Ether Climbs Another Milestone
This week, Ether achieved yet another fete. The price of the second-largest crypto by market value reached an all-time high of US $1761.35 on Feb 5. It amounts to a year-to-date growth of 135.25 percent. Earlier in the week, Ether climbed above the $1,500 mark, and the price has been going up since. Several DeFi tokens tethered along, and projects including Chainlink, Sushiswap, and Aave saw a significant gain. Furthermore, rival platforms such as Polkadot and Solana also reported price surge. Bitcoin also soared to $38K on Thursday.
On the flip side, the transaction fees of the platform also reached an all-time high of US $20. This massive spike resulted in Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid to temporarily halt Ether withdrawals.
Steep Ethereum Transaction Fees Drives High-End Sneaker Authentication to Hedera Hashgraph
Fluctuating and volatile transaction fees are a perennial issue with the Ethereum Blockchain. It was more apparent than ever this week when Ether’s price reached a new all-time high. Consequently, over the last few months, several applications have left Ethereum for cheaper and more stable alternatives. This week, SUKU, a startup that tracks luxury goods on Blockchain, became the newest member of the Ethereum exodus club. It intends to move its NFT-based high-end sneaker authentication system to Hedera Hashgraph, citing exorbitant fees on Ethereum as the reason. According to its CEO, Yonathan Lapchik, the cost of creating an NFT on Ethereum is over US $80, whereas it takes a dollar on Hedera.
A tweet with these words led to a massive jump of 25 percent in the price of the meme currency, Dogecoin. After a short break, Elon Musk returned to Twitter to take the crypto world by storm. He posted an edited image from the Disney movie, The Lion King, where Musk as Rafiki holds the Doge as Simba – with the words “ur welcome.” The price of Dogecoin jumped from $0.04 to $0.058 in a matter of minutes. The meme-coin value has slumped since, but the resonant effects of Musk on the crypto space has become quite evident in the past few weeks.
Jack Dorsey Sets up His Own Bitcoin Node
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has launched his own node software that would validate the blocks on the Bitcoin network. In a tweet, Dorsey revealed that he is now running a Bitcoin node.
NFTs’ Record Sales
Hashmasks, a digital arts project, was able to sell out the US $10 million worth of non-fungible tokens within four days of its launch. It has raised over 7,600 Ether by selling over 15,300 digital collectibles. Furthermore, the first card dubbed Hashmasks #1, representing the former US President Donald Trump, was sold for 97 Ether. The first owner of the card bought it for 0.1 Ether. The sale earned them a profit of 96,900 percent.
Switzerland Welcomes Crypto Movement
First Phase of the Crypto-Friendly Law Takes Effect
On Feb 1, the first of the two-phase crypto regulatory framework came into effect in Switzerland. Swiss parliament passed these regulations back in Sep 2020. According to the new law, Switzerland now allows tokenized digital securities traded on Blockchain to have the same legal backing as the traditional assets. Instead of creating a crypto-specific regime, the lawmakers decided to adapt their existing legislation to specifics of Distributed Ledger Technology and Cryptocurrencies. Accordingly, the Swiss bank SEBA has started issuing its Series B equity shares as Ethereum ERC-20 tokens.
Fine Wines on Blockchain
Sygnum, a digital assets bank operating under a Swiss banking license, has tokenized its first assets on Blockchain, fine wines. Switzerland ratified a new law that makes it easier for the Blockchain firms to operate legally in Switzerland. The first phase of the law became effective on Feb 1. The bank has partnered with the wine wholesaler and importer, Fine Wine Capital AG. The wines are registered and transferred as tokens on Sygnum’s Desygnate platform.
Crypto Brokerage Firm Gets Securities License
Crypto Broker AG, a Swiss brokerage firm offering crypto-asset trading, earns a securities house license from Swiss financial authority FINMA. This license widens the business operations of the company. Moreover, it assures the investors of the regulatory compliance of the firm. According to the CEO, Rupertus Rothenhaeuser, this permit will help them gain clients who are allowed to trade only with regulated partners.
China’s BSN Continues to Gain Traction
Earlier this week, China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) announced that Cosmos, the interoperability focused public Blockchain, has been adapted and integrated with the Chinese network. The Chinese version of Cosmos will only support permissioned enterprise blockchains.
Moreover, the global consulting firm, EY, has partnered with BSN with an intent to extend its Blockchain offering to Chinese developers. EY announced its plans to offer its Ethereum-based OpsChain product via the Blockchain Open Source network that runs on BSN.
A Solution to Keep Keys Safe
In a Proof-of-Stake ecosystem such as Ethereum 2.0, losing private keys means losing access to staked coins. Maintaining keys is a difficult task at hand. ConsenSys, a New York-based Blockchain firm, has a potential solution to alleviate the problem. It has teamed up with cybersecurity firm Securosys to launch a more secure staking solution for Ethereum 2.0. Their product named Codefi Staking provides several ways by which the stakers can control their keys. The aim is to make it near impossible for users to lose their keys and make the transition from Ethereum 1 to 2.0 more secure and convenient.
Social Messenger App on Blockchain with Crypto Payments
UAE based digital payments facilitator DEXA COIN announced the imminent public launch of its blockchain-driven social messenger platform. As per the announcement, the app will provide an intuitive chat experience, HD voice and video calls, and support payments in crypto. It will reportedly also add a high level of security, including end-to-end encryption. DEXA COIN aims to give its users a sublime experience while keeping their data private.
Gillette’s Sustainable Razor Brand on Blockchain
The P&G brand, Gillette, has launched a sustainable brand, Planet KIND. It has partnered with Plastic Bank that incentivizes plastic collection and recycling with digital tokens on Blockchain. According to the announcement, the razor handle of this new product is made of 60 percent recycled plastic and is kind to “both skin and the planet.”
Using Blockchain for Authenticating Physical Documents
COLOP, an Austrian stamping device manufacturer, has developed a Blockchain-driven solution for verifying the authenticity of digital and physical documents. COLOP’s e-mark Secure adds a QR code-inspired watermark for both types of documents. Any QR code reader can be used to scan the watermark. Users are then asked to install the COLOP verification app. This app provides information on the e-mark along with scanned copies of the original documents.
Soil Carbon Credits on Blockchain
Technology companies, today, are increasingly becoming carbon conscious. Similarly, tracking carbon emissions and offsets on Blockchain is becoming a norm. This week, tech giant, Microsoft, bought 43,338 metric tons worth of soil carbon credits from Wilmot Cattle Co. Soil carbon credits are a measure of soil sequestration, a process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and storing it in soil. Wilmot was issued the credits for improving the organic carbon concentration in the soil of their ranches, leveraging better grazing practices.
Visa Launched APIs for Crypto Services
Application programming interfaces (APIs) provide an easy way to access and use scores of services from another service or website. The payments facilitator Visa intends to use APIs to offer Bitcoin services. According to an announcement made this week, Visa has initiated the Visa Crypto API pilot program to enable banks and other clients to easily connect to the services offered by its partner, Anchorage, a digital assets bank. Using these APIs, the bank customers can buy and sell Bitcoin and similar assets from the bank’s website.
Binance Launches a New Service to Drive Crypto Usage
Cryptocurrencies can become a viable payment option when they are extensively used for payments. At present, an increasing number of people just hold crypto and rarely use it as payments. The crypto exchange Binance plans change this perception with its new service. Binance Pay, currently beta, reportedly allows users to make and receive payments in five cryptocurrencies and Euro. With this service, Binance intends to enable its users to make contactless, borderless, and secure crypto payments across the globe.
MicroStrategy Aggressively Backs Bitcoin
The business intelligence firm, MicroStrategy, has been playing a significant role in driving the institutional adoption of Bitcoin. This week, it organized a meet with reportedly over 1,400 public companies to discuss Bitcoin. According to the CEO, Michael Saylor, these businesses are keen to understand the legal aspects of integrating Bitcoin into their corporate strategy.
Yearn Finance Dai Lending Pool Hack
As per Yearn Finance’s official Twitter account, the decentralized crypto exchange has suffered an exploit in one of its DAI lending pools. According to the Yearn team, the hacker made away with 2.8 million while the Dai vault lost 11.1 million. A flash loan attack is suspected to be the reason for the loss.
And Finally, Pay for Gas With Crypto
Tifon gas stations of Croatia announced this week that they would accept payments in Bitcoin, Ether, Stellar, XRP, and EOS. Tifon aims to garner tourist trade with this move. As per the announcement, 46 fuel stations across the country will take crypto payments. They have partnered with a crypto platform, PayCek, which will convert the crypto transactions to Kuna, the sovereign currency of Croatia, and pass them to Tifon.