ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 89

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 Saylor's Bitcoin Maximalism Rewarded as Firm's BTC Stash Surges in Value

Software firm MicroStrategy, a major corporate holder of Bitcoin, has seen the value of its crypto reserves soar past $4 billion in profits, topping gains of over 1000%. The Virginia-based business intelligence company began acquiring Bitcoin in 2020 via the urging of outspoken crypto proponent CEO Michael Saylor. By regularly adding to its stack over the past four years, MicroStrategy's 129,218 BTC stash is now worth around $5.4 billion based on current prices, representing profits of more than $4 billion compared to its total investment cost.

As the original Bitcoin-centric company, MicroStrategy's blockbuster returns bolster the case for bitcoin as a sound corporate treasury play, highlighted as the cryptocurrency market matures and ever more major firms get involved.

 New DN-404 Protocol Aims to Displace Inefficient ERC-404 Tokens

A group of blockchain developers have unveiled their own implementation challenging the ERC-404 token standard, called DN-404. Seeking efficiency gains over ERC-404, which was criticized for driving up Ethereum transaction fees, the new protocol is estimated to reduce costs by 20%. Where ERC-404 combined ERC-20 tokens and NFTs in a single contract, DN-404 splits them into separate "base" and "mirror" smart contracts for tokens and NFTs respectively.

According to one creator, this avoids exploits while restoring standard behaviors. While still experimental and unaudited itself, developers note DN-404 achieves the fractionalized NFT purpose of ERC-404 without impacting the network as significantly. It remains to be seen if the new protocol will gain meaningful adoption over its predecessor.

 Pro-Blockchain Candidates Prevail in Indonesian Presidential Vote

Prabowo Subianto and running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka have declared victory in Indonesia's presidential election. Their apparent win could mean upholding Indonesia’s crypto-friendly policies under outgoing President Joko Widodo. Gibran discussed cryptocurrency and blockchain as means to create jobs during the campaign, echoing Widodo’s support for the local crypto industry.

As more Indonesians trade crypto than stocks, the candidates emphasized strengthening supervision of traders’ tax compliance while developing “future talents” in blockchain. If validated, the results represent a victory for those backing regulation that nurtures, rather than stifles, the country's vibrant cryptocurrency sector. Prabowo and Gibran could maintain existing pro-crypto policies and potentially introduce even more progressive regulations.

 Officer Under Investigation for Diverting $4 Million Worth of Seized BTC

An Australian police officer is facing charges that he stole bitcoin worth $4 million that was seized from a suspected steroid dealer during a drug raid in 2019.

Detective William Wheatley allegedly transferred 81 bitcoin from the dealer's confiscated Trezor hardware wallet to addresses under his control only days after the evidence was secured. However, police lacked the resources to immediately trace the missing crypto. In 2021, after enhancing their blockchain analysis capabilities, authorities linked the transfers to Wheatley. He is now accused of theft for personally depositing funds from the stolen coins into his bank accounts between 2019 and 2022. The officer pleaded not guilty and his defense disputes the case, calling it circumstantial. He is scheduled for a committal hearing as the allegations are reviewed.

 Microsoft to Sink €3 Billion into German AI Infrastructure

Microsoft has announced plans to invest €3.2 billion in Germany over the next two years, primarily focused on advancing artificial intelligence infrastructure and skills. The funding will go towards building new data centers and training programs to develop AI talent in the country.

The major investment commitment was unveiled by Microsoft President Brad Smith in Berlin and marks the company's largest outlay in Germany in four decades. Its pledge comes after Google unveiled a new Paris-based AI hub and €25 million Europe-wide initiative. As both American tech giants pour more money into the region, they follow in the footsteps of others like the Italian government allocating millions to digital reskilling. The increased investments also coincide with the EU inching closer to passing landmark AI regulation to monitor the technology's development and usage.

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