Ethereum is up by a small 1.2% over the past week of trading as the cryptocurrency currently sits at around $3450. The coin reached support at $3205 (.5 Fib) last Friday and started to rebound higher from there. The support at $3200 was further bolstered by a rising trend line that extends back to August.
On Wednesday, ETH managed to break the 20-day MA level again as it surged to $3600. Unfortunately, it could not close a daily candle above $3600 and ended up falling back beneath the 20-day MA level today.
Looking ahead, the first solid support lies at $3400. This is followed by $3350 (August resistance), $3200 (50-day MA & .5 Fib), $3000 (. 618 Fib), and $2890 (August support).
On the other side, the first resistance lies at $3525 (20-day MA). This is followed by $3600, $3790 (bearish . 786 Fib), and $3975 (September resistance & 1. 272 Fib Extension). Beyond $4000, added resistance lies at $4060 and $4200.
ETH is also in a similar situation against BTC as it dropped beneath the 20-day MA level again today. Support was found at 0. 0711 BTC (. 382 Fib & 20-day MA) last Friday and started to rebound from there. On Wednesday, ETH managed to break the 20-day MA and push higher to 0. 076 BTC yesterday.
Unfortunately, it was unable to overcome resistance at 0. 076 BTC yesterday and has since dropped beneath the 20-day MA at 0. 074 BTC to the current 0. 0728 BTC level. The September ascending trendline is currently supporting it.
Looking ahead, the trend line is the first support. Then follows 0. 072 BTC, 0. 0711 BTC (. 382 Fib), 0. 07 BTC (50-day MA) and 0. 0691 BTC.
On the other hand, the first resistance lies at 0. 074 BTC (20-day MA). Then, follow by 0. 076 BTC, 0. 0765 BTC (beraish . 786 Fib), and 0. 0787 BTC.
XRP is down a small 1.8% this week as it currently trades at around $1.06. The price range for cryptocurrency is $1. 14 and $1. 05 over the past ten days and must break this range to dictate the next direction for the market.
The support of the range is provided by a .5 Fib and a 50-day MA. If the sellers breach the lower limit of the range at $1. 05, the first support lies at $1.00. The next support is $0. 95 (. 618 Fib), $0. 92 (200-day MA), $0. 86 (100-day MA), and $0. 8282 (2020 highs).
On the other hand, $1 is the first resistance. 15 (20-day MA & upper boundary of the range). The next step is $1. 25 (Feb 2018 highs), $1. 30, $1. 36 (1. 618 Fib Extension), and $1.40.
It is also struggling against BTC as it falls beneath the 50-day MA level today. The coin did try and push higher at the start of the week as it surged above 2400 SAT to hit 2450 SAT. There, it found resistance at the 20-day MA and reversed from the level.
XRP would fall throughout the week until support was found at 2290 SAT (. 382 Fib & 50-day MA) yesterday. The bears pushed beneath this support today to hit 2240 SAT.
Looking ahead, the first support lies at 2200 SAT. This is followed by 2155 SAT (.5 Fib), 2100 SAT (100-day MA), 2050 SAT (200-day MA), and 2000 SAT (. 618 Fib).
On the other side, the first resistance lies at 2300 SAT (50-day MA). This is followed by 2400 SAT (20-day MA), 2500 SAT, 2670 SAT (bearish .5 Fib), and 2230 SAT (1. 618 Fib Extension).
ADA is down by 5.5% over the course of the week as it currently trades at the $2. 35 support (. 382 Fib Retracement). This support was in place last week. The coin attempted to rise higher, but failed to overcome resistance at $2.8- over the course of the week.
It is currently locked in a range of $2. 60 and $2. 35 and must break this range to dictate the next direction for the market.
If the sellers break $2. 35, the first support is expected at $2. 25 (50-day MA). The next step is $2. 16 (.5 Fib), $2. 00 (. 618 Fib), and $1. 80 (100-day MA).
On the other side, the first resistance lies at $2.50. The next step is $2. 64 (20-day MA), $2. 80, $2. 96 (1. 272 Fib Extension), and $3.00.
ADA is also struggling against BTC as it breaks beneath the 5000 SAT support today. The coin had reached 5340 SAT (. 236 Fib) support last Friday and rebounded higher from there over the weekend. Unfortunately, it could not break resistance at 6000 SAT and ended up rolling over from there as the week progressed.
By Tuesday, ADA broke beneath the 5340 SAT support and continued into 5000 SAT, which was finally breached today.
Looking ahead, if the sellers continue lower, the first support lies at 4925 SAT (. 382 Fib). This is followed by 4825 SAT (50-day MA), 4590 SAT (.5 Fib), and 4250 SAT (. 618 Fib & 100-day MA).
On the other side, the first resistance lies at 5000 SAT. This is followed by 5340 SAT, 5500 SAT (20-day MA), 6000 SAT, and 6200 SAT (1. 414 Fib Extension).
SOL is down by a strong 23.5% over the past week as it currently sits at around $139. The cryptocurrency had been on an incredible monthly run and is still up 105% on the month, despite the recent price drop.
It managed to reach as high as $216 at the start of September but has been in a retracement period ever since. Throughout the week, SOL managed to develop support at $151 (. 236 Fib). However, the sellers broke beneath this support today as they broke beneath the 20-day MA to reach the current $139 level.
Looking ahead, the first support lies at $126 (. 382 Fib). This is followed by $120, $106 (.5 Fib), $100, and $90 (50-day MA).
On the other side, the first resistance lies at $151 (20-day MA). This is followed by $160, $180, $200, and $216.
SOL is also in a retracement period against BTC as it currently sits at 0. 00294 BTC. BTC. 0046 BTC at the start of September.
This week, SOL fell below the ascending price channel on Tuesday in order to get support at 0. 0033 BTC (. 236 Fib). Yesterday’s SOL was below 0. 0033 BTC to find the 20-day MA support at 0. 0314 BTC. Today, SOL broke the 20-day MA and fell beneath 0. 003 BTC to find the support at 0. 00282 BTC (. 382 Fib).
Looking ahead, if bears break 0. 00282 BTC, the first support lies at 0. 0025 BTC. Then, follow by 0. 00242 BTC (.5 Fib), 0. 002 BTC (618 Fib & 50-day MA), and 0. 0019 BTC.
On the other hand, the first resistance lies at 0. 003 BTC. Then, follow by 0. 0033 BTC (20-day MA), 0. 0035 BTC, 0. 004 BTC (1. 414 Fib Extension), and 0. 00429 BTC (1. 618 Fib Extension).
AVAX is up by an incredible 58% this week as the coin surges as high as $69 to put it in the 11th ranked position. It was trading at around $40 (20-day MA) last Friday as it started to surge higher. By the end of the weekend, AVAX had already managed to reach as high as $60.
After a brief retracement to $50, the cryptocurrency started to climb again on Wednesday. Yesterday, it surged past $60 and reached as high as $68. It continued today to reach resistance at $69 (1. 272 Fib Extension) but has since dropped to $66.
Looking ahead, the first resistance beyond $69 (1. 272 Fib Extension) lies at $73. 65 (1. 414 Fib Extension). This is followed by $78. 35, $80 (1. 618 Fib Extension), $85, and $90.
On the other side, the first support lies at $64. This is followed by $60, $55, $52 (20-day MA), and $48.
Against BTC, AVAX is also performing very well as it trades at 0. 00141 BTC. The coin traded at 0. 00087 BTC (20-day MA) last Friday as it started to push higher to end the weekend at 0. 0013 BTC. Yesterday, AVAX broke 0. 0013 BTC to reach the current 0. 00141 BTC level.
Looking ahead, the first resistance can be seen at 0. 00147 BTC (1. 618 Fib Extension). Then follow 0. 0015 BTC, 0. 00153 BTC, 0. 00163 BTC (1. 282 Fib Extension), 0. 0017 BTC, and 0. 00173 BTC (1. 414 Fib Extension).
On the other hand, the first support is at 0. 0014 BTC. Then, follow by 0. 00132 BTC, 0. 00122 BTC, 0. 0011 BTC (20-day MA), and 0. 001 BTC.
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Arbitrum, Optimism and the Battle for Ethereum L2 Supremacy 2022
New data suggests that the ecosystem is experiencing record-breaking network activity. In the last two months, both layers – 1 and 2 – have collectively processed 152 million transactions. However, it is the layer two solutions such as Arbitrum, Optimism, and others that accounted for 58%.
On the other hand, Ethereum mainnet transactions were observed to be hovering at their lowest point in over two years, which isn’t the case for layer two rollups. This is responsible for processing the same number of transactions as the mainnet.
Arbitrum – Undisputed Layer 2 Leader
Arbitrum and Optimism are the most popular Layer 2s. However, the popularity of these rollups can be explained by the ease with which projects can port over to them. These two important layer-two solutions have been integrated into well-respected centralized crypto exchanges.
As the hype about alternative L1s faded, the commitment to scaling Ethereum’s ecosystem paid off. pic.twitter.com/xMTo0DfaOm
— Messari (@MessariCrypto) December 17, 2022
Looking at the total value of these protocols, Arbitrum is clearly in control with $1. 06 billion. Despite the bear markets, the market has grown steadily. This can partly be attributed to the Nitro upgrade which introduced lower fees and increased capacity.
Furthermore, its developer – Offchain Labs – raised around $147 million in funding from the likes of Lightspeed Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, as well as billionaire Mark Cuban, among others. According to Pitchbook, the firm’s post-money valuation is over $1.2 billion.
In a bid to expand the footprint of Arbitrum, Offchain Labs announced the acquisition of Prysmatic Labs, which happens to be one of the core engineering teams behind Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake.
Optimism Trailing Closely
The latest stats from DeFiLlama also showed that Optimism has grown significantly in terms of TVL share, which currently stood at $526. 15 million. Outside of DeFi, the layer 2 solution has witnessed positive growth in the NFT space. Over the past few months, there has been a steady upward trend in the number of buyers for Optimism NFTs. Several initiatives, such as introducing Optimism quests, among others, have managed to attract more users.
The scaling solution secured $150 million in Series B funding, co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Paradigm, in March this year.
Layer 2’s main attraction is the declining transaction fees. Arbitrum and Optism have done well in this regard. Dune Analytics data suggested that the fees on both the layer 2 solutions have plunged substantially.
Ethereum’s History: From Whitepaper to Hardforks and the ETH Merge
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, is the home of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps), holding a major share of the total value locked in the sector. Ethereum’s dominance in the dApp market was up to 90% before other rival platforms were created.
Nonetheless, Ethereum is still the undisputed king of dApps. Despite its high fees, the platform is still the first choice for different applications, ranging from finance, exchanges, and storage to gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and governance. This shows how far it has come since its whitepaper was published in 2013.
This article highlights the timeline of major events that made Ethereum a favorite decentralized blockchain network for dApp developers and its journey to Proof-of-Stake.
2013: The Conception of Ethereum
Ethereum, like all things, began with an idea. And the idea, which the Russian-born Canadian computer programmer Vitalik Buterin conceived, was to leverage blockchain technology to develop decentralized applications, unlike Bitcoin, which was strictly created for financial use.
Ethereum’s introductory paper was published in late 2013 by Buterin, the co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. The whitepaper explained the concept of the new technology, its fundamental principles, and its possible use cases. But the project wouldn’t launch until two years later.
On January 23, 2014, Buterin officially announced the start of the Ethereum ecosystem, calling on volunteers, developers, investors, and evangelists to join the project. The programmer revealed that he was working with Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke as primary core developers to build the platform. Other founding team members include Anthony Di Iorio, Joseph Lubin, and Charles Hoskinson.
Buterin also noted that his team’s goal was to provide a “platform for decentralized applications – an android of the cryptocurrency world, where all efforts can share a common set of APIs, trustless interactions and no compromises.”
Three months later, Wood published the project’s “Yellow Paper,” which provided a detailed definition and specification of the Ethereum ecosystem, including Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), fee rewards for miners, and smart contracts. He also played a crucial role in creating Ethereum’s prototype by helping to code the project’s first functional implementation into seven programming languages.
2014’s Crowdfunding: $18M Worth of BTC Funded Ethereum
Ethereum developers needed large funding to build the project. So the team decided to raise capital from public investors through an initial coin offering (ICO) that lasted for 42 days, from July 20 to September 2, 2014.
In June 2014, the project established the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss-based non-profit organization, to manage the legal and marketing efforts of the ICO campaign. The Foundation created a total of 60 million ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum ecosystem, for public sale. The company sold 2,000 ether per bitcoin (BTC) for the first two weeks of the ICO and 1,399 ETH per BTC for the remainder of the token sale event.
Interestingly, the Foundation sold over 50 million tokens within the first 14 days of the crowdfunding, and by the end of the campaign, the project raised a total of 31,531 BTC, worth more than $18 million. This made Ethereum’s crowdfunding the fifth most successful ICO in crypto history (back then).
The non-profit also created another 12 million ETH, bringing the total amount of minted ether to 72 million. The company said the additional tokens would be used for marketing and other developmental activities.
2015: The Birth of Ethereum
About two months after the crowdfunding, ETH DEV organized Ethereum’s first event, dubbed DEVCON-0, which hosted Ethereum developers worldwide to discuss the protocol’s security and scalability.
In April 2015, the Foundation launched its first grant program, DEVgrant, to support the best projects on the Ethereum ecosystem ahead of the platform’s pre-launch, and the program is still running to date.
On May 2015, the Ethereum development team released Olympic, a test version of the network, which focused on four areas – transaction activity, virtual machine usage for smart contract execution, mining prowess, and stress testing. The Foundation rewarded testers with 2,500 ETH and other prizes in each category of the testing stage.
After the Olympic testing phase, Ethereum officially went live on July 30, 2015, nearly two years after Buterin published the project’s whitepaper. The project’s first public release, known as Frontier and aimed at developers and technical users, marked a significant milestone for the team. It was the birth of a new blockchain ecosystem for decentralized applications of all kinds, even though the protocol would later undergo a series of upgrades as it matured.
Like Bitcoin, the newly launched protocol adopted a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism. Ethereum created its first block (genesis block) through Frontier, and the block contained 8,893 ether transactions to different wallets, with a block reward of 5 ETH. Ether had no value during this period as there was no market for it yet. Investors who participated in ICO were still HODLing their tokens.
Ethereum’s Ice Age
The Ethereum development team introduced the Ice Age and, with it – the difficulty bomb on September 7, 2015, at block 200,000. It is a difficulty adjustment scheme designed to increase mining difficulty on the network after every 100,000 blocks, thus making it impossible for miners to keep up with the increasing difficulty level. This would make the network freeze over time, hence the name “Ice Age.”
The feature was implemented to ensure there would be consensus in the ecosystem on future upgrades that would transition Ethereum to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus network.
On March 14, 2016, at block 1150000, the team launched an upgrade dubbed “Homestead,” nearly a year after Frontier went live. The new release came with GUI, thus making the platform useful for non-technical users.
The fork also enhanced the platform with Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP), which ensured the platform could run future upgrades.
The DAO Attack of 2016: 3,600,000 ETH Stolen
On April 30, 2016, a Decentralized Anonymous Organization (DAO) was created on Ethereum at block 1428757. The DAO raised $150 million worth of ether from over 11,000 investors, but little did anyone know the success wouldn’t last.
A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is similar to a company’s board of directors, except that DAO members are anonymous, and their voting rights are determined by the number of tokens vested.
Barely three months after its launch, the DAO was hacked because its developer deployed the project without careful auditing. The attacker moved about 3.6M ETH, worth $60 million at that time, from the platform, which led to a controversial forking of the Ethereum network to recover the stolen assets.
The incident gave Ethereum its first real existential threat since DAO’s failure would have devastating consequences for the budding blockchain network in addition to financial losses for investors because the DAO had become one of the biggest projects on Ethereum.
The Ethereum community attempted a soft fork to avoid making permanent changes to the blockchain, but that didn’t work. A hard fork was then implemented, and the funds were restored and returned to investors.
A hard fork means permanently deviating from a blockchain’s latest version to upgrade or orphan the old chain. Hard forks are usually performed by people who wish to create a new token or chain that runs on different rules.
Ethereum’s hard fork after the DAO attack created a new blockchain. The original network was rebranded as Ethereum Classic, while the new chain retained the name – Ethereum.
It is worth noting that Ethereum would later undergo several hard forks. However, unlike the DAO event, none resulted in a controversial chain split except the 2022 Beacon Chain upgrade, which transitioned Ethereum to a PoS consensus mechanism. Other vital upgrades on the network include the Tangerine Whistle, Spurious Dragon, Byzantium, and Constantinople.
2020: The Ethereum Scalability Issues
After surviving the DAO incident, Ethereum’s next major challenge was its scalability issue. Like Bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain faces the Blockchain Trilemma, a concept first used by Buterin while describing the core functions of a decentralized blockchain network.
The Ethereum co-founder stated that security, decentralization, and scalability are the three desirable elements of a blockchain network. However, it’s difficult for a blockchain to have efficient levels of all three features simultaneously. In other words, it must compromise one core feature to optimize for the other two.
By late 2017, Ethereum had become a favorite smart contract platform for dApp developers. The network also enjoyed euphoria from the bull market that year, with the blockchain game CryptoKitties pulling crowds into the Ethereum ecosystem. This resulted in network congestion, with transactions taking longer to confirm and gas fees shooting through the roof.
The scaling issues on Ethereum created a market for off-chain scaling products such as Polygon.
You can find out more about Layer2 scaling solutions in this in-depth article.
The DeFi boom of 2020 and 2021 did not make things easy for Ethereum. While the blockchain continued to record a significant adoption rate, average users were plagued with high gas fees, thus creating the need for users to sort out cheaper alternatives such as BNB Chain and Tron.
To resolve its scalability issues, Ethereum implemented an upgrade in December 2020, marking the start of the network’s transition from PoW to PoS. The upgrade required 16,384 deposits of 32 staked ETH in the contract address before it was implemented.
Proof-of-stake is a blockchain consensus mechanism that verifies crypto transactions and creates new blocks through randomly selected validators, unlike PoW, which requires miners to solve mathematical puzzles. In PoS, validators must stake their coins before they are allowed to verify transactions on the network.
PoS is a more secure and energy-efficient consensus mechanism than proof-of-work architecture. According to the Ethereum Foundation, proof-of-stake is also better for implementing new scaling solutions, which Ethereum needs more than ever.
The upgrade created a separate PoS chain called the Beacon Chain, which ran parallel to the Ethereum PoW Mainnet. Both chains would then merge to form a single network called Ethereum 2.0 or ETH 2.0. However, the Foundation rebranded the new name to “Consensus Layer,” noting that ETH2 sounded like a new operating system, which was not the case. The rebrand was also part of the Foundation’s effort to prevent users from being victims of scams such as swapping ETH for ETH2.
2022: The Ethereum Merge
The Ethereum development team released several updates after the launch of the Beacon Chain in preparation for the Merge. Some of these upgrades were Altair and Bellatrix.
The precise explanation, as provided by the Ethereum Foundation, is:
“The Merge represents the joining of the existing execution layer of Ethereum (the mainnet we use today) with its new proof-of-stake consensus layer – the Beacon Chain.”
The Ethereum Merge was implemented with an upgrade called “Paris” at block 15537393 on September 15, 2022. At the time of the upgrade, over 13.4 million ETH coins were staked on the deposit contract. The fork saw Ethereum’s transition to a PoS consensus nearly two years after the Beacon genesis.
So what happened to Ethereum’s PoW miners after the Merge? The Ethereum network was forked to create a separate chain (similar to Ethereum Classic). The blockchain is called proof-of-work Ethereum (ETHW), and it allows miners to continue verifying blocks by solving complex mathematical puzzles for ETH rewards.
You can take a look at our complete guide on the Merge here.
The Future: What’s Next After the Merge?
With the Merge successfully implemented, the next major upgrade on Ethereum is Sharding, a multi-phase upgrade designed to improve the protocol’s scalability and overall capacity. This is known as an on-chain scaling solution.
Sharding will work synergistically with layer2 rollups while splitting the entire Ethereum network into independent partitions called shards, thus improving the network’s throughput by up to 1000x. Aside from scalability, Sharding will introduce other benefits to Ethereum, such as more network participation and improved decentralization.
The upgrade is expected to be fully implemented around 2024 or beyond. This means that until then, Ethereum will likely continue to depend on off-chain scaling solutions such as layer 2 and sidechains.
Bitcoin, Technical Analysis: BTC Closes to $17,000 Before Christmas Day
Bitcoin rose closer to the $17,000 level on Saturday, despite crypto markets mostly consolidating to start the week. Global cryptocurrency market cap has fallen 0. 32% as of writing. Ethereum was also higher earlier in the day, with prices nearing the $1,230 level.
Bitcoin (BTC) remained under the $17,000 level to start the weekend, as prices continued to consolidate despite earlier gains.
BTC/USD hit a high of $16,905. 22 earlier in today’s session, which comes a day after price was at a bottom, at the $16,793. 53 mark.
The move saw the world’s largest cryptocurrency continue to trade above a key point of support at $16,800.
As can be seen from the chart, earlier gains have somewhat eased, as the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) failed to break above a ceiling at 48.00.
The index is currently trading at 46. 72, with bulls still attempting to push past the aforementioned point of resistance.
On the other hand, should price strength decline below a floor at 45. 00, bitcoin will likely move towards the $16,000 level.
Following a low of $1,216. 34 on Friday, ETH/USD raced to a peak of $1,227. 00 earlier in today’s session.
As a result of today’s move, ethereum once again attempted to break out of a key ceiling at the $1,230 level.
Looking at the chart, the breakout did not occur, mainly due to the RSI also remaining below a ceiling of its own at 47.50.
As of writing, the index is tracking at 47. 12, with momentum appearing to be bearish as a result of the direction of moving averages (MA).
The 10-day (red) MA extended its downward cross with its 25-day (blue) counterpart, which typically is a sign of price declines.
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Eliman has a unique perspective on market analysis. He was previously a retail trading teacher and brokerage director. He is currently a commentator on various asset classes including Crypto, Stocks, and FX.
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