Wildfires are putting water supplies at risk, and corporate America is scared

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CNBC 02 September, 2021 - 07:27am 33 views

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What Is Solana? Solana is a programmable blockchain, similar to Ethereum, that can run multiple decentralized finance operations. ... As a programmable system, the decentralized blockchain platform permits users not just to exchange SOL coin, but also non-fungible tokens and other digital assets. Yahoo FinanceEthereum Competitor Solana Achieves $38 Billion in Market Valuation — What Does This Mean for Bitcoin?

As wildfires tear across America's West, the immediate risk is to life and property, but they will eventually affect water supplies.

That's one reason large corporations are beginning to help fund forest restoration in order to mitigate their water risk. 

The water supply for many communities, including large cities, starts in mountains and national forests. In California, about 70% of the water either starts or flows through national forests, according to Forest Service estimates.

"When we have large-scale fires like this, we get huge amounts of erosion that end up filling up the dams and reservoirs that store water and that help create hydropower," said Eli Ilano, forest supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest. "That is why there is a huge sense of urgency to do work in the forests, thin and restore them, in order to make them more resilient to climate change and to these large-scale, catastrophic fires."

After large-scale forest fires, mudslides often follow, filling reservoirs, contaminating their water and reducing their capacity. Cleaning the reservoirs is costly and time consuming. And it's not just the mud.

Trees also help retain the water in the mountains and then slowly release it so that dams and reservoirs don't have to face a sudden influx of water.

Companies are now coming around to the idea that they need to help fund forest preservation to protect water supplies that are essential to their business.

"Corporations in all sorts of different sectors, in the beverage sector, agricultural sector, tech sector, they're all taking this quite seriously and looking at how they can be part of the solution," said Todd Gartner, director of Cities4Forests and WRI's Natural Infrastructure Initiative.

In the technology sector, for instance, many data centers, which need water to cool the banks of computers running inside, are in water-stressed areas. For other product manufacturers, water is crucial to every aspect of the process.

"Water is essential to our business. We need it to manufacture our products, and we need it to use our products in homes," said Shannon Quinn, global water stewardship leader for Procter & Gamble.

In just the last year, Procter & Gamble provided a $200,000 grant to restore 400 acres in the Eldorado National Forest, which feeds the water supply of Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area cities.

"Business has a responsibility to address these issues. And for water specifically, I think it's really a matter of identifying those areas where your business may be at risk," said Quinn.

Two years ago, the nonprofit Blue Forest Conservation organization launched the first ever Forest Resilience Bond at $4 million. 

"It is really a public/private partnership where we've engaged investors like pension plans, insurance companies ... even impact investors like foundations, to help cover the upfront costs of doing this much-needed forest restoration work with the primary goal of reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire," Blue Forest founder Zach Knight said at the time.

Private capital was used to thin and restore about 15,000 acres in the Tahoe National Forest. Investors are being paid back by local water and hydroelectric utilities. 

Now, working with the World Resources Institute, Blue Forest is about to launch its second Forest Resilience Bond, aimed at 48,000 acres of forest restoration.

The $25 million value is more than six times the first issuance, and investor interest is so strong that there is already about $200 million more in the pipeline for additional bonds, according to Knight.

The return on the Forest Resilience Bond is only about 4%, but investors are more interested in lowering their risk from costly droughts and disruptions to their water supply.

 While most of the investors initially are foundations and pension funds, Gartner says large corporations are now at the table, planning to invest in the next offerings. He said he could not name them.

 "They are increasingly interested in how this fits into their water targets, into their community benefit goals, and how they can leverage the investments of the government, of utilities, and even other businesses to get this work done at scale and to take advantage of the leverage of multiple actors working for large scale impact," he said.

The Eldorado National Forest is being affected by the Caldor Fire, which has burned more than 200,000 acres and is threatening the resort town of South Lake Tahoe in California. The state has closed all national forests to public access through at least Sept. 17 to reduce fire risks and ensure the safety of firefighters.

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Coinbase’s Bitcoin reserves drop to the lowest level since December 2017

Cointelegraph 02 September, 2021 - 09:00am

BTC price action stays frustratingly dull as altcoins take the chance to put in a serious performance, led by Ether.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD hitting lows of $46,530 on Bitstamp overnight, its lowest since Friday.

With $50,000 out of reach, price action continued to diverge “remarkably” from strong on-chain metrics and fundamentals.

For analyst Willy Woo, who echoed similar findings from this week, a large pool of support at current levels is likely to hold Bitcoin where it is. Over 1.65 million BTC has a cost basis between $45,000 and $50,000.

“Bitcoin approaching another region of notable price stability,” he told Twitter followers Wednesday.

The area around $51,000, which this week remains active as a “final hurdle” resistance level for Bitcoin, is widely tipped to crumble in the mid-term, but the exact timing of such an impulse move is a mystery.

Investors seemed ready to go on the day, with reserves on major exchange Coinbase at their lowest levels since December 2017 — 700,000 BTC — and almost $20 billion in stablecoins sitting across centralized trading platforms ready for conversion.

“After a period of moderate BTC inflows following the May Sell-off, Coinbase has seen a large outflow of coins,” on-chain analytics firm Glassnode commented on the data. 

For Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, however, it was business as usual for a BTC consolidation.

“Yep, Bitcoin is following this path,” he summarized.

ETH/USD passed $3,500 overnight, marking its highest in three months against the United States dollar and BTC. Its cryptocurrency market capitalization dominance rose to 20.4%, with Bitcoin’s steady at 44%.

Ethereum hits highest levels since May

Yahoo Finance 02 September, 2021 - 09:00am

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(Kitco News) - While Bitcoin gets most of the attention in the cryptocurrency space, Ethereum is a close second. The Ether price, which fuels the Ethereum blockchain, has been flexing its muscles and trading independently of its larger peer, bitcoin. While bitcoin tends to dictate the direction of the broader market, that's not been the case lately.

The Ether price is up by a double-digit percentage today, while the bitcoin price is up a lesser 1.7%, a trend that has been persisting in recent weeks. After surpassing USD 3,500 in the last 24 hours, the second-biggest cryptocurrency based on market cap is now barreling toward USD 4K, a level not seen since mid-May when it set a fresh all-time high.

In addition, bitcoin's dominance in the broader cryptocurrency market slipped slightly, while Ethereum's is on the rise and just hit 20%. For August, Ether's value expanded by more than 30% vs. bitcoin's roughly 13% gains.

The cryptocurrency market got a hint of the latest market dynamics when Coinbase reported its earnings in early August. The cryptocurrency exchange revealed that trading volumes in Ethereum surpassed those of bitcoin for the first time ever, fueled by the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Adding fuel to the fire, Goldman Sachs alum and founder of Global Macro Investor Raoul Pal is an Ethereum bull. Pal forecast on a recent Bankless podcast that the Ether price will cross USD 20K by next March. He also has his eye on the bitcoin price, which he expects to hit anywhere from USD 250K-400K in the same period.

Less than a year ago, Pal's investment portfolio reportedly included about 25% gold and the rest cryptocurrency assets, including bitcoin and ether. The composition has changed since then, and now Pal is all-in on crypto after selling his gold allocation. His portfolio is now more than 50% in ether. At the same time, he also has exposure to DeFi assets, layer-one protocols and other cryptos.

While the cryptocurrency community tends to pit bitcoin against Ethereum and vice versa, that is not the case everywhere. Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at digital asset investment firm CoinShares, told CNBC that the firm does not view the market through the competitive lens of bitcoin vs. Ethereum. Instead, she pointed out that crypto markets tend to operate in cycles. What's going on now is investors are likely "moving out of bitcoin to chase gains" in other layer-one protocols. Still, when the cycle comes full circle, investors are likely to rotate back into bitcoin.

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Ethereum Classic Soars On Coattails Of Bitcoin, Ethereum - Benzinga

Benzinga 02 September, 2021 - 09:00am

YouTube Gaming has emerged as the only true rival to Twitch in recent years with Mixer folding despite the acquisition of Ninja and Shroud.

Now that YouTube has become home to Dr Disrespect, TimTheTatman, Valkyrae and DrLupo, the question on everyone’s minds is who will be the next Twitch icon to join them.

Here are three Twitch streamers YouTube Gaming could try to sign next.

The streamer has some of the most fun content on the site whether it’s leading a raid in World of Warcraft or watching gaming announcements with his chat.

One big development to factor in is Asmongold recently announced a break from streaming for personal reasons and prior to that, he revealed he had considered quitting Twitch.

Whether or not this translates into a jump to YouTube is anyone’s guess, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Back in August, former CSGO pro Jaryd ‘Summit1g’ Lazar seemed to tease fans by discussing his “future.”

While by no means proof that he’s jumping ship to YouTube, Summit would be a solid addition to the lineup, as he brings a sizable audience and the GTA RP crowd.

Let’s see if Summit1g can do as Shroud did and cash in on a big offer if it came his way.

With such a large following and a YouTube account still in good standing, the former hot tub streamer could be a controversial addition to the YouTube Gaming roster, but one that could have an upside.

It may be a logical move for her to switch, especially as she can’t even stream on Twitch for the time being anyway.

That’s it for our list. Who do you want to see sign to YouTube Gaming next? Let us know on Twitter @Dexerto and keep it locked for more influencer news.

Apple’s AirPods Max are $80 off at Woot

The Wall Street Journal 02 September, 2021 - 08:14am

Apple’s luxe headphones usually retail for north of $500

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Apple’s notoriously expensive AirPods Max headphones are, in some ways, more of a luxury purchase — but today you can live it up for just a little less thanks to the Woot’s ongoing “Sounds of Summer” sale. Well, if you’re an Amazon Prime member that is.

Now through the end of the month (or while supplies last), Prime members can save $80 on a pair of the AirPods Max, regardless of color. Woot’s current deal includes a one-year limited warranty from Apple and brings the price down to a cool $470, one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on Apple’s excellent noise-canceling headphones in recent months.

Despite their price, the AirPods Max are some of the best noise-canceling headphones you can buy right now. The Max can easily block out distractions thanks to their active noise cancellation, and Apple’s spatial audio features — which Netflix recently rolled out to the iPhone and iPad — can help you better immerse yourself in a movie or while listening to music. The AirPods Max also boast excellent sound quality, and feature a breathable knit mesh canopy that makes them comfortable to wear over extended periods of time.

You can certainly buy a similar high-quality headset like the Sony WH-1000XM4 for about $200 less, however, this is a solid deal if you’re deeply embedded in the Apple ecosystem, especially since the AirPods Max also pair seamlessly with other Apple devices. Read our review.

Apple’s AirPods Max feature exemplary build quality, sound phenomenal, and keep up with the best at noise cancellation.

Want the best drone you can buy for under $500, but forking out $450 for the latest DJI Mavic Mini is out of your budget? Well, today you can buy its 2019 predecessor with some added perks — including three sets of spare propellers, a carrying case, a pair of extra control sticks, and a battery charging hub — at Amazon’s for $100 off.

At less than 0.55 pounds, the DJI Mavic Mini drone is small and light enough that Americans and Canadians don’t need to register it with their governments. Yet, despite the size, it still offers 30 minutes of flight time per battery. The drone also boasts many of the same features found in DJI’s more pricey drones at a more affordable price, like the ability to automatically return to the takeoff spot, making the deal even more attractive at $350. Read our review.

The original DJI Mavic Mini was the first drone from DJI that didn’t require registration with the Federal Aviation Administration because of its size. It comes with creative shooting modes and many features DJI’s more expensive drones boast, too, as well as 30 minutes of flight time.

Apple lovers, today’s your lucky day: we’ve got a second deal for you. If you’re on the hunt for a tablet that’s the best of its kind, but — well — doesn’t quite cost the typical tablet price, Best Buy’s current deal on the fifth-generation iPad Mini has got you covered. Right now, you can pick up 64GB, Wi-F-enabled model for $300 instead of $400 in the color of your choice, saving you $100 on what is considered to be the best small tablet on the market.

What’s more, the Best Buy deal comes with a few added perks, including a free six-month subscription to Apple News Plus (the digital version) and Apple Music. You can also enjoy discounts on select mice and keyboards, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365 subscriptions, and more when you purchase the device.

The iPad Mini itself is fast and boasts an A12 processor, the same kind of chip powering the iPhone XS and XR. While it features a range of features, like a 7-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.2 lens, it also comes with old-school favorites like a headphone jack and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Note, however, there are rumors that Apple may be releasing a new iPad Mini soon, so this may not be the latest model for very long. This also means there could be some steep discounts just on the horizon. However, if you want a relatively affordable iPad right now, this is a good deal to grab. Read our review.

The 2019 iPad Mini features the same 7.9-inch display as its predecessors, but it includes a powerful A12 Bionic processor, the same one used in the iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

It’s not every day you find a discounted mouse that not only helps you concentrate but improves productivity, which is why Staple’s current deal on the MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse is so great. Today, you can buy one of the best mice money can buy for $80 instead of $100, a record-low price, with promo code 90467.

The Apple-centric mouse features Logitech’s new MagSpeed magnetic scroll wheel, which the company claims make it possible to scroll 1,000 lines in a second. The mouse also aims to help improve productivity with a set of customizable buttons and support for Logitech Flow, a feature that lets you quickly share files and move between computers (or an iPad) by simply dragging your cursor to the edge of the screen, a la Apple’s Universal Control. You can expect up to a little over two months of power on a full charge, too, and, unlike the last-gen model, the MX Master 3 supports USB-C. Read our review.

Logitech’s MX Master 3 gives macOS and iPadOS users the ability to enjoy fast and near-silent scrolling. It’s also easy to customize the wireless mouse to suit your workflow, and features like the ability to transfer files between machines only add to the appeal. For a limited time, it’s available at Staples for $80 with promo code 90467.

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Bitcoin bull run sparks $180K BTC price prediction ahead of institutional ‘fireworks’

Cointelegraph 02 September, 2021 - 07:26am

Multiple Bitcoin buy-ins are due to be reported next week, an analyst notes as attention increasingly focuses on a fresh battle for BTC’s all-time highs.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView tracked BTC/USD as it crisscrossed the $50,000 barrier after returning to it for the first time in almost two weeks.

The largest cryptocurrency saw 4.5% gains on the day, these nonetheless beaten by three of the top 10 altcoins, which all managed over 7%.

Against a largely positive background, traders were understandably bullish on Bitcoin’s prospects.

“Break above 50k = 58-60k to follow. Sitting above 200D MA which is now acting as support,” Pentoshi summarized to Twitter followers.

A $180,000 BTC price is a curious prospect for many and beats even the more optimistic $135,000 minimum target set by stock-to-flow creator PlanB for the end of 2021.

“September has been a spectacular month for Crypto thus far,” fellow trader Rekt Capital added.

As Cointelegraph reported, the first two days of the month have contrasted sharply with historical norms for September, which has always been a lackluster month for cryptocurrency markets.

Looking ahead, institutional reporting may serve to make the coming weeks even more intriguing.

“A lot of large and important institutions bought bitcoin over the summer,” Mike Alfred, founding CEO at BrightScope & Digital Assets Data, noted.

Among altcoins, Cardano’s ADA token and Ether (ETH) were likewise taking a break from bullish surges of their own at the time of writing.

ADA/USD had hit new all-time highs earlier in the day, while ETH/USD neared $3,800 — its highest level since May.

As Cointelegraph highlighted this week, Polkadot’s DOT is being tipped as the next altcoin to see major gains.

Cardano Explodes To Record Highs. Will It Leave Bitcoin, Ethereum In the Dust? | Investing.com

Investing.com 02 September, 2021 - 06:22am

Cryptocurrencies have been rallying since reaching lows in late June. Bitcoin and Ethereum have made a series of higher highs over the past six weeks. Each is now back at levels seen in May.

The asset class’s market cap dropped from over $2.4 trillion to below the $1.4 trillion level as Bitcoin and Ethereum more than halved in value from the 2021 high. But, as of Aug. 24, the value of all 11,382 cryptocurrencies was back at the $2.077 trillion level.

Cardano, the crypto in the top three hierarchy, hit the $2.40 level in mid-May. After falling to a low of around $1.12 in July, the price exploded higher, eclipsing the mid-May record high over the past week.

Cardano’s ascent could be a sign of things to come for the cryptocurrency asset class.

Cardano is a public blockchain platform. It's open-source and decentralized, with consensus achieved using proof of stake. Cardano facilitates peer-to-peer transactions with its internal cryptocurrency, ADA. In 2015, Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson founded Cardano.

Cardano’s website states it is:

“A blockchain platform for changemakers, innovators, and visionaries, with the tools and technologies required to create possibility for the many, as well as the few, and bring about positive global change.”

As of early September 2021, Cardano was the third-leading cryptocurrency.

As the chart shows, at the $3.0451 per token level, ADA has a market cap of over $98.90 billion, third behind Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but ahead of the fourth and fifth cryptocurrencies, Binance Coin (BNB) and Tether (USDT), the stablecoin.

At the end of August, Bitcoin futures were trading at the $47,210 level.

As the chart highlights, Bitcoin was approximately 27.9% below its all-time high from mid-April 2021 on Aug. 31.

At the $3415 level on Aug. 31, Ethereum was sitting at around 22.5% under its record peak from May 2021.

Meanwhile, Cardano’s crypto has been rallying as Bitcoin and Ethereum recovered from the late June lows, reaching new heights.

On Thursday, Aug. 26, ADA rose to a new record peak at $2.9442 per token. As of Thursday, Sept. 2 it's gone even higher—to $3.0123 at time of publication.

The chart shows ADA’s recent ascent. In May, when Ethereum rose to over the $4400 level, ADA reached $2.3091. The price moved above that level on Aug. 18 and reached a new high at the start of September.

ADA’s proof of stake randomly allocates coins to users, who put up coins for collateral. While Cardano uses proof of stake, Bitcoin and Ethereum use proof of work, requiring a global computer network working at the same time when a transaction occurs. Meanwhile, proof of stake is a greener alternative to proof of work as it requires far less computing power. Cardano has a distinct advantage over Bitcoin and Ethereum with environmentalists.

As of the end of August, 11,521 cryptocurrency tokens were trading in the asset class, with a total market cap of $2.100 trillion. The top three, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano had a combined value of $1.381 trillion or over 65.7% of the entire asset class. Ethereum is over four times more valuable than ADA, and Bitcoin’s value is around ten times higher.

Meanwhile, the rise of ADA to the third position is a sign that altcoins are making a move within the cryptocurrency landscape.

Cardano’s current price appreciation came after it announced a major upgrade—referred to as a hard fork—called Alonzo, scheduled to launch on Sept. 12. Alonzo will introduce smart contracts to the blockchain.

ADA also surged as Japan’s exchange will list ADA. Japan’s regulatory environment is one of the strictest in the world for entering the market. The Japanese exchange allows trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. ADA joined this elite class of cryptocurrencies, pushing the market cap into third place in August 2021.

Some crypto analysts believe that Cardano has the potential to leave Bitcoin and Ethereum in the dust over the coming years. The possibility for Bitcoin and Ethereum-type returns from a token trading at below the $3 level could attract lots of speculative interest.

As with all of the members of this asset class, only invest what you are willing to lose since the high level of volatility could cause violent price swings. ADA tokens have the critical mass and liquidity for traders. However, the potential for wide price variance means that risks are always a function of the potential for rewards.

Keep an eye on ADA as the Cardano protocol is attracting lots of attention.

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Donald Trump says cryptocurrencies are a disaster waiting to happen - and slams the 'fake' money for hurting the dollar

Markets Insider 01 September, 2021 - 08:02am

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