Innovation & Launches
Milo Launches Bitcoin Mortgage In The U.S. (2 minute read)
Milo, a real estate fintech company, is launching the first US bitcoin mortgage offering. Both US and foreign customers will be able to purchase US property using bitcoin as collateral. This will allow Milo's clients to continue to own bitcoin while diversifying into real estate, all while keeping the potential price appreciation of both. The offering will be available to most applicants early this year.
$ADA Surges After Launch of ‘Pavia’ ($PAVIA)
Pavia, the first virtual world to run on the Cardano blockchain, launched on January 15. The name Pavia comes from the city where Gerolamo Cardano, the Italian polymath which Cardano is named after, was born. There are 100,000 land parcels in total in the Pavia metaverse, each associated with a uniquely numbered Cardano NFT. 60,000 of these have already been sold, and the final land sale will take place in Q1 2022. US and UK residents were excluded from the first sales due to regulatory uncertainty.
Intel To Unveil Bitcoin-mining 'Bonanza Mine' Chip at Upcoming Conference (3 minute read)
Intel is set to unveil a new Bitcoin-mining ASIC at this year's ISSCC conference, a yearly gathering of the best and brightest minds of the chip industry. An ASIC is a machine specialized in cryptocurrency mining. The Bonanza Mine ASIC will be an ultra-low-voltage and energy-efficient machine with a processor designed specifically to execute Bitcoin mining. Intel will not limit the mining performance of its GPUs, but the company has stated that it would prefer if its GPUs were used by gamers rather than miners. It is unknown whether the Bonanza Mine ASIC will be available for the public or if it will remain a research project.
Guides & Resources
zkSNARKs vs zkSTARKs: a primer (4 minute read)
zkSNARKs and zkSTARKs are implementations of non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs, meaning that the prover only needs to send a single message, which does not need to disclose the data, to the verifier. They were first introduced in a 1985 MIT paper and are now being implemented in blockchain tech. This article introduces zkSNARKs and zkSTARKs, giving an overview and comparison of the two implementations. Zero-knowledge is still an area of active research, but the tech is advancing rapidly.
Can crypto create the world’s first authentic global carbon marketplace? (8 minute read)
Blockchain company Chia announced a partnership with the World Bank at COP26 in Glasgow to develop the world's first Climate Warehouse. A few days later, it signed an agreement with Costa Rica to provide technical services in support of the country's National Climate Change Metrics System. Chia was started by Bram Cohen, the creator of the BitTorrent communications protocol. The Climate Warehouse project aims to create a global carbon marketplace. This article discusses Chia's plans to achieve its goal through its Proof of Space and Time blockchain, which uses storage space to secure data.
BitMEX Looking to Acquire One of Germany's Oldest Banks (2 minute read)
BitMEX has announced plans to purchase Bankhaus von der Heydt, one of Germany's oldest banks. The acquisition is still subject to approval by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. The bank will continue to be operated as a standalone business if the deal is finalized. BitMEX hopes that the purchase will help create a regulated crypto products powerhouse in the heart of Europe. If approved, the deal is expected to finalize in mid-2022.
NFT Marketplace OpenSea Buys Ethereum Wallet Maker Dharma Labs (2 minute read)
NFT marketplace OpenSea is buying Ethereum wallet company Dharma Labs in a deal estimated to be worth $110 million to $130 million. Dharma Labs' co-founder and CEO will become OpenSea's new chief technology officer. They will focus on improving the quality of OpenSea's products and offerings. Dharma Labs had an Ethereum wallet that let its users borrow and lend digital assets. The app will shut down over the next 30 days. Users have until February 18 to empty their wallets.
BSN’s Red Date Behind Shenzhen-Singapore Trade Blockchain Project (5 minute read)
Red Date Technology, the creator of the Blockchain-based Service Network, an infrastructure network used for distributed applications, is working with the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority to build the blockchain-based Transnational Trade Network (BTTN). The BTTN will allow companies to transfer trade data between countries and firms while adhering to local data privacy and security laws. China recently implemented the Data Security Law, which made sharing data with overseas partners and customers more difficult. Details about how the BTTN works are available in the article.
Coinbase will let you pay with Mastercard in its upcoming NFT marketplace (3 minute read)
Coinbase and MasterCard are partnering up to allow card payments on Coinbase's upcoming NFT marketplace. This will allow users to purchase NFTs using fiat currency without having to buy cryptocurrency first. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, allow people to trade ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using a blockchain. Coinbase is working with MasterCard to classify NFTs as digital goods to make them more accessible to people who may be uncomfortable with cryptocurrencies. Coinbase NFT still hasn't gone live, but a waitlist is available for early access.