Cryptocurrency roundup: ether hits a new high and a dramatic week for dogecoin-inspired SHIB

Saloni Sardana rounds up the main cryptocurrency stories in a week when ether hit a fresh record high and an obscure cryptocurrency hit the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. 

Welcome back, it was the week when ether hit a fresh record high and an obscure cryptocurrency, called SHIB, was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. 

Here are the top stories that caught our eye. 

Ether hits fresh all-time high 

Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, hit a fresh all-time high of almost $4,661 according to Investing.com data this week, and the rally shows little signs of abating. 

Experts attributed ether’s latest rally to an upgrade that took place on Friday and to its role in non-fungible-tokens (NFTs)

The Ethereum 2.0 Altair Beacon Chain Update is a pivotal step in achieving Ethereum 2.0, a significant upgrade to the network that has been bubbling since years.

The update paves the way for Ethereum’s transition from a “proof of work” to a “proof of stake” consensus mechanism. Both are methods of verifying transactions on the blockchain, but proof of work uses a lot of energy, while proof of stake is considered more energy efficient and reduces the risk of attacks by miners on the network.

Spain’s central bank tells financial institutions to reveal their cryptocurrency plans until 2024

The Bank of Spain (Banco de España, Spain’s central bank) is urging its financial institutions to detail their crypto plans for the next three years, according to a report by CoinDesk. 

The move, first reported by Spanish newspaper El Pais on Thursday, is an effort to understand “the impact that the ongoing process of digitalization and financial innovation may have,” according to an unnamed central bank source. 

Condesk says the bank has asked that commercial banks include information on their relationships they have with various cryptocurrency service providers. Banks are also being asked to reveal any stakes held in crypto companies as well as stating any plans on whether banks intend to provide custody services, trading or payment services, or offer any digital platform to customers until 2024.

The move comes as interest in the sector has risen over coming months, with major Spanish banks, such as Santander Group, revealing plans to offer a cryptocurrency exchange-traded-funds (ETF).

The Bank of Spain also published instructions last week on how institutions can begin to roll-out cryptocurrency services in Spain. 

Earlier this year, Spain’s leading opposition party, Partido Popular (PP), introduced a bill that paved the way for mortgages to be paid using cryptocurrencies. 

It’s a bad week for dogecoin spin-off shiba inu coin 

Dogecoin inspired token shiba inu coin (SHIB) crashed this week after a crypto “whale” (an entity or a person that holds enough units of cryptocurrency to visibly affect the market) moved as much as $2.3bn in tokens from a digital currency wallet, driving its value down by more than 20% on Thursday.

The token’s price had surged last month after evidence that a big holder bought 276.6 billion tokens. After Thursday’s price drop, the value of the token is still significantly low at $0.00005171 as of Friday morning. 

In a double whammy week of bad news for the token, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken opted not to list SHIB even though it said it would do so if one of its social media posts from last week garnered a minimum of 2,000 likes. Even though the post attracted almost 60,000 likes, Kraken backtracked and said that it has more work to do as it reviews its listing process. 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia offers crypto to retail customers

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is set to become the nation’s first high-street bank to offer its retail customers cryptocurrency trading. 

The CBA said it will team up with Gemini Trust Company, a US-based exchange, to provide access to a crypto exchange and custody service. 

CBA’s move is at odds with the nation’s four biggest banks. Earlier this year, the banks were criticised at a parliamentary hearing for shunning business with cryptocurrency providers. 

CBA said its decision was inspired by the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies. After a pilot takes place this year, CBA will offer the ability to buy, hold and sell ten cryptocurrencies. 

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

  • Bitcoin is up 4% at $61,500. 
  • Ether is up 7% to $4,485.
  • Dogecoin is down 11% to $0.26.
  • Cardano is up 2% to $1.98.
  • Solana is up 25% to $237.79.

What you need to watch out for

It is worth keeping an eye out on the price of ether. US banking giant Goldman Sachs thinks it could rise by 80% in the next two months and hit $8,000 if inflation expectations stay intact.

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