Ethereum prices rocketed back above $1,700 over the weekend, hitting a multi-week high after a major upgrade to the network was announced.
The Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559 will be implemented as part of the planned London hard fork coming this July for the network, and will see a major shift in the way users transact.
Currently, users pay a gas fee to a miner for a transaction to be included in a block, which make up a substantial part of miners’ overall income.
However, under the new proposals – which have gathered support from users and application creators – gas fees will be sent to the network instead in a new fee structure called a “basefee”. Miners will only be given an optional tip by users, with the basefee set by an algorithm and thus easier for users to understand and check if they are paying a fair fee or not.
Ethereum and bitcoin prices have both bounced over the weekend amid the news and the latest expectations of further government stimulus. Ethereum climbed to a peak of $1,739 before pulling back marginally to trade around $1,683 this morning, while bitcoin also jumped to a multi-day high above $51,000 before settling just under $50,000 this morning.
The Mary hardfork was successfully completed on the Cardano mainnet last week, with tokens now being created on the Cardano blockchain. A big development, the update helped ADA surge in price in recent months, with its valuation soaring some 900% since early December to peak at $1.45 per coin.
While ADA has pulled back from its peak, it remains well above the $1 mark. The next milestone is the Alonzo hardfork which will bring smart contract functionality to Cardano. It should happen sometime in the second quarter, completing the overall Goguen upgrade. This could really position Cardano as a rival to Ethereum over the coming years, especially as Ethereum is in the midst of transitioning to 2.0, and gas fees on the current blockchain continue to be a talking point.
Argo Blockchain, the UK-listed cryptoasset mining firm, has started paying its CEO’s salary in bitcoin. It said that other staff were also being offered the bitcoin salary option, with monthly payments automatically converted from fiat currency to bitcoin at the daily market rate via the Satstreet exchange.
In February, Argo Blockchain mined 129 BTC, bringing in $6million in revenue. Whilst announcing its new payment options, it also told the market that the 4,500 mining rigs it leased from Celsius Network in February are all now operational, taking its bitcoin and other SHA-256 cryptoassets mining capacity to 1,075 petahashes.
David Derhy, analyst, eToro
Eco, a cryptoasset startup created by the former co-founder of Uber has raised $26m in funding.
Garrett Camp, who helped start Uber, is one of the founders of Eco, which offers rewards on both crypto savings and spending at firms like Amazon and Uber.
The business claims to be building a new type of finance platform and has been supported by a number of businesses, including 16z Crypto – the digital asset investment arm of Andreessen Horowitz – the Founders Fund, Activant Capital, Slow Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Tribe Capital, Valor Capital Group and others.
Eco says its platform is “not a bank, checking account, or credit card — we’re building something better than all of those combined.”
Users will see cashback of up to 5% on spending and will earn 2.5%–5% annually with assets just sitting in their accounts, according to a post from the business. The top rate for savings is dependent on referrals to friends.
Simon Peters, analyst, eToro: Kings of Leon revolutionise album launches
The Kings of Leon have released their new album in the form of a NFT – a non-fungible token. The first band ever to do so, they offered three types of token and thereby giving perks not available on more mainstream music platforms like Spotify or iTunes, in an attempt to improve artist/fan relationships.
NFTs are expected to increase in value over coming years, and are already proving lucrative, as seen by the artist Grimes selling $6m worth of art as NFTs recently.
David Derhy, analyst, eToro: NFT “explosion” taking place as CryptoPunks see huge demand
The non-fungible token universe is seeing soaring demand for collectibles, with tokens such as CryptoPunks leading an explosion in bids for one-off digital images.
CryptoPunks, first launched in 2017, have become the most popular NFT around, with some $16m worth of CryptoPunks traded in the last week – almost three times the amount of the next most popular NFT art marketplace.
A combination of art, technology and social experimentation, the 10,000 unique collectibles have all been created and sold already. Other NFT’s are emerging across different sectors, with Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, now selling the first-ever published tweet as an NFT.
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