We barely notice it, but nowadays, algorithms run and rule our lives. Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, from the bedroom where you sleep to the car you drive; every tiny fragment of your daily routine has some AI intervention.
Scientists believe the human brain is hardwired for laziness, and our latent tendency to sloth paradoxically became one of the main driving forces towards our technological evolution.
“Conserving energy has been essential for humans’ survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners, and avoiding predators,” — Boisgontier in “Avoiding sedentary behaviors requires more cortical resources than avoiding physical activity: An EEG study”
That explains the exponential increase in machine-learning capabilities. Thinking is a tiresome thing for the average human. The world has reached such a state of mathematical complexity that it has outgrown our thinking effort capabilities, and we have to rely on the machine to do a great deal of the hard labor.
Notwithstanding, we’ve barely scratched the tip of the AI iceberg and started exploring what may become one of the more game-changing creations of humanity yet.
However, exponential AI growth comes at a price, and for now, the main issue is energy consumption. AI companies and Bitcoin mining firms have one thing in common — they need powerful computing equipment to run their business, and this means that the demand for new machines is currently outpacing supply and production.
“Bitcoin is a techno tour de force.” — Bill Gates
Digital coins are currently a profitable business where crypto-zealots, traders, and brokers can rapidly scale their investments. The turn of the century unleashed all the crypto-bots out of the crypto-exchanging Pandora’s box.
Mining firms have wiped out the human factor from their crypto-vaults. All interaction becomes mechanized as computers run the show from top to bottom, channelizing and monitoring the flow of resources across the blockchain.
The crypto-trading playing field is out of our intellectual league. The number of calculations ran daily is mind-blowing. AI and machine learning are critical factors in that game. Thus, we need to consider how data about all bitcoin is distributed and interlinked worldwide in a computer network known as the blockchain.
Nowadays, the so-called “mining rigs” are responsible for all the necessary computations required by the crypto market. These integrated computer systems perform the calculations needed for “mining.”
Hence, these “mining machines” use up an enormous amount of power to analyze vast streams of randomized data at high speed while being accurate at the same time.
A standard supercomputer has a voracious appetite for electrical power. To make it worst, the subproduct of all that energy consumption is a tremendous amount of heat, which again requires additional power for cooling systems.
AI’s technological evolution demands that petascale computers be replaced by massive exascale computing systems shortly; thus, supercomputers are getting greener to match energy-efficient requirements.
On the other hand, mining rigs are increasingly relying on refurbished obsolete equipment rather than state-of-the-art machines. Miner hosting firms still make huge profits out of old and less eco-friendly rigs.
Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index estimates that Bitcoin alone consumes as much electricity as a medium-sized European country like Sweden. Moreover, looking at their startling data here, Bitcoin power consumption went through the roof during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Only when the last fish is gone, the last river poisoned, the last tree cut down…will mankind realize they cannot eat money.”― Greenpeace
Cryptocurrency mining companies, unfortunately, are doing the opposite. Bitcoin has become the elephant in the room, as high demand for mining machines created a global shortage of equipment, prices escalated to ludicrous figures.
Hence, instead of buying new and more energy-efficient machines for their large data centers, mining companies are looking for secondary, or worst, refurbished equipment that doesn’t meet the required energy-efficiency criteria.
It’s undeniable that Bitcoin has a high carbon footprint. Greenpeace USA was one of the first organizations to accept Bitcoin donations. However, following Tesla’s decision to move away from accepting cryptocurrency for payments, the environmentalist organization has also backed away from Bitcoin.
Travis Nichols, Greenpeace USA’s Media Director, explains in an official statement: “Greenpeace USA never received a significant number of these donations, and as the amount of energy needed to run Bitcoin became clearer, this policy became no longer tenable. Greenpeace USA has stopped accepting these donations.”
When interviewed by the Cointelegraph, Nichols noted that “only a fifth of the electricity used in the world’s data centers currently comes from renewable sources.” Hence, financial and technological growth while keeping up with sustainability directives is the biggest challenge for cryptocurrency.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” — Elon Musk
The world doesn’t need to go paranoid around a hostile AI takeover scenario depicted by pop culture in Terminator or recently in Westworld.
However, AI is undoubtedly on the rise, and nothing can hinder that exponential growth. AI systems are everywhere, helping move around billions of dollars in financial assets and the crypto-marker is no exception.
Cryptocurrency companies are just starting to pay the price, and they cannot keep falling behind on the technological playing field just because they can still profit from worn-out machines.
The blockchain needs to become increasingly eco-friendly. Mining firms have to open their large pockets and invest in greener, more environmental-friendly technology if they want to stay in business.
We cannot regulate mining; hence we need more playmakers like Elon Musk to come forward and actively take a stand towards a greener blockchain. We need to predict what lies underneath the tip of the iceberg and how it will impact our lives in the future.
Finally, if we must sacrifice our planet’s natural resources to the gods of Bitcoin, someone has to answer Steve Eisman ultimate question about cryptocurrency:
What value does cryptocurrency add?
PayPal and Visa Lead $300M Funding for Blockchain Capital
Blockchain Capital remains a major tech backer in the DLT space with investments in numerous crypto and DLT projects.
Fund V with $300M Funding
According to a press release published on Monday (June 22, 2021), Blockchain Capital has closed funding for its Fund V LP. The capital raise reportedly drew participation from several high-profile backers including global payment giants Visa and PayPal.
Capped at $300 million, Blockchain Capital’s latest fund was oversubscribed likely pointing to the continued appetite for DLT-related funding despite the current crypto market downturn. Apart from Visa and PayPal, university endowments, hedge funds, family offices, and pension funds also participated in the capital raise.
Bart Stephens, co-founder and managing partner at Blockchain Capital commented on the closure of the fifth VC fund, stating:
“We are incredibly honored to welcome a world class group of investors into Fund V who appreciate the value of a firm dedicated to a single industry. As founders ourselves, we know how hard it is to build companies, protocols and, indeed, a whole new industry.”
Spokespersons for both Visa and PayPal stated that their support for Blockchain Capital was part of efforts to boost innovation in digital finance. According to Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal:
“Investing in Blockchain Capital’s new fund allows us to engage with the entrepreneurs driving the future of the decentralized economy and the new wave of financial services.”
Serial Blockchain Backer
Blockchain Capital is a serial investor in the crypto and DLT space. The company’s portfolio of projects cuts across several facets of the emerging industry including United States-based exchange giants like Coinbase and Kraken.
Blockchain Capital’s investment portfolio also extends to the decentralized finance market arena, backing projects like Aave, UMA, and Nexus Mutual.
Since securing about $2 million in funding from Blockchain Capital and other investors back in May 2018, OpenSea has been able to attract additional investments, including a $23 million injection as reported by CryptoPotato back in March.
Ethereum, MATIC, Solana Price Analysis: 22 June
With a depreciation of 8.1% in 24 hours, the global crypto-market cap fell to 1.31 trillion at press time. Following Bitcoin’s footsteps, most altcoins in the market have been struggling within the bearish zone throughout the weekend. Ethereum and Solana, for instance, fell below their respective support levels. MATIC, on the contrary, while it moved south too, stayed above its support.
Ethereum failed to stay afloat above the $2,250 support level, with the alt trading at $1902 at press time. In case the coin doesn’t fall further, it could see resistance near $2055. The second-largest coin by market capitalization noted a decline of 27.2% over the past week.
ETH’s charts pictured a bearish crossover on 15 June and despite the price recovering slightly on 20 June, the MACD’s histogram underlined bearish momentum. The Bollinger Bands diverged in the early hours of 21 June, meaning that there could be a hike in price volatility.
The Chaikin Money Flow neared the equilibrium mark – A finding that predicted an even amount of capital outflows and inflows. Alas, at press time, capital outflows slightly exceeded inflows.
MATIC showed promising recovery from 12 June to 15 June post the crypto market crash. However, it failed to hold on to the same momentum and prices dipped soon after. Worth noting though that the alt had not breached its crucial support level of $1.04, unlike other altcoins, at the time of writing when MATIC was priced at $1.06.
A slight dip in prices would mean that MATIC too would break past the $1.04 support level. The Bollinger Bands were observed to be diverging, a sign of steep price volatility in the near term.
Finally, the MACD’s histogram gave bearish signals for the whole week while the Awesome Oscillator suggested that bearish momentum was building up. That being said, it did read a few scattered bullish trading sessions in between.
SOL breached its $31 support level in the last 24 hours and then broke past its $24 support level too. It was priced at $23.66, at the time of writing. The alt somehow had managed to recover briefly in the last 48 hours, however, it did see a decline of 24.1% soon after.
The market has been seeing intense selling pressure over the last few days. At press time, the coin had fallen below the 30-mark on the Relative Strength Index, a development which meant that the alt had hit the oversold and undervalued zone.
The Awesome Oscillator suggested that bearish momentum was continuing to build up on the charts. Finally, the widening of the Bollinger Bands projected a hike in price volatility.
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ZkTube Partners With Mo Works to Expand Global Outreach
ZkTube, a scaling solution built to offer safety, low gas fees, and optimal zero-knowledge proof mining, has announced a new partnership with Mo Works in a recent report, following a global expansion plan.
Mo Works is a Melbourne-based leading digital solution provider. Its collaboration with ZkTube happened after the company appointed Mo Works founder and director, Mo Hamdouna as their global marketing advisor.
Mo Works Backs ZkTube on Its Adventure For a Global Expansion
ZkTube seeks to scale and support blockchain transaction capacity and project while retaining the Defi performances of a distributed protocol. It is basically aimed at promoting the global market.
Following the partnership, Mo Works has agreed to bring its exclusive experience in the cryptocurrency industry to help kick the global growth of zkTube in an accelerating mode.
Considering the functionality of the partnering companies, the collaboration will cause an integration between both communities as Mo Works will begin to provide support for ZkTube’s launch of strategic community engagement programs. Thereby, enriching and exploring the performances of both companies all around the globe.
Mo Hamdouna expressed excitements on his new appointment saying;
“zkTube has a sophisticated, intelligent, and experienced team who will be disrupting the blockchain payment network industry with a technology solution that offers excellent safety, low gas fee, and optimal POS mining. I am very happy to work with their team on their project and look forward to a great year launching their solution.”
ZkTube’s aim to join efforts with Mo Works to raise a global community that will fully facilitate ZkTube’s marketing strategy and expansion plans towards the global launch is becoming a reality.
The founder of ZkTube affirmed this saying;
“the strategic partnership of Mo Works and zkTube will be instrumental in the overall development of the global marketing. But, more importantly, with Mo Works, our partnership will allow us to widen our community globally.”
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