It’s no secret that the riveting world of blockchain and crypto-assets never stands still, and if you blinked, you might have missed the latest developments. Bitcoin’s (BTC) mining difficulty, an indicator of how challenging it is to earn mining rewards, soared to an unprecedented high of 55.62 T, surpassing the previous record of 53.91 T set in mid-July. Concurrently, the network’s average computational power, or hashrate, struck its apex at 397.74 EH/s.
Transforming the way we communicate, Unstoppable Domains has unveiled Unstoppable Messaging, a product of the Web3 messaging network XMTP. It permits users to message through Web3 domains, stay updated on projects, and foster online communities with decentralized, encrypted messaging. Although it initially sources from wallet addresses or domains, the launch plans to soon expand and offer the feature for businesses and dapps.
Meanwhile, Binance.US is bouncing back from its suspension of dollar deposits last June. Teaming up with MoonPay, customers can now turn USD into tether (USDT) through various payment methods, which can then be converted into different cryptocurrencies. In a parallel move, Binance extended their payment system to Brazil, giving merchants the option to receive payment in either Brazilian Real or direct crypto deposits to their wallets. This is anticipated to particularly benefit Brazil, given the significant boost in crypto adoption rates in the country.
However, amidst these advances, problems persist. The FBI has identified six Bitcoin wallets connected to North-Korean backed hacking squad Lazarus, with an estimated $40 million worth of Bitcoin moved into these wallets from various cryptocurrency heists. A reminder that safety and security continue to pose considerable challenges in the blockchain world.
On the investment front, Maple Finance, an on-chain institutional credit marketplace, successfully closed a $5 million strategic investment round, driving their expansion into Asia. Founder and CEO Sidney Powell believes Asia’s explicit regulatory support and heavy emphasis on trading provide a conducive environment for growth.
Jumping to central bank digital currencies (CBDC), Australia appears to be taking a slow and steady route, with a decision on a CBDC likely to be several years away. Despite the hype around CBDCs, Australia acknowledges the multitude of unresolved technical, legal, regulatory, and operational issues that require further scrutiny.
Lastly, over $100 million lost in a June breach has prompted a class action against Atomic Wallet, coordinated by German lawyer Max Gutbrod and co-founder of Destra Legal Boris Feldman, who are representing around 50 clients.
Indeed, these whirlwinds of changes are why we love blockchain, teetering between thrilling breakthroughs and significant challenges. But isn’t that what makes it incredibly captivating—never knowing quite where the next digital leap or stumble will come from?