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Australians can now exchange solar energy credits for beer with blockchain

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Asahi’s Australian lager beer subsidiary Victoria Bitter has taken a step toward sustainability by allowing customers to earn a pint with solar energy via blockchain.

According to a Wednesday announcement, Victoria Bitter has partnered with major blockchain energy firm Power Ledger to unlock a new program allowing participants to exchange excess solar energy for slabs of beer.

“The only thing better than drinking the Big Cold Beer in the Aussie sun is earning beer while you do it. Plus it’s a real win-win for beer lovers and the environment,” Victoria Bitter’s general manager of marketing Brian Phan said.

The new Solar Exchange program allows customers to track how much beer they have earned based on the number of solar energy credits exchanged with Victoria Bitter. “Every $30 worth of credit can be exchanged for a slab, which is then delivered straight to your door,” the company said in the announcement.

Power Ledger founder Jemma Green explained that their blockchain platform will be responsible for tracking how much power customers feed to the grid. “You can see how many bottles of beer you’ve earned every 30 minutes,” Green said. Using solar credits obtained in the program, Victoria Bitter will re-invest them back into the program or towards the business’ broader sustainability goals.

Power Ledger provides peer-to-peer energy trading services based on blockchain technology. Last year, the firm started rolling out its blockchain-based solar energy platform in Western Australia, allowing users to track energy consumption and sell their surplus solar energy to other residents.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/australians-can-now-exchange-solar-energy-credits-for-beer-with-blockchain

Blockchain

PayPal’s Crypto Service Could Reach $200 Million in Volume in a Few Months, Says CEO

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Speaking at a conference with several crypto-friendly corporations, PayPal’s CEO Dan Schulman revealed that the company is looking to expand its crypto-services as digital currencies take a leading role in the financial system.

Schulman joined the “2021 Blockchain 50 Symposium: Crypto Goes Corporate“, together with dozens of executives from the technological and financial space, including Michael Saylor from MicroStrategy Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa.

Less Cash, More Inclusion

Speaking to the assistant director at Forbes, Michael del Castillo, Schulman noted that the current financial system lacks the innovation and inclusion that the crypto assets can provide. He gave an example of the numerous unbanked citizens in the United States that can’t receive a stimulus check.

“We are moving into the era of digital currencies, and those digital currencies hold tremendous promise, whether these are cryptocurrencies or central bank digital currencies. I believe digital currencies can increase the utility of payments and make the financial system more inclusive and less expensive.”

He added that PayPal’s crypto service could reach a $200 million volume transaction in “only a matter of months.” However, del Castillo noted that it could take the payment giant much longer than just a few months, citing that Coinbase Commerce —a crypto-payment platform— took 13 months to generate 200 million in volume.

PayPal’s recent Crypto Checkout launched a few weeks ago in the United States. As reported, the company now allows its customers to make crypto payments to over 29 million merchants by converting crypto funds into fiat.


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More Companies to Buy Bitcoin This Year

Another bullish sign for Bitcoin was that at least 24% of participants said their companies would buy BTC this year. Some of these participants are high-ranking executives like Umar Farooq, CEO of Onyx by JP Morgan, and Tim Court from CME Groups.

Approximately 500 registrants and attendees took part in a poll that showed over 24% of respondents expect their companies to add Bitcoin to their balance sheet.

 The Most Volatile is Always the Winner

MicroStrategy has been allocating substantial amounts of cash to its bitcoin balance sheet since August 2020, holding almost 100,000 BTC. The firm now pays the board fees to its non-employee directors in bitcoin as well.

As the company expands its crypto treasury, Saylor added that the adoption rate would likely increase this year as Bitcoin and other assets reach new all-time highs. Referring to the inherent volatility of the primary cryptocurrency and the market in general, he noted that big players are always the most volatile, as they are “always winning.”

Everybody talks about the volatility of bitcoin, but volatility measures the rate at which it’s going up in price. The winner of every single sport and the winning team of everything on Earth is always the most volatile by definition because it’s the one that’s winning most often,” —he stated.

Besides cryptocurrencies, other executives discussed the merits of using distributed ledger technology and its benefits to the financial system for allowing faster transactions and eliminating the need for third parties.

The event concluded by discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the market and put cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the eye of many investors and companies seeking alternatives from declining fiat and stricter regulations.

“With the net effect of everything that occurred in markets between the beginning of the lockdown and maybe the fourth quarter, I think that all of the mindset that needed to shift definitely at all levels of these large financial services organizations finally coalesced.” — Stated John Evans, head of blockchain strategy at Vanguard.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/paypals-crypto-service-could-reach-200-million-in-volume-in-a-few-months-says-ceo/

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Blockchain

Ethereum’s Berlin Hard Fork is Live but Sync Issues Are Reported

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In another step towards reducing the high fees on its blockchain, Ethereum’s latest upgrade, dubbed Berlin, has already come into effect. The hard fork arrives with four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), but many users have complained about network errors.

Berlin Hard Fork is Here for Ethereum

The high utilization of the Ethereum blockchain, being the predominant underlying technology of DeFi, NFTs, and having numerous stablecoins on top of it, caused several network issues. The transactions have experienced severe delays, while the gas costs (read fees) have skyrocketed to new highs, as reported recently.

To fight these unfriendly consequences, Ethereum’s developers plan to transition the network from the current proof of work consensus algorithm to proof of stake. However, this is a long process, which could take years. In the meantime, Ethereum’s blockchain has seen several upgrades.

After Istanbul and Muir Glacier, the developers announced earlier this year the Berlin Hard Fork – named after the city where Devcon 0 took place. It incorporates four EIPs.

EIP-2565 plans to reduce the transaction fees algorithmically, while EIP-2929 could actually increase the gas costs to speed up the processing times.


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EIP-2718 enables people to combine transactions, and EIP-2930 aims to balance out the potential fee increases from EIP-2929 while also reducing the risks of broken smart contracts.

Berlin Update Causes Problems

Shortly after taking place in block number 12,244,000, however, the Berlin Hard Fork has already caused issues among users. The root of those seems connected with block number 12,244,294.

The issue appears to be a “consensus error,” which initially affected Openethereum Nodes only. However, the complaints continued with the popular wallet provider, Ledger. The team warned on Twitter that the upgrade has caused “a few disruptions in the network and its services.”

Users’ ETH balances in Ledger Live could experience delays, while new transactions will not show, said the company.

The decade-old crypto exchange, Bitstamp, followed along with an update saying all “withdrawals and deposits of ETH and ERC20 tokens are currently paused due to a technical issue on [the] Ethereum blockchain.”

As of writing these lines, the GitHub status page still says the developers are monitoring the situation.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ethereums-berlin-hard-fork-is-live-but-sync-issues-are-reported/

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Ripple’s CTO Only Has 2% of His Bitcoins Left

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Ripple’s CTO, David Schwartz, has been gradually offloading his bitcoin position for years and is currently left with about 2% of his entire stack. During a recent Twitter threat, he outlined the significance of taking profits while blasting the narrative that investors can’t lose money if they don’t sell during a bear market.

Ripple’s CTO Remaining BTC Holdings

Schwartz took it to Twitter today to explain his views on a famous saying in the investment community indicating that people can’t lose money if they don’t sell the underlying asset when it price dips. However, he classified it as “nonsense” that “needs to be put to death for good.”

“So, if you bought $1,000 worth of crypto and its price dropped to $500, you went from no better and no worse off than someone with $1,000 to no better and no worse off than someone with $500. To say that that’s not losing money is completely absurd.” – he concluded.

Following a comment about the importance of profit taking with any investment tools, Schwartz replied with his bitcoin approach. Ripple’s executive said he had been gradually disposing of his BTC holdings starting at $100. He continued selling off at other round-numbered milestones, such as $750, $2,500, $7,500, $20,000, and lastly – $50,000.

Ultimately, he indicated that he’s left with only 2% of his bitcoin position. Nevertheless, it seems that Schwartz may have some regrets about selling at the aforementioned prices, replying “that’s the downside of de-risking” to a comment saying “imagine if you would have held on to the 98% till date.”

Ripple’s Ongoing Legal Battles

While Ripple’s executive focused on investment strategies and his BTC approach, the company he works for has enjoyed positive news in its ongoing legal case against the US Securities and Exchange Commission.


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As previously reported, the SEC alleged the payment processor of conducting a $1.3 billion unregistered security offering in December 2020. Although that was detrimental for the company and its native token at first, the situation has somewhat reversed in the past few weeks.

Ripple had two court wins against the Commission. Firstly, the Judge allowed the firm to receive access to SEC’s internal discussions about BTC and ETH and later disallowed the regulator to receive the personal financial records of Ripple’s executives.

The effects on XRP were immediate as the digital token skyrocketed by more than 200% in less than two days from $0.6 to nearly $2.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripples-cto-only-has-2-of-his-bitcoins-left/

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