Last week brought a number of interesting and promising news stories. From the increase in the difficulty of bitcoin mining to the announcement by a number of country banks that they will be creating their own stablecoins pegged to the local currency. Let's find out all the details.
Bitcoin mining difficulty
On 16th October there was another increase in the difficulty of mining the main cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Among other regular difficulty adjustments, this increase stands out for its significant growth. The increase was 10.26% and is the highest since October 2022.
Based on the growth results, the average hash rate reached 269 EH/s. The growth itself is mainly due to an increase in the price of bitcoin. As the price fell for a long time in 2022, many miners started to disconnect from the network and switch to other cryptocurrencies. Now that the price has risen, demand has also risen, making it more profitable to mine Bitcoin again.
A miner mined bitcoin by calculating a new block with only a 0.000000036% chance
Cryptocurrency mining is an integral part of the PoW (Proof-of-Work) algorithm. Another integral part is the adjustable difficulty of mining a single block. The more miners try to get a new block, the harder the process becomes, reducing the chance of that block being mined. On the plus side, the higher the mining difficulty, the more secure the blockchain becomes. On the downside, a lone miner with less-than-perfect equipment may never mine a new block in a lifetime.
The current bitcoin mining complexity is 37,590,453,655,497, which means that the total processing power of the miners is around 270 EH per second.
With this in mind, the news that a single miner was able to mine a block using a 10 TH processing power seems like a miracle. At the time the block was mined, that miner's processing power was equivalent to 0.000000036% of all miners on the blockchain. Such a block mining event could only be repeated in 500 years!
National Geographic launches its own NFT collection
One of the world's most popular nature channels has decided to celebrate its 135th anniversary with the launch of an NFT collection entitled 'GM: DAYBREAK AROUND THE WORLD'.
To create the collection, a team of 16 professional photographers travelled around the world to capture sunrises in different parts of the world. The images have been transformed into NFTs and are now available for purchase. Remarkably, each of the 16 works was printed in 118 copies, so if you add them all up you get 1888. This is the year National Geographic magazine was founded.
Number of NFTs sold in 2022 equals 101 million units
Keeping with the NFT theme, analysts at DappRadar have released NFT sales statistics for 2022. According to their data, NFT sales grew by 67% in 2022 compared to 2021. The sales were distributed among a number of systems:
- Ethereum - 21%
- Wax - 14.5%
- Polygon - 13.3%
- Solana - 12.9%
It should be noted that in 2022, the entire cryptocurrency market, as well as NFTs, experienced some difficulties due to the crypto winter. The prices of many NFTs fell, as did the interest in them. Despite all this, the final growth rate was 67%, which means that many new users and creators entered the industry, excited by the technology.
Alchemy Pay added to Visa's list of official service providers
From NFT to collaboration between traditional finance and cryptocurrency companies Visa has repeatedly stated its intention to enter the cryptocurrency market, so the emergence of such collaborations is not surprising. However, its collaboration with Alchemy Pay comes unexpectedly. It is the company that will now be responsible for cryptocurrency transactions using fiat money within Visa.
Visa currently has around 4 billion users. Alchemy Pay's integration with such a giant could not help but affect the company's business. According to TokenInsight, the price of the Alchemy Pay token ($ACH) rose sharply to around $0.013120, or 41.39% more than its initial value.
A growing number of banks announced plans to issue their own cryptocurrencies
An increasing number of banks are starting to announce plans to create their own cryptocurrencies, which would be linked to the national currency. This is due to the increased security of the blockchain, as well as the increased convenience and lower cost of such transfers compared to current banking systems.
This time, such plans have been announced by banks in Spain and Australia.
In the first case, the Bank of Spain, in collaboration with fintech company Monei, will test the ERUM stablecoin, which is pegged to the euro. The trial will run for a period of 6-12 months. Reportedly, only a select group of individuals and companies that meet the requirements will be allowed to participate in the test.
In the second case, one of Australia's largest banks has announced plans to launch an AUDN stablecoin pegged to the Australian dollar. The cryptocurrency is expected to be launched in mid-2023 and will be based on Ethereum. The coin will be used for payments to foreigners as well as for the development of the financial industry in Australia itself.
In both cases, bank representatives have emphasised the importance of developing their own cryptocurrencies against the background that they are becoming the future of finance. It is noted that blockchain will play a key role in the development of existing financial systems by enabling instant, transparent, and seamless financial transactions around the world.
Former head of FTX SBF (Sam Bankman-Fried) has $700 million in assets seized
The SBF case continues to move forward as the authorities search for assets that could be used to compensate exchange users for their losses.
This time the court was able to locate and seize Silvergate and Moonstone bank accounts worth $6 million and $50 million respectively. Robinhood shares worth $460 million were also seized. SBF itself denies any misuse of user funds. However, the US Attorney's Office is confident that Sam Bankman-Fried borrowed the funds from FTX accounts.
The beginning of the rise of the cryptocurrency market has once again attracted new users to the industry, as evidenced by the increased activity of miners. In addition, NFTs are becoming increasingly popular and various companies are starting to actively use them for marketing and promotions, as National Geographic did for its 135th anniversary.
An equally important trend is the creation of cryptocurrencies by national banks. While many are still reluctant to move towards cryptocurrencies, there are some who are confident in their potential and also recognise them as "the currency of the future". As cryptocurrencies become more ubiquitous, the question of their regulation and potential for everyday use will be addressed as soon as possible.
A step in this direction could be seen in the collaboration between Visa and Alchemy Pay. Even if it is only a bridge between cryptocurrencies and fiat, in the future there could be full support for fast conversions and payments for goods and services. At that point, businesses may well start to accept cryptocurrencies on a par with traditional finance.
At this point the news ends. You will be able to read more about their progress, as well as new and interesting cases, in the next PointPay Crypto Digest.
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