This Week in Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum Drop on Freaky Fed Friday

This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

The crypto market had an uneventful week amid these late summer slumps – until Friday, when the world’s leading cryptocurrency fell 4% in 24 hours.

The price drop was triggered by Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell’s remarks in Jackson Hole that the Fed will continue to raise interest rates as long as it takes to fight inflation. The comments also sent stocks up, not just crypto.

To kick off the weekend, all of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization show a net loss over the past seven days, except for Cardano (ADA), which expects a hard fork next month. Bitcoin (BTC) is down 5% in the last week, Ethereum (ETH) is down 6%, Solana (SOL) is down 10%, Dogecoin (DOGE) is down 8%.

Ethereum supporters still have high hopes that the upcoming merger event will pump ETH. But this week hit the number of weekly ETH deposits sent for staking on the Beacon Chain an all-time lowaccording to data from Dune Analytics.

The Beacon Chain is an Ethereum ledger that coordinates the network of Ethereum actors. It has been running parallel to Ethereum’s mainnet since its launch in 2020. When Ethereum completes its upcoming major network overhaul next month, called the “merger,” the mainnet will be merged with the Beacon Chain to create a full proof-of-stake (PoS) Ethereum- network.

As Ethereum transitions to a proof-of-stake consensus protocol, the network promises to be faster, cheaper, more scalable and 99% greener.

The biggest crypto news of the week

The general sluggishness across markets this week was reflected in the news cycle; it was a pretty slow news week when it came to crypto adoption or regulation.

The Australian Treasury Department said in a statement on Monday that it has a comprehensive plan to establish one crypto regulatory framework based on market research that it claims will be better than “anywhere else in the world.”

Australia will start “token mapping” work this year, which it says will “help identify how cryptoassets and related services should be regulated.” After the preparatory work is done, the Treasury says it will have a “timeline for changes in laws and regulations.” The Australian Treasury also said it will “soonrelease a public consultation document on token mapping.

On Tuesday, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong confessed CNBC that the company is still feeling the effects of Crypto Winter. Coinbase shut down 18% of employees earlier this year and will cut costs in an effort to plan for a bear market lasting 12-18 months or longer.

“We’re currently investing so much in subscription and services revenue,” Armstrong said, because “I’d like to get to a place where more than 50% of our revenue is subscription and services.”

According to Armstrong, 18% of Coinbase’s current revenue comes from subscriptions and services. Coinbase currently offers Coinbase Clouda suite of blockchain product development services, and Coinbase Onea service that offers higher level customer support and other benefits.

Meanwhile, US investors waiting for an SEC-approved Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will have to wait a little while longer after the SEC again delayed its decision on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF application within another 45 days. This means that the agency has until October 11 to “either approve or reject, or initiate proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be rejected”.

Finally we got one Update on Ethereum’s merge date – and that’s potentially even before than previously expected. According to a Wednesday blog post by the Ethereum Foundation, the network overhaul will now be fully completed between September 10 and 20. Ethereum’s core developers on Twitter have been even more specific: on or near September 15th.

After eight years of waiting, it really is just around the corner.

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