Obesity is an issue of major global concern. For one, health practitioners globally acknowledge that obesity is a major risk factor for increased illness and death. Most notably, it is a major risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, various cancers, chronic diseases like kidney and liver disease, osteoarthritis, depression, and sleep apnea.
Rising Cases of Obesity
Globally, obesity is on the rise. From 1975 to 2016, global obesity levels have tripled. The data that out of 1.9 billion adults who are overweight, around half of them are obese. Besides that, around 40 million children were under 5 years that were obese as of 2019. It shows that the obesity problem could end up becoming a multi-generation problem that afflicts the world for decades to come. There is thus no doubt that the world is facing an obesity crisis.
Millions of people will no doubt suffer from major health consequences for years to come if something is not done. It will place huge pressure on healthcare systems, which might not be able to cope. While obesity is rising globally, it is most prevalent in Europe and the developing world. By 2025, it is estimated that 18% of the global male population and 21% of the global female population will be obese if something is not done. Due to the inherent hormonal differences, women are more likely to be obese than men.
Impact of Obesity
Data from various studies conducted between 1995 and 2008 shows that obesity has a huge economic impact. According to researchers, the lifetime economic impact of obesity is huge. By intervening early to reduce the issue, it could help to reduce the economic impact that the health condition has. When assessing the lifetime medical costs amongst obese people, it was found that costs rose with a rise in BMI.
Another impact of obesity was on quality-changed life years. It was found that men lost 1.9 million quality-change life years while women lost 3.4 million quality-changed life years from being obese. People suffering from obesity have a lower quality of life due to health problems compared to normal-weight people. It has also been found that avoiding obesity, could lead to better economic outcomes for individuals.
If measures are not identified and implemented to deal with obesity, it will put a major strain on healthcare systems globally. A good example of the dangers of an overstretched healthcare system has been demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In nations where the hospitals were already dealing with other patients, new temporary hospitals, which cost a lot of money, have had to be built. In other places, older patients have simply been turned away due to lack of capacity.
If the obesity issue is not dealt with early, it will make it harder to deal with health emergencies in the future. It will make healthcare a huge expense on the economy while also increasing the mortality rate.
How Could It Affect Bitcoin?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down markets worldwide, especially the US stock market, several investors and traders went after alternative assets and options that could provide them a better store of value.
The United States Senate approved by a 50-49 party-line vote a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus check, a plan already announced by Joe Biden at the beginning of January. This COVID-19 package relief includes the third round of stimulus checks that will be passed to president Biden, with a deadline of March 14 to make changes to the package before Biden gets to it.
What Does the COVID-19 Package Relief Plan Provide?
The COVID-19 package relief will include a series of direct payments to help boost the economy, hit by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020:
- Americans making over $75,000 per year will receive direct payments of $1,4000.
- Jobless Americans will receive $300 per week
- Couples who make over $150,000 will receive $2,900 as a household check
- One year increase to Child Tax Credits, which is a tax credit check that could be worth up to $2,000, depending on the income of households.
Why Is This Vital for Crypto?
- Investing in crypto: Americans are one of the most active cryptocurrency advocates in the world. While financial institutions and politicians are still debating and giving uncertain weather for cryptos, a good percentage of the population are trading or investing in them in some way, especially, Bitcoin. If Americans who received the check start using that money to invest in cryptocurrencies, the crypto market would likely see a boost by mid-year.
- Inflation: Stimulus Checks also mean more money issued —meaning, more money printed. The more money is printed, the higher the inflation as the value of fiat decreases. This is also another vital point for Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies.
- Hedge against inflation: While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down markets worldwide, especially the US stock market, several investors and traders went after alternative assets and options that could provide them a better store of value.
When institutional investors and companies, like PayPal, Grayscale, and Tesla, started hoarding Bitcoin, many realized that BTC together with several altcoins, changed from just being a medium of exchange to become a better hedge against value decreasing fiat.
While the weather in the US is uncertain regarding cryptocurrencies, this would likely act as a boost for most digital assets, reaffirming the need for better financial methods as changes are taking place in the world, and most economies can’t rely on the same classical methods of printing money every month for citizens.
Back in February, Janet Yellen made several mixed statements about crypto, specifically, Bitcoin, calling it a “special concern” by outlining how crypto-assets are being used for “shady businesses”. Yellen added that Bitcoin and other cryptos can be used for financing terrorism, but a report by Chainalysis highlighted how Bitcoin only accounts for 0.34% of terrorism-related transactions, keeping the US dollar as the preferred currency chosen by terrorists.
In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin has recovered 0.50% in price, trading in volumes of $49k, with a decent bullish index showing demand is still strong.
I’m a finance journalist and copywriter with a keen interest in the fintech field. I have keen on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and I believe it can reshape the way we see money and financial freedom.
Ethereum’s London Hard Fork with EIP 1559 Fee Market to Go Live This July
The EIP 1559 is a welcome move for Ethereum users that standardize the transaction fee across the network and reduces volatility. However, mining pools have placed a strong opposition to it.
As per the latest development, July 2021 is the scheduled period when the Ethereum Improvement Protocol (EIP) 1559 will go live. As per Ethereum’s core developers’ call on Friday, March 5th, five other EIPs along with EIP 1559 are likely to join the London hard fork.
The Ethereum fraternity has been eagerly awaiting the launch of EIP 1559 amind issues of the transaction fee. The ongoing EIP 1559 helps to lower the volatility of transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain. Besides, it also fixes several ongoing issues with Ethereum’s user experience.
Traditionally, a user sends the gas fee to the miner to include the transaction in the block. However, with the EIP 1559 implementation, the gas fee shall go to the network itself in the form of “burn”. The “burn” is also dubbed as basefee with only an optional tip paid to the miners.
The Ethereum algorithm sets the “burn” fee thereby making it easier for users to pay a fair price. Thus, EIP 1559 replaces the supply/demand auction-style system with a standard rate implementation across the entire network. Ethereum creators are confident that the proposal will be “positive ono the long term price” of Ethereum. They say that a lower and predictable gas fee ensures that Ethereum isn’t only for the rich.
This new proposal has received solid support from users and the creators of Ethereum. However, it has garnered strong opposition from the miners and the mining pools who have been on the receiving end.
ETH Miners Place a Solid Opposition
Ethereum miners have enjoyed solid revenues recently on the backdrop of the high DeFi activity on the Ethereum blockchain. In February last month, the total mining revenue clocked a massive $1.3 billion with the average transaction fee striking an all-time high of over $37. As per data by CoinMetrics, 50% of the revenue came from fees alone.
The surge in transaction fees and the ETH price has shot up the network has power to more than 100% in a year’s time. Flexpool, a minority mining pool, has launched a marketing campaign against the EIP. It has also received support from majority pools like sparkPool and Ethermine.
Nearly 60% of the Ethereum hash power is currently against the implementation of the new proposal. Interestingly, F2Pool is the only largest pool in favor of the EIP with 10% hash power.
However, mining pools have few options to stop the EIP 1559 implementation. The bigger danger that currently hovers around is the 51% attack on the Ethereum network. However, the chances of this remain unlikely at this moment considering different financial incentives for not attacking the network.
Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.
Galaxy Digital Leverages Blockstream Facilities for Bitcoin Mining Operations
Despite the partnership announcement, Galaxy Digital Mining did not provide specific details on the number of machines deployed for the first installation.
Diversified financial services and investment management company in the digital asset sector Galaxy Digital (TSX: GLXY) said it is now hosting its newly-launched Bitcoin mining operations at Blockstream facilities. The diversified financial services firm noted that its Bitcoin-mining operations would use Blockstream facilities to initially deploy machines in Canada and the US.
CoinDesk said in a report that the partnership between Galaxy Digital and Bitcoin technology company Blockstream occurred less than two months after Galaxy Digital officially launched its mining operations.
In January, Galaxy Digital announced the launch of its miner financial services. At the time, the firm also added that it would begin its own Bitcoin mining business. Notably, providing financial services to Bitcoin miners has been a work-in-progress for Galaxy Digital since October 2020.
In addition, Galaxy Digital selected the former director of Mining at Fidelity, Amanda Fabiano, to head the new mining operations. Along with Fabiano, Galaxy Digital stated that there is a team of vast professionals working to advance the new unit. According to the press release, the new unit will be called Galaxy Digital Mining. The press release examined the functions of the new mining unit:
“…a new business unit committed to providing bitcoin miners with a comprehensive suite of financial services and products. Galaxy Digital Mining will serve as a one-stop financial services platform for miners-drawing the firm’s expertise in trading and risk management, investing and lending, and corporate advisory under one umbrella, tailored to the needs of the mining sector.”
Galaxy Digital Now Hosting Mining Operations Facilities
Now, Fabiano said that the company hopes to continually expand its mining operations. Despite the partnership announcement, Galaxy Digital Mining did not provide specific details on the number of machines deployed for the first installation. According to Fabiano, the financial services firm selected to use Blockchain’s facilities for “operational excellence.”
Blockstream CEO Adam Back also commented on the new partnership with Galaxy Digital. He said that Galaxy Digital has the opportunity to further growth with the Bitcoin technology company.
Earlier this year, Blockstream announced that it had purchased $25 million worth of Bitcoin mining machines from a Chinese manufacturer of crypto mining equipment MicroBT. Blockstream hopes to expand its mining operations with its new acquisition.
Data by MarketWatch revealed that Galaxy Digital stock had grown nearly 60% since the year began. The company’s stock has also spiked 189.68% in the last three months and almost 30% over the past month. With a market capitalization of $1.69 billion, Galaxy Digital stock has jumped 4.56% in the last five days. At press time, GLXY is closed at $17.41, a 5.74% loss over its previous close of $18.47.
Galaxy Digital has also partnered with CI Global Asset Management to launch a Bitcoin Fund in Canada.
Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.
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