Will Solana NFTrees save the rainforests?

Will Solana NFTrees save the rainforests?

Paraguay’s untouched rainforest can cost as little as $300 for one hectare. Buying it will protect it from being bulldozed, cut down, and used for cattle ranching. With today’s technology, this land can become available to anyone, regardless of where you live. 

GainForest, a decentralised fund that uses artificial intelligence, has partnered up with Paraguay’s Ministery for Environment to protect thousands of hectares of forest within Paraguay’s Gran Chaco Americano. This area is one of the main carbon sinks and most at risk from climate change.

Blockchain saves the planet

Many voices blamed blockchain for its negative environmental effects. However, not all blockchains are created equal. The blockchain and cryptocurrency industries can be a major player in renewable energy, and help drive sustainable, objective change. It has inherent technological advantages that can outperform traditional companies in their efforts to combat climate change.

For instance, GainForest’s goal is to raise cryptocurrency donations in order to buy the forest from landowners, expand national parks, and thus prevent deforestation. GainForest combines blockchain-based smart contract technology with satellite imagery, drone photography, and data science. It has grown steadily since winning the Hack4Climate contest at United Nations COP 23 in 2017.

According to David Dao, GainForest’s co-founder, GainForest is now the first government-backed green cryptocurrency project. He said that the initial results would be presented at UN COP27 Egypt.

How to use crypto for good causes

The alarming rate at which deforestation is occurring around the world is well-known to most people. The annual loss of rainforests absorbs nearly the same amount of carbon as the annual emissions from large industrialized nations like the U.S. and China.

Dao said that the cost of stopping deforestation is still “insanely low”, especially in Paraguay, where land was purchased for as low as $20 per hectare in the 1980s.

According to GainForest’s co-founder, David Dao, a hectare of virgin forest land costs between $300 and $500. The upfront cost for landowners to construct infrastructure is $1,000 per hectare. The goal is to try to reach them before they make the decision to build a cattle ranch. Hopefully, the landowners will understand that this $1,000 investment is not worth it and that Paraguay can do more.

Dao and his associates, who have backgrounds in artificial intelligence, use the Solana blockchain for crypto donations. The Solana blockchain is a proof-of-stake network and it was chosen because of its low-carbon footprint. 

These crypto donations are tied to high-accuracy drone and satellite data that charts areas of forest. The Filecoin Green project allows for decentralized data storage. Donors receive data drops and wildlife camera photos. They can also be connected to native tribes using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which in this case are referred to as Solana NFTrees.

The algorithmic mapping of each forest project’s activities removes any uncertainty that comes with traditional carbon offset. This involves planting trees, but leaves those who give only guessing about the impact of their green investment.

Money can solve the issue of deforestation 

GainForest cannot buy land. However, there can be found some workarounds. For instance, David Dao suggested that GainForest could create a legal contract so the landowner gets paid periodically provided they don’t deforest. He pointed out that there are several studies that estimate that a global deforestation stoppage could be achieved by paying out between $1 to $2 billion annually.

According to GainForest, deforestation could be stopped in two years, if there is enough money. People need financial sustainability opportunities to make forest conservation economically viable. This could reduce the global temperature by up to 0.2 Celsius degrees. It would also allow our society to find the right way to decarbonize the planet. That could be a valuable time for our mother Earth.

Why is Malta the paradise island of iGaming and blockchain?

Why is Malta the paradise island of iGaming and blockchain?

Malta is known to be one of the smallest countries in the world, and for the past years, it has been on everybody’s lips as the blockchain craze started. But Malta is also a hub for iGaming. Why is Malta the paradise island of iGaming and blockchain?

Why are all the iGaming and blockchain companies so drawn to Malta? Let’s talk about the exciting opportunities these companies have on the Mediterranean island.

Malta is THE iGaming and blockchain hub

Unlike any other hubs, Malta stands out by its diversity. Its geographical location ads as a bonus to the welcoming regulations and appealing culture. The overall practicality of business on the islands makes it the most desirable location for a business from the blockchain and iGaming sector.

Malta has approved 3 important laws (the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act) that have set a regulatory framework for the blockchain business. These three laws allow businesses to operate into a regulated environment, having the necessary legal tools.

Malta is the leader in the industry of iGaming and blockchain and remains the top destination for any business wishing to develop to the next level.

The diversity of the iGaming and blockchain business and staff

These 2 industries have a large number of services behind them and Malta is the country enabling all of them to easily come together.

Malta is considered the melting pot of all services needed for the 2 industries. Law firms and SEO agencies specialised in iGambling and blockchain are waiting for new partners in Malta. The unmatched resources offered by the country of Malta is one important factor in why this tiny Mediterranean island took the lead of these successful industries.

The diversity promised by the thriving services needed for the industries of iGaming and blockchain also means a high dose of multiculturalism in the Maltese society.

Malta has become home to professionals from all over the globe. The constant recruitment of multicultural staff is the proven way to success for business looking to step into new markets, which aim to offer a more familiar interface to their international users.

Big name companies relocated to Malta

Malta is the headquarters for many online casinos and blockchain companies. Swedish and British online casinos considered Malta the best location for relocation of their main office.

HashCash Consultants, Binance, and BitBay are some of the big cryptocurrency exchanges have also taken the opportunity to operate in a blockchain and crypto-friendly environment, by moving their operations to Malta.

All these companies only make it a more appealing location for new companies who want to make it big in the European and International markets. The business calendar is a busy one in Malta, as the year is loaded with business community events, and this enables great networking opportunities for those attending them.

Malta is the set location of live casinos cryptocurrency organizations

While Malta first became famous for its location, idyllic landscape and warm climate, it is now more than a movie set. Did you know that Gladiators, World War Z, Captain Philips and The Count of Monte Cristo were filmed in Malta?

But that’s not all the filming being done on this island. The largest online casino has live sets in Malta, where real croupiers deal at a blackjack table or spin the roulette. Dealers from all over the world perform here, on a daily basis.

But Malta is also home to a nonprofit organization that aims to aid cryptocurrency adoption in Malta. Bitmalta is working closely with the Malta Chamber of Commerce in its pursuit to promote the use of cryptocurrency.

The blockchain and iGaming industry is growing every year

iGaming is contributing 12% to Malta’s GDP and the industry is still ascending. The online gambling market is estimated to reach $94.4 billion by 2024.

in 2019, the Transport Minister of Malta signed a partnership with Omnitude, a UK blockchain startup, aiming to improve the public transport service using the distributed ledger technology.

With its relaxed regulation framework and new technological elements, such as virtual reality, AI and blockchain inovation, it’s clear why Malta is flooded with new ideas, investment opportunities and non-stop recruitment.

Malta is where all the industry professionals meet

These powerful industries also organize giant events which involve a huge number of attendees from all over the world.

SiGMA, the most important iGaming event, brought together 12,500 attendees from 80 countries and had over 400 business participating in 2019, in Malta. Each year, the event gathers more attendees than the previous event, setting a new record.

Many crypto and blockchain events happen all over the world, but one of the largest one, is the AIBC Summit (Annual Malta AI & Blockchain Summit), and one of the two biannual conferences happens in Malta.

The Blockchain Summit in Malta is a top priority for all tech companies from all over the world and the 2020 events are expected to connect over 10000 delegates, 400 exibitors and over 1000 investors. The Blockchain Summit is the place to present the newest companies, gain brand awareness and engage in all the networking events happening at that time.

Malta is a paradise island

On top of all that businesses oportunities, Malta is a paradise island. Located in the middle of the Mediteranean Sea, it is blessed with amazing weather all year round, and the nature is beautiful. As for the cultural side, it offers just as much. Malta’s geopgraphical position has always made it a strategic point for the great empires of the world.

Malta has the best of the best: culture, history, landscapes, sea. It is a wonderful destination for business and for leisure.

Amazon and Alibaba to reshaped e-commerce?

Amazon and Alibaba to reshaped e-commerce?

The online era fundamentally changed the way people shop. Companies as Amazon and Alibaba laid out the basis of e-commerce.

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in the early 1990s, and clients reacted well to Amazon’s services. In May 1997, Amazon developed the initial public offering. The issue price was $18 per share at the moment. After 21 years, the stock touched the historical $2,000 mark in August 2018. This is the way Bezos became the wealthiest man on the planet and Amazon turned into a $1 trillion firm. Amazon’s stock has increased more than 1000 times since its beginning. On December 12, AMZN stock returned 14% year-to-date.

Alibaba, often referred to as the Chinese version of Amazon, has not such a different story. Alibaba was first funded by the CEO of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, and it issued 2 different series of stocks. In 2014, Alibaba received a record-setting $21 billion of initial funding after listing ADRs (American depository receipts) on NYSE. In 2019, throughout the trade war between the US and China, Alibaba was confronted with a possible threat of becoming delisted. After some deliberation, Alibaba went forward using a second listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of November 2019 under the ticker 9988. Alibaba inventory rose by 6.5% on the first day of listing in Hong Kong. By November 2019, the Alibaba IPO was the biggest IPO recorded.

In December 2019, Saudi Aramco’s IPO surpassed Alibaba’s IPO record. The state-owned oil firm from Saudi Arabia draw over $25 billion in its IPO.

E-commerce business transformation

Each time a new technological invention springs upward, the companies that set the new technology up the fastest, are the most successful.

Amazon and Alibaba are great examples of businesses embracing the online world. The world wide web has made it feasible to search for products and services while still sitting in your home. Nowadays, emerging technologies such as fintech are catapulting e-commerce to another level.  Everyday consumers are able to instantly purchase their desired goods thanks to fintech. These are only a couple of examples of how e-commerce has adapted to newer variants of this technology. Lots of new start-ups have emerged and are interested in finding methods to add value to the e-commerce industry using modern technology.

With blockchain, enterprises can streamline daily operational tasks. The technology is highly transparent and secure. It could drastically reduce costs.

Europeans countries which use the blockchain technology

Europeans countries which use the blockchain technology

The blockchain technology reaches far beyond the financial institution and some believe it has more potential to help other fields more than ever. Bitcoin brought the world into a new age of transparency and no matter what will happen to cryptocurrencies, the blockchain technology is here to stay. What European countries are using the blockchain technology? From research institutions to personal data-keeping, the potential is huge.

The European Union is actively engaging in programmes striving to further research blockchain and pursuing innovation. The aim of the EU is to accelerate the development of blockchain within its borders. That’s why the European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum was founded, to foster all the discussions and blockchain innovations for the European countries. Funding for blockchain projects can be acquired through the Horizon 2020 program, which supports projects in the European Union. Horizon 2020 is investing €300 million in blockchain projects. 

Austria

The Austrian government announced its support for blockchain forming a new research institute for crypto-economy and securing an €8 million fund.

Denmark

In Denmark, the Liberal Alliance used the blockchain technology to have an election. A local branch in Hvidovre was the first one in the world to use the blockchain technology to perform e-elections.

Estonia

When speaking about blockchain at a national level, Estonia is already an example in most conferences. Estonia started testing the technology more than 10 years ago and it was the first country to use blockchain on a national level.

The Estonian government uses the blockchain technology to operate the national health, judicial and commercial registries and plans to expand it even further, to cybersecurity and personal medicine. The ‘most advanced digital society’ created a program called e-Estonia, which helps all online services. For instance, 98% of Tax files are done online, 98% of the population has a digital ID and 44% of Estonians vote online. To top it all up, 99% of the health data is stored on the blockchain.

Estonia is also proud of its juridical process, having the second fasted court proceedings in Europe. And the Ministery of Justice used the blockchain technology to inform the public about every law draft using the online database called e-Law, since 2003.

Georgia

Georgia is trying to win back the trust of its population and has launched the first-ever blockchain land-registry system. With an average of 3 minute registration time, there are now more than 1.5  million land titles.

Germany

Germany is looking actively into the blockchain technology. That’s why the German government has released a strategy on how to use blockchain opportunities for digital transformation.

A ‘Blockchain Lab’ was established to understand the potential of the distributed ledger technology and to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Ireland

Ireland is also preoccupied with the impact of blockchain and published a discussion paper on digital currencies and the subsequent blockchain technology. The Ministery of Finance also created a working group to understand and be proactive in the regulatory approaches.

The government of Ireland partially funded Blockchain Ireland, which was created to help promote and distribute information all across Ireland. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, together with the Department of Finance organises Blockathon, a hackathon that aims to identify and analyse real-life uses cases for blockchain in the public sector.

Italy

After joining the European Blockchain Association, Italy amended regulations to define the blockchain technology and smart contracts.

Latvia

The Latvian Ministry of Finance published a memorandum, together with the ministries of Lithuania and Estonia, which includes the support of innovations and new technologies regarding regional fintech solution such as DLT.

Lithuania

Lithuania takes the blockchain serious as the Central Bank of Lithuania has launched LBChain, a sandbox for blockchain products. The bank also published an updated position on virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies, explaining how these can be used.

Luxembourg

The Luxembourg government created Infrachain, a non-profit organization, which aims to put in place community-driven governance for blockchain use.

Malta

Malta strives for modernization and efficiency of business processes as well and that why it will adopt Malta Business Registry. The government also launched Blockcerts, a system for verifying credential for education.

The Netherlands

The city of Groningen, in the Netherlands, has a proof of concept to help its citizens with their financial debts. The services included consist of debt assistance, debt prevention and income management. They store all financial records in a private blockchain.

The Netherlands also thought of Pension Infrastructure, a project to administrate pensions. Another city, Zuidhorn, won the Sampp Business Innovation Research competition with their project that supports financially children living in poverty.

Slovenia

Slovenia plans to become Digital Slovenia in 2020, as the Blockchain Slovenia launched a digitization plan which includes an initiative to explore the DLT technology. The Slovenian government also launched Bitcoin City, a commercial complex where paying with cryptocurrency is possible.

Spain

In Spain, the government of Catalonia launched IdentiCAT, a self-sovereign identity project, which can be privately managed by citizens.

In the city of Valls, launched Municipal Data Portal, a project which publishes data sets and resources in the local municipal web portal and on the blockchain.

The port of Valencia, blockchain is used to offer transparency and security to the supply chain.

Sweden

In Sweden, the government is testing transfers of real estate in the land registry (Lantmäteriet) and other multi-party transactions on the blockchain.

The municipality of Zug, Switzerland, tested Zug Digital ID, a government-issued self-sovereign identity on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ukraine

The government of Ukraine announced its plans to move government information to a blockchain platform. The Ukrainian Ministry of Finance piloted trial auctions using blockchain and announced plans to define cryptocurrencies in Ukraine.

United Kingdom

In the UK, a digital asset platform was set up to explore the blockchain potential in the UK real estate industry. The Food Standards Agency completed a trial to track distribution of meat with the use of blockchain. This pilot was the first time blockchain was used as a regulatory tool in the food industry.

The Isla of Man wants to attract more blockchain companies on the island and has launched a sandbox designed to help companies overcome regulatory hurdles.

The Associated British Ports(ABP) is the leading port operator in the United Kingdom and is currently testing the use of blockchain to facilitate trace through its marine terminals.

Andrew Yang for president? Meet Andrew Yang, the 2020 US Bitcoin-friendly presidential candidate

Andrew Yang for president? Meet Andrew Yang, the 2020 US Bitcoin-friendly presidential candidate

Andrew Yang for president? Andrew Yang, a Democrat candidate for the 2020 US presidential elections, brought more attention upon himself after he announced that he would be accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency donations for his presidential campaign.

Who is Andrew Yang?

With cryptocurrency being an increasingly more interesting subject to the world, Andrew Yang took advantage of the momentum of Bitcoin and the topic of blockchain in the US and announce it to be a possible source for his campaign.

While some see this in a not so favourable light, considering to be a strategic move to gain popularity, other Bitcoin enthusiasts took a look at his social media channels, to observe that Yang has been talking about Bitcoin since 2013. So, who is Andrew Yang?

Yang is an entrepreneur. Andrew Yang is the founder of a non-profit organisation, VFA (Venture for America, which has as its primary goal to “Mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.”

It is worth mentioning that all this attention Yang received after announcing he will accept crypto as donations for his presidential campaign came in a rather hostile environment. You see, the regulation for blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies in the US are not what the crypto enthusiasts have hoped for. But have his statements for far made anyone want Andrew Yang for president?

Is Andrew Yang a real Bitcoin supporter?

We all saw the recent tweets and campaign messages Yang posted on his Twitter. They are all basically a variation of “Let’s build the future together”. Some of his advocates applauded him, and added: “Nothing stops crypto, even Presidential candidates are jumping on!”. But, as some followers rushed to ask in the comments, is Yang, a faithful cryptocurrency supporter? And aren’t cryptocurrency donation harder to trace and hence, could be from illicit funds and could come from foreign lands?

Even so, the 44-year-old Asian promises to bring the wind of change in American politics. In his defence, there are tweets from 2013, about the price of Bitcoin:

This is proof he knows and talked about Bitcoin before most of us did, but just because he is talking about cryptocurrency, does it mean that his policies are sensible? The topic of Andrew Yang’s candidacy is controversial, and winning the electoral race against Trump might need a bit more help from the minorities. And usually, minorities are too busy with their day to day struggles to know enough world-changing technologies.

But for now, the only thing clear is that Yang hopes to fund his presidential campaign with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The hype is fading but blockchain has a lot of substance and uses to create a better world

The hype is fading but blockchain has a lot of substance and uses to create a better world

Throughout the last years, endless articles and research papers were published about blockchain and the’dispersed ledger’ technologies which have been keeping the tech audience actively engaged. But as the steam blows off, is there substance left in the theoretical uses of the blockchain technology?

YES.

In an OECD event about the blockchain technology, held in September, delegates discovered that there are more than 200 cases of this technology set up in public services globally. The illustrations supplied by Marcos Bonturi, the OECD’s manager for public governance, added Mongolia’s use of a blockchain to authenticate medicines (as a method to fight off the 40% of fake pharmaceuticals available in the nation),  and Italy’s system which monitors the academic qualifications.

Now that the online has the option to have transparent transactions, and which makes it impossible to change records already created, the blockchain technology has proved valuable in cryptocurrencies, in which they supply an indisputable record of possession.

And software is emerging in public agencies, stated Bonturi: a blockchain is assisting the homeless to access get public services in Texas, while in Ghana the government is working with private partners to construct digital territory registries. A blockchain-based property registry is currently working nicely in Estonia, he added, and states such as Sweden and Chile are expecting to adhere to a similar concept of the Baltic country.

We will see more developments in the near future, and according to a paper from OECD: “Digitisation is viewed as a new source of growth, efficiency and relevance in today’s increasingly digital world.”

By supplying much more transparency and traceability for the contents of trucks and boats coming at national boundaries, blockchain could enhance safety, tax earnings, record-keeping and efficacy, according to the paper.

However, there aren’t any cases of blockchain in performance on the planet’s boundaries: Boris Johnson’s discussion of “technological options” allowing the UK and Irish regulatory regimes to diverge without producing the demand for a physical boundary stays firmly in the area of science fiction.

Generally, however, talks of blockchain’s capabilities are more inclined to realistic projects. According to Barbara Ubaldi, the paper’s lead author and deputy head of reform of the public sector at the OECD in Paris, “We have moved past the hype”.

Blockchain moves past the hype

Barbara Ubaldi stated that the advancement in providing blockchain software in the public sector has come at a slow pace. There’s no solid evidence of development in several locations. Fundamental challenges are the “power construction in the public sector” and also an”urgent need” for closer cooperation with the private industry. Additional important barriers include a lack of high quality data, a demand for the production of shared standards, and inadequate interoperability between public sector IT systems.

According to the OECD paper, risk aversion is another barrier.

Two-thirds of the nations surveyed in an OECD study stated that they prioritise standardised options over programs built around business demands, with many nations preferring to utilize proven technologies instead of exploring untested options.

That risk aversion is evidenced by public bodies’ lack of assurance within the regulatory atmosphere. “Regulators are behind the curve” on establishing rules governing issues like the use of information and the security of citizens’ privacy, states Bonturi, asserting that lots of nations lack the type of regulatory framework needed for blockchain to progress past well-meaning but small pilot strategies. The states that may advance the quickest, Bonturi adds, are those who provide the “path of least resistance” with regard to regulatory hurdles.

How to move ahead

Nonetheless, there are bright spots in certain nations, providing useful courses for civil servants everywhere. The OECD report praises the debut from authorities such as Australia, Estonia, New Zealand and the UK of electronic marketplaces, which facilitate the procurement of innovative digital technology and the commissioning of small providers.

Considering that the 2014 launching of the UK Digital Marketplace, the OECD states it has observed over £4.3bn (US$5.5bn) value of contracts pass, with almost half of that going to small and midsize enterprises. This has been followed in the UK this season from the debut of SPARK, an innovation market that allows public business clients to access the newest technology.

Stronger cooperation with the private sector may also accelerate advancement. Chile, Panama and Latvia are among the nations that have encouraged public-private cooperation on pilot schemes analyzing emerging technologies. And Estonia has supplied a “sandbox” environment for tech businesses to work on solutions and applications.

To realise the entire potential of blockchain, universally-transparent structures and authorities might need to accept that lots of blockchain programs are best directed by sectoral bodies or private businesses. Lots of public business blockchain experiments have followed a centralised, government-led strategy, as shown by a recent analysis from the EU Joint Research Centre, together with officials claiming the majority of the decision-making abilities. But among the tech’s key advantages is its ability to give accurate, confirmed information to everybody involved within the field of action; and if they lack the ability to make decisions utilizing it, a lot of blockchain’s potential wouldn’t be unrealised.

The EU Joint Research Centre report contains an example of a Maltese authorities project, which had started in 2017, and was made to verify academic qualifications. The ‘Blockcerts’ permits the production, issuing, seeing, and confirmation of certificates via blockchain.

It enables easy integration with existing instructional record-keeping systems and offers complete ownership of the documents to users using wallets. Using this system will actually save money, as requirements to inspect certification copies or transcripts are no longer needed. This past year, Italy started using the identical ‘Diplome’ program on a bigger scale to validate academic qualifications.

Blockchain has an identity

The OECD centre’s report points out that the blockchain may be expanded to authenticate different kinds of identity and certification, noting that Malta is investigating its use to check the identity of refugees in public service delivery. The most important barrier to wider adoption, researchers say, is too little consistency between nations’ legislative and regulatory frameworks, which emerges from the growth of internationally-accepted blockchain identification systems.

So blockchain is starting to come across real programs in public service delivery. And these, of course, are those who best match the technology’s attributes: providing international visibility of transactions and agreements between people, blockchain can offer certainty and clarity for those active in a business — government bodies one of them.

Presently, states Ubaldi, blockchain’s biggest potential lies in identification affirmation. A fifth of the planet’s inhabitants, the OECD states, are still with no legal or formally recognised individuality. So the chances are obvious but do not believe the hype.