Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto exchange FTX, has calmed speculation that the company is exploring acquisitions of distressed crypto mining companies, clarifying on Twitter on Saturday that they “aren’t really looking into the space.”“Really not sure why the meme about FTX and mining companies is spreading, the actual quote was that we *aren’t* really looking into the space,” clarified Bankman-Fried on Twitter on July 2. Speculation that the company was on the lookout for mining firms came from an interview with Bloomberg on July 1, after the FTX founder said he did not want to discount the possibility of a “compelling opportunity” in the mining industry, stating: “There might come along a really compelling opportunity for us — I definitely don’t want to discount that possibility.”However, the quote appears to have been taken out of context, forcing SBF to clarify that the firm is “not particularly looking at miners” but is “happy to have conversations” with mining companies. er to be clear I said roughly “meh not particularly looking at miners, but sure, happy to have conversations with any companies” https://t.co/liHKS2y06Z— SBF (@SBF_FTX) July 1, 2022Bankman-Fried also stated during the interview that crypto miners had no fit into the company’s core strategy and that he saw no synergy from an acquisition standpoint.“I don’t see any particular reasons that we need to have, you know, an integration with a crypto miner.” “From a strategic perspective, there’s no particular obvious synergy necessarily from an acquisition standpoint,” he added.Mining loans under stressBankman-Fried was asked whether he was looking into mining firms amid a falling crypto market that has seen Bitcoin mining revenues fall sharply this year.At the same time, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also caused energy costs to skyrocket — causing a dual impact on miners, small and large. Mining profitability, which is a measure of daily dollars per terahashes per second has reached lows not seen since October 2020, according to Bitinfocharts. At the time of writing, Bitcoin mining profitability is $0.0956 per day for 1Th/s, down 80% from the 2021 high of $0.464.A report from Bloomberg on June 24 revealed that there were as much as $4 billion in Bitcoin mining loans, with a growing number now underwater as Bitcoin and mining rig prices have fallen. Related: Bitcoin miner Mawson to defer all major capital expenditures until market conditions normalizeLast week, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin (BTC) mining revenue has been mirroring year lows not seen since mid-2021, with Bitcoin mining revenue dipping to $14.40 million on June 17.Data from Arcane Research in June found that the deteriorating profitability of mining has forced public miners to start liquidating their holdings. It revealed that several of these firms sold 100% of their BTC production in May — likely to cover operating costs and loan repayments.Continue Reading
The much-anticipated Vasil hard fork has been completed on the Cardno testnet, bringing it one major step closer to becoming a reality on the mainnet and promising broad performance upgrades.Project developers, stake pool operators (SPO), and exchanges are now encouraged to deploy their work on the testnet to ensure integrations run smoothly when the mainnet gets the Vasil treatment in about four weeks.We’re happy to report that today at 20:20 UTC the IOG team has successfully hard forked the #Cardano Testnet. This is an important next step in the journey towards the Vasil upgrade on mainnet. 1/10 pic.twitter.com/9F9vzec0pK— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) July 3, 2022Once completed on the mainnet, the Vasil hard fork will allow faster block creation and greater scalability for decentralized apps (dapps) running on Cardano. Input Output HK (IOHK), the organization that produced Cardano, said in a July 3 tweet that in addition to the performance upgrades, developers would benefit from “much-improved script performance and efficiency” and lower costs.Vasil will also enable interoperability between Cardano (ADA) sidechains, one of the main features developers intend to launch in the current Basho phase of the blockchain’s development. Basho is the fourth development phase for Cardano that focuses on scaling and will be followed up with the Voltaire phase, in which governance will be the main focus.The Vasil upgrade is now live on testnet, coming to mainnet in a few weeks. Expect Cardano DeFi to go into the rapids from here— ADA whale (@cardano_whale) July 3, 2022
IOHK also noted that there would not be a proposal to hard fork the mainnet until “ecosystem partners are comfortable and ready,” but it is expected to come in about four weeks.The previous phase, Goguen, saw the launch of smart contract capabilities on Cardano, which decentralized finance (DeFi) developers took advantage of by launching dozens of dapp exchanges and DeFi protocols according to ecosystem tracker Cardano Cube. Related: Ethereum fork a success as Sepolia testnet gears up to trial the MergeCardano’s top dapp with $49.7 million in total value locked (TVL) is currently the decentralized exchange (DEX) WingRiders, according to DeFi data compiler DeFi Llama.The testnet hard fork has done little to move ADA as it is only up 0.1% over the last 24 hours to $0.45, according to CoinGecko.Continue Reading
Although non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are most commonly known in the form of digital art, they exist in many other forms and represent much more than just art. In the creative industry, NFTs have been used by musicians such as Kings of Leon to release their latest album. In the sports industry, NFTs are created to record the highlights of major sporting events such as the NBA. In the consumer product industry, Nike, Gucci and many others are selling their digital branded products in the form of NFTs. A lot more real-world applications of NFTs are still to be explored and one of them is the digital publishing industry. The game-changing implications of publishing and promoting books with NFTs have already been discussed extensively by many. For example, the Alliance of Independent Authors are helping indie authors to promote their latest books using NFTs. Other associated items for the fans club such as character cards are also made into NFTs. Tezos Farmation, a project built on Tezos network, even uses the complete text of George Orwell’s Animal Farm book and slices it up into 10,000 pieces to use as titles for the NFTs. NFTs created from existing books are normally bound to copyrights. However, in the case of Tezos Farmation, the copyright had already expired. The text from the book can be used by any party for free. This triggers a very interesting question – how can NFTs preserve copyrights and royalties for books with expired copyrights? The NFT application in the publishing industry is so far mostly focused on books that still have royalties and within their copyrights lifespan. But there are authors whose work lives on long past both their mortal existence and that of their copyrights; can NFTs provide their estates a means to extend the life of the book and its royalties?The journey from copyright to public domainCopyright laws are complex and vary widely throughout the world. Although few countries offer no copyright protection in line with international conventions, most jurisdictions work on the premise that copyright is protected for the author’s life plus a minimum of 25 years after their death. In the European Union, copyright is protected for 70 years after the death of the latest living author. It is the same in the U.S, with the exception that books originally published between 1927 and 1978 are protected for 95 years after the first publication. No matter how long the copyrights are protected for, given enough time, anything will end up free in the public domain.When celebrated literature enters the public domain the future value of the work is essentially reduced to zero. However, there often remains a disconnected community who intrinsically value the work. Estates holding copyrights that are about to fall into the public domain have a unique opportunity to create a tangible asset in the form of NFTs from the intangible goodwill embedded in the disconnected community.A good example would be Winnie-the-Pooh, a fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne and English illustrator E. H. Shepard is loved by fans all over the world. The first collection of stories about the character was created in 1926. After almost 96 years, the copyrights had expired and the book moved into the public domain on Jan 1, 2022. The estate holding the copyright will receive no future value from Winnie-the-Pooh even though the commercial value of such a world-wide famous cartoon character will remain high for a long time.Just prior to the copyright expiring, the controlling estate has the window of opportunity where no one else is legally entitled to do anything with the works. If the estate had spent time connecting fans with an interest in NFTs, building or collaborating with a project that resonates with them, and launching the NFT collection prior to the completion of the copyright period, the outcome would have been very different. There could have been a much longer copyright lifespan for Winne-the-Pooh.Related: Experts explain how music NFTs will enhance the connection between creators and fansExtending the value of an expiring copyright Currently, publishing houses have no incentives to collaborate with the estate of copyright holders that are about to enter the public domain because the work will soon be free. A certificate of authenticity represented by a tradable NFT might provide an incentive for such collaborations. After the copyright expires and the work goes into the public domain, the NFTs will carry the royalty further into the digital world. Royalties can be generated through sales in the NFT marketplace on the blockchain, or through even more complex smart contracts created for specific use cases for first edition, limited edition or signed vintage copies. The estates holding expiring copyrights have credibility, which is a precious asset in the NFT world, and they have nothing to lose. They are in the box seat to capitalize on their current ownership, and potential for a digital community. Beloved characters and the worlds they inhabit can be a solid foundation for not only NFTs that can extend copyrights, but also extended creativity across mediums like literature, gaming, Metaverse, charity, education and many more to come.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.Continue Reading
July 3, 2022 by AdvisorHub Staff | | | | Share This The office building at 6305 Waterford Blvd where the shooting took place, and booking photo for Oklahoma City broker Leonard D. Bernstein A Morgan Stanley broker in Oklahoma City was shot multiple times at the office by his colleague, a nonagenarian broker who […]Continue Reading
The past few weeks have been interesting and have surfaced what we in the financial services industry call matters requiring attention, or MRAs. An MRA describes a practice that deviates from sound governance, internal controls and risk management principles. These matters that require attention have the potential to adversely affect the industry and increase the risk profile. I have always focused on technology and innovation-led business models — systems and interconnected elements of blockchain-powered business networks — redefining the transaction systems that power many industries, including financial services. A growing number of naysayers have become vocal about recent events, which have revealed extensive mismanagement, ill-defined and misgoverned systems, and general misrepresentation of the industry. As a result, I want to take a systemic view of the industry to understand what led to this point, dissect the failings, and be prescriptive on how we can learn from failures and build upon successes. Let’s first understand the market structure and what it means. That will help shed light on inefficiency in the current crypto market structure and allow me to make the case for a better-defined structure aimed at systemic fairness, robust information flow for risk profiles, and a convincing innovation narrative to revive the industry and instill confidence.Understanding the current financial market structureThe modern financial market structure is essentially a chain of interconnected market participants that aid in accumulating capital and forming investment resources. These market participants have specific functions, such as asset custody, central bookkeeping, liquidity provisioning, clearing and settlement. Because of function, capital constraints or regulation, many of these entities are not vertically integrated, which prevents collusion or unilateral investment decisions. So, various products may be governed by different markets, but the fundamental financial primitives remain universal. For example, products such as stocks, bonds, futures, options and currencies all need to be traded, cleared and settled, and other functions such as collateralization, lending and borrowing ensue.Financial markets work only where there is a supply of and demand for capital, and this is important. Today, the information between these interconnected participants is a function of sequential batched relay systems, and this asymmetric dissemination of information not only creates opacity but also inefficiency in terms of liquidity requirements, system trust costs in the form of fees and opportunity costs. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology systems aim to solve these issues of time and trust with the characteristics of immutability and asymmetric dissemination of consistent information, which lends itself to trust and instant transaction processing. So, where did this go wrong? And why is the problem we were trying to solve becoming exponentially more complex and prevalent in crypto capital markets?Related: Understanding the systemic shift from digitization to tokenization of financial servicesThe current state of market (un)structure — The history of the promise of cryptoThe Bitcoin (BTC) system was proposed as an experiment born out of the global financial crisis as a prescriptive approach to rethinking our financial system, a reimagined order to organize the world community and reduce dependence on a few large hegemonic economies. This system was proposed with tenets of decentralization to distribute power and trustless protocols to ensure that no single entity had absolute control of a monetary system. It relied on participation in the global creation, acceptance and recognition of a currency, where the rules of demand and supply applied to egalitarian principles. Related: A new intro to Bitcoin: The 9-minute read that could change your lifeBitcoin helped envision a few financial systems to address the inefficiencies of the current system discussed previously. Ethereum introduced programmability to a simple asset transfer that Bitcoin introduced, adding business rules and other complex financial primitives for application to otherwise simple rules for moving value. This began a reinvention of the internet, which was never designed to move value but only information. Subsequently, evolved layers of innovation, such as provisioning scalability and privacy (layer 2), were added, and the industry was humming along with the promise of a bright future. While we had naysayers, the crypto industry brought innovation with no apologies and began to shape a new wave of technological development to empower an ownership economy — very much in line with the participative and global egalitarian economic system promised by Bitcoin.Many interesting projects evolved to solve problems as they popped up, and we could see a lot of innovative energy spread through the ecosystem with new use cases, applications and solutions for many problems resulting from lack of trust, costs and the exploitive opacity of data and information only monetizable by a few. Related: Bitcoin’s Velvet Revolution: The overthrow of crony capitalismThis revolution also began to attract new talent from many industries, and many projects began to be socialized, which neither adhered to original envisioned principles nor added to technological innovation. They used the vernacular and the enthusiasm of the community, but in their structure was a centralized layer with challenges having the pitfalls of the current system but with the utility of a distributed ledger techonology-based transaction system. Some of these projects did offer financial product innovation by utilizing the same financial primitives, solving the issues of opacity, time, trust, liquidity, capital efficiency and risk, and promising egalitarian access, but they lacked the market structure and guardrails the current system provides.Devising a new crypto capital market structure and convincing innovation narrativeHistorically, crypto industry market changes have been grassroots, and then the changes are driven by entrepreneurs and the community. The industry will once again pivot and shift through these forces and emerge with a stronger foundation. For this to occur, however, the industry needs a sound market structure and systemic independence from current transactional systems. One industry imperative is not only to coexist with current market structures but also to provide a bridging vehicle to current asset classes. The following are a few imperatives I consider essential MRAs for stronger and more resilient markets.Rethinking stablecoins“Stablecoin” has many definitions and many types, so the industry should devote significant energy to rethinking stablecoins, or a truly fungible asset as a medium of exchange. Stablecoins have facilitated a large volume of digital asset trading and allowed for traditional fiat, or fungible sovereign, currency to be converted into digital assets, including crypto assets, and brought much-needed liquidity into the market. However, they also have inherited the challenges of fiat (as a reserve) and begun to provide linkages to and inherit the challenges (and opportunities) of traditional financial markets. Besides the regulatory and compliance burden of fiat in a largely unregulated crypto financial system, the complexity of value systems can often cause issues in asset valuation and the risk matrix, making it hard for an emerging asset class to flourish and reach its full potential. I think the industry needs to view native crypto assets, such as BTC, Ether (ETH) and other ubiquitous crypto assets or a currency basket as fungible assets as a store of value, unit of account and medium of exchange — the three basic characteristics of a currency.[embedded content]Provisioning robust crypto market data Market data is a broad term that describes the financial information necessary for carrying out research, analyzing, trading and accounting for financial instruments of all asset classes on world markets. Crypto adds a new vector of challenge as a 24/7, 365-day operation with a velocity and veracity of data never seen before. This velocity and data capacity have led to analytic challenges in data collection, aggregation, modeling and insights. So, data is information that goes into the price/value/risk calculus and consideration of other macro factors such as inflation, money supply and global events that impact commodities, and essentially makes a market efficient or aims to. Regulatory moats exist to prevent some participants from taking advantage of information asymmetry, such as insider trading. Crypto market data will bridge the gap between price (what you pay) and value (what you get). This should not only be an imperative for all new layer-1 projects but also for all projects providing financialization of token as a service.Related: The meaningful shift from Bitcoin maximalism to Bitcoin realismCreation of a crypto self-regulatory organizationIt is important to create a self-regulatory organization (SRO) involving dominant industry players and major layer-1 protocols, which has the power to create industry standards, professional conduct guidelines and regulations to steer the industry in the right direction. SROs are generally effective due to domain expertise and preserving the interest and reputation of the industry by providing guidelines and guardrails for new entrants and existing participants alike. Enforcement and violation can come through broader education and appeals to the community that supports a project, and this can be especially effective around robust crypto market data that provides insights into transparent data and the correlation of activities across the industry on related projects and related markets. This will also help the industry (by segments) to educate itself, work with regulators and policymakers, and forge partnerships.Decoupling cryptoDecoupling is essential for the crypto industry to provide both diversity in the investment landscape and a model for efficient and resilient asset classes, transaction systems and an effective market structure. As we have seen with stablecoins, which inherit elements of global macro strategy and increased correlation, rethinking the industry’s ability to create value on its own merits and a new fundamental model that will not only create a convincing innovation narrative but also provide the markets a new independent asset class with sound fundamentals. This also is aligned with the fundamental principle that led to the genesis of Bitcoin-led crypto innovations. Decoupling in scientific terms also refers to reducing the number of resources used to generate economic growth while decreasing environmental deterioration and ecological scarcity.Related: The decoupling manifesto: Mapping the next phase of the crypto journeyLooking forwardA modern financial market structure is essentially a chain of interconnected market participants that aid in accumulating capital and forming investment resources. The industry needs a sound market structure and systemic independence from current transactional systems. One of the industry imperatives is not only to coexist with current market structures but also to provide a bridging vehicle to current asset classes. Earlier, I discussed several MRAs that are essential for stronger and more resilient markets. The changes proposed to fix the volatile and runaway nature of the industry include (but are not limited to): a) rethinking stablecoins and liquidity, b) robust crypto market data for efficient market functioning, c) creation of a crypto self-regulated organization and enforcement via community actions, and d) decoupling crypto — essentially rethinking the industry’s ability to create value on its own merits and a new fundamental model that will not only create a convincing innovation narrative but also provide the markets a new independent asset class with sound fundamentals.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.Nitin Gaur has recently joined State Street Digital as its managing director, where he leads digital asset and technology design, with aspirations to transition part of the company’s financial market infrastructure and its clients to the new digital economy. In a previous role, Nitin, served as the founder and director of IBM Digital Asset Labs — committed to devising industry standards, use cases and working toward making blockchain for enterprise a reality. In parallel, Nitin also served as chief technology officer of IBM World Wire — a cross-border payment solution utilizing digital assets. Nitin also founded IBM Blockchain Labs and led the effort in establishing blockchain practice for the enterprise.Continue Reading
This week in ESG news: G7 leaders form ‘climate club,’ pledge $600 billion for sustainable infrastructure; U.S. Supreme Court decision puts nation’s climate strategy at risk; EY appoints global head for climate & sustainability practice; hundreds of investors to engage companies to report on environmental impact; Switzerland launches climate scores for investment products & portfolios; capital raises for carbon tracking, fast EV charging, energy storage; GRI launches sustainability disclosure standard for agriculture sectors; Fifth Third ramps sustainable finance goals; first-ever 100% sustainable aviation fuel-powered flight completed; PVH, HSBC launch sustainable supply chain finance program, and more.
See below for the highlights of the past week, and get all your ESG news at ESG Today:
Sustainability Goals, Initiatives and Achievements
Urgent Corporate Action on Deforestation Needed to Meet Climate Goals: Report
Global Real Estate Investor Hines Targets Net Zero from Buildings Without Offsets
Climeworks Launches Massive Direct Air Capture Plant in Iceland
Euronext to Require Science-Based Emissions Reduction Targets from Suppliers
Neste, ATR, Braathens Operate First 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel-Powered Flight
Business Leaders Urge G7 to Ramp Carbon Price, Set Policies Enabling Private Market Investment in Climate Action
Government & Regulators
Supreme Court Decision a Big Setback for US Climate Strategy
G7 Leaders Pledge to Mobilize $600 Billion for Sustainable Infrastructure in Emerging Markets
Climate Watchdog Warns of “Major Risks” of UK Missing Net Zero Goals
G7 to Launch “Climate Club” to Coordinate Decarbonization, Address Carbon Leakage
European Council Agrees on Tougher Renewables, Energy Efficiency Targets for EU
EU Markets Regulator Releases ESG Ratings Market Assessment as Part of Process to Regulate Sector
ESG Reporting & Disclosure
Switzerland Launches Climate Scores for Investment Products and Portfolios
GRI Unveils Sustainability Reporting Standard for Agriculture, Fishing Sectors
Guest Post – ESG Reporting: Can CFOs Really Help to Repair the Planet?
$31 Trillion Investor Group Urges High Impact Risk Companies to Report Climate, Forest, Water Data
ESG Services and Tools
ESG & IR Advisory Clermont Acquired by H.I.G. Capital’s Riveron
Sustainalytics Acquires Property-Level Climate Risk Data Provider Aquantix
KYC Provider Fenergo Launches ESG Compliance Solution for Financial Institutions
Nasdaq to Provide Exchange Technology to Power CIX’s Carbon Credit Platform
Real Estate ESG Data Provider Deepki Acquires Building Sustainability Platform Fabriq
Guest Post: ESG Risks in the Supply Chain and Identifying Weaknesses
responsAbility, ESG-AM Launch Bond Fund Targeting Industrial Decarbonization Leaders
Amundi Launches Corporate Green Bond Fund
DWS Launches ETF Providing Exposure to US Equities Aligned with Net Zero Pathway
Nuveen to Target Major Emitters Alongside Climate Leaders in New Net Zero Transition Fund
Fifth Third Ramps Sustainable Finance Goal to $100 Billion
Guest Post: How Can Oil & Gas Transition to Carbon Negativity Using Alternative Finance?
HSBC, PVH Launch Sustainable Supply Chain Finance Program
Private Equity & Venture Capital
Fast Charge EV Provider Electra Raises €160 Million
Cleantech Startup Cleartrace Raises $20 Million to Scale Carbon Tracking Platform
Energy Dome Raises $11 Million to Ramp its CO2-Based Utility-Scale Energy Storage Solution
Clean Energy Company Intersect Raises $750 Million to Scale Renewables, Storage & Hydrogen Capacity
Ara Partners Acquires Sustainable Packaging Provider Petainer
Low Carbon Proptech Tech Startup Vestack Raises Over €10 Million
LyondellBasell Signs Purchase Agreements for 216 MW of Solar & Wind Energy in U.S.
Kraft Heinz Purchases Renewable Energy to Power Most of US Manufacturing
Equinor, SSE Acquire Triton Power, with Plans to Convert Major Gas Plant to Low Carbon Hydrogen
EY Appoints Matthew Bell as Global Leader of Climate Change and Sustainability Services TeamContinue Reading
If you’re involved in information security in any capacity, you’re probably quite familiar with the infamous Emotet botnet. It’s one of the most dangerous and prolific botnets out there and it is a dire threat to organizations of all sizes. The bad news is that the botnet is still being actively enhanced and is gaining […]Continue Reading
Brittney Griner, the American basketball star who has been held in a Russian prison since her February arrest over drug smuggling charges, appeared in a Moscow court for the start of her trial on Friday.
Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport on February 17 after being accused of carrying cannabis oil in her luggage.
“Being sufficiently aware that the movement of narcotic drugs is not allowed… no later than February 17, 2022 at an unspecified location under unspecified circumstances from an unidentified person [Griner] bought two cartridges for personal use, which contained 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of hash oil, totaling 0.702 grams,” a prosecutor said in court on Friday, according to CNN.
CNN reported that the “prosecution argues that Griner intended to import the drugs into Russia’s territory and put the prohibited substances into a backpack and a suitcase,” and that cannabis oil “is subject to control in Russia and is classified as a narcotic drug.”
The trial is scheduled to resume next Friday. Griner faces up to 10 years in prison.
Griner, one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in history who stars for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, has become a symbol in the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Russia. Her detention, coinciding with Russia’s internationally-condemned invasion of Ukraine, is widely seen as being politically motivated.Continue Reading
July 1, 2022 Share This Torren Szuluk joined J.P. Morgan Advisors in Miami on Monday from Morgan Stanley. A Morgan Stanley broker managing $220 million in assets has jumped to J.P. Morgan Advisors in Miami. Torren J. Szuluk, who has worked at seven firms over his 27-year career, joined J.P. Morgan on Monday after working […]Continue Reading
July 1, 2022 Share This Investor interest appears to have waned in some popular names in the business of acquiring registered investment advisory firms as their stocks have fallen more than the overall market at this year’s midpoint. As of market close on Thursday, year-to-date stock prices for RIA aggregators CI Financial (NYSE: CIXX) and […]Continue Reading
A pro cannabis trade group in Puerto Rico is hoping to advance the discussion of full recreational cannabis reform on the island. To this end, they have just released a report which predicts how recreational cannabis legalization might benefit the U.S. territory, located just southeast of Cuba. According to the analysis, the maturation of the industry here would take about five years and would take a trajectory seen in the development of the casino vertical, which developed here in the early decades of the twentieth century.
The island is not the only jurisdiction to consider this kind of economic development, particularly post-Pandemic. Nor is it the only popular tourist destination. This segment of the economy is, however, critically important to the island’s economy and has become increasingly so during the second decade of this century. It currently accounts for 10% of the total economy. Indeed, before COVID, much of the critical infrastructure was damaged thanks to Hurricane Maria and tourism was used to rebuild the island.
Beyond this, the island is no stranger to the production of other recreational commodities. This includes the world’s largest rum distillery, the Bacardi factory, located in Cataño. It is also increasingly a crypto firm haven. Because of Donald Trump, 98% of the land on the island is currently considered an “opportunity zone” designed specifically to bring foreign investors here.
Cannabis Reform in Puerto Rico
Cannabis has been illegal in Puerto Rico since 1932 when Act 12 specifically outlawed the same. Penalties for planting, importation, purchase, and sale of the plant ranged from a one month to one year in jail.
In 2013, right after the success of two American state referendums in Colorado and Washington State, Representative José Luis Báez proposed decriminalization. The Governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, signed medical cannabis reform two years later.
This reform includes allowing patients to have a 30-day supply of the drug, but not in smokeable form. Home grow remains illegal, and patients must purchase their meds through state-licensed dispensaries. There are an estimated 115,000 Puerto Rican patients.Continue Reading
Electra, a Paris-based company specializing in fast charging for electric vehicles (EVs) announced today that it has raised €160 million in equity financing aimed at enabling the company to scale its network in France with fast charging points open to the public, and to expand in Europe.
Founded in 2021, Electra aims to deploy a fast-charging network to help resolve one of the main obstacles to EV adoption. The company’s app analyzes a clients’ vehicle, the availability and power of nearby charging stations and recommends the best charging options. Electra’s objective is to deploy 300 charging points by the end of 2022, 600 by the end of 2023 and more than 8,000 by 2030.
Aurélien de Meaux, Electra’s CEO, said:
“Our main objective is to propose to end users a top-notch charging experience, combining the best infrastructure with state-of-the-art digital tools. In order to support EV penetration, we must offer innovative solutions improving the customer experience. In addition, Electra’s team and I are proud and happy to support the transition to a low carbon economy.”
The financing, which is the largest achieved by a French company in the fast-charging sector, was led by global investing group Eurazeo, and saw participation from RGREEN Invest, RIVE Private Investment, Serena, the Chopard Group, the SNCF Group (574 Invest) and RATP Capital Innovation.
According to Eurazeo, by supporting the decarbonization of the transport sector, the investment will help avoid 550,000 tons of CO2 emissions by 2026.
Melissa Cohen, Managing Director, Infrastructure, Eurazeo, said:
“We are thrilled to become a cornerstone investor in Electra, which is developing a public electric vehicle fast charging network. Electra will contribute by helping to remove barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles, building high-quality and efficient infrastructure, available to all. We have been impressed by Electra’s achievements so far. Its large and experienced team of EV charging experts and its differentiated product offering (hardware and software) allow for a smooth and efficient customer experience.”Continue Reading
Depending on where you live, you may have received medical care from the Shields Health Care Group (Shields), or from a provider associated with them. If so, be aware that the Massachusetts-based medical provider specializing in PET/CT scans, MRIs, radiation oncology, and ambulatory surgical services has been hacked. The unknown hackers gained access to their […]Continue Reading
Switzerland’s Federal Council announced the launch of Swiss Climate Scores, based on a series of indicators aimed at providing transparency into the alignment of companies with global climate goals.
The council is requesting, on a voluntary basis, that banks, asset managers and insurance companies apply the scores to their client portfolios and investment products, enabling investors to better assess the climate alignment of their investments, identify climate transition opportunities, and meet their own sustainability goals.
In a statement announcing the launch of the scores, the Federal Council said:
“The voluntary use of the Swiss Climate Scores is intended to make investment decisions more efficient. Investors can benefit from economic opportunities in the transition to net zero and at the same time better contribute to achieving climate goals.”
Criteria assessed in the scores include greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel exposure, global warming potential, net zero strategy and commitments, and climate stewardship.
The new scores are meant to be compatible with existing climate measures, drawing heavily on existing initiatives, including the framework of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for NetZero (GFANZ) and the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
According to the council, the scores go beyond current systems, such as the EU Taxonomy, by not only providing a climate snapshot of company or portfolio’s current environmental status, but also including forward-looking information of where companies are positioned and their transition plans relative to the global climate goal to limit warming to 1.5° C.
The scores were developed with input from a working group consisting of Swiss federal bodies, financial sector participants including UBS, Swiss Re and Lombard Odier, as well as NGOs and academic institutions.Continue Reading
We’re proud to announce that our newest cannabis cup competition will be uniting the many unique products in Massachusetts! The state is already home to a blossoming cannabis industry with plenty of unique products to experience.
Products can be submitted for consideration at NETA dispensaries in Franklin, MA. between September 7-9. Kits will be sold starting on September 24 (first come, first serve availability). Judges will have until November 13 to check out and review everything Massachusetts cannabis companies have to offer, and the winners of the cup will be announced on November 27 through a digital awards show.
Massachusetts Cannabis Cup Entry Categories:
Indica Flower (28 total slots available; 2 entries Max per Company) Sativa Flower (28 total slots available; 2 entries Max per Company) Hybrid Flower (28 total slots available; 2 entries Max per Company) Pre-Rolls (10 total slots available; 1 entries Max per Company) Concentrates (10 total slots available; 1 entries Max per Company) Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (10 total slots available; 1 entries Max per Company) NON-Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (10 total slots available; 1 entries Max per Company) Edibles: Sativa Gummies (10 total slots available with 50mg THC max; 1 entries Max per Company)Edibles: Indica Gummies (10 total slots available with 50mg THC max; 1 entries Max per Company)Edibles: Chocolate Non-Gummies (10 total slots available with 50mg THC max; 1 entries Max per Company)Edibles: Fruity Non-Gummies (10 total slots available with 50mg THC max; 1 entries Max per CompanyEdibles: Beverages (10 total slots available with 50mg THC max; 1 entries Max per Company)Topicals + Tinctures + Capsules (10 total slots available; 1 entries Max per Company)
Once the judges have submitted their feedback, we’ll announce the first place winners that have earned themselves the renowned High Times Cannabis Cup trophy—an honorable award that proves that their product rises above the rest of the competition.
Courtesy of NETA
The trophy, which was designed by Alex and Allyson Grey, is made of zinc and 24K gold plating. First-place winners will also be given a full page advertisement in High Times magazine, a complete report of the competition scores and comment feedback, winner decals to place on your product packaging, a mention in our online article featuring the winners of the High Times Cannabis Cup Massachusetts: People’s Choice Edition 2022 (as well as being recorded as a winner on cannabiscup.com) and of course, inclusion of the winning brands for each category on High Times social media channels (shared on the High Times timeline, story and story highlights).
Second place winners will receive a silver medal made of pewter and a silver ribbon with your winning category inscribed on it, as well as a half-page advertisement in High Times magazine, second place art assets for product packaging (along with all of the aforementioned judge’s report, and inclusion of the win online and on social media).
Third place winners will receive a bronze medal, made from pewter and bronze plating, with a matching bronze ribbon and the winning category inscribed on it, and a half-page advertisement in High Times magazine as well.Continue Reading
Fifth Third announced today a major increase in its sustainable finance target, setting a new goal to achieve $100 billion in environmental and social finance by 2030. The bank’s initial target, set in 2020, was to reach $8 billion by 2025. Fifth Third reported that it has already reached its 5-year goal, nearly 3 years ahead of schedule.
Today’s announcement also expands the scope of Fifth Third’s goal to include social finance, compared to the prior target which focused on renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms, geothermal and biomass facilities, or hydropower.
The new goal was announced with the release of the bank’s 2021 ESG Report, outlining the company’s progress on its ESG and sustainable finance initiatives. Some of the highlights from the report include Fifth Third’s achievement of several of its sustainability goals including purchasing 100% renewable power, cutting location-based GHG emissions by 75%, reducing energy use and potable water use by 40% and 50% respectively, diverting 75% of waste from going to landfills, and reducing paper use by 75%.
The bank also announced that it has delivered $1.3 billion or 46% of its investment commitment of $2.8 billion announced in 2020, as part of its Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative.
Tim Spence, President and incoming CEO of Fifth Third, said:
“We have a purpose-driven culture at Fifth Third. Everything we do, including setting ambitious finance targets and pushing to make progress in our ESG areas of focus, is derived from our resolve to improve the lives of our customers and the well-being of our communities. As a financial institution, we have a distinct and crucial role to play in the transition to a sustainable future. We are intent on delivering long-term value for all we serve and to building healthy, inclusive economies for everyone’s benefit.”Continue Reading
June 30, 2022 by Bloomberg News | | Share This (Bloomberg) — Daniel Michalow, the veteran fund manager fired by D.E. Shaw & Co. in 2018, won $52.1 million Wednesday from the firm, likely one of the largest recent awards of its kind. That’s less than the $600 million he was seeking for defamation in arbitration run […]Continue Reading
June 30, 2022 Share This Robert Russamano, Doug Frizzell and Jonathan Martin have left UBS to join Wells Fargo’s independent Financial Network channel in Manchester, New Hampshire. A three-advisor UBS Wealth Management USA team managing $525 million in client assets in Manchester, New Hampshire has decamped for Wells Fargo Advisors’ independent Financial Network channel. Taking […]Continue Reading
June 30, 2022 Share This Advisorhub/Mason Braswell The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority showed little sympathy for a 36-year industry veteran in Michigan who it alleged falsely identified a deceased customer as having authorized disbursements from a trust. The regulator issued a $7,500 fine and two-month suspension against Paul C. DeMark, a former Morgan Stanley broker […]Continue Reading
You may not know the name Matthew Hickey, but you should thank him for a recent discovery that could save you a lot of grief. Hickey is the co-founder of a company called Hacker House. He recently discovered a flaw that could allow for the opening of a remote search window simply by opening a […]Continue Reading