⛽ Fossil fuel consumption down in America! Why?

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The United States’ Fuel Consumption in 2020 has Been the Lowest Ever in Three Decades

When it comes to fossil fuel consumption, the United States is among the top three countries globally. Yet, in 2020, the consumption of fossil fuels remained the lowest it ever has been in the last three decades. There was a drop of 9% in petroleum, natural gas, and coal consumption in 2020 compared to 2019.

So, what must be the reason that contributed to this drop? Covid-19, of course! Due to the rising number of Covid cases in the country, Americans had to remain in their homes. It led to a decrease in gas consumption in the United States. In fact, oil prices in April 2020 were below zero. Who would have thought that we would ever see such an incident!

The United States transportation sector consumed 15% less energy than it consumed in 2019. Another factor that led to the decrease in fuel consumption in the United States was hotter winters in the previous years. Due to this decrease in fossil fuel consumption, the United States recorded the lowest ever greenhouse gas emissions in almost 40 years.

Twitter Proposes New Privacy Features

Conversation health and privacy are hot topics in the social media space today. Recently, Twitter proposed some new ideas regarding privacy and conversation health. The first of which is Twitter’s privacy check-in feature that gives more control over user conversations in the hands of individual Twitter users.

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Twitter also put forward ideas about features that will allow its users to opt for more privacy. With this feature, Twitter users will be able to toggle between public and private tweets. These new features, if implemented, will also allow Twitter users to easily move in and out of public/private accounts.

Thinking over the usefulness of these features carefully, it’s pretty obvious that the proposed privacy check-in feature is what Twitter users need the most now.

After all, the back-to-back innovation by the Twitter team has made the Twitter platform even more complicated. If this feature gains popularity & is successfully implemented, Twitter may go Google’s or Facebook’s way of privacy Checkup and give entire control of privacy to their users.

Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), a Pokémon Card Grading Company, Valued at $500 Million

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Pokémon is an awesome brand.

It is one of the top-most consumed video games and animated television shows worldwide

Thus, any popular business involved in anything Pokémon is worth gold. Need proof?

Well, go ahead and ask Blackstone Group Inc about it!

Blackstone Group Inc, a private equity firm, bought a majority share in Certified Collectibles Group, one of the oldest memorabilia authenticating & grading companies.

The acquisition valued the Pokémon card grading company at $500 million.

In the pandemic, Certified Collectibles Group received a huge number of Pokémon card grading submissions.

It’s become an extremely attractive market.

What makes the acquisition even more interesting, or shall I say bizarre, is that Blackstone Group Inc is known more for buying and renting real estate throughout the United States.

They aren’t known to be dabbling in memorabilia or grading companies, especially the ones that grade Pokémon cards.

Is it because the lure of the Pokémon brand is too strong?

Blackstone is not alone to invest in Certified Collectibles Group, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, too, has invested in the company.

The founder & CEO of CCG, Steven Eichenbaum, wrote a letter to their customers to let them know about the deal with Blackstone Group. He wrote:

“We had always thought that we would never sell this incredible company, but when we were approached by Blackstone, we quickly realized that we shared the same vision for a larger, more vibrant, and more trusted collectibles market.”

Yandex and Grubhub Join Forces to Launch Food Delivery Bots Across 250 US Colleges

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Yandex, a Russian search engine giant, who often compares itself to Google, has partnered with GrubHub.

They are working on self-driving systems (Just like Google, Uber, and many more!).

Under their partnership, they will deploy food delivery robots to around 250 colleges in the United States. If you are wondering about the financial terms of the deal, you will be disappointed to know that those were not disclosed yet.

Just like Google, Yandex is dabbling into multiple things that include a search engine (Quite popular in the Russian-speaking part of the world), food delivery, and ride-hailing. As of now, Yandex’s food delivery operations are limited to Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Interestingly, when it comes to logged autonomous miles by robot fleets, Yandex is second only to Waymo, which is part of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. The robot fleets of Yandex have logged over seven million hours.

We all can agree that college campuses can be a nightmare for cars to deliver food. But the same cannot be said about the food delivery robots.

Here’s a statement from Yandex’s Vice President of Corporate and Campus Partners on Grubhub, “We chose to partner with GrubHub for campus delivery because of GrubHub’s unparalleled reach into college campuses across the United States, as well as the flexibility and strength of their ordering platform.”

Binance Puts a Stop on Euro Deposits

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Wednesday. Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges globally, has become the target of regulatory bodies in many countries. The exchange was under severe pressure, and it seems that they finally yielded to it. They announced that from 8:00 am UTC on Wednesday, Binance no longer supports Euro deposits, specifically Single Europe Payments Area or SEPA via banks. The only way for European users to deposit Euro to their Binance account is with debit cards and credit cards.

In an email, Binance wrote to their users that “due to events beyond our control, we are temporarily suspending EUR deposits via SEPA Bank Transfers from 8 am UTC on July 7, 2021.”

As for how we concluded that Binance stopped SEPA deposits due to regulatory pressure, isn’t it obvious by now?

Binance has been facing one after other legal setbacks for some time now.

Recently, Binance had to face regulatory setbacks in the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Thailand, and even the United States. Despite facing challenges in various countries, Binance remains the de facto leader in the cryptocurrency market. As per Messari, Binance processed over $14.5 billion worth of transactions so far on Wednesday and has averaged over $80 billion in daily trade volume last January.

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