I SHALL because.. I MUST

What seemed like impossible ages back,  became a possibility yesterday;

What seemed like a possibility yesterday, has become the reality today;

I wish, it all were a dream,

I wish, it all were some drama,

I wish I could pull down the screen and declare it is over!

I wish it could be Business as usual!

I wish I could step down from fighting the battle, for I don’t know whom I am fighting and why!??!

I wish I could sleep just like nothing has changed and that the world is intact!

Not sure Why, Not sure how, But we were sailing the sea, someone steered the ship and we hit that glacier…

The Titanic shattered and here we are, panic-stricken, pounding on life rafts..

I know that we shall survive, but the impairments are yet to be counted!

This too shall pass!

I wish I could evolve stronger and wiser!

I wish I could understand the purpose of all the drama!

I shall hold on because I must…

If not me, then who shall?

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படித்ததில் பிடித்தது !

ஆண்-பெண் உறவுகள் குறித்து விசாலமான புரிதல் உள்ள குடும்பம் அவசியம். ஆண்பால் – பெண்பாலை அன்பால் இணைக்க, நாம் முதலில் தொடங்க வேண்டிய இடம் அதுதான்! – Dr.G.Sivaraman.

Crypto Currencies – Continued….

This is a continuation of my first post on CryptoCurrencies, here I am continuing on the other questions that a newbie would have.

Watch out – Japanese Crypto exchange has reported that it was hacked and a lot of money has been stolen from its digital wallet – Read the story here

Let’s continue exploring the fundamentals and then get to the latest happenings!

What determines the value of these currencies?

In the simplest terms, the value of the currency is determined by the amount of faith the investors have in the currency. If people believe that this is something great, they will go for buying the currency and the seller would sell for a higher price and the buyer will pay the asked price.  There is a lot of speculation involved. If there is news that there is something wrong with the currency, people will sell off the price that the buyers accept. The price goes up and down so fast.

Consider the US Dollar or the Indian Rupee or even the stock market.

In case of the non-fiat currencies these days, it is the faith that the market has on the economy, the various government policies that determine the development of the nation, the amount of import/export that happens in a country, the strength of the national security and stuff that determine the value of the currency.

In case of stocks, consider Britannia Industries, for example, there are a variety of products that the company sells and they have a revenue and the value of the stocks are proportional to the profit they make, the new products that they have in the pipeline and the popularity of the company’s products.

Similarly, the crypto currency’s value is determined based on its popularity. The faith that the community has on the currency, drives more people to start buying the currency. As the demand grows higher, the price goes up. But, this is totally unpredictable. A small negative news could send the currency plummeting deep down, resulting in a bloodbath. This is at times more like a gamble. In most countries, there are no laws governing them and hence there are more scams where so many people have lost a lot of money.

The success of a currency relies on Mass Adoption. The more people get to know and start using them, the currency’s value increases. It’s just like, if your currency is accepted by many people, it is more likely that you will tend to use it more. That is how we moved on from the barter system to the Fiat currencies and now to the Non-Fiat currencies. It is the faith on the currency.

The fluctuations in the price of the cryptocurrencies are quite high. And another point to note is that, when there is a spike in the price or when the price plummets, the exchange websites freeze – either due to high server loads or maybe they were programmed to get themselves locked! (Oh Man, that’s definitely not funny). So never imagine that you could sell off immediately when the price starts plummeting! If you could get lucky, then you may be able to sell off, else you might miss the tide and lose money.

Oops, If it is so uncertain, How do I choose a cryptocurrency?

There are a lot of things to consider. Each cryptocurrency has a development team, that had developed the software that creates and runs the cryptocurrency. They have their software as open source on GitHub. They have reddit pages and other channels like chat forums.

As an investor, I must do the below as part of my research before investing –

check their GitHub to see how actively they are making code changes, how many active code contributors are there, what are the applications or services that they provide right now and what other apps are there in the pipeline for development and delivery.

Check their reddit pages for updates on progress, new wins, etc,

Take part in their chat forums, try to have a chat with the development teams and other members. If they have a clear roadmap and if they keep up with their plans, then the coin would do well in the days to come

This is how one could make a decision to invest in one cryptocurrency.

Eg – Check out the Reddit page of BitCoin, the Code Repository of BitCoin.

How to determine when to Buy and When to Sell?

Well, that is a million dollar question!!! It seems no one really knows the right answer. The key to generate money from the cryptos and not lose is to make a good research on each currency, and select very few and invest a small number. Try to follow the markets, observe how it reacts to different news and then expand your portfolio. And once you make a profit, sell off, take a fair share in your pocket and then buy more in dips. It is better to be content than being greedy while venturing into new avenues 😀

Is it a Currency or an Investment Instrument?

Right now, the cryptocurrencies are both.

You can invest in them and wait for them to give returns.

You can also use them to buy stuff. Check out the below, these are the beginning. You can find more people accepting cryptocurrencies in the future.

Microsoft – Add money to MS account with BitCoin

KFC – Chicken with BitCoins

Buy a Pizza – With Crypto Coins

Use BitCoins on our dear WordPress.com and Dell too.

Use CoinMap to locate places that deal with BitCoins and you can also add your business to the Map so that people can locate you if you accept payments with BitCoins.

What are ICOs? What are ICO scams?

So what is an ICO – Initial Coin Offering? This is just another way for a company that is into the blockchain technology to create a white paper explaining the product that it intends to build and raise money. This is like a pre-sale where people trade their bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to buy the ICO. The developers of the ICO would use this fund to complete developing and release their currency. Once the currency is into the market, the investors of the ICO will profit if the currency soars high. Sounds simple, but there are more scammers out there, who just promise a great product, raise a lot of money and then run away with it. That is when people lose a lot of money. They invested in something that was a fake promise and booomm!!

The Ethereum is one example of a successful ICO. It is noteworthy that the Ethereum guys raised 30,000+ Bitcoins. OneCoin is an example of a scam. Enigma is an example where investors lost money since their security was breached. It is said that the CEO didn’t enable 2FA for his account and that paved way for successful hacking attack. Even before the actual ICO launched, the hackers used the Enigma’s slack channels to lure investors and they took off that money!! Enigma has refunded it’s investors and has become more secure now. Read more about Engima here

NO RISK NO REWARD, but watch out and take CALCULATED RISKS, if you care about not losing your money!

EDIT – Budget Updates – The Indian government will take all measures to eliminate the use of crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities. The government will also explore the use of blockchain technology for ushering in the digital economy.

It is interesting that the blockchain technology is to be considered. Start-ups and blockchain enthusiasts could be happy with this statement and start delving into developing POCs and apps!

Stay tuned for more intersting posts – Wiki on the block chain, Democracy on the Block chain, Smart contracts and the list goes on..

 

The BitCoin Buzzz!!!???!!

Wow, I never really bothered to pay heed to Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, but when the BitCoin hit the 20k mark, I felt the urge to get going and start investing. And then when it hit the 13k mark, I was happy for a moment, that I didn’t jump into investing in BitCoins. I am a newbie and I know a lot of you are intrigued as I am. It seems like BitCoin is one of the most frequently googled keywords and cryptocurrencies are so hot in the market! So here I go, sharing what I get to know, trying to keep technical jargons to the minimum so that all my friends can make some useful read.

So what is a BitCoin?

This is just another currency, but not a physical currency, it is digital currency; so, you cannot touch it or feel it. Specifically, the bitcoin is one type of cryptocurrency. They are called CryptoCurrency because they are based on a technique called Cryptography! There are so many types of cryptocurrencies, some of them to list are the BitCoin, Etherium, LiteCoin, AltCoin, Ripple, JioCoin(Launching newly by Reliance), Neo, and the list goes on.

Oh!!??!  I carry my physical currency in my bank account, and also in my wallet. So how does an individual carry this digital currency?

Well, just like your physical wallet, there are digital wallets. You can have your bitcoins stored safely in your digital wallet. (Technically, it is the private key that is safely stored in the wallet, but let’s ignore that for the sake of this post to keep things simple for a heads up). There are different types of wallets. A wallet is essentially a software running on your mobile or desktop or on a remote server that is accessible via the internet. There are also hardware wallets available. In whatever form it is, a wallet just helps to keep your private keys secure.

Ok, So from where do we acquire these cryptocurrencies?

There are Cryptocurrency exchanges and you have register yourself with them and start trading just like how you buy and sell stocks from the stock exchange. For instance, let’s consider Coinbase. This is an exchange with its presence 30+ countries, it provides a wallet for you and guess what!!??  It is also insured. So all that you have to do, is to sign up, provide your identity proofs, wait for it to be approved and then, get started.

Wait!! Is that so simple?!

Yes, in a nutshell, that is all it is, to give an introduction. But there are a lot of caveats that the investor has to understand.

Beware of the strings attached. You Have to link your bank account to the exchange. You can transfer money from your Bank account to the US dollar wallet and use that to buy Crypto coins. All these transfers to and from the bank account might come with some kind of fee.

You can also link your credit card instead of the bank account and use the credit card to buy crypto coins, but the catch here is that the Fee for purchasing and selling might be higher and at times, you have to make a wise choice about when to buy and when to sell. Because, if you have paid for eg. 3% fee for purchasing through the credit card and if selling and taking the money back levies 1.5% then your crypto coin must have appreciated 4.5% so that you break even. So, for you to generate a profit, the crypto-coin value must have appreciated more than 4.5% at the least.

Are these available in all Countries? 

In a few countries, payments with the cryptocurrencies are legal and accepted. You can shop with bitcoins (not so far in India though!)

There are a few sites that list jobs that pay in bitcoins. Refer one here – Hiring Java Developers – get paid in BitCoins!. So, least said, this is really a revolutionary idea and it would not be surprising if this trend grows faster.

What are the Consequences to consider?

Given the fact that the currency is so vulnerable and that a lot of countries are tightening their stance about cryptocurrencies – one should make an analyzed decision about investing into cryptocurrencies.

Just like the equity investments, the cryptocurrencies have their own risks. But with the stocks and mutual funds, there are many legal bodies governing and auditing them, the investors are protected to a greater extent. But with cryptocurrencies, at this moment, countries are analyzing the markets and most have no laws in place to regulate the cryptocurrencies.

It is still legal in some countries like the US and Japan, where the cryptocurrencies can be traded on the exchanges. But in India, the finance ministry has expressed its opinion that the cryptocurrencies are on par with the Ponzi schemes. Not an encouraging news! India has not made a “No statement” yet, but the finance ministry has already issued statements that investors are on their own since there are no laws in place at the moment. So, one would regret, if he does watch out for more developments before investing in cryptocurrencies at this point in time.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved the trading of BitCoin ETFs. The SEC has raised several questions. These would also give us more information on these cryptocurrencies. Refer Link here – US SEC letter to two U.S. trade groups

Having said all that, the volatility of the cryptocurrencies, the intricacies that must be observed by investors before choosing which coin to invest in and the points to ponder about the nature of this market, clearly indicate a lot of risks. While the saying goes, No Pains, No Gains, it would be up to the investor to do his own research. One should judge when to ride a rising wave and when to jump off when the tide ebbs. And a long-term horizon for this investment would be better, but I am very uncertain and that is my own personal opinion. I have just begun exploring the CryptoCurrencies and I might even be making an overstatement!

So, Crypto currencies, they are awesome to make money, one can gain a few hundred dollars in a few minutes. But on the downside one can loose money in a few minutes! Play around with them, but be sure that you know what you are doing!

Ok, it is not just Crypto Currencies, but there is more!

Yes, the limelight is on the technology called BlockChain that has enabled the programming of the cryptocurrencies.

This could be another revolution like the Internet. A few decades back, did we imagine that we would be surfing the web this easily and comfortably? Now, your bank account is just at the touch of your fingers, just a key press away! Similarly, the blockchain technology has a lot of potential applications, that could change the way the world operates. I will be back with more information on the blockchain and cryptocurrencies and give more interesting reads. THE END for now 🙂

Expectations!

Ok, Here I am, compelled to think about the root of all Evil.

It is natural that people have expectations. But then, when the two parties involved have expectations that don’t synchronize with each other?

Even worse, life is not always about two parties. There could be “n” number of Variables in the Equation. So if each variable has an expectation that is not congruent to the other variables, at least to a certain extent, then the outcome is perfect chaos. And yet, we deny the fact that Chaos could be the outcome, we try to hide from the fact that, unless we try to become congruent, there couldn’t be a favorable solution. The more we keep running away from accepting the math and work on changing the incongruencies, the more the trouble.

Oh, My God, That’s easier if its mathematics. But when it comes to people, it is complicated multi-folds. Some people say that time heals. But no, it is not time. The math is just so striking. What happens over the dimension of time is just that people try to modify the incongruencies. If not people, then some external factor. Only then, things fall into place. If not, everything would still remain the same, forever!

Don’t just pamper your children!

We need to teach our children to be confident and independent.

Its natural that, as parents,we will be overwhelmed with the thoughts that we must protect them, give them the best and keep them happy & free from worries. But this wouldn’t prepare them for the long term. Life is not just going to be the same stage show that we are in today. Gradually, the backdrop changes, and there is has always been some challenge in the evolutionary cycle. Rather than giving the best toys and pampering them all the time, we should take some time and work out ways, to make them rely on their own strength and handle their own disappointments.

When they ask for a toy, sometimes, its ok to deny the request. Let them deal with the disappointments. Let them settle their play ground feuds themselves. Lets not cover the ground with carpet so that they will never fall. Let us teach them how to pick themselves up and move on, after each fall. After all, you would be around to lay carpets for a couple of decades and not further.

Profession & Family – Oh, that fine Balance!

Today I read an interesting article on professional life overtaking the personal time these days. I had this feeling  “oh how true!!!” until I finished reading that piece of writing. So here is the rambling created by that disturbing thought.

Yes, we all had ambitions to do something super good, to achieve sky heights, to take up a dream job and have an exciting career. But I had never thought about the fine balance that has to be held when you are a mother who also takes up a profession. When I was just beginning my career I had some super women friends, who used to be the mother of 1 or 2 kids and super good programmers/Leads/Managers. I used to think that theirs is a herculean task but never contemplated more as to what I will do, or what I should do when I become a Mom. When I had the time to work late nights, do some pair programming/ pair debugging late in the nights, these holy mommies used to rush home on time. They never wasted time getting into unproductive meetings or discussions that are mere cribbing sessions. I used to admire their ability to remain focused all the time despite the daily hustle-bustle. They’d also popped up late nights from home to fix critical issues. Amazing beings!!

Today when I am in the same situation, I draw my energy from them. I plan the next whole week, starting from buying groceries to setting up the wardrobe, whewww! I call it a roller coaster.

Amidst all this, Parenting is the new challenge. Looking at the social media these days, I realize that it is so important to devote time to the little ones at home for they are the future in the making. It is no big achievement that I have come this far. The actual challenge begins now. I need to equip my little one with skills for life. Right from teaching her to be polite and courteous, the good and the bad, patience, persistence and the other long list of items that I am yet to discover. The most important need of the Kids is a quality time from the parents. This is an important consideration for every mom. Something has to be done, to give the young ones, what needs to be given. I am no proponent of theories that mothers should stay home, look after the family, perform her duties to the family, blah blah.. Well yes, this is my precious life and I am not going to waste it, trying to adhere to the stereotypes that were created generations ago. I shall do what makes me feel complete. So, what would make me feel complete? In a nutshell, I have to spend a quality time with my little one, tend to her needs, equip her with the necessary skills so that she will be an independent and compassionate human being, simultaneously feeding my soul it’s chicken soup by practicing my profession in the most empirical way plausible.