Crypto weekly update
22. September 2022  • clock 3 min •  Daniel Mitrovsky

Cardano Expects an Important Vasil Update – Crypto Weekly Update

This week, the total market capitalization exceeded €927 million. The decrease at the 7-day interval is 7.02%. Bitcoin decreased by 5.60% during the week to a current value of over €19,070. Bitcoin dominance is 39.4%.

Source: Coinmarketcap

Cardano Expects an Important Vasil Update

On Thursday, 22 September, a long-awaited update called Vasil will take place on the Cardano blockchain. As it is a hard fork, this update will be backwards-incompatible with previous versions and will bring new enhancements to the use of smart contracts, increase the overall throughput of the network, and reduce its costs.

The essence of the whole update is the integration of the second version of the Plutus scripting language, Plutus (v)2. Applications built on Cardano are written in a programming language known as Haskell, with the code then converted to Plutus, the native smart contract language for Cardano. However, the Plutus script is not stored on the blockchain. Therefore, every time a transaction is made, it needs to carry all the app logic along with it. More data with the transaction results in slowed performance and increased cost.

The update will introduce so-called reference scripts that can be attached to transaction outputs and point the Cardano Virtual Machine to a reference script instead of having to include the whole script with the transaction. This will allow for lighter transactions, quicker processing and lower fees.

In addition, the update will bring so-called “diffusion pipelining,” which will simplify the process of sharing information about newly created blocks among network participants by ensuring that blocks can be propagated across the network well within five seconds after their creation, increasing the overall scalability of the network.

The developers of the Cardano network have pushed back the planned date of the update several times over the past few weeks due to additional testing on testnets, for which they have been the target of criticism from the crypto community. Now, however, it seems that everything is finally ready and Cardano can enter a new era of smart contracts and decentralized finance. Source

Bitcoin on Proof-of-Stake?

Last week’s transition of the Ethereum network to the Proof-of-Stake consensus model reduced its energy consumption by up to 99.9%. However, following the successful upgrade of the Ethereum network, many climate activists have begun to call for a similar change on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The United States-based Environmental Working Group announced last Thursday that it will launch a $1 million campaign to put pressure on Bitcoin to change the consensus model to a greener Proof-of-Stake.

However, leaders in the crypto industry do not acknowledge such a change in any way. According to them, Proof-of-Work is still the safest and most decentralized consensus mechanism, which is in line with the idea of Bitcoin’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Moreover, Bitcoin’s share of the world’s energy consumption is only something like 0.4%, according to the CBECI index, which would in no way be able to influence or solve the climate and energy crisis.

According to cryptocurrency experts, it is wrong for climate activists to look at Bitcoin only in terms of its climate impacts and disregard the innovation Bitcoin has brought to society. Source

Nasdaq Prepares Custody Services for Institutions

Multinational financial services company Nasdaq has reportedly begun preparations to provide digital asset custody services for institutional clients.

The news follows a report published on Bloomberg, according to which Nasdaq has created a special group focused on digital assets, which will aim to prepare everything necessary to provide custody services for cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum for institutional investors.

Ira Auerbach, who previously covered the provision of brokerage services at crypto exchange Gemini, has only recently become part of Nasdaq. According to available information, the real Auerbach will be the head of the newly formed group focused on digital assets.

However, the launch of custody services is not Nasdaq’s first cryptocurrency initiative. Back in May this year, Nasdaq teamed up with Brazilian firm XP to create a digital asset exchange called XTAGE. Roland Chai, Nasdaq’s chief executive officer, said that the partnership will bring investors and institutions new opportunities in cryptocurrency investments. The exchange is scheduled to launch later this year. Source

ECB to Test Digital Euro

The European Central Bank (ECB) will collaborate with five companies to develop potential user interfaces for the digital euro.

According to an ECB announcement on 15 September, the five companies will work together to develop prototype user interfaces related to the forthcoming digital euro. The aim of this prototyping exercise is to test how well the digital euro technology integrates with the prototypes developed by each company. Simulated transactions will be initiated using the front-end prototypes developed by the five companies and processed through the Eurosystem’s interface and back-end infrastructure.

The most important participant in this testing is Amazon, which will develop the interface for processing e-commerce payments. Other companies involved in the project include the Spanish bank CaixaBank and the European payment processor Worldline. These companies will create interfaces for online and offline peer-to-peer payments. The European Payments Initiative (EPI) and payment company Nexi are also part of the testing, and they will provide interfaces for point-of-sale payments. The EPI solution will focus on payer-initiated transactions, while Nexi will focus on payee-initiated transactions.

Prototype testing is an important element in the ongoing two-year exploratory phase of the digital euro project. This testing is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. However, an official announcement from the European Central Bank states that there are no plans to reuse the prototypes in subsequent phases of the digital euro project. Source

Colorado Will Accept Payments in Cryptocurrencies

The US state of Colorado will accept cryptocurrencies for tax-related payments starting Tuesday. The option to pay in cryptocurrencies is now also available on the Treasury Department’s website.

Payments for taxes in Colorado are accepted through Paypal’s crypto hub and with service fees of $1 + 1.83% of the total amount paid. Payments are only accepted from personal accounts and can only be made in one cryptocurrency. Payments will take effect on the day they are made and will be instantly converted to fiat. The option to pay taxes via cryptocurrencies is only available to individuals for the time being.

Governor Jared Polis said earlier this year that Colorado has an initiative to launch cryptocurrency payments later this year. He is also a longtime supporter of cryptocurrencies and a proponent of the tech industry in his state. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Polis has been active in shaping crypto legislation and was a founding member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Source

Interesting Fact: Microstrategy Buys the Dip

Microstrategy Executive Chairman Michael Saylor announced via Twitter on Tuesday that the firm had purchased an additional 301 bitcoins worth a total of $6 million.

The company bought 301 BTC at an average price of $19,851 per BTC. The purchase of additional bitcoins brings the company’s total holdings to 130,000 BTC. In total, Microstrategy has spent as much as $3.97 billion on bitcoin purchases, with a current value of approximately $2.5 billion.

Earlier this month, MicroStrategy announced that it had entered into an agreement with Cowen & Co. to sell up to $500 million worth of Class A common stock, indicating that it would use a portion of the funds to purchase additional BTC. Source

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Daniel Mitrovsky


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