Crypto roundup: Market cap grows by $250bn, Ethereum Merge might happen earlier than scheduled.

Now, here are the major crypto updates from this week

This week, there has been a relative quiet in the crypto space. Bitcoin has struggled to hit the $25,000 mark, a price it hasn’t been in two months. However, its second-in-command, Ethereum, reached a major milestone that pushed its market price above $1,900 at a point.

Guess why? An Ethereum protocol developer revealed that Ethereum’s Mainnet merge may occur sooner than expected. Good news for the DeFi king proponents.On the flip side. A crypto week is not really complete without the story of a hack. Is it? While the dust is yet to settle on last week’s $6 million Solana wallet hack, another report emerged late Tuesday that DeFi Protocol, Curve Finance was hacked and $507,000 was stolen. 

$250 billion added to crypto market cap in one month 

The outlook of the crypto market is gradually looking brighter after months of bearish reality as $250 billion has been added to its capitalisation over the past 30 days. 

At press time, calculating from the last 30 days, the total cryptocurrency market cap has increased from $911 billion to $1.14 trillion, its highest value in two months, according to CoinMarketCap data. 

Although those figures are still a far cry from the ATH of $2.9 trillion in November 2021, the accumulated growth is an uplifting sign for crypto investors. It has also demonstrated the market recovery back above the psychologically important $1 trillion market cap level.

One of the causes of the recent growth is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which came out more favourable than expected.

The latest data shows a slowdown in inflation as it dropped from 9.1% in June, to 8.5% in July and reduced the FUD in the crypto sector that had been affecting the price of cryptocurrencies. 

Fresh details on Ethereum Merge

Terence Tsao, the Ethereum protocol developer, has revealed that Ethereum’s Mainnet merge may occur sooner than expected. 

According to Tsao, the merge of Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) is “tentatively” scheduled for TTD 5875000000000000000000. This means that Ethereum enthusiasts may see the Merge Mainnet upgrade occur on September 15 or September 16, 2022. 

Notably, the Mainnet Merge upgrade was initially tipped to take place on September 19, 2022. However, Tsao noted that there is a possibility that the date may change at the last minute. 

Note: nothing is final until it’s in client release, so do expect changes at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances,” –  Tsao said.

The Merge is an important aspect of the launch of Ethereum 2.0. Although ETH 2.0 is good news for investors, miners do not feel excited about the upgrade. A shift from the Ethereum PoW consensus algorithm to PoS will take away their source of revenue which is miners’ rewards. 

Curve Finance gets hacked 

According to an announcement on Twitter late Tuesday, hackers stole around $570,000 from the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Curve.Finance. 

As reported by Cointelegraph, the hacker likely gained access to Curve Finance’s nameserver and changed Curve’s IP address to the hacker’s IP address, resulting in users being sent to the hacker’s website where a malicious link was planted to steal their stablecoins. 

The hacker stole approximately 605,000 USDC and 6,700 DAI stablecoins (worth approximately $570,000 USD) before it was discovered, all of which were swapped for ETH. 

The hacker laundered 27.7 ETH through the Tornado Cash crypto mixer service and sent 292 ETH to the FixedFloat exchange, which was able to freeze 112 ETH once the attack was discovered. 

Unfortunately but fortunately for the scammer, the rest of the ETH was swapped for BTC, LTC, and BNB before the hack was known, and were withdrawn to their respective blockchain networks where they are now untouchable. 

Curve.Finance is an integral part of the DeFi ecosystem due to its CRV token rewards emissions, which serve as a source of income for several other protocols.