Ethereum’s Shanghai Upgrade Unlocks $31 Billion in Staked Ethereum

On April 12th, Ethereum’s Shanghai Upgrade unlocked 18 million staked Ethereum, worth approximately $34.2 billion, from its blockchain, enabling 560,000 validators to unstake their funds. The upgrade follows Ethereum’s Merge, which ditched a proof-of-work (POW) process and replaced it with an environmentally friendly transaction-validation method called proof of stake (POS). The POS approach rewards validators with freshly minted Ethereum for locking up their crypto. Shanghai also features upgrades to the execution layer of Ethereum, which could help further reduce gas fees for transactions. Following the upgrade, the market may experience a heightened supply of Ethereum, causing a temporary price dip, as validator providers reshuffle and re-evaluate their positions with their now “unlocked” Ethereum.

Binance.US Struggling to Find New American Banking Partners Amidst Regulatory Action

Binance.US, the U.S. arm of the industry-leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, is struggling to find American banking partners to handle its customers’ deposits following the recent failures of crypto-friendly Signature Bank and Silvergate Capital. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance on March 27th for “wilful evasion” of American laws, prompting distraught investors to withdraw $1.6 billion from the exchange. Binance.US has been attempting to establish new relationships with Cross River Bank and Customers Bancorp but banks have been reluctant to partner over Binance’s regulatory risk and uncertainty concerns. Despite unsuccessful attempts to establish relationships with other banks thus far, Binance.US has stated they are “onboarding new partners while upgrading internal systems to create a more stable fiat platform and offer additional services.”

Crypto Exchange Bitget Launches $100 Million Fund to Drive Web3 Adoption In Asia

Crypto exchange Bitget has launched a $100 million Web3 fund to support Asian-based startups as countries in the region build their frameworks for the development of Web3. The move follows increased efforts by several East Asian countries, including Hong Kong and Japan, to promote crypto in recent months. Bitget has supported innovative projects and the development of Web3, and the fund’s launch reflects the company’s ongoing efforts to drive crypto adoption, according to Managing Director Gracy Chen. The exchange is debt-free and has the sufficient cash flow to fund the initiative, as per a Bitget spokesperson. The fund follows Bitget’s $30 million investment in the decentralized, multi-chain wallet BitKeep.

Japan’s Web3 Project Team Releases White Paper to Boost Ecosystem’s Growth

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Web3 project team in Japan has released a white paper proposing recommendations to promote the country’s crypto industry. The paper suggests clear accounting standards, a DAO law, and greater tax reforms. It highlights the urgent need for guidelines for Web3 companies to find auditors and a transparent procedure for token issuers to present information necessary for reviewing and developing proposals for yen-backed stablecoins. The paper also suggests public-private partnerships to set guidelines on legal business models for fantasy sports services relating to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto visas for skilled workers. The document recommends that a Web3 minister should take charge of promoting policies and cooperation with other countries.