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The much-anticipated transition of the Ethereum platform from PoW to PoS successfully took place this week, with Ethereum developers describing the performance of its first epoch in a PoS environment as amazing and perfect. Ripple and the US SEC jointly decided on the path to ending the deadlock in their legal battle while several other cryptocurrency networks launched new partnerships, products and infrastructure developments.
Ethereum successfully transitions to PoS
Ethereum achieved its anticipated transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake this week. The transition was met with a warm reception from the crypto-community. One twitter user remarked “it's an absolutely incredible feat to transition a globally used blockchain to PoS without most end users even noticing or having to do anything.” While another stated “congratulations to the Ethereum Team, @VitalikButerin and everyone who worked on the merge to Proof-of-Stake last night! This move will reduce worldwide electricity consumption by more than 2%.”
The development team revealed "we've lost about 4% of validators — my honest estimate was that we could lose 10% to 20% of validators. Going down to 95% participation is incredible." While describing how the first epoch (a bundle of 32 blocks) performed within the newly installed PoS environment, Ethereum engineers remarked that the process went "perfectly." The Merge was triggered at 3am Thursday morning based on difficulty and hash rate, those who followed and watched the transition via the ETH foundation's live stream earned a Proof-of-Attendance Protocol, an NFT, to prove they were present.
Exchanges that halted Ethereum transactions have resumed, and users have to do nothing to transact business with their ETH; ETH remains ETH, the Ethereum foundation stated. The Merge brings the Ethereum network to 55% completion, as earlier stated by Vitalik Buterin, suggesting that the journey is far from over for the second largest cryptocurrency network by market capitalization.
Buterin states it more clearly when he remarked, "this is the first step in Ethereum's big journey toward being a very mature system. There are still lots of steps to go. We still have to scale, we still have to fix privacy, and we have to make the thing actually secure for regular users. We must work hard and do our part to make all these other things happen. The Merge symbolizes the difference between early-stage Ethereum and the Ethereum we've always wanted. Let's go and build out all the other parts of that ecosystem."
The list of exchanges that abandoned Monero is growing
Monero's privacy issues seem far from over as cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi, delists the coin due to privacy concerns, among 6 other cryptocurrencies. Huobi's decision stems from the recent regulatory focus on privacy-based coins that ensure total anonymity on the blockchain.
Huobi made its decision public on the 12th of September, stating it had delisted Monero, Z Cash, Dash, Horizen, Verge, Decred, and Firo in a bid to remain compliant with recent financial regulations. The new wave of crackdown on privacy coins is an attempt to regulate and monitor cryptocurrency usage to arrest the increasing patronage of privacy-based cryptocurrencies by criminal elements due to their strong anonymity features.
In defense of its actions, Huobi stated the network "strictly complies with the compliance policies of every country and region and always endeavors to safeguard our users' assets." Huobi's actions follow in the footsteps of crypto exchanges like Bittrex and ShapeShift, among others, who have closed their service doors to privacy coins. Similarly, Coinone, Korbit, Gopax, Upbit, and Bithumb delisted Litecoin after its MimbleWimble upgrades that integrated questionable privacy features. It is believed that such regulatory strictness would discourage the intensification of privacy and anonymity capabilities, thus, making the blockchain space an unsafe haven for criminal elements.
You would also recall the US securities banned the use of Tornado Cash mixer, which had processed over $10 billion in laundered funds, suggesting the war against criminal elements taking advantage of digital technologies had already begun. Huobi will no longer accept deposits for the delisted coins; however, users can withdraw their holdings.
Dogecoin is now №2 by market capitalization among PoW cryptocurrencies
The meme-cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE) took the second place in terms of capitalization among blockchains based on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm after the migration of Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). At the moment, the capitalization of the mem-coin is $7.9 billion, Bitcoin takes the first place by a huge margin — $378.2 billion. In third place is Ethereum Classic with a capitalization of $4.66 billion.
Ethereum Classic hash rate up 280% on Ethereum upgrade day
On the day of Ethereum's transition to the Ethereum Classic PoS hashrate, the measure for calculating the total power used for mining skyrocketed by 280%. Th/s rose from 64 Th/s to 183 Th/s according to industry estimates. This increase in numbers indicates that miners have migrated from the Ethereum network to Ethereum Classic, as Ethereum mining hardware is still compatible with the Ethereum Classic mining chip. Vitalik Buterin supported the miner switch, stating "if you like Proof of Work, you should use Ethereum Classic. It's a perfectly fine chain."
US court approves plan that could lead to resolution of SEC and Ripple lawsuit
To end the legal battle between the US SEC and Ripple Labs, a New York court has agreed to a joint plan between both parties. The move was employed to end the current stalemate created by issues of witness identity protection and harassment issues.
The case is set to progress smoothly and publicly with mutual consent to unseal certain portions of their findings. The request was granted by District Judge Annalisa Torres. According to Andrew Ceresne of Debevoise and Plimpton, "the proposal will ensure prompt, public access to the parties’ briefs (as to which any proposed redactions are anticipated to be minimal), which is expected to be consistent with the strong presumption of public access."
Torres stated that "under the joint proposal, the parties would be further required to file public, redacted version of all documents within 21 days of the court's ruling on the omnibus sealing motions." The SEC and Ripple would be allowed one week after submission to submit their revised general summaries before the court delivers judgment on the case. Attempts to achieve an out-of-court settlement have failed due to Ripple's refusal on the grounds it was defending the collective safety of the crypto community from arbitrary regulatory bullying.
Despite its legal woes, Ripple has continued to expand with multiple new partnerships for cross-border payment solutions and more. Whether Ripple comes out victorious or otherwise, the resultant judgment would set a precedent for future handling of crypto outfits.
Tether printed 1 billion USDT
Tether issued 1 billion USDT for the first time in a long time. USDT currently ranks third among cryptocurrencies by market cap after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
BNB Chain and Google Cloud collaborate to support Web3 startups
Smart contract blockchain platform Binance BNB Chain and Google Cloud have partnered to support Web3 and blockchain startups. Startups running on the Binance Chain blockchain will now be able to use the scalable, secure and open-source Google Cloud infrastructure to encrypt and analyze network data. Over 1,300 decentralized application (dApps) developers will have access to cloud infrastructure and various Google Cloud tools.
Environmentalists intend to spend $ 1 million to achieve the transfer of Bitcoin to PoS
Against the backdrop of the transition of Ethereum to PoS, the global community continues to discuss the harmfulness of mining. A group of activists, including Greenpeace and Ripple billionaire and co-founder Chris Larsen, have launched a campaign called "Change the code, not the climate." The goal they want to achieve is to put pressure on the Bitcoin community to move from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
To spread this idea, it is planned to buy advertising in well-known publications. Activists believe that it is enough to convince 50 key people, including miners, founders of crypto exchanges and developers, to change the code. However, miners objectively have reasons not to support such an initiative. They do not want to destroy the security of the protocol and lose their funds that they have invested in mining equipment.