In our last piece, we discussed some of the Ethereum network’s recent successes and failures, including the delay of the Layer 2 optimism launch. This week, we’ll focus on the progress made and milestones reached since then, including an all-time high in price spurred on by major network developments.
NFT Sales Reach Higher
Leading auction house Christie’s announced an upcoming NFT auction featuring 9 rare CryptoPunks from Larva Labs. This marks the second time Christie’s has sold digital art, with Beeples “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” collection marking the first time a major auction house had ever done so.
The Beeple collection sold for a record-breaking $69 million, and individual CryptoPunks have sold for $7.5 million each on several occasions, with estimates placing the most valuable at $10 million today. Of course, given the opaque nature of NFT valuations and the high profile attached to a Christie’s auction, there’s no telling how much this next collection will sell for.
The auction is due to go live in May. According to Non Fungible, the total NFT market volume now stands at $219 million. Today, the 7-day volume of CryptoPunks stands at $28 million.
ConsenSys launched a new NFT platform called Palm at the end of March, and major progress has been made towards solving the issue of high gas prices.
Immutable, the developer of the Gods Unchained NFT trading card game, launched its Immutable X platform last week with zero gas trading fees.
While the platform is only being used for Gods Unchained gaming assets for now, it proves that there are solutions for gas prices and automated market makers are likely the next stop for the zero and low-gas fee technology.
Users saved over $400,000 in the first 24 hours, with no cost attached to minting or trading NFTs.
Ethereum Researchers Vote to Ship Proof of Stake in 2021
On April 5, key researchers attached to the Ethereum project voted to implement the transition to Proof of Stake in the coming year. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum Foundation’s Danny Kelly are among the supporters of the proposal.
The transition is undeniably the most anticipated update to Ethereum, heralding lower gas fees and a smaller environmental footprint for Ethereum which will help earn the network mainstream approval.
The Berlin hard fork update is due to launch on April 14.
The update will attempt to lower gas prices while promoting the use of a wider range of smart contract functions.
However, gas prices for opcodes will increase, making certain operations even more expensive than they are already in an effort to reduce spam attacks, and this could negatively impact the DeFi space and further push out retail users in the short term.
Price reached an all-time high of $2,212 over the weekend with $2,500 now in sight according to technical analysis. Price has consolidated over the last three days, moving beyond the 25-day and 15-day moving averages.
ETH had the chance to consolidate after a price drop and $230 million worth of liquidations negatively impacted sentiment on March 31.
The Santiment research firm commented on the drop, saying “The amount of Ethereum sitting on exchanges continues to drop lower, as more and more funds move into hard wallets and DeFi-based options. This is a good sign for ETH holders, as less exchange supply implies a decreased likelihood of major sell-offs.”
The company’s prediction was proven true shortly afterwards with all-time highs stemming directly from counter-sentiment trading. Ethereum’s market cap is now at $247 billion, and the crypto market stands at a record $2.10 trillion. The total value locked in DeFi is also at an all-time high of $52 billion.
The European Blockchain Convention is being held online from April 12 to April 16 with an aim to accelerate blockchain development in Europe, with 2,000 attendees expected including tech leaders, regulators, investors, corporations, developers and entrepreneurs from the Blockchain industry.
The event features speakers from ConsenSys, the European Commission, European Parliament, Ford Motors, the European Commission, Shell, Deutsche Bank, and many other high-profile government bodies and financial institutions.
The BlockDown virtual event is being held online from April 15 to April 16. The event page states that its goal is “bringing the blockchain and crypto communities together from all corners of the globe.”
Speakers include Miami’s Mayor Frances Suarez, singer Akon, DataDash, Chainlink CEO Sergey Nazarov, and more.