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Crypto and blockchain updates in brief

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Here are some of the top crypto and blockchain stories of the week. 

Paxful adds naira Token (NGNT) as a form of payment on its platform. 

Paxful, a global peer-to-peer crypto trading platform, has partnered with Buycoins in an effort to add the Naira token (NGNT), a fiat-backed crypto pegged to the Naira, as a payment method to its platform. In contrast to the usually volatile digital currencies, the NGNT provides the much-needed stability as it is pegged 1:1 against the Naira. 

Nigeria is fast becoming one of the fastest thriving crypto markets in the world. Paxful opens a whole new exciting step for the NGNT community with their coalition with Buycoins opening up new opportunities and use cases for NGNT that will boost trading activities within the cryptosphere and Nigeria in particular.

Square Inc. invests $50 million dollars in Bitcoin acquisition

Square Inc has reportedly made an exorbitant investment into the crypto asset, bitcoin. Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder, who has been a long-term supporter of crypto and especially Bitcoin, has announced the acquisition of a $50 million dollar worth of bitcoin which is equivalent to 4,709 bitcoins as of the time of writing. 

The purchase represents approximately one percent of Square’s total assets as of Q2, 2020. Square believes crypto to be an instrument of economic empowerment which provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which he emphasized, aligns with the company’s purpose.

Honda and GM specify a global standard for decentralized electric car charging network

Major automobile manufacturers, Honda and General Motor (GM), have jointly launched a global standard for integrating blockchain technology into a decentralized vehicle charging network. This integration will help in storing renewable energy into decentralized energy grids. 

The parties which work within the international technology consortium, Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), have jointly conducted research on electric vehicles and smart grid interoperability, using blockchain technology, with the aim of making mobility services more efficient. 

The team’s working group design specifications aspire to lay the foundation for a decentralized charging network that adequately utilizes excess green energy.

BitMEX experiences a $500 million bitcoin exit. 

BitMEX experienced a $500 million withdrawal in bitcoin from the exchange over a period of four days. The exchange experienced this enormous decline following a filed charge against the company’s executive from the US regulators a week ago. 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed the charges against BitMEX for operating an unregistered trading platform and failing to implement anti-money laundering procedures labelling the exchange as “high-risk”. 

The exchange was quick to alleviate their users’ fears assuring traders that their funds are held in multi-signature wallets and as such, are very safe. Despite this assurance, however, most users were quick to withdraw their funds, and the exchange is currently reported to be hemorrhaging liquidity, as over $500 million has left the exchange.

DeFi markets cap sees a huge 24-hour timeframe drop. 

According to a report from data firm, Santiment, Defi markets have experienced a one-day significant drop based on market capitalization. The crypto market has recently been consumed in a sea of red, particularly this week, with most significant defi tokens documenting double-digit losses over the past 7 days. 

Santiment remarked in a blog post, that daily traded volume for defi token trades had fallen by 30% combined with recent market leaders like Sushi (SUSHI) and Yearn Finance (YFI) taking the hardest hit as regards to weekly losses.

Afro-pop music star David becomes BitSika ambassador

Popular Afro pop musician, Davido becomes an ambassador for Bitsika. Bitsika, an African based blockchain payment startup, seems to have gotten themselves a new ambassador in person of Davido. This was revealed by a Twitter user, whose tweet was retweeted by Davido in confirmation. 

DeFi AMM platform Uniswap continues to record big growth

Uniswap protocol continues to lead in the defi space, growing with nearly 470% in the space of a month.

Coinbase CEO ready to fire workers who disagree with the company’s ‘apolitical’ mission

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has offered workers who do not agree with his view on how the company should engage with the political sphere, a way out.

According to the sources, 5% of the company’s workforce preferred to take an “exit package”, which was offered to those who did not agree with the company’s apolitical mission.

BitMEX kicks out Arthur Hayes amid collapsing open interest in Bitcoin futures

Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed, BitMEX founders, have been forced to resign from their top positions as the crypto derivatives exchange is hit by CFTC charges. According to the information, Ben Delo and Greg Dwyer will also be moved from management positions in 100x Group while Vivien Khoo, Chief Operating Officer of 100x Group, will serve as an Interim CEO.

Grammy-nominated Murda Beatz, becomes a bitcoin owner

Famous multi-platinum record producer, Murda Beatz, who is a public figure with known popular collaborations with big names like Nicki Minaj, Drake, Travis Scott, is proud to call himself among his many titles, a Bitcoin holder, as well.

Beatz announced this development to his 283,200 followers on Twitter. He expressed his gratitude to Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, as well as Jermane Prime, the hip-hop artist, for being the two men that helped him in his decision to purchase the assets.

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Bitcoin trades above $51k ahead of El Salvador’s adoption

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Bitcoin growth

Bitcoin price has rallied above $51,000 ahead of El Salvador’s adoption. The immediate surge in price may be due to the social media campaign that everyone should buy sats of Bitcoin to support El Salvador’s plan to make the coin a legal tender or it may be due to the news of El Salvador’s adoption of the coin as a legal tender on September 7. Users of social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit are discussing how they will buy Bitcoin of $30 each to mark the new El Salvador Bitcoin law.

The surge in Bitcoin’s price began in the last 24hrs with the price rallying around $51,955 with a 3.37% increase. This is an all-time high after the April crash that brought the price of Bitcoin from $64k down to $28k. The move by El Salvador to be the first country that accepts Bitcoin as a legal tender and the social media campaign that leads to a surge in price ahead September 7 are a repetition of events that occurred late last year and early this year with regards to institutional investors and how the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed.

El Salvador, a country in Central America, has been preparing heavily to adopt Bitcoin by installing ATMs to allow citizens to convert the token into US dollars. Last week, the country’s Legislative Assembly passed a law to allow for the creation of a $150m Trust to support the conversion of Bitcoins to US dollars.

To promote the use of Bitcoin, the government states that it will give the adult population of El Salvador $30 in Bitcoin once they download “Chivo” the wallet issued by the government. This was confirmed by the Finance Minister, Alejandro Zelaya.

What this means for Bitcoin investors

Apart from the adoption by Salvadorians, on-chain analytics show that Bitcoin is in high demand. The fourth halving that occurred will make Bitcoin become a scarce token in the nearest future. Thereby increasing the price sporadically.

With El Salvador’s interest in Bitcoin, other countries are likely to follow suit- Panama is considering following El Salvador’s lead. History will repeat itself as this development will serve as another crypto rout that occurred early this year when Tesla and MicroStrategy announced their support for Bitcoin.

El Salvador’s new law allows the use of Bitcoin as a legal tender it can be used to buy goods, pay for taxes and bank loans. This means more demand for Bitcoin, with the fourth halving that occurred, it means less supply. A common rule of economics for demand and supply will apply. Prices are projected to keep rising. At the time of writing this report, Bitcoin is trading at $51,839 with a projection of $52k before the end of today and higher tomorrow when Salvadorians begin to use the token.

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Why some people thinks AI still lack common sense – Decentralize Brief Nov. 16 – Nov. 23

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Published twice a week (Mondays and Fridays), Decentralized Brief  is a curation of the most important news story in the world of Crypto, Blockchain and AI. Subscribe for the newsletter here and read our previous curations.

This week, we learn how to teach your AI to drive, why some people think AI still lacks a lot of common sense, and the vacuum cleaner that could be listening on your conversations.

Teaching robots to drive

Robots can now learn complicated tasks by just watching a couple of demonstrations that might not be even perfect. The new system designed by researchers, helps a domestic robot, for example, to learn how to do basic chores or even set the dinner table.

New test shows AI still lacks common sense

When it comes to natural language processing, AI has undoubtedly been taking great strides. However, does AI really understand what it reads? Researchers have discovered that AI still lacks a lot of common sense it needs to create plausible sentences.

Your vacuum cleaner could be listening to you

It turns out that your vacuum cleaner could be hacked and used as a listening device, since it has a microphone. A group of researchers at the Computer Science Department of the University of Maryland, recently demonstrated this.

AI has definitely come a long way, and people’s reactions to the disruptive technology, are quite mixed. Whilst some are trying to key into the technology as it is looking to be a major part of the fourth industrial revolution, others are wary of its impact. 

Mini brains that help AI feel pain and repair itself

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, have designed a brain for AI that will help it process and respond to pain. The system, which is considered to be a mini-brain, will help computers feel pain exerted by physical pressure. It can also help the computer do mini repairs. 

Nigerian artificial intelligence and robotics centre

Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, has built an AI and robotics centre in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution. The centre was built in the country’s capital, Abuja. 

Pope urges Catholics to pray that AI doesn’t rebel against mankind 

One of the Pope’s prayer points for the month of November is for advanced technologies like AI to avoid rebelling against mankind. The Pope says future technologies should not cause inequality between humans, but should respect the dignity of all humans. As such, he has urged Catholics to pray that AI will always serve humankind.

Students discover a way to fool AI into changing grades.

An AI algorithm that marks essays has been outwitted. An online platform for virtual learning that uses AI to grade essays, has been discovered to actually grade based on relevant keywords. Once these keywords are in the essay, the AI gives students a perfect score. 

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Did AI predict U.S. elections correctly? Cryptocurrencies will become a Fintech trend by 2021

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Published twice a week (Mondays and Fridays), Decentralized Brief  is a curation of the most important news story in the world of Crypto, Blockchain and AI. Subscribe for the newsletter here and read our previous curations.

Hey there! Happy New Week!

In today’s curations: AI predictions for the Nov. 3 US presidential election were not accurate and we shared why cryptocurrencies will be an inevitable fintech world in 2021

Curated Samuel Attah, Bolu Abiodun ✍

Did AI correctly predict the next U.S. president

2020 US election chart
Dodo Ahanu (FLICKR)

Different AI firms have predicted the U.S. elections based on sentiments on Twitter. While most of them predicted that Joe Biden would win the election, the numbers compared to the actual polls were not very accurate. A company called KCore Analytics, used about 1 billion tweets to predict the elections, and the company was about 89.5% accurate. 

Cockroach and Lizard robots

Cockroaches and lizards have inspired the creation of a robot. The robot can swim, run on water at incredible speeds, and crawl on difficult terrains. The robot, which is known as the AmphiSTAR, is envisioned to help out with agricultural projects as well as search and rescue missions.

Training AI just the way we train dogs

A robot named ‘spot’, can now teach itself how to perform tasks the same way dogs are taught to sit, stand, roll over and do other tricks. Computer scientists at the John Hopkins University, stated that the robot taught itself to perform tasks that would have normally taken several months, in a few weeks. 

Cryptocurrency could be one of the biggest fintech trends of 2021.

Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple
Cryptocurrencies (FLICKR)

The CEO of Token Metrics, Ian Balina, has said that “The most important fintech trends in 2021 will be cryptocurrencies.” Balina says bitcoin will surpass its all-time high of $20,000, and gain massive mainstream attention. With a lot of big players like PayPal, Square, Facebook and Samsung endorsing the currency, it shows that Bitcoin is mature for the mainstream.

Cryptocurrencies you can invest in before the year runs out

It has been a remarkable few weeks in the world of cryptocurrencies. We’ve seen Bitcoin on a rampage, and other currencies like Ethereum, following suit. In light of all the positivity trailing the crypto community, in no particular order, here are some of the currencies that can currently be invested.

Lunch Time Read:

  • When it comes to elections in Africa, the tales carry enough tragedy— from deep electoral malpractices to violence. Jerry Ojumah has one of such tales, and this is why he used his ingenuity and creativity to create an election process that could afford Africa a chance at the limelight.
  • Extended Reality is still a far-fetched technology, in Africa, however, it’s gradually taking a spot in countries like Nigeria.

Have a lovely week!

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Subscribe to “Decentralize Brief” and stay up-to-date on emerging tech from the world of Crypto, Blockchain and AI published Mondays and Fridays.

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