This Month in Crypto: Gaming on the blockchain, London School of Economics, Sergey Brin, and more

A curated selection of meaningful moments in July that are bringing us all closer to realizing an open financial system for the world.

Fuel Games, world’s first blockchain based eSport, launches with presale
Gods Unchained, a multiplayer strategy game, will leverage blockchain technology to offer gamers trust-free ownership of the items they buy or earn in games. “As the games industry switches to asset-driven revenue models, players have a more urgent need than ever for guarantees about the value and tradability of those assets,” said James Ferguson, co-founder and CEO of Fuel Games, a Coinbase Ventures-backed startup.

London School of Economics launches online course
For over one hundred years, LSE’s motto has been to “understand the causes of things.” In service of its mission, the university is launching an online course next month, Cryptocurrency Investment and Disruption. Over six weeks, students will “explore how cryptocurrencies and blockchain will shape the future of money, society and industries.”

CFA exam adds crypto and blockchain topics
CFA Institute, which has helped train more than 150,000 financial professionals, is adding topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain for the first time next year. Material for the 2019 exams will be released next month, giving candidates their first opportunity to start logging a recommended 300 hours of study time. According to a July 16 story in Bloomberg, the CFA added the topics, part of a new section called Fintech in Investment Management, after people in the industry demonstrated an increasing amount of interest.

Learn Plasma is a new resource for people curious to learn more about Plasma, an Ethereum scaling solution. The resource came out of Cornell’s IC3 Bootcamp. Vitalik Buterin shares his latest post in a series on STARKs, a privacy-enhancing cryptographic building block. In June, the Ethereum Core Developers announced they would combine two scaling initiatives — Casper and Sharding — into one: unofficially named Shasper. V2.1 of the design is now available.

ICO volume in the first half of 2018 is already double that of 2017
PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Swiss Crypto Valley Association partnered on a report around the volume of initial coin offerings (ICOs). “In the first 5 months of 2018, a total of 537 ICO’s with a volume of USD 13.7 bn have been closed successfully — which is more than all pre-2018 ICOs combined,” the report states. “The US, Switzerland and Singapore remain key global ICO hubs, however, over the past months, the UK and HK gained significant ground.”

G20’s Financial Stability Board shares how it will monitor crypto assets
In this month’s G20, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, shared several metrics that it will use to keep an eye on the developing crypto markets.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin outs himself as a crypto miner
At July’s Blockchain Summit in Morocco, Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin shared that his “side hustle” is mining ether (ETH) alongside his 10-year old son. “A year or two ago, my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC,” said Brin, according to a recap in Business Insider. “I told him, ‘Okay, if we get a gaming PC, we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we set up an Ethereum miner on there, and we’ve made a few pennies, a few dollars since. . .I see the future as taking these…research-y, out-there ideas and making them real.”

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