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Interview With Aarika Rhodes On Bitcoin, Universal Basic Income (UBI), And Removing Dinosaurs From Washington |




Aarika Rhodes, U.S. Congressional Candidate for the 32nd District of California, has set a shock wave across the U.S., she runs on a pro-Bitcoin and pro-Universal Basic Income (UBI) platform. She believes in Medicare for All, helping the unhoused, ending police brutality, and making the U.S. a fairer home for its citizens.

Aarika has been campaigning for over two years in her district while she works full time as an elementary school teacher. If she wins, Aarika will replace one of Bitcoin’s worst enemies from U.S. Congress, Representative Brad Sherman (D), a man that believes cryptocurrencies are only appealing to “narco-terrorists” and tax evaders.

Jack Dorsey, CEO at Block, and other renowned Bitcoiners vouched for her on a Twitter Space conversation addressing UBI, Bitcoin, and its potential to change lives in the United States by mitigating inequality. Dorsey called her a “breath of fresh air” in the political scene.

We sat down with Aarika to deepen on the above subjects, the value that she will bring into Washington, the challenges, and benefits of her pro-Bitcoin stance, and more. This is what she told us.

Q: It is very likely that everyone supporting Bitcoin had an “aha moment”, a point where they have reservations, and then went on to understand its potential. What was your aha moment like? When did you realize your ideas and values were aligned with Bitcoin?

Aarika: When I first launched my campaign, students of mine said I should accept Bitcoin for donations. It was so early in campaigning that I told them we needed to focus on getting things up and running first. As the months passed, the topic came up again. This was right around the time Congressman Brad Sherman made his first vocal stance against cryptocurrency. I began doing my research to determine how Bitcoin could benefit my community. So many leaders in the space were gracious enough to educate me and introduce me to their networks so I could gain a deeper understanding. Not only did I purchase Bitcoin after learning more, I couldn’t understand how you could say you’re for the people and be actively working towards a ban on innovations like Bitcoin and Lightning.

Q: Where do you think Bitcoin and your platform coincide the most? Your campaign accepts payment via the Lightning Network, has this payment solution aided at balancing out the playfield in your race, and do you think it can do so for others?

Aarika: First of all, I love the Lightning Network. This technology has made us viable in our efforts to unseat a 20+ year incumbent. If it wasn’t for Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, a grassroots campaign like ours wouldn’t have made it this far with the amount of cash on hand at this stage in the race, especially as a full-time elementary school teacher! Fees have a significant impact on how much of a donation we can keep. Grassroots campaigns like ours depend on every penny to have a chance at winning.

Q: What do you think is the state of the institutions in the U.S. at the moment? Do you think there is a correlation between it and the increase in Bitcoin adoption as a way to “opt-out” of the system?

Aarika: There are a few ways to look at this. The first is that the existing banking system is designed to keep people impoverished. The fees alone make it impossible for many citizens to get their heads above water. The second is that people want to have investment options. Traditionally, we’ve been encouraged to get into the stock market. To do this, however, you have to purchase a minimum amount to even get in the game. Bitcoin can be purchased at any amount which makes it a more democratized way to gain financial independence. Something that often goes unnoticed by incumbents like Congressman Brad Sherman is that Bitcoin incentivizes holders to increase their financial literacy by making savings and investment cornerstones of the platform. Americans will continue to go where they feel valued, seen, and assisted.

Q: “No Kingdom can maintain itself by force alone”, James Baldwin wrote a while back, as he talked about the way people in power created a system around their own safety and their own profit. He said that a nation sustained by the powerful at the expense of the weak is the formula of a nation in decline; do you think this formula is intact? What will you do and how can others change the status quo? Does Bitcoin have any role in this scenario?

Aarika: Mr. Baldwin was a brilliant individual who saw our systems of inequality, inequity and injustice clearly. I will note that it is also Baldwin who found political leader’s “brutal contempt for the poor” unspeakable. I decided to run in 2020 after seeing the effects of the pandemic on our students, teachers, and parents. It exasperated issues that were already present in our education system and within our social structure when it comes to support for parents in the workplace. I was also moved, as so many were, by the civic uprising in response to the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The formula is intact but weakened. When elected into Congress, I want to sit on the Education and Labor Committee. It is imperative that we reform our education system. I believe I’m actively doing the hard work as a teacher every day and I hope to expand my work in education when in Congress. While this is one area to highlight for the purposes of this interview, it’s meant to show how we can be moved to engage in the dismantling of systems meant to oppress us by starting with where we are and who is already in our direct sphere of influence. As you dig deeper, you will be exposed to other excellent solutions that can enhance the work you’re doing. And that’s where innovations like Bitcoin come in. All good ideas need to be on the table to solve the systemic issues in our country.

Q: And in that sense, how do you think Bitcoin can be used to mitigate some of the most critical issues in America, and how does UBI come into the picture? The latter is controversial, as some believe its application could make citizens more dependent on the State. Is there a contradiction between Bitcoin and UBI?

Aarika: I understand there is a dissonance between Bitcoin and UBI. I’m not saying there’s a definitive solution to marry the two. I’m just asking that we consider all good ideas before shutting down the possibility if we do, in fact, want more people to experience financial freedom. I’m suggesting that we take a look at our existing government support programs and find the ones with the most financial waste. Our campaign has done the research and wasteful spending in the government through aid programs isn’t uncommon. We could then relocate those resources into a UBI structure where everyone receives $500 a month. Data shows that this is enough to be of significant aid to Americans to use at their discretion, but not enough to incentivize unemployment. I would like to explore the options of having this payment delivered in Bitcoin, especially to the unhoused (65% of whom have cell phones and could benefit from this set up), and our foster youth who age out of the system, often without the proper documentation or support to open traditional bank accounts. For both parties, it’s safe, secure, and accessible. Again, I know I get a lot of push back here because it’s not fully fleshed out but what I hope happens is that we all work together to consider what’s possible if we work together.

Q: Do you think Bitcoin can become a tool to uplift U.S. citizens, a medium to create global campaigns, such as the one that supports your race, via the Lightning Network, crowd fundings, and start programs with aid from people around the world with a real impact in the U.S?

Aarika: I know Bitcoin is a tool to uplift our community members. In fact, I have one volunteer who pulled herself out of poverty because of Bitcoin because they invested early, and a woman on our campaign who is a veteran and purchased Bitcoin which enabled her to evade going back into poverty. There is no reason to think that we couldn’t offer more aid to those who are unbanked or kept out of the financial system through the Lightning Network.

Q: When we think about government, we think about control, we think about regulations. How do you think you, as a Congresswoman, will be able to make a difference and contribute to the support of Bitcoin-based welfare programs?

Aarika: I think it should be noted that I have no interest in regulating Bitcoin. It should also be noted that I intend to serve on the Congressional Blockchain Caucus when elected. This caucus is one of the most bi-partisan caucuses in Congress, as it should be! I would like to work with lawmakers across the aisle to come up with creative and innovative solutions for the American people and this committee is well positioned to lead that charge.

Q: Do you think the “American Dream” is dead or that it could be transformed by improving the foundations that sustain the country, especially the financial system? In what will you work on to make the U.S. more equal, what opportunities will you try to facilitate for the average citizen?

Aarika: I think it depends on what you consider to be the American Dream. In the advertiser’s sense of 2 cars, one home, and 2.5 children, yes. I believe the American Dream is dead to the majority of Americans. If we’re talking about the aspirations of a country of the people, for the people, by the people in pursuit of equality, liberty, and justice for all, that’s the American Dream I’m motivated to create. While I talk about my policy issues on my website in detail, I’ll note here that I believe foster care reform, education reform, and supporting the unhoused are issues unique to my district that would also serve the greater American population. All three of these issues are complex and wrought with nuance. I would include criminal justice reform in that category of complexity as well. But these issues are key to all Americans experiencing dignity. They’re also key to solving greater issues downstream as these are the root of so many issues plaguing our communities. I’m excited to solve problems, not just talk about them. I’m not afraid to go to the source when others are content staying at the surface. The American Dream seems impossible to a lot of Americans because more than half of our citizens are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s hard to dream when you’re in survival mode.

Q: Finally, there is a lot of power in a currency that it’s not controlled by central banks or any single entity, but citizens also need to have an active role. Unlike the legacy financial system, Bitcoin demands people to take control of their wealth, to stay active, but often they are unprepared to do so. As an educator and a potential member of the U.S. Congress, how do you plan to support education and financial literacy? Do you think better financial education could help onboard more people into Bitcoin?

Aarika: There is no question financial literacy would encourage a better understanding of Bitcoin. It would also enable people to make educated decisions about their finances in general. It’s an injustice to our children and our society to graduate students who don’t understand credit, savings, taxes, and fees. Financial literacy is a non-negotiable. Not only do I believe it will serve our communities well, I also believe it enables people to make decisions that are right for them based on their unique circumstances and needs.


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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.


dYdX Founder Advises Crypto Industry to Abandon US Customers, Deeming Market Effort Unrewarding





The founder of the decentralized exchange, dYdX, asserts that individuals involved in cryptocurrency development should direct their efforts toward international markets beyond the United States for the upcoming five to ten years.

Antonio Juliano conveys to his audience of 49,400 on the social media platform X that the prevailing regulatory uncertainty within the United States does not merit the associated challenges or concessions.

Juliano contends that it would be more prudent for cryptocurrency developers to establish their products in alternative countries and subsequently re-enter the United States from a position of strength.

“Cryptocurrency developers would be well-advised to temporarily discontinue catering to the US market and instead seek re-entry in a span of 5-10 years. The complications and compromises involved do not warrant the endeavor. Moreover, a substantial portion of the market exists overseas. It is recommended to innovate in those regions, ascertain product-market fit, and then return with greater bargaining power…

The paramount objective shared among all stakeholders is to secure a significantly more potent product-market fit for cryptocurrency. The pursuit of a robust product-market fit does not necessitate flawless distribution. A multitude of substantial overseas markets present avenues for experimentation.”

Juliano articulates that advocating for more amiable cryptocurrency regulations demands time, although the process could be expedited if developers manage to introduce products that elicit consumer demand.

“However, this perspective does not undermine the importance of efforts to influence US cryptocurrency policy. On the contrary, such endeavors are absolutely vital. Given the protracted timeframe required (in anticipation of re-entry), and considering that much of the world takes cues from the United States, it becomes evident that our progress in shaping policies hinges upon achieving global-scale product usage.”

The dYdX founder proceeds to emphasize that, with time, American citizens will come to realize that cryptocurrency is inherently aligned with US values and principles.

“The tenets of cryptocurrency closely align with American values. What concept could be more quintessentially American and reflective of capitalist ideals than a financial system conceived for the people, driven by the people, and answerable to the people? This, indeed, constitutes the very essence of our endeavor.”

Read Also: Bloomberg Analyst Mike McGlone Predicts Bitcoin Vulnerability in Economic Downturn

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Bloomberg Analyst Mike McGlone Predicts Bitcoin Vulnerability in Economic Downturn




bitcoin coin on background of business charts

Bloomberg Intelligence’s senior macro strategist, Mike McGlone, is conveying a pessimistic outlook for Bitcoin (BTC) in the immediate future.

During a recent interview on Kitco News, McGlone underscored that Bitcoin is currently displaying bearish signals even amidst the ascent of other high-risk assets.

“In the event of a downturn, adhering to a rule prevalent in bear markets, resources across the board could witness a reduction in value, and Bitcoin will not be an exception.

A crucial observation is the necessity for Bitcoin to exhibit divergent strength at a certain juncture, akin to the behavior of treasury bonds and gold in a deflationary economic environment. Regrettably, this pattern has not materialized.

After attaining its peak towards the conclusion of Q1, reaching approximately $31,000, driven by optimism and the influence of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Bitcoin subsequently retraced to $25,000 or approximately $26,000. Presently, it is manifesting divergent weakness in contrast to the concurrent upsurge in the stock market.”

According to McGlone’s analysis, the ongoing “economic reset” implies a continuation of Bitcoin’s recent downward trend, although he anticipates that the premier cryptocurrency will ultimately attain a six-figure valuation.

“While I believe that Bitcoin will eventually achieve a valuation of $100,000, the onset of a global economic reset, as I anticipate, characterized by a standard deflationary recession leading to a decline in the housing and stock markets, analogous to the conditions of 2008—though arguably exacerbated due to the ongoing removal of liquidity from the system—Bitcoin’s role as an influential precursor comes to the forefront.

This underscores my point that Bitcoin has recently been taking on the role of a harbinger of trends. Its value ascended briefly to around $31,000, only to subsequently trend downwards. From my perspective, it serves as a leading indicator for a majority of high-risk assets.”

As of the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $26,079.

Read Also: Carbon Footprint of Proof-of-Work vs. Proof-of-Stake: A Comparative Analysis of Blockchain Consensus Mechanisms

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Lead Developer Announces Imminent Public Reopening of Shibarium




a shiba dog on a street

Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) Latest Layer-2 Scaling Solution Nears Public Relaunch Following Recent Technical Challenges

Shytoshi Kusama, the enigmatic lead developer behind the SHIB project, has shared in a recent blog post that significant progress has been made in addressing the technical setbacks that temporarily halted the operation of Shibarium, SHIB’s new layer-2 scaling solution. The initial release of Shibarium encountered network issues that prompted its temporary closure. However, Kusama assured the community that diligent testing and parameter adjustments have led to notable improvements.

Kusama elaborated, stating, “After extensive testing and parameter refinements aimed at achieving a ‘ready’ status, Shibarium has undergone enhancements and optimization. While still undergoing testing, it is now successfully producing blocks.” Additionally, to prevent a recurrence of the past network overload, Kusama revealed the implementation of a new monitoring system and supplementary fail-safe measures. These include rate limiting at the RPC (remote procedure call) level and an automated server reset mechanism in the event of another surge in traffic.

With these advancements in place, the team is on the verge of reopening Shibarium to the public. As part of this progression, more network validators will be integrated into the ecosystem on August 23rd. Kusama emphasized the significance of this step, remarking, “Tomorrow, additional validators will become operational, expanding the options available for staking BONE. This will allow for a distribution of rewards earned through their roles within our community. As testing concludes, we will once again prepare for public utilization.”

Shibarium’s previous technical difficulties were attributed to an overwhelming influx of users and transactions during its initial launch. As of the current writing, SHIB is trading at $0.00000798, marking a 0.4% increase over the past 24 hours.

Read Also: Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder of FTX, Files for Temporary Release from Incarceration

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder of FTX, Files for Temporary Release from Incarceration




Sam Bankman-Fried

FTX’s co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is currently seeking a temporary release from incarceration. The purpose behind this endeavor is to engage in collaborative strategizing with his legal representatives within the confines of the federal courthouse situated in Manhattan.

In a formal letter dispatched to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on a Friday, Bankman-Fried’s legal team expounded that their client’s capacity to effectively scrutinize the extensive legal documents pertaining to his case has been significantly curtailed during his time spent incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn.

Christian Everdell, the attorney representing Bankman-Fried, divulged that the government recently disseminated a voluminous three-quarters of a million pages of Slack communications. These were originally due several months prior. Expressing the urgency of the situation, Everdell articulated, “Only last week did the government furnish an aggregate of approximately seven hundred and fifty thousand pages of Slack communications that were originally stipulated for release months ago. Given the current timeline, it is a futile endeavor for Mr. Bankman-Fried to endeavor to review these materials.”

He underlined the pivotal necessity for Bankman-Fried to collaborate meticulously with his legal team, emphasizing his dire need to avail himself of an internet-enabled laptop within the courthouse premises. Such a resource would undoubtedly expedite the process of comprehensive document review, an imperative undertaking in light of his impending fraud trial scheduled for the forthcoming October.

In riposte to Bankman-Fried’s plea for reprieve, the prosecuting body voiced apprehensions regarding his adherence to the prerequisites concerning his planned defense strategy. Notably, they underscored that Bankman-Fried is yet to furnish the complete gamut of essential information regarding the counsel upon which he predicated his actions.

The prosecutors proffered caution that unless Bankman-Fried promptly discloses the minutiae regarding the counsel he received and the provenance thereof, any attempt to interject such a defense during the trial should be summarily proscribed.

Although the prosecutors extended an offer to facilitate the transfer of documents onto hard drives for Bankman-Fried’s perusal within the MDC premises, a viable laptop-based solution was deemed unattainable. Initially, the notion of relocating Bankman-Fried to a more compact, upstate correctional facility where he could access an internet-enabled laptop was contemplated by the prosecutors. However, this proposal was met with resistance from prison officials.

Regarded for its starkly onerous conditions, the Metropolitan Detention Center has cultivated a notorious reputation among its inmate population.

Bankman-Fried’s Incarceration Stemming from Unsanctioned Internet Utilization

As documented, Judge Kaplan sanctioned the re-imprisonment of the beleaguered cryptocurrency luminary, citing alleged instances of witness tampering.

In that juncture, Judge Kaplan pronounced that a strong prima facie case existed indicating that the accused had endeavored to tamper with witnesses on no fewer than two separate occasions.

The decision was additionally influenced by Bankman-Fried’s unsanctioned use of the Internet while released on bail under the guardianship of his parents at their abode located in California.

Judge Kaplan discerned that Bankman-Fried had indulged in excessive communication with various individuals via electronic correspondence, even resorting to the utilization of a virtual private network.

Concurrently, the disgraced progenitor of FTX is simultaneously grappling with novel allegations brought forth by the Department of Justice (DOJ). These allegations encompass the misappropriation of customer deposits, including the purported embezzlement of said funds.

An indictment filed on the most recent Monday delineates that Bankman-Fried stands accused of diverting and embezzling customer deposits from the FTX platform. The illicitly obtained funds were purportedly channeled towards political campaign contributions, collectively amassing a substantial sum exceeding one hundred million dollars, in advance of the 2022 US midterm elections.

The indictment further posits that despite Bankman-Fried’s intimate knowledge of FTX’s fiscal insufficiencies, he continued to channel the purloined funds into personal investments, acquisitions, and political campaign contributions.

Read Also: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Nearing Appeal in Ripple Lawsuit's XRP Decision

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Nearing Appeal in Ripple Lawsuit’s XRP Decision




close up photo of a wooden gavel

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking significant steps towards pursuing an appeal in their recent legal battle against Ripple, indicating a potential shift in the course of the lawsuit.

James K. Filan, an experienced defense attorney specializing in crypto-related legal matters, has shed light on the latest developments. District Judge Analisa Torres has initiated a structured process for considering the SEC’s request to present an interlocutory appeal—a move that would allow the SEC to contest certain aspects of the ongoing case.

It’s important to note that this preliminary step does not guarantee the authorization of an interlocutory appeal; rather, it signifies that the SEC has been given the opportunity to formally request such an appeal.

Judge Torres has outlined the timeline for this process in her official order. The SEC is expected to file their motion for the appeal by August 18th. Subsequently, Ripple is given until September 1st to submit their opposition papers. If the SEC deems it necessary, they have until September 8th to file a reply.

The news of these developments had an immediate impact on the cryptocurrency market. Following the announcement of the judge’s order, the value of XRP experienced a sharp decline. The price, which had been trading at approximately $0.571, dropped to around $0.499 at the time of writing. This decrease of over 12% aligns with the broader trends observed across the cryptocurrency landscape.

The legal clash between the SEC and Ripple began when the regulatory agency filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco-based payments company in late 2020. The SEC alleged that Ripple had engaged in the sale of XRP without registering it as a security.

In a significant turn of events last month, Judge Torres issued a ruling that had mixed implications for both parties. She determined that Ripple’s automated programmatic sales of XRP, which occurred on the open market, could not be classified as securities offerings—a pivotal point of disagreement between the SEC and Ripple.

However, the judge did uphold a key aspect of the SEC’s argument. She agreed with the agency’s assertion that Ripple’s direct sales of XRP to institutional buyers indeed amounted to a securities offering, reinforcing the complexity of the case.

As the legal battle continues to unfold, the spotlight remains on the actions and responses of the SEC and Ripple, and how their ongoing dispute could shape the future regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Read Also: Helium (HNT), a cryptocurrency project built on the Solana blockchain, introduces its new mobile phone plan.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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