Discover the crypto universe in depth

Crypto News Weekly – January 2024

Don’t miss the latest updates on crypto, NFT, DeFi & GameFi news in this week’s Coin Weekly! 📰

Vitalik Buterin Reveals Ethereum’s Roadmap for 2024

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, recently shared the updated roadmap for 2024, highlighting the network’s ambitions and priorities.

The roadmap, similar to the 2023 version, focuses on six key elements: Merge, Surge, Scourge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge.

The main goal is to achieve a processing capacity of 100,000 transactions per second on Ethereum and its Layer 2 with lower transaction finality and increased decentralization on the network.

The merge aims to establish a simple and robust Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus with the final goal of Single Slot Finality (SSL), a deterministic 12-second block finality in the long run. The Surge focuses on increasing the network’s processing capacity while improving interoperability between different rollups to avoid liquidity fragmentation and enhance user experience.

The other components of the roadmap include The Scourge, which focuses on mitigating risks related to Miner Extractable Value (MEV) and liquidity pooling, and The Verge, which aims to facilitate block verification, an essential update for improving network decentralization.

The Purge aims to simplify the protocol by gradually eliminating the technical debt accumulated since Ethereum’s launch, making the network more accessible and less complex, while The Splurge encompasses all other aspects of network development and improvement.

While Buterin didn’t provide a precise timeline for these changes, he highlighted that their order reflects Ethereum’s priorities and ambitions.

It is important to note that the execution of these different components is happening in parallel and may be considered relatively ‘slow’ by the community. In reality, progress is being made, and competition from other Layer 2 and Layer 1 networks is also driving Ethereum forward in the right direction.

This announcement also seems to motivate investors to take a closer look at the various Layer 2 solutions offered in the Ethereum ecosystem 👇

Decline in VC Funding for the Crypto Sector in 2023

In 2023, the cryptocurrency sector experienced a significant decrease in venture capital (VC) funding, with a 68% reduction compared to the previous year. This decrease brought the total investment amount to $10.7 billion, well below the $33.3 billion of 2022.

Despite this drop, total investments in 2023 remain higher than previous years of decline such as 2019 and 2020. Investments focused primarily on pre-seed, seed, and Series A startups, while funding for later stages decreased. The most funded sectors were NFT/games, infrastructure, and web3, with key players like Binance Labs and Coinbase Ventures.

According to Abhishek Saxena of Polygon Ventures, this decline was anticipated due to the unstable macroeconomic environment and regulatory uncertainty. Experts consider this period as a healthy correction for the industry, allowing a refocus on essential priorities. The outlook for 2024 is more optimistic, with expectations of funding and transaction recovery aligned with price changes and anticipated bullish trends in the cryptocurrency markets.

Bitcoin: BTC Transaction Fees Surpass Ethereum’s (ETH) Network

In 2023, Bitcoin surpassed Ethereum in terms of transaction fees. The average weekly fees for Bitcoin reached up to $19 million, surpassing Ethereum’s $14 million. This significant increase, the largest since the 2017 bull run, indicates growing interest and increased activity around Bitcoin, potentially signaling a shift in investor behavior and market trends.

Despite this fee increase, Bitcoin’s dominance in the derivatives market is decreasing, with only 38% of open futures positions related to Bitcoin, compared to almost 60% two months ago.

Bitcoin’s Hashrate Hits New All-Time High

The Bitcoin network has recorded a new all-time high in its hashrate, surpassing 540 exahashes per second. This impressive increase represents a 130% growth since the beginning of 2023, while the price of BTC stabilizes around $42,000.

However, this increase in hashrate does not translate into increased profitability for miners. In fact, the price of hashrate, a key profitability indicator, has dropped by about 34% since its peak in 2023, raising questions about the long-term viability of Bitcoin mining.

This situation creates additional pressure on miners, who now have to exert more effort to secure the next block, reducing their profitability. This decrease in profitability, combined with the cooling enthusiasm for regular BRC-20 listings, could have significant implications for Bitcoin’s security and stability.

Terra/Luna Case: Judge Sides with SEC

In the Terraform Labs case, Judge Jed Rakoff ruled in favor of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), supporting that Terraform Labs and its co-founder Do Kwon carried out the sale of unregistered securities.

The judgment specifically identified UST, LUNA, wLUNA, and MIR as investment contracts, classifying them as securities under U.S. law. While the court rejected some of the SEC’s allegations regarding ‘security swaps,’ it refused to dismiss the testimony of two SEC experts, strengthening the regulator’s position.

Another trial is scheduled for January 29, where the SEC’s fraud allegations against Terraform and Kwon will be examined. These allegations are related to their algorithmic stablecoin, Terra USD (UST), and involve a fraudulent scheme resulting in a loss of at least $40 billion in market value in 2022.

OKX Exchange Announces the Removal of Privacy Coins in 2024

Cryptocurrency exchange OKX recently announced its plan to remove several coins, including privacy-focused coins, from its platform starting in 2024. This decision will affect 11 trading pairs involving cryptocurrencies like Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), Dash (DASH), and Horizen (ZEN).

OKX, which handles over $3 billion in daily crypto trading volume, justifies this measure as part of its commitment to maintaining a robust trading environment by continuously monitoring performance and reviewing the listing qualifications of cryptocurrencies on its platform.

This OKX initiative raises questions about the balance between privacy and regulation in the cryptocurrency space. While privacy coins offer greater discretion to users, they are frequently scrutinized by regulators due to concerns about money laundering and other illicit activities.

Binance Likely to Delist Zcash on February 29, 2024

Binance is considering delisting Zcash (ZEC) from its platform due to the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA). This regulation states that ‘crypto-asset trading platforms must prevent the trading of crypto-assets that have built-in anonymization functions, unless the holders of these crypto-assets and their transaction history can be identified by the crypto-asset service providers.’

Technical options exist to comply with the regulatory requirements by December 2024, requiring collaboration between creators of privacy-focused coins and cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The Zcash community, for example, actively debated various solutions on its public forum, proposing different alternatives.

A community member known as ‘aquietinvestor’ stated that Binance had rejected these proposals. According to him, the only viable option would be to adopt a specific exchange address type. Without this adaptation, ZEC is at risk of being excluded from the Binance platform, which has set the compliance deadline for February 29, 2024.

Zcash uses two types of addresses: transparent addresses (T-addresses), similar to Bitcoin addresses, and shielded addresses (Z-addresses), which provide increased privacy. Exchange dedicated addresses would be transparent and would not benefit from the privacy features of Z-addresses. However, their use could become necessary for deposit and withdrawal operations on exchange platforms.

Quick News

  • Barry Silbert and Mark Murphy resign from Grayscale’s board of directors
  • Bitcoin: MicroStrategy buys nearly 15,000 BTC for $615 million
  • Ethereum: Donald Trump sold over $2.4 million worth of Ether (ETH)
  • $1.8 billion: Amount lost by users due to hacks in 2023
  • Google: Searches for Solana surpass those for Ethereum
Related Posts