Space And Time Announces Groundbreaking Partnership With Microsoft
The first ever decentralized Web 3.0 data warehouse, Space and Time, has announced that it will be making real-time blockchain data accessible to deployers directly from the online store Azure Marketplace by partnering with the technology behemoth Microsoft.
Specifically, Space and Time announced its collaboration with Microsoft via a Twitter post that stated Space and Time is now available to deploy with a single click through the Azure marketplace:
Notably, the cloud services as well as other extensive resources provided by Azure marketplace could improve the decentralized data warehouse without disrupting the current infrastructure, enabling businesses to easily access it. Essentially, the integration would make developing Web3 applications and blockchain facilities more streamlined.
Kathleen Mitford, CVP of Global Industry Marketing at Microsoft, commented on the benefits of the partnership, saying that at Microsoft, the goal is to empower growth across emerging markets, including blockchain and distributed data. Microsoft Azure and Space and Time will hence collaborate to give developers the tools they need to create the next generation of blockchain use cases.
Nate Holiday, CEO of Space and Time, discussed the current importance of verifiable data across blockchains, enterprises, and AI, claiming that the ability to incorporate blockchain data into various applications and business processes is vital for customer growth and enabling responsible data stewards.
Furthermore, Holiday stated that the collaboration with Microsoft makes a lot of sense and that Azure support adds a lot of value to the company going forward.
Coinbase May Leave The U.S. As Legal Battle With The SEC Continues
According to CEO Brian Armstrong, Coinbase is on the verge of a lengthy legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over how federal securities laws apply to the crypto industry. If the regulator situation does not improve, the executive stated that the exchange will consider relocating outside of the United States.
Armstrong chastised certain regulators for taking a regulation by enforcement approach to crypto in the U.S., a phrase he has often previously used. Given this aggressive approach by the SEC, he admitted that Coinbase was already evaluating other countries for potential new headquarters locations.
The United Kingdom is actually a very good option, the CEO explained. He mentioned that the region is the second-highest revenue country for Coinbase, and that its leaders have expressed a strong desire to turn the country into a Web3 hub.
The SEC has targeted Coinbase in particular, issuing the firm a Wells Notice earlier this month. It claimed that Coinbase had violated federal securities laws, which Armstrong believes are related to the assets the exchange possesses as well as its staking as a service product.
The CEO mentioned that the SEC had never informed the exchange about what it could be doing better to remain compliant over the last year, despite the fact that the exchange had attended over 30 meetings. He stated that Coinbase will most likely have to go to court to obtain much-needed clarity and create the case law, referring to judicial precedent.
Uniswap Labs Obtains A Spot In The App Store For Their Wallet App.
The Uniswap Wallet iOS app is now available for Apple users in the United States and a few other countries, according to announcement last Tuesday.
Uniswap Labs has additionally made the code of the app publicly available on GitHub. With over $4.2 billion in total value locked, Uniswap is also the most popular Ethereum DeFi protocol.
Users of the Uniswap Wallet can trade crypto assets on the Ethereum mainnet alongside Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon. It also allows users to buy cryptocurrencies, view NFT details but not trade them, choose favorite tokens as well as wallet addresses, and more.
Uniswap released the wallet to 10,000 early-access users last month via a testing platform known as Apple TestFlight. In March, Uniswap stated that it had no idea why Apple had previously refused to approve the launch of the application on the Apple Store.
Nevertheless, that barrier to launch has apparently been overcome for users in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, but it remains unclear as to whether or not Apple shall approve the application for use in various other regions.
Lastly, the mobile wallet will have to compete for user attention with other heavyweights such as Coinbase Wallet and MetaMask, among others.
Shapella Upgrade Finally Completed As Ethereum Advances To Next Stage
The Shanghai hard fork of Ethereum (ETH), also known as Shapella, has been completed, allowing users who have staked their ETH to secure and validate transactions on the blockchain to withdraw. The update began at 22:27 UTC and ended around 22:42 UTC. According to beaconcha.in, approximately 30 minutes after the upgrade was activated, 285 withdrawals in epoch 194,408 were processed, totaling approximately 5,413 ETH.
Additionally, while the main focus of Shanghai is staked ETH withdrawals, there are four less strenuous aspects called Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) which will supposedly improve gas fees for developers. These are EIP-3651, EIP-3855, EIP-3860, and EIP-6049.
Members of the Ethereum community have described the much-anticipated hard fork as a historic milestone, as it signifies the completion of the multi-year transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network.
Users stake cryptocurrency in a PoS system as a kind of guarantee to help confirm and secure new data blocks. The blockchain abandoned its original Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, the same one used by Bitcoin (BTC), last year, but users have been unable to withdraw staked ETH or redeem accrued rewards, a critical component of the new paradigm.
Furthermore, validators can unstake in a variety of ways, with the two most common being partial and full withdrawals. Staking services also have their own schedules for releasing staked ETH withdrawals.
Coinbase previously stated that they would begin processing withdrawal requests for their stakeholders approximately 24 hours after Shanghai is completed. Meanwhile, it was reported that stakeholders will not be able to retrieve their withdrawals until the protocol is upgraded again in May, according to Lido.
What comes next?
Ethereum Co-Founder, Vitalik Buterin, stated that we have now arrived at a stage where the quickest and most difficult parts concerning the transition of the Ethereum protocol are essentially over. He went on to say that although there are still important steps which must be completed, they can be finished safely at a slower pace.
He also stated that after Shanghai, the blockchain will address scaling (the act of making transactions faster and cheaper). If Ethereum developers do not address scaling issues before the next bull run, Vitalik believes that users will be forced to pay $500 transactions. If Ethereum does not have Verkle Trees before the next bull run, the situation may also become problematic, even if it is a much smaller issue than hefty transaction fees. Regardless, the upgrade is certainly a game-changer and has already led to a significant increase in ETH's price.
Paxos Will Cease Operations In Canada On June 2nd
Paxos, the creator of the BUSD stablecoin, intends to close its Canadian operations on June 2nd, 2023. Though the announcement on its website does not mention regulatory hurdles as a reason for exit, the platform joins the ranks of OKX and dYdX, which recently announced that they would cease operations in Canada due to more stringent crypto regulations.
Recently, Paxos advised clients to withdraw their funds as soon as possible because user accounts shall be disabled within the first week of June. The platform will reportedly prohibit Canadian users from initiating any trades after the deadline, but those who have balances on Paxos would be able to access and withdraw funds with longer wait times after the deadline.
It was announced that accounts with zero balances shall be automatically closed on May 9th, but claimed that user funds would be safe and that the balances on the accounts would be reflected in accordance with the corresponding terms and conditions.
The FTX and Terra disasters compelled financial regulators around the world to restructure their regulatory policies in order to protect investors. On February 22nd, the CSA (Canadian Securities Administrators) issued a notice requiring all cryptocurrency platforms to sign new legally binding agreements if they wanted to continue operating within the country.
Twitter No Longer Exists As The Everything App Gets Underway
According to a document filed on April 4th in a California court for a lawsuit filed against the social media giant and its former CEO, Jack Dorsey, last year by conservative activist Laura Loomer, Twitter reportedly no longer exists after being merged with X Corp.
Its uncertain what the development means for Twitter, which has undergone major changes since Musk purchased the company for $44 billion last year. Most recently, the Twitter icon was replaced by the Dogecoin logo before eventually being switched back.
The Tesla CEO has previously stated that acquiring Twitter would be an accelerator for the development of X, which he has dubbed as an everything app.
Elon has expressed a desire for X to function similarly to the popular Chinese application WeChat, a super-app owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd that is used for a variety of purposes like payments, messaging, and event ticket booking.
However, he has not clarified how X will fit into his vast business empire, which includes Tesla Inc and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Musk also owns the domain X.com, which is the name of the online payments company he founded and later sold to PayPal.
Can Bankings Bust Be Cryptos Boom - In Times Of Uncertainty, What Happens In Crypto
There are big changes ahead in the financial world as markets begin to deal with the challenges of consistent inflation, economic depression, and the instability and uncertainty they cause. Could these challenges create an advantage for cryptocurrencies? Lets find out.
Crypto As A Commodity
In times of financial uncertainty, many investors will switch strategies and start turning to historically valuable commodities to protect their funds. During the credit crunch of 2008 the price of gold spiked significantly as people moved their wealth from stock and currency investments into precious metals. Silver also increased in value. When times get tough, the tough get going, and they go to the commodities markets.
You can keep up to date with the latest spot price for gold with TradingViews XAUUSD live chart and use it to get an indication of a change in the global financial marketplace. Their online community also engages in lots of discussions and information on trading that can you can use to get a clearer picture of the markets. Since 2008, cryptocurrencies have emerged as another refuge when markets crash or outlooks become dire.
With markets looking increasingly unsettled, and many major banks struggling to limit their exposure to the effects of global inflation, premium cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum could see spikes in value too as the demand for the coins grows while investors look for stable places to store their wealth.
The Crypto Crunch
Though the instability of many traditional financial institutions could be a boon for cryptocurrencies, it will also present some challenges. As these digital currencies have pushed for legitimacy with financial investors they have had to enmesh themselves with banks and financial service providers that are exposed to downturns in the global economy.
This will put pressure on crypto exchanges and businesses with a focus on cryptocurrency as they will struggle to interact with a US Dollar-based financial system and exchange digital currency for physical currency and vice versa. This is best outlined by the shutdown of Signature Bank in early 2023, as many crypto exchanges and companies used the bank for financial services. This affected the crypto markets initially, though they did recover when businesses found other banks and financial institutions to work with.
The Push For Regulation
Cryptocurrencys biggest asset is also its biggest liability. The majority of the crypto space is completely unregulated, which has led to scams and controversies that have dogged cryptocurrency since its inception. As digital currencies have increased their influence and become more legitimate, the effect that they can have on markets and non-crypto investments has created new calls for increased regulation.
This is a double-edged sword for crypto fans. On the one hand, they seek legitimacy in the financial industry. On the other hand, crypto fans enjoy the lack of regulation or governmental oversight. For the currency to truly mature and reach its potential, regulation is going to have to play a part. For crypto to boom in the face of banking's bust, investors will need to be able to rely on regulations to protect their wealth.
Crypto certainly seems like a good hedge against drops in value in the traditional financial markets and could provide a safe haven for investors in times of economic uncertainty. The space is aching for extra regulation, however, and without it cryptocurrencies will always come with an added risk.
SushiSwap Gets Hacked As All Chains May Be Revoked
SushiSwap, one of the most popular decentralized exchanges in the world, recently fell victim to an exploit resulting in the loss of at least $3 million.
The hacker took advantage of an approve-related bug in the RouterProcessor2 contract, which both PeckShield and SushiSwap advise revoking on all chains as soon as possible.
A bug reportedly allowed an unauthorized entity to steal tokens without anyone finding out. Following the initial attack for 100 ETH, which appeared to be a white hat, it was soon reported that another hacker came along and stole approximately 1,800 ETH by using the same exact contract with a different name.
According to DeFi Llama, only those who swapped on SushiSwap in the last four days would be affected. They additionally published a list of contracts which will be revoked across all chains and also created a tool to check if any addresses have been affected.
So far, the problematic contract has been approved by 190 Ethereum addresses. The main issue, however, is that over 2000 addresses on Layer 2 Arbitrum appear to have approved the bad contract.
Here Is How AI Technology Is Changing Fintech For The Better
AI technology is rapidly transforming the financial industry, especially in terms of revolutionizing how banks, investors, and financial institutions all operate. Given the rising significance of emerging technologies like the metaverse, NFTs, blockchain, and more, it really should not come as any surprise that this is happening. Put simply, AI can assist financial institutions in increasing efficiency, lowering costs, and providing better service to their customers.
How can AI help?
AI algorithms can examine transactions in real time, identify abnormal patterns which could indicate fraudulent activity, and notify banks so that appropriate action can be taken. For instance, PayPal has a fraud detection system that utilizes AI. PayPal monitors real-time transactions and detects potentially fraudulent activity using machine learning algorithms and rule-based systems. The number of fraudulent transactions on the network has significantly decreased as a result of this AI-powered solution.
Another example is chatbots powered by artificial intelligence that can provide customized financial advice, answer customer questions, and optimize routine tasks such as updating customer information and opening a new account. AI chatbots employ machine learning algorithms and natural language processing to provide consumers with tailored assistance and financial insights via a variety of channels such as SMS, WhatsApp, and more.
AI is also capable of accurately assessing past and present market trends, detecting patterns, and forecasting future prices. AI algorithms can perform real-time transactions based on pre-programmed rules and conditions, optimizing investment strategies and maximizing returns. This technology greatly benefits financial institutions and investors by allowing them to make decisions driven by empirical data which helps them maintain a competitive edge in the cut-throat world of trading.
How else can AI be useful?
AI can recognize possible risks and forecast future scenarios by analyzing complicated financial data, offering valuable insights which allow banks and other financial institutions to start making informed decisions. The Aladdin platform by BlackRock is a prime example of risk management using AI.
Moreover, AI can also analyze massive amounts of financial data to supply valuable insights into investment trends, risks, and opportunities. Wealthfront, a robo-advisor which utilizes AI algorithms to successfully manage investment portfolios for clients, is an example of this.
Additionally, credit histories, financial information, and other data can be analyzed by AI algorithms to provide accurate credit scores, thereby allowing lenders to make better decisions. Another useful aspect for AI in this industry would be the ability to provide precise insurance underwriting, as AI can analyze a variety of data points such as health records, driving history, criminal history, and demographic information.
Finally, by analyzing numerous transactions and fraudulent activities and ensuring compliance with various AML and KYC regulations, AI can assist financial institutions in complying with complex regulations. ComplyAdvantage, for example, assists businesses in meeting legal obligations and avoiding fines by monitoring financial transactions and identifying potential money laundering activities using AI and machine learning algorithms.
Needless to say, the world is changing thanks to the global implementation of AI technology and the scary yet exciting part is that this is just the beginning.
Bitcoin White Paper Discovered As Hidden File In Apple Computers
On computers running macOS Catalina or later, the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper can reportedly be found buried deep within the system files.
On all nine of its pages, the document with the filename simpledoc.pdf purports to present the ideas of Satoshi Nakamoto himself for a decentralized form of currency based on a public ledger.
On April 5th, which is also the 48th birthday for Nakamoto, an independent blogger named Andy Baio claimed for the first time that a subtle reference to the oldest blockchain in the world appeared on his Waxy blog.
Andy asserts that the document is present in all current versions of macOS, but he does not know why it is in such a hidden location. Nevertheless, it is possible to view the file, according to Andy, by simply opening Terminal and entering the command listed below.
Wanting to get in on the NFT hype train, Apple had officially allowed non-fungible token trading capabilities through apps on the App Store last year. With crypto becoming increasingly mainstream, many believe that the company will get more involved with the booming industry going forward.
The Future of Solana: Will it Become the Next Best Cryptocurrency
In the last couple of years, we have seen an increase in the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Since the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, went live in 2009, the attention toward this concept has been steadily growing, but we've seen the trend explode during 2021.
According to one of the largest cryptocurrency tracker websites, the global crypto market cap is $1.13T. This is a large number, and whatever your personal opinion about crypto is, you cant deny its importance and popularity.
One of the cryptocurrencies that are among the most popular among enthusiasts is Solana. Even though it's relatively new, it gained significant popularity, and it's becoming used for various projects. However, even though its popular, it has some downsides that are worth researching.
Whether youre exploring crypto because it seems exciting or youre looking to make an investment, doing thorough research is crucial.
Solana is one of the most popular blockchain platforms. Its quite similar to the largest rival of Bitcoin, Ethereum, yet it brings some interesting novelties with it. You can buy Solana on basically any centralized or decentralized exchange and use it however you like. The token of Solanas blockchain is referred to as $SOL.
Like many popular crypto projects, Solana is open-source, which allows developers to create their own Solana tools. These apps are scalable and user-friendly, and its theoretically the fastest blockchain that you can find. If you want to become a Solana developer, you can find tutorials on their website.
While some blockchains often bring frustration because of their high transaction costs, Solana is often praised for its low-cost transactions. This is not only useful for transactions between two individuals or between an individual and an exchange but also for minting non-fungible tokens. The combination of these factors makes it one of the most popular blockchains for NFTs.
Now lets dig into more technical aspects of this blockchain. Just like Bitcoin, many of the early altcoins chose the proof-of-work system to verify their transactions. A short explanation of this concept is that a computer, in this case, a miner, defines blocks in the chain, a method that requires a lot of power.
Ethereum was the first blockchain that avoided this method and transferred to proof-of-stake, which requires 99.9% less energy, making it a better alternative for the environment. Bitcoins energy consumption amounts to the total consumption of certain countries.
Now, after Ive given you this lesson in blockchain history, lets move on to the method Solana uses(it also has something to do with history). Solana also uses proof-of-stake but with a slight improvement which makes it more scalable and efficient.
Proof-of-history is a concept that implements the order and passage of time into the digital ledger, giving every block a unique timestamp. This provides additional security for the blockchain, making it more reliable and practical for digital payments.
Advantages & uses of Solana
While the trend of cryptocurrencies has become so popular that everyone and their grandma knows about Bitcoin and Ethereum, the developers of projects on the blockchain are often talented and educated individuals. Solana isnt an exception to this, and its founders solved a significant problem by using the proof-of-history concept.
Proof-of-history is an efficient consensus mechanism that increases the security of the blockchain and helps maintain a high level of decentralization.
Because of the way that it was developed, Solana has various advantages. As mentioned before, fast-transaction speed puts it at the very top of the blockchains, and this makes it very scalable and efficient. On top of the speed, low fees associated with transactions are also an attractive aspect, as people dont have to spend extra money.
These advantages have brought a number of developers and people together, and they are all working on creating innovative applications and laying the foundation of a decentralized future. The fact that Solana exists only a couple of years yet its just as popular as various other project shows its importance.
Just like other large blockchains such as Polkadot and Cosmos, Solana was built with interoperability in mind. This means that Solana can facilitate cross-chain transactions and integrate with other decentralized applications.
So after mentioning some of the key features and benefits of Solana, I wouldnt be objective if I didnt list out some of the important concerns and downsides that people have with it. The general problem that all cryptocurrencies have is their volatility and the scams that surround them.
While the developers of Solana, Solana Labs, and Foundation are reputable, as well as their co-founder, Anatoly Yakovenko, the projects built on Solana can be fraudulent. On at least one occasion, fake NFTs were sold on a Solana-based marketplace. This isnt necessarily a problem with this blockchain, as others had similar issues, but its worth mentioning.
Digital wallets are commonly used to store Solana, and they are more convenient than the hardware ones. Unfortunately, they arent as secure as them, and thefts of Solana wallets happened.
Because of the growing popularity, the blockchain suffered from large traffic that led to increased transaction prices as well as the prolonged time it took for them to be executed. The developers addressed this issue by working on solutions such as parallel processing.
One of the most significant problems that Solana has compared to other blockchains is outages. Its tough to say that these outages are frequent, but they happened more than once. In other sections of the article, Ive mentioned some advantages that Solana had over Ethereum. However, Ethereum never had a single outage, while Solana had four in the last two years. Each lasted for at least a couple of hours and up to one whole day.
These situations led to a drop in trust in the community, as well as a decline in the $SOL price.
The word that keeps coming up when people discuss cryptocurrencies is decentralization.  Its considered one of the most important advantages of crypto over traditional money. While there are some concepts of decentralization that blockchain provides, Solana isnt completely decentralized.
A significant portion of its network is validated by validation nodes that are controlled by Solanas Foundation or Labs. Based on previous outages and problems that the network had, people are afraid for the platforms security and whether this centralized approach might compromise it.
Some unfortunate events, both internal and external, happened to Solana. However, even though they impacted the price of their token and the trust in the project, nothing is stopping it from returning to its previous state.
This blockchain has a variety of useful benefits, and it will surely attract many developers and users in the future. As the Web 3.0 industry continues to grow, Solana is surely one of the blockchains that will be used for dApps, services, NFT marketplaces, and a variety of other applications.
The reason why this is the case is Solanas fast transaction speed as well as its scalability. In the February of 2023, large companies Def Jam and Universal Music Group started their gamified NFTs, which surely impacted the project positively.
Its worth mentioning that the price of $SOL increased by 100% from the start of the year, and while nobody can guarantee that the price will continue increasing, we can only hope that large companies and personalities will continue popularizing Solana.
External factors play an important role in whether this cryptocurrency will advance. The price of all cryptocurrencies varies depending on whether we are in a bull or a bear market. Events such as FTX bankruptcy also impacted the price of $SOL, as they held millions of dollars worth of tokens.
The potential future of Solana
Nobody can be completely sure when making predictions about the further development of the crypto industry. However, the events that occurred in the world of cryptocurrencies can provide guidelines for some conclusions.
Solana is definitely a blockchain that has a lot of potentials, and even though its relatively new, it has gained a lot of popularity, and its token has become one of the most traded and worthy assets.
This project had a couple of setbacks that seriously impacted the trust that people had in it. If these problems occur again in the future, they will continue to make serious blows to the reputation of Solana, and its place in the crypto sphere can only drop. However, the positive changes that happened in the first months of 2023 can be a sign that its coming back.
About the author...
Veljko is a student of information technology that paired his passion for technology with his writing skills. He enjoys researching topics such as robotics and programming and cultivates his knowledge in philosophy, classical literature, and fitness. Veljko is currently a marketing specialist for a large NFT marketplace and launchpad called NFTb.
Out With The Bird And In With The Doge
In an unexpected twist, the iconic Twitter bird logo was recently replaced with the Internet sensation known as Dogecoin (DOGE), increasing the value of the meme crypto. The change occurred after billionaire Elon Musk purchased the social media giant for $44 billion in October 2022.
Various Twitter users have expressed mixed feelings about the new logo. Some find it amusing and in line with the kind of antics Elon is known for, whereas others are wondering if the platform has been hacked or if this is simply some kind of joke.
Some have even viewed the logo change as a diversion from the ongoing Twitter Blue kerfuffle. Twitter Blue, a subscription service which enables users to purchase verified status with a blue tick, is replacing the previous system that reserved blue ticks for notable accounts, with legacy accounts required to pay a monthly fee to retain verification.
However, almost all prominent media companies, celebrities, and politicians have refused to pay the fee, posing a major problem for the social media platform as there are many accounts which can simply buy verification status now, to the point where it might not mean much anymore.
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