This Week in Crypto 8-14-23

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Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Crypto, where we delve into the most notable developments shaping the cryptocurrency landscape. In this week’s edition, we bring you news on cryptocurrency prices amidst Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as some meme coins that are enjoying moderate gains. Additionally, we delve into Visa’s innovative stride in enabling on-chain gas fees to be paid using its cards, potentially transforming how crypto transactions are made. And finally, we cover Circle’s CEO sharing perspectives on the growing competition in the stablecoin realm, particularly in light of PayPal’s entrance. Join us as we navigate through these significant stories that are shaping the present and future of the crypto world.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Hold Steady Amidst CPI Data, Meme Coins PEPE and SHIB See Gains

Cryptocurrency markets have demonstrated a mix of trends amid the recent release of Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. Amid a 3.2% increase in the CPI over the past year through July, reflecting a resurgence in inflation, major players like Bitcoin and Ethereum exhibited stability, maintaining values around $29,300 and $1,850, respectively. 

However, meme coins Pepe (PEPE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) portrayed a contrasting narrative, experiencing notable gains over the week. PEPE, for instance, surged 22.5%, presently trading at $0.000001403 and reaching a three-week high. Its market capitalization expanded by almost $150 million, propelling PEPE to the 68th rank by market cap. SHIB demonstrated a relatively flat trajectory, yet it surged by 15% in the past week, currently priced at $0.0000104. With a market capitalization of around $6.2 billion, SHIB became the 12th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. 

Visa Explores New Solution for Ethereum Gas Fees

Visa is exploring a solution that would allow users to pay on-chain gas fees using their Visa cards. Traditional cryptocurrency transactions, especially on the Ethereum network, involve managing Ether balances separately to cover variable gas fees, which can lead to confusion and inefficiency for new users. 

Visa’s solution involves utilizing Ethereum’s ERC-4337 standard and a “Paymaster” smart contract. Users initiate an Ethereum transaction from their wallets, which is routed to the Paymaster. The Paymaster then calculates the gas fee, charges Visa through Cybersource, and the transaction, once verified, is forwarded to the Ethereum network with the gas fee covered by the Paymaster. This off-chain settlement mechanism eliminates the need for users to hold ETH solely for fee payment, streamlining the process for cryptocurrency users.


Stablecoin Landscape to Witness Influx as PayPal Spurs Competition, Circle CEO Says

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire welcomed the competition sparked by PayPal’s stablecoin entering into the market last week. He anticipates a surge of firms entering the stablecoin space following PayPal’s announcement, saying “I expect you will see many, not just internet payments firms, but also … others begin to get more involved in this. It’s great to have this new competition — I do think it’s going to drive more and more companies into the field.” 

While Circle won’t offer white-label solutions like Paxos, the provider behind PayPal’s offering, it plans to cultivate partnerships to advance the adoption of its USDC stablecoin.

Allaire also predicted that stricter regulations might lead to the decline of several stablecoins within the next two years, citing regulatory changes in the U.S. and EU. He previously expressed support for PayPal’s stablecoin launch on August 8, noting the potential for favorable regulations to foster a competitive market for dollar-backed cryptocurrencies.

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