Comes every Saturday Hodler’s Digest will help you follow every important news story this week. The best (and worst) odds, adoption and regulatory highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more – a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top stories this week
The highly anticipated conversion of Ethereum to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, dubbed “the Merge”, took place at 06:42:42 UTC on September 15. The move is an important part of an overarching multi-year transition for the Ethereum blockchain. “It’s starting a chain reaction of change,” Eli Ben-Sasson, co-founder and president of StarkWare, told Cointelegraph about the merger. The Merge will reportedly help the Ethereum blockchain reduce its power consumption by about 99%.
During a viewing party before the network shift from proof-of-work (PoW) to PoS, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said: “[It] has clearly been a dream for the Ethereum ecosystem since pretty much the beginning. With that blog post on Slosher, we started the proof-of-stake study in January 2014.”
However, a party known as ETHW Core disagrees with the transition, aimed at maintaining a PoW version of Ethereum via a fork in the 24 hours following the merger. Multiple crypto exchanges plan on listing the related asset of the forked chain, ETHPoW (ETHW).
Digital asset trading platform Abra announced that it was founding two financial institutions: a US bank and an international crypto firm. The state-chartered bank, due to open in 2023, will operate under the name Abra Bank and will be compatible with digital assets in a format similar to money at traditional banks, it seems. Based outside the US borders, a branch known as Abra International is also planned. The company is looking for all relevant regulatory boxes for Abra Bank and Abra International.
The Norwegian central bank, Norges Bank, uses the structure of the Ethereum blockchain to build the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC). The bank is still in the early stages of building its CBDC, but has sandboxed the open source code for the asset’s testnet. Many countries have expressed interest in or have started work on a CBDC, although the asset does not necessarily have to be built on the blockchain. The Bahamas and Nigeria already have live CBDCs.
During the remainder of 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will add a few new offices, one of which will assist with its crypto regulatory activities. The Office of Crypto Assets, housed under the Division of Corporation Finance’s Disclosure Review Program, will review digital asset submissions. Such filings from crypto issuers have increased, likely given the SEC’s increasing activity in the crypto industry overwatch. This week, the US government also unveiled a cryptocurrency regulatory framework that spans a range of topics, with nine government agencies involved in the creation of the framework.
China’s cryptocurrency regulatory regime remains unclear. “To date, owning crypto has not been banned in China,” Lesperance & Associates founder David Lesperance told Cointelegraph. In fact, crypto holders in the country are legally protected in matters related to theft, embezzlement or breach of a loan agreement. “It does not make commercial trade in this type of real estate legal as the government has specifically banned crypto exchanges in China,” he added.
To winners and losers
Among the 100 largest cryptocurrencies, Celsius are the top three altcoin winners of the week (CELL) at 12.12%, connection (COMP) at 10.97% and Kyber Network Crystal v2 (KNC) at 4.31%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Terra (LUNA) at -49.07%, TerraClassicUSD (USTC) at -29.01% and Terra Classic (LUNC) at -26.47%.
To learn more about crypto prices, read CoinTelegraph Market Analysis.
Most Memorable Quotes
“I think the market, not just the crypto markets but the stock market, is clinging to the 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 a lot more diversity and creative freedom in NFTs – as if artists are finally free to create for the sake of creating and not to fit into the algorithms.”
Adrien Sternco-founder and CEO of Reveel Technology
“DeFi insurance is a sleeping giant. With less than 1% of all cryptocurrencies and less than 3% of DeFi, there is still a huge market opportunity to be realized.”
Dan ThomsonChief Marketing Officer for InsurAce
“If enough people get behind a split for whatever reason, we think the free market will decide what is allowed and what is not.”
Bradley Dukeco-CEO of ETC Group
“It will be an important sign of success when the first [Ethereum] block is produced by proof-of-stake. But this is like completing a rocket launch – we still have the rest of the journey ahead of us, which will come with its challenges.”
Eli Ben-Sassonco-founder and chairman of StarkWare
“Web3 wants to protect individuals’ legitimate claims to have complete control over their data and put privacy first in their online lives.”
rsula O’KuinghttonsDirector of Communications and Partnerships at the Web3 Foundation
Prediction of the week
Bitcoin went all the way above $22,000 this week, but then fell back below $20,000 in the days following, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio expects traditional markets to face downward pressure from rising inflation and rising interest rates. Crypto assets have recently been traded along with traditional markets.
“I estimate that an increase in interest rates from where they are to about 4.5 percent will have a negative effect of about 20 percent on stock prices (on average, although greater for longer-term assets and less for shorter-term assets) ) based on the cash discount effect and about a 10 percent negative effect of declining incomes,” Dalio said in a Sept. 13 blog post.
FUD of the week
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission wants to ban “digital asset business operators” from providing crypto loans and strike services to customers, according to a Sept. 15 announcement from the government agency. The announcement is soliciting feedback from the public on a potential ban, with October 17 as the deadline to address the issue.
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 individuals are reportedly the subject of an arrest warrant issued by a Seoul court. According to the prosecutor, Kwon would have violated the capital market law in South Korea. Terraform Labs is leading the Luna crypto project, which suffered a dramatic demise earlier in 2022. More news saw prosecutors wanted to revoke passports for the six, all of whom were involved in the Luna crypto project. In addition, prosecutors are demanding an international arrest warrant for the six.
Stone Ridge’s Bitcoin Strategy Fund will close after October 3, with liquidation expected around October 21. On September 9, Stone Ridge Trust’s board of directors voted in favor of the fund’s termination, according to a US SEC filing this week. . The fund partly uses futures products to give investors exposure to Bitcoin.
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