The Week in Crypto – Coinbase, Tesla, Ethereum, and more!

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This week in crypto we’ve seen Coinbase, Skybridge, Ethereum, BNP Paribas, and more make headlines in the crypto world. But which stories were the cream of the crop? Let’s find out

No. 3 – Ethereum Merge Date Revealed

Eight years after its founder Vitalik Buterin first discussed the potential of the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, his Ethereum project finally has a date at which it will transition to it.

The source was an innocent agenda sheet for a forthcoming Ethereum developer meeting which stated that the merge would happen around the week of September 19th. The road to PoS has been a long one for Ethereum, but a largely successful one with no hurdles proving to be insurmountable.

The move to PoS will make Ethereum faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly, although critics say it will become more centralised and less secure.

No. 2 – Coinbase Product Manager Arrested for Insider Trading

Those who have been in the space for a few years will know of the phenomenon of the ‘Coinbase pump’, where coins that the exchange announced would be listed enjoyed a temporary price spike. The practice has all but stopped given that Coinbase now lists any old tat going, but the phenomenon was apparently enough to convince a product manager, Ishan Wahi, to allegedly run an insider trading ring with his brother and a friend.

Wahi would allegedly tell the other two the names of coins that Coinbase was seeking to list, and they would buy up tens of thousands of dollars worth in the days beforehand, selling when the news dropped and the price spiked. The trio made some $1.5 million from the enterprise before the behaviour was noticed by a Twitter user.

Coinbase got wind of this and asked Wahi for a meeting…at which point he tried to flee the country, only to be arrested at the airport. His brother, Nikhil, was also arrested in connection with the scam, while the third man, Sameer Ramani, remains at large.

No.1 – Tesla Sells Out

The biggest story this week concerns Tesla, which sold 75% of its bitcoin holdings in an effort to boost its cash balance. The action masked a poor quarter for the car maker, which is plagued by rumours of poorly performing vehicles, lower sales, and a COVID quarantine in Shanghai affecting production.

Musk went back on his promise last July that “I might pump, but I don’t dump…I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling or anything like that. I would like to see Bitcoin succeed.” He added on an investor call however that the sale, which boosted Tesla’s coffers by $936 million, was not a “verdict on Bitcoin” and added that the company had not sold any of its Dogecoin.

It’s likely that Tesla made a loss on its holdings, which it purchased in February 2021, which is incredible when considering that Bitcoin was over $60,000 on two occasions last year. It’s clear that selling now, potentially at the bottom of a bear market, was an act of unfortunate timing for the car company.
Honourable Mentions
While these stories may have been the pick of the bunch, this week has also seen some other beauties, including:

We’ll be back next Friday to see which stories catch our eye!