Ethereum prices have been extremely lack luster lately despite solid fundamentals and a growing decentralized finance ecosystem. The world’s second largest crypto asset is so hopelessly tied to its big brother that it may be a while before it moves independently. Can the Istanbul network upgrade next week help?
Ethereum Still On The Floor in Twit-Storm
In terms of price, Ethereum is in a bad way. It has dumped almost 60% since the 2019 high which topped $350. Since all-time high, which some say will never be revisited, ETH is down almost 90%. Ethereum has wiped out pretty much all gains this year and has returned to levels traded in early January.
Ongoing crypto tribalism on social media is also detracting from the big picture which is financial independence from banks and states. Bitcoin maximalists have been labelling it a scam and generally bringing the entire scene into the gutter as the bickering continues:
Anyone claiming ethereum is "reckless" and bitcoin maximalism is somehow "responsible", I invite you to find even one tweet where I say anything remotely like this wrt ETH. https://t.co/U3IHL8Z0rx
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) November 27, 2019
Bitcoin and Ethereum serve two different purposes, one is a store of value and the other is a dApp platform and DeFi investment vehicle. Both are hedges against the current failed system though and that is what the rival twitter tribes fail to acknowledge or focus upon.
The Ethereum network is due some major upgrades in the coming year but will they be enough to spur a revival for the floundering token? Scalability has always been a concern for the network and that will be addressed with the long awaited migration to ETH 2.0.
Before any of that happens though, the Istanbul update must be rolled out, and it is currently scheduled for around next weekend according to the countdown. There will be six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) implemented in this hard fork to improve security, interoperability and network costs.
Interoperability with Zcash is addressed along with security improvements and four EIPs dealing with the reduction of gas costs on the network. There will be no effect on ETH wallets so this update is just a precursor to larger ones scheduled for next year. It is unlikely therefore that Istanbul will have any positive impact on Ethereum prices.
Next year will be a different story as Serenity starts to get rolled out beginning with Phase 0, Beacon Chain implementation. This comprises a brand new Proof-of-Stake blockchain which has been described as the spine that supports the whole of the new Ethereum 2.0 system.
Extensive testing is currently ongoing for Phase 0 and this will continue into 2020. Mainnet launch is likely to be in the first half of next year, maybe the first quarter if testnet rollout is smooth.
In terms of price, things should start improving for Ethereum as these major updates start drawing closer. Until then, getting to $200 is still a long way off.
Will ETH prices surge next year? Add your comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @VitalikButerin