The most buzzed topics of the week in the crypto market covered Ethereum and The Merge, the mass adoption of crypto, Meta’s new NFT ventures, Ticketmaster’s NFT tickets, and the carbon neutrality of the Bitcoin blockchain.
This is what the crypto world is talking about right now.
Bitcoin is on the way to becoming carbon neutral
Bitcoin is on its way to becoming a carbon-neutral blockchain. This is done with the help of environment-friendly fuels, such as natural gas. Fumes from burning natural gas and animal feces can possibly be used in the future to generate energy to maintain the blockchain.
Throughout Bitcoin’s 13-year history, major media and banks have criticized the amount of energy used to maintain Bitcoin’s blockchain and its environmental impact. According to an analysis, maintaining the Bitcoin network is currently more energy efficient than banking systems, but environmental friendliness is always better.
Burning free methane gas from animal feces also has great environmental benefits. Methane gas contributes to global warming, and if it can be captured on the way to produce energy, many parties, including Bitcoin, will benefit.
The traditional banking system has been in use for centuries, and therefore the maintenance of various functions consumes significantly more electricity than Bitcoin. However, this does not prevent central banks from addressing the issue whenever they can.
The banking system consumes 56 times more energy than Bitcoin
Although blamed in the media, Bitcoin is significantly more energy efficient than the traditional banking system.
Miners are constantly coming up with more efficient ways to use electricity to mine Bitcoin due to the rising cost of electricity. Bitcoin transactions are estimated to be a million times more efficient and use 56 times less energy than traditional bank alternatives.
The various functions of the blockchain can be used for all payments in the world. According to a rough estimate, it would be 194 million times more energy efficient compared to the traditional banking system.
Physical offices and slow operations are no longer part of the modern age. People must wake up to this reality and make a change together.
Ethereum rising among day traders before The Merge
Day traders have been dealing with Ethereum significantly more than Bitcoin. Major changes are coming to Ethereum in the near future. The long-awaited The Merge, where Ethereum will transition into the Proof of Stake mechanism, will finally happen in mid-September. The change is so significant that it has gained a lot of visibility and set investors on the move.
If we compare the futures trades of Bitcoin and Ethereum, at the beginning of August, Ethereum’s share of futures was 45 percent, and currently, it is up to 57 percent. The monetary value on futures is up to double compared to July.
With the new update, Ethereum’s electricity consumption and efficiency should improve significantly. In addition, it will become even more deflationary, i.e., more Ethereum will be removed from the market than new ones will be created.
Many investors are skeptical about what will happen to Ethereum’s price after The Merge. The ancient mantra of speculative investing is “buy the rumor, sell the news.” It means that whenever something significant is happening, the price rises before the news is announced, and when the update itself takes place – the price collapses.
The largest Ethereum mining pool opens staking
Ethermine, the world’s largest Ethereum mining pool, is launching a new service that allows Ethereum to be staked for profit. The operation of the Ethereum blockchain is changing, and mining with physical devices is no longer possible in the near future.
The smallest possible stake in Ethereum currently starts at 0,1 Ether token and offers an annual interest rate of 4,43 percent.
The corresponding staking pools enable a competitive interest rate and a lower threshold to participate in Ethereum staking. As a private staker, you would have to lock up to 32 Ethereum in the blockchain, and the average consumer cannot afford this. At the time of writing the article, the value of 32 Ethereum is around 51,000 euros.
Some Ethereum miners have been against the blockchain change as it makes their rigs useless. With the blockchain update, the electricity required for its maintenance will decrease by more than 99%.
What is Ethermine?
Ethermine is currently the best-performing Ethereum mining pool in the world. For a while, Ethereum will operate with the Proof of Work consensus algorithm, where the operation of the blockchain is maintained with the computing power of computers.
The devices solve calculations related to the transfer of Ethereum electronically, and when adding information to the blockchain, miners receive Ethereum as a reward. Ethereum is moving away from proof of work mining, so Ethermine is adapting to the change.
Ethermine has released a staking pool for the new version of Ethereum, where you can stake Ethereum as a working part of the new Ethereum Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.
In Ethermine’s new staking pool, you can participate in the blockchain with a smaller initial investment than mining.
Ticketmaster introduces NFT tickets
Customers who buy tickets from Ticketmaster will receive an NFT on top of their purchase in connection with some ticket purchases. The idea of NFT tickets is to remain as a memory of the event and as proof of participation.
However, NFT alone is not enough to entitle you to enter the event for the time being; you must have a regular ticket with a readable barcode. Ticketmaster chose the Flow blockchain as a partner to implement the NFT project due to its environmental friendliness.
It is possible to send an NFT ticket to another person using email or a QR code. The new system has been under slow development for many months, and the company has not made a big fuss about it in the media.
To date, over 5 million NFTs have already been minted on the Flow blockchain via Ticketmaster.
Are NFT tickets the future?
For the last decades, festival and event goers have needed paper tickets to enter the event. With digital tickets, it has been possible to store tickets on mobile devices conveniently. Now the ticket business is taking the next step in the evolution toward the NFT world.
With NFT tickets, data is easily accessible from the blockchain. The organizer of the event can see, for example, how many times a single ticket holder has visited the event. Currently, other ticket stores do not offer similar implementations, and it opens up new opportunities for NFT tickets.
The organizer can send messages to the owner of the NFT ticket, organize exclusive events, or offer other additional services using the blockchain. Of course, this can also be possible in a traditional ticket office. What really makes the NFT ticket superior is that you can generate value for the ticket buyer even after the event. With blockchain, you can also conveniently store the ticket in your own secure crypto wallet. This way, the ticket never falls into the wrong hands.
NFT tickets equipped with smart contracts also open up the possibility of making money by selling your own ticket. In some situations, a ticket equipped with a smart contract may contain, for example, a 5 percent royalty fee.
The original NFT owner, for example, an event organizer, could also get passive income if the ticket is sold in the secondary markets. This could help with the 2nd hand ticket market problem at various events, where people buy tickets cheaply and sell them at high prices. On the other hand, smart contracts also enable a resale ban because the system is always seamless.
Crypto adoption takes a step forward in Argentina
The municipality of Mendoza, Argentina has started accepting crypto payments on August 24, 2022. Citizens will now be able to pay government expenses and taxes in Mendoza with cryptocurrencies.
The Argentine government wants to offer its citizens the opportunity for new and innovative ways to manage taxes and administration. New innovations also reduce bureaucracy and related administrative costs. Above all, this is a big step for the global adoption of cryptocurrencies.
However, at this stage, it is not possible to use all cryptocurrencies for payment. Only some stable currencies, such as Tether, work as a means of payment.
Earlier in August, Mastercard announced the launch of a debit card that supports 14 different cryptocurrencies, including Tether. It is part of a future plan where cryptocurrency payments will be introduced in Argentina. The final global system would be used in up to 90 million physical and digital stores.
The Argentine peso has experienced wild inflation recently. By giving citizens access to the US dollar through cryptocurrencies, the country’s citizens can better cope with rising inflation.
Argentine peso inflation
In recent decades, the inflation of the Argentine peso has been really wild compared to, for example, the US dollar. In years 1980-2019, the average annual inflation level has been 215 percent.
Compared to the usual inflation rate, the number is almost 100 times higher. According to the US central bank, average inflation is 1,5-2 percent annually. Inflation means a decrease in the value of money in relation to goods.
Imagine that today you have 1000 pesos in your account in Argentina, and you withdraw them in a year. A year from now, with that money, you will get the same amount of goods that you would get today for around 300 pesos. In Finland, the purchasing power of 1,000 euros would be around 950 euros a year from now, so the difference is vast.
A commodity that cost 100 Argentine pesos in 1980 would cost about 111 million pesos today.
Crypto.com refunded the customer $10 million instead of $100
In May 2021, Crypto.com sent the customer 10,5 million Australian dollars instead of a refund of 100 AUD. It was apparently a typo on Crypto.com’s end. The customer had only informed the company that she had received the funds and had then bought herself a luxurious mansion. At Crypto.com, the event was only discovered in December during an audit.
The company sent a summons to the customer to return the funds, but part of the funds had already been used to purchase a luxury mansion for well over a million Australian dollars. The customer was told that she must sell his property to recover the funds or face liability in court.
Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, but it is possible for centralized exchanges to reverse faulty trades. In this case, the customer was apparently refunded money for the exchange transaction that went wrong.
Will the funds disappear if they are sent to the wrong wallet?
In short, no. You can send cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, to the wrong address and still get it back. Depending on the blockchain, the transaction either doesn’t go through at all, or you get your cryptocurrency back in a few days if the address is incorrect. On the other hand, if you send your crypto to an existing address that is not yours, it is practically impossible to get the funds back unless you personally know the owner of the wallet.
You should be careful when sending cryptocurrency. Always copy the receiving address to the clipboard – do not write it manually, as the risk of a typo increases significantly. Also, always double or preferably even triple-check before sending the funds to make sure it goes right.
Meta enables NFT to be posted on social media
Meta has announced that users will be able to connect their crypto wallets to their social media accounts and share their NFTs as posts on Instagram and Facebook.
In May, Meta announced the possibility of publishing NFT collections on Facebook. Now Instagram has also been added to the package. In the future, users will be able to post their collectibles within the Flow, Ethereum, and Polygon blockchains to these different Meta social media platforms.
As the popularity of NFTs grows, a new source of income may emerge for Meta through its own applications. The patent for Meta Pay is already pending at the US Patent Office.
Meta’s goal was to publish its own stable currency, but that project was forgotten due to the challenges that appeared already in February. The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that digital currencies have the potential to make billions of dollars in the future as they become more common.
So far, Meta’s many ventures into cryptocurrencies have failed, and investors’ faith is on the decline.
What is Meta?
Meta was previously known as Facebook until it got rebranded as Meta due to metaverse ventures. The company’s services include e.g. Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. An individual entity is easier to combine and think of as the same company.
Meta’s brand reform has been part of the company’s goal to be a global leader in the development of the metaverse. The idea behind metaverse is to connect virtual worlds, such as different games, and make the experience smoother. Today, for example, the game worlds are all separate from each other, but in the future, they may be part of one entity.
At least so far, Meta has not received very good feedback or results from the development of its metaverse. At least according to the media, every attempt by Meta to be part of this new technological development has been weak. The company spends a lot of money to promote the projects, but so far, its stock has fallen further, and interest does not seem to be picking up.
On September 3, 2021, Meta’s share peaked at $378, and with the new earnings announcements, the value of the share fell by 30 percent in a week. At the moment, the value of Meta’s stock is approximately 165 dollars, which is well below half of its highest value.
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