Ethereum (ETH-USD) May Merge Ahead of Schedule


The crypto news keeps rolling in fast and furious. Here is the latest and greatest from Ethereum (ETH-USD), Binance (BNB-USD), plus an up-and-coming project called Geojam (JAM-USD):

Landscape art with the Ethereum
Source: shutterstock

Ethereum Could Merge As Soon As September 15

Ethereum’s lead developer tweeted this yesterday, generating tons of excitement and thousands of likes:

Huh? Turns out, that number was proposed on a team call Thursday as the “specific total terminal difficulty (TTD) which, in turn, will activate the Merge,” explains CoinDesk, “on (or around) September 15.”

At that point, the final ETH block would be mined on the old proof-of-work Ethereum… And all “transactions, apps, contracts [and] balances” would transfer to the new, proof-of-stake Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum developers got together for the call a few hours after completing a final test. “Called the Goerli upgrade, this most recent test launch is the third and final ‘dress rehearsal’ for the real Merge,” reports my InvestorPlace colleague Brenden Rearick. Based on the team call (which was livestreamed on YouTube), it sounds like there were very few bumps and developers were happy with how the network performed.

Next step: the “Bellatrix fork [that] will implement the software needed” to come along in the Merge, reports Cointelegraph. “This is scheduled to happen on Sept. 6.”

The only question now is if the Merge date should be further tweaked: Bellatrix’s date could push the Merge to the 16th, and developers didn’t sound enthused about a weekend launch – so scheduling discussions may continue!

Still, it’s encouraging to finally be closing in on the big upgrade. It’s been worked on since December 2020, with a couple previous deadlines coming and going. And the Merge is responsible for a lot of price action in ETH

Not to mention the scalability benefits for Ethereum users. Of which there are a LOT – and I expect that to continue given all the trouble with rival network Solana (SOL-USD), for instance.

Binance to Return $450,000 of Stolen Crypto Sent to Its Exchange

The bad news is: Popular DeFi Curve (CRV-USD) had $570,000 of ETH stolen from its users on Tuesday.

The good news is: Stolen crypto doesn’t do you much good unless you can use it… And when the thief tried to “send the funds to Binance in different ways, thinking we can’t catch it,” it was intercepted, as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted early this morning.

“Binance froze/recovered $450k of the Curve stolen funds, representing 83%+ of the hack. We are working with LE to return the funds to the users,” CZ further explains.

What happened: On Wednesday, Curve tweeted that the thief used “DNS cache poisoning” to steal the ETH. “The attack reconfigures the server to mimic the original webpage and tricks the users into entering assumed protected information,” explains Decrypt.

The domain name system (DNS) is all over the internet since it was just beginning in the 1980s! But now with Curve, “What has happened STRONGLY suggests to start moving to ENS instead of DNS,” Curve concludes.

Ethereum Name Service (ENS-USD) was the new hotness a few months ago, when Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) added its ENS crypto in November – and celebrities started putting their “jimmyfallon.eth” and “parishilton.eth” domains on Twitter.

But because it brings the “phone book of the internet” to Ethereum, ENS could be a lot more than that. “Changing to ENS would be a Web3 approach to DNS, creating a more secure namesource that is backed by two smart contracts on Ethereum,” Decrypt adds. And I’d have to imagine that would help ENS crypto regain some of its bull-market glory.

Listen Now: New Podcast Episode

What do Mariah Carey and Machine Gun Kelly have in common? (The rap-rocker, not the 1920s gangster.)

Geojam (JAM-USD): a music and video app where fans earn JAM crypto that gets you exclusive content, events, merch and NFTs.

On Thursday’s Untold Stories podcast with our own Charlie Shrem, Geojam co-founder and CEO Sarah Figueroa reflects on flying with Mariah on her private jet. Not she herself – a fan from Geojam got to hang out with Mariah Carey.

Sarah and Charlie discuss how emerging artists can build a community of “superfans” on Geojam, along with celebrities on major labels like Mariah and MGK:

Unlike Audius (AUDIO-USD), which hosts and streams the music itself – mainly “derivative content” (like remixes) – Geojam hooks into your Spotify or Apple Music to play the music. It’s more of a social network, like how music fans often use Instagram or Tik Tok… But with crypto rewards and NFTs, to share in the music economy.

Sarah Figueroa’s background combines being an early adopter of Ethereum – and “360˚ marketing experiences” like the ones Geojam delivers today. Talk about bridging the gap between crypto and the real world. And it’s been a great month for JAM crypto prices, too. Listen now to hear how Geojam is helping build the creator economy of the future.

On the date of publication, Ashley Cassell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines. To have more news from The New Digital World sent to your inbox, click here to sign up for the newsletter.

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