Blockchain Holds the Future of Hollywood, Outgoing WarnerMedia CEO Says

Jason Kilar, the CEO of Warner Media, believes that the future of Hollywood, a name synonymous with the American film industry, lies in the hands of blockchain technology, according to Reuters.

Kilar plans to leave the media company following its acquisition by Discovery, expected to be finalized on April 11. 

Based on the penetration of unique digital collectables like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Kilar believes blockchain will play an instrumental role in transforming the entertainment business. 

He added:

“I think that’s going to be a potential wave that’s going to be coming to Hollywood, in the same way that the DVD wave came to Hollywood in the 90s. Obviously, that changed the economic fortunes of a lot of these companies.”

Hollywood will open new finance streams and intertwin storytelling with technology by leveraging blockchain.

Under Kilar’s helm, Warner Media was able to usher in the streaming era and other innovations like hybrid films and HBO Max.

With a career spanning from Silicon Valley to Hollywood, Kilar has advocated the integration of new technologies when it comes to opening new opportunities. He noted:

“Looking around a digital corner, blockchain will have a tangible impact on Hollywood and its possible collaborators.”

Therefore, Kilar trusts that blockchain technology will change the face of Hollywood in the post-pandemic era. 

Meanwhile, the global blockchain technology market is anticipated to reach $19.9 billion by 2026 from the current $3.4 billion value, according to a recent report by market research publisher Global Industry Analysts Inc.

The study noted that growth in this market would be propelled by next-generation innovations like blockchain-powered identity management systems in the post-pandemic era.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

19 Crypto Billionaires Rank among Forbes’ Annual World’s Billionaires List, Increased by 58% from Last Year

The number of crypto billionaires increased from twelve in 2020 to nineteen in 2021, according to the Forbes’ Annual World’s Billionaires list. 

In 2021, the 58.3% surge in crypto billionaires was fuelled by Web3 innovations, the exponential growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the attainment of all-time high (ATH) prices by various cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

The top-three spots are dominated by crypto exchange founders, with Changpeng Zhao “CZ” of Binance taking the helm based on a net worth of $65 billion. CZ is followed by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of FTX, and Brian Armstrong, the founder and CEO of Coinbase, with a net worth of $24 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively. 

Based on Forbes findings, CZ owns 70% of Binance as the 19th richest person globally. Binance dominance in the crypto space continues to be felt, given that it facilitated nearly two-thirds of all trading volume made by centralized exchanges. As a result, generating nearly $16 billion in revenue. 

The newcomers on the crypto billionaire list include Nikil Viswanathan and Joseph Lau, the co-founders of Web3 infrastructure company Alchemy, with a $2.4 billion net worth each. 

The others are Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the co-founders of the leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, with a $2.2 billion net worth apiece. 

Some notable names also on the list include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini, Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy, and venture capitalist Tim Draper. 

MicroStrategy, a leading business intelligence firm, has been leading the race in crypto institutional investment. At one time, Saylor opined that MicroStrategy was more inclined towards Bitcoin because it provided the best returns compared to other assets like precious metals, real estate, derivatives, stocks, and government debt.  

Crypto exchange Gemini recently released “The Global State of Crypto Report”. It noted that cryptocurrency reached a tipping point in 2021 because it evolved from a niche investment into a globally established asset class. 

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / /

Bit Digital Signs Partnership with BitMine to Host 7,000 ASIC Miners

Bit Digital, a Bitcoin mining firm headquartered in New York, announced on Tuesday that it has signed a letter of intent with BitMine Immersion Technologies, a digital asset mining firm based in Georgia, that the two cryptocurrency mining firms to develop a hosting relationship that will begin with 7,000 current-generation ASIC miners.

Bit Digital and BitMine stated that they plan to begin shipping ASIC miners in the coming weeks and months, with a capacity to be reached by the end of August.

The two companies expect to ship ASIC miners from Bitmain. Currently, the price of Bitmain’s Antminer ASICs starts at $7,500. Therefore, the purchase agreement between the two firms could be worth between a range of $50 million and $60 million.

Bit Digital and BitMine plan to mainly mine Bitcoin in immersion-cooled containers, which keep the machines cool and allow for better energy efficiency and higher production.

Under the multi-year deal, the two firms have agreed to split revenues generated from mined Bitcoin.

Bryan Bullett, the CEO of Bit Digital, talked about the development and said: “We are happy to begin our relationship with BitMine Immersion Technologies and have known the team for some time. As a company, we have been intrigued by mining using immersion technology, and we are happy we found an ideal hosting scenario allowing us to utilize the benefits offered by immersion cooling of our machines.”

Expanding Mining Capacity

The move comes several months after Bit Digital completely exited its business operations in the China market after the mining ban and therefore shifted its focus to North America.

Bit Digital aims to develop into the largest digital asset mining platform in the global markets. The firm currently owns a fleet of almost 40,000 miners and operates an institutional scale digital asset portfolio across five sites in Canada and the US.

Bit Digital continues to increase the number of Bitcoins mined, reaching 3,335 in Q3 2021 versus 814 in Q3 2020. The firm has hired an experienced leadership team with strong expertise in the digital assets and mining space to bring proven institutional capabilities and access to strategic opportunities in the North American market.

The firm continues to strengthen its strategic commitment to sustainability, with about half of its operations running on carbon-free energy sources. The company maximizes return on equity (ROE) by leveraging strategic partnerships to access physical infrastructure and low-cost energy and focusing investment on mining assets.


Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Blockchain Soccer Startup GOAL Pulls $15m in Seed Funding

Stockholm-based Non-Fungible Token (NFT) based soccer startup GOALS has raised the sum of $15 million as seed funds from venture capital firms and angel investors.


While this is not the very first-time GOALS will be pulling funds from investors, this round is undoubtedly its most groundbreaking as the company plans to boost its outfit with about 30 new game developers. 

According to, a European tech media hub, the funding was led by Northzone with participation from existing investors Cherry Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, Banana Capital, and new investors Not Boring Capital and Cassius participating. Rounding out the lineup, angel investors include Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia, FC Barcelona star Gerard Pique, and Axie Infinity COO Aleksander Larsen.

Laid Down Dynamics for GOALS

GOALS is one of the numerous blockchain gaming protocols that allow users to take ownership of the in-game assets. While not necessarily a new concept, GOALS hopes to hinge on its unique design and the feeling of thrill to complement its players’ capabilities further to monetize their players, skin colours, in-game merchandise, and many more.

The growing blockchain gaming economy, especially with a focus on football, has been projected to be worth well over $190 billion, a substantial chunk GOALS is willing to tap. With the funding and the help of its investors, it finally is able to tap into this growing marketplace.

“We have been in the very fortunate position where investors reached out to us before we were actually fundraising so we were able to pick the ones we felt had the best fit for GOALS,” commented co-founder and CEO Andreas Thorstensson. “After playing most football games on the market and observing the esports scene for a long time, I could see that gamers deserved something new.”

GOALS aims to make its revenue by taking cuts from sales of these in-game assets on the secondary marketplace. Like the newly funded Fractal marketplace for game developers, it aims to carve out a niche for itself in the fast-growing Web3.0 ecosystem.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Starbucks to Introduce NFTs This Year

Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz announced that the American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves is entering the non-fungible token (NFT) market this year. - 2022-04-06T164849.535.jpg

The NFT initiative is part of the need to reshape the experience for customers and employees alike with the company, Schultz said.

The company added that they are working on “digital innovation through NFTs,” among other initiatives, and expects to unveil details in the weeks ahead.

“Sometime before the end of this calendar year, we are going to be in the NFT business,” Schultz said at the company’s Open Forum held Monday.

“If you look at the companies, the brands, the celebrities, the influencers that are trying to create a digital NFT platform and business, I can’t find one of them that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has – from collectables to entire heritage of the company,” he said.

Further details about the company’s plan are yet to be released.

According to a previous report by Blockchain.News, Starbucks said that it intends to boost its customers’ satisfaction by enabling them to trace the entire supply chain of their coffee. 

The company has deployed a blockchain tool powered by Microsoft Corp to propel the tracking of coffee from bean to store, the report added, citing Bloomberg.

Starbucks seeks to have a competitive edge in attracting sustainably-minded young consumers by leveraging blockchain technology. They have developed the habit of favouring small craft shops, which roast their coffee in-house.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

Gryphon Digital Mining Cancels to Go Public via Reverse Merger with Sphere 3D

Gryphon Digital Mining, a privately held company that focuses on Bitcoin mining, announced Monday that it would not be going public through a reverse merger with Sphere 3D, a publicly-traded data management company.

Sphere 3D is dedicated to becoming a leading carbon-neutral Bitcoin mining firm operating at an enterprise scale.

After careful consideration by both management teams and their respective boards of directors, both Gryphon and Sphere 3D came into an agreement to terminate the deal “due to changing market conditions, the passage of time, and the relative financial positions of the companies, among other factors.”

However, the companies said they will continue their partnership through what they formed in the past, commonly known as the ‘Master Services Agreement (MSA).’ Under the MAS arrangement, Gryphon will generate additional operating income through the management of Sphere 3D’s mining fleet, while Sphere 3D to leverage Gryphon’s expertise in Bitcoin mining.

Rob Chang, the CEO at Gryphon Digital Mining, talked about the development and said: “As a pending shareholder and operating partner of Sphere 3D, we look forward to the mutual success of both companies. With a substantial unlevered total hashrate from our self-mining and MSA operations, Gryphon is well-positioned as it already ranks among the leading bitcoin miners in the world.”

In June last year, Gryphon and Sphere 3D announced the merger plan initially scheduled to take place at the end of the third quarter of 2021. However, the firms pushed back the plan to take place in the fourth quarter because of a complicated regulatory approval process. The companies went further and postponed the timeframe to the first quarter of 2022.

Under the arrangement, Sphere 3D Corp could have merged with Gryphon and changed its name to Gryphon Digital Mining, Inc. Sphere would have issued 111 million shares worth about $193.1 million to Gryphon shareholders as merger consideration. Sphere 3D and Gryphon shareholders would have owned 23% and 77% of Gryphon Digital Mining, respectively. Rob Chang, the CEO of Gryphon, who previously served as CFO of Bitcoin miner Riot Blockchain, would have become CEO of the combined company. The board would have comprised seven directors, including two of Sphere 3D’s board members.


Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

IPCC Concerns Energy-Intensive Crypto Mining as Risk of Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an arm of the United Nations responsible for assessing the science related to climate change, released a new report Monday highlighting warnings about future climate risks. 

The IPCC’s latest report is the third version in a series of reports that examine the state of climate change mitigation efforts. In the latest report, IPCC identified cryptocurrency among technologies that may require greater energy demands, recommending a 50% global emissions elimination by 2030 to reduce the environmental effects of climate change.

The report said that the energy requirements of cryptocurrencies are a growing concern and stated that considerable uncertainty exists surrounding the energy use of their underlying blockchain infrastructure. “While it is clear that the energy requirements of global Bitcoin mining have grown significantly since 2017, recent literature indicates a wide range of estimates for 2020 (47 TWh to 125 TWh) due to data gaps and differences in modelling approaches,” the report mentioned.  

The IPCC also included the energy requirements for artificial intelligence  (A.I.) alongside cryptocurrency and blockchain. However, the body mentioned that all technologies have the potential to enable emissions reductions and increase emissions depending on how they are governed. “Large improvements in information storage, processing and communication technologies, including artificial intelligence, will affect emissions. They can enhance energy-efficient control, reduce transaction cost for energy production and distribution, improve demand-side management […] and reduce the need for physical transport,” The IPCC stated.

Cryptocurrencies in the Crosshairs

The IPCC is not the only authorized body to have singled out cryptocurrency as a concern for carbon emissions.

Early this year, U.S. lawmakers began probing Bitcoin mining firms to disclose how much electricity they use for crypto mining, as the impact of cryptocurrency mining on energy is being felt across the world.

In January, eight U.S. senators, led by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), sent letters to six Bitcoin mining firms in the U.S., asking them to disclose how much electricity they use, where it comes from, and how they plan to grow.

The letters were sent amid an oversight hearing on crypto mining’s effect on energy by the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

In November last year, Erik Thedéen, the Vice-chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), called for a bloc-wide ban on “proof of work” (PoW) crypto mining in Europe, stating that the industry’s energy usage was becoming a “national issue” in his native Sweden. “Bitcoin is now a national issue for Sweden because of the amount of renewable energy devoted to mining,” Thedéen said.

The E.U. regulator pointed out that crypto mining threatened targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Last year, data from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index from Digiconomist and the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index showed that the two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, consume around twice as much electricity in one year as the whole of Sweden.



Image source: IPCC


Tagged : / / /

Ethereum Layer-2 Protocol Boba Network Values at $1.5B following $45m Funding

Boba Network, an Ethereum-based Layer-2 protocol Optimistic Rollup scaling solution, has successfully completed its Series A funding round in which it pulled as much as $45 million from investors covering every aspect of the Web3.0 world. 


The Series A funding brings the platform’s valuation to $1.5 billion and the capital is projected to be used in addressing Ethereum’s computational limitations and foster greater functionality for decentralized applications (dApps) through Boba’s Hybrid Compute platform.

“This fundraising is about building a broad-based alliance to build the Boba ecosystem. Having so many amazing investors demonstrate their confidence in our vision and technology reinforces our belief that what we’re building is important and necessary. Hybrid Compute will scale Web3 development, enabling builders to deliver innovative products with greater functionality,” said Alan Chiu, Boba Network Founder.

Participants in the funding round include DeFi Technologies Inc, Hypersphere Infinite Capital, Hack VC, GBV, Sanctor Capital, Shima Capital, Kinetic Capital, Ghaf Capital, LD Capital, Old Fashion Research, Alphanonce, IOST, and ROK Capital. Other notable investors include the Dreamers VC (Will Smith and Keisuke Honda), M13 (Paris Hilton and Carter Reum), Tony Robbins, Joe Montana, and KSHMR amongst others.

While Boba Network’s solutions are somewhat complicated to the layman, they have established a niche of excellence amongst Layer-2 protocols resident on the Ethereum blockchain. With transactions notably faster than what Ethereum offers and fees up to 60x lesser, Boba Network has continued to stay relevant in the ecosystem.

Boba Network’s funding is just one of the major backing a Layer-2 protocol will be receiving from investors in recent times as many pundits consider the solutions these protocols bring as the key ingredient in ushering in the next 1 billion users into the crypto ecosystem. Other prominent startups have received funding as documented by Blockchain.News in recent times includes StarkWare and Aptos among others.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / /

Singapore Passes Law to Regulate VASPs Operating Abroad

Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) that originate from Singapore but offer their business offerings or products abroad are now required to secure licensing from the relevant authorities, a shift in position that may soon become law as the country’s Parliament has passed the Financial Services and Markets Bill on Tuesday.


As reported by Bloomberg, the new bill is deemed essential in curtailing all avenues by which crypto-hinged trading platforms will be a conduit for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) offences.

“Virtual asset service providers created in Singapore that provide services only elsewhere are unregulated for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), which creates reputational risks for the Republic,” said Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) board member Alvin Tan.

Singapore’s approach to supporting the growing digital currency ecosystem is multi-faceted. While the country’s regulators believe in the revolutionary potentials of these nascent asset classes and the technologies powering them, a great deal of caution is being exercised as it does the hard work of cautiously picking the companies it grants its licenses.

While some financial institutions like the Amber Group and DBS bank have enjoyed an excellent regulatory regime to operate in Singapore, mainstream players like Binance have had to pull out of the race for a license to operate in the country with the almost unending waiting process. In the MAS’s defence, the average investor who engages with the crypto space must be protected, hence the essence of the due diligence it takes in issuing licenses to apply to crypto platforms.

The recently passed bill also seeks to curb the incident of hacks and data breaches on protocols linked to Singaporean regulators. Per the new provision, a maximum fine of S$1 million ($737,050) can now be imposed on financial institutions, presumably, crypto-based firms, if they experience cyberattacks or their services are disrupted.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

BitMEX Lays Off 25% Staff after Failing to Acquire German Bank

BitMEX Derivatives Exchange has reportedly cut off 25% of its staff following information shared with employees last week.


For a trading platform with about 300 employees, the number of staff layoffs is estimated to be as many as 75 staff members and without many details disclosed by the firm. BitMEX’s spokesperson said support mechanisms had been put in place to assist the affected individuals.

“BitMEX is making changes to our workforce to streamline for the next phase of our business. Our top priority is to make sure all employees who will be impacted have the support they require,” said a BitMEX spokesperson. “Each of them have been instrumental in the remarkable journey BitMEX has taken from its roots as a small startup to one of the top crypto exchanges in the world. The BitMEX platform will continue to operate as normal, and we will not be commenting further at this time.”

Such job cuts are quite unusual amongst trading platforms. However, it appears that BitMEX has been scaling back its operations since its plans to acquire one of Germany’s oldest banks, Bankhaus von der Heydt, was abandoned on what appears to be a disapproving node from the German banking regulator, BaFIN.

Anonymous sources close to the staff cut push confirmed that former Chief Executive Officer Arthur Hayes has a hand in the entire scaling back push, adding that “Arthur is taking a more active role in the company to effectively throw out what they have been planning and scale back everything.”

Since the active CEO, Alexander Höptner, stepped in, the company has been pushing avenues to grow its platform and brand awareness from predominantly a crypto derivatives trading platform to a more diversified fintech hub. 

The move to acquire Bankhaus von der Heydt is one of the exchange’s attempts to change its outlook, and with the deal falling through, Höptner and the management team will need to make a more in-depth rediscovery of what to do to advance the platform’s image in the long run.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,639.41 1.53%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,668.19 3.44%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 66.29 2.31%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 247.67 1.76%