Crypto is just starting to unleash its potential, similar to the turn of 19th century when telephones first started revolutionizing communication. Now we have a suite of tools like smart contracts, stablecoins and DAOs that could propel crypto towards mainstream use- but there's work yet to be done.
Ethereum recently completed their Shanghai upgrade which enables staked ETH withdrawal for the first time since launching Beacon Chain in December 2020 - marking three years worth of planning come full circle! The stage was set as over 18 million ETH were already at stake pre-upgrade (worth an estimated $34 billion). Even though some had predicted selloffs following the upgrades, quite contrary has been seen with record breaking Ether deposits flowing into staking last week equaling 572 thousand ETH.
Layer 2 protocols are scaling up quickly too-- now accounting for almost 6 percent gas fees compared from less than 1% earlier this year and 20% transactions taking place on L2s instead 1_8%. Next step will be Cancun upgrade later this year aiming toward sub-$0 cents fee level which Vitalik Buterin believes can make blockchain truly acceptable by billions worldwide!
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As a market analyst, I have conducted comprehensive research on the potential market and demand for Ethereum post Shanghai merge in [year]. Throughout this report, I have taken into account various factors that may impact the market, such as current trends in blockchain technology, the Ethereum community, the credibility of the developers, the coin's advantages over its competitors, and its market history.
The Shanghai Merge Update
The Shanghai update marks a pivotal moment for Ethereum. This upgrade enables various improvements to Ethereum's consensus algorithm and scalability features. Just like how the phone industry evolved at the turn of the 19th century, the cryptocurrency space shares a similar trajectory, with components like smart contracts, stable coins, DeFi, and DAOs driving its growth.
Furthermore, the Layer-2 protocols gaining momentum signify the blockchain's adaptation of essential features like cordless phones, fiber optics, and copper with gigabit speeds. These protocols currently consume nearly 6% of gas fees, a significant increase from less than 1% at the beginning of 2022. Over 20% of Ethereum transactions are now occurring on Layer 2s.
Ethereum's Market History and Performance
Ethereum steadily climbed the popularity and innovation ladder since its inception in 2015. Its market capitalization reached over $500 billion, comfortably securing the second position in the crypto market, just behind Bitcoin. Ethereum's innovative capabilities, like DeFi and smart contracts, continue to provide it with an edge over its competitors.
Following the Shanghai merge, Ethereum experienced a significant market growth. The transition to Ethereum 2.0, from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, allowed for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly blockchain, while improving transaction processing speed, scalability, and energy efficiency.
Considering the previous market trends and current developments, I predict that the market for Ethereum will increase post Shanghai merge. This assessment is based on the following factors:
Scalability: The Layer-2 solutions, such as zk-rollups and optimistic rollups, provide faster and cheaper transactions, making Ethereum even more attractive to users and developers.
Sustainable Blockchain: The transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake lowers energy consumption and makes Ethereum a more environmentally friendly alternative to its competitors.
Increased Adoption: Ethereum's versatility in supporting smart contracts, DeFi, and NFTs will continue to propel its blockchain usage and adoption, boosting its demand.
Credible Developers: The talented and credible developers within the Ethereum ecosystem, along with a supportive community, continue to push the boundaries of innovation, maintaining the platform's relevance.
Strategies for Investors
Based on these analyses and predictions, here are some suggested strategies for investors:
Long-Term Investment: Hold Ethereum for long-term gains, as its innovative capabilities continue to drive its market demand and adoption.
Diversification: Diversify your cryptocurrency portfolio by investing in Ethereum, especially for those who are mainly invested in proof-of-work coins like Bitcoin.
Monitor Developments: Keep a close eye on the upcoming Ethereum upgrades, such as the Cancun update.With the Cancun-Deneb upgrade expected to take place later in 2023, it will come with the most significant change expected to be EIP-4844. A tech improvement known as proto-danksharding, which will augment Ethereum's scalability by bring temporary storage and retrieval of off-chain data by Ethereum nodes to address the data and storage. Since these developments are key factors that can significantly impact the coin's price and mass adoption rate by the public.
Explore DeFi and NFT Opportunities: Consider investing in Ethereum-based DeFi and NFT projects, supporting the growth of Ethereum while potentially benefiting from the financial returns.
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