The Proof-of-Stake Era is Here. Can ETH Survive the Winter?

BINANCE:ALGOUSDT   Algorand / TetherUS
After Ethereum's "merge" this week, the crypto market continues to sag as a whole, unimpressed. One pattern we see emerging is that coins that have been proof-of-stake since the very beginning (especially ATOM and ALGO this week) have been performing very well relative to the rest of the market. (Coins to keep an eye on in the near future: XTZ, ADA, TRON, MATIC, etc.) As we head further into the recession we're going to start to see some of these patterns get more aggressive.

The reason why this is happening should be pretty obvious at this point: people's attentions are switching over to proof-of-stake, and the coins that offer competitive staking rewards (aka interest rates) are starting to attract new customers. Flipping NFTs is too confusing to most people but most people can tell when one rate is higher than another. (Especially since most banks are still stuck in 0-interest rate savings mode at the moment.)

The crypto community has largely been down on Ethereum lately as the realization that they've fallen behind the curve starts to settle in. But they're certainly not out of the race yet - the roadmap to make ETH competitive in the proof-of-stake race is pretty clear:

1) Make staking liquid - the fact that it's locked up for an indefinite period of time is pretty ridiculous, possibly illegal. (Probably in their own interest to do so quickly before it turns into a lawsuit, tbh.) As it stands now ETH's staking rewards are too cumbersome and not competitive enough for people to consider.

2) Adopting on-chain governance would make skeptics feel at ease and would quell some of the criticisms coming from the Bitcoin maxis too. The real problem is transparency, not centralization.

3) Fix the issues with scaling to bring gas fees down, finally. They can probably consult people from other chains who have already figured it out. (If they can get over themselves, that is, lol.)

They definitely have the resources to do so - that was never in question. Whether they're actually gonna do it, though, that's another story. I didn't exit completely but as a disclaimer I did sell off a pretty big portion of my ETH holdings this year because of concerns over its long-term prospects. Ethereum may be well on its way to becoming Bitcoin 2.0, given that it's now become a deflationary asset.

If you're an ETH holder you'll probably be OK since they'll probably continue to burn their supply to make sure that the price doesn't go down too much. Silicon Valley is known for their appeasement of the investor class and we're likely to see the same pattern play out again. But keep in mind that each coin burned just makes it harder for new people to come in - what they've done is basically put an expiration date on their own project since they're actively restricting the platform's growth now. (Crypto NIMBYism, as I like to call it.)

Coin supply is a controversial topic in the industry but can be understood in a fairly straight-forward way: The higher the supply, the better it is for newcomers; the lower the supply, the better it is for existing holders. Maxis will repeat whatever marketing slogans they were fed but at the end of the day, it's about who's back you're willing to scratch. Getting returns on your investment requires you to see things as they are and read between the lines of what's being said - are they using that wealth to make genuine improvements on the protocol itself, or are they just hoarding it and promoting the scarcity model behind your backs?

More coin supply to attract new talent/investors? Sure, good idea in theory. Just not here - "Not In My Back Yard". NIMBYism is a thing you see in the real-estate markets, and we start to see its ugly head rear in the crypto space, too.

I do owe a lot to ETH - it stabilized my finances, paid off my student loans, and gave me the time to do the things I wanted to do, rather than had to do. But it's probably time for me to move on - I'm here for the dream, not just the money. 🔥