EHankins: Well it looks like gold is pinned at a six-year increase. Very significant at this time for what we’re looking for… In my opinion ..

below is a link from CNBC.


Samson:  Zimbabwe needs its own currency

24th June, 2019

When Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was sacked in November 2017 after 30 years in office, many hoped the economic downturn he was responsible for would be reversed. But after a year and a half, the economy showed no signs of recovery, due to the ongoing currency crisis. Can the bloc-based currency be the cure for Zimbabwe?

For more than a decade, Zimbabwe has been suffering from this high inflation – which peaked at 89.7 percent in November 2008 – to the point that it completely abandoned its currency and instead adopted a basket of international currencies, U.S. dollar. But the sharp fall in the dollar led to higher prices, prompting the government, in 2016, to issue its paper currency and coins, which were supposed to equal the same value of the US dollar.

However, because of the lack of confidence, the new funds were traded at a large discount on the black market. As the dollar continued to flow out of the country faster than its inflow, the government recently incorporated its currency and all electronic money into another new unit: the RTGS.

But simply issuing another currency will not be enough to solve Zimbabwe’s problem. The “mandatory” currency – which is not intrinsic but is established by the government – is seen as credible only when the government pays money responsibly and holds most of the funds in the country in the banking system. When the credibility of the system collapses, rebuilding it will take decades.

This is what happened in Zimbabwe, where the government has a long history of poor financial management. In 2003, for example, the Government routinely withdrew funds from special accounts opened in foreign currency without the consent of the account holders; at the same time, it could not afford the cost of printing more banknotes.

With their confidence reduced by years of politically motivated monetary interventions, including the printing of unrestricted money to finance discretionary spending, Zimbabweans have long avoided holding their government’s currency. In 2008, money was trading in Zimbabwe 100 times faster than anywhere else in sub-Saharan Africa, where people sought more valuable repositories. This lack of consumer and corporate confidence in the state-run monetary system continues to this day. The current settlement dollar has now lost its value within a month of its issuance.

None of these should be surprising. When people lose their lives and plunge into poverty without any income, the last thing they want to do is to rely on the government that brought them to that stage, which, with reduced tax revenues, provides little support So they can stand on their feet again.

A cloud-based currency will eliminate this problem of mistrust. Instead of being managed by the central bank, the transactions will be stored in a distributed and decentralized general ledgers. As with Bitcoin, the offer will be shut down to prevent the estimated printing of funds, meaning that the encrypted currency will solve two major problems in a state-run cash system in Zimbabwe.

The benefits will be far-reaching. The block chain technique makes transactions virtually non-manipulative. Since there is no need for third party mediation, transaction costs become low. This could provide Zimbabwean expatriates up to $ 90 million annually in remittance fees.

Lower transaction costs would also support progress in financial inclusion, where anyone with Internet access could trade very small amounts of money in real time. With the widespread use of Internet-enabled mobile phones, even those living in isolated areas have had valuable opportunities to participate in the formal banking system. According to the United Nations, this trend has already injected millions into the formal economy in Asia.

The next step is for Zimbabwe to start using self-executing “smart contracts” in its formal economy – a change that could save up to 0.5% of Zimbabwe’s annual GDP. Such a policy would enhance business confidence by making transactions safer and less expensive. This transformation can be extended to many other applications: for example, block chain technology can provide immediate digitalization of asset ownership.

The ultimate goal will be to create an open banking system – a more transparent model where bank data is shared through open APIs, enabling third-party developers to build their own applications and services. Given the Zimbabweans’ lack of faith in their current system, it will not take long to convince them to abandon it.

Because the cluster-based system enhances the confidence of businesses and consumers, investment and household spending will increase, boosting the economy and boosting tax revenues. This, together with the Government’s inability to commit to printing estimated money, would greatly improve public financial management, which would help the Government restore its long-term credibility. But the key element of this system is that it will play its role, even if the government still lacks credibility.  LINK

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