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Crypto at the cinema? Moviegoers can soon pay with Bitcoin

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American cinema chain to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for online purchases.

You can soon purchase popcorn with cryptocurrency.

AMC Entertainment will soon offer consumers the option to pay using bitcoin for online purchases of movie tickets and food and beverage concessions, with what will be a first for the industry.  

Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC, told CNBC in an earnings call that the cinema is expecting to have the technology and IT systems in place to accept bitcoin by the end of 2021.

The announcement comes after the cinema’s second-quarter win, with the meme stock’s shares climbing more than 4 percent.

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment.

In 2020, the closure of cinemas worldwide saw box-office receipts hit an all-time low.

According to the Motion Picture Association (MPA) THEME report for 2020, movie patronage plummeted from an average of 1 billion cinema admissions to just 240 million for the year. 

 However, an increase in vaccination counts saw a rise in movie-going demand, with AMC welcoming more than 22 million moviegoers from around the globe back to their theaters this year. 

“New blockbuster films released during the quarter drove successive new pandemic-era box office records,” Aron said. 

“Fortunately for us, as guests returned to our theatres, they splurged on our food & beverage offerings, which admittedly is quite a high-margin business.”

Along with the introduction of bitcoin, guests will also see Apple Pay and Google Pay as payment options on AMC’s website.  

“AMC’s journey through this pandemic is not finished, and we are not yet out of the woods,” Aron says. 

“[But] one can look ahead and envision a happy Hollywood ending to this story.”

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Written by Rebecca Borg

Crypto

Canada’s biggest pension plan, ends crypto investment pursuit

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Canada’s biggest pension fund, CPP Investments, has ended its effort to study investment opportunities in the crypto market.

CPPI’s Alpha Generation Lab, which examines emerging investment trends, had formed a three-member team to research cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related businesses, with a view to taking potential exposure.

But CPPI abandoned the plan and redeployed the team to other areas.

The move also comes as two other Canadian pension funds have written off their investments after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and crypto lender Celsius earlier this year.

CPPI pension fund did clarify that it has not made any direct investment funds into cryptocurrency.

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Australian woman looking for love loses thousands in crypto scam

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Australian woman

Australian woman looking for love on Hinge loses $160,000 in crypto scam

Crypto scams are on the rise right around the world as thieves develop clever new ways to steal your hard earned cash.

Now, it seems they’ve even taken to dating apps.

An Australian woman, going by the pseudonym Cheryl, has shared her heartbreak after a match on Hinge scammed her out of $160,000.

Speaking to News.com.au, the 30-year-old says she was looking for love but wasn’t having any luck on Bumble or Tinder.

This is when she turned to Hinge and soon stumbled on a user called Jackson.

Jackson was chatty, friendly and the pair even shared intimate photos with each other.

After several weeks and hundreds of messages, the individual convinced Cheryl to invest in a cryptocurrency share platform, known as Blackstone Trading.

She started with a $1000 investment and, as her profits continued to grow, she invested more and more.

But the account was later frozen due to so-called “suspicious activity”. Cheryl was told she would need to deposit 50 per cent of her balance – which was around $50,000 – to unlock it.

Cheryl did this, but it didn’t work. The company asked for another 20 per cent, before Cheryl caught on and realised it was all a scam.

“I ended up blocking him on WhatsApp, I deleted him from my Hinge account, I’ll never use Hinge ever again.”

Unfortunately crypto scams like this are becoming more and more common.

Dating platform Hinge has responded to this incident, saying they take fraud “very seriously”. Meanwhile, they are “continuing to invest in new updates and technologies to keep users safe”.

“We encourage users to verify their accounts and match with others that have verified their profiles.”

But it’s too late for Cheryl. Her money is gone and so too is Jackson.

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The hype around cryptocurrencies is on the rise but is it here to stay?

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The global cryptocurrency sector will soon account for nearly $35 billion worth of transactions worldwide

When Bitcoin was born in 2009, the word ‘cryptocurrency’ was hardly typed into a Google Search browser.

Fast-forward to 2022, and the vice chair of the Federal Reserve Lael Brainard, has described “serious vulnerabilities” within the crypto financial system.

“Despite significant investor losses, the crypto financial system does not yet appear to be so large or so interconnected with the traditional financial system as to pose a systemic risk,” Ms Brainard said.

According to recent data, 16 per cent of Americans used or owned cryptocurrencies this year.

This is three times more than 2019 figures.

What’s all the fuss about?

The hype surround cryptocurrencies is spreading around the world, according to new analysis by the Statista Global Consumer Survey.

Digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance have drawn the interest of more and more people during this time.

In fact, Brazil, Germany and the U.S. reported a jump in crypto users between 2018–19 and 2021–22.

In some cases, like in India, the number of crypto users more than tripled.

Indian crypto users rose from 8 to 27 per cent in the same reporting period.

Ms Brainard said the ‘get rich, quick’ promise of cryptocurrencies is not as attractive as it seems.

“Contrary to claims that crypto-assets are a hedge to inflation or an uncorrelated asset class, crypto-assets have plummeted in value and have proven to be highly correlated with riskier equities and with risk appetite more generally,” she said.

U.S. cryptocurrency users have risen from 5 per cent in 2019, to 15 per cent by 2022.

Meanwhile, Spain and South Africa have seen modest gains, with slight increases to 26 and 23 per cent respectively.

Is this growth sustainable?

While India has the highest number of crypto users, the U.S. is responsible for 53 per cent of all transaction value.

Over $18 billion will be generated in the U.S. market, while Japan, Britain and South Korea all contribute more than $1 billion annually.

As the sector continues to grow, the Federal Reserve is pushing for regulatory action.

“It is important that the foundations for sound regulation of the crypto financial system be established now before the crypto ecosystem becomes so large or interconnected that it might pose risks to the stability of the broader financial system.”

Lael Brainard, FEDERAL RESERVE

Statista believes the adoption of cryptocurrencies will continue growing on a global scale.

In fact, estimates show 257.2 million crypto users worldwide, or 3.2 per cent of the world’s population.

The base of crypto users will expand at double-digit rates through to 2023, despite user growth slowing down.

Statista expects close to 294 million crypto users next year. This is an annual increase 14 per cent.

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