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Top Headlines for 4 April, 2022

Over 90% of All BTC Now in Circulation

With the 19 millionth Bitcoin mined on April 1, 2022, over 90% of the total supply of the cryptocurrency is in circulation nearly thirteen years after its initial launch in 2009. It is a significant milestone considering there will never be more than 21 million Bitcoin.

The last BTC will not be mined anytime soon. If it happens at all, it will take at least 118 years. Bitcoin is designed to reduce the mining reward, the amount of new BTC generated per block of transactions, by exactly half every four years. The process is called ‘Bitcoin halving.’ The last Bitcoin halving event for the premier cryptocurrency occurred in 2020, which reduced the average mining reward to 6.25 BTC.

Bitcoin’s anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto received 50 BTC as the mining reward for the genesis block. The next Bitcoin halving event is expected to take place around March 24, 2024 after which the mining reward will be reduced to 3.125 BTC.

Ukraine's NFT Project Yields $600K on First Day

Bloomberg reported that on 31 March 2022 the Ukrainian government sold 1282 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for 190 ETH, which roughly equates to $655,000. The country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation (MGT) created an NFT platform called the MetaHistory NFT Museum.

The initial idea behind the project was to sell memorable digital art pieces inspired by Ukraine’s war with Russia and to use the proceeds to fund the country’s defense forces and humanitarian efforts. The country also plans to partly use funds raised through NFT sales to rebuild Ukrainian cultural sites destroyed by the Russian military invasion.

The MGT also plans to give away a limited edition NFT, the Prospect 100 masterpieces, to celebrate hitting the $500k milestone. Metahistory Museum’s official Twitter handle also announced that only NFT holders would be eligible to buy these special releases.

Cryptocurrencies have been of great help to Ukraine after Russia invaded the country in late February 2022. Ukraine has already received over $70 million in cryptocurrency donations from around the world, with funds raised partially supporting various non-profit humanitarian projects in the war-torn country. After seeing the unusual value of virtual currencies, the government of Ukraine now recognizes them as legal assets; the country now ranks fourth worldwide in terms of crypto adoption.

PrimeBlock Goes Public Via SPAC Merger

U.S.-based Bitcoin Mining Corporation PrimeBlock announced its plans to become a publicly-traded company. The organization will do so through a $1.25 billion merger with Venture Acquisition Corp II (VCXA), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

According to a Reuters report, PrimeBlock recently secured $300 million in equity financing from a Cantor Fitzerald & Co affiliate. PrimeBlock’s deal with the SPAC is expected to close by the second half of 2022. Gaurav Budhrani, PrimeBlock’s CEO, will resume his role as the head of the merged company.

The company generated $24 million in revenue in the last quarter of 2021 from an energy capacity of over 110 megawatts distributed across its 12 data centers. PrimeBlock announced that it relied on non-carbon-emitting sources for nearly 60% of its energy needs and had plans to implement offsets for the remainder. This energy footprint suggests a sustainable energy mix just above the 58.5% used by BTC miners globally.

In 2021, Terawulf, another North American Bitcoin mining corp, announced its plans to go public through a merger with SPAC company, Ikonics. Other giants from the industry such as Marathon and Riot have made similar moves and are already listed on the NASDAQ.

OpenSea Accepts Apple Pay, Credit and Debit Cards

Leading Ethereum NFT platform, OpensSea, intends to attract more mainstream buyers to its platform by offering traditional payment options. The digital marketplace announced a partnership with MoonPay, a fintech player that builds payment infrastructure with crypto tech.

MoonPay will offer OpenSea’s users the option of making payments with Apple Pay as well as with debit and credit cards. Until MoonPay’s solutions are implemented payments on the digital marketplace can only be made with ETH, USDC, DAI, SOL and 150 other tokens.

OpenSea announced the move on its official Twitter handle with a short teaser video titled “The best-kept secret in Web 3.0”. The trading volume for Solana NFTs surged by 80% soon after the announcement, and the network’s native currency SOL has also increased in value by 24%.

The NFT marketplace reportedly generated over $5 billion in trading volume in January 2022, exceeding its previous all-time high of $3.2 billion from August 2021. The company also seeks to capitalize on the increasing popularity of Solana NFTs by supporting them on its platform.

Citibank Predicts $13T Metaverse by 2030

A new report released by Citibank predicts that the metaverse economy could be worth nearly $13 trillion by 2030. The investment bank also claims that the user base could reach 5 billion in the next decade. However, for these predictions to become a reality, Citi points out that the metaverse would need an improvement in computational efficiency over 1000X.

The report states, “We believe that the metaverse is the next generation of the Internet – combining the physical and digital worlds in a persistent and immersive manner – and not purely a virtual reality.”

Citi forecasts gaming to be the metaverse’s most prominent use case with cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH to be used to make payments in this immersive digital world.

Blockchain-based metaverse games like Decentraland and the Sandbox already offer glimpses into this future. However, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the biggest proponents of this new paradigm, has renamed his popular social media platform Facebook to Meta, and plans to deploy over $50 million in metaverse research and development for his company.