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Weekly crypto news: Ethereum just completed ‘Goerli‘ merge

Weekly crypto news: Ethereum just completed ‘Goerli‘ merge

Just like the past few weeks, the crypto market is still in an upward trend. Bitcoin (BTC) was up 6% over the past seven days and Ethereum (ETH) was even up 15%. The long-awaited Ethereum merge is now very close and that seems to be priced in already.

The massive price gains of Ethereum are probably due to very good news the past week for the second biggest cryptocurrency. You can read about that and more below in the weekly crypto news report!

Ethereum is nearing the 'Merge'

In a historic moment for the Ethereum community, Goerli - one of the largest and most active Ethereum test networks - successfully underwent the "merge" on Wednesday night (August 10, 2022).

The merge is a year-long upgrade for Ethereum that will shift the network from a proof-of-work consensus model to proof-of-stake, a process poised to make the blockchain more efficient and consume far less energy.

To prepare for this massive change, developers have conducted many tests, but this latest test is different from the rest: The Goerli testnet merge is the last and most significant for Ethereum before the merge takes place on the so-called mainnet used by everyone. In other words, the Goerli merge was a dress rehearsal.

Developers who followed the process on Zoom applauded seeing pandas in code - a sign that the Goerli testnet merge was working. However, that doesn't mean everything will go smoothly or that unforeseen problems won't crop up. That will remain to be seen in the future.

"We won't really know until late tonight or tomorrow how successful the [Goerli testnet] merge actually was," pseudonymous developer Superphiz said during a Zoom call livestream for the Goerli testnet merge.

But now that the Goerli testnet merge is finally complete, Ethereum developers are in a much better position to increase the chances of success for the mainnet merge.

The mainnet merge is estimated to happen in September, but depending on what developers discover after the Goerli testnet merge, the date may change. Developers will likely discuss the Goerli testnet merge later this week and set a date for the mainnet merge.

Iran imports for €10 million and pays with crypto

Struggling through decades of economic sanctions, Iran has placed its first international import order using €10 million in cryptocurrency, according to a senior government trade official.

News that the Islamic Republic placed its first import order using crypto was shared Tuesday by Iran's Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine & Trade Alireza Peyman-Pak in a Twitter post.

Although the official did not disclose any details about the cryptocurrency used or the imported goods in question, Peyman-Pak said the €10 million order is the first of many international trade transactions settled using crypto, with plans to ramp this up in the coming month, noting:

"By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries."

Japan reintroduces crypto ATM after four-year absence

Crypto ATMs are back in Japan after being absent for four years.

Local crypto exchange Gaia Co, Ltd announced Tuesday that it will soon roll out ATMs supporting Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).

Despite the fact that Bitcoin ATMs made their debut in Tokyo back in 2014, the country has not seen active crypto ATMs since the cryptowinter of 2018, when local exchange Coincheck was hacked for €500 million, bringing the local sector to its knees and souring interest in crypto ATMs.

Initially, the ATMs will be installed at locations in Tokyo and Osaka, but the company has outlined plans to set up 50 ATMs across the country in the next 12 months. The company said it hopes to expand the installed base to 130 ATMs over the next three years.

The ATMs will allow users to withdraw a maximum of $747, or 100,000 Japanese yen, per transaction, with a maximum withdrawal of $2,243, or 300,000 yen, per day. The limited withdrawals are part of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures.

Reddit teams up with FTX

After moving away from Bitcoin payments years ago, online forum Reddit now appears closer to embracing cryptocurrency payments through a new partnership with the FTX exchange.

Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange FTX and Reddit announced Tuesday in a joint statement that the platform plans to integrate Reddit's Community Points in the United States, European Union, Australia and other markets.

The collaboration includes the integration of FTX Pay as a payment and crypto exchange solution to unlock new crypto-enabled perks for Reddit Community Points. Reddit Community Points, introduced in May 2020, are a measure of reputation in communities or subreddits, allowing users to own a piece of their favorite communities.

"As a unit of ownership, points capture some of the value of their community. They can be spent on premium features and used as a measure of reputation in the community," Reddit said at the launch of Community Points two years ago. Reddit Community Points are based on Arbitrum, one of the most Ethereum scaling solutions.

With the new integration, users will be able to purchase ETH from supported Reddit apps through FTX's payment and exchange infrastructure platform FTX Pay. The cryptocurrency can be used to pay blockchain gas fees, or network fees for their Community Points transactions on-chain.

One of the most popular websites in the world, Reddit has been largely involved in the crypto and blockchain industry for many years. The discussion platform is known for once allowing users to pay for their premium membership in Bitcoin, but removed the option in 2018.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is widely involved in crypto and launched a €100 million Web3 investment fund last year. Ohanian then launched another €200 million Web3 and social media fund in partnership with Ethereum payment solution Polygon.

This was again all of the most important crypto news of the past week. Earlier this week we also wrote about British investigations into the crypto industry. Read more in the article "UK parliamentary group opens investigation into crypto industry".

Luc Smits van Oyen
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