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November 01,2021

Ivy League University Starts Accepting Bitcoin as Payment

As cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies continue to become increasingly utilized throughout the world, various educational institutions have thus started to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a viable payment method for tuition fees.

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business made headlines recently when it announced that it shall be accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as payment. The Ivy League institution anticipates attracting countless students each year via such an initiative, as it is indeed the younger generation that has played a vital role in the global adoption of cryptocurrencies. As such, the institute has added a new course centered around the study of blockchain, digital technologies and cryptocurrencies, and the course will reportedly cost $3,800 (all of which can be paid in BTC).

Wharton's relationship with crypto

The Wharton School is among the most prestigious business schools within the entire United States, and its notable alumni involve the likes of Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Sundar Pichai. The school will indeed start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies as payment for tuition before long, but it should also be mentioned that the acceptance will be restricted to the online blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets program, which will reportedly begin in January next year.

The six-week course is called &lsquoThe Economics of Blockchain & Digital Assets', and it costs $3,800 as aforementioned. In order to successfully facilitate the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments, the Wharton School shall employ the services of Coinbase Commerce, which is the main e-commerce portal of Coinbase.

The business school had also managed to make headlines earlier on in 2021 when it acquired a massive $5 million Bitcoin donation. In May, an unknown donor had sent the $5 million, which roughly translates to about 118 BTC. The Wharton School quickly converted the flagship cryptocurrency asset contribution to fiat, a move that had resulted in the institution being given over $7 million at today's prices.

Cryptocurrencies and education

Many academic initiatives involving cryptocurrencies have occurred throughout the years. For instance, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) distributed BTC to its respective student body back in 2014. Numerous other institutions have recently begun to accept cryptocurrency as payment for tuition as well.

It could be argued that as the cryptocurrency industry grows and gains more traction, many aspects of our society will gradually come to adopt a more progressive and accepting perspective towards the new digital asset class. One thing is for sure though, and that is the fact that cryptocurrencies are not going away anytime soon.

November 01,2021

Do Kwon Strikes Back: Sues SEC Over Improper Sopenia

Not too long ago, the SEC served a subpoena on Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon as he was about to make a scheduled appearance at Messari's Mainnet conference. The Securities and Exchange Commission approached Do Kwon back in May to inquire about the functioning of Mirror Protocol as well as Terraform Labs' relationship with the firm. The CEO willingly sat with the SEC lawyers and answered a wide variety of queries during a five-hour questioning period.

However, the CEO is now suing the SEC, claiming that the regulatory body has little to no jurisdiction regarding the plaintiffs. The final straw had in fact occurred in September, when the SEC subpoenaed Do Kwon, issuing some documents and paperwork during Messari's Mainnet launch event while the CEO was still speaking with Terraform's delegates.

Do Kwon Strikes Back

The founder of Terraform Labs is now officially suing the regulatory agency for violating its jurisdiction with the subpoenas. The CEO's complaint disputes the subpoenas, claiming that these were unlawfully given, as well as the agency's inability to maintain the confidentiality of a private investigation into the so-called Mirror Protocol.

Do Kwon is a South Korean resident, and although the SEC's guidelines specify that investigations are to be kept private, the regulator nevertheless issued a subpoena on an event that had nearly 2,000 people in attendance via the &lsquoCavalier Courier and Process Service'. Employing a &lsquoCavalier' procedure to confront the CEO in public at a highly anticipated event which was being attended by so many individuals was at best a reckless move, causing social media outrage along with press speculation regarding the encounter in only a few minutes of the orchestrated incident and at worst a clear attack on the cryptocurrency sector by the regulator.

The CEO, who has since gone on the offensive on behalf of the cryptocurrency industry's newest battle with the SEC, has identified a clear lack of comprehensive understanding within and between regulators as a major issue that continues to hinder the progress of decentralized finance (DeFi). The lawsuit additionally highlighted both the exponential growth of the industry and the subsequent resistance against it by various governmental and regulatory institutions such as the SEC.

The Battle Is OnEver since the incident, countless members of the cryptocurrency community have banded together to openly defy the SEC and its alleged authority over the industry. This is not the first time that the regulator had overstepped its boundaries and if left unchecked, it won't be the last either.

Furthermore, the complaint contends that the SEC violated its own guidelines governing the management and appropriate conduct of these types of situations. The subpoenas had been delivered in public, and one of Messari's Mainnet's assistants saw the delivery first-hand. This is contrary to SEC policy, which specifies that official matters must be kept secret until declared otherwise.

This lawsuit, therefore, requests that the subpoenas be declared null and void, as well as all damages including legal costs and other remedies, be covered as the court considers appropriate.

November 01,2021

Ontario Teachers Pension Fund Gains Crypto Exposure with Investment in Crypto Exchange, FTX

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan invests in cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd, through Teachers' Innovation Platform. FTX, a Bahamas-based crypto exchange recently announced that Teachers' Innovation Platform (TIP) was one of the 69 investors in its most recent $420-million funding round. After that inflow of support from the funding round, FTX established in 2019, is valued at $25 billion today. This is a bold move for a big, successful, and well-known pension plan, Ontario Teachers'. Worth noting as more big pensions gain access to the crypto markets this momentum increases in velocity.

&ldquoTeachers' Innovation Platform invests in innovative companies that use technology to help shape new categories," stated Olivia Steedman, managing director at TIP. &ldquoAs a global technology-driven innovator in the financial sector, FTX fits well with our mandate. We look forward to working with FTX's management team in supporting the continued growth of the company." With new regulation-compliant onramps appearing every day, Pension plans and other investor groups previously not able or considering crypto investments turn an eye to this explosive alternative to their traditional holdings.

The latest funding round will help FTX expand into new markets and develop new offerings. The exchange reports that over the past four months their user base has grown by 48%, and average trade volume is up 75% to $14-billion per day. Very regulation friendly, FTX is interested in establishing the exchange as trustworthy and innovative. They seek to engage regulators and embrace change to improve their offerings to investors. We think that the Teachers' Pension buy-in speaks well to the FTX positioning as the world's most transparent and compliant cryptocurrency exchange.

October 25,2021

ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF Breaks Record With $1 Billion AUM in Two Days

On October 19th, the ProShares Bitcoin Future&39s ETF (BITO) was approved for trading in the United States. Just two days later it has already amassed over $1 Billion in assets under management (AUM), making it the fastest ETF ever to reach $1 Billion AUM in the united states. The record was previously held by the first gold ETF approved in 2004.

BITO went live last Tuesday as an alternative investment vehicle for retail and institutional investors interested in indirect bitcoin exposure. The fund invests in bitcoin futures contracts, rather than actual BTC, and thus price appreciation of the fund's shares may not track the bitcoin spot market price. Many who have been pushing for a Bitcoin ETF were disappointed that the futures ETF was approved prior to a "spot" ETF. A spot EFT would hold physical Bitcoin instead of merely futures contracts. Many in the Bitcoin space actually look at this approval as a negative for Bitcoin, because it allows more market manipulation by Wall Street and higher prices for consumers.

"A futures-based ETF price will not necessarily match the current price of the underlying asset. In most cases, futures ETFs based on commodity assets such as gold tend to underperform physical ETFs," said Mikkel Morch, executive director at crypto and digital assets hedge fund ARK36.

A second offering linked to BTC, the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) has received regulatory approval to list in the country and is set to begin trading on October 25. This also represents a futures-based ETF.

Regardless of if you believe this is a net positive or a net negative for retail investors, the price of Bitcoin has clearly responded positively to the news. Bitcoin charted new all-time highs of over $67K on the day after the approval was announced.

October 25,2021

Solana Breakpoint is a groundbreaking celebration of everything Solana

Solana Breakpoint is a groundbreaking celebration of everything the Solana community has accomplished, what they&39ve inspired, and for what comes next. Breakpoint is the first conference organized by the Solana Foundation. The Lisbon-based conference will bring together industry leaders, builders, and innovators from around the globe. This year, the conference will be held in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal, from November 7th - 10th, and will be broken down into 3 separate tracks.


Amazing use-cases and applications.

A 175-year-old textile factory has been converted into a dynamic hub for artists, architects, and creative professionals. LxFactory can host up to 1,900 guests surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops, and street art. This is the home of Breakpoint's Ecosystem stage.


Agenda setting discussions and announcements on the future of Solana.

Lisbon's historic botanical gardens span 1.5 hectares, housing hundreds of species of plants. It's also the setting for Breakpoint's Growth stage, where we'll get hands-on with the DeFi, NFT, and other use-cases driving the Solana world.


Hands-on workshops and tutorials with the best devs in the ecosystem.

Sun's out, the laptop's out. With stunning rooftop views over the Tagus river, SUD Lisboa will host Breakpoint's Developer track. Apply to speak on the Developer track below.

Register Here.

October 18,2021

The U.S Surpasses China As The Worldwide Leader In BTC Mining

The United States now accounts for more than 35% of the world's hash power. The country has greatly benefited from China's still ongoing crackdown on all activities and operations related to cryptocurrencies, in particular the nation's Bitcoin (BTC) mining prohibition. Most recently, a number of Bitcoin mining rigs that were being operated via public officials in the Zhejiang province had been shut down by the Chinese government, thereby adding it to the list of other provinces such as Sichuan and Xinjiang who shared the same fate.

This has political ramifications for how both the flagship cryptocurrency and various other altcoins would be viewed going forward in the United States. Simultaneously, the general regulatory attitude of the U.S regarding the crypto industry and the market remains relatively unclear.

China's loss is the U.S' gain

Amid China's extensive crackdown on the cryptocurrency sector, the United States has seized the top ranking as far as Bitcoin mining is concerned for the very first time. A number of retail and institutional investors along with various industry leaders thus do not expect this trajectory to reverse in the foreseeable future, although others have stated that mounting pressure from regulatory authorities will be a continuous challenge that must be overcome.

No matter what the future may hold, however, the Bitcoin network's hashrate, which is a gauge of the computing resources needed to execute mining operations, has rebounded from its July lows, despite the fact that China's ban on Bitcoin mining had caused miners to suspend their operations and relocate elsewhere.

As per the data analytics provided by Glassnode, the Bitcoin network's hashrate has now increased by around 117% to 133 EH/s as of this week from a low of 61 EH/s back in July. As of this writing, the United States has managed to more than double its hashrate from this past April, which was around 17% at the time.

Keeping an eye on Russia

Although the United States is currently the global leader in Bitcoin mining, another country is steadily gaining ground. Following China's ban on cryptocurrency mining, the Irkutsk region of Russia witnessed its energy usage rates increase by a considerable 160%. Russia's Ministry of Energy is therefore considering the implementation of distinct electricity tariffs pertaining to the cryptocurrency miners.

The United States and Russia have a complicated history, to say the least. It is hence difficult to imagine that the latter would want the former to maintain its position atop the Bitcoin mining sector for long. Similarly, the U.S cannot ignore the explosive growth of Bitcoin mining which is occurring in Russia, as was made evident when several Russian districts were supposedly experiencing exponential increases in energy usage, presumably as a result of Chinese miners fleeing the country amid a countrywide cryptocurrency-oriented crackdown.

October 18,2021

Long-Awaited Parachains Are Finally Coming To Polkadot

Polkadot&39s (DOT) long-awaited parachains are expected to launch on the network later on in the year, according to its developers earlier this week. From the projected initial date of November 11th, the community may start celebrating soon with thanks to the existence of &lsquoauctions'.

After approximately 5 years of rigorous study, research, testing and development, the layer-0 blockchain will be able to finally reach a much-anticipated milestone before long. As a result of this announcement, DOT's price has also been steadily increasing as of late, as it currently sits at just about $44 which is an increase of over 30% in the past 7 days. DOT is now also the 8th highest-ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization.


For those who might be unaware, parachains are unique, project-oriented blockchains which, for the purposes of this article, are incorporated into the Polkadot as well as Kusama (KSM) networks. We may hence understand parachains to be distinct blockchains that run on top of the primary Polkadot blockchain. They may be tailored to a variety of use cases and allocated into the aforementioned blockchain, which is also known as the Relay Chain. The Relay Chain is essentially the core of the Kusama and Polkadot networks.

Furthermore, Gavin Wood himself had recently stated that all of the technical barriers pertaining to the launch of parachains on Polkadot have effectively been overcome. Additionally, he stated that both auctions and parachains are now indeed ready for the first production release which will occur on Polkadot. Finally, he concluded his statement by saying that ever since the first week of this past June, the parachains have in fact been running smoothly on Kusama.

What's next?

Over 49,000 separate addresses have contributed more than 2 million KSM, Kusama&39s native token, to crowd loans through the existing Kusama parachain auctions by now. To that end, DOT shall be utilized in the forthcoming auctions. So far, a slew of decentralized initiatives, including decentralized identity protocol Kilt and DeFi-based entities like Phala&39s Khala Network and Moonbeam&39s Moonriver Network have earned parachain slots, with more expected to follow suit.

If authorized via the on-chain governance of Polkadot, then the starting auctions for the first batch shall commence from November 11th till December 9th. Auctions for the second batch shall begin in early 2022, and these are anticipated to last from 2023 till 2024 when &39winners&39 are proclaimed and additional networks join Polkadot.

October 18,2021

StockBattle Introduces The World to Fantasy Sports Style Stock Betting

Fantasy trading is the latest trend in the crypto world. These competitions are an excellent way to have fun and earn money in the process. If you are an experienced trader, this can be a new way of profiting from the knowledge you have. On the other hand, if you are a newbie, you'll appreciate the option to learn about crypto trading. Fantasy finance platforms, such as StockBattle, are a good method of understanding how cryptocurrencies fluctuate.

How &39Fantasy Finance&39 Works

All StockBattle contests are backed by real-time data. It means you can try your hand at predicting the ups and downs of the actual market without any of the actual risks. StockBattle can be accessed worldwide and is only limited to the stock market hours but crypto isn't. You can enter crypto contests 24/7 and profit even when the market is bearish. In StockBattle, you can garner the fastest feedback on your market insights and double your gains every 15 minutes (all contests are 15 minutes long).

What Are StockBattle Contests Like?

StockBattle contests follow in the well-established footsteps of fantasy sports. Just like in a fantasy baseball league, you choose your &ldquoplayers" (stocks or crypto) and see how well they perform in a series of &ldquomatches" (pre-set timeframes on the actual stock and crypto market).

Users can select up to five different cryptocurrencies (or stocks) to add to their virtual portfolio. Based on how those fantasy cryptocurrency or fantasy stocks selections perform in the real world, entrants are awarded points at the end of each match.

All StockBattle contests are head-to-head competitions where entrants contend against only one rival - a person with the same passion for stocks and crypto (not against the whole market), so victory is real, all you need to do is to outsmart that only rival. 

Where To Start?

The great thing about StockBattle is that it offers free contests. These competitions don't require investing a single cent. Yet, they are exactly what you need to become comfortable with the platform.

Free contests will help you become familiar with the basics of stocks and crypto trading. That includes learning how asset prices move and what volatility looks like. You'll also learn how to read charts and graphs. All this will be of immense help in the world of trading.

Before you engage in real money competitions, you'll need to deposit actual funds into your balance. StockBattle offers a generous deposit bonus -- they'll double your first deposit, which will help to boost the beginning of your fantasy career!

You'll love experimenting with different approaches while learning a lot about the stock and crypto market in StockBattle. Having a good time is guaranteed, and if you put effort into drafting your portfolio, you could walk away with a profit! 

If you are ready to jump on the fantasy finance bandwagon and cross your crypto swords in crypto contests, join StockBattle right now..

October 11,2021

SHIB Skyrockets Back to ATH as Euphoria Reenters Crypto Markets

In recent news, nearly 95% of the cryptocurrency market has experienced an increase in price. Following Bitcoin&39s (BTC) recent but brief surge to beyond $55,000, most of the altcoins managed to undergo a similar spike, however, one cryptocurrency asset, in particular, managed to stand above the rest.

As of the time of this writing, Shiba Inu (SHIB) is now the 12th highest ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a current price of about $0.00003. This new price is indicative of a whopping 385% increase within the past week, with the token itself recording a new all-time high. The question that must be asked now though is why this has happened so quickly and whether Shiba Inu can maintain this sort of momentum going forward.

To the moon?

SHIB, with a market capitalization of approximately $17 billion, has now surpassed the likes of Uniswap (UNI), Chainlink (LINK), and even Litecoin (LTC). Shiba Inu was initially outlined as a sort of experiment in decentralized and unplanned community building as well as engagement. It was launched back in August of last year via a pseudonymous developer going by the alias &39Ryoshi&39. Although many argue the coin has "no real utility" it stands as an example of what the power of community can yield in the crypto ecosystem.

Since the beginning of the week, the token has seemingly managed to outclass all of its competitors, with a key cause being centered around Elon Musk and his unending love for dog-themed cryptocurrencies. The support from the Tesla CEO towards Dogecoin (DOGE) has been well-documented at this point. Another significant achievement was the revelation that the self-proclaimed &39Shiba Army&39 has now exceeded the 700,000 mark in terms of its members worldwide. Say what you will about the token, but this is an extremely impressive accomplishment.

Imminent retest and danger

Recent concerns have been fixated on what may end up becoming an opposing shift in both sentiment and price action as funding rates turned positive across various exchanges all over the globe. The fact that the funding rates were turning excessively positive seems to indicate that the market expects further upside movement. Under these conditions, a mass unwinding of positions could hasten and intensify a downward move, if such a situation occurs. In investing, it is always imperative not to blindly follow the crowd. In the wise words of Warren Buffet, "you must be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.

This sentiment data mirrored the mood of investors, with the Cryptocurrency Fear & Greed Index reaching 76/100 on Saturday, indicating &lsquoextreme greed'. According to Rekt Capital, investors would hence do well to exercise caution as a retest could be imminent. This line of thinking was backed by long-term market participants already working on an exit strategy, as well as some historical data that showed a 50% sell-off during the last time a +90% pump had taken place within the cryptocurrency market.

October 11,2021

Galactic Punks NFT Series Makes History on Terra Blockchain

Last week, the Galactic Punks NFT project made history as it launched the first series of NFT&39s ever created on the Terra Blockchain. The launch came shortly after the Columbus-5 upgrade that made it possible to mint assets on Terra. Community members flooded into the marketplace last Saturday to get their chance to mint one of the 10,921 unique NFT&39s in the Galactic Punks series. An anxious community, more than 5,000 members strong, hovered by their commuters awaiting the opening of the mint. In less than 8 minutes the entire set was claimed.

This drop also made history, resulting in the largest block ever recorded on Terra with more than 1,000 transactions processed in a single block. The frenzy around these NFT&39s continued in the days following the launch, recording over 10M in trading volume in the first 24h after the launch. In fact, just recently a tweet emerged showing that someone traded one of their rare Galactic Punks for a Tesla!

NFT&39s have taken the spotlight in crypto as of late. These pixilated characters are more than just randomly generated jpegs. They are becoming an increasingly mainstream characteristic of digital community and provenance. It used to be that a Rolex or a Lamborgini was a "flex" of someone&39s wealth. Now digital native consumers are turning to digital collectibles to signal their wealth and stature.

Whether you believe NFT&39s are a bubble, or if you think they are just getting started. It is clear that something big is changing in the world of art and culture. With the advent of non-fungible tokens, artists and communities are beginning to thrive in the digital world, and we are so excited to watch this industry evolve.

October 04,2021

El Salvador Starts Mining Bitcoin Using Geothermal Energy From Volcanoes

El Salvador is making rapid progress in the cryptocurrency industry, having officially mined the first Bitcoin (BTC) using volcanic energy. Not only is this a historic development in its own right, but it is hot on the heels of the country making history by being the first-ever nation to make Bitcoin legal tender.

President Nayib Bukele announced the achievement via Twitter, which included an image of the mined Bitcoin while mentioning that additional testing and installation are still continuing as of this time. He has since referred to the project as &lsquoVolcanode'.

A new way to mine Bitcoin

President Bukele had stated this past June that he had indeed instructed LaGeo to permit Bitcoin miners to access the nation's volcanic sources of energy. So far, the plan to utilize geothermal energy is going well. El Salvador's leader made it known that in order to mine Bitcoin, the mining operations must be extremely inexpensive, completely clean, renewable, and have no emissions whatsoever.

Furthermore, volcanic energy brings in clean mining for a digital asset that has been plagued by unfavorable press attributable to its carbon footprint. Notably, Bitcoin detractors have used the asset's environmental effect as justification for a total prohibition. It is a well-known fact that Bitcoin needs a significant amount of energy to be mined, which in certain circumstances exceeds the usage of several nations.

Mining firms are thus actively searching for renewable energy sources to power their assets, which is most likely the best course of action that can be taken right now as Bitcoin mining cannot continue if it consistently damages the environment and ecosystem.

Mixed reactions continue

It is worth mentioning that El Salvador's Bitcoin-oriented approach has been received with considerable suspicion, particularly from worldwide financial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Steve Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University, raised some concerns about El Salvador's efforts, claiming that it will certainly have long-lasting ramifications, even going as far as to describe it as &lsquoeconomic incompetence'. According to Hanke, legalizing BTC may lead to an economic catastrophe.

Despite the criticisms though, the country's residents seem to be adopting digital currencies as part of their daily lives, with both Starbucks and Papa John's is just a few of the globally recognized chains that have already begun accepting BTC as payment in El Salvador. President Bukele previously stated that just over 2 million citizens are in fact using the government-issued &lsquoChivo' crypto-wallet.

To encourage adoption, the government had previously also distributed $30 in Bitcoin to each account holder in the nation. Furthermore, El Salvador's government may be planning to launch a local cryptocurrency to be used to pay for various services and products.

October 04,2021

SEC Close To Approving Bitcoin EFT... But Not The Kind We Wanted

With many Bitcoin ETF proposals under review by the US SEC, Gary Gensler the chairman restates his support for Bitcoin futures on Wednesday, at the Future of Asset Management North America Conference. Referencing open-end mutual funds invested in bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Gensler reaffirms his positive outlook for that certain type of Bitcoin ETF. Bitcoin's price seemed to react with gains realized shortly after the announcement. Bitcoin gained 4.5% to trade near $43,400 after showing bearish movement the previous day. This Bitcoin ETF announcement renews speculation and hope of a regulated investment vehicle for the public Bitcoin investments. Critics of futures ETF's argue that this form of ETF does not buy crypto directly on the spot market, and has not been a positive influence on the price of gold since first launched in the US in 2004.

The long-awaited Bitcoin exchange-traded fund might finally happen&mdashbut not in the way many investors expected, or want. Though Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be easily bought and traded on current exchanges, an ETF would eliminate the need to manage a digital wallet and allow investors to integrate the digital currency into their portfolios through traditional channels. This would surely bring many traditional investors to crypto, and in the case of a Bitcoin ETF that actually bought the underlying asset could result in the price reflecting the increased investment and demand. The same thing cannot necessarily be said about a futures ETF that does not directly own the asset, but instead, bets on its future value, on paper only.

The argument as to which form of ETF is better for Bitcoin is a deep subject worth developing an opinion on. It is important to recognize the difference between the two types of ETFs and draw perspective from historical applications such as gold. Gold and Bitcoin as alternative assets are inversely related to the stock market fluctuations, in that they go up in prices when traditional stock prices decline. This attribute is very attractive to investors as it helps reduce overall portfolio risk. Some believe that an ETF for Bitcoin vs a futures Bitcoin ETF is better because it invests directly in the assets. A Bitcoin futures ETF does not invest directly in the assets, and may even detract from the inverse relationship with stock prices. This is to remove or diminish its key alternative value proposition and enable traditional market players to have more control over the Bitcoin price.