The final rehearsalIt’s nearly showtime people, please grab your popcorn and head to your seats soon bc ETH 2.0 could be making its debut as soon as September.
- Ethereum just managed to successfully complete the Goerli merge, which yes sounds like a character from Stranger Things but is actually the third and final testnet before ETH completes the Merge and moves to a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. The testnet proved that the PoS validation process hugely reduces the amount of energy used and that the merger process works.
- The highly-anticipated Merge is all set to go ahead as soon as September 15 now that the Goerli testnet has gone through without incident, a relief to some considering how many times it’s been delayed, and the transition is being called “one of the most important events in the history of crypto”.
- ETH closed Thursday at its highest level since June 1 and is up over 11% for the week so far for its sixth positive week. The excitement has spilled over the other tokens too – Ethereum Classic, which is a hard fork of the OG blockchain, hit four-month highs on Thursday after weeks of rallying, and the native token behind ETH staking platform Lido Finance (LIDO) rallied over 18% in 24 hours.
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Hot wallets holders are getting burntWe can’t quite believe we’re writing about the third (likely) crypto exploit in just as many days, and yet here we sit telling you about another exchange losing nearly $5m.
- Roughly $4.8 million in crypto was moved from ZB.com’s hot wallet amid the exchange announcing the suspension of withdrawals on Tuesday because of what they called “temporary maintenance”. But after some sleuthing, blockchain security firm PeckShield reckons hackers are at the heart of the disappearance.
- ZB.com claims to be “the world's most secure digital asset exchange”, which would make a hack… kinda awkward. The funds were taken in 21 different tokens including USDT, SHIB and MATIC, and PeckShield says most of them were then sold on various decentralized exchanges for Ethereum.
- It’s the fourth crypto exploit in less than a week and ZB.com joins Nomad, Solana, and Nirvana Finance – combined, over $200m has been pinched, seriously highlighting the dangers associated with crypto bridges and hot wallets. Tbf, ZB.com have yet to actually confirm this was a hack despite the signs, so hold tight for updates.
Baby, you’re so classicIs a Merge Surge on the cards? Vitalik thinks it could be, uncharacteristically making a comment on Ethereum’s potential price.
- Ethereum gained 5.8% on Thursday to move above $1.7k for the first time since crypto’s big hiccup in June that saw ETH drop to as low as $879 and Bitcoin hit $17.5k. It’s now 60% up in July, almost completely reversing its losses in June.
- Vitalik believes the Merge isn’t gonna be priced in until after the fact. In a recent interview, the Ethereum founder said, “I basically expect that the Merge is going to be kind of not priced in, by which I mean like not even just market terms but even just kind of like psychological and narrative terms.” How does one price something in narratively? Asking for a friend.
- Meanwhile, Ethereum Classic is having a blast-off a time – up 66% this week. Since ETC will not be joining ETH in its voyage to a proof-of-stake consensus, it appears proof-of-work miners have migrated over to the blockchain, with the network’s hashrate rising 20% since mid-July. The hardfork to create ETC happened back in 2016, and since then it's always been in the shadow of ETH. Might it discover a new purpose?
Merges and JumpquisitionsAs a date for the long-awaited Ethereum merge is put in the diary, investors flood onto exchanges to speculate on its price.
- Ethereum was up 10% on Monday morning as momentum finally shifted to the upside for crypto – at least for now. The move follows a 14% rise last week, leaving Ethereum just shy of $1500 after putting in a June low of $897. Its scaling solution, Polygon, also surged a whopping 32%.
- The Ethereum Foundation has penciled in the week of Sept 19 as a potential date for the merge to take place. The network has already undergone multiple testnets that (relatively) successfully transitioned into a proof-of-stake consensus, so now they just need the real deal to work.
- Of course, talks of The Flippening did the rounds – which ICYMI, is basically the event in which Ethereum flips Bitcoin as crypto leader in terms of market cap. ETH has already eaten into Bitcoin by 34% since its June low, but it’s gonna be a loooong way up (like 2000%) if it wants to challenge Bitcoin for the #1 spot.
Staked Ether in a Celsius-shaped spot of botherStaked Ether (stETH) comes under further pressure as worries grow that Celsius is gonna dump its big-ass stake.
- stETH against Ethereum dropped to $0.94 on Thursday, representing a 6% disparity in the pairing after opening the week at $0.97. stETH is ‘supposed’ to represent the price of 1 ETH deposited to Lido – a staking platform offering staking to investors before Ethereum crosses over to proof-of-stake full time later this year.
- Celsius reclaimed its $410m worth of stETH this week after paying off its $81m debt to Aave. FYI, that’s no small amount – representing 10% of the total stETH supply. Now peeps are fearing the crypto lender will dump its stake on exchanges to generate cash as part of its recent bankruptcy protection restructuring.
- There’s a $1.3bn crater in Celsius’ balance sheet according to its bankruptcy filing released this week, perhaps further fueling fears that it will need to dig into its stETH pocket in order to pay off the debts it still has with multiple crypto platforms.
Ticket touts take on EthCC... And loseA group of anon ticket touts have found themselves out of pocket after trying to trick the system and getting caught out.
- Crypto conference tickets sell at lightning speed – even in the midst of a bear market – so for this year's Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) went the extra mile to keep the event access as fair as possible. To that end, tickets were sold in NFT form this year, filled with metadata that made them untransferable.
- But, a group of “crypto enthusiasts” tried to swindle the system anyway. The group bought 200 tickets for $68k with a plan to code around the whole non-transferable thing and sell the tickets on for a little profit. Conference organizers are getting clever though, and after spotting that so many tickets were bought in USDC by one user, they quickly turned the tables on them.
- Not only were the tickets invalidated, but their value was wiped. What we mean by that is, organizers used the NFT tickets refund function, but changed the value to 0. So, the scalpers came crawling into the EthCC boss man’s DMs asking for a full refund once they found their resale plan couldn't work and were swiftly scolded, turned away with just half their money back, plus 200 useless tickets. Don’t hate the player…
DeFi panic spreads to EthereumStaked Ether (stETH) on Lido Finance becomes the latest source of worry for crypto investors, as the token strays far from its Ethereum peg.
- stETH on Lido Protocol is 7% off its parity with Ethereum after the stETH/ETH pair initially fell in the wake of Terra’s collapse. The ratio now trades at $0.94 as rumors circulate that major wallets owned by struggling crypto lender Celsius and hedge fund 3AC are dumping their holdings to meet margin calls. Celsius’ stETH is worth a whopping $475m.
- Since ‘proper’ staking isn’t around yet on Ethereum, Lido Finance was a way for users with any amount of ETH to ‘liquid stake’ their Ethereum by depositing it and getting stETH in return – a token that is meant to follow the price of the #2 crypto, much like a stablecoin tries to keep a peg with a dollar.
- Ethereum has taken quite the knock in the latest crypto crash, down 20% this week to continue an eleven-week downtrend that has seen the crypto lose over 65% of its value – meaning it has now wiped over $200bn off its market cap. Ouch.
Ethereum feels the heat of the marketEthereum falls below its 2018 all-time high, performing particularly badly in relation to cryptos around it.
- ETH fell as much as 17% on Monday morning, continuing its bloody weekend that saw over 13% wiped off its value. As of writing, it’s now trading at a price of $1,210 – a level not seen since January 2021.
- The sharp drop might have something to do with its exposure to Celsius – which, ICYMI, is tanking rn. Around 26% of the total supply is stored in a single wallet on ETH’s blockchain. Celsius has transferred 104k ETH to crypto exchange FTX in the last three days, heightening fears it may dump the #2 crypto to offset its troubles.
- Despite its testnet success last week, it seems peeps still see ETH as too risky of an asset. On the other hand, Bitcoin is keeping its dominance – in the last three months, BTC’s dominance rose over 13%, leaving it with a total market share of almost 50%.
Update: Celsius has transferred about 104,000 ETH to FTX in the past three days, including about 50,000 ETH today, 12,000 ETH yesterday, and 42,000 ETH the day before yesterday. In addition, Celsius also transferred about 9,500 WBTC to FTX today.
The Merge goes into testnetEthereum fans can wipe the sweat off their brows as the cryptocurrency has a smooth and successful testnet.
- Ethereum ran the first major test of its Merge on Wednesday, successfully merging its mainnet proof-of-work chain into the separate proof-of-stake “Beacon Chain”. Ethereum devs will be hoping for no surprises and that the “Ropsten” test network is an accurate reflection of the real merge later this year.
- Currently, Ethereum’s proof-of-work miners run the show. After the Merge, however, validators (holders with over 32 ETH) will discover and add new blocks to the blockchain. This will curb Ethereum’s energy-dependence and label it as fully proof-of-stake instead of a hybrid of the two.
- ETH did very little in reaction to the test Merge – in fact, it actually dropped 1.17% on Wednesday. Awks. However, who knows how and when investors decide to “price” an event like this in. For now, though, Ethereum looks as though it's licking its wounds after a pretty bloody May – the #2 saw prices lose nearly 29%.
A reason to be Optimistic?Optimism’s new token goes live on Ethereum, putting some… buoyancy back in the crypto markets after a pretty lame first half of 2022.
- Optimism’s native OP token had its first phase airdrop on Wednesday morning, seeing “all-time high” demand for the token. Around 270k wallets that were on the network before June 23 last year were able to receive free tokens, with plans for the next airdrop coming soon. At $1.65 on Wednesday morning, OP already has a $350m+ market cap.
- No wonder this token is dubbed Optimism – the crypto has given itself the challenge of offering faster and cheaper Ethereum transactions. How? Apparently by compressing lots of transactions into one before entering Ethereum’s network, as well as other stuff like making public goods like in web3 profitable.
- What will the rest of 2022 spell for ETH? Everyone and their grandmas know Ethereum’s merge into a proof-of-stake system is on the way – the first testnet is due June 8. Still, Ethereum will likely welcome Optimism to its ecosystem – 1.2m transactions failed on the network in May, so maybe this will help the crypto get its ducks in a row.
Can the depegs chill for a sec?Things aren’t going swimmingly for staking protocol Lido as its staked Ether token strays from its ETH peg.
- Lido’s Ethereum-staked token, stETH strayed 4.2% from its ETH peg over the weekend due to what the protocol called “wider market turbulence”. Lido stakes users’ ETH by swapping it for stETH at the same value, basically allowing them to earn staking rewards without locking away their ETH.
- Liquidity providers and long term stETH were not at risk – the peeps who should be worried at the leveraged guys. Lido warned those with leveraged positions to de-risk their investments in order to not get liquidated amid the turbulence.
- So, it seems the depegging frenzy just doesn’t want to end. Lido has quickly sought to nip this in the bud (especially seeing what happened over at Terra), launching an extra pool on its network to boost liquidity between stETH and ETH. ‘Cos when liquidity dries up, we’re in disaster territory.
Finally, some good newsThe market may be crashing, but Ethereum is quietly making progress towards the network’s most important upgrade to date.
- When fishermen can’t go to sea, they mend their nets. That’s what the folk down at Ethereum are saying this week. Recent progress on plans to convert to a proof-of-stake model has led devs to get fans excited by claiming The Merge is now “close”.
- Ethereum has already run three shadow forks, all of which were deemed successful and managed to weed out several bugs. Devs are hoping Shadow Fork 4 (set to run today) will see the ETH team progress to Ropsten, the next step on the road to launching on the mainnet.
- ETH slipped below $2k on Thursday morning amid market chaos led by the collapse of Terra. It is now down 21% since the start of the week but will be hoping to find support at $1.7k. But who knows. It seems everyone is looking for Bitcoin to show some strength rn, and it’s just not stepping up to the plate.
Vitalik gives his two centsEthereum founder Vitalik Buterin admits that his gas fees are still too expensive across the board, but vows to make mad moves.
- Vitalik reckons $0.05 is the benchmark for an acceptable gas fee, as per his response on Twitter to a list of the current prices. While Ethereum is known for its potential to charge outrageous gas fees, popular sidechains like Optimism and Loopring average charges sit below a dollar. But Vitalik wants to cost-cut even further.
- Enter proto-danksharding – a short term solution to high gas fees. The planned tweak is set to unload pressure on the ETH network by introducing a “blob-carrying transaction”. No, we’re still not making these names up. The blob will increase scalability by carrying the burden of a large amount of data that affects gas prices.
- ETH rose more than 5% on Wednesday, helped partly by the market’s positive reaction to the Fed’s decision to hike rates just 0.5%. Ethereum fans will be hoping that Vitalik’s focus on cheap gas fees will avoid another disaster class in transaction fees that saw Bored Ape buyers pay in excess of $5k just to mint NFTs on the network.
This one's Optimistic, this one went to marketGet ready for a new token: Ethereum layer-2 network Optimism forms a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), with plans for an airdrop soon.
- The DAO will be called the Optimism Collective. We know what you’re thinking: this is a riff on the Borg Collective and the peeps at Optimism are gonna assimilate the crypto world. Well, you’re wrong – the DAO will just form a governance model and a dedicated token to go with it.
- Optimism is a scaling solution built on Ethereum. Basically, it allows users to interact with ETH dApps as efficiently as possible. The launch of the DAO represents its own lil venture – by forming a governance model, Optimism wants to make public goods in the digital world profitable, such as open-source software and content. Sounds Web3-y.
- Initially, OP tokens will airdrop to 267k ETH addresses, with the drop scheduled for Q2. The governance token will help create incentives for users, with funds generated from public goods to be distributed using quadratic voting – a method to curb large token holders. This will make governance on the blockchain representative and democratic.
An infura-ating outageEthereum’s infrastructure provider Infura has a hiccup and causes a shockwave of issues, disrupting dApps across the network.
- Infura experienced an outage on Friday that took down a bunch of fan faves. Around two hours later, the issue was fixed – but not before a few million people had mini heart attacks thinking their staked tokens or NFTs had vanished into thin air.
- One of the worst-hit dApps was MetaMask, a Web3 wallet host to over 30m users per month. MetaMask tweeted about the issue – encouraging users to switch to another node if they were having issues – and earn a bunch of backlash on social media platforms like Reddit.
- ETH saw modest losses on Sunday for its fifth day in the red, continuing the slump on Monday morning with a near 5% decline to fall below $3k. The outage is a bad lewk for the Ethereum network, given Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s comment last week about its multiple ‘single points of failure’.
Moonbirds take flightMoonbirds spans its wings to become the #1 traded NFT after less than a week on the market.
- Bored Apes? Crypto Punks? Move aside; it’s time for Moonbirds. Only four days since launching, the collection of 10k pixelated-bird NFTs has racked up over $250m in sales to sit pretty at the top of OpenSea’s NFT marketplace based on weekly volume traded.
- Almost 80k ETH has flown in Moonbirds direction already, with current floor prices sitting at around 20 ETH ($60k). Having a Moonbird gives you the chance to stake it (which they aptly call ‘nesting’) and earn rewards on a tier-based system, increasing as HODLers continue to HODL.
- Ethereum, the most popular NFT trading crypto, was up 1.5% on Tuesday. While ETH reaps the benefits of the NFT marketplace, it remains a frantic place – Moonbirds have already faced drama due to the expensive 2.5 ETH mint price and allegations of raffle manipulation.
Looks like someone created 400+ accounts to Sybil Attack the
They’ve already sold the majority it looks like. Just at a quick glance they won 20+
Tornado Cash wants less dirty laundryEthereum-based coin mixer Tornado Cash is sick of its name featuring in all these crypto hacks, so it’s taking steps to please regulators.
- Tornado Cash will try to block crypto wallets sanctioned by US regulators, using a smart contract developed by Chainalysis to check for wallets with a black mark against them. It’ll look specifically at those sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which has a list of addresses that threaten foreign and domestic US policy.
- So. No more dirty laundry? Not quite. Those with OFAC-sanctioned crypto addresses are still free to transfer it to a clean ether address and then begin washing their stolen assets. Now, we don’t want to speculate too much… but that sounds pretty easy.
- The Ronin hack that saw $625m stolen has been traced to North Korea, where $80m has already been laundered through the protocol, and more is sure to have a washing cycle soon. ETH is minding its own business in the meantime, up 2.3% on Monday to steady its 15% slump over the last two weeks.
Hack and the BeanstalkHackers scalp another De-Fi crypto in Beanstalk, a stablecoin protocol running on the Ethereum network, stealing the princely sum of $182m.
- De-Fi just can’t seem to weed out these attacks. It’s the second hefty exploit within a month, coming in at an estimated $182m. While it’s no Axie Infinity that saw $625m stolen, Beanstalk’s stablecoin BEAN lost its dollar peg due to the attack. As of Sunday, it was sitting at $0.25.
- The beanstalk finally met its unfriendly giant after its governance tokens, ‘Stalk’, were accumulated in flash loans on lending platform Aave. With a big sack of beans, the hacker(s) used their mega voting power granted by the governance tokens to quickly pass a proposal that moved funds off the beanstalk and into a private Ethereum wallet.
- 24k ETH and over 100m BEAN tokens were pinched. Get this, though – the attacker appeared to donate $250k of the stolen crypto to a Ukrainian relief wallet. The rest? You guessed it – TornadoCash for dry cleaning.
Merging into trafficEthereum has been all about The Merge recently, as have many of its fans, but turns out it’s run into some oncoming traffic that’s forced it to slow down.
- Nothing seems to get done on time in the cryptoverse, and big-shot Ethereum isn’t any different. Tim Beiko, a leading ETH dev, took to Twitter to admit the merge to a proof-of-stake model will not be completed in June, but a few months later.
- But don’t visit panic stations just yet, ETH fans. While there’s no firm date, it’s looking likely Q3 could be the time to put your mining shovels down and put on your staking hats. The network handled a shadow fork of the merge relatively well last week – a good stress test for the big changes ahead.
- ETH was back in the fast lane, rising 3% on Wednesday. Investors will want to see solid support at the $3k mark in the coming days, but much of that is up to Bitcoin and what direction the OG crypto wants to take after a rocky week of trading.
The shadow of a hard forkEthereum’s first shadow fork goes live as it prepares for the eagerly-anticipated merge that’ll shift the network to a proof-of-stake (PoS) model.
- Ethereum got a ‘lil bit closer to the merge today as its shadow fork ran successfully, weeding out a few blips and keeping the participation rate of validators at a healthy level. This prep comes as ETH looks set to outgrow its energy-intensive proof-of-work system to flower into the greener PoS, allowing stakers to run the show instead of miners.
- A shadow fork is basically just a stress test of the merge, allowing devs to run a few nodes and deploy a couple contracts through the mainnet to test the infrastructure. So nothing major, but from this Ethereum will get a better idea whether the network can take the heat of the shift to PoS.
- ETH was a shadow of itself on Monday though, falling 7% along with anything else that follows Bitcoin. That said, it actually managed to outperform BTC in March before meeting resistance at $3.5k. Now it sits at a fork in the road, deciding which side of $3k it prefers.