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Frost & Sullivan and TERI's Sustainability 4.0 Awards 2021 Honor Companies Embedding Sustainability with Economic Value Creation

MUMBAI, India, Jan. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The 12th edition of Frost & Sullivan and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)‘s Sustainability 4.0 Awards took place virtually on Jan. 12, 2022. The awards recognized companies embedding sustainability with economic value creation, thereby creating value for all stakeholders, building a safer environment, and ensuring a stronger community. This […]

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Bitcoin payments decline as other cryptocurrencies grow

BitPay Inc., one of the world’s most well-known crypto payment processors, has seen a shift in the type of digital assets used for purchases over the last year, according to a Bloomberg report.According to Bitpay, Bitcoin’s (BTC) usage at businesses that use its payment system fell last year to about 65% of processed transactions, down from 92% in 2020. Along with this change, Ether (ETH) represented 15% of all transactions, whereas other currencies like Litecoin (LTC) and Dash (DASH) have increased their portion.Businesses have started using stablecoins more frequently for cross-border payments since November when crypto values had been depreciating. Consumers have also begun to use stablecoins because their value is constant, resulting in less risk in the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency market, as per the report.The growing popularity of stablecoins has partly contributed to the use of alternative coins for payments. Dogecoin (DOGE), for example, became famous last year as the result of its followers, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who on Friday announced that Dogecoin may be used to buy Tesla-related products.Related: Retailers to drive crypto payments adoption: SurveyThe trend suggests that individuals are holding Bitcoin rather than spending it. Bitcoin’s prices increased by 60% in 2021, regardless of the fourth quarter’s volatility. According to Bitpay, the majority of last year’s crypto transactions were in luxury items like jewelry, watches and automobiles.Whales have never held more bitcoin pic.twitter.com/a9jxAV3Mxp— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 16, 2022Transaction volumes for high-end items increased 31% in 2021 from 9% in 2020, according to Stephen Pair, Bitpay’s CEO. Payment volume rose by 57% across the board in 2021.

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Meysan Partners y Arkan Legal Consultants Group anuncian su fusión

KUWAIT CITY, 17 de enero de 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Meysan Partners (“Meysan“) y Arkan Legal Consultants Group (“Arkan“), dos bufetes de abogados altamente reconocidos con sede en Kuwait, unirán sus fuerzas a partir del 1 de enero de 2022, para ofrecer a los clientes el beneficio combinado de dos bufetes de abogados de primera clase, centrados […]

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Meysan Partners und Arkan Legal Consultants Group kündigen Zusammenschluss an

KUWAIT CITY, 17. Januar 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Meysan Partners („Meysan“) und Arkan Legal Consultants Group („Arkan“), zwei in Kuwait ansässige, hoch anerkannte Anwaltskanzleien, werden sich zum 1. Januar 2022 zusammenschließen, um ihren Kunden die Vorteile zweier erstklassiger, kundenorientierter Anwaltskanzleien zu bieten, was einen der größten Zusammenschlüsse von Anwaltskanzleien auf dem Rechtsmarkt des Nahen Ostens in […]

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Meysan Partners et Arkan Legal Consultants Group annoncent leur fusion

KOWEÏT, 17 janvier 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Meysan Partners (« Meysan ») et Arkan Legal Consultants Group (« Arkan »), deux cabinets d’avocats hautement reconnus basés au Koweït, uniront leurs forces à compter du 1er janvier 2022, afin d’offrir à leurs clients les avantages combinés de deux cabinets d’avocats de première classe, axés sur le client, ce qui représente l’une […]

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Meysan Partners and Arkan Legal Consultants Group announce merger

KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Meysan Partners (“Meysan“) and Arkan Legal Consultants Group (“Arkan“), two Kuwait-based highly recognized law firms, will join forces as of January 1, 2022, to give clients the combined benefit of two first class, client-focused law firms, representing one of the largest law firm mergers in the Middle East’s legal market […]

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Propy rallies 227% as real estate NFTs become reality and PRO lists at Coinbase

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) skyrocketed in popularity over the course of 2021 as the wider public became enthralled with projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, but these one-of-a-kind digital images are only scratching the surface of what NFT technology is capable of. One project focused on expanding the functionality of NFTs beyond the digital art space is Propy, a protocol focused on the integration of blockchain technology with the real estate sector by automating the closing process of home buying to make the entire process faster, simpler and more secure. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $1.12 on Jan. 12, the price of PRO moved 227% higher to hit a daily high at $3.67 on Jan. 14 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 452% to $29.3 million. PRO/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThree reasons for the sudden surge in Propy price include the token being listed on Coinbase exchange, the successful completion of the first sale of a real estate NFT and growing potential of NFTs to be used in different use cases. The Coinbase bumpThe surge in the price of PRO on Jan. 14 was in large part due to the token listed on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. INV, LQTY, NCT and PRO are now live on https://t.co/iQARfimGvY & in the Coinbase iOS & Android apps. Coinbase customers can log in now to buy, sell, convert, send, receive or store.https://t.co/Yhm3KRFbAr pic.twitter.com/TFzIoqhQG4— Coinbase (@coinbase) January 13, 2022Prior to the Coinbase listing, the PRO token was only available on a limited number of exchanges including Huobi Global, Bitrue and the decentralized exchange Uniswap. Coinbase is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume globally and the main exchange serving U.S.-based investors who have historically conducted the highest volume of cryptocurrency trading. The first real estate NFT in the U.S.A second development that is helping to boost the price and trading volume of PRO is the upcoming sale of the first real estate NFT in the United States. According to Propy founder and CEO Natalia Karayaneva, the reason Propy chose Florida for its first U.S.-based real estate sales include a crypto-friendly state government, positive future price growth and demographic statistics, a growing job market and the state’s 0% individual income tax policy. While the upcoming sale in Tampa marks the first real estate NFT sale in the U.S., Propy completed the first-ever NFT sale back in 2017 when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington sold his Kyiv apartment for 36 Ether. Related: NFT sales and blockchain games continue to grow despite the recent market slump: ReportRising popularity of NFTs and blockchain technologyAnother reason for the building momentum behind Propy is the overall growth in awareness of NFTs and blockchain technology. The promise of integrating NFTs with things like house deeds and corporate contracts has been a topic of discussion for years, and last year’s explosion in NFT interest and trading volume raised the level of public awareness to the point where the concept can gain more traction.On top of the usefulness of NFT technology, the increasingly dire state of the global financial system has investors looking for secure places to store their wealth, for which real estate has long been a preferred safe haven. Best hedge against all of the chaos in the world:1. crypto2. real estate3. investment in yourself— Natalia Karayaneva (@NataliePropy) December 29, 2021

Now, the process of buying and holding real estate is about to enter the 21st century with the integration of blockchain technology and NFTs because the influence of middlemen will be reduced, helping to lower the cost of the entire process. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, NEAR, ATOM, FTM, FTT

Bitcoin (BTC) has stopped its decline and is attempting a recovery along with select altcoins. Some traders have been fearing a massive sell-off in Bitcoin but Capriole CEO Charles Edwards said that Bitcoin’s worst crashes have happened “due to miner capitulation (December 2018 and March 2020), when BTC fell below production costs.” However, the current production cost of Bitcoin was $34,000, which is well below the current price.In a sign that institutional investors remain bullish on the crypto sector even after the recent fall, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest bought 6.93 million shares of the special purchase acquisition company that will merge with Circle, the principal operator of USD Coin (USDC) and the second-largest stablecoin in terms of market capitalization.Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360Another sign that the crypto markets are maturing is the fact that nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have not responded negatively to the fall in crypto prices. A recent report by DappRadar said that NFT trading in the first ten days of 2022 generated $11.90 billion compared to $10.7 billion in Q3 2021.Could Bitcoin continue its recovery and pull select altcoins higher? Let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies to find out.BTC/USDTThe bulls are struggling to propel Bitcoin above the 20-day exponential moving average ($44,415) for the past few days but a minor positive is that buyers have not given up much ground. This suggests that bulls are buying on every minor dip.BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewIf buyers push and sustain the price above the 20-day EMA, it will signal a possible change in trend. The BTC/USDT pair could then rally to the 50-day simple moving average ($47,987) where the bears may again mount a stiff resistance. A break and close above this resistance could clear the path for a rally to $52,088.Contrary to this assumption, if the price fails to rise above the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on rallies. The bears will then attempt to sink the price below the critical support at $39,600. If they succeed, the pair could extend its downtrend.BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe moving averages have flattened out and the relative strength index (RSI) is just above the midpoint on the 4-hour chart. This suggests a range-bound action in the short term. The pair could remain stuck between $39,600 and $45,456.A break and close above $45,456 could tilt the advantage in favor of the bulls, signaling the start of a possible rally to $52,088. Alternatively, a break and close below $39,600 could indicate the resumption of the downtrend.NEAR/USDTNEAR Protocol’s NEAR token is in a strong uptrend. The price broke above the previous all-time high at $17.95 on Jan. 11, signaling the resumption of the up-move. The bears pulled the price back below $17.95 on Jan. 12 but the bulls bought this dip and reclaimed the level on Jan. 13.NEAR/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewBoth moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory, indicating that the path of least resistance is to the upside. If bulls do not allow the price to dip below the breakout level at $17.95, the NEAR/USDT pair could rally to $25.44.Alternatively, if bears pull the price below $17.95, the pair could drop to the 20-day EMA ($16.42). A bounce off this level could keep the uptrend intact but a break and close below it will suggest that traders are rushing to the exit. The pair could then decline to $13.NEAR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe 4-hour chart shows that the price has been taking support at the 20-EMA. The upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory indicate that the short-term trend favors the buyers.If bulls propel the price above $20.59, the uptrend could begin. The pair could then rise to $22 and later to $25.Contrary to this assumption, if the price drops below the 20-EMA, it will indicate that short-term traders may be booking profits. The pair could then drop to the 50-SMA. A break and close below this support will indicate the start of a deeper correction.ATOM/USDTCosmos (ATOM) is attempting to form an inverse head and shoulders pattern, which will complete on a breakout and close above the overhead resistance at $44.80.ATOM/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe rising moving averages and the RSI in the overbought territory indicate that the path of least resistance is to the upside. A close above $44.80 could open the gates for a rally to the psychological level at $50 and then toward the pattern target at $69.42.Alternatively, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance, the ATOM/USDT pair could drop to the 20-day EMA ($36). This is a key level for the bulls to defend. If the price rebounds off this level, the bulls will again attempt to drive the pair above the overhead resistance and resume the uptrend.A break and close below the 20-day EMA will be the first sign that the up-move could be losing steam. The pair could then drop to $32.90.ATOM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe 4-hour chart shows that the price has broken out of the symmetrical triangle pattern, indicating that the uncertainty has resolved in favor of the buyers. The bears may attempt to defend the overhead resistance at $44.80 but if they fail, the pair could rally to the pattern target at $51.19.Alternatively, if the bears successfully defend the resistance at $44.80, the pair could drop to the 20-EMA. If the price rebounds off this support, the bulls will again try to clear the overhead hurdle. This positive view will be negated on a break and close below the 50-SMA.Related: Dogecoin leaps 25% after Musk announces DOGE payments for Tesla merchFTM/USDTFantom (FTM) is in a strong uptrend. The price action of the past few days has formed an inverse (IH&S) which will complete on a break and close above $3.17. FTM/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe bears may attempt to stall the rally at $3.48 but if bulls push the price above this level, the next leg of the uptrend could begin. The up-move could first reach $4 and later continue its journey toward the pattern target at $5.11.Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance, the bears will attempt to pull the FTM/USDT pair to the 20-day EMA ($2.62). If the price turns up from this level, it will suggest that the sentiment remains positive and traders are buying the dips.However, a break and close below this support will signal the start of a deeper correction to the 50-day SMA ($2.07).FTM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe bears attempted to stall the up-move at $3.17 but the bulls had other plans. They bought the dip to the 20-EMA and have pushed the price above the overhead barrier. If bulls sustain the price above the breakout level, it will signal the resumption of the uptrend.On the other hand, if bears pull the price below $3.17, the pair could drop to the 20-EMA. This is an important level to watch out for because a break and close below it could indicate that the current breakout may have been a bull trap. The pair could then drop to $2.80 and later to the 50-SMA.FTT/USDTFTX Token (FTT) has been in a strong corrective phase for the past several weeks. The bulls pushed the price above the downtrend line on Jan. 14, signaling a possible change in trend.FTT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover and the RSI has risen above 64 after forming a positive divergence. This suggests that bulls are attempting a comeback. If the price sustains above the downtrend line, the FTT/USDT pair could rise to $53.50.Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the moving averages, it will suggest that the breakout was a bull trap. That could pull the price down to $33.76. A break and close below this support could open the doors for a possible drop to $24.FTT/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe 4-hour chart shows the formation of a falling wedge pattern. The buyers pushed the price above this pattern and have also cleared the horizontal resistance at $45.07. Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the overbought zone, indicating that bulls have the upper hand. If bulls maintain the price above $45.07, the pair could start its march toward the psychological resistance at $50.This positive view will invalidate if the price turns down and re-enters the wedge. Such a move will indicate that demand dries up at higher levels.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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AI-generative art predicted to be next trend for NFT sector

Sales of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, reached $25 billion in 2021, demonstrating that the sector is one of the most sought-after markets in crypto. Art NFTs, in particular, made a big impact last year with Christie’s reporting over $93 million in nonfungible token sales during its fourth annual Art+Tech Summit that took place this past August. While notable, much of the crypto art scene appears to be dominated by cartoons and memes, as projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club have taken center stage. Although these projects are some of the most successful to date, a new subset of NFTs is emerging based on advanced technologies and the human imagination. AI-generative NFTs become a new art genreKnown as “AI-generative NFTs,” these nonfungible tokens are becoming increasingly popular within the art community, along with those interested in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Metaverse. In order to create AI-generative NFTs, one would typically use generative adversarial networks, or GANs. These are algorithms that leverage computers to use data to train models to produce machine-made images resembling art. Claire Silver, an AI-collaborative artist, told Cointelegraph that AI-generative NFT art is a relatively new genre, noting that the basic principle is that art is created in tandem with some semblance of artificial intelligence, like GAN: “There are code-heavy options and completely code-free tools that anyone can work with. I use the latter in my work. Being able to work with an AI to bring your ideas to life is an experience like no other, it augments creativity in a way that feels like freedom, a type of play you haven’t experienced since you were a child.”In order to create AI-generative NFTs, Silver explained that she leverages a text-to-art generator called “Eponym.” Developed by the AI-generated art company, Art AI, the Eponym tool allows users to create art based on their text of choice and then mint these creations directly to the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea. “Cassandra Ex Machina” Source: Claire SilverEyal Fisher, co-founder of Art AI, told Cointelegraph that Eponym allows for any phrase to be transformed into a unique NFT art piece that will forever be etched onto the Ethereum blockchain as a visual representation. Fisher explained that Eponym was built on algorithms for personalized generated art that lets people create art by interacting with a computer. “Eponym is a collaborative NFT project. Users access it by coming to the website and typing any phrase or word into a text box. The AI then generates artwork based on the text entered.” Fisher added that each text prompt can only be generated once. “There is only one Eponym called ‘Bitcoin,’” he said. “$btc” image produced by Eponym. Source: EponymAlthough AI-generative art is a fairly new concept, Fisher shared that the first Eponym project sold out overnight on OpenSea, making it one of the largest collaborative art projects created by 3,500 different artists. “This is an experiment in decentralizing art. People who own Eponyms are creators of that art and want to curate it,” he said. While Eponym lets users create their own art NFTs, Metascapes is another project that was developed by three photographers looking to combine human expression with computer algorithms. Ryan Newburn, one of the photographers behind Metascapes, told Cointelegraph that the project consists of 3,333 rare AI-generated NFTs based on photographs taken across the world. Like Eponym, Metascapes leverges AI algorithms to create nature-inspired NFTs. According to Newburn, the first Metascapes collection is planned to be minted by the end of this month or early February.”Ice Journey” Source: MetascapesThe AI-team behind Metascapes — which goes by the name Versus Labs — explained that the artwork in each collection is created by training data to recognize real-world images:“We have images and labels for our photographs, which are called ‘training data.’ When it’s time to generate the output model, we put in a label that tells the model what type of images to put out. For example, ice caves and volcanoes were two categories the photographers have done work for in the past, but this wasn’t a majority of the input data, so we wanted to make sure the output contained examples of ice caves and volcanoes.”Versus Labs added that Metascapes’ AI learns as it goes, noting that the generator that outputs data gets better over time since two models of learning are being used in tandem. “The generator outputs random noise at the beginning and the discriminator model tells the generator how to improve the output, so it looks more like the training data. This cycle continues, ensuring both models improve over time.” Iurie Belegurschi, another photographer behind Metascapes, told Cointelegraph that as photographers, the Metascapes team chose to work with AI to generate images because everything related to NFTs and Web3 is about machines, computers and code:“We decided to collaborate with a machine to create an entirely new world in the Metaverse. Everyone now is buying PFP avatars, but in our case, people will get a unique piece of land in the Metaverse.” AI’s impact on artists and NFT collectors Although AI-generated NFTs are still an emerging concept, this model has started to impact both artists and NFT collectors. For instance, the digital artist known as “Kami was Here” told Cointelegraph that working with AI has fundamentally changed the role of the human artist:“The human needs the algorithm and the algorithm needs the human. For me, this new role meant data collection, writing code, curation, the inspiration to create a theme and, most of all, ‘coaching’ an algorithm. The process is dynamic and the outcome collaborative.” “The Cartographer” Source: Kami was HereIn terms of how generative art NFTs differ from other nonfungible tokens, “Kami was Here” explained that each result is fully unique since it is birthed from an algorithm. “Generative art explores the future of a society hardwired with human-computer interaction,” the artist mentioned. Moreover, Fisher pointed out that accessibility and a newfound desire to own NFTs has been an outcome of AI-generated images. “Many of our users are creating NFTs for the first time, while NFT collectors and buyers are making their own creations. This is unusual, as most people in our community are not professional artists.” Dr. Alex Alter, principle AI-scientist for Altered State Machine — a protocol that uses NFT intelligence to create smart AI agents — further told Cointelegraph that not only do AI-generated NFTs look unique, but they also bring a deeper abstract feeling to individuals. “These NFTs are truly unique in the sense that there is no single area in any of the AI works that have similar pixels. Also, in the future, people will be able to create AI artwork through DAOs and chatbot technology. This is far more than what other NFTs can do today.” “Singularity by AIIV” Source: Dr. Alex AlterCan AI be trusted to create meaningful NFTs?While the potential for AI-generative NFTs is apparent, the question of whether or not artificial intelligence can be trusted to generate quality images based on text or photographs remains a concern. As such, Newburn mentioned that Metascapes carefully curates each of their collections. “Our AI team has generated tens of thousands of images. Not all of these will be showcased in our mints. If we aren’t satisfied with the category, we strategize and retest what categories will work with each other. Our AI has learned from multiple tests.” It’s also important to note that there are different ways to generate AI-based NFTs. For instance, Fisher mentioned that Eponym has two versions of its generator available to the public, one on the company’s Discord channel operating as a chatbot and the other as a private link that contains more complex algorithms capable of creating more advanced images. “Kami was Here” further pointed out that some AI-art pieces can take only a few minutes to generate, while others can take longer: “There are free apps now like Wombo that can easily generate images. It’s simple for people to create. On the other hand, AI art can also take months to build and train your algorithms, collect input data and pay for processing power. AI art can also be very resource intensive and personalized.” Technology aside, AI-generative NFTs are bound to be a disruptive trend moving forward. According to Dr. Alter, AI-generated art has already seen huge volumes on OpenSea, noting that the market will continue to grow this year. He mentioned that this will be the case partially due to the functionality of AI-generative NFTs. “In the future, people will be able to own their own ‘AI artist’ NFT (AI which can produce art) or use a DAO AI to create art together with that AI artist.” Additionally, the rise of the Metaverse should prompt the growth of AI-based NFTs. For example, Fisher remarked that Eponym’s next project will feature interactive virtual identities where users can take their own portraits to create 3D avatars and animate them using artificial intelligence. “Our idea is to use AI that will allow for avatars to take different shapes that are compatible in metaverse environments like Sandbox. In February, the company will be introducing additional algorithms that will allow users to generate personalized avatars.”

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ESG Today: Week in Review

This week in ESG news: State Street to require portfolio companies to provide climate disclosure; investors call to keep gas out of EU Taxonomy; Blackstone invests $3 billion in renewable energy developer Invenergy; Citi launches sustainability-linked supply chain finance program; IBM acquires sustainability data & analytics provider Envizi; BlackRock launches fund investing in net zero transition winners; Maersk pledges to provide net zero supply chains; SBTi outlines action plan for 2022; EY says companies gearing up for ESG-focused M&A; Iberdrola makes big move in UK solar market; HSBC launches ESG funds for fixed income investors, and more.

See below for the highlights of the past week, and get all your ESG news at ESG Today:

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22-year-old Indonesian boy makes $1M by selling NFT selfies on OpenSea

An Indonesian college student has reportedly become a millionaire by selling nonfungible token (NFT) versions of his selfies on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali, a 22-year-old computer science student from Semarang, Indonesia, converted and sold nearly 1,000 selfie images as NFTs. According to Ghozali, he took photos of himself for five years — between the ages of 18 and 22 — as a way to look back on his graduation journey.Uploading my photo into nft lolhttps://t.co/E3Q4sBmN26#NFT #opensea pic.twitter.com/rD51rdcpzp— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 10, 2022Ghozali selfies were taken sitting or standing in front of his computer, which was later converted into NFTs and uploaded to OpenSea in December 2021. The artist set the price for each NFT selfie at $3 without expecting interest from serious buyers. While monetizing his expressionless images, Ghozali said:“You can do anything like flipping or whatever but please don’t abuse my photos or my parents will very disappointed in me. I believe in you guys so please take care of my photos.”Ghozali’s OpenSea profile. Source: OpenSea.Going against his wildest expectations, Ghozali’s NFT offering blew up as prominent members of Crypto Twitter showed support by purchasing and marketing the offerings.Ghozali happened…the year of Gozali @Ghozali_Ghozalu pic.twitter.com/HKOw7FZddj— Arnold Poernomo (@ArnoldPoernomo) January 12, 2022

With the rising popularity, one of Ghozali’s NFT sold for 0.247 Ether (ETH) on Jan 14. worth $806 at the time of purchase, according to AFP. The young entrepreneur also adds a touch of personalization by providing some background information along with the selfies, which adds to the rarity of the NFT.every #NFT photo I take has a story behindThis photo was taken during the second corona vaccine https://t.co/pZfJKoKuc9— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 11, 2022

At its peak, Ghozali’s selfie NFTs sold for 0.9 ETH, worth roughly $3,000, according to a Lifestyle Asia report. Ghozali’s collection subsequently reached a total trade volume of 317 ether, equivalent to more than $1 million. The young artist also made his first tax payment on the basis of this income through OpenSea.this is my first tax payment in my life https://t.co/VDa8KYYPGs— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 14, 2022

Related: NFT sales and blockchain games continue to grow despite the recent market slump: ReportDespite the recent sluggish performance of the overall crypto market, the NFT marketplace and blockchain gaming industry continues to record high transaction volumes. As Cointelegraph reported, DappRadar data shows that the number of UAW connected to Ethereum NFT DApps grew by 43% since Q3 2021. In addition, the money generated by NFT trading went from $10.7 billion in Q3 2021 to $11.9 billion in the first ten days of 2022.

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Binance CEO’s net worth hits $96B, Jack Dorsey launches BTC defense fund, Bill Miller apes into Bitcoin: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 9-15

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 WeekBinance CEO CZ is the richest crypto billionaire at $96B: BloombergBloomberg has estimated Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — also known as “CZ”— to be the 11th-richest person in the world at a net worth of around $96 billion, making him the wealthiest billionaire in crypto. However, Bloomberg’s tabulation excluded CZ’s personal holdings of crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Binance Coin, suggesting that the $96 billion could become much larger in the future. To make the list of the top 10 richest people, CZ will need to look under his sofa and find a spare $11 billion to surpass Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. Topping the list is South African bad boy and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, who has accumulated $263 billion on the back of the success of his heavily subsidized electric vehicle company. Disney patents technology for a theme park metaverseDisney has obtained a patent that will enable the creation of personalized interactive attractions for its theme park visitors. The technology could reportedly be used to develop licensed, headset-free augmented reality attractions, involving such features as personalized 3D effects displayed on physical spaces across its parks that correspond with visitors’ journeys to different locations. The patent, dubbed the “Virtual-world Simulator,” was filed in the United States. It appears the move is part of Disney’s broader push to enter the metaverse sector, with CEO Bob Chapek noting in a Q4 conference call last year: “We’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse.”Billionaire investor Bill Miller puts 50% of net worth in BitcoinFamous investor Bill Miller has now put 50% of his net worth in Bitcoin, as well as major industry firms like Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy and BTC mining firm Stronghold Digital Mining.Miller was an early investor in Amazon, which he says still accounts for nearly 100% of the rest of his portfolio. He said he’s been gradually accumulating Bitcoin since the price hit $30,000 in mid-2021. The investor stated that he no longer considers himself just a “Bitcoin observer” but rather a real Bitcoin bull. Miller initially bought his first Bitcoin back in 2014 when BTC was trading around $200 and then purchased a “little bit more overtime” when it became $500.Tonga to copy El Salvador bill making Bitcoin legal tender, says former MPFormer Tongan member of parliament Lord Fusitu’a outlined a bill for Bitcoin to become legal tender in the island nation. Fusitu’a stated that the country’s Bitcoin bill is almost “identical” to the one that was enacted in El Salvador. Fusitu’a, who currently serves as chairman of the Oceania chapter of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, outlined five points in the roadmap for the bill’s adoption, predicting that it will pass in parliament around September or October, and potentially be legislated by the end of 2022 if all goes to plan. In 2021, it was widely speculated that Tonga would become one of the next countries to adopt BTC as legal tender, and optimism appears to be high among Tongans in 2022.Jack Dorsey announces Bitcoin Legal Defense FundFormer Twitter CEO, Bitcoin maxi and Block founder Jack Dorsey announced plans to create a “Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund” with Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and University of Sussex academic Martin White.The announcement, shared via Dorsey’s mailing list, states that the fund will help provide a legal defense for Bitcoin developers, who are “currently the subject of multi-front litigation.” “The main purpose of this Fund is to defend developers from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and retaining defense counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills,” the announcement stated.Winners and LosersAt the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $43,121, Ether (ETH) at $3,292 and XRP at $0.77. The total market cap is at $2.05 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Oasis Network (ROSE) at 47.47%, Secret (SCRT) at 32.23% and NEAR Protocol (NEAR) at 25.73%. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Loopring (LRC) at -14.23%, yearn.finance (YFI) at -13.52% and Ravencoin (RVN) at -13.01%.For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis. Most Memorable Quotations“It’s more going to be an exercise in asking questions and seeking input from the public rather than taking a lot of positions on various issues, although we do take some positions.”Jerome Powell, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, on the Fed’s upcoming digital currency report“Centralization is antithetical to the ethos of DeFi and poses major security risks. Single points of failure can be exploited by dedicated hackers and malicious insiders alike.”CertiK“We’re already at a quarter of that number, so we’ve got 24% of Americans owning Bitcoin. It won’t be that much of a stretch for it to get to a third. Bitcoin is becoming more and more mainstream. People are hearing about it everywhere — it isn’t going away.”Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines“Wikipedia really can’t be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot simpler.”Jonas, Wikipedia editor“Solana prioritizes scalability, but a relatively less decentralized and secure blockchain has tradeoffs, illustrated by several network performance issues since inception.”Alkesh Shah, digital asset strategist for Bank of America“The number of addresses with the minimum number of Bitcoin is actually growing compared to the number of whales. I think you get a profound retail trend everywhere in the world; people onboarding Bitcoin, they trust Bitcoin more and more. It’s really the people that will push the price up.” Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger“Subsequent employee surveys made it clear: recharge weeks work.”L.J. Brock, chief people officer at Coinbase“Most cryptocurrency investors are ready to pay tax but are concerned whether their move will violate the Revenue Code.”Suppakrit Boonsat, president of the Thai Digital Asset AssociationPrediction of the Week Traders say Bitcoin run to $44K may be a relief bounce, citing a repeat of December’s ‘nuke’Bitcoin had somewhat of a rocky trading week, as the flagship cryptocurrency fell to a price of $39,675 on Monday, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index. BTC found itself priced at $44,315 by Wednesday. The asset hit $44,448 on Thursday before subsequently dropping later in the week. Although Bitcoin’s price increased on Tuesday, its Wednesday rally came on the same day it was reported that U.S. inflation rose at an annual pace of 7% in December, the highest in 40 years.  Even though Bitcoin’s price rallied in the days following Monday’s drop below $40,000, the potential for further downward action remains a possibility as of Wednesday, according to widely-followed Twitter personality Material Scientist.“Remainder of bids was just pulled,” one of the tweets stated. “Either they’re done accumulating and use liquidity to chase now, or we see the same thing as in late November (pulled bids + stacked asks a few days later).”In the case of Bitcoin trading, bids refer to buyer demand seen on exchange order books. Following its $68,969 peak in November 2021, BTC declined notably through the rest of the month, falling down to $41,614 by early December.FUD of the Week LCX loses $6.8M in a hot wallet compromise over Ethereum blockchainLiechtenstein-based crypto exchange LCX confirmed on Sunday that one of its hot wallets was compromised after the platform temporarily suspended all deposits and withdrawals. The hack was initially highlighted by blockchain security firm PeckShield, which spotted a suspicious transfer of ERC-20 tokens from LCX to an unknown Ethereum wallet. The compromise was then promptly confirmed by LCX, which announced that several crypto tokens were compromised, including Ether, USD Coin (USDC), Sandbox (SAND) and its native LCX token. According to an investigation by PeckShield, LCX lost a total of around $6.8 million via the hot wallet hack.FTC issues public warning about new crypto ATM scamThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) posted an alert earlier this week regarding a new crypto ATM scam that involves nefarious QR codes. The FTC stated that the scam starts with fraudsters impersonating figures, such as public officials, law enforcement agents, or potential dating partners on dating apps, who all spin various fables to dupe the victim into sending crypto.If the victim falls for the fake story, they are directed to withdraw cash and then head to a crypto ATM and purchase some crypto. Once they purchase the crypto, the fraudster shares a QR code with the victim that diverts the funds back to the scammer upon scanning.    “Here’s the main thing to know: nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If someone does, it’s a scam, every time,” the FTC said.Pakistan’s central bank reportedly wants to ban cryptoAccording to reports from local media outlets, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) wants to ban all crypto transactions in Pakistan, arguing that assets such as Bitcoin are illegal and shouldn’t be used for trade.Pakistan’s Sindh High Court reportedly held a hearing related to the legal status of crypto in the country, with several Pakistani authorities, including the SBP, calling for a ban on the sector via a document submitted to the court. Alongside the usual tropes of investor protection and money laundering and terrorism concerns, the document urged the court to follow the model of countries such as China, whose government has stamped out the local crypto sector to pave way for a spawn of satan central bank digital currency (CBDC).Best Cointelegraph FeaturesQuickSwap founder: L2s are the path to mass adoption“If I’m a normal user and I want to do a small trade, I cannot do it on Ethereum.”Green and gold: The crypto projects saving the planetAs the world argued about the ethics of crypto, these projects changed the world for the better during 2021.Volcanos, Bitcoin and remittances: A Tongan lord plans for financial securityA former lawmaker from the island nation wants to use Bitcoin to secure his country’s financial security.

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Finance Redefined: Vitalik bearish on cross-chain, dYdX decentralizing, Jan. 7–14

Welcome to the latest edition of Cointelegraph’s decentralized finance newsletter.Despite the market printing bearish numbers for a second consecutive week, the industry is not short of bullish fundamental news. Read on to hear about the most impactful DeFi stories of the last seven days.What you’re about to read is a shorter, more succinct version of the newsletter. For a comprehensive summary of DeFi’s developments over the last week, subscribe below.Vitalik is optimistic for multichain, not cross-chain, Web3 worldVitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, shared a candid assessment of the security limitations in implementing fully functional cross-chain bridges within the blockchain industry.Buterin argued that storing assets on their native chain provides a higher level of security against 51% attacks than cross-chain activities, stating, “It’s always safer to hold Ethereum-native assets on Ethereum or Solana-native assets on Solana than it is to hold Ethereum-native assets on Solana or Solana-native assets on Ethereum.”My argument for why the future will be *multi-chain*, but it will not be *cross-chain*: there are fundamental limits to the security of bridges that hop across multiple “zones of sovereignty”. From https://t.co/3g1GUvuA3A: pic.twitter.com/tEYz8vb59b— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) January 7, 2022Sharing a series of examples to prove his thesis, Buterin noted that if a malicious entity attempted to launch a 51% attack on Ethereum, a transaction undertaken by an innocent party could be censored and/or reverted, but not blocked and not lost.In the most extreme cases, users’ funds would remain safe even if 99% of the protocol was compromised because nodes would overwhelmingly support the remaining 1% rule-following blocks and, therefore, govern the decision-making.In contrast, an incident of this kind operating on a cross-chain bridge between Ethereum and Solana, for example, would result in irreversible losses, Buterin argues. The problem compounds with the addition of chains.Let’s suppose a 51% attack occurs on a single of 50 chains. In that case, all of them become vulnerable in what he describes as a “systemic contagion that threatens the economy of that entire ecosystem.”dYdX strives to full decentralization in late 2022dYdX, the layer-two derivatives protocol, published the fourth iteration of its roadmap this week, presenting plans to develop the platform into an open-source, community-centric and fully decentralized operation later this year.The architecture operates on a dual-model in which sections of the protocol, such as staking and governance, are decentralized, while core functions such as the off-chain order book and matching engine are controlled by an in-house subsidiary, dYdX Trading Inc and supported by centralized servers such as Amazon Web Services.“There will no longer be central points of control or failure of the protocol,” representatives from the company stated following the v4 upgrade, assuring that “all aspects of the protocol that can be controlled will be fully controlled by the community.”Last month’s Amazon Web Service (AWS) technical outage highlighted the true vulnerabilities of a number of crypto businesses, including dYdX, Binance.US and Coinbase, and their inherent reliance on centralized servers to maintain the network.At the time, dYdX shared a sincere update on its official Twitter account and pledged to seek an unequivocal solution to this matter, stating:“Unfortunately, there are still some parts of the exchange that rely on centralized services (AWS in this case). We are deeply committed to fully decentralizing, and this remains one of our top priorities as we continue to iterate on the protocol.”Alongside its aspirations for decentralization, dYdX is also pursuing improvements to its interface trading platform, introducing spot, margin and synthetic trading opportunities, as well as appointing an external auditor to appraise business operations.Near Protocol raises $150 million to accelerate Web3 adoptionProof-of-stake blockchain Near Protocol raised $150 million in seed investment this week to enhance the awareness and adoption of Web3 applications within its network, with an inherent focus on expanding its audience and community base to the regions of Latin America, Turkey and India.The capital raise was led by renowned hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and was further participated by Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital and Andreessen Horowitz’s Silicon Valley-based fund a16z. Individual angel investors included British billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard and Aave founder Stani Kulechov.In a Medium blog post, Near Foundation CEO Marieke Flament shared her optimism on the latest funding, around which succeeds the previous total of $65.9 million raised by the company:“We are delighted to have such a fantastic list of backers supporting NEAR’s mission. We are looking forward to leveraging the funding to improve access to blockchain technology in an ever-growing list of countries across the world.”In October 2021, the smart contract platform allocated $800 million for new initiatives within the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, such as developer applications, startup grants and geographical fund pots.Token performances Analytical data reveals that DeFi’s total value locked slightly decreased by 2.77% across the week to a figure of $128.15 billion, continuing along with the wider market decline.Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView reveals that DeFi’s top 100 tokens by market capitalization have mainly been bullish over the last seven days.Secret (SCRT) took the lead for a second week with 15%. Terra (LUNA) rose by 6.32%, while 1inch Network (1INCH) posted gains of 2.9%.Interviews, features and other cool stuffThanks for reading our summary of this week’s most impactful DeFi developments. Join us again next Friday for more stories, insights and education in this dynamically advancing space.

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2021: A year of mass adoption for cryptocurrencies in Brazil

Throughout 2021, the Brazilian cryptocurrency market managed to distance itself from the police pages and finally win acceptance with the general public, whether in the financial market or even in the greatest national passion: soccer.Last year, Bitcoin (BTC) acted as a strong alternative to the Brazilian real that ended 2021 by breaking negative records and reaching a devaluation of 6.5% by December, making it the 38th worst currency in the world.In a year of ups and downs for Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency hit a bottom of 167,000 real in January and soared along with global markets to 355,000 real in May. Faced with Bitcoin’s dip, the BRL/BTC pair was stuck below 200,000 reals until August, when it began to rise to a new historic high of 367,000 real on Nov. 8.Faced with the need for economic protection, Brazilians turned to crypto. 10 million Brazilians now participate in the crypto market, according to CoinMarketCap.In traditional financial markets, the Brazilian Stock Exchange debuted exchange-traded funds (ETFs) linked to Bitcoin and Ether (ETH). There are already five ETFs listed on B3, some of them positioned among the most profitable in the entire Brazilian stock market in 2021.The Central Bank of Brazil also announced new developments in the digital real, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which could be launched as early as 2023. The Brazilian Central Bank also announced that it will continue working to incorporate blockchain technology into its services by carrying out a series of tests through a dedicated team at the monetary authority.In the Federal Congress, discussions on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Brazil dragged on throughout the year, until in December, federal deputies approved Bill 2303/15, which establishes criteria for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country. The bill will be further discussed in 2022 in the House’s plenary session and later in the Federal Senate.There was tension among major players in the cryptocurrency market in Brazil in 2021, but also some good news. Brazilian exchanges went head-to-head with major crypto exchange Binance. Exchanges around the country worked with the Brazilian Cryptoeconomy Association to comply Binance to follow rules established by the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Revenue Service and the central bank. The global exchange is still negotiating with Brazilian market regulators and the country’s financial authorities.Related: ‘Mecca of mining’: Brazil considers zero tax on green Bitcoin miningOn the other hand, Brazil’s largest exchange, Mercado Bitcoin (MB) — today one of Latin America’s crypto unicorns — expanded its operations in the country, entering the sporting world once and for all. MB also worked alongside Chiliz to make fan tokens more accessible to Brazilian fans, a novelty that was adopted by national football giants such as Corinthians, São Paulo, Internacional, Atlético-MG and Flamengo.The nonfungible token (NFT) market also reached Brazil with wide adoption and presence of Brazilian players in play-to-earn games, collectible platforms and even in the arts, being adopted by visual artists and renowned names in Brazilian music such as André Abujamra and Zeca Baleiro.For the next year, we can expect even more major Brazilian and Latin American firms to enter the cryptocurrency market. The Brazilian Stock Exchange hopes to expand its offering of cryptocurrency-linked investments, with experts targeting decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs and the Metaverse.It’s also worth remembering that 2022 is an election year in a country that has been polarized since 2016, with the Bolsonaro government suffering from low popularity and being defined by social tension. The elections could affect not only the direction of the digital real but also the future of the Brazilian economy, including cryptocurrency markets.

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Bitcoin miners can take fresh 20% BTC price hit before capitulating, data shows

The Bitcoin (BTC) mining business is bigger than ever at current price levels, and new data shows just how unlikely a mass miner sell-off really is.As noted by popular Twitter account @venturefounder on Jan. 14, even at $42,000, the BTC/USD trading pair is around 20% above miners’ cost price.Miner capitulation behind “worst” BTC price dipsDespite falling a full $27,000 below all-time highs, BTC is more enticing than ever for miners. Hash rate, an estimate of the total processing power dedicated to mining, reached new all-time highs this week.Those concerned that a fresh BTC price dip could pressure miners into selling, meanwhile, received fresh assurances via data covering how much BTC/USD should trade at for them to break even.Referencing the BTC production cost indicator from Charles Edwards, CEO of asset manager Capriole, venturefounder revealed that the breakeven point currently stands at $34,000.”The worst dumps Bitcoin ever had were due to miners capitulation (December 2018, March 2020), when BTC fell below production costs, it is at risk for miner capitulation,” he added in comments. “BTC was at risk for miner capitulation at $30k in May. The current production cost is $34k, 20% below current price.”Bitcoin production cost annotated chart (screenshot). Source: @venturefounder/TwitterAs such, there is no reason for miners to sell thanks to the profitability — as well as future perspective — of their operations.In a Medium post about his indicator from 2019, Edwards additionally noted that transaction fees awarded to miners give them an additional cushion against spot price incursions below production cost.”Historically, the electrical cost to produce a Bitcoin has represented a price floor in the Bitcoin market price,” another insight reads.Mining shrugs off spot price moves this yearAs Cointelegraph reported, miners are indeed voting with their wallets as BTC consolidates below $50,000.Related: Bitcoin cycle is far from over and miners are in it for the long haul: Fidelity reportRather than selling, miners en masse have been accumulating BTC more this month and last than during the highs.This speaks both to a healthy balance sheet and resolve over the future — fears of economic difficulties on the horizon are not currently weighing on the mining sector.Bitcoin hash rate chart. Source: BlockchainGoing forward, current worst-case scenario estimates among well-known analysts foresee a BTC price floor no lower than $30,000.

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Uruguay reportedly installs its first Bitcoin ATM

Uruguay has reportedly installed its first Bitcoin (BTC) ATM, making it the 11th South American country to publicly encourage crypto adoption. Prior to Uruguay’s involvement, South America hosted 79 ATMs, which represented 0.2% of global BTC ATM installations.According to Ámbito, Uruguay’s first crypto ATM was installed in the coastal city of Punta del Este, a major tourist attraction in the region. Uruguay’s first Bitcoin ATM was developed and installed in partnership with two local crypto companies — URUBit and inBierto. The crypto ATM in Uruguay currently supports withdrawal and deposits of five cryptocurrencies, namely — BTC, Binance Coin (BNB), Binance USD (BUSD), Ferret Token (FRT) and Urubit (URUB). FRT and URUB are in-house cryptocurrencies managed and distributed by URUBit and inBierto respectively. Adolfo Varela, the CEO of inBierto, confirmed that the initiative was 100% funded by the government of Uruguay. inBierto is a crypto investment platform, who is also a member of the Uruguayan Chamber of Fintech (Cámara Uruguaya de Fintech), a startup accelerator focused on the fintech sector. URUBit is a decentralized token created in Uruguay and deployed in the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).Data from Coin ATM Radar shows that Colombia leads the South American market with 31 crypto ATM installations to date, who is followed by Brazil and Argentina at 22 and 11 installations respectively.Other South American countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Aruba and Saint Kits and Nevis have also installed one crypto ATM. inBierto has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.Related: Uruguayan senator introduces bill to enable use of crypto for paymentsLast year, an Uruguayan senator introduced a draft bill seeking to regulate cryptocurrency and enable businesses to accept crypto payments.As Cointelegraph reported, senator Juan Sartori was not keen on adopting crypto as a legal tender. Instead, he suggested:“Today we present a bill that seeks to establish a legitimate, legal and safe use in businesses related to the production and commercialization of virtual currencies in Uruguay.”

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Stacks ecosystem becomes #1 Web3 project on Bitcoin

On the first anniversary of the launch of Stacks blockchain (STX), which seeks to make Bitcoin (BTC) programmable, the network achieved over 350 million monthly API requests, 40,000 Hiro (development tool for Stacks to build applications on Bitcoin) wallet downloads, and 2,500 Clarity smart contracts. According to a report by Electric Capital, a venture capital firm focused on cryptocurrencies and fintech, these statistics make Stacks the largest project on Bitcoin.More than 11,000 users earned more than 100 BTC rewards per month on Stacks due to its unique proof-of-transfer, or PoX, consensus mechanism. Miners bid BTC to verify transactions, execute smart contracts and mine new blocks on the STX blockchain and earn STX as rewards. Meanwhile, the BTC bids are sent to STX holders as rewards for performing tasks like running nodes. To date, the mechanism has delivered over $50 million worth of BTC rewards and surpassed $1 billion in total value locked.According to the report, there were also decentralized finance, or DeFi, advancements on BTC created through Stacks. These included the launch of wrapped BTC (xBTC), the Arkadiko borrowing and lending protocol, and Bitcoin Lightning decentralized swaps, allowing users to swap STX for Bitcoin, stablecoins and altcoins.The first projects to launch on Stacks were New York City’s and Miami’s CityCoins, generating $50 million for their respective city treasuries. Brittany Laughlin, executive director of the Stacks Foundation, issued the following statement regarding the milestone:The Stacks community has proven the incredible potential of smart contracts for Bitcoin, from DeFi to NFTs, city coins to philanthropic efforts, portable identity to new infrastructure, all in a single year. The technology and resources are all here. What happens next is dictated by visionary builders.

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Dow Jones Dives 450 Points As Stock Sell-Off Accelerates; Banks Fall But Chip Stocks Rally

The stock market sell-off accelerated Friday afternoon as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 450 points to dip below its 50-day moving average. X The Dow Jones industrials lost 1.2%, the S&P 500 fell 0.9% and the Nasdaq gave up 0.8% in the stock market today. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 slumped 1.5%. […]

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