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1. Berlin hard fork goes live on Ethereum

The Facts:

  • The Berlin hard fork went live at block no. 12’244’000 on April 15.
  • The hard fork includes four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs 2565, 2929, 2718, and 2930), with changes to gas costs and new transaction types.
  • The launch caused an issue with OpenEthereum nodes, which has since been resolved.

Why it’s important:

  • The Berlin hard fork includes technical upgrades that change the gas cost of some operations and potentially makes the network more resilient to denial-of-service attacks.
  • This was the last hard fork before the highly anticipated London hard fork (expected in summer), which includes EIP-1559.

 

2. Coinbase shares start trading on Nasdaq

The Facts:

  • Coinbase shares started trading under the ticker COIN on Nasdaq on April 14.
  • After an initial rise above $400, COIN ended the trading session at a price of $328.28, implying a market capitalization of $85 billion.
  • ARK Investment Management has purchased $246 million worth of shares on the day of listing.

Why it’s important:

  • The listing of Coinbase shares on Nasdaq marks the first time that a major crypto company is traded and valued on the open market.
  • It also brings further attention to the crypto space, and interest from institutions continues to rise at an unparalleled pace.
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Source: Twitter

 

3. Gary Gensler confirmed as SEC Chairman

The Facts:

  • Gary Gensler was proposed to head the SEC in January of this year.
  • The U.S. Senate has now confirmed Gary Gensler as Chairman of the SEC on April 14. Gary Gensler is well-versed in the area of digital assets and blockchain and has taught classes on the subject at MIT.
  • In other news from the SEC, commissioner Hester Peirce has also unveiled a revised version of the “safe harbor” proposal, which would provide a three-year grace period to token sales under certain conditions.

Why it’s important:

  • With an expert on digital assets as the Chairman, the SEC seems well equipped to bring the space forward and provide regulatory guidelines that further clarify open legal questions.
  • The crypto community has closely followed developments at the SEC, since the regulatory status of tokens as securities or not may have wide reaching market impacts on those tokens.
  • Crypto can provide the basics of economic freedom to anyone: property rights, sound money, free trade, and the ability to work how and where they want.
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    Brian Armstrong
    CEO Coinbase

4. ConsenSys raises $65 million from JP Morgan, UBS, Mastercard and more

The Facts:

  • In a recent funding round, ConsenSys, an Ethereum blockchain solutions provider, has raised $65 million from investors such as JP Morgan or Mastercard.
  • Among the contributors are also crypto-native names such as the Maker Foundation, Protocol Labs, or Alameda Research.
  • ConsenSys supports various Ethereum projects and is the company behind brand names such as MetaMask or Infura.

Why it’s important:

  • This latest seed round highlights that traditional finance companies are actively exploring and engaging in the crypto space.
  • With the additional funding, ConsenSys can accelerate its mission to build out Ethereum infrastructure and applications, which in turn should further improve stability and user experience on Ethereum.
  • Number of the Week
    $3.3 billion
    Record total open interest in ETH options

5. DeFi growth: Compound breaches $10 billion TVL

The Facts:

  • Compound became the first DeFi protocol to surpass $10 billion in total value locked.
  • Total value locked across DeFi protocols is closing in on $60 billion.
  • The DeFi ecosystem constantly grows, last week through the addition of Liquity, a decentralized borrowing protocol.

Why it’s important:

  • After the initial hype in the “DeFi summer” of 2020, the total value locked in DeFi protocols continued to grow at an astounding pace.
  • With protocols deploying their layer 2 solutions on Ethereum (or plans to do so in the near future), it will be interesting to see whether low-fee DeFi interactions can further vitalize the space.

 

In other News:

  • VanEck launches new digital-asset companies focused ETF (via The Block)
  • Grayscale tops $50 billion, on track to pass largest commodity ETFs (via Cointelegraph)
  • Over 10’000 blacklisted BTC from Bitfinex hack on the move (via Cointelegraph)
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