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Cardano SPO: Berch Pool [BERCH]

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This week’s guest in the Cardano SPO column is a staking and development company whose mission is the decentralization of the Cardano network and cleaning the oceans : Berch_Pool [BERCH] .

Last week’s host was a mission-driven stake pool aiming to fund school education for children in Tanzania .

This initiative is a point of reference for everything related to Cardano and every week or two we will invite a Stake Pool Operator (SPO) to answer a few questions and give us an update directly from within the Cardano community.

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Considering that many of our readers are new to the crypto space, we will have a mix of simple and technical questions.

Hi, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Please introduce yourself, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?

Thanks for inviting us! You’ve interviewed some great stake pools and we’re happy to be included! There are two partners in Berch Pool. My name is Chris Nekvinda and I have been in the crypto industry since 2016. I have a PhD in educational design and I am a strategy consultant for traditional financial institutions.

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Bernie Apshago is the other partner, and is a technology consultant with more than 20 years in the industry. Bernie also runs ADAMinthouse.io ; an NFT market with tools to help artists create their own NFTs … or Cardano NFT (CNFT)

Tell us how you discovered Cardano and the path that led you to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)

We have both been interested in cryptocurrencies for some time. I started mining ETH and LTC in 2016 and Bernie has been following the developments in blockchain technology for several years. We both understood the value of Ethereum, but didn’t jump into development due to cost and time. High gas costs and network congestion were a problem. 

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I am an academic (Chris) and I was drawn to both the mission and the research-based approach adopted by Cardano. So in January 2021 I consolidated several possessions and joined Cardano. I keep mining ETH but convert it to ADA. Bernie was interested in developing dApps with real world applications… not just DEX and trading cards. We both agreed that Cardano was the platform to build on. So… we got busy with Cardano.

This column has had a lot of mission-driven stake pools, what is your mission and how are you pursuing it?

We have chosen to share our rewards with the companies that clean the oceans and rivers. We donate to the Ocean Cleanup Project which invests time and effort to clean plastic from the large Pacific Ocean garbage patch. Bernie is a freediver and lives on the ocean 3-4 months a year with his family. Chris has been passionate about water issues ever since he learned about the garbage slick a few years ago. Bernie saw it firsthand in the water. 

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We agreed that this would be the cause we would donate to and help raise awareness. Water is life and we cannot continue to pollute the oceans with plastic and garbage. We publish the numbers of our donation transactions online. We donate to ADA. We know there is concern that some mission-driven pools are not sharing their rewards. We wanted to be as transparent as possible. That’s why our real identities are on our pool website and the TX numbers are also posted on berchpool.io . We want our delegators to know that they can trust and rely on Berch Pool. 

You recently participated in the Minswap FISO lottery , can you explain what a FISO is and what the Minswap project is bringing to Cardano?

Yes, we applied but we couldn’t win the lottery. We have great respect for the Minswap team for their idea. Rather than raising awareness and capital by keeping ADA rewards and exchanging them for MIN tokens, they have chosen to focus their efforts on several smaller SPOs. Then, as people delegate to these SPOs, they earn Minswap tokens that will likely be used on their DEX. This is their story to tell, but it’s a fair initial offer to raise awareness, distribute their tokens, and support SPOs rather than cornering them.

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Their DEX on Cardano will likely use those tokens to facilitate swaps. It’s a great idea and I love how they worked with the SPOs. We qualified but we didn’t pass the selection… but it happens. They have been transparent and fair about this. Can’t wait for their launch! This is how we have interpreted what they are doing.

Thank you very much for the contribution. Any final thoughts? Where can people contact you?

There is a lot of talk about what’s going to happen in technology and the economy. These are some of our respective strengths and we both strongly believe that the future will be tokenized. We spend a lot of time discussing products and building use cases. Our first collaboration was with Akademia Brewing Company of Athens Georgia in the United States. They helped us create a Cardano-inspired Ada4oceans India Pale Lager. We use the Ada4oceans.com site for NFT giveaways. 

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The NFTs with the Ada4oceans beer label will go on sale in a week and all proceeds will go to the Ocean Cleanup Project. So register now for the free ones and you will be notified when the sale and auction starts. We believe these are the first collectible NFTs with beer labels on Cardano. So you can get them from Ada4oceans.com or berchpool.io .

Delegators who staking with Berch also earn BerchCoin – a native asset of Cardano and can redeem it monthly for rewards. We hope to list it on Cardano’s DEXs in the fall. We have some great products coming to Cardano and there will also be other partnerships with Akademia for more NFTs for collectible beer labels. There is so much to do on Cardano – we’re still in the early stages and it’s so good to be a part of this warm community! Thanks for including us. People can find us on social sites like Twitter and Facebook . Get in touch with us. Delegators get extra rewards in ADA and BerchCoin when they delegate, so we’d love to know who you are and answer questions if you have any!

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Cardano, Polkadot and Four Additional Altcoins Are Set To Explode in 2022, According to Crypto Trader Austin Arnold

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Crypto trader and Altcoin Daily host Austin Arnold thinks six major altcoins are gearing up for massive rallies in the next year.

In a recent crypto update, the YouTube star tells his 1,040,000 subscribers that Ethereum layer-2 (L2) scaling solution Polygon (MATIC) is gaining momentum after landing a partnership with the $20 billion gambling company DraftKings.a

Arnold shares a statement from DraftKings’ president of global product and technology, Paul Liberman, explaining how the company is positioning itself to grow alongside Polygon.

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“Although DraftKings marketplace is still in its nascency, we are bullish on the possibilities that blockchain, NFTs, cryptocurrency and more will present as we prepare for Web 3.0 alongside Polygon and the new innovations ahead for digital collectibles.”

Next, Arnold looks at the decentralized interoperability platform Polkadot (DOT). He points to a recent tweet from Polkadot founder Gavin Wood explaining that there are currently just under 19 million DOT tokens stored in the DOT treasury to fund community projects.

If any DOT goes unused, it gets burned. Currently, the Polkadot treasury is burning 239,988 tokens every month, according to Gavin Wood.

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“Either burned or used, the DOT token is only getting more scarce. We have seen a rally in the DOT price recently. This could be linked to some exciting developments ahead, such as the upcoming parachain launch and slot auctions – these parachain auctions will take DOT off the market as well.

And with the first 11 parachain auctions coming to Polkadot next month, along with the 100 or so available slots to be filled, this could boost Polkadot’s presence in the crypto sector, and could cement the multichain system’s rising status.”

The third coin Arnold looks at is the supply chain management protocol VeChain (VET). The trader highlights that VeChain recently landed a partnership with major logistics company DHL for enterprise NFT (non-fungible token) issuance.

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“This collaboration with DHL China, one of the first things it will allow customers to experiment with is customize the DHL mascot and then mint it as NFTs on the VeChainThor blockchain solution.”

Next up is the smart contract platform Cardano (ADA). Arnold notes that Cardano appears to be gaining more traction after landing partnerships with television satellite provider DISH and announcing that the network has received $100 million for investment in Cardano-focused projects in Africa.

“Simply put, there are so many people in more developing areas of the world that don’t have financial stability, and that can be changed with Cardano with blockchain.”

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Another coin on Arnold’s list is the decentralized oracle network Chainlink (LINK). He notes that despite the token’s lackluster performance over the last few months, he believes there is still massive upside for LINK to realize in the market as partnerships continue to rise month-over-month, with 84 integrations made just in September.

“I get it, but in my opinion, Chainlink still has a lot of room to grow. Think about this: Chainlink already has a ton of exclusive, big partnerships with big companies – Google and Oracle to name two – over 75 different blockchains already use Chainlink technology, as well as being used by many data feeds, including USD [US dollar] currency pairs. That’s a strong foundation.

My speculation is this: over these next few years, as DApp [decentralized application] platforms like Ethereum [ETH], Cardano, Solana [SOL], Polkadot, Elrond [EGLD], etc. continue to fight for market share… Chainlink is integrating with all of them… Something to think about.”

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Finally, the crypto trader thinks that the leading smart contract platform Ethereum is gearing up for a huge 2022. He notes that Ethereum developers announced that ETH is planning to make the transition into Ethereum 2.0 in May-June of 2022, which will convert the blockchain to a proof-of-stake protocol.

“The code should be ready around February 2022. The merge to mainnet, to ETH 2.0, in June of 2022 at the earliest. Next year will be known as the year of ETH. That’s where DeFi [decentralized finance] is, that’s where NFTs are.”

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Analysts affirm Cardano will outperform Bitcoin and Ethereum given ADA’s enhanced scalability

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  • Binance coin replaced Cardano as the third-largest cryptocurrency. 
  • Over 70% of ADA supply remains staked. 
  • With institutional investment flows to Cardano, proponents expect ADA market capitalization to recover. 
  • Cryptocurrency analysts expect Cardano to outperform Bitcoin and Ethereum based on ADA price trends. 

Charles Hoskinson, Cardano founder, made an effort to dampen Cardano’s negativity and uncertainty and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Hoskinson broadcasted from South Africa and shared potential opportunities for the Cardano Foundation.

Analysts expect Cardano to outperform Bitcoin with updates in the ecosystem

In his recent broadcast from Africa, Charles Hoskinson shared how the rising uncertainty in cryptocurrencies puzzled him. Hoskinson believes that Cardano has met every single milestone on its roadmap. 

The Cardano network has never suffered an outage, and the founder reassures users about ADA’s current plans. Cardano is focused on enhancing scalability. 

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The Plutus Application Backend (PAB) launch is set to ensure scalability on the network. It is scheduled for later this month. Once Cardano improves scalability, more users are expected to join the network. 

Cardano is working on another exciting development in the roadmap, layer-2 scaling solution Hydra. Alongside Plutus, Mamba Pool, Atala Prism and Mithral, Hydra’s development is underway. 

Fourteen teams are working on different elements within the Cardano ecosystem. Hydra is expected to process transactions on the Cardano network in an efficient manner. Since most transactions will be processed off-chain, Hydra will use the Cardano blockchain to secure settlement. 

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The Hydra protocol is currently under extensive testing. 

Despite the upcoming updates in the Cardano ecosystem, ADA’s market capitalization dropped, and the altcoin no longer ranks among the top three cryptocurrencies. The percentage of ADA tokens staked remains stable above 70%; analysts are bullish on the altcoin as supply under circulation remains relatively low. 

There is a spike in institutional investment in ADA. Over $3 million capital flowed to ADA-based funds in the past week, according to a Coinshares report. 

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Austin Hilton, a cryptocurrency analyst and YouTuber, has set a $15 target for ADA price. Hilton states, 

Cardano could hit $15 by the end of this bull run that we are all looking at. It’s set to end in kind of February-March time frame.

FXStreet analysts have evaluated the ADA price trend and predicted that the altcoin’s price is bound for profit-taking. Analysts set a target of $1.70 for the altcoin. 

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Cardano’s Project Catalyst Fund6 Concludes Voting Campaign

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Cardano’s largest community initiative is going to finish voting for its sixth iteration

Only a few hours remain for Cardano (ADA) enthusiasts to take part in the largest community vote, i.e., a referendum designed to indicate the winners of Project Catalyst.

711 applicants, $4 million in ADA at stake

According to the “last call” announcement by Input Output Hong Kong, the development studio behind Cardano (ADA), its Project Catalyst Fund6 is ready to enter a crucial stage.

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The voting campaign that allows ADA holders to choose the winners of Project Catalyst will be closed on Oct. 21, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. UTC.

IOHK representatives shared that 711 products submitted their proposals to Project Catalyst voting portal. As covered by U.Today previously, 267 projects took part in the previous iteration of Project Catalyst.

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In Fund5, the net amount of rewards was set at $2,000,000 in ADA tokens.

Largest community-driven campaign in crypto

Project Catalyst is a unique multi-phase incubator for all early-stage products interested in building on Cardano’s (ADA) smart contracts.

Launched stealthily in August 2020, it garnered excitement across Cardano-focused dApps developers. The winners of Project Catalyst receive financial, consulting and promotional support.

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Project Catalyst Fund6 is a special one as it is the first campaign launched with smart contracts live in Cardano’s (ADA) mainnet.

As such, the winners of this stage will be able to experiment with “real” Cardano smart contracts.

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