Why Prominent Crypto Researcher Thinks Ethereum Will Struggle in 2020


Ethereum has just slumped to a nine month low, wiping out virtually all gains it has made this year. The move has been part of a market wide decline catalyzed by Bitcoin’s drop below $7k. Many are not convinced that ETH prices will recover at any time soon, and here is why.

Ethereum Bears Gaining Strength

There has been a lot of negativity about Ethereum lately which may have added to its bearish performance. Research firm Messari has made their contributions in the latest ‘Crypto Thesis for 2020’ paper which does not paint the network in a very positive light.

The paper has been penned by founder Ryan Selkis, and is not to be taken as gospel for, in his own words;

“I compiled 120 nuggets of my clearest thoughts into one 70 page report. This is NOT an objective analysis, but a collection of my/our strong convictions for the decade ahead.”

There is a lot covered in the 70 page report but we will focus on the Ethereum parts to provide a balance for yesterday’s Ethereum by numbers article based on ConsenSys research.

No ETH 2.0 Until 2022

The report claims that there will be no ETH 2.0 until 2022 at earliest because the Serenity rollout consists of seven phases. The first of which, Phase 0 or Beacon Chain, is likely to be launched sometime in 2020 according to Selkis.

It details the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap which has already been covered in depth elsewhere. Beacon chain will essentially manage network validators, ultimately assigning them to individual shards.

The new chain will be proof of stake with rewards for those that lock up 32 ETH 1.0 tokens on the chain. There is a caveat however according to the paper;

“That one way bridge into the new system is also contentious, but it means ETH1 supply will start getting ‘effectively burned’ once token holder begin claiming beacon chain validator slots.”

Phase 1 which will introduce 64 shard chains is not expected until 2021 according to Messari. This parallel processing upgrade will be the key to scaling but the report continues to add that no network the size of Ethereum has successfully sharded its blockchain.

Phase 2 is the full launch which includes a new eWASM virtual machine and massive dApp migration through smart contracts. Naturally this will not be rushed out and the research suggests late 2021 being optimistic.

“ETH 2.0 is a brand new blockchain. It’s going to be a chaotic and high-risk transition.”

The report continues to elaborate on ETH 1.0 governance adding that there are three goals to boost performance and reduce blockchain bloat.

On the topic of ‘Ethereum killers’ Selkis says that EOS has no chance due to its ‘cartel-like’ system but Cosmos and Polkadot could be a threat. Most others have tiny communities and few developers.

The only positive sentiments from the Ethereum section of the report is the DeFi developments and the fact that ETH has a robust aggregate economy and sufficient liquidity to function in this financial market of the future.

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