Cryptocurrency roundup: litecoin blunder, cardano update and bitcoin mining in Laos

Saloni Sardana looks at the week’s biggest stories in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Welcome back. 

It was an unusual week for cryptocurrencies: Cardano’s much anticipated network update finally took place; cryptocurrency Litecoin said it “screwed up” by sharing a false press release; and much more. 

Here are the top stories that you may have missed. 

Litecoin says it “screwed up” by retweeting a false Walmart partnership release

Cryptocurrency litecoin shot to fame this week, but for the wrong reasons. 

Charlie Lee, litecoin’s founder, told Bloomberg that it had really “screwed up” after a zealous employee retweeted a factually inaccurate press release that said litecoin would be teaming up with Walmart for payments. 

The rumour sparked a 25% rise in the cryptocurrency, but those gains were quickly eroded once it emerged the press release was false. 

The debacle shed light on the weaknesses of the cryptocurrency: "The thing is with litecoin, a decentralised cryptocurrency, anyone can really start supporting it and accepting it without talking to me or without going through the Litecoin Foundation,” Lee told Bloomberg on Monday. 

Cardano’s  Alonzo network upgrade attracts 100 smart contracts on the first day 

Cardano’s long awaited Alonzo update – which enables smart contract functionality – finally went live on Monday and saying it received a warm welcome would be an understatement –  100 smart contracts were processed in just 24 hours of it taking place. 

Touted as the “next big thing” after Ethereum, the cardano blockchain can be used to build smart contracts, protocols and decentralised applications. It was co-founded by mathematician Charles Hoskinson and by former Ethereum worker Jeremy Wood, to build a more scalable and secure blockchain network, two things Hoskinson believes Ethereum will find difficult to fully achieve. 

Cardano’s platform is made up of two layers: the “cardano settlement layer’ (CSL) and the “control layer”. The former acts as a unit of account and allows token holders to send and receive cardano immediately at very low transaction costs. The latter is a set of protocols that have many functions, including running smart contracts, ensuring security, and facilitating identity recognition. 

Laos authorises crypto mining and trading 

Laos has given cryptocurrency mining and trading the green light in an uncharacteristic policy decision – the country just warned stakeholders last month about the risks of using cryptocurrencies. So why did it do it? 

It is likely that Laos tapped into cryptocurrencies to “profit from the crackdown on digital currency mining in China,” reports the Financial Times, adding that it is a “logical step” for the country, “which produces a surplus of hydroelectric power”.

Six companies, including a bank and construction groups, were authorised to commence mining activities and even start trading cryptocurrencies. 

The next step will be for the Bank of Laos and the country’s national power utility to regulate the industry. 

Solana crashes after a network outage

Solana, the blockchain belonging to the cryptocurrency “sol”, which rose to become the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, crashed this week due to an outage. 

The outage was caused by a spike in transaction volumes, with the network’s transaction load peaking at 400,000 transactions per second. 

Sol hit an all-time high the week before and had risen around 350% in the previous month alone, and has very much been the darling of the crypto world. It has been touted as a serious challenger to Ethereum, even more than rival altcoin cardano is. 

But the outage did little favours to sol in upending its reputation as a rival to Ethereum. The outage on the network ended on Wednesday. 

Cryptocurrency markets update

Here’s what happened in the cryptocurrency market in the last seven days:

  • Bitcoin rose 3.4% to $47,837.
  • Ether rose 3% to $3,513. 
  • Dogecoin fell 0.5% to $0.25.
  • Cardano fell 4.3% to $2.40. 
  • Solana fell 25% to $140.1. 

What you need to watch out for

Ethereum’s “Layer 2” upgrades

By the end of the month, Ethereum is planning to implement two new “Optimistic Rollups”, which speed up the way smart contracts pass data from one network to another. The two upgrades are called Optimism and Arbitrum, respectively.

Recommended

Should I buy an annuity now? Annuity rates reach 14-year high
Pensions

Should I buy an annuity now? Annuity rates reach 14-year high

Retirees can now make their original pension pot back in 15 years, down from 22 years. We look at whether now is a good time to buy an annuity.
5 Oct 2022
The Burberry share price looks like a good bet
Trading

The Burberry share price looks like a good bet

The Burberry share price could be on the verge of a major upswing as the firm’s profits return to growth.
5 Oct 2022
What’s happened to Credit Suisse stock?
Bank stocks

What’s happened to Credit Suisse stock?

Credit Suisse stock has slumped on rumours that the bank is in trouble. Is there any truth in this speculation?
5 Oct 2022
Markets may have bounced, but this is not the end of the bear market
Stockmarkets

Markets may have bounced, but this is not the end of the bear market

Stocks are back on the rise, commodities and precious metals prices are up – even the pound has rebounded. But none of this is typical of bull markets…
5 Oct 2022

Most Popular

Should you take a 25% tax-free pension lump sum in instalments?
Pensions

Should you take a 25% tax-free pension lump sum in instalments?

Taking out a 25% tax-free lump sum sounds appealing but it might not be the best way to manage your pension
30 Sep 2022
Mortgage early repayment charges: are they worth the cost?
Mortgages

Mortgage early repayment charges: are they worth the cost?

With interest rates set to rise further in the months ahead, is it worth swallowing early repayment charges to refinance your mortgage today?
4 Oct 2022
Why the Bank of England intervened in the bond market
Government bonds

Why the Bank of England intervened in the bond market

A sudden crisis for pension funds exposed to rapidly rising bond yields meant the Bank of England had to act. Cris Sholto Heaton looks at the lessons …
30 Sep 2022