Welcome to another edition of Crypto NFT Today! If you enjoy cryptocurrency, NFTs, and riding emotional, and sometimes, sketchy rollercoasters, you’ve come to the right place. So put on some soothing music and let’s go!
Bitcoin miners made $50 billion from block rewards and fees since 2010
A new report by Glassnode reveals that Bitcoin miners have earned more than $50 billion from block rewards and transaction fees since 2010. The report also shows that the share of fees in the total revenue has increased over time, reaching a peak of 28% in April 2021.
The report attributes the rise in fees to the growing demand for Bitcoin transactions and the limited block space. It also notes that the upcoming halving events, which reduce the block reward by half every four years, will make fees more important for miners’ profitability.
The report concludes that Bitcoin mining is a highly competitive and dynamic industry, with miners constantly adapting to changing market conditions and technological innovations. It also suggests that Bitcoin’s security and decentralization depend on the incentives and behaviors of miners.
Coinbase sued for violating biometric privacy law
Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly collecting and storing biometric data of its customers without their consent. The lawsuit claims that Coinbase violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by requiring users to upload copies of their government-issued IDs and selfies, and to use fingerprint scanning technology to access their accounts.
“If Coinbase’s database containing facial geometry scans or other sensitive, proprietary biometric data is
hacked, breached, or otherwise exposed,” the suit states. “Coinbase users have no means by which to prevent identity theft.”
The lawsuit accuses Coinbase of failing to inform users about the purpose and duration of biometric data collection and storage, and exposing them to serious privacy risks such as identity theft in case of a data breach. The lawsuit seeks damages of up to $5,000 per violation, plus other relief. Coinbase has not commented on the lawsuit yet.
AI pioneer quits Google over ethical concerns
Geoffrey Hinton, a computer scientist widely regarded as the “Godfather of AI”, has resigned from his position at Google to warn of the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. Hinton, who worked on neural networks and machine learning for more than a decade at the tech giant, said that AI posed “profound risks to society and humanity”. He cited the threats of AI taking over jobs, creating fake content, and developing lethal weapons.
Hinton also expressed some regret over his life’s work, saying “If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have.” He notified Google of his resignation last month, according to The New York Times. Google thanked him for his contributions and said it was committed to a responsible approach to AI. Hinton is not the only one who has raised concerns about AI. In March, more than 2,600 tech experts and researchers signed an open letter calling for a temporary halt of AI development to ensure its safety.
Biden administration proposes 30% tax on crypto mining energy use
The White House has announced a plan to tax cryptocurrency mining operations for the environmental and social costs they impose. The Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) tax would apply a 30% levy on the electricity used by crypto miners, which the administration claims do not generate local and national economic benefits.
The tax could raise up to $3.5 billion in revenue over the next 10 years, according to the White House’s
Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). The proposal is part of the president’s budget for the fiscal year of 2024, but it faces opposition from Republicans and some industry groups who argue that it unfairly targets a specific sector and discourages innovation.
Crypto mining consumes vast amounts of energy to verify transactions and create new coins on decentralized networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The CEA says that crypto mining has negative impacts on the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions, local pollution, and higher energy prices for consumers. It also says that crypto mining is volatile and can cause service interruptions and risks for power companies.
The administration’s proposal follows a global crackdown on crypto mining by countries such as China, which banned the activity last year. The U.S. has become the leader in crypto mining since then, with some states offering incentives and cheap electricity to attract miners. However, other states have also imposed restrictions or moratoriums on crypto mining due to environmental concerns.