The infamous collapse of the Terra ecosystem, which erased market prices of TerraUSD (UST) and LUNA tokens, continues to trouble anxious investors as co-founder Do Kwon, crypto exchanges and the community together tries to identify the best route for a sustainable price recovery.Most recently, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, the CEO of crypto exchange Binance, recommended a flat 1.2% trading tax on LUNC trades that could be burned to reduce the token’s total supply and improve its price performance. Addressing the community, CZ stated:“We will implement an opt-in button (on the Binance exchange), for people to opt-in to pay a 1.2% tax for their LUNC trading.”However, the exchange would begin the taxation for opt-in traders following the consensus of 25% of the LUNC investors, making sure that early adopters “are not the only few paying an extra 1.2%.”A blanket trading tax of 1.2% will be implemented for all LUNC trading only after opt-in traders reach 50% of the total LUNC trading volume on the exchange.I answered the question about LUNC in my Twitter Space AMA just now.Another option is to implement a feature to let users opt-in for a 1.2% trading fee themselves for burn. And see how many of the voting community do that first. Vote with your fees.— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) September 23, 2022The recommendation split up the LUNA community as some supported CZ’s decision to implement the opt-in button while others interpreted it as market manipulation from a centralized entity.CZ backed LUNC burning but believes in community voting, allowing traders on the platform to finalize the suggestion, adding, “We listen to and protect our users.” However, the entrepreneur is aware that unless the change is implemented across all exchanges and on-chain, LUNC traders would prefer moving assets to other exchanges that don’t have the burn.Related: South Korean authorities ask Interpol to issue ‘Red Notice’ for Do Kwon: ReportOn the other end of the spectrum, South Korean authorities are trying to track down and arrest Kwon for the Terra collapse. On Sept. 14, a court in Seoul, South Korea, issued an arrest warrant for Kwon and five other people for violating the country’s capital markets law.
The long-awaited cryptocurrency regulation framework released by President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department this month attempted to outline a plan for managing the burgeoning crypto industry. Unfortunately, the department’s assessment failed to embody more substance than a mere mission statement.While Biden’s administration appears to be taking a “whole-of-government approach” toward overseeing the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector and its ripple effects on the traditional economy, they are focused predominantly on defending against negative events — such as financial crime — and failing to facilitate positive events, such as the wealth-building opportunities that crypto offers to Americans excluded from the traditional big-banking system.The new framework was a follow-up to Biden’s executive order in March, titled, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Asset.” Officials focused predominantly on prosecuting money launderers and Ponzi schemers across jurisdictions. That may come as no surprise, considering it was developed as crypto dominoes fell over the summer months. Those included the collapse of Terraform Labs, which led to an Interpol arrest warrant for its founder, Do Kwon; the Celsius Network’s bankruptcy; and the collapse of crypto prices.Nonetheless, these events served the healthy purpose of shaking out bad actors who were in crypto for criminal or self-interested purposes. An effective set of laws related to crypto that prevent illicit activity and promote peer-to-peer financial transactions would work wonders for crypto’s public image. The Biden framework, which is more reactive than proactive, doesn’t achieve that.Related: Biden is hiring 87,000 new IRS agents — and they’re coming for youAs a nation, we don’t agree on much these days. We mostly want the United States to remain a global economic superpower, but we differ on how to do it. Stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies dismantle the power of federal currencies and allow individuals to accrue wealth independently, which is exactly why the federal government doesn’t like them.The Biden framework literature suggests digital currency is key to securing America’s future as an economic leader. But if it grants power over crypto to the same authorities who wield power over traditional finance, the status quo isn’t going to change. Instead of establishing the U.S. dollar’s “digital twin,” the government would be better off finding a way to coexist with alternative currencies.The White House’s proposed framework is a fucking disgrace. – Clear attack on proof-of-work by implying they will set environmental standards for mining.- Pushing FedNow over crypto- Framing everything as a potential scam or threat- Harping on volatility and consumer risk— The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) September 16, 2022It’s time to move beyond the enforcement of existing regulations and to institute new programs that integrate blockchain technology into areas most in need of disruption, such as healthcare and big business, even if we can’t quite agree on how to address currencies.For example, keeping medical records on a blockchain — like Estonia’s highly advanced e-health system already does — would streamline and secure each person’s health data from birth through death, with each doctor or pharmacist along the way accessing an accurate history to make the best decision. Collecting anonymized, uncorrupted medical data is going to lead to better research, better treatments and more cost-effective health care. Related: Cryptocurrency is picking up as an instrument of tyrannySimilarly, putting property and business records on a blockchain would lead to more accountability for big, opaque corporations that make bold claims of charity and sustainability. Such transparency would allow consumers to make more informed decisions about who they buy from — and bank with.The federal government should also nurture blockchain technology by investing in large-scale blockchain projects and incentivizing companies that use it to better serve the public. Going forward, let’s hope both federal and state governments will cooperate to write real crypto industry legislation, not just to mitigate its damage, but to foster its potential. Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets have the capacity to bring wealth-building opportunities to huge swaths of unbanked Americans, break up monopolies, and hold wealthy Goliaths accountable for their business dealings to a degree never seen before. The Biden framework is a lukewarm beginning, but we have a long way to go. Guy Gotslak is the president and founder of the CryptoIRA platform My Digital Money (MDM). He holds a degree in computer science & engineering from UCLA and an MBA from Northwestern University.This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a cryptocurrency fund that currently holds 3.12% of the total Bitcoin (BTC) supply, or over 640,000 BTC, is trading at a record discount compared to the value of its underlying assets.Institutional interest in Grayscale dries upOn Sep. 23, the $12.55 billion closed-end trust was trading at a 35.18% discount, according to the latest data.GBTC discount versus spot BTC/USD price. Source: YChartsTo investors, GBTC has long served as a great alternative to gain exposure in the Bitcoin market despite its 2% annual management fee. This is primarily because GBTC is easier to hold for institutional investors because it can be managed via a brokerage account. For most of its existence, GBTC traded at a hefty premium to spot Bitcoin prices. But It started trading at a discount after the debut of the first North American Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Canada in February 2021.Unlike an ETF, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust does not have a redemption mechanism. In other words, GBTC shares cannot be destroyed or created based on fluctuating demand, which explains its heavily discounted prices compared to spot Bitcoin.Grayscale’s efforts to convert its trust into ETF failed after the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rejection in June. In theory, SEC’s approval could have reset GBTC’s discount from current levels to zero, churning out profits for those who purchased the shares at cheaper rates.Grayscale sued the SEC over its ETF application rejection. But realistically, it could take years for the court to give a verdict, meaning investors would remain stuck with their discounted GBTC shares, whose value have fallen by more than 80% from their November 2021 peak of around $55.GBTC daily price chart. Source: TradingViewAlso, GBTC’s 12-month adjusted Sharpe Ratio has dropped to -0.78, which shows that the anticipated return from the share is relatively low compared to its significantly high volatility.GBTC 12-month adjusted Sharpe Ratio. Source: PortfolioSlab.comSimply put, institutional interest in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is drying up.A warning for spot Bitcoin price?Grayscale is the world’s largest passive Bitcoin investment vehicle by assets under management. But it doesn’t necessarily enjoy a strong influence on the spot BTC market after the emergence of rival ETF vehicles.For instance, crypto investment funds have attracted a combined total of almost $414 million in 2022, according to the CoinShares’ weekly report. In contrast, Grayscale has witnessed outflows of $37 million, which include its Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other tokens’ trusts.Fund flows by provider. Source: CoinSharesInstead, day-to-day fluctuations in the spot Bitcoin price are heavily driven by macro factors, at least for the time being.NDAQ versus BTC/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingViewA stronger U.S. dollar also hurts Bitcoin’s upside prospects, given their consistent negative correlation over the past year in a higher interest rate environment.Related: BTC mining firm Compute North files for bankruptcyFor instance, the U.S. dollar index (DXY), which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of top foreign currencies, has climbed over 113, its 20-year high, on Sep. 23. Similarly, yields on 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes have climbed to 4.21% and 3.69%, respectively.U.S. dollar index versus US 10-year and US 2-year Treasury yields. Source: TradingViewSeveral on-chain metrics, however, are suggesting that Bitcoin could bottom out soon based on historical data. However, from a technical standpoint, BTC’s price still risks a drop toward the $14,000-$16,000 area, according to independent analyst il Capo of Crypto.BTC/USD eight-hour price chart. Source: TradingView/Capo of CryptoIts more likely that [Bitcoin] will reject at the first resistance of 20300-20600,” he said while citing the chart above, adding: “Wait for the bounce, then exit all the markets.”Other Bitcoin analysts have thrown around even lower targets such as $10,000–$11,000, due to this being a historical high-volume range. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
It’s a question that’s infatuated scientists for decades: how can we prolong life expectancy — giving humans everywhere more years of good health?This field is known as longevity science, and within this industry, experts argue care which regards ageing as a normal but treatable ailment are rare — and of the approaches available, they can only be accessed by those who are highly educated and privileged.Just some of the key tenets that govern this approach to medicine involve therapeutics, personalized medicine, predictive diagnostics and artificial intelligence. The goal is to eliminate a “one size fits all” attitude toward treatment, and ensure that therapies are customized to an individual’s unique medical profile. This can matter in many different ways — to the best method for tackling cancer, to the food we eat and our risk of heart disease.And while predictive diagnostics offers an existing way of unlocking better patient outcomes, this often hinges upon using large amounts of anonymized data to determine what’s happened in the past, and how greater levels of success are achieved in the future.Bizarrely, there are parallels between cryptocurrencies and longevity science. You could argue that this approach to medicine is currently where digital assets were back in 2013 — a time when crypto discussion was confined to online message boards, niche group chats and convoluted whitepapers. Longevity researchers are excitedly sharing their findings with one another — and collaboration is taking place across sectors. Experts are keen to ensure that anyone with an interest in this nascent field can get involved and contribute.Educating the massesAs in the crypto industry, a big challenge that longevity science faces is education — and simply explaining this concept to the public. This is a journey that takes time, effort, money and patience.Because of this, a dedicated event has been established so this cutting-edge concept can be discussed in an open forum. The Longevity Investors Conference is set to take place in Switzerland from Sept. 28-30. It’s being sponsored by Credit Suisse, and tickets can be paid for in cryptocurrency.It’s being organized by Marc P. Bernegger. He’s a founding partner of Maximon — a Swiss company that invests and builds in longevity-focused companies. Bernegger explored Bitcoin in 2012 and told Cointelegraph: “There is room for everyone. We can all travel the same path but take different approaches. It’s still the same narrative.”Just some of the items on the agenda include exploring the scientific meaning of longevity — and how this will affect individuals around the world in the long run. Discussions will also be held on how to cultivate investment in this fledgling space, and according to Bernegger, this is a field that’s of great interest to crypto enthusiasts.The conference aims to build bridges, and highlight how scientists play a vital role in ensuring that we can all benefit from longer lifespans and a healthy retirement. While there are business opportunities to be found, investors face a challenge because they’re not from a scientific background. Likewise, bright minds often need an entrepreneurial perspective in order to bring their genius concepts to market.Bernegger added: “There are a number of different perspectives — the entrepreneurs, the scientists, investors who bring money. They need a combination of everything. This sector appreciates new players. The more money there is, the more smart and serious people you have, the better. The industry is still finding itself. It is accessible now, and people are happy to help.”Why crypto is a good matchIt’s the science element that’s attracting early adopters of cryptocurrency to this space. The reason is simple: because many of these enthusiasts are forward looking, open minded and technology driven.Describing the initial days of crypto, Bernegger explained: “They were all in for the technology. It was not just speculative. They saw the potential of a peer-to-peer solution, and now they see the potential with regard to ageing.” Indeed, blockchain technology also has the potential to enhance the quest to achieve longevity. Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) have already been established that are funding research to support and commercialize therapeutics. This approach also ensures that donors can vote on the future direction of research projects.Even though the bear market has cast a long shadow over the crypto sector, many of those in this industry are firmly in the “BUIDL” phase. They’re using this opportunity to innovate, cultivate new products, and develop the trends that will drive the next bull run. Longevity science can be one of them — and according to Bernegger, pioneers know that paying close attention to health is far more important than the value of any token. We already know that the rate of ageing can be controlled, to some extent, by genetic pathways and biochemical processes. But in the coming decades, there are still so many questions to be answered — and dots to be connected — in the quest to improve our quality of life, and ensure that anyone can access it. The Longevity Investors Conference says attendance will be strictly limited to 100 hand-picked delegates, and they’ll be able to benefit from the insights of over 30 outstanding speakers. It’s a compelling opportunity to get to know the industry inside and out, all while establishing meaningful contacts with the best people in the field.It’s going to take place in Gstaad, one of the most exclusive Swiss mountain resorts, in a “one-of-a-kind setting” within a plush, five-star hotel, and world-class speakers flying in to attend and present. This includes members of the Longevity Science Foundation Visonary Board.. This nonprofit recently entered into a partnership with The Giving Block — tapping into a vital stream of crypto philanthropy.If you want to know how to add years to your life, and life to your years, this could be the most important conference you ever attend.Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.
In the early days of Bitcoin (BTC), crypto enthusiasts only required a basic personal computer with an internet connection to generate new BTC tokens through a distributed computing process known as mining. However, with more people chasing the same number of block rewards, Bitcoin’s mining process has become more challenging with time. In fact, the quantum of rewards will progressively reduce by half every four years, making it less rewarding for individual miners who will need to allocate greater computational resources with time.Available on blockchain protocols that employ a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, this mining process requires application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) to be deployed in the form of large rigs so as to complete the complex nature of mathematical problems within the time needed to mine a block.With the increasing difficulty of the mining algorithm and the rewards for mining a block reducing with time, it has become impossible for a piece of single personal computing equipment to successfully mine a block. This has brought the concept of a cryptocurrency mining pool to the forefront, where individual miners or users come together and pool their computational resources in order to improve their chances of mining a block and share the rewards received among them. In existence since 2010, when Slush Pool was formed as the first Bitcoin mining pool, there are now many popular mining pools for cryptocurrencies like Ether (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV) and more to choose from.Replete with their own dashboards that provide status on aspects like the mining hardware’s status, the current hash rate, estimated earnings and other parameters, the mining pools offer crypto users the opportunity to participate in the mining process of a particular cryptocurrency consistently and earn regular rewards in proportion to the computing power contributed.Understanding the cryptocurrency mining processBefore we delve into what is a cryptocurrency mining pool and how an individual can join one, let us look at how cryptocurrency mining takes place and understand the key difficulties involved. Firstly, for any PoW blockchain protocol, the process of mining its native token involves solving math problems using computing power, where the correct answer is represented as the block’s hash number, and rewards are presented to the entity that solves the fastest. These rewards are presented in the form of native tokens, with the mining process programmed such that a new transaction block is mined after specific durations of time. In the case of Bitcoin, this time is around ten minutes and the complexity, or hash rate, is adjusted depending on the amount of computing power available on the network.With more computing power, the hash rate proportionately increases and requires even more powerful computing power to be having any chance of solving the mathematical puzzle within each cycle time. This is the reason why cryptocurrency miners have graduated from using personal computers or CPU mining to using graphic processing units (GPUs) and now shifting entirely to custom-built rigs using hundreds of ASICs in order to mine cryptocurrency. These ASIC miners continue to evolve and use the latest chip technology to provide a hash rate that can increase the chances of mining Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Depending on the hash rate, power consumption, the noise produced, and profitability per day, ASIC miners like the Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro, AvalonMiner 1166 Pro, and WhatsMiner M32 are preferred among the crypto mining community today.Whether it be releasing new tokens into the system or verifying and adding transactions to the public ledger in the form of blocks, the mining process gets tougher as more miners compete for the same. Since the reward for mining a Bitcoin block is 6.25 BTC, it is quite lucrative from a monetary perspective and has motivated many miners to increase their computing capacity by purchasing expensive ASIC miners. Alternatively, those who would rather dedicate their existing computing capacity to earn lesser but consistent rewards prefer to join a cryptocurrency mining pool like F2pool, Slush Pool, or AntPool, and they like to combine resources and earn daily rewards for their contributions.How do crypto mining pools work? A cryptocurrency mining pool is a collection of miners that work together as one entity to augment their chances of mining a block and share rewards among each other in proportion to the computing power contributed by them in successfully mining a block. The mining pool operator manages activities such as recording the work performed by each pool member, managing their hashes, assigning reward shares to each member and even the work to be performed by them individually. In return, a mining pool fee is deducted from the rewards distributed to each member, which is computed based on the pool-sharing mechanism and depending on how these cryptocurrency mining pools share rewards, they can be of the proportional type, pay-per-share type or completely decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) pool type. In a proportional mining pool, miners that are contributing their computational power receive shares until the time when the pool is successful in mining a block, which are then converted into rewards proportional to the number of shares received by each pool member.Pay-per-share pools differ slightly from proportional pools in the sense that each member can encash the shares received on a daily basis, irrespective of whether the pool has been successful in finding a block. Last but not least, P2P cryptocurrency mining pools are more advanced versions where the entire pool activity is integrated as a separate blockchain to prevent the operator or any single entity from cheating the pool members.Irrespective of the type of pool one chooses, it is important to check if the crypto mining pool is profitable after analyzing the computing power needed, electricity costs involved, the mining pool fee applicable and how often crypto mining pools payout. Usually, different cryptocurrency mining pools charge between 2% to 4% of the realized earnings, with most offering a daily pay-out mechanism at a predetermined time of the day. For contributors, though, the cost of purchasing dedicated ASIC miners and the regular cost of electricity needed to power them need to be carefully ascertained to understand if crypto mining pools are profitable.What are the different types of crypto mining pools and how to start mining a pool?There are a number of reputed cryptocurrency mining pools available for individual miners to join and start contributing toward. Binance, AntPool, F2pool, Pool BTC and Slush Pool are some of the best-known cryptocurrency mining pools that have an exemplary track record in terms of uptime efficiency and regular payouts being made to pool members. In fact,Slush Pool has been responsible for mining more than 1.3 million BTC since its inception, helping over 15,000 small individual miners collectively mining Bitcoin at a total hash rate accounting for 5-8% of the total Bitcoin network.Instead of participating in a Bitcoin mining pool, individual miners can also join in mining other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Monero (XMR), ETH, and Ethereum Classic (ETC) among others, by joining the right mining platform. Amongst Ethereum mining pools, Ethermine, 2Miners, F2pool, Nanopool, and Ezil are some of the more established options for users to choose from, with each offering a different network hash rate and comprising hundreds to thousands of individual miners. Choosing which cryptocurrency to start mining with depends upon its price stability, the hash rate required to consistently earn decent rewards and the mining platform’s fees that will be minus the overall earnings.Apart from registering for a cryptocurrency mining platform, individual miners will need to have mining hardware in the form of one or more ASIC miners, mining software installed and a secure cryptocurrency wallet to store rewards and other crypto holdings for transacting purposes. The more capital invested in advanced mining rigs or equipment, the brighter the chances of earning higher rewards, subject to the entire hardware being dedicated to the purpose of cryptocurrency mining. Additionally, having a fast internet connection and an uninterrupted electricity supply are essential to perform the work allocated by the mining pool operator at the fastest pace possible.Advantages and disadvantages of a crypto mining poolCryptocurrency mining pools offer even smaller miners the opportunity to utilize their computational resources to earn a regular income without having to invest heavily in developing a dedicated mining rig that can cost millions of dollars. Periodic payouts, clear and real-time visibility of the rewards potential and benefit from the professional management of a pool operator are just some of the advantages of joining a crypto mining pool.However, not all crypto mining pools are safe, as demonstrated by Poolin, which recently announced that it was suspending BTC and Ether (ETH) withdrawals due to liquidity concerns. Moreover, considering that crypto mining pools make money by deducting a mining pool fee from rewards earned by mining activities, the actual earnings for each pool member are considerably lower than what is possible in the case of being a sole miner. What’s more, is that the equipment needed for pursuing even mining pool operations can be very expensive and profits can be disproportionately affected by any increase in electricity or internet costs.Purchase a licence for this article. Powered by SharpShark.
Over the past two years, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) gave the crypto ecosystem the boost it needed to grab mainstream attention — owing to the involvement of prominent artists and celebrities. However, despite the enormous losses suffered by NFT investors following the ongoing, 10-month-long bear market, the ecosystem showed sustainable signs of a comeback in the last two weeks.Since Sept. 12, the performance of blue-chip NFT collections witnessed a steady growth, inching back toward the 10,000 Ether (ETH) that was lost in mid-August 2022, according to data by NFTGo. The performance of blue-chip NFT collections. Source: NFTGoOn Sept. 20, the market capitalization, which is derived from the floor price and the trading price of NFTs, spiked nearly 16.5% at roughly 11.25 million ETH. Market capitalization of NFT collections. Source: NFTGoReciprocating the market cap breach of the 11 million ETH mark for the first time in three months, the number of NFT holders grew 32.24% along the same timeline, as shown above.Ethereum Name Service (ENS) currently contributes the highest volume at 9.25%, which is followed by popular NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Otherdeed. NFT market sentiment. Source: NFTGoHowever, current market sentiment — calculated based on volatility, trading volume, social media and Google trends — remains cold as investors try to recoup their previous losses.Related: Post offices adopting NFTs leads to a philately renaissanceNFT marketplace OpenSea launched the OpenRarity protocol to verify the rarity of NFTs within its platform. The protocol aims to provide a reliable “rarity ranking” that would assist investors when considering purchasing NFTs.
MEV gain, an Ethereum (ETH) arbitrage trading bot built by MEVbots, which claims to provide stress-free passive income, has been actively draining its users’ funds via a fund-stealing backdoor. Arbitrage bots are programs that automate trading for profits based on historical market information. An investigation of MEVbots’ contract revealed a backdoor that allows the creators to drain Ether from its users’ wallets. Our analysis confirms what the @mevbots promotes for the so-called “MEV gain” has a fund-stealing backdoor. Do *NOT* fall prey to it https://t.co/z2eDqMF36b. And thanks @monkwithchaos for the heads-up https://t.co/dhSNGljoH0 pic.twitter.com/HWfCAwbae4— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) September 23, 2022The scam was first pointed out by Crypto Twitter’s @monkwithchaos and later confirmed by blockchain investigator Peckshield. Suspect account @chemzyeth promoting MEV services. Source: Google cacheFollowing the revelation, primary promoter of MEV @chemzyeth disappeared from the internet.@chemzyeth’s Twitter account deleted after community callout. Source: TwitterPeckshield further confirmed that at least six users had fallen victim to the backdoor attack.Transaction of stolen funds from MEV gain’s fund-stealing backdoor. Source: Peckshield However, considering that the contract is still active, at least 13,000 unwary followers of MEVbots on Twitter remain at risk of losing their funds.Related: ETHW confirms contract vulnerability exploit, dismisses replay attack claimsCarrying forward the success of scalability-focused layer-2 solutions, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shared his vision for layer-3 protocols. He stated:“A three-layer scaling architecture that consists of stacking the same scaling scheme on top of itself generally does not work well. Rollups on top of rollups, where the two layers of rollups use the same technology, certainly do not.”One of the use cases for layer-3 protocols, according to Buterin, is “customized functionality” — aimed at privacy-based applications which would utilize zk proofs to submit privacy-preserving transactions to layer 2.
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the gaming world by storm. Whether it’s through limited edition collectibles, avatar enhancement or play-to-earn incentivization, digital assets have given in-game ownership a new meaning.The ways in which NFTs are available to players are becoming increasingly tangible. In the case of Blockxer, the latest blockchain game from Blokhaus Inc., every component of the game has been NFT-ized and available for modification by users. Mark Soares, the founder of Blokhaus Inc., told Cointelegraph that when every aspect of the game is an NFT, users can create completely “bespoke” game experiences. Everywhere a user turns in this 8-bit, arcade-inspired game, there is an NFT — from the background and the characters to the weapons and more:“Imagine the ability to create your own characters, in your own scene, and the ability to gift or sell these mods as an NFT pack to other players.”NFTs allow users to unlock fully modular, community-driven in-game experiences to which they own the pieces. Soares likens this customization of an NFT-driven game, such as Blockxer, to 90s mixtapes, saying that it puts the “power of game creation in the players’ hands.”As explained by Soares, the design of Blockxer is quite simplistic, harkening back to pixelated arcade games of the nineties. It highlights crypto-meme culture and includes characters like a zombie doge.Zombie Doge NFT character sample. Source: BlockxerEven though the game design is simplistic, Soares stated that it doesn’t mean the utilities of the NFTs have to be simple as well. In fact, he said that too simplistic thinking of NFTs is a problem in the blockchain gaming industry.“Usually [they’re] just add-ons, rewards or badges for games that you can purchase – we think they can and should be much more.”This is only the beginning of NFT integration into the world of gaming. Recently MyMetaverse and Enjin games began implementing NFTs into popular games such as Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto 5 servers.Related: Solitaire, Counter-Strike, Snake: How casual gaming could be a ‘huge’ Bitcoin on-rampOther gaming giants like SEGA games have recently shown interest in blockchain gaming and its features.
Coming up with a good name is often one of the most challenging decisions one needs to make when launching a new service or business. Historical data of domain name purchases suggest that Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin (BTC), had an alternate naming option in mind that did not make it to the whitepaper.Bitcoin.org, the website domain linked to the original Bitcoin, was created on Aug. 18, 2008, under AnonymousSpeech, a service in Japan that allowed users to buy domain names anonymously. Domain purchases under AnonymousSpeech around similar timelines revealed the creation of Netcoin.org on Aug. 17, 2008 — just a day prior to the creation of Bitcoin.org.Did you know? A day before the https://t.co/oDfOFzFVNi domain was first registered, someone purchased https://t.co/KLzoDxJjrz using the same registrar. Looks like Satoshi was contemplating between the two names and later dropped https://t.co/KLzoDxJjrz#Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/yqwZYRefvX— Or Weinberger (@orweinberger) September 23, 2022After further research, crypto locksmith Or Weinberger confirmed that no content was ever present on the Netcoin.org domain “except only after it was repurchased by another person later on.”The decision to stick with Bitcoin may have been crucial to its success due to the fact that numerous members of the crypto community highlighted their dislike for the name Netcoin, as one stated:“That’s interesting. I’m glad they stuck with Bitcoin, sounds way better.”The finding further helps Bitcoin distance itself from the people that have previously claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. The Netcoin.org domain was later deleted and re-registered to a subsidiary of Web.com in 2010.Related: El Salvador’s Bitcoin decision: Tracking adoption a year laterDespite the mysteries behind the creation of Bitcoin, the asset continues to dominate the financial markets. BitPay confirms this notion as its data showed Bitcoin to be a major payment tool despite huge price volatility.Speaking to Cointelegraph, BitPay’s vice president of marketing Merrick Theobald stated that the sales volumes of Bitcoin-based payments on BitPay accounted for as much as 52% in the first quarter of 2022.
Members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate as well as Supreme Court justices currently trading cryptocurrencies may have to stop HODLing while in office should a bill get enough votes.According to a framework released on Thursday, chair Zoe Lofgren of the Committee on House Administration — responsible for the day-to-day operations of the House — said she had a “meaningful and effective plan to combat financial conflicts of interest” in the U.S. Congress by restricting the financial activities of lawmakers and SCOTUS justices, as well as those of their spouses and children. The bill, if passed according to the framework, would suggest a change in policy following the 2012 passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, allowing members of Congress to buy, sell and trade stocks and other investments while in office, but also requiring them to disclose such transactions.“Congress can act to restore the public’s faith and trust in their public officials and ensure that these officials act in the public interest, not their private financial interest, by restricting senior government officials — including Members of Congress and the Supreme Court — and their spouses and dependent children from trading stock or holding investments in securities, commodities, futures, cryptocurrency, and other similar investments and from shorting stocks,” said Lofgren.She added:”I will soon introduce legislative text for a bill built on this framework for reform. Many Members have already concluded that reforms are necessary.”The framework suggested that lawmakers and SCOTUS justices could still hold and disclose a portfolio with diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, Treasury bills, and other investments that did “not present the same potential for conflicts of interest.” The bill’s framework also proposed disclosure amounts be more precise rather than the “extremely broad” range currently used — for example, fro$5 million to $25 million — and be available to the public.Under the STOCK Act, lawmakers are required to report the purchase, sale or exchange of any investment over $1,000 within 30 to 45 days but the law provides minimal financial and legal consequences for not filing in time — sometimes as little as a $200 late fee. The proposed framework suggested enforcing fines of $1,000 for every 30-day period an individual was in violation of disclosure rules, increasing the late fee to $500, and authorizing the Department of Justice to bring civil actions if necessary. The House Press Gallery’s Twitter account reported on Thursday that the House could consider the proposed legislation as early as next week.Senators Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly proposed similar reforms for the STOCK Act in the Senate in January, but there has been no movement on the bill in more than 8 months. According to Lofgren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tasked the committee to review potential financial conflicts of interest in Congress. However, the speaker previously pushed back against efforts to prohibit lawmakers from owning or trading stocks, saying “they should be able to participate in that.”Related: Powers On… Why US officials ignore ethics and STOCK Act by trading stocks?A number of House members and senators have disclosed their exposure to crypto investments, including Illinois Representative Marie Newman, Florida Representative Michael Waltz, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, Texas Representative Michael McCaul, Pennsylvania Representative Pat Toomey, Alabama Representative Barry Moore, and New Jersey Representative Jefferson Van Drew. In December 2021, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it inappropriate for her to hold Bitcoin (BTC) or other digital assets because U.S. lawmakers have access to “sensitive information and upcoming policy.”