As South Africa’s interest in cryptocurrency continues to flourish, Ethereum (ETH), the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, is on a steady climb towards the R37,000 mark ($2K). At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading at an impressive R36,680 with a market capitalization of R4.4 trillion. Over the course of the past week, Ethereum’s price has seen an uptick of 4 percent, a testament to the resilient growth pattern it has been displaying.
Fostering the current rally in the altcoin market, Ethereum continues to advance. Institutional interest has not fallen short, with digital asset investment products registering substantial inflows. Despite Bitcoin’s supremacy, Ethereum investment products welcomed inflows of R50.5 million last week alone, according to data from CoinShares.
A new player in the cryptocurrency exchange landscape, EDX Markets, backed by industry veterans Charles Schwab, Citadel, and Fidelity, has embraced Ethereum trading. The platform extends trading opportunities for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, in addition to Ethereum. Experts are suggesting that Ethereum’s sudden surge in institutional attention could influence the SEC’s decision to not classify it as a security.
The crypto market is witnessing a rapid expansion, with economic indicators pointing to dwindling inflation rates. The Federal Reserve, tasked with managing interest rates, has recently hit the pause button on rate hikes. Should the central bank maintain this easing stance, prices of Ethereum and other altcoins could potentially witness significant growth.
Forward-Looking: Ethereum Upgrade on the Horizon
The imminent Ethereum upgrade, slated for the second half of this year, has been a significant driving force behind the growing interest in liquid staking tokens (LSTs). The upgrade, named Cancun-Deneb, is projected for implementation in the fourth quarter of 2023 and is set to introduce a novel feature known as “blob-carrying transactions.”
This EIP-4844 upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain will permit the transmission of larger “blobs” of data to Ethereum nodes for a specified duration, as opposed to permanent storage on the Layer-1 chain.
Nodes will retain this data long enough to assess the performance of layer-2 rollups’ provers. These provers serve the essential role of ensuring the accuracy of transactions occurring on the L2 chain.
Delphi analyst Joo Kian sheds light on the upcoming upgrade, stating, “With the forthcoming Cancun upgrade, L2 sequencers can expect considerably higher profit margins as L1 data costs are set to decrease substantially.” As per Kian, sequencers, responsible for processing and arranging transactions to lighten the load on the primary Ethereum blockchain, will have the opportunity to operate with enhanced efficiency and profitability.
South Africa’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space is promising, and as Ethereum continues its bullish trend, it’s an exciting time for South African investors and the broader crypto community. As developments continue to unfold, it will be intriguing to see how South Africa’s burgeoning crypto ecosystem adapts and grows.
*All currencies in the article have been converted to the South African Rand