Ethereum (ETH) prices stabilized on Thursday after the blockchain successfully deployed the merge on one of its oldest testnets.
ETH rose mildly in the last 24 hours to reclaim the $1800 level. This comes a few days after the token was rejected sharply from $2000.
The mild recovery in the token appears to be driven by hype over the successful deployment of a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism on one of its oldest testnets, Ropsten.
The deployment was confirmed by several Ethereum developers and validators. They are now monitoring the chain to ensure the merge goes smoothly.
Ropsten shifts to PoS, what comes next?
While the merge on the testnet is still in its early stages, a successful deployment could point to an earlier merge on the mainnet. While there are still two more testnets to merge, founder Vitalik Buterin said that the broader shift to PoS could happen by as soon as August.
This timeline however, depends on all the testnets going smoothly.
Recent data shows that trader interest in the merge is going strong, with a total $25 billion being staked on Ethereum 2.0 as of last week.
Ethereum prices are widely expected to react positively to the shift to PoS, given that it will make the token more accessible. The move could also invite back institutional interest in the token, which is in dire straits due to weak crypto market conditions.
Doubts over the merge emerge
But while the merge is hotly anticipated, several traders have also expressed doubts over whether it will prove to be a substantial upgrade.
Ethereum’s price dynamics could change drastically after the merge, putting more pressure on buyers to support prices. This is also driven by the lack of mining incentives in PoS, which currently account for much of Ethereum’s interest.
Concerns have also arisen about the stability of the merge, after the Beacon chain underwent major disruptions last month. Critics also argue that PoS has inferior security than proof of work models.
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