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Bitcoin price has fallen sharply since peaking at nearly $70,000 per bitcoin late last year. Ethereum price has also suffered an almighty crash as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin issued an urgent update warning ahead of Ethereum’s major merge upgrade that begins next week.
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“I was surprised the crash didn’t happen sooner,” Buterin told business writer Noah Smith in an interview.
The bitcoin, ethereum and crypto markets have lost around $2 trillion in value since last November and collapsed along with stock markets as the Federal Reserve launched a monetary tightening program aimed at sucking some of the liquidity out of the system , which had built up over the US Covid-era historically low interest rates and stimulus measures.
“In the medium term, cryptocurrencies will settle down and be only about as volatile as gold or the stock market,” Buterin said. “The main question is what level prices will settle at. In my view, much of the volatility to start with had to do with existential uncertainty.”
Noting the repeated price crashes Bitcoin has suffered over the past decade, Buterin predicted that the “existential” issues facing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies “will become more and more clear.”
“The math nerd would put it this way: the price of crypto is stuck in a finite range (between zero and all the wealth in the world), and crypto can only remain highly volatile in that range until it repeatedly buys high and selling low becomes a mathematically almost guaranteed win arbitrage strategy,” Buterin said.
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After 2021’s huge Bitcoin, Ethereum and crypto price bull run, cryptocurrencies have started to break into the mainstream and have been embraced on Wall Street by tech companies and countries – notably El Salvador – with Buterin saying crypto “feels finite.” reasonably useful”. As acceptance increases, Buterin predicts the market will continue to calm down.
“By 2040, when cryptocurrency finds its way into a few niches: it replaces the store of value component of gold, it becomes a sort of ‘Linux of finance’, an always-available alternative financial layer that is, after all, the backend of really important things, but doesn’t quite take over the mainstream, then the chance that it will either go away or completely take over the world in 2042 will be much less,” Buterin said, just a week before the long… The expected merge upgrade will be launched “Individual events will affect this possibility much less.”
Next week, Ethereum will begin the transition from the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake with the Bellatrix hard fork on Tuesday.