A Brief History of Monero Explained

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article |Monero|A Brief History of Monero ExplainedAmong the top cryptocurrencies in the world, Monero (XMR) made a name for itself as one of the best digital currencies for anonymous transactions. Its focus on privacy and security attracted a large number of users from all sides of the legal spectrum. While Monero is one of the most well-known coins in the realm of crypto, it may be surprising to some people that the famous privacy-oriented currency started as a humble grassroots movement in 2014.

Learning more about Monero’s history can shed some light on its background and the values that govern its direction. As such, new users and traders can determine for themselves whether Monero, with all of its features and complex history, should be a part of their portfolio or not. Before even considering Monero as a crypto investment option, people should press pause in their search for the best XMR wallet and take a look first at a quick rundown of Monero’s history below.

What Is a Fork?

Before talking about Monero, users need to learn about forks first. A fork in cryptocurrency is very different from the fork that the average person knows. Rather than a pointed eating utensil, a fork in crypto refers to a change in blockchain protocol.

To illustrate this, think of blockchain as an exceedingly long train track. When a fork happens, the track splits, with the original rail going one way and the fork heading to another. The fork and the original rail share the same background and history, but they are heading in different directions.

Forks happen for a variety of reasons, but they can be summed up into three things:

  • To add new functions
  • To improve upon weaknesses
  • To resolve any disagreements in the community about the crypto’s direction

This is the case for many cryptocurrencies, including Monero. Many altcoins are forks of preceding cryptocurrencies, which develop over time to form their own identities.

The Long, Winding History of Monero

The history of Monero can be described as a long fork story. To get to Monero, users need to learn about two other leading characters first: CryptoNote and Bytecoin.

CryptoNote is not a cryptocurrency. It is more accurate to define it as a new protocol or technology which powers up a new line of cryptocurrencies. CryptoNote was first described in a whitepaper written by Nicholas van Saberhagen (which is a presumed pseudonym) in October 2013. The new protocol addresses some of the key issues surrounding Bitcoin about privacy by providing a way to keep users completely anonymous in the blockchain.

Bytecoin then enters the stage. Bytecoin is the flagship coin of CryptoNote, but it ran into a critical problem. Developers realized that 80 percent of the coins that could be mined for Bytecoin already existed, which severely limits its mining potential. A Bitcointalk forum user who went by ‘thankful_for_today’ decided to fork from Bytecoin and encoded a fresh set of ideas into a new coin called BitMonero.

While thankful_for_today presented interesting ideas for the new coin, the community disagreed with its direction. Hence, other open-source developers decided to fork it in 2014, which ultimately led to the birth of Monero.

The term “monero” means “coin” in Esperanto and quite aptly so. Esperanto is a widely-known artificial language developed back in 1887 with the aims of becoming a universal second language, mirroring accurately what Monero–and crypto in general–hopes to achieve in terms of currency.

Who Created Monero?

In its inception, Monero had a core team of developers with five members. Three of them were anonymous, and the other two were publicly known. Today, there are seven members, which, similar two the previous group, only have two members known in public. Riccardo Scagni, well-known by his username “Fluffypony”, was one of the first five and still serves as Monero’s main developer today.

Controversies Around Monero

The story of Monero is not complete without its controversies.

Monero gained an incredible amount of traction in 2016 when it captured the interest of the dark web. Alphabay, one of the biggest darknet market sites, along with a smaller darknet store called Oasis, integrated Monero as a payment option that summer. The following year in July, when authorities shut Alphabay down, they discovered that a significant portion of the store’s revenue came through Monero.

Aside from these, there are also multiple reports of coinjacking and ransomware, which, unfortunately, take advantage of the anonymous properties of Monero.

Based on these reports, it becomes clear that while Monero offers users well-deserved privacy and security in their finances, there are ill-intentioned individuals who use it for illegal means. One of the biggest topics of debate in the crypto world is striking a balance between the good and the bad because, while Monero is known for the latter, it still has a lot of potential for the former.

Overall, Monero’s history has a lot of ups and downs, and it is difficult to predict how it could change and improve over time. For that, users, traders, and developers alike all need to keep a watchful eye and see for themselves where it could go next.

Key post-Brexit tax and customs changes

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article |Post-Brexit|Key post-Brexit tax and customs changesThe financial, political and tax world in the European Union has changed for good. One word Brexit, i.e. the UK leaving the European Union, has a huge impact on the European economy, population migration, the UKs domestic economy. For businesses, the most significant changes relate to customs and tax issues.

What after Brexit? Tax issues

The financial, political and tax world in the European Union has changed for good. One word Brexit, i.e. the UK leaving the European Union, has a huge impact on the European economy, population migration, the UKs domestic economy. For businesses, the most significant changes relate to customs and tax issues.

Despite Brexit, the UK will continue to have a VAT system and the government has retained VAT procedures similar to those previously in place. Nonetheless, companies trading exclusively within the European community should familiarise themselves with the changes and take additional steps to prepare for the new reality of the UKs exit from the EU.

Movements of goods

Previously, all movements of goods between the UK and other countries were made on an intra-Community supply of goods basis. VAT on goods imported from the UK was accounted for on both the output and input VAT returns. However, for goods supplied to the UK, a preferential tax rate of 0% was applicable if the relevant conditions were met.

Currently, the situation with the movement of goods is as follows. VAT is changed to import tax. In this case, according to VAT regulations, the tax obligation arises at the moment when the customs duty arises on goods imported into the European Union. Thus, the tax must already be paid when the goods are cleared through customs. While it is usually possible to recover this tax, it must be paid immediately. In addition, companies have to wait for its reimbursement, which significantly affects the liquidity of businesses importing goods from the UK.The good news is that companies exporting goods to the UK will have the opportunity to use the simplified procedure, in which they will not have to pay VAT as soon as the goods arrive in the UK, but will settle it later.

EORI number

Companies trading with the UK will also need to have an EORI number. All traders are required to use this number for any customs transactions within the European Union. If you do not have a UK EORI number, companies should start the process of registering one as soon as possible.

Transport times

In the past, large logistics companies that move goods across the Channel used to have vehicle transport times calculated to the nearest minute. Now, following a change in tax regulations, time for the customs procedure must be added to each delivery, regardless of the mode of transport.

What is the impact of Brexit?

The UK is among the top ten countries in the European Union in terms of the movement of goods. Moreover, the top three suppliers in Europe are countries that are also the UKs main trading partners, that is Germany, the Netherlands and France. And it is these countries that have experienced the most commercial turmoil after a possible Brexit. In terms of industries, Brexit has the biggest impact on the automotive, food, computer, machinery and chemical sectors.

Below is a list of suggested actions companies should take to prepare for Brexit.

Supply analysis. Analyse the rules in place for their impact on new customs and tax obligations. Carrying out the EORI number registration procedure. Appointment of a customs agent or preparation of appropriate software. Registration in the customs systems of the Ministry of Finance. Determination of correct tariff codes. Contact and establish procedures with a logistics company. Consideration of VAT registration in the UK. Review and modify accounting systems to comply with relevant regulations.

Strategies For Small Town Growth

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article |Small town growth|Strategies For Small Town GrowthGrowth in small towns is essential. A large portion of the middle class lives in small towns, and in order to keep these families and their towns thriving in the middle of so much change, it is important to establish strategies that can keep these areas moving forward and growing as much as possible. Here are a few small town strategies that can be implemented to initiate and maintain growth.

Fortify Development

Although most small towns want to remain small, which is the bulk of their charm, as time goes on there needs to be some kind of development. Whether it’s strip malls, shopping centers, movie theaters, or restaurants, modernization of services and businesses is important. It’s in small towns’ best interests to develop a plan where new industries can set up shop.

No one wants to see small businesses get pushed out by larger corporate businesses, but the growth and revenue that come from these larger shopping centers initiates a cultural and economic growth that can help restructure infrastructure and put a small town in a better position financially.

Strengthen the Police Force

Having a strong police force is another effective way to initiate growth in a small community. Safety is the number one reason a family or a person moves to a specific location. No one wants to move to a place where they feel threatened. When there is increased revenue in a town, part of that extra revenue can go to the police force and the latest technologies they need to keep everyone safe.

Instituting an officer scheduling solution that can help determine if there are enough members on the force and enough members to patrol the town will help small towns learn what needs to be done to make the police force, the fire department, and all emergency services stronger, more dependable, and fully staffed to make residents feel they are being taken care of and are safe.

Make the Town Walkable

Giving residents a place where they can walk, play, and enjoy the outside is important in small towns. When residents have access to the downtown, the newly developed areas, and the parks and playgrounds of the district, more people will want to live in town, which will make the town thrive.

No one wants to feel as if they are restricted and can’t get anywhere on foot. Being able to walk places and have the freedom to explore gives people the incentive to live in a certain town and become more active in the town and the happenings that shape that area. Residents will feel more invested and will ensure the town remains thriving.

Update Infrastructure

Infrastructure is extremely important. When the roads of a town are smooth and well maintained, when parks are tended to and look neat and well manicured, and when bridges, drainage, sewage systems, and sidewalks are up to code the residents of the town will have more respect for everything and keep the area desirable creating a sense that more people will want to live there.

Towns that are desirable will then bring more businesses into town and yet again, revenue will rise and commerce will thrive, and this small town will see a rise in growth that will help continue to maintain the lives of the middle class and those who choose to live a quiet life outside of the city.

Build Bike Lanes

Not only do small towns want to thrive financially, but they also want to be seen as a healthy alternative to the hustle and bustle of city life. Creating bike lanes gives residents the chance to exercise and safely use their bikes without fear of colliding with cars, pedestrians, or runners.

When a small town is seen as a place where people can live their best lives, it becomes a center of progress and growth. Industries will want to build offices or factories creating jobs. Residents will want to move there to give their families a better life, and shopping and restaurants will open up creating a culture that is inclusive and inviting and the people that live in the area will not have to travel far to live the life they want.

Some of these strategies may seem small while others may seem like a great feat, but if they can get done, saving the small town is possible and soon the people who make these towns great will have the resources and finances they need to keep it going for future generations.

Can You Legally Be Fired Due to Being Unvaccinated?

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article |Vaccine Mandate|Can You Legally Be Fired Due to Being Unvaccinated?Since the pandemic, vaccines have become easily available and are a way to fight the spread. However, not everyone is willing to get the vaccine, and there are those who are willing but do not want to be required to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment. To encourage more people to be vaccinated, the President has issued a mandate for federal workers. As of November 2021, however, this mandate is being challenged in court, so the repercussions for those who choose to avoid being vaccinated may be unclear.

What to Do If You’re Fired

Anyone who is fired for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 will want to speak with one of their local employment law attorneys to get advice about their situation. As the pandemic is still in motion and the laws and mandates are being challenged, the answer to whether someone can legally be fired due to being unvaccinated is not only unclear but changing. It’s crucial for anyone who is fired to speak with an attorney to get the most up-to-date information that may pertain to their situation, as well as the help needed to challenge being fired unlawfully.

The Current Mandate and Its Applications

The mandate issued by the President on September 9, 2021, requires vaccinations for all federal workers. This includes government employees as well as anyone employed by a company that contracts with the government. The mandate could potentially apply to state workers in a number of states, and there are some exceptions to those who must be vaccinated under the mandate. The exceptions include those who work from home or work exclusively outdoors.

Challenges to the Mandate

As of November 2021, 10 states have challenged the mandate in court. This essentially pauses the mandate while it goes through the courts. The main idea behind the challenges is that there are concerns that the mandate would lead to healthcare workers retiring, quitting, or being fired instead of being vaccinated, which would cause issues with many rural hospitals. These states are already experiencing worker shortages in the healthcare field, so the worry is that this will put additional strain on a field already struggling due to the pandemic.

Can You Be Fired Because of the Mandate?

The mandate does provide options for those who don’t want to be vaccinated, but they will be required to test weekly to continue working. Those who do not want to be vaccinated and who do not want to test weekly can be fired because of the mandate. However, while the mandate is being challenged, it is not in effect. Those who are unvaccinated do not have to worry yet about being fired but will want to remain updated on the challenges and their outcome to know what may happen in the future.

The mandates and laws surrounding the pandemic are fast-moving due to the speed needed to help reduce infections and prevent more deaths. Mandates like the federal mandate are aimed at getting as many people vaccinated as possible, but could cause some unvaccinated individuals to lose their job in the future. If you are unvaccinated and fired as a result, it’s important to speak with a lawyer. As the situation changes, the potential for an employee to be fired can change, and employment lawyers will have the most up-to-date information available to help you see what options you might have.

Disclaimer: The views presented in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of StrategyDriven, its principals, partners, and employees. This article is for information purposes only and does not provide legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a qualified, licensed attorney with respect to any particular issue or problem commensurate with your circumstances.

Where Will The NFC Label Vs QR Code Be 5 Years From Now?

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective | Where Will The NFC Label Vs QR Code Be 5 Years From Now?The QR (Quick Response) code has become a prominent feature in our lives, connecting data to products via devices that can be used in a number of ways. While successful for commercial use, it wasn’t until the global pandemic that consumers began to embrace the QR code, even becoming reliant on it to participate in day-to-day activities.

Alongside the QR code, we have the NFC (Near Field Communication) label or tag. This type of technology is featured in multiple places, from shipping to contactless payments, and even providing data.

Each type of technology has its merits, with similar functions that make them useful technology products for businesses and organisations. But as we look to the future, where will the NFC label be versus the QR code five years from now?

The difference between NFC and QR codes

Understanding a little more about the difference between NFC tags and QR codes provides insights into each of their uses and benefits.

NFC tags are a form of microchip capable of storing vital information, performing actions that are time-saving and convenient. This can include contactless payments, providing authentication of products, etc. When encoding NFC tags it is possible to decide if the data contained in them can be changed or not in the future, making them a flexible and secure solution at the same time. In the retail and shipping industries, NFC tags provide accuracy and make inventory tracking much simpler.

QR codes, on the other hand, are a barcode connected to a piece of data (such as a web page, application or a WiFi password). Once the barcode has been created, it will always point to the same things. QR codes have many practical applications that make them easily used by businesses and consumers, proving useful in many ways. However, being based on a graphical representation and not containing any circuit they could be exposed to an easy falsification process. For instance, a simple photocopy would be enough to forge a QR code.

While similar in their function, each product has its own benefits, while being better suited to some applications more than others.

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective | Where Will The NFC Label Vs QR Code Be 5 Years From Now?Is NFC a more secure solution?

For many companies, NFC provides the added security that can help prevent inventory loss, boost shipment tracking, and much more. A vital component for modern supply chains, they are an excellent way to detect tampering, and ensure that the product received is the genuine article. You can read more about NFC as a popular supply chain tool to see how this technology is changing the industry.

QR codes in the post-COVID era

While many people had largely given up on the QR code, this tech innovation is something that can genuinely say it benefitted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Used by restaurants, governments, and places all over the world, it quickly became the way to share information in a quick and easy format. Its simplicity ensures a lot of potential for businesses, but it’s important to take data concerns into account and ensure that data protection measures are stepped up.

Now that people are used to the technology, NFC and QR codes could each have a place both in the present and the distant future. For businesses looking to simplify processes in an accessible way, there is a lot of value to be found in NFC labels and QR codes, depending on your industry. The future is uncertain, but this innovative technology seems to be here to stay.