Ethereum jumps 13% as Merge date looms

Ethereum 2.0 shift is one step closer after ninth successful shadow fork

Ethereum surpassed the £1,200 level on Friday after its latest shadow fork – Photo: Shutterstock

Ethereum surged by as much as 13% on Friday, surpassing $1,200 at one point for the first time in five days. 

Although the capitalisation of the total cryptocurrency market only rose by 4.4% over the previous 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap, Ethereum enjoyed its runaway bullish momentum thanks to progress in the shift towards Ethereum 2.0. 

Ethereum completes its ninth shadow fork

The blockchain network successfully completed one of the last tests required for it to successfully complete the shift from its proof-of-work consensus method to a proof-of-stake model. 

Its ninth shadow fork went live 15 hours ahead of schedule on Thursday. A trial run of network changes, the shadow fork focused on testing Ethereum’s maximal extractable value (MEV) boost feature.

This process enables individuals who create new ETH by staking, to increase their profit by manipulating their control of the network and prioritising the transactions of some users. 

The MEV boost will enable validators to offer space within blocks they create to other validators. The mechanism is intended to encourage competition among validators, to increase validating profits and to reduce the risk of validators accumulating too much leverage over user transactions. 

Better for the planet and the blockchain

In addition to being more environmentally friendly and promoting greater community involvement, co-founder Vitalik Buterin has argued that the shift to proof of stake will make it harder for miners to run custom software that accepts bribes to reorganise the blockchain. 

Before the recent crypto sell-offs, Buterin had hailed the looming onset of a ‘crypto winter’, arguing that it would encourage greater emphasis on developing innovative projects. 

Although this optimism may prove to be warranted, Ethereum investors will likely lament in the short-term the fact that the cryptocurrency has fallen by 67% since the start of the year. At 16:45 BST, Ethereum was trading up by 7.3% for the previous 24 hours at $1,225.

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