Let your mind wander back in time to recall the cartoons of a generation ago. A popular depiction of cutting-edge science consisted of a scrawny genius, his persona dominated by a dome of a head, one large ear planted on each side of the face and crowned by unruly wisps of white hair, with knotted eyebrows frozen in the concentration of impending discovery. Hunched over an array of vats, dishes, and test tubes, the maniacal gleam was matched in intensity only by the forest of glass perpetually boiling and spewing their multicoloured venom into the atmosphere of a laboratory that lesser mortals entered at their peril.Pause for a moment in the restless present, and replicate the scene in context. Now, instead of the “mad professor,” one is confronted by the image of a young whippersnapper, perhaps just out of college but probably not, un-groomed, tousle-headed, clad in t-shirt and shorts, feet on the table, laptop balanced precariously on one knee, the remnants of a forgotten meal of burger, fries, and soda pop contributing to the mayhem of the tabletop, a juvenile conductor who, with the occasional tap of the keyboard, controls the clack and hum of the unending rows of servers behind him, squat canyons of impersonal machinery churning and processing and crunching an endless stream of what we nonchalantly refer to as “data.”Welcome to the “busyness” of today. The collection, aggregation, sifting, and processing of information about the ways and means of one’s fellow human beings is now unprecedented in volume and boggles the mind with the scope of its application. The information of the world is now in the possession or control of a handful of organizations, and the logical corollary to this mega-aggregation is data mining. Therefore, if one has the wherewithal, install a server to sift and analyze and electronically ponder on certain identified accounts, record the caprice and trends of human behaviour in all its permutations and combinations and more, and archive the outcome in anticipation of the next sellable idea.Human impatience decreed that the monopoly needed to be taken to the next level, because the longer this data remained tranquil and undisturbed by even the slightest wind to ripple its surface, the less valuable it became. It would only be a matter of time before human endeavour and innovation churned the ocean with the motive of revenue and profit. But let us examine the process before arriving at the ultimate objective.In the beginning, a digital ledger is created. This is the short-form reference to something known as distributed ledger technology, a digital system for recording the transaction of assets in which transaction and computation and archiving is happening on different computers and the transactions and their details are recorded in several places at the same time. Unlike traditional databases, these ledgers are not maintained in one central location. The digital ledger works on the concept of blockchain technology as applied to data both enormous and complex.The data is computed in various servers all over the world, moving from one blockchain to another, and remains in those specific servers in machine-readable (encrypted) form. Mimicking the behaviour of Mercury, the capricious and restless character of Greek mythology, the online file jumps from one computer to the next laptop to the other server until it is reined in and given commercial form by the tap of a secured key.We are describing an undertaking on a colossal and transnational level. The “system,” for want of a better expression, has to be “on” and “up” at all times. There cannot be even a millisecond of “downtime” because of the ceaseless auto-computing taking place at some unknown point of the electronic chain.And it is at this point when a creature generically referred to as cryptocurrency appears surreptitiously on the horizon. So stealthily, in fact, that few people are even aware of its decade-old existence. But it is only in recent months that this notion has begun to flex its digital muscles and advertise its existence. And it is the miracle of marketing that has people across the globe taking their first tentative steps to open their minds and explore the latest manifestation of commercial innovation. But how does it work? Let us also explore.The given fact is that every server is constantly mining data, the foundation on which the commercial proposition is constructed. Companies that have floated and endorsed online currencies, or “coins,” attach a certain value of the coin to the data controlled and processed by the company they have tied up with. As an outcome of this enterprise-level contract, one “opens” an account with the owner of the coin. Depending upon the amount of data being mined, a certain value of a coin is attached to this activity. The value of the coin is infractions and is recorded in the cryptocurrency wallet of choice. For a certain amount of time and volume provided for data mining, the coin company shall allocate a value. Of course, the value will be inversely proportional to the reputation and currency of the coin. The availability of the coin, therefore, shall always be dependent upon the amount of data that is available for mining to the public.The digital wallet is anonymous and encrypted and known only to the parties involved in the particular transaction. The level of anonymity is such that one party is not even aware of the identity of the other.Have we permitted the force of this new enterprise to pull us into the maelstrom of a world that we barely recognize? No, most probably not. Because as owners of the latest handheld technology, each of us is, willingly or unwillingly, a participant in the global undertaking and exercise of metadata, a veritable tsunami that we could not anticipate but are now submerged by.Digital currency is probably the way of the future. But for its success, there needs to be mass participation. The dynamics and nature of an enormous subcontinent overflowing with potential human capital requires that political goodwill is built and accumulated on a corresponding scale. Accordingly, experience demonstrates that it is the instrumentality of the mass-based welfare scheme that has proved to be the most potent and efficacious method of recording the performance of an administration. What better way to kick-start a nascent parallel economy than by putting in place a digital wallet for every woman of the household and encouraging her to place a designated amount into the digital crypto economy?We have for several years now been passive participants and contributors to a new model of doing business in which the personal returns are few if any at all. It is up to us to take the initiative and create our destiny, invisible as it may be, and play a more meaningful role in an economy that has transformed life and commerce at unimaginable levels.Dear reader, let us continue to unravel the secrets of this invisible behemoth. It cannot be as cryptic as it is made out to be.
A day-long online training on "BigData" was organized by the Bangladesh Computer Council of the Information and Communication Technology Department under the "Innovation and Entrepreneur Development Academy Establishment Project (iDEA)".State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak, MP, inaugurated the event on Thursday (June 11) morning through video conferencing as part of the iDEA project "Education for Nation". Senior Secretary of ICT Department NM Ziaul Alam PAA and Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Parthapratim Dev were the special guests on the occasion. The online event was presided over by Syed Mojibul Haque, Director (Additional Secretary) of iDEA Project.As the chief guest, Junaid Ahmed Palak, MP, State Minister for ICT, said Bangladesh is the 8th most populous and largest country in the world where about 170 million people are constantly generating data. Data is being considered as the most valuable resource in the world at the moment. The more information a country or nation has and is able to process and analyze it properly, the more wealthy that country or nation is said to be. There are now more than 100 million mobile phone and internet users in the country and more than 160 million SIM cards are being used where there are millions of computer users including around 40 million smartphone users. Especially in this Corona situation, through the use of online technology, the government is trying to provide education to about 4 crore students and provide primary health care to 160 million people from March 2020 till now, i.e. in the last 3 months.He further said that through data analysis, it is possible to initially estimate the number of affected areas in Corona situation or the number of symptoms is high, and the number may increase later in the area. That is, there is a strong ability to analyze data. The Hon'ble Minister of State said that now the prevailing posts like CEO, CFO, or CTO as well as Chief Data Officer will be required in all public and private offices. This is because public-private offices are now emphasizing data analysis for decision making. Our main goal now is to enable the country's researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to use the country's data to provide new services. He also highlighted the need to use Frontier technology.As a special guest, NM Ziaul Alam PAA, Senior Secretary, ICT Department said that data-based policies are more sustainable and effective. So whenever we talk about creating evidence-based policy, we need to increase data resources. The more we improve in data management, the better our policies will be. We have started practicing it which we have to continue. However, if we can increase the work in this regard in Bangladesh, we will be able to be richer in data resources. Parthapratim Dev, Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), who was the special guest on the occasion, said that one of the resources in the present age is information or data. This information or data is very important all over the world now. All in all, it has a significant role to play in the world economy.ID Project Director (Additional Secretary) Syed Mojibul Haque in his welcome address said that the era ahead is the era of Frontier Technology. So the iDEA project is organizing such events to encourage young people about Frontier Technology. He said that various programs will continue in the future as well.This training focuses on Making sense of Bigdata, Bigdata & Smart Analytics, and how we can harness opportunities in Bigdata. Data Science student at the University of Queensland in Australia and Deputy Commissioner (Tax) of the National Board of Revenue joined the training as a resource person. Dr. Abdul Bari Tushar, Lecturer in Big Data Analytics at Griffith University School of ICT. Saiful Islam and Habibullah N Karim, Founder , and CEO of Technohaven Company Limited. More than 60 trainees from Chittagong Division took part in the training through the online platform Zoom and will be awarded certificates later. Besides, the whole event was broadcast live on the official Facebook page of "Start-up Bangladesh" so that many interested people get a special idea about "Big Data". iDEA Project Deputy Project Director (Deputy Secretary) Kazi Hosne Ara, Project Senior Consultant RHM Alaol Kabir, Project Consultant Dewan Adnan, Sohag Chandra Das including Chittagong University, Comilla University, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), Noakhali Science and Technology University, Rangamati University of Science and Technology, Premier University, Independent University Chittagong, including students of various educational institutions of Chittagong Division, teachers, BCC and other officials of ICT Department were present online.