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Global smartphone sales plunged by 20% in Q1, due to Coronavirus

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Global smartphone sales plunged by 20% in Q1, due to Coronavirus

More blue numbers confirm what we are already aware of: Q1 2020 was tough for an already struggling smartphone division. Gartner’s latest report sets the global market at a 20.2% slide as compared to the same time last year, thanks in large portion to fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Every single one of the global top-five productions saw significant drops for the quarter, save for Xiaomi, which saw a small uptick of 1.4%. The Chinese smartphone maker got a surprise bump, courtesy of international sales. Samsung and Huawei and Oppo all observed double-digit drop-offs at 22.7%, 27.3%, and 19.1%, while Apple declined 8.2%. Other companies consolidated for a sizable 24.2% loss for Q1.

The reasons are ones we’ve gone over several times before, nearly all about the global pandemic. Chief among them are comprehensive stay at home orders and general economic uncertainly. Issues with the worldwide supply chain have no doubt been a factor, as well, as Asia was the first to get hit with the virus.

All of this comes in addition to an already plateauing/declining smartphone market. Analysts had expected that the arrival of 5G would help stem the tide a bit — but, well, some stuff happened in there. Notably, Apple’s slide wasn’t as bad as it might have been thanks to a strong start to the year.

“If COVID-19 did not happen, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reached a record level in the quarter. Supply chain disruptions and declining consumer spending put a halt to this positive trend in February,” Gartner’s Annette Zimmermann said in a release. “Apple’s ability to serve clients via its online stores and its production returning to near normal levels at the end of March helped recover some of the early positive momenta.”

Overall, I suspect that recovery won’t be instantaneous for the market. The future of COVID-19 still feels largely uncertain as countries have begun the process of reopening, and a pricey investment always may not be in the cards for many who are struggling to make ends meet.

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Ethereum 2.0 is to be launched with at least 400,000 network validator nodes.

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Ethereum 2.0 continues to strengthen its foundations before the leading Ethereum network merges with this new version. In the coming days, it could reach the milestone of 400,000 validators which will verify transactions and ensure the correct functioning of the blockchain. 

396,465 validators deposited their Ethereum (ETH) into the Beacon Chain Smart Contract, the new Network’s original “Beacon Chain.” It means that 3,535 validators are left to reach the 400,000. With the pace of growth over the last week, the new validator milestone can be achieved in 2 to 3 days. 

Ethereum 2.0 reaches this substantial number 18 months after creating the contract to deposit ETH in staking, with which a user acquires the right to be a validator on the Network. 100,000 validators were added in three months, considering that the Network had reached 300,000 in February 2022.

The statistics of the current status of the Network can be consulted on the beaconcha.in, further indicating that deposited ETHs amount to 12,686,773. 

It should be noted that all deposits should remain at least until after the merger, as they are locked in the smart contract until that event happens. 

In addition, it is essential to note that the final number includes both those deposited by independent nodes and those in staking pools, which offer the possibility for many people to combine their resources to collaborate with the maintenance of Ethereum 2.0 and get rewards for it.

In just three months, the number of Ethereum 2.0 validators increased by 25%. // Source: Beaconcha.in

After the merger with the new blockchain, projected by developers for the second half of the year, Ethereum will switch to Proof of Stake (PoS) instead of Proof of Work (PoW).  

It means that the new transactions and new coins will not be mined with graphic board rigs as they have been until now, but with designated validators who will put their funds in collateral for transactions that they approve. If they do not act honestly, validators are penalized and lose their funds.  

Why do you have to deposit ETH to become a validator?

Ethereum Foundation, which brings together the leading developers of the Network, indicates in its blog that the role of the validator is essential. The validators of the new blocks on the Network are incentivized to act honestly to avoid losing their funds in staking. 

The developers of the Network have arbitrarily designated 32 ETH.

With this amount, the ethereum 2 price is equivalent to USD 62,859, the formula determines the number of allowed validating nodes which preserves the efficiency of the Network by reducing the amount of information transmitted between them.

Ethereum 2.0 continues to strengthen its foundations before the leading Ethereum network merges with this new version. In the coming days, it could reach the milestone of 400,000 validators which will verify transactions and ensure the correct functioning of the blockchain. 
Before January 2022, the number of ETH staked on Ethereum 2.0 was less than ten million. Source: Beaconcha.in.

Test networks move towards merging.

While the number of validators grows, Ethereum 2.0 developers “do their homework” and continue to test all stages and circumstances of the merger on test networks.  

On the Ropsten testnet, Ethereum 2.0 has already been released. This same testnet has previously come to an unintentional halt due to an exorbitant hashrate and the lack of a Beacon Chain.

Despite all this progress, the developers decided to postpone the difficulty pump on the Ethereum mainnet for at least two months. 

This stage of the process will be the one that will put a definitive end to mining, a scenario that is getting closer and closer and that has the miners of this Network looking for alternatives between selling their equipment or migrating to another cryptocurrency

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Blockchain

Chainlink and Bitcoin Gold Are Rallying Amid Strong Buyer Demand

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The altcoin market has started the weekend with amazing gains, with Chainlink (LINK) regaining its bullish momentum and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) making a double-digit win.

Chainlink Regains Its Bullish Momentum

The price of the Chainlink (LINK) token continues to rise, striving to push its recent two-month high of $30.40. At the time of writing, the token is trading around $28.88, according to data from CoinGecko.

The price jump comes in direct correlation with the rise in its network activity to its recent three-month high. A day before that, Chainlink price feeds went live on the Fantom Opera mainnet, a scalable platform for hosting DeFi apps and enterprise software. All this collectively contributed to its price rise.

At the beginning of the year, Chainlink’s price was at sky-high, amid announcements of multiple new partnerships. The token’s last all-time high was reached on May 10 at $52.88.

Over the past week, the trading volume of LINK has increased by a whopping 71.0%, while the overall circulating supply has increased 0.25% to over 447.51 million. This makes an estimated 44.75% of its max supply, which is 1 billion. The current market cap for LINK stands at 13th, at 12.62 billion.

Bitcoin Gold Making Double-Digit Gains

The price of Bitcoin Gold (BTG) seems to have paid well for investors this year, with a gain of more than 600% since January. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency is trading at $75.19 after a 15.4% gain in the past 24 hours.

If the bullish momentum continues, BTG could soon reach the resistance of $78 to create a new monthly high. If it slumps, the altcoin could see the lower support level of $74, which could also be retested if investors want another rally.

Bitcoin Gold is a hard fork of the original Bitcoin network that was created to improve efficiency in the mining process. The other major Bitcoin forks are Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

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Solana-Based Defi Protocol Luna Yield Reportedly ‘Rug Pulls’ Investors, $6.7 Million Taken

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A decentralized finance (defi) project that utilizes the Solana blockchain called Luna Yield has allegedly committed a “rug pull,” according to various individuals on social media. Reports indicate that the investors who put funds into the project lost an estimated $6.7 million according to an “anonymous source.”

Luna Yield Creators Reportedly Dip Off With $6.7 Million in Funds, Solpad Platform Promises Compensation to IDO Participants

The world of defi has reportedly seen another rug pull but this time in the Solana blockchain ecosystem, according to numerous reports. Solana’s website that had a page dedicated to describing the Luna Yield decentralized exchange (dex) aggregator protocol now shows a 404 error. The aggregator project promised high yields and then suddenly the platform went dark and users could not access the funds locked into the dex aggregator.

The Luna Yield team was anonymous and the project developers allegedly got away with $6.7 million in tokens. Coindesk reporter Sebastian Sinclair details he was told by an “anonymous source” that “$6.7 million in assets had been taken.” Furthermore, Sinclair insisted that the team verified the amount via the “SOL scan block explorer.” On various channels like Twitter, discussions concerning the subject are littered across social media.

The platform that helped launch the Luna Yield IDO, Solpad detailed that the project would help compensate IDO participants who were affected. “After internal discussion within Solpad Foundation, we have finalized the compensation plan for Luna Yield IDO participants,” the team tweeted. “We will sort out the list and directly [distribute] the compensation into the participant’s wallet (the same wallet that joined the IDO on August 16th. We will compensate users in USDC, with a value equal to 60% of the purchased amount.”

The official Solpad Twitter account further noted:

For example, if user A bought 400 USDC of allocation in the round, he will get 400*60% = 240 USDC, airdrop directly user A wallet. The distribution will start next week, and we expect it to finish within a few days. Thank you so much for being so patient with us.

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Critics Warn Other Chains Like Cardano, Solana Daily Hopes Project Staves Off More Rug Pulls

The Luna Yield website has been taken down by the creators it seems and archive.org has crawled the platform on various occasions, but has had a hard time showing the site. On Twitter, one individual said that once Cardano upgrades to Alonzo Purple, it too could see a rug pull like Solana (SOL) has seen this week.

“The rug pull that recently occurred in the Solana ecosystem from Luna Yield is something I can see happening in the Cardano ecosystem literally days to weeks after Alonzo if proper scrutiny isn’t exercised by the community involved,” the individual said. “Good tech isn’t immune to stupidity.”

The Twitter account Solana Daily told its 28,700 followers about the rug pull on August 20. “Rug pull on Solana,” Solana Daily detailed. “Yesterday, [Solpad] announced that their second IDO of Luna Yield went wrong, when the dev team of the project decided to shut down all the social media and withdraw the liquidity. Hope that no more rug pulls appear [in] our ecosystem.”

While SOL is up 66% in seven days after the news went viral on social media, the price of SOL dipped by 1.8% against the U.S. dollar and down 3.8% against bitcoin (BTC).

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