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This Week in Crypto #14 – The 2.0 Edition

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Within a seemingly bearish market sentiment, developments do not stop in the background. This week we saw news of the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 Merge and the birth of LUNA 2.0, as well as some controversial news coming from China and Russia.

So will we see an Ethereum 2.0 delay, yet again? Is China secretly mining Bitcoin? And which is the latest e-commerce giant to dwell into the crypto space?

Let’s dive in!

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

Ethereum 2.0 Merge

Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) has been pushed back quite a few times, but trust for the leading Smart Contracts protocol has not diminished whatsoever.

Now, it seems the date has finally been set for Ethereum’s next step in its full transition to PoS, an upgrade to the protocol known as “The Merge”, to August, this year.

Ethereum’s Co-Founder, Vitalik Buterin, recently mentioned that the PoS transition is scheduled to go live on Ethereum’s Ropsten test net on June 8, whilst confirming that The Merge is planned to go ahead in August of this year.

However, once again, a delay is still a reality.

As Vitalik said himself:

“But of course, there’s always a risk of problems. There’s also a risk of delays. And so September is possible and October is possible as well.”

We await to see how this plays out.

LUNA 2.0 passed vote

Terra 2.0 is coming. After the recent de-peg, and subsequent collapse of LUNA’s algorithmic stablecoin UST, plans have been laid out to rebuild the entire LUNA ecosystem.

A vote was held by governance token holders, and with overwhelming support, the Terra ecosystem users voted to pass Proposal 1623, a proposal that called for the creation of an entirely new blockchain, LUNA 2.0.

One of the major differences, is that LUNA 2.0 will be created without an algorithmic stablecoin.

The old chain is to be renamed to Terra Classic (LUNC), whilst the new chain will be named Terra (LUNA), with LUNA tokens being airdropped to members of the original chain. This includes Luna Classic stakers, Luna Classic holders, residual UST holders, and essential app developers of Terra Classic.

Fantom Updates

Snapsync is live!
Snapsync allows new nodes to join the network faster. On the testnet, the syncing time was effectively reduced from 24 hours to 7 hours. Snapsync brings better network reliability, improved scalability, and further decentralisation.

As for Fantom’s native stablecoin, fUSD, the Foundation is proposing changes regarding new collateral assets, loan-to-value ratios, liquidations, and how to repay outstanding debt. An audit is currently underway for the stablecoin changes.

Furthermore, blockchain data indexing protocol Unmarshal has integrated Fantom. For the full list of technical developments on Fantom, check out their latest blog post below.

https://twitter.com/fantomfdn/status/1528741547663151111?s=21&t=VL71a22ZDoNptGI506RVlA

Uniswap hits $1T trading volume

Who said decentralised finance (DeFi) was just a passing craze?

They would be wrong, as Uniswap Protocol just passed a lifetime cumulative trading volume of $1 Trillion. At a time when DeFi is considered the wild west with lack of regulations, many might be afraid to deploy their capital into such decentralised and autonomous protocols as Uniswap. The brave pioneers that sought to test the limits of blockchain are all to credit for this historical moment in Web3.

What will happen when the big players (e.g. institutions and investment funds) come in and want a piece of the pie?

IN THE WORLD

Russia’s oldest prison is a Bitcoin mine

Butyrka, Russia’s oldest prison, was recently discovered to have been converted to a crypto mining farm by Russian law enforcement officials.

All mining hardware was seized from the prison’s psychiatric ward.

A deputy warden at Butyrka prison, suspected to have set up the farm located in the Tverskoy District of central Moscow, is now under investigation for suspected abuse of power by the Russian Federation’s Investigative Committee.

It is suspected the farm was set up in November 2021, having used up around 8,400kW of electricity.

China Can’t Ban Bitcoin Mining

Cambridge University’s Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has just released an update to the CBECI, an ongoing project created and maintained by the Digital Assets Programme (DAP) team. The project is created to provide an up-to-date estimate of the Bitcoin network’s daily electricity load.

During China’s crackdown on Bitcoin mining last year, China’s share of mining went down from 34.3% in June 2021 to 0.0% in July 2021.

But now, the CCAF has provided an update showing that China’s share of mining went up from 0.0% in August 2021 to 22.3% in September 2021.

Does China have a secret prison mine too?

The Central African Republic is launching a crypto island

The Central African Republic is going full crypto, by launching Africa’s first tax-free Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment hub. The Central African Republic is Africa’s only country that uses Bitcoin as legal tender.

South Korea calls for LUNA crash justice

South Korea’s ruling party is holding a meeting to discuss the collapse of LUNA, and may hold the country’s exchanges responsible for investor losses.

The government summoned representatives from the Korbit, Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Gopax exchanges to investigate the situation further.

Adoption

Andreessen Horowitz raises a $4.5 billion venture fund

Amidst a potential bear market for the entire world’s economic ecosystem, including crypto, Andreessen Horowitz has managed to raise a $4.5 billion venture fund, the largest ever in crypto history.

eBay Launches NFT Collection

eBay, is the latest company to enter the NFT space, as the Global e-commerce giant announced the launch of a series of exclusive NFTs through a strategic partnership with Web3 platform OneOf.

OneOf is a premier green NFT platform that brings together communities across music, sports, and lifestyle.

The first drop depicts historic 3D animated Sports Illustrated covers of Wayne Gretzky, a former NHL star.

Coinbase Fortune 500

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, has become the first crypto company to make it into the Fortune 500, an annual list of America’s largest corporations by revenue.

To make the list, companies would have to have a revenue threshold of at least $6.4 billion. In 2021, Coinbase surpassed this threshold, amounting to $7.8 billion in revenue.

Coinbase ranks at 437.

Gamestop Wallet

A GameStop (GME) wallet for crypto and non-fungible tokens! That is the video game retailers latest venture in the tech world. The news come ahead of the launch of its NFT marketplace later this year.

The beta version of the self-custodial Ethereum wallet can be downloaded from GameStop’s website here.

According to their website, the wallet can be used to:

Store crypto & NFTs securely.
Utilise decentralised apps on Ethereum.
Provide fast & fairly priced transactions on Loopring Layer 2.
Give full control of your assets.

https://twitter.com/madnews_io/status/1528699673132802049?s=21&t=6oQuQrCu5EZmQuLflDBqJQ

JPMorgan

Lastly, it seems the ups and downs of the crypto world never seem to stop, as JPMorgan Chase & Co has stated it is utilising blockchain investments for collateral settlements in trading & lending.

Bullish news, within a seemingly bearish market.


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