Ethereum Ropsten testnet planned for June 8 marks “huge milestone”

The Ropsten public testnet, a testing environment that is the closest replication of the Ethereum mainnet, is set to undergo its long awaited merge on June 8.

The merge will mimic Ethereum’s upcoming transition from using a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake one. This allows developers to test and finalise adjustments for Ethereum’s mainnet merge later this year.

Ethereum DevOps engineer Parathi Jayanathi submitted a pull request for the Ropsten...

A16z State of Crypto: “It is still early days for web3”

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a prominent venture capital firm investing heavily in the web3 sector, has published its first “State of Crypto” report exploring current trends in the market.

The overarching takeaway from the report is that web3 and the crypto market develop in cycles.

As prices climb, interest in the sector grows to the point where it can no longer be sustained. Following a (usually steep) falloff in prices, innovators develop new projects that revive...

Medha Parlikar & Niamh O’Connell, CasperLabs: Enterprise adoption in blockchain

CasperLabs is the overseer of the Casper blockchain, a proof-of-stake network optimised for enterprise and developer adoption that launched in early 2021.

The Zug-based company provides engineering and professional services to enterprise clients looking to migrate key business processes to a secure and scalable blockchain.

Following a recent partnership with Amazon Web Services and expansion into the Chinese market, The Block caught up with CasperLabs’ CTO and...

ETH2 sentiment grows bullish as Q2 consensus layer merge awaits

Ethereum metropolis hard fork

Excitement surrounding ETH2, a series of upgrades designed to improve the Ethereum blockchain, is building as the network prepares to transition from mining to staking.

Last week Ethereum developers successfully tested the long-awaited merge of the blockchain’s proof-of-work and proof-of-stake chains.

Ethereum currently runs on a proof-of-work mechanism, similar to Bitcoin, in which new transactions are verified by computers solving complex mathematical...

StarkWare set to reach £4.5bn valuation for its blockchain scaling solutions

Layers

StarkWare, an Ethereum Layer 2 start-up, is on track to close a $100 million (£76m) funding round, according to Israeli news source Calcalistech.

Whilst not yet announced, the funding will follow a $50 million (£38m) Series C from November last year that pulled in investors such as Sequoia Capital, Paradigm, Three Arrows, and more. Back then, the company was pegged at a $2 billion (£1.53bn) valuation.

Now expected to push for a $6 billion (£4.57bn) valuation,...

Intel launches new blockchain accelerator chip for crypto mining

Intel

Intel has launched a new chip designed specifically for blockchain use cases such as Bitcoin mining and minting NFTs.

The crypto-specialised chip, which Intel calls its “blockchain accelerator”, will ship later this year. Jack Dorsey’s fintech firm Block – formerly Square – has already preordered the technology, along with Bitcoin mining company GRIID Infrastructures.

Considering crypto mining’s immense energy usage, Intel has said it is focused on...

Binance partners with CAF as Africa Cup of Nations’ blockchain sponsor

Binance Logo

Leading exchange Binance is sponsoring the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the largest international men’s football competition in Africa.

As part of an official partnership with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Binance has taken the mantle of AFCON 2021’s exclusive cryptocurrency and blockchain sponsor.

The deal will involve Binance promoting CAF social media content, such as the assist of the day, assist of the week, and assist of the...

PayPal is exploring its own stablecoin

PayPal Office, Dublin

PayPal has confirmed it is exploring its own stablecoin after code and logos relating to a “PayPal Coin” were discovered in the company’s iPhone app.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, senior vice president of crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, told Bloomberg, “We are exploring a stablecoin; if and when we seek to move forward, we will of course, work closely with relevant regulators.”

Hidden code and images of a possible currency symbol show work is underway on...

Alchemy valued at £2.5bn following Series C funding led by a16z

Cobweb

Alchemy, a leading infrastructure provider for blockchain and Web3 developers, has raised £183 million in its Series C funding round, bringing its valuation to £2.56 billion.

The round was led by venture capital firm a16z, with Lightspeed and Redpoint also joining as new investors. Existing investors Coatue, DFJ, and Pantera also participated with additional investment.

The company, which compares its role in blockchain and Web3 development to Amazon Web Services’...

Twitter working on ‘Collectible’ tab for users to showcase their NFTs

Twitter App

Twitter is working on a ‘Collectible’ tab that will allow users to show off their non-fungible token (NFT) collections.

The tab will connect to Twitter users’ crypto wallets on platforms such as Coinbase and MetaMask, hosting a gallery of all owned NFTs on their Twitter profile.

Users will even be able to set an NFT as their profile picture that is verified by a small badge, confirming the token’s legitimacy. An early concept video of the proposed tab was first...