In cryptocurrency parlance, it’s known as the “flip” and is probably still a long way off if that happens. Ether’s market value of around $ 210 billion is less than half that of Bitcoin even after Ether has risen 50% in the past month. Still, believers are filled with a new optimism as a milestone approaches that they believe will increase the chances of it happening, perhaps sooner rather than later.
“I keep hearing people repeat the question, ‘wen flippening?'” Quantum Economics founder and CEO Mati Greenspan wrote in a statement, using crypto-jargon employed by market loyalists. “While there is no guarantee that this will ever happen, just by looking at the numbers, it looks like this event is getting closer by the day.”
Ethereum boosters have been touting the blockchain as a better version of Bitcoin almost since it was conceived by programmer Vitalik Buterin in 2014 and launched a year later. The Bitcoin white paper was unveiled in 2008 and attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by the alleged pseudonymous individual or group who developed it.
Ether has grown in recent weeks as optimism grows over its long-awaited software update, which will facilitate the transition from the current mining system to a more energy-efficient one using staking coins. The transition to this so-called proof-of-stake system is expected to take place in September after being abandoned for several years. Ethereum developers recently reported continued progress in testing the new system and will be holding a series of events for potential stakers and other community members in the coming weeks.
QCP, a cryptocurrency shop, said its desk has been trading “an incredible amount” of Ether call options in the past few days, adding that hedge funds have been big buyers. “We expect this request to continue as we approach the merger in September,” they wrote in a market update on Telegram.
Ether has gained around 50% since mid-June and Ethereum-related assets have also risen. Uniswap, a more popular decentralized cryptocurrency exchange on Ethereum, has risen about 70% in the past month, according to data gathered by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s dominance has dropped to around 40% of the market, down from 70% in January last year, according to CoinMarketCap.
“We like Ether and we think it’s an important differentiator,” said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of BitBull Capital, which manages cryptocurrency hedge funds. “Bitcoin was the hundred-pound gorilla, but Ether is actually the other hundred-pound gorilla. Everything else falls behind.” His company holds Ether and bought as the coin was climbing from $ 1,000 to $ 1,500. DiPasquale added his location last week.
Flippening “is very possible,” said Bodhi Pinkner, an analyst at cryptocurrency manager Arca. “We have a favorable view of Ethereum,” he said, adding that, following the merger, it will become a deflationary asset. “So that shifting dynamic bodes theoretically well for Ethereum’s price relative to Bitcoin, especially in a tight environment.”
To be sure, this is not a new development. The cryptocurrency crowds have long been looking for signs that Bitcoin’s dominance may decline as more projects and tokens emerge. And while work on Merge has been going on for years, it has been postponed many times. It was recently scheduled to take place in June, but has been postponed again.
“The merger itself is an extremely risky event and any number of things can go wrong,” Quantum’s Greenspan said. “As always in the markets, higher risk can equate to higher returns. And they don’t call it risk because it is soft and safe ”.
Henry Elder, Wave Financial’s head of decentralized finance, agrees.
“The Merge is over-hyped from an ETH pricing standpoint,” he said. “It’s an incredibly important technological shift for Ethereum, but 99.99% of users won’t experience any difference until months or years later. Meanwhile, the effects of the reduction and reallocation of emissions will take some time before they are filtered down to ETH prices. ”
It points to the Bitcoin halving process, which is a preprogrammed update that halves the Bitcoin rewards for miners every four years or so. The impact of such an event can even take months to see on the market, she said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices rise in the merger, but I don’t think it’s a sustainable catalyst until the second half of 2023,” Elder said.