back to article Merge shifts Ethereum to full proof-of-stake, price slumps

The Merge, the moment Ethereum cryptocurrency abandons proof-of-work for proof-of-stake validation, has concluded. So far, all signs point to a success, though not without some footnotes Ethereum investors should note. Prior to early this morning, Ethereum was validated using proof of work (PoW), which required more electrical …

  1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    Sink

    I hope Ethereum sinks into oblivion and good riddance!

    Nobody's going to stake $45K for a shitcoin like ETH, which is basically a token (random number). Demand will dry up and hence the price will drop to zero.

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: Sink

      I hope they all do. The sooner the better. There is no upside to any of this nonsense.

      1. Doctor Huh?

        Re: Sink

        So I'm guessing that you find the use of the term "PoS Etherium" as amusing as I do and possibly even more appropriate?

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Sink

      Nobody's going to stake $45K for a shitcoin like ETH

      Per the article, over 400,000 people have already done just that.

      I'm not a fan of Ether or the Ethereum network or, god knows, the enormous and ongoing disaster that is the collection of half-assed "smart contracts" running on the platform. But the fact is that quite a few people are, and there's a lot of wealth tied up in it.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Sink

        Are there any stats on how many of those 400,000 bought their ETH at anything close to the current price?

        If they bought in around 2015 at a dollar a pop at just hung onto them, not buying increasingly expensive mining rigs, then their cost to put up a stake has been $32 (and a lot of getting on with the rest of life) and now they have a chance at playing as a Validator.

        Obviously, plenty of people will have paid more than $32 to buy their stake, but once you get a flow of people being seen to put up a stake, more and more will follow.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Squeeze

    While I appreciate the technical analysis, and it pointed out things I wasn't aware of, the market analysis is a bit week. All the major crypto fell today. ETH fell significantly further but it was in the middle of a short squeeze which severely affected the price.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Squeeze

      There's no point performing any market analysis of cryptocurrencies because 1) none of it makes any sense and 2) they're all heavily manipulated by the exchanges anyway.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

        Re: Squeeze

        That's bull. Why would exchanges allow a 70% drop in value of BTC? I'm not saying there isn't any manipulation, but the bulk of the exchange rate is legit.

        I'm betting that if ETH drops 50% off the price before the split they'll panic and revert to PoW before you can say "Buterin"

        1. BigSLitleP

          Re: Squeeze

          It's not "bull", none of the cryptos are worth their current "value". All of them are basically ponzi schemes and will collapse at some point. That point seems to be getting closer, and bitcoin will be forced to change to a PoS scheme soon enough because no one will put up with it's energy consumption.

          1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

            Re: Squeeze

            No, there's real value in crypto currencies. But there can only be one, and that's Bitcoin.

            All the rest are merely Shitcoins, with Ethereum being the shittiest of them all.

            1. localzuk Silver badge

              Re: Squeeze

              You need to lay off the coolaid.

              There is no actual value in Bitcoin. It isn't a physical thing. Its a set of numbers in a list. It has value because other people think it has value.

              Like all such schemes, that only has value because people invest in it - for the value to increase, more people need to invest more money in it. Its the definition of a ponzi scheme.

              1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

                Re: Squeeze

                And you think that piece of paper you're holding is worth anything? It's just mass psychology to make you THINK it's worth a damn. It's, however, just a piece of paper costing $0.05 to print.

                There's no discernible difference between Bitcoin and Fiat money. If we both agree that it's worth something then it is.

                1. Jon 37

                  Re: Squeeze

                  There are two differences:

                  1) Fiat currencies have a sane monetary policy. That keeps their value stable and keeps inflation down. That makes them useful as a currency. They can be used to measure or store value. Prices don't change often or by much.

                  In contrast, all cryptocurrencies have experienced massive inflation. And their value changes wildly. No-one can price a Mars Bar as "this many Bitcoins" because the price tag would be wrong in less than a day.

                  2) Fiat currencies are backed by governments. Unless the country goes bankrupt, they will have value. Cryptocurrency is not backed by anything with real value.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Squeeze

          I think it was merely phrased wrong. Replace "exchanges" with Elon Musk "anyone holding a large enough volume to manipulate the market" and it's basically correct.

          Given that the "regular" market is already subject to manipulation by major players, the key issue with crypto currencies is that the total market volume is so low that it is even easier manipulated (translated: you don't have to be quite as rich to mess with the market value). Add a much easier to create media profile that allows you to affect more people than ever before and a lack of regulation and crypto currencies are a scammer's wet dream become true.

          1. localzuk Silver badge

            Re: Squeeze

            Exactly this. The only reason Crypto gained the value it did is because a lot of wall street types spend a bunch of their money pumping and dumping over and over again.

            "ooh, its going up, I'll put some money in" - Joe Public

            That's when the rich folk who pumped it up pull their money out and Joe is left with nothing.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Squeeze

              We're talking about crypto here, not the stock exchange!

              1. localzuk Silver badge

                Re: Squeeze

                If you think there is any difference, I have a bridge to sell you.

                It is VERY well known that the big money in crypto is coming from traditional wall street investors doing tricks that are heavily restricted with stocks/shares, but aren't in crypto.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Boffin

            Re: Squeeze

            For most crypto you are right.

            But BTC and ETH are major players with BTC having a market cap of $372 billion and volume of $29 billion. For ETH it's $174 billion and $17 billion.

            For comparison the numbers are similar to companies in the 10th to 20th range in the S&P 500 - like Pfizer or Mastercard.

            They are not vanity crypto like Eloncoin Dogecoin.

            1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

              Re: Squeeze

              "Market cap" - i.e. simply multiplying the number of tokens that exist by the last trade price - is especially meaningless in the world of cryptocurrencies, before even considering the significant number of lost tokens. Even the volume is (probably*) mostly exchanges trading with themselves to manipulate the price.

              * Ask yourself this: if you were running an exchange that you believed was outside the law, why wouldn't you be wash trading, painting the tape, front-running your customers etc. etc. etc.?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Squeeze

              That merely means the size of the scam is bigger..

        3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Squeeze

          The exchanges make money buying and selling tokens. If they're smart, changes in the price of the token shouldn't negatively* affect them.

          And the bulk of the price of bitcoin is propped up by tens (or is it hundreds by now?) of billions of fake dollars in tether tokens.

          * This is where the manipulation comes in. Their books are full of degenerate gamblers holding highly leveraged (10-100x) short or long positions. So they bump the price up a little to clean out the shorts, or bump it down a little to clean out the longs. If you watch a cryptocurrency price chart for a while, you'll notice formations that look like square waves. This is that.

      2. jvf

        nonsense

        Just read the article and came to conclusion 1)

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    a percentage – all the way up to 100 percent – of their stake is forfeit and lost forever.

    What's new about that? It's been a common feature of many crypto projects for quite some time.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $45,000

    Is it ever a good idea to pull-up the ladder in a Ponzi scheme?

    1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

      Re: $45,000

      ETH is basically a Ponzi scheme conjured up by Buterin under a veil of mysticism, utopism and technotalk.

      Mind you there's no hard limit on the number of ETH that can be created. It also signals that Buterin can create as many ETH as he sees fit.

      I someone can print an unlimited number of coins then it's basically worthless.

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: $45,000

        You can't "print" coins, that's notes you're thinking of.

        Your governemtn can print as many notes of your currency as they wish so by your reasoning it is basically worthless. In which case you won't mind signing your annual salary over to me. No?

        1. druck Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: $45,000

          So after the equivalent of hundreds of billions of new notes being printed in 14 years of Quantitative Easing, is your currency worthless? Does it fluctuate by tens of percent on a daily basis? Are there massive fees for purchasing goods or conversions to other currencies?

          If you think that crypto and fiat currencies are equivalent, I've got a bridge I can sell you (once people have stopped queuing on it).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: $45,000

            While I understand you sentiment:

            On the last point yes, just the vendor pays when it's goods (card processing fees) or buyer when converting currencies.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easter Bunny cartoon cash

    So the spiel has changed, so what. It’s still a scam.

  6. Forget It
    Alert

    and Proof of Randomness?

    How does one tell if the validator selection is fair and random?

    1. Gob Smacked

      Re: and Proof of Randomness?

      (from a non ETH person): you could just check the code... it's open source and pretty solid

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and Proof of Randomness?

        It's also not the code that's the problem. It's what is done with it.

  7. Gob Smacked

    Where did the 99% energy expense go...? (spoiler: still there)

    As if the miners want to just throw away all their expensive GPUs....

    So what happens:

    1) they sell the stuff and many happy gamers or hobby miners now take that load for fun times

    2) they start working on other coins - yes, it pays less, but they need to foot the bills

    3) when 2), after a good while, they sell the hardware: see 1) or bin them to e-waste (another nice environment issue)

    You need to observe the entire system, zooming in on 1 particular part does not tell the story.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where did the 99% energy expense go...? (spoiler: still there)

      Amazingly, the hash rate of Ethereum Classic magically spiked with the merge... :-) Oh well, never mind, the energy used in ETH mining was miniscule anyway in the scheme of things. Vitamin B is maybe not quite as clever as he thinks.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Where did the 99% energy expense go...? (spoiler: still there)

      You forgot the most popular option:

      4) Fork ETH and switch to mining ETHW (which is what said fork is called)

    3. sten2012

      Re: Where did the 99% energy expense go...? (spoiler: still there)

      Even if all went to gamers and they ran their computers 24/7 and ran them alongside existing rather than upgrading the energy consumption wouldn't be anywhere near as high, they don't run at the same load even in heavy use for gaming, let alone when idle. Not a 99% saving maybe short term, but still very significant.

      And the demand for new GPUs drops so while the true saving may lag, it still exists.

      The waste is unfortunate yeah, but doesn't seem a good reason to burn the carbon for the sake of it.

  8. Naich

    What happens to the forfeited stake if a validator is fined?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Given to a climate change charity?

      Only kidding.

    2. Loyal Commenter

      I believe it ceases to exist (as if it ever actually did). The idea here, like the previous update to stop paying "gas fees" to miners on top of the standard block reward (which already made mining less profitable), is to make Ether deflationary - i.e. the supply dwindles over time, and, in theory, the value goes up as a result. The incentive here is that validators get the block reward if they are honest, and lose their stake if they are not.

      Of course, the problem then, is how do you determine honesty?

      "I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing."

    3. Gob Smacked

      The code will take care of dismissing (part of) the ETH of the staked value. The "owner" will just be unable to unstake the previous total value, as if it does not exist anymore.

      As if someone at your bank found a way to edit your account to make it show you a few digits less then before, without moving that to another account. It's "burned", stolen without a third party taking it you might say.

  9. that one in the corner Silver badge

    $48,000 buy-in

    So does anyone have any figures on how many of those $48,000 buy-ins are needed to have a good chance of subverting the Ethereum chain by providing a consensus agreeing to a fraudulent block? And has this gone up/down/stayed the same since the switch over?

    I can't help feeling that, if the buy-in is now literally a buy-in, as opposed to amassing all the mining kit plus everything needed to run it, the barrier for trying to take over the consensus has been lowered. At least perceptually (easier for Joe Family Man to get his head around). Then again, if that means that more attempts at gaming the system are made, it just pumps the price up again. So even (especially) just the perception of a lower bar would just make the existing ETH holders wealthier (on paper) - plans within plans.

  10. jilocasin
    Black Helicopters

    No longer useful for anyone but the already rich.

    So while *this* crypto currency going from "proof of work" to "proof of stake" is great for the planet and energy usage in general, not to mention GPU prices, I feel it portends something deeper.

    Originally anyone with access to electricity, a GPU, and time could get into the crypto coin generating game. How much money you had greatly altering the amounts of the previous three items.

    Now with "proof of stake" it's been transformed into a rich man's game. You cannot make money unless you already have money. Like the stock market and every other part of the economy where the rich get richer, and the fools loose their money while helping the rich get richer.

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