For the past 12 years Anthony Welch and his partner Theresa have been living a Robinson Crusoe life alone on a South Pacific island mostly untouched by humanity.
Welch, a retired British property investor, hopes the tranquility will soon be shattered by 21,000 cryptocurrency investors he is trying to convince to move to his island and form a regulation-free “crypto utopia”.
Under Welch’s plan, the 3 million sq metre (32 million sq ft) island, which is part of the Vanuatu archipelago between Australia and Fiji, would be transformed from 90% undisturbed rainforest into a “sustainable smart city”, filled with multistorey apartment blocks and offices for cryptocurrency investors from around the world.
Welch, who has renamed the island from its native name Lataro to Satoshi (in a nod to Satoshi Nakamoto the pseudonym of the person who invented bitcoin), has joined forces with cryptocurrency evangelists to create a “blockchain-based democracy” and “the crypto capital of the world”.
However, Welch will first have to unwind his previous marketing of the island as a “wildlife nature reserve” home to rare giant crabs.
In his previous attempt to sell the island for $12m (£9m), Lataro is described as an ecological paradise “covered in lush rainforests, together with a wonderful array of flora and fauna that’s been here for thousands of years undisturbed and will surely make anyone believe they have gone back in time”.
A video promoting the island for sale in 2017 boasts that the 4 miles of “pristine coral reef surrounding the island is a marine conservation area” that “teems with beautiful fish and coral life”. It says only a handful of people have ever dived at the reef and “most parts of it have never been explored”.
“This was the last place with coconut crabs, they [the local population] had decimated them absolutely everywhere else on Espiritu Santo [Vanuatu’s largest island nearby],” Welch told the Guardian.
“We formed the reserve to try to stop them decimating them here to get the numbers back up … the government department for the environment have supported us creating a wildlife refuge here.”
The Satoshi island project is the latest in a series of schemes aimed at bringing cryptocurrency fanatics out from behind the blockchain in their bedrooms and into real-world community in small island states.
The president of Palau, another Pacific island nation about 3,000 miles to the northeast of Vanuatu, has launched plans to become “the world’s first government-backed national stablecoin” by the end of the year.
President Surangel Whipps Jr says the country has partnered with Ripple, a US cryptocurrency firm whose executives have been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission of stealing $1.3bn worth of the tokens, “to create a national digital currency, providing the citizens of Palau with greater financial access”.
Plans to establish Cryptoland on an island in Fiji – where investors were told they would “enjoy a first-class crypto lifestyle” – collapsed earlier this month when the promoters failed to buy the island.
Welch says Satoshi Island will succeed where Cryptoland failed because he and his partners own the island, and claims the development plans have the support of both the Vanuatu government and the local community.
However, the Vanuatu government failed to respond to requests for comment, and Welch was unable to provide contact details for any current local residents.
“We’re trying to build a community,” Welch said in an interview over satellite link to the island which currently has no mains electricity, water, phone or internet connection. “We’re not trying to develop and make a profit.”
Welch took the island off the market and entered into a complex partnership with Hong Kong-based architect James Law, Australian crypto entrepreneur Denys Troyak and Daniel Agius, chief operating officer of the Vanuatu Investment Migration Bureau, an agency that sells Vanuatu citizenship.
“The crypto paradise they want to build is a really cool idea, and a wonderful use of a place we have been able to live on for 12 years,” Welch said.
“The team had been working to find a location for some time, the key issue was trying to find a government that would … permit a society to exist on crypto transactions. Most countries in the world want to collect tax, and they therefore don’t want crypto transactions happening because they can’t monitor what’s happening. Vanuatu has no income taxes of any sort.”
The trio are promising 21,000 investors the island will “become home for crypto professionals and enthusiasts, with a goal to be considered the crypto capital of the world”.
“Life on the island will be an experience like no other, giving the crypto community a way to live and work amongst like-minded people in a place designed around the industry we love,” they say on a website promoting the island.
Successful applicants wanting to live on the island will be granted with a non-fungible token (NFT) granting them “Satoshi Island citizenship”. However, the small print details that they will also have to gain Vanuatu citizenship to live on the island.
Vanuatu citizenship costs $130,000 and allows “golden passport” visa-free travel to 129 countries, including the UK and all Schengen countries in Europe.
The country is heavily promoting its “citizenship by investment” programme despite concerns that the scheme has been exploited by fugitives, politicians and disgraced businesspeople.
A Guardian investigation last year found that among the 2,200 foreign nationals granted citizenship in 2020 were a Syrian businessman with US sanctions against his businesses, a suspected North Korean politician, an Italian businessman accused of extorting the Vatican and South African brothers accused of a $3.6bn cryptocurrency heist.
8 Reasons Why Highly Intelligent Individuals Tend To Embrace Messiness At Home
By Darren Wilson
In the realm of intellectual brilliance, the concept of order and tidiness often takes a backseat. Highly intelligent individuals, driven by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation, forge their paths in a world of ideas and creativity.
This propensity for intellectual pursuits can give rise to living spaces that may seem cluttered and untamed to the untrained eye.
Here, we dive into eight compelling reasons why some of the brightest minds in history tend to gravitate towards messy households, shedding light on the unique relationship between intelligence and chaos.
1. Unkempt Homes Foster Creativity and Novelty
For highly intelligent individuals, a chaotic environment serves as a crucible for creativity.
Studies from the University of Minnesota have shown that disorderly settings encourage thinking outside the box. In experiments, participants in cluttered rooms generated ideas perceived as more enjoyable and innovative.
This environment fosters a unique brand of creativity, allowing brilliant minds to explore uncharted territories of thought.
2. Disinclination to Adhere to Social Norms
Conformity rarely finds a place in the lives of the highly intelligent. These individuals possess an independent streak that extends to their living spaces.
They question the societal expectation of a meticulously clean home, choosing instead to embrace the chaos that mirrors their unconventional thinking.
Their rejection of conformity extends to their environment, where their independent spirit takes precedence over tidiness.
3. Energy Allocated to Intellectual Pursuits
The pursuit of intellectual endeavors consumes the majority of their energy. Immersed in research, contemplation, and problem-solving, these individuals leave minimal room for routine tasks like cleaning.
This single-minded dedication to intellectual pursuits manifests in a living space that reflects their prioritization of knowledge over cleanliness.
4. Immersed in Thoughts, Oblivious to Surroundings
The minds of highly intelligent individuals are a whirlwind of intellectual activity. Lost in contemplation about the nature of existence and the complexities of the universe, they often become oblivious to their immediate surroundings.
This profound mental engagement takes precedence over the physical environment, resulting in spaces that may appear untamed to others.
“In the world of a true entrepreneur, chaos and creativity dance in perfect harmony.”
– Raza H. Qadri
5. Cleaning Appears Boring and Monotonous
Geniuses often find routine tasks like cleaning to be uninspiring and monotonous.
Their minds are wired to seek intellectual stimulation and challenge, rendering cleaning a lower priority.
They possess a higher threshold for messiness, requiring mental engagement that everyday tasks cannot provide.
6. Independence Trumps Social Approval
Independence is a hallmark of highly intelligent individuals. They chart their paths, setting their own standards and disregarding external validation.
This autonomy extends to their living spaces, where their personal preferences dictate the level of tidiness. They clean not to conform but to accommodate their own thresholds of disorder.
7. Priority on World-Changing Pursuits
For these exceptional minds, the pursuit of groundbreaking ideas takes precedence over mundane tasks.
Cleaning, considered peripheral in the grand scheme of their intellectual pursuits, is deferred to allow room for the development of technologies and solutions that shape the course of progress.
8. Aversion to Mundane Tasks
The brilliance of these minds lies in their ability to envision a transformative future. The act of cleaning pales in comparison to the exhilaration of ideation and innovation.
Cleaning becomes a secondary concern, reserved for moments when disorder reaches an insurmountable level. The brilliance of their minds manifests not in pristine living spaces, but in the ideas and innovations that have the power to change the world.
“Glimpse” by PS Art
In the tapestry of intelligence, the threads of brilliance are often interwoven with chaos. Highly intelligent individuals find their stride amidst clutter, using their mental prowess to craft worlds of innovation and creativity. While their living spaces may appear untamed, they stand as a testament to the extraordinary minds that inhabit them.
In the pursuit of groundbreaking ideas and transformative technologies, the genius of messiness finds its place. It is a reminder that the true measure of brilliance lies not in the pristine order, but in the world-altering ideas that emerge from the minds of these exceptional individuals.
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— By Darren Wilson | Team ‘THE VOICE OF EU‘
— For more information & news submissions: info@VoiceOfEU.com
“The Creator”: A Glimpse Into A Future Defined By Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare
By Cindy Porter
In “The Creator” visionary director Gareth Edwards thrusts us into the heart of a dystopian future, where the battle lines are drawn between artificial intelligence and the free Western world.
Set against the backdrop of a post-rebellion Los Angeles, the film grapples with pressing questions about the role of AI in our society.
A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare
While the narrative treads familiar ground, it is timely, given the rising prominence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.
A Fusion of Genres
Edwards embarks on an ambitious endeavor, blending elements of science fiction classics with contemporary themes.
The result is a cinematic stew reminiscent of James Cameron’s “Aliens” tinged with shades of “Blade Runner” a dash of “Children of Men,” and a sprinkle of “Akira” This concoction, while intriguing, occasionally veers toward familiarity rather than forging its own distinct identity.
Edwards’ Cinematic Journey
The British filmmaker, known for his foray into doomsday scenarios with the BBC docudrama “End Day” in 2005, has traversed a path from indie gem “Monsters” (2010) to the expansive Star Wars universe with “Rogue One” (2016).
“The Creator” marks another bold step in his repertoire. The film introduces compelling concepts like the posthumous donation of personality traits, punctuated by impactful visuals, and raises pertinent ethical dilemmas. It stands as a commendable endeavor, even if it occasionally falters in execution.
In his pursuit of depth, Edwards at times stumbles into the realm of convolution, leaving the audience grappling with intricacies rather than immersing in the narrative.
While adept at crafting visual spectacles and orchestrating soundscapes, the film occasionally falters in the art of storytelling.
In an era where classic storytelling is seemingly on the wane, some may argue that this approach is emblematic of the times.
AI: Savior or Peril?
“The Creator” leaves us with a question that resonates long after the credits roll: Will artificial intelligence be humanity’s salvation or its undoing? The film’s take on machine ethics leans toward simplicity, attributing AI emotions to programmed responses.
This portrayal encapsulates the film’s stance on the subject – a theme as enigmatic as the AI it grapples with.
Director: Gareth Edwards. Starring: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Madeleine Yuna Boyles, Ken Watanabe. Genre: Science fiction. Release Year: 2023. Duration: 133 minutes. Premiere Date: September 29.
– A breakout hit, “Monsters” showcases Edwards’ talent for blending intimate human drama with towering sci-fi spectacles. Set in a world recovering from an alien invasion, it’s a poignant tale of love amidst chaos.
2. “Rogue One” (2016)
– Edwards helms this epic Star Wars installment, seamlessly integrating new characters with the beloved original trilogy. It’s a testament to his ability to navigate complex narratives on a grand scale.
3. “End Day” (2005)
– This BBC docudrama marked Edwards’ entry into the world of speculative storytelling. Presenting five doomsday scenarios, it set the stage for his later exploration of dystopian futures.
4. “The Creator” (2023)
– Edwards’ latest venture, “The Creator,” immerses audiences in a future fraught with AI warfare. While not without its challenges, it boldly tackles pertinent questions about the role of artificial intelligence in our lives.
5. Potential Future Project
– As Edwards continues to push the boundaries of speculative cinema, audiences eagerly anticipate his next cinematic endeavor, poised to be another thought-provoking addition to his illustrious filmography.
“The Creator” stands as a testament to Gareth Edwards’ unyielding vision and his penchant for exploring the frontiers of speculative cinema.
While it doesn’t shy away from the complexities of AI, it occasionally falters in navigating its intricate narrative.
As we peer into this cinematic crystal ball, we’re left with a stark question: Will artificial intelligence be our beacon of hope, or will it cast a shadow over humanity’s future? Only time will unveil the answer.
We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!
— By Cindy Porter
— For more information & news submissions: info@VoiceOfEU.com
Energize Your Property Value: The Surge In Demand For Home EV Charging Points
By Raza H. Qadri (ALI)
In a rapidly evolving real estate landscape, home electric vehicle (EV) charging points have emerged as a coveted feature. Here, we will explore the surge in demand for these charging stations and their potential to transform property value desirability.
Surge in Demand:
Estate agents are witnessing an unprecedented uptick in requests for properties equipped with EV charging points. Rightmove reports a staggering 592% increase in listings mentioning EV chargers since 2019. This summer, Jackson-Stops even incorporated EV charging points into their top-ten must-have property features for the first time.
Adding Value To Property:
Integrating electric vehicle (EV) charging points into residential properties has become a key factor in boosting their market value. According to insights from the National Association of Property Buyers, homes equipped with EV charging facilities can see an uptick in value ranging from £3,000 to £5,000. This trend aligns with the increasing demand for sustainable features in real estate. Rightmove’s Greener Homes report highlights a remarkable 40% surge in listings mentioning EV chargers in comparison to the previous year. Such statistics underscore the significance of these installations as a sought-after feature among buyers.
Beyond the potential increase in property value, homeowners can reap substantial benefits from dedicated EV charging points. These specialized units offer significantly faster charging speeds compared to standard three-pin plugs. With an output of 32 amps/7kw, a dedicated charger can provide up to 28 miles per hour of charging, a substantial improvement over the 9 miles offered by a standard plug.
Moreover, safety considerations play a pivotal role. Standard domestic sockets may not be designed for prolonged high-output usage, potentially leading to overheating and related wiring issues.
Therefore, the integration of a dedicated EV charging point not only adds tangible value to a property but also ensures a safer and more efficient charging experience for homeowners and their electric vehicles.
Benefits Beyond Convenience:
Dedicated charge points offer benefits beyond convenience. According to James McKemey from Pod Point, these units deliver significantly faster charging speeds compared to standard three-pin plugs. Safety considerations also come into play, as standard domestic sockets may not be built for prolonged high-output usage.
Charging an EV at home proves more cost-effective than relying on public charging stations. Smart charging capabilities enable homeowners to take advantage of lower rates, typically offered during off-peak hours, such as at night.
Charger prices vary, ranging from approximately £300 to over £1,000, with installation costs potentially adding another £400 to £600.
Solar integration presents a game-changing opportunity for homeowners seeking both environmental sustainability and financial benefits. The global solar energy capacity reached an astounding 793 gigawatts (GW), illuminating the rapid adoption of this renewable energy source.
For homeowners, integrating solar panels with an electric vehicle (EV) charging point can lead to substantial savings. On average, a standard solar panel system costs around £6,000 to £7,000 per kWp (kilowatt peak), with the typical installation size being 4kWp. This equates to an initial investment of approximately £24,000 to £28,000.
However, the return on investment is impressive. Solar panels can generate roughly 3,200 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year for a 4kWp system in the UK. With the average cost of electricity sitting at 16.1p per kWh, homeowners can save approximately £515 annually on energy bills.
Moreover, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) schemeallows homeowners to earn money by exporting excess electricity back to the grid. As of September 2021, the SEG offers rates ranging from 1.79p to 5.24p per kWh. Over the course of 20 years, a solar panel system can generate savings of over £10,000, demonstrating the substantial financial benefits of solar integration. This trend is expected to surge further as advancements in solar technology continue to drive down installation costs and boost energy production.
Regulations and Grants:
Regulations surrounding EV charging point installations vary, particularly for listed buildings, which require planning permission for wall-mounted units. However, for flat owners, renters, and landlords with off-street parking, there’s an opportunity to benefit from government grants.
These grants provide a substantial subsidy, offering £350 or covering 75% of the total installation cost, whichever is lower. This incentive has spurred a surge in installations, with a notable uptick in applications over the past year.
In fact, according to recent data, the number of approved grant applications for EV charging points has risen by an impressive 68% compared to the previous year. This demonstrates a growing recognition of the value and importance of these installations in both residential and rental properties.
Renting Out Your Charging Point:
Renting out your EV charging point also presents a compelling opportunity for homeowners to capitalize on the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure.
According to recent market trends, the number of registered electric vehicles worldwide surpassed 14 million in 2023, marking a significant milestone. With projections indicating an annual growth rate of 29% – 34% for the global electric vehicle market, the need for accessible charging solutions is set to skyrocket. In the UK alone, the number of electric vehicles on the road has tripled over the last three years, reaching over 857,000 at the end of 2023.
This surge in EV ownership underscores the potential market for homeowners looking to rent out their charging points. Platforms like JustPark and Co Charger facilitate this process by connecting drivers in need of charging with available charging stations.
By participating in this shared economy, homeowners not only contribute to the expansion of EV infrastructure but also stand to generate a supplementary income stream. This symbiotic relationship between EV owners and charging point hosts aligns with the broader shift towards sustainable transportation solutions.
Finally, we can conclude that the surge in demand for properties with EV charging points signals a shifting paradigm in real estate. With added convenience, cost-efficiency, and potential for monetization, these installations are poised to become a cornerstone of future property value and desirability.
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— By Raza H. Qadri | Science, Technology & Business Contributor “THE VOICE OF EU”
— For more information & news submissions: info@VoiceOfEU.com