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Bitcoin price is up around 20% since this time last month, while Ethereum has skyrocketed 50% as hype around its long-awaited Merge upgrade peaks – with one Ethereum co-founder sharing a surprise Ethereum – price forecast.
Now, crypto traders are keeping a close watch for signs that Ethereum could finally overtake Bitcoin as the largest cryptocurrency by value – suggesting more than 100% Ethereum – with one top-tier analyst saying the so-called “flip” of the day is getting closer.”
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“I keep hearing people repeat the question ‘Who.’ [sic] flip?” wrote Mati Greenspan, the founder of cryptanalytics researcher Quantum Economics, in a note. “While there is no guarantee that this will ever happen, it seems like this event is getting closer by the day just by looking at the numbers.”
Many in the Ethereum community have long predicted that Ethereum’s market cap, currently just under half of Bitcoin’s more than $400 billion, will eventually eclipse Bitcoin due to Ethereum’s smart contract functionality and its broader usefulness. Ethereum price has surged over the past year amid an explosion in popularity of digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on the Ethereum blockchain.
However, bitcoin has also seen increasing demand as investors bet it will eventually become the digital equivalent of gold.
“We like ether and think it’s a key differentiator,” said Joe DiPasquale, the managing director of crypto hedge fund manager BitBull Capital wealth. “Bitcoin was the hundred pound gorilla, but ether really is the other hundred pound gorilla. Everything else lags behind.”
Meanwhile, analysts are predicting that the Federal Reserve — widely blamed for the extreme swings in bitcoin, crypto and stock markets this year — will “sharp” slow its pace of rate hikes and “move to monetary easing fairly quickly.” ‘ which could potentially cause further price volatility.
“Since the next [Federal Reserve interest rate meeting] In September, we’re likely to see increased volatility over the coming month as speculators take their chances,” DiPasquale added via email.
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Ethereum’s merge upgrade, likely scheduled for mid-September, will result in the network switching from Bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus mechanism to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake. This will allow Ethereum holders to “stake” their ether to secure the network against freshly minted coins, rather than relying on so-called miners who use high-performance computers to secure the blockchain and verify transactions.
Last week, Ethereum co-founder and spiritual leader of the project, Vitalik Buterin, said he still doesn’t believe Ethereum’s long-awaited merge upgrade is fully “priced in” – predicting that “once the merger happens, the morale will rise sharply”.