Ethereum climbing ahead of Merge, altcoins stand to benefit
Ethereum (ETH) continues to climb as we reach the end of the week, surging toward the $1,900 mark for the first time in two months. At the time of writing on 15 September 2022, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap was trading at about $1,895. The top altcoin's price has climbed over 85% since dropping below $1,000 in mid-June. Analysts have pointed to ETH/USD's 50-week exponential moving average of $2,340 to predict a breakout at around $2,500.
One factor contributing to the bullish sentiment behind Ether is likely the news that the much-anticipated Merge will take place earlier than previously scheduled.
Several core developers agreed on a Thursday call on a tentative early date for the Merge: Thursday, 15 September 2022. This eagerly awaited event should see the Ethereum blockchain transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus model to proof-of-stake (PoS) and make the Ethereum network more scalable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Volatility should be expected for Ethereum before, during and after the Merge date. A likely fork is something to watch out for, with die-hard PoW proponents splitting off the current version of ETH (known as ETHW) and network users being compensated with free tokens.
Ethereum isn't the only altcoin that could get a value boost from the Merge; crypto projects that facilitate ETH staking could also stand to benefit. Lido DAO (LDO) is one such platform, with its token soaring by over 200% over the last month following Ethereum's PoS announcement. Ethereum Classic (ETC) has had a similar trajectory since the Merge news, possibly because investors expect demand from miners who do not wish to use PoS.
StormGain Analytics Team
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