Do Kwon faces legal trouble in South Korea, China remains Bitcoin mining powerhouse, and Ethereum 2.0 eyes ‘huge testing milestone’: Hodler’s Digest, May 15-21

Regulation

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Court documents reveal Do Kwon dissolved Terraform Labs Korea days before LUNA crash

Terraform Labs co-founder dissolved two of the entity’s locations in South Korea, as well as Terraform Labs Korea, just prior to the LUNA and UST collapse, according to legal documents. Although the decision to dissolve the offices was made during an April 30 shareholder meeting, the timing raised eyebrows within the cryptocurrency community. 

As one might expect, the aftermath of Terra’s implosion continued to reverberate across the market this week. South Korea’s government is looking into the situation and Do Kwon himself could be summoned to a parliamentary hearing.

Huge testing milestone for Ethereum: Ropsten testnet Merge set for June 8

In the first half of June, Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet merge is scheduled to commence. Put simply, the event will simulate the Ethereum proof-of-work (PoW) mainnet and Ethereum proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon Chain merge.

“Ropsten testnet is getting merged on June 8!” said Prysmatic Labs Ethereum core developer Preston Van Loon. “Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum’s mainnet merge later this year.”

Further reporting indicates an August target for the actual merge.

China returns as 2nd top Bitcoin mining hub despite the crypto ban

Although China banned crypto in 2021, the country still accounts for about 21% of Bitcoin’s mining power as of January 2022, according to data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). 

Back in 2019, China held over 75% of the world’s Bitcoin hash rate. Although 21% is a step down from its former glory, the number puts China in second place in terms of BTC’s global hash rate, with the United States in first. The CBECI also included data on other countries, revealing that the states of Kentucky, Georgia and Texas currently lead BTC hash rate production in the U.S.

Crypto giants co-launch Chainabuse platform to water down rising scams

The crypto community now has a free platform for raising awareness about scams and other nefarious activity, thanks to combined efforts from Circle, Aave, TRM Labs, Civic, Hedera, The Solana Foundation and Binance.US. 

The online platform, called Chainabuse, offers both individuals and businesses a place to provide awareness about fraud in crypto and finance. Additionally, the platform includes a database of hacks and scams.

Goldman Sachs and Barclays invest in UK crypto trading platform Elwood

Elwood Technologies, an institutional crypto trading platform, has secured investment from two mainstream giants: Barclays and Goldman Sachs. Part of a Series A funding round, the investments from the mega banks came alongside other players, such as Galaxy Digital. 

Goldman sees increasing institutional crypto interest, according to global head of digital assets Matthew McDermott. “As institutional demand for cryptocurrency rises, we have been actively broadening our market presence and capabilities to cater for client demand,” he said.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $29,037, Ether (ETH) at $1,943 and XRP at $0.40. The total market cap is at $1.24 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Kyber Network Crystal v2 (KNC) at 46.16%, KuCoin Token (KCS) at 19.99% and Kadena (KDA) at 17.37%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are TerraUSD (UST) at -62.18%, Convex Finance (CVX) at -23.47% and Helium (HNT) at -21.56%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“When the market is hot, it’s hard to focus because there is so much noise.”

Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, partnerships lead at Joyn

“Focusing on and investing in user experience is the road to mass adoption and to the new world of Web3.”

Dominik Schiener, co-founder and chairman of the Iota Foundation

“Ethereum’s overwhelming mindshare helps explain why its users have been willing to pay more than $15 million in fees per day on average just to use the blockchain.”

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)

“If you create an algorithmic stablecoin and you don’t expect speculative attacks, welcome to the real world.”

Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist for Bloomberg

“ESG is a scam. It has been weaponized by phony social justice warriors.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

“Crypto as a technology and asset class introduces value and innovation that are unique and irreplaceable, and we believe that one bad apple in the short run will not affect long-term demand for crypto assets and the industry as a whole.”

Jun Du, co-founder of Huobi Global

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin price predictions abound as traders focus on the next BTC halving cycle

Bitcoin remained in the doldrums this week, reflecting uncertainty and subdued demand across the digital asset space. Speculation on where BTC might head next revolves around the timing of the asset’s four-year halving cycle, as well as Bitcoin’s previous price action. One possible outcome, based on the halving cycle, sees BTC’s price potentially bottoming in the final two months of 2022. Some speculators, however, remain hopeful for an upcoming $100,000 blow-off top for BTC.

FUD of the Week 

Deus Finance’s dollar-pegged stablecoin DEI falls below 60 cents

DEI, an algorithmic stablecoin of the Deus Finance project, declined to $0.52 earlier this week. The asset was meant to hold value on par with $1. However, DEUS, the project’s governance token, increased significantly in price, reaching $327.28 at one point, up from $163.40. The DEI price collapse came after the protocol experienced two flash loan attacks in recent months. Fears of a UST-style bank run on the asset also compelled Deus Finance developers to pause DEI redemptions.

South Korean watchdog reportedly fines Terraform Labs $78M for tax evasion

Terraform Labs and Do Kwon reportedly must pay $78 million due to tax evasion, according to news outlet Naver. The tax evasion charges come from South Korea’s tax authority. 

This is not the first time Terraform Labs has raised red flags on tax evasion. The company first appeared on tax authorities’ radar in June 2021 on suspicions of corporate and income tax evasion.

Axie Infinity’s Discord bot compromised, hackers issue fake minting message

The Discord channel for GameFi NFT project Axie Infinity saw its MEE6 bot (a commonly-used tool on Discord for channel management) compromised this week. Among its wrongful actions, the apprehended bot put out an untrue minting announcement. MEE6 bot takeovers are reportedly nothing new. The situation was fixed, although users may have to restart Discord for the changes to take effect. The MEE6 Discord support channel did not acknowledge the suspicious activity.

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Indian government’s ‘blockchain not crypto’ stance highlights lack of understanding

India’s “blockchain, not crypto” stance has led to disastrous crypto policies, forcing several thriving crypto firms to relocate.

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