Best tax-reducing business expenses for DeFi traders

Some people trade cryptocurrencies to make quick money from the price volatility. But most crypto traders are excited about the future of crypto and DeFi, and hold digital currencies for the long-term.

DeFi traders and the tax mess

“Crypto currencies are used not only as payment methods, but also as investment opportunities,” says Shane Brunette, the founder of CryptoTaxCalculator. He adds that the “virtual currencies have also created a legal vacuum, which is now rife with regulations. A lot of them revolve around tax and the way that cryptocurrency taxes are paid.” 

Crypto traders often struggle to figure out their tax obligations. You might not be keeping track of your crypto transactions, but the authorities are going to tax your crypto gains nonetheless. 

The US Internal Revenue Service asks American taxpayers in its Form 1040 if they have at any time during a given year bought, sold, sent or exchanged any virtual currency.

The crypto landscape is rapidly evolving, and so are the tax regulations around them. Authorities have started scrutinizing digital asset holders closely. 

In general, cryptocurrencies are non-government currencies rather than property. But “many countries view cryptocurrencies as property with associated capital gains implications,” points out Brunette. 

For instance, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats cryptocurrencies as property rather than currency. Shane Brunette adds,

If you save money in crypto, then want to buy goods (or other crypto) with that crypto, you are going to have to keep track of any gains, which can quickly become a nightmare.

The amount you owe in crypto taxes depends on your annual income and how long you’ve held the crypto assets. If you have owned a digital currency for less than a year before selling or spending it, the profits would be considered short-term capital gains and taxed at your normal income tax rate.

But if you’ve held it for longer than a year, it is a long-term capital gains event. It means they will be taxed at a lower rate, depending on your income. 

In case you earned cryptocurrencies through mining or received it as promotion, reward, an airdrop or payment for goods and services, tax authorities view it as your regular taxable income. You owe tax on the entire value of the digital currency on the day you received it, at your regular income tax rate.

Keep track of these expenses and deductions

It’s important to be aware of the tax-deductible business expenses. Platforms like CryptoTaxCalculator simplify the record-keeping and tax filing for DeFi traders. It would help you reduce your tax bill without incurring the wrath of the tax authorities. 

Among the most overlooked expenses are the fees traders pay for transactions. Shane Brunette told us that it’s important to carefully account for all the fees. They could lead to significant savings. If you are paying fees in crypto, you will also have to account for the capital gains or losses on the fee itself.

Active DeFi traders could qualify for the Trader Tax Status (TTS), which allows them to deduct trading business and home office expenses. TTS traders can write off health insurance premiums and retirement plan contributions by trading through an S-Corp with officer compensation.

If you mine cryptocurrencies, you spend money on computers, servers, Internet services, electricity, graphics cards, and more. So, you could deduct the mining-related expenses against your income. The exact amount you can deduct will depend on whether you treat it as a hobby or business.

Traders who have been victims of a Ponzi scheme can deduct their Ponzi losses from the taxable income. These are not subject to the $3,000 capital loss limitation in the US. Make sure to check the tax laws in your country.

In case you have incurred losses from crypto hacks, scams or theft, don’t forget to claim these losses as $0 proceeds transactions. For example, if you bought $5,000 worth of Ethereum but it was later stolen in an exchange hack, you’ll be able to report losses of $5,000.


Most of us don’t keep track of our crypto transactions and pay little attention to all the tax deductions we could take to reduce the tax bill on trading. Tax authorities have stepped up enforcement and surveillance on potential tax evasion by looking closely at crypto transactions. So, it’s wise to start keeping track of the transactions, gains, losses, and expenses.


DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as tax advice.

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Ripple vs SEC: suit isn’t settling anytime soon, Hinman deposition ain’t accessible

The curious case of Hinman deposition has created major excitement in the XRP community.
The SEC’s continuous rebuttal and objection lead many to believe that the regulator has something to hide.

The Ripple vs SEC lawsuit over the alleged distribution of XRP as securities has been taking an interesting turn. Experts in the industry have weighed their opinions recently and it turns out that the case isn’t coming to an end anytime soon.

A former federal prosecutor and defense lawyer James K. Filan noted that neither of the two parties will be giving up anytime soon. Speaking in regards to the Hinman deposition, Filan added that he doesn’t believe the Hinman deposition went forward. The deposition reportedly happened a few days ago on Tuesday, July 27.

William Hinman, the former director of the division of corporate finance at the U.S. SEC had declared Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as securities, back in 2018. Thus, Ripple has been basking on this matter and holding the SEC against its verdict that BTC and ETH are not securities.

In its argument, Ripple noted that Hinman has “unique first-hand knowledge about the SEC’s communications with third parties and about the agency’s adoption or approval of his well-publicized speech in 2018 about the regulatory treatment of cryptocurrencies.”

Thus, if Ripple can know to whom Hinman talked, it could unlock a jackpot for the blockchain startup. Filan believes that Ripple has got names with whom Hinman has come into contact. The former federal prosecutor further notes that “Ripple is out there interviewing those people”.

Filan also notes that this has turned to be the battle of punishing the opposite party. Thus, it becomes the battle of prestige and ego for both the SEC and Ripple. The defense lawyer believes that the settlement, in this case, isn’t coming anytime soon.

2/7 The government is not giving up and based on everything I’ve read Ripple will not give in. I do think that the Hinman deposition went forward. I don’t think Ripple would forfeit that opportunity. Ripple said Hinman has “unique first-hand knowledge about the SEC’s

— James K. Filan (@FilanLaw) July 30, 2021

Will William Hinman’s statements become public ever?

Attorney Jeremy Hogan, who is popular within the XRP community, has explained the situation in its entirety. Hogan believes that Hinman’s statements are likely to become public ahead of time. However, there will be some exceptions to the release.

Previously, both parties had agreed on how to conduct the deposition. However, the SEC later resolved to stiff resistance which led many to believe that the securities regulator has something to hide.

Sharing his view about the sworn testimony of Hinman, Ripple attorney Hogan also believes that it never took place. He said:

First, I don’t think the deposition of Director Hinman took place this last Monday. If it had, where is the transcript to be filed under seal for an in-camera review by the Judge and where is the motion to compel Hinman to answer certain questions?

The Attorney also pointed out how the SEC was desperate for the case not to move forward. It will be interesting to see how the case proceeds further.

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Germany allows institutional funds to invest up to 20% holdings in crypto starting next week

On Monday, Germany will implement a law allowing institutional funds to hold up to 20 percent in crypto.
Most institutional investors will likely only experiment with crypto, driven by their conservative nature and crypto assets’ volatility says, financial experts.

Germany has approved new legislation allowing over 4,000 institutional investment funds to invest billions in crypto assets. As of Monday, a law will let the so-called Spezialfonds (special funds) with fixed investment rules, access digital assets. The firms will be able to allocate as much as 20 percent of their portfolios in crypto assets.

Notably, Spezialfonds are solely accessible via institutional investors such as insurers and pension companies. They control roughly €1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion) worth of assets under management, none of which are in crypto. Therefore, theoretically, should they invest up to their legal limit, then up to $422 billion would enter the crypto market.

In the past year, digital currencies adoption has increased extensively among institutional investors. Crypto assets have continued to increase in valuation with a small number of well-to-do investors dominating holdings. As the assets gain more recognition, more such investors are looking to gain exposure.

Germany adoption of cryptocurrencies

Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, passed the law and it is to be promptly declared by the country’s Federal Council. One parliamentarian, Frank Schäffler, said the new law will propagate acceptance of the new assets. That said, other authorities remain skeptical in letting crypto assets become part of their economy. As for Germany, the new law marks the dawn of a major milestone in the mainstream adoption of crypto assets.

Moreover, the law’s implementation follows huge investments made by prominent figures in the financial industry. These include tycoon Mike Novogratz, the CEO of crypto-focused Galaxy Investment Partners, and renowned hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

Most crypto experts in Germany are confident that this move places the country in the right direction. Admittedly, the development will also maintain Europe’s largest economy as a leading financial investment hub.

The outlook for financial institutions

“Most funds will initially stay well below the 20% mark,” said Tim Kreutzmann, an expert on crypto-assets at BVI, Germany’s fund industry body.

On one hand, institutional investors such as insurers have strict regulatory requirements for their investment strategies. And on the other hand, they must also want to invest in crypto.

Kamil Kaczmarski, a financial services adviser from Oliver Wyman LLC, noted that crypto volatility is uninviting. This is especially true for German investors, who traditionally, are very conservative. Kaczmarski expects most funds will conduct small experiments with digital assets, without approaching the threshold for at least five years.

Notably, a spokeswoman from Deutsche Bank AG’s asset manager DWS group said that they are currently monitoring events. For the moment though, she said, they are not planning to set aside funds for acquiring crypto. Another spokesman from DekaBank, one of Germany’s prominent asset managers, expressed similar sentiments. For a while, DekaBank has been considering investing in digital assets but is yet to make an official decision on the same.

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Jimmy Hoffa’s Fiery Resting Place Beneath the Pulaski Skyway

The Pulaski Skyway lumbers across the post-apocalyptic landscape of South Kearny like some kind of skulking prehistoric behemoth. Carrying Route 1-9 on its bumpy spine high into the stratosphere, the span traverses a mosaic of toxic waste dumps, oil refineries, and general urban blight. The western tail of the black steel, erector set-like structure begins in Newark. From there, the skyway stilt walks its way eastward over the industrialized meadow, ending its journey at Jersey City’s depressed highway, near the mouth of the Holland Tunnel. Until the end of the 1980’s, the highlight of any trip across this three-and-a-half mile, four-lane expanse was witnessing the fires that seemed to burn continuously beneath the Skyway where it straddles the long-dead Hackensack River. The flames, which dotted a reedy field on the Jersey City side of the water, appeared to be small brush fires from the lofty roadway. Upon closer examination though, one could clearly see that the flames were actually coming right up through the ground, as if from hell itself. The fires burned day and night, and cast a noxious pall of thick gray smoke across the nearby Freeman Avenue housing projects and Holy Name Cemetery.

The burning fields, which were known by the name of Brother Muscato’s Dump or the P.J.P. Sanitary Landfill, began accepting trash in 1969. After that, 200 truckloads of waste, most of it in barrels, was deposited on the 87-acre site every day. Hazardous chemicals such as methylene, naphthalene, toluene, phenanthrene, ethylbenzene, and only God knows how may other “enes” were all poured into the dump’s toxic stew. Then one day around the year 1970, the very earth itself caught fire, and would burn on and off for the next 15 years or so. Trying to extinguish the blaze would prove futile because every time one vent of fire was squelched, another would flare up elsewhere. This subterranean inferno would even go through deceptive periods of apparent dormancy, only to erupt again, sometimes through several feet of snow. After awhile, Jersey City’s fire chief simply refused to send in anymore fire fighters because the risks were just too great. So there the burning fields would smolder, year in and year out, until fears that the fires might eventually melt the steel legs of the mighty Skyway dictated that something had to be done. The Texas firm of Boots & Coots (who would later gain national attention for putting a damper on Kuwait’s oil field fires after the Persian Gulf War) was contracted to snuff out the inferno. Suddenly gone were the hellish yellow-orange fingers, which used to claw their way up through the oily river banks. No more did the choking stench and billowing plumes of smoke waft up to envelope the skyway’s airborne motorists. An interesting footnote to this site is that according to Robert Sullivan’s book The Meadowlands (Scribner 1998), this location was suspected of being one possible place where the body of corrupt Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa might have been dumped. According to Sullivan, the F.B.I. and state police staked out the landfill for a time after Hoffa’s 1975 disappearance. It has long been part of the New Jersey lore that Hoffa was disposed of by The Mob somewhere in the Meadowlands. All that we can say is this; if the burning chemical fields beneath the Pulaski Skyway really are the final resting place of Jimmy Hoffa, there wouldn’t be much left of him to identify even if his body was to be found.

The Ice Man – Hoffa Jersey Connection

The location of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa’s body is still a mystery, long after his 1975 disappearance. But before the mafia contract hit man/serial killer known as Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski died in March 2006, he told author Philip Carlo that Hoffa has been reincarnated as a Japanese car. Well, not so much reincarnated as incorporated into scrap metal that was likely made into a car. And the Ice Man knew this, according to Carlo’s book The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, because he did the deed himself after he and four accomplices met with Hoffa outside of a suburban Detroit restaurant. Carlo claims that after killing Hoffa with a combo blackjack/hunting knife to the head and packing him into a handy body bag, Kuklinski drove to a Kearny, New Jersey junkyard, where he engaged in a bit of overkill to dispose of the body, eventually storing it in a car that would become scrap metal.  According to many media accounts, including a story about the book in the April 17 edition of the Bergen Record, the claim has been dismissed as a hoax. –Judy Osborn

To read the thrilling story of two men’s daring journey across the entire expanse of the legendary Pulaski Skyway on foot see Issue #21 of Weird NJ.

This story is an excerpt from Weird NJ magazine, “Your Travel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets,” which is available on newsstands throughout the state and on the web at All contents ©Weird NJ and may not be reproduced by any means without permission. 

Weird NJ Issue #56 can be ordered through our Web Site, Amazon Store, or Facebook Shop. It can also be found at hundreds of shop around the state and beyond. To find a store near you that carries Weird NJ go to this LINK.

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Bigfoot Birthday Bash, Jetpack Man Back, ISS Spinning and More Mysterious News Briefly — July 30, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — July 30, 2021

A Boeing 747 pilot reported to air traffic controllers another possible jetpack idiot man flying near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – the first one since at least four pilots reported seeing jetpack fliers last year in the same area. Are they migrating south to escape the fires?

A grand jury indicted billionaire Trevor Milton, the founder of the Nikola electric car company, on two counts of securities fraud and wire fraud for lying about “nearly all aspects of the business” to get investors and pump up the company’s stock price. Yes, Nikola competes with Tesla with the most obvious name since the Washington Football Team.

The University of Oxford is looking for volunteers to test a new vaccine to protect against the plague as outbreaks are on the rise – including a 10-year-old boy who died of complications from plague in the US last week. They might get more volunteers if they offered them free bird beak masks.

To combat the serious worker shortages in California, the Sugar Mediterranean Bistro in Stockton brought in a food-carrying robot to help deliver orders to customers. It gets bigger tips than the human waitstaff because it never comes back when your mouth is full to ask if everything is OK.

Bengali, a tiger living at the Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary in Tyler, Texas, was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the oldest living tiger in captivity at the age of 25 years and 319 days old and counting. Bengali blew out all of the candles and opened her eyes, but the cake didn’t turn into a human on a platter.

A family in Broken Bow, Oklahoma – a Bigfoot sighting hotspot – thought it would be fun to invite a female Bigfoot impersonator named Cinnamon to their six-year-old daughter’s birthday party … instead, the kids ran screaming and crying out of the room thinking it was a real Bigfoot. Cinnamon eventually won the kids over – a good thing in the state where Bigfoot hunting is legal and offers a reward.

The 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck off Alaska’s coast this week, about 56 miles (91 km) east southeast of Perryville, was the strongest one since 1964 but didn’t result in any tsunamis. That’s good news for coastal Alaskans, but bad news for Alaskan TV reporters in raincoats and waders hoping to boost their ratings.

A German-built space telescope called eROSITA has created the most detailed map of black holes and neutron stars ever, revealing more than 3 million newfound objects across the universe in less than two years of operation. “Hold our beers and watch this,” said Google’s black hole map developers.

Russia’s brand new Nauka module, just docked to the International Space Station, unexpectedly fired its thrusters and the entire space station spun uncontrollably by 45 degrees out of attitude, but NASA reported that “crew members are safe and will scrub their schedules for today in order to focus on recovery efforts following the unexpected loss of attitude caused by the Russian Nauka module’s thrusters firing.” Can they blame doping?

The journal Sustainability published a study stating that New Zealand—along with Iceland, the United Kingdom, Australia (specifically Tasmania) and Ireland—were the nations currently most suited to maintaining higher levels of societal, technological, and organizational complexity if a global collapse were to happen due to climate change. Book your flights no- … too late.

Three new studies cast doubt on the premise of subsurface lakes below the Martian south pole and provide evidence they’re just clay. Elon Musk just got hundreds of ticket requests from pottery makers.

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Vitalik Buterin gives expected timeline for Ethereum 1.0 and 2.0 merge

The merge of ETH1.0 and ETH2.0 will occur in 6 months or more from now says lead Ethereum developer Vitalik Buterin.
In the meantime, Ethereum validator nodes have increased to 200,000, and over $14B is now staked in ETH 2.0 ahead of migration to Proof-of-Stake.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder, has spoken about the expected timeline of the Ethereum 1.0 and Ethereum 2.0 merger. He was quoted at the World Blockchain Conference hosted by 8BTC in Hangzhou Future Sci-tech City, saying:

…upcoming very soon, we have the Altair Hard Fork on the Proof of Stake chain. The London Hard Fork is under the existing Proof of Work chain. At some point, maybe about half a year from now maybe more, we will get the merge, which is when the Proof of Work chain is finished and everything on the Proof of Work chain gets moved over onto the Proof of Stake chain.

Additionally, the Ethereum CEO said that following the much-anticipated merge, a post-merge cleanup fork will ensue. The cleanup’s idea is to fix some necessary aspects not done by the hard fork implementing the merge. An example of this is that the merge won’t facilitate withdrawals.

At the moment, all who have staked in the Proof of Stake system cannot make withdrawals of their deposits or rewards. Following the merge, withdrawals will still be undoable until after the post-merge cleanup, says Buterin.

Ethereum Proof-of-Stake implementation

Thereafter, Buterin says sharding will be the second development. Data shards are capable of giving Rollups 20-50 times more space, which translates to higher scalability. Eventually, this feature will support up to 100,000 transactions per second on the future Ethereum network.

Initially, sharding will have a basic level of security, the developer noted. However, as sharding upgrades, so will the security features. At this, he spoke about data availability sampling, which is a technology for improving sharding security. With it, nodes can verify that data in the shards is published without making massive data downloads.

Importantly, data availability sampling ensures that applications do not crush with increased scaling and huge data loads. Such an unfortunate incident would happen if blocks get accepted where there is no data access. Buterin concluded his speech, saying:

I think over the next 2 or 3 years, we’re going to see it become much cheaper to use Ethereum. And we’re going to see it become more possible for many more kinds of applications to use Ethereum. And the Ethereum ecosystem is going to become a lot more interesting and fun.

High merge expectations

The migration to Proof of Stake has received many delays in the past, which Buterin says are due to personal and not technical faults. However, there is much hype surrounding this development as validator nodes have increased by 20,000 in a month to 200,000+. Additionally, ETH staked in the network stands at over 6.6 million coins, which is worth over $14 billion.

So far, the amount of staked ETH is 5 percent of the total circulating ETH supply. The annual percentage yield (APY) on staked ETH now stands at 6.1 percent on the Ethereum network. Meanwhile, Ethereum is now trading at $2,399, up 4.4 percent in 24-hours, according to our data.

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Aliens That Look Eerily Like Us and Who Roam Around Our Supermarkets! Huh?!

If there’s one thing you can say about aliens, it’s that most of them don’t really look like us. Okay, there’s the head, the torso, the arms and the legs, but largely that’s where things come to an end. For example, the small “Greys” have huge heads, large black eyes and emaciated bodies. The “Reptilians” are hardly human-looking. The lesser-known “hairy dwarfs” and the Flatwoods Monster of 1952 were nowhere near human-like. That said, however, there are a number of reports of non-human entities that look almost identical to us. There’s no doubt this applies, chiefly, to the “Space Brothers” and “Space Sisters” of the 1950s. They were encountered, usually, in desert locations and near the West Coast of the United States. The females were practically identical to us. The males, too. That is, apart from their 1980s-era-style, heavy-metal-band hair. They had fun and memorable names, such as “Rondolla” of the Fourth Density; “Zolton;” of Vela; “Ah-Ming” of Tarr; and “Numa” of Uni. Much better than the nameless Greys, right? Right! Then, there was Aura Rhanes, the ultimate alien uberbabe of the 1950s and a proud citizen of the planet Clarion, which, by the way, has never been found. Until his death in 1969, Contactee Truman Bethurum was totally entranced by Captain Rhanes. There are, however, other aliens that look just like us and who can pass for us on the streets, in the malls, and at the Friday night game. Whether or not they bet on the game, I don’t know.

Giant Rock, California, where human-looking ETs with stupid-but-fun names loved to hang out in the 1950s (Nick Redfern)

Giant Rock, California, where human-looking ETs with stupid-but-fun names loved to hang out in the 1950s (Nick Redfern) have friends who fully believe the Black Eyed Children are aliens. Personally, though, I think that is what we call in the U.K. “complete and utter bollocks.” In my view the BEC are something supernatural, rather than extraterrestrial. I have to admit, however, that those strange black eyes and the pale, sickly-looking faces do suggest that the BEC just might be ETs. Give them some human-like contact lenses, and, yes, they certainly could pass for us. Just maybe. Now, let’s take a trip to a store. UFO authority, and author, Denise Stoner told me the following: “At least three times here in Florida at a particular combination health/grocery/restaurant I have been observed by a strange character. This is a good place to blend as many folks who shop here are ‘odd characters’ to begin with or ‘hippie like,’ gone back to nature types. So, the person who has observed me is wearing a gauzy outfit, thin hair, woven straw Panama type hat and sun glasses fits right in.” Denise continued:

No way these guys are going to pass for us

“His skin, hair, and clothing are all almost the same beige color. The difference is he has a drink in front of him, a notebook, stares at me the whole time as we eat at a table on the sidewalk. He never has food of his own nor does he touch the drink. It seems he knows when we are almost finished eating, he gets up, walks slowly past our table, rounds the corner that is clearly visible but must pass a pillar on the corner of the shopping plaza by our table. Once he goes behind that pillar, he never comes out the other side. There is literally nowhere for him to go but out the other side, then down the sidewalk or out to the parking lot – but no, he is gone. I cannot get up to follow thinking I am going to bump in to him on the other side of the pillar. He lets me know in no uncertain terms that he is watching me or letting me know he is there.”

Captain Aura Rhanes. Now, that’s more like it.

For his book Selected by Extraterrestrials, William Tompkins wrote: “The time was 1:30 p.m. It was an afternoon in late 2010. The location was an exclusive neighborhood in Oceanside, California. I needed some things from our local store. Walking fairly close to the rear entrance, I spotted an expensively dressed, tall, blonde, vision that immediately reminded me of the first day I met Jessica, my Nordic alien.  She stopped and turned, facing me. With a sincere, deep, penetrating look, this vision said, ‘My father is several levels above 32 Mason, and I’m going to help you with your book.’ We talked for about ten minutes, outside of the door.  She gave me her phone number and said, ‘Meet me tomorrow, in the coffee lounge at 1:30.’ Obviously, I was extremely impressed and in total confusion about her remarks, because I never met her and didn’t know who she was. How could she have known I was writing a book?  And what did her Freemason father have to do with the subject matter in my book?” Don’t ask me. I’m just the messenger.

There’s no doubt, whatsoever, this story is a bizarre one. How could it not be when supermarkets, UFOs and aliens become integral parts of it all? Aliens that look so much like us they can wander the aisles, get stuck in the check-out lines for twenty minutes (just like me and you!), choose the shopping cart with the fucked-up front-wheel, and not be outed for what they really are? Now, that’s impressive!

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Art of the Mushroom Gods: Stone Age Paintings Recall Ancient Psychedelic Journeys

In many parts of the ancient world, people left their mark for future generations… in the very most literal sense. Carvings in stone and drawings on cave walls using charcoal, or simple substances like the ferric oxide-rich ochre capable of producing colorful hues of red, remain today as a lasting testament to the ancient ways of life.

Such examples of ancient art grant us a unique view of the past. Often the art found at famous locations like Lascaux or Chauvet cave provides images of ancient hunters at work. Other locations like the Cave of the Trois-Frères in southwestern France show us scenes like that of the “Sorcerer,” an enigmatic figure depicted with deer antlers that were first shown to the world in the written works of Abbé Henri Breuil, who reproduced renderings of these 13,000-year-old images.

The “Great God of Sefar” as depicted at the caves at Tassili, Algeria (public domain).

Even stranger art can be found at locations like the caves at Tassili n’Ajjer, a national park and UNESCO world heritage site in modern-day Algeria. Among the paintings here are exotic-looking representations of peculiar humanoid shapes numbering in the thousands, which bear names like the “Great God of Sefar” or the “Great Martian God.” Looking at the art depicted at Tassili, it is easy to see how many proponents of ancient astronaut theories might employ these eerie-looking personages as evidence supporting ancient visitations to Earth by extraterrestrial beings. But what if the inspiration behind such images had another source entirely?

The late ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna was among the many who have proposed over the last few decades that such cave art might represent a very different sort of “contact” from that envisioned by proponents of visitation by ancient astronauts. On the contrary, the ancient artists who produced the imagery found at places like Tassili might have been drawing things that originated from inner space, rather than outer space.

When considering the appearance of some of the cave art in question, this seems to be a compelling argument; especially on account of one of the most peculiar figures depicted in the Tassili art, which resembles an insect-faced anthropomorphic shape with mushrooms sprouting from its torso and appendages.

Reproduction of the “Mushroom Man” at Tassili (public domain).

According to McKenna, this figure not only bears a striking similarity to the kinds of visions reported by modern users of psychedelic substances, but the inclusion of the mushrooms seems to be a dead giveaway for the influence of mushrooms containing the compounds psilocybin and psilocin, which are responsible for their powerful psychedelic effects.

Tassili’s “mushroom man” is not the only instance involving modern psychedelic visionary experiences appearing in ancient art. A similarly compelling example was also discovered by researchers at the Selva Pascuala cave at Villar del Humo, Spain. In it, cattle seen close to a small row of mushrooms appear to depict the presence of Psilocybe hispanica growing on the waste left by these animals. Researchers believe this instance of ancient cave art to be the first direct evidence of ritualistic use of psilocybin anywhere in prehistoric Europe.

The fact that depictions of strange, alien-looking personages in ancient cave art appear to represent psychedelic visions makes these figures no less exotic in appearance to us today. However, it also shows that human interactions with “inner space” seem to go much further back into time and that the visionary experiences of modern psychonauts are nothing new. Instead, they represent the continuation of a long tradition of experiences between humans and the “others” who experiencers claim to find inhabiting the psychedelically stimulated realms of the mind.

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Modern Day Alchemists Turn Water into Shiny Golden Metal

Turning anything other than gold into the precious ‘noble’ metal has been one of the dreams of alchemists — along with creating an elixir for immortality — since alchemy began some 4,000 years ago across three continents. Since people today are trying to get rich by turning electricity into bitcoin, one could assume that the lead-or-straw-to-gold transformation hasn’t yet been achieved. That would have been correct until recently when physicists in the Czech Republic turned water into a shiny golden metal. Was it gold? Are they rich? Is it time to pull out of bitcoin? (You might want to check with Elon Musk first.)

Tell me more!


Wait a minute! Any liquid can become metallic when placed under enough pressure! Physics 101!

Yes, junior physicists – you are correct. However, as the study published this week in the journal Nature points out, no laboratory can afford the equipment to do this. In fact, the only place in the solar system where it’s possible to pressurize liquid into metal would be in the centers of the massive planets Neptune and Uranus, where water has been pressurized into a solid metallic core. Pavel Jungwirth, a physical chemist at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague and co-author of the study, decided there had to be another way. According to the press release, he theorized that he could turn water into a solid metal by borrowing electrons from alkali metals such as sodium and potassium.

Wait a minute! Don’t alkali metals tend to explode when mixed with water?

Correct again, junior bomb-maker. Jungwirth and his team took the precaution of slowing down the reaction time between alkali and water by mixing liquid sodium and potassium in a syringe at room temperature, then placing it in a vacuum. Droplets were squeezed out gently into water vapor. As the water condensed in a .1 micrometer thick layer, its electrons quickly became diffused with the positive metallic ions in the alkali droplet. In seconds, the water layer turned golden.

Gold! Sell the bitcoin and buy a vacuum and some syringes!

We’re gonna be rich!

Not so fast, junior alchemist. The gold-colored layer was analyzed using optical reflection and synchrotron X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies and found to definitely be shiny, golden and metallic – but not gold. On the positive side, Jungwirth and his colleagues – both those working on the project and others in the lab – were more excited about not blowing themselves up. Jungwirth and team member chemist Phil Mason conducted a similar risky experiment in 2015 to discover the mechanism that makes sodium explode when it touches water and were forced to conduct in on a balcony, chasing off people using it for smoking. Peter Edwards, a chemist at the University of Oxford who was not involved with the experiment but reviewed the results, was impressed with the latest one.

“They have managed to get to a quasi-steady state such that the physics of metallization wins over chemical decomposition.”

In other word, close and impressive on the explosion prevention side, but no cigar.

Should we keep our bitcoin?

That’s up to you and your financial advisor or teen friend who’s already a bitcoin millionaire on paper. It may be risky but it’s still safer than mixing alkali metals and water.

The post Modern Day Alchemists Turn Water into Shiny Golden Metal first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

Tezos welcomes Smartlink as newest corporate baker on the network

Smartlink has become the newest corporate baker on Tezos.
Other than Smartlink, there are more than 400 bakers including global gaming giant Ubisoft, on the Tezos blockchain network. 

Decentralized escrow smart contract platform Smartlink has announced its expansion in the Tezos ecosystem by becoming the newest corporate baker. On becoming a corporate baker officially on Tezos, Smartlink will now begin to validate transactions on the blockchain. The latest move by Smartlink fulfils one of the project’s commitments to expand in the Tezos ecosystem. Apart from Smartlink, more than 400 corporate bakers globally are validators on the Tezos blockchain. Other Tezos corporate bakers include insurance company Wakam, cloud provider Exaion, global gaming giant Ubisoft, Sword France, and more. 

Smartlink joins over 400 bakers on the Tezos blockchain

Smartlink specializes in end-to-end online escrow solutions, incurring reliable transactions. The platform offers reduced processing costs as it exempts third parties, which drive transaction costs up. Additionally, Smartlink guarantees the safety of funds during transactions and reduces potential risks and fraud on multiple blockchain networks. The platform provides these features through an end-to-end payment solution that ensures seamless transactions. 

We are pleased to announce that @smartlinkHQ is now a @tezos corporate baker!
“The promise of this technology is consistent with the ambitious goals we have for our platform.” @BenConstanty
Learn more #blockchain #crypto #smartlink

— Nomadic Labs (@LabosNomades) July 29, 2021

Smartlink founder and CEO Ben Constanty commented on the platform’s latest achievement on becoming a corporate baker on Tezos. Expressing his satisfaction with the new move, the CEO stated:

I am now more convinced than ever that we have made the best technological decision choosing Tezos. The promise of this network is consistent with the same ambitious goals we have for our platform. We are pleased to strengthen our commitment to this ecosystem by becoming a co-baker today.

Tezos upgrade mechanism limits disruptions and also offers constant upgradability and improved functionality over time. Over time, Tezos has gone through six network upgrades for advanced features. With the several upgrades, Tezos now offers reduced fees, improved token standards, increased transaction speed, and mcuh more. 

Nomadic Labs welcomes Smartlink

In a statement, the president of Nomadic Labs, Michel Mauny:

We are always delighted to see project leaders becoming increasingly involved in our ecosystem. Smartlink holds great promise and the dynamism that its team express will be a plus for all.

The blockchain network, Tezos, is a Proof of Stake (PoS) network and uses 2 million times less energy than other networks that use Proof of Work (POW). Since the beginning of 2020, the Tezos community has featured some popular NFT and DeFi applications. In addition, the Tezos community has recorded growth in its network activity up to 1,200 percent since the year began. The blockchain network has grown over the years and now accommodates different clients across several sectors. Some of the clients building on Tezos include non-fungible token (NFT) artists, sporting franchises, music labels, game developers, real estate developers, global NGOs, and more. 


Der Beitrag Tezos welcomes Smartlink as newest corporate baker on the network erschien zuerst auf Crypto News Flash.