We usually start our review with the main cryptocurrency, bitcoin. But this time, let's deviate from the rules and give the palm to the main altcoin, Ethereum. This is due to an event that may become the most important for the crypto industry in 2022. On September 15, the ETH network hosted the global update The Merge, which involves the transition of the altcoin from the Proof-of-Work protocol to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). This means that now the security of the blockchain will be ensured not by miners, but by validators: users who have deposited and blocked their share of coins (staking).
Now, instead of running large networks of computers, validators will use their Ethereum cache as a means of validating transactions and mining new tokens. This should improve the speed and efficiency of the network so that it can process more transactions and solve the problem of user growth. The developers claim that the update will make the network that hosts the ecosystem of cryptocurrency exchanges, lending companies, non-playable token (NFT) markets and other applications more secure and scalable. In addition, cryptocurrencies have been constantly criticized for their huge energy consumption. Ethereum will now consume 99.9% less of it.
Enthusiasts believe that this merge will revolutionize the industry and allow Ethereum to overtake bitcoin in capitalization and value. However, many authoritative voices sound much calmer. For example, Bank of America (BofA) believes that this hard fork will not solve the problem of scalability or high fees but may lead to wider institutional adoption. The notable decrease in power consumption after The Merge will allow some investors to purchase this altcoin for the first time. “The ability to place ETH and generate higher quality returns (lower credit and liquidity risk) as a validator or through staking could also drive institutional adoption,” BofA admitted.
CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors looks more pessimistic. He believes that investors are ignoring the overall market situation in the hype around the Merge. And it’s not certain that this event will attract significant investment capital: “The reality is more prosaic,” says the CoinShares strategist. “At the global level, investors are concerned about rates and macro indicators. And I don't believe that significant amounts of new capital are likely to enter ETH.”
Time will tell how the market will eventually react to the Merge. In the meantime, instead of growth, there has been a fall. The trigger was the collapse of stock indices (S&P500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq), which was provoked by US inflation data for August. Market participants decided that in such a situation the Fed would tighten its monetary policy more actively and raise interest rates. It is expected that the rate will rise by another 0.75% or even 1.0% next week. As a result, the dollar began to rise sharply, while risky assets, including bitcoin and Ethereum, fell. BTC fell to $19,341 by Friday evening, having lost 15% of its value over the week, ETH fell to $1,403, “shrinking” by 20%.
According to many experts, due to the hawkish position of the Fed and the ECB, the dynamics of the crypto market will remain negative at least until the end of the year. Against the backdrop of a reduction in market risk appetite, it will be difficult for bitcoin to stay above not only the psychologically important level of $20,000, but also above the June 18 low of $17,600. The latter threatens a further collapse.
A trader and analyst under the nickname filbfilb allowed in an interview with Cointelegraph the bitcoin to fall from current levels to $10,000-11,000. According to the specialist, bitcoin has become highly correlated with the US stock market, which is under enormous pressure due to the Fed's policies. The first cryptocurrency behaves as a risky asset, not as inflation insurance.
The expert noted that the upcoming winter will be a serious test for residents and politicians of the European Union, the consequences of which will have a negative impact on hodlers. The important thing will be how the countries of the Old World will cope with the energy crisis. According to him, everything is in the hands of diplomats who are able to prevent an emergency. Otherwise, risky assets will face a difficult future.
It should be noted here that the dependence of BTC on the US stock market weakened sharply in August and was at the annual low. However, it has begun to grow again and, according to the TradingView service, the correlation between bitcoin and the S&P 500 index has reached 0.59. The situation is similar with the Nasdaq. The correlation with it fell to 0.31 in August, and it rose to 0.62 in September. Analysts remind that the dependence of the crypto sphere on the stock market becomes strong after the correlation index rises above 0.5. When 0.7 is reached, the dependence becomes ideal.
However, despite the negative sentiments, there is still hope to see light at the end of the tunnel. The aforementioned filbfilb called bitcoin's Q1 2023 rally "obvious". The expert sees two reasons for this. The first is the seasonal factor. Downtrends end 1000 days after the halving (which will be early next year. The second is a change in sentiments to positive ones, based on game theory. With a probability of 2/3, the expert suggested that Europe will survive the coming winter.
Cryptocurrency analyst with the nickname Rager does not believe in the decline of BTC to $12,000. He agreed that there are no guarantees when dealing with bitcoin. But, in his opinion, it is very likely that the asset is forming a bear market bottom above $19,000. Another analyst and trader with the nickname Rekt Capital believes that everything is moving towards the final phase of bitcoin's decline. “A significant part of the BTC bear market is behind us, and the entire bull market is ahead. The bottom of the bear market will be in November, December or the beginning of the Q1 2023.”
Rekt Capital noted that the data signal a possible rise in BTC by 200%, but there is one caveat: Bitcoin could fall even more before it goes up. “Of course, in the short term, the BTC price could fall by 5%-10%,” Rekt Capital writes. “But in the long term, a rally of more than 200% is very likely.” Despite the depreciation of BTC, Michael Saylor, the founder of MicroStrategy, hopes for the best. His company intends to proceed with the acquisition of this asset. It will reportedly sell $500 million worth of its own shares. The proceeds from these sales will be used, among other things, to replenish the cryptocurrency stocks. Note that MicroStrategy is the largest corporate bitcoin holder. It owns 129,699 coins purchased at an average exchange rate of $30,664. The last purchase (480 BTC) was made in June.
At the time of writing (Friday evening, September 16), this MicroStrategy investment is deeply unprofitable, as BTC/USD is trading at $19,730 (ETH/USD - $1,435). The total capitalization of the crypto market has again fallen below the psychologically important level of $1 trillion and is $0.959 trillion ($1.042 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index fell 2 points in seven days from 22 to 20 and is still in the Extreme Fear zone.
|#||Crypto||Prediction||Accuracy||CVIX||Price||24h||7d||Market Cap||7d price change|
|1||BTC||Bitcoin predictions||92%||8||$37 067.95||0.01%||-0.78%||$724 870 506 030|
|2||ETH||Ethereum predictions||73.6%||49||$2 017.02||-0.19%||0.14%||$242 534 783 470|
|3||USDT||Tether predictions||95.6%||1||$1.000026||-0.05%||-0.04%||$88 901 146 043|
|4||BNB||Binance Coin predictions||84.8%||28||$227.48||0.02%||-12.67%||$34 508 188 927|
|5||XRP||XRP predictions||77.2%||42||$0.604778||0.21%||-1.55%||$32 547 296 707|
|6||USDC||USD Coin predictions||93.6%||1||$1.000084||-0.02%||0.01%||$24 455 400 883|
|7||SOL||Solana predictions||56.4%||87||$55.55||1.01%||-2.03%||$23 522 962 126|
|8||ADA||Cardano predictions||71.2%||62||$0.374147||-1.67%||-2.32%||$13 206 736 355|
|9||DOGE||Dogecoin predictions||72%||48||$0.077448||-1.57%||0%||$10 998 729 388|
|10||STETH||Lido stETH predictions||94.8%||1||$2 941.39||-0.40%||-3.32%||$10 258 752 564|
|11||TRX||TRON predictions||83.6%||27||$0.101606||-2.83%||-0.09%||$8 998 129 812|
|12||WTRX||Wrapped TRON predictions||82.4%||30||$0.101296||-3.19%||0.09%||$8 970 754 135|
|13||TON||Toncoin predictions||83.6%||31||$2.44||1.70%||3.43%||$8 360 361 489|
|14||LINK||Chainlink predictions||64%||69||$14.15||-0.86%||-1.03%||$7 880 097 668|
|15||AVAX||Avalanche predictions||60%||86||$19.89||-2.58%||-7.38%||$7 260 442 795|
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