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ION, Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity System, Launches Beta On Bitcoin Mainnet

ION, a Microsoft-led decentralized identity system built on top of Bitcoin, has officially been moved to beta on Bitcoin’s mainnet today.

The post ION, Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity System, Launches Beta On Bitcoin Mainnet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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ION, a Microsoft-led decentralized identity system built on top of Bitcoin, has officially been moved to beta on Bitcoin’s mainnet today. The news was shared in a release by Casa, a Bitcoin self-custody provider and project collaborator.

First announced in May 2019, the Layer 2 network features its own node structure and is being built as an open-source project. As described to Bitcoin Magazine then, the overarching vision for ION is to furnish users with a decentralized identifier (DID) that could replace the need for usernames.

“This DID, like a private key when signing a transaction to the Bitcoin network, proves ownership,” Colin Harper reported. “Individual ION nodes on the secondary network will be responsible for keeping track of these DIDs and timestamping them onto the Bitcoin blockchain for reference and attestation.”

The mainnet launch is the latest step in turning the concept into a reality and building a solution that is becoming all the more critical to those who want to protect their identities online.

“ION is one of the foundational components of the next generation of trust online,” the announcement reads. “Using the Bitcoin blockchain, ION will decentralize the way that messages and application data is encrypted and exchanged. Decentralizing identities brings enhanced security while also, for the first time, giving consumers the ability to own their identifiers such as user or login credentials.”

Following the mainnet beta, Microsoft, Casa and other project collaborators will be continuing their work to advance ION, focusing on a seamless user experience for creating and managing DIDs to help onboard new users.

“Online identity has barely evolved since the early days of the web, with ordinary users still relying on username and password combinations which are easily forgotten and highly vulnerable to hacking or phishing,” said Nick Neuman, the CEO of Casa, per the release. “We’re excited to help ION take full advantage of technology like Bitcoin to vastly improve authentication, security and privacy on the internet.”

In February 2020, Daniel Buchner, ION’s project lead at Microsoft, suggested that DIDs would be minted via an authenticator app comparable to Google Authenticator. 
“We have gotten some interest from folks who want to run the network,” Buchner told Bitcoin Magazine. “You could run it yourself — it’s just Bitcoin plus IPFS and some processing. But to start, we will be driving credentials traffic through our servers.”

The post ION, Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity System, Launches Beta On Bitcoin Mainnet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/ion-microsofts-decentralized-identity-system-launches-beta-on-bitcoin-mainnet?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ion-microsofts-decentralized-identity-system-launches-beta-on-bitcoin-mainnet

Blockchain

How Serenade Aims to Create Climate-Friendly NFTs

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[Featured Content]

Centered around the NFT digital collectibles, the Metaverse is expected to become a reality. They open new avenues in industries like arts, media, gaming, and entertainment, taking them to new heights, and these are just the explored use-cases of NFTs. Experts believe that there could be hundreds of unexplored opportunities with NFTs across industries that could change how our world functions.

However, while NFTs might be the future, they’re also having an adverse impact on our planet’s environment in their current state.

The Possible Environmental Impact of NFTs

The impact of Bitcoin mining on our environment has been widely discussed all across the globe. Its carbon footprint has been studied, analyzed, and even sustainable alternatives have emerged in the past couple of years. Through this whole ordeal, a topic that was conveniently brushed under the carpet is the impact that NFT minting has on the environment.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are rare collectibles representing anything from art, and music to memes and videos on-chain. This means that just like cryptocurrencies, NFTs too need to be registered, sold, and traded on the blockchain, requiring next-level computational powers.

Most of the popular NFT marketplaces, be it OpenSea, SuperRare, or Makers Place are built on the Ethereum blockchain.

Just like Bitcoin, Ethereum uses the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm for validating transactions (keeping in mind the ongoing transition to Proof-of-Stake of ETH 2.0).

This process requires specialized computers called mining rigs to validate and approve transactions, and they not only generate excessive heat but have huge power requirements.

Considering the fact that NFT production and sales have grown exponentially over the past year, and until Ethereum transit into PoS, their environmental impact can be huge.

Serenade: Planet-friendly NFTs

It goes without saying that NFTs have huge benefits for artists, and if they start backtracking, they might miss out on an opportunity that has the potential to catapult their success. This is why Australia-based music tech startup Serenade has come forward with a platform that mints planet-friendly NFTs that create only a fraction of the carbon footprint as compared to Ethereum.

To achieve this ambitious vision, Serenade has ditched the PoW consensus protocol in favor of proof-of-stake (PoS). Unlike PoW, PoS does not require miners or powerful computers. A set of validators stake their tokens to validate transactions on the network, which makes transactions faster, cheaper, and more importantly, environment friendly.

According to the team, with PoS, Serenade can mint using 1/10th of the energy required for a tweet, and it creates only 1/44000th of the carbon footprint of regular NFTs. This opens up a way for artists to capitalize on the NFT movement and grow their businesses without the guilt of the carbon footprint.

Serenade allows musicians and artists to mint exclusive digital collectibles of their music albums, videos, live performances, documentaries, and artwork that can be sold as NFTs to their fans. These NFTs allow fans to support their favorite creators and uniquely own pieces of their content.

As stated by the team, the project has already partnered with top musicians across the globe with more partnerships coming soon. With these planet-friendly NFTs and major partnerships, Serenade is all set to take the entertainment industry to its next level of success.

Building a Sustainable Decentralized World

Global warming and climate change are probably the biggest threats mankind faces today. In a time like this, the newly emergent blockchain technology and its by-products seem to have only added load on the environment. This is why there is a dire need for projects like Serenade that can reduce the environmental impact while still making sure that blockchain’s innovative products do not take a hit.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/how-serenade-aims-to-create-climate-friendly-nfts/

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Europe Now World’s Biggest Crypto Economy: Boasts Over $1T Worth of Transactions

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Central, Northern, and Western Europe (CNWE) has grown into the world’s largest cryptocurrency economy since July 2020. The region experienced a massive increase in trading activity since then– particularly in the DeFi space.

The European DeFi Boom

Data from Chainalysis shows that CNWE received over $1 trillion in cryptocurrency over the last year alone. This represents 25% of global trading activity. Furthermore, it is responsible for at least 25% of all crypto value received by other regions, including 34% of the value received in North America.

This makes the EU the most concentrated in the world in terms of cryptocurrency trading volume. This is partially due to increases in all forms of trading activity over the past year, coming mostly from institutional investors.

Large institutional transaction value grew from $1.4B in July 2020 to $46.3B in June 2021, coming to take up half of all CNWE trading activity. The most pronounced increases were seen on DeFi protocols, where over 80% of these large institutional transactions were sent in June.

The impact of DeFi is further established when ranking coins in terms of transaction activity in the region. Despite being the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Bitcoin heavily trails Ethereum in transaction volume among large institutional investors. Additionally, DeFi protocols took up a majority share of funds received by cryptocurrency services in CNWE in June 2021.


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The Decline in Eastern Asia

CNWE has seen significant absolute increases in its crypto trading volume. However, its new place as the world’s largest trading hub is partly due to a sharp decline in market share held by Eastern Asia– the previous world leader.

In early 2019 the region held over 30% of global transaction volume. This figure has since fallen sharply to about 15% – less than CNWE, North America, and even Central and Southern Asia.

This may be related to China’s continued push to prevent and discourage crypto trading within its borders. China re-announced their ban on crypto trading in the country days ago, and have been moving to prevent all access to exchanges within the country.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/europe-now-worlds-biggest-crypto-economy-boasts-over-1t-worth-of-transactions/

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Axie Infinity Records Holders ATH: 420% Year to Date Growth

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Popular non-fungible token (NFT) gaming platform Axie Infinity continues to see increased adoption from users, following exponential growth in the number of wallet addresses.

Axie Sees Surge in Address Holders

According to data provided by IntoTheBlock on Tuesday (September 28, 2021), Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) ownership is on the rise, with 17,480 address holders. This figure represents a new all-time high (ATH) and a 420% increase year-to-date (YTD). Meanwhile, this growth is indicative of the rising popularity of Axie Infinity and play-to-earn non-fungible token (NFT) gaming.

Back in July, CryptoPotato reported that the value of the AXS token skyrocketed nearly 400% within one month, leading to a market capitalization of over the $1 billion mark. Later in August, AXS was among the assets listed on the major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Pro, which also gave it an immediate boost.

Axis Infinity, developed by Sky Mavis and released in 2018, arguably popularised the play-to-earn trend and has recorded a number of impressive milestones in recent times. Data from DappRadar revealed that the project recorded over $2 billion in NFT sales volume, solidifying Axie’s place as the most valuable NFT collection, thereby surpassing major names such as CryptoPunks, Art Blocks, and NBA Top Shot.

The data also showed that more than 600,000 users traded Axis Infinity NFTs, resulting in 4,887,645 transactions. The project currently boasts over 1.5 million daily active users.


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According to Jeff Zirlin, co-founder of Axie Infinity, half of the platform’s users got to interact with cryptocurrency and blockchain for the first time through Axie, while 25% of them did not own a bank account.

The Growth of NFT Gaming

The NFT industry is becoming popular with celebrities, major sports leagues, and companies buying digital art in whatever form, or selling them. However, blockchain-based games are seeing a special kind of attention.

A report by DeFiPrime stated that the NFT Gaming market has a total market valuation of nearly $180 billion as of August 2021, with the value estimated to rise to $196 billion. An excerpt from the report reads:

“NFT games may have the potential to become the standard for the gaming market if it sees enough attention and popularity. Already they have made major changes to games and made it much more fun for players. From there, it could be a very major change to the way people play games and could be as major as Doom was to the market or 3D was for environments.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/axie-infinity-records-holders-ath-420-year-to-date-growth/

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