News
13
Dec
crypto market review

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News review 12/13: EUROe, The Block, Ledger Stax, Ethereum, Strike

Finnish Membrane Finance has received a license to create a regulated euro-based stablecoin. The editor of the news site The Block had to resign due to SBF connections. Ledger released a new hardware wallet. The Ethereum stake will be released in March. Strike expands to Africa.

EUROe is the new Finnish stablecoin!

Let’s start the article with interesting news from the Nordics. Finland is rarely featured in crypto news, but this time it’s different. Tech company Membrane Finance has announced the launch of a new stablecoin called EUROe.

Membrane Finance is a Finnish company and part of the Equilibrium Group. It has spent 18 months working with EU regulators to get a license for the new stablecoin. Membrane Finance says that the company has been granted a license by Fiva to create a regulated euro-based stable currency. This license is the first of its kind in the European Union.

The crypto market has always been dominated by dollar-based stablecoins. A euro-based & regulated stablecoin has been needed for a long time.

EUROe is certainly not the first euro stablecoin on the market. The Circle, which is behind USDC, released its own euro stablecoin this year. However, EUROe is the first stable currency regulated and accepted by EU financial authorities. EUROe also meets the MiCa regulations that will come into use in a couple of years.

According to the official website, EUROe is a stablecoin operating on the Ethereum platform. It will be launched at the beginning of 2023.

Will EUROe also be seen in the selections of Finnish crypto exchanges? Coinmotion’s Pessi Peura tells that the company is following how the demand develops and it considers the new stablecoin a positive thing.

We are actively following the development of the stablecoin market. It is likely we will expand our selection in this regardg in the near future. The demand for euro-based stablecoin in the market has so far been small, but there is plenty of potential when you look at how large the use of dollar-based stablecoin has grown.

EUROe is a welcome newcomer to the market and a potential partner for us in the future as well. However, no decisions have been made so far about adding EUROe to Coinmotion’s selection.

Northcrypto’s Ville Runola also sees the new euro stablecoin as a positive thing for the market.

It’s great that a regulated, audited and reliable euro-stablecoin is finally on the market. This means that in the future it will be possible to store euros on blockchains and pay with euros without any doubt about the stability of the currency. Northcrypto will introduce EUROe to its offering at Q1 2023.

The broader success of the EUROe depends on the largest exchanges in the market and especially the DeFi sector. Let’s see if the Finnish-born Aave is one of the first DeFi services to support the new stablecoin.

It’s great to see news like this from Finland! There is a lot of know-how in this country, but Finland has so far been a bit left out of the crypto and blockchain revolution. Hopefully, EUROe will open the way and bring visibility to other Finnish companies in the field as well.

The Block’s CEO resigns amid SBF uproar

In recent weeks, we have written a lot about the collapse of the FTX exchange and its consequences. So far, the biggest headlines have been caused by the bankruptcy of the lending service BlockFi and the potential collapse of Genesis.

These will certainly not be the last dominoes to fall. Over the weekend, the crypto industry saw a new uproar from a rather surprising source. It’s about the popular news site and data provider The Block.

The CEO of the service, Michael McCaffrey, had to resign due to the huge social uproar. McCaffrey had taken out a total of $27 million in loans from Alameda Research without telling to his partners. The first 12 million was used to buy out the company’s shareholders and the second was for daily operations.

In addition to these loans, McCaffrey had received a $16 million loan for the purchase of luxury apartments in the Bahamas.

The news came as a complete surprise to the key personnel of The Block.

After the incident, an investigation has been started into The Block’s news coverage of Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX exchange, Alameda, and the Solana projects supported by them. The integrity of the news service has suffered a huge blow.

Michael McCaffrey has stepped down from the board and resigned as CEO. He still owns the majority of The Block. The service aims to organize a new owner base as quickly as possible.

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In the same context, we will also tell you the latest update regarding FTX. The Founder Sam Bankman-Fried has finally been arrested in the Bahamas! Apparently, the man is also awaiting extradition to the United States. The news was published last night. Bankman-Fried has also received official charges from the SEC.

The next domino to fall because of FTX may be the Singaporean hedge fund and asset manager Amber Group. A week ago, The Defiant reported on suspicions that Amber Group was would be insolvent. The company has denied the speculations.

Ledger released a new cold wallet

The French company Ledger is the market’s best-known manufacturer of cold wallets. Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X wallets have already become familiar to millions of crypto investors. Last week we received some interesting news from Ledger. The company will introduce a completely new device to the market! It’s called Ledger Stax.

The previous flagship model Nano X is already three years old. Ledger released an improved version of the Nano S wallet a year ago, called Nano S Plus. However, this model is below the Nano X in terms of features and price.

Ledger Stax will be the company’s new flagship model. Its price is about 50 percent higher than the Nano X, 2900 NOK. A significant change is the E Ink touch screen. With that, the device, roughly the size of a debit card, offers a completely new user experience. Check out the introductory video above.

You can order your own Ledger Stax from the link below.

ORDER LEDGER STAX HERE

Unfortunately, Ledger Stax can’t be bought as an X-Mas present, as deliveries will start in March 2023. We will publish a comprehensive user guide about Ledger Stax, as soon as the device is delivered to our office.

Active Ledger users will benefit most from Stax’s touchscreen. It’s good to remember that the old Ledger wallets are still fully functional and as secure as before.

The Ethereum staking will be unlocked soon

Ethereum was definitely the most popular crypto topic in the summer and early fall. This was due to The Merge update, which was completed in mid-September. With that, Ethereum moved from the Proof of Work consensus to the Proof of Stake consensus, i.e. ended mining.

Today, the Ethereum blockchain is maintained by validators who stake ETH tokens. A similar model is used on all other PoS platforms. However, Ethereum has one significant limitation: its staking is still locked. In other words, if you stake Ether, you cannot withdraw your funds back to your own wallet.

There are already solutions to this problem offered by several crypto exchanges. It is possible to stake Ether through them and get a staked Ether token to your account. This token can be exchanged for real Ether at any time if desired.

The unlocking of staking will take place in the next significant hard fork. It’s called Shanghai. Last week, we received confirmation of Shanghai’s content and schedule.

It was earlier communicated that unlocking would take place in about six months. It seems that this schedule is more or less correct. The Shanghai hard fork will be launched in March 2023, if everything goes according to plan. The unlocking update is titled EIP-4495.

A meeting held by Ethereum developers also revealed the schedule for Ethereum’s major scaling update, EIP-4844. This will significantly improve the capacity of Ethereum with the help of sharding technology. The schedule for EIP-4844 is planned for autumn 2023.

It will be interesting to see what kind of boost Ethereum’s price gets from these updates during 2023.

Strike expands Lightning payments to Africa

Strike is a company that really hit the mainstream in 2021. This was due to founder Jack Mallers’ activities in El Salvador. Strike has been featured less in the news this year, but this week we received some interesting news about the company’s expansion to Africa.

First, let’s take a quick look at Strike’s technology. Strike enables transfers of fiat currencies practically in real-time and at no cost, utilizing Bitcoin’s lightning network. The transaction is first converted to satoshi for the LN transfer and then the sat -> fiat conversion is done at the recipient’s end.

Strike announced last week that it has expanded its service to no less than three African countries.

The new partnership will allow US users to send dollars to Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. A total of more than 300 million people live in these countries.

Strike cooperates with Bitnob, which operates in Africa. Dollars sent from Strike-app are converted at the recipient’s end into the national currency and automatically transferred to the recipient’s bank account, mobile money account or Bitnob account. Watch the demo in the video above.

“We can now save people sending money back home to Africa billions of USD in transfer fees,” says Bernard Parah, CEO of Bitnob. In the future, Bitcoin’s lightning network may replace operators like Western Union. For decades, they have made a huge account with transfer payments to developing countries.