The Ethereum [ETH] Merge scheduled for next month is arguably the hottest topic in the crypto industry right now. Investors, institutions, and even regulators are expected to keep a close eye on ETH. This is due to the expected transition to the energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) model.
Exchanges gearing up
Crypto exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, Uniswap, and Crypto.com have demonstrated their support for the much-anticipated Merge. However, these organizations have announced certain measures to ensure that the transition is properly updated on their platforms.
Coinbase announced earlier this month that ETH and ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals will be paused to ensure a seamless transition.
Binance followed suit and told users in a blog post that ETH and ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals will be suspended on 15 September at 00:00 (UTC).
Staking activities for both these exchanges will also be halted till the Merge is complete. Stablecoin projects Tether and Circle have both reiterated their exclusive support for Ethereum PoS.
Potential PoW hard fork
The larger part of the Ethereum community is in favor of the Merge. However, a fraction of the community doesn’t seem thrilled with the shift to PoS.
The faction is mostly made up of ETH miners. Miners risk losing their investments in expensive mining equipment. Furthermore, the update would render their business model useless. Thus, miners are in anticipation of a hardfork.
Binance further clarified that in the event of a fork, the ETH ticker will be reserved for Ethereum PoS. It also added that “withdrawals for the forked token will be supported.” A number of exchanges have updated their offerings in anticipation of such a fork.
🔄 The gap between #Ethereum's top 10 largest non-exchange addresses & exchange addresses is closing as we head toward the #merge in 3 weeks. Since May 10th, these top non-exchange $ETH addresses hold 11% less coins, & top exchange addresses hold 78% more. https://t.co/k5OlJ1hG3D pic.twitter.com/XOAVhXaKPG
— Santiment (@santimentfeed) August 24, 2022
Major whale activity
Data from Santiment revealed that over the past three months, the top ten ETH non-exchange addresses have reduced their holdings by 11%. Meanwhile, the top ten addresses have added 78% more ETH to their holdings.
The gap between these two has been closing in the run-up to next month’s Merge.
It can be argued that whales are moving their holdings onto exchanges to prepare to dump in case ETH prices plummet following the Merge.