Are you a snitch, my dear? Binance on Libra, part two

The Binance Report on Libra cryptocurrency of Facebook, published the day before, leaves a dual impression (see our review, part 1). On the one hand, the report emphasizes the numerous advantages of the new cryptocurrency and draws its great prospects. It looks like Binance is looking for partnerships with Libra Association. But on the other hand, the prospects of Libra are presented so powerfully that it could not help but alert the financial magnates of the fiat world. It is possible that this report, along with other information, pushed the US Congress to ban the development of Project Libra.

Long live the world financial revolution!

Libra is perceived as a very strong project in the short term and in the medium term, but in the long term, Facebook cryptocurrency is an unconditional revolutionary and winner of the financial world. So says Binance and confirms this in its report, as for long term. Several global changes go at once, each of which alone can significantly change the financial market.

  1. Libra changes the landscape of the payment industry, becomes a legislator in mobile payments and eliminates banks from this sphere.
  2. Increases the set of financial services as kind of DeFi (Decentralized finance). New decentralized financial services will increase the competition of cryptoassets, lower entry barriers, attract new end users.
  3. Provides greater freedom to move and protect capital, creating a new safe haven, eliminating the possibility for central banks to build monetary policies based on capital restrictions.
  4. And finally, de-dollarization of the world. The new currency is much more convenient for global trading than US dollar. According to Binance, Libra will become a living and successful embodiment of the concept of SDR (“Special Drawing Rights”) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a stillborn world currency known from 1969. Perhaps for this, Libra will have to slightly change the basket of currencies (by adding the yuan).

These changes are enough to bankers sounded the alarm and went to war against Libra. And Binance brings several cases that Libra can do. For example, the ability to raise capital for a business in a neutral currency; mitigation of disputes in international arbitration – etc.

Binance also cautiously hints that Libra will force out Bitcoin, unless Bitcoin is included in the Libra currency basket. But in general, it is Libra that is able to combine cryptoassets and off-line economy.

Instead of a resume

Conclusion in Binance report sounds like fanfare:

– Facebook’s initiative, with the Libra cryptocurrency at the center of the project, will have a significant impact on the financial industry and global economies from both a medium and long-term perspective. Backed by a basket of fiat currency-denominated assets in its initial release, Libra represents a first attempt at creating a world currency, on-chain or not, with everyday usage by billions of individuals and institutions across the globe.

Binance points out the inevitable problems from the side of regulators, and also points out the importance of full creating an alliance of partners (Libra Association) for the success of the project – perhaps referring itself. After all, today only 27 partners out of 100 have been announced. There are also other questions – about access to Libra without Internet; independence from Facebook; prioritizing human transactions over machine smartcontracts, etc. But all this – little things. In general – a revolution!

But not everyone is happy when a revolution happens. Financial tycoons are certainly not happy. And the question is – wasn’t it the point of publishing the Binance report on Libra? So that the powerful forces of the fiat financial world rebel against Libra and crush the project. Libra is a direct competitor to Binance Coin, after all.

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Is the Moon moving away from the Earth? When was this discovered? (Intermediate)
I heard in the TV that moon is moving away from the earth towards the sun. Why is that happening? And when was this exactly discovered?

The Moon’s orbit (its circular path around the Earth) is indeed getting larger, at a rate of about 3.8 centimeters per year. (The Moon’s orbit has a radius of 384,000 km.) I wouldn’t say that the Moon is getting closer to the Sun, specifically, though–it is getting farther from the Earth, so, when it’s in the part of its orbit closest to the Sun, it’s closer, but when it’s in the part of its orbit farthest from the Sun, it’s farther away.

The reason for the increase is that the Moon raises tides on the Earth. Because the side of the Earth that faces the Moon is closer, it feels a stronger pull of gravity than the center of the Earth. Similarly, the part of the Earth facing away from the Moon feels less gravity than the center of the Earth. This effect stretches the Earth a bit, making it a little bit oblong. We call the parts that stick out “tidal bulges.” The actual solid body of the Earth is distorted a few centimeters, but the most noticable effect is the tides raised on the ocean.

Now, all mass exerts a gravitational force, and the tidal bulges on the Earth exert a gravitational pull on the Moon. Because the Earth rotates faster (once every 24 hours) than the Moon orbits (once every 27.3 days) the bulge tries to “speed up” the Moon, and pull it ahead in its orbit. The Moon is also pulling back on the tidal bulge of the Earth, slowing the Earth’s rotation. Tidal friction, caused by the movement of the tidal bulge around the Earth, takes energy out of the Earth and puts it into the Moon’s orbit, making the Moon’s orbit bigger (but, a bit pardoxically, the Moon actually moves slower!).

The Earth’s rotation is slowing down because of this. One hundred years from now, the day will be 2 milliseconds longer than it is now.

This same process took place billions of years ago–but the Moon was slowed down by the tides raised on it by the Earth. That’s why the Moon always keeps the same face pointed toward the Earth. Because the Earth is so much larger than the Moon, this process, called tidal locking, took place very quickly, in a few tens of millions of years.

Many physicists considered the effects of tides on the Earth-Moon system. However, George Howard Darwin (Charles Darwin’s son) was the first person to work out, in a mathematical way, how the Moon’s orbit would evolve due to tidal friction, in the late 19th century. He is usually credited with the invention of the modern theory of tidal evolution.

So that’s where the idea came from, but how was it first measured? The answer is quite complicated, but I’ve tried to give the best answer I can, based on a little research into the history of the question.

There are three ways for us to actually measure the effects of tidal friction.

* Measure the change in the length of the lunar month over time.

This can be accomplished by examining the thickness of tidal deposits preserved in rocks, called tidal rhythmites, which can be billions of years old, although measurements only exist for rhythmites that are 900 million years old. As far as I can find (I am not a geologist!) these measurements have only been done since the early 90’s.

* Measure the change in the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

This is accomplished in modern times by bouncing lasers off reflectors left on the surface of the Moon by the Apollo astronauts. Less accurate measurements were obtained in the early 70’s.

* Measure the change in the rotational period of the Earth over time.

Nowadays, the rotation of the Earth is measured using Very Long Baseline Interferometry, a technique using many radio telescopes a great distance apart. With VLBI, the positions of quasars (tiny, distant, radio-bright objects) can be measured very accuarately. Since the rotating Earth carries the antennas along, these measurements can tell us the rotation speed of the Earth very accurately.

However, the change in the Earth’s rotational period was first measured using eclipses, of all things. Astronomers who studied the timing of eclipses over many centuries found that the Moon seemed to be accelerating in its orbit, but what was actually happening was that the Earth’s rotation was slowing down. The effect was first noticed by Edmund Halley in 1695, and first measured by Richard Dunthorne in 1748–though neither one really understood what they were seeing. I think this is the earliest discovery of the effect.

This page was last updated on January 28, 2019


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