Ethereum: The Merge Delayed

The most recent test used a "shadow fork" to stress test Ethereum devs’ hypothesis about syncing and state growth.

The goal of the test was to guarantee that "The Merge," which will merge the proof-of-stake (POS) validation mechanism of the Beacon Chain with the Ethereum mainnet, replacing energy-intensive miners with ETH validators, goes as planned. The Merge is expected to take place later this year, and Singapore, Switzerland and Canada are the top countries most interested in the Merge.

The tests simulated the real Merge by having the nodes process genuine Ethereum transactions from the blockchain's mainnet; this contrasts with Ethereum testnets, which process transactions in a sandbox environment using fictitious ETH.

The Ethers that have been locked in the Beacon chain since late 2020 will be unlocked after the Merge takes place. However, this event will be delayed — Beiko tweeted on April 11 that the Merge will not happen in June, as previously predicted. On April 12, he followed up with another tweet, stating that the Merge would take a few more months.

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North Korea Sanctions: ETH Developer, Griffith, Fined and Sentenced.

A US district court has ruled that a former Ethereum developer, Virgil Griffith, would serve a six and half year prison sentence and would pay a fine of $100,000 for helping North Korea bypass international sanctions using cryptocurrencies.

The former developer pleaded guilty to the charge that he was involved in a conspiracy to evade international sanctions placed on the East Asian country. Griffin was arrested towards the end of 2019, in September, 7 months after delivering a talk at a conference in North Korea.

Although the crime made him liable to a twenty years imprisonment, by pleading guilty and striking a deal with the investigators, his punishment was reduced to 6.5 years. Of this time, he has served almost two years in the custody of his prosecutors.

Before being sentenced, his attorney claimed Griffith had an Obsessive Compulsive disorder, and that was why he traveled to North Korea - because he was obsessed.

The court disagreed with this claim, referencing Griffith's reputation of working with the government before his trip to the crypto conference. A picture he took in which he implied discontent with the sanctions was also referenced.

Brazil Parliament to Approve Bitcoin Law

The Bitcoin bill will be voted on by Brazil's Federal Senate on Tuesday, April 19. Even though the bill is up for a vote, there are no guarantees it will pass.

The preliminary proposition was accepted by the country's Chamber of Deputies, which has legislative authority, in December 2021 and was immediately referred to the Senate for examination. The initiative was authorized by the Commission on Economic Matters (CAE (NYSE: CAE) in February.

While speaking, a Senator noted that the major goals of the "Bitcoin Law" are to: "secure the virtual asset market," "defend the economic and financial order," and "protect the Brazilian investor."

According to a Senator, the bill is not in opposition to cryptocurrencies but rather "seeks to increase investor trust and, as a result, increase the stability of enterprises functioning in this market.”

He further claimed that the most pressing aspect of the idea is establishing a state organization or entity to regulate and supervise the crypto-asset market. For him, that body should be the Brazilian Central Bank.

It is important to note that this bill will not make Bitcoin legal tender. Rather, the law only states the regulatory bodies responsible for coordinating its transactions.

Swiss Public Exchange Lists 2 Crypto ETPs

Switzerland’s main stock exchange, Six Swiss Exchange, has launched two carbon-neutral cryptocurrency exchange-traded products (ETPs) issued by the investment products company, Helveteq. The latest additions, Bitcoin Zero/BTCO2 and Ether Zero/ETHCO, bring the total number of tradable crypto ETPs to 155 since the first crypto ETP launched on the exchange in December 2018.

The ETPs target retail and institutional investors by offering them exposure and the opportunity to participate in the Bitcoin market without having to store private keys or having substantive knowledge of Blockchain technology.

LUNA Foundation Guard Buys $100 Million Worth of BTC

On Wednesday, the LUNA Foundation Guard (LFG) purchased a large amount of Bitcoin, increasing its currency reserve to secure the Terra network's stablecoin, Terra USD (UST). The transparent nature of Bitcoin blockchain allows everyone to notice large movements of liquidity or purchases like this.

Terra’s goal of investing $10 billion into BTC reserves aims to make its stablecoin, UST, less vulnerable to volatility. The 2,508.94 BTC transaction took place on Wednesday, three days after a 4,130 BTC purchase was made. According to exchange rates at transaction time, the purchase was worth $99,914,270.

The LFG Bitcoin reserves now hold 42,406.92 BTC worth an estimated $1.79 billion after the latest addition. Although deposits have been made almost 70 times into the Foundation’s wallet, no withdrawals followed.

Apart from stocking up on Bitcoin as a leverage for reserves to defend the UST stablecoin, LFG also announced that it would diversify the UST FX reserves with the addition of avalanche (AVAX) tokens. LFG announced a $100 million direct purchase of AVAX from the Avalanche Foundation.

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