NEW YORK, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Around the world, the pandemic has helped further accelerate the transition from traditional educational avenues towards more online-based curriculums. Even after the pandemic is dealt with and social distancing restrictions are removed, projections indicate that some of the new online education habits will remain. Both work and education are now heavily dependent on online video conferences, video meetings, recorded lectures or tutorials, as well as live lessons. As a result of social distancing and quarantine measures, video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and WebEx are now at peek popularity, as are learning management systems like Instructure's Canvas, Blackboard and Google Classroom. Besides the pandemic and its implications, the other major factors driving the growth of the academic e-learning market size in the long-term are increasing higher education e-Learning enrollments and the launch of new online degrees. Online learning is also structured to save time and opens several doors to immersive learning. Meten EdtechX Education Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ), Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA), Ebang International Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EBON)
In addition, blockchain is expected to play an important role in online education, as the technology can help solve problems like information security or sharing data among a wide network of counterparties. According to a report by ZDNET, Donna Kidwell, CTO at EdPlus at Arizona State University, explained that ASU has a goal of supporting 100,000 online learners by 2025. They already have 55,000 students. "Blockchain will play a key role in helping them meet that goal by allowing ASU to better track and certify each student's 'learning accomplishments,'" Kidewell said.
Meten EdtechX Education Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX) announced earlier this month, "its strategy to make full use of blockchain technology in the education industry. The Company believes that the ongoing experimentations and innovations of applying blockchain technology in the education industry are promising.
As a distributed ledger technology, blockchain promotes consensus since it acts a record-keeping platform. it is transparent because participants in the chain can download and validate individual ledgers and it is permanent because those ledgers cannot be altered. The Company expects to apply these characteristics to the education sector.
Blockchain technology offers a model for secure collection and sharing of all competency indicators, including academic records, credits, badges, certificates, citations, among others, in the education sector. By utilizing the technology, the Company can provide students with transparent, credible and tamper-proof digital certificates to avoid academic dishonesty. Blockchain technology can also be used to manage, share, and protect digital content, making it ideal for helping faculties protect intellectual property. The Company expects its blockchain technology will be instrumental in avoiding fraud, providing a trusted means for copyright and digital rights protection.
The Company will focus on accelerating technological innovation and facilitating digital transformation of the online education industry. The Company expects to integrate its internal resources and technical strengths, apply blockchain, artificial intelligence, 5G and other cutting-edge technologies to further revolutionize online education, and provide students with education services."
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Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) reported earlier this month that it will achieve an estimated hash rate capacity of 1.06 Exahash per second ("EH/s") with the deployment of the newly received 2,002 S19 Pro Antminers. "Exceeding 1 EH/s in hash rate capacity marks a major milestone for the Company," said Jason Les, CEO of Riot. "While we are proud of this accomplishment, we view it as the successful completion of just one of many steps of our ongoing growth plan. Riot continues to receive and deploy next-generation miners from Bitmain and remains on schedule to more than triple our currently deployed capacity by the fourth quarter of 2021."
Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) reported last month that it has purchased approximately 4,709 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of USD 50 Million. Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company's purpose. The investment represents approximately one percent of Square's total assets as of the end of the second quarter of 2020. "We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future," said Square's Chief Financial Officer, Amrita Ahuja. "As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey."
Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) announced last month that it has provided a one-year grant to world-renowned bitcoin core developer Jonas Schnelli. Marathon's grant follows Coinbase's recent decision to help contribute to the development of Bitcoin Core by offering grants to two developers: Joao Barbosa and an anonymous developer known only as 0xB10C. Both Barbosa and Schnelli had been receiving funding from crypto mining giant, Bitmain. However, in late 2020, Bitmain decided to stop providing its support, at which point Coinbase and Marathon Patent Group independently decided to step in and offer alternative sources of funding with their respective developer grants.
Ebang International Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EBON) a blockchain technology company, announced that it has completed a 6 nm ASIC chip designed for Bitcoin mining machines, which is expected to have a competitive edge in the market in terms of performance. The Company plans to begin volume production of its 6 nm chip when it determines market conditions become suitable. Mr. Dong Hu, Chairman and CEO of the Company, commented, "The completion of our 6 nm ASIC chip is a significant milestone of our constant R&D efforts in recent years. We have devoted a lot of resources in building our R&D team and product innovation and iteration. Looking forward, we plan to continue developing ASIC chips designed for more mainstream cryptocurrency machines, which we believe will increase our revenue in the digital currency business and optimize our product offering structure along the blockchain industry value chain."
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