BitDegree Brings E-Learning To Metaverse
While the Metaverse has become the latest macro destination for many of the world’s tech giants, online learning is also making its way into the virtual world. BitDegree, a blockchain-enabled online education platform with 1 million learners worldwide, announced the launch of the first-ever crypto-learning Metaverse — Learnoverse — as the next stage of evolution. Learnoverse will be a crypto-native metaverse with Learn&Earn token economy and NFT-based assets.
BitDegree offers instructor-submitted short courses, tutorials, and crypto tools such as coin and dApp trackers. The platform aims to be the world’s leading crypto teacher.
Essentially, BitDegree is leading the way in crypto-native education by transforming from a “crypto-udemy” to a “crypto-enabled World of Warcraft for crypto-learning.”
The platform offers blockchain credentials and grants, all of which will receive major upgrades once they implement Learnoverse.
The transition should happen in 2 to 3 years, while the Learn&Earn token economy, NFT-based “learner” avatars, course maps, and course schedules will be available by the end of the year.
The creative team believes Learnoverse will be a game-like virtual world centered around CryptoDegree City. These areas and buildings will each represent and house different crypto themes and courses.
Learners can roam the city in search of exciting topics, explore lessons by entering buildings, and progress by ascending building floors. Learners will also have NFT avatars representing their expertise.
BitDegree stated that users could improve their skills while earning tokens through their studies. Eventually, they will earn a crypto degree that provides them with job opportunities.
Instructors can purchase NFT lots and build standardized NFT buildings to represent their courses. Course materials are uploaded and managed through the BitDegree eLearning platform. In Learnoverse, educators can customize their appearance to make them more attractive to potential learners.
Mozilla Will Only Accept Proof-Of-Stake Crypto Donations
The company behind the Firefox internet browser, Mozilla, is trying to appease its eco-conscious community by only accepting proof-of-stake (PoS) crypto donations.
The company initially halted all cryptocurrency donations in January. However, they reopened after a review period to gauge community sentiment and research crypto energy consumption.
A report in February showed that PoS blockchains use less than 1% of the electricity that Bitcoin does. However, their efficiency varies.
The company also said the move was based on its self-imposed January 2021 climate pledge, which aims to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas footprint year over year until carbon neutrality is achieved.
By rejecting all non-PoS cryptocurrencies, Mozilla is blocking Bitcoin (BTC) (the largest cryptocurrency by market cap) and Ether (ETH) — at least until a merger occurs in the coming months and this blockchain PoS takes over.
Mozilla said it would publish a list of acceptable cryptocurrencies by the end of the second quarter of 2022. Some of the native coins of the most popular PoS chains are BNB (BNB), Solana (SOL), and Avalanche (AVAX).
The most vocal opponent of Mozilla’s new cryptocurrency donation policy is Mozilla’s founder, Jamie Zawinski. He tweeted on Jan. 4 that those Mozilla employees involved in bitcoin adoption should be “deeply ashamed for working with the earth-burning Ponzi scheme. Zawinski left Mozilla in 1999.
Crypto storage company Blockstream and Jack Dorsey’s bitcoin development firm Block announced Friday that they would be partnering with Elon Musk’s Tesla to build a solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in Texas, a new hotbed of clean energy mining.
Iran Prefers To Pay With Its Own ‘Cryptocurrency Rial’ Instead Of Bitcoin
On Monday, the Islamic Republic of Iran continued its push for its “crypto rial.”
An Iranian minister reiterated that the country has no plans to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment methods.
The Central Bank of Iran announced that it had informed banks and lenders about its cryptocurrency rial digital coin regulations. The cryptocurrency rial is Iran’s future central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The report indicates that these rules cover the minting and issuance of this digital currency. The rules state that cryptocurrencies are minted and the maximum amount of which is set individually by the CBI.
The country has previously said that the cryptocurrency rial will be its new currency, similar to fiat but digital. Therefore, Reza Bagheri Asl, Deputy Minister of Communications of Iran, stressed that they do not recognize cryptocurrency payments.
Bagheri Asl said foreign currency is not part of Iran’s financial sovereignty and is illegal. “We will not have provisions to recognize payments made with cryptocurrencies that do not belong to us,” the minister said.
However, Iranian officials clarified that cryptocurrencies, like the stock market, should be under regulation to avoid risks to citizens.
The country’s capital, Tehran, has in the past considered allowing local companies to use cryptocurrencies to trade with foreign partners to circumvent Western sanctions.
Still, Iran is now more focused on launching its cryptocurrency, the rial, which users can only use within the country.
Indian Investors Stunned As Crypto Exchanges Block Transmission Networks
Major Indian cryptocurrency exchanges CoinSwitch, Kuber, and WazirX, have banned rupee deposits from buying cryptocurrencies through a broad state-backed transfer network, prompting renewed calls from users for precise regulation.
India has worked for years to legislate to ban or regulate cryptocurrencies. A recent decision to tax cryptocurrency income shows authorities accepting the ban. However, there are risks to financial stability in the central bank’s backing of a ban.
Wednesday’s move follows a one-line statement last week from the National Payments Corporation of India, the government-backed United Payments Interface (UPI) operator, which facilitates bank transfers. It is not aware of any cryptocurrency exchanges using it.
CoinSwitch does not allow users to load deposits into its app, although they can still withdraw funds.
CoinSwitch says it has more than 15 million users. Underscoring the growing popularity of crypto trading, they said in October. The exchange had raised more than $260 million at a $1.9 billion valuation.
An industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said CoinSwitch’s decision to stop accepting UPIs was due to regulatory uncertainty following the NPCI announcement.
India’s decision in February to impose a 30 percent tax on income from cryptocurrencies and other digital assets signaled that authorities are embracing digital currencies. Still, regulatory uncertainty has weighed on the industry.
There are no official figures on the size of the Indian crypto market. Still, industry estimates place the number of investors at between 15 million and 20 million, with total assets of around 400 billion rupees ($5.25 billion).