The main problem with Ethereum, limiting the growth of network usage, is its low bandwidth. The situation is supposed to be remedied by the transition from a proof-of-work (pow) algorithm to a proof-of-ownership (pos). Since a test network on pos has been developing in parallel with the current chain for a long time, the “move” to the new algorithm is called a merge.
Ethereum was the first full-fledged blockchain to support smart contracts, so it was the absolute dominant player in the NFT and DeFi markets until 2021. However, as usage of the network grew, so did the workload, and with it the fees, since throughput does not exceed 20 transactions per second. Users are forced to pay “tips” to miners to get their transactions onto the block as quickly as possible. On days when popular collections are on sale or during the DeFi market rush, the average commission went over $50.
Expensive usage has led to increased demand for competitive networks. Because of this, Ethereum’s share of the DeFi sector has dropped from 96% in January 2021 to the current 58%.
Ethereum needs faster and cheaper solutions to maintain its lead among altcoins. Vitalik Buterin made the choice in favor of pos, as the “environmental load” is significantly reduced, and the reliability in the long term is higher. The latter is achieved both due to the growth of decentralization (there is no need for powerful hardware), and due to the risk of losing money to intruders in a 51% attack (if detected, the protocol destroys the ETH used).
The only question was the timing of the merger, as the time of the actual move is constantly postponed. Recently, however, more and more specific dates have been named, and developer Tim Baco suggested this past Friday as a tentative date of September 19. Ethereum has gained 17% against Bitcoin in a few days.
Optimism has also gripped the Lido token, which has nearly doubled in recent days. The Lido platform represents a stack in Ethereum 2.0 (the pos branch) and currently provides about a third of all frozen assets ($6.3 billion of $19.4 billion).
However, the optimism may be premature: September 19 is a tentative and non-binding date, and the timing of the move has been repeatedly postponed. Several major tests are scheduled for August, after which the development team may announce a final date. Ethereum fans should keep their finger on the pulse.
Montenegro Court Approves Do Kwon’s Extradition to the United States: Report
Nearly a year after his arrest in Montenegro, Terraform Labs co-founder and former CEO Do Kwon is reportedly set to be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.
Both the United States and South Korea previously submitted extradition requests to Montenegro officials.
- According to local news outlet Pobjeda, on Feb. 21, the Podgorica High Court in Montenegro decided that Do Kwon would be extradited to the United States, thereby ruling out an extradition request from South Korea.
- The latest development comes after Kwon’s legal team recently won an appeal to overturn the decision of the High Court to favor the extradition requests from the United States and South Korea.
- Following his arrest by Montenegro authorities in March 2023 while attempting to flee to another country with a fake passport, the former Terraform Labs CEO was later sentenced to four months in prison.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Terraform Labs and Kwon of “orchestrating a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud involving an algorithmic stablecoin and other crypto asset securities” after the crash of UST in 2022, which led to massive losses for investors.
- In January 2024, the SEC agreed to a delay in the trial date regarding the Terraform case as requested by Kwon’s legal team, who said that they wanted their client to attend in person.
- It is, however, not certain when Kwon will be moved to the United States. Meanwhile, Terraform Labs’ former financial officer Han Chang-joon, who was arrested alongside Kwon, has been extradited to South Korea.
SatoshiSwap.AI Launches The World’s First DEX on Bitcoin
[PRESS RELEASE – London, UK, February 21st, 2024]
SatoshiSwap.ai stands out as a pioneering decentralized exchange operating within the Bitcoin network.
Unleash the sheer force of unrestricted trading while basking in the rock-solid security and unwavering stability that only Bitcoin can offer.
- On-chain trading: SatoshiSwap.ai facilitates peer-to-peer trading of Bitcoin-based assets directly on the blockchain, enabling trustless and transparent transactions.
- Liquidity pools: Similar to Uniswap, SatoshiSwap.ai utilizes liquidity pools for price discovery and efficient asset exchange. Users can contribute assets to pools and earn rewards in exchange for providing liquidity.
- Stacks L2 chain: Leveraging the Stacks L2 chain, SatoshiSwap.ai aims to overcome scalability limitations on the Bitcoin mainnet, offering faster and cheaper transactions.
- Swapping assets: Users can seamlessly swap Bitcoin-based assets like STX tokens and wrapped BTC within the SatoshiSwap.ai interface.
- Adding and removing liquidity: Users can contribute assets to liquidity pools and withdraw them at any time, facilitating market participation and earning potential rewards.
- Yield farming: By providing liquidity, users can earn rewards in the form of protocol tokens, incentivizing participation and contributing to the overall liquidity of the ecosystem.
Potential Use Cases:
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) on Bitcoin: SatoshiSwap.ai represents a step towards bringing DeFi functionalities to the Bitcoin ecosystem.
- Tokenized assets: As the Bitcoin ecosystem expands, SatoshiSwap.ai could facilitate the trading and exchange of various tokenized assets representing real-world entities or financial instruments.
- Increased Bitcoin utility: By offering new use cases beyond simply a store of value, SatoshiSwap could contribute to wider adoption and increased utility of the Bitcoin network.
While built on the Stacks L2 chain, SatoshiSwap.ai ultimately interacts with the Bitcoin network. SatoshiSwap.ai presents an interesting case study for exploring DeFi innovation on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Ripple CEO Says Firm is Open to Welcoming a Spot XRP ETF
Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of financial technology company Ripple Labs, has disclosed that the crypto solutions provider and developer of the Ripple payment protocol would welcome a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) for the network’s native token, XRP.
Ripple to Welcome Spot XRP ETF
Speaking on his thoughts about the current state of the crypto industry in a Bloomberg interview, Garlinghouse chipped in that creating multiple ETFs around different tokens is inevitable as they would further diversify the risk of trading such investment vehicles. He added that some firms may even launch basket ETFs, containing a collection of multiple crypto assets.
Likening the condition of the crypto ETF space to the earliest days of the stock market, the Ripple CEO explained that investors would not want exposure to just one stock or company, as they would prefer to diversify their risks and portfolio. For this purpose, there would eventually be other funds to diversify the risk from spot Bitcoin ETFs. However, the time of their launch would be difficult to predict.
“You know, the sad reality of what we saw with the Bitcoin ETF is it was only because the court forced the SEC’s hand and really chair Gensler’s hand that we saw that finally come to fruition. And look, in my opinion, it makes these markets safer; it makes them more robust. And so, this is good for the investment community,” Garlinghouse said.
BlackRock’s Face XRP ETF Application
In response to a question about discussions with asset manager BlackRock over the launch of a spot XRP ETF, Garlinghouse declined to comment.
“I know BlackRock has said some things publicly. We think it makes sense for the XRP community overall. Ripple obviously is a very important stakeholder in the XRP ecosystem, but we’re not the only player,” the exec stated.
Talks about a potential spot XRP ETF have been surrounded by dramatic events like the fake filing for the fund in Delaware. News broke in November that BlackRock registered a spot XRP ETF in Delaware shortly after applying for its Ethereum Trust. The news was eventually deemed false, and the case was handed to appropriate authorities.
Meanwhile, some analysts think there is little chance that an XRP ETF will be approved soon as Ripple is still entangled in a lawsuit with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
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