The Weekly Wrap: The Merge Is Live and ETC Now on BitOasis

The latest crypto news in less than 5 minutes.

The Merge: A new era for the second biggest blockchain

The long-awaited Ethereum move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake has finally happened. Known as The Merge, the upgrade happened a few hours than expected on Thursday, starting a new era for the second largest blockchain network in the world.

Since the Merge, no major changes have been noticed on the blockchain itself, though ETH’s price dipped from $1,655 to as low as $1,446. But the biggest loser was actually Nvidia, the manufacturer of the popular GPUs used for mining, with Ethereum being in no need for proof of work miners anymore. Since last Friday, Nvidia’s share has lost more than 8% of its value, and speculations are it will suffer more losses in the next coming days.

On the other hand, it seems Ethereum will be getting a different treatment from regulators after this move to the proof-of-stake. Only a few hours after the Merge, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler said that staked cryptocurrencies may be subject to federal securities regulations. Gensler added that proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains, which generate new coins for inventors who pool their holdings, take on investment contract-like attributes that could bring them under his agency’s purview.

Bitcoin’s hash rate hits an all-time high 

Last Sunday, Bitcoin’s hash rate, an indicator of the computing power spent on the coin’s mining, hit an all-time high of 281.79 million. This new record indicates that Bitcoin’s mining is getting more popular than ever, in spite of the bear market it’s going through, which had pushed some mining firms to liquidate some of their rewards in June. Some say this is due to Ethereum’s PoW miners changing teams, and if this hash rate holds up, the next Bitcoin halving, at which the miners’ rewards will be reduced to 3.125 BTC per block, is going to happen a little earlier than expected, moving from May 2024 to Q4 of 2023.

Ethereum Classic gets listed on BitOasis

BitOasis has responded to the rising popularity of Ethereum Classic (ETC) and made it available to its customers starting from Thursday. You can now buy, sell and swap Ethereum Classic on BitOasis’s Lite and Pro platforms.  Ethereum Classic, a 2016 hard fork from Ethereum, got some momentum from Ethereum’s community members that aren’t big fans of the move to proof-of-stake. The global daily trading volume went up from $953.5 million last Sunday to more than $2.5 billion today.

US inflation data leaves crypto markets in shamble

The crypto market witnessed severe losses on Tuesday, following the American stock markets’ reaction to August’s inflation rate. The consumer price index data in the US showed that the inflation rate in August stood at 8.3%, higher than the expected 8.1%, starting speculations that the US Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates aggressively again after its meeting next week. Right after breaking the $22,700 mark, Bitcoin’s price went as low as $20,240 on Tuesday, and below the $20K mark starting from Thursday.

Starbucks starts an NFT loyalty program on Polygon

Starbucks launched on Monday an NFT-based loyalty program under the name of Starbuck Odyssey, and it will allow its customers to buy digital stamps in NFT form that offer different benefits. The new program is being run on the Polygon blockchain, which seemed to be chosen over Ethereum to avoid high transaction fees. The new program is now available only for Starbucks Rewards members and Starbucks employees in the United States.

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