Eat Pray Nepal Blog

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bitcoin under pressure in Nepal

Bitcoin has been doing very well in the markets recently with prices reaching $7829 per Bitcoin. Also Bitcoin has the biggest market cap. It is the most dominant virtual currency so far. Only Ethereum has come close to challenging its position in the market. 

See the chart below for the latest price as of November 17, 2017.

However, using Bitcoin in Nepal is apparently illegal. Various media have reported Bitcoin sellers being arrested. The government can easily shutdown centralized hubs and exchanges. However Bitcoin was designed to be run decentralized. It will be interesting if users flock to others servics like localbitcoins or thru other decentralized services and trade Bitcoins.

"The national investigative agency of Nepal, operated by Nepal Police, has arrested the founders of bitcoin exchange Bitsewa in an ongoing crackdown in the country. The Nepal Police has arrested Ram Dhakal, 32, and Pursottam Dhar Tuladhar, 26, for “allegedly operating a bitcoin racket in Kathmandu and Pokhara under the cloak of an online technology business.”

The two bitcoiners are founders of Bitsewa Pvt Ltd., a cryptocurrency exchange that supports trading of multiple digital currencies and the provider of a bitcoin wallet service in the country. There are no laws nor regulations for bitcoin in Nepal and, as such, cryptocurrency-related exchange businesses are considered ‘illegal’, according to a notice [PDF] published by Nepal’s central bank."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A rant against Google Chrome - a bloated web browser in 2016

I was a regular user of the internet and have used Google Chrome as my main web browser for the last five or six years. But over the years I have noticed I have gotten tired of the sluggishness and the constant background updates. 
Chrome leads market share in December 2016

Chrome with tiny market share in 2009

Background updates
Yes Google Chrome web browser updates itself in the background without your knowledge and you cannot stop it. There are many so called work-arounds designed to stop Chrome from auto-updating but the reality is none of these methods work. I have tried using various methods such as updating the Chromes registry entry to stop it from updating to implementing a firewall rule to stop Google Update as well as actually deleting the actual Update file. Despite all these measures I was not able to stop it. Somehow it finds a way to update.

These updates are good from an IT security perspective but Chrome itself has become really big and bloated over the years.

Google Spying on users ?
All web browsing done on Chrome is reported to Google and your surfing records are stored. Some people think Google might be spying on people, but I think it may mostly be used to see peoples browsing habits and probably not for any nefarious purposes.

Limited Data 
These auto updates are worse for people in developing countries such as Nepal with limited internet bandwidth. The consumer internet in Nepal is slow by modern standards and is not unlimited bandwidth which could result in extra unwanted data consumption.

Its time to move on to other web browsers if you are concerned about having privacy choices and not being forced into updates.

I will write another post next time on some alternatives such as Firefox, Opera, Chromium and others.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ratna Park - Kathmandu's version of New York's Central Park

View from middle

Ratna Park has gone a huge renovation as of last year. It is now much cleaner and worth visiting than in the past. Also in the past it used to be a free park while now there is an entry fee. It is quite reasonable price of Rs 20 if I remember right for locals. I only paid the fee to use their bathroom. After that I checked out the park. You can see some people enjoying the modest quietness and privacy of the park. It is hard to find anything like this in middle of Kathmandu unless you go to the Garden of Dreams in Thamel.

People sitting down enjoying the sun and talking

Pond in the middle of Ratnapark

The sign reads "It is prohibited to enter the Pond"

I didnt see any fish

Overall Ratna Park is a big upgrade the past and old version. However it is still not really a place to hangout with your friends or family. And definitely not a place to go for a swim in the pond. Would you enter the pond pictured above ? Leave your comments below.

Rating: 7 / 10