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Bellatrix, First of Two Ethereum Upgrades in Final Phase of The Merge, Goes Live

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Bellatrix, First of Two Ethereum Upgrades in Final Phase of The Merge, Goes Live
  • The Bellatrix upgrade, one of the final stages in Ethereum Proof-of-Stake transition, has gone live.
  • The Merge will take place with the Paris upgrade, expected around September 15.
  • Some exchanges and platforms are suspending Ether deposits during this time.

The Bellatrix upgrade for Ethereum, one of the final upgrades before The Merge takes place, has gone live. Bellatrix is an important step towards The Merge, which should take place around September 15. The upgrade prepares the chain for The Merge.

the merge in progrss
Bellatrix Activated: Paritosh

Bellatrix ensures that the validators can produce updated beacon blocks, which hold the data for merging the consensus layer and the proof-of-work layer. The Merge will only take place during the Paris upgrade, which is expected to take place around September 15. This should be executed at triggered by Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000. Subsequent blocks will be on the beacon, produced by validators.

The Ethereum Foundation has described the process as follows,

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“Once the execution layer reaches or exceeds the TTD, the subsequent block will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator. The Merge transition is considered complete once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block. Under normal network conditions, this will happen 2 epochs (or ~13 minutes) after the first post-TTD block is produced.”

The price of Ether had gone up by 6% in the leadup to Bellatrix, and it currently sits at roughly $1,660. Analysts and industry insiders expect Ethereum to receive a strong push from The Merge, and are hoping that it will be the start of a good bull run.

Bellatrix upgrade pushing ETH price
ETH Price: TradingView

How Stakeholders Are Preparing

However, not all node operators have made the necessary changes to prepare for The Merge. About 26.7% of node operators could find themselves syncing to the pre-fork chain. Node operators have been asked to upgrade their clients before epoch 144896.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also reminded them to do so. Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko also said the same on Twitter and was also celebrating the occasion.

The merge is still expected to happen around Sep 13-15. What’s happening today is the Bellatrix hard fork, which *prepares* the chain for the merge. Still important though – make sure to update your clients!

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 6, 2022

Meanwhile, Binance has suspended deposits and withdrawals of Ether and Wrapped Ether on a few networks starting from September 6 until The Merge is complete. FTX has said that it will suspend ETH and ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals half an hour before the Bellatrix upgrade. Aave will also not process Ether loans temporarily.

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Ethereum

Celsius Network Will Hold Its Final Asset Auction On This Date 

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Celsius Network Will Hold Its Final Asset Auction On This Date 
  • Celsius Network is set to hold its final asset auction on October 17, 2022 
  • FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is reportedly mulling over buying Celsius Network assets next week.

A recent court filing filed by Celsius reveals that the embattled crypto lender platform will conduct its final bidding session on October 17, 2022.

Celsius Is All Set to Host Its Final Auction Event 

Celsius Network has revealed a new timeline for its final auction event. The crypto lender platform will now be conducting its final bidding session on October 17, 2022, at 4:00 PM ET, alongside an auction, if necessary, on October 20, at 10:00 Eastern time.

Per the court filing filed with the US bankruptcy court for Southern New York, a sale hearing will be held on November 11, 1:00 PM ET, before chief US bankruptcy Judge Glenn Martin via Zoom.

Celsius Network, a prominent crypto lender platform, landed itself in troubled waters in July when the firm announced its decision to halt its deposits and withdrawals on the platform, citing extreme market conditions. The platform has received heavy criticism from the entire crypto community, which further spiralled out of control when the firm announced a deficit of 2.8 billion on its balance sheet.

In addition to this, Alex Mahinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, has recently submitted his resignation to the board. Mahinsky had reportedly withdrawn $10 million in the weeks before the firm halted deposits and withdrawals on its platform.

The auction, which is scheduled to go live on October 17, is said to be attended by a large number of interested parties. The CEO of FTX crypto platform, Sam Bankman-Fried, is also reportedly interested in purchasing the remaining assets of Celsius Network.

Last week, FTX.US won the first round of the Voyager asset auction by proposing a winning bid of $1.4 billion.

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Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg

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Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg
  • According to data from Bloomberg, money flowing out of crypto exchange-traded funds has slowed down by 97% in Q3 compared to Q2. 
  • Investors pulled $17.6 million from crypto ETFs in Q3 in comparison to a record withdrawal of $683.4 million from the ETF in Q2.

The second quarter of 2022 saw record withdrawals from crypto exchange-traded funds with a withdrawal of $683.4 million, which affected the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s price has seen a 60% decrease that quarter, posting a record low of $17,785 on June 17 according to data from Coingecko.

Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg 12

Bloomberg data reports that Q3 of 2022 saw much fewer sales, indicating that capitulation may have occurred and bearish investors are now already out of risky assets such as BTC, Ethereum, and others.

ETF Strategist at Strategas securities stated for Bloomberg:

“I wonder if the second quarter was the ‘get me out part of these funds,”

According to Sohn, the third quarter may have been where the “laggards” and investors who had been “keeping the faith mentality” are now out.

Markets have declined in recent months as central banks have increased interest rates to curb inflation.

Bitcoin Witnessed An Increase In Volume This Quarter Against GBP

Bitcoin recently witnessed increased trading volume against GBP as the fiat currencies showed weakness. Bitcoin trading volume recorded an all-time high on Sep 28, 2022, as the UK’s fiat currency was threatened.

Bitcoin has been outperforming other major currencies in the past week, with a positive increase of 6.3%. Will this outperformance continue to hold, and are investors getting “orange-pilled” on Bitcoin while losing faith in fiat currency? This is something we will continue monitoring and see how it unfolds.

Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg 13

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Indian Crypto Exchange WazirX Lays Off 40% Of Its Staff Citing The Ongoing Crypto Winter: Report 

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Indian Crypto Exchange WazirX Lays Off 40% Of Its Staff Citing The Ongoing Crypto Winter: Report 
  • Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has reportedly laid off 40% of its staff, Coindesk report adds
  • In a statement shared with the crypto news outlet, the exchange cites the prolonged crypto winter as its reason for slashing its workforce by 40%. 

Per a Coindesk report, Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has slashed its workforce by 40%, citing the ongoing crypto market phase. 

WazirX Cuts 40% of Its Workforce

In a statement shared with Coindesk, WazirX, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in India, has decided to lay off 40% of its staff, citing extreme crypto winter conditions. The company has reportedly laid off 50–70 people, three people familiar with the matter told Coindesk.

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The statement later adds that these employees will be paid for additional 45 days, and after that, the workers are not expected to attend the company anymore.

WazirX, which is dubbed as one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in India, has cited the prolonged crypto winter as its primary reason, leading the firm to slash its workforce by almost 40%.

“The crypto market has been in the grip of a bear market because of the current global economic slowdown. The Indian crypto industry has had its unique problems concerning taxes, regulations, and banking access. This has led to a dramatic fall in volumes on all Indian crypto exchanges. ” The statement reportedly added

The firm further stated that it prioritises consumer protection and its decision to lay off 40% of its staff has been taken to “weather the ongoing crypto winter phase.”

“As India’s No. 1 exchange, our priority is to be financially stable and to continue serving our customers,” the company said. To achieve this, we’ve had to reduce our staff to weather the crypto winter. This situation is similar to the trying times the industry faced in 2018. At that time, we doubled down and built our innovative P2P engine. The crypto industry operates in cycles, and the bear market is inevitably followed by a spectacular bull market. We will continue to focus on our customers’ needs and continue to build. “We are confident that we will come out stronger when the bull market arrives,” the statement later adds

With WazirX slashing its workforce by 40%, the firm has joined the growing league of cryptocurrency exchanges that have recently decided to lay off their employees to stay afloat during the ongoing crypto winter phase. Crypto exchange Coinbase had earlier cut back on its workforce, citing the prolonged crypto winter. Similarly, exchanges like Bybit, Gemini, BitPanda, BlockFi, and Robinhood have also slashed their workforce to sustain the ongoing bearish crypto market phase.

Image: WazirX/Twitter

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