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Bitcoin Reaches $24K in August; Ethereum undergoes The Merge

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By Shella Artillero - - 5 Mins Read

Monday's trading saw gains of 5% for ether (ETH) and bitcoin (BTC). Exchange trading volume data, however, reveals levels are not keeping up with the rally, indicating a paucity of actual quantities generated by institutions.

After the network's Merge event in September, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin downplayed the significance of any hard forks initiated by third parties after the network’s Merge event in September.   Buterin stated, "I don't expect Ethereum to really be significantly hurt by another fork," during the development conference ETHSeoul over the weekend.

Price Watch

Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) started with a positive weekend of trading. BTC broke the $24,000 barrier on Monday, rising 5% on the day, in trade. Ether followed suit, increasing 5.7% in price over the past day to $1,774.

The increase in price for the biggest cryptocurrency in the world by market value during the past 24 hours was not accompanied by high volume, as has frequently happened in previous rallies.

According to data from data.bitcoinity.org, volume levels were about 570 million when BTC last crossed $24,000; they are now at 310 million.

Accordingly, market players or market makers, who determine the majority of the trading channel based on liquidation wash outs, are primarily responsible for the movement of Bitcoin's price, according to Laurent Kssis, head of Europe at Hashdex.

According to Kssis, the $22,000–$23,000 price range will be crucial to monitor in the near future. "If there is a break above that level, BTC could move higher, though it could also run out of steam and fall back."

Avalanche's AVAX, which increased by 14% overnight, took the lead among altcoins. With a 20% overnight gain, the indexing protocol token for networks like Ethereum, Graph (GRT), now has a market cap of more than $1 billion.

Galaxy Digital (GLXY.TO), a financial services company with a focus on cryptocurrencies, posted a second-quarter net loss of $554.7 million, more than treble the amount it reported for the same time in 2017.

Voyager Digital, a cryptocurrency lender, announced on Friday that it would "restore access" to cash deposits on August 11 as the first step in restoring up to $270 million in fiat currency to its clients.

At an exclusive event held at ETHSeoul over the weekend, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, spoke with reporters. After the network's Merge, he downplayed the effect of potential hard forks on Ethereum, saying, "I don't expect Ethereum to really be materially impacted by another fork."

After the network's Merge event in September, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin downplayed the significance of any hard forks.

Over the weekend, Buterin stated, "I don't expect Ethereum to really be severely impacted by another fork," in remarks at the development conference ETHSeoul.

Next month, the blockchain will transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) system through an occasion called The Merge, which developers claim will make it more affordable, quick, and environmentally friendly.

However, as Ethereum miners were previously paid with ether tokens in exchange for their labor, the switch from a proof-of-work (PoW) system would end a source of income. 

Data show that over $620 million worth of ether was produced by miners in only one month. One of the most well-known investors backing a hard fork to keep the money coming in is Justin Sun, the founder of Tron.

Leading Chinese miners like Chandler Guo have advocated a hard fork so that miners might continue to maintain a freshly segregated PoW version of the chain even after Ethereum goes through The Merge and is certified by stakers. A portion of Sun's million ether holdings were donated to the creation of the so-called EthereumPoW network.

ETHW futures, a product that enables traders to wager on the prices of the token issued to holders of ether after the EthereumPoW network is established, have already been posted on Sun's Poloniex exchange. 

Nearly a week after publishing a study on how traders could benefit from the market response following the launch of the tokens, the futures exchange BitMex added ETHW futures to its range of products on Monday.

Buterin said about those proposing changes. "A couple of outsiders basically have exchanges and primarily just want to make quick money. So I'm not anticipating [a fork] to have meaningful, long-term adoption."