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The government of Dubai has revealed details of its own blockchain-based cryptocurrency, called emCash.
In major news coming out of the UAE, the government of the city of Dubai will develop and implement emCash, an encrypted blockchain-powered digital currency that will enable citizens to pay for government and non-government services alike.
The digital currency will be developed with a partnership between Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai Economy and UK-based blockchain startup Object Tech. Dubai Economy is the government body responsible to plan and implement the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai.
H/t reader kevin a.
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A UK charity is warning British tourists and expats in Dubai not to report rape to police after a woman was arrested and charged with “extramarital sex” after telling authorities she had been gang raped.
Detained in Dubai, an organization that assists people who have become victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), says rape should not be reported in the country because of “racist” preconceptions held against Western tourists and “manipulation when it comes to criminal accusations.”
“We get people contacting us asking whether they should report a crime and – whether it be a rape or anything else – I often say no. Absolutely not,” Radha Stirling, the founder of the charity, told the Independent.
Dubai received bid of $.0299/kWh for 800MW of solar power. This price represents the lowest yet recorded for solar power (and might not represent the end of the price drops…).
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received 5 bids from international organisations for the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, said HE Saeed Mohammed AlTayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. The lowest recorded bid at the opening of the envelopes was US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour. The next step in the bidding process will review the technical and commercial aspects of the bids to select the best one.
In the USA, in 2014 and with incentives, utility scale solar projects averaged $.05/kWh. On this bid alone, five companies bid below $.045/kW – without subsidies!
On Christmas Day, 2015, we told our readers the fascinating tale about the Turkish-Iranian gold smuggling ring – perhaps the biggest and most brazen in history, one which lasted for years, which saw billions in gold transported out of Turkey and into Iran to allow Tehran to circumvent the western financial sanctions using gold as a medium for bater, and which was all made possible thanks to the tiny Emirate of Dubai.
What made this particular instance of gold smuggling especially memorable is that it reached to the very political top in both Turkey, and Iran, and Dubai.
Earlier this week, we told a fascinating story about an unprecedented, multi-year smuggling ring involving Turkey, Iran, and Dubai (as well as China, Russia and countless other nations) which saw corruption reaching to the very top of the political and financial establishment: from president Erdogan in Turkey, to one of Turkey’s richest people, Iran-born Riza Sarraf, to Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the son of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and one of the world’s richest people. The smuggled object in question was gold, billions of dollars worth of gold.
Long before Turkey was flagrantly arming and funding the CIA-created “terrorist organization” known as ISIS, there was another, far more elaborate way in which Turkey was flaunting international sanctions against an ostracized state – in this case Iran – which involved an epic gold smuggling triangle of Hollywood-thriller proportions, all made possible thanks to the United Arab Emirate city of Dubai.
Best known known for its luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture including the world’s tallest building, a lively nightlife scene, and a facade of openness and decorum, what Dubai is less known for is its unprecedented seedy underbelly of corruption and untouched criminality among the handful of billionaire oligarchs, princes, sheiks and sultans, who quietly dominate the local (and global) power and financial structure.
But first, a little history.
– It’s Not Just Russia: Middle East In Freefall, Biggest Plunge In 6 Years (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):
Dubai’s Financial Market General Index is now down 40% since the peak in oil prices in June this year. For now, only Qatar is clinging to gains year-to-date as the rest of the Middle Eastern equity markets give up 30-60% gains from mid-year and tumble to negative. Dubai and Abu Dhabi alone are down over 8% since Friday. Saudi Arabia is down 7.3% today – the biggest drop in 6 years.
Saudi Arabia’s worst day in 6 years
– Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges post record one-day falls (Telegraph, Nov 30, 2009)
Dubai’s index sank 7.3pc, its biggest one-day fall since October last year. Abu Dhabi’s Securities Exchange endured the largest one-day loss in its history as it ended the session down 8.3pc.
Only this time everything will be much, much worse.
Prepare for collapse.
– Ripple Effects Begin: Dubai Crashes Over 6.5%, Most In 14 Months (ZeroHedge, Oct 12, 2014):
It appears the weakness in US equity markets (the last of the hot money flow darlings to be hit) is now rippling back down the bubble-complex of world equity markets. Dubai, infamous for its huge surge in the last 2 years and 36x over-subscribed IPO of a company with no actual operations – which marked the top before a 30% collapse – was open for business today and crashed 6.5%. This the Dubai Financial Markets General Index biggest daily drop in 14 months… the ripple effect is beginning.
It appears the hot money trades are slowly being unwound… commodities, EM FX, HY credit, and now US equities…
Domed or doomed?
– World’s first climate-controlled domed city to be built in Dubai (PHOTOS) (RT, July 12, 2014):
Dubai has announced plans to build the first climate-controlled city on the planet. The area, constructed under a huge glass dome, will accommodate the world’s largest shopping center, over 100 hotels, and a wellness district for medical tourists.
The city of Dubai is the most populous in the United Arab Emirates, and the second-largest emirate by territorial size. Though it is a popular tourist spot, many are deterred from visiting due to the city’s scorching heat, with temperatures reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) in the summer.
– The Times of India: “Almost Every Passenger on a Flight from Dubai to Calicut Was Found Carrying 1kg of Gold” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 23, 2013):
Watching Indian bureaucrats attempt to halt more than one billion human beings’ desire for gold has been one of the more entertaining and pathetic stories of all of 2013. It is one that I have covered on many occasions, the latest being my post from earlier this month: Gold Smuggling Increases 7x in India and Surpasses Illegal Drug Trade.
Well it appears the trend continues, potentially at an accelerated rate, as we just learned that, incredibly, “almost every passenger on a flight from Dubai to Calicut was found carrying 1kg of gold.” As I have said many times in the past, if an Indian wants their gold, they will have their gold.
– Dubai Gold Demand Off the Charts as Price Plunges (Liberty Blitzkrieg, June 27, 2013):
Only in the gold market does huge demand equal a price collapse! I suppose the problem is they don’t buy Comex contracts in Dubai and India. As I mentioned on Twitter earlier today, the pile-on from gold bears is reaching extreme proportions, something like you’d expect near a bottom. I bought physical silver today for the first time in over a year.
From the UAE’s The National:
There is not enough space on airlines flying in to Dubai to meet the rapidly rising demand for physical gold in the emirate since the price plunged to record lows this week.
The price drop led to a rush of buyers for Dubai gold from the Middle East, South East Asia, the Balkans, Turkey and parts of Europe according to Tarek El Mdaka, the managing director of Kaloti Gold in Dubai.
“I cannot find a place for transporting gold on Emirates, on BA on Swiss Airlines this weekend,” Mr El Mdaka said. “I am shipping in one-and-a-half to two tonnes of gold every day and it is going straight out.”
– New Information Shows Gold Demand in Dubai is Now Running at 10x Normal Levels (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 13, 2013):
The disconnect between the massive physical buying of gold versus the falling paper derivatives price has now become nothing short of extraordinary. While we have all seen the figures describing the gold buying frenzy in China and India, now we have some more detailed information about what is happening on the ground in Dubai. Incredibly, we find that since the April paper price crash, 50 tons of gold has been purchased, which is the equivalent of the entire amount of 51.8 tons purchased in all of 2012.
One of the most comprehensive looks at the massive physical versus paper disconnect I have read is courtesy of Goldbroker.com, a company that specializes in physical bullion stored in Switzerland. I suggest checking out their latest Gold Market Report.
Now from Emirates 24/7 we find that:
– Who held Kevin McGeever in a dark room for eight long months? (Independent.ie, Feb 3, 2013):
Locals say developer is just as mysterious as his bizarre abduction
THE enigma of the Irish property developer who claimed he was held captive for eight months and tortured deepened this weekend as more details emerged about his bizarre ordeal.
Kevin Michael McGeever was found wandering by the side of a Leitrim road last Tuesday, confused, emaciated, barefoot, with long fingernails and a lengthy beard. It soon transpired he was a wealthy property developer who sold apartments in Dubai and who was reported missing more than eight months ago.
The strange story of the kidnapped developer has captivated the media. Reports said he identified his abductors as Russian mafia who took him at gunpoint, that the word “thief” was carved into his forehead and that he had been starved to the point of malnutrition. However, according to garda sources, Mr McGeever has not nominated any suspects and the inscription on his forehead was written with ink that will fade in time.
– A99 Operation Empire State Rebellion: World’s Most (In)Famous Hacker Group ‘Anonymous’ Brings Peaceful Revolution To America To End Corrupt Two-Party System And Above All To Break Up Global Banking Cartel (Federal Reserve, IMF, BIS And World Bank)
– Anonymous strikes again: Iranian and UAE governments hacked (Independent, 3 June 2011):
Hackers have broken into the networks of both the Iranian and the Dubai governments, stealing more than 10,000 email messages as well as system usernames and passwords and releasing them online.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs succumbed to a hacking attack perpetrated by Anonymous, which yielded the bulk of the email addresses. And, on Friday afternoon, a lone hacker – apparently with links to the group – struck the Dubai government’s system, releasing a “historic list of former gov.ae email passwords”, the domain used by the Arab Emirate.
While the first hack yielded around 10,000 emails, taken from the Iranian government and took control of some of its servers, the second was much smaller, including only around 100 usernames with passwords taken from the Dubai government, which are thought to be out-of-date. However, they serve to indicate the group’s reach just one day after another hacking group carried out an attack which yet again rocked Sony.
The hacktivist responsible for targeting Dubai said he had carried out the assault “because it’s time governments learn they have no power on the internet. This is our world”.
Gold is down 6% and silver 12% since the start of 2011. This is the sharpest decline in precious metals since June of last year and with technical support broken at the 50-day moving averages, many are concerned of a deeper correction ahead.
While there are a myriad of factors driving the prices, two of the major opposing forces are Chinese demand for physical gold on the long side and JPMorgan paper schemes on the short side. Which force prevails in the short term remains to be seen, but in the long run the paper shorts will eventually be squeezed, pushing the price for both gold and silver much higher.
Corrections are a healthy and normal part of any secular bull market, allowing the bull to rest its legs, shake out weak hands and prepare for the next phase up. Every correction in precious metals over the past decade has brought so-called “experts” out of the woodwork to proclaim an end to the gold bull market. They were wrong when gold hit $500, $800, $1,000 and will be wrong many times again before gold finally does peak somewhere above $5,000 per ounce.
But the recent slide in gold and silver prices seems like more than the usual correction and profit taking. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act during July of 2010 and many metals analysts believed it would lead to the CFTC implementing sensible position limits. In addition, the passing of the Volker rule and closing of prop trading desks seemed to jump start precious metals into an impressive and steady advance.
Many gold bugs believed they were witnessing the end of the fraudulent gold and silver manipulation that has been occurring so blatantly over the past several years. This manipulation has been painstakingly exposed by GATA over the years, was detailed in an earlier article that I published and has led to a series of lawsuits against JPMorgan and others.
Gold and silver posted impressive gains in 2010, with gold up 30%, while silver rocketed more than 80% higher! But these advances came to an abrupt halt at the start of 2011 and the decline worsened a few weeks later when the CFTC announced the details of it proposed position limits. First off, the proposed limits were way too high to curb manipulation and more importantly, JPMorgan, HSBC and other large investment banks were granted an exemption to the new position limit rules by being “grandfathered.” The CFTC absolutely caved to the interests of JPMorgan and the price of gold and silver both proceeded to tank and drop through key levels of support.
To what degree the CFTC decision is driving the decline in precious metals is unclear. Gene Arensberg recently pointed out that the large commercial banks have actually been covering their short positions lately and that the swap dealers are the ones that have been uncharacteristically piling on the paper shorts. Regardless, big money has certainly been helping to push prices lower, even as the dollar has weakened significantly in the past few weeks.
While the paper market has been driving the spot price lower, the physical market appears to be as robust as ever. Sales of silver eagle coins for the month of January have already set a new all-time record, with ten days still left in the month. Furthermore, silver demand in China has quadrupled versus last year, as the emerging Chinese middle class looks for a hedge against inflation and the Chinese government encourages its citizens to buy gold and silver.
This is a relatively new phenomenon in Chinese culture, as ownership of precious metals was illegal just a few short years back. But this has all changed as China has become the largest producer of gold in the world and is expected to surpass India as the largest consumer of gold as well.
Demand from China is not only coming from the citizens though, as the Chinese government has been accumulating massive amounts of gold and silver for their reserves. After not reporting gold reserves for six years, the Chinese government in 2009 made a surprise announcement that they had nearly doubled their gold reserves to over 1,000 tons. They have been doing this quietly via buying up the production from Chinese mining companies, as well as making purchases in the open market via intermediaries.
China announced annual gold production of 314 tons in 2010 and this number is expected to be around 320 tons in 2011. If the suspicion that China is buying up most of the country’s gold production is true, there could well be another 600 tons or more moved into ‘unofficial’ reserves before the next announcement. Add in purchases in the international market, and it is conceivable that China’s reserves could effectively be doubled again by the end of 2011 to some 2,000 tons.
With the liquidity crisis surrounding the rollover of Greek debt subsiding, the probability of default for that country has plummeted from nearly even odds to just over one in three.
Last Week’s Numbers: 06 May 2010
Meanwhile, other state and national governments are showing continued stress. Venezuela tops the list with a CDS spread of 1049 and a risk of default now over 50%. Argentina and Pakistan are also now ahead of Greece which is now only the 4th most likely government in the world to default.
Most recent numbers: 11 May 2010
The usual suspects are on the list including Dubai, Ukraine and Latvia. The one thing to notice is that California has now cracked the top ten with a 20% default probability. For California muni bond holders, this number bears watching.
CDS traders were prescient in snapping up Greek and Dubai CDS long before anyone else realized the risk these countries are in (well, more like Goldman selling CDS to some very close clients, wink wink).
In exchange for figuring out what it took cash bond holders months to understand, these ‘speculators’ made a lot of money and in the process got branded as quasi-sovereign terrorists.
Well, Greece can sleep well: according to the latest DTCC CDS data (for the week ended April 9), CDS specs have completely deserted Greece, which saw the single biggest amount of Net Notional CDS decrease, to just over $8 billion, a reduction of $367 million in the prior week (which means all the widening in Greek spreads is now, and has been, just cash bond sales, precisely what Zero Hedge has claimed all along).
CDS traders are now focusing their attention on the one country which has so far slipped under everyone’s radar, yet which we disclosed is more on the hook in terms of Southern European exposure than even Germany: France, with $781 billion in total claims.
Should Greece topple the PIIGS dominoes, France will implode. And this is precisely what CDS traders are betting on now, taking advantage of absurdly tight France CDS levels.
Also, just in case they are wrong on France, Spain and Portugal, not surprisingly, round out the top three names in which Net Notional saw the largest increase. Also not surprisingly, Japan rounds out the top 5 deriskers.
Top 10 deriskers: