Ethereum and its native cryptocurrency, Ether, have been trending topics lately in the crypto world.
Here’s a summary of 10 top prime articles and news currently floating in the Ether, followed by some key definitions.
1. Ethereum Game Nears Release
After years of development, an Ethereum-based game, Sandbox, is almost ready for release. Sandbox is an open-world video game in which users own pieces of the world (LAND) in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT). LAND owners can do whatever they like with their parcel, including having virtual meetings and developing and monetizing games. Sandbox will offer 166,464 parcels of LAND.
Some events from artists such as Snoop Dog will be part of the Sandbox space. Decrypt also believes the space will feature NFT launch parties.
2. Optimism Helps Scale Ethereum Blockchain
Optimism is a scaling solution for Ethereum blockchain that uses rollups to process transactions more quickly.
Ethereum is now the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization primarily because of its use of a smart contract, according to Decrypt. (Bitcoin is the largest by market cap. Binance is third by market cap.)
However, its slowness in processing transactions and high transaction fees threaten to stymie the growth of its global network.
Optimism makes Ethereum scalable. It makes transaction processing more efficient by rolling up multiple transactions into one, settling them on another blockchain-based platform, and sending the receipt back to the Ethereum blockchain.
Optimism is one of several scaling solutions for Ethereum, and developers are working on more solutions for the future.
In other Ethereum Optimism news, Optimism PBC, the protocol’s parent company, has created its own decentralized autonomous organization. It has named the DAO the Optimism Collective. The Collective will conduct a series of crypto token airdrops to more than 250,000 Ethereum-wallet addresses.
The Optimism Collective will take the revenue from Optimism’s transaction fees and transform them into grants for public goods.
3. First Uncollaterized Mortgage Loan Completes
USDC Homes, which partners with lending and brokerage companies to facilitate crypto home loans, has completed an unsecured loan and sale via the DeFi lending protocol Teller.
The homeowner took out a $500,000 USDC stablecoin mortgage on a home with a value of $680,000. He made a down payment in USDC but did not post collateral because of his credit scores. The loan took place via Polygon’s Ethereum sidechain.
The crypto mortgage market allows those with ample digital assets to avoid liquidating them to buy a home, thus also avoiding capital gains taxes.
4. Ethereum Foundation Releases Annual Report
The Ethereum Foundation released its 2022 Annual Report at the Ethereum developers conference, Devconnect, held in mid-April.
The Foundation holds about 0.3 percent of all Ether coins, which have a value of approximately $1.3 billion. It also holds about $11 million of other crypto and about $300 million in non-crypto investments.
The Foundation said it spent $48 million to grow the Ethereum ecosystem during 2022.
5. Ethereum Delays The Merge
Ethereum’s scheduled Merge date was June. However, the upgrade is still a few more months away. Ethereum developer Tim Beiko adds that the project is in the final chapter, and industry experts quoted by Reuters believe the Merge will happen soon.
The massive software upgrade project is designed to make blockchain transactions cheaper and faster. It is expected to cut network energy costs by about 95 percent and scale the network.
However, full scalability won’t happen overnight, and the project itself won’t fully scale the network. Long-term usability improvements will likely come through its ecosystem, according to Coindesk.
In the past, Ethereum referred to the Merge as Eth2. However, it has since dropped that moniker. Malicious actors had used that name to scam users, telling them to trade their ETH tokens for ETH2 tokens.
Ethereum Price Falling
Ethereum’s price is falling as investors wait to see what will happen with the upgrade project.
The price of Ether, the currency used on the Ethereum blockchain, fell 8 percent on cryptocurrency exchanges in response to Beiko’s announcement. Ether’s market cap of $363 billion is less than half that of Bitcoin’s. Bitcoin and Ether together make up 60 percent of the crypto market.
Reuters quotes investors who believe the market will flip, with Ethereum dominating Bitcoin and other platforms because of its use in decentralized applications. Likewise, Bloomberg’s senior commodity specialist told Kitco that Ethereum will soon become “the collateral of the internet.” However, he believes Ethereum’s price may hit a low of $1,700 before rising.
6. ENS NFTs Overtake BAYC
The NFT market Open Sea is experiencing frenzied buying of three- and four-digit Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains, with daily trading volume surpassing that of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
One of the most significant sales of all time took place in April. The 555eth NFT sold for $158,000 worth of Ether. The average current price as of late April for three-digit domains was about $18,500. The market value of four-digit domains at that time was about $1,500. Investors want to buy Ethereum Name Service Domains of four digits or fewer to gain entrance to the private Discord channel dubbed the 10kclub.
7. Ethereum’s Smart Contracts Support Its Intrinsic Value
Ethereum is intrinsically valuable because its platform can facilitate programmatic smart contracts and decentralized apps, unlike Bitcoin, which was created as a monetary alternative, according to Coin Telegraph.
Intrinsic value is the perceived or actual value of an asset or currency. It differs from market value because the market can undervalue or overvalue assets. The dollar or euro has intrinsic value because governments issue them, and they can be used to pay for goods and services within these countries’ economies. Although not issued by central banks, Crypto has intrinsic value because of its use, technological applications, and scarcity.
8. Former Researcher Sentenced to Five Years
A federal court in New York has sentenced Virgil Griffith to 63 months in prison for giving a presentation in North Korea on how to use digital assets to circumvent sanctions. Griffith was formerly a researcher for the Ethereum Foundation.
Griffith had pleaded guilty in September 2021 to charges of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Prosecutors indicated they might also charge Griffith’s co-conspirators.
9. Investors May Have Greater Learning Curve With Ethereum Vs. Bitcoin
While developers primarily use Ethereum, investors are buying into the network for its long-term potential. Because Ethereum’s network has a wider variety of uses, its investors have a greater learning curve than Bitcoin investors, says a Time article providing investment advice. Time recommends buying Ether rather than NFTs.
10. Bitcoin Transactions Dwarfing Ethereum
Daily Bitcoin transactions have soared to more than 10 million, dwarfing transactions on the Ethereum platform. Ethereum handles about 1 million transactions daily, according to CoinGeek. Bitcoin accounts for 78 percent of all transactions on blockchain based platforms. Gaming is primarily responsible for the Bitcoin increase, CoinGeek says.
Is the Ethereum Price on Firmer Ground Than Bitcoin’s?
The Ethereum price and Bitcoin price really provide very little real information, according to an opinion on the Coindesk site. Because crypto funds are pioneers, investors consider them risky, and they are much more sensitive to price fluctuations than other investments, including most of those traded on the stock market. For example, Ethereum’s price has fluctuated from a high of more than $4,000 to a low of about $2,600 over six months, from October 2021 to April 2022.
Ethereum is on much firmer ground for future success because of the stories behind the two networks, the article says. Bitcoin is a scarce digital asset. Its price is based upon the theory that the harder mining the next Bitcoin is, the higher the price. Ethereum, on the other hand, is about creative computation. By layering programmability into blockchains, Ethereum has created a digitally native economy. The article adds that Bitcoin only has created a new way to pay in the old economy.
Big Companies Building On, Investing In Ethereum
Some of the world’s largest companies are building on or investing in Ethereum, according to DeCrypt. Among the builders are the video gamer Ubisoft, the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, and the Dutch bank ING. According to The Fool, companies investing in Ethereum stock include
- The Grayscale Ethereum Trust
- HIVE Blockchain
- Robinhood Markets
- Staked ETH Trust
Ethereum: Top Definitions and Popular Categories
Ethereum is a programmable blockchain. Narrowly, it refers to a suite of protocols defining a decentralized application platform. Like other blockchains, it includes a peer-to-peer protocol. Ethereum launched on July 30, 2015, and its cofounders include Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio, and Joseph Lubin.
Smart contracts are self-executing contracts. Their terms are directly written into lines of code and exist across a distributed decentralized blockchain network. Gavin Wood, one of the co-founders of the Ethereum network, wrote the first smart contract. The contracts underpin an ecosystem of decentralized finance platforms and decentralized apps.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, can be created using Ethereum. They represent ownership of unique items.
A blockchain contains blocks of data. It is a distributed ledger shared among nodes of a computer network. Users can add blocks on Ethereum through a process known as mining. Others on the blockchain will check blocks to be sure they are valid.
A node is a computer running software connected to other nodes to form a network. An Ethereum node broadcasts transactions to the Ethereum network and synchronizes the chain with the rest of the network.
Ether is the cryptocurrency (or crypto) generated by the Ethereum protocol. Miners receive it as a reward for adding new blocks to the blockchain based platform.
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