CoinLoan Weekly: Quick recovery, Ukraine gets $20M in crypto aid, ETH’s upgraded testnet

Price dynamics

BTC price

Despite the plunge triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Bitcoin lost just 0.2% over the period. It started at around $38,000, dropped to a 7-day low of $34,740.01 on Thursday, February 24, and peaked at $39,851.02 on Sunday, February 27.

For the first time since February 17, the Fear & Greed index has returned to the Neutral level (51). Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are expected to continue in the coming days. The sanctions imposed by the West triggered a surge in trading volumes between the ruble and Bitcoin — it reached a nine-month high.

As of now, BTC is trading at $38,438.04, with a 24-hour dip of -3.2% and a slight 7-day change of -0.2%.

BTC Price Chart. Source: CoinGecko
BTC Price Chart. Source: CoinGecko

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ETH price

Ethereum experienced similar lows and highs — $2,336.15 on Thursday, February 24 and $2,837.07 on Sunday, February 27. It even achieved a positive 7-day result, unlike the pioneering coin.

ETH quickly recovered from the plunge on the invasion day and stayed above $2,700 over the weekend. Like Bitcoin, it dropped on Sunday, and its price has only started to go up.

As of this writing, ETH is trading at $2,653.72, with a 24-hour loss of -6.3% but a 7-day change of +0.8%.

ETH Price Chart. Source: CoinGecko
ETH Price Chart. Source: CoinGecko

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XRP price

Last week’s events hit Ripple the most as it lost over 6% in total. Like BTC and ETH, it dipped at the beginning of the week and collapsed on February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine ($0.636563).

Recovery was noticeably slower, but the peak came sooner. On Saturday, February 26, XRP reached its 7-day high of $0.784689 before reversing.

As of now, XRP is trading at $0.728273, losing -4.9% over the past 24 hours and -6.4% over the past seven days.

XRP Price Chart. Source: CoinGecko
XRP Price Chart. Source: CoinGecko

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Cryptocurrency news

Ukraine’s crypto crowdfunding efforts bring $20 million

Since the start of the Russian military attack on February 24, crypto donations in support of Ukraine have risen over $20 million. According to data from Elliptic, the Ukrainian government and NGOs have received thousands of donations, including a BTC transfer worth $3 million.

On February 26, the government tweeted it was accepting aid in BTC, ETH, and USDT. So far, its Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets have attracted $4.6 million and $5.6 million, respectively.

The rest flowed through a TRON address ($3 million) and the Ukrainian NGO Come Back Alive ($7.2 million). The newly established UkraineDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, is raising funds for local civilian organizations that are helping war victims.

The Support Ukrainian Sovereignty fundraiser claims to have raised over $280,000. The group has received financial aid from Help Ukraine ($HUKR), a dedicated Ethereum token project.

Ethereum unveils a scaling testnet upgrade sooner than expected

On February 24, the protocol zkSync, which implements Ethereum scaling platforms, announced the test network release of zkEVM (Zero-Knowledge rollup for Ethereum Virtual Machine). This implementation came years ahead of schedule.

The EVM environment defines the rules of the Ethereum chain from block to block. All wallets and contracts exist in it. The announced test network is the initial implementation of a ZK rollup that could power the entire environment. It will show the potential of zero-knowledge technology for blockchain scaling.

In the past few years, Ethereum rollups for base layer scaling have gone in two directions — Optimistic and Zero-Knowledge. Both have been adopted to a degree. As of now, the most prominent application of Optimistic is Arbitrum, while DyDx's app for leveraged trading uses ZK.

zkEVM would create an end experience similar to Optimistic rollups, but with cheaper transactions and almost instant finality (currently, Optimistic has a 2-week withdrawal period). It would also provide a similar unified composable environment for apps, from lending protocols to the NFT marketplaces.

According to L2Fees.Info, the transaction fees on Loopring and zkSync are 200 times lower than on mainnet. Users on Ethereum’s base layer would pay slightly over $90 per DeFi trade, while Loopring and zkSync would require between $0.45 and $0.68.

If fees on zkEVM are similar to other ZK rollups, Ethereum may solve its scaling issues faster than expected. Native apps will port over Solidity-based contracts in a manageable way. Users will gain access to a broad array of products in a secure environment with low fees. In theory, zkEVM can host the industry's favorite apps without sacrificing choice, decentralization, or liquidity.