Ethereum Hits 18-Month Low as Worries About Inflation and the Merge Grow (Updated)

Finance

The valuation of Ethereum has continued to drop over the weekend. When we wrote about the 15-month lows being hit, we would never have predicted a drop to 18-month lows by Monday. At the time of writing 1ETH is worth just $1,239. This represents a near 15% drop in value over the last 24 hours. We’ve updated the original story to reflect the updated news.

Updated Story

Cryptocurrencies aren’t faring well as we hit the second weekend in June. Ethereum has been hit particularly hard in recent hours. Not only has the broader cryptocurrency market seen a sell-off in the wake of the current US inflation report(opens in new tab), but Ethereum developers are also indicating that the difficulty bomb will be delayed(opens in new tab) again. This is leading some to worry that the merge will also be delayed. Ethereum (ETH) carries a valuation of $1,239 at the time of writing, down about 15% on the day and sitting at its lowest ebb for the last 18 months.

So, the cryptocurrency market as a whole is currently feeling some ill effects from Friday’s consumer inflation report published by the US Labor Department. WSJ surveyed economists who had expected the consumer price index (CPI) to rise 8.3% in May, but the government said it increased 8.6% to a 40-year high. As a result, US stocks fell sharply, and crypto behaved as we have become accustomed, by following tech stocks down the pan – but exaggeratedly.

With inflation so high, moneyed individuals tend to move away from the risks of the stock market, and this movement amplifies more speculative investments. Many view cryptocurrencies as highly speculative.

The misery of ETH holders has been compounded by reports suggesting the difficulty bomb has been kicked further down the road. On Friday, developers decided to disable the difficulty bomb from earlier in the month, and will deploy it again at a later date. According to the Bloomberg report, developers found some bugs with software for the merge on one of the oldest testnets of the network and thus decided to push back the bomb. When the difficulty bomb does drop, it should help clear out ETH mining operations as the network finally begins transition from transition of ETH from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS).

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