Iranian parliament warns central bank of Iran: CBDC project unlawful and unconstitutional, must be halted

Ali Khezrian, the spokesperson for the Article 90 Commission overlooking the parliament of Iran, has stated that the commission considers the issuance of the digital Rial CBDC by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran to be beyond its designated authority and should be halted immediately.

The Article 90 Commission is a specialized committee of the Iranian Parliament responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the Parliament in Article 90 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

According to Article 44 of the Internal Regulations of the parliament, the Article 90 Commission is formed to organize and improve the functioning of the Parliament and its representatives.

This commission monitors the performance of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches (including the Parliament itself) in accordance with various principles of the Constitution.

In an interview with the Iranian Parliament news agency, Ali Khezrian referred to the Article 90 Commission’s session regarding the digital currency project and stated: “According to the current monetary and banking laws, the Central Bank of Iran is not allowed to use non-physical financial instruments, and they can only issue physical forms of various coins and banknotes while considering economic interests and the necessary backings.”

Khezrian stated that according to current monetary and banking laws, the Central Bank’s entry into the digital currency project has no legal basis. “The Central Bank should halt the current process of entering the realm of digital currency” he added.

He emphasized that nowhere in the existing monetary and banking law is such permission given to the Central Bank to enter the area of digital currencies or issue non-physical money in any way. Therefore, the Article 90 Commission insists on the need for the Central Bank to provide legal documentation in this regard while halting the current process.

According to him, regarding the digital currency project, the Parliament should express its opinion in the form of a proposal or draft, and argue whether CBDC is a necessity for the country at the moment, considering the existing economic conditions.

Iran has been dealing with U.S. sanctions for decades, and it has had big impacts on its economy. Iran is currently experiencing one of the highest inflation rates in the world, reported by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran to be around 50% at the moment.

Many however, consider real inflation to be much higher and believe the report is based on a CPI index that is manipulated to show artificially lower numbers.

The Iranian CBDC, known as the digital Rial, is a digital banknote that is advertised to be using distributed ledger technology and is issued by the Central Bank of Iran. This institution initiated a pilot project for this digital currency with the issuance of one billion Rials in September of last year.

Many are against the Central Bank’s digital Rial project, and they believe that this project contradicts the interests of the general public, considering Articles 8 and 9 of the Constitution.

Critics express concerns over the project, saying this will grant the central bank unrestricted control over individuals’ assets.

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Bybit exchange pulls out of Canadian markets due to regulatory shifts

Bybit Exchange, has recently declared its intention to halt its operations in Canada due to recent regulatory modifications. This decision aligns Bybit with other exchanges such as Binance, which withdrew from the Canadian market earlier this month, and OKX, which did the same in March.

In recent months, the Canadian government has taken a more stringent approach towards the sector. This includes the implementation of a pre-registration procedure and the prohibition of leveraged trading within the country.

Bybit expressed its commitment to conducting its business in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations in Canada, stating, “Ensuring compliance has always been our utmost priority.” However, considering the recent regulatory developments, Bybit has faced the challenging yet essential choice to suspend the availability of its products and services.

Starting from July 31, Bybit will disable the option for its current Canadian users to make fresh deposits or initiate new contracts on the platform. However, they will retain the ability to withdraw funds. Additionally, Bybit will cease accepting new registrations from Canadian residents and nationals.

To ensure a smooth transition, affected users are encouraged to gradually close their positions by September 30. Any remaining positions related to margin products and derivative contracts after this date will be liquidated, allowing users to withdraw their funds.

Bybit has a history of withdrawing from various markets. In 2021, the company ceased its services for clients in the UK to adhere to the ban on digital assets derivatives. Users from the United States are also barred from accessing the platform.

Furthermore, Bybit suspended its derivatives trading activities in Brazil in September of the previous year due to a ban imposed by the country’s securities regulator.

Founded in 2018 and based in Dubai, the company faced the challenges of the sector downturn, which led to staff reductions at the end of last year.

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Rootstock launches $2.5 million grant program

Rootstock, the smart contract platform built on bitcoin, has introduced a new initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) on the bitcoin network. The objective is to discover and financially support 100 projects, with an average funding amount of $25,000 for each.

To apply for a grant, one can participate in the Scaling Bitcoin hackathon organized by Rootstock in collaboration with Hacker Earth. This hackathon serves as an expedited pathway into the grant program, aligning with the overarching theme of Everyday DeFi.

Pen Chen who is in charge of overseeing Rootstock’s grant program emphasizes transitioning into a pivotal stage of digital assets adoption. Chen stated that the company’s focus is shifting from catering solely to the early adopters to now encompassing the early majority, enabling them to cater to a larger base of everyday users.

There are several categories for the hackathon, with one of them being about merging bitcoin networks. To merge bitcoin networks is to enable greater interoperability of different blockchain ecosystems built on or with bitcoin. Rootstock encourages the development of innovative solutions that enable seamless transfers of digital assets and information with other ecosystems.

The other aspect is creating impactful user engagement, which necessitates strategic utility and incentive design. The primary objective of this initiative is to financially support projects that foster the adoption of Rootstock through innovative and purposeful approaches, with a special emphasis on practical real-world applications and the development of a robust token economy.

The next aspect emphasizes creating a robust DeFi ecosystem that thrives on strong connections across various user-centric blockchain networks. The total DeFi liquidity category aims to recognize and incentivize inventive solutions that strategically integrate marketplaces, consumer dApps, and other platforms, thereby introducing new functionalities and liquidity to the ecosystem.

The initial stage, referred to as the Ideathon, will be active until June 19th, 2023. The subsequent phase, focusing on practical execution, concludes on July 9th. Developers interested in participating can register through the provided link. Additional information about the grant can be found here.

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Bitcoin achieves a historic difficulty level as hashrate keeps climbing

The mining difficulty of bitcoin, which indicates the ease with which miners can find a bitcoin block, is poised to exceed the 50T milestone, reaching an unprecedented record. In the meantime, total hashrate of the network keeps steadily increasing.

Bitcoin hashrate chart
Source :

The surge in Bitcoin prices throughout the year, coupled with the growing adoption of the Ordinals protocol, has brought enhanced profitability for miners. As a result, miners are actively deploying additional mining machines. These factors collectively contribute to an increase in computing power, ultimately leading to unprecedented levels of mining difficulty.

To maintain a consistent block mining time of approximately 10 minutes, bitcoin mining difficulty undergoes automatic adjustments in response to the increasing computational power, known as hashrate, being added to the network. This ensures that the mining process remains stable even as more computing power joins the network.

Bitcoin difficulty chart
Source :

The increasing popularity of the Ordinals protocol has resulted in transaction fees that are much higher than usual. This boost in transaction fees contributes to higher revenue for miners.

Ordinals introduce additional capabilities to the bitcoin blockchain, including non-fungible tokens, which subsequently lead to a higher volume of transactions. As a result, mining a block becomes more profitable.

As the next halving approaches, miners are employing all available resources to mine the remaining blocks, fueled by the anticipation of a price surge following the halving. The remaining days leading up to the halving represent the miners’ sole chance to secure block rewards of 6.25 BTC before they are cut in half.

As an increasing number of miners enter the competition to mine the upcoming blocks, the mining difficulty escalates. An increase in the mining difficulty translates into reduced profitability for miners since their chances of successfully mining a block and generating revenue diminish.

Marathon Digital Holdings, a prominent mining company, observed a decline in their monthly mined bitcoins as the difficulty rose in April. Similarly, Canadian miner Bitfarms (BITF) experienced a loss in the fourth quarter due to the higher difficulty level.

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What is a public key?

Public key cryptography plays a vital role in the bitcoin ecosystem as it enables the receipt and protection of bitcoins over the network.

Private and public keys come in pairs. Let’s take a deeper look at how they work together.

When bitcoin is sent to someone, it’s sent to a public key. Only the individual possessing the corresponding private key can generate a valid signature to access and spend the bitcoin. To better grasp this concept, an analogy can be drawn between a public key and a P.O. Box.

Similar to how anyone can send mail to a P.O. Box, anyone can send bitcoin to a public key. However, just as only the rightful owner of the P.O. Box key can access the mail sent to it, only the person with the private key associated with that public key can spend the bitcoin it holds.

It is important to note that each private key has a unique corresponding public key, and vice versa. This one-to-one relationship ensures that the ownership and control of bitcoin is secure.

While it is perfectly safe to share a public key with others, caution must be exercised to keep the private key confidential. The private key acts as the ultimate safeguard for controlling the bitcoin associated with a public key, and its secrecy is vital to prevent unauthorized access and potential theft.

Another concept to grasp here is the “bitcoin address”.

Public keys and addresses are often misunderstood or used interchangeably in discussions about bitcoin. While they are related, there are distinct differences between the two. In the context of bitcoin, an address is typically a hash of a public key. Presently, addresses, not public keys, are primarily used for receiving bitcoin.

An address serves as a condensed representation or abbreviation of a public key. This serves the purpose of convenience and enhances security. When bitcoin is sent to an address, it is the associated public key that is ultimately used to verify the digital signature, allowing its bitcoin to be spent.

A “bitcoin wallet” is a software that generates and manages private and public keys, addresses, and transactions associated with them on the blockchain.

The process starts by generating a private key, which is essentially a large random number. The private key serves as the foundation for the subsequent derivation of the public key. By using specific mathematical operations, the wallet derives the corresponding public key from the private key.

The whole principle of public key cryptography is that deriving the public key from a private key is very fast and easy, while going back to the private key from the public key is impossible through mathematical calculations.

To further enhance security and usability, the derived public key is then hashed. Hashing is a process that converts the public key into a fixed-length string of characters. This hashing process ensures that the public key is obscured and transformed into a more manageable and standardized form. Additionally, a prefix is added to the hashed public key, and a checksum is added as a suffix, and encoded to base-58, resulting in what we commonly refer to as the address.

It’s important to note that while addresses are widely used in bitcoin transactions for simplicity, it is the underlying public key that is crucial for cryptographic verification. The address serves as a representation of the public key and helps to ensure privacy and security while receiving bitcoin.

Understanding the relationship between public keys, addresses, and wallets provides a foundation for comprehending the intricate workings of the bitcoin network and the cryptographic mechanisms that safeguard the ownership and transfer of the digital money.

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Robert Kiyosaki confidently warns again: “Buy gold, silver, bitcoin. US is bankrupt”

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the popular book “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” has offered his insights on the U.S. debt crisis and the extensive deliberations related to the debt ceiling in a recent tweet.

Published in 1997 and co-authored by Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” has remained on the prestigious New York Times Best Seller List for an impressive duration of six years. With sales exceeding 32 million copies and translations in over 51 languages, the book has reached readers in more than 109 countries worldwide.

He shared his views on the U.S. debt ceiling in a recent tweet:

Reaffirming his consistent advice, the renowned author once again emphasized the value of investing in gold, silver, and bitcoin. As he has stated before, these three assets are considered the top choices during periods of instability.

According to Kiyosaki, the debt situation of United States surpasses the commonly acknowledged amount of $31.4 trillion, suggesting a more critical state. A study reveals that the off-the-books obligations or unfunded liabilities of the U.S. reach a sum of over $250 trillion.

Back in March, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad made a prediction that the next major crash would originate from the $1 quadrillion derivatives market. He issued a warning about the potential consequences of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, stating that they could trigger a crash in stocks, bonds, real estate, and even the U.S. dollar.

In a subsequent tweet shared on Friday, Kiyosaki expressed apprehension regarding Germany’s recession and cautioned that the United States could face a similar fate. Noting Germany’s technical recession in the first quarter of the year, the acclaimed author referred to the previous banking crisis, highlighting the occurrence of multiple major bank failures.

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97% of institutional investors optimistic about bitcoin

A report published by Nickel Digital Asset Management, a London-based hedge-fund manager indicates that an overwhelming majority of institutional investors are optimistic about bitcoin’s future.

Published in April 2023, the report involved 200 institutional investors and wealth managers from seven different countries.

The bitcoin industry has faced a series of significant setbacks recently. Once boasting a market capitalization of around $1.2 trillion and record-breaking prices for bitcoin, the market has experienced a significant contraction.

While the collapse of the Terra/Luna ecosystem may seem relatively insignificant compared to the bankruptcy of the FTX crypto exchange, both incidents have contributed to the industry’s challenges.

John Ray III, the executive appointed to guide FTX out of bankruptcy, expressed astonishment at the “complete failure of corporate controls and the absence of trustworthy financial information” observed in the case.

The study encompassed various market-related topics, including the participants’ perspectives on the future trajectory of Bitcoin, regulatory aspects, the overall market outlook, and institutional investors’ investment strategies concerning digital assets.

One noteworthy finding from the research is the investors’ unwavering confidence in Bitcoin’s potential to reach its previous all-time high of $69,000.

An overwhelming majority, nearly 87%, anticipated that bitcoin’s price would surpass the $17,000 mark by the end of 2022, based on the survey conducted. Among these investors, nearly 23% go a step further, forecasting that bitcoin will exceed $30,000 by the conclusion of 2023. The study also reveals a notable level of assurance regarding bitcoin’s long-term price trajectory.

Investors are expressing strong confidence in the future prospects of bitcoin, with 97% of respondents saying that they are certain bitcoin will surpass its previous all-time high of $69,000, achieved in November 2021.

A significant majority, approximately 76%, anticipate that bitcoin will reclaim its previous peak within five years. Furthermore, 39% of investors predict that the record high will be surpassed within a shorter timeframe of three years. These findings underscore the prevailing optimism surrounding bitcoin’s potential for future growth.

According to the report, 66% of institutional investors intend to either increase their existing investments or initiate new investments in bitcoin and digital assets within the next six months.

Notably, 12% of respondents anticipate a substantial surge in their organization’s investment allocation, while 3% plan to venture into this domain for the first time. These findings highlight a positive outlook among institutional investors regarding the potential of bitcoin as a trusted investment vehicle.

When considering a five-year perspective, institutional investors’ outlook on the digital asset sector becomes even more positive. Among them, 38% find the current investment opportunities in the sector to be highly attractive, while 46% consider them quite attractive. Merely 17% express a view of the sector as unattractive over the next five years.

Increased investment in the sector is primarily driven by two key factors: the anticipation of improved regulation and a rebound in valuations. Around 64% of institutional investors expect significant enhancements in the regulatory environment, while 63% predict a recovery in pricing.

Moreover, there are indications of broader support for the sector, as 57% of institutional investors state that their organizations’ appetite for alternative assets is growing. Additionally, 43% believe that valuations are appealing when considering a medium to long-term perspective.

These findings demonstrate a positive sentiment and growing interest among institutional investors towards the digital asset sector, while confidence rises in investment opportunities within the bitcoin sector, both in the short and long term, despite the recent market downturn.

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Great time to be alive! bitcoin core v25.0 released, while Peter Schiff announces NFT collection on Bitcoin blockchain

Bitcoin Core has recently introduced version 25.0, which brings a host of fresh features, numerous bug fixes, and enhancements to its performance. In the meantime, long-time bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff has announced his new NFT collection to be inscribed on the bitcoin blockchain, surprising his fans and critics alike.

Bitcoin Core Update

This update to Bitcoin Core includes improved translations for better accessibility, P2P and network modifications, and new and improved RPCs. In terms of P2P and network adjustments, the mempool and relay policies have been adjusted to allow non-witness transactions of 65 bytes and above.

Enabling greater flexibility for smaller transaction sizes, this update expands the range of use cases and strengthens the safeguards against CVE-2017-12842.

CVE-2017-12842 is a vulnerability in Bitcoin Core versions before 0.14 that allows an attacker to create an apparently valid SPV proof of payment, and present it to a victim who uses an SPV (light) wallet, even if that payment did not actually occur.

Completing the attack would cost more than a million dollars, requires a lot of time, and is relevant mainly only in situations where an autonomous system relies solely on a single SPV proof for transactions.

A detailed explanation of the old vulnerability can be found here.

The scanblocks RPC now facilitates the retrieval of relevant blockhashes from a set of descriptors by scanning all block filters within a specified range.

The release comes at an opportune moment as currently, the emergence of Ordinals has increased the incoming transaction count to the bitcoin network, causing the median required fee for rapid confirmation to rise significantly. This update addresses these issues effectively, providing timely solutions to enhance the network’s performance.

Peter Schiff’s NFT Announcement

In the meantime, Peter Schiff, a well-known critic of bitcoin, is now venturing into the world of NFTs by preparing to launch his own bitcoin-based NFT art collection. This move is quite interesting considering Schiff’s history of criticizing bitcoin and dismissing NFTs as lacking value.

He stated in a tweet: “I’m pleased to announce an art project with one of my favorite artists, Market Price. This collaboration features the original painting ‘Golden Triumph’ as well as a series of prints and Ordinals inscribed on the bitcoin blockchain”

The announcement triggered mixed reactions, leaving many surprised, particularly among fans of Ordinals, while others swiftly highlighted the apparent contradiction or hypocrisy involved.

Bitcoin podcaster Layah Heilpern commented: “You’ve always loved bitcoin; you pretend otherwise for clout.”

To which Schiff replied: “This is art, and it’s a tribute to gold. But there is something here for Bitcoiners as well. But I’m still not a member of that club.”

Another commenter didn’t believe this, and applauded Schiff, saying that this is indeed a good “trolling”.

A user asked Schiff in the comments: “So… it’s valuable to put your “gold” inscriptions on bitcoin, but bitcoin itself is not valuable?” — Peter Schiff settled with a simple answer: “correct”

In the comments, disputed that bitcoin can be sent over the internet, while gold can only be traded physically. Schiff replied to that saying: “Ownership of gold can also be sent over the internet. For using gold as money, proof of ownership is all that’s needed.”

What Schiff refers to as “proof of ownership” here might be paper golds, or more widely known as gold “IOU”s. The main problem that arises from trading gold IOUs is the ability of the large gold-holding entities to forge fake proofs of ownership if they are left unaudited for a long time, bringing up the issue of “trust” once more — An issue that will not happen with bitcoin.

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US Bitcoin Corp to acquire bankrupt Celcius assets including 128,200 miners

According to a press release, US Bitcoin Corp. aims to become a prominent player in the United States mining industry by enhancing its computing power with a boost of 12.2 exahash/second. This increase comes as a result of the company’s recent agreement to acquire mining assets from bankrupt lender Celsius.

The mining company, affiliated with a consortium called Fahrenheit, successfully secured the Celsius assets through a bankruptcy auction. These assets encompass a lending portfolio, digital assets, and a fleet of 121,800 mining machines.

With plans to activate all these mining rigs, the company’s total fleet will exceed 270,000 mining rigs, propelling it into the league of mining giants like Core Scientific and Marathon Digital Holdings.

As part of the agreement with Celsius, US Bitcoin Corp. announced its intention to become the sole operator of the Celsius mining fleet through one or more operating and services agreements.

Additionally, it will be entitled to an annual management fee of $15 million for overseeing the mining assets, after deducting operating expenses, throughout the five-year period of rig management. This arrangement could potentially yield $75 million in revenue, subject to US Bitcoin Corp. meeting specific operational criteria.

According to court documents, an additional $20 million in management fees will be allocated to the Fahrenheit consortium. Furthermore, the consortium will be granted stock incentives in the newly established company that will encompass the Celsius assets.

In addition to these obligations, US Bitcoin Corp. is tasked with constructing a 100-megawatt infrastructure to accommodate the Celsius rigs and presenting a detailed plan for expanding the capacity by an additional 240 MW.

Over the past few months, the Miami-based company has significantly expanded its operational capacities by capitalizing on opportunities arising from bankruptcies.

While initially operating from a single site in Niagara Falls, New York, it has now gained control of three additional sites previously managed by Compute North. Compute North filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2022.

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New law could mandate South Korean officials to disclose their bitcoin holdings

The South Korean government is taking steps to implement new legislation that mandates officials to disclose their ownership of digital assets including bitcoin. This measure, known as the Kim Nam-kuk Prevention Law, is a direct response to a scandal where certain National Assembly members were found to be involved in significant digital assets transactions.

During a plenary session on May 25, South Korea’s National Assembly unanimously passed a bill that mandates lawmakers and high-ranking public officials to disclose their digital assets holdings. The approval of this new bill was reported by the local news agency News1.

As per the report, the bill necessitated changes to both the National Assembly Act and the Public Service Ethics Act. The amendment to the National Assembly Act garnered unanimous support with 269 votes in favor from the attending 269 lawmakers. Similarly, the amendment to the Public Service Ethics Act received 268 votes from the present 268 lawmakers.

On May 22, the amendment to the National Assembly Act was successfully passed, officially designating bitcoin as a registered asset for lawmakers. Additionally, the amendment to the Public Service Ethics Act imposes the obligation on high-ranking public officials and members of the National Assembly to disclose their holdings of digital assets.

The scandal that lead to the proposal of the new rule revolves around certain National Assembly members engaging in substantial digital assets transactions.

One notable figure involved is Kim Nam-kuk, previously affiliated with the main opposition Democratic Party in South Korea. In early May, it was discovered that Kim had possessed a minimum of $4.5 million worth of Wemix tokens.

The new “Kim Nam-kuk Prevention Law” primarily seeks to include bitcoin and digital assets holdings exceeding $760 into the wealth reporting requirements for senior officials, treating them on par with cash, stocks, bonds, gold, and other assets.

Initially scheduled to take effect in December 2023 after a grace period of six months, certain lawmakers, including Representative Yun Jae-ok from the People Power Party, have advocated for accelerating the implementation of this change by July.

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is china about to change its stance on bitcoin ? recent CCTV segment might suggest so

A segment highlighting the adoption of “digital assets” in Hong Kong was aired by China Central Television (CCTV) on May 23. According to the report, regulators in Hong Kong have completed their preparations for the trading of virtual assets within the special administrative region. They are now ready to accept applications from virtual asset trading platforms.

CCTV, China’s prominent state broadcaster, is believed to reach a massive audience of over 1 billion individuals through its diverse programs. Surprisingly, the 98-second segment on digital assets did not express any explicitly negative views.

This stands in sharp contrast to the strict regulations imposed by authorities in mainland China, which encompass a complete prohibition on bitcoin mining and exchange. However, the ownership of bitcoin is presently permitted.

During the segment, Zhonghui Cai, a representative of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), discussed the challenges involved in regulating virtual asset providers. These challenges include cybersecurity concerns, ensuring the security of clients’ assets, and addressing potential conflicts of interest between platforms and clients.

Following the completion of a consultation period, Hong Kong received a total of 152 written submissions regarding the policy. According to an official statement, a significant majority of respondents expressed agreement with the proposal to allow licensed trading platform operators to cater to retail investors.

The regulatory body encouraged digital assets firms to register with them. However, it emphasized that those who choose not to register should proceed with an orderly closure of their business in Hong Kong.

Furthermore, the announcement reiterated that the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has not yet granted approval to any virtual asset trading platform. It also clarified that most available trading services are not regulated by the SFC. Additionally, exchanges in Hong Kong are limited to listing only a small number of digital assets.

The inclusion of “virtual assets” discussions in state media received praise from various individuals, including Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance. Expressing his excitement on Twitter, he described it as a significant development, that has the Chinese-speaking communities standing on their toes.

He also noted that historically, such media coverage has often been associated with bullish market trends and price surges.

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Cathie Wood believes U.S. Is ‘Losing’ the Bitcoin race

According to Cathie Wood, the founder of investment manager ARK Invest, the United States is currently falling behind in the bitcoin movement due to its regulatory system.

During her speech at Fortune’s Most Powerful Next Gen conference, Cathie Wood highlighted the shifting center of gravity within the bitcoin realm, emphasizing how it is moving away from the United States. She supported her point by mentioning Coinbase as an example, a digital currency exchange that recently obtained a license to operate in Bermuda and is also exploring opportunities for expansion in Singapore.

ARK Invest has gained significant recognition in the bitcoin community for its consistent and substantial purchases of Coinbase stock.

She added: “It would be nice if the U.S. were leading this movement, but we’re losing it, and we’re losing it because of our regulatory system”

The frustration surrounding the regulatory landscape of bitcoin in the United States is primarily focused on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This irritation stems from the SEC‘s stance that the industry does not need a specialized framework separate from existing securities laws, which has led to ongoing disputes with Coinbase and Ripple.

In addition, Cathie Wood drew attention to the significant events that unfolded in the industry, such as the dramatic collapse of FTX, which, in her view, served as a validation of the concept behind bitcoin.

She also highlighted the banking crisis this year, involving institutions like Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate, and Signature Bank going under, which further emphasized the risks associated with centralized financial systems. Wood believes that bitcoin stands in contrast to these dangers, as it operates in a decentralized manner.

Explaining that the adoption of bitcoin stems from its appeal as a decentralized, transparent, and auditable monetary system, she highlighted that this concept gained traction following the 2008/2009 crisis when people lost trust in traditional financial services.

Wood noted that the concept of bitcoin was further validated by two recent crises. Specifically, she pointed out that the failure of FTX occurred due to its centralized, opaque, and non-auditable nature.

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Dubai to build world’s first “bitcoin tower”

Recently, an ambitious announcement was made by a developer based in Dubai, revealing plans to build the world’s first Bitcoin Tower. This project aims to highlight the significance of bitcoin, and it is scheduled to be unveiled during the upcoming COP28 gathering in Dubai on May 24th.

According to a report by EINpresswire on May 21, the hotel chain designed in the likeness of bitcoin is anticipated to go beyond incorporating state-of-the-art technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. It is also set to prioritize material sustainability and achieve zero CO2 emissions.

In search of inspiration for the virtual portrayal of the Bitcoin Tower, Leggiero approached the reknowned architect Simone Micheli. With a track record of over three decades, and having successfully executed numerous global projects, Micheli brings a unique viewpoint to the endeavor, aiming to design virtual spaces that unlock unique experiences.

The forthcoming Bitcoin Tower is set to become a 40-story skyscraper, serving as a testament to Dubai’s homage to bitcoin and embodying the principles of its enigmatic creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Leggiero envisions this tower as a groundbreaking real estate revolution, effectively bridging the divide between digital and physical assets.

As a real estate developer and investor operating in Italy, London, and Dubai, Leggiero emphasizes that this undertaking will serve as a momentous starting point for those who aspire to be part of this revolution.

With its forward-looking perspective, Dubai endeavors to establish itself as a global center for bitcoin innovation, pushing the boundaries of conventional real estate in the process.

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Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy pledges to protect bitcoin against “intrusive surveillance”

Addressing the vast crowd of people on the concluding day of the 2023 Bitcoin Conference held in Miami, Florida, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic candidate for the presidency, strongly incorporated bitcoin into his campaign agenda. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding bitcoin from what he referred to as “intrusive surveillance.”

Kennedy expressed concerns about the current digital era, highlighting the alarming extent to which technology has empowered governments and corporations to exert control over people’s lives.

He emphasized that distant and impersonal multinational entities, along with authoritarian technologies, have invaded people’s domains of activity that were once considered private or community-held.

Additionally, Kennedy pointed out that these technologies have the capability to surveil and track individuals’ movements, communications, and financial transactions.

Kennedy expressed that his support for bitcoin solidified when he personally witnessed the Canadian government employ surveillance and data tracking systems to restrict truckers participating in a protest against COVID-19 mandates from accessing their bank accounts, thereby attempting to dismantle the demonstration.

In his keynote speech, Kennedy specifically criticized President Joe Biden’s proposal to impose a 30% tax on energy consumption by bitcoin miners. He argued that such a tax would necessitate the implementation of an intrusive surveillance mechanism to monitor the energy usage of everyone.

“It sets a terrible precedent in which everything that you do that requires electricity must now be monitored by the government,” added Kennedy, insisting that he would support people’s rights to reject smart meters in their homes.

He added :

As President, I will make sure that your right to hold and use bitcoin is inviolable, and I will defend the right of self-custody. I don’t think the government has the right to demand access to your bitcoin key or indeed any of your passwords. To say otherwise is to cede essential territory to the surveillance state. The whole point of bitcoin is that it’s decentralized. Anyone can run a node, and it’s important not only for bitcoin but for democracy to be decentralized.

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Bitcoin Adoption Will Surge as Trust in Fiat Falters Worldwide — Says MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor

The adoption of bitcoin has gained momentum in recent times as investors continue to accumulate more of the digital money. Various market analysts have offered their perspectives on the primary catalyst for this resurgence, and Michael Saylor, the former CEO of MicroStrategy, has also shared his thoughts on the subject.

During a recent interview with CNBC, Saylor pointed out two factors that are driving the widespread adoption of bitcoin. The first of these, according to him, is the apprehension regarding inflation. Saylor is of the opinion that such concerns lead to a decline in trust in traditional fiat currencies, prompting investors to shift towards risk-averse assets such as bitcoin.

He stated: “There’s the macroeconomic concern about inflation and as inflation takes place, people lose confidence in fiat currencies. That means they start to realize that everything valued on cash flow is a currency derivative and bitcoin is not valued on cash flows.”

According to the bitcoin advocate, the recent spate of banking crises, which includes the collapse of financial institutions like Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and most recently, First Republic Bank, has eroded investors’ confidence in the banking system.

“The failure of the banks… causes people in the Western world to start to lose a little bit of faith in the banking system and they remember that bitcoin is a bank in cyberspace run by incorruptible software… So the combination of that concern about inflation and counterparty risks with banks is driving bitcoin’s adoption,” he added.

Saylor restated MicroStrategy’s unwavering belief in bitcoin’s potential. He emphasized that despite experiencing significant paper losses on its portfolio of around 140,000 BTC at one stage, the business intelligence and software company intends to keep accumulating more of the digital money.

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MicroBT reveals the most powerful bitcoin mining rig to date

During the Bitcoin2023 conference in Miami, MicroBT, a leading manufacturer of Bitcoin mining machines, introduced three new mining rigs, including the market’s current most powerful offering.

According to Zuoxing Yang, the founder and CEO of MicroBT, their latest model, the WhatsMiner M53S++, delivers a computing power of 320 terahash per second (TH/s) while maintaining an efficiency of 22 joules per terahash (J/T). This makes it more powerful than Bitmain’s comparable model, the Antminer S19 XP Hydro, which achieves a maximum of 257 TH/s. However, it falls slightly behind in terms of efficiency compared to Bitmain’s offering, which operates at 20.8 J/T.

Among the new releases, the MicroBT lineup includes the M50S++ and M56S++ models. The M50S++ is specifically designed for air-cooling and offers a computing power of 150 terahash per second (TH/s). On the other hand, the M56S++ is designed for immersion cooling and provides an output of 230 TH/s. Both machines operate with an efficiency of 22 joules per terahash (J/TH).

MicroBT, the manufacturer of these new rigs, expressed their primary motivation for developing these machines as the utilization of sustainable energy sources. This comes in response to the ongoing debate surrounding the significant power consumption associated with mining activities.

In a press release, the company stated that Dr. Yang recognizes the importance of upgrading the power source for Bitcoin mining in light of the recently debated energy crisis and global warming concerns. They aim to find better solutions, such as embracing green energy, to address these challenges.

MicroBT is actively engaged in making adjustments to the voltage and frequency of the WhatsMiner, aiming to optimize its compatibility with solar power usage. Yang believes that solar energy is well-suited for the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network. In pursuit of this goal, MicroBT stated that it is committed to ensuring that its mining machines are well-aligned with the utilization of solar power.

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Bitcoin payment app Strike to expand operations to 65 countries while moving its headquarters to El Salvador

Strike, the payments company focused on bitcoin, is set to extend the reach of its app to over 65 countries, surpassing its current presence limited to the United States and El Salvador, planning to venture into untapped markets across Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Strike CEO Jack Mallers revealed the announcement on Friday, at the Bitcoin 2023 conference held in Miami Beach, Florida.

By leveraging bitcoin and Lightning, the Strike app delivers global payment solutions and facilitates cross-border money transfers.

Amidst the current regulatory uncertainties faced by the U.S. digital assets industry and ongoing lawsuits by the Securities and Exchange Commission against firms for providing unregistered securities, Mallers expressed that this serves as a validation of Strike’s strong commitment to its bitcoin-centric approach.

This is a reference to SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s repeatedly expressed perspective that bitcoin should be classified as a commodity rather than a security.

Mallers highlighted that Strike’s expansion into international markets was partially influenced by the company’s decision to relocate its global headquarters to El Salvador.

Earlier this year, El Salvador enacted a digital assets law, providing a regulatory framework for digital assets. Mallers noted that Strike was among the first to obtain a license under the new regulatory guideline, alongside Bitfinex.

It is worth mentioning that Mallers has previous connections to El Salvador and its president, Nayib Bukele. In 2021, Bukele declared bitcoin as legal tender in the country, and Mallers had the privilege of introducing President Bukele during the Bitcoin Miami conference, where the president made the historic announcement via video.

According to Strike, this expansion will broaden its total addressable market, encompassing nearly 3 billion individuals.

Manuela Rios, the Vice President of product at Strike, stated that their ultimate objective is to cater to the entire global population of 7 to 8 billion people, regardless of their country of residence.

Rios emphasized that the newly designed user interface of the app will offer a smooth onboarding process, a feature that the company has been diligently refining over the years. She explained that while apps in the United States boast exceptional design standards, the same cannot be said for apps downloaded abroad, which often fall short in terms of aesthetics and user experience.

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How Dutch Bank spent a huge amount of time and money for a regular assets transfer

Bitcoin enthusiasts are abuzz with an astonishing tale of a transaction in The Netherlands that spanned over four weeks. It appears that even a seemingly simple transfer of value between two European towns can necessitate a collaborative effort involving the central bank, the military, and police units.

Word on the internet is it would cost a few dollars for bitcoin to transfer any amount of value, how much does it cost to do it the traditional banking system way?

A bitcoin activist known as @VandelayBTC on Twitter recently pointed out a huge undertaking by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), where they executed a sophisticated operation to simply transfer funds between two storage locations.

According to a report from local business media outlet NOS, the Central Bank of The Netherlands dedicated approximately an entire month to complete the transfer of assets from Haarlem to Zeist.

During the process which took about 4 weeks to complete, De Nederlandsche Bank covertly relocated 200,000 kilograms of gold bars and gold coins from the DNB vault in Haarlem to the newly established DNB Cash Center in Zeist.

With minimal fanfare, the operation was meticulously orchestrated, relying on the coordination and security expertise of both military units and the police to safeguard this transaction.

Bitcoiners highlighted the stark contrast by pointing out that in the bitcoin world, a transfer of similar nature would be completed within a mere 10 minutes, with transaction fees amounting to just a few dollars at most. This observation prompted to jest at governments and central banks for expending substantial public resources, while the exact total costs borne by taxpayers remained undisclosed.

Despite bitcoin skeptics’ point of view, who accuse bitcoin of being “too inefficient” in terms of environmental effects and energy consumption, this is a shining example of how a transfer of value over the bitcoin network would be much simpler, several orders of magnitude cheaper, and much safer.

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Pakistan to ban bitcoin and all related services nationwide with steps already underway

Despite the considerable digital-asset investments made by Pakistanis, the authorities in Pakistan are planning to ban all internet-based bitcoin services and activities. Government officials in Islamabad have adopted a firm position against the legalization of the unregulated digital money.

In a statement to senators, the Minister firmly stated that bitcoin would never be legalized in Pakistan. According to local media reports, the government of Pakistan announced on Wednesday its decision to suspend online bitcoin services in the country. The primary objective of this measure is to curb illicit transactions involving digital assets.

During a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha disclosed that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ministry of Information Technology have already initiated the process of prohibiting bitcoin.

Pasha, as quoted by the Daily Pakistan, emphasized that bitcoin would never be granted legal status in Pakistan. She pointed out the country’s obligations to fulfill requirements set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to be one of the main reasons.

The government official, as reported by the Pakistani newspaper, was addressing the potential risks Pakistan could face after being removed from the FATF’s “grey list” in the previous autumn. Pakistan had been on the list since 2018 due to significant deficiencies related to strategic counter-terrorist financing. Pasha stated:

FATF had set a condition that bitcoin will not be legalized.

The SBP official acknowledged concerns regarding the substantial investments made by Pakistanis in bitcoin. He mentioned that the country’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) are actively engaged in addressing this matter, without providing further details.

The publication highlighted that Pakistan experienced a surge in bitcoin trading and mining before the government implemented a ban in April 2018. However, despite the government’s efforts to halt these activities, both trading and mining persist in the country.

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U.S. Based Bitcoin Mining Company Cipher to Expand Operations Adding 11,000 Miners

Cipher Mining, an American bitcoin mining firm, is determined to increase its overall hash rate capacity to more than 7.2 EH/s. To achieve this goal, the company recently acquired 11,000 cutting-edge A1346 model machines from Canaan, a prominent Chinese manufacturer specializing in mining equipment.

According to a press release from Cipher Mining, the recent acquisition has bolstered the company’s machine fleet to exceed 70,000 mining rigs.

Cipher CEO Tyler Page expressed his enthusiasm for commencing the partnership with Canaan. In a statement, he stated, “We are thrilled to officially initiate our collaboration with Canaan.”

Page revealed that Cipher’s technology and operations teams have dedicated several months to collaborating with Canaan in order to thoroughly test their latest generation mining machines.

Expressing confidence in the partnership, he stated, “We firmly believe that Canaan’s mining machines will make a remarkable contribution to our fleet, particularly during the scorching summer months in Texas, where we anticipate outstanding performance.”

The A1346 model from Canaan belongs to the recently introduced Avalon Made A13 series, which was unveiled in October 2022. With a hash rate of 110 TH/s and a power efficiency of 30J/TH, it presents a compelling alternative to the widely sought-after Whatsminer and Antminer ASICs.

Cipher expects the delivery and activation of the new machines during the third quarter of this year, marking the final stage of the expansion project at their facility in Odessa, Texas. “By accomplishing this, we will further solidify our position as a prominent bitcoin miner.” stated a spokesperson from Cipher.

Cipher announced in its Q1 2023 update that the company has exceeded its initial target by achieving a self-mining capacity of over 6.0 EH/s, surpassing the projected hash rate of 5.7 EH/s set for March.

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As US Banking Crisis Wildfire Spreads, Swedbank Strategist Sounds Alarm Predicting ‘Vicious Spiral’ With More Bank Failures Ahead

Pär Magnusson, a strategist based in Stockholm at Swedbank, has raised alarm about the rapid spread of the banking crisis in the United States. He stressed that after several bank failures, other banks such as PacWest Bank, Western Alliance Bank, and First Horizon may all be “subject to financial meltdowns.”

In his statement, he reportedly emphasized the growing concerns surrounding the situation, highlighting the need for immediate attention and action.

In a significant development, regulators seized First Republic Bank recently and subsequently sold a majority of its assets to JPMorgan Chase. This event marked one of the most substantial bank failures in the United States since 2008.

Before this, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank had already experienced collapses in March. The aftermath of the seizure of First Republic Bank had a notable impact on the market, leading to a sharp decline in the shares of various banks, such as PacWest and Western Alliance Bank.

Magnusson commented on the situation, noting the irony that regional U.S. banks had advocated for reduced regulations during the Trump administration. However, he pointed out that this very reduction in regulations has left them susceptible to the risks associated with bank runs.

He expressed his growing concerns further: “The U.S. regional bank crisis is spreading. With every bank that succumbs to shrinking deposits and/or market distrust, the probability of more banks falling victim to similar fates grows. A vicious spiral may be about to take hold.”

Despite the occurrence of numerous bank failures, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reassured that the U.S. banking system remains “sound and resilient” as interest rates were raised by 25 basis points this week.

However, it is worth noting that the Federal Reserve disclosed a concerning figure, revealing that in the third quarter of 2022, 722 banks reported unrealized losses surpassing 50% of their capital.

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HRMC to Introduce Rules Paving the Way for Seizing Bitcoin from Tax Evaders

The possibility of new regulations is being explored by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which would give them the authority to confiscate bitcoin from companies that do not fulfill their tax obligations.

The government is actively considering suggestions that would grant the tax authority the ability to access online wallets, as part of efforts to modernize tax collection methods in the digital era.

Currently, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) possesses the authority to seize funds from bank accounts in cases of tax nonpayment through their “direct recovery of debts” powers. However, they are contemplating an expansion of these powers to encompass online payment accounts like PayPal.

Whether this plan includes businesses’ online bitcoin wallets is a question that could be considered.

The potential action of seizing bitcoin from custodial wallets could be viewed as the most recent effort to crack down on the bitcoin sector, which has faced allegations such as “facilitating money laundering” and “illicit activities” from governments.

Bitcoin has been promoted as means to provide individuals with financial autonomy outside the purview of government regulation and control, a concept that governments do not like.

While non-custodial bitcoin wallets remain accessible exclusively to their owners, centralized online exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken could potentially fall into the bounds of these regulations.

Currently, law enforcement agencies have the ability to seize funds from these wallets if criminal activity is detected.

The government has announced its intention to move forward and grant HMRC the authority to seize funds from digital wallets. However, it remains uncertain whether this will include custodial bitcoin wallets as well.

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Is The Bitcoin Network Under Attack?

During the weekend, there were suspicions that the bitcoin network had fallen victim to a DoS attack, as evidenced by the surge in transaction fees and significant backlogs in the mempool. This method of attacking bitcoin involves rendering it more expensive to use by flooding it with excessive transactions causing exorbitant transaction fees.

The surge in the number of suspended transactions resulted in higher-than-normal transaction fees. According to BitInfoCharts, the average bitcoin transaction fee reached $19.20 on May 8th, while Mempool Space indicated a backlog of 444,341 transactions.

However, as of the current moment, transaction fees have decreased to approximately $8, and the count of unconfirmed transactions has reduced to around 417,900.

The heightened network demand resulted in a temporary occurrence where the total cost per block exceeded the block reward of 6.25 BTC.


Typically, each block contains numerous transactions, each requiring a small fee. However, in rare instances, the cumulative fees surpass the block subsidy. This weekend marked the first occurrence since 2017 when such a situation arose again. A Twitter user reported transaction fees amounting to 6.76 BTC.

The increased activity and demand for blockspace can be attributed to the growing popularity of bitcoin inscriptions.

Based on data from Glassnode, on May 7th, a significant portion of bitcoin transactions, approximately 75%, made use of Taproot — a transaction type that can be utilized by Ordinals technology to generate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and embed them into satoshis.


Additionally, with the introduction of the new BRC-20 standard, meme coins can now be created on the bitcoin network as well.

This sparked speculation among Twitter users. Some stated that the congestion experienced during this period was a result of a DoS attack. Others disagreed and said this is just an increase in bitcoin use and that the protocol is behaving as intended.

In a DoS attack scenario, a large number of transactions are deliberately initiated to impede the bitcoin network’s speed and intentionally drive up transaction costs.

But other users refuted this, saying “paying hefty fees to a network isn’t an attack”

Others mentioned this could be a perfect opportunity for bitcoin layer 2 solutions to shine.

Meanwhile, other users mentioned although the current circumstances deprive users of cheap transactions, it’s not the end of the world and it will eventually pass.

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How to stay Employed When AI is About to Replace Your Role

A lot of experienced copywriters are being laid off lately, blaming AI tools for taking their job. With the rise of artificial intelligence, this nightmare is becoming a reality for many workers who have been replaced by machines. But there’s no need to panic: Instead, it’s time to embrace the new situation and start thinking about the future.

Many of those are graduates of prestigious universities or the world’s best writing schools and had been working for large companies until a majority of them were let go to cut costs. The remaining team members were tasked with editing the output of AI tools like ChatGPT.

In response to this situation, it is important to see things the way they are and try to adapt to the situation at hand. There is a method called “the 3Rs” that can be employed here: Reinvent, Redirect, and Rejoice.

First, it’s time to reinvent oneself and polish skills that are unique to humans, skills that cannot be replicated by AI. Empathy, creativity, and the ability to read people are some examples.

Second, redirect one’s career to explore new opportunities that require a human touch or complex decision-making, such as in community building or market research.

Finally, rejoice and embrace AI tools as allies, using them to amplify skills and collaborate with the tech.

Several solopreneur-type jobs can be explored, such as AI-assisted SEO content creation, AI-driven market research, and community building. One could also transition into an AI strategist role, helping other companies automate their writing capabilities using AI.

While millions of people may lose their jobs to AI in the future, now is the time to experiment, learn, and stay optimistic about the possibilities that arise with these new tools.

Finally, studying Bitcoin is a smart move considering the turbulent times ahead. With sound money, you at least have a reliable way to store value when structural change disrupts the economy.

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Real Wages Are Declining Amid 5.0% Inflation

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new inflation data showing that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 5.0% year over year in March, but real wages have declined during the past 24 months.

This is the lowest year-over-year increase in 23 months, but inflation has been at or above 5% for 23 months in a row.

Month-over-month inflation rose 0.1% from February to March, which is a decrease from February’s of 0.4%. The year-over-year growth rate in March is down from June’s high of 9.1%, which was the highest inflation rate since 1981.

CPI inflation growth has slowed due to decreases in energy, gasoline, and used car and truck prices, although food prices continue to rise.

Prices in energy overall fell 6.4% year over year, but shelter prices increased by 8.2% year over year in March — the highest growth rate since June 1982, and the month-over-month growth in shelter costs was also among the highest seen since the 1980s.

Real wages have been declining for 24 months in a row, with average hourly earnings increasing 4.18% year over year in March, but with price inflation at 5%, real wages fell.


The Biden administration is trying to spin the slowdown in price growth as a fall in inflation, citing falling gas prices and grocery prices in March.

However, even with lower energy prices, increases in food and shelter prices are enough to keep the cost of living going up in real terms. Mainstream media also admits that the cost of food and shelter remains high, while wage growth is slowing.


Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, fell slightly to 5.6% in March, but this is not down much from the 40-year high of 6.6% reached last September, and there is no sign of core inflation growth turning negative.

This means ordinary people who are trying to keep up with their grocery and rent bills, shouldn’t expect financial ease anytime soon. In contrast, Bitcoin is gaining in purchasing power with a median return of over 95% year-to-year.

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“Mi Primer Bitcoin” Program One Step Closer to Its Goal as Lightning Donations Reach 1 Bitcoin

Mi Primer Bitcoin, a nonprofit program in El Salvador, has gathered more than 1 Bitcoin in donations. However, these donations haven’t come from venture capitalists or investors, but rather from altruistic supporters of Bitcoin education across the globe, facilitated through the lightning network.

Numerous donations poured in from various countries, including Venezuela, Poland, and Canada. Hundreds of people globally contributed satoshis via the Lightning network to support the growth of My First Bitcoin’s Bitcoin Diploma initiative.

The swift attainment of 1 BTC within just three weeks through the crowdfunding campaign is made possible thanks to bitcoin and the Lightning network. Bitcoin’s ability to enable individuals and facilitate seamless value donations is a contributing factor. The power of Bitcoin crowdfunding lies in its inclusivity, since anyone can participate, in contrast to the limitations imposed by the traditional fiat system. Consequently, this feature has the potential to promote greater equality of opportunity for everyone.

As opposed to payment platforms such as PayPal or GoFundMe, Bitcoin offers a censorship-resistant and self-sovereign system, making it highly effective for online money transfers. Additionally, Bitcoin transactions are considerably less expensive, thanks to its use of the Lightning network, a layer-2 protocol that incurs significantly lower costs than traditional payment services.

Bitcoin Beach, a Bitcoin-focused community located in El Zonte on the Pacific coast of El Salvador, played a crucial role in the success of the crowdfunding campaign. The community’s efforts were instrumental in the country’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021. To further boost the fundraising initiative, Bitcoin Beach pledged to match all donations made to the project until midnight on April 27.

Mi Primer Bitcoin reports a significant expansion in its program, stating, “We’ve already taught over 10,000 students this year — which is 25x what we did last year. We expect to do AT LEAST another 25x next year, which would be 250,000+ students.”

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Argentinian Central Bank Bans Payment Apps from Providing Bitcoin Services to Users

Argentina’s central bank has imposed stricter regulations on bitcoin. According to a recent announcement, the bank has prohibited payment platforms from providing customers with digital assets such as Bitcoin. The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) stated that this measure aims to “reduce risks.”

Several well-known companies, including fintech leader Ualá and online marketplace Mercado Libre, provide their customers with the option to engage in bitcoin trading.

The statement explained that payment service providers offering payment accounts are prohibited from conducting or facilitating transactions involving unregulated digital assets, including bitcoin, unless authorized by the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) and regulated by the appropriate national authority.

The bank did not provide further explanation in the announcement, apart from citing customer protection as the primary reason. As a result, major platforms such as Mercado Libre, often referred to as Latin America’s equivalent of Amazon, will no longer be able to provide Bitcoin purchasing services to Argentinian users.

Currently, Argentina, the third-largest economy in Latin America, is facing one of the highest inflation rates globally. Last month, the inflation rate surpassed 100%, marking the first time it has reached such levels in three decades.

Several digital currency startups in Argentina, along with a prominent presidential candidate, have advocated for the use of bitcoin as a solution for everyday Argentinians who struggle to save money or face the risk of falling into poverty due to the depreciation of the national currency, the peso.

Bitcoin’s popularity is on the rise in Argentina. Buenos Aires hosted the LaBitConf event, attracting key players in the industry – including MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor – to discuss Argentina’s growing role in the bitcoin ecosystem.

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President of El Salvador Enacts Legislation Removing Taxes on Technological Innovations

In March of this year, a bill was announced in El Salvador, and today it was signed into law by President Nayib Bukele. The new legislation abolishes taxes on technology innovations and includes additional measures such as the elimination of income, property, capital gains, and tariffs that are crucial to promoting technological advancement under the Innovation and Technology Manufacturing Incentive Act.

This announcement strengthens El Salvador’s position as a destination for technology development. Furthermore, President Bukele emphasized that the newly enacted law safeguards “technology innovations, software and app programming, AI, computer, and communications hardware manufacturing.”

Back in March, President Bukele revealed his plan to propose a bill aimed at safeguarding technological progress in El Salvador. The bill was then forwarded to Congress to remove taxes on a range of technology-related advancements.

The El Salvadoran president has recently signed into law the complete elimination of taxes on technology innovations. President Bukele also confirmed the news via Twitter, notifying the public that the bill had been successfully enacted.

The Innovations and Technology Manufacturing Incentives Act is expected to entice technology developments to El Salvador, while the tax elimination is economically advantageous for many companies. Conversely, the country’s dedication to a diverse range of tech innovations being cultivated remains unwavering.

The growth of certain technological advancements, such as generative AI and bitcoin, has been hindered by unclear regulations. The recent Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) excise tax introduced by the U.S. government is a clear example of such prohibitive regulations.

El Salvador has responded to this issue by taking swift action and implementing an alternative environment through its new law.

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Bitdeer to Expand Mining Operations in Bhutan, Raising $500 Million Investment

Bitdeer, a mining company led by former Bitmain Technologies CEO Jihan Wu and listed on Nasdaq, has revealed a strategic alliance with Druk Holding & Investments (DHI), the business arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The partnership aims to establish a mining facility in the Kingdom of Bhutan, using hydroelectric power that is “100% carbon-free.” The announcement was made in a press release issued by the firm on Wednesday.

Bitdeer and DHI have announced their plans to launch a closed-end fund aimed at gathering up to $500 million “from the international community,” as part of their effort to achieve their goals. The fundraising campaign is scheduled to commence by the end of this month.

Bitdeer chairman Jihan Wu stated: “We are excited to be working alongside DHI in accessing Bhutan’s zero-emissions power to sustainably enable the blockchain technologies that will eventually form an immutable bedrock for a global store of value”. He also added this might help drive technological growth further in the region.

Bhutan is well positioned for bitcoin mining due to its proximity to Tibet Region and northern India, as well as its low-cost hydroelectricity generated by riverside plants. According to earlier reports, DHI was an early player in the local mining industry when Bitcoin was valued at $5,000.

Bitdeer, headquartered in Singapore, has already established its mining data centers in Norway and the United States. Last month, the firm went public on Nasdaq following a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with Blue Safari Group.

According to a regulatory filing, Bitdeer is preparing to build a 100-megawatt mining center in Bhutan, and the construction is planned to begin in Q2 2023, with a targeted completion timeframe between July and September of the same year.

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Bitcoin Miners Could Face 30% Energy Tax under Biden Administration’s New Proposal

As part of his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024, the U.S. President has introduced the Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) excise tax. Under this new tax, companies engaged in bitcoin mining would be required to pay 30% of their electricity costs associated with mining digital assets as a tax.

The tax is intended to address what the White House has identified as the negative economic and environmental impacts of mining, including “local pollution, higher energy prices, and increased greenhouse gas emissions”.

But the proposal seems to be overlooking the significant proportion of renewable energy sources that are now powering bitcoin mining operations. According to recent research from the Bitcoin Mining Council, these sources contribute to more than half of the energy used by miners and are continuing to grow.

Critics are denouncing the newly announced DAME tax as yet another instance of government overreach and undue interference in the private sector. Some are characterizing the proposal as simply another attempt by the government to grab more tax revenue, disguised as an effort to address environmental issues.

Meanwhile, some associate this action with the government’s anti-bitcoin stance and believe the government does not like the idea of people being in control of their own money.

Although it is undeniable that mining activities do require significant amounts of energy, many argue that it is not the government’s role to dictate how businesses operate or to determine what constitutes an appropriate use of energy.

Critics contend that the government should not be penalizing innovative businesses for seeking technological progress and advancement. In the view of some, the DAME tax represents a clear attempt to impede innovation within the bitcoin mining industry and restrict its potential for economic growth.

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