Canadian Border Town Suspends Crypto Mining To Ensure Town Looks Presentable

Massena, a small town in New York near the Canadian border, has temporarily halted new crypto mining operations in the area.

Crypto Mining Suspended For Aesthetic Reasons

Due to aesthetic concerns, Massena town officials imposed a 90-day moratorium on new Bitcoin mining activity, according to a report by the Associated Press on Friday.

Massena Town Supervisor Steve O’Shaughnessy said officials decided to draw up new regulations for miners after noticing trailers with computers in them on a main road in the town.

“We don’t want it littered with these trailers that are pumping out Bitcoin,” he told WWNY-TV. “We just want to make sure if they’re going to come here, that it’s a nice presentable building.”

The 90-day restriction was apparently employed by city officials to ensure that the roadsides in Massena were not clogged with trailers and shipping containers being moved off-road.

Meanwhile, Massena Electric is said to be in talks with three cryptocurrency firms. The electricity company, according to TBEN News, has its own prohibition on dealing with new crypto miners. Massena Electric says any deals it strikes will protect current customers. The utility and its customers could even benefit from the increased sales.

“The key components for the developers is low-cost electricity and reliability, which are two things we’ve always had,” said Andrew McMahon, Massena Electric superintendent.

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After a decade of factory job losses in small border communities across North America, Bitcoin and crypto mining businesses signal a return of some industrial activity to locations like Massena.

Cheap electricity is typically a big incentive for Bitcoin miners in these places, and in exchange, these businesses promise jobs and help to kickstart the local economy.

Indeed, as a result of China’s massive crypto-mining crackdown and the projected East-to-West hash rate transfer, these smaller North American communities may see greater Bitcoin mining activity. Huobi an ex-Chinese cryptocurrency exchange moved its operations overseas to Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, among others” in 2017, the year China banned cryptocurrency exchanges.

Meanwhile, despite the current hash rate decline, the largest North American Bitcoin mining operations continue to expand their capacity in order to acquire a larger share of the market.

Controlling a larger share of the worldwide hash rate distribution by North American Bitcoin miners may also help the sector gain favor with regulators, particularly in the area of environmental protection.

crypto mining

Bitcoin market dominance has remained below 50%. TradingView

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Report: Nigeria to Start Piloting Digital Currency in October

Report: Nigeria to Start Piloting Digital Currency in October

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly set October 1 as the commencement date for the trial phase of its digital currency project. Dubbed project Giant, this digital currency project, or the “e-naira,” is expected to use the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain.

CBDC Comes to Life

The revelation of the launch date for Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) comes just a few months after central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the digital currency will soon “come to life.” It also comes after the CBN suggested in June that Nigeria would have its own CBDC by the end of the year.

With this revelation — when confirmed officially — Nigeria will become the second West African nation to announce the pilot phase of its own digital currency in 2021. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the Bank of Ghana is the other country from the region to announce a start date for its digital currency project.

Culmination of a Long-Running Study

As the Nairametrics report quoting Central Bank of Nigeria IT director Rakiya Mohammed explains, the announcement is the culmination of the central bank’s research into digital currencies which started in 2017. The director added that the CBN might still “conduct a proof of concept before the end of this year.”

In the meantime, the report reveals some of the focus areas that stand to benefit from the rollout of the e-naira. Some of these areas include cross-border trade, monetary policy, tax revenue collection, and remittance inflows.

Do you agree that the CBDC will be beneficial to the broader Nigerian economy? You can share your views in the comments section below.

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EL Salvadorians Go On The Streets In Protest Against Adoption Of Bitcoin As Legal Tender

Despite a three-month restriction on protests, a group of El Salvadorians comprised of leftist unions, student organisations, and others gathered at the Legislative Assembly to denounce the country’s acceptance of Bitcoin as its official currency.

El Salvadorians Are Divided On Bitcoin Adoption

A group of demonstrators gathered outside El Salvador’s National Assembly to express their displeasure with President Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin Law, which would make bitcoin (BTC) legal tender as of September.

In the country’s media, opposition voices have made their emotions known, with most of them critical to Bukele and what they see as an increasingly dictatorial rule.

Bukele used his Nuevas Ideas party’s huge majority in the assembly to practically steamroll the measure through parliament in a matter of days. Efforts by the opposition to use the courts to stop the bill have so far failed, however critics claim this is partly due to Bukele’s replacement of formerly hostile judges with legal experts sympathetic to his populist cause.

Following Bukele’s meteoric climb to the top of Salvadorian politics, left-wing parties in the country have become fragmented and disorganized. However, as many polls revealed that the majority of El Salvadorians oppose the BTC law, they have attempted to coalesce under the banner of opposition to the law. Many company owners are put off by the prospect of being forced to accept BTC payments if clients demand it. This BTC can, however, be promptly turned into USD if desired.

Forkast.News recently reported that less than 20% of respondents approved of the Bitcoin adoption plan, according to a survey of 1,233 people across the nation. Furthermore, nearly 65% of respondents said they would not be open to having their salaries paid in Bitcoin.

El Salvadorians wave posters declaring “no to Bitcoin” on the streets of San Salvador, according to a Tuesday tweet from local news outlet El Mundo, calling for the country’s Bitcoin law to be repealed. After first seeing the demonstrators separated by a razor wire fence, legislative assembly members Anabel Belloso and Dina Argueta addressed them.

In a video shared by the newspaper La Prensa Gráfica, protesters were shown carrying banners reading:

“We don’t want bitcoin in El Salvador.”

Other banners read “The bitcoin law = money laundering,” and “No to bitcoin!”

Related article | Summing Up The JP Morgan Report On Bitcoin In El Salvador

Bitcoin Adoption Is Unsafe, Protestors Argued

“It is a law that generates legal insecurity and that could be used to defraud users and also facilitate money and asset laundering,” said activist Idalia Zuñiga.

Another protestor expressed her concerns about Bitcoin’s price volatility. “For those earning a minimum wage, in one moment you may have $300 in Bitcoin and the next day those $300 can turn into $50,” she said, before pointing to BTC’s price plunge from a high of $63,595 in April to half that today.

However, the group’s major complaint about the Bitcoin legal framework appeared to be based on a perceived inequality in the government’s use of the cryptocurrency compared to the typical El Salvadorian. The Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block organization said in a letter distributed at the protest that President Nayib Bukele passed the law making cryptocurrencies legal tender in the country without sufficient consultation with the people.

Protesters said Bitcoin “only serves some large businessmen, especially those linked to the government, to launder ill-gotten money. Entrepreneurs who put their capital in Bitcoin will not pay taxes on their earnings,” said the letter. “In addition, to apply Bitcoin the government will spend millions of dollars of the taxes paid by the people.”

The law recognizing Bitcoin as legal currency in El Salvador was passed by the government and signed into law by Bukele in June, but it will not take effect until September 7. The protest was organized by the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block, who demanded that the law be repealed. Furthermore, due to El Salvador’s “environmental and transparency issues,” the World Bank had declined to assist the country in transitioning to a Bitcoin-friendly framework.

BTC/USD spending another month below $40k. Source: TradingView

Related article | President Nayib Bukele Explains El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law

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Ethereum EIP-3675 For ETH 2.0 Upgrade Launches On GitHub

The Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 3675 has now launched on GitHub. EIP-3675 contains the ETH 2.0 proof of stake merge that is coming to the network. Although this does not mean that the move to proof of stake is happening anytime soon, it is bringing the Ethereum network one step closer to the move from proof of work to proof of stake.

Consensus researcher Mikhail Kalinin creating a pull request for the EIP-3675 on GitHub formalized the chain merge as an improvement proposal for the first time ever. The pull request was made on Thursday 22nd July 2021.

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Ethereum developers continue to work towards the merging of the Ethereum Mainnet with the already up and running Beacon Chain, which would mark the final step for the move to proof of stake.

The EIP-3675 is meant to set the stage for “The Merge,” which is slated to be discussed at a core developers’ meeting that will be held on Friday, July 23rd.

ETH 2.0 Delays

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had confirmed that the move to ETH 2.0 had been delayed. But according to the CEO, a couple of factors had contributed to the delay of the project.

Firstly was that they had expected it to take a much shorter time than it would have. When the project was first proposed, the team had believed the move to proof of stake would only take a year. It turned out to be a project that would take at least six years to accomplish.

Ethereum price chart from TradingView.com

ETH price shows downwards movement post-recovery | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

Another problem that the Ethereum upgrade had encountered had been team conflicts. It had been speculated that technical difficulties had been the reason for the continuous delays but in the end, Buterin confirmed that the problem was in fact not related to technical problems. One of the major causes for the delays had been with the people working on the project.

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One of the biggest problems I’ve found with our project is not the technical problems,” said Buterin. “It’s problems related to people. We have a lot of internal team conflicts in these five years.”

Continous disagreements and team conflicts seem to plague the project. The CEO is quoted saying, “if you are building a team, it is important to know who you are working with.”

Ethereum Progression So Far

Expectations for the network continue to remain high. Ethereum price itself has taken hits over the past months as the crypto market continues to be beaten down by bears. But despite the declining prices, holders continue to stake their coins ahead of the move to proof of stake.

Over 6.3 million ETH have been staked on the Ethereum network, accounting for over 5% of the current circulating supply of ETH.

Related Reading | As Ethereum Price Suffers, Investors Wonder If ETH Can Become Deflationary

Investors had hoped shard chains would be rollout this year but this is unlikely as the possible date of launch for the shard chains has now been moved to 2020.

Ethereum’s price continues to trade above $2,000 after the boost it received from Elon Musk. With a current market cap of $234.05B.

New Convert: Anti-Crypto Central Bank Of Nigeria Set To Launch Digital Naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to launch a digital naira pilot program later in October 2021, as part of its central bank digital currency project (CBDC).

Central Bank of Nigeria To Launch Digital Naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been in the news for its anti-cryptocurrency actions throughout much of 2021. Nonetheless, the institution has increased its investment and research into cryptocurrency’s underlying technology, blockchain, and has set a firm deadline for the launch of its blockchain-powered central bank digital currency pilot project (CBDC).

According to the Peoples Gazette, the CBN made the revelation during a webinar on Thursday to stakeholders (July 22, 2021). The Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it would not be left out of the ongoing CBDC activities taking place throughout the world.

Hyperledger fabric blockchain, an enterprise-grade blockchain platform, will be used in the “GIANT” digital currency project. Meanwhile, the central bank stated that the CBDC plan will facilitate cross-border trade while also allowing for macro-management and growth.

The planned digital naira would also help with remittances and monetary policy, as well as financial inclusion and tax collection. The information technology director for the bank, Rakiya Mohammed, disclosed that CBN had been researching since 2017 to develop and adopt the digital currency.

The Central Bank Of Nigeria effort comes as countries around the world expressed interest in embracing digital assets and currencies.

Along with the CBN, the Bank of Ghana has been swiftly approaching the pilot stage for its own central bank digital currency this summer. The country has established itself as a continent leader in CBDC development, believing that central bank-issued digital currencies are superior to and less hazardous than decentralized cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile China (digital yuan), Bahamas (sand dollar), Eastern Caribbean (DCash) are among the few countries that have officially launched their own national digital currency.

Related article | Why Nigeria Could Be The Next Nation To Embrace Bitcoin

Nigeria Banned Crypto Earlier In The Year

Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) outlawed cryptocurrency transactions in the country, warning that they might lead to investment losses, money laundering, terrorism financing, illegal capital flows, and other criminal activity.

In a press release meant to showcase the rationale for the restrictions, the bank said the following:

“Cryptocurrencies have become well-suited for conducting many illegal activities including money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion. Indeed, many banks and investors who place a high value on reputation have been turned off from cryptocurrencies because of the damaging effects of  the  widespread  use  of  cryptocurrencies  for  illegal  activities.”

Is the launch of the digital naira a turn in policy for the Central Bank?

              BTC/USD close off green after a bloody week. Source:TradingView

Related article | After Bitcoin U-Turn, Nigeria Plans To Launch Central Bank Currency This Year

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Solana to Launch Stake Pools, This Is How It Will Enable Rewards For SOL Holders

The Solana Foundation has announced Stake Pools to increase the network’s security, promote censorship resistance, and rewards SOL holders in the process. The announcement was made via their official Twitter handle.

The Stake Pool program was enabled via an on-chain governance process, as the Solana Foundation said. Any SOL holder can participate in the process via SolFlare, a non-custodial wallet that allows users to connect with this network.

SOL token holders can earn rewards and help secure the network by staking tokens to one or more validators. Rewards for staked tokens are based on the current inflation rate, total number of SOL staked on the network, and an individual validator’s uptime and commission (fee).

The program was launched to increase the network ability to withstand disruption or attacks, the Solana Foundation said. This capacity is partially measured by looking at the “superminority”, the smallest number of validators capable of launching a successful attack.

Thus, the Stake Pools operate as incentives for the users to place their SOL funds between independent validators, the announcement clarified. As the stake distribution increase, so does the network’s security.

Solana is already one of the most censorship resistant networks (our superminority group is currently 16), but the Solana Foundation can do even more to increase stake distribution.

How To Earn Rewards While Securing Solana

When a user stakes their SOL token, these are distributed across “a larger number of validators”. Then, users earn tokens for delegators represented by the amount deposited, as stated above, plus rewards for staking.

The rewards can be use in other decentralized finance (DeFi) apps, the Solana Foundation said. For example, in the automated market maker Raydium or the decentralized exchange (DEX) Serum.

The stake pool system is comprised of 3 main actors: the manager, capable of earn and update the fess, the staker, capable of adding and removing validators to a pool and rebalancing stake, and the users, those that provide the SOL for an existing stake pool. The Solana Foundation said:

(…) the stake pool only processes totally active stakes. Deposits must come from fully active stakes, and withdrawals return a fully active stake account. This means that stake pool managers, stakers, and users must be comfortable with creating and delegating stakes, which are more advanced operations than sending and receiving SPL tokens and SOL.

Stake pool participates will be able to profit from additional incentives if they meet any of 3 criteria, the Foundation said. First, if they launch a stake pool by August 30, 2021, promoting a definition of censorship resistance. These managers will be eligible for a 100 SOL reward.

If they also reached 100,000 SOL deposit to their pool, they wil receive a 200 SOL grant or a 1,000 SOL grant if they reached 1,000,000 SOL staked.

At the time of writing, SOL trades at $27,01 with a 2.9% loss in the daily chart.

Solana SOL SOLUSDT
SOL with small losses in the daily chart. Source: SOLUSDT Tradingview

Bitcoin’s Price is Ready for a ‘Major Bounce’, Says Popular Crypto Analyst

Pseudonymous cryptocurrency analyst ‘Crypto Birb’ has revealed on social media he believes the price of the flagship cryptocurrency bitcoin is “ready for major bounce” and a final move up in this bull cycle near the end of the year.

In a tweet sent to his over 320,000 followers, Birb noted that over-the-counter outflows signaling a BTC buy signal “aligns perfectly with a complete reset on trend and momentum for BTC,” which implies the downward movements bitcoin has been seeing may be over.

In his tweet, the pseudonymous analyst also analyzed the net unrealized profit/loss (NUPL) indicator, which measures the difference between unrealized profit and loss to determine whether most investors are in a state of profit or loss. Per his words, it’s as oversold as it was in September 2020, before BTC’s price started surging to its new all-time high.

Birb added that the market may still drop to $23,000 or $24,000 before recovering, and predicted a final move up in the current bull market may occur only by the end of the year in November or December.

It’s worth noting that on-chain has shown Bitcoin reserves on centralized cryptocurrency trading platforms have been steadily dropping even as the market ticks downward. An average of 36,000 BTC has been leaving exchanges every month.

In a report, Glassnode noted that the amount of BTC being held by cryptocurrency exchanges is steadily dropping as large investors are moving their funds into secure cold wallet storage instead of leaving them on exchanges where they would be ready to sell their funds.

The number of entities holding bitcoin since May has increased, from roughly 250,000 to nearly 300,000. These entities are described as unique clusters of addresses belonging to one individual or organization. Data shows whales may be leading the accumulation, as wallets with between 1,000 and 10,000 BTC are now holding as much BTC as they were when the price was at $57,000.

DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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