Will Ethereum Go Up After The Merge? – Forbes Advisor

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Ethereum’s (ETH) long-awaited upgrade—commonly referred to as “the merge” and “Ethereum 2.0”—could be the most important event in cryptocurrency markets this year.

The final phase of the merge begins in only a few days, as a massive upgrade to the leading altcoin’s network is slated to begin in mid-September.

The transition to Ethereum 2.0 is expected to bring some volatility to ETH prices, and excitement over the merge has already sent the number two crypto up nearly 4% over the last five days.

Why Is Ethereum Up?

As the big upgrade approaches, the price of Ethereum has been slowly edging higher.

Some enthusiasm for ETH centers around the crypto’s future prospects, with investors looking at the token as a buy-and-hold opportunity for future profits.

Ethereum soared to $2,000 in mid-August before receding downward with a brief sell-off between Aug. 25 and Aug. 29. ETH prices fell during that period on news of a few merge-related bugs, as well as the Federal Reserve’s reiteration at Jackson Hole of its plans to fight inflation with higher interest rates.

Ethereum’s late summer rally followed its bottom on June 18, when ETH dropped to its 52-week low of $880.

Between April and June, ETH was down more than 70%, dipping below the all-important $1,000 barrier in June.

Bitcoin (BTC) was only down 52% over the same period, bottoming out at $17,708 in June. Since then, BTC has recovered about 12% to around $20,000. ETH has gone up more than 70% since its own bottom, breaking back above the psychological $1,500 barrier.

Ethereum Merge Price Prediction

The merge has been in the works for years, but nobody knows exactly how Ethereum 2.0 will pan out for users. Few changes of this scale have ever been attempted in the world of crypto before.

The merge aims to convert Ethereum from a proof-of-work protocol to proof of stake. The former uses crypto miners to add blocks to the blockchain, while the latter uses validators staking ETH to get a chance to extend the blockchain.

This conversion to proof of stake will be accomplished by merging Ethereum’s Mainnet with the system’s Beacon Chain. This is a proof-of-stake chain that’s been running on the Ethereum network since December 2020. Launching the Beacon Chain was the first step in the merge.

The next step will be Ethereum’s Bellatrix upgrade on Sept. 6. The remaining step in the process, referred to as the Paris upgrade, should begin to be implemented sometime around Sept. 15.

As long as nothing too disruptive happens during the upgrade process, many crypto insiders believe investors should expect to see positive returns as a result of the merge.

Updating an entire blockchain protocol amid heavy use remains a very tough job. An estimated 1.3 million transactions occur on the Ethereum network daily.

Ben McMillan, co-founder and chief investment officer of IDX Digital Assets, says that the options markets are very bullish on the merge. Although, he also says that he’s nervous there could be a “buy the rumor, sell the news” mentality going on, which could hurt Ethereum’s price in the short term following the merge.

If the merge goes smoothly, some investors could wind up liquidating their positions following implementation. After the merge, these investors might believe they’ve already capitalized on its value, and they could then sell their positions and cause short-term price decline.

Anthony Scaramucci, founder and managing partner at global asset management firm Skybridge Capital, told CNBC earlier this month that a lot of traders will “probably sell on news of the merger,” but cautioned against that, saying Ethereum was a great long-term investment.

Ethereum Price Trend

The merge should definitely produce short-term effects on the price of Ethereum. Traders may want to watch these developments closely. But the question for other investors will be where Ethereum will go in the long run.

Nobody can know exactly where the price of ETH will be by the end of the year. McMillan predicts Ethereum will hit a price point “north of $2,000” before late 2022.

Obviously, this is a bullish price prediction, and a handful of factors could affect it.

In addition to the merge, many crypto insiders believe investors might want to look at macroeconomic factors like inflation and government regulations of cryptocurrencies to help determine their investment strategies for the rest of this year.

Cryptocurrencies haven’t proven to be the hedge against inflation that some early Bitcoin adopters claimed. Instead, many cryptocurrencies, and ETH, in particular, have begun moving in tandem with high-risk stocks like the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

This means macroeconomic factors such as inflation could continue exerting pressure on ETH’s overall price. In an inflationary environment, many investors retreat to commodities like oil and gold and tend not to be as interested in riskier investment vehicles like tech stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Many eyes are also on the U.S. government and other international regulators for upcoming legislation, as regulations can drastically affect cryptocurrency prices.

Ethereum Volatility

Ethereum, like all cryptocurrencies, has proven to be an extremely volatile investment, and rapid price fluctuations can be set off by the smallest bits of news.

Reaching a high of more than $4,600 in November 2021, ETH is now down more than 67% to approximately $1,500.

Although McMillan does foresee ETH breaking through the psychological barrier of $2,000 again before the end of this year, the cryptocurrency’s volatility can make those kinds of price predictions difficult to determine with any accuracy.

McMillan advises investors to consider cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, similar to Nasdaq stocks in the late 1990s. “Be cognizant of short-term risks,” he says, but keep an eye on where you believe the cryptocurrency will be in five to 10 years.

Of course, with any high-risk investment like cryptocurrency, investors should remain aware of risks and not invest more than they can afford to lose.

Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies are volatile, high-risk investments that can quickly shift directions. Investors must always do their due diligence and be prepared for the volatile nature of these investments.