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Top Headlines for 28 March, 2022

Ukraine Government Unveils War NFT Museum

Amidst an ongoing conflict with Russia, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine has launched a “Metahistory Museum of War” non-fungible token (NFT) collection.

The Metahistory Museum will not have a physical location but is hosted on a website that will display digital art pieces illustrating events from the war between Russia and Ukraine. Unlike a regular museum, everything displayed on the platform will be up for sale. The users will first need to buy an NFT to unlock the art piece on the museum without knowing exactly what they are purchasing. Each piece from the ‘Warline’ series will cost 0.15 ETH, worth about $468 as of 28 March 2022.

Mikhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, said that the platform would be a place to keep the memory of war and to celebrate Ukraine’s freedom and identity. Funds collected through the sale of Warline NFTs will go directly to the Ministry of Digital Transformation and be used for supporting the country’s defense forces and citizen relief projects.

Analytics platform Merkle Science reports that Ukraine has received over $100 million in crypto donations since the Russian invasion. In addition to helping the Ukrainian administration raise funds for the country’s defense, crypto also assists citizens who don’t want to engage in war. Many Ukrainians are fleeing the country to save themselves and their families from the ongoing tragedy.

ExxonMobil to Launch Bitcoin Mining Project With Natural Gas

Bloomberg reported that energy giant ExxonMobil is debuting a cryptocurrency mining program fuelled by excess reserves from oil wells in North Dakota.

The company has signed a deal with Crusoe Energy Systems (CES), a firm specializing in gas flaring solutions (burning natural gas produced during oil extraction). CES will help Exxon use gas from the oil wells in North Dakota to power the company’s crypto mining hardware.

Instead of letting the excess product go to waste, Exxon has decided to use it for mining crypto assets, starting with proof-of-work-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. If the pilot is successful, Exxon will expand its program to Nigeria, Argentina, Germany, Guyana and Alaska. Sarah Nordin, a representative of ExxonMobile, says, “We continuously evaluate emerging technologies to reduce flaring volumes across our operations.”

Bitcoin mining has generated a lot of controversy in the last year – due to its heavy carbon footprint. According to Cambridge University research, the Bitcoin network uses a whopping 134 terawatts of energy every year. However, recent research conducted by the Bitcoin Mining Council found that nearly 56% of the energy consumed by the BTC network came from renewable resources.

Bitcoin Evolves As Reserve Asset

Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney wrote in 2010 that the ultimate fate of the currency would be to serve as high-powered money that other banks and other institutions use to issue their own digital currencies.

After twelve years Finney’s words have proven prophetic when on March 14, 2021 Do Kwon, the founder of TerraForm labs, announced that the company’s stablecoin offering UST would be backed by a $10 billion reserve of BTC.

The Luna Foundation Guard, a non-profit organization, promotes the Terra ecosystem. It has decided to place a reserve backstop for UST if its algorithmic mechanism fails to stabilize the currency. The foundation believes that the premier cryptocurrency is the ideal reserve asset for the initiative. Terra’s adoption of BTC is set to change the stablecoin business fundamentally; basing the peg of a stablecoin on a Bitcoin will make it more transparent, secure, and decentralized.

The Terra protocol has two cryptocurrencies, the stablecoin terraUSD (UST) and Luna (LUNA). Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies backed by a relatively stable asset, usually the U.S dollar. They provide plumbing in the crypto ecosystem as value transmission with other volatile cryptocurrencies can at times be too unpredictable. While stablecoins like USDT and USDC back their cryptocurrencies in cash and cash equivalents, other stablecoins use algorithms to keep the price of the currency stable.

NFT Artist XCOPY'S New Series Cashed $23M in 10 Minutes

London-based NFT artist XCOPY might soon replace Beeple as the most valuable digital art creator in the cryptocurrency world.

His single edition pieces are now selling for millions among serious NFT art collectors. The artist recently listed a more affordable series for 1 ETH ($3,000) apiece and generated over $23 million in under 10 minutes. The artist later tweeted, “Well, that was intense.”

XCOPY generally creates single edition pieces inspired by NFT culture. His art pieces have titles like “Right Click and Save as Guy” and “All-Time High in the City”, and are some of the most expensive NFTs ever sold. “Right Click and Save as Guy” reportedly sold for over $7.1 million last year. The artist’s Max Pain series is a collection of 7394 Ethereum-based NFTs that feature an animated skull image in his signature dynamic, throbbing style. In 2021, NFTs generated over $21 billion worth of trading volume.