Daily Archives: September 28, 2019

BitHarp Brings a New Way of Mining Cryptocurrencies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Sept. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The rapidly evolving global market for cryptocurrency is currently abuzz with the recent introduction of two extraordinarily designed mining rigs, Lyre Miner and Harp Miner from BitHarp Group Limited ( www.bitharp.com ). Instead of focusing only on highly proficient and technology savvy mining stalwarts, these two products were created to allow the casual enthusiasts as well as small-time miners to make their fortune out of crypto mining.

Over the years, cryptocurrency mining has seen serious improvements. However, owing to the highly technical nature of this domain, it had limited to no scope for people that are technologically challenged. BitHarp has already changed that perception by creating two rigs that are pre-configured and just needs to be plugged-in for an uncomplicated crypto mining experience.

Within less than a month in the market, Lyre Miner and Harp Miner have been used by many common users without any technical background to earn healthy returns on their investment. This has been made possible by the extraordinary hash power offered by the products. Also, with low energy-consumptions of 600W and 2400 W respectively, Lyre Miner and Harp Miner are now amongst the most energy-efficient mining hardware in the market.

Lyre Miner and Harp Miner can be used for mining Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash with the following hash powers.

Lyre Miner: 335 TH/s for Bitcoin, 55 GH/s for Litecoin, 14 GH/s for Ethereum, and 9 TH/s for Dash

Harp Miner: 2000 TH/s for Bitcoin 300 GH/s for Litecoin, 75 GH/s for Ethereum, and 50 TH/s for Dash

The miners from BitHarp are suitable for use at home because they generate low amounts of heat as well as noise. Moreover, unlike hundreds of products in the market, Lyre Miner and Harp Miner do not need a huge space. BitHarp is currently running a 3 plus 1 one promotional campaign for both their products that will conclude on October 2.

To find out more about Lyre Miner and Harp Miner, please visit https://www.bitharp.com/

About BitHarp: BitHarp is a New Zealand based cryptocurrency manufacturer of the most high-performance and flexible Mining rigs built with the goal of making mining easier and more profitable for investors.

Media Contact 
Alexa Zimine 
alexa@bitharp.com 
+64 04 889 3268

Vietnamese Consumers, Like Their Drinks, Grow More Nuanced

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – To see how much the consumer has changed in Vietnam, look no further than what he drinks: soda or bubble tea.

Coca-Cola was one of the first foreign investors in Vietnam, selling in wartime and in a postwar period when many foreign companies stayed away amid a trade embargo.

These days it is not an American soft drink brand that has captured the imagination of Vietnamese drinkers, but bubble tea, brought in by a range of Asian companies, from Taiwan to Thailand. Bubble or boba tea, a sugary milk tea known for its tapioca balls, can come in endless flavors, such as strawberry, matcha, or cacao, and combined with balls of tapioca, jelly or sweet beans. The drink is decidedly more complex than soda, and increasingly, so too is the Vietnamese shopper.

This goes far beyond drinks. It used to be that foreign companies entered Vietnam to sell the basics: fast moving consumer goods, such as bags of instant noodles or paper towels. But as Vietnam moves toward a more consumption-based society, foreign investors are responding to a desire for a greater variety of products and services.

[M]ore international brands are entering Vietnam than ever, thanks, in part, to the liberalization of Vietnam’s regulatory and social environment, Colliers International Research, a real estate services company, wrote in its first quarter analysis of the Vietnam market. This increase in brands will entice consumers to spend more … with the shift from solely retail-focused to more comprehensive entertainment experiences.

Bubble tea, after all, is not just a drink but a social experience, seen as a more fun, colorful way for people to get together than over the traditional coffee.

Other kinds of businesses, like boxing gyms, pet shops and cosmetics stores, are starting to appear, too, and with foreign investor backing. It seems every week there is a new storefront popping up, hoping to cater to the Vietnamese shoppers’ changing tastes. The new businesses are engaging in lines of commerce from Japanese whisky bars to stores for birthday party paraphernalia, that did not exist in the Southeast Asian country even a decade ago.

Vietnamese citizens are earning more, and they are ready to spend it. A survey by Nielsen Vietnam, a market research company, indicated consumer confidence rose 7% in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the last quarter of 2018.

This significant increase of consumer confidence indicates that consumers continue the positive sentiment, said Nguyen Huong Quynh, managing director at Nielsen Vietnam.

Manufacturers and retailers need to capture the latest trends in the consumer market and need to act faster to respond to the evolving needs of consumers, she added.

The changing behavior extends past the biggest cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In the central beach town of Da Nang, for example, the changing appetite of consumers is drawing ever more types of business.

A great deal of international retailers are planning to penetrate the local market to introduce their products to tourists and local customers in Da Nang and enhance their brand image in Vietnam, the Colliers analysis said.

Source: Voice of America

Malaysia’s Official Poverty Figures Missing Millions of People, Experts Say

KUALA LUMPUR – At 5:30 p.m. sharp, six days a week, the Pit Stop Community Cafe rolls up its metal shop door on a quiet street in central Kuala Lumpur and welcomes in some of the Malaysian capital’s most needy for a warm, hearty meal, free of charge.

Some of the cafe’s regulars who count on the soup kitchen to make it through each day, though, earn too much to meet the government’s definition of the poor. A growing number of experts, most recently from the U.N., say that the official numbers miss millions of people who would qualify as poor almost anywhere else, leaving them cut off from critical state benefits and with too few of others to make a difference.

Having made only modest adjustments to its official poverty line since the 1970s, the government can claim to have all but routed poverty among its 32 million people, and at 0.4% Malaysia has the lowest self-reported poverty rate of any country for which the World Bank has figures. Neighboring Thailand claims an 8.6% poverty rate.

The latest rebuke of Malaysia’s figures came from U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston. After wrapping up an 11-day visit last month, he praised the government for “huge strides” in reducing poverty but called the current poverty line of about $234 a month “ridiculous.” That sum would leave each person in a family of four living on less than $2 a day.

“It can’t be done, except under really dire circumstances,” Alston told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Many Malaysians above the line “are living in conditions that are extremely difficult, extremely tough, conditions that by any international standard would have them classified as living in poverty,” he added.

In a report that followed, Alston said the country’s “highly unrealistic” poverty line has fostered a misunderstanding of who is poor that has left the country’s social safety net underfunded and overstretched. He said the Malaysian government also stood out for its extreme hoarding of household survey data, stifling research that might help solve the problem.

A poverty line is meant to mark the minimum a person or household needs to earn to afford the bare essentials of a healthy life, including food and shelter.

‘Not enough’

The Pit Stop is one of dozens of soup kitchens across Malaysia’s capital on the front line of the country’s problem, where the promise of the country’s poverty line meets stark reality.

“It’s not enough. It’s very simple; it’s not enough,” Pit Stop cofounder Joycelyn Lee told VOA before closing shop for the night, surrounded by upturned chairs and supplies for the next day’s meals.

At the same time, though, she’s not sure raising the poverty line would do much good. Like Alston and others, she says the government’s reluctance to release detailed data makes it hard to know what the consequences might be.

One worry she says she has is that raising the poverty line might boost inflation, which would hit everyone, especially the poor. She said that in the past the government has linked the poverty line and minimum wage, so that increasing one increases the other.

Pit Stop co-founder Andrea Tan says the issue “is a political hot potato, because we are still a manufacturing country.”

Government officials “are very worried that if you increase wages high enough, a lot of factories, a lot of companies will run away to cheaper places like Vietnam,” she said.

At the same time, Lee and Tan place the responsibility for the country’s low poverty line and wages as much on foreign companies and consumers as the government.

If they rise, Lee said, multinational companies will turn to the government, “and they will threaten to leave.”

“So it’s a hot seat,” she said, “What are you going to do? Are those companies willing to pay more? Are people that buy the products from these companies willing to pay more?”

The ‘B40’

Christopher Choong Weng Wai, deputy director of research at Malaysia’s Khazanah Research Institute, favors raising the poverty line, as long as the government uses it to target social assistance more effectively.

Because Malaysia’s official poverty rate is so low, the government has shifted its social assistance efforts to the bottom 40% of income earners, referred to here as the B40, the vast majority of whom are officially not poor.

“But the problem is that the allocation for subsidies and social assistance for the B40 has not kept up. So it is not so much underinvestment, but rather spreading out subsidies and social assistance to a larger target group. So breadth of coverage improves, but depth of coverage deteriorates,” the research director said.

In his report, Alston raised the example of cash transfers to the B40. Because they go to so many, he said, “the payments are so small as to make little difference.” A report UNICEF Malaysia prepared for Alston in June also found that the country’s tax and social protection systems “have virtually no redistributive or poverty reduction impact.”

The question is what Malaysia’s real poverty rate is.

Lee, Tan and Choong Weng Wai were all wary of offering ideas without more data and research. Alston also refrained from making his own suggestion.

A recent study by economist and former World Bank research department director Martin Ravallion found that, when compared to other countries with a similar average income to Malaysia’s, about 20% of the population � 6.4 million people � should be considered to be in poverty. Research by Khazanah found that setting the poverty line at 60% of the country’s median income would put 22.2% of Malaysians below it.

When asked for comment on the barrage of criticism of the poverty line, Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Ministry referred VOA to a statement it issued responding to Alston’s remarks and report.

In it, the ministry stands by its numbers. It says it derived them using internationally accepted standards and calls Alston’s accusation of statistical deception “wholly unacceptable and irresponsible.” However, the ministry says it is reviewing the way it sets the poverty line to account for the rising cost of living while also taking into account more than just income.

Source: Voice of America

Malaysia’s Official Poverty Figures Missing Millions of People, Experts Say

KUALA LUMPUR – At 5:30 p.m. sharp, six days a week, the Pit Stop Community Cafe rolls up its metal shop door on a quiet street in central Kuala Lumpur and welcomes in some of the Malaysian capital’s most needy for a warm, hearty meal, free of charge.

Some of the cafe’s regulars who count on the soup kitchen to make it through each day, though, earn too much to meet the government’s definition of the poor. A growing number of experts, most recently from the U.N., say that the official numbers miss millions of people who would qualify as poor almost anywhere else, leaving them cut off from critical state benefits and with too few of others to make a difference.

Having made only modest adjustments to its official poverty line since the 1970s, the government can claim to have all but routed poverty among its 32 million people, and at 0.4% Malaysia has the lowest self-reported poverty rate of any country for which the World Bank has figures. Neighboring Thailand claims an 8.6% poverty rate.

The latest rebuke of Malaysia’s figures came from U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston. After wrapping up an 11-day visit last month, he praised the government for “huge strides” in reducing poverty but called the current poverty line of about $234 a month “ridiculous.” That sum would leave each person in a family of four living on less than $2 a day.

“It can’t be done, except under really dire circumstances,” Alston told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Many Malaysians above the line “are living in conditions that are extremely difficult, extremely tough, conditions that by any international standard would have them classified as living in poverty,” he added.

In a report that followed, Alston said the country’s “highly unrealistic” poverty line has fostered a misunderstanding of who is poor that has left the country’s social safety net underfunded and overstretched. He said the Malaysian government also stood out for its extreme hoarding of household survey data, stifling research that might help solve the problem.

A poverty line is meant to mark the minimum a person or household needs to earn to afford the bare essentials of a healthy life, including food and shelter.

‘Not enough’

The Pit Stop is one of dozens of soup kitchens across Malaysia’s capital on the front line of the country’s problem, where the promise of the country’s poverty line meets stark reality.

“It’s not enough. It’s very simple; it’s not enough,” Pit Stop cofounder Joycelyn Lee told VOA before closing shop for the night, surrounded by upturned chairs and supplies for the next day’s meals.

At the same time, though, she’s not sure raising the poverty line would do much good. Like Alston and others, she says the government’s reluctance to release detailed data makes it hard to know what the consequences might be.

One worry she says she has is that raising the poverty line might boost inflation, which would hit everyone, especially the poor. She said that in the past the government has linked the poverty line and minimum wage, so that increasing one increases the other.

Pit Stop co-founder Andrea Tan says the issue “is a political hot potato, because we are still a manufacturing country.”

Government officials “are very worried that if you increase wages high enough, a lot of factories, a lot of companies will run away to cheaper places like Vietnam,” she said.

At the same time, Lee and Tan place the responsibility for the country’s low poverty line and wages as much on foreign companies and consumers as the government.

If they rise, Lee said, multinational companies will turn to the government, “and they will threaten to leave.”

“So it’s a hot seat,” she said, “What are you going to do? Are those companies willing to pay more? Are people that buy the products from these companies willing to pay more?”

The ‘B40’

Christopher Choong Weng Wai, deputy director of research at Malaysia’s Khazanah Research Institute, favors raising the poverty line, as long as the government uses it to target social assistance more effectively.

Because Malaysia’s official poverty rate is so low, the government has shifted its social assistance efforts to the bottom 40% of income earners, referred to here as the B40, the vast majority of whom are officially not poor.

“But the problem is that the allocation for subsidies and social assistance for the B40 has not kept up. So it is not so much underinvestment, but rather spreading out subsidies and social assistance to a larger target group. So breadth of coverage improves, but depth of coverage deteriorates,” the research director said.

In his report, Alston raised the example of cash transfers to the B40. Because they go to so many, he said, “the payments are so small as to make little difference.” A report UNICEF Malaysia prepared for Alston in June also found that the country’s tax and social protection systems “have virtually no redistributive or poverty reduction impact.”

The question is what Malaysia’s real poverty rate is.

Lee, Tan and Choong Weng Wai were all wary of offering ideas without more data and research. Alston also refrained from making his own suggestion.

A recent study by economist and former World Bank research department director Martin Ravallion found that, when compared to other countries with a similar average income to Malaysia’s, about 20% of the population � 6.4 million people � should be considered to be in poverty. Research by Khazanah found that setting the poverty line at 60% of the country’s median income would put 22.2% of Malaysians below it.

When asked for comment on the barrage of criticism of the poverty line, Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Ministry referred VOA to a statement it issued responding to Alston’s remarks and report.

In it, the ministry stands by its numbers. It says it derived them using internationally accepted standards and calls Alston’s accusation of statistical deception “wholly unacceptable and irresponsible.” However, the ministry says it is reviewing the way it sets the poverty line to account for the rising cost of living while also taking into account more than just income.

Source: Voice of America