Two things that could change the worldsteemCreated with Sketch.

in blockchain •  3 months ago  (edited)

Hi Everyone,

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In this post, I want to talk about two things that could greatly contribute to changing the world. These two things are veganism and the blockchain economy.

Veganism

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I have been vegan for almost 3 ½ years, it was definitely one of the biggest and most significant decisions I have made in my life. It opened my eyes to the amount of cruelty I was supporting with my purchasing decisions. The most significant area being my diet. I was eating food containing animal products and I gave very little thought about the animals affected by this behaviour. I perceived eating food made from animal products as something, we do. It was not until I accidentally stumbled across more and more information about human cruelty to animals that I decided to make a change. Watching the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’ put me on the path towards veganism. You can read about my vegan journey in my posts Vegan Economics – My Story (Part 1) and Vegan Economics - My Story (Part 2).

Why is it so significant?

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If we want to make the world a better place, we need to begin with ourselves. Reducing our contribution to animal cruelty is a great place to start. It is quite easy to make a difference. I wrote a series of five posts where I explained various areas of animal cruelty. See the links below.

Five Areas of Animal Abuse (Part 1) - Pets

Five Areas of Abuse (Part 2) - Entertainment

Five Areas of Abuse (Part 3) - Animal Testing

Five Areas of Abuse (Part 4) - Food

Five Areas of Abuse (Part 5) - Clothing and Fashion

The above series of posts was inspired by the documentary ‘Earthlings’. I used the same five areas as the documentary to discuss animal cruelty. Doing the research further opened my eyes to the many areas people are contributing to animal cruelty. It also opened my eyes to the many ways we can reduce our contribution to animal cruelty and how easy it is for us to do so.

There are many things wrong with the world. Sadly, it is very difficult for us to directly influence positive change in many areas. Adopting a vegan lifestyle is a change most people can take. The positive effects are immediate. We can look at it from the perspective of the animals spared from our direct consumption. We can also look at the effect of reduced demand for products or services that exploit animals.

Supporting Evidence

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The vegan revolution is very much underway. People are more actively finding out more information about veganism. This can be seen from the number of Google searches from over the past 10 years.

Figure 1: Number of Googles searches for Veganism

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Source: BBC, accessed 02/12/19

The demand for meat is decreasing in many developed European countries as can be seen from Figure 2.

Figure 2: Changes in meat consumed per capita

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Source: statista.com, accessed 02/12/19

The number of vegan products available in stores are increasing at an increasing rate; see data in Figure 3. This is evidence that supply is starting to meet the increasing demand for vegan products.

Figure 3: Growth in Vegan Products

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Source: statista.com, accessed 02/12/19

There is also evidence suggesting that a vegan lifestyle is considerably more environmentally friendly than the average diet or even a vegetarian diet. The consumption of dairy products can be almost as harming to the environment as eating meat. Figures 4 and 5 compares the environmental impact of various types of diets.

Figure 4: Environmental impact of various diets (CO2 emissions)

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Source: telegraph.co.uk, accessed 02/12/19

Figure 5: Environmental impact of various diets (Land use)

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Source: foodsource.org.uk, accessed 03/12/19

The dairy industry causes almost as much cruelty to animals as the meat industry. I discuss this in more detail in my post, Five Areas of Abuse (Part 4) - Food.

The biggest concern I have with the current vegan movement is the climate change emphasis and proposed additional Government intervention. Government intervention has enabled lower costs of production of animal products, which has hindered alternative products competing. An absence of Government intervention would enable higher demand for vegan products to drive supply and reduce costs of production.

A move towards veganism has many environmental benefits such as reduced water and land usage, reduced water and land pollution, reduced methane emissions, maintaining healthy fish populations in the ocean, and reduced deforestation.

Blockchain Economy

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Before I joined Steem in June 2017, I knew very little about cryptocurrency and next to nothing about blockchain technology and capability. I created a Steem account to post content on Steemit and had very little interest in investing in a cryptocurrency. My initial impressions of Bitcoin were not good; it appeared to be some form of digital currency, which possessed no form of intrinsic value. I had this impression because I did know anything about the blockchain. It did not take long before I realised that my initial impressions were wrong.

Cryptocurrencies are more than just digital currencies if they operate on decentralised blockchains. It is important to emphasis decentralised, as a blockchain may not necessarily be decentralised. Decentralisation prevents one person or a small group of people controlling the contents of the blockchain. Therefore, the content on the blockchain is secure and cannot be erased without consensus.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are just one application of a blockchain. A blockchain can contain information about anything. For example, election voting could be conducted on a blockchain. Eligible voters could register on the blockchain. They could be given a unique identification number. When it is time to vote, they will be able to vote anonymously. The vote will be permanently stored on the blockchain. The identification number could ensure each person only votes once. The election would not be able to be rigged if the blockchain is decentralised. The result of the election would be determined the moment voting is closed. The results would be a 100% representation of the votes cast (i.e. no miscounts).

Rewards Pool

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A very interesting feature of the Steem blockchain is the rewards pool. The rewards pool is created from newly created Steem often referred to as inflation. The rewards pool enables the redistribution of wealth and resources. Steem uses the rewards pool to distribute rewards to content creators, curators, developers, witnesses, and investors (holders of stake).

The potential of the rewards pool is far greater than the simple usage by Steem. The rewards pool could fund sectors of the economy. Typically, in an economy, resources are distributed by a combination of the private sector and public sector. The private sector can distribute resources that produce private goods and services (i.e. property rights can be clearly defined) effectively. The private sector struggles to distribute public goods and services effectively. This is because people cannot be easily excluded from usage. Therefore, people will be reluctant to pay for something when they can obtain it free (free-rider effect). This results in the private sector under producing these types of goods and services. The public sector often takes responsibility for providing public goods. This is also problematic, as the public sector needs to acquire funds to produce these goods and services. They also need to determine how much to produce of these goods and services.

The rewards pool is a potential solution for funding public goods. Economies are partially funded through increased money supply. Figures 6 and 7 contain the increase in the M2 money supply of United States of America and the United Kingdom respectively.

Figure 6: Increase in US M2 Money Supply

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Source: Trading Economics, accessed 02/12/19

Figure 7: Increase in UK M2 Money Supply

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Source: Trading Economics, accessed 02/12/19

Note: M2 is a measure of the money supply that includes cash, checking deposits, and easily convertible near money (Investopedia.com)

As can be seen from the figures above, both the United Kingdom and the United States of America have greatly increased their supply of money over the past 25 years. The supply of money is almost 5 times higher for both these countries over this period. That equates to about a 7% annual increase in money supply. For the USA, the average annual increase in money supply (my estimate) equates to about 5.2% of GDP (20.5 Trillion USD, Trading Economics). For the UK, the average annual increase in money supply (my estimate) equates to about 8.2% of GDP (2.1 Trillion GBP Statista).

For the UK and US, Government spending makes up about 40% of the GDP. See Figure 8 and Figure 9 for the past 25 years of data.

Figure 8: US Government spending as a percentage of GDP

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Source: Trading Economics, accessed 02/12/19

Figure 9: UK Government spending as a percentage of GDP

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Source: Trading Economics, accessed 02/12/19

However, Government spending as a percentage of GDP can vary greatly between different countries. Figure 10 contains data from 1960 to 2011 for several countries.

Figure 10: Government spending as a percentage of GDP (1960 to 2011)

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Source: ourworldindata.org, accessed 02/12/19

Government spending as a percentage of GDP has gradually increased for almost all the countries represented in Figure 10. I will investigate the possible reasons for these increases in another post. It is highly unlikely that these increases are necessary. They have more likely occurred as an objective for increasing the size of Governments. The introduction of a decentralised blockchain approach to distributing resources could reverse the trend of increasing Government size.

Supporting Evidence

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Blockchain development and adoption is very much in its infancy. However, there are signs that it could become enormous. For example the market cap of Bitcoin. In 2019, the market cap of Bitcoin has doubled from around US$65 Billion in January to around US$130 Billion in December. Figure 11 contains the data.

Figure 11: Bitcoin Market Cap in 2019

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Source: Coinmarketcap.com, accessed 03/12/19

It is not just the Bitcoin blockchain that is growing, many other blockchains are gaining utility. A great example of this growth is the number of decentralised applications that are utilising various blockchains. Figure 12 contains data regarding the number of new DApps created since 2015.

Figure 12: New DApps created since 2015

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Source: State of the DApps, accessed 03/12/19

The market caps of many of the coins using these blockchains have not increased in alignment with the level of development taking place. This is likely related to market manipulation, speculation and misinformation that is spread about cryptocurrency. Mass adoption should fuel the market caps as well as add greater stability.

What is the connection between Veganism and Blockchain Economy?

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Veganism is a step towards taking responsibility for how our actions affect those more vulnerable than we are (i.e. animals). A Blockchain Economy is a step towards taking authority and power away from the few (i.e. Governments). The combination of a vegan lifestyle and a Blockchain Economy would reduce exploitation on various levels. We would see more equal opportunities and greater freedom for all.

This post just scratches the surface of what I want to cover in regards to veganism and the Blockchain Economy. I have written several post about veganism and ‘cruelty-free’ economics. I have written about Steem as a blockchain but very little about the possibility of a Blockchain Economy. In future posts, I will explore some of the ideas presented in this post as well as several others. I believe the potential is enormous.

More posts

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If you want to read any of my other posts, you can click on the links below. These links will lead you to posts containing my collection of works. These posts will be updated frequently.

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Guide to the Steem Ecosystem (Udemy Course)

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I have launched my Udemy course ‘Guide to the Steem Ecosystem’. This course takes you on journey through the Steem Ecosystem. The course consists of 6 sections. These sections are as follows:

  • Getting Started
  • Navigating Steem Frontends
  • Becoming a Steem User
  • Behind the Scenes
  • The Wonders of the Steem Ecosystem
  • Additional Content (SteemFest 4, SMTs, Communities, etc.)

The course contains 56 video lectures (about 13.5 hours of viewing), 56 multiple-choice questions (10 to 12 at the end of each section), and 59 downloadable resources (presentation slides and additional material such as white and blue papers). The course is free-of-charge. Click the link above to access the course.

I also have an economics course, titled Economics is for Everyone, which contains about 4 hours of video content.


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Steem - The Future of DApps

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I can't agree more with both of these statements. Been vegan for 3 years almost as well and it really is better.

That's awesome. It is a lot easy than many people think. I feel much healthier too.

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One thing I understand is that blockchain could be the future of technology and commerce and after reading with rapt attention I feel your angle and where you're writing From, in essence it's important that what blockchain could achieve be really discovered quickly, for the sake of the world.
And as for being a vegan ahhh it's really going to be difficult for me to adapt

It is still very new but the potential is enormous. Imagine if a country replaced their national currency with a cryptocurrency and then used the power of the blockchain to aid with resource allocation on a large scale.

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Do you see governments giving away their power in order to support decentralized solutions?

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I don't think so. Government spending trends indicate they want more power and control.

It is possible smaller parties might raise it as an alternative. It is also possible that a candidate in a future US election could give it a push. It is also possible that mass adoption of cryptocurrency could greatly reduce demand for Central Bank issued Fiat currencies. If this happens it will be interesting to see if Governments embrace cryptocurrencies and the blockchain or if they will use a centralised digital currency, which they will pretend is superior.

Time to join the forces with everyone :)

Yes, I think we should.

Upvoting this because of the very high words count and the amount of charts embedded into the content. Not because of the veganism section.

I am guessing you are not vegan. It is a lot easier to turn vegan than many people think. I initially became vegetarian and I wasn't sure I could take the next step as it seemed like everything had either eggs or milk in it. It took some time but I found plenty of products that are vegan. What's great is the number of vegan products are increasing all the time. So it is just getting easier. In a worse case scenario you can still buy fruit and vegetables from the market.

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Hi @spectrumecons!

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