Ethereum’s Step Towards PoS, Bitcoin Mining Difficulty, Binance’s BTC Trading Fee Move + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.


Blockchain news

  • Ethereum (ETH) developers have performed the Merge on the Sepolia public testnet, meaning that the testnet’s proof-of-work chain (PoW) (execution layer) “merged” with its proof-of-stake (PoS) beacon chain (consensus layer). This follows the Merge on the Ropsten testnet.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty, which is the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, is expected to drop almost 2% in less than a day to around 29 T. This would be its second drop in a row, following the -2.35% change seen two weeks ago. The all-time high, therefore, still stands at 31.25 T, recorded in mid-May.
  • Bitcoin miner TeraWulf agreed to an additional USD 50m in loans with existing lender Wilmington Trust as it looks to complete the data center infrastructure at two of its facilities. The previous loan between the two was for USD 123.5m, and the new USD 50m in borrowings accrues interest at 11.5% and matures on December 1, 2024, the filing said.
  • Core Scientific announced that during the month of June 2022, they sold BTC 7,202 at an average price of USD 23,000 per BTC, for a total of USD 167m, and that the company holds BTC 1,959 and USD 132m in cash on its balance sheet as of the end of that month. The proceeds from the BTC sale were used for payments for ASIC servers, capital investments, and scheduled repayment of the debt, they said.
  • Hut 8 Mining announced it increased its BTC holdings by 328 in the period ending June 30, and that it currently has BTC 7,406 in reserve. All of the mined bitcoin were deposited into custody, which they say is consistent with their “longstanding HODL strategy.”
  • CleanSpark announced that it produced BTC 339 during the month of June 2022, with a calendar year-to-date production (including June) of BTC 1,863 and total BTC holdings of 561. They added that the total BTC they’ve converted for operations and growth in the month added up to BTC 328, while the miner saw a daily mining high of BTC 12.1.

Exchanges news

  • Binance, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary, said it is eliminating trading fees on a range of BTC spot trading pairs for an unspecified period of time, starting July 8. The new trading fees will be in effect until further notice, the company said, without specifying.
  • Bitstamp clarified its previously announced inactivity fee policy, saying that it goes into effect on August 1, and that it doesn’t apply to US-based customers. Additionally, it will only affect inactive users with a balance of less than EUR 200, they said.
  • announced that it will commence another proof-of-reserves audit in July, to prove that they have 100% collateral. After completion of the audit, users will be provided with a method to verify their funds, they said.

Security news

  • Cyber risk company Cyble Research Labs announced it has discovered a new stealer dubbed PennyWise that can target over 30 browsers and crypto applications such as cold crypto wallets, crypto-browser extensions, etc, which is spreading via YouTube, where a video encourages users to download the malware to “mine Bitcoin for free”. There are currently over 80 videos promoting this malware, they said, urging users not to download pirated software from unverified sites.

DeFi news

  • Decentralized credit market Porter Finance announced it is shutting down its bond issuance platform, as they are “not confident there will be large inflows of lending demand for fixed income DeFi products like the ones offered through Porter Finance.” They added that they are also “no longer willing to take on the legal risk associated with bond offerings.”
  • MakerDAO, which governs the Maker protocol behind the Dai (DAI) stablecoin, is voting on a proposal that will bring a traditional bank into its ecosystem for the first time, allowing the bank to borrow against its assets using DeFi. The proposal involves creating a vault with DAI 100m for Huntingdon Valley Bank as part of a new collateral type in the Maker Protocol.
  • A vote for coin mixing protocol Tornado Cash (TORN) to diversify its treasury holdings into ETH has failed, with 68% of the participants voting against the proposal that would have seen 50,000 of its vested native tokens (TORN-v-1) sold for ETH at a minimum price of ETH 0.008 per token. The coin mixing platform stated that voter participation in the proposal was over 200% more than the previous governance vote.

Investments news

  • Crypto infrastructure provider Wyre announced an integration with the on/off-ramp service for digital wallets issued by major money transfer company MoneyGram on the Stellar (XLM) network. MoneyGram has now expanded the service’s cash-out functionality globally, where permitted by law, they said.
  • Jason Choi and Darryl Wang, executives from crypto venture capital firms Spartan Capital and DeFiance Capital, respectively, are launching a new fund dubbed Tangent which they say is targeted specifically at helping promising Web3 projects navigate their way through the current bear-market cycle, according to Bloomberg. Tangent will work with three to five early-stage crypto projects each quarter using an undisclosed small pool of proprietary capital.
  • Global asset manager VanEck announced the initial tranche of a USD 35m commitment in the VanEck New Finance Income Fund, LP, by two retirement systems: the Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System and the Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System, both located in Virginia, USA.

NFTs news

  • Phone manufacturer Nothing, the creator of Phone (1), announced that it will be airdropping non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its community investors in a collection dubbed Nothing Community Dots from July 7 until August 13, in partnership with Polygon (MATIC).

Career news

  • Virtu Financial, a Wall Street trading firm, is hiring a weekend crypto trader who should be a “dependable, trustworthy and highly self-motivated and self-disciplined individual,” they said.

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