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Weekly Crypto Update

Bitcoin mining nears record pace as industry shrugs off China clampdown companies creating new tokens scatter across the world after China’s crackdown in May The amount of computing power dedicated to mining out new units of bitcoin has jumped close to an all-time high as cryptocurrency miners shift their operations to new countries following a clampdown in China. The bitcoin hash-rate, a measure of how difficult it is to create new coins, has risen to the highest since May. The increase suggests digital “miners” are dedicating more computing resources to crack complex puzzles, for which they are rewarded with newly-minted bitcoin. Miners have been moving to new geographies since May, when China banned the energy-intensive practice. The negative environmental impact of bitcoin mining has been a key sticking point for bitcoin critics, due to the amount of energy needed for producing new coins. The US is now the world’s largest home for dedicated computers for minting new digital assets.

Visa launches crypto consulting services in push for mainstream adoption

Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies.

The payments processor said Wednesday its crypto advisory practice, will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers and other firms on everything from rolling out crypto features to exploring non-fungible tokens.

Visa named American bank UMB as a client that’s already using its crypto advisory services.

The move marks Visa’s latest attempt to push deeper into the crypto industry. From Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021, the company processed $3.5 billion in digital currency transactions through its crypto-linked card.

Visa hopes its crypto consultancy can help further mainstream adoption of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Like rival Mastercard, the credit card giant sees cryptocurrencies as a key growth opportunity as it expands into areas beyond card payments.

Puerto Rico wants to combat corruption with blockchain technology

A mayor in Puerto Rico pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe of more than $100,000 in cash last week.

Following another corruption scandal, the government of Puerto Rico is reportedly seeking to improve its anti-corruption efforts by adopting blockchain technology.

The implementation of blockchain and smart contracts could bring more transparency and accountability to the public sector.

Puerto Rico is not alone in exploring the potential anti-corruption capabilities of technologies like blockchain and digital currency. Last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark reported on blockchain's potential to fight administrative and political corruption. The United Nations’ drugs and crime agency also advised Kenya to use blockchain to combat government corruption.

One of the world’s most corrupt countries, Russia could in fact use crypto to reduce corruption.

cash is way more popular for illegal activity like corruption because it’s more difficult to trace but with cryptocurrency If you carry out a proper KYC at the start, crypto flows can be much more easy to trace.

Central Banks of France and Switzerland announce successful trial of digital Euro, Swiss Franc

On Wednesday, the Banque de France (BdF), the BIS Innovation Hub (BISIH) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced the success of a pilot run of a wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC), titled Project Jura. The project, which aimed to investigate cross‑border settlement with euro and Swiss franc wCBDCs, was launched on a third‑party distributed ledger technology platform.

The experimental technology explored in Project Jura consisted of a decentralized peer‑to‑peer network of computer nodes (Corda) to validate transactions while simultaneously ensuring that all legal, regulatory and business rules of governing nations are satisfied. Then, there was the tokenization of the aforementioned fiat currencies and the Negotiable European Commercial Paper, a short-term maturity (one year or less) debt instrument denominated in euros. Finally, Project Jura looked into infrastructure networks that enable real‑time gross settlement of transactions, bond digitization and a digital assets registry.

The Metaverse is a $1T opportunity after users increase 10x

According to a new report from Grayscale, the rate of active metaverse users increased 10x between the start of 2020 and June 2021.

Crypto investment giant is estimating that the “market opportunity” for bringing the metaverse to the mainstream may be worth over $1 trillion in the next few years.

The report highlights that metaverse platforms integrated with crypto tokens, decentralized finance services such as staking and lending, nonfungible tokens (NFT), decentralized governance and decentralized cloud storage have “created a new online experience” that’s rapidly attracting new users.

“Compared to other Web 3.0 and Web 2.0 segments, Metaverse virtual world users are still in their early innings, but if current growth rates remain on their current trajectory, this emerging segment has the potential to become mainstream in the coming years.”

Global revenue from virtual world gaming totaled $180 billion in 2020, with “premium spending” accounting for around $40 billion, with estimates the sector could pull in more than $400 billion by 2025, primarily driven by the in-game spending model.

Kickstarter Announces That It Will Move to Blockchain

One of the most known crowd funding platform will shif to Blockchain technology.

Kickstarter says that will create a “decentralized version of [its] core functionality” that will “live on a public blockchain.”

The company said that blockchain will make it easy to reward participation in new ways, and that it will also allow for the mixing of different protocols and software components. Kickstarter’s platform will be built on Celo, a mobile-focused DeFi blockchain platform. The firm also drew attention to Celo’s carbon-negative features, namely the fact that it relies on proof-of-stake and uses its token to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Kickstarter was created in 2009 and has handled more than $6 billion of pledges for 200,000 projects.

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