It’s another edition of ProBit (Blockchain) Bits where we give a recap of the past week’s selected crypto-related events and happenings that we think would be of interest to you.
Ethereum’s planned PoS switch drawing attention to Ethereum Classic
With Ethereum’s planned The Merge switch to proof-of-stake now imminent — scheduled for September, and AntPool, the mining pool affiliated with mining rig giant Bitmain, gravitating behind the Ethereum Classic chain (ETC), speculations are rife that the ETC network is set to gain renewed interest.
Bitmain has so far invested $10 million in ETC to support its ecosystem, Antpool’s CEO, Lv Lei, disclosed at Bitmain’s World Digital Mining Summit recently, and it plans to invest more.
Between July 28 and 29, ETC’s hashrate historical chart showed it jumped to over 27 TH/s, an increase of 56% when compared to the beginning of the month.
Some reports say the number of active ETC addresses reached 66,200 while the number of daily transactions spiked to about 97,400 — an increase of 62.60% in July.
GlassNode released the bear market report for cycle understanding
Crypto data provider, GlassNode, last week released a State of the Market report together with CoinMarketCap. They explored the 2022 bear so far, and how the on-chain market structure has evolved for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins. The report has several analyses about the evolving market fundamentals and structural changes during the 2022 bear cycle. They include:
- Risk-off sentiment, the deleveraging of DeFi, and shifting dominance of stablecoins.
- Network profitability of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Realized price, realized losses, and how it compares to previous bear markets.
- Stress developing in the Bitcoin and Ethereum mining industries.
CAR launched digital asset for citizenship, e-residency
The Central African Republic (CAR), which had earlier made known its intention to adopt Bitcoin, has made progress with its plans. The country, one of the poorest in the world, started selling its national digital asset that runs on the Bitcoin sidechain. Called Sango Coin, with a total of 200 million tokens, its public sale came with a 1-year lock-up period.
As part of the benefits of participating in the sale, token holders stand to take part in a citizenship program, e-residency program, land property acquisition, etc.
CAR citizenship can be obtained by locking fixed collateral of $60,000 worth of Sango coins for a period of five years after which the held coins would be returned. The e-residency, it’s $6,000 worth for a period of three years. The CAR government, as the biggest landowner in the country, seeks to decentralize the ownership of land property and is giving a plot out for $10,000 in Sango coins locked for 10 years.
Spain, Ivy League business school showed interest in the metaverse
As part of the Spain Digital 2026 strategy, the Spanish government last week indicated it wants to support metaverse-related projects. Through its ministry of economic affairs and digital transformation, a €3.8m grant will be administered to EU-based entities working on gaming and entertainment after an evaluation. Selected teams would have at least 25% of their members as women. Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2022.
Also talking metaverse — whose economy is poised to become a $13 trillion market by 2030 — is the prestigious Wharton School of Business which last week announced the launch of its certificate program titled “Business in the Metaverse Economy.” Becoming the first Ivy League business school to offer such, Wharton says it would bring speakers from Adobe, Animoca Brands, Second Life, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and others for the online certificate program to be run under its Aresty Institute of Executive Education. The course is designed for business professionals and executives from a range of backgrounds, including finance, management, and tech.
Despite the odds, El Salvador maintains its Bitcoin strategy is working
It’s been almost a year and El Salvador’s finance minister said the country’s adoption of Bitcoin as its legal tender has worked for them.
While the South American country has been widely criticized for the strategy, Alejandro Zelaya said in a July 27 interview that it has brought financial services to a largely unbanked population and attracted tourism and investments.
Bitcoin’s use as a means of exchange is low, he said, but he still believes in the top digital currency adding that El Salvador will go ahead with its planned issuance of Bitcoin-backed bonds which had been postponed over time.
Santander to offer crypto services in Brazil
The Brazil arm of the Spanish-originated Santander Bank has announced plans to start offering cryptocurrency services. As one of the biggest banking institutions in the world with over 153 million customers, the bank says it is working on a comprehensive and clear law framework for the asset class as it seeks the best way of getting into the cryptocurrency services market.
Santander Brazil CEO, Mario Leão, told local media last week that the new services might be introduced in the coming months when they would have had “definitions about it.” He said the cryptocurrency market is “here to stay” and Santander isn’t entering the market as a reaction to other competitors but for the demand of its users in Brazil.
Itau Unibanco, one of the largest banks in Brazil, had noted it was considering introducing crypto products too.
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