U.S. inflation in January was 6.4%. It declined slightly from the value registered one year ago (6.5%), but still was higher than expected.
Networks & Protocols
In the most recent Ethereum All Core Developers Execution (ACDE) call(#155), the team decided to go ahead with the Shanghai upgrade on Sepolia on the 28th of February, although a bug was found in the Zhejiang test network (given the bug could be easily patched). Moving on, they also agreed to ban Zero Blob Transaction, for now, to make things simpler for clients. The discussion on moving Ethereum’s transaction encoding to Simple Serialization (SSZ) will be a topic for a dedicated call.Overall, the team is on track to the Shanghai upgrade in March. To follow the developments, please check this link.
zkSync announced the launch of Fair Onboarding Alpha allowing registered projects to deploy on Ethreum mainnet. It also announced that its codebase is now open-source. The two versions of zkSync were renamed to reflect the new milestone and thus zkSync 2.0 to zkSync Era and zkSync 1.0 to zkSync Lite. The project is also expected to release a new protocol roadmap.
Recently, the Avalanche-based DeFi platform Platipus experienced a hack that resulted in an estimated loss of $8.5 million. However, the project was able to recover part of the lost funds. Meanwhile, Dexible informed that a hacker exploited a vulnerability in one of their latest smart contracts.
A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, authored by Hanna Halaburda and David Yermack, examines the operations and financial valuations of 13 crypto mining companies listed on the NASDAQ and have mining sites in North America. The research results suggest that the crypto mining stocks have a negative and significant beta compared to an index of electric utilities, indicating that ownership of a crypto mining company could be a viable form of risk management in the electric power industry.
The Relay market maintained its status, with the dominant player seeing a continuous drop in its market share. The total number of active relays still remains at 11.
A new paper by Andrew Mac addresses the question “What happens when your order hits mempool?” with a probabilistic queueing model. The research funded through the Flashbots FRP Grants program derives statistical models for the price impact of order flows both in the presence and absence of MEV extraction activity. The paper “Adversarial blockchain queues and trading on a CFMM” and Andrew’s blog post discuss this in more detail.
Siemens issued a $64 million bond using public blockchain, according to an announcement on February 14th. DekaBank, DZ Bank, and Union Investment invested in the bond.
The fundraising activity appears to be growing, based on data from the market. This week alone, projects managed to raise $218.8 million, bringing the total fundraising amount for the month up to $551.10 million.
This week saw the most funding rounds for the year, with a total of 25. Most of these were Seed rounds, accounting for just over half of the raises. The remaining round types were spread across the different stages, with one project conducting an Initial Public Offering.
Investors have begun to show increased interest in GameFi projects, and activity has been observed across all sectors.
Metaverse & NFTs
In January 2023, NFT lending recovered to the level of June 2022, while BendDAO continued to dominate the sector. Link.
Wyoming lawmakers approved a bill preventing individuals from being obliged to disclose their private keys in court.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Singapore-based Terraform Labs PTE Ltd and Do Hyeong Kwon with orchestrating a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud involving an algorithmic stablecoin and other crypto asset securities.
The SEC has also announced charges against former NBA player Paul Pierce for touting a crypto token on social media without disclosing his payment for the promotion and for making false and misleading promotional statements about the same crypto asset. According to the press release, Pierce had agreed to settle the charges and pay $1.409 million in penalties, disgorgement, and interest.