Mornin’ Coinheads.

Crypto’s looking a little Louis Armstrong this morning – we’re seeing trees of green (and a couple of red roses, too… but that’s to be expected), after a positive overnight effort among the majors in the wake of the US Fed doing precisely what everyone thought it was going to do, by raising interest rates by 75 basis points.

So, the numbers look like this early this morning: BTC (+8.0%), ETH (+15.4%), XRP (+7.0%) and SOL is up around 10.0% – however, things have softened a little in the past 60 minutes, but it’s still looking quite positive across the charts.

Ethereum did particularly well, which we’re gonna talk about in a second – but first, grab a hot beverage and let’s get moving. We’re already late, dammit.


ETH Shadow Fork rolls out early

ETH was back to its outperforming ways overnight, on news that the Ethereum Mainnet’s 10th ‘shadow fork’ went into effect earlier than expected, as the network continues its preparations to get leaner and greener in September.

Coindesk has a great detail-heavy yarn here, but the gist is pretty simple: ETH is moving from energy-gobbling proof-of-work to a much slicker proof-of-stake protocol, and there’s a bunch of stuff that needs to be tested to make sure it’s all going to function as expected.

The shadow fork was basically a copy of the network rolled over into a test network, to have a dry run of releases that approximate those that will be used in the “Goerli” merge around 10 August, which is the final test merge before the real one, expected in September.


FTC sues Meta over monopolistic move

In the US, regulators at the FTC have filed a lawsuit to scuttle a proposed acquisition of virtual reality company Within by Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook.

The 5-second version is this: Meta has made an offer to acquire Within, makers of the highly-popular Supernatural VR fitness app. The FTC thinks that’s a move that is likely to stifle competition in that marketplace.

So, the FTC wants to stop the deal moving forward, on the basis that Meta has the brains and the dollars to build its own version and compete, rather than just throw its considerable weight around and consume new companies until the entire Metaverse is controlled by a small-and-still-shrinking cabal.

It’s a bold move by FTC chair Lina Khan, and the first antitrust suit brought by the commission on her watch – and Meta’s response is a counter-claim that the injunction is based in ideology, not law.

There’s a lot behind the scenes on this one, so we’ll refer you to the good people at the New York Times and CNN for more granular looks at the story.


Solana ready to open a New York meatspace showroom

New York, home to awful pizza, 10 billion cops and many, many fantastically wealthy people, is about to get a new attraction when Solana Spaces opens its doors, with the backing of the Solana Blockchain network.

Like a really, really fancy Telstra shop, it will be a full-tilt retail space and Web3 embassy, with the core of its design centred around getting people to walk in off the street, learn about blockchain technology, and get set up with a wallet, according to Decrypt.

Then – we assume – they’ll be subjected to Scientology-level hard-sell tactics to buy real-world things to help connect them to the digital stuff behind it all. Simple.

Solana Spaces’ designation as a Web3 embassy is unlikely to be formally recognised, so if you’re thinking about heading there to claim asylum, it’s unlikely to work. Just so you know.


Even Madonna reckons Bored Apes are a bit pricey…

And lastly, a quickie from Pop-Ghoul Madonna who has told Variety that she’s still a little upset about missing out on the Bored Ape NFT she really, really wanted to own.

The 9-billion-year-old singer says she wanted “the Ape with a leather motorcycle cap on and multicoloured teeth”, because she’d been told it was modelled on her (dude… seriously?) – something the NFT series creators have denied.

But, that particular Ape (#3756 for anyone who’s keeping score) was snapped up by a fan of the singer, who said she would sell it to Madonna before jacking up the price to 800.69 ETH (about US$1.3m) – which even Madonna reckons is a bit much.