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OpenSea senior employee resigns amid insider trading review, Solana stalls

2021.09.19 Adam James

While there was no shortage of drama in the cryptocurrency space this week, Ethereum kept producing blocks and surpassed $1 billion in ETH burned.

It’s been a particularly eventful week for the blockchain industry — even by the cryptocurrency space’s standards. Topping headlines this week is the resignation of OpenSea’s head of product after the nonfungible token platform commenced a review into allegations that Nate Chastain engaged in insider trading. Additionally, Solana experienced an hours-long outage that forced something of a centralized restart as Ethereum surpassed more than $1 billion in ETH burned.

Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKEx Insights’ News of the Week.

OpenSea head of product resigns amid insider trading investigation

Following accusations from OpenSea users that the NFT platform’s now-former head of product, Nate Chastain, engaged in insider trading, co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer asked the senior employee to resign his position. 

At the same time, an investigation of the incident is currently still underway.

Key takeaway

  • On-chain data suggests that Chastain used insider knowledge to front-run trades for NFTs before OpenSea listed them on its front-page. The transactions are not difficult to associate with the former head of product, thanks to his ownership of CryptoPunk #3501.

Solana temporarily stops producing blocks

The Solana mainnet temporarily stopped producing blocks on Tuesday after a spike in transactions reached as high as 400,000 transactions per second. The stoppage lasted for several hours before stakeholders in the network orchestrated a restart on Wednesday.

Key takeaways

  • Solana — which is often marketed as an Ethereum competitor with a faster throughput and lower fees — has certainly taken a loss in the war to become the dominant smart-contract blockchain after the outage.
  • Meanwhile, Solana’s decentralization has also been called into question after a relatively small number of key stakeholders were required to restart the network.

Ethereum burns more than $1 billion in ETH

The Ethereum network has burned more than $1 billion in ETH since the implementation of EIP-1559 in the London upgrade on Aug. 5. As of the time of this writing, nearly 308,000 ETH has been burned — totaling nearly $1.1 billion at current prices.

Key takeaway

  • The nearly 308,000 burned ETH is 308,000 less ETH that could have been held or sold by Ethereum miners — theoretically reducing sell pressure on the second-ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Art Blocks Curated scores another generative-art winner

A new NFT collection, Monica Rizzolli’s “Fragments of an Infinite Field,” has garnered widespread praise from the wider community. The Dutch auction for the Art Blocks Curated collection sold out in less than one hour and netted 1,623 ETH — worth approximately $5.38 million at the time of the sale.

The cheapest NFT on sale in Rizzolli’s collection, as of the time of this writing, is Fragments of an Infinite Field #921 — which the owner has listed for 29.5 ETH, or roughly $106,000.

Key takeaways

  • The successful auction is yet another winner for Art Blocks Curated, which is increasingly cementing its status as the premier platform for generative artists.
  • The collection’s success is also indicative of an ever-increasing thirst for generative art, which is a dominant genre in the NFT space.

China continues to monitor for illegal crypto mining operations

China has doubled down on its efforts to eradicate cryptocurrency mining from its borders after the Development and Reformation Commission of China’s Inner Mongolia hired a contractor to assist in the identification of illegal crypto mining activity.

Key takeaway

  • Many industry pundits are viewing the news as little more than a flex from the country, given that the plan’s budget is $46,000 — currently less than the price of 1 BTC.
  • However, China’s action does illustrate that it has no plans to soften its stance after forcing an exodus of Bitcoin miners to other countries.

OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features and curated news from crypto professionals.

Follow OKEx Insights on Twitter and Telegram.

Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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