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This Week in Crypto #18

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What a week of ups and downs it has been for the entire Web3 space. There have been some interesting developments this week, from announcements from some of the biggest chains, all the way to Meta trying to dive deeper into the world of NFTs. So, without further ado.

Let’s dive in!

Ethereum testnet, Sepolia Beacon, has been deployed

The Ethereum Sepolia Beacon chain, Ethereum’s second public testnet chain-merge, has officially been deployed, bringing Ethereum one step closer to the long awaited Merge. The Merge is the next step on Ethereum’s road to ETH 2.0, that will transition the leading smart contract blockchain from a Proof-of-Work consensus method, to a Proof-of-Stake consensus method.

There is a plan to move completely to these testnets, with deprecation and shutdown timelines for the Kiln, Ropsten and Rinkeby testnets already in place.

Thanks for your service Kiln, Ropsten and Rinkeby. Goerli and Sepolia are now here to lead us to ETH2.0.

Read the full details here.

NEAR Foundation launches smart contract audit feature

The NEAR Foundation has just launched its Smart Contract Audit Program. The program seeks to make the process of developers finding auditors, and vice versa, as easy as possible via an auditor ingest form and an audit request form.

The move will allow the entire NEAR ecosystem to improve its overall security.

Uniswap NFTs

After their 2019 launch of “Unisocks“, Uniswap has announced their acquisition of Genie — the first NFT marketplace aggregator – in a bid to enter the NFT space once and for all. Later this year, Uniswap users will have the ability to buy and sell NFTs directly via the Uniswap web app.

Developers will be glad to know that the NFT features will be implemented into the Uniswap API, allowing third parties to build on top of it.

Uniswap will be airdropping USDC later this summer to anyone who:

  • made more than one swap by April 15th on Genie, or
  • was holding the Genie Genesis NFT on April 15th

Read Uniswap’s full blog post here.

Immutable (IMX) launches a $500m development and venture fund

Immutable, an Australia-based Web3 gaming firm, and Ethereum’s NFT scaling platform has launched a $500M development & venture fund, to support projects building Web3 games and NFT utilising companies on Immutable.

Crypto gaming has been on the rise over the last few years, with its moment in the spotlight being mid 2021 with the explosion of Play to Earn (P2E) games. But there is more to Web3 gaming than the P2E gaming model, and it seems Immutable knows this.

Magic Eden closes $130m Series B round at a $1.6b valuation

Popular Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden has managed to close a $130m Series B round. The large flow of capital investment into the company set its new valuation at a $1.6b.

Amidst a seemingly wide crypto meltdown, these news may come to some people’s surprise. No matter the case, it is an inspiring story for any developers in the space. As Magic Eden co-founder Sidney puts it in this tweet of his:

Seven years ago, my first crypto start-up failed during the 2015 crypto bear market. I was broke, living on a sailboat. Yesterday, my second crypto startup, Magic Eden closed its $130 million Series B funding at a valuation of $1.6 billion.

dYdX moving to Cosmos

dYdX has announced its V4 will be developed as a standalone blockchain on the Cosmos SDK and Tendermint Proof-of-stake consensus protocol.

According to dYdX, V4 will mark the full move to decentralisation for the dYdX protocol.

Read the full blog post here.

Tether’s Audit

In other news, one of the prevalent stable coins worldwide, Tether (USDT), has announced it will finally be going ahead with a full audit via a third party company in order to address investor concerns about the health of their reserves.

Iranian government to cut crypto mining power

The Iranian government has announced it’s going to be restricting Bitcoin mining, by cutting off electricity to 118 legal crypto miners, amidst the current global energy crisis.

All 118 BTC miners will have their electricity cut off starting June 22.

Instagram and NFTs

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Instagram will be trialling the use of NFTs on Instagram Stories, via the use of their SparkAR augmented reality platform. As mentioned by Zuckerberg himself:

We’re expanding our test so more creators around the world can display their NFTs on Instagram. We’ll bring this feature to Facebook soon too — starting with a small group of US creators — so people can cross-post on Instagram and Facebook. We’ll also test NFTs in Instagram Stories with SparkAR soon.


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