It was Merge week and so of course that’s the headline and story that everyone was focusing on. And it seems to have gone smoothly, a big achievement! Price action wise we however have not seen much of this euphoria as ETH dropped 10% post merge now down -16% WoW vs BTC — 7%. Feels like we are back to Macro driving our narrative. In the news outside of Ethereum we had Microstrategy announcing a stock offering to potentially buy more BTC, a Korean court issued an arrest warrant for Do Kwon, Tether launched on Near Network and Huobi delists major privacy coins from their platform. I’ve also included in this weeks articles Chainalysis latest crypto adoption report which is a good read on where users sit and how we have progressed from last year. Enjoy reading!
Bat Tai Chi — firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethereum Merge Successful
It happened on Sept. 15 at 06:42:42 UTC at block 15,537,393 when we reached the Terminal Total Difficulty of 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000 and Ethereum mainnet execution layer merged with the Beacon Chain’s consensus layer. It was a historic event in crypto and after many delays a big achievement for the Etherum community. No major hiccups known so far and also exchanges kept things well under control. This is def a reason to celebrate and give credit to all involved parties. The last PoW block was produced by F2Pool and has only 1 transaction and 1 contract internal transaction. The message in the transaction by VanityBlocks has a quote by American ethnobotanist and mystic Terence McKenna: “Make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick.” The quote probably relates to the hard work of Ethereum developers, researchers, coordinators, clients, and others involved with the Merge. The first block also had a msg by HashKey Capital “Powering the Next Wave of Blockchain Innovation.” Looking outside of the new ETH PoS we unsurprisingly saw hashrate for ETC jump 4x as some miners reallocated and the ETHPoW chain had quite some hiccups. Many users trying to interact with the experienced chain Chain ID was already used by another chain. As to what’s next for Ethereum we have already discussed in previous weeks about the roadmap. Next is the Shanghai upgrade (6–12 months from now) to allow unstaking from the beacon chain and then we are working on scaling and data availability improvements with sharding.
Chainalysis publishes this report annually and its a great snapshot of where we are vs a year ago and what countries are striving most in the new Web3 environment. They are using 5 sub indices and then taking the geometric mean of these to arrive at a countries overall score. Overall data suggests global adoption has consistently leveled off in the last year after growing since mid-2019 and shows significant correlation with price action peaking in 2Q21. If we are looking at a country level though we can see Emerging markets continuing to dominate the index and actually Vietnam continues to rank #1 with polls showing 1 in 5 are using or own crypto. It’s a lot of data in this report and i recommend a read if you’d like to have a more structural understanding of where usage/adoption is leading and why.
The exchange cites regulatory pressure to take action and delist XMR, ZCASH and others from 19th September. Not sure if this is preemptive or they actually got notice from government but given what happened with Tornado it’s unsurprising institutions are on the watch. On Tornado there has been updated guidance from Treasury where they specifically mention ‘dusting attacks’ and what US citizens should do if they have assets still locked in Tornado. In essence they need to be prepared to give all relevant information about their transaction to the Treasury and then apply for a license to with draw. There’s a lawsuit now against Treasury with high profile backers such as Coinbase and it will be guiding direction of future sanctioning for decentralized protocols and privacy tools. Call me optimism but we might see some institutions that shed away from TC to potentially return after more clarity from courts as a lot of the dropped support was self preventative action from players in order to not get caught in the same crosshairs with regulators. Its good to see Coinbase supporting this battle and for them its cheap marketing.
Out of the last 1000 blocks, 420 have been built by just Lido and Coinbase. Top 7 entities controlling >2/3 of the stake is pretty disappointing to see tbh
Martin Köppelmann, cofounder of Gnosis
The merge will reduce worldwide electricity consumption by 0.2%
From the coin’s [ETH] perspective…that [staking] is another indicia that under the Howey test, the investing public is anticipating profits based on the efforts of others
SEC Chair Gary Gensler
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