7 September

The Ethereum blockchain’s Merge is officially underway. The activation of the Bellatrix upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain triggers the beginning of the Merge, which will likely be completed sometime around Sept. 13-16.

The Bellatrix upgrade prepares Ethereum’s PoS Beacon Chain – also called its Consensus layer – for a Merge with Ethereum’s mainnet Execution layer. When the TTD number is reached, the network will merge its Execution layer with the new PoS Consensus layer, allowing the chain to continue on with a new system for issuing and authenticating blocks of transactions.

The completion of the Merge will mark the end of Ethereum’s energy-intensive proof-of-work chapter. The next steps on Ethereum’s roadmap involve improving fees and transaction speeds via sharding and rollups.”

Ethereum’s impending Merge could prompt a global wave of people using the blockchain, including for global payments, according to one of the Merge’s leading developers.

Ethereum is aiming to be a global settlement layer. That means that everything can settle on Ethereum, even bitcoin [BTC], in the far future.

One of the biggest obstacles to Ethereum’s expansion has been the environmental impact of the proof-of-work mechanism, according to VanLoon. ‘We see this as a barrier for global adoption.’ With the switch to proof-of-stake, Ethereum’s energy consumption should be cut by 99.95%. That could increase the appeal of Ethereum to institutions that have concerns with the blockchain’s environmental impact.

Decentralization would be another benefit, said Van Loon. Participants can join and produce blocks on the network ‘with a minimal barrier to entry. With proof-of-stake, you can be a block producer and a participant in the consensus of Ethereum with something as small as a laptop, or a Raspberry Pi.’

Van Loon said users will not need to do anything ahead of the Merge.”

With an end to Ethererum proof-of-work mining on the horizon thanks to the upcoming Merge and its shift to a proof-of-stake blockchain system, prices for GPUs are dropping like a rock. Ethereum’s shift away from computationally intensive proof-of-work to proof-of-stake means that the tens of millions of GPUs purchased over the last four years to mine ether no longer have a use.

Some miners are considering moving their operations to Ethereum Classic, but despite the protocol being around for nearly six years it just hasn’t garnered the network effect needed to allure a critical mass of decentralized apps, non-fungible tokens (NFT) or decentralized finance (DeFi). GPU prices are reflecting this.

According to GPUTracker.eu, prices for some of the most popular GPUs are down by double-digits. The RTX 3080 Ti, a once-favorite for miners, has seen its average selling price drop by 45% in the last quarter, putting it almost at MSRP. In February, the card was being sold for around $2,000; now it’s just over $1,100. In China, wholesalers can’t get rid of these cards fast enough as inventory piles up from mining farms trying to offload supply.

All this is being felt on Nvidia’s (NVDA) bottom line. During recent earnings, the company said its gaming line (read: GPUs that were being used for mining) was down 33% on the year to $2.04 billion.”

See Also: Large Ethereum Miners Look to Cloud Computing, AI Ahead of The Merge

  1. The Ethereum Merge is successful
  2. Rollups to bring the next wave of crypto user demand – Rollups now making up around 15%-25% of all transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
  3. Ether flips bitcoin as the top cryptocurrency – For digital assets, what is more important is that it becomes more of an “innovation-driven, structural trend rather than a macroeconomic asset class.” Ether represents this “innovation-crypto,” and if it succeeds in building the blockchain digital economy, ETH could be adopted as digital money, the team argued.
  4. DeFi on rollups brings back the DeFi summer – Layer 2 scalability, however, is now making DeFi affordable again.
  5. NFTs pivot to gaming and play-to-earn becomes play-to-own – Chhugani and Agrawal are seeing a big migration in talent to Web3 game development from traditional gaming studios – a strong leading indicator in their opinion.
  6. Token economic designs start to focus on value accumulation – More sustainable token designs will bring back retail interest in investing in application tokens versus the latest fast blockchain or retail meme coins.
  7. Fat protocol thesis becomes the fat application thesis – The “long-tail of application tokens” will grow thanks to enhanced scalability, economical transaction costs, better user growth on rollups, improved token value accrual and retail interest to invest in applications that they use.”

Russia is talking to several friendly countries about launching clearing platforms for cross-border settlements in stablecoins.

We are currently working with a number of countries to create bilateral platforms in order not to use dollars and euros. We offer mutually acceptable tokenized instruments that will be used on these platforms, which are essentially clearing platforms that we are currently developing with these countries.

The Bank of Russia is also in the process of developing a digital ruble. The Finance Ministry and the Bank of Russia agreed that in the current environment, where Russia has been sanctioned, ‘it is impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency.'”

“Trezor, the company behind one of the most popular crypto wallets, has teamed up with privacy project Wasabi to bring CoinJoin mixing to Bitcoin transactions on its hardware wallets. The goal is for Trezor Suite users to be able to send private coins directly from their hardware wallets.

You will be able to join our zkSNACKs WabiSabi CoinJoin rounds with your hardware wallet in the Trezor Suite application.

CoinJoin is a coin mixer that groups Bitcoin transactions together to obscure their origins. Wasabi Wallet is a popular Bitcoin wallet made by ​​software firm zkSNACKs that uses CoinJoin technology.”

“The secretive society is releasing 77 digital art NFTs under the name CryptoMasons, with profits going back to local charities supported by the chapter.

The collection contains esoteric images related to Masonic history and lore, such as black and white checkered floors and the infamous square and compass symbol. Even the specific number of 77 NFTs available correlates to a numeral significant within occultist traditions and spirituality.

Profits from the sale of CryptoMason NFTs will go toward a local orphanage, a professional development center for youth and an immigration rights center in Argentina.”