Cryptocurrency wallet BRD reaches 6 million users, driven by growth in Latin America and India

0 Comments

Mobile cryptocurrency wallet BRD announced today that it now has more than six million users worldwide, thanks to strong growth in India and Latin America. With this momentum, the company expects to reach 10 million users by early 2021.

Founded in 2015, Zurich-based BRD also said it now adds about one million new users every two months, after initially taking more than four years to hit the one million user mark. It reached 550,000 monthly active users at the beginning of July. Co-founder and chief executive officer Adam Traidman attributes the increased interest in cryptocurrency, especially among first-time users, to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s causing a lot of people who are staying at home and sheltering in place to reconsider a lot of fundamental questions about their life and family right now,” he told TechCrunch. “It’s causing a lot of thinking about money and finances. People have had a lot more time over the last six months to look at their investments and as a result of that, we found that for cryptocurrency in general, but especially for BRD’s business, we’ve been growing dramatically.”

An image of mobile cryptocurrency wallet BRD's user interface
An image of mobile cryptocurrency wallet BRD’s user interface

An image of mobile cryptocurrency wallet BRD’s user interface

He added that BRD, which has raised $55 million in funding from investors like SBI Crypto Investment and East Ventures, has two main groups of users. The first are millennials who have discretionary income that they invest using apps like Robinhood instead of traditional brokerages. The second group are people who have been more financially impacted by the pandemic and are turning to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to cope with currency fluctuations in their countries or as a more cost-effective alternative to international wire transfers to send money to family members. Falling bank interest rates have also prompted

Genetic risk of developing obesity is driven by variants that affect the brain — ScienceDaily

0 Comments

Over the past decade, scientists have identified hundreds of different genetic variants that increase a person’s risk of developing obesity. But a lot of work remains to understand how these variants translate into obesity. Now scientists at the University of Copenhagen have identified populations of cells in the body that play a role in the development of the disease — and they are all in the brain.

“Our results provide evidence that biological processes outside the traditional organs investigated in obesity research, such as fat cells, play a key role in human obesity,” says Associate Professor Tune H Pers from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), at the University of Copenhagen, who published his team’s findings in the internationally-recognized journal eLife.

“We identified cell types in the brain that regulate memory, behavior and processing of sensory information that are involved in the development of the disease. Further investigation of these areas of the brain may tell us why some of us are more susceptible to develop obesity than others.”

A mosaic of brain cell populations contribute to obesity

The discovery was made by developing computational tools that combine two different sets of data. The first set is genome-wide association study data from around 450,000 people. This data compares a person’s health and physical attributes, such as their body weight, to their unique genome. Doing so reveals that people with obesity are much more likely to have a range of genetic variants in common.

The second set is single-cell RNA-sequencing data of more than 700 different types of mouse cell populations. Different cells express different parts of the genome, so this data set contains the unique genetic fingerprint for each cell population.

The team at CBMR integrated the two data sets and found that the genetic