UNITES STATES - The U.S. said the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency industry does not align with the country’s goals to decarbonize the economy, suggesting it may rein in the operations of crypto miners, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of Science and Technology in the White House. 

Cryptocurrency has long attracted controversy for the large amounts of electricity consumed by computers used to verify transactions on proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains such as Bitcoin, with critics saying this encourages increased burning of fossil fuels and additional carbon emissions. 

The report out of the White House, which is the result of an executive order signed in March by President Joe Biden titled “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” adds a further official voice to this debate. 

The report says miners need to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency and other bodies on how to reduce emissions.

It adds that the government will promote the use of more “environmentally responsible crypto-asset technologies” and will collect more data on industry power requirements.

Should these measures prove ineffective at reducing impacts, the Administration should explore executive actions, and Congress might consider legislation, to limit or eliminate the use of high energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining,” the report said.

Source https://forkast.news/us-red-flag-cryptocurrency-mining-concern-carbon/

Google announced it is expanding its options for eco-friendly routing on Google Maps to 40 more countries across Europe.

Eco-friendly routes, first introduced to U.S-based users last year, offer to show more fuel-efficient routes instead of the fastest ones.

Users can see the eco-friendly route marked with a leaf label and choose fuel-efficient routing among the new options.

The company is also launching a new feature for car owners to choose their vehicle’s engine type to get personalized suggestions for fuel-efficient routes best suited for the engine.

In the coming weeks, users will be able to head to the settings mentioned above, and select the engine type — petrol or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) — for navigation.

This technology is made possible thanks to insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency", the company said in a blog post.

Google claimed that after introducing eco-friendly routes in the U.S and Canada it has been able to save carbon emissions equivalent to 100,000 cars.

Source https://techcrunch.com/2022/09/06/google-maps-is-expanding-its-eco-friendly-navigation-feature-to-40-more-countries/

Brazilians have spent more money than ever buying crypto assets this year – and in May shattered previous spending records by shelling out a combined USD 912 million on coins.

Data was released by the nation’s Central Bank, which is yet to compile and release figures for June, July, and August.

The May 2022 figure dwarfs the previous record high, which was reached exactly a year beforehand: in May 2021, when Brazilians bought USD 756 million.

The Central Bank keeps track of crypto purchases in a monthly report it calls the “Commercial Balance of Goods.”

Meanwhile, the newspaper Globo reported that the Central Bank’s prototype so called digital real – will be ready for real-world testing “by the start of the second quarter of 2023.”

Testing is already under way in a behind-closed-doors pilot that is being conducted – along with crypto, blockchain, and banking firms. 

But, the next, real-world stage of the pilot, the bank told Globo, will begin in 2023 and “run until the end of the following year.

”The bank also added that “only a few participants” would have access to the digital real, and that only “limited amounts” of the coin would be minted.

The bank says that its project will help boost financial inclusion in the digital age – and will be of particular benefit to unbanked individuals.

Source https://cryptonews.com/news/brazilians-spent-almost-usd-1bn-crypto-may-digital-real-pilot-begin-2023.htm

Nigerian authorities and cryptocurrencies platform Binance Holdings are in talks to establish a digital economic zone that will help entrepreneurs fast track blockchain technology in the West African nation.

The partnership aims to build a digital hub, “similar to the Dubai virtual free zone,” according to statement by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is targeting digital technology as a means to help diversify the economy away from crude oil, taking advantage of an increasingly connected and youthful population. Fintech startups such as Interswitch and Flutterwave has emerged in the space and achieved billion-dollar plus valuations.

The government this year enacted regulations for trade in digital assets while Nigeria Exchange plans to start a blockchain-enabled platform next year to deepen trade at the bourse.

Nigeria’s citizens showed more interest in cryptocurrencies than any other country since the digital assets began to decline in April, according to a study by price tracker CoinGecko.

Source https://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-crypto/nigeria-binance-in-talks-for-digital-city-to-develop-blockchain/

Despite of general skepticism, fear of being left out, the volatility of cryptocurrencies and a younger target audience, brands have definitely found the way to approach Metaverse.

Virtual releases have dominated the past year and even the most skeptical have given it a try. Nonfungible tokens have given major brands new ways of interacting with their consumers interested in art, fashion and gaming.

NFTs has allowed some of the world’s most iconic brands to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue.

Now, the question to be asked is this: which brands registered highest revenue from NFTs?

According to a Dune Analytics survey reported by The Fashion LawNike, Dolce & Gabbana and Tiffany & Co. are found at the top the list of big brands.

Let’s see some revenue figures from non-fungible tokens.:

Nike leads the list with a total of $185.31 million in token revenue, considering primary sales, secondary transactions and royalties, generated mainly through RTFKT, a leading trainer, collectibles and virtual experience company acquired by Nike in December 2021.

Dolce & Gabbana places itself as second and earned $5.7 million in October 2021.

Since then, revenue has reached $25.65 million, of which $23.14 million came from primary sales revenue and $2.52 million from royalties.

Third place confirmed for Tiffany & Co. with $12.62 million from primary sales revenue.

In fourth place Gucci with $11.56 million, followed by Adidas with $10.95 million.

It mostly proceeds from its Into the Metaverse NFT collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club, gmoney and PUNKS last year.  

We are talking about important figures, of course, and yet shadowed by the total revenue of this fashion giants:

As in the case of the $10.7 billion in total revenue that the Kering-owned colossus has billed in 2021, of which Gucci's $11.56 million NFT revenue is only a small part.

The same example applies to Nike for whom the $185.31 million generated by NFT represents only 0.4 per cent of the $44.5 billion in sales - of tangible goods and services.

Source https://www.nssmag.com/en/fashion/30690/brands-gained-nfts

As Ethereum (ETH) advances toward the Merge, the blockchain’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin declares that his influence over the network has been decreasing, as many new developers are taking over multiple roles.

During an interview with economics blogger Noah Smith, Buterin said that he has been long wishing for Ethereum to evolve into an ecosystem “where my influence can decrease just because so many other amazing voices start to grow and express themselves.”

“In 2015, I was basically doing 80% of the 'research' in Ethereum, and I was even doing a large chunk of the Python coding.

In 2017, I was doing much less of the coding, and maybe 70% of the research.

By 2020, I was doing perhaps only a third of the research, and very little coding.

But I was still doing most of the 'high-level theorizing'. But over the last two years, even the high-level theorizing is something that has been slowly but surely slipping away from me,” he quoted.

While the programmer has not specified projects he is currently working on, he mentioned his latest interests and inspirations:

“On the further-from-crypto science front, the progress in biotech and AI has been amazing - in the latter case, some might say, perhaps a little too amazing.

We're starting to understand what both the politics and the technology of the 21st century is going to look like, and how each of the pieces of what we're working on are going to fit into the picture,” he quoted.

Source https://cryptonews.com/news/vitalik-buterin-says-his-influence-over-ethereum-decreases-as-network-nears-the-merge.htm

Luxury brand Hermès is laying the groundwork for its entrance to Web3 after filing a trademark application covering nonfungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse. 

According to an Aug. 26 filing to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the trademark covers downloadable software to view, store and manage virtual goods, digital collectibles, cryptocurrencies and NFTs “for use in online worlds.”

It also filed trademarks for “retail store services featuring virtual goods” as well as fashion and trade shows in “online virtual, augmented or mixed reality environments” and for “providing an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of virtual goods.”

The new trademark application comes months after filing a lawsuit against Metabirkins founder Mason Rothschild in January for allegedly using the brand’s Birkin name to make money from sales and resales for his NFT Metabirkins collection.

Source https://cointelegraph.com/news/hermes-reveals-plans-for-metaverse-fashion-shows-crypto-and-nfts

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), the city’s dedicated crypto regulator, reportedly announced new regulatory guidelines on marketing, advertising and promotions of virtual assets on Aug. 25.

In the rules, the VARA referred to all forms of outreach, communications and advertising, dissemination of information, building awareness, customer engagement, investor solicitation and others, the local news agency Gulf News reported.

The guidelines cover all virtual asset-related communications and entities publishing information on Dubai-based media websites, search platforms as well as online and offline publishing channels that target customers within the Dubai market.

The rules reportedly also require all local virtual asset service providers (VASP), including advertising platforms, to ensure factual accuracy and openly demonstrate any promotional intent to avoid misleading potential customers.

VARA’s guidelines came along with Abu Dhabi’s new plans to launch a strategy for blockchain and virtual assets that aligns with the country’s overall economic strategy.

Source https://cointelegraph.com/news/dubai-issues-crypto-marketing-rules-to-better-protect-investors

Afghanistan’s central bank imposed a nationwide ban on cryptocurrencies this month and the Taliban regime has arrested several dealers who defied orders to stop trading digital tokens, according to a senior police official.

The crackdown comes after some Afghans turned to cryptocurrencies to preserve their wealth and keep it out of the Taliban’s reach.

Crypto has become a popular way of moving money in and out of the country, which is shut off from the global banking system due to sanctions leveled on the militant group. 

“The central bank gave us an order to stop all money changers, individuals, and businesspeople from trading fraudulent digital currencies like what is commonly referred to as Bitcoin,” Sayed Shah Saadaat, head of criminal investigations at the police headquarters in Herat, said by phone. 

Saadaat said 13 people were arrested, most of whom were released on bail, while more than 20 cryoto-related businesses have been shut down in Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city and a hub for trading in digital tokens.

Four of the six crypto brokerages in Afghanistan are located in the city, some 75 miles (121 kilometers) away from the Iranian border. 

The Taliban in February said they’d study whether digital tokens can be allowed under Islamic financial practices, as they were looking at all options to revive the battered economy. 

Source https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-26/taliban-ban-crypto-in-afghanistan-arrest-digital-coin-dealers?srnd=premium-europe

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) seized and blocked a cryptocurrency wallet used to fund the Russian military campaign in the country. The agency is working on tracking the funds and transferring them under Ukrainian jurisdiction, according to the SSU.

According to a press release on Tuesday, this is the first time the SSU implemented a mechanism to block the crypto wallets of Russian citizens raising funds for the Russian army.

The SSU arrested a self-proclaimed Russian volunteer, blocking his crypto wallet that held over US$19,500 worth of cryptocurrency.

They claim that the arrest was possible due to evidence gathered by the security service and the assistance of unnamed foreign crypto companies.

The SSU further states that the unidentified Russian citizen used a significant portion of the crypto donations to purchase military gear for the separatist fighters of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic (L/DNR).

He raised crypto donations by running social media campaigns since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Source https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-seizes-funds-crypto-wallet-093328343.html

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