, grow the management team and market the product. Now, the sale is stopped, investors refunded and despite tweets from November 2 saying the company hoped to relaunch the ICO, it has gone quiet; unless you count the filing of the ‘cease-and-desist’ papers by the SEC against Munchee yesterday. This action tallies with a statement made by […]Continue reading
The Crypto Valley Of Zug, Why Switzerland Is The Place To Be For Bitcoin, Ethereum And Blockchain Initiatives
CCN Coming to a city near you… At first glance it might seem an unusual choice for the hottest tech location in Europe, if not EMEA, but Zug, named for its fishing rights is both a town and canton in Switzerland and home to a little under 30,000 residents. It is an affluent area, a low tax region and a base for several multinational companies. In 2001, it first sparked to international recognition when a disgruntled gunman shot 15 people, including himself, in the Zug Cantonal Parliament in what became known as the Zug Massacre. This year, Zug was very much back in the news for quite different reasons. In January 2017 a not for profit organisation was formed: the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) headquartered in Zug and formed for the express purpose of attracting and supporting blockchain companies and organisations to Switzerland. Prior to the formal establishment of CVA, the Crypto Valley in Zug had been the brain child of Johann Grevers who based his cryptofinance startup Monetas in Zug in 2013. He outlined all sorts of positive reasons why Switzerland was attractive for blockchain companies and soon attracted broad support from numerous individuals, startups, corporates, service providers, industry […]Continue reading
What do dogs, shoe shiners, taxi drivers and now gang members have in common?
It used to be the dogs in the street. Then it was the shoe shiners. Joe Kennedy famously said that when his shoe shiner gave him stock market tips, then it was time to quit the market. After that it was taxi drivers with the Troika taken to task when Irish journalist Vincent Browne questioned just what Klaus Masuch’s taxi driver understood. What the classic video here of the banker, Vincent Browne and the taxi driver Now the traditional media are conflating Bitcoin with money laundering and the darknet. It’s an easy jump to make. Pick something you don’t understand, demonise it and then blame it for all sorts of seedy stuff – without any evidence. Today it happened in the Irish Times, Ireland’s paper of record. A major drug sting in Amsterdam resulted in eight arrests, three of which are Irish nationals and known to the local Irish police as gang members. The paper detailed the swag found which included Bitcoin Mining equipment. The article ran the mining equipment as the main headline and then went on to say that Bitcoin could be used for money laundering. No mention of the cash and its use in money laundering. So, […]Continue reading
Workplace Bullying – what can you do?
Awareness of workplace bullying is much higher although proving it legally is still a very tough process. According to the Supreme Court the definition of bullying is repeated behaviour that ‘must be outrageous, unacceptable, and exceeding all bounds tolerated by decent society.’ Often employees may endure treatment that is annoying, upsetting and perceived to be personal but according to Justice Peter Charlton the test for bullying must of necessity be set very high. So while the legal route may be fraught with difficulty, research points to the ongoing negative impacts of bullying in the workplace. The ERSI report on ‘Bullying in the Workplace’ from 2007 highlighted some very interesting statistics including that women were more likely to suffer bullying than their male counterparts, in fact the risk was almost double with 10.7% of women more at risk than 5.8% of men. 60% of the 3,500 respondents interviewed considered quitting their jobs as a result, while 15% actually did leave. Not surprisingly 20% said they had taken sick leave directly as a result of the bullying, with a further 48% saying the bullying had a detrimental impact on the lives outside of work. Where bullying does exist […]Continue reading
William Crozier – fantastic new exhibition in IMMA (Ireland)
Last night I attended the opening night of the exhibition of William Crozier in IMMA, Dublin Ireland. There was a lecture first with the curator Sean Kinsella – who gave a fascinating account of Crozier’s life and influences from post war, the cold war, Irish and UK landscapes, existentialism, and finally how he painted with ordinary paints – from his local hardware store. I met a new friend and artist Mary Cooke and we viewed the images together – and I even got a selfie with Crozier’s selfie Well worth a visit – website And here is a short videoContinue reading
We are in danger of sliding into a modern version of history that looks all too familiar
First published in the Irish Independent on 23 December, 2016 George Santayana, the Spanish philosopher, is credited with the sage observation that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Sound advice, to which I would add a codicil – those who write the history dictate the repetition and in that case, are we actually repeating what happened, or inventing a past to repeat? I have been boring my friends and anyone who cares to listen for the past five years or so that we are sliding into a new history that looks very much like the old one. I have said it on live radio, in live pubs and at live dinner party conversations. I am like a parrot at this stage. Now I see it on Facebook, arguably the caretaker of trends, where people quote historic lessons and provide modern parallels. The rise of the Third Reich is no longer a chapter confined to a history book; it is now a series of videos on social media where people are tracing clear and obvious parallels between Hitler’s monster rallies and Donald Trump’s election rallies. Where the Star of David may have isolated a minority […]Continue reading
Will the Big Boys please stand up!
‘Power of one’ can make a difference, so think what big business could do on climate change First published in the Irish Independent 19/10/2016 I read a beautiful piece of writing yesterday. It was by the American author Clarissa Pinkola Estés. She wrote a celebrated and exotically titled book called ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’. I bought it in Australia many years ago but read only the opening chapter. When I lost my house I gave that book away. It is a shame because I think I might now based on the piece I read yesterday. Estés wrote a short essay called ‘We Were Made for These Times’. Contrary to our fears, she argues we were made for today and triangulated a beautiful conceit in which we were meant to let our souls shine, that others would join in and like an army of glow worms we would spread out as a protective blanket over the worn old world. Each glow worm would attract and light the next worm in an exploding sea of beauty and enlightenment. In her essay, she argued we could become a flotilla that grew one by one. “Struggling souls catch light from other souls […]Continue reading
I have embraced my inner clutter goddess after finding a home
First published in the Irish Independent 09/10/2016 I am now the proud possessor of a hammer. A proper hammer, and I have used it a goodly number of times. About 20 times so far. To hang pictures. On the walls of the house where I rent. A little over a month ago, I did not have walls to rent. I had exited my old house, rented for the past 10 years, where I had lived with my two daughters and our animals. I had exited our house as the lease had been terminated. There was no trouble, just the owner wanted her house back. I searched Wicklow high and low for alternative rental accommodation but nothing was to hand. As the months rushed together, I found myself getting more and more frantic. I looked at caravans, thinking I might buy one at the end of the summer. But like time shares, caravans should never be bought in warm months. Fortunately, the ones I viewed were so shabby as to be unattractive even in the heat, which was one positive consequence of a modest budget. I planted my daughters in a cottage, found at the eleventh hour. A friend offered […]Continue reading