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Anthonia Isichei

Articles by Anthonia Isichei

BlackRock Makes Crypto Splash With Private Bitcoin Investment Trust Product

1 day ago

BlackRock has followed up its Coinbase partnership with its first institutional crypto investment product: a private bitcoin trust that offers direct exposure to spot BTC price action.
BlackRock has debuted its first investment product offering direct exposure to bitcoin, according to a statement issued on Thursday (August 12, 2022).
The product is a private bitcoin trust for institutional clients based in the US that offers direct exposure to the spot price of the largest crypto by market capitalization.
According to the company, the introduction of the product offering is in response to an increased interest from its big money clients who want to access cryptocurrency. An excerpt from the announcement reads:

“Despite the steep downturn in the digital asset market, we

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South Korean Authorities Ask Exchanges to Block LFG From Withdrawing Funds: Report

May 24, 2022

South Korean police are reportedly looking to freeze assets associated with the non-profit organization Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) following the eventful collapse of Terra (LUNA).
According to South Korea’s national broadcaster Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), on Monday (May 23, 2022), the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency asked several exchanges in the country to prevent LFG from withdrawing funds.
Although such platforms are not mandated by law to carry out the police request, it remains unclear if they would actually take any action.
The latest development follows the collapse of Terra’s native coin LUNA and the de-pegging of its algorithmic stablecoin UST earlier in May. The crash led to massive losses for investors, who later slammed Terra co-founder Do Kwon with a

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Brazilian Digital Banking Giant Partners With Paxos to Offer Crypto Services

May 12, 2022

São Paulo-based Nubank, Latin America’s largest digital bank, has signed a partnership deal with blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos to support cryptocurrency trading services within its banking app.
Nubank Supports Direct Bitcoin and Ether Trading
In a press release on Wednesday (May 11, 2022), Nubank said its customers will be able to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin and ether directly via the banking app, with crypto purchases starting from $0.20. (1 BRL). According to the announcement, Nubank’s new service seeks to offer a simple and seamless cryptocurrency experience for its users.
The co-founder and CEO of Nubank, David Vélez, said:

“There is no doubt that crypto is a growing trend in Latin America, one that we have been following closely and believe will have a

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Jack Henry Customers Now Have Bitcoin Access Following a Partnership With NYDIG

May 11, 2022

A partnership deal between Jack Henry & Associates and New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) will enable community financial institutions to offer bitcoin services following increased interest from customers.
Millions of American Customers to Trade Bitcoin
Jack Henry and Associates (JHA), a leading technology solutions provider and payment processing firm, announced the collaboration with digital asset management firm NYDIG via a press release. The partnership will allow business and consumer accounts to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin through Jack Henry’s Banno Digital Platform.
The latter was developed for community credit unions and banks in the United States and has more than 7 million American consumers. The press release also stated that the JHA PayCenter will

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President Bukele Shows Plans of Proposed Ambitious Bitcoin City

May 11, 2022

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador has unveiled development plans for the country’s planned Bitcoin City shortly after the nation made its latest BTC purchase.
Bukele Moving Ahead With Bitcoin City Project
The El Salvadoran President showed pictures of the architectural model via a Twitter thread, saying, the “City is coming along beautifully.”
While details were sparse, with no mention of a completion date, the leader of the Central American country noted that the city will have lots of green trees, along with a blue sea. The scale model also showed a night view, landmarks, and airports.
Furthermore, the model showed a picture of onlookers having a view of the volcano. Bukele earlier revealed in 2021 plans to use energy from volcanoes for bitcoin mining. Later in

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Dubai Property Developer to Accept Bitcoin and Ethereum Payments

May 1, 2022

Major Dubai-based real estate developer Damac Properties has revealed that it would receive payment for property in cryptocurrency.
Buy Property With Bitcoin and Ether
According to Khaleej Times, Damac said it would add payments for any of its properties that can be made in Bitcoin and Ether, the two largest crypto assets by market capitalization.
The company noted that enabling such payment will give more options and will be convenient for real estate investors. Also, the Dubai-based property developer believes that facilitating property purchases using cryptocurrency could revolutionize the real estate industry.
Damac was established in 2002 and provides residential and commercial properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with an international presence in Qatar,

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Gibraltar Introduces New Regulation Against Crypto Market Manipulation

April 28, 2022

Gibraltar, a small British overseas territory, has released a new guideline for cryptocurrency businesses operating in the region, which aims to foster market Integrity and combat market manipulation.
The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) published the regulatory principle on Wednesday (April 27, 2022). The new rule was drafted by a special working group comprising government officials and experts in the crypto and blockchain industry.
Governments and regulators have expressed concern about the market manipulation supposedly plaguing the crypto industry. It is one of the reasons the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave for rejecting several spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications.
Meanwhile, the GFSC guidance is looking to tackle such

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Decentralized Social Media Project BlueSky Says it Is Independent of Twitter

April 27, 2022

BlueSky, a project funded by Twitter to build a decentralized standard for social media, has stated that the company is not controlled by the company following Elon Musk’s purchase.
BlueSky Operates Independent of Twitter
In a tweet thread on April 25, BlueSky stated that although it was funded by Twitter, the social media platform does not hold any controlling stake in the platform. BlueSky also clarified that Twitter’s funding came with one condition, that the project carried out “research and develop technologies that enable open and decentralized public conversation.”
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey first announced the creation of BlueSky back in December 2019, indicating that the plan was to “develop an open and decentralized standard for social media.”
Later in August

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US Prosecutors Charge Two Europeans in Connection With North Korea Crypto Conference

April 26, 2022

United States prosecutors have slammed charges against two Europeans for allegedly conspiring with recently sentenced Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith to help North Korea evade US sanctions with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Two Suspects Tied to 2019 Pyongyang Crypto Conference
According to a Department of Justice (DoJ) press release on Monday (April 25, 2022), 47-year-old Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao de Benos and a 30-year-old British citizen, Christopher Emms, founded the Korean Friendship Association back in 2018. Later, they organized a Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as North Korea.
Both Cao de Benos and Emms recruited Griffith, a U.S. citizen, to speak at the

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Bitfinex and Tether Donate 25 BTC to Aid El Salvadoran Families Hit by Gang Violence

April 14, 2022

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, in collaboration with USDT issuer Tether, recently launched a digital asset fund and donated over $1 million in bitcoin to assist families in El Salvador affected by the ongoing gang violence in the country.
Crypto Relief Fund Initiative is Bootstrapped With 25 BTC
Bitfinex chief technology officer (CTO) Paolo Ardoino revealed that the company teamed up with Tether to support El Salvadoran families who have been hit by the violence perpetrated by “pandillas” – a Spanish word for “gangs” – in the Central American country.
Both Bitfinex and Tether created a cryptocurrency relief fund to support victims, and have also contributed 25 bitcoin (worth over $1 million at the time of writing), to bootstrap the initiative. According to Ardoino,

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Novel Crypto Product Offered by Australian Bank Runs into Regulatory Snag

April 8, 2022

Australia’s financial regulators have yet to approve plans by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to offer access to crypto products for its over 6.5 million customers.
The regulatory watchdog says the onus is on the CBA to comply with laid-down rules and regulations for financial products. Opposition from the regulator has prevented the CBA from moving beyond the pilot phase of the project.
Will CBA’s Crypto Product Be Delayed?
According to a report by Financial Review on April 6, CBA’s novel crypto product is facing launch delays due to issues raised by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
Announced back in November 2021, CBA plans to take a leaf from its counterparts on Wall Street and join the trend of commercial lenders offering crypto

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Cashio Hacker Sets Conditions to Return Stolen $50 Million

March 28, 2022

The anonymous hacker behind the theft of over $50 million from the Solana-based stablecoin protocol Cashio has set some conditions for returning the stolen funds to affected users.
The Cashio hacker has set forth conditions for returning funds stolen from the decentralized platform. Data from Etherscan shows someone in control of the wallet linked to the exploit detailing how restitution could happen for people affected by the attack.
The hacker gave six conditions, part of which asked affected users to state the amount to be refunded, provide their ETH address as refunds will be done in Ether. They also required users to give details about the source of their money and why they needed a refund.
Furthermore, the perpetrator promised to refund affected liquidity providers

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Revolut Executive Quits Company to Establish New Crypto Startup

March 12, 2022

Alan Chang, the Chief Revenue Officer of Revolut, is reportedly leaving the UK fintech company with plans to raise funds in the millions of dollars for a new cryptocurrency initiative.
$100 Million in Funding for New Crypto Venture
According to Bloomberg, Chang is set to leave Revolut after working as one of the company’s executives for nearly seven years, as stated by a spokesperson of the firm. He joined Revolut in 2015 as its fifth employee.
Although the chief revenue officer is departing the fintech company, Chang is working on developing a crypto startup. As revealed by anonymous sources to Bloomberg, the executive is seeking to raise $100 million. Meanwhile, he has reportedly also invested his money, which the unmentioned sources say is in millions of dollars.

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Team Behind Meta’s Diem Announces New Blockchain Project Called Aptos

February 26, 2022

The brains behind Meta’s former Diem project have unveiled plans to launch the blockchain network as a separate protocol with support for other web3 solutions. Also, the announcement includes a name change to Aptos.
Former Diem Developers to Relaunch Protocol
Some members of the now-defunct Diem blockchain project have teamed up and announced plans to proceed with the network’s development and deployment. The news was shared via a medium blog post published on Thursday (February 24, 2022).
According to the statement, the new team called Aptos Labs has assembled experts, including original creators, researchers, designers, and builders of Diem. The effort is geared towards creating a new, independent project focused on delivering the safest and most production-ready layer 1

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FTX Launches New Gaming Arm With NFT Support

February 22, 2022

Popular crypto exchange FTX has plans to launch a gaming unit to offer mainstream gaming publishers support for non-fungible token (NFT) integration and other blockchain-powered collectibles.
FTX to Provide Web3 Operability for Game Studios
Bloomberg reported that the company will launch its gaming outfit in the coming months. The so-called FTX Gaming unit is set to function as a “crypto-as-a-service” platform for mainstream game studios. Also, the service will offer support for NFTs and allow companies to launch digital tokens for gamers.
According to the report, the foray into gaming marks a strategic move for the exchange in its bid to incentivize the adoption of blockchain technology and digital assets by game publishers. The Bahamian-based firm believes decentralized

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Crypto Proponents Rebuff Canadian Government for Crypto Crackdown During Ongoing Protests

February 19, 2022

Well-known cryptocurrency advocates worldwide have called out Canadian authorities for seizing millions in bitcoin and other digital currencies amid the ongoing protests against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine policies.
Court Signs Order to Seize Bitcoin and Monitor Crypto Wallet
The Toronto Star reported that a court order had been issued to freeze bank accounts and digital wallets involved in fundraising efforts geared towards aiding “Freedom Convoy” protesters in Canada.According to the coverage, Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod signed the order late on Thursday (February 17, 2022) and instructed financial service providers to halt all transactions connected to the protest’s efforts.Sources confirmed that money service businesses, banks, fundraising platforms,

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Valliance Bank Partners With Bakkt to Enable Cryptocurrency Exposure

February 14, 2022

Digital asset platform Bakkt Holdings has teamed up with Valliant Bank, an institution that provides financial services, to bring a seamless crypto experience to the bank’s customers.
According to a press release on Monday (February 14, 2022), Valliant Bank would enable customers to easily buy, sell, and hold bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and other altcoins within the bank’s digital banking infrastructure via the Bakkt crypto connect solution.
Bakkt’s program, which is scheduled to launch in Q2 2022, is an early adopter solution that seeks to lower the barrier to entry for new cryptocurrency participants.
The President and COO of Valliance Bank, Alicia Wade, said that there has been an increasing number of clients who have shown interest in cryptocurrency. Wade also said

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One River Digital Asset Management Unveils New SMA Offering With Coinbase

February 13, 2022

One River Digital Asset Management has teamed up with the US cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase to offer a separately managed account (SMA) platform for wealth management firms.
ONE Digital SMA for Crypto Exposure
In a press release published on Friday (February 11, 2022), One River Digital launched the ONE Digital SMA for clients of Coinbase Prime. The new offering will enable users with a Coinbase Prime account to maintain ownership of their digital assets while also accessing an institutional index and active strategies via ONE Digital SMA.
According to the announcement, there has been an increased interest from private wealth platforms and registered investment advisors seeking to offer better crypto exposure and investment opportunities for their clients.

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Drake Makes a Bitcoin Bet Worth Nearly $1.3 Million on Upcoming Super Bowl Match

February 12, 2022

Popular Canadian rapper Aubrey Drake Graham, also known mononymously as Drake, made a massive bitcoin bet on Sunday’s Super Bowl Game between the Los Angeles Rams (LA Rams) and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Drake took a snapshot of his bet and posted it on Instagram for his over 100 million followers, with the caption “All bets are in on the family.” The rapper’s wager was a total of $1.26 million in bitcoin, which was made via Stake, a cryptocurrency sports betting platform.
Drake placed a bitcoin bet worth CA$600,000 ($472,476) for the LA Rams to win against the Bengals. The rapper also seemed to be behind Odell Beckham Jr, the LA Rams’ wide receiver, betting CA$500,000 ($393,825) on the footballer to have over 62.5 receiving yards.
The Canadian celebrity staked another

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Bitstamp Becomes Official Crypto Exchange of Esports Organization Immortals

February 10, 2022

Bitstamp has struck a three-year partnership deal with U.S. professional esports organization Immortals to be the official cryptocurrency exchange of the gaming company.
Bitstamp Collaborates With Immortals
Immortals announced the news of the collaboration via a press release on Wednesday (February 9, 2022). According to the statement, the deal will also make Bitstamp a founding member of the esports organization.
The partnership aims to educate the Immortals community about the crypto industry while also creating incentives for fans. This is Bitstamp’s second collaboration with an esports brand, the first being with the London-based Guild Esports, in a sponsorship deal worth £4.5 million ($6 million).
Meanwhile, Bitstamp and Immortals will be jointly involved in various

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Matic Pumps 16% as Sequoia Capital Leads $450 Million Fundraise for Polygon

February 7, 2022

Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital led a financing round for the Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution Polygon, becoming the latest Silicon Valley company to invest in the Web3 space.
According to CNBC on Monday (February 7, 2022), Polygon recently raised $450 million, with Sequoia Capital leading the investment.
Other companies involved in the fundraising round include Softbank, Alameda Research, Tiger Global, and Galaxy Digital. Prominent individuals such as Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard, and TV personality Kevin O’Leary also participated.
Meanwhile, Polygon is looking to allocate $100 million to a dedicated “ecosystem fund,” which would be used to support upcoming development on the network. The remaining capital would be

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Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Sold for $2.85 million in ETH

January 31, 2022

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible NFT collection continues to see increased demand, with the latest example recently sold at a value of over $2.8 million.
On the night of January 30, 2022, Bored Ape #232 was sold for a whopping 1080.69 ETH ($2.85 million). The sale happened on the NFT marketplace – LooksRare.
The features of the purchased Ape NFT include an army green background, a seaman’s hat, sleepy eyes, a smoking jacket, a clean bored mouth, solid gold fur, and sleepy eyes, making it one of the very rare NFTs in the collection.
While the Ape NFT is not the largest sale in terms of dollar value due to the current price of ETH, it is the highest four-digit ETH sale for the price of a single one. Meanwhile, the floor price for the collection is 118.99 eth at the

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Another American Bank Partners with NYDIG to Offer Bitcoin to Customers

January 27, 2022

Customers of U.S. financial service provider Five Star Bank will soon be able to securely buy and invest in bitcoin (BTC) directly from their bank accounts thanks to a partnership with NYDIG.
Five Star Bank to Offer Bitcoin Trading Services
New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) has struck a partnership with American-based Five Star Bank to onboard bitcoin trading and virtual currency transaction facilities for the latter’s customers before the end of Q2 2022.
According to the announcement, Five Star Bank plans to integrate the full-stack BTC platform developed by NYDIG into its online banking service and mobile banking app. This will allow the bank’s account holders to manage their digital transactions via a regulated channel and negate crypto adoption concerns

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YouTube Looking to Add NFTs in Ecosystem Expansion Efforts (Report)

January 25, 2022

The American video-sharing giant YouTube intends to go into the non-fungible token (NFT) sector, as part of the company’s expansion plans.
As reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday (January 25, 2022), YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, in an annual letter to creators, said that the company was looking for ways to help creators benefit from non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
An excerpt from the letter said:
“We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.”
While Wojcicki did not give further details about YouTube’s NFT plans, the CEO noted that Web3 was a “source of inspiration.”
The YouTube chief also stated that

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SkyBridge Joins the SEC’s List of Rejected Spot Bitcoin ETFs

January 21, 2022

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has, once again, rejected a spot bitcoin ETF application. It was filed earlier by the investment management company First Trust Advisors and the hedge fund SkyBridge led by Anthony Scaramucci.
In a statement published on Thursday (January 20, 2022), the SEC said the reason for the rejection was that they failed to meet the requirements.
According to an excerpt from the SEC document:
“Because NYSE Arca has not demonstrated that its proposed rule change is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, the Commission must disapprove the proposal.”
Back in March 2021, SkyBridge partnered with First Trust to file a Bitcoin ETF application with the SEC. On May 25, the Commission began an official review of

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SEC Commissioner Says Crypto Doesn’t Require Special Regulatory Framework

January 20, 2022

While there have been calls by the cryptocurrency community for the SEC to provide clearer regulation for the industry, one of the agency’s commissioners thinks otherwise.
SEC Does Not Need to Re-Invent the Wheel
Allison Lee, a Commissioner for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while appearing at a D.C. bar event on crypto regulation, has said that cryptocurrencies do not need a special set of rules.
According to Lee:

“Rather than pursuing approaches that would single out digital assets for special treatment under SEC regs – treatments that other asset classes don’t receive – in my view we should continue to work together to bring these emerging assets and markets into compliance.”

Lee’s comments come as the Gary Gensler-led SEC continues to field

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Gemini Buys Omniex in Trading Expansion Push

January 20, 2022

US-based cryptocurrency custody and exchange Gemini has made its latest acquisition, with the company purchasing the trading technology startup, Omniex.
Gemini announced the news of the acquisition in a blog post on Wednesday (January 19, 2022). According to the exchange platform, Omniex will be integrated into Gemini Prime, which was publicly launched following the acquisition.
Prior to the latest development, Gemini Prime was only accessible to a select number of customers in the past year.
The product is designed to make trading easier for institutional investors by providing access to multiple exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) liquidity sources trading transparency, among others.
Meanwhile, Gemini Prime is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2022. An

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North Korean Hackers Stole Nearly $400 Million in 2021: Chainalysis Reports

January 16, 2022

A recent report by blockchain forensics company Chainalysis stated that cybercriminals in North Korea stole bitcoin and Ether, worth almost $400 million but still have millions worth of stolen cryptocurrency funds unlaundered.
Almost $400 Million Theft Recorded in 2021
The Chainalysis report published January 13, 2022, stated that the funds were stolen following attacks on a minimum of seven crypto exchanges. Also, the company believes most of the attacks were possibly conducted by the infamous cybercriminal organization known as the Lazarus Group.
According to the blockchain forensics firm, the number of North Korean-affiliated hacks rose from four in 2020 to seven in 2021. Also, the value of the hack increased 40%, with Chainalysis calling 2021 a “banner year” for these

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South African Police Launch Investigation into Alleged Crypto Fraud

January 13, 2022

The police in South Africa are looking into a possible crypto scam case after an investment company attempted to reimburse some investors from the now-defunct Africrypt exchange.
Police Launch Closer Look at Africrypt
Bloomberg informed that South African Police forces across four provinces, including Durban and Johannesburg, are currently investigating reports in connection to the alleged Africrypt scam from 2021 involving co-founder brothers Raess and Ameer Cajee.
The coverage states that Dubai-based investment company Pennython Project Management LLC approached a number of out-of-pocket investors of the exchange and attempted to offer a portion of the lost investment.
Following the offer from Pennython, the investors are now pushing for the arrest of both Raees and

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Jack Dorsey’s Company to Hire Bitcoin Mining Experts

January 11, 2022

Former Twitter CEO and co-founder of Block Jack Dorsey continues to pursue bitcoin (BTC) mining plans as his company moves to hire a Custom Digital Design Lead.
Block Advertises Bitcoin Mining-related Job
San Francisco-based financial services group Block (formerly known as Square) is hiring a Custom Digital Design Lead, according to a recent job listing on LinkedIn. The role description looks to recruit an experienced designer to join a team of developers working on an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for bitcoin mining.
The job posting aligns with previous statements from company CEO Jack Dorsey regarding the plans to build and develop a BTC mining system based on custom silicon designs and open-source collaboration.
Dorsey, a well-known bitcoin enthusiast,

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