Blockchain This Week – Cardano, Hedera, Algorand, Coinbase, Solana, Walmart, Google, and MicroStrategy

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Cardano’s Alonzo Upgrade Successful

Cardano successfully applied the “Alonzo” hard fork on its network this week. With the network upgrade, users can run smart contracts on the Cardano mainnet. At the moment, there are 2554 contracts deployed on the platform. There is, however, a catch! At the moment, these scripts are unusable as they are locked in a timelock contract. Meanwhile, the price of ADA, Cardano’s native currency, has dropped about 12% since the update.

Solana Goes Down

Overwhelmed by the influx of transactions, the Solana platform went down earlier this week. After over seven hours of downtime, the Solana developers decided to restart the network. Finally, after being out for about 20 hours, Solana engineers managed to bring up the services. But Solana’s native coin took the brunt of this severe disruption, and its price dropped by over 16% within this week.

Hedera Hashgraph’s Myriad Feats

IIT Madras Joins Hedera Governance Council

One of India’s prestigious universities, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, joined the Governing Council of the enterprise focused public network, Hedera Hashgraph. IIT Madras aims to expand its research into Blockchain use cases with this partnership.

$5 Billion Earmarked for Ecosystem Development

The Hedera Governing Council has allocated 10.7 billion HBARs worth close to $5 billion to help developers and startups build a wide range of applications in the Hedera ecosystem. The grants will be delivered through an independent HBAR foundation. 

HBAR Reaches a New High

HBAR, the native currency of Hedera Hashgraph, saw significant growth this week and reached an all time high of 57 cents on September 16. This spike in the price is due to the new partnerships and introduction of NFT minting abilities.

Google Partners With Dapper Labs

This week, Google announced that it is partnering with Dapper Labs, the creator of the Flow Blockchain and NFT marketplaces like NBA Top Shot. As a result, Google will allow nodes of Flow to run on its infrastructure and help scale the network.

Apple Blocks Crypto Wallet App

Apple has blocked the release of the new version of the Gnosis Safe iOS app on its app store. According to Lukas Schor, product head at Gnosis, Apple informed him that their displaying of NFTs not bought via in-app purchases violates Apple’s digital content guidelines.

MicroStrategy Adds More Bitcoins

This week, business intelligence firm MicroStrategy added 5,050 more Bitcoins to its ever growing treasure trove of crypto. Now the company holds 114,042 Bitcoins worth close to $5.5 billion at the time of writing.

Coinbase To Offer Billions Worth of Senior Notes

Publicly traded crypto exchange Coinbase plans to sell $1.5 billion of debt based security through a private offering. These senior notes will become due in 2028 and 2031. The company intends to use the money from the sale for product development and future acquisitions. 

Drone Racing on Algorand

Algorand has entered a five year deal reportedly worth $100 million with the global, professional drone racing championship, the Drone Racing League(DRL). Algorand will take over the title rights starting with the sixth season of DRL due this month. Furthermore, ​​DRL plans to use the Algorand platform to expand its fan experience and interactions. 

A Phony Press Release

At the beginning of this week, a press release supposedly from “Walmart Inc” appeared on Globenewswire. It said Walmart was teaming up with crypto platform Litecoin. Soon after, several crypto patrons tweeted that it was fake news as the name WALMART-CORP.COM mentioned in the article did not direct to the company website. Later, a Walmark spokesperson also confirmed that it was, indeed, not authentic.

But in a short while, when the news was believed to be a fact, the price of Litecoin saw a 30% surge from $175.1 to $227.48.

Bitcoin Core 22.0

This week, Bitcoin Core 22.0, the 22nd major version of Bitcoin’s original code, was officially released. This release is a vital step to support the upcoming Taproot upgrade planned in November.

Anti Bitcoin Protests Rock El Salvador

The anti Bitcoin protests continue to rise in El Salvador, where President Nayib Bukele declared Bitcoin as a national currency last week. This week, on the nation’s independence day, a group of protestors set fire to an ATM that allowed the exchange of dollars for Bitcoin.

Insider Trading at OpenSea

This week, allegations of insider trading rocked the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Nate Chastain, the head of product, was accused of front-running — buying the NFTs before they were displayed on OpenSea’s homepage and selling them at a higher price once their value goes up after being featured. OpenSea confirmed that it had removed Chastain from his post since this revelation.

Zabu Finance Suffers a Hack

Zabu Finance, a decentralized yield farming protocol built on Avalanche, suffered a hack where the attacker stole $3.2 million worth of tokens. A bug in a Spore token pool allowed the hacker to mint over 4.5 billion Zabu tokens. They also successfully withdrew these tokens from the platform resulting in the tanking of Zabu.

Buterin Makes Into Time’s Influencers’ List

Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin made it into Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People List” of 2021 for his work in the Blockchain space. It resulted in an over 6% increase in the price of Ether, which crossed $3,600 following the news.

Standard Chartered Joins Crypto Trading Platform

Standard Chartered and Northern Trust are the latest in the group of banks that have joined the crypto trading platform, Pure Digital. Pure Digital also confirmed that it had conducted a test trade with Northern Trust and Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody product.

Six Companies Allowed to Mine Crypto in Laos

The government of Laos seems to be looking to uncover the opportunity created by the crypto mining exodus from neighboring China. It has authorized six companies to start mining activities.

Arbitrum Goes Down

Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum suffered a 45 minute downtime this week. In the outage report, Arbitrum revealed the root cause was a bug that caused its sequencer model, a feature that allows transactions to be confirmed quickly, to get stuck when it received an influx of transactions in a short time. Arbitrum also ascertained that the funds on its network were safe.

NY Attorney General Shuts Down Coinseed

New York Attorney General Letitia James secured a court order to shut down crypto exchange Coinseed. She had filed a lawsuit against the firm and its CEO and CFO, alleging them of defrauding the investors out of millions.

Morgan Stanley Launches Crypto Research Team

In an internal memo to its team, investment bank Morgan Stanley disclosed that it is putting together a dedicated team to study crypto. The bank said the growing significance of crypto and digital assets warrants in-depth research on the subject.

Square Joins Open Invention Network

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s payments platform, Square, has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN). OIN’s core goal is to protect open source technologies from patent aggressions and litigations. The group started with Linux OS and now also focuses on technologies underpinning crypto.

Paxos and Brokerage Firm Team Up

This week the online brokerage firm Interactive Brokers announced it is launching crypto trading services in collaboration with the regulated Blockchain infra provider Paxos. The brokerage plans to charge a commission of 0.12% to 0.18% when its clients trade Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on the platform.

Paxful Adds Lightning Network

The digital asset marketplace Paxful integrated with the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution built to transact faster on the Bitcoin Blockchain. This global integration will seemingly allow over seven million Paxful users to transfer or pay with Bitcoin in a matter of seconds and pay lesser fees.

And Finally, Bitcoin Billionaires To Help Revive Wooly Mammoths!

Bitcoin billionaires Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Tim Draper have contributed to a $15 million funding round for a startup, Colossal. Colossal aims to revive the extinct wooly mammoths, which they believe would help decarbonize the atmosphere.

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