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XLM Exploded by 40% As Ukraine Picks Stellar to Develop Its Digital Asset Infrastructure

XLM skyrockets by 40% in a day after Stellar announced a partnership with Ukraine to develop a digital asset infrastructure and a CBDC.

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The popular blockchain project Stellar has signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine to explore and develop virtual currencies and a CBDC. The native cryptocurrency has reacted with a massive surge by almost 40% a day after the announcement.

Stellar And Ukraine To Work On Digital Assets And CBDC

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced the signing of the contract yesterday. The Memorandum will enable Stellar to work with Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital transformation to “develop a modern virtual asset market infrastructure” and enhance the nation’s status as an “innovative digital country in the financial market in Eastern Europe.”

The statement outlined several core goals of the partnership. Apart from working on virtual assets in Ukraine, those included “provisions of support” to projects related to such currencies, implementation and regulation of stablecoin circulation in the country, and creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

“The Ministry of Digital Transformation is working on creating the legal environment for the development of virtual assets in Ukraine.

We believe that our cooperation with the Stellar Development Foundation will contribute to the development of the virtual asset industry and its integration in the global financial ecosystem.” – commented Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov.

He added that Ukraine has also decided to play an active role in establishing a CBDC, as other countries have already taken the lead. This shows the world that “Ukraine is moving towards one of the major financial trends.”

The first results of the partnership between the European country and the blockchain project are expected to arrive later this month.

XLM Price Skyrockets In Response

Stellar’s native cryptocurrency, dubbed XLM, has reacted in a highly positive manner. The roller-coater in the digital asset market drove the asset down to its intraday bottom below $0.13 yesterday.

However, XLM’s price surged in the hours following the project’s announcement. Earlier today, the token marked a high of nearly $0.18. This increase of roughly 40% resulted in XLM reaching its highest price tag since mid-December 2020.

Additionally, the price movements have also resulted in XLM reclaiming the 12th spot in terms of market capitalization after dropping out of the top 15 a few days prior.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/xlm-exploded-by-40-as-ukraine-picks-stellar-to-develop-its-digital-asset-infrastructure/

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The past, present and future of AI in gaming

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Artificial Intelligence is surely one of the greatest buzzwords – or buzz phrases – of modern times. It inspires as much trepidation as excitement as we try to work out whether it will turn out to be a boon or a threat to our existence. After all, the idea of the machines taking over has long been fear and, today, we seem to be reaching a tipping point where it may become a realistic question to address.

Away from these doom-laden predictions that we may be architects of our own destruction, there’s no denying the fact that the use of Artificial Intelligence is proving to be an invaluable asset. This is particularly true of the gaming world in which it’s starting to play an increasingly important role.

But, while one might assume that AI in gaming is a relatively recent arrival, it has a longer history than many might imagine.

Early days

As long ago as 1952 programmers were experimenting with AI in a game called Nim, named after the computer, called Nimrod on which it was played. The game itself was like a virtual version of Jenga in which players had to remove matchsticks, one by one. It was undoubtedly basic, but it was here that the foundations for future developments in AI were laid.

Chess is a game that has long been beloved by mathematicians and computer scientists. So, it was not much of a surprise that one of the first high profile examples of the use of AI came in the 1990s with the chess-playing computer called Deep Blue.

It was set to challenge the world chess champion, Gary Kasparov, in 1996 over six games with the human player eventually winning 4-2. But Deep Blue became better at playing as time went on and won the rematch the next year 31/2-21/2. The fact that the computer had become better at chess without any physical human intervention was a source of great excitement.

More recently, a similar experiment was carried out by pitting a poker-playing computer against a number of professionals in a tournament format. Even though poker rules are very different from chess and there is also the need for more intuitive play, this computer also prevailed, again growing stronger and more proficient the more games that it played.

Making the random more random

Looking more specifically at video games themselves, the most common use of AI today is its role in controlling the Non-Playable Characters in games and it has started to allow them to behave in a far more random way than ever before. Using a variety of algorithms, many of which are based on one from the 1990s called the Finite State Machine, these allow for a decision tree to be used which then dictates the action.

The increasing sophistication of the algorithms being used today allows for many more options to be presented and a greater sense of randomness to be apparent in the game. One could argue that this just gives the impression of artificial intelligence being at work, however there is one area in which it is increasingly playing a part.

Because the whole purpose of a game is to be enjoyable and involving playing, AI is now being used to sense the ability of the player in question and to tailor certain games to suit. This increased “playability” is seen by many as the essential ingredient that will see players persist with a game far longer than a rigid one that doesn’t adapt in any way.

However, it’s a fine balance that needs to be struck to avoid games becoming too challenging or too simple to play. It’s perhaps this that is the biggest headache for games developers intending to introduce AI into the programming of a game.

Creating the narrative

One particularly exciting area that is currently being explored is in the field of RPG games like Dungeons and Dragons. The almost infinite nature of a game like this is the perfect format in which to explore whether AI can be used to work effectively in a collaborative, rather than a combative way.

This certainly involves taking on certain human characteristics as well as showing a level of empathic behaviour – tricky even for some people to achieve, let alone a machine. It also requires the ability to both set and follow a narrative and once a machine starts to do that it is on the verge of becoming an autonomous, creative entity.

AI-designed games

This vision of the future is taking shape even now thanks to an AI project called Angelina. This is the brainchild of a developer called Michael Cook who started working on it in 2011. By feeding a limited amount of information into the program, it can be left to its own devices to create a game across a number of genres from puzzles to adventures.

Other game companies like Ubisoft are taking it even further by experimenting how to integrate AI into producing triple-A video game design and working in collaboration with the University of Lyon.

It will obviously be quite a while until AI can be relied upon to create games that are as intricate, involved and nuanced as those designed by humans. But there’s no doubt that we are edging ever closer to that day.

So, before long, the question may not be whether a computer can beat a person, but the other way around.

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Test Hamed

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January 25, 2021& News

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‘Spectacular bust’ for stocks: 5 things to watch in Bitcoin this week

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Bitcoin (BTC) starts a new week with $30,000 reconfirmed as support but also a fresh vote of no confidence from the mainstream.

After a more or less steady weekend, the largest cryptocurrency remains firmly in its established trading corridor — between $30,000 and $40,000. What’s next?

Cointelegraph takes a look at the factors impacting price performance this week.

Stocks face a “spectacular bust” — analyst

Stocks showed clear upward momentum on Monday, led by Hong Kong as a new favorite target for Chinese investors.

Sentiment received a major boost earlier this month after United States President Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. While already near all-time highs, the cash injection propelled markets still higher.

“Investors see continued open-spigot monetary policy and more fiscal stimulus,” Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex, told Bloomberg.

“Coupled with the vaccine’s rollout, it will generate a critical mass of more robust economic growth as the year progresses.”

That “open-spigot” money printing position is nonetheless cause for concern among both Bitcoin proponents and more critical traditional market players. Last week, Jeremy Grantham, CEO of asset management giant GMO, flatly warned that stocks were in a bubble, and that stimulus would only make it worse.

The good times, he warned, could last as little as “a few weeks.”

“We will have a few weeks of extra money and a few weeks of putting your last, desperate chips into the game, and then an even more spectacular bust,” he predicted in a Bloomberg interview.

“When you have reached this level of obvious super-enthusiasm, the bubble has always, without exception, broken in the next few months, not a few years.”

The impact of such a crash on Bitcoin remains open ended. Despite its increasing reputation as a non-correlated safe haven, BTC/USD continues to be influenced by macro factors, in particular the strength of the U.S. dollar. A scenario similar to last March’s cross-asset crash also looms large in traders’ memories.

Grantham, meanwhile, was no more upbeat about a post-coronavirus world than the current one.

“You will not make a handsome 10- or 20-year return from U.S. growth stocks,” he said.

Bitcoin macro correlation chart. Source: Digital Assets Data

Dollar seen higher in short term

Equities surging ahead meanwhile spelled short-term bearishness for USD on Monday.

The U.S. dollar currency index (DXY), which pits the dollar against a basket of major trading partner currencies, came down from recent gains to test support at 90 once again.

A reversal of last week’s scenario, the dollar is now on the back foot as Bitcoin displays familiar inverse correlation to DXY and strengthens above $33,000.

U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) 1-hour candle chart. Source: TradingView

Incoming U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will not be drawn on her plans for the currency, claiming that she wants neither an overly strong dollar, nor one which has been as weak as during the Trump administration’s tenure.

“I think this move higher that we’ve seen this week, I think it’s got some legs to it,” Dave Floyd, founder of Aspen Trading, told TD Ameritrade in a bullish short-term prognosis for DXY.

“I think we have more to run; there’ll be some dips along the way, of course — nothing moves up in a straight line — but I think we’re going to see a stronger dollar for the next month or two at the bare minimum, maybe even longer.”

Zooming out, however, analysts believe that USD is headed for sustained losses as a result of increasing debt and the economic damage wreaked by the pandemic.

JPMorgan: BTC institutional demand “not strong enough”

Also at risk of suppression is Bitcoin, traditional finance analysts claim in a familiar bearish take on the largest cryptocurrency.

In a note to investors on Friday, a team at JPMorgan led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou warned that declining demand for industry giant Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) meant that upside is unlikely to return to the market.

“At the moment, the institutional flow impulse behind the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is not strong enough for Bitcoin to break out above $40,000,” it reads, quoted by Bloomberg.

Panigirtzoglou et al. pointed to a decline in the GBTC premium — the price of the Trust over the Bitcoin spot price — as proof that uptake is slowing after a record few months. Grayscale itself, meanwhile, is busy buying more BTC than ever for its assets under management — Jan. 15 saw its biggest-ever single-day buy-in worth more than $600 million.

JPMorgan, however, is not alone. As Cointelegraph reported, analysts at QCP Capital likewise highlighted “institutional exhaustion” as a key market force at work in Bitcoin under current conditions.

“The near-term balance of risks is still skewed to the downside,” Panigirtzoglou’s note added.

Grayscale Bitcoin holdings vs. BTC/USD chart. Source: CryptoQuant

BTC/USD sees firm bounce at $31,000

After recovering from a brief dip below $30,000 last week, BTC/USD is decidedly non-volatile heading into the new week’s trading.

The calmer conditions give some welcome respite to traders, who watched as a combination of rumors and selling sparked dramatic price movements prior to the weekend.

“What’s your favourite narrative as to why bitcoin is correcting after going vertical? The answer is in the question,” popular trader filbfilb summarized to Twitter followers on Friday.

With a return to relative stability over the weekend, however, eyes are now focusing on a potential move higher within the trading corridor between $30,000 and $40,000 in which Bitcoin has resided this month after hitting new all-time highs of $42,000.

“Bitcoin saw a very strong reaction at $31k. Bearish scenario invalidated for now. Prob $36k coming, then reassess,” in-house analyst Joseph Young offered on Monday.

Young previously noted that on-chain indicators were slowly shifting to bearish, fuelling already dubious price action without clear direction.

Such a move higher would take BTC/USD to familiar levels but still without breaking the paradigm which has characterized the pair in recent weeks.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

In favor of bulls is a Jan. 29 expiry of $4 billion in Bitcoin options

Ether clips new all-time high

Bitcoin cooling and ranging after its vertical phase meanwhile provides what some consider to be the perfect conditions for an altcoin rally.

Signs that alts were waking up were already present earlier in January, but last week’s volatility in Bitcoin shook out some early gains.

In a return to form this week, however, largest altcoin Ether (ETH) outperformed with a return to all-time highs of $1,475 and daily gains of 7.8%. A breakout versus BTC was also visible.

The move clearly beats other large-cap altcoins, which were flat on Monday.

ETH/USD vs. ETH/BTC 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

“At this point and for a while, ETH leads, Alts season follows and bitcoin still explodes higher. Everyone wins,” Raoul Pal, founder of Real Vision, predicted.

Ever the optimist, Pal appealed to Twitter followers not to listen to disparaging narratives about the crypto markets.

“Enjoy and take on board the FUD with a open mind but remember, in an exponential bull market everyone wants to spook you out of your trade. It’s really not easy,” he added.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/spectacular-bust-for-stocks-5-things-to-watch-in-bitcoin-this-week

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