Tag Archive: Investment

Bitcoin – Is It Merely ‘A Speculative Bubble’?

One of my favorite reads this weekend is Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks’  latest memo to clients- “Yet Again?”

I can totally relate to the issues he highlights about Bitcoin and the numerous digital currencies we have these days. Particularly, i fully understand the honest statement he makes –” I think I understand what a digital currency is, how Bitcoin works, and some of the arguments for it. But I still don’t feel like putting my money into it, because I consider it a speculative bubble. I’m willing to be proved wrong” ( Page 8 of the Memo “Yet Again?”)

In fact, Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine, and a reader of my blog, wrote me a message on WhatsApp after I shared an article about How Bitcoin Is Reducing The Need For Trade financing.

She asked me-

“Rahab, what do you think of Bitcoin and all these digital currencies I hear about? You know, I still don’t understand this whole buzz in Finance these days.”

She continued to ask me –

” And with all this fraud going on these days, Is it real, or is it another one of those scams? I hear people are making tons of money in this business. But how?”

I had to be honest with her. I told her,

“Reen dear, I am still learning about these things too.” 

From his memo, i believe there is a lot investors can learn. For example, It’s not enough to accept Bitcoin merely as a medium of exchange. For investors, it is also worth considering issues such as ‘Bitcoin price volatility and it’s future’ and some of the ‘factors that lead to it’s volatility.’

Still wondering what Bitcoin is and how it works? A great place to start is by reading this article ‘Why Bitcoin Matters’ by Marc Andreesen, the co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Renewable Energy Investment: Google’s Commitment To Invest in Africa’s Biggest Wind Farm In Northern Kenya

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Google Company is actively taking part in minding the future. The company has progressively made a positive impact in the society and built a reputation for itself in the last few years by being actively involved in sustainable investments and developments. Google is known for investing in renewable energy, which is not only an innovative and altenative solution for their data centers, but also a means to offer sustainable solutions to real life problems facing the society today. Such innovative solutions is what the world currently needs, especially in times like these where one of the biggest challenges we’re facing today is the problem of energy. It’s no secret that most of the energy we use comes from burning fossil fuels which produce large volumes of Co2, that not only damage the environement, but also contribute to the so called ‘man-made’ climate change. In the current condition of our society, what we urgently need are innovative and sustainable solutions that try to solve or end the cycle of global warming.

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Google’s continous  and latest commitment to making a positive impact in our society, is to take part in a huge investment in Africa for the second time, by commiting to invest in a wind power project, in Northern Kenya, which when completed will be Africa’s Largest wind power farm.

(Read about the first one here here-‘Investing in a South African solar project’)

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is located in the Loyangalani district of Kenya, Marsabit West County, in North-Eastern Kenya and the wind farms site is single and biggest wind farm in Africa covering 40,000 acres (162km2). According to Lake Turkana Wind Power Project ( LTWP), the project will comprise of 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850 kW), the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation. (More on the Lake Turkana Wind Farm Site and Wind Turbine details- here)

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The location of the wind turbines is also an important aspect to think about.  Even landscapes for low carbon power also call for a careful thinking where to put the wind turbines. For the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, the site is said to be optimal! Even though it is known that everything else can be quite hard in the Turkana region, Lake Turkana is a proven ideal location because there, you get literally one of the best winds in the world,  which is reliable for this sort of project. –The area is a relatively a desolate spot with no transmission line networks.  The winds sweeping through the area have their origins from the Indian Ocean and are channeled through the “Turkana corridor” which are created by both the Ethiopian and Kenyan highlands.

(More details on Turkana corridor Phenomenon -here)

For this project, Google is joining a large group of international investors which include, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) the U.S. government’s development Financial InstitutionsVestas which is supplying the turbines for the wind farm.  Google intends tp purchsase Vestas’ 12.5% stake in Lake Turkana once it comes online  (More about the Investors here)

The Lake Turkana Wind Farm project which achieved it’s Financial close  on 19th December 2014,  is being financed through a combination of both debt and equity financing. More information about the financing structure can be found on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project – Fact Sheet

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Northern Kenya will be of great help and beneficial for the organisations involved (including Google) and the society at large. The investment is expected to bring 310 Megawatts to Kenya, enough to provide power to more than two million households in Kenya. This is quite beneficial because it brings   stability to Kenya’s energy supply and to enable reduce reliance on burning fossil fuels, which we all know is a major contribution to Co2 that are quite damaging to the environment. Wind Power is sustainable and it is a source of elecrtic power generator which is cheaper and reliable. Clean energy is the future.

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