Ethereum devs delay key upgrade as digital assets outperform equities
Data from CryptoCompare shows the price of Bitcoin dropped over the last week from around $23,5000 to a $22,000 low before recovering to $22,400, where it’s currently trading. BTC’s price plunged in the middle of the week, losing more than $1,000 in just a few minutes.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, moved similarly to BTC, dropping from around $1,650 to roughly $1,550, with most of the losses occurring during a short period in the middle of the week.
This past week saw Ethereum developers delay the highly-anticipated upgrade that will allow for the withdrawal of staked Ether to early April. The upgrade, called Shanghai, was initially slated for late March, but was pushed back at the latest Ethereum developer meeting.
The decision was made to ensure a successful rollout of the upgrade, with the Goerli testnet launch scheduled for March 14 serving as the final dress rehearsal. Once the upgrade rolls out on the mainnet, it will allow for a phased withdrawal of the Ethereum staked on the network.
Meanwhile, Solana’s core engineers have decided to increase their efforts in enhancing the network’s stability. To achieve this, they plan to enlist the help of external developers and auditors to conduct thorough testing and identify any potential exploits.
The decision to focus on stability came after the network experienced several hours of slowdown over the weekend.
These improvements are being made at a time in which digital assets continue to outperform equities and gold, with both BTC and ETH moving up significantly since the beginning of the year, greatly outperforming stock market indices like the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ 100.
According to CryptoCompare’s latest Digital Asset Management Review report, the assets under management (AUM) of products based on BTC and ETH have consistently risen since the start of 2023, as digital assets outshine traditional assets.
This performance has likely been welcomed by market participants who cannot currently move their funds and are unsure whether they will even see them again, after a plethora of bankruptcies in the space locked users’ funds in bankruptcy proceedings.
Mt Gox creditors to finally receive their Bitcoin
Creditors of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox are set to finally receive their long-awaited Bitcoin repayments, with the window for payouts opening this month. The first tranche of repayments, which includes early lump sum and intermediate payments, is expected to begin on March 10, and creditors have until September 30 to complete the process.
To receive the funds, each creditor has to register with an exchange and designate it as the recipient. Different exchanges have provided varying timelines for processing the payments. BitGo has stated that payments will be made within 20 days, while Kraken has warned that it may take up to 90 days.
Mt. Gox creditors will receive a portion of the exchange’s balance sheet as compensation, but the precise amount is unclear.
Over the week, collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX revealed it identified an $8.9 billion shortfall in customer funds that cannot be accounted for. This was the first time the company determined the amount of missing money.
During a public presentation, the company disclosed that it had located approximately $2.7 billion in customer assets, despite outstanding balances on customer accounts amounting to $11.6 billion.
The estimated value of FTX’s assets and liabilities is based on crypto prices on the day the company filed for bankruptcy in early November.
Visa to maintain crypto strategy
Despite recent challenges within the industry, Visa has said that it remains dedicated to investing in the cryptocurrency sector, countering reports that suggested the firm was reducing its collaborations with crypto firms.
A Visa spokesperson refuted these reports, emphasising that Visa’s primary goal is to act as a link between various platforms and technologies within the burgeoning crypto landscape.
Over the week, it was also revealed that the Goldman Sachs digital assets team is considering expanding, exploring the potential for blockchain technology to enhance the functioning of markets such as private equity.
According to its global head, Mathew McDermott, the financial giant remains “hugely supportive” of exploring blockchain applications, and its digital asset division is set to hire as appropriate” this year.
While these financial giants have been increasingly focusing on cryptocurrency and blockchain, so have cybercriminals. According to a report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, crypto crime hit a record $20.6 billion last year, fueled in part by increased activity of North Korean hacking groups, which successfully hacked $1.6 billion in crypto last year.
Francisco Memoria is a content creator at CryptoCompare who’s in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies.
Featured image via Unsplash.