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Caesars Welcomes Something Unique to the Las Vegas Strip

The casino operator has added a Vegas original to one of its high-end properties.

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The casino operator has added a Vegas original to one of its high-end properties.

You can't avoid Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report in Las Vegas.

The coffee chain has locations inside a variety of Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report and MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report hotels and casinos as well as pretty much everywhere else on the Las Vegas Strip.

There are, of course, other coffee shops and Dunkin' has recently expanded its presence in the city. Starbucks, however, has become ubiquitous and it has worked to make its cafes as unique as the mega-resorts in the city. In 2011 Justine McHart, Starbucks designer for U.S. Licensed Stores, was tapped to build the Starbucks brand presence on the Strip with distinctive new licensed store designs.

“On the Las Vegas Strip, a customer can literally see all 35 stores in one visit, so it’s really important to differentiate each one,” McHart said. “We want people to feel the difference and generate buzz about our stores.”

Now, that number has greatly increased and the chain has continued to expand its portfolio on the Strip and throughout Las Vegas. Back in 2019, before the pandemic, Starbucks had 125 locations in Sin City, 1 location per every 5,133 residents, the most of any U.S. city, according to Apartment Guide.

Now, while no company -- even Dunkin' -- seems likely to rival Starbucks for Strip dominance, Caesars has welcome an upscale cafe into what's perhaps its most upscale location.

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Not Another Starbucks Clone Hits the Strip

Cafe Lola, a cafe brand created by women to appeal to women, will open its fourth location inside the  Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  The company, known for its brightly-colored cafes, describes itself as follows.

"A modern & unique twist on a traditional European café featuring breakfast, brunch & afternoon tea all day long. Café Lola was named Nevada's most Instagrammable café by Food Network for its unique decor, creative drinks & pink-hued floral walls," the company shared on its website.

The chain also tries to differentiate its beverages from the traditional coffee shop lineup.

"Café Lola specializes in all things coffee & tea. We are known for our unique & specialty lattes. Some of our signature lattes: 24K Gold Crème Brûlée Latte, Signature Vanilla Rose & our Unicorn Hot Chocolate!"

Caesars Welcomes a Unique Coffee Chain

Moving into Caesars upscale mall is a big step for the Vegas-created company.

“We’re a Vegas-grown brand. The natural progression is to be on the Las Vegas Strip,” Lin Jerome, who owns Café Lola with her business partner, Alexandra Lourdes told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We wanted to bring the experience to visitors and Las Vegas locals.”

The partners considered the Strip location after hearing from many of its customers that they were traveling from there to visit the small chain's Summerlin or Henderson locations, the paper reported.

“We’d always wanted to expand to the Strip,” Lourdes said, echoing Jerome. “The Forum Shops actually reached out to us. It was such a big honor they even thought about us, and we’re very excited.”

The Forum Shops also contains a Starbucks. Lola will offer many of its current menu items -- think unique lattes, teas using non-traditional ingredients, matcha, gluten-free choices, and more -- in a colorful environment meant to appeal to women. Breakfast is served all day and Lola plans to have some special items for its Strip location,

This will include a "house frosé, blended with bubbles, offered by the yardstick in a vessel resembling a giant Champagne bottle," the paper reported. There will also be a walk-up window serving frosé, coffee, and more to go.

Starbucks, of course, has nothing to worry about, but Las Vegas Strip visitors now have a unique alternative that may just take a few dollars away from the ubiquitous chain.

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Coinbase posts $1.1B loss, Polygon DApps rocket 400% in 2022 and Elon Musk says inflation is on the decline: Hodler’s Digest, Aug 7-13

Coming every Saturday, Hodlers Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption…

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Coming every Saturday, Hodlers Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

 

Elon Musk: US past peak inflation after Tesla sells 90% of Bitcoin

With Tesla now having sold 90% of its Bitcoinholdings during the bear market, Elon Musk says the U.S. economy is past peak inflation and predicts that only a mild to moderate recession could be incoming. We sort of have some insight into where prices are headed over time, and the interesting thing that were seeing now is that most of our commodities, most of the things that go into a Tesla not all, more than half the prices are trending down in six months from now, Musk said at Teslas 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

 

Coming sooner: ETH devs move up the date for Merge

The long-awaited Merge looks to be ahead of schedule, with Ethereum core developers Tim Beiko and Terence Tsao agreeing on a developer call Thursday to tentatively set the date of the Merge for Sept. 15. The previously estimated date from Beiko was Sept. 19, and suggested that the final preparation work is going smoothly after the final Goerli testnet merge went off without a hitch this week.

 

 

Coinbase posts $1.1B loss in Q2 on fast and furious crypto downturn

Major crypto exchange Coinbase posted a whopping Q2 loss of $1.1 billion, citing a fast and furious crypto downturn during the quarter. The firm noted that Q2 was a tough quarter as trading volume and transaction revenue fell 30% and 35%, respectively. It marks the second consecutive quarter of loss for the company this year. The current downturn came fast and furious, and we are seeing customer behavior mirror that of past down markets, the firm wrote in a shareholder letter posted on Tuesday.

 

Decentralized apps on Polygon hit 37,000, rocketing 400% this year

The number of DApps on Ethereum scaling platform Polygon topped 37,000 this week, marking a 400% increase since the start of 2022. The project provided a breakdown of DApp projects built on Polygon, which notably showed that 74% of teams integrated exclusively on Polygon, while 26% deployed on both Polygon and Ethereum. Polygon also stated that its ecosystem has now seen more than 142 million unique user addresses and $5 billion in assets secured, with around 1.6 billion transactions processed on the network to date.

 

Anonymous user sends ETH from Tornado Cash to prominent figures following sanctions

One day after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash over its alleged role in money laundering operations, intervals of 0.1 Ether transactions began being sent from the smart contract to prominent figures such as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and American television host Jimmy Fallon. The move appears to be a critique or satirical commentary on the U.S. governments current policy of also sanctioning addresses that interacted with Tornado Cash.

 

 

 

Winners and Losers

 

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $23,840.93, Ether (ETH) at $1,882.20 and XRP at $0.37. The total market cap is at $1.13 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Celsius (CEL) at 93.85%, Ankr (ANKR) at 46.99% and Decred (DCR) at 26.34%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are ApeCoin (APE) at 9.03%, Curve DAO Token (CRV) at 5.01% and Kusama (KSM) at 4.53%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

 

 

 

 

Most Memorable Quotations

 

A senior living community has almost no exposure to the crypto ecosystem unless their grandchildren tell them about it.

Owen Robertson, marketing associate at Dominant Strategies

 

The fact that I dont have an alternative to Facebook is the reason why Facebook is a monopoly. But if it was on a blockchain, I could transmit data freely, there could become [different] Facebooks.

Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca Brands

 

In the past six months or so, weve seen valuations on companies come down to a bit more realistic valuations, and its become a great time to begin allocating capital.

Gerard Berile, venture and investment principal at Wave Financial

 

Going forward, that mentality towards risk management while still being bullish over the long term is very important. […] You can be bullish on crypto, but you can still sell out of the market.

Jeffrey Gao, CEO of Cypherpunk Holdings

 

Scalability isnt just like some boring thing where you just need like ‘cost numbers go down’ scalability, I think actually enables and unlocks entirely new classes of applications.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum

 

So I think institutional adoption is where its going, and the institutions are what is going to enable […] that killer app for consumers to really bring crypto and DeFi to the next level.

Boris Alergant, head of DeFi markets at Ripple Labs

 

Prediction of the Week

 

$29K Bitcoin is closer than you might expect, according to derivatives data

With Bitcoins price continuing to battle $24,000 resistance, facing rejection on Aug. 10 but managing not to be knocked off the 52-day-long ascending channel, Cointelegraph market analyst Marcel Pechman suggested the price could eventually hit $29,000 by October. He pointed to a bullish chart formation with a support level of $22,500 that indicates the price could climb to just under $30,000. Pechman also noted that while BTC derivatives data show a lack of interest from leveraged longs, there is no indication of a surprise crash being priced into the market.

 

 

FUD of the Week

ASIC chair troubled by sheer amount of risk-taking crypto investors

Joe Longo, the chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has raised alarm bells over the number of Aussies that invested in unregulated, volatile crypto assets during the pandemic. As part of a media release on Thursday, Longo pointed to ASIC research from November 2021 that found that crypto was the second most common investment product, with 44% of those surveyed reporting holding it. Out of those investors, 25% indicated that crypto assets were the only investment class they were involved in.

 

Cross-chain bridge RenBridge laundered $540M in hacking proceeds: Elliptic

According to a Wednesday report from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, crypto bridge RenBridge has facilitated the laundering of at least $540 million in hacking proceeds since 2020. According to the report, the laundering was conducted via a process known as chain hopping converting one form of cryptocurrency into another and moving it across multiple blockchains.

 

Tornado Cash co-founder reports being kicked off GitHub as industry reacts to sanctions

Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Semenov claimed his account on developer platform GitHub was suspended on Monday. Semenov noted that, despite not being individually named as a Specially Designated National by the U.S. Treasurys Office of Foreign Assets Control, he seemed to be facing repercussions relating to the Treasurys allegations that Tornado Cash laundered more than $7 billion worth of crypto.

 

 

Best Cointelegraph Features

How to bake your own DAO at home With just 5 ingredients!

Decentralized autonomous organizations come in all sizes and flavors. Some can seem sweet, others turn sour. It can be fun and interesting to create one that suits your needs and satisfies your hunger for something new.

Reinventing yourself in the Metaverse through digital identity

Metaverse users can reinvent themselves with a digital identity built upon avatars and digital assets, but there are challenges to consider.

How Bitcoin whales make a splash in markets and move prices

Are the whales selling in this bear market? A deep dive into their on-chain data.

 

The best of blockchain, every Tuesday

Subscribe for thoughtful explorations and leisurely reads from Magazine.


By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

 

 

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Metaverse still not ready for virtual weddings and legal proceedings

Since the legislative framework surrounding the Metaverse is quite gray, experts still don’t see the technology being used to settle legal issues.

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Since the legislative framework surrounding the Metaverse is quite gray, experts still don’t see the technology being used to settle legal issues.

As the global Web3 ecosystem continued to evolve at a staggering pace, so have the various use cases associated with this niche. In a striking new development, a high-ranking Singaporean government minister recently noted that legal marriage proceedings, court case disputes, and government services could one day be conducted using Metaverse platforms.

While delivering a keynote address at Singapore’s TechLaw Fest 2022 late last month, the country’s second minister for law, Edwin Tong, was quoted as saying that he would not be surprised if, in the future, intimate events such as the solemnization of marriages as well as legal disputes “could take place within the Metaverse,” adding:

“It would not be unthinkable that, besides registration of marriages, other government services can soon be accessed online via the Metaverse. There's no reason why the same cannot be done for legal services. The pandemic has already shown us that even dispute resolution — once seen to be a physical, high-touch process [...] can be held online.”

Expounding on his stance, Tong used a hypothetical example of a dispute involving an accident on a construction site, which he believes could be viewed in a 3D environment using augmented reality technology, thus allowing for a better reimagining of the accident. “You can put yourself into the actual tunnel or the oil containment facility to look at the dispute,” he added.

A hybrid outlook such as this, Tong believes, could make the dispute resolution process extremely convenient and efficient for governments across the planet.

Could digital legal proceedings become the norm?

According to Joseph Collement, general counsel for cryptocurrency exchange and wallet developer Bitcoin.com, dematerializing government services that require in-person attendance is the next, most coherent step for nations across the globe, especially as the world shifts from an analogous age to a digital one in this post-covid era. He added:

“Nowadays, approximately one-third of legal agreements worldwide are signed electronically. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see modern nations such as Singapore adopt all-inclusive technologies like the Metaverse for government services. The same thinking should apply to certain civil court cases, which are still subject to extreme delays due to backlogs. While justice is delayed, the involved parties often have to suffer.”

A similar view is shared by Alexander Firsov, chief Web3.0 officer for Sensorium — an A.I.-driven Metaverse platform. He told Cointelegraph that as a space dedicated to bridging the gap between the real world and digital experiences, it’s only logical that the Metaverse will one day transform into a medium where legal proceedings can take place. 

In his view, by adopting immersive technologies, virtual legal proceedings won’t feel much different from real-life events. In fact, he believes the use of photorealistic avatars can bring a degree of humanization and presence that online meetings fail to meet. Lastly, Firsov noted that justice systems all over the world are notoriously slow, costly and the Metaverse can help address these inefficiencies, adding:

“The Metaverse can have a positive impact when it comes to the work of law enforcement agencies and other legal entities on issues such as cooperation, record keeping, and data transmission, as it holds the ability to improve important processes through the use of emerging technologies such as blockchain.”

Not everyone is sold on the idea

Dimitry Mihaylov, A.I. scientist, UN expert contractor and associate professor at the National University of Singapore, told Cointelegraph that the first problem when talking about digitally facilitated legal proceedings is that of intellectual property (IP) based legislation — since geographical borders do not factor into proceedings taking place in the Metaverse, least as of yet. He explained:

“When you get a patent, it’s valid only within a particular territory. Yet, with the Metaverse, it will be used by people worldwide. People can accidentally violate laws by using a patent in the Metaverse that is outside its area of legalization. Here’s where relevant authorities need to determine who owns the IP and under which court’s jurisdiction it falls.”

The second issue, in his opinion, pertains to data collection and ownership. This is because mainstream tech conglomerates have for the longest time been abusing the data of their clients and, therefore, it will be important that regulations pertaining to the storing and use of legal data on the Metaverse are developed before any court proceedings can take place on it.

Collement believes a physical courtroom presents features that cannot be replicated in the Metaverse. For example, the cross-examination of a witness in front of a jury to attack his credibility is an important strategy in certain cases. Even with advanced video-conferencing, some important cues and details from a witness examination can be missed by the jury. He added:

“It is unclear to me that the Metaverse is ready to host trials. Uncertainty remains as to the enforceability of Metaverse-held judgments in countries that are a member of the Hague Convention but who have not yet issued any guidance or laws in regard to these virtual proceedings.”

Furthermore, Mihaylov noted that the question of copyright is quite pertinent in this regard since it protects digital works across many countries. He explained that nowadays, companies like Google are extremely swift with their copyright actions and block any sites that infringe on their rights. “Copyright covers more than 100 countries, and it's very close to the model that the Metaverse should use. But it has no applications yet, and no such precedents have arisen so far,” he added.

Are the masses willing to accept court proceedings on the Metaverse?

Mattan Erder, associate general counsel for public blockchain infrastructure provider Orbs, told Cointelegraph that as things stand, it is actually a question of whether people are truly willing to believe the outcome of what occurs on the Metaverse as being real, especially from a legal perspective. In his view, most individuals are quite detached from a reality where they can ever see trials deciding the future of an individual, adding:

“I think we have some time before these things become real. However, the more people live their lives in the Metaverse, the closer we will get to a mental shift. There are a variety of elements that need more development before it will be really possible to have these types of core social institutions exist there.”

In Erder’s opinion, the situation being discussed here is one that is usually dealt with by governments almost exclusively. Therefore, it makes sense for the masses not to get ahead of themselves in thinking that any of these changes are going to come in the near term. He believes that legal systems have a clear preference when it comes to wanting the physical presence of all those involved in a trial, adding:

“Most people have the belief that being in the same room with someone, such as a witness, and looking them in the eyes, seeing their mannerisms, etc., is important in evaluating their credibility. Democracies grant defendants the right to directly confront the witnesses and the evidence against them, and litigants have the right to confront each other and the judge/jury.”

Lastly, a key driver when it comes to people and governments getting onboard with Metaverse-based legal proceedings and marriages is their definition of reality. To this point, Erder thinks that as the Metaverse becomes an integral part of people’s lives, the things that happen there will start to matter to people. “The Metaverse will become a microcosm of human society where there will be a natural need for things like dispute resolution,” he concluded.

The future looks “Metaverse ready”

Similarly, quite recently, the South Korean government announced that it had been actively taking steps to bolster its Metaverse ambitions by setting aside $177 million from its coffers. The country is looking to devise a platform for its citizens that grants access to a wide array of government services in a completely digital fashion.

Back in July, Metaverse infrastructure company Condense closed a seed funding round to continue the development of a 3D live streaming technology. The technology underlying the firm’s digital offering utilizes “cutting-edge computer vision, machine learning and proprietary streaming infrastructure to capture and embed a live 3D video (Video 3.0).” In the near term, the firm hopes to stream this unique live video experience into various Metaverse games and mobile applications, as well as other platforms that have been created using Unity or the Unreal Engine.

Earlier this year, Metaverse platform Decentraland laid claim to the distinguished honor of hosting the world’s first wedding on the Metaverse, with the event being attended by a total of over 2,000 guests. The proceedings were administered and solemnized by the law firm Rose Law Group.

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The Case For Bitcoin To Separate Money From The State

By separating money from the government, Bitcoin takes the control of money out of the hands of politicians and gives it back to the citizens.

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By separating money from the government, Bitcoin takes the control of money out of the hands of politicians and gives it back to the citizens.

This is an opinion editorial by Ryan Bansal, a professional software engineer and author of a Bitcoin newsletter.

“The computer can be used as a tool to liberate and protect people, rather than to control them.” — Hal Finney

Technologies are just amplifiers, not arbiters of morality. By extrapolating from the above quote, it is within reason to claim that any technology can be both a tool for either tyranny or for freedom depending on whose hands are on the power lever.

The principle of checks and balances shows that in any kind of system that relies on concentrated power, that central institution becomes the honeypot for malicious actors. Also, keep in mind the democratic principle that more distributed decision-making is more robust and fair for any society. So it sounds like a no-brainer that the best way moving forward is to develop and adopt technologies with no single ultimate power lever?

Having said that, let’s now talk about one of the most important technologies of all: money. In the evolution of monetary technology from barter systems to seashells to metal coins to gold-backed banknotes and now a central-bank-controlled fiat digital currency, the power distribution has gone from being more decentralized to being more centralized to the point where governments have managed to establish a coercive monopoly on money.

Now, I think it is a fairly non-controversial statement to say: Government corrupts anything it touches. Sure, the convenience of digital money is unmatched, but it is also important to understand the other side of it, i.e., the counterparty risk, which means needing to trust a custody provider to secure your assets — along with the fact that the historical track record of keeping this trust is not great.

However fortunately or unfortunately, recently this breach in the contract has started to happen more widely and openly. Take for example a developed democratic country like Canada, freezing the bank accounts of its citizens for protesting against COVID-19 restrictions or a country like Russia putting restrictions on its people trying to withdraw their funds after the country invaded its neighbor. In a world run purely on physical cash, this kind of power to unconstitutionally violate private property rights would be impossible to execute.

(Source)

Apart from the worsening financial censorship and geopolitical sanctions — which are a relatively recent phenomenon now that money has become almost fully digital — the corruption arising from the advent of fiat money and its problems goes further back to 1971. What do I mean? The plethora of metrics one can use to measure the health of an economy like index funds price-earnings ratios, Gini index for wealth inequality, consumer price index for inflation and cost of living, the ratio of income growth versus productivity growth, individual homeownership rates and many others have all gone haywire since the then President Richard Nixon decided to move away from the gold standard.

If you haven’t guessed the next move of governments by now, allow me to introduce you to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Think today’s digital money is bad enough as is? Now imagine what if it was also programmable?

You can say goodbye to any last sliver of financial autonomy. Before we know it, we’ll be living in a surveillance state with social credit scores, just like the Chinese citizens. If you’ve seen politicians trying to put a positive spin on them by randomly throwing around buzzwords, like “blockchain,” go back to the top of this article and read the first line again.

The problems that the government creates can be spoken of at great lengths, but let us move on to the solution: How to take the control of money out of the hands of politicians and give it back to the citizens?

“I don’t believe we shall ever have good money again before we take it out of the hands of governments.” — Friedrich Hayek

Imagine if our monetary system had the privacy and autonomy of cash; the convenience of being instantly and digitally transferrable all over the globe; all the while also retaining the properties of gold, i.e., nobody can steal your purchasing power over time by arbitrarily manipulating its supply only to serve their perverse political incentives?

Moreover, what if it was also running on an open-source codebase and used a public database making it globally accessible, completely transparent and fully auditable by anyone? Plus, what if it also allowed anyone with an internet connection and a computer the ability to weigh in on its monetary policy?

Finally, what if the proposed system was also decentralized in a way that it becomes impossible to stop, controlled or corrupted by anyone due to the lack of a single point of failure or by any central authority?

Sounds like a monetary technology on steroids, doesn’t it? Well, in 2008, a solution to these problems was proposed by someone using the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. I’d also like to highlight that it didn’t just come out of the blue, it has been in the making ever since the central bankers established control over the money. More precisely, it took almost 40 years of research and multiple failed attempts to engineer this masterpiece. The following visual is more tangible:

(Source)

I’d like to close by reiterating that the notion of separation of the money from the State may seem radical to you at first, but it is actually not. As I mentioned before, the monetary technologies we’ve used throughout most of our history were way more outside of the state control than current fiat money. In one way or another, the State managed to capture them. Gold is the best example of such a non-sovereign asset that people used as money for the longest time, but it had obvious attack vectors in the form of various physical limitations, i.e., hard to store, hard to secure and hard to move.

Historically speaking, there has been a tug-of-war between fiat and non-government monies. Therefore, the real issue at hand is not one of “if” money will separate from government control, but of “when.” With Bitcoin, I think the moment is finally here.

Now obviously if this article has not managed to fully convince you how Bitcoin was designed to be a truly democratic and inclusive monetary system and if you still insist on calling it a scam, I hope you’ll at least consider it is something worth taking a harder look at.

This is a guest post by Ryan Bansal. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

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