The cryptocurrency sector is gearing up for the Merge upgrade that will transition Ethereum (ETH) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol, with the event viewed as bullish for the asset. However, a section of market analysts believes that the network upgrade might not entirely benefit the second-ranked crypto by market capitalization.
In particular, Meltem Demirors, the chief strategy officer of crypto asset management company CoinShares, suggested that the macro environment like high inflation might deter new capital from entering into Ethereum while also calling it a ‘buy the rumor sell the news’ event in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on August 22.
“While internally there’s a lot of enthusiasm within the crypto community and Ethereum community around the Merge as an event that will dramatically reduce supply while potentially driving demand. One of the realities is on the macro side people are worried about rates, about macro. There is a lot going on.”
“I don’t think there’s a lot of new capital coming in to buy Ethereum on these changed fundamentals and technicals. There’s also some risk that will need to play out with the market. So in my view, the Merge has been a buy the rumor sell the news situation,” she said.
Macro elements impact on the Merge
Overall, the announcement about the Merge contributed to the short-term market rally of the crypto market in July. If successful, the September 15 event will make Ethereum a deflationary asset and potentially drive the crypto’s price up.
However, the strategist questioned the Merge’s ability to influence the general market as it is viewed as an isolated event.
“While there is a lot of enthusiasm or ebullience around the Merge. I think one of the fundamental issues is people looking at the Merge as an outside catalyst for Ethereum are looking at the Merge as an event in isolation,” she added.
Demirors noted that investors are avoiding risks due to uncertainty surrounding the post-Merge environment, hence capital in the sector has been through options and not direct exposure.
The need to abandon PoW
After the Merge, Ethereum will abandon the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol that has come under scrutiny for excessive energy consumption. Notably, several jurisdictions like New York have enacted new laws curbing the PoW.
In this line, Demirors considers the attack on PoW as a plot by governments to enact a blanket ban on Bitcoin (BTC). She suggested that attacking mining is a means of tackling the threat posed by Bitcoin.
Despite the recent rally, Demirors had previously suggested that cryptocurrencies have ‘no near-term upside catalysts’ while noting that Bitcoin is yet to fall into a recession.
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