Ethereum completes merger, Do Kwon faces arrest warrant and Bitcoin dives after rally: Hodler’s Digest, 11-17 September

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every important news that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more – a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top stories this week

Breaking: Historic day for crypto as Ethereum Merge to proof-of-stake occurs

Ethereum’s long-awaited conversion to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, called “the Merge”, took place at 6:42:42 UTC on September 15th. The move is a key part of an overall multi-year transition for the Ethereum blockchain. “It starts a chain reaction of changes,” Eli Ben-Sasson, co-founder and president of StarkWare, told Cointelegraph regarding the merger. The merger will reportedly help the Ethereum blockchain reduce energy consumption by around 99%.

During a viewing party before the network̵[ads1]7;s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to PoS, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said: “[It] has obviously been a dream of the Ethereum ecosystem since pretty much the beginning. We started the proof-of-stake research with that blog post on Slosher back in January 2014.”

However, a party known as ETHW Core disagrees with the transition, aims to maintain a PoW version of Ethereum via a fork within 24 hours of the merger. Several crypto exchanges planning listing the fork chain’s related asset, ETHPoW (ETHW).

Abra announces plans for US banks to support digital assets

Digital asset trading platform Abra announced that it is establishing two financial institutions: a US bank and an international crypto business. Aiming to open in 2023, the US state-chartered bank will operate under the name Abra Bank and will be compatible with digital assets in a format similar to money in traditional banks, or so it seems. Stationed outside US borders, a branch known as Abra International is also in the plans. The firm looks to check all the relevant boxes for Abra Bank and Abra International when it comes to regulation.

The Norwegian central bank is using Ethereum to build a national digital currency

Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, uses the structure of the Ethereum blockchain to construct its central bank digital currency (CBDC). The bank is still in the early stages of building its CBDC, but has unveiled the open source code for the asset’s testnet via a sandbox. Many countries have expressed interest in or started working on a CBDC, although the asset does not necessarily need to be built on the blockchain. The Bahamas and Nigeria already have live CBDCs.

SEC to address growing filing of crypto issuers with specialized offices

During the rest of 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will add a couple of new offices, one of which will help with their crypto regulatory activities. The Office of Crypto Assets, which is under the Division of Corporation Finance’s Disclosure Review Program, will evaluate digital assets. Such registrations by crypto issuers have increased, likely given the SEC’s increasing activity in crypto industry surveillance. This week, the US government also unveiled a cryptoregulatory framework covering a range of topics, with nine government departments involved in creating the framework.

Possession of Bitcoin still legal in China despite ban, lawyer says

China’s cryptocurrency regulatory regime remains unclear. “To date, possession of crypto in China has not been banned,” Lesperance & Associates founder David Lesperance told Cointelegraph. In fact, crypto holders in the country are protected by law in relation to theft, embezzlement or breach of a loan agreement. “It does not make commercial trading of this type of property legal, as the government has specifically banned crypto exchanges in China,” he added.

Ethereum completes merger, Do Kwon faces arrest warrant and Bitcoin dives after rally: Hodler’s Digest, 11-17  September

Winners and losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $19,462Ether (ETH) on $1425 and XRP on $0.33. The total market value is at $949.92 billions, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin winners of the week are Celsius (CEL) at 12.12%, compound (COMP) at 10.97% and Kyber Network Crystal v2 (KNC) of 4.31%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Terra (LUNA) of -49.07%, TerraClassicUSD (USTC) of -29.01% and Terra Classic (GONE) of -26.47%.

For more info on crypto prices, be sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most memorable quotes

“I think the market, not just the crypto markets but also the stock market, is clinging to a hope that one day the Federal Reserve will magically say, ‘Well, I think this will be the last or the last two rate hikes.’

Marcel Pechmanmarket analyst and Cointelegraph contributor

“Music NFTs are an anti-genre. We see much more diversity and creative freedom in NFTs – as if artists are finally free to create for the sake of creating and not to fit the algorithms.”

Adrian Sternco-founder and CEO of Reveel Technology

“DeFi insurance is a sleeping giant. With less than 1% of all crypto covered and less than 3% of DeFi, there is still a huge market opportunity to realize.”

And Thomsonmarketing manager for InsurAce

“If enough people get behind a fork for whatever reason, we feel the free market will decide what lives and what doesn’t.”

Bradley Dukeco-CEO of ETC Group

“It will be a significant mark of success when the first one [Ethereum] the block is produced by proof-of-stake. But this is like completing the launch of a rocket – we still have the rest of the journey ahead of us, which will present its challenges.”

Eli Ben-Sassonco-founder and president of StarkWare

“Web3 seeks to protect the legitimate claims of individuals to have full control over their data and put privacy at the forefront of their online lives.”

Úrsula O’Kuinghtton’sDirector of Communications and Partnerships at the Web3 Foundation

Prediction of the week

Bitcoin price threatens $19.6K as Ray Dalio predicts 30% stock crash

Bitcoin rallied all the way above $22,000 this week, but then fell back below the $20,000 mark in the following days, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC Price Index.

Billionaire investor and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio expects traditional markets to face downward pressure due to rising inflation and rising interest rates. Crypto assets have been trading in tandem with traditional markets lately.

“I estimate that an increase in interest rates from where they are to about 4.5 percent would have about a 20 percent negative impact on stock prices (on average, but larger for longer duration assets and less for shorter) based on the present value discount effect and about 10 percent negative impact from declining revenues,” Dalio said in a Sept. 13 blog post.

FUD of the week

Thai SEC intends to ban crypto lending in the country

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission wants to ban “digital asset business operators” from offering crypto lending and betting services to customers, according to a September 15 announcement from the government agency. The announcement asks for feedback from the public about a potential ban, with October 17 as the deadline to consider the matter.

South Korea issues arrest warrant for Terra founder Do Kwon

Authorities in South Korea are reportedly looking for six people, including Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, although Kwon and the others are currently in Singapore. The six people are reportedly the subject of an arrest warrant issued by a court in Seoul. Kwon allegedly violated the Capital Markets Act in South Korea, according to the prosecutor. Terraform Labs leads the Luna crypto project, which suffered a dramatic death earlier in 2022. Further news then prosecutors seeking to revoke the passports of the six, all of whom were involved in the Luna crypto project. In addition, the prosecution is seeking an international arrest warrant for the six.

Stone Ridge board approves plan for “liquidation and dissolution” of Bitcoin fund

Stone Ridge’s Bitcoin Strategy Fund will close up shop after October 3rd, with liquidation expected around October 21st. On September 9, Stone Ridge Trust’s board voted for the fund’s termination, according to a US SEC filing this week. The fund partly uses futures products to give investors exposure to Bitcoin.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Ethereum is eating the world – ‘You only need one internet’

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Guide to Real-Life Crypto-And-Is You’ll Meet at a Party (Part 2)

“I think OGs are hard core believers who went all in when no one else was paying attention to the space.”

Boom and bust: How do the Defi protocols handle the bear market?

A look at how DeFi protocols have fared during the recent bear market and the importance of continuing to build during market downturns.

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