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Who takes gold in the crypto and blockchain Olympics?

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Every four years (usually), the world comes together in a celebration of sport and competition at the Olympic Games. In the spirit of Tokyo 2020, let’s look at countries that are deserving of gold medals across different spheres of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

The variety of sports featured at the Olympics have changed over the years, and the current summer Olympics in Japan features a total of 33 different sports. Exciting competitions like skateboarding and surfing were added for Japan as the global showpiece continues to evolve and adopt different sports.

The cryptocurrency and blockchain space is similar in this regard. Many different working parts make for a colorful community both united and divided by their preferences of cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms.

Let’s take a look at which countries and institutions take home gold medals in their respective crypto and blockchain codes.

Gold for Bitcoin adoption goes to… El Salvador

Sports often have fans cheering for the underdog and El Salvador has emerged as one of those lesser-known players that have burst onto the global stage in 2021. The Central American country grabbed headlines this year as it officially became the first in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender

Without delving too deep into the specifics, El Salvador’s congress voted to pass President Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin Law which recognizes Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender alongside the United States dollar, with 62 of a total 84 votes in agreement with the new legislation.

The law allows citizens to pay for goods and services in Bitcoin, and Bukele also stated that the Salvadoran government will guarantee the convertibility of BTC into USD at the time of any given transaction. The government plans to airdrop $30 worth of BTC to every citizen later this year.

There have been critics of the law change both locally and abroad, but the overall sentiment seems positive for the adoption of Bitcoin and a change of perception toward the preeminent cryptocurrency. 

Nevertheless, there are a few final hurdles that lie ahead for the country. Firstly, the International Monetary Fund has issued its own warning about the potential downsides of countries adopting Bitcoin that currently have unstable inflation rates. 

Secondly, some citizens of El Salvador have also expressed their skepticism of the move. A survey undertaken at the beginning of July involving 1,233 citizens revealed that nearly half of the respondents knew nothing about Bitcoin. Of the poll takers, 20% agreed with the move, highlighting the need for an educational campaign to complement the progressive move to make BTC a legal tender in the country.

Change is often met with uncertainty and resistance, but in terms of progression and adoption, El Salvador takes the gold medal in this first category.

Switzerland takes silver in the category, thanks to its crypto-friendly laws that have boosted the use of cryptocurrencies and companies working in the space. The USA clinches the bronze medal thanks to the efforts of Miami’s Bitcoin-friendly mayor Francis Suarez, who’s been driving various initiatives to promote the use of BTC.

China leads the CBDC race, but anti-crypto policies lead to disqualification

China has been a powerhouse at the Olympics over the past two decades with its sporting program producing a fine pedigree of Olympic weightlifters, gymnasts, divers, shooters and martial artists. In the world of cryptocurrencies, the story is quite different.

China has taken a stern stance toward cryptocurrencies and has continued this policy in 2021, with its outright ban of mining completely rebalancing the Bitcoin mining ecosystem as a result. 

Interestingly enough, the nation is far ahead of the world when it comes to the race to develop a fully-fledged central bank digital currency, or CBDC. Over the past 18 months, China has piloted and rolled out significant testing of its Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP. 

Colloquially known as the digital yuan, citizens began testing the facility through lotteries that award a small number of participants in various cities with digital yuan, which they could use through a mobile app to pay for goods and services at thousands of participating vendors.

There is no denying that China has blazed the trail for the development, testing and roll-out of its CBDC. In the same breath, the DCEP is a government-controlled program, and the specifics of the technology and systems powering the digital yuan are shrouded in mystery.

However, China’s recent ban on mining in different regions and its zero tolerance of cryptocurrency exchanges means that despite its well-developed CBDC program, it falls out of the reckoning for a medal. Luckily, a number of other countries have also made significant strides in developing their own CBDCs. 

In the world of sports, fans often get behind the underdog, and this is certainly the case with the Bahamas and its Sand Dollar CBDC. The country has made significant strides with the development and testing of its very own CBDC and became the first country to go live in October 2020.

The Sand Dollar ecosystem continues to onboard more local banks and financial institutions, paving the way for widespread adoption of the CBDC and a fully digital payment environment. The Bahamas is the deserving recipient of the gold medal in this category.

Sweden has begun its first trial of pilot testing the e-krona CBDC with a couple of local banks and external participants. As it continues testing its system with local financial institutions, Sweden earns the silver medal in this category.

Cambodia and Ukraine have been credited for their own CBDC development programs by a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, sharing the bronze medal in this category.

North America in the race for gold in Bitcoin mining

China was undoubtedly the gold medal incumbent of Bitcoin mining but this is quickly changing in 2021. Recent estimates saw China account for more than 70% of the global hash rate before various mining operations were forced to shutter in June.

Those firms that were able to quickly look for greener pastures would welcome their mining equipment. While various countries in Asia would be the closest locale to relocate to, North America is quickly becoming the new hub of cryptocurrency mining.

Research from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance shows that the hash rate of American-based miners has steadily been on the rise over the past year and the latest regulatory move in China has only accelerated that point.

The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index world map has yet to fully reflect the data from China’s regional mining bans in June, in order to get a better understanding of how the Bitcoin mining hash rate’s geo-distribution has changed. The latest map shows the distribution as of March 2021.

Nevertheless, from August 2019 to March 2021, the U.S. saw an increase in its contribution to the global hash rate from 4% to 16%, making it second to only China in terms of hash rate. This is largely due to a concerted effort from major mining operators in America steadily increasing their hash rate by acquiring new equipment during this period.

Kazakhstan has also opened its doors to relocate Bitcoin miners from China and has seen its share of the Bitcoin hash rate climb to around 8% of the global rate, according to Cambridge’s recent report.

China’s share of the global hash rate has dropped below 50%, while the United States’ has climbed. This picture, however, has still not factored in the major relocation of mining operations out of China.

It might be too early to give the U.S. the gold medal for Bitcoin mining, but the country seems to be on track to take over in the leaderboards if it continues at the same pace. China’s mining clampdown results in a disqualification, so the U.S. becomes the new gold medallist in this category.

Kazakhstan swoops in to take silver with its 8% contribution to the global hash rate, while Iran grabs the bronze medal with its 4.6% share. Canada and Malaysia just miss out on the podium in the category.

The regulatory race goes down to a photo finish

When it comes to progressive regulation that is driving cryptocurrency adoption and use, there are a number of countries that are vying for a crypto gold medal and can boast to have developed regulatory parameters that are helping the industry thrive in their locales. 

Malta has positioned itself as the blockchain island for a few years now and has attracted a number of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto service providers. The country’s regulatory package is attractive, as crypto holders do not have to pay capital gains, wealth, or inheritance tax on their holdings, but trading is subject to income tax. 

Singapore is another country that has established comprehensive laws that have made it clear what cryptocurrency firms and service providers need to do in order to operate in the country. Singapore is also among a handful of countries that has zero capital gains tax on cryptocurrency income. 

South Korea has long been a country with an avid cryptocurrency user base and often sees Bitcoin trading at prices far higher than the rest of the world. The country has since developed strict regulatory frameworks but has also driven a number of initiatives to foster various services powered by blockchain technology.

Switzerland is another strong contender in this category, given its progressive attitude toward the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Earlier in 2021, the Canton of Zug finally rolled out its facility for residents to pay taxes in BTC and Ethereum (ETH).

Canada is featured prominently in this race, having become the first country to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The launch of the first Bitcoin ETF in February 2021 was a huge success, with the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF seeing nearly $100 million in trade volume on its first day. 

All in all, Canada has been hailed for its progressive regulatory environment for cryptocurrency use. Cryptocurrencies are classed as commodities, and their usage for goods or services is treated as barter transactions. 

These five countries, therefore, end the crypto and blockchain regulatory race in a photo finish that’s hard to call. As we bring up the slow-motion replay, we can confirm that Canada can take the gold in this category for its broad range of crypto-friendly regulations, from ETFs to clear tax laws and favorable mining tariffs.

Malta takes silver, as its status as the “Blockchain Island” has waned somewhat due to a change in governmental leadership that had initially championed this cause. Singapore and South Korea share bronze in this category.

The U.S. takes gold for institutional adoption

The modern-day United States optimizes a capitalist society, and the disruptive nature of cryptocurrency has led some forward-thinking individuals, companies and institutions to move quickly to leverage the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Enter MicroStrategy, a global leader in business intelligence services, which in 2020, pioneered a move to convert its fiat-based treasury holdings to Bitcoin. The company’s CEO, Michael Saylor, is a fierce Bitcoin proponent and has relentlessly acquired BTC since the firm’s decision to bank on the preeminent cryptocurrency in August last year.

MicroStrategy’s move is widely credited for influencing electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla and its founder Elon Musk to decide to begin investing in Bitcoin and, even at one point, accepting the cryptocurrency as a means of payment for its vehicles. 

Cryptocurrencies have been touted as a disruptive force in the payments industry, and American firm PayPal looked to gain first-mover advantage by announcing that it would roll out cryptocurrency custody and payment services on its widely used platform.

American investment firms have also led the way in allowing a wider audience various ways to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies. None more so than Grayscale Investments, which has a number of cryptocurrency trusts that are valued at over $33 billion to date. Its flagship Bitcoin Trust is currently valued at over $24 billion alone.

These factors are more than enough to hand America another gold medal in the Crypto Olympics in the race for institutional adoption.

Canada takes silver in this category due to its crypto-friendly regulation and its progressive ETF laws that have seen it overtake its North American neighbor in that regard. Thailand walks away with a bronze medal here, as its oldest banking institution, Siam Commercial Bank, has committed $110 million to invest into the decentralized finance sector through its venture capital arm SCB 10X.

DNFs

A number of countries fall into the disqualification category for their varying stances on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

In February 2021, Nigerians were caught off guard as the country’s central bank effectively barred local banks from servicing cryptocurrency exchanges. For a country that still ranks as number one for Google’s search of Bitcoin, the move was criticized both locally and abroad. Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission had been developing crypto regulatory plans which were suspended as a result.

India is another country that has a checkered past when it comes to its attitude toward the cryptocurrency space. The country’s government has long been threatening an outright ban on the use of Bitcoin, but this is slowly changing with talk of asset classification providing proper regulatory frameworks and oversight for the burgeoning industry. 

India’s banking sector is still at odds with the cryptocurrency movement, with some of the largest institutions reportedly cautioning customers about acquiring and using cryptocurrencies. It’s clear that mixed messages from India’s government and central bank in recent years have created a swathe of uncertainty that can only be addressed by proper education about the sector.

China’s recent ban on cryptocurrency mining in different regions of the country also sees it feature in this disqualification category, as the move caused major disruptions in the mining ecosystem, forcing operators to close up shop and look for greener pastures abroad.

The Chinese government also issued directives to local banks not to service businesses involved in the cryptocurrency industry, which is cause for greater concern. Cutting off integration with the traditional finance sector means that citizens in the country are robbed of the ability to access and use cryptocurrencies to their full potential.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/magazine/2021/07/30/who-takes-gold-in-crypto-blockchain-olympics

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Watch Jack Mallers Send $10 To El Salvador Via Twitter’s Lightning Tips

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This man Jack Mallers has a way of finding himself in the middle of historic transactions. This time, the Strike CEO used the recently unveiled Twitter Tips Lightning integration to send $10 instantly to San Salvador. The person at the other end of the line then uses the money to buy coffee in a little-known independent coffee shop. We’re witnessing the fusion of one of the biggest social networks in the world with Bitcoin’s open monetary network.

In the linked blog post, Jack Mallers explains the transaction and its significance:

Related Reading | Jack Mallers Outlines Bitcoin Top Issues, How BTC Will Drive The Future of Payments

“In the above demo, I sent a $10 tip from my house in Chicago, USA to my friend David in San Salvador, El Salvador. The payment settled instantly for no fee. The singular, open, monetary network that allowed me to send an instant, free, cross-border payment to David is the same singular, open monetary network that allowed David to immediately use that money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks as soon as he got the Twitter notification that I had sent him money.”

BTCUSD price chart 09/25/2021 - TradingView

BTC price chart for 09/25/2021 on Exmo | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

The previous time Jack Mallers found himself in the middle of a historic transaction

When Strike’s CEO sent $10 to Nigeria, he described that transaction in terms that also apply to today’s historic transaction. 

“If you don’t see how huge this is, think about it as Jack Mallers does. He “didn’t have to register the transfer through a financial intermediary such as Western Union, request private banking details of Bernard Parah, or wait days for the payment to settle.” On the other side, Bernard “didn’t owe any intermediary a percentage of the transaction, the payment wasn’t reversible and settled instantly.”

Bernard Parah’s Bitnob and Strike are interoperable because they both joined an open monetary network, Bitcoin and Lightning. This time, Twitter and its millions of users joined both of those companies. This is immense. 

Also, the previous time Jack Mallers proclaimed, “Today, Strike became the best remittance option from the US to Nigeria without even trying.” This time, he feels even more confident:

“Twitter’s integration with the Strike API turns Twitter into one of the best remittance experiences in the world, one of the greatest global creator marketplaces in the world, one of the greatest global payment experiences in the world, one of the best global micropayment marketplaces in the world, and allows an internet communications company to interoperate with the monetary standard for the world, enabling global payments for their users.”

Boom!

The Relationship Between Twitter And Strike

On the Strike API’s official site, they describe the product as:

“Connect your business to a global, instant payments network. Marketplaces use Strike’s API to enable payments between buyers and sellers or fans and creators.”

When Bitcoinist announced the integration of a Bitcoin and Lightning tip feature on Twitter, we said: 

“Twitter made the announcement today via an official company blog post, where it explained that Twitter users regularly add links in their bios so followers can help support them. Now this is built directly into Twitter.

Twitter has partnered with Jack Mallers’ Strike lightning wallet on the integration. As part of the Twitter Tips launch, Strike has debuted their Strike API platform to “serve marketplace and merchant businesses” like the social media company.”

And in the mentioned blog post, Twitter elaborates:

“In addition to the services currently enabled through Tips, people can now seamlessly tip with Bitcoin using Strike – a payments application built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network that allows people to send and receive Bitcoin. Strike offers instant and free payments globally.” 

In this first iteration of Twitter’s Tip feature, you need a Strike account to receive tips. That means, only people in the US and in El Salvador can receive at the moment. Everybody, all over the world can tip them via a Lightning Network invoice, though. 

Related Reading | El Salvador And Bitcoin: Jack Mallers Reveals The Inside Scoop

It’s a brand new world out there. Twitter’s Lightning integration might be as big as El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption, as far as onboarding the next millions of users go.

Featured Image: screenshot from Jack Maller's video | Charts by TradingView

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/watch-jack-mallers-send-10-to-el-salvador-via-twitters-lightning-tips/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=watch-jack-mallers-send-10-to-el-salvador-via-twitters-lightning-tips

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DeFi: Who, what and how to regulate in a borderless, code-governed world?

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Hold onto your hats, boys and girls! It’s a new world — a financial system without intermediaries, that anyone can access 24 hours a day with only a mobile phone and a wallet! As Julien Bouteloup said to me: 

“In DeFi, what we are building is fully decentralised technology, fully transparent, run by mathematics. No one can beat that.”

He continued: “We are building on research papers, 40 years of research, fundamental research, discrete mathematics being built and put on-chain that no one can beat. You cannot beat that. GitHub didn’t exist in the ‘90s. First, the fact that we’re going at the speed of light, is because everything is open source, and everyone can participate.”

Related: DeFi literacy: Universities embrace decentralized finance education

A Novum Insights report stated back in August that since 2020, the DeFi market has grown by a factor 40, with the total value locked in DeFi at around $61 billion at the time (while the current TVL stands at around $165 billion). Stablecoins’ capitalization, an important part of DeFi, grew in the first half of 2021 to $112 billion.

Massive gains are being made but, at the same time, DeFi investors are also losing money because DeFi is not regulated, moderated, intermediated, hosted or validated by a central authority, only driven by smart contracts. So if a smart contract fails or is attacked, consumers have no remedy. Loretta Joseph, global digital asset regulatory expert, said to me: “Regulators protect consumers and investors. In DeFi, you don’t have any intermediaries to regulate, so it’s totally P2P. The question is how it will be regulated in the future. People are going to get scammed. When people start to get scammed, the first thing they do is complain to the regulator.”

Related: Will regulation adapt to crypto, or crypto to regulation? Experts answer

Indeed, since 2019, DeFi protocols have lost about $285 million to hacks and other exploit attacks. And as the experts stated, the majority of hacks were due to developer incompetence and coding mistakes. That’s significant when the sector is entirely reliant on the code.

Related: The radical need for updating blockchain security protocols

The challenges of regulation

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Hester Peirce said in an interview with Forkast.News about DeFi back in February: “It’s going to be challenging to us because most of the way we regulate is through intermediaries, and when you really build something that’s decentralized, there’s no intermediary. It’s great for resilience of a system. But it’s much harder for us when we’re trying to go in and regulate to figure out how to do that.”

Regulatory concerns tend to be around the volatility of crypto markets as contrasted with government-backed fiat currency, the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, the unregulated nature of the market, and the absence of recourse for financial losses. Nonfungible tokens are exploding, generating excitement, confusion, legal questions and massive gains. NFT markets are also attracting large crypto transactions, which will likely bother regulators, who may see the big money moves in NFTs as money laundering. At a macro level, the decentralization of the financial system and the ability to manage economic stability and protect consumer interests poses a further challenge to regulators.

Related: Nonfungible tokens from a legal perspective

DeFi decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are popular as a means of transferring cryptocurrencies across different blockchains. This supports crypto lending and yield farming. DAOs, by conservative estimates, oversee more than $543 million. In a DAO, information technology governance and corporate governance are one and the same. The organization is governed and operated by smart contracts, which are monitored and enforced by algorithms. The code both governs and executes. Should the algorithms fail, who then is responsible?

In a joint article, dubbed “Regulating Blockchain, DLT and Smart Contracts: a technology regulator’s perspective,” a group of researchers outline some key points to consider: (1) the importance of identifying central points which can be used to apply regulation to, such as miners, core software developers, end users. They even raise the potential for governmental or regulatory players to be potential participants; (2) issues of identifying liability — could core software developers be held to account?; (3) the challenges with the immutability and lack of update-ability of smart contracts; and (4) the need for quality assurance and technology audit processes.

It is expected that exchanges and wallet providers will be a focus for regulators. Decentralized exchanges allow users to trade directly from their wallets in a P2P manner without intermediaries. Global money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has exchanges in their sights. Christopher Harding, the chief compliance officer of Civic, noted that the FATF proposed guidelines which suggest that DApps will need to comply with country-specific laws enforcing FATF, AML, and Counter-Terrorism Financing requirements.

Related: FATF draft guidance targets DeFi with compliance

A recent review of 16 leading exchange platforms by the London School of Economics and Political Science found that just four were subject to a significant level of regulation related to trading, so there is a clear gap. Getting listed on any major exchange now requires a project to have passed auditing, but meaningful security doesn’t end there. Toby Lewis, CEO of Novum Insights, made the point:

“Also, remember that smart contracts can be attacked. Even if they are audited, it does not give you a guarantee that it will be exploit-free. Do your own research before you start.”

In an open-source environment where projects are developing at an average compound growth rate of 20% per year, finding just the right moment to regulate, wherein people are protected from risk but innovation is not constrained, is a classic problem to solve. Some governments have addressed achieving this balance by using regulatory sandboxes (U.K., Bermuda, India, South Korea, Mauritius, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Singapore), while some have gone straight to legislating (San Marino, Bermuda, Malta, Liechtenstein).

Far from resisting regulation, leading DeFi figures embrace it as part of the maturing of the industry. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Stani Kulechov, the founder of DeFi lending platform Aave, suggests that peer review will be the future: “Auditors are not here to guarantee the security of a protocol, merely they help to spot something that the team itself wasn’t aware of. Eventually it’s about peer review and we need to find as a community incentives to empower more security experts into the space.” In the same article, Emeliano Bonassi spoke about ReviewsDAO, a peer review forum for connecting security experts with projects looking for reviews. Bonassi sees potential for this to become a learning opportunity where people with specialized knowledge can contribute to improving the security of the ecosystem.

Tan Tran, CEO of Vemanti Group, suggested: “Going forward, I do see accelerated adoption of platforms with permissionless financial products and services that can be used by anyone anywhere, but each will be governed by a regulated-party with centralized control to ensure accountability and compliance. This is not about stopping innovation. It’s more about deterring bad actors from exploiting unsophisticated consumers.” Giving an expert opinion on DeFi to Cointelegraph, Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one, concluded: “The real winners in the digital economy will be those that think long-term and take the time to ensure their products meet jurisdictional and professional service requirements.”

It certainly looks like exchanges and software developers could be in the sights of regulators. We anticipate regulators will look for ways to improve technology quality assurance processes and DeFi governance, which can only be done in conjunction with the industry. Mark Taylor emphasized that regulators need to continue to work in partnership with crypto industry players to protect consumers.

Julien Bouteluop explained: “We are actually building, in DeFi, everything that traditional finance has, but faster, stronger, more transparent and accessible by everyone that’s here. It’s really different. It means that anyone in the world can access technology and doesn’t need to ask permission from anyone. I think it’s necessary to push for innovation, and to build a better world.”

Who, what and how do we regulate in this global 24/7, borderless market? This is a whole new ball game. Regulators and industry will need to work hand in hand.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Jane Thomason is a thought leader on blockchain for social impact. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland. She has had multiple roles with the British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association, the Kerala Blockchain Academy, the Africa Blockchain Center, the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, Frontiers in Blockchain, and Fintech Diversity Radar. She has written multiple books and articles on Blockchain. She has been featured in Crypto Curry Club’s Top 100 Women in Crypto, the Decade of Women Collaboratory’s Top 10 Digital Frontier Women, Lattice’s Top 100 Fintech Influencers for SDGs, and Thinkers360’s Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Blockchain.


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/defi-who-what-and-how-to-regulate-in-a-borderless-code-governed-world

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Atlanta Reign qualifies for the 2021 Overwatch League Grand Finals

Meanwhile, last year’s champs and a top Western contender head home.

The post Atlanta Reign qualifies for the 2021 Overwatch League Grand Finals appeared first on Dot Esports.

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This year’s Overwatch League Grand Finals matchup is finally set in stone after one last day of playoff bracket competition. Over the past two days, four top teams have been sent home packing with their championship dreams dashed. On Sept. 24, two surprising teams joined them.  

Last year’s champions, the San Francisco Shock, were sent home alongside the league’s May Melee winners, the Dallas Fuel. An underdog coming into the lower bracket, the Atlanta Reign rose above and will join the Shanghai Dragons in the Grand Finals.  

In a do-or-die match, the Atlanta Reign and San Francisco Shock faced off first in the lower bracket. San Francisco had a solid start on Nepal, with Matthew “super” DeLisi dealing out main tank justice. Unfortunately for the Shock, the tide shifted on Atlanta’s second map pick, Hanamura, and the latter team evened the score.  

Reign DPS Kai Collins inspired snipers everywhere with a massive first pick on King’s Row, which allowed his team to steamroll through the map. This singular shot seemed to bolster the Atlanta squad, inspiring Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun and Blake “Gator” Scott to kick their skills into high gear. 

Though Shock off-tank Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin gobbled up ultimates throughout final map Havana, the Reign’s defenses were too much for the two-time champions to break. San Francisco went home after a 1-3 loss and the team’s “threepeat”championship dreams were shattered. 

The Atlanta Reign went immediately back into the battlefield against the Dallas Fuel, who looked crisp and clean on first map Lijiang Tower. Not even Dallas Fuel’s roster full of Role Stars could stop a confident Reign, though; Atlanta sailed through their map choice of Hanamura and the pace of the series was set. 

Dallas made the questionable decision to take Atlanta to King’s Row, one of the latter’s best locales, for the third map of the series. A sharp double-bubble composition looked good for the Fuel on attack, but the Reign stopped them short in overtime rounds. By the time Dallas took Atlanta to Dorado, another Reign favorite, the Fuel’s adventurous dives failed to land. 

With a 3-1 win against the Fuel, the Atlanta Reign clinched a spot in the Grand Finals. Tomorrow, they face off against the winner’s bracket champions, the Shanghai Dragons, in a first-to-four series to determine the 2021 Overwatch League champion. The action starts at 6:45pm CT, when the Watchpoint pre-show will include an exclusive look at Overwatch 2.

Source: https://dotesports.com/overwatch/news/atlanta-reign-qualifies-for-the-2021-overwatch-league-grand-finals

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