Why are prices falling after The Merge

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Get caught up from the past week in 10 minutes or less. Here's what we're covering today:

  • The Merge is complete⚡
  • Other stories from the week 📰

THE ETHEREUM MERGE IS COMPLETE - NOW WHAT?

The second biggest blockchain by capitalization has completed its transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. After years of development and delays, the Ethereum Foundation finally crossed the finish line.

As part of the energy-saving transition, the economics of the chain have also changed.  ETH will no longer be issued to miners (since there is no mining in PoS), instead, it will be rewarded to validators who validate blocks on-chain.  This, along with an increased burn mechanism will decrease the amount of ETH issued on average.

Many ETH proponents view this event as bullish for the blockchain and the crypto world as a whole. However, ETH is down over 10% since the Merge was completed.

So what gives? There may be a couple of things going on:

First is the obvious one. Traders playing the merge might have expected a mass run-up post-merge and are now dumping to get out or are being forced into liquidation.

Second, however, is a bit more nuanced. A prominent Ethereum miner has created a fork of the Ethereum blockchain called ETHW that remains using the proof-of-work mechanism. While there are many arguments as to why or why not this is a good thing, miners and other proof-of-work maximalists are dumping the new ETH and moving to ETHW so that they can continue mining.

So what's next? More upgrades!

While the Merge reduced energy consumption, the network is still relatively slow compared to other newer blockchains. The next upgrade, known as sharding, will greatly increase the transaction capacity of the Ethereum blockchain and is expected in 2023.

Beyond that, Vitalik spoke about all of the other upgrades coming to Ethereum in the future at an ETH conference this summer. You can check out the video here.

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Starbucks to Offer NFT-Based Loyalty Program Using Polygon's Blockchain Technology  - The program will give NFT holders member benefits and access to immersive experiences not yet announced. 

Private equity giant KKR will tokenize part its fund on the Avalanche blockchain - This first-of-its-kind move may lead other funds to do the same. The introduction of access for smaller investors may democratize how private equity funds are run. However, investors will still need to go through typical Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering procedures to be able to invest in the fund.

Ex-Coinbase Product Manager's Brother Pleads Guilty in Crypto Insider Trading Case - This comes after his brother and ex-Product Manager at Coinbase Ishan Wahi plead not guilty in August. The case has just become much harder for Ishan to prove his innocence and it is unclear how the case will proceed.

South Korea court reportedly issues arrest warrant for Terraform founder Do Kwon - The leader of the company that produced Luna and UST, the cryptocurrency that crashed earlier this year, is now wanted by South Korean authorities for violating Korea's Capital Markets Act. 

GLOSSARY

  • validators - a virtual entity that lives on the blockchain, represented by a balance, public key, and other properties, and participates in consensus of the Ethereum network (Ethereum launchpad)
  • sharding - a multi-phase upgrade to improve Ethereum’s scalability and capacity that provides secure distribution of data storage requirements, enabling rollups to be even cheaper, and making nodes easier to operate (Ethereum.org)

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