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09:00 ET Businesses Around the World Begin to Utilize Cryptocurrencies

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- After China's crackdown on cryptocurrencies began, there were concerns that other countries may copy the policy of going after crypto miners. Nevertheless, last Friday saw at least some of these concerns dissipate after the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. doesn't have plans to ban cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin jumped more than 10.8% on Friday to USD 48,109.69, its highest level in almost a month. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, also gained about 10% to USD 3,293.01 over the same period. Since the clampdown by the Chinese government on crypto mining began, Bitcoin miners in China have begun looking to relocate their operations to U.S. states like Texas, South Dakota and Tennessee, The Washington Post reported. ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH), CleanSpark, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLSK), SOS Limited (NASDAQ: SOS), Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA), The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY)

Over the last several years, the perception regarding cryptocurrencies has changed drastically. Many major corporations and financial institutions have since started to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a viable option for payment. For example, just earlier last week, PayPal announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers in the U.K. to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency with PayPal. Customers can choose from four types of cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, they can view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help answer commonly asked questions, and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the opportunities and risks.

ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH) transitioning to "BlockQuarry," pending name change, announced last week breaking news that, "the Company surpassed agreed upon milestones related to the performance of its common stock price and will therefore receive an additional 150 Bitmain S19 95TH/s miners from Minerset, a Delaware LLC, due to negotiated milestone clauses included in the asset purchase agreement (the "Agreement") reached between the two companies in August.

These 150 miners are supplemental to the 400 miners already paid for and received as part of the original Agreement.

The Company leveraged its shares of Preferred B stock to purchase its initial tranche of 400 miners. As a part of the contract, ISW Holdings President and Chair, Alonzo Pierce, and Minerset Managing Member, Elias Fernandez Sanchez, negotiated a graduated milestone provision deeming that ISW Holdings would earn 75, 150, or 225 additional Bitmain S19 95TH/s miners based on the performance of the Company's common stock at or above $2, $3, or $4, respectively.

The Company has now triggered two of those milestones and looks forward to the opportunity to reach the next – the stock price for common shares of ISWH closed at $3.44 on Monday after hitting a 52-week intraday high of $3.78 during the session.

'This contract was a win for both companies: We didn't have to part with $3.8 million in cash and Minerset was able to quickly move its inventory,' noted Pierce. 'With the appreciation of our stock price, both companies have already been amply rewarded for this partnership.'

Upon delivery, the miners will be prepped and deployed in POD5 units at the Company's Pennsylvania mining project.

'In addition to being a surprise reward for our shareholders on the asset side, this new tranche of miners will drive significant further bottom line performance gains over coming quarters,' added Pierce. "We also continue to work with FINRA on our name and symbol change, which is our first step of many on our way toward a NASDAQ listing.'"

For more information visit: www.blockquarry.io

CleanSpark, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLSK) announced last week that CleanSpark has transitioned all of its bitcoin mining power to Foundry USA Pool. CleanSpark adds over one exahash of sustainable Bitcoin mining power to the Foundry USA mining pool. CleanSpark has now added computing power of more than one exahash, generated by over 10,000 latest-generation bitcoin mining machines, to the Foundry USA Pool. The Company plans to continue to deploy machines to reach its goal of 2 EH/s by the end of 2021 and 3.2 EH/s by fall 2022. Mining pools are an important component of the bitcoin ecosystem because they allow miners to combine their mining power and increase the frequency as well as probability of earning bitcoins. Backed by its parent company DCG, Foundry USA Pool is the first North American cryptocurrency mining pool that pays its users through the Full-Pay-Per-Share ("FPPS") payout method without relying on an external party, guaranteeing stable, risk-free payouts. "Mining pools historically have not been as transparent in the way they calculate their miners' earnings," said Bernardo Schucman, senior vice president of mining for CleanSpark. "Foundry USA Pool is an exception, however. Being an American mining pool with transparent and compliant methods, it provides all stakeholders with full disclosure of their earnings."

SOS Limited (NASDAQ: SOS) announced back in June that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Niagara Development LLC ("Niagara Development"), a New Jersey limited liability company, for a joint venture to be based in Niagara, Wisconsin. The joint venture, FD LLC, is expected to carry out crypto-currency mining operations and construct an international standardized Digital Super Computing Custody Operation Center. Under terms of the agreement, Niagara Development will be responsible for providing up to 150MW of electricity, including electricity generated from renewable sources, and construction the Digital Super Computing Custody Operation Center. SOS will be responsible for the management, operations and financing of the joint venture. SOS remains committed to its block-chain strategy and strive to become a sustainability leader in the industry.

Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) announced last month that DMG Blockchain, (TSX-V: DMGI) (OTCQB: DMGGF) (FRANKFURT: 6AX), a vertically integrated blockchain and cryptocurrency technology company, will become the first North American Bitcoin miner, excluding Marathon, to join Marathon's mining pool, MaraPool. On Monday September 13, 2021, DMG Blockchain will begin pointing 100% of its hash rate towards MaraPool, as the pool opens to additional Bitcoin mining companies. MaraPool is a U.S.-based Bitcoin mining pool that is focused on reducing the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining through carbon neutral mining. The pool, which is fully audited by a third-party firm in the U.S., provides its members with industry leading transparency, an intuitive reporting system, and access to exclusive services from NYDIG. "After experiencing difficulties with mining pools outside the U.S., we decided to launch our own pool that would reflect the values and needs of enterprising North American Bitcoin miners," said Fred Thiel, Marathon's CEO. "After many months of testing, we have now opened the pool to other Bitcoin miners that share our beliefs and our desire to improve miners' processes. DMG Blockchain has long been an innovator in this regard, having worked closely with us on this initiative, and we are pleased to welcome them to MaraPool."

The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY) and Protocol Labs, Inc. announced last month that they are forming an ecosystem collaboration on The9's Non-Fungible Token (NFT) platform NFTSTAR and GameFi Play-to-Earn projects. The9 announced NFTSTAR as one of its core businesses in August 2021. NFTSTAR is a NFT trading and community platform that provides users with purchase, trade, and interactive activities. The platform will feature NFT collections created by global stars' licensed IPs. Users can purchase and own stars' limited NFT collections. Each NFT collectible has a unique record on the blockchain, and the users will obtain the ownership of the unique NFT collectibles through purchase on the platform, or through trading on NFTSTAR's marketplace. NFTSTAR will accept general payment methods, such as credit cards, to make it easy for mainstream consumers to participate.

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