Three years after Alberto Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment, the Federal Judiciary of Argentina has finally categorized his death as a homicide. Those who orchestrated Nisman’s assassination sought to send his life’s work with him to the grave. Despite the passage of time, Nisman’s assassination and his complaint regarding the cover-up of the 1994 AMIA bombing must both be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and the lessons and merits of his work not be forgotten. As the head prosecutor of the AMIA Federal Investigative Unit (UFI-AMIA), Nisman was the lead investigator of the 1994 car-bomb attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. In 2007, Nisman succeeded in levying Interpol red notices, akin to international arrest warrants, against high-ranking Iranian officials whom he identified as the masterminds of the attack. On January 14, 2015, Nisman filed his now-famous complaint against then-President of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and several of her associates, alleging that they colluded with the Government of Iran to remove the red notices. According to Nisman’s research, this attempt to clear Iran of responsibility for the AMIA attack hinged on a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which stated that the two countries had determined to resolve the matter bilaterally. Four days after filing the complaint, and one day before he was to present his findings in detail before the Argentine Congress, Nisman’s lifeless body was found with a gunshot wound to the head. The three years that have passed have seen many efforts to silence Nisman further by painting his death as a suicide and through attempts to permanently close the investigation of Nisman’s complaint. However, the claims for which Nisman gave his life have also been substantiated by outside evidence and new revelations. A November 2009 indictment in U.S. District Court cited a source close to Hezbollah whose comments confirmed the value and accuracy of Nisman’s investigative work regarding the AMIA attack. Dib Hani Harb, a Lebanese national, was charged with conspiring to aid the terrorist group Hezbollah, with which he maintained various familial and communal ties. Nisman’s research of the AMIA bombing pointed the finger of culpability at Iranian officials, whom he accused of carrying out the attack through a small proxy Hezbollah force in Argentina. The aforementioned indictment detailed that in 2009, “HARB stated that Hizballah receives a great deal of money from Iran and told the (undercover FBI agent) that Hizballah maintains small cells throughout the world. HARB cited Hizballah’s attack on a Jewish facility in Argentina as an example of the work of one of these cells.” Harb’s comments clearly refer to the AMIA attack, corroborating Nisman’s accusations and serving as a reminder of the lasting merits of his work. Nisman’s assertions about the secret negotiations surrounding the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between Argentina and Iran were also recently supported by an exchange between the Argentine Foreign Ministry, Interpol, and Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister. The exchange began when the Argentine Foreign Ministry contacted Interpol requesting the removal of a so-called “caveat” that had been mysteriously added to the red notices. The caveat states that Iran and Argentina had agreed to resolve the dispute over the AMIA attack bilaterally, effectively weakening the red notices by suggesting that no third-party need involve itself to apprehend or extradite the five Iranian suspects. On November 4, 2017, after having been informed by Interpol of Argentina’s request to remove the caveat, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif sent a letter to Jorge Faurie in which he stated: “The then-Foreign Ministers of Iran and Argentina, in compliance with article seven of (the memorandum), sent a joint letter to the General Secretary of Interpol, and, referring to the agreement reached by the two countries to collaborate on a bilateral level, asked Interpol to terminate its obligations with respect to the AMIA case.” (Translated from reporting by Clarin.) The joint letter referred to by Zarif, which has been published on Twitter by Argentine lawmaker Waldo Wolff, appears to be signed by former Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and former Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. This new revelation flys in the face of the legal defense of Timerman and Kirchner, both of whom deny that the MoU was meant to remove the red notices or exculpate Iran in any way. After bouncing in and out of the federal court system over the last three years, the separate investigations of Nisman’s complaint and death now rest squarely in the jurisdictions of Federal Judges Claudio Bonadio and Julian Ercolini, respectively. In the investigation of the Nisman complaint, Bonadio recently indicted Kirchner, Timerman, and numerous others, charging them with cover-up of the collusion with Iran. However, unlike the majority of the accused, Kirchner remains immune from detention because of her status as a Senator. Recent statements from former members of the Argentine Congress have indicated the presence of a secret agreement between the political party Cambiemos and the Federal Judiciary of Argentina to protect Kirchner’s immunity. If these claims prove true, this agreement would be but another example of the corruption and ineptitude of the criminal justice system in Argentina when it comes to seeking justice for the AMIA attack. It would be prudent for the leaders of the Argentine Congress and President Mauricio Macri to address these rumors and dispel any such agreement. In the investigation of Nisman’s death, Ercolini recently issued indictments of his own. Diego Lagomarsino, Nisman’s long-time friend and IT assistant, was labeled a “necessary participant,” in Nisman’s homicide, meaning that the privileged access and information he possessed were essential to those who actually carried out the assassination. Four Federal Police officers who made up part of Nisman’s security detail were also indicted, two with charges of aggravated cover-up, and two with malpractice charges. This positive step must be followed by continued efforts to determine the identities of those who ordered, orchestrated, and carried out the assassination. The government of Argentina and other influential parties must do all that is necessary to see that the investigation remains independent and that those responsible are held to account. Nisman dedicated his life to seeking justice for the victims of horrible violence, only to tragically fall victim to bloodshed himself. Dedication to the investigations of his complaint and his homicide should be his posthumous reward.  About the author: Gardner Lange is a senior at the University of Utah, pursuing undergraduate degrees in International Studies & Spanish, with a minor in Political Science. His professional focus is foreign policy research, specifically in Latin America and Counterterrorism issues. Gardner aspires to attend law school and pursue a career in academia. Photo credit: Creative Commons/CC BY-SA  

But it’s difficult to think about value when we have no buoy for understanding it outside our traditional lenses: for example, our time, our job, and what others tell us they are worth in cash. This, largely, is the world’s paradigm for value so far. But understanding what value really means changes everything—and will be at the center of the decentralized revolution in global coordination that will unfold over the next decade. So, where do we begin?

Let’s start with gold.

Gold is an inherent value. When backing a market, gold allows us to grow a balanced economy well into the trillions. But why does it allow for massive stable markets to form around it? It is gold's permanence that creates stability. We understand that gold will always have value, because it is inherent in all of us, not just in one part of the world, but everywhere, not just today, but tomorrow and for the long haul.

In the 1930s when the gold standard was removed, we learned that the U.S. dollar didn’t need gold to back its economy to flourish. We learned that it was just a symbol for U.S. citizens to decentralize their coordination around the United States economy.

It turns out, common agreement is a philosophy for building shared economy.

And so it seems inherent value is a marker for us to begin exploring what the future could look like—a future beyond gold and the existing realm of credit. And so what else has inherent value? Is education as valuable as gold? What about healthcare? What about a vote that can’t be tampered with? What about an ID that can’t be stolen or erased? What about access to nutrition or clean water? You will find value everywhere you look.

It turns out, we’ve already done the legwork necessary to uncover the most elemental inherent values: The Sustainable Development Goals are commitments grown out of the drive to bring to life basic tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—the closest possible social contract we have to a global, common agreement.

We’ve already agreed, as a global community, to ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality education. We’ve already agreed to empower all women and girls, to ensure pure and clean water access for all, to promote health at all stages of life, and to end hunger.

We’ve already agreed.

Our agreements are grounded in deep value centers that are globally shared, but undervalued and unfulfilled. The reason for this is our inability to quantify intangible value. All of these rich, inherent values are still nebulous and fragmented in implementation—largely existing as ideals and blueprints for deep, globally shared common agreement. That is, we all agree education, health, and equality have value, but we lack common units for understanding who and who is not contributing value—leaving us to fumble in our own, uncoordinated siloes as we chase the phantoms of impact. In essence, we lack common currencies for our common agreements.

Now we find ourselves at the nexus of the real paradigm of Blockchain, allowing us to fuse economics with inherent value by proving the participation of some great human effort, then quantifying the impact of that effort in unforgeable and decentralized ledgers. It allows us to build economic models for tomorrow, that create wholly new markets and economies for and around each of the richest of human endeavors.

In late 2017 at the height of the Bitcoin bubble, without individual coordination, planning, or the help of institutions, almost $1 trillion was infused into blockchain markets. This is remarkable, and the revolution has only just begun. When you realize that Blockchain is in a similar stage of development as the internet pre-AOL, you will see a glimpse of the global transformation to come.

Only twice in the information age have we had such a paradigm shift in global infrastructure reform—the computer and the internet. While the computer taught us how to store and process data, the Internet built off that ability and furthered the conversation by teaching us how to transfer that information. Blockchain takes another massive step forward—it builds off the internet, adding to the story of information storage and transfer—but, it teaches us a new, priceless and not yet understood skill: how to transfer value.

This third wave kicked off with a rough start—as happens with the birth of new technologies and their corresponding liberties. Blockchain has, thus far, been totally unregulated. Many, doubtless, have taken advantage. A young child, stretching their arms for the first couple times might knock over a cookie jar or two. Eventually, however, they learn to use their faculties—for evil or for good. As such, while it’s wise to be skeptical at this phase in blockchain’s evolution, it’s important not to be blind to its remarkable implications in a post-regulated world, so that we may wield its faculties like a surgeon’s scalpel—not for evil or snake-oil sales, but for the creation of more good, for the flourishing of commonwealth.

But what of the volatility in blockchain markets? People agree Bitcoin has value, but they don’t understand why they are in agreement, and so cryptomarkets fluctuate violently.  Stable blockchain economies will require new symbolic gold standards that clearly articulate why someone would agree to support each market, to anchor common agreement with stability. The more globally shared these new value standards, the better.

Is education more valuable than gold? What about healthcare or nutrition or clean water?

We set out in 2018 to prove a hypothesis—we believe that if you back a cryptocurrency economy with a globally agreed upon inherent value like education, you can solve for volatility and stabilize a mature long lasting cryptomarket that awards everyone who adds value to that market in a decentralized way without the friction of individual partnerships.

What if education was a new gold standard?

And what if this new Learning Economy had protocols to award everyone who is helping to steward the growth of global education?

Education is a mountain. Everyone takes a different path to the top. Blockchain allows us to measure all of those unique learning pathways, online and in classrooms, into immutable blockchain Learning Ledgers.

By quantifying the true value of education, a whole economy can be built around it to pay students to learn, educators to create substantive courses, and stewards to help the Learning Economy grow. It was designed to provide a decentralized way for everyone adding value to global education to coordinate around the commonwealth without the friction of individual partnerships. Imagine the same for healthcare, nutrition, and our environment?

Imagine a world where we can pay refugees to learn languages as they find themselves in foreign lands, a world where we can pay those laid off by the tide of automation to retrain themselves for the new economy, a world where we can pay the next generation to prepare themselves for the unsolved problems of tomorrow.

Imagine new commonwealth economies that alleviate the global burdens of poverty, disease, hunger, inequality, ignorance, toxic water, and joblessness. Commonwealths that orbit inherent values, upheld by immutable blockchain protocols that reward anyone in the ecosystem stewarding the economy—whether that means feeding the hungry, providing aid for the global poor, delivering mosquito nets in malaria-ridden areas, or developing transformative technologies that can provide a Harvard-class education to anyone in the world willing to learn.

These worlds are not out of reach—we are only now opening our eyes to the horizons of blockchain, decentralized coordination, and new gold standards. Even though coordination is the last of the seventeen sustainable development goals, when solved, its tide will lift for the rest—a much-needed rocket fuel for global prosperity.

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair.”  —George Washington
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.