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Biweekly crypto round-up for September 2022 (Part 1)

The wait is finally over. Ethereum has successfully transitioned from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS).

This week, the second-largest blockchain begins a new era. Ethereum (ETH) now operates on a PoS consensus mechanism, reducing its carbon footprint by 99%. While the Merge is clearly dominating headlines right now, don’t forget to check out all the other prominent developments in the last 2 weeks.

Quick take

  • MicroStrategy plans to sell up to $500 million of stock to add more Bitcoin to its balance sheet.
  • Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon and 5 other people face arrest warrants in South Korea on various allegations.
  • Web3 infrastructure startup Mysten Labs reaches $2 billion valuation following a $300 million funding round led by FTX Ventures.
  • Taiwan’s financial watchdog grants AML approval for 24 crypto platforms, ACE, Max Exchange and WOO Network.
  • Financial behemoths Charles Schwab, Citadel and Fidelity team up to launch EDX Markets crypto exchange.
  • The highly anticipated Ethereum Merge went live on 15 September 2022 and went off without a hitch.

Key events

We’ve handpicked some of the most relevant emerging stories in the crypto space to help you stay ahead of the curve.
MicroStrategy

Acquisitions and fundings

  • 1 Sept: Crypto.com has backed out of a 5-year sponsorship deal worth $495 million with the UEFA Champions League.
  • 5 Sept: PANONY, a Hong Kong-based blockchain incubator achieved $100 million valuation after closing a series A funding round backed by NGC Ventures.
  • 6 Sept: Dust Labs, a Solana non-fungible token (NFT) software company linked to both y00ts and DeGods NFT projects, has raised $7 million in seed funding.
  • 6 Sept: Crypto investment product firm 21.co has raised $25 million in a funding round led by Marshall Wace to reach $2 billion valuation.
  • 8 Sept: Gaming retailer GameStop announces partnership with US crypto exchange FTX.
  • 8 Sept: Web3 startup Mysten Labs raised $300 million in a new funding round led by FTX Ventures at a $2 billion valuation to build out its Sui blockchain.
  • 8 Sept: Blockchain gaming group Animoca Brands raises another $110 million through convertible notes sale to advance its open metaverse development.
  • 9 Sept: MetaWeb Ventures, a global VC firm focused on crypto startups, has raised $30 million for its debut fund.
  • 9 Sept: FTX Ventures acquires 30% stake in SkyBridge Capital, an alternative investment firm led by Anthony Scaramucci.
  • 9 Sept: Mobile game publisher Revolving Games raises $13.2 million in its latest funding round led by Pantera Capital to build “AAA-quality” Web3 games.
  • 10 Sept: MicroStrategy filed a new prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell up to $500 million of stock to double down on Bitcoin purchases.
Do Kwon

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 2 Sept: Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) shutters its Web3 division and laid off approximately 20% of its workforce, citing slow revenue growth, a slump in stock prices and a general lag behind its financial targets.
  • 2 Sept: Decentralised exchange KyberSwap suffers $265,000 loss from front-end exploit.
  • 3 Sept: Binance’s security team identified 2 KyberSwap hack suspects and provided intel to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
  • 3 Sept: Actor and comedian Bill Murray’s wallet was hacked for 110 wrapped Ethereum (wETH) worth approximately $174,000 after an NFT charity auction. The auction’s runner-up bidder has since stepped up and donated 120 ETH to replace the stolen funds.
  • 7 Sept: PoolinWallet, the wallet arm of one of the world’s biggest bitcoin mining pools, halts withdrawals to preserve assets amid liquidity crunch.
  • 7 Sept: Bankrupt crypto broker Voyager Digital will auction off its remaining assets on 13 September.
  • 8 Sept: Thailand’s SEC files police report on crypto exchange Zipmex and its co-founder, alleging “incomplete” info for compliance procedures.
  • 8 Sept: US government recovers $30 million from blockchain game Axie Infinity‘s $600 million hack with the help of crypto analytics firm Chainalysis.
  • 13 Sept: BitGo seeks $100 million in damages from Galaxy Digital for terminating its planned acquisition.
  • 14 Sept: A court in South Korea has issued an arrest warrant for Terra co-founder Do Kwon for violation of capital market rules.
Doodles NFT

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 1 Sept: Luxury brand Hermès reveals Web3 plans and files a trademark application covering crypto, NFTs and the metaverse.
  • 1 Sept: NFT marketplace OpenSea announced that the platform will only support NFTs on the PoS blockchain after the Ethereum Merge.
  • 2 Sept: ConsenSys to launch Regenesys, a green and sustainable NFT collection on the day of Ethereum Merge to commemorate the landmark moment.
  • 2 Sept: Decentralised NFT marketplace Sudoswap announced the launch of its native governance token, SUDO. An initial supply of 60 million SUDO will be airdropped to various members of the project.
  • 3 Sept: FIFA will launch an NFT platform for soccer-themed digital collectibles on Algorand ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
  • 5 Sept: LG Electronics unveils its NFT token app, LG Art Lab, which enables users to buy, sell and trade NFTs on their OLED smart TV.
  • 6 Sept: Solana-based y00ts NFT collection amassed over 227,000 SOL (worth roughly $7.1 million) within 48 hours of its launch.
  • 14 Sept: Doodles NFT sales surge 1,200% following the announcement of its $54 million funding round led by Seven Seven Six, the VC firm of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
UK Crypto Hub

Government announcements and regulations

  • 1 Sept: Indonesia plans to set up its digital assets exchange by the end of 2022.
  • 5 Sept: The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has established a cryptocurrency division to trace transactions and combat illicit financial activity.
  • 6 Sept: Europol said that the open nature of blockchain technology offers authorities a “key” new way to tackle organized crime.
  • 7 Sept: Russia explores the use of stablecoins as alternative payment methods to circumvent Western sanctions.
  • 8 Sept: Taiwan provides AML approval for 24 crypto platforms, including prominent fintech startup WOO Network.
  • 9 Sept: UK economic secretary commits to make the country a crypto hub under new PM Liz Truss.
  • 12 Sept: Norges Bank, the Norwegian central bank, announced that the country’s digital currency (CBDC) prototype infrastructure is based on Ethereum technology.
  • 14 Sept: South Korea’s Busan Metropolitan City government and Huobi Global have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of the city’s blockchain business.
Crypto Exchanges

Digital banks and exchanges

  • 5 Sept: Binance has temporarily suspended ETH and wETH deposits and withdrawals until the completion of the Ethereum Merge.
  • 6 Sept: Binance will remove USD Coin (USDC), TrueUSD (TUSD) and Paxos Standard (USDP) as tradeable assets on its platform on 29 September 2022.
  • 7 Sept: Crypto lender Nexo introduces spot, futures and margin trading to retail clients with its new trading platform, Nexo Pro.
  • 8 Sept: Binance US launches a high-yield Ethereum staking service with 6% APY for ETH just days before the Merge.
  • 13 Sept: Charles Schwab, Citadel and Fidelity have joined forces to launch a crypto exchange called EDX Markets (EDXM) later this year.
Blockchain

Blockchain and tokens

  • 3 Sept: The Cardano blockchain’s hard fork upgrade, Vasil, is scheduled for 22 September 2022.
  • 6 Sept: Ethereum’s Bellatrix upgrade went live, leaving the Paris event the final step before Ethereum completes its transition to PoS.
  • 10 Sept: LUNA, the token of the Terra blockchain’s reconstructed version, skyrocketed 200% to $7 in a few hours amid a speculative frenzy, trading close to its all-time high set in early June.
  • 15 Sept: Ethereum’s transition to PoS, known as the Merge, is completed successfully.

Images: Getty Images

Top crypto news

Wall Street giants Charles Schwab, Citadel and Fidelity to launch new crypto exchange

13 September 2022

EDXM

Image: Getty Images

Schwab Corp announced that the consortium of companies plans to launch a first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency exchange, the latest sign of traditional finance converging with digital assets.

Other prominent players such as Paradigm, Sequoia Capital and Virtu Financial are also backing the new venture. Former Citadel Securities executive Jamil Nazarali has been appointed as the platform’s CEO.

Called EDX Markets, this digital asset exchange aims to offer “safer, faster and more efficient cryptocurrency trading” through on-chain settlements backed by the liquidity of legacy financial institutions.

EDXM will rely on the technology infrastructure built by Members Exchange (MEMX), a member-owned equities trading platform. This will enable the newly introduced exchange to scale its operation to serve retail and institutional investors in a multitude of markets.

In the press release, EDX Markets’ board of directors stated, “Crypto is a $1 trillion global asset class with over 300 million participants and pent-up demand from millions more. Unlocking this demand requires a platform that can meet the needs of both retail traders and institutional investors with high compliance and security standards.”

Read more


Ethereum makes history: The Merge goes live

15 September 2022

Ethereum Merge

Image: Ethereum.org

At around 2:45pm SGT, Ethereum underwent and completed its transition from PoW to PoS, successfully pulling off one of the riskiest and largest-scale software upgrades in the crypto space.

This impressive feat was also achieved without disrupting the network, which secures a multi-billion dollar ecosystem of cryptocurrencies, decentralised apps and NFTs.

The switch from PoW to PoS has fundamentally changed the way how new ETH is created and transactions are validated on the Ethereum blockchain. Up until the Merge, ETH was generated through mining, an energy-intensive process that requires massive computational power and consumes around 0.2% of the world’s electricity.

With the PoS consensus framework, new ETH is rewarded to validators who stake at least 32 ETH. The Ethereum Foundation said the technical upgrade has slashed the blockchain’s carbon footprint by approximately 99.95%.

While Ethereum launched in 2015, discussions and ideas surrounding the transition to a PoS model have begun a year prior when its co-founder Vitalik Buterin published a blog post regarding the concept in July 2014. In December 2020, the Beacon Chain was deployed. This was the PoS chain that was merged into the Ethereum mainnet on 15 September 2022.

Overall, the Merge was a resounding success and certainly one of the largest positive catalysts for crypto this year.

Read more


Best cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore

Check out our reviews on a range of leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore and around the world. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each crypto exchange and consider how they align with your investment goals and budget.

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore

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