Cryptoverse: Ether holds its breath for the lean, mean 'merge'

7/3/2022 1:30:00 AM

Investors in ether and its troubled twin stETH are nervously anticipating a crypto milestone: The merge.

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Investors in ether and its troubled twin stETH are nervously anticipating a crypto milestone: The merge.

RegisterThe Ethereum Foundation, which uses the analogy of changing the engine of a spaceship mid-flight, says on its website that the merge is "shipping" around "Q3/Q4 2022".Yet doubters remain.THE STUMBLING OF stETHAny further delays would be bad news for those holding stETH, a token created by a crypto project called Lido that can be converted into ether on a 1:1 basis between six and 12 months after the merge happens.

However, when crypto markets sold off last month stETH tumbled in value to trade at around an 8% discount to ether, hurt by major selling by investors such as Celsius and Three Arrows according to public data.ANY TAKERS FOR THAT TRADE?Yet repeated delays to the merge is testing the nerves of stETH investors.

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From stocks to crypto, a punishing six months for investorsAmericans with stock portfolios or retirement investment plans would likely prefer to forget the last six months.

Ethereum fork a success as Sepolia testnet gears up to trial the MergeThe difficulty bomb has been pushed back once again as Ethereum developers work through the final stages of Merge testing, with the Sepolia testnet next in line to run through the Merge. Can't wait I can't wait for the merge, finally some value is gonna be brought in and I'll be glad to see the markets green again. This will be fantastic for alts like matic that have already been pumping and will take this opportunity to push zk and supernets more Every year it’s delayed.

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Bitcoin just had its worst month ever on record. Here's whyMeanwhile, Ether, the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, also finished the month down by about 47%.

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That's the name for a major upgrade of the Ethereum blockchain network upon which many crypto projects are built, aimed at making it leaner, meaner and cleaner.The S&P 500, Wall Streets broad benchmark for many stock funds, slumped TK% through the end of June after starting the year at an all-time high.June 30, 2022 The difficulty bomb is a mechanism put in place to gradually disincentivize Ether (ETH) miners from Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining on Ethereum ahead of the network’s eventual merge with the Proof-of-Stake (PoS)-based Beacon Chain.House of Mizrahi , a well-known voguing house in the Philippines, the ball encouraged the crowd to put forward their best dance moves and to celebrate inclusivity.

It's elusive. The merge was supposed to happen years ago but has been delayed several times, with developers most recently axing plans to push the button in June, unnerving investors who began to fear it might never see the light of day. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson) (Julia Nikhinson, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters. Pushing back the difficulty bomb was required as it would have slowed down new block creation so much that it would almost be impossible to introduce new network upgrades.com Register Now though, market players are betting that the end of the waiting is nigh.) The S&P 500, Wall Street’s broad benchmark for many stock funds, closed the first half of 2022 with a loss of more than 20% after starting the year at an all-time high. But it's no slam dunk. “My favorite part was seeing how bonded the ballroom community was, the sportsmanship they all had all throughout the competition, and the pride each of them had for themselves and their own ballroom houses,” says Villanueva.

On Polymarket, a crypto site where users place bets with stablecoins on the occurrence of future events, investors have priced in a 67% chance that the upgrade, also known as Ethereum 2. Investors have been grappling with uncertainty and fear this year following a sharp rise in interest rates as the Federal Reserve and other central banks scrambled to in more than 40 years. The Merge has been delayed so often that even the memes about it being delayed are ancient.0, will come to pass by October, and a 13% probability by September. The Ethereum Foundation, which uses the analogy of changing the engine of a spaceship mid-flight, says on its website that the merge is "shipping" around "Q3/Q4 2022". That's helped drag down the value of stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies and other investments. The merge finally happening would prove a big relief for ether , which has slumped on past delays and waning confidence in the upgrade. After Sepolia, only Goerli/Prater will need to be merged before moving to mainnet,” the post added. The second-biggest cryptocurrency was last trading at around $1,200, down from just over $3,500 in April, though much of the recent pessimism about the upgrade has been swamped by wider recent market ructions. It’s now 21. Some participants would assume looks for competition; others simply show up as themselves.

The merge could also represent the end of an ordeal for those investors holding a crypto derivative token called staked ether or stETH, which represents ether locked up in a testing environment for the upgrade, and which is hard to redeem at scale until at least six months after the merge happens. Yet doubters remain. 3 all-time high, back to where it was in early March of last year. "It's just the sheer mass of the protocol. Ethereum is just so huge that I don't think they're going to reach their deadline in time," said Brent Xu, founder and CEO at Umee, which is building a base-layer blockchain for borrowing and lending. Its most recent increase earlier this month was triple the usual amount and its biggest hike since 1994. "People are just scared that their stETH is not going to be worth anything because the Merge is probably going to take longer than expected," said Xu. “[I also loved] the smiles on everyone’s faces appreciating those who are competing, and of course the loud ‘yaaaaass’ and ‘weeeerk’ I heard from all over the place.

THE STUMBLING OF stETH The upgrade will see ether mining transition away from the energy-intensive proof-of-work. “You can argue that they’re just playing the hand they were dealt, but the reality is they got caught a little bit behind the curve and their pivot toward a much more aggressive policy stance has been the reason the market has sold off,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird. Ethereum's existing execution layer will merge with the new proof-of-stake consensus system. Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 14, 2018. That includes a more than 36% tumble for Tesla, a 71% nosedive for Netflix and a more than 50% plunge for Facebook parent Meta. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo Any further delays would be bad news for those holding stETH, a token created by a crypto project called Lido that can be converted into ether on a 1:1 basis between six and 12 months after the merge happens. Until then, stETH trades at a price set by the market, with most trades occurring on a trading platform called Curve. These are often called “value” stocks to distinguish them from stocks of high-growth companies.

It reached a market cap of $11 billion in May, according to price site CoinGecko, and until last month traded broadly at parity with ether. However, when crypto markets sold off last month stETH tumbled in value to trade at around an 8% discount to ether, hurt by major selling by investors such as Celsius and Three Arrows according to public data. The sector is up more than 29% so far, buoyed by surging oil and gasoline prices. The price has recovered a little - stETH currently trades at a 4% discount to ether - but has not made it back to parity, partly because of the impact of the delayed merge. Major investors in stETH include embattled U. PUMP PAIN, ENERGY’S GAIN The soaring prices at the pump are the result of a classic squeeze.S.

-based crypto lender Celsius. At the same time, supplies for crude oil and gasoline have remained tight. ANY TAKERS FOR THAT TRADE? The stETH project was popular because while investors can earn interest elsewhere by "staking" their ether, to do so they must lock away a minimum of 32 ether (currently roughly $38,000) until the network upgrades to the new standard. Lido, instead, allowed them to stake as little ether as they wished in return for yield, and receive stETH. Meanwhile, refineries have less ability to turn oil into gasoline in the U. Yet repeated delays to the merge is testing the nerves of stETH investors. The concern is that liquidity is fast drying up at Curve, said Ryan Shea, crypto economist at global fintech company Trakx. after several shut down during the pandemic.

io. Curve's stETH liquidity has more than halved since mid May, according to the platform's data.S. "You're going to have to find alternative sources if you want to sell a huge amount of stETH," Shea said, such as putting stETH as collateral in another lending protocol. "But in this type of environment where people are looking closely at crypto lending companies, whether anyone will be prepared to take that trade, I don't know.S." Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.

com Register Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Alun John and Pravin Char Our Standards: . Ad As a result, gasoline prices have shot to records this year, with the national average for a gallon of regular topping $5 per gallon earlier this month, according to AAA.