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Putin And The Kremlin Looking To Invest Heavily In Blockchain And AI

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The Russian economist, Vladislav Ginko, is well known for his past bold claims concerning Russia’s interest with Bitcoin. Recently he rushed to twitter exclaiming:

 “BREAKING: Putin aims to heavily increase investments into new technologies including AI and blockchain. This topic will be one of the topic scheduled to be discussed in Kremlin during the meeting with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg tomorrow”.

Well, Vladislav is right about Putin’s intention to set apart more funds for artificial intelligence based research. However, there is not much “breaking” about Vladislav’s post. Putin has, in the past, not been coy about his interest in AI. As an illustration on Sept 1, 2017, on what is known as “Knowledge Day” in Russia, Putin made the bold claim that “whoever leads in AI will rule the world.”

The Russian president has now put his government’s money where his mouth is. At a Russian meeting that is meant to spur on the development of AI in Russia, Putin asserted that the development of advanced AI were some of the tasks the country was gearing to solve in the future.

Putin Wants Russia To Lead In Blockchain And AI Research

He furthermore implored the sitting members to enable Russia to become the key platform that will solve complex science-based problems in collaboration with other scientists around the globe. He additionally proposed that these complex scientific problems, be solved in international mathematical centers. With that, the president put an emphasis on the opening of international mathematical centers in Sochi and St. Petersburg in 2020.

Following Putin’s declaration on AI, Maksim Akimov the Russian Deputy Prime Minister notified his president that the government’s budget on AI projects would require $1.3 billion in the next six years if approved. He, however, said that the AI project could be designed by October 2019.

Putin’s Reminder

Russia has in the past let AI research and development lag behind its perceived competitors like China and the US.  Reports indicate that Russia has only dedicated $15 million to AI research. China, for instance, committed its $12 billion to AI-based systems in 2017.  It is expected that this allocation will increase five fold.

Complementing their quest are some of the greatest tech minds. The country has, nonetheless, underutilized them in the field of AI research due to a lack of administrative support. The Russian president recognized his country’s competitive advantages and healthy starting conditions for the race to AI and blockchain superiority.

He went further and cited the Russian’s advantage of high internet and mobile communications penetration rates that were some of the most affordable globally. The president, accordingly, set a growth goal for the active use of blockchain and AI in Russian companies to 10 percent by 2024 and 20 percent by 2030 saying:

“We must ensure technological sovereignty in the field of artificial intelligence. This is the most important condition for the viability of our business and the economy, the quality of life of Russian citizens, the security and defense capability of the state. It is not only about algorithms for individual highly specialized tasks, we need universal solutions, the use of which gives the maximum effect, and in any industry.”

It is highly hoped that the current bullish sentiment Putin has over AI and blockchain research will go beyond Russia’s fascination with defense and weaponry. In the past, the country has mostly invested in defense-oriented AI based projects.

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Content Subscription Service Onlyfans Adds Ethereum-Based NFT Profile Feature

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Content Subscription Service Onlyfans Adds Ethereum-Based NFT Profile Feature

The internet content subscription service Onlyfans has announced the launch of a feature that leverages non-fungible token (NFT) technology. The newly-added feature, introduced on Thursday, gives Onlyfans members the ability to display authenticated NFTs as their profile pictures.

Onlyfans Steps Into the Realm of NFTs

The London-based content subscription service Onlyfans is well known for its direct funding for content creators, its one-time tips, the firm’s pay-per-view (PPV) features, and of course, NSFW content.

This week, Onlyfans has revealed it is experimenting with blockchain technology as the firm is allowing users to show off their NFTs. According to a report from Reuters, Onlyfans CEO Ami Gan explained that the move is meant to empower the platform’s userbase.

“Our mission is to empower creators to own their full potential,” Gan explained to the Reuters author Elizabeth Culliford. “This feature is the first step in exploring the role that NFTs can play on our platform.”

Onlyfans is behind the eight ball when it comes to joining the NFT industry, as a large swathe of well-known businesses and popular brands have already jumped in. Moreover, Twitter’s verified NFT profile feature is similar to the Onlyfans NFT profile concept. Twitter launched the feature last month.

On Febraury 6, Bitcoin.com News reported on Alphabet’s (Google) plans to explore blockchain and Web3 technology. Furthermore, Alphabet’s subsidiary Youtube published a blog post explaining that it has plans to leverage non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said Instagram is exploring NFTs and reports note that Meta is also experimenting with the technology.

According to Onlyfans CEO Ami Gan, the NFT support will be for Ethereum-based NFTs, and in order to know they are verified, an Ethereum logo mark will be present. The company didn’t disclose whether or not it would support other blockchains that support NFT tech going forward.

What do you think about Onlyfans adding NFT support? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Philippines’ PDAX Secures $50 Million For Metaverse Expansion

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The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange or PDAX announced on Thursday the completion of its $50 million Series B funding round headed by Tiger Global.

This round was also attended by investors from earlier rounds, including Beenext Ventures and Cadenza Capital Management.

Several other financial institutions have also joined as co-investors in this project. These include Kingsway Capital, Jump Capital, Draper Dragon, Oak Drive Ventures, DG Daiwa Ventures, Ripple, and UBX Ventures. Since August 2021, PDAX has raised $12.5 million in Series B investment.

In an interview, PDAX chief operating officer Kyle T. Kua credited the country’s widespread crypto acceptance to the Filipinos’ innate digital savvy, as well as the development of the Play-to-Earn (P2E) sector over the past decade.

“Many Filipinos took time to start studying cryptocurrencies and delving into the market, whether by trading, investing, or playing,” Kua said.

Knowing how gregarious Filipinos can be, interest in creating crypto wallets and playing these games exploded throughout the Philippines in highly urbanized cities and the countryside.

This popularity is attributed to the availability of smartphones and other devices and because the daily revenues of certain P2E games exceeded the daily minimum wage.

PDAX, which has seen a 35-fold increase in user sign-ups since the lockdowns began, added five more coins to its roster of cryptocurrencies on February 3.

“These five new tokens are among of the most sought after in our community,” said Nix T. Eniego, PDAX associate vice president for marketing, referring to Polygon (MATIC), Cardano (ADA), Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot (DOT), and Avalanche (AVL) (AVAX).

Total crypto market cap at $1.975 trillion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

Related Reading | No Point Separating the Virtual From The Real, Father Of PlayStation Criticizes Metaverse Push

The PDAX Backstory

PDAX is a central bank-licensed digital asset trading platform founded in 2018 by CEO Nichel Gaba. It offers Filipinos a “safe, user-friendly” platform for buying and selling digital assets and participating in metaverse applications.

The app was officially introduced in the Philippines in 2019 and is accessible online and on iOS and Android devices.

PDAX launched in 2020 in collaboration with the Bureau of the Treasury and Unionbank Bonds.ph. This blockchain-enabled tool allows retail customers to buy government bonds directly from their smartphones.

Opportunities For Personal Wealth

According to Gaba, cryptocurrency is the most revolutionary technology since the internet. So, PDAX has secured $50 million in Series B funding to bring metaverse apps to the Philippines.

The Filipinos already use applications to earn money through NFT projects, cross-border money transfers, commerce, and other related investment. The Series B funding will establish a safe and accessible infrastructure for the country’s digital asset industry.

PDAX facilitates the exchange of cryptocurrencies and fiat cash between metaverse applications and the PDAX network. However, there is still more to be done in terms of building up the necessary infrastructure.

The platform is now in the middle of advancements that will make access to digital assets safer, simpler and more efficient for all stakeholders.

As the field matures, PDAX will continue to collaborate with authorities to ensure that all these technologies safeguard and provide value to consumers.

PDAX thinks that blockchain technology and digital assets would provide the Philippines a fair playing field, creating opportunities for personal wealth and growth among the Filipino people.

The Philippines has more than 100 million people; however, most do not have easy access to financial services.

One of the goals of PDAX is to make cryptocurrency accessible to every Filipino.

Related Reading | Disney And VeVe Announce NFTs For Disney IP

Featured image from MegaBites, chart from TradingView.com

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‘China’s crypto ban had little impact on Neo,’ says organization’s developers

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It’s had a brutal fall from all-time highs, but the project still retains a market of $1.6 billion and has a dedicated community of developers.

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What is Harmony (ONE) blockchain and why it is getting so much traction?

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Harmony (ONE) is a new blockchain network that is gaining traction as more developers and crypto investors become aware of its features.

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England’s Manchester United Set to Unveil Tezos Blockchain Shirt Sponsorship, Report

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Tezos blockchain has reportedly agreed to a training kit sponsorship with Manchester United in a deal that will see the latter receive over $27 million per year. This deal adds to Tezos’ growing list of sports teams it has sponsored since May 2021.

Tezos’ Investment in Sports

The most successful football club in the English Premier League, Manchester United, is reported to have signed a training kit sponsorship deal with Tezos blockchain. As part of this agreement, Manchester United will reportedly receive over $27 million per year, or £20 million. In exchange, Tezos will become the football club’s training kit sponsor.

According to a report by The Athletic, Tezos’ sponsorship agreement with the 20-time English champions follows the end of Manchester United’s sponsorship deal with the American insurance company Aon.

Tezos’ partnership with Manchester United, if confirmed, will become the blockchain firm’s latest sponsorship of a sporting entity. In May 2021, Tezos announced it was sponsoring Major League Baseball team the New York Mets. During the same month, reports also emerged that Tezos had reached an agreement to build the Formula One (F1) team Red Bull Racing Honda’s “first-ever NFT experience.”

Front-of-Shirt Visibility

According to the report, Tezos is also the sponsor of McClaren Racing in three racing categories: F1, Indycar, and Esports. Elsewhere in Europe, the blockchain entity recently became the technical partner of Team Vitality, a French esports organization. The agreement, just like the reported Tezos and Manchester United deal, gives the esports entity front-of-shirt visibility.

Meanwhile, The Athletic reports that both Manchester United and Tezos have either failed or refused to comment on the reported sponsorship deal. The publication nevertheless suggests that the sponsorship agreement will likely see the football club utilize Tezos’ blockchain to exploit potentially beneficial emerging technologies like the metaverse and Web3.

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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