It’s been another whirlwind week in the world of crypto, with some fascinating developments that are sure to raise a few eyebrows. Canadian city plans to generate heat using Bitcoin; Zimbabwe considers crypto adoption; Arizona real-estate now available for crypto purchase; and Crypto romance scam targets iPhone users.

Canadian city plans to generate heat using Bitcoin

The city of North Vancouver plans to be the first city in the world to be heated by Bitcoin – courtesy of a unique partnership from two big hitters in the industry. The city is exploring the idea of using Bitcoin mining to heat buildings – an innovative way to redirect excess heat created by computational efforts of Bitcoin mining operations. Considering the negative environmental impact caused by Bitcoin mining, authorities in the city have been exploring ways to make crypto mining more sustainable by recovering and repurposing waste heat generated from mining activities.

MintGreen – a Canadian cleantech crypto mining company – will partner with the Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC) to supply this excess Bitcoin heat to North Vancouver residents from 2022. The partnership was recently announced by MintGreen’s CEO, Colin Sullivan, and aims to address the issue of climate change and ways to mitigate it.

MintGreen’s digital boilers recover more than 96% of the electricity that it uses for Bitcoin mining in the form of heat energy – the very energy that it plans to redirect to sustainably heat communities and service industrial processes. It is anticipated that the recovered energy will heat 100 residential and commercial buildings that service over 150,000 people.

Through this initiative, an estimated 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per megawatt will be prevented from entering the atmosphere – incredible! CEO of Lonsdale Energy Corporation – Karsten Veng – was ecstatic as he said, “Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it’s an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

Wisly will keep you up to date on the very latest on this story.

Zimbabwe considers crypto adoption

Hot on the heels of El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption earlier this year, another developing nation is hoping to follow suit with something similar. Zimbabwe is looking into crypto adoption in the country amidst a crumbling economy. In a move that would see Bitcoin introduced legally, Zimbabwe’s finance minister – Mthuli Ncube – recently stated that it is impossible to ignore cryptocurrencies, with an estimated 30% of the country’s younger population said to be active crypto investors and traders.

According to recent reports, the finance minister has hinted that specific concessions may be offered to cryptocurrencies in an effort to promote their use amongst Zimbabweans. Authorities view cryptocurrencies as an investment asset as opposed to a currency, so the crypto adoption may operate differently in the Southern African country.

Ncube appeared optimistic as he said, “Our view is that we do not want it to be a currency. I want this to be an investment class. So through the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange platform, we will try to create crypto-based products there, which are ring-fenced within the offshore zone.”

He added that the government has already started the process to regulate crypto and was excited to reveal, “We have taken the first step already and created a sandbox, at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, where the idea and everything is being tested in a safe, regulated environment where it will then migrate to this safe Victoria Falls environment.”

Keep an eye on Wisly’s blog for the latest developments on this. 

Arizona real-estate now available for crypto

Two Arizona real-estate companies have recently announced that some of their properties are now available for purchase with cryptocurrencies. Both the Hudye Group and Russ Lyon Sotheby’s have made public their intention to sell four luxury condominiums in Scottsdale, Arizona – with cryptocurrencies as an option for purchase.

The four condos range in price from $1.6 million to $2 million and have been gathering a fair amount of interest since the announcement. Chairman of the Hudye Group – Ben Hudye – appeared in a buoyant mood as he said, “I think we’re breaking new ground. It’s extremely exciting and I can understand why people have been involved in it for as many years as they have.”

Johnathon De Young of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s backed Hudye Group’s chairman as he said, “Hudye realises Bitcoin, Ethereum and digital assets, in general, are becoming mainstream asset class.” There has been a growing interest in the property market from investors who want to purchase digital assets.

One such resident from Arizona, Ryan Nichols, recently bought a home in the region using Bitcoin. He admits that one of the reasons for buying his $2 million home with Bitcoin was to prove that cryptocurrency is a viable option. In Nichols’ opinion, he recommends more people start looking into purchasing property with their crypto.

Wisly will keep you posted on the very latest with this story.

Crypto romance scam targets iPhone users

A new crypto romance scam that targets iPhone users is said to have raked in millions of dollars, according to new research by cybersecurity firm Sophos. Cyber-criminals appear to be operating an international crypto-trading scam that targets lonely hearts with active profiles on popular dating apps, Bumble and Tinder.

While hackers initially targeted Asian iPhone users, their network of victims has expanded to iPhone users in the US and Europe. The scam – dubbed CryptoRom by Sophos researchers – is heavily reliant on social engineering at almost every stage. Sophos uncovered one Bitcoin wallet controlled by hackers that contained almost $1.4 million in cryptocurrencies – allegedly collected from the victims.

Senior threat researcher at Sophos – Jagadeesh Chandraiah – expressed concern as he explained, “First, the attackers post convincing fake profiles on legitimate dating sites. Once they’ve made contact with a target, the attackers suggest continuing the conversation on a messaging platform. They then try to persuade the target to install and invest in a fake cryptocurrency trading app. At first, the returns look very good but if the victim asks for their money back or tries to access the funds, they are refused and the money is lost.”

Besides stealing money, cyber-criminals could also gain access to the victims’ iPhones – leaving users in a very precarious position – giving hackers access to their personal information. Sophos recommends that iPhone users should only install apps from the Apple App Store. Furthermore, they caution users of being too trusting to strangers on online dating apps – especially in instances where there are financial offers that are too good to be true.

Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest with this story.