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Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and BTC Cycles

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and BTC Cycles

GBTC (Grayscale Bitcoin Trust) price is at a 2022 low.

Before the explosion of the Terra/Luna ecosystem in May, its price was $25, but after that event it first fell from $20 and then to $12 in June.

At the beginning of November, with the failure of FTX, it first fell to $8, and then even to $7.7 at the end of November. Now it’s close to $9.

Compared to the price at the beginning of May, the current value is 65% lower, while BTC has lost “only” 55% in the same period.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Bitcoin

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, symbol GBTC, is a fund fully invested in Bitcoin (BTC). So, in theory, the market value trend of its shares should be in line with Bitcoin, but instead in 2022, GBTC lost significantly more than BTC.

Right nowGBTC is 42% less than BTC proportionally, although it fell to -45% in mid-November.

This means that the market demand for GBTC is significantly lower than for BTC, while the selling pressure is higher.

This relationship started at the end of February last year and started to strengthen at the end of March in 2021.

It is possible that this is due to the presence of financial derivatives in the market, which are preferred by investors when taking a position on the price of Bitcoin without having to directly buy and hold BTC.

So there would be net competition from financial products with better features. Bitcoinon the other hand, there are no real competitors.

In other words, the significant decline in GBTC lasting more than a year and a half cannot be taken as a benchmark for evaluating the price performance of Bitcoin.

MVRV parameter

However, Grayscale continues to analyze Bitcoin’s price trend. They recently discovered an interesting value for a parameter that appears to be related to BTC cycles.

This is the MVRV (Market Value to Realized Value ratio) parameter, which is the ratio of current market capitalization to realized capitalization.

“Realized capitalization” means the total value of all available BTC by referring to the individual purchase prices of all individual Satoshis, not the current price. One Satoshi is the smallest unit of measurement that Bitcoin can be divided into and corresponds to one hundred millionth of a BTC.

When MVRV is greater than one, it means that the current price is higher than the average purchase price, if it is less than one, it means that the current price is lower than the average purchase price, which means that most BTC is currently a loss.

Interestingly, as Grayscale points out, Bitcoin’s MVRV is rarely less than 1.

Indeed, historically, several times its value has fallen below 1, then created it will make a profit of 300% over the next three years.

Since 2012, the year of the first halving, Bitcoin’s MVRV has only been negative three times. In 2012, 2015 and at the junction of 2018 and 2019, with a very short increase in March 2020, when global financial markets collapsed due to the onset of the pandemic.

In other words, so far BTC’s MVRV has followed Bitcoin’s halving-driven four-year cycle.

Grayscale notes that Bitcoin’s MVRV recently hit a 3-year low, indicating that the current phase may be the bottom of the current cycle.

Bitcoin Cycles

Bitcoin has a predictable and scheduled cycle of approximately 3 years and 10 months, with blocks being mined and added to the blockchain every 210,000 blocks. splitting in half from the miner’s reward. The latter is Bitcoin’s only monetary policy measure, given that all existing BTC was created and will be created as a reward for miners in the future.

It is therefore not surprising that the price of Bitcoin follows a trend that is heavily influenced by the halving.

The first halving happened in 2012 and the following year triggered the first huge speculative bubble in the price of BTC, which caused it to rise from $13 to $1100 in less than twelve months.

The second halving happened in 2016 and the following year was the second major bubble that took the price up to $20,000.

A third halving in 2020 was followed by a new bubble the following year, but this time on a smaller scale.

The next halving will take place in the spring of 2024.

BTC’s MVRV chart gives a good idea of ​​this period. It also gives a good idea of ​​how the 2013 bubble was bigger than the 2017 bubble, which in turn was bigger than the 2020 bubble. It also becomes clear that these were indeed speculative bubbles and not organic growth.

The question now is: Will BTC’s MVRV rise again in the coming years as it has in the past? Will there be a new speculative bubble in 2025?

It’s still unclear, but at least this chart makes it clear that we’re now in a position that’s quite comparable to the bottoms of the previous two periods.

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Tim Draper predicts bitcoin will reach $250,000 despite FTX crash

Tim Draper predicts bitcoin will reach 0,000 despite FTX crash

Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates, on stage at the Web Summit 2022 tech conference.

Ben McShane | Sports file via Getty Images

Venture capitalist Tim Draper thinks bitcoin By mid-2023, a coin will hit $250,000 after a year marked by industry failures and falling prices.

Draper previously predicted that bitcoin would surpass $250,000 by the end of 2022, but told the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon in early November that it would take until June 2023 for that to happen.

He reiterated his stance on Saturday when asked how he felt about the price call following the collapse of FTX.

“I’ve extended my forecast by six months. $250,000 is still my number,” Draper told CNBC via email.

For Draper’s prediction to come true, bitcoin would need to rise nearly 1,400% from its current price of $17,000. The cryptocurrency has lost more than 60% since the beginning of the year.

Digital currencies are struggling as the Fed’s tighter monetary policy and a chain reaction of bankruptcies at major industrial firms such as Terra, Celsius and FTX put strong pressure on prices.

The collapse of FTX worsened the already severe liquidity crisis in the industry. Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and lender Genesis are among the firms said to be affected by the FTX bankruptcy.

Last week, veteran investor Mark Mobius told CNBC that bitcoin could fall to $10,000 next year, a more than 40% drop from current prices. The Mobius Capital Partners co-founder called it the right thing to drop to $20,000 this year.

Nevertheless, Draper is confident that bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is set to rise in the new year.

“I expect a flight to a quality and decentralized cryptocurrency like bitcoin, and some weaker coins becoming relics,” he told CNBC.

The founder of Draper Associates, Draper is one of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors. He made successful bets on tech companies including TeslaSkype and Baidu.

In 2014, Draper bought 29,656 bitcoins seized by US marshals from the Silk Road dark web market for $18.7 million. That year, he predicted that the price of bitcoin would reach $10,000 in three years. Bitcoin approached $20,000 in 2017.

However, some of Draper’s other bets have gone awry. He invested in Theranos, a health startup that falsely claimed it could detect diseases with a few drops of blood. Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for fraud.

“The band is about to fall”

Draper’s reasoning for bitcoin coming out next year is that there is a huge untapped demographic for bitcoin: women.

“My hypothesis is that since women control 80% of retail spending and only 1 in 7 bitcoin wallets are currently held by women, the dam is about to break,” Draper said.

Crypto has long had a gender inequality problem. According to a survey conducted for CNBC and Acorns by Momentive, twice as many men than women invest in digital assets (16% of men vs. 7% of women).

“Retailers will save about 2% on every purchase made with bitcoin against the dollar,” Draper said. “Once retailers realize that 2% can double their profits, bitcoin will be everywhere.”

such as payment intermediaries Visa and MasterCard currently, credit card holders are charged a fee of up to 2% every time they use their card to pay for something. Bitcoin provides a way for people to bypass middlemen.

However, the digital coin is difficult to use for day-to-day spending because its price is highly volatile and the coin is not widely accepted as a currency.

“When people can buy their food, clothing and shelter with bitcoin, they will have no use for centralized bank fiat dollars,” Draper said.

“Fiat governance is centralized and unstable. When a politician decides to spend $10 trillion, your dollar is worth about 82 cents. Then the Fed has to raise rates to cover the spending, and these arbitrary centralized decisions create an inconsistent economy,” he added. Unlike cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies derive their value from the issuing government.

Meanwhile, the next so-called bitcoin halving in 2024, which reduces bitcoin rewards to bitcoin miners, will also boost the cryptocurrency as it chokes supply over time, according to Draper. The total number of bitcoins that will ever be mined is limited to 21 million.

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Is gigabit internet worth it? Only if you meet these 3 criteria

Is gigabit internet worth it?  Only if you meet these 3 criteria

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FTSE 100 Live: Vodafone boss to resign; Standard Chartered warns that the price of bitcoin could fall by 70% in 2023

FTSE 100 Live: Vodafone boss to resign;  Standard Chartered warns that the price of bitcoin could fall by 70% in 2023


Founders could make £32m from Boost transfer to AG Barr

The husband-and-wife founders of Boost energy drinks will need to raise at least £20m after selling the brand to Irn Bru owner AG Barr.

Simon and Alison Gray, who founded the business in 2001 and are the sole shareholders, will continue to run the business after the sale. The Grays are also in line for up to £12m in performance-related payments over the next two years.

Leeds United sponsor Boost, known for its budget sports and energy drinks, recently branched out into canned iced coffee and AG Barr said it sees “significant potential” to add to the brand’s portfolio.

AG Barr CEO Roger White said: “Consumers are looking for functionality benefits, not just liquid freshness. [of a drink]such as energy or protein. We believe this is an area of ​​the market that will continue to grow.”


Persimmon and Savills dropped their shares

Persimmon was left out in the cold today after the City bank focused on rivals Berkeley Group and Bellway instead of looking at the best value stocks in construction.

Jefferies’ move to drop its ‘buy’ recommendation on Persimmon sent shares in the housebuilder down 17p at 1,278.5p at the top of the FTSE 100.

Shares are down about 55% this year, with the US bank saying a recent change in dividend policy has removed Persimmon’s “previous predictability”.

Jefferies, on the other hand, is optimistic that a stabilization of declining mortgage rates and foreclosure trends will boost investor confidence in 2023, as valuations have been crushed this year by fears of rising costs and home prices.

Berkeley, which is behind a number of London Brownfield regeneration schemes, added 10p to 3859p as it posted a target of 4554p in today’s note. Bellway rose to a “buy” position with an estimate of 2,458p, helping the FTSE 250 stock rise 2%, or 42.5p, to 1,986.5p.

The FTSE 100 index was little changed – 14.38 points higher at 7570.61 – but that masked a strong performance in Asia-focused shares after China eased Covid restrictions in more key cities.

An improved demand forecast helped Rio Tinto add 3%, or 157p, to 5,741p, while insurer Prudential rose 5%, or 54.5p, to 1,085p.

The FTSE 250 rose 55.18 points to 19,418.46, with a 4% gain for Fidelity’s China Special Situations. Estate agency chain Savills led the way, falling 7%, or 68p, to 871p after Peel Hunt removed its ‘buy’ rating to reflect lower operating performance.

He still sees Savills as a high-quality business with attractive long-term prospects, but is lowering his brokerage target to 1,000p for now. International Delivery Services also lost 7p to 227.5p as the Royal Mail holiday shutdown continued into a key trading month.


Thames Water made a profit of around £400m in the first half

Thames Water has reported a first-half profit of almost £400m, which comes amid a nearly 40% rise in the number of burst pipes and a ban on long-haul pipes during a prolonged drought.

He said that the summer heat caused the leakage to increase “due to hot weather and dry soil”. The 15-million-customer company faced public criticism for its hosepipe ban between August and September, when almost a quarter of the 2.6 billion liters of tap water it supplies daily in a typical year was lost to leaks.

Its chairman, Ian Marchant, said the summer of 2022 had marked “one of the worst droughts ever, causing an unprecedented reduction in the reservoir” and that the company was “working around the clock to fix leaks and bursts”. increased as a result of drought”.

Profit after tax was £398m, down from a loss of £581m in the same period a year ago.

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EV demand is helping the new car market rebound

Growing demand for electric vehicles helped the UK new car market grow by 23.5% in November, as the Tesla Model Y was the second best-selling car of the month, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). About 25,000 have been sold since January.

The 32% increase in electric car registrations comes despite Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement removing the road tax exemption for new electric cars, which could add £500 to their running costs.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said: “As the sector tries to ensure growth is sustainable for the long term, urgent action is needed – at the very least a fair approach to EV adoption that recognizes these vehicles.”


Vodafone shares rise on CEO speech, FTSE 100 flat

Shares in Vodafone rose 1.5p to 92.65p after the mobile phone giant’s chief executive Nick Reid announced he would step down later this month.

The reopening of more key cities in China also boosted trading in a number of Asia-focused stocks, including miner Rio Tinto, which gained 109p to 5,693p, and insurer Prudential, which rose 23.5p to 1,054p.

The FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,556.02, with housebuilder Persimmon the biggest loser after analysts at Jefferies withdrew their ‘buy’ recommendation and cut their price target to 1,436p. Shares fell 35.5p to 1,260p.

Estate agency business Savills shed 19.10 points to 19,344.19 after the FTSE 250 fell 5%, or 42p, or 897p.

Royal Mail owner International Delivery Services lost 7p to 227.5p after electrical retailer Currys said it had temporarily stopped using the company for parcel deliveries amid the impact of ongoing strike action.


Standard Chartered warns that Bitcoin prices could fall by 70% next year amid declining investor confidence.

According to a note released by the Standard Chartered bank, bitcoin prices could fall by up to 70% next year.

Prices falling to $5,000 in 2023 could be a scenario where markets are “underpriced,” said head of research Eric Robertsen, adding that we could see more cryptocurrency “bankruptcies and a collapse in investor confidence in digital assets.”

That decline in confidence could cause investors to shift away from digital assets and into real assets like gold, Robertsen added, cautioning that the possible scenario does not constitute a market forecast.

The price of Bitcoin has already fallen by 60% since the beginning of the year.


A barrel of Brent oil is $86, while the FTSE 100 remains stable

Sunday’s decision by OPEC+ ministers to keep output at current levels came as little surprise to traders, with Brent crude firming at $86 a barrel today.

The policy, which would cut monthly output by two million barrels per day, follows the EU’s decision on Friday to cut the price of Russian crude oil to $60 starting today.

Other factors weighing on Brent crude prices today include a potential increase in demand from China after Shanghai and Hangzhou followed other cities in easing some Covid restrictions over the weekend.

US markets were broadly closed on Friday after a stronger-than-expected non-farm payrolls figure fueled interest rate hike jitters.

The reading of 263,000 for November was well above forecasts of 200,000, while growth in average hourly earnings beat expectations.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.9% last week, with CMC Markets predicting a rise of three points to 7,559 ahead of this morning’s updates from Europe’s services sector.


National Express names Stamp as next CFO

Transport business National Express has appointed James Stamp as its next permanent finance director.

Stamp has served as interim CFO since September and joined the company in July 2017. He was previously a partner at KPMG, where he led the firm’s transportation practice.

CEO Ignacio Garat said Stamp “brings highly complementary skills to the executive team and will be central to the next phase of National Express’ development”.


Nick Read as CEO at Vodafone

VODAFONE shocked investors today when chief executive Nick Read abruptly left the company.

The immediate appointment of Margherita Della Valle as “interim” CEO suggests that the decision on Read was made quickly, as there is no successor lined up.

Read’s departure package is likely to be extensive. He owns 17.2m Voadfone shares and was paid £4.1m last year and £3.5m in 2021.

He joined Voda as CFO in 2001 and became Group CEO in October 2018.

The stock has struggled recently, down 60% over the past five years. Today they open at 91p, holding a business worth £25bn.

Vodafone said Della Valle will “accelerate the execution of the company’s strategy to improve operational performance and deliver shareholder value.”

Read said: “I agreed with the Board that now is the right time to hand over to a new leader who can build on Vodafone’s strengths and seize the significant opportunities ahead.”

Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, Vodafone’s Chairman of the Board, said: “During his four years as CEO, he has led Vodafone through the pandemic by ensuring our customers stay connected to their families and businesses. He has led the industry in Europe in unlocking value from the connectivity provider and tower infrastructure. did

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Carl Pei’s Nothing is planning to launch a smartphone to take on the iPhone in the US

Carl Pei’s Nothing is planning to launch a smartphone to take on the iPhone in the US

A phone with nothing (1).


UK-based consumer tech company Nothing has its eyes set on the US with takeover ambitions. Apple’s iPhone.

The startup, the hardware venture of Chinese cellphone maker OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, is in early talks with American carriers to launch the new smartphone in the U.S., Pei told CNBC, without naming any carriers.

In July, the Nothing Phone (1) introduced a mid-range device similar in design, price and features to Apple’s entry-level iPhone SE.

The company, backed by iPod creator Tony Fadell and of the alphabet VC arm GV has so far only launched its smartphone in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, not in the US or Canada.

“The reason we don’t launch in the US is because you need a lot of additional technical support to support all the carriers and their unique customizations that they have to do on Android,” Pei explained in an interview with CNBC. . “Before, we felt we weren’t ready.”

“We are now in discussions with some carriers in the US to potentially market the future product there,” said the Chinese-Swedish entrepreneur.

the likes apple and Samsung have already established relationships with major US carriers, making it difficult for smaller firms to compete.

But a third of sales of the recently launched Ear (stick) headphones now come from the United States, Pei added.

“It’s definitely a market where there’s a lot of interest in our products. If we launch our smartphones there, I’m sure we can get significant growth.”

According to figures shared exclusively with CNBC, the company expects its revenue to grow more than tenfold in 2022 — from about $20 million in 2021 to about $250 million this year. It also more than doubled its staff to more than 400. However, the firm is still losing money.

“The goal is to be profitable in 2024,” Pei said. “Right now, we’re not profitable. And this year, it’s even more difficult because of the currency exchange. We’re paying a lot of COGS. [cost of goods sold] In US dollars, but we make money in pounds sterling, euros, Indian rupees – so everything has devalued against the US dollar.”

The US dollar has risen this year; the dollar index — which measures the dollar against a basket of major currencies — is up more than 8.5% year-to-date.

Adopting Apple

Pei wants to challenge Apple’s iPhone in the US, but it’s a steep hill to climb.

“There’s a problem with Android and iOS becoming more and more dominant. They have a very strong coupling with iMessage, AirDrop, especially among Gen Z. That’s a growing concern for me,” he said.

“There may be a time when Apple has 80% of the total market and that doesn’t leave enough room for Android-based manufacturers to keep playing,” he said.

Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Pei said he sympathizes with Elon Musk, who as Twitter’s new CEO has pressured Apple with App Store restrictions and a 30% fee on in-app purchases.

He added that in a few years Nothing will “need to think seriously about this problem and how we’re going to deal with it.”

“This will create a ceiling for our growth,” Pei said.

David vs. Goliath

Pei said his firm faced many challenges in bringing its products to market. One of the major setbacks it faced was when it turned to Foxconn, Apple’s largest iPhone supplier, to manufacture its phones.

According to Pein, Foxconn refused to do business with Nothing, citing past failures in the smartphone industry.

“Every startup manufacturer has worked with Foxconn,” Pei said. “But when it was our turn, they said no, because every startup they worked with failed. And every time a startup failed, Foxconn lost money on it, they couldn’t recoup their costs.”

Foxconn was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Covid restrictions around the world have also created a significant hurdle for the company. In India, where nothing makes its phones, the company couldn’t fly engineers due to travel restrictions, Pei said, so the company had to remotely operate its own factory on the ground.

“We had to really rush to create this,” said Nothing’s smartphone.

In Shenzhen, China, where officials imposed a strict lockdown, Nothing’s engineers had to discuss component designs and mechanics during the 45 minutes it was acceptable for people to go out to buy groceries.

With 600,000 units of Earbuds (1) and 500,000 units of Phone (1), it has sold no more than 1 million units globally to date.

Still, the startup is a small player and faces a bleak economic landscape where people are forced to severely limit their spending.

Smartphone shipments in Europe fell 16% in the third quarter of the year, although they rose slightly from the previous quarter on the back of a strong launch of the iPhone 14.

Samsung is Europe’s largest smartphone maker with a 35% market share, followed by China’s Xiaomi with 23% and Apple with 21%.

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VPN scams are being used in Iran as citizens manage internet censorship

VPN scams are being used in Iran as citizens manage internet censorship

Iranians are protesting to demand justice and to highlight the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality police and later died in a hospital in Tehran under suspicious circumstances.

Mike Kemp | In Images via Getty Images

Iranians are turning to virtual private networks to bypass widespread internet outages as the government tries to hide its crackdown on mass protests.

According to data from internet monitoring companies Cloudflare and NetBlocks, the outages in Iran’s telecommunication networks first started on September 19 and have continued for the past two and a half weeks.

Internet monitoring groups and digital rights advocates say they are seeing “curfew”-style network violations every day, with access restricted from 4pm local time until midnight.

Tehran has blocked access to WhatsApp and Instagram, two of Iran’s last remaining uncensored social media services. Twitter, FacebookYouTube and several other platforms have been banned for years.

As a result, Iranians have flocked to VPNs, services that encrypt and redirect their traffic to a remote server elsewhere in the world, to hide their online activities. This allowed them to regain access to restricted websites and apps.

On September 22, the day after WhatsApp and Instagram were banned, demand for VPN services increased by 2,164% compared to the previous 28 days, according to figures from VPN reviews and research site Top10VPN.

Top10VPN said that demand spiked 3,082% above average on September 26 and has remained high since then, 1,991% above normal.

“Social media plays an important role in protests around the world,” Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN, told CNBC. “This allows protesters to organize and ensure that authorities cannot control narratives and suppress evidence of human rights abuses.”

“The Iranian authorities’ decision to block access to these platforms during the protests has led to an increase in demand for VPNs,” he added.

The demand is much higher than during the 2019 riots, which were fueled by rising fuel prices and caused an almost complete blackout of the internet for 12 days. At that time, peak demand was about 164% higher than normal, according to Migliano.

After the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, nationwide protests against Iran’s strict Islamic dress code began. Amini died under suspicious circumstances after being detained by Iran’s so-called “morality police” for wearing her hijab too revealing. Iranian officials have denied any wrongdoing and claimed Amini died of a heart attack.

According to the non-governmental group Iran Human Rights, at least 154 people, including children, were killed in the protests. The government said 41 people had died. Tehran has tried to prevent the sharing of images of its crackdown and to block communication to organize further demonstrations.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Why are VPNs popular in Iran?

VPNs are a common way for people under strict internet control regimes to access blocked services. In China, for example, they are often used as a solution to restrictions on Western platforms that are blocked by Beijing. Google, Facebook and Twitter. Local platforms like Tencent’s WeChat are extremely limited in terms of what users can say.

In March, Russia saw a similar surge in demand for VPNs after Moscow tightened internet restrictions following its aggression in Ukraine.

Swiss startup Proton said daily signups to its VPN service ballooned by up to 5,000% compared to average levels at the peak of the Iranian protests. Proton is best known as the creator of ProtonMail, a popular privacy-focused email service.

“After the assassination of Mahsa Ami, we saw a huge increase in demand for Proton VPN,” Proton CEO and founder Andy Yen told CNBC. “Even before that, VPN usage was high in Iran because of the fear of censorship and surveillance.”

“Historically, we’ve seen internet hacking during unrest in Iran leading to increased VPN usage.”

According to Top10VPN, during the protests in Iran, the most popular VPN services were Lantern, Mullvad and Psiphon, with ExpressVPN also seeing huge increases. Some VPNs are free to use, while others require a monthly subscription.

It’s not a silver bullet

Using VPNs in heavily restricted countries like Iran has not been without problems.

“It’s pretty easy for regimes to block the IP addresses of VPN servers because they’re easy to find,” said Deryck Mitchelson, chief information security officer for the EMEA region at Check Point Software.

“That’s why you’ll see open VPNs only exist for a short period of time before they’re identified and blocked.”

NetBlocks said in a blog post that periodic internet outages in Iran “continue in the form of a daily curfew”. NetBlocks said the flaw “affects connectivity at the network layer,” meaning it’s not easily resolved by using VPNs.

Mahsa Alimardani, a researcher at the Article 19 free speech campaign, said a contact she contacted in Iran showed that her network could not connect to Google despite installing a VPN.

“This is a new refined deep packet inspection technology that they have developed to make the network extremely insecure,” he said. Such technology allows internet providers and governments to monitor and block data on the network.

Authorities are more aggressive in blocking new VPN connections, he added.

Yen said Proton has “anti-censorship technologies” built into its VPN software to “secure connectivity even under difficult network conditions”.

VPNs aren’t the only method citizens can use to bypass internet censorship. Volunteers set up Snowflake proxy servers, or “proxies,” in their browsers to allow Iranians to access Tor — software that routes traffic through a worldwide “relay” network to obfuscate their activity.

“In addition to VPNs, Iranians are downloading Tor more than ever,” Yen said.

Meanwhile, encrypted messaging app Signal has compiled a guide on how Iranians can use proxies to bypass censorship and access Signal, which was blocked in Iran last year. Proxies serve a similar purpose as Tor, tunneling traffic through a community of computers to provide anonymity to users in countries where online access is restricted.

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Climate activists are using the collapse of FTX to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint

Climate activists are using the collapse of FTX to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul on November 22 signed Assembly Bill 7389-C, has officially placed a two-year moratorium on new fossil-fuel proven cryptocurrency mining in the state. For environmentalists and community groups living near existing mines, it was a hard-won victory after two years of advocacy.

There was no guarantee that Hochul would sign the bill. The General Assembly passed it in June, just weeks before Hochul’s primary campaign, funded in part by cryptocurrency interests, would carry him to victory. Signing the bill could mean alienating some voters who believe in the power of Bitcoin. It also could have troubled the PAC, which reportedly spent $1 million to boost Antonio Delgado, a PAC associate funded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the once-respected founder of exploding cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Hochul won the general election. FTX collapsed after it was discovered that Bankman-Fried’s trading firm was relying heavily on a coin it had invented for users to use on the exchange. As traders rushed to exit FTX, the company suffered a liquidity crunch, then filed for bankruptcy in the public sphere, sending shockwaves through the industry and driving down the value of many cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, politicians across the country began to distance themselves from Bankman-Fried, pledging to use her campaign donations for philanthropic causes.

Amid a large-scale public reckoning over the security of cryptocurrencies, Hochul has proudly passed legislation that he once kept mum on and that was once vehemently opposed by industry groups like the Blockchain Association.

“The effort that goes into getting this thing [signed into law] it was just Herculean,” said Yvonne Taylor, founder of Seneca Lake Guardian, an environmental advocacy group in New York’s Finger Lakes region that was instrumental in getting the moratorium passed. “We are extremely excited that this could lead to other states following our models, as New York has done in the past.”

The move comes as a perfect storm of circumstances for environmental groups to make their case against proven-work mining. The cryptocurrency industry was responsible for producing 27.4 million tons of excess carbon dioxide between mid-2021 and 2022—three times the emissions of the nation’s largest coal plant, according to a white paper published in September 2022 by the Sierra Club and Earthjustice. there are many. With proof-of-work, this energy waste is not a bug, but a feature: The algorithm requires miners to attack a formula that approximates the number of miners simultaneously, each increasing their chances by putting multiple highly specialized supercomputers to the task. at the same time as possible, thus earning the right to strike a coin. This task could once be done from a laptop, but today, to compete, most reside in large facilities that run 24/7, often networked, sometimes directly connected to power plants.

Regulators are increasingly wary of the energy waste this process requires. In September, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report urging regulators to intervene, warning that the sector’s energy use, which “ranges beyond the combined annual electricity use of many individual countries,” could interfere with the nation’s climate. goals.

But a number of ideals were once used to justify Bitcoin’s enormous energy use—the power of a decentralized currency that is strengthened by its users and impervious to the actions of a few lone bad actors. After the FTX accident, these values ​​were questioned.

“This is certainly a wake-up call for the industry” Rolf Skar, special projects manager at Greenpeace, said he helped oversee the group’s involvement in the Change the Code, Not the Climate campaign, an initiative calling for Bitcoin to abandon its proof-of-work model. “I think we’re seeing both politicians and people in industry agree that more regulation is needed.

“A lot of it now is about consumer protection,” he said. “What can get lost in the mix is ​​the impact on communities and the climate.”

Eric Weltman, chief organizer of Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, hopes to make sure the message is not missed at this opportune moment. Instead, he hopes to see local coalitions use the political mood to rally support for similar legislation in other states. “The environmental movement is not necessarily anti-cryptocurrency,” he said. “But we will take advantage of the circumstances created by the accident.”

Organizers in New York state are already working to replicate New York’s bill elsewhere. Taylor has partnered with a coalition of activists in other states around similar battles — especially states with lax regulations like Texas and Kentucky.

“Now we can lead by example,” he said. “We have several legislators who are looking at this seriously.”

It just got a little easier to lead by example. Taylor said he often has to counter the controversy surrounding Bitcoin’s job offers with arguments about how the cryptocurrency’s environmental damage will destroy existing jobs in larger industries like wine and agriculture. Notably, he said a controversial fossil-fueled Bitcoin operation in his community using the once-defunct Greenidge Power Station was once promised to bring jobs to the area. These have not been revealed. “It’s only natural that our lawmakers now side with the real business that supports us against this sketchy industry that seems to be doing more harm than good to people,” he said.

Gerald Epstein, professor and co-director of the Institute for Research in Political Economy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said the FTX crash gives environmentalists “a very good argument.” “In both states and localities, where there is readiness and momentum for policies to combat climate change, [the fallout of the FTX crash] giving them a really good opening to regulate cryptocurrency.

Epstein, a political economist whose honest opinions examine Bitcoin’s environmental impact, questions whether the work is worth it at all, whether the result is a highly volatile currency that, according to a recent working paper, is “power-hungry by nature.”

“I’m used to all kinds of financial hocus pocus leading to financial instability,” Epstein told The Daily Beast. “However, very few of them have a serious negative impact on society, the real economy, and the environment.”

Advocates like Taylor have long held similar sentiments, but it has taken time to gather political support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has warned of both environmental and economic risks: In July, she called on regulators to require cryptocurrency transactions to disclose their emissions, and recently called on financial services corporations. Given the risk Bitcoin’s volatility poses to everyday investors who don’t have the savvy to understand what they’re getting into, the loyalty of taking it out of its suite of retirement savings offerings. The collapse of FTX, he he tweeted On Nov. 9, it “shows how much smoke and mirrors the industry looks like.”

Politicians today echo a similar sentiment—even if they still struggle to figure out how to act. Congress plans to hold a series of hearings to discuss appropriate responses following the cryptocurrency crash. At a Dec. 1 meeting, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam urged Congress to give his agency more regulatory authority. (However, it should be noted that a bipartisan bill that would do this was sponsored by Sam Bankman-Fried himself, and his opinion was included. He later told Vox that it was “just PR.” “Wrong regulators,” he said. Everything else is bad.”)

“The FTX collapse is a Lehman Brothers moment,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, a Greenpeace partner. Change the code campaign. “Prior to the collapse of FTX, I think it was difficult for Congress to regulate and regulate cryptocurrencies.

“Governor Hochul has taken an important first step and I think state and regional energy regulators are taking a serious look at these nonessential wasteful uses of electricity,” he said. “The real debate right now is not whether cryptocurrency will be regulated, but by which agency.”

Groups arguing for stricter environmental regulations must now decide where to focus their attention: the federal government, which could adopt broader regulations, or a number of states and municipalities that are closely affected by cryptocurrency. While some environmentalists are hedging their bets one way or the other, others like Faber argue that it’s not just any scenario; it’s both / both. .

But Mandy DeRoche, deputy managing attorney for the Clean Energy program at environmental law firm Earthjustice, noted that all of these approaches are covered by a more complex political map at the local level. As New York enacts tougher regulations on the industry, signaling miners and financial services companies could potentially look to relocate, lawmakers in states such as Georgia, North Carolina and Illinois have introduced laws to welcome miners with open arms.

DeRoche said it is difficult to find a state with both the political will to ban the most energy-intensive types of cryptocurrency and a sector large enough for those efforts to make a meaningful difference.

New York’s cryptocurrency moratorium was passed in service of its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), an emissions reduction law passed in 2019 designed to make the state’s grid 70 percent renewable by 2030. Other states with strong emissions reduction commitments, such as California and New York, lack industry (it was once estimated that the state was responsible for 20 percent of all bitcoins mined). DeRoche said that nations with strong cryptocurrency will want to keep it that way. “We have to think really creatively about what we’re going to do in places like this,” he says, pointing to Kentucky, which offers both low energy rates and tax breaks for cryptocurrencies.

DeRoche noted that New York’s bill was also quite narrow, covering only “behind-the-meter” mining operations that operate by hooking up to a power plant and not connecting to the grid. Cracking down on proof-of-work centers that draw fossil fuel power from the grid could be the next step in jurisdictions that lack widespread behind-the-meter mining, he suggested. States can also issue their own environmental impact studies on cryptocurrency mining, such as New York’s bill requiring completion within a two-year moratorium.

Sklar agrees that the strength in New York’s bill is buying into his campaign to overhaul the most energy-intensive algorithm. After the collapse of FTX, he didn’t sell that cryptocurrency was going anywhere. Neither does Epstein: “These are zombies. They are coming back.”

But Sklar hopes the moratorium will give regulators an opportunity to get their ducks in a row and give the industry a tough look at itself.

“We’re not trying to say that all of this has to go or collapse. I’m not so sure it will happen by itself,” he said. “My hope is that the more it becomes legal, the more it should adopt the standards of other businesses and industries.”

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BP is doubling down on hydrogen as the fuel of the future

BP is doubling down on hydrogen as the fuel of the future

  • BP sees rapid growth in low-carbon hydrogen
  • Fuel to benefit from government subsidies
  • CEO Looney to announce hydrogen production targets
  • BP is planning a major hydrogen project at its Whiting, Indiana refinery

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney is betting on hydrogen to power future low-carbon businesses as governments in major economies raise money to develop the fuel to decarbonise.

Low-carbon hydrogen already has a large fan base and is predicted to play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry and some forms of transportation.

But it is expensive to produce and often needs government support to compete with fossil fuels.

The United States, for example, is offering huge incentives for manufacturing under President Joe Biden’s $430 billion Inflation Relief Act (IRA).

BP ( BP.L ) was quick to react and its Whiting, Indiana refinery, Tomeka McLeod, BP’s newly appointed head of hydrogen in the United States, told Reuters.

When Looney took office nearly three years ago, he pledged to reshape BP and cut carbon emissions by cutting oil and gas production and increasing renewables. He is set to update investors on where things stand on February 7.

BP sources told Reuters that hydrogen will play a leading role alongside offshore wind.

BP overhauled its structure to create a dedicated hydrogen division headed by Felipe Arbelaez and staffed with 150 employees. It has also made several investments in major hydrogen projects, including in Australia, Europe and Britain.

It is also exploring the potential to develop green hydrogen in Oman, the company told Reuters, and is also exploring projects in Mauritania.

BP’s spending on low-carbon hydrogen remains modest, but is expected to reach hundreds of millions of dollars by the end of the decade as projects proceed, company sources said.

BP has spent about a quarter of its $15.5 billion budget in 2022 on low-carbon businesses, including a $4.1 billion acquisition of U.S. biogas producer Archaea, according to Reuters estimates.

Looney and Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP’s head of renewables, will announce a clean hydrogen production target for the first time in February, aiming for 10% of hydrogen in “core markets” by 2030, company sources said.

“Hydrogen is going to be a big focus and it’s moving faster than we thought,” Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss told Reuters last month.

Most hydrogen is currently used in the oil refining and fertilizer industries and is usually made by heating natural gas, a highly polluting process known as gray hydrogen.

But if polluting emissions are captured, gray hydrogen becomes “blue hydrogen.” There is also “green hydrogen” produced by splitting water using renewable energy-powered electrolysis.

To expand its blue hydrogen business, BP is counting on its oil and gas expertise to build carbon capture and storage facilities, where carbon is pumped into depleted reservoirs.

It also plans to increase its renewable energy generation capacity to 50 gigawatts by 2030, which will be used in part to power electrolyzers.

BP declined to comment on whether it would set a hydrogen production target or on spending plans for hydrogen.


BP’s project at the Whiting refinery will initially replace about 200,000 tons of gray hydrogen used annually by the refinery with blue hydrogen, McLeod said. The project could start operations in 2026-2027 and expand to green hydrogen.

“Our focus is similar in the U.S. and around the world, how we can decarbonize and reimagine our assets,” he said.

The low-carbon fuel will be used in a second phase by other heavy industries in the region to reduce the roughly 36 million tons of CO2 emitted there each year.

The project will highlight the challenge of hydrogen competing with lower-cost fossil fuels based on subsidies.

The IRA offers a $3-per-kilogram tax credit for clean hydrogen, which analysts say would bring green hydrogen equal to or even lower than the cost of gray and blue hydrogen.

“With the hydrogen production tax credits that are now available, it … has allowed green hydrogen to be more competitive,” McLeod said.

McLeod said the subsidies would initially allow green and blue hydrogen to compete with gray hydrogen and allow consumers to switch to cleaner fuels.

“The increase in demand for new hydrogen applications will be a function of cost competitiveness,” said Andy Brogan, Global Head of Oil & Gas at EY.

“There are material components of energy demand where hydrogen is the only obvious technological alternative to carbon-intensive options,” Brogan said. “However, these are often price sensitive, so rapid acceleration will depend on cost.”

BP is already one of the biggest investors in hydrogen projects among the world’s top oil and gas companies, including Shell ( SHEL.L ), TotalEnergies ( TTEF.PA ), Repsol and Italy’s Eni ( ENI.MI ), according to Globaldata. provider.

In June, BP bought a 40.5% stake in a 26-gigawatt renewable energy project in Australia that could produce green hydrogen. It is developing two projects in Britain that aim to produce 1.5 gigawatts of blue and green hydrogen by 2030.

Reuters graphics

Reporting by Ron Bousso; Edited by Simon Webb and Jane Merriman

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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The Internet is more affordable and widespread, but the world’s poorest still lack online access, Access Evolution

The Internet is more affordable and widespread, but the world’s poorest still lack online access, Access Evolution

  • The global median price of mobile broadband services fell from 1.9 percent to 1.5 percent of average gross national income (GNI) per capita.
  • In 2022, only 63 percent of women use the Internet, compared to 69 percent of men.
  • Almost three-quarters of the world’s population aged 10 and over now own a mobile phone.
  • Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are the driving force behind connectivity, and 75 percent of young people worldwide now have access to the Internet.

Geneva – In 2022, the price of internet services has dropped all over the world Facts and Figures, Annual world overview of the state of digital communication from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The Internet has become more affordable in all regions of the world and among all income groups, according to an assessment by ITU, the United Nations agency specializing in information and communication technologies (ICT).

However, cost remains a major barrier to Internet access, particularly in low-income economies. The current global economic climate—high inflation, rising interest rates, and deep uncertainty—may add to the challenge of expanding Internet access in low-income areas.

“The Internet in general may be more affordable, but for billions of people around the world, it remains as unaffordable as ever,” said Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the ITU. because the global recession is deepening the economic prospects of many countries.

of ITU Facts and figures series contains estimates for key connectivity indicators for the world, regions and selected country groups. The assessment provides context for the evolving digital divide, while also reviewing progress towards closing it.

Earlier this year, the ITU reported that 2.7 billion people, or about a third of the world’s population, are not connected to the Internet. The figure was an improvement from 2021, but revealed a level from the strong connectivity gains achieved during the onset and height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director of the ITU Telecommunications Development Bureau and ITU Secretary-General-elect, said: “Internet access is increasing, but not as quickly and evenly as it should be around the world.” digital darkness. Our global challenge is to allocate resources to enable everyone to meaningfully benefit from connectivity.”

Prices are low, but too high for many

according to Facts and Figures 2022, the global median price of mobile broadband services fell from 1.9 percent to 1.5 percent of average gross national income (GNI) per capita. Mobile broadband allows users to access the internet from their smartphone. The affordability of this service has become a benchmark for global Internet use, as it provides relatively inexpensive access compared to fixed Internet service.

However, the cost of fixed or mobile broadband services remains prohibitive for the average consumer in most low-income economies.

In these countries, a basic mobile data plan costs an average of 9 percent of average income. This represents a slight decrease from 2021, but remains many times more expensive than the cost of similar services in high-income countries. The result is that those who have the least access to broadband service and those who can benefit the most from it pay the highest in relative terms.

Earlier this year, the ITU and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Technology Envoy announced ambitious goals for universal and meaningful digital connectivity by 2030. Affordability is defined as the availability of broadband access at a cost of less than 2 per user. percentage of monthly GDP per capita is prioritized to ensure that everyone can fully benefit from connectivity.

Among economies for which data are available for both 2021 and 2022, more countries achieved the 2 percent accessibility target in 2022 across a range of services.

The gender divide within the digital divide

Although women make up nearly half of the world’s population, 259 million fewer women than men have access to the Internet. In 2022, only 63 percent of women use the Internet, compared to 69 percent of men Facts and Figures 2022. The gender gap is even more worrisome in low-income countries, where 21 percent of women are online compared to 32 percent of men, which has not improved since 2019.

Overall, the world has moved closer to gender parity in the past three years. Gender parity is defined when the percentage of female Internet users divided by the percentage of males is between 0.98 and 1.02. Gender parity increased from 0.90 in 2019 to 0.92 in 2022.

In general, the regions with the highest internet usage also have the highest gender parity. In contrast, many of the world’s least developed and vulnerable economies have low internet usage, low gender equality scores and limited progress towards gender parity over the past three years.

Mobile phone ownership continues to grow

ITU for the first time Facts and figures It provides global and regional estimates of mobile phone ownership, revealing that almost three-quarters of the world’s population aged 10 and over will own a mobile phone in 2022. Mobile phones are the most common gateway to Internet access, with a percentage of ownership serving as a mobile phone. Internet availability and access indicator.

However, mobile phone ownership remains higher than internet usage, particularly in low-income countries. Dependence on mobile cellular service may be another indicator of the impact of costs, as overall prices for mobile-only services are cheaper than broadband.

Young internet users are crossing the digital threshold

according to Facts and Figures 2022Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are the driving force of communication, now 75 percent of young people worldwide can use the Internet, in 2021 this figure will be 72 percent. Among the rest of the population, use is estimated at 65 percent. .

Universality, defined as more than 95 percent of Internet use, has already been achieved among 15-24 year olds from high- and middle-income countries. Low-income economies have the biggest generation gap, with 39 percent of young people using the Internet compared to just 23 percent of the rest of the population.

Among other findings Facts and Figures 2022, mobile broadband subscriptions continue to grow rapidly and mobile is approaching mobile subscription prices, which are on an upward trend. Fixed broadband subscriptions also continue to grow, but low digital skills remain a barrier preventing individuals from fully realizing the benefits of being online, as well as limiting their ability to avoid its dangers.

Detailed global, regional and country-level analysis for the five price plans tracked by the ITU, as well as the full 2022 country-level data set for ICT prices, will be released in 2023.

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Save thousands in taxes by harvesting NFT losses

Save thousands in taxes by harvesting NFT losses

There is one silver lining to the collapse of the NFT market – millions of dollars in potential tax savings.

To help NFT investors claim their tax savings before the end of the year, CoinLedger recently launched an NFT tax loss harvesting tool. Let’s explain how the tool works and how it can help people save money on their tax bill.

What is tax loss harvesting?

Tax loss harvesting is a tax reduction strategy used by savvy investors to reduce their overall tax liability for the year. Investors can do this by selling assets that have declined in value since they originally acquired them product generate capital losses and tax write-offs.

Imagine the following scenario:

Jane Doe sells some of her bitcoins in February 2022, making a capital gain of $50,000.

That $50,000 is now Jane’s taxable income. If Jane is a high earner, she must pay Uncle Sam a tax of 37%, or $18,500. Ah!

Let’s say that during the same year, Jane also spent $30,000 on NFTs, which is now close to $0.

If Jane collects losses from her NFTs, she can realize a $30,000 capital loss and reduce her net capital gain to $20,000.

Now Jane’s tax bill will be only $7,400 for the year (37% of $20,000). Just by packing her NFT losses, Jane saves $11,100 on her taxes!

Tax Loss Accumulation Problem with NFTs

Unfortunately, NFT investors may find it difficult to collect losses when their NFTs have no liquidity in the open markets.

In these situations, investors can be sitting on thousands of dollars in paper losses without a simple way to legally liquidate their NFTs and realize capital losses.

Enter CoinLedger’s NFT Loss Harvestooor

CoinLedger recently introduced a new product called The NFT Loss Harvestooor to provide a solution for NFT investors who want to harvest losses and save on their taxes.

NFT Loss Harvestooor is a smart contract deployed on the Ethereum network that will buy NFT for 0.00000001 ETH even if the NFT has no liquidity!

This allows any investor to realize capital losses and reduce their taxes.

One NFT investor has already reduced his tax bill by $7,400 using NFT Loss Harvestooor!

How does CoinLedger’s NFT loss work?

Any investor can simply connect their wallet to NFT Loss Harvestooor to start harvesting losses. Once the wallet is connected, they can choose which NFT they want to sell or dispose of.

Once selected, simply click sell and sign the transaction. Any realized losses can be used to reduce tax burdens!

Is NFT Loss Harvestooor Safe to Use?

CoinLedger has been operating since 2018 and has served hundreds of thousands of individual crypto investors since its inception.

Developed by the CoinLedger team, the NFT Loss Harvestooor smart contract has gone through a rigorous audit process to ensure it meets industry standards.

In addition, all the code that powers the contract is fully open and available for public inspection.

Get started today – Use it for free

NFT Loss Harvestooor is completely free to use. CoinLedger does not charge any transaction fees for interacting with the off-gas contract needed to cover blockchain processing fees.

Start by visiting NFT Loss Harvestooor to see how much users can save on taxes this year!

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