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The Next Phase of Ethereum
There has been a fairly consistent pattern for the last couple of years of certain parts of the crypto community underestimating Ethereum as it has undergone a massive transformation, only to be proven wrong.
It happened first with the Мerge itself, which some said would be delayed forever. When it not only happened but was completed flawlessly and without issue, some of those naysayers turned their attention to other critiques – notably that PoS validators couldn’t withdraw their ETH.
Well, guess what? With the upcoming Shapella hard fork, which is set to be activated on April 12 on the mainnet, that changes. EIP-4895 enables withdrawals from the Beacon Chain, which currently has 17.81 million staked ETH.
We’re sure there will be another skepticism after Shapella, but even more sure that Ethereum will keep right on plugging along through it.
In addition to skepticism, there is much speculation on what the upgrade will mean for ETH’s short-term price. Yes, it will unlock liquidity but at the same time validators will only be able to withdraw a portion of their stake immediately, having to wait 1-36 days should they wish to withdraw its entirety.
The Global Crypto Roundup
- The CFTC files a complaint against Binance & CZ
- The EU wants to limit crypto transactions
- El Salvador removes taxes on cryptos
- Governance Tokens Might Come With Legal Liability, US Judge Says
- CBDC Can Be ‘Bridging Asset’ Between Bitcoin, TradFi: Bank of England
- XRP Surges on ‘Investor Hope’ That Ripple Defeats SEC
- France has voted against crypto influencers
- Coinbase received from the SEC a notification against unregistered securities
- Tron sued by the SEC on charges that TRX and BTT are unregistered securities
- Binance replaced BUSD with TUSD on March 22nd
- Silvergate Bank is in deep trouble
- Partnership between Binance and Ingenico
China’s Relationship with Crypto
The US-China conflict shapes a huge part of geopolitics these days, and crypto is no exception:
When China banned Bitcoin mining in 2021, the US was the biggest beneficiary of the shift in global hashrate. And yet now, as the US cracks down on crypto, the other side of the planet is showing a new openness.
- Hong Kong’s proposed crypto registration rules came in much less draconian than had been anticipated last fall.
- Chinese officials have reportedly been positively interacting at local crypto meetups.
- It’s reported that the US tries to push crypto out of banking, Chinese banks have been reaching out to crypto companies directly in Hong Kong
Central Bank Digital Currencies
Ever since Facebook started talking about Libra, CBDCs have been lurking around the corner. Many countries are studying them and some, led by China, are in active trials.
The U.S. has tended to have a slightly different discourse, with many politicians asking whether they’re really necessary and CBDCs becoming an increasingly partisan issue. The White House’s recent scathing report on crypto argued that there was nothing cryptocurrencies did that a CBDC couldn’t do. In the same week that came out, presumptive US Republican Presidential nominee Ron Desantis unveiled legislation that would block Florida from adopting any future CBDC. This follows last month’s introduction of an Anti-CBDC act in Congress.
The CFTC files a complaint against Binance & CZ
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a lawsuit against Binance. Among the long list of charges against the platform are: fabrication of false documents, providing prohibited services to U.S. customers, insider trading,…
Binance, through the voice of its CEO, CZ, has defended itself by denying the accusations. This legal action is the manifestation of an increasingly stringent regulation in the USA against crypto players.
Do Kwon’s arrest
Since the fall of the UST stablecoin and the LUNA token, the founder of the Terra project, Do Kwon, has been actively sought. He was finally arrested last week in Montenegro while trying to travel to Dubai. Both South Korea and the US have requested his extradition. He is expected to remain in custody in Montenegro for approximately 30 days before being returned to either country.
The EU wants to limit crypto transactions
Under the pretext of fighting money laundering, the European Union wants to restrict crypto transactions with new proposals rather problematic. The adopted texts provide for the implementation of a limit of 1,000 euros in crypto for purchases of goods and services, if the parties are not identified. In other words, for example, an exchange could not authorize a withdrawal to a crypto address if the individual behind the address is not known and registered.
In parallel, we learn that the G7 members wanted to coordinate to organize the regulation of the crypto sector. We should have more visibility on the subject in May 2023.
Ledger raises another €100M
Ledger has announced a new fundraising of €100M, which completes its Series C round bringing it to €456M. To date, Ledger’s importance in the ecosystem is illustrated in particular by the fact that it secures 20% of cryptocurrency capitalization and 30% of NFTs.
Ledger was part of our top cold wallet in the “Hot or Cold wallet review”
El Salvador removes taxes on cryptos
As part of the nationwide adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced he is removing all taxes on technological innovations, including Bitcoin.
Silvergate Bank is in deep trouble
A potential new victim of the FTX affair, Silvergate Bank is worrying by announcing that the annual report on its financial health will be late. A report much awaited by observers fearing the bankruptcy of the crypto-bank. Faced with this situation, some players are leaving the ship in the image of Coinbase and Circle.
War in Ukraine, the toll of using cryptos
One after the start of the war in Ukraine, we can see that cryptos have played an important role, unheard of even in wartime. According to Chainalysis, the Ukrainian government received $70M in cryptos, including BTC and ETH, which were spent on the war effort. But the use of cryptos is also valid on the Russian side. Some donations have been used to fund groups, pro-Russian paramilitary present on the front, with a flow of $5-6M. In this context, never before have cryptos been used so much in an armed conflict.
Bitcoin’s Best Quarter in Two Years
At the end of last year, in the wake of FTX’s collapse, many market observers thought Bitcoin might be headed down to $10,000. Instead, Bitcoin is closing out Q1 2023 up more than 70% – it’s its best quarter in two years. What’s going on? Part of it is a slight shift in the macro. The banking crisis has convinced markets that the Fed must end its hiking cycle soon, which has led the tech-heavy Nasdaq index to a 14% gain in the quarter. This narrative seems to be driving BTC, with even mainstream publications like the WSJ pointing out that Bitcoin is soaring while banks fail.
Spotify tests the integration of NFTs
A few months after the start of the integration of NFTs on its platform, Spotify takes another step into Web3. The music streaming giant has announced a partnership with several NFTs collections to allow holders to access special playlists. For now, French users are not concerned. Indeed, Spotify is only experimenting with these features for Android users in the US, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
Partnership between Binance and Ingenico
Ingenico, the world leader in payment acceptance solutions, has just signed a strategic partnership with Binance. A new important step in the democratization of cryptos. The solution already allows to accept more than 50 cryptos and new features are still to be expected in the coming months.