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Renewable Energy Now Powers Nearly 40% of Proof of Work Cryptocurrency Mining: Report

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Full-time equivalent employee growth in the blockchain and digital asset sector has slowed down following the 2017 cryptocurrency bull market, according to the findings of the 3rd Global Cryptoasset Benchmark Study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (released in September 2020 by the University of Cambridge). Respondents across different international market segments reported year-on-year growth of 21% in 2019, which is down significantly from 57% in 2018.

The survey findings also reveal that around 39% of proof-of-work or PoW mining is now powered by renewable energy, mainly hydroelectric energy. It’s important to understand the energy source of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) mining because electricity costs are a major expense for transaction validators or those who contribute computing power (hashpower) to the BTC network. Crypto miners continue to compete when it comes to accessing the cheapest or most affordable energy source.

As stated in the report covering the Cryptoasset Benchmark Study:

“Aligned with 2018 findings, new survey data shows that off-chain transactions, both in terms of volumes and numbers, continue to be dominated by fiat-cryptoasset trades (and vice-versa), meaning that users primarily interact with service providers, such as exchanges, to enter and leave the cryptoasset ecosystem.”

It added:

“Stablecoins are becoming increasingly available. The share of service providers supporting Tether grew from 4% to 32% between 2018 and 2020, compared to 11% to 55% support growth for non-Tether stablecoins. This is aligned with the rising value of transactions denominated in stablecoins.”

Service providers based in Europe and North America indicate that business and institutional customers make up around 30% of their client base. This figure happens to be a lot lower for Asia Pacific or APAC and Latin American companies at only 16% and 10% respectively, the survey’s finding revealed.

The report’s summary further noted:

“The share of cryptoasset-only companies that did not conduct any KYC checks at all dropped from 48% to 13% between 2018 and 2020, most likely resulting from the progressive harmonization of KYC/AML standards across jurisdictions, such as initiated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).” 

It also mentioned that the inclusion of companies exclusively supporting digital assets featured in FATF’s updated standards and recommendations is “believed to have spurred greater compliance among this group of firms.” But this must not be interpreted as these businesses becoming fully KYC compliant as certain Know Your Customer checks or requirements are only applied to a smaller number of consumers, the report stated.

The report’s authors also commented on the current state of the emerging decentralized finance sector:

“The DeFi space is still largely experimental and, in general, most DeFi applications cannot be considered meaningfully decentralized by any measure. The majority of these applications are still dependent on kill switches, centralized oracles, or some other centralized support or maintenance. A stated core objective for many developer teams is to focus on increasing decentralization over time.” 

The report added:

“The emergence of governance tokens and new incentive mechanisms are examples of experimental approaches designed to make DeFi protocols less dependent on centralized control. Depending on the region, DeFi is in fact the second or third most cited future development that may be a game changer for service providers.” 

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/09/167202-renewable-energy-now-powers-nearly-40-of-proof-of-work-cryptocurrency-mining-report/

Crowdfunding

P2P Lending Platform SeedIn Rebrands to BRDGE, Plans Expansion Into Indonesia

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Singapore-based P2P investment network SeedIn has announced its rebranding to BRDGE.

With the rebranding, BRDGE aims to better reflect the company’s mission to serve Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) not just through financial support but with the long-term aim of providing the public with opportunities to support local businesses.

The announcement comes after BRDGE’s recent MOU signing with V3 Fintech looking to enhance the suite of liquidity solutions available to SMEs, and help to create awareness among SME communities on innovative ways to address liquidity challenges and funding gaps.

SMEs in general are much more sensitive to economic headwinds due to increased competition, fluctuating market demands, technological advances, and capacity constraints surrounding information, innovation and creativity.

However, these enterprises make up the bulk of Singapore’s economic success, contributing to nearly half of the country’s GDP and providing jobs for about 65% of the workforce.

Kevin Wong, CEO of BRDGE, said,

Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong

“Rebranding has allowed us to stay committed to our mission of serving as many SMEs as possible. It has also enabled us to grow Singapore’s fintech ecosystem by providing additional financing solutions to businesses seeking more options in funding, so that they can seize more opportunities for growth. We hope to take digital financing further, and to become not just another crowdfunding platform, but one that is able to exhibit foresight and build trust to help fellow local businesses and entrepreneurs grow.”

Since 2014, BRDGE is said to have helped fund over SGD72 million in capital to Singaporean SMEs.

BRDGE had also collaborated with media and technology marketing agency Unravel Studios for the #KEEPUPTHEGOOD initiative. The partnership was intended to help tide SMEs through this period, by providing resources to help them continue.

SMEs who receive funding will also be provided with complimentary support for one month to fulfill their marketing objectives.

BRDGE has also been actively connecting SMEs to opportunities and initiatives beyond funding, such as organising WeConnect, a networking event for SMEs to develop partnerships and engage one another.

Moving forward, BRDGE has also announced intentions to expand operations into Indonesia and is currently in the process of securing regulatory permission from the relevant authorities.

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Source: https://fintechnews.sg/44705/crowdfunding/p2p-lending-platform-seedin-rebrands-to-brdge-plans-expansion-into-indonesia/

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Financial institutions can support COVID-19 crowdfunding campaigns

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The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the financial outlook for millions of people, and continues to cause significant fiscal distress to millions more, but such challenging times have also wrought a more resilient and resourceful financial system.

With the ingenuity of crowdfunding, considered to be one of the last decade’s greatest “success stories,” and such desperate times calling for bold new ways to finance a wide variety of COVID-19 relief efforts, we are now seeing an excellent opportunity for banks and other financial institutions to partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns, bolstering their efforts and impact.

COVID-19 crowdfunding: A world of possibilities to help others

Before considering how financial institutions can assist with crowdfunding campaigns, we must first look at the diverse array of impressive results from this financing option during the pandemic. As people choose between paying the rent or buying groceries, and countless other despairing circumstances, we must look to some of the more inventive ways businesses, entrepreneurs and people in general are using crowdfunding to provide the COVID-19 relief that cash-strapped consumers with maxed-out or poor credit do not have access to or the government has not provided.

Some great examples of COVID-19 crowdfunding at its best include the following:

The possibilities presented by crowdfunding in this age of the coronavirus are endless, and financial institutions can certainly lend their assistance. Here is how.

1. Acknowledge that crowdfunding is not a trend

Crowdfunding is a substantial and ever-so relevant means of financing all sorts of businesses, people and products. Denying its substantive contribution to the economy, especially in digital finance during this pandemic, is akin to wearing a monocle when you actually need glasses for both of your eyes. Do not be shortsighted on this. Crowdfunding is here to stay. In fact, countless crowdfunding businesses and platforms continue to make major moves within the markets globally. For example, Parpera from Australia, in coordination with the equity-crowdfunding platforms, hopes to rival the likes of GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

2. Be willing to invest in crowdfunded campaigns

This might seem contrary to the original purpose of these campaigns, but the right amount of seed-cash infusions to campaigns that are aligned with your goals as a company is a win-win for both you and the entrepreneurs or causes, especially now in such desperate times of need.

3. Get involved in the community and its crowdfunding efforts

This means that small businesses and medium-sized businesses within your institution’s community could use your help. Consider investing in crowdfunding campaigns similar to the ones mentioned earlier. Better yet, bridge the gaps between financial institutions and crowdfunding platforms and campaigns so that smaller businesses get the opportunities they need to survive through these difficult times.

4. Enable sustainable development goals (SDG)

Last month, the United Nations Development Program released a report proclaiming that digital finance is now allowing people from all over the world to customize and personalize their money-management experiences such that their financial needs have the potential to be more readily and sufficiently met. Financial institutions willing to work as a partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns will further these goals and set society up for a more robust rebound from any possible detrimental effects of the COVID-19 recession.

5. Lend your regulatory expertise to this relatively new industry

Other countries are already beginning to figure out better ways to regulate the crowdfunding financing industry, such as the recent updates to the European Union’s handling of crowdfunding regulations, set to take effect this fall. Well-established financial institutions can lend their support in defining the policies and standard operating procedures for crowdfunding even during such a chaotic time as the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will ensure fair and equitable financing for all, at least, in theory.

While originally born out of either philanthropy or early-adopting innovation, depending on the situation, person or product, crowdfunding has become an increasingly reliable means of providing COVID-19 economic relief when other organizations, including the government and some banks, cannot provide sufficient assistance. Financial institutions must lend their vast expertise, knowledge and resources to these worthy causes; after all, we are all in this together.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/financial-institutions-can-support-covid-19-crowdfunding-campaigns/

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Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

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You rely on Crowdability to bring you the best start-up deals. Now rely on us to bring you the most fascinating stories and trends from the world of technology. You won’t find this stuff in the mainstream press. Look for it every Friday morning.

The Scariest Movie Ever — According to Science

The Exorcist? Poltergeist? Friday the 13th? What’s the scariest movie of all time? Well, just in time for Halloween, science finally has an answer. The scariest movie ever is… »

Teenager Discovers Potential Cure for Covid-19

Top scientists are racing to develop a cure for the coronavirus. But meanwhile, a 14-year-old high school student might have beaten them to it. Learn more »

Finally, Help for Earworms

Ever had a song stuck in your head, but you can’t remember the name of it, or any of the words? Help has arrived »

Now You Can Surf the Web on the Moon

The population of the Moon is pretty small. In fact, it’s zero. So why is it getting wireless internet service? All the facts right here »

Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

Need help focusing at work? Got a big project that requires your attention? This could help »

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/taking-lsd-could-help-your-career

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