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Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Less Wasteful Than Fiat Money


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Earlier this week, I wrote on social media that it costs significantly less energy to produce cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. The responses were, “that’s not true, once fiat money is created, no additional energy is required.”

Perhaps a better way to phrase the statement was to replace energy with resources, as fiat currencies do require significantly more resources than cryptocurrencies.

Myth

Currently, the vast majority of people are comparing bitcoin’s electricity consumption to the production of paper money at central banks like the Federal Reserve, dismissing manual labor, energy, and electricity required to distribute and transfer money.

Fiat requires commercial banks, central banks, ATMs, armored cars, hundreds of thousands of employees, among other things to work. The central bank, in this case the FED, does not magically distribute the US dollar to every person in the country at their doorstep. The FED distributes its US dollar to banks and its friends, who then distribute money with the hopes of trickling down the US dollar to the bottom of the economy.

Cash requires a truly massive infrastructure to function. In the US alone, there are more than 6,000 banks that process cash transactions. Most people no longer uses cash in its physical form to transact. They rely on third party service providers and banks like JPMorgan, Visa, and MasterCard to process payments. The amount of resources and energy these companies and their hundreds of thousands of employees consume should be included in the comparison between the energy consumption of bitcoin against banks.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer financial network and due its decentralized nature, no third party is required to transact. Alice can send Bob $100 by broadcasting the transaction to the mempool, which is than picked up by miners to process. In return, miners are incentivized by receiving bitcoin and transaction fees included in the block.

Hence, while it may be accurate to claim it requires more electricity to mine cryptocurrency, it is false to claim that to create or generate bitcoin, more resources are required than to create cash or paper money, as the majority of the energy used by the miners is attributable to confirming and validating transactions, which most of the banks do globally.

Improvement

bitcoin mining farm
Bitcoin Mining Farm

John Lilic, member at Ethereum blockchain development studio ConsenSys, stated that the cost per transaction is significantly higher with crypto and that is undoubtedly correct. Major banks like JPMorgan processes trillions of dollars on a daily basis. Lilic said that in the long-term, blockchain projects will have to find better ways to process transactions and information more efficiently.

“The per unit cost of each tx is significantly higher with crypto. Data centres banks use are much more efficient than mining operations & legacy systems process orders of magnitude more tx’s per day than crypto. We need specificity around the energy issue, not conjecture. The real question is whether the gross energy inefficiency costs in crypto is worth the benefits like custody over assets. My contention is Yes! It is worth it but only if our industry prioritizes & continues to work towards energy efficiency gains like Proof of Stake.”

As cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology mature, they will experiment with more efficient methods of consensus algorithms and mining methods that may decrease the energy output of cryptocurrencies in the long-term.

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Monero Mining Malware Hits Apple Macs


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A new Mac-based cryptojacking attack was reported this past week on Apple’s forums, forcing users to unwittingly run software that mines privacy coin monero.

According to a Malwarebytes Labs blog post, the software was discovered when a user noticed that a process called “mshelper” consumed suspiciously-large amounts of CPU time. The user said that mshelper was constantly appearing in the CPU section of their Activity Monitor at high levels. They noticed this after installing BitDefender, which constantly relayed that mshelper was deleting it. This user tried using Malwarebytes, which proved unhelpful.

One reader suggested running Etrecheck, which immediately identified the malware and allowed the victim to remove it.

Malware Components Identified

Malwarebytes Labs said there were other suspicious processes installed, for which it was able to find file copies.

The “dropper” is the program that installs the malware. Mac malware oftentimes is installed by decoy documents users mistakenly open, downloads from pirate sites, and false Adobe Flash Player installers. The dropper remained elusive for cryptominer, but Malwarebytes Labs believes it to be a simple malware.

The researchers found the location of a launcher file called “pplauncher,” which is maintained by a launch daemon. This means the dropper likely had root privileges.

The pplauncher file was written in Golang for macOS, its purpose being to install and begin the miner process. Golang requires a certain amount of overhead that causes a binary file of more than 23,000 tasks. To use this for a simple purpose indicates the creator is not highly knowledgeable about Mac devices.

Also read: Hackers injected cryptocurrency mining malware into 4,275 government websites — they only made $24

Modeled On A Legitmate Miner

CPU
Cryptojacking attacks hijack a computer’s CPU power and use it to mine cryptocurrencies like monero for the attacker.

The mshelper process gives the appearance of an older version of XMRig miner, a legitimate miner that can be deployed using Homebrew on Macs. Information from the current XMRig indicates it was built on May 7, 2018 with clang 9.0.0.

When the same information was sought from the mshelper process, it indicated it was built on March 26, 2018, also with clang 9.0.0.

Malwarebytes Labs concluded that mshelper is an older XMRig copy used to create the cryptocurrency for the benefit of the hacker. The pplauncher gives command line statements, including a parameter that specifies the user.

The researchers said that the mining malware is not dangerous unless the user’s Mac has damaged fans or clogged vents that can result in overheating.

The mshelper is a legitimate tool that someone is abusing, but it still needs to be removed, as well as all of the malware.

The new malware — now known as OSX.ppminer — falls in line with cryptominers such as Creative Update, CpuMeaner and Pwnet for macOS.

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Chinese Blockchain Complex Offers Startups Millions in Subsidies

A newly established blockchain industrial park in the Chinese city of Hangzhou is hoping to attract talented individuals and startups by offering millions of dollars-worth of subsidies.

A policy guide announcing the incentives was published on Thursday via the official WeChat account of the Xiong’An Fund (which translates as “Grand Shores Fund”) – the primary operator of the blockchain complex, both of which were launched in April.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the establishment of the $1 billion blockchain fund and the dedicated blockchain incubation park were notable both for the amount involved and because the Hangzhou city government backed the initiative with 30 percent of the total funding.

According to the new policy, though still subject to further revisions, the industrial park plans to offer a maximum of 3 million yuan (roughly $490,000) as a resettlement allowance to qualifying individuals with high-level blockchain-based skills.

In addition, four main categories of subsidies are being made available for blockchain-related startups in a bid to attract them to set up shop at the complex.

For instance, for early stage startups, the industrial park plans to provide each with a maximum of $230,000 for housing and $1 million as research and development funding. More mature blockchain startups may apply to reside in the area with the help of $480,000 for housing and $780,000 for R&D.

It is currently unclear, however, what criteria must be met to be eligible to apply for the amounts offered. A representative from the industrial park told CoinDesk that the organization aims to provide clearer definitions and eligibility criteria for the different levels of funding this summer.

Hangzhou image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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ed | Blockchain and GDPR: Europe’s Moral Torc


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This op-ed on GDPR and blockchain was written by Robert Chu — CEO of Embleema, the patient-driven healthcare blockchain, and Former SVP at IMS Health (Now IQVIA) — and Alexis Normand, former Head of B2B of Nokia Digital Health

Internet privacy advocates are surely disappointed by Mark Zuckerberg’s mid-April performance in front of the US Senate. After Cambridge Analytica misused 87 Million Facebook users’ accounts for political purposes, the young billionaire demonstrated that Internet platforms do not know how to regulate themselves. Asked by a senator about the nature of his business, Zuckerberg responded simply, “We run ads”.

It seems of little concern to Facebook whether our data defines us as consumers, patients or citizens. Asked about which rules would seem more desirable, Zuck barely conceded that the General Regulation on Data Protection (GDPR) which comes into force in Europe at the end of May, offered “many good things”. However, It’s not clear what there is to “like” for Facebook.

2018, thus far, really has been the year where data privacy and how our data is being utilized by technology companies has come to the forefront of media and the public’s consciousness. As European companies ready themselves for GDPR May 25th kickoff, the world has been made well aware of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal and the Russian meddling in the US Presidential election, with data-driven advertising being their weapon of choice. But this is not just an issue for 2018 — 15.5 million Electronic Medical Records were breached in the US in 2016 according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

GDPR imposes costly and significant obligations on platforms to avoid abusive data harvesting: there is “clear and explicit” consent to Terms & Conditions. These will limit the collection of information to only that which is necessary for the service to run. This feels like the sword of Damocles is hanging over the heads of Facebook and Google because nobody uses their services to be profiled, but the old adage “you are not the customer, you are the product” has never rang truer.

facebook
“We run ads”: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

GDPR also establishes a “right to be forgotten”, to have embarrassing or damaging material taken down and erased from the public domain. Companies will need to provide a record of data processing, which generates significant overhead. The ability to hold on to one’s data history will become a right in Europe, the same way one can keep hold of the same mobile phone number when changing service providers. In health, the portability of patient records will facilitate the coordination of care, including treatment for complex diseases.  

Facebook has since admitted that it would not implement these rules for its US users and has gone to great lengths to reduce its exposure to GDPR. It is also possible regulators are increasingly reluctant to weaken US tech giants as the pressure from China increases. The Red State is now on par with the United States in terms of number of patents in artificial intelligence (AI). Its president Xi Jingping made AI a centerpiece of his Made in China Plan for 2025, aiming to take world leadership. AI has become a security issue whose importance goes beyond our private lives.

Europe has lost the AI battle, but is serious about Blockchain & Privacy.

Like Don Quixote, Europe wants to be the moral flag bearer for consumer rights, holding firm the belief that the GDPR and defense of privacy will in time garner a competitive edge. If the argument was only audible in Mountain View or Shenzen, perhaps the Masters of AI & the Universe would shine a smile. But for how long?

What if Europe, like the “knight with the sad face”, was actually visionary? Blockchain, as a breakthrough technology is already reshuffling cards. “History has more imagination than men”, said Lenin who knew a thing or two about revolutions. The hype should not make us blind to the profound transformation operated by Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin.

The First Age of the Internet was that of information. The constitution of databases, search engines, and the combined knowledge of users, together brought down transaction costs and freed many segments of the economy from imperfect information and geographic distance. By monopolizing these technologies, US tech giants captured the benefits of all these efficiency gains.

We are entering a Second Age, that of the “Internet of Currency” or its equivalent, the exchange of certified information.  Blockchain is a peer-to-peer IT infrastructure that records a transaction between two parties in real time for all participants in a network so that it becomes tamper-proof and immutable. It offers the means to certify, without any third party, an exchange of information, which can also be an economic transaction. Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, a development  platform for Blockchain apps summarizes: “While most technologies aim to automate workers on the periphery performing repetitive tasks, Blockchain automates the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of work, it puts Uber out of work and lets the driver work directly for the client. “

server farm
Europe is far more serious about data privacy than the US, the authors argue.

The disruption goes further, because the very business model of the company which operates the network switches from maximizing profit to maximizing exchanges between nodes in the network. Indeed, blockchain companies act like Central Banks within the economy they generate, paying themselves by issuing tokens, like Disneyland gives you vouchers to use on different rides.

Taking a familiar example in healthcare, Blockchain offers the patient a rare opportunity to share their data seamlessly with a doctor or laboratory, being compensated automatically for each exchange. This is a paradigm change for the data exchange industry, which currently lets large data brokers take the bigger slice of a $15billion cake, leaving the patient with zero compensation. In short, Blockchain would give patients back ownership over their health data.

In all sectors where traceability is critical, blockchain essentially removes the need for a trusted or not so trusted third party, and any “rent” that he might perceive from his privileged position as owner of the marketplace. Blockchain reduces the cost of coordination between stakeholders of a network. This could be the demise of Silicon Valley’s centralization of data and power, and perhaps even of modern capitalism as we know it. Had Karl Marx lived in the time of blockchain, he would finally have found a way to free workers from companies becoming monopolies and capturing all the “added-value”.

A new divide is emerging between AI-powered platforms, which are hostile by design to privacy protection, and blockchain-powered decentralized network: a conflict between monopolies and libertarians, Big Brother and Crypto, the United States and Europe. This is good news for individuals and end users who can no longer simply trust institutions to protect property over data. This is good news for Europe, which can reset the meter by combining GDPR and Blockchain. This is very bad news for Silicon Valley. It invented the sharing economy of your physical assets that AirBnB and Amazon have captured the better share of. Now, old Europa is writing the rules for the sharing economy of your digital assets. Tomorrow, we will all be the CEOs of our data.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely that of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to CCN.

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US Department of Justice, CFTC Probe Crypto Market Manipulation: Report

The U.S Department of Justice has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into cryptocurrency traders who may have manipulated the market old-school illicit tactics.

According to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday citing anonymous sources familiar with the probe, the investigation is being conducted together with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

One area of the investigation targets so-called spoofing – a technique that has been used in traditional financial markets to affect price movements by making large volumes of fake orders – that possibly influenced trades of bitcoin and ethereum, according to the report.

In addition, DoJ is probing crypto traders who may have cheated the system by sending themselves large volumes of orders to create a mirage of increasing demand in order to tip other investors into making a move.

The news marks the latest effort by U.S. authorities to ensure a fair cryptocurrency market since the CFTC gave the green light to domestic exchanges to list bitcoin-backed futures and derivative products late last year.

Today’s report also comes just weeks after a commissioner from CFTC made comments on the agency’s growing scrutiny over cryptocurrency activities that may have violated the law.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C., CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz said the agency is particularly focusing on “fraud, market manipulation and disruptive trading involving virtual currency.”

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Real Vision, a media platform for finance and business, raises $10 million – TechCrunch

Real Vision is entering the crowded business and financial new space with a bang. The company, which recently raised a $10 million Series B after a $5 million A round, is working on a number of new initiatives including distribution on Apple TV, a content distribution partnership with Thomson Reuters and an upcoming documentary on PBS.

The documentary, “A World on the Brink,” will focus on threats to the global economy. The team is aiming at viewers ages 36-45 instead of the older Boomers who prefer cable financial news far.

“Unlike most video-based media businesses where short-form video is deemed to have the highest user engagement, Real Vision have found that almost 70% of their customers who start a half, or an hour-long, video will watch all of it. This engagement in long-form content is breaking boundaries within the industry,” said co-founder and CEO Raoul Pal. “Sensationalism and clickbait is at an all-time high. Traditional financial news has continued to degenerate into attention-seeking sound bites that are at best of little value and at worst, downright dangerous.”

Pal worked at Goldman Sachs before moving into media.

“I lamented on the state of financial media – how it had let the ordinary person down repeatedly in 2000 and 2008 and was busy treating finance as entertainment and not taking into account that this was people’s life savings they were dealing with. I also noted how far financial programming had become versus the fast-changing world of on line video. Viewing habits and content types were changing but the financial TV incumbents hadn’t changed,” he said “I decided that it was time for someone to disrupt the way in which television worked – particularly with regard to financial and business information.”

The team will use the cash to create programming aimed at “those who want to create new business opportunities and startups, manage new enterprises and leverage new technology.” The videos can run as long as 90 minutes but usually hit the five to thirty-minute mark. They are also distributing their content to Thomson Reuters . It uses a subscription-based model and costs $180 annually.

The team met at a bar in Jesus Pobre, Spain. Pal and his co-founder Damian Horner found each other during their travels and had drinks at a place called Rosita’s where Horner, a former ad exec, learned of Pal’s experience in finance and they both mapped out a new type of online news channel with some real energy. Thus was born a model that mixes on-demand with high-impact news, something that few cable stations can manage.

“Almost all traditional media outlets rely on an ever-dwindling advertising revenue model. Real Vision is subscription-based and built that way from the ground up,” said Pal. “Most media business are still trying to figure out a subscription model to diversify away from advertising. In a highly competitive digital world, the pressure ‘to get clicks’ has a massive impact on the tone, direction and quality of the editorial content itself. Real Vision’s subscriber model means there is no need to sensationalize, no dumbing down of ideas, no incessant ‘breaking news’ headlines, no clickbait soundbites and no cutting things short for commercial breaks.”

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Walmart Looks to Blockchain for Retail Product Resales

A new patent application from retail giant Walmart shows how blockchain could be used to augment its digital offerings for consumers.

The document, released last Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, outlines a blockchain ledger which would track the items that stores sell to a particular customer. It’s the latest example of an intellectual property play by Walmart, which has filed a number of related applications and has also piloted the tech for tracking food products.

The proposed system would allow a customer to register the item after it’s bought for the first time. The customer would then be able to choose a price for a resale, with the system itself acting essentially as a digital marketplace, according to the application.

Perhaps just as notable is the fact that the application appears to work in details from another use case – distributed delivery tracking – that was outlined in a past patent filing.

Walmart’s latest application explains how a “distributed delivery record blockchain” would be updated as products move from the seller to the courier to the buyer, with new transactions signifying each step.

The company wrote:

“By one approach, the transfer from the seller to the courier may require signatures from both the sender and the courier using their respective private keys. The new transaction may be broadcasted and verified by the sender, the courier, the buyer, and/or other nodes on the system before being added to the distributed delivery record blockchain. When the package is transferred from the courier to the buyer, the courier may use the courier’s private key to authorize the transfer of the digital asset representing the physical asset from the courier to the buyer and update the delivery record with the new transaction.”

The idea of Walmart actually pursuing such a use case isn’t that far-fetched – last September, the retailer detailed how it was testing automated delivery solutions with a limited group of customers in California.

Walmart image via fotomak / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Russia’s Largest Bank Buys Commercial Bonds on a Blockchain


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The investment and corporate banking arm of Sberbank and telecom giant MTS have laid claim to conducting Russia’s first commercial bond transaction using blockchain technology.

In an announcement, MTS revealed it had placed commercial bonds worth RUB 750 million (approx. $12 million) on a proprietary blockchain platform provided by the country’s National Settlement Depository powered by smart contracts technology.

Based on the Hyperledger Fabric, a production-ready blockchain software developed by the open-source Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger consortium, the blockchain platform enabled the ‘complete securities lifecycle’ of the rouble-denominated commercial bond on a blockchain, Sberbank confirmed. The smart contracts’ source code ‘can be found on Github’, the bank added, revealing the highly transparency process from ‘placement to the issuer’s performance of its obligations, including settlement in roubles’ was facilitated by the blockchain.

As privately-traded fixed income securities, commercial bonds are commonly placed on the OTC market. The MTS were issued with a maturity period of six months and an annual coupon rate of 6.8 percent, the telecom giant said. ‘The transaction was executed via DVP (Delivery versus payment) settlement assuming simultaneous movement of securities and money using blockchain, the immutable ledger for recording transactions,’ MTS added.

The blockchain also enables the list of participants to change dynamically over time, allowing for the issuance of the bonds to a wider range of investors at a later time. In this instance, all three parties – the issuer, central depository and the investor, received access to the decentralized blockchain ledger to process the transaction. Each participant can digitally exchange documents online and track the status of the transaction in real-time ‘which considerably speeds up’ the overall process, Sberbank said.

Sberbank senior vice president and chief of Sberbank CIB Igor Bulantsev stated:

This MTS bond issue not only allowed us to confirm the reliability, efficiency and secure nature of the blockchain platform and carry out complex structured transactions involving securities, but also demonstrated the potential that this technology has to develop Russia’s digital economy.

As reported previously, Russia’s NSD first began testing blockchain technology as early as April 2016 for an e-proxy voting system, at the time. Since then, the authority has collaborated with the likes of its Chinese counterpart to develop blockchain applications in the post-trade space with a co-operative pact that would even grant ‘mutual access’ to each other’s markets.

In October 2017, the NSD announced trials of its bond trialing platform to successfully facilitate a 500 million rouble issue to Raiffeisenbank.

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Man-Made Floating Pacific Islands Will Accept Cryptocurrency


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Suffocating under your government’s strict business and monetary policies? Head to the seas. To be more precise, create an island of your own that has its own government and uses cryptocurrency as its main tender.

The oceans are the solution to a heavily polluted planet and policies that harm business growth. The startups BlueFrontiers and Seasteading (a clever pun on “homesteading”) are creating man-made islands that will support over 300 homes and have their own forms of government and currency.

Island Concept. Source: www.blue-frontiers.com/en/varyon

Cryptocurrency is becoming a first-choice currency for utopia builders like Elon Musk, who need an efficient, non-physical tender.

According to Blue Frontier’s website:

Our mission is to further the long term-growth of the seasteading movement. Our current focus is to enable the first seasteads by researching critical engineering, legal and business challenges, increasing public awareness, and building a core seasteading community.

The project has chosen the Polynesian Islands as the starting point. Nathalie Mezza-Garcia, a researcher at Blue Frontiers, spoke with CNBC about the location.

“There is significance to this project being trialed in the Polynesian Islands. This is the region where land is resting on coral and will disappear with rising sea levels,” Mezza-Garcia said.

The initial project will serve as a testing grounds for future floating systems.

“Once we can see how this first island works, we will have a proof of concept to plan for islands to house climate refugees,” she said.

Blue Frontiers has also launched an ICO for a token to raise capital. As stated,

Blue Frontiers is planning to use the proceeds of the sale to expand its ecosystem and create SeaZones and seasteads, and will only accept Varyon (VAR) for its products and services.

So much for a completely open governance framework, since the project and white paper aren’t open to other cryptocurrencies for trade.

The seafasting project has been mentioned in Nature, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Though seafasting sounds like it’s come straight out of a sci-fi novel, it could potentially butt heads with governments. As CCN reported, the crackdown on cryptocurrencies probably won’t conviently ignore man-made islands. However, the project could take notes on measures that the Caribbean islands has taken to encourage crypto business. Their pro-bitcoin stance has attracted to the islands a utopia of their own, with bitcoin whales moving in, startups, and venture capitol.

Smaller governments with regulation flexibility (such as on island territories) are in a unique position for making easier regulations for crpyto businesses when larger countries have a lot of political and central bank bureaucracies that hinder progress.

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Cryptocurrency-Funded Solar Energy Could Power A Moldovan University This Summer


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Moldova, an impoverished Eastern European country with a population of 4 million people, may soon emerge as an unwitting brand ambassador for cryptocurrency-powered, eco-friendly renewable energy.

The United Nations Development Program has partnered with South Africa-based blockchain startup, Sun Exchange, to power one of Moldova’s largest universities, the UNDP announced in a statement.

Sun Exchange is a marketplace where you can purchase solar cells with cryptocurrencies to power businesses or schools. The exchange uses SolarCoin, a cryptocurrency launched by blockchain startup ElectriCChain.

Powered By Crowd-Funding Muscle

If all goes according to plan, the Technical University of Moldova will have all its energy needs met through crypto-powered solar energy. The university will get one megawatt of energy installed this summer, thanks to enthusiastic crowd-funding efforts, Reuters reported.

This program could be a boon for the landlocked nation, which imports 74 percent of its energy, and is one of the poorest countries in Europe.

Moldova’s energy costs have spiked more than 50 percent during the past five years, spotlighting the need for a cheaper energy source. This latest crypto-funded project could help Moldova become less dependent on energy imports such as oil and gas from Russia.

Moldova is a perfect fit for this solar-energy project, because it has more than 10,000 square meters of unused rooftop space on public buildings that could be used for solar panels, said Dumitru Vasilescu, a program manager with UNDP.

(Shutterstock)

If the Moldovan crypto-powered project is successful, the UNDP plans to replicate it in neighboring nations. “Ultimately, this could revolutionize the renewable energy market for Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” said Vasilescu.

Abraham Cambridge, the CEO of Sun Exchange, said he’s not surprised that Moldova has embraced cryptocurrencies and blockchain, in light of how the industry could bolster its struggling economy.

“It’s no wonder this is one of the fastest-growing crypto markets,” Cambridge said. “The system has all the right incentives in place. It reduces the costs of going solar dramatically for the end-user. And it makes it easy for anyone in the world to own a solar cell anywhere in the world, and from it, make a steady source of sunlight-powered income.”

Blockchain To The Rescue

As CCN previously reported, Moldova is using blockchain technology to stamp out child-sex trafficking. Hundreds of Moldovan girls are kidnapped and smuggled to Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries to work as sex slaves.

Children in rural areas are easy targets for sex traffickers because they often don’t have identification, so kidnappers can transport them across borders using fake IDs. But Moldovan authorities have realized that blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, can provide children with forgery-proof, paperless ID documents using their fingerprints and facial scans.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Ukraine, lawmakers are drafting legislation to legalize cryptocurrencies, as CCN has reported. Ukraine has been at the forefront of comprehensive crypto regulations since January 2018.

“Given the rapid development of cryptocurrencies in the world, this issue cannot be left out of the state’s attention,” said Ukraine’s security council.

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