Three biggest crypto stories from the past week
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The past week in the crypto industry was busy with news. Ethereum’s Bellatrix update, Binance’s BUSD push, and the White House’s call for cryptomining standards were some of the week’s highlights.
Ethereum Bellatrix Update
Ethereum’s Merge got closer last week when its Bellatrix update went live on Tuesday. Bellatrix is the final step before the Ethereum blockchain moves to a proof-of-stake consensus model from its current proof-of-work model. The Bellatrix update prepares Ethereum’s proof-of-stake Beacon Chain for The Merge at its mainnet execution level.
The final leg of the merger is Paris, which is expected to take place next week, around September 14th or 15th. The Beacon Chain (Consensus layer) validators then take over from the proof-of-work miners to start finalizing the Ethereum central network blocks.
Binance’s BUSD push
Crypto exchange operator Binance on Monday introduced a “BUSD Auto-Conversion” process that automatically converts users’ current balances and new deposits of the three stablecoins into its own stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD). These three stable coins are USD Coin (USDC), Pax Dollar (USDP) and TrueUSD (TUSD).
The transfer starts on September 29. Binance said it will not affect users’ choices to cancel. They can still withdraw funds in USDC, USDP and TUSD.
In addition to the automatic conversion, Binance will also stop trading three stablecoins against BUSD and Tether (USDT), as well as major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. Stablecoin-stablecoin pairs close on September 26th and stablecoin-stablecoin pairs close on September 29th.
Binance’s move was welcomed by competitors as it is expected to boost user liquidity.
White House demand for mining standards
On Thursday, the White House released a comprehensive cryptomining report highlighting the industry’s energy use and impact on climate change.
The report was based on US President Joe Biden’s executive order on cryptocurrencies and called for standards to minimize the environmental impact of mining cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. These proposed standards focus on, among other things, clean energy, low water and low energy intensity use, the report says.
Other suggestions in the report include more comprehensive data collection on cryptomining energy use and “developing energy conservation standards for cryptoasset mining rigs, blockchains and other operations.”
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