Ethereum’s Merge: Analytics suggest it is doing little to attract new users IntoTheBlock · 11 hours ago · 3 min read
Outside of the hacks and token collapses of this year, the merge has been one of the most discussed events and has been omnipresent in the last week as seen in IntoTheBlock’s word cloud for Ethereum news.
3 min read
Updated: September 7, 2022 at 1:22 am
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
On-chain and off-chain metrics indicate that one of the largest events to occur in crypto isn’t generating interest outside of the crypto community.
As nearly all crypto users are aware of by now, the Ethereum Merge is set to occur in the middle of September, moving the chain from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus model. This much-talked-about event has been years in the making and is now less than a month away. Outside of the hacks and token collapses of this year, the merge has been one of the most discussed events and has been omnipresent in the last week as seen in IntoTheBlock’s word cloud for Ethereum news.
Off-chain social metrics
Furthermore, Twitter sentiment models show that the quantity of recent tweets regarding ethereum are nearing this year’s highs (excluding outliers) that were last seen in late February and early March.
However, the Twitter data reveals that though there are increased tweets about Ethereum, positive sentiment is substantially lower compared to earlier this year with the tweet growth coming only from sentiment-neutral tweets. This lackluster excitement is corroborated by search trends for Ethereum since the all time highs in November. We see that aside from a few peaks, there has been a slow downtrend in search metrics for Ethereum.
The social data highlighted above indicates that there is a macro downtrend in interest for Ethereum and that the merge does not appear to be able to change the direction of that trend.
This lack of interest is also confirmed through on-chain metrics. Newly created addresses per day have been in a downtrend since the first market peak in May. This suggests that fewer newcomers are entering the market. In addition to decreasing new addresses, the total number of transactions per week also peaked in May. These two metrics together, indicate weak growth and low interest in Ethereum.
The metrics show that the current trend was set in motion long before the all time highs in November. Observing the low numbers of new addresses and stagnating transaction volumes after the May peak, suggest that newer retail investors lost interest and left the market (or never entered at all), leaving only institutional money and crypto veterans in the space. With global inflation rates at 40 year highs in many countries, retail investors will most likely have less discretionary income to put towards investments such as crypto.
The merge is being talked about everywhere in the crypto community. As of right now, it doesn’t appear that it will be the catalyst to spark enthusiasm for investors outside of the space. The merge may be too abstract for those who are not already in the space, which makes it difficult to attract new entrants.
However, once it becomes more apparent how switching to a PoS consensus model significantly reduces Ethereum’s energy use, we might start to see renewed interest. In addition to a greener blockchain, the flourishing roll-up and L2 ecosystems with substantially lower gas fees, might be the combined catalyst to bring Ethereum back into the limelight.
Saylor gives away BTC via lightning network
Saylor gives away BTC via lightning network Christian Nwobodo · 8 hours ago · 1 min read
Saylor sent 3 million sats (0.03 BTC) to winners of his Lightning meme contest.
1 min read
Updated: October 6, 2022 at 4:04 pm
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor used the Lightning network to send 3 million sats (0.03 BTC) to three winners of his Lightning meme contest.
Crypto researcher Eric Wall shared a Twitter pool asking if Michael Saylor has completed more than three Lightning transactions.
Being a vocal Lightning network advocate, Saylor replied to the pool with a “Yes” and offered to send some bitcoin sats to winners of his Lighting meme contest.
The correct answer is Yes, and I will make three more transactions of 1,000,000 sats each to the 3 posters of the most liked #Lightning⚡️ memes in the comments below. https://t.co/qXZ90q4Ly9
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) October 4, 2022
The contest which ended on Oct. 5, saw @ShireHODL.@NEEDcreations,& @publordhodl emerge as the winners. Saylor sent each of the winners 1 million sats (approx. $203) via the Lightning network.
Congratulations are in order to @ShireHODL, @NEEDcreations, & @publordhodl, the winners of our #Lightning⚡️ meme competition. Each has received 1,000,000 sats, delivered via the Lightning network in a few seconds. https://t.co/wiBTW6jhgk
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) October 6, 2022
@ShireHODL said he was looking to digitize the meme experience and turn his stats into a digital collectible.
Next steps: Frame with print of Saylor’s original tweet, my meme, announcing winners tweet and this satscard. Should do the same @NEEDcreations and @publordhodl. Has anyone else ever received sats from Saylor? Could be a collectible. Only three 😁
— Shire (@ShireHODL) October 6, 2022
Saylor on Lightning Network
Since leading MicroStrategy to purchase its first Bitcoin on Aug. 11, 2020, Saylor has been bullish on any infrastructure proven to help bitcoin reach mass adoption.
Saylor has maintained that the Bitcoin Lightning Network is the most important technology being developed today as it has the potential to scale bitcoin to billions of customers globally while leveraging the time-tested security of the Bitcoin layer.
Saylor’s MicroStrategy is working to develop a Lightning Network-based platform that will offer a Lightning wallet, enterprise servers, and enterprise authentication.
Number of active Ethereum users increased 36% in Q3 despite bear market
Number of active Ethereum users increased 36% in Q3 despite bear market Andjela Radmilac · 9 hours ago · 2 min read
Data from Dune Analytics showed that Ethereum gained over 4.5 million new active users in the third quarter.
2 min read
Updated: October 6, 2022 at 3:24 pm
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Ethereum saw a significant increase in the number of unique users on its network in the third quarter.
Data from Dune Analytics showed that Ethereum gained over 4.5 million new active users in the third quarter. The growth breaks the trend of steady decline in users the network has been facing since the fourth quarter of 2021 when ETH’s price rose to its all-time high of $4,890.
The 4.5 million new users represent a 36% increase in its active user base, showing that the ongoing bear market did little to curb interest in Ethereum.
Alan Goldberg, an analyst at BestBrokers, said that the long-anticipated Merge certainly brought more interest to the Ethereum network but isn’t the only factor that caused such a significant rise. Goldberg notes that the Merge was completed so late in the third quarter that ly wasn’t the only reason the network saw the uptrend in active users:
“Other factors have to be taken into account, including the fact that people actually find cryptocurrencies as an investment option and the record lows of the third quarter of 2022 seemed like a bargain to individual investors.”
At the end of the second quarter, Ethereum’s price dropped below the $900 mark — causing a market frenzy. However, Goldberg believes that the low price must have looked like a bargain discount to many optimistic investors who jumped at the opportunity to enter the market. A cheap ETH could have also opened the door for retail investors priced out of the network due to high gas fees.
Since then, ETH’s price rebounded after breaking the $1,000 resistance and saw an increase of over 100%, nearly reaching $2,000 in August. ETH’s price — currently at around $1,300 — still represents a solid opportunity for investors.
Researchers at BestBrokers noted that price volatility and high volume are the two main factors driving interest in the crypto market. This is exactly what Ethereum delivered in the past quarter, attracting millions of new investors and showing the potential to attract even more. Goldberg added:
“The 36% increase in the active users within just 3 months may be interpreted as a sign that the crypto markets are getting back on the positive trend. The fact that the number of active users is over 14% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2021 when both Bitcoin and Ether prices were at an all-time high, only reinforces crypto analysts’ expectations that the markets have a great potential to rise again.”
Bitcoin outperforms traditional crypto stocks in 2022 by up to 22%
Bitcoin outperforms traditional crypto stocks in 2022 by up to 22% Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright · 11 hours ago · 2 min read
MicroStrategy leads crypto stocks losing only 2% more than Bitcoin throughout 2022.
2 min read
Updated: October 5, 2022 at 10:58 pm
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Bitcoin’s price is down roughly 56% since January but crypto-related stocks such as MicroStrategy, Riot Blockchain, Coinbase, and Hut8 Mining are down up to 74%.
The orange line in the chart below shows Bitcoin’s decline in 2022 as a percentage of the January price. The other lines represent major Bitcoin equities, none of which have had a good year in terms of stock price.
Coinbase reported a $1.1 billion loss in Q2 2022 as assets held on the exchange fell to just $96 million. Recently, the stock was downgraded to a SELL by Wells Fargo as “as rising competition and macro pressures will hurt the stock.” Coinbase, which uses the ticker COIN, was floated on Apr. 21 at $310 per share. As of Oct. 5, it is trading down 76% to just $72, while it is also down 71% since January.
Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy is the best-performing crypto-related equity. The stock started the year at $576 but has fallen to $243, down 58% on the year. The stock hit yearly lows in July, trading at just $142. It rallied 150% to $361 in August; however, it has since dropped 30% despite announcements of further Bitcoin purchases.
Formerly Square, Block is down 62% since it opened the year at $164. It is currently trading at just $62, with insiders such as Alyssa Henry selling shares. According to an SEC filing, Henry sold 7% of their holdings for $1,715,491.
Crypto stocks underperform
Some investors may see crypto stocks as a safer alternative to directly purchasing crypto while gaining exposure to Bitcoin’s price. Alternatively, those using financial instruments that do not allow crypto purchases rely on such stocks for crypto exposure.
Spot Bitcoin ETFs have been rejected repeatedly in the U.S. over the years, but some have started appearing elsewhere, such as in Canada and Europe.
While the U.S. Dollar is near all-time highs, the equities markets are struggling. The S&P 500 hit an all-time high on Jan. 4 but fell roughly 21%, erasing all gains made after November 2020. Crypto stocks have lost, on average, three times more than the S&P 500 throughout 2022.
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