Ethereum Price Rises Above $1,700 Amid Upcoming Merge Trade, Bitcoin Remains at the $21K Range

Cryptocurrency markets are showing signs of life this Thursday as Ethereum prices rose by 3% while Bitcoin managed to hold support at the $21.6k range. After little change yesterday, when Bitcoin and Ethereum struggled to maintain support, the global cryptocurrency market cap is up by 1.81% in the past 24 hours, currently at $1.05 trillion.

Key Points:

  • Cryptocurrency markets remain relatively flat, with Ethereum showing signs of life amid upcoming merge trade.
  • Coinbase releases its utility token Wrapped Staked ETH (cbETH), enabling users to use their ETH2 rewards without unstaking their Ethereum.
  • Afghan Authorities shut down sixteen crypto exchanges in one week, arresting their staff.
  • Bitcoin will likely continue trading at the $21k range until it decides its next move next week.

Ethereum Markets Bullish Amid Upcoming Network Merge

Ethereum’s upcoming network merge, transitioning the network from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus model, has excited traders. The network upgrade is scheduled for September and will contribute to an eco-friendly transition for Ethereum, making it the largest blockchain network that won’t require a tremendous amount of electricity to secure.

The specific date for Ethereum’s merge is estimated to be around September 15th. In addition, Ethereum’s testnet networks successfully completed the merge, despite several hiccups along the way.

Ethereum prices could rise above $2k in the next several weeks, especially once the merge completes successfully.

In other news, Coinbase announced a new cbETH-wrapped Ethereum token, enabling users to stake Ethereum on the platform for rewards.

Announcing cbETH on Twitter last night, the token will let users sell, spend, or use the staked ETH while earning rewards.

Coinbase clarified that cbETH is a utility token representing ETH2, which can be staked via the platform. In addition, as a standard ERC-20 token, cbETH can be sold or sent off-platform, while the ETH2 remains locked up until a future protocol upgrade.

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The idea behind cbETH is to let users spend their ETH rewards without having to move the staked assets and lose their staking rewards. It’s a popular option emerging among various tokens and projects that enable users not only to stake digital assets but also to use them for other purposes, essentially “double dipping” for rewards.

Bitcoin News – Afghan Authorities Shut Down Crypto Exchanges

In not-so-positive Bitcoin news, according to a report from Coindesk, Afghan Authorities shut down sixteen crypto exchanges in one week, arresting their staff after Afghanistan’s government stated that digital currency trading should be stopped in the countries amid an increase in problems and scams.

The central bank of Afghanistan is waging war on cryptocurrency in the country, citing “lots of problems” and that cryptocurrency is scamming people. It seems awfully convenient for a bank to claim that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a scam and push for a ban on crypto trading in the country.

Stifling innovation and technological progress due to the government’s lack of knowledge, regulation, and oversight over cryptocurrency is an archaic method of dealing with issues that arise with emerging financial technologies. By banning crypto trading in the country, Afghanistan will only contribute to a black cryptocurrency trading market, causing an increase in illegal activity and ultimately hurting those looking to participate in the global economic revolution, which is crypto.

Despite the ban on cryptocurrency in Afghanistan, Bitcoin remains flat at the $21.6k range, rising by 1% in the past 24 hours. The 24-hour trading volume remains unchanged at $32 billion, with Bitcoin’s current market cap at $415 billion.

We’re likely to see Bitcoin continue to trade in the low $20k range until next week when the market will prepare for its next move.

Disclosure: This is not trading or investment advice. Always do your research before buying any cryptocurrency or investing in any service.

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Image Source: valentinakru/123RF // Image Effects by Colorcinch

Mark Arguinbaev

I'm a 29 year old cryptocurrency entrepreneur. I was introduced to Bitcoin in 2013 and have been involved with it ever since. Fun Fact: I mined cryptocurrency using my college dorm room's free electricity.

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Mark Arguinbaev

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