DeFi in style? Here’s how women can break into the game

There are many things to think about when entering this field: what inspires someone to do so; how blockchain technology, crypto and DeFi match with your overall personal or professional philosophy; and how one can change the life of others through promoting DeFi adoption, breaking the stigma surrounding this industry. Have you ever considered entering the decentralized world of blockchain technology? Is there anything holding you back?In the DeFi industry, the above questions could be very intimidating, but the many women who have cracked into the space are changing the way decentralization is perceived. Getting women involved in an industry that has a preconceived idea of who should be the leaders is difficult, but women every day are breaking the already-established boundaries to perpetuate the industry in all aspects, including education, technological advancements and accessibility. Their drive to change how education and implementation surrounding accessible finance reaches the masses will hopefully inspire some who have just dipped their toes in this seemingly cold water, showing that the water might actually be warmer than it looks. Figure out your career goalsFor many, the crypto and DeFi industries line up with their career and personal goals and can be used to their advantage professionally. Even if the world of blockchain and crypto falls upon you by accident, this could be an opportunity to explore it and discover how your experiences could benefit from blockchain and DeFi, or vice versa. For example, while working at a central bank, UNICEF blockchain lead Christina Lomazzo used her institutional perspective to develop a connection. “I’ve been intrigued by the concept because of its power to redistribute traditional power dynamics and create opportunities for groups traditionally excluded from systems,” she told Cointelegraph, adding:“I stayed in the industry because blockchain and crypto presented an opportunity to work with a foundational technology that offered many ways that systems could be rethought and redesigned.” Working from the inside and trying to change the traditional power dynamic is a great example of how to use your previously acquired knowledge in DeFi. Changing the process of one institution is sure to make significant changes, profoundly developing the need to push boundaries of the industry and your career. If one of your interests aligns with education, then perhaps a great thing to think about is how to organize meetups with the goal of educating. Elena Silenikova, co-founder of CryptoChicks, did just that. Studying Ethereum has always been a passion of hers, and after trying and successfully troubleshooting it on Windows, she decided to organize a meetup with other women to discuss Ethereum and share what they know. Silenikova explained:“We eventually created a meetup group for women to teach them about different blockchains, various wallets and, most importantly, about the security precautions they need to pay attention to while working with crypto. Our meetup group grew; we started doing bigger events and ended up organizing CryptoChicks worldwide blockchain hackathon for women.”From all over the world, women were traveling to Toronto for hackathons; major companies such as Deloitte and Microsoft were inviting them for seminars; and even women-led educational groups were asking for a CryptoChicks chapter to be established in various countries around the world. Silenikova believes that “many women needed help turning their projects into startups after these hackathons.” A passion for education is so important to the industry, especially in a space that feels like a closed-off subculture, and that’s exactly what SheFi founder Maggie Love thought. After hearing about blockchain in a meeting, Love decided to read up on the topic, and that’s how she decided that this industry was for her:“I wanted to figure out a way to kind of create a model like [the NCAA playoff bracket] or to get women excited to play with money in some sort of way and put it in DeFi protocols. There’s a problem that no women are putting their money in DeFi protocols and experimenting with them and earning money on their money.” Knowing your strengths and interests is key to understanding how you can utilize your past experiences within the DeFi and crypto space, especially if there is a begging call that is pushing you toward the industry. Love added, “I was curious. I read about [blockchain], then I had to be a part of it. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in many ways to date.”Why was crypto created?Well-known within the community, the creator(s) of Bitcoin and a co-founder of Ethereum, two established cryptocurrencies defining crypto and thus DeFi in ways that complement each other, created a new industry that many did not realize its full potential and usefulness — until it happened to be exactly what they were looking for.After noticing how this industry has so many different ways for people to “poke at the edges” of creativity, Love believes that there is always a way to expand what is there, to push the limits of this boundless industry: “​​With Satoshi and with Buterin, they reimagined the way that the world could be organized for value creation — whether it is money, whether it is a metaverse or in art and creators — in the way that they earn money and get discovered. And so, it’s hard not to live in this world of new imagination once you’re introduced to it.” With SheFi, Love is able to continue to express the creativity and imagination from the founders of the space without adhering to the perceived status quo of the industry. She added, “Decentralization became possible only because of Satoshi and Vitalik’s work, and now would be the time when people can benefit from it on many levels.” For Silenikova, it was important for her to start something that is “building borderless businesses on a scale, freedom of implementing your hopes and dreams without any fear that someone can deny, prohibit or block them.” One would be able to access the industry from anywhere in the world, as well as access remote financing and investing, regardless of where you are located because there are “possibilities and yield that you could not even imagine before.”With Lomazzo, her passion for building ways in which underbanked communities can be fairly represented has crossed over well into the decentralized industry. “Decentralized technologies, particularly blockchain and crypto, introduce opportunities to address cross-cutting societal challenges,” she said. In her work with UNICEF, she used these philosophies to her advantage, funding eight blockchain companies in seven countries to start paving the way toward financial inclusion. These women used the philosophies of the respective white papers of Bitcoin and Ethereum to their advantage, developing a way to change the world and build a better and borderless system. And this was because of their interpretation of how their professional and personal philosophies can be integrated with the foundation of the space. How to break down the centralized barriersDecentralization in the crypto industry has many goals, one of which is to place privacy and control back in the hands of the people. Whether that is by using cryptocurrency or helping your community utilize blockchain technology for data storage, decentralized technology can bring forth freedoms that are otherwise unavailable for many. Breaking the stigma that crypto is only for a certain group of people is important in order for the industry’s full potential to come to fruition.Related: Adopting a decentralized way of life, from small steps to giant leapsHowever, starting the process can be challenging, and Lomazzo advises to participate in seminars, hackathons and groups dedicated to changing and educating, as well as donating to hedge funds that will help broaden technology because according to her, “More product choices and more institutional adoption will widen the impact of cryptocurrency and create opportunity and choice where they may not otherwise exist.” The crypto and decentralized world is creative and motivating, but it is important to remember why this industry exists in the first place. Breaking the stigma starts with implementing ways to think about how people are affected by being outside of the centralized financial system and what could be thought to actually open DeFi systems to those communities. Love stated, “Think about what are the ways we can onboard more people and get more perspectives about what is challenging in the traditional financial system for people who do not have access and privilege,” as she added further:“Crypto is still pretty homogenous in many ways, and we still need to do the work to think about who our neighbors are that are hurting because they are not in the traditional financial system where it’s not easy for them.”The decentralized industry still has ways to go, and making sure that you stay educated and curious, without forgetting what has started it all, is a surefire way to start moving toward real-life implementation.As Silenikova said, “We live in the exciting time of endless possibilities that the blockchain technology has opened up for us, so let’s embrace all of its benefits!” DeFi and crypto have so many possibilities for innovation and implementation, so despite the uncertainties, doubts or the glass ceiling that this industry appears to have, there is always a way that could push the industry forward and beyond.In an industry that may seem intimidating and inaccessible to many, the inspiration, philosophies and advice that industry pioneers can give to newcomers shed light on the importance of decentralized finance (DeFi) and the utilization of blockchain to store data and protect one’s privacy. 

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Digitizing charity: We can do better at doing good

Charity fundraising risks being left behind in the shift to online activity. But taking inspiration from the COVID-19 pandemic trends, and new payment technology, could open doors.Change comes whether you’re ready or not, but being ready means you can seize the opportunity. The past year has accelerated the pace of digital transformation dramatically — sure, personal contact was already moving online, and contactless payments were slowly replacing cash, but the pandemic did not so much push as shove the world faster and farther than anyone expected. This creates specific challenges for the nonprofit sector — and with those, some exciting possibilities.Related: Philanthropy: A missing catalyst of blockchain adoptionBring the message homeCharity events and street fundraising — two major traditional revenue streams — have been sharply curtailed by the pandemic. However, lockdown has unlocked some inspirational creative thinking, such as the 2.6 Challenge, in which sports and fundraising agencies asked the public to come up with their own private challenges to fill the gap left by the London Marathon. The brilliance of such personal fundraising efforts is that, well, they’re personal.Consider how Captain Tom Moore raised over 32 million euros ($44 million) by walking around his garden! This shows rather dramatically how an individual effort can drive far stronger engagement than might be achieved by, say, a marathon team: When supporters can see the motivation behind each challenge, they are inspired. It’s all about storytelling and authenticity. To stand out among a host of issues vying for public attention, and to restore the path to the positive feelings of giving, it’s important to reinforce the “why” — keep it personal, keep it relatable.But while big moments like this capture the imagination and attract a flood of impulse contributions, charities need repeat donations and peer-to-peer fundraising for their financial health. It is crucial that organizations convert one-time donors into engaged supporters who are committed to sharing their message.Related: The future of philanthropy lies in blockchain technologyOnline fundraising can be particularly effective at this task, thanks to the power of storytelling.According to research, 57% of the people who watch a fundraising video go on to make a donation, but think about how much more could be done. A charity or activist website can become a place for helpers and the helped alike to share their experiences, their motivations and the impact of their actions. How can individual online actions translate into greater change? How can online social tools build community? And how can we mobilize a demographic that no longer trusts established groups to do the right thing once the donations have been made, or accepts that the agenda should be set only by the biggest donors?Transparency and accountability are in increasing demand in all aspects of life. So it is with social causes: Young people want to know they make a difference. Show them a track record of effective action coupled with responsible stewardship, and they will spread the word for you. Explain what resources are needed, and how they will and have been put to use. Groups who make use of social networks and universal tools that are easy to access and understand will be best placed to win the trust and loyalty of the generations that are coming of age now.Embedded payments open new doorsLet’s talk about the nuts and bolts of payments. The actual process of making a donation online can be a significant hurdle. Donors usually need to complete a detailed form, providing their name and several methods of contact, even before going into the details of payment. A moment of generosity and a true desire to participate might sour as more and more demands are made of people who imagine that their personal details are being stockpiled in a database.Blockchain technology could simplify this step dramatically. If a charity website implemented a micropayment layer that allowed donors to give any amount with the click of a button — no forms to fill, no personal data to give up — wouldn’t you expect that to unlock goodwill, not to mention giving? This is a real possibility. Once the tech has gained widespread acceptance, it won’t just make online donations easier, it will pave the way for exciting new forms of fundraising.Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Donations from that social media phenomenon reached $115 million, enabling the beneficiary, the ALS Association, to nearly double its funding for research into the disease. During lockdown, TikTok and Instagram challenges spread like wildfire, although few were linked to a cause. Imagine what might be achieved if you could craft a viral social media challenge that harnessed that energy, tied it to an action that held meaning — and embedded the donation mechanism directly in the posts created. If viewers were asked to donate a few pennies to watch the video, and a few pennies more to upload their own, viral campaigns could achieve more than just spreading awareness.The trivia game Freerice has raised around $1.4 million (through advertising) for the United Nations World Food Program — it works because players are motivated partly by the addictiveness of the simple game but also by the sense of doing good. Making giving easy through an embedded, decentralized micropayment system could be deployed to combine small donations to fund any manner of positive, transparent, effective efforts. One could even imagine a free marketplace of information that drives funds toward the most valued causes.Related: Your crypto taxes can be donated to charity insteadWhat can you offer?Fundraisers need to employ some sharp marketing thinking to broaden their revenue base. Asking for donations, in many ways across multiple platforms, is a must. But apply the bake sale principle: What can you give, in order to get?Any nonprofit is likely to have specialist knowledge. If it can leverage that to create an online course or e-book, or offer expert lectures, that’s a valuable product. Online donors typically give less, so fundraisers need to work harder on cultivating them and providing different channels for donation. Online or hybrid events are another option, less risky than traditional fundraising events (which are vulnerable to weather and other unpredictable factors) and with greater reach. Embedded payments make it possible to offer this extra value in a frictionless way, without compromising data protection or investing any overhead in payment processing contracts.Target the next generationRemember that, above all, younger donors are likely to engage with online content and offerings — and younger donors can deliver a full lifetime of support. So, fundraisers need to pay attention to young people’s online behavior. We know that Generation Z is active online, especially on mobile devices, and is turned off by out-of-date websites. Social media is a big part of their lives, so online community building is crucial. And they rarely use cash.As cash payments become a rarity, small change donations have gone the way of the dinosaur, arguably leaving more than just a financial gap. Dropping a few coins in the charity jar by the till, or in the “take a penny, leave a penny” plate familiar in some United States regions, generated a sense of solidarity. Could micropayments offer a way to recapture the social and economic benefits that came from the anonymous circulation of small amounts of money? And could they help to engage young people at a level that works for them, opening the door to increasing levels of support in the future?The leap forward in remote networking in 2020 could combine with emerging payment technologies to bring transformative possibilities for charities. We can see now that far from being a poor substitute for in-person activities, online engagement can be hugely powerful in its own right. New digital payments could prove to be a similarly great step-up on cash. Now, it’s over to fundraisers to apply the lessons learned and build new models for the future.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.Stephanie So is an economist, policy analyst and co-founder of Geeq, a blockchain security company. Throughout her career, she has applied technology within her specialist disciplines. In 2001, she was the first to use machine learning on social science data at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. More recently, she researched the use of distributed networking processes in healthcare and patient safety in her role as a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University. Stephanie is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Rochester.

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Amazon rumored to be accepting Bitcoin, MicoStrategy pledges to buy more BTC despite losses, Bitcoin struggles at $40K: Hodler’s Digest, July 25-31

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.Top Stories This WeekAmazon plans to accept Bitcoin payments this year, claims insiderThe crypto community was going wild at the beginning of this week after rumors circulated that Amazon was planning to accept Bitcoin payments. The rumors started after Amazon posted a job opening for a digital currency and blockchain product lead on July 22. Four days later, an anonymous source within Amazon reportedly told London business newspaper City A.M. that the e-commerce giant was planning to start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments by the end of 2021. “This isn’t just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future — this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work,” the source told City A.M., according to a report published on Sunday.Chinese crypto journalist Colin Wu attributed Monday’s surging market action, during which Bitcoin gained roughly 15% in less than three hours, to Amazon’s rumored plans. How wrong that very self-assured sounding quote from an unnamed source turned out to be after the multinational giant refuted the speculation two days later. “Notwithstanding our interest in the space, the speculation that has ensued around our specific plans for cryptocurrencies is not true,” a spokesperson said.Bitcoin struggles at $40K after ‘most confusing’ Jerome Powell press conferenceBitcoin rose above $40,000 on July 29, a day after the Federal Reserve hinted that it was getting closer to winding down its asset purchasing program that has boosted the economic recovery of the United States. The digital gold previously approached $41,000 ahead of the critical Fed update. Unsurprisingly, it started losing upward momentum after the Federal Open Market Committee released its policy statement, followed by a press conference helmed by the Fed’s chairman, Jerome Powell.Powell had previously said that the Fed’s asset purchases would continue until it sees “substantial further progress” in the U.S. economic recovery. However, for a while, it was unspecified as to what that actually meant, and Powell finally cleared that up after being questioned in a July 28 press conference.Turns out that “substantial further progress” means strong labor numbers and gains towards maximum employment. Maximum employment refers to the highest level of achievable employment that the economy can sustain while maintaining a stable inflation rate. Given the rise of inflation and the decline of jobs due to the pandemic, the Fed’s maximum employment targets may need further clarification.   BTC investors have been closely monitoring how soon the central bank might unwind its $120-billion-per-month bond-buying program due to its role in aiding the Bitcoin bull market.Binance cuts withdrawal limits, rolls out tax reporting toolFollowing increased scrutiny aimed at Binance from governments and financial institutions across the globe, the world’s biggest crypto exchange has been working on regulatory compliance. In the latest attempt to maintain dialogue with global regulators, Binance introduced withdrawal limits and a new tax reporting system.    The company officially announced on July 27 a major update to its Know Your Customer policies, significantly reducing maximum withdrawal amounts for users who have not completed full identity verification.Effective from the date of the announcement, new Binance accounts whose users have completed only basic account verifications will be unable to withdraw more than 0.06 Bitcoin per day, worth roughly $2,329 at the time of writing. Previously, the maximum daily withdrawal amount was capped at 2 BTC, or about $77,661. On July 30, the platform also announced that it will be shutting down its crypto derivatives trading for customers across Europe, first starting with Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. This week, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO and founder of Binance, said he wanted the crypto exchange to work with local regulators as it establishes regional headquarters.Zhao, also known as CZ, hinted that Binance would depart from its decentralized approach to finance and that wanted the exchange to coordinate with regulators as the company expands.“We want to be licensed everywhere,” CZ said. “From now on, we’re going to be a financial institution.”MicroStrategy pledges to buy more BTC despite paper loss on its holdings of $424.8M in Q2MicroStrategy pledged to buy more Bitcoin despite reporting impairment losses of $424.8 million in Q2, after it stated that it was “pleased” by the results of its digital asset strategy in its July 29 Q2 report. At a first glance, it appeared that MicroStrategy had lost the plot, as the Q2 report showed that as of June 30, MicroStrategy held an approximate 105,085 BTC with a carrying value of $2.051 billion, at an impairment loss of $689.6 million since acquisition. The average carrying amount per Bitcoin was an estimated $19,518. Earlier this week Elon Musk’s Tesla also published a Q2 report which showed a $23 million impairment loss on its Bitcoin holdings.As both firms categorize Bitcoin as an “intangible asset,” accounting rules mandate that they must report an impairment loss when the asset’s price drops below its cost basis. However, they are not required to report price appreciation in the specified asset until the position is realized through a sale.The digital asset figures were calculated using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) — a collection of commonly accepted accounting rules used for financial reporting. The firm also provided non-GAAP calculations, which in this report exclude the “impact of share-based compensation expense and impairment losses and gains on sale from intangible assets.”The non-GAAP figures paint a different picture for MicroStrategy’s digital asset holdings, with the BTC cost basis at $2.741 billion but its market value is $3.653 billion, which reflects an average cost per BTC at $26,080 and a market price of $34,763 as of June 30.This may be the reason why MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor continues to double down on BTC and pursue the hodl modl.PayPal set to launch crypto trading in the UK and may embrace DeFiOn July 30, it was revealed that global payments platform PayPal is looking to expand its crypto trading services to the U.K. market, with the firm also revealing that it is looking at embracing DeFi. According to the company’s second-quarter earnings call on July 28, PayPal was very keen to pat itself on the back after the firm noted how well it performed during Q2 with its crypto trading services. CEO Dan Schulman stated that the U.K. is likely to be the next country where crypto trading is offered, and “maybe even next month.” Speaking on DeFi, Schulman suggested that PayPal was looking into “what the next generation of the financial system looks like” and how to integrate smart contracts and decentralized apps into the platform:“How can we use smart contracts more efficiently? How can we digitize assets and open those up to consumers that may not have had access to that before? There are some interesting DeFi applications as well. And so we are working really hard.”Schulman also revealed that revenues of PayPal-owned mobile payment service Venmo grew by 183% year-over-year and that there has been strong adoption and trading of crypto on Venmo as well. Venmo launched crypto trading services to an estimated 70 million users in mid-April.Paypal’s 2020 entrance into crypto was widely cited as one of the early catalysts for last year’s meteoric bull run, with the firm first announcing it would introduce U.S. crypto trading service in November.Winners and LosersAt the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $38,906 Ether at $2,357 and XRP at $0.72 The total market cap is at $1.53 trillion, based on CoinMarketCap data.Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Quant (QNT) at 70.71%, Amp (AMP) at 55.88%, and Terra (LUNA) at 43.75%.The top three altcoin losers of the week are Compound (COMP) at -5.79%, Mdex (MDX) at -5.35%, and Shiba Inu (SHIB) at -5.19%.For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.Most Memorable Quotations“I think central bank digital currencies were concocted in hell by Satan himself.” Rich Checkan, president of Asset Strategies International“You even have some in the House that sit not too far from me on the House Financial Services Committee that would call blockchain basically a financial 9/11.” Representative Ted Budd of North Carolina, member of the House Financial Services Committee and Congressional Blockchain Caucus“They claim to enable ‘transparency.’ Their backers talk about the ‘democratization of banking.’ There’s nothing ‘democratic’ or ‘transparent’ about a shady, diffuse network of online funny money.” Sherrod Brown, United States Democratic Senator“Spending America deeper into a hole is a stupid, inflationary & altogether undesirable way to drive ppl to digital assets. I want USD to continue as the world’s reserve currency. We need to reign in spending & support financial innovation on US soil.” Cynthia Lummis, United States Republican Senator“When the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced many economies into partial and total lockdowns, it reinforced the need to pursue digitization.” Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana“There has been an enormous failure by the big banks to reach consumers all across the country. Digital currency and central bank digital currency may be an answer there.” Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator and former presidential candidate“We continue to be pleased by the results of the implementation of our digital asset strategy. Our latest capital raise allowed us to expand our digital holdings, which now exceed 105,000 bitcoins. Going forward, we intend to continue to deploy additional capital into our digital asset strategy.”  Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO“Bitcoin Mining is the most ESG friendly business in the world. Bitcoin miners are 24/7 consumers of energy that can be placed near wasted power assets. Bitcoin miners help energy companies plan/control their demand — this brings in revenue to divest from coal and invest in renewable energy assets.” Will Szamosszegi, CEO and founder of Sazmining Inc., from Markets Pro Q&APrediction of the Week Ethereum price can hit $14K if the March 2020 chart fractal holdsNow that it looks like the cryptomarkets are picking back up, numerous bullish predictions are beginning to resurface. The recent flip in sentiment makes one wonder whether the highly coveted “moon” may once again be in sight.  Earlier this week TradingView user “TradingShot” spotted an extremely bullish fractal on the Ethereum chart which indicated that ETH may close 2021 above $14,000.The Ethereum fractal involves three technical indicators: a 50-day simple moving average (SMA), a Fibonacci channel and a relative strength index.Ether closed above its 50-day SMA in July 2021, the first time since the May 2021 bearish buzzkill market correction. As TradingShot pointed out, breaking above the 50-day SMA has historically predicted bull runs. For instance, a run-up above the 50-day SMA in April 2020 took the ETH/USD exchange rate from around $170 to over $500 in September 2020 — in only 137 days.A word of caution, however, based on this author’s 20-second analysis: The last time ETH hit all-time highs around the $4,000 to $4,300 price range in mid-May, it stayed there for roughly five days before crashing sharply and forcing the bulls into hibernation.FUD of the Week Warren urges Treasury Secretary Yellen to combat rising crypto threatsEarlier this week, U.S. Democratic Senator and anti-crypto proponent Elizabeth Warren called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other regulators to develop a “comprehensive and coordinated” framework for addressing risks in the cryptocurrency market.“As the demand for cryptocurrencies continues to grow and these assets become more embedded in our financial system, consumers, the environment, and our financial system are under growing threats,” Warren said in a letter to Yellen.  According to Warren, an under-regulated cryptocurrency market poses a significant risk to major financial players, such as hedge funds and banks. What Warren is forgetting, however, is that hedge funds and banks are usually bailed out with taxpayer money in times of financial crises, so they really have nothing to worry about. The senator is renowned for pushing back against cryptic currencies or whatever they are called, and has described assets like Dogecoin as a “fourth-rate alternative to real currency.”It appears she hasn’t seen enough memes from the DOGE community to be swayed on the value of Dogecoin as of yet.IMF issues veiled warning against El Salvador’s Bitcoin LawThe International Monetary Fund, or IMF, warned this week that the consequences of a country adopting Bitcoin as a national currency “could be dire.”The IMF didn’t specify which country it was talking about, but one thinks it may be El Salvador — the first nation to adopt Bitcoin as a national currency. According to assertions from IMF marketing department financial counselor and director Tobias Adrian and legal department general counsel and director Rhoda Weeks-Brown, countries adopting cryptocurrencies as national currencies or “granting crypto assets legal tender status” risks domestic prices becoming highly unstable. They also emphasized that the assets could be used contrary to Anti-Money Laundering and financing of terrorism measures, in addition to having issues surrounding macroeconomic stability and the environment.Law professor calls for crypto mining regulation during US Senate hearingJust as everyone was getting excited about the majority of the global BTC hash rate migrating out of China to the U.S., one little-known law expert has to come to ruin it all. Professor Angela Walch of the St. Mary’s University School of Law attended the July 27 crypto hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to call for stricter regulations on people who keep the crypto sector moving smoothly. Thankfully, she wasn’t asking for a China-esque ban and, in addressing the committee, Walch claimed that miners held “meaningful power” over the way blockchain networks operate. She asserted that they can potentially exploit the role of transaction ordering, which could become a “major issue” for cryptocurrencies. In stressing the point, professor Walch likened the miner extractable value paradigm — where miners earn more profits from ordering transactions in a certain way — as being akin to a “bribe.” She may have a point, though — sometimes it does feel like you’re bribing someone to get an Ethereum transaction through the books when tokenized cats clog up the network and send gas fees to the moon.Best Cointelegraph FeaturesBlockchain tech is holding NFTs back because of these three design flawsThree design flaws in blockchain tech are holding the NFT sector back — and they need to be tackled for it to reach its full potential.Powers On… Why the fear of ICO enforcement and liability is coming to an endEleven class actions against crypto firms and their founders started with a bang and will end with a whimper — as they should.Traders anticipate ‘DeFi Summer 2.0’ after TVL and token prices riseA rally in blue-chip DeFi tokens and the sector’s rising total value locked has traders hopeful that a prolonged rally will take place.

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If you have a Bitcoin miner, turn it on

In the last few weeks, the Bitcoin (BTC) mining market has experienced a black swan event, leading to a lot of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the future of the market. This is why I felt it was right to give the public a quick update and explain why it’s a fantastic time for Bitcoin mining in the United States.Bitcoin miners are rewarded Bitcoin for securing the network and for each block they mine. As more miners participate, the difficulty rate increases and the reward for each individual miner’s security contribution decreases. And vice versa, when fewer miners are participating, the difficulty rate decreases and the reward for each miner’s contribution increases. Understanding this is key as to why this is an exciting time to get into mining.Related: A trade war misstep? China is vacating crypto battlefield to US banksRecently, we have experienced a historic decrease in the difficulty rate. This chart shows the initial impact of Chinese miners being forced to shut down and move out of China. Related: China crackdown shows industrial Bitcoin mining a problem for decentralizationThere are many potential reasons why this occurred, but the net result is that an exodus of Chinese miners and their equipment has begun. As of July 2, the rate was adjusted by -27.94 percent. It was the fourth negative adjustment that happened in a row, “with the difficulty rate almost halving since mid-May.” Let’s take a look at the most recent block time intervals.Even with record-high Bitcoin prices, we are still anticipating additional rate decreases in the near future.However, the difficulty decrease wasn’t over at that point, and with the additional drop of over 27% in early July, the volatility is still coming as the network catches up to the effects of all these miners going offline. These events have caused a lot of dramatic and quick changes to the crypto mining market, but their impacts can be boiled down to three major changes:There is a shortage of low-cost electricity mining locations and power infrastructure in the market. There’s simply not enough infrastructure to absorb the demand coming from Chinese miners.Equipment prices are dropping fast and profitability is increasing for miners. We estimate that equipment prices will fall to all-time lows given the flood of equipment, while mining profitability soars. As a result, we estimate mining profitability will increase by 35% after the difficulty adjustment.Cheap power locations can take a year or more to negotiate, contract and develop. Given these circumstances, current operators have a unique opportunity because they already have established resources and partnerships that they can utilize.The last time that the difficulty rate was around 15 trillion was in January 2020, with Bitcoin being worth only $7,000. Currently, the price of BTC is around $32,000, more than four times higher. With low-priced hardware for mining and the high price of Bitcoin, the opportunity in Bitcoin mining has never looked better. Right now, it’s not about the mining equipment, it’s more about the infrastructure.As all investors know, the time to invest is when costs are heavily discounted. For Bitcoin mining, that’s right now.This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.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.William Szamosszegi is the CEO and founder of Sazmining Inc., a cryptocurrency mining developer and consulting firm, and host of Everything Crypto Mining: The Sazmining Podcast. He is bullish on Bitcoin’s future as the dominant global digital reserve asset and believes Bitcoin is the solution for layer-one, sound money. William grew up in Maryland and studied psychology and management at Bucknell University. William spends his spare time working out, seeing friends and reading.

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The future of DeFi is spread across multiple blockchains

Long stuck in the shadows of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) finally took hold of the market in 2020 during the decentralized finance summer. Designed to recreate traditional financial systems with fewer middlemen, DeFi is now being used across lending, borrowing, and the buying and selling of tokens. The majority of these decentralized applications (DApps) are run on Ethereum, which saw activity on the network increase during 2020. This activity also trended upwards due to yield farming, also known as liquidity mining, which enables holders to generate rewards with their crypto capital.But as activity on Ethereum increased, so too did the network’s transaction fees. In May, it was reported that Ethereum gas fees were skyrocketing. It’s intuitive that engaging in DeFi is only worthwhile when handling capital that exceeds any network fees. Consequently, it soon became clear to users that the blockchain was verging on unusable.Related: Where does the future of DeFi belong: Ethereum or Bitcoin? Experts answerWithout a doubt, Ethereum remains the most active and populated blockchain, but other potential players are popping up, providing a viable alternative to Ethereum. For example, layer one protocols such as Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Solana (SOL) are attracting billions in assets under management, whereas layer two solutions such as Polygon (MATIC) are capturing Ethereum’s disgruntled users’ attention due to their compatibility with Ethereum-based protocols. This is in addition to delivering low fees and quick transaction speeds. However, despite Ethereum gas fees reaching a high over the past year and the growth of faster networks, none of these chains have killed Ethereum yet.It’s because of this, as we enter the second half of 2021, that the narrative of “Ethereum vs. the rest” is starting to change — developers are realizing the value of a cross-chain future rather than having to pick one blockchain to build on. It’s no longer a case of creating a chain with a competitive edge, but of ensuring all chains can work interchangeably to improve the industry.Related: A multichain future will accelerate innovators and entrepreneursBenefits and drawbacks of a multichain futureDue to its prominence and longstanding presence in the market, Ethereum has the first-mover advantage and remains the most significant blockchain within the DeFi ecosystem as of Q1 2021. But with other chains gaining momentum, it is these alternatives to Ethereum that are providing the benefits of faster transaction speeds and significantly lower fees.The introduction of other chains isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even for Ethereum fans. After all, a multichain ecosystem brings additional space for new protocols to enter, each with a strong user base. Each new chain also creates a new community, vacancies for services, and an individual identity and culture.Related: Too little, too late? Ethereum losing DeFi ground to rival blockchains One possible drawback, depending on how you look at it, is that some blockchains require unique programming languages, such as JavaScript, Rholang, Simplicity, Rust or Solidity, which may present a barrier to entry for developers. At the same time, however, different coding languages can present a new way for developers to solve a problem. And as the blockchain space moves further towards multichain, it may inspire developers to create and innovate as they witness the diversity in viable blockchain projects. It’s for this reason that projects which don’t innovate could be seen as lagging and abandoned by their community.Not only that, but separated blockchains create innovation silos, presenting challenges to progress and adoption. Joining the multichain future together can be seen as seamlessly connecting these specialized groups. This could be seen as a difficult objective to achieve in the traditional tech world, but cryptocurrency and blockchain are challenging these existing infrastructure monopolies, and this industry has the ability to pioneer an ecosystem that works cohesively rather than competitively.Related: Life beyond Ethereum: What layer-one blockchains are bringing to DeFiMore blockchains, more valueIt’s inevitable that projects will eventually connect multiple blockchains, making the transfer of information from one chain to another seamless. In fact, the cryptocurrency market and multichain adoption is less of a zero-sum game than is often cited. And, as the multichain future becomes more apparent, it will only become clearer that the additional functionality, usability and scalability it brings is contributing to the onboarding of new users.Related: The great tech exodus: The Ethereum blockchain is the new San Francisco Rather than viewing the existence of a multichain future with doubt, it should be looked on positively. There are plenty of different smart contract platforms in the crypto ecosystem, all of which impact the blockchain space in terms of accessibility, economic viability and innovation. Blockchains may be separated right now, but everything will come together in the end, creating an interoperable and fast network of protocols that fulfils our daily needs. The beauty of this is that we won’t have to worry about how we’re transacting or what we’re transacting on, as it won’t matter.We’re still far from achieving the end goal of interoperability, but once it’s achieved mass adoption, the crypto industry will be unstoppable. And, as the sector continues to grow, projects are finding that they have to adapt to a multichain future soon or risk getting left behind.This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.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.Michael O’Rourke is the co-founder and CEO of Pocket Network. Michael is a self-taught iOS and Solidity developer. He was also on the ground level of Tampa Bay’s Bitcoin/crypto meetup and consultancy, Blockspaces, with a focus on teaching developers Solidity. He graduated from the University of South Florida.

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