Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:
Prices: Bitcoin and ether were trading flat after a mildly encouraging inflation report and the unveiling of the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade.
Insights: Go whale watching for a sense of where bitcoin’s price might be headed, writes CoinDesk analyst Glenn Williams writes
Bitcoin, Ether Remain Largely Unmoved by Major Events
Neither hotly anticipated inflation data nor an eagerly awaited Ethereum Shanghai upgrade could move bitcoin or ether much from their most recent perches.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was recently trading at about $29,900, down the better part of a percentage point over the past 24 hours. Ether, the second largest crypto in market value, was hovering around $1,905, up almost a percentage point. Many investors had been looking for both cryptos to react more strongly to Wednesday’s events, particularly the Ethereum “hard fork,” a continuation of the platform’s transformation from a proof-of-work to a faster, more efficient proof-of-stake protocol.
“We should be looking ahead at what’s in store for the Ethereum roadmap,” Jake Boyle, director of retail crypto brokerage Caleb & Brown, wrote. “A lot of progress has been made, and a lot is going to be made. This paints a wildly optimistic picture going forward.”
Boyle added: “We are heading into a recession, or at least it seems that way, and retail investors would be the profile of investors that would sell in the situation we find ourselves in. But this doesn’t seem to be the case, and this suggests to me that the profile of investors in the Ethereum ecosystem right now tends to be larger-scale. They appear to be more institutional-grade, and I don’t think that kind of investor would be quick to sell at this moment in time. They’re long-term focused.”
Most other major cryptos were recently trading flat. The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets overall performance, was recently down about a half percentage point. Equity indexes fell slightly with the tech-focused Nasdaq and S&P 500 off 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively. Gold continued to hold strongly over $2,039, near its all-time high as investors look toward assets that hold their value.
Meanwhile, in an email to CoinDesk, Konstantin Boyko-Romanovsky, CEO at non-custodial platform Allnodes, struck an upbeat note about Ethereum’s future.
“With previously locked ETH becoming available again, it could lead to “a rise in the staking ratio, increased liquidity, and potentially higher prices,” Boyko-Romanovsky wrote. “As the staking ratio rises, it will boost network security, a crucial indicator of blockchain health, and decrease the amount of circulating ETH.”
He added: “Early stakers will be able to reinvest their staking rewards. At the same time, removing uncertainty related to undetermined ETH lock-up periods will likely generate more interest in staking among retail and institutional participants.”
Bitcoin Whales May Forecast BTC’s Price Path
As bitcoin establishes new support at around $30,000, investors might want to track larger unique wallet addresses. Among wallets holding significant amounts of crypto to determine BTC’s price path:
Investors on the precipice of 10,000 BTC may be optimistic, locked into the asset and increasing their exposure – ready to move into a higher tier.
Their positions may represent a base of support for BTC prices because investors who went long on the digital asset in January are up 80% year to date.
The Shanghai upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain, also referred to as “Shapella,” took place on Wednesday at 22:27 UTC (6:27 p.m. EST). “First Mover” was tracking the activation and market impacts of the upgrade that, among other things, will enable staked ETH withdrawals. BTCS Inc. CEO Charles Allen and RockX Co-Founder and CEO Zhuling Chen joined the conversation. Also, Andre Portilho, head of digital assets at BTG Pactual, provided his crypto markets analysis. And Casa CEO Nick Neuman discussed self-custody of digital assets.
LIVE BLOG, Ethereum’s Shanghai Upgrade: CoinDesk reporters and editors chronicle the first-ever activation of withdrawals from the Ethereum staking mechanism, set for Wednesday at 6:27 p.m. ET (22:27 UTC). We’ve got the play-by-play on Shanghai – also known as “Shapella” – from what we’re seeing on the blockchain and at the watch parties.