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Friday, July 6, 2018

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By Oliver Philipp Reprint | | Print | Send by email

Oliver Philipp , who studied European and political science in Mainz, Dijon and Oppeln / Poland, has been working for the Department of International Policy Analysis of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).

Oliver Philipp

A young Russian soccer fan shows his skills outside the Cathedral of St. Theodore Ushakov near the FIFA Fan Fest in Saransk, Russia

BERLIN, Jul 6 2018 (IPS) - Was your childhood room not adorned with posters of Gerd Müller or Zinedine Zidane? Were Willy Brandt or Mikhail Gorbachev the idols you looked up to in your youth?

And is the World Cup the worst time of the year for you, and are you already thinking about what remote place to flee to for four weeks to get away from the football frenzy? There’s no need to. We are about to tell you why the World Cup, now in its final stages, could be interesting to you, too.

Football is football and politics is politics. This statement does not always hold true, as demonstrated recently by the debate about the photograph of German national team members Ilkay Gündogan and Mesut Özil posing with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Football just can’t get away from politics. 60 members of the EU Parliament demanded a boycott of the World Cup in Russia in an open letter, and the debate about Putin’s politics will be a constant fixture over the next four weeks. The statements from the German national team were rather predictable. Coach Joachim Löw said that taking part in a World Cup does not equate to ‘associating with a system, regime or ruler’, and no matter where the German national football team plays, it always advocates its values of ‘diversity, openness and tolerance’.

Oliver Philipp

In Germany, you always had to decide at an early age whether you wanted to be famous, enjoy social recognition, have millions in the bank and keep in shape – or go into politics. The examples of Rhenania Würselen 09 defender and former German Chancellor candidate Martin Schulz and striker Gerhard Schröder, former German chancellor, show that football missed out on promising talents because they chose to go into politics.

It looks like it might be a while before the next German top politician with international football experience emerges. Other countries have made some more progress in this regard.

A former World Player of the Year is now head of state in Africa, and in Brazil, the idol of an entire generation has traded in his position on the right wing of the football field for the same position in the political arena. We would like to present four footballers who tried their hand at politics after their active career in football.

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Don Tapscott at TEDSummit 2016

Alex Tapscott at Ted San Francisco

Blockchain Revolution

Over 30 years, no theorist of the digital age has better explained the next big thing than Don Tapscott. For example, in Tapscott was the first to show how the Internet provides the first global platform for mass collaboration. Now, he writes about a profound technological shift that will change how the world does business—and everything else—using blockchain technology, which powers the digital currency Bitcoin.

The Internet as we know it is great for collaboration and communication, but is deeply flawed when it comes to commerce and privacy. The new blockchain technology facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without any intermediary such as a bank or governing body. Keeping the user’s information anonymous, the blockchain validates and keeps a permanent public record of all transactions.

That means that your personal information is private and secure, while all activity is transparent and incorruptible—reconciled by mass collaboration and stored in code on a digital ledger. With its advent, we will not need to trust each other in the traditional sense, because trust is built into the system itself.

Although many opportunities for the blockchain require a digital currency, Bitcoin is only one application of this great innovation in computer science. The blockchain can hold any legal document, from deeds and marriage licenses to educational degrees and birth certificates. Call it the World Wide Ledger. It enables smart contracts, decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized government services, and transactions among things. The Internet of Everything needs a Ledger of Everything: the blockchain is a truly open, distributed, global platform that fundamentally changes what we can do online, how we do it, and who can participate.

Tapscott, writing with his son Alex, a financial analyst and technologist, argues that the blockchain will shape the next era of prosperity—in finance, business, healthcare, education, governance, and beyond.


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Book Reviews

In an article special to the Globe and Mail, Alex Tapscott writes Bitcoin is the mother of all cryptocurrencies, and the most famous of them. Created by a person or people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, it defined the algorithms that enable the transfer of...

One of the great mysteries of modern life is the time it still takes for a check to clear. Every other financial transaction is being reduced to the tap of a phone or the press of a key. But checks take days to rumble their way from payee to the originating bank, days...

Father and son duo Don and Alex Tapscott have impeccable timing. Just as their new book, “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, And The World,” came out, ventures centered on blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin,...

Blockchain today might be like the internet in 1993: a decade from now, you’ll wonder how society ever functioned without it, even though most of us barely know what it is today. Some fascinating blockchain sprouts are poking through these days, such as one company...

The Financial Times' John Gapper has reviewed Blockchain Revolution in the May 18th edition. The review examines the Tapscotts' predictions for future areas of...

Don and Alex Tapscott have published an article on Harvard Business Review about how the impact of the blockchain will not be limited to just banking, value transfer, and other financial services. They write: Much of the hype around blockchains has focused on their...

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