Also today, two major stablecoin issuers have announced that they will fully support Ethereum's switch to a Proof-of-Stake blockchain.
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The crypto winter has hit Coinbase hard. Financial results show the exchange suffered a $1.1 billion loss in the second quarter as the bear market scared away everyday investors. But attempting to put a brave face on the report, executives said: "It's never as bad as it seems." Trading volumes plunged by 30% in this three-month period to $217 billion. And while the exchange had 11.2 million monthly transacting users in the final quarter of 2021 — when Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $68,700 — this figure has dwindled to 9 million. Transaction fee revenues are a big part of Coinbase's business model, but many users are trading less. With $6.2 billion in the bank, Brian Armstrong wants to build his way out of the bear market.
A mischievous Tornado Cash user is poking holes in America's decision to sanction the coin mixer — and stop U.S. citizens from using it. They've sent 0.1 ETH to the publicly known addresses of top celebrities including Jimmy Fallon, Logan Paul and Beeple. This is a tactic that's known as "dusting" — and in theory, these transactions would mean these public figures have unwittingly fallen afoul of U.S. sanctions... perhaps without even knowing. All of this may have exposed a major flaw to human-readable crypto addresses, as there's no way of blocking people from sending funds to an account. The U.S. has been criticized for sanctioning Tornado Cash, with supporters arguing it has many legal use cases.
Two major stablecoin issuers have announced that they will fully support Ethereum's switch to a proof-of-stake blockchain. Tether and USD Coin are both backing the long-awaited merge, which is due to take place in the middle of September. Circle, which issues USDC, warned that it has no plans to support any proof-of-work forks that may emerge. And pointing to the benefits of PoS, it says the switch could enhance scalability while slashing energy consumption. Tether said that, to ensure there's no disruption to DeFi products or platforms, it's important the transition "is not weaponized to cause confusion and harm within the ecosystem." Tron's founder Justin Sun recently argued that PoW remains an "essential" part of Ethereum.
Robinhood is going to pay $9.9 million to a group of users who are suing over repeated outages. About 150,000 users had alleged they were affected by the disruption back in 2020, during a pronounced bout of volatility on the stock market. Their estimates suggested that the technical difficulties had caused them to lose more than $20 million. While the outages primarily affected those trading stocks, the settlement could create a precedent when it comes to platforms making payouts to compensate for outages. A number of crypto exchanges have come under criticism for buckling under pressure during times of extreme volatility — leaving investors unable to buy and sell assets when prices are exploding or plummeting.