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Cryptoverse: After Merge, ether heads for a $20 billion Shanghai splurge

Skylar Shaw

Sep 21, 2022 14:36


On September 15, the massive update to the Ethereum blockchain finally went live, smoothly transitioning it to a "proof of stake" (PoS) method that uses less energy.

Even though ether had risen over 85% from its June lows in anticipation of the event, it has subsequently fallen 19% as a result of investor anxiety about inflation and central bank policies, along with bitcoin and other risky assets.

Despite this, a lot of industry participants are upbeat about the long term prospects of Ethereum and its native coin.

"In the past, we have discussed with central banks and sovereign wealth funds how to expand their allocations of digital assets... However, owing to energy-related issues, direct investment was rejected, according to Markus Thielen, chief investment officer of asset management IDEG Limited.

"This final pillar of worry is obviously resolved with Ethereum shifting to PoS," the author writes.

Some cryptocurrency investors are now focusing on the upcoming occasion that may affect prices.

The "Shanghai" update, which aims to lower Ethereum's high transaction fees, is anticipated by market players to arrive in around six months.

It would enable validators to withdraw their staked currencies, keep them, or sell them once they have put ether tokens on the blockchain in return for a yield.

There is a lot at risk since, according to data source Glassnode, there are presently over $20 billion in locked-up ether deposits.

According to CoinMarketCap statistics, the staked ether cryptocurrency, which is seen as a gamble on Ethereum's long-term success since it cannot be refunded until Shanghai takes place, is trading at almost parity with ether at 0.989 ether, suggesting trust in future improvements.

In June, the currency had fallen as low as $0.92.

Slash and spend

Beyond Shanghai, Ethereum will get a plethora of additional improvements, which co-founder Vitalik Buterin has dubbed "the surge," "verge," "purge," and "splurge."

Future improvements are anticipated to concentrate mostly on increasing the blockchain's capacity to handle more transactions.

Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at blockchain-focused bank Galaxy Digital, stated, "Because the Merge was postponed for many years, investors, traders, and end-users have a great lot of concern regarding when Ethereum can really grow."

"Ethereum's future has to, and will, expand to hundreds of millions of transactions per day," said Paul Brody, global blockchain head at EY.

Killers of Ethereum

The main objective of The Merge was to lower Ethereum's energy consumption in light of criticism of cryptocurrencies' significant carbon impact. According to the creators, the blockchain's energy usage was reduced by an estimated 99.95%, which may entice large institutional investors who were previously restrained by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations.

According to Adam Struck, CEO of venture capital company Struck Crypto, the Merge and upcoming enhancements significantly lessen the financial attraction of so-called "Ethereum killer" blockchains like Solana and Polkadot.

Institutional investors aren't investing just yet, however, since a terrifying economic climate is choking off demand for risk.

However, in the long run, switching to PoS is anticipated to reduce the pace of ether token issuance by up to 90%, which should result in higher pricing.

Investors may also find the 4.1% yearly payouts for staking ether tokens to validate transactions alluring.

Although the proof-of-stake algorithm enables these rich returns, many cryptocurrency purists point out that it takes Ethereum away from a completely decentralized model since the largest validators may have more control over the blockchain.

But for now, it may be best for the Ethereum community to savor the Merge moment.

In the days to come, there may be volatility, according to experts at Kaiko Research. However, the neighborhood may finally enjoy a well-deserved victory lap.