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| May 25, 2018

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Wells Fargo owes $97 million to California employees who didn’t get breaks

May 10, 2018 |

Wells Fargo & Co. must pay $ 97 million to home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers in California who didn’t get the breaks they were entitled to under the state’s stringent labor laws.

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday agreed with the bankers and consultants that the money…


L.A. Times – Business

Infinity War Breaks New Record

May 6, 2018 |

In its second weekend in theaters, Avengers: Infinity War continues to dominate in North America, the AP reports. The Walt Disney Co. says Sunday that the superhero film will gross an estimated $ 112.5 million over the weekend, becoming the second-highest grossing film in weekend two behind Star Wars: The…
Newser

TMZ

Gervonta Davis Breaks Up Strip Club Fist Fight

May 6, 2018 |

Boxing champ Gervonta Davis (20-0) played peacemaker in a strip club fist fight … diving in between punches to separate two guys — and TMZ Sports has the footage.  It all went down outside V Live Dallas — one of the top strip clubs in the…

TMZ.com

Infinity War Breaks All-Time Record

April 29, 2018 |

A few dozen superheroes lifted Avengers: Infinity War to a record $ 250 million in ticket sales over the weekend, narrowly surpassing Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the highest opening weekend of all-time, the AP reports. According to Disney’s estimates Sunday, the Marvel Studios superhero smorgasbord bested the previous record…
Newser

Matt Lauer Breaks His Silence

April 27, 2018 |

Matt Lauer has broken five months of silence since allegations of sexual misconduct led to his ouster at NBC News to blast “many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me.” In a statement to the Washington Post , Lauer says he “acted inappropriately as a…
Newser

Pompeo Breaks With Trump on Russia During Senate Hearing

April 12, 2018 |

Aiming to quell concerns before what is likely to be a narrow confirmation vote, Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo vowed on Thursday to ramp up efforts against Russia in “each place we confront them.” But he ducked and dodged when asked whether he supports President Donald Trump’s pounding criticism of…
Newser

Malala Returns Home, Breaks Out Sobbing

March 31, 2018 |

Pakistan’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on Saturday arrived in her hometown for the first time since a Taliban militant shot her there in 2012 for advocating girls’ education, the AP reports. Yousafzai and her family arrived in a helicopter provided by the Pakistani military, which took her to…
Newser

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg breaks silence on data scandal: ‘We don’t deserve to serve you’ without security

March 21, 2018 |

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday broke his silence regarding the social media site’s role in what he called the “Cambridge Analytica situation,” in which the research firm allegedly accessed 50 million Facebook user profiles improperly.
FOX News

‘Pharma Bro’ Breaks Down Before 7-Year Prison Sentence

March 9, 2018 |

It turns out Martin Shkreli was a little off when he predicted he would only spend a few months in a “Club Fed” prison. The New York Daily News reports the “Pharma Bro,” “international villain,” and “most hated person in America” was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities…
Newser

Kaliningrad Offers Tax Breaks to Attract Bitcoiners

March 5, 2018 |

Kaliningrad Offers Tax Breaks to Attract Bitcoiners

Crypto regulations have not been adopted in Russia yet, but a string of words and deeds suggests that Moscow may take full advantage of the “phenomenon” in order to uphold national interests. Ideas and proposals to attract businesses and human capital in areas of strategic importance across the vast country have been circulated by officials on local and federal levels. President Putin himself says lagging behind is not acceptable, as it carries “risks of losing sovereignty”.

Also read: Russian Authorities Criticized over Proposed Crypto Regulation

Preferential Treatment Costs Just ₽1 Million

Any mining company can win support from authorities in Kaliningrad Oblast, if it invests as little as 1 million rubles, about $ 17,000 USD. Crypto miners willing to set up their facilities in the westernmost Russian region have been offered preferential treatment in the Special Economic Zone there. Tax breaks on profits and property and lowered benefit payments are among the incentives enjoyed by residents of the zone, according to Alexandr Shenderyuk-Zhidkov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Oblast.

Kaliningrad Offers Tax Breaks to Attract BitcoinersFurthermore, local authorities are planning to minimize expenses for connecting mining farms to the power grid and other relevant infrastructure, Zhidkov said during the “Crypto Environment” conference in Moscow. The forum was sponsored by Vnesheconombank, Russia’s development institution. Recently, Kaliningrad governor Anton Alihanov said the region might become “one huge mining farm”. At the Investment Forum in Sochi, Alihanov revealed that a “mining hotel” was already operating in the Oblast.

The exclave of Kaliningrad is situated almost in the heart of Western Europe and is separated from the rest of Russia. The city and the region have always been strategically important for Moscow, since they became part of the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The Russian Baltic Fleet is headquartered in Kaliningrad. Amid tensions with the West over Ukraine, Syria and the American interceptor missile launchers in Eastern Europe, Russia has reportedly deployed its nuclear-capable Iskander system in the region. The missiles can potentially reach Berlin.

Bitcoins to Attract Russians to the Far North

Crypto miners have also been invited to settle in the Far North of Russia. There are a lot of places in the country that can be extremely inhospitable, especially during the long Russian winter. Low temperatures, however, actually benefit cryptocurrency mining. The hardware used to process crypto transactions needs serious cooling. Murmansk is one such place, which offers not only cold climate, but very cheap electricity, as well.

Living and working within the Polar Circle has never been popular with most Russians. Back in Soviet times, workers were enticed to relocate there with higher wages and improved living standards. In modern Russia bitcoins may replace rubles as the major incentive for both businesses and people moving north.

Russia Steers Crypto Development in All Cardinal Directions

Last month Russian Deputy Energy Minister Vyacheslav Kravchenko advised crypto companies to build mining farms on the Kola Peninsula in Murmansk Oblast, where they can find a surplus of power generating capacity. Kravchenko also noted his department’s positive attitude towards mining in Siberia, where electricity rates are low, too.

Analysts say the exploration of the Arctic will become a priority for global powers struggling to control depleting natural resources. In that respect, the importance of outposts like Murmansk may increase, both in terms of human presence and availability of well-maintained infrastructure. The Oblast is also home to Russia’s Northern Fleet.

South and Far East Covered As Well

Other important regions, from national security standpoint, have also received attention as possible destinations for crypto development. Following its internationally unrecognized annexation by Russia, Crimea has been sustained economically by the federal budget. As part of the efforts to support its development, proposals have been made to turn it into a testing ground for crypto technologies. The Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain has been working on a roadmap to implement the “Crypto-Crimea” plan. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed on the south-west coast of the peninsula.

Russia Steers Crypto Development in All Cardinal DirectionsThe city of Vladivostok, administrative center of the Far Eastern Primorsky Krai, has been mentioned as a future “crypto hub”, a place to build Russia’s new “crypto valley”. Representatives of the Fund for Development of the Far East, the Central Bank and government officials recently discussed a local initiative to allow crypto trade there. Vladivostok is located around the Golden Horn Bay, close to the borders of China and North Korea. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

In his annual address to the Federal Assembly of Russia, President Vladimir Putin said: “We have to formulate our own digital platforms, compatible with the global information space, of course. This will allow us to organize production processes, financial and technological services in a new way, including through the implementation of the distributed ledger technology”. “It’s about technology development. Lagging behind in this area is unacceptable – it carries risks of losing sovereignty”, Russia’s head of state warned. This month Putin is running for his fourth term in the Kremlin.

Do you think Russia is deliberately trying to direct crypto development toward areas with strategic importance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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