We highlight the major announcement of the crypto world this week: The Ethereum (ETH) merge - moving ETH from proof of work to proof of stake - went incredibly smoothly. This transition can change the wider cryptoverse - potentially moving Ethereum from the giant everyone is competing with to the good giant, the de-facto default blockchain. Also, messages about the future of web3 and the need for identity and cybersecurity were prevalent in the news.
On the NFT front, the Starbucks NFT loyalty program raises questions about the role that web3 will play in reshaping loyalty programs. Is the blockchain just overkill for loyalty programs, or is it an indirect way to bring more users to web3 as a side effect? Starbucks will be a fascinating case study.
Lastly, SWIFT, the messaging system financial institutions use to convey instructions on tens of millions of transactions each day, is testing out blockchain. If SWIFT adopts the blockchain for its transactions, it will be a point of no return for adopting blockchain worldwide for financial transactions.