Category Archives: Decentralization

Why Governments Around The World Fear DeFi? – Crypto Times

With the world around us changing rapidly, the calls for decentralization in finance have only grown louder, making governments across the globe uncomfortable and jittery.

The reasons are quite clear- a near century-old federalism system is reluctant to relinquish power.

Over the last decade, decentralization has emerged to be a disruptor in the traditional finance sector. The surge in demand for cryptocurrencies and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) has changed every single dogma about money and how markets operate.

Also, as an unintended consequence of this emerging technology, nefarious elements have used DeFi for various financial crimes, drug and human trafficking as well as terrorist activities, in the past few years.

This has caught the attention of governments across the world, who now use it as a smoking gun to downplay the potential of decentralization. The veil of anonymity offered by DeFi has upset those in power, as they believe it could lead/have already led to a parallel finance structure.

There have been a few remarkable recent events that clearly show how governments are clamping down upon the DeFi sector.

Powerful countries like China and Qatar have banned trading of cryptocurrencies. Japan and Belgium charge over 50% tax on crypto gains.

Recent convictions of crypto moguls Sam Bankman Fried of FTX and Changpeng Zhao of Binance have sent shockwaves within the crypto community.

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren has been vocally anti-crypto in her election campaigning, asking for stricter provisions. Earlier this year, she brought the Digital Assets Anti Money Laundering Bill in the house, which had strict provisions limiting the fundamental benefits of De-Fi markets.

Before we delve deep into this current standoff between governments and users of the peer-to-peer money transfer system, it is important to put a disclaimer.

We cannot imagine a world without public administration despite numerous inherent flaws and errors within governments. In a perfect world, we might not need governing bodies but as of now, the role of governments in implementing laws and maintaining harmony is paramount.

However, there are some areas, as outlined in this piece, where governments have fared poorly, doing a disservice to their citizens.

Steep, unfair taxation policies and opaque monetary systems fall under this category. As the world discovered decentralized finance back in 2009-10 and readily welcomed it, the governments grew more jittery by the idea of no third-party interference in financial transactions.

According to a few scholars, the definition of decentralization is:

Decentralization refers to a systematic effort to delegate to the lowest levels all authority except that which can only be exercised at central points.

Decentralization means the division of a group of functions and activities into relatively autonomous units with overall authority and responsibility for their operation delegated to time of cacti unit.

The simplest understanding of Decentralization is that it is the process of transferring authority from a central government or body to a sub-national entity.

In modern days, the concept of decentralization became popular lingo after a boom in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. Thanks to cryptocurrencies, DeFi sector is providing an alternate option over the traditional finance system by offering most of the services that persist into it.

Lets try to understand this through.

Assume a finance system A where one person wants to borrow some money in the centralized system. First, they have to visit the local bank branch that will do required verifications. After that, that particular bank will reach out to the central bank or financial institutions to get approval. On the confirmation, the bank will grant the loan to the borrower.

This process is time consuming, complex and tedious however it guarantees verification through back checks and bureaucratic steps.

Now, assume the finance system B where a person can directly borrow money from a lender in just a few minutes, without intervention of any third party through a peer-to-peer system. The transparency in this process is assured through blockchain technology.

Finance System B is faster, straightforward and transparent.

The real essence of decentralization lies in its elements of autonomy, secured environment and transparency.

To boost the concept of decentralization, new technologies like Blockchain have played a pivotal role. This distributed ledger technology (DLT) works on the motto of Dont trust, verify. This phrase eventually became the essence of the decentralization model.

There is an ongoing power struggle between centralized entities and decentralized seekers. While the decentralized sector is on the rise, governments around the world arent exactly pleased with the idea and they have their own set of reasons.

The main reason is that governments dont want to give up their power and authority to others. The prospect of losing control over the populations finances is giving authoritarian figures- from so-called democracies to monarchies- sleepless nights.

Currently, governments and regulatory agencies are collaboratively monitoring every financial service from bank accounts to transactions.

The rationale behind such an apprehension is that the governments believe they will no longer be able to trace dirty money since DeFi also allows anonymity.

The implementation of decentralized systems could diminish their control over economic activities, especially cutting down taxes and surcharges. Decentralized finance (DeFi) operates on the basis of disintermediation, meaning that transactions occur without the need for traditional financial intermediaries, such as banks or payment processors. Such a radical shift poses a direct challenge to the centralized systems that governments rely upon for surveillance, regulation and enforcement.

Governments have also expressed concerns regarding the risks associated with decentralized finance. These include issues like fraud, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism.

The anonymous nature of transactions in many decentralized platforms complicates the ability of authorities to track the flow of money and enforce laws. Furthermore, the lack of a centralized authority to oversee and intervene in transactions could lead to increased financial volatility and consumer risks.

Another significant issue is the impact of decentralization on a governments ability to implement monetary policy. Central banks control monetary supply, interest rates, and inflation and these tools are critical in managing a countrys economic activity.

With the rise of cryptocurrencies and DeFi platforms, individuals might move away from national currencies. This can destabilize traditional monetary systems and challenge the effectiveness of fiscal policies.

The technological advancements that enable decentralization also present challenges. Blockchain, the underlying technology for most cryptocurrencies and DeFi applications, is complex and requires significant computational resources.

Moreover, the regulatory frameworks currently in place are not well-suited to address the unique characteristics of decentralized systems, which creates a gap that might be exploited by malicious actors.

Beyond the financial and regulatory implications, decentralization also raises social and economic concerns. The shift towards decentralized platforms could lead to greater economic inequality.

While proponents argue that decentralization offers greater access to financial services, the reality is that only those with sufficient technological knowledge and access to digital infrastructure can fully benefit. This digital divide could exacerbate existing inequalities, as those without access are left further behind.

While the critics of the decentralization ecosystem debate much about its negative side, the world has already witnessed its value through various ways.

For instance, Switzerland has implemented decentralized values in its ecosystem in various innovative ways. This includes embracing blockchain technology and creating a supportive environment for decentralized finance (DeFi) and digital identity systems.

Switzerland has leveraged its decentralized federal system to encourage local economic development in smaller towns and regions. (such as Monthey and Solothurn). This approach has helped to boost a collaborative culture that drives innovation and competitive economic ecosystems.

These ecosystems also include productive migrants and multinational companies that contribute to the local knowledge base and enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The growth of DeFi in Switzerland shows a commitment to decentralizing financial services. DeFi systems operate on blockchain technology, allowing financial transactions and services to be executed via smart contracts without central authorities.

This not only includes typical financial services but includes more complex operations, like mortgages and loans. This helps in managing transparently and efficiently by code rather than traditional financial parties (Banks).

The Swiss digital identity ecosystem (e-ID) aims to provide a secure and decentralized way of managing identities online.

The governments approach to e-ID emphasizes user control over personal data and minimal data flow. This also aligns with decentralized principles like privacy by design and data minimization. This system supports the issuance of digital credentials, enhancing privacy and data sovereignty for Swiss citizens.

These initiatives reflect a broader commitment to utilizing decentralized technologies to enhance economic resilience, promote innovation, and protect individual privacy across various sectors in Switzerland.

So now the question is still the same. Is decentralization that bad? Here is an answer.

Decentralization is not totally bad, but it just changes how things are done. Instead of banks and governments controlling everything about money, decentralization lets individuals have more power and make decisions directly. This can make things like borrowing money faster and more straightforward.

However, governments are cautious about decentralization because it makes it harder for them to manage the economy.

Decentralization can make financial systems quicker and give people more control, it also brings challenges that need to be managed carefully to make sure its safe and fair for everyone.

As interest in decentralization grows, people are seeking more privacy, efficiency, and control over their finances. This shift challenges governments to find a balance between embracing the benefits of decentralization and their responsibilities to enforce crypto regulations.

In short, this issue is not just about technology or money; its deeply about powerwho has it, how its used, and who benefits from it.

As the field evolves, it is crucial for governments and decentralized groups to talk and create rules that promote innovation while ensuring public safety and social stability. The future of finance will likely depend on keeping the good balance between freedom and regulation.

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Why Governments Around The World Fear DeFi? - Crypto Times

Supporting the Ministry of Local Development in the Fields of Decentralization and Integrated Local Development with … – United Nations Development…

Fayoum, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 As part of the ongoing efforts to advance integrated local development and decentralization in Egypt, H.E. Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, alongside Dr. Ahmed El Ansary, Governor of Fayoum, Ms. Sophie Vanhaverbeke, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Egypt, and Mr. Sylvain Merlen, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Egypt, embarked on a field visit to Fayoum, a pivotal governorate within the joint project titled 'Supporting the Ministry of Local Development in Integrated Local Development and Decentralization with Special Emphasis on Upper Egypt'. The visit reinforces the unwavering joint commitment to fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development in Egypt through local administration reforms, institutional and capacity development.

The highlight of the visit was the laying of the foundation stone for the identified LED intervention in Fayoum governorate, which focuses on establishing the Services Centre and Industrial Complex for Table Olives in Yousef El Sedeek District, one of the districts of Hayah Kareema Initiative. Additionally, the counterparts met with the local businessmen community within the productive value chain which the LED project is part of, highlighting the interconnectedness of the proposed complex with the broader economic landscape. Within a challenging phase of the national economy, it would be important to encourage the local administration support to local economies through consultation with civil society and private sector.

With funding from the EU totaling 7 million, this partnership aims to support MoLD's mission of creating a modernized and decentralized local administration system at the central and local levels, piloting in four Upper Egypt governorates; Beni-Suef, Fayoum, Luxor, and Aswan. Promoting mandated reforms in local administration as well as key interventions in Local Economic Development (LED) value chains complement the Presidential Initiative Hayah Kareema (Decent Life), hence ensuring enduring impacts and sustainability of inclusive improvements in services, infrastructure, and leading to the provision of sustainable employment opportunities for youth and women in rural districts and poor villages.

Local Economic Development (LED) which stands as the heart of this partnership, supports decentralization by economically empowering local administration that coordinates central support with local initiatives as well as public and private investments and efforts. By enabling the governorates economic development and capability to mobilize and utilize local resources, LED initiatives aim to empower communities, driving sustainable job creation and improved business services. The project focuses on establishing LED mandates for the four pilot governorates and implementing interventions for value chain and cluster development of the most promising economic sectors at the governorate level and complementing the Hayah Kareema Initiative. The selection of LED interventions at the pilot governorates was done through participatory approaches with private sector and civil society through the Socio-economic Council of the governorates and public consultation sessions.

During the visit, the partners also met with the governorate's Socio-Economic Council, including representatives of civil society and private sector, to discuss the LED intervention, which underscored the importance of private sector and civil society engagement in driving sustainable development agendas, aligning closely with the project's mandate. The discussions underscored the strategic planning framework linking local development to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Egypt's Vision 2030, highlighting the project's commitment to driving sustainable growth. During the visit, discussions were held with the governor of Fayoum and executives which emphasized the importance of innovative local planning practices, LED, institutional and capacity development in driving sustainable development, as part of the mandates of the Technical Support Project to MoLD.

H.E. Major General Amna, the Minister of Local Development affirmed, the Ministry of Local Development closely follows up on the development efforts being carried out in Fayoum Governorate, especially in promoting private sector engagement and investment opportunities. Following the Presidential and Prime Ministers directives in promoting investment opportunities across all governorates, with special emphasis on Upper Egypt Region, the Ministry of Local Development spearheaded by mandating all governorates to establish an institutional vehicle, the Socio-Economic Council, with proper representation of private sector and civil society for active consultation.

In his talk, Amna accentuated the efforts exerted by the Ministry in supporting governorates across Egypt in promoting Local Economic Development as well as enhancing the role of active private sector participation in implementing and managing projects at local levels that contribute directly to local communities.

H.E. expressed: I seize the opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous, exerted effort crowned by laying the foundation stone for the Services Centre and Industrial Complex for Table Olives in Yousef El Sedeek District, during todays visit. This comes as part of continuous work carried out by Fayoum governorate to attract investments and enhance local economy, supported by the Ministry of Local Development. It encompasses a range of interventions to create an enabling business environment, attractive to private sector players, and incentives to engage them in serious attempts to boost local economy and enhance the livelihood of citizens.

H.E also highlighted the pivotal role that the Technical Support Project to MoLD, in cooperation with the UNDP and funded by the EU, which plays in strengthening the role of the Ministry to support governorates to carry out their mandates in support to the governorates to enhance local economic development and identifying a number of project at the four pilot governorates (Fayoum, Beni Suef, Luxor and Aswan) in a way that encourages partnerships between the public and the private sector. Besides, the Technical Support Project supports the Ministry in strengthening its stewardship role by defining a bundle of local development policies in relation to decentralization, local administration reform and rural development as well as strengthening the institutional arrangement of the Ministry and governorates.

Dr. Ahmed El Ansary, Governor of Fayoum, accentuated the Governorate of Fayoums efforts to involve the private sector and civil society in sustainable development projects. Dr. Al Ansary highlighted further We are now working on preparing a model for operating projects that will be managed by the private sector, taking proactive measures to enhance the business environment, and providing facilities to investors. This is demonstrated by facilitating investor procedures in the Kom Oshim industrial zone, new areas were offered to investors and the industrial activity of industrial complexes in the governorate was determined in cooperation with the General Authority for Industrial Development and the Ministry of Local Development.

Dr. El Ansary accentuated the pivotal role of the Socio-Economic Council in Fayoum Governorate encompassing local executive members, civil society organizations, businessmen association and natural leaders. They participated effectively in setting the vision, strategic goals, and programs in all development sectors in the governorate (Strategic Plan Fayoum 2030) effectively with the advisory team supported by the Technical Support Project of the Ministry of Local Development which took place on February 26, 2024.

Mr. Sylvain Merlen, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Egypt, acknowledged the instrumental partnership with the Ministry of Local Development and the significant support extended by the European Union for making the inauguration a reality today. He added, This strategic partnership exemplifies our joint commitment to supporting decentralization, effective local administration, and rural development, ensuring enduring impacts that align with Egypt's Vision 2030 and the SDGs. He emphasized that as part of the projects commitment to supporting decentralization and local administrative reform, is the fostering of private sector and civil society community engagement mechanisms at the local level, noting that It is imperative to prioritize inclusivity, active participation, and economic empowerment of citizens, with a particular emphasis on women and youth, to ensure the long-term sustainability of this collaborative partnerships.

Mr. Merlen reaffirmed UNDP's steadfast commitment to advancing sustainable development in Egypt, with a focus on empowering local communities and enhancing public service delivery through supporting initiatives such as 'Hayah Kareema' (Decent Life). He further emphasized that this identified LED intervention, the Services Centre and Industrial Complex for Table Olives in Yousef El Sedeek District, located within one of Hayah Kareema districts, potentially lays the groundwork for replicable practices and systems, adding that By piloting improved strategies in this district, we set a precedent for effective economic empowerment that can be replicated not only in the project's other pilot governorates but across all Hayah Kareema districts nationwide.

The day concluded with a visit to Tunis Village, exemplifying a model for rural and sustainable tourism. Discussions with local entrepreneurs underscored the potential for promoting rural and sustainable tourism in Fayoum, discussing its potential for replication and its alignment with the project's broader objectives.

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Supporting the Ministry of Local Development in the Fields of Decentralization and Integrated Local Development with ... - United Nations Development...

The US Senator Cynthia Lummis supports Bitcoin regulation – The Cryptonomist

Recently, US Senator Cynthia Lummis has expressed significant concerns about what she perceives as the aggressive attitude of the Biden administration towards regulating Bitcoin and decentralized finance (DeFi).

As a strong supporter of digital assets and blockchain technology, Senator Lummis has positioned herself as a key ally for the cryptocurrency community, emphasizing the importance of individual rights in managing digital assets.

Senator Lummis, representative of Wyoming, a state known for its crypto-friendly legislation, criticized the current administration for its approach to regulating the cryptocurrency sector.

His observations highlight a growing tension between federal regulatory efforts and the emerging digital finance industry, which promotes decentralization and minimal regulatory interference.

The Biden administration has been increasingly vocal about the need for a strict regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in order to protect consumers, ensure national security, and maintain financial stability.

This perspective aligns with global trends in which governments seek to limit the financial risks associated with digital assets, including fraud, volatility, and the potential for use in illicit activities.

However, Senator Lummis argues that the administrations approach could be overly restrictive and could stifle innovation in an industry known for its potential to revolutionize finances.

According to Lummis, the right to hold ones own keys and manage ones own node, which refers to individuals ability to manage their cryptocurrency without intermediaries and operate independently on the blockchain, is a fundamental principle that should not be compromised.

The concept of self-sovereignty is at the core of the appeal of cryptocurrencies. It allows individuals to control their financial assets without the need for banks or traditional financial institutions.

This not only reduces dependence on these institutions, but also increases privacy and freedom from government control and supervision.

Senator Lummis advocacy for self-sovereignty reflects a broader philosophy within the crypto community that values the independence and democratization of finances.

By emphasizing the right to personal control over digital assets, Lummis is advocating a fundamental principle of decentralized ethics that many in the cryptocurrency space consider sacred.

In her commitment to protect these rights, Senator Lummis has been active in legislative efforts aimed at providing a clearer and supportive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

His initiatives aim to bridge the gap between technological innovation and regulatory policies to promote an environment where digital finances can thrive responsibly.

The efforts of the senator are particularly crucial at a time when the cryptocurrency industry is facing significant scrutiny from various government bodies.

The challenge is to balance the need for regulation to prevent abuses and ensure safety, with the need to allow innovation and personal freedom to flourish.

The Biden administrations approach to regulating cryptocurrencies will have far-reaching implications for the industry. Effective regulation could provide the clarity and security that could help drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

On the contrary, excessively stringent regulations could limit the growth of the industry and violate individuals rights to manage their digital assets as they see fit.

As the debate continues, the cryptocurrency community watches closely, aware that the outcomes could set precedents that influence the future of digital finances globally.

The stakes are high, both for the millions of current crypto users and for potential future users who could benefit from a well-regulated, yet innovative and free crypto market.

Senator Cynthia Lummis position is a battle cry for those who believe in the transformative potential of cryptocurrencies and who support minimal regulatory interference.

His commitment to fight for individuals rights to control their digital destinies is a significant moment in the ongoing discourse on cryptocurrency regulation.

As this debate unfolds, it will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of digital finance for years to come, making it a critical issue for all stakeholders in the financial and technological sectors.

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The US Senator Cynthia Lummis supports Bitcoin regulation - The Cryptonomist

Decentralized science can be the next big thing for blockchain utilization – Cointelegraph

The digital transformation has marked a stepping stone for making scientific research accessible to more researchers worldwide. However, two decades of digitization have shown that preparing and distributing content in a digital format is not enough to lower the barriers to scholarly information.

Peer review, a vital process to ensure the quality and accuracy of published academic work, is still notoriously inefficient. The slow and opaque processes lead to delays in publishing new research. On top of that, most researchers from smaller institutions or developing countries have to face an uphill battle in gaining visibility and accessing mainstream scientific platforms.

Due to the heavily centralized nature of such platforms, maintaining control and rights over ones scientific data and findings becomes another challenge for most researchers. All in all, these challenges lead to a slower pace of scientific advancement and collaboration, often discouraging researchers and limiting the diversity of contributions in the scientific community.

Blockchain technology can potentially improve various processes of scientific publishing, offering a solution to key challenges across the board. The immutability, transparency and global availability of blockchain present an opportunity for science circles to take a major step toward decentralization while giving power and governance to users and researchers.

NobleBlocks is a blockchain-based decentralized science (DeSci) platform that promises to address critical pain points in scientific publishing. Built on the Internet Computer Protocol, a blockchain infrastructure known for its speed and scalability, NobleBlocks offers high-speed and transparent transactions to minimize the time and complexity typically associated with publishing scientific research.

Key to NobleBlocks mission of incentivizing scientific contribution is NOBL, the platforms native token, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain. NobleBlocks uses its custom ckNOBL solution to integrate the Ethereum-based NOBL with the Internet Computer blockchain, enhancing the decentralization aspect of the DeSci platform and ensuring a seamless and secure connection between two robust blockchain ecosystems.

The tokenization of scientific efforts enables DeSci to acknowledge and reward every contributor from editor to reviewer in a fair model. As a globally accessible portal, NobleBlocks allows researchers to expand their projects horizons through partnerships with international researchers.

NobleBlocks provides a streamlined system on blockchain that significantly reduces the time from research submission to publication, fixing inefficient peer review processes.

The platform democratizes access to essential research material globally by offering all researchers an open and easy-to-access platform. NobleBlocks also establishes data sovereignty and the integrity of scientific work by allowing researchers to retain control over their intellectual property a crucial factor in encouraging original and diverse scientific contributions.

Publications and contributions can be seen from the dashboard. Source: NobleBlocks

Integrating the decentralized nature of blockchain with conventional scientific publishing practices is no easy task. To achieve it, NobleBlocks harmonized the rigors of academic peer review with the efficiency and transparency of blockchain. The resulting solution has enabled the preservation of the integrity of the scientific process while opening doors to faster, more equitable access to research.

As a fully on-chain platform, NobleBlocks ensures complete transparency and immutability of scientific data and publications. Being fully on-chain allows every transaction, submission and review process to be recorded on the blockchain, offering enhanced security and trust in the hosted academic content.

Aside from providing a platform for publishing and reviewing scientific work, NobleBlocks also builds a network to connect researchers, academicians and thought leaders from diverse disciplines and geographies. It seeks to contribute to a richer and more inclusive scientific dialogue by encouraging collaboration, idea exchange and collective problem-solving.

The platform offers detailed information about a researcher through quick profiles. Source: NobleBlocks

The concept of making scientific research globally accessible through blockchain has raised interest from both the Web3 ecosystem and the scientific communities. Aside from receiving grants from the Dfinity Foundation, a major contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain, NobleBlocks also enjoyed a rapid sell-out for NOBL in under one minute.

NobleBlocks envisions an open, transparent and efficient scientific publishing landscape enhanced by blockchain technology. It anticipates a shift toward more accessible and participatory scientific processes that reduce barriers and improve efficiency.

By merging scientific publishing with blockchain, the platform aims to contribute to this evolution. NobleBlocks promises to reshape how research is shared and accessed, enhancing the integrity and value of scientific work.

For the broader crypto and Web3 ecosystem, NobleBlocks exemplifies the practical application of blockchain in non-financial sectors through the utilization of DeSci. The platform offers a model for integrating blockchain into academia, encouraging similar adaptations in other areas and advancing the entire Web3 ecosystem.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain in this sponsored article, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.

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Decentralized science can be the next big thing for blockchain utilization - Cointelegraph

DApp developers can benefit from decentralization without compromise: Here’s how – Cointelegraph

Supporting an inclusive Web3 era with innovative data indexing tools, SubQuery Network is building a more accessible and robust digital future powered by decentralized middleware.

Middleware plays a crucial role in decentralized applications (DApps) by bridging the gap between blockchains and user interfaces. It encompasses various components such as indexers, which organize blockchain data, and remote procedure calls (RPCs), enabling network interactions to function as if they were local. Additionally, middleware includes oracles and decentralized data storage services, which are software solutions that transfer real-world data to the blockchain.

While middleware enhances the scalability and usability of DApps, its inherently centralized structure poses significant challenges. This centralization can lead to instability and risks a single entity gaining control, which threatens the core principles of decentralization within the Web3 ecosystem.

To address these concerns, the Web3 community is actively developing alternatives to reinforce the decentralization of the middleware layer. These efforts ensure the infrastructure remains robust and true to the decentralized ethos.

In line with these developments, SubQuery Network offers a scalable and unified data infrastructure that supports the vision of a decentralized future. The platform offers a suite of tools designed to empower developers to bring DApps to life without compromising speed, flexibility and efficiency. SubQuery is assisting developers globally, with full support for over 160 networks, including many outside the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) family.

With its native token, SQT, SubQuery integrates two core services indexing and RPC into a single decentralized network. Thus, users can access fully decentralized services (for example purchasing a plan for an RPC endpoint) with the simplicity of Web2 alternatives.

The platform tests the networks load capacity through its free offerings. Additionally, the network is transforming with the beta launch of the SubQuery Data Node. The redesign of the structure and query language of RPCs leads to significant performance increases. Preliminary results show that the SubQuery Data Node enables the data indexer to run 3.9 times faster than The Graph.

When discussing the evolution of Web3 decentralization, James Bayly, chief operating officer of SubQuery Network, emphasized middlewares critical role:

The next era of Web3 decentralization will be in the middleware, the final frontier against centralized services and industry titans.

Bayly pointed out the challenges faced by developers, stating, Developers have long had to sacrifice performance and reliability when building DApps, we are working to make these sacrifices a thing of the past. Bayly also highlighted that many leading DApps are utterly reliant on centralized middleware components that could be turned off at any moment.

The Web3 community focuses on making middleware more decentralized, paving the way for a secure, user-friendly and public digital environment. As we progress, the number of choices available to developers in Web3 will only increase.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain in this sponsored article, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.

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DApp developers can benefit from decentralization without compromise: Here's how - Cointelegraph

Sand cat swarm optimization algorithm and its application integrating elite decentralization and crossbar strategy … – Nature.com

Six engineering challenges have been selected for this part for the purpose to assess how well CWXSCSO performs when used to engineering optimization problems. The sine and cosine optimization algorithm (SCA)40, frost and ice optimization algorithm (RIME)41, butterfly optimization algorithm (BOA)42, Harris Eagle Optimization algorithm (HHO)8, and Osprey optimization algorithm (OOA)43 were chosen as the primary three technical applications. The whale optimization algorithm (WOA)7, the locust optimization algorithm (GOA)44, the gray wolf optimization algorithm (GWO)45, the marine predator optimization algorithm (MPA)46, and the frost and ice optimization algorithm (RIME) were used to compare the final three technical applications. Every algorithm in the experiment has a population of 30 and an upper limit of 1000 iterations.

The performance of the modified algorithm pair gets assessed using pressure vessel design issues in this research. The main objective of the pressure vessel design challenge is to decrease the production expenses associated with the pressure vessel. This problem contains the selection of four optimization variables, namely shell thickness ({T}_{S}), head thickness (({T}_{h})), inner radius ((R)), and length of cylinder section without head ((L)). The mathematical description of the pressure vessel design problem is as follows:

variable:

$$overrightarrow{x}=left[{x}_{1} {x}_{2} {x}_{3} {x}_{4}right]=left[{T}_{S} {T}_{h} R Lright]$$

Function:

$$fleft(overrightarrow{x}right)=0.6224{x}_{1}{x}_{3}{x}_{4}+1.7781{x}_{2}{x}_{3}^{2}+3.1661{x}_{1}^{2}{x}_{4}+19.84{x}_{1}^{2}{x}_{3}$$

Constraint condition:

$${g}_{1}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=-{x}_{1}+0.0193{x}_{3}le 0$$

$${g}_{2}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=-{x}_{3}+0.00954{x}_{3}le 0$$

$${g}_{3}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=-pi {x}_{3}^{2}-frac{4}{3}pi {x}_{3}^{3}+1296000le 0$$

$${g}_{4}left(overrightarrow{x}right)={x}_{4}-240le 0$$

Variable interval:

$$0le {x}_{1},{x}_{2}le 99, 10le {x}_{3},{x}_{4}le 200$$

The experimental findings of CWXSCSO and the comparison algorithm are presented in Table 7. The CWXSCSO yields a value of 5886.05. When compared to alternative algorithms, this particular algorithm exhibits a superior competitive advantage in terms of maintaining the proper functioning of the pressure vessel while simultaneously minimizing costs. Benefits in guaranteeing the operation of the pressure vessel while reducing expenses. The updated method demonstrates rapid convergence to the ideal value with the best convergence accuracy, as depicted in Fig.5. In turn, the CWXSCSO facility exhibits exceptional engineering optimization capabilities.

Optimization convergence diagram of pressure vessel design problem.

The issue at hand is the Welded Beam Design (WBD), which involves the utilization of an optimization method to minimize the production cost associated with the design. The optimization problem can be boiled down to the identification of four design variables that meet the constraints of shear stress ((tau )), bending stress ((theta )), beam bending load (left({P}_{c}right)), end deviation ((delta )), and boundary conditions, namely beam length ((l)), height ((t)), thickness ((b)), and weld thickness ((h)). The objective is to minimize the manufacturing cost of welded beams. The problem of welded beams is a common example of a nonlinear programming problem. The mathematical description of the welded beam design problem is as follows:

Variable:

$$overrightarrow{x}=left[{x}_{1} {x}_{2} {x}_{3} {x}_{4}right]=left[h l t bright]$$

Function:

$$fleft(overrightarrow{x}right)=1.10471{x}_{1}^{2}{x}_{2}+0.04811{x}_{3}{x}_{4}left(14.0+{x}_{2}right)$$

Constraint condition:

$${g}_{1}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=tau left(overrightarrow{x}right)-{tau }_{max}le 0$$

$${g}_{2}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=sigma left(overrightarrow{x}right)-{sigma }_{max}le 0$$

$${g}_{3}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=delta left(overrightarrow{x}right)-{delta }_{max}le 0$$

$${g}_{4}left(overrightarrow{x}right)={x}_{1}-{x}_{4}le 0$$

$${g}_{5}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=P-{P}_{c}left(overrightarrow{x}right)le 0$$

$${g}_{6}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=0.125-{x}_{1}le 0$$

$${g}_{7}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=1.10471{x}_{1}^{2}{x}_{2}+0.04811{x}_{3}{x}_{4}left(14.0+{x}_{2}right)-5.0le 0$$

Variable interval:

$$0.1le {x}_{1}le 2,{ 0.1le x}_{2}le 10, 0.1le {x}_{3}le 10 ,{0.1le x}_{4}le 2$$

As can be seen from Table 8, the final result of CWXSCSO is 1.6935. As can be seen in Fig.6, the initial fitness value of the improved algorithm is already very good, and there are several subtle turns later, indicating that it has the ability to jump out of the local optimal. The improved algorithm achieves the purpose of reducing the manufacturing cost, and the cost of manufacturing welded beams is minimal compared with other algorithms.

Optimization convergence diagram of welding beam design problem.

The reducer holds an important place within mechanical systems as a crucial component of the gear box, serving a diverse range of applications. The primary aim of this challenge is to diminish the overall weight of the reducer through the optimization of the seven parameter variables. They are the tooth surface width (b)(=({x}_{1})), the gear module (m(={x}_{2})), the tooth count in the pinion (z(={x}_{3})), the measurement of the initial shaft distance between bearings. ({l}_{1}(={x}_{4})), the distance between the bearings of the second shaft ({l}_{2}(={x}_{5})), the diameter of the initial shaft ({d}_{1}(={x}_{6})) and the measurement of the diameter of the second shaft ({d}_{2}(={x}_{7})). The mathematical description of the speed reducer design problem is as follows:

Variable:

$$overrightarrow{x}=left[{x}_{1} {x}_{2} {x}_{3} {x}_{4} {x}_{5} {x}_{6} {x}_{7}right]=left[b m z {l}_{1} {l}_{2} {d}_{1} {d}_{2}right]$$

Function:

$$fleft(overrightarrow{x}right)=0.7854{x}_{1}{x}_{2}^{2}left(3.3333{x}_{3}^{2}+14.9334{x}_{3}-43.0934right)-1.508{x}_{1}left({x}_{6}^{2}+{x}_{7}^{2}right)+7.4777left({x}_{6}^{3}+{x}_{7}^{3}right)+0.7854({x}_{4}{x}_{6}^{2}+{{x}_{5}x}_{7}^{2})$$

Constraint condition:

$${g}_{1}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{27}{{x}_{1}{x}_{2}^{2}{x}_{3}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{2}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{397.5}{{x}_{1}{x}_{2}^{2}{x}_{3}^{2}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{3}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{1.93{x}_{4}^{3}}{{x}_{2}{x}_{3}{x}_{6}^{4}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{4}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{1.93{x}_{5}^{3}}{{x}_{2}{x}_{3}{x}_{7}^{4}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{5}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{sqrt{{left(frac{745{x}_{4}}{{x}_{2}{x}_{3}}right)}^{2}+16.9times {10}^{6}}}{110.0{x}_{6}^{3}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{6}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{sqrt{{left(frac{745{x}_{4}}{{x}_{2}{x}_{3}}right)}^{2}+157.5times {10}^{6}}}{85.0{x}_{6}^{3}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{7}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{{x}_{2}{x}_{3}}{40}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{8}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{{5x}_{2}}{{x}_{1}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{9}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{{x}_{1}}{{12x}_{2}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{10}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{{1.5x}_{6}+1.9}{{x}_{4}}-1le 0$$

$${g}_{11}left(overrightarrow{x}right)=frac{{1.1x}_{7}+1.9}{{x}_{5}}-1le 0$$

Variable interval:

$$2.6le {x}_{1}le 3.6 ,0.7le {x}_{2}le 0.8 ,17le {x}_{3}le 28 , 7.3le {x}_{4}le 8.3 ,7.8le {x}_{5}le 8.3,$$

$$2.9le {x}_{6}le 3.9, 5.0le {x}_{7}le 5.5$$

Table 9 and Fig.7 demonstrate that the modified method is adept at minimizing the weight of the reducer under 11 boundaries. It suggests that the enhancement is effective and may be more effectively utilized in mechanical systems.

Reducer design optimization convergence curve.

This engineering project aims to create a 4-step cone pulley with a minimal weight by looking at 5 design elements. Four variables represent the diameter of individual step of the pulley, denoted as ({d}_{i}(i=mathrm{1,2},mathrm{3,4})), while the final variable represents the magnitude of the pulley's breadth, denoted as (w). There are 8 nonlinear constraints and 3 linear constraints in the problem. The restriction is to maintain uniformity in the belt length ({C}_{i}), tension ratio ({R}_{i}), and belt transfer power ({P}_{i}) throughout all steps. The mathematical description of the step cone pulley problem is as follows:

Function:

$$fleft(xright)=rho omega left[{d}_{1}^{2}left{1+{left(frac{{N}_{1}}{N}right)}^{2}right}+{d}_{2}^{2}left{1+{left(frac{{N}_{2}}{N}right)}^{2}right}+{d}_{3}^{2}left{1+{left(frac{{N}_{3}}{N}right)}^{2}right}+{d}_{4}^{2}left{1+{left(frac{{N}_{4}}{N}right)}^{2}right}right]$$

Constraint condition:

$${h}_{1}left(xright)={C}_{1}-{C}_{2}=0, {h}_{2}left(xright)={C}_{1}-{C}_{3}=0 , {h}_{3}left(xright)={C}_{1}-{C}_{4}=0$$

$${g}_{mathrm{1,2},mathrm{3,4}}left(xright)={R}_{i}ge 2, {g}_{mathrm{5,6},mathrm{7,8}}left(xright)={P}_{i}ge left(0.75*745.6998right)$$

where:

$${C}_{i}=frac{pi {d}_{i}}{2}left(1+frac{{N}_{i}}{N}right)+frac{{left(frac{{N}_{i}}{N}-1right)}^{2}}{4a}+2a i=left(mathrm{1,2},mathrm{3,4}right)$$

$${R}_{i}=expleft[mu left{pi -2{{text{sin}}}^{-1}left{left(frac{{N}_{i}}{N}-1right)frac{{d}_{i}}{2a}right}right}right] i=left(mathrm{1,2},mathrm{3,4}right)$$

$${P}_{i}=stwleft[1-expleft[-mu left{pi -2{{text{sin}}}^{-1}left{left(frac{{N}_{i}}{N}-1right)frac{{d}_{i}}{2a}right}right}right]right]frac{pi {d}_{i}{N}_{i}}{60} i=left(mathrm{1,2},mathrm{3,4}right)$$

$$rho =7200kg/{m}^{3} , a=3m ,mu =0.35 ,s=1.75MPa ,t=8mm$$

Variable interval:

$$0le {d}_{1}, {d}_{2}le 60, 0le {d}_{3}, omega le 90$$

Table 10 clearly demonstrates that the MPA method outperforms the CWXSCSO algorithm, but it still possesses certain advantages over other algorithms. Figure8 illustrates that while the precision of convergence in CWXSCSO is less than that of MPA, its convergence speed beats that of MPA. Despite lacking MPA for the stepping cone pulley problem, CWXSCSO still has the benefit of rapid convergence speed.

Optimization convergence diagram of step cone pulley problem.

In power mechanical systems, the design of a planetary gear train presents a limited optimization problem. The issue encompasses three optimization variables, specifically the quantity of gear teeth (left({N}_{1},{N}_{2},{N}_{3},{N}_{4},{N}_{5},{N}_{6}right)), gear modulus (left({m}_{1},{m}_{2}right)), and the figure of merit (left(pright)). The primary aim of the issue is to limit the maximum error associated with the transmission ratio employed in automotive production. The issue at hand encompasses a total of six integer variables, three discrete variables, and eleven distinct geometric and assembly restrictions. The mathematical description of the planetary gear train design optimization problem is as follows:

Variable:

$$x=left({x}_{1},{x}_{2},{x}_{3},{x}_{4},{x}_{5},{x}_{6},{x}_{7},{x}_{8},{x}_{9}right)=left({N}_{1},{N}_{2},{N}_{3},{N}_{4},{N}_{5},{N}_{6},{m}_{1},{m}_{2},pright)$$

Function:

$$fleft(xright)=maxleft|{i}_{k}-{i}_{ok}right|, k=left{mathrm{1,2},dots ,Rright}$$

where:

$${i}_{1}=frac{{N}_{6}}{{N}_{4}}, {i}_{o1}=3.11, {i}_{2}=frac{{N}_{6}left({N}_{1}{N}_{3}+{N}_{2}{N}_{4}right)}{{N}_{1}{N}_{3}left({N}_{6}+{N}_{4}right)}, {i}_{OR}=-3.11, {I}_{R}=-frac{{N}_{2}{N}_{6}}{{N}_{1}{N}_{3}}, {i}_{O2}=1.84$$

Constraint condition:

$${g}_{1}left(xright)={m}_{2}left({N}_{6}+2.5right)-{D}_{max}le 0$$

$${g}_{2}left(xright)={m}_{1}left({N}_{1}+{N}_{2}right)+{m}_{1}left({N}_{2}+2right)-{D}_{max}le 0$$

$${g}_{3}left(xright)={m}_{2}left({N}_{4}+{N}_{5}right)+{m}_{2}left({N}_{5}+2right)-{D}_{max}le 0$$

$${g}_{4}left(xright)=left|{m}_{1}left({N}_{1}+{N}_{2}right)-{m}_{1}left({N}_{6}+{N}_{3}right)right|-{m}_{1}-{m}_{2}le 0$$

$${g}_{5}left(xright)=-left({N}_{1}+{N}_{2}right){text{sin}}left(frac{pi }{p}right)+{N}_{2}+2+{delta }_{22}le 0$$

$${g}_{6}left(xright)=-left({N}_{6}-{N}_{3}right){text{sin}}left(frac{pi }{p}right)+{N}_{3}+2+{delta }_{33}le 0$$

$${g}_{7}left(xright)=-left({N}_{4}+{N}_{5}right){text{sin}}left(frac{pi }{p}right)+{N}_{5}+2+{delta }_{55}le 0$$

$${g}_{8}left(xright)={left({N}_{3}+{N}_{5}+2+{delta }_{35}right)}^{2}-{left({N}_{6}-{N}_{3}right)}^{2}-{left({N}_{4}+{N}_{5}right)}^{2}+2left({N}_{6}-{N}_{3}right)left({N}_{4}+{N}_{5}right){text{cos}}left(frac{2pi }{p}-beta right)le 0$$

$${g}_{9}left(xright)={N}_{4}-{N}_{6}+{2N}_{5}+2{delta }_{56}+4le 0$$

$${g}_{10}left(xright)={2N}_{3}-{N}_{6}+{N}_{4}+2{delta }_{34}+4le 0$$

$${h}_{1}left(xright)=frac{{N}_{6}-{N}_{4}}{p}=integer$$

where:

$${delta }_{22}={delta }_{33}={delta }_{55}={delta }_{35}={delta }_{56}=0.5$$

$$beta =frac{{cos}^{-1}left({left({N}_{4}+{N}_{5}right)}^{2}+{left({N}_{6}-{N}_{3}right)}^{2}-{left({N}_{3}+{N}_{5}right)}^{2}right)}{2left({N}_{6}-{N}_{3}right)left({N}_{4}+{N}_{5}right)}$$

Variable interval:

$$P=left(mathrm{3,4},5right), {m}_{1},{m}_{2}=left(mathrm{1.75,2.0,2.25,2.5,2.75,3.0}right) , 17le {N}_{1}le 96,$$

$$14le {N}_{2}le 54, 14le {N}_{3}le 51, 17le {N}_{4}le 46, 14le {N}_{5}le 51, 48le {N}_{6}le 124$$

Based on the data shown in Fig.9 and Table 11, it is evident that CWXSCSO continues to outperform other methods in terms of convergence accuracy and convergence speed. This illustrates the potential for widespread implementation and utilization of the upgraded algorithm in power machinery.

Convergence curve of planetary gear train design optimization problem.

The issue of robot hand claws is a complex challenge within the field of mechanical structure engineering. The goal of the robot clamping optimization is to minimize the disparity between the highest and lowest magnitudes of forces. The challenge of robot grippers encompasses a total of seven continuous design variables the three connecting rods ((a,b,c)), the vertical displacement of the linkages ((d)), the vertical distance separating the initial node of the robotic arm from the end of the actuator ((e)), the displacement in the horizontal direction between the actuator end and the linkages node ((f)), and the angle of the second and third linkages in a geometric context (left(rho right)). There appear a total of seven distinct limitations. The mathematical description of the robot clamping optimization problem is as follows:

Variable:

$$x=left({x}_{1},{x}_{2},{x}_{3},{x}_{4},{x}_{5},{x}_{6},{x}_{7}right)=left(a,b,c,d,e,f,pright)$$

Function:

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Sand cat swarm optimization algorithm and its application integrating elite decentralization and crossbar strategy ... - Nature.com

Cronyism Gets in the Way of Decentralizing the Department of Education – Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

Two weeks before Governor Pedro Pierluisi signed an executive order to create the Department of Educations (DE) Initiative for Educational Decentralization and Regional Autonomy (IDEAR, in Spanish), the Office of Management and Budget (OGP, in Spanish) had already awarded a legal services consulting contract and evaluated a proposal of more than $5 million for professional services to work on the plan that would grant greater autonomy to the Department of Education Regional Offices in the decision-making process.

As early as May 2, 2023, the OGP hired Consultora Legal PSC to identify critical legal considerations for the decentralization of the DE for $70,000. Three weeks later, it contracted IOTA Impact Company Inc. for $5.2 million, which established work guidelines for the creation of Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to replace the DEs Regional Educational Offices.

While millions were pouring in to contract external advisory services, local prestigious academics and experts from different disciplines had voluntarily joined the working groups convened last year with the goal of contributing to the depoliticization of the agency, an evil that for years has impacted the DE, that has a budget of more than $31 billion.

But this week at least nine of them resigned en masse after denouncing the politicization of the work committees and that the process became one lacking transparency and participation, especially after the arrival of Education Secretary Yanira Races.

A U.S. Department of Education spokesperson told the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) that: Since we started our work, community engagement has always been a key and necessary pillar for the decentralization of Puerto Ricos education system. We are disappointed about the departures of several members of the IDEAR committee and appreciate the concerns they have raised. We urge the Puerto Rico Department of Education to ensure the decentralization process is truly placing the needs of the community at the forefront of this important effort and that the right voices are at the table.

Governor Pierluisi assured that contracting IOTA was a recommendation from the federal government and insisted that they [the company] have experience in other jurisdictions.

IDEAR is funded with federal funds, and the Government of Puerto Rico has no interference in the contracts with IOTA or Consultora Legal PSC, OGP press spokeswoman Wilmelis Mrquez assured. The U.S. Department of Education did not clarify who ordered the hiring of the companies.

Members of academia and the nonprofit sector who left the initiative this week requested that IDEARs current decentralization process be halted and that the first LEA to be implemented in August be abandoned. However, the Governor rejected that recommendation.

The work continues and there will be no delay in the established plan. The goal is for at least one local educational region (LEA) to begin operating in August, Pierluisi insisted.

The Governor downplayed the resignations in written statements. The reality is that were on the right track and what we want is to have educational entities at the regional level with direct access to federal funds, with human resources, purchasing, and legal affairs divisions to meet their needs, said Pierluisi.

The pilot projects have already begun in three areas that include the schools of the municipalities of Utuado, Orocovis, Yauco, Guayanilla, Gunica, Mayagez, Aasco and Hormigueros. Superintendents were also chosen for three pilot zones and Local Advisory Councils (CAL) were formed.

Among the experts who resigned are Jos Caraballo Cueto, economist and researcher, who has been part of the University of Puerto Ricos (UPR) Public Education Observatory; UPR Law School Dean Vivian Neptune; Eileen Segarra, professor at the UPR and director of the UPR Public Education Observatory; Angeles Acosta, clinical psychologist and associate professor at the UPR Medical Sciences Campus; Janice Petrovich, a consultant to foundations and non-governmental organizations and former director of global education work at the Ford Foundation; Yolanda Cordero, professor at the UPR Graduate School of Public Administration and part of the UPR Public Education Observatory; Attorney Cecille Blondet, director of Espacios Abiertos, an organization that promotes citizen participation; Attorney Enrique R. Coln Bac, expert in education issues from the Espacios Abiertos team; and Enery Lpez, from Liga de Ciudades, an entity that seeks to unite local governments in a non-partisan effort.

More than being related to external hiring, the group of experts resignation to their participation in IDEAR is linked to their conviction that the promised depoliticization of the Department of Education and the proposed decentralization of the agency are no longer part of the discussions in the working groups formed for the process that began in 2023, they said.

In August 2023, Chris Soto, senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, had explained to the CPI the goals of the plan that they promoted in the Puerto Rico Department of Education. An important part of the [decentralization] plan is how superintendents are chosen. That they arent elected by their political party. Lets be clear, thats what people say. And this doesnt happen in other jurisdictions. So, what we discussed in the plan is establishing a process in which superintendents are chosen on merit. There are requirements. Same thing applies to directors. Were going to determine what the process is, so that it isnt a political decision, but rather that the director has the experience to run their school, Soto said.

But the reality was that while there was talk of depoliticization, Secretary Races named more officials in positions of trust in the working groups, led by the director of IDEAR, Roger Iglesias, son of the namesake former New Progressive Party (PNP, in Spanish) senator. This caused a constant struggle between those who believe in the democratization of education within the committees and the DE establishment, the CPI learned in conversations with people familiar with the process.

One of the DEs actions that most bothered members of IDEAR was that the guidelines sent by the Secretary of Education to the Legislature reversed much of what was established in the working groups. The guidelines seek to establish the duties and processes and procedures, which are currently carried out at the central level, but which would be delegated to the Regional Educational Offices.

The document sent to the Legislature perpetuated the centralization of power in the figure of the Secretary of Education and did not incorporate essential suggestions presented in the IDEAR working groups to include the participation of superintendents and CALs in DE regulations, transparency and allowing participatory processes in the definition of school budgets, among other proposals.

The IDEAR working groups became more of a one-way information management spaces where the DE consults but doesnt respond to members requests for information. This was the claim of nine members of the implementation committees, who on April 15 submitted a collective resignation letter to disassociate themselves from the process, dissatisfied with the fact that decisions continue to be made at the central level.

The determinations, they said, are being made hastily and without clear metrics on how the success of pilot projects in three school regions to establish the first LEAs will be evaluated.

Another issue that created the greatest controversy was agreeing on a formula to establish the budget per student (known as the per pupil formula) because, among other reasons, the economists that the DE used to establish it were not part of IDEAR nor were they related to the school community.

Last year, Iglesias was appointed as director of the initiative and eight teams were formed to address the areas of special education, human resources, reconstruction, operation of Local Educational Agencies, governance, purchasing processes, academic management, and finances. Some 162 people made up the eight groups.

The work in the groups was affected by constant last-minute changes of dates and times and the constant inclusion in each meeting of new DE representatives without disclosing positions or roles, effectively limiting participation, according to the letter from the group that resigned.

Of the Secretary of Educations 93 positions of trust, at least 14 are on one of the eight IDEAR committees. Five of these employees are in two or even three work tables. For example, there are four trusted agency employees along with three other DE administration officials, on the LEA Committee.

Ral Coln Torres, special assistant to Secretary Races, who earns a monthly salary of $9,599, leads the LEA team. He was Interim Superintendent in the Bayamn region, as well as Director of School Management. That group also includes the DEs Secretary of Planning and Performance, Lydiana Lpez, who earns a monthly salary of $6,821.

Another trusted member of this committee is the director of the Ponce regional educational office, Roberto J. Rodrguez Santiago, with a monthly salary of $8,050. Rodriguez Santiago is the Electoral Commissioner for the PNP in Ponce. ngel Tardy Montalvo, special assistant to the Secretary and employee of the Special Education Student, Parent, and Community Services Unit, who earns $6,250 per month, is also part of the team. The Dean of the UPR Law School, Neptune; and Doctor in Education and philanthropist, Petrovich, walked away from the committee this week.

The average annual salary of teachers in Puerto Rico is $33,000.

Meanwhile Lpez, of the Liga de Ciudades, resigned from the Governance Committee, a team led by Luis A. Orengo Morales, special assistant to the Secretary and donor to the Governor and the PNP. He also served as Interim Director for the San Juan region in 2017, from which he was removed after Hurricane Maria over his performance and the prolonged closure of schools that had not suffered serious damage. He was also Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Guaynabo.

Economist and Director of the UPR Census Information Center in Cayey, Caraballo Cueto, resigned from the team that seeks to decentralize the purchasing processes. This group is led by the Director of the DE Purchasing Office, Norma J. Roln Barada, an official who has remained in charge of the Purchasing Office during PNP and Popular Democratic Party (PDP, in Spanish) administrations. At this worktable there are three other of Races trusted employees: Duhamel Adames Rodrguez, Jullymar Octavianni and Wanda E. Muoz Valle. Adames Rodrguez is Regional Superintendent, Octavianni is Undersecretary of Administration earning $10,884 per month, and Muoz Valle is assistant to Undersecretary Luis R. Gonzlez Rosario, who also directs one of the IDEAR working groups.

Jimmy Cabn, a Pierluisi and other PNP figures donor, who earns a monthly salary of $9,142 as Assistant Secretary and oversees the Teaching Career program, heads the Human Resources Committee. The UPR denied him a professional certificate after plagiarism was detected in a project. In addition, he worked prominently in 2000 with early voting ballots in the State Election Commission. UPR professor, Cordero, resigned from this group, in which Adames Rodrguez and Octavianni are also members.

Caraballo Cueto and the professor and Director of the Education Observatory, Segarra, withdrew from participating in the Finance Committee. Mara Lizardi, a Pierluisi donor and former Assistant Secretary of Human Resources under the administration of convicted former Secretary Julia Keleher, leads this group. Octavianni is also at this worktable along with another trusted employee, the superintendent of the San Juan region, Jorge A. Santiago Ramos.

Assistant Undersecretary for Academic and Programmatic Affairs, Beverly Morro, who was mentioned in 2023 as a possible Secretary of Education, also heads one of IDEARs working groups. She has been a donor to the PNP and Governor Pierluisis committee. Associate Undersecretary Luis Gonzlez Rosario, who is an engineer, heads the table related to the physical plant of the schools. His arrival at the DE in the summer of 2022 from the Department of Transportation and Public Works was said to have been imposed by La Fortaleza, although the then Secretary of Education Eliezer Ramos Pars denied it. He has been a frequent donor to the PNP, the Pierluisi committee and PNP Representative Gabriel Rodrguez Aguil.

Points like those made by the resigning experts were brought up to Iglesias as early as December 11 in a letter signed by three members of the Local Advisory Councils (CAL). In that letter they stated, for example, that they only had five days to read the essays of the superintendent candidates in their area before sending a recommendation to the Secretary of Education. This is even though, as Soto, the assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education, explained, the participatory, decentralized, and depoliticized selection of regional superintendents is supposed to be an essential part of this project promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

The criteria or evaluation methodologies of the pilot projects were not explained to the School Councils either, they warned.

The pilot [projects] seem like standardized processes without regional flexibility, which respond to the needs of each region, said Eduardo Lugo Hernndez, from the academic component of CAL from the West region; Helga Maldonado Domnguez and Gerardo Medina Rivera, both from the southern CAL family component.

As an example of the one-way work that the DE wants to impose, Medina Rivera, whose daughter goes to a school in Yauco, said he requested at a council meeting in February to visit schools throughout the southern region because by being with other parents I realize that Im a little alienated from whats happening with other schools in the region and that he only knew what was happening at the school where my daughter goes. However, his request was denied after it was brought to the central level by IDEARs representative on the council, Nidia Estrada. The explanation he was given was that the superintendent of the pilot, Anita Orengo, is the only one that can visit and let us know whats happening in the schools at the monthly meetings.

Maldonado Domnguez, meanwhile, resigned from continuing with the project. Her vacancy was briefly filled by Mayra L. Acosta Muiz. I joined the CAL at the request of Mr. [former DE Secretary] Eliezer Ramos Pars, said Acosta Muiz. I have a 30-year-old Special Education son who is still active in the DE. When the vacancy came up, I joined, but I was only there for a week because from the first day I said that I didnt want to be just a rubber stamp. On March 23 she submitted her resignation to Iglesias.

I was skeptical when I entered the process, but with the intention of overseeing the process and in some way making them know that there are people who are watching them. But the idea that it was going to depoliticize, were fighting against a very big monster, now in meetings saying that word is like saying a bad word, said Medina Rivera.

It has become clear to us that our participation at this time is symbolic, and we would be doing education a disservice if we became rubber stamps to the extent that the process has been distorted from its initial objective, the group of educators and advisors who withdrew from the initiative, stated.

Consultora Legal, chaired by Alberto C. Rodrguez Prez, was hired to identify the need for new regulations, standards and guides, or amendments, to achieve a decentralization approach. The vice president of this firm, Mara Vzquez Graziani, is a frequent donor to Governor Pedro Pierluisis campaign committee, to which she has already donated $6,200 this year. That attorney and Rodrguez Prez have also made donations to the PNP and several of its candidates.

IOTA Impact, incorporated in 2017 in Delaware and with offices in New York, was registered in Puerto Rico in March 2023, and on April 8 of that year it submitted its proposal to the government of Puerto Rico for the transformation of the education system. Its experience in the educational sector, as observed in the service proposal submitted to the OGP, is in Colombia. The company stated that it developed a strategic plan there for the decentralization of seven vocational institutes of the Ministry of National Education and designed the organizational restructuring of Colciencias, a public organization to promote scientific development. Other IOTA work focuses on Colombian private schools.

IOTA is a marketing research and public opinion survey company, according to several company directories that the CPI consulted, and as the company described itself on its website and in its service proposals. On its Facebook page, it promotes its work in Puerto Rico as a success story in which we implement support in one of the 10 largest education systems in the United States with 45,000 employees and 250,000 students.

In the presentation of its work in Puerto Rico on the social network, it urges people to: Contact us now and discover how we can work together to boost the success of your business with new solutions and tangible results!

On September 27, the corporations contract was amended to extend its term and increase it to $9.7 million. The amendment came after IOTA submitted a proposal on September 19 detailing a timeline for implementing the six pillars of transformation identified in the first IDEAR Executive Committee report. A second amendment was signed on January 26, 2024 to extend its validity until December 31. Services are billed between $400 and $115 per hour.

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Cronyism Gets in the Way of Decentralizing the Department of Education - Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

Vitalik Buterin Reminds Everyone About Main Goal of Crypto – TradingView

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin reminded us that crypto is not about trading digital assets, it is about liberty and decentralization. His statement raises crucial questions about the role of cryptocurrencies in fostering freedom and privacy in the face of global surveillance concerns.

Buterin's assertion underlines a disconcerting trend where individual rights can potentially be compromised by expansive surveillance measures. The fear that governmental powers could misuse such capabilities to monitor adversaries or the public is not unfounded. The ethos of crypto was birthed as a countermeasure to such centralizations of power, aiming to distribute control back to individuals.

However, the cryptocurrency landscape, including Ethereum, faces its paradoxes. Despite the decentralized ideals, a significant portion of Ethereum's transactions have encountered censorship, most notably with compliance to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This contradiction raised a lot of noise in the cryptocurrency community and even became a topic of existential discussion within the Ethereum community.

Moreover, Ethereum's shift from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS) in its consensus mechanism has been touted as a step toward greater efficiency and environmental sustainability. Nonetheless, PoS does not necessarily lead to more decentralization. In PoS, those with larger stakes or more tokens have more influence, potentially leading to concentration of power, which is at odds with the fundamental crypto principle of equalizing power distribution, despite the same issue existing in the PoW environment.

Ethereum's value has seen considerable volatility after the most recent market-wide correction. Recent trends show resilience after the return above $3,000, but the second-biggest cryptocurrency is yet to show its true potential as the post-halving rally is expected to push the value of ETH at least toward its previous ATH at approximately $5,000.

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Vitalik Buterin Reminds Everyone About Main Goal of Crypto - TradingView

Top 5 Amazing Ways AI Coexist With DeFi’s Core Values: Centralization Vs. Decentralization – Blockchain Magazine

The future of DeFi lies in a symbiotic relationship between AI innovation and unwavering commitment to decentralization:

The co-existence of AI and DeFi holds immense promise for the future of finance. By addressing the challenges and fostering a collaborative approach, we can unlock a new era of intelligent DeFi applications that are secure, efficient, and empower users. Heres what the future might hold:

The journey towards a future powered by AI-driven DeFi has only just begun. By harnessing the strengths of both technologies while addressing the challenges, we can create a financial system that is not only innovative but also empowers individuals and fosters a more equitable and secure financial landscape.

The question of AI and DeFis coexistence is not a matter of a simple yes or no. Its a complex dance between innovation, security, and the core principles of decentralization. While the potential benefits of AI in DeFi are undeniable, navigating the centralization paradox requires a nuanced approach.

The Role of the Community

The future of AI-powered DeFi hinges on the active participation of the DeFi community. Fostering open-source development of AI models and promoting transparency in their operation will be crucial. Additionally, advocating for privacy-preserving solutions like federated learning will be essential to ensure users retain control over their data.

Regulation and Governance

Regulation in the DeFi space remains a contentious topic. However, light-touch regulations that promote innovation while mitigating systemic risks could be necessary. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) can play a vital role in establishing fair governance models for AI-powered DeFi applications. These DAOs would be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of AI models, ensuring they align with the core values of DeFi.

The Human Element

While AI promises to automate many aspects of DeFi, the human element will remain paramount. DeFi communities will need to develop robust educational resources to empower users with the knowledge to navigate AI-driven DeFi applications effectively. Additionally, human expertise will be crucial in areas like ethical considerations, bias detection within AI algorithms, and ensuring responsible development of AI for the benefit of the entire DeFi ecosystem.

The convergence of AI and DeFi presents a unique opportunity to reshape the financial landscape. By embracing innovation while safeguarding the core principles of decentralization, we can create a financial system that is not only secure and efficient but also fosters greater financial inclusion and empowers individuals to take control of their financial future. This future will likely involve a dynamic interplay between human ingenuity and the power of AI, constantly evolving to meet the needs of a global and ever-changing financial landscape.

The journey towards this future will require collaboration between developers, researchers, regulators, and the DeFi community at large. By working together, we can unlock the immense potential of AI-driven DeFi and usher in a new era of financial evolution.

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Top 5 Amazing Ways AI Coexist With DeFi's Core Values: Centralization Vs. Decentralization - Blockchain Magazine

Arbitrum Leaps Towards Decentralization With Launch of Fraud Proofs on Testnet – West Island Blog

Taking a significant stride toward decentralization, Arbitrum, renowned as the most substantial Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution in terms of total value locked (TVL), recently announced that they have deployed the permissionless version of their fraud proof, referred to as Bounded Liquidity Delay (BOLD), to testnet. The announcement was made on the 16th of April by Offchain Labs, developers of Arbitrum.

Ethereum layer-2 solutions have progressively risen in prominence over recent years. As of April 17, data from L2Beat revealed that these platforms maintain control over a staggering $37 billion worth of assets. Such platforms, offering inexpensive transaction options, have enjoyed substantial uptake from protocol developers and users alike. Popular alternatives like Arbitrum, Optimism, Base, etc., are amongst the favorites.

However, the prevalent popularity aside, these platforms bear considerable issues. Most critically, the development of most of their fraud proofs is still underway. This presents a contrast from common user transactions across all chains, where each transaction must undergo a thorough confirmation via a network of miners or validators a process dictated by the consensus mechanism of the transaction.

Layer-2 platforms work differently, as they reroute transactions for off-chain processing. In this scenario, it becomes theoretically impossible to determine the legitimacy of queued transactions before they are compiled and given on-chain confirmation.

Herein lies the value of the fraud proofs, the likes of those brought forth by Arbitrum and other optimistic roll-up solutions. These proofs cater to a pressing conundrum prevalent in layer-2 solutions, ensuring the validity of those transactions that are processed off-chain. Once BOLD finds integration into the Arbitrum ecosystem, it will play the role of a safety net, safeguarding the transactions integrity while simultaneously promoting efficient off-chain processing.

In line with fundamental blockchain principles, BOLD is set for decentralization. The community will handle the operation of nodes which is a deviation from the currently centralized transaction verification in Arbitrum, controlled by a sparse group of validators.

The deployment of BOLD in the testnet signifies Arbitrums intent to open its secure transaction channels to allow public participation in sustaining network security and validating Ethereum withdrawals. This pioneering step could contribute immensely to the creation of a decentralized ecosystem, while simultaneously fortifying the Arbitrum platform.

This serves as a significant milestone, making Arbitrum the first Ethereum layer-2 to launch its fraud proofs in testnet. The firms announcement has also prompted Ryan Watts of Optimism to inform the community about plans to establish a decentralized fraud-proof system for the second-most extensive layer-2 by TVL.

Despite these advancements, ARBs price is showing stability but remains under discernible pressure. The token has witnessed a 50% depreciation from its March 2024 highs at spot rates and continues to struggle against severe selling pressure. However, if buyers manage to reverse the selling trend seen on April 12 and 13, the token could potentially make a strong recovery, possibly racing towards the $1.5 mark.

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Arbitrum Leaps Towards Decentralization With Launch of Fraud Proofs on Testnet - West Island Blog